"You have to find the right distance between people. Too close, and they overwhelm you. Too far, and they abandon you."
"I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown, eat interesting food, dig some interesting people, have an adventure, be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalization looks like. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about, I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking twelve miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you at the other end of that flight. A lot of people — Americans and Europeans — come back and go, “Ohhhh.” And the lightbulb goes on."
"We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all."
unconditional love poem | sierra demulder
you will be out with friends
when the news of her existence
will be accidentally spilled all over
your bar stool. respond calmly
as if it was only a change in weather,
a punch line you saw coming.
after your fourth shot of cheap liquor,
leave the image of him kissing another woman
in the toilet.
in the morning, her name will be
in every headline: car crash, robbery, flood.
when he calls you, ignore the hundreds of ropes
untangling themselves in your stomach.
you are the best friend again. he invites
you over for dinner and you say yes
too easily. remind yourself this isn’t special,
it’s only dinner, everyone has to eat.
when he greets you at the door, do not think
for one second you are the reason
he wore cologne tonight.
in his kitchen, he will hand-feed you
a piece of red pepper. his laugh
will be low and warm and it will make you
feel like candlelight. do not think this is special.
do not count on your fingers the number
of freckles you could kiss too easily.
try to think of pilot lights and olive oil,
not everything you have ever loved about him,
or it will suddenly feel boiling and possible
and so close. you will find her bobby pins
laying innocently on his bathroom sink.
her bobby pins. they look like the wiry legs
of spiders, splinters of her undressing
in his bed. Do not say anything.
think of stealing them, wearing them
home in your hair. when he hugs you goodbye,
let him kiss you on the forehead.
settle for target practice.
at home, you will picture her across town
pressing her fingers into his back
like wet cement. you will wonder
if she looks like you, if you are two bedrooms
in the same house. did he fall for her features
like rearranged furniture? when he kisses her,
does she taste like wet paint?
you will want to call him.
you will go as far as holding the phone
in your hand, imagine telling him
unimaginable things like “you are always
ticking inside of me and i dream of you
more often than i don’t.
my body is a dead language
and you pronounce
each word perfectly.”
do not call him.
fall asleep to the hum of the VCR.
she must make him happy.
she must be his favorite place in minneapolis.
you are a souvenir shop, where he goes
to remember how much people miss him
when he is gone.”