Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And Some More Options~ Revision, Prompt #30

A photo of a person, what do you see?

I see a newspaper clipping with the image of my father smiling back at me. A furry unkempt beard on a stern face, aged with labor and stress. You can tell by his bright eyes that he is an honest, kind man with a lot of strength. “He’s still wearing that hat,” the tattered, green, John Deere hat my brother and I bought him for Christmas 5 years ago, he just never took it off.

My mind wanders off… I remember I was eleven that year and Cade was probably 8. We worried about what to get him as usual, I don’t know why because he always liked everything, or pretended to anyway. Cade found the hat at some store in the mall and really thought he would like it. Little did we know that soon we would despise that hat more than even eating vegetables.

My dad is a landscaper so he’s always outside working hard with his hands; in the earth, on the tractor, just getting the job done. So, naturally he’s going to get dirty and reeking. As well as wearing that hat everyday, it was only a matter of time before it took on the appearance of our working dad. Sure, it was washed and tried to be made, to at least appear new again but it just seemed permanently dirty and tattered. But dad still loved it and continued to wear it despite its dog-eared appearance.

In the morning it was on his head, at work it was on his head, at home, at the dinner table it was on his head. Even out shopping or at the movies, we were focused on this eye sore of a hat which we quickly began to resent. At times, we begged him just to leave it at home, on family nights we compromised that it would be ok for him to wear; picking us up from a friend’s house definitely not and anywhere out in public was generally a big no also. A couple of times my step mom would take Dad off to the side when we were going to a BBQ at her friends house or going to her mother’s for dinner. Sometimes she said “I know you like it but it’s not appropriate for tonight.” Dad would mostly agree and reluctantly leave it on the coat rack as we walked out the door. He always said it was a part of him, that he felt naked without it, an old familiar comfort.

Whenever he was asked to leave behind his hat it was like we were asking him to abandon his dog or one of us kids, well maybe not that severe, but still you could clearly tell it bothered him and he wasn’t himself without it. Always reaching for his head to adjust a cap that wasn’t there, he just wasn’t as content and we noticed that. In some repressed way Cade and I had maybe grown a little use to the old thing and even if we hadn’t, we realized how petty and selfish we were being. We gave dad a gift that he truly enjoyed and then we took it away from him because we were worried about how it made us look. The hat was apart of dad, built into his personality, you didn’t see him without it ever, unless one of us begged him to leave it off, “just for tonight.” From then on we never complained again, we embraced it, at least to his face.

Week 16 ~ Options, Options, Options

Journal Entries:
December 5th
I walk in from the cold and tiring day, with heavy footsteps I reach my bedroom door. But something is amiss. The paddle lock has been forced off. Rage and confusion bubbles underneath the surface, I try to swallow it back down but it tastes like hot bile, I’m sure I could breath fire right now if I tried.
I step inside but everything looks the same, though, knowing nothing will ever be the same. How does one accumulate so much stuff in a bedroom not much bigger than some closets? It’s going to be a pain moving out.

December 7th
I walk in from the cold and tiring day, with light footsteps I climb the first set of stairs and then the next, up to the attic. The room unfolds in front of me, much bigger than the last. The floors are wooden and dull; the walls are slanted towards the outer edges. At first glance it doesn’t look like much, but to me my mouth is salivating at the potential. I should have been an interior decorator. I close my eyes and picture what it will look like. A lush burgundy throw rug covers the floor of the sitting room, couch, coffee table, entertainment center. The walls are painted white, the flames from the candles dance on them creating tricks of light. You pass through the high archway into the bedroom, the safe and cozy bed centers the room. A small wooden desk is off to one corner looking out the window. White Christmas lights borders the room, creating a warm glow. I come down from my cloud laying my eyes once more on the empty spaces. It’s great moving in, like a blank canvas, a clean slate.

December 10th
Carrying an arm load of boxes I make my way to my former bedroom door, not knowing what to expect. I drop the empty boxes on the floor only to be confronted with another enraging occasion. Everything misplaced, someone touching my things. Clothes piled high inside a box much like my own, trinkets, pictures, candles, memories, possessions scattered about the small confines of the room. Just the thought of someone going through my belongings without my knowing is enough to make me vomit, I feel violated and violent. I am a very personal and private being, there is no reason for someone to overstep their boundaries and intrude my space. THIS IS WAR!

