tug of war | only one more procedure this year!

admitting failure is hard. admitting that something that you're involved in is failing is such a challenge. especially when it's failing not because of low energy, but because no one is just taking it. there's tons of tug of war, plenty of offers and acceptance, but no one wants to forward the offers. or finally one will move to forward things and the other blocks. tug of war is exhausting. and all that i'm getting is tired.

it's a big world. a lot of struggle. a lot of hard, hard moments. i want to be on the same side as the people in my life, working to pull each other away from the bullshit together rather than the tug of war. i'm tired of only getting tired.

i'm totally ready to find the joy in my life. i think some things are sinking in. i'm starting to listen when i hear certainty inside myself again. it's been a long time of standing on this precipice...scared and fragile and hopeless. i'm ready for the next step. i think i finally know what it is. i think that i'm going to be okay, and then better than okay, very soon.

only one more procedure left this year!!! (and very soon, once again i can't sleep. last night was the same and a couple of nights before that :/)...but anyway, only one more!!! yay!!! then no more procedures in 2007! i'm so ready to say goodbye to this year!!

it's almost here...


i don't have it in me for the phone lately.

honestly, i know that my voicemail is full. i've got 68 unreturned text messages. the voicemails are not checked. inbox is stockpiling and i've, honestly, no intention of getting to it right now.

i really just cannot deal with the prospect of saying the same thing countless times, answering the same questions, making the same explanations, hearing the same unspoken heaviness on the other end. truthfully, i'm tired. lately, i think the same things a lot...i think about how i don't want to go to the doctor/take these hormones/change these hormones, i think about how i want to hang out with someone who gets excited to see me, i think about how i want - maybe more close, i need - to get out of this lane that i'm in and travel, be elsewhere, experience newness again. i think about how i want someone to make me breakfast. i think about when i was sick the first time and things would fall apart...i think about how in that time i would start to lose it and break some, and he would come to me and grab me and hold me so tight. he would literally try to absorb what was happening, what was coursing through me, and would hold me so tight and so close until i was past anger, past frustration, past rage, past the bullshit of the moment, and had arrived safely at that moment. the one in which i was getting a hug and someone cared beyond the hug and maybe i didn't have forever, but i had those next few hours at least, so why not make them good? i think about how i want that again.

and a lot, i think about all of the deconstruction that has happened since then. how many times i have fallen apart and tried to put myself back together. how many times i have fallen apart from the effort. i think about all of the effort that it has taken to get here, and all of the effort that it takes not to let the effort show. i think that i probably shouldn't let myself fall apart anymore, because once you do that it just keeps happening. it's time to work on being strong now.

anyway...that was just a glimpse into me right now, because i know that i've been playing my cards pretty close to my chest for a minute.

if i were to call you back, or text you back, or check my email and reply, this is what i would say...
thank you. i hope that your holidays were/are great too. yes, i spoke to my doctor{s}. yes the biopsy results are back. i'm having two procedures back to back, one the first thing tomorrow morning and one the next day. yes, i'm slightly worried, but i've been starting/am starting new meds and am making promises to do what they want me to do at the beginning of the year. i'm going to be fine behind these procedures, it's just the mental heaviness of getting there...not literally, just figuratively getting to that point. like i said, i'm tired of doctors and clinical settings. i wish that the next part could start now. i'm ready for the next part.

so, i would apologize for the lack of contact, but right now i don't have a heartfelt apology in me. it's just been what it is, getting to these appointments and what is on the other side of them. soon, i'll be back. soon. be well.


if i could fly away

i wouldn't come back no more.
i'd turn around just to see it all for the last time.
it wouldn't be easy.
but i'd go.


there is no fairy tale | trust.

i went to a movie screening tonight, of a movie i don't really want to put here to be forever known as one i viewed in the theatre before it even was released. it's not a movie that i'd have paid to see. we'll just say that.

and it struck me that movies play a huge role in why people find relationships so difficult. movies portray 'true love' as what is felt if a man is willing to go against stereotype and convention to be 'romantic', 'emotive', to sing and dance to you, to profess his love and perform a Grand Gesture.

and i feel like a lot (not all) of women absorb this message and eat it up. they decide that this is how their significant other *should* treat them, or how their future mate needs to treat them. and they put so much value on this showy stuff that someone & something perfectly good for them will be tossed aside because it isn't the fairy tale. people want the happy ending.

the thing, to me, is that the happy ending is just where the story stops being told. fact of the matter is, this is a bumpy ride, this Life. it's rough sometimes, there are ups and downs, some of them horrendous downs, and no one gets out alive. someone is always going to have to die before someone else. someone is always going to have to be the strong one when shit is happening, someone is going to have to be the rock, someone is going to have to be the one who adapts more readily to flaws and issues. it's the way of the beast where interactions and interpersonal relationships are concerned. some truly horrid shit might happen to the strong one which reduces their ability to be strong, and the other person is either going to learn to soldier on without being spoiled, without being treated like a prince/princess, without all the romance and grand gestures, or they decide that what they want is more important than any other thing and they walk away.

but, to me, that's not love. to me, love is not something which is solidified when times are good and the gestures and the romance are there, when the sex is constant and great and the times had are always great. to me, love is solidified when things are mundane, common, and not so great. to me, love settles when someone can acknowledge that i talk too much and my sleep schedule is fuct and i'm outspoken and sassy, but place value in my myriad of good qualities which they respect and admire beyond those...and let the positive be the focus. love, for me, is solidified when i care about how he eats, how motivated he is to find the joy in his life, how much he cares about politics and knowledge, but i care more about him as the person that i have chosen to love more than any of those single things and so i can choose not to nag or snark him about things he does that i don't agree with.

and i think that a kind of love that maybe alters us is built in times of struggle, hardship and difficulty. for instance, when i got sick again not so long ago, i had been dating someone new-ish. i knew that i liked him, that he intrigued me, challenged me, made me laugh, made me comfortable, made me question things and pushed me to question myself and grow. but, i didn't know love for him then. and then, the words from the doctor came. and i expected that he would run, and run far and fast. treatments which put a young woman in hormone suppression, menopause, and do all of the physical/emotional/mood altering things which mine did would probably cause someone years into something to pause and think 'i did not sign up for this.' so, i was not expecting someone whom i had only had in my life for less than a year to absorb it and still care.

this person, however, stepped up to be what i needed more than anything right then...he stepped up to be a good friend. he took me to doctor's appointments and treatments, he hung out with me when i was so sick that all that i could do was lay and look in the direction of the t.v. & he took me for soup at weird times and brought washcloths to me when i was later throwing up that soup. when the hot flashes took over, he showed up with a fan and tolerated frigid temperatures in which only i could be comfortable to hang out with me. he endured raging hormones and constant mood swings, neediness and pushing away, meltdowns and the physical changes, and while he wasn't perfect in how he handled those things always, he was good for me far more than he could ever even know, and i grew to love him so much.

in retrospect, i have been awed by him. at the time, i wasn't able to see clearly what it was like for someone in that position. i wasn't able to think about what it must be like for someone to watch a person that they care about be ravaged by something so beyond their ability to fix, or even attempt to fix. i wasn't able to process how difficult it must be to watch all of these things happen to a person that you like - both the physical things and the ways that it altered my personality and my moods - and know that there is a chance that they could die at the end of this. i can't imagine how difficult it was to make a decision to keep being a friend to this person, which means that feelings continue to grow, and to know that there is such an uncertainty while doing so. to watch them hurt and need and lash out and not be able to do anything but absorb it.

all that i could do, all that i could think about, in that time period, was ME. all that i could do was continue on every day, muster the courage and the strength to endure it and try to hope. i couldn't see how hard my moods and neediness and pain and hunger and desire-for-something-certain were to be on the receiving end of. i couldn't see how much my pain hurt the people close to me, because my pain was all consuming. my anger was big. my resentment was big. my moods were shitty. and i wanted the people that i loved to help me to carry something which only i could shoulder. i wanted constantness because there was so much inconstancy. i wanted promises because so much wasn't promised. i wanted to be comforted and told that *he* would be there because i wasn't sure that i would be. and in the face of all of these needs and wants and desires, he was able to be honest with me about what he could and couldn't do and give, even though there probably wasn't very much of anything which could have satisfied me in that time period...and so i could not be pleased.

i realize now that no matter what happens to me going forward in this life, i will always love this person. i will always want for him happiness and health and every good thing. my love for him is something which was cemented by all of the things that he didn't do and not by the things he did do. i didn't grow to love him because he brought me flowers and candy, because he said the right thing all of the time, because he took me to romantic dinners or bought me trinkets, because he didn't do those things. i love him because he didn't turn away from the bullshit, he didn't endure a crying fit or a screaming episode or a harsh tone and walk away. he didn't stop being my friend because things got tough for me and so for him by proxy. he didn't wash his hands of me because this wasn't what he signed up for. he didn't tell me to fuck off when i called at 3 a.m. and asked him to take me to the emergency room or to get soup after being a total bitch to him earlier. he didn't write me off because i wasn't able to be perfect in the face of some pretty not perfect shit.

i love him and hope that he is always a part of my life for how much i appreciate all of this now. i regret that so much time was 'wasted' during my time of hardship, and that so much of the tone of how we interact was set during a time when i was so not my true self, but i do not regret keeping my heart open to him or growing to love him. and i recognize that hoping for the fairy tale may be what gets some people through, but i know that for me, i'll take someone who will bring a fan and some soup and sit with me during hospital visits over someone who gives flowers and jewelry but can't handle the less than perfect times any day. for me, there is no fairy tale. there is only this life, and it is hard just as much as it is good, and it is flawed and dirty and there are often tears, but it is so amazing to get to live it every day. and to have people who will be there in the valleys just as tough as they are at the peaks.

and for this amazing story of friendship, there have been far more of those who didn't maintain. who couldn't, for whatever reason, be there until the end. like i said, it is hard to care about someone who is changing so much, who is so affected by external and internal stimuli every day, whose strength and hope and humor fades as her body diminishes. it must be so incredibly hard, i can't imagine. so, losing friends as i did during that time period, my ability to trust took a hit. i started closing myself off to most people, because if i couldn't trust the people who had been a part of my life for so long to be there, why trust new people enough to let them in? or why trust those who were there to stay? but what i've decided to embrace is this...

people aren't going to earn it. this measure of trust that i hold back which keeps me from being able to fully give myself to friends or lovers or whomever, no one is going to earn that. they can't. i have to give it, as a gift, both for myself and for the people that i care about. so, i'm going to try that. the space and love and happiness that i want in my life, i'm going to try to give it to those whom i care about and trust that they will treat it with respect. i am going to try to trust that when people make mistakes which hurt me, that it isn't a reflection of how they feel about me, but rather their own internal issue which has nothing to do with me. i am going to try to trust and love without expectation.

and i am going to try to be as good a friend to the people that i enjoy as i am lucky enough to have enjoyed. i am going to try to trust enough to know that when someone isn't behaving as i think they should to me, that it isn't about how they perceive my worth but more about their desires and capabilities. and i am going to try to trust the universe enough to believe that my needs will be met even if all of my desires aren't fulfilled, and that it is for the best for me in ways which i can't see right now.


you've got to believe in something - why not believe in me?

• respond/react. i just did something i so should not have done for all of the wrong reasons.

• i know that we're all here for a reason on a particular path, but i certainly don't feel like i'm on the right one right now. this detour has been hellacious. i need more determination/dedication/motivation.

• the end of the year is going to mark the end of Digital Cashmere. if you want to get at me regarding where the new homebase will be, feel free.

