Monday, November 29, 2010

Tinnitus? Seriously?

My ears have been ringing for a few days, now, and I decided to look it up on the internet - because that's what we do, nowadays, right?  As per the norm, a quick search of 'ringing in my ears' led to a plethora of sites ranging from simple information on the name of the 'condition', possible causes and treatments, 'miracle cure' buy-our-product sites, and links to surgeons who perform cochlear implants.  Fascinating.  Turns out any number of things can cause the annoying ring, including loud noise, ear infection, excess salt or sugar intake, vitamin or mineral deficiency, stress, anxiety, certain medications, tumors, high or low blood pressure, Meniere's Disease, head or neck injury, and on and on and on.  It's annoying to have my head ringing, for sure, but not unbearable, so I'm not calling the doc just yet.  I have an appointment in February, and I can wait 'til then - I think.  We'll see.

Obviously, along with all these possible causes, there were lists of treatments, therapies and/or 'cures' as well.  Most of the sites suggested one first pinpoint the cause of their particular ring, as to best determine the course of treatment for it.  Simple enough in my case:  I'm going with the cocktail of sinus/ear infection, salt/sugar intake, vitamin/mineral deficiency, stress/anxiety.  So, I can adjust my diet, try and calm down, and somehow conjure myself a craniosacral massage with essential oils and/or aromatherapy session.  Easy!  No need to run screaming to the doc at all - I can do this.  The truth is, it's just another warning sign along the path that I've been ignoring for years.  Dairy is well known to mime flu symptoms, and my now-yearly sinus infections are most likely a reaction to my love of all things milk and cream.  Salt?  Not so much.  Sugar?  All you who know me are nodding a resounding "YES" to that one.  I do love my soda, and my chocolate - even if it is of the heart-healthy deep, dark kind.  And this latest bout of Stress with a capital 'S' has thrown me headlong into the arms of my beloved vices - Sprite, cheese, milk, and that bowl of Hannukah chocolate that's been wantonly displaying itself on my table for weeks...

As one of my friends so blithely pointed out in her blog the other day (I'll have to ask her if I can link it here), we're 'at that age', and the little girl in the back of her head is stamping her feet in protest of having to pay more attention to the ways she treats herself as she ages, or suffer the all-too-often awful consequences.  My ears ring in understanding, as I kick the ass of the little girl in my head for recognizing, and subsequently ignoring, the warning signs that have been setting off alarms in my system for years.  When is enough enough?  I'm pretty sure I've posed this question to myself before, but I ask again, what will finally make me do the things I need to do rather than think about, and then ignore them?  What finite piece of the puzzle am I still lacking?  Sure, I haven't had a smoke since babydaddy had his heart attack (month and a half, maybe two?), and that's progress, but it's like I'm walking around with the keys to the kingdom and I'm busy throwing dice out back.  Rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints?  Damn straight!  I've got a bad case of 'it's all I've got left'!  No sex, no drugs, no rock & roll makes Mama a very bitchy girl, and woe be to thee who gets between me and my bacon cheeseburger! 

Perhaps, though, just perhaps - what if I find that refining myself through the fire and entering the kingdom proves to be the very thing I was seeking after all along?  Wouldn't it be worth it?  How will I know unless I try?  I mean, if it isn't, I could always go back to abusing myself to death, right?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Time to catch up a bit, I guess...

It's the day after Thanksgiving, one of my least favorite holidays, for one reason or another, and I'm trying to remember what track I was on, so I can get back to it.  It seems I've been lost under moving boxes, piles of laundry and exhaustion of late, and even though I could probably put my head down on the desk and fall asleep right now, I wanted to get something out that has been kicking around my head for a few days.  Remember when my mom threatened to sue me for custody of my child for no good reason recently?  Remember how I moved out of the county just to get away from her and the rest of the toxic members of my 'family'?  Remember how I said I'd never move back to NY because these people had so traumatized me in my youth?  Well, they haven't stopped tormenting me just because I moved away - again.  The nasty emails keep coming.  The horrible phone messages still end up in my voice mail.  The one I got yesterday went like this:

"Hello, my darling and beautiful grandchild, I miss you!  I'm so sorry your mommy won't let you come see me on Thanksgiving!  I love you!"

Now, I have no problem with The Bitch loving and missing her grandchild, but how can she possibly blame me for not 'letting' him come see her for Thanksgiving when she never invited him in the first place?  And seriously, did she think he was going to answer my cell phone, have a quick chat with her about it, hop in the car and drive himself down there for dinner at 3pm?  What a sick and twisted thing to do.  I made it clear to her, many times, that all she needed to do to begin the healing process was to apologize for threatening to attempt to take him away from me, and she refuses to respond to my very reasonable request.  She just keeps on sending nasty emails, leaving hateful messages, and continuing to blame me for keeping my son from her.  What a freak.  Anyway, the point of all this is that I was talking about this message and the sick mind behind it with a dear friend, who asked why I had even listened to the message in the first place.  Her take - just delete it.  Don't respond.  Step out of her game completely.  To that end, she suggested I delete all the emails I save in a folder on my hard drive, and all the ones on my cell phone as well.  I have been saving them in the event that I need them for evidence in case The Bitch ever really does decide to come after me for custody - to prove she's nowhere near sane enough to care for a child, and that she has been harassing me without provocation for several months now.  It's not even a question.  No matter how fucked up I may be, I take good care of my kid.  My friend told me it would reflect poorly on me for having saved them, would make me look vindictive, and in the event it ever actually came to a court case, The Bitch would quickly bury her damn self with her nonsense, without the cruel text messages for proof.  Ultimately, I agree with my friend, and think it would be cleansing and freeing to do so - but just before I hit that delete button for good, I thought I would ask anyone who may be reading this blog to weigh in with their opinions.  So, my friends - what do you think?  Keep said messages for evidence just in case?  Or dump them and be done with it?  Delete any future messages before reading/listening as well? 

I am thankful for many things, but besides my kid, I am most thankful for my dear, sweet friends whose guidance and insight I trust to help lead me to the correct decision.  Thanks for reading, I love you - and thanks in advance for your advice.

Peace ~

p.s. - I just realized I never really filled my 'blog audience' in on the particulars of my decision to move.  Due to exhaustion, and my desire to put it behind me, here's the short version:  my mother went ballistic on me one day a few months ago because she didn't like the way I agreed to take my grandfather to his doctor's appointment.  Words were exchanged, mostly extremely ugly and untrue words coming from her, to which I responded as cooly as I was able, until she threatened to sue me for custody of my son on the grounds of 'mistreatment and endangerment'.  I asked her to please refrain from contacting me again, changed my phone number, and moved to a new apartment.  She got the new number somehow, and continues to harass me via email and the occasional voice or text message.  Both my brother and my grandfather have sent similarly ugly and accusatory messages - my grandfather I responded to (unkindly), and my brother I have not responded to at all.  I have not heard from either one of them since.  Sometimes I respond to my mother, mostly I don't.  I'm just trying to move on with my life, with my son, in a supportive environment, with love and intention.  That's all.  Thanks.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dona Nobis Pacem

thanks again to Robin, at Around The Island, for showing me yet another worthwhile way to blog.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Today is the day...

