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Archive for April, 2009

|| April 27, 2009 || 11:00 pm || Comments (2) ||

traversing the internal landscape

This is what it is akin to:

One day I was wandering around outside, far from where I typically roamed, and suddenly I came upon a clearing. Beautiful, comfortable and somewhat alien, the meadow was strewn with a handful of people sitting yards and yards from one to the next. Each was remarkable in appearance and manner, only connected by the act of having chosen to take a seat in the great expanse of exciting new beauty.

Well, that and the fact that each sat speaking, seemingly talking to themselves.

Every now and again one or more of them got up to move closer to one or another, responding to something they’d caught in others’ self-conversation. Several of them ceased speaking for a time and just made the rounds to listen to the others’ stories, passing from one to the next and not sitting down until they were once again distanced and quasi-alone.

Slightly intrigued and wanting my own taste of this magical place, I climbed a slight rise and sat, in a relaxed lotus fashion, and began to speak. My voice was sure; it came effortlessly flowing from me, low and calm.

It went on this way for a while and then a young man appeared, sitting slightly behind and to the left of me just out of the line of my peripheral vision so that I did not notice him. He sat and listened for some time, and leaned into my line of sight when I was chancing to take a pause. Thinking I was only speaking for the benefit of myself, I was understandably startled and my face flushed with the seeming suddenness of his appearance. He spoke kindly, relaying admiration for my story. A smile stuttered to my face and I thanked him with a sense of genuine humility. He then wandered away, never making himself known to me again.

I got up, straightening my skirt, settling my feet firmly into my boots, and began to walk toward others, finding three or four to my liking. I made my own rounds between them…once, twice, three times before going back to the spot I’d chosen on the hillock, settling in and releasing my voice for a time. I went back to the people I’d found interesting, sitting down to face each one and interjecting my reply to what they’d shared.

They, like me (with the young man who’d first spoken directly to me) before them, didn’t realize I’d even been listening until I’d addressed their stories directly. They then became aware of me when I acknowledged my awareness of them. Some were as startled I had been. Still others received me as if they’d known I was there all along, they just didn’t know when I’d turn up or what I’d look like when I finally got there.

And so days went on, and there were interactions with a handful more, some dressed more thickly than others according to their own perceptions of the elements. There were those that shed layers after a time, though a very few did reflect the appearance of being more tightly- and thickly-wound with covering.

People trickled into the meadow, happening upon it just as I had. A relative few came in seeking specific individuals, and those they sought found them, leading them in and assisting in the search for an acceptable spot on which to acclimate themselves. And without even realizing it, all of us there in the meadow were a community, speaking and reaching out and interacting with one another once our individual presences were made known.

It happened that I came to the knowledge of people being tuned in to certain nuances of my tone and timbre in their own fashions; what one person heard in my story fell completely away from another. Nobody heard what I had to say in exactly the same way, so the things they would bounce back to me in response varied according to what it was they heard with their distinct flavor of listening. This amazed me.

But nothing amazed me so much as when someone first brushed their fingers across mine, or met my gaze for more than a stilted moment, or grabbed my elbow in fevered emphasis, or touched my hair. Sighs became somewhat personal, you know? And here we were, on my patch of meadow or theirs, laughing and fussing and giving a shit.

We made too much noise, maybe. From time to time I’d look up, look around, to see that the place was host to more people. It was okay, I was okay with it. Then there was what could be considered a crowd; our loose togetherness was seemingly a thing of the past as the gathering of Us became larger and more tightly compacted in the beautiful alien meadow.

And there are people that trample and people that piss on the vegetation and people that antagonize others and people that sit, in the fashion of old, still reciting their stories, only now it is like whispering into a hurricane: “How will I ever be heard in a way that matters, in all this?” It’s sometimes harder to get to those people whose stories resonate with me, so ringed with idiots are they. The idiots are drowning out the soulful voices, it seems.

That is what voyeurnalling is now akin to, perhaps.

