Thursday, December 6, 2012

run until we're out of time

Recently, I had a person tell me that I was "quite attractive". Isn't that funny? It's like something I could put on my resume. "Erica Anderson-Senter: finished college with a good GPA, can diffuse difficult social situations and is quite attractive." I thanked the person and quietly noted the formal feel of being not cute, and not hot, but "quite attractive." Fuck it, you guys, I'll take it.

This morning it was cold outside and I overburdened myself with too many things to carry. The most difficult thought I could entertain was how the hell I was going to open the door. As luck would have it, a man was standing near the entrance, so I asked him to help me out. He obliged, but he said he was only doing so because I looked like a nice young woman who voted for Romney. If I had voted for Obama, he beamed with confidence, there's no way he would have opened the door for me. That shit's funny, huh?

Once, when I was six, I got a new baby brother. As the earth would spin, this baby grew up. Tucked in there, between then and now, we had this one shining moment when we jumped hard on my bed in the cold room and sang Farmer in the Dell as loudly as two blonde Andersons could. We sang and jumped and jumped and sang until our feet and throats were bloody with so much love. The moment stayed in time. But, goddamn, how far away.

Once, I overheard my cousin getting beat in her bedroom for not sweeping the floor.

Another time, Monica told me in the gym that daddies pee inside mommies every night. I couldn't handle this, so I ran away crying.

Early, one morning, I watched my childhood home burn to the ground.

Each life composed of tiny, pin-head moments that craft something beautiful. And something awful.

Monday, December 3, 2012

settle down, it'll all be clear

Allow me to transcribe an entry (by me) out of my grandma's wellness journal. Yes, we keep a wellness journal. This may be the most hurtful thing we've ever gone through and besides wanting to remember everyday, I think it's the most important thing to monitor. I know you weren't judging me, but I felt the need to explain...

"Woke up @ 3:00 am - took Seroquel to sleep, but still woke up. Finally went back to sleep @ 4am - didn't wake up until 6:00am./Did not have very good morning - messed up a recipe & it hurt her feelings./Throughout the morning she became agitated on and off./As the day went on she got a little better./Started her Paxil mid-day. Will start tomorrow for longevity @night time./Her spirits got better towards evening./ Morning sugar: 80 Evening Sugar: 116."

Boring, I know. But let me tell you - it's nice to tell someone everyday how one of the most important people in your life is doing, even if it is just a $2 notebook from Wal-Mart. Sometimes when I finish I feel devastated. Others, light. But altogether, better, you know? Writing can do that. Strike that - writing does that is what I meant to say.

I snatched a few moments from the universe this afternoon to tell you that my writing is the love of my life - I wish I had more time these days to be the suitor she deserves, but I don't. I do pine for the quiet tip taps of my keyboard and crafting a sentence with my own hands -- one day, I'll be married to words. Right now, I'll be content with the moments we get to make out in the sunshine.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

i hope we hold on til the last exit

The swing on my grandparent's porch is moving with the wind. Their dishwasher just gave up on dinner plates and me? I'm up past midnight writing and drinking. There are a handful of things I want to describe in detail, I have nearly 7 poems started (fragments and broken sentences floating around, dying to escape and live and breathe) but alas, words fail the occasion.

Today, I woke up $800 poorer. Someone somewhere landed my identity and paid lots of money for make up and pajamas and shoes. If that bitch only knew what it was like in my identity, she'd apologize. She'd probably say, "oh, you poor, sad girl. Your grandma is broken? And you're deathly alone? And you feel panic everywhere? I'm sorry," she'd say. She might hug me and say that she's had a rough year, too.

But, it's just another thing in this world.

This world.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

sweeter than a grape on a vine

Waking up with a tiny bit of hope changes a girl. It makes waiting for tea not so burdensome. And putting off chores not such a chore. It makes drinking tea with honey AND milk like a New Year's Eve Party. It makes "Unchained Melody" even sweeter, like the first love story. Hope does crazy things. And that's okay.

I may even just sit here, press these little buttons, make words and sip this tea like nothing is wrong... at least, just for this small moment, this brief sliver of time.

We all know, though, after the tea is finished, I'll stand up. I'll disturb the sleepy, black kitten and life will come back. My grandma is still (mostly) blind, I still have dishes to do and covers to fold, and the songs have moved on from love to betrayal.

Just like life. Never stops.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Think I'm Cured

It's been a long time. And I'm not going to sugar coat anything, so, be prepared for facts that slice through human bodies easily and without remorse.

Let's start with the basics: life can fuck you up. That seems circular, I know, but go with it. Truths are vague and ever changing and unfair. Existence is hard, because it is, and also because, if we go in and out of it, is it really existing. Okay. Basics covered.

Now, on to the hard-stuff: Remember my grandma who had the health scare? Well, it wasn't over. As it is with life, things only got worse.

She was finally diagnosed with Giant Cell Arteritis. The devastation is, though, she was diagnosed too late by her back-woods physicians. She has lost complete vision in her right eye and approximately 80% in the other. No peripheral. She'll close her good eye and cry about the "gray mud" she sees. "Gray mud" she'll cry - that's all I see. Now, the 20% she has retained is dim. She calls life the "Dark City" - and it wouldn't be so beautiful if it wasn't so shattering. She'll smile and shake her head and cry and convince me that she'll be fine living in the Dark City.

Yesterday morning she woke up and everything was a little dimmer. She began shaking and crying and we admitted her into the hospital again. This time in Indy. (We'll never go back to Ball Memorial in Muncie. Fuck those guys).

Blindness, guys. We are battling an auto-immune disorder that attacks blood flow to the brain- it's already killed one optic nerve and it's trying so hard to slaughter the other.

We're sad. My papa cries and cries when she's not around. She cries and cries when he's not around. We're all dying in the Dark City.

But I suppose we all are.

I will write more about this somewhere, sometime.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

where i see a lot of stars

I drink beer now. And Merlot. I don't know what's happening.

I actually do, but anyway...

I am assigning phases in life, familiar situations, to alcohol. Okay, you ready?

Sweet reds - flings.
A good, and true Moscato - one night stand or a serious 2 day stint of sexting with a (kind of) stranger. Merlot - A complicated relationship, complete with comfort and conflicting feelings.

Shot of tequila followed by sangrita - a seriously good masturbation.
PBR (or Hamm's) - maybe one kiss on the cheek, or can be subbed out for a fun night with friends.
Drambuie - sitting in the evening sun.

Whiskey and coke - Writing when you're lonely.
Mojito - Wearing a tank top that shows a little too much of your (hot) side boob.
Lemon Drop Martini - well, this one needs no explanation.

So, you see what I'm doing? I'm becoming an alcoholic. But, I don't care. Life is hard - and love is hard - and separating the darks from the lights is hard. Everything is sore, so I drink and become familiar with fake scenarios that give me comfort.

Is that so wrong?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nothing Matters When We're Dancing

When I was seventeen, I was fighting for my life. And I was scrappy in typical 17-year-old ways. Making out with boys in the back of my car, in barns, at stop signs on desolate country roads, on couches, on beds, standing up, on their door steps, in clothes, out of clothes, at parties in fields and so on and so forth. I had about 4 or 5 guys in my rolodex and a boyfriend. I know - despicable. And mostly, I'm not proud.

