The Death Of A Living Corpse

Sharp, twisted, gnarled fingers pointing up from their grave like skeletons

 

buried alive. They point from empty sockets glaringly without eye balls, clang and make a hollow. rattling noise. As if they were not here in the cemetery but above from the crumbling yellow ceiling.

They want to attack me, anything of me, worming their way into my brain and every patch of skin. This is how you make me feel, you get to me like no one else. You always had that capacity you just covered it up with charm. But not from me, fire ants slip under my skin, itching, burning, scattering.

The throngs of white rodents biting wire, wood, any material to get free, gnawing every which way to go even deeper under the once soft layers of my skin.

All of a sudden you have turned on me, licking your lips. I am the one who is hateful, crazy, contradictory? You are telling ME that? My fingers and toes are burning with fire, a fire that has gotten out of hand. It has spread to every limb, every DNA molecule.

I see from afar my hair is in red-orange flames. No, I didn’t put myself on fire playing with matches, this is arson; a talent you have always had without a shadow of a doubt. You play with fire often, I used to blow out the evidence for you but not anymore.Never again.

I am no longer the one who will protect you when you are lit up like a Christmas tree,

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

lights wrapped around your head. At those times you were so kind to me, warm, streaking through the streets, waiting for your get-away car. But, only then.

I will not help you anymore,  I took care of you all my life, I had no teenage years, went straight from childhood to adulthood without even a whisper of gratitude, just attitude.

Leave me alone now. Don’t talk to me in your premeditated voice that has struck other people  before. Of course I am not innocent either, but mine is not planned like yours, wrong yes, but not premeditated. You are a poisonous snake that has struck again; one of your dear friends spent years in therapy because of you. I was loyal to you, defended you.You tossed her out of your life like she was the rotting garbage in the smelly city streets that had not just collected after a long brutal summer weekend.

You don’t think about anyone’s feelings, you blurt things out because the only feelings that matter to you are your own. Let others clean up your messes.You have no filter, no filter, no filter.

I will be polite, in front of others but I will not allow you to talk like that to me again. .You have gone too far. For years I have wanted to get you out of my life, why live with such abuse and negativity and drama? But, you, persevered and I let you. Stupid me, I wanted peace.

You may be charming to others, outsiders. but you are not loveable. You have no interest in old friends? What are you hiding? People have asked me what was behind that and I gave no explanation but it is odd. Sectioning off people like little girls with their sweet smiling sections of hair.

This fire cannot be put out, you went too far. I will hurt nobody on purpose but again, that was on your agenda, not mine. I don’t care why, I care that I no longer stay in this imitation of a relationship with you.

Of course, I can play the game too, but not for you. Never for you. For the only person that matters.  I gave and gave to you and what did I get back? Nothing, nothing that wasn’t engineered for you. You were never my friend, but I never expected that. Friendships share trust.

I have nothing else to give you, you have built yourself a trap, it’s only time that will keep you from drowning in it. I will no longer rescue you from it.  It’s only a matter of time, I’m the keeper of secrets. I won’t say a single word.

Singing background vocals, every single time? But, then again, I expected nothing more. You were always mean-spirited, a dark shadow, why would I ever think you would be fair?

 

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Come With Me, Sweet Julie (Carry On Tuesday)

spinning top

spinning top (Photo credit: Creativity103)

i’m julie and i’m 14, my world is turning around and i feel like im slipping into crazy like a snap of my fingers. im a spinning top, out of control, like all my colors mixed together: the colors green, yellow, red, orange, so fast yet i can see the the colors like the threads in my brain have gotten twisted and i can’t untwist them. i stopped speaking a few weeks ago, mom and dad been beating me, they were drinking all the time and throwing glasses across the room that shattered like angry chimes, i’ve been pretty much taking care are of myself for a long time now.

i ran away a few days ago and im not sure they even know i’m missing. i brought only my secret box that i’ve had since i was a child. i keep my favorite top, a letter from my brother, brian, a seashell, red fish candy, and my flashlight that makes me feel safe.

