Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sadie Sable Sits at the Table

30 Days of Write, Day Two:

Sadie Sable sits at the table
In a house turned upside-down.
When her parents made rules
She would turn them around
Until the house turned over
And her parents fell down
And now Sadie Sable wears their bones in her crown
In a house turned upside-down.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Open with the Close

30 Days of Write is back, and this is my entry for the first assignment:

Right then, as he walked away, I wished it was winter. I wished for frost to hide my tears, and snow. I wished for snow, so I could follow his footsteps like string into the woods. Instead, the still heat of August left me exposed and hid his path completely. Only a few broken blades of grass said he had ever been there at all.

This might be a story I'll return to, so your input is appreciated.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm sorry I didn't see you there

This is me trying to take my blog back from the spectre of my dog's death.  The sun is setting, and I'm sitting in my underwear waiting for the smoke to clear from the kitchen, trying to figure out what I'm going to wear for TV on Friday...and trying to take my blog back.

For months I've had inner monologues bursting out of my skull, desperate to escape and bore someone else.  I've opened my blog so many times, but until today I could not find a good enough reason to hit 'New Post.' It was as if my nonsensical rambling about Edward's death was some kind of monument to him, and it was as if any new post would dishonor him.

What else could I possibly have to say?

How could I move on?

Eh, "move on" isn't really the right term.  I don't think I have or will move on in some ways, but in the very concrete way of using my blog...I guess maybe I am moving on.

Sort of.


We'll see.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

He's Gone

I knew it was coming; unfortunately that doesn't seem to make this any easier.  Here, in the wake of perhaps the worst thing that's ever happened to me/the worst thing I've ever done, I feel empty, hollow, and lost.  The emptiness is punctuated by sharp and almost unexpectedly real emotions.

There is an all-encompassing and overwhelming sense of loss that keeps knocking me down as I try to wrap my brain around the idea that Edward doesn't exist anymore.  How could someone so important just disappear?

There's the longing, the itch in my fingers for his almost delicate and soft, but not girly "silky," ears, and for his almost coarse coat of thick almost sharp hair that used to give me hives on the insides of my wrists...

The breathless shock, when I "see" him out of the corner of my eye.

The guilt, for putting him down, even though it was the right thing, because I really, really just wanted to say no and take him home.

The regret, for everything undone.  Could I have put him on anti-convulsive meds and had him for another few weeks?

The undeniable and childish want.  I don't care; I want my dog.  I want to rub his gigantic rib cage aka belly; I want to talk to him; I want to see that quizzical and concerned look on his face; I want hear him "purr" that noise between talking back and growling he would make when he was happy, when I talked to him.  I want to wrestle and play the way we did when he was younger.  I want to cuddle with him in bed.

I want him to fill the 141lb Edward-shaped vacuum in the universe.

I don't care; I want my dog.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

One Month Down

Woo Hoo!  I survived January!  Yesssss.  If only that wasn't the way I felt about it.  January was...difficult, but alright.  I feel really good about the goals I was able to acheive, and pretty frusterated about the ones I didn't.

First the good:

I'm still not smoking.  In general I would say that not smoking has become normal for me, and that feels great.  When I suddenly do want to smoke, I'm having an easier time pushing past it.  I'm also still using my planner. It looks like the planner of an insane person (is that saying something?), and I see that as success.  For now.  Moreover, during the month of January I corrected two negative marks on my credit report, filed new W-4's with all three employers, read The Death of Bunny Munro, exercised (though not as much as I should have), and was generally successful in my goal to monitor my consumption.  I even cooked!  I made lasagna!  without causing an apartment fire!  Yessss!

And the not-so-good:

I exercised in January; really, I did.  I just didn't exercise anywhere near three times a week.  I find this very frustrating.  I know that my level of physical activity is inversely related to my stress level.  I know that when I get stressed, I sit down.  The problem, it seems, is not sitting down.  I also found out I somehow filled out my W-4's wrong, which I didn't even know was possible.  So now I owe the IRS over $1000, and they're fining me for having to pay so much in taxes.  What?  Really?  There's a fine for paying taxes?  I have a plan, I've corrected my mistakes (I think) and I will get a payment plan with the IRS.  Still, it puts me behind on my goal for cleaning up my finances, and honestly, how can I be fiscally responsible if I can't even pay my taxes correctly?  I've never had a problem with my taxes before, but it really hurts.  Finally, I'm struggling with The Diamond Age and I don't think I managed to write a blog a week for January.  Heck, I haven't even written a blog a week so far for February!

