Category Archives: Potification

Growing Up Works Better Than Xanax


The other night I had a moment.  It’s not surprising given the insane week I’ve had, the time of the month, and the general state of craziness that is everyday (read: life in New York City), and I actually can’t remember the last time I “had a moment.”  The this that inspired it was fairly insignificant, as it usually is, because the this is something small and then it becomes me wondering about my job, my relationships, my future, my ability to be happy and fulfilled now and in the future, and for some reason I always feel fat and unattractive as all of these thoughts race through my head.  I’ve been like this forever – blame it on the extra X chromosome, my generally emotional disposition, or the socialization of women even in our post-modern society (whichever is your brand of justification). Anyone who’s known me for long enough to see me when I stop being polite has learned to tread carefully when I get like this.  The good ones know too that I have to wallow for a little while, and then need a little push to get moving again.  (Rachel, what you said in that meeting this morning has nothing to do with what kind of a grandmother you’re going to be one day.  I think you’re spiraling).  And after the obligatory resistance we change topics, laugh, throw in a movie or go for a run, and then it’s behind me.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Friday night, exhausted, I planned to go to bed early, but my plans were thwarted as I got sucked into my own head.  I swam around in there for a while, tumbling and kicking through scenarios and lamenting the fact that I’d never get to sleep.  And that I had to get up in the morning.  And maybe I should take something?  Or call someone?  At least since college I know how to ask for help.  So I sent out a couple texts, fishing, expecting most people would be out socializing like I would be on any other given Friday night, and I poured myself a glass of water to cool the fire.  I laid on my back for a while, put on some music that crooned, rolling over from time to time waiting for a response.  Time passed and there was none – not surprising – but what did surprise me is that by the time one had come I was sitting up, calm and cross-legged, typing away and feeling fairly calm.  I relayed the feelings to my friend, sorting out for her which ones were valid, which ones would eventually prompt actions, and which ones were merely conditioned responses (feeling fat).  We chatted for a while until I confessed I was tired, at which point we said our I love yous, and I crawled into bed snuggling comfortably beneath a fuzzy yellow blanket.   And I was out like a light.

I had broken the fever all by myself.   I appreciated extroverting about the issue, but I had sorted out everything I needed to on my own; I was really only sharing my findings as she listened politely.  I knew when to say when, and when I needed to sleep more than I needed to feel.  And what’s more, when I woke up the next day, I’d practically forgotten about it all and had returned to being the rational, calm self that so frequently inhabits my body these days.

R: It’s like we’re becoming well adjusted or something!

B: Well, I don’t know about that…”



Burning the Moon at Both Ends


Thursdays are under appreciated.  By no fault of their own, they are a day whose merit is determined simply by the fact that they are almost something else.  Almost Friday.  Almost the Weekend.  but I maintain that they deserve more credit than they are given.

It started at the beginning, as weekdays seldom do, with the afterglow of a birthday party and the ethereal glow of the full moon shining on three strangers who’d become intimates, sharing secrets and searching for something to fill their stomachs, softening the blow of the morning that would begin a second time unfortunately soon.  The numbers on the clocks got smaller and then larger and larger before they were rejected with closed eyes, eyes closed only for a moment before they were opened again.  There was dry shampoo, mascara, perfume, and feet arched in heels with surprising ease.  The late night falafel must have worked, I thought as a grabbed a Cliff bar and headed to the subway.  Skullcandy over ears, this morning was begging for AC/DC and nothing else, and as the Q crossed the river I watched the sun striking the buildings and the face of proud green woman standing tall at the end of the bay.  Others read newspapers, looked at their watches, closed their eyes to avoid looking at their watches, watched someone else.  I smiled at the city that was mine, and the perspective I had to appreciate it, and a man offered me a seat. I thanked him but declined. We went beneath the concrete again and another man tapped me, breaking my trance, telling me if he didn’t get my phone number now he might never get the chance again.  He was carrying a briefcase with toned but lanky arms and his eyes were alarmingly uncomplex.  I couldn’t laugh for confusion, but the man who offered the seat behind me did for the both of us.  I declined again; he shrugged and exited, going on his way.  I needed coffee.

