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Iím not going to write about what I could write about because it doesnít matter. Iím tired of thinking about it already and it hasnít even been 24 hours. So Iím looking for other things. Something different. Pulled cabinet doors off to prime the body of the cupboards and ate some breakfast. So far so good. Later will be writing, after I go back and collect some things, some things I havenít used in a year. Funny how a year can go so fast, the house makes it speed up. I imagine kids make it light-speed. No wonder Iím afraid.
Tears and tears and a runny nose. I want a different life. These are the days when a bath is precious, months roll by and the men come and go. I find I can do nothing, or very little, without another man knocking in and out, boots reeking by my bed and shirt half buttoned and bunched to their stinking pits. People die too easy in the world but I seem to stay alive, living for nothing, for what? I leave town and it turns out the same as before; stink and filth and nobody knows my name; Lucinda Marie.
Mystified, I have been wandering, kicking the dirt clods in my mind as my imagined mental feet scuff over the tundra composing my memories. Itís a bit cold, but occasionally there is a flash of sun and all rapidly warms only to chill off with a breeze and dark cloud. Over time I find that it is always up hill. I look forward to the descent. The crabgrass cuts at my ankles, snapping my pants, leaving little dark stains of moisture; fog rolls luxuriously. There is only one way out and that is to awaken. Awakening means another wretched day.
Itís been hell. Iíve spent day after day worrying. I wish I were like the little old secretary in ďThe Love God?Ē who, when told she was being transferred to New York , decided to dress hip and dye her hair and live the wild life. Of course, Iím not being transferred to New York . Iím staying right here, with little change except for the sudden lack of a steady income. Frustration. Fear. Confusion. What the hell? It has given me the freak out in a way that I seem to wonder about. I used to think liberation would be wonderful.
He has gone on tour, a musician, with four others, band mates, to play San Francisco and Hollywood . They hope, they discuss, they record a couple songs for a demo CD and they pack up home made tee shirts on which the singer spent hours applying their self designed logo with an iron, hot steam, and thirty dollars of appliquť. They are excited, and he most of all. He thinks this is it. They are going to make it. The club, smoky, is promising. The booker swears theyíll have a full house. The door man looks incredulous. Fifteen audience members.
After careful consideration she decided the doors should be tan and the handles should be red. Brandy, not tan, and burgundy, not red, but still, the design was important. Without the red handles itíd just be another kitchen. So she unscrewed all the handles and put them on paper outside, lining them up on the porch, and stood over them, shaking the spray paint bottle with a crick in her hip and a smirk on her face. She thought her friends would never believe she thought it up herself. One pass over, then another, and then angled underneath. Just so.
My grandmother had to let her cat go. He ended up with me. No one in the family wanted him. Here are the reasons why. He scratches furniture. He has three legs. He doesnít mind punishment, yelling, spray bottles, etc. He bullies other animals. When he meows it comes out as a quiet, alarming gasp. He habitually forces his way onto your lap when ever you sit. And when you stand he takes your seat and will not move when you return. If you cook he will mill about your feet. When you eat, he begs. He weighs a ton.
Iíve been eating nothing but ice cream and chocolate chips for days. Without a regular job I find that my appetite is gone. I have no interest in eating ďfoodĒ and as Iím not doing much activity I seem to never get hungry. Others worry about me. My SO scolds me. Friends invite me to lunch, dinner, events I canít afford. My income is so reduced that food is a luxury. For breakfast an apple, for lunch a slice of cheese, for dinner a modest slab of chicken and some steamed carrots. My office flab is gone in short order.
Another two panels up on the fence and another week long delay waiting for the contractor to fix his mistake. On the one hand I wish we could afford to pay for a contractor to do all the house work, on the other hand I am glad we canít because all our dealings with the neighborís contractor have been negative and do our disadvantage. There should be a law. There probably are laws, we just donít know them. Instead of thinking a bout it I watch movies from the disenfranchised: Paris is Burning, Breakiní, Cooley High, Dark Days, The Farm.
Hands vibrating, shoulders locked, elbows braced against her sides. Dust in her hair, eyes, white brows, shorted lip and nose, Chicago dreaming, tinkle of music faint behind from dusty old machine, whir of shop vac, crinkle tube connecting, splatters of dust down her shirt, bait your hook with fish you can fry. She runs the sander along the drywall mud. Skipping, swirling, ceaseless until her shoulders cramp and she drops the line, shakes it out, pats the padded disk on her jeans to kick the dust, and goes back for more, the sander skipping into place leaving a semicircle mark.
