Saturday, October 10, 2015

Abstract Jazz Brain

Sometimes my hands ache, full of words for a page. I see the ending. It’s me, I’m old, I’ve lived partially not fully like some. Enough. I’ve helped animals, taken care of my husband, listened to people’s problems. Made a mark nowhere but in the immediate landscape. Broader strokes, that’s where I feel that I’ve failed. There is potential to be known, to be respected but the fear abates. Fear of being that certain kind of honest that it takes to make it. The honest words that ache for the page. The one’s I’m afraid to write. The one’s I’m afraid they will read. I think of the old days. The early 90’s when everything seemed so impossible and possible. Every second felt like it could be the best one or the end. The insecurity of wondering if anyone would ever love me, be there for me, appreciate my soul and the kindness that I have to give. I have that now and don’t appreciate it like I thought I would back then. Now it’s more of a yearning for those years of uncertainty. I watch movies now as a middle aged adult, flicks about young people that are still trying to figure it all out and I envy them more than I could ever imagine I would have. The time they still have, that I’ve let fleet into the sky with the dreams of a 21 year old chick who thought she would achieve something more than this. A cubicle rat. There is still time. There is still time. I have talent but for some reason I push it away. Do I love to write? Sometimes. Like all things. Sometimes. I just want to be alive all the way again. Not in the sense that I was in that time, where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to die so I did the craziest shit I could think of to see if that would indeed be the end result. Today I want to live as long as I can without any assistance in wiping my ass or walking around. To be relevant to those I admire and to those dumbass kids like myself looking for some sort of inspiration in an older person who seems to have an answer or more.

Create, freedom, create, live, beauty. I can be those things. I can. I must. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

