The Water Heater

Alone in silence,

Alone and free,

Here she finds her solace.

 

The yelling beyond the door:

Not here,

Not yet,

Soon.

Someone will come for her.

Until then,

Here she finds her solace.

 

Among a spillover over cans,

Food that won’t fit,

Dog biscuits hiding,

The washing machine,

The dryer,

Wedged behind it.

Towers a noisy silence.

Here she finds her solace.

 

Contorted among the hoses,

The wires,

Her head lay where sounds drown.

Muted by moving gas.

The vibration.

Her ears washing over

Piercing,

Constant,

Cursing,

Penetrating,

Waterfall,

Anger.

Here she finds her solace.

 

The gas vibrates.

Contained chaos.

Welcoming,

Beckoning,

Comforting,

Painless,

Containment.

The violence breeds,

Just behind the door,

Unchecked,

Uncontrolled.

Here she finds her solace.

 

Her head drums the beat,

Her mind shakes free.

She drowns in safety.

Alone.

Quiet among noise,

Noise making quiet.

And right now

They don’t know,

That here she finds her solace.

 

She hears her name,

Winces from penitration.

Closes her eyes,

Willing darkness

To drown.

But she knows.

Here she loses her solace.

 

Gulping last breaths,

Footsteps near,

Voices nearer,

Louder then the contained silence.

The door opens,

And pulls her out,

From floating water,

To the air that drowns her.

From the darkness of comfort

Into the heavy light of pain.

Here she leaves her solace.

 

But…

 

It’s waiting.

Undisturbed,

Unbroken.

Roaring a welcoming.

Beckoning her back,

To come and sit.

Alone in silence.

Alone and free.

For there she finds her solace.

The Gate

There was a movie when I was a kid that terrified me. It was a kid’s horror movie, and it worked. I had nightmares for years about hands that would pop out from underneath my bed and drag me to the depths of hell. Which is what happened in the movie. I used to check my hands all the time to make sure a demon eye didn’t sporadically grow in one of them. In the movie hundreds of tiny, terrorizing demon creatures would form out of your walls, and like ants, surround you, and tear you apart. Crazy for a kid, right? This was a kid’s movie in the 80s. It was PG. In the end, they must defeat the devil himself, which is a dragon-like monster with tentacles as arms that comes up from your floor. I think it was called, “The Gate.”

The CGI was impressive for its time, which is how it gained popularity in the first place. Of course now it’s a bit laughable to look at. So is the concept. Of course, showing all that monster stuff to children, and the idea of being dragged to hell for an eternity of torture, and marketing it to the 7 and up crowd… yeah, that probably wouldn’t fly today.

By the way, are you noticing a theme here? Because, this is where the movie gets really cringe. And I never caught it until I decided to watch this movie as an adult, to sort of face the cause of abject fear in my childhood. It’s entirely religious propaganda. Not just because of the hell part; Jesus, satanic practicing, evil witchcraft, and all Christian ideology you can throw on a script, is referenced all over the movie.

The kids partake in, essentially, dark arts. That’s what opens the gate. And there is this one kid who is reciting that this is witchcraft, against God, they are sinning. I just want to make a note here, nothing that they did involved witchcraft in any way shape or form. Of course a horror movie is never complete without some one who knows better and does it anyway because of peer pressure. This is why those kids are later being chased by demons, they deserve the consequences of opening this door. Which mister know-it-all brat constantly points out. You can only say, “I told you so,” so many times before your friends start to wonder if sacrificing you is an option. Anyway, how dare they question the all mighty Lord and Savior for a fun night of running away from evil! And while they did do this sinful, anti-god witchcraft, it is noted that it gained so much power so quickly because the older sister, oblivious to what her little brother and his friends were doing, was sinning as well… by taking advantage of the fact her parent’s will be gone during the weekend and throwing a party. How dare she! Her vane in planning this perfect party, failing to pay attention to her little brother, constantly chasing him away. Making him cry a lot because he felt so out of touch with his now teenage sister. Granted, I’ll agree that it’s pretty bad babysitting to completely ignore her little brother like that. So much so that right under her very nose he opened the door to hell, and didn’t even notice until her friends got eaten or dragged off by tiny pitchforked demons coming out of her wall. One might think a good, responsible babysitter might have caught her little brother causing world altering mischief before her friends came over. But, they lost their brother sisterly bond, and she acted like she didn’t like him anymore. This is just adding to her sins: her vanity, disobeying her parents, and being a bad sister. They have a nice talk about it, because I guess the demons took a break from terrorizing so they could bond. Demons really want to ensure a broken relationship gets fixed before the two of them go to hell. Especially since they know that love conquers all, including Satan. So let’s make sure they bond so that later we are defeated. Good plan.

There are various tools they used to defeat Satan, when his Godzilla with tentacles like appearance broke through their house. One of which was the power of God and prayer. A weapon was the crucifix. Oh, and the newfound rebonding between brother and sister. That’s what essentially destroys Satan, loving your siblings. Yup. That’s what did it. It makes no sense, because they are in the middle of suburbia and one might think some one would have seen Godzilla rise out of a house. The sheer fact that the military was not involved in taking this out was absurd. Or at least the police. There was a party where kids died, and those that escaped ran for their lives, and told their parents they were seeing this type of stuff after attending a party without parents home. Wouldn’t you think your very underage child was drunk or given drugs at said party, and would call the police to report it? I mean, yeah, I wouldn’t believe their story was real, but I would certainly be concerned that they were seeing those things. Especially if one of those things included dead kids. You know, the ones that never came home.

So, the whole town was a bunch of sinners, I guess? Neglectful parents, no 9–1–1 or phone calls to other parents concerned about the fact that their kids didn’t come home? No finding out what happened while their kids babbles out some LSD like tripping, to notice a consistent story among all the kids that returned home from the party? No one wanted to investigate exactly what was going on?

After Satan is destroyed, the kids’ parents call. They are an hour away. Which I think most kids who have just been through that will be thankful, and ready to go to the hospital to ensure their demon friends didn’t cause any internal damage while fighting them. Not to mention needing some therapy because nothing causes PTSD more than fighting Satan himself. But no, their thought is, the house is a wreck, their parents will kill them if they don’t clean it, and also find out there was a party without their permission. That’s definitely more important. And most definitely the worst problem on their list of problems that happened over two days. Que 80s cleaning montage. How they fixed the roof after Satan broke through it and then retreated back down the hole he came from is unknown. He also didn’t damage the wood floor. I didn’t realize how polite the devil is, fixing up their house so it at least there isn’t any structural damage. But he didn’t clean up the party, which according to these kids makes the whole thing more unfair.

