“Don’t you go writing more of those bad books,” H said. He was watering our garden. I peeked my head out the door because I thought the waterer was Ming. But it was H.
“Did I write a bad book?” I asked.
“Yeah, I saw that book you wrote. Over in Freedom House, on the table. It has the f word in it,” he said.
“Oh, did I drop the f bomb?” I asked. “Sorry about that.”
“Well, it’s too sad. You talk about being fat, and you’re too sad,” said H.
“It’s ok–I’m good being fat. I have no problem with that,” I said.
“No, well–that’s beautiful. It’s just you’re so sad about it,” he said.
“Was I crying?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said.
“Well, sometimes we gotta cry,” I asserted.
“You don’t need to be so sad about it,” H said.
“It’s ok,” I said. “If someone’s never sad, they’re just lying.”
“We’re all sad sometimes, right?” I asked. H gets powerfully moody at times.
“Yeah, that’s true,” H conceded.
He was watering the brassiccas on the bench. He put the water flowing lightly through the hose, like a fan of gentleness.
What bad books was he talking about? Oh yeah, my last poetry zine has that long poem called The Miracle about rejection and being fat.
Yes, I was very sad then. When Ming gave a copy of hat genius 24 to our friend N, he must have forgotten it at Freedom House. That’s a really vulnerable zine.
Laura-Marie and my bad books. It’s an honor to be seen by community and chastised so caringly. And it’s a joy to grow this garden with the help of others.
“Community is like family, but more confusing,” I told our friend M. “If that’s possible.”
We were standing in the driveway–he was on his way to mass. I was telling him he’d mis-buttoned his shirt. He thanked me and fixed it.
“It’s a bachelor mistake,” I said. “They would just think you were charming.”