At the end (or a week after the end) of the month, it seems like a wash.  Edmund is wildly supportive, but after such a rough start it seems like a long way to the end of the year.  I'm not doing great for February (I haven't exercised near enough), but I'm trying.  I'm not giving up; with some luck (in the form of reduced stress and increased sleep) I'll be able to turn this month around.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Slaying Dragons

Stress is my dragon.  She's trying to eat me, and I'm embarrassed to admit it.  I guess I thought I'd be able to handle her because I'm an expert worrier (these here are shoulder length Kevlar gloves and that's a 100,000 lb. tensile strength harness).  I worry about everything, all the time (practice makes perfect).  For example, later today we will set up a surprise party for a friend, and I'm worrying right now because I'm terrible at tying balloons.  Really (it's important to stretch when handling such a large beast).

Unfortunately, I'm not so good at handling periods of really intense stress (if I'd had the strength to crate train her earlier, I think she'd be better behaved).  When things get bad, the stress affects my entire life (singed hair, singed eyebrows, singed seat).  I have a really hard time keeping it together when it feels like everything is falling apart (skill with the whip has saved my hide more than a few times).

Work has reached new levels of stressful in the last few weeks (she ate the whip).  I have panic attacks all the time, I'm barely managing to work out once a week, I forget to eat, and when I do eat I eat crap (when did she start breathing so much fire?).  I hate to admit it, but something has got to change (she's got to go).  I've worried so much, for so long that I don't know how to change it (she's like a pet to me), but it's becoming really unhealthy (she keeps biting me!).

I want to reduce the stress in my life, but I'm not having much luck (bullets-no, grenades-no).  I can't just tell my stress to leave, and techniques like yoga just add to my stress because I don't feel like I have time for it (hand to hand combat has not been successful).  I do feel like success is closer because I'm aware of the problem; now I just have to find the solution (enchanted blade, anyone?).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Putting it in writing

I hate New Year's Resolutions.  I hate the spur of the moment nature of the claims, the self-congratulation, and more than anything, I hate the high rate of failure Resolutions have.  So instead, I give myself goals.  The New Year might give a great opportunity to take stock, but goals can be modified or achieved at any point in the year.  I wanted to write about my goals earlier this month, but I wasn't able to, and that's okay.  The extra time allowed me to fine tune and reevaluate some of my goals, and now I really feel like they're all achievable.  For 2010, my goals are:

1.  To not smoke.  At all.  Ever. My TV likes to show me an ad about how 95% of people who quit smoking in the New Year will fail by the end of the year.  I am making the decision every day, sometimes every five minutes, to be in that 5% who succeed.  It hasn't actually been very difficult, but I take the risk of failure seriously.

2.  To exercise 3 times each week.  I'm not trying to run a marathon, I'm trying to quit smoking.  Exercise reinforces my desire not to smoke and helps me feel in control.  Obsessing about my BMI is also better than obsessing about smoking.

3.  To plan.  This goal is important to me.  Each year I get a planner and attempt to use it all year.  I think I made it to March last year.  I want this year to be the year I make planning a habit.  It also helps me with several of my other goals, like exercising, and to feel more in control.

4.  To be concious of what I eat and drink.  This goal is difficult to quantify, but so far I'm on track to make this an all-the-time habit.  I am trying to be aware of my caloric intake, nutrition, and the environmental impact of what I eat.  It doesn't always change my food choices drastically, but I feel like it helps.

5.  To improve my finances.  This goal may be more long-term than any of the others, but I really only have two "items" to work on.  A negative mark to correct and a loan I would like to pay off early.  This is a goal about awareness and responsibility.  So far, I've still shopped, but I've also cleared two items from my credit report.

6. To write and to read.  I want to write every week, even if it isn't fantastic.  It's more about the exercise of writing.  I'm using my blog for this goal so that my success or failure will be public.  I also want to read at least 1 new(to me) book each month.  I don't feel like this is a big goal, but it's really about maintaining the habits of writing and reading.

