Monday, May 30, 2011

memorial











Did you ever want someone to live forever?

Do you have to accept they will in our hearts and minds and dreams and liberties and freedoms?

Or can we hope for more?








I am grateful, so very grateful.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

feral

I am on empty in the middle of nowhere and it feels like home. A note to myself, a signpost on the road. I jot down a word on the back of an old phone book. Inveigle in pencil, it can be erased. Remember this, I think, or don't.

I sit on a park bench all day long and pretend to read a book. A voyeuristic journey into how I am supposed to act. There are clothes for this uniforms for that. Maybe I should try harder but probably not or won't.

The wildness was it. What drew me to them what kept me away all the same. The greatest asset always runs the risk of becoming the biggest liability if I even believe in those.

Sometimes I do,

but

some

times

I

don't.




Dear Slater,
Yes, I know, too abstract. Maybe tomorrow I can be concrete.
Mom

Saturday, May 28, 2011

cave dweller

A warm bath

A slow song

Candles lit

Two drops of this

A dash of that.

There is a sweetness to this solitude, this very space of lack. The room is filled with all that is not there, no rush, no expectations, no need, no want, no getting in another's way, no phone ringing, no mail in the box. I realize the beauty of no.

Yes, there is a guitar playing, a rush of water, the diminished flames of wicks and wax well used, the scent of lavender and vanilla and melon, a creaking wood floor, a warm towel from the dryer, the feel of steam and lotion, a book waiting to be read. It is clean and nurturing and it feels like saying yes to yourself.


Sweet, sweet cave. Oh how I love you so.



Gratitude.

Friday, May 27, 2011

weekend

The week started last year 'bout the time we got a new phone system. My most effective tool obliterated into shrapnel of sound floating down down down into a tunnel so deep the voice may very well be lost forever along with the hope we'll ever be able to pay the piper.

I spent one day this week responding to the question, How are you? with, I'm sober. Everyone, it seemed, replied, That's good. I never corrected them.

Oh the drama of it all really.

I think you and me, we just need some Tom on a Friday.




Gratitude.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

bondage

Octopus by Josh Miller


I nuzzle in close, head under his chin. My finger draws imaginary circles on his abdomen. He has requested pillow talk and made the statement more than once that I have assumed the more masculine role in our relationship. Before now I have dismissed him but have recently decided that relationships are about give and take.

Placating his desires I find myself wondering how much pillow talk will be sufficient. Is there an algebraic formula that will give me the answer? X being the time it took for us to climax multiplied by Y, which is the variable shown in the quality of the foreplay. What about the stress of the day or the dream I may have had the night before? I just want to sleep, the sleep that can only be found after the brain surge of an orgasm.

It’s too hot, and we’re both sticky. I peel myself away from him. Resting myself on my elbows, I remain close enough to feel the heat. That was nice, I say reassuring him of his prowess. He grins, It was, wasn’t it?


I reach over him to the nightstand, put on my glasses, pull my hair up in the clippie and sit cross legged next to him. Have you ever tried bondage?


No, he smiles, I’m a virgin at that.


Would ‘ja, do ya’ think?


Since I’m already your love slave, you can have your way with me. I trust you completely.


Really? I’ve been reading about it and don’t know if it’s for me. I lean down and place a gentle kiss on his lips forcing another grin.


Why do you say that? He leans up as I do, pulls me near, takes the clippie out of my hair, runs his fingers through it forcing it to fall and begins kissing my neck as he pulls in even closer.


I would have difficulty with the safe word. My hand reaches up and pushes him away.


What’s a safe word? He looks puzzled.


It’s a word one partner uses when it becomes too intense, when the one partner wants the other to stop.


Why would you have a problem with it?


Because I’m not sure I could.


Could?


Stop..I’m not sure I’d stop.


What if I was the dominant one and you were the submissive? Leaning back again against the pillow he begins to stare at the ceiling. His hands are clasped behind his head.


I trace the line of his ear between my thumb and forefinger, First, I would use it to make sure you would stop when I said it.


He looks at me.


I would use it again to ensure the first time was not some type of joke. My other hand begins to feel the full length of his leg as I massage and focus on the tight calf muscles. He has nice legs.


Then I would start using it as some type of silliness, and it would make me laugh. I look into his eyes and grin.


