FWF, Kellie Elmore. Fire.

 

 

HER

 

Everyone says that teenagers are moody.  I’m not. I’m depressed or nothing. My shrink says I’m in a “Clinical Depression” my parents say I’m very depressed. I don’t care what they call it, I just don’t want to live anymore.

I’m 15, I hate my life or well, I used to, now I just want to leave and not exist. I have no friends.

 

Her

Her (Photo credit: Forty Photographs)

 

Not that anyone would miss me, my parents just wanted to commit me to a crazy hospital and lock me up or drag me to church, every single day and night. My little brother, Billy, well he is okay, he’s five and to him I am,  everything, silly jerk. He didn’t think I was as crazy as a bat but what did he know, he still sucked his thumb.

 

I wasn’t the shrieking, breaking- glass bloody kind of crazy you see on television, or the raging mad screaming in the streets throwing knives and pulling out my gun, feeling ugly angry. Nope, It’s like I lived in the air. I existed, I blended in with the beige lockers in the middle school hallways. http://magicinthebackyard.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/campfire.gif?w=290&h=290&crop=1

My secret plan kept me going, it was the only thing I had looked forward to for over six months now. Today was November 11th, my favorite day and I knew where I would be  tonight. I knew where I would go tonight after dark. I had the place, I had the alibi, people didn’t care about me and I didn’t care about them anyway. I didn’t feel loved or hated. I didn’t feel anything at all. I read that’s the worst kind of crazy-bad or maybe it’s something my shrink said. I don’t remember.

She once said that if I could have cried, “released my inner emotions” maybe it would have been better but I had no inner emotions that I knew about, nothing that I was hiding, no conflict or cover-up, no tragic past. I felt nothing, bad or good, I didn’t complain and I didn’t want attention. I was just empty, all the time.

All I wanted was to go to sleep forever, and I loved playing with fire. I wanted to leave this world in a way that made me disappear for good. I wanted a quick death so months ago I stole a can of lighter fluid from the hardware store. My plan was to spray my clothes and jump, go poof up in flames.

The fire was still burning strongly, I opened the can of lighter fluid, smelled it and it made me cough. I hadn’t squirted it on my clothes yet. I walked closer to the fire, just a tiny bit. The long hem of the left leg of my jeans caught on fire as I edged closer accidentally but instead of jumping in all the way I instinctively fell to the ground and smothered the flames.

What the hell just happened?  I didn’t know, why did I do that? Why didn’t I just go into the fire as I had planned 1,000 times and burn to a crisp? Couldn’t I even get death right?  I really was a loser, I couldn’t even succeed in offing myself.

 

Ian's Big Boy BedI had been waiting all along for a sign WHEN to jump in. Could that have been the real sign? I told myself, that if I was supposed to die I would have. I wouldn’t have instinctively dropped like my old doll, Raggedy Ann, on the ground to get rid of the fire and save my life. THAT was the sign! I started feeling strongly about this. I moved away from the fire and after sitting there a while, I made sure the fire was out. I was not feeling happy but I was feeling something. It was a lot more than what I started out with.

 

I felt like I was in a daze, confused but I knew deep down I think that I wanted to live. I started walking up the hill, eating a granola bar that was in my pocket,to get to where I parked my car. I sat there for a few minutes.  I took a few deep breaths and drove home really slowly. Before I got to my room, I opened Billy’s door, he was wearing his favorite cowboy pajamas and yes, still sucking his thumb. I tiptoed over to him and ever so gently, kissed him on his head.

24-Hour Crisis Hotline – The Samaritans

samaritansnyc.org/24-hour-crisis-hotline/

  • The Samaritans of New York
     

    Samaritans 24-Hour Crisis Hotline (212) 673-3000. With the goal of helping people in distress and preventing suicide, Samaritans free, confidential.

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Plinky Prompt: You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater

  • Fun Day 002

    Fun Day 002 (Photo credit: Tostie14)

    You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater — about the path of life. (Whoa.) Draft the speech. See all answers

  • “The Best Years Of Your Life”*
  • Dear Students,
    I am NOT going to give you a long and boring speech. (Pause-wait until applause dies down.)I don’t remember what was said at MY graduation; you won’t remember much here either so I will keep it short. I want you to remember two words: HAVE FUN. (Applause) Actually, make it 5 words because otherwise I will get hate letters from your parents: Study hard and have fun. For those of you who are going to college, the next 4 years of life will be an exciting, amazing, playground. Appreciate every moment, every friendship, every single thing that you learn. It won’t ever be like this again. Think of these four years as the best years you will ever have. Study hard, work hard, and get fabulous grades. Make us all proud, but more importantly, Be Proud Of Yourselves. Try and help make the world a better place. I know you can do it. CONGRATULATIONS!!

