I have a bad habit which is that I typically discount my non fiction as being irrelevant. While I know I can nail a snarky bon mot or two, they tend to be the pieces where I expect, at the end of the day, I’ll be the kid standing alone in the rain in the middle of the playground, ice cream dripping into the mud.
And then something else happens. People like these pieces. They say, yeah, I get that, yeah, I see me there. I feel that too.
It’s taken me a lifetime to get out of my own skin, my own head, my own way. And out here, even though I can hide from time to time, it becomes clear that I’m just like everyone else. Things hurt us all the same. As Cat Rambo once told a class I attended, we tend to experience things the same way even if we feel like it isn’t possible. I’m reminded of this over and over again.
So many friends shared my words of warning/terrible confessional, “The Finger,” from the ever-fabulous Punchnel’s this week, I can hardly keep up. But I’m so grateful that it was well received and I was graced with another gentle reminder that we’re all in this together.
These are some of my friends. There is a nice picture in this same roll but I think I like this silly one best.
They are old friends from back in time when we set off to find ourselves (mind & spirit) at a camp in the mountains of southern Montana. We shared and continued to share formative life experiences. We fell in love with the same men and women and some of us went on to marry them while the rest of us laugh about the love triangles past. We finished school and grappled with our vocations. We experienced devastating losses. We’ve been married and divorced and shacked up. Some of us have beautiful children and a dog. We can pick back up from where we left off ten years ago. These friends are precious to me. These friends are a rare gift.
We were together to celebrate the wedding of another of our number. Our friend David fell in love with his partner Lee and we joined them to celebrate their newly created right to be married in the state of Minnesota. There’s a long way to go until marriage equality is the norm, but I was so proud to be there for that moment and so privileged to spend that time with these friends.
As always, I love coming home. But this time there was a heaviness, too. I am bursting with the nostalgia of those sunlit days where we lived together and played in a wide meadow, the days when we had no idea what our futures would hold. I’m so glad those futures find us all together still, even if it’s only every once in awhile.
Once upon a time I wrote a story. That time was last summer and I was thinking a lot about loneliness and what happened when your life sort of derailed in front of you. But even amidst my navel gazing, I was writing a cycle of flash reinterpreting nursery rhymes. Though I was feeling pretty low, I wanted to write about a man who reminded me of a friend of mine who was finally catching a break in life. The story, as is a lot of my work, is sarcastic and sweet at the same time. One might have to dig a bit to unearth the levels I tried to write this piece on, but regardless, I’m ecstatic that cahoodleloodaling took “Man in the Moon” for their speculative issue.
Because I’ll be eating my summer share of bugles and peanut butter cups floating over the flat wide interstates of northern America next week, I’ll also announce that the 13th will see the publication of my flash piece, “Negative Amortization” by my old friends at Every Day Fiction. On the 15th, Song Story Press is slated to release the e-book version of Song Stories: Blaze of Glory. More soon.