Friday, November 1, 2019

Pup Cup

Last night my period started, this morning I put my essentials in a bag, grabbed my dog, got in my car and drove nowhere in particular as the destination. My life is a mess. I’m a wreck. Current diet: whatever I can get with my dog in the car. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, fast food, heart clogging food. Soda, coffee, fries. You got a pup cup? Damn, Starbucks has a pup cup. That’s okay, give me a vanilla cone. We share.

Saturday night I lost it after years of being told I was nothing, digging my mail out of the trash, reformatting my documents, looking in the mirror to see if I was as old, ugly, stupid, crazy as he made me feel. Was I anything at all? Sometimes I’d pray for guidance, just keep me alive. But don’t make me feel.

I told him to go. He told me to go. But the kids . . . I stayed all these years for them. Did everything, for them. How can I leave? I stood firm. Okay, you’re right. I’m crazy, I’m wrong, I’m the bad guy. Please, just leave. This is the moment I feared. That violent change of seasons where the wind and rain and electricity come together to battle. I’d held it together so long, like a Mentos in a two-liter of diet coke. This is the moment I dreaded but knew had to come. He’d raged over the cat. Raged and raged. Stormed through the house, accused, thrashed, threatened. Death, hatred, vile, vile creature. Memories of my father’s rages came back to me: the time he threw beer cans at the kitchen wall and said Satan was making him miss the trash can. The time he held my stepbrother upside down, baby food shoved in their mouth, and smacked their diapered bottom full force. That fear of not helping, of doing nothing, of being complacent, yet fear of my own death—and now that of my children as well as pets. I stood in the backroom, body drained with shock, head filled with angst. No more. No more. Toxic. We all die in this anyway. Please leave. I stood firm, and won. He leaves and I call the cops. The next day my kids help me change the locks.

A few moments before the fight, after his rage and before my reaction, I walk out and he verbally taunts me. What’s wrong with you? I do something wrong? Him, him it’s all him. I turn around. A million women fly out of me. GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE NOW, NOW, RIGHT NOW. He stands up, comes at me.

Then the war.

I’ve lived Vietnam. And survived.

You, sir, are my Vietnam. I hid in the trenches, mud on my face, leaves in my hair, itching, burning, stinging, awaiting end.

You were the Ak-47, words as bullets. The oppressive invisible assault of fear flung at me daily. And now I had to face the front.

You can only hide so long. You can only hide your own bullets so long. At some point you have to leap, like a fawn, from the trenches and fight the motherfucker who’s held you hostage.

But now that it’s over, and the dance of life has sprung into a new pirouette, now that I’ve blown my cover--it’s frightening. And you know it. And I know it.

This is where you’ll find a new leverage to haunt me. But do I hide again?

Even Nixon, that smiling snake, ended Vietnam. At some point we have to lay down our arms and move forth. Not together. As two opposite continents with a peace treaty.

I'm in this car. Avoiding. Because there's no trust in war. Or peace. The master keeps coming around and I have to flee. Because that's how you do it. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I like light

I like to take pictures in the morning light coming through the back door blinds. Also, I'm bi. It's a big announcement, the blinds and all. Don't get upset about the blinds, they're okay. They've only been on this one door their entire life so they're not weird or anything. It was just time to open up a little and let the light in.

Friday, August 23, 2019

photo credit: mattlemmon Mother and Child Sculpture Closeup via photopin (license)

June was a beautiful month. I could forgive the rain. Then came July. On Independence Day I began to have a strange inclination to see my mother and didn't know why. Nothing else mattered, not the picnics or fireworks or sitting poolside with friends, I just wanted to see Mother. It was overcast and unseasonably cold when my daughter and I drove to her house; we had a good afternoon catching up. Mother bought $5 in fireworks and we all laughed when an angry neighbor drove through an air of smoke and fire. Seeing her laugh made me feel better, though her appearance had lost its vigor--a strength that had been constant from childhood. She'd gotten through the depression, had traveled the world, survived three cesareans, had gotten us through the divorce, through meager funds, through teenage drama, high school and beyond. My mother was a strong woman.

