Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 208: the trouble with channel surfing

The professional ballroom dancer girls on Dancing with the Stars are assholes.
Why must I always see them shimmy and sashay in barely-there dresses when I’m eating?
And why does their skin tone make me feel as though the saturation levels on the TV need to be adjusted?
Not that anyone cares that they’re all orange.
Not when they look and move like that.
All svelte and long limbed…
They can't be real.
Like unicorns.
Or femme-bots.
I thought I was safe from this show on a Saturday.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 207: A Royal Kerfuffle --c'mon, you know I had to write about it

Well, unless you were lodged under a tree bark in a rain forest somewhere, you probably saw footage or photographs of the Royal Wedding today. Prince William marries (commoner) Kate (oops, sorry now it's Catherine Elizabeth) Middleton. Sooo much press has been thrown at this thing it seems a bit absurd. But at the same time, it is a rather refreshing four hour breather from all the depressing news coverage of bombings or natural disasters. 

I just finished watching the highlights (that will probably repeat for the next two weeks continuously) and have concluded that Will & Kate actually seem to like eachother (dare I say love eachother?) . That would appear to be a first for Royal Family weddings. 

I remember (ugh, how old does that make me) watching Diana marry Prince Charles. (OK, fine, I was a little girl, watching it at our country home on an old black and white television). Diana seemed a lost girl completely overtaken by her puffy dress and stuffy new family. That wedding was so formal, and so rigid. But these two, today, I don’t know…I think there’s mutual respect there. Less hierarchy and more normal, perhaps? 

We have established (several posts ago) that I don’t have the bride gene, but I must say that until today there was only one wedding dress I absolutely loved: Grace Kelly’s. But Kate’s dress today was perfect. (Actually the two are very similar, so it would appear I have a wedding dress style preference...shhh, don't tell anyone).  Kate was everything a bride should be: a vision of understated grace, poise and elegance. A true woman in her element. So unlike the mother-in-law she’ll never meet. 

Ahhhh poor Diana. She was greatly missed today. Inexplicably (and like many of you, I’m certain) I had a strong affection towards her. She was given the fairy tale wedding and the loveless marriage. She fulfilled her duty quickly and gave birth to The Heir (William) who had her infectious, easy smile. A few years later she gave birth to The Spare (Harry) and he had the same mischievous glint in his eyes as she did. After that, it all went downhill for her...what a rough time she had with Charles and the Royals! Her sole plight became to infuse humanity and compassion into a monarchy so overrun by tradition, formality, and standoffishness.  She connected with the masses while they waved from a distance. I think that’s why I loved and rooted for her. Her marriage may have been a royal failure, but she gave a lot of herself and an abundance of love to many people, especially to her two sons.

Today, without the mother they loved, William and Harry were smiling men. Laughing and chatting happily at the foot of the alter waiting for the bride. They looked dapper and handsome (sadly The Spare had a lot more hair than The Heir on such a big day, poor thing). But, it seems to me, they have managed to come out of the rigid Royal Family with a real sense of warmth and closeness. Their mother gave them that. 

As for Will & Katie... I wish them the best.
Why not? 

A step taken in good faith...yadda yadda yadda.

(Bottom left hand corner...that kid will live in infamy). 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 206: My Million Dollar Question (that doesn't bring in millions)

I’m sure my friends are fed up of me saying:
I don’t know what the hell to write about today.
I say it to them all the time.
And I say it in my head several times a day.
Sometimes I flat out beg.
Give me something!  Anything! Pleeeeaaaasse!  I’m floundering.
They usually respond: Ummm…write about how my boss…(etcetera, etcetera).
When I ask my dad he responds: Write about your dad’s famous pasta sauce.
(As he passes me a plate of his famous spicy pasta, smiling).
And the thing is, I usually never take anyone’s idea.
But I just feel proactive asking.
It has to come from me.
Even if I’m writing a post loosely based on what happened to someone else and embellishing my own details, it has to be my idea.
Or else, I have a hard time writing it.
That workshop I took a few months back taught me one thing:
Be alert to what you’re alert to.
So I try to stay alert to all human interaction.
Then I find a way to write about it authentically.
And since personal narrative seems to be my writing route of choice, I must observe.
When people tell stories to me, I watch the way they tell it.
I listen to their word choices.
I pay attention to the obscure, funny things of everyday life.
I've realized almost everything is pretty damn hilarious in its own way.
And still the constant question: What the hell will I write about today?
Now… almost 209 posts in, I am little annoyed by it.
Who the heck wants to be lying in bed pondering subject topics for the next day?
I pray for divine inspiration so I can write quickly, post, and watch bad TV.
Just get it done!
And damn it, I will get it done!
I care about this damn blog marathon more than I let on.
And I care about the quality of content I put out every day.
(Even if that may not always appear to be the case).
You know why?
Because of all you amazing folks that actually tune in here and read.
I marvel at the fact that I surpassed 20,000 hits in 211 days.
(And I know it can’t all be my mom!)
YOU, on your special corner of the planet, care to read what I have to say.
That's bananas!!
I love you.
(Really. I love you. 
Let's go steady).
And now I feel an obligation to finish.
Because without readers, what’s the point of being a writer?
I hope tomorrow I can entertain you. 

