Stringy hairs. Anemic skin. Flat blue eyes. Today I saw myself. I forgot who I was. I forget who I am. I forget who I wanted to be.
Trees. Redwoods. Inhale the Northern California ocean air. My air. My first memories. My first love: the redwoods.I feel myself smiling as I feathery ferns tickle my feet.
I step through the wardrobe, landing in the wolds I created. By living. I read my incongruous handwriting. I listen to my various hued scrawls—they are telling me stories. My stories.
Ebbing and flowing. My life. Like sand. Turbulent waves kick kick kick. Kick me into the beach. Rip me back into the current. Again Again. Again.
I am in Trinidad. Humboldt County. I am planting poppies with my mother. I am in Dublin, drowning in the emerald sea. I am at Burning Man, filling my camelback with vodka.
I am 18. I am on 280. I am on 92. I am driving to the sea. I am pulling into my grandmother’s driveway. I inhale salty, ocean air—the scent of my mother.
I’m 17. I am at Sunnyvale 1 Hour Photo, pulling photos from the minilab. Windows are explode, blasting me with tiny slivers of glass. It is October 17th, 1989.
I’m still shaking, but the earth is not. I reach into my pocket and grip my keys. Stunned, I walk towards my blue Chevy Nova, which is eerily intact. Other people wonder around the gravelly parking lot. Through the war zone I fight my home. Then—Cupertino. Home. I find my mother, perched on a sofa that is blanketed in broken pieces of our life.
I’m 17.5. I am told my mother’s brain surgery went very well.
I’m 19. Jay is holding my hand. We are boarding a plane to Dublin.
I’m 21. I’m alone, boarding a plane for Prague.
I’m 22. Jay is holding my hand. We are boarding a plane to our honeymoon—Kauai.
I’m 42. I have landed in the future. My world—this world—is in a forgotten universe.
I’m 36. Holding my newborn son. My kid has my eyes. I have my kid’s teddy bear. We cuddle.
I was home, then. Safe. Making things. Writing. Carrying my kid in a sling around my ribcage. Now, staring out my Dallas window, I remember how dumb I used to be. So naive.