mom and dad once let me play with their bright colored pills like they were marbles on the old, scratched wooden dining room table. i got smacked real bad when they saw i scratched my name and brian’s and a heart on the table. i had big red welts all over my body. cops came and brian and i were sent away for a few days but then we had to go home. i miss my older brother brian but he went to college a long time ago, wherever that neighborhood is. i still write him a lot but he doesn’t answer me.i thought he loved me for real like i loved him.

nobody knows this secret room, except brian. we found it many years ago but we didn’t tell anyone. my stomach makes noise and i eat a graham cracker and suck on it slowly and i have a bottle of water. daddy hits both mama and me a lot, he hits me with a belt and i’m never sure why. it hurts too much.

i fell asleep, cuz my head was hurting so bad, i thought i heard voices coming towards me so i hid extra special deep. ever since mama burned my hand on purpose on the stove the nice lady visited, she said she was finding me a new home but not if she couldn’t find me.  i was shaking so hard i couldn’t stop. she left but some hours later i heard footsteps again but not hers, unless she changed her clickety -clack shoes.

it was late and someone walked right next to my exact hiding place. i got ice cold with fear. i heard breathing,  right down low where the secret lock was and i heard someone say my name, i was terrified, what if it was daddy again?  “Julie, honey, it’s Brian, your brother, no one else is here, just me. I promise. Please come out.” i wasn’t sure if it was a trick so i stayed. He softened his voice, barely a whisper and said “Julie,  it’s Brian, I swear. Please come out Julie I came here as soon as I found out, I’ve been looking for you for years. I’m so sorry sweet Julie, I just got your letters because I moved a few times, but the second I got them, I flew down here and called the police on mom and dad. I swear Juls, I have never lied to you before, have I?

“Julie, he whispered, I’m going to prove it to you with a letter, ok? Read it, tell me what you think”he slipped the letter by the one opening that was very narrow. i looked at the letter and it was some legal paper that said i was going to stay with brian and his wife deborah. brian had gotten married? and he was my legal guardian now. is it true? i asked brian. “Yes, it’s true, you goofball, now get out of there, come with me and give me a big hug.” So I crawled out and Brian picked me up and we hugged for a long time. We were both crying too and he said he had to fatten me up. He told me to pack my things, we were never going to come back here. our old mom and dad were in jail. Tonight we were staying in a hotel (a real hotel) and i asked him if I could jump on the bed. Tomorrow we were flying to my new home, Deborah would be my new mom but I could call her Debbie if i wanted to and the best news yet, I was going to be a big sister!

i thought i should tell brian that i was feeling crazy before, real crazy and he laughed, he said he felt the same way when he was with mom and dad, they were bad people and did bad things. he promised if i still felt crazy he would take me to a doctor but as soon as he said it, i looked up at him and grinned. the next thing he said was, “Darn, I’m hungry, let’s go somewhere to eat, sis.” and wasn’t that the nicest thing in the world to hear.

A Precious Photo, A Plinky Prompt

Sisters

Sisters (Photo credit: David~O)

  • A precious photo
  • Our parents had a friend who was a professional photographer when my sister and I were young. I was 5 and she was 10 1/2. Back then it seemed like we were hundreds of years apart. He photographed us looking at each other, (in profile,) but it didn’t seem posed, we were casually seated and our expressions were real. We looked at each other, not as bratty siblings but with LOVE. I treasure that picture and always will. It’s a black and white photo and now, many years later, my sister and I have become much closer. It’s still nice to look at that photo; the innocence and love was always there, we both just needed to grow up (a lot) to see it.

Free Write: Kellie Elmore (Resolve)

Description unavailable

Description unavailable (Photo credit: wakingphotolife:)

I stared into her eyes of lead. I would continue to stare until she blinked. She had been abusing me verbally for years. I would take it no longer;  she was the one who was mentally unstable not I. As a child and teen I spent hours sobbing from her nastiness, the cruel streak that ran up and down her ruthless spine. I refused to call my mother “mom” I could barely call her by her first name, Joyce. It was a little better when our dad was alive but not by much; she hid it from him but we knew better.

