Thursday, October 7, 2010

On The Driver's Side

I told my Mom the other day while in the middle of a crying jag, that all hospitals should supply newborns with guides on how to live a life. Sure, some would say the Bible, Quran or Bhagavad Gītā would be the guide. But no. I'm talking about a guide on how to pick a mechanic, a lover, balance your checkbook and survive the event of running over a cat with your car ( this is new for I ran over a black and white cat this very night, and I don't have the immediate talents to deal with it. I needed help as I picked up the still warm body from the road with my bare hands. I sobbed and sobbed as kind neighbors stopped, put on their hazards so he wouldn't be run over repeatedly until my parents showed up to help me remove him from the scene. ) Everyday guidance is the kind I am talking about. Useful. Applicable.

Her reply was that they couldn't. There would be no way to give a guide to everyone that would work, because everyone would need it to be different. No universal guide. She said it so simply, and it was more profound than she knew. Or knows.

In Hitchhiker speak, the answer is 42. The question? No one knows.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Grandma used to freeze her trash. I thought it was crazy too, until I considered what trash she was freezing. She was only freezing the trash that would cause a stink until it could be taken by the trash man. Leftover carcasses, scraps of casseroles, bones or any food that would rot and leave any odor would be wrapped in foil and put into the freezer until trash day. This could be seen as over orderly, OCD, desperately neat, any title you feel it deserves to make sense of it. But now, at this age, in this time, I get it. I would freeze my trash. Then. But now, we don't have the need, or the inclination. We have disposals (if you are lucky) we have weekly or biweekly trash removal. Recycling, composting, plastic wrap, plastic storage that could survive in space is how we handle leftover food now.

She had a trash compactor for many many years, longer than I was aware of any sort of disposal. I thought it was fun, even a bit exciting to put the tiniest bit of rubbish in the compacter and listen to it crush into near oblivion. The thought of where it was going, who took it there and how long it stayed, was never an issue. Never brought up. The big black plastic bag was just taken out, out into the metal bin and then taken away. Away.

I have been thinking about the freezing. The freezing of what would be offensive, the leftovers, the stink. We have these reminders, scars of what has happened in our lives that we sometimes have no idea what to do with, where to put them. Can we just freeze them, until they are so cold, hard and brittle that we either don't feel them anymore or they are covered up in the back of who we are that we forget? The problem is the thaw and the ultimate stink that will choke up your whole life again. I don't know if there is any away that is away enough to throw these memories and who will hold them? Who is in charge of burning the heap?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two little girls sitting on the sidewalk, playing in the dirt, decoding which are the bad ants and which are the good. As I walk up to them with Peanut in his carrying cage fresh from a birthday car ride they ask to see my cat. I tell them he isn't a cat, he is a rabbit. "Did you go camping and catch him?" the larger and pushier girl asks. No. "Did you just catch him hopping outside?" asks the other. No. They both press for me to put him down on the side walk to hop hop hop around for them to see, both poking at the front door of the cage with their grubby, filthy hands. A bug flies onto the floor of the cage. I wince. I want him inside my apartment, where there are no bugs, where it is clean, where it is home.

When I come outside an hour later, the girls are still playing. They have more friends with them and as the pushy girl walks over to me I say "You changed your shirt." She answers, "yeah, I changed my name. I'm new now." The younger boy following her asks if I am her mom, wants to know why she says her name is Rose now. "Sorry honey, I don't have any kids. Must be the game she is playing." The boy's nervous wringing hands are covered in warts. He was confused but didn't want to be without this new Rose, no matter. I watch them walk away, and new Rose tells the other kids that her mother "changed her name again too." New Rose is wearing an older woman's tan pumps that look like they have been pulled from a dumpster, a green skirt too short for her age and her mouth is dirty with 2 days of dirt and sweat. As I am leaving they decide to play hide-and-seek in the stairwell. Did they find New Rose?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I typically do not pick romantic comedies as a movie to watch, in fact I purposely stay away from them. The reasons are many (bad acting, poor plot, predictable plot, emotional manipulation and the same actor and actress repeatedly) but what makes me stay away the most is the torment I put myself under after watching one with all the questions for why I am NOT in a relationship. That makes for neither a romantic nor comedic evening. So, with all of that said, I just watched "He's Just Not that Into You" under the urging of a friend. My critique? Well, shit. I am now stuck with the rest of the night to ransack my brain, and rehash the best and worse of Neil. I am also left to stare down at myself and consider why I would ever want to start the process of a romantic relationship ever again? The saying it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.....I don't know if I subscribe anymore. I did when I was clinging in the middle of a crumble of a love. Now? I do know I am smarter. I do know I am wiser. I do know I am colder. My bitter grinding bite on my reality for the present is less rosy, less possible. I miss her. The her, then. If I hadn't lost what I gave so freely to someone that I had no idea didn't deserve it, I might still be....there. Where I left her.

