Monday, August 30, 2010

But I Do Have Moments of Good Luck

I went to go and buy my books today for college. My loan hadn't been approved, but I found out about that magical thing most schools do called BOOK LOANS. And wonder of wonders, my school was supposed to do it! Well, hallelujah sang the angels, my life is spared. Spared, I tell you!

Except they don't do it anymore. Because "It wasn't working out for us." Which basically translates to how much they hate forking over money if they don't haaaaave to, and according to them, they never have to. My loan, which I wouldn't have had to take out if they did anything with any kind of expediency, will be approved in two weeks. Keep in mind just about every other school in the world will look and see you have loans coming in, let you go to the book store, sign three forms, and get your books. But not JCC!

"Can't you go without books for two weeks? That isn't that long."

...Can I go to two weeks without books? No. No I cannot. The book I need is for biology, and my lectures are all online. So if I go to read my lessons without the book, I will silently wonder what the fuck is going on. I don't think my instructor would tell me this was REQUIRED READING if I could do without it, being that it is biology and not, say, English. I have a great instructor this semester (at least I've heard he's great. Strict, but great) who doesn't want you to have to be loaded down with bullshit books.

So now I have to take a loan from my friend for two hundred books, which I am loathe to do. I mean, I'm twenty years old, I shouldn't be borrowing this amount. Five dollars for lunch, maybe. But two hundo? Not so much.

She Who Must Be Kept can't give me a damn thing, and I can't even be mad at her for it. I was supposed to have money, and money was too tight this summer to really even begin to save a penny. This is really frustrating because I do have the money, just not in my palm where it needs to be, you know?

So now I got to cry in front of all my friends on my first day of seeing them again after a three month separation (for most of them). That was lovely. "Hi Tai, how are you doing?" *SOB!* But hey, I have to have the book.

I do have moments of good luck, though. I was hanging up my phone to charge. I string the cable up through the handle of my cabinet and let my phone rest on the handle so it doesn't fall in the sink or get knocked down.

I dropped my phone. I was ready to lay down and die, because there was a bowl of water in the sink. Happily, my phone JUST landed in an EMPTY cup. It was possible the best thing I'd seen all day.

I'm also spoiled, because the same friend who is lending me the money took me to FYE today. I saw a TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES WALLET!!!! ON CLEARANCE FOR SEVEN FIFTY DOWN FROM SEVENTEEN! I have no money, but he bought it for me because apparently my whole face lit up.

And my other friend bought me CKY, which is Bam before Jackass, and a collection of HIM music videos, AND the new Black Veil Brides CD! Well, thanks! I AM paying him back when my freelance job pays me. Awesome, right?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Memento Mori


Now that you are gone, there is music echoing in my ears, such that I had never heard before. It was so strange, because now that you are not here, I understand that you were music. There was music in your laughter, there was rhythm in your every move. The way you spoke was harmony, and even when your voice was rising in that frightening crescendo, you were a symphony. Did you always hear music? Was there always a song playing in your head? Or am I foolish for thinking such a thing could be true about you?

Now that you no longer walk with me, I have found how warm the things you made are. I have gone and wrapped myself in the cottons and wools that I had once sneered at. I lay on the bed where once you laid, and wrap myself in the covers that you found such comfort in. I am reliving the comfort, the warmth, the embrace that you must have felt in the things you made with your on fingers. The day you died I took down your favorite shawl and wrapped it over my own shoulders. How could I have been so blind to not see this before, how could I have been depriving myself of such a delight? How could I have deprived you of the sight of seeing me enjoying this?

Now that you no longer sit at my breakfast table, my taste buds have awoken. I have sat down and smelled the heat of tea with sugar, have tasted it flowing down my throat. I have to say that it tastes like you? For too long, I was searching for that. For too long, my teeth were aching for the familiar flavor of you. How is it that I never made this simple connection before? How is it that I never let myself drink this in before, never before tasted you all day like this?

