i am sometimes too honest. too open of a book, the spine cracked and flat. the skin on my forearms pinned open, exposed. but that doesn't tell the story, does it? you cannot look at my veins and know what the blood tastes like unless you stick your lips to the wound.
i am sometimes full of secrets. tattooed in white ink. you would miss them if you weren't paying attention. or you might think they are just scars. beautiful, handwritten scars. occasionally, i will allow a secret some air. for a moment. but then i will tuck her back away and she will ferment. she will turn into something else entirely. she will age.
i learned of a friend's passing through social networking. the new game of telephone is a laptop and a wireless internet connection. and i was punched in the gut. shocked. we were co-workers. friends. years and years ago. we met back up for a bbq about four years ago (if not more) and yet it seems like not so long ago, you know? four years or four months. i'm sure when i am in my last days i will not be able to understand how time winds itself like a fishing rod. it will be slack, in the wind, touching water and i will think we are only an afternoon away from talking when really we're all one open window away from falling. it is not only sad and tragic that he has passed. so young. and so sudden. with a wife and kids and so much left to do. but i say that and think about things like seizing the day and making shit happen and instead i find myself driving for four hours in the rain today and getting lost and getting nothing accomplished except making it home safe. which is something, considering i witnessed one accident and drove past four others in the course of one morning. los angeles panics when it rains.
i believe in extenuating circumstances. in the exception to the rule. i before e except after c makes sense. doesn't it? but then i got lost on the freeway this morning because seeing all of those accidents threw me off my game and i gripped the steering wheel like a witness to a crime, focused ahead and breathing slowly. until i realized i was headed downtown. and i needed to be going the opposite direction. my sense of what is true and what i know sometimes slips right under me and i can focus on the common laws of good driving but my grasp of direction becomes tenuous and then i realize i have my two children in the car and somewhere out there, in the hundreds of cars riding bumper to bumper there are people fighting and people making up and people having the absolute worst day of their life. there are tears at stoplights and horns with fists and i let go of the fact that my daughter will not make it to preschool on time and that we will be late for my son's doctor's appointment and we end up getting chocolate chip pancakes in the pouring rain and i listen to coldplay's second album and it reminds me of a time when i did not have little people to take care of and for some reason this calms me.
i thought about dead people a lot today and listened to a medium on the morning radio show talk about how she was feeling the energy from a brother and he told her the person was in a car. and although she was telling this to someone else, i pretended for a minute it was me. and i felt better. i hydroplaned a bit but didn't leave my lane. i made it home. the rain stopped. and i went to the grocery store like a normal person. and while i fondled an eggplant i said a little silent prayer for my friend that died. and i thought about all of my secrets, all of my honesty, all of my extenuating circumstances.
i thought about being the exception to the rule.