list 1: conversations with a recalcitrant self

(for MEKM, who asked herself, "Self...?")

self: You about ready to shut down that site? Maybe before the bill hits the credit card again?
me: I don't wanna.
self: You're not doing anything with it. 
me: I keep thinking I'll know when it's time to let it go. And it doesn't feel like time yet.
self: It's become Sad Old Internet Trash sitting there with all its comments past the expiration date.
me: But the longer I wait in between posting, the harder it is to get over myself and write something there.
self: I hate it when people just write something to put something there, anyway.
me: God, I know. 
self: Well, how about a list? New year and all that. Maybe this time you'll write more than four, you loser.
me: I wouldn't even know what kind of list to make.
self: And you're  a person who really came up with blog prompts for others? Talk about the blind leading the blind.

self: You could put up some photos.
me: I could! That's a thing. 
me: Do you hear that?
self: Oh, yeah, I hear it.
me: What is that?
self: That's the noise you make in your head when you get closer to putting something up that will require you to press Publish.
me: It's terrible! What the hell am I doing that for?
self: It's called resistance. Or avoidance. Or procrastination. Or something.
me: This makes no sense. I actually LIKE writing. I swear I do.
self: Hang on, wait just a sec here.
me: What are you doing?
self: I just set a timer. In about three seconds you're going to decide you'd rather shovel snow than go through your memory card and pick a few pictures.
me: That's ridiculous. Though I really could use the fresh air. Be right back.

self: That was fast. You absolutely did not shovel a thing.
me: Do you know how cold it is out there? There's another wind chill warning.
self: Winnipeg is not for wimps.
me: Even Myron says this is not a normal winter. It's cracking off my skin in sheets.
self: GROSS.
me: I'm sorry!
self: Wait a second. I hear someone out there shoveling. Your neighbors are managing it.
me: I have a cold. *koff*
self: Well, if you aren't shoveling you might as well write a post. Come on! First post of the year! Happy things!
me: I'm going to shower. 

interlude: earworm. 
gravel and glass on the bottom of my feet
I bruised my heels on the swollen street
we were girls in cars, boys on the town
bumpin' like a pinball off a careless crowd
you said good friends were hard to come by
I laughed and bought you a beer; it was too corny to cry
well sentiment given or sentiment lost
you shook it off with a smirk and a toss
and you were only joking

self: do you remember how it felt, that song plus the river on the left side of you and the slums on the right, old speakers but a new tape deck and your work smock on the passenger seat and cigarettes in the console, at that traffic light on 885 that they said you didn't have to stop at after midnight because girls in cars got stopped and attacked by gangs and shot at, that and youth and gas prices at pocket-change levels and wide-eyed and laughing and the way your voice can sit in the same register as Amy Ray's when you want it to, and you stopped at the light with your windows down and you sang like you meant everything and you were not afraid of a damn thing

me: I liked that.
self: Good. 
me: This isn't really a list, is it? Just because I've numbered its bits and pieces?
self: That is absolutely what a list is. Stop overthinking.
me: I have done nothing but overthink for a year and a half now.
self: And where did it get you?
me: It got me to this place. Wet hair. Orange sunset. Myron coming home with frost in his scruff. Leftover roast chicken shredded into soup drizzled with the leftover wine-butter sauce. A city colder than fucking Mars. I am so afraid of breaking it.
self: What makes you think it's so fragile?
me: It always has been. Nights like that, nights at that traffic light, when I wasn't afraid? I should have been. I shouldn't have trusted.
self: But you did, and you do, and you will. It's a feature, not a bug. 
me: I don't know what to say to all of that.
self: Then don't say anything. Click Publish.

52 lists is a thing I love at hula seventy