Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm Only Afraid Of The Darkness Of Humanity

A recent discussion on a forum I frequent sent me into the old, feared and all-too-familiar tailspin.

Why children? Of all the people that someone could choose to harm, befoul, or destroy, why children?

Oh, I know, I know all the old information about the feeling of power a sociopath garners from exerting that fleeting physical superiority over the small and clean and innocent. I know all the tripe about how children are convenient victims, being more malleable and inclined to trust and respect those in positions of authority. I know that the very young don't know all the rules and thus can endanger their own lives simply because they don't recognize the danger, the lurking death around every corner, behind smiling faces that cover dark souls.

But damn it. Damn. It. I can't seem to untangle my thoughts and my heart from all the pain and agony and misery that the smallest, weakest members of our society are forced to endure simply because they are convenient targets.

Every fresh story that erupts on the news that involves some monstrous act perpetrated against a child fills me with a sick horror. And, being a person who has been endowed with an overactive imagination, it takes all the power of will I possess to keep from picturing (and picturing, and picturing) the last hours of those small victims' lives. And it tortures me. It torments me, it disturbs my sleep, it casts a pall over me for days.

Do you remember the woman who buckled her children into their carseats and rolled them down a boat ramp into a lake, then ran screaming that a black man had carjacked her? Do you remember why she did it? I do. I remember that her children were an impediment to a new relationship she hoped to start, so she just... disposed of them. Threw them away like garbage. I am haunted by the idea that those little children, as they felt the water rising, could see her standing only a few feet away on the shore, doing nothing to help them. By the idea that they wondered why their mother was punishing them. That fills me with such impotent rage and hatred I can't even find words to express it.

I could put a catalog of such events down here in this space, things that haunt and send me into a frenzy inside my head: Polly Klaas, Adam Walsh, and on and on and on. Every one hurts me. Every one breaks my heart. And every time another child is lost, I am subjected to the same parade of faces and thoughts.
Carly Brucia being led away, terrified, her parents' last portrait of their child captured on a grainy surveillance camera behind an abandoned filling station. JonBenet Ramsay, dead and defiled in her own home, the killer never discovered and so never brought to justice.

My mother-in-law has a quote that she paraphrases, and I've tried unsuccessfully to find its source for years; whatever its source, it is so terribly sad and so terribly true: "A society that eats its young is doomed to extinction."

I just wish the ones being eaten weren't the children. I wish that the evil manifest in the minds and hearts of those who would do harm to an innocent would simply metamorphose into a real darkness, one that would eat them from the inside, destroy them before they could destroy a victim. I wish that all those little shining pieces of potential had had their chance to grow and become. I wish that I had the power to will all that evil out of existence.

But I don't. And I think that's the worst of it - the impotence, the inability to find a way to protect all the little ones, the innocent victims of a world that wants to eat them.

More than anything else, I wish my thoughts would leave me alone. I wish I had a "care/don't care" switch that would permit me to stop the tailspin. But since I don't, I, and so many other people in this world who are not filled with the darkness that would cause a person to do such horrible things, are also the victims of the monsters.

We are simply being consumed at a slower rate, one bite of sorrow and pain and misery at a time.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Family Trait: Bop Bag Clownism

In my family, there's a definite tendency to roll with the punches. Life smacks you a good one? You go down and then come back up and knock the current obstacle on its ass with your forward momentum. That is a true fact about just about everyone in my family, on both sides. We are hardy, like weeds. We will come up swinging. We will bounce back up, a "fuck you" smile on our faces, and dare you to try that shit again.

like this scary bastard.

But sometimes? It can be tempting, after the latest in hundreds of smackdowns, to just... stay down. To stop bouncing back up. To lay down and give up and just quit. Fighting. Every. Single. Thing. Every. Single. Day.

Luckily, I'm just not wired that way. Luckily, there's a part of me that just flat-out refuses, refuses to stay down. It's an involuntary response, like blinking or the beat of my heart. It's beyond my control. With or without my input, the Standard Operating Procedure after any new life-punch is that upward spring, that teeth-clenched smile of sheer you're-not-bigger-than-me, that stupid-stubborn refusal to quit, that inability to admit when I'm beaten.

