Saturday, February 26, 2011

Unsung Lullabies

Dearest Vivian,

You're haunting me again. It's a thought that makes me laugh and cry. Perhaps if I had kept you inside of me, perhaps if I had been strong enough, you would doing the same thing. You'd be about two months old now, I think. You would just be getting the hang of living, and I--I would still be so amazed at the fact that you existed.

Do you haunt your father? He haunts me top, although perhaps in a more tangible way than you. He has a hard time admitting out loud that you were ever here at all. You mustn't blame him, my darling one. I've ceased doing so. I think the thought of what we almost had and almost were hurts him so deeply he can't face it. He can't be strong enough, so you and I must do that for him.

Or perhaps I will do that for the both of you. I'm just fine doing that.

I would have been such a wonderful mother. I would never have let you see the things that we went without. I would never have put anyone or anything else before you. You would have been the most brilliant thing that had ever been mine.

Although, of course, that ownership would have been so bittersweetly temporary. Before I was ready, I would have had to surrender you to the universe. I would have only been caretaker and guardian to the most wonderful girl in the whole world.

It happened before you were born anyway, the surrendering. Although there was less surrendering and more of you being ripped away from me.

It's three thirty in the morning. It's nights like these, weeks like these, that I miss you the most. I'm listening to Ray LaMontagne, one of those gravelly voices with the guitar that I listen to when I hurt so badly. These are the lullabies I would have loved to sing to you. These are the things I would have whispered to you in the stillness of the night.

I think everyone thinks I need to let you go. But letting you go, turning my back on you... That's just something I cannot bring myself to do. I am not so naive as to think there wouldn't have been moments I would have resented you. There would have been minutes, hours, days, weeks perhaps, that I would have looked at you and felt something akin to misery.

But darling, I loved you. I love you. I fell in love with you the moment I knew that you were there. And then you were gone, but my love didn't seep away during all those hours when I was hurting. My love for you didn't melt away as I took the painkillers and laid my head, wincing in your father's lap. Your father's love for me, your father's gentle fingers in my hair, his tender words of reassurance--even these things which usually could calm me, did not quell the ache inside of me.

Nothing can.

Will you ever come back to me, I wonder? Will you come back and let me hold you, will you look up at me with wide eyes full of wonderment and trust? Mother is the word for God on the lips of all children. You are still my child, even if you are not here.

Your father left me too. Don't be angry with him, dear one. He does the best he can. We're both tormented. It's such a sweet hell, and perhaps the most gloriously tragic thing to watch. You would be the one to know.

I have such a hard time sleeping. I would if you were alive too. You'd be awake right now, I think, wanting to be fed. You would be in my arms, latched onto me, taking from me the most that I could give you, metaphorically and literally. I see you in my dreams, I reach out to you, but you--much like your father--are just out of my reach.

This can't last forever. I suspect that in time, I will learn to lift myself and carry on. I will always feel that missing part of me, that sense that I've lost something I just cannot find or replace... But I will carry on.

I do love you so.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If You Can't Act Like An Adult.

She Who Must Be Kept's friend Croc keeps coming over. I don't really care that he comes over. I'm sitting over on my couch by myself doing my own thing. Croc seems to forget I'm not made of stone and I *can* hear their conversations (as they are a grand total of four feet away from me).

Also, I am super protective of SWMBK. I might be twenty one, but I have no issues giving a grown ass man a tongue lashing if it calls for it, and what calls for it is when I see someone being mean to my mother.

Croc has a nasty habit of several things. 1. He's a martyr. 2. He rides a VERY high horse named Self Righteous. 3. HE NEVER LETS ANYONE FINISH A MOTHER FUCKING SENTENCE!!!

So tonight, he was riding S.R. and saying that my mother was being "abusive" to him, because she asked several times very nicely; "Hey, if you don't hear me, please don't look at me and say "Hunh?!?". I really hate it. If you misunderstood me or I didn't speak clearly, can you ask me to repeat myself?"

It's one of her pet peeves. I've been trained from a very early age to not do that. She also hates the word 'whatever' out of context.

