Gobble, Fucking Gobble.

I guess sometimes my nightmares must consist of things that directly tie into my dwindling sense of motherhood; as, there are mornings when I wake up feeling deeply wounded by this element of my irretrievably haunting visits to the realm of dreamland. This experience, when it happens, is enough to have me in full-blown tears of grief and devastation before my bare feet even touch the cold wood of the floor. There are so many sensations and notions attached to these mornings (thank Gods they are few and far between) that it quickly becomes difficult, if not impossible, to process any of them…they just sit there on the stagnant surface of my consciousness, too blurred and ambiguous to get my head or hands around. I guess today, I am thankful that these nights do not catch me slippin’ all too often…because when they do, I pay for it for a few days afterward.

Happy Turkey Day, y’all.

 

Not In My Kitchen.

It’s hard to try to summarize, but in short – here it is: my roommates are each intelligent and dependable in his own right; they are unique in unique ways that are too minutely attached to the tiny details of one’s persona to ever take an accurate stock of.

In one of them (“Dice”), I can have complete faith regarding the maintenance of my car, for example; this same roommate would also be the one I would turn to with a jammed rifle, any kind of measurement, centralized heating and cooling issues, and/or the use or instructions for use of any power tool imaginable; I trust this roommate much more so than I trust 9 out of 10 human beings on a very generalized basis because of the years’ worth of water under our bridge as friends without any drama or bullshit at all; he is a kind person with a good heart, in spite of himself; his is also the sole hand that touches the BBQ grill in my household. We share things like The Walking Dead, LOTR, reggae music, good weed and being recluse in common. This roommate is Persian (Iranian) by blood, born in the US to parents who emigrated here during the 1960’s.

The other roommate (“The Orphan”) is the one who I can query at random with a wide ranging interrogative and receive generally sound answers from; he was also my sky-diving instructor, so there’s a very weird kind of trust between this roommate and myself despite our sometimes volatile relationship; he is a surf buddy, a swim buddy and as some of you may remember – got here as my adopted orphan, who was a suicidal train wreck on the other side of the globe when we first became friends. He has been here over 2 years now, has healed his spirit well, got his citizenship, has a good job and a cute little girlfriend; and is doing shiningly in comparison to what he once was. He is also a former French Military Special Forces Paratrooper who has an uncanny comprehension of all things tactical and military. We share things like the Unsecret Death Wish, the ocean, raunchy jokes and coffee in common.This roommate is Corsican by blood (which is French by nationality), raised in Germany, and is a French National with German and American citizenship.

The three of us can happily sit around our kitchen table at a meal and discuss pretty much anything in an amiable, if not jovial, manner. Typically, this is the case. Tonight, things became heated between them during a (take a guess) political disagreement. I came out into the kitchen and said,

“C’mon you guys…really, you’re gonna let Trump or whoever ruin our BBQ?” in a joking tone to lighten the tension (because that’s who I am, the peacemaker), only to find out that they were bumping heads about the tragedy in France.

It was pretty disturbing to me, as I proceeded to listen to the Orphan vehemently arguing his point to Dice with true passion; such a final and decisive reaction he is having that he feels as if it has come to the point where mass preemptive murders via the military would be the only answer. To hear the guy whose military experience has unfailingly spoken truths upon truths thus far say such a thing was deeply unsettling; and left a nasty taste in my mouth.

Scared.

I guess it’s good that I can’t recall the nightmares I have after I awaken from them; they are bad enough to often already have me in tears upon waking for the first time for the day – and I don’t mean like a few little snuffles either – I mean like full-blown

“I’m upset as hell and can’t stop crying and don’t even know why”.

I’m a fucking trainwreck
I’m a fucking headcase
I wake up in the morning and I’m sobbing and scared and the worst part about it is that I can’t even put my finger on WHAT I’m so afraid of or WHO. I just FEEL SCARED.

“The Other”.

I guess in all fairness, she lived here long before I did; this was her vessel for even longer than it has belonged to me (I pirated this shell a little over a decade ago now), she functioned within this skin for over two decades prior to my arrival. She primed the solid physique that I carry today, fed the body meals, and somehow managed to get it to where I came into the picture alive…well, barely alive – but alive all the same.

