Saturday, December 29, 2012

So that we could swim in the pool

We rented a hotel room so that we could swim in the pool. I am very much a water person.

When I read Lidia Yuknavitch's The Chronology of Water, I felt like something.  There are people who are just swimmers.

Me.  I turn into a kid, back flipping and somersaulting and yelling to Kurt at the other end, "Watch!  I'm about to shave 3 seconds off of my freestyle." 

Also, I understand Bill Murray at the bottom of the pool in Rushmore.  All I am is silence and pressure.  It is everything there is to me.

I've always wanted to be a whale.  When I climb the rickety aluminum ladder, I weigh so much my limbs strain and bend like green branches.  I hate the feeling, coming back to the cold air and gravity.

I feel like an animal in the water. Something happy, like an otter.

I floated on my back, this evening, as the sky turned black through the greenhouse paneled ceiling.  The pool lights came on and I could see myself, the shape of my body in the water reflected in the glass above me.  I looked lonely and immaculate, like a creation worth noting.  I felt like a solid thing, one that floats.

Sometimes I feel like no one is happy, in all of the world, and that it is impossible.

I like to imagine that I wasn't born sad, but I can't remember a time where I wasn't worried.  I've started seeing a therapist, again, even though therapists never tell me anything I haven't already made up and figured out on my own.  They tell me to practice breathing, to try yoga.

The new one, he said to me, "Have you been feeling depressed?"

"I don't know," I told him.  "I guess not.  I haven't been feeling anything particularly different than usual."

"Do you feel sad or hopeless?" he asked.

"I don't know," I said.  "Maybe not.  Not particularly."

"Are you experiencing a loss of interest in enjoyable things?" he asked.

"I never had any," I said.

"Any what?" he asked.

"Interest."

As a child, I was lonely and terrible and a liar. My hair was knotted and my handed down clothing all pulled at the sleeves and rode up in the crotch.

As a teenager, I spent hours crying on the floor of my bedroom, a cross of anointment oil smeared across the outside of my door.  Giving myself over to sadness.

As a young adult, I was falling down wasted all the time.  There is a lot I could say about this time of my life.  Let me just acknowledge that, and then allow for silence to speak the rest.  There is a lot, I'll say; and here is where the silence moves in like a heavy fog.

Now, I wake up in the morning and make breakfast.  I brush the baby's teeth.  I struggle boots onto my daughters' little feet.  I forget where I put my keys.  I make lunch.  I say, "Put your hood up, love; it's cold outside."  I make time to quickly scrub my face.  I answer letters from people I'll never meet.  I drive our little car through the snow.  I hug my babies, pick out their clothing, read to them.  My 5 year old reads to me.  I don't give myself over to anything.

Evenings can be bad.  The babies go to bed and I realize I'm tired at the bottom of a deep, dry well.

I love my children, that much makes it out of me.  The rest of me is blue silence and pressure.

Sometimes, in the summer time, I take long hikes into the woods.  I go swimming.

The truth is that I am afraid of winter.  I'm restricted in heavy clothing, wrapped in wool and all of my buttons are straining. I stare out of windows.  I take sleeping pills.  I feel a million miles away from everything. 

I think sometimes that I just need a soft coat that fits me.

I think that maybe I've always been depressed.  I don't know the difference.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Optimism and stupidity and bravery and love

photo by lovefrontporch.com

If you can't have children, or don't want to... or if you have children and find that you still have arms that can hold, if you're anyone, the least you can do is to dedicate your life in service to children.

My friend showed me this.  It's an article about the science behind optimism, about moving forward from here.  It says that optimists are usually wrong, things don't usually get better.  It also says that things will never get better without optimism.

Being optimistic, even though it might be stupid and you might become disappointed in the end, believing that things can be different, can be better, is the only way to change today.  It is the only way to have even a tiny chance of things turning out differently tomorrow.

A tiny chance, and a lot of belief and love and creation.  A tiny chance that you might be brilliant, that the world might be a good place, that life might be worth it.  That's all you have.  Just the tiniest speck of of a chance curled into your palm and you're so scared and it's okay.

