I like books.


I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Wal-Mart sucks raw eggs.

Wal-Mart is like the workhouses of Victorian England. I am sure, I have friends who work there and see what they go through. They work eight hours, get paid barely minimal wage, and their pay is so low, they can’t afford insurance for their children. They get food stamps to subsidize their low pay, live in federally funded houses, and their children get Medicaid. So, how long is the government going to subsidize Wal-Mart employees so the cooperate execs can continue to make billions, pay their employees pennies, and we make up the difference?

My Neighborhood.

My neighbors fight. On both sides, they fight. The heterosexual couple in townhouse 2 fight over his drinking, I hear it and see it and so does their baby. I want to interfere but don’t. She kicks him out, he stands in the parking lot howling, she yells, the baby cries, he goes back inside, and they have make-up sex. They are young and hopefully will learn better foreplay techniques. I never see marks on either one of them, or at least nothing on the face or arms. The marks on the baby, however, are starting to show. He cries all the time and wants his mother to hold him constantly. He is afraid. She brought him over for me to look at and says she thinks he is sick. I look at him and tell her he looks fine, she says he cries all the time; I say maybe he is reacting to you and your husband. She says yeah, we get a little loud. I say it will cause him emotional scars. She hasn’t spoken to me since.

The couple in townhouse four are gay men around my age; although, the one guy looks to be a decade younger. They have a fifteen-year-old son. The boy is sweet, and when I bake cookies, I give half of them to him. He is always all gothed out and thinks he looks scary or mysterious, but I’ve had teenagers and I know it’s a part of their life, not the gothic stuff, but being different. But his parents are in need of couple’s counseling. The younger doesn’t work, the older works two jobs. What little time they spend together is spent fighting or smoking cigarettes talking about fighting, I am not nosy, they are just real loud. Their son, hides in the back of their truck watching the stars. I say to him, what do you see, he names the constellations that he knows, I give him an astrology book, he says way cool. The younger of the two lovers wants to be my friend, he, I think, sees us as mutual in relationships, the stay at home, housecleaning part of the relationship. He asked me about floor cleaner, I say Lysol or bleach. He asks me why I am going to school, and I say to learn, and he says why put myself through all of it, and I say why not? He walks away and I say hey next time you hit your head on the cabinet door, you might want to go have a doctor look at it. He puts his hand to his black eye and says, thanks. Next time, I am going to tell him about shelters for abusive partners.

This new neighborhood is different than my other and the people are so young and have young people’s problems. I guess the fighting is what bothers me, and I wish they would stop. My husband says it’s none of our business, and I say it is, they are our neighbors. Relationships, especially those of neighbors, are really fragile and one wrong word or look or act can cause a rift that, if you’re lucky, will only result in uncomfortable silence in the parking lot, but sometimes it turns into a feud. So, I will observe, help if asked, and hope that soon, we get new neighbors, older neighbors. Like the couple in number five. They are too far away for me to hear, but they tell me they are glad that we are normal. I wonder what they mean, normal.

I am wanting to bitch, must be feeling better

I can’t believe that I am finally feeling better. Tuesday night, I thought that I was going to die, and today I can breathe and go up and down the stairs without passing out. Yesterday and today, I have been playing catch-up on my reading and wishing Mr. Zelda would do the dishes and clean the floor. I know he sees the mess piling higher and higher with each bowl of soup, yet he has makes no attempt to remedy the problem. I say maybe you should fill the dishwasher and clean the floor, and he says when you go to bed, and so I think yeah, and when I wake up, sink still full of dishes but two more bowls are added and lots of milk glasses. There was even a banana peeling in the floor, and I’m thinking didn’t he know he dropped it, and so I bend over to pick it up and my head swims. I am resisting the urge to ask him why he is not doing the work, but I know it will make him defensive, and I don’t want to do that, so the alternative is for me to just let the dishes pile and when I am well enough, I will clean house. Is that the right thing to do?, and am I letting him off the hook? Shit, I am still too weak to worry about domestic chores and really if he just keeps the mess in the kitchen, I’ll be fine. My plan, I will not do the dishes, not even when I am well. I will just hope he sees the need to step up to the sink. I wonder if all men are like this and if so why?

Friday, October 28, 2005

When poor people get sick

Life is good, well it will be when I am completely recovered from my illness, not the mental one, but the physical one, the pneumonia/strep infection. It’s curious being sick with an infection that can kill and does kill every day and knowing or feeling confident that I am going to be okay. Antibiotics, they are the cure for everything and not so long ago they didn’t exists and people died from bad teeth, a sore on their hand, well anything where the little colonies of bacteria overtook an organ, causing dysfunction and moving on to the blood causing sepsis and so on and so on. Can you imagine what would happen if the antibiotics were outlawed? Well, I for one would die, because I get pneumonia at least once a year, sometimes twice; I have really bad lungs from polio and from asthma and from a chain-smoking Mama. So, I would die.

