Liquid the color of amber and reminding me of Grandma.
Summer's sweet sun beverage.
Sugared down more than a blow-pop.
I'm left clenching my jaw until the liquid has traveled down my throat to lay sloshing in my gut.
I sigh the heat of summer away with the refresh(more)ing, cavity gifting, teeth staining, deliciousness of Grandma's sweet tea.
Ode' to the one last frosty glass at the brink of autumn. When this chilled glass will be replaced with the piping hot cup of Grandpa's Earl Grey. (less)
That feeling when your stomach is in your chest - back down - in your chest - back down. I couldn't get enough of it as a child. From a rope, from a branch, from the swing-set in my friends yard. The best part of it was the letting(more) go. Your body free falling in the air. Go as high as you dare. Forward - stomach in throat. Backward - stomach down. The higher you go, the more intense the feeling. Then with all the courage/stupidity you can muster, let go - or jump - depending on the style of swing. The last time I did that was in Katie's yard. Higher and higher I swung. Until the metal swing-set was jumping and shaking. Higher until I felt my bottom coming off the seat. Until I thought I would do full circle around the top bar. Then I knew I had to. I had to jump. I had to prove to myself that I was more courageous then my four brothers. I was braver then any boy on this block. As I was reaching height that was sure to flip the entire swing-set - I pushed myself out of the seat and into the air. I was flying. No. I was falling. Down. Down. Before I knew it, I landed on my butt. I could feel my spine push up and heard a pop in the lower region of my back. I screamed. I lay there until one of my brother's came and carried me home. I remember not being able to move my legs. At the hospital the doctors found I fractured my coccyx. I could have paralyzed myself. "What happened?" Asked the doctor/parents/brothers/neighbors. Until just now in this here typetrigger - the answer was...
"I fell." (less)
Him: She is kind of pretty. She might be too young though. Oh, no. Now that I see her laugh. She has tiny lines around her eyes. Got to be over thirty-five. She's kind of loud.
Her: He is way too old for me. Get a load of that brown suit. Ha! Who picked out those frames? Napoleon Dynamite? Ugh! A pinkie ring? Pretty eyes though. Does he think I'm pretty? He is rather distinguished. If only he didn't dye his hair.
Well, it was nice to meet you. I have to go find my seat.
Yeah. Me too.
Him: I don't know. She is pretty though. I wonder why she got divorced. She seems open enough. But she laughs so loud. Really loud. She might be too immature. I hope she doesn't think I'm too old for her. I am going to kill the person who talked me into dying my hair. She couldn't take her eyes of my head. She must think I'm an old letch.
Her: His hands were huge! I feel him still staring. Man! Is he trying to bore holes into the back of my head. Nope. He isn't staring at my head. He's pretty old though. He has to be at least fifty. We would look silly together. And that hair. Why did I laugh so stinkin' loud? What was so funny? He must think I'm a dork.
Living in the city in a trashy, or in his mind - "artsy", studio was chic. Even at thirty-six. He liked his new grundge lifestyle. He was trying too hard to look like Eddie Veddor, she thought.
He never picked up the children on his visitation weekends. An(more)d she always made an excuse for him.
One day her children waited with their bags packed on the stoop of their apartment for hours. They sat silently waiting for him. She watched them from her kitchen window. Two tiny backs with eager hands on miniature suitcases. What could she do or say to comfort them after another disappointment?
Her son came in to her. His five year old face looked up at her. He seemed genuinely dismayed, "Why doesn't Dad love me?"
She scooped her children up and drove her beat up old car the seventy-five miles to his punk rock villa.
Smoky patchouli incense hit her when he opened his door. The look of surprise on his face fascinated her. "Its your visitation."
"I know. But my band is playing a gig tonight."
She stepped aside to show him their young children, with suitcases in hand. Both were smiling huge for their father.
"Tell them that." She commanded.
He stammered his excuse. The smiles left their innocent faces, as their father explained his prior engagement.
She walked closer to him. And in his ear she whispered, "Shame on you."
Did she do the right thing? She could not defend him any longer. It had to be in his own handwriting. Her tears fell as she drove.
