The Worst Drug I Ever Did

imageHe was the most charming man I ever met in my life.

We were moved in by day 7, already professing “I love you” and “Do you love me?” in whispers, on texts, running to him after work like I was in some damn Disney movie I loathe.

I lost my ever loving mind, people.

I know from reading as many self help books as I have that this is the nuclear of red flags, this “Let’s get Married and Fuck Like This Forever” flag.

If it helps you to understand my case, I met him barely a week after my car went in the shop for a new transmission.

“Money?” he said. “Baby I just need a good woman to help manage mine.”

Dear God. I need a blog name for him but it kills me because his nickname is too ironic, too perfect for me to even think up.

I’ll sit on it.

The man whirled me in, took my breath away and I mean literally people, cause I think I just gained consciousness, six long hard months later.

Mr. Hurricane? Nope. Not even that will suffice.

Good night.

Anyone going to bed with “Women who love too much?” or “Codependency No More?”

I couldn’t be the only one but maybe I shouldn’t ask cause the lack of answer may drain the blood out of me tomorrow.

 

My Night in the Slammer

imageI had never been arrested before.

The police officer validated that what I had told him was true, and so, he asked, “Why had I done this?”

I had been unemployed for months, let go from a job I had liked and was really good at, and the searching for a new one had been excruciating. I was terrified. I had lived in my car a year ago, getting showers at the gym and parking at a 24 hr Walmart to pee. I couldn’t go back. My daily Craig’s list search had been tiring and depressing until one night, late, I saw a posting for a writing position, one clearly above my requirements.

My heart opened up and beat fast as I read its description. I would be paid to learn SEO, to drive up traffic writing blogs, would be connected in a safe and friendly environment of writers, encouraging and pushing each other to our best.

One of the requirements was to enter work published which I cringed, my diary of a broken life was clearly unprofessional. So, I took a risk. I wrote an intro out of left field, meant to charm and if nothing else, make my reader laugh hard enough to want to meet me. It was desperate but so was I.

The next day I got a reply for a meeting on Skype, part one of the hiring process. I was shocked, panicked, and thrilled. The woman on the other end was an entrepreneur, a writer, a blogger, already a mentor. I wanted this job like a dream I never wanted to wake up from, to be a paid author was always what I wanted, since fifth grade.

The final day of the hiring process would be in a sky rise building looking over Atlanta, with clear glass windows and working professionals, and only a day away, I was anxiety ridden.

My demons came up to wrestle me. They taunted me, my worth and abilities, all my failures were thrown at me like dirt.

I looked at this police officer and I realized I had lost to them, that my dream was killed before it ever even started and killed by my own hands. I wanted to scream but instead like more a therapist than a cop, I told him I wanted to just escape them, the pain, the fear, the drowning. I told him through sobbing the truth of how I saw myself, the battle to love myself once again, was over.

I felt his empathy, saw him cringe as he placed handcuffs on me, his eyes avoiding mine as I sobbed, heart breaking sobs of humiliation, failure, loss and self loathing.

I had never been this far removed from my own integrity, the shame was unbearable, and I decided I would stay in jail till I rotted before this shameful day ever became exposed.

The car ride to the jail was dark and it was pouring, the rain pounded my window at the same rhythm my tears pounded my soul. He returned a small part of my dignity, taking the cuffs off, reminding me it was my first offense, telling me he wasn’t even going to pat me down. He even gave me a dixie cup of water.

Then he told me if I called someone, maybe I could be out by morning.

My ego and shame refused him before he could even try to explain. The demons had won. Let them rejoice.

“Well, let’s go meet the ladies,” he said half laughing, directing me to my cell. I started thinking of all the Netflix shows I had watched and my heart started to pound wildly. I thought I was going to fall over, my knees were certainly about to buckle.

Four pairs of eyes stared at me, four pairs of legs took up all the room on the bench so I plopped down on the freezing stone floor. I could see the curiosity so true to my nature, I broke the ice with a joke.

“Y’all in here for murder too?”

Three of them were just babies, the fourth was snoring, obviously bat ass crazy.

The middle two laughed, big mouthy grins showing white teeth next to their dark skin, the one on the end was a little older turned her back to me and faced the wall, kicking her feet in defiance. The old lady snored wildly, her face in between her skinny legs.

The one I nicknamed “Little” for being so young my heart ached for her glared. “Who gave you that water? I ain’t got water and I have high blood pressure.”

“Only serial killers get dixie cups of water,” I explained and offered it to her.

She wrinkled her nose at me while her sister/cousin/friend began to pace, yelling at the guards she wanted her phone call. I was clearly meant to be the group leader, age and mental health claimed it.

I told her to sit down and I would handle it. The yelling was driving me nuts. I had already eyed my easiest target, a young white male without any badge. I pointed at him and summoned him with my finger. “Officer Dan! We need you over here.”

He blushed, mumbled he wasn’t named Dan, and Little made fun of him, which I glared at her for.

“Your doing a great job!” I said sweetly.

And a little chit chat gave Middle a phone call, which I made her thank him for, which she did genuinely.

She came back and hugged Little, telling her that the babies were fine, that social workers hadn’t come and that Little’s baby needed her medicine.

They both started to sob, holding each other, and Little cried, “I want my baby!” over and over. Being a mama this just brought Kat and Lola to my mind and I told them anything that would ease the pain. They had been arrested for stealing diapers from Walmart.

