Aftertaste.

Here it is:

 

The truth is never kind, remember?

What’s kind is rarely true.

You taught me that.

It was a lesson that actually sunk in, too.

Now it’s part of me.

So I guess you are too.

But, just not in a good way.

I was very upset for like a half hour this morning; after tasting the semi-familiar flavor of your words and how you use them.

I used to be so impressed by your wordsmithing; you know it’s true.

Today’s flavor, however, left a wretched, bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

After actually looking at your face again for the first time in over a year, it’s strange to me.

The vague and foreign-feeling man I see is a stranger.

There’s no stirring in my guts of those long gone butterflies.

There’s no emotional spark up my spine.

A smile no longer reflexively cracks across my face upon seeing yours.

Today, I realized I’ve really made a big mistake.

I was always in my own right to hate you – who you are.

Lately, the way I have been feeling so confusedly heartbroken over you again like it’s a fresh slight.

It’s like I stepped out of a time machine and am lagging in past circumstances while the rest of the world has gone on without me.

So I went back over things associated with the period of time from which I dissociated and checked out – specifically, things attached to you and me.

I learned that my alter ego dealt with you swiftly and coolly, as was only appropriate at the time.

Given how I had somehow managed to completely block out all the low-blows and cold-hearted actions on your part during that time-frame (not to mention all the venomous things you spewed at me non-stop while my Mom was newly diagnosed and dying), it’s a miracle I ever began to tolerate your presence in the Universe again at all, in any context.

I look in my settings on different websites to find your username and old IP Address on the blacklists everywhere.

Upon re-familiarizing myself with the sticky cobwebs, ghostly threats and promises of it all (and I do mean ALL of it), my mind became better able to recall the better portion of everything:

√ My desperation to shake you off my leg,

√ My feelings of suffocation and my anxious state of mind,

√ My fear of the overwhelming weight of it all,

√ Your incessant neediness and misdirected anger,

It was not “love”…it was not “love” at all…

It was just another missing chunk of time from my life that some buzzing sound in the back of my head tries to embed as having been “love”, historically.

Because, my brain needs to feel as if it has been “loved”, known “love”…actually felt “love” somewhere in those missing chunks of time, by someone.

It didn’t have to be you.

If it wasn’t you, it’d been the next guy down the line.

So it’s true: You are nothing special and neither am I.

WE are nothing and never were and I see that now and agree with you.

Kidding ourselves…

Not cut out to take a stroll through a park together.

Doomed from the gate.

Aye.

 

Most Hated of Them All.

I hate her.
I hate the way her face displays,
all the things she hides from me;
I hate every breath that she takes.
I curse her smiles;
I make it rain all over her parades,
I saturate her blankets,
and every clothesline that she hangs.
I feel sick;
every time her victory banner is waved,
those with hearts as dark as hers,
do not deserve such good days.
I cast catching nets;
to halt the successes she’s made,
all the good she’s accomplished;
from within a questionable Human state.
I hunt her;
track marks in the mud from her chains,
her pace has picked up now,
but her attempts to escape are in vain.
I watch her;
watch each line appear in her face,
along the tip-toes of the crow’s feet,
so I step away from the mirror again.

Smokey Blue.

An accumulation of grotesque emotions, throttling anxieties, and darkening expectations has built up inside of me over the period of time in between now and the day in early December that my Mama was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The earliest days of her treatment were nightmarish; the febrile pneumonia, C-Diff and drop in her blood oxygen level that nearly killed her and kept in the hospital under intensive care over the off and on over the holiday season of the 2016-2017 threshold was an experience that left me in motional shock. My initial intentions of being a staunch ally to my mom were tested and tried (and continue to be worked hard on a daily basis).

An emotional earthquake and subsequent spiritual tsunami have occurred in my soul and mind and heart throughout the best and worst of the newly defined existence shared between her and me, leaving perpetual aftershocks and a flooded wasteland in its wake. The inside of my own eyelids seem unrecognizable to me these days, so hideously changed has the world become since the diagnosis. I am 110% detached from my attachments, withdrawn and withered into a defensive ball colored dark blue to mirror my soul.

