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

 

Puppy Love

Just a year ago, I separated from my children so even though I’m divorced a gazillion years, this meant actually moving out of Divorcee’s tightly structured comfy home to try out big girl land.

When you marry someone and stay 5 of the ten years for the kids, life is pretty bad.

But to cohabit with your ex and other family for another four years TO AVOID ANY THOUGHT OF BEING SEPARATED from your baby chicks, well, is crazy.

I didn’t care. I had security, my kids, a babysitter who loved my children while I went off dating or partying.

It got comfortable until the most horrible thing imaginable occurred.

I fell in love.

It makes me mad. I am mad right at this moment that I had done everything, cut no corners, but he picked me out, followed me like a persistent puppy and no matter how mean you are, the puppy just can’t resist being petted.

Then you would find yourself yelling at the puppy, on purpose, but it stays and whines, adding intense guilt, making you take just a little step, like a treat or head scratch, but just before you can take it back or affirm in a stern voice, it’s all over your face, licking you to death.

Ick.

But you cave again, buying a bowl, just for visits, and you tell the puppy not to get attached or you may drop him off at the humane society just so he knows,

Your not for adoption.

You bring cats home to confuse him, hang his leash cut in half on the door, never let him on the bed, wrinkle your nose at all his a begging.

You sign upscore a training camp such as “Running from your owner without getting hit by a car.”

You purposely tell him you will be at the dog park but don’t show up.

You show him the other dogs looking for owners making sure to pick the German Shepard and Golden Retriever, hoping not to hurt the little guy but to help him not trust anyone, especially you, with his heart.

You avoid warm fires or free snuggles, wear no makeup and tshirts to dinner, offering up your part of cost before he can whimper.

He breathes hot air on your neck.

It tickles, finding yourself with a big smile

Oh, and never do you walk him, in fact, you ensure all your family and friends how little importance this dog is, irritated at their jokes.

It isn’t funny.

The last time you let a dog belong to you, he died. He died in your arms with a needle pumping him till he lay stiff as a board in your arms.

Nothing is ever the same when your 14 year old best friend gets tossed in a dump as you go home trying on normalcy, listening to a Katy Perry tune, pretending your fine.

You were not fine.

You were traumatized so this little dog can eat his own shit and bathe his own damn self.

He can take his rabies and ticks and fleas somewhere else to an owner who likes that sort of thing. He can stop trying to catch sticks when it’s obvious he probably never did it before, this wanting an owner either.

He did do cute things like say, “I just want you to stay” over and over after rejection and rejection.

He said he loved me best in my glasses.

He made my heart hurt like a burning rash while he claimed to flutter in joy, and I was certain.

He wasn’t ready.

He was unable to walk sidewalks much less be roller skating with two slightly different versions of me, Kat and Lola.

He was the messiest thing I ever saw, chewing cushions all day until I returned, pacing the porch for my scent.

Kat distrusted dogs and Lola loved them at instance, a difficult tribe to please.

He showed up with adoption papers rolled In his mouth which at first, I grabbed them in irritation, throwing them out the front door.

That made him quiet, which was heartbreaking, but had to be done, for both our protection.

When I stopped responding to his howling calls, he showed up at my door, hopeful with a dumb grin and two chicken legs.

He tricked me again and again by hiding those papers only to bring them to my feet after a fantastic day of driving, roof down, music up.

He got bathed by the finest, soft and short like a cute little bear dog, the way I had no choice but to call him to me, forgetting to stop him from jumping, his slobbery kisses suddenly felt like home.

The hurting kept magnifying, the choices spent over time, my kids and I missing each other, I took him to the pound, and he didn’t look at me the whole way, turning away to my apologies that “wrong timing” and “kid friendly” were the main problems, along with family not wanting any more animals around.

We were tired of pain.

He never could give a logical valid reason for those dumb papers, demanding them of me, saying his last owner took years to not sign.

He would not be so blind with me.

I was going to own him, move in his bed and share my blanket, put up with his snoring, clean lost clumps of hair or I could go away. Forever.

He wasn’t the kind of dog to jump from lap to lap, a jealous pup he was,  biting at the ankles of anyone I’d walk outside.

And so I signed.

