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One Year Ago Today — February 9, 2013

One Year Ago Today

Ape
Ape (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Me a year ago.

One year ago today I was a different woman than I am now. When I looked at my future, I saw nothing. Nothing alone, nothing without him by my side.

One year ago today, my paranoia came crashing down on me and I could barely breathe under its weight, let alone climb out from under it.

One year ago today, the lies became too much, the truth too clear, and the fear unbearable. It was the fear that did it, the fear that my soul mate was as unreal as his words, that imaginary friends are mirages that disappear.

One year ago today, I checked his ears for the cartoon character earbuds I gave him for Christmas. If he’s wearing them, maybe he’s not mad at me. My obsession: checking for signs of discord. Perusing his body for gifts in quick glances. He wears one of my gifts, maybe he is happy with me. The earbuds are there! He smiles at me, he talks happily to his dogs. There isn’t anything in the intonation of his voice hiding ire or sadness. Perhaps all is well. Or not.

One year ago today, he returned from walking the dogs and went into his room, pugs too. The door closed, me shut out.  Me alone and the social worker coming. He was there with me before when she came, supportive, saying what needed to be said. I knock. No answer. Anger? Is he angry at me? Alone. Will I be  alone forever? Scared, and the social worker is coming. And the letter he wrote is on the stove for her. Angry? Is that why he left me alone? So scared of him not loving me anymore. Or is he hiding? Does hiding mean he is guilty of something? No. He’s mad at me. Or is he a liar? The  letter is partly a lie, making him a liar. Can a liar still be your soul mate? He lies sometimes, it means nothing. It means he doesn’t care. No it doesn’t. He has problems, but he loves me like a sister. He wouldn’t hurt me. Oh God, is he angry at me? What will become of me if I’m without him?

One year ago today, there was a knock on my their door. This is not my home, but a place where I stay at the mercy of the queens kings inside. No, my soul mate is merciful, even if his truth is not always truthful. But here is the social worker and there is the letter. She is not happy. She is angry at him. I am scared and try again to knock at my dearest friend’s bedroom door. I am crying. He must be angry. No, you dumbass, he’s avoiding a confrontation. No, he’s mad at me, he doesn’t really love me. Oh God!

One year ago today, my social worker read the letter penned in  my dear one’s artistic script:

750.00 dollars I owed them for paying my mother’s final expenses (I had thought I owed $550.00…but what do I know)

40.00 for a light bill (odd, because I thought the $240.00 I paid a month in rent included my share of everything).

35.00 for a late fee (strange, because I hadn’t been late in giving my share).

PAID IN FULL.

One year ago today, my social worker said loudly enough for my soul mate to hear through the door, “He sat here and said that they would wait until you were back on your feet to pay them back!”

And I told her about the netbook I got too, because of my soul mate’s partner forcing me to take back the laptop I got with my social security check and give him that money or I would have to “get the fuck out of his house,” adding tenderly as he menaced me that I was a bitch and a whore (though he knew I was a virgin). All the while letting me know that his lover acted differently when I was around, that even his dogs did too)

Just don’t let it happen again, admonished my social worker.

One year ago today, I told my social worker a story I was told about my soul mate’s partner. “He’s very mean. He was more worried about a friend of his getting blood on the seats of his van than that she slit her wrists…and when he left her at the hospital, he wouldn’t stay with her.”

One year ago today, I was left alone and I knocked again on dear friend’s door. No answer.

Crash!

That morning, one year ago today, I didn’t wake up saying to myself, “I guess I’ll pencil in committing suicide today.” But it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision either. I went to bed early many nights too depressed to face the partner of my beloved, he who had a way of making me feel like less than dirt. Secretly my death wish had waxed and waned since the day my mother died. Now, five months later, I reached my cliff. Before that day, though it was a thought, slightly researched.  I had researched a while before if one was unfortunate enough to survive death by ativan, ones vital organs may not fail. And so I decided, What have I got to lose now? The only person who really needed me was dead, everyone else would easily get over my loss.

I decided on Russian Roulette Pill and OCD style because I sort of wanted to keep living if my dear one didn’t dislike me now. I wrote a note proclaiming my love in a style mistakable as sisterly love to my soul mate, enjoining him to please take care of my cats and that this wasn’t his fault.

I tucked the note under me in case I decided to stop, and began. One pill. Count to 300. My  friend still hasn’t come out of his room. I take another and count to 300. Another and around this time I pass out. When I awaken, the door is open! I stumble in and ask if I can come in. He gave his ascent. I remember asking if he was mad at me and that was when he noticed I was doped. “Oh no! he exclaimed angrily. “That will get you thrown out in a matter of days.”

Was I afraid? No, peacefully, I stumbled back out of the room, decided what the hell, and down the gullet the rest of my Ativan went. How many did I take? My guess is maybe 7 or 9. When I woke up again sleeping next to Babee Dondee my littlest cat, my soul brother said with an edge in his voice “Good morning, or evening actually.” I can’t remember if he asked me to call my friend to get me or if I took the initiative, pobably the former.

My best friend told me Soul Bro answered the door, called to me that my friend was here, and promptly went back to playing a video game. There’s the love. As I left though, I recall handing him my suicide note.

I stayed in the ER several hours though I recall little of it, they mainly just monitored my idiot ass, my heart dipping down into the 60s. If one might die simply from judgemental lapses I’d have been a goner.

I was given the option of “voluntarily” being admitted or getting a judge to commit me. It was around 4am a nd  I was finally sobering up a bit. I bid adieu to my best friend who had stayed through the whole ordeal, was carted off in a wheelchair by a surly cop and began a 10 day vacation locked away in a psych ward. Ten days because no one wanted my sorry ass and I ended up in a faraway nursing home for 2 months. It was the worst two months of my life, though I absolutely LOVED my stay in the psych ward. It was pretty fun and I met some great folks. I’d do it again if it didn’t entail trying to kill myself and making all my friends tell me they don’t want my crazy self and sending me away to the home. Not fun.

