Category Archives: Writing

A Kittery Tale: Sleep Deprivation and Emerging Personalities

Quantum is a proud, patient, borne-to-be-a-mother of kittens.  She is naturally good at what nature gave her to do.  She is sweet, attentive, and clean.  Since the kitteries have been born, she is even more clean than she was pre-kitterville and that was SO CLEAN! She never smelled of anything but love(?).  I mean she just really hasn’t had any odor about her since she came to be here. (Yes, her shit stinks.)  About four days after the babies were born, the room smelled like curry, or a mixture of Indian spices.  That sent me for a head spin because I rarely, if ever make food with those flavors even though I love it.

Our little feline schedule has taken a shift with the arrival of these five new furry friends.  Three girls, and two boys.  With an intense feeding schedule of every couple of hours;  Momma has a bottomless pit for a stomach and a penchant for constantly cleaning, I’ve been sent into a whole new level of care taking that has no regard for the time of day or night.  Who needs sleep?

Personally, I like sleep. No, I love sleep.  I am a light sleeper and am easily awakened by the slightest of noises.  I loathe being awakened and a whiny momma cat, is not a slight noise.  The whines and cries always seem specifically timed to occur when I am just about to drift into the deep onset of sleep. She sits there, staring at me, knowing this. She always cries in that moment when I feel as if I could fall into a dream abyss.  Immediately I am snapped back to the reality that this Momma needs/wants something.  Be it food, water, or a clean box… there is no limit to the requests that may come up at 3 am and I am an idiot for thinking I can ignore her.  She wins…every…single…time.

Week two has led to sleep deprivation. I am at the beck and call of this Queen.  I do the best I can at meeting her needs before I go to bed in hopes Quantum will let me sleep a full night; what a dumb human I am to expect that I could just go to bed, unencumbered for a nice stretch of rest.

If Momma ain’t happy…

It’s got to be tough to all of a sudden have five little critters to worry about.  It’s got to be annoying to have those little critters grappling at your swollen tits, with tiny claws and emerging teeth.  It must be tedious to clean and re-clean those babies after this tactile human handles them, and kisses on them with coffee breath.  I get it.  Sometimes  momma needs a break too.

Last week as I was settling in to go to bed, with the laundry basket of kittens next to me, Quantum hopped in the basket for a kittery feeding.  I noticed a different set of squeals.  I popped on the flashlight in order to take a look at the current scenario.  See, Quantum has ten nipples but only eight of them are in use.  None of the kittens like being on the bottom row.  The top row, middle two nipples are prime real estate and if they had their preference, only two would feed at a time on those succulent momma mammarys, leaving plenty of wiggle room and no competition.

Anyway, I turn on the flash light and the two boys are fighting over nipple realty.  Fluffs of hair are being scratched off as these two little furballs fight for space.  Momma looks incredibly annoyed and uncomfortable.  I decide to step in and remove the more aggressive kit.  I decide to also remove the kit that is on the bottom row and pull them into bed with me for a while so that the others can feed in peace and Quantum can have a little break in the feeding chaos.  She looks relieved.   After a few minutes I notice one of the kits has fallen asleep at the nipple, and I gently remove it, and replace it with one that hasn’t eaten yet.  I continue the rotation until everyone appears to be satiated.  Quantum appears to be thankful, and when everyone is back in the basket and cuddled up, she curls up behind my knees for the first time since the babies were born.

I feel like Quantum is trying to “train” me.  If she is unhappy with the smell of her box, she goes to the litter bag and claws at it.  If she is unhappy about her water quality, she stands by it and whines.  If she wants more food, she becomes incessant with her cries.  No matter the time of day or night, what Momma wants, Momma gets.

Quantum is pretty balanced in her care for each of the kittens, but I get the sense she has her favorites, and they are the boys.  I am partial to female animals, and in this case the girls are significantly smaller than the boys.  Once, I noticed Quantum was being pretty rough with one of the girls she was cleaning.  A little black one I call “My little Teddybear”; My Little Teddybear is basically the runt of the litter.  And I was feeling like Momma was having some animosity, like with one less kitten, feeding would be a  peaceful and roomy event.   I snatched up that little kittery and I tell Quantum that she needs to calm down and be just as gentle with this one.  I held it and kissed it and loved on it, and since then  Quantum has been more gentle with her.  My Little Teddybear is one of my favorites… something about how small she is, just adds to her adorableness.