My hands come together as I cup his face and place another kiss on his lips, It wouldn't be a safe word anymore. Then it would be a joke and not even sex.


My kisses begin to find his chin, the tip of his nose and his forehead. I straddle him allowing our bodies to meet again. Maybe we shouldn't try bondage because even with you I don't trust myself not to torture you as you're screaming the safe word. Bondage may not be good for a person like me.


You’re right. You can’t be trusted, he pushes me off of him and turns away.


Now would be a good time for me to reassure him, to let him know that he can trust me. Instead I figure the algebraic equation has solved itself and nuzzle my face into the pillow. My last rambling thought is, Maybe he’s right.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

summer

The dark path leads me through a town without lights. I know it's there, it's been witnessed in the sun so I turn to look at the old store. The sign blinks O P E N in red, a pickup is parked and three kids are climbing in the back. A scene, a photograph can evoke on such a rare occasion the knowledge of a particular time and place, of warm night air, of no school tomorrow, of friends and loot at the store where we got to choose one thing and never complained, front porches we called base, running to the end of a pier with all the speed you could muster and jumping as far as you could and feeling the cold water and losing your breath and coming to the top only to see your little brother flying over your head.



Sweet, sweet summer.



Gratitude.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

preachy

He sends video footage of a militia which is not a militia, and I watch it. I stick with it 'cause he told me to keep an open mind, that it would make sense and I would find it interesting. I show effort. I watch it with the purpose of finding it interesting.

Afterwards I call him and say, He lived and died by his dream. He scripted his reality.

Who? he asks.

The guy in the movie, I respond.

Didn't you think he made sense? All those things he found, don't you think they're real?

Yeah, yeah I get it. It's just that I don't want to be him. The life he led, what he tried to prove for so long is that they were out to get him until finally they did. Wouldn't you say he created his own murder without actually staging it but kinda staging it? Do you think in the very final moments of his life, during his last breaths he thought how nice it would have been to be in a warm home with his wife and daughter?

But he was standing up against the new world order, the powers that be, everything he found out, what was really going on.

Yeah, I heard it, waited for the Bilderberg group to be mentioned and was satisfied when it was, but...

But he said never believe anything you hear. Listen to everything, read everything and find out for yourself.

I heard that. I know what you're saying and I know I sound like a sheeple, cute word for those of us so less aware. I get it. The thing is at some point in my life I stopped being against everything and started trying to find things I was for 'cause what I found was that no matter what you always end up being the message you're preaching against.

That's not true.

Yes, I say. Rule without exception.

Not true. Did you get the article about the Remy hair?

I did. That stuff drives me crazy. Who woulda thunk it? What the hell are we doing in this world? I am in amazement.


The next morning I come here and post some attempt at humor to something I find disturbing but not maybe I just don't understand oh good gosh someone is spending that much on hair and who are we.

Later I get to work and hear that while I was being consumed by Remy hair and the thought we as a people had somehow lost our way and become so entrenched in matters of superficial, shallow crap that we couldn't see two feet in front of us... over a hundred people had lost their lives in Joplin, MO.

No exception, I become the message.

The thing I am for, what strikes me every single day in this world, is the power of the human spirit, the beauty in one lending a hand to another, how we as a people have to and are able to struggle and fight to create the dreams we have.

My heart and prayers and money go out to those who are in the struggle and fight.





Gratitude.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Super Fergie


Fergie had an obvious new found confidence once she had obtained hair from all the canine worshipers who had so generously sacrificed their precious strands to their shared dream of dog biscuits in the sky.



What?




Gratitude.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

hold on!

There have been several times in my life when the first couple of  lines in Kipling's IF have served to anchor my emotions or steady my gaze. My own little serenity prayer.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you

The need was heightened this week and I stood at a loss, bit my lip and walked away. It was tough. I told myself all the right things, don't take it personally, we're all just doing the best we can, treat everyone with kindness 'cause you don't know what battles they're fighting and so on and so forth.

BUT

Yes, there's a but. There was this fire welling up in me, and I had to go against what seemed like my very nature to give back what I was being forced to take. Ashamedly I have been known to excel at what some may call verbal sparring, mean on mean. I knew there would have been instant gratification to spit back the same venom which was being aimed at me. I have known the beauty of such a release and the crushing disappointment in myself immediately thereafter as I have watched the consequences of my actions. Experience has taught me this is not what I want.

