Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How I Treat Myself....

...shows you how to treat me. I know I'm quirky, loud, opinionated, intelligent, articulate, sexually open, funny, gainfully employed, a devoted mom, a crazy ass friend and I know that I'm worth having around. Tonight I took a long walk after work, worked out when I got home, took a bath in some lavender scented epsom salts, shaved everything and got out feeling like a female. I'm going to give myself a mid week treat of clean sheets sprinkled with a dusting of baby powder. If you've never done it, try it. I may be sleeping alone tonight, but I promise you, it's going to be good!

Monday, July 27, 2009


According to Webster, this word means 1. to be overcome or die from lack of air; 2. to kill by depriving of air; 3. a confused multitude of things.

A strange word. What does it mean when someone says "Don't be smothering?" Does it mean he's confused by a multitude of things? No, I don't think that one's it. Does it mean I'm killing him because he can't breathe is own air? Think his own thoughts? Yes, that one must be it. I like the word "stifling" better. Means the same thing, but not to the point of death.

Smother, as in biscuits with gravy, is a matter of degrees. Your amount of gravy might be twice as much as I want. You might want your biscuits so smothered in gravy that you can't see the biscuit at all. Maybe I only want my biscuits smothered a little bit so that the flavor of the biscuits isn't stifled. And what if I change my mind? What if today I want so damn much smothering that you wonder how I'm going to handle it all and then tomorrow I want just a plain ol' biscuit with no smother or cover at all?

There are numbers between 1 and 100, there's attention and there's smothering. There's affection and there's clinging. There's love and there's obsession.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

This feeling....

I want to say something, but don't have words. I want to describe what it's like, for me, to wake up next to you. But don't have the words.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


How come when you're a little kid and you're lonely it's perfectly okay to crawl in bed with someone nearby and say "I just don't want to sleep alone" but at some age, that becomes not okay? I suppose the child in me is hurt tonight, feeling a great deal of rejection and fear. Something some adult did to the adult me is being responded to by the child me. That little girl who just wants to be liked and slept with in the middle of the night, when the night is taking much too long to get over.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Can Love You....

and not lose me. I can be in love with you, and not out of touch with myself. I can feed you, nurture you, sex you, support you, clean for you and challenge your intelligence - without losing sight of my goals, my needs and my dreams. Or forgetting that my first priority is my children. Oh, you don't want to come second after five kids, a grandkid and some nieces? Oh well, then you're not the one for me. Because, you will always come after them. Will you be neglected? No. Will you be included? If you want to be.

Love is a choice. A choice to to be kind. To be considerate. To feed you when you're hungry. It's a choice for you to come sleep with me because you know I sleep better when you're here.

Don't ever be mistaken into thinking I need you. Don't think that I won't still require a ton of alone time, time alone with me, time alone with my kids and time alone with friends. Hear me when I say "I want to be alone". It means that - it doesn't mean "I don't want to be with you".

I am so ready for this...but it's nowhere to be found. There's not a man - or woman - strong enough to love like this. They want it to be like the movies, all sunshine and roses. They don't want me to be tired after hearing crazy stories at work. They want me to grow my hair, cut my hair, stay thick, lose weight, dress up, be modest, conform to some sort of agenda.

Here's what - I'd rather be alone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You Signed Up For It

Tonight at work there was a physical altercation between two men. Each of them easily a foot taller than me, yet it was my job to "redirect" as they like to call it in the social worker realm. What this means is, do my damnedest to get two grown men who are wielding chairs and fists to stop. When my friend Jeff heard of it, his response was "You signed up for it". What I signed up for was to advocate, organize and agitate around social justice issues. What I signed up for was to make change in the lives of people who are disenfranchised, marginaliezed, warehoused, and kicked to the curb - literally, sleeping in the curb.

The people I work with are mentally ill, chemically addicted, developmentally delayed, previously incarcerated, and resilient. I work with people who have been abused, beat up and neglected. I work with women who sell their vaginas because they've been molested so damn many times that they'd rather sell what they have of value than continuously have it taken from them. In order to get through this dehumanizing event repeatedly, they stay high. Yes, I call them women - you probably call them crack whores. I work with men who have been taught at age 10 that they have to "take care of their momma" because the man she's getting high with is beating her up. How does a 10-year-old make money to cover the electric bill? Not legally. Nor does he have time to attend school. His "choices" were taken away from him a long time ago. Yes, I call him a man, you call him a dope dealer or a pimp. So, yes, I signed up for this.

What is the responsibility of the rest of you who didn't sign up for this? Sable Verity has been writing about NIMBY. "Not In My Back Yard" You know, don't put that shelter, public housing, work release, recovery center, jail or half-way house in my backyard. So, if you're so good that it shouldn't be in your neighborhood, who - in your estimation - is unworthy enough to have it in THEIR backyard? Because it's going somewhere. There are people who through no fault of their own have diminished their chances of ever working, supporting themselves or leading a "normal" life. Yes, there are others who are assholes, that's not the topic of this....diatribe.

