I know I know

A woman comes into a restaurant, sits at the bar and drops her extravagantly filled bag with a huff.

Her name is Esme.

Esme sits, cradled into herself with her hands twisted in her lap.

A lock of day-spent frizz crumbles into her view. She does not brush it aside but continues to survey the bar for someone to bring her a menu.

Finally, a bartender enters from the kitchen, sees Esme, and slips two menus from the front of his station, whistling a jaunty tune as he slides the length of paper toward her.

Esme lifts her eyes from the steered menu, to the man’s pursed lips, to his right breast, where a name — Jason — is embroidered.

Most dreadful bartenders Esme knew were named Jason.

The man with the embroidered name of Jason let Esme know the catch of the day and that he was at her service.

Esme, with her bum stolidly in the smooth wooden chair, was already caught; and the gesture made her prickle, as inoffensive as it may have been intended.

The man named Jason sauntered away, fixing a flash white rag into a rocks glass. Esme’s eyes ran hungrily along the menu.

She knew what she wanted, pulled her phone onto the chrome counter and brushed away Jason’s offer at his favorite dishes to claim her own.

Esme glanced back at the young man, shoulder hunched, punching in her order, then returned to her phone, lit up like an insane smile. She flicked down, scrolling story after story, till she huffed and let it drop to the bar.

Esme brought a water glass into her view and examined it for particles or small pieces of hair. (The bartender named Jason had a ponytail she did not trust.)

When the food arrived, Esme smoldered into herself upon first bite.

It was rich and fine. The juices swelled over her tongue and she nearly hummed in appreciation.

Jason, the ponytail bartender, waltzed over to ask how everything was. Instead of answering, Esme took another bite to her lips and parted for the delicious storm.

Jason’s ponytail bobbed away.

Esme had ordered a drink that simmered, her nostrils exhaled, her soft palate became a cave of haze.

The food and drink settled Esme deeper, a light fog hit her temples, she curved her back against the chair’s spine.

The man named Jason ran wavy fingers through amber hair, flicking his tail as he made a hesitant ask about dessert.

Esme thought Jason was oily and an idiot for asking if she wanted desert. He should have known. Every indication in her gaze made it clear she was a woman who needed the calm rapture of dessert.

Esme, having picked up and discarded her phone multiple times throughout the meal, drummed her long fingers against the bar. The phone was behind her, charging in a dumb wall socket. She wished for someone to steal it. To chuck it into the Riverwalk where the ducks would vie til they realized it was mined poison.

Esme had eaten duck for dinner.

The world was too much.

And so was desert.

Esme started to sob.

The ponytailed bartender named Jason who was not an idiot but rather in love, truly in love for the first time, having witnessed the birth of his son four weeks prior, stood still, eyes locked on the woman crying at the bar.

“Ma’am?”

“It’s.

So. Good.”

This came out in gasps Esme could not contain. Her fork fell to the porcelain plate.

The ponytailed man, so recently in love with his newborn son, ran his fingers through amber waves, down to the knot that held it in a tail, then placed a large, but not oily, hand onto the woman’s shaking wrist. Esme looked into the man’s eyes, and he looked into hers, so sad and fiery, green, with the souls of a million dead stars clutched between their gaze and he said straight into her heart-

“I know. This world is too much.”

Not Least of All, you.

There is so much to grieve

Not least of all- you.

I found you

Slumped, alone and purple

Your hands reeking of garlic and pitted Greek olives

The malnourished cat at your elbow

like a matted gargoyle, awaiting some savior of death.

I thought- how long.

The cleaner was gone for a week

Another world tragedy

Some illness of fatal wind took her daughter

She’ll say

Maybe a week later when the body’s been processed but our minds are still numb with excuse

 

We’ll say- we should have seen.

Reached out and wrote

Maybe a surprise on the doorstep

Thinking a surprise presence is desired of a woman

Who’s smoking breath died with the first utter of-

You’re crazy.

You told pillow stories in a closet

I wondered if that wardrobe

Or some other white witch snatched your mind

Or if our minds

have multiple sides

And you were just brave enough to see

 

I think of you 

And your judgment 

Your eyes glaring from the third story

A look of fiction maybe for pictures

We'll never witness

Where is the lining those days your brow won’t unknit

When the sorrow won't  leak 

But glazes like rotted turkey salad left out on the blue marbled title

Before it was dressed

Because your house keeper

Didn’t show up as scheduled.

 

What happens to a woman

Un immortalized by the internet.

Was she alive, we'll ask? 

 

I am here

Working at Yogala on Saturdays is serene. For the past three weeks, the four hour block has been dedicated to working on this website. (Gratitude.) As I'll be finishing the initial composition today, I don't know what I'll do with the time next week. Maybe paint my toe nails.

A frazzled girl in a drooping spring skirt lumbered in thirty minutes ago, eyes pleading for the community acupuncture class. She became despondent when I shared Kathy had not made it in today. She needed the class, she said, because she was hosting a party and did I think it was going to rain today because it was going to be an outdoor party and do you know what else, she said, I really hate it when I teacher tells you to breathe because I don't know how to do that so I have to learn but I don't know where to start.

She looked at me and added, I don't need acupuncture to ground myself for this party though. I can go home and stretch. Or walk, I suggested. Yah, she said. Yah, maybe I'll walk to the corner store and buy donut holes for the cake I'm making. That could be fun. To walk to the store and make a cake and have the time to do so.

She left with a thankyou, her skirts trailing behind her; a Saturday vent.

There are articles filling our screens, talking heads on the parameters of our life, telling us how we should act and what we should eat, where we should make home and how we should live life to it's fullest potential. 

I wonder if what we are actually in lack of, in need of, is a pair of eyes locked onto ours in full, attentive awareness. Our collarbones leaning in to listen close to the mouth craving to be heard, to be understood, to have quiet validation without a spoken word back.

I am here, she did not say. I see you, I did not reply. 


Point no Point

There are a dozen cushions in my faux living room accompanied by a giant bag of fabric- to cover their lame stench and mewling exteriors. 

What is the point of theater and of telling stories? 

Sure. To connect, for community. But how much of this is an explanation we give ourselves so that we feel there is a reason behind doing something we love to do.

Maybe we just fucking like it a lot.