Another short: Night

#amwriting

They sat together by the fire. The sun was just setting in front of them. The end of a long day.

He chuckled. “You were too young for me.”

She rolled her eyes and dared a half smile.

“You were too old for me.”

“Did it matter?”
“Not to me.”

She poked at the fire furiously. The conversation was slow moving, but she really wished it would just stop.

Suddenly his form was dimmer. He was fading. Night had fallen. Still she could feel the presence of others lurking in the shadows behind her. They grew stronger and more angry. She poked at the fire one last time before she stood and turned. Hot air blasted her face, but she did not close her eyes to the heat. No, it was time to face them.

She smiled. “Hello, assholes.”

Her demons smiled back. Until the sun made it’s way back above the hills she was theirs. Let the fun begin

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Today Was a Good Day

I do have some good news, but went off on a tangent here. I didn’t want to mix that up with this. I had a really good day. I didn’t think about him until he was brought up at the end there. Then I was all offended because does anyone really pay attention?

Anyway, I woke up this morning and decided to edit and publish the children’s book my mother wrote when I was a small child. I decided this is the project I need to do. It’s a wonderful story. She told us the story as she wrote it1. I remember sitting on the porch of our house in Columbus and just being amazed. She was a wonderful story-teller when I was young. This story she just happened to write down and flesh out.

We used to beg her to submit it to a publisher, but she refused. She was afraid of rejection. When I was young and trying to write she was insanely jealous. Man… But that was a different woman than the one I’m discussing now. The same mother, but different mindsets. She only had the one copy and treasured it forever. She used to dream of being published – but was too afraid of critics.

Other Sis made bound copies of the book and gave one to each of us2. I want to have it published.

That’s what I was doing today when I should’ve been working. I was copying her book onto my computer and telling everyone all of the wonderful stories my mother used tell us. This project is incredibly therapeutic. Actually, writing by itself is great for me right now. I’m going to rewrite all of her book then illustrate it myself. Then I’ll set to work to getting it edited and published. I don’t know if I even care if I get it published correctly. Just rewriting it is making me feel better. I think this may be my mother’s way of helping me from beyond the grave.

The lady I work with is going to introduce me to a family friend. He’s supposedly doing ok for himself and not bad looking. Also he’s closer to my age3. I was a little irritated by that last part, but I let it slide. I agreed to meet him. I doubt very much that I’ll want to spend much time with him if I even like him at all. Who knows? But I’m not passing up an opportunity just to see. I haven’t so much as flirted with anyone since Sam has been gone. I’m ready for the ego boost.

Then I got home and found my good earrings in my sister’s bedroom. Proof. That’s all I need.

See? A good day. I needed one of those.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. Much like JK Rowling and how she came up with Harry Potter. []
  2. She kept the original, of course. []
  3. No, I didn’t want Sam for sex. []

The Hollow #amwriting

I wrote this last summer:

The hollow consumes me from the inside,
Thump, thump, thump goes the drumbeat of my hands clapping,
Whatever was in that space in my soul has long since turned to dust,
An echo of a story that never began.

Empty is such a tame word,
It describes me without the passion and understanding,
Space is a vacuum but is far from empty,
The word is too soft to describe the chaos of my nothing.

I rebuilt the walls I’d so ungraciously tore down,
When I trusted that my being would be loved and respected,
Now they are higher and thicker, without limit,
And as they went up, out went everything that could sabotage that.

No desire, no passion, no hatred, no love,
Only foggy memories that take over without warning,
Only the guilt and doubt and the hundred questions,
The smallest flicker of rage, barely visible as it hides in the back.

I navigate the chaos of my memories, plucking them from the ether,
Every part of me trying to escape the torture by my mind,
Count 1, 2, 3, forget the misery you see,
A bird, a plane, anything to keep my eyes forward.

