My Name Is Nobody

When my sister and I still lived at home, many years ago, we would look at each other sadly and randomly say: “Nobody cares.” It is in fact, true on some level. People don’t seem to care the same way anymore or maybe they are just too busy. Too busy to show that they care? Yes. Sorry.

Life

Life (Photo credit: bitzcelt)

I used to be Somebody but not anymore, I don’t feel like Anything or Anyone anymore. I just Exist.

A very long time ago I was a little girl who played dolls, went to school year after year and I was a Student. I was known for always Smiling by my teachers but I seemed invisible to my classmates.

When I was in college I became a Young Woman, an excellent student, also able to cut a class for an outdoor concert with good friends, under the sun. My camera draped around my neck like jewelry, it did not get better than that. Of course I didn’t appreciate it then, does anyone? No, there is no frame of reference until you look back. Those WERE the BEST years of my life.

I always worked, every summer during high school,  I started working right after college but my world was still centered around Me. That wondrous place in time, the narrow window of fun, between college and the real world, now in today’s world fraught with unemployment. I had my apartment, I learned from good experiences and bad; mice running over my arm and leg at night or crawling in the walls and utter fear to getting frozen at knife point by a gang and the guardian angel who saved me. I learned that sometimes it is easier to say no, than it is to say yes. Eventually, I moved.

English: Portrait of old woman sitting by a wi...

English: Portrait of old woman sitting by a window. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I used to travel for barely nothing, to visit a friend, to fly across the ocean, to visit different countries. I was lucky, Dad worked for the airlines. Then, I was a Traveler, a Tourist. I learned to eat new food in Greece, jumbo shrimp staring at me with watchful eyes, lemon-egg soup, and everything tepid, I loved that. Food was not served burning hot. I walked up winding white and blue steps in Greece on a tiny island, where there were no cars, just donkeys. My family traveled to Portugal and I refused to eat sardines that the fishermen just caught. But, our family drank wine together outside in a beautiful garden, near a forest.

I learned to trust MY instincts, not my sister’s, the daredevil, with no common sense. We ended up on a canoe, going to on an island with two fishermen.  I had never been so scared in my life. No big deal, she shrugs it off, grinning. Yeah. Right.

Then, I was a Working Wife and Mother, I had a title again, a meaning for my Life,  the most special one. Being a Mother did not feel like a job but it fulfilled every one of my dreams, it was all I wanted to do my whole life. I wanted to have two babies, a boy and a girl and bring them up to be good, conscious, wonderful people. In that, I know I succeeded; I did my job well, I am proud.

My life has no meaning anymore. You can’t argue with something that is true. My kids are adults, they don’t need me anymore, my husband and I are very best friends, he could manage. My friends, the real ones who care, are sincere but have their own lives.

I need a new Life. I am so sick of the old one. I want to peel off my skin like I peel bananas for the banana bread I bake. I need to do something new with the second half or even quarter of my life. The end of my life, where did the first half go?

It left like whispers in the air, silent passages of time, I blinked.

 

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10 Random Things That Would Make Me Very Happy

Laughter

Laughter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Borders Reopening ( I have been lost without Borders, it was my go-to place, a place to buy books,  look at books, drink coffee, talk to people and generally make my life a  happier place. Let me tell you Target is NOT a suitable replacement but that’s all I’ve got now. The library used to be a nice place until they found one bed bug after a sale and having OCD, I don’t trust the books anymore. I think, if they found one bedbug, the relatives must be nearby and angry.

2. All my good friends would live in a 3 block radius.

3. “Certain people” wouldn’t gang up on me-consciously or unconsciously (God forbid I say their names, I would HEAR about it in 2 minutes with a lecture or small therapy session)

4. Laughing ( When was the last time I really laughed, out loud, clutching my stomach?)

5. A new vanilla based Ben & Jerry ice cream that I would love (Coconut layer cake comes close but it needs something else…)

6. Knowing how to work this damn computer.

7. Having a sense of direction to get to Apple or anyplace without getting lost a hundred times and yes I do have

a GPS system, we call her Jill. (I always assume she is wrong) Big mistake.

