Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Friday, June 30, 2006

    A Midsummer Night's Dream


    Gardener -- Marvin Hill


    There’s so much I want to tell you.
    Let’s see if I can get caught up, while the boyos munch away upstairs.
    Good day #1:
    Strangely, began with a bout of insomnia. So I ended up rising at the ungodly hour of 4:45. (Hesh up, kids, I’m a night owl.) So I wrote.

    Wait. Let me back up. Way up.

    To a midsummer night’s dream.

    Now, I don’t know about you, but I pay attention to my dreams. A lot of them are just rehashes of the day, some of them take place in a land and cityscape that has grown through the years, and I know my way around when I’m there. And then there are the other ones, like the dream I had on midsummer’s night.

    I was sitting outside under the patio umbrella. An old man was sitting with me, holding a burlap sack full of plants I’d ordered. He pulled them out and handed them to me one by one. Every plant was an iris or hyacinth, all with richly colored petals and foliage; burgundies, and golds and sapphires, pale pinks and buttery yellows, even the occasional black flower with deep-green-pinstriped leaves.
    None of them had roots. These strong, beautiful plants grew from tiny, shriveled bulbs. I can still feel the light coating of soil clinging to those bulbs, useless.
    I didn’t know what to do. I wanted them to grow, but without roots I knew it was impossible. So I settled on trying to keep them alive for as long as I could. I wanted them to live so badly. They were so beautiful, and so rare, their existence nearly impossible.
    I had a watering can with a wide top, so I started to put them into it. The water inside was cool, and I had run a pipe through it to oxygenate the water, like you would for a fish tank. I thought that would keep them alive longer, but there were so many. I knew I couldn’t do it.

    “You are doing the best that you can.”

    It was the old man, ‘the gardener’, as I thought of him. I looked at him and he smiled. He handed me another flower. I took it and noticed that some of my loose hairs were clinging to the bulb. I started to brush them off, when he reached out and stopped me.

    “No,” he said. “Leave them. Those are the roots you squeeze to get ink.”

    I looked up to see he was not an old gardener at all, but an old friend, someone who, as Popeye said over on And Hope and History Rhyme, ‘I only know from my dreams.’

    My friend was still smiling at me, holding my trembling hands still. We sat that way for a long time.

    I didn’t so much wake up, as realize my eyes were open, and full of tears.

    I think I got the message.

    So, good people; what are your thoughts on this?

    Thursday, June 29, 2006

    Yeah. What Schmoopie Said.

    My day yesterday. You can read about it over on penseeandcreame.

    God, I'm lazy.

    No. Writing, actually. And about a million other things.
    Please forgive me for being distant.

    Wednesday, June 28, 2006

    I'm Just Sayin'

    Tuesday was a very good day.

    I'm very happy.

    I'm expecting another good day today.

    Monday, June 26, 2006

    Five Things Meme

    Here I had a post of great importance all thought out, and Vulgar Wizard goes and tags me.
    (Uh, thanks, actually. Post needs work and I've got some photos to take).

    Five Things . . .

    Five Things in the Refrigerator
    1. organic milk
    2. orgasmic yogurt (this stuff is really good)
    3. Bottle of champagne
    4. Korean Spicy Noodles. 'Bout time those moved on.
    5. Amish Friendship Bread Starter. Hey, it’s still alive, and I can’t bring myself to kill it.

    Five Things in the Closet
    1. Guy's black leather biker jacket
    2. Girl's black leather biker jacket, dusty
    3. Another black jacket that has nothing to do with bikes
    4. Dark chocolate hidden high up on a shelf
    5. Elijah Wood. (Yeah...tell me he’s not. No, seriously, tell me he’s not. I wanna be a contender.)

    Five Things in the Wallet
    Costanza's got nothing on me, baby!
    1. Irish 2-pence piece that happened to be minted in my birthday year
    2. Target gift card with about $150 bucks still on it.
    3. Key card for a hotel in Dizz-Knee-Whirled. (Thanks again, DMG!)
    4. Receipt for a magazine I bought eight years ago in Gatwick during the worst migraine of my life. I was in Ireland before I realized the bloke stiffed me a quid. Wanker. So what was your last impulse buy?
    5. Victoria’s Secret Card


    Five Things in the Truck
    (The only truck I have is the ’37 Chevy pickup I envision will swing low and carry me to heaven. Yeah, right. Well, at least I'll enjoy the ride. So what’s in it, you ask…?)
    1. A particular driver who's shown up in my dreams for years (more about him later)
    2. My dearly departed cat, Poe
    3. A bottle of 17th century Dom Pérignon. Course, it wasn’t named after him way back then.
    4. A laptop computer with high-speed wireless (Duh. How else am I gonna keep blogging?)
    5. A blank notebook and a Lamy 2000 fine point fountain pen (two things; yeah bite me.)