BUT OH

It was hard.

To bite my tongue.

To press my teeth into my lip.

And I thought where does this go. Does this feeling settle into an organ, cause a disease? Does it infest or dissipate? It is as real as the clothes I am wearing. I can feel it in my gut. It travels up my spine, into my shoulders, my neck. It is stress and from what I hear it kills.

So I took it. I absorbed it and I called a friend and I bitched and I complained and I spread it to another in an I need you kind of way and I don't know if this is okay but it seemed to help. The friend seemed fine, and we ended up laughing and maybe I just needed to step back for a moment, to get away from the week.

I am so very grateful for the weekend.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

stories

I always chose Mary's line at the local grocery. She was Slater's age and I well remembered the years of youth soccer when she and her Dad would provide the sideshow entertainment to the game. Mary was loud and overweight even then and her Dad was one of those screaming coaches who came to win. He would put Mary in the game and within minutes she would hurt herself. How I don't know. I would never see the actual accident, only the resulting limp or the abdominal clutching and eventual tears.

DADDY, take me outta the game! She would scream.

Mary, shake it off. Stay out there. You're NOT hurt. He would return with equal volume and vehemence.

Mary always won their battle. She would come back to the bench and be miraculously healed within minutes. The bench was where she wanted to be because that's where she sat and told stories with the other children, where she commentated her own game. Soccer, for her, seemed to be more of a social means to an end and so did the cashier's position she took at the local market years later.

After a long day of work and the thirty minute commute home I would stop by the store, pick up a couple of items for supper and wait in Mary's line. The other girls always seemed to be perturbed to be there, and you'd almost have to coax a smile from them but Mary had a story every day and she would tell you that story with such an extreme exuberance that just the telling of it could make you smile. Sometimes I would go in just for her to continue and I would prompt her with yesterday's ending as I placed my items at her register. She would smile and continue the odyssey which seemed to be her life at such a young age.

Slater would fill me in on the details after I got home. No, Mom, Mary is not in the military. Mary doesn't go to school anymore. I think Mary smokes weed, Mom.  He would sit and laugh at me as I would walk in the door with the next saga of Mary's life, But no, Slater, she's going to camp this weekend and this guy who is her partner in the military is someone she's really worried about 'cause he's getting in all kinds of trouble.

Slater would smile. I would smile. It was like Mary had become a member of the family although she had never been to our home. We loved Mary. We loved her stories.

Then she was no longer at the grocery, and I would be stuck with the more socially acceptable looking waif teenage girl with the obvious I'm only here to earn money so I can get away from this town look on her face. Pat greetings and scripted thank yous of which I believe humans can take only so many per day. Before long I was asking one of the baggers, What happened to Mary?.

She got fired, he said. I feel bad 'cause they caught her not charging me for a bagga chips.

The next morning I saw her Dad at the gas station, told him how much I missed Mary at the grocery, how she always seemed to brighten my day with her enthusiasm, her beautiful stories. He responded gruffly with, Well if you see her out driving around you better tell 'er to get home. She ain't even got a damn driver's license anymore.

Okay, I said, but will you please tell her something for me?

He paused and looked at me.

Will you please tell her that her customers miss her? We miss her stories.

Yeah, yeah okay, he said almost dismissively as he walked away.

I'm sure in the whole scheme of things it doesn't matter but I really do hope he did tell her.



Gratitude.

Friday, May 20, 2011

stay hungry, stay foolish

Sweet Shelby graduates high school today so in honor of a very talented, quite brilliant, absolutely fabulous young woman I dedicate this space with two pieces of work which always come to my mind when celebrating such an accomplishment.

The Steve Jobs' 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University.

and....




Congratulations, Shelby.






Gratitude.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

write

Sarah asks me how the writing is coming and I fumble for an answer. Yes, I am writing. But no, I am not writing. I think about the book often, do five minutes of what if, no I don't think so, maybe that, surely not, how 'bout this, no no that won't do until finally I say out loud, Wanna go outside, Billy Sue? She's always up for it so it must be her fault. Yeah yeah it's Billy Sue.

