matt pond PA

November 23, 2017

Holidazed and Confused.

Through the ceiling, I can hear it all. And I don’t know if I totally understand the garbled inflections between untreated pine floorboards. The underpinnings of a struggling argument and the buttresses of a weak rebuttal. But I know a thing or two about a thing or two. Everyone is willing to be unreal for the sake of their own personal interest.

My mother once threw an entire apple pie at me on Thanksgiving. I ducked, she missed. But I fully deserved a classic pie in the face.

I was an Olympic eye-roller, a sarcastic ball of fire, a professional sigh-er doing victory laps around the living room. I was a classic dick.

Banished, I’d crouch in the basement dimness sipping a secret fifth of Southern Comfort, hidden behind the bookshelf her father had built — that man was a stoic, white-bearded genius, a gentle gin rummy giant. I loved and looked up to my grandpa, as both a book lover and brawler. He didn’t take any shit.

(And the teenage me? Long bangs hanging over the eyes, head shaved on the left side, fingerless gloves, scarred shoulders. Damn, I was a dick.)

Through the floor, my sisters laughing with my mom.

Listening, back to the way we were when we were kids, wrestling over the last mashed potatoes, pulling hair, ripping buttons, loving the shit out of one another.

I feel like I’m still listening to the world through the floor. (Yet I know now: my eyes roll less, my hair is pure scarecrow style, my thoughts are still clouded — but they’re clouded with the screwy idea that love can conquer a little more than an anthill. Also, Southern Comfort is an internal apocalypse.)

What I do know. I know that we have good tattooed deep inside our muscles. I know that we’re supposed to try and understand one another. That even the most twisted tentpoles have a place in this world.

If you’re listening to me, happy thanksgiving. Uncapitalized and common as it is. I am thankful for you, for this ceiling, for these clean sheets, firm pillows and for this stupid universe inside my brainbone, the same as yours. The same as mine.