People who met her thought she was charming and well-mannered. Peals of laughter wafted from her enraptured audience, that sat around her at the tennis club. Her friends would hang on to every word.  I’m sure to the public she appeared charismatic. She introduced me to her friends without name, as if I were her maid. Maybe my extra twenty pounds didn’t fit her expectations of perfection or beauty. I had always felt ugly and ashamed of my body. As a child, I hated to shop with her, although she forced me to, never once thinking about why I didn’t want to go, not bothering to question me about it. Instead, she left magazines open on the oak, wood table in the kitchen with the New York Times open to the black and white pages of “Sleep-Away Camp For Overweight Girls.” Subtlety was not her strong suit.

She fully admitted that if she was in her twenties now she would have lived a different life. She would NOT have had children, she would have had a successful career,  she would have lived in NYC and would have been an executive. She would have gone to the theater, eaten dinner out in small Parisian cafes, lit by candlelight, attend the ballet. She wasn’t the “motherly type” we all knew that. We think Dad even knew that but he humored her. Her nurturing skills did not exist, there was no evidence of her common sense skills either. She blurted out words and sentences, never thinking about how the other person would feel, never knowing the hurt feelings she could cause because she only thought about herself. “She didn’t mean to do it” she would say as her defense; she would vow that she would resolve that problem by trying to change. We rolled our eyes; this was her standard line; we all knew that it would never last. She might try for a day or two but then she would turn it around and become nasty, trying to make us feel bad for her lonely life. My little brother, Brian, took it the hardest. All I wanted to do was protect him, to take him out of this house and run away.  I just needed a few more years to earn money and then I would take him with me and we would disappear. She could have the life she wanted then, we didn’t care. We just wanted to get away from her poison. We still hadn’t gotten over the loss of our father due to a massive heart attack many years ago.

Joyce was a troubled woman, an even more troubled child. Her own parents had been killed in an automobile accident when she was seven. She had been adopted quickly by a family who adored her yet she never got over her own anger. She never trusted another soul, because they could leave her too. As a mother she knew her children would leave her when they grew up, so why get attached to them? This was not the life she wanted anyway.

Family Matters

daughter & dad

daughter & dad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When my neighbor, Lisa, a young woman with two children, told her father, on the phone, that she didn’t WANT him to pick her up for her CAT scan, I felt an unexpected lump in my throat. My father would have done the same thing. Oh G-d, how I miss that. After a few minutes Lisa  decided to let him pick her up and I was glad, “let him do this for you, it will make him happy” I said.  I quickly entered my house with tears stinging my eyes.

I expect the holiday season as a frame for us to mourn family members and friends who have died.  I was not prepared for this. This was unexpected and it hit me harder because I didn’t see it coming. Isn’t that always the case? I prepare myself for the holidays from November through January but it’s always what you don’t expect to happen that throws you off-balance and hurts the most.

When my father was alive and healthy, years ago, nothing would have stopped him from helping his two daughters, at any time, day or night.  Lisa’s situation brought those old memories back, piercing my heart, draining it. I remembered the time I was terrified of the sounds of the mice running in my walls and a couple that ran over my toes in my studio apartment and he picked me up to “take me home.” Or the one time in college when I had no idea about money and bounced a check (I did what?) and he resolved it and explained it to me. My dad made everything better; he was always on my side. I pray I said “Thank you” I pray I said, “I love you Dad.” I hope I did.

My father died on New Year’s Eve, ten year’s ago, my whole family is aware of that date.  I was not at all prepared for the random comment with my neighbor and it struck me so deeply. How lucky she was to be so young, to have young kids and young parents. I was looking back in time; this was me twenty years ago, this was me before we moved to New York, with two healthy parents and two young children.