Poetry Potluck: Mother’s Day — May 2, 2012

Poetry Potluck: Mother’s Day

 

Dianthus caryophyllus - Garoafa
Dianthus caryophyllus – Garoafa (Photo credit: Nite Dan – Enjoypixel) Really. The smell reminded her of funeral arrangements.

Happy Mother’s Day! they say,

Hallmark, K-Mart, even Safeway.

My mom’s dead, I say,

Mom didn’t like carnations anyway.

 

Written for

 http://promisingpoetsparkinglot.blogspot.com/2012/05/thursday-poets-rally-week-67-may-3-9.html

Laying Bare My Sorrows — April 27, 2012

Laying Bare My Sorrows

I’m back home, but along with the clothes I quickly grabbed, I brought back more baggage than an airport in December.  It’s getting better than it was when I got here, and I’m starting to feel happy more and uneasy less. But the uneasiness isn’t gone, the feeling that I’m merely a transient or at least a guest doesn’t go away. The day my mother died was the day I became displaced in a world where I belong nowhere. Before my mother left, I knew my place. She needed me from the day she realized she was pregnant as I told you long ago. My mother’s great love broke up with her, her two best friends died, and when her 6 month married life ended there I was. Even a therapist I once had told my mom that he didn’t know what would have happened to her if she hadn’t  had me.

So where does that leave me today? Every person has a reason for being alive, but some of us find it harder than others to discover that reason. I suppose there’s a reason for me being here too. I’m not certain of much anymore. I don’t know who loves me or if I’m just one misstep away from finding myself alone in the world again. Yesterday, I went back to my therapist for the first time since I tried to play my swan song, and she was less than happy to see me. 

“If they threw you out, what are you doing back there?”

“Soul Bro was able to convince The Partner to let me back,” I replied. She listened to my fears, to everything I could cram into 50 minutes. There’s a lot I just can’t say for fear of losing my Soul Bro, and looking back at my reasoning for trying to kill myself, I don’t ever want to risk losing him. I love him that much and am that terrified of being alone (this blog has gotten 10 shades more creeeeepy with this last paragraph. My bad). I am  an orphan, a mental midgety one at that, and I don’t have relatives at all. Well, none that care whether I live or die, they made that more or less clear when I told them my mother was dead. Oh well, they were just cousins. Second cousins. I’ll get into that some other time.

I  shouldn’t be admitting this junk, but I told my therapist stuff I’d never venture to say aloud (please don’t hate me, Bro, should you read this).  I’m not saying he lies a bit, but he stretches the truth until that bitch screams, to make himself look better occasionally. I think. Maybe it’s me being paranoid. 

I think he got mad at me for begging to come home and not being “proactive” enough in trying to be independent, so he did the worst thing anyone could do to me. I think he decided he was done with me until I was back on my feet, so he put most of my stuff in my storage unit (including my mother’s ashes), and took two of my three cats to the pound. I was able to get them out because my home health nurse saved them and they’re living with her for now…Soul Bro says I can ask to bring them home in June if The Partner agrees. My nurse told me the story they told the pound that their owner died in September and they had lived in a barn in a rural county.

Soul Bro told me on the phone that my three cats had been picked up by the pound with some strays and that he had mistaken the feelings he had for my mom with the feelings he had for me.  Of course several days later he repented, because he is a good person. Perhaps it was a bipolar thing, but  it was obvious whoever that other guy had been was gone.

I never told this to anyone, but if I had the opportunity to do it, I’d have tried to kill myself again. When I first came to Window Licker Hall, Millie, a middle aged perpetual cutter/suicidal woman told me if I really wanted to leave the rest  home she had half a bottle of pain pills. I told her then, no thanks. Around the time my Soul Bro said he had cared for my mom, but me not so much, Millie came back from a few weeks vacation at a mental intstitution. I was frantic and asked her if she still had the pills. No, she didn’t. And so I was saved again. Now I know regardless what happens, no matter how low I get, I can’t kill myself. I promised my Soul Brother I wouldn’t ever again and I was never so serious in my life. He’s had enough shit to last ten lifetimes (and at least one day of Lifetime Television programming).

Yes, my therapist ain’t happy, but I am. My Soul Bro is the joy and light of my life. To me he is a gay god, almost perfect. He keeps me laughing, except when I worry I’ll mess up. I imagine him thinking awful things about me.  If anything goes missing I imagine him thinking I stole whatever it is. I fear he’ll think I’m on drugs, and I worry that I will never be what everyone expects of me.  If I mess up in the slightess way the lack of perfection drives me crazy. One day I messed up and used the bathroom and bathed with his cell phone there. He accused me of taking it and even said that a lot of stuff went missing while I lived there before. I had to swear on my mom’s ashes that I hadn’t touched it. I forgive, but I don’t forget. I could say my theory on who stole stuff, but I will refrain from naming anyone. Soul Bro realized he was wrong and wrote out a note saying I couldn’t  be thrown out for any reason, but I think some of the power belongs with The Partner, so who knows? All i can say is I ain’t a thief.

One last confession paragraph before I stop, I now pay about twice what I paid in rent the last time, but I’d pay more to be with my Soul Bro. My therapist thinks I’m being hosed and I don’t care! I think it was The Partner who came up with the sum. The only thing really marring my happiness is not having my cats, which makes me not want  to face the plastic box holding my mother. I don’t think I can remove her from the storage unit until I get them back. 

If my nurse hadn’t rescued Dondee, the pound would have killed my Mom’s

                                         best little buddy.




