Friday, August 26, 2011

what i learned from a monster.

what do you want?

four little words. scarier than spiders and spaghettihead. the latter being the monster who lived in the attic when i was a kid, according to my brother. the attic door was conveniently located in my bedroom. if spaghettihead were so inclined, he could've easily snatched me up before dad could grab his gun. he never did. perhaps he was too busy up in those rafters — which may or may not have been painted crayon gray like the steps and walls and floors — entertaining himself among the relics of my family's brother's record and tape and coin and marble collections; the white cardboard box, decorated (barely) with with one pink and one blue line around its edge, that united hospital center provided for my parents to take home their new baby girl in july 1976; the gun-metal gray cabinet with kev and i's snowsuits and someone's (dad's?) old two-piece suits; the collection of 1960s dresses my aunt gave me to play in — i recall especially the tea-length, white and blue cotillion-esque one and the full-length, puffy-sleeved halloween orange one; the toy chest (which eventually found its way to the foot of my bed in memphis) crammed with barbie and her pink corvette and her friends, all in disreputable states of undress, their coarse hair most likely tangled around the spindly legs of all my toy horses; and bags and boxes and trunks full of who knows what else. through the years, i was often sitting on the wide, wooden, stairs to that attic — writing my first novel, about a horse, which reached a full two pages in my notebook before i got bored with it, or scribbling names and dates on the cardboard walls in black or red marker with my friends, or talking on the phone to boys. truth is, all along i was less afraid of spaghettihead than the old woman whose profile would appear on my wall on nights when the moon was positioned just so. perhaps spaghetti knew, and a lack of reciprocity eventually became his demise. turns out monsters are much like love.

so is love the answer to what do you want? on holidays and special occasions, yes. otherwise, it's still scary as spiders and unreciprocated as spaghettihead. what do i want? to start what i finished on those attic stairs. the writing, that is. not necessarily on the subject of horses or in the form of a novel. a weekly column in a newspaper or magazine sounds pretty amazing. or writing random whatevers for random whoevers, as long as it's consistent. and editing books, especially the kind i'd like to read. sometime recently, maybe somewhere between I 40 east and I 79 north, i realized that finally i do know what i want. because i have someone to want it for, though i haven't met this someone...yet. and in a way, i guess what i want more than anything is love. a kind i haven't had. i hear it's the best kind ever, though.

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