when they offered me a touring show
the flowers from opening night
they sat on our windowsill
I was left with thorns on stems.
we began drinking away our time
in between cotton sheets
beneath the skylight in our grey flat.
when I stepped onto the bus,
I moved into 205 hotel rooms.
every show has its closing performance.
The Capricorn collects trinkets, so his small room is filled with sentimentalities: a wooden carving by his ex girlfriend’s Hopi Indian father, a framed photo of him with Anna, the German exchange student he took to our senior prom, a calendar of busty blonde women on motorcycles, a shelf of rubik's cubes, a table covered in decks of cards.
I am a Scorpio who is transient in many ways, having sold all my belongings in order to move across or out of the country five times now, and I’m just 25 years old.
Crimson is a special, lucky color for the scorpio. I am rarely without red lipstick, which is a source of conflict when he wants to kiss.
New Orleans, for the Scorpio, is a magical place. I remember standing in the middle of Bourbon Street during Jazz Fest 2012, soaking in all the whimsical noise, trying so hard to just, for a minute be still.
The Capricorn says to me, I am so glad I can trust you. We’ve known each other for so long. I say, Yes, I am so glad, and wonder what he would do if he knew my secrets, or worse, what he would say if he knew I know his.
The pictograph for me is the stinger of the Scorpion. It happens to be the same symbol that, in ancient times, represented the phoenix. I am always lighting my life on fire, wanting to just feel something: a move across the country, a swift change in profession, an application to the peace corp, a graduate degree, maybe. Reinvention isn’t a waste of time-- it’s living as many lives as you possibly can in this short amount of time.
Even in my Catholic upbringing, I was drawn to the occult. I wanted to get my hands on tarot cards and ouija boards and I wanted someone to take me to a psychic because I wanted my palm to be read. In my adult life, I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of money on these things, even though I’ll say to my more science minded friends It’s just for fun.
I was hospitalized twice this past year, once for exhaustion during the work day and once for dehydration during my packing and moving and selling phase of my move from California to New York. The first time I was hospitalized, in March, the Capricorn took me to Sedona, Arizona and he said Don’t do anything, just be and that made me fall in love with stillness.
When I was little, I knew I had the capacity for evil so I grew up knowing that kindness and goodness were choices that I had to consistently make. In love, I’ve been driven by things that seem illogical--just a feeling you know, of something feeling so right and the Taurus is sitting there across the chess board with a smirk and you know that the moment you give permission, he’ll say Checkmate and pull you into him, and this will make you so, so intoxicated. I have to go, you say.
My mother harped on us about flexibility when we were kids, which is ironic because she’s the most stubborn person I know. I know that what she said mattered, though, because I don’t know that there’s anything that could happen in any situation that would make me stop trying. I always keep going.
The Capricorn is a magician--really, he is. It’s what he does full time in San Diego. He’s always at some party, some gala, some event, making people smile. I accompany him sometimes but always feel so out of place. Parties in general confuse me. I don’t know where to go or who to talk to or what I’m doing there. I’d much rather an intimate dinner with the Capricorn or a few close friends.
I broke up with him when we were freshmen in high school because that day, I decided I didn’t like him much. I changed my mind later on in high school, but it was too late. When we re-encountered one another, he reminded me, Remember when you broke up with me just because?
The Taurus always responded with, “I’m a sailor,” every time I asked him what I meant to him. He never once gave me a straight response, leaving me to wonder even now what that was all about.
The Capricorn’s mother made my corsage to freshman year homecoming. She also made the Capricorn’s boutineer, as my immigrant parents didn’t know that this was an expected tradition for a high school dance. I kept my corsage and still have it now, in my childhood bedroom. I visit the Capricorn’s mother once in awhile, just to say hello.
In Olathe, Colorado, there is a trailer park where old men sit outside and play chess. The Capricorn left me here one day, as he knew that I liked chess and he had to work. The men were cordial and invited me to play, most all of them grossly underestimating my understanding of the intellectual sport. I could tell by the way they were smiling at me. I smiled back, of course. Here’s something I don’t think I’ve ever admitted out loud or even on paper: I like to win.
There was a Scorpio in my life once who used to hold my hand and then leave in the middle of the night to meet another sign. He didn’t know that I woke up during those hours and that I spent them wide awake, carrying the burden of loneliness. I’d pretend to be asleep when he snuck back into our bedroom. When the Capricorn came, it took a very long time for me to trust him. Actually, I still think I’m learning.
He was surprised when I said Pull my hair.
Sometimes I think it’s selfish or self centered, but it also makes me work really hard at everything I do: a big part of me thinks I’m destined to do something really big, something really good. I just don’t know what it is yet.
After I was released from the hospital that March, the Capricorn took me to Sedona, Arizona. I slept the entire way there and he didn’t complain once, even though it is a seven hour drive from our home in California. He is drawn to nature like a magnet, in a way I have never myself experienced. I am happy watching him climb the red rocks, an adventure that I myself would never feel compelled to do.
The Capricorn is fairly quiet about his feelings, sometimes so quiet that I wonder if he thinks about me at all.
He is the most steadfast person I know. He’s never let on that he’s wavering about a decision he has made or that he’s nervous about us making it as a couple. Sometimes, he even laughs when I express my concern that he is in Chula Vista, California and I am in Brooklyn, New York. What are we doing? I’ll ask. Everything right. He will say.
He is considering taking over his grandfather’s farm in Olathe, Colorado. This means that from June through October, every year, he would live in a trailer and ice corn from the local farms. I’ve been to the trailer twice now, and stayed for a week each time. I’ve seen how slow time moves there and how the days run into one another like molasses. This does not bother him the way it bothers me. He makes in those months the money that would take me a year to make, and so though he’d much rather spend life in San Diego, California, the farm is a strong suitor of his affections.
The symbol of the Capricorn is the goat, which is fitting for the rock climber. He’s always trying to find a way up, by way of rock or wall or tree. The climb has never interested me, though. It’s the view from the top that takes my breath away, so he carries me on his back.
The Capricorn makes to-do lists all the time. I can’t stand them because I feel like they limit the things that I can do and frame those things in boxes made of time and this has always bothered me. Sometimes, I will invade his lists, copy his handwriting and write love letters between his bullet points.
The Capricorn has never been afraid of distance the way I’m afraid of distance. When I arrived in Olathe to visit him, he said, I knew this would be worth the wait. We went to a wedding and he did magic and I took photos. Together, we’ve always made for quite the entertainment package. We both knew that the next morning, I would get on a plane at 5:25am, and so though the evening was lovely, decorated with twinkle lights and mason jars and pink azaleas, it was colored with the melancholy of separation.
The Capricorn is a performer too. Magic is his weapon of choice. Sometimes, I feel cowardly when we busk together, as I sit behind my guitar or ukelele with my case open on the ground. His art is different, because he needs permission to keep going. I just keep going.
Sometimes, I can’t tell when the Capricorn is telling a joke or when he is being mean. He doesn’t laugh the way people usually laugh. His laugh is softer, quieter, almost fake sounding sometimes. His voice doesn’t distinguish between his sarcasm and his truths.
We’ve been in two arguments since we decided to give us a go. One was over the fact that I don’t answer my phone as consistently as I probably should. The second was over the fact that I’d like to live internationally next year. I want to live in the Philippines and reacquaint my bones with my culture. Or in Spain to sharpen my Spanish. Or in Paris because I’m in love with Montmartre. This bothers him because he’d rather we put our money together and buy a home with a yard.