Saying that you don't like children is the same thing as announcing that you are afraid.

Children are the only people who believe that things will be beautiful, and so, for them, (unless we take it away from them by hurting them or modeling something different or squashing it out of them), everything is beautiful.

Another amazing friend showed me Love Front Porch.  It is the embodiment of optimism, and of serving the holiness of children.

Be who you are, please.  Be an artist, be lonely, be inappropriate.  Say fuck.  Get laid.  Go for your liver biopsy, finger the scars on your arms.  Wear eyeliner and curl your upper lip.  Don't be a school teacher, if you don't want to.  Don't make a bunch of puppets and a world for the puppets and crouch behind a paper mache, purple and blue castle.  Don't watch cartoons, if you don't want to.  Don't be wholesome.  Be who you are, and dedicate your every talent, your unique creativity, your love and your life to children.

You are a grown up.  You don't believe in love, anymore.  You are afraid of the world.  You can't create optimism.  You've gone too far and seen too much. 

Children believe in the future, because they don't know that, chances are, things will be sad and hard and awful.  They don't know that believing in something usually doesn't pan out, in the end.  They believe in things.  It is the essence of who they are, as people.  Children believe in the things we can't.

So.

Be as dirty as you are and keep a belief in the tiny chance that things will be okay, alive.

Be who you are; be a loser and a thief and a failure, and keep a belief in the so very tiny and probably wrong and it won't happen anyway, it's so stupid to even acknowledge it because only a child would believe that things could change, that things could be better... chance that life is beautiful, alive.

Don't be a mom, I don't care.  Don't teach preschool.  Be as horrible as you are.  Be an asshole.  And dedicate your life to keeping the only chance alive, any way that you can.

Love Front Porch from Love Front Porch on Vimeo.



I love this so much.  Vanessa German is an artist from Homewood, which is a violent neighborhood in my city.  She didn't put on a cardigan sweater and sit in a tiny chair to read a picture book.  She made art with her guts, and she kept her heart and her life open.  Look at what is happening, because she is who she is, and because she is not afraid to live with love.

Show me more of things like this.  Show me more of people living with open lives and hearts, people who show us that love and art will save the world; not because they heard it at a curriculum meeting, but because they are living it, they are letting it happen organically.  They are living Art Will Save The World.  I want to eat nothing but this.  I want to say, "Stop Shooting, We Love You."  I want to be stupid and open and unafraid of getting let down.  I want to believe that the world will be beautiful.  I want to believe that the world is beautiful.  That is why I have children, why I love them with the fury and wideness that I do.  That is why I love them with a heart like a cracked pearl, like an egg spilling out everything I am, all the light and sorrow and love.  They carry the thing inside of them... and it is the only thing that can make the world better.  It's the only thing.

Have a wonderful holiday, please.  Stay warm and make each other happy.  I love you.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why don't you cry for all of the hurting children of the world?

I was waiting for this response.  I was waiting for people to start pointing out that children are dying all the time, in despicable and unimaginable ways, all over the world.  I knew that, as soon as I publicly expressed feelings of grief over Newtown, smug people would show up with a belittling view of my feelings, calling me sheltered and American, suggesting that my reaction has been created by the media, that my feeling are invalid, because I don't feel the same amount of sadness for everyone who has ever suffered, in all of the world.

I left this response to a commenter on my most recent Huffington Post piece, and I wanted to share it here, as my official position on being a sheltered American, full of grief:


There are biological and sociological reasons why tragedy that is closer to us, in proximity and similarity of experience affects us more than death that is happening in places and situations more remote to us, whether it be acts of war in war torn countries, desperation in places of great poverty or in abusive households in our own cities... I am hardwired, simply by being human, to respond to the sudden massacre of American kindergartners more dramatically than those events that don't resemble me so closely.

