Dear Anna, Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I have been away from you for a while now.  I miss you. I  miss getting to sit on your porch and I miss you coming over to my house to hang out with our sisters.  It’s hard to be away from home sometimes.

I went to a Halloween party this weekend at my apartment complex. Glenn carved a pumpkin for the pumpkin contest.

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The party was awkward since we knew zero people, so I sat down at a craft table to color with a man I recognized from the hot tub. While we were coloring a 5-year-old boy dressed like spiderman came and sat next to us.  Peter (he didn’t have his mask on so I called him Peter Parker) told me he moved here from another state too. He can’t remember the name of the state because he has short term memory he said.  He moved out here with his mom and her dog Boo and they live with his friend Bo.  His mom and Bo were both dressed up like playing cards.  Bo and Peter’s Mom are boyfriend and girlfriend so Bo always does the same thing his mom does.

Bo is going to become his dad soon he said.  He says it will be so weird to have a dad out here . He told me his mom and his real dad used to love each other, but now they hate each other and they laugh at each other and fight with each other and, “Oh my gosh they HATE each other”.  He said his life used to be good, but it’s harder out here.

His hard seems much harder than mine, but still… I really do miss you and that’s hard in its own way.

I will be better at writing and taking pictures. Thanks for not giving up on me.

Love Always,

BridgeMcD

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Dear Bridget, Refuse to Sink

Dear Bridget,

Refuse to sink. It’s still sunny with a lot of clouds, but you know what? I can tell that summer is going to leave soon. That makes my heart feel like this ice cube that got stuck in my throat and I need to  cough it out, but I can’t. It’s this tight melancholy that stays and eventually hibernates in the dead of winter and then evaporates when summer reappears. This summer feels like a missed opportunity in a lot of ways. I wish I didn’t feel that way, but I do and I don’t like to lie about that. Today I got very panicky that my time has been wasted these past couple of months. That I didn’t do my best job of loving summer with my whole heart. I think though, that sometimes we fall down and we have to remember that as long as we pick ourselves back up, we’ve done the best that we can do. As long as we refuse to sink, we have done our job. This has been my least favorite summer, but here I am, still refusing to sink. And there you are, over in California, refusing to sink. We just won’t do it. Here are some of my most good moments from summer sixteen.

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I found out that some people are still good, because when they find power tools on their sidewalk, they staple an index card to a plant in their front yard in hopes that the power blower owner will come to their house and retrieve their power blower. This is something that a nice person would do, and it touched me.

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My girl Sarah moved into my house. She is my girl Friday. So far we have mostly watched the Bachellorette and it has mostly just been good for our collective souls. I have learned that I am not “above” watching reality television, and that there is a reason why it’s popular. It’s useless to be pretentious, I suppose.

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I have spent a whole lot of time with Moses. He is an at home cat. My favorite thing he does is when he sticks his tongue out at me. My least favorite thing is when he runs after me in the mornings before he has been fed and bites my ankles. I tell him “YOU KNOW I HATE IT WHEN YOU DO THAT”. You know this, because you can hear me when you have called me on your way to work.

 

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I felt happiest when you and I drove to the beach together. Being at this beach with you felt like packing up all of my cares and worries like little stones into a basket of a hot air balloon and watching them float up up and away  into the sky and just feeling the sand beneath my bottom and the sun all over my un-sunscreened skin.

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This is my boy’s kitten, as you know. I took this photo the day that I met him, and I still remember the way it felt. The sadness that I have, it had taken me over. And when I saw this little baby, I couldn’t have felt happier. His little baby body, his belly spots, his tiny meow, his little sleepy head; I just remembered that there are good things. Things that make it ok, things that remind you that you shouldn’t sink. That we should refuse to sink.

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Thank you, McD, for always letting me borrow your family. This day was easy and special and the cake tasted like relief, and everyone was happy. This is what summer looks like and I never want to celebrate July 4th on July 2nd with anyone else.

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Atlanta is known for its Peachtree streets, but I have spent my summer discovering peachtrees in the streets of my own neighborhood, which doesn’t have any peachtree streets. Just peach trees. The most recent peach tree that I have discovered is in my own side yard. I ate this one and saved the pit for planting.

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This summer I have spent a lot of time watching this particular dog poop. He lives across the street and when his mom and dad leave, I get to watch him poop. He usually poops three different times, in three different spots. He saves it up. I’ve done a lot of thinking in this back yard this summer, and I’ll be sad to see it go.

