Saturday January 12, 2019
From a text
It’s been a year and some things are still buried in the yard alongside all the other bodies too cold to touch
I wonder sometimes if you’re waiting for me to wear an apology that doesn’t belong to me on my back—
Maybe thinking it’s owed to you or something. I have to try not to take that on at all because you can’t always get what you want.
It’s been a year and some days I think you don’t notice how much we’ve both changed. Some days feel like I’m right back where I started, eating lies around you to keep you up.
I don’t want to tell you how I really am. What I really think. I’m not sure if you deserve it.
Thursday November 22, 2018
In the years before this one
Tiny beliefs were planted in the
fertile pockets of our earth
And twigged things sprouted forth
bearing the ugliest fruit imaginable
Somehow the farmers convinced
the people to eat the ugly fruit
They might have used something violent like the deepest kind of lie
They might have thrown god somewhere in there to be safe
And inside every body that ate the wrong fruit grew a hole that hurt so much it needed to be filled
The people with bellyaches were desperate to put something in the place of the void
They tried eating whatever they could to stop the empty
The limbs of small children at first
But that wouldn’t do the trick
And then someone heard from someone’s uncle that self-hate takes up a lot of space…
Monday October 8, 2018
Plants Don’t Have Birthdays
I married Dave
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted
I am happy with Dave
He is the one who makes me happy
He is the one who
He is the one who makes me
I am in love with Dave
He is the one I wanted to love
He is the one I loved to want
He is the love I wanted
I settled for Dave
He is the one I wanted to leave me
He is the one I wanted to leave
He is the one I wanted then didn’t
I am still with Dave
He is the one I regret
He is the one I didn’t expect
He is the one I was too afraid to question
He is the one I can’t see myself in
He is the one who was there
He is the one who had a car
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who had a problem
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who lied
He is the one who kept me small
He is the one who I let keep me small
He is the one I married
Wednesday August 22, 2018
From a quote by Rebecca Solnit
you should feed them the bullshit
hi how are you good I’m good we’re good she’s good
no we can’t hear you coughing no we didn’t realize we were so loud
no we don’t have any sugar for you to borrow
you should tell them you are practicing a scene for acting class when they catch you screaming your lungs off
spilling your own secrets
about who you really are
you should tell them the thing they want to hear
i’m happy we’re happy he’s happy we’re good we’re staying together we’re really good actors we’re really passionate people
Sunday August 12, 2018
Ode to Invisibility
behind this mask is a person afraid
of not living up to the hype she bestows upon herself
to the hype she gets from others
it is ugliest when she lies to herself
big dreams and cotton candy promises
do this then you’ll…
be this then you’ll feel…
one day you’ll wish upon a star and
find yourself among the wreckage
little lives left losing
little hopes laid to rest in the fields
filled with shoulds but didn’ts
knows but won’ts
the mask looks confident
the mask looks like a lot of things
Tuesday May 15, 2018
from Quill and Quire
Let them see all the good colours
the ones that the sky knows in the morning
and when the sun decides to sleep
Let them see them in me
I am too tired to write a lie
Everything is coming out neon green
If I had more time I would spin a web of almost truth
And you might get caught because it wil be beautiful
It will blow your friggen mind out of your skull
let them choose brains over braun
quirk over perk
passion over rations
Let them pick the harder one to be
Let them learn how
I wish the bed didn’t sink in the middle
I wish Chicago wasn’t trying to recruit me so persistently
I wish the edges of this soft made you cry for once instead of me
I wish I didn’t need to do everything in the same line format
BREAK THE FOURTH WALL AND DO NOT OFFER TO PAY FOR DAMAGES
DIP SUGAR INTO A SALTY THING AND BOW DEEPLY
VOLUNTEER TO GO FIRST
YOUR EMOTIONAL LIFE WHEN IT IS HOOKED UP ALL THE WAY DOWN YOUR SPINE
Monday, February 19, 2018
All Things Wasting
The last time I spoke to him I lied and said I had roasted his favourite shoes over the open fire. I told him I made chestnuts out of them. He believed me. I guess that’s saying something about me. About him, sure, but about me first because I must be pretty convincing. I suppose he has good reason. Once when we were laying in a sleeping bag somewhere in Tobermory, I said I’d stab him if he let go of me and when he did, so did I. Stab him, I mean. It was only a little, and he bled but not for long, but I said I would do it and I did it and that’s when he started to get a little scared of me. Even if it was only my thumb nail piercing his upper thigh. He’s entitled to his opinions. He can think I’m whatever he thinks, but I would never actually roast somebody’s shoes on a fire. I’m not a monster. He didn’t even respond right away when I told him I did it. He took a few long breaths and then said that was all he could take for right now. I think that was a tactic his therapist told him to practice. I don’t think he would have thought of those words on his own.
Saturday February 17, 2018
Errata and Addenda
Rachaela Van Borek
Can’t tell her the truth even though that’s what we both promised we’d do.
When she tells me hers, she apologizes a month later and says, “Maybe when
you asked what I thought that night I shouldn’t have answered at all.”
I tell her “No, you should have, I want you to be honest with me,”
but I don’t know if that’s just because I don’t know what else to say.
I have some ideas about the questions she doesn’t ask me and
I know I can’t tell her what I think so I agree inside that maybe she is right.
A blanket gets thrown at me when I look cold but feel sweaty.
