Thursday, April 19, 2012

You're Still In My Heart

Blog, I haven't forgotten about you. A night of sipping wine and listening to music by myself has rekindled my desire to contribute to you. Don't worry. There'll be more to tell you soon. For now, it's time for sleep. And this song that I love:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

First Love Thoughts

I saw my first love last night, Blog.

Why is it that the first love sticks with you longer than anyone else? Or maybe that's just me. I've had a soft spot in my heart for my first love since the moment I saw him. It was my first semester of college and I was at the first rehearsal of the first play I had been cast in since my elementary school days. I knew no one, but thinking back on it I realize I was surrounded by people I'd grow to know very well and who would change my life. That's how college goes, I guess.

He was on the stage in jeans and a Metallica t-shirt rehearsing the one scene he appeared in. I didn't know him, but immediately liked him. I continued liking him throughout the run of the show, and since we both had bit parts there was a lot of time spent in the green room playing cards, trying on accents, and experiencing a legitimate interest in one another for the first time.

He was my first everything and I think this is why I feel so strongly for him still. We experienced it all together from dating, to meeting families and friends, to the intimate moments and the fights. We shared every first that comes with being in not just a long-term relationship, but a relationship of any sort.  It's been 7 years since we broke up, but we never weren't friends afterward. Things weren't ugly at the end, they just wrapped themselves up because it was time. And through my first heartbreak, I told myself that I was always going to love that boy. My first relationship is probably the best first relationship anyone could ask for. Out of all the people I've dated since him, I still consider him the best boyfriend of them all. We were truly best friends when we were together and were able to have conversations that made us laugh, think, cry, and grow incredibly close. We spent freshman year frustrated by our lack of privacy, sophomore year sharing a twin bed in the dorms, and junior year figuring out how we were going to adjust to real life when all of this was over. We learned how it all works from beginning to end. And when it was over, it was over. We went our separate ways, but always have been able to reconvene periodically to have those conversations all over again.

So last night when I heard his familiar voice in my ear as I was pouring a glass of wine at a party made up of old college friends, I turned around and found myself in his arms once again. It's been a year and a half since I last saw him, but that didn't matter. We laughed, joked, reminisced, and caught up. And after everyone else had gone to bed, he and I stayed up to talk about the relationships we've had and God and life and people we know and people we don't know. I thought back to the young and naive girl who told herself she was always going to love this boy and couldn't help but appreciate her openness and honesty with such a statement. Because she was right.

As we bedded down for the night, once again sharing a twin bed (more platonically than we have in the past), I realized that I still love him. I always will. William, you're still the best boyfriend I've had. Thank you for that and all the firsts we shared together.

Like the first time we dressed up in 20s costumes and posed for a picture.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ode to My Niece

Blog, I don't know if I'm ever going to get a chance to have kids, but if I do, I can't imagine the unconditional love that goes along with it. I have this niece who I love more than any other baby in the whole wide world and I've only hung out with her a handful of times. I can't imagine what that would be like if it was my own kid who I'd have to hang out with every day.

Aunt Sam, are you getting emotional again? Great.
Maybe if I had my own kid, you'd turn into one of those mommy blogs, Blog. Remember when you kind of were that way when I first started writing in you? Granted it was all about Santiago, who I also loved unconditionally. Even though Santiago and my niece both weigh a little more than 20 pounds, have timed eating schedules, and take naps, my love for my niece outweighs that of what I felt for Santi. Probably because she's a person. She's also related to me.

Yes you are. Don't pretend you're not.
Oh niece. Remember when you were a weird looking infant? We weren't sure if you were ever going to get cute. I thought you were always going to resemble your drunk Aunt Sam with your unfocused eyes and gaping mouth.

At least you had someone kissing your head.
But you've turned into this little person who isn't afraid of a man dressed like the Easter Bunny in the mall. You dance at the drop of a hat and are a total hipster with your propensity to sit in a corner and listen to music while reading a book; not to mention all the screen print onesies you sport. You put yourself to sleep by rustling your fingers through your hair and then let your arms sleepily fall from your head only to jerk them back up again and hit your beloved Aunt Sam in the face. Thanks for that.

You're lucky I didn't leave you in there overnight.
I love you sweet little niece. I can't wait to see what kind of a tiny, (or massive since you are half your mother's height already) person you continue to become.

Hopefully you figure out that's not edible.

