#Free Write Friday, Kellie Elmore

SEASONS CHANGE, AS DO I

Strangers in uniforms, hospital workers and cops, are bringing me here to this dark brown building, against my will. There is force, extreme force, holding me down and if I try to get away, their grip on me gets tighter, the cuts hurt more, blood-soaked white bandages. I tried to escape, I slit my wrists in the bathtub.

I had no way of knowing that my mother would be arriving home after her flight to France was cancelled. I wanted to die, I don’t deny that. Why is that a crime? I was hurting myself and no one else. I know, I cannot win. I know this particular dream is over but I wanted to be by myself and not face the bitter reality of my drunken, crazy world. How many times did I have to hear “you’re no good” until I really believed it? This is a solution for me. How dare they stop me. It should be my right.

If someone else says “the world does not stop for you” one more time I will slap them hard against their smug cheeks. That is how I feel when I have no choice. More likely, I would put my hands around their wrinkled, pale necks and squeeze, hard. I don’t like when all my options are taken away. Do you?

I live on the East Coast with my friends and we talk about Winter incessantly with the same passion and hatred. We hate winter and ice and snowstorms. We can sense, to the day, when the last shiny, glorious day of Autumn disappears and that first startling chill of ice

strips your body naked and you know in your gut that there is no turning back. You are stuck in this season for a very long time. You feel trapped, like in a “solitude” room where they most likely are taking me in the hospital, the room with the  padded green walls so small you feel you will just suffocate from madness.

Our lives for the past twelve weeks had been mostly glorious in bold colors, people, the blue sky, birds, gardens, flowers

is about to turn into a mixture of black and white. Different shades of gray, from pure white to gritty black, for me, suicide producing thoughts. My friends talk about a vacation in Florida, they don’t want to off themselves like I do. Come on,  don’t tell me you’ve never thought about it? Really. Well, I have, many times. I’d be dead before I lived in Seattle, Washington although at least marijuana is legal there. Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t but I would need more than that to get through those arduous, long, gray days and the constant drizzle of rain.

 

I cannot live with gray or black and white, I need color to sustain me, I consider myself to be an artist. I need the sun to smile at me, to touch my skin, to stroke my hair. I need to see color for my sanity, the ocean, the garden in my neighbor’s yard, playful dogs outside, children laughing.

I will live no longer in this world of dark, don’t underestimate me, stupid fools. If I want to go, don’t doubt me. There are plenty of ways which I can leave, you just won’t know from which door I will exit…. or when.

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For Just A Night

 

Never before have I gotten so emotionally involved in the world’s problems as I have been these past few months. Sometimes, I read The New York Times, other times I watch the news on television. Now, I panic.

I used to live with my head buried in the sand, not knowing what was going on in the world and that was a delightfully safe place; an artificial place but a comfortable one. On the other hand I have worked myself into such a frenzy now that all I imagine and see are horrible images and bombs and in my mind I’m questioning “but what if….?” That is not healthy for me either.

Thank heavens for The Food Network Channel, my go to place when I need to unwind or if I have watched too much news and can’t settle down. The cheery shows on The

English: Logo for Food Network

English: Logo for Food Network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cooking channel as well bring me entertainment, not that I have learned to cook from either one of them. The only show I refuse to watch is Cutthroat Kitchen with Alton Brown and its element of nastiness and unmasked sarcasm. (See my blog “Cutthroat Kitchen” for that review.)

Today, I am starting off with a smile. I know what is happening in the world, I know there is sadness everywhere but I am trying to focus on my tiny corner of space. My daughter is home, safe from Spain, where she had a wonderful time. My husband is as happy as he can be without being employed but he is healthy and so am I. Tonight, our son is coming home so our family will be together for a few nights.

I really can’t ask for more than that. I appreciate it and I am grateful for it. It happens less and less these days as they are both in their early twenties. It was hard to get used to but even I, mother hen, have grown accustomed to the separation, they know I cry whenever somebody leaves. I have always cried when somebody leaves me. It’s who I am.

Tonight, at dinner, I will watch my family and try to soak up every detail, every single exchange in our own tiny part of the world, for every second it lasts.

For that, I am deeply grateful. I can’t ask for more.


 

Haiku Horizons, DRIFT

 

Fiery red ants climb

 

A human leg three days after coming in brief c...

