and your bird can sing
your bird is home. and your bird can sing.

the beautiful boys are like diamonds. intense, solid, strong, with a shining innovation that sparks spontaneously in the right light and with edges so striking they are only meant to be seen at a glimpse, and for only a brief moment.

insert: and then there are the boys that are like children. emotional, fragile, messy. always clinging to you for support and stability with the assured confidence they are loved and appreciated. but that’s another story.

girls can’t shine like diamonds. maybe like sapphires - dark and tangled, always with an ulterior motive. maybe like emeralds - glowing with pitiless envy and forever deceit. maybe like rubies - lusting with a deadly passion and spirited with rage. or even opals - marching onward and upward with a fiery youth and an endless determination. but never with the shining innocence or sincerity of a true, forever, coal-mined diamond.

and that, diamonds and sapphires, is why diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

i turned over in my sleep and i guess i took my pillow with me because i woke up feeling smothered. the pillow rested over my face and my phone chirped at me, informing me that i had a new message. christ, who was it? i didn’t have the slightest interest in hearing from anyone. i was tired, no one understood that.

i had spent all day fretting and smoking cigarette after cigarette and joint after joint trying to tell myself that my best friend wasn’t dying, my job wasn’t terrible, my boyfriend wasn’t a schmuck. when the sun set behind the city skyline i went onto my roof deck and turned on the christmas lights that were wrapped around the boards and i cried so hard i think i ruptured some sort of an important something. my head swam and my tears collected everywhere.

then i went to bed.

then the middle of the night,

then my fucking phone.

i looked at it. new message, jack: “i hurt.”

fuck you. i don’t? of course not, i’m just here to listen. so i respond casually, the way i always do, it’s my way.

"sorry love. i’m here."

shit.

she asked me if i wanted to know a secret one night over cigarettes on the porch. i took a long drag, held my breath, then let it out while shaking my head.

"why not?" she asked. i could tell she was disappointed, the way girls always seem to be.

"is it your secret, or does it belong to someone else?" i asked.

"it’s mine."

"then it’s not a secret."

i think she may have cried that night, partly because our friendship was sliding away faster than the egyptian sands in a wind storm, and partly because i didn’t care.

she had this ebb and flow to her that was vivacious and impossible to keep up with. she tried to sound intelligent and ended up sounding illiterate and foolish, which bothered me a lot. she also had birds, twelve parakeets, that lived in her studio apartment with her. they would squawk and shit and i hated them.

you had to look to find the good things in her. like a hidden pictures book, once they were found, it was impossible to forget they were there. she reminded me that the world was always moving, that trees would tell you stories if you listened hard enough. she had whimsical hair that belonged to a child and piercing green eyes that belonged to a wildcat.

when she died, i hurt everywhere.

standing over her grave, i remembered that she had once asked to share a secret with me. i didn’t wonder what the secret could have been. instead i cried, and told the earth encompassing her that she was a wild child, a free spirit, a friend i had known and trusted for years. i told the earth to keep her safe. i placed a lilac on her tombstone, and i walked away.

i’m really sorry, but i still refuse to call you by your name. it’s just that i’m afraid of that name after everything that’s happened. it’s really sweet that you like my name in spite of me. i’m pathetic and rude. who’s afraid of letters? but here’s the one deal i will consider: promise you won’t make me hide in the corner and force me to find all your hidden colors and auras, and i promise to one day call you by your name. the second any questions about my energy are asked, i’m gone. the moment you tell me that i’m the essence of promise, i will kick you in the shin and walk away.

i should tell you that i have only ever hated two people in my life: the man who killed my grandparents and the girl with dandelion hair. i have only ever feared two people in my life: my insane uncle and the boy who shares your name.

again, i’m really very sorry it can’t work.

choose wisely the people you bring into your lives - they can ruin any hope for the ones who just might be worth it. and for those who are being patient with me while i sort through my old bag of junk, you are worth more to me than you know. xo.

dear girl,

i like you a lot. you’re an amazing and intellectual human being with whom i connect on so many levels. but i’m using you while waiting for someone better to come along. i know who she is, i’m in love with her, but you’re around at the moment and she’s not. hope you don’t mind. but really, i like you a whole lot.

love,

boy.

dear girl,

i like you a lot. in fact, i think i’m in love with you. i’ve never felt this way about anyone before, even my past girlfriend. i hardly know you, but i do know that i’m crazy about you and want to meet your parents. having said that, as soon as you turn around i’m going to try to sleep with your two best friends. but you’re my dreamgirl.