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Bridget, do you remember the woman and the man who had the four children variety pack? We saw them on the beach at Tybee. We couldn’t tear our eyes off of them. They were having a domestic dispute, and the oldest, little Roger, was watching the lot of babies. Do you remember? The lady had a lot of tattoos, do you remember?

She had a tattoo on her ankle, it said “Refuse to Sink”

And I just thought to myself, if a lady on the beach who is hitting her Lil Wayne-esque husband in public is refusing to sink, then so can we.

I will prefer to float, thank you very much. Will you float with me?

Love you more than that watermelon sangria we had at McDonoughs,

Mabel

 

Dear Anna, I’m not in the Mood

 

I am not super in the mood to write letters lately. I am sure you have noticed this. Sorry.

Kind of like how I don’t listen to music much any more.  The creative stuff just isn’t doing it for me. You know what I am in the mood for?  Drinking Hell or High Watermelon and going to Tybee Island with my main girl. That sounds like just the ticket.  I think once I do that everything will be set right. I will be able to listen to music and write poems and bake cookies again. Just like always.

You know how every summer you come out and visit me in San Francisco? I love that. Remember how we go to bars to have conversations with strangers?  Remember Travis who got fired from Pixar for punching someone? Remember that sad man we invited to my wedding because we thought he needed a trip to get away from his sadness?  Life is rich when we are together I think.

This summer I will come visit you. We will drive to the beach. We will each find a star fish. That’s pretty much as good as finding a drunken stranger.

Will you please make us a play list that will make me cry? You do that, and I will find us a decent cheese.

 

I love you more than just a little bit. See you in the morning. Not the soonest morning but one that’s pretty soon.

 

BridgeMcD

Dear Bridget, I Wonder What Will Stick

Dear Bridget,

Do you know what I remember from that infamous summer that we “became” friends? Most clearly, I remember:

  1. Making that fruit pizza (a few times)
  2. Making peach cobbler (I later learned, in the summer of 2015, that you do not, in fact, like hot fruit, so I had lived my past  years believing a lie).
  3. Eating pop-rocks from Dollar General in Publix and filming it with my dad’s blue video camera. People probably thought we were doing some kind of class project. We weren’t, obviously. Joke’s on everyone.
  4. Glasses-John
  5. Watching Earth Girls Are Easy (most notably, the aliens’ “belly buttons”)
  6. Driving out to pick up ol’ Nick from Holiness Camp.
  7. Listening to this song by Jaymay
  8. Picking you up on your lunch break from the Georgia Farm Bureau to go eat a $1 meal from McDonalds next door.
  9. The van and all the mismatched flip flops and damp seats from other peoples’ towel butts.
  10. Trying to buy alcohol free wine from Publix and not being able to buy it because we weren’t 21. The irony.
  11. I’m realizing that the magnet on my fridge that you gave me is a picture of us eating hot fruit, i.e. that cobbler.

We spent almost every day together that summer. Surely I’m forgetting a lot. Surely I’m forgetting some really fun times that we had. If I think harder, I can remember Lucy and Sigourney, your babiest sisters, so much smaller. I can remember other things. So what Im wondering is, what will I remember about now? Last winter was the winter that I took a lot of baths. Last summer was the summer that all my friends moved away but I managed to have an ok time anyway. What about now? The winter/spring that I drank a lot of tea? The winter that I never thought would end? The spring that reminded me that winter doesn’t last forever? I always just wonder what will stick, what will be the memory that I remember most. I guess you don’t really get to pick.

I spend a lot of my time watching this music video and listening to this song:

There are a few people that I miss more than anyone else. You are one of them. It’s a shame when you can’t always actually see your favorite people.

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the picture on my fridge

I love you more than Kanye loves Kanye,

Your Mabel

Dear Anna, You Know What They Say

They say those who cant sleep should get up and make waffles. I am not one to turn down good advice.   I once heard an old man order a “thin dark waffle” from Waffle House. It befuddles me to this day. I like my waffles fat and happy. This morning I took my leftover pancake batter and turned it into a waffle. The batter was slightly discolored so if you don’t here from me again soon just assume I’m dead, but be comforted by the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed my last meal.