That’s probably on account of all the discomfort.
Some people sweat when they lie.
I put it on my toes and count the minutes before the pizza arrives.
Maybe when we’re eating we will have less time to peer into each other’s
souls and risk ruining a perfectly good family.
Suddenly her phone rings and she answers it in the middle of my good story.
She covers the receiver, tells me that our mother is frying shrimp dumplings again and asks if I want any.
I tell her to tell her yes.
She tells our mother we’ll be right over.
When she hangs up she shakes her head.
“Not sure what Mom is doing making dumplings at midnight.”
“Not sure what Mom is doing thinking we all still live in the same time zone.”
Monday July 24, 2017
overheard at the airport
I asked the woman if I could have an aisle seat instead of the middle one they keep putting me on. Last time I got stuck between two giant men and their elbows locked me in while they slept. She told me it was full and likely not possible for me to switch. So in front of everyone I told her I have to go to the bathroom a lot. She didn’t care. Why would she, I didn’t go into details. I didn’t tell her that I
had explosive diarrhea because I don’t but maybe that would have made her feel something for me. I also could have said I’m a barfer but I am not that either. I feel like I let my sister down by saying I was going to declare IBS to get a better seat and then chickening out when the time came. I know this is not a big problem to have. At least I don’t actually have to shit everywhere.
Saturday March 4, 2017
A poem by Rupi Kaur
I start lying the summer after my Dad leaves
because it’s easier and it feels good, or it
appears to be easier and it’s instant
gratification. It starts small, “I went to
the beach this weekend,” or “I haven’t had
ice cream in ages!” Then it grows, right,
like, you knew that was coming. Before I
know it, before you can say, “Don’t let
the bedbugs bite and if you do hit them
with your shoe until they are
black and blue,” before any of it, it’s
a wildfire of untruth and it’s heavy
and greasy and ugly and fuck I’m drowning
in the gas of it. I try to stop – I
challenge myself to not lie once for a
whole day. I feel breathlessly guilty,
my throat closing, my teeth clenched.
I don’t know when I finally began to
trade honesty. Maybe when I started
to notice how much the world lies,
how much my best friend lied, how
lies burned the whole house down in
the first place.
Thursday February 16, 2017
From a text
In the tenth grade I had a crush on a boy who was tall and almost perfect looking. He played the guitar. He was smart. He loved his family. I was already drafting up wedding invitations. But during the summer there was another boy. He had curly hair and made me laugh. He also played the guitar but he was the biggest asshole I’d ever met. I liked him a little but he liked me more. We spent a night together on the couch in my friend’s parent’s basement. He talked me into making out even when I told him I was scared I’d be bad at it. It was not my first kiss but it might as well have been. He stuck his tongue so far down my throat I could have sworn he licked my stomach lining. My face was gooey from the slobber he left behind. He asked me if I liked it. I didn’t want to tell him the truth because of how proud of himself he was. Instead I told him I didn’t know since I had nothing else to compare it to. I wished it wasn’t him.
Thursday February 2, 2017
From an interview with Miranda July in LENNY letter
My fears are bigger than Maggie’s but I dont want her to know. I tell her I don’t care and she tells me that I should. I tell her that it doesnt concern me so why should I even bother and she tells me to get educated; to get it right. I lie through my teeth because the lies are little enough to pass through uninjured. I lie through my teeth because the second step after waking up is leaving the bed. Because the one after that is looking myself in the eye and agreeing that more needs to be done. I tell Maggie it doesn’t interest me because it hurts to care so much and still be rooted to the darkness.
Friday October 28, 2016
A LENNY Interview with Amanda Nguyen
I am a good pretender. I still think about doing it professionally, actually, especially when I’m lonely or the season’s change or when it smells like mothballs and tequila. You all try to fool yourselves that it’s not pretending, that it’s truth-telling but everyone else is laughing like crows.
Sitting in the waiting room, filling out the forms, picking egg yolk from my cuticle, rolling my eyes at the magazine selection. I’m pretending, Mistress of Disguise, clever clever. When the mouse behind the counter who tells everyone what to do but gets paid the least, when the mouse calls my name I smile. Liar. I smile and I hand in my form and I walk down the long hall.
Monday October 10, 2016
The Rising Strong Manifesto
I tell myself I am beautiful on days that I don’t wear makeup
On days that I don’t leave the house
On days that I wonder what it would feel like to kick a living thing that is smaller than me
I tell myself that outcomes are not reliant on incomes
That success is knowing that success is just a word
That joy can come from wondering about kicking a living thing that is smaller than me and knowing that I never really wanted to do it in the first place
I tell myself that if ignore my thirst it will turn into hunger
but if I ignore my hunger it will turn into regret
I tell myself that I am beautiful
on days when I forget that beautiful is just a word
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
it starts with a whisper with a promise to be better
when you don’t really mean it and you don’t really want to
commit to process
it’s opened then
when you say anything that doesn’t sound like truth and when you think
everybody only hears sincerity when you are wrong but don’t
want to believe that yet
a little crack further
and you keep far away from it because it’s calling you
it knows you by face and you pretend it’s a different you a different you with
the same name
that each day a little bit less is tried
a little bit less is wagered
and the pit beyond grace is surrounded by old flames that
you ran from because you didn’t have the courage
to snuff them out
it starts with a whisper with the song of wandering souls
you fall each day
further off the track you triumph over
Monday, August 29, 2016
I put it there along with other things. I wanted a collection of all the lies I had been telling. In the secret parts of my understanding I like to believe they live in a garden on their own. But they are not thriving in their soil. I don’t water them. I have deep hopes that they don’t need it. The walls of this decision are dried and crumbling. They don’t fall or crack revealing light. They pile on top of the old ones and bury the new ones that were just put there for a second. Now everything is locked up. The idea that this is all I’ll ever be. I am the one languishing in the vault. I am the one wasted. And I only choose to visit the scraps of myself there when no one else is around. Stuck internal, asleep on a mattress that divides all of my bones into unusable groups, and keeps me from attending the day like they all expect me to.