love,

boy.

dear girl,

i like you a lot. we’ve been hooking up for the past year and i think you’re just swell. but i have baggage and i don’t want to bring that into our relationship and risk ruining what we have. i don’t ever want to date you. i just want to be friends with you and have sex with you all the time.

love,

boy.

dear girl,

i like you a lot. i think you’re really beautiful and that we get along really well. but, just to be safe, let’s not tell anyone that we’re seeing each other. not embarrassed, promise.

love,

boy.

dear girl,

i like you a lot. i’m writing you in a dire effort to express my deep level of concern for you and your emotional wellbeing. i care that you’re ruining your self esteem over boys who are not nice to you. you are one of the billions out there who like boys who don’t treat you well because you crave the challenge. maybe you should change this, since you are always disappointed in the end. shouldn’t you try being with someone who cares? might be worth it.

love,

wiome.

the sex wasn’t the worst i’ve ever had. he’s not the worst thing to look at, either.

i sit up and take a drag of my cigarette, letting the ashes casually flutter to rest on his sheets. i’m not in a courteous mood.

he’s just lying there, stone cold. a mass of naked man. i only know he’s alive because i can see the rise and fall of his back. i finish my cigarette and drop it in the nearly empty wine glass on the bedside table. it hisses and releases a mass of smoke which twists and turns its way around and finally above the lipstick stained rim, and i look around for my clothes.

jack kerouac somehow comes to mind as i’m stuffing my purse with some of his old oversized t-shirts and things that i fancy. i feel nomadic, almost primitive, and with a sense of disconnection from the rest of the world at this moment.

i steal a sideways glance of myself in the mirror: to the average set of eyes it would appear that i am a homeless, drug abusing whore. i don’t even remember having put mascara on the night before. no bra. red lipstick everywhere. and where did this bobby pin come from?

i scribble something quick and half-hearted on a post-it-note, and toss it on the bed. half a pack of cigarettes, several of his t-shirts, one sweatshirt, and a pipe later i am gone through the window.


she has a great body. maybe i’ll take her out for breakfast.

i roll over to face her, feeling well rested and content. i find only ashes and red lipstick on the pillow.

i sit up. i scratch my head, partly in confusion, partly because it’s what i do in the morning.

maybe she went to the bathroom? wait, there’s a note:

xo, wiome.

the girl seemed great. she had all these great stories of exotic places. she told me she liked horses a lot.

i don’t think she’s coming back.

and shit. the bitch took my cigarettes.

i’m in the hamptons, and it’s freaking me out. i don’t think it has much to do with the fact that i can be somewhat of a judgmental person. on the contrary, i think even the most openminded person could come here and be a bit put off. it’s just such an astonishing place, and the way of life here is completely unrealistic.

i should mention that i am here nannying. a paid gig, not a source of entertainment.

i’ve heard rumors of its swag, its snooty restaurants, its seven dollar smoothies (which i experienced firsthand this afternoon…), its popped collars and yachts. but i thought little of it. up until recently, i had spent every summer living on the cape - specifically, the town of chatham. it took a long while for me to recognize and later acknowledge the pompous lifestyle the cape offers its inhabitants. the hamptons and the cape are almost identical in their snoot and swag. i suppose the amount of entitlement among those who vacation here and there is evenly matched as well. i just have a difficult time grasping how and why people choose to spend so much money in such an offhand manner. it’s also hilarious to think of me, philadelphia sloane, sweatshirt and jeans, strolling down main street (yes, i know - perfect, right?), sipping a smoothie that is costing me a dollar a swig, listening to jefferson airplane and trying not to make eye contact.

i belong in a city half the time, and an open field the other. not in a lilly pulitzer dress sipping martinis with my harvard graduate boyfriend (excuse me, fiance - can’t you see the twelve carat ring on my finger? of course you can darling, it’s huge) whose father is a multimillionaire. am i terribly judgmental? i think i spoke too soon.

"my gut instinct was not the best. and so it’s really as simple as that. no more. why not leave it at that?"

i take pride in each of my individual friendships because each has its own direction, its own pattern, its own dynamic, its own set of rules. sveta has always been one of my most insightful friends. she is critical, independent, reliable, and foxy. though sometimes pessimistic, her outlook on most issues leaves me with much to think about.

