Warming

I keep piles of journals because I’m convinced there are gems hidden inside them though I never open them once they are full.

*

I read Sarah Manguso and think about my most embarrassing problem: I haven’t succeeded at simplicity yet.

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My problems are a hallway full of televisions.

*

Coming back from my lunch break I see a coworker has a group of stuffed minions on the dashboard within their locked car. I’m overcome by the urge to sift through all the vehicles in the lot for secrets. I crave the smallest of details–a popcorn kernel, a receipt.

*

The action of doing a thing is fascinating. At work I outline the things, have meetings about the things, send emails and redraft emails and create reports about the things. How liberating it is to do the thing, no matter how banal—say, rearranging a room or purchasing refrigerated creamer for the kitchen.

*

My cat used to flop over on her back overcome with the ecstasy of presence when I entered the apartment after work. She doesn’t even open her eyes for me anymore.

*

Ugly thoughts about all others abound when I feel my own cracks.

*

My bed was less than $200 on Amazon. It is too thin and pock-marked when naked with my blood.

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My heart is something in form, but figuratively I fall short of grandeur.

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My clothes are all used. Maybe I am the stereotype of my generation, rather I just like cheap things that feel new.

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In my freshman year of college in Chicago, a James Dean lookalike with a slack face and pleather jacket described holding his dad while he died and told me, “If it’s simple, it’s worth it.”

*

My skin has potential to be a sickness one day. At a climate protest I wear a dress and forget sunscreen. I meet a woman with every inch of her body clothed in the heat. She says, “I used to dress like you.”

*

I think road maps are one of the most fascinating aspects of existence. When does one create the map? When they fling their arms side to side, walk ten paces left, then right. Is this substantial enough for documentation? Who will ever walk that stride again so closely?

*

He shrivels rarely but when he does, I cup his face in my hands.

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For some reason my lines are being traced in red. I wonder often if someone went looking for my thoughts on a specific day if they could ever find them.

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Delivery services for food are always futile. I like to imagine that the world will be so overcome with competitiveness soon that cost will become irrelevant.

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I have to stop myself from fluctuating and floating towards the ceiling beneath the air of words or excess cheese and bread, it depends upon the day.

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At least once a week I yell at my boyfriend, “Why can’t you just be simple?”

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I tell no one, not even a blank empty page, exactly what I think about everyday.

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Bringing up a topic of debate is only enjoyable when the bulls are held within the pen. When one breaks loose, the temperature rises with stumbling and gnaw, all anticipation sucked from the room like a vacuum.

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I see that reading thoughtful words makes me believe that I am capable of unleashing such thoughtfulness easily. On the contrary, I’m lost in someone else’s soundbites.

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He speaks and I can’t look at him for fear that he will know what has been in my dreams.

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My paintings in my bedroom are twins. They were five dollars each from a homeless man. He also threw in an extra piece made of a shattered mirror reincarnated.

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My curtains are from Walmart. I consider them a semblance of tolerable purgatory.

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My gifted towels are soiled and left in a heap. I don’t air them out and instead let them fester.

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I’m much more consistently intrigued by myself than I ever will be of anyone else.

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On average, a sentence in a draft of a piece ranges between five and thirty words.

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I’m fiercely protective of what I admire and hypercritical of all who try to tame or reduce my muses.

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I wonder if these words are simply sprinkles of vanity. With so few resources, who will be able to conjure the public heart? If one could, would they even want it?

I find the prospect warming.

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