It’s good to be home.

Well, I’m home.

About twenty years ago, my father and his wife bought a house. It was in the middle of a giant yard, at the edge of what some would call a “town,” or, as those people exaggerated, a “city,” that is still just a bit larger than the size of a postage stamp. Maybe the size of a postcard stamp. That town is Leslie, Michigan, in the heart of nothing. They made the decision to, essentially, rip up our roots and transplant them in a field a hundred miles away.

For twenty years, I held onto a wild childish hope that someday I would return to Bay City. Someday, I would be big enough and old enough to make my own decisions and live wherever I wanted, and there was nowhere in the world I wanted to be more than a place I could call home. A place where my family was closer than a phone call. A place where I could walk the streets and remember what it felt like to be utterly in love with a place.

No matter how many places I’ve lived, I still call Bay City home. As of two weeks ago, I can now say that without enduring the rolling eyes of anyone whom has heard me wax nostalgic about this place. It says so on my drivers’ license. It says so on my mailbox. It says so on the mail I receive in that mailbox. It says so on my work papers, and on FGL’s work papers. It is so, and I am so, so, so thrilled to say so. It’s been a long time since I cried so hard and so happily.

Most of the new house is unpacked. We are finding new surprises about this house as we go along, most of them unfortunate. Still, I remain optimistic because getting here was half the battle – the hard half. I am within fifteen minutes of seeing my Grama Barb every other day, half an hour of seeing my sister nearly every day, half an hour of seeing my cousin and her ever-expanding brood (welcome, Mr. Grayson James, born today at 12:21 am!) and fifteen minutes of an aunt whom, as I put it once while quite drunk (but still so very honest and heartfelt!), “was twice the parents both my parents ever were, combined.” I walk into her house and dig my hand into the jelly bean jar. She wants to feed me. She always wants to feed me, and God help me, I always want to eat! She plans family dinners and kid-friendly get-togethers. She saves pictures and mementos and understands my heart in ways I can only be grateful for. She embodies the spirit of the family I wanted so badly, and I can’t express enough how thankful I am to be within hug’s reach of her now.

It has taken some getting used to, being in this town. I am remembering things that are not the same anymore. I searched for Mooney’s ice cream for nearly a week, before finding out the hard way that my favorite flavor was discontinued. No matter; I can and will evolve. There will be other flavors. The important thing is that I have it, and I have my big front porch. Every night, I fall asleep to the comforting orange glow of the streetlights. I can’t believe how much I missed their presence.

When I left my father’s house in Leslie, when I left that place for good, we stopped at an A&W Root Beer Stand and celebrated my freedom with a float. The other night, we walked down to the A&W Drive In down the street and I relished in the feeling of that frosty mug in my hand as I once again celebrated freedom. I celebrated the freedom from everything that has held me back for twenty years as I’ve fought harder than Odysseus to make my way home.

We’ve unpacked most of the house. Once I have some shelves, I will be able to unpack all of my books and I will consider myself fully moved in. There are tubs and tubs of them against the wall waiting to be let out. I can almost hear them crying as I pass them, loving the sound of my feet across the (original!) dark wood floors. This house creaks, and each movement I make reminds me of the time that has passed, the people that have dwelled, and the many, many lives that have walked through these crooked doorways. Every floor is wavy, every window sticks. The basement leaks like a post-iceberg Titanic, but when I look out the window and I see my town, none of it matters. I am home.

During the course of unpacking, I found my Big Purple Binder. It’s the binder that holds every piece of paper that has been scribbled on, all of those words I pieced together to create poetry. It holds all of my sentences, and even the grades I received for them. In looking through my past work, I found one of my Bay City pieces I wrote back in high school. I’d like to share it with you.

It never mattered what the weather was like. If it was sunny, we’d walk to the park, or around the old, familiar neighborhood, or run across the Riverwalk planks in our sandals, watching the ducks look at us as if we were loopy. Sometimes, we’d go for rides in the big ol’ boat of a car Uncle Cris used to drive and let the wind run between our toes as we hung our feet out the window as he constantly nagged at us to pull them back in.

