Monday, June 29, 2009
it was ours, however, and we loved every moment of growing up there... the creek, the picnics, the town green.
i miss that place, now that i'm in new york... and i dream of going back to raise my own children there, so they too can have memories of ice cream, fireflies and soft summer nights.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
How easily we shed being mature mother, 20 year old son—we are children, lying wrapped in down comfort, the gently pitched roof our bed, our high mountain Utah town stretched out in the valley beyond, again enveloped in pioneer pre-Edison night.
Orion marches in stately majesty across the crisp skies, with his attending court moving in astral dignity, swirling in colours bold; red, gold, blue, green, white stark against the thick black.
My hand rests in his, reversed from what was, this lanky child who is like me, struggling in a world of stimuli when we long for routine and quiet.
Our breathing is so soft, the sound blends into the movement of the leaves and the smell of my roses and lavender moves upwards in that cold summer air and I wonder if he's drifted off to sleep when his long arm moves languidly to point out a star in what normally would be a vast dark area, it’s blue white light shimmering there.
I can hear his love, so hard for him to voice, wrapping around the words, “I can’t put it in one of those gift bags, but, it’s there, just for you….Happy Birthday, Mom.”
we never actually met; i was italian, she was hasidim.
but, oh, how i dreamed of her winding her arms around me, holding me close, whispering in my ear. i'd see her walk past on her way to the yeshivia, and dream.
funny, it's 30 years later, and i can still remember her, remember those days, and i wonder what ever happened to the girl whose face forever haunts my dreams.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
scandals are good. they keep you alive and fresh and they allow people to overlook the fact you've only had one good role in film, and the rest of the time, you've been known for being known.
it's a good life, one i relish. so, did you hear about my vacation with the midget and the trained monkey??
Friday, June 26, 2009
i handed him the new pair i'd bought, giving the wifely glare that says, wear these or no more sex.
amazing how that glare works... looking like a saviour was preferable to being chaste...he put them on, and i discovered he was right. with the beard and the sandals, he was rather holy, in a hot way.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
six days a week
Monday’s Child is Fair of Face
Her face would never be her fortune. It would neither stop traffic nor curdle milk, her grandmother said, it was nothing more than ordinary. “Don’t be picky, girls like you are lucky to get anyone so don’t go thinking you’ll find some Prince.” He proved them wrong, being all the things she’d ever dreamt of; handsome, witty, wanting a life with her. It was the night she was tired, giving an abrupt answer to a question, that he picked up his tennis racquet to finish their conversation. Later, when he held her and kissed the marks he’d left, she accepted the trade off--and willingly took her place in the game.
He ambled through life with an ease that belied his large frame. Using his voice, his soft smile, his ability to make every woman he met believe she was the one, he never stumbled in the field of relationships. Perhaps it’s because he had never had one; he saw only the ‘I’ part of a ‘we’. Saying what had to be said, he achieved what he wanted, leaving behind those who had believed, trusted, given their all. He offered a glimpse of what could be to each one, slipping out before the serious questions could be asked--effectively spilling ink on the stories of a future they wrote in their hearts. The brutal honesty of his lies created their own version of paper cuts, shallow, but, painful to the touch.
Kristen had the world on a string, sitting on a rainbow--you know the words. There was nothing she could do that was wrong; meeting the right person, finding the perfect job, the apartment that was pre-War and rent controlled--her life was luck and serendipity all rolled up in one. She celebrated the highlights of your life, and was the strong shoulder when you were down. Kristen excelled as a cook, a housekeeper, an employee, mother, daughter, wife-- friend. There was serenity found in her presence and confusion at her death. Whoever said suicide was painless?