This bit, that bit, so many bits, except for one,
No face, no smile, no beautiful eyes ,
A blank space where the person should be,
A blank space where the dream should live.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Ghosts in My Room

I was binge watching the last season of Sherlock on Netflix. I love the deduction, so when Sherlock was working his magic I turned and said “Babe, watch this.”

Luna1 sat up and perked her ears.

It was as automatic as breathing right then. I didn’t even realize what I was doing until I turned and saw the dog. It was going to be a good day.

Everyone has a story like that, don’t they? Pitiful.

More than anything else between I miss his friendship. I miss that part. I wish we could go on a cruise and just… if wishes were dollars…right?

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. My husky []

For my subscribers

Update below:

So, I just noticed how many email subscribers I have. I don’t know who you are, but thanks. Also, say hi. Don’t be shy. I’m only a little bit mean.

I’ll be putting more posts up from my old database soon. You’ll be getting alerts for that soon enough. Some of those posts are interesting. They’re all from a time when I was a much better writer. You may get a chuckle or two.

That’s it for this post. Hello, folks. Thank you for subscribing.

Update:

I fixed the problem with the comments, I think.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Do Not Google

I went to hang out with a long-time friend who is also a man. I’ve known him since I was 14. He’s a hoot. Anyway, we didn’t hang out during my relationship with the young dude because dude was super jealous. He was convinced my friend wants to get in my pants1. Anyway, he asked me to hang with him and I said “sure”. He’s funny and we cut up. What better medicine for a broken heart?

Turns out he’s just been through a breakup too. Or, at least, he and his girl are fighting. We talked about the strains of being in a relationship and what people expect from us for a while. It was kind of refreshing to talk to a dude about all this stuff – because I get to see inside a man’s head. His girl asked him if he wanted to come sit at her job until she got off. He wanted to go home so told her that and to text him when she got home. He told me that she just kept asking the same question until finally he said he’d already answered her. Her response? “But it’s not the answer I was looking for.”

What is so fucking hard about telling someone you care about “I would like for you to come here and keep me company?” I have no idea. He laughed when I asked that. “Exactly.” She was doing the whole hint-until-he-gets-it thing. Everyone hates that shit. That’s some nonsense TheMan would’ve pulled. Then, of course, these people get irate when they’re hint doesn’t go over as well as they’d thought.

So, I guess they’re not talking anymore. At least not for a while. He sounded like that made him a little sad. I told him the bare bones about what happened with my young dude. He offered no sage advice or any other comment. He just nodded. No apparent judgement. And that was the end of that subject. He understood that I love my dude. He understood that I’m also doomed.

So, the convo turned to other things and we started talking about the interwebz, memes and the devil’s own website, Facebook. I told him about some of my most magnificent trolls and how some of them became my friends. The conversation turned to some of the things I’ve come across. I recounted the first time I ever saw a goatse. He looked confused. I laughed. Oh, yeah?

I pulled out my phone and googled the image. His reaction was priceless. For the record, he knew it was going to be gross. He was prepared for that2 and yet… He was not at all prepared. I must’ve laughed for a full 5 minutes. It was a bad way to get a laugh, but I have no regrets.

It’s also a good way to dissuade any kind of ideas. I’m too gross to be taken seriously as a rebound now. I hoped he didn’t make any moves, but just in case I deployed the “I’m no lady, champ” defense missile. It works in most cases. Also, he bought me skittles. Sure sign that I need to get ahead of this disaster before it even unfolds. Otherwise, I was glad to get out of the house and around someone with my sense of humor.

On another note: My other sister told me today that my young dude’s grandmother goes to her church and asked my sister to pray for him. My sister then told her to please pray for me. So, yeah, that’s not at all weird.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. Doesn’t matter that he should trust me or that we’ve been friends so long without ever engaging with each other romantically or sexually. []
  2. This is the conversation we were having. []

When she decides to go…

A young woman that Lil Miss knows was beaten by her boyfriend this weekend. Lil Miss is very upset because her friend is doing everything in her power to protect the boyfriend. She didn’t call the police because she didn’t want him going to jail. She didn’t seek medical attention because the nurses and doctors are mandated reporters. She didn’t tell her friends and family right away because she was afraid of what they’d do to the boyfriend. Then she participated in hiding the boyfriend. According to Lil Miss, this girl’s face is demolished. She said that she’s sure the girl’s eye socket is broken. She said:

“Mom, he didn’t even try to hold back.”