If it was overcast or rainy, we’d pull the vertical blinds across the huge picture window so no gray sunlight that we always thought looked cold could get in. We’d cook up a big pot of beans and rice and a griddle full of johnnycake. Then we’d spend the afternoon playing with Legos and having girlie chats in the empty bedroom upstairs. We always had to keep talking, because the silence up there seemed so loud. Sometimes we wondered if that room was haunted by the ghost of my uncle whom had died there.

The first thing that called out to us when we’d pull into the driveway of Grama Barb’s house was the porch. It used to be cement, with black iron rails that enchanted us so much, we’d dare our friends to stick their heads between them so we could laugh and panic a little when they got stuck. For a long time, summer lasted so much longer than the rest of the year, so the weather was always warm and we’d stay on the porch and trace each other with chalk. Every new visitor that rang the doorbell looked at the porch with a funny look on their face, remarking to our grandmother that her porch looked like a crime scene. She’d look at the porch and say, “Yep, there’s a masterpiece right there. Don’t I have clever granddaughters?” One thing about her was, we could always level with her.

When the screen door opened, there was a worn out couch that looked tired, like a single mom on a Wednesday night. Best of all, there was a big iron stove that heated the big white house we loved so much. Looking to the right, there was a big open kitchen with broken linoleum that looked like patio bricks. When we were little, we used to try to keep our feet on one square at a time, so we wouldn’t break our mommies’ backs. In this kitchen was a touchstone of our childhood: a big, ugly washer.

It never occurred to us that a washer didn’t belong in the kitchen. To us, it was a table, a sofa, “home base” and a comfort. It was as much a fixture in our lives as the party store on Wenona was, or our left feet.

Our grandmother never grew old. Her glasses changed once in a while, from brown to pink, and her magnets on the fridge sometimes changed, but the world she lived in and welcomed us into was always the same.

The bathtub was a hideous hue of pink, the little flowers on the Corelle were always drab green, the overstuffed country couch with one huge cushion that always served as our cruise ship when we played glamorous versions of “House” was always cornflower blue, and all the things that were supposed to be white were always gold with the remnants of our grandmother’s legendary chain-smoking habit.

It was a big house, like a giant. It was a Gulliver in Lilliput next to the houses it sat near. Most of the homes on Dean Street were big and old, though, and each of them had a history as special as our family gathering spot, with chipping paint and a trampled lawn. It was a good thing she raised granddaughters and not grass.

We can’t say our childhood wasn’t special. We were the Charlie’s Angels of the neighborhood, my cousins and me. We were the Three Musketeers. We had room to roam, our trusty washer, weather that never dampened our fierce five-year-old spirits, and a boat of a car to hang our feet out the window as the wind ran between our toes and the sound of our laughter could be heard all the way down Center Avenue.

Obviously, things have changed a little. Maybe Grama Barb is getting a little older. A little. And maybe Uncle Cris doesn’t drive a boat of a car anymore – but now he’s got a truck! I’m still waiting for my house with a big pink bathtub, but it’s coming. And I’ll be here, with a sense of patience that I haven’t been able to find in twenty years and twenty thousand other places.

It’s good to be home.

-xoxo 🙂

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For Mama Bear: A Eulogy

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* This piece is an assignment I have written for a presentational speaking class I am taking. I would like to share it with you.

 

When someone loses their parents, they are called orphan. When someone loses their spouse, they are widowed, or are a widower. When someone loses a pet, they are called… people. Because there is no special title, no words special enough to describe what kind of person we are after we have experienced the extraordinary love of a dog.

They are called man’s best friend, and for good reason. A dog will never judge you, never say hurtful things, never desert you, and no matter how short you fall in your friendship, she will never rub your nose in it. I was once told that, in the steps of reincarnation, a dog’s life is the last life before reaching Nirvana. It gives me comfort to think that my Mama Bear is one with the Force now.

