lying awake on a friend's futon.
I couldn't sleep.
If I had written it down,
I would have already torn it up and thrown it away
01. I will not protect anyone from any consequence of any course of action they deliberately pursue.
02. I will not care so much about almost everything.
03. I will not neglect my schoolwork, most notably Western Civ reading.
04. I will buy more clothes and less music.
05. I will manage my time better, since I have less of the "free" variety.
06. I will stop cursing.
07. I will pray or meditate more.
08. I will practice my guitar more.
09. I will attempt to learn how to turn my mind off, and stop overanalyzing things.
10. I will write more private journal entries.
11. I will spend more time outdoors.
For a while, I would tell people that the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen was this:
I was on King Street, in front of the convenience store. I was standing near a fire hydrant. There was a bird there. I still don't know exactly what kind of bird it was. It was black, and its plumage had a purplish tint to it. It had a strong, efficient-looking beak. Black, conic, and powerful. Not a spindly pigeon's beak. This bird looked like a winner.
The bird was trying to pick a slice of pizza that had come from the pizza parlor across the street, but it was too big. Its strong beak was unfortunately not strong enough to support the weight of the pizza.
It was flying around, trying to solve its problem from different angles. The bird's black wings spread, and it ascended a few feet, then it swooped down and trapped the piece of pizza in its beak, only to find the food once again on the filthy sidewalk. Sometimes it would walk gingerly around it, picking at it, maybe getting enough to fill its powerful beak.
It did this quite a few times. I just stood there and watched it until it finally captured a very small chunk of pizza and flew away.
At the time, I mostly couldn't get over how black the bird was. Now, what strikes me more than the bird's beauty is its persistence. I bet that if the bird had the capacity for rational thought, it would not care how stupid it looked, or what the pedestrians or other birds thought about it. It was unselfconsciously doing what it had to do. I just wish that it had actually gotten the whole piece, even though the task was impossible from the start. If you work that hard at something, you shouldn't have to settle for a little bit.
But sometimes you do have to settle, and then fly away.
Now, it is something slightly different.
We had gone to church that day. It was her first time going to a Quaker meeting. I think she had an okay time.
Soon, we went to the beach. My father had let us use his state park pass, so we didn't have to pay to get in. We walked out into the waves and let them crash against our bodies, which were more covered up than most beachgoers, because we were both selfconscious and wanted to hide; she didn't need to.
We talked for what must have been an hour in the ocean, pausing in telling our stories to let the waves smack us in the back of the head. She wanted to take her earrings out, and I offered to hold them in my bathing suit's pockets. After a little bit of research, we discovered that my pockets had rivets or something in them, and the holes were too big for me to hold her earrings. So she left them in.
Then we put out our towels and laid on the beach, still talking. I dug a hole in the sand and put my leg in it. It went almost up to my knee. We both had a hard time getting comfortable, and changed positions numerous times during our hours-long conversation. I drew א in the sand over and over, never quite getting it right; it was never the way I wanted it to look. We talked about all sorts of things. We talked about things we had never talked about before, and we finished conversations that we started four years ago.
It was then that I looked up, and I saw her, supporting herself on her elbows, her hair in total disarray, with the sand on either side of her. Behind her was the bluest sky I ever remember seeing, and under that was the ocean. I don't remember, but I would like to think that there was a slight breeze at that moment. It was perfect. She was sitting, looking comfortable, tired, and content. She had lost her selfconsciousness.
At first I wanted to take a picture, but then I realized that what would be best is for me just to remember that scene well, and that it would only get better with age. Photographs are static, memories are dynamic. The sky would become bluer, and the ocean calmer, but she probably wouldn't change much.