Thursday, December 1, 2011

Here We Are Again

December 1st is here again. Finals approaching, Squish-mittens birthday is almost here again, I'm out of money, need a new car, and the only thing that keeps me up at night is man troubles. I'm divorced now so you'd think he'd have gotten the message that I am officially out. Besides the fact that I tell him that blatantly every time he asks if there is still a chance for us. I've moved on, plain and simple. If the man of my dreams walked up to me today and asked if I wanted to get married I'd have to say give me a year or two and we can see then. Not that I wouldn't take a relationship, I'm just content being single. That doesn't mean however that I don't want guy friends to hang out with, do stuff, talk on the phone with, watch movies, party, and just generally to be a part of my life. That's the one thing I miss. So the month will continue on, there are birthday plans to make, a weekend of pure party ecstasy to enjoy, final Christmas presents to wrap and give. I love this time of year and dread it with my whole being at the same time. All of my blog posts come down to one thing...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back at School

Not much of consequence happened this summer. I got black out drunk for the first time in my life, made out with a few guys, went on many long bike rides, and spent a lot of time basking in the sunshine at the swimming pool. I enjoyed this summer the most of any summer since I was a kid. It felt real and great and I did things just for myself. One of the best things I did was buy a new bike. No big deal for the average person, but for me it was a big accomplishment, to spend almost $100 just on me that was nonessential and just for fun was a treat. Now that I'm back at school and reality has crept back, there are only a few things that I wish had gone differently. I shouldn't have let you back in. It felt amazing and was what I wanted in the moment but I know better and I know you better than that. When making decisions it is possibly the most difficult thing to make the one with the adequate amount of foresight to not smash your face into the same brick wall time after time. You have become my brick wall. Thanks for being there if only momentarily. One day maybe some of this will make sense but until then, I'll just wonder what the frickety-frick-frack all of this was supposed to mean,

Friday, April 29, 2011

I Heard Ya'll Broke Up


Well friend you’re in luck. Guessing your taste hasn’t changed 
you’ll be able to find someone better or in this case loser-ier.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Obliviousity

Your eyes, dark as your hair, dark as your heart in its shadowy entwined cunning. Unweave the tangled webs wrapped tightly from your heart to mine.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Pasta and Cheese Loving Brunette Comes to Town


Dinners and dances are planned, ceiling fans gather dust
in anticipation of the melting gaze of her coffee eyes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You are Not a Mind-Reader?



That's fine. I'll tell you once. If 
you care, then listen or burn to the ground.



Friday, April 15, 2011

Vulnerability

Remembering your kisses, passion, intensity.
The safety I felt in your arms. Your uncanny
ability to break down my barriers,
weaken me like kryptonite. Now drift
off,disappear. Make this simple.
You captivated my life, mind, emotions,
uselessly.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Patty Melt Incident