Now that you don't sit up all night anymore, I have found the wonder of stars. I sit awake, again wrapped in your shawl, and I sit with the window open. I feel the cold air of the night, virgin and new, blowing over me. I number the stars, name them such as the Greeks never would have dared. Here is the Light of Your Eyes. Here is Your Smile. And here... Here is Your Face. I trace these shapes and never could I make anyone else believe they are there. Why did I never come and sit with you like this? Why did we never paint a masterpiece in the sky together?
Now that you are gone, I know what it is to be lonely. I took you for granted. I thought you'd always be waiting for me, curled up on the battered couch, with the moth eaten blanket draped over your body. I thought I'd always find the old tomes in your hands (I have discovered what it means to feel those pages beneath my fingers, to read the words that are so ancient and still so resonating with my soul! How could I never have noticed before?). I thought you'd always wake up next to me, your hair a mess around your face, your eyes blurry and never lighting until they landed on my face. I know now what it means to walk these streets, so full of people and still so empty. I know what it means to turn the key in the lock and smell nothing but my breakfast dishes, in this dark, dusty apartment.

Now that you are gone...

...I suddenly remember that I will die, too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cell Phoning It Up

I go through a lot of cell phones. I realize a lot of people say this, but no, with me it's really true. Perhaps it's because I have a nasty habit of buying cheap phones, perhaps it's because I'm just really careless. Either way, my phones break.

First I had;
The Oystr. This lasted me---ooooh, I think eight months. The screen started freezing, and then I dropped it one night, and the screen never turned back on.

After that, I had the Audiovox. This was a used model, but still served my purposes beautifully. I dropped that one in a sink full of dishwater, and clearly it wouldn't work after that.

I then went and got myself a Marbl, which was slow as shit and made me want to stab myself in the eye. It was only ten dollars though, so I guess it had that going for it? Although not much else.

I then went and got a TNT. This was a fine model, and I adored it. However, my cat decided that I neglected him for the phone, and knocked the phone off a shelf, smashing the screen. Thanks, cat.

After THAT I finally bought myself a Wild Card, on clearance for fifty dollars, which was half off the original one hundred. I've had it for about a year and eight months, which is the longest I've ever managed to keep a phone. But it too is beginning to break from constant wear and tear.

I didn't even get a cell phone until I was seventeen, and I only got one then because I was going across the country to stay with some friends for Christmas. I'm on a prepaid Virgin Mobile plan (and I have had plenty of issues with Virgin Mobile). I pay fifty bucks a month and get unlimited texting, four hundred anytime minutes, and unlimited nights and weekends.

I love my cell phone. I didn't know how much I'd love it until I got it. It's always in my pocket, and I even hate turning it off for class sometimes. What if someone needs me?!? Something terrible could go down in the two hours I'm without it! The world could end!

What is really funny about my phone, though, is She Who Must Be Kept. She likes to get up on her high horse and talk about how SHE doesn't have a cell phone. SHE doesn't need to be plugged in twenty four seven!

But the moment she walks through the door; "Where's your phone? Did anyone call for me? Can I use your phone? What do you mean it's charging!!" So basically, she has a cell phone, she just has be drag it around. And yes, we have had some fights over it. God forbid I use the thing to talk to my friends, right?

Also, she can barely use the thing. She's been known to let it ring while holding it in her hand, staring mystified until it goes to voicemail. "Green button," "...What?" "PRESS.THE.GREEN.BUTTON! For the fifty seventh time! You know what, just give it here. Don't touch it anymore. Okay?"

She also says it's rude to text while I'm out eating, to text while I'm shopping with her, to text while we're in the car.... I disagree with that. I agree that there is a time and a place for texting, and those are all acceptable. If I was not engaging in conversation because I was so entranced with my phone, I could see her frustration. But I'm still talking to her, I'm also just letting someone else know that yes, I'll be home later, or no, I'm not going out tonight, or yes I got the lab report done. I do understand why she thinks that this is all stuff that can wait, but it's annoying to sit and wait for someone to send you a one word reply for over an hour.

I don't think it's okay to text in say, class! I have sat and watched girls text all through a lecture, then turn around and ask me what we were doing. In one class, I just started making things up while the instructor laughed because he refused to help her too if she wouldn't listen. I think she somehow squeezed by. I don't text in the movies. I wouldn't text while driving.

I just don't understand why older people think it's sooooooo ruuuuuuuude to text at all though. Is this a generational thing?

Monday, August 23, 2010

In the Heat of the Summer Sunshine

The summer is almost over.