Haven't you noticed that life is hard? I was learning that shit on the front lines, and quickly. I had one dad to die, one mom to move away, brothers who had to follow and the entire life my little brain knew vanished - fell in between the railroad tracks on it's way out of town. I was (mostly) alone in the world. So, I filled up on fake comfort, tongues and sweaty encounters. And who's to say I didn't enjoy it? Things were fucked up; I was pretty and without a curfew and had a badass Buick. I don't hate it that I learned life like this. Because I had a chance to.

Two 17 year old kids got killed in my hometown on Saturday. They tried to out-run a train.

They tried to out-run a mother fucking train. Kids, you guys, just kids who will never have a chance to find out that life (kind of) evens out as you get older. Grief is coiled in my stomach for their families and for their friends and for the train conductor and for the first responders and for the void my small town will suffer and for the mercilessness of this world. I'm sick. And I'm so sorry.

Sorry.. but also thankful.

Friday, October 26, 2012

only, I don't know how

I happen to be okay by myself. Which is shocking and unexpected news from someone who rates as a 99% extrovert on all the personality tests. (Let's be honest, I've only taken the Myers-Briggs: ENFJ, gentlemen.) But I'm okay alone. Let me clarify, though, to allow no room for error. I'm okay alone for a small amount of time. And by alone, I mean, surrounded by people. Because here I am on a Friday night, the husband is out of town and I tote my laptop to my favorite pizza place, order wine and listen to the hum of happy families eating. It's still alone, right? Just *not* alone. It's a seriously complicated paradox, but me? I'm okay with it.

It wasn't always so, as it is with every love story. In college I was not okay. The middle of my sophomore year I was a funeral march. Everything was devastating - I stayed in bed for hours and days and hours in a day and months more like, it was foreign to me. The soles of my feet were heavy with pain - why would I want to walk?

And here's the turn around: one night, locked in a study room in the upstairs of the library trying my little heart out to type a Philosophy paper, I called my Nena and cried and cried and cried about everything. I just kept sobbing "I'm so sad" over and over again. She waited until I took a breath (a gasp, a "MAN OVERBOARD" kind of thing) and she said calmly and seriously and full of the softness of a goddamned rose, she said: "pack your bags. I'm coming tonight."

That's the woman who helped build me.

That's the woman who had a major health scare this week - everything is fine, now. But Tuesday I was convinced that every breath I took, every red light I saw on my frantic drive down to her house was going to be forever stayed in my heart as a fucking curse.
Did I mention she's fine now?

She is. And I'm not sure I've ever been so thankful. Because here is the truth: my life is nothing without her joy. Because sharing a bottle of Merlot with her on the north porch in my hometown beats everything. Everything. She is mine and there is no simple way to say it. With her living, I live.

I know you understand.

Monday, October 22, 2012

for the life of me, i can not remember

"Remember who you wanted to be." What kind of guilt trip is that goddamned bumper sticker trying to evoke? Hey you, old Saturn, YOU remember who YOU wanted to be. Don't go around pointing your dirty fingers at me, in my face.

I know, I know...

It wasn't personal. But it sure seems like it could be these days.

I'm way off, guys. And sometimes it really is debilitating. But sometimes, it's okay.

It's a hard one. Tonight, I'll let it wash over me however it chooses - but mostly, I'm hoping for a baptism.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

you may as well get what you want

I drove to the top of a parking garage tonight and stood on the roof of my car. It sounds insane, doesn't it? It is a desperate act of an unbalanced human. It has to be, right?

I haven't figured anything out.

If you're wondering, it was awesome. Just standing there taller than the mundane shit around me - people walking on the sidewalk not knowing that a looming petite girl was wavering right above their heads. Scurrying around, quickly, probably thinking about sweeping their floors or grocery lists or it probably really doesn't matter what they were thinking - I was just there. Existing in a solitary moment. Breathing and breathing. Wondering how I don't ever know what to do about how I feel.

Life is moving. And it makes me do a lot of standing still.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

bring me a dream

This is my favorite time of the year - I know, I know, that's a very Shit Girls Say kind of thought, but it's true. It's refreshing, feels like the end to a long day deep breath. It's a sigh, a feeling of "finally", you know? Now, in a few weeks I'll be sad that summer is just a memory, but right now I feel very content - floating in water, resting, listening to wind.

It won't last. Nothing lasts, not with me anyway.

That's okay, though. I can live in this moment right now - the sea of foliage, the easiness of cooler weather on my skin - the capability of being free during the inbetweens. I can do it. And when the time comes that I'm not so relaxed, I can remember when I was.

When I was young, we had a big brick, built up grill in our back yard - I busted my skull on it once running away from a kid named Keith. That night was full of good, full of bad but wonderfully bloody and sweaty. Life is like that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

take my whole life, too

Boy, I was drunk during that last blog post. Did you even understand anything? Because, rereading it, doesn't make sense to me. I thought, "goddamn it, that girl is drunk." And it's true. I got drunk on Sunday night, too. That time I wasn't alone, which is a little bit better. I was surrounded by my hardware buddies who just couldn't stop buying me drinks. And you know how that goes? It's chapter 1 in my etiquette book, you never say no to a free drink UNLESS it has a roofie in it. Duh, you guys.

But today the sun is absurd (in a good way) and so is work (in the bad way) and life is back to normal. I get to have a sweet black kitten on my lap and a boy who likes to wake up next to me. It's difficult to stay disappointed with life when the fundamentals are bursting with goodness.

Also, you may have noticed that I've scaled back on writing real things - forgive me, okay? Soon. Not that you wait with baited breath and curse the universe and sob in the corner of your house because my posts have been shitty, but soon. Ok?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

woke up with a strange tattoo

It's funny the things we do, you know, as humans. Money and work and companionship and feeling connected and combing our hair. Just the craziest stuff that's normal. But, let's face it, it's fucking crazy.

I don't know, you know? A few whiskeys and I'll type, erase, re-type, re-erase and re-re-type a blog post. Nothing seems to make sense, just that I'm tired. I work too much and feel insanely under appreciated and a tad bit lonely. Over worked and a little bit drunk, those two things probably go hand in hand. But I hate doing that shit alone in Indianapolis in a hotel bar. Anyway, I'm selling the shit out of moth balls and fly swatters this weekend. Twice a year, for 3 whole days at a time, I sell hardware or things that get sold in hardware stores. Weird, right? Let's face it though, selling is in my blood.

I'm ending this before it makes less sense than right now.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

birds pass by to tell me that i'm not alone

My dad's name was Dayne. Dayne Thomas Anderson. He was a handsome man, funny and sincere. People wanted to be his friend - his authenticity was palpable from across the room. I'm not kidding. He had a good laugh, a barrel chest and teeny tiny heart tattoo on his left arm.

He was born in late December back in '63 (yep, like the song)and he wore socks to his calves. My feet look a lot like his did.

My mom divorced him for a few reasons, one of them: he had a drinking problem. A big one. And even though he was an amazing example of a true and genuine human, his faults destroyed his family on several occasions. It was devastating to hear them fight as a tiny girl from my bedroom and know the *exact* moment it turned physical because the fighting sounded differently. It was hurtful to know too much, like how extra-marital affairs were commonplace in my parents' marriage as an 8 year old. I knew the phone number to the police, by heart. I would hide and call them if things got too much for my little heart to handle. I couldn't participate in fundraisers; the money would be used for booze. These things, I'll never forget.