“My Little Lion” is a boy, he is a champagne colored kittle.  He is the only one with a full body of light colored hair, he resembles a very light tabby.  He is the biggest and strongest.  He is headstrong and adventurous.  He was the first one I noticed to start self grooming at a week old and seems to instinctively know what “I’m gonna get your belly” means.  As I put my fingers down into the basket, he clumsily rolls onto his back and lets me tickle his belly, reaching his tiny limbs toward my hand and pulling them away.  It too much cuteness, if there is such a thing.

My Little Lion is a beast at the nipple and he gets annoyed when Momma wants to clean him.  He will kick, punch and scratch his way to the prime real estate and he uses the same tactics to escape from being bathed. If one of the girls is in his desired nipple position, he will basically try and suffocate them off of it by climbing on top of them, pushing them down to the bottom row, right off the nipple they were latched to. Sometimes the girls try to fight back, but most times they just wiggle free and try to find somewhere else to eat.  Occasionally they just curl up next to Momma and wait their turn.

I can’t even express how impressed I am with this weird relationship I’ve found myself in.  I’ve never really fancied myself as a “cat person” per say. I’ve always loved cats but I haven’t spent much time with them in general.  When I was about nine years old, a calico cat adopted my family.  It was an outdoor cat, and they fed it once and it stayed around.   I think about a year later we moved two houses down the road, and the cat followed us to the new house.  I named her “Cuddles”. She was fat and sweet.  Strange that I don’t recall what happened to her.  I wouldn’t have another cat friend of my own until twenty years later.

“My Little Pirate” is of the other little girls in the batch.  Her body is primarily black but she has some calico in there, and her face is split evenly down the middle with black on one side and champagne mottle on the other.  She looks so astute and her face structure is more delicate and angular than the other kitties.  She is quiet, and something in my room causes her to sneeze.  She is also adventurous but in a timid way.  She wants to see what is going on, and then she moves forward.  I just love her.  If a tiny ass kitten can seem like an old soul, My Little Pirate has that essence.

“Lil Baby” is My Little Pirates color counterpart.  Her coloring is similar, but her face isn’t as distinctive and her features are more rounded.  Basically she is too cute for words and reminds me of good ole Cuddles.  She is a cuddle kitty, but vocal.  She also seems like the type that may like to  hide.  I was sitting on my knees on the ground and I had a skirt on over my leggings.  The way I was sitting and the length of the skirt created a sort of a dark cave between my legs, and Lil Baby walked as far back into it as she could, toward the heels of my feet, and she just sat there and watched all the other kitteries awkwardly walking around.  This was our first foray on the floor, out of the basket.

Finally, in this mix we have “My Lil Panther”, which is the male counterpart to My Little Teddybear.  They look very similar, all black, but My Lil Panther has some white hairs around his mouth and eyes, and My Little Teddybear has the cutest pink black mouth and a heart shape on her nose.  My Lil Panther is strong and feisty.  If there is some tomfoolery happening in the basket, it’s likely that he is involved with My Little Lion.  I have a feeling those two will have no problems defending themselves in the future.   My  Lil Panther seems like the hard sleeper.  If he is tired, he sleeps as the other kits crawl all over him completely unfazed.

Every few nights, I take the kitteries into my grandma’s room, so that she can see them.  She loves them, they are amazing.   I know they are therapeutic by nature, and it allows Momma a food and poop break with complete privacy.

Claddagh Wonderdawg still isn’t sure what to make of all of this. She seems unimpressed that I am sharing so many kisses with these little things that resemble the rabbits and squirrels she like to chase in the yard.  She seems curious and frightened.  In the mornings, when she gets up and greets me at the head of the bed, she peers into the basket for a split second, sniffs it and backs away quickly as if maybe all of this is a dream, and tomorrow there will be laundry in the basket instead of a bunch of wiggling fur balls.  I tried to put My Little Lion near her, and she wanted to get away from him as quickly as possible. She refuses to make eye contact with the kittens.  She does however make eye contact with Quantum, and Quantum has an intense stare.  Overall, Quantum seems pretty chill about Claddagh being around her babies, and I think she wants Claddagh to be more engaged than she is, all around.