Wednesday August 17, 2016
He had been gone for a long time. I think he was fishing with his new wife, Amber. I hadn’t seen him after he left my mother with a hospital bill and a bag of rotting carrots in the fridge. I hoped he and Amber caught all the fish they could carry.
I was mad because of what he did to my mom. I mean even to this day it’s weird to say “did to” as if he did himself to her. He behaved himself to her. He was himself to her seems more accurate. I was mad because he would be so capable of disappointing someone who loved him that much.
I found out this year that my mother was horrible to him too. I didn’t know that before. I guess I needed someone to blame but I needed someone to stay more. I guess I chose wrong.
That’s when he called. He heard my mom wasn’t going to make it and he came home. He came back to what home used to be. He didn’t bring Amber. I respected him more for that. He didn’t bring any fish. I thought that was kind of rude.
Tuesday August 16, 2016
I couldn’t say goodbye because I was worried about what that might have meant for him. What if he didn’t know how not to take things personally? What if he thought it meant I wasn’t willing to be there for him; to drop my life and commitments to be his witness. I said I was sorry. I learned that that’s the best thing you can say. I said I felt for him. I said I loved him. But I couldn’t say goodbye even though I wanted to go. At what point do you interrupt someone who’s grieving to go get yourself a sandwich? At what point is it a good point to make the point that you haven’t said anything aside from the things you’ve already said? I suppose they teach others how to demonstrate power and courage, how to own space, how to claim what is owed, how to say things without offending people because of intentions or something. I didn’t want to hurt him. Isn’t that a good thing? But there comes a moment in every missed goodbye where you stop fully listening anyway and I guess I’m wondering now: doesn’t that hurt maybe even more?
Monday August 15, 2016
Oct 2016 issue
I can’t stop reaching out of my skin and into your kindness
I destroy everything I touch
I want to touch you all over
Tell me again how it is that you’ve chosen me
Don’t tell me about my face
Don’t tell me about my hips
Don’t tell me that you wished for this when you were younger
How we were meant to be
I don’t care for lies anymore
And I can smell them
You are not a magician
None of us are.
If you can bear to ask yourself
All the hard questions
The way I’ve been begging you to
What is it that you see that you need so desperately
Surely not the hole in your stomach I’ve chewed
Surely not the bad days bad nights bad luck bad timing
I do not cast a hook in you
You’re free to swim wild
I don’t want to hear anything
That does not sound
like it’s been dying to come out
Friday August 12, 2016
For the third night in a row I have come home from the office and screamed into my pillow-I don’t know how much longer I can take it-I am starting to look forward to coming straight home from work—
I found his lies in the back pocket of his jeans. I asked him why it took so long for him to get lazy. Why now? Because I know he wanted to be caught because he wanted to tell me why and he wanted to tell me it was because of me. So. I asked him and he told me he was no longer happy. As if that’s supposed to erase 4 whole years of loving someone. Because to love someone for four years breaks your heart on the best of days. As if being no longer happy excuses the sneaking around and justifies the betrayal. It is a betrayal because I trusted my heart with him. It is a betrayal because he knew it would hurt me and he did it anyway.
Monday, July 25, 2016
From a text
Annie calls me from the other room to see if I’m awake. I am. But I ignore the ring. Letting it finish its tune before I toss in bed some more to make it seem like I’m still asleep. Annie hasn’t been sleeping well on the couch, even though she says she has been. She makes sad squealing noises throughout the night but doesn’t remember doing it. I know she isn’t well but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. I told Jeremiah about it and he told me he needed at least eight hours sleep to get through his day and if he could sleep on the couch, he would. I told Jeremiah I would sleep on the couch if he would let my sister sleep on my side with him in the bed. He looked at me like I had just swallowed too many blue pills. He shook his head slowly from side to side and said, I don’t know, Lisa, I don’t know.
For the first time I wonder if Jeremiah is attracted to Annie. Or if he is trying to assert his power.
Thursday June 9, 2016 at Starbucks
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Of course Freddie was trying to hide her smile, she didn’t need Mitchell to see his math tutor also not taking him seriously. He was telling her about his day and the traumatic experience of Ashley and Ashley tricking him into sliding a penny down the centre of his face during the lesson with manipulatives. They told him if a line appears on his skin it means he’s deficient in iron. Mitchell didn’t want to be deficient in anything in front of the Ashleys but he rolled the penny and sure enough, it produced one tiny grey line. He told Freddie how they snickered and caused such a commotion that everyone came to look. All day, apparently, Mitchell had tried to convince everyone to do the same. He didn’t know they had coloured in the penny with pencil.