Let me tell you about her, and I will try to use words to make you understand.

Her name was KayCee Lou, and she came into this world in an explosion of white fur, with a golden mane around her head like a halo. She was soft, she was warm, she was everywhere I needed her to be. If I was busy, she was patiently by my side. If I was cold, she was lying across my feet. If I was hurt, she was snarling at the culprit, and if I was sad, she was patiently across my lap, her golden fur clenched in my fists. She had the patience of a saint for me, and should anyone else require her services while I was in her domain, they were SOL.

From day one, she was mine. I met her on the Fourth of July, after coming home from my dad’s house for a few weeks in the summer. She charged at me through the kitchen, flipping over her own ears to land at my feet with a plop. It was love at first lick, and for ten years, we were inseparable. Her face peeked through the curtains to watch for my bus every single day after school, and we lit up at the sight of each other like beacons in the night every afternoon.

She was my baby, my sister, my mother. A steady hand when I wasn’t so steady. A soft place to land. She was a familiar face when others were blurred. She was understanding as I went through my awkward angsty years of adolescence, and dutifully waited for me as I ventured out into the great wide world without her. She watched and waited, and became a puppy again every time I returned.

Though I speak as if her life revolved around me, it was I who was given the privilege of watching her beautiful life unfold for ten years. I was witness to a blooming romance as she grew into our male Golden’s companion, and I watched her fall silent on the day we carried him home in the big cardboard box. From that day she never barked again.

But she was never sad. She loved again, as we brought another male into our midst, and for Bailey, she birthed 31 beautiful puppies, cried for three who were lost, and bravely said goodbye to 27 who went on to be bringers of joy like their mother. She was the proud mama of Sam-Sam, a familiar fuzzy face that greets me at my mother’s side every day as I wave good morning. In addition to her own pups, she loved and attended to mine, too, making sure my girls’ faces were well washed before making it through the door. In her old age, she watched my house across the street from my mother’s front window, content to stay where she had always stayed, but never allowing me to go unprotected.

The night I got the call was the night I made a decision that changed the course of my life. It was a decision that put the fate of my life back in my own hands, and I had seen her in the afternoon to tell her all about it and give her treats. She kissed my face as I said goodbye to her, and six hours later, she was gone. I understand now that she knew her job was done, and I have used and will continue to use that hope that she held in me to fuel myself towards the person she always knew I could be.

So what do you call someone who has loved and lost to such a great capacity? I would call them blessed.

 

 

 

The Best Words – Mad Lib Style!

NOTE: I am making the move from Blogger to WordPress complete; thanks much for bearing with my multiple updates as I share my favorite vintage posts so that new audiences may enjoy them. 

November 23, 2013

Our Favorite Words – Mad Lib Style 

Now THIS is flippin’ cool. THIS is my newest obsession, my new Candy Crush. I am so excited to have discovered this, and I am SUPER stoked to share this with you. If it isn’t something that is already taking the world by storm, then it should be. Hey word junkies and language geeks out there: get a kick out of the MOST EPIC NEW THING IN POETRY:

*drumroll please!*

AUTOCORRECT POETRY.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with AutoCorrect. Even those who are still carrying around those dinosaur flip phones, or – gasp! – a candy bar phone, you’ll know what AutoCorrect does. It turns completely innocent text messages into great fodder for conversation later, inside jokes, and now, amazing works of writing.

What I like about the concept of AutoCorrect poetry is that it has no form, it has no style. It is freewriting in our most modern form. It is mobile poetry. There is no longer any excuse for not having the time to write poetry. If you can text, you can create!

I had been mulling this over in my mind for a while now, and the other day I voiced my ideas to my fair ginger lover. We turned it into a bit of a game, to see who could come up with the better text, based on how hard we laughed at it. We spent the next half hour in a sort of texting date, writing hilarious and completely nonsensical things to each other and giggling like children. We probably looked so stupid, sitting there on our phones, snorting into our sleeves with laughter. 