It appears to me that Claddagh is still pretty jealous of Quantum.  Like there isn’t enough love to go around, and now there is another body sharing the bed at night, and it’s been a long time since we’ve been in that situation with my ex-cat Poppy Rascal.  (That is a whole other story.)  I probably need to take Claddagh on a date.  Get some “one on one” time doing something that she enjoys, which probably includes french fries.  Then we can sit down and talk about it.  That’s just the way it goes with my animal family.  Sometimes we have to talk through things, and we are all usually better for it in the long run.

Stay tuned… the kits are starting to get active and I am sure this is about to get even more interesting.

 

 

 

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The Results of Unfollowing People On FB for a Month.

Well, it’s been a month and a few days since I cleared out my FB feed.  What did I learn?  What happened?

I think this will be a short post because most of it has been covered in the previous posts aligned with this topic.

Ultimately, I got VERY bored with the platform.  I used it as a resource above all and curbed my interaction by over 90%.

That is a big jump.  I no longer had a feed to scroll unless I went to my friend groups, and I only went to my friend groups out of curiosity (mainly about local happenings.)

I continued to get notifications, and any late comers to the game were silenced for 30 days.  Those silenced parties just started cropping up in my feed yesterday.  Namely companies that advertise through FB.  For me, namely, craft beer breweries I am a fan of.  Without thinking, I saw these posts crop up, and silenced them for another 30 days.

Honestly I am not “missing” anything, per se.   I love passing along info.  If a person has a question and I feel like I have a viable answer, it is a pleasure to share.  However, all in all, I only contacted people or posted if I thought some one may benefit somehow from that post.

I feel a need to remind my audience that I do not have FB messenger or FB app on my phone.  If I want to post there, away from home, I have to go to the mobile web page and I am limited in options.  I also need to remind readers that I am able to access FB more often than a person with a “normal job.”  I work from home, or rather home is work, but WIFI is pretty consistent and FB is an easy distraction from mundane domestic duty.

Did I miss it?  No, not really.  At times I noticed myself pressing the refresh button that leads to my own echo chamber and then I was like “Oh yeah, I boycotted this like I would a Walmart.”  I still drive by, I still have opinions, but…. I have no plans on going inside and interacting with anyone in there for the sake of boredom and randomness.”

Honestly, I think that is cool.  To me, it proves I wasn’t as addicted or reliant on it as I thought I was.  I gave myself the power of choice, and the challenge of abstaining.   I do suspect I will fade away and that doesn’t worry me so much.

Today I dug through my senior year book, and I didn’t have a shit ton of signature/ messages, but the ones I did have, reasserted the best parts of me that sustain to this day.  A majority of these messages were not short.   Most of them had connecting themes when it comes to talent; kindness, weirdness, good feelings and impact.  I am still ALL of those things and I didn’t believe it back then.  I always assumed people were blowing smoke up my ass because they, themselves, did not want to be rejected.

I don’t need Facebook to be my daily Yearbook.  I enjoy these throw back features to see what I was saying and doing xxx years ago, but I don’t have to have it to survive.  The thing that makes me feel like I am dying is isolation with no solutions.  In fact, since I have taken the leap of disassociating with my live feed I’ve made a new friend/workout partner; started spending multiple hours during the week to build workouts for M,W, F, AND connected IN REAL LIFE with people who are actually in my geographic sphere.

I feel accomplished.  I see how this type of process can fold over into other situations that may need conscious regulation.  If you feel like you would appreciate slowly pulling away from the intoxicant that is Facebook, hit me up, or read my other posts on how I experimented with the idea.   It really is a challenge of “out of sight, out of mind.”  A break like that allows you to question yourself what you want to use the platform for, and what you expect out of your engagement.

If you want naught, why fruitlessly search and conjure up partially fulfilling illusion?  All I’ve ever wanted is “real life friends who are true and honest.”  I’ve had them in spurts, and maybe it’s time I give those real life connections a chance again.

