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Archive for August, 2002

|| August 18, 2002 || 12:46 am || Comments (0) ||

Henry Thomas, are you out there? Are you reading this, Henry Thomas?

Because if you are, I feel that I must let you know that you have great hands. When I watch your work and find myself giving your hands the once-over, I also find myself fidgeting in my seat. Your hands do it for me, Henry Thomas. If you’ve got a shred of intellect in that noggin, then I could maybe be yours for a song….if Maxim got hit by a bus or something. Not that he will, not that I hope he does….I’m just sayin’.

Henry Thomas, *phew*….never mind.

But call me if you’re ever in town, okay?

|| August 17, 2002 || 11:19 pm || Comments (8) ||

Been lolling around in the sun all day, drinking vodka gimlets, writing erotic poetry and feeling, uhmmm, horny. Y’all know what that is, right?

Craving peach yogurt, because that’s one of the things I do when I’m oversexed and don’t have a partner close at hand. I eat smooth things that require a spoon, then suck on the spoon after each bite, caressing it with the inside of my mouth, molding my tongue to it, liking the feel of the metal. So now you know; yer momma would be proud.

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your words burn like acid on my skin / my attention span’s unravelling / and i’m coming over / let me in / wake up and roll over ’cause I’m comin’ in / your emergency is about to end

your emergency / your emergency

Possum Dixon, “Emergency’s About To End”

|| August 15, 2002 || 8:22 pm || Comments (6) ||

I was wishing for rain earlier. I love the rain, everything about it — the smell in the air, the smattering of drops on the sill, the muted quality of everything when it’s juxtaposed against the sounds of drops on my roof and low, slow-travelling thunder.

And the idea that things are getting washed clean, getting a new start….

The tics are back, greeting us anew this afternoon. It’s only the second week of school. Crap. Maybe that’s the ’something wrong somewhere in the periphery’ thing I mentioned earlier. I hope that’s all.

I had some friends over to play earlier and I noticed that Sam kept well to himself, which is unusual. He adores music, and often is Mr. Rhythm, dragging out the bongos or a shaker and following whomever has the strongest lead at the time. Even when he chooses not to play, he is on the fringes to watch and listen. Tonight he was conspicuously absent.

As we sat down to eat dinner, he asked to speak to me alone.

“You remember Cathy, mom?” Cathy was our dog that got stolen a couple of years back. “Well, I used to do this thing…this tic….and after I got out of the shower and got dressed tonight, it happened with Baxter.”

“What, son?”

“I start saying things like, ‘Stupid dog! Dumb dog! Get away! Stupid, stupid, stupid!’ and after the tic stops, I try and tell Bax that I’m sorry, it’s alright and he didn’t do anything, but he backs up and cowers away from me…”

His eyes well up and it takes everything I’ve got to keep mine dry as his bottom lip begins to quiver. “That makes me feel real bad, mom. I don’t want Bax to be afraid of me.” I ask him if this has ever happened with people and he tells me that it has not. I ask him if he ever touches the dog when this happens; my concern is two-fold. I don’t want the dog to suffer any form of abuse (physical would be worse, though…) and I don’t want Sam to get bitten as a result of something he does in the throes of a tic. He assures me that it does not. I want to know why he never told me about it before, like two years ago when it happened with Cath.

“I thought you would get mad and spank or ground me for being mean to the dog. I didn’t really know about my Tourette Syndrome then.”

“That must have been really confusing for you, Sam, being mean to a pet that you loved so much. I’m sorry….I just never knew it was an issue.” This leads me to wonder what other things may have been going on tic-wise that he hid well from us in the past and how he must have been scared by his uncontrollable actions, how that fear must have tortured him.

I fucking ache. In the pit of everywhere, I ache. Once again, the ache is pushed to the side and the explanations begin. The working through a ‘best scenario for everyone’ happens. We agree that if he ever, EVER gets the urge to lash out at the dog physically, he MUST control that aspect of the tic at all costs. To this point, violence has never been an issue –Sam is a tender, compassionate little person– but we never can tell when we’ll turn a corner into a new set of behaviors manifested via the ticcing. I told him that it may be best if he removes himself from Baxter’s presence and re-directs the tics from now on.

“Call your pillow stupid. Fuss at it for however long you need. Hell, I’ll draw a puppy face on it if you need me to….” He laughs. The pillow has taken lots of abuse in the past year. It has been ‘patted’ incontrovertibly hard, it has been flung, it has been tossed off the bed only to be retrieved and tossed again, it has been beaten against the floor. It is a very stoic and understanding pillow.