I am living inside of a new loop right now:

I long to spend as much time with my mom while I have the chance;

yet, she is so broken down and different from the default mom I still somehow envision and recall, that spending time with her is not pleasant and/or fulfilling in the ways I seek out;

This fact makes me feel guilty and awful, so I typically spend time with her whether it helps or hurts my own state of being, which causes the visits to be those of a highly forgettable, even regrettable strain.

The moments passing by feel like torturous slashes and slices; the time feels as if it is laughing in my face. I know that after she is gone, I will hate myself for all of the things I am doing wrong or not doing at all with/for her; I know that I am letting too many opportunities slip by, but I am can’t do any differently than what I am doing. I don’t have any control over her illness, I couldn’t keep her from starting to smoke again either – which has also become huge tension between us, as it symbolizes things to me that she seem blind to.

I don’t have the heart to tell her that going anywhere with her has become something that my anxiety ridden, ADHD, PTSD brain has to build up to being to do because it is always SUCH an ordeal to go ANYWHERE. And anywhere we do get to, we are unfailingly in the way because of an absolutely and obnoxiously un-foldable walker thing with a seat and handbrakes. She has become resentful towards my aunt and uncle (who have been beyond good to her and taken her into their home immediate family, and daily life. Nothing she does is enjoyable to her for the most part; she told me over the phone the other day that she is ready to die.

This statement hurt me deeply, though I didn’t say anything to that affect. The gist was that despite the grueling and miserable months that I have sacrificed to my mom, and regardless of how many things I hold back and suck up in attempt to ease her reality, she still feels alone and burdensome enough to disregard the miracle of her ongoing existence at present (if that makes any sense).

 

 

Flock.

Let’s be like herded sheep, shall we?

and stand in line for centuries,

like in mind to the dullest ancestries,

let’s evolve without changing anything…

now, we all line up without questioning,

spend money on shit that has no meaning,

nothing to show have we “sentient beings”,

besides the bombs we can blow atomically…

we watch the World News from home on TV,

bump our gums about what we’d do differently,

but at the end of the day, that logic is shifty,

coming from a cesspool of such inactivity…

Let’s line up overnight to see a premièring movie,

then trample each other with the doors’ opening,

we each do what we like without ever considering,

how the rest of the sheep want other sheep things…

and sadly things will only become more trifling,

because sheep are too stupid to know anything,

unable to think on one’s stand-alone feet,

we are all doomed ‘til we stop acting like sheep.

Wasted Energies.

You've done this thing,
like attaching a string,
from my mind to your heart,
from my mouth to your brain;

You've created this thing,
like a hornet's sting,
from my inner-most thought,
comes a painful tingling;

You've become something,
not quite a human being,
from my unhealed parts,
the blood is running again;

You've turned out to sing,
the song of an old enemy,
from the deepest of want,
for the very same things;

You've proven to swing,
back and forth, in between,
from the history you haunt,
o the throne of a King.




Blanket of Grey.

When you begin to hate someone who previously carried positive weight in your life, the world temporarily turns grey.
Things start to feel skewed and look grotesque.
Nothings seems to make you smile or laugh as before, nothing seems funny.
The world has changed inside of you, is changing inside of you.
You have no control over the darkening or lightening of the shades that the grey blankets over and around your life. You just have to snuggle in this blanket.
You just have to keep yourself enveloped at any cost.
There is nothing else for it.

Downshift.

We had drawn up this road map so grand,

the highlighted route to the ending we planned,

the flutter of cards as they dropped out of hand,

the calling of Gods in dreams we understand;

poor odds follow close, wherever I am,

fleeting as granules of time-whitened sand

fickle and pickled in the spices at hand,

between promise and oneness,

that same ol’ ominous numbness,

parlor tricks performed in a deserted land;

peopled with embodied nothingness,

void of all the sugary fluffiness,

where you are is ever where I am,

when I’m asleep that’s how it stands,

I dig in the deep with my polished hands,

driven mad by a fiendish hologram;

dropped from the attached strings,

to your heart’s working guillotine,

you never came back for me,

left me miserably, deservedly

just as I am.

He Versus I.