My hope is that you find this useful, and if you want more info contact me, I love sharing intel.  ❤

Quantum Express~ A Kittery Tale

On November 9, 2018 my friend Devon walked out of my garage to his car, and exclaimed “Do you know this cat?”

From where I was sitting, I couldn’t see what was on the other side of the door.  Immediately I thought “Well, probably not because I rarely see cats just roaming around my neighborhood.” However, much like Schrödinger, my curiosity got the best of me.

“What cat?” I exclaimed, jumping from my chair and racing to the door.  There I saw a slim, small violet Siamese cat with an injured paw.  She sidled up to the drivers side rear wheel of my car and peered at me coyly.   I knelt down and called her to me, to my surprise she walked forward to me.  She allowed me to scoop her up to look at her paw.  A small injury, but it looked  like it had been deep and healing a while.  The gash in her paw almost appeared as if she had been stuck to ice, and ripped away her pad.

She allowed me to take her inside, clean up her paw and add some Vertricyn to the wound.  She was cuddly and appeared to want to stay close.  How could I say no?

I immediately took to social media; the after hours Animal Shelter site on Facebook, and any other local group that I noticed posts of lost or missing animals. I took her to the vet to see if she was chipped. Negative.  I posted on Nextdoor, a social networking site for neighborhoods.  I called the Animal Shelter. I waited a day and then I went out and bought her food; litter, a litter box and a dish and a couple of toys.

This girl was so sweet, someone must be missing her. It was just before the holiday season, I thought to myself, “Well maybe she was being pet sat and sneakily escaped.  Maybe her person is on vacation or deployment and the cat sitter doesn’t want to worry her owners while they are away.”  I was constantly checking my post, and posts about cats in my area.  Pretty much, nothing.

About a month after the kittery had been hanging out, a woman on the Nextdoor site, insisted it was hers.  That she had left town on November 10 and had only recently returned.  I demanded pictures and descriptions.  Her cat looked nothing like the one I had been treating as my own for the past four weeks.  The markings were all wrong.  She felt dead set it was hers, so I took a risk and said “If you feel that strongly about it, here is my address, come on over and see for yourself.”   Fifteen minutes later she texted back saying that she was called into work (at the military base across town, where she lives) and that she would be sending one of her guy friends to come by.

Honestly I got a little panicked.  I didn’t know if this was a demanding boyfriend type guy or what.  I texted her to drop it until tomorrow and come for herself but she didn’t respond to the message.  Approximately 45 minutes later I got a knock on the door from a short, kind of effeminate Hispanic male and a  slightly taller Hispanic female.  Both seemed somewhere between mid twenties to early thirties.  They explained the situation on their end, and I went to get the cat for their inspection.

I brought the cat out in my arms, lazily purring.  Immediately the woman said, ” Can I pet her? ”  And I reply “Yes.” because I have only seen this cat friendly to people (unless hungry).  She is a lover.  The lady pets the cat and says “This isn’t our friends cat.  Her cat literally hates me.  She tries to attack me anytime I am near her.”  Her male companion proceeds to look the cat over and agrees, “this isn’t the missing cat.”

I tell them my end of the story, and of my growing attachment, and how I thought it would be weird for a cat from the west side of town to make it all the way over here and then not try to go home.  They admit that their friend use to live in the apartments across the street, but it had been over a year and a half ago.  We thanked each other for our time and patience, and they went along on their way.   I cuddled the kitty deeper, and decided a month was long enough to wait for an owner to appear, and then I had the weirdest thought.

What if the owner of this cat died, and the cat slipped out when EMS arrived to remove the body?  Cryptic, right?  I got a strong sensation this was the case.  This cat had been stray for a while, and it was looking for the right person to adopt.  I had proven to her that I care for her well being.  Her love was strong and instant.  All of a sudden I felt “chosen” , again; a feeling I haven’t had since I found my Claddagh Dog.

This cat needed a name.  From the first moment, she just somehow integrated so perfectly.  I continued to let her outside, in hopes she would just find her own way back home.  I’d let her out at night, when traffic is less… and every morning I would wake up to pee and think of her and she would magically appear at my bedroom window.  I would let her in, pour her a bowl of food and lay back down.  She would eat her food, and come nestle herself in the crook of my bent knees.  We would sleep a while, and when I would get up she would make the smallest squeak as to say “Don’t move, I like it here with you.”