From Storms to Cats to Bad Poetry

April showers are rather torrential for May flowers to be coming along any time soon.

I've realized with living in the city that I have trouble distinguishing between the low roars of planes hovering over my neighborhood and that of the constant roll of thunder. The sound is similar between these two things and when I realize that I'm usually sticking my ear out for an aircraft, I grow disappointed in the fact that there won't be any thunderstorm spectacle for me to witness. Like every overly romantic woman who fills out an online dating profile, I love a good thunderstorm. I used to be petrified of them when I was a kid since the seven-year-old version of me equated thunder, rain, and any breeze strong enough to rustle a tree to a deadly tornado. I used to watch the horizon from the westward-facing picture window in our kitchen, waiting for some sort of ominous funnel cloud to touch down on the prairie and make its way to our yard to destroy everything I knew within the two acres we resided. It never happened. Though tornadoes are totally possible in North Dakota, I've never actually seen one in person. The closest I've come is witnessing a funnel cloud form in a blue-gray sky above my cousin's wedding reception in central Minnesota a few years ago.

Tonight I dismissed the thunder for a busy day at the airport, but then the rain started and I was happy. Thunderstorms remind me of home and they make me feel like I'm out on the prairie again, even though I'm within the confines of the city. It's dark now, so no matter where I am, I wouldn't be able to see the storm glowering down on us. Still there's always a part of me that wants to jump above the buildings and trees that surround me to get a glimpse of just how brilliant that lightening is; how dark those clouds are; how likely there is for a funnel to touch down. When I moved here, I never realized that the lack of a horizon would be so disorienting during a summer storm. North Dakota lets you see the weather before it hits you. It puts a storm into context and gives you a rough timeline of how long it's going to be before the lightening is overhead and the rain is taking over outside.

Whenever it rains like this I still give a quick rundown of everything I own that could possibly be outside, even though it's only a car that I have out in the elements year-round. I still give a thought to my long-dead cat, Kate, who I always would mentally check when I heard the thunder and rain take over outside. There were the times when my check would result in the realization that he was still outside, and a quick dart to the door would reveal his tiny and wet body sitting on the stoop, waiting to be let in. The joys of having an indoor/outdoor cat. I'd take care of him though and dry him off with a towel and cuddle him on the couch; happy that he was safe and sound.

Tonight the thunder is rolling and the rain is falling and I purposely opened my window to let the sound of falling water into my apartment. I thought of Kate, even though he's been dead for 15 years, and took comfort in the fact that there isn't a miserable animal outside who is my responsibility. While I think I would love to have a cat again, I can't. My apartment won't allow it. And I don't know if I'm willing to put out the money and time needed for even something as low-key as a cat at this point. Plus cats, I've learned, are temperamental. Kate was an exception to the hot/cold and unpredictable nature of most felines. Three things to know about him:

1. I named him Kate despite his maleness because I was three when I met him and was under the impression that all cats were female.
2. The name Kate was inspired by my favorite letter, K. I liked the sound. It is a female letter to me (more explanation on that here). And as I mentioned before, all cats to three-year-old Samantha were girls.
3. Kate had three legs. He was my three legged cat with half a tail. I was always told he was run over by a lawnmower. I have a firm belief that this disability lead to his ability to be as chill and laid back as possible.

I have to admit, Blog. The recent memory of my childhood pet led me to delve into my storage compartment downstairs in search of a picture of him. Alas, I couldn't find one. I did find, however, something that I had feared I left on Ryan's bookshelf in the haste I had moved out of his house: my pathetic yet inspiring journal of poems from high school. Every overly romantic girl who writes about her love of poetry on her online dating profile has one. I thought mine had been swallowed by Maple Grove, but it hasn't. It is here, safe with me. It has the complete Makeup Bag Trilogy along with a bunch of other songs I wrote when I was a teenager; intact yet forgotten by the years of dormancy my songwriting mind has been in. It's good to know I still have it. Thanks to the thunder, to the rain, and to the distant memories of my three-legged cat, I've happened upon a wealth of bad poetry, handwriting, and a couple brilliant songs.

There's a mosquito bite on my leg
It hurts a lot
But not as much as when I lost you
My makeup bag
My face is now so white
My eyes look as if they have no sight
But it's all for the better
It doesn't really matter
People can see the real me

Trust me, Blog. It sounds better with a guitar behind it.