Walk, Talk and Breathe.

Friends that refuse to respect of me,
the smallest of ways that I ask to be,
excused from their own stupidity,
yet – they choose to abuse,
and they find these things funny…
A family turned to the judge and jury,
no hand extended in my times of need,
the after-burn of that first, initial sting,
the day I noticed they were on an opposing team…
Others play the friendly role all too regularly,
to the point it’s obvious there’s no true identity,
behind any of the faces in the places close to me,
just life-sized puppets that walk, talk and breathe…

Notes to Self #445

Dear Self:
1) How many times have you actually carried the bag out your car before leaving, despite its precarious position on the inside of the door-knob to the front door? Time for a new reminder spot, dumbass…
2) While sleepwalking, try to somehow remember that you will be held accountable for the things you’re up to during the early morning hours in the man-cave, by the men who cave there…
3) Over dinner with the parents of a childhood friend (who is now, unfortunately, deceased), try to avoid talking about “death throes” – even in the intended context of the fish on your plate. Talk about awkward…
4) Not everyone feels the way that you feel about certain historical figures, including, but not limited to: Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan, Socrates, Moses and Josephus; sometimes it’s just best to let ignorance override a situation in order to avoid a five-hour marathon of “truth versus textbook”…
5) YOU ARE NO EXCEPTION…not to ANY rule, ANY time, or under ANY circumstances…
6) The VERY gradual tapering off of the use of the air horn you keep stashed under the passenger’s seat of your car DOES NOT truly count as “changing your ways” in regard to ‘Road Rage’…
7) Using only one hand to flip off the dude next you (who cut you off twice) instead of both doesn’t count, either…
8) Again, when you don’t pay your bills – you lose your shit…
9) “All-Day Wear Lipstick” should be illegal for what it ultimately does to your appearance, after only a partial day – you’d be better off smearing wild berry stain inside your mouth and all across your own front teeth…go back to Blistex…
10) Lastly, just because you’ve had luck in the past with training (notably trainable) finches, does not mean that you can start ‘Homing Pigeons’ in your spare time…

Formalities.

Mr. Grim Reaper:

Greetings!
how well can you recall,
our last meeting?
Me?…quite vividly…
as with most things,
I’ve come to harbor –
oh so very,
resentfully…
and so,
accordingly,
I compartmentalize –
my fuzzy thoughts,
and fading feelings…
it is most certainly,
no secret at all,
between them and me –
after all this time,
I’m just still not ready,
to meet you on time,
for our next meeting…
I know, I know –
I have said this before,
took a mile from an inch,
and became a no-show,
but I’ve caught myself,
a new wind to blow,
I’m sorry to do this,
but you’re on your own…
maybe next time,
that we’ve scheduled to meet –
I’ll surprise both of us,
and finally die on my feet,
the gift will be yours,
eventually,
we both know this,
so stop sweatin’ me.

Assailed.

The noise has grown unbearable atop a fortress’ ramparts –
ten thousand swooping pterodactyls amidst the horizon,
the bantering of all the world’s inebriated sailors setting sail –
the bellies of every monster growling in a symphony of hunger,
the swarming of every dead and gone spirit’s uprising to the heat –
a chaotic explosion from nothing at all into everything there is,
the drowning out of young giggles within meaningless adult words –
complete destruction of the calm isles veiled by smoky-blue waters,
the solitude of confinement washed out by a high pressure firehose –
the noise grows and grows like an ornery, bad weed strain,
it’s rumble and tumble tectonically taking steps towards world war –
plates shifting, funnels twisting, levees failing, babies adapting,
a species evolving to become accustomed to its deafening noise –
a breed unlike the original roots to a better humanity,
the fields became buildings, the tractors drove themselves away –
malfunctioned smart electronics that will throttle our truths,
skies changing into backdrops to a new storyline –
a scripted game played by something or things much greater,
much wiser, much more antiquated than the pawns moved around –
this is the noise, this is what it must sound like to be swallowed,
by an invisible ocean giant sperm whale, inside of space’s vacuum.

Empathy.