It has been hard, training more difficult than my pessimism could conjure, both of us confused where we fit, speaking completely different languages, we manage but there are many times I wonder what the hell I was thinking, being responsible for a dog.

I hear Thelma in my ear, “Sometimes you don’t get what you want, you get what you need.”

It’s so true.

What happens when you get a dog you have no confidence will be anything other than a huge loss, probably by car, you think. In front of you.

Dogs will die so why mess with it, the ending could even be ugly, like him eating your child’s baby toys or worse, foot, so you shudder, every question sent your way could be one more reminder part of your soul is most likely going to run away with the neighbor, or die from your cooking, sick of kids stepping on his paws, and all you will have to show for it are ripped cushions.

Bunkbed Breakthroughs

I have always been what I call the eternal optimist, and it is true, I do believe in the best of people, almost to a fault. While I have been often criticized for attracting the nut jobs, not allowed to walk into the store for my reputation to find a friend while sampling cheese is so common and distracting for most, I usually am told to wait in the car. Not anymore.

HELL NO.

I got sick to death of the leach energy stealing time and life draining emotional vampires that I had come to a good place, deciding to become a more balanced and aware person of where my time and attention went.

Then, a few facebook stalking fools and a psycho date here and there along with a family fallout made me discover I wasn’t that at ALL, I had been naive, an open target to all who wanted to dump any problem. When I found out from Thelma, who looked at me confused once, as I vented about how much I didn’t want to discuss this or that, she said something brilliant, or known, who knows.

You do know you don’t have to tell anyone anything you don’t want to tell, right?”

What? What the hell is she talking about? I thought.

“Wait a minute, come on. You have to know that when people ask questions, even if I am uncomfortable, I know it is because I am so open, I mean my life is already a public blog so I rarely complain, right?”

She didn’t agree, which shocked me. She said who gave a damn, I owed nothing to anyone, and my life was my own, and this was a boundary problem.

Holy Shit. She was right.

I enjoy writing, and my own words, by myself, and I like looking back later and reading stories of my girls, my life is as surprising to me as a stranger, my memory of yesterday, is

Wait. What happened yesterday?

See what I mean. But, I don’t enjoy discussing these private issues or being distracted or feeling angry I wasted time on people who didn’t even care. This is the new me, I thought, glaring down the grocery clerk who usually tells me to put back items cause they were not on sale. Sometimes I do, just because it makes her feel better, and I don’t mind.

Not anymore.

I do mind.

I do have a filter, I just didn’t know I was allowed to use it.

Plus, the displaced anger is helping this, since finding out this past year that most humans appeared to be blood sucking vampires that would eat your heart and vomit back what they didn’t want, leaving you broken, hurt, destroyed, as they appeared content, as long as the next victim was lined up first, proving your love never even mattered.

I promised myself to protect the little girl in me that felt so unsafe and powerless to never believe she was entitled to anything private, or that would mean she wasn’t loving.

I thought having your own private life or dreams and experiences made you a withholding unloving fake, someone who lived a lie or a secret, so I offered up all information to anyone I met, so they would know how honest I am.

I have liked this but have been a little bit angry and more cynical than usual, my guard up, ready to put the “STRANGER DANGER” cross X with my hands, any person walking towards me for any reason was not going to be aware I wasn’t a fool, that I saw straight past their bullshit.

So, today I got up early for Jury Duty, the last crazy I attracted, recorded and blogged should tell you I knew this was the prime place to be prime pickings for the crazy, so I had a game plan folks.

It was kind of fun. I feel like a detective.

I walked in, scanned the room, full of people, a thrilling thought at one time, but that was the old me, you see. I saw the old nanny chatty Kathy’s in the back, the old man going on and on to a row of people about his many jury duties experience, like he was some expert.

I saw the young mom types and thought about it.

Nah, they will ask questions about the kids.

I saw the classic men cub with earphones in, eyes shut.

Damn, why hadn’t I thought of it?

I saw the old me, the few acting as if they had just been introduced to a soul mate because they found out they all lived right next to some school.

No shit, people. We are all here from the same county, duh. My cynicism felt like an umbrella, protecting me from a hurricane. Not too reliable, but it at least had a hopeful plan.

SO, I saw a woman quietly reading who looked as exciting as a librarian at a night club, picked my target seat, no one else would be able to sit on an end seat even better, so yes, this was it.