I noticed while doing this that my AutoCorrect sometimes repeated words I had already used, like it was on a loop of words in a bank. Where did these words come from? From the person holding it, of course, which is me – and I realized that these aren’t just funny words. These are my favorite words. These are the words I use most often because they are the ones that are most familiar to my tongue. The way they roll off and clamber about the Universe after jumping out of my brain – those are the ones I reach for most often.

What words do you reach for? What words are in your vernacular? How do you expand your vocabulary? I recently discovered this great Facebook app called “Word Porn” (excuse the title) and while I’m not one who really gets into the “sharing” of all those random Page pictures and cutesy sayings and whatnot, I find myself sharing a lot of these updates because these words are just… splendiferous. 

In three days, I was introduced to, like, FIVE of my new favorite words. My first new favorite word was a word I wish I had known in fourth grade when we wrote and submitted orally a paper on what we wanted to be when we grew up. If you know me personally, then you know what my aspirations were back then. Innocent as they truly were, they were absolutely scandalous that day in my fourth grade classroom.

Keep reading. Maybe I’ll tell you the story. 

This is such a great word – a word to describe me perfectly. Not me as a complex, complete being, but the essential Me. The word is “quaintrelle.” The definition is I take this one at face value – I realize that it is to mean the female counterpart to a dandy British male, and that is not as I mean it. But read the definition and interpret it for yourselves, and I think you will realize what I’m trying to say.
“A woman who emphasizes a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm and cultivation of life’s pleasures.”

Another one I really enjoy is “heliopheliac.” One who basks in sunshine, and is reluctant to leave it. 

Another is scripturient – having a consuming passion to write. Oh, how that one fits me so well. 

I love this one, this is probably one of my very favorite new words, “retrouvaille” which means rediscovery, the joy of finding a loved one after a long separation. 

And balter. Because that is hilarious. It is pronounced like “falter” and it isn’t far off. It means to WAVE YO HANDS IN THE AY-ER LIKE YOU JUST DON’T CAY-ER. It is the stuff of that thankfully lost video of my wedding night after the third? pub of the crawl… one very, very happy bride very much enjoying her new status as Mrs. Fair Ginger Lover. “To dance artlessly without particular grace or skill, but usually with enjoyment.” Just hearing the word makes me giggle.

Which brings me to the best part – the part of the evening where you learn how to write your very own AutoCorrect poems! Hope your seams are double stitched. 

Also, be warned – I apparently have a sailor’s vernacular because my phone allows my AutoCorrect to swear. 

Fuck the bus stop!
She is super proud
of my birthday party.
And,
she would love Mondays.

I would absolutely love to do this as spoken word, as slam poetry. I think it would be hilarious. Just me and a spotlight, deadpanning for the audience. I want to make this happen! Here’s another good one.

For example,
a little ridiculous,
and the grocery shopping cart system – 
it’s not connecting with his toes!
I don’t want the baby giving them
to the store in the Middle East.

I noticed that a lot of my little poems ended up being about the baby. My little Muse. He is his father’s son in so many ways. Love that little bundle of joy from the ends of his wispy blonde hair to the tips of his tiny little toes, but sometimes, I think my AutoCorrect captures my worst 3 AM moments. For example:

Give me a good day sweetie.
Try to get rid of them,
in their fucking frustration,
by throwing out the baby.
(wow, I must have been really, um, tired.)

My phone is very Smart. It keeps up with current events. For the most part. It’s a little behind, but I still give it credit for knowing that Carlos is always to be associated with Danger. 

Carlos Danger is not connecting
a little more sweetie Love
to the midnight showing.
We need an experienced programmer
who has been CRAZY
about my teeth.

This is one from my husband’s AutoCorrect – and I took it personally, it was that sweet.

