how am I?

“How are you?”

“How am I… Hm. That’s a hard question to answer. I haven’t thought about it myself in a while, honestly. I’ve been burying my face in my Nintendo. How am I… Well, I’ve been burying my face in my Nintendo, and, trying to read three books at once… I pass a lot of time feeling guilty in between my times of playing Nintendo and picking up books and reading little sections and getting bored and putting them down. I mean, yeah, that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to. But I guess that’s not what you asked, I guess you asked how am I, and that’s a hard question because I’m not really sure because I’ve been pretty distracted I guess. Yeah, I guess that’s the best way to answer your question… I’ve been distracted. I’ve been playing Nintendo a lot, reading three books, and feeling pretty guilty. How am I… Well, I feel like I should mention God, and we’re not great, but we’re not too bad either. I guess I’m not really sure how we are. I guess I’ve been pretty distracted yeh know? I jump from playing Nintendo to reading little pieces of these three books. I feel really guilty about it all the time. Oh, but I do have a cat. He’s good, when he jumps on me it gives me a few seconds of peace or something, but then I just go back to feeling guilty. I guess how I am is not to great right now, I’m realizing now that I’m telling you. I haven’t really been on top of things lately. I have a lot of dreams, but when I sit down I feel like I can’t remember any of them and the Legend of Zelda on the Nintendo Wii U is so much fun and makes me feel like I’m on an adventure. Yeah, like it really makes me feel alive! My life isn’t really very exciting. So I guess you could say I’m kind of bored. Nothing’s really going on. A lot is going on in my video game and my books, I could tell you a lot about that. But that doesn’t really seem like something people would wanna hear about. Not a lot is really happening that matters. I just kind of get through my days the best I can. And I guess that’s kind of sad, huh. Probably. Thanks for asking, though. It was nice to talk. Maybe I’ll try to take a day off soon, just chill out for a minute or two. Although that would be my fourth day off this week and I’d probably end up feeling guilty the whole time like I do every other day off I take. Oh well, I’ll get it under control eventually.”

I could walk in

I could just go over and walk in. The banging on my door at 8 this morning, I don’t know what that was about. I didn’t check. But those people I see across the street as I strum on my guitar – one man with no arm, two plain looking gents and a girl in tight Nike pants  walking across the lawn. Those people are sure interesting. A little unsettling – what are they doing?

Strumming, strumming, observing. I poke my head to the window and hope they don’t see me. What if they see me and get angry and come over and shoot me? Maybe that’s what that banging on my door was at 8 this morning. Maybe they’re collecting cans, going from house to house, because they’re homeless, and found a way to get into my complex and were knocking on all our doors. That’s silly, isn’t it? They’re coming up to a house… Spread out like girl scouts ready to sell. I expect them to knock, but the man with one arm opens the door. The two men walk in after. One has his arm on the Nike girl’s back. What are they doing? Should I call the police?

Hey, the door’s open. I could just walk in. I never think about it because it seems impossible. Like, that’s a restricted zone. It has a force-field.I’ll get zapped. But for all intents and purposes, there is no reason I couldn’t approach that old brown beautiful house with all it’s mysteries hidden inside. All these wild thoughts that rattle in my brain could be answered. How do you get that brave? I watched Batman last night. I bet Batman would walk in. He’d just walk right in and look around and take no shit. And I’m just left here wondering.

Police officers are brave. To just go in to a place like that and look around. Although, they do have guns. Could I ever handle a gun? I probably wouldn’t be too welcoming if I had a gun. Could I bring them cookies? Even if they are dangerous people, are they really going to shoot me if I bring them cookies?

The door’s still open. What would happen if I walked in? Maybe they’d just look at me, confused. Maybe I’d be killed. Maybe they’d be happy for company. I know a lot of people live there, I’ve seen so many different people go in and out. I’m not sure if it’s several apartments or one big house. It’s brown and pretty. The windows are white. There’s a huge, obstructing tree right in front, with no branches until over half way up. White people walk by casually, wearing clothes that are familiar and comforting. I would be scared to walk by casually. My upbringing has made me scared, my town white-washed and perfectly safe. It has made me curious, suspicious of houses across the street. I have no idea if I should be.

Maybe they are a loving household, but my gut disagrees. I feel as though I am wasting time with these thoughts. But this is the nature of my brain daily. Scattered and confused. Wondering some of the most impossible things to ever make conclusions about.

Unless, of course, I walked across the street and knocked on the door. (It’s closed now.) I could ask how they are, what they’re up to. If they want to go get breakfast at McDonalds or something.

But of course, that would be foolish, because people are dangerous.

And I’m a woman. And it’s true, people really are dangerous.

Why can’t life be a little more welcoming, a little less threatening? And if the world actually is not as threatening as I think it is, I wish I could know. But I guess I’ll never know unless I go and walk into the neighbor’s house, but of course that would be foolish and dangerous and scary. So I’ll all just sit here wondering about the private lives of everyone else, behind closed doors. We all will. At least, I’m hoping I’m not the only one who does this. I’m hoping that this isn’t isolated experience.

I assume we all yearn for relationship with other human beings, crave to know their stories. Sometimes, especially, those who are so different from us. Craving to know what goes on behind closed doors, to know the story of the dog-walker wandering down the street, the gas station employee with the nose ring, the 4.0 MIT graduate. But whatever, we won’t, because the world is scary and we’re insecure. And the world really is scary. And we really are insecure. And it’s no one’s fault. This place is just broken and rotting, behind closed doors of middle-class neighborhoods and from where I sit in run-down Jackson, Michigan. And hidden behind cellphones and averting glances on subways and blanked hardened stares forward so that no one will talk to you. To me.

I’m just saying, okay, I’m just saying. I wish I could go over and walk in, sit down and be offered a drink and hang out. I wish I could know their stories. But I never will. Cause this world is too scary and things are so dangerous, especially since I’m a woman. But here’s the thing. Aren’t you so excited for a world where there is no fear? Where we can knock and enter stranger’s houses, because no one is truly a stranger?

This world I crave.

The Decision

I’ve made a decision. The decision WAS this: I’m going to write every day no matter what even if I have nothing specific to say, just for the sake of writing and getting better.

This decision was a little too constricting. So it had to change. I realize that I probably won’t write every day, or every other day. Drop the standard, I’m just going to write. Hopefully every week. Every day, some weeks. Maybe. Maybe 3 days in a row and then a week off but really, the conclusion is that I am going to write, even if I have nothing to say.

I obsess over, well, what am I gonna write about? How will I come across? How well developed are my thoughts? Will people be moved by my bullshit? How am I going to convince people about God, life, love, whatever? Well, if there’s anything God has been teaching me it’s that I’m way too wound up with all my rules and expectations. They choke me from doing anything productive.

I know it’s important to fill the masses in with things that you’re convinced about and I wish I could do that. But I’m fucked up, I’m in the middle of the great overhaul that is my early 20’s, 22 to be exact, I have nothing much to share with the world of significance because I change my mind every other day. I’ve been a Christian for three years and I don’t have my stuff straight.

So if it’s all the same to you I’m gonna write, so that maybe when something eloquent drops into my head someday, I can, you know, wax eloquent.

But I’m not going to sit around waiting until that shit happens.

I’m just going to let everything kind of spill out here.

By God’s grace I won’t give up in three and a half days.