So I'm never beaten. I'm never down for long.

I will keep on practicing that upward bound. I will refuse to admit defeat. After all, I'm wired that way. I'm preset for refusal to give in. There's no quit in me.

There is, however, a healthy dislike of both clowns and dolls. Why the hell did I find that photo? Thanks for the nightmares, self.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

So Basically That Sucks

Another hit from the Bad News Fairy:

Apparently, my aunt has to go in for a procedure to determine whether or not she has fucking cancer.



I hate cancer. I am sick unto the very death of its bullshit and I am sick to the very heart of me that yet another person in my life has to go through the gut-wrenching terror of being told they may have it.

I am disgusted with the knowledge that we can make phones that will do everything but make our coffee and paint our toenails for us, we have cars that will fucking park themselves, we have every bullshit stupid lazy innovation there ever was to keep us fat fucks parked on our sofas like cattle, mindlessly cudding while we watch New Jersey Housewives Think They Can Dance Like America's Next Top Supermodel, but we don't know how to stop fucking CANCER.

I'm just a little fed up with the concept that we need just one more inane congressional time-wasting session of any description more than we need to tax the ever-loving shit out of the superrich and send even a portion of that money toward research that would prevent the deaths of countless thousands of people every year. That some people deserve more medical attention than others. That make-your-dick-bigger pills are more important than AIDS or cancer research.

Not that I'm surprised. I have spent the last year among the frail and elderly population of my town more often than not; I see how little society as a whole cares what happens to them. And these are the individuals who can make it out of their homes to come and be social at our little dive cafe. What of the people who are too old, too frail, too broken, or too broke to leave their homes at all? What of the people whose false teeth are broken and can't afford to replace them, so stay home from shame? What of the people who have cancer, fucking cancer, and live a life of quiet terror as they wait to die because we haven't figured this shit out yet?

What's the goddamn holdup here? Top of the food chain, most advanced society in history, but we can't fix a cellular aberration yet?

The fuck?

I am raging, I know; I don't make sense, I know. I am throwing straw men out left and right, I know. But jesus, JESUS, why haven't they fixed this yet? Why is cancer still a tolling doom-bell?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Things Are The Same. Things Are Different.

Bullet-form blog entry because I am a lazy, lazy human being:

  • The car is dead. Long live the car. Basically, it is broken in an expensive way that will take a month or two to save for, and then it will be paid off and will need to be put into my name and insured all over again, so fuck it, we're taking the bus for a while. I'd be sadder if we lived in BFE where there wasn't a bus that ran practically outside my front door every day, but since that isn't the case? Meh. Catching up on my knitting in a BIG way.
  • It is... I guess...?... springtime headed into summer here, but you'd never know it by looking. Mother Nature is being as bipolar here as she is everywhere else, and as such has seen fit to dump bucketloads of rain on us instead of sweet, tremulous spring sunlight. Again, meh. I don't have a seed planted anywhere to be impatient over, so I am doing okay. Although that makes me wish that I had a yard to plant seeds in to be impatient over, kind of.
  • Coming up here in three days is my mother's birthday. Should I tell you, Internet? I think I will. The last time I went up to the cemetery, I couldn't find her grave. I ended up wandering the general area where I remembered her grave to be, wild-eyed, on the verge of tears, feeling like the worst child in the history of children, even though it has long been my philosophy that I don't need to visit a patch of earth to love and honor my lost loved ones. Also, I have specifically requested that my loved ones scatter my ashes in some top-secret place of no value (the side of the highway would even be fine) so that people will do the same for me: honor and respect my memory wherever you happen to be, and place no value on the place where my ashes are deposited.
  • Like how I sidestepped how my mom's birthday will be making me feel? Alright, I will admit it. It will be miserable. I will pretend to be normal, all the while feeling a bitter, churning mixture of emotions on the inside. But nobody will be able to tell, and I will spend another year trying not to feel sorry for myself because nobody is able to tell.
And on that cheerful note, that's all the news that is news here. What's going on in your world? (Donna, I have been following along. I'm so glad your knee is working out so well. Really, really glad.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time To Move On

How do you know when it's time to move on?