A week goes by and I start to worry again. Gone With the Wind is on TV and it reminds me of how how she'd cry every time Scarlett returns to Tara, only to find out her mother has died. The next day, a Saturday, I call to check up on her. In my ear, a voice shaking and weak. She needs help. I drive down then rush her to the ER. 

Hour after hour goes by with no real help or answers. Bronchitis, heart issues, they all say. They never hook her up to an iv or offer medicine. Finally a nurse comes in and mentions the word 'cancer.' Stage 4. Terminal. Shadows on the lungs. It started in the ovarian and has spread. Mother keeps saying she is ready to go, but that is no relief. I don't want to hear those words and go into a cognitive dissonance. Time for miracles. Divine healing. This is not going to happen. The nurses wrap a DNR band on her wrist: Do Not Resuscitate. 

A few days they send her home. Hope. Nurses come by, there are dietary restrictions, physical therapy. Mother has to use a walker. There will be chemo, lung drains, xrays, meds. It all becomes a blur as I drive back and forth between my house and hers--my kids are veritable orphans existing on ramen noodles and Netflix. Though summer has grown hot, we never go to the pool, we never take a vacation or see a movie. My mission: save Mom. Ten more years, I say in my car to no one. Please, God, ten more. 

Chemo, more operations. They put a stint in her lungs, then the next day my siblings and I watch how to drain it ourselves. We never had to put our knowledge to the test. The next day mother is rushed to the ER again, and then hospice. If you don't know what that means, congratulations. Here's to never having to know.

Through it all there is peace in knowing that somehow this was all meant to be, and at least Mother isn't suffering too much. Hospice is calm, and ironically healing--for those in emotional turmoil. it was a fast, horrible journey. In three days she takes her last breath, her three children there with her. 

It is beyond painful to know that I'll never see or hear my mother again--in this realm. Earth. But I know she's out there. At the store a white-haired woman will walk by and I feel so damn jealous. Why do other people get to have parents still? Or grandparents? My voice of reason is gone. I'll never talk to her on the phone again, or see her on my birthday--she always took me out to lunch. She'll never knock on my door again, or complain about my hair or call me her angel. It hurts so much.

It's funny what you remember in times of chaos. At one particular appointment when she was supposed to get chemo, her doctor said she could hold on a few more months, or heal enough for two more years. Chemo could save her life for a while, or kill her now. Mom was quiet when I drove her across the street afterwards to get a new xray. I dropped her off at the door to park my car, then went into the lobby only to find her coughing. She'd swallowed wrong on a drink of water. Little comfort, people stared, a man took his baby outside even though it was July hot. Mother slumped and began to cry. She said to me, "Let's just get this over." And I knew what she meant. Then, when the nurse called her, she straightened her shoulders and we got the damn xray. On the way home I bought her a smoothie at McDonald's. That became our ritual. Appointment? Xray? Smoothie. It was about all she could eat. I bought her one two days before she went into hospice. 

My mind is playing tricks on me. I pretend she's still alive in some alternate timeline, and if I could just get to her, all will be fine. But the truth is, she's free now and I have to accept it. Never felt so painfully alive before, in the worst kind of way. Hug those you love. Don't take them for granted. Tell them how much you love them. Go buy them a smoothie. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

Ya'll know I write under a pen name.

photo credit: Web-Betty Pete's Kitchen | Denver, CO via photopin (license)

A girl’s perspective

Sally is wise for her age, tough, bitchy, rude, sweet, depressed, lonely and desperate for change in the small town she lives in. So when Gerald Vick drives up in his Hollywood Cadillac touting a modeling op, she goes for it--no holds barred. And him. The problem is, what does she really know about the crazy Hollywood photographer, and how much is she willing to risk finding out?
Love and Lust at the Dairy Stop Cafe is free for download right now. A tip: listen to the Janis Joplin channel on Pandora for a great experience while reading.
As always, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Will the rain ever go away?

My life right now. Waiting for summer, biding the rain, finding luck wherever it comes, whispering with my intuition, reading clouds, accepting each moment as it is.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

April Pics

Another pictorial post with my favorite place to be and a collection of hearts. 

Pup Cup

Last night my period started, this morning I put my essentials in a bag, grabbed my dog, got in my car and drove nowhere in particular as ...