Tag Archives: my life

Day #8 – A Book You Love, and a Book You Didn’t

I am currently reading A Parade’s End by Ford Maddox Ford. I am very much in love with it. But I’m not quite finished it, so I can’t quite give it the review it deserves. But Christopher Tietjens goes to the top of my list for the best male characters ever written. Even though he’s supposedly the last of them, he’s one of the best fictional gentleman to ever grace the leaves of a book. He gives a man like Mr. Darcy or Colonel Brandon a run for his money.

I absolutely detested Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield was such a whiner, a complainer. He was just completely determined to find fault with everyone and everything and his own situation and refused to do anything about it. And everyone’s a phony, in the book, and so is he, but really what does that even mean? He said it so much the word lost its meaning by the end of the book. I just… I couldn’t. I understood it well enough to write about it for school but I can’t get behind a book with a character I don’t like. And I don’t mean villains. I love to hate characters, to find something redeemable in a completely detestable personality. But there was nothing worthwhile about reading that book. Why? Why do lit teachers salivate over having us read that book. Is that the point?

I love how I found more to write about a book I hated than a book I actually like, but give me some allowance that I haven’t finished Parade’s End.

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Day #7 – What Tattoos you have & if They Have Meaning

Unfortunately, I can’t answer this one at all. I don’t have any tattoos and don’t see getting one ever. Why? Well, its a simple answer. I don’t care for needles. Ever since I was a baby I’ve always hated them. I couldn’t even get my blood taken for the first time recently without freaking out and they almost couldn’t get any blood out of my arm because I was so nervous. So imagine being 7 years old and having to watch a needle come at your face from the corner of your eye again and again so you could get stitches. My mom had the best surgeon in the hospital sewing up my face and had the nurses jumping at attention to give me locales so I couldn’t feel anything. It was kind of embarrassing and traumatizing at the same time. I kind of had to shoo her away so the doctor and nurses could do what they needed to do. So could you imagine me getting a tattoo? Neither do I.

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Day #6 – Someone Who Fascinates You and Why

If I were to think of someone who fascinates me… I would probably mention some of my favorite characters. I am always intrigued by people that are quiet and reserved. Those that seem to hide hidden depths that those around them do not know. Characters like Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Darcy, Christopher Tietjens, or John Thornton. But I also understand  characters like Jane Eyre, Anne Elliot, or Elinor Dashwood in their silent vigils over the men they love, waiting, not begging at the knees of men but quietly standing by and suffering through their agonies of love in quiet constancy. But I also find fascination in Fanny Brawne, and how constantly she loved and wore her black clothes for years after John Keats died. Sorry, I tend to be a bit of a romantic. So as such I do find kindred spirits in such poets as John Keats, Allen Ginsberg, W.H. Auden and E.E Cummings. Science Fiction writers I understand like Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Margaret Atwood. Then there are obviously scientists like Robert Oppenheimer and Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Michio Kaku. Artists, like Van Gogh, and Goya. I guess you could say that great minds are what pull my attention. Those that create, think and invent, and see the world through eyes like I do. That they all seem to see beyond the noise and the trouble, and view the world not as we want but as it is and how it will be, how it could be. So to answer this question I guess you could say is a bit complicated, because I don’t give too much credit to one person over the other and this list will get quite long. Since it’s not just real people I’d invite to my dinner parties but characters as well. Even characters of my own, those I haven’t met yet.

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Day #5 – A Place You Would Live, But Have Never Visited

A place that I would like to live but have never visited would be Tangier, Morocco. I’ve always been fascinated with the culture and colors of the Moroccan landscape. I would also like to ride on the Marrakesh Express. The spices and the sand in the air and the heat, the beautiful houses with the open courtyards that cool the house. I’ve always been fascinated by the music, the web like alleyways that hide clubs, cafes, restaurants. It’s a place that will still be alive at night as it is during the day. Just to hear the call to prayer upon the air, so exotic, yet still calls to one’s soul. There’s something about this place that has always given me the urge to travel there.