The Patty Melt Incident
            “What’s the difference between a truck load of dead babies and a truckload of bowling balls”, Max asks jokingly. “Dude how many times do I have to tell you that I hate dead baby jokes. No more. Seriously,” I respond. “Fine, how about this, do you know what an Alabama Hot Pocket is?” “Why do you always have to be such a pervert, I don’t wanna hear what you and your boyfriend do in dark alleys”, I retort.
It’s just another typical Thursday evening in the kitchen at work where the sizzling and popping of burgers frying and the burbling and gurgling sound of fries being drowned in the deep fryers fills the air. Laughter and music are the usual sounds that are bouncing off of the walls and escaping through the swinging doors as they flap back and forth. After four years of working together Max and I can anticipate each other’s moods and have a blast working together.
            “What classes are you taking next semester,” he asks? “I can’t even remember, I’m so sick of school I could barf, I failed my English class last semester and my advisor says I need to retake it right away”. “Who’d you take it with?” She scrunches her large green eyes shut as she tries to remember, “I think it was Peets, damn he was annoying. Blah blah blah verbs and nouns, blah blah, I’m a douche.” “So you really liked him huh”, he says. “I don’t wanna close my eyes I don’t wanna fall asleep cuz I miss you babe and I don’t wanna miss a thing, even when I dream of you”, we both sing at top volume.
 “Shit son, another ticket, do they think we are a restaurant and here to cook food for them or what.” Max snatches the ticket from the printer and reads it, “it’s just the J Cat, he wants a patty melt,” and hurls it to the ground, but since its paper it gently wafts like a feather in the breeze. We start ripping things up and tossing them to the ground, soon there is a growing pile of mashed sweet potato, shredded cheese, torn paper towels, drizzled ranch dressing, all co-mingling with a puddle of dill pickle juice that had been splashed on the floor. Dallas, the bartender, walks in and says, “Is the patty melt ready yet?” We scramble around searching for the ticket that had started the food fight that had lasted for the last fifteen minutes. “Shit, I forgot, but I’ll throw it on right now, it will be done in ten minutes.” “That’s cool,” Dallas mutters as he walks back to the bar. Max reassures me, “you know how the J Cat likes to drink, I’m sure he will slurp down two more vodka’s before it’s done anyway.” “Dude, he loves the vodka almost as much as he hates me.” So we throw the burger on the grill, and add a pile of chopped onions into a small puddle of liquid butter alternative, just the way the J Cat likes it, and after tossing two pieces of texas toast with both sides buttered on the grill we begin to wait. “You should take Mackie’s class for English; seriously homie she is so easy, like everybody that I know who has taken her class always gets an A.” “Max, you and all of your dorky friends are good at English so why should I believe you.” “Just trust me a moron could get a C in that class.” “So now I’m a moron,” she spats jokingly. “Dude, shut up, you know what I mean,” he says. “Steph,” the J Cat slurs angrily. “It’s almost done just give me two minutes,” she replies. “Why do you always have to play these fucking games,” he shouts angrily. “Umm I’m not playing a game; I’m just cooking your food.” “I’ve been waiting for over thirty minutes, why don’t you grow up,” he shouts. I am so bewildered that all I can do is look at him and Max stands staring with his mouth unhinged. “Seriously Steph stop being such a child and grow the fuck up, just throw the patty melt away, I don’t even want it anymore.” “I just told you that it will be done in like a minute”, I yell to his back as he storms out the door, back to the bar and my tears begin to fall. “What a dickhole”, Max breathes. By this time I’m crying and shaking from anger. He gives me a hug and says, “Don’t pay any attention to what an asshole he is.” “I know but just once I’d like my best friend to stick up for me.”     

Resurgence

Re-sur-gence- (ri –sur j ns) noun. 1.  A continuing after interruption; a renewal. 2. A             restoration to use, acceptance, activity or vigor; a revival. Sounds like resurge gents.


Rebirth, revive.
Let’s go again.
Springtime in Minnesota.
If you’ve tried once then start again.
Life’s repeating dance.
Reinjecting life with real life.
Bursting through the heavy door on the first day of school or college.
The flinging open of the door after a long divorce, 
pausing face upturned, eyes clenched tightly
basking to have the warming sun bring you,
arms outstretched,
back to life.
The unfurling of a rose’s pink petal in front of a shattered home,
Stark from hurricane winds.

Graphite

Ordinary is special.
Gray or white light, dull or bright and shimmery.
Only the most important, beautiful are celebrated.
Graphite, simple pencil lead and diamonds
are allotropes of pure carbon.
Diamonds have a tetrahedral structure with single bonds of carbon atoms
Bound together in a network solid.
Graphite the same element,
yet.
Contains an alternating double-bonded flat planar construction
allowing the layers to slip and slide by each other
Giving it the ability to come apart and be a writing instrument.
There is beauty in the simple and strong.
Its ability to create.
To speak.
With each stroke an ordinary pencil, beauty of imagination and creativity sparks.
Smooth scratch across white expanse.
Unbound.
Unleashed.
Unfettered.
The Marilyn Monroe’s,  
no match for the Mary’s of the world.
Mary’s days, full of screaming baby and difficult husband
Her purpose and beauty not lessened
by lack of startling physical beauty.
She is doubly bonded.
Purposeful, important. 