These Are The Crap Bags In My Neighborhood

“He’s retard. Bonafied! I know that to be fact cause I know’d his teacher and she told me he was bonafied.” 
Well goddamn. I mean I can’t stand the dude either. He’s made my dog walks hell for the last three years or so and I get what the old man is sayin’ and all, like he’s not right in the head but, geez. I mean this old buzzard didn’t even put an “A” in front of “retard”. Just straight up called Steven “retard”.  Kind of harsh for a Sunday morning stroll down the block.
“Well I just wanted you to know, cause I see you’a walkin’ your puppies all the time and I see you carryin’ that stick. Lemme see that a minute…”
I hand the old dude my stick, well really it’s one of those wooden poles used to hang clothes from in a closet. I like it because it’s long, light and smooth. I’ve tried actual sticks but they just feel awkward.  It’s because of Steven that I started carrying it in the first place.
“Yeah, you won’t last a second with those two vicious dogs of his. This fuckin’ thing’ll snap right in two and they’ll be all over that little’n of yours. You should’a seen what they just did to this dude who lives here. He was walking with his two little dogs and that idiot came out with those two big ass dogs just’a draggin’ him down the street. Fella who lives here had to take of runnin’ cuz that bonafied moron couldn’t barely control them dogs, they was just about to get away.”
Steven isn’t right in the head, we all know that.  When my husband and I first moved in 10 years ago he was probably about 17 and would come over and talk in the driveway sometimes. That quickly escalated into him just walking up in our crib without so much as an attempt at knocking. After we screamed at him and flipped him off a few times, the message got through, he stopped coming over and I could peacefully hit the streets with my mutts without driveway chats about “I.C.P.” or whatever horrible music he was listening to.
Then a while ago, Steven found a stray German Shepherd that had been abused. He named it Daisy, nursed it back to health and nurtured all of its insecurities. After that, pretty much every single time it encountered another dog, Daisy went to Psycho Town. What does Steven do when she’s trying to murder his fellow neighbors? He pets her and says “There, there girl.”  You bet.  So I guess, since that was going so well, Steven decided to rescue a giant Pit bull and have both of them walk him together.  It literally looks like he’s being pulled down the street by plow horses. He’s gotten dog trainers, I’ve seen them working over there but it’s him. He just doesn’t have the cognitive capacity to take charge of such powerful animals.
“Hey you don’t have to convince me.” I told the old man. “I’ve spent the last few years of my life being startled by that Shepherd since Steven never looks to see if I’m coming down my driveway before he comes out his front door. The thing just goes totally nuts and scares the crap out of me. Now that he has the other one, I say a prayer before I come down my driveway every time that he won’t come out.”
To be perfectly honest, I’ve pissed myself several times. For real. I also slipped on an acorn once and rolled down the driveway like a goddamn beer barrel. My dog’s extend-o leash flew out of my hand and was dragging after her, she was running in terror, it totally sucked. And it’s because Steven is brain challenged that I haven’t made a bigger deal out of it. Plus his parents are like disabled or something and they’re dealing with his loopy ass, it’s just a messed up situation.  
“Well that’s horseshit” said the geezer. “Lemme tell you something, I served in Vietnam. I was a pilot, I taught pilots, hell I wrote the goddamn Top Gun program. You ever see that movie “Top Gun? With Tom Cruise?”
I nod.
“Yeah well I wrote the manual, developed the protocols, ya hear me?”
“Wow” I gasp, all the while feeling like the chance of his proclamation being nonsense is probably somewhere around eighty percent. Especially the way he’s getting all amped up, staring deeply into my eyes like he really wants me to be impressed. It starts to feel too intense so I glance down at my dogs who generally seem uninterested as well.
“Anyways, I’m a smart man. Ya hear me? And I got into it with the retard about a month ago. He said I better back off or he’d put his “G” dog on me. I told that little stupid shit if that dog comes at me, I’ll put his ass in a fuckin’ hold and choke him out. You see these biceps?”
He flexes. I nod again.
“Hey I might be old but I’m still tough as shit. I’ll kill that retard and those dogs.”
The old man is now officially added to the list of things I will try to avoid on my street but still… he continues.
“Hey did you ever see “Debbie Does Dallas?”
Kill me.
“Well that couple ya’ll bought your house off of, you remember the wife? The brunette with the perky little boobs?”
I’m not even nodding anymore but he keeps going.
“Well I didn’t know until after they moved that she was doing all of Snellville. Everybody on this whole fucking block but me.”  
Now it’s just creepy.
“Well, I mean I don’t know what to do about Steven.” I inched away a bit more, hoping my seed of redirection would take root and this old perv would get back in his truck and keep going the three more driveway’s to his place. Luckily, Jim comes outside to further Steven bash and expound on his most recent run in. I commiserate then fade out into the horizon as they continue their plotting.
I hate Steven but I would never just call him “retard”. He loves those dogs and he saved them from the death. Well, actually his parents made all that possible since they take care of him and always will, but still, I’ve never thought of him as evil. That old man though, he doesn’t seem like a very good person at all. If the dogs do attack someone, he’d be as good as anybody I guess.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Death Doesn't Become Her

She is dead. I have to accept that and stop trying to stick it in a bottle like some random note cast out to sea hoping someone finds and reads someday, like whatever you wrote will mean something to them so you don't have to feel it now. This is real. I turned my back on this kid thinking we'd have so much time when she got older, freed herself from her mother's clutches but just like some cliche' Lifetime movie, she up and died from some crazy ass neurological disease that I'm not even sure they've a name for. I don't know because her mother never told me she died. Only through hours of web stalking did I finally come across an obituary posted to a random church site in Florida. There she was, completely grown up in her senior picture and dead. My mouth, breath, soul was hollow and suspended in confusion for who knows how long as I stared at that picture, still not believing this was true.

The last time I spoke to her, 8 years ago, she'd begged to come and live with me. Her mother had sworn she was lying, the guy she was marrying was a decent fellow, treated Olivia just fine. I wasn't sure what to believe, well going by her mom's track record I knew but didn't want to deal with it so I did the easiest thing, cut them off and moved on with my life. I never really forgot about her but truthfully, I'd been sick of her mother for quite some time. She was kind of a crazy, obese slut who perpetuated drama every second of her existence. I only hung in for as long as I did because I didn't want to lose the kid. Then-my husband's brother died. Then-my brother died. I was tired of dramatic, sad shit.