Parents come home, don’t notice anything amiss. Their kids are more than happy to see them and can actually convince them that nothing at all was ever wrong. That whole situation behind them, they go back to their normal life with no psychological implications at all. And no legal trouble, considering they do have some dead bodies in the house they never cleaned up. And a bunch of angry parents who sent their kids to a party where they came back hallucinating, and some who never came back at all.

Which is the cringiest part of the whole thing. God saved them, and the hell that was going to be brought on the world was stopped. And since these kids have now learned their lesson, God ensures they get away with everything scotch free.

The moral of the story, therefore, is if you sin by literally opening the gate to hell in your living room, so long as you realize what you did and repent, there is no long term consequences of that. God will even make sure your parents don’t notice you threw a party and ground you by giving you a heads up they are close by and you should really get around to cleaning. I guess that was a bonus reward for their fixed relationship? Just right back to your normal, happy life, as if it never happened.

Quite frankly, I wonder if that whole town was in hell from the very beginning: unchecked psychopathic children destroying mankind, not reporting a fire breathing demon showing up, parents so oblivious they still haven’t noticed their kids never came back, and police too lazy to go and find out exactly what drugs were given away at the party to cause mass hallucination. And no phone calls from these two kids’ parents who went away for a weekend until they were an hour of coming home. Cringe.

Am I a scammer?

Here’s a paradox for you. I did something really bad, but turned it into something really good. Does that make my action good or bad?

Right, context.

When I first decided to go back to work, I took advantage of a government program offered by my state. This service would help me build my resume, get around the lack of work for the past six years, and also give me a job coach to help me apply and keep on track. My job coach was an idiot.

Her idea of looking for work meant carousing Craig’s List, which is probably the worst place to find legitimate work. Red flags up all the way, I submitted applications to jobs she directed me too, while also applying to other places. I got a call back from a Craig’s Lister, went to this interview, and the guy hired me on the spot. Probably more to do with the fact my job coach happened to be gorgeous, and he was more than happy to have her stop in.

She was excited, and got me excited. I didn’t have a car at the time, and social services was more than happy to shell out the money for a cab back and forth until I got a car. And with the money I would be making, it would be more than enough to help me afford one.

I quickly found out this job was scamming seniors. We sold refurbished medical alert buttons as “brand new,” over the phone. Often, they didn’t even work. We lied constantly, claiming A ratings with the BBB (we had an F), a website (nope), and deception to hide the actual amount of the unit. And God forbid you wanted to return it. You had to pay a “restocking fee” to do so, and that fee was based on my boss’s mood at the moment.

My job coach offered me no direction, or help, in trying to get out of this job. She constantly reminded me, when I finally got the car and wanted out, that they paid for the cab. I owed them. Her excuse was that it was work, and I should do the work. Something tells me her paycheck depended on me having work, and if I lost my job, she would have negative repercussions. My boss, on the other hand, given I had Social Security and needed to report my income, constantly reminded me that he had dirt. Like my social security number, my parent’s address. He apparently stopped by my house once when I had the flu, “to make sure I was really sick.” I felt like I couldn’t even really tell my job coach what was actually happening.

My boss was also, as you can tell, abusive. He would walk in everyday and tell me to kill myself. He would also tell me to do something, then yell at me for it, claiming he didn’t remember telling me to do it so he must not have. Even his partner had it with the abuse he was giving me. All the while this man was holding vital information he could sell to the black market if he wanted too, and vague threats about knowing my mother’s address. It was a shitty situation all around.

And I felt a mix of guilt and pride in everything I did for the company. I was proud of my work, I ran that office. I really wasn’t in sales, and while I was forced on the phones now and again, my job was more back end. I hadn’t worked in six long years, collecting disability for an injury. I was working, I was contributing. From six years of recovering in a bed I built an effective office structure and ran it. There is a passage in Orwell’s, 1984, that talks about this phenomenon. You’re hired to do a job, and most people want to do their job well. So when you do it well it carries pride. Even when you know it’s wrong. Even when it defies your very ethics. Sometimes that pride is all you have, and you cherish it. It makes you feel better as you do something very wrong, because it gives you approval, moral. Something.

And at some point, I lost even that. Doing my job well became more to do with actual fear of my boss than anything pride related. The workplace was violent and unpredictable. Fights broke out, getting physical. No, I was never hit. I think some of the men there would not have allowed that to happen, so I felt safe from a physical altercation. But the verbal abuse didn’t make me feel better about it. Don’t even get me started on the blatant drug abuse happening.

So, I scammed seniors. I called elderly people and sold them a completely defective device and lied about it. I convinced them they needed this. I had their insurance information, doctor’s name, their address. I don’t know where my boss got his lists, but they were complete, and the information was more than convincing to most seniors. I stapled all their account information to the front of the file, gave a copy of that to the salesperson for their records (still with the information on it, which they took home), and put it right by the filing bookshelf left at the front door for any person who wandered in to take. Unlocked.

I wanted to walk away. But, my rent and electric bills, any of my bills, they could care less about my ethical feelings about the job. So, I had to keep going until I found another one. But, it was the holiday season. Over-saturation was a problem, I guess. Most legit jobs don’t hire you on the spot either. I sent out resumes hoping.

Finally, I had reached a last straw: my paycheck bounced. Three weeks before Christmas, when I had a deal with the Vet (poor kitty got sick) that I would pay her weekly payments on the bill every Friday (payday). And I couldn’t. She was, thankfully, understanding. Confused, but understanding. I had the check, I showed her the check, it was just worthless. When Monday rolled around, I demanded my check, told them I was going to cash it at their bank, and then once I had the cash in hand, I called them and told them I wasn’t coming back.

The office scrambled because no one else bothered to learn how to run it, even the boss. He couldn’t even get into his email. I got calls all day. Finally I picked up and said, “tell him to pretend I killed myself, like he told me to do everyday.” Then blocked every last one of them. To be honest, I was happy to be gone. I would have just put that blip out of my life forever. I wish I could say I was noble here, but I was scared. I was scared he may show up to my house because I wouldn’t help them in the scramble. For once I was happy to have a neighbor downstairs who called the police for any reason whatsoever. And also spied on anyone entering or exiting the building. And was also racist (since my boss wore a yam-mica, it was easy to tell he was Jewish, and she didn’t like Jews). Thank God for small favors, I guess. One point in favor of racist, paranoid, nosey neighbors.

I was also scared the job coach would come after me to collect the cab money, since I technically had broken the contract with them as well. And, now that I lacked work, had no extra income to pay it back if they did.

He forced my hand.

Social security knew I had the job, and likes to collect certain income back. It bases your correct pay, not just on the paychecks I’d been submitting, but also your IRS tax forms. The ones he never filed. We know what happens when you do that, right? If Al Capone couldn’t get away with it, I don’t know why he, as a small-time crook, thought he could.

