Saturday, February 28, 2009
A chapter of kipleyarren
Authored by April L. Gerard
The one room wooden shack was bare, save for a lone bed with a man sleeping in it and a couple of chairs nearby. The sun was streaking in through a small window that was positioned directly across the room from the foot of the bed. Dirty dishes seemed piled up high against the adjacent wall next to the single basin stone sink and a piece of board attached to the wall to serve as a countertop. In the far corner of that same wall, one could see two tiny hammocks strung up in the manner of cobwebs and each one held a small being known as sprites.
The man was stirring from his restless slumber. He shook his head slightly and sat up grudgingly, allowing his feet to meet with the cool of the bare wooden floor. The coolness felt good on the soles of his feet for he and his companions had traveled many days through the wooded low mountains without foot coverings. It was not the first time he had done so. He had hoped to reach this small secluded area before sunset yesterday, but had been delayed because his two sprite friends seemed to know no boundaries as to how to get themselves into trouble with the humans who occupied the surrounding area in this part of Kipleyarren.
He had been raised here by his grandfather, away from all the other races that occupied the land. This place held many memories for him, too many memories he thought. The young man's arms were sleeved with intricate, detailed tattoos that marked his anguish and defiance of the world around him. He began to stretch out his arms and soon one could see that a pair of thin, transparent wings outlined in black, were slowly and painstakingly stretching out from his back. They were a secret of his true identity that few knew for he always hid them. He knew well the dangers of letting others know too much.
He stood up and looked around. It had been a long time since he had come back to this place. Grandfather had sent for him by way of a Messenger. Of all things, Grandfather chose to use a fairy to send for him! He could have done without the reminder, especially since most Messengers were Leains. The Leain men were just too wishy washy for his liking, although he supposed that had more to do with the Matriarchal structure of their people than it really did with the men themselves. Still, he would rather not have much to do with them. But the sending of a Messenger did hold meaning, he knew that much, and so the implications of the whole thing was not lost on him. And now, the old man was nowhere to be found. Figures.
He reached for his clothing and started to get dressed, the sun shining in on his bare skin, giving off that morning look some of the women he'd known had said made him so "striking". He could never quite believe their words however. Most had other reasons for wanting to bed him, when they discovered what he was they always wanted more than he was willing or even able to give. And then there was always that look of mistrust that would enter their eyes, keep them wary of him with their new found knowledge of his identity.
He would have to wake the two sprites soon. They never cared to get up too early, especially not with the dawn of the morning. He rose to meet the basin and found the water pump to be dry. He would have to clean up outside near the stream. The shed out back would provide the privacy needed to relieve him of the pressure growing in his bladder. He looked back at the bed and thought momentarily of sleep again, just a little more would've been nice. He sighed, there was no use in trying to sleep further- he was up now and wanted to get this business with his Grandfather resolved before noon so that he could be off again. He did not want to be here any longer than he had to be.
"York!Nolan!" the man said gruffly. "We need to get moving to and find Grandfather. The longer it takes us to get around, the longer it will take to find Grandfather and get this business dealt with. Which means the longer it will be before either of you can taste a swig of beer at Charnaltalve."
The two sprites, unkempt and uncoordinated, sprung up immediately. They looked at each other with a mocked frightful expression and said, "NO BEER?!" They each scrambled around and in their efforts they managed to get themselves tied up in their tiny little hammocks. The sandy haired one eyed him in Astonishment. "Caarin! What do you think your are doing? You can't tell a couple of deserving sprites No Beer!" Apparently, being tied up was less important to his small friends at the moment than the thought of no beer..
He tried to hide his mirthful look, those two were such a riot. He composed himself quickly and spoke again, "No what I said to you York was that if you don't get up and help me find Grandfather, it will take you longer before you get a swig. Meaning you might want to rethink laying in those hammocks any longer."
"Caarin, you could be doing some serious damage to us! Don't frighten a small guy like myself with such things!" This time, it was dark, black haired sprite, Nolan, who spoke.
"There's not a thing in this land that frightens you two. After all, your always so willing to get into so much trouble wherever we go. Now lets get around so we can search the area woods, Grandfather can't be too far off. I'd like to get this over with just as much as you two." He said. And then in a much quieter voice, almost like he was talking to himself more or less, " I just have a different set of reasons for wanting to move on." and with that, Caarin moved to the door and as he did so, he heard a familiar whistling sound. He stopped short of putting his hand on the door handle and sure enough the door opened to reveal that Grandfather had made it home. Caarin realized he had not seen the man in nearly 10 years and with startling clarity understood that there was something urgent in the morning air.
