Monday, November 15, 2010

My day

My day was bland. Tasteless. The worst kind of day, like an old rice cake, stale and completely flavorless. My days aren’t always like this. Yesterday was rancid. The sky was a thick murky green and smelled of spoiled milk and old meat. Every breath brought on a wave of nausea. It seemed as though my nostrils were smeared with some fowl unctuous crème. No matter the place, the air was the same.

But even this is not usual. Occasionally my days are warm and sweet like fresh apple pie. Made of comforting browns and golds, and the solidity of the atmosphere is wrapping and calm. These days the sun shines hot and the breeze blows sugared lips across my face. These days are seldom and so are treasures.

The times I remember most, are the days of peppery spice. The days I don’t expect. The days that hit me like a surprise bite of fresh chili peppers and virgin lemons. Those are the days to live for. When every color and every fragrance is loaded with a dazzling punch of spicy spirit. Everything is orange and cinnamon, and the world seems like it will never be flat or dull again.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Success

Have you ever been the smart kid? or the good kid? or the pretty kid?

The smart kid, she gets no praise for her good grades. Because, of course, that’s just what she does.

There’s no recognition for the good kids spot-free behavioral record. Cause its not like she's ever gonna be bad.

And the pretty kid, well she doesn’t need to be told so. She must obviously know it’s true already.

Its the ugly kid that needs someone to tell her she is beautiful. Give the bad kid another chance to prove herself. And the stupid kid, she needs a big bad gold star for those bright B minus report cards.

I used to be the smart kid, and the good kid.

But most of all, I was the weak kid.

I was the kick around girl, I was the punching bag, I was the sounding wall, I was the 24 hour, eight hundred number teen angst hotline. I took it like a champ. I took it.

Then I stopped.

I stopped listening.

I stopped caring.

I stopped commiserating, and pacifying, and understanding.

And I stood up.

I went on a one woman defensive showdown with the world.

A strike against the bully in the next room. Against the angry woman in the next car, the oppressive student development professor, even the, five twenty-five an hour, telemarketer from Wisconsin that just wanted to let me know about this exciting offer for another way to put me in debt.

The sweetest moments came when I stood my tallest. 5‘4.5” and a monolith of metaphorical muscle. When I told her to step back because one button press would be the cops on her ass. She should know better than to stand so close and spit her words in my face.

I told him he should feel it, because he was a piece of shit. He will know better than to crush me again.

The weakness is a ghost of myself. She stands there still. With the smart kid, the good kid, the ugly kid.

They watch me in my tilt-o-whirl evolution. My slip-trip-miss and fall down days. My golden god conquests. And those moments, quiet and alone and still confused as to which kid I am. Really.

Because, after all, my failures are only as great as my success.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Slap

Leafing through my past life
Click, click, boom, there you stood
And I wanted to claw your eyes out
I wanted to reach through the plasma screen
Grab you, [levels balanced and skin clean]
By the collar of your trend whoring
Drop you on the desk top beside me
And then slam. Down on you
Smash. Leave your colors running
Make a pretty picture all red and pink
All marbled and swirling
And you wont be smiling
And you can stop pretending
That you did nothing for the shame
I'm calling double jeopardy
That’s worth this falsely focused blame

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

94, Feels Like 105.

The air is so damp it makes every living thing sweat.
And even the unliving have started to condensate and percolate.
I notice my body's moisture escape without my permission, without my assistance.
Its crawling on my thighs and tumbling past my knees and slipping down my calves.
And now my feet are sliding on the soles of my shoes and sticking to the tongues.

My brows are starting to fill with little drops of brine,
Held momentarily in place, waiting to attack my lashes and sting my eyes.

Theres moisture hitting my head from inside and out
And my hair has matted together in great clumps of stringy curls.
I think it must look like something off a corpse, all misshapen and wet
Like I've just lost a fight for my life, but really I'm only standing on the porch

The air is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
But my body is not sharp, it is soft and round and so I bludgeon the atmosphere.
I elbow my way through the crowd of gray hazy heat to the refuge in the driveway.
To the little steel can of freon and mobilized air.
Now my lips freeze and my fingers go numb from the constant blasting
But at least my external body temperature is leveling and my sweat glands are sleeping

I swear the air never tried to choke me when I was a kid
I never had to fight through the buttery summer heat then.
I remember being hot, dry and hot and sticky with play and dust.
I remember the breeze down by the creek and the sharp sun in the front lawn.
But I never remember the global humidifier surrounding my house, making everything look half cooked.
We could fry eggs on the asphalt then, now the only items on the menu are poached.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

When Do I Know I Need Help?