But along with those things, I know he loved me. I know he quit drinking for my brother and me - I know those things because he told me ALL THE FUCKING TIME. He apologized and I believed him. Strike that, I believe him. Alcoholism is a disease and because he was my dad and I was his daughter and because we are Andersons and because I know that life is a fuck fest most of the time, I forgive him. AND I believe him. I know he's sorry and I know that if he were alive, we'd be close.

People tell me I remind them of his best times. They tell me I have his smile and his social charisma. And I'm proud of that. I'm happy to be Dayne Anderson's daughter. I know now what I couldn't have understood then. And that is quite alright.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I know you've been hurting

The kitchen was quiet tonight - it was me (soggy hands) and tomato stained bowls. My breathing was steady; no explanation - just steady.

Some days that's a little miracle.

And outside, tiny little specks of water hit the window. Quietly.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

what a shame that you came here with someone

Today is too good to wake up with a gooey right eye and a sore scratchy throat. And even though, this year, I've been getting sick every other month, I'm going to declare, "Not this time!!" And if it has to happen, it's not happening today. I have too many things to accomplish: too many Vietnamese foods to eat, too many friends to hang out with, too many sunshines to soak up, too many other fun things that I don't have the energy to list... So, I won't.

But before I completely vaporize into the sunny day that's awaiting me, full of positivity and happiness, I'm just going to ask:
What the fuck?

What the fucking hell is happening to me? Why do I get sick so damn much these days? I used to only get the sniffles like once a year - and if I did succumb to sickness, it was ONCE - NOT ALL THE TIME.

I have one, and only one, conclusion: The Library. And I stand by that shit.

Friday, September 28, 2012

I'll See You in Heaven (if you make the list)

There are big things to write about all the time. And mostly, I don't do it. There are HUGE things that should be completely unavoidable: meaning of life, ancient atoms forged in the sun, Buddha, Gandhi, Jesus..all being born from the same mother - you know, big stuff like that. Mostly, I'm all selfish and little and petty and "my problems this" and "my problems that".

Today is going to differ this way: I'm going to talk about good, solid, salt of the earth stuff. And it's going to revolve around my mom.

My mother was a tile setter - one of the first women in Indiana to move past her apprenticeship and become a full fledged Journeyman, you know, Master. Not kidding. She worked hard as fuck for the money she made; she'd haul bags of dry concrete mix up and down stairs, she'd work in the freezing cold or smouldering heat surrounded by construction men, who, more than once, taught my worldly mother a new colorful phrase or two. My mother essentially became "one of the guys" by working her hands to the bone.

Before that, she was a hairdresser. Before that, she was a teen mom. And before that she dropped out of high school to ran away to Texas, following a boy with blonde hair and big teeth.

She decided to have me, despite having made an appointment for an abortion. Can you believe that? She was actually IN THE WAITING ROOM before she and my dad decided, "you know, we can do this..." And they did do it, people. Here I am.

She has given me her work ethic. She taught me to fry an egg perfectly, in bacon grease. Devotion and loyalty and to utterly lose my shit when a bee or a mouse or a moth is around. I know, because of her, that I'm strong. Even though mostly I'm insane, I know I could take this world on. I have learned through observation that we can all move past our pasts. She was beat, emotionally and physically, and while I was young, she was better to me. She always told me she loved me. There wasn't ONE NIGHT that I spent with her that she didn't give me a ridiculous amount of "good night"s, and "sleep tight"s, and bed time kisses.

She instilled in me a serious drive to always have clean sheets. She never once told me I was ugly, or a whore, or stupid like her dad told her a lot. She only spanked me with a belt once. She let me listen to Nirvana and Violent Femmes and Green Day. She didn't ever give me permission to date that older boy, I mean, I did anyway - but I also got that from her.

So, what I'm saying is this: most of my life was good. The "men standing around with one foot on the truck's bumper drinking beer and women gathered around clucking about weather and kids and men" good. There were some hard times - some of my deepest wounds are from her, but some of my strongest characteristics were cut from her mold.

This post is for my mom - and if I'm ever a mom, I can't wait to tell my daughter about the good things her grandma has done.

Friday, September 21, 2012

wrap you in my colors and keep you warm

Yesterday was the day - the last of our rabies vaccines. And for celebration, Andy and I went to the zoo with our closest friends. Then had pizza at our favorite pizzeria. After that, we came home and slept. The vaccine turns our legs to stone after a few hours, and causes our blood to slow slightly and we get SO tired. (*NOTE: I don't think that's what *really* happens, but it does make us sleepy). After this, you know, Rabies Summer 2012, I've learned lots about the proverbial self. I have. However, I can't really piece those together to make coherent thoughts... the one thing I do keep coming back to is: I'm very happy I'm not dying of rabies.

I feel at ease knowing I won't have to watch my partner die of rabies.

No hydrophobia. No inflammation of our brains. I won't have to ask someone to shoot me in the head. You know, lots of things to be happy about.

I'm often very afraid of death - this was no exception. Especially during those sleepless nights. I would lay awake and JUST KNOW that my hallucinations were rabies-induced. I thought the incubation period sped up and I for sure had the full-blown, very mature virus eating away my central nervous system. I thought about my brothers and my mom and what me dying would do for them. Are my grandparents going to miss me like I'd miss them? Would they think about how I learned to water ski just to impress them? I would stew about Andy, would he stay in our apartment, would he move back to Missouri and help his mom around the house? Is he going to sell my clothes? Would his next wife want babies? Please fucking tell me he wouldn't date someone in this neighborhood. Would my little black cat pine for me? And I'm not kidding, I worried about dying in a hospital room... and as I would cry and cry and cry, I would swear there were bats just flying around trying (TRYING!) to get in my house.

I know. I'm crazy. It's true. (And really, really selfish.)

I know death is close always. It may be in 20 years, 2 days or 6 decades... it's still close and scary. I know these things pretty intimately, but never have I courted the idea that it was actually happening. This was sobering. The anxiety caused everything to be urgent. And true. But guess what, dudes?

I feel better. And honestly, do me a favor... IF I DO DIE, do NOT let Andy date a hipster.

Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Would Not Leave You in Time of Trouble

I'm up early on purpose. To write. If I'm going to live up to a label that I have plastered over my heart, it seems like I should carve out time and space in this little life of mine to work towards it.
Rewind a little: I actually talked about myself using the word "writer" yesterday.. I mean, I was utterly uncomfortable doing it and was talking with someone who is also a writer, so I felt safe(ish). But I did it.
I'm scared about doing that, though, you know? "Writer" implies creation; emotion provoking words being strung together with intention. I mean, I suck mostly, but I like the idea. So, I'll go with it.