Week 15~ Juxtapose

Smooth and rhythmical.
Hunting like little bloodhounds as I tried retracing my steps
The things you've seen, done, thought, and felt.
We've evolved to be hunters
Proceed cautiously
Series of reversals, challenges needing to be overcome.
Characters left standing.
Tales, anecdotes, yarns,
The world will beat a path to your door.
It is not the king, it is the courtier.
A deeper understanding, a different focus
Everything seemed so right. I didn't jump in. I took my time
Details, examples, stories from your first-hand experience.
Because, to see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle.
Accepting shadows and imitations.
You can't do that.
Look at the story, see the details
Pushed to the limit and right under your nose,
If only you will open your eyes,
Face the whole nasty confusing, messy, itchy, stinky thing
Improve your prose, look at it,
See your problems, change your stuff
You're reading, first, for clumsy constructions, silly-sounding sentences, Unintended repetition, confusion.
You'll hear those things when you may not see them
It is meant to be heard,
To have breath pushing the words out into the universe and giving them rhythm and melody.
Living off the page, as well as on.
Your writing is your material--will IT fail YOU?
A transference of energy from performer to audience and back again.”
The words are you, you are them.
Giving tongue to your prose: turning yourself into your words and turning your words into you.
Too easily satisfied!
The individual?
Write right up to your elbows.
Write something alive.
Black and white
Throw in a little fancy stuff
Let it off its leash
Know thyself
Listen, talk
You passing through the larger world, you embedded in bigger things
The is tire spinning, you're wading in.
Beautiful and bold, the other is scaredy-cat and not-pretty.
Get rid of the rubber, let go of the diving board.
It is autumn and I can feel the air changing
The cool wind that rushes upon my face and up my spine
The smell of the crisp air is intoxicating
I love this time of year
Most of the summer blooms have gone by
Dead foliage is at hand
A gust of wind comes up from behind me, rousing the sleeping leaves on the road. A twister of colors; red, orange, yellow, and brown dance around me,
Green fabric stretched out across the shy earth and the shock of baby blue sky
Indigo lake dancing with the light from the sun
Mountains looming tall in the backdrop
Trees with fleeting leaves, changing in their brilliance
A quilt of many colors spread wide over the treetops
Remembering the hill side in the peak of summer covered with lupins. Their pink, purple and blue hues illuminating the fields of grass as a flawless sky
sets the scene
Just a memory
Drink in the landscape of the earth.
My ears turn to wind
Roots take over my veins
Lying on my back in the tall grass, spotting animals in the clouds
I’d sit on logs like pulpits and listen to the sermon of sparrows,
Hearing the song of a finch singing from a nearby tree
Belting out the last few chords of his masterpiece, watching as he flies off towards the sky
Finding god in simplicity there among the dandelion and thorns
I look up once more towards the trees; they’re bare now, hollow skeletons shaking in the wind
It’s late; the moon is bright and full, guiding along side me
The ground is dirtier but the same old memories still exist,
I want to capture it because I might never see it again.
At times it seems like, in a moment a year can pass before your eyes or a single minute can feel like forever
Don’t get caught up in the moment but let the moment catch up to you.
It’s peaceful and full of wonder…

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Theme Wk 14 ~ Depicting the Terror & Powerlessness of a Girl

Although you cannot feel me
I am always there
With you, in you, on you,
For your beauty is so fair
I watch you from behind the trees
As you walk home
My arms long to feel you
Possess you as my own
The night is drawing nearer now
The light is dwindling fast
You better hope that your good luck
Will forever last
Because once I get a hold of you
Press your porcelain face to mine
You will become one with me
I am the creator, the divine
Although, your eyes delude me
I can see it in your walk
You want me to take you
Keep you with key and lock
So come with me, already mine
The night is hurrying on now
I leap out behind the trees
And grasp my startled pawn
You start to fight and begin to cry
You twist and turn your face
But you don’t know you stupid bitch
That you belong to me?
With one hand over your mouth
I pull you into the shadows
Here’s one more for the tally
Your screams are drowned out by my tongue
Your limbs held down by mine
You know so much you want this
Why else dress so fine?
You are all mine now
Every move you make
I can tell by your screams of pain
It’s your virginity that I take
I leave you in the shadows
Your clothes all torn to shreds
Your panties thought I will keep

So my ego will be fed
You know you wanted to fuck me
Why deny it for so long?
Walking home the same old route
I knew it wasn’t wrong.
All along you sent me signals
You’re young and pretty and sweet
Its women like you
Who make me itch
Why do you call it rape?
You know you wanted it bitch.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wk13 Theme ~ Vignettes

We make our drive down the winding dirt road to my aunt’s house; it is a familiar drive around the holidays, though this year I make the trip without. The driveway is already full of cars, long lost relatives you see once or twice a year. White lights glow from the porch outside; the smokers are cast out into the cold for their fits of nicotine along with begging dogs. Inside the place is a buzz, coats pilled high on top of the washing machine, muddy boots and shoes littering the welcome mat under my feet. Side conversations are everywhere along with running children. Most everyone momentarily looks up when someone new arrives, hollering out a greeting of sorts. There are wondrous aromas filling the air from the cooking food, all the different dishes prepared by everyone. The women are of course gathered around the kitchen while little kids weave in and out and others grab hors d'oeuvres. The men are confined mostly to the living room and bar, drinking and carrying on, just in from hunting and telling tall tales. Peeking into the dining room I glimpse the large oak table all decked out with the Thanksgiving trimmings, the good china, cloth napkins, wine glasses and a harvest center piece. I love the red and gold table cloth that accents the gold china. Everything is so beautiful and proper; it’s funny of how it’s going to look after dinner.

Wk12 Take Two

She picks up her worn and tattered, green gardening coat off the hanger along with her gloves before heading outside into the garden. A familiar friend, been through many seasons of growing and dying together. She fingers the hole in the sleeve remembering the sheers that made the break of fabric, a burn mark on the back piece from a blow torch. Some parts of the coat just permanently dirty, no amount of scrubbing and washing would soak in; she didn’t mind though. The smell is distinctly her, mixed with soil and sweat from her labors of love. Recalling when she ordered it five years ago from the catalog, untouched and completely void of any individuality or memories.
She rests her fibers on the wooden hanger waiting for the start of the day, in anticipation of that old familiar hand reaching for her. It comes expectantly, the warm body fills her insides, settling in the usual grooves and shrugging before comfortable. Stepping outside and feeling the wind, sun or rain hitting her full on. It was liberating. Getting in the dirt and feeling the foliage brush up against her, relaxing and welcomed. It’s not all roses, the blow torch for instance, missing fabric too but still she thinks that’s what makes her unique, being apart of something, being apart of someone.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wk12 Theme & Prompt

1.) Sitting there on the wooden stool in her worn gardening coat, intently focused on the work at hand, she dutifully removes the wanting roots of weeds that have hopes of slowly devouring her children. She is this way with all of her family, caring, understanding and protective. Instilling her nurturing wisdom and her passion for agriculture in anyone who will take the time to listen. She is getting older in age but definitely not spirit, behind the wrinkles and laugh lines there are young eyes full of heart. At times she forgets where she puts things or the names of people. We are patient with her and tell her not to worry; it gets the best of us. Though we all know she’s slipping away from us little piece by little piece.