Tubesteak with Habanero Sauce; or, How OCD Killed My Love Life — January 25, 2012

Tubesteak with Habanero Sauce; or, How OCD Killed My Love Life

About  a week ago,  I went with my friend on our second solo dining experience. You know who I mean, the one who likes showing affection with his tongue as the Continentals do. As I have said before, this guy has the distinct honor of being my first date and my first French kiss. My life before my mother’s death was a bit uneventful in its solitude.  

I’ve known this guy off and on since third grade and have off and on liked him since about the fourth grade. When he gave me the surprise kiss and even more surprising tongue, I thought, Hey for the first time someone I could like likes me back! Winning!

This last excursion began with  Mexican food, and I have a big  steak.  We both have a touch of Habanero sauce, a green pepper sauce that is hot as hell. We have blue margaritas, another new experience that are tasty for alcohol. The drink goes to my head and before long I’m exclaiming, “Oh shit!” – at what, I don’t  quite recollect, but I have enough of my wits to feel a hint of embarrassment. Neither am I so buzzed that the running commentary in my head doesn’t play. Why is he interested in me?, I keep asking myself. I’m so shy, my conversation isn’t funny or fascinating, and I am less than average in looks. Could he have liked me all this time and waited for a proper time to act on it?

We are home and  I know he will try to kiss me again when we get to the door. I try to suppress my giddiness on the way. “Come here,” he says, just as he did before, like he’s going to give me a hug. This time I know his modis and am preparing myself. I’m going to kiss him back this time or die trying.

Now we’re going to count down all the first times in this one…

I manage to tuck my tongue under his in his mouth and leave it there for a couple of seconds, all necessary and proper.  When I retreat to  my tongue’s natural station, I say “Heh, well at least this time I got my tongue in too.”

I find myself relieved when his tongue returns to my mouth in a way which needs no reciprocation from me. It is a kind dispensation of heaven for a socially anxious woman to have a kiss with a guy whose tongue would be the envy of the Geico Gecko. And herein comes another first, he’s copping a feel of my breasts. Cupping them  and pressing me against him, and then, he caresses my bottom – another first. I want to discern whether his pole is raised to attention, but short of grabbing him or applying continuous pressure with my pelvis, which I don’t have the balls to do in either case, I decide I must not look either. It’s as though he’s trying to lift me. “Um, I’m rather heavy and we’re practically making babies in the hall.”

His solution is to pull me under the stairway conveniently next to the fire extinguisher lest we get too hot. More kissing with his tongue. Oh look here, he’s nibbling on my ear. A first! And there he is kissing my neck, another first!  I dare to look into his eyes once or twice and he indeed looks as though he actually wants to have me, devour me even.

Then he asks that question every gal dreams of hearing: “Do you have a ‘fuck buddy,’ Lisa?”

“Um no…I’m still a virgin.”

“I have a couple of them.”

“Who are they?” I ask, thinking GERMS!

“Nevermind about that,” he says. “Do you want to be my ‘fuck buddy?'”

I am not aroused because I’m too shy to be aroused being pressed against the wall.   So that’s why he’s interested. Oh.

I actually think about it.  I’m 34 years-old and my flower is wilted and gathering dust.  I say that I might let him have dessert one day as long as he has protection to keep from having a  Junior running around. I am giddy and want to hurry off lest Wilt Chamberlain  here tries to gain entry  when a neighbor might walk by.

I’m excited and happy that I am desired, the margarita still numbing my senses. I tell Soul Bro and we are giggly. It’s after I wake in the night that the tears come. I thought he  had feelings for me. Nah, he just needed another fuck buddy to go with his harem. Waaaah!

The next day I talk to Soul Bro, crying even though we are having a bowl. I want to divest myself of my virtue, but by someone who doesn’t love me? I don’t want to die a virgin. I don’t want to die alone. I mail him with a “when and where,” but several hours later seeing that he hasn’t responded, I write,  “Nevermind, I’m chicken.” I hope he will write back, but he doesn’t. Feeling my impending old age and ultimate death, plus the fact that I want Wilt in my life whatever way, I make another bid on Facebook, declaring “Fuck it. I’m tired of being a virgin.” That gets an answer and he agrees to Friday night.

Taking my best girlfriend’s advice, as well as my therapist’s, and casting it to the wind, I am ready for my virtue to die. My girlfriend tried to convince me I’m not worthless and that  I will meet someone someday. Noted, but life is such a damn transient thing, and unless I start hanging out with mutes, I will be at a disadvantage in the dating world. My therapist also had similar objections, plus the whole ‘fuck buddy’ thing being crass. Yeah. But I am resolved.

Then Team OCD decides to ruin any chance of me ever getting any. Ugh. 

My Soul Brother has made me up nicely – eyeliner, sparkly eyeshadow, and everything…when I get the call. Wilt’s tire blew out on the way to buy condoms and he will have to cancel. “I’ll get it fixed first thing in the morning,” he says.  

I decide to  ask him then the questions I felt must be asked before I let anyone into where no man’s ever gone before.

Perhaps if I had left it at “Do you have any STD’s?” this story would have a  happy ending. But no. I ask him if he has a medical encyclopedia’s worth of diseases, even if he has sores near his  genitals. 

Oops. Apparently, that’s not a turn on. But it  get’s worse.

“I know we’re not in a relationship or anything, but you won’t just drop me one day, right, or try to break my heart?”

AND, help us all…

“Maybe my mom is telling us we shouldn’t be doing this.”

Needless to say, he cancels the next day and says he’ll call in a couple of weeks. Let’s hope he calls before the world ends on December 21st.

Scent of a Woman — January 9, 2012

Scent of a Woman

It’s not been a good 24 hours. I’m anxious and feel as though my life is over, which is stupid …I hope. All I can think of is “What if he doesn’t forgive me?”

