Thursday, December 3, 2015

What I become

I get anxious. I know. I get panicky and freak-out and withdraw into my own little disassociated, safe world. I don't feel safe, though. Any moment my hyperventilation will overwhelm my heart and I'll fall apart and die. Not only will I be dead, but I'll humiliate myself in front of others.
"What is wrong with her? She looks crazy. Why can't she control herself?"

That's what they'll say. Not even to laugh at me, not even for a joke, but as a serious concern for their safety and an attack at my lack of self-control.

No matter how much green tea I drink or how many times I "Om", people and places and things tear away all my defenses. It's like trying to protect myself from a bullet using a paper plate. All my swords and tact and wisdom fall to the floor as anxiety flashes and lingers. Sometimes for 30 minutes, sometimes for 2 hours... sometimes longer.

The ground is no longer below me, my hands of no use. I am myself alone in a blurry vortex that spins and whirls and abuses me. As I reach out, grasping for a cliff or a hand to cling onto, my eyes widen and my eyes tighten as I realize that I am now a ghost. Unable to be seen or heard. The tears bursting in my stomach are flooding me while the room of people clamour with no knowledge of my torturous experience.

This is a futile war wherein nothing is accomplished. I am the only casualty each and every time.

Sometimes I wish the war would take me for good. That I wouldn't receive a bonus life; an opportunity to try again. Just left on the ground. My tired, weak arms gripped unto one another, my fingers loosening each second as life leaves my corpse. My unshorn, mistakenly born legs caved inward; as an attempt to contain my rigorously-working heart before it builds up the strength to flee into the world, in order to breathe again.

Just one more, I beg. I anxiously await that final touch which will turn the lights off and allow me to ease into surrender.

Then the time passes. Painfully so. The closet door is opened, the nails removed from my flesh, and I am victorious. I have faced demons and death. I have nearly submitted to Lucifer himself, right as I dropped to my knees and offered him my wrists and my throat. Saved by no one but a ghost who lingered within me.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

We can't wait....

Yesterday I was verbally and physically attacked by a mentally ill, homeless woman on the New York City Subway. Not only did she try to harm me, she truly had the desire to murder me. She told me this.

I do not blame this sick woman. Although she is the one who tried to slit my throat, suffocate me, and light me on fire, I do not feel she is responsible for her lack of mental health. The system and the system alone is where my blame lies. She is their responsibility, and if she gets hurt or hurts anyone else, they are the ones who are at fault.

This woman was no child. There is no chance this was a first offense. This woman was extremely delusional and unwell. There is no reason she should have been on the streets, in the subway, or anywhere where she had unsupervised access to the public. If I didn't have the upper body strength to keep her arm's-distance away, I would very likely not be alive this morning. Best case scenario, I would have been found on the subway floor in a puddle of my own blood, possibly engulfed in flames.

Dramatic, yes, but the reality of the situation. She had the means and no qualms with destroying me. So, again, I ask, why was this woman in a public area?

I could begin to question the decency of those who witnessed my attacker, and the 100% of these people who did nothing more than give me a glance and look nervous. Full-grown men who were twice her size and could have restrained her or even did so little as sat closer to me to keep an eye on the situation... did nothing at all. Some didn't so much as stir, so as to avoid any contact or involvement. Not even the subway worker in the booth, with a telephone and a glass safety net around him stood up when he saw this crazed woman following me, as I held her at a distance. But... what good is that discussion? This is the world we have found ourselves in, and really? There is no reason anyone else should have to put themselves at risk for the lives of a stranger because an individual who should not even be in public is not being properly watched.

Calling the police would have been worthless. Not only would it anger her more, I know for a fact that they wouldn't be on the scene for at least half an hour or so. By which point, I could have been so much worse off.

Instead, I avoided eye contact, didn't say a word, and simply blocked my head with one arm while creating a barrier with the other. My two arms were the only things keeping me alive. All I did then was run as she followed me to my apartment lobby. Again, just because of the fortune of my situation, the lobby door locked behind me and kept her out.

I don't have research to prove anything or laws and numbers at which to point and discuss. I have my own experience, my own utter terror and sleepless night and trauma-inducing tale to share, and that is my argument. These say everything that should need to be said.

One night in a prison cell would not reform this woman. She is not a heartless sociopath and she is not a criminal by choice. Treating her as such and then throwing her back on the streets does not protect her or me. One day, she will harass the wrong person, and someone will end up dead. Will anything change then? I honestly don't imagine so. One more life will be sacrificed to the gods of political denial and ignorance. I am sure there are hundreds if not thousands of people who have experienced what I did last night. That doesn't mean I won't share this story, though. The options are to fix or to fall.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Is age just a number?

Lately I've noticed something new. It's an epidemic that needs to be addressed. Whenever  I tell someone my age, (because, apparently, they absolutely MUST know...) I get the response, "Oh. Well, you're not that young. I thought you were younger."

Are people insane? If you're in your 20s, you are very young. If you're in your 30s, you're very young. I don't want to live a life of constantly being told I'm "not young". I don't want to be thought of as "not as young". The reality is, unless you're shutting down your life at 60, you're not old until you say you're old. We all know that if someone dies at 50, everyone will respond to the event,
"(S)he was so young...." I refuse to wait until I die in order to be called young.

There's certainly no shame in being old, but let's call things what they are. If I have the potential to live life and experience the world for 70 or 80 more years, maybe even more, there's no way you will convince me that I have lived for a long time. That is part of the definition of old; living a long time. I've lived over 20 years, but I've only been truly taking in the world and experiencing it at its fullest for the last... oh, maybe 15 years? Maybe 10? I couldn't even experience college until I was 18, I couldn't legally experience a bar until I was 21, I didn't see Europe until I was over 20! There is SO much I haven't done, seen, or tried. Even if I had done two or three times as much as I have done by my age, just due to reality and logistics, the amount I could possibly "live" in the period of time I've been alive is severely limited. My life has barely even started!

When I reach 60, maybe I'll retire. Maybe by then I'll have experienced parenting or sky diving or petting a monkey or receiving a senior discount! There is so much I am not old enough or haven't had the time to do because life hasn't been long enough yet. This is why older people are typically wealthier than younger people. They've have more time to accumulate that money! Not necessarily because they had such an intense education that let to such an intense job that led to such an intense income. Because time builds life and unless you have been freaking out and jamming in every experience humanly possible, there is a heckuva lot you haven't done. Fortunately, you have an equally large amount of time to do those things.

