Wednesday, October 30, 2013

flying monkeys

The one thing I never needed again was to feel the storm brewing and lack the power to seek shelter.  
Falling rain is the little things: failure to do what is asked, clear a table, feed a dog, turn off a light, finish homework, a bad attitude.

He’s 14.

But the wind is larger, more powerful. It drives the rain; failing grades, lying, notes home from unhappy teachers, disregard, disrespect, missing items, shoplifting, destruction of school property... lightening and thunder.

Zero consequences in a green sky.

I get the feeling there is a cellar somewhere, doors flapping madly against the storm, perhaps we should be heading in right about now. Instead I wait at the fence watching the rotation in the clouds. Armed with nothing more than an umbrella wondering, open or closed? Knowing it doesn’t matter at least not here in the land where I am only a step parent.

I reminded BC this morning, as I stumbled across the rain coming in the house in the form of every one else’s clean laundry scattered, left for the cats & occasional hen to nap on >reoccurring issue<, that the two kids I have and are raising by myself are the two best children we have. Yes, I really said that and he didn’t deny it, no one would. Case in point: while BC argued with the 14 yr old why he shouldn't go trick-or-treating without a costume I was helping my 1st best gather educational materials and games for the Title 1 School kids she teaches and the other best was worrying that we had taken the stores hangers without permission or payment and needed to return them to Old Navy right away. (!)

Those two are mine, so perhaps my way might be worthy of a little consideration.  One warning, one redirection, and from there we hit real life consequence territory.  I am actually a very demanding mom.  I am always lurking and at times a bit old fashion.

I wanted a real consequence on this particular issue of entitlement, disrespect, and disobedience.  I asked for permission for a punishment and it was denied.
Okay but I hope while sitting in the office with the principal today, the one who a few hours later called to invite BC down for a chat about destruction of school property in the amount equal to the fine BC was returning from paying in Juvenile Court, that BC might revisit that denial.  Just a thought.

I can respect the emotion behind BC's choices.
I can understand and support his end goal.
Even while stumbling to find the right ground, out of the two natural parents, he is and always has been the better parent for this particular child.
I know that no parent is perfect.
Divorce is hard.
Sharing kids with someone you married then divorced is even harder.
All over America fourteen year old boys get in trouble and are sent to live with their fathers... I've done it myself.  I believe there is a point where a boy needs a man to show him the way and if it is at all possible it should be his own father. 

I'm ratting us out in this ugly moment because we aren't unique.  Somewhere right now another step-mom is feeling exactly like I am: hopeless.  I have followed all the rules set down by the experts, I know my place, I walk the step-parent line, always have.  Yet my 'house' is the one that gets trashed by a tornado while the wicked witch flies around laughing.    
Step-moms should be issued regulation ruby red slippers for moments like these “Oh there is no place like home.” Actually, home is the last place I wish to be right now.

Like a thousand times before
I hear it seeping
It holds down the sun from waking
Extends night beyond his borders
Layers of drops weaving their way until
And the world is wet
Like a string of pearls pulling one by one
A trickle
A dimness just beyond

This is morning's season here in the dark ~mlb 10/30/13

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

not everyday

 It's not everyday that one of my friends gets desperate brave reckless enough to leave their kids with me but this morning my friend Sarah had a meeting at our local community center about a new grant hoovering out there we would like to secure for these parts- we got the kids.  

 A little bit of beautiful chaos.

Monday, October 28, 2013

BC's barn

So our friend M moved.  

Yep, picked up her whole house and moved.  

Pretty much no one we know is normal. 

Well after she moved she offered BC her old barn.  

“Where’s it going to go?” I asked him.
“I don’t know where do you think we need a barn?”

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I warned ya they'd be back

Last spring when I started growing my bangs out for the summer I warned BC and few others who would care that the bangs would be back just as soon as it got cold enough to wear a hat.  

See I'm sick of looking like this guy every time I put on a beanie!

Okay, we still look alike but at least now I'm less likely to be mistaken for a boy.

I can explain this pic, someone asked for a photo but refused to get off the phone with me.  Bangs may not take 10 years off my age but seeing a phone plastered to my head again sure reminds me of being younger.

Yes, I just did a whole post on hair. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

a funky fine place

“I feel sort of funky.” I say as he hands me a cup of coffee.  I’m trying to shake off a dream where I was caring for a dying man.  He kept getting up glowing green with organ failure, sepsis stinking, death crawling, but he wouldn’t stay down.  And it was obviously my job to stay with him until he died.  So I followed the half-dead man around tending to him, trying to keep him out of the way of all the others who were gong about the chores of living while I chased death.  

“You didn’t eat yesterday.” He answers me.

I argue that I did.