That day when her mother called and said "Dude, do you not want us to call you anymore? Are you avoiding us?" I should've been real, should've said "No you fat whore, I love your daughter just fine, I'd like to keep talking to her, it's you that sickens and torments me in ways that I can't even fathom at times." Instead I just replied "Yes, please leave me alone." like a total coward. It's what I've always been good at, running away, starting over, erasing people from my life like unwanted words.

Things had been going well. I'd finally resigned myself to the fact that comedy was over, made my peace with it and had turned my full attention back to writing the novel I'd been working on for the last few years. Then just before Christmas, while walking my dogs, this image of Olivia flashed in my brain. I had this overwhelming sense that something wasn't kosher.

Almost every year since social media became a thing, I would look for her or her mother, not to contact them, just to see if they were alright and would always come up empty. This time I kept digging and Googling until I discovered their names had changed after the wedding, which led to the church website and the obituary of the child who I saw the moment she was removed from her mother's womb as a horribly prepared lamaze coach. I lived with them for the first 4 years of Olivia's life since her father was nuts and urinated in Pepsi bottles that he kept under the kitchen sink. He wasn't the best role model. According to the obit, she'd been gone for over a year. According to the write up, she'd suffered from some sort of neurological illness and had done so for quite some time.

Naturally the guilt caused any sort of creative flow I'd been riding to completely cease up and being the born quitter that I've always been, I immediately abandoned my novel and went into a shell. Three weeks ago, I finally summoned the guts to write her mother a letter, telling her all the things I loved about her child, how I was sorry for abandoning her and that I couldn't imagine her grief. There was no extension to resume our friendship, I have no interest in that, just an overall message of pure regret. I hope it made her feel better to know that I will always feel like a massive shit heel, I really do, she deserves that and I can only hope it helps. It was still selfish though. In the back of my mind, I thought if I wrote that letter, maybe, just maybe it would unlock the mental stockade I'd placed myself in, that I'd resume writing.

It hasn't.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I knew my days were numbered as soon as the 4 word text came across the screen of my new phone. "I have a girlfriend."

NO!!! We were supposed to still have his senior year. I knew he was going away to college next year, I've been preparing for that but then he goes out and gets a goddamn girlfriend. I didn't think this was something I'd have to worry about because I thought his parents explicitly forbade all of their children from this rite of passage until they were out of high school. At least they did with his older sister and brother. I guess it's true, by the time you get the last one, you just don't give as much of a shit anymore.

We'd had a blast like we always do at the Big Boi/ Killer Mike concert back in September but I could feel there was something different. The impish, white haired 9 year old boy I had met outside of his karate studio so many years ago had been replaced by this 17 year old dude, solidly looking down at me for the first time since we'd know each other. He'd been undersized for so long, it was easy to forget that he was nearing adulthood. I'd just turned 40 myself and to say it was something I've struggled with is putting it nicely. I threatened to slice the tires of any bitch in my office who dared put those fucking black streamers or cliche' "over the hill" bullshit posters anywhere near my cubicle. In fact, to be sure that I wouldn't kill someone, I actually spent my birthday on the beach 250 miles away. Fuck you guys. My youth has been my identity for so long and I don't want anything to do with this getting old shit.

Case in point- I realized at the concert that if Max and I were to continue our unconventional relationship, it would have to evolve into some type of a polite adult friendship. He didn't need me to drive him around anymore and unlike last year. right after he'd gotten his license, he didn't need me to stay with him when his parents went out of town. I'm not a r and took great delight in seeing my influence all over the things he loved or hated. lace, like maybe we could try this "friends" thing or maybe he'd become an A&R guy as we'd discussed, he'd inherit me from his father like a slave someday. Then I could be his secretary since I'm still sure, even at 60 that I'll know more about rap music than any other white woman alive.