Oh! And one last thing: What the hell should I write about?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 205: just one look? (or several? and for how long?)

You see a cute guy walk into the café.
He’s tall.
He’s alone.
(Did I mention he was cute?)
He sits at a table close to you.
Facing you.
You watch as he orders.
Hmmm, nice smile.
He fiddles with his cell phone.
He makes a call.
Awww, he called his mom.
He sounds normal.
Nice, even.
He happens to look up and catches you looking.
You look down at your fork immediately.
Ten minutes later (using your peripheral vision) you see that his food arrives.
This time you decide to look up at him until he looks at you.
You’re determined.
He looks up at you with a blank expression.
You hold eye contact for half a second before turning your head and looking away.
You are pleased with yourself at being so brave.
Because now he knows.


Hear Ye! Hear ye!

He knows squat.
The above example does not demonstrate proper use of eye contact.
Actually it would be considered 'rapid eye movement’.
Or ‘eye twitch’.
Or ‘eye exercise’.
But definitely NOT ‘eye contact’.
I have realized in conversation with a few single friends (men and women) that the eye signal game is much too puzzling.
People are getting it all wrong and thinking they've made declarations.
When instead these ‘looks’ are ricocheting off of chairs and bouncing onto passersby!
And there seems to be two camps.
Scaredy Pants Camp (where I pitch my tent): using very subtle nuances to indicate attraction.
Borderline Creepy Smiling & Staring Camp: holding a gaze for too long without blinking or (oh my goodness) walking over to say hello.

But what is the happy medium?
I mean, is it so brazen to lock eyes and smile to send a clear message?
Does that even translate as a clear message?
Or is it just misinterpreted friendliness between strangers?
I know-- Maybe we should all carry tin bins and matches.
And narrow it down to smoke signals.
How much simpler that would be!

Small gum wrappers set on fire in tin bin: “I’m single and find you kind of cute” smoke signal.

Medium damp grass set on fire in tin bin: “I think you’re really hot and want to lip lock with you as soon as possible” smoke signal.

Large newspaper set on fire in tin bin:  (….)
…Well that’s just plain pyromania in a public setting and people should be alerted of your crazy and irresponsible shenanigans immediately...

Anyhow, you get the idea.
And until my brilliant idea of smouldering signals is considered a universal (and legal) form of communication between two hopeful daters, I think I’ll just continue navigating the single landscape with dark sunglasses on.
(I've gotten rid of the rose-coloured pair). 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 204: Sing Like No One Is Listening?

My car has now become my singing spot of choice.
It means I can belt songs out in full voice.
And lately, I have been.
I’m a mezzo soprano who has always been comfortable in the lower register.
When I was younger, Bonnie Raitt and Patsy Cline were the singers I would gravitate to.
Anything soulful or bluesy I would eat up and sing out.
Yesterday, while driving home, I said what the hell.
Let’s see how out of practice I am.
I was listening to Adele’s “Right as Rain”.
It’s kind of my theme song right now.
I sang along.
So far so good.
Then that last section comes.
She’s wailing and me...I plain chicken out.
I went for the falsetto (and just stopped singing period).
Sheesh woman!
I’m so hard on myself.
Even when no one else is listening.
I pressed repeat a few times.
I warmed up my voice a few times.
And then...
I whipped my head back.
My face looking up to the heavens.
Forehead vein about to pop.
Eyes bugging out.
Stomach muscles contracting...
And...I got it!
I got the notes.
You should have seen me smiling.
It’s like I got my mojo back or something.
And it only took me 1,245 tries.
I forgot how lovely it is to work a good melody.
To hold in on your tongue.
To measure your breath.
I realize (with a good dose of frustration) that (obviously) I’m no Adele…
But singing along to her soulfulness is damn good for the soul.
I now have the itch to hang out with some musician friends I know.
I now have the itch to perform.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 203: Run, Lola...(for all things holy) RUN!