Bat ass crazy lady awakened, mumbling things I couldn’t make out, which made her use the wall to brace herself to walk over to me, handing me two clues. One piece of paper ripped with scratchy writing and one calling card for ten dollars.

“I have cataracts.” she said.

So, taking her cue I used the jail phone to call over and over, punching in the ten digit code till I thought I would go mad. Each time, a recording came on. She was clearly sick, and Little had whispered she got left by a man on the side of the road when she stole a crock pot for her daughter.

She was trembling so hard and now it was almost violent, her legs and arms were involuntarily shaking. She told me she had breast cancer, fourth stage, and they wouldn’t give her the meds she had on her when arrested.

Like hell they wouldn’t. I yelled for a guard, who said basically tough luck and to watch her, that she may need to go to the E.R.

She was a sweet old woman and I told the other girls to help me as we surrounded her, each of us using our body heat and arms to warm her, which worked like a baby being rocked, finally she went back to sleep.

The room now became more like an Oprah show than a jail cell, each of us sobbing over our babies and lives, it was ironic to me we were a supposed risk to society.

Two had stolen diapers for young children, one had stolen a crock pot for her daughter who she felt guilty for having to take care of her sick with cancer, and I had stolen an outfit, for a job I would never make it to.

Or so I thought. The others had told me to call anyone, to not give up, but I couldn’t do it to my Dad, who had helped me so much. They championed me to try and so I was let out, all night of crying and shaking on that stone floor had brought out the survivor in me.

I had time. Not a lot of time but enough to run for my life, take a cab to my car and race to the house to shower, heels in my hand as I flew out the door and somehow, by the grace of the Almighty, got me there to the top floor of a beautiful tower, where lovely sandwiches and gourmet coffee was served.

“Your name tag is on backwards,” one of the writers said laughing, pointing to my chest.

“If you only knew”, I thought, turning it face up, I wanted to cry from a well of gratitude.

Even in the face of my greatest nightmare, I had deserved this. I forgive myself and tell my demons to fuck off, say a prayer for those women, who connected me back to my heart and to life. I hope they are safe and well, wherever they are.

Stay Calm and Twerk On

Hello.

I feel like I’m back from a long summer, sitting at a wooden school desk with unfamiliar name tags on the surrounding tables, but I can’t read them because my blue coke bottle glasses are in my back pocket.
I’m sitting half on them with my ass positioned to not break them kinda like I’m about to deliver a massive fart. This seems a favorable choice rather than look like a huge nerd terd with glasses on, my first day of school, the year my mom put me back INTO my brothers grade, HALF way through the school year, in MIDDLE SCHOOL for the love of God.

I had straight A’s but she wasn’t ready for High School yet.
I digress.
I’m probably 13.

Perhaps being legally blind and blond worked for me, not being able to see the strange looks and finger pointing helped, although I did have perfect hearing unfortunately.

“Psst. PSST. Where’s your brother? Who are you?”
“Hey. Is he coming back? We have basketball fourth period.”

I told the truth, but as always, a little too loudly.

“He’s going to be much bigger for his grade now, so thank ME when he dunks like Jordan or at least gets off the bench!”

Like now, everyone back then laughed, and like today, I never have any idea why.

I was done with this stupid blog.
Thank God Lola dropped my Macbook, this depressing blog of personal private heart break runs like skid marks across the page, just as embarrassing as what one might discover washing dads stinky underwear.

It sucked, the last few years were painful, plus I have turned a new page, my mothering more alive and healed than ever, Kat and Lola stories are my favorites, so many too tell, plus a new job with colorful hilarious characters.
So, I began to itch to write.

But all the judging voices came to play (Not real ones so sorry to disappoint.)

Then a funny thing happened.
Kat went to fifth grade.

I became her life line for handling mean girls, and seriously, I should be a Middle School life coach.
God, I’ve been dying to write down my true feelings about those little bitches, the things Kat never hears me say.
Yes, I do act like an adult even though I DON’T WANT TO!

Narcissistic mean children with flat chests, cell phones, and clueless parents.
What mean and heinous creatures Middle School girls are!

It is survival 101 and Kat is wide eyed, unsure how to move in their territory.
She has always been highly sensitive and easily hurt, her big and bad attitude a direct front.

And so, I asked myself, how could I teach her to be authentic and real, a girl cool enough to roam the halls her own way with her own style, unaffected by the haters, focused on who she liked and what she thought rather than what others would say…..

If I couldn’t even face my own damn blog?

So for her, I hope to lead with courage, not let others define me or the voices defeat me.

I must be the thing I tell her to go be.

I must be just me, and if I eat alone, get whispered about, get directly bitch slapped or ignored, its gonna be okay.

I may even Twerk just to prove it.

My Soul or My Soldier?

Aside

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I’m starting to wonder if I was born in the wrong century.

I’m not sure how it began, and yes, I know, trust me, I know, many suggest Adam lost his virginity after losing a rib, which was put into his woman, Eve.

I suppose she was thrilled the only jackass left in the garden was throwing her over his shoulder, so I wonder how she enjoyed it, waking up to a rib, a man, God, and some good old fashioned Garden of Eden humping.

Adam would say it was, “Good,” wouldn’t he?
Don’t they all still say that?

I still don’t understand how they populated the earth.
The lady teaching VBS was certain they weren’t fornicating with each other’s sister or brother, but 20 something years later,
I still have my hand up, not getting called on.

That shit doesn’t even make sense.