I filled out whatever forms the IRS sent me, and called every number the IRS told me to call. It eventually reached the state prosecutor’s office who called me and built their case based on everything I told them. And I held nothing back. I also had a verbal contract on my silence, which is why I never spoke about this before. Five years of unprocessed guilt and fear.

In April of 2018, they settled. Most people will not even get a quarter of what they paid back. Some may not even be alive to. It turns out he had run this same scam three separate times under three separate companies for a number of years. They were looking for him. Anytime they got close, he would close shop and sign up a new partner to hold a new company name. I guess he underestimated how much I would have jumped on any opportunity to report him without fear of repercussion (what was he going to say to me, how dare you for me forgetting you reported your income to Social Security). He was also a convicted felon in New York, for trying to scam the insurance on a jewelry business he co-owned. And he was wanted for failing to pay back a previous civil suit, in which he telemarketed as a debt consolidation company. This fine got added to the new civil suit. Which means he probably won’t pay this one either, given his track record for not paying two other fines he owed on. No one will get their money back, will they?

Safety Alert Settlement

The above link will take you to the State of NJ’s official statement of the lawsuit and settlement. It’s over.

No, it’s so not over. It reopened under a new name in a different location by their third investor in the business I worked under. I don’t know, nor can I prove, that he is in any way still partnered with that investor. And until people start complaining to the FTC that they have lost money, the prosecutor can’t do anything but keep an eye on them from afar. In this country, you have the benefit of the doubt, even when, logically, we all know what you are doing, Jerry.

To those that stumbled here, and this story sounds uncomfortably familiar to you, or a family member, I am sorry. I don’t know how to forgive me either. I’m hoping that actively following up, speaking out, and agreeing to bring this man down for no benefit and completely terrified, served some penance. If he failed to settle, I was prepared to go to trial for you.

The job coach was fired, as was the boss of the agency. A complete overhaul and retraining was done to prevent other clients from falling into the cracks. I have cut ties with the service entirely.

Then I got a call from the FBI asking me questions about my scammer boss. They didn’t say why, or ask me for silence. They wouldn’t tell me anything. But, I will tell them everything they want to know. As long as they will remain proactive, so will I.

Here we go again…

When I Swear that I don’t Have a Gun

Did you ever wish you had a gun? I know some of you out there do, and that’s fine. I know how to shoot guns from summer camp. Rifles mostly. We would go hunting for targets printed on trees. If hunting meant you lying on a mat in a fanned area of the facility in the shade.

Or, you could get those crooked casino game guns. You know, that little machine gun tied into a fixed position and you can shoot the star all you want, but one tiny piece is left and you lose.

I’m in a state where gun control is fairly rigid. Not that I think I would own one by choice. I was watching a show out of Texas, some reality bull TV, and the girl had a pink gun. It was the first time I ever wanted a gun. Not for the gun itself, but it was pink. Yes, I went through a pink phase, where everything just had to be pink. Even if I didn’t know how to use the pink thing I had. Like the gun the girl bought.

Lately, due to my mental health issues the question has come up a lot. “Do I own a gun?” Part of me thinks to lie, say yes, just to see what would happen. Part of me wants to start reciting Nirvana’s “Come as you Are.” Either seems a bit nutty so I just say no. I think even if I did own a gun, the, “no” would pop out of my mouth anyway. For fear of some NSA no fly list category gets checked in their papers. Or, maybe say it to just to break out in song during the question and answer period. A mix to the mundane stroll of questions that would probably get me committed.

I wonder if they are asking if I would kill myself, or go all mass murder with it? I almost want to say yes just to see what would happen. I mean, sure, next thing you know the FBI is holding my family, dogs, and cats hostage because some girl in a crisis tells you they had a gun. Can’t be too safe these days. Messing with the FBI is not something on my to do list, mostly because they can mess with me much worse, with greater consequences. But is that what I really expect to happen because I claim to own a gun. And wouldn’t they be kind of silly to listen to a girl who obviously has mental health issues talk about owning a gun?

The truth is, I wouldn’t begin to even know what to do with a gun. My gun knowledge stems from forced summer camp learning, which also required basket-weaving and woodworking (and god knows I didn’t retain much of that information either), followed by a bunch of Bruce Willis and Steven Seagal action flicks, and ends with Grand Theft Auto (cheat codes included). Then sprinkle in a tiny bit of Elmer Fudd, and there-in lies my knowledge of guns.

So why ask me this question? If I say yes, I mean, let’s say, sure, I own a gun. Now what? Oh, you expect me to use the thing? Die Hard didn’t give me training in any of the guns I’d be comfortable owning (you know, not the pink girly ones), and I doubt they sell guns some rabbit can tie in a bow. The ones I see on Instagram seem more fashion then function, which is actually the kind I want. The pink one. Shooting it would make it dirty, no? Or does it make me dangerous?

I suppose with training, sure, I could be as good as anyone else with my pink swaravski crystal gun of Kardashian fame. But let’s face it, this question isn’t going to tell you anything about anyone. It’s not illegal to own a gun, and while I agree that certain guns should be kept out of people’s hands, how is asking me this question tell you whether or not I am going to shoot up a place? Can’t search me for a gun I don’t admit to having, and even if I did, you don’t know what gun I have. More or less if I even have the faintest idea of how to use it.

This isn’t meant to be a pro-gun, or anti-gun. It’s kind of meant to be funny. Like singing, “Come as you Are,” funny when being asked these questions. Which I don’t recommend.

Blase

I hate being up on a Saturday morning.  It’s as if I somehow revert to childhood.  I get to sleep in, but for some reason I’m awake, and the television only caters to the elderly or the young.  I guess I used to imagine, in my youth, that at one point the adult shows would be relevant to me on a Saturday morning.  Well, okay, they are… if you consider solving a murder, profiling a serial killer, or taking a stroll down Washington politics as a wonderful way of waking up.

I suppose there is the news.  But, really, with the Internet, 24/7 broadcasts, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and the thousands of other apps and social connections out there I think I get enough news.  News gets thrown at you whether you want it or not.  I’m certainly not going to actively try to seek it.  Hmm, I wonder if I just predicted that news shows will not exist in the future.  No more “Nightly News” or “6:00” whatever.  Actually… is there still nightly news and 6:00 whatever???

Well, this started with me landing aimlessly on a channel that had cute little animals on it.  I’m fairly certain this show is catering to children.  I am watching an overgrown bearded man-boy play ice hockey with a grizzly bear in an attempt to teach me about polar bears.  Yeah, I fail to see the connection either.  But it’s the scene before that actually prompted this post.

