don’t go

as soon as i graduated high school, i started leaving people. the week i graduated, i packed a bag and left behind all the people who i figured didn’t care anyway. who would be sad to see me go? it was not something that ever occurred to me would happen much less was it something i would worry about. 

four years later i did it again. i left behind everyone i knew without a second thought. i mean, i wrote down their addresses (it was the nineties) and later checked on them in social media when that became a thing, but i once again left assuming no one would miss me.

i don’t even know how many times i did it throughout the nineties and into the next century. i would pack up a car with all my stuff and maybe a dog or two and just take off. to kentucky. to georgia. to texas. to colorado. to illinois. and finally to wisconsin. i would write down addresses and phone numbers and have some drinks and. just. go. 

no second thoughts. these boots are made for walking. born to run. i didn’t believe i had made an impact or that there would be any tears shed. i just went forward, no looking back.

i landed in viroqua by accident even though she lived there. i met her while i was in madison and she was visiting. i must’ve given her my phone number because she kept in touch after she went back to chicago. she kept in touch as i went from madison to manitowoc to illinois. she would call me up and i would listen to her rants while wondering why she was calling me.

i never really trusted her.

i never really trusted anyone who seemed to like me.

to paraphrase groucho marx, it was difficult for me to trust any club that would have me as a member. 

then i got kicked out of illinois and needed a new place to land. 

i tried to go anywhere but viroqua.

i’m not sure why i had such a block against living near her, but i did. maybe i was afraid of commitment. maybe i still wondered what she wanted from me. maybe i just did not understand what friendship was and dreaded swimming in those treacherous waters.

but fate intervened, and i landed in viroqua.

where i became a reluctant friend.

i kept pushing her away. even though we spent so much time together that we joked we were a blended family, i was often phoning in my friendship. i kept a laundry list of why i didn’t want to be friends with her. i kept score of all the mistakes she made while i reluctantly admitted ways she was there for me. i seemed to delight in any new evidence to prove to myself that she was a lousy friend. i couldn’t wait for the day that she tired of viroqua and moved away. like me, she didn’t seem to stay put. unlike me, she didn’t want to make small town wisconsin her home. it was only a matter of time before she left me in peace.

then the scales tipped and i finally had definitive proof that she was a terrible friend. i could justify not only pushing her away, but shoving her—hard—and closing the door behind her.

by the time i decided to give her another chance, she had moved on. she had left me for someone else. not just a new friend, but a boyfriend—one whom i had not lost any love for. the chasm between us grew deeper and longer.

she and the detestable boyfriend started planning to move away from viroqua, and i was all, “good riddance.”

for many years i have been working on healing my damage. this involves, surprise, letting people matter to me. letting people into my heart. 

it’s not easy. it’s not like i can just set my heart out to thaw in the warm sunshine. 

it’s more like i take my heart out of the freezer, then i start to worry about bacteria and spoiled meat, and what happens if no one is in the mood for heart? so i put it back in the freezer. 

it’s been a long process. 

despite my fears, my heart has begun to thaw. so now all of a sudden i realize i do want a friend. so now all of a sudden i realize i do love her and value her.

i didn’t think she’d really go.

then she dropped on me, casually, that the house closing is not even two weeks away.

the house closing.

on the house she and the despicable boyfriend bought.

like my dog who got hit by a car right after i learned to love him…she bought a house three states away just when i realized i was able to let a friend into my heart.

just when i admitted to myself that i don’t want her to go.

my newly thawed heart broke. 

i guess i should have seen that coming. after so many times of half-assedly thawing it before throwing it back in the freezer, how strong could it be? turns out it’s pretty easy to break a damaged heart.

it’s not like in the movies where i can just admit that i need her and that i don’t her to go…and she stays.

it’s not like she will change her mind and come back to me just because i have realized that i don’t want to lose her. just because i have realized how much she means to me. 

she’s not going to leave the deplorable boyfriend at a rest area and run into my arms.

i’m alone again. broken-hearted despite years of trying not to get my heart broken.

isn’t it ironic.

up top: “follow your song” 9X12 mixed media on watercolor paper…$75

it’s in the cards

i kinda feel like i’m crawling out
of a hole
i buried myself in a few years
i kinda feel like i’m waking up
from a long

i signed up to read, have a table, & display art at viroqua’s ridges to rivers book festival. whoa. just like that. i didn’t think twice. it’s like i believe in myself? crazy.
realizing i would have a table, i was all like–i better make some business cards!
so i started inking out messages from the universe…& some contact information from me.

no…i wear the black hat

my response to chuck klosterman’s book i wear the black hat

am i trying to be a villain or is it just that i really don’t give a fuck?

should i try harder to be the villain? 

at best, i am unlikable. maybe i should go for the gold and become loathsome? 

i have always wondered if my art and writings would gather a larger audience if i were notorious. infamous. maybe i just need to try harder at being a villain. 

why am i unlikable? is it my go fuck yourself attitude? i know i’m not physically unattractive. i have even been called beautiful on occasion. however, i don’t follow the conventional rules for beauty. i don’t wear makeup. i rarely comb my hair. i often shave my head. piercings and tattoos and a wardrobe mostly made up of black. boots instead of shoes. my uniform does not encourage positive attention. it tells the world i just don’t give a fuck.

should i just go ahead and don the black hat?

i often tell myself i’m not doing enough to be a good person. so then i go out and do something like…foster a puppy. i thought, i have experience with fostering animals and am an experienced dog trainer. i should give back to society by fostering a dog. 

and seemingly without a second thought, i found a puppy living in my house.

and then i started to slowly lose my mind.

