Friday, June 29, 2007

You put your right foot in.....

When you wake up and you are five and the sun is shining through the dirty venetian blinds in little exacto-knife slivers of light across your bedsheets, it's morning time. A new day, long as ever. The sun shines for half your life.

Your eyes pop open, a wide mouthed bottle slurping down the morning. The cereal bowl is good and cold, no matter what the flavor, and then the bowl is empty and you're and out the door, calico dress and bare feet flying.

Pedal the pink spider bike with the fluorescent streamers and poker carded spokes ninety to nothing down the hill. Dig in the dirt. Scratch your name in a tree. Scoop tadpoles from the birdbath. Hide in the trees and wallop "falling stuff " at passing cars. Catch a firefly with a hangover and poke him in a mayonaisse jar. Play so hard you forget to go tinkle and have to ride home, perched like a lady, cross legged, on the pink spider bike..... ninety to nothin'.....

When you are five, you live hard. You chase boys around the trees until your lungs are a boom-box and the breath choo-chooing from your mouth is cold. You forget to brush your velvet teeth. You wear knots in your hair. You have dirty feet. You clean up good in the morning.

When you are five, you are free.

And the price you pay for freedom is bed-time.

Thank you justme, for the title!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Clink! Tink!

I’m addicted to Michelob lights and Winston 100’s and dancing. I tried to quit smoking, took up chewing Eclipse , and now I’m addicted to that. Smacking, chomping… the instant rush of flavor, and then, the repetitive, soothing, comfort of the gum tucked just so, nashing on it instead of grinding my teeth. Just cut a huge chunk of my thinning hair off, no amount of ice or peanut butter would free the wad of last night’s gum from my morning bed-head. I didn’t care. It was worth it. I fell asleep with mountain air swimming in my lungs, and I slept in peace.

I’m addicted to the beach. To the chafing sand, tiny Styrofoam balls of salt , crunching under my feet, clinging to my skin, falling from my hair. To the tired broken shells….washed up finally, from fatigue or fate, waiting in the cheese line….praying to be found, scooped up into a plastic bucket, a pocket, an open palm…..and to finally rest in peace. To the rheumy tide. Tattled on in the Farmer’s Almanac. But not predictable. Don’t ever let her fool you.

I’m addicted to crayons and colored makers and pencils and ink. I’ve collected a thousand colors in as many shapes and still it is not enough. I’m sure I am missing opaque shades of the sky, the skin, the soul…….

I’m addicted to signs. Little nuances that point me in the right way….yellow butterflies, perfect songs, license tags that spell out my fate……and billboards that knock you down and drag you down the wrong road , kicking and screaming, and loving every moment of it…a sunshine charm found in the sand, red wine on sale, the car clock stuck on midnight, hurricanes….. I’m really, really good at twisting them into my own make believe meant-to-be’s….

And I'm addicted to laughter. Something I "cold-turkeyed" a long time ago. Gave up. Just like that. They were good years,I smiled, I nodded, I danced in line. But I didn't laugh. Didn't get the Sunday School Giggles that can't be tucked under your petticoat, the "Yes, Sir, Officer" "No, I was just sneezing, looking for my registration" hiccups...I just smiled....lived...settled. And then I fell out of a hammock, on the perfect day, and started laughing again. And it was perfect. A helium high. Cheap thrills for the soul. A little rock and roll. And damn, I love rock and roll....

I’m addicted to peace and love. And understand I might die before I see them through. But I believe, and for that….

I have passion….

“They have support groups for people like us” he said; stubbing his cigarette into the dirty ashtray,
and clinking .....

Monday, June 25, 2007


It’s been forever.

Since I had a couch. Well, hell, we bought one when we got married, but then I found that house, the one I had to have, that leaned and squeaked, and had rats in the attic. It wouldn’t fit through the front door so we gave it away. Hauled our new-credit young selves to the Famous Furniture outlet and bought a new one. With cooshy macramé pillows and fringe. Right after I fetched the “isn’t she too cute” half wolf/half shepherd puppy home from animal control. 23 hours and $350.00 later I came home to a living room swimming in shredded foam rubber. I charged an entire new sofa on my “I‘ve got credit” credit card, and only took home the cushions, to keep “him” from knowing……

And then I left him.

Packed up the youngin’s and what would fit in a U-haul, and left. The macramé couch didn’t go. We put a sandbox in the living room instead.

And then bean bag chairs.