Man-boy was in Alaska speaking to the Eskimos.  I guess since we are learning about polar bears we were focusing on their food source, which would be the whales.  And we had to drag this poor guy out on the, he’s not even pretending to be on the water, let’s face it.  He gets this Eskimo out there on his truck to show him how one heats his big metal pot on the truck bed (ahem) ground and steams some whale meat.  Man-boy talks about the whaling culture and how the ice caps used to float the bears around to pick up the scraps of the meat left behind from both Eskimos and industry alike.

Did you catch it? I didn’t at first.

Used to.

The ice caps used to be there.

They aren’t there anymore.

And, actually, I’m totally surprised that I did not know this.  Man-boy playing ice hockey with the wrong species of bear we are learning about just passed by it as quickly as I did.

I knew they were melting.  I didn’t know they were gone.

They aren’t there anymore.  They are a “was”.  A “used to be”.  And apparently so blase it barely gets a sentence before our man-boy pans to him in Canada playing hockey with a grizzly bear.

This is why I hate being up on Saturday mornings as an adult.  I can’t even look at something cute!

Fear

I’m writing this here.  Because I don’t know any other way to ensure my rights.  I understand I am in crisis, and I may not be able to verbalize that to you.  I won’t, actually.  I’ll be scared and confused.  When I write I’m different.  I’m confident.

Listen, I’m not going to hurt anyone or kill anyone, or hurt or kill myself.  I believe everyone has to have their own journey to God, and you can read My Wish later if you want to see that journey.  I bring this up because I made a pact to whatever this “god” thing is that I won’t purposely and intentionally hurt myself to the point of death.  That if I feel it reaches some kind of physical or mental crisis point I will find help.  However that help may come.  And that this “god” thing guides me to the help.  So, I promise not to end my life or purposely and intentionally injure myself.  In return, I get…

Well, I don’t know.  There is the answer right? I trust.  There is a reason.  And so far the return that this thing has given me is great.  I mean, I had it great.  Then lost it.  All of it.  I feel.  An injury that threw me.  I don’t need anymore injuries.  There is a reason and I trust that and I am telling you that.  I trust that there is a reason, a purpose, something I can’t see, something better (hopefully!) But I threw my trust into that something and it worked.  So, I’m going with what works.  You are looking at some one who is fighting to live.

So, we got that out of the way.  Now, condition two.  I am Sicilian.  Putzo really nailed the family thing.  He was really right in that.  No, really right.  You want to ask me the one thing I won’t do? Leave the family.  My father needs help.  My mother needs help.  My sister needs help.  Now, I understand I can’t help anyone else while I am sinking, but I need a closer lifeboat then the one I have.  And there is the problem right there.  I am fighting for an apartment I don’t want in an attempt to gain a better apartment in a better place.

I am in physical pain.  I had back surgery.  Emergency back surgery.  I have a doctor’s note that says I can’t live in my apartment.   And the landlord is doing everything she can to evict me right now.  Everything she can.  And I want to leave, I need to leave.  But, I need the Affordable Housing Alliance.  Because Section 8 fell through and went to shit and I fell through that crack.  And I need rental property under Affordable Housing to afford an apartment.  Because now I don’t have a job anymore.  I can’t  live with my family but I can’t live too far away because we need each other.  I cannot navigate the stairs to my current apartment and quite frankly the only thing I’m using it for is storage currently.  And having an eviction on my record sucks but… I mean come on what would you like me to do right now? I am IN PAIN.

Yeah, in pain.  I wasn’t supposed to even clean the damn apartment.  But I did.  I did it.  MYSELF.  AFTER SURGERY. ON MY BACK. THAT WE AREN’T SURE ISN’T AN INFECTION.  Oh, yeah, and that surgery didn’t fix the actual problem.  It just made the traumatizing pain I was in before less traumatizing.  So, if you are talking about a hospital here, I need PHYSICAL help.  I need doctors to look at my spine and manage my pain.  I need the tests to get done quicker then they are getting done and running between doctors to fix this and get out of pain.  Because there is a problem with my spine that needs to be fixed but everyone is on this “addict” kick that I just get thrown in with psych.  Yeah, I was.  I had a herniated bulging disc the size of a softball sitting on my sciatic nerve telling this doctor to look at the MRI and she… actually… put… me.. in.. a.. psych.. hold.

Because I was complaining of back pain.  Two days later I went to the Pain management doctor, and when she looked at the MRI she freaked out and found a doctor who would do something to alleviate the pain right then and there.  And that doctor told me this was not a fix.  I would not be out of pain.  I needed to do more surgery.  This was to stop the current problem of pain.  It was not a fix.

So my back is screwed up.  I don’t feel I’m necessarily in psychological crisis of mental illness because who the hell would not be in some kind of crisis seeking help with what’s going on.

  1. I just had back surgery
  2. I will need more back surgery and possibly have an infection
  3. I am being evicted from my apartment.
  4. I cannot move the stuff out of my apartment because of back surgery.
  5. Social Security is telling me I owe them money.  Even though I sent the paperwork now.  Twice.  And they are simultaneously paying me more while also cutting my check.  So, yeah.  I don’t know either.
  6. So on top of being evicted, Social Security is trying to sue me for money I was told by the office I don’t owe.  But that office didn’t talk to the other office… I guess… So… tackle another $5,000 on top of the rent landlord wants to sue me for.
  7. So, I am being evicted from an apartment I can’t move out of, for not maintaining an apartment I have a doctor’s note that says I cannot maintain.  And she wants to take me to court over the recycling bin…
  8. And my father needs my help.  He is sick.  He raised me.  The man raised me.  With my mother.  My sister has always been my sister when I needed her to be.  And these people need my help now.  And I will help them too.

Sigh, so, in conclusion: Social Security is suing me for money they told me I don’t owe them, I am being evicted for failing to maintaining an apartment I have a doctor’s note that says I cannot maintain.  I can barely move myself, and am further injuring myself every time I force myself to maintain an apartment my doctor says will kill me if I try to maintain.  But I can’t hire a maid because it’s expensive and I have a goddamned crazy woman who lives downstairs that throws a temper-tantrum in front of a 9 year old chasing my maid away, as well as any future potential maids or townspeople.  I already paid one who ran off.  We aren’t doing this again.  I gave my father paperwork to put in his mailbox to go to social security, and he came back with the mail I gave him, telling me he didn’t know what it was, and why Social Security is sending him stuff.  And the actual mail he left in the mailbox, thinking that’s what I gave him to send.  And I sort of laughed.  And he looked so hurt.  He cried.  I need to be closer to him.  My mother is older than my father, she can’t take care of him alone, on top of my sister.  If I have to be a full time caretaker I want to be paid for it.  And I need a place of my own to go to when it gets to hard to be with them constantly.

Where do I go? What do I need to do?