From the backseat her seven year old daughter's voice, "Its okay, Mom. All we need is you." In the rear view mirror she saw her children holding hands and smiling at her. (less)
Time goes one way. She knew this. That is why she took one last look around her before she left.
The framed old photo of them as a family, smiling back at her from the coffee table they purchased for $5.00 at a yard sale. The green carpe(more)t beneath her feet, matted from all sorts of nastiness carried in on tennis shoes and work boots. The kitchen cabinet doors left open exposed a clutter of dishes, pots, pans, and the occasional roach scurrying across a plate. Linoleum that was outdated, filthy and torn in places. She took a deep breath in to remember the smell of here. The odor of rotting garbage.
She walked one last time to the room she had since she was two. She vowed she would never live like this again. Her cloths piled in the corner. Cut out pictures from glamor magazines tacked to the walls. She only cut out the lips of the models. Pretty painted mouths covered the stained walls.
She picked a few items of clothing and stuffed them in a brown paper bag, this would do for luggage.
When your entire family is drowning in alcohol and stupid with drugs, you just can't sick around to be another victim of addiction. She was no longer going to join them in a downward spiral of wasting life. She had no idea where she was going but it would no longer be here. This is the end of this nightmare. The fighting the yelling the hate the evil that lurked in this house, in this family - was poison. Eighteen years of this was enough.
She walked to the front door, looked around one last time. Where was she going?
Growing up in a red-neck town, hearing the occasional gun shot was a common occurrence. We just didn't bat an eye.
At least that was the way it was before that night. The dreaded night of the cross burning.
When I was young child, in a predominately(more) white school, a sweet young girl and her family moved into our town. The first time I saw her was when the teacher introduced her to the class. Her name was Latashia. She seemed very shy. I made it my personal goal to draw her out. That is the way I was around the shy kids. I took it upon myself to show Latashia around and introduce her to other children during recess. We became fast friends.
Not long before I met Latashia, there was a family of the same race that had moved into and quickly out of my neighborhood. I didn't understand why they left until the "dreaded day".
"POP! POP! POP!" with loud whooping and hollering.
It woke my family from sleep.
We dismissed it as some idiot red-neck drunk firing off his pistol and went back to bed.
The next day at school out teacher told us that Latashia will not be back at school. I recall the teacher looking angry. "A cross was burned in her yard and out fear her family has decided to move away from 'our' town."
The teacher opened the class up to any questions we might have. I was one of the first to ask one.
I asked, "Why?"
Her answer made no sense. She went on and on about racism and ignorance and white and black and hate and...
I raised my hand again, "But...why?"
"I don't know." She answered
When I grew up, I moved away from "their" town. (less)
Just let it flow like water from a tap.
Gulping can give you a tummy ache.
(more) I have many problems.
Not in order of seriousness -
1. I have no money. That is the least of my problems. I do have a roof over my head and food in my gut.
2. Losing people I love to mankind's enemy, Death. I have a firm grip on the real hope for our dead loved ones. Mourning, although flowing with tears, is brief enough that I never wallow in the loss.
3. A child that has rebelled against everything moral I tried to instill in her while she was under my wing. Although painful to me, I know everyone has a choice. This is her choice - for now.
And 4. Always the little aggravations. Like: No shopping or manicures in my near future. I am learning to trim my own hair and use a Q-tip to get out the last bit of anti-wrinkle cream or lip-stick. Living with constant physical pain sometimes makes me ornery.
I do have problems. Despite them (most I have not mentioned) I love my life.
I rest assured.
The "whys" answered.
My life has become smooth.
Life use to rage like a river for me.
I never thought I could control the treacherous path I was "forced" onto. That was so untrue.
By making being a good person my main focus, nothing that comes my way overwhelms me. I am floating through (sometimes a mess but...) life. Realizing that I can control how I handle what comes, I have no control what comes, I (for the most part) remain chilled.
"Never be anxious about the next day, tomorrow will have it's own anxiety"
...ah...so true. (less)
You ran like the wind that day. Your moment of glory, at the age of seventeen, as you ran passed the goal line to score the winning touchdown. Your young girlfriend runs onto the field, jumps into your arms in a frenzy of victorious excitement.