We live with acts of monstrosity all the time, yes.  And it's imperative that we expand our world view of humanity. However, even with this shooting, as time goes by, effectively creating space between us and the incident, our grieving will lessen.  That's the way it works, when you're a human being. It's scientifically and sociologically naive to suggest that I could feel the same strength of feelings for all tragedies in the world. 

When my grandmother died no one said to me, "Grandmothers die all the time.  Why don't you cry every time an old lady dies?"  In twenty years, when people read about Newtown, they won't drop to their knees and cry, like we do now, even though they will be sheltered Americans, too.  Why?

This is close to me because of my perception of my circumstances, my reality.

If your goal is to perpetuate compassion for the suffering people of the world, you'd be better served by appreciating and honoring compassion, where ever you can find it.



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How patriarchy doesn't help men and hurt the rest of us...

We live in a society where white men own everything and everyone.  We also live in a society that worships youth.  So what happens when you're a young, white male, and you don't own anything?  You don't have any power over anything?  What happens when you're marginalized, because of something you can't control... your personality, economic status, body type, because of your past or the circumstances of your present?  What happens when you're young and white and male, and you're broken?  You're not allowed to ask for help.  You're not allowed to have feelings.  Feeling them would make you even more marginalized.  Feeling them would make you a faggot or a fucking woman.

We seem to understand, as a culture, that the institution of white men oppresses everyone.  It is called patriarchy or being privileged.  If you're a woman in America, or a minority or homosexual, you understand that you're being oppressed and that it can have a terrible effect on you, on who you might become.  If you're lucky, you can find comfort in community.  You can stand up for yourself, tell the world that you refuse to define yourself the way society tries to define you, and be supported and loved by someone.  You can tell the world that you refuse to be bought and sold.  You refuse to be lorded over by religion and tradition.  You refuse to be, at the core of who you are, something other than what you are, and what you are, in the very seed of your being is okay and enough.

Sometimes it works, and people get out.  Sometimes people learn how to be themselves, how to process the hurt and mutilation of growing up in our culture, rise above it, and become something amazing. 

Lots of times, it doesn't work, though.  If we're being honest... the vast majority of the time, it doesn't work.  That is why we live in fear.  That is why we hate ourselves, in the mirror.  That is why we tell ourselves that we're disgusting, that we're not enough; we're not good enough, just being who we are.

We've had a longstanding, marvelous and infinitely important discourse about how patriarchy affects women and minorities.  We haven't talked so much about happens when you're a young white male, and you don't feel enough?  You don't feel like you own anything or anyone, but you should.  You're not dominant.  You're not big and strong.  No one fears you.  No one wants you.  You don't possess any of the qualities that make a male.  You're damaged and emotional and afraid.  Maybe you've had your power taken away from you.  You belong to the demographic that lords over everything, and you have nothing.

What are you supposed to do then?  Cry about it like a pussy?  Run to your mommy and tell her you're sad, like a little girl?  Divulge your feelings to a friend, like a fucking faggot?  What are you supposed to do when you're a male, but not really.  You don't have the power to hurt anyone, to own anyone, to make anyone your bitch.  You're a man, but you don't possess any of the qualities that make a man.  What do you do?  

Any of the steps you could take to get better, to beat the odds and become who you are, only feel like deepening your weakness and making yourself more of the thing you're running from. 

This is why we need a discussion about mental illness and about helping damaged people.  In our society, being emotionally or mentally other makes you a pariah; especially if you're male.

If you're male, and you feel broken inside, you could try lifting weights, or drinking.  You could get drunk and your feelings could well up inside of you, and you could start a fight.  You could beat somebody's ass.  Maybe you could build something, buy some power tools.  Or you could buy a gun. 

It sounds stupid, like I'm just being simplistic or sterotypical or something, but I mean, really.  In our culture of men, what are you supposed to do if you're anything other than an alpha specimen? 

If you're very lucky or very smart or very brave, you become uniquely who you are, and you don't get mutilated too badly along the way.  If you're very lucky, supported and capable, you become a man with a singular identity that isn't tied up in the devastating patriarchal ideals that rule our society.  If you're not very lucky, though, you get hurt and broken very badly, and there's no place for men who are hurt in our culture, unless maybe if they're in physical pain, the only kind of pain a man can feel.  Right?  It all sounds totally fucking outrageous, because it is.