Saturday March 19, 2016
from a text
If I close my eyes I can almost hear perfect silence. The buzz of the fridge seems to disappear. The beeping of the trucks backing up outside my balcony are muted. I can get centred without going anywhere at all. I’ve been practicing getting zen and doing it under pressure as that’s the most necessary time. Sheila says that if I practice every single day, reaching for meditation every single time I have the urge to call her instead, I’ll really start to form a habit. I think Sheila has a point. You can’t reach zen when you’re trying to make plans to go mini-golfing, or asking someone about knitting. I think Sheila is doing the exact same thing every time she thinks of calling me. I imagine her sitting there on the floor 6 or 7 times a day if she’s being diligent about curbing the urge. I don’t remember the last time Sheila even called me so her approach must be working! If I can get to a point where I don’t even think about how little human contact I’ve had, I’ll call that a success.
Saturday, January 9, 2016
from a waiver at Moksha Yoga Vancouver
Gregory was amping himself up to call in sick while Elise stared at him from behind her book.
“I don’t think you should do it this time, Greg. It’s too soon.”
“What? You’re talking shit.”
“Okay fine. Do it then.”
“I am doing it. I don’t owe them anything.”
“I’m actually more concerned about your integrity.”
“It’s work, babe, it’s not like it matters.”
“Oh my GOD. Well…do you have to pick the most dangerous excuses? People worry about stuff like that, you know?”
Sunday, December 13, 2015
In the middle of the night I am shocked awake by your fist bruising my left cheekbone. You have been attacking me in your sleep since September but this is the first time it leaves a mark instantaneously.
I am livid in the moment because I am stunned and confused but I know you don’t know what you’re doing so I don’t wake you up to tell you what just happened like you want me to. In the morning you are concerned about my face and beg me to tell you what you’ve done. I say, it was an accident this time, I know it was. But you don’t believe me. I am not a good liar. You ask me to tell you what you’ve said but I don’t want to upset you so I stick to my guns and say I don’t think you said anything at all. The truth is, you’ve been calling out my name each time but I can’t bring myself to confess that you’re not just remembering your days on the battlefield. Once you yelled that I was keeping you a prisoner. Another time you told me that I didn’t deserve to live.
Saturday September 26, 2015
Harley is sick again. She tells us this. She sips her “fluids”. That’s what she calls them, her “fluids” when they’re clearly as simple as chamomile tea or apple cider vinegar and honey. Harley is always sick and I stopped believing it was true about a year ago. She shows up to our meetings with sweat pants and sunglasses on, drinking her “fluids” and she doesn’t talk above a whisper.
“Why didn’t you just stay at home in bed if you’re not feeling well?”
“I don’t want to let you guys down.”
“Well you’re hurting us more than helping us. You could spread the germs.”
“I think the contagious part is over, I think I’ve tackled that part on my own already.”
“Okay, so should we get started? Harley, let’s see your notes for the–”
Harley is sick again. She tells us this. She sips her “fluids” and gives excuses for not completing her work. I don’t know why we keep her in the group. Maybe because we see that she needs us more than we need her. Maybe because she’s my baby sister and I have to make sure she doesn’t fall off the face of the planet.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Overheard at the library
I didn’t think I could stand another minute of Bryan and his “band” covering Bob Dylan or Bob Marley or Bob Seger. They didn’t seem like the type of “band” that could easily do renditions of such different styles of music. It’s like, just pick one, you know what I mean? Bryan was trying to impress me because I told him once I’d never dated a musician before. That was a lie, cause Joe in high school played the drums and we dated for 5 whole months before I realized I didn’t want to marry him. Also, Matt, the busboy at the tequila bar, was a very good kisser and he happened to play the flute during his elementary school production of The Snake Charmer.
Saturday, August 1, 2015
I didn’t want to meet him. I wasn’t really in the position of meeting someone outside my own brain let alone someone outside my own comfort zone. I tried to be sweet but I came off as this precious little bitch with an agenda and a superiority complex. He was kind. He played me the song he wrote on his banjo and asked me if I thought if sounded genuine enough. I couldn’t lie to him so I told him it sounded like heaven and I wished he’d never stopped to ask me about something I was clearly already thinking about. I hate when people push their shit on you. I didn’t really know sweetness. What I knew was that he cared about my opinion and what I knew was that he didn’t actually need to hear what my true one was. That should have been enough of a warning sign but I stuck around anyway. I waited till he sent me a photo of him wearing army pants to call it off.
Monday, July 27, 2015
You say I miss you
I say I miss you back
But we’re throwing daggers baby
avoiding all of our feelings
I can’t stand the silence
So I lie to you instead
You can’t keep score
So neither of us will win
You say I miss you baby
You say I miss you baby
I wait for you to come home
And you rush to me from work
You sit in your car a little longer
So we’re stealing each other’s time baby
Avoiding what is true
You can’t stand the sound of my voice
So you make love to me instead
I can’t play pretend
So it hurts us both the same
I say I miss you back baby
I say I miss you back
Friday February 20, 2015
from a radio ad at the Dentist
I didn’t want my mother to know but I had been sending sending cheques to her condo once a month and signing them The Canadian Bursary For Deserved Patrons. She wouldn’t take my money if she knew it was me, and my sister tried to send anonymous money to her condo last July and my mother called in a bomb threat. I’ve had to get creative. She’s stubborn and won’t take money directly, but I have two post secondary degrees so I was not going to let that be the end of it. It didn’t matter how she got it, as long as she just got it. Now she’s able to pay off her medical bills without feeling like a charity case or that she’s not able to take care of herself. After Dad died, my mother tried really hard to prove that she could keep up with everything on her own. When she sees the cheque each month, she thinks in some sweet and sneaky way, my father is sending his love to her. Who am I to ruin that image for a woman who gave up her entire life just to raise two little girls with very big dreams.
