I am threads from an old skirt
tearing at its seams
I am pulled out and thrown out
and sometimes tugged too hard
till there is nothing left
holding it together
I get caught on things
you step on me and
when I’m wet you hate the sight of me
rats tails hanging from an over worn fabric
Washing will worsen
my tendency to fray
drying will solidify
the damage that I’ve done
The last time I went to England, I met a man wearing two hats and using a cane to poke at people as he wandered down the hallway of his nursing home. He asked me if I could hear them, pointing his cane over my head. I never discovered who “they” were. I get the feeling that he is dead now.
Last night at work, a group of four women and one man gathered for their monthly book club meeting. They were upset with me because their usual tables and chairs were unavailable, proceeding to order multiple things each and stay until well after close. There was a time when I allowed myself to lose my temper. I don’t think I could handle seeing myself like that now. I used to be afraid of mirrors.
It has become obvious to me that I struggle with balance. School has taken the back burner just when I need to crack down. I see my friends less often than ever, unless you include the band, who are just as much my drinking buddies nowadays. Work is not work for me; I take refuge in that little café with its regulars and muffins and the oven that never stays hot. I would rather be there than at home most of the time, because home reminds me of all the things I have not done yet and overwhelms me, makes me whiny, anxious. I will never make the time to do everything.
I have met someone who looks at me, makes me feel naked. I go home at night and tell myself that I am doing well, give myself a pep talk so that I continue to stay open, accept friendship, let him learn. I equate the feeling to cross-country uphill running after four months off and no stretching. But that isn’t to say that I like it any less. Actually, I love it. I really love it.
Today an Indian student came into Pasha and asked about our tea. He wanted to smell them all and I gladly obliged, but when he got to the jasmine tea he stopped. He explained that the smell brought him home to India, reminded him of the women in the town in which he grew up. “My mother,” he nearly whispered, “used to spend one hour each day, fashioning a garland of jasmine for my little sister’s hair, and then her own.” Apparently it was traditional for the women to weave jasmine flowers into their hair, but because the flowers wilted by the end of the day, it was necessary to pick new ones each day and thus perform the ritual each morning. I thought that was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard.
But that slight hesitation brings me back every single
god damned time.