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Day #4 – 10 Interesting Facts About Yourself

  1.  I was born on Election Day, 1989. My Aunt, Maria Greenwald, was running for a state position that year and won. So every once in a while, my birthday coincides with the Presidential Election. I don’t know how many years between each time, I’ve never done the math.
  2.  I wasn’t supposed to be named Audrey, I was supposed to be named Victoria for victory, since my Aunt thought I would bring good luck politically.
  3. I was actually named after my paternal grandmother and my maternal great grandmother.
  4. I write letters. Handwritten letters. Long, handwritten letters. To people who are friends and of importance to me but are too far away to see all the time or that I’ve never even met.
  5. I had a English Grandpa growing up. (And yes, if you wanted to know, they do make for the best grandpas.)
  6. I own three typewriters. My goal is to end up with a writing room where each typewriter has a different story being written on it.
  7. I didn’t really have any friends in grade school until I was about 13 years old. The reason? I got along better with the teachers than with children my age.
  8. I danced ballet for 11 years. I love dancing, I’ve always loved it. My favorite thing is to go dancing. I always manage to start everyone dancing at parties and events.
  9. I love dogs, profusely. But I was bit in the face by a golden retriever when I was 7 years old.  I had over 300 stitches in my face and behind my ear, I would have been blinded in my right eye had I not been wearing my glasses.
  10. I traveled to England in freshman year of college, and I’ve never felt at home with a place so far from my own home. I could easily move there and feel at peace.

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Day #3 – Your First Love & First Kiss; If Separate, Discuss Both

My First Kiss… It was a guy that had held interest in me before that night. I had a vague inkling that what we had together was heading in that direction. I was in high school. I let him do things I had let no other guy do to me before, hug me, lay his head on my shoulder, etc, and it was sweet. He always hung around when he saw me. Then there was the one time I had worn make up to school (something I almost never did because I didn’t have the time for heavy makeuping when there was studying to do and really my self-esteem was low enough that I just didn’t care to bother cause really what was the point?), he pulled back my bangs and stared at my eyes in amazement announcing “your eyes are so green.” It never even occurred to me that a guy could find interest in me that way up to that point. Before that I had always been one of the bros. I had a lot of guys in my life that were more like brothers than friends or anything else romantic or sexual. At least there were never any guys that would give me that kind of attention.

There were flutterings of something I couldn’t name yet and that I was confused about, but we weren’t quite of the same level. I’m a pragmatic person, not someone that will lie in order to make someone else feel better unless the situation really calls for it. So I won’t lie and say that he was of my level of intellectual intelligence and that didn’t bother me, but he would do embarrassing things… in social situations. Really he just needed to apply himself more, and any guy can be coaxed into stopping things like walking up walls and walking away before a girl could explain herself. My friends weren’t entirely positive what we had could be “something” and thought him weird. But at the time I couldn’t help thinking “well this is probably the best I can do right now,” and my mom thought he was handsome, so I started hanging out with him regularly. We had been seeing movies together. And it started with hand holding and then during school he would walk me to my classes and wouldn’t go to class until the very last second, right when the bell rings, and would come find me every period he could. Then one movie night – he negotiated most if not all of our hangouts pursued me really – he leans in to kiss me. I can feel myself pull back, my eyes widen and then I couldn’t help the next moment as I leaned down until I was under his chin into his shoulder, completely red faced with shyness? embarrassment? Stunned surprise? I couldn’t name it. I couldn’t help the realization “oh my god that was my first kiss,” ringing inside my head. He forced me to look back up at him with a nudge of the shoulder and knowingly announced “that was your first kiss wasn’t it?” And I nodded trying to hide my smile. He always, always teased me endlessly.

It didn’t last. I handled it all quite poorly, for my part of it. But so did he. People had been staring at us that night and I didn’t like the negative attention we got. Looking back on it now I sort of regret how it ended, that it had ended at all. I didn’t like the reactions I got from friends at school thinking we were making some sort of big stand against convention and telling me how beautiful our babies would look (it was an adorable thought but shocking. Excuse me, babies?!), teachers, my own grandmother. You see, he was black and I am white. And my grandmother (who owned the house we lived in) disapproved of my seeing him, and told me not to come home and live somewhere else if I dated him because no granddaughter of hers was going to be allowed to live under her roof that would let a black man touch her like that. She said it while she and I were alone and I would never cause fights of that magnitude in my house between her and my mother. My parents never had any idea. I only told them this after Nanny Audrey died. And the place where we saw the movie that night, it was an area frequented by black people and they were staring at me and him together. It was a lot to deal with and I didn’t know how to bring it all up to him. I wanted us to be together but not if it was going to agitate things and I didn’t know whether or not I liked enough to prod at that sleeping dog. It’s not the 60′s but that doesn’t mean this wouldn’t cause problems. Even if his family  liked me and my parents and brother liked him. So I told him that I just wasn’t interested, it was better than saying “I can’t go out with you because my grandmother would kick me out if we’re together.” I would rather he think badly of me, than hate my grandmother, a woman who tolerated black people, but hated black men when they got anywhere near me. But did I love him? I might have… if it had been given the chance it needed to, to grow. But he never asked me why. He just walked away. If he had asked why, I might have confessed it to him. My anxieties, my lack of self- esteem, my racist grandmother.

