down the green green hill
by the dirt dirt path
through the stone stone gate
past the snarled snarled hedge
round the still still lake
in the grim grim shade
of the gnarled gnarled tree
lies a cold cold grave.
This is a ghost story.
It is also a true story.
There are some frightening images.
And an ending that makes them worth it.
When I was young, I felt normal.
Nothing about me seemed out of the ordinary.
I wore pink and ribbons in my hair
I was seen and not heard
and went to church on Sunday.
Just like you.
I played with dolls and dress up and make believe
And stepped on legos in the basement.
And was afraid of the dark.
Just like you.
One day, my sister trapped a tiny spider under a cup
And while I screamed “KILL IT”
She gently placed it outside in the sunlight. Of a crisp autumn day.
And I screamed “WHY DIDN’T YOU KILL IT”
and wore pink and went to church on Sunday
and learned the pledge of allegiance
and felt mostly normal.
And the shadowed things inside me sharpened their teeth.
As I grew up, I felt mostly normal.
I celebrated Columbus Day, and went to church on Sunday,
and pretended I was interested in chasing boys on the playground,
and stepped on small spiders because I was scared.
Just like you.
And the shadowed things inside me licked their lips and sharpened their teeth,
my what big teeth you all have
and swallowed me down whole.
We’re in the belly of the beast now, the very witching hour of night, when churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out contagion to this world
facts made of fictions and fictions spun like so much fools gold
look at the birdie, look over here
while the sharp teethed beasts eat your life, your soul, your future over your shoulder
and we kill each other on their command, so they don’t have to
a graveyard of frightened things, stamping on each other’s happiness like so many
young children crying over the tiniest spider
but i’m normal, i feel normal
just like you
i’m just like you
i can put pink ribbons in my hair and dissociate through church on sunday
while a pastor thousands of miles away screams murder on my head in the name of nothing
and an army of conservative ghosts flood the frontlines
to give you orders and tell you where the enemy is - it’s them! it’s there! it’s you!
and i wear pink and play with dolls and kill the beautiful frightening things that
threaten a victory without a fear
a victory without conquerors
just a moment where we stand and i see you
and you see me
and you realize
i am just like you.
i am just like you.
and soft! i scent the morning air
the sun rises.
And the conservative ghosts which once haunted the shadowed parts of my life
Proved to be weak and insignificant, fearful, trembling things
Lies told to a frightened, grasping child
only ghosts, only specters that died shrieking in the sun
And were replaced by something brave, authentic, warm, substantial, full-fleshed
Something like this.
these days, i don’t feel normal.
i feel like me.
i wear whatever color i feel like.
and sleep in, my cat curled warm on my chest on sundays.
and i will live.
i will be happy.
just like you.
There’s a pain in my right eye.
It’s been getting worse.
It could be nothing. Or.
When I was a kid, reading stolen chapters under covers
flashlight tucked under my chin or gripped between teeth,
keeping quiet when I heard my father climbing the stairs,
holding my breath as he switched off the hallway light.
Were such things here as we do speak about,
or have we eaten on the insane root that takes reason prisoner?
I click into WebMD. Where is the pain? I click head, then eye.
Add Common Symptoms (2). Eye hurts and eye pain.
It’s enough for a FAIR match. (5) Fair Matches.
Sty, Dry Eye, Acute Sinusitis, Pink Eye, Chronic Sinusitis.
What is left out: the pain gets worse at night, the flares around streetlights warping
even when I wear contacts.
After I weep, my eyes are drier than they’ve ever felt and stick under my lids.
I stare into nothing and the pain sharpens down to a point, until I can’t keep my eye open any longer.
Out vile jelly! Where is thy lustre now?
All dark and comfortless.
These days, scrolling stolen chapters under covers
iPhone gripped tightly in my sweaty blanket fort hand,
keeping quiet when I hear my mother climbing the stairs,
holding my breath as she pauses outside my bedroom door.
And the pain in my right eye gets worse.
It could be nothing.
***I wrote this about three weeks ago. Got diagnosed with an eye infection this week lol we are slowly healing.
I fell in love in JFK because there was a terrible windstorm and lightning
And our plane was delayed for over 3 hours.
We all had to get off then, because of some rule:
if your plan is delayed for over 3 hours, you must get off the plane
(i don’t know why)
It’s lucky, because:
A plane left right before we were scheduled to take-off
They made it out and we were next
And then we had the announcement “We’ll be returning to the gate”
People were fine for the first thirty minutes.