Who me?
 Nah, I guess not. It's not her. It's just that I take this too seriously. This book. I have always wanted to do it. I have forever wanted to collaborate with other creative people to publish this one piece of hard evidence that we were here and we made some observations and we cared enough to share a story with some unknown future just in case it would help them in some way or at the very least be the cause of a future upturn in the corners of a stranger's mouth. Then there's the what if I die right after the book and that story was the only thing I had and it was the only thing that went forth and what if it sucks. What if it so bad that with all the money I don't have left I buy copies for family and friends at Christmas and give it to them and as soon as I walk out of the room to get a drink they look at each other and start some type of discussion about a literary intervention where step number one is to have my Dad stop speaking to me until I promise to never write again?

What if I fail? What if it is not what I dreamed it to be?

That has to be okay. I have to say that is okay before I can type the first word.

It's okay.




A very busy United States Air Force Pilot contributed to this book. I have no excuse. This weekend I shall chain myself to this chair and the sure to be shitty first draft will be born.


Gratitude.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

absurd

Do you think we're supposed to take it seriously so we won't be taught what serious is? She looks out the passenger window and resumes her count of the hell fire and brimstone billboards placed in the rock.

He turns down the radio, Did you say something?

She turns and looks at him. He smiles. Yeah, I guess I did. I was just thinking that sometimes it overwhelms me.

What overwhelms you? He focuses on the road ahead.


This feeling. This feeling that wonders how I could take all this so seriously when it all seems so absurd.


I get it. Maybe we all feel like that at times. He has one hand on the steering wheel and  the other on her knee.

She grabs his hand in both of hers, gives up the count, leans back against the door, pulls her knees in tight and his hand in close, But it's scary isn't it? Maybe if you think that too much you begin to realize you don't belong anymore. It feels alone.

His thumb breaks free from her grasp, follows the line of her chin. He looks at her, You're not alone, baby. You got me.

Yeah. Okay. She lowers her lips and kisses his hand, places it on his knee, turns the radio back up, looks out the window and begins her count again.









Gratitude.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

atmosphere

I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.
Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787


Can you be born with a thirst for an Adams to your Jefferson or vice versa? Do you ever long to perfect the debate in a letter to an old friend? I would have offered to carry the mail between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, and, yes, I would have snuck a peak, steamed them open above a campfire under the trees next to a river, used the fire as a light in the dark of night and reveled in the beauty of a respectful argument between two outstanding thinkers.

Impending elections and political debates bring me back to those two so I figure this couldn't be a bad read during times like these.




Gratitude.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

road trip

galaxy

There is a sweet nothing feel to 1:45 on a Saturday morning. Not that there aren't a million things to be done. There are. It seems just that these moments represent a shift, an exhalation, a transition of sorts where one state becomes another. This is a time to breathe in all those interactions from the week and slowly exhale the acknowledgement of how fleeting it can all be. One moment to the next, the highs the lows, the laughter the stress, the everything the nothing. Here. Now.

Slater is home.

It is obvious I failed college, but still I try to make him laugh so I tell him how Billy Sue gets right up in my face, looks intently into my eyes so lovingly, so kind and then in the most innocent way burps this awful partially digested dog food breath into my nose. He chuckles and paces. He laughs and figures.

This place has changed.

A physics major poses the question, If you could destroy a lifeless galaxy, with no negative consequences, would you. Of course, I think. I've done it a million times.

And here we go again.




Gratitude.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

routinus interruptus

When he calls my usual greeting is through pursed lips, a pressured kindness barely covers the underlying frustration. Slater knows me too well to be fooled by any act.

What's wrong?

How'd ja know?

Something in your voice.

Today has been too much. How 'bout you?

It's all good. Just dropped Nan off and am driving home.

Well I know you're tired but it's supposed to rain for the next three days so if you could...

I know. I'll cut the grass.

Thanks, Slater. That'll help.



Pulling in the driveway later my earlier hopes dashed I decide he was too sleepy. I am too sleepy as well, too tired for even disappointment. If it wasn't for his car and the call I would not even suspect his presence. The door is locked, the house still and Billy Sue stiffly walks to me like she's been in hibernation for the winter. I do my best excited to see ya' impression and she's not fooled either but impresses upon me she does enjoy the back scratching part of our routine.

Afterwards I sit outside and stare blankly into the overgrown yard as she studies me.