Thus the baby happy, 
and the fantastic four of us
to come home to

and snuggle – with you,
though I love you more

than any Hostess cake.

Aww.

Try it. Let’s start a new thing. Send an AutoCorrect Poem (ACP) text or post to someone and see how they react! When you get the inevitable “WTF?” explain the concept, and enjoy the hilarity.

Comment or submit your own AutoCorrect poem, thanks SO VERY MUCH for coming back to read this week, and please share and pin and +1 the crap out of The Saturday Evening Poet! I want my words to reach every furthest corner. I appreciate every like and share and click and skim. I thank you so very, very much and hope you have a great week.

xoxo 🙂

Oh, fine. Because you were kind enough to read to the end, I’ll tell you what happened in fourth grade.
I didn’t have such a refined vocabulary back then. (Where were you, Word Porn?) We were given an assignment to write a paper on what we wanted to be when we grew up. I didn’t know the word “choreographer.” I was also not familiar with the term “interpretive dancer.” All I knew is that out there somewhere, according to myHighlights for Children magazine, there were people who got paid to make up funky dances and teach them to people. I wanted to get paid for getting my groove on! I tried to think of the most technical term I could come up with for “funky” because that probably wasn’t anywhere near a list of occupations. I chose the most elegant sounding word, “exotic.”
Thus, my paper, which was presented via speech to the class, which was in full attendance that day, including the boy I had a crush on who sat in the front row right in front of where I was standing, became a speech on how I wanted to grow up to become an exotic dancer.
You’re welcome, and I’m very sorry if you were drinking anything. 🙂

shaking my bones and rattling my brain

“You shake my bones and you rattle my brain.”

It is written on your Wall and I want to punch it. It was a place She touched and I want it to disappear, to have never existed in the first place. She had no business there, inside the room you never let me in. You never gave me what I claimed for my own; I have always felt as if loving me comes as easily to you as tearing out your own molars.

You give yourself so easily to me now, almost so easily I laugh at it. It strikes me as funny – not funny ha-ha, but funny as in incredibly strange, and so off-putting that I have to ha-ha at it or else be caught like a deer in headlights at the realization of how you make me feel.

But on the story of your journey from Point A to Point Me, you are silent. You tell me nothing, only that you missed me so, even daring to challenge me to a love-you-more contest. My dear, not even the loneliest of lovers could light a candle to the torch I carried for you. You can never know the depths of that darkness; I live to forget that girl in every moment I rewrite with you.

I loved you first and in the quiet awe you struck me into, I gave away the opportunity to seize the moment. I threw you aside and gathered every consolation prize I could find, telling you and desperately telling myself that I was fine, really, totally absolutely fine, you were like just a friend anyway. Really, that would be so weird.

Except you never were and no matter how long I waited for my heart to still, it never has.

And now, after all this time, we are retelling this story, introducing new characters, and changing the plot in twists I couldn’t have dreamed up in my wildest drunken stupors. It has been the most entertaining, enchanting, feel-good story I’ve ever heard. So disgustingly beautiful I want to cry and throw up and fucking smile about it.

But I feel as if there are pages ripped out of this book, and your narrative is missing. I have always pulled words from your heart as if on spiderweb silk – thin and so painfully delicate – but I have always been able to find them. This… for this I have nothing.

For this love, there is no explanation, there is no apology. There is no reassurance and there is no cure. There is nothing but the existence of who we are and what we knew was meant to be. We don’t even know how we know it – we just always were, whether we knew it or not.

There are words in the Universe that explain everything. For everything that exists, in every realm, real, imagined, fantastical whatever-the-hell, there is a word for it.

But what

is the word

for

this?

 

-xoxo

 

A deposit of memories

 

I pride myself on having a pretty good memory. I can remember the slightest details of days past, the furthest I can remember is age three. I remember dressing myself in a ruffled white tank top, which was a bit too small for me, but I forced it on anyway, because I remember how much I adored ruffles (and still do). I remember toddling around my Grama Barb’s driveway, very early in the morning. It must have been, because nobody else was awake yet, and the sky was half blue, half yellow.