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

I climbed the highest peak / And watched the sky all swathed in pink / You were there and not there too / A canopy of night on you / And thinking only of myself / I turned to go, I turned and left / If only to take it back / If only to take it back / If only to take you back, home

// Liz Durrett, ‘Lost Hiker’

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

Though I’ve experienced the pleasure of being part of relationships based on genuine mutual admiration via this medium, nothing compares to those that draw on true intimacy, the givings and takings of shared heartaches and deeply inside jokes presenting themselves as tidy metaphors. I have even been part of what could possibly be described as the digital equivalent of a long, slow kiss that ended sharply, drawing blood. The blood stopped, but still I absently find the slightly keloid place on my bottom lip, subconsciously, with the very tip of my tongue.

Smoothly grotesque. Hmph, and I’ve always been such a good healer.

As it stands now, my heart is somewhat seized up; my internal dialog appears to be deepening. Though this is not especially uncomfortable, it is a bit strangling to me though I seem to have no desire to rectify this at present. I fear that one day I’ll wake up to find myself a graphomaniacal mess because the place where I’ve kept the words –all the delicious, loaded words– has been burst open by the sheer force of their prehensile will. I would have no other choice in such a circumstance but to let them come screaming out of my pens, attaching themselves sloppily to whatever precipice would give them purchase.

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

This town is like a stranger tonight; there are comings and goings around my normally peaceful neighborhood. There are sirens and car doors slamming and the overall feeling of the kind of uneasiness that I can’t quite quantify.

I wonder after the day I will awake to see the skies on fire, me struck dumb with the knowledge that I knew all along one day that would happen.

|| April 22, 2009 || 12:31 am || Comments (1) ||


Everyone needs a best friend who tells stories that include sentences like, “I was on what was probably my twenty-seventh Dixie cup of hunch punch…”

True story.

Tess' badass driving specs.
:: tess’ badass driving specs ::

Also a true story: Tess is a massage therapist. She throws down in session, hence my dubbing her ’shovelthumbs’ the first time she ever worked on me. Last Friday, she broke a bone in her wrist due to her propensity (one we share, hmmm) to talk with her hands. Well, it was a glorified crack, really, but a crack that means business while meaning a marked loss of business for at least the next couple of weeks.

In the past she has made me Laugh Unto Peeing Myself by loudly exclaiming a pat phrase when near-misses occur with her fingers, hands or arms. Thus, my greatest selfish disappointment with regard to the whole wristbreakage thing is that she got a strappy polyester splint rather than a hard cast. A hard cast, after all, would have enabled me to quote her via my favorite writing implement, the time-honored and esteemed Sharpie marker:


|| April 14, 2009 || 10:25 pm || Comments (4) ||


Maxim, for the most part, generally crows his affection for my dorkitude. Tonight, however, he startled me.

My mother raised me on Star Trek; I raised Sam on The Next Generation. When he was all of three he’d put on his Data visor (an old banana clip of mine I’d glued shut and painted gold) in order to get ready to snuggle down into a floor pillow with me so we could watch ‘Space Da Fimal’. Last year he was overjoyed when I presented him, on his sixteenth birthday, with the fantastically awesome Tricorder he’d wagged around for two years as a small child. It was supplanted as Toy Most Fierce by an exquisite replica of the Batman cowl that I’d lucked into picking up for practically a song.

Tonight over dinner Samuel asked me if I’d seen the Star Trek trailer yet and all I had time to say was, “OMGBBQ heckyeah looksawesome, huh?” when Maxim cleared his throat and said calmly, “I will pay for every member of this family to go see it if I don’t have to hear another word about it either before or after you’ve seen it.”

Ohhhh, guts. But then my initial reaction evaporated, because who doesn’t love a free movie when you get to see it at a joint like the Monaco, where they not only actively encourage the imbibing of spirits during your cinematic experience, but will sell them to you as well?

I mean, not that I’ll get to booze or lounge it up with children in tow; that is in bad form and I’m pretty sure it’s also illegal to put a moustache on your ten-year-old while requiring that he drop his voice a couple of octaves. The courts might give me a pass on doing this with the seventeen- and fifteen-year-olds (because, Hellabama, helloooo?), but I’m fair sure they’d kind of smack me around and maybe send me to Mr. County Jail to think long and hard about what I’d done if I pulled that stunt with Mathias.