I asked Jack, while we lay curled together in bed, in the dark, during that time when you give over secrets and trust, “I’ve never told you the story of getting my glasses, have I? I was 12, and Sister Mary Joseph called from my school, telling my mother she was tired of my struggle to see the blackboard and if my parents didn’t take me to have my eyes checked, she would. When mother and I walked together in the heat to the appointment, she said if I didn’t have bad eyes, she’d beat me all the way home; I started praying then for God to strike me blind. While the doctor fitted my glasses, he said he couldn’t believe mother never noticed I had problems.”, I paused, remembering her frown of annoyance. “Looking through those thick lenses changed...everything and, for the first time, I actually saw my mother’s face.” Lying together, in the dark, I felt him weeping.
I dole out pieces of myself to everyone I know. I self-sacrifice when we have a disagreement, make time when I don’t have it, give full attention to their stories of paltry issues they tell me. I say the right words, make the proper moves, bite my tongue to hold back things that would hurt or cause pain to another. Here’s the thing; it’s boring as shit to be this nice person-- boring, irritating, maddening. What I really want to do is take an AK-47 and go postal, you know? One day....one day, I’m going to make it all about me, and then I’ll give to them in a way that will make me smile.
Who knew she’d end up here, with the job on Wall Street, an apartment in Soho, and the kind of Chanel purses that weren’t peddled on Canal Street? Who knew that such a recession would hit, and put so many of her friends out of work, desperate to find something to do? All she knew, she had rent to pay, food to buy, expenses to meet, and unemployment wasn’t going to last forever. She updated the resume, slogged to interviews and scrambled to put herself at the top of the field of applicants for every job, finally landing one. Her sense of accomplishment faded after the first day, but, a job was a job, right? She repeated that phrase like a mantra as she picked up yet another pile of shit, adjusted her charge's leashes and set off for the park.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
one of mine was when danny boudreau kissed me under the bridal wreath bush, promising me eternal love and giving me a ring made from a dog's choke chain.
our love lasted until third grade, when he met and left me for a girl from the public school down the street.
i still remember the freckle in his left iris, that i'd watch become covered as he slowly closed his eyes to kiss me.
Using her index finger, Sparkle pulled the skin taunt around her left eye, trying to see how she’d look if the area was smooth once more.
She’s spent her youth swearing she’d never go the way of The Establishment; that fixation on youth and the status quo. She’d never married the fathers of any of her children; Seagull, Creek nor Bishop. Later, she was shocked when they changed their names to Rose, Henry and Bob and became a stock market broker, a teacher and an engineer, respectively. It was too much for her to watch them happily blend in with the rest of the bourgeois. After all, she’d raised them to be free thinkers, to love nature, to find the commune a way of life...lessons they gladly abandoned as soon as they started high school. By college, they were far away from her way of thinking and living, and it was with a sigh of relief they all parted ways.
Sparkle had been swept up in that last wave of hippidom...she grew up in a time when protesting was a way of life, free love a way to live, rebellion something you strived to help accomplish. Her generation remembered Laugh-In and the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate and read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time soon after it was published. She’d started life with the name Susan in Cleveland, and became Sparkle in 1978, when she ran away to San Francisco, too late to catch the full impact of the Haight/Ashbury crowd, but in time to catch crabs from a guy who told her he’d once slept with Joplin. He took her virginity, leaving her with the aforementioned crabs and a ruby ring, that she later pawned to buy a bus ticket to Oregon, to live with a group there who were still searching for love, happiness and a way to live without working.
It was there she had her children in a teepee, letting them run naked with others of their age. She gave them names that linked them to an event in her life, names that set them apart from the children they met in public school, where all of the group's children were forced to go by Social Services. That started them on the road away from the place they lived; set them to yearning to be seen as ‘normal’. The status quo became their Holy Grail.
Time passed, people changed, the group disbanded, and Sparkle found herself living in a trailer park in Yuma, Arizona with a man named Grey whom she’d met in a biker bar in Phoenix. They stayed in the life of hipnoids--those people who never really accepted that the 60’s were over--going to Rainbow Family gatherings, growing their own pot in hidden fields, and making a living by selling handmade articles at Renaissance Fairs and various other events that catered to their kind.
