Saturday, September 25, 2010


I still think about it when the leaves start changing colors. Not all at once, but bits and pieces, little flakes of color from the kaleidoscope, random scenes from that part of my life. Today it shook loose memories of a car ride and the first rumbles of the earth that signified the beginning of the end.

To be honest, I don't know why fall takes me there. I can't even remember what time of year it was when she got the diagnosis. All I remember is waiting in the car with a book, and seeing her come out of the doctor's office, pale and quiet and somehow smaller than she had ever seemed before. In my world, she loomed. Who am I kidding? She was the world. But on that day, she was almost a stranger, a frail and milky woman standing where my strong, scary, vibrant mother should have stood.

I don't remember what was said exactly, but I remember quickly decoding the cryptic speech they were using as Dad drove us toward home. I remember knowing, knowing, with a bladder-loosening terror, that it was bad. Really bad. As bad as when Grandma got sick; when Grandma died. That we were falling toward a dark, terrible place, and there was no way to stop the descent.

I remember that she said, "Stop me by the store. I can't deal with this without a beer. Just a couple, then I'll quit." She hadn't ever said anything like that before. Mom and beer, beer and Mom, that was the combo. And Salem Lights, of course.

Everything else from that day is a blur, but those few little vignettes keep popping into my head, driving me to my computer to pull up old Bob Dylan tracks (god, how she loved Dylan, and I love him, too, because she made him a part of the soundtrack of my childhood) and Judds songs and even, lord help us, Elvis singing "In The Garden," a song I hated off an album I hated by an artist I hated for most of my life. Tonight? It made me cry. And I listened to the whole song.

Tonight, Bob Dylan's harmonica and organ and weather-beaten drone sounded like lullabies, like connections to a pair of hands that I can no longer touch, to a lap in whose comfort my head will never again rest, to a face I will never see except in a kaleidoscope of pain and loss and lifelong lonely regret for all the things I will never get to ask her. Show her. Go to her for comfort over.

More than two thirds of my life have gone by since she died. You would think that all these memories would be shadows by now, vague things, and that the hurt and sheer solar plexus-punch gasping shock of it all would be gone away and over with by now. But it isn't. It isn't. It isn't.

It's still able to step up and stab me in the tender places, randomly, viciously, slyly. I can go for months without even thinking about it, and then it's in my face again, biting, bitter, freezing-hot and hideous.

I used to love the fall. I used to love the smells, the feel of the air, the gray skies. I used to look forward to the metamorphosis of the leaves and the first smoke from the chimneys and the ozone-scented streets after the first serious rain. Now I hate it all, because, regular as clockwork, the kaleidoscope kicks up another little shard of sorrow for me to cut myself on. And I bleed, and I cry, and I wonder: Will this ever ease? Will it ever not hurt? And what would that make me, if it didn't hurt me anymore?

Just another broken soul, falling, falling toward the dark?

I will accept the pain and the stealthy grief. But I will resent for the rest of my life the fact that death has stolen from me another thing that I love, and that it has done so across the span of time the way it has.

I don't have so many beloved people or ideals or dreams that I can afford to lose any more.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I am tired. It's been a long week. But I can't sleep.

I hear my guy snoozing over there on the couch and I want to wing a shoe at his head. How dare he be able to fall asleep on a fence rail (practically. No, seriously, the dude can sleep anywhere. It's a gift.), while I sit here and go from one end of the internet to the other? BAH.

In other news, I have big grandiose plans to - whoa. The teevee is on behind me and one of those REEEEELLY LOWD commercials - you know, the ones that are like sixty decibels higher than all the rest - just came on and almost made me pee myself.

ANYway. Big grandiose plans to post an entry about my collection of graphic tees and exactly how childish I really am, but most of the tees require laundering and I won't be posting pictures of my lunch-stained clothing for your enjoyment. Look for that within the next few weeks. I KNOW. Got you on tenterhooks, don't I? I, too, would be breathless in anticipation.

Ah, me. Okay, this post is more or less a time-filler, but hey, at least you can see that I am still among the upright and ambulatory, so it's got that in its favor, right? Right.

Good night, Irene, good night.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


You insidious, hateful monster, how I loathe you.

Slowly, slyly, you spread your tendrils and coils through her brain, taking from her first this small memory, then that one. Then you steal her sense of recent things, making her ask for reassurance in a small, frightened voice every few minutes that she is indeed who she is, she is where she is, and inquire timidly who all these people are.

Stealthily, you stretch out your fog-filled hands, taking more and more in greater and greater portions until she sits, silent, tiny in her favorite chair, eyes dark with the shadows you've cast over her mind and spirit. I see the child you've left behind in her eyes, without even the comfort of knowing she will soon understand how it all works, because from moment to moment she forgets even that she would like to understand.

And then your friend attrition joins in, adding first one small problem, then another, then piling on still more, until her frail little body can't handle either the causes or the cures.

Meanwhile, we all watch, and mourn, and wait for the moment when we will be sorrowing and rejoicing at the same time; sorrowing because we have lost a beloved and beautiful being from our lives, rejoicing because she has won free of your filthy, vile fingers.

Oh, yes, I loathe you. I hope they find the way to destroy you very soon. We aren't alone in our vigil, not by a long way, and the fact that so many others know exactly how this feels just enrages me more, fuels my hatred. The only consolation I have is in knowing that you will die when your host does, and so you taint even a clean grief.

Someday we will find a way to bar you out, you invading filth, and I hope I am alive to witness it.

I will be waiting and hoping for just that very thing.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What The Hell, Man

So I've been getting up early every day for weeks now, but until today I was able to sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays without a problem. Then, this morning, it was like one of those cartoons where the guy's eyelids roll back and go rat-a-tat-a-tat-a against his eyebrows like a pull-blind out of control, and good god, it's alive!

