Laneia Jones

this is just how my face looks

just when i think about how you’re almost gone

How there’s three of me. How I sat on the back porch with her and listened to Paul Simon and Arlo Guthrie and how I kept sitting on the back porch. With you.

How sometimes I didn’t give a shit when I should’ve bowed at an altar.

How I didn’t know you when I could’ve.

How we have a language how we have a language how we have a language.

How will we keep it?

How when you were disappointed you weren’t quiet about it. How you remembered my rationalization when I didn’t. How everything costs more now.

How I hold back until you’re old enough. How other people’s idea of “old enough” doesn’t matter to me, never did.

How old enough and right and normal all got laughed out the window that night, when I made the pact with you — that you’d get the attention I never wanted. That you’d — oh god I will miss you like light and thunder and skies and everything because you are.

How time is the most fucked, and no one’s as funny as you and no one tries like you and.

And you’ll call. You wouldn’t not call. You’re better than me. Since the bassinet — since your week-old face in the bassinet. Your face when I knew you were better than me.

You’ll call. You’ll be back. You’ll never be all the way gone.

Ok ok ok.

changes and a woman with two dogs

I want to write a story about a woman in our neighborhood who has these dogs and this routine, and it involves me but it doesn’t. I get to be a bystander and a key player somehow, all at once. I want to write it all out but after a couple of paragraphs I froze, thinking about how to even tell a story. I mean you know how some people are just so good at timing and they weave the whole thing before you realize you’re under it/it’s over you? So I was thinking about how my story won’t be like that — that it’ll be [whatever]. Will writing it feel worth the time if it’s not even very good?

++

I wore an outfit last Friday night that no one likes but me. And I liked it — the fact that no one else did, I mean. It feels like fighting back when I can wear something no one else likes, because I didn’t come here to be liked, you know?

++

I hate The Nightmare Before Christmas. I need a place to be honest about this, and this is that place. ABC Family keeps playing it and I keep wishing on a pile of wishes that someone would please change the channel.

++

I used to be the kind of person who had to say everything — had to be the one who said all the unsaid things out loud. I needed confirmation that I was right — that what I’d seen or thought I’d seen was what we all could see, even if no one wanted to talk about it. So I just want you to know that I’m not that kind of person anymore. I’m the other side of that person. Now if it’s obvious, I don’t ever want to talk about it. I’m bored with it if the words come out. I’m bored with this paragraph even.

++

Also in the spirit of full disclosure, I don’t give a shit about your pretzel buns.

e’s pumpkin poem

If I were a pumpkin…
I would taste delicious
I would be full of seeds
I would like to not be eaten
I’d want to be a jack-o-lantern

If I were a pumpkin…
I would stay inside on a table
I would wish to be a human
I would love to scare people
I would listen to music
I would not like to be cut open

what today looks like

playlists: leaving home, sun-streaming

 

life-changing book arrived last week; life is changed. read it all in one small afternoon, clearly. take it with me everywhere, even the grocery store. even when i know i won’t get to read it when i get there or on the way. a good hand drawn map is something really special. if someone draws you a map, it’s important. either it’s important or you’re important, maybe both.

the warbyp frames have come and gone. none of them really fit my giant head? not even the darling green arthurs. i knew my head was larger than average, but i really underestimated this time. however! a new box of giant frames for my giant face will be here tomorrow, and i believe with my whole heart that at least one of them will be my soulframes.

when i was in high school i had a friend named rhonda and she’d get her hair cut in nashville, which seemed excessive to me (even though i got my hair cut in a neighboring town, because who could trust the hometown stylists? no one, apparently), especially considering that her hairstyle was a fairly simple bob with bangs. i tried to imagine how a hometown stylist could fuck up a bob, if given the chance. it seemed at least unlikely, if not nearly impossible. but she made the 2 hr drive every few weeks and even though i usually couldn’t tell the difference, she was always super pleased with her cut. would you like to know the last time i felt super pleased with a haircut? i believe it was some time in 2008 — a short pixie situation. i’d said, “make me look like mia farrow in rosemary’s baby,” which is what everyone says because mia farrow was fucking gorgeous in rosemary’s baby. mia farrow was gorgeous all the time, even now. the stylist tried to convince me that she knew what i was talking about, but i made her look at two other pictures i’d printed from the internet anyway (along with a screenshot of mia farrow in rosemary’s baby). she’d said she understood but to really drive the point home, i’d said, “make it look like it’s grown out from chemotherapy.” followed quickly by, “my grandmother had breast cancer and chemo and i’ll probably get it to, so this is not me making fun of people with cancer. i just — i mean let’s face it, they look very waifish and fragile and the way the hair grows back is damn near perfect. i’d shave my head but i don’t have the balls. when i get cancer i’ll look back on this conversation and feel very smug.”