So was he my first First Love? I don’t think so… But he has the distinction of being the first person I ever kissed.

My First Love… I don’t believe I’ve ever had a first love, at least not one that’s been requited. I’ve had deep resounding friendships where I’ve felt such a deep affection for them, deeper than anything else in my life. Thinking that they weren’t a girl, or gay, this could have been something. Then there’s this guy… I wasn’t planning on meeting him. I was just planning on having a night with my friend and meeting his friends. I had needed a new group of friends to add to my friend circle. I had been alone as a kid until the 7th grade, and found myself alone again in college. I was sorely lacking of friends that weren’t connected to this abusive friend that I don’t talk to anymore. So Brian was friendly, someone I knew from high school but couldn’t hang out with until I had been free of my other friend who until then had policed my friendships. I clung and he offered to have me come over to his place to play magic. His friends played and I had played with my brother (though that hadn’t ended well). They would reteach me the game that night. I wasn’t expecting him to walk in that night. I was told all the guys that would be there were either taken or nothing interesting. Then the door opened and Brian announced that this guy was there. It was like a scene out of an 80′s movie. He came into the house and the edges of my vision fuzzed, the conversations around me muted and all I saw was him. Unfortunately he had just been broken up with and it had been a serious relationship. This is what I’ve always lacked. Timing. All the other guys I’ve liked before, either as soon as I told them it went away, or the guy I would like would end up being an asshole. They were all fleeting things. This is one of the first guys I’ve ever met where everything just clicked for me except for this one thing. He can’t seem to move passed her. Or at least, can’t seem to move passed the pain. Maybe it’s something else on his part I don’t understand. But to me that just makes him more attractive in a Gothic sense. But I’m a romantic and I love a sad tale like this even if it’s my own. This group of friends we’re always around is my family. We make a unit that just functions excellently. And quite honestly, right or wrong, I would rather stick around him and show him my constancy even if he doesn’t notice. Prove to him my constancy. If there’s a guy that can change my mind, I haven’t found him yet. And even if I did, I would probably still think about him. I’m like Fanny Price, Anne Elliot, or Jane Eyre. I’m not overly attached, just lingering and I can’t help the flutters I get when I look at him, when he laughs at my jokes, when he says the perfect thing while we’re talking. Even if he and I were friends and he could confide in me I would rather that than nothing at all. I’m not someone that finds this sort of feeling to come easily to me. Even if my feelings aren’t returned. In answer to your question, yes I’m always like this.

But then I have to ask myself, if I were in a relationship ever, would I know what the hell to do with it?

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Day #2 – Your Earliest Memory

This is actually quite vivid. One of the little memories I have from very early childhood. I am old enough to remember but young enough to still be in a crib. But I know that I can lower the bars by myself. [My mother was always horrified that I could get my fingers caught in the crib’s catch, but she was always horrified of all the dangers that surrounded me.] They’re easy to figure out once I observe my parents raising, lowering, and locking the crib’s bars into place several times a day since I was old enough to have this memory.

I had been sleeping, it’s early morning. I rise from sleep, to this memory. I look to my parents, both are in bed. My father in crutches for his leg. Even from this tender age of infancy, I held concern for my father’s health. I look to my mother, her head a riot of familiar curls. I’m looking to the ceiling fan, the shadows thrown by the rising sun. The quiet of the room, the snores of my father, and the chatter of the morning labors of the sparrows gently wake me. I was always a quiet child, and enjoy that time. Until my brother sneaks into the room, his small fingers worming their way into the bars of the crib, smiling to me adoringly as he talks to me. I can’t recall if he was speaking yet, but I am told that he was able to speak our children’s language to me. His noisy entrance is enough to alert my parents and I spring to standing before my mother’s dresser where I am entertained by my own reflection in the mirror. I can’t tell you what I thought I looked like. My mirrored image is a fuzzy television screen, even to my own memory. It wasn’t long until my mother picked me up and put me into bed with my father. Dusty smells of sleep, sweat, and my father welcomed me as he tickled me. I gave way to giggles and quietly raucous morning playtime. Distracting me long enough to allow my mother the space to wash and dress before we started our day. A day just like every other day, for many days to come.