So there is a moratorium on talking about (the really fucking sexy-appearing updated version of) Star Trek in Maxim’s presence, but I held out for two major concessions before I agreed to his specific gag order: He’s paying for dinner or lunch beforehand and he’ll give us money for actual snacks purchased in the actual lobby of the actual theater so that I don’t have to carry a gankin’ bag and smuggle in boxes of Junior Mints and bags of Twizzlers purchased from the dollar store.

“Done deal, daddy,” I grinned at him when he agreed to my counter-offer, “I’m all over that.”

|| April 14, 2009 || 1:54 am || Comments (4) ||


I know that it is probably terribly environmentally unfriendly, but my very favorite adhesive is Omni-Stick. It withstands temperatures of up to two-hundred and seventy-five degrees, you people!

Also, I have as of late become a bed-maker-upper. Used to be, I was religious with the clean sheets but not much on unrumpling them, tightly stretching-cornering-tucking and throwing our ridiculously fancy comforter (who do we think we are, anyway?) and a mountain of amazing pillows on top of them on a daily basis. The past few weeks have uncovered my latent passions for an stunningly turned-out bed; apparently all this energy has pulled focus off of my blog. Whoops.

I have been withholding all sorts of catastrophic informations from you: A tree fell into my house (there are pictures! and great gobs of humor!), my estranged father is suddenly and startlingly All Up In My Grill, I won three dollars courtesy of the Georgia lottery, in Amish country they won’t even let you take a picture of their chickens (for fucksakes!), for the first time Ever In My Life a new tattoo scabbed and peeled and drove me crazy with the itch of it all. It’s (they’re, really…) not done being all new-tat gross and that’s why no pictures yet. Yet.

Stories –after all of our carefully-spent time together lo these many years– that I have yet to tell you include the one where my best friend from high school lived her life in a beautiful, philanthropic fashion but died at age thirty-three from skin cancer, the one where my ex-husband once abducted my children and I spent every minute without them near absolute madness, the one where I spent an entire (and grossly humid) summer terrified that the Son of Sam was coming for me (never mind that I lived in Arkansas at the time, and not in Brooklyn, where this would have made some sense), the one about how my cast-iron heart got broken in the most ludicrous of ways while trying to take my will with it and the one where my Aunt Fran wrote this amazing book with a theological bent that went unpublished because every print house it was shopped to regarded it with a businesslike sort of abject terror.

I guess you know by now that, given time enough, I will get around to the more delicate tales. Thank you for your patience while they find their legs and I chase shiny things of moderate consequence.

pee ess….Tess and I hosted an impromptu Easter egg hunt in Hobby Lobby last Friday. You should have been there, all yelling “WARMER, YOU’RE GETTING WARRRR-MERRRRR!” with us. Said yellings were of course directed at the very awesome cadre of staff who chose to get in on our funs. But then, why wouldn’t they? We gave prizes.

|| April 3, 2009 || 11:43 pm || Comments (5) ||

all that swagger don’t cover the limp, fool

Winter apparently wants to keep her claws dug into this mountain. The mountain is fighting back for all it’s worth, though: The dogwoods are in ferocious and promising bloom.

“It’s not my winter anymore. Take it back.” That is what I said this morning. Out loud, standing in the middle of my overpriveleged closet.

Said, of course, because I now choose to believe the dogwoods rather than this faux winter that’s been spun for me without my active consent. I now –tardily– choose actively rather than receive passively. Take it back. It doesn’t belong to me, this winter, and I don’t know why I allowed myself to be made to think it did. Foolishness.

My body has been keeping the wrong time zone’s hours again. I have met this with less agonized consternation and more productive calm this time around. I’m learning, whether the fuck you are or not. The nicotine thing is harder to deal with, but overall I’m doing a sporting job of it.

I bought new watches this week; I’m armed and ready for it all, every bit of it.