Had I not already been neck-deep in the execution of self-sabotaging the thing between me and a particular (possibly) impossible person whom I have been trying to let “court” me, when he opted to get pissed off at me (for the very first time) and wrap yesterday up by dumping me, another Valentine’s Day might have become memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Luckily (and I say luckily with a heavy and exaggerated roll of my eyes), I was well into that familiar, contradictory and counter-productive pattern of “seek-build-destroy” when it all happened – so I wasn’t too heartbroken.

I expect such things anyway, Hell, I create them. I tried to tell this one from the start, too – how we seemed to represent like, Polar Opposites at the end of the day. We have very little in common besides work (yes, we work together) and physical attraction. He literally left me with my mouth hanging open when he asked me to go out with him because I had previously imagined him as a total yuppie that travels for fun (he’s very worldly) with season tickets to the Warriors or whatever. Like many men from “the clean side of the tracks”, he was intrigued by my roughened edges, I suppose.  When I told him that I thought we had nothing in common with each other, he said something like,

“Just let me surprise you on that score.”

A surprise that I am still waiting for…

 

He:

is too normal (he reads the newspaper and drives an SUV)…too well-maintained by scheduled workouts and personal tailors…too condescending without meaning to be…too hopeful and focused on The Big Picture.

I:

am so fucked up in the head that I can’t get close to anyone (the more I want to, the harder it gets to actually let happen)…too unbalanced and paranoid by a lack of human interaction…too defensive without meaning to be…too traumatized to exist outside of One Moment At A Time.

Snap.

There’s no pattern to the trend
That teeter totters without end
No method to a madness that mends,
The sadness between every exhalation,
I pull, you push.
You’re slow, I rush.
There’s nothing happy in the end
To go and slap me in my face again
No loss of sleep, no skipping heartbeat to maintain,
No giggling, no tickling the inkling in my brain,
I give, you take.
You bend, I break.

Things I’ve Learned From Dead People 3.

  1. Dead people are ALWAYS accompanied by paperwork; if they have no paperwork, we unfortunately have NO business with them, or their loved ones.
  2. Even when it comes to a thing as sacred as a family burial plots, the living are conniving weasels behind the backs of their own family members.
  3. When or if you ever find yourself dealing with a service counselor, funeral director or arranger, there is a strong possibility that you are actually engaging with a retired Marine or Navy officer; it is just as strong of a possibility that you are being counseled by a surviving POW (At my cemetery, at least).
  4. Regardless of your own religion or belief system, it is out of a generalized respect for human life and death that you should ALWAYS stand and bow your head to the passing of a funeral procession (even our yard crew guys stop what they are doing and remove their caps when they see one coming or going by).
  5. It is a true fact that a disturbing number of people (that you know) have already planned their own burial wardrobe.
  6. Most people who are buried in a casket are not wearing shoes.
  7. The “toe-tag” has evolved into no more than an urban legend these days.
  8. Where I work, there are record books that are each literally heavier than me from the 1800s that were hand-written and can still be accessed to date.
  9. Thousands of people died of “Dentation” in the old days.
  10. Even in death, we continue to intentionally pollute our Mother Earth through our need to be preserved and maintained.

Schemistry.

A very shifty combination,
so decried the chemistry,
mixing hard-earned salvation,
in with exponential insecurity…

A noteworthy disintegration,
in the joints behind each knee,
an ever-hanging expectation,
that it will give way eventually…

A monotonous lamentation,
such disappointment did I bring,
a repetitive declaration,
a tourniquet – always reminding…

A mind full of a heart’s degradation,
a swan hiding wolves beneath each wing,
a perfected form of pure placation,
the rejected face the glass is reflecting…

A very questionable equation,
the sheet of paper full of scribbling,
an indefinably cold sensation,
took out knees and left me shivering.

I Know.

I know what you’re thinking…

You’re thinking dark things to yourself now…like:

how all of those people in your past, the ones you helped nurse through to recovery from breast cancer, colon cancer, even a brain tumor; they’ve all gotten well and forgotten about you, when you needed those kindly offered favors returned. Oh Mama, how well I perceive how you feel.

You’re thinking about all the years that you poured out of yourself into others who are long dead already; you’re thinking about how short your end of the stick turned out to be; you’re thinking that you’ve been conquered by the things that other people do or say…or don’t do or say; you think it’s time to resign and become this helpless refugee who can’t find the motivation in your brain to keep your body moving your bones.

