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.