i don’t drink it every day. i wonder why? it’s so delicious smelling, and warming, and makes me feel so much like a writer, and today was the most coffee-drinking day i could have, so here i am, cup in hand.
fall has always been my favorite season; i love the colors on the trees. colors i don’t always know the names for. colors that capture my attention and whisk me away into a surrealistic painting trapped somewhere in my imagination. i love the smell of fire places and burning leaves, the smell of snuggling. i’ve always loved the coolness of the weather, and the advent of sweater wearing – though sweaters decidedly lose their novelty after several months of harsh winter. still, with football and crunchy leaves, Halloween and cider, fall brings a bucket of joy with it.
today’s walk through the park led me to a new tree-friend. a twinkling yellow tree, whose leaves were so happy and energetic, i had to go say hi. millions (or lots) of little yellow leaves waved at me as i came closer, and i saw that there was a sign under the tree, declaring it to be a Gingko Biloba tree. i had no idea my local park had a Gingko Biloba! i gathered up a pocket full of the little flyers from the ground and thought my day to be quite magical thus far.
pockets full of treasure i journeyed on, past my little Poncho tree who is all decked out in yellow, past the squirrels digging out or putting in a stash of nuts, past the stone lions and their diligent perseverance, and past the ghost girl who sits in her attic room practicing the flute. my other park had a blanket of leaves waiting for me, and as it began to rain steadily, i visited the river to say good morning, and finally lay on my back under a tree. i know i’m crazy, so don’t bother reminding me. it’s not usually something that is far from my mind. i know that if anyone was actually out on a day like today (the weather channel calling for severe thunderstorms) they would have wondered what the *#&! was wrong with me. but i couldn’t resist. i was tempted to make a leaf angel, but the whole park was so gloriously decorated i couldn’t bare to disturb the scene. so buried under leaves was the park, i couldn’t tell where the grass met the path, and just plundered over everything until i collapsed at last, like i said, on my back.
and there i lay, looking up at the sky as the rain beat down on me and chinked off the trees, pavement and wrought iron fence. and the leaves came tumbling down around me. this fall, since the trees have been shedding, i’ve been telling myself that i have wonderful great fortune every time i see a leaf fall. sometimes my great fortune is so great, i can’t keep up, and just stand in a shower of wonder. so as i lay under a sky of wet kisses, i called off my wonderful fortune as the stars fell on me, and listened to the murder of crows gathering in a nearby tree. and the love of the universe just fell all around me, and the peace of life just embraced me in its arms. and i walked home finally, soaked to the skin, deliriously drenched, and supremely content. i peeled off my wet layers of clothes, slipped my turquoise satin robe over my bare skin and set about making my cup of coffee. for wondrous things happen when you combine coffee with a fall day…
When I was thirteen I tried to kill myself. I was in seventh grade the first time I tried, and just continued dabbling with the idea off and on for a year or so. I’d probably been suicidal for a while; and at the very least depressed for a good many years. The first time I actually remember trying to cut myself I was around five, and stood in the kitchen by myself with a butter knife, ready to do some serious arterial damage. Of course, it would have taken me an awfully long time to draw blood with a butter knife, but look, I was only five, I wasn’t schooled in the proper techniques of murder and suicide. By the time I was in seventh grade I’d at least figured out that I should use some type of sharp instrument. Had my family made more money, I might have had a nice little razor blade to injure myself with. As it was, my family was on the poor side, so we had nothing but disposable razors in the house.
There I was, with my little pink Daisy razor with the flowers all over it, slicing away at my wrists, getting the feel of suicide in my bones. The skin cut easier than I thought, and hurt less than I expected. The slight sting was more tantalizing than scary, and the blood oozing out was rather intoxicating. These first few times I cut were more flirtations with danger than real attempts at death, but they got me hooked fast. The adrenaline in my body, the tension in my muscles, the power I felt over SOMETHING in my life was a sort of intense little window of possibility, where the world lay open for me, and it was MY choice to live or expire. In my world, having a choice was not common. Tempting myself with death became a particularly seductive past time. It meant freedom.
I began cutting my ankles along with my wrists. The veins on my ankles were puffy and prominent, and I began to imagine that if I managed to kill myself this way, perhaps I would end up in the local news as some sort of two minute celebrity for a bizarre and tragic departure. Girl dies at age 13, wrists and ankles bloody pulps. I also took pills, though, because I wasn’t just into cutting. I actually did want to get out of my life situation, and if that meant getting out of life, I was amenable to that.