She was a weakling; a cowed and youthfully blind creature, a dreamer, a believer in good, a hopeful and ever-willing dumbass, a self-detrimental junkie and a self-absorbed human being…she was “the other”.

women killed…and she nearly got me killed that decade or so ago…because of the miserable and unbelievable situation she had found herself in in place far from home, friends or family. She went on ahead and had a baby with the man (her husband) who was beating her to a pulp regularly; a man whom she had come to be learn first hand: suffered from increasingly unpredictable physically/sexually violent tendencies towards her. This is an element of domestic abuse that becomes quite the double edged dagger later down the road; but in the beginning of such a notion, the draw is undoubtedly that of human closeness, tenderness and fondness for the DV victim…”the other” was eventually alienated beyond words. The baby linked “the other” to the real world just enough to keep her on head on somewhat forward-facing; the baby also created an entirely new element of fear within her day to day life. She began to care less and less about herself as a result, her safety became irrelevant in her own mind.1072960“The other” got her throat opened in her front yard one day at the hands of that same man; yes, the one who she had married and had children with – the one who she knew she had to get away from before such a thing took place…the one who’s sickness continues to rot away at my existence through the offspring we share. I don’t relate to her choices, that young girl who was slashed that day; I never have…

Since the moment that I picked up her nearly dead carcass and breathed my own air into its essence, she has remained an enigma of sorts to me with her pathways taken and where they led her. I pity her. I dislike her. I cry sometimes for her when I’m alone.

crying_woman_liquid_tears_crying_weeping_wallpaper-t2

Dirt Naps in the Desert – PART 1

This wasn’t a new feeling, this heart stuck in the middle of her esophagus feeling; she had grown disturbingly familiar with the pseudo-lump in her throat by now…just a little over a year’s time. Her thoughts drifted hazily back through time, trying to confirm the accuracy of her perception of time passed since she first became this way – since she lost herself in the midst of an existence under the control of a very angry, pathologically violent, faultily hardwired and precariously unstable man…her husband.
Image
It had, indeed, been over a year, she silently decided with a slow shake of her heavy, down turned head; she was shocked to realize that she had let it get so far out of her own ability to act – to protect herself – to survive. The very notion of survival had taken on a new face in her mind these days. The recurring raccoon eyes, especially in combination with the non-healing broken jaw and collar bones that she still painfully lived with began to seem like a cake walk, in comparison to the things her husband often did when he was on a psychopathic bender.
Mr. Americano’s unacknowledged, intrinsic rage and deeply seeded hatred towards ALL women on Earth manifested differently, depending on the type of bender he was riding out; but the manifestations most certainly always involved degrading her, physically and sexually assaulting her – no matter the way things played out. Lately, he was obviously escalating quickly to a level which he’d never gone before; the terror and tension she now endured from one moment to the next, waiting like a nervous burglar near the front picture window in the darkness – searching the yard for any sign of movement, fearfully anticipating the headlights rolling over the pane of glass behind which she sat like a scared animal, stiff with fear.
Image
He had been highly upset over Christmas; his anger had oddly been deflected off of her that time however, and he had gone on a rampage all over town to supposedly “collect” what people owed him.
“It’s bullshit that I don’t have no money for Christmas gifts for my girls while they [by “they”, he meant several of his longtime friends who were each struggling much more than we were, financially] have cash to celebrate and shit…”
He had grown increasingly irritable over the few hours prior to finally leaving that night, the night before Christmas Eve, to go “take what was his” from people who he had known since his childhood that supposedly owed him money (she never knew that part of it for sure, though). He left with a handgun in his door panel, and he was out of his mind with this fit of enraged anger over money owed to him; the entire blow-up seemed random as Hell to her, but nothing really made sense anymore.
He had returned early the next morning covered in blood, beaten half to death and looking quite defeated. He looked like a zombie walking up the path to the front door, literally – clothes torn to shreds in some places, one shoe falling apart with every shuffling step he took towards her, the other shoe missing altogether. His face had been smashed worse than he had ever smashed hers; his eyes were both nearly swollen closed (she wondered how he was able to drive home in that condition, but said nothing of it).
Her heart had fluttered at the sight of him that way: broken, bloody and betrayed by his own cockiness and temper; such a short-lived glory plummeted just as quickly as it caught air however, upon the chilling reminder that she would ALWAYS pay the price for the mistakes others made when it came to her husband; she had always bore the burdens of the stupid things people would say or do to piss him off and make him passively violent the instant that they were behind closed doors.
It was with that thought that she snapped back to the present moment: heart still planted firmly in her mid-esophagus, fear still flash freezing her every particle while she waited for Mr. Americano to return tonight. She had no idea where he’d been or who he’d been talking with – there was no telling which off-the-wall fancy he was going to bring home with him this time. One way or another, she would get the wrath for whatever had him so balls-out angry again, she was sure of that much. At some point in between an onslaught of the panicked breaths her body was reflexively forcing her to take and the all-consuming terror and anxiety attached to the anticipation of his homecoming, she actually fell soundly asleep from emotional exhaustion.