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Day #1 – Five Problems with Social Media

Where do I even begin?

1) Oblivion. People try their damnedest to acquire the most followers, vie for the most attention (even me) but in the end what will be left of us? Nothing but star stuff.

2) Void. Everyone just shouts into the void, noisy and obsequious. Worse is that they expect the void to answer back. (So guilty of this even now.)

3) Vernacular. Fleek, On Point, Fierce, LOL, Ballin’, Swag. The nonsensical perversion of our language. I don’t believe in bad language, or bad words but the worst thing is listening to these things becoming common to the dictionary. I can’t keep up with it all.

4) Anonymity. The Anonymity of Trolls, Haters, and Meanies. Gotta ignore the trolls. Sure, that’s easy enough to do, most of the time. But some people can be really hateful. It’s easy to say really rude, obnoxiously rash things to people over the internet when you believe you’re only talking to a picture. When people feel the need to correct, tease, or bully others because the bigness of the internet allows you to feel big enough to tear others down.

5) Anesthetic. The Anesthetic Effect of Horror. The fact that we view such horrible, disgusting, shocking things that are around us in this world, and that these things somehow become less shocking. That these things become so minute on our radar that they almost become nonexistent.

[Bonus: My obsession with it. Everyone’s obsession with it. Make a note, a promise: Take a step back, go outside, breathe.]

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Epitaph – Labor Day, 2015

Unrepentant and full of sin
I doubt St. Peter will let me in
For my soul do not pray
Instead I simply ask you enjoy your day
For me, take in every kind of pleasure
A day cream-filled with hedonism and leisure.
For when a holy man calls you a heathen
I doubt there is much hope for heaven
For this soul is free as a bird
From the heavy burden of a life inured
By goodliness and accountability
Weighed down by tolerance and susceptibility
Instead I account to no one, free of a pious dedication
And simply live a life of predilection
In every way I encourage you to do the same
And no longer allow others to force your life to be tame
For it is our own pleasure we seek in every mile
And if we’re going to hell, we might as well go with a smile.
I will have no regrets, and in eternity you’ll see.
That there was no more gratified sinner than me.
So in this last moment I say goodbye
In this ground here I lie
I loved you all and this is true
For there is no one I cherished more than you.
So do not cry and do not wait
Live your life, its your’s to take.
Take a lesson here from me.
Life is so much more than ‘to be or not to be.
And this you must take with you least.
This is not a soul that wants to rest in peace.
I will rampage and rebel
So even the devil will have a story to tell
In hell they build me a throne
And when you come down you’ll not be alone
For in hell I am the queen
Of fire, sex, lust, envy and greed.
So come one, come all and join me down here
Down here its a thousand degrees all year.
Please join me and take your ease
For I relish a life lived as I please
Unrepentant and full of sin
I doubt St. Peter would let me in.

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Farewell — May 2015

[Saying farewell to someone, after any relationship, is hard. Getting out from underneath the loss, from the pain of abandoning the familiar is terrible. To finally find yourself unmoored, only able to rely up on yourself and no one else. I wouldn’t lie that I found freedom in this, but there are people out there that prefer company to isolation. This goes out to anyone who felt the struggle of moving on, moving out from home, making new friends, dating again. To those getting out of abuse relationships of all kinds, and who know you don’t have to be romantically involved to face abuse of any kind. For those that know the doubt, the second guessing, the self-skepticism. This is a salute to you. These are reflections to help with the healing, hopefully they will not wound or harm.]

There once was a time where I trusted implicitly, knowing it was returned, and then there came a day when I struggled to remember why I did in the first place; why when I looked over across the car, answered phone calls or texts, that I had taken those first steps, like a stumbling baby, to make friends. I had been alone for so many years I wonder now why I hadn’t just suffered through until the end and gone to high school. Except for one thing, I had never had one before and I was curious. What do these people find in one another? How can they even communicate with one another with such ease? I had parental figures, those I trusted automatically – like breathing – to protect, feed, and clothe. But never someone to play with, make mischief with, someone to say why don’t we, instead of why we shouldn’t.