Which, then, brings me back to this moment - this quiet, calm moment. It's early, the curtains are still closed and the cats have disappeared back to our bed. My tea is getting cold, but I'm not. I'm okay. At least, existing in this wonderfully dim-lit space in time, I'm okay.
My brain keeps lining up things for me to do, to accomplish today or this week or ultimately forever. But I can't right now. All I can do, all I can imagine myself doing today or this week or forever, is to write. Write away.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

my darling, dear, love you all the time

Oh, Jesus Christ, summer. I pine the year away waiting for summer and it's here and then it's gone - just like that. To be fair, it's still summer, but autumn is teasing me. "Right around the corner," I hear her saying. I'm devastated. Broken-hearted, they say in some parts of the country. But it's fine, you know, cycles and spinning and life and all that mumbo-jumbo.

This summer will always be the bat summer, you guys. 2012: The Summer of the Bat. Rabies-Summer 2012. The summer where we learned that yes, in fact, Andy is the brave one of the two of us. The summer where we learned that I know exactly what a bat sounds like, even in my half-awake-kinda-drunk state. We found out that despite Andy being in somewhat mortal danger, my ass will HIDE in the bathroom, lock the door and shut the transom. We learned that rabies is not eradicated from the human species and that the vaccines are incredibly expensive. I discovered that panic attacks can actually make a person long for alcohol, valium, in-patient mental care and sleep... boy, did I miss sleep. But, it's over. We're four days away from completing our Post-Exposure Rabies Regimen. I can chill the obsession of reading about what it's like to die of rabies. I can STOP the google searches "Indiana Brown Bat Flight Patterns", "Brown Bat Rabies", "Bat Babies"... I *can* stop, but probably I won't.

Other things happened this summer, too. Seriously. I took a badass southwestern vacation. Stomach viruses caused me to get a meth makeover.(SPOILER ALERT) A blind girl won Master Chef. I did stand up comedy (not very well). I was invited to participate in a poetry reading. Darth Vader visited the library. And you know, other things, but let's face it. Rabies is scary and I can't get it off my mind. I know the chances of us actually having been bit by that damn bat are really low, but not low enough to where I'll put my life on the line to actually test it. Which means one thing, guys. I actually care about my life.

So, use that. When I start to bitch, tell me, "don't start that belly-aching, girl. You like your life. You got that rabies shot."

And I'll have to agree.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

all farewells are sudden

Not once today did I feel rushed. For a moment, a panic attack teased my heart - those have been happening a lot since the bat got into my house - but I managed it. I took a few deep breaths and called wildly for my cats and realized that, at 10 am, there was no bat. And if there was a bat, I said, you'll take care of it. It worked. I calmed myself - a morning lake. But that was the only moment I felt anything outside of the parameters of good.

Moving slowly is purposeful. I meant to say "powerful" - but I'm going to keep purposeful. I might start doing it at work. Everyone expects us to hustle around, cloud up dust around our feet and beckon to every call. I'm going to have to quit that. And quit it soon. I'm honestly and fearfully at the edge of my current status. Which is to say, I need to stop this anxiety, I need to stop this rehashing every word to make sure no one is upset with me, I need to just stop. I need to calm, I need to be a morning lake. I need to wade like the Great Blue Heron. I need to saunter and smoothly glide. But beyond all this need, let's just say I want to. I want to do these things.

I'm mostly scared to not carry about pounds of stress and fear. I don't know who I'd be without it. I'm certain, though, in my most optimistic moments, that the Erica without all broken bones mended by negativity would be the best version of myself. So, let me start with that. Let me start with not gnashing my bones against all my anxieties.

Tomorrow, I'm moving slowly. Watch me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

her eyes were clear and bright

Can I just let you in on my life for a moment? These past few weeks have been absolutely bat shit crazy. I'm not even kidding in the slightest. In a nutshell: rabid bat, quarantined cats, rabies shots, panic attacks, insomnia and dissolving friendships. That's enough to fill a year, huh? I won't go into extreme detail, but just let me tell you it's bad when the only option you can muster is: beg the love of you life to leave you. He needs to divorce me, I told him, because I'm nuts. I'm crazy and I'll only drag his life down the tubes and he deserves better.

Sounds like a goddamn party at my house, huh?

It hasn't been. 
But, I'm going to tell you about a few good things. I'm going to bottle up my exhaustion for a few minutes and harness the good. You know, block the jive, baby.

1. Don't you just love it when birds run across the road? I do. I know I've mentioned this somewhere on the internets before, but seriously. It's one of my favorite things.
2. Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. Gimme that americana all day long - I'll sip it through a straw in the afternoons and take shots of it after dark. I can never tire of these dudes. I love them. I think, somehow, they know I've devoted my life, in a small way, to them.
3. I got lots of new (free) amazing makeup, two pairs of sweet earrings and two new dresses. This is fabulous, you know, for vain people like me. I like how I look mostly, except for that 3 pounds that just won't budge. (Hey, I told you I was vain).
4. Even though my job sucks all my life force through my nose, I'm still pretty damn good at it. I was spotted at a local farmer's market by a little girl who just stopped, dead in her tracks, and said smugly, "I know you. You are the librarian who did the Star Wars program." Yes, girl. Yes, I am.
5. I have this person in my life who will do things for me without check the house 6 or 7 times a night for bats. He will let me sob on his chest at 330am. He puts his hand, spread wide, over my sternum with just the right amount of pressure and reminds me, "breathe in. breathe out. breathe in. breathe out" when every single thing in the whole wide world is exploding my body apart. When all I want to do is die, he reminds me that it's okay to be alive, mostly. He doesn't mind how badly I sweat when I cry. He doesn't care that I have all the building blocks in place to be absolutely insane. He doesn't even mind that stubborn 3 pounds.

He likes me enough to not abandon me, even when I beg him to. And even after ten years, being together is a joy. And despite the uneasy few weeks, I have a constant.

I'm lucky.

Monday, August 27, 2012

i am ready, i am fine (guilt shame and pain)

Human bodies are strange things. It's an odd idea to be alive - to be moving these bones around with a mystical force - to allow this blood to pump all alone to every single space inside my skin.

Today is a day that requires lots of thought. I feel like I'm on the cusp of understanding something big. But I don't know why. And, especially this, I don't know how. I feel this way when I'm saying my goodbyes to people (and whether you know it or not, I've probably said my goodbyes to you). I feel this way when I know that this body of mine could fail at any given moment. I worry too much, I know. Quit telling me that. I've known for quite sometime. I live this life with this brain and this anxiety. I get it. I'm a big ball of worry, but guess what - it's true. We die. Quickly and without reprieve.

Someone asked me this weekend why I'm so fearful. I answered them as I would've answered anyone. And the song is sung like this: "wouldn't you? wouldn't you worry if you heard your dad scream as he died in a house consumed by fire and fear? Wouldn't you worry if you watched the electrical lines bounce around alive outside your childhood home as everything burned down? wouldn't you if you were haunted by the half corpse that was collected by the firemen who couldn't have cared less?" I didn't say that. I didn't. I wanted to. I said, "because my dad died quickly - and it makes me nervous for everyone i love."

He said I was tormented, this person. I told him that I knew I was. People who live just are. People who live and know how close they are to death just are tormented. And I will be far longer than I want to be.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

heavenly shades of night are falling

I know I've said this before, but, guys, I hold grudges. I hold them tenderly, infants I coddle and nurture and help grow, until they're too big. So, then, I put them down on the ground and walk along side them. They become part of who I am. Remember that girl who hurt my feelings by ditching me for the cool group in COLLEGE? I remember her. With disdain.

