Thursday, December 13, 2007
I have been seeing this seemingly innocent blurb pop in and out of my field of view for quite some time. I finally digested it in my mind just to find it annoys the hell out of me. It is catchy and sounds correct enough, but when I think about the VERY FEW things in my life that I regret... it is most easily summed up by:
"When loving someone, never regret what you do, only regret what you don't do."
I somehow happened upon this gorgeous, fun girl when I was in college. She didn't actually go to school WITH me.... although throughout our friendship we would sneak her into my (very strict) dorm and/or I would stay off-campus in her apartment. We took road trips to crazy places and lived off virtually no sleep. We were both very generous with our time and resources and would spend all of our money getting out of town together, meeting people from everywhere and always being tourists. I remember making up hometowns on numerous occasions, since people had a tendency to think we were from California.
We remained friends until I got lost in a selfish cloud of potsmoke and my first love/ boyfriend (who would eventually need legal action taken against him to get him out of my life)... but I always thought she would be there. Until I never called or wrote. A year or so later I finally tried to reach her, and her e-mail address and phone number had both changed. I finally realized all I had was a bunch of amazing memories and no one to share them with. As quickly as we had become friends, I let her slip through life's cracks.... looking her up on Facebook and MySpace repeatedly with no luck. I got pregnant with Elek and I wanted her to know my hopes, fears, and irrational attachment to animals. I remembered becoming an ADULT with her (okay... that may be a slight exaggeration).... realizing that crashing on random people's couches wasn't always the best idea... knowing that all you needed was ten dollars, the mall, and some really great clearance racks to be the hottest girls in town for one night. I shed my "follower" skin and started figuring out who I really was thanks to this girl. Then, throughout my pregnancy, I started to wonder if she was even ALIVE... I heard all of these horrifying stories on the news and I would pray that one of my guardian angels would go spend the evening with her and make sure she felt warm and loved. I was terrified of all the possibilities and scared that she would never know that I cared about her happiness. I was so sorry for all those times I thought I should call but didn't have enough time to "really catch up".
Yesterday morning, our paths crossed again.... she has a little girl now.... and Elek is almost exactly one year older than her brand new daughter. I realized that not only had she missed MY pregnancy, but I had missed hers, too. Let me tell you, the emotional sobriety that came over me was hard to stomach. I just knew that she had always been there for me and that I just took that for granted in almost every way. I know our friendship may not ever be the same... but I still want so much for her to be surrounded with love and laughter. When I finally thought that I would never get the chance to say anything to her... somehow destiny allowed her to hear it from me: "I'm so sorry."
Please recognize people for who they are and how much they mean to you. We may not be lucky enough to have another chance.
How do you feel about regrets? Do you have someone you think about often who has "slipped through life's cracks"?
"Even the best fall down sometimes/
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme/
Out of the doubt that fills my mind/
I somehow find/
You and I collide."
"Collide" - Howie Day
Sharona is the only person I know who doesn't wear a seat belt because getting thrown out of a Ford Expedition was one of the best things that ever happened to her. She introduced me to Kurt Vonnegut and marathon tanning. I am forever in her debt for holding on to the stair rail for dear life when a (much heavier) me was falling down the stairs barreling straight for her. I could have easily broken my back if it weren't for her Mighty Mouse-esque 100 lb. barricade on step number five. Her reasoning is hilarious, and in our day we convinced each other to do increasingly alarming things to our bodies/hair in search of obsessive-compulsive perfection. We are both Gemini, which means we can make the most ridiculous ideas not only sound feasible, but like it's the most ingenious thing we've ever thought of and must be implemented five minutes ago.
Which leads me to just one of her many incredible habits... namely shaving her entire body, every day.
Sharona was smooth, tan, and moist (as in LOTIONED, you pervs). I'll never forget the first day she shaved her arms, saying in complete awe of herself, "Nana, it's AMAZING! My arms have full contact with the world! None of that senseless HAIR stuff keeping from experiencing life fully! Feel it!" and I would look at her smooth arms and stroke one finger down the top of the area from her elbow to her wrist. It was amazingly soft and smelled like Suave Sun-dried Raspberry Lotion. Wow... I wished MY arms felt and smelled like that.... but I couldn't commit to the maintenance of shaving my whole body, every day. Sharona saw that covetous look in my eye, but she new better than to say anything of it. The next day, the same conversation ensued. I think I held out for about nine days of this sensational torture before I joined the Shave-Your-Entire-Body-Every-Day Club. There were only two members... Sharona and me. It was awesome... I was completely smooth and smelled of Suave Sun-dried Raspberry Lotion. After thirty minutes of making sure every square inch of my body had zero hair and then drying off and then lotioning.... I realized that this was not going to fit into my routine very easily.
