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, March 28, 2008

    Surprise Surprise

    For Mona, on a Friday.

    Ok. Done pouting. Self-pity is a bad color on me.

    I'll get my pre-recs out of the way and then sit on my hands until my name comes up on the list to get into nursing or med tech school, whichever comes first. I'll eat the whale one bite at a time. (Thanks, DMG :-) ). Thank you everybody.

    I think I was just feeling extra-dejected the other day because I'd gone to give blood and was surprised when they rejected me. I had to do the Walk of Shame past all the other applicants, their eyes on me saying, “What's wrong with her?”

    (And there were five bonus points in A&P if I donated blood too. I hate leaving bonus points on the table.)

    Anyway, I walked into my A&P class where my instructor, Nurse Bagel, had put up on the board all the topics we needed to know for our up-coming test. I picked a topic and started writing.

    She came up behind me and asked, “So how'd the donation go?”

    I turned around and said, “I got rejected!”

    “Really? I'm surprised.”

    “Yup.” I rolled my eyes. “Just because I'm a prostitute they won't take my blood.”

    Now THAT surprised her. Doubled her over laughing, actually.

    Hee! The best part about being old is that I no longer give a shit about appeaing all prim and proper...

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    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Education in the USSR

    Not feeling so hot. Feeling old, actually.

    I put aside the dream of Sonography a while ago. With 170 applicants each semester and only 5 taken, I don't stand a chance. So I decided to be pragmatic. Nursing or Medical Technology? Both appeal greatly. And there is a higher demand for nurses and med techs than for sonographers.

    But guess what? All those schools are full too. And the waiting lists, which you can only get on after you've completed all your pre-recs, are one to two years long. By my reckoning, that only puts me in the door at 40. Oh, and two of the schools just added a couple more pre-recs.

    So make that 41.

    Anyway. I'm trying to muster enthusiasm to study for my tests next week. The thing is, the enthusiasm is there, just because I LOVE THIS. But...I'm tired of banging my head against the wall. What the hell good does 103.5% do when you're in the USSR?

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    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    P is for Poem

    Ok, so I'm jumping the gun early on Mona's Friday Thang, but I actually have a free moment right now to post.

    The word of the day is the letter 'P'.

    This was inspired by this amazing poem (in my top 5 favs) and by this idea.

    So enjoy. I don't do this often. Poems are so hard. Like trying to remember a dream.

    Lost and Found


    One shoe,

    lonely at the edge

    of an empty highway.

    Reward offered:

    One step closer

    to your true home.


    Beach glass;


    blue, an

    old bit of


    Reach me with details


    the foam's edge.


    My mother's memories

    of recent years.

    Please return them

    even if they are broken

    or stained.

    I can repair them

    with spare parts from

    my own.

    I've been here with her

    every day.

    Reward – one of

    my memories:

    the sheen of rain

    on blue hydrangeas

    though my mother's

    warped glass window

    the first time she forgot my name.


    My way when

    the ink dried

    and I thought the

    shape of a sound

    might replace it.


    At the shadow-haunted edge of things

    a milk tooth,

    rather sharp.

    Should it go unclaimed

    am willing to trade

    for the word that means

    'a mother who loses a child'.


    The last ray of sunlight

    that shone on a man's face

    in the garden before

    the clouds came up.

    I can be reached under the petals.

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    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Communication Breakdown III – Just Another Love Letter

    The house we occupy now used to be a rental. That means we get a lot of junk mail addressed to former tenants. Many of the names have become familiar. A certain woman apparently loved to gamble and gets constant invites from local casinos. Another man receives offers to upgrade his airline account. Familiar names, familiar junk mail.

    Until a few days ago.

    At first I thought it might be for my own boyos from their grandma. The envelope was covered with stickers and stamps a little boy might like.

    But it wasn't for them. The boy's name on the envelope was unfamiliar. The return address bore a man's name and home address. Perhaps it was mis-delivered; it happens. No, the address was ours.

    I carried it into the house, examining it the whole time. The envelope bulged from several papers folded inside. This was no junk mail. This was an honest-to-god personal letter.

    So I started weaving little stories around this letter:

    A father had left his family. Years later he wanted to explain his reasons to his son, but the boy and his mother had since moved on.

    A woman fled her abusive husband, taking their only child. Now he is hunting them down, just a step behind, trying to win over his son.

    A woman who had become estranged from her daughter discovered years later that she was a grandma. She sent a letter addressed to her grandson to her daughter's last known residence. The grandma is a widow, and is still using her old return address labels with her husband's name. Her daughter doesn't know she's lost her father.

    It struck me as terribly sad, this letter.

    I couldn't open it; it wasn't mine. I should have just put it right back into the mailbox with 'RETURN TO SENDER' scribbled across it in my nearly-illegible hand.