2.)It was a Sunday afternoon on the winding back roads in Searsmont. Two boys are diving way too fast toward a sharp corner, liquid courage fills there chest. A wide eyed dog sits faithfully by their sides, unaware of the danger. The driver, the one she worries the most about, takes his glazed eyes off the road watching the boy beside him. At that instant tires screech, metal hits wood, bone shatters and blood pours. The dog limps out of the wreckage, matted fur and panicked eyes; she pulls the driver out, the one she fears the most for.
How can someone be so selfish? Your problems may be your own but they affect everyone around you, from your sister to even your dog. You would think the third time is a charm, and a moment of clarity will finally be reached. She wondered if it would take him somewhere, if he would find the line again. She wondered if all the brothers were leaving and there would only be sisters left to occupy empty rooms and comfort sorrowful dogs.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Week 11 Theme ~ Alienation

It is dark now, it gets dark early this time of year. I am rowing back to shore at this instance, from the east side of the lake and it is hard to see. My eyes are focused on the lights of my house burning bright in the distance. The water is like thick black pools beneath the gliding canoe, I thought I saw a glimmer of something slithering beneath the surface but when I look back there is nothing there save the reflection of the night sky. It was probably nothing. My paddle makes contact with the flow of the lake, much to my amazement; the water is thick and seems to be pulling the paddle along with myself down with it. I let go immediately and the lively water subsides. I sit there, in the middle of the canoe, without means to get back to shore, freaked out and alone with only my imagination to get the best of me. My biggest fear has always been the possibility of sea monsters, great fiends that live beneath dark waters, waiting to pull unexpected swimmers and boaters down beneath the depths. At the moment of my phobia recall the canoe started swaying from side to side and it wasn’t me rocking it. Then I started to hear thuds on the bottom followed by a great churning of waters. I was standing up now in the middle of the canoe, grabbing the life preserver beside me, like that’s going to save me from the waiting beast. I am all over the place, teetering from side to side in the lurching boat. The water is splashing inside and a vertex seems like it is forming off the edge of the vessel. I shut my eyes, oh god what is going on? There is a large and slimy feeler emerging from the swirling vortex; pink, fleshy, slimy with scratches, scars and other mutilation covering the scaly tissue and it’s coming for me. This isn’t how I go is it? Such a mediocre death to be someone else’s lunch, tore apart and devoured by such inconceivable creatures.
And then I woke up, traveling in the back seat of my friend’s car, my ears adjusting to the sounds of conversation. “HEY GUYS WE”RE HERE!” Amanda’s voice is raised above everyone else’s. I peak out the window from my position in the back, glancing out of the window at the looming quarry of granite in front of us. Amanda parks the car and everyone bounds out, eager to jump into the water. They’re horsing around and joking as they march off down the beaten path to where you can leap from the rocks, no one noticing that I am slowly getting out and hanging back by the car. “Watch out for the quarry monsters they’ll pull you down into their caves,” Chris yells to the group before swinging off the rope swing, some 80 feet above the water. “Ha ha very funny,” yells Jen just now reaching the top. Amanda finally realizes I’m not with the group, “Where’s Kristen?” glancing back to towards the car, I wave to her from a distance. “Hey are you coming!” The two girls yell in unison. “I think I’ve had enough for one day, I’ll just watch you guys!” “What are you talking about, come on this is going to be awesome,” Jen yells before grabbing the rope and swinging off. Her body slips silently into the water, miles below. Flashes of tentacles and swirling water go though my head, I try to remind myself, it was only a dream. But still, I won’t be frequenting any bodies of water anytime soon.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Week 10 Theme ~ Irony

I walk in the front door and before I can even get my coat off the inquisition starts. “Why are you late,” the nagging mother speaks as she stares at me with “the look.” “Oh, I had to take Justin somewhere,” I say trying to prepare myself for the inevitable inquiry and advice that’s about to come my way. “Why hasn’t he got his car fixed anyways? You must be sick of driving him around all the time, right?” “I don’t know mom, we’re trying to find one, but no I don’t mind driving him as much as you apparently mind that I do.” “Well does he still have his job?” “Yes mom, though it’s none of your business he still does.” “Well you never know he never keeps one for very long.” “Alright, that’s enough, I don’t want to get into it with you I just came to drop off these eggs from Nana, here,” I shove the carton in front of her and head towards the door; I have to get out of here. “I don’t know why you have such bad taste in men, you and your grandmother are the same way, and you definitely don’t take after me in that department. You two like to be controlled.” “What is that suppose to mean, what are you even talking about, you seriously just like to start shit with me don’t you?”
The front door opens and shuts again; I can here my stepfather kicking his heavy boots off, careless of the mud he’s dripping onto the floor. Nearly stumbling through the kitchen, I can smell the booze on his breath before he even rounds the corner. “Where the hell is my dinner? I’ve worked all day and I want a hot meal!” “Oh hunny, I have it right here, it’s almost done, why don’t you go sit in your chair and watch a little TV and I’ll bring it right in for you, ok?” “Hurry it up!” He yells at her as he swaggers off.
She diligently makes the Neanderthal his plate as if he was a child; steak, potatoes, and string beans with half and half and lots of butter. It’s pretty much the same meal I have been eating in this house since childhood because of him, always afraid to try something new. She carries the food into the living room and sets it on the TV tray beside his chair, being careful not to disturb him while he’s watching the game; she’s as quiet as a mouse.
“Hey, I need you to go to the store and buy me a thirty rack darling,” he shouts out the order never thanking her for the meal. “Alright hunny, I have to run some errands anyways.” “No, just get the beer and bring it back, otherwise you’ll be gone all night, always running your mouth to people. And this steak is over cooked!” “Oh I’m sorry I thought I watched it pretty good, I didn’t think it was burnt.” “Well it is, just go get the beer.” “Ok I’ll be right back.” Who is this woman?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Week 9 ~ Meaning beyond words


