Archive for September, 2009

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Hands

September 21, 2009

I remember now when I started washing my hands.

It’s as if keeping that monster to myself all this time made it hard to remember the things that changed.  The way I changed. 

I’m remembering, now.

Somehow I came to think that the cleanliness of my hands was a reflection on the purity of my soul.

The palms would start to prickle first.  Soon after, I could feel the germs crawling over my fingertips.  I wondered if anyone could see them.

I could never get the water hot enough.  There never seemed to be enough soap.  But when they were stinging and red, and finally clean, Good God it felt good.

I look at them now, and they are the hands of a much older woman.  They are heavily lined from having cracked and bled, the fingerprints have been scrubbed away.

I’ve washed them nearly a million times over the past 20 years.  Since they got dirty that day, when he raped me.

Why can’t I get them clean?

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Blur

September 19, 2009

I wake from a troubled sleep. 

The house is quiet, so I wander.

It’s dark, it must be night.  But no, here comes the sun, rising over the mountains in the East. 

Today is a new day.

I catch my breath, close my eyes, and suddenly the sun is overhead, beating down with a cruel and intense heat.  Why does it feel as though the sun is suffocating me? 

I turn my face away from the light, and there’s the sunset. 

The day is gone.

It’s morning, it’s noon, it’s night.  All in the blink of an eye.

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Baby Hope

September 12, 2009

A week ago, someone in my community did something so horrendous, so beyond comprehension, that I struggle to catch my breath.

A newborn baby was carried along the banks of the river.  By a man?  A woman?  Someone with a vested interest in the chestnut-haired newborn child now known as Baby Hope.  She weighed 7 pounds, even, and she still had her umbilical cord and placenta attached when they placed her in the river and let her go.

They just let her go.

She stayed in the river for a week, the coroner said.  A week in the icy water, being tossed to and fro by the current.  The water levels fell, and someone walking along the river bank near Sac.ramento discovered her poor little body.  

That little baby girl, who never had a chance at life.  Never had a chance to smile.  Never had a chance to grow.

I think of how tenderly I held my baby girls when they were born.  And my heart aches for little Baby Hope, for never having known that kind of love. 

For how could they have loved her, if they put her in the river?

Tonight, my community will hold a candlelight vigil in Baby Hope’s honor.  It’s being hosted by a group comprised of parents who have lost their children.  Their hearts are already heavily burdened with the loss of their own babies, and now they carry the loss of Baby Hope, as well.  They mourn for what could have been.

I think about that, and my sadness turns to anger.  In this country, we have fought tooth and nail to make sure people have choices.  Birth control, the morning after pill, abor.tion, adoption, places to surrender babies with no questions asked.

And yet, Baby Hope was found on the river bank.  Alone.  Abandoned.

I wonder if the person who placed here there watched her float away.  Did they turn their back on her, without a second thought?  Or did they do it out of desperation, thinking there was no other way out of a terrible situation?

I hope someday we’ll know.  Because Baby Hope deserves an answer.

*Anyone interested in contributing to Baby Hope’s burial fund can email me at Jerdre53 (at) aol (dot) com. *

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Bookish

September 8, 2009

Eleven and a half years ago, when I was falling in love with the man who became my husband, I was warned by a few of my friends that I’d never hold his interest.

One in particular, who turned out to be not such a great friend after all, informed me that Jeromy was usually into fun, pretty women.  I, apparently, was too bookish and plain.  And boring.  Let’s not forget boring.

It worried me, for a while. 

But I still remember meeting his friends and them telling Jeromy how much they enjoyed talking to me.  It made me blush to hear pride in his voice when he said to his friend David, “She’s really intelligent, isn’t she?”

Eventually, I stopped comparing myself to the women he dated before me.  Most of them were beautiful, all of them were fun.

Interesting how they were the ones who couldn’t keep his attention.

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Interrupted *Updated*

September 7, 2009

I went off my meds

I know that’s the kind of thing I’m supposed to do under a doctor’s supervision.  But it just kind of… happened.

I forgot to call and get a consult for my renewal.  It was a three day weekend, and I had two pills left.  They are still sitting there, at the bottom of the bottle.  Keeping each other company.  Preparing themselves to rescue me if I can’t handle this.

I know I needed them, when I started.  I was so glad to finally see glimpses of myself shining through the darkness that was threatening to take over my life.  They did that for me.

But I don’t want them to change me.  I want to embrace my neurotic quirks – they are a part of who I am.  I want to handle my depressive episodes by tackling them, head-on, and accept the fact that I’m just not the kind of person who goes through life with a smile and a wave for passersby.

I want to.

It’s like there’s the option to see clearly, or the option to see through a kaleidoscope.  Seeing clearly seems so… normal.  So desirable.

So you choose to see clearly and it’s great!  But then, before too terribly long, you start to miss the inspiration that vivid and ever-changing colors provide.  And yeah, sometimes it’s hard to walk while looking through a kaleidoscope, but what a way to see the world! 

Which is better, in the long run?  It’s hard to say, really.

*Update* Mmmkay, so.  I talked to my doctor, and after answering some questions about my, uh… attitude, we decided that I need to continue my medication for another month, and then think about changing to something different.  So, I’m back on.  Thank you all for your support and input!

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Here I Am

September 6, 2009

Here I am, in my new home.

Don’t mind the boxes, or the echo you hear as your feet hit the hardwood. 

It’s an adjustment, moving.  Declaring “I’m Home!” as I walk into unfamiliar territory, all the while feeling inspired, excited, and anxious. 

Home.   It’s where your heart is, they say.  Where you can shit comfortably, in your unscrubbed toilet with your toilet paper roll hung exactly the way you want. 

I hope that’s what Walking the Tightrope becomes for me.  I love my old home, but I felt stifled there.  Like I was a visitor, or better yet, a paying tenant who owed back rent and who had made more holes in the walls than was allowed.

I know my life is sweet.  Lord knows, I know that.  But unfortunately, I don’t always feel that way.  There it is on paper: life is good!  Appreciate it!  Count your blessings! 

But I’m darker than that.  I’m not cheery.  I don’t wake with the dawn and sing songs along with the birds.  And so, writing there made me feel somewhat fraudulent.  Like I couldn’t say shit and fuck and dammit, because is that what you say when life is sweet?

For the past two years, I’ve been writing what I think people would want to read at a place where Life is Sweet.  I’ve been writing authentically, yes, but what I really want to do, is write what crosses my mind as I let the steaming hot water run rivulets down my spine in the shower.  What dwells in the deepest part of my soul when I go through one of my rough patches.

My life is the tightrope – sometimes narrow, sometimes wide, always hanging over a deep chasm promising to swallow me whole if I fall.  Here, I talk about finding my balance.

Won’t you join me?

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Under Construction

September 6, 2009

I’m working on it, OK?