So SWMBK finally told Croc in a joking way if he went 'hunh' again, she was gonna pop him one. He was on S.R and said he'd leeeeave. He didn't want to be abuuuuused. My Mom is abuuuuusive. God, grow the fuck up, dude.

I gently corrected him as to her issue. He said he was FORTY TWO and he couldn't be retrained, and if SWMBK didn't like it, he'd LEAVE.

Okey dokey... Moving on with our evening. He went back to calling SWMBK abusive. I had had enough. I jumped in his shit. I couldn't even finish a thought because he steam rolled over my sentences. Finally, frustrated and joking I said; "Mom, I think it's time for your friend to go home."

Sure enough, he gathered his ice tea and crucified himself. "Oooh, I'm causing conflict. Ooooh, I never bother ANYONE. FIIIIINE TAI WANTS ME TO GO!"

God. Whatever.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I really love working with clay in ceramics.

I love cutting it off the block. I hate that clay that other people have touched. That claw is always dry and broken and crumbly and completely unco-operative. I refuse to use it. I make the instructor go and get me a fresh bag.

I stretch my wire taut, pull it towards me, catch the clay in my hands. I immediately start kneading it in my hands as I carry it towards the table. I'm already shaping the clay. As I warm it while I'm kneading it to get rid of air bubbles, those imperfections that I can never rid myself of in the real world.

I'm already asking the clay. I'm already asking it if it will do the things I need it to do. I'm already shaping it.

My fingers dig into the clay, pulling and pushing and tearing.

The clay will do what I ask it to. I just have to be patient. I just have to be willing to find the things that the clay will be and won't be. It's sometimes harder than it seems.

Monday, February 21, 2011

And Never Let Me Go

I feel like I'm suffocating.

There's no reason to feel that way. I know this. I just do. I don't pretend that it makes sense. It's why I don't talk about it. It's irrational. If I can't justify the way I feel, I have no business feeling that way.

But I'm smothering.

I know what I need. It's silly and I can't really bring myself to ask anyone to do it for me.

Frankly, I need to lay on the floor and cry. I've cried alone, I've cried hidden in the bathroom. I've cried in the shower. But I haven't yet laid myself down and cried. I can't take one single step more, and I want to cry about it. It's stupid, it will not solve a fucking thing.

And yet, that's what I want.

And I don't want to do it alone.

I would ask my Bubby, but whenever he sees me crying, he can't take it. Bubby should have been my brother. He just cannot stand to see me crying. So even though I know I would be okay if I could just cry in front of him, I won't ask him to do that for me.

My Charliam is in Ohio, and therefore too far away.

Because what I want, basically, is someone to lay on the floor with me. Lay on the floor with me and stay quiet. I don't want to hear that I'm going to be okay. What if I'm not going to be okay? I don't want promises made that aren't going to be kept.

I don't want someone to beg me to hush, or be still. If I am quiet, or still too much longer, I will break. This will kill me. I just want to lay on the floor and be broken. I want someone there with me, to witness me being broken, to see. Because then it will be real.

It's ridiculous though. I know that.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Can Feel The Butterflies

I talk about butterflies a lot.

I'm getting pretty sick of them, though.

It's almost the end of February. I haven't seen one in months. But I've felt them. I've felt them under my skin, crawling down my spine, taking up residence in my stomach. I can feel them in the night, inside my scalp, creeping along the inside of my brain.

I can't sleep.

There's the bringer of butterflies, who used to be my confidence giver. The irreverent Mistah Jay.

Whenever he walks by me, they start up. I shake all over because of these butterflies. I imagine that they're green and silver. His favorite colors. Once in awhile, there's a red one, a black one. My own favorite colors.

I'm so tired of these butterflies.

There are days when I look at him with contempt and disdain. Days when maybe I feel like if I could chase him away, if I can convince myself that I don't love him. Maybe I can convince myself that this doesn't hurt half as much as it does.

But you know...

Anymore, I wouldn't know how to live without the butterflies.

