12 2 / 2013
I almost didn’t recognize her. She was much paler and thinner than last I remembered, but her eyes were still wide and bright. I nodded to her, and a thin, cruel smirk crossed her features as she tossed her head, ever so slightly, before turning on one stiletto and clicking down the opposite direction of the sidewalk. I ducked into the bookstore, which I knew was her original destination, and I reveled through the aisles, knowing she would not come in until I made my exit. Right before I left, I must admit that I did feel a pang of guilt for acting so foolishly, but if there is one thing I’m good at, it’s pushing down guilt. I caught a glimpse of her across the way sitting on a bench opposite my location. Legs crossed, her pointy toe of her shoe swung impatiently back and forth. The phone in her hand held most of her attention, but her eyes would glance up at the door every few moments. I lingered outside the store until she glanced back my way. I gave a tiny wave before tossing my own head and strolling away. I knew she liked shopping here, but this was my turf. My next destination was the tea store, and I knew this would be right up her alley. I went in, ordered, and then headed straight back outside to sit. The little tea and dessert bistro was a rare find in my neck of the woods, and now that I have discovered it, I guard it most viciously. I sat outside for a bit while blowing my tea and taking quick, hot sips. I decided the chilly breeze was not the perfect setting in case we did meet again, so back inside I went. I chose the deep armchair in the back corner that afforded me a view of the entire place. I was pouring my second cup when I heard the door open and felt the chilly breeze whip through the store momentarily. I decided not to look up. The chill remained even after the door closed, but I knew that all of the Arctic fury that currently swirled in the room was directed all towards me. I sipped my tea slowly, before picking up the paintbrush from the water painting board on the table in front of me. I dipped it into the water and began drawing curlicues and vines around the outer border. I heard them ordering now. It wasn’t just her this time. Her sisters were along for support, as well. I was one against three, and I loved it. I finished drawing the border, and in my prettiest print, I quickly wrote two words before taking a final sip of my tea and rising to my feet. I called out a goodbye to the owner as I was exiting, and I emerged back into the end of winter, which was still surprisingly warmer than the chill I just left inside. I pulled my scarf a little tighter and buttoned my coat as I strolled to my car. I felt the corners of my mouth turn into a smile as I thought over the last few moments. You see, the area I had just vacated was the only empty table in the place, and the water painting board sitting there would carry my signature for at least half an hour more till it dried. The smile was not for what I wrote, but for the looks on their faces when they sat down to a decorated and script-like “Fuck You.”
12 10 / 2012
I find myself feeling very lost these days when it comes to a lot of my friends and family. I am sure that I am not the first or the last person who has differing political and religious views from those in their family. I remember two of my great uncles always arguing politics whenever they were in town visiting. They were brothers who would embroil themselves in heated discussions, and then part ways with a hug. I was just a small child, so I can’t know for sure how they really felt about each other, but as far as I could always tell, they still loved each other very much. Fast forward to 2012, and you arrive at one of the most far-fetched elections that I can ever remember witnessing. The first Presidential race that I really remember was the Bush/Gore debacle of 2000. I was only exposed to what was going on through the very controlled reins of my parents. I knew that my parents were registered Republicans, and it was common knowledge that all in our church were as well. I guess situations like that come about when you have one person above all, telling people what to think. But, that is a story for a different time.
The first election that I voted in was in 2004. I remember being so proud to go register to vote when I turned 18, and I happily put down that I was a Republican. I voted for Bush, and I was happy that “my man” won when the final tallies came out. Move forward to 2008, and I found myself out of my parents’ house and living in a brand new city with a houseful of roommates. Life had already taught me some pretty fucked up lessons up until this point, and I spent my free time just hanging out with friends. If I wasn’t at work or pretending to be pious and religious at church, I was either drunk, high, or both. I still shake my head when I look back at that time in my life and see how much that I was still pretending. The booze and the pot helped me cope and helped me keep up the good little church girl facade that I had been born and raised to exhibit. I still don’t know why I didn’t vote for Obama. I almost did. I was standing at the screen, and my finger hovered over his name for just a moment. If there was such a thing as time travel, I would go back into that moment and vote for Obama. Not that it would make any difference… Obama won anyway. Over these last 4 years though, I have started to shed the mask that was getting so heavy to wear. I no longer feel the need to “agree” with the opinions of those around me just so that I can fit in or be liked. I am settling into who I am as a person and what all is included in my personal belief system.