The world is broken in abominable ways.

It is time for a discussion about mental illness.  What kind of fucking dirtbags are we that we make getting help so hard, in policy and in theory and in action?

It is time for a discussion about gun control, because... what in the fuck kind of world is this where people cling to their right bear arms when babies are being killed?

But, those issues don't encapsulate the enormity of what is wrong.

It is time for a radical discourse about patriarchy and privilege.  It is time to discuss these things in a way where they aren't exclusive.  We need a discussion about the way our society is structured and how it's oppressive and damaging to EVERYONE, including men.

The men committing these unthinkable atrocities aren't victims.  The people they are hurting are victims.  The men committing these terrible acts are monsters.  They are nightmarish ghouls.  They are reprehensible demons.  And we live in a society that is creating them. 

We need to acknowledge that patriarchy isn't protecting white men and harming the rest of us, it is harming them, too.  When discussing privilege, it isn't an issue of US vs. THEM.  It is an issue of A FUCKED UP SOCIETAL STUCTURE vs. ALL OF US. 

We live in a terribly broken, amputated and mangled world full of disconnected, confused people who feel like they have no options and no power.  Where becoming something legitimate through doing good, through loving and helping and being who we really are doesn't feel like an option. We're scared.  We need one another.  We need to create and foster good, in the world, and love and compassion and kindness.  We need to allow for diversity, for people to grow into themselves and live as they are, even when they're different than we're told they should be.  We need to stop creating and consuming violence, we need to stop treating it as a resource or a solution.  Truthfully, I don't know what the fuck we need to do.  I just know that we need to do everything differently.

I will never be the same, not after Friday.  I will never be the same person I was.  I am irrevocably changed.  The world won't change, though, unless we change it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

No one would ever hurt somebody like you. But someone did.

What do we do?  I mean, fuck.  What will any of us do now?

Friday night was movie night.  I sat, snuggled under a blanket with my five year old girl.  She said to me, "Look, Mum-mum!"  She had an orange wedge in her mouth, and she was looking up at me like she was the first person ever to make this joke.  Her eyes sparkled like I'd probably never seen something so funny, before. This was brilliant, jamming a slice of orange in her mouth and tapping me on the shoulder, her little voice barely masking laughter and muffled by the orange peel.

"Oh!" I exclaimed, like I was surprised, and I squealed with laughter and tipped over in my seat.  It was so funny that I toppled right over.

And a wave of sickness and sorrow washed over me.

No.  No, no, no, no, no.  No one would ever hurt somebody like you.  Darkness could never come after you.  Not while the singular pearl of your innocence and beauty shines, fragile and sacred, inside of you. 

A million times a day this happens.

The shape of her round little cheeks when she smiles.  The quivering bravado of her big kid singing voice.  Picking out her clothes, and emerging from her room wearing a crazy combination of stripes and flowers and polka dots.

A million times a day, I see her; how perfect she is, how pristine and uncorrupt, and then it will hit me.

Those children.  How can this have happened?  How can this be real?

My kindergartener has never hurt anyone.  She has never had a thought that wasn't immaculate and pure.  She brings light with her, everywhere she goes.  People smile at her.  They tell her she is beautiful.  They ask her things, questions about her day.  Does she like school?  Does she help mommy with her little sister?  They marvel over her, whisper at me behind their hands, "She is SO adorable."  They catch my eye, diamonds sparkling behind theirs to acknowledge me, just because I am lucky enough to be her mother.  Sometimes they grab my hand in the grocery store, patting my skin, moved to communicate, somehow, however they can, that the dancing beauty of my child stands out against the rest of the world, where everything is bleak and we're all lonely and scared.  They get tears in their eyes, sometimes, when she speaks to them with her tiny bird's voice, the sound of it full of music, like a prayer.