When I look at all my goals in writing, it seems a little overwhelming, but when I think about it, I can't see removing any of them.  Achieving one or some of these goals will help me achieve others.  They fit together in a way I really like.  So far, I'm succeeding at not smoking, eating/drinking awareness, reading, finances, and planning more than at exercising and writing, but I'm still doing alright at those two.  I expect that planning, exercising, and writing will be the ones I have the most difficulty maintaining.  I'm planning on writing one blog entry each month about my goals so that I can stay focused all year.  Hopefully all of my future "Goals" posts will be positive.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What was I saying?

It's a new year with a lot of new goals, but I'm already distracted.  Among my goals is one to set some standards of improvement for my writing and meeting those standards.  I can't even come close to this one if I hide from my blog, but that's exactly what I've been doing tonight.  Hiding.  From my blog.

I haven't been hiding because I'm lazy, I swear.  I've been hiding for the worst reasons.  I wanted to write about my goals tonight.  I wanted to write about the specific things I want to accomplish this year, but I really just can't.  Instead I am heartbroken for friends and grieving their tragedy. Even that feels wrong, like I don't have a right to feel terrible for them.  But I do.  I can't seem to stop crying.

In any case, I can't write about their tragedy because that would be the most awful theft.  So that leaves me writing about how I'm not writing about what I wanted to write about. 

Huh.  I just spent ten minutes staring and the screen and trying not to cry.  I will leave my goals for another day, once the shock has passed.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Address

I moved the blog.  I didn't move it far, but I did move it.  It felt like a good idea, so the blog can be more a tool for writing wherever that might take me.  I hope you continue reading, commenting, and correcting.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Breathing deeply

It's not how they said it would be. It's not really a "craving," or a "fit." It's more like momentary vertigo. As I step out of some, but not all doors, there is a moment when it feels like I'm falling. I feel like I should be smoking, like something is wrong because I'm not lighting up. It's shocking and disturbing every time, maybe more so because it seems to happen randomly.

Other times, when I'm stressed or feeling overwhelmed, those feelings echo and amplify. I feel like I might drown in the emotion. Screaming and crying are the only reactions. Nothing else is even possible. It's selfish, ridiculous, and embarrassing.

Frequently my mind will the gratification of breaking kneecaps and headbutting. The heel of my hand striking a collarbone. What? I may have trouble watching my language. I apologize a lot. For swearing, for snapping, for sarcasm.

And then, there are the millions of in-between moments when it's just breathtakingly easy. When I don't even think about it. The rolling blanket of control barely punctured by the moments of vertigo and doubt. It's the moments just after vertigo when it really seems like I can do it. Each of those moments is a white-knuckle grip on reality...and the world settles. I only have to hold on for a second.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Why is this Movie Title Misspelled?

Day 6

So I'm not feeling today's topic. Instead, let me tell about Inglourious Basterds. Please do not pay to see this movie. Don't even pay to rent it. If you really feel like you have to see it, wait until it comes out on DVD and one of your friends buys or burns it. Really.

I walked out in the first scene. It starts with one of the Landa character interview scenes that Tarantino got way too much praise for. Much like rest of the movie, it was drawn out beyond any reasonable limit in the vain hope of amping up the tension. I didn't feel the need to sit through it, so I went out to smoke. I'm thankful I did. The film flashes back to the only important part of the scene later (if you do watch it later, this means you can skip ahead guilt-free), and going outside allowed me to witness something far more amusing.

I get that the Alamo pretty must closes up shop after the last screenings begin, so I double checked with the staff that it was okay if I stepped outside and propped the door open with my shoe. As always, the staff were totally nice about it, and one even agreed that he hadn't liked the movie either.

So there I am, standing in front of the Alamo South Lamar smoking and wearing one sandal, when she stumbles up. Oh, she's real classy. Early/mid forties, dyed brown hair, WHITE SLACKS (a crime against everything), and heels she probably had an easier time in three glasses of wine ago paint as accurate a picture I can give you. So, she hollers my way mid-stumble, telling me that I'm staff so I must be able to let her in. Why do people always assume I'm working? I'm not very comfortable now, because she's obviously drunk and the theater is closed. Unfortunately, it's my shoe propping open the door. After explaining to her that I'm not staff, theater's closed, they aren't going to sell her a ticket,etc., I remove my sandal and let her in. I wasn't left with much of choice seeing as she was determined to get in, I didn't work there, and my plans for Saturday night did not include getting bulldozed by a forty-something drunk in WHITE SLACKS while only wearing one shoe.

