Conversational Piece

You sit there across from me,
Your eyes speak hunger, loneliness, anger.
We pretend to talk about the weather
Or something equally inane and unchanging.
It’s been a good day, perhaps,
Or else it’s been a bad one.
They’ll all be mediocre in hindsight.
There’s chatter of lost lives, suspended,
Like wash on the line waiting to be remembered,
Brought in, put away neatly.
I wonder. Maybe you’ve never done your own laundry.
We sit around coffee tables,
Recanting stories to any willing ears,
And we take turns listening —
To ignore what we’re missing,
That which we see behind our eyelids
And all the vaporous smiles.
I nod, mutter something soothing.
It’s all complacency.
I know what you want because my eyes look like yours.
We’re filling silence with words forgotten
The moment they cross our lips,
So we don’t smother each other with these shared
Unspoken desires that threaten to suffocate us like shadows
Or murder us in our sleep for our negligence.
Perhaps we should stop talking.

Glimpse

You’ve heard of Schrödinger’s Cat.
Both dead and alive at the same time.
I believe we’re each like that kitty.
At least, I can see it in my heart.
Every fork in the road leading to
A different life, a different world,
Lifetimes playing out before me
In an instant, whenever I close my eyes.
One, where my mother kept me.
In that, I am small, trapped, destroyed,
While she still ends up dead drunk
On the floor, only I had found her instead.
Another, my youthful innocence
Remains intact, pure, unbridled.
I can’t see that world so clearly.
The lights are too bright, colors too saturated,
Shifting everything a little out of focus.
Over there, I never make it to the stairwell
And things play out with new characters.
But here, I got on the plane, and I see
Laughter, veils, fights, passion, tiny feet,
And improvisation. Apartments, jobs, travel,
Bourbon on the floor, temper tantrums,
And something that looks like love.
Then I open my eyes, as always happens,
And all of the elements remain the same
But our roles are so different and identical.
Eyes open or closed, the cat is dead and alive.
I just wonder if you see it all too.

Look

She has that faraway look again
The one I can’t break through
Where I don’t recognize her completely
She’s staring at something I cannot see
From long ago, perhaps
Digging into those locked boxes of bad memories
Or maybe the chest full of good ones
That still hurt just as much
Maybe she’s revisiting old ghosts
There are so many that haunt her now
Yet even more can grasp her if she loses focus
And they all tear her to pieces
Some with malice, some joy, some loss
And some are sheer possession
Some of them aren’t even real.

Rebuttal, of sorts

There have been a lot sentiments that baffle me beyond belief, and I’m confounded further by those who own the sentiments. Like those saying about the most recent school shooting:

  1. This would’ve been prevented if people noticed the warning signs sooner & reported them.
    Saying that if people had only reported this guy would have saved the children from being murdered only spreads survivor’s guilt. There’s enough of that to go around already. Also, there aren’t enough resources or recourse for those who do need help, and would benefit by it.
  2. This is the reason we need to arm all teachers & school staff.
    How can we arm all the teachers & school staff if we aren’t even willing to standardize their working conditions, or pay them a living wage? Are we to expect our teachers to be more like first responders now too?
  3. If only we’d do away with all gun restrictions.
    Yes, doing away with all gun restrictions is clearly the solution. Make them even easier to get than mental health care. That’s fucking logical. Your right to bear arms isn’t worth the price of the lives of these children, is it? What a price to pay. Let’s start throwing virgins into volcanoes again, while we’re at it.
  4. This is why public schools aren’t to be trusted. 
    It’s the fault of public schools? Adam Lanza was homeschooled. Education and indoctrination in all matters starts first with the parents. What was Nancy Lanza teaching him? Should she be held accountable for brainwashing him? Does this idea piss off you other homeschoolers? Good.
  5. The media made him do it.
    And the Twinkies. Don’t forget the Twinkies.
  6. The shooter needed more drugs, or less. 
    Let’s not forget that it’s easier to get guns than it is to get mental health care.
  7. This is what happens when you remove god/church/etc. from school/government/whatever.
    Right. Because invoking your god in school would have made those children bulletproof. The separation of church and state must stand.
  8. God made this happen as punishment for legalizing gay marriage.
    If this is the same god that you want to idolize in schools, no thanks. I don’t want my children exposed to such a hateful deity, or its faithful. Keep your stupid to yourself.
  9. It’s Obama’s fault.
    The radical right doesn’t know how, yet, but it must be Obama’s fault, right? Puh-lease.
  10. Any combination of the above, or whatever else I’ve heard and blocked out.
    I’ve heard a lot of bullshit. I just want to focus less on his motivations than on celebrating the lost children. If we can celebrate their short lives and be a comfort to their families, that will be a good start. Preventing this kind of massacre from happening again is necessary, but I don’t have enough faith in our national conscience to accomplish something so grand.

