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.

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Thought on Panic

Piercing noise and surrounded on all sides. Tripping over and ducking under. Panic wells up and I race for the door. Tears just on the edge but I breathe through it and find myself again. 

But I’ve been too loud, said too much, embarrassed him no doubt. It seems like whatever I do isn’t enough for the endless checklist and empty pots and pans to rearrange again when I’ve screwed it all up.

Not just tonight or yesterday or before that but I’ve realized always. Miserable but he clings still, I know not why but for the sake of clinging. And from the misery comes so much that I can’t push the air out of me.

So I close up my heart and steel my nerves. Watch my mouth and the volume of my voice. Check the attitude and opinions before taking off. I’ve got nothing to say. I feel nothing. And it’s better that way.

Yet, there is always more that is needed…

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Renting on Vacation

Mike is clueless.

His words, not mine. Mike is getting married then taking his new bride to a country they have never been to and know nothing about.This doesn't make him clueless but he did feel that way.

So he was asking my advice on travel in Europe. How do you get around? How do you find a good hotel? What if we witness a political assassination and we need to be smuggled out of the country in the back of a laundry truck by communists?
"I can see the boarder! Push harder comrade!"
Well I can't say I have all the answers but I can help with some things, especially when it comes to lodging. Renting is really a better option (in my humble opinion) if you're planning on staying in one place for more that 3 days. It allows for more privacy (which the SO and I prefer), we can cook our own meal by utilizing local foods (yay!), and you usually get more bang for your buck. So I wrote him a list of tips that I'm going to share with you!

The main sites I use when searching:

airbnb.com (make sure you secure "private" or "whole")
hipmunk.com (limited but still good resource)
booking.com (limited but usually refundable)

tripping.com (which searches some of these sites at the same time, although they don't catch everything)

A lot of these are overlapping and you will see the same properties over again but if you want to do your due diligence to find the perfect place, you should use more than one. (Usually 2-3)

My Tips:
  • My #1 most important tip (and starting point in any search) - Research the area you want to stay, learn the names of the areas (downtown, olde town,etc) and use maps. Really familiarize yourself with the layout of the city. Do you REALLY want to stay next to The Colosseum? (Tourists can be loud and dirty.) Yes, this apartment is amazing and close to attractions, but did you notice it's in the red light district? (Drunk frat guys getting laid at 3am isn't fun for me personally.) Your townhouse is awesome but if you can't walk home from dinner without stepping on used syringes or crossing a dark railroad yard, maybe it's not worth it. Be aware of noise levels, safety, and things that may/may not be important to you like a beautiful view or closeness to shopping, attractions, etc. 
"Maybe the market district was a mistake..."
  • Use your filters to search more efficiently. Set those price min/max points first thing. If you must have a pool, use that filter. If you want to be near Brandenburg Gate or Graceland proper, use the site's map feature. 
  • Make sure management speaks English or make arrangements to find a way to communicate. (I have used google translate in the past to arrange meet up, get directions to the apartment, etc)
  • Know your budget and stick to it! (You can filter to save time and avoid the dreaded "rental envy".)
  • Check reviews! If the property doesn't have any reviews yet, I am usually a bit wary. I check other sites to see if maybe they have reviews there but if there is nothing, it's something that you will have to use your own judgement. Also be aware there are a lot of people who feel entitled or just like to complain. I can't tell you how many reviews I've read that say "The rooms were so small! The bathrooms were tiny! There's no AC! The nerve!". Yeah. It's Europe. A home built in 1754 isn't going to be massive or have an HVAC system. If you need that stuff, rent the penthouse at the Westin. (or just search those filters)
Not that there's anything wrong with that!
  • Photos are key. If they don't have the forethought to have nice pictures taken, don't even bother. If they can't clean the home or open the curtains to let the light in when they're trying to advertise, they aren't managing the property correctly and they aren't going to be someone you want to work with.  Also, if the photos are of a really poor resolution, this can be a real sign that it's a scam. I've had an apartment advertised that looked great but the resolution was really awful. I inquired to the "owner" and later found out that they had saved large thumbnails taken from a real estate website and put this place up for rent posing as owners of the property. On the other end of the spectrum, really nice, photo-shopped photos (usually of high-end properties) can be suspect too. You can always ask for more/different photos from the owners or check google maps to find the property. (to make sure it actually exists)
  • If prices are too good to be true, they are. It's probably a scam OR they're charging by the person so read that fine print!
$69/night! What a deal!
  • Always call the owner/property manager/etc. I will usually think of a silly question and call them to get it answered. (Do you have a hair dryer in the home? Can you recommend a car rental company in walking distance?) If you get a weird feeling, don't do it. 
  • Always use a credit card. Don't wire money or send a check. If there is any problem, you can get some of your money back. (Airbnb holds the funds in escrow so both sides are protected.) That being said, like many places in Europe and around the world, people don't use credit cards much and prefer cash. Usually half of my interactions with vacation rentals involve paying 50% when we book on my Visa then the other 50% is due at the key hand-off in cash. This is not unusual. 
  • Style is important. At least for me it is. I feel that if someone take pride in styling and furnishing a place, that will show in other areas of the transaction as well. Even a modest home can easily be cared for with simple window treatments and nice linens. It feels more like a proper vacation if you stay someplace that looks beautiful too. 
Both top and bottom apts are in Rome, same price...