Wednesday January 7, 2015 at Creperie Du Monde
Wednesday January 7, 2015
take off the mask
take it off, leave it there on the table
leave it there where I can see it
leave it there so I can see you
you look scared underneath it all
underneath the thing you were wearing
wasn’t it uncomfortable?
wasn’t it suffocating?
but you needed it to perform the magic tricks and the lying dance
you needed it to put on the show, to give you courage to see it through
I understand the whole thing
I understand your motivation
audience, lights, camera, inaction
you don’t want to show me your real skin
you don’t want me to reach out and touch you in case it feels too real
I want to know what you look like
I want to know what your naked emotions do to you when you can’t control them
Saturday December 20, 2014
from a pamphlet about the pipeline ”
-That’s what Lucinda said to me. I don’t know if it’s true, but apparently, men are attracted to shorter women.
-she’s a liar Sydney, she always lies. Probably said that to you just to make you feel bad
-you’re saying you don’t believe her?
-that girl is made up of 32 million tones of fake, that’s what I’m saying.
-but what if she’s right? About men? And they’ll never be attracted to me?
-it’s rubbish. It doesn’t make any sense so if you want to believe nonsense that’s up to you.
-what are you doing for Christmas then?
-wake up at mum’s, home breakfast, then spend the day with her, then dinner and sleep over at yours
-is daisy coming?
-who is daisy?
-the girl with the glitter hair
-oh right, her real name is Holly. I call her Holly anyway.
-do you want a bindi?
-I have to remember if I brought one for you or not. I think I did. Yeah, here, I knew I did.
Sunday November 16, 2014
from a text from Bec
There’s a little love left over in his pocket
He is saving it for later
He is waiting to need it
He told her on the phone, no I’m out of stock; there’s not much left on the shelves, I’m afraid
Because he didn’t want to give it away
He didn’t want to be without it at all
So he keeps it and holds it there
Loosely so it won’t get smushed
But tight enough to make sure it isn’t going anywhere
He is saving it for when he runs out
For when the grey skies are a little too cold and the radiator is broken
He is keeping it close by
A hand swipe away
For when it calls him
And he’s ready enough to answer
Sunday August 10, 2014
from an e-mail
According to Raymond everyone could hear us in the bathroom, but I’ve learned not to trust Raymond because he gets off on lying and making people believe every thing he says. I always told him he should be an actor because he was so good at messing with people; people he loves, mostly. Part of me wanted to believe that he was just doing that to me this time and that he didn’t even know what Carter and I were doing in the bathroom. Hell, we didn’t even know what was going on. It was just nice to see him; to feel him again. I wanted to be reserved and respectful of his wife. I wanted that and then suddenly there he was, and there I was tangled up in him on the bathroom sink. I wanted so badly for Raymond to be testing me. I employed my best actor smile and told him “we have nothing to hide.” I learned that you don’t ever admit something without having a direct question asked about it first. I learned that hard and fast one night in August-like a baseball coming straight for my face without the reflexes to catch it before destroying my nose, or knocking out a tooth. As I walked back into the crowded room I took a deep breath and looked around.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Overheard at ideal coffee
She was a mad hatter
her feelings didn’t matter
she was a mad a mad a
and when she danced
the world was romanced
but she didn’t believe it yet
her feelings didn’t matter
she was a mad hatter
a mad, a mad was, a mad was
He always did stray
When she looked the other way
His mask a good looking one
And they would talk
But not have much to say
their costume a convincing one
She was a batter
her feelings didn’t matter
she was a bat a bat a
And when she sang
The whole world came
but she didn’t know how to believe it yet
He always did lie
It was his alibi:
He really just enjoyed telling it.
Saturday June 28 2014
Maybe because the rain doesn’t stop here or because waking up means having to plan something to eat. Maybe because the sounds of the wind coming in through the holes in the bedroom walls means that if it’s not okay in here, the one place where it’s supposed to be, then it most definitely is not okay out there.
Maybe because the ego is a sensitive and fragile organ and if it’s wounded, even mildly, it takes days and days to recuperate. Maybe because the skies are vast but filled with grey clouds and looking up at something so big and seeing it filled with something so sad is enough to keep anyone laying under the covers until the sun peeks out long enough to put on pants and go outside. Maybe because if I told you how I really felt you’d stay in the kitchen and I’d have no where else to hide if I wanted to stay behind a separating door. Maybe because I’m a bit broken and disappointed in myself after all the wrong choices I’ve made lately, or made ever, that having to face them in broad daylight feels too hard or too easy and I don’t know which one is worse. Maybe because I’m tired. It could be that simple. I sleep because I have to. Either that or I’m aware that being awake means having to try.