It all went really well until our club went on hiatus for the summer. I got lax and started doing the whole routine once every other day... since I wasn't really TOUCHING anyone. So then I go on a youth trip to Dallas, Texas, as a chaperon, and I had to wake up at 3 in the morning. I get stuck in a 15-passenger van next to the mouthy seventh grade asshole who is like, "oh my god.... what is WRONG with your arms?!?" every time we hit a bump he would be like, "Diana forgot to shave her arms and now I have to pay for it!! This isn't FAIR." On this day, I vowed to myself that the arm shaving must come to an end.
After months and months of growing my coarse arm hair out... I realized it wasn't going to get any softer. I used some Nair, which took off all the hair.... and then it grew back... STILL prickly.... so I waited for it to grow out AGAIN.... all this time, inadvertently rubbing arms with people who would look at me with a question mark of disgust in their expression.... It took me a whole year to get my soft arm hair back.... this involved more Nair.... waxing.... and a ton of waiting. Last night on the phone, I was finally able to describe this process to Sharona. She was laughing so hard she could hardly stop... then I asked, "So you didn't go through this?!?" Her giggle subsided momentarily... "Oh... no.... no..... I still shave my arms." Seven. years. later. I was in awe of such dedication and commitment. To which I replied: "Well.. you won't be stopping any time soon."
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
4:43 PM - i saw her
Current mood: nostalgic
(this poem is inspired by a woman who came into see me, her husband had been approved for benefits, but he had died two weeks ago... when i called her... his voice still greeted me on the answering machine... she was not ready to let him go)
i saw her
a young Italian girl
dancing with her uncles
and cousins and brothers
spinning to the sound of the accordion
and laughter and Italian country songs
she loved to dance
in her flowing skirts
because of how the wind felt
against her legs
and how the music
made her feel
like a flower in the wind
i saw her
her olive green eyes shining
as the sunset hit them from afar
they reflected her soul
to him, her love, just weeks ago,
he understood her, and he loved her well,
and when they danced, she felt like the wind...
harnessed by a sail, destined for distant wonders
i saw her,
those eyes had smiled a thousand times (if once),
but now, years later, they wrinkled at the edges,
a souvenir of a thousand memories with her lost love.
and as she sat.. i saw her dance... through her feet.
she still wore heels, though now, years later,
her feet were crooked,
they had been in thousands of beautiful shoes,
and though she would end up barefoot,
her bent toes showed the torture they had endured,
but of course, they were still painted red
and when she smiled,
she said her name was "An-nah",
and when she looked me in the eye,
i saw this, all of it,
this beautiful Italian girl... her eyes told me of her sadness,
now a face she didn't recognize in the mirror..
but i saw her.
mystery fuels our knowledge
curiosity still kills the cat
what time teaches to every soul
there are no substitutes for that
what math reveals in nature
and what science says of God
these encoded clues keep coming
like a pea grows in its pod
the search provides the answer
the crypt unlocks its doors
and behind the gates of death
you will find no fires or floors
my soul can see the answers
my body doubts in vain
the search for what life teaches
brings joy and removes pain
(aren't we all in hostage situations?)
i print off letters-
switching names and numbers,
saying all the same things.
in my stomach there's a flutter;
could it be? i start to stutter (talking to a client)
distracted by the sound of my own voice
i don't want to wrap myself
in blankets of words
a shield from all
the harsh reality that is
the emotional weather at hand
"the forecast for today"-
slightly neurotic, 85% chance of road rage,
10% chance of tears, with scattered laughter..
I'll think i need a cigarette at some point (need is so weird).
no one knows.. the weatherman never does
i must get out of this building
look for myself
while i'm at it,
i'll look for my SELF
...i must be around here somewhere ...