I’m in the dark I hear noises in the night

Sleep is not possible, I am restless and afraid

There is a small flicker of light off in the distance

I stumble through the nothingness, hoping to find radiance once more

Needing to end this madness

To find clarity

As I get closer there are shadows that begin to play tricks on me

I see images of my family, a happier time

I glimpse myself, much younger and more naive

Observing my own monsters and demons running beside me

The glow is burning brighter

They begin to hurry now, grabbing at me as they pass

I struggle to keep up, straining my eyes to see

No longer shadows, the fiends are chasing and racing

Can’t let them win

I think about everything that’s worth living for

I sprint past them, keeping my sights on the now, burning light in front of me

The monsters dissolve back into the darkness

Now they are the ones afraid

I am the light now, it envelops me

I find myself just on the other side

I was waiting to catch up to myself all along.

Week 8 Theme ~ Small to large

I am surfing through the Internet when I encounter an article that pops up on Yahoo news that catches my attention, “Follow in 385,000 yr old human footsteps.” Footpaths believed to be left 385,000 years ago in Naples, Italy were recently opened to the public; you can actually walk in the footsteps of the first humans, how incredible is that? There are six trails at the edge of a volcano and also a primitive hand print in southern Italy that tourists are able to see. I lean back in my chair and begin to drift off….

The first primitive humans that thousands of years ago roamed the earth, I know that they existed but to actually see the evidence is kind of astonishing. The picture on the computer is small but you are still able to see perfectly the footprints on the hard volcanic rock, a cast of our ancestors’ feet. I try to imagine myself walking barefoot along the base of a volcano, pushing myself on despite pain or exhaustion, just trying to survive. I can’t imagine it, I get winded hiking Mount Battie and I have sneakers on. It is a completely different world now, none of us would know how to survive then and vice versa.It seems like a fairy tale or a myth, a time long, long ago.

I wonder if there will still be an Earth thousands of years from now, will there be anyone left to remember our race? How much more will we evolve, how much more will the world change? Judging by what is currently happening, from global warming, pollution, the raping of our natural resources, to the constant looming threat of nuclear, chemical or biological war this planet doesn’t have long. Either we are going to blow ourselves up or destroy the Earth by taking everything and leaving nothing. I feel sorry for future generations, if something is not done now about these threats there will be nothing left. And you would think that the politicians would come to their senses and put there effort and money into a solution instead of perpetuating the problem.

And all of this makes me wish that myself and the ones I love are long gone before the inevitable happens. This is why I have no plans on bringing any children into this decaying world; it is not fair or safe. I feel devastated for those that will see the end and I sincerely hope that it does not happen.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Week 7 ~ Character

Lohman Gardiner. A big bear of a man with a thick beard and at first glance he has a rigid demeanor that doesn’t melt away when you first meet him either. When we first met I definitely thought his family name was strange, and being a little critical I thought he reflected this name; a little odd and maybe eccentric. And definitely I thought he looked like a mean old lumberjack. However, I was pleasantly surprised after having one conversation with him and I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sure he was unusual but that is what I love about him, he is a man I respect, admire and have a lot of fun with. And his name is a name of value that conjures up images of integrity and selflessness.

Lohman lives in the woods behind my grandmother’s house in an attempt to escape the decaying world outside. He is a solitary person who believes in the Earth and her gifts. He doesn’t have running water or electricity because he chooses not to support big conglomerates that damage the Earth. He provides for himself and makes a living from his hands. Every year, giving so much care and attention to this garden, for this is what will nourish him. He is also a beekeeper, having over 300 hives he takes to pollination every year. Not having much of an education doesn’t stop him from do what he wants to do. He knows a lot about farming, beekeeping, dogs, real estate, small business and just life. He’s always trying to teach others and learn also. “Life is one long lesson,” he always says. He doesn’t need much to survive, he has little to no material things that he needs to feel at ease or happy with like most people I know. His house is round and small, unusually beautiful, made from wood that he milled from his land. A wood stove is in the center of the room leading up a pipe and out through a circle in the roof, he always keeps it rather cool in there but adds a little extra wood on the fire when I’m over because I hate being cold. There’s not much else in the room, a small table with two chairs, a cot, bookshelf and desk, everything is handmade by himself. He hangs things from the ceiling, planes and origami; there are also dried herbs, flowers and garlic. The house smells of rosemary, lavender, the wood stove, garlic and honeycomb. Lohman smells of this too, it’s comforting in some way, it never makes you uneasy and I think this is why the bees don’t sting him when he’s tending to a hive. Even the bees like him.

He tells me stories of what it was like when he was a kid. His father died when he was young and his mother was a useless drunk, being the oldest and trying to take care of his sister and brother he would sometimes have to steal just not to starve. She soon abandoned the kids, and then they were worked on a farm by their foster parents. Lohman learned to grow up quick, fending for himself and his siblings along with hard manual labor at a young age. The funny thing is he holds no bitterness about his foster parents, he feels that they helped make him who he is, a hard worker. And his mother, well, I can sense the tension in his voice when he talks about her but he says that she helped shove him towards a beginning that got him to this point in his life. “Everything happens for a reason and we all should work with what we got and never feel sorry for ourselves”.

As soon as he was old enough he took off running from the farm, not knowing where he was heading, just knowing that it was time to go. He hitch hiked across the United States, picking crops to earn money, apples, corn, oranges, sometimes even marijuana. He says it was a lot easier, safer and cheaper to be a hitcher back then, these days it is way too dangerous. He tells me never to try and hitch hike, “There’s too many weirdo’s these days, it’s not like back then when you could actually trust a person.” This has always been a big concern with Lohman, the changes in the world not being for the better and the lack of trust.