Sunday June 22, 2014
from an email
This was something I’d asked myself already today. Already this morning, and again this afternoon, if I’m being honest. I’m trying to be honest, I guess that’s the whole point in asking that same question over and over again. DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? And when I answer I look myself right in the eye (you know mirrors were invented for self-motivation? Look it up, I swear) and I answer, in that moment, in that second, YES, NO, or DAMN STRAIGHT. Sometimes, being honest is the hardest thing because you have to look deep inside yourself and assess every single thing that’s going on with you, that makes you feel good, that makes you feel bad, and really truly dissect if you’re happy, and willing, and ready, and able. You know? Like all of those things have to add up to the proper sum and if they don’t, well, hey, at least you know the truth. At least you’re not faking it for anyone else and the lie that you tell will come back to bite you in the dreams. I know this from experience. I live out my truths while I’m awake, so I don’t have to deal with the lies I tell myself when I’m asleep. It’s worked, so far, and that’s why I ask the question. It’s not even specific. I just know in every moment, every second, what it is I’m wondering about and if I have what it takes to do it.
Thursday June 12, 2014
A song by Joe Pug
Caroline and Eddy had been driving for what felt like days. Eddy had begun to smell, refusing to put on deodorant because he said he was on the “open road” and if he couldn’t smell like the earth here, then he didn’t want to be alive. Caroline was battling her car-colepsy and told Eddy that if he was going to take pictures of her sleeping with her mouth wide open facing the roof of the car then he better not post them online or she would punch holes in his tires and make him drive back to Sugar Lake by himself. Eddy didn’t care about Caroline’s sleeping habits, or her poor taste in music. He didn’t care about anything except for getting really far away from everything he knew back home, and finally starting over without anyone knowing who he was. Caroline didn’t know about Eddy’s friend, Liam, with whom he had helped burry a curious large sack that weighed as much as an elephant.
Friday May 16, 2014
from the side of a van
I’ve got you
Under my skin
I don’t know but somehow
I let you in
And if you went
A little deeper
You would see what
I was keeping there
I can’t hide
The wound is peeled
And you can see to my core
And if you stayed a little longer
You would taste
what I was feeling there
The lights are on
and I’m exposed like a secret
The world is quiet and that’s
The way I try to keep it
Ask me no questions
I’ll tell you great lies
The answers are twisted
The avoidance of whys
And an actor is born
Out of flesh and
And we all struggle
To bear the truth we witness
Without placing the blame
And in vulnerability
I tell you this
I tell you
I’ve got you
Under my skin
I don’t know but somehow
I let you in
And if you went
A little deeper
You would see what
I was keeping there
Thursday February 27, 2014
“Amy?” I wait and hear nothing. “Amy. I know you’re in here…” Nothing. “Amy. I, I… We just need to talk about this. We can talk this out…” Nothing. And then… “Fuck you, Bridget.” The last stall, the only one that locks. Even though everything my mother taught me about public bathrooms goes against it, I get down on my knees and peer under the stall. Amy is crouched against the non-toilet side. “Our friendship is a fucking lie and I think you should just get the fuck out of here – ” “Come on – ” “I don’t ever want to see you again, Bridget. Seriously.” I didn’t think it was possible, but my heart sinks lower, almost down to my ass. “Amy. You were on a break…” “FUCK YOU!” “We were drunk – “, she stands up and opens the door quickly. It smacks me in the head. I fall backwards. She smiles for a moment, turns on the tap, cups her hands and throws water on me. “I’m so sorry. I love you. I love you more than I’m ever going to love any man… And I don’t love Brandon, I barely even like him…” All of a sudden she looks very sad. She runs up the stairs.
Friday January 31, 2014
The Actor’s Survival Guide
Jon S. Robbins
When I tell you that I have a bladder infection I don’t want you to say, “Gross”. I want you to go to the market and buy cranberries and press juice using your palms. They’ll be dyed red for days but that’s just a sign of your devotion. When I come home after losing my bus pass I don’t want you to laugh. I want you to trudge with me, holding my hand, through the sludge, picking up every chocolate bar wrapper and soggy newspaper, wondering if it’s it. When I tell you that I’m having doubts, I want you to tell me the truth, that you are too, that it’s impossible not to, that we’re signing up for something big and serious. When I say, “Goodnight”, you say “Goodnight”, and in that moment, all is well, in that moment it’s you and me and our stormy future and I’m calm and I love you.
Saturday February 1, 2014 at The Holy Oak
The True Secret of Writing
I had just spent the day talking to Olivia about her juice cleanse and how she felt invigorated by life and her own body and the new colour of her urine. I was half listening to her go on about it and half just imagining her peeing every seven minutes as if the juice was speaking to her through her urethra. That’s literally where my mind went, so when she asked me how mine was going I just said, “so great!” She was like, “where is yours?” And she meant my juice. She said it as she was drinking back a goopey red thing that looked more like period blood than anything, and I waited before I answered to see if she’d get those “strawberry wings” on her mouth…
“I drank my morning one at home!” I told her. I lied. I always lied to Olivia. Truth is, I had eaten an egg and mushroom tuna melt on marble rye and I was so damn pleased with myself that I didn’t even feel bad for bailing on our “joint cleanse”. She looked at me from the corner of her eye and paused. A little red period burp escaped her wet lips. “Oops! Excuse me!” I suppose her juice was speaking through her again…
Thursday January 9, 2014
from the store by the same name on queen west
She was the queen of the bargains she got everything for a deal then she sold it bartered for it and got it all back for free she was tired but she was wired to get the best possible kinds so she’d wake up in the morning and all the flyers she did find with her scissors cutting coupons and her highlighter making marks she would have the best darn shopping spree that would impress all the sharks she had competition neighborly and friendly at times but she wasn’t going to sacrifice all of her gold mines so she wore masks of black and crept around real slow daring not to draw attention to her price checks in the know she appeared at every garage sale getting more than what she should as her old lady ways were charming and she seemed nothing but good I’m just looking for a pass time to get me through the days see my husband he loved great deals but he has passed away then she’d take her things on home and would look at all her stuff selling antiques to the highest bidder when the economy was rough.