You have no idea how fast time flies by. I didn’t know either. It flashes by so unexpectedly, the toddler whose hand you were holding to cross the street is in his second year of college; the baby girl you longed for after him is in her first year of college, far away. Two children, two completely different personalities; the mystery of motherhood finally solved for me.

“What did you do to make my sister and me so different?” I would ask my mother over and over again. It didn’t make sense. The same parents, the same setting, the same upbringing, what happened? We were so different, I needed to know. My mother would laugh and say “Nothing” and I didn’t believe her; I felt like she was holding out on a secret. That was, until I had two children, 21 months apart, completely different from one another and I knew, my mom had been right all along. We did nothing differently, they came out of the womb their own person. What they did have in common were that both were separate, perfect, miracles and yes, (hear that kids?) we love them exactly the same.

I Hate Salmon, So Stop Making Me Feel So Damn Guilty!

English: Flesh of an Atlantic Salmon.

English: Flesh of an Atlantic Salmon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I read one more article about the health benefits of my least favorite, strong (sorry, foul to me) smelling fish I am going to have a nutty. This expression was coined by my friend, Debbie, when our  boys were 2 years old.  The boys would often go off the deep end, fight, scream and cry, and we were sleep deprived and over-whelmed. Having “a nutty”just summed it up for both kids and moms.

By now, we know from every magazine, newspaper, television and vitamin commercial that the almighty salmon is healthy to eat and it has antioxidants. We see that everywhere, hear about that from friends, family, doctors, hair stylists, people from Verizon and Comcast. You get the idea. I’m wondering if I am the ONLY outcast who just can’t stand the stuff. I want to like it and be healthy but frankly the mere smell makes me nauseous.

I  blame my friend’s mother Natalie who forced me to eat it at their home one day when I was a young teenager. This family was very strict and very rule conscious, believe me. When I  politely refused to eat the salmon mousse for lunch she did not give up. Nor did she say, “I understand, have a peanut butter sandwich.” She then lied and said that” it was tuna, her mistake.” There was absolutely no choice in this household, I’d still be sitting there, hunched over, 42 years later if I hadn’t gulped it down, quickly throwing back whatever beverage was at hand. Believe me, no way was it soda, I’m betting on milk.

My husband eats salmon often when we go out to eat as does my mother and almost every person I know. Is there a salmon conspiracy? (I’m kidding) I have tried tiny bits of salmon in different forms with different toppings, yes, I want to like it. I don’t. Believe me, at 56 years old, there is no one, no chef, no expert that could make me eat salmon willingly. Hey, Top Chef, why don’t you make this one of your challenges? Because no one would win? Want to try it? Game on.

I’m sick of the articles in every Health Magazine about the benefits of eating this red-headed monster fish. I don’t even like looking at it on the plate. I feel like I’m supposed to feel guilty for NOT eating it and if I get really sick, which is inevitable, people around me will point a slim finger at me and say “You really should have forced yourself to eat salmon, it’s really not that bad.” So, don’t blame me, blame Natalie who forced me to eat it and I never recovered after that experience.

My daughter was a picky eater ever since she began eating solid foods, she would not eat the turkey, lamb, meat baby food. She spit it out. Know what? I didn’t force her to eat it, how could I? She wouldn’t swallow it. I let her eat other things instead and not junk. Today she is an admirable vegetarian, not eating meat for ethical reasons. Her older brother once tried to make her eat a tiny bite of his hamburger at McDonald’s and she did but she spit it out. So, in our house we have one vegetarian and one carnivore. I think we were too easy, looking back, not making our kids try things and offering options instead but we were new parents. Not wanting to make other people’s mistakes, as usual, we made our own.