Basically, I do what Moms do in this situation. I reassure my son while cradling his head against my shoulder and I keep reassuring him until I am (mostly) confident that he believes. I’m pretty sure that he is fully aware that these things are not his fault, even if he’s not okay with it. He’s as okay as he can be, I suppose….that’s all I can ask.

One day at a time, sweet Jesus. Smile upon Sam, your favored son, for me, okay?

He asks that I not share this with anyone, for fear that they will think him a bad person for picking on a dog. “I’m gonna run down the street with a megaphone, shouting it to whomever…will…listen!” I cry out grandiosely, and he laughs.

“Momma, you’re the silliest person I know.”

::: :: ::: :: :::

Bedtime row with Mathias, and I send him off to his half of the bunk. He mutters all the way. Maxim says I deserve this; I deserve a little person just like me personality-wise to have to deal with. I give him an unwavering stinkeye.

Sam is packing for an overnight at a pal’s tomorrow night. He approaches me, arms laden with child-proof lidded plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes.

“Can I take a break from my pills for one day, mom? Just one day??” I answer concretely with a ‘no’ and send him on his way. I would love to be able to indulge this wish. I would love to let him do what the hell he wants to do, but this is not in his best interest. I will not coddle him in this respect. He must learn to function within the boundaries that TS has laid out for him, because although it may not be an issue post-puberty, it may very well still be. You just don’t know. I cannot do him the disservice of not learning to take care of himself. I won’t be here forever. I must instill certain truths now, and I must be consistent with them.

This goes for all my children, not just Samuel.

Finish up the dishes, go and tuck Scout in, head for the boys’ room at the front of the house. I hear Sam speaking one phrase over and over, “Good night, Mathias…Good night, Mathias…Good night, Mathias…Good night, Mathias….” and I tend to the business of picking up stray socks and slippers, tucking a book back into its rightful place on the shelves. I bend to the bottom bunk.

“Good night, Mathias, you mean baby. I love you.” He lolls his face toward me, eyes already half-lidded and unfocused. Apparently things are alright between us again (he is mercurial, like me…), because he reaches up, grabbing both my ears and plants a solid pucker on my lips.

“Awwwww, I love you toooooo, mommyyyy.” he singsongs in a perfect imitation of the sugary-sweetness that adults shower upon him daily. There is no sarcasm yet, and for that I am thankful. He is still my boy-child, and before I know it the man-child will have replaced him, tender mussed curls will be shorn off in favor of a shorter, more unkempt ‘do….

I straighten and drape an arm over the top bunk’s rail, prop one foot upon the ladder. Sam and I always conversate before the blankets get poked in around him. I relish this, for Scout will have none of it. With her, it’s always the quick peck on the lips, the bright, “G’nite, mommy!” and I am expected to clear the fuck out, no bones about it. It makes me laugh, thinking about it and typing it here now.

“You stressin’ about anything, Sammo?” I ask, and he says, “Not that, that, that, that, that, that, that I know of, of, of.” Whee! Palilalia! I’m not making light here, but I am. Palilalia is MUCH more fun than echolalia. Echolalia makes it near impossible to communicate. Many times it blocks Sam’s speech, rendering him useless for communicating thoughts and ideas for the time being as the token word or phrase or sound that he has just heard someone else emit takes over everything. At least until the next word, phrase or sound he hears. So, palilalia has my vote and I encourage you to choose it at the polls. Thank you.

“Brett, Brett, Brett, Brett, he’s grumpy…grumpy…
grumpy…grumpy…grumpy…with me. Me. Me.” I remark on my assumption that Brett is a kid in his class and he nods in affirmation.

“Well, son, is he grumpy with everybody?” “Y-Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah….”

“Okay, then it’s not just you. Don’t take it personally.” He frowns.

“Yesterday-yesterday-yesterday-yes. Ter. Day. when I was doing the jaw thing (the ‘jaw thing’ is where his lower jaw opens and closes with a mild bit of force, clacking his teeth together…somewhat loud in a quiet classroom), he told me to cut it-cut it-cutit-cutit-cutit OUT and I tried to explain, explain? Explain, explain what it was and he wouldn’t listen. Then Cecily, Cecily, Cecily,” –here I made a crack asking just how many Cecilys did he HAVE in his homeroom anyways and he laughed, which broke the pattern– “tried to tell him, tell him, tell him, tell him, tell him about TS and he toldtoldtold her to shut up. Then Ryan-Ryan-Ryan Ess (there is a Ryan Ay and a Ryan Bee, as well) yelled out, ‘He has TICS, Brett, so shut up-up-UP!’ and I laughed because the way he said it made me sound like I had y’know, y’know, y’know, like the ticks from dogs and everybody else laughed too. Too. Too. Toooo.”