My kindergarten girl isn't any different than any other child.

She simply is, and the universe conspires to love her, protect her and worship her.  That is what she deserves.  That is what all of our children deserve.  People might hurt other people, they might do terrible things out there in the cold, but no one would touch the softness and light inside my little one; no one would dare disturb the innocence that falls all around her, everywhere she goes, like a blanket of sunlit, newly fallen snow.  No one would touch these little children.

But someone did.

What do we do, now?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Donate to Newtown Youth and Family Services


I woke up next to my beautiful 5 year old girl.  She was sleeping sweetly and I cried into her hair.

Donate to Newtown Youth and Family Services, and your donations will be passed on to those families affected by the unspeakable thing that we can't believe happened.


I'm so lucky.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Something about how I love men...

Everything I do is an ode to women.  I am very much a woman's woman.  I love women, the shape and heft of them, their perseverance and sadness.  I throw myself into being a woman.  They matter to me, what they think, what they think of me, how they feel about themselves, how the ways they are feeling reflect on what I'm feeling about myself.  I was born to have daughters.  I was born to be too much of everything, to swell and push at what it means to be a woman, to come into womanhood with a gasp and a spray of watery diamonds.  I was born to be a filthy goddess, to squat in the dirt and grow things, and to milk them.  To drink them.  I love women.

But, also, I love men.

Most of the time, I don't need men, because I had to learn how to grow up without needing a dad.  If I had needed a dad, my life would have been a devastating, harrowing thing.  I would have reached for him; I would have been lost in the darkness with tiny arms held wide, crying for him. I would have been disappointed, if I'd needed a daddy, so I just didn't.  I got mad, instead.  I opened my veins, instead.  I lived with a needle in the bend of my arm, so delicately it fit there, I can feel the coldness, still.  I have a little pocket of scarred tissue in the bend of my arm that is always cold.  I didn't need a daddy.  I slept with mean boys.  I slammed the door on them, breaking my fingers biting through my tongue.  I slammed the door, and then ran to the window that looked out on an alleyway.  I threw open the curtains, pressed my body against the glass, pounded and cried for them not to go.

I didn't need a dad.  I didn't need anything.  I could die and my body would never wash up on anyone's shore.  I could die now, amen.


It must be a very hard thing for me to love the institution of men.  It must be very hard not to hate them, they way they create us; a pair of legs here, a straining top button there.  (My father used to joke that if my mother ever got fat, he would tie her to the back of the car and make her run, like running could change the squirming, rotten thing in his heart.)  It is hard for me to accept things about the world that men built.

We are women and we're afraid at the bus stop, we're afraid when we're walking, we're afraid with the lights on, we want the lights off, we want to please men, we climb over women, using hair like ropes we put our feet in the faces of women.  We want men.  We want them to fill us, to fill our houses, to fill our cars with gas before they come home for dinner.  We want them to provide something.  We are afraid of them, walking to our cars in the back of a parking lot after dark.

We are afraid of what we will find in the hearts of men.

It is hard for me to need him.  My husband is a beautiful man.  He has never disrespected me.  ...I stopped for a moment after writing that sentence to think about it.  I can say with absolutely honesty that my husband has never disrespected me.  He has never asked for me to be a vodka ad, to be smaller and better behaved, to be a compilation of better parts, smoother and opened wider and with my face blacked out.  He doesn't ask that of women.  I am not afraid of what is in his heart.  I have never had to reconcile something inside of myself to accommodate his leanings.  I have never found something he left behind that stopped my heart.  I have never looked through his things.  He has never asked me to do the dishes or to clean up this mess, instead of writing and writing in my underwear; long, terrible letters to women, because I love all of them, women.

He has never asked me to be anything other than what I am.  He has visions for me, when the girls are older.  He has visions that I will disappear for long days and come home with mud on my hems and pink cheeks; with jars of water specimens and stories that spread and pollute everything beautifully like moss on a fallen tree.

It's still hard for me to need him, unabashedly.

