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sure, i wasn’t that. i grew up in the texas equivalent to a jungle and worse, the home inside was also grave with dangers. the biting roaches, the scorpions, the poor widowed wolf spiders made to carry their children on their backs until an age, the snakes and my mother
so, i rode bikes away, go carts, small boats and my bare feet. i went to a small green house, more often than not. just across the pond. within the hearing distance of my own home and in plain sight of it. while we played out of doors there, i felt a family within and i loved them all so much- they won’t ever know that now. but, i hope that i was a polite guest from 1 to close to 9 years of age when our city began to boom and my other folks, poor folks in the green house were forced to move back to their own country and pray to nuzzle the bosom left there when their dreams or maybe even their wishes for a city life became a joke.
it was almost as if they left before the doom boom with fateful grace. the house sits rented, by it’s only following inhabitant.. a coach for the middle school who has been there long as or longer than my other family.

my other family ate poorly. but, the things they ate are my comfort foods. with food come the smells of food and with smell the memories of man burn back into him.

recently, i went into the garage of a friend of mother’s and at once, it was my grandmother’s garage, once her husband’s before i was born. it smelled of a certain metallic and chemical way worn thin by thousands of times of opened doors, parking, leather seats too hot to sit upon and exhaust from leaded gasoline. out the next door not to the house, but beyond, the laundry room. some specific detergent. no dryer. when my dearest grandmother died we hung the pink carnations from her bouquets in there until they were as dry and dead as she was. i cannot recall when i rid myself of the last flower. it was long ago. so, the next door out into the yard. a clothes line and then trees, tortoises, horned toads and black cicadas. the horned toads, not toads at all would expel a forceful spurt of blood from their own eyes in the face of their captor.. me. but the more deft creatures just hid and quickly to any sound of the laundry door. some snakes, some rabbits. all hunted among each other, hid well from me, never knowing how much i cared for them or that i only meant to keep them for a night.

i had a horrible discovery once. i had been led to believe that a cicada could be leashed and flown such as a kite. i had only red yarn and i carefully fashioned a harness between the head and thorax of the pilot. at first flight, his wings lashed so fervently for freedom that the head and body separated. the head fell as the poor insect flew. i knew then that i was a killer. i was not to be consoled. i hated what i had done so much. but, young children charge back at defeat and sorrow. at least i always did.

then it came to me, as it would to most children, that i could still fly a cicada. i had to adjust the harness. the females would do better than the males for their large sound producing organs at their stomach would not be in the way. to tear another apart would have made me ill. but, i was curious… to the peril of many of these great insects. the perfect harness was cumbersome in the end. it had to be surrounding the cicada’s legs and abdomen leaving them little hope of landing out of bounds, but also underneath the delicate wings.

it worked! i loved them and my ingenuity! each pilot flew only one flight before freedom. then another day came where i fastened the yarn wrong. it was easy to make a mistake wearing the fingers of a child who could still not embroider. the pilot made haste to join the company of freedom. when she did, her abdomen wrenched from her thorax and her wings and head left their ruins far behind because i let go of the yarn at once. i never took another pilot. i was in mourning for being a child and stupid and even cruel. i had never meant to be cruel. i let the cicadas alone and street by street, the neighbors burned their trees or hacked them to shrubs with white painted wounds to discourage the next loosing of thousands of warriors. i had endured combat, it seemed and i had no stomach for saddling cicadas again. the poisons and burnings finished more than i had begun.

i was still small then, but i could see clearly at my grandmother’s (mother’s mother) that i was in a different country of texas. i liked it well but for the heat that the panhandle is famous for.  mirage, gourds and oil. so much oil. i’m lucky i didn’t truly live there. central texas was much more green and alive and it’s fauna ever more a challenge and reward to capture. with family history now within a grasp not meant for children’s minds i understand clearly how we drove east, never to return for long.

while my mother tolerated wildlife well, later allowing us to nurse fallen squirrels back to health by bottle, letting me keep a small opossum that i’d gathered from ten others in oven mits, and tolerating a ferret later. it wasn’t lady like. it was wild and my son-less father loved it all.

i hated dresses and make-up and falsity so i was what i willed. a tom of long hair and short trust. while i never became used to the dreaded con(dis)junction, “ain’t”, i might have without the constant and profuse refusal of such a child as that i was becoming.. south or not, we lived in a city and if i had any hope, i was always reminded, it would be to marry well.