Back in the house I see Slater has taken over my bed and I close the door to give him as much quiet as possible. I make one phone call and say one thing, Gone to bed, play a DVD and settle into the couch. Billy Sue places her paws on the cushion and looks at me as if to say you can't do this without me so I pull her up next to me.

She sits at my ribcage and stares at me. I close my eyes in an attempt to ignore but feel the weight of her need and open my eyes to stare back. Why are you not going to your pillow? I ask as I look down at where she usually settles at my feet. No pillow. Slater has taken it off the couch and put it on the loveseat for what reason I cannot imagine. I am too exhausted to think about it or to get up and get it so I tell her, I'm not getting your pillow in the most pitiful voice I can muster. She seems to understand and climbs over me onto the pillow immediately above my head. This'll have to do, I think and thankfully drift off.

A couple hours later the phone rings. It awakes me not to be answered but to serve as a notice I need to use the bathroom so I stumble down the hall and eventually make my way back to the couch where Billy Sue has now taken over my spot. I try to take the edge, push her with my back but she's not budging and the word bitch does come to mind but I'm too tired so I get up, amble to the loveseat and curl up in the fetal position without cover just grateful for a place to lay my head.

At 11pm I am up to write. Slater walks into the room and thanks me for his bed. No problem, I say. We walk outside, talk about this and that. Billy Sue sits next to me and watches as Slater paces until we complete the conversation and are all walking back up the steps into the house. Slater mentions I may want to change my writing music to see if it changes my writing as if I need an experiment 'cause he has a hypothesis.

You need for my writing to change? I ask.

Nah. Just see, he responds. Then he leaves me with my same old music, a lit candle and a blinking cursor.

Within ten minutes he walks back into the room and checks out the first two sentences I have been able to stamp out, smiles and says, Oh, another one of those. This won't be good.

Nice, I say. What should I write about?

Write about having to sleep on the loveseat, he instructs.

So here we are. You, me, Billy Sue and my editor home from college.



Also, one of my very favorite random internet strangers has returned stateside and promises us writings to come. Beautiful.


Gratitude.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

beforehand


I enjoy the show before the show, the scurrying about, a sound check, nervous energy channeled into an obsessive compulsion to the most minute auditory detail only released with an inside joke amongst friends. I am barely noticed with my camera and am drawn to the emptiness of a space immediately prior the throng. This is the time to develop a relationship with the wait staff, set up a tab, case out the place. It has the feel of a secret.


Then it seems as if the crowd had met at the large cafe a block away and decided to walk to the show together. The waitress picks up the pace, I get one more drink and sneak out a back door onto a patio to get a quick look at the shots. I meet a fellow writer, a Veteran and take in a beautiful Georgia night in the upscale downtown area of Columbus. It reminds of my twenties and Dee Dee and Dave and Chops and Union Avenue in Memphis. I smile.


Back at the table Rick is waiting patiently with the camera bag. He is obviously comfortable in his own skin and derives a certain pleasure in observation. I touch his arm, whisper something in his ear and he takes the camera so he can critique the shots. More drinks and dinner are ordered. The crowd becomes thick and I appreciate our small camp in the rear corner of the room.


It is a secured base, a glance, a touch and a smile with a friend when all of a sudden the music takes over the room and the energy moves through you, over you, all around you and you try to capture it. Try to capture the feel of what good blues rock can do to a room. Only later do I find out I never got the shot but I tried and there will be a next time, I just know it.


Gratitude.

Monday, May 9, 2011

open letter - in regards to healing

Dear Richard,

Do you remember that goofy little card you sent me via email that asked me to marry you? I closed it quickly. It made me nervous. I got scared that I had to say something which could change us. All of a sudden I was confronted with a question with which no answer would be an answer. I didn't want the you and me in us to change, but then you sent another email before I could even respond that said don't be scared, I don't care what you say, you don't have to say anything, it was just funny I thought, we're okay. Then we talked on the phone and laughed about it and I loved you more that day. Nobody ever asked me that question. And no, you don't need to ever ask it again.

Do you remember that night I played that one CD over and over again thinking that surely you would love it just as much as me but then maybe you got tired of it? I am listening to it right now, have listened to it for the past couple of months every time I write. I think that night contained the most intimate moments I have ever shared with anyone in my life. That night I knew the music changed for me, and if I ever got up enough courage to make you a mixed CD and pretend certain songs would be our songs forever then one of those songs would have to be on our soundtrack.