All of my good memories from that time were warm ones. I don’t remember ever having a good day in the snow. I remember the first time I realized, when it really struck me that seasons were changing. I felt a lurch in my heart, and looking back, I wonder if that was the first time I was truly disappointed in something. I was four, peeking around the heavy golden-stained drapes hanging in her living room, dressing that grand front window with all those little panes. I saw the red and orange leaves from the large trees in the neighbor’s yard blowing down the curb and in front of Grama’s house. I gazed up into the naked trees and hoped they wouldn’t catch cold. Even then, I like to think I had a compassionate heart.

There was a vacant lot across the street, sitting on the corner. It was a perfect lot to play in, with a berry bush and a small hole in which to squish things with a small stick. The kids across the street lived adjacent to this lot and on one particular afternoon, we were pretending to mix magic potions with our berries and a few sorry ladybugs (because ladybugs are good luck, of course) as a storm brewed above our heads. As the first crack of thunder pounded our ears, the rain came spattering down in great exaggerated drops. Grama Barb hollered for us from the porch and we darted across the street, barely making it to the house before a flash and a bang left us in the dark. At three in the afternoon, my cousins and I played flashlight tag in the front room while Grama prayed in the kitchen that the roof wouldn’t blow away.

Even after they divorced, my father’s parents remained civil, as cooperative as they had ever been. My grandfather was a regular face at random family gatherings, sometimes pitching in to cook burgers on the grill for an impromptu dinner, or to stop by with some baked treats from Birney’s, the best bakery in the South End. We didn’t venture down there; that was his territory, the ghetto in which he skulked around sometimes. We heard rumors and he told us stories of different people he had encountered, going on to marry a prostitute he had befriended as a prison penpal. He was a colorfully crooked French Canadian, to say the least. He ate onions like apples, not once flinching at the bitter taste.

 

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Of everything I have accumulated in my life, and of everything I will ever gain or acquire, what I would hate to lose the most are these memories. The little moments that have shaped my life into what it is and will become – these are what matter most. To think that these may one day be taken from me, by age, disease or terrible circumstance, is a thought too heavy to bear. What happens on the Internet stays on the Internet. Somewhere, in a tiny corner of the Universe, these memories will be marked and stored. If only I could do the same with everyone inside them. – xoxo

On the subject of Someday

I have always been very vocal about my stance on fairy tales. I am a firm believer because I am living proof that a dream is a wish your heart makes, and that when you truly believe, those wishes and dreams can come true. How long did I wait in my ivory tower, trapped by my evil stepmother? When I escaped, I fell into a Wonderland of new freedoms, which led me down some very dark paths. I waited for a knight in shining armor to come to my rescue, and that he did, only to fly away like the Wizard in his balloon, leaving without poor Dorothy. Then my prince charming came back, slayed the dragon that held me captive, and we strolled off into the sunset together, happily ever after.

Happily ever after. That’s how they end, and for good reason. We leave the rest of their lives out, the pleasant bliss that comes from the culmination of so many sleepless nights, bitter tears and unsent letters. Their love has endured this long, and they deserve to live the rest of their days together in a peace that can only come from a soul that has rested upon the shoulder of its mate. It is the reward that Karma gives to those who have endured the prison sentence of living a life halved.

The women in my family bear crosses and carry torches. It is no wonder that I have grown to idolize the idea of living a fairy tale. For twenty years, I have watched a love affair bloom in the shadows. It has been a secret story told to me, shown in snapshots throughout my life: knowing smiles, the way her face lit up as his name floated by in conversation, and the wistful way in which he looked back at her every time he rode off into the sunset without her.