My Soul Brother has two Chinese pugs. One is an ‘unaltered’ black male pug. He likes me A LOT. I’ll call him Stan to protect his dog anonymity. My first encounter with Stan after my mother’s death resulted in him trying to make love to me via my arm. His good lady wife, I’ll call her Maude, was in heat and it gave Stan an affection for her and every living thing around her. It was actually a good bit of comic relief from my terror and grief (it was a week after my mom went to the Great Beyond). Thankfully, once Maude ‘cooled’ he stopped. But he always wanted to be with me. At the time I thought it was my award-winning personality.

Later, when I moved in, I was sure I was going to be put back out when Soul Bro told me I shouldn’t be letting his dog sleep with me in case he started marking. But I wasn’t put out.

The other day, Soul Bro approached me again and told me to push Stan away for a couple of weeks and finally admitted why the dog liked me so much.

“It’s your feminine odor, but it’s the same with any female.”

Ugh. Great. So I resolved to rebuff Stan getting near me for exactly two weeks. But that didn’t last too long, because later that day I got upset by something The Partner did. The Partner is Soul Bro’s partner, a man who dislikes me, but the feeling is mutual. Soul Bro, being the dear soul he is, relaxed the rules so I could cry on Stan’s wrinkled shoulder so to speak.

The next day I asked if I should start pushing Stan away. “Nah, he’s OK. He’s a smart dog.”

But Stan’s behavior continued. and the night before last, Stan started to whimper when I wouldn’t  pay him mind. I should have known pushing Stan away was back when Soul Bro took him back to his bedroom and shut himself up with the dog. I should have known, but I’m so ignorant.

So yesterday, sigh, Stan was beside me again and Soul Bro called him to go lay down with him (Soul Bro wasn’t feeling well). I quickly pushed  the dog down when Stan refused to go with his master. Right back up there, Stan jumped, so I pushed him right back down. But it was too late. Soul Bro was angry at me. “See? This was what I was trying to tell you if you EVER let him sit beside you!”  And he slammed his bedroom door.

I was afraid. Soul Bro has told me before that short of me killing him, there was nothing I could do to make him not want to be my friend. But I’m so scared. He’s my only family now and if he stays mad, what will I do? I love him so much, so I always try to please him, but I honestly didn’t mean to do anything.  I hate myself. I even hate my vagina. This has made me Chaz Bono!

So like I used to, I went to  bed and slept to get away from my problems. I dreamed about my mom giving me a beautiful Christmas Barbie doll. Then my mom died, I went to the Appalachians and was rejected by relatives. But then I look for dolls in a flea market, find out that Dolly Parton is my real mom, and she has the same Barbie that my mom gave me except in a different colored dress. Then I dream I’m peeing blood. The end.

At one point, I heard Soul Bro and The Partner up at midnight. I went and got a hello from both when I spoke, but as soon as the show was over, Soul Bro left without a word. I’m terrified he’s still mad and will want me to move when the lease is up.  I don’t want to even imagine life without my Soul Brother.

Poetry Potluck: “Passionate Nights of Love” — August 16, 2011

Poetry Potluck: “Passionate Nights of Love”

Please visit http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com for better versed poets or to  join the meme.

Passionate Nights of Love (Ha Ha)

‘Passionate nights of love?’

Um, that’s what you want me to write?

Swine sprout wings and take flight.

 

Passionate nights of love?

Poison ivy becomes an aphrodisiac.

Maybe I’m just having a panic attack?

 

Passionate nights of love?

I hear rumors it exists.

In bed, in  shed, one gal with her cousin Ned.

 

Passionate nights of love?

I live with my mom, three cats, my doll collection.

And the consensus is I’m crazy.

 

Passionate nights of love?

What a joke!

I’ve never even been with a bloke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

Victorian Valentine
Mama’s Old Home Style Stiffy Cure

Pic from indiana.edu

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Short Story: A Day in the Life of Mary Smith, Cliche — August 14, 2011

Short Story: A Day in the Life of Mary Smith, Cliche

Three first editions of Barbie dolls from 1959...
Image via Wikipedia Choosing Mary Smith

This is the story of a cliché. Her name is Mary Smith like thousands of other women. She’s in her thirties and lives in a high-rise apartment in New York City, Boston,Chicago, or perhaps in Los Angeles. What does she look like? So many choices. We’re pretty sure she’s white though, the ultimate cliché color. Is she a ginger? No, too uncommon. We want something common in print. Golden strands of blond silk luminescent in the sun? Possibly. Brunette, her hair nearly as dark as her disposition? Also a possibility. Chestnut or mouse brown hair, tied conservatively behind her in a style reminiscent of a school marm?  Depends. Is Mary Smith a savvy professional woman with three or four friends trying to find love and sexual gratification in a city? Or is she the tragic soul who ends up throwing herself from a bridge in utter agony (Oh the demons! The demons of her psyche! Oh lost love!)?  Or is she that woman from whatever romantic comedy is in the theater every  other week, who by happenstance finds her true love? We think Mary Smith resembles the marm the most. But let’s read on, the obligatory scene before the mirror is being written…

Mary Smith stands before the mirror, a figure of brown. Her hair is mouse brown, her skirt tan cotton and slightly jutting away from her skinny frame. Her eyes –brown also- appraise herself with care, bringing her ponytail from her back to spread down to her small bosom.  A heroine.

Mirror spinning out of the way, she begins to sing a ditty:

Today, maybe today. Today!

Not yesterday, maybe today. Today!

Today!

Today could be the day. Maybe today!

Today, please today, something could happen today!

Todayyyy!

I feel it! Can you feel it? I think I feel it!

Maybe today! It didn’t happen yesterday, could be today.

Maybe love today, my destiny today. Today!