Friday, February 27, 2009
...and I heard an 80's song on the radio that I haven't heard in years today ( I was in Muncie today for work), that every time I do, it brings me to tears for reasons that are always hard to explain. Let's just say the lyrics of that song are so close to home, that as much as I love it (the song) I try to avoid listening to it, because I'd rather not dwell too much on things.
All I ask of my friend is that I not find you lying on the floor someday.... I can always give you my thoughts, my philosophical rhetoric's....but I can't bring you back once you've gone too far hon...and that scares me shitless, because I know you- you won't tell me until its too late.
You found me by the Fray
You know, its funny, everytime I think I'm not going to post much, I always end up writing more than I planned- good therapy for me this writing is....
The cub mewled in its sleep. Freeta dared to take a quick peek into her wrap to be be sure the cub was still nestled comfortably against her. They had to move quickly. She was still not sure who it was that was hunting the little guy. She only knew that she had to get back to her people, to determine what should be done with him. She thought then of her Grandfather. Yes, the Shaman would know best wouldn't he?
She was still dumbfounded. Why was she chosen? She knew nothing save for how to hunt and live amongst her peers. She was content with her life, there was no need to change that. But the previous night's conversation haunted her like the plague.
"Do you know what I am?"
The voice penetrated the thoughts of Freeta as she looked at the mother and her cub. It took a moment before she realized the implications. The question had been placed in her mind, not spoken aloud. "I'm not sure." she said aloud, looking at the Tiger, " I've not met a Tiger of your kind before." Her hands were busy preparing a poultice to apply to the wounds of the Mother. She worried heavily that it would not be enough to save her though and what then would become of the young one? Freeta had no experience in that area, she did not relish the thought of raising this cub herself.
She again her the voice in her head, " I am from the line of the Guardians. You are very skilled to have found us, no ordinary tracker could have without the use of magic. It is why we are being hunted. You understand what a Guardian is don't you?"
Freeta stopped her hands momentarily. She knew what a Guardian was. It was told as legend across their campfires when the nights were alive and the children were prancing around anxiously. These stories the tribe children treasured and they coveted the story telling so that they may take them to dreams in their slumbers. No one had seen the Guardians in hundreds of years. They were said to be the protectors of sacred things, closely knit somehow with a bloodline of the leain faries, and they were regarded as some of the most powerful beings in the land. Her mind was searching for more information, she knew that there was more to this story. What was it? hmmm..Ah! She remembered now. Her Grandfather once said that a Guardian will only come when the world is dying and in need of them. This caused her to frown, Freeta knew there were some things to be wary of in the worlds of the other races...but a Guardian? was there really such a need going on here in her land? She let her hands finish applying the poultice on the Tiger and allowed her thoughts to wrap around this new thought.
"You are right to be concerned. Guardians do not let themselves be known until the time is right. You were meant to find us. Now, you must listen. I have chosen you to complete what I cannot. My son, Lagashan, is very important to all the races- but he is coveted by those who seek power vainly." The tigress imprinted on her mind. "He mustn't be found by these hungry individuals."
"I don't understand. What could I do?"
"Lagashan needs your protection and your guidance Freeta. You must take him where he is needed most. It will be a long, dangerous journey as your eyes have witnessed with my current state of being." The Mother laid her paw on Freeta and gave her a long, searching look. She was entrusting her son's safety with her. "Please take care of him. The fate of so many rests on his shoulders."
And without another word, the Tigress drifted off and became still with no breaths left in her body. The wounds she had were more than Freeta could heal. The cub inched closer to his mother, nudged her several times with his head and mewled softly as though to wake her once again. He turned to Freeta and his eyes pleaded with her to bring her back. The pull she felt in her heart was more than she could bear and so she scooped him up, held him close, and tucked him inside her wrap. She would take him to her people. He would be safe with them for now. She pushed aside the sorrow she felt and began gathering her things. There would be no time for a proper burial, Guardians would be coveted by some of the most dangerous creatures in the land, she must move quickly if she was to get Lagashan to the safety of her people.
