Category Archives: Writing

Bag of Cats: Day 1

By nature, and happily so, I tend to run with a regular stress level of about 3 (10 being batshit). I’m in constant fear of loosing my job – of being found out I’m a hack. It is this that I believe has gotten me so far in my career. It motivates me to try harder, do better, do more.

New to me, but similar, I now live in constant fear of failing as a parent. Not enough veggies in his tummy, not enough one-on-one play time, not reading enough books, not doing flashcards. But I hold on to that because I feel that as long as that fear of failure is strong in me my chances of actually ‘failing’ diminish.

After living my own life for 37 years – doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted and with whomever I wanted, I’d lived a pretty satisfying life. I was completely ready to hand everything over to my newborn son and live to serve him. And that’s what I did for his first year of life. I eschewed socializing. I went to work, I picked up my son from daycare, we came home, we ate, we played, we went to bed. For his first year of life, plus a few months.

After that first year I found my self in a situation were all of my happiness was coming from my son. All of my affirmations were coming from my son. If I was sad, I wanted my son. If I was lonely, I wanted my son. If I want to have a fun day, I wanted my son. It quickly occurred to me that this was not the start of a healthy relationship and perhaps, I was ready to start dating.

So I started an online dating adventure with the intention of finding a nice man with whom I could share burgers on Thursday nights, maybe catch a movie here and there, maybe put away a few beers at a bar, maybe do naughty things on summer evenings. Nothing too serious, just ADULT stuff somewhat indicative of me living an ADULT life. Surely there had to be a fella out there interested in the same. However, within a couple days of joining the site, I got lucky (?) and I met a very nice fella whom I’m still dating, three months later. He lives an hour away from me in Kent (near our cousins) so we really only get to see each other on the weekends. And only then after an hour drive, traffic/weather permitting, each way. It’s a bit frustrating because we spend good quality time, yet we’re still not really getting to know the ugly things about each other and it leaves way too many shadows of doubt exposed in my insecure girl brain.

Also recently, my son is growing in to such a wonderful, exciting adventure of a boy. He’s a chatterbox. He’s a reader. He loves his cars and trucks. He’s learning to poop on the potty. He sings songs to the trees. He has also started thrashing and flailing and screaming to express disagreement. He has learned some sort of pterodactyl mating call which he uses to express displeasure. He will sometimes squawk and squawk until I pick him up only for him to fuss and wriggle out of my arms. Rinse. Repeat. As he becomes more toddler, these demonstrations become more intense.

And then there’s my job. My beloved job where I work for a fantastic company trying to change the world. Brilliant coworkers constantly inspiring me to be better, projects for honing my skills and providing opportunity to grow. What a great gig. Only I picked up a project that I’m really not excelling with. All the chaos in my brain currently seems to be stiffing my creativity. The pressure of possibly letting down my boss is overwhelming.

I’m going to fail them all

My boyfriend is going to see how batshit insane I am and decide that he has no desire to share his life with a crazymaker

My son is going to become one of those spoiled, whiny, screechy bastards making shrill noises in the store about candy and toys

My boss is going to reach his limit with my suckittude, decide they could bring in a couple interns and a marketing manager to replace me.

Now, normally, I can handle all that shit. It’s not real. It’s all in my head. But for the past month that chaos is controlling me instead of me controlling it. It makes me feel tragically fragile. It makes me feel week. It makes me feel ashamed. If I were to come here and write about how I had developed some sort of blood infection, my mindset would be so different. I’d be eager to learn more about blood infections, their treatments and symptoms. I’d be sharing with everyone what I was learning.

I’m now on two anti-depressants; Ativan and Zoloft. I just started them today. For me, the most troublesome side effects are the fatigue and nausea – those two can make me grouchy. The Ativan might make me angry and bitchy. I simply can’t have that in my life. There’s also a possibility of loss in sex drive from the Zolof. Another deal breaker for me. And that’s not because I like fucking – we all like fucking. There’s a certain peace and calm and love and safety that I get from being with B. If I ever needed to keep a strong bead on that, it’s now.

Starting off the holiday season on two drugs that won’t let me drink. Fucking hell. But I need to get my head back. I need to get off the roller coaster and find a quiet place to listen to what’s going on in my brain. I need a clear desk on which to work. So bear with me, this will only take a little while.