    Five People to Tag
    1. Anybody
    2. Who
    3. Wants
    4. To
    5. Play

    That was fun. The boyos have hijacked my computer, so this is my only chance to--

    Sunday, June 25, 2006

    Check!

    You can't see me right now, but I'm positively vibrating!
    heh

    One pot of coffee...
    Check

    One piece dark chocolate...
    Check

    One Kuba Kuba...
    Check

    Husband and two children out of the house...
    Check!
    Check!
    Check!

    I'm ALONE!

    And we know what that means.

    1...2...3... write!

    Thursday, June 22, 2006

    Unpacking the Suitcase


    Little things, brought back from home Illinois:

    Lunch with Popeye. Despite the awkward circumstances (mainly an overprotective mother) this was the second-highest point of the trip. Oh, and the fresh shiner, courtesy of Thomas, the Motherfucking Toddler-Propelled Tank Engine. I think now of how the Blogosphere turns things inside-out, and that the biggest secrets we had to share with each other are those anyone else can see; our faces, our everyday lives.

    The retired pianist who lives in the house behind my parents' house. I'’ll get back to him when I find my damned notes. But the short of it is, he'’s always mowed his lawn wearing white gloves. This year, he did not, as if he'’s settled in.

    Going through security in Milwaukee, my carry-on was randomly tagged to be hand-searched. I'm so glad it was. Because I got to meet a giant. I'’m not kidding -- a real, live giant. He even introduced himself that way. Four ten meets seven four. I could have stretched out across his chest, my head on one shoulder, my feet on the other. I was eye-level with his navel. His voice boomed, low and slow, yet it surrounded a high note in the center. And the best part, the thing that so thoroughly delighted me --– he wore earrings! Diamond studs the size of my thumbnail. And eyeliner. He wore eyeliner. I'm smiling with his memory tucked behind my eyes.
    "Now you can say you met a giant," he said, zipping up the bag.
    "I will. And you can say you met a family of Hobbits,"” I answered back. "See? Barefoot even."” I held up my foot and wiggled my toes at him. He clapped, and everything in the airport stopped; including time, I think.

    And the boyos. The fact that not less than seventeen people stopped to comment on their beauty between the gate and baggage claim. Two women offered to be their agents. Sometimes I feel like I'm just the handler for a couple of celebrities.

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    Happy Solstice





    Whatever your beliefs.

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Lucky 13

    When it's your anniversary. Happy one, O.

    Sunday, June 18, 2006

    Girl Likes Rain


    Fortunate Rain -- Marvin Hill


    I
    'm pushing an elephant up the stairs
    I'm tossing up punch lines that were never there
    Over my shoulder a piano falls
    Crashing to the ground

    KA-BOOM!

    The thunder outside coincides with the song on the radio.
    I try to brush the damp tangles out of my hair and again think about cutting it. But then I do what I always do. I lift my shirt up, tilt my head back a little, let the tips of my hair brush the small of my back, and change my mind again.

    I'm breaking through
    I'm bending spoons
    I'm keeping flowers in full bloom
    I'm looking for answers from the great
    Answers from the great, answers

    KA-BOOM!

    So what did I learn from my visit home? What ideas did I bring back with me like invisible souvenirs?

    I'm breaking through
    I'm bending spoons
    I'm keeping flowers in full bloom

    My old home is beautiful, and if I take any impressions with me when I die, they will be these: all the shades of green and the shape an oak tree takes against the sky.
    My old home is beautiful. And it is not for me anymore. I outgrew it.

    In all this talk of time
    Talk is fine
    But I don't want to stay around
    Why can't we pantomime, just close our eyes
    And sleep sweet dreams
    Me and you with wings on our feet

    I’ve been looking for a ‘geographical cure’ but it doesn’t work that way. We’re staying here because this is where O needs to be. His roots are deep, mine are shallow. Where he finds strength in this place, I find rocky soil.
    I won’t pull him up. I’ll dig deeper instead.

    I've watched the stars fall silent from your eyes
    All the sights that I have seen
    I can't believe that I believed I wished
    That you could see
    There's a new planet in the solar system
    There is nothing up my sleeve

    The door opens and O is home from the hospital. He tells me his dad is clear-headed today. The boyos run in to tell him about the lightning, the thunder, the rain beginning to fall, the multiple and unlikely dangers in storms. O asks me how they behaved while he was out. Not bad, I say.
    I take his keys and his car, roll the window down, drive toward the darkest clouds. Lightning splits a rainbow there. I stretch my arm out the window and touch the rain, then up to touch the top of the car. The sun is shining behind me. The wind shifts and blows the rain directly into the window. It feels good. At the next light, the passenger in the car ahead of mine stretches his arm out too, briefly.
    The storm passes, the mountains are clear in the distance.
    I come back home.