...I tell the landlord I'm only mailing him most of the rent.  Today is the day I tell my advisor where I am with my project.  Today is the day is go to the mall with my resume, paint on the smile and get a crappy job.  Today is the day I finish my degree in one last jet-burn of 'can do'.  Today is the day.  Today is the day.  Today is the day after Halloween, or Samhain, as I liked to call it, back when I was making a point - a bright, cold, clear morning, I sent the boy off to school with a hat and gloves, still stinky and unwashed from last Winter, but wearing them, nonetheless.  I'll add it to the list...

Today is another day in a series when I seem to have repeatedly written a theme, based on the timeframe of 'today'.  There's a certain mood, obviously, a particular feeling in a specific moment.  The day after.  Today.  What comes now, Titus Bird, what then?  What would happen if everyone came to me with that question?  What if a million people wanted to know what my opinion was?  I would probably run and hide, that's what.  I don't really want to blow the lid off of anything, I mostly just want to be left alone.  Today I refuse to be overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, because today is the day...


Saturday, September 25, 2010

"How I Spent My Summer Vacation"

It was such a busy Summer, I hardly posted here at all! We went camping twice (PA and upstate NY), spent 10 days in Vermont, many days at the waterpark, and a couple at the Renaissance Festival.  Here are some of the highlights:

love this one

straight out of the Blackberry

messed with



new favorite puppet


oh, and the little darling wrote me a book!  get a copy - only $7!  Seriously!

As you can see, all I ever point my lens at these days is my beautiful boy!  While he's quite photogenic, it does make me realize I need to reclaim my personal creativity a bit, and remember to take time to just shoot.  We are about to move (again) and the boy will be switching to a new school one month into the school year, which is a shame, but it's the right thing to do because of personal issues that I will most likely address in a forthcoming post...  Keeping my fingers crossed for things to be settling down in a few more weeks, and that I will be able to get back into the routine of posting with more regularity.  Hope you all had as much fun as we did, and that you're looking forward to Autumn as much as I am!  Oh, and buy a copy of my kid's book - it's really fun!


Sunday, August 29, 2010


Wow.  Well.   Home again.  I was only gone 10 days, but it seems like a different world.  Sitting in discussion all day with like-minded individuals, reaching to form connections between the work we do, the ways in which we understand it, and how it relates to the world at large outside of our picturesque New England bubble.  Fantastic..!  Now I'm here, in my apartment, wishing I was living there, holding on to the excitement and inspiration of a Goddard residency, thinking about how I can relate all that great information to my daily life, experience and practice.  I can already feel the ennui sinking in - we got home last night at midnight, I went to bed at 2 - as I sit in front of the computer doing nothing productive, and the boy plays alone in the other room, neither of us having had a proper anything to eat, or stuck our heads out the door to sniff at the sunshine yet today.  To be fair, we're pretty road-tired, and there's nothing wrong with taking a day to sit around in your underwear doing nothing but what you're moved to from one minute to the next, but I don't want to lose the momentum of being intensely engaged with my work all day, every day.  I had such a desire to get home so I could start hammering out some pages, saw the whole project laid out in my mind all tied up with a little bow and more work still to come - so I feel a need to overcome the comfort of 'things', and the enticement of easy distraction my apartment offers before I can even begin to fall into the abyss.  Just turn my back on it, and walk away.  Step one:  take it out of the bedroom...

It was also wonderful just to be in Vermont and go visiting, hang out with folks, eat at P-Pie (the Plainfield location, which is much more hippie hideaway than the website makes it out to be) and Coffee Corner, look at For Rent signs, check out the creative projects my friends are working on, get in the water at Paradise.  I saw that dude I slammed in an earlier post walking around town, and he crossed the street to avoid saying hello to me, which is weird, because he still attempts to flirt with me via IM on occasion, but I'm glad he did because I didn't feel like talking to him, either!  The boy had a great time shopping at Woodbury Mountain Toys, getting a dragon painted on his arm at the Montpelier farmer's market, and four-wheelin' up on the mountain with his dad!   We also stopped in to one of the glassblowing studios I used to work at, and watched the apprentice blow a few pieces.  Big fun all around!  Vermont rocks, and I sure would love to find my way back there soon enough.  We'll see what life has in store, just flow with the program, let the river run.  There's a whole pile of people I didn't get to see, which leads me to believe I may have a more active social life if I moved back there, but the pull of family is kind of strong - though ideally elastic and malleable, so one can attempt to stretch it, as I have, with varying results. We'll see, we'll need to figure it all out today, there's a lot of work that needs to be done between now and then.  Step two:  break the work down into sections and set a schedule.

Ugh.  I want to crawl right back in bed and go to sleep.  I need to get up and carpe diem (at 6pm)...and I'm hungry.  Step three:  enjoy my success!

Thursday, August 12, 2010's all about family

So, I wanted to write about my experience at High Valley, where I went camping with a bunch of old friends a few weeks ago.  They said we had all camped there before, but I didn't remember.  After we'd been there a few hours, once it got dark, I started having flashes, bits and pieces of time out of my life that had disappeared, returning in manageable, non-lethal doses.  I asked, "was someone married here, under this tree?"  Yes, someone was... 

15 or so years ago, I took my chucks off when I made camp, and set them next to the tent where they remained for...who knows, really?  It was three days of what must have been big fun because as I said, I have no memory of it, except for a blurry mental snapshot of a bride under a tree, my chucks, and parts of a slam-damning awesome ritual!  I remember taking my tent down that last morning, or early afternoon, packing up the car and heading off for a new adventure.  I'm sure my friends wished me well, because, well, they're still my friends, and all our kids just played together for the first time at High Valley this Summer.  I got in my car and drove to Vermont, where I lived for 12 years.  About halfway there, I realized that my chucks where exactly where I had put them that first day of the camp out - on the grass, next to the corner of the tent by the door.  I thought about them laying out there in the field, next to the fading square of the tent's dented grass footprint, and I acknowledged their loss.

Standing there recently, seeing that tree again in the moonlight, remembering the bride under it, I said, "this is where I lost my chucks all those years ago, where we had the awesome ritual!  Yes, I have been here before, now I remember!  This is where I left for Vermont  Wow! here I am again.  All these years later, with all of you, and our"  Mind blowing.

Tonight, I was sitting in the yard, looking for meteors - hey, I saw one last night! - and I thought about my idea of a functional family unit.   In a roomy living space for lots of people that also affords privacy on a proportionately sized piece of land, we would produce minimal amounts of trash by recycling or reusing everything including water (living machines), grow some food to eat and flowers to enjoy, build some useful stuff, be multi-generational, warm and supportive of each other.  We could help empower our community by helping them learn how to nurture their talents for coping and surviving through healing and communication, or whatever suits them best.  I know, it's a utopian dream, but it's not too much to hope for, to live intentionally, like a tribe, each relying on the other. 