Fluince: The story of Ollie and Jan…and Dowser

We were diving off the Johnson Atoll on the morning 13 January 1956 when, Jan, my navigator, and spotter, picked up something smallish on telemetry. We were scouting for wreckage from The Blast and Jan was sure we’d found something. The murk of the Pacific was exceptionally soupy that day. Even in the VAP suit my skin was itchy. Visibility was three feet at best but Dowser was sniffing our way down. You never know what’s in these waters. The murk is so thick it’s been said the sea has trapped the very souls of those warriors who’ve died in it. Too strong for even heaven. Or hell. My eyes strain against the black and my head starts to pound. Best to just keep my eyes closed and listen, let Dowser drive.

Just about anything going by will set Dowser off. A steady rhythm of “blit…blit…blit…blit…”, then a rush of “BLEE BLEE BLEE BLEE” and then back to the rhythm. “What was that?” Jan’s voice sputters inside the VAP helmet. “Ghosts.” It’s possible. Ghosts go by frequently but Dowser stays on course. We’re not looking for ghosts, we’re looking for stash and nothing can sniff out stash better than a Wreckage Dowser 928/10, Class II. One part kennel reject, two parts swedish engineering and about fifty million parts Czech gadgetry. We keep diving and the itch from the Blasted water is almost unbearable. Dowser’s getting excited and starts barking as we approach the stash. “Send down the basket?” Jan’s voice again. “Not yet. I want to see if there’s anything left down here.” I hate having to wait for the basket to come back up when it’s empty. Seems like a waste of time. I’d rather wait at the bottom, sorting through the stash.

The closer we get to the stash, the faster Dowser swims, like a horse bolting for the barn. It’s a small aircraft.

“Jan. Aircraft: Turboprop, Electra 10E. What’s that from?”
“What’s the wing tell you?”
“Can’t tell yet. It’s buried.”
“Well let’s clean it out. Sending down Zorin.”

Twenty minutes later Dowser announces the arrival of the Zorin. Unsecuring it from the tether cable I set it to work blowing out the black sooty debris from under the left wing. What a mess. The Blast soot is really bad for Dowser so I send him up the tether for a bit. I can hear him complaining through the VAP helmet speakers. “Stay,” I tell him. I think it’s all the behavior mods they require, makes a Dowser antsy. “Good boy.” Within the hour the Zorin has blown out a space big enough for the camera pod to clear the underside of the left wing.

“NR16020” I call up to Jan.
“NR16020.” he repeats it. “NR16020. Shit. NR16020?”
“Yep.”
“Ollie, call your wife and tell her to put your piece of crap condo on the market. We just found Amelia Earhart’s Electra.”

what next

10/04/10

and what do I do with love?
let my heart run amuck?
jump in with eyes closed?
is there even anything to jump in to
and for what?

I’m not to be moved.
but moved by hearts
and minds and sighs
moved to long and pine.

is it enough to love and be loved?

is this ache a profound emptiness
reaching its arms up and out
pull me out of this darkness
is love simply the echo of something i read about in a book?

hazy memories
is love god’s own measure?

i want nothing as much
as solid arms
warm breath, strong heart.
to hear and see joy
at work on the face of a lover
nothing so much as i want all that and still – i’m here
unmoved

and i know me.

capable of such cruelty
able to pull love from stone
Bolster of Hearts
a lifetime of sweet dreams for rent
in exchange for attention and kind words
only to end up with a hatful of loathing
disinterest
bored
it’s been done before.

i know this tune
it’s the measure that throws me
wretched love
my own caution: a swung beat
it starts with a canter
a marcato of courtship spotted with fortissimo
breathless
sotto voce
then i know you
I see the spots
always find new blemishes
the morendo as apathy sets in
the dust settles
and finds us where?
my life surrendered?

do you know how fickle i am?
do you know what it takes to keep me?
more designs than any man has had
as a feather in a windstorm
doomed to an unsettled heart

do i just need the right tune?
is there some piper
to charm me
to soothe the sway
to bring peace and calm?
perhaps something i’ve not yet heard
love so deep
it fills me completely
leaves no room for distraction

i only know how to take
can i be something more?

Roger

There’s a monster in my chest. I’m not talking about some sort of dark urges I need to fight, I mean an actual monster. They took x-rays and ran tests. It’s attached to my heart. It lives in the upper left ventricle, a parasite feeding off my blood and oxygen. It has a face and hands. Its tiny mouth slowly siphons my blood to feed its own existence. Its tiny hands, all four, work my heart to pump the blood faster through my body. The monster sucks the life from me, makes me tired, consumes my joy. The pain from its tiny hands is unbearable. Always pushing on my heart, making it go faster, making it work harder.

