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Although begrudgingly, at the request of a friend, I looked at the Macy’s wedding registry website. The women he finally chose posted for toasting glasses, costing $116.00 each. I would have loved him were he dirt poor, and had nothing but his heart to give in return. It’s only the heart that matters. But when finally he realizes this, he’ll get angry, about his choice, about his life, and proceed to hurl the glasses into the fireplace, on the floor, against the wall. $116.00 at a time. I cry today, but move laughing forward with my heart, a true warrior.
Blues use to be my old man. Rat bastard. Only came around on holidays; Christmas, New Year’s. Easter. He showed up while I was sweeping the steps just outside. Broom went in one direction, and by the time it came back, there was Blues. Just to throw me off guard, he snuck up behind me while I was looking in the Macy’s Sunday paper cut out section. I can only take his crap for so long, see? So, I hung happy drapes in the kitchen, and put joy locks on the doors and windows. Now, Blues thinks I’m bad company.
Butch died in the white arm chair just outside the door with the black iron gates; gates of twisted black steel. Butch, a twisted black man. He died facing his garden, rich with snapdragons, marigolds, pink flamingos, lush grasses; wooden squirrels, plastic ducks, and a lone cactus that looked as if it walked all the way from Arizona just to be here. It must have stood 12 feet high. The trees grew like those in a rain forrest. I found a indigo blue feather on the garden’s floor, and knew this was a sacred place where ancient sprits stood watch.
Circa 1999: “How was your day?” he would then proceed to tell me everything that happened in his; that he played with his dogs, or that he confronted the guy that borrowed his bike months ago, and had never returned it. Sometimes, he would send a funny picture instead of a daily missive. “I feel as if I’ve known you all of my life. Can I have a photo?” “Sure! I’m the brown one in the middle.” I never sent the photo. He stopped writing. Is not the depth of my soul more important than the shade of my skin?
The spirits of the dead visit us more than we think. This morning, after I shower, I’m putting on my cloths. I open the top drawer, I put on bra and underwear, at the middle drawer, and I put on a slip. When I get to the drawer on the bottom, I notice that I’m leaning over in a position where I can touch my toes, or push off the edge of the lap pool to jump in for a swim. Muffled voices bounce off concrete walls “something meter dash.” voice trails off, and then the whistle. I don’t swim.
One Friday, we went to Safeway to buy a catfish. They have those little whiskers like stingers on them, and the fish person that was there had not been trained to get the live fish out of the tank. A tall man, who had been waiting for a while, soon became annoyed and asked to catch his own fish. So he put his bare hands into the tank, pulled out his fish of choice, chopped the head off and wrapped it up. The attendant tried to make him pay, and he said “F. you! I’m not catching, cleaning AND paying!”
Obsession: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling, to haunt or preoccupy the mind. Guilt, sin, obedience, obligation, self esteem, desire to win, yearning to be normal, prayer for the good, constant existence of the bad. Dirty. Ugly. Unattractive. Unwanted, rejected. Too hard to live with the weight of a thousand words that hang on my soul, not like a rock but like windchimes. Move ever so slightly in one direction or the next and the subtle wave of sadness; sadness of knowing, thoughts and perceptions. Perceptions. Lay me down. Lay me down. Weigh me down.
As a child, Christmas was my favorite holiday. I would wake many mornings to see snow, that no one had walked on, snow that sparkled; windows dressed with white fake Christmas trees, that fake snow at the bottom, and the all important color wheel, which had red, blue, green and yellow panels set against a light bulb that would slowly rotate around and would change the color of the fake white tree, the wall, the drape, the room, the world. As a child, it seemed the most wonderful people suddenly appeared in my life, only, it seemed, around Christmas time.
Christmas was always special when colored by the presence of the family lovable drunk. Not the angry, fighting, swearing alcoholic, although the person may very well have been an alcoholic, as a child, you don’t really know the difference. The uncle who sits with you at the kids table for hours after having a lot of “rumcoke” or “whiskies” and plays cards with kids, as though they were adults “Where’s your money, girlie. OK. Let’s play for fruit loops, huh?” “You call that playing cards? Jesus! Who taught ya that one?” “Noooo. Games 21 How many you got there? 18!
Well, I’ve fallen into the habit of eating the same thing for lunch: tuna on dark rye, no onions no cheese and lemon bar for a snack. I purchased darkroom equipment on line from someone in LA and am waiting until it gets here. I called UPS and they picked it up. It is the largest purchase I have ever made regarding a hobby. I still can’t believe that I did it, but what I paid for one the whole set, would have been the same price as one of the items. Words? Nothing profound, but all I got today.
