Category: stories


It’s finals week for me. I’ve been working on projects and papers for the last few weeks, like you do when you’re a Ph.D. student. But today I hit a wall with my writing. The ideas were swirling in my head but refusing to cohere. So I decided that I would pull out my yoga mat and do a little bit of exercise to get my brain re-centered. (It’s remarkable how difficult it is for me to fit exercise in when I’m reading and writing, but that’s probably a different musing.)

So I had just finished my 20 minutes going through some basic moves to stretch out my legs and get the blood flowing faster through my brain. My cats had been very curious during my whole routine, especially during Savasana (the corpse pose), when they wandered all over me while I was laying down, and the final Half-Lotus, when they tried using my knees as scratching posts so that I would pay attention to them. Except I didn’t pay attention to them fast enough, apparently.

Just as I was getting up to put my mat away and head back to writing, I felt pine needles brush against me. Which was weird, since I had intentionally left enough space between me and out Christmas tree to avoid such an annoying sensation. And then my brain processed the crash and cracking of plastic breaking.

See, it is Christmas time. My sister brought home a pine tree earlier in the week in an effort to make out apartment more seasonal and smell outdoorsy. We bought new lights for this year (1 string of TARDIS lights; 1 string of small pearl lights). We even, finally, have a tree topper. And this is where I decided that the the cats were trying to be helpful, and not simply being cats making an attempt on my life.

Atop our tree is a Weeping Angel.

It has its eyes covered, but it’s still a little creepy. I mean, they always have their eyes covered – until they don’t and they’re sending you back in time. But it’s funny to both of us, so there it sits.

When the tree came down, the angel popped off and ended up sitting next to me. Staring away from me, but I would be lying if I didn’t have that thought for second that it had come to life. But it is plastic, and not stone, and survived the tumble with a crack towards its hem. Aside from that, the angel remained like me – unscathed.

Luckily, because it’s finals time, we haven’t completely decorated the tree. I don’t think it would’ve been as easy to get up surrounded by broken ornaments. But all’s well that ends well, and this time the ending is fine. The cats were trying to save me, and they didn’t end up inadvertently killing me in the process. Yay!

So now it’s back to the final pieces of the final projects. I think the exercise and then the excitement should help carry me through to the end.
Our Christmas tree :) (still needs ornaments, but pretty fun as is)

Revisits don't always go as plannedI realized today that I’m in a new story. I’m lost and confused and feel like I’ve missed some important piece of information. This means that I’m in the middle of it, which is a place to start from if you can’t keep it together enough to recognize the beginning when it happens.

But the middle is actually my favorite place to start, because you don’t have to worry as much about the annoying set-up and character building. I just want to keep going and pick up the essentials on the fly. Not that the world-building isn’t important, The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones would be significantly less awesome if the time to create the world was skipped. But when it comes to my life and stories, I get bored with the set-up as I look for the next action scene. Continue reading

Grad School

Studying Math

Not what I'm applying for, but you get the idea...

So I’m applying for PhD programs, because I love school. A large percentage of my friends headed back to school this fall, resulting in more than a little jealousy, which is how I knew it was time to get over my hang ups an start applying.

I’ve conquered my first hurdle  — The GRE.

Now I’m faced with the annoyingly tedious, almost overwhelmingly so, task of completing the applications for the schools I would like to attend. Which isn’t as bad as 1am makes it feel.

So I’m researching the programs, finding out the due dates, emailing God and everybody — basically spending the best Wednesday night ever. Though the search through J.C. Hutchins‘ archive to remember how I’d discovered one of the schools on my list was fun.

Hurdle 2 should be mostly dominated before the end of the week. Which will begin Hurdle 3 — the waiting.

I’m not currently emotionally prepared to contemplate the final hurdles. But I will keep posting here, because why wouldn’t I?

Rooted

I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself. I continually knock on a door knowing the lack of response will only chip another piece off my heart. Yet, despite the pain, I find myself on this doorstep once more.

The wisteria is a nice touch, screening my small concrete square. He must have paid quite a bit to get full-grown wisteria in the brief interlude I didn’t stand here. I do appreciate that my desperation, or stupidity, or stubbornness, or insanity, or whatever ties me to this small spot is no longer on display for all who pass by.

I tried to leave forever once. Walk clean away without looking back on the square of suffering that has defined my life for the last slice of forever. The thought of not having the pain of chipping bits of my heart off was almost as terrifying as the idea of having to learn to live with the constant pain of a piecemeal heart.

My feet paused in fear and my head turned – I looked back and lost all resolve to keep my feet from walking their familiar path back to this square.

So now I find myself back in my small square of self-imposed servitude to a love that will never reciprocate. Because the pain that has become a part of my essence and existence comforts me. Trying to find a new place and way of life would damage my heart more than fully accepting the reality I have chosen. I have put my roots down here and leaving would be more painful than the constant chipping.

The only comfort I would wish is a location with less rain; it could be quite pleasant to stand here in the sun. But the raindrops that cover the ground most afternoons are particularly refreshing, and the animals that scurry around are almost endearing. I would rather like to be inside with him and not out here slicing my heart to oblivion, but I know this square marks the boundaries of our interaction. As long as I can stay in my tranquil square, my self-scarred heart can endure anything.

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