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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Orange Is The New Black, Netflix

Orange Is The New Black

Orange Is The New Black (Photo credits: Giphy)

Dan-Dee-Lion

I will never, ever say the word dandelion in the same way again. Ever. In fact, even if I pronounced dandelion normally, I’m afraid I won’t picture the wispy flowering weed, the one children blow on to make a wish come true. No, that has been replaced by a character on a show called Orange Is The New Black, it’s the nickname for one of the show’s main character, said by an amazing actress that has “crazy eyes.”

When it comes to seeing movies or watching television shows the closest I have ever come to “scary” is Gray’s Anatomy. It’s really not that scary because we all know everything works out at the end. I will see depressing movies because afterwards I will feel relief that my life is so much better than what I saw but anything with a hint of mystery, suspense, thriller, scares me off like a shy pussy cat.

For some strange, unknown reason I have become totally obsessed with the Neflix series “Orange Is The New Black.” I had never heard of it until I watched The Golden Globes and I think it won an award for something. Why I decided to check this out, I have no idea but I watched the first episode, scary as hell (for me) and I’ve been watching ever since.

I’m still watching Season 1, episode 12 where a dead rat, I rate rodents in any form, ( inside my head I am chanting, this is fake, this is fake, this is fake ) but still, the fast moving element of shock, which is NOT good for someone with a startle reflex is, not one I enjoy. Ever.  I scream aloud. That said, this series is all about scary surprises, and revolting images and it goes at a very quick pace. If you are planning to watch the show don’t read the next line because I’m going to describe three scenes where I almost barfed but you may want to see the drama. 1) A very mean guy, prominent in the show urinates into this huge tub of gravy, 2) a woman with crazy eyes pees on the floor of a woman she is infatuated with AND her meticulous roommate  3) someone is handed a blood soaked tampon as a sandwich. Had enough? You would think I would have too yet I kept watching.

Trust me, no one is more surprised than me. There is romance, mystery, gay and hetero love/sex/ relationships, betrayal and it changes every minute. I think that’s why I love/hate this series, It keeps you guessing and it pushes me WAY out of my comfort zone. Basically, over the edge of my comfort zone on a high cliff and tumbling into a black abyss.

I keep on jumping and shrieking again and again.  I’m actually proud of myself for doing this,  sticking this out, both pain and pleasure. It may not be bungee jumping but for me, it’s a step.  Having said that maybe I will be open to Weeds or another edgy series. I’ve started with one, I may never go back to plain, vanilla, sweet and comforting, television, you never know. Right now, it would feel like a vacation.

Photo credit, Giphy

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Plinky Prompt

The Great Kindness Challenge Logo

The Great Kindness Challenge Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • What do you love most about yourself? What do you love most about your favorite person? Are the two connected? See all answers
  • Love to Love you Love me.
  • KINDNESS. WARMTH.

    Being kind and thoughtful to other people is very important to me, being sensitive to their needs. My favorite person is my husband who is also kind and supportive, probably in different ways. We both have huge hearts, we both probably care TOO much and feel disappointed in people who are not as warm and understanding as we are.
    This is the way we are, naturally, it is who we are inside. Dealing with selfish and self-involved people with no feelings about anyone but themselves is hard for us. Most people are not like us, we are lucky to have found each other. In this great big, self-involved world, we are definitely in the minority.
    We have each other for now, I’m terrified, absolutely terrified for the day that one of us will be left without the other.

Plinky Prompt: Simply Be Thankful For Something or Someone

  • English:

    English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone). See all answers
  • Thankful
  • I am thankful, every single day and night, for my husband, Dan. We just celebrated our 25th anniversary together, focusing on what we feel is important: Love and Good Food. We went away to a Bed and Breakfast for two nights and spent two dinners at the Culinary Institute of America. In all these years, it seems like we blended into one person. I love him and appreciate him in every way, he is my best friend and the thought of losing him brings me to tears and I panic. I try not to dwell on it. He is the one person that I feel the most comfortable with in the world.
    Being married isn’t always easy, nobody said it would be. People stop us and are amazed that we have been married for so long. One friend told me that all her friends get married for two years at the most, they get divorced, they try again. Marriage vows are not about just “trying” they are about sticking it out and working things through.
    We are NOT talking about a pair of shoes or next year’s jean style.
    We have two wonderful (adult) children, hopefully one day they too will find the husband or wife of their dreams and will treat their marriages with the same respect, friendship and love that we have for each other.