Some nights it was a battle of the bed.  Claddagh usually wants front seat being the little spoon against my chest, and occasionally the kittery was first to call it.  Claddagh would seem disappointed, nevertheless would curl up at my feet at the bottom of the bed.

See, I am so blessed with my animals.  Claddagh is a dream come true Dog.  She is so perfect.  She had her issues in the beginning but most of that stuff is out of her system.  She has had a kittery before, she is gentle and observant. I trust her to be kind to the kittery, however I do not trust her alone in a room with a dirty litter box.  It’s good to know every ones boundaries.

This cat still needs a name.  What do I think of her, when I think of her?  Well, it’s like she just came out of nowhere.  Like, she manifested from some other dimension in Time Space.  Quantum.   Quantum Dream Cat.  Oh shit, you know that kitty is here to teach you something.

So,  Quantum came into my life, accepted her name and knows it.  If she is outside and I call her name silently, inside of my head, she arrives.  Admittedly I was a lazy owner,   taking for granted the fact that I don’t really know anything about this cat except the fact that she is extremely clean, loving and chipless.   She likes wet and dry food, and as she is getting more comfortable with her surroundings, she wants to be held less.  I still let her out for a few hours each night/early morning.  She continues to return.  Sometimes, she just jumps up on my window sill and watches me sleep, waiting for me to wake up and look at her to let her in.  Her voice is quiet most times, unless she is super urgent or agitated.  She doesn’t beg to be let in, she just waits.  Claddagh wants to hump her and I think it’s funny to watch the Animal Planet live from my bedroom.  Something tells me the kittery might be in heat, so I start to keep her in.

In all honesty, I love this situation but I am sort of weirded out.  All of a sudden I feel some spiritual “Level Up”.

Okay.  So. I know. I should have taken her to the vet the moment I took down all the posts and claimed her as mine.  I should have, but I didn’t.  I checked for a spay scar, and didn’t see one, so, that is totally a “my bad.”  I was handling Quantum quite a bit on a daily basis, and the moment her little teets no longer looked like little pieces of dried rice, I went to Google to confirm what I suspected.  Pregnancy.  Fuck.  But, what do you do, right?  So far as I know, there is no Feline Plan B.  Again, what have I gotten myself into?  Immediately I start a Google crash course in pregnant Siamese Cats.

 

 

Letter to my 30 Year Old Self.

Dear 30 Year Old Mandie/ Madge- whatever you want to call yourself;

You kind of know me, because I am you and so this shouldn’t be creepy or offensive in any way…. but DAMN GIRL!  You are so adorable and just the right amount of weird and sexy.    Farming really looked good on you.  Nature is a place that brings out your best assets. I really miss the entire wardrobe you collected and discarded over the years.

I notice that you looked forward to 30, and you KNEW that once you arrived that you were on top of the world.  No longer a child, and old enough to say you know better… The prospect of thirty was exciting… and it felt like an accomplished age. You weren’t wrong.  You really played strong, hard and responsible with the right amount of reckless.   You learned and observed a lot. Despite normal selfishness, you wanted nothing more than to give and receive the gift of seeing others happy.   Your strength still helps me today.

I know you are still struggling with body dysmorphia at this point. You have a hard time facing it, as you always have.  Your diet is really great, you really try to “work your body” outside of the demands of a physically demanding job, and you still feel inadequate. I just want to say, damn girl.  If you could see me, the potential future you in my today; you would know what I am saying.

If you could really SEE the whole you,  beyond picking the right take from a video meant for youtube,  You would be amazed at how often you’ve demonized yourself.  When things were good, they were great and yet still as avoidable and demonized as when things felt bad.

The You, who made up “Madge Midgely Laycock” and so many other avoidance characters, was both brilliant and sad.  You  honestly always said what it is you are experiencing, and sometimes bad grammar is your partner in crime, but it is adorable.

30 Year Old Mandie, I miss you.  I mean, its only been 8 years, but, WOW, I LOVE YOU!  I feel so much of our internal, eternal  realness was represented in your excitement, boldness and presence.   You didn’t even know you were thinking about Me, now, then.  But, I get it.  I feel ya girlfriend, self I am.

