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Archive for the ‘beginning’ Category

Despite the odds, we’ve made it. It wasn’t exactly a shotgun wedding, but we decided for the sake of the baby, we’d get married. I know my friends thought I was stupid, but I was already 21, Evie was 18 and Max was almost a year old, and, it just wasn’t right to me and Evie that we weren’t a family. So we became one. Our parents were relieved. They couldn’t hide that.

Then a year later we had Jess, so we were in it to win it. For a while we struggled, sure. Though the only time I ever seriously considered cheating was when I lost my job 10 years ago; the kids were almost out the door and my ego wanted massaging. One of the managers at the old office wanted to massage it, but I passed before things got to the point of no return. I also wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror.

Max? He’s 27, a carpenter. Jess is 25 and a stand-up. She’s pretty good, once I got over hearing her swear. You never want to think of your little girl swearing. Our friends have little kids and teens, and you can feel the envy when they’re at the house, except for Trina; Trina met a friend of Max’s at our house and they’re together now. Trina’s 42. Will’s 30. They really hit it off.

I look strange? Yeah, well… Evie told me yesterday we’re pregnant. Jesus. Pregnant. I’m 47. Evie’s 44. I’ll be 65 with an 18 year old kid. 65!

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The numbers titling the previous posts were an experiment. I bet myself that I wouldn’t make it to 100 “real” entries, because I know me. I start a new endeavor with a parade down Main Street, with fanfare and cheering, put ads in all the papers, make grand announcements that break up that night time soap opera people love so damn much, that sort of thing, and then it all collapses like a kid’s balloon 6 days after the birthday party.

Well, I won. Today I’m getting an vanilla ice cream from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

With numbers, I psychologically shielded myself from the world. My “#56” would be way below a slew of other webpages with “#56” in them. But can’t be a coward all my life, can I?

So I’ve actually done it. I’ve begun something and have seen it through to at least 100 posts.

In order to make this blog more of what it can be, I will use actual titles in the headings now as I continue to refine and share my small craft here; stories, dialogues and monologues with the occasional observational essay thrown in, matched with a photo I’ve taken. I’ve come to that point in life where I’m putting my real self out there and just have to say, “Fuck it. This is it, this is me, this is what’s fomenting and fermenting in my imaginings, OK?” Granted, I don’t know about you. I wouldn’t presume to judge.

Thank you all for being here with me.

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It was the briefest glance, but they looked each other dead in the eye. Almost at once, he looked down at his trainers. She jerked her head leftward towards the craft services table, but it was too late. Oh, I’m pathetic. The butterflies had stirred again.

How embarrassing was this? Or was she only imagining that it was embarrassing? She had every right to look at him. She wasn’t some star-struck fan; they were both on staff, both union, for goodness sake; theoretically, they were equals. Anyway, it wasn’t as if he didn’t have people gape at him every day. He probably had a steady rotation of lovers. Don’t they all?

Why did her knees feel like gelatin? They’d never spoken, for all their putative equality. Her mother had warned her that actors were narcissistic, flighty and not to be trusted for longer than the time it took to show them the door afterward. Mother had been adamant on the point.

She sensed his gaze. Great. You’re just another nitwit now. Wait a second, he’s not… Don’t turn don’t turn don’t turn! She was suddenly extremely interested in the fine print of the deal memo she was supposed to bring the director of this week’s episode.

Now he stood before her. He raked his dark hair as she looked up. Did he seem… nervous?

“You worked on Swann’s Way, right? You’re Adriana.”

I can’t run!

::sigh::

OK, I’m just gonna go with it. You only live once.

“Yes, I am.”

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As Marnie approached the heavy revolving doors of the BluCorp headquarters, she forced herself to ignore the all too familiar tightening of her stomach. Every approach to these doors during her three years, eight months, and twenty-two days of work as an analyst, she entered the Le Corbusier-inspired behemoth, say “Good morning” to Rudy the guard, flick a card in front of the gate, ride the express elevator to the thirty-fifth floor and zip from there past the new receptionist (who was always “new”) to her cubicle outside the CFOs office. This had been nearly every weekday for three years, eight months and twenty two days, save ten days a year for vacation.