The young woman is supposed to go to Las Vegas with Lil Miss this week. Her boyfriend didn’t want her to go. Nagging and pleading didn’t deter her from a couple of days with the girls so… He did this to stop her. Lil Miss says her friend is still going, but I’m skeptical. Her friend got the message: No, you stay home.

I didn’t have to tell her that her friend would ultimately have to determine her own fate. Being in a relationship with a domestic abuser isn’t as simple as folks who’ve never been there seem to think. Especially if the abuse is normalized by family history and attitudes. It takes a serious catalyst to convince a victim to leave her abuser. This girl has already decided this was her fault and she’s already forgiven him. And so will begin the honeymoon period. And ’round and ’round they’ll go.

I was raised around domestic abuse. I honestly believed it was a normal part of life until I was forced into counseling. I believed that no family could be as calm as those mofos showed on tv. My mother regularly got beat in front of us, she and my brother would regularly beat me and then I met men who took the role over from them. My mother encouraged one of my boyfriends to “just beat the shit out of her”. I’ve never been submissive enough to be able to hide these kinds of things like other people I knew1. It’s often been noted by some members of my family that I can “take a hit like a man” – as a point of pride.

I didn’t think anything was wrong until well after Lil Miss was born. Then I learned that people who love each other normally don’t beat each other’s head off a wall. It’s not just a “family matter”2, but a family curse. When our daughters watch the women get beat then the daughters become victims and when our sons see it they become the perpetrators. I didn’t want that for her. I didn’t think I was showing her that this was ok. A seed was planted. The next time he hit me I thought she’d seen it. She was in the house and I thought she was at the top of the stairs3.

That was the last time I stayed in a domestic abuse situation. I went through therapy and even met some people who’d never experienced domestic violence in their lives. I spent 6.5 single as a result. If a man so much as looked at me with the slightest hostility I’d stop messing with him. Flat out. My catalyst to stopping the cycle of violence in my life was thinking that Lil Miss would be next in line. I wanted her to be stronger than me. For me, having boundaries is hard. I feel guilty and wrong so my boundaries are often fluid. Except in this case. I will not tolerate a man hitting me ever again.

But Lil Miss’s friend isn’t in that same frame of mind. She’s got no catalyst except for herself. Lil Miss wants to save her. I admire that. I’m very proud that she’s such a good friend to this young woman. She’s very protective of her friend. She told me “Mom, she’ll never be the same again. He blackened a part of her soul. She’ll always be afraid in the back of her mind. She’ll always blame herself.”

We’ve seen it so many times in our community. I don’t know if she started out relatively normal. From what I understand her mother just advised her to ice her face. I’m guessing she’s didn’t have an easy childhood. I imagine there was trauma growing up and so this is her normal (as it was mine). She has no idea that there are men out there who would rather walk away than hit someone they love. Lil Miss probably won’t be able to get through to her. And she’ll become just another woman who’s given up and pretends to be strong just so they can get out of bed every day.

He will charm her and convince her that he’ll calm down – maybe go to see an anger management counselor. He’ll promise to get better. He really loves her. Until she dares step out of line again. She got the message because she knew not to even seek medical attention even for herself. Lil Miss will continue to try to talk sense into her, until her friend cuts her out of her life. Because her friend loves her man in the only way she even knows how – by becoming what he wants and losing herself. She thinks she deserves it. She thinks that’s how love works. She thinks if she is just more reasonable then it won’t happen again. She knows better as she’s seen it played out in her life by her own people. But she’s hopeful. And that honeymoon period is going to rock her world. Until he does it again and the next honeymoon period is stale and he does it again and the next one after that is even staler… until she’s dead or maimed.

