I Speak Not of Shepherds, Father.

“Bless me father, for I have sinned. It has been innumerable years since my last confession. “

“May the lord help you to confess your sins, my child”

“Father, I have lied, but I have done so oft in the name of love, or companionship, but these lies have begun to weigh on me, and I feel I must speak my truth.”

“Yes, my child, tell me how you have lied.”

“I can no longer pretend to like Davids, father. I have lied about my favor for so many Davids.”

“Davids? Do you speak of Shepherds?”

“No father, I speak of artists. David…ack, I can barely say it aloud father.

“Tell me my child, who is this David?”

“Lynch, father, I can not longer pretend to enjoy and care for the work of filmmaker and personality David Lynch. I fear that by speaking this truth I will be ostracized by my friends and loved ones, but it has to stop.”

“Ahh, my child, of course there’s some disagreement about season two of Twin Peaks, and where his real vision came in to play, but season one seems in like with your interests, no?”

“Indeed father, whimsy, and murder mysteries, and Kyle Machlachlan are things I adore. But, I just don’t care for it.”

“Even Blue Velvet?”

“Even Blue Velvet, father.”

“That is indeed a burden to bear. I will keep you in my prayers in this trying time.”

“And Father, there’s more…”

“My child, do not tell me you speak of the other, the most sacred of Davids…”

“Bowie?! Absolutely not, father! I would never dare besmirch his honor. But, in truth, there is another David who I can no longer suffer to feign enthusiasm for. It’s David Byrne, father.”

“A yes, and you may find yourself, in a catholic confessional booth, and you may ask yourself, how did I get here?”

“Good one. A real dad-joke, or a real father-joke. Indeed, I enjoy that song when it comes on the radio. I nod my head when acquaintances, cousins, young teacher’s assistants, and even lovers espouse the “genius” of David Byrne. But I do not feel the same admiration in my heart, and it fills me with shame.”

“My child, these are grave deviances from what we have declared good. For your penance, you must learn the lyrics of an obscure talking heads song, and practice your poker face in the mirror 50 times. And 50 Hail Marys.”

“Yes father”

“Tell me child, are there more?”

“Not quite. I mean I always preferred the intro to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, but that’s allowed, yes?”

“Ah yes, brother Eggers, indeed, we make room for those who love the intro as well as the memoir itself. Our flock is open to all.”

“Thank you, father.”

“Yes my child, I leave you with your penance to make at home, but before we leave let us say the lord’s prayer together. And may God give you strength to find your way back to the flock.”

“I am ready, father”

“You remind me of the babe…”

“What babe?”

“The babe with the power?”

“What power?”

“The power of voodoo..”

“Who do?”

“You do!”

“Do what?”

“Remind me of the babe!”

“Amen.”

“Amen.”

The kinds of thing I text fuckboys. God save me.

There is, quite honestly, no where I’d rather be than on a train. Waiting in the car, at the station, early enough to have found a good seat, by the window, and next to a person whose arm I can gather affectionately across my lap, my fingers tracing lazy spirals on their forearm, their thumb tracing purposeful, flirtatious arches across my knee. And perhaps a kiss on the shoulder, it wouldn’t be so greedy or untoward to wish for one, in this, a description of a perfect moment.

There is nowhere I would rather be than situated in the blissful beginning of a good time: past the anxiety, the which platform and where to sit, the where is your ticket and it said I had to print it but I am sure they will accept it from the phone. And where to let go of the baggage, emotional or otherwise? And should we pack a lunch?

The bit after that:

In that blissful moment, the quiet, when I (when we) can exhale amidst the shuffling of footsteps, and look out a window toward something. When I know I am going somewhere.

Ugh.

Well, everyone that was telling me to move on has to eat their words, because I bent myself backwards to do it.

I am going to hate myself when I wake up, so I am avoiding going to sleep. Avoiding the inevitable.

He didn’t ask for much in way of approval. The blissful ignorance of a handsome and preposterously well-endowed man, to ask nothing and try everything.

NO. (Don’t put your hand on my throat. )

At least he listened to that.

I proved…something? What a mediocre victory.

I am going to go shower forever.

An evening with a smoker.