A human leg three days after coming in brief contact with a fire ant colony (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

drift into tight follicles

 

 

 

 

 

Scratching pink skin raw.

 

 

 

 

 

*******************

 

 

 

 

 

Die, near ecstasy

Mother Ocean

Mother Ocean (Photo credit: belindah-Thank You!-200.000 Views Now)

 

 

 

 

roar, overpowering Life

 

 

 

 

 

Waves, sand, drift away.

 

 

 

 

 

******************************

 

 

 

 

Driftwood & pebbles

Driftwood & pebbles (Photo credit: Jerzy Durczak)

 

Driftwood, lies in dirt

 

 

 

 

 

Shaped like a  young bucking foal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to escape.

 

 

 

 

 

**********************************

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FWF, Kellie Elmore- Image Prompt

Image Credit: We Heart It

The” haunted house” has always been in my neighborhood. When we were little we stayed away from it. When I became a teenager and my little sister, Dani, would annoy me I would tell her the ghosts from the haunted house would fly in our windows and take her if she wasn’t asleep. I thought it was funny, you know one of those older sister “things.”

When I was 15 I claimed that neglected house as my own. Eventually it became our crack house,but for the first few months it was our hang out. We’d go there every day, cutting Senior year’s “internship” program. We had a tight circle of five or six friends. We all brought drugs, I stole pills from my mother’s medicine cabinet, there was alcohol, weed, all of us brought food, Benny and Steve always had heroin, my best friend Jenny brought cocaine and chocolate chip cookies.

My parents had no idea of who I had become. All they did was fight with each other. It was pathetic how easy lying was. If you wanted to change your life, it was so simple.  Assholes. They didn’t even pay attention. My little sister played in her room, alone. She barely came out.

One night, at dinner, the tension between my parents was especially bad, thick like the humid rain forests, we had to study. Hard to breathe. I saw my  7-year-old sister sucking her thumb which she hadn’t done since she was 3. I was fed-up with their non-stop bickering but when I tried to say something both my parents would tersely say “not now Tess.”

I pushed my chair back from the table and left, telling them I had study group and they didn’t even question me about what class or where I was going, so I left. I headed to my real home, the crack house where I knew my friends were.


I sat on the floor next to Danny he lit up a joint and we shared a few beers. It felt so good. I tried to forget about mom and dad but it was hard. Danny said there was one thing that would help me forget all about it as we giggled together and he nuzzled into me and whispered in my ear “I have something special just for you.” He laughed and said “Baby. I promise you, it is the biggest high you will ever have, all your silly problems will melt away in a minute.” He showed me the heroin and the idea of escaping my miserable world was so tempting.”Since it’s your first time, I’ll even stay with you if you want.”

We kissed and I whispered “okay” in his ear. He looked so happy that I let him inject the heroin into my vein. First, from what I can remember, I felt amazing, lots of colors and sounds, I had no idea where I was but it was better than any place I had seen. I remember dancing to the music alone, smiling a lot.

Later on, I got paranoid and scared. I just remember screaming so loudly in my ear. Everywhere people were screaming and I couldn’t take all that noise, I cried from the pain, covered my ears with my hands but it did not go away. Hours later there was nobody left and the screaming remained. Apparently the screaming came from me.

I don’t know what happened after that, someone must have called the police because I just remember an ambulance coming and strapping me down. I screamed when I saw both my parents waiting at the hospital, holding hands? The nurse gave me a shot. I felt  asleep in seconds.

When I awakened I pretty much just felt stupid, only realizing then that my problems had just begun.I saw a glimpse of my little sister hiding behind the curtains. I tried to smile but she did not want anything to do with me. I didn’t blame her.

I really was sorry, I guess we all were. My parents decided we would all go to family therapy and they would go to couples counseling. I lived back at home and my relationship with my little sister got better, sometimes I even played with her in her room. The crack house had been gutted and cleared.

I was happy to see it go. More than happy.

