Derek from Third Grade

I had a dream about Derek from third grade where we were adults and hanging out and eventually I just grabbed his face and kissed him for like no reason. A dude from third grade. When I wasn’t even thinking about boys, other than as playmates I could punch sometimes. Like, why this person?

Kinda makes me wonder though; how differently would my life have gone if my family had stayed in Boise, how differently if we stayed in Garden City, or Caldwell, or I stayed in that dorm at PSU longer. If both Derek and I grew up in the same vicinity, would we have eventually dated?!

If life events had enfolded differently, who would be my friend group right now? Or back then? What other people would I have met? How would those connections effect where I went to college or moved to on my own or what jobs I got?

It just makes me think how easy it is for things to change, how flimsy life plans are, and how we are today is just the accumulation of every small moment in our life and the people we ever knew who pushed us further or closer to/from our interests and talents. As an adult, there is more control over who your friends are and where you spend all your time, but as a kid everyone you know is just who you happen to bonk into, and friends are the ones you bonked into more often. What street you lived on and what school and church you went to and what after school thing you were apart of and all the people who got you involved in other places; birthday parties, concerts, recitals, book club, baseball fields. All this bonking around, and whose bonks where had the most effect.

Derek was one of my closest friends in elementary school and I’ve mostly hung out with guys as friends my whole life. Most of my friends in school I met through band in middle school and because I played wind (trumpet players all have cooties). Others I met through being videogames or through mutual loathing of our professor or because someone noticed my Kagome pin. In Idaho, wanted to go to college where all my friends were going, I didn’t care about if it was a good school or not. I moved to Portland halfway through high school, to an Art Academy that didn’t have band in ANY way, shape, or form and lost the time and motivation to play my saxophone. I hated everyone at RAA except a few people and focused on art and writing. I dated douchebags in college, but would the douchebags at BSU or UofI be any different? Would they have traumatised me in the same ways, or not at all? Would I be a plump matron with 3 monkey kids hanging from my arms by now? How different would those past years had gone if my parents had never encouraged me to pick up an instrument or Dad had never gotten me Frogger on PlayStation or had disciplined me more severely when I drew them that beautiful mural on the hallway wall as a kid? And if we hadn’t moved to another state in the middle of high school and I could have actually continue playing sax? What if I was still in Boise for middle school and my friends called band stupid and I never even went for it? Would I have gone to UofI for college instead of PSU? Maybe gone out of state? If my siblings had never been born and my parents actually had money, where would I use that leverage? If I was pushed toward my passion for video games, would I be a making my own games by now? What if I hadn’t moved to Portland? Would I still be devoted to my saxophone or just as meh about it as I am now? Would I have lived in a dorm in a small college town, rather than in the downtown area of a city, having wild dorm parties because theres nothing to do, instead of going on art walks? Would any of these things make a speck of difference anyway? Is there a timeline out there where I am currently married to Derek from third grade with monkeys on my arms?! Think of all the tiny things that could be different about me just because of the all the pushes I got.

Life is like infinite domino effects, the pieces bonk into each other and they fall over and bonk others, and some fall where you think they will, and others fall a little wonkily, and sometimes a domino misses, or just nudge, and maybe a piece flies off the pattern, just all this bonking and pushing in all these crazy directions.

Stupid Derek making me get all thinky about stuff. This just makes me want to message old friends and get a new sax. Now, if I actually go and DO these things, how will life fork from there?! Will I join a jazz band a year from now? Am I gonna reconnect with someone from the past and end up in a business relationship?! WHAT WILL HAPPEN?!

Not that any of the speculation matters, anyhow.

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Grief

Grief
is a vault.
ashes in the wall.
Treasures
too precious
too pristine
to touch

Safe,
away,
lost.
Far,
far away
out of sight
out of mind.

I build shrines
in my heart
to remember.
shrines with no names.
Candles burning
in celebration
to the lack of memory
of love,
of guilt,
of why
why
why?

why?

They topple down
cascading
reminding
why
echoes
tremors
the shrines
my heart
destroyed

forever

voices
telling me
why
why it happened
why they’re gone
why my heart
is cleaved
A script
rerunning
through my all
the why’s
Why,
why
why?

A figment,
to be sure,
But the only
the only
the only sign
that I get.

The ghosts
who never were
wish to be

and I hear them

beyond this bubble.
comes muffled dins
knocking
at the edge
echoing
sound and soundless
a constant noise
distant
“remember,
remember”
Ignored by all

but me.

Poison Brewers

All it takes
a single drop

a word
a look
a laugh
Poison

to rot out a pure heart.
tiny things
Subtle
enough to turn a person
sour
bitter
resentful.

The world is tainted
Poisoned
and ruled by evil.
goodness
and decency
shamed away
into dark corners
to suffer in helplessness
and loneliness.

Why
are humans
such terrible creatures
to poison each other
in such a pointless way?

Even acts of valor
a kindness
a favor
saving a life
clapped at, then forgotten
“last weeks news”
or all looked down upon
shamed for bothering
thank you’s are ignored
holding doors for others is strange
Poison taints the meaning
destroys the purpose.
What is the point
of being nice,
when it is only ridiculed?
If it doesn’t fix the world?
One thankful heart
versus ten that hate you.

Poison creates more poison brewers.
Only few survive
the process of
that drop of malice
to live outside evil
and even those
are forever cursed
with the bitterness
and loneliness
of a long human life.

Do you not see
you are destroying the world?