In your reflection
(In endless copies of self… with that damn mirror behind me)
What was affection
Now a section
Of Memory Past
(Entitled "thoughts of you".. yes, I mean, him)
and how life changes
and pages that leap away
(further into our respective pasts, or is it collective?)
and next time don't you
ask or won't you?
Stories make "us" live forever
(or were we never? God's sense of humor never seemed more rotten..)
New Orleans shaken
(somehow the same, I know)
That stemmed from rejection
And all my dissection
(it tore us apart, I know)
On further inspection
So much perfection
Talking with eyes
(in which so few are fluent)
All a reflection
A distant perception
I hope there's not hatred
(when you look at you)
Someone will love you
Put none above you
There's no ill will toward you
(all chapters must end)
"To think I might not see those eyes/
Makes it so hard not to cry/
And as we say our long goodbye/
I nearly do." (snow patrol)
7:30 AM - to each his own
Current mood: anxious
Category: Religion and Philosophy
After a childhood full of organized religion (being told I wasn't worshiping "hard" enough, showing up to watch the crazies roll around and cry every Sunday, Wednesday, and other special 'revival' meetings to make more money) that i'm being seen as a disappointment in any sense of the word. Like Jerry Maguire said:
"I had two slices of bad pizza, went to bed, and grew a CONSCIENCE!"
One day, while at Oral Roberts University, I went to a mandatory chapel meeting to listen to how everyone in Asia (specifically Nepal) is going to hell and how I must give my money to give them a chance to see a Christian (themselves... i was to send this money-hungry bastard to Nepal to mis-represent Christ with my money). It can be agreed, some people DO need guardrails on the highway of life, or big stuffed things for bowling gutters so they can't lose.. and for those people, there is organized religion.
In all actuality, the only scripture that alludes to a church-like setting is "do not forsake the gathering of believers" in Hebrews 13:5. Giving money is actually an Old Testament ritual that was done away with when Jesus died (duh, that's actually WHY he died.. to get rid of the old shit)... and then the whole New Testament was restructured in complete error... reincarnation was removed from the Bible during the Council of Constantinople (6th century AD)... i mean DAMN. you see? can you blame me for completely dissecting my own beliefs and choosing for myself which is correct? could someone applaud an independent mind rather than condemning a soul? judging what is unknown?
Some people need a gigantic illustration of God rather than just looking at the sunrise. Some people would rather watch a preacher on TV than watch ants carry a few muffin crumbs to their hill. Whatever... it doesn't matter to me.. to each his own. What matters to me is what connects me to all creation... my body, my emotions, my sense of what is real. Sometimes I get the feeling that Bible beaters feel they will be rewarded more in heaven for estranging themselves from their families for their beliefs. Doesn't it all come down to love? Isn't is really about loving someone for who they are rather than who you want or intend them to be. Whenever there is a motive behind an action that is not love... it somehow becomes selfish.
i don't claim to believe what i quote in my blogs, just so everyone knows, only that this happens to be the flavor of my philosophical meal i'm enjoying at the moment.
i used to think that each person was a gift, some just had more wrapping than others. now i think that each person is a box and some have a gift inside. it's still worth unwrapping, i suppose... because who knows what or who that gift could be.
i can't stop asking questions... i never find the answer i'm looking for.. only that my answer is a multidimensional wonderland that gives birth to countless questions.
"judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers"
my dream from last night still has my head spinning.
like the smiley ,
not linda blair.
okay so in my dream, we were in a 3-bedroom apartment.
my friend alli had her own room,
and angelina jolie had her room
angelina was dating joe, my sister's exboyfriend, and i couldn't believe it... then i kept thinking that i guessed it really wasn't all THAT unbelievable (even though it was, she wouldn't touch the fucking douche-nozzle)
i showed up at their apartment, alli's boyfriend wasn't there.. and neither was angelina's... i was tired and fell on alli's bed... in hopes of passing out.
like these people:
and as i was laying on alli's bed... she was fairly scantily clad. and i saw some sort of contraption popping out of her hip. it looked like a lincoln log creation.
maybe more like a wooden marionette
i don't know.. but anyway... i asked alli about it and she said that it had been there for years and i asked her how it affected the sex and she said it simply wasn't an issue.
alli and angelina were so excited to be sans their respective men that they were BEGGING me to go to Printer's Alley... where they had 25 cent shots. 25 CENT SHOTS. i didn't want to move, but that was enough to get me there.
angelina kept talking about us all getting a tattoo together.
so next thing i know, i'm smashed out of my damn mind, and when i realize what's going on... in sudden full sobriety (the getting drunk part was cut out of my dream)... i had a stupid-looking, shitty tattoo.
i showed alli and told her that i NEVER wanted a tattoo and how did it get there????!??! how?!?! she just offered to "fix" it with her own needle and an ink pen... and i was horrified. i told her that i would deal with it later.
anyway.. i'm not sure what that dream was about... but in a way, angelina has always been a friend of mine.
