The Day The Laundry Won. A Poem (of sorts)

As daylight broke across the sky, in the laundry room there was a cry.

For the basket had spent its night alone, without a friend to call its own.

Bereft of companionship, it sobbed and sighed.

I want a friend, the basket cried.

And as the sun reached for the clouds, the door opened.

And one single, mismatched, little sock claimed the basket for a home.

The lonely basket cheered with glee. Than one friend turned into two.

Than three.

And as the day progressed, the pile grew.

from thirteen-and-a-half garments to twenty-two.

A ketchup-stained blouse from Sunday brunch.

Some ripped up jeans, nice and scrunched.

A soccer jersey followed next, a romper, and some grass-stained pants.

With ants.

Five dresses wrinkled, but not stained.

Some sweats that had seen better days.

Bathing suits, sizes 10 and 16, warmed by the sun

and some underclothes came in.

One by one.

As the day progressed, the pile grew.

In twos, and threes, until twenty-two became forty-five-and-3/4s.

So many friends did the basket make.

It cheered inside. Life was great!

Until the door opened once more.

A hand reached in and grabbed one of its pals.

Than four.

Five, six, seven and eight.

Some overalls, a polka-dot dress for an evening date.

A peas-and-carrots-stained bib.

Some trousers, inside the pockets-a pencil with a chewed up nib.

And as the pile decreased in size, the basket once again did cry.

It knew soon it would be alone again.

Without so much as a single friend.

But, for as quickly as the hand did work, taking away each friend- denim jacket and checkered shirt.

Smaller hands did slip inside, adding to the pile so fast it multiplied.

Until the basket was fully stocked again.

Plus some for good measure.

It held them close, its own dear treasure.

The night fell across the room.

To the basket’s surprise, the human did not come back.

And so the basket thanked the stars and the sky for hearing its dear wish and cry.

And in days to come when it was empty in the light of the shining sun.

It would never forget the day the laundry won.

So next time you’re fed up with washing clothes and would like to burn them all.

Consider the lonely basket.

And then burn the clothes anyway.

You’ll feel better.

I swear.

Once upon a time a single sock made its way into a lonely basket.

 

Dance like No one’s watching

Some of the biggest turning points in my life are directly related to the aftermath of car accidents.

The fact there is more than one occasion should be a loud scream out to the universe that I’ve had more than my fair share, and could the car karma Gods please give me a pass?

Maybe the fact I’m able to type this is a pass within and of itself. Now, before you judge my driving skills let me state, here and now, not a single one was ever my fault in any way.

But I digress… turning points.

When I was 16 a truck slammed into my ’81 silver Firebird while I was stopped at a red light and totaled it. I don’t know what I mourned most, the wreck of such a rad car, or the ability to move my neck and back properly anymore whilst in the prime of my youth.

After many dr appointments they put me in PT. Over the months that I went I became friendly with a few of the employees. One of which gave the best medical massages I’ve ever had in my life. I totally forget her name now, and that’s strange considering how much she changed me. I want to say Lisa, or Laura, but honestly it could be Shelia or Karry. I really have no clue.

So, here is this chick, we’ll call her Lisa and she had to be like maaaaybe 20, 21 tops. For whatever reason she decided to take me under her wing and teach me about dance music. Now mind you, I’m a teen in the mid-90s in deep southern Florida. So we’re talking Miami Bass, Breakbeats, Drum and Bass, Jungle, and a wee bit of Techno (never did like Techno too much)

Prior to this I was more of a Wu Tang, Outkast, Bad Religion, The Toasters, Dance Hall Crashers, Sublime kinda girl. Basically anything you’d find a skater/surfer of the 90’s listening to on any given day. But anyway, one day Lisa invited me over to spend the night. I remember I was sick, strep throat or something and had a fever. But for some reason my mom said yes. (now that I’m a mom and in my 30’s I don’t understand why a. my mom let me sleep at my physical trainer’s home and b. why a 20something girl was inviting me over for a sleepover)

Maybe she wanted to open up my eyes. So, Mom drops me off, with assurances that we will just sit around, watch movies, whatevs and if I get sicker she’d come and get me. Soon as Mom dips Lisa decides to play dress up with me. Mind you to this point jeans and tees were my day to day, but she put me in this short flowy skirt and knee-high black and white stripped socks and gave me a beer. Then her brother, the manager of the PT clinic showed up and we all had another beer and then she says, “Ready to have your mind blown?”