    I want my children to grow up safely, attend school safely, learn, laugh, and love safely.

Purging

So I kind of fucked off after the whole days of gratitude thing last month. Life happened, gratefulness was present, Thanksgiving dinner came and went, pumpkin pie was had. We were in a deep freeze for a while, hitting -40F for a little while, and we had an occurrence with our sewer line. It froze; we got a company to come out & thaw the lines. Then snow dumped down on us, leaving over a foot of snow in just about a day. School was canceled Thursday, a snow day. It looked so beautiful outside.

Yesterday, my shoulder blades caught on fire, my back spasmed, my legs went all pins-and-needles. It continued through today. Lots of pain, but pretty typical of how my days go lately.

I contacted some old friends. Some are having a bad time. Some are great. I miss them all, and keep thinking about our times together.

Then this asshole shot up a school today. Murdered 20 children. Children. I have no words for what I feel about that.

We tried to have a coworker/spouse Christmas dinner party tonight. Me, John, three of his coworkers and their wives, we went to The Finish Line, a bar/restaurant inside of Alpine Lodge near the airport in Fairbanks. Quaint little place. One of the wives got a shard of glass in her eye. ER doctor couldn’t find it tonight. Another doctor will be seeing her tomorrow. Hopefully she’ll be seeing too. Ridiculously unsafe situation at The Finish Line. I may have sent information to OSHA and the local food establishment health safety guys. I want my new friend to keep her eye, minus the glass.

We ate with one of the couples at Gallo’s instead. Enjoyably diverting company, pleasant meal, kids behaved well for our sitter/adopted stepdaughter. I don’t venture out often — too much pain, illness, etc. — but was out a good long while tonight. Aside from the massive ocular injury, it was a fairly nice evening.

I’m home now, and I can’t stop looking at coverage from today’s massacre. Between that and flashing back to fond memories of old friends, it’s all mashing up inside my brain, and I’ve got this mixed up, visceral, nauseated ache inside me. For once, I don’t know what to do besides vomit words onto a blank page. I’m purging right now since I’m pretty sure I’ve had every emotion today. My amygdala feels like an overclocked processor.

So, yeah.

Four More Years

I am proud that we have re-elected Barack Obama for four more years.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Will the REAL…

Will the REAL Hippie Diva please stand up? I WILL.

Evidently, there is (still) some debate as to whether I am the REAL Hippie Diva. I assure you, I am.

If there are any washed out has-beens out there who would like to say otherwise, step out from the shadow of “anonymity.”  Have the balls to speak for yourself, or shut the fuck up.

Hilarious.  The rest of you, as you were.

Sushi Circuit Round 1

My friend T and I have decided to make the rounds of the sushi joints in Fairbanks. I figured I’d make note of our dinners here, should I forget details later, as I’m quite prone to do.

We started tonight with Ajimi, an unassuming little place on 3rd. Not much to it from the outside, but well lit and full of ambience inside. I mentioned that they must use Time Lord technology. I suspect she thinks I’m even more of a dweeb after that comment.

We were seated right away, and just as quickly as we’d gotten off our coats we had miso, eggs, and potatoes. The miso was alright, the eggs were fun, but the potatoes were odd and covered in honey. Not for me.

The menu was massive. There were too many choices and I was tempted to get one of everything. T ordered us the Tom & Jerry appetizer — a spicy salmon paste with avocado and masago on a deep fried sushi rice patty, drizzled with a lovely thickened soy-based sauce. She got a Boss roll, and I got a spicy Alaskan King roll. We were quite indelicate in eating them just for their sheer diameter, and I found myself relieved that I’d gotten just the one roll since it was massive. Eating it may have been a tad problematic but so worth the fumbling. Tasty food, prompt, courteous service, reasonable prices … I will definitely be back!

We finished our evening at Airport Way Family Restaurant, with too much bad coffee, too much nicotine, too warm a room, but lots of laughter.

I can’t wait for Sushi Circuit Round 2! I’ll have to do better at taking pictures. Being around T is such great fun. You should be jealous. 😛

There’s the door…

I am a thirty-something woman.  I am a queer woman of color, married to a caucasian man.  I am mother to three beautiful, intelligent, precious, mixed race children.  I am a liberal.  Not long ago in our country’s history, my marriage would have been illegal, my children illegitimate, my voice meaningless and unwelcome.  I wonder sometimes if things truly are so different today.

I have a voice.  I have the right to vote.  I exercise that right every election I am privy to because our political/governmental system is flawed, yet is the only one in place, so I use it.  Governmental regulations of a person’s rights have a direct impact on the quality of life said person/groups of persons can achieve.  Electing people to office who want to limit or deny a person’s rights is tantamount to saying that said persons are lesser individuals.