She thought anew of the task given to her. She was not equipped to carry it out, she was sure of it. She needed some guidance and counsel, but from where? Who would be able to instruct her on the ways of a Guardian when no one had seen them in a great many years. She knew at once the first place to start to find answers would be with her Shamans. They would know what was needed. Until then, she knew with an uncanny certainty that she must get this young one to her tribe before the next nightfall.. time would quickly be running out.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
A chapter of Kipleyarren
Authored by: April L. Gerard
Her day had started well. The tribe had settled in a field that had was been home to the Nubiens. A few more days and they would skirt the outer realms of the Leain fairies. Their presence would go unnoticed, as always. The Leain Fairies barely knew anyone or anything outside of their domain. It was their tradition to send out "Messengers", traders really, to do all the neccessary business. She had thought to herself earlier in the morning that very few of the Leain traders were seen these days... and she had wondered, momentarily, how this race of faries was surviving without the knowledge and goods their messengers bring in. She let the thought go. She had let her eyes wander to the treetops nearby as she fixed herself a small portion just before full daybreak..the Griffins were settling in well. They were rather large creatures, similar to the black cats that roamed the southern areas of Kipleyarren..but they preferred to settle in treetops, allowing thier majestic wing spans to hang down for a rest. They were a loyal lot to have around. A much needed attribute these days. There was so much unrest and unpleasantries in the world...a phenomon that was growing, changing the landscape and the people in it.
Freeta had cleaned up her small area, let out the fire, and staked out an area for herself before heading out to explore the new surroundings. Her Grandfather would see to the rest. From the talks amongst her Shamans, they would be staying in the area for some time. Best get to know the prime areas of hunting before the men could beat her to it. That was one of the things she loved about her people. Men and Women alike were viewed as equals, shared duties, and swapped responsibilites. But Freeta was a natural born tracker, one of the best any Tigris tribe had ever seen. The hunt was in her blood. She had never taken a spouse nor had she born any children, there was never any interest in it for her.
Started out for the exploration, she had settled into her tracking regime and by mid day came upon something most unsettling...
Freeta looked up, the sky was getting dark. Too dark to track the creature much further. She could tell by the tracks that it was hurt and she could feel its pain, a gift of her kind. She could tell it was a large cat, a tiger perhaps? The tracks didn't quite match up with those of the black cats of the south...what was a such a creature doing in this area, she wondered. The Cats were native to the southern regions, rarely going so far north. She was sure this must be a Tiger of some sort and she could feel she was getting closer.
This tiger was determined, it moved as though it was in desperate need to reach its destination. Though for the first time in years, Freeta was not able to discern where this animal was headed or why. It frustrated her and fueled her desire to find it. It's need was pressing into her heart, painful, almost like a heart breaking at a profound loss.
As she searched in the growing darkness, she heard a faint mewling sound. She moved slowly, carefully so as not to give away her presence. The fear was shot into her so suddenly, she nearly reeled backwards. The tiger had picked up her scent and now knew that she was approaching. It was afraid of her, afraid that it could not determine what her motive was for following it.
Freeta began to see the tiger, it was slowing. Finally, it dropped to its side, panting heavily. It could go no further and Freeta saw the blood seeping out from the underbelly. She saw the fear and the furtive looks being cast about her from the Tiger, as if danger lurked in the growing darkness behind her.
As she edged her way closer, she felt a wave of relief and recognition. The tiger was familiar to her kind. She found herself breathing a sigh of relief herself, not realizing that her anticipation had mounted to greatly in her quest to reach this animal in need. She could now offer her help openly. She looked closer at this creature and saw there were distinct differences between it and ordinary Tigers. The markings were different, and she was so large. In all her travels, Freeta had never laid her eyes on such a creature. The griffins would be disheartened to know that a cat being could overshadow them in size. Where had this one come from?
She again heard the mewling sound, it was not coming from the Tiger but from somewhere else.. In shocked realization, Freeta saw that the tiger was nursing and that a cub was peeking out from some nearby bushes. The cub was tiny for its age, that much she could guess. It waqs even tinier than that of the tigers she was familiar with. Freeta looked back at the Mother and saw a soft, wise pair of yellow eyes starring intently back at her. She was being beckoned, the Tiger needed her for something... something other than what was obvious. The medical attention was secondary in the mind of this Tiger. She was being told to sit and listen, and to understand....it was a conversation she would never forget.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
hands lifting out of the water,
roses full bloomed,
a few thorns here and there,
A great many leaves,
a collage of sorts,
this picture I'm carefully crafting,
a canvass awaits,
a fading sunset,
a chin is lifted,
hair blowing in the wind.
