Say Anything?

Ah maaan, I think to myself, as the coins tumble out of my hand, clanking onto the counter. The man at the service desk murmurs a half-hearted apology and watches me fumble to pick up the change. Don’t mind me people, I’m just attempting to get laundry quarters. I should just keep buying more clothes and stop doing laundry altogether. I have what – three weeks worth of underwear? How hard would it be to get 344 more pairs? I could get them all on sale at Target. Laundry’s the worst. How do we send people to the moon but no one can figure out a better way to get my clothes clean? But apparently I’m ok to NEVER wash my Levi’s again, so that’s pretty cool. I should probably get a year’s worth of those, too.

 

I am always trying to be inconspicuous, disliking the stares of others. I usually assume I either have something on my face or a stain on my clothes when people look at me. You know, they see something that I can’t, but no one bothers to stop and say, “Hey did you notice you spilled strawberry ice cream ALL down the front of you?” But, in actuality, my ability to be inconspicuous only works when I’m in a busy place and manage to get stepped on. When I’m in a line with people behind me, of course, I drop all my washing machine quarters loudly.

 

My brain continues, stressed by the unexpected noise. This wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have such little hands. Why are my hands so creepy and child-like? Someone could definitely do a horror movie based on that. Little kids are always terrifying in movies. Like ‘The Orphanage’… holy shit that movie was scary. Creepy kids.

 

What I don’t realize though, as all of this is happening, is that my mouth has given me the opportunity to let everyone know what I’m thinking. I hate when it does this. So, what I end up actually saying, is “Ah man… it’s ok. Don’t worry about the quarters. This wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have such creepy child-like hands.” Wait – what??

 

As soon as I finish the sentence I look up and meet his eyes. Please laugh, pleeease just laugh, damnit. I giggle, making sure to smile generously, that way he knows that I’m letting him laugh at my weird thoughts.I’m giving him permission to make fun of me, and dismissing my own awkwardness. This is going to end up being funny for both of us. I know it… I just know it.

 

Nope. Nothing. So… this has reached a level of awkward I’m not comfortable with. Dumb quarters, stupid mouth, silly man behind the counter who obviously is devoid of humor and lives a laugh-less existence.

 

As I pick up my last quarter and drop them all into my purse, I’m not sure which is more unsafe… the odd thoughts that circle in my mind, or the mouth that clearly can’t contain them.

Mermaid

I was a mermaid once. In fact, it was only recently I became human. I have always been something else. And I prefer it. I remember feeling the warm water rushing over and under my hands, flowing its way through the spaces in my fingers. I would examine my fingertips, wrinkling with excess moisture, slowly touching my thumb and each finger together, one, two, three, four….

Eventually, my head would sink under the waves, eyes barely above water, and I could feel my hair, suspended and flowing outward. My fingers combed through my hair, slick and long, twice as long with its curls now relaxed in the water. I would sway back and forth, feeling each tendril play against my cheek, and listen to the water bubbling in my ear as I swayed, left then right. Left then right.

I would close my eyes, and my tail would shine, the scales iridescent against the light, glittering as a reflection of the stars. My ocean was dark. A vast expanse of space under the blanket of a moonlit sky. With my eyes closed, it expanded on forever, but every time I opened them, my ocean was contained, crashing up against four white ceramic walls, glaring against the bathroom lights and boxing me back in to this reality. I was a mermaid once, when magic was real.

Place St. Francois de Sales

Place St. Francois de Sales

A walk by moonlight in the town of Annecy.

This photo was taken in Annecy, France during a late night walk by the river in the town center. There was something about this lamp, next to a relatively uninspiring placard that gave me a moment of pause. The lamp was beautiful in its history, in the fact that the metal had probably been handcrafted, and the glass delicately placed within the metal. The placard was equally beautiful with its unique font and weathered paint.

I took many pictures that night as I walked through the town. And while I enjoy this picture, and the others from that night, none of them can really capture how the moon glinted on the water, or how the lanterns outside the restaurants gave off a warm glow of firelight. It could be operator error of the camera that these weren’t appropriately rendered (entirely possible; trust me). But I think it was something more. A photograph can capture on film the moment a feeling or action transpires, but it is imagination that creates the romance. It is our presence in that exact time and space that creates an understanding of the beauty around us, and the feeling of thankfulness that we have been placed within that moment. I am thankful I had the opportunity to see Annecy by moonlight, by daylight, and to eat the amazing food it had to offer. I am also extremely thankful that I have photo editing software on my computer to help make up for my shortcomings behind the camera.