Friday, September 3, 2010

So, J. Alfred Prufrock had his coffee spoons, Will Freeman had units. I have days with no pain. Or less pain. Hey, days with a good poop measure up pretty good I'd say. I don't know what it is like to not have pain. Maybe no one does. I measure the success of me, by the amount of pain inside my body. If a monkey on your back is a literary form of measurement, some days I have a howler monkey screaming so loud nothing else can be heard. Maybe I should start a rating system: Capuchin, Spider and everyday Marmosets. Never, ever going to invite the Ape for a stay. He would crush me. I stubbornly push off the help, any assist in fighting the weight of carrying my pain monkey around with me. When I wake, when I sleep, it is there. I stupidly think if I can beat it on my own, I win something ( like what a Pride Trophy sheez ) It always wins. It wakes me up from sleep, or keeps me from it. Keeps me from smiling at the little girl skipping and humming because she could. I try to wrestle it on my own, yet it is now and has always been stronger than me. I don't like it. Never will.

And why should I? Why should anyone? It sucks. Literally, it sucks. It sucks life and energy out of you. Depleting what you were, or what you would have liked to be. Your face contorts into this ugly grimace of dislike and distrust. You distrust the time when pain is absent. Oh, it will be back, just like the neighbors you don't want knocking at 11 p.m. asking for the plunger. ( No, you can keep it. Trust me on that. ) Why should I like that after nearly 40 years ( yeah, ugh you read that right and I didn't like typing it either ) not one doctor has any idea better than my own self why I have this pain? Nothing to be glad about on that. Shrug after shrug after shrug. I am simply hoping for as many good days as possible and to survive the bad ones as well as I am able. Possibly without losing friends and family members with my rage and angst along the way. There have been casualties, might be more. For as J. Alfred said....

"And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just found out that Dorothy Oyler, the Grandmother of my former friend, passed away at the beginning of July. I had been a part of this family since I was the age of five. When Stacie decided I was no longer friend worthy, I knew that Dorothy would be leaving, and that I would not know when she was near to it, or when it would happen. Now, that it has happened, I don't know how to mourn. Dorothy always liked me. Whenever there was a family function and she was there as well, she would want to sit by me, and hold my hands. She liked to hold my hands. She would always tell me how soft they were, and tell me I was beautiful. Yeah, she thought I was beautiful, while most of the family thought I was fat. She once told me I was the best friend Stacie could ever hope for, and she meant it. I still have the smells in my nose of pies and canning from when I was 8 or 9 visiting the house on the mountain road. Running through the orchard, playing hide and seek with all of the cousins. The soft 50's colors on the walls, the crammed hallways. That will always be Dorothy's house to me, the apples and the orchard, the leaves on the ground. The family I was a part of even if I wasn't born into it.

She could be hard on her family, I knew it, but I listened to her. I think it is easier sometimes to abuse the closeness we have with family, just assuming they will never leave. Dorothy did that, but she loved and treasured everything Sally and Russell did for her. They were the best daughter and son in law a mother could ask for throughout all Dorothy's life. Russell would just show up with groceries cuz if he didn't, who would? Sally would go visit, just to visit. We would all be so lucky to have Sally and Russell to take care of us, to just remember us throughout the day. That is another part of this that stings so horribly, when Stacie threw me away, she threw me away from the entire family as well. I don't get to tell Sally how sorry I am for her, losing another loved one. How proud I am of her for loving the way she does. I miss telling Sally thank you for loving me, and accepting me. Suppose, I don't know the truth of that anymore. I only know how it was. I only know how Dorothy liked to hold my hands.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thanks to a FB friend, a wonderful idea has come my way, a daily listing of things that make you grateful. List your gratefuls.....The Grateful Daily. I have often said in conversation that it infuriates me, might even sicken me, that we as humans often need to lose something we love/need/want/cherish to be grateful for what we have. Why do we need to be reminded to be thankful? Why do we need to be reminded by others' misfortune to be grateful for what we already have? I have never, ever understood this. Never will. I know I am not immune to this. I feel the effects when I see floods and earthquakes on television. I feel the effects when I step outside. I had an eye appointment today to see about a swollen gland on my eyelid. I am terrified about needles and scalpels and anything near my eyes. Yet, on the way to the car my neighbor meets me with her 6 month old twins, just on her way home from the hospital. One has been in for severe UTI and the other, is being tested for blindness. Her little boy that cannot talk or walk yet, will never see. Here I am luckier than this boy will ever be with his sight, and I am nervous about a surgery that is 2 weeks away. I am embarrassed in front of her, even if she has no idea.