the problem is that it’s hard to look waifish when your head is enormous. but the cut was crazy cute and i loved it and then i was tired of it, because every day was the same thing. all the time. forever. you don’t realize the level of entertainment and excitement that potential for bad hair days can bring. it’s such a background experience.

so the hair i have now is just the worst. it’s worse than when it was long and like straw. it’s worse than when i had a perm in 2nd grade. i can’t put it in a bun. i can’t BRAID IT. i can’t stand to look at it. but do i have a solution? a plan for future hair? no. maybe.

i’ll come back to this.

for lists and things, and you

small wishlists: pre-autumn post-summer stagnation period, pt 1

even when it does become autumn for everyone else, it’ll still feel like the dirty, sweaty neck of summer in this hellish place (bless it!), so my stagnation period is slightly longer than most people’s. i’m assuming there will be a stagnation wishlist part 2 because i often continue to wish for things long after i’ve wished for other things.

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1. paper straws: i haven’t been introduced to these counterintuitive little fuckeries. what are you, paper straw? how do you exist when water is passing through you and you are paper? why are you superior to plastic straws? why does everyone love you? (also: hearts)

2. lassie come home bookmarks: i read/”read” several books at a time because i have a fear of death and a short attention span, so a set of bookmarks is a really smart idea. also see the one that says “anatomy and physiology for nurses”? that one i’d give to megan.

3. white men’s shirt: the pocket flaps on this shirt is where it is at, my friend.

4. wide leg linen pants: this is all i want to wear forever. this and that white shirt + some bracelets and/or a necklace situation that i made myself + plain cute shoes. like this is the style of my soul and yet i don’t actually ever wear it. i think i have a fear of success, which we’ll talk about later. i bought some grey linen pants from old navy last november and that was pointless because the waistband is weird and i should’ve seen that coming. the drawstring on these pants = success.

5. warby parker frames in arthur: can’t even half-think of the name arthur without thinking of carly and robin’s dog arthur, whom i’ve never even met but who i feel would get me. anyway, i have a crush on green and i really hope these frames suit my face because they’re my favorite from the 5-pack of try-on-at-home frames that are currently on their way to my house! on their way to my house!!

6. world map wrapping paper: i want to frame it and stare at it while i drink my coffee. feel it would make a great addition to my dream wall full of framed gig posters and weird prints found on the internet, which is still in its fetal stage.

7. green with ivy bag: again with the green. ok let me try to convey just how long i’ve been looking for a bag i can really truly love and trust… a year of sundays? at least? i haven’t always been super picky about bags, but now i’m impossible to please and full of demands. feel like this bag meets those demands. take note that the middle portion is divided into two separate sections (which means there’ll be an additional middle part for me to loose my phone/chapstick/pen in) and is basically enormous, as everyday bags go. i want to cuddle this bag. unlike this bag, which i want to rent a cabin with and stay up all night drinking and looking at stars.

alice alice ii

**really important collage update** i had to get rid of the bee-looking butterfly, so i (gently) ripped it off and replaced it with some mushrooms and found another butterfly to put toward the top of the smoke. “smoke.” i like this better. the back is maybe too simple, but i have to send this card tomorrow and get it away from myself, so.