*

Quote by Albert Ellis: The best years of your life are the ones in whi…

http://www.goodreads.com/…/64153-the-bestyears-of-yourlife-are…

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.

Sometimes when I’m alone I cry (Carry on Tuesday)

i’m not allowed to talk to people,no one or my daddy,mostlly daddy will slap me down. i not saying nothing cause then i get in trouble and i get punished too much,sometimes so purple an blue i cant go to school with my sister and brother. i like school a lot cuz my teachre is pretty and nice an she smiles alot to all the kidss.not jus to me but to all the kids but a lot to  just me. sometimes she puts h er hand on my arm and aks me to stay and tellsme if i wanna talk she would listen. i know that but my daddy. would not like that or mama either. but i want to sometimes. in my heaert where it burns so bad and my hands turn into balls of  fists like fire.

sometimes i feel like i’m gonna explode and when, my teacher,mrs. martin is super nice to me, i don’t know what to do. i can’t tell her, i can’t tell nobody cause if i do ther will be hell to pay and i dont want any more trouble. i got enuf. my backside still hurts from last time and it wasnt my fault, it was ricky’s my older brothers. but he said i messed with him so he blamed it on me and daddy believed him and ricky stood laughin while i got turned over daddy’s knee and i got whipped good. i was strong but then it hurt so bad, i did cry. i didn cry in front of them but sometimes when i’m alone i cry  but i think the  girl downstaiars saw me. i don’t care cuz it wasn’t daddy.cuz i didn’t want to show them that i waz a baby, no sir. i was big now, in fourth grayd even tho peoplee says im small. that aint so. my sistere Robin, my sister didnt laugh but she didnt say stop neither.cuz if it wasnt me it would be her. that’s how it goess here.

everyybody got to be safe for themselves, i know.but when im old enuf im gonna leave here and be good and g row up to be a man or a solid man like my pretty teachre says. i wanna curl up sometimes an hide   under ms martinns desk or maybee just go say hi again to the nice lady who lives underneaath us, the one ewho saw me cryin and gave me a tissue,in the buiding.in aparrtment 1C. we live in 2C.she looks at me funny sometimes but not bad fynny just weird funny.like she has a question mark on her face all the time, her pointy face.I gotta stay away, cuz she has the look of allmost saying something, like she cares but she can’t do nothing and neither can ms martin, cuz if daddy found out, we would likely just kill us an we don’t need nothing like that.i just want to tell her to just let it be. it wont be for forever. just sometimes you gotta get thru stuff an then u disappear.

Childhelp: Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse

www.childhelp.org/

National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) Crisis Counselors

Life is too short to work so hard. (Carry on Tuesday)

English: Throughput Accounting Chart

English: Throughput Accounting Chart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Oh my God, Mom, Dad, I’m trying, I told you like a hundred times but the only advice you give me is to find something I’m really interested in. I have no idea.  Oprah, every talk show host on television says “Life is too short so love what you do.”  Well, I don’t KNOW what I love to do, not everybody in the world knows, right?  I mean, I can’t be the only one, can I?

Look, you don’t think I’m envious of Jimmy down the street who knew at age nine that he wanted to be a doctor? Sure. But, it was easy for him, his father and mother are both doctors and he just followed them. Besides, there was never any question that he wouldn’t. Jimmy never had a mind of his own. I mean, really. Both his parents are podiatrists, gee, guess what field Jimmy is going to go into? Yup, feet. Dirty, smelly, old feet. Believe me, I’m NOT jealous, geez, why would I be? He’s always been a serious loser. C’mon Mom, you used to say that too, admit it.

Just because I don’t agree with you guys doesn’t mean I am being a “fresh mouth” and I don’t know what TONE you think I am using with you. How about let’s ALL take a deep breath. Okay. Do you think I like living with my parents at age 23? No, I don’t. But, what are you gonna do, are you gonna kick me out? YOU ARE? THAT IS SO MEAN. Oh, not yet but soon. I know the temp jobs I have been working at aren’t stable but like I said, I don’t know what to do and you guys said graduate school is out of the question.

I have said many times that I don’t want to be an accountant like Dad or a substitute teacher like mom. Dad, please listen and don’t get mad, I flunked every math class I ever took and you know I’ve always switched numbers around in my head, like dyslexia but not with words, with numbers. No, it is so true, my teacher told me it was a real condition. Anyway, I know you have been doing it for forty years and it makes a good salary but Dad, you don’t love what you are doing. Right? I mean honestly? I know you have the responsibility of taking care of the family and feeding us and all that and I admire you for that, but do you really want me to have the same life you have? I mean, really? Life is too short to work so hard that you dread going in every single day. Daddy, I thank you for doing this but I don’t want to do the same thing.