My Gratefuls.... 1. My Best Mom. 2. Peanut running around the living room, destroying the phone book, kissing me and making me laugh. 3. Coffee. 4. Rye Bread.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I saw a little girl skipping and humming today. I didn't smile at her. I was jealous. I didn't look into her eyes and glean what I could, I looked down, and heard the shuffle of my own feet. I wondered what age I was when I stopped skipping. Ten? Eight? Six? I still hum, although less and less. Only when I am alone. I used to hum to children, I have no reason for that anymore.

I used to think I could say anything here, but I don't anymore. I was told it was too sad, that I was sad. Yes, I am sad. Yes, I am mad. Yes, I am happy. Where do you put those pieces of yourself if you feel so full up you might burst? I need to prick the blister of me and let it out. Don't like it, don't read. Don't like it then you don't like me. Won't be the first time. Won't be the last.

My heart skips for totally different reasons than joy. Maybe when it turns to stone, I can skip it myself.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I saw a man with one arm riding a bike today. He had a prosthetic from above the left elbow down, clamped securely to the bike handle as he rode through the parking lot where I live. I wondered about his being able to signal, or unclasp his arm if he were to fall. I wondered what happened. Was it an accident? A car accident. Was he drunk? Was the other driver drunk? Or, was it from birth? Did a piece of machinery fall on him? All of this in the few seconds that he passed by. Is he lonely? Is he scared in traffic? Who knows what his story is? Maybe some of this is true. Maybe none of it is. How much do we pay attention to the people passing by us, daily? The humans two doors down, one door? How are they like us? How are they not? Why do they avert their eyes? Shuffle their feet?

The amount of vitamin D deficiency in Humans is greater the farther north you get and even if you spend an hour outdoors each day, it would not be enough to level the field. Humans stay indoors, watching television, on the computer, away from each other. Deficient of vitamin D and social skills alike. I saw a man with one arm riding a bike today, and I wondered. I wondered about me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The world is big. The world is small. Happiness flits about like a lightning bug. Sometimes, I don't want to catch it to jar it up. I would rather it light up the night.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Just happened into a comment on Facebook about the last song that Stephie ever heard, on this planet. It was a song I sang to her. The last song. Her last song, and I was the one to sing it to her. This seems too much for me right at this moment. I have been aware of this fact for nearly 5 years, yes 5 years on August 15th. I sang to her and held her hand. Her tiny tiny hand. I sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" I do not know how many times in the last 40 to 60 minutes she was here, preparing to leave her body. This earth. I sang, and sang. I held her hand. I didn't hold on to HER, just her tiny hand.

I didn't sing the Judy Garland version, I sang Eva Cassidy's more recent and what I feel is a very emotional and raw version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I am now only able to sing it this way. I am also now only to think of it as Stephie's. I barely keep myself from bawling during the song, even when I sing. I wonder what will be the last song I hear on this earth? Will it be a song playing over and over in my head like a commercial jingle you can't erase? Will it be playing in the background, something I would never want to hear? Will it be sung to me by someone that loves me? What sound will I take with me to mix in the soil and forever give back the earth what it has given me?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I can remember the moment I knew I loved The Bun so much more than I had ever loved Neil. Where I was in the room, where he was ( the bottom shelf of my, now HIS bookshelf ) and the color the light in the room held. I also remember telling my friend's husband that I really didn't want to die on the freeway when he was going over 85 miles an hour, tailgating the driver in front of us so closely you could not only smell the paint and you knew what the driver had for lunch. He thought he was consoling me by saying that we would "oh, we'll all just die at once and then be in heaven together." I said he wasn't allowed that. The Bun would be left without me, and I was in no way going to die before him, no one else knew how to love him the best. No one could even come close for just one day, let alone the rest of his life. Well, I made it home alive, and The Bun died before me.