When she made the mistake of resting her head with her “good ear” (the one that he hadn’t beaten the ability to hear from) against the mattress or sofa cushions, creating the encompassing silence appreciated only by those with true hearing LOSS, it was inevitable that she would drift off to sleep every time. She loved quiet time; she loved it more with each second of her life that flew away in the wind; it was the only time she was able to think at all, the rest of her time felt like it was spent on a different planet with an alien companion that made bi-polar disorder look like a week-long bachelor party in the Glades.
More often than not, she found herself stunned to uselessness, unable to comprehend what was happening at any given time, as it was 9 times out of 10: an exceptionally unforeseen act of violence (often torture) against her, at the hands of her monstrous husband. It was during these times of sheer Living Hell that she became numb to the physical damages being done to her body somehow. During the most painful of instances, she would will herself to stand up again – over and over and over until her feet and legs refuse to follow her brains command to lift her up once more. The rest of the time though, she unfailingly did nothing but to sit in a daze and focus on the unspeakable levels of cruelty and sadism that the man who fathered her only child enjoyed to watch her squirm beneath.
Image
She had been through all of the stages akin to this type of a female domestic hostage: denial, enabling, disbelief, self-loathing and guilt, the defensive, the law, and lastly – resignation. It wasn’t long ago that she had realized she would die this way, in this house with her years’ worth of blood stains soaking into each bedroom’s every plank of wood; she understood that this had been her fault, the decision to marry an illiterate, psychopathic giant with ZERO self-control. That was her bad choice and she owned that much of things; it was about all she owned, and she held on to it fiercely.
The night he had come home beaten and defeated, three of his “friends” in three different locations had surprised him with self-defensive responses to his bullying tactics; one had overtaken him with a club from a dark corner in a garage, one had put up the fist fight of his life and eventually got the upper hand when his two brothers showed up and joined in on his side to knock Mr. Americano unconscious. He finally proceeded to go to “Rooster’s” house (this had been the genius who introduced her to her captor/husband a few years back) and pull the gun he had stashed in his truck door as he had left the house on him in the front yard of his house.
Rooster told her at a later time that Mr. Americano had, indeed, chambered a round and aimed the gun at his face before attempting to shoot him dead then and there. The gun jammed and Rooster was close enough to grab for it. After a short scuffle, Mr. Americano found himself at a disadvantage – already worse for wear and without his gun. Luckily for him, his longtime friend has better morals and standards than he ever could have cultivated or maintained, and let him get away without further incident. It was because of this insane incident that Rooster wound up coming to the house just a few days after Christmas to speak with her while he was at his father’s with the girls to exchange gifts etc. True to his imposing notoriety, he just walked right through the front door and came in to where she was folding laundry on the sun porch out back, first startling her and then, scaring her beyond words with his story about the night before Christmas Eve and the terrifying implications behind its events.
Image
“Look…I know things are bad for you now, but if you stick around here much longer, things are going to only get a lot worse – really fast; if you don’t beeline for it soon, you’re gonna take a dirt nap somewhere in the desert, girl…”
Dirt naps in the desert were sadly a common way for a bad person to get rid of somebody for good; she knew that. Her husband had commented about this several times in the past in reference to other people who had crossed him. She often wondered if he had already buried anyone in the Mojave out there. Miserably, it would not have surprised her to learn that he had.