Neither does Match and all online dating, believe me, I now see the sense of losing a body organ to get this shit over with.
What a bizarre phenomenon it is to click a small square of someone’s face, and yep, in documented form
here have your potential rib mate who is listing out traits like they came straight off the Kroger lot, stamped, separated and organized by ingredients listing everything from their perfect date to the height and age they want in a man or woman.
It’s kinda creepy.

I think tribal days were at least more relaxing, some body paint, your already naked so you skip that whole nightmare.

Those ladies shake breasts all the way down to the floor with fire, not like Eve who had all the shame of being naked, which is a plus.

Not to mention I bet if you are top contender to the chief, he will pass the pipe, or at least I know my Tribal man would.

Maybe next life but in this one, it goes quite like this.

“Sigh.”
Click.
Delete.
Click.
(A smile or a “Hellllll NOOO” usually fills the silence) and sometimes a call to Thelma to laugh in hysterics at what these men have to say, as I grocery shop on, sampling contenders subject lines, like I’m hungry at Costco or something, but five hours later, still never full.
Shopping for men is way harder than Eve ever knew, considering she had ONE to consider, not 100 Adams,
all using their best sales pitch, bringing on the charm,
as they advertise why you should well, sample their “meat.”

I have 100 blogs saved to entertain you on that alone, but this is about a contender in camo, a dude I shall call “The Soldier” for now, but that still doesn’t sit quite right yet either.

My pointer finger was actually needing cracked from overuse of hitting “Delete” again and again, but I saw him and quite out of my routine frankly, I stopped.

Strange move to make for myself actually, seeing as men in uniform give me that unescapable heart race, not the good kind, but the kind that sends adrenaline telling you to make a mad dash for the bushes and hope to God smeared mascara doesn’t qualify a breathalyzer or even worse, handcuffs.
It’s completely stupid I know, seeing as I haven’t run from the cops since my prom limo caught on fire, CLEARLY not my fault but my drunk ass date, who made no apologies for the fact this event was only happening because of his mom, who without a doubt picked out my rose wrist corsage, now soaked in beer by her belligerent son. I can still picture her pointing to her mouth a lot like Honey Boo Boo’s Mama, with her little digital camera, waving like we were going out at half time during the Rose Bowl.
Tires come hard to find I suppose on white limos, and thank God I didn’t order steak, or I might have had to put out.

I did stare for a minute, unsure how a young man cub who appeared to be riding something like a bob cat, but loaded with Rambo accessories, probably during the George Bush administration, I assumed.
I don’t know why I assumed Georgie Porgie, probably Clinton should be a better choice when I saw what I believed to be the gas mask I had not hit since college, but that mask could clearly kill you from the smell of bong water, no protection from fumes there.

He was stoic, and staring at me.
Kind of a serious face too, and even a little dead or coldness could be felt from his eyes, but he had beautiful big blue eyes, which didn’t seem to fit anything around him.
His expression was a shot I would have liked to claim myself as a Photographer, the one you can’t ever have.
No one can be coached or still for long enough, or that good of an actor. That expression couldn’t be explained but it had it’s own explanation, just the same.
He was just what he was, a baby face with dead gorgeous eyes staring straight thru me, telling me he had the smell of man’s blood right beneath him.

I read people pretty well in photos and in emails so I was instantly curious what the hell this man wanted with me.
I think I said I was the poster child for ADD and liked tube socks and sex on dryers.
Judge me.
I like to keep it light when being added to someone’s grocery dating cart.
I don’t believe I suggested violence, war, mohawks, or stone cold grinless dudes, and what they came packaged with, I had not a clue.

I felt that immediate guilt of being one of those damn U.S.A. “Love the Troops” assholes while privately grinding my teeth at night for all the reasons I did not agree they be dying, something I had no thought of attempting to do myself.
Even more, I would never entertain disrespect of that act of courage and maybe even insanity, a few friends I had that did come back, never did.
How do you see someone you love deteriorate before your eyes and even worse, who do you blame, where and who will pay for the loss, the very brothers cheered by celebrity telethons are left moaning drunken four o clock a.m. horrors, mourning and howling songs of dead children and a weeping so deep and so I ask, who cheers them on now?
I wanted his soul back and I wanted someone to pay.

So, I passed that email, my friend’s memory made my stomach queasy, a little uncomfortable at any forced political polite discussion, certain I would never look back to read the stoic man’s emails, but I did.

I did.

It was long.
It was extremely serious, with many demands, such as “YOU WILL READ” and “YOU WILL SEND” with little commentary as to what he wanted in the first place, any question of such was left with the maddening answer, “I need you to answer some of my questions first,” as if he were on a special part of the Universe the rest of us had to take a “Special” SAT to be considered, his questions only, none of yours seemed important, only what you did not get, understand, or what he would not be tolerant of.
HIs needs were loud and in bold print.

I couldn’t stand the guy.
I wanted the guy.
I couldn’t stand the guy.
I wanted the guy.

I thought I sent out a pretty harsh reaction, certain this was the type who accepted no subordination from anyone, much less a female, the kind he pointed out needed help understanding, the fire within burst into mad scribbling, and the “send” function was in progress way before a real thought, something not usual for me.
I like to put things away, to avoid reactionary statements and hurtful assumptions, but this guy was KILLING me.
I was certain he was done.

And then, a thoughtful and intelligent reply, explaining what can’t be said in a text, words linking before sounds and body mannerisms even put into play make a lover into a fighter, with nothing but a tone to understand the difference.

He was right.
I hate being wrong.
He was right. I had been mistaken so many times through text, with best friends, and so this soldier, one of a billion, just opened the thought that changed my mind.