My life could change todayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

 

This song is transcribed here for  inspiration and hope. But  a story needs a hint of pathos or some critic will criticize this as being too one-dimensional. Since Mary Smith is a cliché, we really shouldn’t care, though, should we? She reaches into her medicine cabinet and becomes the face in the latest anti-depressant commercial. I talked to my doctor about my depression and he gave me…

What should we say he gave her? Something easily recognized as an anti-depressant. Prozac? Paxil? Zoloft? Lets say Zoloft. Zoloft for the  so lofty dreams soaring over whatever clichéd demons Mary Smith subscribes to.

It is summertime and NYC, Boston, Chicago, LA, or wherever the hell our cliché lives. It is an oppressively hot day late in July. Mary Smith works in a paperback exchange, but will one day be the editor of a large publishing concern or maybe the romance columnist for a woman’s magazine. Some people are coming in, milling through the narrow aisles, not really interested in the mass market used paperback bonanza around them. Nor is Mary Smith interested in them unless they approach the counter, book in hand.

“Is it hot enough for ya?” is Mary’s attempt at being friendly with a book-clad fat woman in her 40s.

“Yeah. Hot.” A book called Savage Passion is  dropped on the counter. Typical cover in the Indian/White Heaving Breasted Lady genre: An American Indian  who looks like he lifts weights. He’s  wearing a feather, loincloth, and not much else. A lady, poofy blond hair like a 1980s porn star, with lots of green eyeshadow. A bit of tit and leg is showing from her Victorian gown, leaving enough to the imagination to be allowed at a grocery store bookrack. Mary Smith used to read such books, mainly when she was 14, and grew weary of the genre shortly thereafter, for even clichéd characters can only stand so much of the same. Mary Smith prefers the various yarns  spun by Danielle Steele. Now that is literature, is what Mary thinks, and that she need never vary in her choice of author, as Steele releases a new 400 page tome to indefeatable true love every three days or so.

And then he comes in. Mary Smith hears the refrain from that awful song she somehow made up on the spot this morning. Todayyyyy…

 

He’s the one, thinks Mary. He likes to read, he’s handsome, he’s perfect. Will he notice me?

What does Mary Smith’s future lover look like?  Hugh Grant ( He’ll look like Hugh Cronin by the time this story is over)?  We think he should look like perfection, the sort manufactured not by nature but by a Mattel factory. He is Ken articulated with the breath of life and perhaps looking for his Barbie in the flesh.

Mary Smith is a Barbie doll, Paperback Exchange Barbie, not manufactured by Mattel, but still ‘swell.’ She fantasizes about this man coming up to her, giving her a lengthy kiss rivaling a 1940s movie scene. I love you, Mary…

He’s  coming to the counter. He’s coming.

“Hi,” Mary Smith says for the first time in a long time without having to fake enthusiasm. 

“Hey,” says Ken, putting one hand in the pocket of his jeans. “You got a public rest room?”

 

 

The day progresses. It is around 3pm. The book store has thinned out and now Mary Smith is alone with a newspaper crossword. A mother comes in dragging her son by the hand. He looks to be about 6,  years-old, brown hair almost the color of Mary’s. Mary Smith thought as a young girl that she would one day have a child of her own. Maybe her phantom child would look somewhat like this little boy.

She goes back to her crossword puzzle. The boy is bored as his mom looks at suspense novels. The  owner of the bookstore likes knickknacks, the kind that have a sticker on the bottom that says, “Made Exclusively for Dollar Tree.” Cherubs, frogs, gnomes, and ceramic Jesus Christs all vie to be noticed on the tops of the bookshelves. One curio, a genuine African Mask (made in China of painted china), has caught the boy’s attention. His mother is oblivious to him though she is roughly 8 feet away. He starts to climb one shelf to get the mask. It would be fun to put over his face and pretend he is a masked superhero , we believe the child thinks.

The shelves only are about eye level to the average adult, so from the first shelf, the boy can reach…just reach. 

Suddenly a crash, the little African Mask now lies on the linoleum floor in several pieces. Mary Smith turns to look at what happened. The boy is still standing on the first shelf, one hand frozen in mid-air, the other clinging to the shelf. Before Mary Smith can reassure the boy’s mother that the mask was of no real consequence, the mother has gone red with rage. “Now what have you done? G—damn IDIOT!”

Don’t look, Mary.  Not your problem, Mary. Mary Smith resumes writing an answer on her puzzle. Her hand is shaking just a bit. She isn’t looking, but she hears. We see that the mother is small, blond, and in her early twenties. She doesn’t look capable of hurting her son, nor does she look capable of keeping him under control. Her frustration and rage is peaking. She grabs the boy off the shelf, but holds him kicking at the air 2 feet below him. Walks far enough away with him to clear the remains of the china African mask before dropping the child to the floor. The sound of the child’s body hitting the floor makes Mary Smith’s pen draw a line off of the paper as her shaking hand drops the pen.

Mary Smith can’t open her mouth. Her lips are stuck together, her tongue sticks to the roof of her mouth. Her voice is paralyzed. A movie of the week scene and she can’t turn the channel or swallow. The woman grabs up her son so that he stands again. He is winded, shocked, and not crying. She grabs his hand and they leave the store as they came.

Mary Smith is alone now. The mask is in the floor in several pieces. One piece containing a hole for an eye and a bit of forehead is on its side. To Mary Smith it looks like the eyeless socket is staring at her.

There was a time when Mary might have said something. How long ago was that? Ten years ago, maybe fifteen? Since before she let life pass her by. Before she began just trying to get on with life. Before her ideals began to shrivel and maturity blotted them out.

Mary Smith begins to pick up the pieces of the china African mask until she feels a sharp pain in her palm. The piece that had pricked her conscience has now cut her hand. This is the high melodrama we hoped Mary Smith, cliché of the great American short story, would  give us. Emotional, physical pain, the kind that will translate well on the silver screen. Keep going,Mary!

