There is a priceless (though often gross and predatorial) sub page on Craigslist where people can post looking for their 'missed connections.' Here are some of my creative additions to the page:
I am the tall brunette who dropped her phone at the register at BestBuy today around 3pm. You were the handsome guy with the long hair and scruff that picked it up for me. You said 'That was a close one.' I said. 'Right. Thanks. Whew.' You smiled at me and when I saw your teeth - I giggled. Then, the lady at the register rushed me to check out and I didn't see you again. I will be at BestBuy tomorrow again. From 3-3:30pm. Come."
"Looking for Daniel Brady from Glenville, MA. We went to elementary school together. In fourth grade he broke my heart. Time to repair it. Where are you Daniel? It's me, Shannon L. "
"Need a seed. A man's seed. A baby daddy would be preferred, but I'll settle for a donor. Help me bring life into this world! Pay provided. No strings attached. "
"I saw you on the train. The G train. I was going out, you were going in. By the Wycoff Stop. You were wearing a T-shirt with a raccoon on it, I was in a suit. I felt we had a connection. A clear connection. A deep connection. Let's not miss it."
Margaret takes a few steps in until she is completely immersed in darkness. It's dark but her eyes are calm, adjusting, peaceful now that they have less of a glare to deal with. The darkness seems to put her at ease. Her breath settles, and she starts seeing her surrounding:
A single bed.
A desk and on it some papers.
A chess board.
An oven mitten.
A tennis racket.
Everything is meticulously placed: the chess board is neatly ready for a game. The quilt is folded and smells fresh. The sink has running water in it. Margaret splashes water on her eyes, hoping she would awake from whatever dream this is. She eyes the desk and papers on it. They don't reveal much - the ink on them is fainted so much that she cannot read a thing, other than the bold letters 'sign here:___________' Margaret smirks. She may not know why she's there, but in another life - Margaret would know better than to sign anything she can't see. Then, the carrot catches her eye. Something odd about it. She approaches. Touches... Oh! Huh, it is not a real carrot at all. It is a gadget of some sort, dressed as a carrot. A remote? A camera? A phone? She doesn't know. But suddenly is filled with an eery sense of DREAD. And just then - a blue light appears on the gadget, and a sound begins: it starts like a faint whisper, but quickly echos into a high pitch buzzing sound. Make it stop! Margaret covers her ears instantly. The sound escalates, she shrieks with it... M a k e i t s t o p ! ! ! She rushes to the door... as she approaches... it SHUTS. The sound continues, nearly rattling the chess pieces on the board. She clocks in everything in the room... the bed... the oven mitten... the pen... the... Oh. THE WHISTLE.
She grabs on to it, and does what a person oughta do with a whistle: whistles. And then... as if hearing its match calms it - the sound STOPS.
To be continued...
When I die
Please bury me in nostalgia:
The 80s in all their charm
And the idiocy of the 90s
Give me some never ending stories
And controversial Madonna concerts
Feed me pesticides
And fast food
And leave trolls at my gravesite
Dress me in leather
The kind that vegans hate
But hey - it is the past
And vegans have their future anyways
Let me have nostalgia
Of days before the world vanished
Before the nothing took over
And killed our hopes and dreams
Before the world war
And astronomical gas prices
And one little virus
That united us all
And divided us all
Before the death of rock and roll
And the radio
And romcoms in the movie theatre
Let me have the world before superheroes
Just Wall Street
And nasty racism
And cold wars
Before climate change
Made them all meaningless
Made us all meaningless
When I die
Please bury me in nostalgia
And keep me there
So old men can sexually harass me
Call me sweetie, honey, sugar
And no me too to cancel them yet
And keep me there
At the age of innocence
Before it all fell apart
Or some would say
Before we all came together
To mend the pieces of our broken hearts
And build a global world
Where pain has to hurt before it can heal.
Every morning when I wake up, I turn the alarm off, and I stay in bed with my eyes closed and imagine what my life could look like if I was a different person.
Sometimes I imagine I am a farmer in Switzerland, or a belly dancer in Egypt, or a father of five in rural Mexico. Or my next door neighbor that I have yet to meet though I know every inch of her roof from my bathroom's window.
Every day I wake up and imagine a different life.
