“Why would girls wear filmy sundresses and cowboy boots on the train?”

Whenever Mike rides Marta to (and from) work, he asks me questions about the fashion trends he sees.

“I rode the train back home last night and saw somethin’ strange.”

“Was it the lady who holds the standing rail between her buttcheeks instead of her hands?”

“No! Nothin’ that exciting.” Mike laughed. “I was just wonderin’ — why would girls wear filmy sundresses and cowboy boots on the train?”

“What age group were the girls?”

“High schoolers. Their moms were wearin’ the same type of outfits! What event has that dress code?”

“Were they white girls?”

“Yeah, most of ’em were blondes.”

“There was a Taylor Swift concert at the Philips Arena last night, so that’s probably where they went.”

“That’d make sense! They got off at the Civic Center stop.” Mike frowned, “My spouse would be appalled to see their impractical use of boots.”

“True, your wife wears boots because actually works on farms with horses.” I added, “She’d also think Taylor Swift was pop, not country.”

“I heard that song about some guy bein’ trouble walkin’ in.”

“What’d you think?”

“She’s definitely not country. Plus that song’s got that womp-womp-womp dubstep echo shit y’all like.”

“Valid points.”

“Whatever happened to Dolly? Or Reba? Even she was more country than that!”

“Dolly still performs, though the excessive Botox seems to limit her range. Reba is an actress now.”

“I’ve lost all hope for the future of country music if it’s come to this.”

“Maybe Taylor Swift will go back to her roots after this album.”

“The girl’s from suburban Pennsylvania — her roots are less country than yours!”

“I lived in Birmingham for eight years.”

“Exactly my point.”

“You haven’t heard my awesome rendition of ‘Friends in Low Places.'”

“Karaoke night for the next company outing! Gotta let everyone in on your secret penchant for Garth Brooks.”

“I just like that one song.”

“That’s what they all say.”

“Okay, there’s also the one with my name in it that’s decent –”

“You have his whole anthology, don’tcha?”

“…”

“I knew it!”

“You can’t tell anyone!”

“Nah, you’re losin’ your street cred today, ma’am!”

When your little brother knocks

When your little brother knocks on your bedroom door,
(sobs wracking his gangly frame)
open it & sit beside each other on the floor.

“What’s wrong, bro?”
Everything.
“That’s not very specific.”
“I think you…”
“I would what?
“…would be better off without me.”

When your little brother’s eyes are bloodshot,
(a never-ending stream of tears flowing)
hand him the tissue box & wring your hands.

“That’s not true. Why would you think that?”
“I’m a burden. I’m always messing up.”
“You’re doing great in band! Your grades are decent, too.”
“If I was dead, no one would have to worry –”
“I’d have to go to a cemetery to see you.”
“But — “

When your little brother teeters on a ledge,
(more often than not these days)
carefully pull him back to safety.

“Dad thinks I’m worthless. Mom will never be proud of me, either.”
“You can’t leave Brie & me.”
“It’s all so pointless.”
Promise me.
“I know, Sam. I promise. I won’t.”
“Good.”

When your little brother’s confidence flourishes,
(years later, but it couldn’t have happened soon enough)
let go of the breath you didn’t know you were holding.

Throwback Thursday: Ames & me dressed as Republicans.

One of the best parties that Young Dems hosted was a mixer with the College Republicans. Members from both organizations dressed as each other. Ames and I went for the preppy Republican ladies look. (Not pictured: our awesome argyle sweaters.) Most of the College Republicans went for the tree-hugging hippie look.

Ames & me. Athens, Georgia. 02.16.10.

Ames & me. Athens, Georgia. 02.16.10.

I will never be Jack Kerouac

I will never be Jack Kerouac.
The only people for me aren’t the mad ones —
the ones whose worst nightmare is to be called boring
& shrug off selfishness with their carpe diem philosophy.
The ones who are blasé about anything commonplace,
then burn & engulf bystanders in their flames.
The only people for me are the genuine ones —
the ones who don’t want to be revered as nonconformists
& know that living life fully doesn’t mean disregarding others.
The ones who find beauty in every day,
& don’t create conflict to have a story to tell.
I will never be Jack Kerouac
because I would rather have real, caring friends
than be surrounded by people who
careen toward impossibly perfect moments
& remain oblivious to the destruction left in their wake.