1-New Alice

1-Alice collage back

alice alice nashville

Alice collage fronts

front: flap down and flap up

1-Alice collage

middle

we live in a tiny two-bedroom condo — that’s at least one bedroom shy of the desired number of bedrooms, and one office shy of what i’d consider really cool, if you’re keeping score (but i’m not complaining) — with the least amount of square footage of any place I’ve ever lived in, ever. even that first apartment on the wrong side of the river in jacksonville had more space, and so did the house we rented for a few months when we first moved to california (the one with black grout on the countertops that i eventually got clean after days of scrubbing — the same one that, after i’d returned home from nursing my dying grandmother to her death, burying her and then mourning her in tennessee, wasn’t even unpacked yet. wait, the surround sound speakers were unpacked, and some of his clothes. he’d “saved” the rest for me.) but really, i’m not complaining. it’s a challenge that i’m sure will make me a better, more interesting person or something. also the rent here is about a billion dollars less than what we were paying and megan’s family owns the condo and there’s grass and all kinds of trees just right outside.

the living room doubles as a dining room, and the dining room table doubles as a desk and sometimes so does the sofa. when i’ve had enough of looking at this computer or thinking about what other people want from me, i clear off the diningdesk table, pick up whatever’s lying around the room and put it where it belongs, vacuum, and make sure no one will need me for a few hours. then i drag out every box of paper products i’ve stacked under that table, plus the art supply tackle box thing that i commandeered from slade, find a playlist and start flipping through old magazines.

so that’s what i did sunday.

it’s a collage card for my mother. the front has a flap that covers some strips of flowers, so when you lift it it’s meant to represent the rabbit hole, which i was going to take a picture of but that seems unnecessary. it’s missing something — probably a more direct mad hatter reference — but i’m all about it. even though the caterpillar is actually a butterfly, who actually looks like a bee. no matter!

2a66afd5baee1beb98d84b7634db6f05 i bought this book yesterday and it will probably change my life entirely.

should probably start making some sample moon catchers for the a-camp workshop, which i’m so excited for that i cannot even. “well that’s f*cking pretty” (the workshop) will be one of my greatest achievements i think. i’ll make an ethereal playlist with lots of purity ring and beach house for them to create to. what if i also hang batiks and strings of lights from the trees? what then, really.

if grimes or purity ring ever covered a taylor swift song, please let me know asap.

adventure saturday is the new date night

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last saturday night

the first time we played monopoly, eli was wiping the floor with us and megan was going broke in a really sad, pathetic way. after i’d landed on free parking (house rule: taxes go into a free parking pot; you land on free parking you get the money), which megan desperately needed, and then she landed on eli’s property (with a few houses) and couldn’t pay, so slade gave her some of his money and eli only charged her a portion of the rent, because my children are very generous and therefore very terrible at this game. megan ended up winning by a landslide, of course, and slade vowed never to loan anyone money ever again.

one night during the summer before the kids were back from virginia, i realized — like almost fully wrapped my head around the fact — that slade will be gone in a few years. i won’t get to live with him anymore. and he’ll come back for visits and other things, but it will never be like this again. like home and everyday. so after crying for a few hours, megan and i agreed that for this school year, every saturday would be adventure saturday. the #1 rule of adventure saturday is that we have to do something as a family. #2 rule is that it has to be new, or at least as new as reasonably possible. it has to be an adventure! movies count, so do new restaurants and museums. one weekend we went to the art museum for the art of video games exhibition. another weekend we went to gotham city comics in mesa and some of the oldsters quizzed slade on the references from his t-shirt (he knew all but citizen kane, dallas and soylent green, which was extremely validating for me in a way i didn’t anticipate). when the weather cools off we’ll be doing more things outdoors — lakes and drives and hiking. i’m trying to convince them that bearizona is a good idea, but the resistance is really surprising.

#3 rule of adventure saturday is that we want to get really good at board games — like good enough that we don’t have to refresh ourselves on the rules of clue or how much money is given to each player at the beginning of monopoly. eli won the first game of life, megan keeps winning monopoly, and slade and i haven’t won anything yet. we’re handling it well.

games we already own:

life — we played this once with megan’s niece and she was so excited to get to the part when she’d have babies, but that never happened so we let her buy a set of fraternal twins off the black market.

monopoly — we’ve only played this twice, but both times eli’s checked out before it’s over. “i’m moving to a different town.”

clue — was OBSESSED with clue when i was younger, hoping to pass that on to someone.

yahtzee — once tried to use this as teaching tool for math. HA.

jenga — the box suggests you take it with you to the beach, but we all agree that’s probably a terrible idea.

in a pickle — the worst game ever

balderdash — we’ve never played this!