When I first met him, like I do with everyone I meet, I shook his hand and kept eye contact when we were speaking. I’m not sure if it is because of his experiences with people being deceitful or the fact that people instinctively try to hide the truth but he has a thing about people being able to look him in the eye when talking to him. He feels that it is ill mannered and typically means your hiding something. He always makes an impression of you when you first meet, but I guess most people do that also. He’s very hesitant to open the door to new people and there are very few that he trusts and lets into his life. But once he does you are really able to see what a unique spirit he is. I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet him; he is the one of the most interesting persons I have met thus far in my life.

Week 6 Theme ~ Setting

I put my electronic key card into the slot and swipe, the device blinks green, inviting me inside. I enter into a familiar room, a home away from home for weary travelers. I haven’t been here before but the rooms are always the same, save a few misplaced discrepancies but always with the constant, familiar creature habits and comforts from home. Cable TV, queen size bed, bathroom, hairdryer; everything is clean, crisp and served for you. Although you don’t talk about it, you can sense the countless others before you that have stayed here.

I evaluate the quarters before fully stepping in. There is a small window at the far end of the room; the curtains are pulled wide, allowing the guest to get a quick peak of the bustling city outside. A small table with two chairs is in front of the window, an ashtray with a book of matches advertising the hotels name is on the front. The carpet is blue, and plush, a few inquiring stains are visible on the rug, thoughts cross my mind as to what actually marked the carpet but still I move on. The faded wooden frame of the large bed is in the center of the room, I can see a few scratches on the headboard, bumps and dings. The bedspread is slightly worn with a slightly faded gold and red jacquard print. At first glance the bed looks inviting, calling to your weary body and exhausted mind. I let myself fall back, my head hitting the pillows. As I lay there I begin to think of all the people that have rested, slept, dreamt, made love, gone crazy, were sick and alone in this bed I am on. I am a little disturbed at my own thoughts; I quickly get up, trying to shake the images in my head.

I stand in the middle of the room turning slowly around, once again surveying the quarters. A few odd pictures seem to blend into the walls. A seemingly old image of still fruits and a watering can, embossed in a faux gold frame, another of a black urn positioned on a table top also with the gold fame. The last is a large ship at sea, this particular picture was dark and ominous, I felt the waves could topple out of the photo and crash on top of me. I felt like being consumed standing there, looking at these curiously threatening photos.

I step into the bathroom, the white tiles on the floor have noticeably just been cleaned, and the toilet paper has been freshly folded into a point, creating a sense of examination or ritual. The trial size shampoos and little soaps are at your disposal. There are fresh white towels hanging on the rack beside the tub. But how fresh are they really? If they were brand new I can see calling them that, however, these are soiled towels. Sure their visible stains have been washed away but hundreds of people have used them for one thing or another. Collected by maids’ minutes, hours, or days later to be bleached, washed and dried then redistributed to new customers for another “fresh” commodity offered by the hotel. It’s amazing how the hotel works so hard to make sure there is not a single indication that others were here before you, but you know, upon close scrutiny that you are not alone.

I guess I am like a dog, sniffing out my territory before I fully commit to laying down and feeling secure here. I inspect my surroundings to see how truly clean or disgusting the establishment is, theorizing as to what the others were doing here, what marks were left. I am never fully satisfied, but no one is more comfortable than in there own home anyways. Knowing I will have an uneasy sleep tonight, I try to find a clean edge of the bed to sleep on until morning. I turn on the TV to help me fall asleep, that never changes anywhere I go.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Theme Week 5: Narrative; "The Hole"

My parents were only together for a short time after I was born before they split up. Soon my dad found another woman; she became like a second mother to me and gave me a little brother. Cade and I are four years apart, growing up I only saw him and my dad on the weekends, holidays and vacations. I’m not sure, maybe because I didn’t have to live with Cade all the time and share my things with him 24/7 that we were closer than most siblings I knew. At the end of the weekend when it was time to go back to my mom’s house it was back to me to entertain myself since I was an only child with her. I liked having someone to play with, even if it was my brother. Of course there was a little sibling rivalry, I was a spoiled little girl and got away with most things and little boys can get on a girls nerve sometimes, we threw rocks and punches, but at the end of the day we really relied on one another, for entertainment, understanding, for friendship. I would do anything for him and I know he would for me too.

Cade has never liked his vegetables. My dad has always been concerned with eating healthy and organic. Even I, liking most fruits and vegetables, was a little sickened when it came to some of his concoctions. Chic peas, brown rice, baked beans, and spinach just to name a few of the things I remember hating. But Cade, well he disliked everything, he wouldn’t touch a vegetable no matter what it was. Many times he’s been left at the dinner table picking at his food, going to bed hungry only to raid the cupboards for snacks after everyone’s sleeping, not getting dessert or just finding some new and inventive way to dispose of unappetizing chow.