MORAL OF THE STORY:
don't let diana get a tattoo. especially not drunk.
see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination—
stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast
pattern— of which I am a part... What is the pattern or the meaning or the why?
It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it. For far more
marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets
of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if
he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia
must be silent." - Richard Feynman
and why can we talk about life and death only as ideas, but when seen as actions
(verbs), the mystery silences itself (luring us to thoughts free of
space/time/verbal communication). limiting ourselves to words, as we do, we can
only communicate within the bounds of language... what can we notice about
Jupiter (the sphere) besides it's celestial beauty? I'm infinitely annoyed by the
human inability to acknowledge the fact that we ourselves are on a spinning
sphere and that everyone can be standing up and no one will fall off... the simplest truths are ignored by alleged "grown-ups".
.. i would be lost if it weren't for kindred spirits, also longing to explain the unexplained.
Current mood: awake
universe. expansion. nebula. black hole. galaxy. star. sun. planet. earth. orbital path. moon. sea. tide. island. mountain. tree. elephant. anteater. parrot. alligator. chimpanzee. human body. brain. eye. ear. nose. lips. sense. immune system. salivary gland. follicle. cell. nucleus. atom. electron. science and religion. church and state. creation and evolution. is life really about the two extreme stances people take? or is it about marrying those extremes like bottles of ketchup at the end of a restauraunt shift for a greater end result? why is it that fifth grade science seems to slip everyone's mind??... i think that was the first and only time i ever cheated on a test. oh yeah, and I got caught, by the way. when we put everything in perspective... the small window we can see through encompassing everything from the universe to electrons... who are we to say that our field of view is the whole truth? i don't believe much.. but i do believe that the amnesia that occurs upon birth somehow lures us all to remember the answers.
6:05 PM - i fry mine in butter, indeed
Current mood: amused
by Kurt Vonnegut, from his "Timequake".
"That the impulse to laugh at healthy people who nonetheless fall down is by no means universal, however, was brought to my attention unpleasantly at a performance of Swan Lake by the Royal Ballet in London, England...A ballerina, dancing on her toes, went deedly-deedly-deedly into the wings as she was supposed to do. But then there was a sound backstage as though she had put her foot in a bucket and then gone down an iron stairway with her foot still in the bucket.
I instantly laughed like hell.
I was the only person to do so.
A similar incident happened at a performance of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra when I was a kid. It didn't involve me, though, and it wasn't about laughter. There was this piece of music that was getting louder and louder, and that was supposed to stop all of a sudden.
There was this woman in the same row with me, maybe ten seats away. She was talking to a friend during the crescendo, and she had to get louder and louder, too. The music stopped. She shrieked, 'I FRY MINE IN BUTTER!'"
3:29 PM - Superstition
Category: Romance and Relationships
Superstition (an original)
I daresay what shall come of us~
I fear I jinx Love’s stars.
Ironic tragedy- like hues of rust~
taint oceanside new cars.
I fear the gall of destiny-
ever humbling the proud.
I love the strength of silence~
words unsaid so loud.
I memorized your goodnight kiss,
The taste of your lips so sweet,
and crave a distant lullaby bliss,
the drum of your heart’s beat.
8:33 AM - The Plight of Lynell
Current mood: crushed
Category: News and Politics
For those of you who don't know what I do for a living, I'm a bilingual legal secretary for the largest Social Security disability firm in Memphis. We have over a thousand disabled clients that the government has denied federal funding. With the recent Tenncare cuts, I have watched and listened as sick, poverty-ridden people are denied medicine and medical treatment by the powers that be. This is my relationship with Lynell. A 58-year-old man who will not see 59.