All she could do was shake her head and stare at the floor as Rooster summarized a dread warning of life or death to her. The thoughts flooded in once more: the pathetically redundant cycle of possible escape plans, the law, and any trustworthy individuals who would not give her up if she ever actually got out to safety and away from him; it was a hideous, dead-end display of her paralyzed state of mentality. After several minutes, and without lifting her gaze to make eye contact in any way, she simply said:
“You better go, Rooster. If he comes home and finds you here while he’s gone, my head will roll, you know?”
Image
Her husband had continued to behave more and more erratically and unpredictably over the few months between then and the present; disappearing for hours without word and then returning livid and explosively violent towards her. She staged a “visit” for their daughter up north with her parents, a desperate attempt to assure the baby’s own emotional and physical safety. He had never laid a hand on the girls, but that was liable to change at any moment now. One night, while she sat terrified in the front window, waiting for him to return and beat her until he grew bored and tired with the effort it took, she decided to go through with an escape. She had finally realized and accepted the fact that if she did not act, she would die…and likely soon.

Horror Movies

“The difference between Terror and Horror is the difference between awful apprehension and sickening realization: between the smell of death and stumbling against a corpse.”

–          Devendra Varma, The Gothic Flame

 

People often ask me about my ex-husband – and then are horrified and wish that they hadn’t asked; and in all honesty I think about “Mr. Americano” quite often, too. Even now – almost fifteen years later, when I think about my ex-husband I must admit that I have the tendency also: to become horrified by my own recollections. I feel horrified by the realities that swim like invisible, but heavy sea-lions around my life. I can get overwhelmed with horror and shock when I recount my own history – many of the people embedded in my past, included.

Horror, so they say, is a safe place to look at ugliness from…a fortress existing in a time and place after the awful experience of one’s recollections.

Terror, they claim, is the anticipation and knowledge – of expectation of the horror to come, the dread and anxiety attached to fearful emotions prior to the awful memory. Terror is no longer allowed here, so that horse is dead and buried for me. I can honestly say that today, here and now, in the present moment – I could stand in front my ex with no weapon on my hip or big brother behind me – and regardless of the circumstances or outcome – terror would not have a place in my perspective of it. I have forgiven Mr. Americano for what he did to me, truly. He is a product of his own horror-filled environment, like the rest of us, and I pity him for being a monster. He doesn’t want to be, but he is. Sucks to be him…

So I run with that theory;

 …and I said, “fuck it”: Then I proceeded to let the horror out – however, wherever, whenever – I can.

Turns out, my best type of “therapy”, always came naturally and in its most raw and pure forms when I was mothering my child on my own, as a single parent to a Hellion with the face of an angel and the voice sounding like it originated from a helium tank. I was “yard duty” at her school; I was “classroom Mom”; I brought fuckloads of craft shit to her classroom every Mother’s Day and would spend weeks with the kids, making stuff for moms and stepmoms, grandmas and surrogates. On April fool’s Day when Boo was in elementary school still, I went into her class and instructed thirty-seven 9 year olds how to dump glitter and glue all over the carpet (the carpets were being torn out that evening and replaced, and the teacher was in on it with me) but damn, the kids all loved it and even now – once in a while, I’ll bump into one of my daughter’s grown up schoolmates –  they always tell me nice things they remember about me from back then. The horror here is definitely in retrospect, indeed from a safe place – years away from the memories of which I am describing – realizing that my own kid surely doesn’t have those nice things to say about me, certainly doesn’t even have the ability to recall such minor details of the childhood stolen away from her so long ago. Horror is definitely what I feel when I realize her losses; when I admit to myself: the role that I play in the movies on her mental reel; when I imagine how she must perceive me in stark contrast to who I am and always have been. Horror comes along with every fleeting thought, miniscule in its own right, of my deepest, most embittered fear:

That despite my stand against her father and the reconstructed existences for me and Boo in a safe place, the Horror that haunts Boo, in her case, confines her to an existence – most unsafe.

Regardless of how much I work at re-wiring my brain into that of a non-hostage’s, to remold myself into living within a freedom-based state-of-being and thinking; as strong as I may be when it comes to standing my ground atop the things that I believe are rightful and just – there is one element that I still can’t truthfully say that I’ve recovered from my ex-husband’s former lair inside of my head –Horror.