I've always been told that quitting is for failures, for people who give up too easily. Quitting is a sign of weakness, a sign that you just can't hack it, that only the ones who hang in and hang on will find true success.

But in this case, I don't want to repeat a mistake I've already made - hanging in when the situation is obviously not right for me. I stayed at a shit job for eight years because - well, there were a lot of reasons, not least of which was fear. I don't want to do that again. I don't want to be the sucker who sits around and gets the stink end of the stick because I'm too nice to say, "Hey, you. Yeah, you. Fuck you, fuck this, and fuck off."

I genuinely like what I'm doing right now. I even - mostly - like the people I do it with and for. But there are a few people that could quite frankly never appear in my line of vision again and I'd be so okay with it.

I got a phone call this morning about a small thing I apparently did wrong last night, although since I wasn't told not to do that thing I am not exactly clear on how I would have known to avoid it. I don't start work until 2:30 this afternoon. Everyone, including the caller, knows that I am generally asleep at the time the call came in, so... what was the purpose? You had a cranky moment so you thought you would spread the joy? NO.

I don't want to get sucked into the petty. I don't want to get dragged down to that area. I just don't think I'm made for that, and I'm concerned that "blaze of glory" will not be the metaphor used for me when I get fed up and speak out about the way I feel on this.

If I move fast I might be able to work my way into a different job that would last at least a few months. It's a business owned by friends, and I'd be really good at it. I just know that if I do this, I'll be dropping a major bomb in the middle of the current place's plans. They wouldn't even begin to know where to replace me, considering the extremely beneficial (as in part-time volunteer) terms under which they have me.

What would you do?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I love you, Infinity

I was talking to my aunt on the phone this evening. She's had a rough time just lately; she's had to stand by and watch as several people she loved fought their battles, unable to lend anything but hope and sorrow as each won or lost their individual struggle.

So when she told me that she went to the beach to recharge her batteries, and that she felt more at peace and close to God there, I knew exactly what she meant and what the ocean had done for her, because it does the same for me, only in a different way.

When life is just too hard, when things have come to a place where I feel that the box full of emotions I keep locked tight inside me is about to burst its chains and spill forth on everyone around me, I make for the ocean. When I stand on the shore looking out to where the sky and the water become a place of mist and illusion, each echoing the other until they are an indistinct, twinned line, I feel as though my seemingly insoluble problems are a waste of infinite space and time.

When I watch the endless, repeating cycle of water lapping the shore, pulling away and overflowing back again forever and ever and ever, I think: How is it that I feel that my little problems are so large? On this scale, where these waters will come in and go away again until the Earth ceases to hold tight to the Moon, my worries are as fleeting as a breath.

When the wind blows the tingle of salt into every pore of my skin, chilling me and sealing out the babble of all of my more trivial thoughts, I am set free from old ideas and old fears. I am able to be alone inside my head, in some way more alone than at any other time. I am able to dispassionately view the things that have haunted and harried me and put them into perspective.

As an irreligious person, I don't feel the need to be close to a creator, but I do feel a great sense of wonder and awe that I am a part of such a beautiful, complex system as this shore, this world, this galaxy. My tiny little self is a part of something so immense, so wonderful, so amazingly complicated, I can't help but revel in that sense of delight, of oneness with all things. I can never forget that I am made of star-stuff:

Symphony of Science - 'We Are All Connected' (ft... by wamane

So when my auntie tells me she feels better and closer to God after her visit to the ocean, I get it. Oh, I get it. She was reminded of her part in the great Infinite, and how beautiful it is to get to be alive as a part of it all.

Actually, that makes me want to get away to the ocean myself, and as soon as I can. I need to refresh my sense of my place in the infinite, as well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Capitalist PEEG

I want so many things I can't afford.

I want to never have to think about paying the rent or an insurance bill or a phone bill or any bill ever again - bitch, take it out of my bottomless bill account and don't bug me. Seriously.

I want to travel to all those places I see on television: I want to watch the sun rise in the Virgin Islands. I want to walk in a soft Irish rain. I want to hike the Great Wall of China. I want a Sherpa to guide me through Nepalese mountains. I want to learn to surf in Honolulu.