Not that we have any fear of the antibiotic going anywhere, but the thought occurred to me, when I entered the emergency room and my husband displayed our insurance card, my Medicare card, and he was willing to pay whatever those two didn’t, right there on the spot, what if we were dirt poor and had no insurance, no money, no nothing. I was dying, or so we both thought, and I think I was close to death. What would the hospital have done? More than likely humiliated me, given me a not so close check up, and home with a prescription. I had means so they were really good to me, ran every test, gave me breathing treatments, IV antibiotics and fluids, talked kindly to me and held my hand. The doctor even came in and sat on the bed and patted my leg, talking about my lungs and telling my husband that I was going to be fine. They even offered me something to drink, and my husband something. They were so kind.

But what about those men and women who don’t have insurance or Medicare or Medicaid or another means of paying an expensive hospital bill, what happens to them? In the ER were several signs in two languages that said they would treat life-threatening illnesses but that was it, unless you have insurance or money. When I left, they gave me prescriptions and if I had no money to buy the medicine it would have done me no good. There are no free clinics in our area and if the poor do find a place to treat them, how can they ever buy the medicine. My antibiotics were over 200 bucks; of course I only paid 30 because of my insurance. I would hate to decide between medicine and food or medicine and rent or medicine and heat.

The university treats the students, but there are really poor people, who have no insurance, and when they get sick, like I have been, what do they do?
Shouldn’t health care be one of those rights we all deserve, not just the insured? On my way out of the hospital, a man and woman were bringing a sick baby in and the nurse asked for the insurance card before even looking at the baby. The woman cried. I just know they didn’t have insurance. I hope the baby is okay.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I have strep throat, and if that isn’t bad enough, I went to the emergency room and my oxygen saturation was 93, which isn’t terrible but isn’t great either. They did an x-ray of my chest and I have pneumonia in both lower lobes. Next came the blood work which took five sticks, an IV and IV antibiotics, a breathing treatment and a little hint that I should stay in the hospital overnight. No way, I say. Shit, I swear, other that a little shortness of breath and fever, I had no other symptoms and because of my asthma, I am always intoned to my lungs. The ER doc said I had probably had it for a while. Well that explains the miserable state that I have been in lately. Sooo, I am grounded from school, from work, from school, and it sucks. The doc said for me not to even entertain an idea of school until Monday and maybe not then. I am fucked. Graduate school and missing one week right here at the last mile. I don’t think I can get any more depressed than I am now. My lungs hurt, my back hurts, my neck hurts, and my feelings are hurt. Someone, who was sick, didn’t use good hand washing and because of that, I am paying the price. I will go back to school with an arsenal of antibacterials and will not let those nasty germs enter my body again. God, I’m depressed. Seriously, I am thinking about wrapping the scarf around my head and around my mouth. That way, I am at least putting up a little defense.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Free To Be Happy, That's What I Gave Them

My son is such an angel. When I talk to him, I realize that I did everything just right. He is thoughtful of other people’s feelings, and he has such compassion that he collected shoes and coats for the prisoners in a small town jail. He is in school and works at as a dispatcher for the local law enforcement, EMT, and Fire agencies. He tells me such sad stories, stories about domestic abuse, children calling in with such sad stories, and it really breaks his heart. He told me he never understood why I didn’t stay with their father, but then he said that he knows now why I did it and is thankful that he wasn’t raised like those little kids who call in crying, telling him their dad is drunk and is beating up their mom or their older brother or sister. He says they, the children, whisper into the phone, and he talks to them until the cops arrive, and sometimes the cops have a hard time getting the child to release the phone. He knows that his father was abusive, not something I told him when he was a child, but years later his father made a statement that he might have been a little rough on me. He was defending what he thought I had already told the kids about. So, both of my children asked, and I decided to tell them the truth. I wanted to tell them what a fucktard their father was, how he was mean, a drunk, and cruel, and how his anger put me in the hospital months before my son was born, how he forgot to pick me up after my son was born, and he didn’t even show up during the labor and delivery. But, I didn’t, instead, I said that he had problems, and the alcohol turned him into a man without control, and that’s why I left him. I didn’t elaborate, didn’t have to, my kids are grown up, nearly thirty and they know me well enough to know what I didn’t say. My children never had to call 911 and I wonder, and I know but I wonder why women do that, why do they stay with a man who terrorizes their children, forget what the men are doing to the women, but look what it does to the kids. I left when I saw my daughter, just one-year- old, trying to scream and nothing coming out as her father shoved me against the wall. My crime, the food was cold. That night, I packed our things, the next day, while he was at work, we left and I filed for divorce that same day. No looking back, no what if he would have changed, none of that. I emancipated my children before they became a slave to his violence.

Okay, I must confess, I like some Reality TV

Okay, I’m telling my secret. I hate to do this, but I must. I am addicted to reality television. Not all programs, but I am addicted to Survivor. Every episode, I rush upstairs, with popcorn and diet soda, and I anxiously await the program. I never move from the program, no phone calls, no visitors, nothing, I watch the people struggle to stay on the island. I laugh when they fail, I jeer at the ones I don’t like, and I hope that the bullies get voted off. Yep, I am an active participate and even ordered me a buff like they wear. I am planning on tying it to my backpack for the world to see that I, unlike many others, am not a closet reality TV nut. Other than that, I only watch CSI, Cold Case, and Law and Order SVU. That’s it, well I do watch the cooking shows, and I love to watch 30-minute meals and Emeril. I think the cooking shows amaze me, especially the way they slice and dice. Every so often, I get inspired by one of their shows and run out and fill my refrigerator with raw vegetables, just so I can slice and dice with the big knife that I had to have on the perfect cutting board that I had to have and sauté them in the big wok that I had to have. It’s fun, well fun for about a minute, then when I realize, again, there will be a big mess and lots of left overs, I wish that I had read Moby instead of watched Racheal. So now you know my little secret. Not too bad. It could be worse; I could have said that I am a closet soap opera viewer. I’m not, I swear, I never watch those brain fragmenting programs.