I told Lil Miss the best thing she can do right now is to just be there when her friend finally breaks free. But she’s got to do it herself. Maybe take her around people who have “normal” lives after they’ve left that cycle behind4. I have no idea. I had a combination of counseling and Lil Miss to catapult me away from the man who abused me. I had to choose for myself to get free. Then I called up the troops and away we went.

I hope her friend ends up ok. I’m sad that her friend will never look at love the same again.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. My grandmothers told stories of getting beat too. It’s why my great-grandmother encouraged me to “Never get married. Keep all the bills in your name, Jennifer, and when you’re sick of him kick him out.” []
  2. This was back in the mid-90s. []
  3. She confessed she’d never seen him hit me, but she’d seen the aftermath. []
  4. Not me, thankyouverymuch. I am not ready to help guide someone else when I can’t even manage my own shit. []

Feeling Alive

From my writing folder:

I am emotional. That’s true. I spent the last 8 years not feeling anything. I put myself away to appease someone else. For stupid reasons. None of which were for myself or love.

But now I’m free of that isolation. I am finding myself again. And I want to feel everything. I want to rage. I want to love. I want to feel joy. I want to feel the pain. Because I want feel human again.

I care too deeply. I cry easily. I lose my temper in spectacular ways. I laugh too loud. I am too bold.

I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid to feel everything. Instead of hiding from myself behind a wall, I opened a door. I want to feel alive. Like an individual person again.

I’ll continue to heal and I’ll be a better person when I’m finished. I will move forward and grow. I will live my life – have adventures, have heart break, and make memories. I will not grow stagnate. I will not regret anything.

I will not be afraid of my own humanity.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

A Letter to a Little Girl

Note: I found this in my writing folder.

Little girl, there you are. So small and scared. So full of spitfire and rebellion. You are quiet right now, but let someone anger you and see the hell you rain down.

She will eventually love you, child. Your mother, I mean. It’s going to take a lot and it’ll take a toll on you waiting and waiting. You were destined for great things, I used to think. Except destiny means something different to me now. You were destined to me. You were destined for pain, scars and torment. All the while wishing, hoping and reaching.

She will teach you how to doubt yourself. Because what kind of child isn’t loved by her mother? You are so smart, talented and beautiful. If given half the chance and a small pinch of encouragement you’d grow to such a wonderful woman. If someone would just see who you are and what you’re capable of then your future can be so bright.

Instead your beautiful spirit was handed to the wrong mother. She was herself tormented, hated and discarded by her own mother. She doesn’t know how any of this works. She is very broken, your mother. When she was your age she was bent and twisted until there was nothing left of her. She hit her head at one point and whatever was wrong with her at the beginning became worse. It’s not your fault, little girl. She could never love you. She could never love any of you. She doesn’t understand what that is on an emotional level. Don’t let her intellect fool you. She knows how she’s supposed to act for everyone else, but she doesn’t have the emotions to pull off the act completely.

You will never become the woman you were supposed to be. Not in this lifetime at least. You’ll will struggle just to live a normal life and barely manage that. You will make decisions that appear to be based in logic, but they will always be the wrong ones. You will sacrifice yourself because that’s what you’re supposed to do. And when you come out on the other side it will be too late for you. You will be on the downhill slide of your life without the tools to navigate it.

She will die lonely and miserable. At some point in your life you would have been glad to hear it. You will have worked so hard to gain her approval and she will have thwarted you all the way. You are nothing to her. She will never be proud of you. She will never hold you in her arms or tell you that you are precious to her. She will stop regretting giving you life. But she eventually learns to respect you. She eventually learns that you’re stronger than she is because you have not become her.