• it was good to be with old friends.

• even when we disagree, and freedom reaches out a hand to me, i know that i would never want to be without your company. and i mean that totally.

• postcard from s. africa received...it is the same and it is so completely different. soon. i miss it too. you know how.


:/ | :| | :*)

first : you should really read this http://posting.triggerstreet.com/gyrobase/Submission?oid=oid%3A1264285 by my friend Adam and comment/leave feedback/rate it. he's good. i want good things for him.

beyond that, i'm tired and sore and have to have another stupid procedure on monday, so i'm not really feeling like blogging too much lately. the one thing i do have to say is this : you can experience moments of true generosity of spirit and positivity by others, but you have to be willing to be the person who will sit and talk to the guy next to them. you have to be willing to put your hand out there first...to reach out.

that's all that i have right now. i hope that your end of year isn't too stressful.


love isn't something we feel, it's something we do

even divided
our connection
was multiplied
by love
infinite (i believed)
in value

when you sighed
my chest heaved
when you slept
i was riveted
by waking dreams

you, dear one,
are closer to me
than my skin

i feel your silence
echoing in the hollow
chamber where my heart
used to live

i know your heartache
and losses, the ones
past and future and
when you cry
my throat tightens
and i shed your
restrained tears

you, confused one,
are closer to me
than my skin

i know the things
you think you lost
and threw away
and the dreams
you think will never
reach fruition

when you ache
silently yet deeply
my being quivers
and i close my eyes
breathing unspoken love
to your soul

love isn't something
that we feel
it's something
that we do

you, hurt one,
are closer to me
than my own skin


epiphanies in the gym.

so, i'm working out tonight (last night now?), on the elliptical machine just doing my thing and watching monday night football, when i start to look around at all of the people surrounding me.

Monday night is the most intense night to go to the gym. everyone has restarted their promise to themselves to get in the gym and go hard. the fresh decisions made, the machines are packed, the weight room is packed, there are mad dudes playing basketball on the courts, everyone is giving it their best. by friday, there's no one there and it's easy to follow the trajectory of desire vs habit.

i see so many different kinds of people. beyond race, beyond sex, beyond physical descriptors, i see a huge variety of people. i see those who wear their discomfort with who they are on their faces. i see those who are trying so hard to have one area that they are fully in control of...damaging their bodies in order to be a master of at least some domain. i see those who are clearly happy in what they have sculpted, the ease with which they walk and smile and laugh and hit on others. and i see the truly miserable. those who feel that they are fat/ugly/not *whatever* enough/too *whatever*. they are so difficult to see.

and i realize that what i've been struggling to find is right in front of me.

you see, i've been looking for the art of being easy again.

i used to be easy. i used to be carefree. i used to be so much more able to just enjoy the journey instead of worrying about the steps along the way.

in that time, i was so comfortable in my own skin. i was not perfect...so far from it...but i was truly inspired in my life and happy for the most part. the things which were important to me...friends, live music, being able to go for walks in the park, travel, being good at what i did...i had pulled all those things close to me. i had filled my life with things and people that i enjoyed and loved. and i was able to appreciate the good in my life every day, because so rarely did the not good even enter in any longer. a huge accomplishment for someone whose early life had been full of the not good.

and then...then disease came. discomfort. struggle. the realization that my life wasn't this never-ending promise of tomorrows and that not every dream was going to come true. typing out medical directives and will & testaments. moving assets into other people's names. surgery/procedure/treatment/surgery/surgery/surgery/treatment/procedure. dis-ease.

when every day you have to think about how many you might have left, and every day you are faced with medicines which make you a different kind of sick to fight the sickness which threatens you so intensely, you become someone who loses touch with being easy.

on television and in the movies, they would have you believe that when we face life threatening illness and its treatment, and survive, that we arrive on the other side of that detour just happy to have arrived. that we lose ourselves in laughter and love and kindness and take every moment with a breezy whimsy which defies belief.

it isn't true. for a lot of us, arriving somewhere so far from our original destination...broke, physically altered, hyper aware of our mortality, reliant upon medications and doctors and tests, carrying within us the knowledge that we are now forever marked and possibly being stalked by a ravaging criminal which likes to return to the same host, having lost so much - friendships, time, the ability to reproduce, ease, a certain naivete, calcium, vitamins, youthful appearance - there is a struggle upon that arrival.

you want to be happy. just to be here. just to have arrived *somewhere*. but at the same time, you're so devastated by so much. and there is so much to reconcile now. and you go through so many phases...like adolescence all over again, almost.

imagine that you have lived your whole life inside a tire...25, 30, 50 years, and have created in that time period your ideas, your beliefs, your belongings, your friends, your knowledge base, your career...all that you hold dear, and all of these things are the air inside your tire-life. keeping it balanced and full and going.

now imagine that something horrible happens to your tire...but it isn't something which happens suddenly and it isn't something which you can fix or control. instead, it is a slow, steady leak, which you can only live in the center of as you run back and forth to every tire repair person that you can find and beg them to fix it, to save this tire because it's the only one you can have. once that air, and everything that it holds, is gone...there are no replacements.

and so, as this happening becomes a daily issue, and you watch moment by moment as the life which you have built seeps out into the ether, your life starts to fill up with all of the things which the experts are putting into the hole to try to salvage your tire. but, it isn't anything even remotely close to that which it is replacing. it is poison and last resorts and final straws, it is big words, it is debt, it is struggle, it is immeasurable and inexplainable pain, it is loneliness, it is heartache, it is despair, it is hope, it is not enough hope, it is too much hope, it is stress, it is fear...

and these things which have to go here in order to even have a fighting chance, they begin to displace some of the things which haven't been let out yet. friends, dreams, hopes, ideals, self-perception...they all begin to be moved aside so that you can deal with this crisis every day. you begin to and then continue to have to leave a little bit of the life which you have known behind in order to have a chance of the life which you hope for, until all of the little bits add up.

then suddenly, it is months or years later, and what you have struggled for is here. you survive. things settle down somewhat. and you have a chance to breathe again. and you look around, survey the landscape which you have arrived on, and realize that you have no fucking idea where you are, or even who you are, any longer.

you realize that this life that you have fought so hard to maintain isn't familiar at all any more. you realize that the people whom you thought were going to always be there have moved on. you realize that the career that you were building is actually just a noose. you realize that the body which you have come to know and rely upon and be comfortable in is a potential enemy. you realize that everything that you have saved and worked for is gone, and you are starting all over again. you realize that time is short and your pain tolerance is high, but that doesn't make any of it any easier.

mostly, you realize that you are new to the world all over again...that this suffering and fighting to get here has changed you irrevocably. and you look at those who have been still living their lives during this time period and hear them tell you of your strength and your fortune and your tenacity, and you realize that they don't get it.

you understand, fundamentally, that the healing feels as if it is going to kill you. in a very short time period, you have watched everything that you have designed and built and become be tossed out. and you get it...that the strength that it took to hold it together and tolerate the direction of those who are trying to save you was nothing compared to the strength that it is going to take to put everything back together again. to rebuild. to remaster. to replan. to reorganize.

and you wonder if you have the strength, or the courage, or even the desire, to set about on the path to 'getting there'. it took 30 years to get there before. it took courage and effort and, i believe, youth. in your youth, you are so willing to meet failure and start again, to be flexible, to learn lessons from heartache and keep going in the quest for the prize.

somehow, age changes our ability to tolerate uncertainty. it is how we all become our ancestors over and over again...how we start out so desirous of making change and end up another cog in the machine. it is how we start out liberal and dreaming and end up middle of the road and getting by.

so, when faced day by day with these dual emotions...the happiness at being here but the sheer terror at how fucked up here is, you go through all of these stages of processing everything. elation, uncertainty, fear, depression, anxiety, feeling as if it is truly impossible.

and tonight, i realized that we make it so hard for each other. we see each other through the veil of our experiences, our expectations...both reasonable and unreasonable, our desires, our over-reaching. and we see in those around us our own failures. our unhappiness. our shortcomings. and we place that perception onto them and then judge them almost as harshly as we judge ourselves.

i realized that i've been seeing the world around me and other people with this desperation and desire that i've been full of.

you see, i've been desperate to start actually living my life again. desperate to be out from under the monitoring eye of the health care practitioners, desperate to see and feel and know and do all of the things that i had ever hoped for...and quickly. before *it* comes back or any other unthinkable thing happens which ends this opportunity that i've been given to keep going. this desperation has incorporated so many desires...there are so many things that i've desired to have and do and experience.

because i don't have any other option, i've accepted that which has been taken away from me - the things that i can't do. i can't bear my own children. okay. i can't not take these medications. okay. i can't sleep through the night without hot flashes. okay. i can't go without bone scans and body scans and ultrasounds. okay. i can't ungray my hair or take the bone loss away. okay. i can't get that time back. okay. i can't undo the staggering loss or the heart wrenching realizations. okay.

and so, this has left the 'i cans'. what is there that i can do that i want to do? and there has been love...i can still love. knowledge...i can still pursue knowledge. knowledge of self. knowledge of the world around me. knowledge of others. knowledge of my place in the world. i can still try. i can still laugh. i can still dream. i can still seduce. i can still entice. i can still cook. i can still feel pleasure.

because i have felt that i am racing an unseen second hand on a giant universal clock, i have wanted everything that i can have and do NOW. i have wanted this love to be reciprocated as intensely as i can give it because 'what if?'. what if there isn't unlimited time to go patiently? i have wanted to reclaim those days when my life was made complete by books and music and not having a strict schedule because what if? what if this is my chance to be happy living for me instead of living for the idea of what i'm supposed to do and want and be? i have wanted to go everywhere and do everything and be everyone and livelivelive because what if? what if the answers are out there and not right here?

and tonight i realized that everyone is racing something. we're all struggling, not quite happy, not quite satisfied, not quite *whatever*. we're all trying to get as much in as possible. we're all trying to find our own happiness. we're all using our own coping mechanisms...even though they may not make sense to others. we're all coping...using sex or drugs or exercise or food or whatever it is to fill the voids that life is creating every day.

and being easy can be easy again. i just need to understand that 'being easy' has to be about me. i can't include everyone else in my expectations or my desires or my limits.

everyone needs room to be who they are. everyone needs clearance to find comfort in the things which give it to them. everyone needs love without expectation. everyone needs all of the things which i have found that i need. i'm not special...my sickness, my struggle, my setbacks, my suffering...none of these things make me any more special than anyone else, or any more deserving of my desires.

i need soft eyes and to reclaim what i knew for all those years...that being alone in the world doesn't limit me. that i can do and be and see anything i want to at any time, and that being alone means i don't need permission or to feel bad for following my heart's desires.

in order to survive, i had to surrender control for the first time in my life. i had to be told all of the time...what to eat, what to drink, what to indulge in, what to smoke, what medicines to take and when, when to get treatment, when to rest, when to cry, what doctors to see, what to hope for, what to expect, when not to get my expectations up, when not to push, when not to hold back, when to get undressed, when to let strangers touch me.

giving up control seemed like the most difficult thing that i would ever face. but i am learning that it is getting it back which is the challenge. learning that it is okay to set my own boundaries and my own guidelines again. learning that it wasn't my fault that i got sick. i've been scared to take control back...letting myself float out there in the world and hoping that someone would see me here, floundering and low on strength and terrified, and step in and take control. that someone would step up beside me and promise to be here with me and hold my hand to keep me steady and help me find my place in the world again.

but there isn't any ease in life like that. and you can't be easy when there's no ease. ease comes when we're being true to who and what we are, even when we aren't our best. for the first time in a very long time, i can see the path to ease again...which means that i'm once again on my own path. and i know that detours will happen, but if i can have patience with myself and the world around me, i can find my way back to where i need to be.


going Raw | words | 

• so, i've decided today to go Raw for a while...the Raw Foods diet. i'd like to say that i've decided to totally commit to it 100% and live that way, but i don't know how life would be without some of the foods that i love, so i've decided to make a slow transition in the food items that i keep in the house and go more or less hard core depending on how i feel/do with it. it's a drastic change from my diet now, in that i love to cook and there are tons of things that i use outside of the Raw lifestyle (pork chops, bacon, steak...). i'm going to start a cleanse and i think that i'll feel spectacular eating this way and eventually get to a totalitarian approach, but we shall see. i don't want to make a promise to myself that i break, because i do that enough. and as i said before, it's the secret vows we keep, the ones spoken aloud are the ones that we break. wish me luck.