Adding Parts

They, the surgeons, have removed all removable parts—well I do have two kidneys, an entire liver, and a spleen left. I suppose they could remove those but I don’t have an appendix, tonsils, gallbladder, part of my pancreas, cartilage covering my big joints, reproductive organs, nor do I have my wisdom teeth. So, as it seems, I am free of all the unnecessary parts but alas, the doctors have started adding parts, like, well there’s the stainless steel knee joint on my right knee, I have some bought teeth that came after the drunk driver ran me down like a mad dog, I have not just glasses with bifocals but trifocals and I’m thinking, if they make them quad focal, the latest addition to my badly deteriorating body, hearing aides. Yep, I am stone deaf, or so I think, and will probably have hearing aides before thanksgiving. My friend’s grandsons, triplets, all wear hearing aides, and they have these beautifully colored ones, I am hoping they offer those to adults. I want hot pink. If I have to plug things in my ears, I want them to look happy. So getting old, well it has its perks for sure, but it sure does have its downside too and I’d have to say the loss of hearing and eyesight is a downer. In the days when I was young and hip, I'd say, "no, shit a real bummer."

Thursday, October 20, 2005

An alligator, a thong, and no sleep.

The nightmares are killing me. Last night, I dreamed there was a small creek that crossed the road, that would be a ford, and my grandson and I were going to walk through it, but we knew there were alligators lurking. My grandson takes off through the water, and I run after, and I can feel the alligators tough skin and know that if they come out of the water they will bite us, and I push my grandson onto the dry land and tell him to run, and just as I get to the edge of the water something grabs me and pulls me back in, and I scream and my grandson comes back, and I’m tell him to run and then and then I wake up. Mr. Zelda says what’s wrong and I say bad dream and he says go back to sleep and I say where were you when I was getting attacked by gators and he says on the beach watching babes in thongs and I try to hit him with my crippled up hands and he laughs and I say go back to sleep but don’t go into the water.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

They are just cars

I wanted to get a car with an initial like my friend who has a car that has the letter X or Z or something. Then I could have said the X and everyone would know what I was talking about. I got a ford and while it has a Z in its name, ford something something Z, I just say the new little car. That is what it will be from here on out. Like the truck is the truck and the old car is the old car and the white car was the white car. I mean, when car makers give the cars names, do they intend for that car to forever be referred to as a Z or an X, even when the car is past it’s prime? Is it still cool?

One of my writer group friends has a pretty yellowish car and it’s a Jaguar and she refers to it as the Jag and I didn’t know what a Jag was or the prestige that went alone with having that kind of car until she picked me up at school. I was sitting on a bench and she pulls up and about ten people, who were standing around me, said, almost at the same time, wow look at that Jag. That’s how I knew it was my friend, and I said, oh that’s my ride.
It’s really funny how people put so much stock in the popularity of their car.

I had an older friend, much older than I, and she was what I would refer to as trailer park trash, but I liked her so much. She had this old worn out towncar, and she always referred to it as the town car. I don’t know, I guess if you have nothing and get something, even if that something is really old, you are going to be happy to express your love for that something.

My point to this madness is that an old man, who sits in the union trying to cruise for chicks, says to a younger nontraditional student that he has an MG, and I’m thinking a movie so I listen and she says really and he says yeah wanna go for a ride sometimes and she says yeah and he says cool and I’m thinking fuck what are they 15? I wonder if she went for a ride and if he had as much trouble getting into and out of the MG as he had getting up and down the stairs. Is it really worth the pain?

Showing off the car

I am driving the new car. We got it for Mr. Zelda but I am kind of liking it more than the truck. I mean it is so easy to turn around and park and all of that. So every day he says, did you show off the car? I say, no. He says why not. I say, why would I? I mean people see me driving it and what more is there? Well, I know what he is talking about after watching him yesterday show off the new car. Mr. Zelda and the men from the apartments where we live, by the way, most of those men are hunters and gatherers and beer drinkers so out of Mr. Zelda’s element. He went to get his book of Robert Frost’s poetry when the men folk accosted him.. They all gather and are looking at the car, they look inside the trunk, and they remark about the little latch that keeps you from getting locked inside, and they talk about the room, and they look at the tires again, and then they look inside the car, and he shows them the map light and the sunglass holder and the little compartment we haven’t figured out yet and how he can manipulate the radio with the steering wheel and the size of that glove box. Wow! They look at the motor and talk about gas mileage, and they discuss oils and windshield cleaner, and then he comes in and sees me smiling at him. What he says, and I say what was that, and he says what, and I say the going over the car with the village hunters, and he says I was showing off the car. So there you have it, showing off the car is actually giving someone the grand tour. It’s like showing off the new purse or the new jacket or the new backpack, same thing but only for a car. Now I get it.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


I wasn’t always a fan, I mean, I didn’t see Lonesome Dove the first time it came out, but I did buy the book and after reading it from front to back almost in one sitting, I rented the movie and fell in love with Gus. I watch it every year on my birthday. Funny.