battleship — feel like this is a classic sibling game and should only be played by siblings.

mad gab — mastered this game ~10 years ago and haven’t enjoyed it since. will possibly try again.

apples to apples — you should try to play this with eli sometime. really.

trouble — trouble and sorry were always the games i despised playing as a child. how did this get in my house.

guess who — aka the game we always have to play on christmas eve/day/night. i don’t know why.

new game wish list:

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ticket to ride — this thing is like $50 at target, so naturally i want it so i can understand why they think they can charge so much for a board game.

we didn’t playtest this at all — honestly not sure this is even real.

checkers — yep.

apples to apples junior — see above.

scattergories — believe this will make everyone even smarter.

miles bornes — all the reviews say “i played this with my family growing up!” and that is true, yes. reminds me of my dad.

wits end junior — “learn, play, have fun!” sold.

stratego / settlers of catan / risk — these seem to all be about middle-aged white men, but they’re classics, right? canon board games or something?

any board or card games you want to suggest would be super appreciated!

earlier (j)

draft from july 23, 2013, 10:46pm, untitled:

i miss you

i don’t even know you and i miss you.

i never worried about you for some reason, because you seemed resilient and [bouncy], like the kind of thing that would’ve been whatever it was going to be with or without me.

and i wasn’t worried about the you that would exist after he’d gone. i guess i felt like he’d imparted some sort of magical understanding or teaching, that would carry you through life. like he’d seen to that. the kind of thing you tell yourself/believe when everyone’s looking.

the only thing i keep learning is that no one knows what they’re doing, really.

[03] iv; or “a mark, a mission, a draft, a scar”

we’re sitting in collapsible chairs beside a fire we didn’t build. everyone else is either asleep or just not around. you’re passed out in the tent because of course you are. i’m angry at you for not being able drink the way i can — i feel superior to you in that way; in a lot of ways. i check my phone for texts but B hasn’t sent any. i must not have service here. she asks if i want to have an affair with him — if i’m actually going to do it or if i’m just flirting and that’s all. i tell her i don’t know, and that’s not a lie. i don’t know. i don’t really know anything now, about myself, because this entire exchange is so unlike me that i think i must never have known me. i’m scared of myself,  too scared to even tell anyone that i’m scared. i feel nervous; the feeling of not doing something, as opposed to anticipating it or dreading it. an uncomfortable silence with words.

-=-

the four of us share a tent. they have a cot and an inflatable mattress; we have sleeping bags. it’s a sizable tent. it’s theirs. i feel weird being in the same space with them like this. T makes me uncomfortable in a general way anyway, so i assume this feeling is that, but it doesn’t matter because i’ve had so much to drink that i fall asleep without deciding to.

-=-

we’re the only ones still in the tent when i wake up — the only ones still asleep period. this is embarrassing. sleeping late makes me feel like a child, lazy. M is grinning from a picnic table when i crawl out the flap. T is talking in a voice loud enough to reach the main road. some time between salmon-colored flowers and this moment, she’s moved on. yesterday is behind her, along with its curt replies and rolled eyes and the gazpacho. i hold onto my resentment tighter now, before i’ve even stood all the way up, like letting go would invalidate the work i’d put into crafting it the day before/for the past 4 years. i hope you don’t wake up until i’ve found the coffee.

her hair is like another person. today it’s two braids. i ask if she’s showered. “[T’s parents] won’t let us use their shower, no.” i think this is ridiculous and selfish and unnecessary, and suddenly i understand so much more about him.

-=-

i’m annoyed with her. it’s more fun when we’re co-conspirators, when no one can get into the club because it’s a closed-door policy. we have a closed-door policy with everyone all the time. it’s one of my favorite things about us. but then she climbs down and sits beside him again and i cross my arms over my chest and get back to practicing my dramatic breathing and short answers.

-=-

MORE
[03] pt 1
[03] pt 2
[03] pt 3

the other side

i am the most boring useless thing

i’ve been told that i’m probably just about to bleed

which is true

except for the just part.

i am out of touch and know nothing worth writing down

i am tired and soft and my mouth stays horizontal

this is as temporary as anything else, hopefully

as temporary as the times i’m interesting and relevant

incidentally.

 

 

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