Is this how introverts work normally? I just wondered that actually and I find it interesting.

She didn’t look up. Perfect. Whew. I was doing great, especially without a laptop, which made me pissy, not knowing you could bring one, but being not a morning person and already grouchy helped.

Until that damn receptionist lady, who had been the same one for my divorce, who I wanted to scream “I KNOWWW YOU!!!!!” loud with enthusiasm, like she would give a damn, so I squirmed.

Didn’t even say a word. Getting good, people, getting real good.

Then, we were issued a seat number where the dude said we would have to make real close friends with the person on the left and right, and my stomach sank.

Shit. I got nervous. What if I got the crackhead in the back, talking non stop, asking questions, or the god awful lady at the coffee station, all nosy, telling people they needed to try her cream from home, which she brought in her purse.

So of course, I heard my name, told myself to focus not look up, watch for sudden conversation starters and look at book at all questions. Repeat, I thought, Repeat.

And yes, of course, I sit down look up and a man my age in a blue shirt tight around his muscles with a nice tan and pearly white teeth smiles.

Fuck.

Oh, look to the right, look to the right, I thought, and damn if the Universe isn’t a pain in my ass but there sat a man cub, emerald green eyes sparkling with humor, looking like his mom just dressed him, all uncomfortable and ADHD in his seat.

Fuck me.

I sat down, stone cold.

No one said a word, and I felt like I was about to explode from holding in about a zillion comments, jokes, thoughts, questions, all banging up and down, asking to get out, then pleading.

“Hey,” sexy blue shirt man said, in a low whisper.

You think they would let a Government High School teacher out of this on his only break, ya know?” He was holding a phone with an adorable photo of his little boy.

I smelt friendly, nice, interesting, and harmless.

So, the bubble burst. “You teach High School? What grade? Do you love it? Did you always know?

My natural curiosity led to many interesting topics and man cub entered in by saying, “Dude. My mom had to pick me up from Athens last night just to get me here on time.”

He listened to my recent adventure of the crazy woman and how I almost went to jail for missing (https://buddhathepig.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/jury-duty-and-my-new-nickname-miss-geraldo-rivera/) and laughed his ass off, and before you know it, we got dismissed but a few of us stayed behind to finish the documentary below, a great documentary on a underwater scuba diver, which I added at end for your enjoyment.

When we departed, I was a little sad, wishing we had exchanged facebook requests.

And now, looking back, as I read this, I am beginning to see the lesson.

I don’t have to lose who I am to not get hurt. That alone makes me want to join a Gospel choir, my joy and relief that I am growing, not drowning, the sad fact is while in the lesson, it is hard to know the difference.

And then, in my bunk bed, Lola who requested we share the bottom in the month of June and the top the month of July, is the best roommate I ever had.

Almost asleep, thumb in mouth, eyes closed, she whispered, “Mommy.”

Yes baby?” I was reading a self help book with the lamp on.

You can cuddle with me any time, okay?

Broken hearts do heal, not over night, but holding her and thinking of my day reminded me of all that comes when you adhere to your own personal truth and convictions. It is worth all the loss, all the broken pieces, for the courage to be one’s true self is the battle, the hope that sits on your baby’s long gorgeous eyelashes, with the moon out, dolls on the ends of your feet, for if you just look, you will find it.

Hope is the ability to test all you know to become all who you always wanted to become. And if I find this is not the case, I at least know one thing for sure.

Next month I get to be on the top bunk, and if the Universe crumbles around me, I have already what really matters in life.

Flotation Devices 101

It is easy to write about the highs of life, the love that bounces off and to me so freely and kindly, the stories that make me laugh, the characters I hold so dear to my heart. I have been accustomed to protecting the ones I love when I write, never wanting them to experience the pain of being exposed for being human, a sacrifice I know comes from being loved by a writer.

I feel it all the time, the fear, the raw emotion of cringing at the publish button, wondering if the people in my life who are affected by my words will know I cringe, or if they see them as flippant pieces of a life easy to judge through a computer screen, accustomed to my truth, never seeing what it has cost me.
I know truth will always set you free, but I am no longer naive.

It almost always costs you something first, and it slaps you with its humility, cuts with a razor blade, burns like a rope tied to your ankles until you surrender.