What about that family who used to sit in my section when I would sling pizzas and beers... the family with the kids who threw macaroni in my face, the family with the kids who minced up straw papers like expensive garlic. I remember them. The kids, okay, that's excusable, right? They're kids. But those grown-ups couldn't rip their fat faces from their iPads and Netbooks long enough to.. well... parent. Those kids are growing up with no hope. Those grown-ups deserve a well-fed grudge. And I'm just the gal for the job.

Okay? Got it? I understand where it comes from. I do. It's lengthy and vulnerable and for another post. But it has everything to do with trying so hard to be the peace-maker as a child and failing - marinating in a world of not being in control. Those things make me miserably hateful to strangers who suck major dick and incredibly devastated/broken-hearted when the people I love can't reciprocate the way I want them to. It seems like peace-making as a child and holding grudges don't go together, but they do. Believe me. Anyway, like I said earlier, that's for another post.

But, coming back to my original point, I hold grudges. But sometimes I don't want to. Sometimes I see things that make me want to be the "water off my back" girl. Sometimes I don't want to bite my nails because I'm so angry I can't do anything else. Sometimes I want to avoid the anxiety I have about confronting this weird toxin. All the time I want to be better. Better and better. But I just don't know how.

And let's be honest, I'm not sure I have the energy to put forth the effort. Especially when these people just don't understand how hard life can be. People fucking die and people fucking hurt and i'm fearful, like, all the goddamn time-- and here you are, nonchalantly allowing your children to throw macaroni in my sad face while I'm just trying to live.

I know. I'm selfish. But I've never claimed to be a good person. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

i still go out by the old house

I pretend I don't love it here. I get antsy sometimes and talk big shit about moving. Packing up my bags, I'll say. I'll say, Going out west. And you know what, in those moments I really want to be knee deep in red soil and ancient spirits. But right now, this is a beautiful place to be.

I can't hide it, really. You know those small moments that peep around the corner, shyly, like the new girl coming into math class? Like, the sun crashing it's way past my house and onto the neighbors big bay window. That's a shy moment that makes me want to sing. Or sitting quietly on the porch. Or knowing my neighbor next door will inevitably talk to me about salvation and amazing grace. Though I don't like that chatter, per se, I like that I know he'll slip it in whenever he can. Praise the lord.

Consistency. My white haired neighbor walking her cat, Pete. The man who lives in apartment 2 listening to The Morning Show so loudly about every other day. My pink perfume catching the sun in the bathroom window. The apple tree in the back yard doing it's thing, making me all romantic for the seasons. These are the things I can't yet sacrifice to the god of maybe-i-can-have-a-better-life-somewhere-else. And it's fine, you know? That's just what I have to tell myself. It's okay to pine for something else, or bigger, or redder, or just different -- but what's not okay is giving up amazing.

I mostly am in love with this, the here and now. I might moan about this thing or another thing, but I've nested in this town. And this town has grown comfortable with me, too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

i'm sure hard to handle

My neighbor across the street has died. It's unfortunate. He died alone. And that's a bummer - almost one of my biggest, most brooding fears. Hell, I'm afraid of driving to Indianapolis alone, so dying goes without saying, right? Anyway, his family is here cleaning out his apartment, trashcan after trashcan, box right after box and it got me thinking, what would people find going through my lifelong belongings. It's an odd thing to think about, everyone rummaging through the things I've treasured in my life. Anyway..

 books. (i mean it, BOOKS) bowls. it's sick how much i like buying bowls. random little notebooks with poems. The X-Files on DVD in collector's sets (season 1-7), fabrics i don't really ever intend on using. cleaning supplies, lots of them. my love letters to and from andy. wrapping paper from last holiday season and the season before that and the season before that. rock band. coats i haven't worn; coats i have. bedding because i really don't think anyone can ever have enough sheets. a rosary that would confuse my mom and friends alike. make-up i have never used; make-up well loved and used frequently... i mean, the list goes on.

I haven't seen my neighbor's family keep anything. And isn't that just heartbreaking? And if this blogpost is anything at all, it's a salute to companionship, to my partner in life. Because my grandparents wouldn't want my copy of American Indian Myths and Legends but, i really do believe, andy would go to war for it if i died. Same thing with that little blue prep-bowl we use daily for our meals that i bought that one time at that store that's out of business now. Or that dumb pillow case with obnoxious poppies on it.

I can't even think it through. I'm going to stop.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

half of what i say is meaningless

There are perfect seasons in my life. Friends are friends and my job is just a job and neighbors across our quaint street are not dying alone in their homes. The music has the best beat and good lyrics, the tea tastes like the first cup of tea, fever blisters exist but never on me and my goddamned apartment isn't as confining as I remembered from, I don't know, let's say, 2 months ago.
You know what I'm talking about, right? Like, perfect. Of course you do. Those seasons when time moves exactly as it should (whatever that means for you). And then, like any bi-polar person will tell you, there are those other times.

In ninth grade I cut my hair super, duper short. Pixie. The boy I liked called me a "lesbian" every single day in 7th period. But that's okay, wanna know why? I was cooler than where I was. I'm serious. Nirvana, The Beatles, Violent Femmes and Tom Petty cds frequented my little boom box, I made beaded necklaces and wore mismatched earrings. I survived my best friend's death and the death of my parent's marriage and 2 school moves within 2 years. I bailed hay and maintained a cool composure when faced with social conundrums. And I was smart.
Still am.

Third and Fourth grade were weird years for me. I was becoming aware of my caste, so to speak. I mean, "caste" is probably too harsh for the social stratification that occurs in rural towns, but I was realizing how poor I was, how uneasy it was to have an alcoholic dad and a desperate mom. It's fine, though. I had a bird book given to me by my great grandmother who taught me how to play cards, Scrabble and forced me to only have one iced oatmeal cookie every time I visited. She didn't play Old Maid the sissy way, either. She was straight streets - none of this "letting the kids win" bullshit. She had the flattest chest due to a mastectomy and a raw, but ladylike attitude (due to the depression). And because of her, now and then, I can point out a Belted Kingfisher, Red-Winged Blackbird, Great Blue Heron - tell you what they eat, where they live, how they sound. I can also remember where I was when I become cognizant of the existence of these beautiful creatures individually.


This kind of bullshit is a mix, huh? Bad and good. So, perfection can visit; I'll allow it, even welcome it. But, let me always be aware of proportions.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ole sweet song (Guilt, shame and pain)

I don't really want to talk about the summer my best friend died in my lap. After all, it was all my fault.

She was a tiny little fucker - gray hair, runt status and sharp little teeth she used on everybody who got in our way. She curled her little flea-ridden body up on my pillow every single night for six solid years, until the day she died in a stranger's yard, my tears falling in her beard.
I need you to know, I can't really go into much detail. This really fucks me up like no body's business, so I'll tell you bare bones.

The divorce was final. We were living in the country where she chased mice, ran like wild fire after the horses and acted like she was the biggest dog ever to be born. She helped me through 6th grade at a rural school where people hadn't even heard of the Violent Femmes. She reminded me of my dad and my old house and that one time my drunk dad kicked her the length of the dining room. I held her - well, no that's not right. She was an extension of who I was. She was a tiny part of my soul running around.

One day we brought 2 strays home. They infected our land with Canine parvovirus type 2, or parvo for short.

