Back Room Tenants

In January, I wondered if our felines should occupy the back room, the room where relationships go to deteriorate. By mid-April, they vacated the house and now occupy a room with their guinea pig, Jude. I told them it could only be a temporary arrangement, as we will be moving soon. And when we move, they’ll have more than a room. They’ll have half the house!

As for their relationship, it seems to be repaired. All those nights having no choice but to sleep together has given them no choice but to sleep together! Judini wheeks, plays with Beez. Tangerine gets windows all to herself. They get brushed at night. They get pet, but mostly pet each other. They’ve stopped hissing, punching each other in the faces. They like each other again!

However, they aren’t paying rent, which is really getting to me.

And they won’t file for food stamps.

And they have no jobs.

So there’s that.

The worst

part for me, after I’ve distanced myself from a human, is the flash of their giant fucking smile in my head, days, months, years after they are gone.

I’m addicted to giant smiles.

In apes, smiles are an indicator of fear or stress. Sometimes I smile when I am afraid or stressed out or want to scream or hammer holes into my wood floor. But mostly I smile when I feel nice inside, the smile creeps from my mouth and I cannot stop it. Humans mostly smile for this reason. And I tend to love humans with giant teeth or giant mouths.

Thinking about giant smiles when I know I will never again feel the modesty of a giant smile from some people with incredible giant smiles makes me feel a tug in my eyebrows, a tingling in the corner of my eyes, a quiver in my throat.

I haven’t seen my dad’s giant smile in years.
My brother’s giant smile since he was a child.
My aunt’s giant smile since I was a child.

I mostly see Christina’s giant smile when she’s talking to her family members on the phone. I love her so much, but it’s been a really fucking rough going for a great deal of our relationship and I mostly see a look of determination on her face. The last time I saw her giant fucking smile was probably last Halloween when she was trying to hold a monocle in her eye cave. We did too much taking care of other people too soon.

It’s not too often I feel my own giant smile. The one that makes my jaw hurt afterwards.

Two evenings ago.

The last words I spoke to my sister before hanging up the phone.

"Saggy jellyfish."

Thank the universe I have her giant smile. Too bad I can only feel it traveling across magical phone lines.

Your writing about Albuquerque was so poetic, I love it!

George Spiggott, I love Albuquerque!

I can’t stop drinking raw milk

I feel sad so I drink raw milk.
I feel sleepy so I drink raw milk.
I feel hungry so I drink raw milk.
I feel too thin so I drink raw milk.
I feel warm so I drink raw milk.
I feel itchy so I drink raw milk.

I’m drinking a half gallon of raw milk a day. I started with four ounces a day. I moved to eight ounces a day. Then sixteen. Then thirty two. Now I’m at sixty four and I’m getting over 50% of my daily calories from this.

I’m turning into a cow. Iris is turning into a baby cow.

My god it’s so delicious.

De Smet Dairy, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Twenty Five

My birthday isn’t until September, but I’ve spent all year thinking about this year. It wasn’t sad in the way twenty three was. It wasn’t destructive the way twenty four was. It was a year of me and my belly.

Christina was finishing her PhD. She spent many nights working late. I don’t recall going on a single date, apart from two concerts. I put on a dress once. I played music loudly for my growing ET. I ran my fingers up and down my belly most of the day.

I juiced things until my guinea pig got sick. I juiced for him until he died and then I couldn’t bring myself to juice any more. I still have a bag of critical care food in my kitchen. I miss him.

I froze on a movie set. I lined my clothes and shoes with heat packs and prayed my ET wouldn’t leave me.

I couldn’t stay in my house most of the time. I was too fatigued to walk far. Except in New Orleans, I walked miles.

We had our baby at home. Between contractions, I’d look up and occasionally catch eyes with Christina, who let me yell into her face for hours. She looked like an angel. My sister brought snacks and my mom brought a camera and the morning our baby spilled out of my body was the most relaxed morning of my life.

Two weeks later I left my house and cried because our street was so beautiful. The sky. The neon signs in Nob Hill. The bottle of Ranch dressing I bought.

My sister had a baby. I had a baby. I held my sister’s hand while she made it through contractions. We visited our dad. His hair is graying. I wish I could buy him a house. I still wish I could help him be content.

Steven is getting older. We don’t laugh at things. Laughing at things reminds me of when him and I would laugh for hours. Maybe it reminds him of that, too. Instead we talk and share stories from our very separate lives. He has some gray hairs. He has glasses. He is taking math classes. I like that eyes stay the same even though the face changes. I’ve known his eyes for fourteen years.

Last night I dreamed that Moonrise Kingdom ended with both kids stranded alone on their own islands. I’ve had a lot of dreams like this.

Late at night I get lonely. Sometimes I take baths. Sometimes I take baths and read. Mostly I stare at screens and floors and piles of fabric.

Twenty five was sober. Twenty five was a backache and a heartache. Twenty five was a one-way spoon. Twenty five was holding hands and getting married and buying a house and growing a baby. Twenty five was Neutral Milk Hotel. Twenty five was Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Twenty five was walking on my own.

Golly gosh. That’s my ass in the teaser trailer for “The Guest.”