Mary Smith drops the offending piece into a plastic bag she is using to collect the debris and then opens her palm. Blood, not  massive, but considerable enough is leaking from a small cut. She stares at the red fluid that pumps through her body as though entranced. Funny the thoughts one thinks. Look, Mary, you’re alive. You’re still a person. Can you feel it? (Mournful reprise of the “Today” song’s music should be placed here in the movie version).

Perhaps a potential vampire boyfriend should materialize like a shark smelling blood? You know, a nice pale guy, handsome, opens the door for his lady-love before draining her of her lifeblood. So popular now, but we decide we like this story sans Dracula, and…

Mary Smith bandages her hand in the bathroom, places the last piece in the bag, and makes her way to the wastebasket behind the counter. But for some strange reason she can’t toss the tied bag into the basket. Something, some force has prevented her from throwing the mask away. Perhaps the mask is cursed, right? Not likely. Hello, it came from the wild forest pf The Dollar Tree, not an ancient African tribe. Probably something else. It seems to her that to throw the mask’s remains away after what happened would be wrong…almost bordering on disrespectful for her phantom son’s pain.

It’s time to close. Mary Smith is glad. It’s been a long day. I’ll throw it away when I get home, and with that she stuffs the plastic bag in her purse. The ‘closed’ sign is hung on the door, she sets the alarm, and locks the door . She is out on a generic sidewalk in NYC, Boston, Chicago, or LA.

  The loneliness of a large city is something Mary Smith is used to, but something has happened. The late afternoon sunlight is almost like it’s not there to her. The oppressive heat seems to not bother her. She almost feels cold. The world is gray  like an anti-depressant commercial pre-pill. People are all around her and she feels invisible until she bumps into a man (OK, here must be the meeting of the male romantic lead. FINALLY. Such a tedious read).

“Why don’t you watch where you’re going?” a man in a business suit admonishes.

“Sorry,” Mary Smith replies in the same tone as the gent.

Everything is wrong somehow. People are so unkind and she is tired of it all. Mary Smith is relieved to lock herself safely into her apartment away from everyone. Suddenly she  remembers skimming through the  paper that day, the stories. Along with the daily dose of murder, mayham, and outed gay conservatives, there was the story of a man who lived in an apartment building not far from where  Mary Smith lives. He hung himself in his closet and wasn’t found for a week, not until someone smelled him. What if one day that happens to me?  What if I died one day by natural causes or by dispatching myself  and they only found me because I stunk? Would anyone wonder what happened to me? Would anyone care? Oh, knock it off,  Mary. Someone would call, your employer, your landlady sure would be  on the case if the rent  was late. Maybe a friend sometime.

  My life doesn’t matter.

Eat something, Mary. You’re just tired and hungry.

 

Would anyone remember me for anything? No one would. I’m nothing in this world.

Rinse off your face. Get a grip. Ugh, no wonder no one loves me.The mirror doesn’t lie!

The mask is still in her purse, which she has hung on the coat rack. She takes the bag out of the purse, empties the pieces on a tray, hunts down her super glue, and pieces The Dollar Tree African mask together.

Watch something on the TV.

Canned laughter, fake, beautiful people sitting on couches talking their humorous adventures in love and life. Oh kill me now. I’m going to bed.

“Maybe today? Fuck it. Tomorrow,” she sings as she slips into bed. Mary Smith covers her head with her pillow and drowns the out the world.

The next day she picks up the dried mask from where she glued it together. The mask falls to pieces again.  Mary Smith sweeps the pieces into the plastic bag and throws it away on the way to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Decided to Post This Comment Poem I Wrote: STD for the Heart — May 29, 2011

I Decided to Post This Comment Poem I Wrote: STD for the Heart

I don't remember what STD stands for.

Thanks Jammer for the idear. Now you can proudly say, “Lisa gave me an STD.”

 

STD for the Heart

Your love, my love, pains me to my heart’s core,
that I plead to you, Make this pain no more!

My heart is a flurry of tell-tale spots,
pulsating and throbbing with ecstatic fury.
My love drips down my heart’s swollen confines;
nefarious, necrotic, non-negotiable
dropping like tears.

Your love, my love , seduces and destroys,
no cure for it here anymore,
the penicillin is still at the store.

A Summer at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park: Big Pimpin’ Edition — May 19, 2011

A Summer at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park: Big Pimpin’ Edition

Cover scan of volume 1 of Cardcaptor Sakura (カ...

Yesterday was an action packed adventure, so much of a one I’m inclined to share it all.

First thing’s first. I checked the internet for a symptom I’m having to see whether it’s a sign of cancer. Research inconclusive.

I tried to list some things on eBay for that much needed extra penny  towards the end of the month, but my penchant for being easily distracted and my cats getting in the way on my desk and lap, as well as the slowness of my desktop computer made productivity minimal.

Later I walked by Club Ghetto/Trailer Park’s pool, and lo, 73 degrees and a family, including a couple beating me in the pleasantly plump category, were in the water. That’s wanting to swim. Perhaps they were afraid that they wouldn’t have time between now and The Rapture to get in a good splash? I decided to take my chances and wait until it’s supposed to get into 80 and up in a few days. A woman and her small daughter walked by me on the sidewalk and I let out a slight “hello” for fear of being rude. No answer. I began wondering why she didn’t reply. My hair probably went in several directions. I didn’t look her in the eye, so perhaps she thought I was crazy or “challenged,” or, eh what the heck, both. The possibilities are endless!

Much later, after washing my ‘fro and doing violence upon it with my comb, also conceding defeat to my cats lounging on the desk and chair of my computer, I decided to go to Club Ghetto/Trailer Park Pool to catch up on my reading. This would be my first time on the deck of our hallowed pool since last year, a rite of passage from spring to summer.

