Dispatch From The Mundane 017
hung up on soul + confiture de mandarine
I’m eating marmalade I made this weekend. It’s on toast. It’s so nice. It’ll be the nicest part of my day.
Right now my face is stiff and full of drying bentonite clay and I’ve long accepted that it’s pulling all the bad out. It’s soaking up the musk of insecurity and heartbreak without question and it’s not asking what year is this from or how long have you had this? I have always wanted a facial but I’m always fearful that as the metal grips my skin for the first time it’ll excavate tube tops and kissing a lawyer in 2012 at a night club on U Street when she said “I never do this kind of thing” and I said “I never know what I’ll do.”
It’s true. I’ve always got a hand behind my back and I can’t tell you what’s in my palm. I’m the world’s worst magician. The only thing I can make disappear is time. Just you wait and you’ll see what I’ve got up my sleeve. Maybe a Death Cab For Cutie mash-up from 2009 will erupt from my nose if I get the black heads extracted from my nose. Maybe I need to buy a tube top. The bentonite clay seizes and stings.
Orange wine and Lish got a non-alcoholic heineken and Josh says something funny and so weird that I put my hands in my palm and I throw my head back. I’m laughing. Can’t remember at what but I excuse myself to the bathroom. Now. I am in the bathroom looking at my wide bright eyes. I used a blue mascara and the brown of my eyes look so vivid. I recall a woman on a train from NYC to Philadelphia saying my eyes remind her of a cow she had when she was young. I am at R’s joint and it’s so good. I eat some delicious chickpeas. They’re so smooth and buttery in my mouth. Lish soaks up all the flavorful oil from the plate with a piece of brown bread. Maya is telling a story and shares her hot toddy and her eyes look up at John as he rattles off details about wine. John is sweet. The night is sweet.
Moon river, wider than a mile—
Sang A. to sleep for 10 of his first 18 months and then I patted his back and brushed his hair from his face when he could put himself down on his belly. I am unsure if he or his brother will remember me after the pandemic. Will they remember me? I accept that it’s unlikely. So many people don’t— hell, I know I don’t and yet when the door opens I am expecting him to scream at me but instead he says “let’s play.” There’s a tiny hand holding mine. J. is shy at first but after an hour we are dancing to “Intergalactic” in the living room while A. rolls on the floor before dragging his brother and I down and it’s all “I’ll get you.” A. eats 5 chicken dinosaurs and J. eats none. I am within earshot as the boys say prayers and gratitude: thank you for mommy, thank you for daddy, thank you Kelly.
Stand barefoot in my kitchen and I email LA that I can’t make class. Paul is coming to town and I can’t postpone or I won’t seem them til the new year. I have to cancel one thing I wanted to do to do something else I wanted to do. I buy a new winter coat at the thrift. We all buy supplies at the art store after grabbing coffee. I’m thinking about LA’s class as I move from place to place. Anna turns and looks back at me from the passenger seat and smiles big and wide and her hand touches my knee with a squeeze. It hurts my cheeks to try not to smile back and I feel this immense privilege of being loved. I can’t ignore it. I can’t cover it up with all the ways I hate myself. It’s unbelievable to be burdened with such a thought.
Paul roasts me at the table and I love to be roasted. The thing is lately my skin doesn’t hurt and a long time ago…it did, a lot. I go out to take the trash out in a tank top and I embrace the cold as I would cashmere or silk and it feels so nice like my new winter coat. So. Nice. I make citrus marmalade for Lish, Anna and Paul as a yuletide treat. I imagined making it for months. I always knew I was going to make this and that feels nice. Like making a jammy oat crumble for Adam & the boys when I was in NYC and thinking about how so many things do fall apart — there’s some sweetness sometimes. It isn’t always enough but it’s jammy and sticky and bright sometimes.
Spring, 2020: Excerpts from my daily delight practice
Grateful for taking it slow & driving in the rain for the first time
Laughed so much today and it made it all feel so easy even though it’s very not
Somehow still here / still going / team’s still strong
I can play my favorite songs on repeat, shuffle and all night long.
I sat in the woods and the trees didn’t ask me to work hourly.
Wanted to ask my crush out but settled for making them have a deep belly laugh
Treated my coworker to lunch.
Great efforts at fighting negative self talk
A woman at the gas station asked the clerk out and he was so geeked.
Played bananagrams at the bar with Katie & Lilah
Completed my newsletter even tho idk wtf I'm doing and wanted to bail.
Watched dramas and cried but it was a good cry.
I have so many crushes so suddenly.
Cyrillic letters and pop music.
I am hopeful. I am hanging on and my hands, arms are so tired but I’ll keep on.
The taste of tangerines.
Got a lot of stuff done at work
For the first time? I found barely used shoes in my big foot size at the thrift.
Had less inflammation
Skated all night. Fell down. Ripped my pants and hurt my knee but kept going.
Ate a delicious salad
My mind felt really clear.
Grateful to the limbs of this body, sore and tired, strong.
Talked to Emma via Facetime.
Made a delicious dinner
Made a delicious dessert to accompany delicious dinner
For Emily, for Reese, for Adam, for Jordan. Mitchell. John, Jesse, SJ.
good weather hit me like a natural SSRI.
My monstera Tchaikosky sprouted a new vine today. I literally came home to it unfurling.
Every day I just try to make it til the end of the day and today I've arrived and it feels good to begin again tomorrow.
Grateful to one of my favorite love songs by Fish Leong - 没有如果 / Mei You Ru Guo
Grateful for my feet, always sore and feeling broken, supporting me through long days
The sky was so beautiful and the air tonight was so delicious.
flooded the apartment with spring air + made peanut soup i made 5 weeks ago and it's sweet smell filled my apartment and i felt so practical and smart for freezing such a beautiful soup
Talked to my mom about art.
Sound of the rain and my neighbor’s music.
Chili crisps and crickets
We are supposed to but I asked my coworker to give me a hug because it had been three months and I was tired of holding myself.
alone in my room is a once defunct and maybe weekly dispatch from the mundane from a local ficus. kelly is a writer & serial hobbyist. there are two episodes of alone in my room on soundcloud. you can donate to support a hobby or buy soil here.