By this time, men were squirreling into the picture, and yet that heart flop when he was there in the email, suggesting a playlist read NOW sent an irritating thrilling sensation into me, and there was no doubt that fire came from beneath his fingers, wherever he was, for I felt it, a touch delivered through the phenomena of the digital age, it didn’t matter.

I could feel him, everything about him, without any idea of how to understand him, just the same.

That was the most difficult of all.
A few intoxicating conversations drenched in sexual chemistry and hot exchanges right before we met, he left.

He called me at every point, from plane leaving, landing, exchanging, to baggage and back home, even during dinner, his friends from out of town were put on hold, and I was crazy about him, or the idea of him.

I realized I had been hungry for someone on the planet to connect my experiences with, and to be challenged by someone who had shared and seen the loss I had, to give me direction and history of their own path, and just by being alive and awesome, I knew I had fit somewhere no one else could.

That is rare in the world of Soldier and I.

I told him a big secret, one no one, family or friend or journal alike, had known.

I couldn’t believe his reaction, my stomach almost unable to breath from fear, my heart almost muffled his reply, but I stopped and heard laughter and in that deep sexy working class man’s throat, “That’s awesome.”

I am absolutely positive the secret I shall take to God with me is nothing but awesome, but from him, he justified it as such, and I laughed along, certain I had it all wrong until not meeting him.

But, like all people who change us, who teach us, who remind us we are capable of loving like mad wolves unable to be kept caged or controlled, these are always the ones who are the lone wolves, certain to claw the other members of the pack to death, the intention never mattered, only the emotion in the moment, what might be playful could eventually kill us, and as he believes, “Violence is Everything.”
It is just the nature of the beast, and no matter what I say about my love of peace and hatred of war, I am torn from his cloth, and I as well, can not make my heart beat to satisfy his, no matter how he moved my mind in ways others hadn’t touched.

It was in fact, the first realization I was meeting another member of the wild, a lone wolf who decided who and what entered his territory, and as much as I wanted to be that, I could not.
How I wished it different, the intensity of desire lit me from places I forgot were even a part of my body, drenching, begging, asking, teasing.

That is what it is to be from the wild.

It is a lonely, intoxicating and passionate ride.

The day he said he would never contact me, yelled at me and hurt me, a child who accidentally picked up the kitten the wrong way, making it yelp and everyone turned to stare was me, on the other end of the line.
He was the screaming lion, angry at the way he had been tossed about with little respect from the likes of a child, biting his way nastily out of my reach.
Like all children, I cried from confusion and sadness.

The ending came with tears on the very day of a long day at work, long driveways and hills kept me breathing hard and fast, within minutes of our ending, the hurt came, the lone wolf had returned to camp.
Or in my case, human form, no other being like him there to remind me of that wild alive beating lioness inside me.
Now I was just me, a human working, a heart barely feeling, a job just doing.

I heard a child yell up at me, and I turned.

“Miss!!! Watch out! The mean dog is loose!”

I nodded, in this place, a dog lover anyways, plus with a heart burning and beating pain, I shrugged.

“Bring it.” I thought.

And then I saw him.

He was bigger than I had seen, a German Shepherd, trained, and I knew it by his eyes, moving like a human’s would, identifying his prey.
He was smart as hell.
He circled wide parts of the yard, never stopping in, but surveying his options, and I knew I should be scared, but I wasn’t.
I waited, allowed him to see what stepped onto his own, this wolf was of royalty, and I now understood the child.

He would be respected.

I thought it was just him and I, alone, and so I in the most centered place I had ever known so far, spoke aloud.

“Listen, I know this is yours, alright?
I know you own and will use violence and any cost to keep me away.
But, I really want to knock on that door you see and I will just sit here and wait until you say it’s okay.”

I have no idea where this came from, nor the lack of fear, perhaps from losing that fear of death along time ago, I really didn’t give a damn if my last moments alive were being eaten to shreds and posted all over the news.

It sounds gruesome, but in that big yard of woods, he was really beautiful and I knew he had a part to play, just as I did.

He began to circle, fast and loud, so loud my heart pounded at first, in large demands of me, but I just sat and played with a stick.
Then he circled closer, snarling and sniffing, and I almost laughed at his attempt to show teeth, as if a human’s teeth couldn’t destroy his, only humans don’t leave marks. Nor do they kill, but it’s worse, I thought.
You walk the earth wounded and nothing to prove how or why or what happened.
He then stopped, looked, stopped and so I followed, bringing up a few things here and there about the yard needing some service work, and when he brought me up to the door, I knew I had been chosen.

It was one of my most proud moments, even sticking his tongue on a part of my hand, yet not licking as if playing hard to get.
I told him it was ridiculous to have gone through all of that, just for an empty door, but I was allowed to touch him, and to my horror, when I turned, a man was in the yard staring at me like I had a head of fire coming straight at him.

“How the hell did you do that?”
I was confused.
He showed me his taser, explaining the dog’s fearful appearance and the means they would have to take to protect the children, themselves.