And then everyone got big at once, and had friends that came over to “socialize” and I hauled a sofa home from the curb. “Free” it said on the scribbled sign plopped up on the pillows.

It was raining that night. Thunderous storms. No one heard me pull in the driveway. Heard my key in the lock. Or the plop of my purse landing on the kitchen counter. Or the pitter patter of “What the hell’s going on?“ rounding the corner. No one heard me at all.

And there they were. Making out on my couch. Teen-agers!
Damn it!

I hurled the cushions out the front door and we hauled the frame out in the blinding rain. To the curb. Where it came from. Free.

And then we had nothing. “Doesn’t bother me. I’m bendy. I’ll sit on the leopard skin rug. Everyone else, stand if you like. I didn’t want anyone to hang around long enough to get too comfortable anyway ….”

I finally caved in and bought a chair. A brown leather chair with an ottoman. I was tired. Needed a place to rest. Everybody fought over it… “I call this chair”…..Piled in and stacked up, they pretended it was a VW parked in my living room. But it was my chair, and while I rarely sat in it, still preferring the leopard skin rugs for naps, and lazy afternoons, it was mine. Curling up, all bendy ,into it’s thick leather arms was comforting sometimes…..

I hauled a couch home last night.
The kids are gone and they won’t believe it when I tell them.

But it’s lonely here.
And the chair is haunted…….

Saturday, June 23, 2007


The moon was nothing more than a pale green lady, her face thinly veiled; a woman in mourning. The few stars that climbed out of bed for the funeral were sleepy, lazy, and cast no more than candlelight on our procession. But they watched. As they always do....

And the ocean roared, flapped her frothy wings furiously at the shore, the rocks, anything in her way; spitting at our feet. She had come for us....

"Shhhhhhh" he whispered, throaty from too many late night cigarettes..

I couldn't see his lips, but tasted the words, salty feathers moving slowly up and down my own.

"This is what we heard".....
"That night".....

We held hands tighter, our fingers chained this time,

walked back into the water....

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spray paint...

My house is graffitied. I’m allowed to paint on the walls. Years ago, I started with a simple little scribble board in the bathroom. That’s where everyone is inclined to ink it. And it just grew. Down the halls, up the walls, carved into the tree trunks and benches, stick drawn into the wet concrete. The things people say. Thoughts. Moments. Memories. Souveniers glued in crevices. Shadows spray painted on the curtains.

Yeah, I know it doesn’t add to the property value. I had to bribe the appraiser recently with beer and stories and sunshine to find tiny un-vandalized corners for his photo shoot, and judge me on my cover and not my contents…. But, he did me good…. “My sister is a hipppie in California" he winked at me when he left…..

But it adds to why I value my house….
Why I call it home….
The painted house….

And why the people that visit here
Are free

To be themselves…..

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Chicken F'N Noodle Soup

My mind races and the words get all mixed up like cold alphabet soup, …

I twirl the spoon and it spells….

You don’t get it. I have to say it out loud for you to get it. Mispronounce the words and talk in etch-a-sketch language.

I pause.
Try to put them in order.

Take the spoon and plop the soggy “I’ve said this before” words up like little soldiers on the edge of the bowl.

It makes you crazy.

The pausing.
The waiting.
“What the hell are you gonna say next?”

I don’t know….
Right now, the soup is cold…..

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Midnight in the garden of good and " I can't believe I'm doing this....."

I have rules. Not very many. I’m bendy when it comes to rules, but still, I do have them. And I break them. Change my mind and tighten the ropes every now and then. Change my will and skip over a few, Chinese jump rope for the soul. Change my direction, without notice, and do back flips.

Now I’ve broken all of them. Wadded them up like 3 hour old Bazooka gum, spit them into a crumpled napkin, and tossed them out the window (Minimum $500 fine for littering and I don’t give a damn!)

I’m not inclined to be wreckless. I’m a scaredy cat. I’ll toy with trouble, put my big toe in and shiver from the icy cold, laugh, and pull it out again. Do The Hokie-Pokie and do it all again. But wreckless…..

This is a little new to me….

Still, this is the year of the slinky snake. Shedding skin that didn’t fit in the first place, replacing it with psychedelic colored rings that go round and round. This is the year I’m alive. This is the year of change. The year of peace and love in neon letters stolen from the corner store. The year of the moment. When collusion is birthed from chaos.

Catch me if you can…..

Monday, June 18, 2007

And we all fall down......