Because here I am, back in NY, back at High Valley, 15 years later, kids and all, at the place where I began an important journey, with the same folks who sent me off with their blessings.  What have I brought back for them?  A desire to preserve their culture, to make books and stories.  To tell them, to inform them, to entertain, question and inspire them.  I who gave up or lost everything so I could see what was needed.  Or, I, who took all I could and gave nothing back, never struggled a day in my life, who had more on my worst day than some people have on their best.  Me.  What is it that I've brought back?  Part of it is the wisdom of Bucky Fuller saying there is enough on this planet for ALL of us, for each and every one of us to live our fullest lives, but we have to work for it.  If we do everything we can to ensure the survival of our environment (or organism), than it will ensure ours as well.  I don't want to lose the old arts, we'll need them again.  This is my gift to you ~

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Stock Sky

What a lovely thing to look up and see...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Stock - Rainbow 2010

For years, my 'best' friend and I would take a 4th of July road trip to the National Rainbow Gathering in whatever national forest it was taking place.  The Rainbow Gathering is a city in the forest created by the tens of thousands of people who attend these things, for the purpose of coming together to celebrate and meditate for our nation.  It is an incredibly healing and joyful journey, and we have traveled to many different state forests to attend, even driving most of the way across the country from NY to Wyoming one Summer.  This Summer, the National was held in the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania, a mere 5+ hour drive away!  It was incredibly exciting for us to embark upon this journey after more than 10 years away (hey, we can't be 20-something hippie freaks forever, can we?  Or can we?), and to be bringing my son along for the first time.  This was the beginning of our road trip:

The hike in was pretty gnarly, and I had to constantly encourage my 6 year old every step of the way that the 5 mile hike was not going to kill him, while trying not to have a heart attack myself - I hadn't taken into account the aging process, and the extra hundred pounds of fat I'm carrying, so I was pretty damn happy when we made it to the Main Meadow, myself!


Once we had made camp and settled in, it was an absolutely glorious experience to be among the freaks again, to be loved and cared for like family, because that's what Rainbow is - family.  People hug each other, and say 'lovin' you!' all day long to complete strangers, and make new friends at every turn.  The drumming lasts well into the night, and I haven't slept better on my mattress at home than I did on that forest floor, listening to the celebratory lullaby that I hadn't realized how much I'd missed.


After the Silent Meditation for World Peace on the morning of July 4th, I handed the camera-phone to the kid to see what he would do with it.  I think he took the best shot of the vacation:

Well, okay, it's not a great shot, but it's hopeful and joyous, and communicates the buoyant feeling in the meadow after the serious nature of the morning's activity.  Me, I preferred hanging out in the shade by the river rather than in the blazing hot sun of the open meadow:

The worst part about Rainbow is having to leave all that concentrated, loving kindness behind, and return to the everyday world, where people aren't nearly so kind, and random strangers don't stop you on the street for hugs, or to chat for no reason.  It really makes you think about what's important, and the kind of energy and people you want in your life.  There's always a part of me that's happy to come home (mostly because I need a good, long shower, and want to wash my hair!), but mostly, I can't wait for next year!

Friday, June 18, 2010

(not) the final cut

It seems like a stupid thing, but this song has been bouncing around my head lately, while I've been thinking about how to do this post that's been sitting in my drafts for awhile now.  A friend of mine tried to end their life recently.  I thought I should take a moment to process that.  But the more time goes by, the less sure I am.  Pink Floyd reminds me of being fifteen, and hormonal, and emo - sitting in my room cranking the stereo through my earphones, doing shots of vodka and thinking how sorry the world would be if I could only get numb enough to not feel the pain of the blade on my skin.  But that was dumb teenage shit, and this was crazy mid-life shit.  There's no way I could entertain thoughts of suicide at this point in my life, I'm happy to say, but to learn that someone I spoke to almost everyday was in that much pain and didn't think they could tell me was eye-opening.  My friend called to tell me what happened from the 'retreat', or whatever, probably a psych center, where they were 'til recently, when a bed opened up at a rehab.  Now, I've been through this with my friends before, in various scenarios, so I was able to take the news in stride - "oh, hi, you almost died?  Wow, that kind of sucks to think I may never have spoken to you again, thanks for calling!"  Which brought up the issue of, if this person had succeeded, would their family have thought to call me?  It's such a selfish act, but I think it's one that people have a right to perform, if they so choose.  And selfish - it seems hardly fair to call it that.  Who else has the right to decided what to do with one's own life?  It's selfish, sure, but we are in this life to serve ourselves in some form or another, aren't we?  Can't we decide that we would be best served, or that our community would be best served by offering up our own sacrifice?  What about the cry for help thing?  That they don't really want to die, they just want help?  I dunno.  I'm sure it's different for everyone, but in the case of my friend, I honestly think success was not the intent.  Maybe they thought it was at the time, and I'm just talking out of turn, but I think people get so far down, they just give up.  Or maybe they don't know themselves well enough, or don't have a strong enough connection to the Absolute, or have undealt with pain in their past, or just get addicted to the wrong drug.  Get caught in the wrong cycle, and it will bring you down.  I look at my own wounds, which are light years away from suicide, but they are the evidence of my inattention to my own inner conflicts, and my choice to continue to make poor choices on my own behalf.  Maybe what my friend lacked was a healthier option to say to the community, "Look, I fucked up!  I'm down and dirty and undeserving, and feel like the best thing I can do is die - please help me!"  Would that have helped?  Shouldn't we be allowed to 'just give up' every now and again?  Throw our hands up in the air and say, "fuck it!  I give up!"  and then walk off into the sunset for a few?  Or should I be looking at the stresses that get us feeling that way in the first place?  I think feeling like we need to 'just give up', is an indication that we may need to start talking to someone about our problems.  There have been times in my life when I have decided I needed some support and I got it.  I found it very helpful.  I may need it again, you never know.  What about my lingering doubts, though?  What about the cynical, jaded part of my nature that squints my eyes at criminal behavior to see it better?  What's the angle, here?  It makes my head swim to even go down that rabbit hole...  Though I was trying to process my feelings about suicide, not psycho-analyze the wonderfully sick and twisted people I hang around with.  I think it's stupid and wrong.  I think it hurts people, and if you're in that much pain and can't find a way to manage it, then write us a nice note and go for it, but be neat about it, please.  Don't leave a mess.  I think ether or morphine are ways to go, just trip out on funky purple clouds of sensual hallucinations (well, that's what I imagine happens on ether or morphine, but I have no idea, really...) or whatever combo of pharmaceutical cocktail will take you there.  I think if you attempt suicide and fail, you probably shouldn't be surprised if people get angry with you.  I can't help but think of what was going through my own head when I was an angsty teen, getting drunk and playing razors across my wrists, and it was more about punishing other people than myself - "I'll show them, they just don't understand what it's like!  When I'm dead and they're lowering me into my grave, they'll know the pain I'm in, but it'll be too late, I'll be gone!  Nobody cares, no one understands, I'm all alone in this world of pain, this hell of the soul!".  Okay, I'm overdramatizing a bit, but that's what it was like!  And I don't even remember what was so awful!  I guess it's just the hormones, weeding out the weaker links?  There I am again, in my superiority place, so I will fall to my knees and genuflect to the Universe for it's blessings and shed a tear for the beauty and the miracle of it all, and make another attempt to be more authentically a part of Life, and all it has to offer.  Either way, I'm a really good listener, if you ever need me...not to mention that two of the people I spoke to the most often are now less than accessible to me, leaving me even less socially supported than I already was.  Feelin' the joy.  Remember the Joy?  I believe I mentioned the joy ~

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Stock 2

Just a quick post for Summer Stock.  I have a feeling this is going to be the Summer of pictures of kids playing on the slip & slide...  Hey, to be fair, I took 1000 pictures on this particular afternoon, but I'm only going to post two of them (for now).  I love the angle of the lighting in these, and there were a few more that were similarly lit, so some of those may pop up during the ensuing weeks as well.


mine and two others

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer Stock!

