Thursday, August 30, 2007

Drug Induced Dreams and Thank God I have a couch

I woke up. Just like that. 36 hours into la-la land, I decided that having psychedelic dreams and tingling, ewwwwwwey-ouweeeeey numbness, was kind of boring. I grabbed the RX bottle and tossed it into the cat litter bucket~makeshift coffee table~instant plastic garbage can that had followed me through the night. Everytime I woke up, the plastic Tidy Cat box was there. Cigarettes and ashtray, RX, and cell phone perched on it's lid. 36 hours later the cigarette pack was half empty, the ashtray half full and the cellphone dead. 38 hours later, my heartbeat was beating like Eminem on cheap speakers throughout my foot. I gritted my teeth, chugged down iced tea and swallowed two Advil. Cocooned myself in the blankets on the couch and started counting.

I always think there's a reason for everything. Some unknown, yet to be discovered reason lurking in the shadows. I rarely hunt for it anymore, I just know it's there, waiting to show it's "Are you watching me, now?" face.

I believe.

So I never questioned why jumping up and down in my sister's living room telling the fairytale story of the little magpie "pwincesses" at hippie daycare would find me splat! on the floor, broken and wailing. I mean, the whole scene did divert another crises, so hell, maybe I didn't have to be so dramatic, but it worked! It was just meant to be.....

And that's why, now that I'm straight (yeah, you aren't believing me, are you?) I'm just pondering, not questioning, just pondering, the meaning behind my most vivid drug induced dream. I keep watching it over and over again in technicolor memory, in slow speed....thinking I'm supposed to get something from it.....

I was on the ground, or below or under anyway, and I saw her way up above, toward the peak of the roof. She was just there suddenly, in silly Pippi Longstocking clothes, sneakers and socks and mismatched leggings and skirts and shirts and jackets...

and she was sliding down the shingles, bumpety bumpety bump and then flipping, twirling, skinny little arms flying and then bouncing, pouncing onto the roof below and then dune-rolling somersaulting cart-wheeling down to the next roof, rump bumping, knee knocking, crawling face first so fast her feet flipped over her head and she was spider walking in a back bend, faster and faster....

to the next roof
and the next roof
and I no longer stood below panicked
or gathering sheets for a fireman's net
or yelling for help
I was just watching in awe
her colors
my colors
flipped furiously
through the shingled sky
and from where
I stood
in spite of the road rash
the skint knees
the bonked up forehead
tangled hair
looked like she was having fun.

I can't wait to dance again......

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ice packs and Rock and Roll

Just so you guys know.....You rock! Tomorrow the nuts and bolts and plates and screws go in, and I could let this day go unheralded, but wanted you to know, if I'm not around much, I'm piled in the bed with ice packs, Rolling Stones, and drug induced dreams. And if I climb out of bed, and wander around, leaving graffiti on your walls, ummmm, it's probably drug induced. Forgive me!

Thanks everybody for the cheers! clinks! tinks! scribblings on the cast! Whooo~hoooo I can't wait to dance again!

My swollen calf is a helluva lot more shapely than my skinny one!
Sometimes you meet the most interesting people when you sit still and listen...
The Doctors are handsome and young and I grew up listening to Mrs. Robinson...
I don't talk in my sleep, so I hope I don't babble under anesthesia....
I can't wait to drive again, Jonah's chevy is ghetto upped and I can't see out the windows!
You have no control over what people write on your cast....

Peace~love to all, catch you when I'm dancin'......
Until then, clink ya, tink ya, love ya!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Whatsa matta whichyou boy?

I sat with the squatters. The elbow boys. The ones who watch from their dark corners, five o'clock shadows and tall boys resting in their hands. It was creepy. Lonely.

From my favorite padded black bar stool, where my fanny hardly ever rests, I became one of them. The Friday night parade marched by, "How to do? How are you?" Kisses on the cheeks. Leaning in for hugs. But it was different. Tethered to the stool, crutches glaring out in the dark, I couldn't jump in for Jack Flash, first one on the dance floor, and my eyes searched the crowd for who would take my place. The dance floor was empty on the count of four, eight, nine, ten... then finally I could breathe again. I smiled. Clinked!

