Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Something they don't tell you about growing up - you're going to bruise your vagina a lot. 

At the gym with my trainer last week, I was trying a new move in which I lay my back/shoulders perpendicular to the bench, bend at the knees, thrust my pelvis upward with a heavy barbell placed just above my most sensitive region. It didn't hurt and I got that muscle burn in my bum that I had trying to get so I was happy. Fast forward to later that week and TMS (the boyfriend) was brushing his teeth while I finished my shower only to have him spit out most of his toothpaste while shouting, "Good God! What happened to you?!" and pointing down there. A sprawling purple and green bruise covered parts unknown without my knowledge. 

That is one bruised lady garden.

(Sorry, I have no picture to go here...)

But it's not the first time. Like a grown-ass woman, I was playing on a Slip and Slide in Nick's backyard yesterday. Yeah, we do that. Except someone forgot to get all the rocks out from under the plastic and I think I may have done it again. It doesn't look good. 

I asked my friend, who's a nurse, to look at it for me. She said I won't be in any pornos anytime soon cause it looks like a prize fighters face but no permanent damage. "That's nothing," she said. "Check this shit out..." She pulled out her phone and shared some of the most horrifying images I've ever seen of a friends vagina. (yeah, we are a sharing bunch.)

"My leg went through the wood floor of a boat dock in Brazil and I landed right on my crotch. Full weight. I couldn't even make noise to cry for a full minute." Then the rest of the ladies began to share their own horror stories. My mom even busted out the tried and true tale of her biking accident when only part of her slipped off her very pointy bike seat and another part didn't... there were stitches involved. Worse than child birth? She said when she had me, at least she got an epidural. 

Why do I share these intimate details with you, fair reader?  Because I know I'm not alone in these misadventures and I know you feel our pain. 

We are united in our clumsiness and I find that somehow comforting. 

So go forth and be kind to all your parts!

(Sorry, still no pictures...)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I have never been ashamed to be an American. Not ever. Until today.

Isn't it funny how soon people forget?
My house will be bulldozed and my gravestone chipped away and there will be nothing left but dust and I will be forgotten. Will you forget my mom and dad when they are gone? Will you forget my brother, especially since he's already been gone for 10 years already? Pictures on Facebook don't fade I guess. Bu if you can forget a person...

What else will you forget?

Shouting "Never Forget!" "Remember the Lusitania!" The cruise liner full of civilians traveling through the war zone in 1915 were torpedoed by German U-boats and in sunk in less than 20 minutes, taking almost 2,000 souls with her. Ask the person closest to you if they "Remember The Lusitania".

The Great War. With a capital G and W. The war to end all wars for is sheer number of dead (the most of any western war at that time) and terror inflicted. A generation of broken men returned. The war to end all wars. But there would be another. Then another. Then another. Then another.

What about the horrors of children paralyzed for life, 4 years old stuck in an iron lungs for month, years? Grown men taken out by a disease that showed no mercy or discrimination. Until there was a preventative cure. Until there was a miracle sent by God or technology or whomever.  Until you didn't want the cure because you forgot about the leg braces and dead kids. You didn't want the shot to stop it. You didn't want it because you forgot.

What about the hate that grew into a behemoth that nearly devoured all of Europe? A hate that started so small, like a whisper, in beer halls and living rooms... we just want to be better, our leaders can take us there and bring us back to what we once were and sure people thought things and said things that were hate-fill but they didn't mean it really but there was hate, actual hate and with a little care and attention it grew and grew then just wearing the star on your arm and a brick through the window but it's ok we're ok and not everyone thinks that way and then they come for you in the night or your neighbor thank God it's the neighbor and not me and then it's just a ghetto and it's just work camp and we all will work and work and work and work and the smoke rises high into the sky and... Did you forget that too?

How about this one? Bath, Michigan and Andrew Kehoe murdered his wife, set fire to his home, exploded bombs at the nearby school then exploded his dynamite filled car with him inside it.  45 people died, most of them kids under the age of 14. Like the exploded Ryder rental truck 68 years later that killed 168 people, 19 children from the daycare, at the World Trade Center in Oklahoma City. Or this one? I was sitting in English class when 12 miles down the road, two boys had gone into their high school and taken out people, one by one, to make them pay. I crawled out a window and hitched a ride so I wouldn't be stuck in lock down for the rest of the day. Do you remember those
13 people? Some dick killed 33 people at his school in Virginia.  Do you remember the deadliest mass shooting in US history? Maybe, until the newest, even more deadly mass shooting in US history happened because some asshole had a problem with men who loved other men and killed 49 people to make them pay with his semi-automatic gun. What about a 20 year old boy who killed his mother then went to the local elementary school and started shooting? How soon did you forget dead 6 year olds strewn across a playground like fallen leaves. Kindergarteners now mulch in a garden? How can you forget 20 dead babies on the ground?
How soon they forget men and women jumping from 100 stories up because hey, it's better than burning to death in my office chair... You scream and yell about the terrorist and spout hate about Muslims and refugees but do you remember how you felt that day?

Why cant you remember how we felt that day that horrible thing happen? You remember? That one really horrible thing that really wrung out your heart? That day we were able to all be on the same, giant page. When there was no animosity or greed. No hate, just sadness. We were one. We were going to come together and figure it out, as we held each other in unfathomable grief and make some decisions so we could not let it happen again. But we forgot that we are all the same and we can only talk about different different different and what is best for me, not you or anyone else.