Welcome to our backyard water park, where my son and two of his cousins enjoyed a Friday afternoon of fun together!  I bought the sprinkler and the slip & slide last weekend, and saw the pool but didn't get it.  This weekend, I saw the pool on sale for $20, and couldn't resist!  Looks like a Summer of fun (and I can so see myself sitting in that pool with a frozen Margarita in my hand)!

The new pool

A cool surprise to come home to Friday after school!

Now if only I had some...


"Take a picture of me throwing water in the air!"

"Take another one!"

Ye olde slip & slide

"She's had WAY to much sugar & caffeine, we're gonna have snacks!"

"I love veggie booty!"

the 'water-pillar' sprinkler was a bit nuts!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Inspiration in Action! (with thanks to A.P.)

It's kind of depressing when I have to get my kid to help me with my homework...really, he's great for inspiration when it comes to creative projects.  I just lay out the supplies I plan on using, and watch him go to town.  He won't be home for another half hour or so, and we have to go to the store because we're out of food, but I've been staring off into space, or looking at portraits for too long, now, waiting for the bolt of lightening, and - nothing.  Well, not exactly nothing, but hardly enough.  I'm just not in the mood to play.  The weather is blech, so I'm kinda blech, and I really want to be in a much quieter place then my apartment, watching gossamer white curtains floating on the breeze blowing in through huge picture windows overlooking a blue sky dotted by white puffs of non-rainy clouds.  I'm not much for the beach, but I feel like there should maybe be a beach out those windows as well.  Why not?  It's my fantasy...  The integral part is the quiet, and the calm.  My apartment is too close to a busy road with truck traffic, and there's too much tension in the building itself.  I really wish I had taken steps to be able to move this Summer, and now I don't know if I can count on being able to stay here for another year.  Again, if it were just me, I'd have no worries about this, just pick up and go when and where I see fit - but the boy.  I don't want to keep moving him around.  And he's got a lot of stuff!  I guess I do too, at this point, doing the domestic thing, and the constant relocation isn't as much fun anymore since I need to get a big truck involved, and find people who are actually willing to help me carry heavy stuff.  Just the thought of it is exhausting.

All that is beside the point - it's just another thing that's weighing on my mind and distracting me from the task at hand.  I have a project to get done.  Instead of inventing an entire cosmology (like I even could), I thought I'd just follow the example of what a saint's book actually is - pictures and stories about the lives of saints.  I got the idea months ago when is a saw a 'book of parrots' done up like a saint's book, and it was so playful and fun it made me feel happy.  So, no, it's not an entirely original idea, but it's my take on a theme.

Maybe I need to be channeling Ralph Steadman...

What sort of deities should I conjure?  Perhaps a prayer to the goddess of kitchen scrubbies, a high priestess of elbow grease?  Patron Saint of Domestic Order, unclutterer of corners, scourge of the dust bunny, Knight of the Rosy Toilet - Citron leSurfectante.  He sounds French.  A demigoddess of folly (Giggles), a sprite of the forest whose laughter falls like joy upon the heart.  It is said her playful spirit comes to those wistful for freedom and adventure; she is known to bestow gifts on single parents.   She was born to the High Priest of Health and Wellness (Rawfoodius, or Veggicus?) and the Goddess of Wisdom (Betty, Madge or Gertrude).  Maybe Monsieur leSurfectante won Giggles' heart with his impeccably cozy, shabby chic interiors and noble deeds of stain removal while he was charmed by her eco-minimalist tree habitat.  And they gave to the world five children:  Spic and Span, The Conjoined Twins of Peace and Harmony; leFrog, The Pope of the Ludicrous; Psychotropic Sam; and Dementia, known for her discontent and self-loathing, requiring the employ of lavish gifts, ego-stroking, and undivided attention to successfully dispel her sour aura. 

Okay, now I'm having some fun!  Which is good, actually, because it freed me up move forward with the project, and on to the next blog post which will be faintly more somber in tone, due to the nature of the subject.  Ooo, heavy, man! 


Thursday, May 27, 2010

dark and casual secrets

     You know how sometimes you want to punch Britney Spears in the face?  Imagine yourself David, triumphant over Goliath...  Hmm, it went biblical there, and that wasn't what I was going for.  I am a proficient typist, no more, no less, though I find the process of using a keyboard foreign and unnatural.  It lacks the sensual, the poetry.  The force behind a more deliberate keystroke.  I feel like using a typewriter, goddammit, to feel my words emblazon themselves across a page, and have them embed within the fibers a certain mystical importance.  I want to photocopy and staple these pages, and hand them out on the street.  I want to leave them in shops, and at gas station counters.  I may throw some out the window of my car.
     It's too goddamn hot, and I'm working on my process, thinking about what the hell went on with my last packet - I waited until the last minute to write the paper, and turned it in a week late mostly ranting about my dad's death, and my feelings around my brother, and Passover, and the whole 'I'm lame and I suck' thing.  So I lost a week of doing this week's packet work, and now I'm head first into a very busy weekend playing catch-up from a whole lot of bullshit....
     Remember the walls the enlightened ones are always telling us we can walk through?  They are inside our Selves.  Well, I do also believe that we can train ourselves to walk through what we think of as 'actual' walls, but that's a different discussion...  I have these three silver spheres, that I allow to roll around my house where they may - I call them clockworks.  Mostly they stay in my room, hovering around the same general area.  Every now and then, one rolls off for a better view, and in days past, they would take long, independent journeys, meeting again after a vacuuming or Spring cleaning.  I mention this, obviously, because one has broken off from the pack and come to rest next to my desk, staring it's reflection at me as I type.  It tells me I need to live Joy.
     When I became spiritually aware, my hair became more sacred to me, and I have used it ritually.  I dyed it blue, and dreaded it when I lived out West.  I cut off and buried one of the dreads with Delia, my long-time traveling buddy cat-familiar, when she died.  I buzzed my waist length mane into a crew cut when I moved to Vermont and started at Goddard.  I saved my son's first haircut hair - but I think a lot of moms do that.  And now, I've been craving the George Clinton 'do.  I think it's time.  I think the ritual is integral to the actualizing process.  I need to bust out the typewriter and get the gay hairdresser on the line, because my Being hears Jonathan Livingston Seagull calling from the other side of this Wall, and he's telling me to turn down the music!
     One of the things distracting me from the book I'm supposed to be reading is the book I have been reading, The Great American Detox Diet by Alex Jamison (she's a vegan chef who's married to Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame).  I read it once before, but I lost interest and never finished it, but this last bought with illness in our house sent me back to look deeper.  Eating and living healthy is something I strive for everyday, and most days I feel I come out ahead.  On others, I fail beyond all reason.  But as I'm reading I'm thinking, "but Alex, I eat mostly organic food, local where I can, use Seventh Generation cleaning products and limit my use of plastics in my home (4000 Legos and too many Bionicles and Bakugan notwithstanding).  I don't clutter my place up with consumerism or advertising, keep the stress down, use biodegradable bath products and minimal make-up only on fancy occasions, why do I still get so sick too often?  Why is my immunity down?"
     I don't get off my ass, out of my house, and out into nature enough anymore.  I internalize my anger, my house needs a good cleaning, and I don't get enough exercise, that's why.  I mean, I used to live outdoors, for goodness sake!  I would bike or walk miles in a day!  Over the years, the shamanic practice of my ritualized spirituality has waned into non-existence with the moving into buildings and setting up house.  I have mourned it, but I have not wound branches into my hair and marched out into the woods to find it.  The idea of a crazy new 'do and the getting out of doors for exercise and ritual feel like the energy between the tines of a tuning fork harmonizing with an instrument singing of joy (I believe I mentioned the joy).  Sweat out those toxins while you dance, sing and shout! 
     I was so 'home insecure' during a time when I would say most women would choose to be more 'home secure' than usual, I find myself singing the lines to a Robyn Hitchcock song in my head - 'everything you say you won't / is what you will eventually' - and I recognize how much I like to be home.  It's right in line with becoming everything I took flight to escape from - family, security, order and predictability, to name a few.  I say I do it for the boy, but with my practiced transience of a former life, the truth has been for some time now that I just want to go Home, and with all the spaces I've inhabited, it still manages to elude me.  I still just don't feel settled.  Perhaps I never will, or will feel so on my deathbed, or when my energy returns to the void.  If I wind the Joy into the crazy snake dance of my sacred hair, will I remember how to be a child of the world?  Will it carry me out into the wind and rain, away from the outer sanctuary to the one within?  Will it bind my intentions like a spell?  I remember a fragment of a Native American poet's words - something about how his Grandmother's magic was in her long, unbraided hair...
     The task is to invent a mythology, like a promotional guide for pretend deities.  What should I call it? 