That night as we waited by the stage for the show to start, which btw, this was a rap concert so that was a long fucking time, I got him to open up. Turns out he'd been drunk several times-smoked weed-I didn't act shocked. Instead I was the epitome of eazy-breezy, giving off the "I'm not your parent" vibe...I'm cool...I'm not 40..we can still hang out since I hate most people except for you and few others. I could tell that night when I dropped him off however that maybe that wasn't a good idea. It's not like I'm going to be getting drunk or high with him because even if he was 30, that would probably be fucking weird. But now here we were, he'd told me a bunch of teenage secrets and I was still old and not his real parent. Fuck.

Then- a week later-after I'd helped smooth out another one his college admissions essays-he sends the text. "Oh, I have a girlfriend now...haha.." I knew immediately this was truly the last straw. As a former teenage bitch myself, I was certain she would think her boyfriend hanging out with some middleaged woman was fucking weird and it would have to stop. When I didn't get another text from him over the next week, I was positive my scenario was right on point.

Then his dad texts me one night last week. "Hey, what is up? Max says he's texted you and you haven't responded. Is there an issue?"

OMG- I was so excited. He had been trying to contact me. I was totally wrong. Maybe we could evolve and Max might still find a place in his life for me. I texted him a couple of times with no response then later that day, I got an email from him saying he didn't understand why his messages weren't coming through but he had a couple more essays for me to look at and zazz if possible. Of course I JUMPED at the chance, plus I love that shit anyways. Admittedly, I found his story a bit suspect since I've been getting other folk's texts just fine, but denial is a helluva drug. He even said he was going to take his phone to the Verizon store to see if they could figure it out.

So I zazzed both essays, one of which was a total pile of garbage that I think he may have spent 5 minutes on and by the time I'd finished, they fucking ruled. I sent them Thursday. It's been 3 days and I haven't even received a thank you from Max. I'm pretty sure since his father is so worried about him getting into Georgetown or Penn that he was riding his ass about getting me to help him and in the heat of the moment he lied and said that he'd tried to text me and I hadn't responded. I doubt he counted  on the fact his dad would contact me immediately because he thought I was being an asshole to his kid. Then I suppose he had to keep the lie up and drag it out-all because, I guess he doesn't really want to talk to me anymore or at least for now anyways. I expect he's getting laid on the reg and the last thing he wants is some old lady texting him about Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Big Krit and fucking that up for him.

To any of you who have read my blog over the years, you know how crazy I am about that kid. This hurts pretty bad.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Oh man, it's my last day of vacation on St. George Island in Florida and I guess I'm ready to face stupid reality again. This has been one of the most relaxing weeks of my life which is kinda crazy since I turned 40 this week. Fucking 40 man. I've been dreading it for two years. Not exactly sure what I thought was going to happen except that it was going to suck ass. Like half the bitches in my office turned 40 last year and every time they would come into their desk being decorated with stupid black streamers and all of that cliche' over the hill crap. It kills me how everyone is all like "awww..40's not's better than the alternative right? Am I right?" Shut up. If it's not old then why do people feel compelled to layer your desk in tombstones when it's your turn at bat?

My aversion to this birthday was great that 6 months ago my husband said "Hey, screw those retards at your job. How bout you book us a house on an island and turn 40 on the beach?"


But still, even though we were having an amazing time this week, I woke up crying on my birthday. I'm not sure why, maybe it was a farewell to something. My youth has been my identity for so long, it's sad to see it go I guess. Neil let me wallow for awhile then we got some liquor and laughed in the pool the rest of the day.

I don't know what I could've made of myself by now if I'd really applied hard work to my interests but I'm not going to let it dictate who I can be in the years that lie ahead. Something about watching the sunset on the ocean every night, while the waves playfully attack your feet and taunt your dogs just makes all the small stuff, the insecurities, the worries, seem so ...small. Fuck'em.

I planned on working on my screenplay this week but I haven't and I'm not going to get all down on myself about it like usual. There's plenty of time when I get home. I've eaten too much this week. I've barely worn make up. I haven't cared what I looked like at all. If this is how I'll be in my forties, it feels pretty good. Please enjoy some pics of paradise.

Monday, August 19, 2013

They Blinded Me with Boring

Two weeks ago we began implementing a new electronic medical record system in my office.
Two weeks ago, I thought I hated my job.
I've since come to realize that it wasn't so much hatred as it was boredom with the endless data entry, nauseating co-workers and finicky patients.