I noticed how very smokey it is when you sit very very still, bodies swirling around you, kicking up the dust and cigarette haze like cat hair everywhere. I studied the floor and for the first time, saw cocktail stirrers everywhere, like a game of pick-up-sticks abandoned mid-sentence for a better game. I read the signs. Climbed out of my Friday night skin and the concrete block around my ankle and pretended to be on the dance floor, good foot moving to the music, shoulders swaying, hair swinging in the smoke.

And then I knew.

And I cried. The slightest trickle of rain, falling from my eyes. "Are you o.k?" "mmmmmhmmmmm" and I smiled. "Is it your foot?" "uuuuuh...uuuh" "Your leg?" "uuuuuh..uuuuuh" and I smiled again. Because I had to, Grabbing the stainless steel stilts, like a pointy little pocketbook, and swiveling out of the chair.

"It's my heart".
And the shadow people...
Dancing with their ghosts...
Wallpaper on the Friday night walls.

When I can walk through the front door on two legs, both arms free, I'm gonna hug 'em.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sound Track.....

I keep hearing that sound, loud and growing in the distance, a train.
And it comes closer, scooching in, crunching down, rounding the corners, shifting gears.
But it’s not you .

It’s a ghost.
A whippoorwill.
A mockingbird, laughing.

And then you're here,

"You're face was priceless, a question mark floating in the air"
they said,

And I'm a sudden smoke ring,
hazy butterfly in the dim lights,
wriggling ,
making circles
out of
figure eights,


because I had to...

a ghost,
a whippoorwill,
a mockingbird mourning....

a yellow butterfly in the mirror....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Black and Blue

Okay, Eric, we absolutely have to stop talking and drawing in come-true circles......

So tonight, when I went bolting out the door, hippie love child on the run, because Kimbies called me, and needed me....and she rarely ever asks for help....

I flew into her drive-way like super sib

and we clanked a beer, she in her jamma's and me in my dirty jeans, on the front porch, and put on our "everything's gonna be okay" faces and went to face the troops....

We had to smile first, to gain the strength, the ammo, the "we can do this if we have to"....

And it was then,
at the last second, when I was ("yes, she was jumping up and down") pantomining the precious little magpie fairies I spent the day with Saturday, that I lept up in the air just so.....("yes, she was acting like a four year old") and landed, firecracker pop, to my foot, my shin, my "oh my God, I'm going to throw up"...("Yes , she turned white as a ghost, but never cried, shook, but never cried") and ("Yeah, we had to get a bucket") ...

And it was then,
that poor Kimbie"s hell week
took a nose dive on the living room carpet
super sib
And then
that they called the good doctor, the blessed man I work for, and said....
"Should we meet you at the emergency room or the office?"

It's midnight now, and God bless Kimbies and her commotion, I wasn't any help. And Chey and her own private hell, for driving two towns over to click the x-ray button, hold the bucket, and mix the plaster. And The Boss for always being there. And my precious child for being home from college and being ballet strong enough to pick her Mama up and tote her over the threshold.

"Nuts and bolts" he said.
"And we can put you back together"


Sunday, August 19, 2007


I never put my boots on, not once. The army, smaller in numbers, but just as determined arrived in dribbles in my backyard. Time to build the castle. I smiled a little bigger each time I heard a door slam. And watched as these fellows, working 14 in a row, 6 in a row, lumbered out , yawning, but ready to work yet again. Two had to lean back in, reach far into their backseats, and unbuckle the very thing that made them who they are today. That made them go from boys, hell on wheels, to men….standing in the driveway, building a home for a stranger…..

Their daughters. First borns. And four year olds.

So on this Saturday, instead of digging trenches, dragging scraps, fetching nuts, and bolts, and beer…..I got to play….the girls and I. We went to hippie daycare….And I learned that my daughter ( 20 almost 40) is so silly when she mutters “Ma, you’re not eighteen anymore!” (afraid I’m going to slip, fall, get into trouble) because I know now, I’m forever four…..

We water colored and palm painted and ate potato chips with lettuce. We made up cheers to keep the troops going… “Go~Go, Daddy, Daddy, Sis Boom~Boom, Bah, Yeah……!” Jumping in Mick Jagger circles for the tah-dah! We rolled on top of the exercise ball, making giant blue somersaults in the grass….and of course, thunked a head or two on the down slide!

In the heat of the day (Nap time at hippie day care) they piled onto the hammock, balancing in the middle, toe to toe. And this is what I heard….