I know you remember this weekend when I was sick and you said you wished you were here to take care of me and I didn't want you to be 'cause I was so miserable and I don't like me miserable and I would dislike myself more being miserable around you 'cause then I would feel guilty for being so miserable. So then it would be sick, miserable and guilty all in one day and who can take that kind of misery? But then you were kind and understanding like you have been for so long and I realized how much more I loved you for that.

I am scared. You know that. The last thing I want is another shitty situation 'cause I am not being over dramatic in saying my heart just won't handle it. It can't.

Maybe this is healing. Maybe this is loving. Maybe this is being publicly vulnerable where a girl finally admits to herself she wants to believe the man standing right in front of her with his arms open so beautifully wide was all she could have ever wanted.

Geeze.


So the silly girl inside of me would totally put this next little ditty on your mix CD.




Love,
Me


Gratitude.

unexpected

I have only had the flu once in my life. It was the year I took the flu shot. I was playing the role of community education director for a local health care facility and it seemed harmless enough since I was responsible for organizing the health fair and it was the first day the flu shot would be available and it was free. Why not? Two days later I was wondering if I had enough energy to get my house clean before I died. I did not. My Mom was going to have to come and be confronted with my dirty house after I died. This and only this kept me alive during my first confrontation with the virus known as the flu.

It is the same thought that kept me from rolling over and accepting the inevitability of my demise this weekend when I was once again confronted with what could only be considered the most awful, fantastically devastating, this was the end virus. It was like when Kim and I were teenagers and went to see all the Friday the 13th movies as soon as they came out and I never understood why those people ran from Jason. I always thought I would just fall down and play dead simply because I am not a big fan of death anticipation, like I didn't want the end to be all panicky.

So as a sick person I just lay over and die. I don't really fight it until....

(1) Billy Sue needs to go outside to relieve herself.
(2) I notice the floor has not been swept or mopped.
(3) I remember there are bills to pay.
(4) I realize Mom is going to have to take care of this.


No, I didn't get to see my Mom on Mother's Day. I won't even begin to get into the details of why. It is quite gruesome. All I will say is she kept me alive. Thanks, Mom.


Gratitude.

Friday, May 6, 2011

punt

When it's Friday and you have things to do and you feel this strange obligation to a blog and it's oh so precious readers then I think you punt.

I plan on being back here Monday. Happy Mother's Day.




Gratitude.

nurture

It is those nurturing souls of this world who save it on a daily basis.



Happy Mother's Day, Angie

As I was running around yesterday attempting to finish a project which came to me a month ago but which I only started this week I was acutely aware of how we all, at times, need that anchor, that sweet reassuring calm in the storm. Today I give thanks to all the Mothers in my life. There have been many.


Tomorrow I head home to see my Mama.




Gratitude.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Slater








Makes a mama smile, I tell ya'.

Jesus

I felt the tap and saw him swerve. The bike, the guy and the girl, they never went down. I knew he was only steadying himself for a chase. What I didn't know is which of us had the greater capacity for speed. I assumed he was probably pretty angry so I gunned it.

For the first half mile or so I thought maybe I had lost him, maybe motorcycles were no match for Oldsmobiles, maybe this was all a really bad dream, maybe I could forget this and nobody would ever know, maybe. Oh no, there he was gaining on me. I saw him in the rear view mirror so I went faster.

He picked up his speed as well, but he looked better doing it. The car was big and heavy, the curves way too numerous. At each turn he gained more ground like he was skating on ice. I had to respect the man who was obviously going to kill  me was quite graceful. Would he do it with a chain? Would he simply stomp me to death with his boot? I began slowing down, accepting my fate.

Then it was like I was on a Sunday afternoon drive and my killer had to actually decrease his speed to pull along beside me and wave me to the side of the road. As he motioned I looked at him through the window as if to say, Who me? Oh, okay. No problem. I didn't know what the hell I was doing, but something in me like the part that didn't really want to die felt I should take the I am an insane kid defense. Obviously this came natural to me and there was a relief to pulling over and coming to terms with what had just happened even if it meant he was going to slam my head into the pavement with his gigantic hand.