I don't know what to do with my bad self, either. I could clean the house, but then I'd wake everybody else up, and ... well... I kinda like the quiet. I could knit, but that seems like too much trouble.

I know! I will sit on my ass, drink a cup of coffee, and reread one of the Night Watch books by Terry Pratchett. I love Terry Pratchett. I love coffee. It's a plan!

Also on my list of things I've decided to do is to keep posting to this poor neglected blog whenever I can so that I don't feel the way I did when I remembered I had houseplants, only to take my watering can and walk over to two brown, dramatically slumped pots of twigs.

So yeah. I'm reading and drinking coffee as you read this (if you read this), and I kill houseplants. Edifying, right?


Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hey, Whoa.

I guess I suck more than a very sucky thing, because holy Bob, I haven't posted in... five months?


Okay, it's not like I didn't look over in this direction from time to time and go, "Oh. Yeah. Blog. Right. That," but somehow the words were never there and life was just too... too life, and I was positive that all that would emerge would be one long primal whine.

You know what? I firmly believe that if there can be a primal scream then there can totally be a primal whine. So I'm leaving it. Nyah. And also neener.

And then I got another e-mail from someone I'd thought had forgotten me altogether, which sent me over here to Blawger, which led me to discover that I could fiddle-fuck with my template (always, if I'm honest, a MAJOR reason I liked blogging to start with) even more than I could before, and then I thought, "Hey! How long has it been since I posted... HOLY SHIT."

So here I am. I promise you nothing in the way of posts, because I am a busy bitch these days and come home most afternoons and fall into the sweet, sweet arms of nappytime. Or I knit. But mostly, I nap.

So. Those of you for whom hope springeth eternal and still check in on this sad and neglected space, how in the blue fuck are yez?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


My friend Kate just had a beautiful baby boy, Isaac. Unfortunately, she's not doing so great - she's had 2 surgeries in the last few days and is fighting off a bacterial infection - so if you pray, PRAY for her.


UPDATE! Kate is much, much better than she was. I attribute it, with my typical obstinate mystic bent, to all the love and prayers she got from Internetland.

So really thank you again. Really.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stuff That's Cracking Me Up Right Now...

1. Well, right off the bat, the fact that I accidentally hit 'Enter' after typing just two words, part of the title of this post: "Stuff That." Stuff what? Stuff it where? I AM AGOG. Where were you going with that, subconscious?

2. I made the colossal error of reading a blog that I usually forgo, and compounded my error by reading the comment section. MISTAKE. I read a commenter who used a tongue-in-cheek approach to her remarks; immediately, she was brought up short by The Queen Of Internet Etiquette and High Policeman Of What You're Allowed To Say In Comment Sections. I am both irritated and amused by this, because six months or a year ago I might have put on my High Dudgeon Hat and gotten involved. Now? I don't care. If you want to be a smarmy schmuck and police other people's blog comments, go right ahead. Just don't do it here, because my comments are moderated and if it shows up that means I KNOW it's there. KTHX.

3. YouTube. I can't tell you how overjoyed I was to stumble into the little corner of the Utubs I found tonight (and I'm not saying what it is, for fear it may offend); all I can add to that is that the comments were even purer comedy gold than any YouTube comments I've ever, ever seen before.

4. The fact that, when I went to go wake my guy up and roust him off the couch and into bed, the geeky boy said, "No, I've only got two hit points. Let me wait a while first." Dawwwwww... so CUTE.

Hokay, den.

And that is what is cracking me up right now the end.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Friends call on the phone; I don't answer. I hear the phone buzz - they've left me a voicemail - I don't listen.

People tromp up our stairs and knock; I sit in silence until they give up and leave.

I don't feel like being a person, being a friend, these days. I feel like sitting here in my quiet space and doing absolutely nothing. I feel like not being interfered with on my journey into a quiet place where nobody can make me do anything ever again.

Is this depression? It's hard to say. I'm too close to it to see it clearly. It could just be simple laziness.

I am lazy. My mother always said so, then my dad said so, then my mother-in-law said so. And you know? They were so right. I'm lazy. I don't like to clean things up. I don't like to wash the same dishes I just washed yesterday. I don't like to sweep and mop and dust and scrub and blah blah blah every single day of my life. It's boring. It's depressing. It's irritating.

I find myself in long diatribes on the inside of my head about how selfish and inconsiderate all the people who live with me are, how lame and rude they are for leaving all this crap all over the place and not rinsing a goddamn dish, for fuck's sake, not putting the toilet seat down, not cleaning the hair out of the drain, not caring that it's me doing the walking behind them and cleaning up their dish, their mess, their drain hair.

For a lazy person, this must be what Hell looks like, a hall stretching to Infinity, filled with doors, behind each of which lives a sink full of dishes and bathtubs clogged with slimy hair and filthy toilets waiting to be cleaned. And when you get done with one room, you turn around and find that all you've done is undone again a mere five minutes after you're finished.

If I knew what was wrong with me I'd fix it. But I don't. And sadly I think that it would be kind of like my vision of Hell anyway; I'd figure out what was wrong with me, fix it, and five minutes later I'd be back down in the dumps again.

And I'm too lazy to want to fix it anyhow.

Okay, that's my time. I'll be here to depress you all week. Be sure to tip your waitress.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

And Believe Me, I Am Still Alive

Hey, wow.

It's been a while!

Things are fine, I'm fine, all is well, but you can imagine that I could use the roller coaster analogy to describe the goings-on since I last posted. Car breakdowns, car repairings, friend still not my friend, huge family dispute, blah de blah de blah.

I'd rather know how you're doing.

How ya doin'?