I wouldn't know how to live without him.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me

It's no secret that I sleep on the love seat downstairs, in the living room with my mother. My older brother has two bedrooms upstairs that he uses (the wall was knocked down between them).

She Who Must Be Kept has a friend called Croc. Croc got evicted from his home, due to a long and complicated series of events. Since then, he's been living on couches and in borrowed beds. It's all a sad story, and I do admire that he's making the best of it and he's not asking for handouts.

SWMBK wanted him to come and live here. I nixed that idea because, the fuck? I don't even have a room here. She wanted him to sleep in the room that I've been told I can't sleep in.

Anyway, I came home last night very late after hanging out with my friend Dante. Dante and I were furniture shopping because I'm potentially living with he and his girlfriend Rosie next year. Anyway, I get back at twelve thirty or one in the morning, and Croc was STILL here and SWMBK was still awake.


SWMBK proceeded to go to sleep. Croc sat on her couch WHERE SHE WAS SLEEPING eating potato chips and watching She Ra. I kept waiting and waiting for him to leave. But no. He just stayed, feeding the cats dill dip to the cats to see them make funny faces.

Finally, at four in the morning I went; "Are you staying here tonight?"

"Huh? Yeah, I guess I'd better. Too late to leave now."


And the guy doesn't sit STILL. He fidgeted all night long. It was four thirty before I could go to sleep. And it was creepy to try and sleep in the room with an awake person just chillaxing there.

I approached SWMBK and asked that Croc not stay with us anymore.

"Because I can't sleep."
"Well, what does him being here have to do with you being able to sleep? I don't understand."
"He's down there awake! I'm trying to sleep!"
"I just don't see why it's a big deal."


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy... Taima Day?

Perhaps I've gotten way more pathetic than previously thought. On Valentine's Day, even though I'm working on a present for Mistah Jay, I didn't think that anyone was going to get me anything.

I was clearly mistaken.

From my "school daughter"; two feather roses, an LED light up rose, a chocolate rose, a red stuffed puppy.

My BFF; a silver butterfly necklace with blue stones, lovely! And perfect for wearing every day.

My future roommate; a stuffed hippo.

My fake boyfriend; a bunch of carnations in a red vase with a white bear and red heart attached.

Why did I get all these things? Because everyone thought no one else was getting me something, and that I'd be sad. I've never really mentioned Valentine's Day, only bumming slightly that Mistah Jay wouldn't acknowledge me (and he didn't). Still working on his present.

Today, I reconnected with a friend. He had previously been a dick to me, and he did admit that today, and apologized. He said he had no idea why he said the things he said, and he was wrong. He hadn't anticipated me being mad for almost a year about it.


The most wonderful part? We both dressed up fancy (and I'm one of three people he does that for) and sat in the ice cream parlor, eating onion rings for three hours and discussing out lives. We talked about Mistah Jay, his last relationship, our friends, our lives.

It was great.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

We Don't Really Sit On the Baby

I used to baby sit quite a bit. She Who Must Be Kept's former best friend had a child that was a good ten years younger than me. I also knew a few people here and there with little kids, and some of my younger cousins.

I ran into a LOT of problems while I was baby sitting. In one instance, I was supposed to have a baby less than a month old for one night. I had him for three days. In one instance, I was supposed to watch one child for a few hours. I had two kids over night.

I decided I needed to write a guide for parents AND sitters on how to make this go as smoothly as possible. (And yes, all of this has been an issue for me at some point in time.)

1. If your kid can't be left home; don't do it. If you have a child who is going to scream for three hours because you left them home, you really shouldn't leave them with a baby sitter. What do you think we're going to do about it? It's really stressful for us, and you are not paying us enough to get our eardrums burst. I make this first and foremost because I think parents forget that.
That isn't to say we don't expect and anticipate a little anxiety from the kid. A good baby sitter is prepared for that. A good prep is; "It's sad when Mommy leaves. But, WE get to play together this afternoon! I'm so excited. Want to help me color a picture for Mommy? She'll be so happy when she comes home!"