how i lost the game for them is another story. the smells of memory preserve the memories themselves now. one smell. quite of import to my perceived failure is that of the cheapest scotch. i chose love every single time, to my parent’s tears. that is why they let me mire, ill and in poverty. it is my punishment for not being “lady-like”. i eat it, willingly.

i learned how to mix drinks at an early age. never thinking of sipping that sick, i brought it out, time and time again, like a dutiful tom. i can certainly say that they did not affront me with ideals of being lady like as i served them into dark, it was misfortune that they didn’t realize that i was playing a part that was un-childlike. that was ok then as it served their wants. it wasn’t entirely my fault. it was only later that i had to take my responsibility and as genetics had it… for a time i afforded great relief from my own scotch whiskey. but, never that cheap alcoholic shit- no, the aged and barreled, noble alcoholic swill. that was well before and not much of a story, really. an alcoholic is always an alcoholic, i didn’t learn for a while that the origin of the swill mattered very little.

oh, friends, this is a strange week. please listen. i’ve too much to say, but i’m trying to flay it apart before i tell you the bomb. it will not serve to say without the background i am trying to establish.

thank you all

well, this is on my mind:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH5-qCmpCJU

there is a cremation that comes. it barks at us from a good distance, not to be kicked again, and when it comes and buries itself in the flesh of my poor parents- like a raven on holiday..i shall weep and retch then- and yet the smell is stronger that i could have imagined.

a two week holiday…not as such as a proper holiday was had by me alone in absence of their company. a German Shepard could have well alerted my station to the starvation of my father. but, with none such around i found about quietly up the stairs and through the hall and found my father after 9 pm, unfed and hungry. not the type of hunger that kills. he has been well saved and served by his new exterior of fat and gut and as ever strong arms. arms never that learned to launder, as was the fashion, arms fit for work, but not for making sandwiches or playing house. (for one he might have eaten his hand in knowing that dinner was not any more near than my mother was.)

his eyes were not desperate, but his tone betrayed him, he was hungry. and what am i? i am the trained chef. the culinary success. the only small peace of a pride that only a son-less man could appreciate. i hurried about a sub-par sandwich bearing the key ingredient for life: bread, the hearth of any meal. shaved turkey.. strange cheese, mayonnaise, mustard and a side of tortilla chips.

it was the best of my duty to pull the cockroach eaten bread slices from the rest. it was mine borne to check of dates of expiration. i pulled from the dumpster of a fridge the things i felt sure were not possibly poison and i made dear father a sandwich. it was well past dinner and at nine, i had discovered the need and within a half hour we had discussed the situation and my poor mother. all i can claim is that my father of many a great year did not starve… not tonight, as pitiful as what i could offer from my mother’s dumpster. it’s not without proper refrigeration and holds a great deal of the grotesque in a sort of stasis of museum quality food decay. it’s an exhibit in a way. no one i know has seen a fridge such as this and after i clean it, time and time over it takes on, again, the form of which it is best accustomed, chaos.

maybe i should have fed mother too. the hour was growing late but, a sandwich wouldn’t undo her fetid hatred, her strain, stress and pain might have landed me a sandwich upon my face. hardly. the woman’s aim was not what it might have been since her eyes could not bear the cause of alertness.

where am i now? i cannot go back under their roof. no short-lived act of courtesy on their part could put up with my disability. they’ve said as much and i don’t need to be told twice.

after my ascent with my father’s sandwich and some chips on the side.  my mother busied herself on her own answer to my diligence.

 

when i came upon it, it was a three layer bread pile, most eaten by cockroaches, but she had poured coffee, ground and ready to brew, near and betwix the layers and i think she might have brought it to my father, had i not assured her that i had fed him, for she had forgotten, and that he was off to bed.

i packaged up the untouched bread, threw the ground coffee into the trash and i hugged my mother like i do my child and told her that i wasn’t far and i could be of help anytime.

 

too bad that my spinal issues and disabled condition make that statement almost a lie.  i will not suffer her starving my father however… and i will lose even more of myself to this battle, maybe all of me.

