Batty.

PREFACE:
Before my residence was even my home (dating all the way back to high school when it was simply where my “weed connection” lived), it was already referred to by anyone who visited as “the Trail’s End” due to its physical location at the spill-out point of a foot-trail that finales with a foot-bridge crossing a creek bed. The point of my sharing this is to emphasize the way that we regularly get visited by “wild” animals; either inside or somewhere on the property, and are called to action to do some chasing, nursing or exterminating – depending of course, on the wild visitor and its disposition. With the creek being right across the way, we have learned, for example, that we will get bullfrogs in the carpets if we leave the front door open for too long during the rainy season; or there’s the running possibly that we’ll be someday re-visited by any one of the handful of HUGE raccoons that hail from the sewer drains right at the curb (it’s a specific few of the much larger family of raccoons that we seem to have waged war with). There are always new creatures popping up in the extreme weather on either end of the scale, so we are pretty good about staying on our toes when it comes to response times and reactions in the context of an unexpected “wild” visitor from the adjacent creek bed. We have collectively dealt with such intrusions many times together in the past, and because of such historical successes in this realm, we were COMPLETELY UNPREPARED for last night’s surprise night caller.

I was walking from the kitchen with my hands full of stoner snacks and a cup of water when it all happened; as I passed by the entry hallway leading in from the front porch, a torpedo seemed to hit me…seriously.
I was thwacked so hard in my face by what I was sure must have been a grenade or some kind of rogue projectile firecracker or some shit; I saw stars briefly as my hands reflexively went limp in any grip I had previously had on my stuff. It was sometime around that moment that I realized the “grenade” was a bad theory – grenades don’t flutter into walls like drunken birds.
IT WAS A FUCKING BAT!!!
I have never actually seen a bat before last night up close and personally; and I’m sure that intentional – as I wouldn’t suggest to anyone to go out to the sticks and try finding one – they’re fucking creepy, lightning fast little fuckers. the entire saga of last night’s events pertaining to the intruding bat can be easily and quite accurately summed up in this video clip, though…so I figured, “fuck it…why not sum it up for everyone?”
…and I am sadly NOT exaggerating when I say that this is an accurate depiction of the responses to the bat being in the house that were put forth by me and my roommate last night. Enjoy!

Jackson, The EMT.

kindness

Jackson or “Jack” was a stranger to me when I woke up after having my throat cut. He was just as strange to me as any of the nurses, surgeons or anesthesiologists; I didn’t even know his name or where I had seen him before….
He was sitting there, flipping through the pages of magazine that had pictures of hitch campers and fly-fishermen having the time of their lives out in the Great Outdoors of Manly Men; his hair was tousled and his eyes were heavy. He looked exhausted even to someone who didn’t know him.
Jackson…for ten plus years….a fucking ROCK.
He had been there religiously since I got there to the Unit; he was on a first name basis with everyone before I even regained consciousness. He knew nothing about me besides the minimal information he had collected during and immediately following the drama of my injury/attack: my first and last names, my presumed DOB, the fact that I am anemic, and my blood type: AB/RH-. All he was sure of, all that mattered to him for those days in between my actual injury and the day that I woke up, had been that I was not alone and scared as Hell when it finally happened.
He didn’t know that I had no Dad anymore; he didn’t know that my Papa had recently passed, either. He had no details about any part of my life outside of the FACTS that he had seen first-hand, as my own personal Hero. When I ask him wtf he was doing hanging out in a hospital, waiting for some mutant-faced domestic hostage refugee to awaken and lose her shit upon finding out that she had not been having nightmares, after all – he always simply answers with,

“I knew enough.”

A man of few words, Jack has always frustrated me beyond description with his overkilling calm and seemingly delayed responses. He has balance that shines from every pore; the picture of self-containment and control. Never, have I seen him lose his temper for a nano-second; nothing throws him off, he’s “Money”.
Jack is the epitome of ‘Mr. Slickness’ –but, I digress.