• my roomie's cat chewed through my power cord for my MacBook and i had to buy a new one today. it was $90 all in and that pissed me off. annoying.  is the money making God though. the store in Pasadena was packed.

• someone wrote a testimonial for me & he said this : "Where beauty is more than skin deep, and courage stretches beyond risque exhibition, and affection becomes more than an affinity for loveliness embraced - You are there, fantastic woman. Hold your head high in the realization of your wonderment. You are Beautiful in all ways." ... & i think that those are beautiful words to be said about me and i am smiling. so nice. :)

• I am strong. And life is getting better. one day at a time. patience strength resolve tolerance flexibility adaptability perseverance desire. these are all the things that i strive to keep in the forefront of my mental toolbox as life continually throws curve balls and skews results. i try. hard. to maintain. I finally feel that i'm doing a good job again.


i have a feeling that you aren't made of iron but you seem to be as forceful like iron.

That day you used a piece of red cloth to blindfold my eyes and cover up the sky You asked me what I had seen I said I saw happiness

This feeling really made me comfortable made me forget I had no place to live You asked where I wanted to go I said I want to walk your road

I couldn't see you, and I couldn't see the road You grabbed both me hands and wouldn't let go You asked what I was thinking I said I want to let you be my master

I have a feeling that you aren't made of iron but you seem to be as forceful as iron I felt that you had blood on your body because your hands were so warm

This feeling really made me comfortable made me forget I had no place to live You asked where I wanted to go I said I want to walk your road

I had a feeling this wasn't a wilderness though I couldn't see it was already dry and cracked I felt that I wanted to drink some water but you used a kiss to block off my mouth

I don't want to leave and I don't want to cry Because my body is already withered and dry I want to always accompany you this way Because I know your suffering best

That day you used a piece of red cloth to blindfold my eyes and cover up the sky You asked me what I could see I said I could see happiness

© Cui Jian


time moves on. it stops who you are. i was wrong. there is no. this is no. modern romance.

i still wish music could adopt me. :/

it's been a shitty weekend in sports. the steelers = meh. the cowboys = meh. the colts losing = incomprehensible, especially after those 21 unanswered points and that drive down the field with less than five minutes left. and that shitty call??? wtf was that??? ugh.

monday night football better do me right tonight, 'cuz there's some ground to catch up.


all i want is sleep and salt...because i can't have anything else that i want.


A warrior dies the hard way. His death must struggle to take him. A warrior does not give himself to death so easily.

*gas face*,

so i was feeling weird saturday morning. i hadn't slept for a while...the insomnia is backbackback, so i thought that could have something to do with it. i'm stressed...that could as well.

but i'm just feeling mad weird. meh. scheduled to go deal some cards in the evening...just trying to get through the day.

and then Bam...it's more than weird. it's bad. pain. meh.

so, after too much time spent dealing with more doctors...the fibro is flaring up. :/ the insomnia was a precursor. tonight, i've had a migraine from hell and my entire body feels like pins & needles, with numbness too. nothing is helping. meh.

i called everyone i know who could possibly come smoke me out but it's the weekend and everyone is out. ended up talking to my friend in seattle b/c even though he's out and drinking, he will try to say supportive things to me when i'm hurting.

and sometimes, when the pain goes from moderate to geezus.fucking.christmas...i feel like being a warrior, dying the hard way, not being able to be taken out...it's some bullshit. b/c it would be soooooo much easier to not hurt sometimes. like i could deal with regular life shit with even just a portion of the medical bullshit that i deal with behind what that disease did to me. but everyfuckingday is a question. waiting to see how my body handles the stressors and hormones and new patch and bloodwork being askew.

and frankly, i don't give a fuck about anything right now except for this thundering pain in my head that won't reside, and the fact that i haven't slept since waking up on thursday morning, or how cold my fingers are and how my shoulders feel like they're pulling in towards the middle of my back and then being rammed into my neck and skull.

nerve damage and fibromyalgia can eat.a.dick.



you can make a promise it will kill you to break and find what is real and what isn't.

i failed.
i'm giving up
my love for him.
lost, i am lost.

and now it is him
who is lost to me
maybe it is both of us
who are lost.

nothing is ever
as perfect as you want it to be.

in my quite ordinary life
is this extraordinary pain
that mixes with the mundane
my loss feels huge
and yet can't be explaiined.

maybe you are afraid
that if you found the perfect love
it would chew you up
and spit you out
separate your armor from nerves

i lost my love for him
but it is me who is lost.
nothing is ever the way
i want it to be.

i was afraid too.
i tried not to hurt
but everything became a wound
open and seeping
i tried to salvage things
which can't be salvaged
i tried...
maybe foolish, maybe clumsy
to rescue what simply
cannot be rescued.

i failed.
and now he is elsewhere
and both my night
and his night
are drained.

it would be perfect
if love could be found
brought home again
but nothing is ever as perfect
as i want it to be.

life is hard, even when it's easy. when you are alone, you must do anything to believe. when you're abandoned, you have to speak with everything you know and everything you are in order to belong. if you finally have no one to turn to, you have to claim your aloneness. and when all the things you love pass away, and the great family of things and people that you've made around you see you go, you can feel them living on in you.

when one thing dies, everything has to die together and then live on in a different way without it. when one thing is missing, everything is missing and has to be found together in a new whole. and everything wants to be complete. everything wants to go home.

life is like a slow river...it turns suddenly and there you are, at the edge of the water, with everything else. the fire carrying the feast and laughter into the darkness. away from the fire are the unspoken griefs that still make togetherness. but then, just as suddenly...it's a fireless, friendless night again. and you're alone. and you have to speak to the stars, or the clouds, or anything at hand to find your place.

these are the things that i have to tell myself. rather than ask myself...why do i prefer that face to another? why do i weep?

you carry around with you all of these emotions, attached to people and events and memories. things shared. words spoken.

and they feel so heavy sometimes...the weight of the responsibility that you feel to the people that you have pulled close to you for this journey. the knowledge given to you that some who test you the most are those whom you have known in other lives and that it is your job to be with them in whatever way in this life now.

you let your love mean that you extend the olive branch multiple times. you let your heart decide things that your brain is telling you completely different actions for...all in the hopes that you are getting it right. or something close to right.

and there are loves that you feel that you think can never be altered. friendships that you feel are for always.

and then, you feel something which means that you can't pretend any longer...that you can't trump the head for the heart anymore.i just don't know how to make my heart be still, to not pump this love through me.

what i do know is that i've been struggling with figuring out how to just let go of whatever feelings are attached to the feeling of love that i have for them and just release them from my life, without being bitter or undoing the positive that was there. and i've been finding it incredibly hard.

tell myself over and over again that things don't have to end badly, they can just end. you decide...those who don't feel this love pulling them like a river, those who don't want to change, let them sleep. this love...it's beyond search and study and knowing more, beyond trickery and hypocrisy, and so if they want to improve their mind that way, you let them sleep on.

but it is hard to believe these things which my mind repeats. hard to still the heart and brain and longing.

i've given up on my brain. torn the fabric of that knowing to shreds. thrown it away. no longer wrapped up in the beautiful robe of words, i'm completely naked.

All the true vows
are secret vows
the ones we speak out loud
are the ones we break.

There is only one life
you can call your own
and a thousand others
you can call by any name you want.

Hold to the truth you make
every day with your own body,
don't turn your face away.

Hold to your own truth
at the center of the image
you were born with.

Those who do not understand
their destiny will never understand
the friends they have made
nor the work they have chosen

nor the one life that waits
beyond all the others.

By the lake in the wood
in the shadows
you can
whisper that truth
to the quiet reflection
you see in the water.

Whatever you hear from
the water, remember,

it wants you to carry
the sound of its truth on your lips.

in this place
no one can hear you

and out of the silence
you can make a promise
it will kill you to break,

that way you'll find
what is real and what is not.

I know what I am saying.
Time almost forsook me
and I looked again.

Seeing my reflection
I broke a promise
and spoke
for the first time
after all these years

in my own voice,

before it was too late
to turn my face again.


When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing,
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and
the sweet confinement of your
aloneness to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.


This morning on the desk,
facing up,
a poem of Kavenagh's
celebrating a lost love.

"She was the sun," he said,
lives in the fibre
of his arms,
her warmth
through all the years
folding the old man's hand
in hers
of a Sunday
Dublin morning.

Sometimes reading
Kavenagh I look out
at everything
growing so wild
and faithfully beneath
the sky
and wonder
why we are the one
part of creation
to refuse our flowing.

I know
in the text of the heart
the flower is our death
and the first opening
of the new life
we have yet to imagine,

but Kavenagh's line
reminds me
how I want to know
that sun,
and how I want to flower
and how I want to claim
my happiness
and how I want to walk
through life
amazed and inarticulate
with thanks.

And how I want to
know that warmth
love itself,
through the sun itself.

I want to know
that sun
of happiness
when I wake
and see through
my window
the morning color
on the far mountain.

I want to know
when I lean down to the lilies
by the water
and feel their small and
perfect reflection
on my face.

I want to know
that gift
when I walk
innocent through the trees
burning with life
and the green
of the pasture's
first growth,

and I want to know
as lazily
as the cows
that tear at the grass
with their
soft mouths.

I want to know
what I am
and what I am
involved with by loving
this world
as I do.

And I want time
to think of all
the unlived lives:

those that fail to notice
until it is too late,

those with eyes staring
with bitterness,

and those
met on the deathbed
whose mouths are wide
unspoken love.