After that, it was all rising annoyance and pointed questions for the air stewards
And a baby crying and more annoyance
As if babies can help it, when they need a good cry.
Three hours isn’t that long, in the scheme of the universe
And I’ve never minded waiting
So I did some Sudoku and tried to listen a book on tape that I’d been meaning to read but couldn’t bring myself to focus on, and found that I couldn’t bring myself to focus on the tape either, despite literally having few other options
Maybe it’s the book, I thought, then:
Or maybe it’s just me.
At three hours, the person in the seat next to me was ready to mutiny
Talking about lawyers and refunds and an outrage
I distantly thought about this news story I read, about this plane that got struck by lightning mid-flight
and crashed… I think, somewhere over Portugal
Only one passenger survived, a young girl, whose row had gone into some dense shrubbery
And she walked away with only a broken arm
She walked, literally, away until she found a cloister of nuns
Was it nuns?
Who brought her to hospital?
Or maybe it was just a hospital.
I can’t remember.
Either way, I don’t worry so much
About outrages when the alternative is flying hazardously through a windstorm.
And after all,
if we had taken off on time
If we had chanced it, squeezing boldly through the burgeoning winds into the open air
I would never have fallen in love at JFK, with you
Standing blearily at a generic coffee stand, the sign fluorescently declaring
“I LOVE NEW YORK”
with a magazine under your arm and a caterpillar neck pillow cradling you softly
it's almost like an alternate life when i'd planned to finish this trek on day 10. i am only grateful and delighted about my decision to extend my trek a day. it means that i've gotten to slow down and look around on my walk today, which has been nice. waking up to the news of the overturn of roe v. wade was so sickening, it was almost a relief to get out on the road and spend some energy pounding the pavement. here are some thoughts (from the middle!) of day 10:
for you: we will keep fighting, we will keep organizing, we will keep pushing back against the facistic mechanisms of oppressive systems until we achieve liberation, equity, happiness. i know we will! i love you! and i'll see you tomorrow!
day 9 is done!!! done!!! this day has been looming over me for a few reasons: it was my longest distance day, the forecast showed rain, and i’m getting pretty dang tired lol. i’ll tell you all about what went down in this blog post! (excuse any weird formatting, im writing on my phone instead of my laptop - details below!!)
if you’ve made it this far in my blog, you get a special little piece of trivia! obviously, long island is 118 miles long. i have been telling everyone who will listen lol but - because of the interviews and the zig-zagging from here to there - my walk will be MORE than 118 miles…….HOWEVER! today, when i arrived at my final interview, i’m happy to say i hit the 118 mile mark of my specific journey since leaving brooklyn!!!!! i can’t believe it!!! keep that in mind when you leave your guesses on the total mileage……
see you tomorrow!
day 8 dawned with a lot of promise. i've been feeling trepidatious about day 8 (and 9) since almost the beginning of my journey because these are the two longest distance days of the entire journey! back to back! who planned that? let me at them! regardless, i started the day really well....and finished it crying on the side of the road in brookhaven. let's dive in, shall we?
as always: i will check in tomorrow! just in case: does anyone know any good bike repair shops in suffolk county? hit up my instagram and keep an eye on my story!
day 7: hi hi i completely forgot about this blog because i was eating my dinner so forgive the un-creative title
day 7 is in the books! is that an expression? on the books? one for the books? either way, it is DONE and wow, what a delightfully varied day it was. here are some thoughts from day 7!
i'm hoping that i'll be able to do a blog post tomorrow but i have an EXTREMELY long day of walking, so don't worry if i can't get to it or if it comes at a bizarre time! you can always check my instagram for (slightly) more regular updates. see you soon!
it's day 6 and i am halfway through my project and halfway through my project and NOT halfway through my project. i'll get into the nitty gritty of what that means exactly down in my thoughts from day 6!
okay! time for stretching, snacks, and probably watching some run bts episodes. i listened to the new psy song that suga produced like 2,700 times this morning. what a bop.
wowie zowie, i walked A LOT today! i'm actually still about two miles from my resting place for the night, but i'm having a bit of an airbnb odyssey (thus the evocative blog title) that i'll get into down in the daily bullet points. here are some thoughts from day 5:
i'll check in with you again tomorrow!!!! see you then!