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

(come on baby, gimme your) Meat

Okay, so here's something...I just sent my brother a facebook message telling him straight up about the way I feel he and his wife disrespect me in front of the kids.  Now, before you go, "uh oh...", there's a bit of a lead in -

April 20th, known now to many as national pot smoking day, is my parents' anniversary.  This year, it was also Yom Ha'atzma'ut, Israel Independance Day - double bonus.  Since I was feeling nostalgic and missing my dad, I posted some pictures and Israeli folk songs on facebook, and I even sent a copy of one of the pictures to my brother, asking him if he knew where or when it was taken.  He sent a nice response, telling me what he knew, and added a question about 'where have I been' he hasn't seen me around lately.  I took some time and thought about how best to tell him how I feel without placing blame, and to say that I have been thinking about solutions, but I'm just not sure how deep I care to get into it.  I thought it was a fair note, and nicely written, and I don't know whether or not to expect a response.  So there.  I said it.  I should put it to rest, at least on my end...

I've been remembering to turn on music while I screw around on the computer, and I've been listening to my Pandora station called 'Robyn Hitchcock Radio', although it plays all kinds of other great stuff, too (Golden Shoulders, Billy Bragg, Smog, Pavement, Radiohead, etc.).  Anyway, it was on the other day, and this song I used to listen to back in the early 90's (yeah, way back then) came on, and I lay back on the bed to channel that feeling of being in South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and my cat, Mr. Spats jumped up next to me and it was just like how Delia (my cat back then) used to, and in my mind I visualized a scarecrow, a Book of Saints, and the work space I'm carving out in what we call the playroom.  Then a Syd Barrett song came on, Giggolo Aunt, and I wanted to call the BF I haven't spoken with in weeks out of that burst of playfulness that song reminds me of, of a time...of a time.

It's been really hard to not have him around, and it breaks my heart sometimes, but it really is the right thing for right now.  I know without a doubt, I'd be using him as a reason to not be doing my work, and I can not do my work all on my own.  I feel terribly isolated, though I still have B who stays in pretty regular touch - and it's actually good to have my mom out of town, I don't like being in the habit of calling her every day, and more than once is just sad!  Love ya, mom  : )  Facebook's gone crazy with all the weird privacy / application things, it's a time suck, and it generally pisses me off anyway, so I'm trying to stay off there and foster more personal and meaningful relationships in my daily life.  Just another baby step in the process...

Which leads me to my point here - how many time do you tell yourself something is 'enough' before it finally is?  I feel like I'm waiting for the heart attack, sometimes, you know?  Like for a building to fall in, or a flood.  I know, I shouldn't even draw the energy to me, but I wonder why I can't just decide to do something and go after it without a piano having to fall on my head?  I've been emptying myself out, crying buckets of tears, seeking out sadness to release the gates, to cleanse and purge.  If I can't cry for myself, I'll cry for someone else, and then come to the mourning slowly, in an hours long ritual of searching into the void for a clue, for a point of origin.  And what do I think will happen in that moment?  Awareness?  Fulfillment?  Contentment?  Despair?

'Oh, stop being so dramatic and get over it already!' is what I tell myself, and what I've been trying to get past, for real, and maybe it's working.  I feel like I'm uncrumpling after being crushed, and I needed a moment to think about how much that hurt - and then get over it!  I still have all the work of writing my way through it, but if I can see past the awareness/fulfillment/contentment/despair and just do what needs doing instead of constantly facing down my own fears, well, then what?  Jeez, it's like that Enigma comic, where all the kids committed suicide because Titus Bird wrote those very words!  Like Faust #12, and Chapter 13 in  A Clockwork Orange...just keep moving forward because there's no way back.  So I go look for my own place to call home, while trying not to count all the ways in which I still feel like a teenager.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Year in Review II

Just a few more things to finish the list out, and then on to new endeavors...

Ah, my boy!  Could a mama be prouder?  The little bugger is just so cute and funny, and full of life and empathy, and creativity, and wonder.  What an excellent little creature I get to play slave to!  To be fair, I'm a pretty lazy slave, and he's getting to the point of being able to do most things by himself, short of cook or drive, but we're working on that...  He's done well in kindergarten, I'm pleased by his enthusiasm for learning (even though he whines about hating homework already, sheesh), and he seems to be socially active within his class.  I love all the little things he builds out of K'Nex or Lego, his awesome drawings, and the stories he's starting to write - we had a great time inking and stamping the other night, and he put together a three page story called six guitars which were flying through the sky.  I just count my blessings with him, as I try to squish him into a little ball on my lap where he hardly fits anymore (my baby!), and come to terms with his growing being.  He still hardly eats, and I worry over his health, but he seems to be growing and developing, even if he is a bit small.  He can have a nasty attitude, and speak with such disrespect it's shocking, but I am strict with him, and I can go a bit overboard myself, so I try to take it in stride and see it as a need for improvement in my own communication skills.  On the whole, I think we do pretty well with each other, but I have to say the future does look a bit scary!  I wish I had more people around and more opportunities to get him together with kids outside of school, as he's got a tendency to talk all day in class to his buddies, and not get his work done.  I think we need a more active social life.  Not sure what I'm going to do about the Summer, if I'm going to try to send him to camp or anything, but as of now, I'm not working, hurry?  We'll see.

I really do need to find a job, though, I can't pay the bills by going back to college!  Unemployment isn't enough, obviously, and my child support is good for keeping a positive balance in my checkbook, which leaves my meager saving that I don't really want to start cutting into.  The whole point of my going back to school was to be able to do a bit better for myself financially, even though I have no idea how that's going to manifest itself.  It still seems completely unbelievable to me that I could make a living with my photos, or my words, or combinations thereof, but I'm beginning to remember what the possibility of that felt like, and I'm letting it lead my process.  It's really great to be going to Goddard, and tying up that loose end - and being at the residency was really fun and inspiring, and enlightening.  I just love to get all excited about stuff and make connections like that, and I hope to be able to bring some of that spirit to the community I live in, and discover where that can lead me.  Who knows, it may lead me right back to Vermont!