“You awe a good witch awen’t you?”
“Cowse she is”
“She’s going to spwinkle magic dust on us and we a goin to fall asweep fowevah”
“And a handsome pwince is gonna wide ovah here on his white howse and wake us up”

And so I did, of course…..

Abbra Kadabared them to sleep, with the wave of a right hand filled with golden glitters, left hand rocking the hammock into slumber land…..

Nap time at hippie daycare lasted exactly four minutes, the spell broken by a handsome dad whiling by on his way to the sawhorses …..
Then four flailing legs and four silly arms scrambling later,
Two little princesses tumbled off the magic carpet and onto the cool green grass….. “Yuah tuwn, yuah tuwn” they pleaded, guiding me onto the hammock.

And they whooed me to sleep with sweaty little handfulls of pink and gold glitter, blobbed on and rubbed in like neon beach sand. “In yuah haya” “pwetty wittle pwincess”….

And then they stood back and watched….

“we haff to wait on the pwince”
“what if she sweeps fowevah?”
“well he’ll come an wake huh up with a wovely kiss”

And they waited.
And I waited.
And finally, in cahoots, they ran and fetched the green baby doll and snuggled her up to my neck and “Hooway, hooway, yoah filled wit love now!”

From the deck,
The handsome prince~dad smiled,
“They forgot to come and get me”…….

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I was in love once....a very long time ago and forever. We tumbled into a makeshift romance, accidently falling into each other's worlds.....continents and languages apart, there was really only one language...ours. My children were babies and they understood only laughter and love and he was the whisperer of both.... 18 years later they still speak his name and beam if his number pops up, his name on a card in the mail. I smile, too. "Go to him"....they've said, many times.

And the places were far....Saudi, Germany, Africa, Oregon, Colorado....lifetimes from the place we call home. "Why did you break up?" they ask and I have no answer, only a story with no ending to share, and they listen again and again as if hearing the fairytale for the first time. They recite the middle parts, filling in where I forget, nursey rhymes in nonsensical words, and they remember....

It was taboo. This love affair. "The chasms are too great" my Father said. He forbade it. In his own little world.

And he was happy to watch my my children grow up in a house without a man....
And his daughter alone,
but strong and devoted and independent
mad as hell....

I've loved again since then. And I never thought I would. It was taboo and we played with matches. Drank cherry wine and danced under disco lights. Drove 1000 miles an hour to nowhere, laughing.

If I live long enough, I'll do it again...

Monday, August 13, 2007


"Stop talking and dance with me".....I fought it, hands perched on my hips....swaying to the music, because I just can't help it, but I wasnt' going to do it. I bit my bottom lip. We had done this a thousand times before....Bob Segar, Eric Clapton, unknown cover bands, Rolling Stones, The Eagles....

Hands perched on my hips..."I'm not doing it".......

But we went anyway, onto the dance floor, my arms crossed, business style, slow dancing with the crowd. Nothing special. Nothing fancy; might as well be another fly on the wall, because I couldn't do it our way, deep and low, throaty and all Aretha Frankliny, like we used to, because we aren't.....or because we just can't, even if we are.... things have changed.

And he so desperately wanted the last dance to be the perfect dance and it sucked and I told him so.....And he remembered our first dance and our first kiss and our first hello and he told me so...And I denied them all.

Because we never had a first date, a first kiss, a first dance...we had been there all along, the coming together all to familiar, homecoming for the soul... And how could we have a last dance, a public display of "The End" when we had no beginning that we could place a name to.....

And he agreed.

And we walked barefoot into the ocean.....out the double doors....into the tomorrows we keep trying on for size.

On Friday night, I pushed the double doors open, and stepped onto the dirty neon dancefloor....Christmas lights dangling from the ceiling beams, flickering on and off without rhythm. Their twisty green wires crooked like chicken bones strung together on a string. I took a deep breath. A long blink. My week-end smile started squiggling, sneaking onto my face. Arms reaching. Octopus arms. My friends... pulling me in. I heard the music in my chest, vibrating, waiting....

And when the gray haired handsome stranger with the Clint Eastwood voice, leaned in and asked me to dance....I muttered "Rolling Stones".....and he nodded. I danced up and down and in circles, in my own little rock and roll world, and smiled occassionally at his feet. "Do you swing?" he asked on the way off the floor, and I threw my head up and laughed at the green chicken bones dangling, sparkling, flashing over head "No!" I'm laughing, "Are you kidding me?" "The Rolling Stones Girl?" And he laughed..... and said....