When I am like this, though, coiled tightly around myself and lost inside a room of mirrors, when I am abandoned here with all the light bulbs cracking, about to burst, I suddenly need him like a child.  I ask him politely if I can sit with him while we watch television in the evenings.  I slide my hands inside his shirt, looking for the bones of him, for a place where I might fit inside his bones.

He doesn't say very much.  Mostly, he isn't good at thinking of the right thing to say.  Mostly, there isn't a right thing.  I'm searching for something, pulling and pulling at the slackened rope to an anchor that's been set asunder.  The rope is piling up around me. He is careful with me.  He sits with his hands folded neatly in his lap, his eyes are so big and blue.  I unravel, fall apart and, I do need him.


Something I love about men is thinking about them as children.  I love finding that grain of hurt inside of them, the same one we all have lodged inside of us, finding how they needed something, too, and had to learn not to need it.  How they needed a daddy or a sturdy, warm body, how they needed grace and softness and guidance, and all the world had to offer was an obscene picture of a woman's cleavage and an amputated pair of legs wearing red shoes.  I love them, too, men.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Panic disorder. This is me, being vulnerable.

Well, fuck.

I have something to tell you about myself.

It has been two and a half years since I had a panic attack.  I had even started to associate them with being postpartum, and believed that they were over, for me.  I believed they were a unhappy memory, something I'd tucked neatly away on the top shelf of my bedroom closet between boxes of pictures from my childhood.

But then, I got sick about two weeks ago, and I started to feel the electricity of fear, and everything quickly tumbled out of control.

I'm a mess, right now.  I'm stuck in an OCD loop of fear and anxiety, racing thoughts, and being afraid that I might panic, at any moment.  I wake up in the morning and immediately scan my body for signs of anxiety.  Do I feel shaky?  I little bit.  Fuck.  Do I feel light headed?  I think so.  Fuck. I lay awake at night with my thoughts running around in circles, trying to talk myself out of anxiety, only, the more I  fight it, the bigger it gets and pretty soon I'm paralyzed by a fear that I'm losing control of my own mind.  That my anxiety will get worse and worse and I'll end up being shackled to a bed under a fluorescent light and nobody will be here to hug and love my babies.  That I'll go crazy or I'll die or that I'm having a seizure or I'll pass out while driving and everything will be wrong and wrong forever.

All of this to say... I am going through a really terrible bout with panic, and I need your love.  Is that okay to ask for?  It's a bold move, for me, to ask for support, but I really need it, right now.  I need your thoughts and your words and your experiences and your hands.  I need your kindness.  I need you.  I live like I'm alone on an island, all the time and it is exhausting.  I need baskets of fruit and cards and hugs and cups of tea and to not be alone, in this. 

I have panic disorder.  I thought it was gone, but it won't really ever be gone.

I'm trying to be brave and face this head on, but these things can be complicated.  They can take time and perseverance. 

The other day.  I went to the er, even though I knew I wasn't having a heart attack.  Still... I googled the symptoms and I WAS nauseated and had a pain between my shoulder blades.  They gave me the full work up, and I'm physically perfectly healthy.

I visited a GP, and asked to be put back on zoloft, even though I hated taking zoloft because it killed me inside and made me uninterested and passionless.  The doctor checked my thyroid, liver and blood sugar, and everything is normal.  I started taking the familiar blue pills, expecting relief, and, instead, it SHOT MY ANXIETY THROUGH THE FUCKING ROOF.  I mean, I was shaking and grinding my teeth and bawling as soon as Kurt got home and the girls were out of ear shot, begging him, "Just love them.  I'm going upstairs to a mountain of blankets that will only be tangled and feel wrong."  Parts of my body were trembling uncontrollably.  I had terrible hot flashes and pressure in my head, and woke up at night drenched in sweat, freezing with my teeth chattering.

I'm telling you this, because it's true.  Because other people are going through what I'm going through and they feel alone, like something is wrong with them and nobody understands.  I understand.  It's hell.  It's embarrassing.  It feels like something I should be able to laugh off or get a grip on, but I can't.