Once again society and media are at their typical hypocritical ways! They tell us age is just a number and that we ought to be youthful and joyful and feel young and beautiful... but then they start dictating what we should have done or be doing or be ready to do at a certain age. I for one am not worried about your or my life markers. I'm not spending my days counting down how much longer I have until I can no longer do certain things or how much longer I have to fulfill a certain expectation. Maybe I won't start using "age-defying gunk"! Or maybe I'll wear my hair long even when I'm 80.

There's no set list of what I should have done by 30 or what I should stop doing before 40 or what I should try after 20. My goals are personal, some are private, but I know I will achieve them, whether it takes me the rest of my life or less time than everyone else. This isn't a race, nor a countdown to death. I'm just enthusiastic about what I will do as I get older. When the time comes, and I know I am old (if that day ever comes), then I will fully embrace it and I will take out my dentures, become racist, tell people how I truly feel about them, and surrender. That day is not coming anytime soon, though, I have many, many years to embrace my youth and all the things I still can and will accomplish.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Obedience Part II

The government must really be patting themselves on the back with this Kim Davis case. Oh, boy.

They took the "peaceful, hippie liberals" and turned them into bigots with stones in hand, ready to stone Davis to death. Because this will prove that the bible and religion is bad. Or something....

I, for one, really dislike religion, generally. More so, I really dislike when people use religion to oppress others. It is a truly great crime to deny others their needs/desires/or rights by law in order to obey "religious beliefs".

On the other hand, if someone believes in religion, and follows their beliefs to the end of the world, I think it's groovy if they stick to that. Not to stone anyone, light them aflame, lynch them, or cause any physical harm to them.... This is not EVER acceptable. But if someone is willing to go to jail, become public enemy number 1, and be threatened on a daily basis because she followed her beliefs, which, I repeat, did not physically harm anyone, I can't help but respect her a little bit.

I don't expect others to think the way I do. Some people jump at each other's throats over this debate, but I simply have my own view on it. I see great irony in casting stones upon others and calling others bigots while saying that what the other person fought for is not worthy of anything but death....

You can't have it both ways. I'm sorry. If you believe that people *should* follow their beliefs and have religious freedom, and we should respect their beliefs, then you'll just have eat your own words when it backfires.

I find it hilarious.

I don't agree with the choice she made, nor her beliefs. I wish she could lose her job and remain in jail and maybe someone could convert her. However, she believes in a specific Holiness, and I respect her right to believe and follow her religion as she wishes. We should all respect her choice.

In a sane world, we'd all wipe the dust off our hands, realize the woman made her choice in life, and move along. People murder, people rape, people abuse... and we're worried about a woman who rather go to jail rather than sign a paper for two people!?

This isn't a sign of the times, we all know America is progressing. We know that marriage between homosexual individuals will now and likely, forever be legal. We all must continue to fight for peace, love, and understanding, but as of now, the marriage thing is set and settled. That's good to go, ain't nobody, not even Kim Davis is going to change this. America is very pro-gay marriage.

So, then, if one woman wants to go against the law... let her. She wants to risk her reputation and face the consequences? No further action is necessary. That case is over. Stop letting the media manipulate and distract you. The fact that I've now written not one, but two articles about this, because it was such a fiery subject, says something. It says that we are once again getting caught up in bath salts and ebola and every other stupid trend that becomes the news' money funnel.

Let Davis rot in... well, nowhere, most likely. There is no Hell. Let her marinate in her paranoia and schizophrenic-like tendencies. Let the woman suffer in peace! Or, at least, stop talking about stoning her. Sheesh!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Now We're Getting Obedient?

It is seldom that I comment on pop-news, but there are stories that come along every now and then that really trigger the Socrates in me. This is the case for the Kim Davis situation.(

Upon hearing the details of this case, my first instinct was to oppose Davis and her actions. Denying marriage to two consenting adults, of any mix-n-match of sexual identities sounded like a horrendous, unethical, and illegal act. I wished Davis to be placed in jail, plain and simple, for having broken a law. For her name to be denounced and her professional title removed. The woman should be burned! Well, not to that extent. But, like most of the liberal-minded individuals surrounding me, I felt she was completely in the wrong.

And, I still do. I think her belief in God, God's laws, and God's punishments had no place in her office, nor in her decision to (or to not) wed two homosexual individuals. However, do I think her a dirty weasel who was completely sick in the head to not only break the law, but also go against the principles and morals of her job? Simply put, no.

One of America's favourite heroes, Martin Luther King Jr. himself once said,

“An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law."

Does this profound thought not apply to those with whom we disagree? Should man or woman only stand up and break a law they consider unjust IF the liberal majority agree with their point of view or disagree with the law? Where are all those activists and protesters who once firmly believed in civil disobedience... in following your own moral values rather than those of the state... putting yourself at risk of imprisonment and public shaming in the name of your personal beliefs? 

Rosa Parks made the choice to go on the bus all those years ago, she then chose to break the law and sit in the front of the bus. Was she also just a hooligan breaking laws? If Miss Parks had not believed in equality, or she had not believed in it to the extent that she did, she never would have put her life and reputation at risk. However, she did, and to this day we praise her. Both because she stood up for the black people, but also because she civil disobedienced the heck out of that situation. 

With the government taking more and more control over our lives, this is no time to turn against those who are willing to stand up against that with which they disagree. We should be praising Davis for her willingness to stick to her beliefs in the face of tremendous hatred, as well of the dangers of disagreeing with the popular opinion. What she refused to do did not end any lives, nor did it put anyone in harm's way. The solution only required the engaged couple go to another county clerk.

Yes, Kim Davis belongs in jail. Breaking a law explicitly results in jail time. However, turning against her as she fights for her beliefs is not the next step. Raising awareness and tolerance for homosexuality and the need for equality is where our focus should go next. That includes equality for all to follow their religious beliefs. For all to make choices that they can morally standby. For all to stand up to "The Man" and show that civilians, even those with differing opinions, can stand together and create a community rather than a lynching mob.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Casual Encounters

Since I am trying to stay hip and trendy with the kids, I just started learning a new modern song on guitar. The song is called "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith. Prior to finding this song under "Top 100 Hits", I had never heard of the song, heard the song, or heard of Sam Smith (no relation to The Smiths or Patti Smith, it seems.)

After playing the song a couple times, I realized two things:

1- This song is pretty boring. 
2- This song is quite stupid.

Guess it's true, I'm not good at a one-night stand

But I still need love cause I'm just a man

These nights never seem to go to plan

I don't want you to leave, will you hold my hand?


Won't you stay with me?