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Escape To The Bedroom

8773 - St Petersburg - Hermitage - Aphrodite

8773 – St Petersburg – Hermitage – Aphrodite (Photo credit: thisisbossi)

I’m so tired, my eyes are threatening to close and go on strike forever. I see puffs of clouds through jagged corners of my weary green eyes.  Believe me, I don’t want to fight you, I just want to go under my covers and sleep. It is the fourth day of gray, cold, damp weather and I try to pretend I am not even here. My Fibromyalgia tender points are raw, if I even touch one gently with my soft finger I scream with pain. It’s as if a rainbow of sharply pointed colored pencils plunge deeply into my tender points with the power of a strong hammer, the tip of bold silver needles aiming for precision. There is no cure and no release, not on these cold, damp days. Welcome to my chronic world.

I am taking a trip now, escaping under my blankets, where I belong. It is warm and sunny, I regret not having stronger sun glasses.  I am wearing a short, dark blue denim skirt that I haven’t been able to fit into for 20 years, I have a white V neck short-sleeved top with stunning embroidery around the lace yoke, a colorful beaded necklace around my neck, blue, yellow, pink, purple beads held together with silver strands. I am wearing silver sandals and freshly painted pink toes and I am smiling, happily. I move my head to catch the breeze and my hair feels like it is joyously dancing. I am not alone.

My lips have just been brushed, my breath stalled, the lightness of butterfly wings with unfamiliar lips brushing mine and lingering for a second too long to think it was an accident. It is just a touch, which makes my heart start to beat rapidly, and I have  t rouble regulating my breath. Both of us linger, for a second, in the air as we try to understand what just happened. That first question of possible romance and sexual curiosity being stirred up after such a long time. Who knew that they still existed? I thought they were gone forever, I fooled myself into thinking that because it made my dreary life easier.

‘I feel awkward and shy, my cheeks blushing pink, childishly and I try to hide my face from my new love but he misses nothing. He curls his hand and gently strokes my cheek, lovingly as if I was a precious gift. He looks at me as if I am his treasure, I don’t remember feeling like anyone’s object of worship ever before. This is separate, a later in life gift, a precious offering that I am trying to fight but know I will attempt to struggle hard and eventually may give in. Who doesn’t want to feel loved and sensual and appreciated? Who doesn’t want their body to be stroked so slowly and lightly that all your senses awaken like budding flowers from the long, dark, icy winter. I have never heard compliments murmured in my ears, whispering loving phrases as if my body and soul were a beautiful sculpture, more beautiful than Aphrodite.

I am yours, under these covers, in our world, in my head. You keep me alive, you make me vibrate and tingle until I can imagine I will see you the next time. We both long for that, sometimes not having the access immediately intensifies the passion, the lust. I want our eyes to meet again, the first second of shyness, the second of hunger, of greed and then…..’

Someone is pulling on the covers, intruding on my safe world, someone is screaming for me to” wake up.” No, I don’t want to leave but leave I must. I don’t want to return to that world with its gray dullness seeping into every molecule of my ordinary self. My brain is dead, my emotions flattened; I am jealous of my own fantasies.

Plinky Prompt: Escape!

  • English: Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C...

    English: Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. closeup view of vocalists Joan Baez and Bob Dylan., 08/28/1963 Español: Bob Dylan con Joan Baez en la Marcha por los Derechos Civiles en Washington, D.C. (1963) Italiano: Joan Baez e Bob Dylan durante la marcia per i diritti civili a Washington, 28 agosto 1963 Polski: Bob Dylan i Joan Baez w 1963 Deutsch: Joan Baez und Bob Dylan beim Marsch auf Washington am 28. August 1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Live at the Troubadour (Carole King and James ...

    Live at the Troubadour (Carole King and James Taylor) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from). See all answers

  • Escape!
  • I’m escaping from STRESS and I’m taking my husband with me. I can’t possibly hang on much longer with my twisted, achy stomach which might very well be an ulcer or worse, losing weight, and being tired and upset. I’m watching my husband feeling down and defeated and unhappy too. I’m taking my husband, my best friend, whose stress level I share and intensify, out of here.He needs a new, good job PRONTO, in the computer field (something about Software and Engineers and Project Management) where people are not mean but decent and NICE. It’s been too hard, waiting for the pink slip which is coming except they don’t even GIVE you a pink slip anymore. Now, they just take you into a room, avoid your eyes and mutter about lay-offs. The unemployment drill.
    Let’s sell the house, then tell our kids in college, take the nutty dog with us (she’s always up for an adventure) and rent a van, or small mobile home. We can become the baby boomer hippies we never were. Let’s go down to the basics, we don’t need all this “stuff” that you, okay WE cling to. Imagine, having no agenda, no plans, no watches. We’d be living on money from the things we sold. Our college kids might even have to work (Gasp, what’s that??) Let’s go cross-country (you never believed me but I meant it.) Maybe somewhere we can settle down and open a breakfast place or lunch, maybe ice cream?
    Let’s go now, before we change our minds. We won’t sell the CD’s, because the one thing we need, wherever we are, is music. Music makes us happy and we need to sing loudly out the windows with joy. Our dog, Lexi, hanging out the window having a blast. We will sing all the oldies, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Carole King, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez….just to name a few. No stress? Sounds like heaven to me.

