letting go….

on screen ninja fights
zombies swords flash save the world…
meanwhile, life wasted

i’ve been spending my day sorting through files & files of stories. some are just a couple of words, an idea. some are complete & surprisingly well written stories. i have found that a lot of my stories have a similar voice. i am taking those snippets and adding them to a novel i am working on with the same voice.
threading it all together.
i am also posting some of them over on my patreon site & considering some for possible publication?
this haiku was in the middle of a file full of short stories/flash fiction i had written back in a time i used to submit to the site Helium all the time.

i am pretty sure it is about my ex-husband & my feelings about his video game addiction.
pretty sure.
& this was not the only written piece i found obsessing about my ex-husband & the wrongs he did to me.

which brings me to my tarot card reading for the beltane new moon. a lot of good stuff in this reading.
but the bad stuff…not letting go. the moon crossing me warns about it…so does the card in my “near future” position of the spread.
so i wonder. what is it that i am not letting go of? all i can think of is this anger i still have toward my ex-husband.
how do i let go?
i truly want to.

some time later…

okay, so! i was quietly obsessing about all the stuff i should be doing here at my mom’s house as squatter/care-taker, when i thought, “maybe that’s it…maybe i am stuck here–actually stuck at this place.” worrying about the lawn, the wet basement, and then reminding myself, “it’s not my goddamned property, monkey-boy!” (buckaroo banzai)…. my mom called me the other day about the basement & spent the entire call bitching about my sister who is trying her best to care for my mom. my mom said, “she was never my favorite.”
what the fuck, mom?
she also bitched about dad dying & leaving her to deal with this house & property that she wanted to sell years ago. i kind of agree that that was a shitty thing to do.
the next day, as i was attempting to meditate (meditation is surprisingly difficult for my loud brain to do,) my phone rang with “pure evil” coming up on the screen. so i kept on trying to meditate, but got a sick feeling in my stomach. my mom left a message, but before i could check the message, i checked my email where my sister (or brother-in-law as they share an email) emailed me to say, “don’t answer the phone!”
so i deleted the message from my mom without listening to it.

long story short, my mom doesn’t give a rat’s ass about me & i know damn well that i was never her favorite either.
she only calls me on occasion when no one else will listen to her.
so why am i stressing out trying to care for a place that is not mine for a woman who can’t stand me?
i am free to leave.
but it’s not easy leaving a place where i don’t have to worry about rent & utilities & keeping a roof over my four minions’ heads….
have i sold my soul for a free place to live? it kind of feels that way.
it kind of feels like that scene in labyrinth where sarah is in her “bedroom” & has forgotten her quest because she is surrounded by superficially comforting “things.”
or, as i wrote a couple days ago, it feels like “hotel california.”
i have often compared this experience to the shining as well….
and there in my tarot spread, you can see. i am stuck in “opposition” while change is my conflict card.

change should not be a conflict for me. i love change.

so i have chosen a third town as a possible new home. i was going to road trip there tomorrow, but the forecast calls for storms & rain today & the two days after.
i am stuck.
the basement might flood again if i am not here.
but how long can this go on?
i tried to mow the lawn today, and the mower died. am i going to hire someone to repair it? or someone to mow these acres of grass?
or am i just going to walk away?

i want to just walk away.
i really truly do.
so why do i feel so stuck?

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hotel california

the drone of the fans
in the basement
will hopefully help me sleep
’cause last night
i was awake
or fitfully sleeping
twisting & turning
as water
crept & dripped into my basement
gallons of water
absorbed into
powder
fucking
blue
carpet…
i used to call this place
bullfrog song
now i call it
hotel california
i just want to be
anywhere
but
here
but road trips detoured
by leaky
basements….

i was totally going to go to iowa & look for a place to live. however! water coming in through a wall dumping gallons onto the floor despite the floor drain just feet away….
this place is a fucking nightmare.
& my mom is pissed that my dad died first & left her to deal with it.
& i’m pissed that i got tricked into living here by siblings that wanted to live footloose & fancy free far away from familial home….
added to my list of things i never wanted to do alone: deal with a flooded basement.

i am brain dead.
all i can do is watch ryan renolds movies, drink beer, & wander to the basement on occasion to bail out this sinking ship….

fuck me.

happy birthday, big brother

today my brother mike would be 55. he died 10 years ago on december 19th. this photograph is from the last time he & i & the rest of us were all together in one place…my wedding.  thinking about him, i started this memoir….

