July 17, 2003

lost boys

I was doing okay. with not being here. okay. keeping it barely together. lots to do. thought I was okay, you know, when I stepped outside my front door, and there he was at the bottom of the porch. dirty clothes, snotty nose, the saddest eyes, and yet trusting.

A big dog was following him.

"Um, hi there little guy--where's your mommy?" I look in both directions.

"mommy not heow."

"Okay." I look up and down the street. No one. Walk down the steps to talk to him.

His shoes are untied, the tongues all stuck in and crumpled around his tan feet.

"Where do you live?"


"Oh wow."

He hands me a pinecone, points to the dog and says, "for bigfoot.. lalallalal bigfoot."

I sit on the step.

"How old are you sweetie?"

Two fingers come up.

Car goes up the road, down the road. He walked here all alone, on his way to someone who'd care.

"I'm sure someone's worried about you--can you show me where you came from?"

He points up the street.

"Okay, well, we'd better go back."

He takes my hand and asks about his mama. I say, "We'll find her."

Half way down the driveway, I pick him up and hold him. "I'll carry you sweetie."

But we don't find his mother. When he points to the door where he came from, three houses up, I know immediately that the same 18-year-old girl who had no mom of her own to speak of, who's puppy I've been taking care of for two nights, is in charge of Hanzel this day.

That's what he tells me his name is, and the irony and tragedy of it bowl me over.

hanzel and gretel. him and me.

I call for her and she comes out, eventually. Someone else leaves as she opens the door. She says its her uncle.

I say, "He was at my house. He's thirsty."

Mothers know this.

"I don't know why he doesn't stay in the yard--he likes to wander around."

That's what we learn to do at two years of age when no one is there for us.

To wander. Keep looking. Fly free in chains.

To keep looking for what was never there in the first place.

Standing in one place and seeing how hurt and alone we are is facing our own annihilation. You can't do it at two. But sometime, maybe, we all do it.

I say, "Well, get him some water."

And before I hand him over, I tell him if he ever gets lost again, he can come and get me.

"Ok," he says.

She says, "Well, if anything else of mine wanders down your way--jeesh the dog and now the kid--let me know."

I say, "Get him some water. He's thirsty."

And I walk home in barefeet with the pavement burning my soles.

And I weep.

first time i ever pulled a post

it was supposed to be a funny post urging halley to get comments. but on second thought, it's not my place to talk about another blogger's space and what it should be or not be, and on third thought, i really don't feel funny anymore, and on fourth thought, i have been bit by the not-wanting-to-blog bug. so, time for some brain work of my own.

July 16, 2003

With all the talk about Girlism, I decided to go for a new look

The Angry Motherfucker Look...

like i really thought...

that puppy would go away and stay away. she's back. sitting outside the front door. scratching to come in. called the owner, who's nowhere to be found. wet. scared from the thunder. a sad sack. I could put her back out in it. But she's happily chewing on Jenna's old slipper now in the hallway. what else to do? just wait. my mantra.

Awe but she's cute.


tonight when
the rumbling came
I stood in the open,
eyes to the sky
and dared
the lightning

I did that. Tonight. At Walmart. How romantic an image. Me, under the neon blue, reflecting off wet pavement. Jenna was safe in the car when the shaking started. That is what the low end does here, the thunder--it shakes everything. People, houses, china. Rumbles in for what feels like an hour.

I finished loading packages into the van, one eye on the light show above and off to the west, coming. Coming fast, strikes five miles up 92.

I closed the hatchback and stepped into the open. Stood there. For longer than you do. A lot longer. Wanting it to hit, discharge my rage, make my heart molten, take away the pain in my right side. Been hurting so long now. I don't know. A rib, something. Phantom pain. Only fire can turn coal to dust like that.

It happens, from time to time, the burning, the wanting to shock and be shocked.

It's new and I have learned to difuse it with the sunshine of the day.

But not at night, when I would spit fire to the sky and line midnight blue with veins of white.

When Gary Met Annie

This is why blogging is different than any other online forum.

Taking the relationships to the streets from a place of already knowing-you-knowing-me, from the UK to Seattle, on micro wheels, over a vulnerable body, a body about to face the most vulnerable place anyone can know, but not yet knowing that, not then, but rather afterward, and yet still surrendering: I see you, I know you, I trust you not to hurt me.

