Pockets

I am a nomad.
I am a nomad & you –
you are my people.

My young life
spent wandering
city to city
one new school after the next.

New faces
New rules
No handbook.

Inevitably
my tribe grew.
It includes all of you
All of you and more.

You occupy pockets in time
each with it’s own sacred place in my heart.
Photos and memories and bits of paper, squirreled away
Fiercely protected.

Do not mistake the quiet for disregard.
I cheer your successes –
happily watch your families grow.
I cry for your loss.

Today it is also mine.

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NaNoWriMo Excerpt: As Yet Untitled.

It was Saturday. Claire had been gone for a week. Seven whole days and nights of quiet. Quiet but for Mom crying and the phone ringing, and people bringing food to the door. Food that we would not eat. More than we could ever eat, now that Claire is gone. Dead, not gone. And we three have become two.

Mom held on to my arm tight through the whole thing, like she could not stay upright if I was not there. Or she was afraid I would run.

I wanted to run.

I wanted to tell her, “you are hurting me, you have to let me go. I need to go.” But I didn’t, because I knew it would make her sad. And now that Claire was gone – dead, not gone, I was all Mom had left. So I sat beside her and walked beside her and stood beside her while she clutched at my arm. I counted the minutes, in my head, until she would let me go and I could walk away so no one else would look at me. No one else would see that now I am just Brighton, and Claire is gone. Dead, not gone.

When they poured the dirt on my sister I looked at Mom. In her eyes – where I could see her sadness most. I do not like to do this. She knows I do not like to do this, she knows the sadness makes me uncomfortable. I said, “Mom, I would like to go now. Please, can I go now?”

Mom cried, and let me go. She dropped my arm, and she did not fall down. “Bright! Please, come home soon. Before dark. Please.”

Mom is scared that I will get lost too.

I did not answer her. Or anyone. Many people said my name, but now that Mom has let me go, go I must.

I walked toward home, away from the graves. Away from the hole my sisters box is in. Away from my twin. I walked without looking. I did not stumble.

Plans…of the Grandiose Variety

Since the day my parents dragged me kicking and screaming out of India I’ve wanted to go back. I will never forget the feeling of the valium washing over me as the tears dried on my puffy cheeks and I watched the sun set over Hyderabad for the last time. That was 24 years ago. And my grand plans will put me back there – soon.  It’s a five-year plan.  Max.

I’ve always wanted to go back. But it’s become something more than want. It’s become need. I need to see it again. I need to smell the jasmine, hear the sounds of the city – the silence of night in the Palini Hills. To snap a eucy leaf in half and smell the sticky sap on my fingers. To hike and eat and watch the people. My life has been formed by these things, shaped by them. My memories are starting to fade & I need the color back – to drink it all in with my grown up eyes.

To sit in silence with a pencil and paper and write.

Oh my India.

Borders

Just home from a final, bittersweet trip to Borders. I wandered – touching books & delighting in  gift items.

I’ll miss you, mustache pencil box! Why oh why did you not have a companion iPhone case? I would have paid good money for one of those.

While hovering around the YA section (thinking about how my books will NEVER get the chance to be groped by a thirty-something like myself in a Borders store) I ran into a kid…more of a man really, who used to work for me. At a record shop.

A record shop that went out of business 5 years ago.

Talk about bad luck! Granted, he left the shop before I did & has been at Borders these 11 years. When he started at Borders the company paid for Adoption. They paid benefits for Life Partners. They carried import albums.

But not anymore.

Today I walked around my favorite local bookstore – yes, Borders is my local bookstore. I saw beloved books by wonderful authors. I even went so far as to approach a teenaged girl who had Mockingjay in her hands, forcing her to pick up a copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth…

“Trust me,” I said. “You want to read this book.”

An echo of the days when I could hand a teenaged boy a copy of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and say – “Trust me, this album will change your life.”

Apparently I’m a pusher.

What will be next? And where will my former employee end up? Will whatever job he lands in be the next industry to tank? Is this all his fault? And where can I go to impose my opinions about stuff?

If you see someone in the produce section of the grocery store approaching random shoppers…it’s probably me.

“Trust me, this is the best melon you will ever eat.”

Checking Out

Technology is the devil!

This week technology trumps writing a synopsis.

I long for silence.

When the work day ends I am going to turn off my iphone, power down my ipad, deactivate my facebook account and take a hiatus from twitter.

If you need me I’ll be in the garden pulling weeds.