Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Raining heartstrings

Twice in the last week, I heard the boom-box rap ,rap, rapping around the corner, into the drive-way, and the humming of the engine idling for the last puff on a cigarette, the end of an angry song.....

And I went flying. Zooming down the hallway, concrete boot clomping, echoing off the tile walls, diving into bed, clothes and all. This is how much I want peace. That I would hide from my late-night wayward love child, just to not face his "Oh, I just had a beer, or two....." pinkened eyes, or hear the latest road rage story, or who ripped off who or who did who~to~who dunnit tale. And I layed in bed, concentrating on listening, and not breathing out loud....trying to decipher his mood from the sound of his size thirteens plodding about, by the slamming of the fridge, by the pssssshhhhhhht of another bottle being opened. Soda or beer I wonder. Thanking God he made it home safe. I've begged, I've pleaded, threatened, loved, tough loved and gone broke raising my youngest miracle. I've prayed and prayed again, fought, and laid my body in the road to protect him......

Last night my reactions were slow. I didn't hear the sounds until the slamming of the door. The rain had lured me, hypnotized me in to early peace, and indian-like he snuck through the kitchen door. "Love" I said. He kissed me on the cheek. I watched with one eye as he inventoried the kitchen cabinets, clunk, clunk,clunk, cabinet doors closing. He found the perfect muchies in late night Ramon noodles microwaved....and settled in. Giant shoes and dirty socks kicked off on the living room floor, bowl of steaming 39 cent dinner balancing on the armrest.

"You know, what, Ma?" he grunted in between huge bite fulls. "hmmmmmm"?

Thirty minutes later, I was on the leopard skin rug, sitting across from him, and we were telling stories, and true confessions, and "I betcha didn't knows"...... and I had to do the math for him, for him to understand....."yes, son, I've been there, too".....


And he wanted to know, to hear again, how I knew when I had to grow up. So I told him the story he's heard before, and he nodded and told me how his friend's baby boy is seven months old now and so damned cute and "healthy"...... And then he said "thank- you, Mom"........

I was 17. Partied all the time. Everyone partied. The pages of my year book were slathered with as many dedications to the dead as pages celebrating homecomings and football games. In the 10th grade, I buried my boyfriend. He ventured, wasted, across a six lane highway. The driver never saw him coming. I hope he never saw the driver. He lay in a coma for all of the fall and after whittling away to 78 pounds finally took his last breath in February. We caravanned to the funeral. The first of many. In the eleventh grade, his best friend jumped off a roof. It wasn't the broken bones that sent him to live forever in the care of the kind nurses, the 24-7 tiled walls. It was the broken heart. The broken soul. The orange sunshine. We were killing ourselves. When I was 17, I saw what else we were doing.


I volunteered at Sunnyland. An institution (yes, we had them) for physically and mentally handicapped children. Not a group home. An institution. An old industrial looking, smelling, hospital converted to a nursery for babies who would never grow up, never go home again.


Day #1. They led us past the baby beds. Little ones tied to their cribs. So they wouldn't rub their noses off. Bang their heads into concussions....again. I almost vomitted. Three volunteers did. And they were escorted back down the mold colored elevators and thanked. I held my breath. And somehow, my knees held me up.


Day#2. Into the day nursery. Where children that could play were allowed to. Toddlers with tubes up their noses, tethered to miniature walkers, babbling nonsensical words, paced in circles. They were drugged, I was sure. I looked around. There were seven of us left. All standing. I touched a little tow head. He didn't even notice. Squatted. Looked him in the eyes. He kept going. And then a hand on my back. And a slurry, drooly little voice. I turned. Davidson. I had to blink several times, not to keep from crying, but to stop the watering my eyes were doing in defense. He smiled. On the side of his face. Actually no. His face was on the side of his head. Everything distorted. Not in the right places. His gummy smile with the halloween teeth was huge, jack-o-lanternish. His eyelids were heavy tents over the second set of eyelids, thick rheumy transluscent cataract-like awnings that permanently covered his blue eyes. He had no ear lobes. His nose was nothing but nostrils. His little fingers were stubs....the muffin man. And he had a huge mop of brown unruly hair. "Do you wanta play?" he asked with double lidded eyes wide open. "Course", I smiled, lowering myself even closer to the asbestos flooring. "K"......"Simon says....."


Davidson was an "acid baby". His little mind, a miracle. He walked. He talked. Laughed. Told intricate stories. He was bright, and he smiled. And lived. And he was here, stork dropped amongst his siblings by fate.... The nurses told me that soon he would be as mentally handicapped as many of the others....from lack of stimuli, love, change.....I went every week-end. And we ABC'd and crawled on our knees, and loved. Until they closed the doors.


