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a dramatic life reading

“I want to talk about “mess”. Mess as an environment and a way of life. I don’t like mess over order and have always been taught to be neat, but I guess this demonstrates the reality and intricacies of life that are difficult to admit. My parents used to nag, “your environment reflects yourself mental state!”
“Tidy your room,” they said. Living away from home for the first time now, the haphazard chaos and disorder is perhaps telling and poetic. My inner and outer states are no longer governed by rules or peoples’ standards (my room is mine alone!!! All my shit can be pink, all my stuff can be everywhere!). It was an outburst waiting to happen.

Perhaps it might offend you, the utter state of my cursed reality that sought immediate redress. It was meant to be my happy place, but the mess I was so afflicted with gnawed at my head and devoured my heart. I lived in the mess, with that mess, as the mess. The clutter became my community. There was no method in the madness.

My dad used to warn me when I first arrived of how Freshers go crazy because they finally experience freedom away from home. Lives on the cusp of adulthood, perhaps? For twenty years I lived with a maid who cleaned up after all my mess and suddenly I found myself without. I discovered that arguments arise from people’s need to be immaculate. Some people live spick and span- they make their beds every morning; they leave no clothes on the floor. Their discipline in chamber appearances trickled into every aspect of their decent lifestyles. Except it was clear from the very start- they all had neat rooms.

I guess my parents were right after all."
 

it doesn't always work out

As I got closer to the fence, I held my shirt over my nose to block the smell. One stallion waded through the muck and whinnied angrily at me. He bared his teeth, which were pointed like a bear's.
I tried to talk to him in my mind. I can do that with most horses.
Hi, I told him. I'm going to clean your stables. Won't that be great?
Yes!
The horse said. Come inside! Eat you! Tasty half-blood!
But I'm Poseidon's son,
I protested. He created horses.
Usually this gets me VIP treatment in the equestrian world, not this time.
Yes! The horse agreed enthusiastically. Poseidon can come in, too! We will eat you both! Seafood!
Seafood!
The other horses chimed in as they waded through the field.


-Rick Riordan, The Battle of the Labyrinth

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Some notions



I Remember You
Food as a memory marker.

If we are what we eat, then I am memory. Every experience I’ve ever had is anchored in my brain by the food I was eating at the time, or even the food I wanted to eat. Most people have memory triggers by certain smells, feelings, and food. I have those too, but the entry to my memory hall is always through my mouth – through food. My earliest memory is, classically, with the taste of milk from a bottle and my mother’s presence. I was given a special formula made with sweetened condensed milk because – at that time – a fat baby was a healthy baby. I remember the rich velvety almost overpowering sweetness.

Later on in early childhood, memory is a tomato picked directly from the garden and still warm from the sun. Fried chicken on Sundays after church and jars of ice tea always reminded of faith and forgiveness. To this day when I eat fried chicken, I always taste a day in May and am a girl again in the Sunday School choir.

My fondest memory is of being with my best friend, in her car decades ago. We are young girls – probably 16 – and it is early evening. We are talking and giggling and eating the most incredible Roman yellow Italian bread with Colby cheese. My sister would bring this bread home from New York City every time she visited. Big shopping bags full of Italian bread from a bakery near her apartment. My sister brought her own food because she didn’t think we had any good food in Virginia. To this day, when I ask my best friend what is her favorite meal ever – she replies “Roman yellow Italian bread and Colby cheese.”

I broke up with a boyfriend while eating a dinner of shrimp and grits. The shrimp was so fresh and the grits were cheesy with big hunks of pancetta and the whole thing fried in bacon drippings. Our entire relationship revolved around food and that is why I think it lasted so long. He smelled of strawberries and rosewater and his kisses tasted kind of fresh and briny at the same time like the Carolina coast.

Pesto sauce reminds me of my late husband. For some reason, during that marriage we ate a lot of pine nuts: pesto, pine nuts and hummus, toasted pine nuts on everything. I can conjure up the taste of pine nuts right now, and his memory comes flooding back and his face comes in focus just like a snap shot.

Food tastes are the last to go. I had a friend who died of a brain tumor. Her last tastes requirements were bitter and sweet. Near the end she lives off of lemons and chocolate pudding. At the very last, when she could not speak, move, see, and barely swallow I gave her chocolate pudding, and she would moan and groan like it was heaven on earth. Another friend, who died of colon cancer, ate nothing but mozzarella cheese – and not the kind you get in just any store. She wanted the real deal. I ran all over Washington, DC to find a salty baseball of mozzarella that would take my friend back to her happier healthier days in Lake Como, Italy.

My last taste will be of my mother’s Texas sheet cake. All my memories will be tied up in that final bite. The strong sweetness of youth, the fullness of womanhood in my mouth, and the velvet finish on the tongue. And since my mother always scorched her cakes a little, some burnt offerings of a little hell fire. I will remember it all.

Published on October 9, 2012 by Jean A. Anspaugh

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in case any of you are wondering how i look like now

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Cool story bro

Once upon a time, there was a girl called Lisa. She died. Lisa the ghost dyed her hair blond. One day, 9pm in school, Lisa was around the MT lockers area. The lockers were empty so she stuffed herself inside. At that moment, Joni happened to walk past. Joni died and Joni the ghost dyed her hair blue. She squeezed into the locker next to Lisa. Joni's hair colour ran. Joni went to the toilet to put on some make-up. They wandered the moors for the rest of eternity. And they lived happily ever after.

(edit)written by the many brilliant minds of 415, a sentence each. i started the story of course

journal is not impersonal

journal is not impersonal
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