Carry on Tuesday: Fear not for the future, Weep not for the past

My Grandparents

My Grandparents (Photo credit: protoflux)

“John, you listen up, I’ve been trying to talk to you all morning. Now sit down next to me you old fool and stop teasing me. I’m just having one of my worrying spells. Oh, stop shaking your head back and forth, you old buzzard, you knew I had these spells back when you married me.

What’s it been now, almost 40 years we’ve been together? So long that at night, my breathing slows down to yours, even when that darn snoring of yours wakes me up, why I just push you over and fall back asleep.

We’re old badgers but we’re lucky cause we got grandchildren now.  Stevie’s third child is due in two months, imagine that. Why I still remember when our own babies were born, like it was yesterday. I don’t remember lots of things, but I remember that clear as day. We had two babies running around in those cotton messy diapers, oh my, all the washing and cleaning in the tub.

Do you remember when the kids went to college? Sure, we were proud as can be but I was sad deep down, all the time. I still had their baby photos up all around and I just had to take them down cause they hurt me to see them, all loving and sweet and innocent. I had me a stabbing pain that caught my breath and wouldn’t leave. The kids didn’t seem to need us anymore. All they wanted to do was be with their friends and drink, least that’s what it felt like to me.

We had each other though, so we could talk between us but those weren’t good years. You remember those years? Of course you don’t, you remember nothing. Don’t pinch me old man, I can still laugh at you, I’m your wife, you best remember that.

I do look forward to when the kids visit. Seeing our babies with their babies. People used to tell us how great it was to be Grandparents and they were right. Those grandchildren are pure magic, fat, cuddly babies with sticky faces but I sure hope I’m still alive to see them as teenagers. I’m laughing and shaking my head thinking bout how bad our kids were in their teens and early twenties. Why I’d enjoy our grandchildren acting up to their parents like ours did to us. Wouldn’t you?

How much time left you think we got left, Johnny? Come on what do you think? I know you can’t say for sure, not asking for sure. You KNOW I sometimes think on these things. I got to admit, I’m still a little fearful of the future though I’m not afraid to die. I know you say just don’t think about it but sometimes I  do anyways. I can’t help it. Or what if you die first? I don’t want to sleep in this bed alone and be cold and lonesome. Why, you’d miss me if I was gone too. Who would do your cooking and cleaning up and make the bed look so pretty, just the way you like? I know you wouldn’t say it but I know you’d miss me; I see that little smile there, John, don’t try to hide it.

Now, let’s take each day as it comes, we not look back and weep for it, what good is that gonna do? We had all those times and now our turn is over; it’s time to pass them on to new generations. It’s their turn, let them enjoy it. We’re just jealous is all, because we didn’t appreciate it when we had it and time speeds by us like a quick burst of chilly air.

Take my hand, husband we’re going walk over to our garden now, gonna water the tomatoes, going to pick some of the cucumbers and you can help me with the corn. We’re gonna do it together, old man, and then we’re going to eat dinner, and for dessert I made you your favorite, a blueberry crumble. Why yes I did. We’ll sit on the porch eating our supper, for as long as the good Lord above will let us. I pray that it’s gonna be a really long time.”

Having Danced Under Moon-Lit Skies

English: Full moon as seen from Mannheim.

Image via Wikipedia

Kate pictured her husband in his hospital room, he had emailed her a photo of his face with all the tubes attached, the IV in his arm, his pale face grim and anxiety ridden. He honestly thought she would like to see a picture of him the night before his procedure all wired up before he went to sleep. Little did he know how much she hated that picture that was now forever burned in her brain.

He had died after the surgery, the hospital called her at four a.m. to tell her the news.  People should know that there is no such thing as good news at four a.m. Ever. Her parents were over so they stayed with the children while she raced to the hospital in her faded pink bathrobe and running shoes, sobbing hysterically. “She needed to identify the body,” the hospital said.