It was finding Grey flirting with a much younger woman who had stopped to buy one of their stone pipes that put her where she was right now--in front of a mirror, pulling on her eyes and thinking about asking Creek if he would front the money for her to get a face lift, just a little one... wondering if her kids had the right idea about life after all.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
six miles every day, then he was done. life moved on on it's own imperfect track, while he held the comfort of the memory of the smooth oval in his heart.
(gargh, i ran out of time! the italics finish the work)
Monday, June 22, 2009
he ignores me and points to the form where it asks "do you have implants?"
i check yes, for the thrill of it, even though he makes me fill out another form telling the truth.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
His planned demise turned out to be just as chaotic as his life had been.
He’d decided to choose his own way out of this mortal coil--whatever the fuck ‘mortal coil’ meant. Although he often quoted Shakespeare, he’d never really liked the guy, finding his writing tiresome to slog through and the iambic pentameter made him feel fidgety. What also made him fidgety were people who had more than 12 items in the 12 item line, the use of the word ‘like’ over and over in a conversation, hedgehogs, birthday parties and Thanksgiving.
His life had never run smoothly; if something was going to go wrong, it usually did. A friend told him once it was as if before he was born, he decided to pay back all of the crap karma he had coming in one fell swoop. Every time he became involved with someone, it ended with the person cheating on him. He’d even tried having a relationship with a guy he’d met and found oddly attractive. It looked as if it was going to work out when he came home and found his lover had left him for a transgendered woman. His love life now consisted of a once a week masturbatory session in the shower, because it was easier to clean up after he was done. Afterward, he’d make a cup of hot chocolate and read a book until he felt sleepy.
Promotions had come and gone; never really his fault when he was passed over. He didn’t make a strong enough impact to give cause for anyone to want to move him up, so, he stayed in his cubicle, which always had enough paper on his desk to cause spontaneous combustion.
Pets ran away. Plants died. His parents moved and didn’t tell him the details. The last he’d heard was via a distant cousin he discovered on Facebook. Turns out they were in Boca, and enjoying their savings. Soon after this bit of news, the cousin blocked him from her account, and his friends dropped down to three, including the advertising company that promoted hair growth.
He'd put things down, and couldn’t find them again. He tried to move to new apartments, hip lofts, only to discover they’d set aside his deposit, and rented to someone else. His weight went up thanks to his habit of eating ice cream at midnight out of the carton while standing in front of the freezer. His car died. So did his neighbor, who wasn’t discovered until a slightly disgusting odor drifted into the hallway.
It was this event that got him to thinking about his own death. How would it be handled by others. Who, if anyone, would come to his funeral. What would happen?
Thus, he decided to take matters into his own inept hands. He had a vision of what should happen, and he moved forward with a purpose to make sure everything would be in place. He started to make lists, losing some along the way, discarding others as too vague. He worked and thought and wrote notes, wanting some kind of peace of mind on his way to ending it all. This way, too, he'd avoid Thanksgiving for once, a fact that made him oddly content.
First, he called around, then went to pay for, a cremation. Not being sure of how many would attend, he felt he could hope for at least one person to carry the urn out of the chapel. Next, he taped the music he wanted played, since it seemed silly to pay for a musician for what could be a small number of mourners. He chose the flowers and pre-paid a caterer to bring both the flowers and the food over to the small banquet room he rented at the Best Western near the airport. Cleaning out his savings was a small price to pay for knowing he’d be taken care of, that a decent funeral would be in place, that he could die knowing this time, he’d controlled the event, the event hadn’t controlled him. For once, things looked as if they would be neat and tidy and everything coming together so neatly brought him pride in his planning of his death.
The Sunday morning of the Big Event, he rose, showered, dressed and had his favourite breakfast of Capt’n Crunch and a bacon sandwich. Two cups of coffee later, he stood up to start this last day on earth... his elbow catching the bowl with the yellowish milk in the bottom, knocking it to the floor. It took him a good 10 minutes to clean up the mess, rinse out the dishrag, and make sure the floor wasn’t sticky. He wanted to finally be able to make a good impression.