i don’t like taking care of things. anything. my first boyfriend, while laying in a fetal position on the floor, was like, “would you take care of me if i had polio?” and i was all like, “no!!”

i don’t like taking care of things.

yet i think i am supposed to take care of things. because i am a woman? because i am supposed to be nurturing? because i want to make the world a better place? because that’s what good people do?

periodically through my life i would quit my easy restaurant job (that allowed me brain space to still write and do art) to take a caretaking job. nursing home, daycare, homeless shelter, humane society, etc.

and each time i would burn out. i am empathetic to a fault. i care too much, if that is a thing. so caretaking leaves me drained. compassion fatigue, they call it. i become dead on the inside because i have drowned in my own empathy. 

that’s not a thing, you might say…but it is the best way for me to explain why i cannot be a caretaker.

i probably never should have had kids.

but i do have kids and taking care of them and taking care of me is all i can do. 
so why do i keep telling myself i should be doing more? why do i do something like apply to foster dogs when i am already at the very limit of my very limited caretaking ability?

do i really think it makes me a better person?

it does not. i become horrible and brittle. angry and reactive. 

how many times a day do i threaten to strangle the puppy. sure, he can’t understand english, but how much is my negative energy harming him? my inability to cuddle and pet him because i just want to throw him out a window? 

i would not throw him out a window. 

i know this about myself. as horrible as i am, the little voices are just that. voices. they have no control. i just listen to them to the extent of imagining what it would be like to give in to them.

but then i tell myself to knock it that fuck off, and i feed the puppy and try to talk to him in a nice voice.

i heard myself tell an acquaintance in a pubic market that i wanted to strangle the puppy. i thought, oh, maybe i shouldn’t say that out loud, but then i realized i didn’t care what anyone might thing of me.

i’m not going to strangle the puppy. 

i’m just frustrated.

frustrated with the dog rescue that offers no support, dropping off a puppy without any resources.

frustrated with myself for once again taking on more than i am capable of doing. yes, physically i can care for a puppy…but mentally and emotionally? nope. too much.

i need to stop trying to prove to myself and the world that i am a good person.

i need to admit that i am not nurturing.

i am not a caretaker.

but does this make me a villain? 

chuck klosterman said that a villain knows but doesn’t care.
except hitler who cared but didn’t know? (i’m still not clear on that one.)

i know…and i care…but i’m all out of fucks to give.

giving a fuck would surely destroy me.

and that’s probably what makes me a villain.

up top: “roadtrip to oz” 9X12 mixed media on watercolor paper…$75

raining cats & dogs

i haven’t been feeling like drawing
so i haven’t been drawing
as i try to honor when i just need to
but soon it will once more
be raining cats & dogs

up top: “the end of the day” 6X6 mixed media on watercolor paper…$35

what it is to be quixotic

ever since i realized i no longer identify as an invisible exhibitionist
i have wondered what else about me has changed
am i still quixotic?
a quick search reports quixotic as meaning: extremely idealistic; unrealistic and impractical. 
i always tell people it means “delusionally hopeful”
i even gave my fourth son
who came into my life by accident, not planning
the middle name “quixotic”
because i thought “serendipitous” would be too obvious
going through with a fourth pregnancy when dirt poor
in an abusive relationship
& struggling with motherhood,
felt hopeful in a delusional way….
& i guess unrealistic & impractical…
but is that bad? it sounds bad
maybe i should re-think my quixotic ways?
i thought about changing the name of this website/blog to something less quixotic
but i am pretty sure
that even on my deathbed
i will be dreaming of ways to really fuck those windmills up….

more messages from the universe in process:

up top: “don quixote rides again” 8X8 mixed media on watercolor paper…$55

gone so wrong

so i tried to do a manifestation spell the other day…
but it kinda blew up in my face
as spells are apt to do with me
when people ask if i am a good witch or a bad witch,
i tell them i am a mediocre witch
the spell went wrong but also right?
instead of drawing the object of my affection to me,
it severed my bond to him
lots of farting & crying resulted on my end (from my end?)
apparently backfired spells can cause some righteous backfiring…
but i woke up the next morning feeling much

meanwhile, more strange & whimsical art from me & my inkstains….

up top: “hands off my poppet” 9X12 mixed media on watercolor paper….$75
above left: “follow me home” 6X6 mixed media on watercolor paper…$35
above right: “jesus, tom!” 8X8 mixed media on watercolor paper…$55

time to get serious…

i am quitting
reading fiction
for the time being in order to focus on
writing fiction
like turn the music up loud and wait for inspiration
much like i am doing with my art lately
so let’s see what happens….

i am still reading non-fiction
currently: genghis khan and the quest for god (highly recommend)
which may have inspired
“he came from humble beginnings”. 6X6 mixed media on watercolor paper…$35

also hot off the watercolor pad
“fisher cat ate all my sardines” 8X8 mixed media on watercolor paper…$55

up top is one of my new favorites
“sure she was funny…but was that enough?” 9X12 mixed media on watercolor paper…$75

this is why i don’t do drugs

my brain is a weird enough place when i’m straight….

these are all, again, ink stained paper that i then stare at until i find an image/story.

uptop: “i had the craziest dream last night” 6X6 charcoal pencil & soft pastels on watercolor paper…$35

top left: “mama told me not to come” 9X12 charcoal pencil, soft pastel, & ink on watercolor paper…$75

top middle: “love’s burden” 6X6 charcoal pencil & soft pastel on watercolor paper…$35

top right: “finding my song” 6X6 charcoal pencil & soft pastel on watercolor paper…$35

bottom: “mansplaining my uterus” 8X8 charcoal pencil & soft pastel on watercolor paper…$55

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