"Seven years" they said. For acid, LSD, other tell-tell trails, to leave your system. "Seven years". I did the math. And prayed I wouldn't fall in love before I was 24. And that I would grow up before I died.

Postcript: Davidson's Mother came clean. He was adopted by a stepfather who loved him dearly and many, many plastic surgeries later, the "boy without a face" grew up. He graduated from university and I'm sure, is still stealing hearts. I grew up a lot the year I met him, came to know him.....and last night, grew a little more. May the circle be unbroken.....
Love grows....

32 comments:

eric1313 said...

Wow! You ARE the best!

This is such a special story. No wonder you kept it inside you. Not for fear or a lack of desire to tell, but to keep it as an internal fire. To keep it as personal inspiration, until the right words all come along and it pours out onto the page.

Some of us writers take such pains to tell stories, true or not, and you know the processes (saw you at Trevor's--you didn't know how we racked our brains, but it's true...), but you are a pure story teller. When ready, the words pour from you like love.

The words are love.

Just like the miracle boy Davidson's love for life, his fire to just BE, even when other's weren't sure they wanted him or how to love him. He told you how to love him.

And you did.

Full Circles of Peace and Love
to you, always.

eric1313 said...

I know you're crying...

Because I'm crying, too.

And laughing...

And alive.

karma lennon said...

Wow oh wow.....that is so....I'm about to cry and smile all at the same time. Reminds me of my brother-the part about your son. And memories of growing up now. Melancholy day for sure.

JustRun said...

I'm amazed at how you told this. And that moment, with your son, is such a significant moment in anyone's life; when we realize we're at a turning point and life is going to be different. I remember many of those times. I guess it is growing up, but just growing sounds good, too.

Maithri said...

Beautiful, enthralling, deeply moving. Your loving words melt the computer screen.

Sending you light and love,

Maithri

Sandy Kessler said...

fascinating in its ultimate truth

justacoolcat said...

What a tragic beauty of a story. It stopped me in my tracks and started me again.

SpongyBones said...

Wowzie! You are one rocking, hawwwttttt mamma is all I can say :)! ... not doing the math just yet myself :) but hey I will soon! Hope I grow up to be like you!

singleton said...

eric....he just opened his arms and I melted. My children have heard about Davidson from as far back as they can remember, along the years I added what was going on in my life when he happpened into it, as they became teenagers....and started taking risks, I tried to make them realize what so many of us didn't for so long.....you might go through a stage where you don't care about yourself, but you have to be big enough to care about others, the consequences others may have to live with forever if we are being wreckless. Davidson seared that into my heart from his very first touch, first words. When my son asked for the story, I knew, Davidson's love was still here, reaching out and making a difference.....
and now my own, reaching out to me......
priceless night....
and I hope a window to the future....
Much peace and love....

karma....smiling and crying at the same time can be a good thing. I guess we all have to grow up sooner or later, a little at a time...somedays we just do it, other days we have to be tugged along by our heartstrings.....
Hope you're doing good little one, couldn't find you in the wee hours...

justrun...I rarely ever flinch at hitting the "send" button, but for a moment questioned if any of this rambling was going to make sense to anyone other than my son and I....and then I let if fly. I think you are so right about growing.....we can spend forever growing up, as long as we grow a little at a time......

Peace~love my friends
and circles
never ending

singleton said...

maithri....light and love recieved! Thank you peace whisperer....

sandy....and you have boys, so you know it's so......

suchacoolcat....Isn't it odd that there can be beauty in tragedy? And yet in Davidsons life, and full circle into ours, we've been touched by it.....

spongy...Dont' do the math! Keep on doin' what you're doing and when you're my age, just like me, you'll still be growing up!

Peace~love and circles
growing
glowing
casting wide.....

karma lennon said...

Sing-I took it off my profile on blogger cause some people know bout movie slayer but I don`t necessarily want them finding mise-en-scene (I.e. BB). It`s www.karmalennon.blogspot.com. Still there and all. Cept I don`t know if I`ll still be writing bout BB. People have strong opinions bout that sitch, ya know?

eric1313 said...

That youshared it with all of the world is the big deal.

Missed ya today--helping my brother Aaron build a back porch. Part of a wedding gift. I once helped my friends Justin and Lashawn rebuild their kitchen from old musty cabnets ripped out and replaced by cherrywood ones that needed a bit of doctoring to work, ceramic tile countertops and floors and fancy lights, as their wedding gift. A back porch balcony deck over looking a Michigan bayou and forest for my brother is nothing compared to that nightmare.

I know you love that idea...

Even the mosquitos came out to play...

just me said...

It takes great courage and humility to fall in love with that which most will turn from. How very, very lucky Davidson had you. What a marvelous, wonderful person you are.

benjibopper said...

this one gave me chills. i don't think i started really growing up until i was 23, the first time i headed south. way south. it usually takes some kind of experience with someone completely different from yourself, to open up the eyes to greater needs and greater things.

paddy said...