Going into the small bedroom, which had been advertised as ‘quaint’ (a nice way of saying a bed will fit, and that is it), he started to put on his suit fresh from the cleaners, only to discover it had a button missing, and that they hadn’t removed the grease stain from the fly area, where he’d dropped part of his tuna salad sandwich the week before. While tying his shoes, one of the laces broke just below the eye, and it wouldn’t thread through to allow him to tie a small knot and still use the lace. Switching out the black laces for a pair of white ones from his sneakers, he moved into the bathroom to brush his teeth and comb his hair...clean and tidy was the final goal.
The blue toothpaste left a small smear on his white shirt, even after he’d dabbed at it with a wet washcloth. His hair refused to obey, being too long to lie straight on his head, instead going into an unattractive wave that flopped over his forehead. He wet it down, slapped on some gel, and again combed it into place, something that only served to give his hair that creepy sex molester look you see on ‘America’s Most Wanted’---stiff with the grooves left from the comb showing.
Finally, he was ready. Exhausted, but, ready. He opened up the bottle of sleeping pills he’d managed to get from his doctor, citing insomnia, and washed them down with a half empty (in his eyes) glass of tequila. Making sure his apartment was unlocked, he taped an envelope marked “CALL THE POLICE BEFORE COMING IN” with his note to the world inside, along with the instructions on how to carry out his funeral and his small Will, which left everything to that same distant cousin; it was the least he could do to pay back the information he’d been given. As he shut the door, the draft from it closing caused the envelope, held up by cheap tape, to lift off the door and slide under the hallway rug, where it wasn’t found until the following Spring, too late to do any good.
He went to the sofa, and lay down upon it, waiting to go to the other side.
He drifted off, never knowing it took three days for anyone to realise he’d not been into work. Four days before anyone remarked on that same matter during a coffee break. On the Monday of the week following his Big Event, his supervisor wrote him up for not coming in, recommending he be fired. It was the next day, a Tuesday, before they finally sent someone over, who, along with the Super, realised the door was open, giving them easy access. They came in and there he was, not on the sofa (where he’d planned on being discovered, in his some what rumpled suit and the green tie he really loved with his hands folded peacefully on his chest), but, in the bathroom, quite dead.
The autopsy said the pills and booze had mixed in his stomach, churning and gurgling...and it must have roused him enough to realise he had to empty his stomach. The bruises on the back of his hands were from hitting them against the doorway on his trip to the bathroom, to deal with his sickness. There, he’d sank to his knees, bent over the open toilet, and passed out into the BluClean water, thus drowning.
The landlord took possession of everything he'd left behind, selling it on Craigslist, to pay for the complete fumigation of the apartment. When his parents came into town that March, finally stopping to visit on their way to see the distant cousin, they were told he had left no notes, no instructions, nothing, and his body been handed over to the city to bury. His grave was unmarked, his funeral unattended, and the pre-paid food had been dutifully delivered to the Best Western, where it sat for a day, finally being thrown away by the cleaning crew. The maids took the flowers home, enjoying the beauty of the roses and lilies, never wondering who had ordered them nor why no one had shown up.
In May, when the building owners decided to renovate the common areas, the rug was picked up, and the envelope found. It was too late by then to do anything, really, so, it was crumpled up and thrown away, as forgotten as the man himself.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
only a short time, and we can go the rest of the way-and i'll find peace in the fire's warmth again.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
if i suffocate her now, no one will know she ever existed. i can deny that she was born, and that allows me to deny she died. it wasn't supposed to happen, it was supposed to be just the one time, and i'd be safe, right? as a virgin, i'd be safe because you don't get pregnant the first time. right?
she grew in me. hated inside me.
here, in the bathroom... i've had her, and i don't know where to go from here...
if i suffocate her, i can go to my old life. if i don't....
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
a lantern light from deeper in the barn
shone on a man and woman in the door
“maddie, is this really what you want?”
“yes. yes, it is. i’ve had a long time to think about it, and this is exactly what i want. to be done with this place, to go as far away as i can.”
