Monday, October 1, 2012

Checks and Bad Seeds

A check arrived in the mail today. It will be a turning point. Any improvement I want to make in my life hinges on transportation. I know that. She would be glad I have it. I know she would want me to smile and she would say “this year is going to be different.” And she would say “it was meant to be because you need this.” She would. She would goddamn say that. And I hate it. I barely made myself send off the paperwork that would become a check in the suitable amount to make up for the loss. And now I must take it to the bank and put it in my account where it will change and become mine. I don’t want it.  I’d rather have her. 

You planted a terrible seed in me. I had an empty place and you planted a terrible lie in there. And the worst of it is that I grew it for you. I watered and weeded and pruned and made it in the image you asked for. It twisted and grew gnarled and hideous against the fierce winds of your constant criticism and fear. And you saw that and called it weak and you walked away.

I suppose it’s obvious that when one is naive they probably cannot perceive it. I didn’t know. You told me. And I don’t know why you would do that. It would be naive to think you wanted to protect me.You could have just stayed. It wouldn’t have mattered if you had stayed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Dark Bottomless Boob on Your Face

The worst of it is the dark bottomless.

I cannot paint a portrait of us to hang over my mantel.
I don’t know what we looked like. I don’t have the skills.
Not one single picture exists… of us together.
I have one picture of you. Your eyes are closed. You are almost smiling.  

I have this urge to piece together a collage of us.
Step back… see….around the shards…between the lines…behind the scenes.

To slow down the sleight of hand… to see how the bunny gets in the top hat.

We are mixed media.
We are found object.
We are abstract.

And perhaps….

If I could find meaning in the giant boob on your forehead…

If I could accept my lack of arms as reasonable or at least artful…

I might be able to sleep. I might be able to turn around and start climbing out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My problems are small and daily. Or large and lifetime. Or that's the same thing.

Someone linked me to my own blog. Can you imagine? It's difficult to read my words now. I find myself alternately hilarious and piteous.

I'm sitting in a small town bar using the wifi. The locals inquire about the laptop as though it is a spaceship. I answer their questions as though it is a spaceship I happened upon and just decided to dink around with.

"God knows what this darn thing is... thought I'd just tinker it a bit for the mild amusement of tapping keys"

I also work here just often enough that it pays to blend in as much as I can.

This isn't working the way I'd hoped... the way I remembered. Nothing works anymore and I don't know how to get back. I followed something out to the edge and fell over the side and I'm not sure I even want to pull myself back up.

and none of it is very interesting. Just poverty and alone and barely getting by.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Am Walking

The road is not built for pedestrians. It is built for cars and trucks and suvs and leaves no room even on the edge for any other way to get anywhere. It is used as a passage between one important place and another. Are we there yet, Dad? Narrow, winding country roads along beautiful views that the people in the cars and the trucks and the suvs do not see as they  are busy and paying attention to the asshole just ahead of them going slower than they would or the jerk just behind them trying to go faster than they want to. I see. I see everything. I am walking.

People zoom by going forty-five miles per hour in their check income range here boxes ...people are irritated that I'm there... that they have to pay attention to their driving, to me going so slow there outside their white line... forced into the ditch... exposed and without metal armor. Move out of my way so I can hurry up and get where I am going. And always they are going, going, gone fast. I'm not going anywhere any time soon. No one has paved or marked out my path.I am walking.

There's always interesting litter on the ground if I get tired of looking at incredible rock erosion or endless shades of green and wet and water falling. "The children shall inherit..." Bottles and bags mostly. People drinking and shopping as a passage between one rock bottom and another while they drive there quickly. My reality doesn't exist before or after because I am in it. I am walking.

I'm already there. I am walking.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Panic Paddling (arm flapping on a flotation device)

Most of the section of the Sandy River that we float down is shallow. Rarely is it deep enough to dive and most often you'd find it difficult to get your shoulders wet without also dunking your own head. It's a relaxing float. The water meanders it's way around large curves and we just sprawl our bodies across our various inflatable devices and watch the scenery. A couple spots are a bit bumpy.... like if you're in small pool and everyone jumps at the same time. We say "weeee" and "wooohoo!" and "white water!" and giggle about the joke.