I’m thinking about how strong your spirit is when I look down onto your drawn face and seek out any flicker of light within those sunken eyes; I’m thinking back onto my youngest recollections of you: a beautiful woman in a skirt and pantyhose, wrenching at a flat tire on the freeway shoulder – not giving a fuck. I’m thinking about how much you have gone through in your hard lifetime already, even before Cancer pirated your body and brain; before your partner abandoned you and you became homeless…and, when I think about these things, I can barely breathe. I’m thinking about how you have the right to decide when you’re too tired to fight this bullshit life any longer, to “throw in the towel” as you said this morning to my nodding head and tear-streaked face. I’m thinking about so many things that make me feel as if I’m being strong-armed by some invisible being, robbed and stripped of my medals and badges.

You’re thinking it’s time to go; I’m thinking how much I hate the fact that I understand how you feel, completely.

Mama, you are not helpless, you could never be that; you’re not built that way…but you can be tired; you can be forlorn; just don’t be gone too soon.

Guess Who Has Resurfaced?

…For now, at least.

And, I will not squawk at a single thing about her mental return, no matter it’s duration. Gods, it is just so fucking good to see my REAL mom again, after the last few weeks of her  degenerative Living Hell. I honestly believed that I would never get to talk with her all about the traumatic events that have led us here; I was sure we’d never be able to sit and sift through the details that ended with the horrid, 5-day-long brain seizure that she endured right under my nose; I was certain that I would never know why and how it all went to shit so fast for her after her diagnosis…I had prepared myself for the reality that my REAL mama died recently, and what I had in her place was the “New Mom”.

(Didn’t I say that there was definitely something besides depression, fatigue, side-effects of chemo or simply late stage cancer happening to my mama?)

The rest of her once: thick, long, widely admired, randomly touched by friends and strangers, alike “dirty dishwater blonde” hair had fallen out while she was in delirium; and she was not happy at all. A few fruit cups and an whole milk cappuccino later, she was directing me through her bureau to find her new t-shirt. It’s  a shirt I bought her when her chemo started last month; though she didn’t find it amusing, much less wore it. She sported it tonight with her bald head and nose hose as I wheeled her around the grounds of the rehab center in the pouring rain, with the song ‘Whose Crying Now?’ by Journey (her all-time favorite band) playing in her lap. She was totally alert and full of her normal piss and vinegar tonight. I loved every minute of it. It was a gods damned good night.

Delay.

FOREWORD:

They say that the delirium is late-stage cancer – nothing more. Perhaps it is, I can’t say at this point. What I can say is that the delirious woman is still my mom; is still worthy of my love and support; is still a person who I love very much, suffering…dying.

baby-of-mine-dumbo-o.gif


Let me tell you a short (though, repetitive) story; one I have come to know by heart without consciously trying…one that plays itself out through each and every nightmare I have if I am lucky enough to fall asleep deeply enough…one that has come to define each and every “visit” I get with my mama, anymore:

The Bedpan: It is an inevitable circumstance, no matter where mama is.

In whichever facility that she is hospitalized, she is bedridden and increasingly unable to move without severe pain. She, therefor, has been reduced to a bedpan or commode when she is lucid, or, a fucking adult diaper, otherwise.

In her lucid times, the diaper must come off, else she have a massive coronary. During these interim of semi-coherence for her, is the perpetually running song and dance of trying to go to the bathroom. My mother is on diuretics for edema in her legs at present, and therefor has to pee like every 15-20 minutes no matter which state she is in…a detail that seems to define every moment that I spend with her anymore: the horrid revolving door of trying to get a fucking bedpan in time.

The orderlies and nurses are slow as molasses in any setting we have been; they seem to take pleasure in the circumstance of making my mama wait until she can’t hold it any longer, and a mess ensues, without fail.

Then, there I am: frustrated beyond words with the staff for letting this happen AGAIN; and there’s mama: so broken down and defeated by the humbling experience that she’s enduring, she just cries while I clean her up. Each and every time this occurs, it sinks my mama lower into her resignation to death and departure. Each time she cries, it does something to me that I can’t yet find the words to express accurately, but I can say with certainty that her tears in this context make me want to seriously hurt someone, or worse.