He can switch points of view in mid paragraph and not confuse the reader. He is the master. McMurtry is the all time expert on writing in the omni pov and in creating these characters that you never forget. He has their dialect, their description, and their thoughts done in such a way that they are so real. I especially love his historical novels that border on creative non-fiction. I think one of my favorites is the Buffalo Girls. I attend a writer’s conference every year, well did until I started graduate school, but the town where he lives is only a couple of hours away so I go there and can stalk him. He is, according to my friend, one of the most down to earth people you will ever meet. Hopefully, I will find out for myself real soon.

Not just a drive, but a mission

Mr. Zelda and I took the new car out for a drive. We drove through the mountains over to Harrison. I wanted to look for cretaceous fossils. They are abundant in the White River, but since I am not physically able to hike down to the river and wade in the shallow water and dig for them, I find the rock shops, which are everywhere. At the shop where we stopped, a woman had just brought a truck full of rocks, and everyone was a cretaceous fossil. I got four really good rocks filled with mollusks and crinoids, and I think one of those is a pink coral type rock with three different shells. I am going to research it today. It is awesome, plus I got some white rose or selenite from Arizona and a piece of black and white marble that I bought just because they were both pretty. My husband and I are going to go back and comb the White River, we found a really simple place with easy access and the water is very shallow. So, I am going back to get one from the river just so I can point to it and say that I got it myself. Kind of like the crystals. We go to Hot Springs to the mines and I am unable to go inside but this year, I am going in and I am going to mine my own crystal. Besides the mines are beautiful. I almost forgot, we also got a lily pad shale from the coal mines in Pennsylvania. The woman, who ran the rock shop, bought about ten from a rock hound who came down to buy up crystal.

While on our drive, we saw a big fat beaver sitting on the side of the road. At first I thought he was a raccoon until I slowed down and got a really good look and yep, big fat beaver. Mr. Zelda, knowing how much I love animals, says let’s stop and I’ll make me a new hat. Of course he was teasing. The eagles must already have taken off to warmer cliffs because I searched and searched and didn’t see a single one. I did, however, see a lot of hawks.

We stopped at a little country store and some men, who had been deer hunting, told about seeing a herd of elk. That’s nice, since they were all killed out and have only recently been put back into our forests. I just hope the hunters leave them alone.

One of the really disheartening sights are all the Tyson chicken and turkey houses that dot the hill's landscape. Not only are those poor animals being raised unable to move, but also the waste has to be contaminating the rivers and streams that are so abundant in the mountains. I wanted to run and open the doors and release the poor birds.

Nevertheless, the trip was wonderful, the trees are all turning and it was a beautiful drive. My husband is from Florida so he is in awe every time the seasons change plus he has never lived around mountains so this is really something. Every time we go into the rural areas he warns, “Don’t go down that dirt road.” Hell, Arkansas is almost all dirt roads.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A day for nature

My husband and I are going for a drive through the mountains. I am not so sure it is a good idea with my new blood pressure medicine making me so weak but we decided to take a ride, find a park, and sit and read in the park surrounded by turning trees and if we are real lucky, we might see an Eagle or even a brown bear. The last time we went for a drive, I saw a mountain lion and it was sitting on a huge rock surveying its territory. I loved it and wanted to get out of the car and take a picture but I know how foolish that would have been and I am glad that I didn’t get out because not long after we got there she walked away and two little kittens followed her.

On that same trip, we parked on the side of the road near a low water bridge and waited and waited and hoped that we would see a road runner that had raced down the road with us and we wanted to see if it would come back out of the brush. A huge deer came out, though, and drank from the water. We were so close and I know he knew our car was human and dangerous but he didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he stared at us for a long minute and then walked off.

Most of what we see are deer and birds, and beavers, and squirrels, and the like. But sometimes, we get a really rare treat and see coyotes and wolfs and mountain lions and owls and turkeys, things like that. It is so nice and I can’t wait to get started. Maybe we can get pictures and if I can figure out how to put it on here, I will put them in the computer and on this site.
Life is good, but life with nature is so much better.

Back in the day

I used to run wild. It was a different time and place and children left the house early in the morning and didn’t come home until we were hungry or being called. For me, I came home in the evening, the rest of the time, my little sister and I walked the railroad tracks to the library, and I carried a sack lunch of peanut butter, commodity peanut butter, sandwiches in a brown sack, and that is where we stayed until it closed and then from there we climbed the rock dump where I read to her or sang to her or made up stories for her. We looked for fossils in the millions year old rock unearthed by the coalminers’ search for coal. Sometimes we found coal and we put it in a sack and took it home for our grandmother, who burned coal.