In drunkie goes. From just outside I can hear the whole exchange. She should have been at the theater an hour ago to meet her friends, but she was taking the bus, so it's not her fault. No, she doesn't know what movie they were going to see, no she can't reach them by cell (they're in a movie), and she is supposed to get a ride home with them, so she can't leave. The staff are nice, but firm, and after a lot of huffing and puffing she asks if she can use the bathroom. We can all see drunkie's thought process as she walks down the hall. At about this time, I come back inside and apologize to the staff. They are again super nice, and joke with me about she's about to get kicked out for sneaking into a movie.

We walk around the corner, and there she is: waving her arms, stomping her feet, shrilling like a grackle. "I demand to speak with your manager!" she squawks. The staff member walking with me smiles and raises his eyebrows at me before picking up his pace. I walk by laughing and on into the theater, where I will be bored and disinterested for at least another hour.

How sad is that? WHITE SLACKS drunkie was the most interesting thing about going to see Inglourious Basterds.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Serial Lover

Day 5

Baby, what do you mean they don't love you? They're idiots, fools who can't see a good thing when it's standing right in front of them. Don't listen to them baby, you know I've always loved you.

I know, I hear you. So I've been an inconsistent lover. So I choose you or neglect you based on my whims, so what? You know I always miss you when you aren't there. You've seen me rage at others' work when they leave you out. What fools! I don't want to have to think about whether or not options 3 and 4 are combined or separate in the list 1, 2, 3 and 4. If you were in that list, I would never have to question it.

You know you're great baby, so get out there with your head held high. They're stupid not to want you. Baby, I may run off and disappoint you from time to time, but you know I can't stay away. I'll always come back.

Friday, September 4, 2009

What do you mean you haven't seen District 9?

Day 4

I'm not sure if I loved District 9 or Up more this summer, but District 9 is certainly more interesting and possibly more controversial. I'm not going to give anything away, but I really think you should go see it.

From the first shot, my disbelief was suspended. The gritty, documentary style of the opening scenes present this alternate present day South Africa has a completely real place. Now, as you may have heard, some viewers in South Africa were disappointed with how their country was portrayed in the film. Many are concerned that viewers unfamiliar with South Africa will take this portrayal of South Africa as a true reflection of how it exists today. I feel that now that we've discussed this, you will all be able to go into this film and distinguish fantasy from reality. In an age of secret prisons and homeless camps, I have no trouble imagining that the presented situation could have happened in any number of places. It's also important to remember that this is an alternate reality.

Beyond the setting and style of the film, I loved the protagonist, Wikus, as played by Sharlto Copley. Wikus felt real, and I loved his imperfections. His path to the right thing is better for self preservation, betrayal and all of the very human impulses that could very easily play out in such a situation. If he had been entirely altruistic, the story would be ruined.

Now, I really don't want to give anything away, because I want your experience with this movie to be as fresh and exciting as mine was. What I will say is that you can see Peter Jackson in the violence...early Peter Jackson. People aren't mauled or torn apart, they explode like jello and it's kind of funny. Still, even though I laughed, it didn't damage the experience for me. I hope you'll be able to agree.

The last thing I want to mention is that the audio engineers who worked on this film deserve an academy award for their amazing work. Perhaps while you watch, you too will be struck by the fantastic language they created for the alien species.

Don't wait for the sequel, it can't possibly compare to this exciting, enjoyable, great movie. Just go see it already.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Welcome to the Hotel Concussion

Day 3

Standing on the sienna stained concrete floor, the blue paint on the ladder really stands out. It seems vertical because of the steep incline and there's a large chip in the second step. To get to bed each night I climb the ladder. The first step feels too low at only ten inches off the ground, and it's tempting to skip it. Don't. The base of the ladder isn't connected to the floor, so excessive movement will cause it to shake. Grip the ladder with your right hand and step up with your left foot. Keep your feet on the black grip-strips on each step; the paint is slick.

It isn't always necessary to use both hands, but keep that right hand on the side of the ladder. The 2x6 lumber is solid and comforting in the face of the limited two point connection at the top. Take each of the seven steps one at a time and pay attention. I'm currently sporting a set of matching black bruises on my thigh due to inattention.