The Great Escape (Plinky Prompt)

  • My Great Secret Escape
  • Shhh! This is top-secret so don’t tell anyone about this plan. It’s just between you and me, don’t forget it. Remember that dull party that you go to every Spring? The one with over 200 people who you know and enjoy and I don’t know anyone? Yes, that one. Every time I go with you, you leave me alone and start patting the backs of other guys, drinking your red wine and your bottles of beer and I am left sitting at an empty table pretending to smile, drinking my soda or cranberry juice.Or, I just walk around the room looking like a lost soul. As soon as I see food coming out of the kitchen I eat as many of the appetizers as I can because as we all know, those are the best. I’ve learned where the kitchen doors open and where the waiters and waitresses come out and I position myself carefully. I love those bite size appetizers, I would never leave before I had my fill of those delicate little flaky morsels. Sometimes they have crab meat ragoon inside them, tender and moist, jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce, teriyaki chicken or pigs in a blanket which I dunk in creamy mustard.There are always a wide assortment of appetizers, fresh vegetables with a dill yogurt sauce, a large fruit salad, the bright red strawberries gleam with pride, four or five different wedges of cheese and assorted crackers, hummus, pita chips and a sushi bar.
    It is after this period, before they serve the dreary buffet dinner with people waiting in long lines that I plan my escape. No one is looking at me anyway so it really isn’t risky. I slip out of the basement room which is extremely crowded and if anyone is around me I murmur that I am going to the bathroom. Anyone who knows me, knows that I do that often anyway. I climb the brown velvet steps, I have my beige cardigan around me ( wearing nothing flashy on purpose) and I step outside into the cool Spring air.
    We have come in two cars so I hand the ticket to the attendant, slip him a crisp 5 dollar bill, smile and drive away. The restaurant/banquet hall is so busy tonight because it’s on a weekend. I happen to know that they are always busy on weekends, every single weekend they host weddings as well; I checked.
    I start driving, my suitcase is already loaded in the trunk, there’s a brown paper bag filled with clear bags of almonds and raisins, diet orange soda, small bottles of Pellegrino, four ham and cheese sandwiches on rye with Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Lay’s baked potato chips. For dessert I have purchased a big pack of softly baked chocolate chip cookies that I bought at Costco, you can imagine the size of that bag!
    I have CD’s in the car, and no where in particular to go, I love that feeling. I just drive, I have no idea where I am going and where I will end up. It really doesn’t matter, does it? I’m alone, free, with no responsibilities, no one to put me down. I go from one bridge to tunnel to highway and I don’t fuss because I am lost. I’m not lost. I’m free. I open the window halfway, put on the radio and sing out loud. I don’t know where I’m going and that is the plan. Wherever I end up will be the place I choose, for a short time, that is, until I decide it’s time to go again. I love the feeling, living for me, just me, on the road with nothing to hold me back. The gas tank is full, I’m just following the stars and singing out loud, no one complaining that my voice is off-key. This is my kind of adventure, no one telling me what to do or where to go. Maybe I’ll adopt a dog and tie a red bandana around its neck. That would make it perfect. Me and my dog on a journey to nowhere yet everywhere.

    Description unavailable

    Description unavailable (Photo credit: The Mitochondrion)

Mama Can’t Hide

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Logo of Target, US-based retail chain

Image via Wikipedia

Stuffed Animals

Even when I need a time out from my teenagers or husband or just some alone time, I take the car keys, hop into my car and go. However, there’s no real mystery involved. Everyone in my family knows that if I need to get away, I will end up at Target. I have no true hiding place, they assume that I will be there and they are absolutely right. What is it about Target that makes me feel so good?

