Eileen

My bedroom door has developed this deep and guttural yawning groan when it leisurely rolls open, nowadays. Its not exactly unnerving as it is bemusing. The pitch starts abyssal and low and casually gets higher and higher as it completes its swinging range open in a quarter ellipsis motion.

In the English dialect, we often phrase questions with this specific inflection. The first word beginning a question adopts a low inflection, while the last word of the question is paired with a question mark and a considerably higher pitch.  For example, in the case of someone asking “Was the kiwi fruit named after the kiwi bird?” the word was would sound considerably deeper that the word bird ending the question.

My door is wooden and white, the paint delicately cracking like crows feet. It has a distinct personality and tone of voice; definitely a female. If her body were made of flesh and not oak or cherry or basla, her name would be Eileen. She is original with the house, fixed in her hinges in 1905. There are small white studs that encircle the petite white knob at her navel.

Every morning when I exit my room, I lightly push her open and pass through the doorway in which she hangs. She freely swings lightly on her hinges to complete her orbit. However, I walk to the top of the stairs and stop. I pause on the top step and cautiously look back at her over my shoulder in the early morning light because, as she calmly rotates open, her curious inflection sounds as if she’s posing me a question.

Maybe its best he wont answer

Maybe its best he wont answer. My text will float suspended in the digital realm of lost texts for all eternity, between the muddied pixels of everlastingness, never to be answered. I feel like it shot out of my phone like a T-shirt cannon blowing cheap cotton memorabilia into a blur sea of people at an Orlando Magic basketball game. Maybe, when I click the button on my phone to ‘lock’ and the screen flushes obsidian black, my peripherals will catch a tiny white twinkling spec flash across the black void screen like a passing meteorite in the night. I’ll resign it to a reflection, but maybe it’ll be my lost lonely text spinning around in cyberspace for all eternity, haphazardly slamming, brushing and chipping against the corners of larger planetary conversations. Thats the best case scenario.

Worst case scenario is that I will know the fate of my stray text because I will receive an answer; “I’m sorry, it was an accident; I didn’t mean to confuse.” Because that will hurt. In that ‘pit of your stomach’ place who’s existence we’re only aware of when someone drops a dense rock into it. A place I often forget exists inside my own bodily bowels until someone prods a hot iron poker into it.

I wonder what he’s doing right now when that smoldering fiery meteorite grenade of texts materialized on his screen. Perhaps he was cooking dinner alone when he saw it? Perhaps he’s at a bar with friends laughing over it? Perhaps he was was in a McDonalds restroom taking a shit after consuming all day breakfast? Perhaps he’s just rolled over from having freshly f****** some petite boring blonde girl he intends on pursuing after me? Perhaps he’s deliberating between two brands of oatmeal in the grain isle Trader Joes? The possibilities are a forever replenishing spool of thread unravelling.

I’ll keep my eyes open tonight, though. When I leave the bar I’ll tilt my head back, crane my face toward the sky, and scan the star speckled heavens for twinkle traces of my lost text; a ball of fire roaring through the abyss. Maybe it’ll circle the earth, pick up momentum in it’s evolution, gravity will suck it back down to the soil through the stratosphere, hurtling through the clouds with a vengeance, and it’ll smash straight through the antediluvian layers of roofing of my row house and bludgeon me right in the face where I sleep. Its more than likely.

Right now, as I sit by the open window at dusk, I can hear shouts, yips, hollers and the lazy melodious chords of a Mexican ballad snake their way into my back alley. A man sloppily sings loudly and roguishly over top of the lyrics of the song. Children and contributors alike pipe in with high pitched yips and hollers over the grainy sounds of trumpets blaring from the speakers of what sounds like a pre Millenia radio. Busses sigh and groan. Birds titter to each other from the treetops. The heads of buildings have woven themselves into the silks of the natural landscape out my window.

Color Picker

I felt nervous and yet confident as mountains two-stepped past the stage of my open car windows. They came and went and came and went and the highway rolled on endlessly in front of me like a ribbon spool unraveling. I had an American flag bandana fixed in a curt knot at my throat and a bag of sunflower seats clenched between my jean clad thighs with the corner sloppily torn off. Periodically, I dipped two finger tips into the bag and scooped out couplings of seeds, loosely hurling them into my mouth and cracking them open between my teeth from behind my salt creased lips. My hiking boots were carelessly tossed in the back seat, heavy with potential. I’d been driving for about two hours and it was just nearly eleven am. The air streaming in through my open windows felt cool and good.

After driving for so many hours I was relieved to pull off the highway in search of Berry Hollow Road where the trail ahead supposedly lay. I got turned around a few times, driving up and down hair pin roads until I found it. The sign was tucked away behind a closed down ranger station. I turned down the road and the hair pin turns appeared again, this time climbing ever steeper. After about ten minutes I approached a gravel parking lot, pulled into a make-shift parking spot and turned off the car. It was quiet. Fumbling around for my backpack and sustenance items I’d purchased at the gas station, my adrenaline began simmering like fizzy water. I fished some peanut butter crackers and goods alike out of a plastic bag and stuffed them into my back pack. I also had my heavy SLR camera for good measure. I’d never hiked a bush-whacked trail before so I didn’t really have an idea of what to expect. I got out of the car and stretched my legs, polished off the sugary residue left in my dented Redbull can and locked my car doors. I always make sure to place my car key in the top zippered pocket in my backpack for fear that it will one day topple out, lost forever in a muss of dry leaves and I will be trapped on mountain peak, become absorbed by the forest, living out the rest of my days as a modern female Bigfoot. I turned my cellphone on airplane mode to conserve battery,  plugged in my headphones and started walking.