2. Leave clear rules for the baby sitter. I don't mean something like; don't play with matches. If you, for instance, don't want your child to watch the television while you're gone, say that very clearly. In front of the kid, if at all possible. It's really frustrating for a sitter when the kid is telling us one thing and throwing a tantrum and we don't want to call to interrupt your girls' night out to ask if they can go play at Billy's or whatever.
Some rules to leave; television/computer/video game rules and regulations
BEDTIMES (and make sure this is nonnegotiable)
If/when friends may come over, if/when they may go to a friends
Snack rules

3. Your baby sitter is not your maid. Your baby sitter is not your maid. Your baby sitter is not your maid. Your baby sitter? NOT YOUR MAID. That being said, no baby sitter is going to balk about picking up the toys they got out (or helping the kid do such), putting the supper dishes in the dishwasher, or putting the towels from bathtime in the laundry.
Also, if there's some big Goldfish Holocaust and all the crumbs are in the rug, we will want to know where the vacuum is to pick that up. It did happen on our watch, after all.
But we're not going to run a load of whites, wash the windows, scrub the pots and pans, do your dusting... That's just not going to happen, okay?

4. Be home when you say you're going to be home. Or if you're going to be late, give me a call. If I didn't drive myself over there, then I need to let my ride know, and that's really why I hate if you're late. If your kid is asleep and I'm sitting around making money watching reruns of Viva la Bam, then I don't care if you're not coming right home. I *care* because my ride is waiting to come get me. Of course, if you then decide to take my home, whatever.

5. If your kid is a notorious brat, and yes there are a couple, then could you let me know that? I don't expect you to come right out and say; "He can be a real pain in the ass sometimes." But I WOULD like to know; "We're having some trouble with tantrums right now. I'm so sorry about it. This is how we're dealing with it...." and leave me a detailed step by step plan. Do you use time outs? Where do you do that? Do you take away toys? What? Don't leave me just staring at your kid have a nuclear meltdown on the kitchen floor because I won't give him a cookie!

6. If you can't get your kid to bed, what makes you think I can? I'm the baby sitter, not Super Nanny! I'll do the best I can, but listen, don't be surprised if you come home and he's still awake sobbing and not in bed and I'm sitting around tearing out my hair because I don't know what to do.

7. I really need you to be ready to pay me at the end of the agreed upon session. I make my prices clear right out (two dollars per hour per kid, and this is dirt cheap. I've heard up to five dollars an hour). So it's not going to be some big shock to you that it costs what it does.
I don't take credit, either. I don't have a credit card scanner in my purse, all right? If you don't carry cash, stop at the machine beforehand. If you're a little bit short once in awhile, that's cool, I don't mind, really. But if you show up every night like; "Can I pay you next time?" No. There won't be a next time.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Dare You Break My Lonely Heart

Today was a rough day with Mistah Jay.

I went to go hug him hello, as I normally do. He very violently slipped from my arms (he was sitting down in a chair) and turned to glare at me, tensing up his whole body. I almost fell down. I looked at him and just went; "Okay. That's fine." He remained in his dramatic frozen pose for several seconds.

Whatever. I don't have time for that kind of horseplay today. I sat down and got to my homework that was due before seven so I could participate in a live chat with my partner for English. It took me the better part of the morning, because I had to annotate.

Mistah Jay stared at me as I hugged my friend, went to the bathroom, got lunch, ate my lunch, got another friend's portable hard drive so I could have some new movies, and packed up for class. I didn't speak to him, even when he spoke to me.

I do realize this was petty as hell. I do understand this makes me a bitch. I don't disagree. I wanted him to be upset, because I was upset. I wanted him to understand that he doesn't get to be a jerk to me and then decide he's done with that, and I should just be okay.

So before I left, everyone was teasing me, as we do in our group. Mistah Jay wanted to participate.

"Hey, Tai!"
"TAAAAAAI. TAI! Taaaaaaima."
"I'll break your legs so you can't go to class!"

...Really? Okay. Whatever. At least I won't have to see him until Tuesday. I came back from class a little early, and realized that my lappity toppity box wasn't recognizing that USB cables were plugged in. I was messing with it when Mistah Jay came in.

