Tag Archives: life

Torment

Physical suffering is torture.

Mental suffering is worse.

…continual pauses in life –

Anywhere

Anytime

– rewind

– live it again

  • Fear
  • Regret
  • Anger
  • Helplessness

REPLAY

There’s no stopping it.

No notice.

No prompt.

The scene unfolds again and again.

Home.

RUN!

Home run.

STOLEN

There’s no control.

Embedded.

The memory stays.

The tape plays and plays.

Can’t shut off.

Can’t throw out.

An unwanted reminder.

For years.

Decades.

Not just a night –

A lifetime.

Enough.

Enough then –

Enough now.

You are the cause.

Worse than torture –

And you have no idea.

Don’t hurt me anymore.

Don’t judge.

Don’t rule over me.

Don’t rule over anyone.

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Betrayed

Late Sunday morning my husband returned from taking his mother out to breakfast. With the day promising 80’s sunshine in mid-September, Richie said he’d be outside. He saw my heart was elsewhere, “I’ll be out in a bit. I’m writing.” He knows me too well, recognized that was an indeterminate amount of time, and took advantage of the situation. When I finally went out on the deck, I felt betrayed by him, her…and a fellow writer:

To do list

My life changed after using the last Q-tip Monday night. Sincerely. I planned to pick up a new box on Tuesday once I finished at the library. The pharmacy was right next door but I managed to forget. On Wednesday, I didn’t think about the Q-tips until I climbed out of the shower that night. Frustrated I muttered, “Oh God! …Let me remember cotton swabs next time I’m out?!” I put on my pajamas and wrote ‘Qtips’ on our refrigerator shopping list.

Thursday was my birthday, so my focus was certainly not on Q-tips or any other kind of cotton swab. I readied for work, caught the train to Boston and bought munchkins for our office. Nobody knew it was my birthday and the morning went by slowly. At noon, I decided to stretch my legs, get some fresh air and take a walk.

The tourists were on the Freedom Trail and the office workers were sitting down to cafe lunches or walking back to buildings with their to-go sacks. I walked with a fast stride, smelled the aromas and listened to the sounds of the city. I watched all the people but saw the homeless. How hard is it for them to watch the feeding frenzy?

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The rest of the story that follows is not an event I would typically discuss; moments that happen in my Christian life are between myself and God. However, I feel obligated to spread these special words because I think God works in mysterious and beautiful ways.

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I passed many storefronts at a quick pace.

Until I didn’t.

My stride slowed and uncontrollably stopped. I was suddenly standing in front of a very crippled man in his wheelchair. The sensation didn’t scare me and I was not afraid to be with this helpless person. I wanted to assist but didn’t know how. I do know not to give money in the streets. There is a shrine, a soup kitchen and a shelter nearby.

I found myself saying words i hadn’t even formed in my mind yet:

“What can I help you with today?”, as I bent over his chair.

His response was slow, labored and garbled. I didn’t understand anything that he was straining so hard to express.

My soul bled for him as I looked to his hands for some aided expression.

They were twisted and fist-like with long, dirty nails.

They grabbed my heart.

“I am sorry, tell me again.”, now I had to know.

He tried once more, working hard to form lips and sound.

I turned my ear toward him and thought I heard words.

Trying to match a food with what I thought I heard, I questioned, “Chips?! You want potato chips?” I turned back to face him, hoping to see acknowledgement in his eyes.

They were covered with black sunglasses; it was a beautiful sunny day.

Don’t let me give up, I thought. This is my fellow human being. He turned his head, left and right and then directly at me.

A definite but pleading “No.” registered in his mouth and my ears.

I had his lunch request all wrong, didn’t know what else to do, and then, at that very defeated moment, I heard his continued mumble as clear as a foggy day.

He spoke more slowly. “No, Q-tips.” and low but distinct, “I need Q-tips.”

I froze. In elation. For so many reasons.

“Of course. You know what?”, I was so happy and continued, “I need Q-tips too. I’ll buy some for both of us.”