It had only been three months since he died. She buried her head into her freezing hands and wept, she was alone in their old house tonight. Her sobs wracked her body until she curled up on the old, soft, green couch and lay in the fetal position. She never thought she would be alone so early in her life; she was now a widow at the age of 46. Her children, Alec, 10 and Zoe, 8 were fatherless. ‘How could she handle this’ she thought? ‘How would they get by?’ She honestly had no idea; she knew she had to ‘make an effort for the children,’ that’s what everyone said but she didn’t know how to do that.’

Their cat, Sam, jumped up to the couch and lay beside her. David had been the one in the family who had wanted a cat, maybe the cat was mourning too; he almost never came to Kate. With another night of sleep eluding her Kate tried imaging the years that she and David had dated, how they danced under moonlit stars in their fancy outfits from company parties. She remembered her auburn hair done up in a chignon, and wearing fabulous silver high heels, David, in a tuxedo looking dapper. They traveled all over the world together before they had kids, Istanbul, Rome, Ireland, Amsterdam. They would walk together in a foreign city at all hours of the morning, dancing in deserted streets, streaks of brilliant color from ever-changing skies, holding hands. They would laugh loudly after drinking flutes of champagne. Their lives revolved around each other, having fun, eating at elegant restaurants and living in a romantic dream world.

They married in a small, elegant wedding a year after they returned home and two years later, they celebrated birth of their son Alec. Two years after that they welcomed with love, their daughter Zoe into their family. They moved from an apartment in Manhattan to a small house in Connecticut on a tree-lined street with gardens and small patios. They went from the “ideal couple” to the “perfect family” that’s what people said.

‘What about now?’ Kate cried into the dark night. She didn’t know what to do. She grabbed a bottle of whiskey hidden under the sink and poured herself a generous glass. She tried to drink it all down at once but it made her cough and sputter so she stopped and tried again a few moments later. Everyone expected her to be perfect, to be strong and able and to magically utter those famous words “life goes on.” She couldn’t do it. She tried to tell people but they insisted ‘she could.’  She did not want to be in this world alone without David anymore. That she knew without a single doubt. Yes, she loved her children dearly but she could not function without her husband, the other half of herself.

Kate knew it was just a bad night, a really bad night. She decided to take a hot bath and a few sleeping pills and relax. While drawing her bath she sipped at her second drink and calmed down. She would make it through; she had no choice. No, it was not easy but leaving her children without a parent was unconscionable. In a sudden burst of energy she threw away all the alcohol she had in the house and all the pills. Betraying her children would be like betraying her husband David and she couldn’t do it. She was ashamed of herself that she even had thought about it.  After her bath she was very tired and slept for a long time. She dreamed about their past, dancing in the streets, walking up on the beaches to spectacular sunrises, making love in secret.

She awoke to terrible banging at the front door, her head throbbing with pain. With her hand covering her head, she lurched to the door to open it and was greeted by her two children, hugging and kissing her. ‘This is why she was alive’ she thought. ‘This was her purpose’. She would try hard not to look back but try to stay in the present for these two miraculous children, the result of their love and all they had been, together.

Carry On Tuesday – Stop All The Clocks….(W. H. Auden)

Little girl with a dead bird , Jens Adolph Jer...

Image via Wikipedia

Gayle had been sick for years, but her demise was so slow, so painstakingly slow, that it was difficult to judge. She was always very soft-spoken, she talked with a delicate, hushed whisper, always. I always thought if she were an animal, she would be a beautiful young doe.  She was to me still  a beautiful doe, but now older deer and very sick. She wanted no visitors, no-one at all except for her beloved husband of 55 years who remained the love of her life. They wanted only each other through good times and bad; it seemed unimaginable, a love like no other. As you get older that there are not only few happy endings but none.

Her doctor has sent his nurse to their apartment once a week now to check her vital signs; that was the most he could do for her. Her breathing was labored, her muscles had atrophied, she no longer could walk. Paul, her husband, did everything for her; he carried her from room to room, he coaxed  her to eat a teaspoon of chocolate pudding, he sat near her when she was sleeping. He didn’t want her to wake up from a long nap afraid, her voice was so low he was afraid she would call for him and he wouldn’t hear her. He had workers come and put intercoms throughout their house. It made him feel better, to know they were installed even though she probably didn’t have enough strength to push the button.