NOW I hate my job.

What used to take two key strokes now requires 14 clicks and the volume hasn't decreased in the slightest to make up for this nonsensical speed bump. It's so needlessly complicated, I actually began to wonder today if we were on some new corporate "Punk'd". And the truly maddening thing is to know why we had to do it. It's all about the government getting their stats and if they don't know how many Samoans we see per year, apparently the whole infrastructure will collapse. I mean, we could have rejected it but in doing so, would have been forced to take MASSIVE Medicare pay
cuts because that's how the government blackmails you into doing shit you don't want to. They take money away like a parent withholds an allowance if you don't take out the trash. They suck balls. I mean all the balls, in every universe.

 I can't tell you how fun it is to be challenged by a job you loathe at this age. The moments at my desk that I'm not stumped on what to to do next or  inwardly screaming at myself for not finishing college are usually filled with prayers that someone will strike me on top of the head with a lead pipe. Then maybe when and if I came to, it would be like the movies and suddenly I'd become some amazing writer or just tell them to go fuck themselves and run into the woods. Either would be a fine transition to my current existence.

People told us, they said over and over "'re converting? Well just be prepared for 6 months of hell."

I'm not sure if what my office is suffering from is the normal nightmare or it's beyond that. Like a Freddy Krueger type thing and we need some fucking Dream Warriors. I can't even rely on my boss because she doesn't know what the hell to do either.  I've never seen her cry so much. In fact all the chicks in my office look like someone has crapped in their Cheerios pretty much all day.Then this afternoon, something weird happened to me.

I was squinting way hard at this website that I'm supposed to be able to download my payments from. I went through the whole fucking thing with the dude over the phone last week, he took control of my PC and everything, walked me through all 4 thousand steps. Today, even going by my notes, I couldn't get it to do what he did.

"WHY Damn you??!!!!!!!!" Is what I was screaming in my brain when all of a sudden, there was this bright white flash and my vision went totally blurry. When I could focus somewhat again, I could only make out the top left portion of things. The bottom right of everything was just a blur. I went to the bathroom and couldn't even make out my face in the mirror. It reminded me of one of those caricatures of Hunter S., driving that brilliant red caddy through the desert. Face all stretched out on the bottom, glasses dripping down my cheeks in a runny rainbow. There wasn't anything good about it.

It lasted for about 20 minutes and then I started to develop a headache. Another woman I work with says it happens to her all the time. Fuck that. I'm starting to think that maybe I should just try to find another boring ass job instead of a challenging, boring ass job which, as I have discovered, is a million times worse. Maybe they need someone to sort the blank paper from the colored at Kinko's or maybe I could stack pallets of creamer and shit at Sam's club. Those jobs seem like just the right amount of boring without too much mental stress.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


“Your husband’s pretty grouchy” Garrett sneered over the rattling of his freshly painted wagon wheels.

He’d promised the week before when I saw him that black spray paint was really gonna sing and no doubt, he was right. It really zazzed up his whole riding lawnmower/wagon rig. It was also at that time that he’d inquired about doing a bit of yard work for me. I pussily faked interest just so he’d let it go.  He’s such a persistent little shit I should’ve known better, in fact, I'm sure I did.

If you’ve been following my blog over the years you may remember the time he tried to strong arm me into purchasing a used bathtub stopper from his “yard sale”. After he basically instructed me to toddle on home and get a dollar, I tore down the signs he’d made of notebook paper instructing the neighborhood on where they could buy crap Garrett found in his dad’s junk bin. You also may remember a post awhile back where I admitted how over the last few years, I’ve come to admire this little bastard’s work ethic. He’s tenacious, to the point you’d like to slap his face but hell, he gets shit done. I wish I could say the same for myself.

Anyways…so there he was, calling me out. I’d luckily avoided him all week on my dog walking adventures but there was no escaping his chilly gaze or cul de sac interrogation now. He backed up slowly, parking the wagon in front of my dog Walter who never minds a sit. I figured the best thing to do would be to just act as though I had no idea what he could possibly be talking about.