On this particular evening we had all sat down at the table, nervously waiting the unearthing of tonight’s dinner. Sweet smells were drifting through the kitchen, settling in the dining room where they were being heavily scrutinized by Cade and I. “It smells good, maybe its steak and potatoes.” Cade says hopefully, looking to me for agreement. “Smells are deceiving, but yeah I hope it is steak, something good for a change.” “I bet its liver or maybe a sickly soup filled with all sorts of foul things.” “Oh don’t be so dramatic, here it comes anyways.” Dad, being a man of few words, “Eat it while it’s hot,” insensitively depositing the large blue plates, overflowing with tonight’s nightmare cooking, in front of us. Brown rice covers the plate topped with cooked broccoli, peppers, zucchini, squash, caramelized onions, corn, pea pods, carrots, and chicken. It’s a stir-fry. To me, this wasn’t so bad, besides the brown rice that I hate. Cade on the other hand is eyeing the vegetables with a sick expression on his face, “Uggghh,” sighing displeasingly as he slowly begins to stab his food as if it were diseased. Since I like most of the things on my plate I try to get as much rice in every bite filled with the vegetables and chicken that I can stomach. Cade just picks out the chicken to find nourishment. Dad is eyeing us across the table, especially Cade. We are the last ones to finish, as usual, I still have a pile of rice left and Cade expectantly hasn’t touched his vegetables or his rice. “We could feed it to the dogs,” I suggest, doubting the whole possibility that Mya and Zeus would find this tasty, well maybe Mya because she eats anything. “No, I have a better idea, wait until he leaves,” Cade whispers, his face is filled with that monkey business look on his which tells me something is up. “I’ll be outside doing wood,” Dad calls out, “finish your dinner and no fooling around.” “OK so what’s your plan genius,” I say apprehensively.
“Oh you’ll see,” a very sly smile gracing his face. He gets up from the table and walks towards the sliding glass doors. I am suspecting that he’s just going to fling the food outside but surely he doesn’t think this is going to work, Dad will see him for certain. But no, near the edge of the doors the floor is sunken in on one side and apparently there is a small hole that Cade has covered with another small piece of wood to keep this hole hidden. Cade removes the piece of wood and begins to scrape his plate down into the hole. I am sitting in my chair watching all this and I can’t even believe it, “Gross! How long have you been doing this?” “I don’t know a couple, of weeks; it’s a great spot huh?” He says this as if nothing he is doing is out of the ordinary or amiss. I don’t say anything, for a little bit, and yeah I admit I was contemplating actually using this hidden garbage disposal that Cade has found in our floor. But no, I know better, this is definitely the wrong thing to be doing. I cautiously walk over to the doors and peer down into the hole, it is absolutely disgusting. Two weeks of old lunches and dinners that are going sour, molding, bugs are beginning to crawl over the waste and the stench is beginning to turn my stomach. I cannot believe no one has noticed the smell. I sit back in the chair and exclaim, “Cade, this is disgusting, I know Dad makes some pretty rank things sometimes but you need to stop doing this, were going to have rats and bugs all over the place. You need to stop.” “No, no, it’s fine,” He picks up my plate to scrape down into the hole when all hell breaks loose. My stepmother comes in the front door, without us hearing, she turns the corner into the dining room and catches Cade red handed, disposing of the remains of my dinner into “the hole.” (As it will forever be know) She absolutely freaked. Actually at first I don’t think she knew what was going on, “Uh, what do you think you’re doing?” Cade looked like a deer in headlights, he froze mid scraping. He knew at that moment he was screwed and his hole was on the verge of being discovered. I on the other hand stepped back a little, trying to distance myself from the explosion that was about to occur. Cade stands in front of the hole, trying to hide it, I guess when my stepmother pushes him aside, peering in at the decaying food. I thought she was going to faint, that or wring Cade’s neck. “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS! THAT IS DISGUSTING, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? GO GET YOUR FATHER, RIGHT NOW! THAT IS WHAT I'VE BEEN SMELLING! I know Cade was afraid, hell, I was afraid for him too. It was by no means over, it had just begun. “I’m not getting him,” Cade says with a twinge of boldness in his voice and he plants himself in the chair. At least he didn’t run he knows there’s no avoiding it. “FINE!” and she storms off outside in search of the disciplinary figure. We sit and wait in silence, Cade thinking about the judgment that’s coming and I, not wanting to make this any harder on him than it already is by saying “I told you so.” Dad steps through the doorway with my stepmother quick on his heels. He examines the floor and looks at Cade, I’m thinking to myself this is where the yelling starts but I was wrong. It’s worst when Dad says nothing because you know he’s really angry or disappointed. He pulls the trash can across the floor towards the hole, “start cleaning it up,” Dad says, you can hear the irritation in his voice which can only mean this is just the beginning of Cade’s punishment. “What do you want me to get it out with?” “Use your hands.” “Wwhat? Are you serious?” “Does it look like I’m joking around Cade?” “Yes sir.” Cade gets down onto the floor, slowly and reluctantly reaches his hands down into the hole, you can see the look of revulsion on his face, he picks up a pile of his rotting dinners and dumps it into the trash. “Good, keep it up, I’m going to the store, finish this and when I get back I’ll think of something else.” As soon as Dad is out of sight Cade practically runs to get a ladle to continue scooping so he doesn’t have to use his hands. I don’t say anything, instead I keep a look out, and no I didn’t help him remove his nauseating rotten food from the hole. I would do anything for him but that was way too much for me, I draw the line when there is a possibility of vomiting.

These days Cade’s still a little hesitant about his vegetables, but he learned to like most things. And at least now he takes responsibility for himself, scrapping his leftovers, boldly, into either the compost or the trash. The dogs still get their “treats,” our refuse. My dad’s a lot less strict about our eating habits, I think he scared Cade so much that he ran stomach first into sweat treats rather than eating healthy, but he’s just now starting to realize, that type of food really makes you feel gross over time and you just don’t have enough energy. Anyways, we always have the memory of “The Hole” to think about and give us some laughs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Theme Week 4 - Truth or Consequences

1.) The seasons are changing, fall is upon us and winter is right around the corner. Most of the summer flowers are dead; I shake my head sorrowfully at the sight. The dead foliage is a nuisance. The weeds are reaching high in the overgrown garden as I spy the just visible pumpkin patch, the only good looking thing in here. I tie together some corn stalks and bring out some decorations to put next to the porch. I can’t wait to show Justin!