Three years, nine months and fifteen days earlier, Marnie’s father had demanded she stop it with the stand-up comedy. “Dammit, it’s time you got a real job and a husband! Quit f$^#ing around! You’re twenty-four already. If you were going to make it, you’d’ve done it by now! Christ!” Her mother had said nothing at the time, but walked out of the room. Well, Marnie inwardly conceded, I am broke and living in an apartment with four people. The lack of comforts, such as a car and food not made from white flour wrapped in a plastic bag, were beginning to bother her. She allowed her father to call a friend.

Marnie looked up and out the window onto the roofs of similarly grey and monotonous buildings outside. And no husband yet, either.

Whose fault was this?

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Green shoots! I didn’t expect to see those for a few more weeks. This is the first winter ever that I became thoroughly sick and tired of it, it was so damp and cold. It’s too bad, really, because for hurf-durf-burf years, I have reveled in winter, including the sloppy, slushy New York City ones. After all, Mother Nature was just doing her thing. But this year, around about 26 February, I thought, F this. Seriously. Just F Winter! even though I knew Spring was on its way and I reckoned that, for all intents and purposes, I was relatively assured of sticking around long enough to see it arrive.

I wondered at first if things felt out of whack because of the job-or-lack-thereof. Impending mid-life crisis? Existential angst? Then I realized: Every year, there’s a hint around the end of February that hits me by the nose, just for a second and then it’s gone, and then I feel better. That didn’t happen this year. I suppose I somehow need that little reminder of what’s to come to stave off the Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I walked outside this morning and there near the entrance of my building, the shoots from the daffodils and tulips were poking out of the soil in the planters that are so carefully tended by resident volunteers. All my anomie fell away. For all my feelings of coziness during winter, my adoration for autumn and my excitement for summer, there has always been  something about spring.

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This weekend, I’ve been unwell with a bad cold, stuffed-up and achy. I get so few colds, the ones that show up are humdingers.

I’ve had time to think. Usually, that’s dangerous, as I overthink instead of take action, fearing the hammer of the nebulous “they”, and… well, never mind that story again. Today, the past is just a fairy tale.

Believing I’ll “do everything wrong” and be punished or shamed is the bad habit of thinking I’m struggling with. When I smoked, it took a long time to quit because it was a security blanket for my nerves. Forced to lie around this weekend, I asked myself, What am I still getting out of being anxious? “Security”?

I’m no longer 7. I’m not “getting in trouble”. Whatever I do is OK, barring hurting others. No one has it as together as I think. No one thinks I’m selfish or a show-off except me – and it’s my choice to believe such.  How childish and self-centered are these beliefs?  Haven’t I been laughed at before, publicly, anyway? Physically punished for making “mistakes”? Don’t many people dislike me? Yet here I am, safe in this moment.  Isn’t life short enough without living it in fear of being shamed?

My inner 7-year old, loathe to be humiliated, thinks I should be quiet, obedient.  Shut up! We have to be good so we won’t get hurt!

Better to be “bad” – hurt, even – but live freely as an adult than to live as a frightened child.

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“Holly, what are you doing in there!?”

“Homework, Mom! I’m good!”

“Just checking.”

She listened to her mother’s scuffs drag on the carpet in the hallway, and then pulled her blue notebook from behind her chemistry textbook. She wasn’t doing her homework, not when tears were trying to force themselves out and everything in her wanted to scream. Jared Lattimore had pointedly, publicly stopped speaking to her today. He’d walked away from the lunch table as Holly approached, after giving her a look of disgust, and then immediately took a smirking Trina’s hand. 5 minutes later, everyone could see them outside French kissing under the big maple tree by the parking lot. So what I didn’t make out with him at Ginny’s on Saturday! She alternated between feeling as if she’d dodged a bullet and feeling insulted.

Holly pushed back the band on her thick, dark hair and took up her favourite green Jellypen.

I’m not like that.
I have no need to put on a show
Or prove to everyone I know
That someone loves me.

Eh, it wasn’t really love, though, was it?

I’m not like that.
I must admit, I don’t understand.
It wasn’t enough to hold my hand?
You needed paparazzi?

This would be such a bad song, Holly thought. Writing wasn’t as immediately gratifying as she felt punching Jared in the face would have been. But then Jared was just one guy, right?  I’m a senior. Next year, I’ll meet plenty of guys in college. PLENTY.

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