Little goddamned, lonely dicks. They just needed love, too. But instead, they infected her. Right before a big trip to Michigan to visit my mom's boyfriend's family.

She got really sick right before we left. My mom made me decide: take her to the vet or take her with us. Either way she'll probably die. I chose to take her. Guess what? She died. In misery. In pain. Vomiting blood, shitting blood, but still remaining my best friend.

We put her in a box then put that box in a garbage bag and put her little, tiny, beautiful body in the trunk.

I died with her.

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Grammy's from Cuba

I bet you don't know how young I was when I learned that Indiana doesn't sell alcohol on Sundays. I don't know how young I was - it seems like something I've always known. I guess when you grow up in a family of enthusiastic drinkers, you *know* things like this. Maybe I was born knowing it. (Doubtful - sometime ask me my thoughts on nature vs. nurture. Actually on second thought, don't.)

Anyway, yesterday we were out of beer. We had one hour before a dinner engagement. Yes, you guessed it: we drove to Ohio. Convoy, Ohio to be exact - bought some beer and drove back.

It felt nostalgic. Perfect weather. Cornfields. Beer in the backseat with the kids. We have become my father - and really, I'm okay with that.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

it's been a really, really messed up week (Guilt, Shame and Pain: take 1)

I've been thinking about doing a series of sorts on this blog. I know some writers who do this kind of thing and seems pretty successful. [Don't read that last sentence and think that I think I'm a successful writer - I just mimic the good ones]. So, I asked a few friends (two, to be exact) - they both thought it was an okay idea; let's give it a go, I thought.

Now, the theme is terrible. I mean, really heart wrenching - but the things I want to write about, I just can't shake 'em. I've tried poems - can't do it. This is it. This is the venue - I know it. I can feel it.

The last thing I want to say, before I intro my poor blogpost to death is this: Don't worry, guys. I've grown up to be a pretty function adult human being. Okay. Guilt, Shame and Pain.

It's tough being in sixth grade. In a new school. With your parent's divorce weighing heavy on everybody's mind. And a new boyfriend for your mom, who happens to also be your dad's sister's ex-husband. Did you catch that? Seriously. Looming step-dad is my ex-uncle. So, yeah, going back to the beginning, being in sixth grade sucks.

It was a time of sassy sarcasm, teeny tiny budding boobs, and really bad skin. My fuck-you attitude was incorrigible, down-right filthy compared to "this time last year", or so I heard people say. But what the hell? Could you blame me? Didn't think so.

I did enjoy reading beauty magazines. Weird, because I was the farthest thing from seventeen magazine that you could find. Honestly. However, it kept me tethered to an idea that things could be fine. I could, maybe one day, be pretty. I could, maybe one day, just focus on boy problems. I could, maybe one day, not worry about every little goddamned thing that I was worrying about. Look at these girls with freckles and teeth without gaps! Normalcy.

One summer day, I read that plunging your mascara brush in and out of the tube to load the brush with mascara was a falsity. IN ACTUALITY, it dried the make-up out! WHAT?! This was a mind-blowing revelation. I told everyone I came in contact with, because, every woman I knew who wore mascara did this very thing! I wanted it to stop. I wanted lots of things in the world to stop - starting with my inner turmoil, but one step at a time, I thought. Let's get this mascara fiasco under control.

Simultaneously, I wasn't speaking to my mother. She was a traitor, as far as I was concerned. New city, new boyfriend (ex-brother-in-law), new house - BUT the same make-up routine. I knew she pumped that mascara brush - I just really, seriously OCD like needed this to end.

One day, in our small white car, I worked up the courage to be a daughter again and just tell her this new thing I learned. I envisioned her taking heed to my words and thanking me for this - boy, won't this save us money - wow! erica, you're becoming a little woman. You know, stuff like that. Turns out, she was hurting beyond control, too, but I didn't know. You know?

I told her.

She made fun of me. I mean, out right. "OH!" she said. "She thinks she knows more about make-up than me" speaking to the new boyfriend.

"Don't *tell* me how to do my make up" directed right at me.

I cried. Very hard for a few minutes. And even more that night.

I come back to that day a lot. More than I should, I suppose.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

late december back in '63

Yep, that's my bike. In the time of vintage Schwinns with baskets and cute girls in cute dresses with arm tattoos, riding them, mine is a mountain bike redeemed with Marlboro miles.
It's a boy's bike, too.
My bike is a monster truck - the kind people piece together from junkyards with Budweisers in their hands. My bike is that girl in gym class who can climb that damn rope...twice. My bike is steak and potatoes.

I love it.
I ride it around this neighborhood I live in with pride. In my cutoffs.

The first thing you should know about my bike is: it belonged to my dad.

The second thing you should know is: he diligently smoked a shit ton of cigarettes (Reds) to save the miles. If he saw a pack on the ground, he picked up the trash and ripped off the miles. He worked at the landfill, his eyes were always on the look-out for discarded carton cardboards - it was a religion. He saved the miles like they were on their way to perdition. 5 miles at a time -- working his way towards this Fuji mountain bike (that's, by the way, heavy as hell).

I remember the day it happened. He had enough miles to get this bike - which is great, because with all his DUIs, he really needed some transportation. Right on time, I thought. Like a miracle. Shiny and red with five speeds - perfect for riding around our little rural town, flipping the townie cops the middle finger and wearing this bike like a badge of honor.

It was a few summers before he died. He got this bike. Rode this bike. Wrote his name on tape and stuck it proudly down the seat-tube. (The tape is still there).

I ride my bike proudly. And while you are daintily pedaling your bike worth much more than mine, I know that a bike can be much more than a bike, it can be salvation.

I'd go to war on this steed - I'd go to war for this steed.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

da do ron ron ron a do ron ron

What if I really held audience with the thought of running west? What happened to that one time I was full of good ideas and better intentions and goals? I don't even know what goals are.
I want to pull the earth like taffy and create. I feel tethered to a place that really might not give two shits about me. That's not cool, you know? But I don't know how to present myself brand new - things get slapped together in a half-assed way and I'm right in the middle.

In addition to feeling weird, I must tell you - I read poetry to a real group of people last friday.
that was a good thing.
a really good thing.

i might even do it again.

Monday, June 4, 2012

on a dark windless night

Let me start out with being honest.
Maybe I've gone my whole life without knowing true religion. Maybe not. I don't really know. I mean, I used to think about stuff in a completely different way - which, I think is maybe growing up? But these past two weeks I've been breathing deeper, hanging out with ancients, picking up all the red soil I could manage and getting dust in my shoes.

I've never invented corn. I've never built my house with my own hands. I've never ground my own corn. I've never sat underground with my family and loved them through a cold winter's night. What the hell.
I don't necessarily feel badly about it, but I just wonder how am I supposed to know anything at all. I've never done anything. At all.
I'm certain I've gone my whole life, and will continue to go the rest of my life, being blind to so many things. Is it okay that I'm so far off base from where I wanted to be 8 years ago? Probably.

