The One From the University, or, Dear Jackie and Katie,

Sometimes I try to find you but I can’t. The two of you made me realize over time that it’s okay to be silly and have fun. After all…a Queen is often first a princess. If only that hadn’t been so hard to conceive. I have a habit of making people the expense of really hard lessons.

Perhaps it’s better this way, to keep me going, to keep me looking out for that dollhouse on the horizon.

***

I was messed up when I met you and I didn’t know quite what to make of having moved a percentage of my things in to a little room so far away from home. I know that I frightened you until I made you laugh, and I know that you learned to appreciate bringing me along like a badass accomplice. There was a big plush flower around your computer monitor, Rugrats wallpaper and various sweatshirts and apparel in your closet from all of the sports and organizations you’d come from. We didn’t make any sense so I tried to unify us as the PowerPuff girls – a redhead, a blonde, and a brunette who each had their own strengths as common ground.

I wish I could have stayed strong for you.

While we didn’t have a falling out, I pulled away and withdrew. Every dinner, every party, I couldn’t connect. Brat. Angel. Diva. I loved how you wrote “AUTUMN ONLY CAN COME IN HERE” across your door, but we’d go in to one of those stores in the mall and when the two of you ran for the little plastic tiaras, I felt out-of-place. You invited me to one of those exotic locales for Spring break and I told myself that it was all part of a world where I didn’t fit in. Where I couldn’t go.

At that point in my life I was very tired of the formulas and technicalities. Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Relationships felt like work and there was more than enough of that to do on myself.

I wish I would have been open and honest enough to tell you. I wish it hadn’t gotten awkward as we steadily took fewer steps in the other’s direction. It was just one year, one dorm room circumstantial clusterfuck and fuzzy memories of the Poo-Tang Clan but it stays with me, all of the goodness and potential that I failed to embrace.

Even as I handed Jackie a poem on my last day on campus, I knew back then what was going to happen. I was going to miss Jackie and Katie very much.

A sweet little thing I knew

Was an attempt

a failed experiment

in sisterhood strategy, my first and final

dollhouse tragedy

 

My Powerpuff angels had

Boyfriends who were witty

And Hello Kitty on their wall

If anyone disturbed our pretty little world

Calling Daddy would fix it all

 

A wicked side lying in wait…

Curly hair blow-dried to straight

In trouble from burning the books

And out of it with the right looks

Cursed with a Cover Girl shine

Order and anarchy combined

 

How adoringly watched

Real princesses can be

Laughter shielded from real life

Meant everything to me

 

But time revealed what I already knew

To live as a member of their court would be untrue

So I thanked the stars for that image of ours

And I did what I had to do…

 

A sweet little thing I knew

Was an attempt

We were a failed experiment

In sisterhood strategy

My first and my favorite

Dollhouse tragedy

 

sadpuffs

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Christopher and the Last of February

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hotelroom

 

I took a few days off and went home this weekend to mess things up with my brother. We stayed in a few local towns, drinking, smoking, swimming and dining on lobster bisque. It was pretty weird, but then again….so are we.

One of the bars we went in to, I used to think was this rowdy place when I was younger. All of my party friends would wanna be there. Well, this time we were the only ones left and I wondered if I’d won or lost. We put too much money in to the jukebox, bullying it, blasting ELO, Bowie, Billy Joel and anything we thought needed to be said.

It was home, it was never home, it’s home, it’s not. It’s going away, it’s new, it’s old. In the end I decided that we had to make our own good times no matter how much around us had changed – and I believe we are still particularly good at having a good time.