There was a black man who walked the tracks to go to town and he always spoke to us and we would hide. It was in the late fifties and early sixties and unfortunately for me, my mother told us horrible things about African Americans. When he passed by, we would run the other direction. By dark, we were home and our mom was just pulling the cornbread out of the oven. I tried to sneak my books into my bedroom. But she always saw them; the ones that I checked out, the ones that the librarian gave me for helping her mend the spines of the books and the ones that she gave me new, all books that I cherished and would read over and over. “Don’t know why you waste your time reading them books,” Mom would say. All the while, my brother’s nose was two inches from the television. But that wasn’t a waste of time.

Now, I have so many books that I don’t have enough space on the shelves. I am a book addict, I confess. I cannot drive past a bookstore, I must stop and at least buy one or two books and when I order from Amazon, it costs me no less than a hundred dollars and I buy used. The ironic thing about my childhood, the lack of encouragement and sometimes forbiddance of me reading books and the bigotry and prejudicial way my mom spoke about African Americans, well, now I read and read and read and most of the books that I read are about African Americans, written by African Americans and I suppose eventually I will focus my PhD studies on feminism and African American female writers. So, she may not have encouraged me in the correct way but she did push me inadvertently to do something worthwhile.

My little sister who is now 45 or so, tells me all the time that she wishes she had read all those books that I checked out for her, instead of looking at the pictures or waiting for me to read them to her. I tell her it isn’t too late to start reading but she says her skills are so rusty. Now that’s a shame. To let rust collect on your reading skills and I tell her to get the oil out, to start small and work her way up. Out of eight brothers and sisters, I am the only one that reads, the only college graduate, and the only one that has friends out side of my race and really I am the only non-church committed so to them, I am headed straight to hell. Won’t they be surprised when they or if they could after they die see that there is no hell.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Trendy Disease

I am bi-polar, the day I was diagnosed it was called manic depression, and I was diagnosed after one of my manic episodes. I will never forget finally getting a name for all the weird things that had been happening to me. I was 26 and had been doing really bizarre things like, writing hot checks and not caring that I was writing them and not even needing the things I bought and feeling so high and not sleeping and it kept going and going and then one day the bottom of my world fell out and I crashed. I couldn’t get out of bed. My two children were just barely beyond potty training and they stayed in bed with me, playing with their toys, eating their peanut butter sandwiches that I forced myself to make. I did get out of bed for group baths with them and new pajamas and back to bed and then I started crying and wanted to die but I couldn’t die because who would take care of my children and then I thought we could all die and it clicked, call the doctor and I did and his nurse came and got me and my children and took us to the office, good doctor, and he talked to me and I was crying so hard and he gave me medicine and made an appointment for me to see a psychiatrists and they called my friend, a good friend who came and got my kids and me and took us home and took care of me until I saw the doctor and got used to the medicine. I was lucky. Real lucky because there are women who actually do kill commit murder suicide because of such hopelessness. I was so close to dying and taking my kids with me. First and last time I ever got so depressed that life for my children was not important. So they gave me medicine and I have been on it ever since—well not the same but at least being treated. By the way, my children had a happy childhood in spite of my bi-polar. I stayed alert to the changes in my mental status and when I began to get too high or too low, I called my doctor. Now, or so I’ve been told, being bi-polar is trendy and the disease to have; it’s like the crazy artists disease. Wow, for the first time in my life I am in style. Cool, I say.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sins of our mother's

I was raised poor. My mother had ten children, and by the time I was born she already had grandchildren, grandchildren that she raised off and on. I know what it’s like to do without, to be cold, to be hungry, to feel invisible, and to suffer the disdain of teachers who judged me from where I came and not what I knew. I remember going to school without shoes and wishing for cold weather so Mama would buy me a pair. I also remember the sacks and sacks of clothes that came from my Aunt, clothes that I tried to wear but her daughter was a giant and I wasn’t, so those clothes went to my older sisters and not me. I also remember other things, things like going to school without my lunch money and telling the teacher that I forgot it and her saying that if I didn’t pay soon, I was not going to get to eat. I remember not having the money to pay for pencils or paper and I remember never getting invited to join the girl scouts or go home with the other girls for birthday parties. But what I remember mostly is my third grade teacher, Mrs. Thompson, hating me so much, and I not knowing why. I still don’t, I have an idea it was because of my mother’s boyfriend and her living arrangements and in the 60s that was a disgrace and unfortunately for me that teacher took my mom’s mistakes out on me.

One day, after a class party, I was really happy, we had sugar cookies with frosting, and the homeroom mother gave us all extra, and I wrapped mine in a napkin to take home to my little sister. I always felt guilty if I had something that she didn’t get, so this time she was going to get a cookie too. Anyway, we were standing in line waiting and the homeroom mother and my teacher were standing talking, and they were talking about me and they were not whispering. “She doesn’t buy those kids shoes,” I heard my teacher say. I looked down at my dirty feet and wished they would just disappear. I wished they would melt and I wanted them gone and I wanted to hide and I wanted to cry but I wouldn’t cry. The home room mother says, “Doesn’t she let that old drunk live with her.” I looked at my friends they were all full of cookies and koolaide and party favors and were waiting for an answer. The tears were there and all I had to do was keep them from falling for a few more minutes. “Does Orville still live with you?” Mrs. Thompson asked. “Yes,” I say. “Did your mama marry him?” “No.” “hmmm, why not?” “I don’t know.” Please let the bell ring, let the bell ring, let the bell ring.

coffee, coffee, coffeee

Hmmm first sip of my first cup of dark coffee. Everyday it is like a new experience, I expect that is how drug addicts feel. I think about coffee before I go to sleep and worry about coffee during the week. Do I have enough? Will they always grow and harvest coffee? What was life like without coffee beans? Oh the questions I ponder while looking into the early early morning and waiting for the sun to come out.