Today I did one productive thing. I made a bracelet. I will most likely wear it for the wedding.
That is all I did the entire day. One whole hour on a tangible bit of progress. All the other hours of the day were spent thinking about how much I had to do and how little of it I had gotten done.
I thought about how it had been a week and I had only pack half a room.
I stressed over the realization that I was down to my last two pairs of panties, though I own around 40 in all.
I felt like a failure over the mess in my house, and my inability to simply stand up, pick things up and put them away.
I thought for hours about how I needed a dresser for the new bedroom. About how much more the bathroom reno might cost if there is an issue with the ducts.
I considered for the seventy thousandth time that maybe my mind did not work correctly and how I was going to fix it so I could do something. When my husband came home and started doing some dishes I felt sick to my stomach. Why should he clean when I had been the one home all day.

I watched a movie when he was home [I try to not watch TV while he is at work cause I feel lazy] called "Phoebe In Wonderland." It is about a little girl with mental issues. She can't control the things she does and at one point sobs in her mothers arms that she just wants to tell her why but she doesn't know herself.
I sobbed along with her. I knew that pain. I want to know why, when I find myself in a stressful situation I shut down. I want to know why, despite thinking about it until my brain hurts, I still am unable to put a load of clothes in the washer.

I want to know why when I am trying to tell my husband how my mind works and he picks up his guitar to play as he listens to me, every organ in my body seizes and I end up bursting into tears.
I want to know so I can explain it to him, to the people I love.

My issues have never caused problems in my life until now. I was always a great student, relentless worker, responsible older sister. I have always done everything I needed to do for those who depended on me.

For the first time my mental health is effecting someone besides myself. I can't spend all night crying anymore without being heard. I cant have a panic attack anymore without being caught. I can't leave tasks that are simply too big to focus on without them getting in someone else's way.

Years ago, when I was finishing my last semester, recovering from the shock and trauma of the shootings, dealing with horrible homesickness, and searching for a job while I went further in debt to pay my rent and had melted into a puddle of useless goo, I promised James I would be better. Once I was done with school. Once I was out of Blacksburg. Once I felt stable in my finances. Once my schedule was more structured.

But I am not better. We are better off then we ever have. I am close to my family and spend most of my time with them. I work from home and have full control of my time. Still, I am not better.

He brought this to my attention recently, the promise I had made.
I want to get better for him, for our life together. This time I can't do it myself.
I need help.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Little Things You Didn't Notice.

We are signing our closing documents today at noon. Despite my sometimes negative view on this house I really truly am excited to have it. There are so many good things about buying this house and then some bad things too. Obviously the good outweigh the bad because here we are about to close within a few hours.
This week I have been thinking alot about some very shallow and silly things on the bad list.
The house I live in now is cute. It is a 50s rambler with original hardwood floors, a cute semi-open floor plan and very nice 2 panel doors. The backyard has an adorable little tree under which we built a little patio out of random pavers the owner had lying around for years. The back yard is big enough to have big parties and the windows are big enough to see the back yard. I love to entertain, and the dining room is spacious and cute and well laid out. Even though it is a rental I truly made this house feel like our home.

I know it is so silly to care about little visual things but I am going to miss them. The new house was built in 1987 buy a developer and is "builder grade" personafied. It is all carpet and linoleum over plywood and concrete. The windows are few and small, but then who wants to look in their next door neighbors bedroom. The doors are flimsy hollow core doors with no trim or character. The backyard is small and covered in trees [which are not to be removed as to preserve the soil retention] and there is no door directly out back. We are planning to just build a deck off the kitchen because the yard seems somewhat unusable. Our bedroom has ONE window; one standard size, single width, tree facing and off center window.

I will miss having a pretty backdrop for photos. I will miss all the lovely light and privacy of my backyard. And yet, this is not MY backyard. It is some other persons, a person that barely cares for the lovely home he has, who is content to let the gardens go to weeds and the bathrooms sink into the basement.

I suppose this brings me to the good list.
This house, the house we are signing closing on today, the house in the suburb with the carpets and crappy doors, is mine.
So the doors are horrid, perhaps I will slowly replace them until they are lovely. The carpet is icky and unsanitary. Well I will just have to save up to put in hard woods. The yard is little and unusable; that is ok, I will build a deck! No matter the issue, it is my house, and I can change anything I like.

Another very good thing is the separation we will have from Alice. I might love to entertain, and have a lovely living space here to do it, but I still don't. Alice is rude to my guests, she complains about anything I feed her, she has terribly unsavory personal hygiene habits and she makes the main bathroom in the house unusable by my guests.
In the new house she will reside in a sectioned off half of the lover level [my studio and the utility/wash room take up the other half] She will use a bathroom that is wholly and totally hers. She will have her own dining/living space and no one will have to endure her company unless the specifically want to.

This is such a HUGE positive it nearly outweighs all other negatives together.

The final GIANT good list item is the cost. Whats so ironic about the housing market today is that it is cheaper to buy a home than it is to rent one. Our rental house is 1400 square feet and costs $1400 a month plus renters insurance and utilities. [have I mentioned how terrible the gas bill is because of older sub par insulation and windows? or how high our water bill is due to leaking plumbing?] The new house is 1900 square feet and less than $1000 a month INCLUDING home owners insurance. The utilities should not go up much because this home has much better windows and insulation and the heat wont run away like it tends to here.
We are also paying off our car at closing today and that is another $250 a month we were paying. This means come this summer when our lease here runs up, we will be saving $650 a month. That is huge. That is buy a second car huge, finally go on a honeymoon huge, renovate all the icky things out of our house huge!

