Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | March 20, 2006


Sunday afternoon my brother and I were driving home from my nieces birthday party. His wife and children were in the minivan while he and I were having a heart to heart talk. The twenty minute car ride was more than that, it was one of those talks that take years to build a level of comfort, trust, meaning, understanding, and make your skin crawl because he gets you like not many others do. He sees straight through the words I use and understands the deeper meaning,

Youve really been protecting yourself lately. I caught up on your site and its extremely enigmatic lately. I havent been reading regularly because Ive been busy, but I caught up. You sound sad and confused.
Yeah, I know. Its the way I block others out

Like saying you have a fear of commitment.

Shut it. I cant even commit to drapery. Then Id have to design a whole room around the curtains.

There you go again, stop protecting yourself and just let down the walls.

You make it sound so easy.

It is.

We pass the conversation into work and me explaining my new job. We climb out of the car while I declare, Yes its a word. I didnt make that one up.

On my way back into the city I began thinking, ‘when does letting down walls become easy, how do you know when the timing is right?’ I can try to force them down and just BE but when I do, it comes out as one jumbled mess of miscommunication. I can try funny, or maudlin, or succinct and to the point, uninflected, sad, angry, and inspirational. You tell me how to do it and Ill try. Its all there, all these things at once, so its up to you Brother. You choose, you pick. Give me something. Quid pro quo. I promise to try, you know I will. I will be not sad, but hopeful. I will be the conduit and the beating heart. I am the common multiplier for 200 thousand. I am the perfect amalgam. I was born of both stability and chaos. I have seen everything and nothing. Ive lived a hundred years and never lived a day. I am emboldened by youth, unfettered and hopeful, though inextricably tied to the past and future Im trying to do both. Im not extraordinary, just me and the reality of the life I know. I am bursting with the hopes of a generation; their hopes soar through me and the written word. Their hopes soar in me as I fight against a hardening heart and say things like, Im not bringing my past to this, to us, because the past has nothing to do with my today.

Can you understand this? I am a pitfall and monstrous, I know. I made this. It has nothing to do with my parents, its the creation and product of my environment. An inspiration and cautionary tale. Can you see that I represent our generation? I am a mortal omnivore born of the suburban vacuum + idleness + television + tabloids + Catholicism + alcoholism + fashion. I am TODAY in Neutrogena hair serum trying to strap down the fly aways with every product I can get my hands on. I am rootless ripped from all foundations, an orphan raising an orphan wanting to take it with items Ive designed over the years. I have nothing but my friends and my family. I need community, I need feedback, I need love, connection, and I need GIVE AND TAKE. I bleed when people need me and melt the moment I walk through the door as my nieces and nephews yell my name and wrap their tiny arms around me.

I need to know i’m wanted, and that’s real.

I will prove to you through my stories and the angst you hear in the words you read that I will try to stand before you feeble and strong. Something bad will happen because Ive seen this many times and youve heard the stories. We only have so much time on Earth, that sounds ridiculous but what if I was swallowed in a sinkhole on the way to the gym?

Im just sayin it could happen.


  1. It’s posts like this that make me wonder why you ever started reading my silly little blog. You write like this and I write about dog poop, shoes and boys who make my heart skip. Well, I don’t care why you read, I’m just happy you do and that you’re in my life. *Hugs*

  2. ” I need to know i’m wanted, and that’s real.”

    Boy howdy, that’s real! At some level, that’s what all of us want, I think. It’s what all of us need. But, you never know, not for sure. We have to live in that state of not knowing, but acting as if we know, as if we believe, until one day, it’s just always been like that.
    Relationships are like walking a tightrope, blindfolded without a net. The only problem is, most of us are bricklayers or pipefitters, not a high-wire act.
    (Damn, I wish I thought of things like this for my own posts and not comments on other people’s sites! 😉 )

  3. “its extremely enigmatic lately.

    Yeah, I know. Its the way I block others out

    who are you trying to block out? and why? your freinds? they know you. your family? they know you better. us? who are we?