The caffeine didn’t mean much but it didn’t matter much because I was wearing clothes and a face I liked and was being liked for it, even if that liking meant I had to make spreadsheets.  I nodded my head to the song playing in my head and it was lunch.  The sun shone more than was expected, and I sat in a chain restaurant with food and a soundtrack that were also more pleasing than one might have expected just looking at them.  Like Thursdays. There was news in the world and I read about what I cared about, meaning who was moving and shaking and falling in love and thinking about quitting and holding the reins for their own life.  Not driving the car mind you, just guiding it.  Then the elevators, and meeting and strategies and things that were fun and fast and then there was the clock and then there were goodbyes.

And news!  People were moving, and they were quitting, and they were falling in love, and they were learning to listen to their own voices, and they were coming to visit! and I was as excited for each of them as I would have been for myself.  I sat on my steps taking to her, tapping my foot, wondering why I was so filled with so many things when I hadn’t slept and had made a lot of spread-sheets, and it was only Thursday after all.  I took her inside with me on the phone, to the mailbox where I found a card scribbled with writing everywhere in bright colors, and I laughed – I mean really laughed – out loud when I read the words that were written, and I knew this letter wasn’t going on the wall of the cubicle, even if they did like my turquoise earrings.  We said goodbye, both full and happy as if we’d shared a steak dinner and a bottle of wine, and I tied my shoes to go for the run I promised myself.

My shoes hit the pavement as the sky began to darken, and I there was music playing when I reached the park.  It was only Thursday, I thought, but it is Thursday in New York.  The wind was hitting my face, cool against my warm limbs,

Hallelujah.  It was Helio Sequence, and it was the whole day and everyone in it and everything about it.  And then it was everyone there was, everyone that mattered, and it was everything had ever happened and everything that had ever been.  It was Wednesday, truly good people, people who believed in things and still believed in love.  There were strangers who became friend and continued to care even when it wasn’t their job to anymore.  There were suitcases and mortar boards, and mortar boards bent by the pouring rain and wine with gold flecks in it and that we were drinking from the only glasses we had in that house that didn’t end up broken.  Oh, the places we would go from there.  There were lakes and oceans and fish on hooks champagne and Issac Brock was crooning.  There were men who haggled for pottery and us, and there were sunburns without tanlines.  There were tears and hysterics and plane rides and ashes, and there was the Vatican standing where it always has and we were leaning up against it.  It was 5 in the morning with the street signs in French as I was barefoot and he was carrying me, and he was running across the street to the Arc de Triomphe.  There were candles glowing, ground shaking from the passing trains, and we were driving and there were lights outside the car flickering, each one different like each of us.  I was lying there on my back, filled, looking up at the blanket of stars and there was a woman with her long hair draped over her face and her body draped over a black cloth.   There were boys, and the was us, and we didn’t understand yet what that meant.

And there was applause and marching, a couple in a mustang with his hair blowing more than hers in the wind, and walking out and protests and silence.  There were bonfires, fleece blankets, frosting and the sweetness of youth.  There was a boy with his arms stretched out on a cross, a beautiful tenor quieted only temporarily, readying for his big entrance again in white.  And there was the stench of hospitals, sterility, and a girl with a marker scribbling hearts furiously on a dry erase board.  And the smell of coffee, of wood and building and paint and hundreds of miles of corn.  Soap operas and first kisses, and pretending you’d had yours, and

There were two girls giggling and pretending they weren’t scared of the shows they were watching before bed just to prove to mom that they should be allowed, and the chorus of crumbling oragami paper during church, and a boy and a girl with identical bowl cuts beneath a table at a restaurant and a little sister picking up lady bugs with her fingers.  A girl afraid of the lunch line and the boy holding her had.  Two small bodies, sisters, asleep in opposing doorways with their arms stretched out toward each other, and a hospital room with the older proclaiming “Here name is Kristy Kruger” and dad rolling his eyes but his toes were a foot off the ground and his little girl was standing there in a diaper with her brows – the only hair on her cue-ball head – furrowed in determination, determined to prove that even though her legs were short and thick she would climb that step and nothing in this world could stand in her way and she was crying and it was a girl and they were cutting the cord and there was push, push, pushing and a then the water broke..

it broke from my eyes and I was heaving.  I couldn’t run any more, it was all I could to to breathe, and it was Thursday.  But it was the other end of the moon, the moon that was rising in the sky and glowing and knowing and smiling and sitting back to watch all these Thursdays and every other day unfold.

“It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it… And that’s the day I knew there was this entire life behind things, and… this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. [Writing is] a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember… and I need to remember…

There’s so much beauty in the world.

Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life…You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure… but don’t worry, You will someday.”