The Colors of Childhood

Crayons make me think of coloring contests in my walk-in closet, hot and stuffy, feeling cozy and safe, yet stifled and confined. The effort to make a preprinted grainy coloring book picture look it’s most beautiful and the immense pride and satisfaction when I accomplished that feat. My brother Robert, six years younger was my nemesis, with whom I am engaged in this battle of coloring wits. As we prepared for these contests, we would move a tiny red child-size table and two cracked wooden chairs into the crowded space, which was usually stuffed with a rainbow of pants, shirts and dresses, hanging in rows on hangers, on nails in the mint green-woodwork, and stuffed in every corner in haphazard piles. Deciding the winner of this epic contest was always the most difficult decision either of us had made in our young lives, with our age difference I should have always been considered the winner, yet with a level of fairness intact I had decided to occasionally color slightly less than my best so that my wee brother could experience the thrill of triumph. As I grew it became evident that those times would evolve as I aged.
My grandparents’ old farmhouse is the next memory of the waxy feeling of these coloring utensils. Grandma’s dimly lit dining room, with the wooden pull out writing desk where the coloring books and crayons were always kept. The times that were the most fun to color were those isolated moments when I was allowed to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s all by myself, leaving all of my seven clamoring siblings behind and basking in a paradise of serenity and decadence. There was always the chance to curl up on the boxy brown davenport, with a Styrofoam tray, left over from the meat counter at the grocery store, piled high with that evenings salty popcorn snack and watch some T.V. The next morning, when Mom would come to pick me up, all of us kids would run around outside, playing in the backyard with all of the old trees and flower gardens filled with pansies and hollyhocks and surrounding us with familiarity.
Childhood is fully encapsulated in that simple comfort of the smell of a green crayon. Even now in adult hood if I close my eyes and deeply inhale that fragrance, I am carried away to a green grassy yard with tree branches swaying and bobbing in the breeze overhead as I lay  sprawled on the cool ground and watch the puffy summer clouds drifting carelessly                                                                                                                         above. Next I would run over to the swing set and with my young and pain free legs, I would pump and pull with all of my might as if to reach the sky and float among the clouds and swing until I am dizzy with glee. Then as I swing up to the high point I would breathlessly let go and fly off, tumbling and rolling back to my feet. When I am momentarily steady again, I would run with abandon just for the joy of it, swooping in circles, imagining that I am like a kite scudding across the sky, with my arms extended outward soaring faster than the wind.
I miss that freedom and excellence of running, swinging, and coloring. Now running means exercise, and pulsating throbbing ankles, coloring means, although I am spending time with my own brown-eyed boy, that I am most likely neglecting chores or the fact that dinner is in the kitchen begging to be cooked. So as I sit reading a book all bundled in a cuddly blanket, I watch him build a fort out of old quilts and kitchen chairs, and resign my myself to clean it up later as he plots to capture the pirates. Because now my purpose and desire is to be sure that Joshua, my little one, experiences all those feelings of freedom and the carefree release of childhood all wrapped up in the smell and smooth waxiness of a crayon.

Scars

The day before I got my scar, I told my boss, “I feel like absolute crap, so don’t be surprised if I wake up tomorrow and go to the emergency room”. Saturday morning dawned after I had been asleep for a few hours and I was awakened by my four year olds chubby fingers poking me begging for snuggles and his wet kisses being pressed against my too warm cheeks. That little round face and the intense waves of nausea sweeping like a wave over a ship’s deck are what I recall of that morning. This angry red scar that stretches from right beside my belly button to right beside my hip bone is from that day. My husband Andy told me that we should go to the hospital. “But we don’t have the money to do that,” I groaned as I curled more tightly into the fetal position. That’s when the regurgitation started. I stumbled and scurried from the bed room almost drunkenly, cursing the fact that the bathroom was down that long flight of stairs, groaning with the impact of each thudding footstep. When I reached the toilet I began retching violently with dry heaves so deep I thought my toe nails were going to come out of my mouth. Then Andy insisted, “We’re going to the ER now!” I hated his controlling and telling me what to do yet I was too weak to argue.

