March 22, 2003


we're at war? why didn't someone tell me?

In other news: 28 baby girls were found in suit cases aboard a bus in china. One died. They were going to be sold (to rich Americans who wouldn't dare adopt an extra-ethnic, black, or similarly melanin-heavy baby available right here). OOOPS! did I say that? I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm sure many girl children are fortunate to get out of China where it's not so good to be a girl.

"A report issued by UNICEF in 2001 said more than a quarter of a million women and children have been victims of trafficking in China in recent decades."

I'm sure I'm wrong about this. Americans aren't involved. Ignore me.

In other news, Congratulations! It's a virus!"

I feel all caught up on world events now. wshew.

i haven't written much

funny how your hits go down when you don't write anything. why? no one wants to come here and just sit and think? oh. no one told me. okay.


I'm alive.

I have much to talk about next week, but I'm saving it all up. Small matters to attend to first. The finer details. The things that make corporations spin. And we all must be careful, right? Yes. Careful. There is sueage to worry about, after all. Or is there? There's no such thing as bad PR. Don't they say that? I'm forgetting.

I refer myself, and you along for the ride, to past things I've said, which now, amazingly, I have a chance to live by.

We are always putting things in our mouth--we either put our foot in our mouth, or our money where our mouth is. Me? I'm aiming to put coins in between my toes and then stick them in my mouth. Silver is a natural remedy for many things. Guards against infection. Too bad our coins aren't made of silver anymore. I'll probably just gag. Puke. Something. There's always a silver lining, isn't there?

Okay, so to see where my head is:

Where I Do My Business

shhhhhh. i read cluetrain. don't tell.

This is what I've done until now

Google/Blogger and the Coming Upside-Downess

Blogging will change every traditional institution

I'm more HERE than THERE (boy, you can say that again)

Shhhh. I read gonzo marketing too

Tom stirs the pot (more time for me soon!)

And in the end / the love you take / is equal to the love / you make.

aaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaa.

March 21, 2003

So much to say...

So little I can say... yet. Next week more.

So instead, I'll talk about the ambulance.

It's been to our neighbor's house three times in the last few days. Our neighbor has been battling the bottle for a long time. I was the first to call 911 on him when I found him one day close to meeting his end a year or two ago. He has done his best since--the best he can do. He's done rehab. It works for a while. But so far, it hasn't stuck.

It's not so much a shock to see the ambulance come anymore. I wrote a while back how when the air conditioner repairman came to his house one day, Jenna looked out the window and said, "Oh no! An ambulance again!"

Every time we hear the firetruck, see the ambulance, the police, we can't help but take a look out the window. And every time, he comes walking solidly down the front steps, sometimes with a duffle bag of clothes over his shoulder, smoking his last cigarette before making the ride to the hospital for detox.

The last two times it came for him, he wouldn't go. He'd come outside and declare his sobriety. We could tell he wouldn't be going with them. He'd convinced them he'd be fine. Besides, not much can be done when someone is resolved to stay at home and drink himself into oblivion.

But today was different. Today was for real. Today he couldn't walk out.

Today they came and brought him out on a stretcher. While his teenage daughter looked on. Today he wasn't smoking a cigarette. His head lolled this way and that as they bump-bump-bumped him down the front step, up the walk, and into the back of the ambulance. The paramedics stood talking to his father and his daughter, who'd been this route a dozen times before, but had never seen him carried out. Today, he didn't look so good.

Today his family looked tired but unphased--even smiling some. Repeated trauma has a way of doing that to you.

And did I mention?

The man who they carried away on the stretcher today, the one who was trying to drink himself to death, works here.

Yes and No, Sweet Monica

But thank you for asking all the way from Brazil.

More when I can... hopefully later today.

March 18, 2003

I have a new hero today

Thanks to Michael O'Connor Clarke, who, I don't know, I guess reads Cricket reports in the Guardian. He found this little ditty of a human being at work writing on what's left of his dignity, nay, sanity, rather than covering cricket seriously, which, I'm gathering, is or has been his job. God bless him. And for the Indian Reply, equally CLUED, go read Sean Ingle. Thank you for the laughs, guys.

Imagine all the people...

