Surreality.

Every day I see people who knew you in life, sometimes running into them for the first time in decades; and, they inevitably ask about you as if they expect to find out that you’ve moved away to Canada, like you always threatened to do. The news of your short battle and premature death unfailingly drops jaws all the way around, and I regularly find myself in the position of having to firmly convince someone that you are dead and gone: a highly dissatisfying instance for me.
At least once a month I see a dress or a couch or a set of dishes that oozes your still lingering essence, and this essence permeates my existence for some time – maybe an hour; maybe a day…and as much as it stirs the burn of the embers inside the firepit called Pain, I greedily and secretly lean into the heat because it’s the only way I feel like I still know my Mom. Like I still have my Mom.
Every single night I walk my dog down the street your house is on. Although somebody else lives there and its appearance has been drastically altered since you died, I sometimes see your faint ghost on the front porch doing a crossword puzzle. I see your ghost watering the lawn too, or occasionally it even excitedly waves a hand at me from across Camden Avenue in the darkness.
I catch myself more frequently spitting out random statements and sayings that were always unique to you, alone.
Things like,

“In like Flynn.”

Or I sing stupid bits if stupid songs like,

“Here we come,
on the run,
like a hamburger on a bun.”
Or,
“Jonathan Joe had a mouth like an O”

I know its really you speaking in my voice, but I wonder what any of it means.

I often thank the Gods that you and I were able to at least scratch the surface of our reciprocal amendments to each other before you died so horribly fast and miserably. I’m continually thankful that I was able to thoroughly explain myself to you after all was said and done between us, but before your brain got so full of metastatic tumors that you were unable to comprehend me. I’m ever thankful that your passing wasn’t during any of our many former years apart, and that I was there to hold your hand when you asked me to be, because I can vividly remember that you were afraid, truly afraid. You never lost face though, you remain a bonebreakingly strong idol of my candlelit shrine. And no matter what else life throws at me, I will meet my last day on Earth with your smile on my face and your strength in my bloodstream. And, while your death killed off parts of me and stole any comfort I knew in the big, bad world, I haven’t let it burden me.
Though, I still bitterly wish we could have had Christmas in Sutter Creek, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Every single day passes with a strangling sense of your absence. And some days, I find you staring back at me from a mirror or the reflection from a storefront window as I pass. The tiniest and subtlest bits of your essence still trickle from the hole that losing you that way has left in my heart.

Futile. 

I’ve never felt so alone.
And, Ive spent my life feeling alone.
…didn’t know this kind of alone was even possible.

The End.

My mom seemed a little “off” on Thanksgiving…maybe a little more tired than most other times I’d seen her recently. She’d been doing the withdrawal thing for some time leading up to that night…resigning herself to the death that has been chasing her since this time last year. Her spark had been low and she didn’t eat much on Turkey Day. That was the last time I saw my mom.

She must’ve had the stroke sometime after we all left her for the night…
Now, she just lays in her bed at the hospital, no signs of life besides her breathing. She sometimes responds to a question or comment, but mostly, she just lies there starring at a spot on the ceiling.

She has a low-grade fever every night, further damaging what brain cells that have managed to spare themselves from destruction throughout everything. The doctors say that the stroke was caused by her brain mets (her most recent PET scan showed several very small tumors in the frontal lobe above her eyes); they say that is the root cause of the lasting delirium and confusion also.

The full sentences that she manages to get out make no sense at all and range from topics like horse racing to stigmata (not a single topic being anything familiar or realistic). Sometime during the first week of this hospitalization, she blurted out pretty loudly and clearly

“I don’t wanna be part of this two-bit town!”

She also has a recurring theme of horses and sweeping out the garbage into a trash bag or sometimes into a pile, depending on who she is talking to. My Grandma Joey is “visiting her” regularly, despite the fact that my Grandma has been dead for almost 6 years now. My great grandma T left the reservation to come lay hands on my mom (an ominous act if ever there was one), but my mother didn’t recognize her and became agitated and uncomfortable with the presence of my Uncle Horse.

This goes on since the morning  after Turkey Day…no change for better or worse although I can read between the lines that this is likely the wrap up for the bitter end of my mom’s fight with Cancer.

Hardwired.