It's not like checking into a hotel...
  • If you have a phone while traveling, exchange numbers. Things happen and you can get delayed so having a phone is great. If you won't have a phone, make sure you have exchanged proper email address at the least.
  • Give your host your travel info. If you're flying in, they can check your flight if delayed. If you're driving or taking the train in, give them a time window and try hard to stick to it.
  • When you arrange a time, pick a very specific spot to meet up and get the owner's info and even physical description and tell them yours. Usually I say, "My husband and I will be together; look for the red head in the colorful scarf!"
  • If you're delayed, call, email, carrier pigeon a new time to meet because they will leave the meetup spot and won't come back til they hear from you. (I've run off in search of a wifi cafe to email our host after our plane was delayed and they had left when we didn't show up.) 
  • Check your fine print! Sometimes they charge per person, per day. Sometimes checkout is way early. Sometimes they charge you for using their linens. (Yes, really.) Also small things like if shampoo and soap is provided or if you will need to find a market to purchase those yourself. 
And don't forget to be kind, be respectful and be flexible! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Racist Sea-Monkeys

Sea-monkeys are racist and helped Neo-Nazism.

Just let that sink in for a minute, because it is a real thing.

So the sea-monkeys themselves aren't racist (can you imagine little shrimp trying to 'heil'? Adorable and horrible at the same time) but their inventor seemed to be.

Harold von Braunhut was an inventor and brilliant marketer. He created X-Ray Specs, mail-in hermit crabs, the self-closing doll eyes and the aforementioned Sea Monkeys. Born in 1926, he was actually "Harold Braunhut", adding the "von" while living in New York City in the 50's. More on that later...

He loved car racing (racing under the name The Green Hornet in his youth) and he loved animals. So much so, he began experimenting with a kind of shrimp that can sustain in a suspended animation. (Cause that's facinating, right? I thought suspended animation was just from sci-fi movies but many animals possess this ability.) He started cross breeding to create hardier breeds of shrimp to survive the mailing process and live longer in their tanks.

Sea Monkeys were invented in 1957, a year after the ant farm became popular in the United States. I think we've all seen the illustration in the back of comics and such featuring the happy Sea
Monkey family. They are actually brine shrimp eggs that when added to water hatch and the creatures live off yeast and spiralina packets.

Innocent fun. Harold also invented another fun toy, the Kiyoga. Basically, a spring loaded baton originally marketed for ladies defense.

It found another core audience later... With a marketing campaign that started with "If you need a gun and can't get a license..." Ummm, why wouldn't I be able to get a license? Maybe cause I'm a domestic abuser, felon, metally ill...