I want a wall of amazing guitars and a recording studio in the basement of my airy, sunlit house - you know, the one on a couple of acres out in the boonies someplace? The one with a self-contained cottage a few feet away where my dad can live and be private but still get his meals carried to him by a doting grandgirl? The one with a huge kitchen garden and a chicken coop? Yeah, that one.

I want a Winnebago. Goofy, right? Well, I do. I want to load everyone up on a whim and travel to Yellowstone or Crater Lake or the coast.

I want to select one of my two or three great digital cameras and go take amazing pictures so that each memory I capture is as close to perfect as the moment itself.

HOWEVER, I am so thankful that I have the things I do have.

I am thankful that, with some exceptions, I can pay my bills at all.

I am thankful that in the little round of daily travel I do make I see things of beauty, like Mount Tabor and the cityscape across the Willamette River and the St. Johns Bridge.

I am thankful that I have a little apartment that is a home to my children - and one or two pretty cool guitars, as a matter of fact. I am thankful that, despite our sticky butts that are in love with our sofas, my dad can come see me or I can go see him and it's not a hardship to do so.

I try to remember every day all of the things I do have. I try to remember every second how lucky I am to have the people in my life that I do. I work at being at peace with the small round of small events that I experience every day. And most of the time I succeed, with varying levels of success.

But lord, lordy lord, I sure would appreciate winning the lottery. Oh, yes, this little capitalist is as piggy as they come, I guess.

But I can live with that, too.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Guest Post: MAH BABY

You guys, you guys, my kid is a writer. Holy crap. Here is her composition for English class, called "How It Feels To Be Me." (I've changed names to protect the innocent, and she's going by Brel for the purposes of this post.) Share my joy! (Except the woman part. She's seventeen, so I DISAGREE with the woman part. But I'm a mom. What do you want from me?)

I often wonder what people think of me.

By often I mean constantly.

Constantly means when I'm taking a shower. When I'm getting on a bus. When I'm wrestling my coat into my locker. When I'm putting on makeup in public bathrooms.

Sometimes people say what they think of me, but when I hear it, I often decide they're wrong.

I've heard people call me a bitch. I'm not, though, really. I am a know-it-all, I am bossy, I do complain about people who irritate me. I don't go out of my way to hurt people. I don't talk about people behind their backs. In my little neighborhood between Martin Luther King and Dekum street, I learned better than that. I am not a bitch.

According to some I'm a hipster. After watching “Portlandia” I sincerely hope not. I don't think I have the holier-than-thou attitude hipsters come programmed with, and I don't own any old English riding boots or look good in tiny floral skirts.

I spend most (all) of my time with a group of boys. They spend all their time playing Magic™ and talking about their Dungeons and Dragons™ characters. Looking at my friends, it'd make sense for me to be a nerd.

But guess who isn't a nerd?

I'm not so lost in a fantasy world that I can condone myself blowing off priorities and failing classes. I'm not so tangled up in a game that I allow myself to spend upwards of thirty dollars a week on cards. Where I come from, in a little red house full of brown-skinned abuela and a blonde-haired mama, I learned better than that.

People seem surprised when I say I have Latino heritage. I don't think it's so hard to believe. I've actually found myself in arguments over the subject—“Shut up, Brel, you are not Mexican.” I didn't say I was. “You are not Hispanic.” Yes, actually. “You ain't got nothin' but white in you.” You don't know me.

It's almost worse when people believe me, especially adults. It seems like after the fact is public that I'm Hispanic, people expect something different from me—like somehow my entire self changes because they know my racial background.

Well, where I come from, where half the people around me are white Southerners and the other half Hispanic Coloradans from Pueblo, I learned better than that.

If I'm none of these things, then what am I?

I'm a big sister. If I was asked my best friend, I'd say [redacted] or [redacted] or [redacted] (sorry, readers, protecting the innocent, etc. - M.). If I was asked who I'll love for the rest of my life with no conditions, I'd say my baby sister. In a way, she's also my baby. She's my number one inspiration, second to none. She's made of the same stuff I am, only different—she got more of the Southerners, with her honey hair and sturdy body. She's gonna grow up and be tougher than me, but right now she's just irritating, aggravating, impossible, and the best thing my parents ever gave me.