“are you sure she hasn’t figured it out yet? you aren’t very good with secrets.”
“this secret, i’ve kept.... i swear, no one knows but you and i.”
“i don’t know, she’s not stupid. she listens when you think she’s asleep, she finds hidden journals, she figured out how to log into a computer... what if she finds some link, some clue?”
“everything is password protected on my laptop. if she manages to figure out the password there, all she’ll find is bullshit i’ve done or written. every thing i’ve had to actually write about, is under a fake name, with no autotext fill in shit. there is no way.. no way at all.”
“i have to believe you on this... if it goes wrong, we are majorly fucked. there can be no links, no trails, nothing. this is freaking me ou, this idea of yours. i’m not sure i understand why you are doing this, while at the same time, i do understand.”
“it will never end otherwise... you know that. i’ll be here, tending to this place i hate, dealing with a woman who makes my teeth hurt, stuck here forever. i’m going to do it, and if you don’t want to join me, well, fine. no, really, fine.. i can do it alone.”
“you were always stubborn... that’s why she hates you. i mean, come on.. you’ve never done anything the way she wants it done.. it gets finished, but, you do it your way. so, yeah, fine, let’s do it your way.”
“thank you. you don’t know ho.. no, you do know. i could never follow through if you weren’t backing me. i promise you, no one will ever figure it out. i’ve thought and thought and gone over every possible problem, and i’ve worked around them. there are letters mailed to cover her being gone, and....shit. shit. shit. i don’t want to cry right now. give me a minute, okay? we can do this.. i can do this. it’s her or me.”
“and then it’s me and you. right?”
“right. okay, it’s now or never.... hand me the ax, the blankets are in the kitchen pantry. what’s that shitty phrase she always used? no time like the present!”
a lantern light from deeper in the barn
shown on a man and woman walking from the door.
Monday, June 15, 2009
my barbie had a head that fell off, making her easy to dress, and she spent most of her time in her case... she bored me.
i thought my daughter would love them, so, i bought all kinds, only to find out she didn't find them so great, either.
grandchildren are in store... i suspect i can hope the pattern will be broken, and all those dolls i saved will eventually have a home.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
i thought about streaking.
then, i realised anyone who saw me naked would never have children, so, i decided it was best i remain clothed and mysterious.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
we never stopped to think we were sailing on a raft made of bits of wood and tar paper pounded together with a boomstick mast and a sheet for a sail. we didn't care we were on a pond that was full of muck and snapping turtles and snakes.
we only knew we were free, and young, and nothing else mattered.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
all my growing up years, i wanted a guitar. please, mom, i'd beg, let me have and learn the guitar, so i can sing for you like joni mitchell or joan baez or judy collins. please!!
that christmas we moved, the boys got the bikes they wanted, and i waited for my gift... which was a ukulele. she thought it was 'cute' and as always, a version of what i actually wanted.
i never sang for her again.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
we play cards to bond, my mother and i. we seldom speak, i avoid time with her...past misery consuming my thoughts when she's around...but, when we are in the same place, we play gin. it bonds us, makes us laugh, gives us a safe place to be together.
this is a good thing, and lets me carry on without feeling guilt for the rest of the time.
instead of waiting, i go to tarot cards, looking for the answers there. will i be pretty, will i be rich... will he ever love me as i love him? they never give me an answer i can live with, so, i ask again and again. perhaps one day, i'll be strong enough to stop and simply wait and see.
i doubt it, though.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
everyone desires a prince in their lives....but, i? i was a prince who wanted a princess. although there shouldn't have been a problem with that, i had one... i was a prince born in a princess' body, and, until i had that magic kiss to free me, i'd remain one.
i am patient.