    Lyrics from REM: The Great Beyond

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    This Post Aint Got No Melody

    After being married to someone, or just living with them for a time, you develop a kind of private telepathy. You can read each others' minds, interpret the slightest movements. It doesn't matter if the relationship is smooth or rocky, that communication is there.
    So it disturbs me that I'm not observing this at all in my parents' marriage. Everything looks great from a distance, but now that I'm here...I mean, they're not fighting. And they share several common interests. But they don't so much as do things together, as they do things next to each other. And as far as picking up on each others' thoughts and moods...
    My parents are a pair of socks in seperate drawers.

    ***
    Today my thoughts are black flowers blooming everywhere. Oh, there's still a red one blooming here and there, bright as an unexpected blush.
    I'm in the car, putting pen to paper, wondering if it will translate to pixel. I write best in motion. In transition.
    I have to keep looking out the window. I can't help myself. I'm always out here in the late fall when the landscape's tawny and tattered and ready for bed. I haven't seen a true spring in years.
    Lining the road are purple and gold and blue wildflowers that I cannot name. There are also shasta dasies, irises, queen anne's lace and orange lilies in the tall green grass. We're passing dark oak forests and maple and poplar windbreaks between the fields.
    The fields. How could I have forgotten the way they look when newly plowed? The dark wet soil makes my mouth water, makes me want to walk barefoot to the middle of one, lie down on my back and...
    Well. You know the rest.

    There are three types of fields out my window. The first kind is as I described; dark and rich and moist, electric green shoots pushing up and almost glowing against their deep backdrop. My attention keeps coming back to the dirt, the black earth. My heart recognizes when something is the way it should be, and then it aches for all the things that aren't.

    The second type of field; weeds grow thick and carpetlike around old corn stalks bent and blackened like the burnt timbers from a house fire. These are the fields of bankruptcy. The banks claim the plow and nature takes the rest. For a time. Render unto Ceasar...

    The third type; these fields are sprouting new houses, and yes Stucco, Wal*Marts too. I can only wonder who can afford to live in these, when all they can do is work for those.*

    ***
    Back home the desert's dry, O tells me, and hot. I won't watch the transition through the plane window. I can't do it. I already imagine the heat pounding on my skin, the relentless blue sky, the crackle of dead grass under my feet as I walk to the garden -- my green and clay-red oasis.
    It's not that I want to stay here. It's not that I don't want to go back (though that accusation was unfaily made before I even boarded the plane).

    Tell you what. When I figure out what it is that I want, and when what I want is somthing that I can actually have, you'll be the first one I tell.

    All right. To bed before the progestrone does the rest of its work and knocks me out completely. Oh the buzz is so sweet though. But I see I'm typing after midnight under its influence again, so I'm sure I'll come to this post just as fresh and uninformed as you tomorrow.

    de nada, my loves.




    *Remind me, would you, to go walking in that idea I have about government and corporation, and 1984 and Brave New World. But not today. I don't want to walk in that heavy grey mass today. What I want to do instead is kick aside the houses and recover the field.
    Fuck progress for progress' sake. That's social cancer.
    All right, Dancehall. Save it for another day.

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Hiraeth

    I’m still a little shaken over what happened yesterday. Life sometimes gives me what I need, especially when I don’t even know that I need it.

    It started with a suggestion.

    You haven’t seen grandma’s and grandpa’s house in years, have you? The people who own it now have really kept up the outside. Would you like to see?
    My mom’s offered a few times now, and I’ve always declined. That house was my sanctuary, and it is kept carefully and perfectly in my head – the magnolia tree in front, the wrought-iron posts, the back hallway lined with cupboards, the long, screened back porch, the yard with my grandpa’s rose garden, grape arbor, and of course the swing set he built for my mom and uncle, still in perfect condition when my cousins and I spent our weekends there.
    It’s changed. I saw it once – only once – the autumn after the new owners tore out the wrought-iron posts and replaced them with wood. It was more than enough for me.

    Would you like to see it? We’ll be passing close by. New owners now. They’ve torn down the garage.
    Sure.

    Why I agreed this time, I don’t know. I was tired, the boyos had acted up during lunch, we were on our way to show them off to the office ladies at the factory where my dad works, and with the boyos’ moods, I knew it wouldn’t go well.

    And I wanted to preserve my memory, to keep something with me that wouldn’t change. My life changes radically about every four years. Last time, it was the birth of the boyos. Before that, I was fired for blowing the whistle on a 65-year-old pervert who cornered a 19-year-old co-worker in his office. I went freelance after that and never looked back.
    Before that, it was the college graduation and marriage double-whammy.
    All big changes. But all anticipated and brought about by me.
    Now it’s all changing again, and I have no control over it, and I don’t know what to do.
    The bookstore is going away. Maybe forever, maybe not. I don’t know what life looks like after that.
    I don’t know where I want to be.