Cause you're all I need

This ain't love it's clear to see

But darling, stay with me


Let's see what we have here.... The young man just had a one-night stand, but he's realizing he's not very good at them. I guess this means he gets emotionally attached? 
       Why am I so emotional?
No it's not a good look, gain some self control

Yes, it's confirmed. He doesn't understand why he gets so emotionally attached... ya know, to the person with whom he was just physically intimate. He's saying that this is a bad trait and he should stop caring about people after intimacy. Sure, emotions should have nothing to do with the most vulnerable thing one can do with their body.... This seems like a good lesson.

I am getting ahead of myself here, though. Let's just stick with the main point Mr. Smith is making. He's not in love with the person he was intimate with, but at the same time, he wants the person to stay with him. For what? The day? Does he want to go shopping for matching Crocs and share a slice of apple pie at a 24-hour diner, or does he mean, seriously, you have to stay with me, you're naked, your hands are roped together, and I will use my taser on you if you try to escape? I mean, let's define this relationship right off the bat, please. 

After all, "you" are all he needs. A one-night stand who doesn't leave. However, "you" probably want to run off to work or to your spouse or to feed your dog. All reasonable requests. Also, let's not ignore the first two lines. He straight-up makes it clear that he doesn't want to be intimate with you, but he's a man, he needs to commit the act. It's normal, it's healthy, he's really just an animal following his primal instinct. Alas, he doesn't love you, so cuddle him a bit, then go feed your dog. This man has NEEDS! Hey, he called you darling, didn't he? If that's not respect, I don't know what is. 

What occurred to me after reading these lyrics over several times is just how many songs are pushing casual sex. I get it, being a "slut" is now the cool thing to do. Open relationships and open minds, man! Because everyone wants and needs different things, we have to accept ourselves and the desires of others. Like, groovy, yeah.  

Just one question, if I may....

Did we learn nothing from the AIDS epidemic? Free love is not cool, man. Condoms aren't 100% effective. Birth control isn't 100% effective. Even being sterilized isn't 100% effective! Like, yo, how about you simmer down, hot pants? If you have needs, go have that checked out. Go to a store, or a website, or hire a "friend of the night". She/he gets paid to take that risk. If you have two consenting adults, I understand that's it's all s'aright morally and whatnot, but this does not mean that one should jingle all the jangles in town. Don't go blowing on every wind chime you see just because you "need to" and that's what it's there for. 

Have fun, forgive yourself and others for your past (or forget about it), but don't go climbing up too many coconut trees or, eventually, one will fall on you and break your legs. 

You still with me? Cool. Stay with me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pot in the Park

About 6 or 7 months ago, I met a guy in the park. I won't name the guy and I won't name the park, but I met the guy as I sat in the park listening to some performers play My, My, Hey, Hey. No, the guy wasn't Neil Young. We talked for awhile and then he invited me into his apartment. This story is NOT going where you think it's going. He was, and is, a photographer. Cut ahead 6 or 7 months, and we're good friends. We hang out, listen to music on his amazing stereo system, and he teaches me about music I love but of which I am clueless.

During this time, I am desperately seeking a job. I find useless internships, I find promises for work that never come through, I skip interviews for jobs that are far away, too boring, or don't pay anything.... Everything but what I am looking for.

Despite being a very busy guy, even though he is on the edge of 70, the guy remains active in the music community and always has projects underway, and he finds time for me. The guy is full of energy and enthusiasm, it's lovely! He wants me to have money to pay for travel and life and to no longer rely on my parents' income. He worries! Oy, how he worries!

As we all know, though, work is hard to come by. Especially for a graduate student with a B.A. in liberal arts. No one actually knows what liberal arts are! Who would hire someone with absolutely no skills, knowledge, or experience?

This is when desperation kicks in. This point of my life. I've hit an age (whatever that is) that implies to some extent that I should be an independent, grown adult. Whether this is the case or not, that's another story. For, I am useless. Unemployed, and going to graduate school costs money rather than bringing it in. A sad reality for many Americans under 30 (or over 30, for that matter!) And so, here begins the journey into how low I'll go in the name of money.

1 - Dogsitting? Sure! Of course! I love dogs! Of course, everyone in the planet who matters does, too. Everyone and their pope is a dogwalker/dogsitter. Near where I live, no one seems to work, all they ever do is walk their dog(s). No one needs my services.

2 - Shot girl? I don't even know what this means. Are there shot boys? I get the feeling those only exist in gay clubs. I guess I pour shots.... I can do that! It requires absolutely no skill! Oh, wait, it also requires absolutely no clothing. With this darn anemia, I'd be goosebumped all night. Nobody wants shots from the chick with purple lips and an unsteady hand from shivering.

3 - Foot model? Now, that sounds easy enough! I have feet! Of course, they left out the fact that it's for foot fetish parties. And, no, these people don't *just* come for the feet. Another bikini job. For those of you who have never seen me in a bikini, this is why you've never seen Sasquatch. Yes, folks, I am huge, hairy, and I smell like deer manure. Don't ask me to put on a bikini.

At this point, aside from the hilarity that came from these options, I was pretty downtrodden. Would I never find independence? Is there something wrong with me? Everyone else seems capable of getting by... except the homeless. Maybe I'm homeless and no one has ever told me about it! That would explain it, I think?

It was then that the guy called me. Remember the guy from above? Almost creepy, but not? Yeah, him. He tells me he has a unique work opportunity for me. Unique sounds promising, but I knew right away it would be shady. In my world and life, nothing is ever quite so sweet and simple. Would I be sneaking baby tigers into the country? Assassinating a CIA agent who knows too much and wishes to leave the job? What's it going to be?

Well, it wasn't quite that awful, but he tells me about his cousin. A cousin he didn't even know existed until he was 35 years old. This sounds like a promising start. Dude just lost his best worker, dude has a bunch of weed he has to sell, and dude left it to the guy to hire someone new. The guy knew I was looking for work, and voila! I was the first person he contacted about the prestigious position.

Mostly open hours after 2 PM, at least $900 a week, and all the brownies a person could ever ask for! Well, no, there was no promise of brownies. Maybe that can be negotiated, though. They must have some untouched ones, right? Oh, he also claims that all customers are connected to him personally and have been for the last 10 years or so. Thus, all trusted.

He told me that if I am interested I can come by on Monday, August 31st to discuss the opportunity further.

Monday, August 10, 2015

She's a lady! Wo-o Wo-o Wo!

If a heavy woman walks into a room and starts making fat jokes, is the movie no longer sexist?