Once on the fourth step there will be tiny tabby paw swiping with extended claws from the left. Staying to the right will bypass this adorable threat. At this point the four foot extension of the right side of the ladder will become a railing. It's still important to keep holding it. Once at the top of the ladder, the ceiling is less than six feet high and it falls at a sharp angle to the left. Be sure to stay bent over. Falling eight and a half feet due to a head-ceiling collision completely ruins the entire exercise of climbing the ladder in the first place.

Welcome to the Hotel Concussion.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Must Not Tell Lies

Day 2

I've been staring at the blinking cursor for the entire evening. The words won't come. When I read today's topic I immediately knew what I wanted to write about, what I oppose most. The single greatest crime humanity has committed against itself. Unfortunately, I cannot be an advocate for religion.

Sure, there are plenty of arguments for faith: comfort, community, genuine belief, activism, moral guidance, and last but not least, Pascal's Wager. Alas, there is an argument against each. A better argument. And that's without even touching on the ongoing effects of this crime: misinformation, the castration of scientific exploration, genocide, the many crusades, murder, child abuse, sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual mutilation, the whole scale of hate crimes, the suppression of women, withholding education, and the massive unending conflict over a tiny piece of land where questionable stories supposedly took place.

No, I'm not saying that religion is solely responsible for all crime. I am simply listing crimes here which have been and still are committed in the name of a god, with the support of a religion and/or inside a religion itself.

So you see, it wouldn't just be writing in favor of something I disagree with, it would be flat out lying. I would love to go into the argument in detail, but Christopher Hitchens has done it better that I ever could in his fantastic book, God is not Great. Regardless of what you believe, you should read this book. You may feel like faith gives you something special, but wouldn't your energy be better spent giving something special to the world?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Intend to Win --Day 1

My intentions haven't changed since the last 30DoW, so here's what I posted last time:

My intentions for June (and now September) are not particularly creative, but therein lies the possibility. This month my goals are consistency, growth and adventure. Consistency is first. I want to write consistently. It's kind of the basis for this project, no surprises there. I want to write a quality submission every day. Simple.

Growth is just as obvious. I want to grow as a writer and a person. What other purpose is there to life?

I want this project to be an adventure. An opportunity to try new things, discover new styles and voices, to play with possibility.

These are my goals, and without any segue let's move on to the second part of this assignment. I'm no more a writer than any other person. I have a degree in literature with a minor in creative writing. I write driveling nonsense to myself in journals, and I once was a teenage girl (I've written poetry). I love young adult literature, comic books and sci fi and fantasty. I have no ambitions to publish.

Okay, now on to more important business. I'm not really thinking about writing today because I'm having an anxiety attack about our game tonight against the Fucking Nihilist Eagles of New Brohemia. It's at 8 on field 11 at kreig fields. I'm nervous about playing well, even though I'm not any kind of golden glove player. I'm nervous about hitting, which I always am. I'm nervous about losing. Still, It will be great. I'm going to stop writing now so that I can close my eyes and vizualize our win. I'm going get ready and do my best. The game will be fun no matter what happens, but I'm not going to give up. If you asked anyone on the team what they intend today, I think we would all give the same answer.

I intend to win.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mythology is just another term of aging

No matter what, he has to be the one. Celi fidgets one foot deeper into the mud, anxious from waiting. It has been a millennium or more, but still, she is standing here...waiting.

There is no limit to cruel men, and she knows it. But, it is always waiting for the redemption of catching one. The space where her back should be catches the breeze from the creek. It won't be too long now.

"God damn woman, what the hell are you thinking draggin' me out here at this time of night?" Mack hollers above her. a smile creeps above Celi's lips before she answers, "I thought we should talk." The smile settles as she reminisces on the pregnant woman Mack has abandoned tonight.

"Come down here!" Celi demands. She can see Mack's shoulders bunch. Tonight, she will earn the respect of her sisters. One lacy strap of her dress drifts downward.

"At least one woman damn well wants me," Mack mutters as he makes his way towards her.
"what is it that you want, baby?" His voice is playful as he approaches her.

Celi plays it back a thousand times in her head as she smacks him. It's perfect and sharp with the drag of nails against his cheek. Fury consumes his face as his hands spring around her throat, "I do not need anymore bullshit tonight, woman," he mutters as he grabs her. He is remarkably unfazed by the joy on her face.