Come tell me personally that I shouldn’t be allowed to speak my mind.  Come tell me that I’m not as important of a person as you.  Come tell me that a corporation has more rights to personhood than I do.  Stand here, face to face with me, and tell me that you want to officially strip me of my potential, that you want to limit opportunities for my children, or that you want to legalize and standardize your hatred and bigotry.

I am not a second-class citizen because of my race, gender/gender identification, sexual orientation, creed, weight, height, taste in music, or sense of humor.  Except, socially speaking, I kind of am.  I’ve been marginalized and/or stigmatized all my life — because of my gender, my heritage, my childhood neighborhood, my intelligence level, my weight, my appearance, my religion, my lack thereof, my sexual orientation/experiences/history, my right to say no, my right to choose, my belief in evolution, my battles with depression and anxiety, my battles with addiction and alcoholism, my ever-ailing health.

So far, I’ve survived everything people have thrown at me and, more amazingly, everything I’ve done to my own damn self.  I’m still standing (with a cane, but still fucking standing).  I am just as much a person as you are.

If you don’t think so, we can stop being friends.  A while back, I had to face losing “friends” over beliefs.  I’m prepared to lose more.  This tends to happen every election season.  I’ve been bracing for a thinning of the ranks.

I have to lay some groundwork here, I suppose.  For example, if you believe in hell and you believe that I am going to burn eternally in it for who I am and/or what I’ve done, but you want to pretend that you can get past that, we pretty much can’t be friends.  Also, if you believe that I am less of a person, entitled to fewer rights than you, because of who I am and/or what I’ve done, yet you want to pretend that you can breeze over that, we pretty much can’t be friends.

I am not less than you.  And I am not going away.

There’s the door… Please feel free to see yourself the fuck out if you don’t like it.

Tired

I wake up to throbbing, burning pain.  I’m stiff when I wake up; every joint feels swollen, every limb feels made of lead, and I’m not always steady on my feet.  I fumble for my cane, put on my bifocals, grab my water bottle and cell phone.  I try to carry as much as I can when I head upstairs since I don’t care to make multiple trips.  Heading up the stairs, I wonder if my legs will obey me and if I can avoid near-syncope.  One of my greatest fears is fainting while I’m on the staircase.  I lose my footing on the stairs often enough as it is. . .

I coffee up, trying to chase away the mental cobwebs that are never fully gone.  I take muscle relaxants, arthritis pills, pain meds.  I chase my three young children around the house, cleaning up their various shenanigans.  I wince every time I lift my 2-year-old onto the changing table.  I can’t lift my arms above my head without excruciating pain.  Come to think of it, I can’t do much of anything without wanting to cry.

I have fibromyalgia and a suspected autoimmune disease.  I’m weak, I tire easily, I’m light/sun-sensitive, and I am always in pain.  If I had to pinpoint its origin, it’s as though there’s a layer between muscle and bone, and that layer constantly feels like it’s on fire.

Sometimes it feels as though people don’t believe my pain exists.  Maybe it’s because they can’t see the problem, or that they just can’t understand the kind of chronic pain I have.  Truth is, sometimes I think I’m just crazy.  If I hadn’t seen the blood test results myself, many times, I might wonder too if what I have is really real.  I’m waiting on more blood tests to come back to see if they can pinpoint what makes me like this.

I fight so hard, take so many measures, take so many pills, just to feel the tiniest bit of relief.  When I do feel better, I often break down sobbing because it’s depressing to fight this hard to still feel so shitty, and think that that’s the best I can hope for most days.  There are more things I can’t do than I can, especially with my kids, and it makes me feel broken.  I feel broken, disabled, less than, unfixable.  I might feel better if I had a diagnosis, if I could point at something and say, “THIS is what’s wrong with me.”  Not knowing makes things worse.

I worry that I’m a burden: to my husband, for having someone so broken to take care of, that I can’t do more; to my children, like I’m cheating them out of having the kind of mother they deserve; even to my doctors, for being so difficult to diagnose.

I’ve seen a neurologist, who felt that my neurological symptoms are secondary to an underlying condition.  I’ve been to a rheumatologist, who believes my underlying condition is most probably an autoimmune disease, but doesn’t know which one.  My urologist, gynecologist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, internist, and primary feel the same way.  Now, I’ve been referred to another rheumatologist.  If he comes to a dead-end with me too, I’ll be referred out of state.

For the most part, they’ve all said that one of two things could happen: I could get miraculously better, which they all agree is unlikely, or I could get worse enough for something to show up in my blood tests.  This leaves me praying every day that I either get the most unlikely miracle of good health, or that I get worse enough and raise the right antibodies to nail down which disease I have.  In the meantime, I bear the burden of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and constant, disabling, debilitating pain.

I know there are people who have conditions worse than mine, and I don’t want to take anything away from their own ordeals.  I write this because I need an outlet, because people have asked me to share, because it’s one of the only things I can still do.

Many of you are tired of hearing me complain.  Trust me when I say I’m more tired of it than you are.

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