I already burst into tears this week when Lynell called and they cut him off Tenncare (free mds and meds) and it's just freaking terrible. TERRIBLE. He has cirrhosis, chronic Hepatitis B, and kidney failure, oh and diabetes. So now, he can't take any medicine, and when i talked to him, he sounded like he was in too much pain to even be coherent. It was like he was listening so intently to every word I said that he couldn't respond. I asked Kristen, "at what time do attorneys lose all attachment to the humanitarian cause?" Unfortunately, there is no witticism to follow, only a deep reflection on the class-rooted society we live in, and the Social Darwinism that leaves people unable to make things better for themselves, just because they aren't smart enough, healthy enough, or white enough. Sigh. I still care, Mr. Lynell!!! I want to get drunk and scream that from a mountaintop. Salud!
well, how typical of Memphis, that i end up at home, at 9:14 p.m., reflecting on the second half of my slightly encouraging day. as it turns out, in the 3:30 p.m. mail delivery, Lynell's records from Methodist Hospital showed up. !!! . This meant that i immediately duplicated everything I saw and rushed it to the Judge immediately. It felt so good to hand deliver the records. I even told the man that runs the place that Lynell was going to die, and god rest whomevers soul when he DOES finally pass, because I can officially say that the blood is NOT on my hands. is today's society SO obsessed with blaming something on anyone else that Mr. Lynell can now be file number XXX at the Memphis Office of Hearings and Appeals and I don't care? No, for the simple fact that my whole faith in the American economic system safely lies on the fact that he will get at least one check from our government, the Big Brother power that it has become, now hopelessly admitting, "okay, Mr. Lynell, i guess you CAN'T hold down a job, now that you've shown us that you were in THIS hospital seventeen times since 2004". More likely, though, he will give his last gasp weeks before that check ever arrives, and he will have endured countless months of pure unadulterated suffering, betting his life's worth on the United States federal system that promises him wages when he is medically unable to work. What is just and what justice is are two completely different, opposed ideals. the rich don't want to pay for the poor, and the poor don't want to need the rich. there has to be some sort of socialistic ideal that doesn't leave the intelligent WASP/Aryan/MENSA member feeling that they have to foot the bill for Jane Doe's crack habit that has been necessary since she aborted Senator Republican America's baby in 1983. Welcome to Memphis, watch Hustle and Flow, our homegrown project-birthed epic that represents a true criminal becoming a rag to a rich arrogant asshole (the American ideal that has been proported by such Darwinists as Rand)... welcome to Hell, where no one will listen, understand, or afford your mishaps or your bad hand of cards that this lifetime has become. welcome to a society that will always beg for change, but never offer a suggestion. God, I just might be MLK reincarnate... but i have never found such an empassioned individualism, only a passionate speech someone else died for (in this cursed town, no less), in which case i would be proud to carry a torch that someone else died for. Slainte!
Lynell appeared before the Judge and won his case. It will still be 4-6 months before he receives written notification of this decision and/or any benefit from winning his case, medically or monetarily speaking.
As of today's date, Lynell has seen the gates of heaven but has yet to enter. Over Thanksgiving weekend, in the Methodist ICU, he left his body momentarily, but returned to join his beautiful wife Jennifer for Christmas. The ICU brought him back with the paddles after eight minutes, and he genuinely has a newfound sense of comfort and no longer fears death. He knows he has very little time left with his bride. He was an independent contractor for forty years, paying into a system that still refuses to give him back what was rightfully promised to him.
i can't help but wonder
what a year would be like
that began, your lips on mine
the world ours alone, hopeful
and I can't help but wonder
if i regret haste decisions
my lips to your ear
alone, my world waiting
and I still sit and wonder,
if the starry sky absorbs pain,
reflecting hot tears,
to your lonely night, distant
and I always will wonder,
if sadness seeped different,
if words were not weapons,
if we had spoke less, would we have said more?
alone, we both ponder
10:54 PM - free falling
Current mood: curious
Category: Travel and Places
"i woke up in between a memory and a dream... "
somewhere, tom petty sings, and here i sit
reminiscing about the the past - reliving - as if it were now.
reality used to be a friend of mine....
speculating about the future... falling back into the past...
lost somewhere in between
when did now become so insignificant?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007