Thank you for being so unabashed, always.  I think that is one of the things I love most about you. You are really strong, creative and resilient.  It’s awesome to know that you are me.

I ‘m sorry if I have disappointed you.  I didn’t expect this, either.  You know how we roll?  With the punches.

I know I feel inclined to defend or explain myself to you, but you will understand when you get here.  And, if I know you, like I know me; there will be forgiveness, compassion and understanding.

Mandie2010-2012, You are a force to be reckoned with.  Thank you for the time we were able to spend together.   You taught me how to really be a friend to me, you, us, and the future.

In Trusting Love,

The 37 year old You.

M.E.S.

A Tender Balance

Living with my grandma and  taking care of her is far different then I imagined.

I was idyllic in my imagination.

My grandma and I would be like some warped intergenerational version of Thelma and Lois; but then once she couldn’t drive any more, those dreams blew out the imaginary roofless automobile we were traveling in.

I honestly did not factor in some realities; like her legs and eyes and teeth.  Her direct words “They just don’t work anymore.”

I could argue, I tried. But it was useless, people will make their own decisions, as long as they can, and fuck you for thinking otherwise.

I had a break through today in my patience.

I differently, and honestly embraced her condition.  In the way that I embraced my parents once I wasn’t under the rules of their roof.  “I’m gonna be, me, and you just keep being you.”  And it’s like it was always that way, but unspoken… these days sometimes we both need a vocal reminder.

By embracing it, I was able to stay calm, though I was distraught about other matters.  Things undoubtedly her fault, but unintentionally.  Things that are undeniably my fault, and part of the learning process.

I slipped into a part of myself that was sarcastic, but not mean.  But my own tenderness and lack of humor has made interpreting lightness in mood and gesture hard to decipher.

I want to share more of her with you… but lately I am feeling protective.  I don’t want to sell her out.

Tonight’s situation is me folding laundry, and she complains about being lazy and useless.  And I tell her she has earned the break.  She asks what she can do, and I say,  “talk to me.”  She says “You want me to fold laundry?”  I say “No.  What? Do I gotta do everything around here?”  She says “I can fold the laundry but it won’t be very good.”  I say, “I’ve got the laundry, how about you share some of those 50 plus years of experience with me, while I fold it right the first time?”  She rolls her eyes and we continue to talk about the topic of conjoined twins that I brought up a few hours earlier.

We dance, and balance ourselves on fine lines, especially when it comes to love; tolerance, patience and purpose.  May you always find a pleasant balance.

Conversation With Death

I sat in the far dark corner of that nameless pub that sits along a busy road in that average town in the corner of a state some people call “Home.”  This wasn’t my usual pop in.  Today had a purpose.  This drink in my hand had meaning and I had an appointment.   Rather, an interview with none other than Death, itself.

I had called it here to have a sincere conversation about the current state of affairs in transactions and avoidance.  I wanted to probe deep, in hopes I might find out something about myself along the way.  I’m not sure why, but I assumed Death would be tardy, but as  Death would have it, he showed up right on time.   I noted my own pessimistic attitude, and a desire to wish the worst on my guest.   Immediately I knew It was just as perceptive, as it was punctual.

Like a cool breeze wrapped in a dark, but sensuous cloud, It slipped into the booth in front of me.  Admittedly, I was caught off guard; caught in the reverie of some other time and place playing chess with the present future.   I could see that Death was amused.  It enjoys a surprise entrance, and I hadn’t given It that in a long, long time… a life time ago, actually.

I could feel It’s inquisition.  And as perceptive as it is, It took a moment to realize I wasn’t calling to set appointments for It to “take me” or anyone, for that matter.  I wasn’t “wishing for It.”  I sensed that Death rarely had true “casual conversations.”   It, is aware that It exists to serve a need at times unspoken; but this wasn’t my business today.

I needed to settle a minute.  I needed to acclimate to Deaths’ temperature as It sat across from me in this two sided booth.   I’m not sure why I had any expectations as to how this would go, or how it would appear.