I have had a headache for three days. micro-macro confusion. my heart is hurting. my head is hurting. I don't want to write about the war--if I ignore it, maybe it won't happen. This is the only place I can keep it from invading. This is the only real place where we have any power at all.

Go, no-go, can't care--can care about what I can influence, change, my heart, maybe this pounding headache, not what I can't change.

I had quite a bit of linkage to my post where I urged the two world leaders who were embroiled in this stalemate--neither one democratically elected, both of whom hold office not through the will of the people, but through their over-estimation of their intended destinies, both of whom turn deaf ears to the UN--to step down together. What a selfless act it would be on the part of both Bush and Saddam. To show they care about their people and the planet. Yeh, well, that's likely.

On the other hand, I'm not a warblogger, I'm not a peace blogger, I'm just a chick who writes. So when all hell breaks loose, and it probably will, I'll just be here tinkering away on my blog, the only place on earth where no one's allowed in unless I let them, where I make all the decisions, where the responsibility of what's said and done rests in my two hands.

I was thinking the other night, what if this--right here--the net--this non physical online world--is "Heaven" or "Paradise"? What if. What if this is the paradise where the lion and lamb lie down together, where our physical flaws disappear, our bodies are perfect, where we stop aging, where we can have eternal life. Here we can do no physical harm to one another, here lions and lambs coexist with only words as teeth--can't cut; here love is allowed to be and grow, here is a place where we will live on well after we're gone, if not forever. What if, in the end, we rise to find ourselves inside these screens, inside this place that has the potential to be, well, more perfect? Words as food, in abundance. Shade and sun and all we need.

What if this is the world where we start over? What if?

Yes, okay. I'll go take my meds now.

March 16, 2003

Child in Green

It's no wonder she loves her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. McClusky, so much. At 5, she is smart for her age, anxious to please, anxious to learn. Mrs. McClusky's classroom is a home away from home, and a welcome one, since things don't feel so right at home these days. Mrs. McClusky always has an extra smile, an extra pat on the arm, an extra "Wonderful!" for a job well done.

At home her family, her older brother and sister, her parents, especially her father, well, and her mother too, seem to have other things on their mind. They try to make time to play with her--barbies or baseball or swinging on the rope swing, or riding or brushing the tall palimino named Angel. But she has been spending more and more time away from home too. At her favorite aunt's house, at her grandma's, next door at Debbie Lubert's house.

Every day when she climbs the steps of the big yellow school bus, she knows Mrs. McClusky will be waiting with her big smile and cups full of crayons. In her seat on the bus, like always, next to Marvin Johnson, who at first she kisses secretly in the back of the bus, and then later not so secretly in the front of the bus, she feels the attention that's missing at home.

This day in Mrs. McClusky's class is St. Patrick's day. It is also the feast day of her mother, Patricia, a devout Catholic. Mrs. McClusky makes an announcement that brings a wide-eyed, five-year-old smile to her face: This St. Patrick's day the class is making get well cards for her father, who'd had a gallbladder operation. He hasn't been feeling well, and Mrs. McClusky senses some cheering up is in order.

As she explains to the children what a gallbladder is, Mrs. McClusky launches the whole kindergarten class into a frenzy of green construction paper, paste, markers, crayons, and stickers.

Each child contributes their own work of art to help speed her dad's recovery--and she can hardly wait to bring the surprise home and share it with her family, her dad. She knows he'll love it. Her best friend Debbie's card is her favorite, a clover of sorts, with awkward crayon letters that spell out: "Feel Better." Mrs. McClusky helps the children write the words.

She takes care to be sure each card is special.

By the end of the day, 28 little kindergarten cards are placed in a brown paper sack for her to take home. She doesn't dare open the bag on the bus, not even to show to Marvin. This is her special surprise.

When the bus pulls up in front of her driveway, she sees her aunt's car. WONDERFUL! She'll be able to show her favorite aunt the big surprise. She can already sense how thrilled Aunt Penny will be when she sees all of the St. Patrick's Day cards her friends have made for her dad.

She bounds in the house and straight up the stairs toward her parent's bedroom. She knows her dad will be there; he has been resting a lot since his operation.

