the vanity project (i)


You know when you write your name over and over until it doesn’t seem like it’s yours. Or like it’s so much yours you feel ill with it, with the sprawling scrawly endlessly sicked-up excess of it. Well, that’s what I was doing tonight, only with my KATY woodblocks. I started arranging them in daylight and finished when it was completely dark outside.

On the phone tonight Dad said touch wood and I knew right away what I would be doing when I got off the phone. I also knew I would be killing significant amounts of time tonight, just waiting, so it made perfect sense to kill time with my wooden blocks. And I was touching wood while I did, which seemed like the most productive/least agitated thing I could do while also biding time.

My aunt gave me my name in blocks when I was a baby. My grandmother kept a lower case d on the drinks table next to her chair in the den since forever. She touched it about a million times a sitting. She’d rest her hand on the top of the stem of the d and squeeze, praying for the immediate and the non-specific, all at once. It was a habit. She was sent away to the other side with the d beside her. My grandfather, in the coffin right beside her, was sent away with a packet of cigarettes in his breast pocket. Dad and his siblings wanted to tuck his lighter in there too but it was a fire hazard. The church man assured them he’d get a light on the way through.


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