after you all gave me really wonderful responses to my demand for new tv shows to watch i just started the vampire diaries on netflix because i’m nothing if not consistently garbage. the best part is that robbie did the same thing a few years ago, and it turns out we want to kiss different vampire brothers, a conversation we had in complete earnest as if the only barrier to our vamp bro double date was the concern that it would affect our friendship.
2001. my brother is six. more than once, my mother finds him up in the middle of the night, standing at the door to my bedroom and quietly crying. when asked why, he says, “lizzie will die one day and i don’t want her to”. they have a lot of conversations about mortality, interspersed with conversations about how cool the zoo is, particularly the monkeys.
2008-2012. my brother is a teenage white male. while admittedly funny, he is mostly horrible. we have a lot of fights about abortion and immigration. he reads half of “the handmaid’s tale” and hates it.
2013. my brother texts me to tell me with great urgency that the yellow wallpaper is “the coolest thing i’ve ever read”. we have mostly stopped fighting about immigration.
2014. my brother calls me out of nowhere for maybe the fifth time in our lives. he has a job at the fabric store, where most of his coworkers are middle-aged women, and in the course of conversation, he has learned that many years ago, one of these women had a miscarriage followed by a divorce. the thought made him so sad that he didn’t sleep last night and “just needed to tell [me] about it”. we talk about other things — my new job, what concert he went to last week — and just before we hang up, he says he feels a lot better. my whole chest is tight and i wonder once more how parents can possibly make space for so much love because certainly this is the most a person can feel all at once.
Perhaps there is a distance that is the optimum distance for seeing one’s father, farther than across the supper table or across the room, somewhere in the middle distance: he is dwarfed by trees or the sweep of a hill, but his features are still visible, his body language still distinct.
A thing you should know is that sometimes I get off the metro a stop early to buy bubble tea from this guy who I only have a crush on because the first time I stopped in, told me he wasn’t “allowed to touch the register anymore” and had to go get his uncle to take my cash.
I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.
Mary Oliver, “I Go Down to the Shore,” in A Thousand Mornings
pssst — today is my blog’s sixth birthday! my blog is in kindergarten. my blog can read. my blog has probably asked if we can make that maple syrup candy laura ingalls wilder is always eating in the winter. my blog has opinions on whether it wants to wear pants or a skirt to class.
(it is weird to know that so much of my life can be traced in one dumb, not-even-close-to-anonymous place on the internet, but it’s good, i think. i’m pretty happy here. i may stick around.)
Cancel my plans forever, I have to help Cher make this movie.
Missoula, Montana is the only place in the world where a man on the street has asked me for hair tips.
PRETTY DRUNK in Montana with all of my friends. The stars are better here. Please come visit, I live here now.