Friday, October 28, 2011

Dream: Out There

Blind.

That's what I was, and I was thankful that I'd practiced being blind as a child...just in case.
But this, this was not the same as toe-ing my way across my safe bedroom, bumping into soft, upholstered furniture, giggling at my own awkwardness.

I crawled sightlessly across a strange, cold, cement floor on my stomach. The coppery, pungent smell of thick blood filled my nostrils, and I realized that the blood was mine. There was little pain at this point. I'm not sure if that's because I wasn't hurt as badly as I made myself out to be, or because my subconscious was repressing the pain in an effort to keep me sane enough to escape this increasingly perilous situation.

Somebody had done something bad to me, and now that it was over and the Bad One had gone away, it was time to find my way back home. Blindly.

My fingertips traced the cracks in the floor. I pushed into them, using them for leverage to pull my weak and damaged body along. The slipperiness of the warm blood helped me to slide myself more hastily.

I had no idea where the exit was. A welcoming waft of air blew past me. I turned my face into it and smelled the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked blueberry muffins.

Mom. 


Home.


Safety.

I followed. I grunted as I scooted, scaring myself by not crying. Surely I should be crying. How inhuman could I be that I didn't think this was worth a few sobs?

Fuck it, I thought. I'll cry later when I'm safe at home with my mom and a basket full of muffins.

But that couldn't happen either. Mom was already gone. Much more gone than I was at that point, and I almost cried at the memory of that, but stifled it when I remembered that I was wasting time thinking about this nonsense. I should have been concentrating on getting the hell out of there.

A wall. I bumped into it and felt along the bottom, struggling to reach a doorway. It seemed to take a very long time, but the closer I came, the louder the low hum of an air conditioner became. I don't know why I didn't notice that before. I could have used it as a guide.

I think I was in a garage. I began to notice the stench of my father, like motor oil and cigarettes swirling in my head. This made sense to me, because he had been a mechanic all the years I lived with him growing up. Nowadays, he's a truck driver, and I have no idea what he smells like.

Irrelevant!


The passageway was there. I felt along the bottom where the door meets the threshold, and I pulled myself up by grabbing the knob and hoisting my body against the wall. I was heavier and weaker than I had ever been. I wasn't sure if I would be able to walk after this. Just my luck to be blind and crippled in one little outing. This is why I should never have left the house. These are the kinds of things that happen out there.

The light spilled over me like pink, silk ribbons.

Mom.


Home.


Safety.

I saw it on Facebook.



Did this appear before OR after my recent blogpost? Have I been subliminally inspired, or did I read this somewhere, and it stuck in the back of my mind until it became a 100 Word Post? Or is that the same thing as being subliminally inspired?
Either way....now I want to take down my post.
And I probably will, just because of this "Copycat-ness."
I don't like my words on a bumper sticker. And I didn't create this one, so, obviously, they aren't my words. So who "copied?" Me or them?
Yep. I'm taking it down. Sorry guys, if you commented on it, but I just can't stand it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

So Many Flakes Out There

I've never understood those people who get out in the snow. They buy snowboards and sleds and go outside  to play around in the cold wet blanket of misery. They roll around in it, cruise through it, pick it up and throw it at one another. They build things with it, like igloos and snowmen and icy fortresses. They spend their day calling their friends and making plans to go snow-sliding together. They can be seen in huddled masses at the park, slinging each other across the down-slopes.Then they return to their houses with their noses half-frozen and their clothes all wet. They are home just long enough to warm their coats in the clothes dryer and change their socks, and then they are gone again.

What's really befuddling is that they seem so happy about it. The Freaks.

I'm the one cuddled up in a blanket with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. I like the way the snow looks as it's falling against my window. I enjoy the peaceful quiet of the neighborhood before the children wake up and discover what Mother Nature has bestowed upon us. I like that my car is parked safely in the garage and I have no need for the ice scraper in the trunk.

But you know what? My grandson, Lyric is coming over today to spend the day with me. He is nineteen months old, and he has never built a snowman.

I just might have to be the one to show him how.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fiction: Burning Fences

     “What’s that noise?” my fifteen year old son asks as he rushes through the kitchen door. He startles me so badly I spill coffee on my shirt and curse the stain. He is not usually up at this hour.

     “It’s the damn trash truck!” I snap at him while wiping my shirt with a paper towel. “Chill out, Keefer. You are too tense.”

     He boldly crosses the kitchen to the back door and swings it open to reveal the city truck moving down the alley toward the next dumpster. We can only see the top portion of the truck. The bottom is hidden by the wooden privacy fence that lines our new rental property. The trash truck has been picking up the trash at five-thirty every morning since we moved in a week ago; I no longer need an alarm clock.

