January 3, 2012 § 3 Comments
I knew when the receptionist (who sounded all of twenty-three) sweetly called me Sweetie, that the news wasn’t going to be good.
“The radiologist wants you to come back in for another look.”
She didn’t add, “And whatever you do, for god’s sake, don’t fucking blog about this call.”
That sort of thing goes without saying. Because then readers will want to know, “How did the tests come out?”
And if there is something wrong (with my left breast — she specified that, it’s the left one) and I decide I want to keep it private, this post would have blown all chances of that.
But it’s eight p.m. on January third and I’d planned to start this year with habitual postings twice a week: Tuesdays, with 200 Words, and Fridays, with 5 Things I Learned This Week. I really wanted to follow through.
Here at eight p.m., I’m not feeling the inspiration to write about anything.
Instead, I’m thinking: bang out 200 words.
And I’m not worried about the tests, other than the fact that I wanted my Christmas gift money to go towards writing classes, not mammography and ultrasounds.
Listen to me begrudging potential early detection. I hate the phrase, “First-world problems.”
June 6, 2011 § 1 Comment
There is a plot in a Westwood cemetery with a headstone engraved for a person who is, I would guess, still alive. Isn’t that what it means when there is a birth date, followed by a dash, followed by a blank space? No doubt, there are several such headstones, all over the world, prepared and waiting for that final date.
I’m referring to one in particular. It’s detailed above with the bird and the envelope. I don’t remember the person’s name or date of birth or epitaph, but I do remember that his (a man’s body will be left there) occupation is listed: animator. From the looks of the birds (more than one is etched), perhaps he drew for Walt Disney.
I imagine that for a long while these birds flew around Cinderella keeping her gown from trailing in the mud. Now they are rehearsing for their next role – as dictated by the design of an unseen hand – to carry tiny messages from an animated afterlife all the way back to a green grave in West Los Angeles. There, a bereft lover will gnaw at her lip mouthing the words, “This letter’s made of stone. I can’t get it open.”
March 29, 2011 § 1 Comment
Today I stopped off at the store to pick up the pair to the new chair and fantasized that I could remain there (where rhymes are kept silently in check).
Surely, in a city this size, it has happened before: an under occupied person sits on one of the display pieces and stares off into space until three minutes after closing when a clerk whispers to the shift manager, “She’s been there for hours; I think you need to tell her to go.”
No, Mother (sole reader of this blog), that is not going to happen. You’re not going to get another call in the middle of the night, “Come pick up your daughter.” I promise you that. As a writer, I owe it to myself to let my mind wander. And note: I did not sit on the display sofa, not even for a minute, I merely photographed it with thoughts of loitering.
If I had allowed myself to rest there, I would have been staring north out the window at the intersection of Westwood and Santa Monica. I would have inhaled slowly, through and beyond dusk and wondered with each quiet exhale if I have actually become invisible.
March 22, 2011 § Leave a Comment
A few weeks ago — I’m not sure when because I didn’t write about it, in fact, unable to deny it, I tried to forget it happened — a few weeks ago, I caught myself beginning to dance.
It was either my hips or my shoulders or both that gave in. As soon as I realized I was moving, that my body was responding to music, that parts of me were shifting playfully, I stopped. I felt immediately strange, immediately awful.
I’ve been able to incorporate all sorts of bodily acts into my grieving – eating, bathing, walking, breathing, even laughter; these actions (and more) can be done mindfully and with reverence. But for some reason, the dancing felt like, “. . . a betrayal?” my shrink would ask. No, not betrayal. The dancing felt like abandonment, like surrender, acceptance, resignation, all of these things. Things I’m insistent on refusing. Elizabeth Kübler Ross can take anything remotely associated with the fifth stage and go — oh, never mind, she had a hard enough life.
Nearly dancing is only part of it . . . stay tuned for a future post when I explore more of this non-linear process by confessing that, last Friday, I skipped in a circle and curtseyed.
I’m the ice cubes in your glass
A busted cadillac
A garden of delight
A joker in your deck
Well it ain’t in what I feel
No, it ain’t in what I say
In the pleasure of a kiss
It never fades away
February 15, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Once you asked me, “Why 200 words?” The limited word count makes it a game, I said.
Excerpts from older posts are allowed. In 2008, I wrote:
This is what’s been bringing about my reoccurring melancholy for years now: everything is fleeting. Fleeting. There’s so much sweetness passing right before my eyes. There’s a constant powerlessness. A constant letting go. And it hurts.
My niece verbalized it best when she was 4. The day I showed up for my biannual visit with her family – our family, she started the ritual of asking, “How many more days will you be here?”
“9 more days.”
And the next day she remembered to ask, “How many more days will you be here?”
“8 more days.”
Later, “How many more days will you be here?”
“7 more days.”
Finally, on the last day, she said, “I wish this were the first day again.”
“Oh, me too. Me too.”
It’s too sweet. It goes by too quickly. There’s no pressing pause.
Given magical options of either reliving the happiest moments or restoring your health, I’d choose the latter.
Then I could say, “Look, 14 words left!” And you might tap the end of my nose. And we’d smile.