"So get to the damn point! Stop with all the cloak and dagger!", you say.

Alrighty... The sweet, kooky inventor loved cars and animals... and the Aryan Brotherhood. Yep. He was a big ol' Nazi-lover.  In 2000, Tomar Brott wrote an article for the LA Times (The Sea Monkeys and the White Supremacist) with his findings. This wasn't the first article outing. The above photo of the ad for the Kiyoga was found in a lovely little rag of filth known as "Aryan Nations", a white supremacy magazine owned by Richard Butler.

I have to say, growing up in the south, Richard Butler was always the butt of the joke yet filled me with shame/fear/sadness for the hate he spouted in the 80's. When he was indited for a plot to overthrow the government, he sent out a letter to his 'brothers' that everyone should buy a Kiyoga because the “manufacturer has made a pledge of $25 to my defense fund for each one sold to Aryan Nations supporters.” Harold just so happened to be that guy. When Butler's wife died in 1995, Harold presided over the funeral. They were tight, these two.

There a photos of Mr. von Braunhut standing in from of a giant swastika, tales of him lighting crosses at Aryan gatherings and had made several bat-shit crazy statements about agreeing with Butler who said that Jews are direct descendants of the Devil. (Soooooo the real, live, red devil demon creature himself at some point in human history gave birth or perhaps just went 'poof!' and a particular person appeared here on earth who begat and begat and they became the Jews? I think they were reading some kind of fantasy novel and got confused...)

Now here's the kicker. Wait for it... Harold was a Jew. The "von" in "von Braunhut" was to make his name sound more German. He grew up in Brighton Beach, which at the time was a 'Jewish neighborhood'. His parents are buried in a Jewish cemetery. I... I can't even wrap my brain around this...
"I'm racist, Jewish and one suave motherfucker!"

I don't know what is more flabbergasting: The fact the Harold was a self-hating Jew surrounded by Neo-Nazis or that the Aryan Nation was like, "Whatever. Cha-Ch$ng!" Money talks, I guess, so you could be anyone or anything as long you gave up enough cash.

Harold von Braunhut died in 2003 at age 77 and we're all left shaking our heads and wondering a simple, "what the fuck?"

Friday, May 29, 2015

Get Your Hep-A Vaccine Before They Haul You To Jail For Licking A Celebrity

I was busy in a German hospital while my kidney's tried to kill me so my friend Lucas did me a solid a covered Denver Comic-Con for me.

First and formost, let me tell you why I want to kill Lucas - He got to meet Alan Tudyk and Jewel Staite.

I can't explain how jealous I am. Years ago, I was just getting into Sci/Fi and all things geeky when I discovered Firefly and it really got the ball rolling for me. So to see these two in person? Wow... Really though, it's probably for the best. If I had met Wash and Kaley, I think I would first fainted gracefully into Alan's arms then tried to harvest both their skin cells (so I could clone them and film "Baby Firefly"...duh) and be taken down by security and then spending all my time in prison instead of DCC. I mean, I'm not even up to date on my Hepatitis vaccines so we all know that wouldn't end well...

Lucas attended Alan's panel as well and he was, of course, charming and hilarious. He was signing random items from his hotel room and handing them out. Wouldn't you die to have a shower cap signed by Wash? He also talked about his new series, "Con Man", which you should watch the trailer for below! I'm sold.
Lucas was also loving the cosplay. (I can tell because he took over 3000 photos.) Everyone was feeling the spirit with everything from very intricate and professional costumes to simple, home-made costumes to just a fan t-shirt. A general air of positivity and fun could be felt. 