In that moment, I was proud, for I had seen them both, my Soldier and my Lone Wolf, and they had chosen me.
I had known my place and in my own Spirit of the pack, I had been motioned forward, something I knew had not been done before or maybe not again.
But, it was the wolf that took away the hurt of the Soldier, the sadness I carried was no longer a weight to carry.
The soldier could tell me but I couldn’t really hear him, my seeing him was justice enough for me, but now I see the lesson.
He had to be this way with me, tasters, violence, judgements and enemies were not waiting for me, just out for a friendly walk.
I had not wanted to see it, the lesson I wanted to believe untrue, for that would mean he and I could never live amongst the fences, with the chatty neighbors, friendly cook outs and big pots of free food.
We couldn’t even live as lone wolves, for it is not in our order, nor our nature.
I had been confused in his hostility, believing I had shown and proved to be part of his pack, knew his language, and wanted him to take me. He had to snap and hurt me, to show me he didn’t have a place with me, not even in the deepest understanding one might have, he had his reasons.
I had not believed, because in seeing him and loving him, just like the wolf, I assumed I saw what they all saw.
I was wrong.
Tazers and Watchings and Warnings and Fences were not for me, but him, and I saw now that he had to be violent to survive, just as he had said, that they saw nothing.
He would never be anything else.
He came with that guard because he was born to be something man can’t grasp or teach, something to fear and hurt, and just because I was welcomed didn’t mean I was one of him.

But it didn’t mean I couldn’t love him from afar, wish I had been feared and hurt so I could be with him and only him, a request only a lone wolf would make, and so I see now.
We may have been torn from the same cloth but his freedom could only be dictated by him, because of this, and for him, which meant his rules would be mine, for by loving him I would seldom roam the yards, free, and he knew this.
Being with him cost something, and he and only he decided what that path would hold.

But, I shall come to his fence and sit, cause even in the lonely hearts of lions and wolves who roam without a pack, there is always room for the unexpected.

And yet, some creatures weren’t born to fall in love.

And yet, I will always wait for him.

“Butterflies Transform, even the Dead Ones”

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The truth is my family, maneuvered by my mother didn’t just leave me. The kids woke up ten years of having weekly family events, daily talks and walks with their Nana, and in one phone call, she hasn’t come to … Continue reading

Over Board

 

Since I like to write about life in “metaphors” and “allegory” I would like to directly confront any haters by describing my life as a big Carnival cruise ship.

When you spend 33 years steering your ship with the same beliefs, illusions, escape mechanisms, denial and self defeating behaviors, you know how to steer, because its the way you were taught. It’s the way you always have done, the way your parents and even their parents taught, a map passed down with just one compass, a set group of working members that trust you to steer the way they taught.

Rejecting their way of navigation is to reject them, to question that any idea outside the script they have written for you is rebellious and ungrateful. By asking to maneuver this ship, your own, the way you hope, the way you dream, causes narcissistic panic and rage, for such a request slaps ingratitude, defiance, and no amount of love by either party changes this fact at all.

It is their fear of all fears, to lose control.

But you cannot dance for them, steer for them, look at a map that has nothing to do with you and pretend you are doing a job GOd made you for, not even for the love you feel for them.

It is too great a cost.

Trying only comes with their reminders of your past navigations, life boats of passengers that would leave, that little failed  marriage, financial irresponsibility, their hearts heavy with concern, so naive and desperate for love and approval, you believe them.

The drama and unhealthy anxiety and loss of weight and who had to bear such a thing watching you destroy yourself?

Your heart sickened and you would agree especially when the trump card fell, like how your children were at stake, and as my mother said when I excitedly announced my acceptance to Photography school, “But honey, your children need you. A good mother knows  you can’t ever get back your children’s childhood.”

But I had waited till Lola was in Kindergarten, my heart felt it true that I had real gifts, people had told me about my writing and photography, something my mother claimed she wouldn’t read.

It was just too unbearable for her.

Not to mention being the family laughing joke, the dating disasters, financial dependence, and so you went along, so you laughed with them.

So crazy, how could YOU be qualified to run your own ship?”

They meant to shut up, find a good man, stop causing drama, and do not ask questions that make them feel, look, or examine pain, but one last thing. DO not take front seat or that would mean that they may be put out of a job, a job they invested 33 years in keeping. One thing I have learned is that nothing is more important than their own illusion of control, that you somehow are responsible for the emotions, existence, needs, and life path of another simply by being born.

In your birth, you are their ownership.

But, what if they were right?

They always were.

Could you possibly be that arrogant, even crazy, to believe that something inside you knows more?

Read their map, take passenger seat with their compass, and they promise, you will always be safe, loved, and in God’s loving hands.

In many small moments of defiant self assurance and your own part brave, part powerful, part narcissistic inner guidance, you throw the compass over the side, rip their perfect map and do horrible things like go to school, take on boyfriends not of their knowledge or choosing, at 33 mind you. You refuse calls, break cars, and cry over missing your babies.

They tell you that this is abuse, this defiance of role, the writing, and you failed them by not taking the destination they paid and invested financially and emotionally for you.

In your young naive attempt for all that you have fought for, you throw up the middle finger, rip their map, not just in half with a clean line you can tape back later for emergency, but in many teeny pieces throwing them up in the air.

You clearly have no idea what you have done.

They watch in horror, announce insanity, and so you hear the many heartbreaking lies from the ones who KNEW you, who were watching, who cried and held you, so you dive deep in denial as your reputation is smeared, like a knife you know is cutting and bleeding in your back, but you refuse to pull out.

Sometimes pretending the pain isn’t really there is less painful than the wound itself.

And sometimes, this exact point causes you to never fully examine your wounds, your life, your loved ones, I believe, is a promise that you will in fact, become them.