"Come along for the ride...."

"I can't follow....
petulance creeping into my smile...

"Come along for the ride...."

And I did. Twirling, flying, swirling, dipping, diving, sliding, laughing, seat-belted in by his arms....

at the fair,
you have to dance with strangers..

Sunday, August 12, 2007

In the beginning.....

She was just a shed. 48 hours later she takes slow learning-how-to-breaths. Her old skin, the one riddled with hooks and nails and plywood shelves has been peeled away, tossed in a giant heatwave to the side

An army came. The tiniest little feel-good soldier 4 years old, digging, painting, sweating. The oldest, 73, hauling, carrying, digging in the dirt and digging in his pockets. We had hippies and hippies, redneck loves, 3 piece suits in blue jeans, a nursing Mom, three generations of Chey's family. We had wayward sons, daughters home from college, neighbors, and friends from the bar. And they never stopped.

I watched for a moment, an orchestra in the Saturday heat:
One on a ladder pulling wires, hanging boxes...
two toting drywall again and again, another piece, appearing from nowhere,
One pouring concrete,
One hanging a door,
Three digging ditches,
Two cutting out new doorways and window spaces,
One right behind them framing.
Two on the barbeque grill.....jerk chicken juice mixing with sawdust in the wind....

Night came hard and fast. Just like the beer. At dusk we partied and told stories and the sweat turned to sweet dust, powdering our skin. We wrote in the concrete. Because we could. The children colored there. Because we let them.

And we all watched. The little shed slowly coming to life.

"You should name her"
Eric said....."Gimme Peace".....and I smiled. This morning with my coffee, I sat on the deck and she smiled back at me through her new window to the world. Her walls are insulated and her cieling hung. 12 sheets of drywall are up, only 4 left to go. Her new doorway is waiting on visitors to knock and her old doorway, waiting for it's new face. Outlets are ready for Christmas trees and microwaves. Water is just inches away.

On Monday, Ronnie starts his next round of treatments. The pink stuff. The bad stuff. Hopefully the good stuff here will make it all a little better. And he'll have a place to hang his cowboy hat.

Thanks to all you all for cheering, clinking, sending good thoughts our way. We're tired soldiers today.....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I was devastated. I believe in what is meant to be, and what never was, and if something doesn't happen, something else will. But I was devastated. "Are you kidding me?" "A thousand dollars to just spruce up the juice to the wanna be studio so we can make a condo out of a boys-night-out?" "Well, yeah, if you want it to be safe, and good, and to work right".....

I was devastated. We had recruited an army of willing arms to swing hammers and dig trenches. To barbeque chicken. To run ice. To hang drywall and pour concrete. We had scavenged the streets for donations, asking for the world, and being gifted over and over again. And, then, "are you kidding me?" we couldn't make it safe.....

Strong enough to power the air conditioning in triple digit heat, the coffee pot balanced on the makeshift counter top.....
the oxygen machine when it came.....

"Are you kidding me?"

Today, we shifted gears.

We started asking strangers.


Tomorrow everything we need to wire up the sound will be neatly packed in the back of Chey's pick-up truck. Friday night we'll pow-wow. On Saturday we'll tear the walls down. On Sunday we'll put them up again.

May the circle be unbroken.

Sometime soon,
I'll have a friend in the backyard....

And he will
army of new friends...
Praying for the healing.....

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The last hello.....

It's just a driveway....fifty feet of fifty year old gravel, limestone, river rocks lining the lane. Flattened pennies, heads down, are crunched into the mix, a poor man's coquina. There are no signs here. "Keep out" or "welcome" either. It's not one-way only. You're free to come and go. And welcome is a given....

But there comes a time.

I opened the window, the kiss of freedom, planted like a forever tattoo on his cheek, tracing-paper thin, and should have known......

He'd be back. Crunching the gravel....

Breaking up is hard to, letting go is harder.....

And I don't believe in the last dance, the last kiss, the last good-bye.....but rather the good film, the best movie ever, snapped, broken in the middle of the reel, and the ending never known, but imagined in everyway. And the story frozen. Just so and perfect. Not tainted by cliche's and punchlines. Destroyed by the very act of salvaging. And I told him so....