I imagine I am her, or him, or them, or it, and that my life is horrible, or wonderful, or difficult, or all of the above. I imagine that I have talents I don't even dream of, and desires I don't relate to. I imagine I argue in a different language, and love in the universal language of love. I imagine I am someone else, not because I am not happy to be me, but actually because I am so happy to be me. I imagine to be an other so I can feel the other. So I can feel how we are all the same despite our differences. And to feel the interdependency we all share, as humans in this world.
OH, the borders we have...: Borders of countries, borders of thoughts, borders of genders, or affiliation, of status, of wealth, of taste. We have so many borders and yet none of them mean a thing in the purity of it all. We all start the same, and end up the same. So why are we so eager to be singular and different in between our start and our finish?? Why do we judge, and hate, and misunderstand each other, when we ARE each other?!
Every day when I wake up, I imagine I am someone else, because in many ways - I am someone else. And another someone else. And another. And another. I am you, and you are me, we are a not-always-happy but nonetheless A FAMILY. A family of humans occupying the same earth. Every day I wake up, and I imagine. Imagine that.
TODAY IS YOUR BIRTHDAY!
You are TWO years of age today. A terrible toddler indeed... and I, a proud mama, could just squeeze you so tight right now, so proud of your journey, of OUR journey together! Who knew that we'd last this long, you and I.
Don't tell anyone... but I did.
The moment I met you, um, gave literary birth to you, I knew you were mine for life.
Maybe not daily for life... but for life in some capacity of another. Some bonds are too meaningful to discard. Some bonds give us life. Some bonds teach us how to be a student, and how to be a human in this bizarre journey called 'life'.
You know what bond I talk about, don't you? You must feel it too. You are adored every day by me. Even when I am half asleep at two in the morning... even then you get my attention. If only for a quick 'Word Of The Day' post. And you always fill me up with creativity no matter the hour, no matter the typos and the imperfections in my daily writing. You give me a platform to be as I am each day. Each day I am new, and so are you.
The blank page doe not scare my anymore. Why should it? All it is is INVITING. Is OPEN. Is GENTLE. It's us that imprint our fears all over it. The blank page is YOU in all your might.
So it's your birthday. And here I am, wondering if I should begin sending you out to the world. Should I share you with friends... family... acquaintances... strangers?
I often keep you so close to my chest, like a sleeping baby, a treasure I must keep safe. But an over protective mother needs to learn to let go.
I have already had the experience of birthing you, then mothering you, and now... I'll let you go out and play, mingle with your own kind, discuss the ways of the world with others! And I'll learn what mothers have learned for millions of years.
So how do I do that!? You might ask.
Well, I'll begin by telling people about you. And be proud of you. Really really REALLY proud of you and our accomplishments and our bond. Maybe some people will want to get to know you. Maybe some will even like you. Heck, LOVE you! And maybe some will not. And that's okay too. Because whatever they think IS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. All we have to do is nurture our bond, and our tribe will find us. Simple.
Simple, but not easy.
But we are ready, you and I. We've fostered each other for two years now, indulging in our own little playground. Time to open the curtain and see who else want to play, or, well, who would like to watch us play. THAT will be my birthday gift you to, dear Blog.
The gift of sharing you with the world.
Happiest of birthdays, dear Blog.
May you blossom and grow and challenge me and make me laugh and give me life and meaning and all the feels! May you lead me to places I've never been before, and hold my hand while I explore the new terrine, the new air I must breathe in this new dream of a life! May you be grand this birthday and the next ones. May you be grand.
What people think ISN'T YOUR BUSINESS.
The sooner you learn it - You will be FREE.
I started this blog two years ago *tomorrow*, and my intention with it was to tackle my perfectionism. In the course of these two years, a lot more has come my way: I've learned to hone a sense of discipline, access writing flow pretty much any time I would sit to write, allow my feelings and thoughts to flourish on the page and for stories and characters to emerge, and I also learned how much I deeply care - and fear - the ole' 'WHAT PEOPLE THINK' conundrum.
So how do I tackle that "lovely" beast!?!
By repeating this mantra with the same daily discipline that I've given to this very blog.
Every day I shall meditate on this saying for even only a few seconds, until I will actually believe it enough to follow its advice. It may be simple, but it is not easy.
P.S. credit should be given when credit is due: Reese Witherspoon talked about a version of this mantra/advice on one of her social media platforms.
"No... I don't believe is in higher power. But I believe in deeply grounded rooted earth power. The earth we all walk on and end up in. The earth we can SEE and FEEL."