In the car while driving that thirty excruciating miles, I crouched backwards in my tiny black Mazda Protégé with my knees clenched to my chest and a bucket balanced on top of them which I continuously gagged and moaned into. Finally we pulled up the to the hospital. I crept through the door while bent at the waist wishing I could crawl because the upright walking made me feel almost seasick. After being settled into a room in the ER and an hour or so of trying to lay in bed and getting up over and over to barf into the sink in my room, the doctors and nurses had decided that indeed I wasn’t just a drug seeker but that I was ill. After giving me a dose of anti-nausea medication the nurse encouraged me to rest until I could go down for a CT scan. Soon I was informed that I had appendicitis and would need to go into surgery immediately. That was a scary moment. The thing that went through my mind was my little boys face and shaggy brown hair. Those pudgy arms squeezing my neck and telling me every day, “I love you mama.” I was rolled into the operating room, and after the mask was on my face, they told me to count backwards from ninety-nine.

Awakening for the second time that day was a foggy confusing moment. The room was cloudy and hazy and I couldn’t remember for a moment what was happening. Soon the searing pain in my abdomen reminded me what had happened and the nursed showed me how to work the button to get more morphine if I needed it. After staying in the hospital for two more nights, I was allowed to go home with the understanding that I was to take off at least two weeks and up to four weeks from work depending on my recovery and how I was feeling. That was the longest vacation experience I have had as an adult and I used it to the fullest. Each day I would send my son to someone’s house when Andy went to work and I would watch movies, read magazines, eat snacks, and take Vicodin induced naps.

With all that time to think and reflect I was seeing how earlier that year my marriage had reached an impasse. I would have never believed that a surgery would be the revealer of the place we had reached, yet when I was ready to go back to work, I told Andy that he had to leave, that Joshua and I would be fine without him.

Independent Lessons in Love


“There is in every true woman’s heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in
the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour
of adversity”. Washington Irving, The Sketch Book