Her mother is standing at the top of the steps, waiting--she can hardly stop long enough to say Hi Mom. The bag tight in her hand, she wants to see her dad right away, see the look on his face, the way his lips make that slow smile, as she shows him his surprise present.

But her mother stops her. There. On the landing. Puts both arms out. Catches her. Crouches down. Looks in her eyes. Says she can't go in the bedroom just yet.


but what.




read her face.


Her mom steers her to the bedroom she shares with her teenage sister. "Aunt Penny's in your room. She needs to talk to you for a few minutes," her mom says.




can she


Her mother takes the bag. She doesn't want to let it go. The bag is damp and already tearing at the top, where she held on to it so tightly all the way home, her moist palms wrapped around it.

She walks to her room and sees her Aunt sitting on the twin bed, watches her pat a make-believe seat beside her.

She sits down, hears her aunt talking, telling her that sometimes God needs people to be with him in Heaven sooner than we would like.

And she knows.

In fact, she has known in reverse. The knowing goes backwards you see.

She knew when he got sick, could read it, his eyes, the pain, and then she began the act of unknowing, because that is what you do when you're five and your dad is dying of pancreatic cancer but no one tells you.

You know, and then you spend the time in between the knowing and the dying trying to unlearn, undo, live backwards.

This is why the news doesn't surprise her, why she doesn't cry. Even when her aunt asks her would she like to. No, she says. She really doesn't feel like it.

What she feels like saying is, "I knew this, but then I didn't, and now I do again. And now I start living forward."

And what she feels like doing is going outside to play. With Debbie.

When she leaves her bedroom to find her mother, her mom is waiting to hold her, and although her mother reassures her that she is there for her, she feels only one thing: the deathly quiet, the abscence of, the without, the air suddenly made of cut-out figures--air, then nothing, then air again.

That is what breathing is like after.

Where he once stood, the worn walkway in the carpet, the bathroom where she would hear him throwing up, in these places she sees his absence, stark in its brightness, white like a paper doll punched through thin air. She sees only the missing pieces.

Here then


And you have no choice, begin to live forward.

And it really is just like that.


Thick fingers on ivory keys,
soft slow voice, and the
the pain you
kept to yourself
it wasn't the rumors
that cut
but the truth.

What I remember is the way
it snapped your head
around when she
said it. What I remember
is what shattered
that day
you began
your dying.

If I could go back
what was I two, three?
If I could go back.
but I had no voice.
You no music
you no voice.
We are minds and hands
that make music and
and that is all
we ever had.

This place is where I play
for you, my voice
because I don't have
anywhere else.
you are what
keeps me
stepping down
into the familiar pain
and when I see
you there
hurt resembles
joy until
I can't tell them apart.

It isn't that you left
it's what you left us with
without you
To have eyes, vision,
somehow inverted
so young,
to see what isn't
miss what is
that is the curse
I take forward.
Everywhere I see
the spaces in
and it never matters
how small or far apart.

This is where I find
you, where we meet
in between
wake and sleep
is why I like it there
when edges
become slides
and holes
become hills
and you

perspective flipping and entredeux

I was re-reading what I wrote about Helene Cixous and Entredeux. In part, she writes this about entredeux, the place in between:

"For me, an entredeux is: nothing. It is a moment in a life where you are not entirely living, where you are almost dead. where you are not dead. Where you are not yet in the process of reliving. These are innumerable moments that touch with the bereavements of all sorts. Either there is bereavement between me, vilolently, from the loss of a being who is part of me -- as if a piece of my body, of my house, were ruined, collapsed. Or, for example, the bereavement that the appearance of a grave illness in oneself must be. Everything that makes up the course of life interrupted."

In the post below--subtexts--I was looking through familiar lenses, the ones that I wear much of the time, the ones that get mad at the realworld for interrupting my blogging. It's because I feel so much more alive when I'm writing than when I'm living.

I re-read Cixous on Entredeux just now, and my perspective did one of those flip-flop things, like when you stare at a line drawing of a cube until it re-configures itself. What if blogging, writing, is entredeux, the place between living and not living. Aren't so many of our posts "innumerable moments that touch with the bereavements of all sorts"? I do see my blog as everything that makes up the course of my life interrupted. Yes. I thinik that's why so many of us are here. Well, I think it's why I'm here.

more later...