(more) Thirty years later, you stare at your jersey now hanging in a shadow box. Number 81, staring back at you. It whispers, "You are great." Just as she did when she jumped into your arms, wrapping her legs around your waist.
You pick at the label on the bottle you hold. The memory of that day floods back. You smell the sweat of the other players as they dance around you. You hear her words and feel her hot breath on your neck.
"You are great."
How could that memory be so crisp? It is as if you were still caught in that moment.
You are still caught.
That was it? That was all you had to offer life? A touchdown for a high-school football team? You honor the representative of that moment by hanging it on the wall under glass?
"You are great."
One last swig. It goes down hard and burns in your chest. You are alone in your filthy room.
There are no young legs to wrap around your waist. No hot breath on your neck. Nothing but you, this bottle and that sweat stained jersey.
The jersey mocks you now. The laughter is almost audible.
You hurl the bottle across the room. The glass shatters and the frame hangs crooked on the nail. Now the number 81 folds into the fabric hanging limp its broken frame.
You hang your head, face in hands. "You were great." You whisper.
In the middle of the night she comes to hush her baby boy. She gently sweeps the sweaty wisps of hair from his forehead as she sings softly the lullaby she wrote just for him.
Gently, gently until silence fills the air.
She silently walks into his dark room as her pubescent son's sleep sounds break the quiet of the night. Kneeling beside his shadow body, she whispers the lullaby she wrote just for him.
Gently, gently until silence fills the air.
Like a dream she comes to her son, soon to be a man. Kneeling beside his bed, she is careful not to wake him. His snores are the only sound until her voice, but a breath, sings the lullaby she wrote just for him.
Gently gently until silence fills the air.
His aged mother so fragile, lay in her hospital bed. Her skin like paper covering thin limbs. The only sound is her struggled breaths crackling in the room. He walks to her bed, careful not to wake her. He kneels beside her dieing body. He sings in a whisper the lullaby she wrote just for him.
Gently, gently until silence fills the air. (less)
Permed hair out to here. Gold satin pants with matching gold satin hooded jacket. A pair of white open toed platform shoes, exposing delicate pink toenails. Her fingernails polished to match her pink toes.
Sherry was nearly ready. Just one more layer of mascara. Her eyes so thic(more)k with the stuff already, when she blinked several lashes would stick together for a second or two. Her lips were slathered with cherry gloss. Her pants fit so tight, there was no question she was female. Her outfit resembled more of a costume then a evening out ensemble.
She was 1970's stunning, as she smacked her gum and asked, "How do I look?"
"You're so pretty." I told her. I touched the glass tube of lip gloss.
"You can try some."
I smiled. I caught a glimpse of my crooked teeth in the mirror and quickly closed my lips together.
"My mom says I'm too young for make-up." I said still trying to hide my teeth.
Sherry switched on the turntable. Gently blew on the needle and lowered the arm to the spinning record.
Peaches and Herb. "I love this song." She closed her eyes and swayed her satin hips.
We sang along, "The breakup we had has made me lonesome and sad. I realize I love you...'Cause I want you bad, hey, hey..."
Sherry opened her eyes. The left one stuck closed for a second until she pried it open with her thumb and forefinger. "I gotta run. I hear my ride." She was out the door before I could stand up.
Sherry would be back before my mom got home. She always was. Her outing would be our secret.
She was the grooviest babysitter I ever had. (less)
I use to work in a convalescent home. Mostly I tried to keep a friendly demeanor with a thick emotional wall between me and the ones I cared for.
But then there was Ira B. Ira was a tall and sturdy man. His age couldn't hide the fac(more)t that he was, at one time, a very handsome and active man.
According to Ira's chart, his Alzheimer's began manifesting itself when he was only fifty years old. By the time I met him he was seventy-one and in the late stages of the disease. Yet I swear to this day, there were moments I could swear he was lucid. In those lucid moments, Ira and I had memorable coherent conversations. Then there were the times when he claimed I was an angel sent from God to take care of him in his time of need. Most times, Ira sat silent. His large eyes, dull and empty, staring off into space as I fed him liquefied carrots.
I always knew when Ira was showing signs of lucidity. His eyes seemed to turn on.
He would whisper, "Hello."
"Hello, Ira B." I would say, "It's really good to see you again."