There at the river. Skinny legs dangling over the side of the makeshift embankment. Blue eyes and brown eyes together in the quiet, dragonflies dancing on the muddy water the only sound. And we smiled. At the enchanted ballet they played for us. Periwinkle and lavender girls, fluttering by in transluscent petticoats, shimmery sugary tu-tus, buzzing, splashing, on the rheumy dancefloor. They circled above us, waltz of the flowers, a halo of dragonflies.....and followed us to the car. I paused, with the door open, before climbing into the seat, as they passed in a pastel parade, and waited for their kiss....

The engine, as throaty and scratchy as our left over voices from the night before, took over the silence. Engulfed it. And we drove here, to the painted house, to the poor man's driveway where the engine idled, hovered, hot breath on the miles beneath us.

"Say the words" I whispered....climbing out , unfolding.

I watched him through the dusky swirls of lime, as he backed out. First gear. Almost second.
Right hands to our own lips,
the kiss...
right hands raised to the sky,
fingers in a V.........

we whispered to the wind....

Friday, August 03, 2007

Behind the gate......

It was ugly. A big box tucked in the corner of the yard. One window and an old splintered door. I peeped inside and fell in love. Rickety metal shelves lined the walls. Giant penny nails were hammered everywhere. A box fan was wedged into the one window, cranked open and crooked, it’s electrical cord dangling like a dead snake hooked to the windowsill. My studio.

The lawnmower fell in love with it too. And the leaf blower, the rocky horse, the old pie safe I’ve lugged around for years. My tile collection, scavenged by the truckload, took over the floor space, stacked precariously and dangerously high. Eventually my album collection, the old wedding gown I saved for ….(What child of mine would want to wear the gown gone wrong?) , Jonah’s baseball cards, the hand-made stilts, and the leopard skin couch I scarfed from an abandoned house, all took up squatting rights there.

The boys used to sneak cigarettes and the occasional Budweiser there, adolescent legs dangling from the stacks of tile, pretending most probably to be perched on Hooter’s barstools. From the graffiti on the walls, on occasion they got lucky. In the clubhouse.

Three summers ago, after the hurricanes pealed it open ,naked to the skies, I decided I really didn’t want a studio in the corner yard. But she lived. She got all new walls, concrete this time. A beautiful new roof to match the house. And we stuffed her to the brim with coolie cups and neon floats, giant inner tubes and coolers, and called her…..well, we called her The Shed. The little dream whose time had never come.

Tonight, the measuring, marking, making good things happen for good people crew is coming over. We’ll clink and take notes and knock heads. The Angel driven trucks will roll in and gift us with drywall, insulation, lightening fixtures, a sink, maybe even air-conditioning. We’ll light the fire and toast to love and when we’re done…..

The little shed will be called home.

To a friend.

And maybe, this is all she ever dreamed of….

Thursday, August 02, 2007


There's a first time for everything and since getting bopped on the head with the bike, I've gotten tagged x two, struck by lightening twice, and um, cursed at I give! Here's my random eight! Clink! To Indigo Blue and Wreckless for dragging this trainwreck into their game! (And mind you guys, the few things you don't already know about me, well, you may wish you still didn't!)

1. I stick my tongue out when I draw. Just a little. Enough to touch my upper lip. And yup, I can do that for hours.

2. In my world, everything is a He or a She. It's just gotta be that way. Or else they won't listen when you talk to them. ..

She things:
The house
The pool
Tallulah the cat, although the Vet swears different.
Some of the spirits that roam my halls.
Lights, lamps, disco balls...they're all shes.

He things:
The car
The hammock
The lawnmower and broken weed-eater (And a drunk I might add!)
Some of the spirits that roam my halls
The dryer and
The plumbing

3. I don't have a girlie-girl voice. It's raspy and throaty and hoarse. Always has been. And damn I love to sing......and whisper. I am a great whisperer.....

4. I took the lightbulbs out of all the chandeliers in my house and put candles in the candlelabras. That's why they're called that, right?

5. I believe that in the end, peace wins. If I didn't believe that, I couldn't believe in anything.

6. I prefer the floor to furniture.

7. I will swim in a green pool. I'm not afraid of amoebas or tadpoles kissing my toes.

8. Sometimes I cuss. And I do it very well....

If you wanna be tagged, just jump on the trainwreck....