The very first memory that I have after surviving and being hospitalized is of Jack the EMT; I became immediately and acutely aware of this strangely familiar man (whom I innately liked, but mentally associated with REALLY bad but unclear experience), fearfulness washed over me like a fucking wave of tangible and anchoring liquid. I tried to jump up and away from the feelings, and was driven closer to panic by the sobering appreciation of the fact that I could not move my body at all, tied into a bed by wires and stringy webs of hospital equipment; I tried to speak but only succeeded in letting out several very telling gasps for air. Reality lingered nearer, my fogginess began to clear quite suddenly and a moment of total recognition came over me then:
He was already up and moving, he immediately dropped off of his chair into a Mechanic’s Crouch at the foot of my bed in a submissive gesture that any mammal of earth, including severely retarded ones, would understand as his assurance of no harm meant. The way he recollects it, his instincts had already told him that I was a “kick in the pants”. His lulling drawl was calm and very passive when he softly spoke to me from his place near the footboard of my hospital bed.
He said,

“I know you are going to feel very afraid and confused right now, Cricket”

(I remember thinking: ‘my name isn’t Cricket…is it?’)

“And that’s okay and totally normal…”

He now says that was not the right thing to say and that it was inappropriate (because he has come to strongly harbor an opinion that in the circumstances in which that moment was defined by, there is really no such thing as “normal”) but let me tell you something:
As soon as he spoke, the relation I had to him rushed back over me all at once:
His voice over my face, blood everywhere – even on his upper front teeth, somehow; his voice commanding barks at me in the ambulance and through the swooshy doors of the trauma unit, his steadied hands gripping every single millimeter of my remaining life – fade in, out, fade in, out. The words he used were irrelevant and meaningless to me at that very moment in time, but his voice told me enough to know it was okay, he was okay, I was okay. I could trust that he wasn’t there to hurt me.
I was mean to Jack at first; I didn’t always feel gratitude towards him for being here to write this…on the contrary, we had many months of ugliness and instances that were reminiscent of a father and his unruly, rebellious teenaged daughter. Many days were spent with my eyes on “perma-roll” in response to his patience and lack of reaction to my anger and newborn PTSD. I recall sitting in his den (which became my “bedroom” for a while) with my index fingers plugged into both ears because I could not stand how calm and noiseless he was. (???) I was a bitch; a seriously scared and broken bitch. I do not like to think about what my recovery may have looked like had Jack NOT been the one called to the scene of my attempted murder.
Jack took it upon himself to carry the burden of recapturing the events of The Ripper’s attack on me, as well as his escape from the scene of the crime – and ongoing evasion from police; and he held nothing back with it. In retrospect, he wanted me to be disgusted by all of it, I think. Jackson literally sat beside me through some of nastiest surgical procedures on earth: stuff that made my own family dread having to actually look at me – but, he always made eye contact with me, without once batting an eye…and believe me, I was ever diligent in looking for a cringe or reaction from him over my appearance. He was an EMT for thirty years leading up to that point, and that was no coincidence either, I’m sure. He knew what was going on with my physical recovery process better than I did, and was annoying die-hard with my long-term wound care, wound-cleaning, debriding, grafting progress, etc.
In hindsight, aye…I was mean to Jackson when I woke up to my newborn life as a Cut Throat Survivor – a gift that he had given to me. He didn’t care what I said or did, he never faltered on me. He was like clockwork day in and day out. He was the scientifically sound evidence of humanity floating sacrificially amongst a sea of hungry evidence-eating sharks and humanity devouring monsters I was trying to resurface from. He waited THERE for me. To his detriment, I’m sure. He was single because of me for way too long in my opinion; any woman that he tried to be serious with has been threatened by my existence and his ongoing contributions to it. Did he give a shit about a single one of his ex-girlfriends’ feelings or insecurities when it came to me, even one time? No, he did not.
As a Native American tribesman, Jackson’s devotion to giving back to the community he lives in runs deep, and his devotion to me was born of this characteristic. He has never been remotely shitty to me, even when I would redundantly spit out hatefulness and embittered perceptions at him for ensuring me the life in order to feel so angry; even when I wasn’t yet devoted to me, he was. After the doctors were finished with “Frankenstein”, and I got to go home finally – Jack was unable to keep himself together – he cried tears of joy. His bottom lip still quivers when he speaks of that day, he was proud of me. He is still proud of me. I struggle, even now, to understand my stroke of luck when it comes to him.
A few months ago, I asked him why he insists on calling me “Cricket”; and his response to my question was this:

“When I saw you for the first time out there in the yard…I saw YOU. Yeah, yeah…your face was not your face back then; that was before you grew up, shit what were you? All of twenty?…I remember the fear in your eyes when I got to you, if you coulda talked to me, you woulda asked me not to let you die, I saw that in your eyes…I saw you wanted this terror and fear to be over, I saw in your eyes that you were willing to work with me in order to stay alive to the unit…”

I was tearing up by this point in his recollection – due to the fact that he is totally correct in his summation – I remember these things – staring up into his face intentionally, willing my eyeballs to burn into him so that he’d recognize my ‘fighter’, still in there with her fists up.

“…those little legs folded up under you, you were bone-broken into bits… and gurgling blood…it was a tough last ride to retire on…”

I was nearly killed on Jackson’s VERY LAST DAY AT WORK, prior to his retirement – again, no coincidence.

“…still, you were smiling at me the entire time…I don’t know, but you were a Cricket – delicately in my lap…a happy little Cricket, gurgling songs…and I made the decision right then and there, that you had seen enough bullshit for one lifetime. That I would see you better and set free…”

I have written countless poems and prose in my lifetime as a result of my love for literary beauty and conciseness; however, when those words, simple and few as they may have been, have remained burned into my head like a white-hot branding to my brain – it’s description, too meaningful and heavy in my own perception to even write poetry about. Basically, what he was saying was that he made the choice way back then (based on my “broken cricket legs”, and my own version of a ‘death rattle’ and morbid smile) – before knowing a thing about me – to FREE me from the living nightmare I had come to know as Life.

“I knew enough.”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACK THE E.M.T., MY HERO AND FRIEND…
Here’s looking at YOU.
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

hope

Spoken Like A Wise Man.

the Orphan

Despite the “unapproachability” that I so openly tease the Orphan about on a regular basis, he continues to be socially accosted by some of the most pond-scummiest of creatures imaginable so far, in his evolutionary adventures as a born-again Red Triangle Surfer God.

 

  • The Orphan is a strange combination of “Foreign” = the Orphan interacts socially in a different manner than that which Americans (especially West Coast Surfer Boys/OGSC’s) are at all prepared for, much less have any clue how to respond to, in most cases.
  • It’s actually pretty fuckin’ funny to watch from a safe distance most of the time…shame on me.
  • The Orphan does Him, and tends not to worry about what anyone is doing until whatever they’re doing starts to impede on his own gig = he’s 9 times out of 10 NOT the one to initiate conversation with a stranger (I imagine he was this way always, even in his most familiar of environments). He keeps to himself unless a nerve gets pinched.
  • The Orphan is, just like Yours Truly, allergic to BULLSHIT = don’t talk in front of him if you’re full of shit because he will sniff you out in an nano-second and expose you until you disappear.

 

A BELOVEDLY TRUE STORY:

He is sitting out past the breakers in the solitude of a favorite beach break of his, enjoying the peace and quiet away from the trendy tourist beaches that have become UN-FUN due to so many idiot vacationers. Suddenly, he is startled by a raspy voice behind him somewhere close by and he whips his head around to see a washed-up, rode hard, dirty Surf Bum paddling up to his position in the lineup.

Sigh…why?…just why?

