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you can’t always get what you want

Dear Heart,

Please stop liking unavailable guys. You are not quite ready for the intensity of a long-term truly committed relationship even though you think you are. I know you want to be, but right now just isn’t the time for it. You are fully capable of liking someone to the fullest of your capability so that’s why it’s dangerous for you to like the wrong guy. He may seem like the perfect guy for you, but he is not really if he’s unavailable. Liking him will only put you in an emotional attachment state you can’t get out of for an unknown length of time because you are the kind of girl who loves to a fault. You would give 110% of yourself into the relationship no matter who he turned out to be and that’s just not fair to yourself if you are putting in effort when the guy is unavailable. I know you don’t do that on purpose, but it happens as soon as you get into a state of emotional attachment. It’s like you meet one and as soon as you start talking to him he casts a spell on you. You end up continuing these talks until you can’t break the spell. This goes on until one day he breaks you. Even then the spell isn’t broken, just you are and you leave the pieces for me to put back together again. I know you need me, so I’m just asking you to stay away from the unavailable ones. I promise one day when you meet the right one for you, everything will come effortlessly. You will put in the effort and it will be reciprocated. He won’t leave you and he’ll be faithful to you. He won’t take you for granted and he’ll give you 110% back. Until then, don’t get emotionally involved. At all. Don’t beat faster when he’s around. Don’t get excited when he starts conversations with you. Don’t look into his eyes while talking to him and sense a connection when all he’s doing is talking to you. Don’t make me have fake conversations with him when he’s not around. In fact, don’t make me think about him when he’s not around. I know I say these things to you and you are only half listening. But that is why you have me here – to help you get through this mess you can only explain in a Rolling Stones song.

Love,

Brain

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last one

If I had to pick a final meal before getting a lethal injection I bet I would find it somewhere lost in my couch. Maybe it’ll be a piece of steak with a side of broccoli and a glass of sweet tea. I’ll need that steak cut up into very chewable pieces thank you very much. Wouldn’t want to choke to death before being put to death. Maybe it’ll be a gigantic buffalo chicken sandwich with a loaded baked potato and a glass of sweet tea. I know exactly where to find that and it’s definitely not in my couch. Or maybe it’ll be a homemade pasta in pomodoro sauce with exactly three beef meatballs, grated parmesan and olive oil drizzled on top. Or I’ll have rib and lotus root stew with a side of rib and seaweed stew and a plate of shredded spicy vinegar potatoes. Or how about some Kraft mac and cheese.

Obviously I can’t decide, but I do know my very last meal would be super delicious and most likely include meat and a glass of sweet tea. And it would be really nifty if I could literally find it lost in my couch somewhere. A girl can dream.

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the things you think at night

“Lights out at 10.” It’s been a long time since that’s happened. It’s my own fault really. I’d like it to be truly exactly 10:00 p.m. when I go to bed each night, especially on the weeknights, but it just doesn’t happen even though I know better. The problem is the alarm on my phone. I need it to wake me up because I haven’t gotten used to the alarm on my clock. You see, the time on my clock is a little faster than the accurate time on my phone so I don’t want to set an alarm on my clock. I end up relying on the alarm on my phone so I bring my phone to bed with me. That is a black hole of time right there when I should be catching some zzzz’s. I have this habit of checking my e-mails one last time, clearing out the junk folders, checking Twitter, and then heading over to YouTube to find a video that answers the question of the meaning of life. That usually include things like I wonder what avocado-based ice cream tastes like? Tom Brady likes that stuff and he is the master at keeping his body in shape so I must try that. I wonder what it would be like to be an emperor’s concubine? I don’t know if I could handle the pressures of being an emperor’s first wife. Man, God wouldn’t like to me have these thoughts! But it’s a part of my people’s history. I can’t just ignore it! I wonder if a crop top will go well with my new pants? Where would I wear a crop top anyway? I really need to find a better way to practice some of those high notes. I’ve got to stop being afraid of 5th position and beyond. I wonder if I could get the recipe for chocolate chip pancakes. There’s got to be some way to consume all those extra leftover chips.