Every year
they keep me faithful
and help me
realize there is more
to lose
than I thought
and more at stake
than I could dream.




my life has been a circle surrounding vastness for so long now.

i have these points that i continually re-visit, a neverending track of getting back to where i have been countless times before, with the scenery in between changing only minutely. i'm so tired of it, bored with it, frustrated and hurt by it, but i don't really know what to do to jump-start something new/different.

i am working towards giving up desire...i feel like my desire for certain things and people is what is restraining me. the desire for him to want me. the desire to not have to think about hormones and the desire just to get 'there'. the desire to be balanced again. the desire to be willing to give someone who wants me a chance rather than holding out for someone who doesn't. the desire to not feel guilty about not being enough for so much and so many, no matter how good i am.

my days are endless blurs of the same scenes, the same conversations, the same arguments, the same doctors, medicines, pharmacies, phone calls, paperwork. neverending frustration that never goes away. and increasingly, hostility.

i am learning that when you love someone who doesn't love you back, and you stay in the situation expecting so much but accepting so little, choosing to have only a part of them in lieu of none of them, you become hostile. you become hostile at the situation, the secrets, the others, your own desire, and eventually at them. there's this always present loathing of yourself for even trying when you know already that nothing you do matters...you are simply not enough. there's this constant knowing that the day is going to come when you're dropped for the one who is good enough, which is going to be devastating when you have put in so much time & energy into this interaction. there's this pain that taints every soft/kind word, the unspoken "but ________" at the end which keeps you from enjoying them. and so, after so long of this, this undercurrent of hostility weaves itself into the fabric of your affection, and suddenly *you* are the major person that you're hostile with...and you're hostile when you care, hostile when you love, hostile when you reach out, hostile when you try, hostile when all of this goodness that you are is given to someone who is indifferent to the depth of your love.

there is only one thing worse than being mad at someone who is indifferent to your anger, and it's wanting someone who is indifferent to your desire.

lately, i'm so hostile. easily offended. easily angered. easily hurt. and all of these things lead to - hostility. aggression. the desire to learn the fine art of not giving a fuck. and i'm exhausted. from trying to accept something that hurts me. from trying to cope with the change in hormones, the trying to cope with pain and still live a fun life. i'm so fucking sick of this shit. of being tired, angry, sick, worried about being sick, hormonal, angsty, in love. i'm so over it. i hate being hostile. i hate feeling like this. :/


i am one of the dumbest people that i know.

i missed 8 doses of hormone medicine. i put myself in a place to be damaged and then act as if anyone else should care that it's happening.

i can't believe that i did that to myself, again. i have maybe 3 doses before things start spiraling out of control suddenly & out of nowhere. if i don't take care of me, there is no one else who will step up and attempt to do so. i know this and yet i continue to not take care of myself even in the ways that are the most important.

i missed days of hormone medicine. i didn't take my contacts out since wednesday. i got myself all worked up over something that is never going to be any different. again.

i get myself to a place of stability only to let myself come unhinged again.

irresponsible...longing for the days of carefree life that wasn't dictated by hormone replacement therapy and menopause, i try to live life like a normal 30 year old woman when i'm anything but. i'm not normal. i'm never going to be 'normal' again. gone are the days when i can be out and about without worrying about dosages of medication to keep me hormonally balanced, gone are the days when life had simplicity and ease.

i'm so tired of the compromises that i have had to make simply to stay alive. simply to still be here, i have had to turn my life over to the medical gods, to prescriptions and medications which alter me and injections and tests to make sure that the beast isn't back.

it isn't fair. i simply want to stand outside in the darkness and raise up my fists to the sky and scream at the gods. it isn't fair. it wasn't supposed to be like this. all of this hardship just to be. all of this up & down & all around simply to know that although i remain here, i don't relate here.

it's exhausting to have to reconcile who and what you are with who and what you want to be all of the fucking time.
it's more than too much to have to know that there isn't anyone who understands truly in your sphere.
it's more than i can tolerate...all of the effort that it takes to be me now and all of the effort that it takes not to let the effort show. and the moments when the effort is uncontainable, and i crash & burn.

i'm so exhausted by simply living the life that disease and hrt have left me with...always tired and yet never sleeping well. even in my dreams, doctors and cancer haunts me, even in my dreams i undergo medical procedures and talks of medicine and hormones.

i feel better and then go out and live my life and miss my meds and come crashing back down.

it isn't fair it isn't fair it isn't fair.

i'm so fucking over my life as it is.

and i wonder...is this as good as it gets?


the Aquarius Woman

But Alice had got so much into the -way

of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen

that it seemed quite dull and stupid

for life to go on in the common way ...

Put cats in the coffee, and mice in the tea- And welcome Queen Alice with thirty times three!

The safest way to enter into romance with an Aquarian female is to remember she's as paradoxical in love as she is in everything else. That way, you won't be expecting Priscilla Alden and get Pocahontas.

This girl has all the faithfulness of the fixed signs when die's in love, but she also has the detachment and lack of emotion of the air element. It's possible to have a happy relationship with the Uranus woman if you leave her free to pursue her myriad interests and circulate among her friends. Never try to tie her to the stove or the bedpost. Ask the man who's tried. She can suddenly decide to study ballet, meditate in the mountains or join the Peace Corps. Remember the story of the princess with the long, golden hair who lived high in a tower? That's the Aquarius fe–male. Cutting off her flowing tresses won't change her any more than it did in the fairy tale. She dreams different dreams than you or I. She hears a distant drummer-and follows a star most of us have never seen.

She belongs to everyone, and yet to no one. Her love can be tender and inspired, but there will always be a vaguely elusive quality about it, like a half-remembered song. You can hum the melody, but the lyrics keep slipping away. The Aquarian girl's demand for freedom is insistent, but her allegiance to anyone who can accept romance with–in such limits is boundless. Here's something you'll like:

She won't be terribly interested in your bank book (unless Cancer or Capricorn or Taurus is on her ascendant). Money is never the prime consideration of the typical Aquarian woman. She won't care if you're not the richest man in town, but she'll expect you to be respected in some way for your intellectual achievements. Dr. Christian Bamard and his heart transplants or Wemher von Braun and his rockets interest her far more than J. Paul Getty and his billions.

When you set out to catch this butterfly in your net, remember that she'll never spend her unpredictable life with a man who isn't true to himself. Her own code of ethics may be as weird as anything you've ever come across, and quite different from the accepted codes of society, but she lives up to it totally. She'll understand that your rules may also be highly individual. That's fine with her, but don't compromise those rules. If you're looking for a passion flower, you've picked the wrong daisy. Passion is not her forte if she's a typical Aquarian. She'll think physi–cal love is pleasant enough, if it's not overemphasized. In other words, she can take it or leave it alone. Uranus fe–males can respond to lovemaking with a haunting, deep intensity, but if you prefer to keep it platonic for long periods of time, that's all right, too. Like all Aquarians, she may have an unconscious fear that desire for one per–son will imprison the spirit in some way, and keep her from being true to her one great love-freedom. Freedom to ex–periment and investigate and freedom to give time to hu–manity. Also freedom to pursue her rather kicky, off-beat fancies.

She's an ideal girl if you're planning a political, scientific or educational career. You couldn't do better, unless you happen to run across an Aquarian girl with adverse planetary positions in her natal chart who enjoys shock–ing people by walking barefoot down Main Street or smok–ing big black cigars on buses. There are some pretty wild, way-out Uranian females here and there. But the average girl born under the sign of the water bearer is a social delight. She's graceful, witty, bright as a penny, and ex–tremely adaptable to all forms of society, high and low and in the middle.

Her lack of suspicion under normal circumstances is a special bonus. A traveling salesman should find his dream girl in the typical Aquarian female. If she actually catches you being unfaithful, it will cause a deep wound to her sensitive nature. You'll know it the minute you look into those strange, dreamy eyes. But she won't suspect you without cause, and she'll rarely doubt your word. The typical Uranus woman will never check up on you after you leave, phone you at the office, inspect your handker–chiefs for lipstick stains or look for blonde hairs caught in your cuff link. Deception will have to be brought forcibly to her attention; she won't go out looking for it. Before you give her too much credit, consider that her lack of pas–sionate jealousy is due to something more than strength of character. First of all, she probably dissected your psyche under a microscope before she gave you a second glance. Besides, she has so many outside interests and so many people who turn her on to talk with, there's not much time for her to worry about what you're doing when you're out of sight. Out of sight can often mean out of mind for Aquarians of both sexes. Absence seldom makes the Uranus heart grow fonder. Occasionally, an Aquarian woman will suffer a promiscuous or flirtatious mate, be–cause there's something she needs which she can find only with him, so she looks the other way. On the other hand, if she doesn't really need you, that moral strength will work in reverse at the first actual proof of infidelity. Shell simply walk away. Don't try to kindle the embers, they're stone cold dead. Of course, you can still be friends. Why not?

She's willing. It never embarrasses an. Aquarian girl to be chummy with ex-lovers or husbands. She's forgotten the past and wiped the slate clean of memories.

There is one peculiar and notable exception to the rule. Like the Uranus man, the Uranian female will remember the first true and honest love for a lifetime. Only the first, however. Are you wondering whether that Aquarius girl you once knew still remembers you? The answer lies in her definition of love. It could have something to do with the first boy who gave her a bunch of sweet peas when she was nine-the boy who walked her through the park in the rain-or the one with the funny ears who knew the clown at the circus, and used to feed her peanuts.

Uranus women involved in extra-marital affairs are rare. They can be tempted in exceptional situations, but a dis–honest relationship goes against their chemistry. It won't be long until an undercover romance is broken off for good. Yet, there are many Aquarian divorcees. There's a reason. If a situation becomes intolerable, the Uranian nature turns cold suddenly. They can disappear overnight, and never look back. They don't seek or enjoy divorce, but it isn't the shock to them it is to their more sentimental sisters. Uranus rules change, you know. Since she's such an individualist, with a list of friends several miles long, the Aquarian female never hesitates to make her way alone if the need arises.

Expect her to probe into your heart until you haven't a secret left, or a dream that hasn't been analyzed. But don't try to dissect her private thoughts. That's not the way the game is played with Aquarians. She'll keep her motives hidden, and sometimes take a perverse pleasure in de–liberately confusing you. She'll usually be truthful to a fault, but remember, with an Aquarian, telling a lie is one thing. Refraining from telling the whole story is another.

It's comforting to know that an Aquarian girl is pretty cagey with a buck. That is, it's comforting to know unless you're planning to hit her for a loan. She might say yes a time or two, but if you let your credit rating slip, she can be colder than the guy at the bank when you skip your car payment. On the rare occasions when she ac–cepts a small loan herself, you'll get back every penny with no stalling, excuses or feminine wiles, if she's a typical Uranus female. As for every man's nightmare of charge accounts, you'll have little worry on that score. Aquarian women are uncomfortable about owing money. Bad debts don't fit in with the Uranus code.

Her appearance is puzzling. Most Aquarian women are lovely, with a haunting, wistful beauty. But they're change–able. They can give an impression of smooth whipped cream, then suddenly switch to salty pizza as quickly as a bright, blue, zig-zag bolt of Uranian electricity. Next to Ubrans, Aquarian females are often the most beautiful women in the zodiac. At the very least, they're interesting-looking. The Aquarian manner of dressing can stop you dead in your tracks. There are a few of them who could grace the cover of a fashion magazine, but the average Aquarian girl is anything but conventional about her cos–tumes. She can wear some outfits a gypsy would envy, and her naked individuality can produce some mighty unique combinations. She'll usually be the first to wear a new fad, no matter how zany it is, yet she can also stick to Grand–ma's styles-even great-grandma's styles. With typical - Aquarian indifference, she'll mix yesterday's lace snood with today's metallic jump suit, and the effect can be a little startling. She'll wear her lace nightgown to a formal ban–quet, ostrich feathers to the supermarket, bell bottom slacks to the opera, sneakers to the theater, diamonds when she visits the zoo-and top it all off with a faded Mother Hubbard she picked up in a thrift shop.

Your Aquarian girl will probably have an unusual way of wearing her hair. Her tresses are as unpredictable as her personality. They can be worn braided, pig-tailed, pinned in a bun, flowing down like a waterfall, short as a marine's, in Mary Pickford curls or as straight as a poker. One thing you can depend on. Her hair won't look like the hair of any other female on this planet.

