I brought the kids out, all twenty-three, to plant them in a wobbly line along the edge of the garden. They huddled in the grass, crouching tentatively to avoid all manner of creepy-crawly things that lurked in their imaginations. When we tamped the dirt down around the bulbs they shook and shivered, the grey clouds that had hung over us for most of a month having sunk into their bones.
For weeks afterward, the plants hung on at the edge of death; I watched nervously from the window until the sun came out and the rains poured down and the browning edges of the leaves turned green and strong, jagged blades pointed toward the sun.
I leave in three weeks. They’ve told me to go, that I’m unneeded. More accurately, they say that I’m not good enough. I have been fired, but in the way of the coward, in which I mean that I have been forgotten by choice.
I pack up my room now. I take something each day – a book, a picture from the wall, a box of supplies. I haven’t taken out the larger things yet, which I worked so hard to find and bring in, piece by piece, straining to shoulder alone. (I should have asked for help with the load, but I’ve never been one to rely on others.) Soon the room will be bare and sparse. The kids haven’t noticed that the things that make our room special are disappearing, one by one.
I will not take the iris. They deserve to stay and flourish, to reach up to the sun and spread the sharp edges of their leaves. The delicate confections of their flowers are wild things. Under the bushes heavy with white blooms, I hope the iris will spread and multiply, taking over the space outside my window in a way that I never could.
When I leave, the iris will stay. It’s likely I will never see the rest bloom. Others will; they will see the blooms that come each year and brighten this shadowed place.
They will see the riot of color that rises from black earth, where we went out and shivered, my children and I. Where we pushed our hands into the damp ground to make new life.
They will see what was left behind.
Petals, sweeping open to embrace the sky.
When you go on a job interview
you will be asked:
What are three words that describe you?
It's a stock question
(hint: they haven't prepared, nor read your application)
You should not take this question seriously,
never answer with the truth.
Do not tell them
you are a romantic,
you fall in love as easy as breathing
never learn from your mistakes.
You hate to admit it: the word
childhood movies with Princes Most Charming and Princesses Most Beautiful who would rather lie asleep than go after what they most want;
movies with chance meetings and mistaken identities, with men who are charmingly rude and women who realize the power of love (almost) too late to be saved;
to be romantic is to be weak,
to be needy,
to be a woman.
to see the beautiful in the world around you,
to open your heart to new people,
to believe that every new person you meet is a new friend,
Do not tell them
you are forgetful,
stars in your eyes.
Don't let them know
you miss emails
lose your glasses,
you sometimes stop in the street with a dream in your head that blocks out all else
you've forgotten a thousand and one nightmares
anticipate ten thousand more.
You look at something red and forget where you are,
forget reality (cast it away)
for the slippery slick of blood at a murder scene;
you see clouds moving across a porcelain sky
consider how it would feel to roll and roil and tear yourself to pieces;
smell cut grass
imagine pristine 50s lawns
movie sets with pastel houses.
you have a body
lose your mind in the possibilities.
don't tell them
you are insubordinate.
You read porn in your spare time
eat chocolate black enough to rot your insides
watch illegal movies instead of doing work,
get splendid grades anyway.
You write terrible prose
words a piercing addiction you cannot shake.
You close the doors and make art, laugh, scream.
You are not stupid: you see the lines drawn in the
sand and neatly step over them; you are the invisible
ghost of what they will never admit to wanting,
what you will never admit to having.
You know that rules exist --
they are not for you.
You refuse to hate yourself
if you could be paid for them you would flaunt them.
It's a matter of money, really.
These are the things you will think
in a job interview,
when they ask you That Question.
Don't say them.
Lock your lips,
seal away the key.
You are not
to be such would be
You will lie.
You will be steely-eyed.
You will be inhuman.
you will get the job.
Books read: 29 total
Books from list read: 3
So here is the list of 12 books that I have been languishing on my shelves forever, which I
Latro in the Mist // Gene Wolfe
The Diamond Age // Neal Stephenson
The Girl Who Played with Fire // Stieg Larsson
Tess of the d’Urbervilles // Thomas Hardy
The English Patient // Michael Ondaatje
Eugene Onegin // Alexander Pushkin
Never Let Me Go // Kazuo Ishiguro
Tenth of December // George Saunders
The Sardonyx Net // Elizabeth A Lynn
+2 alternates (in case any of the others turn out to be terrible)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? // Philip K Dick
The Song of Achilles // Madelline Miller
( Also read...Collapse )
- Likes. Rich characterizations and worldbuilding. Believably flawed characters. Backstories that effect a current plot. Characters struggling with themselves and other characters as the main plot device. Murder mysteries, Time Travel (Time Loops!). Modern day AUs (they crack me up). Sexual tension. Delayed gratification. Characters fighting for what they believe in. Characters getting it wrong. Cities. Descriptions of cities. Historical AUs (they make me happy to dive into the drama). Mythology. More worldbuilding. Long fics.
- Dislikes. Stories based on conversation. Tropes that are barely explained/used gratuitously. Characters who have a happy ending without fighting for it. Torture/kink porn (on its own). Poor grammar and formatting. Quick romances. Characters who are flat or wimpy. Shmoop. Whump. Hurt/comfort. Daddy kink. AUs that take themselves too seriously. Crossovers. Flat original characters (they have a name, but no personality, or they're a stereotype). Un-betaed fics.
If you have a question about a kink, just ask! Generally I'm not as into kink these days, so sticking to gen and character development is a safe choice. :)
( Now to the requests...Collapse )
Be a better vegetarian.
Attend yoga classes twice a week.
Run a 5K.
Finish a novel.
Get a short story published.
Get my own place to live.
Read more challenging books.
Spend more time with friends - quality time.
Be a better friend on social media.
Long list! But hell, it's a whole year.
A girl's got to do something.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!