I know how it got there. Like a sexually transmitted parasite, you put it there that night we kissed outside the restaurant. The tiny monster cells traveled up from your heart, past your lips and in to me. Such a loving gesture with such sweet intent, and now this monster is sucking my happiness out.

I could have surgery to remove it, they said they could do it. I know if they remove it the damage to my heart would be considerable. It would never beat the same way again but I’d be free from the pain. Free from the tiny hands. Free from the hungry mouth. So I have two options: kill the monster or swallow the pain.

safekeeping

She laid there, calmly despite her nerves, while the men worked, cool earth beneath her, felt the wet grass on her arms. Her eyes slid up and caught the light through the yellow aspen leaves. The breeze played softly in the branches. She could hear the rustle of leaves on the ground around her. Rotting leaves and the smell of fall. She felt a tug at her back and a grunt escaped her lips. “Careful,” one of the men said. “I know,” replied the other, “keep an eye out, okay?” She heard a sparrow but couldn’t pick it out in the tree above her. Grey sky with clouds rolling by like lazy sighs. “Case.” Some shuffling in the leaves and she tried to look down to see what was happening. She caught a glimpse of bloody windbreakers and masks and she got dizzy. This was so surreal. “Open would be nice,” said the man with his hands inside her chest. “Perhaps you should have been more specific,” the other replied with obvious impatience. She looked down again and saw it. The man had it in her hands. Her heart. Drippy and red like a movie prop in the movies, not really doing anything but being a lump of mess. “You said it’d be safe?” she managed to throw together a sentence. “Yeah, yeah. Very safe. We’ll keep it safe from everyone.” In to the case it went, making an unexpected crunch. The ice. “Okay. Close her up.” The crouching man stood up and stepped away, case in hand. The second man knelt beside her on the ground and she rolled her eyes back up to the leaves, back up to the clouds. Safe. She was taking a huge risk with this one, but there were guarantees, reassurances, and what would they do with it anyhow? The sparrows again, the smell of dead leaves on the ground and the delicious breeze blowing across her chest. She wondered what he was doing at this very moment. Was he getting dressed? Was he going to be there when this thing got dropped off? He said he would. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

YouTube – Talk Show Host- Radiohead (Music Video)

YouTube – Talk Show Host- Radiohead (Music Video).

http://www.youtube.com/v/V1HM7t1z9D8

Talk Show Host Treatment

0.00 Open to street view as seen through apartment window
Dark, early morning, people on street below
0.10 =I want to=
0.12 Girl steps in to frame, back to camera
Camera over left shoulder
0.16 =I want to be someone else or I’ll explode=
0.26 Left hand up to window glass, above head
0.27 =Floating upon the surface for the birds=
0.33 Slowly drops to shoulder-height
0.37 =The birds=
0.41 Man steps in to frame – trench coat – looking up
0.43 =The birds=
0.51 Hand moves in, sliding along glass towards mouth
0.52 Man turns away leaving
0.54 =You want me=
0.54 Girl turns back to window looking slightly over right shoulder down at street
0.54 Begin zoom out
1.00 =Fucking well come and find me=
1.01 Sits on sill – hands on sill
[Gun on sill by left hand]
1.04 =I’ll be waiting=
1.10 =With a gun and a pack of sandwiches=
1.11 Right arm cross chest – hand on left shoulder
1.15 =And nothing=
1.17 Face turn to face table – zoom out to see room
[Small 8×10 – kitchen to the right, light pouring out of doorway
-Table with sheet draped over messy
-Chair off to the side
-Mattress in far corner below left of window
-Steam radiator below left side of window frame]
1.21 =Nothing=
1.26 =Nothing=
1.28 Table is in focus
1.30 =cres=
1.30 Begin focus on girl
1.35 Pick up gun in left hand without looking
1.36 Gun in hand firmly
1.37 =Nothing=
1.43 Shift gun in hand
1.47 Walk towards door – camera follows
1.48 =You want me=
1.53 =Well come on and break the door down=
1.55 Hands on door – gun still in left hand
[Many locks on door. Many.]
1.56 Lean body against door – right cheek on door
1.58 =You want me=
2.04 =Fucking come on and break the door down
2.06 Rotate through right shoulder – back against door – head looking right 3/4
2.09 =I’m ready=
2.10 Right hand up to head-level, back of hand against door
2.14 Raise gun in left hand to stomach – aimed up at far wall
2.15 =I’m ready=
2.20 =I’m ready=
2.24 Slide down to floor, knees bent
2.28 =cres=
2.34 Right hand comes across – holding gun in both hands – aimed almost to ceiling
2.35 Head looking right almost over shoulder
2.36 =I’m ready=
2.48 =cres=
2.48 Feet stop and disturb the light under the door
2.58 =I’m ready=
2.58 Head back against door – looking straight ahead (at camera?)
3.10 Pan back to window
3.20 =cres=
3.20 Bright fade cut to girl under table/sheet with light reading a book – back to camera – come in over left shoulder [sandwich on plate on ground]
3.28 Fade jump to zoom in on book – pictures of happy couple in love
3.32 =I’m ready=
3.33 Page turn to photo of him
3.40 Her hand on the page – fingers tracing lines of him in photo
3.42 =cres=
3.48 close book
3.50 Push book away to reveal gun
3.52 Pick up gun
3.53 Cock hammer
3.53 =decres=
3.54 FTB