    My mom made a right and we were on the old street, slowing down to take a look at the third house on the right. There it was, still painted white, but with its new posts. The magnolia long gone.
    On cue, the front door opened, and a man stepped out with his dog, a Jack Russell Terrier of all things. He looked to be in his seventies. He smiled, lifted his arm and waved.

    We turned into the driveway as if we’d planned this.

    He came over to the van.
    My father built this house, my mom said.
    Did he? We’ve wondered about its history.
    Then:
    Come in.
    Now my mom hesitated.
    I don’t think I can…
    Come on. Come in. Let me show you.
    He gestured and turned. My mom with her tendency to please, (which she handed down to me for good or ill) still hesitated,
    I…can’t…
    looked at me with my hand on the door handle, shook her head a little, then opened her own door. She followed the man up to the house as I let my complaining boyos out of the van. They quieted down immediately; a blessing.
    He took us around the side of the house where the attached garage used to be, and we entered the back porch, now enclosed with windows and heated in the winter. We met his wife there, and she took our unexpected visit in stride.
    Oh yes! We’ve wondered about the house. All the neighbors are pretty new, and don’t know much about the history…
    Oh, well, my father built it himself in 1945, when it was almost impossible to get building supplies. It’s made of cinder blocks – great for insulating now, isn’t it? None of the windows quite matched…
    I looked around at the back yard. The swing set was gone, but in its place was a tidy vegetable garden. Everything was changed, but beautiful and thriving. Then I noticed one flowering bush was still in its place, trimmed and shaped and in bloom.

    We went inside. The man had owned an interior remodeling business before he retired, and it showed in the new kitchen. The layout was the same but everything else had changed. If you’d blindfolded me and dropped me into the middle of it, I might have been struck by a vague feeling of familiarity, but that’s all.
    I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be in the house anymore. What if I wouldn’t remember my grandparent’s house after this?
    Come on, into the living room.

    I looked around, trying to place the walnut dinning table back where it belonged. The carpets were new, the paint a different color. I took another hesitant step…
    and the floor creaked.
    It creaked the way it always had, a sound I’d completely forgotten. With that sound, I wasn’t in a remodeled house anymore. I was back home at grandma’s, at Christmastime with the tree, the presents, the candies and cookies in their silver trays on the dinning table. It was summer, and I was fourteen on my way to the den to watch MTV. It was spring and I was seven, coming in from the swings to get a book and then head back out to the hammock under the lilacs.
    I looked around and whispered to myself. Grandma. Grandpa.
    We toured the rest of the house, saw where some of the built-ins had been removed, and re-built into a corner cabinet.
    The windows had been replaced, the plaster repaired. The tile floor in the bathroom had stayed the same. Not much else. Nothing else.
    We thanked the couple profusely, and my mom promised to send photos of the old house.
    You know the address? The man asked.
    My mom recited it for him before she got the joke.
    In the van, she said her dad would be proud of the way the house looks now. Very proud.

    I’m still not sure how to take this unexpected gift. Was it a way of showing me that the coming changes will be an improvement? Or that I will always have my memories? A few days ago, my dad remarked that you must never hesitate, and always take the opportunities that are presented to you, because life is short, and things don’t always come round again. Was this a demonstration of that?

    I don’t know.

    What do you think?

    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    Let’s Do the Time Warp

    Hello hello my dears. I miss you one and all. I’m currently typing away in the dark, as quietly as I can, for fear of waking up los boyos, and attracting the attention of my mother. Yes, I’m in Stepford Village, Illinois, parental home, though not the ancestral home. That’s long gone, and very much missed.
    I want a laptop.
    No, what I want is a Gibsonesque meatjack in the back of my head to silently record and transmit all my running commentary. Anything, anything but THIS computer, out in the open loft/bedroom/hallway/office/Grand Central Station.
    New houses, man. WTF?
    See? I can’t even say ‘fuck’ on this computer!
    So I’m home. Ok, that’s not the right word for it. Not the right word at all.

    See, I get along with my mom. Always have. We never went through that, ‘I fucking hate you!’ teenage bullshit. I just hid out in my room for those seven years, crying and listening to progressive rock and new wave, phone attached to my ear, emerging only for school, track, concerts, dancing and general angsting over why my obviously gay boyfriend refused to rid me of my burdensome virginity.
    Good times.
    And I always got along with my dad, who is ever so much cooler than me. Or you. And still is. (I’ve swiped his new ipod and am listening to Dani California, at his insistence). Yeah. Electra comes to me for advice.
    So, the problem is, I’m frickin’ sixteen years old again when I’m here, minus that bothersome virginity thing, plus two toddlers.
    Time warp.

    And I just deleted half of this post. I'll dole out a bit more of it later, but for now, this is good.

    Love to you all. Leave me comments. I'm lonely!!!! I'm gonna go listen to my prog rock now...