Next: I don't trust me not to hurt you, but you do, don't you, and so let's laugh and play instead. Blogger joy, blogger tears. Hold my hand across the Web.

Great Car for Sale

2001 Ford Escape hardly driven. The benefit of buying a car from a telecommuter. Still under original warranty. Sweeet.

Figure, since I got the puppy back to its home, might be a good day to mention we have a car that also needs a home. Never can tell.

July 15, 2003

when i get too into myself, I'm reminded every time

Such was this evening, when I spent a half hour trying to chase this puppy out of the yard--shooo! go home. I tried to get the van out of the garage. She'd run in. I'd get out of the van and chase her out of the garage. Try to close it. She'd run in.

oh gosh you're sweet. Now go away. Can't have this. Too much going on already. So go. GO HOME!

But she wouldn't. Hasn't yet.

I went to a bunch of neighbors with her. "Oh yah, she's been around here for a couple of weeks. Friendly enough. No one knows where she came from. Might have been those people that moved out."

A walker from the next street over. Same story. "Yep, we've seen her. Doesn't seem to belong to anyone. Showed up at the Peterson's last week."

Oh great.

And Jenna.

Mommy please please she loves me!

No Jenna--there's a rule. You can't have three dogs and a cat. It's against the rules.

Surely there must be rules.

Atlanta bloggers, need a puppy? She looks to be about 12 weeks. Baby teeth. Black and brown. Smart. Skinny but seems okay. Pictures coming soon. Would sure make some kid a nice dog. Not this kid. Or this kid's kid. Can barely keep it together over here.

oye. she's in the kitchen now. staring at Hunter. Smart girl. Hasn't tried a thing except laying down and rolling over to get his attention. And Hunter, dare I say it, likes her.

Haven't tested Bando or Diva. Maybe put her out back with Bando. Give old Diva a break. Until someone can come get her and give her a good home.

Or until I lose it.

Whichever comes first.

Nice People

The meeting went great. CEO/fellow writer--what could be wrong with that? Stuff in the works. I enjoy the people there. Down to earth. No sense of entitlement. Usually the case when a writer's making the decisions.

Previous to building this boutique agency, the CEO was a New Orleans musician. Seasoned. Older. Smart. Nice to talk with someone from my field, but also with a sense of the arts, in the business of business. There aren't too many who can walk that talk.

Shared tales from the biz, including my keen understanding of how to treat confidential client information, like the time I had the Cingular naming information--before Cingular had its name--and my job to write the justiciation for the name. My boss told me if I slipped up and said the word, or if anyone saw that piece of paper and leaked it, we'd be on the street. Pronto. Would be one of those career-ruining mistakes, which I've managed--barely--to avoid thus far.

It made me more nervous than usual, knowing the name-to-be of this wireless superpower, about to enter the game with a canon ball splash. Especially since Jenna's Asthma medicine at the time had the same name, spelled differently: Singulair.

Every night I'd take out her chewable pill and vow not to say the name out loud: henceforth Singulair has been known as her "asthma vitamin."

At the height of my paranioa, I took the piece of paper from my notebook, folded it in quarters, and stuffed it in my underwear drawer where it remains to this day.

I kept the secret, did fine work for them, and I still call Singulair an "asthma vitamin."

Back to today's meeting. As I said, before starting the company, after a run in the publishing business, the CEO was a professional musician (piano/keys) -- in New Orleans.

By the end of our talk I think I had him convinced that I could take over his responsibilities and that he should take the opportunity to travel with George to the Canary Islands in the fall to play some New Orleans Jazz.

His eyes lit up. "HEY! There's an idea."

I think we were only half kidding.

Had a better afternoon than morning. I'm still a crabapple though.

Bad bad moood.

Have a job interview today. Well, kind of. Meeting with the CEO. Already did some work for them, impressed em. That's good. They wanna talk about options. Thing is, I've been in a bad mood. Baaaad mood a risin'. I've got to turn my head around before 2:00. Gotta get on my interview suitt and channel Halley's energy--that's my only hope for not letting my badness shine through.

I got these vitamins last week. They make me evil. Figured out yesterday that they might be part of my lil problem these days. I'm saving them. From time to time I need to be evil. But on a daily basis, it kind of wears on you. I think I won't take them today. I'll take three of Jenna's gummy bear vitamins instead. yum.