It's strange; when I was small this season seemed to stretch on endlessly. Even when I switched to a school that only gave roughly six weeks for vacation as opposed to the nine everyone else got, it felt like forever.

This is the summer that was terribly short. I don't think I mind that so much. I'm tired of the heat, of the sound of fans blowing constantly. I'm tired of walking somewhere and having the back of my hair get all sweaty and sticky. I'm rather eager for some cool night and the smell of fall.

I don't think I'm looking forward to school. I set up my schedule so I only have to be on campus two days a week. (This frees up time for my freelancing, my homework, and adjusting my sleep schedule.) But I usually go all four days, just so that I can make use of the tutoring center and the internet, and yes; see my friends.

But I won't miss this sunshine.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"It Was Only For A Minute!"

I went to the mall today. I love going to the mall. It's a dying art now, being a Mall Rat. Leaving us are the days when you could spend whole summer afternoons hanging out at the mall, people watching and sipping and Italian Soda.

At least we'll always have Wal-Mart for our cheap entertainment.

Anyway, it's August. It's HOT in August, although today, it wasn't as bad as it's been earlier this summer. We've had some pretty humid days, and while today wasn't the worst, it still wasn't what I'd call comfortable.

I was walking a couple friends to their car so another friend and I could keep hanging out. My friends informed me that when they had arrived ten-fifteen minutes previously, there had been a minivan full of kids left in the sun.

"Did you call the police?"
"No," they looked at me, aghast.
"Is there even a window cracked?"
"Kind of?"

We approached the mini van, which was parked directly next to my friend's car. Sure enough, there is a car load of kids, one small enough to be in a car seat. While there wasn't a "window cracked" the back door for the trunk part was left wide open. Ventilation, right?

"Should we call someone? I'm really tempted. I think I should." I pulled out my cell phone, because, good grief, who leaves their kids in the car, in the heat, and leaves the trunk open!?!? This is screaming TERRIBLE IDEA to me!

Suddenly, coming rushing from behind me, was a tall woman, very well put together, with hair matching that of all the children. They all cried out with joy and called her Mommy, so I guess she was their mother. She glared at me as I said my goodbyes and headed back into the mall.

Well, Jesus lady, I'm sorry you didn't want to drag five kids into the mall, but they could have been A) kidnapped B) hit by a car when they decide to climb out of that trunk door C) had the heat take them if it had been too much hotter out.

I'm not a parent, and there is a SHIT TON I don't know. BUT WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? I later saw her hauling them all through Wal-Mart, giving me pointed looks. Okay, so you're doing what a mother does. What, you want a cookie to go with that?

I realize I seem really indignant here, but I always hear at least one story a summer of a child left in the car who dies, and I don't want to have be responsible for that. I also know when I was a kid and my mom left me in the car (AND SHE DID!) I *hated* it. I would sit and cry because I was so frustrated with waiting and thinking she'd forgotten me. So maybe I'm projecting all those feelings. And maybe she had just taken longer than she'd expected, and maybe she had to go inside because there was something she absolutely needed. There could be a million and one explanations that lady could give me.

...But really. Her kids. In the van. Trunk open. Seriously?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Saga of Who The Hell Knows? Part the Second

I had my follow up appointment with my specialist today. We'd gotten results from my blood work about half a week after the first one, and the doctor had said my vitamin D was low. She prescribed me 50,000 units to be taken once a week.

"Huh," She Who Must Be Kept and I said. "That seems kinda high. But are not doctors and we will trust that the doctor knows what she is doing. After all, we are paying for these services."

Today, I got to the office (AT EIGHT THIRTY THIS FREAKING MORNING!! BLAAAARGH!) and promptly went back to the room, which is a refreshing change of pace. We waited for only five minutes before the doctor popped back.

She complimented my nail polish and liked that my nails and toes matched before sitting down. I'm feeling a hundred times better than I was. For almost a week now I've woken up with no joint pain at all. I simply get up and shuffle to the bathroom to get dressed for my day. I can even sit up on my own.

"So what exactly was my vitamin D level?"
"Oh, nine,"
"Really? Well, what's normal?"
"About thirty."
"....What?" SWMBK and I said in unison.
"Yeah, I don't see it that low. You really should get out more. But I'm not sure, given your sun allergy, that your body can even process it correctly."

