Another Life #33

Every morning I set off into the just-risen sun, trekking the twenty-five minutes from whatever comforts there are in my home to my workspace. About half the time I wake up and enjoy a cup or two of coffee before I go; the other half, I swoop through a coffee shop on the way, sometimes ordering two coffees to get me through the day.

I rent the basement of a three-story house by the lake. The three main floors are divided into office space for people doing whatever kind of work they do. I never see them. I just head to my subterranean lair through its private door, neatly avoiding any distracting contact with people (ten minutes of small talk can turn into an hour or two of internet surfing afterward…). Once I’ve disappeared, I start to pound and hack away.

Another Life #32

A few months ago, I started writing a song. A few lines came to me, melody and lyrics, and I wrote them down, hoping someday I could write a full song that I wouldn’t be embarrassed by a few years later.

That dream belongs in a different life, one where I actually learned to play an instrument instead of making a half-hearted attempt at guitar and piano before abandoning them (entirely by accident, but clearly a choice was made). I can still sometimes hear accompaniments in my head that I’ve come up with, but I have no way to bring them to the world where anyone but me can hear them, because I can’t play any instruments.

I kept up with singing, from an early age all the way through college, because it came easily to me, and someone else was paying.

Unless you’re the rare, ridiculous prodigy, learning any instrument takes work–at least, to get to a point where you can do anything good or interesting with it.

That song I began, I could just turn it into a poem, but it doesn’t feel right as a poem. And I don’t really write poetry anyway.

In one of many other universes, it actually became a whole song. Would I actually be proud of it, if this were that universe?

Another Life #31

I want to be a character in one of those dramatic change-of-life novels that always seem to occur at the beach. Because those characters are always artists who don’t seem to have day-to-day commitments, so they just get to lose themselves in the constant leisure and spend all their time working on their craft, creating some masterpiece or other. I bet if I lived in those circumstances, I’d have a novel done in no time. And it wouldn’t be one of those dramatic change-of-life novels that takes place at the beach, with a little temporary romance thrown in. It would be – how shall I say – larger than that.

Another Life #30

(30! That’s crazy! so many. Is it time to make a page for them? I think it might be. Maybe I’ll just put the ones I like best on the page… or the ones YOU like best, if you wanted to give me some input on your favorite Other Lifes. Well, that’s a project for later anyway.) 

I should have been born as a piece of music. I bet I would have been a really good song.

Another Life #29

“You and I are very alike. We make the same mistakes over and over again. I guess in different ways,  but there they are. We want much more than what we think we can have. We want to connect, but we don’t know how – we have theories about it, although we don’t know for sure, and we’re frustrated that the entire world doesn’t agree with us in that way, and many others. You and I, we hold things inside because we just don’t know where else to put them. We hoard moments of pleasure or contentment – little shreds of what looks like happiness – to use as stepping stones across vast stretches of hard times. We stare out of windows and try to take opportunities that aren’t really there. We are treading air, about to fall, and we can hardly breathe. Maybe you, maybe I, should have given up a long time ago.”



“But we’re still here, so that says something…”

Another Life #28

I wish I could just pluck explanations out of the air. I’d look in one directions and it would become clear, no more questions, no more doubts. Instantaneous instances of certainty. Sometimes I feel like I need it. And it would be the real explanation – the “truth” – although sometimes I think that truth isn’t real, but that’s a story for another time – and not just a possibility born out of fear or something else.

But you’d think, if it did happen that way, I’d have to be crazy to believe it.

Another Life #27

What if the version of you that exists in one universe has to be miserable so that you can be happy  in another reality? And what if you’re the one stuck in the unhappy existence? Would the balance be trans-universal, or contained within each universe itself (that is, which makes more sense)? Is there really a balance at all?

Another Life #26

One day I saw myself as an old woman. I was boarding the bus, and I did not seem to notice that I was there as well. So I watched me unseen. I thought I looked lonely, and I wanted to reach out, but how strange would that have been…

Another Life #25

I am thinking about a mythological bird.

Like the image from a children’s book, the “firebird” with the multicolored feathers. Does that really make sense? Or maybe the bird is bejeweled, twinkling under starlight and dazzling in the sun. It has an untold wisdom and emits no sound that is not musical and beautiful.

What is this bird doing? The stories never seem to give it a purpose. It merely exists, a wondrous creature with no reason for being.

Perhaps somewhere there is a garden, a forest, an unending stretch of air full of these mythical birds.

Perhaps there are none. Or just one – and it might live eternally, or over and over again, or… for just one brief moment.

Another Life #24

It’s strange. Very strange. So unexpected.

So long ago, and yet it starts anew every minute. I would move on, but I am caught. My body rises and falls with every breath, and my heart beats in unison with the words you say.

I am sure, as with all things, that this will end.

I would stop everything in this moment.