HELP

So we have to do this. So many things to work out. Bad insurance equals bad medical care. The doctor did something wrong, won’t admit to it. The landlord wants me out because I don’t sit and play quiet poor girl.   Where do I go? I wish there was a place that had a hospital setting to take care of the physical stuff.and someone to help with the mental stuff. It’s too much. It’s way too much. I wond

I don’t know where to go. Can some one help me? I do not want to die.  I will not die.  I will survive this.  I am meant for something, but I don’t know what.  I’m thinking I may have different personalities that come out sometimes.  I’m different.  I’m always different.  Always on the outside looking in.  I can read people so well.  I know I have a friend who is a killer.  I have a friend who is so complex that it is too simple.  Sometimes I do wonder if I am some sort of figure.

I just know I need help here.  I do need help.  And I have no idea how to get the help I need.

You’re doing this journey with me damn it.  I said help I meant it!! A nice social worker gave me a place I can just show up and go.  So I will do that.  In the mean time you are stuck with me.  I know I complain a lot, I just think it’s funny.  You think I’m complaining, but I’m laughing at the absurdity of the situation.  Because life is absurd.  It’s funny.  The situation that we are in.  I am in.  I can’t help but laugh.

The alternative is to dwell in misery.  Who wants that? Maybe that’s what makes me weird.  That I try to find something, one thing, that makes the situation absurd.  And I laugh.  I laugh at it.  Laughing eases tension.  It processes better.  And positively.

Something tells me I am going to war here.  I don’t know why.  I think it’s my mental illness at this point.  But I am fighting for… an apartment I don’t want? And the doctor tells me is bad for my back? See? Absurd, right?  I need to fight for an apartment I don’t want because later down the road it will help me get an apartment I do want.  I think.  That’s the plan.

It’s complicated.  But doable.  It is too much to explain here.  I just wanted to note one of the absurdities that comes up.  So I can laugh.  Because misery is horrific.  I don’t want to be in misery.  We can laugh, center ourselves, and go forth.  When I make a plan, I  do it.

Unfortunately, time is an absurdity in of itself.  There isn’t much I can do at 3:26am I just have to wait.

Miracles

I find it odd, almost comical, that in times of crisis I turn to saints. I’m not Catholic by any means, I don’t particularly believe a man can be a Messiah, at least not in the sense we consider them to be. But back to the saints.

Sure, there are plenty of selfless people out there. People whose selfless acts may look, or actually be some “supernatural” occurrence unknown by science the cause. Or maybe it’s simply the power of belief, an energy, a connection between the souls of people, objects, or whatever miracles can be.

So there are saints. Most go unrecognized. They are the bit part celebrities we see filling in roles for documentary reenactments, commercials, and maybe a speaking line in a hit show. Seen and forgotten. There, and proud. And then the regular celebrities. The saint’s whose names we know by heart. Mother Teresa is a good example. May she never be forgotten. And every religion has saints, the celebrities and the bit parts. Maybe they don’t use the word, but they have them.

When I was in college there was a day I lost my cell phone. I was hysterical. Phones at that time had already become the “thing,” though text messaging was still in the days of pressing numbers to the right letters. Mine at least had a camera. I dropped it on my way to campus, in the middle of a street. To me it was gone for good.

I went to a Catholic college (hey, the scholarships were great), so most of my friends had been in the religion for a while. My friend told me that Saint Micheal, the guardian of the gate, was who you pray to for lost items. That he brings them back. What did I have to loose, we prayed to Saint Micheal. That night my friend, whose name first appeared on my contacts list, got a phone call from my number. A person found it outside their yard getting the paper and was looking for the owner. I was in class, my friend went to pick it up, and when I arrived back to the dorms, she gave it to me. I believe it worked, the prayer.

I believe praying for the right things, the right reasons, and having no expectations to how but looking with an open mind…

There is another class of saints I never spoke of. Let’s say the “B” list. The special saints whose name and purpose is mostly forgotten unless you are exposed to them. My school was Franciscan, that means we worked in the name of Saint Frances, often referred to the patron saint of animals. We had a day you could bring your animals for a blessing. I don’t know why he was the saint of that. The story I learned of him had not much to do with animals, except one time, just once, he stood in town to preach. The people ignored him, so he said, “then I will preach to the birds,” and he spread the word, as his heart believed, to the birds. Other than that, according to anything I read, no animal miracles, no other stories involving animals.

So.. he became a saint to animals. Because… I guess they ran out of things to have saints for?Even though the position is filled by Saint Hubert, who I know of through a dog shelter that shares his name. Who worked with dogs.

See? It’s confusing. It’s one of the oxymoronic things I find. I don’t fault a religion who has been around since the beginning of when we counted time as it is. It’s old, and roots are even older. So, you run out of things, you forget things. So many years. So many changes and people. Sometimes corruption. It’s a long history of violence and peace. And very many saints.

There is a saint who affects me directly. I am here, alive, I exist, because of one. She is Saint Mother Cabrini. I am not sure what she is a saint of exactly. I call her the patron saint of asthma. Because back when my grandfather was a child there was no treatment. If you got an attack you couldn’t breath your way out of, you died. My grandpa was born with asthma, and very young in his baby years, he had an attack. For days. Hospitals told my Nana, my great-grandmother, to take him home. Let him die in his home.

Through her Italian connections, she learned of a nun, a Mother nun, an Italian Mother nun, who performed miracles. Now, my Nana, she believed. Maybe she was unsure. But this was her baby. Her baby she traveled from Sicily with for a better life. A baby given to her to ensure a better life then his parents will ever have. A baby she could have saved from extinction all together (Godfather reference here).

So she went to this woman who performed miracles. And she laid her child down and prayed with this woman. Prayed her baby wouldn’t die, would breath, would be cured. And the baby started to breath clearer and clearer. And then no wheeze at all. And while he passed the disease down, of course by the time treatment was readily available, he never had a wheeze the rest of his life.

How can I not believe in saints?

My Wish

I remember, way back in my early childhood, a dream I had of a black Knight, on a black horse, surrounded in a room of nothing.  A cape of hope hung around his neck and he looked at me, straight at me, and in the raspy echo of his helmet said, “Come to me.  Come get it.”

I have to share this.  I have no choice.  At some point it has to come out.  It will hurt people, and I’m sorry.

I’m not one who pushes God.  It’s a taboo subject, and I think God is something people come to on their own accord.  Belief or not, I don’t judge.  I don’t judge people’s religion.  God is an experience, and everyone has a different perspective.  It’s as individual as staring at a table.  My vantage point has me looking in one direction, seeing what I can see with my eyes, feeling what I can feel with my hands.  Your vantage point is different than mine.  Maybe an inch above, to the left.  You see more than I can see.  For me the table has legs.  You can’t see the legs, so for you the table has none.  

