I took this “Who in fiction are you?” test and ironically, it came back as Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And the description is uncannily accurate:
What you lack in attention to detail, you make up for in your ability to process the world around you, slotting it into your highly evolved system of values. With a need for constant stimulation, you can quickly become passionate about new ideas, people and sometimes their flaws – which can land you in trouble.
Adept at social situations, your independent streak means you are also perfectly happy in your own company and indeed you value time alone to process your experiences. On a bad day, like Alice, you can become controlling and over-bearing but that’s only because you know best, isn’t it?”
I’m having a sort of lazy writer’s block kind of day, so instead of putting out something new, I’m going to type out something I found in an old journal today. It’s from about two years ago, when I first started grad school, and shortly before my grandmother died.
Matters of life and death.
Today I lived and today I thought about death.
I thought about the brevity of life and how everything these days is killing us.
I thought about how when you hear about someone dying, someone far away who you rarely see, you continue on living and feel guilty for doing it so easily.
I thought about poetry and scars. About open wounds. About a ten-page essay I haven’t really started. About my mom and her strength and about those who want to be there for her but who will never know her like I know her because so much of me is her.
I thought about rain, and about snow, and about how much I love fall. When I die I hope I die the last day of November so that I can live through the fall. It seems appropriate to die when the earth is also dying, to grow cold with the ground.
Today I thought about life, and about death, and about love. Just like every other day, but perhaps a little more.
She was wearing the dress. The not quite black lace one, with the wide, swooping neckline and lace cap-sleeves that barely cupped the angles of her shoulders. The hem of the inner lining ended an inch or so above the hem of the lace, both several inches above her knees. When she wore the dress, he was suddenly aware of unusual aspects about her appearance. He noticed her jutting collarbone, the muscular curves of her thighs, the arch of her spine, and the way her ribs flexed inward and out as she breathed and laughed. Her skin was creamier in the dress, her lips more swollen, her face more flushed. He could smell the expensive conditioner in her hair and could feel her hardened indifference toward him with new pain.
Wrapped in her towel, Camille ascended the stairs, her toes digging into the rust colored carpeting as she took extra care to maintain her balance. There was no rail at the side of the narrow steps, and the carpet that had been stapled down in the late seventies was beginning to rise and fray along the edges. It didn’t matter how many times Camille went up and down the stairs each day; she could not forget the feel of the hard ridges on her body or the ease with which she had once lost her footing and slid backward.
She counted as she rose higher into the house. Seven, eight, nine, ten, until she reached the thirteenth and final landing step. There she took a long breath and turned to examine the feat she had accomplished. The wall on the east side of the staircase could have held a sturdy railing, one Camille would be able to grip as she walked. That’s what her mother had said after the accident. Why don’t you put a damn railing in, Cami? Instead Camille would brush her fingers along the texture of the wall as she walked and imagine the ornate iron rail from her childhood home, a twisting, cold rod of metal that she knew she’d never be able to replicate.
The second story of the ranch house was filled with doors to dusty, absent bedrooms and one small alcove beneath the roofline without a door where Camille’s childhood mattress lay without a frame or box spring. A bar had been installed along the tallest part of the room, along which Camille hung the five dresses she owned. She pushed them aside, the hangers clinking together and the dress at the end, a taffeta wedding gown with layers of tule beneath the skirts, crinkling like tissue paper against the far wall.
Camille slipped on leggings, a pair of wool socks, and an oversized, faded sweatshirt from a university she had never attended. As a habit, she turned towards the wall where a mirror had once hung and adjusted the fall of her hemlines. From the kitchen downstairs she could hear the tea kettle beginning to whistle and so she made her way slowly back down, her fingers grazing across the paint, her heels pressing into the sharp corners of each step. Even before she hit the landing, she could hear the familiar scratching that always started up this time of night, the sound of steady, sharp digging on the other side of the floorboards. And just as she did every night, Camille began to hum to drown out the noise.