His eye rolling doesn’t deter the man from sliding in next to him as he waits for a good ride and begins to talk to the Orphan openly about his problems.

“I feel like shit, Man…haven’t had a drink in over 48 hours…trying to quit, ya know?…

The Orphan just stares straight ahead but gives a nod of acknowledgment because he is, unfortunately for him at this very moment in the story, a Human Being.

“Just gotta stop drinking, Man…” no waves to ride in come, so the Orphan listens on, somehow intrigued by the train wreck of a surfer.

The older guy is obviously distraught and in a state of disarray as he tells the Orphan about a “fight” with his “Ol’ Lady” a few nights prior, and having had to leave the house afterward so as not to be arrested when the police arrived.

“It’s all because women ya know?…they are so fragile …you can’t hit ‘em like you could, a man, ya know…? …so much frailer, so easy to really fuck up in fight…so I gotta stop that drinkin’, Man…”

After several minutes of collecting enough verbal information that the Orphan felt certain of his quickly forming opinion regarding a somewhat “touchy” subject, he responded to this miserably clueless, self-admitted woman beater in the way that ONLY the Orphan could.

He turned and made intentionally piercing eye-contact with the man on the board just 2 feet away from him and simply stated:

“Hey…Dude…. I mean, I think it has certainly occurred to you by now that maybe…..you don’t need to stop fighting with your lady because “she is fragile and frail”…”, his fingers are up to do the accompanying gesture of quotation marks, “maybe it’s just because you’re an alcoholic idiot who can’t control himself when he’s drunk – which sounds like it’s ALWAYS….”

The Orphans posture is straight and self-assured as he sits like statue waiting for a response of any kind that takes a while to come, surprisingly.

“Well…ya got a point there, don’t you Kid?”

THE END.

Shallow Roots

karma is as karma does“Oh my God! You live with Him?” her voice naturally lowered itself upon her own realization of how “teenaged girl” she was behaving; I couldn’t help but to roll my eyes and nod at her typical reaction.

“Yes…right next door…I even see him nearly naked on a daily basis…” I continued my speedy pace towards my newest roommate, “the Orphan”, where he sat in the shade under a tree on the side of the busy streets of the local Farmer’s Market.

“Okay, try to control yourself, Chica…he’s very timid, despite his gorgeousness…go easy on the lil’ guy…”my voice trails off as my cousin and I approach the Orphan’s position, and I inhale a deep breath to begin my introductions so that she might just go on about her business and leave he and I in peace to mosey the marketplace.

Her hand shoots out across the center of our tiny crowd of three before I can finish my first sentence – the one that would have included what a dumbass she is, if I had been obliged – and she begins to take off on one of her notorious tangents about how awesome she is. I can see the “deer come into the headlights” immediately from the corner of my left eye, where the Orphan stands, shocked like a hunted beast in the netting, his curious nature being nearly overtaken by over-stimulus of the most uncomfortable kinds for a person like him.

“Chris, listen…he doesn’t speak English so well,” (a total line of fabricated reality, as his English vocabulary and conversational skill often gets me up on my own toes…) “how would you like it if you were visiting a foreign place and some totally hot guy came up and bombarded you with words you couldn’t quite process…?” I see the smirk of disgusted recognition disappear just as quickly as it had appeared from the Orphan’s face to my side; I hear my cousin let out a long, frustrated breath as she pulls my arm, forcing me to step once to my right. She hisses into my ear and it feels as if someone is holding an acetylene torch to it as she says, “I don’t care if he speaks English…I just like how good he looks, Bambi….C’mon, you’re messin’ up my cha-cha…”.

She releases my arm and pushes me gently away from her and the Orphan as if to tell me to kick rocks, which I happily did – I know something she doesn’t know.

It only takes about a minute and half before he catches up to me on the trail towards our neck of the little woods where we live; he is smiling broadly and looking content. I say, “I knew you could handle yourself…”

He smiled the entire way home.