I'm a woman. I'm not a little girl anymore, but sometimes the veil that separates is blown aside, and I can be both for awhile. It takes a woman to look at a situation and say “Let's make the best of this” and then do it. It takes a woman to run interference between a group of seven teenage boys and three teenage girls. It takes a woman to know exactly what to do when [redacted]'s carsick and [redacted]'s homesick and [redacted]'s just plain sick. Where I come from, kitty-corner from J. and her five kids and their however-many kids, across the street from M., down the street from C., and with a little sister of my own, I learned that.

I'm a singer. I sing in multiple choirs and multiple bands, as well as being notorious at home for loud, midnight-showertime concerts. I know how to croon jazz, I know how to open up and sing opera, I can turn my vocal vibrato on and off. I am in the honor choir at my school, I am part of a family that is held together by music. Where I come from, singing bluegrass while stacking dishes into a cabinet, I learned that.

I'm a Brel. I don't know what a Brel is really, but am I supposed to yet? It sure seems to me that if I knew exactly what I was already, there'd be no reason for me to live.

That's how it feels to be me. It feels like nobody knows, not even me yet, and by the time I've figured out what I am, I'll have lived that definition out. It feels like a book where the end's gone and got lost, and now I've got to go find it. It feels for all the world like I'm alive—and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, March 4, 2011



Tomorrow (well, really today, damn my cursed habit of staying up waaaay too late) I will take my newly-acquired tax refund dollars and I will go to the auto finance company and I will PAY OFF MAH LOAN, SUCKAS! OH, YES I WILL. Thank you, sir, I do not want another!

Then I will call the insurance company and instead of full coverage I will purchase a LIABILITY ONLY POLICY, thus dropping my rates by, oh, a billionty-thousand percent. UH-HUH, THAT'S WHAT I SAID.

Then I will go to the cell phone store and I will buy several months of service for our phone and reopen my older kid's phone account. The happy face I will be seeing when she gets out of school is going to be a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

Then I will go out to my dad's house and pay him back, since he came to our rescue during the holidays, ensuring the kids had a Christmas and we had a roof over our heads (Giftmas 2010 was a real kick in the taint, friends. Oh, yes, it was).

After I get done paying off some other things? CLEAN SLATE, MAN. CLEAN. SLATE.

I can't tell you how glad I am this day has arrived. I can't tell you how hard it has been not to talk about the money and what we'd do with it - one of the truest things in life is that when you spend your money before it arrives, sixty other expenses will burst out of nowhere and mug you, thus making your financial planning a giant joke.

So yeah. I AM THRILLED. Joy is mine. The money won't be mine for more than a few days, but hey. It will have bought me happiness, for reals, and you know? I am more than okay with that.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March Second

I love and miss you, my mama.

Today is the anniversary of your death. I was watching a show just now and somebody said, "Someday you'll be standing over a rock with your momma's name on it and it will be too late," and I just sprang a leak, silent sorrow dripping down my cheeks and causing one of those I'm-not-crying-no-really pressure headaches.

And it's a weird place I'm in, Mom. I still love you so goddamn much. I still miss you, even though I think we'd have beaten each other senseless several times had you lived into my young adult years. I still wish I had you to talk to. I still think that when you died I lost my very first unswerving ally, a person who, right or wrong, would have had my back without fail, without ceasing, without a question or a qualm.

But I don't hurt as much as I thought I would for some reason this year. I don't hurt as much as I used to. I don't know what that means, if it means I've healed some more or if I'm so numbed and callous that I am a terrible daughter to you and should be ashamed of myself. I don't know.

I just didn't want this day to go by without remarking on the fact that you aren't here. You deserve to be remembered. You deserve to be missed. You were an amazing, talented, beautiful and loving woman. You made mistakes. You hurt me. You were special and funny and I adored you and fuck, you adored me right back and I wish you were still here. I wish you were still here. I really, really do.