That marks two pictures now,
that I must complete,
and I marvel at the speed
in which I'm creating these,
these beautiful drawings
that seem to flow from my thoughts.
So in order to start sharing my fiction book with you all again, I thought I'd give a little run down on a few interesting things...
1) this book I'm working on is meant to be. I'm positive of that. And I don't form strong convictions easily. I've met at least 4 different set of twins in the last month and a half...and twins are the foundational characters of my fiction book.
2) please be advised, I tend to work on many different projects at once, which is why my posts sometimes get very seemingly random- I usually connect the dots eventually..I promise it all will make sense after its all said and done. And fore warning- I usually post each and every day, but these chapters take time, so I may take a breather every now and then... I might revert back to my train of thoughts for intermissions and such....
3) I've gotten more creative lately, I believe in part because of each of you and your kindness and support, but also because I'm starting to realize some things for myself. I have a ton of drawings I've done in the last couple of days.... I believe I'm going in the right direction, even if I'm not sure where that's going to take me.
4) We each are traveling our own life path, but supporting each other with advice, stories, banter, and the like...therefore I'm not entirely sure I'd call us "Followers". More like comrades on an adventure- sharing joys, truimphs, pains, and everything in between.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
For a couple of friends though, here is a video for you each in your darkest hours that I know not how to help you with:
The Fray's "How to Save a Life"
Because I'd give it if I knew what was needed.....
Monday, February 23, 2009
There is a saying that I share with my co-workers when they are nervous about speaking in front of others or when they are not sure that they can convey what they mean. It is:
"Let Myself walk out and let my Cause walk in."
Sunday, February 22, 2009
A young, but good friend of mine has a blog, in fact she called me yesterday to ask why I hadn't mentioned her in my acknowledgements. "Because you asked me not too!" she is one of the best people I know at my work, and while I won't say who she is, I would like to point out her latest post....Let your life speak. As she always does, she gave me much to think about.
Triana, true to our friendship, called me out (a.k.a. proved me wrong) on many things in our philosophical discussions today.. apparently I have built my perception of how love is supposed to work on religious assumptions and societal norms or views (that's according to her). She reminded me that love, among other things, is not bound by the rules we place on it and that our choices don't necessarily coincide with when and where or who you feel this for (we were talking about her current relationship and how it came about)....this conversation in turn led me to explain my view of the Ocean in relation to people to her. I believe when I was done, it was her turn to say I called her out...
In the drive-thru of a local fast food chain today, the guy (who seems to be extremely feminine)taps on my window to hand me my food cause I'm somewhere off in dreamland. I realize he didn't give me my drink and so I tap back on his window..he opens it and here is the following conversation:
"What do you need?"
"You forgot my drink..."
"Oh, uh, yeah. Sorry, I'll get you a large instead of a small. What was it again?"
"Coke" he leaves the window open and talks to me from the pop dispenser...
"Sorry, I forget a lot of things sometimes"
"Its alright, no biggie." I tell him. He then delivers the drink to me, looks contrite and says, "actually it was your radiant beauty as you were starring off somewhere that distracted me."
I'm thinking..You have got to be kidding me right???? Have you looked closely at me today??? I am plaineth Janeth..no frills no fancy smancy stuff. Just me and you're gonna try to say I look radiant. Yeah, ok... but it was a nice thing to say I'll give him that. I told Triana about the incident when we went to the Taj Mahal (Indian food, yummy!!!)...you know what she said? "You do have an aura about you when get all daydreamy and thinking in your own little world."
"I'm not gonna win this argument am I?"
"Nope." she says, "But when we go to Florida, I'm doing your hair."
"See, I told you I don't look good at all today...proves my point."
She just gave me the "whatever" look.
This morning, my oldest daughter painted her first picture today. I'm actually quite impressed with it. Its not something i would have thought to do, but she is her own person, with her own thoughts, and her own sense of creativity.. I'm looking forward to seeing what she creates next.
I think I'm going to start sharing more chapters of my fiction book, Kipleyarren. Yes, I think I will, and then maybe I'll be ready to share some more chronicles...hmmm, going to have to think some more.
Well, this post definitely gives you a look into the inner workings of my brain, and an insight into how random thoughts seem to flood my mind at the same time..
