Visual Blog of Jennafer Zalenski


When I Forgot

When I forgot Trigonometry, it wasn't because of a book, or lack of a book. I was breathing and breathing, and I meant to keep breathing. All I meant to do was keep breathing. My mind was so full at the time, like a bucket of water, that if I hadn't been concentrating my breath might have slipped right over the side, disappeared, never to return. We were in a real life or death scenario, me and Trig.

I tried to picture how I would miss Trigonometry, once it was gone; caressing a portrait of not-quite-calculus as I pined, sorting through memories of abstract, disconnected thoughts. And then I realized that it wasn't anything I'd been holding at all.

Energy like a laugh was inside, beams of the dawn snaking out of my gut and infiltrating my brain, illuminating corners where emotion had hid. Trigonometry was already a ghost, an elusive element that I'd once met face to face in the dark of night. Knowledge like wind that never settles.

Once you put your mind to it, there’s nothing you can’t get rid of. And once you start tossing things out, you find yourself wanting to get rid of everything. It’s as if you’d gambled away almost all of your money and decided, What the hell, I’ll bet what’s left. Too much trouble to cling to the rest.
-Haruki Murakami, Man-Eating Cats


Taking Stalk, Taking Root

Accompanies: This

When you asked me to go out with friends yesterday, I meant to say no. If indeed I had said what I meant, it would have sounded something like this: "No. I am busy. Busy with myself. Go away." It's an abrading truth unlawfully spoken between friends. And we've been friends for many years. But somehow, like a plant that's never moved to a larger pot, our relationship has failed to take deep root. And tonight, the rains have come. They washed you out from me - our meager connection growing along the topsoil. Laws don't apply to what doesn't truly exist.

Today I woke up to the total absence of care. I'm saved from tending to us. I'm sure the weeds will return, but for now, I'm clean.

When you called and asked me how I was, I said, "fine." I meant what I said. But, I heard it in your voice. That wasn't what you were asking. If you had said what you meant, it probably would have sounded something like: "I wish I had you back with me. I want to crawl into your warm nest of dirty jokes, that unfettered, irresponsible hole filled with anarchy and fire. It's cold out here." We've been acquainted for many years. I can tell what you say under your breath, the words that are dubbed over. I can hear bitter desperation in the echoes of your pleasantries.

I just won't feel the world for you, anymore. It's a simple fact that I've been rinsed, and you've been buried. I didn't intend it. But one of us chose to live.



Sometimes, the only thing left to be personally thankful for is air. But how monumentally important that is.
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