If I had known back then how bizarre and interesting my life would be, I can’t say for sure that I would have made the same decisions. Today it is raining heavily, the cloud cover so dark it feels like it is nine o’clock at night, when it is only lunch time for me. There is a dark, moody feel about the day; somber, pensive, romantically deep. My life is full of these moments – full of intensely beautiful days where the sky is so blue it hurts my mind, and the contentment in my heart seems unique to humanity. There are days where I feel desolate, empty, unloved and barren. Days that I wonder how anyone can choose to love me because I am such a challenge and an emotional roller coaster.
But this is life. Up, down, inside, outside, colorful, dark, dramatic, silly, intense, monotonous, and spectacular. Every year the trees change colors before my eyes in a wonderful parade of life and death. Every year the sun comes back in the spring, coaxing hiding animals and tiny buds on trees to burst open with hope and life, and continue the cycle that has been going forever.
Had I known about these wonders when I was thirteen – about broken hearts and dreams dashed to pieces; about disappointments and sorrows, love lost and love expiring; about passion and desire and intimacy; about laughter and acceptance and people that love you enough to talk to you in the morning when you have Christopher Walken hair – I would have laid my Daisy razor down in the shower, and kept it for shaving. I would have spared my skin the worry and nervousness. I think. Because life is hard, and wicked, difficult and damaging. But the beauty in life – and the POTENTIAL beauty – is worth the risk.
Life is an accidental and beautiful happiness.
maybe i’m back. soon.
my computer’s charger went out recently (well, for however long i’ve been absent from the boards here) and i haven’t had the chance to put up anything new on here. sorry to those of you out there who actually stop by and read what i’m writing. i’m on the mend, though. new charger seems to be working fine, life full of chaos, so lots of thoughts and drama to share! weeee!
it’s early in the morning, and i am afraid to go back to sleep. afraid i will dream again.
i’ve been watching a TV show, which is now off the air. my sister watched the last few seasons of the series before it went off, but since i’d missed the first few, i told her i’d wait and catch the episodes later. so here we are, working our way through the storyline, DVD after DVD. it’s an amazing, addicting, fascinating show. and surprisingly difficult for me.
this show is all about war, and survival. the end of the human race. and maybe you know it, but i’m afraid to write the name down. because it is such an amazing show, and i’m feeling so very besmirched by my own dark side, i wouldn’t want to sully it. because the show’s intensity, and fear, and tension; the dire circumstances, the threat of death at every turn…it all reminds me of childhood. it reminds me of home.
i dreamt a horrible dream last night. a dream where horrible things made me take flight. i was lucky enough, because in this dream the horror wasn’t happening to me, which was not true in my childhood. but i blew the whistle on the situation, and then the flight was mine, and the fight as well. i drew attention to myself, like i’ve done too many times in my life. i don’t know why i can’t just shut myself up. and because i was trying to protect someone else, my life was suddenly being threatened.
so i raced down the hall, knowing that my life was in eminent danger, and tried to bury myself in a room, as if locks and doors could keep away those in power. i ran to the windows to try my way out, but the two in the room were the tiny, slanted windows you find in basements. they were long, foreshortened, narrow and opened up at the top, while staying hinged at the bottom.
and in the dream, it is just like it was in real life: the hard beating of the heart as i try to squeeze my body into a tiny space. the heat of my skin, as my body revs up, preparing itself for a fight to the death. my head pounding, vision unsteady, eyes betraying me and wanting to cry, while my breath is ragged and forcing itself out of my chest. my hands shaking, as i try to do some task – take the screen off the window, HURRY! – while my brain is racing twelve steps ahead, and my body feels like it is running through a field of molasses. i’m wild. i’m feral. this is the place i call “scritchy”. i could claw someone’s eyes out. i could climb myself out of a cavernous pit, just using the chewed-down nails on my fingers to pull myself up with. i’m so goddamned determined to live.
it would have been easier if i’d just laid down and died. in the dream and in real life. it would have been an easier outcome if i’d just ended the whole journey somehow. but in the dream, as in real life, i truly manage to get out the window. and in the dream, as in real life, i still can’t manage to get away in time. i’m caught in the back yard of the house, thinking i will be able to be free finally, of the nauseating scene from inside the walls. but i find this woman outside. she’s one of the bad people, and it doesn’t seem she expected me, but i don’t think she cares. i think she’ll be happy to kill me, surprised or not. so i take my long handled scissors, and plunge them into her.