And so I find myself now. It is 2012, and the election is next month. I try to avoid Facebook these days, mostly because I find myself wanting to reach through the computer screen and shake some sense into people who are family and close friends. It’s a fine line I tread these days… that oh so thin line that separates my ability to cope with the narrow minded BS, and my need to not cut people out of my life just because they believe something different than what I believe.
It’s an old habit. Engrained in me since birth, and hard as hell to shake. I have to keep moving forward through. Moving backwards or dwelling in the past only makes it worse. I have to always remember to be the bigger man, no matter the situation. And the next time, I want to strangle a family member or friend over a differing political or religious topic, I just need to remember to breathe, smile, and move on.
30 9 / 2012
Oh sweet release. I wrote today, and I poured my very essence into it. I posted it on facebook, and am wondering how many will even read it. I don’t even care really. I’ve said my piece, and I have a peace about it.
Today has been marvelous. I can tell that I am ever so slowly emerging from the cocoon of fear and doubt that has shrouded my life for most of it.
I feel hopeful for the first time in my life, and that is always a good thing.
18 8 / 2012
It’s a funny thing,
Trying to live up to other people’s expectations.
It’s an even funnier thing to just throw your middle finger
Up at the quest for perfection.
I create worlds in my brain,
But I know they are fake,
And I don’t expect to be able to live there.
I meet with God just the same as everyone else,
But you can bet that it’s not in a pew.
I learned a long time ago,
That the smell of old hymnals and the drone of fright and terror,
Is just a cop-out.
The real truth would stand out ugly and naked against
The backdrop of self-righteousness.
Listen close, and whatever is being preached on,
That is what is being covered up.
11 8 / 2012
Happy in the security
That wraps its loving arms
Around me and holds me close.
Content in the realm
Where I have finally found my
Place in the wide world.
Peaceful knowing that my
Existence has changed
For always and for good.
08 8 / 2012
The phone is a constant buzz in my ear.
Hello, may I help you?
I do apologize about that.
Do you need anything else?
The words tumble out of my mouth,
But there is no feeling behind them.
I do my job.
In and out.
I don’t question the system.
I roll with it.
I glance at the clock.
It’s that time of the day.
That makes me remember him.
I was only fifteen when he died.
But I still remember every little thing about him.
The twinkle in his eye.
When he laid feeble and dying,
Family caring for family.
We all knew it was coming.
But that didn’t make it hurt less when it finally happened.
I hated the funeral.
He didn’t look right,
And the circus clown was in town to sow his doctrine.
I still miss him.
But when that time comes.
That time that shows his favorite number.
I think of him.
And I talk to him.
In my imagination, he talks back.
Maybe it is just my imagination,
But maybe it isn’t.
I feel his smile.
We chat a while.
I catch him up on all that’s new.
Is Booga around?
He shakes his head.
Not today, Bright Eyes.
Sometime it’s hard for us to talk.
We never had that bond.
I love you.
He grins and waves.
And snaps me back to reality.
My voice drones on to the ghost on the phone.
And I wonder if those around me,
Knew that I just had a conversation with my dead grandfather.
07 8 / 2012
That’s what I am most of the day.
I hold in the screams.
I bite back the sparks.
They jolt against the back of my teeth.
Begging to be free
I open my mouth slightly and the steam hisses out.
I suck it back in, swallowing my rage.
Now is not the time to show the real me.
Forcing myself to be normal.
05 8 / 2012
I’m going to stomp my ideals into your very being.
You won’t be your own person when I’m done with you.
Do what I say, and don’t contradict.
Trust me, I will get you to Heaven someday.
Perfection is the goal here,
And I expect nothing but.
I am everywhere; you can get away with nothing here.
This system won’t work if you don’t comply.
I am your way to God.
I can sense when you are out of line.
I notice everything.
Have you not learned that by now?
Sit where I tell you.
Wear what I tell you.
Think what I tell you.
Fear me and love me.
Hating me is futile.
I will always win.
04 8 / 2012
Go on. Smile at me. Smile with the sweetness of sugar,
But I know better.
I have been burned enough to know that there is danger in that smile.
Smile at me, and I will smile back,
But all the while I will feel my stomach rolling.
I will swallow my disgust and then I will turn from you.
I will walk out of your warped world,
And your poison will affect me no longer.