Who cares about your rape? Who cares about your sexual assault? We don't care that these people or those people need our help. They might live here or in another country but we don't give one fuck.  The guy who killed her had already had 3 DUIs but what the fuck ever.  Fuck your sons and daughters; there's a war to fight! And another! And another! Science might have proven a miracle but not for my kid; measles for all! Fuck your dead children of every age and color! Fuck the Muslims and the gays and the blacks and that different person right there because it's about the important people! The Us. The We. They aren't included in The Us. It's just Us.

And now, we are divided. There is no talking about it. You are on one side of this river or the other. Us and our short memories continue to make the SAME GODDAMN MISTAKES.

And if you can forget all of that, what else will you forget?

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Birthday Gift

The whole night, they played our favorite songs.

It's September and I headed to Denver for a weekend of geek and fun at the convention that I've been going to for years. But I'm a little sad this time. This year it fell on my brother's birthday. He's been gone 9 years and it feels like 9 weeks sometimes. Especially today. But I have things to do so no time to fall apart. I drive into the city and I start to notice that the music is following me.

On the street, at the bar, in the restaurant. Bowie. Tears for Fears. Queen. Just when "Under Pressure" came on, two tables from us, a woman yells the word "Mitchell!". I don't hear his name very much any more. She was telling a story to her friends, something about someone not hearing their name correctly. She said, "Nick? No, my name is Mitchell!"

It was like a knife in my heart. It was cold water down my back. But it was also a warm rock in my stomach. Painful and happy. I blinked away the tears and paid for my drink.

The next day, I dressed as Harley Quinn. The queen of crime in Gothem City, rival to Batman and hopeless fool. I was so mad cause I knew he would think this was so cool. He would be impressed. He would think I was cool. It was also his birthday. Driving, listening to the radio, something I rarely do, The Beatles "Birthday" plays. The very next song Heathens plays, which is the theme song to Harley's transformation in the new film (which he would have loved) and a favorite song on mine. 

I had to say it out loud cause it finally hit me.

I get it.

I hear you.

Happy Birthday, little brother.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Gift

Getting old is a gift.

I have to keep saying that or else I'm an ungrateful dick. I know of a half dozen people who didn't get to see their 25th birthday so why should I get to bitch and moan about getting older? Only if I were a dick.

But just between you and me, my birthday has come and gone and I dislike it more and more every year. My eyes look more tired and more sad, birthday cake tastes less delicious and the aforementioned people fade away a little more. 

I am grateful. The sky is beautiful tonight and this hot chocolate rocks and I didn't have to work today. But my mind goes back to a documentary about WW2.

A man in his 90's was talking about his ship sinking, about all the young men who drowned inside and those that would die from exposure outside. He spoke about friends who he hadn't seen or talked to in 70 years. Yet, he cried like it was yesterday. 

You never get over it.

It never goes away.

And I will might be lucky enough to be an old woman surrounded by that feeling and the ghosts of 70 years.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

"Fucking Christmas..."

I never thought those words would so easily come out of me.

But they did. They do.

I don't use the "C" word anymore really. I say, "the holidays" or "Xmas" or something else. Even the word can mean too much.

Like so many people out there, the holidays are really hard. Dickens got it right that there are ghosts everywhere but not necessarily of a life wasted but of those who shadows linger. Presents that will forever be left wrapped under the tree. Meals together with an empty seat at the end of the table. And forever the damned music, in every store, walking mall and on the radio, when you can hear his voice singing along. The big family gatherings, everyone laughing and smiling but I can't stop staring at the spot on the carpet where he would be sitting. Then they notice me noticing... 

Sometimes, it's nice. Sometimes I will see a tree all decorated and I smile cause he loved this time so much and took such care to make it special. So I'll go and get hot cocoa and walk under the strung up lights. But sometimes it's all too much and I just want to crawl into bed. Some things are helpful and some are hurtful. And sometimes, those that are helpful can still hurt. There is no “good column/bad column” set in stone. These emotions are complicated and forever shifting. This can make the holidays a mine field. For my family, the first five years we just avoided the field completely. We took ourselves out of state or out of county vacations. It was great. I'd still rather do that but you can't always get what you want.

I'll smell burning wood and cider on the air and I still reach for my phone, just for a second, to call him and say, "Remember that place we lived when we were little and how the air smelled and we would make blanket forts and steal snack cakes to "roast" by the fire?" But there's no one to call. No one remembers that smell and those blanket forts and twinkie fires but me. The only other witness to our childhood antics and holiday cheer is far away now and there's just me.

I am finding new ways to celebrate every year. I try to be a bit more festive for the sake of TMS, who loves this time of year. We actually got a tree last year, my first since my brother died 7 years ago. I make cider and wrap presents. He even had a holiday party last year with his friends, which went very well. 

But this doesn't mean I'm "better" or "over" it. It means I had it easy this time. Good days, bad days. And I don't know how things will go this time. I may be unable to do anything. No tree, no decorating, no parties. Jingle bells make me run and hide. The sound of snow makes me cry. Or maybe I'll be ok. I just don't know. And believe it or not, that's normal.

It's probably selfish. I take alone time more than I probably should. I skip the trip to Aunt Judi's and all the cousins. I go to bed early. I don't watch live TV or listen to the radio and avoid those who do. Self preservation. And someone usually gets mad because I'm being a Grinch.

Something that people will never get, holiday season or not: How you grieve is not necessarily how I grieve. There is no limit or timetable for “getting over it” or “moving on”. It’s always fluctuating. One creates a new life out of their experience of loss. So go fuck yourself if you require me to feel a certain way at a certain time, especially around Xmas.

Just don't tell me how to be. Because unless you know, you have no idea.