The repair is not possible you realize as your heart slices to pieces, your children are no longer called or seen, even the ex that supported them is deleted next to you off of facebook, birthdays and holidays are ignored, with the exception of a lovely card, only for the grandchildren, who have been left to you for the explanation of why an entire extended family, aunts uncles and cousins, are gone. I couldn’t bare it. My babies most claimed to being loved were now pawn to a woman who claims I will not let her see them.

And so, you have what you have asked for, a ship, gulp, and no one to control the many anchors and nets, food preparations, or storm safety regulations.

You have a few passengers to take leadership of, all watching with careful scrutiny as to how this captain will maneuver without any map, an illogical quest for certain, and you can feel some of them smug at their obvious belief you will hit the rock of Gibraltar, or drown the entire boat from your selfish, ignorant, irresponsible and reckless decisions.

They are waiting to be right.

The others left are a little scared, with life jackets all on, you notice, a fact that makes you wince, seeing as there is only bright sky and little waves, but they have swimmies, goggles, inner tubes and helicopters on call.

So you will prove them all wrong. You will prove you are the Captain, the first to use an inner guidance and new technology from within. You are living your destiny, you say in the mirror at night, certain the gods will protect you and the ripple effect of your intentions will lead you and your girls to freedom.

You believe with all your might you are called to do so.

And in front of them all, in front of yourself, you run your ship directly into a glacier.

And another one.

You see with terror that the water has began to fill the first cabin of passengers and it is your fault, these passengers you have grown to love as your own family are all affected, their money and resources drained, their thoughts of your motives and choices are murmured below, but you can hear them all.

They are losing trust, amongst the chatter, you feel their worry and anxiety over you, causing great pain and a responsibility greater than you ever knew before.

That is the worst part of being a captain.
Letting down the ones you want nothing more than to love and protect that have no choice but to drown or get hit amongst the rocks with you.

I was in the McDonald’s drive thru, with Lola my cheerleader, Kat my critic, and I saw her eye me in my rear view.

She must have noticed I buy nothing for myself, even food, something she comments on, aware at too young of an age that mommy has had an excruciating break up, must move out without any idea where to live, needs extra work and fast, and is heartbroken mostly over missing them and wondering if in fact, everyone was right, once again.

“Mom,” she said, with authority in her voice, even at 10.

I was scared to look up.

“One day mom, you will have a big house and a man that is your real soul mate, you’ll see. You will go on trips and buy things and mom, you can do it. One day mom.”

“Yeah!” Lola cheered from the back, shouting, “YOU WONT ALWAYS HAVE NO MONEYS!”

She kept eating her fries while I said nothing, afraid to show the tears sliding, the belief they have in me had nothing to do with my past behavior, all to do with what they knew I was capable of.

“And a child shall lead them.”

I had already took on a first captain, one with a snarky spitfire of personality and courage, to test the waves, an open book of brilliance and psychological passion which she has mysteriously gained at such a young age.

Ya’ll know her as Thelma.

I hired her to research and build a new map you see, my courage and passion to my cause quickly passing, so I asked her to find a much better working compass, a growing regret was quickly coming with the realization I threw away with the first one with little indifference at the time.

She has bad news.
She cannot give me a new compass.
She WILL not give you a new compass.
She says it like the truth blazer she is, something I often brag will make her the greatest forensic psychologist of all time, but with me, you see, I demand she change the very core of what makes her beautiful and unique.

I explain carefully that I just want her to say it is okay.

She explains details over my ship with little patience and logical direct blows. She tells me I am the leader of this ship, not her, and not the ones before, and I have a choice. I will lead the ship I call my life, for good or bad, or not.

My knees go weak, not knowing I had unconsciously looked for the exact replacement of what I knew for all my life. I just saw pain, blinding white light, and an evil girl who cut up souls and served them on strawberries.

It took a lot of time to see the real Thelma, not the woman I only projected upon as “mother.”

On many occasions I imagine I might have challenged her to first deck where I would wrestle her lady like uppity ass to the ground, but in fact, something worse happened.

I realized she was right.

What the fuck was I thinking?

I did what all confident self seeking freedom fighters do and cried, begged, demanded she do it, fell faint on the floor from the magnitude of it.

She just rolled her eyes.

Until the breaking.

Something had to be changing for she was evolving into the nurturing and kind friend, the co caption I was used to was not empathetic, even harsh.

It was the first time I saw her as she was, and had always been, but from my own dysfunction and terror of being abandoned had blinded me to ever seeing the real her.

I saw after a year that she had no life jacket on or life boat pulled to the side, nor had she ever.

How could I have missed this?

So this was the breaking, the pounding of my knees to the ground, the layers of unworthy unloved messages and beliefs began to take over, and I had nothing left to fear.

In that moment, I had and was nothing,

The interesting thing about pain is that some pain keeps you stumped for years, and I had the tears of a clown with the make up dripping off, only my true sad self to let through and all of it, all of it, had been not my fault, but my responsibility.

I wasn’t stumped at all. I was aware I had done nothing I had set out to accomplish, that intentions mattered nothing, that I was in fact, the scum on the bottom of the scummiest bottom.

So the reality I had been missing was that she had not changed into anything, for I saw her, my biggest defender, fighter, support and friend. It was I who was the one changing, the parts of me who kept her and the world away were the ego and I had none left, not anymore.

Then I heard some music, coming from bottom deck, Justin Timberlake I believe, blasting on the radio, my girls coming up to shake what their mama gave them, the ship half burned, ship wrecked, void of food.