* Pause while I press my French press down slowly for 3 minutes just as I was told to do by a man who once worked at Williams Sonoma*

My coffee seems to be not very good. Did I tell you I went cupping last month? I t was an accident. My job requires me to go to 3 networking events a week and I try to find unique ones to keep life interesting. I had an idea in my head that cupping might be something like a group of kindly social outcast sitting together and having intimate conversations over very small cups of coffee. I was wrong.  BUT the point is I now know my coffee is bad.

I am going to be honest. Almost a month has past since the morning where I couldn’t sleep and made waffles. I am easily distracted. I’ve been some places in the mean time though.

I went to Yosemite with my Glenn.

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I went to New York City with my sisters, and bumped into my best friend Anna while at it.

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I just came home from San Francisco where I walked in the rain and ate a million donuts while parked in a dimly lit parking lot. You would have loved it.

Now I am at home with my boys watching About Time. It’s nice to know we will never get sick of this film. Just like we will never get sick of the Juno soundtrack. Somethings are constants. I like constants. Thanks for being my constant friend even when I am distracted and overwhelmed and going to many places at once. You’re the best kind of friend, you know. I will see you soon in Tucson.

Love Always,

Bridget

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Dear Bridget, It Loves Company

Dear Bridget,

Misery, that is. Misery loves company. Januaries love company. I thought last January was a doozy. I remember it clear as day, and this one is also a January for the books. My mother said that she never has had a good January and I reckon it’s hereditary.

Want another snack? Share it with a friend, you feel less bad about eating a whole bag of chips instead of half of one. Company. Want another drink? Pour your friend another glass of wine when you pour your own. Company. Having a bad day? Call your friend who is sitting in traffic while you are laying on the floor with your pants unzipped because you didn’t have the energy to put yourself back together after going to the bathroom when you got home from sitting in traffic yourself. Company. We all love company. January is cold, it’s miserable, we love company. So let’s all go buy some Vitamin D gummies like my mom is encouraging me to do and give each other some company. Let’s all be each others’ safety blankets, there’s nothing wrong with it. We’re company.

I had a birthday. I went to some parties. New years happened on both sides of the coast; where I am, and where you are. I bought a planner, something I think about doing every year, but then I remember how I quit using these planners that I buy by mid January. Waste of paper. But I’ve made two solid plans with two different people, and sent some emails since I wrote all of these things down in my planner, so maybe it’s helping.

Let’s just get rid of all the shirts we don’t like, and all the people we don’t care for, and all the habits we regret. Let’s spend February-December eating late night snacks without regret and reading poems that are good and reveling in the notion of being alive and remembering that we aren’t accountants. Let’s never lose our poetry, always keep our balance, and when we lose our balance fall onto someone who is happy to catch us. Let’s lose the bitterness we still have about never getting a trampoline for christmas, remember how much we love our mothers, and keep tasty snacks in our cars to give away to homeless men. Let’s spend time shedding a few tears over the children’s books in Barnes and Nobles because we’ll never get our first time reading Blueberries for Sal back.

Januaries are shitty, but it’s February soon. And after February comes March, and in March it starts getting warmer. I’m sorry about your squished car. I still regret it, and I miss the recreational tums.

I want to eat sushi at midnight with a beer with you soon. Will you pick me up at the air port?

Toodles. I love you more than the full moon that I followed around last night.

Mabel

Dear Anna, My Old Friend is Here

It’s raining out. I can feel a few stray drops as the sneak through the screen on my bedroom window. It doesn’t rain much here, you know. So whenever it does I feel like I know her better than all the other people do. The rain is my old friend, she’s only their occasional visitor.
Remember the rain dances we would do in the summers?
I listened to an interview with an artist once. He made rain shadows. He would lie down on the road when it began to rain and stay there until it stopped,  leaving his shadow when he walked away. He said the pavement holds the heartbeat of a city and resting on it is the best way to get to know a place.
I like the idea of laying on the chest of my city.  Once I figure out which city is mine… It’s probably the same as yours.

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But it could be this one...

For Christmas Glenn got my mom a frame with pictures of all the cities where her children live. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco. Can you imagine being spread so far?  To have 6 pieces of yourself in 5 different far away places?
I like how important you always say it is be to be a mom.  I think you’re right about that. It must be something magnificent.

I miss you dearly. I’ll see you at Christmas. We can hold a memorial for the little blue fit that took us so far.

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I love you always and always,

BridgeMcD