My father was the charmer, always going the extra mile to give you cash when you were down to a penny, certain to make you aware that life was not safe without him, certain his gifts were the life jacket he threw, a skill so disguised I would find myself thanking and even apologizing, unaware the drowning was not only a black crazy hole sucking you to darkness.

Life jackets make you float and his were weighted with lies, a hand on my head pushing me under, with a smile and a check.

My lie was believing my madness made me sink.
My shame was that I loved him anyway.
My pain was that I deserved it.

And so, the Collector comes, his gifts as beautiful and pure as the ocean is deep, and I did not see the need for a life jacket, my feet not even close to the water. His love opened me to discover the realms of my truth, that I was nothing I had thought.
I jumped in head first, after resisting the tide to the point I was physically ill in my refusal and fear, the weights of my own lies had kept me far from saving, so far that I didn’t even believe I was capable of floating much less diving.

Through Your Vulnerability Comes Your Invincibility.

I love that quote and here I was, hard and shallow, rigid in my refusal to ever fall into a trap, a pride that formed in believing by never being hurt, you always win. I had to sink to learn to swim.

I don’t write to make anyone happy, not even myself, but I write to be free, to own my truth however misguided and scary it may feel.

The Collector has worked tirelessly to give to me, and I let him on the day I made a decision to love him for free, without a return to my investment. I knew that I had serious pain and betrayal hidden under the layers of this one truth, the truth that I do not operate like most, my love to explore and experience far greater than my love to snuggle up with a safety pillow. Pillows that make some feel soft and warm can also suffocate you in the middle of the night, the night you were destined to dance to a song played just once, and so while the lover snores, I toss.

It never occurred to me you can dance just the same, with men who hate pillows, that I am not insane to want both, my judgements have been harsh, this belief I do not love well.
I am sad at this thought, remembering my mother speak of my boredom with boyfriends, her always telling me to just face it and break up with them, the family phone ringing off the hook, my immaturity and curiosity hoped for the best, my need for freedom and adventure always won.

I don’t want this war and so I chose freedom, a belief that my adventures will always be satisfied, and we all win because in the end, no one gets hurt.

I didn’t know war is war no matter which side you are on, a truth I face tonight, staring at my pillow, not sure if I am being betrayed, by myself or him, or perhaps not at all.
It is the madness of the life jacket, not certain if the weight I feel comes from believing lies, or if the weight is not a lie but a truth I have hidden in my quest to be brave. I know that choosing to love despite the fear and betrayal has freed me. I have learned that I am nothing I imagined, that my heart is capable of more than I ever dreamed, that my father does not have the power to make me afraid.

I do not believe he will get the credits on the end of the screen, at my last breath for any of the choices I make, so what is my movie exactly, the message I have come to speak, the ending I want to imagine?

My ending is floating, the sky warm against my face, my smile wide, my heart bursting, the dreams I cried at birth playing before me, the world watching a timeless piece of art that left an imprint of what is possible when one chooses to love and lose, but love again and again.

It is the mark of the true hero.

Bravery is loving when no one has loved you, not the way you deserve, so you find it on your own, and it costs you but is immeasurable just the same.

Love never abandons true seekers.

So I face this weight today, wondering if I have imagined it into being, if a savior has appeared when I never asked to be saved. If love is real, and a man sends a life jacket, cloaked in the finest of intention, flirting between love and casual lies, how do you trust it? What if the savior is just a piece of my unhealed trauma, not even a savior, and my ending is the reality I crucified him for sending the help I needed?

I am treading water, watching the pull of the tide grab my ankles, pushing me into the unknown dark cold waves of myself, deep and mysterious, and I am awake and alert, defensive and on guard.

It is a paradox, this blind trust of love and faith.

Certainly not all flotation devices are evil and we all need salvation at times but I have trusted the wrong ones too often to risk drowning from punctured holes too naked for my eye to see.
But it is love not fear where the well of healing springs.
It is the making of greatness, this impossible to read life jacket, for it is my only way of knowing if I am the one who has finally learned how to save herself, a thought that makes me want to doggy paddle to safety, the dark sea causing my head to panic and my heart pound.

Sink or swim, I must release the jacket.

It is the only way.