And then there are the exciting parts.

I don't have a nice floaty. I float on a two man (they must mean the smallest men EVER)boat. I don't like that it is a boat so I flip it upside down and use it as a mattress. This works pretty damn well but it's an old crappy boat and only the outermost "ring" actually stays inflated all the way. So I end up in a sort of floating hammock as I make my way down the river.

I like to be on my belly with my arms up and over the top of the front of the hammock idly swishing them around in the water when I feel like it to cool off. Sara was nearby on her mattress doing the same. Her husband Aaron was a bit ahead of us in his inflatable Lewis and Clark canoe. Then we hear that up ahead the water is getting choppy. We adjust ourselves to be ready to paddle with our arms if necessary. Someone shouts that there is a log hidden in the water up ahead. Right exactly where all the water wants to go, where all the water is taking us.

"Aaron! Watch out for that log under the water up ahead!" Sara shouts. Her voice sounded kinda... serious. Looking back I think it was just a wife voice. Ya know.... like "Aaron pay attention and don't put a hole in your super awesome inflatable canoe 'cause then you're going to cry." But in the moment... I just heard the don't fuck around in the tone. I started to get nervous. Then she turned to look at me and says "MEREDITH!"  and she sounds really worried. Probably because I 'm a noodle armed bikini clad city girl on an upside down boat about to impale myself on a dead tree in the middle of the Sandy River.

So I did what any person would do. I totally panicked. I tried to get my boat to stop. My noodle arms were paddling like they'd never paddled before wildly smacking and splashing through the water...except... there's no where to fucking go! There's no way in hell I can get ashore and when the current is quick you go where the river fucking tells you to go.

Sara saw my face. She said I looked scared. (ya think!!? of course I looked scared- all of a sudden I thought we were dying!) "Meredith! Don't panic!"  She used her effective first grade teacher voice on me. So I settled down and once again accepted the river as a higher power...... and we all lived.The river carried us along and when it was done being fast and furious it returned to a lazy no care pace for no apparent reason the way rivers do. The way life does. I never even actually saw the log. I probably had my eyes shut when I was panic paddling.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

As I Was Saying...

Sometimes we have to go backward before we can go forward. Perhaps eventually I'll write something new.  For now I'll be transferring old posts from old playgrounds.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

All Around The Mulberry Bush

My friend Kim has some sort of war going with the ice cream man. She runs an in-home day care and I probably don’t have to tell you how horrifying it is when the sound of Pop Goes The Weasel is blasted from a tiny truck and followed by “KIMMIE CAN WE HAVE ICE CREAM!?!?!” in five or six tiny whiny voices. And this is in spite of the fact that the ice cream is really a disgusting Popsicle of some kind that costs $3.95.  So she’s asked the guy not to play his music through her neighborhood on the weekdays. Of course his feeling is… “I’m trying to earn a living here.”  

RIGHT. Clearly he’s just full of wild ambition.

*insert sound of golf cart going down the most pot holed road in SE Portland here*


We were standing on her deck when I first learned of this animosity. I was helping her plant flowers in pots all over her back deck. Children were napping. The sun was shining. All was right in the world. The deck is around a pool and sits up plenty high enough to see the road on the other side of her lower fence. I looked up from trying to remove a two year dead bamboo root ball from a pot to observe her giving MASSIVE stink eye to a rather nasty man (aren’t they all though? I mean really have you EVER seen a guy in an ice cream truck that didn’t give you the skeeves? I think not.) in a beat up old ice cream cart thing. Or it was a van. I don’t know. Anyway I give her the “are you nuts? What’s your problem face.” and she proceeds to explain their ongoing dislike of one another. Which I find enormously funny.

Then she says “The worst part is… when I DO go get ice cream he NEVER has what I want.”

“ahahahahahahahhahahahahaha! You buy his ice cream??”

“I’m only human. He plays the music….”

And now you know why there are still men in golf carts selling the worst ice cream known to man kind.