"Oh! What's wrong?"
"A thing broke."
"What thing?"
"A port."
"I can fix it, let me see, hon." he was standing so close to me, so I could smell him. His cheek was right next to mine. I was so tempted to lean into him.
"No, thanks! I'm fine. Don't worry about it."
"FINE! I JUST THOUGHT I'D ASK!" he stomped back over to his half of the table.

I was rude. I own that. I was rude because what am I supposed to do? Just be perfectly fine when he decides it's time to be fine? I think he probably realized I was upset with him and felt bad. But he didn't apologize.

I finally went into the bathroom to cry while a couple friends tried to fix it. I'd had enough of this week.

I came back and turned the laptop off and on, and everything was fine. But one kid who doesn't come around a lot and is a dick went; "I stuck my dick in them!"
"Well, they're USB ports, and not micro USB ports..."
"Oh, I see what you did there." everyone laughed. Joke over, right? Nope. "Just so you know, you come off as a bitch."
"I know."
"You come off REALLY mean."
"Everyone thinks that about you."
"Well we have free speech so I can say whatever I want."

Really dude? Mistah Jay looked at him and just shook his head, and the kid stopped talking. I left without saying goodbye. He looked heartbroken when I left.

I'm irritated. Why is it okay for him to just DECIDE when we can be close. If he didn't want to be touched, he didn't have to be an ass. And he wasn't just having a bad day, you know? It was more that he JUST treats me like that and he JUST does things that upset me.

One of my friends, Nandi, thinks that I should just "forget about him" and move on. It isn't that easy. If that was easy, I would have done it. I wouldn't be this hurt by the things that he does to me.

In BETTER news, yesterday I was out with my friend Something Mysterious and... I totally pierced my belly button. It hurts but makes me feel AWESOME.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Still Not Getting Anywhere

I'm taking Sociology this semester.

Today, we were speaking about socialization, or rather, what brings us into a society. The topic quickly got on how "my generation" (and potentially yours too, I'm completely unaware of the age group of people who stumbled across this and read it) would be the first one to know less than our parents.

My instructor said that a bunch of educators would go online and argue about this. It is, of course, a complete load of bullshit. Anyone in this day and age who is unedcuated is that way because they want to be. Education does NOT just take place at an instituion. You know where I've done most of my learning?

On my fucking couch, with either a book I borrowed from the library or my laptop. I Googled something because, gaspshock, I wanted to know about it! I got a book because I wanted to read about this. And you know what else? Most of the people I know--they do that too!

What a surprise! You don't have to pay two thousand dollars a semester to learn something. I know, I know. It was a weird idea for me too.

Here's the thing; no one I know had the OPTION of going to college. It wasn't "Are you going?" The question was; "Where are you going to college?" Even for my friends who are first generation college goers were pushed and told that education was a big deal.

Sadly, many of them, Mistah Jay included, didn't have unending support from their families. Most of us struggle on our own. We fill out paperwork, we take out loans. I'm twenty one years old, I've never had a credit card, and I'm already six thousand dollars in debt. Let that sink in. All but a thousand dollars of that is on my own shoulders because of school. (The other thousand was the surgery I needed last year for my broken foot. It was walking without a limp, or pay the money. She Who Must Be Kept and I decided walking was important.)

I'm STILL NOT GETTING ANYWHERE. I've been in colege for years and I'm not closer now to being more educated, to being smarter, to having a better life than I was then. I still sleep on my mother's couch. I still don't drive. I still have nothing but debt and a pile of unpublished manuscripts.

One could, of course, argue that this is my own fault. And it is. Because I'm in school. My school schedule does NOT allow for a job. Not with the option of sleeping.

Then the instructor talked about why fewer minorities go to school. He must have missed the luncheon last semester where our dean or president or someone in power who has since disappeared and only is heard of in the monthly newspaper that gets sent to my house said that we are at an ALL TIME HIGH for minority enrollment.