She never waved, because she always knew. He always told her and she always believed him. He would always come back for her. All he needed was a word, any word, it didn’t matter. Whatever utterance fell from her lips he would scoop into his hands like precious gems and mold them into whatever he needed to hear. They lived through the present by feeding their future. They were waiting for each other in Someday, and Someday hadn’t come yet.

But he said it would, and she believed him. Because he was the only person who was honest enough to tell her he didn’t love her enough yet to love her enough. Just as those words, those pitiful “I can’ts” echoed through history, whispered into our ears by the men we loved most, in both moments in time, she and I, we declared all or nothing on this War of Love. I dug in my heels and though I flailed through the next five years, my heart stayed firmly tied to the roots to which I had left it, growing like a lecherous weed near a parking lot that was very familiar with a little maroon truck. When I’d had enough of the flailing, I came home and I dug up my roots. I got messy and the hole I dug around myself was pretty big, and some wondered if I would be able to get out of it. But I went back for love and I found it. It was fragile, but why wouldn’t it be after five years of being abandoned in the elements? After three more, though, it has thrived into what has been a pretty damn successful happy ending so far.

Her roots, they sprawled. She planted herself firmly, soaking in the sunshine and sometimes choking in the rain. She bloomed and she wilted with the seasons, and as he drifted in and out of her life. She knew her wait would be a long one, and hid quite well, the fact that it was this patience that counted more than any other patience. That’s why she didn’t have any other patience to spare.

Every year, it came in the form of a phone call. The check in, the synchronization of timelines. The question, the word. Yet?

It never was. Not yet. But Someday.

 

I feel many things at the loss of a recent friend, but I feel, more than anything, a feeling of devastation, like a child that has discovered the dirty secret behind Santa Claus. I feel the wrenching horror of Scarlett O’Hara’s broken heart, watching Rhett walk away from her forever. There is no other word but sad. I am so sad that I am watching this love story end in a pile of loose, empty pages. A book savagely torn apart by whatever unnamed entity that has caused this twist of Fate.

I look at her now, and I wonder, “how will she end?” I thought I knew, and so did she. We looked forward to her happy ending like children waiting for the ice cream man. I had seen my own story play out exactly as dreamed, and why should she, who taught me to dream, not be afforded the same blessing? When I saw her face that afternoon, when his name crawled from her lips, like they couldn’t bear to be heard lest they come true, I didn’t recognize her. I didn’t see her; I heard her. Instead, I saw him. I saw the way his eyes crinkled when he stared at her, smiling. I saw the way she pressed her cheek against his chest when he held her, a little too long for anyone else’s comfort, not that they gave a damn. I saw myself in my own five years without my love, and I felt in that moment, all the sadness of those five years. In her face, I saw those five years, multiplied for as long as Forever keeps her from him now.

Nearly twenty years, she waited. Patience wasn’t a problem. Someday hadn’t come yet, so it was still coming.

But how do you wait, when your Someday dies?

 

 

I haven’t written in a few weeks. I’ve been holding tightly onto whatever I have of Today, and living as much as I can of each Tomorrow that I’m given, and giving my Yesterdays a lot of consideration. Life is short, but love is forever. The difference in how long each truly lasts is a matter of perspective. When you’re without one or the other, it seems a terrible injustice.

-xoxo

 

 

A wine-soaked rant of indignant pride

It’s been a rough weekend. I received number 21 in my inbox today – that’s 21 rejection letters so far. I know that number is only going to grow before the acceptance letters begin to trickle in, and oh, how I hope they do. I know I should not get discouraged just yet, and I keep telling myself that nobody liked Van Gogh when he was alive, either, but…

it doesn’t make me feel awesome to keep seeing those syrupy words, those apologies and false regrets. It doesn’t make me feel better to know that your publication only takes “the best of the best” and while my work is “inspired and, in turn, inspiring” it just doesn’t fit. Don’t wish me good luck, you could care less if my words ever see light of day. For Chrissakes, just be honest with me.