Plinky Prompt: Write a letter to yourself in 20 years…

  • Letter to (Future) Me
  • What Did We Know?
    beach sunrise 1 Dear Old Lady,
    I want to live someplace simple and warm, with God’s Blessing, with my Old Man, beside me. It’s nice to grow old with someone and we are still lucky to have each other because many of our friends have lost their spouses. Sure, we have our health problems, who doesn’t? I’ve had them as long as I can remember so that’s not so hard for me to get used to but you and your ego, well, that was a little harder but we got through that tough time, didn’t we?.
    We moved to California when I finally put my foot down and said I could not TAKE these bitter cold winters in New York for my bones and muscles and you actually agreed with me. You even loved it when we sat on our deck and could see the ocean and the beach, not so close but it didn’t matter. It was nice and warm and I didn’t complain all the time, you joker. Now I complained just half the time! But, I really did feel better in the warm weather and you took up golf which you said you would never do.”Never say Never!”
    Our kids had kids of their own, just think we are grandparents, imagine that! I had wanted to be a granny since I was 50,and now I’m 76! What a feeling that is, seeing your son and daughter’s husband and wife and their precious children, Oh, I used to love holding them in my arms when they were little and singing them songs. My one regret is that they don’t live closer to us but they have to live their own lives and they can’t live for us, just like we couldn’t live for our mothers and fathers It’s a very hard decision, believe me, I know.
    We have friends here, but really, there is nothing like family. Oh, did I tell you? My sister and her husband moved a few blocks around the corner, shortly after we moved here. Their kids more scattered than ours but we all get together whenever we can and that is something to live for. All of us around a big table, imagine, we’re the grandparents now, who knew time would go by so fast?
    Appreciate every good day you have, life can be difficult but you will get through it.Don’t worry if you don’t have to. Just deal with things as they come your way. Most of all, just know I will always love my family, whenever I go, that’s the most important thing for people to know. I LOVED MY FAMILY and my husband and my kids were my whole life. That’s all I want to say.

Puzzle Boy- Kellie Elmore Prompt (Free Writing)

I was working hard on my puzzlw, me and my bestest riend Nikki when my stupid baby brother GREGORY, came down stairs on his rear end and decided to ruin my life. Well, he did that the second he was born but today he actually showed us how annoying he really was because he showed it in front of my very best friend and my mom too. “Now, now, my mom said, don’t get so upset Abby, my mom said in her sweet kind of fake voice, but she knew I was mad and she knew I just wanted to hit the baby in the head aftor ruining another one of my days.

“Gregory”say you are sorry to your sister Abby but he said no such thing and my Mom just made up the words and tried to pretend they were coming from his stupid little boy mouth. Did she think I was stupid? Whatever, it wasn’t tht much of a big deal so me and and Nicki put the pieces away and we didn’t let Greggy play with at all for the whole rest of the time that Nicki was over there. It kinda seemed that Nikki wanted to play “house” using Gregory as the baby boy but I refused to play that since I was stuck doing that every single day and night like forever. No, I was not gonna play with that stupid boy again unless one day if he was older and maybe cooler and he could play hoops or squash or something cool. Now, to me, he was just a blob that sati n a high chair and dribbled drool all over his face and Mom’s hand and my hand and this stupid spit up cloth and he would wipe his hand iin his own snot which was way more gross than I had seen in a very long time. Then Nikki had to leave to go home anda we didn’t say much more to each other except see ya at schoo and i locked the door behind me, hard.

Why couldln’t Mom see how disgusting that was? IF I had done that she would have yelled at me and screamed so loud and then punished me for sure. But with GREGORY, he was allowed to do it cuz he was the baby. What’s the difference, I wanted to say.  Why couldn’t i do it if he was allowed? whaat’s fair is fair. Besides, I was older so I should hae been allowed to do more things first. Yeah.

If my dad had been around he would have been on m y side before but that was no way going to happpen. I think mom and dad had a big fight and he left and she didn’t care but now she smoked lots of cigarettes and squished them out in a red and white orange juice glass, and he called to talk to me sometimes. I would get to see him sometime but I didn’t know when and he didn’t eithere. he asked about the stupid baby and I told him i hated him and dad laughed and thought it was funny and then I laughed too cuz it kind of was funny in a weird way.