My mom, when I was a kid, let me drink her left over coffee. After all the kids were off to school, and I was the only one home, she would pour her cup half full of coffee and half full of milk and a lot of sugar and while I ate my oatmeal, I would drink her coffee. I suppose that is one of my snuggly memories of my childhood. I don’t remember her saying a lot, but I do remember her pouring the milk into the cup and putting sugar in the coffee/milk mixture and handing it to me with a warning to be careful. I also remember her washing the dishes and sometimes I heard her sniffle and saw her wipe away tears. I wonder what made her so unhappy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Finally, no more car shopping

We were debt free. We paid the truck off, and had the title free and clear. No more big debt, I thought. Well not actually debt free, but no car payments. Truck paid for and then we bought another. It’s new and shinny and has that new smell and only five miles and we like it but we now have big car payments. Too big. I don’t like this but with all the driving Mr. Zelda does we needed fuel economy. So we bought a little car that has great mileage. In the meantime, I will struggle through graduate school, and he will struggle through undergraduate school, and hopefully we can make ends meet. I just hope for a balanced checkbook at the end of the month. This is the first new car I have had in years. The truck was new but it was his before we were married, I always bought my sister’s hand-me-downs, good cars but never new. I’m still waiting on my new bed. I wonder if I will get it? I sure had my sights set on that sleigh bed, cherry wood, nice firm mattress, but hey, it will be okay. I can wait. What’s important is the gas efficiency. If I keep telling myself, I might just believe it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Doctor's visits are the pits.

Today, I had to go to the doctor, not because I was sick, but because I had to have my six-month check-up to get my blood pressure medicine. So I get there and find out the nurse, who has worked there for years, quit and they have this gum popping, cigarettes smelly, brown roots showing, woman taking her place. She tried one time to take my blood pressure and couldn’t hear it and that was it. That was it! So, the doctor comes and takes it and I tell him his cuffs are not working, it’s the bladder, I say, they are not working right. I tell him, the cuffs should be replaced every few years, and that there is no way to get an accurate reading with his old equipment. I said it, I did. Next thing, my husband and I are sitting there waiting and in runs some kid, the nurse’s grandchild, come to visit her, and he is running around. Normally I am good with kids, they love me, but not when I am sitting in a paper gown that is two sizes too small and my breasts are somewhere between here and there and in pops this kid, who, by the way, had way too much sugar and was running wild. I try to cover up and he knocks over the aluminum tray that was holding cotton balls and tongue blades and the stupid nurse put them back, put them back, as if they were clean. I say oh no, those are way too dirty, in the trash they go. She says, they don’t use them for sterile technique and I say, I don’t want a tongue blade that has been in this floor in my mouth, and she rolls her eyes and drops them in the trash, and I break them to make sure. I tell the doctor his nurse smells, pops her gum, has a loud grandchild, and broke clean technique. He says she is a temp. and I say get rid of her. He says you’re right. I say of course. I hope Joyce comes back. I told him to call and beg her to come back. He says he tried. He gives me my prescription and I say see ya in six months. He says okay.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Night Terrors

I have night terrors. What happens is, I wake up from a sound sleep paralyzed. I can’t move, can’t scream, and something horrible is happening or about to happen. The truth is, I am still asleep, and when I finally am able to wake myself up, I am still, for a few minutes, paralyzed. I scream for my husband, my son, my daughter, who ever is in the house, and they all run to my room and I tell them the terror and they check my closet, under my bed, and my window and assure me, I am okay. It’s been like that my entire life, well since I was nine.

I don’t always talk about it, but sometimes, I write about it and when I write I put it away in a folder called secret. It was secret even when I was nine and writing on paper sacks tied together with strings and hidden in the back of my closet, then when I was older, in my diary, then in my journals, and now here it is about to be on my blog. Don’t judge me, don’t think I’m telling my secrets for the world to see, but I am, my psychiatrists thinks if I talk about it, the terrors will go away. I hope he is right.