I’m sitting at my computer dripping with sweat.
But I wanted to write down the authentic feelings as they came, on this, my first run of the year.
I got out of my building and lightly jogged to the giant park that I live near.
I told myself: I'm still in shape, this is easy!
I ran around the entire perimeter the first go.
After that I became the scary, sweaty, blotchy girl of Jeanne-Mance Park.
Willing my muscles to move without my direction was harder than I remembered.
I couldn't figure out if my butt was thanking or cursing me because I could feel it.
And it hurt.
I did not get through the entire 30 minutes running.
I walked when I felt like I was going to topple over.
But, hey.
I did it.

A few things I realized: 
1. When 2/3’s of your body fat is found on your ass, you really shouldn’t wait until April 25th to run for the first time.
2. When you are scared to death of rodents (and an albino squirrel is running alongside you) you run a lot faster.
3.  I am now convinced that Lykke Li’s new album is great music for all things physical (just maybe don’t sing it out loud on small streets when you don’t realize people are sitting on their balcony).
4. First runs require lots of nose-blowing. Carry Kleenex.

5. That Rockaberry cheese cake from last night was a very bad idea. And the rice pudding. Very, very bad.

6. People really do look like their dogs.
7. Empty water bottles make great percussion instruments to play on the body while walking home.

8. I actually really, really like running (when I’m not dry heaving).

OK shower time.
And then maybe a bowl of air for dinner.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 202: Happy Feaster --aka roll me to bed, I'm done

OK that’s it.
If you knew the ridiculous amount of food I consumed today…
There were more food options than people sitting at the table.
And we were a good 25 people at my parent’s house.
Not to mention dessert (bakeries would be jealous of the spread!)
And wine.
And prosecco.
And grappa.
And then fruit.
Rinse and repeat.
We committed gluttony on a holy occasion.
Or did we use a holy occasion as an excuse to be gluttonous?
The irony.
I know it’s clichĂ© to announce a diet after holiday gorging.
However, I simply cannot take my body looking and feeling so blah.
Tomorrow the running starts.
Rain, sleet, snow, or shine!
I’ll probably hurl after two blocks… that first jog after zero jogging is killer.
But it’s happening.
I took it a little too easy this winter.
Got a little too comfortable cozying up to this computer instead of exercising.
(That means ‘enough’ in Italian…Mmm basta rhymes with pasta…).
Pasta is the devil.
Ask Jesus.
(Now, where did I leave those Rolaids…)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 201: family

I've just made myself a rooibos latte at 8:30pm on a Saturday.
It’s really good, actually.
It's going down easy.
I spent the afternoon with my nephew.
Took him to Toy R Us to choose a birthday gift.
He just turned 5.
That entailed me chasing after him on a tricycle all around the store.
We crashed a few times.
The rest of the customers shot me dirty looks.
But the kid had fun.

So did I.
Then as I’m driving him home he asks: 

Him: Zia, do you have a family?
Me: What do you mean, monkey? You’re my family.
Him: Yeah, but do you have a family at your house?
Me: At my house? (pause) Hmmm, I guess I don’t.  It’s just me.
Him: Why?
Me:  (longer pause) Ummm, I don’t know. Why do you ask?
Him: I don’t know.

And onto the next discussion.
That’s the thing with kids.
They sometimes ask questions you don’t have the answers to.
Normally, that would have winded me.
Wounded me.
Instead I found sweetness in the fact that the answer will come.
When it's damn well ready to.

Tonight I will stay in. 