It's hot and sunny--perfect pool day--and I resent having to drive downtown. I ask myself, what is wrong with you? Where's your enthusaism? Wherefore did your "what a great opportunity" thinking go?

Instead, I feel like playing hookey for the rest of my natural life. Or, maybe "from" the rest of my natural life.

Gonna run away, chase the daylight around the world. Catch me if you can.

July 13, 2003

What matters.

Please send some love Ann's way.

I love you, Ann.


It's 2 a.m., regardless of what my permalink timestamp says. Gotta fix that. Should be sleeping, but been cleaning instead.

I didn't expect to see him, walking through the front door like he owned the place. Then what? Fast and fat, the size of an egg, I'm telling you! I have never seen a damn bug this big. I've lived here for nearly 10 years (has it been that long?) and this is the biggest insect I've ever ever seen, period. He's walking across MY threshold, padding across the wood floor to the kitchen, completely oblivious to me or any rules of the house, one of which is, NO STINKING ROACHES!

They call them palmetto bugs here because the idea that a roach can grow this big, well, it's the thing nightmares are made of. They can easily carry a small child away.

You probably know by now that I hate bugs. They give me the deep-down willies. Bugs ate my father's dead body, or so I assume since I never actually checked, and one day they will eat me, and I'd rather not give them a head start.

So I stay away from them. If I see one inside, I shiver, and then kill it. Zen not spoken here--bugs be gone. Things that chew on decomposing flesh and leaves and year-old pieces of food shouldn't really be afraid to die anyway.

Jenna's asleep. I have no choice. I have to kill the thing. He's moving fast now. I have to hurry. I swin open the closet door and grab one of Jenna's shoes. I chase after him. He heads down the basement stairs and I swear I saw him hold the railing on his way down.

Don't miss a step motherfucker--I've got my eye on your hairy wings.

I get half way down the basment steps, quick on his trail, and he comes to a complete stop. I wait for his backup lights to start flashing. Nothing. Now's my chance. But I'm on the step above him. A miscalculation could send me tumbling head over ass, or I could miss Mr. Thang altogether, in which case he eats me on the spot.


No one.

I shove my toes and the ball of my foot into Jenna's shoe and raise my leg, bring the shoe down hard on his spiney back.

Now, all roaches crunch. But THIS guy, OH MAN! He didn't crunch, he rumbled--no lie--it was like surround sound. Caaaarrrruuuunnnncccchhhh-kkkkiiiirrrcccchhhh--sssslllllrrrrrccccchhhh.

I felt it in my shins.

There I am, standing one footed in the middle of the basement stairway, bearing down as hard as I can. There he is, squished under the sole of my too-small shoe.

I gotta complete.

I lift my foot up and look. I am immediately impressed by his wing-span, emphasized by his newly-gained one-dimensional status. I think about calling a farmer with a backhoe to come burry this horse-bug.

Then I figure, I've gone this far on my own; I can finish the job.

I grab a paper towel, carefully climbing down to the step below him so I can scoop up his remains. My muscles are relaxing, the worst is over. I'm considering which part of him to grab first when he MOVES! HE MOVES! I tell you, he's FLAT, and it doesn't matter, because he starts edging his gutless remains toward the edge of the step, toward ME.


I leap down two stairs to the landing and look up.

So this is how it's all going to end. Jenna, I'm sorry. The giant bug ate me next to your drum set. Know that mommy loves you. Tell Daddy to bring some Raid home with him.

Too bewildered to think about the shoe, which is still on my foot, I grab an old amazon box heavy with packing material and I-don't-know-what-else, raise it high, and slam it down on him.



Ugh. Gross.

No more huntin' for that dawg.

Paper towel still in hand, bitter bile rising from my stomach, I mop him up and go to toss him in the garbage, forgetting that the kitchen garbage can is NOT under the sink because I've been using it to toss away old toys in the living room, and so he lands on the floor with a crinkle-thud, and I have to pick him up again--just what I wanted to do.

I dispose of him in all of his (I hope) deadness, take off Jenna's shoe and put it under something so I don't have to look at it, think about what the bottom must look like.

If this thunder and lightshow would ever stop, I think I'm ready to go to sleep and dream about fluffy happy clouds and bugless blue skies.