- Me: ...and then, I'm always afraid that when I do pull the cord, the bus driver will pull over immediately and make get off, all while yelling at me, "You wanted off? You get off right here!" And I'll be stranded in the middle of nowhere. (and then Luke proceeds to give me step-by-step instructions that remain increasingly illusive to my panicking mind. So he breaks it down for me in this gem:)
- Luke: ok. at the leave time, the doors are going to close, and the bus will start moving. DO NOT PANIC. this is normal. the bus will leave the trigon, travel down coke street, and turn left on the george bush. it will take a cruise down george bush and pass the intersection with panda express. then the road curves off the the right. it will come to a stop sign. it will stop. it will pass thru the stop sign. then its going to go crazy and take a left turn. omg here we go. its time. you can panic a little bit, but not much. it wil come to its first stop. it has a leave time so it might sit there for a sec. after pple exit it will again close the doors and move. OMG WE"RE GETTING CLOSER. it will travel a short distance to the second stop. it will make the stop, but its not a leave time so it will take off immediately. OMG ITS TIME. PULL THE CORD, PULL THE CORD. your heart will be racing now. thats normal. the bus wil travel another short distance, but longer than the last short distance. it will start to pull in the stop. OMG THIS IS IT. it will stop and open the doors. FREEDOM FREEDOM. exit the doors. if you go out the front, tell your driver thanks and act like it was nbd. you have now arrived
- AND this is why we're best friends. It almost works except for the part when we realize that we've been looking at two different maps.
I want to write until my fingers break and my wrists erode with arthritis. And when they cut off my hands up to my forearms because they’ve been broken down by my writing, I want to write with my toes.
I want to write until I’m breathless, read until I’m blind, and dream until my mind decays with old age.
I want to tell stories, wild, marvelous stories, with heroes and adventure and loyalty and courage and love and heartbreak and beautiful things like horses and mountains and forests so deep that the light through the canopy of leaves is the single most amazing shade of green you’ve never seen.
I want my stories to read like New Orleans, so spicy and full of flavor it makes your eyes water and your nose run and your ears smoke and your cheeks flush and your eyebrows raise and your teeth chatter and your tongue tingle and your taste buds begging for more. All flash and color but mournful and sweet, like chocolate and kerosene, like violins and electric guitars.
I have hundred of stories inside me, sitting in a small cavity on the right side of my torso, between my lungs and my heart, positioned just so that every time I take a breath and my heart pumps more blood, I remember the purpose that God gave me: to tell stories.
I want to take these stories that I have sitting in a small cavity on the right side of my torso between my lungs and my heart and I want to unravel them. Every story is completely written but I just don’t know it yet. My task is to unravel the tangled mess and tell the story.
I want to write pages and pages of crinkled white notebook paper, stained with lines and loops and dots and markings in black ink to form words that will last much longer than my life.
But mostly I just want to have the courage to take these words that I’ve spent my whole life learning and loving and string them into the most powerful sentences, saying and meaning the things that no one else in the world has the courage or the strength to say or mean: I love you. We will fight. You are beautiful. Believe. Broken or beaten, it makes no difference. Stay. Have courage.
“Everyone comes to New Orleans for something. Me? I was looking for hope. After that bastard Junior dumped me, I needed to believe that life could go on. I lopped off all my hair, started calling myself Tamara and moved to New Orleans hoping that I really could move on.”
“I came to write,” I said, thought that wasn’t the truth; it merely sounded more sane than saying that I had come back to New Orleans to reconnect with my dead mother. “How do you guarantee that you find what you’re looking for?”
Tammy shrugged. She still looked like a Tammy to me and it seemed like her strict standards were merely in place to keep her from dating anyone, let alone just the jerks. “You pray, you work hard at being happy,” she suggested. “I guess it also depends on what you’re looking for. And sometimes you find what you want without even knowing you were looking for it.”
I’m not a big proponent of consistency. It is my biggest failure. So, when something in my life happens to become a frequent occurrence, I grab it up quick. Productivity is another thing that I have issues with: it’s not something I’m terribly successful out. So, when you combine my infrequent bursts of consistency and productivity you get: ONCE AGAIN GREEN!
It goes back in my memory as far as I can remember that I’ve been writing in spirals. I love paper. I like the touch of it, and the look of it, and like any girl, I’m suckered in for the pretty things. Thus, my weakness as younger person: buying too many notebooks and spirals and journals. I would begin writing and it would be THE story, THE one that I was going to finish that would take me all THE way. And then, five pages in, I would get bored and find another spiral. I’d get some pretty pens, write my name all fancy across the front, and set up writing again.
It wasn’t until my junior year that I actually finished a notebook. It was green. I called it The Green Spiral. It was just a plain, 70-page spiral from H-E-B or somewhere. My next notebook went just as smoothly, quickly becoming full of pages of notes and ideas and writing and journaling and doodles and pictures and things I wanted to hold onto—like a place mat from Dragon Palace with Chinese zodiac symbols on it—and this sequel was brilliantly christened, The Other Green Spiral.
But these were spirals. I wasn’t completely unfamiliar with composition books. I was actually a huge fan of them. I had two of them, duck-taped and bedecked with magazine cutouts and gel pen doodles: The Book of Sweden and The Book of Japan. My best friend from high school, Laura Klein and I, would write notes to one another. We would make lists why were best friends and things we wanted to accomplish before we died and inside jokes. They were known as the BOS and the BOJ, respectively.
And since then, I haven’t not met similar level of productivity in my writing notebooks. I tried a blue spiral identical to the original, The Green Spiral, but gave up after twenty pages. Then there was a short-lived journal with bird cages on the cover that lasted a semester last year.
But now, productivity has returned again. This time, in the form of the a GREEN COMPOSITION book, dubbed Once Again Green, by Madelyne Adams.