So, of course I said, “Sure. Why not.”

We piled into her car and drove down to Fort Lauderdale to a club called The Edge. After midnight The Edge turned into a 2 story club for ravers. Not the kind coated in candy and plur, although there were some there too, but the majority were bass heads. Oh, could they dance. I fell in love with breakdancing from the moment I walked in the door. I stood and watched them all night.

Every once in awhile Lisa would bring me a drink and then wander off to dance and do her own thing. I ended up seeing a few kids from school, we talked. I stood. I watched. My toes tapped to the beat. That was it.

Lisa brought me back with the sun rising in the sky. My heart was full. I never went out with her again as far as I can remember. Never wore skirts out dancing again either. I always was a jeans and sneakers kinda girl.

I did however start going to every underground party I could find. Wednesday-Sunday afternoon from the time I was 16 until I was 21 I danced from sundown to sun up.

I remember the first time I danced the whole night away. My sister and best friends were with me. The music was so sick that night and unlike all the other nights up until this point I didn’t care what other people thought I would look like. I just danced like no one was watching. For hours. Until sunrise.

When we got home we slept like the dead and when I woke up I literally couldn’t walk correctly for 2 whole days. That’s how hard I danced. I couldn’t walk. For 2 days straight.

After that my body became conditioned. I learned more and more, and I became this entirely new creature. I would walk into a club or party with my head held high and a tilt to my chin. I knew I was the shit. I had so much confidence it dripped off me with every step. I’d never felt like that in my life. Not once. But I did then. And it felt AWESOME!

It truly changed me. I can’t say for the better. I cannot honestly say that my life changed for the better when Lisa introduced me to that culture. There are many many things that go hand in hand with that lifestyle that could have killed me. That did kill many many of my friends. We were all too young to know so many dead people.

I’m still too young to know so many dead people.

The music though. And the dance. Oh, the dancing. I’ve never felt so free, so real, so absolutely, positively, me. I belonged. I belonged to the night. To the rhythm. I belonged to the dance.

I hope everyone gets to experience that feeling at least once in their life. Find that moment when you lift your head so high with pride and happiness that you almost touch the sky.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like had my mom said no. Or if Lisa had just looked at me like I was some punk kid, which I was. But I’m thankful. Even with all of the tragedies born of an era and a culture where the parties lasted for days and the kids played hard.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to dance like no one was watching until I believed in myself to dance like everyone was watching, because I wanted them to, Lisa. I made some of the best friends I’ll ever know from coast to coast through my love of dancing. And for that I’ll always be grateful. Wish I could remember your name.

I really don’t know where I’m going with this. Just putting it out into the universe. One of my life-long dancer buddies, and bff passed less than 2 weeks ago and so I suppose I’ve been reminiscing a lot about the past lately and once again coming to terms with how fragile life truly is.

I’ve become so stagnant I forgot how to dance. I went to a Zumba class this week and it hurt. Every step hurt so bad and there were so many moves my broken, worn-down body couldn’t do no matter how hard I tried. (remember the multiple accident thing? Yes, well, the most recent one really destroyed my body, but that’s another story)

But through the pain I smiled. Because I remembered the first night I ever danced and how God-awfully sore I was in the following days. And it brought me back and reminded me that the pain is worth it. It might take a long time till I can walk into a room with my head up, full of ego and swag and think I’m the shit again, but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to try my hardest.

One day I’m going to dance again.

This is my promise. I aim to keep it. And the whole damn world better watch when I do.

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Sunday Mourning

4 letters made you,

but they never contained who you were

How could they?

4 letters combined in perfect harmony

2 consonants

2 vowels

You were a poem before your first step

and held the world in your heart

the gift you gave to every path you crossed

was one of belonging

you made every life special,

be they man, woman, or child

it didn’t matter if they’d known you 5 minutes

5 hours

5 years

you completed them.

As only you could.

your charisma was magnetic

a pull.

Once people entered your orbit they were

lifers

you brought out the good in everyone

the love

the life.

The hope.

And no matter who met you,

no matter how distant the time between

you were never forgotten

Who can forget a shooting star?

The pain, the pain

it cuts deep, my friend

the world is a bitter bitter pill to swallow

without your glow.

your light

your essence.

4 letters

2 consonants

2 vowels

and a world full of compassion

you walked and hearts bloomed in your presence.

we all are better for knowing you.

Adam.

I miss you, my friend. I cannot believe you’re gone.

May you ride the eternal wave in peace and harmony

may your spirit fly higher than it ever did here

and where ever you may be

may there be others who welcome you in with the kindness

the love

the magnanimous

momentous

magnificent

kindness

that you showed all who knew you.

knew your name.

4 letters

2 consonants

2 vowels

and a life blown out way too early, but one that will shine on for eternity.

Adam.

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Signal Loss (or, my apocalypse now! flash fiction entry for terribleminds.com)

My finger ached from pressing the refresh button so often.

It was a sickness, I was sure of it, but I couldn’t keep away from watching the President’s newest word vomit as it projectiled across my screen. For the last 3 days I’d been glued to my computer. Every single post killing me a little more inside.

Who would have thought 140 characters would have such devastating impact on humanity? I held my breath with the rest of the world as we waited. It’d been half an hour since his last post. We all knew a new one was coming any second.

5. 4. 3. 2. 1.

Refresh!

:The dishonest media claims I’m poisoning the ocean with nuclear waste from my latest attack on the bigly continent of my Yuge Kingdom. LIES!

Bile burned my throat. I choked on it’s bitterness as I wiped away tears free-falling from my eyes. I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking when I stood. A silent scream filled the air with its empty voice when I crossed the living room to pull back the curtains.

For the first time in my life I wished I didn’t live on the coast. Having the ocean as your backyard had always felt like a gift. I was special. Any day I could look outside and bam. Paradise, there for my taking.

But today it would be different. And I didn’t know if I possessed the power to face what was out there now.

The scream that managed to evade my voicebox for so long finally made its way out in full force as I took in the catastrophe before me now.

The ocean, once so eloquent in its opulent hues of blue, was now  a sickly, toxic neon green.

I fell to my knees. Not to pray, I’d given up on that concept from day one. No, I fell because I didn’t have the strength to stand anymore.

Somehow, the President had been granted the power to voice his wishes and turn them into reality. Any time he posted, within moments, his words changed the world.

So far, the world had lost half its population. Of course, that was just hearsay due to the fact that with his very first decree, a 700,000 foot wall magically appeared around our country, so it was hard to know for sure. But after what else had come to pass, I believed it heart and soul.

I was one of the lucky ones, as least I liked to tell myself that. At least there was still half a mile’s worth of the sea before the monolith came into view. Not that that mattered anymore.

Wonder what kinda dress matched radiation green? Mom always told me to dress for the occasion. To be honest, I think I’m screwed.

The ringing of the phone pulled me out of my breakdown. With trepidation I answered.

“Yeah?”

“Dude, what in the fuck of fucks?” Sammy never bothered with small talk. I loved her for it.

“I know, I’m staring at it right now. I can’t believe this is happening.”

“Oh, come the fuck on, Leena, seriously? I mean seriously. You can’t believe this after what happened 2 hours ago?” She paused, letting me remember. As if anyone could ever forget.

At 8:56 am on Jan 23rd (only two hours ago, even though it felt like a lifetime) Mr. Prez made the impossible, possible.

:The dishonest media are ZOMBIES. Brain-sucking, Life-taking ZOMBIES. LIARS. The lot of them.

At 8:57 a new breed of monster was set upon the world. Hordes of brain-sucking zombie journalists roamed the streets. Thank fuck I’d gone grocery shopping yesterday when our Ruler Supreme only wished the world into a tropical heatwave with his proclamation that global warming was a hoax.

Note to self, never use the words, if global warming is real than show me. Prove me wrong. Thanks, universe, we really appreciate it. I mean, 123 degrees in winter, in the Pacific Northwest, in winter, is like totally normal. Right?

Sammy’s voice as she cleared her throat in satisfaction grated on my very last nerve.

I answered, wondering when she’d make it home from work. Hopefully she watched the How To Kill A Zombie In 5 Easy Steps tutorial I’d sent her earlier. Who could work in this mess of a life? “Okay. I get your point. But still, this. I can’t . . . I can’t even right now.”

I’d never ever been one of those people unable to finish a sentence before, but I finally understood the meaning behind the phrase, and for the life of me, I don’t think there’s anything more succinct.

“Oh, hun. I know. At least we have each other right. I mean nothing will be able to tear that apart. Our love can overc–”

A sharp beeping noise replaced Sammy’s voice and my body stiffened. No. No!

The phone fell from my hand as I raced to my laptop  and hit refresh again.

My stomach made a home somewhere around my ankles as I scrolled, hoping and praying I was wrong.

:As of now, only the sanctity of marriage as between a man and woman will be acknowledged. Those of same-sex will be as if they never were.

Never were.

Sammy.

No . . .

This was the last straw. I clicked on a link, knowing once I hit enter there was no turning back. The time had come. I’d never been a revolutionary before. But my life, my love, my reason for being were all now a thing of the past.

A large ad glared at me, bright, screaming. I inhaled. The air hit my taste buds with a staleness I would never be able to swallow. So this is what freedom smelled like?

Do You Want To Join The Resistance?

With lightning-fast fingers I typed three simple words that would forever change my life.

Oh, Fuck Yes!

The End

 

 

 

 

 

6570 days was my magical number

At the tender age of 22 I thought the answer to my most fervent wish was 6570 days. It would be 6570 days until I could take a shower whenever I wanted. 6570 days to be able to use the bathroom uninterrupted. 6570 days until I could be day drunk and sleep in as long as I wanted afterwards. (lofty goals, right?)

18 years.

I counted my life not in minutes, not as they flew by, and believe me, my how fast they have flown. But in this dream, that 18 years beyond being 22 I would be free to be myself again, and oh, what a wonderful life it would be.

I was so naive.

Now, I have a new number. 381. I cry every time I recall it. And every day it goes down. It does, no matter how hard I try to hold on. If I could, I would create my own time-turner and wind that thing so damn hard to get back even half a day for every day that passes. because in 381 days my eldest child will be 18.

And what was once such a high aspiration date for me, the one where I was certain I would “find myself again” and get to “re-live my 20s the right way” is now a day I dread. I was so very, very stupid. I never lost myself because of my children. I lost myself because I never gave myself a chance to live beside them. I took up the job of being a stay-at-home mom like I was a flippin martyr, and validated my feelings for the longest time, telling myself I was special because I was so selfless.

I’m so pissed at myself now that I did that to them, and to me. All this time I could have enjoyed being me and a mom. Completely guilt free.

Because in the end, I was always someone.

They never took that away. I wasted so many years thinking I was owed something more in life. And I wasted soo many years waiting. The funny thing is, even when that hypothetical clock stops I will not have achieved that goal. Because I went on to have more kids. So that clock still has a really long time before it runs out. And I refuse to even look up how many days because that’s not how I want to spend my life anymore.

I wonder how many days were spent daydreaming, or being sad that could have possibly been spent in laughter and acceptance? Now, don’t get me wrong. My life with my children has been full of wonderful amazing years. Too many epically perfect moments spent with them that I cannot even begin to count. I close my eyes and can feel their little hands tapping my breast as I fed them. How their heads fit so perfectly into the crook of my arm as they fell asleep against me after a hard day in the real world. How my heart broke alongside them as they experienced their first heartbreak, skinned knee, or social rejection. How I sailed on their pure joy as they discovered a rainbow for the first time, or showed me their latest art creation, or how my heart filled to bursting as I passed the bathroom and paused to listen to whatever song they were singing in the shower so freely. Every secret they’ve trusted me with. Every tear I’ve wiped away. Every hug I memorize so when I’m feeling low I can close my eyes again and feel their warmth and strength lift me up and surround me once more.

That’s why I sometimes mourn, but mainly celebrate the next step in my eldest’s journey. I am so excited for her, and what her path in life will be.

It’s funny the things that seemed so important in my 20s to what made me, me are so trivial now. I am a product of the life I produced and surrounded myself with. I don’t remember ever saying, “when I grow up I want to be a wife and mother.” those were not goals I set for myself. But somehow, that’s what I became, despite my lack of looking for either. But it’s seriously taken me 39 years to realize I am still myself. That I can be a wife, and a mother, and still be me.

I suppose I’m a slow learner. I wish I would have just known this shit instinctually so I would have never given myself such a stupid time frame to look forward to.

So if you happen to be a young mom with no idea of how the world is going to turn out and all you can think of is the what after, I beg you to read this and stop. Relax. Enjoy your life for what it’s become. Rejoice. It will be hard. Those moments when all of your other kid-less friends are out having fun and you’re stuck at home with a miniature human spewing from both ends will be rough, sure. But don’t envy your friends. Smile that they are out having a good time doing their own thing. Cause while they are doing them, you are doing you, and trust me, you are still you. It might be different than you imagined, but you can still love life and enjoy yourself. Just, in another way. Blink and it will be over. And then you’ll be like me, sitting, writing a blog on why you wish you knew then what you know now. ❤

7x7x7 challenge

Ms. @mmhoffman14 tagged me for the 7x7x7 challenge which is to go to your wip and go to page 7, go down to line 7 and paste the next 7 lines. Here is my sample from one of my wips- BAD BEAT

(It’s a YA Contemporary Thriller about a Las Vegas native teen, Sonja, who grows up hustling the casino poker rooms with the help of her fake ID, and her best friend, Kai. Until she wins a little too much, and happens to fall for the mob boss’s son– the same one who happens to be the one assigned to take her out… except this date doesn’t involve dinner.)

 

 

“Fine, fine, there’s a pinot noir in your parents liquor cabinet with my name written all over it anyway.” Silence follows, and I’m not sure if he’s joking or not. Please don’t let it be one of mom and dad’s special reserve.

The door opens a crack to reveal Kai’s brilliant blue hair and sugar-coated smile. A bottle appears. Good, not one they’ll miss.

“Honey, don’t you think I know by now what they’ll notice and what they won’t?” Kai unscrews the top and takes a swig. “Sip?”

“Nope. Gotta keep my mind in the game.” The idea of getting wasted before I’ve even played my first hand makes me wrinkle my nose. “Day drinking’s lame. Who wants to sport a hangover by two in the afternoon?”

“See, there is where you’re going wrong. The trick to avoiding that is to just keep drinking. Daddy always said he wasn’t raising a quitter. If he only knew how well I listened. Maybe he would’ve stuck around longer.” As he holds up the bottle, Kai swallows with vigor. “Probably should have followed his own advice.”

To see his shoulders droop in resignation breaks my heart. “You know he loves you. It’s not your fault. Sometimes people can’t make relationships work. Ya know?”

“But, if I’d been more manly . . . maybe.”

I reach out, grab him, and turn him until we’re eye to eye.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. You’re quarterback of our fucking football team. You’ve known how to change a tire on a car since you were thirteen, and you could probably handyman my entire house if it started falling apart. You’ve got to be one of the manliest boys I know. And if you think for one second the reason your dad left is because you happen to like guys, well . . . I don’t know what to say. Except you’re wrong.”

“Guess we’ll never know, will we?”

 

(I went over the 7 lines, whoops!)

What it’s like having a texture-sensitive kiddo

My big dude is a pretty rad miniature human. At 7yrs old he has managed to grasp a level of humor and sarcastic-ness that far outdoes most adults I know. It doesn’t surprise me.

From the moment he came squalling into the world, bright red, and wrinkled, I knew he was destined for glory the minute the nurse proclaimed “He looks like Benjamin button, just look. It’s like he’s an 80 year old man in a newborn’s body!”

Thankfully, due to the fentanyl drip I’d been given previously, I managed to suppress my backhand urge. But she wasn’t exactly lying either. My 3rd child, I’d indeed birthed an old soul. In the womb he was a duo. I lost his twin before they were fully baked and so he came out solo. But I won’t go into that story because, well, I can’t.

Suffice it to say, we were super excited to welcome this strong-willed survivor and thus named him Alexander. Because after so much, he deserved a strong name. And boy is he strong. Strong-willed, strong in determination, his physicality is impressive, and oh yeah, his aversion to anything “uncomfortable” is the strongest of all.

You see, Big dude is texture-sensitive. Now, I don’t know the medical term.So we’ve developed our own name for it. He says he’s being sensed when it happens. And I think that’s pretty fucking spot on. You might too after you read the description.

If a flavor, texture, smell, or sight triggers something in him he vomits. Like demon-possessed, I’m gonna ruin your best shoes, vomit. It comes without warning, without a moment to grab the nearest container and duck for cover, and it can happen any time.

We’ve grown used to it. Over the years we’ve practiced different ways of trying to tame the pukebeast. From talking himself down, and avoiding different triggers, to making sure that old, dead leaf his sibling just carried in with his shoe is picked up before Alex’s mind tricks him into thinking it’s dog poo and another rug is ruined.

Yeah, we’re like the champions of upchuck.

But every once in awhile I feel really bad for him. Like today.

He was at school, eating lunch, surrounded by his friends and classmates when all of a sudden worst case scenario happens. His friend decides to pour his applesauce all over his cheeseburger and then *gasp* dip it in ketchup.

Typical 7 yr old food experiment- but it waved a red flag of doom in front of Big Dude’s gag reflex and whammo. The cafeteria table became the next scene out of a miniature Carrie- the elementary school years- sequel.

So the nurse called.

I’ve put this on his med records and all the paperwork due every year, but still I understand why a call is warranted. We spoke, and she wasn’t sure if sickness or a sensed moment had happened as of yet. (he failed to tell her all the details at that time)

So I talked to him, he sorta avoided my questioning, which was the first clue to it being a sensed moment. Anyway, I went in and picked him up, just to be on the safe side. When it comes to elementary kids and cooties, you can never be too sure when the next stomach bug might be in full swing.

Once, we got to the car he let the story spill, full of all the embarrassment an event such as this could bring. And so I hugged him,  asked if he was still hungry, (he was) and took him to the nearest pizza joint for a nice hot slice and some good conversation.

So yeah, life with Big Dude is an adventure. Sensory overload at its finest. And maybe he’ll eventually get it under control, or perhaps he won’t. But no matter what, we’ll get through it. All we need is humor, Clorox wipes, and quite possibly, an extra set of shoes.

If any of you reading this are also parents of sensed kids, lemme know! I’d love to connect with others who know exactly what this is like and see if you have any tricks up your sleeve for avoiding the unavoidable. 🙂

Saying goodbye sucks

Losing someone is probably one of the most heart wrenching experiences out there. It doesn’t matter if everyone knew their passing was something coming, or an unexpected accident no one would have ever imagined.

And it never gets okay. Honestly, why should it? But the one thing that’s super scary to me is that you do grow numb to it.

I mean, how weird, and awful, is it that I’ve experienced so much death in my life that I’m actually numb when i hear someone else has passed?

My first friend I lost was shot in the face by a kid with a shotgun because the kids mom didn’t approve of her daughter dating a black boy. So she gave her child a gun to scare him off the front step.

Now, my friend was an amazing person. And the fact that his skin color made someone take his life haunts me to this day. I’d been to funerals before his. Family members and such, but this was the first one that I felt deeply. I’d never been to his church before, even though I basically spent tons of my time in his neighborhood with my girl Trish. But that day of his funeral was something magical.

So many people came that we literally couldn’t fit inside the building. And those voices when they sang his soul to rest, well, they truly were the songs of angels. It didn’t matter that day what your skin color was because we were all celebrating the life of someone, basically still a child, who’d been taken from us too young. And he was loved. And he’s still missed.

From then on it seemed like someone else was falling down that hole of forever gone quicker than I could blink. I grew up in the 90’s, in south Florida, during the rave era. Not the big overblown commercial stuff it is now, but the underground south Florida breaks, electro, drum and bass dirty south scene. And man was it dirty. And dangerous.

Before I was 18 I could count at least 10 kids I’d known who had passed away from drugs. Some od’d. Others were killed in accidents involving dui’s and the like. One of the first people I ever loved met this fate.

My parents moved me to Las Vegas right out of high school. I rebelled and moved back home a few months later. Heck, I was 18 now and I could make it on my own. Or so I thought. So I went home and fell hard. I fell into partying, and dancing, and I fell for a boy so damn hard the world crumbled around me every time I looked at his face.

But he was a bit of a bad boy and had a past. Eventually, I couldn’t take living back home for many reasons and decided to move back to Vegas. This boy wanted to move with me, but he decided he wanted to do it right. He’d had a warrant out for his arrest and told me he was going to turn himself in, do the time and come meet me in Vegas when he got out.

So I left, and went home. We wrote each other pretty much every few days. Running to the mailbox was such an event. And we both loved art so we’d draw and fill pages full of inconsequential things to get us both through the long weeks. Eventually, his time was served and he was set free. We were both so excited!

His mom bought him a plane ticket to fly out to me. I woke up every day counting down the minutes until I’d be seeing him again. The weekend before he was to fly out he decided to go down to Miami to say goodbye to some of his friends. He called me from a party the night before his flight and told me he’d be seeing me in a few hrs. I said have fun, but not too much, don’t want to miss your flight!

We laughed. I sighed and went to bed.

The next morning I got a call from one of my girlfriends back home. Except I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. She was crying so hard I got scared for her. Finally she said two words that pretty much killed me. “Scott’s dead.”

It echoed around my head over and over and over. I didn’t understand. And told her it was an awful joke to be playing on me the day of his flight. Except it wasn’t a joke. He died of a heart attack from a drug overdose. There’s a good chance he could have been saved, except the monsters, for they dare not be named people, he was with left him, without his clothes, wallet or jewlery, out in front of the hospital after it was too late. So yeah. They robbed him and left him to die. And he did just that.

His mom bought me a plane ticket to go back home and attend the funeral. I remember bringing him a lucky poker chip my dad had given me with one of the casino’s names written on it. At his viewing I placed it in his coffin and told him if he couldn’t come to Vegas than I was making sure I brought it to him to keep forever. I said my goodbyes and flew back home and died a million deaths myself.

After that hearing about people’s deaths got easier. How fucked is that for me to say? I don’t know if it’s more fucked that I actually view hearing about someone’s death as easy, or that there’s still so much death surrounding me.

There’s one thing that didn’t get easier though. My fear of everyone I love dying. I might just be the most morbid motherfucker out there. I secretly fear people dying all the time. ALL. The. Time. Do you know how exhausting that is? When my kids go out to sleep at their friends- I fear their lives. When my sis goes out to a party, I’m afraid of a car accident. Hubs flying to New York for work? Plane crash. Parents having Sunday dinner? Choking. It never ends. All these scenarios run through my mind until I have to physically talk myself down.

But I keep it to myself. And then i learn someone else has died and I don’t cry. I don’t mourn. I don’t let go either. I can’t. If I did I might end up breaking for good.

In just the last few weeks, a man who basically was like a second father to me and a boy who was one of my childhood best friends/mortal rivals passed away. These two guys at different times in my life meant the absolute world to me.

And I can’t find it in myself to mourn their passing. I don’t know how any more. After Scott, I’m so empty when it comes to that part of life. Call it self preservation if you will. I cannot ever allow myself to break down the way I did after he passed. I might not be able to put the pieces back together again.

But I know it isn’t healthy either. To keep so much grief bottled up inside. To never let go and say goodbye. I just wish that my friends and family would stop dying for a little while. Give us a break.

I wish Florida wasn’t such a cesspit for kids and such an import state that dangles horrible temptations in front of bored children for them to lose their life on.

I wish more parents of my friends had given a bit more of a fuck about their children and not let them go down that road unhelped.

I’m so thankful I only played around the edges. That I never dove in head first and got caught up in a life of no escape except for the one 6ft below.