And for those who cannot see the table, whose vantage point has them too far away, or turned around, that doesn’t mean the table isn’t there.  That doesn’t mean your perception is wrong.  You’re experience is different than mine, but we are all experiencing the same thing.  Because as much as we see a table, science says it’s mostly empty space. Nothing.  So, even non-believers are staring at the same thing, just differently.

I’m trying to put us all on the same page here, if you haven’t noticed.  Believers and non.  Because I want everyone to keep an open mind.  I’m not here to convince anyone of God or Religion.  I just need to tell my story, and I just need you to listen.  There is no point of a story if no one listens.  But I have to say it, I can’t keep quiet any longer.

A friend of mine convinced me to write this, in his own special way.  Actually, he doesn’t even know.  He just asked a simple question.  He wanted to know what sparked my curiosity.  And then there is my therapist.  Who asked how.  Actually, many doctors have asked how.  How am I alive today?

I have been through so much, survived so much, and yet I persevered.  I did it and I can laugh.  No matter how much I have been hurt, no matter how much I have been angered, I still have love and not hate.  I refuse to give up on my family and friends.  I refuse to be swallowed in misery.  It’s not an easy road to take.  Most wouldn’t.  But, I’m a survivor. And I truly believe there is a reason for it all.  I truly believe in the end it will mean something.  Because it does.  Because I want to leave something of me behind to help.

So here it is.  My soul.  My curiosity.  

In college my life fell apart.  My mother had a botched surgery on her shoulder.  It left her in more pain then she went in, and caused her to be disabled.  My mother was always a strong, independent woman.  She worked hard to give my sister and I a life where we weren’t rich, and weren’t poor.  We got everything we needed and then some.  And when she applied for disability, all on her own, no lawyers, no nothing, the government agreed with her.  It’s rare, most people get denied their first try, even with a lawyer.  But, she was truly unable to work, the pain too great.  We all knew it.

And it broke her heart.  Here, a woman who worked her whole life, a woman who relied on herself for everything she needed, who in the 60s was told she could be only this or only that; defied her father, married the man she would happy with;  who gave her life to her children so they could get everything they needed and wanted and grow up independent dreamers.  And she was told by the US Government that she was no longer able to support herself.  That’s how she saw it.  She told me in not so many words.  She felt useless.  I watched a woman who I admired shatter.  And I wasn’t the only one who felt the repercussions of our strong family matriarch give up.  The glue had withered, as glue does with age.  

I don’t want to discount credit to my father here.  He is strong in his own way.  In my house, my mother ruled.  She held us together and she held him together.  He never denied that, and wouldn’t.  But there is something to be said for a man who stands behind his woman.  Who supports her 100% in every decision she makes, and agrees with her whether he truly agrees or not.  Both my parents took the anti-establishment of their times to heart.  Gender roles meant nothing, religion was control, God was a word, the “Joneses” was an illusion, and money came in from both sides regardless of a “breadwinner.”  Now maybe for the tradition of what makes a man, “a man” it makes my father look weak, but for us it was strength.  Because the outside world could see what it wanted, but the inside… we knew the truth.  

My mother was glue.  Strong glue.  Any crack was quickly filled.  And it wasn’t a dictatorship.  Believe me, my parents loved both my sister and I dearly.  They weren’t perfect, no parents are, really.  They made mistakes, some catastrophic, but they are human.   So, “dysfunctional family”?  Sure.  Name me one family that isn’t.  

But the glue snapped.  My family crumbled quickly.  My mother’s despair sucked the wind out of everyone.  I don’t blame her for that.  It was unfair of us to rely on her so much.  And I could make excuses.  I could say I was a child, I didn’t know any better not to.  I could say it was my sister who took every advantage she could to break the sanctity of the inside and threaten to expose us for what we were.  I could say my father shouldn’t have put that much pressure on my mother, should have been stronger, should have better prepared him and us for that moment.  

But where would that leave us? Blaming and pointing? Accusing and name calling? Hurting and anger? Nothing to solve the problem, just watching it grow and fester.

Hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it?  Because that’s exactly what happened.  Blame, pointed fingers, everyone knew what everyone should have done and it became a big mess.

As college was coming to an end, so was I.   My mother was injured, and then my father rolled his ankle, and became injured as well.  My sister was getting married.  Then divorced.  Everywhere I turned I had injury, heartbreak, and chaos.  

And I became depressed.   I felt my mind regress back to my childhood.   I reached out for help.

It’s amazing, when you sit in a hospital full of depressed people, how many people turn to God.  Or, well, actually away.  Everyone seemed angry at God.  Everyone felt abandoned by him.  I asked one of the nurses about this, why is it everyone talked about God?  She told me that most people, like me, were at the end of their ropes.  Facing the darkest corners of their minds, facing the choice of their own mortality.  They felt rejected, and angry.  I did too.  But not by God.  I didn’t believe in God.  I couldn’t put hate into a thing that didn’t exist.  But I knew I existed.  And I knew who to be angry at.  Everyone else.

I was angry at my mother for shutting down; angry at my father for not standing the ground and taking over; I was angry my sister had an escape through drugs; I was angry my friends didn’t have to feel what I did; I was angry my parents threw money down the drain; I was angry I had to keep going; I was angry I had to go out into the world alone;  I was angry I had to keep public perceptions up;  I was angry that I couldn’t tell the truth; I was angry that the truth brought both fear and change. 

They say people who make the choice to commit suicide don’t really want to die.  I think back to that time, and, yeah, I really wanted to die.   So whoever “they” are need to understand.  We want to die.  I even had an after-plan.  I wanted my energy and anger to haunt what was around me.  I wanted the blame to be cast on those around me like a curse, to punish all generations.   It was about revenge, hatred, and pain.   I would watch the catastrophe happen as a final middle finger and laugh and say “I told you  so.  It wasn’t my fault, I tried to tell you and no one cared, no one listened.  And now look at what you did.  It wasn’t my fault at all.”

 I tried to die by running my car into a tree (missed).  I tried swallowing hair spray (yuck).  I tried standing in a tub with the shower running and an electrical cord plugged in (thanks Hollywood).  There was even a time I seriously considered making a sign that said, “I hate black people,” and  driving down to Camden, NJ, standing in the middle of the street with it, letting the gangs kill me, for me.  Yes, I got that from a movie.  That’s how depressed I was.  I watched an old Die Hard movie and actually thought it was a cleaver way to off myself.  Death becomes an obsession when you are depressed.

One  night  there was a fight going on.  Typical fight.  My sister in one of her lucid moments, denying something she did in her comatose drugged state.  Screaming, throwing things in the bedroom.  My father hiding upstairs.

