Friday, July 04, 2014

The Real Thing

So, I am going back and reading the past and there is one thing that is glaringly evident to me; and that is the fact that I just had no idea. I had no clue what was waiting for me. I mean, a lot happened. I got distracted with work and cultivating myself as a stylist and digging in to the real world, not the online one. I wasn't busy indulging my feelings or being angsty. For a few years, I just was. Then, like a nightmare hand in the middle of the night I got slapped with something real. I mean, a really real moment.
I was in my shop alone one night and I was folding the towels. I don't know exactly why I felt the need to fold the towels when I had just finished a long day, usually I would have just saved them for the morning. But I called D and told him that I was just going to finish up and then I would be on my way. Before we hung up he said she had some soup waiting for dinner and that he'd see me in a few.  I leaned down and grabbed a towel and suddenly, my heart started to race. This wasn't just a nervous little pitter-patter. This wasn't a quick jump. I looked down and my first thought was "No, you are not imagining this, because you can see it". I could see my heart pounding under my sweater. My second thought was "You are going to pass out". I wasn't even sure that anyone was left in the building but I knew if I passed out in my shop I would not be found. At that point, I wasn't sure what was happening. I thought I was having a heart attack, but the thought seemed so bizarre and impossible. I walked around the corner and found the only person left in the building. I asked her if she could come out and feel my heart. She said she didn't need to feel it, she could see it. She did place her hand over my chest and shook her head and said "uh-uh." She sat me down on a bench and we called D. She told him she was going to call an ambulance. We hung up with him and she called 911 as I started to panic, but in the calmest way possible. It started to sink in that something was wrong. Really wrong. My thoughts transitioned to my kids, and she grabbed my hand and began to pray as we waited for the ambulance. I kept thinking, "I have kids, this can't happen. I HAVE KIDS!' as if people who have kids are somehow impervious to medical issues. It felt like an eternity waiting for them to arrive and she sat with my hand in hers as she prayed, which really freaked me out. I felt like she was sure I was going to die.
When they arrived, my heart rate was somewhere near 185 bpm. A normal heart rate is anywhere from 80-100 bpm. You can, of course, increase your heart rate by exercising, but it creeps up as you exert yourself. This was like literally going from 0-60. I was loaded onto a gurney and wobbled to and fro like a Christmas ham being wheeled to the table. The medic lifted my shirt and attached the leads, leaned down and said "I honestly don't think you're having a heart attack". I wasn't sure if that was supposed to make me feel better but as the receipt tape of my heart's electricity spewed out he traced one hump and said, "See here is some evidence of maybe a past injury or a mild heart attack".
I was supposed to go home and have a bowl of soup.

Sunday, February 02, 2014


Even though looking out of that tiny window made me feel like I was staring into the bright white light of death, I did it anyway. I looked down and we were somewhere over Michigan, the landscape below like an icy puddle a joyous child had stomped on, shards strewn about and the sun mirroring off of them. I likened it to looking down onto the bleach white eggshell of my broken skull, it's sharp, delicate little bowls catching the snow and exposing the snaking arteries of my brain underneath. I imagined that if you broke my skull like an egg that way, that a bright light would emit to blind all the people who saw; my thoughts like the sun three- thousand feet above earth.  I had a lot of time to think about things in the sky, the way a bird might, but with less clarity and focus. Below, my people were pin dots, indistinguishable specks moving about without the weight of me crushing them.
There, I had no idea of the comings and goings, or whether or not I was doing something right or wrong, I was just hovering in mid-air, above space and an imperceptible time muffled by the serious drone of cabin pressure and monotonous conversation; business- types and business- typing.
When you leave it's as if time stops, and then moves forward when you resume your duties. No one in the forest sees this, you are a part of the inner workings of the universe, a cog in the wheel of life. You think you can get by unnoticed until your heart screams otherwise, and there you are at work with it thumping out of your chest, ready to throw it up. And then, then you are being whisked away in an ambulance feeling like a carcass on the end of a tether ball, flinging around yourself and wondering if you're at death's door. Who is going to take care of your kids?  Will your spouse remarry? Will they be happier than they were with you? Who will buy the croissants that your 8 year old seems to live on? Then, you are told you will not die, but the long and short of it is that you will go on to have a monitor hooked to you and while you shop with your mother you will be brought to your knees in the store by a heart trying to escape. This will then lead to you having your heart burned while you're awake and you'll feel like you are dying all over again, only, you don't. You dutifully take your medicine twice a day and act 90 years old at 3:00 every day on the dot, the very pin dot of that time your eyelashes will snap shut like Venus flytraps and your muscles lax, hands like blooms that go to sleep at night. The heart, it calms, a mercy on the body and a night terror for the soul.
I used to look up and wonder what connected me. Was it the stars in all of their electrical abundance, little grids in the sky? Then, looking down I wondered if it was the grid there, laid out by some city planner, a pathway, a maze to something I didn't understand yet. It's unfathomable that a muscle beating red and hot under my ribs is what's keeping me connected.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Let me Serenade the Streets of LA