Completely content sipping my latte alone in my own walls.
I feel like myself for the first time in a really long time.
I have dusted off the dust bunnies on my guitar case.
So maybe I'll take ol' Fender for a spin and play a song or two.
Badly... but hey, it's been a while.
And sing.
Yeah, I really want to sing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 199: Clear Blue

I bought myself a pretty clear blue gemstone ring while in Italy.
Azzurri (of course) made sense.
I told myself that this ring would be my reminder of this intensely happy feeling I found.
A feeling of carefree independence that I rediscovered in myself on that amazing trip.
I wore it all summer long, even to sleep, and then barely wore it this entire winter.
I should have, damn it.
Because wearing it today is reminding me of my smiling face in the jewellery shop.
And the way I pranced through the streets of Rome like I’d always known them.
The way I laughed with strangers at the fountain in Piazza Navona.
The way new friends told me I was delightful and beautiful, and they had only just met me.
I chose to forget it all because I was too busy brooding.
And instead I chose to remember a list of my traits that someone said weren’t appealing
And write about it.
So sad.
Stupid, really.
But this is an attempt at life in writing, right?
So I write what I feel as I feel it.
Too much.
I guess we all play the stupid girl once or twice in our lifetime.
Strange that I should be Connie Confrontational in all facets of my life except this one.
That I would sit in a puddle of my own projected illusions because I liked the way my clothes looked wet.
Instead of giving myself a real kick in the ass and a finger wagging.
My finger--yes, my finger with the lovely ring.
The shiny crystal clear blue ring was a good idea today.
I am a lot more than I allow myself to be.
Connie is moving in, to move everything else out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 198: bargaining

Cheap, cheap, cheap!
Words are so cheap.
But they cost too much when I'm trying to write.
Today, it seems I can only afford a layaway plan.
A deposit.
Until I have enough ideas to buy the right ones.
So I will recycle the words previously purchased and worn.
And hope nobody comments on how faded they look. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 197: same difference

I can’t ever go to Hallmark again.
My lord.
I went in there to buy a birthday card for my sister today.
I wandered around and then got to the
 "Sister Birthday" section.
I looked through some funny ones and then it happened.
I read the card with the flowers and photos of two girls in big hats.
I could barely get through two lines of text.
Uh oh.
Oh no…

Giant tears streaming from my eye sockets.
It was over.
There I was crying like a baby at Hallmark.
Thankfully nobody has noticed...
No wait! The clerk noticed.

Oh Jesus, she’s smiling and bringing me Kleenex.
This is bad.

I bought the card, needless to say.
And when I got to my office to write a personal message in it, I cried again.
My goodness, get a hold of yourself!!
Guess it’s not every day I tell someone I love them.
The thing is, my sister and I are polar opposites.
I’m a Leo.
She’s an Aries.
Two strong personalities.
And her and I disagree on almost everything… passionately.
Very different tastes.
Very different outlooks.
But I needed her lately, and even though I couldn't articulate what I was going through, she told me in her own way that she was there for me.
Made me feel like I wasn't lost all by myself.
That meant a lot.

Today her birthday celebrations got interrupted by life.
Her father-in-law had a mini stroke yesterday (he has brain cancer) and fell down the stairs landing him in the hospital.
Her husband spent all night there.

And she spent all of today there while her husband brought his mom to the cardiologist.
Such a sad mess.

I rushed to my parent's house after work to play with the kids so they wouldn't think something was up.
She got in late but I got to give her a hug and the card.
And she cried after reading it, too.

So, I realized, maybe we're not that different.
We love the same.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 196: what I'm about

Working hard.
At everything.
At nothing.
Out in the open.
In a room built for one.
Chasing demons.
And releasing them.
Playing Truth or Dare.
With myself.
While you watch.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 195: God put a smile upon your face.

I never take taxis.
I have a car.
So what are the chances that I would hail a cab and get the same driver I had on New Year’s Eve?
I remember this particular cabbie (a pleasant Haitian gentleman) because we talked about the events of 2010.
He told me he lost a brother in Haiti during the earthquake.
I got very teary eyed because his voice cracked when he told me.
He said that the rest of his family was safe in the mountains now.
And that he was lucky to live here.
What a sobering reminder of what I have to be grateful for.
We talked about his wife and children.
We talked about our New Year’s Eve celebrations.
We spoke of our cultures.
For two strangers, we shared a lot of stories and easy conversation in such a short ride.
He was a breath of fresh air.
I even told my friend about him when I arrived at her place.
So imagine my surprise when I got in the cab yesterday and saw him again.
I was happy to see the recognition in his eyes, too.
And that he actually remembered me telling him about another great cab driver I met in Italy.
(I’m really lucky with cab drivers, I gotta say).

Such a funny coincidence!
Especially since I was headed to the exact same destination as the last time he drove me.
And he doesn’t even work in my neighborhood usually.
He had just dropped someone off.
A whole four months later and he recollected details of my stories as I did of his.
This time, we discussed the newly elected president of Haiti.
He shook his head and raised his empty hands when I asked what he thought of him.
“I would have liked the lady to win,” he said. 