I just walked out.  Unprepared.  A total compulsion.  I didn’t stop to put on a jacket in the cold November air.  I didn’t stop and think about shoes.  I just walked barefoot down the road to the park being guided by some sort of peace of mind.   A comfort, calling me there.  I felt united with the world.  For some reason I felt so at peace, like something guiding me.  I felt one with the earth, free, and alive.  Suddenly I felt the whole purpose of life, the whole connection, the design of everything.   And there it was.   Some kids must have tangled up the swings, but I swear it was like a perfect noose.  

And as I stared at it, the rain began to fall.  All of it made sense at that very moment.  The connection.  The world was crying for me.  Nature was mourning me, I could watch it in these few moments and it was beautiful.  And peaceful.  And freeing.  I imagined me swinging back and forth in the wind, like the end of Huxley’s novel, “Brave New World.” How poetic.  A family refusing to show emotion, a singular revolution of hatred, how meaningless it had all become.  That’s how I imagined me.

I tried to climb up the pole, but the rain, the light mist that had passed during my peace… I kept sliding back down.  I tried stepping on the other swing but it wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to get my head through the chain and snap my neck.  Eventually the mud on my feet, the slickness of my skin, with the dampness of the rubbery swing and wet iron got me nowhere but landing on the ground.  God won, and I cried my eyes out, and went back home defeated.  I cursed it.  I had a new thing to hate, and it was God.  It mocked me with its humor  and I screamed, “Is this your way of getting me to believe in you?”

Now it was personal.

I told my mother I would get help for my depression.  For my problem.  I wanted to give my family some sort of hope.  As sick as this sounds, it was so I could dash it away.  Because I was so angry.  I wanted them to feel as miserable as I did.  I let my sister convince me to call this private hospital and check myself in over the phone.  The guy listened to me, he really wanted me to come then and there, but he didn’t have a room.  I lied to him.  I told him I had no plans to kill myself.  I begged him to let me come tomorrow, put my name down for a room.  That I wanted to die, but I promised I wouldn’t do it that night.  He called it a verbal contract.  Sure, bud, whatever you say.  

The stage was set.  MY stage.  In MY room.  In MY walls.  MY energy, MY haunting ground. The last thing to do before I drank my pills was the suicide note.  I wrote it all out, every word.   The hate, the misery, the blame, the isolation, the selfishness, the pure unexplainable pain.  The noose.  God.  I wrote it all down.  There was nothing left for me to do but die.

And it was like I saw outside of myself for a moment.  Like suddenly I didn’t belong in my own body.  It’s deafening.  I can’t hear anything.  Or I don’t remember hearing anything now.  And I brought up the thought of “they”.  What “they” say.  “They say people who are suicidal don’t want to die”.  Did I want to die? Was this it? 

I thought about where I would be buried.  Could I have a burial? Would I go to a graveyard? Suicide is a crime by the church, would they let my mother bury me? I wondered what the end would bring me? Peace? Is this a sin? What did I really think would happen? Would I float above and watch the suffering? Would I really be able to watch the wrath of my anger? Do I just enter a void and all is over in an anticlimactic event? 

I poured a bunch of Aleve in my hand, and stared at it.  I saw all my past attempts to die.  I realized I won.  This was going to work.  I beat God at its own game.  I would join it now.  I smiled at my victory.  Who else can beat God? Surely God understood how miserable I was, how desperate I was, it was trying to save me,  kept trying to stop me, but it couldn’t… it wasn’t… it..

A realization hit me.  All those suicide attempts, all those times wondering why whatever it was wouldn’t let me go… It wouldn’t…

Something beyond me wasn’t letting me die.  Something believed in me, or needed me, for something beyond what I could see.  And I see two hands before me.   One filled with pills, one not.  I could win and die, beat God at its own game.  Or I could trust in God that I was meant for something.  That this was a test of some sort.  I took a deep breath, clenched both my fists, one around the pills, the other empty, and with tears in my eyes I whispered to the energy around me, “You love me.  YOU love me.  You’re fighting for me.  I promise I won’t take my life.  I swear to you I will not take my life, but  please, please, make this better, please.  If you make this better I won’t kill myself.”

A leap of faith.  As Kierkegaard had put it, a “Theological Suspension of the Ethical”.  I put my hand out to something.  At this point, I didn’t know what.  Just something.  Something that had kept me alive all this time.  Something that refused to give up on me.  Something wasn’t LETTING me die.  I felt loved.  It had been a long time since I had felt love.  Especially the love I felt at that moment.

But the pink cloud  doesn’t stay.  Life doesn’t work like a fairy tale.  And my soul came crashing back down to my body eventually.   Only this time I had no escape plan.   

I clung to the hope I felt that night I tried to die.  I clung to that desperate will to live for something.  And as each empty day passed, as each challenge rose and fell, I started to question what I did.  What had I trusted? Why? What life was this?

I put my faith and belief in… what? Was it just my own human will not to die? My mind? I started questioning everything I learned.  I still wouldn’t break that promise I made to it, but I was beginning to think it was some sick joke all over again.

Days of desperation turned into weeks, into months, into years of waiting.  What was my purpose? Why was I alive? What was I meant to do?

Any hope withered as no answers came to the questions.  Every route I tried to get out of this despair left me at a dead end, circled me back to the same dark place I was.  I lived like a ghost.  There was no anger at this point.  There wasn’t anything, it was all a void.  I didn’t even think I was worth the trouble to die.  Yeah, there is a beyond to suicidal depression.  Being so depressed you don’t even deserve to die.  

 Months passed.  The world swallowed in darkness around me.

“I can’t go on like this anymore.  I need you to hold your end of the bargain or I’m going to die.  I don’t know what to do, God.  I will break my promise if you don’t help me. “

Deep black misery coated my consciousness

“I can’t do this any longer.  I give myself to you.  I said I won’t kill this body and I won’t, God.  But I am already dead in spirit.  So I will wait for you to take my body from my soul.

 “Oh God, oh God, why have you forsaken me?”

And then everything shut down…

…And I Broke

Not a break, not a snap

But a shatter.

A shatter of shards around me.


Was a mind once


Now it lay in prickly pieces

A painful process of peculiar patterns

Possibly never pasting right.


And it hurts

Apparently a day went by.  My body did stuff, disconnected to me.  I have flashes, disconnected clumps of time.  I apparently did a lot that day, but I have no memory of any of it.  Just brief attempts of my mind attempting to gain back control of reality, to fall back into the obscure safety of the subconscious.  

My understanding, from what I have pieced together from those around me, is that my anger boiled over into something I could no longer control.  The bleak sadness just put me to sleep.  I really did become a ghost.  Dead, with just an energetic body moving, talking, pretending among the conscious.  