So yeah. Disjointed, goofy, repetitive and all, here's my shout to the world that you were here, mama. You were here and now you are not and I wish that wasn't true. Since it is, I do my best to deserve your love and respect even though you can't actually bestow them on me anymore. I am living up to you every day. Maybe, since that is so, I don't need to miss you, since I carry you with me always.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                            i fear 
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

-E.E. Cummings

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Old Wallpaper: Pants On Fire

I'm not interfering with this post at all except to urge you to note the date of publication and that I was at that time still The World's Most Dissatisfied And Underpaid Office Manager Of All Time Ever Amen. Enjoy - I even cracked myself up when rereading this one.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pants On Fire

I just want all of you to know that my office is very cold. Very, very cold, all the time. No, really. My office is colder than your office. Full stop, the end. I win forever.

In the summer, the air conditioning is on, and it never gets above 65 degrees in here. In the winter, the heat is set at 69 - such a concession! - and so of course it never gets above 65 degrees in here.

Others in the office don't seem to mind the cold, but I am weak, and wimpy, and thin-blooded, and a smoker, so that when I get up from my chair to do something, there are numerous popping, crackling, and snapping noises. Those noises are my bones, shattering from the icy frozen tundra conditions in this office. I am my own little old-lady percussion system, right in one wimpy, cold body.

I have a little space heater that sits under my desk. In all weathers, in all seasons, my little space heater is on full blast, warming my legs and hips and stomach. Unfortunately, it does not warm my whole person; my back is left out in the howling winds and numbing chill that is this office, as are my upper torso, my arms, and my fingers. So of course to make up for this, I sit as close to on top of the little space heater as I possibly can. I go home at night with legs baked lobster-pink. You can almost smell the frying bacon.

But today I think I went too far.

I am wearing a pair of my brother's Navy uniform pants. (Don't talk to me about it. I know. But he really was very young and skinny when he wore these.) They are comfortable, but they are also some kind of poly blend, which means they retain heat.

So today, straddling my little space heater, as I got more and more absorbed in what I was doing, I didn't notice how warm my legs and stomach were getting. Until the zipper on the pants finally became superheated enough to leave a tattoo of itself on my stomach, and the pants leg tried to heat-seal itself to my shin.

And then I got up, walked outside very quickly, and did a spectacular little dance for the neighborhood, thumbs inside the waistband of muh britches (to keep the zipper away from my belly), legs kicking out (to keep the molten fabric away from my shins).

I realized at that moment that I probably looked just like a leprechaun. A tall blonde leprechaun. On crack. Doing a kicky little dance on the front porch of my office.

I wonder exactly how many people think I'm a big nutbar now?

Oh, well.

You're welcome for the visual.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Old Wallpaper (With Hindsight Commentary Added)

Okay, kids, here's a selection of excerpts from one of the old posts I was talking about. I'll make some remarks in italics.

Monday, March 13, 2006
The Saddest Joy Of Motherhood

[My older child]'s going to be twelve in a few weeks, and man, is my mighty heart breaking.

I remember when I found out that yes, I was indeed with child. I thought my life was not only ruined, but just plain over; little did I know that I was about to meet the coolest human being ever born. Not to mention THE most beautiful, THE smartest, THE one person in the wide world who not only has my exact same sense of humor, but who also has not yet heard all my material, and so thinks I am the funniest woman alive. Is there anything better? Is there? No, I didn't think so.

(Ed. Note: these days, she actually
does know all my material - and steals it at will. Can't decide whether to be flattered or sue her for copyright infringement. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, MAN! FREEEEDOMMMM!)

So the only downer to having the single most awesome baby on the face of the green earth is that somehow, the time slips away from you, and then that baby walks into the room one day and you realize that oh, nonono, she's as tall as you. And wears the same size shoes. And has zits and a tendency to burst into tears at the slightest change in the emotional temperature of the room, which you thought was your exclusive domain, dammit.

(Ed. Note: You will have seen this coming, since I wrote this five years ago, but shit, you guys, she's actually got inches on me these days - in the height and foot department. The kid is 17 now, after all.)