True deliverance comes not when we are accepting mighty awards in front of all the people who didn’t believe in you, our shadows and ego convinced OUR truth will be rewarded, maybe even a podium or Ted Talk might come our way.

It just is never going to be that way for me.

It is in the destruction, when the tides have turned and all is lost at sea. It is in the shipwreck and pirates who betray again and again, so you find treasure in your laughter, in your glories, in your unforgivable mistakes, and if you have a lucky break, all you can see and feel is just peace.

These are the finest of any treasure a captain can find, when her ship becomes eerily still while the  dolphins came to say hello, jumping in perfect circles. One by one they come, dressed in costume, Kat and then Lola, Thelma and Dad, all the ones who love from a broken heart come to dance.

“You are the captain of your ship, the captain of your soul” is a quote I scribbled down way before I took on this journey, and I will not begin being grateful when I find the destination, the flag, the written map the gods reveal before me.

Sink or swim, with maybe one float left to hold on as I watch my boat burst into flames, it doesn’t matter.
I will dance just the same.

For everyone on board, from past to present to unknown to future known, this is the song I am dancing to, hoping you all are blessed, touched, and loved. It is you who have been God’s touch on my shoulder.

Enjoy!

Michael Franti & Spearhead LIVE

 

The One I Never Met

I have written of past great loves, but not all of them. I wrote of “The One Who Got Away.” Thanks to that post we are now friends on facebook, and I continually tease that I will threaten any girl who shows up tagged in his photos. He replies, “I don’t deserve you” and I sigh, now understanding this ridiculous self belief is exactly what took him away in the first place.

But, I have never written about B, the man I met on facebook through my ex husband, the only man he would ever release me to with the total trust would love me the way I deserved.

I friended him, flirted with him, and discovered he was a writer.

A writer, God is that an understatement! I always told him to write women’s porn, his words made my heart beat so fast and sometimes stop, barely catching my breath, red pink hot waves painted my cheeks.

It was a time of Spiritual search for me, my old beliefs from childhood questioned and researched with fury, my hunger for Spiritual truth brought me hundreds of books, more questions, landing me in Joseph Campbell, Metaphysics, Symbolism and even the Tarot and the Kabbalah.

It was a magical time, my willingness to learn like a little child, and I kept and rejected the beliefs I found to be true on the journey, many did stay close to my heart, but most are like thoughts that left with the churches and temples behind me.

B was the man who was a seeker like me, our letters, over 600 long emails over a very short time led us to believe we were in love, having never met.

SO, of course, my family and friends were curious why my status changed, why I had a boyfriend, and I would gulp and sigh, thinking of course they would believe me crazy.

It WAS crazy.

I had never met the man.

I didn’t care. I was that passionate and our love was all that mattered. After you read his version of the story, I will tell you how it ended.

He wrote, 

“When they sent messages to each other, they used the initials B and K.

B, the male energy, had joked around after meeting K, the female energy, online one afternoon.

 “I practice safe Facebook sex” he wrote her.

   She responded a week later.

“I am wearing nothing but red high heels, drinking pineapple juice” said K.

 B was aroused. He was drinking pineapple juice himself.

   Thus, B discovered K’s fascination for Red High Heels.

He remembered an old, late night HBO show called Red Shoes Diaries, a series of short erotic stories about really good looking adults mingling around New York City, having spontaneous sexual adventures. The commercial tag was a tall, dark, and handsome man down on one knee, slipping an elegant red high heel shoe on the foot of a professional looking blonde with long legs. But it wasn’t the show he was interested in; it was the shoes. 

A woman walking around her home in red high heels, drinking pineapple juice…are you kidding me? Could B really have been this lucky? Red high heels represented the entire spectrum of feminine sexuality for him, an archetype stored deep in the male consciousness that triggered erotic, womanly images. It was the inspiration he was looking for, in order to move forward in a time where it was move forward, or fester in the stagnation of the past. 

They called upon a Universal Phonics Hotline for help; it included Numerology, the Zodiac, birthday’s, full names, a mutant pagan plant crucification of Mr. Destiny, stirring a witches cauldron with a flying broom, a topless picture of breasts, a white and black feather, an Atlantic ocean crossing, bad Ukrainian food, a pyramid of  moonbeams, a collection of different size keys, and dream interpretations.

   The Universe, apparently, had lifted a little finger. 

B offered up a well of male energy residing inside of him, a restless and powerful and candid glimpse of the worldliness and responsibility and repressed sexual fantasies that made him “B” in the cyber-world relationship they had kicked off. And K responded with her goddess female energy, a gigantically smooth and beautiful and smoldering splash of creative beauty, a sexual firecracker ‘pop’ on a silver platter, that she offered up in private and across her blog like a virgin on a stone altar. K validated the undercurrent of spiritual openness that B had so long believed in, but had never been led to. Universal Phonics had repeatedly presented him with female energy that was grounded in the dogma of human religion; energy that was close-minded, afraid; energy that was determined to capture and keep and lock up his character, his passions, his self. Basically, energy that put a noose around his testicles.

B’s philosophy could be summed up in an image; it was simply himself, sitting on a mountaintop, facing the warm sun just above the horizon, with his eyes closed. Consciousness understands images better than words. His spiritual philosophy was about unity, not separation through religion; he was grounded so much in nature, so much in the salty ocean, to the point where he always picked jobs that entailed working outside; being a Taurus, connected magnetically to the Earth, his sexual appetite was voracious, like the movement of electric syrup through his veins, and discovering K’s female mirror energy made him smile inside; he repeatedly attracted energiesin the past that wanted to change him, when he already was who he was.