“…love was as hardwired into the structure of the universe as gravity and matter.”
– Dan Simmons, The Rise of Endymion

 

Love is not knowing, but jumping in anyway.
Love is the feeling of stitches dissolving in your skin.
Love is the smile of an innocent child in the grips of wonder.
Love is a giant, canine bearing sea-lion being afraid of you.
Love is sunshine.
Love is an all-encompassing acceptance that changes your DNA.
Love is hoping against all logic or reason.
Love is being the first face to come into view, every time.
Love can be tangible.
Love can be fickle.
Love can bring us to our knees, in many different variances.
Love will NEVER leave us alone.
Love is darkness.
Love is light.
Love is the answer as well as the question in languages that humanity does not yet speak.
Love may be a language that humanity as we know it never learns.
Love was the mother of all Hatred.
Love is the force behind all of it, everything.
Love bore Mother Earth, the Sun, and every star.
Love is God. God is a Goddess. The Goddess falls back in Love.
Love can conquer all.
Love doesn’t necessarily want to conquer all.
And lastly,

When I didn’t love Love,

it loved Me, Anyway.

Thy Will Won’t Be Done.

My wrinkled face
is beginning to waste,
limp body, still hung,
on a squeaky clothesline,
that is tightly confined,
beneath a given thumb,
any part attached to me,
repeatedly gone numb,
neurons firing incorrectly,
missed the target,
subsequently,
my brain feels like,
a bowl of old pond-scum,
the day and night,
continue to come,
Hell or high water,
thy will won’t be done.

Teela Hart’s Survivors.

I know people have wondered about it: the way that one of my dearest friends passed out of this world in silence almost a year ago now – without a word from me about it on my blog. I have gnawed a hole in one cheek over her death and the subsequent silence that has been attached to its deeply reverberating shock waves.

Teela was like a sister to me…she will always be like a sister to me.

The reason behind my lack of public response to Teela’s death is complex:

My late friend has children, the notable forces behind her strength and perseverance, the driving factor behind her survival for many years out of her life, the most recent years. Her children, as innocents, have undoubtedly been victimized alongside her throughout her domestic violence Hell over the years; they have also been subjected to loads of trauma and grief that no individual should have to carry, especially not alone.

I have been (im)patiently waiting to hear from any one of the three of them since Teela’s shocking death, to no avail. This has been why I have not openly mourned my friend’s passing yet – as I wanted to get in touch with her children, I wanted to allow them to have time to process and grieve. It was hard as Hell to wait without any word from them, and without any way to find them either.

I have been worried sick over the younger two (a boy and a girl – both still underage) since I learned that Tee was gone; I have been feeling things on a personal level in regard to their well-being (or lack, thereof), as Teela spent so much energy and time in carving out the taste of freedom and goodness that she was able to give them in the half-year or so leading up to her passing. I know that she would have looked out for my babies if the situation had ever called for it in our history together, and I have felt as if I needed to find her babies and look out for them now…in whatever capacity Life allows.

Teela’s daughter, (2 years younger than my own) finally reached out to me last night after all this time; and let me tell you it was one of the most surreal and touching (in ways both good and painful) experiences I have ever had. She is a beautiful young woman with a heart that mirrors her mama’s heart perfectly; she is a soldier just like her mama; she is struggling more than her mama would have ever been able to bear knowing – in so many various ways. But she reached out; and I intend to support her as strongly and undeniably as if she were Tee.

I was validated in my fears of what has become of Teela’s babies, that they have been forced through necessity to return from the Bat Cave to their father’s home in North Carolina…a fact that makes me want to wretch.

I confirmed many negatives and very few (if any) positives last night regarding the status of my late “Right Hand’s” surviving children…and I feel compelled to make it known to the world: the ways that these two underage and grieving children (of a TRUE mother bear that many of us knew and loved here at WP) continue to fight for the simplest of comforts and safety and security. I will write more on this topic after work, but in the meantime here’s how we can help Teela Hart’s Survivors. I thank you in advance for any humanity you might show these young people who have lost the ONLY positive force they’ve ever had.

https://www.gofundme.com/teela-harts-survivors

Bleeds Black.

The streets are silvery black from the rain
mirroring the darkened space in my brain
yellow streetlights cast a sad, sickly haze
down on reflective, fire-fly puddles ablaze

The drizzly days have been rescuing me
washing away dead layers, torrentially
but then, are the drops of a different breed
fallen from eyes onto wounds that still bleed

No comfort in the faces that I look upon most
no magic left to ponder, no victories to boast
things I once perceived other than “formerly”
along the lines of the former endless possibility

Everything eddies round down the storm drain
into the gutter too deep to be pulled out again
drowned out by the mournfully grey pitter-patter
metallic ting of the O-ring’s half-mass tatter

My heart bleeds the darkest of black from the vein
a shower of droplets to bathe me in exquisite pain
the wind seems to whisper at me of forgotten treachery
the beloved stars feel like they twinkle in my mockery

The drizzly days have seen things slipping away
wound around and bound to drown there, someday
sleepless nights that leave me all directions in my head
I’m gut-shot, and bleeding out the night hours in my bed