A conversation with her can be remarkable, to say the least. She has charming manners, and usually behaves in a timid, almost reserved way. Then comes one of those sudden Uranus urges, and out will pop a remark with absolutely no relation to what anyone is saying. You'll be talking about the fluctuations of the stock market, and she'll interrupt out of nowhere with: "Did you know that Woodrow Wilson, Jack Kennedy, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Calvin Coolidge, Benjamin Harrison, Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley all have double letters in their names?" There's only one way to answer a question like that. Tell her she missed Millard

Fillmore, Ulysses Grant and Thomas Jefferson. Then gen–tly, but firmly, lead the discussion back to the stock market. Other minds may progress in fairly logical steps, but hers rigs into tomorrow, then zags back into today with no more sense of direction than a flash of lightning. Now and then she'll toss off an unexpectedly poignant phrase. You'll ask her what she thinks of space travel and she'll answer, "When I was a little girl, I thought the stars were holes in the floor of heaven where the light shone through." If she's in a different mood, you'll say that melted snowmen make you sad, and shell counter with: "A melted snowman is just a pile of slush, Charlie." First misty-then practical. First timid-then rowdy. Aquarian women will rudely ridicule flying saucers, then tell you a story about a polka-dotted elf on a windowsill. Never talk down to an Aquarian female. She'll resent not being considered your equal, and an unsympathetic attitude will cause her to retreat and become unapproachable.

Since Uranus rules the future, you might imagine that these girls would be natural mothers. Children do, after all, belong to the future. But the average Aquarian woman may be bewildered by motherhood in the beginning. She has to adjust to devoting all her attention and energy ex–clusively to one human being for a period of time, when she's used to spreading herself far and wide, and this can take some practice. Her natural aloofness may make it difficult for her to demonstrate warm affection outwardly. The typical Aquarian mother is devoted to her offspring, but also somewhat detached toward them. But shell prob–ably be the most willing PTA worker in the neighborhood. She'll talk happily for hours with their small friends on their own level without patronizing them, and she'll give up her afternoons to work for a school project. The chil–dren will learn the lessons of brotherhood and humanity from her by observation. Aquarian mothers are never fiercely protective of their children. They take a tolerant view of the most startling confession. A Uranus woman will seldom punish a child for telling the truth, no matter what he's done. With her unprejudiced viewpoint, she'll gain the complete confidence of her little ones. She's great at reassuring young minds about everything from monsters hiding under the bed to the pain of being ignored in the playground. She can turn their tears to laughter in minutes. Your children will find her jolly fun, a little helter-skelter, relaxed about housework, helpful with homework and gentle when they're ill. She won't smother them with affection, and she'll seldom nag. Maybe Tommy didn't wash his hands the third time he was told, but she's more interested in what he learned in science class.

We may be a little ahead of ourselves. Even though Uranus likes to reverse the existing orders of things, before your Aquarian girl becomes a mother she has to become a wife. And before she becomes your wife, you'll have to convince her that marriage isn't synonymous with Al-catraz. She won't exactly rush into matrimony. She's in no hurry to take your name until she's weighed you, sorted you, tested you, and found out what makes you tick. The opinions of her friends and family will mean nothing, though she may ask them what they think out of curiosity. She has her own yardstick for measuring you. Assuming you pass her test, marriage to an Aquarian girl can be confusing. She'll listen pleasantly when you give her advice, but there's something in the Uranian make-up that prevents her from following directions explicitly. She can't stick to the recipe when she bakes one of her angel food cakes anymore than she can park the car exactly where you told her to. There's some kind of a snag in her thinking that causes her to believe just a little twist will improve any–thing. But shell smile agreeably as she goes on her own sweet way. There's a constant urge to experiment with a different way to make the coffee, fill her pen, fasten her ice skates or cross the street. She'll wear a sweater back–wards, mix her brandy with milk, arrange flowers in a fish bowl, rinse her hair in shaving lotion or make a rock garden on your desk. But don't ask her why. She doesn't know herself. The unique and unusual is her wave-length, that's all.

Because her nature is so impersonal, expressions of deep feeling won't come easily. Except for those sudden remarks that sound likes a combination of Robert Frost and Yogi Berra, she has few words with which to express her love, and her pattern of physical passion is woven closely with threads connected to the mind and soul. Although the unique Uranus outlook leads some Aquarian girls into peculiar attachments, once they find the right mate their marriages are usually models of happiness.

Your Aquarian woman can float through her days and nights with all the grace of a proud swan, but she may behave like a clumsy bear in romantic situations. The line between friendship and love is often all but invisible to Aquarius. Love songs about people who only have eyes for each other strike her as silly. There are so many miracles in the world for eyes to behold, it seems to her a terrible waste for two pairs of them to do nothing but gaze into each other's depths. Shell be glad to let you take her hand and walk beside her as she looks with happy delight on the sunrise, an antique car, the milkman's horse, a yel–low garbage pail, a stuffed owl or a red balloon caught in a church steeple. But don't distract her with too much to-getherness. Let her wander through her wonderland alone when she chooses, and she'll never question your pinochle games with the boys.

The quickest ways to lose her are to show jealousy, pos-sessiveness or prejudice; to be critical, stuffy or ultra-conservative. You'll also have to like her friends, who will come in odd, assorted sizes and shapes.

She's susceptible to sudden flashes of inspiration, and her intuition is remarkable. Her judgment may not seem sound or practical at first, because she sees months and years ahead. The Aquarian girl lives in tomorrow, and you can only visit there through her. What she says will come true, perhaps after many delays and troubles, but it will come true. I suppose, after all, that's the most special thing about your February woman. She's a little bit magic.

my clock is all wrong...inside.

so yesterday i awoke from sleep at about 3 in the afternoon. i didn't do anything that made me need that much sleep...nor did i do anything that should have made me sleep through an alarm so loud that everyone else in the house was freaking out about it and someone else had to come upstairs into my room and turn off (without me even noticing).

my roomie said i was moving and talking in my sleep, but very much not awake.

so then, i was up. i remember seeing six o'clock come on the telly this morning, but don't remember falling out or going to my room and getting a sheet and pillow and coming back down to the sofa. but, there i woke up at about 2.30 this afternoon. so now, my internal clock is all askew. right now it's my evening, and it's two something in the morning. i've been cleaning and doing laundry, after looking for dining room furniture and being in contact with most of those i needed to be about halloween.

it's no fun to be awake alone in the middle of the night. i'd rather be hanging out with someone, or have someone give me reason to go to bed...because heading there alone right now doesn't seem like the move. lol @ needing a reason to be in bed, but if you're going to be awake, reason is needed!

so, instead i'm still cleaning, organizing, chatting on instant messenger...catching up on things i'd rather not be doing but which need to be done.

i could go for a walk right now but streets aren't safe for womenfolk at this time. so instead, i'll clean and organize some more. wait for the sun to come up before my energy goes down, i guess.

mehhhhhhh. bored and boring!


i want sushi | nicknames. | friends that know all | scriptage

i want sushi, but i finished at the gym too late & everything was closed. damn, moments like that i miss hwood, yummy, and all the other conveniences of my old life.

instead, i'm making miso soup, rice & salmon. it'll probably be better and cheaper if i make it myself, but i want sushi dammit!!

so...everyone in my life has a nickname, if only in my head. i have a couple of friends that know all of my nicknames for everyone & it always makes them laugh to hear them when they get assigned, especially the men that are trying to holla. they always get hilarious nicknames that usually make fun in a subtle way. recently, i've started changing all the names in my phone to the nicknames & it's hilarious to scroll through my missed call list (b/c i don't answer my phone evAr hardly). it's more fun to have nicknames for people.

i believe that we all should have someone who knows every single thing about us, even the things that we don't tell the people that we're 'intimate' with (especially when we're intimate with multiple people), and who loves us anyway. for me, that person is someone that i appreciate so much. he's my honesty box...lol. he's the place where i put everything...he knows everything i'm doing, everyone i'm doing, all of my dates, all of my shit in my health crisis and relations with my family and friends. and he loves me anyway. he laughs at my jokes, he finishes my sentences about the why i'm doing what and who i'm doing. he understands me in a way that maybe no one else does, and he keeps me in check by being honest and by asking me the hard questions & demanding that i answer them. he knows when i'm not telling him the whole truth or the real reasons behind my answers.

it's nice to be known like that, to be understood and appreciated. it's nice to have long conversations with that person. today i talked to my friend for forever and it's so nice to have someone to talk to...to really dialogue with and joke with and talk about movies and music and politics and life. i'm a lucky girl where friends are concerned :)

•• so i'm reading the script for American Gangster and i cannot wait to see it in the theater!! mad excited. (thank you for giving me the script bebe :)) - also, i saw Gone Baby Gone today and it is a really great movie (thanks Adam!! you're the best movie friend & know my taste so well!!!). i'd say GBG is better than Michael Clayton, and i really love how Clooney's character was the anti-hero and they all lived in the gray zone in MC. GBG had me way more than MC did, though, i'll admit.

...also, i'm still addicted to Last One Standing & still listening to Kenna...i bought my friend Kenna's disc today b/c the music store only had 2 copies left! it's that goot!


life, love, the gym & other stupid shit.

these past days have been more full of bullshit than i care to even think about, but it's all that i can think about.

everytime that my phone rings, it's more of what i can't tolerate right now.

acclimating to a doubling of estrogen in my hormone replacement therapy has been hard. right when i thought that i was getting adjusted to my moods and how the medicines alter them, i'm right back to edgy, hormonal, irritable, easily hurt, the place where even to leave the comfort of a storm is too much.

and then my grandma calls to tell me that she's picked out her casket and her tombstone and arranged for it all to be taken care of with her life insurance, typed up her funeral instructions to the minister, set up the Power of Attorney and Living Will, and she's ready now. she picked out everything so that i wouldn't have to. she appreciates me helping her pay for her life insurance policy and she doesn't want me to have to do the rest. and she's ready. jesus. okay. just breathe through it. hide the tears and accept it. tolerate. breathe. absorb. apply more cream.

and then lose your best friend. accept that the compromise isn't going to happen. try not to lose my temper and say heated things when my hormones are raging in me and i'm already at the limit to what i can endure. tolerate. breathe. accept. hang up and sob. take more pills.

rent the truck to go and pick up the furniture. go to the gym. dump all of my hurt and anger and frustration there. focus. go agro on those machines. heart rate climbing. sweat. cry while doing cardio. push myself past all pain and hope to reach numb.

and then, while on the machine, notice that i'm being stared at...hoard. and notice that the person staring is an actor. a very attractive working actor. stare back because fuck it, what else is there to do. when my legs feel that they can't go any more, heart pounding, every inch of me sweating, climb off. and go upstairs to do strength training and weight machines. and he goes upstairs too. places himself across the room on machines where he can stare blatantly at me. and when i move to ab machines, he comes to the machines directly behind them and starts doing reps with ridiculous amounts of weights. staring. smiling. even a wink. trying to pull me into something that i don't have the energy or strength of heart to do. but he stares. and i stare back. i won't be broken by another person today. i won't admit defeat, my weakness, my inability to relate, to another person today. and so when i come off of the ab machines, having pushed so much and so hard with so much weight that my workout partner can't keep up, he stands up, takes out his iPod, and tells me that he's enjoying watching my sexy ass work out so hard...to know that i'm being watched. i laugh and go to the mat. plank, 8 minute circuit training, plank, side plank, other side plank. at other side plank, i look up and see that he has placed himself at the machine where he can see everything that i am doing and is making, yet again, no bones about the fact that he is enjoying what he's seeing.