It heard me.  In my head, It heard me and responded.  The sense of it was… straight forward.  It was incredibly normal sounding.  Like I said, I don’t know what I subconsciously expected, but this was just so… normal feeling.  Not like demonic voices, or screeching.  It was just a normal, calm voice asking why I set this meet and greet.

I could hear my own panicked response.  I didn’t want to sound panicked, in my own head, telepathically talking to Death; but I did.  I didn’t know my mind could stutter or sound so nervous.  Death caught wind of my insecurities and quickly stepped in.

“This is a casual appointment.  No need to be nervous.”

I immediately imagined a black t-shirt with a Grim Reaper silhouette saying those words in a cartoon bubble… I wonder if …

I cut myself off, because of course Death can hear this and see this image in my mind, and I don’t want It making any money off of my ideas…. I know It has a large market share, and I know It doesn’t need my help.

“I keep wanting to anthropomorphize you into a ‘him’ “ I think, “And I don’t want to do that because you seem to be so much more than that, but modern conversation has us all hung up on gender, and sometimes, even I get dragged down that nasty alleyway.”

I physically feel the entity that Death is, nod.  Do you even know what that feels like?  It’s like some one kicked on the AC really quick, turned it off and then turned it on again for slightly longer, and then turned it off.  Death, as a physical manifestation is like gusts of air, shifting of drafts, faint and sometimes pungent whiffs… and thoughts, some really rational sounding thoughts.

I get the smell of a cigarette.  Like a freshly lit cigarette.  In my minds eye, I see this shadowy entity settle back, and light one, waiting to see why it’s presence was summoned.  I sense amusement at my attempt to mentally articulate gestures of relation, and the attempt to anthropomorphize.

” I don’t want to die right now.  I’m sure you know that…. and I really don’t want to be here right now… I mean I don’t want to be in this world as is, not specifically this meeting.  You seem to have your hand in a lot of pots right now…. just casually stirring and occasionally straining off the debris on top…. all the while maintaining your ordinary routine.  Your routine since the beginning of time…”

Geez, why am I here again.  Surely It can hear all of this mental chatter, It’s probably use to sifting through all of that…. how can I articulate and inquire Death? How can I get to the point and move on?

The smell of cigarettes get’s stronger, as if Death knows that I wish I had a pack of smokes right now.  As if Death is taunting me with the most accessible of vices as an easy escape route… I take another drink of my seltzer water with lemon.  I contemplate whether or not the bartender thinks I am a waste of space in this near vacant hole-in-the-wall.  I can’t help but inhale deeply as I take in the last dregs of my water and suckle a piece of lemon flavored ice as I attempt to settle my nerves.

“I need to know why you whisper to me.”

I know it isn’t a question or a statement.  I know it may not be answered, but it is the only thing I can think of under this unseen pressure.

“I need to know why you visit me, and motion to me in regard to yourself.  I need to know why… I am worth your time and knowledge.”

The air shifts again.  It feels less like a draft, and more like a warm breeze blowing through an open window on a spring day… It smells, of… lilacs.  Not a threatening thing upon this breeze.  I feel a sudden sense of comfort in all of my senses.  I no longer feel edgy or insecure.   This breeze, this scent is so familiar.

Not long after this realization, I again sense smoke, but more the smoke of a large fire… a structure ablaze; the muscles that had relaxed, immediately tense back up.  I feel “on call”, some one has a need to be filled.  I have a sense I can meet that need, but I feel an overwhelming confusion.

“How can I fight a fire, when I am not a fire fighter?”

My mind becomes immediately obsessed.

“Where is the fire?”

“Who needs me?”

“How can I help?”

My mind races, I imagine scenarios.  I recall all of my rescue skills…

I dig deeper into that smell, and feeling…. The fire is close, it also smells of lilac.

I realize that I am the fire, sitting in the dark corner, of that nameless bar on that busy street in that average town in the corner of a state, some call “Home”, and I panic.

“Am I on fire?  Is there a fire around me?”

I somehow steady my unsteady breath, and realize, I am still in this saturated booth, water glass with dying ice and a filmy specter across from me.  It knows what I am feeling and experiencing, and it’s laughter smells like a cross between buttered popcorn and Lucky Charms cereal.   Sort of earthy, but sinfully delectable.

