Small Talk

It’s an interesting feeling. Learning you’ve spent months falling for someone who could actually have never loved you back. One of those, “huh.” moments.

I’m over here feeling myself out, talking to my emotions like,

“Yo… are we good? Cuz I feel fine. But I don’t want you coming back here in like, six months messing my shit all up. Talking about ‘missing them’ or ‘broken hearts’ or whatever. Like, I’m feeling good…so…we good?”

And it feels like they’re just looking at me like,

“Yeah. Ok. Have you MET us? Good luck kiddo.”


I feel something give, even as tears drip from my eyes

I feel it loosen it’s grip around my chest, sad, nameless thing, bound up in archetypes and love, closing out the lessons of the past few years

I think this is the start of what I’ve been dreaming about

These dreams seem to be preparing me for some kind of journey

They are becoming more detailed, more layered, climbing and falling into themselves, leaving me always questioning, always feeling for more

Before I open my eyes, I feel myself going, feel myself realizing wakefullness is calling

What will my future hold? What waits around the twists and turns of time and space?

Time can be a cruel mistress. I move through her uncertain, but somehow sure

Knowing she will lead me to where I need to go

if only I have the strength enough, the courage enough to combine mind, with body, with spirit, with soul.

you believe me, don’t you?

Anger churns in my stomach

Rises, like bile, in my throat

I fight to push it down

So this is what alone feels like

No tethers, no warm bodies to press against

Be wrapped up into,

False words, false love

I love you so much,

You believe me don’t you?

Echoes in my mind

I did, and how foolish I was

The days tick away, 10, 9, 8…until we part

Until she can be free of me, continue on with her life

Unscathed, undaunted, and I’m left,

Strange coast, strange place,

Not a single familiar face,

This is what fear feels like

Last night, I fell asleep curled up into my bags,

I wrapped myself in a blanket and covered my face with my grandfather’s shirt

To feel safe, protected, a nest of my making, of things that cannot make promises and so

Are unable to disappoint, bags, clothes, books

I huddled against them and sobbed

Pain and panic pulsated from my body

Tiny bits of liberation, in the form of tears escaped me

I felt the weight of my solitude press against me

I told her I was angry with her yesterday

She didn’t sleep next to me

She has already started to leave

I’m not entirely certain she arrived here with me,

The distance is all that remains,

I’m not just going to leave you on your own,

You believe me, don’t you?

Where You Headed ?

Rain fell from the sky, I remember looking up at the clouds and smiling, so grateful to be alive.  The sky was split, grey and white clouds swam fast and steady toward the East End. I looked to the harbor, and grinned at the clear blue, still untouched by the storm.

Gazing ahead, I wondered if I could beat the rain clouds home.  I wanted to stand in that space which was half storm and half blue sky; feel the contradiction of the elements beat upon my flesh.

I walked slowly, paper bag holding Paulo Coelho’s new book, Adultery and three steamed chicken buns (bubble tea was out of pork, *sigh*) swaying gently as I moved.  I had placed my glasses in the bag as well, because they are more of a hindrance than a help in rainy weather.  Besides, I didn’t care how far my eyes could see, I had my new headphones placed securely in my ears and was perfectly contented to feel the rain on my skin and dance to Billy Joel down the street.

I’d like to think that is why I didn’t notice him.

His name was Mark, or so he said. I rounded the corner a couple of blocks from where I live and saw his car pull into a driveway ahead of me and turn around.  The window was rolled down and he appeared to be trying for my attention, I thought maybe he needed directions and I could score some good samaritan points by pointing him in the right direction.

He had pulled past me toward the main road, when I took out my ear buds, he put the car into reverse and swerved into the opposite lane to talk to me.  I remember thinking it a little odd.

As it turned out, he did not want directions, he wanted me.

Mark: Where are you headed?

It is worth noting that the sedan looked like an unmarked cop car, which explains my overly trusting, unwise response.

La: Home.

M: This is the second time I’ve seen you.  I           saw you walking earlier and tried to get               your attention. I wanted to know if you                 needed a ride.  You live around here?  I’m             Mark, what’s your name?

L: La.

M: Well, I just thought I’d see if you needed a       ride.  I thought you were cute. I’m not a                 stalker or anything…

L: Oh. Well, have a good day.

M: Ok, you too.  Maybe next time you’ll feel         comfortable enough to take a ride.

L: Doubtful, but maybe.  Take care.

I took a different street home.  Circled around the block and checked in front and behind me the remainder of the way home.  When I got inside, I locked the windows and doors and made certain the shades were drawn.

His words played over in my head.  I remember his car, a dark sedan with tinted windows. Clean. Immaculate even.  He wore sunglasses, rectangular, dark, so I couldn’t see his eyes.  It was raining and he wore sunglasses.

He knew the neighborhood I live in.  “Maybe next time you’ll feel comfortable enough to take a ride.”

“Maybe next time…”

“Maybe next time…”

I wish this were just an interesting plot idea kids.  I wish that this scenario was something I’d thought up and could spin into some sort of book and land a brilliant deal with a publisher – I suppose I still could – but it wasn’t, isn’t. This happened tonight.  This clean cut man, with his clean kept car, and shades and tinted windows approached me. Watched me. Followed me.  This was so much more than your everyday street harassment, kids.  There are scary people out there.

Be careful. Be watchful. Be safe.


These are the things that I wanted to tap into.  But I couldn’t —wouldn’t.  I didn’t know how.  Hadn’t accepted that it was a thing which I needed to do.  I was in so much denial about myself, it is shocking to me.  My disillusion.  My blindness, apathy.  I had no concept of how much my adoption has to do with who I am.  Not simply my relationships, or feelings, but how it wove itself into how I view myself as a person, as a lover, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a woman.  I never considered. 

Truth is, I didn’t want to consider.  That was a door which I dared not open, for fear of what I might find.  So much crowded my plate already; dealing with my failure to complete school, the performance in my classes, work, relationships.  Finding a way to cope with my race, childhood sexual abuse, issues with my ‘brother’, parents, family… were already so overwhelming, I did not believe I had the strength to consider. 

If I had though, I would have seen that underneath all of these issues, at the root, the pit in the center of my universe, it was there.  Creeping along the edges of my conscious mind, swarmed the insecurities I felt surrounding the circumstances of my adoption, infecting all of these areas and magnifying them tenfold.   

It has cut me apart.  Little by little, causing me to question the validity of my ‘intrinsic’ self-worth.  Eating at how I value myself, in comparison with others.  The figures don’t look good.  I don’t look good.  And it kills me, because I know that I was given up (God, just that phrase, ‘given up’) so that I might lead a better life.  So that I might have better opportunities, a better home.  In a lot of ways I did.  In a lot of ways I am sure that the wall which holds the doors of my opportunities is indeed, vast.   

That doesn’t change the fact that it hurts. I hurt.  I am wounded.  It is a wound which was inflicted at birth and has never been properly tended.  It has festered and become a sore.  I must tend it, heal it.  Only then will I allow myself to lead the life I know I was born to live.