   How can you change something that already is? he would ask.

   But K was different. K used her powers as a mutant pagan, sorceress, and witch to peek between the blinds the Universe would never raise. She discovered secrets about herself, and B, which she learned from, and used tohelp them climb the karmic steps of knowledge. For example; she knew which days she would be in Saturn, which was a good thing regarding love apparently.

She also discovered the main card she must master was focusing her energy. K’s energy had always been scattered, along with her focus, due to her inner emotions of wanting to please and satisfy all the people she came in contact with. 

It was the mother inside her, always putting love first.She was slowly learning that life, on an energetic level, was the stealing or giving of life energy to people you truly liked or loved, and the ones who mastered it, mastered the direction and flow of their lives. Just the same as the earth revolved to night and day, into light and dark, so did people.

B walked up behind her once in a dream. It was nighttime, and she was crying on a beach, staring intensely at a brilliantly full moon. He wrapped his arms and legs around her, buried his face in the smell of her hair, and ever so gently squeezed her back to life. She cried so much, her shirt was drenched.

It was not painful; it was a beautiful release for her, his male energy encapsulating her, protecting her from the night, absorbing her grief without any sound. That hug centered her being in center-less universe. B then took her hand and walked with her into the ocean, where they swam through scenes out of his dreams; a bright, open field of sunflowers, an unusual dream of Buddha’s slipping down a muddy hillside at sunset, strange swimming dinosaur-like creatures with incandescent lights running across the spines of their backs, until they reached the one he wanted to show her.

It was his Universal magician dream, where they witnessed the ebb and flow of life forces, of souls, moving in and out of planes of awareness.

A wizard-like referee was a sort of gatekeeper for all these balls of light…and he let them watch, briefly, until shooing them away with a wave of his hand.

   They found themselves on the moon, one of K’s favorite places. The roles were reversed now; riding piggy-back, she squeezed B so tight as he walked her across the surface of the moon, she thought she was hurting him.

She wasn’t.

Kissing his neck, she pointed out in front of them, and he took her wherever she wanted to go. She laughed, and spanked his butt, and kicked her feet like she was a little girl.

This was the part B was getting at, the part he left out before. He accidentally tripped and fell, and they rolled in a dense blanket of moon dust; it was thick, like cotton candy, and they fed it to one another off their fingers. It tasted sweet. The moon dust turned into sunflowers, and they fed those to each other as well, like ice cream, K teasing and yanking a bite right out of B’s mouth, then smearing it in his face. He smiled, and she giggled. They kissed, and K slowly climbed on topof B, straddled him, and as the moon slowly rotated, the warmth of the sun hit them from the center of the galaxy. 

They watched it rise sitting like that, holding each other. It danced on their skin, each molecule vibrating higher and higher…until they woke up under B’s bed sheets. 

And as they made love, their fingers were still sticky.”

These emails and long calls over the couple months led up to the meeting day, a long waited return for two people madly in love, having never met.

I was excited, nervous, and so happy, certain the man of my dreams was coming to claim me, to not walk me away, but lift me up high over his head and carry me, a soulmate, a man I knew somehow could touch my heart with only his finger, only his. I was his and he was mine.

Until he showed.

He was nervous, my entire family meeting him at the door while I lit candles in my bedroom, hoping to God they wouldn’t unnerve him, all of them inspecting him like Scientists with little magnifying glasses.

He was nothing like I thought, his writing so forward and strong made me surprised to find a introvert in front of me, very quiet and soft spoken, looking around as if he wanted the nearest exit.

My palms began to sweat.

It was awkward, over played, too soon, or maybe I had wanted an illusion so badly I dreamed him up, my heart started to break every moment we spent, his distance farther away.

He said little or nothing, drank too much, could barely look at me, and my family felt more intrusive than ever, the questions asked were well meaning but made him jitter, like a man trying to run for his life.

I realized he was a sailor, a man who lived on boat to boat, and he wouldn’t, couldn’t be mine.

He belonged to no one, to freedom, to himself.

I would grow to resent him and him me if I took that from him.

God, it hurt.

I grieved a man I had never met more than most the boyfriends I had spent holidays and long vacations with.

I grieved a man I knew had changed me, all of me, and nothing was left to say.

But, when he was leaving, us both secretly relieved, he kissed me in the driveway, anxious to get on the road. I cried the whole time I saw his truck turn the corner, my heart completely broken, my dreams crashing around me. Then, I saw the red truck coming back, FOR ME?

I almost fainted from joy. Maybe it had been the family, the fear, the over expectation.

I tried not to cry or over smile, his getting out the truck, like a movie, coming back for me.

I forgot my wallet,” he said.

And so, “The One I Never Met” left, with my heart, and I cursed him and myself, hating myself for falling, for dreaming.

Until now. Now I see the blessing, the lesson, the fact that dancing on the moon and fantasizing of a life together had not been stupid, that the love I felt stupid for taking was in fact real.

That realization was long and hard, but it’s truth finally healed the pain pumping within me.

And one more thing. He introduced me to a little guy named Buddha, a pig that took swims in the pool, so with him in my heart, I did something brave. I wrote.

Buddhathepig was a name not taken, so I took a deep breath and owned it in his name and I wrote, the way he told me to, hungry, giving all of myself, from my heart.

We had the same dream all along and I didn’t even see it.

My dream, like his, was to be free, to be free to live just as I am, and so B, thank you for showing me how.