On Impermanence and Guarantees
1. This nail polish is supposed to last fourteen days without chipping or fading. I am on the tenth day.
2. The fire I built at 10pm last night is just starting to go out. I have added so many pieces of wood to it.
3. Life insurance plans expire arbitrarily. My father’s will be void if he lives past 76. My sister’s was void because she stopped paying.
4. The rechargeable batteries I bought in 2003 only hold charge for thirty minutes now.
5. I have Apple Care. The people I talk to when I’m completely freaked about my laptop are efficient and nice. Sometimes, they are even patient with me.
6. All that wood breaks down to dusthills, which I will scoop using a dustpan and throw into the trash. On Thursday morning, the trashpeople will take it away.
7. As advertised.
8. Until death is blank.
9. The nonspontaneous regeneration of hair.
10. The universe, trilling on out.
11. By then, I will—thankfully—already be dead.
12. Most of the food in my refrigerator is spoiled because I was gone for a month.
13. I don’t know how electricity works, and I buy energy efficient lightbulbs. I can change them myself too, but thanks for the offer.
14. She died at 44. In real time.
15. My body gets bigger and smaller. I guess that’s the same thing as stability.
16. My parents have three Chihuahuas. Insurance. Even if two die, there will be one left.
18. I should be over this by now.
19. People break promises, easy.
20. I read a lot of dead white guys, but I’m thinking that’s not really the same thing as immortality.
21. How many iPods have you owned?
22. I went to Vietnam with my mom a few years back. She got her lips and eyebrows permanently made up, but she still applies lipstick every day.
23. I imagine someone going through all my deleted emails and being disgusted with what I trash and what I save, unread.
24. Something as sturdy as teeth can rot.
26. My mattress came with a thirty year warrantee. Who remembers anything like that for thirty years?
27. She borrowed it more than a decade ago. I would rather she keep it.
28. Twenty-one and mourning his mother, I watch as my nephew watches Powerpuff Girls and laughs in that way only the innocent laugh. Don’t worry: I’m not fooled. I’m just a sentimentalist. I can admit that.
29. Years from now, I will go up for tenure.
30. I wrote a poem with a boy about how he wishes his cat Mr. Whiskers would never get old. The boy is actually a man, but he is all boyish magic.
31. When blogs go away.
32. The sea, crawling on in.
33. Texas winter love.
34. You know, MySpace.
35. Just in case, I took communion for her. You know, insurance for if I’m wrong.
36. Every day, whiteness eats at me, strand by strand.
37. I found my journals from 1996. If I kept a journal today, I would still be whining about the same yawns.
38. My brother runs marathons. He is one year younger than my sister, twelve years older than me. Neither my sister nor I will ever run a marathon.
39. My self-indulgence is guaranteed.
40. In five months, one cohort of students will graduate. They will go on and do great or good or acceptable or mediocre or poor or failing things. Some of them will be writers. Some of them won’t. What if I am teaching them the wrong things? What if I haven’t prepared them enough? What if I don’t know anything at all? What if I’m exposed as an imposter?
In eight months, a new cohort of students will come in. They will be fresh and eager, and in that first moment of introduction, so will I.
41. Elucidate me, baby.
43. I’m still so angry. I’m sorry.
44. Ellipsis as either insertion or depletion.