Then he got mad because I said it happens to white people too. In my own family. I'm the only one in college. Minus my cousin who has a baby and keeps dropping out because, you know, SHE HAS A FUCKING BABY. I lost the class when I admitted that I'm white trash.

It is not ANY harder for minorities to go school than it is white people, I don't think. They have tons of scholarships and the options for loans and they get accepted because colleges now have some kind of quota to fill for minorities. Really! It happened at U of M a couple years ago. Everyone took a test, and if you were a minority, you got X amount of extra points.

I've been to classes with PLENTY OF MINORITY KIDS. I'm friends with some of them! You know, it never crossed my mind that they were a minority and I was not. Is that a sign of the times? That I don't look at them and go; "Must be hard for you to be here because of the color of your skin!" I know lots of minority kids who pushed them to go to school because they wanted them to have an education, actually. Just like I know a lot of non minority kids whose parents did the SAME THING.

Actually, I look at EVERYONE and think it must be hard for ALL of them to be here. It's hard to make yourself get up, go to class, do the homework, take notes, show up for exams. All of us face that struggle. Every. Last. One.

It just hurts my feelings because you know, I'm struggling to be here. The instructor then talked about kids not wanting to be here. Yeah, I've been pushing myself taking between thriteen and eighteen credit hours every semester because I don't wanna be here. I've pushed myself to such a state of exhaust and misery that my doctor said; "Don't do this again, you're making yourself sick. This is really hurting you." Because I DON'T WANNA BE HERE!

However did he see through my clever ruse of attendance to know that?

He then stated he wished we'd all eave and come back when we're thirty five. Because then we'd be more motivated.

...Piss off. Seriously dude. PISS OFF. I AM MOTIVATED! If I wasn't motivated I wouldn't show up with a fever and a sinus infection. I wouldn't go on the days when my seasonal affective disorder bothers me and it makes me want to cry to get out of bed. I wouldn't talk, take notes, I wouldn't even be there.

We are ALL motivated because we're THERE. And we're motivated because we don't want to be like the thirty five year olds who didn't go to college the first time around because they got a factory job.

We're there because WE KNOW BETTER.

And for that matter all those "motivated thirty five year olds" I know are rude, selfish, and self entitled. Know why? Because they think they deserve a fucking prize for going back to college. Because it's sooooo much more difficult for them. No, you can piss off too. Like I said, we're all struggling to be here, and yours isn't any deeper than my own.

I'm sure this post will have a contiunation later. I'm still raging. I love the class and the Professor. And I get what he was driving at here, but I don't feel like he had the proper way of going about it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Our Own Mad Love

My older brother put Batman: The Animated Series on my portable hard drive for me. When I first got the thing, I had loft goals of backing up all my novels, putting all the Louis Theroux (the most WONDERFUL documentarian, and I'm not just saying that because I think he's sexy) on it, getting maybe one or two movies...

But no. None of that happened. I've got got this nineties children's cartoon on it. I'm trying to get all the Miyazaki films I like on it. I'm nowhere near as sophisticated as I like to pretend.

I spent a lot of time when I was growing up watching this. I remember being stretched out on the futon in front of my baby sitter's television, one or the other of her dogs stretched out next to me as I watched. What's strange is that I don't really remember any particular episodes, I just know my brother and I watched this show.

I do remember Harley Quinn, but my favorite "bad girl" of all superhero--dom. (Is that a word? Oh well. For the purposes of my blog it is now!)She's funny, she's fake ditzy, and she's really adorable. Not to mention she wears red and black, both my favorite colors.

As I was watching the show, I watched her relationship with The Joker, Batman's arch nemesis for the purpose of this show. He could have been in the comic books too, but I never read many of them, so I can't say yes or no. I know he was highly feature, so take that as you will.

I've decided that the confidence giver is my Joker. He tries to ignore me, gets upset if I'm not fawning over him, loves the attention I give him, and sometimes pretends that he doesn't need me. But if I call his bluff, it's the end of the world.

I can't decide if that's healthy or not. I can't decide if this is the greatest adventure of my life, or the worst thing I've ever done.