Most of us would say that's still sexist as heck, but we let Hollywood get away with it!  As long as we see a woman who has more than telephone cords for arms and legs onscreen, we let her get away with a lot!  This has been proven time and time again by the likes of Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, Melissa McCarthy, and various other “well-rounded” actresses. 
We’d like to think the game has changed…. Alas, no matter how much society emphasizes the intelligence and humour of a starlett, if she weighs more than a bread box, the biggest message we receive from her comedy is bound to be how big she is! Keep in mind, Schumer and Kaling wouldn’t register as obese, or even particularly chubby. They’re simply human-sized. However, If Jack Black eats a box of donuts, it’s cute and typical of a man. God Forbid, a female lead eats her entire meal and thoroughly enjoys it, she becomes the woman who eats ferociously. 
Not to leap to racial issues, but this point is moot when it comes to black women. For unforeseen reasons, the sassy, voluptuous black woman is acceptably the character we have come to expect and love. Of course, Saturday Night Live’s own Leslie Jones tends to fill this role in a robust-manner quite well and repetitively. A fact I point out for the sake of recognition. Not all women are treated equally. Lest we forget Margaret Cho, the elusive "heavyset" Asian. Where is her big breakthrough film of the year?
Yet, still, having a female lead is a novel idea. Even more so, having a female lead who doesn’t have the metabolism of a centipede is such a dream, that even staunch feminists have put down their swords and gotten a cheap laugh out of a big-girl-eats-entire-refrigerator joke. 
It’s painful to put a price on the head of a successful female comedian. Let’s be real, having a funny female star who doesn't give a funk is a big breakthrough in comedy in itself. Unfortunately, women like Amy Schumer may be inching their way onto a dark path of never-ending misogyny in a way only Hollywood could possibly get away with. Going on stage and presenting yourself as a slutty, manly, ugly creature is not feminist. It doesn’t comfort young women. This is not a message of loving yourself, your body, your actions. It’s not a message of ignoring the comments of others, feeling beautiful despite stupid beauty standards. None of this is expressed or implied. The message here is, “If you don’t fit the beauty standards of society, you can just assume you’re ugly and manly. Don’t feel bad about it, but it’s probably true.”
What more do women have to offer than their daintiness, ditziness, and stupidly good looks? The reality is, a woman onscreen can’t have everything. You can have a woman who is a successful doctor who captures the lust of any man she crosses paths with, but somehow, anything relating to politics, or the real world, she is clueless about. If you have a woman who is tuned-in, well-spoken, and putting her life together, she can only do so when a man comes into her life and shows her the way. Not to mention, as long as she's above the "average-television-weight", her contract most likely mentions a quota of fat jokes somewhere in the fine print. 
Some actresses, you can’t even research them online without being bombarded with links to lists of other chubby/fat/curvy females in media. You can’t even think about Melissa McCarthy without an article popping up along the lines of: 

“Rebel WIlson: Fat or Obese?!” 
“Aidy Bryant: SNL castmember or Thanksgiving Day Parade float?!” 
“Gabourey Sidibe: Why she shouldn’t wear anything pretty ever!!” 

There is no reason this should be the focus. There’s no reason this should be okay. These women are being treated as bait. Thrown into the woods for their buxom bods to be feasted and gossiped upon. As many times as these actresses defend their roles and typecast, no woman on television or in movies is working for her own health. A woman in front of a large audience, millions if not billions of impressionable females, is a role model. She must work and live in a way to make other women proud. To help us progress, not to keep us at the bottom of the barrel. Not to let women’s rights, pride, and acceptance go ignored. That is what she is being paid for, even more so than making us laugh and cry. She is being paid to present women in a way we wish to be presented. To show the world what we can accomplish, without taking “no” and an insult for an answer. Step up, ladies! This is our chance! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Grudge

I've never seen 'The Grudge', and I have no idea what the plot is, but just off-the-bat, I think the concept is sound. Someone has a grudge. Someone dies. The end.

No, maybe not. I do like something about where I am going with this, though. The idea that grudges can be harmful if left ignored. The big zen idea is that grudges are bad, yes? That staying angry at someone will stress you out and hurt you. That's fair. Sure, that seems to make sense. I just want to know, where does the hurt and anger go? As much as you can forgive someone, or maybe "forget" someone's wrongdoings, are you ever really at peace with their actions? Are you really such an emotionless, careless monk? If someone does something unkind to you, do you think so little of yourself that you don't think you have the right to be upset at them?

Hear me out, now.

What if you allowed yourself to hold some resentment for them? You let them know, you reacted appropriately and safely, and then you carried on with your life knowing what they did. It's not an active anger, it's a dormant anger that is soothed more and more over time. Just like any emotion. We experience sadness due to loss, and we're told that it's okay to cry and be sad. Over time, though, that sadness eases and you function like a human being and you're always aware of the pain, and it rises up again now and then, but overall, you've come to terms with it.

Why does this logic not apply to anger? Why must we be pure and cleansed of all negative feelings towards others? People can be awful, why is it acceptable for them to be awful without consequences? Does that not just open the door for them and others to repeat these actions? And, once again I ask, where does the anger go? Doesn't it turn inward a lot of the time? I can't imagine that this is healthier. Anger at another person harming you is natural. Since man came to be, there was anger. No matter who you are, you experience it sometimes. Yet, it's shameful and wrong to feel this way? It's so bad that you have to deny it. Emotions don't just disappear into nothingness. If that anger sits in you untouched, unrecognized, it festers and molds and turns into regret, self-loathing, and general distaste for humanity.

Society can't be afraid of anger. It's not just for psychos and terrorists. Anger is a natural emotion and fighting it back, like any other emotion, is going to cause you physical and mental health trauma overtime. Punch a wall, kick a baby, heck, if you can do it with some class, do something a little spiteful if it'll feel good. Confusing hatred and harm with some rational negativity is a hazard to your well-being. Don't just let it eat away at you. Oh, and, don't actually kick a baby. That's a biggie.

Just, please, stop acting as if you're not human. As if you are totally cool with being beaten down and treated like garbage. Stop being a monk, because monks are useless. They never help anyone or accomplish anything. They never live, they're just in a constant state of death. You have the FORTUNE of feeling anger. Live it, love it, and embrace it, before your body forgets how!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Dad and I aren't Beautiful

My father found out he was going to have a daughter when he was a 40-something year old, 20-something years ago. I've never asked him how he felt about learning this. I never asked him about our relationship as daughter and father. I know he was at work a lot. To this day, most of the time he's at work or working. When he wasn't working, there was a lot of arguing in the house. Who knows what it was about; money, school, work, life... the normal things.