8. Having A LOT of money so I could take a vacation or 3 or 4 or 10.  FIRST CLASS.

9. Writing and publishing a best-selling “novel.”

10. Freshly squeezed orange juice every day (that does not come from a bottle or carton.)

English: A horse 'laughing'.

English: A horse ‘laughing’. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FWF Kellie Elmore (Let It Go) R for Language

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been letting myself, allowing them to have power over for me for so many years that I want to hide my own head in shame. When it’s their heads that should be sinking, face first in the mud. Not me. What was wrong with me that I took their shame, their disgusting habits, roles and personalities and made myself a part of it? I did nothing wrong, I was a child, sweet innocent child who was always afraid, always too sensitive and I was blamed for that. Bitches, bastards how dare you put the blame on me when you know very well that you were damaging me? If you didn’t know it, you should have. I won’t cover for you anymore, I won’t lie and I won’t gossip either but I owe you nothing, I’m not covering up what for you did all those years. YOU did them, not me.

Do you get the picture now? You should have thought of that while you were tossing around in the streets with other women, and you the “less guilty one,” you were rolling around with other men but your excuse was because you never “played the martyr.” So? I never played the tuba, it doesn’t make me a saint. You were just as much at fault, especially because you made a point to turn us away from him, “well, I never said i didn’t I just said nothing.” So of course, that makes it okay to you? No bitch, it doesn’t. Ever hear the phrase “Mea culpa” I didn’t think so and if you have you’d probably say, “Oh, I didn’t think that applied to me.”

Did you think we would never find out? Or did you want us to find out because eventually lies play out and truth unfolds, I remember the exact second, I knew something was up and I was alone. Hearing his voice, defensive over the white round kitchen table, the swiveling yellow chairs, feeling that cold feeling of dread and walking slowly to my room. I was “shaking and trembling” and I didn’t know what happened but I knew something was very, very wrong.” At least one of you had the decency to come after me, but she just did it so that she could bring me to you to tell me. Isn’t that right, dear mum?  Don’ t even think of correcting me, I remember, I remember details. Every. Single. One.

How you picked me up when I was sick at school in a different car, I knew then. How? I felt it.  Who was this man ? Why was he here driving us home. Something was off and I felt it. I forgot it for many years because it had no context in my world but then when all the nasty truths came out, the jigsaw puzzle was complete. It was exactly the same fit, corners lined up, this went into that. Click.

For fucks sake, you were surprised last week when I said “I trusted nobody?” How could I if I couldn’t trust my own parents. yes, what great role models you became.  Mum didn’t even want to have children she admitted that, although she does delight in the grandchildren and dad, he wanted children enough, he just wanted to fuck every woman with his buddy around the world and then some. A lovely example of parents, don’t you think?. Why do they question same sex parents or single parent adoptions with such rigor when they should be questioning heterosexual parents with even more scrutiny. Look at the divorce rate. Are you kidding me?

The two of you, scavengers, thought you lived outside of the norm of rules. or was it because you were caught? Okay big shot, don’t dangle we would have gotten divorced if I hadn’t fooled around either…to me. You tore us apart, me especially, do you want us to give you both victory medals?  Yes, you saintly  couple you said your vows again after you haphazardly patched things up and you had the best of time after that. Weren’t you sweet. But what did you leave behind? Two broken young adults, one definitely more mature then the other. one, emotionally invested and used, traded back and forth like a piece of gold, come to me, no, come to me, back and forth, like a pawn, struggling to come out of your serpent ways, many years later.

At long last. I hate both of you. I will leave you here in the dust to die. You killed me when I was a child, I’m not looking back at you now. I believe you have said all that needed to be said. I’m not looking back nor am I looking forward. Gonna take some time for me by myself to think, just me not the wife or the kids. I’ll come back to them in a few days when my head is cleared from all your crap. Gonna get a ride and disappear so I can get my head together. As for you 0ld folks I’ve cried my last tear for my past. I’m done and if you don’t believe it, watch me, just watch me go.

Free Writing Friday: Kellie Elmore: Abandoned

Little Fingers!