NINE. My level is NINE. How is that even possible!?!? The doctor was impressed with my progress and weight loss and told me to keep it up. I got a multivitamin (which is not Flintstone's, but a real grown up kind), told to finish this course of vitamin D, get my blood checked, and if she finds it unsatisfactory, we'll do another course. Regardless, I'll get checked again in March and will most likely need another course anyway.

But you know what? I am completely fine with that!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Hey, do you think you could...?"

There are some friends of mine that, for one reason or another, I really dislike doing favors for. And I hate that, because I want to be a nice person and do for others. I've always been taught that you should do for others, because you don't know when you might need a favor or something yourself, and you'd want others to oblige wouldn't you? Of course you would. Now go and do that thing you really despise. There's a dear.

For the record, I have no issue loaning fifty cents, loaning my cell phone to make QUICK IMPORTANT CALLS like work or your mother or your kid or your grandmother or whatever, helping someone figure out their college e-mail, running a message, stitching up a small tear, lending a DVD, letting someone borrow my mp3 player while I'm in class/wasn't going to use it anyway. Those are all things that don't affect my life one way or the other, and they earn me undeserved brownie points.

What I mind is when I get asked something like; "Can your (insert relationship here) look at my very expensive electronic device for really cheap?" Well sure, let me volunteer their services really quick. And sometimes I do volunteer other people, and for the most part, it doesn't really matter. But then it gets worse because; "Can you also find transportation for my very expensive electronic device, because I am obviously much too busy to get it there myself? What do you mean you don't want to carry it in this plastic grocery bag on the bus? Well won't it fit in your purse? Well can't you move the things in your purse to the bag?"

Sure. Whatever.

I don't like carrying that stuff because if it gets broken while in my care, I cannot afford to replace it. I don't even have places in my house to stash my stuff, let alone expensive devices that don't belong to me. What's even better is the mass shock when they realize I can't also transport it back to them because I actually have a life. "Well, why can't you?" BECAUSE! Because NO! Because!

I also mind; "Will you come here with me? Oh, by the way, I have no idea when we're going, so--just be awake." No, screw you. You want ME to go with YOU. I don't care if I go or not. But now I have to get out of bed and wait on bated breath for you to grace me with your presence? I don't think so.

I mind; "Oh I need to drop this off to you (most likely because you're taking it somewhere for me). I'll be over at (insert reasonable time here)." And then--THEY DON'T SHOW UP. And when I text them, they have the audacity to take an attitude about it. "I'll get there when I get there."

No, you won't. You're wanting me to do something for you. When people pull up to my house, the dog barks. When the dog barks, it keeps She Who Must Be Kept awake. When SWMBK is awake too long, she gets cranky due to her medicine. I think you'll get here in the times I say you can, because you know what? It's my house, and maybe you should be grateful I'm doing something for you!

I mind; when someone decides that I'm not doing something in a timely enough manner for them. No, quit it. I'll get it done the VERY moment that I can. Back off and give me a minute, and maybe it'll get done. I mean, if I've had, like, a t-shirt of yours to fix for over a week, yeah you can and should ask about it. If you gave it to me yesterday when you know I have class the next day? Well, just chill out.

And you know what? I mind; when someone asks to borrow my cell phone and then beauguards it all night long/obsesses over it. I know you're expecting a phone call that I let you give out MY phone number for (and trust me, I hate doing that. I let someone use my phone and his family proceeded to call me for a week straight and get mad when I told them I didn't know where he was. "But he called from this number!" "Yes, I know. He isn't here. I don't know where he is. Either buy him a cell phone or get him a GPS chip or something if it bothers you." "Well, he's dodging our calls." "THEN THERE IS YOUR CLUE! Do not call here again!"). But when you walk up to me every ten seconds and go; "Did anyone call for me? Did such-and-such call? Did the phone ring? Will you check it?" I get pissed off.

I AM SITTING RIGHT HERE. You can HEAR my phone if it rings. Did you hear it? No? Then go away. I'll get you the very second that it rings.

