Saturday, March 29, 2014


When I was about 16 or 17, I, like most teens at that age, thought nothing would be cooler than my parents going away on vacation without me. Leaving me in the house with a couple hundred bucks, just like in the movies. I'd have a party, order food, and just be a downright fool for a week or two.

That never happened in my household. That would NEVER happen in my household. To this day, my dad hates leaving me at home alone when I visit. To be fair, I am pretty destructive...

Nonetheless, I wanted this so badly. Not that I had enough friends, or enough "cool music", or enough non-awkwardness to have said house party, but the possibility was amazing to me. Reality was, they didn't go away, we all didn't go away that often, in general. That was what I wanted, though.

Today, I know what an idiot I was. How ignorant and naive and clueless!

I haven't lived with my parents for about 6.5 years now and it turns out, I'm not very good at taking care of myself. My eating habits are bizarre and lacking, for one. It turns out, if I try to live on only peanut butter for a week, I'm not going to feel great. You get to the point where you are willing to kill a baby for a carrot or a little bit of an apple. Anything but peanut butter.

I also don't really know how to do laundry. No one ever told me. That and I never listened when roommates and random people tried. ahem. So, I've given up and just hand-wash stuff. It's probably dirtier when I'm done, but no one has to know.

I will admit, I am pretty proud of how well I've kept my dog and all my foster pets alive throughout the years. No dog or kitten or puppy has died under my watch! Feed, walk, mush face: check! I've got it down.

My latest realization of just how bad I am at all this life stuff was when I sliced my finger. My mom bought me a brand new kitchen knife since I've been attempting to cook more lately. The package said it would never become dull, and it wasn't kidding. Each time it slices through my skin just as seamlessly. Usually it's not too bad, just a tip of a thumb, or a paper cut to the ol' pointer finger. However, this slice was pretty bad. I wasn't sure it would stop bleeding. An hour and countless paper towel sheets later, the bleeding subsided. Only due to putting pressure on the wound. I don't own any antibacterial stuff or band-aids or even tape. So, now it just sits on my finger looking all bloody, purpleish, and swollen. Just looking at me. Judging me. Reminding me that I am a failure.

A friend bought me gauntlets in an attempt to keep me from harming myself more, but a girl doesn't always remember to bring her gauntlets into the kitchen! Besides, I thought maybe I had outgrown those shenanigans in the past 4 days. Maybe my reflexes and coordination had improved. Alas, the blood all over my kitchen sink says otherwise.

You see, the slicing and dicing of my flesh wouldn't be so intolerable, and probably not-so-common if I still had my mommy standing there annoying me. "Don't hold that with your fingers, use a fork!" "Don't slice towards yourself!" "Don't chop your fingers off!" All these silly rules that now actually apply.

I'm not saying I want to live with my parents again. I know that would be a horrible and terrible and miserable idea (for them, mostly...) I just wish, well, first of all, I wish I hadn't used up all my Snoopy band-aids playing a game of 'Sticky Fingers' last week. I also wish I knew how to do this whole thing. This mature, growing-up, independence mishegas. I realize no one knows off the bat, and no one is doing it perfectly, but GOD, if I could just stop burning and cutting myself, I'd be ever so grateful. If I could learn how to organize things NOT on my kitchen table. If I knew that there is a reason they make separate washing stuff for wood and tile floors. If I knew WHAT they called washing stuff! Detergent? No... Soap? Maybe, but I don't think so. Spray bottle stuff that we don't drink? That'll do.

I'm a hot mess and I'm not even sure what a hot mess is. I think I fit the description, though.

What is the solution? Handbooks, directions, instructions, not forgetting the gauntlets? I suppose those might help. If I didn't misplace the directions... or if I have the time to read them. Meanwhile, I'll just keep playing along. Pretending to not be clueless. Acting like I know what's going on and each mistake is a "one time thing". Eventually, I have to catch on, right? Neurons and stuff, right? That's what we have them for!

I need some of them animal instincts to kick in. I don't how to boot those suckers up. Kicking sometimes fixes stuff. I'll give that a try.

Wait. Nope. Tried that once. Ended up having my toe go under my foot, the SAME foot, and crack the bone. Doctors laughed at me. Let's not experience that again. How about we maintain just a wee bit of pride, eh? Can we do that for a few more years? Let's try, champ!

Hey, I'm just a programmed being in some flesh. I'm here to be molded and learned real good. I'll take the punches as they come. If that means losing a few digits or an eyeball, so be it. If I have to sacrifice some babies along the way, I can dig it. Although, any other tidbits of life advice are appreciated...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

We all have a role

Last night a full-grown man hugged me so hard that I literally could not breathe. Yes, I said "literally", and I mean literally. There was so much pressure on my chest and throat that air could not get through. So much so, that I could not say, "Stop!" or "No!" All I could do was try to push him away.

Upon release, he laughed, grumbled, and drunkenly stumbled off into the night.

This was -- is a friend of mine.

In high school, my closest friend would greet me with a hearty punch, slap, or smack to the back or arm.

Before then, my "best friend for life" and her sister would throw me in their closet and hit me with a ruler if I tried to leave.

To this day, my mother and brother find the best way to get a message across is a swat, pull, punch, or kick.

I am aware I am not a punching bag. I am not deserving of this treatment. So, what I have to sort out now is... why I allow it and how I became convinced this was okay.