not bitten

i had to catch him – or was it them? – but i was starting to feel nauseaus. the hallways was very tal and almost too narrow. stairs up to the right. the walls were a deep burgundy color. a huge gold chandelier hung threateningly from somewhere above. there were people ahead of me. upsatirs. in the decrepit bedroom. people i knew. they must have his daughter. the man came running right by me. like he didn’t even see me. frantic. sweaty. his tan suit a mess. glasses foggy with sweat. he had a gun but he was in such a panick ie pratically passed it off to me as he ran by. a revolver. ti was so heavy i thought it’d been made of wrought iron. i turned the spinining part where the bullets go (the chamber?) and it was empty. i shook my head in disbelief at his balls and ran right after him up the stairs, in to the bedroom. a hole in the ceiling roof. you could see the sky through the bits of eaves and rafters. the bed was there and someone had really messed up his daughter. i saw a pale white arm flung over the side of the bed, but that’s all i could see of her. giant oak bed. footboard rotted away in a heap. giant bed with velvet dressing. or what used to be velvet dressing. tiem had not been kind to the entire house. the remenants of some kind of fancy silk ochre-colored wallpaper clung to the walls. moldy. every fiber of the house rotted. i knew the girl was dead. the man was in tears. hunched over her, hysterical and clinging to what was left of her body. a small boy came in the room behind me and looke dup at me. he coldn’t see the man. we were down a small set of stairs that lead in to the room. i reached for him to comfort him, maybe pick him up even, and noticed i had blood all over my hands. my fingers almost dripping in it. i pulled my hand away.
“she’s dead, but you’ve got one more to take care of.” my voice sounded wrong.
the man looked up at me fromt he body of his daughter. he rushed over and grabbed the boy in to his arms into a similar embrace. with a menacing growl at the young boy – an actual growl, mind you -, i turned and left the room. sick. in my stomach and disurbed by what they’d done to his daughter. i was relieved they’d left the small boy alone. i wanted to scare the boy. scare him away from ever falling in with a crowd like this, no matter how cool they seemed or how much fun and adventurous it all looked. scare him so deeply he’d need therapy till he was thirty. i wanted him to think i was evil. wanted him to hate me. i tried to shoot rays of ‘hate’ from my eyes and in to his soul.

the house was so rundown. black like it’d been burned 400 years ago. dark shadows in deep black corners. dust and ash everywhere. mounds of it – maybe that was simply rotted something or other. i vomitted. blood. i vomitted blood all over the front of this fantastic dress. a dress like something kiera knightly would have worn in pirates of the carribean. disgusting. i tried to swallow it back up to save making a mess of things. blood. this was almost too much to bear. i think it came out my nose too. i don’t even remember being bitten.
there was a man there, with a woman, my age – no, older, and three younger – maby in their 20s – girls. and me. and jessica. but jessica had gone upstairs to bed. she needed to find a safe place but if dad found out, he’d be mad.
“Jessie! come downstairs.”
“she’s just gone to bed! it’s way too late for you guys to be up!” dad was pissed
“jessie!”
i heard her tromping down the stairs. she knew. maybe better than i did actually. it was like she’d already come to terms with things. resigned herself to it. maybe she was even excited.
“you won’t be safe up there. they’ve got a good spot for us. no one will find us.”