 

sounds impossible, but i am of a weak mind and spirit now.  weaker than ever before.

since i am spending more time here, mostly lurking around.. but building up to some new posts that have been a long time in coming, please consider my site under construction in many ways.  i have an outdated blogroll and other outdated content, only recently discovered typos and am overall out of the loop.

i expect to have this changed quickly (as in within the month) and i hope to share new observations, lessons and catch up on the considerable amount of time that has lapsed since my more active days as a blogger.

i like things here to be nice and tidy here so i will be taking care of technical difficulty before returning to my raw, rude and total overshare style of blogging after that.

thanks.

mhd

i was too late, i had to make the usual last minute purchases that almost two weeks of travel require.  i raced past the bookstore without even thinking, “fuck!” until i’d been home for an hour.  but, there’s this wonderful thing that might save my sanity and it’s a small kindle app on my laptop.  so i’ve purchased the recommended book.  currently i’m browsing other books that might help me before i dive in.  i should be packing, but i’ve never been less excited about anything in my life.  any diversion, however small, is so very welcome.

it’s probably the best way to own a book about toxic parents, when you will be with them in a toxic place, as a secret file on a machine.  i don’t think a good old fashioned paper sack book cover would be safe enough.  i can imagine the fallout so clearly, because it would not be anything new.  so it was a good screw up on my part today,  i’ll have that to read and ponder privately and i’ll have hope, if it offers any, that i can undo and explain why i am so twisted up and soured at my age.  i don’t remember being strong anymore, but i was.  the last year has taken the few things i had left so quickly, so silently that i don’t know how to even retrace my steps now.  maybe that’s the point of all of this.  to lose inventory completely now and start again, really small like the child that i still am.

 

hi other readers.  i know that in the attention span of most bloggers that i’ve hypothetically died or found sunnier skies to stare out into and away from my life.  both couldn’t be less true, but i had more of the truth come true than anyone could have planned for in the circumstances that i was in and forced to be thankful for.  i’m leaving for the mountains again in what feels like a showdown from an old western in atmosphere.  i have a good bit of will to live as i write this tonight.  i have no idea what i’ll have when i get there and while i am trapped in forced seclusion from the world and into constant contact with a family who i am in the poorest position so far in my life.  i’ll be in a place where people kill and die each year, that survives without police or hospitals, and is bordered by the san juan mountains where people disappear, go off the grid and succumb to nature.  most popular, save fishing up there, is typically suicide so my heart and mind will remain elsewhere somehow.  they may spend visits here, catching up to an echo.  they may be too devastated to write and saving their core energy for getting out of bed, i don’t know.  if the worst thing that happens is having a gun pointed at my head, if it isn’t fired, maybe i really can begin again thankful instead of rotten with venom and haunted by the ruin of my life.

what i know for certain is that this will be my last trip up there, they’ve promised me that.  so i hope to see the familiar sights with that in mind. smell the pine for one last time. go in my grandfathers shed and smell the poisons and chemicals.  sit on the porch and cry like a thousand times before.  i don’t think there is any place on earth that i hate more, but i’ll soak it up hard this time so that i never forget the spoiling of time, the hurt that never changed and the agelessness of each return where i’m made to feel 16 again.  if the plan was to ever make me appreciate that place they should have starved me of it so i might have craved the taste.  my drunken grandfather’s grabbing, my grandmother’s blind eyes, my mother’s feral drinking borne from her own hate for her own life and my father’s escapism turned into dependance, dementia and total isolation in his sacred place that’s now near the tv and nowhere near outside.  and let’s not forget the places i learned to hide never knowing if or when he’s gonna hit ya, cry or now in his late days, die..   the legacy of lies that could only survive 53 years of the most stubborn marriage.  do you want my ticket yet, aren’t i making it sound like paradise?

so i guess it’s time to just say bye for now and we’ll see, won’t we?  yes, we will because i’ll be back to write.

please try to fit this in your week, i know someone so extraordinary that i can’t keep it down anymore.

http://insidematthewsmind.wordpress.com/

i know i’m oft off and i miss a many of you. would you please think of this as something fun and a big favor to me, with the promise of more future personal activity. melissa, caroline… i’m looking at you… thank you loves

i’ve got this whole hole sized lack in my vision of the future now, for the first time in my life.  not my literal eyesight, but within my foresight.