When the short drive was over and I was paying him he took my hand and said, “I pray to meet you again. I can tell you are a wonderful person. Good luck to you. God bless you.
Who says stuff like that?
And right when you need to hear it most?
What a sweet man.
High five, Synchronicity. 
Job well done.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day 194: impulse purchases

buy your new favorite flavors
a dozen for a dime
no careful selection required
they're a similar variation
with slight differences in taste
each satisfying a passing craving
until you realize you love vanilla
and already had some at home

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 193: ...and if that mocking bird don't sing?

I wonder if I’ll ever be a mother.
It’s not something I let myself think about too much.
Or for too long.
But I hope for it.
The crazy, protective love I have for my niece and nephew is like nothing I’ve known.
I can only imagine that love is magnified tenfold when they are your very own.
It’s funny; I’ve always been told I’d be a great mom by family and friends.
That I’m a natural around kids.
Or that kids are drawn to me.
And there is no greater compliment than that, is there?
It is comforting to hear.
That they think I’d fit into that club quite nicely.
But I have always had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach that it wasn’t my destiny.
I don’t know why.
Just always felt that wish would not be granted.
And coincidentally, when I got my cards read over the years (for fun) they usually justified that doubt.
I never asked the question but they told me, “You will be like a mother to someone else’s child.”
Whatever that means.
I’m curious to know, if I did have one, what they would be like.
Or girl?
Would they look as wide eyed as I did?
Be a book worm like I was?
Would they be musical?
I wonder.
Sometimes, I let myself wonder.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 192: ' I need a place to hide away...'

It seems to me, back then, all I wanted was to get here.
To this time in my life.
I was in such a hurry.
Now, all I want to do is crawl back into my journals.
And remember wonder and innocence.
It’s so funny that it’s sad, really.
We run and we run until we outrun our Self.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 191: The Great Flood

Hey, it’s not like I’m not trying.
I really am.
Do you think I love announcing how I’m ‘so over it’, and then I realize I’m not?
I feel like a fraud.
Most of it is self created.
I know that.
But I can’t shake it.
And this has never happened to me before.
So there’s no reference point to know how far I am from forgetting.
Why you?
Why not the others?
I wish I had the answer to that.
Only my insides know more than I do.
And they don’t want to let me in on the secret.
It’s this unresolved ‘what if’.
Even though I probably know the answer to that question.
I hate that I haven’t lived it.
There have been people trying to distract me away from it.
And I am not interested.
Not in the slightest.
It’s too crazy out there for half assed attempts.
I don’t have the energy for it.
You intrigued me.
You challenged me.
You made me nervous.
And it’s not like I think about it every day.
But it seems to be what I am most inspired to write about.
It’s only when I sit at this keyboard that it rushes back to me.
I’m still trying.
That’s all I wanted to say.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 190: Don't Look Down

There’s a danger there.
A risk.
No calculating can predict the outcome.
No estimated guess can be approximated.
Only a tightrope to teeter across.
With no safety net below.
And then what shall you find there, if you make it?
A path of broken glass to walk upon.
You must be careful not to get it in your shoes.
Or lose yourself in their imperfect reflections.
Because they will take you back to the start.
And what a shame that would be, so close to the finish line.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 189: sex appeal that lasts

I was driving home from work just now.
And Heartbreak Hotel came on the car radio.
I gotta say, all these years later and this song is still damn sexy.
That guitar riff, man oh man...
Makes me bite my lip and want to console him.
Every time I hear it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 188: to be continued

Back from the mountains.
Back to life in the city.
Back to chasing that fresh start.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 187: opposite ends of a rope

I hate it.
I hate the rules.
I wish sometimes that I could pretend they didn’t exist.
That I could talk to an ex when I miss him.
And call them on their birthday and not just send a polite text.
It sucks.
I’m on vacation.
In the woods.
Sitting at a desk with an amazing view of a mountain.
I should be far from any of these thoughts.
But they sneak up on me sometimes.
It’s a fine balance.
It really is.
Forgetting people you want to remember.
I have a short list.
Of people I need to forget.
But I can’t.
They’re part of my story.
I like to think of them.
Even if it hurts.
Even if it makes me feel easy to walk away from.
Even if it makes me feel I made a monumental mistake.
Smart vs. Stupid.
Romantic vs. Realist.
Need vs. Want.
What a constant tug of war.
With myself.
How can you win against yourself?
There are two deer eating grass outside my window.
They look peaceful.
I want to run away with them.
But I won’t.
I’ll just put these feelings in my pocket, for now.
Maybe another day I’ll make sense of why I fall for who I fall for.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 186: Hot Tub Time Machine--aka was I drunk when I wrote this?