Don’t try to let me down easy. I take your pity much harder than the sharp words on the screen. Your thanks for my submissions is a slap in the face. Those words – those words are a thousand different cells of myself that I’ve scraped from my soul for you. Don’t patronize me about them.

If they’re not worthy, just say so. If they could be better, tell me how. If they make you feel something, what is it? My words are shots in the dark. I can keep shooting, but are they hitting anyone? Is this all in vain?

It is dark, it is late, and here I am, awake. Waiting. For an answer, a reply, or to simply fall asleep and forget this day. At this point, I’m not sure which one I welcome more. It has been about a week since I slept well enough to count it as sleeping.

I can’t stop thinking about all the things I’m failing to finish, failing to start, failing to steer in the direction I need/want it to go. I’m thinking of all the things I’m doing, and all the things I’m not doing. I’m thinking of all the things that are happening around me that I’m not a part of and I’m not sure why. I’m trying to line up my obstacles so that I can see a clear view of them so as to figure out a way to tackle them, but they seem to keep blurring together into a brick wall that’s coming fast and closing in on me.

I haven’t been manic in a while. I didn’t miss it then and I don’t appreciate it now. I woke up this morning and felt like I’d woken up on the wrong side of the bed. I have yet to be able to go back to start over, but we’ll try again tomorrow.

Tonight, I sit here and re-read, over and over again, different words I’ve sent out into the Universe. Each of those submissions have stated, in a tone I can only take as snobbish and a bit condescending, that they do not publish previously published pieces, even if those pieces are published on a self-published blog.

So I’ve kept many of my words hidden from my dear 44 followers (and I swear, each and every one of you is dear to me) out of the pride in my ability and the hope that someone else will recognize it, and I am angry tonight. I am angry that my words are going unheard, unread, and unspoken by others. I am angry that my voice is being carried on the wind to nobody, nowhere.

And I’d like to share a few flash fiction pieces I have written. Thank you for reading, please consider following, and I implore you to please, please, leave some feedback. Comment and tell me I suck. Tell me how I can suck less. Tell me I’m good. Tell me how I can be more good. Tell me you don’t know what to say. Tell me anything.

LOVE AFFAIR

I found a love letter today. It was not addressed to me. No, this was intended for a much younger mistress, one whose suitor was obviously smitten with her.

I have no doubt she was a blonde.

There have been too many occasions of my asking, “How could he do this to me?” for any sane woman to have stayed this long. I think of you and the destiny we’ve chased out of the greedy reach of time and space that dared to defy us,

smile,

and I want to meet this little boy, who loves my daughter this much.

MINE

Every time I see a pair of Chucks, it makes me smile. It reminds me of you, of holding hands and windblown cheeks blushing scarlet. Even then, you made my heart race, albeit with more innocence. I adored you, with your long hair and your long words. Words that led my little heart along as if on a string. I’d follow you anywhere, content to be at your side. What was it? Your frayed edges, the ragged breaths in which you’d whisper how much you liked kissing me. The stubble of your cheek against the softness of my own. The way you smelled of leather jacket and that old truck. Oh, the good times we had in that small space between the driver’s seat and mine. We’ll just call it mine because there were no others who fit there like I did, and once I set my heart on you, you were mine, too.

OBSERVATION OF FEAR

Alone, I am weaker than my fears, though inside I know there is someone looking down on me for having them. I know they are simple, I know they are solvable, I know the things I fear are inevitable. They play as big a role in this world as I do. Which, to certain perspectives, is kind of a big deal, and in reality, is just not. Sometimes I come face to face with the fears I carry, but with a distance between us. There’s a buffer between us, like a villainous-looking beetle or roach-like creature crawling across a window. From a distance, it looks so menacing; up close, I can examine the insides and the workings of it without having to touch it and without the repercussions of being vulnerable. In that moment, I have no fear that is one thousand times bigger than me, and certainly not of something one thousand times smaller.

You are my window.

Thank you for reading. Have a lovely evening and a fabulous week.

– xoxo : )