I stopped taking zoloft after ten days, after speaking to a doctor and having him tell me that my reaction was adverse, that nobody should put themselves through something like this.  I have an appointment with a psychiatrist in a few weeks to talk about a medication that will work with me.  That's as soon as anyone can see me.  A few weeks is a lifetime away and it's Christmas and what if I ruin everything? 

I was given xanax, until then.  I have an irrational fear of taking xanax, even for a few weeks, because everybody is always like, "Oh my god, if you take a single xanax you'll be addicted to it in like... a day and your life will fall apart."  I hate the thought of it.  I call Kurt and work and say, "I feel like I need to take a xanax, but I'm afraid to.  Can you tell me it's okay?"

So, here I am.  This is about as vulnerable as I get, telling you all of this shit.  I'm disappointed because I thought I was over this, that panic disorder was a phase of my life that I could look back at and scoff at.  That I was better, now.  Stronger and more capable.  I feel defeated and humbled.  I feel like shit.

All I can do is play with my kids, get take out for dinner because meal planning is overwhelming, right now.  Trying my best not to feel guilty about everything that is overwhelming, right now.  All I can do is meet my wonderful mommies for lunch, take our kids for mini hikes through the woods, snuggle up on the porch swing with cups of tea.  Collect pine cones; marvel over them, crouched in the leaves with my two year old.  I can share headphones with my big girl, listen to music and rest my forehead on hers, before we get out of bed in the morning.

All I can do is become an open vein, ask my husband to sit with me and hold my hands.  Tuck the blankets around my girls at night and watch how beautiful they are while they sleep.  I whisper to my little one, "I love you," and she whispers back with her eyes closed.  I love you, too.

All I can do is keep moving forward.  I can't cry.  I can't eat.  All I can do is feel worried about something that isn't even real.  It's all in my head.  All I can do is face this, try to own it and also... I need you.  I do.  We all need each other, I think.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

About Me Page

Someone asked me why I didn't have an "About Me" page.

The answer is... I did.  I did have an "About Me" page, but it mysteriously disappeared, somehow.

So, I made a new one.  It's here, if you want to see it. If you feel like you don't already know enough About Me.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bare Light Bulb - Writing Challenge Piece

The basement was cold.  Alison's breath was white steam.  She tucked her fingers inside the sleeves of her sweater.  "What did she do to him?" she asked.

Cole was standing on his toes to look out the window.  He was graceful, like a dancer.  He was quiet, too.  At school and in places with people, he barely spoke.  At night, though, he told stories, pacing the stone floor and gesturing with his hands.  His nails were painted blue.  He held a lit cigarette, dangling it out of the open window.  "He just disappeared," he said.  "She told the police that he left one day and never came back."

"How do you know?" Alison asked.  She shivered under a bare light bulb.

He smiled.  "I just do.  I live in her house."

"She's been dead since before you were born," she said.

"I found some of her things under a board in the attic.  There was a picture of a dead baby in a casket," he said.  A lock of hair fell into his eyes, covering them in shadow.  "She looks very peaceful, the baby.  She looks happy."  There were patterns of frost exploding on the glass like tiny fireworks.  He traced them with his fingertip.

"So what happened to her husband?" Alison asked.

Cole smiled at her.  She blushed; brought her fingers to her lips.  She had a crooked tooth in front that she hated.

"You think I'm full of shit," he said.  "But she would crush his bones and bake them into cakes."  He flicked his cigarette into the empty, frozen blackness outside and stepped closer; reached for her hands.  She was freezing.

"Why cakes?" she asked.

"She was psycho.  She fed him to his mother on her birthdays," he said.

"Why do you make everything so creepy?" Alison asked, leaning in to feel the small, comforting heat of him.  He smelled like smoke and leaves.  He reached up and pulled the chain dangling above them, blanketing them in immediacy and darkness. 


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This piece is an entry in the Trifecta Writing Challenge.  This week we had to write 33-333 words using the 3rd definition of the word, crush.