Friday, June 5, 2009
"why did you marry him, then?", i asked, puzzled.
she laughed, "because, he knew how to use what he had. you figure it out."
i shuddered at the mental picture, and left the room.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
it was an ordinary day--isn’t that how so many stories begin? it was an ordinary day, one that started in an ordinary way, with ordinary events done by ordinary people. not a single thing stood out one way or the other; not bad, not good..simply ordinary. that was the puzzle that remained after all was said and done (another of those ordinary sayings, right?) yes, after all was said and done, no one could quite understand the events that occurred on that ordinary day by an ordinary man.
it’s folly to believe only people with a slightly warped psyche become hostile. it’s silly to think the rest of us are, for the most part, mild mannered and rational. although we know in our dna hearts we are capable of great violence, we maintain the pretense we are civilised, able to work things out with a touch of anger, a pinch of sarcasm, a spoonful of irritation--yet, in reality, beneath the tight smile and flat eyes of someone discussing their side of a heated debate, what lurks is a huge well of pure need to destroy something or someone if we decide that’s the way to go.
and so it was, on that ordinary day, a ordinary man who had lived his life loving then hating then fearing he’d become his father actually reached that point....and stepped into the personality he’d avoided all of his life. he opened his mouth, and told his daughter in no uncertain terms exactly what he thought about her, the harsh things he had always suppressed in order to not be that person he feared--leaving her destroyed and dismissed when he was done. he walked away, waving off her sounds of pain, proving yet another ordinary statement; the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
"do i look as if i want to dig my eyes out with a spoon, stomp on them, bury them while blind then spend my life walking about with a cane and a farting german shepard leading me?"
"great! let me set up the board!", said the man i loved, who went through life with blue eyes, and asperger's
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
for my father
as he moved into the disease, as it filled his head with mish mash and lost connections and words he struggled to remember, feeling their texture with his tongue and teeth, yet knowing at times they were the wrong word.... as he lie in bed in the morning, curtains drawn, he’d wonder if the big hand on twelve and the little hand on seven was morning or night...
as he allowed his face to privately show the concentration he put into dressing...working to maintain that crisp presence he’d always been so proud of, noting only the dry cleaning sharpness of the crease in his trousers or the smooth feel of his shirt, ironed by another's hands --not seeing the food stains from the last time he’d worn it. brushing his still heavy head of hair, the curls lying flat under the water in the brush for a few moments. shaving by feel. brushing his teeth, checking them in a mirror with eyes that couldn't see them any longer. habits were hard to break.
he felt along the counter for the cane he needed to walk, enjoying the beauty of the carved handle even as he hated the need to use it to get around these days.
the routine was all... key off the hook and into his right pocket, wallet which contained one twenty dollar bill, his license which had been revoked, a photo of his granddaughter in the left back pocket... the routine allowed him to not have to call for help finding something. he would say it under his breath... “key. wallet.lock door”. when he returned from the group dining hall, he’d say, “hang key. wallet down. cane on counter.” it gave him some sense of control over a life that was lived in foggy vision, dimmed hearing, muddled mind. he'd call the daughter, complaining about the crap food and the fucking morons he had to share a table with.
on occasion, she was called in by the director of the facility, as he'd once been called in to discuss her behaviour with her principal... walking him back to the room, talking in a crisp voice so he could hear her... reminding him it was not a good idea to start a geriatric rumble with the man who sat across from him... and, yes, he was spitting even if he called it "...an accidental wet cough".
he had dreams that slipped from the night into the day, when time escaped him. he would look down and discover he was sitting in his chair, in his underwear, and be ashamed his children might stop by and find him that way.
his life was no longer his own- it belonged to others, with people giving him pills, doctors visits, phone calls he hated to make to ask for help, when he had always been the strong one, the pillar everyone leaned upon.
in the end, his day flowed into death between heart beats... and in those dreams, he could see and hear and walk once again... there, in that place he woke in, he found all of the words he’d forgotten, discovering they’d not forgotten him. in those dreams, he didn’t hear the keening of his daughter, the sobs of his grandchildren, the voices of their friends trying to help things move smoothly.
in those dreams, he found peace....and was once again home.
Monday, June 1, 2009
do remember, this IS a site for fiction. ha!