and so, i stand up and walk over to him. say, 'i'm angie. i hope that you're enjoying watching me try to break myself.'
and he tells me that it's my fault, for being so sexy, and that his mind is wandering, thinking of all of the things he'd like to do that tattoo. has anyone ever licked the ice cream cone? has anyone ever traced it down? how sexy my legs and body and the tats that i've chosen to adorn myself with are, and what they make him think of.

he is a sex symbol. he is attractive and oozing sexuality and confidence and in those moments, it is more than what i need that he has chosen me. while staring back, i have seen the other women approach him and try to talk to him, and watched him be dismissive as he reaches his head around to keep me in his line of sight. i have watched them walk by me on my machine after that and stare me down, and watched him laugh about it. i have listened to my workout partner talk about how fucking fine he is and how it's obvious he wants to fuck the shit out of me. i have watched the light reflect off of the massive diamond that he wears. in my place of rawness and hurt, trying to push my body to its breaking point, i have seen and heard everything, i have maintained eye contact, i have not waverred.

i have decided to offer myself up to the gods of helping me forget the things which are causing me to ache and want and cry and hurt. i have decided that whatever it takes to keep living, keep breathing, keep knowing that i am alive and desired, i will do it. i will do as i have always done and evolve past the moment of everything and everyone that i have loved falling away from me, choosing to propel themselves in a different direction. and so, when he reaches for his phone and demands my number, i give it to him. as he dials and lets it ring, i tell him that my voicemail is full and so when he hears confirmation, he tells me his number and to program it in because i'll be hearing from him again. i smile the smile of cynicism and 'uh-huh'. he laughs and tells me that i am funny & beautiful, that in a land of the bitch who won't eat and won't engage in sarcasm, i am what he has been looking for, and that he is glad that this is the gym that he was close to tonight and so, out of his pattern, stopped there. that it is the universe.

it is rare to meet someone so candid, so frank, who also speaks of the universe. even more rare that i would have the benefit of knowing who he is and so therefore have the knowledge to doubt him. i know his world, have been a part of it, and so do not believe that someone with access to the kind of women that he has access to truly would desire me, but i go along with it. pretend to believe that he is sincere. verbally spar with him, tease him, finish my workout and leave. as i'm leaving, he makes it a point to call to me across the room...every woman who has been staring and trying to talk to him or get his attention now even more angered that i am the one that he has chosen. i have come in braids like pigtails, no makeup, cotton shorts and a tiny shirt, no appearances, no faking it. everything that i am, raw, unaltered, undone, visible. and that he has chosen this fucks with them.

by the time that i have gotten back to my phone, he has text me that he's still thinking of me, that i am perfect cuteness and that he can't get his mind away from the places that it has wandered while watching me go hard in the gym. while i'm at the grocery, he calls me. he tells me that he is grown, tells me his age which is a full decade over what i believed it to be, and that he is at the place in his life where he doesn't fuck with not going after what he wants, and that what he wants is to spend time with me. do i like italian food? do i like soul food? he's from the east coast and is a cat that wants someone who likes what he likes, who will be an intelligent date and eat good food and be down for being woken up at 5 a.m. to spend some time before he leaves to shoot his movie. and it is flattering. i talk back, let myself be carried away into the feeling of being chosen by someone that everyone else wanted. he laughs and laughs, tells me that i am funny and sarcastic and smart and perfect. he wants to see me. will i see him tonight? when i tell him no, will i see him tomorrow? when i tell him why i can't, he laughs at my plans and tells me that he will wake me up on friday morning then. to expect to hear from him again. that he is not easily put off from what he wants.

in his words, there is the promise of distraction, of a steady stream of compliments, of probable physical gratification. it is flattering. it makes me feel good to be so desired, so blatantly admired and wanted. but also, there is the danger that would come with giving myself even remotely to someone when my heart lies elsewhere. as much as i want the distraction, i do not want to fuck with someone else's head or heart. i know the danger too much of having head and heart fucked with, and i feel that i can't even begin to do something only for my own pleasure, my own distraction. that i must remember that he is a person with his own thoughts and feelings, and be responsible for that. even though it is hard. because what i want to do, what i am tempted to do, is say fuck it and let him be a distraction for me, let him make me laugh and cum and feed me dinners of italian and soul food and tell me over and over again of my cuteness and my sexy and my beauty.

and so i breathe. accept. focus. continue. go to get the furniture...finally. finish the laundry. make the seasoning mix to toss the scallops in, cut the potatos, sautee the spinach. all the while, crying. being easily flustered. and yet continuing on.

life and all this stupid shit. the desire, the ache, the sadness, the loss...it all remains. and so i just soldier on.


tootsie pops and working out.

i love both tootsie pops and workouts...so today has been good b/c its included both.

i also got to go to the tea room for proper tea and i made pork tenderloins and sauteed spinach & string beans...so yummy!!

it's been a good weekend and start to my week.
things are going okay...even though my hormones have been intensified and i'm hungry all the time and moody moody moody.

i'm maintaining.
that's all i can hope for.

day by day.

that new Kenna is awesome btw!



Day 2 of Operation: I don't want to be the fat bitch.

ooooohhhhhhhh, day 2.

day 2 was when things got good.
for anyone watching me sweat.
because it was funny.
not 'funny i'm laughing with you'
but, 'funny, you are looking to me right now.'

morning = hike in the mountains for a very long time (i put someone who has been training for a while to shame though, so my endurance isn't that hit!!).
afternoon = apple store & new swimsuits for swim therapy prescription.
evening = salad with chicken & then the gym for cardio (elliptical), abs, and upper body.

now i'm home, showered and about to do laundry so that i can do it all again tomorrow.

i will be one point five inches smaller in the waist by halloween.

oh, and saturday i'm getting a trainer for free :)

my measurements didn't make me upset at all and i thought that they would...i didn't really gain much, i just lost tone. easily rectified?

you tell me.

i'm hungry again!!!


Operation Two-A-Days aka no more Pushing Maximum Density has commenced.

i'm a thick girl.
not fat at all.
especially compared to how i used to look.
but, i'm borderline.
i get Mad Holleration, no doubt.
and not even stunting, it's just true.
i leave the house and i get attention.
it's not attention that i want...
i just want to feel good about my body All The Way again.
surgery has changed my body.
Hormone Replacement Therapy has changed my body.
treatmments have changed my body.
some things...
a Perfect stomach,
a Flawless stomach,
youth, maybe,
i will never have again.

i have beautiful eyes.
i have a beautiful smile.
i have, amazingly after the hormones and treatments, long beautiful hair.
i have, more importantly, intelligence.
i have strength of character.
i have a razor sharp wit.
i have a fabulous sense of humor.

these are all good things to have.
and maybe should be enough.
but i want The Body.

i don't want to Push Maximum Density any longer.

my doctors tell me that i can't do it again.
that i can't get my body back there.
that a hysterectomy and HRT have altered me,
in a way that means that i will have to accept my limitations.

i call bullshit.
my entire life has been about disproving the Powers That Be about what i can and cannot do.
this will be another way that i prove them wrong.

i have started operation Two A Days.
hiking in the morning.
gym for alternate cardio w/upper body and cardio w/lower body in the evenings.
it feels good to be on a mission again.
tonight's workout was an hour and a half.
cardio...elliptical for 40 minutes.
lower body strength and toning on the weights.
i was stronger than i thought i'd be.

soon, i will be an even lovelier vision!

and the funny thing...
i got mad holleration in the gym
from the trainers
while i was working out.
laughing, i am.

i can't wait to be my next evolution.
i can't wait to prove them wrong.
i can't wait to sleep tonight!!!

Make Sure They See My Face.

Kenna's sophomore album, Make Sure They See My Face, is finally out. (Fucking Finally Thank You, Interscope Motherf*ckers).

Anyway, if you know about Kenna, then you know that his first album got completely and totally fuct with by the Powers that Be in the Music Industry and we almost never got the release. That album, New Sacred Cow, was leaked on the internet and getting mad play on radio stations and internet radio shows long before it was finally released by Interscope.

The same thing, unbelievably, started to happen for MSTSMF.

The thing is, I think, Kenna defies classification and stereotype. Born in India, raised in Virginia, looks black, music isn't gangsta' rap...none of these things matter if you like his music, but if the Machine doesn't know how to package you up pretty and put you in a niche, then chances are that you'll never get to decide that you like the music. We just won't hear it, because it doesn't fit very well into the societal concepts of who = what, even in 'Artforms'.

{Newsflash to the Music Industry - Music is still an artform. Kthxbye.}

Anyway, I could go on and on about how Clive Davis killed the Music Industry and how the machine is a beast that chews up talent and spits it out while less-talented-but-more-marketable aholes are putting songs like T-Pain's shit on the radio and MTV.

But, I won't. I'll just say this...Make Sure They See My Face by Kenna is out now...buy it. Because even though he has the beast/machine/industry behind him, all they're doing is fucking him back there and he deserves better.

A video clip of Say Goodbye to Love, by Kenna and directed by Pharell - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN-ysBuRVQA

And a final tidbit for you - Radiohead is saying goodbye to the beast and stepping out to independence now that they got stadium status. Their new album, In Rainbows, is being released by them directly to fans - for the price of however much you think it's worth. And you can pre-order the Disc Set for the album, including wax there as well. www.inrainbows.com

Let's take music back.


i am, indeed, somehow still about faith...