Wednesday December 11, 2013
from a poster for Once The Musical
Once she lied
He forgave her
Kisses on top of her head
She said she was sorry
And she meant it
Nothing made her feel worse
He said shh shh and held her close
Her eyes glassy
Her mouth dry
It’s not over it’s not over
He soothed her
Holding her heart in a velvet pouch
So she wouldn’t try to hurt it even more
She eventually forgave herself
He never stopped loving her
She would slip sometimes
Bringing up the past because it was eating at her
Shh shh he’d say to her
This is not then, it’s now
She would test him
Without even knowing it
Making him feel bad for things
That he couldn’t understand
And he loved her anyway
He came home after bitter fights
He wrote her love notes
Hiding them in her coat pockets
And on the bathroom mirror
So she’d know
And so she’d believe
That when he said he would always want her
He meant it
Saturday, August 31, 2013
6:25pm at Sambuca Grill
Randi used to bet all her savings at the track. Told her mother she was going to the “library” and that she’d be home by 6. Usually she’d carry a couple books with her in her back pack to prove herself if she were ever asked about it. Her mother never asked about it. Her mother didn’t care much for reading and learning anyway, but something told Randi she’d have a few words to say about her gambling. Might have been the fact that her father was a dirty better and used to take Randi with him to the track, calling her his “lucky horseshoe” because when she was with him he never lost a single race. Randi probably had some unresolved abandonment issues about her father and could easily explain to anyone why she went to the track and why she practically threw away her money each time, but she wasn’t really “dealing” with the pain yet and had no real intentions to. Randi was quiet for the most part, but when she was watching those horses you could swear she was a completely different person; yelling with reckless abandon at each horse, at her horses, at the man announcing the race. Some “professionals” might even say Randi was trying to get her aggression out at her father, yelling in random directions just hoping one man hears her.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The Screenwriter’s Workbook
What a crock of shit, she said, as she slammed her fist down on the glass coffee table. She was always one for outbursts and dramatisations of reality. He can’t treat you like that, Liddy, he should know better.
It’s fine, Mare, I said to her, Don’t get all crazy. It was an accident, I’m sure. He forgot your name on the payroll? That’s an accident? Liddy, she started, Don’t push me. She had fire in her eyes, her hair. She was just on a mission and I knew better than to get in her way. Yes, I said, despite her warning. It was an accident because it’s never happened before and it will never happen again. He feels bad, I said, He feels really really shitty about it. Mare laughed like it was the funniest thing her younger sister ever said to her. He knows better, Liddy. So do you for that matter. Did he make a move on you? Is that it? Mare, I said, Easy…
He knows you’re married, what the ring doesn’t mean anything? That bastard. How dare he! Mare, I told her, you’re jumping to conclusions. That’s not it.
You refused his advances and now he’s embarrassed, bruised ego, mushed penis, so he’s punishing you, Liddy. He’s trying to teach you a lesson. You’re out of your mind, I told her, and started to clean up the crumbs to the cookie she broke.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Why I Moved To The Country
She ain’t tellin’ nobody the truth! I even axed her if she was playin’ and that bitch couldn’t say a single word. Uh uh not in my house. Make me pay for some cheap ass readin’ and not tell me the simple truth? Now I know my mama raised me better than that so I have to go ahead and wonder if she an orphan or if she just aint got no common courtesy. Now that’s important. It’s like sayin’ your please and thank yous or washin’ your hands after you done usin’ the bathroom. Shit. It was like every wall could tell if you was lyin’ so ain’t worth mama raisin’ her voice in the first place. If she even had to get that far…boy you’d be tastin’ her boot in your mouth, she’d kick your back side so hard.
But now this here woman in my house who has my money is tryin’ to fool me. Tryin’ to jerk me around. And that’s when I want to lie to her if she ain’t gonna do me the decency and tell me the truth. But I know my mama would roll over in her grave if I stooped to that kind of level.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
from a quote by Anne Roiphe
My grandfather was a compulsive liar. He used to tell stories to anyone who’d listen. Anyone who wouldn’t–he’d lie even more. I used to wonder how my grandmother put up with him, how she trusted him, how she knew when he was being sincere. She seemed so happy all of the time. She wasn’t one of those closet sad people. No trace of pills, of depression, of long cords tucked under her bed. Nothing like that. She was genuinely content. Then I figured it out. She knew that everything my grandfather said to others wasn’t true; but he would never lie to her. They must have made an arrangement when they were young and in love. She was tough, I forget that sometimes. She was the one who made the decisions. She was the one that put him in his place. He loved my grandmother more than life itself.
I know this because he’d tell us when we were kids, “your grandmother is the laziest woman I’ve ever met.”
She baked for us every Sunday whether we saw her or not.