First, I will look at last night. Yes, I was unable to breathe, which is why this dude was able to choke-hold me. But I certainly could have put an end to our friendship there. Or, at very least, not texted him 20 minutes later making sure he got home safe and well. Being drunk is not excuse for a man to harm a girl, even if it is partially unintentional during a hug. On one hand, he had previously been discussing some heavy issues of his. He was talking about the internal pain he has, his suicide attempts, and his claim that I "could not possibly feel as much pain" as he does. Accurate or not, he was clearly clicked into an unhealthy and upsetting mindset. His sudden rage hug may have been due to this. It was his frustration and hurt, and I was the nearest stress ball. This all occurred to me in moments, which is why I let it go. Which is why I allowed such inappropriate treatment. Which is why I presume it will occur again eventually.

When I was in 10th grade, I moved to a new school. Immediately, I was an outcast. I was familiar with this role, I was hunky dory with it. The way I was treated was horrible, but I was able to grin and bear it. Grinning and bearing it has always been my expertise.

The first person to introduce herself and welcome me into her little nerd group was a girl who had been bullied her whole life, as well. She was the type who hardened up, due to this. She didn't take anything from anyone. People thought she was nuts... heck, I thought she was nuts. She would have rage fits and power trips. Our other group members were familiar with her ways, but they would call her out when she yelled at them or insulted them or smacked them on the back. I, of course, did not. I just bit my lip and made a joke. Our teacher once observed this and said, "You are the most calm and patient person I have ever seen." I took this as a compliment. It was, but it didn't solve my problem. Eventually, when my friend was done testing how long I would stick around and be loyal to her, she stopped insulting me. I wasn't gross or ugly anymore... not usually, at least. I got off the hook after 2-3 years of this. Not because I was strong and stood up for myself, just because she, for the most part, didn't feel the urge to do it anymore.

As for my childhood friend and her sister, well, that story speaks for itself. However, the reason I continued to go over her house and be "best buddies" with her was because she was the person I was supposed to be. All the adults in my family said she was who I should be more like. And I tried! I tried to focus in school and study and do better and make more friends... It didn't work, though. I couldn't will it to be. So, I continued to spend time around her. Time, I thought, would transform me into the perfect student and perfect daughter and perfect person. It just turned out to cause me to let her boss me around, make me misbehave, destroy my self-esteem, and get me beaten with a ruler in a dark closet. Don't worry, though, karma came around. Now she's in law school, living in Manhattan, and dating a dude who is doing good things with his life. If it makes you feel any better, he's pretty ugly. Maybe she'll fall off a mountain, eh? A girl can dream. (I assure you, I was going to use a much more horrible hypothetical, but I figured falling off a mountain would do the job for now.)

Anyway, these are just examples of what a chump I am. I can be an insanely weak fool. I couldn't tell you if people like me *need* to exist. I don't know that there have to be those of us who are the net to catch everyone who falls off the rope. In all honesty, though? Its never really bothered me. Not that I like being hurt and insulted, but I've come to accept my role in people's lives. I get a slight, weird pleasure from being so important to them, even if they don't know I am. I'm not always just the friend who listens to your problems and offers comfort or advice, I'm also that friend you can gain control over or just yell at and punch. At the end of the day, I'm healthy and alive, how I view myself is no longer going to lessen, and I am confident in my ability to maintain my dignity and self-respect throughout it and despite it, so why not? I don't deserve it, but I do allow it for their sake, for my own "self-importance". It's my special job and I'm pretty glad for it at this point. Is that so bad?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Backwards Story

In my 'Self and Craft' writing workshop class, we were told to write a backwards story (a story backwards?).

Meaning, we had to write about events taking place... but backwards. Well, not walking backwards or anything, just that you have the last step having first. This is hard to explain. Just read it.


I'm stuck in this bus for 6 hours. My legs are cramping and my career is over. A man like me doesn't stand a chance in prison.Of course, a man like B.K. doesn't get shot in his own household. I should have known better. I probably should have done some research. I probably should have checked my sources. There are a lot of things I should have done, but shooting B.K.'s neighbour was not one of them.

A month before, I showed up at the address I was given with my little, shiny friend. I rang the doorbell. I pulled the trigger the moment the door opened. I didn't care if it was his kid, his Nana, or B.K. himself, I just wanted someone in that house to die.

I left the spot, making sure I didn't leave a trace.

All this because I got to the venue about 20 minutes before he did.

I headed to the back of the club. Behind the red curtains. It's true what they say in the movies. Behind the curtains, the people were more beautiful, the cushions were softer, and the drinks were stronger. B.K. wasn't anywhere, though. He wasn't a guy you could miss. Big, loud, and the dude looked like he peed diamonds. He didn't live a simple, humble life. Not B.K. Though, he always did have a weird smell. It reminded me of my Nana's house. Makes me think he had a soft side too.

Well, God rest Nana's soul, but I don't stand for being stood up. I was born to shine, and anyone who tries to make me look bad isn't going to live to tell it. All I knew was he told me to meet him that night. The night that would change everything. He had heard my latest mix ''Raise the Streets'' and he liked it big time. He promised me a gig that would bring my name to the big timers -- I'm talking BIG: Carl Heat, M.C. Broke Vinyl, Gideon Pop Top... BIG.

I was an up-and-coming DJ at an underground club in the heart of Manhattan. My tunes had just been discovered by B.K. Scazz, New York's dream-maker and soul-taker. I wasn't letting anything stop me. Or so I thought.