Reliability

A month is not
twenty-eight days.
On time is always
early.
The fifth of September means
October third then
thirty-first.
Whites of my eyes can bleed
twice in October.
Excuse for swinging moods.
Pressure that only
caffeine and a nap
lessen.
Excuse for insecurity,
inferiority, opportunity
missed.
Weakness.
Just an excuse.
Logic, charm, work, love,
strength,
with the clock
and her bell to chime
every twenty-eight
days as
a reason.
Indicate my sex–
XX marks the spot.
Eggs float
hot,
flow
red, unused.
Almost too eager,
never late.

Flashbacks

Prom. Junior year.
I didn’t go with a date, but with a group of girlfriends.
It was toward the end of the evening.
I was dancing with a good guy friend.
He was a son of one of the faculty.
He was cute. And eccentric.
Adorably nerdy. We had a few classes together.
We were talking.
His mom had appeared along the sidelines of the ballroom while we danced.
She was a chaperone. She was dressed to the nines.
We both saw her.
He looked at me. Smirked a little.
He nodded toward his mom.
Suggested that perhaps we surprise her.
I mean, I had never kissed a boy in front of his mom before.
Also, I wasn’t quite 17.
I wish I could say I had never kissed a boy.
But that wouldn’t be very honest.
Instantly, I got nervous. Terrified.
I said no. Not in front of his mom.
I mean, what about my grades?
We finished the dance.

Oh, the one guy.
From Montreal.
We cuddled.
But we didn’t kiss.
Then I went home.

Then there was that time.
By the river.
With that older man.
Knowledgeable. Worldly.
Numerous stories.
No hints of writing opportunities for me.
But his seeking opportunities of … not writing.
From me.
Sun setting. His arm behind me.
I very much didn’t want to kiss him.
I tried saying as much
With all the negative body language I tried to give.
But he didn’t get it.
And he leaned in anyway.
And I had to put my hand up to stop him.
And I was incredibly clever about it.
And I haven’t contacted him since.
Other chances to write will come up.
I know.

Then one time
One guy
It would have been so easy
Just to lean in
And watch his eyes close
Because he was there
And I was there
And we were talking
And he asked when was the last time I made out with someone
I was honest and said a [long time]
And he answered his own question
With considerably less than [a long time]
What if, he said
What if, I said
Then what
I really want to, but
Then what?
We agreed we shouldn’t
So we didn’t.

Then, the times when I didn’t chicken out or reject and went for it. I don’t know how many times I’m going to bring up this list. It seems to emerge every couple of years:
1. On the band bus … twice.
2. In the parking lot in front of Shopko/Movies 8
In the parking lot of Regency apartments that same night – same guy, of course
3. In the living room of another apartment complex a couple of years later – the fiancé.
4. At a party around Thanksgiving in the late 90s
5. That one dude in Orem I totally forgot about
6. The state attorney
7. The one friend who’s not really a friend anymore
8. The guy from a few years ago.

Well, it seems I’m a bit obsessed right now with kissing. Maybe not so much kissing, but I just spent a week camping with a whole bunch of women and maybe I need the company of a nice man. So maybe I’ve been thinking about a nice man. Not just any nice man, but I have a few in mind. Any of those few would be nice to spend some time with. Or, maybe even a really, really nice random man. From church. That wouldn’t be so bad, right? Maybe? Because it’s church? Right?

And yet, I just spent a week camping with a whole bunch of young women from church, where we emphasized self-control and virtue and changing the world with goodness and purity. I taught excellent things at camp. Didn’t swear once while I was there; not a single peep. So I guess that whole bit about kissing and the boys I’ve kissed and wanting the time of a few specific men or a random man from church even though I wouldn’t necessarily have to kiss him even though I would really, really really want to, I was just kidding.

Sort of.

Sorry. It’s just been too long.

TMI X 2

Well, folks. I’m back from camp. I’m pretty tired.

I have a whole entry brewing, but I’d thought I’d list a couple of … not-highlights from this past week.

It was humid. On Wednesday I decided to go bra-less, and it was incredibly comfortable. But the rest of the week wasn’t conducive to doing that. I’ll provide details on that later. Because I know you want to know them.

Um, I showered once. That means one (1) time. It was Thursday, after the hike, and after I took a dip in the lake, and after one of the leaders asked me if I had showered. Then that’s when I said I hadn’t showered since Monday, and that’s when she said, “Good for you!” in a way that really means “That’s the most disgusting thing I have ever heard.”

BUT, kids. I drank 3/4 gallon of water each day; I wasn’t smelly – only a little grimy – and I didn’t end up with nearly as many mosquito bites as many of my fellow campers. But I was also really careful about applying insect repellent whenever I could.