Hey!” cried a voice, that distinct accent of southern gay man. I knew who he was before he introduced himself, the gentleman who helped my mother with the groceries the other day. I was inside putting frozen and refrigerated stuff away, so I had not made his acquaintance, but had heard his praises. He asked me if he knew who he was.

Yes, my mom told me how nice you were helping her the other day,” I replied. She also had said he greatly admired me for always having a book with me. Well, that’s nice, though the day of the grocery incident, I was into the adventures of Cardcaptor Sakura (I’ve discovered the joys of Japanese shoujo (for girls) manga about 18 years late). I was pleased anyway since “admired” in reference to me is a rare bird indeed.

sakura_and_tomoyo-12848

Cardcaptor Sakura

So here he was, The Gentleman, the same fellow who had the delicacy to leave the groceries by our door lest my mother confuse him for a rapist. A large man, rather stout, perhaps around 40, three necklaces including a large cross against his sunburned flesh, blondish ponytail, this was The Gentleman who had given me praise. Here he was again, waxing upon my literary prowess, quizzing me on this awful book I’m reading about Obama, one of those “Hey, it was free for a review” wonders, but far less interesting than the Girl Finds Jesus Under a Train book.

What chapter are you on?” he asked as he looked at the table of contents.

Two or three.” The book is kind of interesting, but like I said it also has the distinction of being “awful.”

Hey wait a moment, I want to talk to you about the book,” he said in a kinda gay, kinda kind sort of voice, as though he recognized me as just shy, not a retard. “What do you think so far?”

Not used to on the spot quizzes, I could only garble out about how I thought the author disliked Obama for being black, his funny Muslim name, and that he blamed Obama for everything.

Yes, you see it was a very unique time, Never before has there been an African-American president, even though his mother was white, so many people aren’t going to like him.”

Yes, true,” I replied.

At another point in the conversation, he said, “I love to read too! What kind of books do you read mostly?”

A bit of everything.” It was though I had become the most interesting person around, just a regular intellectual in her Paris salon. The alcohol on his breath, not quite tempered by his cigar, no doubt helped add to my allure.

salonShootin’ the Bull on Books Old World Style

Another man was with him who said nary a word, the opposite of Mr. Sunshine. Thin, dark, and older, with a full head of gray hair that would make Donald Trump jealous, this fellow was just there. Since he didn’t speak to me, I didn’t cast my  next “hello” before another unresponsive swine. I should have, mind, since when he’s drunk he gives stuff away, and one day I had a lovely piece of Ruby Red Glass from 1905 on our terrace from it, but I am horribly shy. One spurt of being uber friendly a day is all I’m worth. I wonder if he’s “The Cousin.”

Yes, The Cousin. As in my cousin, probably 20 times removed if at all. My father’s surname is rather uncommon, at least in these parts, so it makes me wonder. Though he grew up in a different part of Appalachia than my dearly departed papa, maybe there is a smidge of consanguinity. He certainly fits the bill of a relation on my father’s side, i.e., drunk. To be a male on that side of a family is to have alcohol running through the veins I understand –which would be great if they got a cut, but not so great for breeding.

I want you to discuss this book with me when you’re done,” said The Gentleman.

I’ll let you have it once I’m done with it,” I replied.

Oh great, I’ll even pay you for it.”

Oh no, that’s not necessary. I got it for free myself for a review.” (Note I said nothing about my blog, but if he ever does find this, perhaps it’s forgivable).

Finally, I went to a lounge to sit and read. “Oh! Don’t you want a chair?” my new friend exclaimed.

No, I prefer this kind of seat actually, thanks.”

Why don’t you sit in the sun?” I moved in deference, though the late afternoon light tried to get into my eyes. I began reading the book I brought with the “awful” Obama book –a fascinating graphic novel about none other than Ronald Reagan. Well researched, it’s a fascinating read. You begin it thinking it will be an ass-kissing homage to the former president, but then it goes into the douchey things ol’ Dutch did, including the part about how Reagan made sure the Iranian hostages weren’t released until he was elected.

Suddenly I heard, “Adios!” I figured it was someone saying bye to the people in the pool then, but no, it was The Gentleman, carrying a sort of Moses-style cane for fashion’s sake. And the winner of the Best Gay Pimp Award goes to…

As the sun went further down, I began to feel chilled. It was barely 70 with no sun shining on the pool and yet a family continued swimming as I was WTF-ing. I’d have thought they were Canadian ex-pats had they not been both dark-skinned and speaking fluent Spanish to each other. Far braver souls than I.

As I wobbled home, I spotted The Gentleman far off. Feeling shy with anyone I haven’t known some 15 years or so, I walked on until he began waving. “Hi, Lisaaaaa! I live here!”

And so the first day at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park ended and I already made a friend. It’s true I’ve been very lonely, wishing I had my blog friends here, someone who “got me.” Maybe this is in part what I wished for (though the Nervous Nelly in me says, “Personal space, too, please”).

A Summer at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park: Big Pimpin’ Edition —

A Summer at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park: Big Pimpin’ Edition

Cover scan of volume 1 of Cardcaptor Sakura (?...

Yesterday was an action packed adventure, so much of a one I’m inclined to share it all.

First thing’s first. I checked the internet for a symptom I’m having to see whether it’s a sign of cancer. Research inconclusive.

I tried to list some things on eBay for that much needed extra penny  towards the end of the month, but my penchant for being easily distracted and my cats getting in the way on my desk and lap, as well as the slowness of my desktop computer made productivity minimal.