Maybe you can help me figure out what to do? Mom? You too. Please? I know I’m 23 but that doesn’t mean I’m all grown-up. It just means that I’m lost and afraid and older and believe me it makes me feel horrible and stupid. I still need you guys. A lot. It’s nice of you to say that I’m very smart and talented but I don’t feel that way at all, I feel insecure and stupid. So, yes, I would appreciate if we could all sit down and talk about options. Oh that? I knew you wouldn’t really kick me out the door. But, thanks for saying it.”

“Bullies Are Cruel” – Our New School Song

The kids playing together while dinner is prepped

The kids playing together while dinner is prepped (Photo credit: Alexander N)

“I want to sing like a hyena, and dance like a ballerina

Make ice cream out of your toes

Flip sausages for your nose

I want to run, jump and hide

with my friends at my side

We want to play and never go to sleep

we want to giggle and flop into a heap.

On the days there is no school

we can be found jumping in the park’s pool.

Life is great in every way,

just have friends

like mine, it’s the only way.

If there is someone who seems alone

go up to them and ask them to play along.

It’s not easy being new

so try your best to be kind and true.

It was that way for me

before my friends were nice to me.

So give a helping hand, whenever you can

give everyone a chance to hold hands and play

Peers become important in middle childhood and...

Peers become important in middle childhood and have an influence distinct from that of parents. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t hurt someone’s feelings

not on purpose and not by chance

think of how you would feel

if you were in their PANTS!

No BULLIES at our school

because we know BULLIES ARE CRUEL!!!!”

Mama Rose and Little Ted Mouse – A Children’s Story

Mouse

Mouse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mama Rose cuddled her little boy mouse, Little Ted close to her and whispered to him, softly and gently. Little Ted was frightened, there had been mean mice at school and they were calling him bad names and teasing him. Ted declared to his mom, he never, ever, wanted to go back to school again! She told him that he had to go back to school and that he would be brave and strong, and that those other boy mice were being unkind. They had a problem not Little Ted and that he should keep his head held high and ignore those hurtful words.

Ted wasn’t so sure about all of this. He just wanted to stay home nestled in his mother’s lap, safe, warm, eating chocolate chip cookie crumbs and an occasional raisin or two. “No, dear boy, I’m afraid you can’t run away from hurtful things” his mother said. “In life, there will always be things that we may not like but that we have to do.”

Mama got up and went to their little desk. She looked inside it for a long time. Finally, she took out a small, brown, box which held a silver coin. Mama Rose  had used this when she was a baby girl mouse when she was frightened and she passed it on to Little Ted Mouse. “Keep this with you, son, and when you feel frightened, press it hard and know that I am right there beside you giving you courage.” Little Ted Mouse looked up at her and asked with his big, wide eyes “Really?”  “Of course, little one, this will remind you of how much I love you AND like you AND believe in you. Whatever you do will be the right thing. This problem will go away, if not today, than tomorrow but remember, it will be fine.” Love can fix everything and those other mean mice just might need a little more love in their lives. Could it be that they are lonely or insecure? Just keep an open mind.” If it doesn’t get better very soon, tell Mama Rose, right away and we will talk about it again. Now, come, it’s time for dinner and then I will read you some books and then it is bedtime.

Little Ted Mouse nibbled on some cheese for dinner, he wasn’t really hungry and then he went to bed, without a word. His Mama came with him and read him five different books which he loved. Mama Rose saw his eyes get sleepy and so she gave him a big hug and a kiss on both cheeks and told him that “everything will be alright” and she would see him in the “morning sun.” At breakfast, Little Ted was quiet but Mama Rose took Little Ted Mouse’s tiny hand and they walked to the bus stop together, his silver coin securely in his pocket.

Mama Rose waited at home all day, nervously, not that she would ever admit that to Little Ted. She was relieved when the little school bus came and she saw Little Ted’s smiling face. Like all mothers, she felt happy. “How was school today, son she asked? “Oh Mama, he said “it was better than yesterday, not at first because the kids were a tiny bit mean but when I told them I had something special that I wanted to show them they all became interested…” What did you show them, my dear? “Why Mama, I showed them my special coin for bravery and they really liked it a lot!” They asked me to bring in again tomorrow so I said I would, is that okay?  “Of course, Little Ted, of course!!”

They walked back to their teeny, tiny little house, they sat in a corner on their favorite step and drank milk and shared a chocolate chip and an oatmeal raisin cookie, together and chatted, happily, about their day.