2.) It is autumn and I can feel the air changing which sends a small chill up my spine. I can smell the crispness that blows through the trees and clouds; I love this time of year. Most of the summer blooms have gone by and the job of collecting the dead foliage is at hand. I empty the various pots into the wheel barrel to be carried away to the compost pile. “Just not enough water,” I shake my head as I sorrowfully examine some pitiful looking Dahlia’s and sunflowers that are dried up and wilted. I am onto the garden next, struggling to pull up some of the weeds that are unruly and uncontrollable at this point. My patch of pumpkins did well this year; I found four beautiful little pumpkins tonight, perfect for carving. The corn stalks are taller than me as I wrestle them down to the ground so I can tie them together. They look very festive as I prop them up against the purple and red mums beside the porch. I place a pumpkin here and there to add some more color. I find a few Halloween decorations that I put out on the porch as well, a scare crow that sits in the ground, a witch flying on her broom and some ghostly candleholders. I feel good as I stand back and take in the scene, the decorations are so cute next to the pumpkins and flowers, I cannot wait to show Justin when he gets home. It’s funny how the smallest effort, like cleaning the yard and putting up Halloween decorations can make me so pleased. Happy Halloween!

3.) It is autumn and I can feel the cool wind that rushes upon my face and up my spine. The smell of the crisp air is intoxicating, I watch as the fallen leaves blow around the yard, the trees and clouds. It’s a whirlwind of colors; I love this time of year. The summer blooms have faded and fell off their stalks; I take away their remains and cart them off to the compost pile. “These ones are lovely,” I exclaim over the tall sunflowers and exquisite Dahlia’s that haven’t passed yet. I am onto the garden next, pulling out a few stray weeds here and there as I make my way to the pumpkin patch. I am very pleasantly surprised by the size of this year’s pumpkin. They are gigantic, Cinderella pumpkins that seem to have a mind of there own, sprawling out over the lawn, breaking free from the patch. I cannot even begin to lift them; they are too big to carve, “what will I do?” I figure, no need to worry about it now, I’ll leave that up to Justin. I effortlessly cut down some corn stalks and tie them together to put on display on the front lawn, along with the Halloween decorations. I put pumpkin lights on the porch with some witches and goblins hiding among the plants. Hanging from the trees are bats, ghosts and witches on brooms, and my favorite, a laughing skeleton that sits by the front steps. I feel very festive for the Halloween season, my yard does too!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Theme for Week Three ~ Dialogue

I walk into the brightly lit hallway, I can smell something cooking as I drop my bag near the door and throw myself on the overstuffed couch. "Ahhh... I am finally home, I am so tired,” I say as I kick my shoes off onto the rug.

My boyfriend comes out of the kitchen, a big smile stamped across his face,
"Hi, I feel like I haven't seen you in days."
"I know I missed you too."
He settles in next to me on the couch, "So how was your day?"

This is our little ritual, expelling the frustrations of the day to the others sympathetic ear.

"Oh, it was all right. I feel like I bombed the algebra test you helped me study for, but I made $200 at work tonight.”
“Well, I’m sure you did better than you thought you did on the test.”
“I’m not sure, I’m just glad that it’s over.”
“It must have been busy tonight; did you have to work with your boss?”
“Yeah, it was not fun. He was yelling at everyone tonight and we only had two girls on tonight, so yeah, it was interesting.”
“I don’t know why you let him talk to you like that, you need to say something.”
“I know, but I need the job. I have said things before to him; he apologizes for yelling but still does it the next time. Whatever.”
“Alright, are you hungry?”
“Of course I am, what do you have cooking for me, it smells great.”
“A little Italiano…”
“Yes! You know I have been craving it!”
“Well I am going to go finish it up, I left a glass of wine…”
His voice trails off as he rounds the corner for the kitchen. I spy the large goblet filled with the fragrant liquid on the stand beside me. It’s a familiar friend that uncoils the pressure that’s been building up all day. I stretch out on the couch with my glass in hand and Max, my gray feline friend, who has robbed my boyfriends’ seat from him. I start to drift off but before I can He returns…
“Dinner is served.”

We walk into the dining room where the lights are dimmed; candles illuminate the table where my feast awaits.

“Wow, what’s the occasion?”
“Just you. Actually I have to go to work in a couple of hours, graveyard shift.”
“I’m sorry.”
“No. It’s OK. Thank you for the food, it looks beautiful. Baked ziti, Caesar salad, garlic bread, wine. It’s all just great. Thank you.”

I sit down on the hard oak chair; my napkin falls to my lap as I begin to drop spoonfuls of lettuce onto my plate. He passes me my dished out ziti, with all its cheesy goodness I devour my forkful, “Mm mm, delizioso.” This meal was a perfect ending to my unpleasant day.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I have been so busy I haven't been able to get online for more than five minutes, but I have been keeping track of my days so here they are:

Labor Day Weekend!
August 31st
Off to a good start this morning, waking up on time, out the door with coffee in hand. I felt like it was a Beatles morning, and listened to the band on the drive to Bangor. Classes went by fast and I was off to work for the night before I knew it. Friday nights I hostess at a restaurant in Belfast, it’s easy work and pays well. I had to train a new girl tonight, it was interesting. Alicia definitely has an entirely different personality than myself, so I was wary of the situation. Nevertheless, she was a strange character, funny ,had a beautiful singing voice and I enjoyed talking to her. It’s always nice to have someone extra to help you out and it makes the night go by quicker. After work I met my boyfriend at The Three Tides for a drink. It was a very uniquw place, they even brewed there own beer at the bar. The crowd was totally different than what we usually are around, they were older a little eccentric. Ahhh… It’s nice to unwind after work.