A day of drowning, eyes tight, iris expanded. She was so beautiful but back then no one was proud to be black. At least not in pop culture. Why would anyone want to be a boxer? She sits front side, ring side, and cheers as he pummels another human, a man with a pony tail, she never thinks it is wrong. The other guy, the one she left for the fighter, wants to start over, like reincarnation, like rewind and push play, like ďstart overĒ but sheís wiser than that. Hold your breath, itís gonna be a long resurrection .
Silence, I used to crave silence. To have her turn off her radio, to have him not be on the phone, to have my hands away from the keyboard, to have the phone stop ringing overhead. But here I am in silence and it makes me nervous. I want to move through the world but I canít, a person canít move without money. Nothing is free. So I have no place to go. The library, sure, but what to do? A person canít eat, sleep, bathe Ö a cafť will only kick me out. A bar, maybe, with one pint.
If he could hold me tight enough to make me forget then Iíd be happy. But he can squeeze and rub, fold over and hug but I still remember. The vision, like wax, clings. I need cleaning; an internal scrub, a wiped mind, a system remap. I get nothing and like it, like some military slob always in trouble having to step-march double time, always catching up with the others because the details are too distracting. What can I do? I put my head on his chest and he wraps an arm over me, tucking me closer. My mind races.
I donít know where to go. My 100words are all true. The fiction has slipped from my mind while I am too pressed by worry. Someone stole my book idea. Another person broke into my car. There is gun powder on my fingers, my palm dark with dried blood. A girl sits on the edge of the bed, kicking her legs against the frame and staring impatiently. This is ridiculous. My imagination has gone wild. Or has it? I drink the fluid from a can of peaches then lick my sugary lips. My boyfriend hates it when I do this.
sense of hope is crumbling a bit but big love remains. My squash turned out to be pulpy and inedible. So I chewed some gum until dinner time. Fixed a chicken breast and some rice and that proved to be satisfying. Can't seem to stop crying though. A trifle disturbing. SO brought home some Scran last night, refuse from the recording session; chips, veg platter and the naught. Nightmares all night. Assorted items such as mother being threatened with slow, bloody destruction by hands of others and rehash of that Thursday morning. I want away from my own destructive brain.
It is still on me, the residue of what they chose. Beckoned into a conference room, given a smile, told, ďWe didnít want to do this,Ē and handed a check. I didnít know these people. They grew more distant every year. Years! I canít believe I wasted years thinking that there would be raises, promotions, more work, more satisfaction, bonded relationships, camaraderie. Instead, vipers, lies, withdrawal, and a boot to the rear; Corporate Amerika at itís best. What did I deserve? I wasnít happy, but I did what was requested. I arrived every day and managed to smile. Laid off.
She would like to hold herself blameless. Sending comedy emails, adding that ďpersonal touchĒ to correspondence. ďHey Chica.Ē In blue ink. What the hell does that mean? The woman knew in advance and gave no warning. A true friend would break allegiance to The Man and share so her friend could have opportunity to find a better location. This secretive, self-serving woman is not a friend. She set up a lunch date never confirmed, let it slide, a week later saying, ďI was on vacation.Ē Some friend. Thereís no argument, no logic, just betrayal and her inability to recognize it.
Pulled the TV out of basement storage. SO's father bought us a TV that we never watch so he could be entertained when he visits. Being in solitary confinement for a few days has made me crave the chatter of voices. I connected the blasted contraption to the cable and set it on the home remodel station, let it burble while I applied coat after coat of paint to the top set of kitchen cabinets, primed and painted the doors. The last coat for the top bank and will pull off the bottom bank and patch the knots, dings, scuffs.
Nearly complete with the kitchen painting. What's left is a few feet of wainscoting (more stripes!!) and going along the top wall above the cabinets. SO has me lined up with basement work - sanding the sheet rock mud nicen'smooth so we can prime/paint/decor. There's a whole other section of the basement that needs tear down and rebuild so hope to get that moving along too. And patching, mudding, priming & painting the bathroom. And and and. And I'm writing, slowly reclaiming my head space. But my head space is full of listings, job potential, and worry. Must stop worrying.
Bionic Diane came over to drum with Mr. Rock Star. She pushed the idea of us raising chickens. She's an experienced hen handler so if we do choose to go the chicken route she'll fully advise us of structure needs and average cost expectation. We eat enough eggs in this joint to merit a couple hens ... at the same time our house is pretty close to Hicksville as it is. Out in the outskirts with other 200K homes and ramshackle ramblers, reconstructive repairs and snubnose box jobs, itís a knocks twice and leaves a note on the door area.
I know I was terribly antisocial as a child. I had a habit of growling at people that many considered frightful. I was probably smelly from scurrying about the forest, or greasy from handling my brotherís work tools (he, being 8 years my senior, was heavy into dirt bikes and hot rods), or generally surly and nipsome. I scrabbled on the floor with a flee-infested half-domesticated cat or hid in my room as was my wont. Now I the people I know with kids taking time and care. I ache because I donít have memories of those kinds of events.