“What? Haha…what do you mean?”  I asked before quickly averting my eyes to the old man who’s been pouring a new driveway this week. I waved, he didn’t see me. I kept waving, trying my best to distract Garrett from this whole confrontation but he was cocked and locked.

 As I stated, a persistent little SHIT.

“All I did was come by your house…like YOU told me to, and your husband came to the door all mean and stuff…saying “Don’t ever ring my doorbell again! Now you go on! Git!”

He didn’t look hurt or upset, just furious. Granted it was the fury of a 12 year old raised in a comfortable suburban home, but still an awkward conversation I had no interest in having. I just want to be left alone and enjoy my fucking walk. Please universe! Can that happen?! Fuck.

The story my husband told the day it all went down had been a bit different. He claimed Garrett had come to the door like the police, banging on it hard/fast then immediately ringing the doorbell several times in quick succession. He said this cycle repeated 3 more times before he could finish wiping his ass and find out who the fuck was being chased by a deranged killer and needed to be let into our home.  Furthermore, he stated once said door was opened, the demon child on the other did not greet him, rather, demanded to speak with his wife about a business matter. At that point he said he gave the hell spawn instruction to never ring our bell in such a manner again and followed that up by shutting the door.  

I knew immediately that Garrett would not take kindly to this.

Now, here he was, frozen blue iris’ attempting to glare a confession of assholishness out of me.

Sometimes playing stupid is the smartest thing to do.

“Oh my God!  You’re kidding! I can’t believe he did that, wow…well…were you ringing the door bell like in a crazy way or something?”  I’d hoped maybe if I could coerce some sort of admission of guilt from him, he’d move his wagon so I could get home and watch Masterchef.

It didn’t work.

“Well I rang it a couple times, but no, I didn’t ring it crazy. He’s just a grouch.”

Truthfully, he is kind of a grouch sometimes but knowing Garrett like I do, I didn’t doubt the events played out just as my husband had recanted them. However, I still couldn’t seem to bring myself to chastise him for it. Instead I took the easy way out. I totally fronted on my old man.

“Well…haha..yeah, he can be a butthole sometimes…for sure…haha…how’s about maybe we’ll talk about you raking the leaves this fall. But you just talk to me about that okay?”

I totally sold my husband out, right the fuck out.

“Oh believe me, I’ll ONLY talk to you” Garrett replied sarcastically before throwing his rig in “mow” allowing my dog and I passage through his turf. He didn’t even look back as his mower wagon combo snaked up the long driveway that leads to his house.

 He’s kind of a dick if you haven’t picked up on that yet.

Hubby was more than pissed when I regaled my tale of Garrett upon returning that evening.  I didn’t tell him that I didn’t back him up at all. No, no, that would’ve resulted in some sort of Bloodsport death match. He really despises that kid. Instead, I mentioned the part about him saying “Go on-Git!” the part that made me howl because I really wasn’t sure if it was true. If it were, well then I wasn’t sure I’d recognize who I’m married to anymore.

“Are you fucking kidding me? Go on!? Git!? Am I 90 years old? Shaking a cane in the air, shitting my pants?  You honestly think I’d say that?”

I could only laugh.

“So this little asshat is a liar too? Well that’s just great. All I know is he had better never come to our door like that again. Go on…git…that little retard. I’ve never hated a kid so much.”

I should’ve been honest with Garrett, I know that. He’s just a jerky little douche. He probably would only have benefited from it, a life lesson and all about how to approach the customer. But it’s too late now. I just hate being hassled on my walks. It’s my decompression time, one of the only chunks of the day I stop thinking about everyone and everything I hate and revel in simple pleasures like how happy my dogs look when they’re smelling the grass or how happy I am smelling the kickass ribs my neighbor’s cooking up on the grill. That’s what we do. We walk and we sniff. I will throw my husband under the bus or lie to any obnoxious child to preserve this special time.

That being said, here’s to hoping next time the little bastard just leaves a written estimate in the mailbox or even better, moves to fucking Borneo.