Something we both love about DCC is the fact that it's run by a non-profit, Pop Culture Classroom.  
"Educating children and the general public through comic books and other forms of pop culture, and bringing together the diverse people and interests of our community regardless of age, race, gender or background."  
Lucas, usually a pretty laid back guy, was really excited about this, telling me, "It's a program that I can see really working and one that, in all honesty, I can see myself supporting next year by getting passes for DCC."
I was pretty bummed to miss it this year. Next time, I promise not to be stuck in a foreign country being pumped with antibiotics with their labels in German. (Note to self: learn more German medical terms, just in case.) Comic Con sounds much more fun than hospital food.

Big thanks to Lucas Koike for pulling double duty: reporting and photographing this event. You rock!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Case for Kids

I'm on a 9 hour flight to Sweden and I may have to murder a child.

Not literally of course. But we've all been there, right? The screaming child 20 rows ahead, the kid with the soiled diaper 20 rows behind (up wind, somehow) and the talkative one right across the row. 

The same phrase, over and over and over again, in ever increasing volume, "Peas Thomas. Peas Thomas. PEAS THOMAS!" (Parents will know he means that if he doesn't get to watch Thomas the Tank Engine on Dad's Ipad right now that a meltdown will occur shortly that will deafen half the cabin.) "Aden! Aden!" (Again.) "Pane! Pane!" (Plane.) Jews! Jews! (Juice. Yeah, that one took me off guard for a minute.) But my favorite is this kid's rendition of my favorite ballad, "NO!". Even happy babies will squeal at such a pitch that it makes me want to crawl out of my skin.

On these travel days when I've had 3 hours sleep, much like a mom of a young child, I consider motherhood and I'm not sure I'm cut out for it. Children are needy, selfish and moody and I'm already all those things. I think one person with those traits in the household is enough. I don't want to give up sleep or share my dinner. I don't want clean up after anyone else or stop doing the things that make me happy so I can care for a helpless little meatloaf. I don't want to lose my body, for which I have worked really hard.

But my own wonderful, selfless mother says that it all changes when you see their faces for the first time. It changes you. You feel a bond and a love like nothing you have ever felt before and all you want to do is do for them. I wouldn't know though. The kids across the aisle has said the word, "Aden!" seventeen times before his mom finally relented and sang the 'animal song' for the 5th time. SEVENTEEN. Would I sing the 'animal song' five times?

So for now, perhaps I should just get a puppy. I like dogs better than most people anyhow. 

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Clearing out the Junk

Who's this girl?

In a bit of early spring cleaning, I've discovered some old papers and journals. I have no idea who this girl is... I guess there's still a shadow in my brain where she lingers but there's no flesh memory. Just a silly girl who had witnessed no death or real sadness.

"Yes, my dears, I've been out in the sunlight. The flatlands of Oklahoma were calling to me so I packed up my crap and ran out of town last weekend. A mini reunion scheduled on Sunday, my family and I jumped in the RV and took off with Buster riding up front. It was so bitterly cold but so cool to be there. I hung out with my grandparents, went shopping with my grandma and slept in. Yeah sleep! And yeah video games; on the road, we watched movies, ate at (my brother) and I's favorite Mexican place and I beat the hell out of FFIX! It's like heaven!"

Who is that? Not me. It couldn't be.  She doesn't even sound like me. I don't have grandparents anymore. I don't really have a family. All our pets are gone. There's no time for this kind of thing anymore. No one was ever so carefree and na├»ve.

I want to slap the shit out of her and hold her tight, never let go.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Alienating your Cousins

Want to kick kinsmanship right in the fucking teeth? Sick of all these familiar connection clogging your flow? Well let's fix that.

Let's talk religion! Let's talk politics! Let's talk about how I think you should raise your kids! Let's get into some really personal details about your reproductive organs!

This is where I found myself this last weekend. All these topics reared their festive little heads at a wedding in Alabama where my fair cousin Tammy was marrying her high school sweetheart. Let's call him Lou. (Short for Loser.) Flying in Friday, I was happy to have trekked a thousand miles to be there and today, Sunday, I'm thinking I should ask for a family divorce. Or at least we need to see other people. 