This interview isn’t going at all, as planned; but then again I didn’t plan.  I didn’t think Death would show up, and I definitely didn’t think that Death had so many smells.

“What is this even about?”  I ask this with a mentally forthright force.  “I feel like you are playing with me. I admit to being slightly amused, but most of this just feels like a circus show.  You know, I want to know, what you know.”

Ahh! Finally I was finding a point of reference.  Death is just so illusive and intimidating.   Maybe he is like my tattooed cousin; if you don’t know him, he is perhaps a scary person… but once you know him, he is a jolly teddy bear.

I was satisfied in that thought…  telling Death it was just a misunderstood Teddy Bear, but Death wasn’t here to make me feel better; It knew I wanted some truth, so the air became a mixture of swift and still, hot and cold.  The ozone was permeated with the smell of burning garbage and perfect baked cinnamon rolls.  My heart rate went up as my body temperature went down.  I was perfectly uncomfortable, a uncomfortably perfect.  I wanted to throw up while feeling perfect ecstasy. I wanted to escape as well as sit still… I felt on the edge of ready and run.  My body, mind and heart were over taken with a simultaneous pain and pleasure that I have never known.

It was a whirlwind that seemed to last forever, until It stopped. And when It stopped, It was gone.

In that moment I knew death.  I had taken It in, full force, in every possible way.  And it seemed unjust and totally right, all at the same time.

We didn’t have a long conversation.   Death rarely needs words to get It’s point across… It is so poignant with it’s delivery.  It never acts in vein, at least of It’s own accord.  It’s with us from the moment we start living, and wonders why we treat It like a stranger when It does show up.  We know all the signs It is there, if we choose to knowledge It.

It, isn’t impressed that Stephen King demonized It.

Death in and of itself isn’t bad, and It’s always punctual even if we think It is too late or too early.  Your perception of It, depends on your relationship to It and your observation of It… but It, is malleable, and what It is for you, is not always what It is to someone else.

It is, what It is.  An end to a new beginning.  Sometimes new chapters are scary, but they are necessary for the story to continue, until the story is done.  Either way, Death will meet you wherever you are, unless you opt out.  But that is another story.

 

 

Mom 1

I never gave the idea credence before.  But maybe, just maybe; if you lose your mom at a young enough age… you eventually give up.

I was a “jump through the hoops and excel” kind of kid… until I didn’t have to be.  There was no one keeping me accountable but me (and I have a short attention span.)

A “Mom” is a built in safe guard.  She is programmed to question, in depth.  She is most often built to have massive amounts of care and compassion.   She begs her progeny to question themselves and her.

Without her, you don’t know what you are missing; you only know that something isn’t there… it’s easy to fault ones self with this knowing.  For of course we are all prone to put some blame on ourselves, how ever unjust.

So we make up our Mothers in our mind.  Idealizing their attributes and sweetness… our commonalities and dissonance.  Romanticizing potentials, in hopes of reclamation.

It rarely works, however.

We assign surrogates, and stand-ins.  We idolize the relationships our friends have with their mothers.  We fantasize being pulled into the fold, and embraced with ultimate unconditional love.

It is a temporary mental satiation.

In reality, no one digs or questions as deep as a true blood mother would.  It’s not out of the realm of reality to say that the Motherless feel cheated.  Like being born without a blue print and having no regard for architecture.

Haphazard living, not fearing death… that is what it feels to be Motherless.

That is how it feels to be self determined to not harbor safety for life to grow and expand within oneself.

A slow self brutalization, justified by loss; supported by circumstance.

I am an expert.

I’ve asked “What Would Jesus Do?” more often than I have even grazed the idea “What would my Mom Think or Feel?”  I’ve conditioned myself to neither care, nor ask.  I’ve trained myself out of guilt through time multiplied by repetition.

I feel closer to the idea of Jesus, than I do to the woman who held me in her womb and spent four years with my snarky childishness.

It’s a topic no one wants to question or address, and I am malleable and follow comforts of conversation; only slyly slipping in context when the weather of conversation is suitable.  We all suffer from this malady in some way, and I willingly perpetuate it.

Oh insufferable HUMAN!  That is me.

The holidays dredge this emotional sludge up, from the recess of my heart… I will listen, and follow, but it’s always sort of brutal.