It doesn’t take away the weight, the impossible grin on my father’s face as I grab in certainty only to sink and sink, his life jacket cloaked in a sweetness only betrayal could invent.
This suffocating thing he called love must be exposed, found, and saved, not by the Collector or anyone else.
It is the one thing I want more than any ending in all the world, to trust love because it stands on its own, to know that I am the savior, that no flotation device can be trusted.

That is the point.

I have to let them go by, these safety devices claiming they can save me from the dark pull of my own doubts, my weary distrust of saviors, always appearing at your weakest, the moment before you know you are beautiful and powerful, the very second before you decide you no longer can survive.
I must sink or swim, or both, but I am certain in the end, I will have learned to float.

If only I knew how.

Shame Erasers Part One

The ugly truth about writing is that it is not something you choose.

It chooses you.

I have been avoiding this blog like crazy.

Writing is the only way I know how not to lie.

One of my favorite writers said we have no choice to write or not, that inspiration is bullshit. She said you show up, every day, like all other writers, because it is your job, and that is what you do. Fine. But I don’t have to like it.

……………………………………………………..
Shame Erasers Part One….

I wish I could write this in outline, or power point, to make it less blinding.
I need lists to make even grocery stores less frightening.

Its like I have been living with the sound of a dentist drill in my mind,
an irritating awful pierce demanding I sit down and write.
I just want to get under my covers and hide.

A man I have been dating wants to be my boyfriend.

Good God. That statement even looks as dumb as I imagined.

I don’t need to tell anyone I am a free spirit, a boastful pride in the fight I put out for that freedom. I love being and going, free to kiss, flirt, drink, touch, dance, and to be single is bliss. Utopia is Granny panties or lace thongs worn just for me, ice cream out of the box,
a delightful bed with no sweaty needy hairy man waiting on me to get there,
asking where I went, why my cell phone wasn’t charged, or if I knew how dangerous dancing, live music, oh, and the other hairy sweaty sex crazed filthy mind controlling men I hang around are.

These are the men in past I have referred to as boyfriends or husband, and believe me, it never ends well.

It begins with a promise they make after four beers while I am in red heels,
a short black dress revealing cleavage and legs, leaning in with my glass of red wine.
This is not my first rodeo people.
I laugh at the thought of life and cramps on the bathroom floor,
Lola being put in time out for talking about hairy pee pees, Kat irritated Lola stole her label maker.
And so, my response is usually, “Good Luck,” said with ease and flirtation, ending with me in my bed,
my girls safe and snug a room away. Bliss.

And so, today, for my mini series, you understand the pitch I gave, the same one a million times over it feels, but now there is one man who refuses to sign.

He will not budge. The immovable mountain I can not climb, cross, surround, depart from. He has the most annoying response ever to all these questions I spit, like nails, all the time, every hour.

“I want you.”

Seriously? That is not the correct answer.
That is actually kind of stupid.

And he smiles patiently, a man I named THE COLLECTOR, his house full of little groups of old cameras, beautiful treasures in all types of forms, put together like a kid building legos, but with art.
I can’t decide if I am experiencing love, horrific fear, warning signs from God, or intimacy.
He is like a nightmare wrapped up in a teddy bear, the very thing that looks so soft, I am suspicious of how it is stuffed.

Is this what people call love? THIS is the feeling women crave?
I feel like I ate too much beef jerky and got on a six flags ride I can’t get off.
Is this vibe what we are going for on romantic comedy movies,
which are all hired actors by the way, who are divorced three times over,
a side fact for the romantics to chew on.

I must lose him or commit to him, which I think has brought up every issue I have.
He kind of just required it.

How dare he? How dare a hairy sweaty man be so good, so kind, so sweet?
I don’t know how to control this ridiculous man, and I am mad with love and hate over this lack of control, especially in bed, as if every secret I have invites him inside with little thought to what this could become.
There should be prisons for people like him, torture chambers.

I don’t know what is bigger.
To lose something so big it will destroy me and all that I have worked to become.
Or to live in this, this fear, so ridiculous and mind altering, I just can’t do it. I have to get rid of him and fast.
Clyde says that is extreme.
Clyde says the things everyone says, and asks this question, which makes me laugh, for reasons I am so happy he doesn’t understand.