I cried such heavy tears today retelling the story of the day The Bun died to my friend that lost her dog of 15 years, last year when I lost The Bun. She had never known the details, never really dared to ask, not knowing how I would react. I bawled. I snotted all over the place. Mostly, I remembered him. I have tried to forget about remembering him, thinking it unfair to Peanut. How will I ever get to really love Peanut if I keep The Bun so forward in my heart? How will I let myself say all of the sweet goobery words that naturally spill from my mouth when I just love that he his here, and not betray either of them?

The Bun is the Love of my life. I know this. There are things I will do for Peanut and things I will be with Peanut that The Bun deserved. I wasted time not loving myself. The shame of it all is that it took The Bun's death to teach me that. He gave me the most it turns out.

I keep waiting for The Bun to visit me in my dreams, but I haven't had one SchnuggleBun dream. Yet. I have hope. I have peace in knowing that he is returned to the earth and that one day so will I.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The only really big item I have owned, on my own, was my car. An unlicensed driver with three bullet holes in his chest, no insurance, cocaine, marijuana, a gun and three underage passengers drove into my parking lot at 50 miles an hour, plowed through three cars then landed in the fence nearly missing my apartment building itself last March. My car was one of the two cars totaled that night. I am lucky to have parents that co-signed with me to get another vehicle, but the sticky part is, I live on disability. I live markedly below the poverty line. I cannot afford car payments. Some months I can barely buy food. I pay the insurance on this car while my Mother pays the monthly lease. News on my Mother's financial front has not been too hot as of late, and this car may be taken away too. I don't have options to get one on my own. I feel this sudden urge to drive to Idaho for the day. Maybe Colorado. Take Peanut and go to Montana before I don't have the option. Oddest part of this whole thing is, I have had this wonderful new feeling lately...hope. It is exciting. I changed something that I was doing in my diet every day, it was simple. The effect was not. I am excited about each day. The chance to not be in as much pain, the chance to go, to do. Now, once again, all because of money, I am aware. It ends. Joy ends.

The awareness of having freedom with that vehicle is tainted by the awareness that possession is an illusion. I am aware I am greedy. I am aware I am lucky.

The Japanese word Aware ( ah wah ray ) is the sensitivity to the sadness of impermanence.

I am Aware.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I am having the first period (menses) I have had in over eleven, yes count that, eleven years. I do not like it. Yes, it is gross. Yes, it is a bother in that my abdomen is distended and my inside feels as if it wants to be outside. This is not why I do not like it. It is the reminding. The reminding that I have an organ that is the strict definition of being a female and it will never be utilized. My empty candy dish. This refuse it is dispelling is just that, refuse. And now I am feeling a bit like rubbish. The oddest bit is how at this age, I am not as run down. Suppose it is the eleven year hiatus. A uterine hiatus. Do breasts make you a female? Is it the vagina? In the transgendered community those can be acquired along with the requisite hormones which my already lackluster ovaries provide. So, we have left the uterus. Relates to both the words Utopia and Hysteria. Can I be hysterical in my utopia? With or without a worthwhile uterus? The ticker I banished when The Bun left tries so hard to creep its way back in, but I refuse to let it. I am more stubborn than it. I am more stubborn.

My Peanut is lying on the floor, feet spread out behind him as if he were flying across the carpet to get to me. Little bits of Utopia, here and there. Then, when Stan Getz just asked from his song "What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" I laughed.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I keep waiting to miss him less, yet I don't. I miss him more, and then some more. I don't bother people with it anymore. He wasn't just a rabbit...not a cat, nor a dog, or even a child or an ex, as some have told me. He was mine. He loved me and I let myself just love him. I'm told to let it go. He was only an animal. I am only an animal. I loved this only animal more than I ever loved the man I shared a bed with and I know this rabbit loved me more than any human has ever loved me or ever will. I have a hole and I fear it cannot ever be filled. It---the love I gave him----can be twisted and tortured into loneliness, fear of abandonment, rejection...pick the emotional baggage du jour.....I was good at loving him. Different isn't always better. Different can be just different.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I haven't written anything for quite some time. Doesn't mean I wasn't thinking. The fabric of my mind has been scribbled on for many many years. Written over, erased. The MRI shows my brain is shrinking, less room to scratch my late night silent rants when the lights are out and I am anything but. Less room to store my ponderings. Less room to store my self.

The Bun

The Bun
If you don't like rabbits, you can suck it, shove it and then go soak your head.