faith that the universe has meaning.
that my little human life is not irrelevant.
that what i choose to say and/or do matters.

~~~~~Revelation Must Be Terrible~~~~~~~~~~

Revelation must be terrible
with no time left to say goodbye.

Imagine the moment staring at
the still waters with only the brief tremor of your body
to say you are leaving everything
and everyone you know behind.

Being far from home is hard,
but you know, at least, we
are exiled together.

When you open your eyes to the world
you are on you own for the first time.

No one is even interested in saving you now
and the world steps in to test the calm fluidity
of your body from moment to moment,
as if it believed you could join
its vibrant dance of fire and calmness
and final stillness...

as if you were meant to be exactly where you are,
as if like the dark branch of a desert river
you could flow on without a speck of guilt
and everything - everywhere would still be
just as it should be,

as if your place in the world mattered
and the world could neither speak nor hear the fullness
of its own bitter and beautiful cry without the deep well
of your body resonating in the echo...

knowing that it takes only that one terrible
word to make the circle complete,

revelation must be terrible
knowing you can never hide your voice again.

- David Whyte


there are certain people you just keep coming back to...

she is right in front of you

you begin to wonder
could i find a better one
compared to her
now she's in question

and all at once
they all begin to say
sometimes the hardest thing
and the right thing are the same

maybe you want her
maybe you need her
but maybe you've started to compare
her to someone out there

looking for the right one
you light up the world to find
where no questions cross your mind
but she won't keep on waiting

for you
'without a doubt'

waits no more for you to
sort it out

and all at once
they all begin to say
sometimes the hardest thing
and the right thing are the same

maybe you want her
maybe you need her
but maybe you've started to compare
her to someone out there

maybe you want it
maybe you need it
maybe it's all you're running from

...all at once,
they all begin to say
we never know what's wrong
without the pain

sometimes the hardest thing
and the right thing
are the same

maybe you want her
maybe you need her
maybe you're still comparing
to someone out there

maybe you want her
maybe you need her
maybe you had her
maybe you lost her



a break from cleaning - my dad died when i was 9...

My father was not what most people would call a good man.

He was a criminal, a felon, a convict...prone to violence with a moody disposition. He was a bad man to be on the wrong side of...he ran organized crime and not-so-organized crime. He was a fighter...he wore cowboy boots and carried knives and guns.

When I was a baby and a little girl, I didn't know these things. I only knew that he was my daddy and that I loved him, craved him, wanted him like I wanted no one else.

It was an often told story to me by my grandma that when my mom, at 16 & married to my dad, was pregnant with me, my dad spoke constantly of his coming son...his Jr. He absolutely-without-a-doubt knew that I would be a boy, his legacy. When my mom went into labor with me, and the family gathered, they waited anxiously for the phone call from the doctor (I love envisioning how different those times were, especially since my son's adoptive parents were in labor & delivery with me, and the father video recorded the whole messy affair). When the call finally came, my dad answered eagerly, and she tells me, he jumped into the air and let out a 'Whoooooo, a girl - JUST WHAT I WANTED A BABY GIRL!!!!', while clicking his cowboy boots together.

And I became, in those moments, exactly what he had wanted. He never treated me like I had disappointed him from my arrival into this world.

From as early as I can remember, even though they were both terrible parents who caused me trauma due to their abuse of each other and their inability to see how their actions were not just affecting them any longer, my father was the one with whom I bonded. When he was with me, he was my heart and soul. He truly understood me.

Also from as early as I can remember, he started telling me that he was going to die when he was 30. I remember calculating what this meant for me...how old I would be when he would be no more. I remember never doubting him...he was so convincing, I think because he was so convinced.

I witnessed terrible things at my father's hands. I suffered terrible things due to the neglect of both my father and my mother. And it was my father who, after a night so horrible that I have recounted it only two times in its entirety in my life, drove me through the rest of the night, across states, to my grandma's house with one paper grocery bag of belongings. He urged me out of his El Camino and onto her porch and he rang the bell. When she answered the door, he said to her..."If you don't take her, I'm giving her to the state. It's not right, what's happening to her there. Do you want her?"

Of course my grandma took me. And ultimately my sisters as well. And for so long, I waited for him to come back. There would be times when he would, times when I would get to spend time with him. And always, when I did, I felt as if I were spending time with the other part of me. Of course, I didn't feel that then...I didn't know how to articulate that feeling of 'connectedness' that I felt with him, how much I felt that he was the only person who truly 'got me', but all that I knew was that I ached for him in a way that left me broken.

I spent so much time trying to figure out what I had done to cause him to want to give me away. I had tried my best to be a good girl. I had learned to read early, learned the songs he wanted me to sing for his friends, learned to tie my shoes, learned to give my sisters their bottles and later their food...learned how to set my alarm and get myself up and off to school when no one came home to care for me - never telling anyone the horrors that were happening at home. I didn't understand why he could so easily toss me aside when I had tried as hard as I could.

My mom had always been the abuser - the beater, the berater, the hater, the one that I couldn't please. And so I had stopped hoping for her affection, her praise, her love. I knew that no matter how well I did anything, there would be something that I didn't do well enough and so I would get beaten for it. I hoped that it wouldn't be bad enough that I had to miss school - school was my respite, my happy place, and so when she beat me so bad that I couldn't go because they couldn't see the results, I was broken up about it.

But, he had been the rescuer. In a home life as twisted as ours, having someone who cared enough to beat the person who had left you beaten and bloodied made them your hero. And that had been him. Even though their relationship was tumultuous at best, abusive, and I witnessed horrors by him, I was never frightened *of* him...he was always the one who scooped me up and showed me love. He was the only place where I felt any gentleness, any love. And so even though I knew what he was capable of, I didn't flinch from his hands. He was my tamed lion. My protector.

As I grew older, our relationship grew more close. He would take me fishing, riding horses, to his job sites. He took me on long hauls in his semi-rig. The stops along the way...the huge lollipops...the pulling of the horn for women who raised their arms and pulled down on the interstate...the getting to stay up all night and listen to country music and talk on the CB radio...those were the moments when he was my dad and I was 'yes, the girl that he had always wanted'.

I honestly always felt that my dad was the only person who understood me even though I guess I understand that he probably understood very little. But whether I wanted a horse, or a motorcycle, or a frilly dress and matching hat for Easter, he never batted an eye - he never questioned it. He never said - 'but you're a girl, you can't do that.', or 'but you're a tomboy, you really want That dress?'.

My dad was always happy to let me be who I was, and to teach me whatever he could. He was happy when I wanted to know what he knew. He taught me how to use tools and was happy when I would hammer and saw on my own pieces of wood, listening to music and singing to myself, while he worked in the garage. He taught me how to ride a motorcycle when I was 7 years old - bought me my own tiny little 50 cc dirt bike, taught me the brake and the gears in a huge field and then let me go crazy while he would build fences and work on trains. Also when I was seven, he started teaching me cards and pool and taking me to the pool hall with him for late-night poker games. The old man, Hoppie, who ran the games said something to him about it only one time - everyone was afraid of my dad and the 9 of his brothers who 'ran things' with him (he had 12 siblings!) and so it was a big deal for him to be ballsy enough to say something at all. My dad let him know that it was in his best interest to mind his own business and it was never mentioned again. I was - and loved being, as crazy as it sounds, but I didn't know any better - the 'bartender' for the games, and would pour the guys their drinks...half whiskey, half soda.

I would sit on his lap and he would point to me the cards that were important and give me pats on my leg when he was winning hands. Always, those nights, my grandma thought that I was spending with him at my other grandma's house baking pastries and playing with my cousins. If only she had known the kinds of activities that I was really being exposed to. It was also in my seventh year that my dad started really immersing himself in drugs. Cocaine had made a huge splash in our small town, and he being what he was, he was all up in it. I remember being 15 and learning what cocaine was and telling my grandma that my dad had done it in front of me copiously for the last 2 1/2 years of his life...the reconciling as I figured those things out.

But, I loved it...I loved nothing more than being with him the times that he would come for me. I loved going fishing with him before sunrise and sitting in the boat in total silence watching the sun come up over the water. I loved how proud he was that I could bait my own hook and dive off of the boat with absolutely no fear - I always remember wondering why he thought that I would be afraid of anything when I had already known the most physical pain that I could imagine at my mother's hands. I wonder now if he ever even thought about it, or considered that one had to do with the other. I loved that he was so proud of how great I was in school - in kindergarten I was getting praise but as I progressed, everyone knew that I was different, that I was smarter than the rest, and that I was destined for different things. He was proud of me for a variety of reasons, but my intelligence was number one. He would come to the awards ceremonies at my school every year - out of place from all the other dads in their suits in his Wrangler's and cowboy boots, and hoot & hollar, as my Grandma would say, at every trophy and award that I would get. He told everyone who would listen - and he wasn't the kind of person that people didn't listen to - about his daugther the genius.

For my 8th Christmas, not long before I was going to turn 9, he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Like always, I named something really small and told him that he should get my little sisters something really great. My grandma also likes to tell those stories - how I would give my money and my gifts to my sisters and the other kids in school who didn't have much or who wanted/needed/threw fits for more attention...how I always just wanted things to be copasthetic and I thought that I could sacrifice my way to peace. But, that year, he wasn't having it. He sat me down and explained to me that it was our last Christmas together - that in case I didn't remember, he wasn't making it past 30, and he was going to be 30 in July, so he wouldn't be there to see Christmas for a nine year old me. So, he wanted me to tell him what I really wanted...what would be the one thing that would make me the most happy.

There was a Radio Shack about two blocks from the apartment where my grandma was raising us...and I was *known* there! My love for things tech/gadget started early, and I had long been buying broken things at the thrift store where I worked for a quarter and taking them apart to put them back together. My grandma kept my hair short and permed to my ears, and the men who worked at Radio Shack called me 'little orphan angie'. I think, now, they felt sorry for me...they let me play with everything that came in, they would even open new stuff to let me tinker with it. Then, I thought they liked how smart I was with the stuff. Now, I realize that everyone in that too-small town knew my story and they probably felt a mixture of pity for me and fear of who my dad was. I would buy things with the extra money that I put away from my babysitting after I paid my tithes to the church (mandatory per my grandma) and gave my grandma the contribution for the house, and they would always give me a discount and let me know when new things that I would be excited for were going to be coming (remember when Radio Shack was the ultimate in technology?). Anyway, I knew that the new Tandy piece-it-yourself computers were going to be launching that holiday season - *sidenote, on Christmas & being Jewish...my family still celebrates the Roman holidays instead of the Jewish ones, the fear that my great-great grandfather had instilled about being Jewish keeping them held into Christianity in the Midwest*, and so I told him that that, a computer, was what I would want if I didn't have to think about how much something would cost.

And so, for Christmas that year, in lieu of the $75 in an envelope on the tree that I usually got, I indeed got my computer, and all of the coding books to go along with it. My dad watched on in awe as I hooked everything up, put it together and powered it on...and opened the book and started typing away. He was frustrated for me to learn that I would have to type in hours of code to generate my own games and programs, but I was enraptured with the glorious world of MS-DOS. Along with books, I had a new escape on the nights that I could not sleep...which at eight were already too many to count and my grandma had come to accept that my nightmares were too terrifying to force and so she let me have my night~world.

When I got the games up and running, and my dad was around, he would play with me for a while. He never understood why I didn't like the Atari better, but there was something I loved more about a game that I had created with all those lines of Commands and Functions. We were doing other things less...the fishing and hammering and sawing and card games had all pretty much ground to a halt. He had discovered Vegas and he was around even less, and flashier when he was. And then came the night that an argument when he and my mom both happened to be stopped by - the dual visit rare but the argument when both of them there not so rare - resulted in him pulling a gun and aiming it directly at her. When my grandma stepped between him and my mom, her daughter...and even though she recognized my mom's many faults, and often took my dad's side when it came to myself and my sisters, in that moment she was a mother...he didn't falter with it at all.

My dad loved my grandma, my mom's mom, more than he had loved anyone else ever. They were close, and there were many times that he would show up at our house in the early twilight hours and she would make him coffee and biscuits from scratch and he would pour out his heart about my sisters and I, and his frustration with my mother, and his life in general. His love for her, and the lengths that he would go to to get her the things that she needed for us, was something that intrinsically I knew about him from as early as I *knew* anything about relationships and the human condition. Because life had forced me to grow up quickly, because I had been an adult for almost as long as he had known me, he had never treated me like a child...he had never sent me from the room or edited his conversation when I was present, and so I knew more than I should. And this moment was heartbreaking for me...