THE END

my day by sherry

Hopscotch

Image via Wikipedia

my dday waas verry diffrent from yesssterdat, funnyhow ur day cann be really bad andd scary and u  want to  just cry an cry. thaats what i felt like   today. mommy and pops were all tryin  to  preetend to b hapy but i culd know thaat its was just becaaause  i was stil their. i felt that in my bakk as i walked out the dorr so i culd catch the lellow school bus. my hair waz in 2 long braidss, my feet werr flyin in my new red lite up ssneakers witch ar so ammasing!!! andd i had a baloni and merican cheese sandwitch in my hello kitty! lunch boxx.i dont know whats goin on really but i know it feels kinda wrong and badand sad. i hav a brover who is just makin me feel jumpy and sad and mad andd that shouldnt happen. isnt family suppo two be nice tto family? no iguess thats not just so for some peepel, everyone is different i know.my teacherr told me that. i was sitting on the playground when  jessie came over to me and u know what, she didn’t do anythin but sit right down next to me and that was relly good. it was plenty, she asked me to play wit her like jump rop or hopsscotch or use   chawk but i didnt want to play or jump rope or hoppscotch.i just wanted someone to know who i wasss and what i was feeling like and jessie was all quiet and she put her arm around my neck and then we both smiled. smiled like we had won the lottery like on tvee or something cuz that is just how it felt. we both felt happy for no reason, well, no special reason at all. after that we held hands an went bakk incide. me and jess, we are best freinds now.

wen i gott home my brooter  said some  baad words and slamme the door an every ones voics were sso loud and screamin. my brother sam, i am, is 14 and hes in some kiind of badd truble, somes ttimes gronups dont listenn enuf but i no something was wronng and when i came baaak from skool, i was not  so hapy anymore andd at leaast i knew tht tmmrrow woud be sccool again  and i woud ssee Jessie aand she wood still be my bestest friendd. so i no thaats  really good an i donnt hav to say a word if i don’nt wan to.

If I Had One Hour in a Time Machine… (Plinky Prompt)

Strawberry ice cream in a cone.

Image via Wikipedia

Looking Back, Way Back

I would head back to my childhood, to my past. Life was simple, four best friends played together every afternoon and our only choice to make was what type of ice cream cone we would buy. Everything seemed perfect back then. Our moms were all near-by but in my time machine, the dads would be there too, all of them being kind and supportive. There was no problem back then without a solution. If you skinned your knee, someone would have a band-aid. We celebrated our youngest friend’s effort to ride a 2-wheeler; her blond hair wispy around her little face. I still see that image in my mind today. We were on the street corner across from Gussie’s candy and ice cream store. We skateboarded and roller-skated, played hand ball or jumped rope or hopped our way through hopscotch. “The Moms” would talk happily and if they were complaining about anything, we never knew. When it was time for dinner, we would all head back to our own apartments. Claudine and Roger in one building, Glen and I in another. We all ate dinner, usually at someone else’s house. When woke up in the morning, we headed to school together and knew that at 3:00pm, we would be right back where we were the day before. Together.

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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.

When Old Friends Become New

"Golden girl" – Horses (unknown bree...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve known my friend Meryl for as long as I can remember. We lived in the same neighborhood, attended the same schools starting with elementary school; we had what is now known as “playdates.” We had mutual friends but we grew apart over time, there was never any fighting, we just drifted apart.   That was over 30 years ago; just recently we reconnected.

Meryl, is my history and I am hers. How wonderful for her to remember that my dad, now deceased, had a telescope and would let us look through it; how heart-warming to hear her say ” your dad was so kind.” We talked about horseback riding (which terrifies me) and I suddenly flashed back to a strong image of pictures that she drew. I hadn’t remembered it or thought of it in at least thirty  years. The memory came back to me like a flash:”You drew horses, didn’t you?”  She smiled widely “Yes I did.”

I  remembered a cold winter day, in third grade, wearing a gray parka and walking from my apartment building to her beautiful white house. Her house definitely had better snacks than my house did, and that is something that you don’t forget! Her room was huge and I remember sitting on her bed and us talking.

Now, my husband and I are now very good friends with Meryl and her husband, Paul. It’s very hard sometimes to make new friends, especially close friends that like each other equally. We’ve all had friends where one or two people don’t get along; it’s very awkward. We feel so lucky, so blessed to have another couple where each one likes the other equally, not to mention that we all like to eat good food….together.

There’s a comfort level with an old friend, history, school pictures, adventures we had together. There is history with having a sibling (and we each have a sister) but there is no fighting, resentment, emotional baggage that comes along with it.  Meryl has become my sister without being a sibling. It is both incredibly comforting  and exciting to have a new, old friend: someone to confide in, someone who supports you, someone who really knows the adult and the child within.

*Dedicated to Meryl and Paul