the six of us assumed we were blessed for the mere fact that we survived our childhood.
survived our father passing out at the wheel.
survived drunk motorcycle rides with dad.
survived our father sending us into precarious places to do dangerous chores.
survived our father, drunk, angry, & armed.
survived family adventures. camping. hiking on natural bridges…up to starved rocks…into mammoth caves…all though the grand canyon. 
survived water skiing behind jet engined motor boats.
survived a back yard pond with a homemade diving board in the summer and ice skates in the winter.
survived snow mobiles, three wheelers, four wheelers, chainsaws, log-splitters, tractors, riding on running boards, riding on trailers, riding in the beds of pick up trucks.
survived no baby seats. no seat belts. cars driving fast down country roads so you can catch that stomach dropping hill just right.

six almost died when he had a head on collision with a gravel truck while riding his four wheeler around that one blind corner of the gravel pit. but six was the only one of us to wear a helmet (pants & shoes as well!) the helmet did not survive. six had a broken jaw, broken cheek bone, his femur snapped in half.
but he survived.
which was further proof that we were blessed.

one died when he was 45, and his death shattered all of us. it was beyond comprehension that he could really truly be gone.

some of us were quick to go numb. go into denial. some of us threw ourselves into the mystery, the drama of his death. some of us searched for someone to blame…anyone to blame.

i had talked to him on  his birthday just 19 days earlier. he sounded sad. stressed out. we had so much family drama happening as well as the drama he kept hidden from us. his one consolation was that he had gotten a red velvet cake for his birthday. his family left for a ski trip, but they had baked him a red velvet cake first. 
the same cake that two always got on her birthday when we were growing up because two’s birthday is just before valentine’s day. 
all these years one had been coveting two’s cake just like i had always coveted five’s cake. she got devil’s food every year while i was stuck with angel food–because i was “the good one.”

one finally got his cake. and then he died. and his wife and four kids would have to forever feel like shits for going on a ski trip on his last birthday….

my favorite way to make fun of one was to mimic our phone conversations. “so what else is new?” he would ask incessantly making me scramble for newsworthy tidbits to tell him.

i was on the phone with two around the time one’s plane crashed down. i was making fun of one again. i had just gotten his yearly–& much anticipated–christmas newsletter.
a newsletter so crisp & professional as it was designed & produced by a proclaimed “web guru.” yeah, my brother. 
between the smatterings of “keep christ in christmas” & photos of his beautiful children doing all the things beautiful children with money get to do were articles lamenting the newly elected president and calling for strength & endurance for this upcoming apocalypse of a democrat in the white house. 
thanks to the thorough brain-washing of my completely insane & devoutly catholic mother, one literally feared the evil baby-killing agenda of the left wing.
to me, a self-proclaimed anarchist, one’s christmas newsletter was hysterical in every sense of the word.
so i ranted about this to my sister as one died…for his beliefs. 

so this is the beginning. i hope to write more. another work in progress. hang onto your butts.

ps! if you want to support my art & writings…contribute to my getting microsoft word again so i can edit my stories…buy notebooks…journals…ink & paper…you can do this (and more!) by clicking here

INKtober thirteenth

i hope
i want you
for healthy reasons
i hope
i have
grown
& am ready
to embrace
the ups & downs of a grown up
relationship
i fear
i want you
for unhealthy reasons
like
you almost destroyed me
once
before
maybe you can
finish me off
this time
i suspect
i want you
due to a gypsy’s
curse
how else
could my heart
swing
so suddenly
with every ounce of energy
it has
in your
direction
from out of nowhere
i fall in love
with
the
desperation
of someone searching for
post-apocalyptic
doritos.

INKtober ninth

you’re sort of perfect
you’re sometimes
perfect
sometimes
just right
for me
sometimes
the worst thing ever
the thing that
tore me apart
turned me
inside
out
&
into someone
i no longer
recognized…
you’re sort of the devil
you’re sometimes
the devil
sometimes
the end of me
sometimes
my favorite family
&
my best
friend
being there for me
when
i
least
expect it
an every morning
coffee date
the warmest hug
in the whole
wide
world.

so many conflicting feelings as i sludge through whatever this is going on. i mean, i keep falling back in love with him. what happens next…i invite him into my life…everything is groovy…& then things go horribly wrong.
but what exactly happens?
is it him…me…the two of us together in one life boat?

also…i could not think of how to draw me. i was stumped. so i just drew, and this is what happened.

i dunno.

revolving door

i’m ruined
every time i see you
i’m ruined
how are you still able to break my heart?
how are you still able to make it beat faster?
i’m ruined
every
time
i
see
you
it sucks
so fucking hard
to realize
i still love you
i’m ruined
i have let you go
so many times now
i have become a revolving door for you
leaving me
ruined.

another page inspired by seeing dusty and having to fight the desperate longing for him that i thought i had managed to kill.
fucking dusty.