    But this was no alabaster jar. It was paper. And you can sometimes see right through paper...

    I could make out just enough words to unravel the mystery.

    Some stories are better left unfinished.


    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Communication Breakdown II – The Right Place at the Right Time

    I was studying when he came into the coffeehouse bakery and took a table three down from mine, one that required bar stools -- a table above the others around it.

    When his friends came in a few minutes later, he greeted them loudly with, “So where have you assholes been?” A man-hug* for his buddy, a 'hello' for his buddy's wife, a pulled-out a stool for his own wife.

    They were in their late forties, I'd guess, perhaps the first steps into their fifties. Very nice clothes. Full make-up and perfect hair at 9 AM on a Sunday. Typical for this area.

    The wife's voice was very animated, out of concordance with her face which did not move much. I could almost make out the injection sites. So we'll call her Ms. Botox, wife of Lord Loudmouth.

    Lord Loudmouth told us all about his Saturday:

    “We were at one of those Catholic weddings, you know, the whole deal. So it's time to go up for communion or whatever, and I figure that I'll fuck with them! Hee hee, they don't let you go up unless you're a Catholic, but I figured, 'What the hell!' I'll go up and fuck with the priest...”

    Now, may I point out that not only does this show terrible disrespect for other people's beliefs, but that it shows TREMENDOUS disrespect for his 'friends' up there getting married.

    And then Ms. Botox injects her poison opinion, “The Catholics are such snobs about that. It's just a snobby religion, ha ha ha!”

    Ok. Catholicism is like my Alma Mater; I've graduated from it, I'm not there anymore, but I really don't like to hear it get dissed by the other teams.

    But I was good. Kept my mouth shut. Live and let live. Free country, you get to talk about whatever you want at whichever decibel you want, and make yourself sound like the biggest ill-informed turd you want, especially in coffee shops. Yay, America works!

    So the next time I was packing up my books to study, O said, “Hey, why don't you try the library down the street? It's quiet there and you won't have to listen to Ms. Botox slam Catholicism.”

    Great idea! And I won't have to spend $1.75 on lousy coffee either. Cool.

    Well, it turns out the library is not so quiet. I'm there at the after-school rush hour. All the teens are meeting with their tutors one-on-one. So I get a little background noise from a girl, maybe 15, who's trying to graph something. That's ok.

    About an hour into,'Which is x and which is y again?' the tutor asks when Teenie's mom is coming to pick her up. Teenie answers that mom'll be by in about an hour, and the tutor then asks, “Ok, so we have time if you want to talk about that other thing...”

    Pop! Pop! Up go my ears...

    “You remind me of myself at your age,” says the tutor. “I went to Catholic school too, I really liked what they had to say about religion and faith, they really stressed learning, and I wanted to become Catholic—”

    “Your parents weren't Catholic either?”

    “No. And they were against it. But I listened to my faith,and I did become Catholic. But it's your decision. You have to think about it, and pray, and listen to your faith...”

    She went on, and it segued into tutoring Teenie's religion homework.

    Then mom showed up.

    I had my back to them, but my, what a familiar voice...

    “Time to go, Teenie. How much do I owe you, Tutor?”

    When I got up to make a copy I noticed her face was moving more freely. I guess Botox wears off in a matter of days...

    *one arm, three pats on the back standing for 'I'm. Not. Gay.'

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    Thursday, March 06, 2008

    Communication Breakdown Part 1* – Does My Brain Look Fat?

    I'm back. You've got me for a week or so. Spring break, and instead of going down to Mexico and slurping pure agave Jell-O body shots off of young, firm collegiate bodies, I've decided to spend my time with you. See how much I love you?

    I just finished three exams, two of them mid-terms. They were tough; I was told to give up my idea of maintaining a 4.0 average. But I've aced two of them, and I think I did ok on the third.

    I didn't cheat. I didn't guess. I studied to the detriment of my once-clean house and nicely-maintained friendships. So why doesn't it feel real? Why does it feel like I haven't earned these grades? Why do I feel like I faked it?

    I have a little previous experience with this. It reminds me of when I was between 14 and 20, and every time I looked in the mirror I saw these huge, fat thighs. So I lost and lost and lost weight, until size zero shorts hung off me. And I still saw those thighs. I still see them when I look back, despite what my clothes and my friends said. I'm over that now.

    But it seems to have been replaced by this. I used to have confidence in my grades. They defined me. Now I'm looking into an intellectual mirror and seeing an idiot. I know I'm not. Relatively speaking. But I don't see it, I don't feel it, I'm walking on air and trusting I won't fall.

    I'm my own unreliable narrator. But you believe me, don't you?

    Who else has areas in their lives like this? Or am I the only one?

    *The general theme swirling around my life right now is communication gone haywire (just when I'm leaving the field of communications). So I've got a few posts in mind...

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