Little Fingers! (Photo credit: jmccauli)

Abandonment is like a second skin, it rolls up slowly on my arms like old-fashioned gloves, soft, sleek, black, elbow length. My teeth sink into the word “abandoned’ and “insecure” as if I was in the middle of eating a piece of double- layer chocolate cake. I not only taste but feel the delicious, sweet frosting rolling around my lips; it lives there, it feels at home. I was always a scared child, anxious, what was I picking that up that no one else was? I was always called “over-sensitive” by my mother but I fought hard, independently for everyone to hear my voice. When I was young my voice was low, I was always the good girl, after my father died, the dynamics all changed.

It was the first time my parents had been to a party; my mother borrowed a maternity outfit from her friend Ann. When they got to the party, six weeks before my due date my mother wasn’t feeling well. Her friend Claire made her sit down, she timed the contractions. “It couldn’t be, it’s too early” but sure enough, they called the doctor and he said he would meet them in the hospital. Claire drove my mother and my Uncle Teddy drove my father, I don’t know why, either does my mother, the last survivor of the four of them.

When I was born hours later my mother looked at me and said I looked “like a plucked chicken.” My father said to Teddy” How cute can you get?” Since I was born six weeks pre-mature and only weighed 4 lbs and 6 ounces I was not allowed to leave the hospital. I was in an incubator until I could reach 5 lbs. I was in the hospital for 4 weeks. Back in the 50′s they didn’t the knowledge they have now; I’m sure no one held me except the doctors and the nurses. There were no advanced techniques back then. Moms and Dads weren’t even allowed to enter the room much less caress their little one’s tiny hands. I knew my father had visited every day, after work, he knocked on the glass that separated us, and smiled. My mother’s story has changed a little over time, she had my older sister to contend with and she felt “there was nothing she could do.” I think the error in judgment was telling me the story. What purpose did it serve?

My parents traveled a lot when I was a teenager leaving me alone in the apartment building. I would cry when they left and cry when I saw them wait outside for their taxi but as soon as their taxi left, I felt fine and strong. Being left is not one of my favorite things; I’m better at leaving. Even now, when my children, age 18 and 20 leave for college, I still cry.

When I was a child, every night, I would ask my father questions “Will anyone go to the hospital?” “Will there be a fire?” and plenty more. I needed that nightly repetition of answers to feel safe. That lasted until I was in the third grade when my mom did have to go to the hospital for a small surgery. I was hysterical. I remember pounding the blankets with my fists and screaming “We can’t play the question game because one of the answers is yes!”

When my dad died, eleven years ago, my greatest fear came true, he left me, he left us all forever. I had a very tough time letting go, he and I were so close but I got through it, no one really has a choice and with the slow passage of time I healed very slowly and it took a long time.I grieved openly, never one to hide my feelings. My children were very young, 7 and 9, years later my son confessed he thought I would always be that way, crying endlessly and being sad. I felt terrible and guilty but there was no way that overwhelming grief could have been hidden. He also got to watch me heal and recover, a life lesson.

Life is all about leaving, my children will constantly leave as they grow up, even their first step, as toddlers grinning proudly, they show us they need to leave and it is our job as parents to encourage them. They will leave me or we will leave them. It’s life, and death, sadness and happiness, insecurity and hope. Abandonment feels so familiar, like a dress, perfectly fitted to my body. I know love, I know pain, but abandonment is not only familiar, it feels like my skin.

Carry On Tuesday- Come Fly With Me

Boynton Canyon - Sedona Arizona

Image by Al_HikesAZ via Flickr

Come fly with me and let me clutch your hand so that even if I feel the tiniest bit afraid in the beginning, I know you are here for support. We will travel over mountain tops and swoop over canyons as if we were birds soaring easily for food and flight. We have no responsibilities, except to have fun and for adventure to find us and for us to drink it in like wine, the shade of crimson roses. This is the adventure we have waited for, for so many years and we deserve this window of light looking straight out on to the  world. Wherever we go, we have each other, our own constant, for as long as it lasts. The images out of this small window are delightful. Now, we are flying above puffy, springy white clouds, I almost want to leap out through the window to jump on them, with you, my love, still holding on, to my hand.

Winter

FICTION

Calm Beauty in Turks & Caicos

It was the middle of winter and gusts of wind came through the house as if there was no insulation. There was nothing she could do to feel warm, she had already added two sweaters and heavy socks. She slowly realized that it wasn’t the amount of clothing that she had on that counted, she felt lost and empty inside, cold to the touch. It wasn’t always like this, she knew, but it had been for quite a few years. She let her mind drift to far away places, sand, sun, tropical islands.