“No, you haven’t eaten in two days.  You get like this when you are stressing.  You aren't paying attention to what you are doing.”  And he adds, "A beer doesn't count as eating." 
“That’s not even possible.” I scoff trying to remember if he is right or not: Monday I worked? Yesterday I had a meeting in the newsroom?
I sip coffee alone sitting up in bed while he moves around outside the bedroom door turning on the voices of Democracy Now.
“I had walnuts.”  This revelation is met with silence.  A handful of farm stand walnuts smashed to pieces with a hammer in the driveway by a 10 year old seems rather lacking.  I think harder.  “C-boy gave me fruit snacks at the gym..”
“Gym was Monday.” His voice is laughing.  “How many miles have you run? I bet you can answer that.”

Well, yeah-but~
I can’t even keep the number from announcing itself in my mind: 4 on Monday & 5 yesterday, that’s NINE.

I’m still tying to figure out if he is right because of course I must have eaten more than that when he comes back in the bedroom, sits down, wrapping his arms around me, and kisses me on the head.  

“Sweetness, eat something today and you will feel better.”
“I feel fine.” I say into the deep canyons of muscle that make up his arms.
“Funky fine?” He laughs.

And in my mind I feel the dying man of the dream finally slip away.

...I think maybe now I'm hungry.


Monday, October 21, 2013

swapping spit

Under some extra stress our life together right now is feeling like a couple cuddling in a fox hole under a full blown air raid and trying to ignore it. Gotta love those bombs illogical ex's can drop. BC's ex response to his request he stop paying child-support since the kid (who is giving us quite a run for our money in the misbehaving at school market!) lives here full time now was: He should pay me more money. Every time I write that I feel I need to clarify that is not a typo, she wants more support paid to her for him to live here.    

And then there is the story deadline for the newspaper (and my class) coming in way too soon! Yes, believe it or not I hate having other people read my writing.  It scares the pants off me! 

Also the U has not forgotten I have never proved I received a measles shot back the 70's. Lab test to prove immunity won't help and it would cost 80 BUCKS- why won't it help? The CDC has news for all of you over 25 yrs of age: measles vaccine fails after about 7 years.  None of you have it anymore  ya'll been running around for years measles-naked and not knowing it.  But if you have your record that is okay, which I don't and hate me or love me I'm not getting a measles shot.

SO under all this going on we, BC and I, have been trying extra hard to be madly deeply in love. Mostly it is working.

Every morning we bring each other coffee and keep each others cups full.  There is no assignment or score chart just a easy flow between us that's been going on for some 11 years. This morning it was BC doing the honor only somehow he managed to put sugar in both cups- I drink black coffee, he requires added sweetness I am sweet enough just as I am.  His solution was to pour one of the cups back into the pot thinking it would dilute it enough I would never notice.  "My coffee tastes like it has sugar in it." I said after taking a sip not looking up from the computer (working on that damn paper!). He frowned and admitted what he had done.  "It's not so bad," I assured him, "usually if I drink your coffee by accident I spit it right back out into your cup because it tastes so bad."

Like I said before, I am sweet enough just as I am and that is mostly working...


Sunday, October 20, 2013

learning swerves

If they read this it might catch off guard some of the moms who where there and watched me do this, I apologize for that but about 3 mouths ago I parked in the parking lot of Beach’s gym, walked her in, dropped my car keys inside her team folder in the filing cabinet, let people know where the keys were & where I was going and left on foot to run to the park. On the way I crossed over the freeway bridge and thought “car in the lot, keys easy to find, kid in good hands, if I’m going to do this, this would be the time and the place. I should jump- shouldn’t I." The question hung high over speeding traffic. So I stopped in the middle of the bridge and waited for the answer to come...

When my son was in preschool a mom dropped her child off at school went home put the baby down for a nap and killed herself knowing full well that when she didn't show back-up for pick-up it would trigger, in the shortest period of time, the safe recover of both of her children. Minus dead mom. 

Yesterday as I laced up the low profile running shoes I snagged from BC after he complained they hurt too much to wear, sure there is a little a bit too much room in the front but I suppose with the overall better fit and function of the shoes it won’t cause the trouble my last pair of ill fitting shoes caused….any-who, as I was lacing I realized I hadn’t seen my REAL running shoes in awhile and I started to panic.  I checked the usual places but found no sign of them.  Then it hit me: they left because I used other shoes!!! Okay so that thought has the emotional age of a three year old, I get it.  But this is honestly how my mind ’dis-works’ sometimes.  A whole section of irrational fear lurks, cloaked deep in the foundation of my Doubting Thomas Self.  Thomas can stay but the add-ons have to evacuate the stadium.  See they don’t belong there, they are ghost of past bells still ringing in my head.  Like a lab rat I was trained there would be consequences for bad behavior.  My stuff disappeared all the time.  My full collection of Buffet CD’s, my soccer ball I had since I was 9, photos, a blue coffee mug, even friends (this is why I can't hold on to what I see as casual friendships they are too perishable to enjoy) , anything that could be identified as “me” was in danger of disappearing at anytime for even the slightest of missteps.  In total about 12 something years, that is about 4,380 day.  That is a lot of trust to regain a lot of me to find and some of the pieces are hard to recover.