I don’t even know why I do it as I’m pretty sure no YouTube video is ever going to answer that question for me, but it’s like I have to procrastinate sleeping so I can delay waking up so I can delay starting another work day or chore day, as if I can intentionally pause time before I start the next “hard” thing to do on my neverending list. Time moves on with or without me and I know this, yet I can’t resist the vampire apps on my phone. I must be insane because every time I do this, I know I’m going to have a hard time waking up on time and I’m going to be tired all day and find it hard to concentrate on anything I am working on. Yet I do it anyway. I don’t like the sleep-deprived feeling, yet it’s like I’m addicted to it. What I really need to do is go back to relying on the alarm on my clock and turn off all alarms on my phone. I may be up a little earlier than I had planned, but at least it’ll mean I won’t let my phone apps suck all my time away. A girl needs her beauty sleep or she’ll wake up a beast.

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“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller

I know why Madeline Miller won the Orange Prize for Fiction for her debut novel, The Song of Achilles. She took a ten-year risk to write about characters from an ancient Greek epic poem from the point of view of the underdog. She put together sentences like these ones: “His fingers touched the strings, and all my thoughts were displaced. The sound was pure and sweet as water, bright as lemons. It was like no music I had ever heard before. It had warmth as a fire does, a texture and weight like polished ivory. It buoyed and soothed at once. A few hairs slipped forward to hang over his eyes as he played. They were fine as lyre strings themselves, and shone.” (p. 34, The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller) She paints a picture of the perfect man who does not exist in real life, but makes every girl (and man) drool over him to be real anyway. She describes a world where gods and humans coexist, fighting over land and honor, the stuff of Kings working toward expanding their Kingdoms. She is a woman, yet is able to describe the admiration and appreciation of beauty in a man from the point of view of a man so realistically there is beauty in that that comes to life, jumping off the page into the life of the reader. Before this book I had no idea there were so many ways to describe a beautiful man or the intensity of the wrath of a goddess, feeling the doom as if Thetis were there in the room with me.

Yet despite all the love and beauty between one man and another, as well as eventually between a man and his best woman friend, Briseis, Miller manages to portray the barbarity of the war. Women are taken as prizes and bed-slaves. Virgin daughters are sacrificed to appease the anger of the gods. Skulls crack open when one man kills another. Here is where hubris is introduced for the first time and henceforth all tragedies moving forward includes an element of excessive pride, or “arrogance that scrapes the stars, for violence and towering rage as ugly as the gods.” (p.295, The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller) I could not have defined that word any better. Nobody could appreciate Achilles better than Patroclus could and for this Patroclus deserved his own admirer in the form of Briseis. This is the beginning of good triumphing over evil and love conquering all. This is also where dying in a war is more honorable for a prince than dying for any other reason. This is where gender roles are explored for the first time and experiencing ramifications of disobeying the Greek gods. The whole novel is a song in itself, singing of the depth of true love and the amount of blood a man will shed to protect those who he truly cares about, men and women alike. Not too shabby for an underdog like Patroclus.

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it’s been one of those weeks…

What a week. I don’t know where to start. I don’t know if I should start. It has been one of those weeks that was like a traffic jam and Groundhog Day all rolled into one. When you get stuck in a traffic jam and the highway turns into a parking lot, all you can do is watch the lanes next to you to see if any of them are going faster than yours. Then you try to squeeze into one of those lanes and go along that lane for as long as the road allows before merging onto the lane you have to merge onto. You keep doing this until you reach the end of the traffic jam and can go as freaky fast as you normally can on the highway again. Sounds simple, right? It basically is, but if you were sitting in my passenger seat, you would be impatiently waiting for me to change lanes until we were both heating up and can’t breathe. I drive Lara Jean Covey style and sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I had a Peter Kavinsky in my life to improve my driving game or drive me to places I’m too scared to drive to myself or understands that I don’t like driving in the snow or on icy roads. I really do. Traffic jams give you no choice but to wait it out or figure out how to slowly get to where you want to go. If you want to move along, it is up to you to move into the moving lane.

When you get stuck inside Groundhog Day, you just drive yourself crazy trying to get out, but realize you can’t. You try anyway, try to reason with the people around you, but they still see things the way they do and you still see things the way you do and that’s that. You tell yourself to let it go and magically, you feel okay again. Until you hit another confrontation and your world seems to turn upside down for a minute and you ride that Möbius strip again. Sometimes, just sometimes, I want to pull a Kelsey and Liza moment and go inside a soundproof wine vault and scream my head off until I feel better again before entering back into the world.

This is the kind of end to April I have had. Happy May Day.