Celi does what she is meant to do. She falls backwards into the water with his hands around her throat. His breath catches as the cold water hits him. The stupid man was never prepared for this. Celi lets herself drift downward for a moment, relishing her success. Then, it's over. Her own smile envelopes her face as she grabs his hands and tugs Mack towards the bottom. He trashes admirably, for such a simple, vile thing. Long after he's stopped, Celi still holds him. Unwilling to break this beautiful embrace. Finally she pries his fingers free from her neck and swims to the surface.

Gasping and crawling, Celi turns her face to the new sky above the small creek. She cannot wait to share her victory with her sisters, but at this moment, she is struck by the glinting moonlight off the tree leaves. Her smile creeps back across her face. She muses to herself,

so this is what it's like on the other side.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Awkward and Difficult

It's about 9:00 on a boisterous evening at the sports park. Awkward has dashed away from the game to the port-a-potty at the edge of the lights because it would be more than her name could cover if she peed her pants on the field. She is true to herself on this bathroom run, standing on one foot, holding her breath and hovering, then yanking her shorts somewhat into place and leaping out of the blue plastic box while trying not to touch anything.

She lands and exhales loudly...and there is Difficult. Standing just a couple of feet away, eyebrows raised. Difficult is pretty, if aging, and looks nice in a calf-length skirt with perfect hair and subtle makeup. Awkward feels the disadvantage of the bunched waistband of her shorts, dripping sweat and wild hair escaping her ponytail.

"Hey, aren't you Awkward?" Difficult smiles. Of course, Difficult knows Awkward's name, they have met and spoken at social events several times.

"Yeah," Awkward breathes heavily and nods. In her true style, Awkward then claps her hands and raises her eyebrows, "I gotta go." She turns and runs back to the field, away from Difficult and away from a conversation she isn't going to have.

Maybe it isn't all Difficult's fault, but she got herself into this situation, and that shit she just pulled was a manipulative power play. She had played her own game, being both manipulator and manipulated until she had landed in a position so true to her name. Sure, she hadn't hurt Awkward, but that wasn't enough to make them friends.

After this, Awkward will continue to avoid Difficult, who will smile and wave whenever convenient. Awkward will feel awkward, and to her limited perception, it will appear that Difficult has no idea how difficult she truly is.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Means of My Own Creation

The hard part is keeping my eyes on the road. Training my eyes on the yellow staccato that breaks up the road while focusing out of the corner, always aware of what might be on the other side of the window. It's like Russian roulette every time. I've ended up in the ditch running the length of the highway three times. Twice because of deer I was staring at but somehow didn't notice, and once startled by a rare passing car.

It's not that I'm a bad driver, I swear, it's this particular stretch of highway. Sort of. This jagged black tear through the silent hills outside of town. I've driven it a million times as a part of the ever present duty of a child to her parent. The first time it happened, I thought I must have been exhausted, hallucinating. One of the pipes under mom's place had burst sometime in the middle of the night, and she had called me panicking. I'm not a prissy thing, but I'm not exactly a plumber either. Still, I drove out there to see what I could do.

Silent, peaceful hills rolled by like midnight green sea as I drifted down the narrow road half-asleep, until an unlikely glimmer caught my eye. I'm not sure how, but it's instantly recognizable. The shifting gleam of moonlight on a roiling mane, the sheen of his coat down the arch of his neck, the glinting light reflecting in his eye. I stopped breathing in that moment. I was completely bewitched for those few, brief seconds as I took my foot of the gas and turned to look. As soon as I shifted my eyes he was gone.

Sure, I laughed at myself. I even spent the night out at the old farm, telling mom I wanted to be there when the real plumber got there in the morning to fix what I'd manged with duct tape, but really I was afraid of what I might, or might not see on my drive back.

After that first night my relationship with my mother changed, or at least the frequency of my visits did. I found reasons to go out there in the evenings, to take the chance to see him again. Sometimes I think I see something, but every time I turn he's gone.