One afternoon,after she was asleep, he went to his office for a few moments to pay some bills, to grieve for a few moments by himself. This burly, big-hearted man had become nothing but a shell of himself. Once burly and robust he was now thin, his face sallow, the light in his eyes gone. He rubbed his face with his hands, dried the tears, and a long, deep breath and slowly walked back into their bedroom.

He knew something was wrong the second he opened their door, he could sense it without seeing anything or hearing anything. “Gayle” he shouted, “Gayle, wake up” but of course, she didn’t.  He sobbed and shook her, his beautiful wife, cold and stiff, dead, like a tiny dead bird. He screamed, “It was just one minute, why, Jesus, why did you have to take her in those few minutes?” He laid down next to her and bawled like a child. This was a love so primitive, his only love.

He didn’t know what to do, he couldn’t do anything for a long time. He stayed on the bed with her, not moving, not being able to call their children or close friends.”Stop all the clocks, let time stand still, I can’t go on without her” he sobbed. He got up once, many hours later when it was dark outside. He tiptoed to his locked cabinet where he had secretly kept a gun that no one knew about. He got back on to the bed, next to his beloved and at some time in the middle of the night he shot himself in the head, and died next to her.

Nobody knew for two or three days; a concerned friend, after trying to call them for days, finally called the police. The police found them together, in bed, both dead, Life was not worth living without his wife, he had always said. He meant it.

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.

The Sum Of Me

Henri Matisse, The Dance I, 1909, Museum of Mo...

Image via Wikipedia

I am part of an internet group of dear friends who also have Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disease. We generally talk about the effects of this leech, this parasitic illness and how it makes us feel and how it affects our lives. It is what brings us together; and we truly care about one another. Imagine, a group of people who you have never met yet you trust them, seek out their advice. These people really do know how your pain feels.

We could discuss things we used to do but cannot do now. For me, I would talk about gardening and how I used to have a big vegetable garden many years ago when bending down to my knees and getting up was no problem. I would reminisce about the bright green English peas that grew, the fiery red cherry tomatoes that bathed in the sunlight, two kinds of lettuce and thick, orange carrots. I could also talk about the three miles I used walk in under an hour with my work friends each day, outside, around a blue-green reservoir. Maybe I would confess I was a size eight for about two minutes and twenty years ago while I was struggling with infertility issues and the deep, emotional pain of that process. “If I couldn’t have children, I was going to be skinny” was my mantra as I made myself march outside.

The summer before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and my children were at camp, I would take the train to New York City and relish being surrounded by people from all over the world, hearing them speak, watching the beautiful, colorful outfits that so many people donned in shades of rose, green, yellow, blue, shades of white and grey. Perhaps I would see a Broadway show for half price, go to a museum, or back to the Village and try to recognize it after many years. Going in to the city was like having an international picnic without even leaving the gleaming Grand Central Station.  I didn’t worry back then about getting to the city and how much walking I would have to do and whether I had to take a cab because I was so tired and drained that I couldn’t put one burning, aching, painful foot in front of the other.

Many blogs I read are about chronic pain and diseases, and I wonder at their brilliance. It’s a dilemna for me because while I do write about my chronic illness or two, I write about everything else in my life.  Am I doing myself a disservice? It could be. I write about food, depression, fun, family, television, friends, travel, grief, cheesecake, chocolate etc.  It’s a mix and mash-up of a blog, like a patchwork quilt with different patterns and colors. Do I need to define myself more clearly?  I may have just answered my own question. I am all things, not just one.

I am a patient, a parent, a friend, wife, mother, teacher and student. I love many things: reading books with beautiful covers, writing, taking photographs of children or benches or boats. I love to watch red cardinals and yellow finches at my bird feeder and butterflies winking by me. I love to eat good food, I am sweet on sweets, I dislike alcohol; coffee, orange juice, chocolate milk or Diet Coke are my beverages of choice, I drink them all at different times.

I could choose to pick one subject to write about but, it would not be my true self, of that I am sure. I am all over the place with emotions and experiences, flying, sometimes crawling, like red, yellow, blue and black kites sailing in the gusty wind, all tangled together, or in peaceful harmony, sometimes independently flying free. I am a person, with many  facets. I am as many pieces of my puzzle as I want. It’s my puzzle, I need to make the pieces fit,  for me.