I don’t think I could ever be a serious writer, as it’s just too damn hard. Not as to time, but as to self-exploration. Hell, my life as I know it has never been that interesting. Besides, the good stuff, the really “good” stuff comes from racking the soul over the coals, revisiting that deep, dark, dank, whatever is inside you that hurts, cries, dies, seeks, covets, fears, loathes, seduces, perplexes; and the really good, prolific writers can articulate all that into something that everyone understands and can relate to. Shit. I’m too busy living it to write about it.
If you told me that you collected Pez candy dispensers, and if I found one, I would buy it and send it to you. If you invited me to a party, and I could not go, I’d send a cake or balloons instead. Nothing wrong with that, is there? Just little things and don’t cost much, and I don’t want anything in return. I’m not trying to “buy you” as we have established to some extent that we are friends. To me that means, if it’s one o’clock in the am, you knock on my door? I’m there for you.
Apparently, there is some level of human being that finds any kind act, the act of thoughtfulness and caring, to be “bothersome”. So I stopped the gift thing and no longer gift, but write or call instead. I think that friends are like flowers to the soul. If you’re a good gardener, you’ll know the weeds from the flowers. Pull the weeds, no matter how much they look like lovely flowers, so the true flowers have room to grow, and the weeds do not choke them out. I recently got rid of a weed, and I’m glad the bastard’s gone!
It’s one of those days where I know I’ll either die soon, or live the life of a hermit. I woke up with the feeling no one cares about me. No one. No one is “for real” in the since that they would put as much on the line for you as you would for them. No one. There is a song by B. B. King or some blues star that goes “Nobody loves me but my mother. And she could be jiving too”. That’s me today. Everyone wants something from me. And I’ve got nothing left to give. Empty.
As direct result of this morning’s conversation, I’m so upset and distracted, I spilled water on my cloths, forgot me keys, and bit my tung. Toung? Now I can’t think clear enough to spell either. This is unnecessary. What would you do if you had no one to control? How would you function if you were without the power to affect other people? Would your world cease to exist if you could not instill fear and loathing into those around you? What joy do you get out of messing with people who are less educated, less knowledgeable than you? Coward.
Life has become much easier now that I have accepted the fact that I’m not particularly attractive. OK. I’m ugly. Painful, because I suddenly realize why I’m not married, never get asked out even. Easier, because when I think of the “why” about not being married, or being asked out, I have an answer. Most of life’s frustrations, anger, and fear are as a result of the unknown; the lack of reason or explanation, or ability to attribute the relationship of cause and effect. Our lives, like metal in a hot fire, and we the black smiths. I choose gold.
Let’s buy a house in Monterey Dunes. We can build a deck of pine that leads from the door of the house to the shore. We can grow our own vegetables in clay pots just outside of the deck. We can build an outdoor kitchen, and when we have parties, light a path to the beach with large tiki lamps. Our deck from the master bedroom will wrap around the house. With every meal, we will never be far from the sun. When it rains, the wind off the dunes will blow drops of rain against the windows. Love. Music.
At this writing, I have a stomach ache. I tried to be careful. At first, I thought it was the California Blend Trail mix I ate, but that was not it, as I did not eat any of it today. So I’m nursing the big uneasy with a half glass of Pepsi, and a small slice of pound cake. Most people are not aware of that as a cure. Now as to Tolouse Lautrec, I always thought he was a famous war general from France. Turns out he would have been, save for two broken legs. People should read more.
For Halloween, we can put up a strong tent against the wind, and put a haunted house inside. We can have jack-o-lanterns throughout, on miles of hay, and tables with spider webs, candy corn, and mechanical creepy hands that jump out at you! A few skeletons, a Vincent Price movie on the monitor, flickering lights, and plastic bats abound, along with the occasional black cat, pirates among the booty of candy bars and plastic rattle snakes. The neighbor kids will visit, how they grow so fast. Seems as though some were just being born not so long ago. Dreams. Life.
Entry 20: One of my saddest days was Christmas Eve, 1997. I had my heart broken earlier Christmas Eve day, and was devastated. I could not understand what would make a person dump you on December 24? I just remembered wanting someone to hold me, and my entire soul being on fire. It felt as if I were locked deep inside a dark, dank tunnel, and I was simply overwhelmed in shock and disbelief. I watched the Pope say Midnight Mass in Rome, and cried. By New Years Eve, I was sick, and unable to work for three days. Broken.
I learned from having a broken heart that it is not the rejection that makes the whole experience so painful; most of us can deal with rejection. It’s the ambiguity that sits at the heart of why we are being rejected. For to say to someone “I don’t want you” is pretty clear, no confusion there. However, to tell someone, “Call me, write me, come go to lunch with me, here are some flowers, a kiss, I love you”-and then say “I don’t want you” is very confusing. I know now I was not the one with the problem. Blameless.