I hear so many people complain about how no one is willing to do favors anymore. But you know what? I'm not surprised! There's this magic sense of entitlement that I've noticed quite a bit, and I just want to make it all go away (including my own). Nobody owes me, you, your Great Aunt Sue or your daddy's uncle's octopus anything at all. If you need something, you ask very politely, and they should very politely say no or agree to it. If they say no, then the conversation is over. It doesn't make them a "bad friend" or a "mean person". You don't know why they said no! Maybe they legit couldn't do it! Every time I have to refuse a favor, I feel TERRIBLE and most people I know do too.

I think we, as humans, want to be nice. But we, as humans, are also apt to take advantage of the niceness of others. It leads to some *very* sticky situations, and it's sort of a bummer. But.. Well... I guess there it is.

But yeah, you can totally borrow my pencil. Just keep it. I have a billion.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Reach Out and Touch...

I'm a writer. If you ask me what I do for a living, I will tell you I write. And this is true, I do freelance writing, which earns me a pittance by which I can scrape by sort of kind of. But really, I'm a novelist. I'll tell you this the way a stripper will tell you she's really a singer, or an actress, or something.

I write. I write short stories, poems, novels, just about anything that comes to my mind. I typically always have a journal in my purse so I can jot down some stuff here and there. Every fall I participate in something called National Novel Writing Month, wherein I have thirty days to complete a fifty thousand word novel.

I've done it in as little as ten days. That was this past year, because I was scheduled for a dental procedure in November and didn't feel it would be a good idea to write while hopped up on Vicodin. I already have a habit of spouting off bullshit and trying to eat my own hand while drugged up.

But yes, I'm a writer.

And frankly, I will be the first to admit that we (Writers, I mean) are BATSHIT CRAZY. Go ahead and read that a couple times. We are some of the most unstable people that you will ever meet in your whole life. But we are also some of the greatest pretenders.

I think it was Billy Shakes who said; "All the world's a stage, and the men and women merely actors." I'm sure I'm butchering that, but you get the picture. Writers are the only people that are exempt from this rule. Writers don't tend to participate in these dramas, we are simply the audience.

However, being in the audience, we take careful notes and observations, writing them down, logging them away somewhere in our brains. And we will take all that we have seen and learned, and we will weave it all together on paper and send it out so that the actors might take a breath and take a break from their own Drama to delve into a false drama, and overall feel better about their lives. (Or worse, depending on the writer, actually.)

My whole life, I have never really felt like I was *with* other people. There are exceptions to that, but as a rule, I can feel alone in a room full of people. I can be talking and laughing, and joining in, and I still feel a disconnect. I can be talking, my hands scooping and slashing air, my face animating my story, but in the back of my head; "They don't get it, do they? They're just pretending. They have no idea what it is that I'm saying right now..."

I've been Disconnected, and for a very long time, this upset me. For the longest time, I kept the few people I could Connect to close (and I have a sinking feeling that they were writers or other creative types themselves). And then I discovered that when I put pen to paper, I was Connecting.

I was Connecting with my readers, I was Connecting with my characters, and more importantly, I was Connecting with myself. And though this tangled web of deceptions, loves, losses, I was able to find a better plane to reach out to people. I was able to start feeling more secure in my being and the being of those around me.

Of course, I won't pretend I don't still feel that empty Disconnect. I won't pretend that sometimes I don't feel like I'm floating above all this. Sometimes that's just where I need to be. I need to be between my headphones and in my own world, where there is no one else but those that I have created.

Writers are fortunate enough that--for the most part--we can take out Insanity, our Disconnect, our Separate Worlds and use them to our advantage. We can use this to pretend we are, mostly, stable. And if we have moments where we just seem like we're not okay, well then, we are Creative Types, and what else can you expect from someone who is so far into their right brain?

So yes, I'm a Writer.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Shedding Skin

The skin I wear when I go outside isn't really my skin. Not really. I mean, physically, yeah. It's mine. I more mean it isn't---raw.

This false skin has layers. It starts when I peel off my super comfortable pajamas and ratty underwear. I put om prim, clean panties so I won't die of embarrassment if I get killed and the coroner saw them. I put together some co-ordinated, clear "outfit" so anyone who looks at me will think I'm a well put together, adjusted girl. I am not, of course, but not anyone should be able to tell just by looking at me.

