Jenna Fletcher – Whichever I Am

WHICHEVER I AM: THE TURTLE, THE HUMAN OR THE EIGHTEEN WHEELER, OR YOU CLEANED YOUR APARTMENT AT 6AM, AND I FELL ASLEEP AFTER BINGE EATING AN ENTIRE BAG OF SOUR CANDY, BUT SURE, WE’RE ALL COPING JUST FINE

Tonight I ride the bus to Laughing Horse simply to hug Tyler because I think—no, I know—I am very sad. I see a billboard on Burnside and Seventh that says “risk everything” but I already have, so I just keep walking and do not even take a photo of it.

Tonight, I’m pretty sure, is a night you would have called and we would have laughed a whole lot but I ruined it because I am always loving people. Y’know, trying to love them through the static, and you: most of all.

Tonight I bought myself a Coke and drank it at the bus stop in the waning heat of this 100 degree day and got so sad thinking about Frank O’hara, you know, blurred faces in the portraits, you know, “the fact that you move so beautifully,” you know, the fact that I suddenly notice it is already dark and I largely blame you and timezones and phone-lines. All of those underground wires have got to have something to do with it.

Frank says, “I look at you” yes, yes, and “I would rather look at you” yes, yes, “then all the portraits in the world.” Yes.
Tonight I ask K if I can hop a train to Olympia sometime soon, then book a ticket two hours North for a couple weekends from now because suddenly this city feels suffocating, and it is nice feeling close love even if it is old love, and I am shooting off text message questions to former yellow pins like “did I love in a way that was scary? I just always want to know.”

Tonight instead of calling you I make a list of things I wanna tell you but stubbornly do not. The list is about turtles and junk food and the Mountain Goats playing “California Song” live, you know, John Darnielle pacing in the crowd singing “you’ve really got a hold on me, you’ve really got a hold on me” and see? I am trying. I can be good at this, not loving you.

Jenna Marie Fletcher is a writer, talker, and former teen based out of Portland, OR. She’s learning how to take up space. Learning to navigate the middle distance. She’ll see you out there. http://www.whatsmineisyrs.com

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