     “It looks like an elephant,” he muses. I peer out the door to see what he sees. It does not look like an elephant to me. It just looks like an old, dirty truck.  The only thing it has in common with an elephant is its size and its dull, gray color.

     “It makes a helluva lot more noise than an elephant,” I told him as I turned back into the kitchen. From the corner of my eye, I see him lingering and staring into the backyard. He lifts his hand and halfway waves at something I don’t see. I adjust my position, but my new line of sight reveals nothing. He gently closes the door and turns into the house.

     “Why don’t you go back to bed?” I suggest. “You’re not supposed to be up for another hour.” Secretly, I just want some alone time. My child doesn’t realize that my morning coffee hour is also my meditation hour. I sort out my thoughts and plan my day and daydream at this time. It is supposed to be a relaxing time.

     He is interrupting. I am not relaxed.

   “I’m getting in the shower,” he tells me. Good enough, I suppose. At least I’ll have a few minutes to myself. I move to the window and push the curtain aside. There is still nothing of interest out there. The dog has come around and started barking viciously along the fence line. She’s not a very bright dog. She should have been barking at the elephant, but it seems she is focused on an unseen cat on the other side. The hair along her spine has risen up, making her look like a deformed, cream-colored skunk.  Goodness, I think to myself, elephants, dogs, cats, skunks. We’ve got quite a zoo at our new place.

     We also have ghosts. Not real ghosts, but imaginary ones all along the wooden fence. The knots in the wood, in combination with the dark rusted screws used to secure the pickets, form odd faces with a multitude of expressions. Some of the faces seem to be laughing; some of the faces seem concerned, and some seem to be downright angry. The rain-washed rust creates an eerie, ethereal effect that reminds me of Alice Cooper. Keefer has told me that it is not several ghosts in the fence, but one ghost that hops from picket to picket, watching our progress through life. He says at night when the wind blows, he can hear the ghost whistle.

     
     Now here’s the thing. Keefer’s dad Earl is schizophrenic. He’s not the kind of schizophrenic who wanders the streets in his unwashed clothes claiming to be the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln while opening people’s gates and allowing their pets to “Live Free!” Nope. Keefer’s dad is the kind of schizophrenic that hears voices that tell him The Witch (me) has been poisoning his morning brew (his coffee, not actual witch’s brew) and needs to be punished. To punish me, he’ll murder our child and burn the house to the ground, because these are the things I care about the most in life. (I know, it sounds crazy, but the man does suffer from schizophrenia, after all.)

     When Keefer was seven, we managed to escape the hell we were living in with Mr. Schizo, and have been hopping from house to house, state to state, ever since, just a half a step away from a man who has made it his mission in life to rid the world of The Witch and The Witch’s Spawn. It has been a horrible existence. Every once in a while, he’ll catch up to us and remind us why we need to remain so diligent in staying away from him. I don’t recommend this lifestyle to anyone.

     About five years ago, we heard that Earl had been sent to prison for whatever reason. The source was reliable, so we relaxed our lifestyle a little bit. We managed to go to a few movies without looking over our shoulders every five minutes wondering why that man two rows back seemed so intent on staring at us. We started going to free concerts in the park without having to stay within sight of one another. I allowed Keefer to have sleepovers with his friends. We felt free. It was a very nice five years. It was the closest to happy that we have ever been.

     A month ago, all hell broke loose once again. We awoke at five in the morning to the squeal of the smoke alarm. Keefer had been so scared. I’ll never forget the twisted expression of fear I saw on his face when I found him in the hallway face to face with his father. Keefer held his Louisville Slugger in swing position and Earl held a bright red two gallon gasoline jug. I don’t recall exactly what happened next. I have a vague memory of standing over Earl with my two-foot pewter statue of a gargoyle lying on the floor by his head, which was surrounded by a nice, thick pool of blood. Keefer pulled me out of the house before it burned.

     Later, at the hospital, we stood over Earl’s deathbed and listened to him promise that he would find a way to get back at us. He hissed it over a swollen tongue and then gurgled an inaudible threat through a throat full of blood with his last breath.

     I was emotionless and numb. I was only there to make sure the asshole was dead. Call me cold-hearted if you like. I am what I am because of this man.


     When Keefer emerges from the shower, I am still standing at the window, staring into nothing. I think about my son, and the fact that that schizophrenia is often hereditary. I have watched him every day waiting for a sign that he is anything like his father. Of course, he is not. Not right now anyway, but the first symptoms of schizophrenia do not usually present until the early twenties. So I watch, and I wait.