Atheists have been hiding in their shells for a millennia, at least. Or if not - they'd have been prosecuted, judged, ridiculed. In current times, and in the western world, there is supposedly a 'religious freedom', which paves the way also for Atheists to come out of their shells and roar to the world all about their disbelief or lack of belief in a god or gods. I myself am among those non-believers, or rather I could add an 'agnostic' label on it and simply say I am an advocate of doubt and I simply 'don't know' and therefore cannot base rituals or moral judgments on something I don't know. But to hell with labels! I am a child of this earth, made out of star dust (for real, we're all particles of star dust yooooo) and so I believe in my journey to know myself, and know the other as myself, see the good, be good and do good, be grateful for the gifts that life offers me, and have my life be full of meaning. That is my golden star dust rule. And no, no religious scholar or some aged man from two thousand years ago wrote it in some book. Not as far as I know... Once again: I am in advocate of DOUBT here!
HIM: I'm blushing, aren't I?
HER: Mm-hmm. Even your neck seems to be on fire right now.
HIM: Yeah, that tends to happen. When I get called out. And when I meet a movie star. Who happens to also be my childhood crush.
HER: You know, that's one thing the tabloids get right: 'movie stars are just like us.' I get star struck too. It's a weird thing, isn't it?
HIM: SO weird. I thought it was a prank at first. I mean, to show up to a clinical study just to find out I will have to be stuck in a room with a stranger for three days, and that stranger is no other than.... YOU.
HER: Sounds like a plot for a movie. Or a good prank.
HIM: A GREAT one. But makes a better psychological study. Since I know so much about you and you know nothing about me. And here we are thrown into a room together, and told 'all you have to do is get to know each other. No question is off limit.'
HER: That's what you were told?
HIM: What'd they tell you?
HER: That... you have a secret I must uncover.
HIM: Woah. A secret. Huh! I'm as an open book as they come.
HER: Yet... here's that blushing again.
HER: Okay. Let's start with names. Shall we? You know my name, what's yours?
HIM: I'm in between names right now.
HER: I see. Sounds like I'll have to uncover more than just one secret.
HIM: Joking! Just making a joke. I'm Sam.
HER: Sam. Nice to meet you, Sam.
HIM: Nice to meet you, Anna.
HER: My friends call me Annie.
HIM: Friends? All right! Friends. I'm friends with Anna Miles. Sorry - ANNIE Miles.
HIM: So. You're a hider.
HER: Excuse me?
HIM: You hide. You like to hide yourself.
HER: What makes you think so?
HIM: Oh, please. It's written all over your face. And body. You almost fooled me for being a foot shorter. Not to mention your bangs cover about 80% of your face. And - I bet not many notice this - but your natural speaking voice is an octave lower. You are raising your pitch, and something tells me it's for a reason.
HER: Hm. Lots of interesting theories you have there.
HIM: Interesting as in... correct?
HER: Interesting as in interesting.
HIM: Someone once told me the subtext for interesting is 'boring.'
HER: Well, that someone wasn't me.
HIM: Huh. True. When I come to think of it, that someone was boring.
HER: Someone once told me that only boring people get bored.
HIM: Hm. Interesting.
Now I see why you hide.
HER: Oh. And why is that?
HIM: Not out of shyness, but out of smartness. That, and the fact that you're a public figure and everybody knows something about you since you were a child.
HER: Hm. I guess I wasn't hiding very well after all.
HIM: Oh, you were. But I know those cheek bones of yours better than my own. I had a poster of you in my bedroom as a kid.
HER: Ouch. I'm sorry.
HIM: I'm not!
HER: Don't tell me... Revenge of the Teen Spirit?
HIM: Bingo. It moved with me to four different homes. Always by the bed.
HER: So you went to sleep with me every night.
HIM: I... um, I. Guess you could say so.
HER: Now I see how come you know so much about hiding. You are a hider yourself.
Every once and a while, art comes along that leaves me speechless.
The film 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' did just that.
It left me speechless. And grasping for air. And smiling. And inspired. And bothered. And weeping. And amazed. And confused. And bewildered. And stricken. And shook. And laughing. The experience was so much everything-everywhere-all-at-once that I do not have a thorough and detailed review, only fragmented pieces of my impression of the viewing experience. And that's exactly what art does. Makes you feel. Makes you think. Makes you want to make something. This. Was. Art.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman