Monday, December 31, 2012

Of Bribes and Year's End

Starting my truck requires bribery now a days.

Most mornings (or afternoons, or evenings...or just whenever), it likes to trick me.

Iris opens the driver door, propels herself over the car seats and opens the passenger door (that door refuses to work with a key). I haul Aeva in who is always too busy hugging a toy or as of late, a leap pad, to bother weaving arms into her harness. Digging for the bottom of the 5 point harness stuck under her ass CANNOT be a welcome morning routine but I kid you not, she never helps the issue. With Aeva snugly restrained, feet banging on the dash, I run around the back of the truck making sure that Iris is as comfortably settled in the back jump-seat as possible and I hop into my seat. I insert the key into the ignition, hear the beeping sound alerting me to power in the cabin so I turn the key and


I cannot tell you how many freezing cold mornings I just slam my forehead on the steering wheel. Theres only one way to fix this and it comes with a good dose of frozen fingers, fear of electrocution, and public humiliation. I have to bribe the be-damned hunk of Harrison Ford Steel to start. Heres how I do it:

Popping the hood, I come up the driver side of the truck sliding my hand down to the latch soothing the now stubborn beast.
"Its ok there big guy...juuuuust looking to see what ya look like this morning"
Finding the terminals on the batteries, I inch in carefully.
"Whats this?? Are your connectors loose? Well Ill just check and see..."
Before you know it I yank off the negative terminal and the Beast sets off its car alarm, rousing every goddam nosey neighbors attention on this ghetto ass block. Silencing it requires pulling off the positive terminal while being careful that the negative terminal doesnt slyly tap back into the game and fry me something toasty.
With both terminals off the battery, the Beast is silenced.

"Ha! AND what?!"

There are two exposed fuses in the maw of the Beast that have a tendency to confuse me. One is of apparent value to the Ford, the other could fizzle out and die without grunt of care. Recently i've marked the important fuse and its this one I yank out with frozen fingers this morning....and drop into the guts of the engine. Fun-fucking-tastical. Luckily I have long fingers, small wrists, and a desperate need to reach the fuse at any fleshy cost.

Come here my precious....
"See there Beast? I have your fuse. You want your fuse back you say? Well theres only one way to go about must let that engine purr, or chortle or what ever is necessary in order to get us chugging along 295 cuz I GOTS ta go! Deal?"
I can only imagine that this inanimate and inconsiderate metal wreck on wheels nods its head? Hood? Shocks??? Appealing to my humanity for the return of its buck toothed fuse. I let it watch me think a minute, admiring the little piece in the gray light of the ass-crack of dawn.
Pocketing the fuse, I replace the negative terminal first and then cautiously connect the positive terminal all the while hoping it wont zap the ever living crap out of me. Ive got metal in my body and horrible luck with machinery... you tell me not to worry...

The cabin light coming on is a sign that so far, were good. The Beast has given me a false sense of hope a few times before, but not today. Today when I turn the key, the Beast roars to life and even does a little shimmy to show its enthusiasm. Jumping back out, I replace the fuse, unhook the hood and let it slam. I pat the beast and climb in.

It seems that this year is personified in my decrepit Found On Road Dead Ranger. Its been crappy. I went from Jeep Compass smooth living, to begging a two seater truck to just make it one more more day. There is much compromising, bribing, and plain ol sucking-it-up now a days for me and the gals. We've moved too many times and began to find boring days to be the most appreciated days of all. I've learned to rely on myself, and myself alone because when youre locked out at 1 am, Maintenance will NOT pick your lock so fucking keep a spare key SOMEWHERE.
Theres a lot to be said about the past year but its just that...past. Its almost nearly chronologized in this blog, all my one step forwards 10 steps back choreographing my own little cha-cha. I cant tell you that I am better today, because I dont always feel it, but I am alive. Im ... wiser. Im able to take in situations without just sitting down and giving up or hiding under my covers until Ive cried it out of my system.

Today the girls and I toasted the arrival of a new year freshly bathed (to clean off any impurities of the past), with money in our hands (for financial stability in the coming year), yummy food in our bellies (that we may never find our selves hungry), Sparkling Apple-cranberry Cider (for the sheer loveliness of simple things to be enjoyed), and poppers... for joyful noises in our coming year of Restoration.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook

I first heard about it, like most everyone else, at work.


I was in an office full of coworkers whom have kids. There was discussions about what they could do to prevent it from happening to their own children. What we as a country could do to preventing it from happening again.

I put my head down and delved deeper into my stack of paperwork. I will not think.

I was delayed in leaving work due to my work load. I shouldered my bag at 15 past my usual exit time, got in my truck and drove steady. I will not rush.

My daughters excitedly greeted me with squeals and stories of a school field trip. I listened and commented. I will not panic.

I switched off the local radio station.

At home I let them stand in the kitchen with me and make a hodgepodge dinner from left overs, handed out juice boxes and settled on the couch with bowls in our laps to watch a DVD. Uneaten dinners still went unrewarded with dessert.
I offered up hot cocoa in mugs we designed, popped in a second DVD to the girls' surprise, and snuggled in the dark. 9pm. 1030 pm. 11pm. Tired girls made their way up the stairs having surpassed even a weekend bedtime.
I crawled in bed and had fit full dreams. Night terrors.

Most everyone that reads the words I write tell me I have a way with these words. I write like I speak. I am able to commit to paper things that others have difficulty expressing even verbally.
Where are my words now? I am unable to wrap it around the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. Why are my words unable to penetrate grief and unravel it in a form for others to read and understand?

These little ones are gone. They barely touched this earth and from it they were stolen. In believing that we are all part of one consciousness, one soul...I believe that they have reached our Greater Form and are free from the pain and anguish and terror they must of felt. But the grief and pain is always for those left behind isnt it? Thats the reality of it. We who stay behind are left with a lifetime, however long or short, of grief and sorrow for those we no longer walk the path with.

These parents. They cherished the 2 pink lines such few years ago, Im sure. They prepared their entire world for an arrival of a life, the greatest achievement we could ever be granted. They took care to wipe runny noses, and child proof homes. They kept doctor appointments and taught self awareness. They held little hands growing bigger, skin made of their own skin, and knew that this child was theirs and theirs alone. This child they knew like they could never know another being in this existence. This anchor to life here, this purpose in a small little frame and upturned face smiling brightly.

There are no words for me to try to express what is only a FEAR of a call saying my child is gone.  A FEAR. That in my absence someone has dashed the breath of the little one who is the better form of my very soul.

They say a teacher shielded children and paid for it with her life. They say that others tried the same. Some failing. Some not. Their absolute bravery for children not even their own...the love that buoyed them through the sacrifice.

I dont care to hear what gun laws/behavioral health could/could not have done. I dont care to see or know about the odios excuse for a human who brought this upon innocent children. These things dont matter right now. They cannot change a fucking thing.

Ive met with death, of that Im sure. There cannot be anyone who at some point in their life hasnt thought: whats the point? I know I have. That very question was poised to me by Death while inside the wreck of my vehicle some few years ago.
'Whats the point?' It asked as my vision narrowed and I felt a calm release just up ahead. In that narrow tunnel I saw my Iris, head bowed over a scraped knee. Alone and without me. 'I could never kiss another boo boo' were my exact thoughts at her desolate image. So I started to scream. She is my point, as is Aeva. My children are my point, reason, and purpose in life. Without me, who would be there to guard and love them like only I can?

Those parents...

Ive seen my dearest friend hold her only child and know whats to come. Hold her close as she released from this world.
I have hugged friends who held in little boxes the child who was born without breath.
I have myself grieved the loss of two angels who I never got to hold.

These parents...they held these children and KNEW them...planned their future knowing their voice and interests and scent...Yet someone took them.

From far away they get told.

My girls dawdled today. They both took their sweet sweet time getting bathed and dressed for bed. In PJs they both sat on the couch with me and watched Cinderella until Aeva herself asked to go to bed. Im exhausted, they have a million bedtime rituals, and my injuries are particularly achy today.