Yes, I signed up for this fight. But you're responsible as well. You may choose to watch TV, or drink, or shop your ills away. You may choose to ignore the homeless person, the mentally ill person, you may go to hire someone and see find out they're a felon and turn them away, you may see that prostitute and disparage her, but all these folks are still your responsibility. You live with them. "They" are part of our community just like "we" are part of the community.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What Have I Become?

Someone just said to me "I've learned something about you. You have the ability to fall in love." What the hell have I become that this would be a surprise, or not just normal human capacity? Have I become so hardened by the life I've chosen, the walls I choose to live behind, have I so adopted this tarnished armor as my defense that it's become natural and not just a facade? Of course I can love, of course I want to love and be loved...don't we all? What I don't in conjunction is to be controlled, limited, put in a box, denied intelligence or hindered in growth. Does that mean I'll never find the romance love of the movies? I don't know. What I do know is that I want to sleep with someone, wake up in the morning and have coffee with someone, have a conversation that doesn't include fighting about my job, my chosen volunteer work or accusing me of something based on your insecure little mind.

So yes, I'm very capable of love...I'm unwilling to do is give up myself to have it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I need...

...a glass of wine, human touch, someone to breathe next to while I sleep, someone to talk to about something besides homelessness, incarceration and drug addiction. Tell me about music, play me a song, pour me another glass of wine, walk with me in the rain, sit with me in the garden, hold me until I feel human once again. How is it that this week I heard stories of crack, covered for incompetent co-workers, listened as a young, incarcerated man told of his relationship demise, held a man who's heart was breaking over his son being slit ear to ear in a drug deal gone bad, swabbed a greasy deck, cooked for my family, prepared a sociology lesson for a group of incarcerated men...listened to YOU, held YOU, helped YOU, cooked for YOU and didn't do one damn thing to take care of ME. Really, just look at me and actually see ME. Not what I can do for you, not what you need from me, don't ask me to listen - help - fix - mend - clean - cook - or buy. Just sit with me and play me a song while I drink wine.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Thoughts....

Today someone called me a "cold, white supremacist". I'm not. I am white, I have unearned privilege and I've been conditioned in this society. Does that make me racist? No, what it does make me is privileged. I don't get stopped by the police regularly, I don't have to quell my strong opinions in order to make other people feel safe, I don't get demonized based on the color of my skin, if I talk loudly - I'm simply talking loudly, I don't have to shop in a special section for hair products, people don't cross the street when I'm walking towards them and I'm not overly represented in the criminal justice system.

I am aware of my white privilege but that does not negate the instances where my moving among new cultures or new environments doesn't create awkwardness. Is this simply because I'm white or is it because I am uninformed of the social norms and values of this new environment? Am I so entrenched in my own experience that I don't pay attention to the clues being given? The latter is true, sometimes I'm so into MY experience of sights and sounds and stimulus that I may miss social clues. Is this a direct result of my whiteness or is it human? I don't know. Perhaps it is my whiteness and the ease with which I move through the world that allows this to happen? Is this a manifestation of white supremacy? I don't know that either. For sure it's not intentional but if that's the perception, what is my role in dismantling that perception?

This is a constant process, a constant analysis of my place in this world. Tim Wise tells a moving story about his mom at the end of her life and how her conditioning in this society manifested itself. Is this conditioning more prevalent in my life than I wish to acknowledge?

I'm working on it...

My Hear Hurts

Yesterday was awful, today is a new day. I was miserable but I talked to Dennis on the phone for a couple hours and thought I was over the hump. Hung up the phone and heard "creatures" in my ceiling. This was a first and scared me. I couldn't sleep for fear they'd chew right through the sheetrock, which is of course and unfounded fear. The tiredness and fear began the crying all over again. Have you ever just wished like crazy you could be little and say I'm scared, somebody come sleep with me? You know how it's okay for a kid to crawl in bed with her parents, I want it to be okay for a grown up to make the same call without it being awful.

I toss and turn all night. I get up this morning and my arms ache as if I've lifted weights, which I haven't. I decide to put away all the books and what not from yesterday, spill a half drunk bottle of diet coke all over students writing and books. The tears start again.

I decide I need to "clean house" and throw out months worth of writing. Months worth of making plans. Months worth of dialog. I know it's a good to cleanse. I want to build a fire -- I love fire and water. I want to dance naked next to the ocean. I want to feel the joy of freedom and I enjoy. And oddly, I wish I could spend the day in the prison today. Where I'm reminded constantly of the blessings in life.

How come a hurt heart results in clumsiness and body aches and confusion?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Will's and Wont's

What will be:
more disposable income; more freedom; peacefulness; humor; focus on my own goals and priorities; free time; openness to new relationships; guilt free; attuned to new learning; higher level of awareness; openmindedness.

What won't be:
accusations that aren't true; high phone bills; derogatory language; misguided priorities; instutionalization; shackles; challenging conversations; exposure to new ideas.

I'm free, free to pursue in whatever direction the wind blows.