I spent some time last night chatting with a smoker. They aren’t rare here, or disregarded. Despite the protected status of the nicotine-smitten citizens of the city, things have changed. Indeed, even Vienna, time capsule that it is, has modernized slightly since I moved here, and I no longer must suffer through the winter with my coat reeking of stale tobacco if I dare set foot in a bar for even a flutter of a moment.

The issue was, she was smoking the cigarettes I used to smoke. She had quite a few of of them, but kept insisting that each new cigarette was her second. There were 3 or 4 “second” cigarettes. It was entertaining, she’s a funny girl, and she looks cute when she smokes. That was the lethal thing back then, being told I looked good when I smoked.

And the whole time I was watching her look cute and forlorn through a cloud, my mouth was watering.

I cannot start smoking again. Absolutely not.

And yet today, I am reading, and still thinking about it. About how nice it would be to stop thinking about everything that plagues me and pick up a cigarette. To watch the smoke curl about the corners of the page like a cat in need of a cuddle. Wouldn’t it be romantic to have something else to occupy my mind than all this knowledge, and nonsense, and (god forbid) all these fucking emotions.

I’m asthmatic. We’re in the midst of a lung disease epidemic. I am far too logical for this.

But, wouldn’t one more bad habit solve everything?

If I am going to pick up smoking I will have to give up starting sentences with capital-A “and”. And I would rather die.

4-leaf clovers are 1 in 10,000. I’m always looking for one.

“I see that, too. Everyone here is broken. All these women I meet and they want love but they just can’t. You just look at them and you see, they can’t. I don’t know what it is about this city, if we all come here because we’re broken, or if the city makes us that way.”

“I always say, ‘Vienna is a city built on Roman ruins and heartbreak.”

But, I want to stay. At least for a little while.

I’m going to set roots, and grow like a weed from the cement.

I’m here to officially revoke my membership to the Broken Hearts Society.

Give me the form to fill out, the hotline to call. Go ahead, charge me an extortionate cancellation fee.

I’m ready.

The moment it becomes a story.

“So you like your men like you like your furniture: Scandinavian.”

Making new friends and swimming in new waters. Getting my feet wet and talking too loud for my own good, perhaps. It’s nice to not be the most-American American girl in the room. I’ve been in Europe for six years and I still feel like Minnie Mouse, but I’ve grown to accept it.

Someone told me that when he is with me he “feel[s] like less of a stranger here.” So, maybe I am doing something right. Or maybe I am just making him feel normal by comparison. Who knows.

We’re Some Undefined Massacre of Embraces

I’m supposed to go away with you tomorrow.
I was supposed to be done with you, well before yesterday.
All I do when I’m with you is orgasm relentlessly and ask myself,
“What am I doing?”
“What am I fucking doing?!”

You make me feel worthless.
You make me feel so good.

You trace your thumbs along my bones,
You draw me so precisely.
Let me bask in the illusion of being known.
You don’t want to get to know me, really.

I just want to dislike you enough to remind myself not to want you.

I’m just here for the ride out of town.
I’m just here to get you out of my system.
I’m just here for the starlight.

I’m just here for a few more weeks,
Might as well enjoy it.


And were we to take an inventory of the friendship,
What would we find?

A few dozen skipped rocks.
A generous handful of sunsets.
Hotel receipts.
Gasoline.
A reckless dearth of caffeine.
Some spilled ink.
A couple wishes each, made during the meteor shower (What did you wish for?).
Enough peach pits for a cyanide poisoning.
A multitude of small deaths, some of them faked.
And perhaps, and most importantly,
Two people who are slightly happier than they were a few weeks ago.

The spoils of war whatever-the-fuck-this-is.

I feel comfortable with you.
Cozy, numb.
An affection relatively devoid of emotion, and certified gluten-free.  
You taught me to love dirt again. To get my hands filthy.
It’s under my fingernails, you’re under my skin.

I should learn to garden,
to cultivate something I can actually grow
and have a say in.
Something to nourish my body beyond pleasure.
I could grow herbs.
Vegetables.
Roses.

Who am I kidding, I can’t grow roses.
I can’t keep a cactus alive.

Perhaps, this week, I will buy myself some flowers.

That’s a start.