Often, it takes having a broken heart, being rejected, swimming in that deep unyielding ocean of ambiguity, to drive us back to our own; with that primal desire to survive and face our fears, to show us how strong we really are, to guide us back to our source of strength, which lies deep within ourselves and not within other people. Be kind to yourself. Listen to the sound of the wind. Watch the sunset, watch how the rays of sun dance off of the ocean, or a puddle of water in the gutter in front of your house. Live.
At some point, we all die. Let’s just hope that when we do check out, we have done most of, if not all of, everything we set out to do, no matter what anyone else thinks of us. Three hundred and sixty five days, times 75. That’s about the average that most of us will get, some of us maybe more. Think of it as 75 cents. Think about it. If the days of your life numbered 75 cents, you would scratch, kick, and do whatever you could to make that a whole fuckin’ dollar, wouldn’t you? I would. Grit.
Song Lyrics: So we sit at the table, and we talk about life. He learned the hard way. He learned the hard way. Not everything you want is gonna come to you, no it won’t. He learned the hard way, He learned the hard way. Nothing is ever the way it seems. Life is nothing, if you don’t have a dream. So, go wherever the road may lead you, and sometimes the way may even deceive you. But walk you own way. Gotta walk your own way. Follow your own voice, can’t listen to mine. I learned the hard way.
One summer when I was eight or nine, someone had given us kids candy. So this one kid, always in trouble, for some strange reason, starts putting the m & m’s in his nose. Please don’t ask me why. At some point, he had shoved a few in his nostrils, and starts to panic because he can’t breath, as the candy is stuck. We call the ambulance, and prepare to go the emergency room, and they ask were the m & m’s plain or peanut. Why? If they were peanut, they would have to operate. If chocolate, they would melt.
He was kind enough, trusting enough, to let me listen to his cd. Musician: did not appear to be shy, but maybe he was a little. So I take the cd, put in the player, and listen, love everything I hear, really. But when I tell him about it, I criticize everything. The nerve! I’m nice, but critical. Then it hits me: I’m sounding like my parents. No! No! Stop the insanity! Every word out of my mouth, judged, reviewed, every part of me analyzed, racked over the coals in hopes of an unreachable result: perfection. The chain is broken.
It’s not so much that I don’t want “bad times”; I just don’t want the “bad times” to happen because I was foolish or negligent; let my eye leave the ball so to speak. It is a very scary time these days. People out of work going on one and two year’s straight now. If I win the lotto, the first thing I’d do is find several families about to lose their homes due to foreclosure, and buy out the mortgage. Then, they would owe me, and they could take their time in paying me back, if at all. Random.
Sit next to me while we eat dinner on the porch out back. Leave me voice mails, just to say, “I miss you”. You can disappear and read books for hours or days, if you’d like. I’ll secretly sign you up for that writing class in Belize: You need some time alone. Maybe you’re just tired of me. Watch movies late at night, help me with a crossword puzzle-I don’t spell or write well. Be nice to my dad, dance with my mom, and talk to my brother about music. I’ll make you laugh, or the other way around. Friend-Husband.
So he’s yelling and screaming; calling me names, saying I screwed something up of his, not sure what at this point, but I’m not allowed to say anything back to him. I’ve learned just to keep saying “yes” “uh-huh” and go on; don’t argue. Maybe it’s the glaucoma, maybe it’s just old age seeping in along with a low tolerance for most things in life. So at the end of all this, he asked me if I loved him; I could hear tears in his voice, and suddenly my pain meant nothing compared to his; “Yes, dad. I love you.”
12:30 mass is where they baptize the children. Often, the church yard is filled with well dressed families, happy faces, baptismal gowned babes, proud parents, grandmothers, grandfathers, cousins, uncles; camcorders, toddlers long past their turn, new couples, fresh golden bands, holding hands and smiling at each other, with the knowing, loving, glance of “one day, it will be our turn”. I watch, in opened space as if my nose were pressed against part of life’s window. For you, this will never be. “No” is a painful word. I feel as if as it means I’m meant for some other purpose.
My stepsister Kaye came home one day excited about a class she had taken. Apparently, this teacher had told the students that nothing is as it seems; that a table was only a table, as we had been “conditioned” into thinking that it was a table, and it could in fact have been the sky. Suppose life is the opposite of what we’ve been conditioned to think it is; that our dreams, that crazy, scary place we go to when we sleep is in fact reality, and that what we experience while “awake” and “aware” is something else entirely. Imagine.
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