God had given me what I wanted most in those years I waited.  Something I was trying to will into truth.  I was beyond wanting to die.  I wanted to cease existing.  I wasn’t worth the trouble, the misery death would cause.   And for a day my soul did just that, ceased. Leaving nothing but the shell, an angry energy disjointedly hung in the present.  

A reprieve.  

When I awoke from this trance, this break, I lost everything.  Independence, autonomy, freedom.  I woke up where most do when faced in a psychological break, a state mental asylum.  Hidden from society like a thrown away piece of meat past its use, as if I might poison those I meet.

I was told by anyone who mattered that I didn’t belong there.  I wasn’t them.  I had a psychological breakdown brought on by depression, environment, drug addiction by myself and those around me, and a complete injustice done to me by the mental health system.  “A Disassociative Fugue.” Where most people are swallowed by that hell for their eternal lives, doctors in the hospital with the help of an outside organization rescued me.  

But I sat in hell for three long months.  A place where the criminally insane, homeless, and hopeless cases of mental incapacity come to rest.  It was violent, scary, and unpredictable.  Some of the staff might have well been patients, some of the patients would have made much better staff.  It had it’s terrorizing moments, and some of the most beautiful acts of humanity and friendship I’ve ever had.  But throughout all of it, I hung on to my hope.  This serene promise that had been made.

Dante had to go through every circle of hell before reaching paradise.  This was my final circle before reaching life again.  I spent my whole life trying to find God.  I yelled at it at age 7 to show itself or I would not believe.  In fifth and sixth grade I was angry at it for not doing what I wanted.  In high school I had such a traumatic fear of death and what happened afterwords that it would keep me up all night.  I read the history of God, religion, death, afterlife, to discover what it was all about to the times of man.  And there were so many Gods and religions to pick from I couldn’t chose.  Ever.  

I told you this started in college.  One of my more happy memories was when I was with a friend of mine in Lake George, NY.  The sky was gorgeous, and the night was clear.  We were having a great time as the sun set over the water.  And just as night fell into the sky, a star twinkled.  And yeah, I’ll admit, I thought of the little children’s poem.  So, I made a wish.  I wished to be happy.  And something instinctively struck me.  Like time stopped for a second.  A thought whispered, “What would make you happy?” I remember really considering this question.  Maybe even to the point my friend thought it was a bit weird.  And I thought about what was going on at the time: my sister’s addiction, my mother’s disability, my father’s isolation, my friends moving on, college life ending, jobs, careers, the start of adulthood and responsibility  and the fear such a transition involves.  I thought hard, and looked back up at the single star and I said quietly to the night air, “I want to know God.  That will make me happy for the rest of my life.”

In the end, what I should have known at the beginning, is that this isn’t going to change.  I can’t change people.  They are who they are.  And I am me.  I can only speak for me.  This was my journey, with all the wrong decisions.  But, I learned.  I learned about me and about others.  I learned about people and life.  I learned mistake are just that, mistakes.  They can be fixed, and we can move on.

I opened this by stating that I don’t want to prove to you God exists.  I just knew I could not exist for me.  I had to reach out to something intangible.  And whatever that was saved me.  So I believe.  It is part of my journey for survival.  If I didn’t, I’d be dead.  You wouldn’t be reading this.  I wouldn’t exist in this moment.

And in my spiritual quest, I got my wish.  I got what would make me happy.  And I’m a better person for it.  So, I alone, have to believe.  I owe my life to it.

Whatever “It” is.

The Thanksgiving Curse

I’m beginning to think Thanksgiving is a cursed holiday for my family.  The earliest Thanksgivings I remember were great, sure.  Snow, sledding, learning to cook the meal.  The tradition passing down from my mother to my sister and me.

And I remember the first Thanksgiving it all went wrong.  Just, everything, went wrong.  My sister was back home without her husband, it was the first Thanksgiving without her boyfriend- turned- fiance- turned-husband around in a long time.  Wow, since High School for me I think.  And I was in College now.

I just remember no one was happy.  My sister was sleeping against the wall of our eat in kitchen, occasionally waking up to eat before slumping back down again.  My mother had enough at this point.  She cooked all day, really hard, and no one was eating her food and she pointed to my sister and said, “and you won’t even wake up.”  

And yeah, she didn’t.  So my mom went to vent her frustrations outside and I ran after her.  My mother demanded a cigarette out of me.  I had never seen her smoke, but I knew she did before she had kids.  Out of shock, or just dumbed silence, I gave one to her, with a light.  And we smoked.

And that was the Thanksgiving that started our curse.  Where it picked up.  Every year after that, Thanksgiving is one of the worst holidays our family has suffered through time and time again.  The year after the Thanksgiving I just described we had invited friends over.  It was kind of fun, and most definitely awkward as my sister had holed herself up in the basement and refused to even greet them, more or less partake in festivities, cooking, and dinner.

 

Each Thanksgiving followed one from the next.  Some small inconveniences to major catastrophes always  kept Thanksgiving lively for us.  There was one year when our oven only cooked ½ the turkey.  No, literally, one side of the oven had stopped working and our turkey, therefore, sort of melded between completely done to still defrosting.  But, that was better than when the entire oven caught on fire so I guess one can’t be too picky.  Illnesses sometimes cancelled the Thanksgiving holiday, or a death of a pet.

I’m beginning to see a pattern here.  Maybe a curse? I’m Italian, was one of my original ancestors somehow involved in the “first” Thanksgiving? I mean, the real thing, not the happy one they taught us in school.  Perhaps it picks up when adulthood hits, as, no one wants to punish children, right?  Some kind of Karma from the sins of the… Eh, just something I think about.  There certainly is a pattern I see, but probably reading way too much into.  

But, I have come to determine, this year, we have a cursed holiday.  So let’s rejoice in our curse, celebrate the holiday we know will fall apart, and laugh as we make memories.  And let this be a start to the tally of many Thanksgivings down the line, to watch the curse continue through the family. This is the start, the realization.  The documentation starts here.

I mean, everything stays on the internet and can be updated, right?

Thanksgiving 2016: Maggie dies on the eve of Thanksgiving.  The family has moved so has no money to celebrate.  The parents and one child stay in their new house, the other child is in her apartment, all mourning the loss of their beloved dog.  This is the second thanksgiving they didn’t celebrate together as a family.

Thanksgiving 2017: Not bad. Does a realization of a curse and calling it out somehow disipate power? So much my yearly documentation for generations. Maybe that’s the curse: haha, we decided to make you think you are crazy. So, with the typical “no shit” family quibbles, and the forgotten vanilla ice cream for our pie, all seems ok. We did have the defective turkey, as though the legs were prebroken tied only to the bird by the raw skin, and our accidental forgetting to remove the bacon, it still cooked and tasted fine. I hope it’s not extra for next year. Premptively, I see it as a good holiday. But extra fear for next year. We’ll try to be positive.