Later I walked by Club Ghetto/Trailer Park’s pool, and lo, 73 degrees and a family, including a couple beating me in the pleasantly plump category, were in the water. That’s wanting to swim. Perhaps they were afraid that they wouldn’t have time between now and The Rapture to get in a good splash? I decided to take my chances and wait until it’s supposed to get into 80 and up in a few days. A woman and her small daughter walked by me on the sidewalk and I let out a slight “hello” for fear of being rude. No answer. I began wondering why she didn’t reply. My hair probably went in several directions. I didn’t look her in the eye, so perhaps she thought I was crazy or “challenged,” or, eh what the heck, both. The possibilities are endless!

Much later, after washing my ‘fro and doing violence upon it with my comb, also conceding defeat to my cats lounging on the desk and chair of my computer, I decided to go to Club Ghetto/Trailer Park Pool to catch up on my reading. This would be my first time on the deck of our hallowed pool since last year, a rite of passage from spring to summer.

Hey!” cried a voice, that distinct accent of southern gay man. I knew who he was before he introduced himself, the gentleman who helped my mother with the groceries the other day. I was inside putting frozen and refrigerated stuff away, so I had not made his acquaintance, but had heard his praises. He asked me if he knew who he was.

Yes, my mom told me how nice you were helping her the other day,” I replied. She also had said he greatly admired me for always having a book with me. Well, that’s nice, though the day of the grocery incident, I was into the adventures of Cardcaptor Sakura (I’ve discovered the joys of Japanese shoujo (for girls) manga about 18 years late). I was pleased anyway since “admired” in reference to me is a rare bird indeed.

sakura_and_tomoyo-12848

Cardcaptor Sakura

So here he was, The Gentleman, the same fellow who had the delicacy to leave the groceries by our door lest my mother confuse him for a rapist. A large man, rather stout, perhaps around 40, three necklaces including a large cross against his sunburned flesh, blondish ponytail, this was The Gentleman who had given me praise. Here he was again, waxing upon my literary prowess, quizzing me on this awful book I’m reading about Obama, one of those “Hey, it was free for a review” wonders, but far less interesting than the Girl Finds Jesus Under a Train book.

What chapter are you on?” he asked as he looked at the table of contents.

Two or three.” The book is kind of interesting, but like I said it also has the distinction of being “awful.”

Hey wait a moment, I want to talk to you about the book,” he said in a kinda gay, kinda kind sort of voice, as though he recognized me as just shy, not a retard. “What do you think so far?”

Not used to on the spot quizzes, I could only garble out about how I thought the author disliked Obama for being black, his funny Muslim name, and that he blamed Obama for everything.

Yes, you see it was a very unique time, Never before has there been an African-American president, even though his mother was white, so many people aren’t going to like him.”

Yes, true,” I replied.

At another point in the conversation, he said, “I love to read too! What kind of books do you read mostly?”

A bit of everything.” It was though I had become the most interesting person around, just a regular intellectual in her Paris salon. The alcohol on his breath, not quite tempered by his cigar, no doubt helped add to my allure.

salonShootin’ the Bull on Books Old World Style

Another man was with him who said nary a word, the opposite of Mr. Sunshine. Thin, dark, and older, with a full head of gray hair that would make Donald Trump jealous, this fellow was just there. Since he didn’t speak to me, I didn’t cast my  next “hello” before another unresponsive swine. I should have, mind, since when he’s drunk he gives stuff away, and one day I had a lovely piece of Ruby Red Glass from 1905 on our terrace from it, but I am horribly shy. One spurt of being uber friendly a day is all I’m worth. I wonder if he’s “The Cousin.”

Yes, The Cousin. As in my cousin, probably 20 times removed if at all. My father’s surname is rather uncommon, at least in these parts, so it makes me wonder. Though he grew up in a different part of Appalachia than my dearly departed papa, maybe there is a smidge of consanguinity. He certainly fits the bill of a relation on my father’s side, i.e., drunk. To be a male on that side of a family is to have alcohol running through the veins I understand –which would be great if they got a cut, but not so great for breeding.

I want you to discuss this book with me when you’re done,” said The Gentleman.

I’ll let you have it once I’m done with it,” I replied.

Oh great, I’ll even pay you for it.”

Oh no, that’s not necessary. I got it for free myself for a review.” (Note I said nothing about my blog, but if he ever does find this, perhaps it’s forgivable).

Finally, I went to a lounge to sit and read. “Oh! Don’t you want a chair?” my new friend exclaimed.

No, I prefer this kind of seat actually, thanks.”

Why don’t you sit in the sun?” I moved in deference, though the late afternoon light tried to get into my eyes. I began reading the book I brought with the “awful” Obama book –a fascinating graphic novel about none other than Ronald Reagan. Well researched, it’s a fascinating read. You begin it thinking it will be an ass-kissing homage to the former president, but then it goes into the douchey things ol’ Dutch did, including the part about how Reagan made sure the Iranian hostages weren’t released until he was elected.

Suddenly I heard, “Adios!” I figured it was someone saying bye to the people in the pool then, but no, it was The Gentleman, carrying a sort of Moses-style cane for fashion’s sake. And the winner of the Best Gay Pimp Award goes to…

As the sun went further down, I began to feel chilled. It was barely 70 with no sun shining on the pool and yet a family continued swimming as I was WTF-ing. I’d have thought they were Canadian ex-pats had they not been both dark-skinned and speaking fluent Spanish to each other. Far braver souls than I.

As I wobbled home, I spotted The Gentleman far off. Feeling shy with anyone I haven’t known some 15 years or so, I walked on until he began waving. “Hi, Lisaaaaa! I live here!”

And so the first day at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park ended and I already made a friend. It’s true I’ve been very lonely, wishing I had my blog friends here, someone who “got me.” Maybe this is in part what I wished for (though the Nervous Nelly in me says, “Personal space, too, please”).

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