After that it was pretty quiet in the apaartment, Mama was giving the baby a bath, and “GREGORY” had already eaten so mom and I would get to eat dinner together just like we used to. So I put on my mom’s apron, the one with the red and purple flowers on it, I put out the plates, and the silver ware and waited for mom to come down. I heaard her kiss him good-night so I was ready, Mom had cooked something beforeand it was time tht we ate it together. Us grown up girls together, just like it should be, all along.

Plinky: If You Could Delete A Memory, Would You?

  • Memory Erasure
  • Try And Delete Pain, You Can’t
    8560 – St Petersburg – Apartment If I could delete a memory from my past and all the pain that the memory caused, I would. However, I can’t change my history so even if I could erase the specific memory (sitting on the dirty steps of our old apartment building, sobbing in my nightgown, clutching two handkerchiefs, waiting for my older sister to come home one Christmas morning) I’m not sure it would do much good. There are bad times, bad memories and pain. Sometimes, there is not even a lesson to learn, not a single one. Many of us have had very bad experiences in our past, that leaves a trail of pain that follows you for years, or a lifetime. You can’t change what happened, all you can do is learn from other people’s mistakes. My sister and I were a team back then, united, against our parents, the enemies.

Carry On Tuesday: “I Had A Dream”

Publicity photo of Ralph Waite (John Walton, S...

Publicity photo of Ralph Waite (John Walton, Sr.), Richard Thomas (John Boy), and Michael Learned (Olivia Walton) from the television program The Waltons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a dream, when I was younger, that all families were like the ones I  watched on television: Leave It To Beaver, Father Knows Best and most importantly, The Waltons. Everyone always got along, the siblings were close, sure they bantered back and forth but I could just feel the love between them and the mutual admiration they had for one another. I grew up thinking that life was fair; good people got good things and bad people got what they deserved: punishment. Life was about giving and taking, things always worked out in the end, or so I thought.

I certainly don’t believe in that as much as I used to, hell, I’m not sure I believe in it at all.  There are too many bad people getting away with too much horrible crap and too many good people are given way too much stuff to handle that they don’t deserve. Think about it for a minute, I bet you can think of a few, truly good and kind people who don’t deserve what they have and a few unkind, bad and selfish people you wish had more of the same, negative karma that they give out,  if only to teach them a lesson or two. Does it happen often? No, it rarely happens if at all.

I know I started  my youthful fantasies, back when there was a Santa Claus, and an Easter Bunny and if you had a bad day, the next day was a promise with a kiss to be better. It was a world when moms and dads could tell you things and you believed them in your child-like innocence. Parents weren’t flawed people, they were just, well…parents. Apparently, life is not based out of old episodes of a television series. Reality hit me when I was an adolescent and those innocent years of childhood ended abruptly.

Families, like The Waltons all lived together in one big house; sure they were poor but they all got along and loved and trusted one another, three generations living under one roof. We can’t even have a dinner with the “adults” in my family before someone’s childish drama and selfishness rears its dysfunctional head, loudly and inappropriately, within a matter of minutes. At my mother’s  birthday celebration, one member of my family made it all about her. I wasn’t shocked or surprised it happens that way all the time. I just shook my head, looked at my poor husband who had just been delivered a stern lecture and saw his flushed cheeks and his bewildered, hurt brown eyes; he was very upset. After that, just looking at his body language he had checked out. There’s always one victim, usually it’s me, now it was both of us, but I don’t feel defeated anymore, I just felt disgusted.

Here is what I have learned:  people do not change. The most “enlightened” sounding people can be the most disturbed and do not know themselves at all; they need professional help. As much as we are all in this together with our friends, family, neighbors,  ultimately, we are alone. We are born alone and we will die alone. The most important thing to have is strength in yourself. We all need that wisdom and courage it takes to go to bed and wake up the next day knowing that even though it is hard to put one foot in front of the other, we have no choice but to continue. That even in uncharted territory we must force ourselves to go on and that family is not necessarily defined by blood lines but by goodwill, caring, kind, well-intentioned, love. Pure and simple. Love should not be that complicated, and if it always is, there is something very, very wrong.