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The quiet ones are the ones to watch out for.

Nov. 24th, 2008 | 04:10 pm

"I have a list of regrets as long as your hair was that brisk autumn night we flew out of Baltimore. You sat in your too-cool East Coast clothing, nicely tailored blazer and expensive shoes. I could feel the tapping of your fingers on the shiny new briefcase on your lap, arms laid protectively over it. You were nervous, and I could tell.

I just sat there, biting my nails and wondering how I ever got a girl pretty as you. Guys like me don't get pretty girls, they get waitresses and telemarketers. I started to think that maybe this wasn't such a good idea. But the firm light in your eyes as you turned to meet mine made me weak in the knees, and made my lips go to yours instead of spilling silly, practical things.

You drew back and we studied each others faces for signs of anything worthwhile. Your lip quivered slightly.

You'd made a bad decision. But I'd made a worse one."

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Every day is Veteran's Day.

Nov. 23rd, 2008 | 10:12 pm

Once upon a time you fought in Vietnam. I stayed home and tended the garden, waiting for you to return.

You came home a hero, but you had changed. My lips could never spill enough sweet words to dull your violent rage. I felt you ache and ached with you. You self-medicated and I turned my head the other way. You broke vases; I cleaned up the shards.

One morning you shot yourself in the toolshed. I cried and I cried and I cried.

That was another life, but history is repeating itself. I'm just as helpless this time around.

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Philosophy + Produce

Nov. 22nd, 2008 | 11:18 pm

You turned to me and asked, casually as ever, "How do you spell 'carrot?'"

I don't think I know words enough to describe what happened in my head at that particular moment. Were you talking about diamonds? Or maybe you were speaking of editing marks, and needed to explain how to insert words into the sentence. Was it a trick question? What could one possibly learn about a person from his or her answer to that question?

Maybe that wasn't even what you wanted to ask. Was that some sort of Freudian slip? Perhaps you wanted to know how to spell carnivorous or Catholicism or characterization or coup dé-tat. Did you have a flashback to a traumatizing event in your childhood? Choked on carrot? Attacked by a rabbit? What in the hell were you asking me?

"C-A-R-R-O-T," was what ended up coming out of my mouth.

Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one.

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Overactivity of the imagination.

Nov. 21st, 2008 | 10:07 pm

I hate taking a shower when I'm crying.

My mascara smears and smudges like the ads promised it wouldn't. My hair is a mess and my vision blurs just slightly. I become a lonesome girl-child, undressing under the harsh light of the single lightbulb (above the sink, or in a old warehouse, somwhere just outside of town?).

I feel like I'm being sold. And perhaps I am.

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It may have been a mistake.

Nov. 20th, 2008 | 11:02 pm

I told you everything.

I told you all about the things I'd sworn never to breath to a soul. I whispered things to you that made me bite my lip in worry, wondering if I was right in letting it slip. I told you that I'd drain rivers and move mountains for you.

I told you exactly what you wanted to hear. I told you everything you didn't but needed to. Sometimes I broke and told you things I should have left unsaid.

I told you half-truths and lies.

But sometimes, you make me wonder if you've heard any of it at all.

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