Monday, March 25, 2013
I hear your voice in my ears like a faint buzz of a distant fly; irritating me while I sleep, while I sit, while I pray. I can’t rid myself of you. The inner battle is a fight I keep trying to win. I can’t win with you: flies are hard to beat. I’m annoyed by how much I care, how much I tend to hold on to stupid things. And there you are, crying your tears, manipulating me into always always loving you. I’m not doing that anymore. It’s a thought I have almost every day, and yet…
The whisper of your staged pain makes me want to burn my own flesh off my arms, my legs. I can’t do this anymore.
The drone of your pre-meditated lies, your idea of making nice or making nice enough. I won’t do that anymore.
Somehow today is different than the one before it. Than the one before that, and so on and so on. Somehow it is bigger and filled with light. Light enough that I can really see you. I can really see your mouth turned up in a smile, but your eyes flickering with rage and jealousy and deceit.
I liked you better in the dark.
I like everything better in the dark.
I will not apologize.
I’m not doing that anymore.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Marlene met Adam at a truck stop in Kirby, Vermont. She told him she was a doctor from Canada. Didn’t bother mentioning she was a single mother from Morgan. He didn’t seem like the type that would take to kids well. Especially ones with developmental issues and who need to sleep with a mouth guard. Marlene was in love with Adam from the smell of him alone; Gasoline and cookies. She liked that rustic dirty kind of scent, the one that made her feel like she was being taken care of. Marlene didn’t have that growing up. She always did the taking care, never had it for herself. Adam said he was just a plain guy on a road-trip. She was dying for him to ask her to go with him. For a moment Marlene let her mind drift off to a place that didn’t have cheerios attached to her underarms, or grass-stained overalls. She smiled through her clenched teeth. Tried to think of every medical term she ever heard in case Adam wanted to know something about her career or the “practice” as she first put it. Not sure why she even chose to play a doctor. She knew she didn’t seem like the surgical type. Maybe she was just a GP, driving her own beat up red Oldsmobile.
Saturday February 23, 2013
It scared me from when I was a kid. Half of the stringy stuff got caught in my throat and I choked on it. I guess that’s how you learn. You almost die before you realize that it is not the right way to eat an orange. Couldn’t someone have showed me that it was improper? I’ve had an issue with these things for a long time. It would be nice if someone noticed and just helped me along. I used to think you had to peel an artichoke the entire way to its core before you could eat it. But I kept peeling and peeling, and eventually all the layers were sitting on a paper towel and the heart of it was missing. Someone could have mentioned it then…but they thought it was endearing. I will never forget it. I thought it was the same as opening up a chocolate Kinder Egg to get to the little toy inside. But nothing was inside, I was just disappointed. Oranges are the same way now. They could have easily been a favourite but I think I’m going to go about eating it the wrong way and never think to buy them on my own unless they’re pre-cut.
Choking is not a fun feeling, so. I guess it’s residual fear or something.
I wonder if it’s just a life lesson I have to experience my own way. Like learning everything the hard way; burning my hands on the stove to know that it’s hot, and eating too many spicy peppers to understand my body just isn’t meant for that kind of thing.
Friday February 22, 2013
CIBC at College and Grace
I had a wish, or a dream, or something in between, and when I woke up, it was nothing nothing nothing.
Wished so hard for it to come true, with my loose lashes glued, top finger or bottom, wanted to sleep right through.
Someone stole it from my cheek, asked me if the future was something I could see, wishing on a tiny hair, it belongs near my eyes, not floating somewhere. I closed them tight anyway, hoping a true wish would come, but nothing ever did, and it stayed empty on my tongue. I had no words, but a lie in the expression, told them, yes I’ve been thinking, and no it’s not a concession. It told them I had my plans and my hopes and my goals, it didn’t speak the truth that I was just closing my eyes to avoid their eye rolls. I was sitting in a blanket of lost wishes sung, and I held onto that lash, like kids do when they’re young. I grew old in an instant, forgot to believe in the magic, and now that I admit it, it sounds all the more tragic. I was not of the mind that one great thing could be earned, with two eyes closed tight, and all the bridges around me burned. It was nothing nothing nothing. I woke up from that dream. I had nothing nothing nothing, and it was all because of me.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Saying you’re sorry doesn’t mean you’re actually sorry. It means you understand what to say in order to get someone to stop being mad at you, but it doesn’t, for even one second, mean that you are. That you feel remorse, that you wish you had never done the thing you did. It means that for the moment, you’d much rather not argue. That you’d much rather give in and pretend like you know you did something wrong to win the affection of the person accusing you of doing the wronging. We are stupid humans. The amount of energythat we donate to the act of forgiving and being sorry is just plain stupid. We all know somehwere deep down, that no one is perfect, that people are going to hurt us, and most of all, that no one has the capacity to change, even if we think they do or should assume that they do in order to get to sleep at night. It’s a convincing game we play. We try to tell ourselves there is good and that the good is not only coming from within, but from all four corners of the world. The people who are smart enough say they’re sorry. They smile and let a single tear fall. Their appology is tangible and they manipulate the rest of us with their cunning ways. We are left to decide who in fact is truly sorry. And if we can be honest with ourselves, we’d know that not one of us is. Not even ourselves, the thing we think is above all else. No one is sorry. For sorry means that those actions will not happen ever again.