i sat up near a month ago without a wink or nod.  at 5:15 i tossed around, worried sick about my mother’s friend who had had a fourth                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               malignant tumor in her thoracic spine.  she was more than on my mind, she was damn well in it.  as i tossed across and up to the airing of mr. rogers at 6 am on pbs, patricia kelly had passed on at 5:14 am (just a moment before i had taken note of what time there was.  well warmed with safe and soft morphine and Christ’s inspired crooners and hymns washing over her like a tightly tucked fleece blanket as she passed, listening to her favorite song there at cristopher house i had been with her in inescapable thought.  why a hospice death romper room?  her two “adult” children couldn’t be bothered.  at least not until she really kicked the bucket.  patrica had made the decision to quit chemo and she found GOD in the last couple of months before (if you can really count them like that with a calendar).  her seemingly early choice to escape the pain and isolation of life, and take a chance on the hereafter even if it really is just black and emptier was so raw and brave to me.  since she’d taken the LORD of white gods into her heart, she felt a comfort that i never could grasp, i just thought she was a ocean of intention, followed through in every wave as she became nearer and nearer to the high tide of her existence.  a warrior princess.  a triumph of right to die ethics.  a person who realized that life poorly lived in suffering isn’t really life; in brilliant spite of all of our medical progress in the realm of playing GOD.  pat wanted her own GOD with her own dignity.

since meeting HIM, she let HIM take charge and gave herself to HIM when without a bit of fight left in her.  before, pat would argue many valid points such as, “what has HE done for me lately?”  if HE’s there, why aren’t any of my prayers answered?  these were tough questions of a thin faith, for many of her devout friends, but when we talked about it we both found peace with the conclusion that we just didn’t know anything…  although if mysterious ways are the tactic HE prefers, we both found it a little passive aggressive with an icing sugar coat of cruelty on top for our species with so very many questions in the first place.  i never handed out my own feeling about her heavenly father, what would have been the point?  she was leaning on one of the last crutches she would ever handle and i wouldn’t have ever taken that from her.

i’ve not quite ever been able to find HIM yet, but i do often think of how nice it would be.  i doubt sincerely that it’s in the cards for me, but desperate shit leads to desperate bullshit.  it had been three years of the worst fighting, the worst surgeries, taking bones from her spine and soft tissues for the short respites and then the feeling and hope that was dashed at every corner.  baseball sized, grapefruit sized masses in a matter of months (if you can really quantify linear time in a jar like that), just catch a cloud that looks like a balloon to you… how long can you keep it?  remember it?  maybe it happened.  maybe it didn’t.  in the kingdom of everyone’s heaven, is there time anyway?

for us, living near to her war, we were on times then.  surgery times, chemo visits, radiation, grocery runs, housekeeping, moving and the final move, since her survivors were unwilling or unable to clean out her home.  we came again to put pat’s material life to rest.  and now, time moves again in the way it does, forward and away from the dead.

can you walk into an enclosed public space without seeing anyone ravaged by cancer?  i’m not talking about your most favorite  irish pub.  i mean the grocery, the library, the doctor’s office or the buses or subways?  my mother is at a rate of 7-10, cancer victims to survivors within her close circle of friends.   the next week, feeling that, after-funeral-joy-of-life b.s. my mother went in for her yearly mammogram.

so far, cancer was the burden of beloved friends, poor devastated grandparents we knew and of course all of those strangers who make up the flawed statistical data.  we’d seen plenty of it, but out family history was genetically blank.  it shouldn’t have happened in my family, beyond my life-plan smoking grandfather and eventually myself.  however, funny story, true story, mom popped a positive in those three days after pat’s funeral.  can you imagine the paralyzing fear?

well i didn’t have to imagine.  it came quite quickly and naturally before the rest of my small corner of the world did something else funny and out of character.   it (my heart rate)  hopped from an inaudible peristalsis like stirring to a rumba beat before changing course into math rock… like a battles song.   it’s bad heart music for me again.  the heart problems again and the panic the palpitations and paralysis.  i imagine that hair loss is next.  that seems to be the pattern i get when everything falls out of it’s pattern.

for next time, please remember the blank spot i referred to in the first paragraph.  it’s important, i promise.  i’ve never had a psychic blackout on the future.  i guess it could be a coma, the plague or even the big sleep.  i’m not sure and i don’t like it since i’m not actively suicidal at this point, just beaten down real deep.

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