Here I am.
In the mountains.
With a gorgeous view.
With my two favourite people.
And two favourite beers already in my belly.
The only natural discussion to have is:
(after seared tuna, cheese and sliced Italian sausage)
(Mom stop reading here. Dad, really?)
The thing is…
Girls talk about sex.
Did you think we didn’t?
We do.
A lot.
Most of the time.
We’re not prudes.
(This group isn't anyway).
We belch, too.
(Christina says she doesn't, but I don’t believe her).
We also uncap a beer with the corner of a counter-top, when necessary.
(Because we all forgot to bring a bottle opener).
The question was just asked: Is it too much to dip the sausage in the guacamole?
The answer: Not sure. It may be too much.
Existential crisis pursues.
We have to hit the outdoor hot tub to discuss.
Three drunk girls in the forest.
Talking about sex.
And guacamole.
And cheese sandwiches.
No DVD player (with 20 DVD’s brought for movie marathon. Oops).
Good night.
Question mark.

This popped up on my iTunes while I wrote this (no comment):

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 185: Bolt

The internal kind.
Invisible walls we put up to protect ourselves.
A comfort zone.
A safety of thought.
No one can dictate what feels comfortable to you.
No one can decide what will hurt, upset or scare you.
You decide that for yourself.
So every one of us keeps this internal order of boundaries to structure our lives.
A personal set.
Yours may be very different from mine.
And access within those walls is earned.
Over time.
What happens when someone oversteps them?
Crosses the line, even slightly?
Presumes they are within the circle of trust without earning it?
It feels like an intrusion.
A silent alarm rings in your head.
There is a need to pull away.
Usually, justifiably so.
It’s very important to listen to your gut.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 184: I like to say 'fortnight' just for the sound of it.

Hello. How do you do, today? Alright, I have a confession to make. I watched the film Jane Eyre yesterday, and have been thinking with an English accent ever since.
(It happened when I read the book, too. It happens when I read any Bronte, Austen, Dickens novel, etc…).
Quite honestly, I feel it gets my mind to sift through the upper echelons of vocabulary. Written English was at its finest during that time. Oh, to speak like a Bronte novel and not be ridiculed amongst my peers! I would not miss colloquialism in the slightest, should it ever be banished from communication.
(You see, what’s happening here? All day like this.)
If Charlotte Bronte had me speak, how sharp the wit off my tongue would seem. And expressing my affections for a lover would be a thing of great elegance. In fact, I suspect, that should I state my sincere displeasure with someone in this manner, the strike would be memorable, if not effectual. Ah, yes. An unhappy temper could be a feast of words!
(People in London are cringing the same way they do when Madonna speaks, I know).

Unfortunately, my date of birth urges compliance with standardized modern language. It’s not my favorite, but I shall make due. Laugh at me, if you will. I am a funny bird. Not a plain one. With that, I bid you good night.
(Oh brother…)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 183: Send A Telegram To Glasgow

Alice’s hands are red from the cold but they are neatly folded on her lap. She sits on the wooden bench as people rush by her.  Couples on bicycles, women with children, teenagers walking dogs... She is oblivious to them all as she leans forward and perches her head to one side. 

I hear the trumpet. He’s started to play!  

She smiles broadly and stands, eyes searching in the distance.  

Where is he? Why won’t all these people sit down so I can see him? 

Her smile fades, her forehead wrinkles, and she clenches her hands. 

That’s not him. Is it? And where is he, if that’s not him? Where is Tom?

She shouts, “Tom!” 

A group of joggers are startled and then laugh as they run by her.

“Mother!” A frantic woman in a light blue overcoat rushes to Alice and places her arms around her. “Oh thank God! I couldn’t find you, I was so worried.” Tears stream down her face. “You can’t leave the house without me. I’ve told you, it’s dangerous to go out on your own.”

Alice looks at her daughter confused and faintly says, “Deborah? When did you get into town? I was trying to watch Tom play. But I can’t see him. Do you see him?” She looks past Deborah in the distance.  