I can disappear in many different aisles, I can look at every toothpaste and deodorant that one can buy and there are hundreds of choices. I can look for inexpensive clothing or books, art supplies or Halloween candy. I can pretend I have a five-year old and look at stuffed animals even though I am always tempted to buy one for myself. I can buy trash magazines or just read them while I am waiting on-line. I can even have a cup of Starbucks coffee. Who could ask for more than that? In our Target store there is a Starbucks mini-store; I’m not convinced that the coffee is just as strong as the original Starbucks but it is reassuring to me that it’s there and available. At Starbucks I can also get my latest passion which is the Pumpkin Spice (skim) Latte, limited edition of course.

When I walk through the aisles I see things that I can’t imagine I have lived without before. The new Swifter combo package? A must have. Shampoo and conditioner as a value pack? We all need to wash our hair and it MUST be less costly if they are packaged together!  I buy birthday cards in advance and usually misplace them right before a birthday card is needed so I go back and buy some more.

I disappear in the arts and craft section buying pens and sketch notepads.  I love pens and flashlights and Raisinettes. There are some things you need to keep with you in case of an emergency. Rasinettes are my safety item.

While I may not be able to hide from my family, it’s still fun to be away and close enough just in case they need me.

Running Away: My “Rachel Green” (Friends) Moment

Friends Season 2

Image by IvanTortuga via Flickr

It’s no secret that being an adult can be very stressful at times for a variety of reasons. It could be parenting, it could be employment or unemployment,  marriage, illness or a combination of the above.  Parenting, to me, is utterly delicious but not always easy especially when you have two teenagers in High School at the same time.  Adulthood in itself can also be extremely overwhelming; you are older and things are not as easy as they used to be.  Everything is harder and more difficult however, if you live with a chronic illness. Your energy level is low, you feel weak, you feel pain, tiredness and sometimes sad and discouraged. That is the world I live in.

My husband and I had agreed to meet for lunch in the city where he was working.  I was coming from one of  many doctor appointments and feeling very discouraged. I think I had been to my  Opthamologist who had to relaser my eyes for the umpteenth time for my narrow- angled glaucoma. Or,  It could have been to see my Rheumatologist who is in charge of auto -immune diseases for my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  It could have been both.

We ordered our food and then I excused myself to go to the ladies room. Once I got inside I saw a big, wide open window,   leading to the street. Yes, I admit it,  I had a moment. I had a Rachel Green moment ( for those of you who don’t know the tv episode of Friends, she climbs out of the window at her wedding and runs away). For a few seconds I pictured myself climbing out that window;  I was absolutely stunned. Shocked. Eerily quiet.  For a split second I thought to myself, “I could just leave through this window and escape.”   I saw myself in  France or Italy,  eating warm, dense, freshly baked bread, pulling it apart and dunking it in olive oil.  I laid in the soft green velvet grass surrounded by leafy, gorgeous trees and rolling hills. There were wildflowers of every color, purple, yellow, pink and white.  I was alone. I was another person and, I was happy, feeling marvelous and buoyant and free. Free of illness, free of worry, I had just stepped into the colorized version of my life; I had entered into my own personal  Wizard of Oz.

No one could have been more shocked than me!  I shook my head quickly at the notion, but as I was returning to the table (and confessing to my husband) I still saw that image in my mind.  The sweetest thing was the feedback my husband gave me which was “I don’t blame you!!” I would NEVER do it,  would NEVER leave my family, but the fact that the thought popped into my mind was absolutely startling.

My husband and I finished our lunch and my husband led me to the train, the pain in my eyes like sharp, steel wires under attack, unable to see clearly and with a severe headache that pounded  the entire right side of my face. I stumbled to  Starbucks and bought a cup of coffee and a densely rich, moist,  brown sugar and molasses cookie for the ride. As  the train doors shut, I settled in, seated next to a window, in a chair facing my home and away from the city. Taking small, sugary bites from my molasses cookie I tried to relax.  My back nestled in the old, worn, smelly quilted chair. I sat quietly, listening to the  slow, chug-chug beat of the train like a song that was stuck on only one phrase, repeatedly. I sat in the train, the 2:48  that was delivering me back home.