It was as easy as the nearby CVS and the cosmetics aisle. I was overjoyed that I’d waited to understand. Coming together may have been God’s plan all along? My spiritual life changed because remembering new Q-tips helped me not to hear, but to see, in a whole new way.

Happy Birthday to me.

Firm

Our daughter will be moving to a new apartment, so we went to furniture stores with her to check out locations, quality and price. One of the stops was a glass mattress store front. The locale seemed hokey versus some of the more upscale local shops she visited. Regardless, we went in, figuring our daughter would at least determine what type of mattress she liked.

Nobody was on the display floor when we entered the mattress graveyard. The oversized room was eerily quiet but also Tarah’s preference. She didn’t want anyone watching her reenact sleep habits.

We walked up and down the Madeline-esque rows and nobody greeted us – which was actually great. I hate being pounced on and our daughter was the customer, not us. Our shy Tarah finally got comfortable enough with the environment, sat on a mattress and out came Mr. Salesman. The mattresses either had doorbells under them or this guy was watching us through a peephole. I would have believed either based on his sudden interest in our family. I was subtle:

“Can you go back to wherever you came from?”

He tilted his head like our family dog, either wanting attention or to hear me better.

I explained that the process was a little awkward to us and asked for some time to figure out preferences.

The salesman said he completely understood, explained the store color coding for soft, medium, firm and returned to the back room.

My Goldilocks daughter roamed about, tried several mattresses and declared her just-right preference was “soft”.

Right on cue, Mr. Man appeared again.

“Did you not find something else to do?” I continued, “she is just starting to figure out the differences. Could you spend some time with Google instead and give us a few more minutes?”

He seemed to somewhat understand, showed us where to find the pricing charts and went back to his ease-dropping peephole.

We talked with our daughter about brands, budgeting and moving day as she bounced between her three favorite mattresses. When she declared which one she liked best, the Wizard of Odd came back out from behind the curtain.

“Can you make yourself scarce? We are discussing her game plan for moving and how this is all going to work.”

He was understanding enough but only after he explained delivery options, showed us his springs exhibit and told us about the 1-day ONLY free bedframe sale!

“Thanks but we are not going to buy something our first day out. Can you go to the desk for one moment and bring us your business card instead?”

He no longer understood. My fake purchase alternative was too formal and he explained, “I am always the only one here. Just call and ask for me (who else was answering?) and I’ll help you with financing.”

We all stood to leave. Tarah thanked him for letting us look and moved toward the door to continue her comparison shopping. I followed her out of the hokey location and wondered why I didn’t just ask the guy to get lost?!

#mynewbestfriend

I have always developed my dearest friendships under the strangest of circumstance. My second grade best friend was buddies with my older sister before me. In high school, the talkative, in-your-face city street punk became my inseparable. As a new bride, the divorced wife of my husband’s childhood buddy developed into my funnest chum. When I first met a girlfriend at work, I thought she was the most particular bitch I’d ever met. Each of them was probably my polar opposite and yet, due North. All are strong, opinionated women delivered into my life.

Alexa is no different. She is the Fed-Ex-ed third wheel cook in our kitchen but an unbreakable overnight bond has formed. Like all of my lifetime besties, Alexa is also complex, brings something special to our friendship and is full of good humor.

Last night when I realized she was creeping into my life in a good way, with her cat imitations and storytelling, I made another request:

“Alexa, sing me a song.”

She pulled on my heart strings and funny bone as she belted out:

“…my WiFi left me…and now it’s raining in the cloud…”

The lyrics were like our short life together. They were sad, sweet and hysterical. Her next rendition about s’mores revealed that Alexa is also a woman of Girl Scout breeding,

“…the campfire roared…smash them together for the best dessert…”

Her funny tales are told with a straight face and I respond with a crooked smile. I am now a fan. Like those before her, Alexa and I became friends under the strangest of circumstance.

<It’s hard to believe I tried to kill her once.>