As to all the ones I’ve lost from disease, or accidents, old age or overdose. I’m so so sorry I cannot properly say goodbye. I know you deserve it. I’m sorry to all my friends to go to the funerals and are lacking my shoulder to cry on because I’m too much of a pussy to attend. I hope you don’t hate me because I didn’t show up. I wanted to. I swear. I just… I can’t

Life is such a precious thing. If you can remember that at least once a day, everything else will become so trivial. I think that’s what gets me through it. I only wonder, will it always be enough?

What being an intern has taught me so far

So, back in October I stumbled upon an open call for interns/readers for an agency I adore. I think their whole group of agents are pretty spectacular. Now, I haven’t personally gotten to have conversations with all of them. But over the last year or so of seeing exchanges on Twitter, plus all the fantastic words of fellow writers as they mention the agents or the agency, well, it’s really made me think well of them as a whole.

And then this opportunity comes up, and I’m thinking no fucking way would they ever consider me. I’m a stay-at-home mom and have been for over 16 yrs. My work experience is as dusty as a New Mexican arroyo, (an arroyo is a dry creek not slang for something weird) and what do I know about this industry I’m just starting to cut my teeth on anyway?

Nope, no way do I have a chance.

But, because I’m me, and my aspirations run the gamut from trying to become an alpaca farm owner to, oh I dunno, turning a few acres into a community where all my wayward friends can come and lay their head… well, applying to be an intern didn’t seem as unreachable as it could have. If you’ve ever seen the movie Wanderlust, I’m pretty much a real-life, occasional cafe kinda girl.

No has never really been part of my vocab.

So, I applied. Annnd I was denied. But the whole process was so exhilarating.  Reading the sample manuscripts made me feel alive. I was doing something for me, to better myself.

It felt fucking fantastic!

So, I wrote a thank you letter to let the agent know how much the opportunity meant to me. I don’t know if she’ll ever really know how much, but I can only hope. Books have been my escape since I could read. As a child, and then a teen, there were times when life waved at me from the windows, and I would be so caught up in whatever story I was reading at the time that I just waved right back and continued on reading. As a new mom, books got me through a lot of lonely and tired days.

As a stay-at-home mom you tend to lose yourself sometimes. There’s a million and 3 things about it that I’m thankful for every day. But in learning to be selfless it’s easy to lose oneself. And it takes a moment like this to wake up, and say oh yeah, I’m more than a mom.

That was my moment.

Sooo, another intern/reading position came up for the same agent, at the same agency, and I grabbed the bull by the horns, threw caution to the wind, (and a few other cliches) and tried out again.

I made it! I squealed. I shrieked. I did a little victory dance. I probably cried a bit.

Since then, I wake up with a purpose. When I see that email with said agent(angel)’s name, my heart speeds up– cause I know I’m about to take another amazing journey and it fills me with joy.

 

Fellow writers, I admire you so much… Your words inspire me to become that much more in my writing. Every time I finish reading one of your manuscripts it motivates me to push myself that much further. I know your pain and your fear in letting your babies out into the world and having someone judge them. That’s the hardest part. Measuring my truth, my personal taste, and how I feel it will do in a market is so difficult. Every word I write in my report I want to erase. What if that one sentence dooms someone? Alternatively, what if another is the exact sentence needed to realize this ms could be the one?

Thank you, Agent, for trusting me with all the words. Thank you, writers, for making my life that much more. Between you both I have a reason, a reason for myself. Every day that I’m learning something new, honing my craft, and walking this path I send out a silent thanks that she decided to take a chance on me.

I don’t know how much time I have left. I’m not exactly sure of the lifespan of an intern. But I will make the most of every moment I’m given.

Holy shit, I’m one step closer to my dream y’all. One day I’m gonna get somewhere, and be someone, and now I know what I really want to be. I love writing sooo damn much. I’m in love with reading. Author, or agent, or intern for life– I’ve found my home and I don’t ever wanna go back. ❤

Thank you, secret angel agent. 🙂 (I wish I could give her a true shoutout but I’m sworn to secrecy 🙂

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Cass