Deborah muffles a sob and gently brushes the hair out of Alice’s eyes. “Oh, Mother. Not again with this. Tom is--Tom had to go away, remember? Do you remember I told you he had to go away?” 

Alice looks at her daughter with a blank expression and shakes her head. “I don’t understand what you’re doing here, Deborah.”

“Let’s go home, OK?  I will make you some hot tea and we will listen to a record of his. What do you say?”

“But I need to see him. Tell them to get out of my way!!” Alice screams. People are watching them both as they walk by with concerned expressions.

Deborah shushes her mother and addresses the small crowd of onlookers calmly, "She's my mother, it's OK. She's-- ill.  Please give us space." The look on her face warns them to be on their way and they retreat.

"OK Mother, sit on this bench, have some warm water,” she whispers and hands Alice a thermos. She searches for the cell phone in her pocket and surveys her trembling mother.

When did she become the child? When did I become the mother?

She dials a number and then speaks into her phone, “Hey. I found her. She was at the park. Yeah, she's OK, just confused and agitated," Deborah's voice cracks and she cries softly, "can you call Jack, please?  She’s asking for Tom. I know, I know I said I wouldn’t. But just call Jack, will you? Thank you. Bye.”

She places the phone back into her coat pocket, exhales slowly and wraps a blanket on Alice’s shoulders. “Let’s walk home now.  I’ll draw you hot bath and play some of his music while you drink your tea. OK?”

“Alright. But then I must send a telegram to him in Glasgow. It's very important.”

“Sure, I'll help you. Let’s go home and I'll help you.”

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 182: night light

You thought it was over.
But they stayed with you.
They held your face in their hands.
And caressed your head.
Their eyes lit like candles, flickering with hope.

You had forgotten how beautiful Hope looked when she smiled.
You heard a scream leave you.
But was it you?
Or the echo of another girl?
Everything was hazy.
Except for the light.
It was clearly flickering.
And you could feel them.
They took your arms and placed them above your head.
You felt the blood rush down to your shoulders.
And felt a tingle in your fingers from the pressure.
Your heart beat fast.
What a beautiful thing.
Your heart beating.
Your heart alive.
You took a deep breath because you could.
And realized that the dark didn’t win.

-for M, who is finding her light again.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 181: land mines

Are there any happy couples out there?
Raise your hand, please.
I’d really like to believe there are.
I come from happily married parents.
And my sister is happily married, too.
Solid couples. (Knock on wood).
But there is so much unhappiness out there.
People I know.
People who tell me so.
People who are not well matched.
People who stay for monetary reasons.
People who let one person dictate how life is.
People with wandering eyes.
People who don’t know themselves outside of the couple they are in.

I’ve seen (and lived through) some things that have me scratching my head at relationships.
And quite honestly, I’m scared shitless of them now.
This coming from the girl with great role models....imagine!
What is it that makes some relationships work when so much is visibly wrong?
And why do the ones that seem to have it together, break up?
Is there too much unsaid?
Or too much said?
I can’t tell.
When people try to grow old together, do they always grow apart?
Even couples with immense mutual respect have at least one person struggling with doubt.
I can’t help but average out that most big relationships have a 5-10 year expiry date.
That’s crazy.
I mean, is that it?
Are we unrealistic to hope for more than that these days?
I wonder.
I really do.
Does anyone else?
What is the magical combination for two people to happily tick like clocks together?
At the same pace?
And in the same time zone?
Anyone got some answers for me?
Is it safe to take that step and fall in love?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 180: fickle freedom, you were always mine...

Today, friends, is a momentous day.
Today is the day I got the monkey off my back.
All on my own.
Today I let go of a reoccurring dream.
Because it turned out to be just that.
A dream.
And nothing more.
Dreams don’t make sense.
In the end.
Just a mish mash of word and emotion.
Played out of context.
I’m ready for things that are coherent.
And beautiful.
I’m ready to be free of it.
I'll say that again: free.
So I unleash it...
I hope it doesn’t haunt anyone else.
Goodbye, cloud.
Goodbye umbrella.
Im ready for sun so hot it burns in the shade.
I’m ready for some fun.
I’m ready to blush.
To smile.
To laugh out loud.
I’m ready to dance.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 179: floating at sea

There’s so much beneath the surface.
So much the eye can’t see.
The truth is, we’re all icebergs.
Broken off from something larger than just ourselves.
Our depth can be misjudged.
More often than not.
And we can sink even the mightiest of ships.
Simply by attempting to keep our heads above water.