It's also mind-blowing to think that 'nexus' (nexus of ecstasy has been the working title for my scribblings for years) may actually see the light of day sometime this decade.  That's such a good feeling!  My only fear now is that once I get done with it, and I do think there's a good amount of work in it, that I'll be done!  Like there won't be anymore!  Ha!  Ridiculous...  I pulled four possible projects out of scrap photos I had left over from test shots and images that just didn't work, and some that just never got finished.  I have quite an archive, actually, and I feel lucky to have been smart enough to document the journey, because sometimes, I forget I was there!  I get so bogged down in laundry and dishes, and jesus have I ever once DUSTED in 2 years?  and what am I gonna do for money will the check clear in time?  that I forget to just sit
                                                                                                             and light some incense maybe
                                                                                                                                  breathe deeply
                                                                                                                                        and slowly
                                                                                                                                    remember to take
                                                                                                                                 one step at a time
                                                                                                                                   let the mind go
                                                                                                                                     and the spirit flies

behold the possibility.

Gosh, there's still so much to do!  It seems like, 'it's been a year, I should be farther along towards my goals', but also, 'look how far I've come in a year!'  I wanted to have 'nexus' all typed out in one cohesive form, and I haven't done that, but now it turns out that might not be the way to go with it, and I might be well on my way to discovering the way of it as part of my project for school.  So it all works out, still, in the end.  Not that it's by any means over, but just a beginning, in the worst, most cliched sense, I'm sorry.  Well, in any event, I'm getting back on track with what I meant to do with my life, before I let all the other dumb crap get in the way - and it was all good and fun dumb crap, and I learned alot, and I could have been doing much dumber crap, but it didn't move me ahead any further in the game, and now I have to cram at the last minute for a change.  I guess this is the part where I give myself a pep talk about how I did alright this year, but I didn't work up to my level of potential, and I want to see some more improvements in the months ahead, and then we can enjoy an unbeatable season - but I have to remain vigilant, and stick to my training schedule or all is lost before I'm even out of the gate.  What the bloody hell am I on about? 

I guess all in all, I've had worse years, and I suppose I'll be reliving some of them as I plod through the writings of yesteryear, but maybe it'll help put things in perspective.  Perhaps I'll see that I'm not so far off from my goals, that I didn't really get too far off the track, that the uncompromising dedication to writing is, in fact, going to pay off.  I see that I'm the same unwavering self I've always been, just not as pretty, and I don't laugh, sing or dance quite as much as I used to - and I want more sleep.  Days of it.  A week even...  Well, it's the weekend now, and it's after noon, so on to the dreaded laundry and grocery shopping chores.  Maybe we'll even go to the toy store, because the kid has $40 he's dying to spend on more crap, like he doesn't have enough, and I 'm running out of room to put it all!  Really, I want to work in the garden and sip cocktails, but I don't want to spend the money on garden supplies today, and the fridge is close to empty.  And the pile of laundry has worn out it's welcome on the living room floor.  Ugh.  Pry fat ass off of bed, turn off computer, take part in real life activities in real time.  Spend time with child.  Enjoy life -->  GO

Oh yeah - any ideas what I should do with the porn?  I had one friend suggest I send it to her, but I don't know what she's planning on doing with it...  Is there still a forum in Penthouse?  Will they pay for it?  Any ideas and suggestions would be welcome!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Year in Review

Wow, haven't checked in for awhile, but it looks like it's time to get with some 'learning documentation', so on we go...

First off, this blog is now a year old, and I want to go back and check in with what's been happening, and comment on what all's gone down this year.  Secondly, I want to talk about the experience of working on my first creative project of the semester.  I have a feeling that may end up being more than one post...

I created the blog and put a few words up on March 11, but the second post, the April 18th post, was an actual introductory paragraph.  I talked about why I was here; my employer thought I could write a blog for the orchard which turned out to fizzle after just three posts - just one more thing neither one of us felt like dealing with!  I liked the idea of blogging, read a few of my friends' blogs, and I thought it was a neat and easy way to do my evening journaling.  It sounds kind of like talking to myself, which, I guess, is what journaling actually is, in a sense.  But journaling is kind of personal, and while I had it in my head that this was the internet, and that gajillions of people use the internet, it never occured to me that anyone I know would read it!  But they did.  Surprise!  It's o.k., I'm an open book kind of chick, anyway...  A year later, I no longer work at the orchard, but I continue to blog.  There seem to be at least 5 people who claim interest in what I may write here, and I still can't tell where the boundry is between personal and private.

I mean, if I'm journaling, then I'm talking to myself.  Getting down all the little things I want to remember about the day, or just sort of take a mental inventory before I go to bed.  It's processing my feelings around what happened in my day and maybe a plan for a better tomorrow.  Checking in.  But in the back of my mind, I'm keely aware that I'm going to put this out there for other random gajillions to read if they so choose, so I hold back - I don't use names.  If you know me, and you know who my kid's dad is, or who I mean when I refer to my BF, then yeah, you can figure your way past my attempt at protecting the anonymity of people who touch my life, whose actions have an effect on me.  That's been tough to reconcile to myself, but I will continue to work on it.  I feel it's my right to talk about what I need, to ask for help in processing a situation sometimes, and also I need to vent.  So I defend my 'tell most' nature, I think it encourages honest discourse.  Besides, if you've got that much to hide...I'm just sayin'.  Don't get me wrong, I have my stories I don't publicize either, so those of you who are close to me - no worries, your secrets are safe!

Another topic I hit the floor running with was the fact that I had reconnected with someone I used to know who I let myself believe wanted to be my Prince Charming.  Turns out he tells that to all the girls, and I was mad that I let myself fall for it at my age, in my shape!  It brings to the surface a lot of what's going on with me in terms of my weight, body issues, and need for companionship.  I know that people who love me love me no matter what I look like.  I know that a person who is going to be attracted to me will be attracted to my many other fine qualities.  I don't feel completely comfortable in this enlarged skin, and I don't believe I'll really let myself get into a relationship before I do.  It's funny, I wasn't going to have kids because I thought I'd never be able to give them what I call 'the white picket fence', but here I am doing an o.k. job at it anyway!  So maybe if I give up looking for love because I don't think I have the things I need to be a healthy partner, will it find me?  The yearly wrap up on all that is, still fat, still single, still chatting online.  Yay.  I'm starting to think that just knowing what I need to do to get healthy isn't enough.  I think it might be time to join some Weight Watchers type thing, where there are other people to help hold me accountable or something...
When I get my life in order - that's when I'll be ready for a boyfriend (in other words, when I'm dead!).  No, it'll happen when it's right,  I hope.

In that same vein, now would be the time to address the yearly review of the BF - for those who may not know, I mean 'best' friend, not boyfriend, when I speak of this elusive form of wildlife.  He is in the same place doing the same thing, and the only thing that's changed is me finally making good on my claim to just be done with it already.  As I read back over the blog, I realized that I've been saying how sick I am of the relationship we have since the second post - so I guess it shouldn't be any surprise that we had a huge argument and I walked away from it all.  That situation has been looking to blow up for awhile now, and I just have too many other things to focus on that are positive, to let this one big negative drag me down anymore.  It hurts and I'm lonely, but ultimately it's the right thing.  Sigh.  Good time buddies...what it is.  More energy to give to my boyfriend, when the Universe delivers him!