I am sure he hugged and kissed me enough, but I've never asked. I rarely think about it. The first time I remember him hugging me, though, was when I was 18. We had an argument, and due to hypoglycemia, I blew things out of proportion. We were in the car driving somewhere. He stopped the car on the side of the road, got into the backseat, and hugged me. Never before had I seen my father sit in the backseat of the car. He was ALWAYS the driver. We sat there and he hugged me for about 10 or 15 minutes. Honestly, what he said didn't resonate with me. I have no idea what sorts of words of encouragement and sentimentality he shared with me that day. All I remember is that hug, and how nice it felt.

Not being an emotionally-open person, him or I, we don't push those sorts of things. It is just how we are, I guess. Physical expressions of love, along with verbal ones, were always pretty limited. That's what we like, that's what we're comfortable with. Even seeing my father kiss my mother in public once or twice a year makes me squirm, still. I should think, "Aw, they're still in love after 35 years." Alas, I just can't get over the fact that I find saliva exchange of any sort to be repugnant. Necessary at times, but still germ-filled and icky.

My father enjoys a few things. Not too much, as he is a traditional curmudgeon, by all means. I know nearly everything that makes him genuinely smile, though. I could probably list them just using two hands. As for things he couldn't live without, I could list those on one hand and have a couple spare fingers. Let's simplify this, though... He loves animals, cars, music, baked goods, law, medicine, expensive things, and his family.

What inspired me to write today was one detail about my father's love for things....

When he looks at our dog (a big, fluffy Australian Shepherd) he says she is beautiful. When he shows off his black corvette with red leather interior, he goes on about how beautiful the car is. So on, so on.... The one thing my father has never said to me is that I am beautiful.

Thank God.

My father doesn't think of me as a car or as a dog. He doesn't think I need to be told I'm beautiful every time I wear a dress or put on some makeup or get my hair done. I'm his daughter! No matter what I'm wearing, I'm good! It is seldom that he compliments me at all, but the last thing I need is for my father to tell me he approves of my appearance more so than usual. What good does that do me? However, the other day, after I gave my brother a handwritten card for his wedding, my father said, "Hold onto that, it'll be worth something someday considering how well she writes."

At that moment, I nearly cried. That compliment, along with any time he says I'm intelligent or that I'll be successful, is irreplaceable. Those moments cannot be erased from my mind. They help me believe in myself and what I am capable of accomplishing. They inspire me each and everyday, even when things seem impossible. Not because "my daddy" said I could do things, but because a man I highly respect and admire believes in me. Not in any light manner, but deep to the core of his being, he knows I'll be okay. Which lets me know that, yeah... I will be okay.

My father isn't trying to be anyone else. He's not trying to fill a role or say what a father is supposed to tell his daughter. He knows I want to be intelligent, I want to be respected, I want to be viewed as a blossoming human being in society who is going to not only be good, but be GREAT. That is what his message is to me whenever he gets the chance. He reminds me what really matters. Not to get caught up in superfluous physical traits and not even to stress out about minor obstacles and challenges right now. He keeps me running and chasing what matters. We don't need to constantly call each other and recite pre-written vows of love. I just get him and he just gets me.
That's all we need.

Excitement vs. Commitment

You know those people: They spent the past 10 years of their lives studying, reading, thinking, researching, testing, analyzing, writing, listening, and learning. Now some of those people have PhDs, medical degrees, law degrees, so on.... That is the life they chose. They might make good money, real good money. They might have the dream home, dream car, a wonderful spouse, and everything you've always been told was the solution to unhappiness. Of course, they may also have zip. It is possible that after spending lots of time and money on schooling, they ended up with a hopeless job with no future prospects or joy left in them.

You probably also know those other people: The ones who dropped out of college or high school or disappeared for several years, who traveled, created, explored, read, saw, did, felt, smelled, tasted, tried, went, and learned. Many of these people ended up photographers, writers, explorers... and some ended up homeless, or close enough to it.

What is success, though? Who holds the secret to being the "successful human being"? The obvious and easy answer is that every person has a different take on what success is. We all know there is an objective take on the word, though. Then, are you a failure if you do not accomplish those things, in the eyes of society? Every culture views it differently, as well. A lawyer in one country is as unimpressive as a shepherd in other countries. One culture's medicine man is as highly-revered as another culture's surgeon.

The hardest thing of all, though, is knowing what success means to YOU. Not to those around you and to your unconscious traditional standards. That is what we are used to considering. This is different. This is a question of where your life will lead that will make your efforts worth the energy, and every moment that you worked towards your goal still a worthwhile investment of time, effort, sweat, and tears.

However, when you have been fed a certain belief, it can be difficult to find your own success. Whether it means moving out of the farm life and becoming a construction worker or leaving the big business and becoming a henna artist in another country. Either of these can seem like a huge mistake. That is, if you get caught up in the ideals of others.

It is possible to be so caught up in one's guitar-playing that you never get to graduate school. Still, the experiences and all you learned and did because of this one skill may have been worth it. Others choose to regret these opportunities and times in life. It is not wrong. I don't believe that regret is bad. I believe denying what you truly seek is wrong. To an extent. Sometimes working hard at something you're uncertain of can be the road to something better. That may be where you find your success. Or, that it was all a waste of time.

This is a philosophical conundrum with no answer, no solution, no perfect or correct response. It's simply a matter of giving yourself the moment or moment and a half to recognize what your priority is. Not only today or tomorrow, but what is most likely going to make you proud 20, 30, 40 years down the road. You'll get there, and there's no reason not to work up to a good point starting now.

The part of it that we lose focus of is that it's one life. An entire existence, but simply one of billions. You and only you are living it and after you're dead, you made that life either extraordinary or you made it bland. There is no better, no worse, there is simply a life. While you're living it, you have every right and should feel nearly complete power over its twists and turns. I am simply curious to know what happens when you take those reigns.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


I know I've written about my stomach issues before, but since I am currently dealing with them, I felt inspired to write about another aspect of this horrible syndrome. The hard part is explaining it to people. Ya know, the social aspect. It's not a pretty issue. Most aren't, but if you have throat or eye or chest problems, it might not be too difficult telling other people, but telling others that your IBS is acting up can be difficult.
This is difficult because 1. Just saying IBS is hard enough, explaining it is even worse. 2. People take everything personally, they assume you're lying. 3. They don't understand the seriousness of it, and assume you're being dramatic.
Since I'm not sure what you call someone who has IBS, I will just call us BSers.

Sometimes BSers have to cancel plans or avoid planning ahead because... well, bathrooms aren't always available. If they are, no one wants to spend the entire evening in the bathroom while your friend is outside either having fun or judging you. And, yep, sometimes BSers drink alcohol despite their issue, but a lot of the time, it's not worth the agony just to have a few drinks with you.