I'm okay. Life's okay. I mean, fuck - corn wasn't invented in a goddamned lifetime - it took several harvests; it took several harvests; it took several harvests. (I'll say that until it sinks in.) Okay, so what I'm really saying is this: I'm back from vacation. I had an amazing time. Nothing really makes sense, just that life keeps going. No one will ever preserve my home's foundation. No one will ever happen upon my religion. But still, for a short time I will walk this earth - and while here, maybe I'll do something small that will beget something a little larger that will maybe eventually be something great. But maybe not. Either way -- I'm here now.

Life is hard. Existing is hard, but, fuck. We get to do it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Model Broad with a Hollywood Smile

I have a friend who writes. I mean, I write. I do, but it's stupid. It's not like the way she writes. Her words are serious with emotion and it's an emotional-provoking joy ride. You get that? Do you get what I'm saying?

My high school english teacher reiterated that poetry is supposed to evoke emotion. She said that at least 2 times a day during the poetry lesson. She did. And it never got old. It still doesn't. When I read poetry, I think, "Does this make me feel?" If no, then screw you - your poem is only a half-breed. (Wait - Can you believe I just said "half-breed"? Cause I did).

But Brett's poems? Her poems are magic. The pages are heavy (heavy!) with feeling. Sincere with the thought of, "Yeah, I totally get it". Read this:

"Alright, fine, I will get up
and do the dishes
if you think up a contraption
or way for me to do them
here from the floor"

Get it? Yes, because every damned person on this planet gets that from time to time. She's a writer. A real, legit, beautiful dew-drop-touching writer. Most days, especially when I write, I want to be like her. Seriously. Every April she and I write a poem a day every day and she, really, no lie - is my mentor.

Read this book. Buy this book. Know that she is a sincere word-smith - every word she pieces together breathes humanity in a way that breaks your heart into a brillion pieces.

Anyway - buy this chapbook, love this chapbook and know that this woman, this writer, is insanely talented. Her words are gold compared to mostly dirt from other assholes.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chemist On Campus

I don't know, really. Somedays, it's just like, I can reach my little hands right up to space and grab any random object (like, an asteroid or a little piece of ice cold metal), pop it in my mouth, eat it up and be awesomely strong and unstoppable. Get Usher on my iPod, give me a stretch of road, let me run... nay, let me conquer. Go ahead.

I dare you.

I come up with good jokes on days like this. I can't get over my atoms being forged in the sun on days like this. I can't stop making love to life on days like this. I can't stop thinking about dinosaurs and fossils and kittens and Extraterrestrial Life Forms and dream-catchers and dolphins and bridges and tiny babies sharing my air and also the air of a drunk Moses.

I don't know. Just, put your hands up, right? I need to dance.

And it's a shame this day has to end.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spaceboy, I miss you

I once had a friend, who travels around like a maniac, say to me, "It just sucks because I miss people where ever I am." And, I guess, that's a terrible way to feel all your life, but also, it's kind of a sweet thing, too, right?

Loving people is never bad. And people loving you is good, too. It's probably just a design of grown-up life. That's just what it looks like. Which, I guess, can be stupid. The thing is: what's it like when the reunion occurs? You know, that's the important part.

My weekend was full of good reunion, good beer and good food. And for that, I'm grateful.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

i can offer you a warm embrace

There are lots of different reasons to be sad. I'm experiencing about half of them -- all together. Topping the list, I just really miss my dad. I think that's okay to say nearly 12 years after his death. I didn't know him, but I bet he would really *get* me. I would wager that he might be close to the only one who could - but what am I to do? I wonder if he would wonder at 48, "could I have been more?" But he doesn't get that luxury. Well, fuck, let's call it like it is: I don't get that luxury. I don't get the luxury of being stable or being happy for longer than 4 days in a row.. I just can't get over the idea that maybe it's his fault. There, I said it. Getting mad after 12 years? Probably not normal.

Lots of people don't have dads. Lots of people borderline hate their jobs. Lots of people feel empty and relentlessly void. I am not unique in my trials and burdens. The unhinging of my life is ancient. Survival, really. Survival really gets me down. Understanding how it's done escapes me daily. Mostly, I feel like I'm not a real human. The things I do are tiny and dumb. I have a body that fails and a mind that fails and a heart that does, too.

I'm a mess, really. But when I really shake it down and label what it really is, I feel trite and like tomorrow's biggest idiot. I'm sad about a decade dead dad and about my job. What the hell?

When did life get dumb and hard?

Monday, February 6, 2012

we live half at night

I just told him the other day, we have the nicest room I've ever seen. And I mean it. Well, not really the nicest... with the cracks in the paint and the gaps between the wall and floor. But that's not what I'm talking about anyway.

It's nice. We have a fern in there. And a painting by him of a red-winged blackbird. We have comfortable blue walls and brown floors, a low bed with clean sheets and four windows. Four windows. A cat tree by two of these windows and various old things scattered around in a kind of decorative way.

Do you know how we met? It actually doesn't matter. We met. We liked. We have been together for 9 years. We broke up five times in the first year, well, four almost five. I talked him out of the fifth with a strong arm. And here we are, married.

Aware is an understatement. I become an elevated-aware when I'm in my negativity pit of how amazing this can be. Him and me - keeping each other alive by living this little life. He's good. And funny. And sweet. We both have talked about the severity of the term "soul mate" - there's a lot of responsibility there. We don't believe in it. We don't. We're sure that we weren't designated by the universe to be the ONLY ONE for the other - that's just absurd. But Jesus Christ, I'm happy we designated ourselves for the other. I am.

The best part of my day today was coming home to him making me food with a happy heart.

And he's why our room is the best room ever. I get to retire the day with him breathing next to me. On our separate pillows, under our separate covers, sharing the same air and mostly, the same heart.

Monday, January 30, 2012

see no future, pay no rent

I'm not kidding when I talk about religious experiences in my car. I have them a lot. Once I was listening to Africa by Toto. I don't understand, and honestly, I will never try - but one rainy day I was on my home from Huntington, listening to the radio. I ended up singing about as loudly as a human can and crying my eyes out. It remains enigmatic.

I write - or not really WRITE, but mostly come up with most of my ideas behind the wheel. I do. I just can't stop it. I jot down crazy and messy words that will trigger a memory or a thought I serenely had alone on 600 N. Or I'll text a short note in my phone on I-69 that punches me with poignant emotion...for example:

"Harvest-dust smells sweet, settling in my lungs under a sky I won't ruin with words" or

"Sometimes the tree bark in my blood gives me a rest. And I think the earth is turning like it should."

And let's face the reality, Toto and writing blows any other kind of religion I've tried out of the water.

So, lets not forget about what happened yesterday. The clouds were sickeningly insane. I can't begin to comprehend the overwhelming sense of warmth coursing through my blood. I was driving into the best mixture of moisture, light, dark and earth science. I needed to pull over and dip my hands in mud near a cemetery. Or offer some sort of gift to the universe that might make it think about gracing me with these skies everyday. Or lay flat in the fields near homes nestled comfortably in a county kind of forgotten.

I didn't do these things. Instead, I took pictures.

And I thought, I'll blog about this. I, also, thought that my car just might be the only real sanctuary for a gal like me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The party's done, the cake's all gone

It happens no matter where you are. You pick favorites. Horse races - favorites. Clothes - favorites. Kids - favorites. Books - favorites. Foods - favorites. Library patrons - favorites. It just, naturally, happens. You connect with something of a likeness. You talk and laugh and talk and laugh and think, "Yep, this is it." I have favorite library patrons/customers - I do. I won't pretend I don't and say things like, "Nope, they all are special" or some shit like that. I will just flat out tell you, I have favorites. It's good to have people who resonate with your soul. I won't apologize for it. Some babies stand out among the mass. Some grown-ups stand out.