Oh my goodness!  A man in the house?!  No way!!  This place is a MESS!  I remember when Zev was a baby, and I was wondering how women had time to get everything done, and they told me, "let your housework go."  I thought, "no way!"  I couldn't do it.  There was no way I could do it.  Now, 5 years later, I look around my house and think, "this is what it means to let your housework go..."  I don't have one of those homes where there's decaying crap in poorly balanced piles to the ceiling and pathways through the clutter, just the ever-present pile of dirty dishes, and unmopped floors.  Too many jackets on the coat-rack, too many shoes by the door - that kind of mess.  Toys on the coffee table (which is really a trunk), a heap of laundry where I dumped all the dirty sheets, towels and blankets on the living room floor, and where they remain, mocking me as I walk past...  My bathroom and kitchen always need a good scrubbing, and if the laundry isn't lying around being dirty, then it is usually hanging around waiting to get dry, or clean waiting to get folded and/or put away.  I seem to always be in a state of 'between' dirty and clean, which, isn't clean.

On the bright side, I'm down to one more box to empty, and then I'll be completely unpacked for the first time in...I can't remember when.  I think I was fully unpacked for a minute when the boy was small, so just over 4 years ago?  This place was a dump when I moved in, much like many of my previous haunts, but over time and with patience, I have scrubbed and painted and decorated, and now it almost looks like something. Without a doubt, way better than it was, but still, the ongoing struggle with the mess.  Also, the garden looks like it's off to a good start this year, my pansies came back in abundance, and I built a pretty rock wall to replace the ugly bricks.  I dug out some of the giant old hostas to make room for more pretty flowers, and perhaps a shrub.  Just needs a bit of soil to fill in where the hostas were and some mulch, and I think we're good to go!

Well, there's a few more topics I wanted to cover still, but I wasn't intending to write an epic poem or anything, and I have other stuff I need to get to today!  I've spent enough time on this post, I've got the next one ready to go, and the one after that planned as well.  I just wish I had some more images to share...need to work on that!  Anyway, sending love and happiness out into the Universe on this Gorgeous Spring day!  Peace, hippies!  Dear god, I'm listening to Steve Miller...must...change......station.........

Friday, March 19, 2010


All right, people, apparantly I fucked up...  The Grapevine told me that my RANTS of late have caused some stir some miles from here.  Interesting.  I feel like I try so hard to keep things anonymous, but that I didn't really see how the connection might have run (me, the conspiracy theorist).  Oops, sorry, my bad.  Spank me?  It won't be the first time my name's been thrown around the gutter of that town, sadly enough.  We all have our moments.

It's so weird, this separating of identities!  Or maybe I'm just doing it wrong, who knows.  Always, I feel wronged by, by some thing, and I write about it.  And a bunch of people get mad at me.  But a few folks, just a few, they smile. 

I don't know what not to say anymore, does it matter?  I guess it does.  We all keep each other's secrets, or we're supposed to, how does that work out for us?  Perhaps I'm the one who's betraying a friend, godawful thing...

I really am trying to do better.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

RANT III: though it's more of a sob, or a whimper

I gotta tell ya, I didn't see this one coming...

I guess it started OUT an o.k. day, and I wonder if I can pinpoint where it went wrong.  I did some writing this morning, and then took a good, hot and soapy shower, because it had been a few days...  That pretty much took until the kid got home from school 'cause they had a half day today, and it's Friday, so there wasn't any homework (yaay!).  Necessity drove us to the mall - tomorrow is my niece's birthday, and she's having a sleepover - to the girlie accessory shop for pink and shiny oversize rings, feathery earrings, chunky bracelets; and to the department store for Bakugan.

O.k., I think we're closing in on our first snag in the fabric of the day - the boy hadn't wanted to go to the mall in the first place, and I don't blame him - I'm not much for shopping, and it usually gets frustrating before it gets done.  Now, my kid is a sweet kid, by the standards of most of the folks he runs into, but he hasn't been minding me lately, and it's been...pissing me off.  Look back two posts for a discussion on how much I like to be pissed off.  I've threatened that if I have to tell him three times to not do what he's doing, I'm not gonna buy him the cool toy that's sitting in the cart next to him, the mind-blowingly cool toy we didn't even know existed until we saw it in the store just prior to putting it in the cart...even though it's not HIS birthday.

So he touches what he shouldn't, or runs ahead into the crowd, or what-have-you I don't even remember anymore, and I stop in my tracks, give him the, 'I can't believe you just DID the thing again' look, and swing the cart around saying, "oh, well, guess we're putting the toy back then."  He cries, I feel like the biggest asshole in the world (because there were only two on the shelf and who knew if there would be any more so we'd better get it while the getting was good), stopping my roll just short of the checkout (sans toy) to have a heart-to-heart in the girls' department.  Basically I make him swear to be the best boy ever in the whole world for the rest of his life, and I will suspend punishment of his transgression and get the toy.  The world is good, forward progression resumes, one more stop to go...

...but wait!!!  I want something, just for me.  Selfish, I know, but true.  There is a little pink building between here and there, and I've been meaning to stop in for awhile, so I hijack myself to the tattoo / piercing place.  My mom had my ears pierced when I was 8, because I guess she wanted hers pierced when she was 8 and wasn't allowed, but she didn't ask me, and I resented that.  When I was 15, she wouldn't give me permission to get a double pierce, but I went and got one anyway.  I had a cat named Delia who traveled with me for 5 years, and when she died, I fasted for a week, then put in a triple pierce for her (I dug that cat).  I hardly ever wear earrings in my first holes, which represent my mom and my dad to me, but for the past 20 years or so, I've worn a small silver ring in the double pierce, which is on the left side.  In the triple, also on the left, I've worn a stainless stud.  Today, I changed out the silver ring for a blue ring with a silver ball that is up a gauge (owie), and I changed out the stainless for a green ball, green for Delia's eyes.  I also put in a double on the right (owie), a purple ball, for Zev because his birthstone is amythest.  He just kind of sat still and looked around the whole time, the place got kind of busy.  I think he was afraid to look!  Anyway, back on track to...

...the costume shop.  My friend speculated to me recently that life would be all good if he only had a rainbow afro wig.  Done.  If that's all it takes, man, I got your back!  Right?  If someone I care about can experience happiness by way of something so simple to provide?  And if this friend was pretty down into the depressive dumps, like, all the way down?  One rainbow afro wig comin' up, man!  Now, on the ride to wigtown, I asked the kid a hundred times if he was hungry, the afternoon getting on towards evening by now, and he refused all offers of food, but named his thirst a priority.  We accomplish yet another mission, and with water bottle and wig in hand, we rolled on towards the delivery, and I called another friend who apparantly was open to having us all over tonight.  Super!

The afro was a hit.  I'm that good, because it's that easy!  The kid waited in the car.  Now he really wanted to go home.  I said we should stop for some food and  go check out another friend for a bit, then head home.  He insisted he still wasn't hungry.  About 10 minutes up the road, just a few hundred yards from my buddy's driveway, the poor little guy says "my belly hurts" and promptly pukes all over himself.  Oh, goodness..."just hang on buddy, we're almost there!  Hang on, we'll get to the house, get you in, and get you all cleaned up, don't worry, it's o.k., here we are..."