But I am just tucking them into bed. Kissing eyes that are merely sleepy. Smoothing faces I will see in the morning. They are my point. And they are alive.

Oh little souls.... the grief resounds in my soul. And your parents...I cant ever even imagine.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ho Ho Holy Fudge Sticks

Baltimore was most definitely NOT my top choice of towns to live in when it came time to find my own place. Its busy, noisy, dirty and dare I say ghe-heh-toe.
That, my ebonically challenged friends, is my way of sprucing up the word that best describes my dwellings: Ghetto.
Im not going to get into what exactly makes this place so.....Urban....but understand that I dont enjoy the firehouse alarms and Police sirens every quarter of an hour. The first time I heard the firehouse let out its wailing alarm I thought: OMFG! Were under attack!!
I quickly ducked as did the girls and we kept an ear out for 'The Big Voice' to tell us what to do next.

Apparently only military bases have those kinds of sirens. This one was just for the fire rescue.

Naturally, what with the constant authorities running amuck, my friends became concerned that I would need protection in case of a house invasion.
Get a gun! They said. A nice little glock with a safety!
Ha! I rather a shot gun! Scariest sound in the world!
So is its price tag unfortunately.

I got this guys! I got this! I have a broad sword! An honest to God broadsword. Stands 3/4s of my height and possibly just as heavy. Unsheathing it is a struggle but I was confident that I could wield it should someone dare break in during the night. I envisioned myself standing at the top of the stairs, a mighty sight, sword poised and ready to slay any heathen who dares cross my threshold uninvited.

What actually happened was I glued up an alarm system that went off when contact with the door sensor was interrupted. It conveniently failed to stay glued at around 3 am that same night, rousing me panicked and disoriented with its 'wake-the-dead' shrieking. I bypassed the sword, smacking into the bedpost, dresser, and door jam before unsteadily reaching the apex of the stairs, taking 3 wobbly steps down and tumbling the entire rest of the way.
Good news? If I had picked up the sword id be a mess.
Better news? Im sure even a thief would think twice about robbing a woman crazy enough to launch herself unarmed as ammo at his entrance.

Ah, good times. Good times.

But its not just me. No. See, I decided to go out to a bar called Howl at the Moon one weekend with a friend to listen to the dueling pianos and relax with a few drinks. Being that Baltimore is pitifully parking-challenged, and I dont need a DUI, I called a cab.
Dont EVER get into a 'cab' that lacks the Taxi signage, meter, nor visible licensure to operate. No matter how confident your 'friend' is.
First and foremost, no good cabbie immediately launches into his views on pot and the government's plot to control us through its illegal status. I started to question his sobriety when the words 'at least when you smoke you only like, sleep for a while and then get up and like, live again. Cuz alcohol and meth, they like make you sleep and you never come back man' came along
Somewhere with in a mile of the bar my cabbie decided to stop. In the middle of the street. Wayyyyyy before a green light.
Both my friend and I kept ducking to see if perhaps we had stopped at a red light that was too far above us to see from the back seat. Nope. No red light.
Thats when genius said: "Oh man, this isnt a light! Whoa, guys, why didnt you tell me this wasnt a light?"
Id of jumped out if wasnt held down.

Yesterday I thought it would be nice to try to make life here in Bmore much more ... normal. I ran into Walmart and grabbed a long box labeled 'Christmas Tree-6 ft tall' and raced home to show the girls. Today, after dinner, we broke into the box and voila: The grown up version of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree, tilt and all.

And fuck 6 feet. I can see over the top of it and I KNOW I havent grown vertically lately. The bedamned thing is scrawny and gnarled and every penny a $20 buck slump.
Much like me and this situation we call home, the girls took to it in excited little voices, lacing the plastic threaded wires with strings of lights and shiny baubles on hooks and making it merry. Theyve lit it up and placed sweet candy canes all on its pokey branches, making it a tree worthy of gifts and joy.

The bottom half of lights has fizzled the fuck out.

I aint seen nothin'.