And when this happened to me, I asked myself: did I pay attention? Was I awake through all these years when she was growing tall and straight and strong? Because, see, I don't remember this coming on so quickly. It was just the other day that she was two or three or four months old, sitting in her high chair, and when I did 'peek-a-boo' she laughed for the first time. And stole my breath away.

It was such a beautiful, delicious, gurgly laugh, right up out of her round little baby belly, that it knocked me quite literally onto my ass. And I sat there and laughed, and she laughed some more, and we laughed together for that first time, and that was when I finally understood for really real that I have a kid, and thank you whoever's in charge, she likes me. And every time since then that I have been able to make her crack up, I think it again: praise be, my kid likes me. I mean, hey, most kids love their mom; but to have your kid like you - well, there isn't a good way to describe how grateful I am, still, to this day.

And I have a confession to make. Whenever somebody says to me, "Wow, she is so much like you," I am delighted. Not only is that a massive ego stroke that my kid is modeling herself after me, but the fact is, I know this girl, and she is so way cooler than me, way cooler than I was at her age, and so beautiful in ways that I never was and never will be. She is that one girl, the pretty girl that you think is going to be a total snot, who walks right up to you, looks you straight in the eye with an expression that says, "I know something good about you," grabs you by the hand, and says just the right thing to make you her friend for life. I know this. I have seen her do it a thousand times on a hundred playgrounds, and that right there is a gift I would have killed for in school. And that's just her natural self, and I marvel that an anti-social with reclusive tendencies like myself was able to bring this openhearted person into the realm.

But the true thing that makes my little girl the most beautiful and amazing girl ever the world did see? She's mine. My sweet baby that slept exclusively on my chest for the first six months of her life; my little punkin who made friends with the monsters under her bed rather than live in fear; my own sweet girl that I cuddled after shots while she sobbed and snuffled into my neck; my young lady who I sometimes don't recognize in a room full of family and friends, and when I realize that the strange woman I've been wondering about is my girl, my bright and shining girl, I get smacked in the heart by the weirdest combination of pride and sorrow. I know I did good, folks, the proof is there before me. But someday way too soon, some guy will trump me in the cool and funny department (too late - he's here and she's suffering from first love pangs constantly - fuck, this is hard to watch), she'll go off to college and get smarter than me (we're one year out and it isn't any easier to think about now), and all those ties, all this time that I've been living a happy dream with her, will be over. And I hate that I see it coming, but I am eager to find out who she will be.

(She is a delight. She is kind of an asshole, too, but that's because she's my kid and I raised her to not be afraid of being an asshole. Fearless and wonderful and gifted and kind and growing away from me by the minute.

This post, when I wrote it, was so direfully prophetic, and yet under all of the lamentation there is a wellspring of joy. She is so much of everything I hoped she would be, and so little of what I hoped she wouldn't. She is a gift, as is her sister, and I am so glad that these two were dealt to me in the shuffle. I am a fortunate being indeed.)

Friday, February 25, 2011


I am really struggling with the impulse to blog. I can't decide whether I want to give it up or not.

I think I wanted the rebirth of a blogging space in the first place as a kind of screaming, wild-eyed, coming-at-you-with-me-broadsword-swinging act of defiance against the human excrescence that worked their very Phelpsiest black magic to ruin my original blog. However, I didn't realize that by yielding that space, by fleeing the scene, I was losing all the joy in the act along with the venue.

I occasionally stop by if I have something I want to say, but Jesus, could I be more of a Debbie Downer lately? Depression, to me, should be written about with a scalpel-like finesse, not used to bludgeon the reader to death. My writings about my feeeeelings are like the lead pipe of blogging. I step right up, clonk you repeatedly about the head and shoulders, then run away for months at a time.

Fuck, I'm the Emotional Mugger of the blog world.

I have a plan, though. I think I may just go through the years of posts I managed to save from the original blog and sort of kind of paste one in from time to time. I think in that way I might be able to steal the comforting wallpaper from the old apartment and paste it on, in jigsaw patches, in my newer, draftier quarters. Maybe rediscovering some of the old words, the old happiness, will restart my engine in a more wholesome, happy context.

If I haven't scared you away forever, what do you think of that idea?