So, I am in California. I am visiting my sister and technically, I was only able to serenade the streets of LA via a layover for about an hour, in the filthiest of airports I have ever seen in the recent memory of my life. I almost got into a fistfight over line jumping in the bathroom there, and a creepy grunge covered every seat I saw, which was a little disconcerting. There was, however, kale and lentil salads in this airport so I felt somewhat conflicted about my feelings. It wasn't quite a love- hate relationship, because it was mostly 20/80 and I think that qualifies as something like HAVE or LOATE which incidentally seems strikingly similar to the word loathe , but regardless, I made it out alive.
She lives in a tiny town close to Sonoma and yesterday I went to a winery, where I had a lot of fun, but it was obvious I don't really belong in a winery. I mean, I don't really know about the swirl, or how to hold the stemware, or what I am looking for in the topnote or the bottom note, and God knows I would never waste a drink of wine by spitting it in a bucket for shit's sake expectorating.
But there was a guy, a guy in a dick jacket who did just that and I wanted to slap him because his swirl was perfect like a red tornado and mine was a sloshing thing coming up the edges and threatening the white tablecloth underneath us. He knew all about this and I about died when the tour guide instructed us to dump the wine in the drain to get more wine and to me, to me you see, this is wasteful behavior. This isn't a sippy cup you just drop on the floor and let leak all over, this is the stuff grapes are made of and they basically rot in the sun to make you happy and drunk and now you're telling me it should go in a drain? Well these were just some of the reasons I don't belong in a winery, but there I was breaking all the rules, trying to guzzle my white whatever-it-was before it was my turn to somberly walk to the drain grate and dump the object of my affections like so much piss in a glass. Wrong. It's wrong Dick Jacket!
So, despite not being well-versed in this realm, I had so much fun wandering the grounds and looking at artwork with my beautiful sister and mother and my sister's friend. We laughed and were silly and I ate my marcona almonds and Gruyere like I was sitting at the Sonic drive-though, unapologetically and frankly like, you know, a hungry person who eats. My sister's first clue that it was going to be an adventure may have been when I was sitting in the back seat and suddenly exclaimed "How little the little wine trees are!". Um, yeah. I mean, of course they don't grow on trees. That's money. Duh.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mother, A

The fragility of life has always remained a mystery to me. I used to wander around the Science and Industry with my nose pressed against the glass cases full of butterfly specimen. Their edges were torn like paper out of a notebook, worn and withered, their stems pierced through with a sharp needle. There they were, hovering in time, never like they were intended; but preserved. Who cared that they never saw the light of day again? Like dirt they were, covering over and over all the dead things that preceded them. I learned then, from their bursts of color and and enormous size that nothing is immune from being held down. There is always a more powerful force.
I look at my children and all I ever want to do is protect them, yet they are as foreign to me as those very butterflies. I saw them through their incubation, kept them in their cocoon, but I can't clip their wings and pin them down. I miss the days I could leave them on the floor and they would lay there gurgling and smiling. Now they are moving, experiencing the very world in which I cannot bear to face. Some sort of sadness has set in that they do not belong to me, but that I was only the vehicle in which they arrived. I am a fogotton shell, left on a tree to be remembered and perhaps revered; but never revisited.
I miss the adoration. Selfish, I know. I miss the way in which they would reach up and glide soft, tiny fingers through my hair. They never pulled like babies do; like they were looking at God and knew it. I know I am no God. I am no perfect mother. But their eyes are like mirrors of my faith that some part of me will continue and be more perfect than I could ever aspire.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I am waiting for the filth of winter to wear away. It's been long in the teeth, scraping it's chalk all over the ground and making everything dead. This winter marked the death of my grandfather and he left my grandmother there like a stark tree weeping with no leaves for cover. No warmth. I suspect that the kind of comfort I want to give is really impossible. I want to give her the comfort of an all-knowing being. I want to bring him back. I want to erase the witness of her sorrow, because frankly it's the most disheartening thing I have ever seen in my life. She was the brightest light. Even now, there is a peek here and there of the person I knew, but it's changed her. You can tell she just wants to be with him, that it's all she can think of. I suppose one day I will write more about this experience, but I feel sore and raw and generally sad about it right now.
Life is cruel, isn't it? I have vowed to be more awake. I want to feel all the things, all the discomfort, all of the sadness, anger. It is the other side I have been turning my back on, and not in favor of directing myself towards the light, rather, a worse place than the dark, even. A slow- burning numbness, a disconnect, and utter disregard for my creativity. For years, literally. Ignoring how I've felt, pushing through, trudging past. This Christmas was a weary puppeted thing. The New Year was worse. I really have a problem with the resolutions and the feeling of a clean slate. Nothing is clean in the winter. The leaves tie themselves up in the grey sludge along the curb, the salt cakes the cars as they hiss out exhaust. I want warmth here now, not the silent cold pavement and the tires rolling over it with everything underfoot dead.

Friday, January 10, 2014


I see you
like the ocean's in and out
playing with me like the shadows behind the moon
I turn and you are gone
One word, two
enough to let me hear you
and nothing, nothing
bears down and grabs wet sand with the fists of it's feet
squeezing with rage
all of the things nothing can change.
Then later,
the cold wind snapping with each breath in
there you are,
there you are again
you silly, melancholy thing
you take vacations
like a human being
then show up on the doorstep in the prize box
you got me again you sly fox

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Long Time No Write

Look at this black, black page just screaming for words. Dark and blank like the night in its unassuming, terrifying glory. Like a black hole, the dark death of all the words I used to say. This blog used to be my comfort, in times of desperation, boredom, a need for validation. I left it. I abandoned what I loved for reasons I can't even explain. I am shouting out into the black hole and waiting to hear an echo back. Does my voice sound the same or does it carry back someone else?
Maybe I've been on an expedition. A gathering, if you will. I've been collecting all of the words and stuffing them in for years and holding tight with a fierce grip. Picking them up and filtering them through my fingers like a child plays with sand. I let them toy with my heart. I took long drives and opened the windows of my car and let the poetry slip out unheard, like souls escaping, like helium balloons up to the stars. I can't remember them, I can't recall, I can't duplicate what I've lost; but I have to stop collecting and start sharing.