It wasn't the first time that I had seen my dad wield a weapon. The summer before, he had come to take me out of school early, and had asked me if I knew where the man that my mom was seeing lived. When I told him yes, he asked me to tell him how to get there. When he pulled up in front of the man's house, he (the other guy) knew he was and most likely what he was there for, and to his credit he faced it head on, emerging onto the porch with a baseball bat in his hands. Unfortunately for him, the time of chains and batons - which my father and his brothers & sisters had at one time been known for - was long gone, and with the cocaine, a whole new kind of weapon had made its debut in my dad's life. My dad told me to stay in the car, which shielded me from nothing as he only walked five feet away, they exchanged words and my dad then drew his gun and shot the man and got back in the car and drove me away. He stopped at my favorite diner and tried to get me to get an ice-cream, and then he took me to the police station where his brother was the mayor...he gave me to my uncle and told him to get me to my grandma and then told him what he'd done. I'm not sure how they made that go away, what they had to do or say to that man and his family, but my dad came to see me in a week...bringing me a huge stuffed animal and taking me to Wal-Mart to 'pick out anything I wanted'. Because my grandma had been complaining about the phone in our house, I got a new phone, a cordless one, and refused anything else. It was the first time that I didn't know what to say to him, how to be.

This second time seeing my dad with a gun in his hand was a whole new kind of terrifying - both because I knew that he had the courage or the don't-give-a-fuck to use it, and because I knew that as much as he loved my grandma he hated my mom and the drugs that he was on were consuming him, fueling him, by then. He wasn't the same dad that he had always been. In a short period of time, things had changed more than I knew how to acclimate to. Now, I see that he was rushing towards what he saw as his coming end...he was going to have it even if he had to create it. But in the wake of his self-destruction was the ruins of my idolization of him.

I knew what could happen when and if he pulled the trigger. And seeing it aimed at my grandma was freaking me the fuck out. And somehow, I still believed that in there was my daddy, the man who had always wanted me, his little baby girl, and a part of me wanted him to recognize me in all of the mess that was swirling around me...and so, I screamed out to him and ran towards his outstretched arm. I wanted him to put it down, maybe walk away, but I definitely wanted this tension and conflict and fear to be over, this looming feeling of terror and chaos. But, he never dropped his arm, and even more shockingly, he grabbed me and pulled me close to him and then put the gun at my head. And he used me to terrorize my mother, he asked her why she would cry while he did that when she was the one who had beaten me and left me bloody all those times, who had whored around and left me uncared for in the apartment that he paid for, alone to feed his two younger daughters.

I remember only getting incredibly calm in those moments. Feeling and hearing everything, and being so afraid, but locking in to my grandmother's face and getting so insanely calm, not allowing myself to cry at all...knowing how much he hated tears. And I remember that my grandma stopped crying and became calm as well, as she stared into my face. And she started talking to my dad like nothing at all was wrong, like it was any other time that he was there, and she was maybe at any second going to put some coffee on and start to make some biscuits. And when my mom started to speak, my grandma made her shut up and then told her to get out of her house, told her that she was making everything worse. And it seemed that this was the stance that my dad wanted her to take, once this happened the tension started to ease, and he let my mom leave. And he got hysterical, explaining to my grandma why he did what he did, but not letting go of me, and telling her how he had fucked up my life, how he had probably fucked it up the minute that I was created, that there was too much that I had seen and known and felt and experienced already, and probably the best thing that he could ever do was end it now, stop the hurt right there, and keep me from ever having to hurt again.

Somehow, my grandma talked him down that night. She told him that there was no telling what kind of spiral this would send my mom into and so she was taking us away for a while, and she hurriedly packed us some things and put us in the car and we drove away into the night, leaving my dad crying on the sofa with his gun sitting on the coffee table in front of him.
After that night, things weren't ever the same. I still loved my dad very much - that's the thing about our parents, we never stop loving them, or wanting them to love us, or approve of us, or be proud of us. But, I was finally scared of him, of what he had become. My grandma kept trying to impress on me to remember all the time before and not this, because this wasn't him, this was something and someone else completely, and so I have lived my life trying to do just that.

That summer, on July 25th, my dad had his 30th birthday. On August 8th, my grandma woke me from an incredibly intense dream of his death with tears in her eyes and I said to her, 'He's dead, isn't he?'. He had had a terrible accident on what is ironically called 'Dead Man's Curve' and been ejected from the sunroof of his car. He was going so fast, and was so not sober, that the damage done to his skull and brain was massive and he suffered brain death along with various other extreme injuries. His passenger was ejected from the car and hit a tree and suffered a broken neck. Fortunately, the passenger lived and no other cars were involved.
They kept him on machines for 6 days but finally let him go.

Just like he had always told me he would, my dad left this world when he was 30 & I was 9.

My mom has continued to play the role of the abuser, I just haven't had a rescuer and so I have forced myself to be my own. I worked hard in school and even though we were poor, and everyone knew the story of my family the criminals, and my mom the loose-piece who danced topless on tables in the bars when she was drunk, which was often, and who slept with my friend's married father's, and who was married and divorced more times than I could count on one hand by the time I was in high school, I believed that the world was mine and that I could go anywhere I wanted to and be anything I wanted to and do anything I wanted to.

I had the grades to graduate after my Sophomore year but I stayed and took Advanced classes and some classes at the Jr. college in my town. I was in National Honor Society and Drama and the talk of the school, and at standardized test time, I got the highest score ever scored by anyone at my high school in over a decade. I was accepted into a Summer Program for the health sciences at a major university for which there was over 500 applicants and only 79 people accepted, and I got the scholarships needed to spend the summer there. While there, I did work on a Science test of the local bodies of water that had political reach and I came to be familiar with my local State representative. The next year, my Senior year, I was chosen to be a Page at the House of Representatives and was also given financial aid for the time there. While there, I came to know a lot of the Representatives personally because I had the kind of fun and funny personality that people were drawn to, and there was also a Bill passed about me on the Floor - put to vote and everything...one of the funniest stories of my life still to this day.

There was a local journalist who had taken my photo when I was five years old and a cheerleader with a local super-jock football player who was breaking all kinds of records and seemed poised for an NFL career. When I started accomplishing things, he remembered me - I think because of who my family was which was probably why he had taken my photo with the football player and run it in the paper anyway - and he started following my scholastic achievements. He would come to my school and take my picture and write stories in the local paper for each of my new things done...the Health Sciences Program, the scholarships, the House of Representative. He called our Representative to ask him if he had a comment about my tenure as a page for the story that he was doing and the Rep told him this story - 'She became a joy to everyone that had personal contact with her through the days on the Floor. She made us all laugh and smile. She is smart and witty and funny, but more than that, she is fearless. Most of the other kids were kind of taken aback with everything, but she seemed as if she had been here her whole life, she never broke stride...let me tell you what kind of girl she is. We pay the Pages with checks from the H.O.R, and apparently, she hadn't been cashing hers. Well, she happened to go to a local mall and find a dress that she wanted to buy for prom, but she needed to cash some of her checks. So, she came back here to the cashier's office in the House to do so, but the cashier refused to cash them for her because she wasn't an actual employee of the House. So, Angie comes up to my office and tells my secretary that she's my Page and she needs to see me, so I have my secretary send her in. And she comes in and tells me this. And I ask her what she wants me to do. And she says, straight faced, "your my Representative, Represent me. Go down there and vouch for me, tell her to cash these checks. I need to have a dress that no one else is going to have and this is the one." And so I did...I got up and went down to the cashier with her and had her cash the checks. She was sincerely grateful but also triumphant as the cashier handed over the money, which you could tell she didn't want to do...I'm sure it was hard being shown up by an intern from High School. But, that's the kind of person Angie is...not afraid to at least ask for what she thinks she deserves in this life, and that in and of itself will get her far. I told her before she left that as charming as she is, she should consider politics, I'm sure she'd be a natural.'

My grandma was more proud of that story than any other, she must have bought at least ten copies of that paper and clipped it out. But the final moment of pride for her came when I graduated - with honors, and in honor of her, choosing to say the prayer to bless our class at the start of our new lives in lieu of speaking. My graduation came with a commendation from the Governor of our State for my accomplishments, my GPA and my grades in Science. It came to be that because of extra-credit questions and assignments in Physics, Advanced Physics and Advanced Chemistry Classes, I graduated with above 100% in Chemistry and Physics. These days, it's not uncommon to have a higher-than-100% average due to the change in grading scales, but back then it was still on a 90-100 for A, so above 100 was unheard of, and the journalist did a story on that as well. He came the day that they handed out all of the Letters and awards in our school and took pictures of me surrounded by my Letters, awards and my Commendation from the Governor with the State Seal. It was a great accomplishment, coming from a family that didn't graduate from high school much, and I felt good...but I had done what I had always known I would. I had always known that my smarts and education would be my way out.

It was not for me. It felt good because of how good my grandma felt about it, because of how proud she was to see me walk with the special color of ropes for NHS and other honors. I don't remember ever seeing her more happy than she was that day (even though I broke her spirit by insisting that I wear shorts and a tee-shirt under my robe!). It was nice to make her feel that her sacrifice had merited something...that giving up her middle age to raise another set of kids had been more beneficial than the first time had been.

It's been a long time, and a lot of struggle and mistakes and obstacles and hardship and lessons learned, since that time. I've lived a whole other life and become a whole new person - shaped by a whole new set of circumstances and situations - then I was when I left that town to further my education. I thought that I had learned so much, and that I knew so much, and that I was about something. I thought that I couldn't be told.

Some things were true - I was fearless. It has been both an asset and a detriment, but it is something that I'm grateful for because it got me here. If it hadn't been for my fearlessness, and my tenacity, I wouldn't have survived my childhood, much less the struggles that adulthoold and disease have brought. Everyone thought that I would go into the world and Be Something, Change Things...but I have been only my own worst enemy where that idea was concerned. I am learning that I have changed things, and I continue to do so, only I do it on a smaller scale then I imagined back then. My life, my story, it matters to people, it helps some people, but my reach is so short.

I wonder, a lot lately, who and how I would be if I had had my father to continue to be my rescuer. I think that maybe I think about this for several reasons - the dreams are back, it's been almost a year since I last spoke to my mother and she's reaching out again, but mostly, I think that I think about him because my son is getting to be the age that I was when he died. And it seems so young except that I remember how much I understood, how much I absorbed and put on myself, how much I questioned without ever saying a word. My son shares my dad's birthday, and in the circle of life he looks exactly like me - but I look exactly like my dad - so looking at him is like seeing a vision of my father reflected in his face. But, innocent, childness, perfect still.

I wonder how much damage I have done simply by trying to give him the best possible starting place that I could. The best parents, the best socio-economic status, the best everything that I never had. He lives in a mansion, in a gated community, and goes to a private school that costs more per year than my grandma raised my sisters and I on when I was young. He has every advantage, every benefit, every toy, a huge family who loves him immensely. And I wonder if he thinks - 'Why didn't she want me? Why didn't she keep me? Why wasn't I good enough to keep if I'm good enough to come and see?'. In essence, I wonder if he thinks to himself all of the things that I thought to myself at his age. And, I wonder if there's any way to save him the years in between then and now that I went searching for distraction, numbness, things to fill the void. I wonder if there's a way to really make someone "know" love. Because I know that it is still something that I feel so unfamiliar with, when I am honest.

I know that some things I know and some things I don't. That I have tried to come back to the middle...to find a balance between the longing and the floating adrift. I have tried to set myself right in a path that makes sense to me, to find my own spiritual peace, my own happiness even though I don't feel that I will ever truly know love the way that I envision it, my own place of 'good person, good friend'. But, I know that there is a lot that I regret and there is still a lot I hope for. I know that when I sit and give it thought, I still believe that the world is mine...that I can go anywhere and do anything, I'm just not so sure about how happy I'll be once I get there or once I'm doing it. I want to be happy, I just don't see too many people who ever get there...and it take so much energy to be strong, to be fearless, to keep healing yourself, to keep killing the you that has evolved and starting again, that happiness always seems to be just on the back burner and just a little out of grasp. And I know that sometimes I think that my dad was right, and maybe right then at 9 I had seen and felt and been exposed to too much bad already in the world...maybe that was the moment of truth for me. Maybe this is as good as it gets.

But, more than anything, I know that I keep trying. I know that as I live my 30th year, I want it to matter, I want my survival, my fight through these medical obstacles, my will to live, my tenacity, to be what I am known for. I do not want my son to think that I chose leaving him without someone who would be willing to come and rescue him. Or someone who could answer his questions or tell him the story of when he was a baby in the belly. I don't ever want him to think that I didn't understand how much he thought about me, and how much I was or wasn't willing to sacrifice my quest to forget so that he could have good things to remember. These things matter so much more than I could possibly have ever imagined.