I am thankful for this, the largest of small blessings: the children at his school are understanding, or at least attempting to be. They are not foul or ugly or intemperate with him in the ways that they could be. The ways that I have heard from other parents of children with Tourette. Tina, for instance, whose son Josh is now home-schooled because of the torture, abuse and humiliation he had to bear from other students and teachers alike. Unconscionable. We are fortunate. We are fortunate because Sam has not had to bear the abuse (which most certainly aggravates symptoms of TS) and because I have not gone to jail because I was compelled to strangle some verminous little kid/their ill-equipped parents/an ignorant teacher. Because I think that’s what would happen if someone went out of their way to hurt my kid over and over andfucking over.

Sam and I conclude our conversation, in which I’ve explained that it’s near the end of a school week, it’s around bedtime, he’s tired: “It’s not unusual to tic when your brain and body are taxed, Sam. Don’t worry.” I kiss him and bid him to find sleep, even as he is singsonging while I click the light off.

Then it’s my turn. I try not to, but I go through these moments of intense panic, the ‘what ifs’ bombarding me from all directions.

    “What if this escalates?”

    “What if he can’t handle this thing that life has handed him?”

    “What if I’m forced to stop working outside the home?”

    “What if I have to do battle with the school system? I mean, really hardcore battle?”
It is intense, but blessedly brief. It is brief because I remind myself that I have the luxury of faith to fall back on. I am a mover and a shaker and my wretchedly twisted heart has a center of the finest, purest gold. God takes care of those.

I also remind myself that I’ve led the life I’ve led, been given a raging heart and strong soul and loud voice honed through trials by fire and careful, measured internal cultivation, because I was being prepared for things like this. The Cosmos entrusted me with someone as divinely unique and special as my son (and daughter, and son) because I am the one person that could handle what was thrown at them and still have the reserves to assist them in handling it, too….

In short, I am a Crusader, I am a Momma Bear (among other things, but those are the two that count in this instance). If you are not on my side, then you are well and truly fucked.

|| August 15, 2002 || 2:44 pm || Comments (0) ||

It looks like rain. I sure hope so.

|| August 15, 2002 || 2:39 pm || Comments (0) ||

Six things:
1 – I have that nagging feeling that something is wrong somewhere in the periphery but I just don’t know about it (yet).
2 – I hate that feeling.
3 – It wears me out quicker than anything else.
4 – It makes me a tad nauseous.
5 – I think I ‘ll go and lie down for a bit.
6 – I’m very, verrry tiiiiiiired.

And here, a seventh:
Maybe a bit sad, too….

|| August 14, 2002 || 10:50 am || Comments (9) ||

Something I may not have told you in the past:

My mother wanted to name me Mary Margaret when I was born. Mary Margaret. Holy fuck.

Maxim’s father wanted to name him Fonzie (no middle name reported as of this writing) when he was born.

But for the grace of God and one lucid parent, we would have been presented thusly at our wedding:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Fonzie and Mary Margaret Superior!”


|| August 13, 2002 || 4:21 pm || Comments (0) ||

Reading this over at kd’s today dredged up a memory that I had not dismissed on purpose, but had lost touch with nonetheless. Reading this over at Rossi’s just kind of washed it all down.

When I was working in Honolulu, my department was located near the top of one of the buildings downtown. The office was full of good karma and just had an open, fun vibe to it, although everyone was verrrry businesslike and professional. Everyone had their own desks and their own ’space’, but there were no office walls and no cubicles and no bullshit…not even for/from management. There were floor-to-ceiling windows, letting in lots of natural light and scenery, which I dig; some part of me requires that.

It was a pretty happy place with an understated symbiosis.

One afternoon just after I came back from a casual meeting at a nearby patisserie, I was headed toward the fax machine to zip some paperwork around the planet. The unit was in the center of the bank of windows that made up the exterior wall. I happened to glance up from the sheaf of papers that I was shuffling through as I walked when I saw something large and charcoal gray zip by the window. It happened so fast and so startlingly that I didn’t know what to make of it, but when I got five feet from the window I stumbled and let out a little choked sound.