More later, when I’m less delirious.

Thanks to Amy for guest blogging, and thanks to the few of you who kept texting me throughout the week.

I really missed you. Remind me to gush about the girls and the stars and the food and the crafts and the new friends I made. Remind me to give you a hug every time I see you.

Layer

I haven’t shaved my legs since October. I told this to a friend I was sitting next to at church on Sunday, and she laughed really hard. I was grateful Sunday School was about to begin, because she quieted down. And then the person sitting on the other side her looked at my legs. I was wearing a knee-length skirt and knee high boots and trouser socks that went up to my knees. When I sat down, my knees showed. I usually don’t shave my legs in the wintertime. I considered shaving for the outfit I wore to church, but I said, it’s wintertime, I’m not shaving my legs solely on principle.

Is leg hair really that fascinating? on women? Why do women in many cultures shave their legs? Was it a change in climate? a migration? Is it smelly? Did animal predators stay away if female humans shaved their legs? It adds some texture to my legs, that’s for sure. It’s pretty fun.

Anyway, my leg hairs have grown to their full length. It’s kind of patchy. It’s long on the front of my knee and parts of my shin, and short everywhere else. Very weird. But, one thing I like about my leg hair is that it’s not course. It’s very soft, and if you run your hand down from my knee toward my feet, it feels pretty smooth. Well, I just ran my hand up my shin toward my knee, and it feels the same.

Maybe I would keep hair on my legs if it weren’t so odd-looking. The hairs are pretty long, but they’re really fine. It’s weird how I switch from the supposed plural to the singular when talking about my fur. Is it fur, this soft, almost downy layer on my legs? Humans are mammals; most mammals have fur. Ergo, humans have fur. Right? … Right?

I choose to believe my leg hair has helped keep me warm this winter. And, maybe this post is entirely too much information for the World Wide Web. Internet, are you okay with this?

Three Episodes Today

This morning when I waited for the A train at West 4th Street, it felt like a sauna. Just like a sauna, except everyone had clothes on, and there were no coals or wooden, tiered benches to sit on. And it was sticky. And not very clean. I felt a layer of moisture form instantly on my arms, and I saw a few people wipe their foreheads of sweat, so I did the same. Slick. And all I really was concerned about was whether a visible puddle formed in the armpit of my shirt. Because I was on my way to work. And I had clothes on.

This probably isn’t the best time to admit that I don’t wear deodorant, eh? I do drink a lot of water, and my body odor isn’t offensive. Is it? IS IT. Look at me. Tell me I’m not smelly, and I may reconsider putting you in a headlock.

I don’t know why I have these kooky, violent ideations.

I almost had words with the vending machine in the work kitchen today. I politely drop my money in. I push the buttons that correspond to the tasty snack that I want, the coil spins to release the tasty snack, but the tasty snack does not drop, but instead perches perfectly on the edge of the shelf. Then I try kicking the machine. True story. The window is made of fiberglass and when I push on it, it gives the appearance that I’m actually shaking the machine, but that’s impossible, because the vending machine weighs 500 pounds, and it’s only the window that shakes. So I kick the side of the machine. I sideways jump-shove the machine. Left shoulder, because my right shoulder is already too jacked up. The machine makes a lot of noise, but that tasty snack evades me. It just sits there. I don’t have enough change to try giving myself two of the same kind of tasty snack, so I give up. I don’t really need that tasty snack, anyway. I’d rather drink the rest of my half-gallon of water for the day and smell my underarms at intervals and impress myself with how much I don’t stink.

On my way home, I went back down into the Fulton Street Inferno, and some police officers stood next to a table, ready to check bags at random. I got a good look at the table. It was white. And it was plastic, like a card table or something you’d sell contraband behind. A female officer stood opposite the two guy officers, and she saw me and my backpack, my backpack that’s longer than my torso. That makes me look like a terrorist, apparently. So, Ms. NYPD stopped me and said, “Excuse me, Miss? Your bag.” So I took off my bag and set it on the table. The guys didn’t open it, because I think that’s against the law. What they did instead was rub my bag with a white piece of cloth or paper, two inches square. Then they placed it in a slot of a black, rectangular box. It reminded me when we were kids of those boxes we made with two slots and we put a slip of paper with a question on one side in one slot and the piece of paper came out the other slot that had the answer written on the other side. It was a magic machine, remember? Anyway, this box had a green, digital display, which the officers appeared to be studying. After about five seconds, they handed me my bag and thanked me, and I went on my way.

I have to say, ion chromatography isn’t as cool as a magic machine. Ion chromatography would have been able to detect my sweat with minutely trace amounts of stinkiness, and a magic answer machine would have told me I exude a delightful aroma. Which is ALWAYS true.