My Great-Grandmother Tannuea (who is full-blooded Shawnee) is the legendary storyteller of my mother’s family, and has always told me stories and lore that were a macabre mix of her own personal and epically divine inclination towards the “Mysteries”, and the blood and guts and gore of the American Yankee Spirit. She always spoke of Great Spirits that took on the form of animals and men and women, fish and birds and trees and rivers…she is the eldest member of our family, who has told every child in her far-extended family the most cherished and sought out tales to be told. I have blood relatives through this woman whose faces adorn Totems in places I’ve never even heard of, much less visited. Grandma T has bore and bred true greatness in her lifetime, though she would NEVER stake claim to this TRUTH. She has also bore and bred sheer Hell during her years alive, but would not be caught dead in allowing such a thought in her mind. She has the whitest hair I’ve ever seen; she always has, since I can remember. She smiles, and I swear to the Gods it seems as if everything else just evaporated around her – she holds strong energy, even at age whatever she is – she is ANCIENT. She is my GREAT Grandmother!!! She has outlived several generations of her offspring, another heartbreaking truth that she neither leans on or against in times upset. She is just present. Always, ever present, in the moment – alive.

I can tell you that not a single one of her stories was lost on me; I was typically either terrified to the point of tremors, or was intrigued by a thought she had tickled deep down in my cerebral cortex during one of the wild sagas she had us entertaining . I always had the feeling that my brothers weren’t listening; they were hearing the words…just not listening to the messages.

She demands alone time often, always has; she can meditate for hours on end, quite happily.
Sometimes, I would happen upon her during her quiet times when she “rests her mind”; she would be silently sitting: the picture of posture, humming her tunes into the air – with ever-replenished tears streaming down the deep lines in her taught, leathery cheeks.
“Who would make Grandma Tannuea cry like that? And why?”
Humankind makes her cry; because it is a damn shame.

Tannuea hails from the Ohio Shawnee clan that Tecumseh lived amongst and led in the late 1800s; she can recall a childhood full of discomfort and prejudice thrown at her after her tribe’s forced assimilation with the Cherokee Nation in the 1870s; she grew up in its wake. She is a stickler about kindness; I have a funny feeling it is because she was never shown much of it throughout her lifetime. For the young Tannuea who endured her own ‘trail of tears’ as a result of being a native-born tribeswoman during the formation of the present day United States of America, a life of hardship was embedded deeply and without awareness. Still, this woman SURVIVED, still survives to date – to be a solidly founded boulder for others: many, many others.
Because of my Great-Grandmother’s support and guidance, I was able to deliver a very healthy baby girl (Boo, 7 lbs. 13 oz. /19.5 inches tall) in 1997, under extreme duress. Because of the same soft-spoken woman’s wisdom, I was able to find the inner-gladiator that it took to testify in court against the father of that beautiful baby girl for his attempt on my life in 2002. She showed me how to be strong when I didn’t feel strong; even still after all these years, her very presence in a room with me naturally humbles me beyond words.
A human being, who has never seen kindness in the first person, yet knows the intricacies of it as if she created its very essence.
THAT is empathy.

Before, the Trauma, and Afterwards

Image

My therapist says he doesn’t recognize me immediately sometimes upon my entering his creepy, hippie lair on the ninth floor;

“Gee, I didn’t know that was you there, you look different again…” He laughs in a way that I imagine a little, over-caffeinated tree squirrel might laugh, “What’d you do something different to your hair?…”

The spark in his eyes dies down with the shaking of my head and the brisk walk I execute directly toward, frustrated by his ignorance on the topic, as usual.

It’s an ongoing battle for me: nearly impossible at times for me to go out and about without any obvious and public meltdown as a result of the anxiety and self-consciousness…how shallow of me, I know right? Can’t help it though, it’s true and very real – this anxiety driven fear attached to my face and the skin that holds it to my neck, somehow beating to the drum of my very heart; it’s easy to forget that I do not necessarily resemble a grotesque thing these days (bitter, hater exes, not included) in regard to my “first impression” upon others in appearance.

…but let me tell you, there was a time following the injury when this wasn’t the case…

These days, I try my best to blend myself out with the way that I look – not quite wanting to fit in with everyone else in the flock I’m so desperately trying to ditch, but not attention seeking by any means (unsurprisingly, indefinite number’s of surgeons foggily standing around you, above your head with a finger in your face will teach you to sit back and shut the fuck up pretty quickly).

I’m feeling better now, marching taller; but still quite resentful at the drummer for the absolute relentlessness of the beat I must keep up to.

“Hey! I’m busy feeling sorry for myself over here..can you slow down the tempo for once, please, fuckin’ Ringo!”

ImageI’m not really feeling sorry for myself (Ahem!)

Not so long as I’m on the ‘Up and Up’, I’m alive and…well, I’m alive – that’s the important part to life.