A Keystone I Left Behind

The light never looked clearer, even when my glasses were off.  It reflected on cat dishes that line the staircase, the black stove and the match box cars from when my brother was three. They sit on a shelf with a picture I drew. I’m holding my mother’s hands. I’m holding her hands and we have dots for eyes. She’s kept it for twenty years and it hasn’t yellowed much around the edges.

The Backyard in Pennsylvania

The snow makes this world seem aloof, deaf, abandoned. It’s a ghost town where footprints of dogs, cats, and my parents circle around the backyard in scatterplot zigzags of snow boots and pawprints.  It’s a world I abandoned twice, once for college and once for a boy, and it hasn’t seemed to forgive me yet. But I fall asleep to rushing waters from the creekbed and I think of how many cigarette butts are still hidden under the river rock.

I moved back home to Pennsylvania, into my parents’ old farmhouse. The one that creaks its arthritic floorboards. The one that I lived in, the interim between Kentucky and my year in Italy. I moved back home to Pennsylvania, compelled by failure and the aborted dreams of a life based on already broken promises. To myself. To someone else. I moved back to Pennsylvania on Saturday, paid an extra $270 to move my flight three hours earlier. I couldn’t wait any longer. Not even a second. Not even the fifteen minutes that we taxied on the tarmac and I texted my dad, “Be waiting for me in Pittsburgh. There’s no turning back now.”

I took a dog with me, the small one I named Milo. I left two behind. I tried not to cry, but I did. But Milo is small, durable. He took a tranquilizer and slept the whole time. When he woke up in a new bed, a new house, he wagged his tail and kissed me. Milo: the dog I once described as a “smoke ring of huffs and puffs” whose permanency I questioned is now the anchor to a past life. Milo, in his small sweater, breathes heavy and deep sighs when I touch him. Being home makes me feel like a person, human. Being home means the snow is blinding but I’m keeping my eyes opened.


My dad picked me up, a Diet Coke in hand. He carried my luggage, two bags I packed with enough clothes to last me a lifetime. Both tied with bandanas: one navy, one mustard. I wore those bandanas when I would clean the house or work out. I don’t have that house anymore, my body aches from packing boxes. I’ve repurposed my life into snowflakes that melt and toast that burns from a temperamental toaster oven. I’m taking it slow. It’s only been four days.

I took January off, I tried to plant a heart full of succulents. Dehydrated and delicate. But I wasn’t able to succeed; instead, evergreens of self-doubt grew in its place. I had to leave the world behind. The west never symbolized opportunity for me.  Even Alcatraz had a coastline. But I rode in the passenger seat of my dad’s Nissan Pathfinder and I saw a world that didn’t forgive the guilty, and I never felt so innocent in my life.



And some updates!

  • I am now on snapchat! Find me @figandbleu for more selfies like the one below
  • I also have a Facebook page to really get into the new millenium
  • I will be working with many amazing brands this upcoming year and I am so excited to tell you all! Check back around Valentine's Day for a post I have with Bob's Red Mill
  • I miss and love you all!
My face!