“WHAT IS THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?”

I know this question.
It is designed to see that a simple truth holds the key in hoping that there is nothing to fear but fear itself.
I wonder if Clyde as a grown man had been told by his father point blank,
a man he had known and loved his whole life that he was an investment,
a bad one that never paid off. Then stand in the ruins of a life built on lies while the masses poke and smile,
asking for news on the latest man, a humiliation that rubs like a skin burn, a deep pulsing heartache no
words can describe.

I need a shame eraser. I just don’t know where to find a parking lot of them, my shame for watching
this man in his stubborn insistence stay reminds me daily I was not free at all.
I was as sick and chained and controlled in my mind from fear now as I was with the sweaty hairy men.
This is a nail biting mind altering truth to me, MISS OBVIOUS, soaking in single loving bliss.
It is humiliating, scary, and makes me wonder if I might be seriously damaged, like beyond what I could even
exaggerate, so much that I could hurt him, a thought I can’t live with.
What if I were like my Dad?
What if my Dad left for reasons the Collector will find?
What if I trust someone who becomes a mad man, like my Dad, and the girls will have it done to them.
No, no, this is wrong, wrong, wrong. I know who did the crime.
I just can’t justify at the right time if it is him, or me, or both who believes the crime has to be paid.

And so here I am, with a freight train headed, in the complete dark, his mere existence mentioned and teased by well meaning friends makes me want to fall over the edge, my balance knocked, my leg shaking.
The girl with the mouth from the South is in trouble when she can’t talk, not to anyone, not about this.
I have found my personal truth lies within me but in this, in this, I have become the unknown.

Part of me hears Clyde say “Breathe,” and “Go Slow,” but I don’t feel that. I feel betrayal coming like a smoke monster hurling at my door, shadows cast from giant magnifying glasses, my fears coming from the ground whisper I am drowning and the life boat I need, well, he is running out of time.

The saddest part is I don’t know if I’ll drown before I can tell him I want him back.

Douchebag Determinator

I am pretty ignorant about Superhero inventors, but I would bet on this amazing slice of Johnny’s Pizza I’m eating right now that men invented the majority of them. How could they know the ultimate sexy fighting warrior in spandex did not fight crime with her wrists and big tits? It is pretty clear Wonder Woman can’t get shit done because all her superhuman powers are being used to fight off the Douche Bags, that’s right.

Maybe a gay Superhero, Mr. Awesome could show up as her sidekick, but they tend to get sidetracked with shiny materials, a shame, gay Superheros are so a century overdue.
Spiders, Jokers, Gigantic Green Men called Hulks, so what.

I would rather be caged with an Avatar not on my side smoking a crack pipe in a teeny wrestling ring then be spotted by the common Douche.

Even my poor mom, a NANA, got cornered by Grandpa Douche, telling her at the bus stop he can pick up 40 year old women. Get real people, we need more than blue elastic skin, lightning eyes, and pointy tits to fight off the common Douche. You could put a paper bag on Wonder Woman’s head, wrap her in a Snuggie, and the Douche will still find a way, so back to the drawing board Superhero writers, Douche Baggies need Wayyy more than a belt and a push up bra to be kept at bay. This is not my first rodeo and I have had some fine tuning in Douche determining and eliminating school, and I still find myself throwing my hands up in the air, DOUCHED again, this weekend a perfect crime fighting fail.
I had a lovely night on Friday with Harpua, discussing with a bad ass chick on his balcony her infuriating encounter with the pool Douche, a man who was NO LIE, on the DR. PHIL Show about DOUCHE BAGS, a guy who went to an Ivy league school, who can’t find anyone smart enough to hang out by the pool with, a statement he yells over at her, which by the way, he also mentions he has his own modeling agency, of course.

I laughed till my sides hurt at little Miss Cowgirl from Auburn describe these models with track marks down their arms, her disgust over his constant harassment finally coming to confrontation. She said she lifted her self right off the pool chair, her top forgotten not on, to wave her pretty little finger in the air, her Southern drawl in full effect.

“Hey honey, you really don’t think girls from Auburn can be smart, do you?”

She took a long sip of her beer for dramatic effect. He called her sweetie, said that Auburn was fine for people who loved football, that he had a Marketing degree and this is my favorite part. I made her tell me three times.