     “Did you put something in this?” Keefer asks. He is studying his coffee mug with a confused expression. Just for a second, I see his father’s face asking me if I’ve poisoned his coffee. Just a flash, mind you, just a memory. It freaks me out anyway.

     “Cinnamon,” I tell him. “I saw it on The Food Channel.”

     He nods with approval and sips at it. We go about our business getting ready for the day. As we leave the house, Keefer chuckles under his breath.

     “What’s got you?” I ask.

     He jerks his head toward the gate and says, “The ghost in the fence is laughing at you.”

     I think this is funny. He’s such a bright boy and he has such an active imagination. “Why? Am I trailing toilet paper or something?” I turn to the picket he’s pointed out and see the creepy face of the fence ghost grinning at me. There’s something about the grin that seems evil to me. I shudder and turn away.

     The wind kicks up, pushes through our yard and whistles against the fence, and for the first time, I hear the voice of the ghost that Keefer has heard late at night. Only, it’s not a whistle. It’s a moan, and it’s a whisper, and in that whisper I can hear the death-filled hiss of his father’s voice, “I told you I would find a way, you witch.”

     Keefer chuckles again. Suddenly, he doesn’t seem so innocent and imaginative. Suddenly, his chuckle seems low and ominous, and he seems so much like his father…

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Moochers

Our mixed breed, roadside rescue, spoiled rotten dog recently decided to go whoring around the neighborhood as if she were the hottest dog in the canine kingdom. That night out on the town resulted in the arrival of five furry little poop machines who are now living in the garage and making me feel guilty for not getting their mama spayed all those times I definitely could have but procrastinated just a little too much. Now we suffer.

I had decided not to name them. Giving them names would make it seem as if they were a part of the family, but they're not. Or at least they won't be for long, because I hope to have a long line of animal lovers lined up to take them off my hands as soon as the little monsters can choke down solid food.

Nevertheless, I have spent the last twenty minutes hunkered down on the garage floor, calling them by their rightful monikers:  Bitchy, Whiny, Fuckin'Hungry, Stinky and Faceplant.

(Bitchy is my favorite. She's so fluffy and cute and she wuvs her Ness, yes she does.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lover's Revenge

Over these last two weeks my poor body has been bruised and beaten during the move from one house to the other. There are big purple blotches in places I don't remember bumping. It's wonderful that the weather has gotten cool enough to wear long sleeves. Strangers will not be leering at me in the grocery store, wondering what violent man has laid his hands on me.

I was estranged from regular internet access for four entire days. My phone is great, but sitting down with the laptop is really the way to go when I'm trying to read blogs, or write them. Not that I had that kind of free time. Moving is an exhausting experience. If I sat, I slept. The dreams were violent and confusing.

I can feel the daily discipline slipping away from me. I can feel the habit of typing out fifteen hundred words a night fading from my fingertips. This is not the sort of thing I'd like to lose. Writing is too relaxing for me.

Did you know I have only had two migraines this past year? When we moved into this new place, I didn't even bother to hang the black-out curtains in my bedroom. That's how confident I am now, about the migraines, that is. I think it's the writing that's doing it. It's strange, really, to think that something that requires so much cognitive thought and decision making can reduce my stress levels so much.

I'm back online now, and my house is slowly being put back together. I moved from a four-bedroom into a two bedroom with no dining room, so naturally, there were a few things to get rid of. Extra beds, the dining room table, the old toy box my dad built in 1977, the refrigerator. Most of those things are gone, but there are a few still sitting in my garage, waiting for some needy soul to come along and claim them.

Matthew and I are going to be quite comfortable here, though I have found a few freeloaders hanging around, taking up my space rent-free. There's the ghost in the fence. I posted a picture earlier in the week. He jumps from picket to picket, watching my every move. On windy nights, he whistles.

There are the puppies and the mama dog. They've been banned to the garage as well, but it'll be a couple of weeks before we let them go.

There was a nice big wolf spider in my living room a few minutes ago. I smashed it. It's juicy corpse still lies there, awaiting Matthew's return, because even dead spiders scare the shit out of me. Even more frightening is the fact that wolf spiders usually skulk about in pairs. My mother told me once that they mate for life, like penguins. That first one was about the size of my palm. Every time I see something move out of the corner of my eye, I seize up, certain that the forlorn lover of my eight-legged friend has come to exact revenge for his death.

 I've got a "smashing" book right at my fingertips. I eagerly await the battle.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Watcher

I wish I had more time and regular internet access to tell you about this guy.

He's been living in my new fence at my new house rent free. And even though I've tapped this post out on me phone THREE TIMES, my Blogger app doesn't want to publish the entire thing. So I'll be back on Wednesday when my internet is up and running at my new house.