Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stuck between the bars

This happened to me.



I shit you not.

more animals

It was shortly after Mom died, and Dad and I were out eating at some restaurant in the mall. (At that time it was the “high-class” mall. Close to 30 years later, it’s now the ghetto mall.) The 80's-tastic kind that had the pseudo-wrought iron bars that separated the moneyed masses (who could afford a sit-down restaurant) from the roving teenagers (who were relegated to finding sustenance at Orange Julius). The fact that I considered a restaurant in the mall as the epitome of haute cuisine, I won’t get into now. (Though they DID have the red and white checkered plastic tablecloths, complete with red-glass candle holders. Tres-chic. That’s me, class all the way.)

Anyway, Dad wasn't paying attention to me for a second, so I took my chance, and the bars looked big enough for my head to fit through. (What can I say? Apparently I was having a Laugh-In moment. I loved that damn show.)

The flashes of memory that I have of that time usually contain some sort of restaurant – I guess Dad didn’t want to cook much. Can’t blame the guy. Lord knows I wouldn’t want to cook, or try to referee a 5 year old.

I remember one time (at band camp), wanting to be a “big girl”, big enough to go to the restroom “aw by myself”, but then after traversing the tribulations of finding a non-icky toilet, one that didn’t smell like mold, hermetically sealing the toilet, then maneuvering my short-ass self onto the toilet, I find myself screaming for help, because I was too small to open the floor-to-ceiling stall door by myself. For hours I tried to wrench open that door (though it was probably more like 45 seconds) just so I could prove that I could do it on my own. I think it was at a Coco’s. Dad had to come in and open the door for me. I felt like an ass.

There are many instances of me doing something dumb in public, in a restaurant. Oh hell, I still do that to this day. (If you’ve eaten out with me, or just have seen me eat, you know this. It’s one of the reason’s I steer away from light coloured tops. And I always ask for extra napkins. Shit, I really should have my own travel-bib.)

Back on point – I *thought* my head was big enough to fit through those bars. And it was. Reversing my head, and ears, back out through the bars though? A bit trickier. Apparently ears easily bend one way, but not the other. I was able to get out (as evidenced by me typing this to you now from my bedroom, and not from that same booth in the restaurant), but it was only because the waitress (and Dad) buttered up my neck, head, and ears with butter (shit you not, they buttered my head with those single-serving pats) in order to pull my head-strong self out of those bars.

Did I learn my lesson? Not really. Sometime within the next year, I did the same thing. Except this time I wasn’t publicly humiliated.

Friends of the family lived in a two-story apartment, which had the metal-latticed staircase frame. Their kid, who was the same age I was, and I were playing. He wanted to play cops and robbers – where he was the cop, I was the robber – and wanted to handcuff me to the frame work. Before he could, though, I did THE SAME DAMN THING. This time though, I realized my ears wouldn’t break if I just held my breath, pulled back quickly, and bit down my tears. There was no way I was going to let my head get greased up again. The back of my ears were a bit tender for a while, but nobody else (except for Cristian) knew of my humiliation. Well, until now at any rate.

To this day, I have this overwhelming urge to stick my head through railings. Weird? Very. Yet, I still succumb to that stupid temptation of, “hey, it looks like I can fit my noggin’ through there …” Just a few years ago, I found myself sticking my head through the second-story railing of the apartment complex I lived in. The view was superb.

I guess I like to look at the world from different angles, with a heavy metal safety guard. Then, as now, I just … I just want to run, fly kites, wrestle, jump, and play. You really can’t do that when your head is shoved up your ass. Or stuck between bars.

I’m coming home. No … I AM home.

Anyone have any butter?


Monday, September 15, 2008

Take me out ... tonight ...

Apparently I'm on a Smiths kick. Embracing my old goth/punk/new wave days. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I DID listen to hair metal. It was great escape. Still is. But The Smiths? Joy Division? *swoon*)

We find succor in our past, no?

The last few years have been a learning experience, with a steep fucking curve. Would I have it any other way? Some parts yes. But overall?

Hmmm. May I get back to you on that?


Alright then. (Ya bastard inquisitor! I shall call you Torquemada ... )

Would I? No, I wouldn't. Our parts create the sum, no? I'm finding that my sum is just fine. Now. It's always growing, changing, and morphing. It's a little twisted, a little chipped, but overall ... I like my total. My end product. It's not perfect, but it is mine.

Have I made mistakes, messed up, and fucked up? Of course.

Haven't you?

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" and all that.


Growing up I always felt I should be seen, and not heard. Some of that concept was spoken and unspoken, explicit and implicit. Either way, I took both views to heart. Only after I lived 30 years was it that I realized that maybe, just maybe, I could be heard as well, and that I wouldn't disappear because of it. Or stop being loved over it.

That being seen AND heard wasn't a venial sin. (Just a mortal one.) That maybe my former teachers weren't blowing sunshine up my ass, and that possibly, maybe, my words (and how I strung them together) had some value.

I don't want to preach. I don't want to be an example. I don't want to DO anything, really. I just want to be. To exist. Yes, there are a lot of dark abysses that I harbor and embrace. There are also a lot of bright pockets of light. (That whole parts=sum thang.) When I write to the 'nets at large, I don't want to be read as a harpy. Or as a know-it-all. Or to be viewed as needy, or over-opinionated. I just want to be read. To be understood. Not to be seen as though I'm standing on a soapbox. Just ... to be ...

Isn't that what we all want, deep down? That to know, in the cacophony of life, our voice stands out? Is felt? Is heard?


The other night, I dreamt I was skiing. Fighting moguls, a triple diamond course. And it felt good. Invigorating. Scary, yet life-affirming. There are so many things that could go wrong while having two thin boards strapped to your feet: falling off a cliff, impaling yourself with a pole, or breaking some bystanders nose (yeah, the nose thing is a true story. To that unknown woman, I'm truly, deeply sorry.)

Skiing was something I loved as a child, as a kid, as a teenager. Honestly, it's something I still love. (I just haven't done it in a dog's age.) I woke up ... longing, and semi-sad. But I also awoke joyful. An odd juxtaposition, that.

I was curious, so I looked up what skiing is supposed to mean in the land of dream-speak. What the dream-dictionary said was, "To dream that you are skiing, suggests that you are pushing yourself and putting your mental and/or physical ability to the test. You are your own fiercest competitor."

Hmmm. Oddly, that's true. Very. On so many different levels. (And it sure as hell beats the "transvestive pooping outside of my bathroom stall" dream of a few months ago.)

And you know what? I'm over being seen. I want to be heard; I guess that's why I'm trying to write more, and put it out to the world at large.

(Those of you who know me I say, "Fine! Put me in a room with people I don't know, and I'll still be the person standing in the corner bogarting the buffet. Being in the center of action, the life of the party, will never be me. Baby steps people. Baby steps. Now pass some more of that shrimp cocktail my way!")


Shyness CAN stop you ... from doing all the things you'd like to. Lord knows it stopped me. Still does, at times. But I am finding out this ...

... I AM woman.

Hear me write.


(Thanks Ms. Bug. I read this years ago, but re-read it again tonight, and it made me think. Again. http://people.tribe.net/queen_of_pumpkins/blog/820dcb0e-4008-4695-80a9-98076fe7f97e)