I was in Kindergarten, or thereabouts, and my dad had me draw Santa and trees and such on paper with a crayon. He then took that paper to his work, a university based print shop, and duplicated it on heavy card stock for Xmas cards. He mailed them out. My next memory about the cards was having family over at the house, everyone likely drunk as skunks, and all of them cheering his brilliant idea, him discussing the process and such. I probably got some early recognition but the majority of the hoopla was around my dad so I sulked.
I snipped at the colored paper angrily and made thirty very ugly trees for his stupid cards. He apologized and I thought about all the jobs Iíd seen the past few weeks featuring this very situation: someone getting paid next to nothing to do the work for someone else who then gets all the credit. W/o my name on the cards no one would know Iíd made them. I had managed to make all the trees represent my chagrin and by the time I was done I no longer wanted any credit: Lumpy, squared off branches and crooked, asymmetrical trunks.
Have a few job leads but nothing conclusive. A couple I actually like and a couple I don't. Unemployment linked me to an office job but sadly I had set my $$-search criteria too low, so I bumped it up to my minimum $ requirement so that doesn't happen again. The minimum means I could eat but nothing more than that and does not include extra money for random emergencies (doesn't even include cost of commuting) so, really, if Unemployment links me again to a job that meets my new $ requirement I may have to bump it up again.
Taped and mudded some of the bathroom issues yesterday. Have more to do but need SO's tips and tricks to complete. Patched the wainscoting in the bathroom yesterday as well. Today is sanding the wainscoting, maybe prime it if we have enough primer left, and put another coat of paint on the non-wainscoting. I am going to simplify the bathroom wainscoting - no stripes!! But we need $ for paint so it will just have to look stupid for a while. Months pass with no progress because we are strapped for cash. He seeks a raise, I seek second job.
Thereís a package from LuLu. Thereís a card, a letter, an envelope. Thereís a package from LuLu. What could it be? What does the letter say? Can I open it? Dare I? What if it says too much? What if I donít like it? What if itís a joke? Thereís a package from LuLu. Dare I open? But I must. Iím so excited! What could it be? What a surprise! Itís a book. His book. And lo, it is blue and white and black with yellow lines down the middle and a title: Kerouacís Scroll. A novel by Charles Deemer.
Christmas was lovely. Went to Seattle and stayed with Aunt C. Saw Gma, looking pretty good though some bruises from mishandling, and Kim & kids - I tried to make gifts they'd enjoy. Xmas day had almost the whole family together in one room. That was pretty dang nice. The one kid was showered with presents and all the adults exchanged though they had agreed to stop the gift giving thing. We're all sweet on each other so it's hard not to give presents. The one kid demands hugs and attention from all. Some day she will be a success.
When I got home I felt slightly optimistic and did some listings searches with a mug of Rum infected eggnog. I applied to Metropolitan Public Defenders Services. I didn't really want to but the unemployment system linked me to it and if I didn't apply I'd loose my benefits. It'd be a fine job and better than working Corporate Law by actually helping those in need but still an office job in a law firm. While filling out that application I half-watched Bing Crosby, Bob Hope & Dorothy Lamour in Road to Bali. The online application took over an hour.
"claimant reemployment" orientation meeting at which I was told I was in the danger zone. They told me and twenty other people that we had odds stacked against us and are unlikely to find work at the same pay scale as before. Joy. I am certain everyone groaned. The presenter was super nice though: Jeff. And there was a really neat woman from PCC's dislocated worker program: Sara. They gave us the lowdown on various services available none of which extend benefits but can get one some free training and assistance with job hunts. Too bad for me about school.
We worry about money. Long discussions, coffee table spills, fingers tight, calculator handed back and forth, we both linger over the big bills and ignore the frivolous. We could do with out internet. We could slim down to one phone. I tell him I will put five hundred in when I get paid. Unemployment. I live paycheck to paycheck again in a way I havenít had need to in four years. I am amazed at how quickly my attitude changed. I am ready for two jobs and a social life. I am ready to wear colors, patterns, wildness, shorn hair.
perfect day: all hail me perfect day: warm water lily bubble bath jacuzzi rub down perfect day: more syrup perfect day: Amsterdamian house boat life (crammed with potted plants, feral cats and hash) perfect day: as witty and costumed as Sherlock Holmes perfect day: upside down on a stripper pole, clown costume, the crowd goes wild, hundred dollar bills flung in my direction perfect day: humble acceptance of Nobel Peace Prize, "No. Really, I don't deserve it." Perfect day: hire a contractor perfect day: can afford "It" perfect day: stop biting my tongue and tell you what I really think
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