How bad will it have to get before people stand up and say enough is enough, come together and start working for a better world for all.
Y;-Paddy

eric1313 said...

Did you get the package yet, Blue Lady?

Anne said...

Good story, sweetie. Sounds like you're having an amazing life, and touching many hearts. :)

singleton said...

karma....fixed the link! I totally understand....we girls gotta do what we gotta do! BB....funny.....I'll tell you sometime! peace~love, Friday!

Eric...I think that's so cool...what a great wedding gift! I'm workin' on my hardhat right now! The Gimme Peace Construction Crew! Package will be here soon. They bundle up my stuff and send it all at once.....It's kinda fun waiting! peace~love, hallelujah, it's finally Friday!

justme....funny, I didn't even think about it, came as naturally as his first hello, yes, my eyes watered at first, and later I cried, but the love, well it just came....And I remember so vividly a movie from when I was very young...A Patch of Blue....and being profoundly affected by how when we see through our hearts and not our eyes, we see so very much more. Peace, my sweet, sweet friend....

singleton said...

Benji....isn't that so true...kinda like finding a mirror...and seeing yourself from behind the mirrors frame instead of your own exact reflection....Changes everything. And I wonder why it is that we have to constantly be reminded how lucky we are, to just remember it?
Or why we have to hit bottom, before we realize how deep the water really is.....
Rambling, sorry!
Peace, love and all that wonderful hoo-hah!

paddy.....who knows....I wonder that all the time....
"Come on people now,
smile on your brother....
everybody get together,
try to love one another,
right now...."
How hard can this possibly be?
Peace, love, and we have to believe there is hope.....one soul at a time....

anne.....awww, sweetie! So nice to see you! I've been touched by amazing hearts, and been blessed by every one!

Spadoman said...

I stopped by and found life expounded upon by a sage. You tell a story like we all feel in reality. Great job. I've missed a lot this past summer, I'm glad to be back around.

Peace to all

M@ said...

I just took three Percs and I'm smoking like a fiend. Good stories....

singleton said...

sweetspado...We've thought about you so many times....good thoughts, good vibes....And i'm sure you haven't missed nearly as much this summer as you've gained. Oh, the stories road trips hold.........
Peace~love our friend, and welcome home!

Matt.....I thought you said you finally grew up! :)

eric1313 said...

Hahaahaha!!!!

I totally forgot anout who the butterfly was for a sec. Or is the buttrfly alive, just looking for all the peace it can get?

Glad to see you, no matter what, friend. to the smiling moon and the blue mascara.
Clink! Tink!

singleton said...

Eric...as prophetic as your words are sometimes, so are my wings, I rarely venture out, and usually only by accident, under the umbrella of justgivemepeace, and so it goes that when she flutters by, she often goes unnoticed....a little yellow blur....

eric1313 said...

not unnoticed. It just slipped my mind that you were her.

How are you tonight?

mindy said...

what a wonderful story. you are such a lover!! hurt children is the worst thing. i wanted to work for cps and my friend (who works there) told me that i couldn't make it.. that most of the time you have to leave them anyway. the system just doesn't work.
jaron is 3, when he's 17, i hope he doesn't do the things i did when i was 17. :)

singleton said...

eric....and that would be the butterfly effect! The treehouse is wallpapered in charismatic psychedlia now....words flowing, growing, climbing.....Just beautiful of late, so glad you're on a tideful roll!

mindy...Ah, baby, hug 'em tight, and get ready for the roller coaster ride of your life! We teach 'em, love 'em, and give 'em wings.....if Jaron does the same things you did at 17 and turns out to be as beautiful a soul as you when he's gone full circle, he'll be blessed and so will you. And yes, there is nothing worse than a child that's hurt, body or soul....

Peace~love my friends

karoline said...

i singleton..you take my breath away..

k:)

singleton said...

karoline....
It's so great to have you back! There are mornings I would just go searching for your wisdoms, and gotta tell ya girl, there was a crew of folks out there doing the same!
Cheers! Coffee style!
Peace~love~and oh, my! it's Monday!

Shimmerrings said...

I come here and read sometimes. Always great stuff. This, incredible! Thanks for sharing.

Rachelle said...

I am just in awe of you my friend.
Thank you for being here and touching my life.
Slainte~
Rachelle

singleton said...

shimmerings....I wish I had known that you were here, and I would have followed you....and now that I did, I'm so glad you shared! Peace, my new friend.....

rachelle....I was just thinking of you....and your alpacas....and how a whole world exists....that I never knew of....everywhere....around every corner.....and your babies reminded me of that!
Clink!
And peace, for all of us.....