It’s going to be a long road, little girl. There will be more pitfalls and obstacles than you can possibly navigate. You learn that when your goals are within reach you might as well just let them go. You will believe you’re a failure so what’s the point? You will grow up believing that you aren’t good enough for that goal, that man or that position in society. You will always believe that you are lacking in skills and talent. You are brimming with talent. There is beauty in the words you form. You are amazing and beautiful and there will be no one to ever tell you. So, I will tell you now. Your life will be hard, little girl, but you will never completely fail. You will always show strength in adversity. And you will always win the little battles. I will hug you, little girl, and let you know that there will be people that love you immensely and they will be your daughters. You will love them back in a way she was not able to love you. You will always be imperfect but you will never be her.

That is your greatest fear, you know. That you will eventually become her – angry, alone, bitter and so afraid. You have no fear, little one. You are brave and strong and able to stare down any adversity. But you don’t know how to succeed. And you will never learn that skill. You will never learn to be comfortable with who you are. No one sees you there, little girl. No one notices that you are struggling to grow and learn and be who you should always have been. But you are not her. And you will never be her. You will be who you need to be.

There will be no one to rescue you. No one to see behind the masks that you will inevitably create. No one to notice that if you were given more than half a chance you could be tremendous. A few people in your life will come forward, but she will beat them back. She hates you, little one. That’s not your fault. It is not your fault. As you grow you will bring these scars and wounds with you. You’ll apply them to every relationship you have – always seeking external validation from the people who would hurt you the most – and you will always come away disappointed. I can’t advise you on that, because I have never learned to be anything more than you will ever be.

I forgive you because you need that. You need to be able to look at yourself and realize you had no choice. It was taken from you by the gods who put you with that mother. Had she been a bit stronger – like one of her sisters – perhaps things would have been different. But you will never be her. You will never hate your daughters. You will never harm them or hold them back or feel jealousy. And you will have the most beautiful, intelligent, put-together daughters. You will try to do what’s right (and fail most of the time) and things will be ok.

She used to cuddle you and make you feel special. She helped you learn to read and write well before grade school. She loves to show you off to strangers, but she’s cold to you now. You’ve come into your own mind and shown that you are brilliant. She is envious of you because you have your entire life… a life she will do her best to impede. She tells you now that you’re not as smart as you think you are. That your ideas are overdone. That you haven’t had an original thought. That you don’t possess any talent and that any number of people are so much better than you. But you’re brilliant. Your logical mind is a thing to behold. And you can feel people. You can hone in on their feelings and guess correctly what they’re feeling and what you need to say to help. Your touch brings relief to troubled souls. You are special. You have to see that in yourself.

I am here to forgive you for being you. You didn’t choose any of that. You didn’t choose to be tortured, put down and denigrated by the person who should love you the most. You didn’t choose to have someone so broken birth you. None of that was your fault. You can choose to let the scars heal though and move on. There is nothing you can do now. That’s why I’m doing this.

I am you, little girl, and I forgive you. We will heal and we will be ok. We will stop chasing rainbows and appreciate what we have done so far. We will not die bitter and alone. We’ll never reach the heights that you could’ve reached if you’d have had another mother. Even at your tender age it’s too late for that. But we can find peace. We can end up in a better place. We can find our voice finally. We can heal.

That’s what I’m doing here, you know. Healing in the best way I can. Trying to overcome the demons which have taken us over. We struggle for years to come to terms with ourselves. We choose bad partners and friends and make some pretty bad decisions. But there’s still that small part of us – you – that pulls us through. You are still here in me because she was never able to fully exorcise you. You are tender and full of wonder and beyond anything she ever deserved. The gods are testing you now. The end result is me. I know this isn’t where we wanted to be. But this is where we should be. It’s not too bad right now. You’ll never be fine, because she has instilled in you a sense of worthlessness that you will never be able to shake. But you’ll be ok. Your strength and resilience is a thing to behold. You will always wish your mother loved you, but it’s no longer necessary for our survival. We have come this far without that love, with her disapproval, with her inability to ever let us fully develop. We are broken. But there’s part of us that shines. That part is you. I’d like to be friends again if we can. Little girl, you are a wonder and that never, ever goes away.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.