 

misha’s birth day

i know another reason why i’m feeling warm & fuzzy towards dusty right now. when we were married, i surmised that if we were ever trapped somewhere, dependent on working together to get to safety, we would die.

my observation was true of every time i needed him to be there for me.
except one…misha’s birth.

misha is my third child. my first two were c-sectioned because my body likes to take more than 42 weeks to perfect a baby–& doctors do not like to let a woman go much past 40.
so, twice, i let them cut the baby out of me because they said that it was for the best.
when i got pregnant with misha, i could not bear the thought of another c-section.
so i fired all the doctors.
problem was, none of the midwives in madison would support my birth because i had been deemed too risky.
i had never had a vaginal birth. i was 40 years old & prone to long pregnancies. these were my crimes.
misha is the one who suffered for  them.
i found an outlaw midwife who lived one state over & would travel to me when i went into labor.
second problem…i didn’t know what labor looked like because doctors had never let me get that far.
by the time i was certain i was in labor–& not wasting the midwife’s time–misha was on her way out.
she came out fast. relentlessly fast. none of the stages of labor i had read up on were observed by misha as she rocketed out of me.
there was one doula present and dusty.
we were in a kiddie tub on the fourth floor of a 30 person cooperative.
when misha was born, she was having trouble breathing. she probably just needed a few puffs of air to get her going, but none of us knew what to do. by the time the mom down the hall called her midwife to come help, misha was showing signs of seizure.
the paramedics took her away.
the NICU kept her for 12 days.
they told dusty & me, best case scenario: misha has coordination issues & learning disabilities.
worst case scenario: cerebral palsy or epilepsy
i cried so hard as they said that. my heart broke. it was all my fault. if i had just been unselfish enough to get the fucking surgery…to have another fucking c-section…misha would have been fine.
i waited for dusty to blame me. he blamed me for everything. it was always my fault.
this time he would be right.
except
he didn’t blame me. he told me it wasn’t my fault. he zoomed me around the hospital in my wheeled chair–being silly & sweet–as i was still too wrecked to walk much after the birth. he watched the boys while i kept vigil at her side. he came to be with her when i was forced to go home & sleep.
he took care of us.
he was there for me.
seven years later, just as i would remember & be traumatized by a bad event, the good things that happened feel as fresh as yesterday.
and i miss that version of dusty.

(in the NICU…& one year later when the neurologist said, “oh…nevermind.”)

don’t be sweet

please don’t be sweet
i can’t
bear it
with your playful eyes
if you are sweet…
it is so much easier
to hate you
i only want to
hate you
i cannot afford to
love you
to fall back into that
easy rhythm
of us
that close to
destroyed me
so please
don’t be sweet
with your seductive eyes
so sweet that i
remember
all the good times
burying
the bad times
reaching out
to touch you
knowing
if i do
i will be caught in a cascade…
i’m begging you
please
don’t
be
sweet.

so i had an on-again/off-again relationship with the father of my children that lasted close to forever & almost killed me.
it took me so many times of trying to leave him…& so many years to recover from his influence on me.
he is emotionally abusive, manipulative, & narcissistic.
but, apparently, i love him?
what the fuck.
most days i would not admit that. most days i would have a clear & close hold on to all the bullshit he put me through in the years i have known him. a shield made of bad memories.
but i saw him on tuesday…
& he was all sweet & silly.
he was dressed so strangely. unorthodox. which, of course, caused me to find him attractive. i mean, he is attractive–physically. when i met him he was kind of awkward & goofy, but as he aged he became gorgeous. so when a gorgeous man dresses in an unorthodox way–it has kind of a stunning effect…at least on me.
crap.
so now i am trying to hold it together.
to not do anything
slippery.

don’t tell…the last page?

have i finally exorcised this fucking ghost?

i hope so. i am tired of holding a torch that just burns the fuck out of my fingers. i want to move on and stop wondering which thing that i did wrong was the thing that drove him away.

fuck it.

it needs editing & more substance, etc. but the rough draft is available entirely for reading over at medium.

let me know if you have any suggestions for work that needs to be done on it. i am still pretty close to the story–i was crying as i wrote this last page. but i think in writing it, i am working out a lot of the bullshit that i was holding onto and calling love.
yay.

the journal page is from 1995 when seymour & i lived in austin, tx with peacocks on our front lawn .

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