I was nine and my mom, well she was working late at the truck stop. She was a waitress. I was in charge of my younger sister, who was five. We fell asleep while watching a western, on the sofa, in the living room. Our front door wasn’t locked, had no locks. It was really late, the television was off, that’s what I remember most, the television making that sound it made when the television station went to bed. I woke up and my mom’s boyfriend was carrying me to bed and I thought how nice of him and he put me in bed and I thought he was going to get my little sister, I had already gone back to sleep, then he did it. He raped me. When he left, I got out of bed and blood was everywhere, but I had to get to my sister and make sure she was okay and that he hadn’t hurt her too. I woke her and made her go with me to the bathroom and I left a trail of blood. I found a towel and tried to wipe the blood up off the floor, it was new bought just that day at the store, but it only smeared and I was getting sick. We got in bed and we hid under the covers and I kept bleeding, then I got feverish and started vomiting and my sister got me a wash cloth and I kept wishing my mom was home and I hoped I wasn’t going to get into trouble for all the blood and then she came home and she saw the blood and asked me why I was bleeding and I didn’t tell her, didn’t have the language to tell her and she made me take a hot bath and I was so sick and I remember seeing the water turn red. And she gave me a pad to put in my panties and it was so large on such a small body and she asked me why I was bleeding and I vomited and she gave me aspirin and then after a long while, I was getting sicker and passing out and she took me to the hospital and at first the doctor didn’t notice that I was only nine and wearing a pad, or that I had bruises between my legs, what he noticed was my appendix had ruptured and he was rushing me to surgery and then when the nurse was washing me with an antiseptic cleansers she noticed the bruising and the blood and she told him, and I remember hearing him telling my mom and she shook me and said what have you done? What have you done? Who did you let do this? That’s all I remember for about three days, until they made me sit in sitz baths to heal the stitches that they used to put my broken body back together, but the terror has stayed with me. I still remember it, still dream about it, still wake up thinking he is in the room. That night changed me, caused me to have fear and to never feel safe, made me dirty in my mom’s eyes and in my older sister’s eyes as well. I became the child who was raped or let someone rape me. My mom’s boyfriend continued to live with us until I was 11. I had to keep locks on my bedroom door and after begging for a year, finally, my mom put a lock on the bathroom door. When I was eleven, he tried it again, the rape thing, and I hit him with a broom and cut his ear, and then I told my mom either he had to go, or I was running away to Alaska. She made him leave and then she died a few months later. Even on her deathbed, she blamed me for what happened. So that is why I have the night terrors.

Okay, Okay, it's not that I am getting better as I get older, I am getting higher!

I always tell everyone that I am so lucky because at fifty, I can get any kind of get high that I want. No seriously, I go to the doc and say, I am depressed, which I am, but he gives me really cool drugs and when I tell him I need to feel a little mellow like when I was smoking pot, back before my asthma said no more, he gives me really good drugs, so that I can take it, it’s legal and I am seeing life through a different lens and growing old, well it’s not so bad. I am not anxious, depressed, manic, or any of those other things that young people sometimes experience and consequently use a lot of illegal drugs to remedy. Ha, you may have nice breasts, a tiny waist, and good skin, but by gods I have the legal dope and I have cheap insurance, and I can wear what ever the fuck I want and no one judges me to be in style. I am so over that. But, I am not young. I wonder, which is better. Maybe, the youth thing is highly overrated but then again, when I was young, oh the things I could do. For instance, now I have sore wrists for no apparent reason, back then it was Atari wrists and Pac man hand. My fellow nurses laughed at me, of course they were older, when I complained about my wrists hurting and they said, did you play tennis and I said no, river raid. Anyway, growing old does have its advantages and if I really want those perky breasts again, I can buy them, well if I get any money. And the waist thing, well hell, I don’t want a skinny waist. I am thinking the Renaissance period’s woman is going to be what we are all reinvented into. Big butts, thighs, and bellies. Yep, then I will be so hot. But, that is an oxymoron, being old and hot. Well, hot as in hot flash but not the other hot and I am so rambling and so needing to study Latin. . Okay, the end.

No more fantasy, from here out, it's reality.

Sometimes, I wish that I were so rich that I never had to worry about money again. Well, that is pretty much all the time and since I am not ever going to be rich, I know this, have resolved my lot in life, I can only dream. But a few years back, it was when I was in the wheel chair. The docs said it, the chair, was for life and they were wrong, I walk, not well, but I walk. Anyway, I had entered the contest thing where you watch the big ballgame at the end of January and the winner is announced. I was so certain that I was going to win, that I cleaned my house, put on makeup, and practiced my surprise look. So, when the end of the time came and they were announcing the winner, my son, who was like 14 at the time, and I sat on the edge of our seats waiting for that knock. We had already planned on what we were going to buy: a new van so I could transport myself easily, a new house, one with really good carpeting and a huge living room, cool clothes for the kids, and on and on. We saw on the tube where they were driving down a road and I say that doesn’t look like our road and he says no and I say but it could be that they are using last years tapes so that the winner will still be surprised and so I transfer off the sofa onto my wheelchair and I roll to the door waiting and waiting and the knock never came and the 10 million dollars went to some woman in Idaho who had a really nice house and I wondered why the gods or lady luck or someone or thing couldn’t see the injustice of a middle class woman with a nice house, two working legs, and a husband and a new car, winning over me, a poor, poverty stricken woman with two teenagers, and I was in a wheelchair, and needed an electric wheel chair and a car that ran decent so that I could go places without waiting on my sisters to take me, and my son needed new shoes. Where was the justice? Then I looked through teary eyes at my envelope, the one that brought me the entry form and I realized that I had joined the wrong contest. Laugh on me. Nope, it was still kind of sad. I never won those millions either. I think that was the year that I knew I was going to always be poor.

who could fucking eat an egg now?