Tonight, I'm careful. It's a cautious meander through the hills. I breathe deep and slow and try not to think about the hallucination I'm desperately seeking. It's warm out, so I've rolled down the window and my hair whips around my face. I'm only a couple of miles from the farm and my heart is breaking. I haven't even almost seen him. Nothing. And then I hear it, a steady rolling beat. I turn down the radio, worried I've gotten a flat, but the truck is gliding over the road. In the new quiet I can hear it better; the pinch of metal on asphalt, the rhythm, the deep harrumphing breaths. I chuckle quietly to myself. Of course my hallucination is shod, clinking metal shoes on the road. My eyes are watering as I force myself to look straight ahead. I force a deep breath as I take my foot off the gas and let the truck coast to a stop.

The rhythm breaks into the clip-clop of a trot, but I won't turn to the glinting reflections to my left even as the tears stream down my face. As the truck finally stills, I carefully shift into park, never breaking my staring contest with the road ahead.

My hand trembles as I slowly reach out the window, and my own breath catches when his warm, moist breath cascades over my palm. Suddenly my hallucination is very, very real. He nickers softly and rubs his silken, whiskery muzzle in my palm. I lose my staring contest with the road, closing my eyes in the exultation of this new reality. He nickers again and tosses his head, stepping back from my hand. I open my eyes and look at him for the first time.

He stands facing the truck door, ears forward, expression expectant. He's not black, which makes me pleased with my imagination, but he would be perfectly ordinary if he wasn't a figment of my own creation. He's perhaps bay, by what I can make out in the dim light, not more than sixteen hands, with a mane and tail not overly long, but not rigorously clipped either.

He nickers, tosses his head again, and pricks his ears forward once more, beckoning me. I didn't really think this would ever happen, but I move like my actions were long ago decided. I unclip my safety belt, turn off the truck, and slip out of the cab to meet him. He almost purrs as he rubs his face into my hands. I don't know how, but I know my truck will be found in the morning and I won't be here to explain it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Please stop throwing grenades at my sun umbrella

Gentle moving water


dead fish float up like bubbles in the aftermath.

Life seems to tumble along and then suddenly explode every once in a while. I'm not into that whole "things happen in threes" nonsense, but a whole lot does seem to happen at the same time. I would really like life to present me with only one disaster at a time, but for some reason that seems like too much to ask for.

It's not really like grenade fishing, it's more like powerful rapids and swirling eddies, but my skills for navigating such treacherous waters are so poor that lobbing grenades in my general direction probably wouldn't hurt my chances.

Next weekend my brother is moving to Wisconsin, which for some reason he never bothered to tell me. He did have me edit and correct his resume, but why let me know that he got the job and is moving across the country? Sure, my feelings are a little hurt, but it's really great that he got the job. He'll be with his super-awesome girlfriend who just finished law school, and he'll be able to provide her with some support while she tries to get her feet under her. It's all well and good...except that our mom is having half of her colon removed the following Wednesday.

My father is not a great, or even good nurse. His worry makes him restless and short-tempered. I need to go up to Dallas that weekend to help get mom settled in to recover. It would be easier if Colin still lived near them, but we'll all make do. I'm worried that I may have to take extra time off depending on how the surgery goes (I am telling myself that everything will go swimmingly), but I don't really have extra time to take.

And it's Edmund's birthday that weekend. If there is any man who deserves a great birthday, it's him. A great birthday would not involve a trip to the great vacuous metropolis. It would involve Schlitterbahn, a nice dinner, presents and fun. I am not exactly sure how we will fit all of these things into the same weekend.

Oh yeah, and my truck still hates me. She may or may not want to make the trip.

So that's the bitch part of this ramble. Bitching about it won't change anything, so we will try our best, and do what we can. Either Edmund will come with me to Dallas or the universe will align in my favor and I will finally beat him at Rock Paper Scissors, winning the right to take his car to Dallas.

If I have to take extra time off, so be it. I'm looking at going up every weekend or every other weekend for the first couple of weeks, but if things don't go as well as possible in surgery I will stay with my parents. Perhaps I can tug on my boss's heartstrings. Doesn't she hope that when her daughters are grown they will come home to take care of her if she needs major surgery? I feel like it's a legitimate line of reasoning.

We can go out to dinner in Dallas for Edmund's birthday, and hopefully we can go to Schlitterbahn the next weekend. It's not perfect, but what is?

With all of this awesomeness going around, I keep coming back to a video Edmund shot while we were moving him into the apartment. We were tired and sweaty and almost finished when Pudgy decided to help. It still makes me laugh, so I'm going to probably be watching it a lot over the next few weeks.