"You too." He would tell me.
I wold ask him to tell me about his younger days. So he would. Week days of hard work, weekends filled with fishing and hiking. He told me about the day he met the love of his life, his late wife. The day he welcomed his son into the world. Which was the "Happiest day of his life".
Then the confusion would begin to set in.
"You're leaving again, Ira. Where are you going?"
His voice was distant, "Nowhere, my angel. Just becoming nothing in no place particular." (less)
I need to know how she feels. I need to know. I need to understand.
I researched the disease for hours. Hours that would amount to years when added up. I've watched too many videos. I've listened to too many doctors, family, friends. Everyone giving me advice an(more)d opinions that in the end mean zilch. They don't know her. They don't know "us".
The monster inside her -
bipolar schizo-effective disorder.
My helplessness is beyond overwhelming. It suffocates my existence. I want to slap her back to reality. At the same time I want to hold her until the pain subsides. The cornucopia of emotions leaves me drained. Her dark shadow begins to overtake me.
I rage and I cry.
I pick myself up.
I wallow again.
I cry for her.
I cry for me.
The sick person I am talking about is my child. The baby I taught how to walk and talk. The toddler that looked up at me as if I were the only person that mattered. The teenager who I counseled, consoled and wrestled with...until that day when changes became noticeable to me. Changes she suffered with for years.
How could I not see it? Why couldn't I prevent this monster from stealing my child's mind? When did I lose the ability to protect her? Was it her that changed? Or did I finally wake up from my denial?
I stand by helplessly watching. I can only offer love. What good is that? My child's heart can't reach her mind.
I loved her intensely from the moment I felt her first movement inside me. What good did that do her? My love was never strong enough armor to cushion this monster's blows. It will never be.
I'm trying here.
I am fighting against impulsion to delete everything I've written here.
Why do I love to write?
(more) I use to be semi-good.
My own opinion notwithstanding.
I wrote two-hundred pages of crap recently.
As I was writing I thought, "This is going to be great."
I know full well it wouldn't be published or even publishable. Its a good thing that my hard-drive crashed and I lost it all. The computer did the inevitable. Saved me the trouble. Thank you, Apple.
I punctuate as if its an addiction :;,.!"" Help me! I love apostrophes! Oh! And brackets! Ellipsis all day long, baby! And ~. Come to Mama, you little ~!
I took a hiatus from this site. I couldn't stand what I've been putting out there for everyone to see. Lack of talent galore. But...I had to come back. I had to. Don't you see? I'm troubled. I keep repeating the same task over and over with the same lack of result. Isn't that the definition of insanity?
Ideas keep coming though. I type the stories out. But the idea is muddied. Maybe if you could hear me read it, it would be clearer to you.
I can't stand having all these stories in my head when there is no talent/education/knowhow to release it. There is so much pressure up there. You know?
I see the stories like a movie. You know?
Winona Ryder and Sean Penn star in -
The Summer Of '76.
Him: An abusive aging alcoholic.
Her: A depressed housewife anxiously holding onto her sanity.
Sounds interesting? Yeah? If only I could write it.
That was a compliment I'll never forget. It was given when I was sixteen. I was at a party.
It was given by a guy older than I was at the time. He was always hanging ou(more)t at our parties. I don't recall his name or why he was always there. He didn't speak to me before. Or ---- after he said it, for that matter. He said it and just walked away.
I don't know why this trigger triggered that memory. But I do know I do my best still to light up every room when I arrive. (Did I end that sentence correctly?) Whether it be doctor's office, party, grocery store, my own bathroom...
A moment to slightly change topic:
My mother lacks confidence so desperately. I feel so bad for her. She is so wonderful and she doesn't know it. Her expression show that lack of confidence. She looks angry when she isn't. You have to get to know her before you realize how kind she is.
I want my kindness noticed before you get to know me. I told myself that no matter what life throws at me (and life throws it alright - at times I feel like I am always walking past life's pissed off monkey's cage) I'll be sure to wear a soft expression (if not a smile) and hold my head high (not too high - to be mistaken for snobbish). I will walk with a posture that shouts, "APPROACHABLE" and a stride that gently states, "I know where I am going." Even if I feel crabby and have no idea where I am. (less)