When two families come together you are bound to get sparks but this evening was overly fire-filled. Mother of the groom got way to happy and grabbed my tit, which I'm only half sure it was an accident. The brother was burning the dance floor with his Riverdance and then (after 3 more Jim Beams and Coke) he was working it like an chickenhead in a Wiz Kalifa video. His Dick Swing up on Nana was impressive. 

Needless to say, I drank way too much. I think I probably cursed too much. I know I told one of the grooms friends that I was a stripper. I told another one I was a buyer for a Vegas hotel chain. Then, as you do when you're drunk and bored at a wedding in Alabama, I sold the busboy my panties. They weren't my favorite pair or anything so don't cry for me.

So I'm hungover at this airport without much else to say except this - Always pack one more pair of underwear than you think you need because you never know when you'll want to sell them to a stranger.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Indiana Jones and the Flight from Hell

I used to be a great flier. 

Left my bag in California? Whatever. Delays? Cool. Oh, you want me to sit in the middle seat so you can have the aisle? Heck yeah!

But not so much on a particularly bad time in my life, a few years ago, I happened to be on a flight back home. I had broken up with my not-so-nice boyfriend, I was still mourning for the lose of my grandmother and brother and I was ready to quit my very stressful job.  And that's the exact moment we hit turbulence. 

It was the roughest flight I've ever been on. A drop would come so deep and sudden that the rest of the passengers would gasp or let loose a small cry and grab the walls or the seat in front of them. We were instructed not to leave our seats (no really, not even to pee...) and to put anything heavier than a short paperback novel under our seats. Flight attendants, stay seated; no drink service today. My normally steel-stomach was suddenly not but jello. I had a death grip on the arm rests and had my feet wedged under the seat in front to keep me stable. And for the first time in an airplane, I felt gripped by a paralyzing fear. I felt like I was going to die. I couldn't breath. A panic attack. I had had one before so I knew what I was in for. 

I allowed myself a few tears, a couple gulping breathes and then with everything I had, I pushed it way, way down. Not healthy, not happy but better than getting tazed by the air marshal. I held my breath until it subsided enough so I could get control. I took a puff from my inhaler. Hold. I repeated a mantra that I still use to this day. "Smooooooooooth" over and over again under my breath as I breath out through my mouth, in through the nose. It was 3 hours of hell. 

I never quite recovered from that. I'm still not a great flyer. I fear dying and leaving my parents and friends behind in a horrifying grief that I know so well. I fear the pain of a violent death. I fear not having control over my own end.  

I have to remind myself of some important things. First and foremost, travel is worth it. It's half a day of stress for 3-4 weeks of wonderful adventures.  Second, I think about Indiana Jones.
Indiana was flying to far off lands in the 30's and 40's. Commercial flights back then were so very different. Malfunctions, crashes and other terrifying statistics were much higher. (Something I won't get into since I am currently flying as I write this...) And not to mention the fact that commercial flights didn't use the jet stream until after the war which meant much rougher air and much longer flight times. (On my last trip to Hawaii, I found a framed advert from a 50's magazine claiming "LA to Hawaii in only 10 1/2 hours!" Woof.) 

So when it gets bumpy, I think of Indy and how he wouldn't think twice about these little ups and downs. He would just tip his hat over his eyes and fall fast asleep. At least until Willy starts screaming.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love. It's a motherfucker.

Want some love advice? Too bad cause here it comes.

Here's some things I've learned that I wish someone had told me and then I had actually followed their advice. What can I say? My heart is an idiot.

(Quick qualifier: are you hurting yourself or others? No? Excellent! In that case then...)

Don't you change; do what you do.
You are weird, it's nothing to be ashamed of. Rock out to Taylor Swift AND Slayer... at the same time. Roll that D20 and dress up like Legolas! Get your Furry on, get out there and find yourself another Furry to skritch around with. (I don't get it but whatever floats your boat!) There is no shame in what you are.

By the way, gender doesn't determine what you should or shouldn't like either. Does anyone remember Katie? Rock on, Katie.