Sweetheart, I am a Nuclear Fuckin’ Chemist,” she says with fire, flipping her long brown hair, her lip gloss shining as bright as her infuriated eyes, and she is, in fact, a brilliant scientist with brains and nice breasts.

She loves getting in the elevator with him, her husband giving her a look, which she doesn’t care, glancing over at him, her eyes saying, “Your penis is absolutely teeny.” Instead she says rolls her eyes asking him, “How is the pool?”
We need more of her, and I don’t have nuclear chemist brains, but I do have big boobs, so I have to fight with what God gave me, which is sadly, a lot of experience. I met up with Mr. Confident after he sent me a message on face book that said, “You are way too beautiful to be single.”

Now, I know this is total grounds for Doucheness but I remember him to be sweet and completely harmless in high school, now writing me about my blog, the impact of losing a loved one, and so, my heart strings rattled for of course, just one drink.

Little did I know the man was twice the size of my bedroom door, and had just came off the set of the 80’s sitcom, no lie, Joey Lawrence, down to the chin drop and signature, WHOAH, breathing God’s fresh air with his mouth dropped open while his eyes lost in space. At least, I thought, until I saw it was the GA game behind me.

Honestly, he reminds me of Joey from “Friends” now that I think of it, his Doucheness was especially skillful, so I was on red alert, aware his mental handicaps could appear adorable if not watched carefully, and he had in fact a real head injury, so I needed some Super Woman help here. She must have been at Auburn, cause she sure as hell didn’t show up at Taco Mac.

He began by asking me if I knew across the street from his house there was this place that was a bar that had a lot of, wait for it, good wine. He said it again, much slower.
I pointed out to him we were at a bar with wine right then, my head cocked in my own, “Really?” a signature head cock of the Super Woman Douche Bag Destroyer.

He hit his leg, laughed, showing dimples as enormous as his pecs. He then told me this unbelievable story. His last relationship had been going great, an Australian woman he picked up in a t-shirt shop, and said that they had gone out and had some fantastic sex.

He said I wasn’t going to believe this next part.

He got drunk, sent a text to come over for a hundred dollars, and she actually ripped him a new one, said he had treated her like a prostitute! He took a sip of his beer, shaking his head, signaling the “Crazy Woman” head shake.

Bat Mobile Back UP.

Say what? I then asked the two lovely women at the bar next to me to hear a story about my friend, one who had taken a girl out, had sex with her, who then preceded to text her later to come over for a hundred bucks. Then, that same man told the story to a woman on their first date.

Oh, Super Douche Bag Fighters, it was a win, a hilarious win, and he got an earful, a glorious earful, not to mention the Braves were on, not the Georgia game.
I gave him the short list on our way out, which he laughed, saying this is why everyone tells him he is single.

His “STORIES” about receiving and sending texts while receiving a blow job, one about being broken up with after on a “break,” he sent a text saying how hot this chick looked that morning. His girlfriend replied saying, “You didn’t see me this morning.”
He is a HUGE fan of my blog, but has never heard of Rob Dyrdek, but my favorite was him asking me, “What did you think when you saw me, sitting over here, on the bar?”

I told him he looked like a man sitting on the bar.

He asked me what I was looking for in a man, and I was almost about to answer, but he either got excited or had a nervous tick, waving at the hostess, calling her over to tell her she was doing a great job.

“Confidence,” I was saying, as he turned to me, his eyes on the big screen.
“I don’t have that,” he said, his hands cutting across his throat to signal no way, not at all.
I am still not sure if he was being serious.
It was kind of funny and authentic, a word I love so much I said enough for him to comment, something I have been told before, a quirk of mine, being I do love the dang word.
“You love saying, what is it, Authentic?” He must have asked six times.
It was then when he was driving me back to my car, the beers in my system, that my fine tuned skills appeared from either experience, DNA, or just being a smart ass.

You are hot, baby,” pointing to the curve of my neck with his finger.
“Really?” I said it sweetly, pulling my shirt off the side of my neck with one finger, letting one bra strap fall down, and then the next, “I will give you three chances to see this if you can answer one question,” I said leaning in, his face locked. He suddenly got serious.
What is my favorite word?
He beat his head against the steering wheel, thought of Awesome, Intuitive, and Awesome, again.