There are choices you make in life, one for the family and one for yourself. She wouldn’t get divorced even if it meant sacrificing her own satisfaction, she would not, repeat not, sell her children’s happiness for her own. She knew a lot of divorced couples but this was not an option for her. They didn’t hate each other, they liked each other in a very friendly way. People talk about not having choices but there are always choices. She chose to keep her family in tact, to accept less fulfillment of other factors, you know, sex, passion, adventure, excitement. Yes, she chose her family, and she would do it again and again NOT to put them through the pain for some what, some fantasy of being 30 again? No. Things were what they were and she accepted that and yes, she was grateful for them. No one said she couldn’t fantasize, fantasies were allowed, no one knew what her mind was thinking or her heart was wishing. She kept things private and she knew that might be old-fashioned but she didn’t care. She was a mother, her kids came first. She had made her decision a long time ago.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Truth Or Consequences- The MeMe Tastic Blog

Peanuts

Image via Wikipedia

Here we go:

1) Everybody who knows me knows I love FOOD! Went out to dinner once with hubby after reading a review of this restaurant in the newspaper. It got such a rave review that when we called for reservations they only had a 5:00 seating. Knowing how much we love going out to dinner we decided it must be worth it. We arrived at our “early” time and were surprised to see people eating there already. We were starving. The layout of the restaurant was tight, as if we were in a big city restaurant not a suburban eatery. The menu had some nice things on it and they even had a couple of specials. The specials sounded amazing and I ordered the steak and shrimp special. You know a restaurant is good when that buttery feeling just slides down your throat in degrees of happiness. My husband ordered a glass of wine and I ordered my usual, a Diet Coke. In the beginning of the dinner after we finished our roll, the waiters came to clear the bread plates away. I was surprised, what if I wanted another roll? When we finished eating, looked at the dessert offerings but decided (unfortunately) we were too full. The prices were fairly steep, ranging from 20 dollars to 42 dollars but was worth every penny.

SOME OF IT TRUE, BUT I WOULD NOT SPEND 42 DOLLARS FOR AN ENTREE, RIDICULOUS AND ALSO, WOULD I GO BACK TO A RESTAURANT IF I DIDN’T LIKE THEIR DESSERTS. NO WAY. FALSE.

2) Growing up we lived in a lower/middle class neighborhood.  My mother used to work at night at the local hospital in the ER and there was a Doctor who kept literally chasing her around the desk. My dad made her quit but she wasn’t happy about it. She ended up working for a BMW dealer whose owner would take her for rides and they once picked me up from school on a street corner, when I was sick, in the newest, flashy BMW. Later my parents bought a black jaguar with leather interiors and real wooden trays from this same man. We used to ride to all different neighborhoods and into NYC, waving to people as if we were in a parade and we were royalty. People all around us would wave back and stare into the car trying to place “who we were”as if we were actors and actresses or royalty from another country. We used to go to various restaurants or museums and the entire family, starting with my father, would write in a guest book signing Prince Robert Charles and we would follow suit with our own impromptu titles. Once we were stopped by the police and he asked us for the Drivers license and our permission permit to ride in a parade. Oops, our bad! We were caught and escorted out!! (That was NOT fun)

SOME OF IT TRUE, MY DAD WOULD DO FUNNY THINGS LIKE THAT AND ONCE WE DID END UP IN A PARADE, WAVING. BUT THERE WAS NO POLICE AND WE WERE NOT ESCORTED OUT.

3) I was once in (what was then) the beautiful country of Yugoslavia with my mom, on tour, for two weeks. Once there we heard men whisper all around me, everywhere the words “kicki ricki.”  We were convinced since we kept hearing the same thing that this was some type of creepy dark, underground drug sale. Wherever we went, in open spaces people, on street corners, people kept saying the same things over and over again in hushed tones. My mom decided she would find out what they were talking about and entered a vastly crowded type of beer hall where they all stared at us and continued to say those odd words until I was practically surrounded by the men and their weird sayings. I was scared to pieces but finally, my mom, went straight into one of those small little enclaves, walked up to one of the men and said in a loud voice “what does kicki ricki mean?”  They stared her down and as I was about to run and grab my mother they too ran away quickly. What were they selling? What on earth were they doing? It couldn’t have been good because it all felt weird, and, we felt like we were being followed. It turns out that they were not selling drugs or beer or alcohol or hashish, what they were selling were “peanuts.” Peanuts?