The trailhead itself was also hard to find. It wasn’t marked very well, as a bushwhacked trail is not a trail that is kept, cleaned, or routed by the national park department. There was an orange zip tie hanging from a pine branch and a worn footpath indicating that people had often stepped into the woods from where the grass and weeds remained fatigued. I’d done my research so I knew that this would flag the trailhead, but, had I not happened upon that bit of information, I probably would have missed it. This did not put me at ease. If something were to happen to me that would mean that there would probably be a decent amount of guesswork as where the hell I Houdinied off to.

The trail immediately began descending down on a steep rocky slope. The trail was so steep that I had to hold on to branches tightly or let my body tip forward so that my bodyweight would carry me forward to drop my hands and then land from tree to tree so that I wouldn’t slide down the uneven silty surface of the earth.

I turned off my music and became acutely aware of the noises around me as the tree tops eclipsed me. My anxiety wasn’t exactly spiking, but I had a sick feeling pooling up in the pit of my stomach. I thought about bears and how they could probably pick-up the scent of the peanut butter crackers in my bag. “Should I throw the crackers at the bear if it should charge me? Shit. I have pepper spray in my car door; should’ve thrown it in my bag. What the hell was that? Oh. Yea okay.”

Down and down I went. I love hiking in the North east for the visibility. In Florida the flora is so dense you can hardly move between trees and your worries of ticks raining down on you  from the heavens and catching a spider web in your mouth. Its not for the weak. When I came upon a level surface there was a stream in front of me. By this time I was sweating and removed my jacket. I scrambled down over the mossy rocks and leaf beds to dip my hands in the cool stream. With each time I spend a long duration hiking, I realize that muted earth tones begin to appear more vibrantly. Because I’m often staring at the ground while I’m walking, as not to trip, it allows a concentrated understanding of the materials and the colors of these materials around me. Rocks no longer appear gray. They appear blue. I begin to see these carbon shapes for what they really are. I often imagine that, if I had a photoshop color picker in my mind, I could take snapshots of these scenes with my eyes, and procure a hexadecimal color value proving the true hues of the objects around me not to be bland grey and brown tones, but rich and vibrant mauves and teals indeed.

I noticed about twenty feet away two beer cans resting in the stream. Because synthetic colors appear so vibrantly when framed by natural hues of the earth, they look, most appropriately phrased, supernatural. And are easily identifiable from increased distances. I walked along the stream toward my aluminum sirens. I imagined that someone must have set up camp here recently and left these two tokens to a successor on the trail. I contemplated fondly cracking one open, but it seemed counterintuitive to consume a mind altering substance of the sluggish variety so early in my quest. I left them in their bed and continued onward, thinking that perhaps I would crack them open on the way back from the summit, more deserving of them after a long hike. I couldn’t have known then that I would never pass those soul sisters a second time.

Continuing on the bushwhacked trail, the footpath began to crane violently upwards. It climbed and climbed and I climbed and climbed. After about thirty minutes of this I had to slide the straps of my backpack down my sweaty shoulders, plop it onto the ground and lay on my back. I was blacking in and out and seeing violent explosions of colors in front of me. I have never climbed so steeply for so long. Whomever had bushwhacked this trail was not modest, but surely intent on humbling it forgoers.

The trail had several steep switch backs like this for a few hours ahead. I began to feel the air grow thicker. Beneath the matte fiber clouds the molecules breed rapidly. I reached a plateau clearing that felt like crossing a territorial aboriginal line at the end of the path. The ground was now adorned in mustard colored soil, loose and bulky.

To be continued…

Monday

Ah yes, the end of the day. My legs are seeking relief from the stiffness of sedentary sitting. Like releasing two chickens in an illegal back-alley poultry race, my feet slowly inch away from my body, one by one as I stretch my legs. My toes peck their way forward until I’ve almost unravelled my extremities fully stretched. My legs feel shamelessly wonderful, extended as far from my body as possible. Until left my foot gets drunk off this new power of exploration, extends one millimeter too far and clicks off the power button under my desk. The screen winks black, and all of the emails and information that have, of course, not been yet sent or saved on my computer are mercilessly erased before my eyes. Middle fingers to Monday.

Currently sitting on my porch in a Dalmatian onesie smoking a cigarette that tastes terrible and drinking a glass of wine looking into mysterious plumes of smoke rising lazily into the sky. The chimney smoke mirrors the smoke being exhaled from the burning tobacco of my cigarette, accentuated and flash lit by the motion censor light nervously ticking on and off above my head every time I shift a leg. When the overhead light is off and the nigh time darkness takes a collective sigh, a dull sepia glow leaks onto me from a nearby streetlight tucked amongst branches of a tree across the road. I’m thinking that I can’t seem to find happiness in men because I’m not interested in a man making me happy. I thought I was. But nowadays I think I want to uncover  a schema from within that will make myself happy.

Chivalry

On my morning commute to work. The sun is spilling in through the bus windows and stinging my skin. I just witnessed something never never ceases to startle me- a man stood up and offered his seat to a woman standing in the aisle. I’ve encountered this countless times and I am still shocked that this breadcrumb of chivalry is left behind from some other note cordial era. I’ve never experienced something as such.

I love the way the ocean spray peels away from the top of the waves.

Remembering when mom would bring us here as kids and we would have to drag all the netted toys and pales and boogie boards up and make 1000 journeys to the ocean and back to fill up the pales and wash off the toys near the road. She would procure a jug of water from the backseat if the at that had been baking for hours and poor the hot water on our sticky sandy little kid feet. There was never enough water and my sister an I would try to jam our feet in the bucket at the same time. The car would be so hot from also baking in the sun for hours.