Authentic.” My straps felt tight back around my shoulders, and in spite of it all, I laughed at his reaction, telling me it had to have been the brain injury from his coma.
Maybe I am not a chemist, but I think I did okay.

I used my breasts and big words, the only material they clearly gave Super Woman, and she wasn’t even around to save me.

Service and Therapy, With a Smile

If you ever wonder what your relationships look like, don’t pay a therapist, ask a waitress.
Good servers give food correctly and timely, but great servers are intuitive, feeling out the emotions and needs customers unconsciously demand all the time, knowing who wants to joke and chat, who wants to sit in silence, who is anxious to have the table cleared and the dirty napkins gone, and who wants to sit and graze until the chairs go up, the plate of fries slowly touched, but very much enjoyed.
The way people live life can be measured in how they order food.
I see the husband rubbing his temples with his head between his elbows, mumbling for chips, not even hearing you ask the original question, which after giving a name was, “Hi, What can I get for you to drink, sir?”
I get this 20 minute window into people’s lives, and it is fascinating to observe how incredibly different and unique people are, how they interact with each other and the world around them, the symbols of life lying right there in front of you, obvious to everyone but them. The way you feel about life is not only on your face, but it is in your body, in your tone, in your eyes, and words never deceive me, not after years of observation.
I see countless couples never speak through entire dinner conversations and yet I feel a peace, a connection, a way of life that is comfortable, relaxed, and enjoyable. It is in a plate being cleared by a wife who needs not hesitate and ask, clearly half the steak is gone, but she knows him, and smiles lifting and passing it to me, while he pats his tummy. It is her glass he notices is in need of water, catching me with his eye, holding it out for her as she chats, not noticing the act that says it all.
It is how they communicate with their eyes, looking and knowing by a nod and a head toss if they want desert, his hand over hers when she digs in her purse for the Visa. It is in the moments in between breaths, the silence of a moment cherished, not with words but with her feet touching his, the one yawn that leads the other to yawn, both in agreement to go home, and so I drop the check, his hands holding her keys, her hand on his shoulder all signal me hello and goodbye, an effortless team, a communication built on trust and time and love.
I also see countless people who never speak through entire dinner conversations and the look she gives him while he orders, the tense way he shakes his glass, in mid air, a subtle repetitive motion he does every time he puts his lips to the glass, the folded arms, darting eyes, the relief when the meal arrives, not from hunger pains, but for something to do so they don’t have to just be.
I am always amused with people who believe words have weight.
They say they don’t have the baby, that they are so pleased to have a date, finally, and her big eyes beg me to stay, her chatter endless, his phone in his hand, his eyes locked to the television behind her. There is a relief I feel each time I come to the table, like they are so excited to be checked on a hundred times, both believing they are having a conversation with each other, but not at all. They want random talk about the food, the news, the loud children, personal questions shot out one after another, like if I have children, where I am from, and I communicate for them, aware they believe in talking to me, they think they are having a conversation with each other.
I see emptiness in grand gestures, beauty in soft glances, big plastic smiles just applied with red lipstick, rude and angry comments tossed to each other in front of me, but I know in those moments, I am only allowed to look in this window because I am not a friend, a pastor, or neighbor. I am just a person serving food who doesn’t matter.
I am aware I will not always be a server, but I am certainly grateful to be one, to realize real eyes see real lies, and that at the end of the day, I may have witnessed the beginning of the most beautiful romance, a horrific divorce, a relationship built on friendship, an affair started over one glass of wine, a marriage blessed, a marriage trapped.
I may be seeing the best or the worst 20 minutes on a given day, the most important or boring time of your life spent, and yet, I am only there to collect your tips, watch you hate or love your life, an attachment I have nothing to gain from.
It is the ultimate study of relationships, of watching what people are by how they behave which for me can sound like nails going down a chalkboard, a scream that two people can both hear, and at the same time, both deny.
Perhaps you just thought you were hungry, and both felt like having steak.
If that is the case, go have dinner and have fun, get full, and tip your server.
Dinner is just life on a platter so if you want to fool someone, I would suggest take out, or drive thru, but don’t think you have a chance of fooling your waitress.
Domino’s Pizza always delivers.