Scraped Knees

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

“I felt she was bringing me closer to God.”

I think I heard Ryan Burns correctly, though years after, I still watch footage of the Arias trial, hoping to understand more about the murkiest depths of human dysfunction. I know none of these people, so placing any conclusions on the table leaves me stumbling for solid words. So I write, my tasks scrawled on neon Post-it notes, and I look to the door at the slightest “Where’ve you been?” that I hope won’t explode like old baked potatoes in a silently twirling microwave. On the couch, Mr. Burns didn’t seem to expect she’d explode.

People baffle and frustrate me in ways my meowing roommates don’t. I’m beginning to scare myself a little, taking a pumice stone to the bark on my feet, watching each callus flake and fall. I forget. I need these. So I hobble around, bending down to check that my toes are still straight, that the balls of my feet will thicken in weeks. The sunlight smirking through the blinds reminds me I’ve got work to do. Some jobs are pure dictation. Others are requests to “do what you do.” Improvise, begin, complete, and nod. But don’t squeak back in frustration, and don’t use your scrambled brain as the best you could find in your medicine cabinet after running out of Excedrin.

Trees outside are scantily clad, but the few leaves flatter like an office-worthy blouse. The sky might as well be white, birds on the wire returning, only to fly towards smudged windows, turning right at the very last minute. I’ve got several cardboard boxes. Perhaps I should cut the flaps, run like I’m dreaming all the way down my favorite hallway.

This week, I’ve been happy. Sometimes confused, but happy as I rub some lotion on my knees, for once not scraped.

Ah, those scraped knees. We find them in thousands of pages. Finally, after much of last year, I’ve got my own set of pages. Tomorrow, on Amazon, Scraped Knees (Ugly Sapling Press) will walk onto the scene of atypical experience, sensory dissection, and interpersonal miscommunication. Let’s give it a warm welcome. A slather of aloe vera and bandages that soothe.

Again, thank you all.


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