Okay, I thought I was getting over the wing guilt thing, and now, I am suffering from even more than wing guilt, there is the egg guilt. I shouldn’t have read it, but it was there and so I did. Yep, stack the nest one on top of each other, the top hen shits, it falls on the one underneath and so on until the poor bottom hen, well you can imagine, plus, they, the farmers, cut off their beak tips. They don’t want them, the chicken, to do what is natural and that is to peck. You see, we had chickens and they just ran around in the yard, and at night, when I put corn in their pen, they all ran inside, it was still plenty roomy, and I closed the gate. It kept them from getting eaten by the coyotes and the hawks. When they were out of the pen, and even in the pen, they could scratch the dirt, that’s what they do, scratch for worms and insects. Inside their gizzard, you can find anything, my grandma kept all the doodads that came out of her gizzards, and it included nails, screws, and pennies, what ever they ate. Funny, maybe not healthy but I’m sure much healthier than living in chicken shit, not moving off your nests, and never getting to scratch or peck. My question, which is rhetorical but if anyone wants to answer feel free, buy why do we let people get by with such cruel behaviors to animals. Are we such pigs that we don’t care? I know about the chickens and yet, I still succumb to the wings. There is a solution, a place where the animals are raised good and clean and all of that and we are going real soon, but we are sure the meat and eggs and milk will be much more expensive so I’m thinking we should just eat faceless things. No face, then we won’t eat. After visiting the site I have decided that humans are the most barbaric of all the earth and I know because I watch the animal planet and I’ve seen lions killing for food, and they do it quickly and for food. The only really gross animal is the hyena and I think the Tyson’s are related or are evolved from those beasts because of all the suffering they put their chickens through. That’s all.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I got to school before daylight. I was sitting on a bench, enjoying the cool morning breeze and watching the stars fade--yep they fade. Anyway, a young girl was on the grass with two large labs. A chocolate, and a blond one, and she was throwing a ball and the blond one ran and caught it and took it to her. It was so exciting watch his agile body jump for the ball, and the chocolate lab took her turn and once she started to wonder off and the girl called her name and she didn’t come so the girl used a firmer tone and the blond lab ran over to the chocolate lab and bit at her legs as if she was scolding the lab for being disobedient. It was a wonderful moment, watching that girl and her dogs. When I got up to go inside, the chocolate lab came and touched my fingers with her nose and I patted her head. She was so cool and sweet and I wanted to get on my knees and scratch her side, but my knees are bad, and I’m sure the owner wouldn’t have liked me getting too personal with her dogs, and so I walked inside the building. I looked back and the dog was still watching me. I think there are times when animals and humans connect, almost like immediate friendship and that was what we had. I hope they are there tomorrow.

Finally the girls are free.

I am a rememberer of almost four decades of daily bra usage. I remember the pointy ones, the padded ones, the lacy ones, the wire then plastic supported ones. I remember bras made from fibers that itched, lace that burned and itched, straps the dug, and the support beams that came out the top and stuck me in my chin. I think men designed those horrible first few decades and later, well later they became too thin, again man, so that my nipples were exposed if I didn’t put something between my skin and the bra. So, too much padding, no padding and everything in between but, but, but, I found a delight. A cotton bra that has no lace, no plastic, no metal, no flowers, no tight straps or cups, no lycra or any other gross shiny material. Cotton that has double in the front, no padding or anything but no nipple showage either. They are a true delight and I bought ten. It is the first time since my budding breasts emerged that I have not fought with my underwear. Yep, I am in bra heaven. I look forward to the bra, and get up extra earlier to make sure that the color I pick matches the color of my socks or my shirt. Okay, that’s a little extreme but why the fuck didn’t some one come up with these things when I was younger. I am finally free without actually letting the girls fly solo. What a great feeling.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

What the fuck would Buddah do? Can you tell me?

We are looking at beds, new beds. I want a sleigh bed, cherry wood and my husband, well, who knows exactly what he wants. We found the perfect bed and I am so ready to get it but he says let’s shop around. I say there are not that many places to shop and he says yep, let’s go here and there and I say I need to go home and I go home, I don’t like to go here and there, I want to go one place, pick it out, pay the man or woman, give my address, and be done with it. It takes Mr. Zelda at least a week to complete his looking around and finally he will come back and buy the one that I said from the beginning. It’s too weird.

By the way, we have been looking at cars for about three months now and I just don’t see any speed in the process and if we don’t get a new one soon, he, Mr. Zelda, will be walking because he is driving my truck and I am driving my sister’s 90 year-old mother-in-law’s car that she drove around and around her house, forgetting how to stop until finally she ran it into the living room. It isn’t ruined and is fine, a one owner car with less than 50000 miles and it’s one of those huge cars from the mid 80s but, but, but, it’s huge and I want my little truck back. I want him to buy a car and let me have my truck so I can drive like and park with ease not from the end of a huge car that I cannot park except if there are no other cars on the street. See, I am getting upset, I have to think, WWBD, ahhh he would say, let us not fight but let us get a long and forget the cars and walk so as not to run over the little insects on the street and why do you need to pollute the air and he would be so right.

Maybe the bed thing is wrong and we should just sleep on a mat in the floor. Maybe.