Unplugged lamp, three empty Magic holiday gift boxes, Seventh Generation detergent, allergen-free dryer sheets, a copy of Wonton Soup Ed lent me a few weeks ago when Lindsey still lived here, a pile of comics Stefan found in the dumpster, flopped over boots, cat litter, a Whole Foods bag with an umbrella and the September issue of Vogue, H&M bag with new black shoes, my jean jacket, a Swiffer, a broom, a busted Ikea couch found in the as-is section, a green Ikea rug, this new floor!, a container of cat food made in Wisconsin, the cats’ feeding station (water, Wisconsin food), a large Ikea cart with cat mug Stefan found in Florida, metal mixing bowl (there’s a fork in there from last night’s salad), leftover baguette that should’ve gone into the freezer, a Mario Batali dutch oven, a Pyrex in the Friendship pattern, a glass juice container, a small Ikea cart, a Third Street unsweetened green tea, a roll of Viva towels, Lindsey’s water bottle I never returned with my park district fitness center badge clipped on, the Vitamix base obscured by my bun, the collar of the Chemex, the trash bin bought in a south suburban thrift store, a framed photo bought in Pilsen, a Le Sac bag filled with dirty kitchen towels, the fridge, selfie before showering after waking up from a night listening to a pretty gruesome good poem about bodies and thinking about white girls and not going to the Hogwarts dance party because it was 9pm on a weeknight.
I’m about to go get burritos and sit in the park, but I just wanted to leave this right here for now, thanks, because em dashes, finally.
We’re living in a studio next door to the apartment we’ve been living in for two years. The apartment is a one-bedroom with a galley kitchen that is smaller than you think, that makes other people’s galley kitchens feel spacious. I envy your small kitchen. The carpet was pulled up and the pad and tile came up too and a bunch of stuff went down and now time for paint, tile in the kitchen, sealants. I don’t know how anything works. I think about neutral lipstick and doing squats. I don’t have any money, I repeat over and over. I make very little money, not enough money, I should work harder. I use unbury.me constantly to play out a fantasy of being student loan debt-free and it sparks so much and so much and so much.
I baked up five whole cups and some of granola made of oat, millet, and chia. The Whole Foods worker said, “Everyone’s buying oats and millet today. Is everyone eating the same thing?” Yes. Bird seed feed clusters for all.
Really what I’m thinking about is if I should be taking selfies and putting them on the internet so when I walk towards and subsequently pass an internet face I recognize, we can both do the squint, that dance, so I don’t have to pretend like I don’t recognize you and then after I would still text Lindsey or Stefan or someone about how I saw someone from the internet.
I have seen a lot of you lately! I’m sorry I don’t say hello and that you don’t know my face, even if some of us are Instagram friends now. You’re all shorter and more beautiful than I imagined but still looming. A lot is like three and lately is maybe a month or so. I want to include former co-workers so the number is higher but still.
Things are hard and they stay hard or they turn soft and you lay on the bed with your partner and your two cats—oh man, that poor cat with the cast on his leg—everyone belly down on top of the blankets, pillows jammed all over, a Marvel v. Capcom 3 tourney streaming on the iPad propped against a pillow. Mostly I feel overwhelmed, burdened, like I am failing at being a friend, being a good cat mom, being, you know, a whole being. Or I feel really great so who knows. It’s spring shaking Chicago out of winter but winter always comes back here. Lately, I wish I owned a car so I could drive to, like, suburban book stores or Mitsuwa or Ikea and not really have to exert that much effort to get that far out. We watched The Thirteenth Floor again (mostly Stefan watched while I played Scramble with Friends against some strangers and Laura) because it’s on HBO Go so maybe that’s where this is coming from.
Oh, hey. It’s been a while.