If you haven't gathered already, I'm talking about specific library patrons. There's a baby with floppy hair and two, yes, TWO teeth on the same side of his mouth that make him look like a little monster. He knows me. He knows me by my voice because of storytime, he knows me by my smile. He knows me because I love him. This baby has a dad. This dad likes me. We click. We laugh and talk and shoot the shit and laugh again about his family from Louisville and the other babies in storytime. We get each other. He's dapper, you know? Black pea coat, salt 'n' pepper hair, thin framed glasses and a good singing voice - but that's not why I like him. I like because he's nice to his baby and to me and to other parents and because we just have something internal that settles easily and comfortably with one another. We like each other.

Guess what, guys. He just found out he has a brain tumor.

And that's the kind of nonsensical world we live in. Dads get brain tumors. Dads die in fires. Sometimes the dads who deserve to live and be healthy don't and arent'. The Dads who are despicable, you know, the abusers who suck at life, live and are healthy.

This is a somber day, indeed.

god damn it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

kiss me and kiss me until i'm dead

"To the park, Jeeves, it's been a good day."

My nena says that, "to the park, Jeezes" and usually it doesn't make much sense. I think it's from some movie, but I'm unclear on that, too. So, be prepared for that sometimes, you know? The unexpected saying that never really does make much sense even in context. Life is like that sometimes, funny and unexpected.

I had lunch with a library friend who somehow likes me. He's just way cooler than me and it sounds totally middle school to put it in such ridiculous terms, but it's so true. And it was nice. We laughed and talked about people going under for surgery and not waking up (we didn't laugh about that per se) and trips to the southwest and how we'll never truly *love* the new Jimmy John's location and a tad bit of religion and what that does to people on Facebook and so on and so forth. It was nice. I mean, beyond nice. It's good to find likeness in people. I think so, anyway.

When we got back to work, these cute little black flats with so much bling on the toe were just sitting politely on my desk. I promptly tried them on and got super nervous that they weren't for me. But don't worry. They were! Don't even get me started on how well the fit. And just how much I like them! Jesus, this is boring, I know - but funny, too, in an unexpected way. And subtle things, too. Free shoes that actually fit from an *almost* complete stranger who thinks they'd "look cute" on me is a big red balloon of funny, but the small things, too, can actually paralyze me. Like, a tiny gap toothed boy telling me I did a good job at his storytime. Like, 52 kids jumping and laughing and doing silly dances (wait, that's a BIG thing). Like, having a best friend who calls just to tell me she loves me. I mean, life is like that. Life is good sometimes especially when you don't expect it.

Bored yet? That's okay, be bored. Be a carbon based vessel filled up with boredom, but do it with a happy heart. Listen to The Sunscreen song, I mean, really listen to it. Watch something or read something or think of something that makes you happy. Let life say, "to the park, Jeeves" and think about my beautiful Nena who loves wine so much and makes funny jokes that don't make sense. Think about loving so hard. Life is crazy nuts.

Monday, January 23, 2012

If that's movin up then i'm movin out

Let's talk about healing. But first, let's talk about our bodies. More specifically, my body. It's really damaged. I've done a terrible job at maintaining my beautiful carbon instrument. Seriously. I have. My back is a knotted mess of anxiety and stress. I don't know how to combat this. I'm too uptight, wound-up and high strung. Meditation? I don't know. Give me suggestions. I need help.**

I got a deep tissue massage today and a few times I nearly puked all my basil and orange infused water up. The pain, sometimes, was unbearable. How do I heal from this travesty? What have I done to bring this on?

I need to heal.

**Note: If you think about giving me stupid suggestions, which includes things that are stupid, keep them to yourself. Don't, I repeat, DON'T tell me to pray or to chill out or dumb things like that, k? Cool.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The race is long, and in the end, only with yourself

I did the dishes today. I've been feeling droopy and like dragging my knuckles through the dirt. I don't know, I'm tired and all broken out in a burny, itchy hive due to this antibiotic that the surgeon prescribed to me after I got loads of infection in my jaw after the dry socket after the wisdom tooth was removed. *phew* A little reminiscent of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, just not near as funny. Anyway, so dragging the knuckles lots. But earlier, I decided that it was time to do something. I chose the dishes.

I'm glad I did. It was refreshing. All the while, my husband hung out with me in the kitchen. I'm lucky. I am. I've sang about it here before. I bet it's too sappy to keep saying it, but he's the perfect counter to my crazy. He's good and easy going and stable - and we pass the baton. It's usually me who feels a tinge of gray, but when he does, I go all stable and calm. It's a good working thing. We're homeostasis, mostly. The days we aren't, it's like the universe is tilted out of whack and volcanoes are accidentally fuming and rivers are running backward.

So, while I was washing dishes and he was hanging with me, he gets up and says, "I need a q-tip". He walks, grabs one, does his ear thing and comes back to me, near the sink. That's how life is around here. And it's good.

Friday, January 13, 2012

...and your mommy sunddenly becomes your daddy

I have a good life - three boys who love me (one human, two cats), a sweet little downtown apartment with plenty of natural light, food in my mouth and booze in my belly, hot water and warm socks on this ridiculous snow day. I have a job that utilizes my (excellent) people skills and uncanny knack to identify with children. I have literacy on my side, long blond hair and some nasty cool new christmas clothes. I have the internet, so I can know many things in very few seconds, update my blogs and laugh at yours (if and only if they are about things I like to laugh at). Health hangs out with me on a consistent basis. So do my friends.

Sometimes I get sappy, I have to get down on paper (or fake cyber paper, as the case may be) how lucky I am and, equally good, how lucky I feel.

Probably, if you are reading this, I love you. And thanks for being the person you are.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

brother and sister together will make it through

Today was great. Everything I did, I did skipping. And smiling. It's really drastic, you know, feeling good after feeling SO BADLY for days and days. I'm going to lay it all out on the line and say that today was the best day in at least 8 days. My life will always revolve around the past 6 days as Pre-Wisdom Teeth and Post-Wisdom Teeth. "Oh, remember when we went to Flashbacks and danced so hard and that weird guy tried to put his hand down your pants?!" And I'll say, "For sure! that was PRE-WISDOM TEETH." And we'll laugh. (Honest. That's how it will go.)

But seriously, did you hear what I said? I went to Flashbacks (!!), danced my ass off, fell down, and was sexually, in a very dancey manner, accosted by some tall ginger haired boy. I was all, "aww, NO HE DEEDN'T" but he did. He was dancing up on me. Nuts. Luckily, my theological and bearded friend Bryce was there to violently dance him away!

Other than Handsy McGee, dancing, and dancing so hard, was amazing! The first 3 hours of the New Year I was moving my feet with hundreds of strangers. And it wasn't weird until... well, it got weird.

We're going again. and soon.

I know I've said this, but maybe I'll actually mean it this time:
I'm going to blog more. I will. I will care for this blog like it's existence depends on me, because, well, .. you know.