TRICKED YOU ALL!  100 PERCENT, COMPLETELY TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!

4) My family traveled a lot and once we went on a vacation to Portugal. Once there, in a little fishing village called Cais Cais, my older sister wanted to explore. She dragged me down the village to where local fishermen were grilling sardines and offered us some. No way did I want to eat them but my sister grabbed the sardines from the fire and starting eating them with her hands. There was a man and his friend who offered my sister to show us around a private island. We had to go in a very small fishing boat, a row boat. As soon as we stepped on this island where there were no people, no stores, no houses, no nothing, the men decided to separate my sister and myself and wouldn’t let us see each other. I was frantic, calling for my sister and not hearing a word from her, all the while having a guy following me. He almost caught up to me when I thought I would die there alone and never see my family again. Finally, a few horrific hours later I was reunited with my sister and the four of us went back to the village where the fisherman gathered all around us, someone found an old camera and they took pictures of the two of us. Months later, a local friend of ours, sent us the little paper the village had and it featured an article about the “Two American Sisters” that had joined in the local ceremonies! I was so mortified, my sister was so proud!

MOSTLY TRUE, EXCEPT THE END. I WAS SCARED TO DEATH, IT DID HAPPEN BUT WE WERE NOT FEATURED IN ANY NEWSPAPER ALTHOUGH IF WE HAD, MY SISTER WOULD HAVE BEEN SO PROUD. I WAS SCARED FOR MY LIFE AND HER LIFE TOO!

5)My mom’s best friend lived in Florida first and then San Francisco.She was married for a long time and then got divorced. Her husband’s name was George. We all loved this woman like an aunt. She was the slowest eater I had ever seen, we would be finishing up our meal and she would just be starting to pick up her fork but she was wonderful and kind and sweet. She was a lovely woman and once I spent a week with her when she was living in San Francisco. I spent a lot of time walking around San Francisco, going shopping and seeing the sights. She had to work so she couldn’t come with me but I loved exploring different places on my own. I was taking black and white photographs and spent a lot of time outdoors photographing people. When my “aunt” came home for dinner we would eat, slowly, in her house. After dinner, she had a tradition, she would make me come with her and circle the streets where a man lived that she had a crush on. My aunt was 50 years old at the time and we had to keep going around the block for at least half an hour to see if his light was on, if he was home, etc. She was also in love with the opera singer Placido Domingo and knew that when he was singing on stage, that he was singing directly to her. She was convinced that eventually he would notice her. Years later, after the slow disappointment of the first two, the other man she was in love with was a contestant on Jeapordy, she watched the show when he was on and knew that they were meant to be together. She actually wrote a letter to the network, found out his name and wrote him letters. She couldn’t believe when he answered her letters and they ended up going on a real date!!! A year later they were engaged and I was the bridesmaid at the wedding!!!

ONCE AGAIN, ALL THINGS TRUE EXCEPT THE END. POOR AUNTIE, THEY DID NOT ENGAGED OR EVEN HAVE A SECOND DATE AND I WAS NOT THE BRIDESEMAID FOR HER OR ANYONE ELSE.

Professional Goals for the Next Year – Plinky Prompt

Donna Reed as Donna Stone, Paul Petersen as Je...

Image via Wikipedia

NO PROBLEM !

As a mom I have my professional goals all planned out. By the end of this year my son, a Senior in High School will be admitted to a college that he loves and of course one that we can afford (ha ha.) At the same time, our daughter who is a Junior now will also only want to look at SUNY colleges we can afford (and yes that means in OUR state only!) I’d like my husband to enjoy his job but spend more time with his loving wife (me) and I would like to have more (ok, some or even a little) fun.
I would also like to know, in the next five years what exactly a “movie” is, it’s been so long I can’t recall anything later than “The Princess Diaries” with my daughter and perhaps “Balto” with my son. I do admit I did bring the children to the movie “Recess” but since I slept through the entire thing, it doesn’t really count.
I want to travel, with my husband or by myself, I want to take a cooking class and maybe an art class or maybe a class at the community college. I want to continue writing and making collages and cards.
I want our kids to look forward to seeing us instead of trying every possible way to get out of the house for any reason just so they are not home! Now, the kids only go out with their friends, even going out to dinner with their parents is embarrassing, not to mention a family vacation. What kid would say “No” to a free trip to Spain? Spain!!! One or both of mine, apparently. Further, my goal is to enjoy my grown-up time when both kids are in college. And as I quote my husband when I asked him what another word for “empty nester” was, he smiled broadly and happily yelled” FREEDOM.”