I think it is no secret (lol) I battle 2 large and separate demons: my past & then my sister‘s death (PTSD). Some days are better than others but overall I am doing better than the odds gave me.

I have always been afraid of the edges, afraid I might jump out of some uncontrollable emotion or unseen force. But I have never been presented with such perfect conditions for jumping before.  I have never had the chance to choose not to.

And honestly there is nothing to really worry about, my running shoes were safe and sound on the back deck the whole time...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

a chance of you, by mlb

a chance of you

a chance of you  mlb

It’s like holding hands in the dark
peering, waiting, wondering
feeling the wind move in

the leafs rise & fall as waves in a broken amber ocean 
chill reaching
the strength of a look dropped half way

the touch stopped before it started
silence is clouds bridging the gap from here to where I stand
the shadows long
the highway drab
watching, waiting, wondering
as the storm crawls nearer
and never comes
standing in the absence of rain
in the quiet of an afternoon
in the middle of nowhere
the sky streaking by without touching the ground
the wind a whimpering  embrace
I could pretend to stand beside you
your shoulder against mine
as if we weren’t at all
I want to whisper in the air is that you?
Are you really there?
Are we really anywhere?
 eyes shut tight, waiting, wondering
a storm blowing by in the night
whispering but never speaking
over the lights not on in a house well lit
turning the pages of a an empty book
pretending not to see what isn’t there
when you rolled your mouth to mine
words falling like snow in lamp light-
If I have never been here, you will never know me to miss me.

the storm blows over in sunset
flame embedded in the bones of the rising dark
followed by a morning that hangs
stark & empty

what can I say?

I seem to have a serious hole in my head.  Not the literal kind.  Maybe a "hole" is misleading although that is what it feels like but perhaps I should say "glitch".  There is no reason to talk around it if I'm going to write it so... as I started feeling better (I mean BETTER, back to good, genuine ME, 7 years later) I also started a new habit: I started calling BC by the wrong name, the name of an old boyfriend.  It started in my head then slipped out of my mouth.  The first time it was funny, the second time horrifying, and the third time... we are way beyond three now.  I was so busy trying not to do it I didn't stop to investigate why I was doing it.  Or perhaps I was afraid of the answer....

But despite trying to ignore it I've sort it out.  Last night I made elk burgers with a slaw of warm ginger, grated carrot, thin sliced yellow bell peppers, grilled onions, and bean spouts to go on top.  BC was busy messing with toasting a bun for his when I plated mine so he didn't see how the whole thing should go together. Being kid-less for the night I took our movie and my plate up stairs for our version of dinner and movie.  From downstairs BC called out, "So do I put these vegetables on top of the burger?"  Now BC is a vegetable guy,  actually way too much for my taste but I have learned to live with it so he was really asking if it was okay to do it.  I heard him and I understood what he was asking but I also heard through that hole in my head something else said to me a long time ago, "Heeeeey, why'd you put vegetables on my burger?" I burst out laughing but still managed to clear BC for his vegetable love and then I had some explaining to do.

I told him the story of 'the other man' (that sounds shady, and in ways he kind of was) the one who used to sit on the hood of my car eating donuts and reading rag magazines while I ran the park, the man who would hunt me down on campus to bring me a sweet-roll, an orange carved like a jack-o-lantern, and a coffee ever morning but only after he ate the exact center out of the sweet-roll, the man who drove me more nuts than a man ever has and also in a strange way is the man who set me up to survive my own short comings.  The man who refused to leave me even long after our "us" was over (ended by me) until he knew I would truly be okay.  That man and the defiled burger with vegetables on it was a burger with a slice of iceberg lettuce.  And as I was retelling the story it hit me what was going on in my head.  In a lot of ways these two men are very alike.  In a lot of ways but for different reasons they both have the same effect on my outlook of the world.  Now that I am feeling like ME it I can really feel it.  The crazy wacky part of BC reminds me of wacky part of the Other and when I am not so scared I can see it for what it is: something I love, crave, and thrive beside.  It would be part of the overall package that was BC that I feel in love with but when I got sick I lost the taste for. Probably even feared a bit.  I drifted towards other parts of him that made me feel safer but less alive.

This is like waking to find us sitting on the back deck of the sugar house house drinking coffee and recounting my night spent working the ER.  It's like falling in love all over again. And not with just BC, or even a small part with the Other, but with myself too.

 It feels like living used to.

There is also a darker side to this but something spectacular: I no longer have nightmares that I am still with my ex as I have for the past 11 years and it is no longer his name that skims the surface of my consciousness.  I do believe I prefer the hole and the replacement past is certifiably a sanity upgrade although I'd like to get the "name calling" under control.


Friday, October 18, 2013

r and b farm obits

Rest In Peace

BC said she just couldn't make it through another winter...
 And on Tuesday morning she couldn't get up.