A couple tests

  • Do they ask you questions? Ask about your life, how you are, how you are dealing with things? Do they seem interested in you as a person? I know that sounds really obvious but sometimes it's not. I found myself on a girl's weekend, friends who I haven't seen in months, when one of them turned to me and asked,  "So how are you, really? What's going on in your life?" and I was struck dumb. I realized that no one had really asked me those questions in a long time. This person in question should want to know about you.
  • If this person judges you, criticizes you, looks at you funny when you wear that hat, thinks you are way overdressed for the party, makes a remark about the way you talk, laugh, do your job and/or live in anyway, drop them like a rock. A big stupid heavy rock that isn't at all shiny or fun.
  • The first time you are vulnerable and/or cry in front of that person, notice how they react. If it isn't 100% with understanding and care, they are not the one for you.
  • Lastly, they should make you feel like you and what you have to say are important. If you don't feel like they hold you in high esteem, time to move on.

Celebrating You
Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters once said, "I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you fucking like something, like it." So with that very wise comment, I'm officially coming out of the closet. The dance music closet. I love dance music. If you can shake your ass to it, I love it. I also love board games and puzzles. And I really want to learn to play D&D cause it sounds like fun. I love Disney and Harry Potter. I will put a rhinestone on anything because I love glitter. I'm tired of hiding all that stuff so I'm going to celebrate it instead. This person should do the same.

I'm not saying it will be easy. In fact, it's almost impossible. To find someone who likes you exactly the way you are is a monumental task. Someone who loves you even though you are crazy, forgetful, confused. Someone who treats you with respect and care. Someone who doesn't need you to change. That is a large feat.

Good luck. You'll need it.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Heather's High School

Goddamn. Winona Ryder is fucking skinny.

I'm watching Heathers now and remembering high school. Not the nightmare it could have been but it was like a prison. I was never close to being popular with the people that went to that school. I though maybe that if I had had more friends I would have been happier. Then I wouldn't want to still hurt all those little fucks who pulled out my hair or spit at me. I wouldn't have the idea that friends are just there to kick me in the head and run off. Or for me to run off first. I wish I knew what I know now.
I'd have ignored all those people and focused on myself. Taken myself out to movies and worked more and read more and slept in and learned to paint and sing. I would have kept dancing. I would have written more. I definitely would have ditched more class to have a little fun. (Cause in the end, it really didn't matter if I was sitting silently, doodling in my notebook in English class or not.)

I wouldn't have dated the same boy all through high school. I would have met a tall boy with glasses who would swim and run and make me laugh. He would make breakfast for dinner and he would never stop asking questions and talking about silly things. We would dance in Times Square and travel...straight to the Taj Mahal, down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and then up the Tokyo Tower. How...very.

Where do I come up with all this bull shit? Whatever. Time to get going or get left behind. Whatever, indeed.

Fuck me gently with a chainsaw.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Parallel Life

The new year comes and in some mirrored universe, 70 years ago, I know I am feeling hopeless.

I've been following the 70th anniversary of the 2nd world since 2009, when the war started. I started the war Sept 1, 2009. The fall of Paris. The "Jewish Solution" begins. The battle of Stalingrad and the uncountable dead.  Battle of the Bulge.

And now it's all coming to an end. There seems to be a light at the end of this tunnel. The Germans have started to retreat. Weeks from now, they start to evacuate/liquidate the concentration camps and move back towards Berlin. In mere months, Hitler will paint the bunker with his brains and that will be the final threads of fight left in the Germans. Old men and boys will try to hold the city with abandoned tanks and guns. The Russians will hoist their flag over the Reichstag dome and America will turn it's weary eyes to the Pacific theater and Japan. Roosevelt will make a decision. By August, it will all be over. For some more than others.  

But no one knows these things yet. I just listen to radio and sing in the new year. Our men are still gone, people still die and Hitler lives.

I wonder how I feel on this fresh, clear morning. I imagine I look up at the frozen sky, trying to remember what I know now.