Sometimes BSers have to miss school or work because... same reason, along with the fact that like any pain, having intense stomach cramps can really make you grumpy and exhausted and make it hard to focus.

And, whether you knew it or not, IBS pains are extremely painful. It can ruin sleep, fun, and nearly any other activity. It really affects every part of one's life during a bad flare-up. Unlike worse diseases, IBS doesn't really have a treatment. From my experience, all doctors do is shrug it off and tell you not to drink caffeine or alcohol, not to eat big meals or chocolate, not to blah or blah... and, none of it helps. At all. So, why bother skipping out on the good things? Not that it's not worth trying and seeing if anything changes over a couple months, but for most people, being shrugged off by the doctor and then nothing improving is a really disheartening experience. The message is that nothing will ever change. Every meal you eat is a potential death trap of complete stomach disarray.

Sympathy is not the goal, as that won't make it better. A little empathy and understanding is what the world is lacking. Like many diseases, disorders, and syndromes, there's not enough knowledge, research, or concern.

I wish I could say it's not as unpleasant as I am presenting it to be, but it really is debilitating. For something so common and so horrible, the lack of empathy for those who suffer is unfortunate. Mostly because people are scared to talk about it, to explain their symptoms. Most BSers just unhappily go along, trying to make things work.

Dear body, give me my life back!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The older and the wiser

Most people do not want to hang out with older people. That is, the 55+ community. Why is that? To begin with, I suppose it scares them. Most people can't face the grey hair, the lightly folded skin, and all the other little details that follow along with time and experience. The next problem is, it can be hard for many people to relate to someone 20, 30, 40 years older than themselves. The music, clothing, and even speech is very different. Most people in their 60s don't even think to use words like "awesome" or "cool" unless something is beautiful beyond belief or the weather is a bit chilly. And, finally, most people at that stage of their lives are not clubbing and drinking and doing everything in their power to evidence that they are in fact young. If you've read my previous posts, you know how I view young people who drink excessively to prove a point.

But no, most middle-aged people have finally settled into their skin, their age, and their life. Of course, some are sickeningly desperate to stay youthful, but the best older people are letting life lap over them.

This may be why I enjoy the company of people who have crossed that line and entered into a happier new existence. They have the chance to live again in a state where they embrace the world and themselves. They can view their life choices, mistakes, regrets, self-hatred in a open way and realize that it was never worth it. Not to mention, people who are in their 50s and up at this time were young during one of the best eras in history. That is, they were hippies or yuppies, they were soldiers  or draft dodgers, they saw Jerry Garcia alive, and they didn't even miss Nixon in office! Lucky.

Of course there is plenty we younger-folk can learn in books. Videos and books and collections, but there is no way of competing with those who experienced all these things for themselves. Sure, in 30 years I can tell kids about 9/11 and, um, what else do we have? Hurricane Sandy? Eh. Spice Girls? Meh. Lollapalooza? Never been. The fact is, I am not ashamed to say that I feel 900% more safe, comfortable, and happy when in a room full of a 60-somethings than I do surrounded by people who are in their 20s, self-conscious, and judging everyone around them. And, yes, old people can be cruel and judgmental, as well. Obviously, there are flaws in my argument. However, I know from my experience, and within the people I associate with, clothing and hairstyles and those silly little things we all do but are ashamed of don't matter as much! They've seen it all before! They recognize that we're all a little weird and gross and embarrassing, but also magnificent.

As we always hear, being old is hard, but it's better than the alternative. The fact is, people in their 80s and 90s are facing the possibility of death everyday. That's the most metal thing a person can do: face death every time you wake up. You look it straight in the face and say, "Well? What's it going to be today?" If you can deal with this, you are definitely worth knowing and hearing.

Maybe it helps that I am not scared of aging. I am extremely enthusiastic about each day making me move forward just a little bit. I am not trying to rush through my young days. I'm not rushing it and taking it for granted, but considering how youthful people in their 50s and 60s can be, I really don't think it'll be so bad. Once upon a time, being 50 was the end of it all. Give up now and surrender everything, you're done. Not any longer! With surgery and medicine and healthy living, 50 is just a drop in the bucket!

Just remember, you'll want to fit in and be loved when you're older, why not learn now how to do aging right? You can be the old grump full of regrets and woes about growing older, or you can accept the inevitably and romantic decline of it all. So, grab an old person and learn what you can. Appreciate what they can offer. You might be surprised how much you enjoy it!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Forgot you were there!

Oh, hello, bloggydoo! I almost nearly forgot about you! Not that I haven't been writing, but I haven't been writing long-winded, thought-provoking pieces. Poetry is easier to write on the go than a bloggy post, of course.

There are many things that could be thought about, discussed, and presented here, but since I am quite excited about the latest adventure I've planned, I think I will talk about that. Last night, inspired by exhaustion, lack of enthusiasm, and a little wine, I decided to book a trip in July to 5 states I have never been to before. Those are: Illinois, Arkansas, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Once I have visited these states, I'll have covered about half of the United States in my travels. Pretty exciting, but much left to explore.

Some people think it is insane for a single female to travel alone. Especially one like me who is fairly trusting and much too friendly. However, this does not dissuade or worry me at all. First of all, one only learns from experiences, even the bad ones. Now, I don't plan to be kidnapped and/or murdered, let's get that straight. My confidence in myself and my common sense is above that point, but there is a slight chance that I will have one or two negative encounters whilst making my 22-day Northeastern pilgrimage. There is always a risk of this when living. However, the magical part of it is learning how to overcome these things, how to turn them positive, and how to continue without fear; simply new knowledge and experience under your belt. These are tools, really. Potentially, they are also weapons. Not to mention, if you still think being a female is a disadvantage, I disagree. Of course, being female makes one a target. Yes, it's more likely that a man will attack or harass a woman wandering around on her own, but that does not mean that said woman on her own cannot defend herself; that she can't runscreampunchkickkaratechop. Or, simply avoid a bad situation entirely. It's very possible.

This trip will also be a new experience because I have not yet booked any housing. There's still plenty of time for it; 5 months, just about. This leaves plenty of time to make arrangements and ask around. It's tempting to wait, though. Wait until last minute, or not make any plans at all and see what comes from it. Will I sleep in 24-hour diners? Meet some lovely youths who will take me in? Sleep on a sidewalk? These options are unlikely. Chances are, couchsurfing will pull through or I'll meet up with a long-distance friend, but that thrill is what makes the trip a real adventure. That full sense is what really fulfills that deep craving for adventure! No one ever thinks about it, but what else differentiates humans from other animals? We can find pleasure in our fears. No other animal experiences that! Hippos don't laugh when an alligator misses their butt by inches. A rabbit doesn't get pleasure from his nose just nearly being knocked off by a car flying past. They just don't get that excitement. Humans are fortunate because our survival drive is almost equivalent to our death drive. So, if being human is a source of pride for you, if you love bragging about your 5 bendy fingers and all your humanness, then why not take full advantage of everything we got out of the deal? Be scared, be brave, and heck, be weird while you're at it.