  4. Kendra, who else will answer my call at 6:30 on a Monday morning? I adore you.

    N.G. -Let’s work on breaking down the bricks and dangling our legs over the side – someday the building has to stop.

    Ghost – giving to much here makes me vulnerable out there to those that know me and read this.

  5. The truth will never make you vulnerable, it’s you that makes you vulnerable. Vulnerable is only bad if you think it’s bad. Opening up is only as hard as you make it. You are a product not of a generation but of a series of choices that you have made. You are free to change all of those at any time. It is your path, and no one else’s.

  6. How about I just build in a couple of doors and windows. Maybe, if I just build the tower around someone so they’re in there with me! Yeah, maybe not…
    Okay, Sass, I’ll work on it. Um, does that mean I have to post less fluff on my blog now? 😉

  7. beautiful piece. it’s all so darwinian. we feel like in order to survive we need to be steel. and i am afraid, for me and for you, that it never does get easier. is it possible that it’s innate?

  8. I don’t know if it’s my wanting to connect with people, or coincidence, or what…
    I really relate to your posts. I feel like my personality is filled with contradictions.
    One big difference though is that instead of having a fear of commitment, I have a fear of solitude.
    You should email me about Vegas! 🙂

  9. What a great post. For me it is all about taking risks and moving outside of your comfort zone. Of course their are times that the risks will not pay off and there are times when you will get hurt. But what is life without the risks? What is the point?

    Oh and you say in your blog and you are not extraordinary… i would have to disagree with you on that one. You may be lost a bit, but you are not ordinary.


  10. When you are ready, you’ll find a door in those walls and you’ll walk through it. On the other side you’ll see that your past is actually planting seeds/decisions in the garden of flowers you see.

  11. (this post sung to the tune of Fortress Around Your Heart.)

  12. I for one am hoping a sinkhole doesn’t swallow you. I would like you to stick around a little longer. Maybe watch you open up a little more…I know that sounds weird, but I’m just saying that based on the writing of yours that I read. Perhaps thru your own words, you will be able to get things out of yourself that are hidden inside. Maybe then the wall will start to come down, one brick at a time. You can do it.

    And…um, watch your step as you make your way to the gym tonight. 😉

  13. i hope it happens for you too honey. until, all of my hopes for myself are invested in that same hope for you.

  14. I won’t be the first person to say it here, but the need to be wanted, to feel valued and important to even one person who has nothing to do with birth family and instead has everything to do with choice is probably the most driving and controlling force we have…

    …pity in the desire to have this need filled so many people chose poorly and only find flickers and sparks or what they need and not the raging inferno of a life lived to the full.

  15. attention whore

  16. Oh Dear Charlie,

    I was heading out the door when your comment hit my Treo. Please come back when you have something real to say or a real insult. Attention whore? HELL YES, i have a blog.


  17. The only people who are swallowed by sinkholes at the gym are the ones that wait to get the parking spot close to the door.

  18. I spent so much time building up the walls, I can no longer tell which side of the wall I’m on.

    Blow the bastards up.

  19. “when does letting down walls become easy, how do you know when the timing is right?” Great question. I’ve been such a private person my while life and for some strange reason, something just hit me over the head and I felt the need to just open up my life to everyone and not care a lick about it. It comes easy for me now. I don’t really know why. The time was right for me to just empty. I wish you could but I was not aware of what you said up there, “giving to much here makes me vulnerable out there to those that know me and read this.” PS, now that you have a Treo, can you pass along a new email address por favor?

  20. Aw, Sass. I feel you. Sometimes I swear we’re the same person. And I understand about not putting too much of yourself out there. I don’t like to do that either — showing vulnerability is not my forte, so I write about the inane instead.

  21. I only needed a dictionary twice while reading that post! You’re learnin’ me all kinds of big words.

  22. Instead of building a wall, build a bridge. Then put some ghastly looking dude who says “answer these questions three and the other side you see!”

    Hey, cut me some slack! I’m not good with analogies.


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