THAT i never got to do in real life. and thank the gods, because it’s messy. and reminds me a great deal of the TV show i am watching. somehow this show seems to capture it. the horror. the fear. the intense anger. the craziness of it all. and then the need to proceed on to the next day, where it will all start over again, and you will have to continue the same fight, with the same players, and pretend that you have the strength for it, and pretend that you aren’t so tired that if you blink too long you might stay asleep forever. so you pick up your weapon, wipe the blood off of it and your face, and you have yourself some breakfast. corn flakes, perhaps, because those are nice and predictable.
and when you think you are crazy enough, you try to go back to sleep, and tell yourself this time you will dream about marshmallows and dancing colored teddy bears, instead of the life you lived so long ago, that you’ve been trying so desperately to avoid.
how do i talk about all the fear i had growing up in my family?
how do i express or explain the tension and haunting that was my every day?
i just read in louise hay’s book that asthma in children is a sign of not wanting to be here, fear of living really. and that gastritis is prolonged uncertainty and a feeling of doom.
i had a feeling of doom at age ten. (note to readers; I developed asthma in the third grade, along with chronic headaches, nose bleeds, allergies, and I had an ulcer in the fourth grade).
i was uncertain about whether i would live or die. would my father kill me in my sleep? or just come in to my room at night and destroy me as a human?
would my mother decide to feed me? or would she send me to school with another punishment sandwich, for being someone she didn’t like, instead of the daughter she preferred?
i am astounded at my will to live through all of this. smartly, i tried to kill myself a couple of times, but luckily i didn’t take that too far. still, how did i manage to live with a mother who was emotionally cold and removed, and so consumed with her self that she chose to ignore my cries for help?
*she hid my medicine, from the world because she didn’t want anyone to realize i was “sick” (does this go deeper than the ulcer? is she really hiding my state from the world? does she see what i’m doing and try to tuck it away in a drawer or cabinet, fearful that she might have to acknowledge that i have fractured myself in front of her, broken myself like a little hand mirror that she is afraid to look into?)
*she wouldn’t feed me. i can’t remember this but one of my alters said she had to be the right daughter. she wasn’t the daughter that the mommy wanted, so she had to try to be perfect or the mommy wouldn’t feed her. and she was scared. because she wasn’t the one that was wanted. she was UNwanted, and she was afraid she wouldn’t be fed. maybe it’s not that my mother actually refused to feed me, but this alter is convinced that eating is a result of right action, and reserved for the favorite children.
*she sent me away to Mexico, and this alone killed someone in me.
*she sent me away to live with my godparents.
*she ignored my cries in the night and refused to say goodnight to me.
*she sent me to my father when he was in fits of rage, knowing that he had beat men up at the drop of a pin when he was in this state. he was a violent, angry man who was arrested more than once for being belligerent. he’d blown up buildings and threatened to kill grown men. and knowing that he could harm, hurt and kill, she sent me to him to calm him down. a child, sent in to calm a criminal.
*she sent me off to my uncle’s, knowing he might be harming me, because she didn’t want him to be mad at her.
i hate her.
(though this is actually mixed with love, regret, guilt, loyalty, and disdain, among other feelings and issues)
i can’t believe she did all of this to me, and more, because there is so much i haven’t even discovered about myself and my life.
my life has been a mystery. a secret that i tucked away into a little tiny drawer in a little tiny piece of furniture, way over in the corner of my mind. and now that the map of me unfolds, i am shocked at the twists and turns, the people and personalities. but more shocked at the horrible mother, like a character from a Disney movie, who willingly walks her child to the forest and leaves her there for the beasts to consume. she may even leave the beasts some handiwipes, so they can clean themselves after they’ve finished up with the dead carcass. then mother goes back to her little house and bemoans the fact that now she must find a new dish washer.
the back of my head
but i don’t know who they belong to.
and scold me all day
reminding me that i’m doing
something wrong again.
they tell me
in subtle scowling tales
that i am not the true owner
of this body.
somehow i managed to get this
while the real owner wasn’t
i tricked life into letting me
borrow this vehicle
and run it around town
with the rightful owner
locked in the back trunk.
the eyes look quizzically
at everything i do
wondering what i am
and why i keep getting
away with it.
but since i have
so much hair
no one else
notices a thing
and i spend another day
in my stolen
(unremembered date, 2009)