As for money, yes, this is the most fun part of all! Something like that. First of all, thank G-d Megabus exists. With Megabus's help, I will be traveling to these 5 new states for a grand total of $50 for travel expenses. Ah, yes, it's a beautiful thing. I book early and am flexible on dates and times, so it all works out nicely. Most of my trips, which range from 3 hours to 15 hours have come out to a grand total of $1. Beautiful, beautiful Megabus. As for food, I'm sure I'll be picking up little snacks along the way, so even if I want to go to special restaurant or diner to check out the local cuisine, I won't be starving. I can get an appetizer or a side (for what, $5?) and a glass of water and be good to go. There's a chance I'll splurge if I come across a vegan restaurant or something really cool, but these are luxuries, certainly not necessities. As for clothing, I am sure I'll be sink-washing some clothes, wearing some things a few times over, and trying to bring as many simple tees and jeans as possible. Packing light is essential. Lugging a 30 lb. rolling bag around with me is not in the itinerary.  Being a little gross and dirty is fine when traveling. No one will judge you, and if they do, you'll never see them again. You're not looking for your true love here! Well, I'm not. If someone doesn't like it, they can step aside. Presumably, you'll also be taking care of basic hygienic needs- soap, shampoo, deodorant, tooth tools.... Don't interpret this as me giving you permission to be nasty. I'm just saying not to get too hung up on being pristine at all times. Sometimes a faucet, soap, and hand towel shower in place of a real shower one morning is not too awful.
At the same time, seriously, don't give up on cleanliness. Especially if you're trying to score housing or a friend and a good time. No one's going to chat up and offer a tour and/or a couch to the smelly dude or dudette from out of town. Don't expect them to, either. If you're going to rely on the kindness of others, you're going to have to make them happy. Don't smell gross is what I'm saying.

This has kind of turned into a "How-to", hasn't it? This wasn't intended to be instructional. Oh, well.

What else is there? Oh, right, of course the temptation to bring my wittle, tiny dog with me is there, but this probably won't happen. First of all, I'm not taking the risk that a bus will reject me because of her, I don't want to be rejected from shelter because of her, and if I want to go in somewhere to eat, they definitely won't let me have her. I'm not going to tie her up outside while I go eat! So, for her safety, for my safety, and for the good of all mankind, my dog is staying safely back home with family members. Don't be stupid, yo. She or he will survive without you. Don't think your dog loves you more than she or he does because you're probably wrong.

This post is becoming quite wordy. I think I will take a break now and maybe come back to this as the trip gets closer and I begin to plan more. Good luck!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

This is not about they or those who take it upon themselves to define them. This is not even about your goal to define yourself. What I am talking about... what I am going to talk about is: what a person is. Yes, I will actively and consciously choose to end that sentence with "is".

There is a moment in every individual's life that defines who they will be, and how they will sum up their existence. For many, their sickness or disease will become who they are. For others, their career, worth, or success will do this. In others, friends, family, and self-love can convey their beingness. Or, may I even go far as to say, this will be their haecceity. For in the end, a "this" or a "that" is all we are. An object with thought and action. Considering the advancements in technology, to turn "this" into "you" or "I" is not a farfetched task.

Nonetheless, these people will be rather offended if you are to turn around and say, "What are you?" This is a great fear of the troglodyte; lest you forget that our beginnings were meager and shallow. While I would not say we are entirely made up of those we evolved from, there is evidence provided by this evolution that we can easily progress. Digress, for that matter.

To return to the statement, "[T]heir sickness or disease will become who they are"-- this is not to be fooled around with.

----I am diabetes. I am cancer. I am depression. I am autism. ----

These are barriers from a reality. The truth that is scarier than any disorder. There is no question that these will all be obstacles. They will prevent some things, explain other things. They often become light sabers in the paws of filthy inauthenticity. Not to the fault of the Jedi wielding his or her weapon, but to blame those who ("who" implying humanness; something questionable at all times) armed he or she in need as a defense to any criticism, fear, or challenge.

The same as we believe we can chain and conquer .... I lost my train of thought.

It simply seems to me that we have all been trained and given negative reinforcement in order to achieve less- based on our excuses (either externally or self-implanted.) We were then forced to live to a lower standard because of a fear that we will reach the border of our limit and be given a shock from the collar around our necks.

Did that sound revolutionary and slightly conspiracy theorist nuttist to you?
I hope so.

Here is a fine example of a moment of mania. If you've experienced manic episodes, you can sense it. Quickly written, poorly formulated... sometimes just jumbles of words thrown together because they sound poetic. I almost think that most of the beat poets were living in one long mania. Ginsberg and Kerouac... heck, even Pollock. The twist here is- these gentleman didn't know, nor did they care why they did as they did. They don't care why they offended and astonished people; why no one understood their art at the time; why they were unlike the majority.... It did not matter, they simply used their "flaws" to create and be better than the sad, boring majority.

It was complete release that set these men apart. As we can see in other artists. The ones who changed the world. Emily Dickinson was agoraphobic, so she wrote. Some were addicts, some were traumatized. They had undiagnosed, uncared about, untouched rawness and therefore, untainted talent. It's so extraordinary. It's beyond what the average human can comprehend.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Most people who know me, know I want to go to India more than anything in this world. I have wanted to go to India for as long as I can remember, even when I thought India was occupied by Native Americans. Children are so stupid.... Yes, I also wanted terribly to go to Australia, but that was because of the animals they have there. India was another story. I have no idea why I wanted to go there when I was 5 or 8 or 15 or now. I just NEED to visit that portion of Asia. Visiting Nepal and Thailand are also on the list, but they are not quite as high on the "To Do" list.
     One thing most people don't know about India (actually, I don't think most people actually know much about India), is that it has quite positive relations with Israel. There are very few countries that can say that! I think it's quite fantastic. Part of this may be because Indians have a shared disdain for Muslim countries. More specifically, both countries are sick of Muslim-related terrorism. Both have fought off terrorism most of their existence, and continue to hold certain... opinions on the Muslim faith. More so, some of its most devout followers.Not they I personally have any qualms with Muslims, but I can see why some folks in India or Israel may have their concerns. Basically, I'm just saying it's a commonality between the two countries, and this makes them allies. 