"why not leave it at that?"

what she means is, if your initial gut reaction towards the opposite sex is anything short of exceptional, why pursue anything other than friendship? we can live without the sex, the drama, the potential relationships that happen simply because the situation presents itself: comforting, secure.

because, i argue, shit happens. sometimes good shit. what often starts out as a drunk rendezvous leads to a morning headache with a stranger in your bed. his kisses don’t match yours, he seems pretentious and smells like something unfamiliar and intimidating. when you run your fingers through his hair it feels forced and it makes your headache that much worse. it’s an oops situation indeed. and then after forcing yourself to give the pairing a chance, you realize he is a phenomenal kisser, his pomposity is actually wit, he smells like that little nook in your room where you used to read when you were little, your fingers are tickled and tantalized by his hair. this has happened to me more than a few times.

but, she argues, those were instances in which you allowed yourself that second and third and fortieth chance, and you’re not marrying any of them. you made it work because you wanted it to work, not because it was supposed to work. things that are supposed to work don’t start out with feelings of discomfort or weakness. she insists that sometimes, such instances are necessary for us to recognize what we seek in our counterpart. but the majority, those that teach us nothing and only waste our time, could easily be avoided with the simple theory: my gut instinct was not the best. and so it’s really as simple as that. no more. why not leave it at that?

so where does timing fit in? we agree that it has a lot to do with everything, always, in every situation. leaving room to grow is always important.

sveta’s a tough cookie. she knows what she wants. i have an idea, but it’s more of a thesis than a structured essay. i need to research more. i really like giving people the benefit of the doubt. and so i think i will continue to learn through these second and third and fortieth chances until i can say i’ve done all i can do before i find my soulmate and “leave it at that.”

there’s a difference between writing when there is something you wish to publicize and writing because it’s almost physically painful not to (sometimes they are linked, but it really doesn’t matter right now, so let’s stay focused). this post is strictly the latter. i have absolutely nothing to publicize - the people i care about know this - but i really can’t do anything else but move my fingers and create words, eradicating my intense sense of contradiction.

something is working hard to keep my fingers alive.

this past week, this past month, this past year, this past life - ups and downs have kept me alive, the way the ebbs and flows of the tide keeps a boat adrift, always heading somewhere.

ay, there’s the rub. my life has lots of directions, whereas a boat generally has one (or in some cases more, but it’s not important; let’s focus). regardless of where i am going now, i know i won’t be going there tomorrow. there’s the second fucking rub. which leads to the image of a circle, the thought of repetition, the voice of pessimism.

i hate that voice (pessimistic of me, i know) -  it is such an ugly thing, really. creeping inside you and not leaving for days, consuming your thoughts like a roommate forking through your leftovers, leaving behind the bare minimum for your survival. irksome, to say the least.

so i casually and curiously ask, “where are we going? somewhere today, somewhere else tomorrow?”

yes.

and here comes the voice asking, “what’s the point?”

i don’t know.

don’t be so grande as to assume you do either. excepting miche, who know’s exactly why we write, you’ll read this and see what you want to see, convince yourself that this is something it’s not. a cry for help? desperation? the end of hope? i feel sorry for you. read what i am writing as it is meant to be seen. for safety’s sake, and because i’ve gotten into major trouble writing ambiguously in the past, i am stating this here and now: my question, ladies and gentlemen, is that of life’s purpose. what is it? where is it? avenue q has briefed us of this query, but i am taking it to a slightly more personal level. there are different answers for different people, and i haven’t the slightest idea what or where mine could be.

is it possible to come out of a circle?

the third and final rub: i’m sticking around to answer my personal pessimist’s question: “what’s the point?”

until i have a better answer than “i don’t know,” things will get slippery and intense. and, as always, there will be episodes of frequent laughter. seriously.

i can’t keep running. my legs are aching and my body is stiff. my mind is irritated and fuzzy. i am running to things i ought to kick in the knee and running away from things i ought to slap in the face.

we talk about love, about good and evil, philosophy and civilization, and we cling to these respectable icons the way a tick clings to its nice big warm dog … at times like this you desperately need art. you seek to reconnect with your spiritual illusions, and you wish fervently that something might rescue you from your biological destiny, so that all poetry and grandeur will not be cast out from the world. - muriel barbery, the elegance of the hedgehog.

i will spend a day engrossed in literature, trying to view a different world through a set of strange eyes. however beautiful an art form, reading is still running.