So while I may miss my hardwoods and vintage charm, I can't ignore how much this move will be improving our quality of life, and that's really worth some temporary ugliness.

Plus we are most likely just going to sell this place in five years to buy our dream home. ;)

Monday, March 29, 2010

This is an Afterthought

I have a different blog that I have been writing in for about 2 years off and on. Its mostly about clothes and crafting and I decided to separate my writing and ranting to this more personal venue.
However IF you are interested in cute crafty things hop on over to CurioCloset.

"Hey I Think Thats Mine!"

I am two weeks from turning 25 and two days from closing on a sad little split level house in a sad little suburb with an HOA that I am sure will day by day chip off little pieces of my soul. My husband is a hobbyist musician, but by day he builds electronics for government contract and by night he has epic battles in some very popular virtual kingdoms. I want to say this, before anyone gets the wrong I idea, I adore my husband. James is big and soft and warm and safe. He is endearingly nerdy and clueless and makes me smile every morning. This man, unlike most people I know, is growing and changing and becoming a better person a little more each day. We are married but, going along with the rest of our unglamorous life, haven't had a wedding. We jumped the gun because I had spent the last ten years barely insured and I really needed to visit a doctor. I never second guess marrying my husband, he is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life.

That being said lets get to the other less wonderful things. I spend every day taking abuse from a 93 year old woman. She isn't even my blood relative and some days I really don't know what stops me from forgetting to lock the basement door and letting her know that her beloved sweaters are down there. My days with Alice [James paternal grandmother] consist of feeding, medicating, and mopping. I apologize in advance for the visual but you have to understand, when you are 93 you leak. I am in a constant state of worry that no matter how much bleach I use my home will always have the slight aroma of urine floating about. This would be less aggravating to me if the poor leaky old woman I cared for was sweet and kind and called people honey child and pinched their cheeks.

That is not Alice. In the last year of our cohabitation she has been something resembling kind perhaps a half a dozen times. Every one of these has been paired with a day long request for something she is forbidden to have.
"Give me some scissors"
"No Alice, you cut yourself, tell me what you need snipped and I will do it"
"You look pretty today Salami.... somebody took my scissors, give me some"
"....."
This also illustrates another wonderful facet of Alice's personality. I like to call it "Hey, I think that's mine!" There has yet to be a full day that I or my husband, or my friends and family are not accused of stealing something from my dear Grandmother in law. Usually it is one of her 30+ sweaters, or perhaps the couch she gave her granddaughter. She is sure we have stolen her cookies, her pants, her dishes. She once sold a lawn mower and then reported it stolen and collected the insurance money. We like to say that because she grew up during the depression she just knows the value of what she has, but deep down I know that her greedy accusing manners aren't so admirably explained.
This past January it was my husbands birthday and I made the mistake of reminding Alice. She decided that she was going to give him a card and so I purchased one for her and she signed her name. Then she proceeded to argue with me because I was cooking dinner and couldn't leave again to break one of her $20s and she refused to give him any more than $10. She finally relented when I told her he was coming up the drive and she could give him $20 or nothing but she had better do it fast.

Alice is not all paranoia and incontinence though. She can be amusing, unfortunately it is generally at her expense and not her wit. Believe me when I say I could go on for pages on the many gnarled and spiteful faces of Alice, and know I most likely will in time. For now the beast rumbles and her breakfast and pills must be prepared lest I suffer her wrath.

I'm Supposed to be Famous

I really feel I have to explain something before I can tell you any more of my story. In the real world I am famous. Despite the fact that this alternate universe I am living in now has held me from my real destiny, there is a me out there who is exactly who she is supposed to be. In that world I was born into a well to do family that understood and encouraged the importance of an education. Because of this I went to a frightfully elite design school in New York City where I excelled, wining nearly every competition I entered, securing fabulous summer internships and finally graduating and immediately being hired on with a tippity top design firm.

Unlike this life, my real self lives in a remarkable renovated factory loft that, having so perfectly designed every inch of, has been featured in more publications than I care to mention, for the sake of decency. Don't think my real life is all work, you must know I share my home with my musician boyfriend who doesn't need to be successful because he is gorgeous and talented and we spend our free time traveling to places you have never heard of. Our idea of a quiet weekend is spending a few days at our favorite model celebrity filled Hampton beach house where I fit in like on of the family.

Of course I lost all that baby fat in my teens just like my mother always said and my small frame looks longer than its 5 feet and 4 inches due to the leanness of it. When I visit my family it is by plane and only for special occasion because my time is too valuable, what with the position as design consultant to the rich and famous. My name has even become common in the average home thanks to my new best selling book, “Form Married Function and Their Child is Beauty” because changing the color of your room really can change your life.

So now that you know all of that I can tell you how things are going in bizarro world.