Happy Birthday Daddy

Wiener Schnitzel

Image via Wikipedia

November 13th is my dad’s birthday, he would have been 88. He passed away almost 9 years ago but the pain on holidays, birthdays, Father’s Day, is the same raw pain as the day he died.  It’s a pain that is hard to describe for people who have never lost a parent. Believe me, I know.

Instead of wallowing in depression this year I am going to try to remember and honor the man I loved so dearly. His blue-gray eyes, child-like qualities, generosity, pep-talks and his warmth. I miss the soft yet sturdy hugs as if a limb of my own had been amputated. I miss the familiar smell of his after-shave cologne that he sprayed with enthusiasm. My dad and I were very similar; he and I had an amazing connection and a strong emotional bond. We thought alike and we completely understood each other. The day he died, my heart was gauged with intense pain, my heart missing an essential beat.

My dad and I had so much fun together when I was younger. We traveled to  Vienna, Austria, where my grandparents lived. We ate sugary-sweet meringues that were shaped like delicate white swans and sipped hot chocolate with “schlag”  (whipped cream). We ate exploding red-berry sweet and sour tarts in Viennese cafes. My grandmother would fry up her famous wiener schnitzel,  served with plump lemon wedges every single night.

I was in first grade when my mom couldn’t come to open school day but my dad came. I think he was the only father in the class and I was so proud, so happy that he was there. I remember sharing my milk and cookies with him and I felt so important. At a shared birthday party with a friend he surprised me by coming home from work early, sneaking into the party like a secret surprise. It was a joy so innocent and so intense that I remember the feeling to this day. I was shocked and delighted as I wrapped my arms around his tall legs like a clinging, furry animal. Back then dads’ weren’t as involved in their children’s’ lives as they are today but he always had time for me; his little one, his mouse, his baby.

We had adventures, the two of us. My mother worked a great deal, she traveled the world being a tour director and translator. One night my father and I went out to a Spanish restaurant and sipped sangria, with glistening, beaming chunks of bright oranges and green apples bobbing in the rich, red wine. We toasted people we knew with every sip we took. The more we sipped the stranger the toasts were. I remember we toasted a wall -paper hanger guy that never showed up to our house, people we barely knew and random people from the past.

We went to the bagel store together, early on a Sunday morning and the store was closed. However, the fresh, warm, doughy bagels had already been delivered to the store in huge paper sacks. My dad happily took some and we left, an experience a teenager doesn’t forget! We would go grocery shopping at a huge Pathmark store with my mom and he and I would find the biggest size jars of silly things: three-pound troughs of peanut butter and dill pickles, tubs of mandarin oranges and hide them in the cart as a joke. My mother would roll her eyes and shake her head, clearly not amused, but my dad and I would laugh hysterically. Often, there would be open boxes of cookies or candy and we would help ourselves to free samples. Back then, we weren’t worried about poison or germs or anthrax.

My father spent his entire life working for TWA,  getting free airline tickets for our family.  My father, mother, older sister and I flew to: France, Greece, Portugal, Israel, Switzerland and Germany. First class seats were a mere eight dollars extra but that was a lot of money years ago and a very special treat.

This Saturday on my dad’s birthday my husband and I are going to visit my mom and take her out for lunch, we don’t want her to be alone. I know that spending the day with my mom would make my dad very happy.  He loved my mom more than anyone else in the world. Later, that night, my kids and I will remember him with his own, signature and messy concoction, “Papa’s game”: a “mixture” containing  little bits of everything that is leftover on our plates and in our glasses, swirled together with a spoon and a smile. This year, I will toast to his memory.