Then, I straighten my hair instead of leaving it messy. I grab my purse. My cell phone so I can be reached at any point in time. I then put my headphones in my ears so that I cannot.

And then I feel "ready".

But you know, I'm not really. I think I'd only be "ready" if I could shed all this and expose my skin, raw and pink. I'd be ready if I could expose my own tenderness and vulnerability. I'd be ready if I could say; "I know it's not much, but it's all I have. Do you think you could love me anyway?"

There is, however, someone I am so naked for..

And I must confess, he appears to love me inspite of (or perhaps because of?) that skin that so few people have seen before.

It gives me confidence.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Please Don't Take A Picture

As I've previously mentioned, I currently live in the house belonging to She Who Must Be Kept (you know, my mother?). This has been precarious at the worst of times, and fine at the best. Which I've always come to consider interesting.

The reasons I live with SWMBK are as follows;
-I don't have a license. I could never afford to get one. Even if I could, we could never afford a car for me, and SWMBK works forty five minutes from where we live.
-I don't have a job. I couldn't afford to pay rent on a place in any case.
-I go to school full time and get free Internet at my house.

In the past three years, I've had two of my brother's boyfriends living with us, been kicked out of my bedroom, been sleeping on the couch, been working my ass off in college, been thrown down the stairs, had all my things thrown out, had my bedroom trashed...

Yeah, seriously.

I am reaching a point where I just don't want to live here anymore. I'm tired of sleeping on a love seat (since I was seventeen. I'll be twenty one in October). I'm tired of everyone my brother asks to live with us getting a free pass, but I still can't have a bed. I'm tired of my things being broken, thrown around, stepped on, and generally trashed ("But if you'd put them away!!!" "...Where is 'away', exactly? I have about four feet of space in this house that's mine.") .

Also, you have to understand the dynamic of my family. My mother is mentally ill, my brother is mentally unstable, there's a big difference that I won't go into right now, and I myself suffer from seasonal affective disorder. I do pretty well in the summer time, but winters get hellish.

"But Taima! Why can't you have a bedroom?" A good question you might ask. Because my brother's ex boyfriend got angry when he wasn't allowed to live in it, he filled it waist deep in garbage. I don't mean like, stuff and junk. I mean honest to God garbage. So my friend and my own ex boyfriend had to come and help me clean it up.

By the time that got done, our ancient ceiling caved in. So every time it rained, water would leak into my room, so a lot more of my stuff got ruined, including my bed. The water wrecked the wiring. So there's no electricity in that room.

At least, this is the reason She Who Must Be Kept has given me. I'm not stupid, and the real reason is; She likes having someone sleeping downstairs with her. She knows if I move back upstairs and our Noise Rule goes back into law, my brother will turn a temper tantrum. She likes having me around to get her drinks, change the channel, answer the phone, take her bowl into the sink, blahdy blahdy blah.

I just want a bed. I just want my own space. I just want to have a conversation on my phone and not have to sit in the bathroom or on a porch. I can't really have them in the living room because She Who Must Be Kept will interrupt every fifteen seconds to ask who I'm talking to, what are we talking about, and try to chime in.

So today, my financial aid went through. Only it was slashed by a thousand dollars, which is a pretty sizable difference. I am now left with enough to pay my tuition, but not enough for books or supplies. When She Who Must Be Kept called me to tell me this, she yelled at me for crying.

And then figured out that it was my fault, because I filled out the FAFSA, using the numbers she gave me. Which I read back to her twice. But okay, yeah, my fault. Only now she seems to be harboring a grudge. Every time I ask her a question, I get yelled at. Is my brother home? YES! Did she have a good day at work? WHATEVER! IT WAS FINE! I quit talking, and then I get accused of sulking.

Winning; I just can't do it.

I'm going to school for a career I'm not even sure is for me. I'm paying money and going to classes for something I'm not really thinking I should be doing. I'm living in a house I can't stand, with people that are slowly devouring my soul.

I don't own much anymore. Two Rubbermaid totes of laundry, a pair of sneakers, a pair of boots, a pair of sandals, perhaps two boxes of books. Maybe another bag of stuffed toys... I could move everything I own in one car load...