          I am a woman’s woman. I cook, bake, clean, sing, listen to love songs, dance, cry at sappy movies, daydream about love. I have carried a child, had hormonal surges that caused me to weep while watching telephone commercials on television, breast-fed my son, and all of the other things women typically do as wives, mothers, and individuals. Somewhere during my early and tumultuous twenties, amongst getting married, having a son, discovering my husband had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in addition to an addiction to alcohol and cocaine, moving eleven times in seven years, and finally him leaving for good, I lost myself. Most of these situations alone would be tragic and soul-crushing. Yet together they make up the last nine years of my life during which I have grown the most, considered the release of death, and am still looking for meaning and purpose.
              Andy effectively and mercifully allowed our marriage to die a little over two years ago on a steamy July afternoon, as he cruised away in his battered white Buick, never to return. I had arrived home the previous morning around one o’clock from the local steakhouse and bar where I cooked, only to find him drunkenly incoherent, stumbling, and rummaging around our house, searching desperately for the six hundred dollars he had remaining from the pay check he had cashed on Friday afternoon. To say I was angry would be an understatement. I was fuming, irate, and livid; to put it simply, pissed. He had gone to the small dive bar down the street from our house after work to purchase whatever poison he had decided to gulp down as an escape from his torment, while my four year old son Joshua was home alone with him. A raging battle of bitter venomous words were batted back and forth for hours, mine accusatory and full of hatred, and his a blurry, bumbling attempt at pacification and explanation. My full limit had been reached. All the same excuses from all of the years, the utter inability to accept responsibility for his actions, the thoughtless endangering of our angelic brown-eyed little boy, I was finished, no more.
Suddenly I was not even angry, just resigned. I had made my decision. We trudged outside to smoke a cigarette, where the light pink and gold of dawn had begun to creep up from the horizon, plunked down on the wooden planks of our back porch, and with the smoke wafting and curling around our heads in a ghostly dance, I told him to leave in the morning. I had found my voice again.
               I know people break up, get divorced, leave each other all the time, but I had my entire identity, hopes and dreams encompassed in a marriage that had crumbled. For the first time in years, I had no one telling me what to do, where to go, what to think, but I also did not have a standing date for Saturday nights, someone to drive when I did not want to, or a father for my child. My emotions were clashing and raging inside of me. Freedom, and yet the full responsibility of Joshua’s care and well-being, was mine.
Single parenthood was something I had always attributed to irresponsible teenage girls and the like. I had never imagined that I would be in that position. My judgment was no longer justified in my mind. Walking through a crowded grocery store, I felt looked down upon, no wedding ring gleaming on my finger, a little boy walking beside me calling me mama; surely in every one’s eyes I was being judged. So much of my security, identity and self-assurance were hinged on being a wife. Who am I now I wondered? A thirty year old emotionally damaged, angry and distrustful of men, single mother, working in a dead end job, receiving no financial help from Andy. So back to school I went.
               College must be the answer I am looking for, I thought. I will make a ton of new friends, get an education that will increase my earning potential, and Joshua and I will both benefit from this change. My friends were telling me, “Melissa, you’ve been single for two years; it’s time for you to start dating.” Not likely. Now the new college-going, three-job-having, mommy- being me has her hands full juggling our schedules, finding babysitters so I can work and attend class, making dinner, cleaning the house, buying snacks, and paying bills. I also need to worry about being attractive to males, only to find out that I intimidate them. Even now I am realizing that by being on my own, providing for my little family, having opinions, telling jokes, and not just demurely giggling at theirs I am upsetting the idea of how a good little mid western girl should act.
              Two years and two months of the single life, with no boyfriends or social life, is teaching me patience, humility, and self-reliance. At the end of each long, lonely day I go home to my cozy green safe haven of a home, get the greatest hugs from my little boy and realize that through all of the agonizing ordeals, I am still me. A woman who will dance recklessly, singing unabashedly, laugh raucously, cry unashamedly, and hopefully one day be loved completely.

Sacrifice


Pop, pop, pop, beep, beep, beeeeep,
                        popcorn’s done, happens
                        frequently, never
                        considered the moment
a dangerous one.
Click, the door pops open
Mama, Mama! As I reach
in to grab the hot
bursting bag, aroma
butter and greasy salt, glance 
up, see chubby arms tugging my leg
cherubic face begging
the bag in my grasp,
drips scalding, 
hot oil, one drop
spills down onto perfect peach cheek
as a torrent pours into the crease of my elbow
searing, yet I lunge for him and that one drop
first.

Last Will and Testament of a Girl Who Couldn’t Tell People Off



Tell him he is a big eared, two-faced, hypocritical,

                        chew-spitting, praying-mantis legged, Morgan-swilling,
                        oh-look-at-me-I-can-spell-anything, Bible-quoter.

Tell her she is a man-leaving, house-jumping
                        lice-infested, booger-eatin’
                        member of a donkey show.

                        Tell him he is a monkey-licking
                        ass-sniffing, slime on a frogs nuts,
                        piece of doody from a bubonic infected rat.

                        Tell her she is a sallow-faced
                        whiney-hinied, pitiful, man-trapping
                        hornets’ nest-haired hussy.
           
                        Tell him he is a dream catcher tattooed,
                        old-man voiced, chain-smoking
                        loud-mouthed, manpri-wearing, tool box.
                       
                        Tell her she is a Venus fly trap, man-eating,
                        venomous tramp, wind-tunneled, black-holed,
                        bleach-blonde, with the mental capacity of a dead ant.

                        Tell him he is a freakishly tall, grubby doofus,
                        backwards-hat wearing, imbecilic, manipulating,
                        giraffe-necked, bumpy-headed, smelly liar-pants.

                        Tell her she is an ungrateful, over-privileged,
                        gambling addicted, champagne drinking, one-week
outfit wearing, squawking, daughter of a crap weasel.