     That is not all that bonds the two countries, though. The two countries also have an extensive economic, military, and strategic relationship. The two countries connect through military equipment and partnership. This means, these two countries actually train together. The U.S. trains with Israel, as well, but Israelis are *not* impressed with the American soldiers and their equipment. From what I've seen and been told, I don't blame them. Apparently, however, Mahatma Ghandi wasn't completely onboard with the creation of Israel. This was because he did not like the idea of a country being created based on a religion. Considering that most of the countries in the world are Catholic or Muslim, I hope it occurred to him that this was a silly concern. Although, I can't disagree with his point. Most other following leaders and influential people of India were totally into the Israel scene. They celebrated it, even. 

     India recognized Israel as a nation in 1950, so they were kind of ahead of the game. As a matter of fact, in 1954, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said he would not "be a party to a resolution which stated that the creation of Israel was a violation of international law". He also wrote a letter to Frances Gunther expressing his support for the general Jewish behaviour in Palestine. How 'bout them apples? 

     India has been very kind to Israel, and visa versa. They make a good team. As a matter of fact, according to various tourist websites, about 40,000 Israelis visit India each year. Considering their low population, that's a pretty good number! There was also a Jewish-Hindu interfaith leadership summit in New Delhi in 2007. The chief Rabbi of Israel and Swami Dayanand Saraswati attended. What they had to say was that, "[t]he Jewish and Hindu communities are committed to the ancient traditions of Judaism and Hindu dharma respectively, and have both, in their own ways, gone through the painful experiences of persecution, oppression and destruction."[ Mertzger quoted:"For thousands of years we have marched on parallel causes and have now built bridges of cooperation between the two religions. Jews have lived in India for over 2000 years and have never been discriminated against. This is something unparalleled in human history".

     At this point, India is pushing more and more for Israel, particularly as they view the Muslim community in a different light. Ties between Jerusalem and Delhi are only getting closer and more positive, and therefore, India is actually considering changing its pro-Palestinian stance at the UN, as you can read further into at: India may change stance at UN

     The two countries have really begun to rely on one another for military action and protection, as well as on a more personal level of relations and camaraderie. This is wonderful news, I think, and I can't wait to see what comes of this bond over time. This connection only gives me further reason and desire to visit India. I think it will be a great relationship for years to come.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Zara: The Princess of Everything

     Zara was always told that she was the Princess of Everything. From the day she was born, her grandmother loved her unconditionally, like no one else ever would. She reminded Zara constantly that she was the Princess of Everything and she could do anything she wanted to do, be anything she wanted to be, and have anything she wanted to have. Her grandmother believed it, too!
     When Zara was a little Princess, she believed this. Although most people weren't very nice to Zara, she stayed calm, smiled, and remembered that she was the Princess of Everything. It wasn't always easy staying cheerful. Sometimes people hurt her. Both, physically and verbally. It didn't matter, though, because she knew that one day she'd have everything she ever wanted.
Also, since Zara knew she was the Princess of Everything, she felt she was also responsible for taking care of everything. This meant that she had to make everyone as happy as she was. She did what she could to bring smiles, food, and love wherever she went. If anyone needed help, she knew it was her job to help them.
     As Zara got older, she began to notice that no one else thought she was the Princess of Everything. Her grandmother still believed it, but Zara felt she didn't have anything. She didn't have all the toys or all the books or all the puppies, not even all the stickers. Not to mention, even when she helped people, they didn't seem to care. She knew this couldn't be how the Princess of Everything should feel. Her grandmother kept reminding her that she was indeed the Princess of Everything. She told her that even though it would take lots of time and lots of tears, one day, everything would belong to her. With this in mind, she fought on like a trooper. No matter how angry or sad she got, she kept taking care of everything, making sure everything was okay.
     When Zara got very sick one day, no one came to make her better. She didn't understand. When Tommy was sick, she got him soup. When Tulip was sad, she hugged her. When Danny was scared, she protected him. Now that she was sick, no one came to help her. Finally, her grandmother came to make her better. Zara asked her grandmother what she did wrong. She knew she must be such a bad Princess that no one wanted to help her when she was sick. Her grandmother reminded her that as the Princess of Everything, she would sometimes have to be a little lonely. The boys and girls who weren't princes and princesses didn't care as much as she did. She hugged her Princess and told her it would be okay, in a few days she'd get all better, and one day she would have everything.
     Zara didn't get better, though. As a matter of fact, Zara got worse. Much worse. When she woke up the next time, a part of her heart had fallen off and turned black. Zara jumped up and grabbed the piece of heart from the floor. Her breathing got faster and she started to sweat. She did the one thing she knew to do when she was scared, she called her grandmother. When her grandmother answered, she sounded different. Her grandmother told her she too was sick. However, instead of losing a piece of her heart, she lost a piece of her stomach. A very large piece of her stomach had fallen to the floor and turned black overnight. This terrified Zara. Something like this had never happened before! In the past, she had control over everything. She could make good things happen so easily. When she tried to fix her grandmother's stomach, it didn't work. Just like the piece of her own heart, it wouldn't glue back on.
     Her grandmother was also upset, but reminded Zara that she was the Princess of Everything. That meant that even if her grandmother's entire stomach fell apart, Zara would still be a princess, she could still have everything and be okay.
For the first time ever, her grandmother's words did not comfort her. Zara couldn't find the strength to smile anymore. Each day, as more of her heart fell off, she felt more and more sad. She kept helping everyone, but she found it harder to smile, harder to laugh, harder to do things she used to love to do. Instead, she stayed inside all day. She didn't want to eat cookies or sing songs. She didn't want to talk to friends or play with puppies. All she wanted to do was sleep and, sometimes... sometimes she would even cry.
     One day, when Zara's heart was nearly completely gone, she decided to visit her grandmother. She was ready to feel better and take over as the Princess of Everything finally. As Zara was going to visit her grandmother at the doctor, she came across a doorway. The door was white and brightly lit. It didn't seem to be attached to anything. This confused Zara, but it was so beautiful that she couldn't resist the urge to grab the handle, which was pleasantly cold, and pull the door open. On the other side, it was so bright that she couldn't see anything. It looked amazing, though! She knew what she had to do. Even though it was a risk, she wanted nothing more than to enter the door and find out what was on the other side. Just in case anything went wrong, she took the juicy, ripe plum from her pocket and ate it up.
     When she lifted her foot, she ended up scratching her ankle on a poorly-placed vine. Although the cut bled a bit, she ignored it, and entered the door, with no doubts or fears. The last noise she made while on the grassy ground was a gasp.