We really did go to the beach, I swear. We just spent a lot of time at the Tiki Bar. I mean, they put it right there. We had to trip over it to get to the ocean! So as soon as we emptied the cars, hurling stuff through the motel room doors, we trapsed our little fannies down to the bar and parked it there. "Woo, hoo! We're at the beach"!

The deck teeters over the edge of a steep dune, haphazardly reconstructed by the hurricanes, and the wind howls through the railings at night, making the tarps billow, the ceiling fans sway, and the bartender's tips, if not scooped up right away, blow to the next lucky recipient. Dollar bills scurry across the splintered planks like tiny runaway rodents and float like lost kites in the sky. Little kids, whose parents, hours ago trusted them to the sandbox, chase them in the neon night.

And so we danced. In the sprinkler mist piped in like Musac from the Tiki Bar roof. Barefooted with beers in our hands. Over and over again. We danced with each other, with strangers, with lovers, and hubbies. We danced with other peoples hubbie's, bikers, and the boys from The Brotherhood of Death (you know who you are.....precious skin headed just-turned-21 friends) We danced til one of us had splinters in her toes and one landed on her rump, feet to the sky. We danced until I fell off of a perfectly good chair, cracking a rib, and got up to do it again. (Kind of like when the music stops, the safety bar rises and you have to exit the Tilt-a-Twirl and walk on perfectly flat earth again....Just another day at The Fair!)

We danced until we were silly......

Enough to do other silly things... To roll down the dunes, into high tide, biting the sand straight from the ocean's lips. To give out our email addresses to people we wouldn't give our names to.

Sometimes you have to runaway.
To do what you really want to do.
To heal.
To find the reason.

June 18th, 2007.....
Report from the "he's so handsome" Doctor......

What have you been doing, Kim?
You went to the beach?"

yeah, I did.
And oh, yeah, I drank beer.....

Come here and give me a hug.

and then go do it again....

You're in remission!

Feel the Love......

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Knock-Knock, Who's there?

“You need to stay out of the sun tomorrow”

I pulled on the frayed edges of my cut-offs, twirled my cigarette in the ashtray….


“Your face”
“You’re getting wrinkles”

“Is it supposed to rain tomorrow?”

“No, its supposed to be beautiful”

“Then so am I”

Vanity and arrogance dribbled from the corner of his lips like tobacco spittle on an old lady. Didn’t your Mama ever teach you if you can’t say anything nice, not to say anything at all? Hey big boy…..whatcha gotta say?


He can’t say anything nice, so he just sits there. Stewing. Trying to dream up something else that will crawl under my very last nerve and get to me. He hates when he can’t.

I laugh.

These wrinkles aren’t from the sun, you silly fool. They’re from living. From failing. From falling. From flailing on the living room floor and living through “that” night. From laying down in the middle of the road in front of a car driven by a 16 year old maniac and bellowing “over my dead body”. From the Christmas Eve “Ma, I think she’s pregnant” revelations and the "oh, thank God she's nots". From kissing dirt and kicking it into gravesites 25-35 years too soon. From wars and ghettos and moments we weren’t poor, but broke as hell. From laughing hard and late in life. From loving and taking chances. From running, climbing, crawling to get here.

The sunshine just watercolors the lines on my face. Makes them glow in the dark. I’m proud of them. I've lived through them.

I believe in peace and love…

Take that, and put it,
Where the sun doesn’t shine!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Tequila Sunrises and other shots.....

5:34 A.M......
Mad cats spitting over chicken bones owned the abandoned Tiki Deck. Their Halloween silhouettes arched and tiptoed across the splintered planks, smiling with greasy lips and staring at me with liquid eyes. I mimicked them. Arched my back and tippy-toed past their rheumy faces, past the early morning stench of Friday night beer bottles....
And dove..... feet first,
fanny next, over the mountainous sand dune, onlto the cold wet sand, bulldozed flat by a midnight tide....

