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.

Today I did an adult thing and looked at my credit report and didn’t cry. I’m almost 27. It was just time. I bought bell hooks’s All About Love: New Visions for the third selection of a WOC feminist book club and requested a hold on another book at the library for the next YA book club. I sent an email to a former book club where I said I missed them because I do, I really, really do. I am turning in freelance assignments early. I can put on liquid eyeliner with no mistakes. There are vegetables and baked cookies now, olive oil ice cream with salted pepitas to come. I can be a better person.

30 Jan 2014 / 8 notes

I cut off most of my hair and bought red lipstick that is actually fuchsia and is perfect. I cleaned and oiled my sewing machine. I can feel air on my neck. I’m back in Chicago and wearing this sweater with roses on it. Stefan is playing Magic in Indiana and the cats are quiet. So that’s how 2014 is going.

4 Jan 2014 / 8 notes

O’hare, at F10 on my way home to Philadelphia, it smells like onions. See ya later, Chicago.

21 Dec 2013 / 4 notes

On the bus, I listened in on a conversation between a man with a cane and a woman with red lipstick. They had Melrose Park in common but seemed like strangers otherwise. “Melrose Park didn’t expect me. They didn’t know what to do with a half-Black, half-Filipino kid. Walter White, go home. Stop playing basketball by yourself until midnight.” He introduced his Italian friends to sushi, he said. When he said Walter White, of course.

I know very little about the Chicago suburbs. I know that Oak Park is just over there, and I’ve gone to Arlington Heights to visit a friend and her then-new husband. There’s Naperville, Yorkville, Oswego, Aurora, places I’ve gone to because of Stefan’s family. I know the places I dislike (almost all of them) and I know the ones with an Ikea or Mitsuwa or good flea markets. I work in a suburb that’s barely a suburb, everyone says, but is still beyond me. I take walks during lunch. The sidewalks dip in and out, appear and reappear. I think about being a teenager.

When I didn’t go straight to college, my mom got a cat. I slept on the floor in the kitchen and cradled the cat until it felt comfortable. The cat turned out mean and hisses and fights. The house is still in the suburbs, and I think about that house a lot. I look at Redfin and fantasize about not having student debt, about buying an apartment so I feel like I am here for longer. I think about Voldemort, about the room we sat in while we waited for the vet. I see him in the other two cats now. They wrestle more and spoon more.

I like the golden shock of leaves turned mush then ice lately. I don’t have appropriate shoes. I overdrafted my checking account for the second time in my life. I am in all of these book clubs. Well, two. I feel like I am writing a letter.

27 Nov 2013 / 11 notes