I wish today I could read his version of the story 'cause the look on his and his girlfriend's faces when they pulled up, stopped beside me and I rolled down the window was priceless, pure shock so I went with it and asked one of the most incredibly absurd questions of my life.

Are you okay?

Just for that question he should have beat me. He should have come up with new creative ways to tear my ass up but he did not. Was he Jesus? I don't know. I never got his name. He said he was fine, his girlfriend was fine, yes, yes, his bike was okay. Did I want to get out and check my car?

Nah, I said, I'm sure it's fine.

Okay, he responded. Be careful, he added.

You, too, I said with a smile and a wave.

Later at home I hammered the dent out of the car.




Gratitude.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

jump

There was no reason to rush home. The sun was just before setting and the warm push of air through the open window felt free and good and as much as any twelve year old girl could want. Now it reminds me of the time Slater rode the bus in second grade. It didn't last long, but that first day he was grinning saying how it felt good to get on that bus and make it to school on his own. Funny how independence can be derived with a driver and twenty other passengers. On Mont Rose Road it was just me. Well, me and the motorcycle in front of me.

The motorcycle in front of me was going slow and being driven by the most stereotypical guy you could picture in your mind. Long hair pulled in a ponytail just below the base of his helmet, tattoos of skulls, patches of secrets on black leather and the requisite bitch on back. It was as if he was taunting me and I tried to wait hoping he would turn off, pull over, anything but slow me down and that's when it happened.

Jump by Van Halen came on the radio.

It was the perfect storm. A thin curvy road without the instructive lines, a young girl with more dreams than sense, a big scary man taunting her, the warm rush of air through an open window and the clincher, Jump by Van Halen blaring from the speakers.

Since nobody, and especially not me, has enough control to stop themselves in a situation such as that I punched it. Punched the gas pedal, placed the car on what seemed to be the other side of the road and attempted my first passing maneuver. Someone should have warned Hell's Angel dude in front of me so he could've gotten out of the way before I tapped his motorcycle.

And this is when all those important value based critical decision making skills come into play, the momentary what kind of person are you. Do you stop and check on your victims or do you take off like a bat outta hell? I was coming from church but David Lee Roth was telling me to Jump which I thought meant drive faster and get away from the potentially very angry tattooed crazy motorcycle guy.

Hit and run, people. What is the statue of limitations on that crime? Are there any?

Don't worry. There is more to the story. There was no way I was getting off that easy.


To be continued.



Gratitude.

Monday, May 2, 2011

drive

I had a dream about driving when I was four and a half. My Mom was pregnant with my brother, Jason, and I dreamed I had to take her to the hospital 'cause Daddy was offshore and she had gone into labor. In the dream I was a hero and performed my duty well. In my mind driving was nothing and the only thing standing in my way were some silly laws and my parents' lack of faith in my abilities. It would take Mom being in a crisis for me to show them my talent. Yes, at four years old I dreamed of the adults needing me to save them in some way.

At seven years old my Dad put me at the steering wheel of a flat bed bus with which our family hauled hay. I was to drive a straight line in a field while my Dad and older cousins would pick up the hay and stack it neatly on the bus. It was my chance to show my Daddy what I could do and if it wasn't for all the hollaring he had to do to keep me in a straight line then I think he would have let me on the road.

Three years later my Papaw finally gave into all the pleading. He handed me the keys to The Silver Streak, sat on the passenger side of the bench seat and told me to turn it on. I did and we drove a circle by his house over and over, again and again. Finally, I thought, I am driving. Not too long after that I had Papaw convinced I could do it on my own.

At twelve years old I was taking Papaw's Silver Streak all by myself to a little country church twelve miles down a thin, curvy road . It was perfect. I would get in that car, turn on my favorite radio station and head out to a sanctuary of about seven people of whom I was the only one under the age of sixty. Nobody there seemed to mind I was twelve years old and let loose on the world in an Oldsmobile.

Until one Wednesday night.


Cue Jump by Van Halen.









Dear Slater, this one is for you, baby, and will be continued.


Gratitude.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

woodstomp








I am in manual mode without any enhancements. Struggling you could say. I am not feeling it. In John Easterby's book he advises to only put your best out there for people to see and I am convinced this is not my best. Maybe we all have to fail in order to succeed.



Gratitude.