i don’t remember the bite. you know that metalic taste you get just before you throw up? it was almost too much to bear. dizziness too. my head throbbing and i could see the blood vessels in my eyeballs with each heart beat.
“you’ll need to eat soon.” one of the girls said to me. almost mockingly. then the other two girls laughed.
eat? i didn’t want to eat. i was sick to my stomach. who could think of eating at a time like this? eat. eat what? there was a rusty and spent i.v. rig in the corner. she saw me looking at it.
“can’t stay jacked in to one of those for the rest of your life, you know.” again the tone. the “ha ha, you’re fucked for life” tone. i hated those three girls. how’d i get lumped in with them? i was nothing like them.

the morning was coming. it was light, but not like sunrise. just before. kinda grey and misty. like in a romance movie set in scotland where the lovers sneak out for an embrace. the girls sat around a table and laughed together. i was worried for them as dawn came, but then they were the ones that had messed up the man’s daughter so badly. i hated them i think. but i’d only just met them. that night, i think. they talked excitedly, the man lead us to the fireplace. i noted that he looked a great deal like liam niesson. uncanny.
“the fireplace?” i thought to myself. “isn’t that a bit obvious?”
but we moved to the corner to the left. behind the armchair with the ass rotted out. the man actually dove trhough the rotted out ass of the cair. i followed down a tunnel just big enough to crawl through. that crawl that soldiers do. i passed an old nancy drew mystery book. something about a lighthouse. there was an illustration of a butterfly on the cover. some reader must have drawn it. at some point i reached a small laying down space. the man was wedged up against the far left wall and the woman was lying close to him. i tried not to snuggle up against them and wondered if i would turn out to be claustrophobic. i heard the girls upstairs begin to scream in agony as the sunrays hit them. nobody’d tried to save them or warn them. didn’t they know? i knew. and i knew they’d die. i was relieved. there would be more room in here of jessica and me. i panicked briefly in fear that jessica had not made it through the tunnel, but then i heard her shuffling behind me. did she notice the book? should i have grabbed the book? i mean, do you jsut fall right to sleep or is it like normal where having a book helps pass the time and lower your eyelids? it was bright. i was afraid the sun would get us too. but the light was artifical. the small space almost too snug. i felt jessica come through the tunnel and find a spot down by my feet. her feet overlapping mine a bit. such relief. we must’ve been under a couch, the four of us. the walls of the crawl space were lined with a white sheet and there were couch cushions above us. i peeked around the corner a bit and saw a couch back. the man adivsed i get in a position that wouldn’t lend itself to snoring. something landed on the couch seat. i flinched. it walked towards where our heads were and stopped. as i drifted off i remembered a girl tellig me sometimes a stray cat came in and slept with them. a grey one. i should have grabbed that book.

night swim

close your eyes
bolt the doors
turn your back
there’s nothing more

deep black water
sweeps you down
not tread or swim
so good to drown

it creeps and it steals
you don’t know its there
growing gets so real
they cant help but stare

look all you want
but you cant see the end
stare deep in to it
but there is no end

it looks back at you
but it just cant see
maybe you should reach out
maybe try to get free

got a plan for tonight
gonna set things straight
these things have come to light
you can feel their weight

that cool dark water
has a locked embrace
cant see the surface anymore
splashing over your face

just let the ebb flow
let it wash you out to sea
in a watery home
you can turn it free

let it rush and surge
let it turn you over
it tells you all you need
and you want to listen

reach down to pulling up
warm hands firm and strong
shine a light in
cast a line out
been drifting far too long

knife fight

how can a knife that isn’t there
cut so deep and sting so bad

i’d hardly call that a knife.
then what just gutted me?
how are my insides outside?
how is it that my heart hangs free

impervious to knives, any blade
i know most people get cut by them
not me, i can take it, come on fella
show me what you’ve got in there

strapped fast to the mark
so i encourage you to throw
but the knives aren’t even there
Never were any knives, just the mark
and the mark came with me

so now cut and bleeding
wondering why i strapped me in
should have checked for knives
should have measured your aim

this wound’s not fatal, i’ll be fine
just now i know you can’t throw knives
and expect me to live