My boy doesn't really like getting wet all that much, let alone sitting in a puddle of his own puke, and the shreiking that ensued while I had to half-drag him into the house as he clenched his shaking little fists into balls wrenched my heart.  We beelined straight for the bathroom, got him naked, wiped off, and tucked in under a blanket on the couch, and I ran back out to the car for my bag o' tricks.  These two bags packed for the apocolypse that I've kept in my trunk now for 6 years, and had recently considered not needing anymore, made me proud to be equipped for the incident.  The small boy was soon reclothed in dry and comfy gear, and tucked back in with a movie.  He drank a few gulps of water.  Crisis averted.  About 20 minutes later, he puked again.

By now, I had  just finished pulling out the carseat, toweling the puke off the backseat and the floor of the car, and disassembling the carseat for washing.  I took the boy in the bathroom, stripped him down and toweled him off AGAIN, tucked him back in on the opposite end of the couch (in his underpants and socks this time), toweled off the couch, and added a SECOND pile of his clothes along with the blankets to the growing pile of wash.  Lucky my friend has a washer and dryer!  He takes another few gulps of water, and after about ten more minutes, he pukes again.  Now I call the doctor.  He has me check my son's abdomen for pain, in case of appendicitis, but he seems clear of that danger, and to have just succumbed to the stomach bug of the month.  He's six, and this is the second time he's ever puked (other than spitting up as a baby, which he did in abundance), so it's no biggie, really.  I wrap him in a comfy shirt of mine from out of the bag, and tuck him in once more...

Here's the second snag - my friend who's house it is starts in with his half-drunk proselytising on what he considers to be an over-reaction on my part to the kid's well-being.  I argue with him for a bit, about how he doesn't understand the urgency with which parenting can sometimes require you to be present in, but all he does by way of helping to keep me reassured is to loudly proclaim , "Wow, you REALLY need a man in your life!" repeatedly.  Fine, I say after a bit, I need a man's opinion?  I'll call the kid's father, if I'm not to be trusted with my own opinion in this situation.  The father is called, and I hand the phone over for the men to discuss business that is obviously outside my real of understanding.  Once they have consulted and it's MY turn to discuss our child with the other parent,  I am vindicated by the words, "well, HE'S wasted...", followed by a thoughtfully concerned inquiry into the state of the boy, and calming conjecture and conference with me about the course of action.  He is a good friend...

Then, things seem to calm down.  My muffin's stomach appeared to settle itself a bit, and he valiantly tried to fall asleep among the too loud voices, the noise of the laundry, and the t.v. (I'd have taken him home in a NY minute, but his carseat and coat were spinning in the laundry).  I turned off the t.v. and the lights in the living room, tucked him in with a fresh blanket, sat with him and helped him slow his breath and integrate the noises around him into a lullaby.  As he drifted off, I slowly withdrew myself from his bubble of tenuous sleep, rejoined my friends in the kitchen for a cigarette break, and began shuffing some cards to further soothe the high-alert out of my nerves.  I took a few deep breaths.  I had a tall glass of water, and a snack.  I was tired, but I was happy to be almost over this small incident with a few friends nearby to enjoy a game of cards with while the laundry the boy slept, and things got cleaned, an air of playfulness gently poked it's way through the loud punctuations of the frequent drinkers, while I indulged my preference for smoke (yay!).  Ahh.

Snag three, the BIG one.  I don't even know how far into this I have the emotional strength to go - it's taken me twice as long to write about as it did to live it already, and I would like to start dealing with being in the aftermath of it now.  How do I even approach it?  My friend has this other friend...I can't stand her.  She rubs me the wrong way.  Every instance in which I've had to deal with her leaves me incredulous, and crawling with disdain.  Let's just say I've made it clear that I will not share space with this woman, and yet she continues to show up at my friend's when she knows I'm there.  He's not going to disassociate with her entirely just because I don't like her, but he does a pretty good job of keeping the two of us seperate.  She shows up, I leave.  Period.  But tonight, I got a sick kid sleeping on the couch, whose clothes and carseat are still spinning in the dryer - the MOMENT this bitch sets foot in the house, I am in kill mode.  My eyes get big, my heart starts pounding , and I start telling the person sitting next to me in very hushed tones that 'she needs to go'.  This is imperitive.  The intruder must leave the premises immediately.  My friend whose house it is, instead of stopping her at the door and explaining that she can't play tonight, actually leads her in - to the room my kid is sleeping in!!!  I'm an adrenaline fountain.  I realize that she's not leaving.  He's not asking her to leave.  He's talking quietly with her in the other room...the bitch comes sauntering into the kitchen where the other dude and I are sitting, and says in a mocking tone, "hel-lo!" making it clear to me that she has no plans of leaving.  I am up out of my chair.  My other friend is standing there doing nothing, so I'm out.  I'm putting on my shoes, and I am leaving.  I shout once that "she has to GO!" before I  get on my boots, which takes way longer than I want it to, because now my less than friendly friend is yelling at me and telling me I need to chill, while he is still making no attempt to remove this person from his house.  I grab my poor sleeping kid from under the blankets, half naked, and carry him out into the chilly night, where his bare bottom must have loved sliding onto the cold leather seat, ran back in for my keys, and drove off into midnight -

I thought it was over once we were home and I had the boy safely tucked in to my bed next to me, but the phone rang several times in the night, which of course, I didn't answer.  I checked the messages this morning though, and it was my (thinking he's not really a) friend whose house it was calling on the cell phone of the other dude who was there, to tell me what a fucking cunt I was, and because of the drama I had stirred up, he now had no contacts and no prospects of work as a result of his cell phone getting smashed.  I dunno.  I didn't call him back.  He called later in the day from his own number, though, to tell me I left some stuff at his house - frankly, I wasn't planning on going back for it, I was just gonna give it up for dead...

Anyway, that's the story, from my MY perspective at least.  I am so. completely. humiliated and beside myself with greif that my two friends did nothing to back me up, and ask this person to leave.  I've known these guys a long time, and I thought my comfort level meant a bit more to them than that, but I was wrong again.  Who the HELL can you count on, anymore?  And to be called awful words and accused of causing the destruction of property because the fact that this woman whom I hate so much once brought over a pizza when we were down and out - when I have been there time and again for 20 years?  There's plenty of goddamned people in the world who've fed us when we were down and out who he wouldn't give a second thought about tossing out of his house on my account or anyone else's!  Given these particular circumstances, I am beyond heartbreak.  I've been so lonely in my life, having lost more relationships than I've gained, and now I realize that I must be even lonlier still before I see this transition through.  It's enough to send me through a whole bar of dark chocolate, and losing the fight against a fierce hankering for some soda.

I guess I've put down all I need to say about this right now, and I'm hoping I'm sufficiently purged, because I'm ready to be free of this 'place'.  All this upheaval, all this change.  Not just here with me, I've seen it a couple of other places as well, in others.  I'm feeling sadly Zen, if that's a possible way to feel.  And I think I've come to the end of it.  It's now night of the following day, having kept myself and the boy in bed throughout as much of it as possible, because we're both relatively exhausted and drained.  He didn't make it to his cousin's party, and I didn't get my night out.  I can't even guess what I may need right now, but I'm gonna go cast about and see if I can't find something that might nourish and revive me, soothe me, and help me see my way through.

The kid nailed it - he wanted chicken soup, and I had made some brown rice...earthy goodness,