September 1st
I love to sleep in on Saturdays, it makes me feel like a kid, rolling out of bed around eleven, watching some Saturday morning cartoons before a big breakfast. Before work, I took the dogs for a run in the woods down back through the 4 wheeler trails. Saturday nights I waitress at a diner in Stockton, Just Barb’s, tonight was surprisingly not busy and went slowly by. I came home to oysters and champagne, what a great surprise. I am one of the few people that I know who likes oysters, and my boyfriend is definitely not one of them. He hates oysters and he cannot watch me eat them but he’s nice enough to get them for me anyway. I am elevated and content as I drift off to sleep… goodnight.

September 2nd
Today was a gorgeous day! And my day off! I went for a hike this morning at the ledges, it was so pretty at the top, the sky stretched out for miles as the sun beat down atop the rocks and shimmered over the lake. I contemplated what it would feel like to jump, free falling down and down, feeling the warm air rush against my face, seeing the smiling water waiting for me below. I imagine I would feel like a bird until I hit anyways.

This afternoon I visited with my family, I had a BBQ with my dad and brother. It was good to see them because it has been awhile. My brother who is seventeen has been in some trouble so it was really good to talk some sense into him. On the way home I stopped at my mothers house just to say Hi. It's always like walking on egg shelves before you get into the door, you never know what mood she's going to be in. Spent the rest of the night watching movies with my other half.

September 3rd

Another great day but it's off to work for me. Waitressing at Just Barb's all day. It was crazy when I arrived at 12:30 and it never let up until the end of the night. There was just two waitresses on and no hostess so I worked my little butt of but it was definately worth it when I counted my money up at the end of the night. So exhausted when I finally got home, made Justin give me a long foot rub before bed.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Writer's Autobiography

I love to express myself artisticly through, writing,painting or drawing. I read endless books, I like to escape from time to time.I have always done well in english, through highschool and middleschool, I wish I could say the same about math but Oh well. I don't think I have encountered any assignment that I didn't like or couldn't turn into something that was uniquely mine. Writing to me is therapuetic, I like to take some time away and put everything down on paper.Freshman year I took a writing composition class, taught be Edward Rice, that I really enjoyed and did well in. Some of the assignments were challenging, but definately helped me improve my skill. I think I do fine at writing and it is something I really enjoy doing and would like to continue learning to enhance my technique.I was approached sophmore year by my biology teacher with a suggestion from Carol Lewandowski that I put a piece I had written for a current events article in the school newspaper. I thought this would be an exciting oppurtunity for me to get somewhat published, even though it was just an article in the school newspaper, I enjoyed doing it and being apart of something.I was thinking about taking a journalism class this symester for fun and to check out if this would be something worth considering for a career, however, the class is only available early mornings and I couldn't fit it into my schedule. I was disapointed but instead found this wonderful class that caught my eye and thought it would be fun to do for an elective, so here I am.I want to become a better writer, improve the skills that I have and learn some new ones along the way. There are no dissapointments to me in life as well as in writing, everything happens for a reason, you learn and grow from your mistakes. I don't think of myself as a great writer in any means, I enjoy doing it and will continue to do so because it makes me happy.
You return to the relief of your bedroom after a long and difficult day. There are so many thoughts whizzing around your mind, begging to be let out. Dropping your stuff at the door and retreating to the comfort of your bed you begin to unwind, easing into the quietness. You pick up your notebook, an old and fimiliar friend that is always there waiting for you. You begin to transcend the questions, thoughts, the difficulty of the day as you settle in to fill another friendly page of the sprawling paper before you. Slowly, words spring from your pen as feelings begin to come into focus and slowly evaporate onto the page. You begin to pick up speed, writing faster and faster as the thoughts pour out and your rage, hope, fear, dissapoitments, happiness; all those inadequate feelings that were escalating within in you just minutes before. And finally you break off for the moment, feeling infinetly better about yourself, now you can resurface into the world, recharged.
She smiles as she enters class, here she feels at home. There are no equations, no rules she needs to follow, she doesn't have to show her work. She can be her creative self, unaltered, impassive, and may write whatever comes to her mind. This is what feels right to her, she will soar on lyrical wings transcending the evils of mathematics, to a unworldly place where only her words and prose matter for this is where she comes from, she is a creature of creativity.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


I had a very nice night of sleep. I didn't want to pull myself away from my wonderous dream as the alarm clocked sounded off outside my thoughts this morning. I never seem to remember any of my dreams, just the lingering feelings I'm stuck with while I stumble through the morning. It bugs me because my boyfriend remembers everything that happens, with alot of detail; colors, images, everything so animated. Jealousy has struck me more than once on this account.
Classes went by fast today and I was back at home before I knew it. I indulged in a sweet power nap this afternoon on the hammock. Swaying back and forth in the breeze, listening to the sounds of the woods, it was just too easy to fall asleep.
It's time to get cooking for dinner...Mmmm..Lasagna.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Today was my third day of classes and I already feel my head swelling with information, apprehension and just general discomfort. I commute to EMCC from Swanville and my first class is @ 10:00 on Wednesdays, which may not seem like a big deal to all of you "early risers" out there; you know, the ones who can't wait to get started on their day. However, for me, Iwas just born without that gene and waking up at 7:30 is like geting hit by a freight train and living to tell the tale. I AM NOT a morning person! So, needless to say after abot 5 cups of coffee and a nice warm shower I was still dragging myself out the door and off to start my hour long drive. As you know, driving is boring, especially by yourself, and more than once I found myself nodding off a little, what a horrible feeling. I never thought that I would come out of it, but of course I did, and by the middle of my first class I was definately more lively, thank God. My second class is full of despair and headaches. I am an artist, not a mathmatician, and for the life of me I cannot seem to pass a college algebra class no matter how hard I try. It is so so frustrating to concentrate all of your effort into one class and watch as you don't make the grade. I am determined to be master of my domain this year so watch out Fibonacci!