Memories had kept me anchored, when the world was light and good, rainy summer nights watching fireworks, laughter bubbling like champagne and pouring over through tears as pillows were tossed during sleepovers, inside jokes no one else would understand. Nostalgia kept me constant. But then there was everything else. The scales seemed to tilt so far the floor beneath me shook. Out weighted. All that I had put up with, all the subtle nicks and jabs to my ego, my self-esteem, my confidence, minor and subtle accidents that were treated like breaches in codes of honor. And now even doing the simplest things make my hands shake, and makes me clumsy and befuddled. I wonder at how I manage to hold conversations with anyone. But the amazing thing was these small mental abuses were never that subtle, you weren’t ever built for subtlety. You could flirt and you could mesmerize, sometimes I wondered if it was magic, what would have everyone so charmed by your essence? Men come and get out just as quickly, once they get what they came for, once they see what I hadn’t.

I had let myself take the punches, numbed myself, leathered my skin like a punching bag for you to abuse, thinking I could take the knocks because I loved you, remained loyal to our friendship, revolved my world around you, allowed you more latitude than really anyone would. And you must have liked that kind of manipulation, thrived on it, especially since I wouldn’t challenge you on it. My loyalty blinding me to what you had done to me. Thinking naively that this would prove my friendship. Being around you despite my parents telling me not to, young rebellion sated with consorting with you instead of rougher, more damaging things. Time away would convince me otherwise, family, my other friends, when I did have friends other than you – when you weren’t policing the relationships I kept around me, for they all knew if you excluded them I couldn’t maintain a relationship with them and still be best friends with you – all tried to convince me that I should separate but everything worked against my being separate from you.

Even now I question that maybe it’s my own mind playing tricks, building monsters in your shadow. Making horrible visions out of the wisps of smoke from your cigarettes. But you went out and had that turned on you, a taste of your own medicine, and didn’t like receiving; so you came back to me, mended the bridge I thought you had burned, to restore the balance. The bridge you had burned, when I had actually committed a breach of contract, desperate for others to know what I knew, you had laid the trap and snapped it shut around me, and I was cutoff, left un-moored and drifting, with uncertain shipmates, I hadn’t known I couldn’t trust and others that were dying. In that time, I realized there was no one to rely on but myself, in a way what you had done was both a gift and curse. And I allowed it, allowed you to rebuild that war torn bridge because by the time you asked for reentry once again, as I nervously debated for hours whether or not to allow it, and you questioned with a laugh as my hands nervously wrung a paper, diner napkin, why had I appeared so nervous as if it was something you couldn’t comprehend. I was going to college and was without friends, taking care of a dying grandmother, waiting for word of the condition of a cancer-riddled uncle but didn’t realize I was in the process of building a new foundation of friends for myself – with the promise of more – but by then we were upon a new path and practically picked up from where you left off.

again you jibed and punched and danced upon my skin but there were scars now, sewn patches from damage long repaired and the new friends oiled my leathered skin into something resembling flesh again. They questioned and explained the problem, cradling me gently to explain that I didn’t have to suffer, I didn’t have to keep allowing myself to be punched, to take the knocks, to prove my worth as a friend. Then the worst thing happened, sending your own personal progress back to the beginning, and I did the only thing I knew was right, the loyal thing, I stayed and remained as best as I could. Making myself almost dangerously sick with the effort.

I tried so hard until one day that effort wasn’t enough. Outside influences pulled us in differing directions, you tried to resist, and I went willingly. I tried to retain my connections as best as possible, everything about my attempts so impossible. And you gave up, since I couldn’t maintain my usefulness, and I no longer could take being dismissed out of hand for all that I had done, simply because I couldn’t always be available to you. Because I wouldn’t bleed for you. For once I chose to be somewhere else instead of immediately by your side, when there were many times when I was second best and never complained, just patiently waited for you to want my company again. So now I took a page from your book, a Molotov cocktail since you practically gave me the glass bottle, cloth aflame, and burn a bridge myself I probably should have long ago. It takes everything within me to do it, I could collect and keep people forever like I do bric-a-brac forever unchanging on my bookshelves, dusty comforting and familiar. So even now I am left with an empty feeling, wondering endlessly over things said, unsaid, and if it was myself that was wrong and if you were right, but then I have to remind myself, that you would always make yourself the victim, pointing out what I had done wrong and how I should apologize. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you apologize, and I wonder if I ever will, if you would ever admit to anyone, even yourself, that you were wrong. Even through all of that, this is where I leave you. I will move on out of necessity, but remember you always with affection and say goodbye, even though you never gave me the chance. But then again I never really ever stood up for myself when it came to you. I guess I wasn’t strong enough to take your punches after all. Goodbye.

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