Because, you see, that’s when my brain actually comprehended what I saw. I said something along the lines of, “No way.” as my co-workers giggled over what they thought was a personal goof. I turned to them, unsure of how to word it, then blurted out, “Y’all, a guy just sailed down past the window.”

“Fuck you,” said Rob, but Marilyn’s jaw just dropped. I heard Adrienne, the office bitch, excuse herself from a call and before I knew it I was turning back around, moving woodenly across the few feet to confirm what I already knew I saw.

There was a large stone planter by the building’s entrace, and from my vantage point on high I could see that there was indeed a man in a charcoal-gray suit lying on the sidewalk, and he had obviously cracked his head on the planter a scant few inches from his destination. I wondered dumbly if he had planned it that way, if he had taken wind direction and velocity into account, if he had calculated speed and vector doggedly before he ever sailed off the edge of the building so as to make sure he accomplished his mission in right and round fashion.

All I could do was stand there and breathe, fingertips resting lightly on the glass, as I noted that while his legs were akimbo, they appeared normal. One of his arms, however, jutted crazily behind him, resting on the edge of the planter.

They said later that his head was pretty much mush. I don’t recall being able to observe that little tidbit. I could quite clearly see the puddle of crimson leaking over the pebbly stone of the walkway and down towards the curb.

And one thought rang clear, “Where did all those people come from so damned quickly?” Yet nobody was touching him. Nobody was hysterical. They just seemed fixatedly perplexed.

Turned out that he was a gentleman of Chinese descent and he worked two floors above my own. Apparently about 25 minutes before he jumped he found out that a big deal that he was brokering had fallen through. Rumor was that he had done some simple, mindless something that botched the whole thing a he felt deep shame. Who knows?

A big stain remained on the walk that afternoon as I exited the building, briefcase and umbrella in tow. I remember thinking, “Why hasn’t somebody cleaned this up?”

It was gone the next morning when I arrived. Mostly.

::: :: ::: :: :::

So now I am thinking about that thing I mentioned the other day (or night, whatever).

I received word that someone I once loved (and perhaps, in a way, still do) died recently. I don’t know whether or not to believe the news. Part of me looks on it as dubious at best, another part is gibbering and shaking and believes. That part is gaining ground in my oh-so-heavy heart.

We haven’t spoken in so long, that boy and I, but I carry him as a part of me still, his art-filled hands and soul-drenched eyes only a blink away, his voice a clear echo in my head…

That’s the trouble with conciously choosing to love so few, especially when you are an extremely passionate person: You hang a lot on them, emotionally speaking.

I drove around for a bit in the stifling heat, windows down, blaring Method Man; we used to ape Meth in the too-small apartment, using the matress and box springs on the floor (covered with two-hundred dollar sheets, what a riot) as a makeshift stage for our rapsynching talents.

I pulled into Piggly Wiggly’s parking lot, tangled and windblown hair scorched, skin parched, with a Pepsi in mind. I wafted into the cool air and was slapped in the face with ‘Amie‘….not related in any way except for the one that matters, the Big Cosmic Way. My body threatened to fold at that point, and it took great resolve not to succumb, not to crumple into a heap and wash the cold tiles there with my hot tears.

I walked blankly on, guided by rote to the floor coolers, something deep inside of me going ‘hiccup-hiccup-hiccup‘ all the way.

I got my journal for the 1000 journals project some six months ago. I had planned on doing a matched set of collages entitled, “The Dichotomy That Is Me” with one collage centered on the raucous “FUCK YOU” part of myself and the other on the more tender, soulful side. In between the two I wanted to place something I’d written.

I’ve had the bits and pieces for the collages gathered in a little red beach pail made of metal for some time, now. The journal rests atop it, accusing me. Occasionally Maxim will fuss at me about it: “Somebody’s gonna be mad at you.”

*sigh* someguy (the project coordinator) has written me about it TWICE now. I suck. I couldn’t seem to help it; I was simply devoid of inspiration for those center pages.

I think I know what’s going there now, though.

I wrote this for Cris not too very long ago. It wasn’t the first thing I’d written for him, but so far it is the last. I’m copying it to the journal, in between the ‘Dichotomy’ collages. It feels appropriate. It feels necessary.

The world should know that I love(d) him. It’s important, for fucksakes.