The sleepy pink sky flirtatiously batted her eyes and golden streaks of her mascara rained onto the the glassy sea.
"Good Morning Sunshine".....I whispered.....
"I've come to find peace"......
And then I the cold coquina laced sand. Barefooted and free.
At the frothy water's edge, I paused to twirl, to point my toes, to be five years old again and was greeted by myself, a mermaid ghost doing water ballet in the mirror on the thin morning tide. I smiled at my own reflection until she was swept out to sea...
Mounds of blackened sea weed littered the shoreline - dividing the hard cold surface of the morning from the soft sugar dunes of the night. I lifted a foot and sent a tangled mossy pile of it flying....watched as a bridal bouquet of barnacles, treasure shells and bottle caps freed themselves from the knotty web in flight.....
A few more steps and.....
Half buried and half alive, a billowing orange blob lay breathing, exposed and then hiding again with each lick of the waves. It wallowed, quietly gurgling and then gasping. It's lungs filled with water, and then it lay breathless and empty again. I crouched near, but not too close. And then with one steamroller roar, the ocean flipped it on it's belly....
Giant letters tattoed on it's fluorescent chest.
I drug it's water logged ugliness to safety, into the arms of the Sun. Lay it, flattened, on a mound of sand just high enough to be an island.....
I salute you, sweet stranger,
wearing those dollar-store words....
And once here,
flinging them off in a fit of freedom......
of course,
there's no place anyone would rather be...

Than here........

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Take my hand.....

We're doing it....

Throwing it all in the back of the car and driving off...

May seven sunsets and seven sunrises.... be blessed....

With perfect strangers we fall in love with...
Ice cold bar beers...
Spicy chicken wings...
Periwinkle soup ,
Barefoot sandals,
Bloody Marys,
Grafitti in the sand.....
Band-aid tattoos,
Found treasures...
Moonlit nights and the cat that jumped over them,
Coolers full of melting ice,
Salty white sheets covered in sand,
A margarita now and then,
Frosty window units dripping through the night,
Sunburns that feel good....
Rock and roll laughter....
Slow dancing to fast songs...
Spooky seawall stories...
And the yellow butterfly.......

Here's to getting the days and nights mixed up...

For seven days and seven nights!

Feel the love.......

Monday, June 04, 2007

Wild horses and other love songs

The very first ever kiss. A 5th grade feather on the cheek. Double-eye winking, looking away. Feathers falling everywhere. Down our arms, down our legs, in a heap on the dusty playground. I laugh and run. Gangly arms doing the breast-stroke in the lunchtime wind, running faster….toward the girls….away from Ronnie-freckled-McCartney.

Eskimo kisses. My father’s broad Indian nose touching mine. His black eyes, small and shining, locking mine. He lifts me up into the air, nose to nose and I flail...kick my skinny legs in every direction, giant Ked sneakers banging his shins, and shriek in laughter. Eskimo kisses on a hot summer night.

At the Bayou….I’m in the eighth grade and I’m not allowed. My Father said so. I’m all dressed up in borrowed shoes and a chopped up make-shift dream-come-true dress and he scooches in closer and kisses me hard. I love it. “Take me home” I obediently mutter ….. It’s midnight, now…..

“Have you ever been French kissed before?”
“Yesssssss” I whisper, eyes closed …….
“Oh my God, this is it” my heart screams…….

Chubby little cheese curl toes. I touch them. Marvel at their perfect imperfections. Smooch! I pucker up and kiss the little pink soles hard. “You’ll never ever be too old for Mama to love you”…….

Grimy glass covered in hand swipes, nose prints. Snot. Standing like a barbed wire fence between us. They lift the steps up and the engines roar. I search frantically for his face in the little oval windows. I kiss my own fingers and lift them up… blow. Praying he sees me. Praying it reaches him. Praying for an end to war…..

I’m next to her now. Trying hard to breath in rhythm. Counting in between her sudden gasps for air, for life.
1, a million, 2, a million, 3, a million……15, a million, 16.…….
I don’t want to stop her going. I don’t want to save her now. I want nothing more than peace so I’m trying to be very, very quiet. We’re breathing in labored sync. I can’t stand it. Roll over and kiss her fragile little forehead, “it’s okay. You can go now”…..
And we start again…..
1, a million….2, a million, 3.…..
“I’ve loved you for a million years”……. My sweet, sweet, Nadine…….

My hands cupped around his sweaty block-head. Holding on. Grasping at the real live HIM! I squeeze. Lean in and kiss him, Italian style, on both cheeks. Muah! Muah! My fingers, shaking, trace his nose,His I-just-recently-could-grow-this-stuff chin. My son. Free. I hold on to him for dear life.

Floating in the lazy round river. It’s hot and his eyes are blue. Then teal and green and yellow… an endless ocean… frothy beer suds on laughing waves.
Without ever touching…..without ever letting go…….

The kiss goes on and on….