As a result of this hideous cycle of requests for basic assistance, delayed responses, messes to clean up, and mama’s subsequent withdrawal further into darkness, I have begun to absolutely dread going to see my dying mother at all.

bambi.gif

 

More (Scattered) Thoughts.

I’ve written about it before, the way the shine went out of my mom’s eyes upon the death of her mother; I’ve written about the extended period of mourning and bereavement that she experienced (and continues to experience in many ways, even now); I’ve written about the weird things she did after her mom passed away late one night, i.e. refusing to take off the sweater that belonged to my grandma for at least a year afterwards, or the taking up of chain-smoking cigarettes like it was a sport and she held the title of Champion (she is now paying for those solo marathon smoking fests that sometimes lasted throughout the night on the front porch of her former home). I have written about all these intricacies belonging to the grief that seems to have drained the life right out of my mama in the end; and I have picked apart the ins and outs to the responses and behaviors attached to my (former) mom’s processing of it all. I can now say that I honestly and thoroughly understand and comprehend on a deep level: how and why the shine left her eyes with the emotional blow of her mom’s death – I can see the shine going dull in my own eyes little by little too, if I dare look into a mirror. My skin has changed in texture and color, my mouth perpetually wears a frown – my shoulders sag, I sigh a lot, and deeply.

I have also been on an emotional kind of high-alert in regard to my mom’s feelings and her personal level of overall peace throughout her recent diagnosis of cancer (her death sentence) and the subsequent nightmare-esque circumstances that have become our day to day existence. I have been watching her stiffen her lip and put on the dog through it all, telling herself and everyone else that she doesn’t think cancer is going to kill her, and things like that. I have been able to sympathize with her and what she’s going through all along so far for the most part; but I still can’t seem to bring myself to imagine the world after she’s gone…

I have written about my many longstanding issues with my mom stemming from childhood; I have written about the many years we let pass by hardly knowing one another at all; and the things we knew about each other were not born of fond sentiment (on my own part, at least). I have always been so afraid to turn out like my mom did – the way my young brain has molded her in my recollections from early on – raving and spitting mad, a foul-mouthed Squaw, the drunken breaker of my mine and my brothers’ hearts. I spent so long in judgment of her for how she dealt with the loss of her youngest child, my brother JJ; for how she never allowed me to even mention him in her engaged presence after his tragic death; for how she never acknowledged his hurt and pain, even after he was gone – like I am anyone pass judgment on anyone – look at my kid, for Gods sake. I see so many things differently nowadays, and am glad that I have had the chances to accept her as she is while she was still able to comprehend that acceptance and appreciate what it all meant to both of us.

It’s a weird jumble of thoughts that have been swimming been around in my head and heart lately; and it’s all rather hard to put into words, if not impossible, but I want to try:

I see that we are each, indeed, creatures made of the same stardust – all of us.

I see how it’s a fact of Life – the very essence of Life – everything we do and everything we are is seeded by our parents; each thought that we have, even subconsciously, somehow and on some level ties back to the ones who bore us, nurtured us or contributed to our young lives; the moments when we think out loud and say things that we don’t even completely understand to ourselves, or when we quietly chuckle at a distant memory  from our childhood – it’s all loosely, but surely woven into the very essence of the many individualized notions of love, of being loved, of loving the best we know how to love, to the bitter end of Life…be it ours or our parents’ end, it will be the most bitter taste that the other has ever had to swallow. I know that the sun will not cease to shine on the day after my mom lets go of this world; I know that things will carry on like they always did: cars will drive people to work, and people will get married and babies will be born and my family will eat dinner together somewhere and drunkenly celebrate my mama’s Life…I just can’t picture it.

 

On a lighter note, I got a new job at the cemetery/mortuary today. And I’m not being horribly un-funny either, I am serious. I’ll be keeping books in the back offices, but I think it’s rather fitting all the same…a place where you are encouraged to wear black or dark colors to work EVERYDAY; a place where you aren’t allowed to laugh in the hallways for any reason, a place where you get kudos for the most sullen look in the office. I thought it was perfect. And apparently, so did they.