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Pictures of my Painting: I would like some ideas on what could be added and then I'll finish the details:
Friday, February 20, 2009
A bit of sad news: I had to explain to my 4 year old son about his cat having to make a trip to heaven today( he has been very sick the last few days)...his response nearly broke my heart into tiny pieces, "Momma, What does that mean?" He tried so hard not to cry and wiped his eyes profusely, he is a very smart boy and I could tell he understood what I had said-he just wanted me to take it back.."Honey, this is one of those things in life Momma can't fix. We all have to face this in life sooner or later." Parenting is so hard, trying to choose the right words to help them understand life.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
"You need to fix this now"
"I'm at work, what's wrong?"
"Can you tell me why you do this to me?"
"Doo what?! What is it that I do?"
"I can't find my clothes."
"They're in the clean clothes basket, all you have to do is look."
"I can't find my stuff."
"So what am I supposed to do about it here, at work?"
"Come home and fix this."
"And you can't look through the basket of clothes because why??"
"I had my clothes where I could find them-you moved them!"
"And you'd rather wear dirty clothes, whats wrong with me washing them?"
"Why can't you just do what I ask?"
"What is wrong with you? I am not coming home just to find clothes for you when you can look through the clean clothes yourself! I am at work!!!!!!!"
"This is what's killing me, your gonna kill me with this you know."
"What..What is it that I'm doing? I was doing the laundry for cryin out loud."
"THIS! THIS is what YOU ARE DOING! Not listening to me, not doing what I say."
"I am not 2, don't yell at me and don't talk to me this way, I'm your wife remember?"
"I am not yelling at you, if you wouldn't do these things, I wouldn't be calling you."
"What do you want me to do?"
"I WANT you to fix it."
"I'm sorry ok, we'll talk about it when I get home, but I need to work right now."
-click, he hangs up on me-
and just how do I fix this?????
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I've been very frustrated lately..
I have, however, been painting a miniature Habitat house model the last couple of days. I have officially decided that after this project, I'm going back to my oils..I do not like painting with acrylics. And my hand has been severely unsteady lately...which meant that I had to redo several parts of the house before it looked presentable. but alas, It is slowly coming to fruition!
I need some ideas, I have a painting that I never finished that has dragons, Unicorns, a wizard, a fairy, and a man, all set in a midnight desert background..I feel like I should add something to it before I finish the final details, but I don't know what to add!! I think I'll have Triana take a picture of it for me and I'll post it to let you all have a look and give me your ideas. I have had that painting sitting unfinished for nearly 2 1/2 years. Its time to finish it so that I can do the next one that has been keeping me up late into the night....I just cannot stop thinking about this other painting I want to do.....
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
ANY of my fellow bloggers who may live in this area or are planning to be in that area the same time as I, must come volunteer their time!!!! You may laugh at me trying to help out on the construction site, but I don't care. Helping others is what I do best and I would like everyone to come out and get your hands dirty! No excuses, if you live in the Florida area, you must come build with me.....
The best part of this whole trip will be seeing my brothers and seeing for the first time in my life- the Ocean. I want to feel the breeze and listen to the quiet sounds. I'm hoping to feel free for the first time in a very, very long time!!!! No phone calls or text messages (well I can hope can't I?) No one telling me what I do wrong..just me and the ocean having a peaceful conversation about the beauty of the world, with my best friend sitting beside me. That my dear friends is worth going down there for..a glimpse of peace for me.
Monday, February 16, 2009
18 years old and I was becoming a little bit unraveled and at the same time, more closed up. Triana wasn't having such an easy time herself either.
I began talking to Chris (Warlock) a little more, and finding that when he put aside his attitude, he had some really interesting things to say. I started to find out a little more about his belief structure and amazingly, understood its core. And yes, I did finally read him when he wouldn't let up. Lets just say that it tires me out profusely, and most people only want it because to them it symbolizes a power that they physically can't grasp. And Chris does like to collect people..but we will get there, I promise.
I have battled that part of myself for a long time, mostly because I don't like being used and I never desired any type of "power" to begin with. Now love, that's something worth looking for and something worth giving to others,no matter the cost...power, however, I'm not so sure about. Matt was also becoming a part of the lively discussions..he would later find a path down the faith of Hermetic Qabalah, which does fit his nature. I myself seem to have a fascination with learning all the differing religious beliefs..its quite interesting how many things come before and after modern Christianity and how much Christianity has borrowed from other long lost beliefs, faiths, and traditions..but I'm digressing from my tale, so we will save this topic for another time.
Back in Triana's life, she was on a slippery slope. Jeremiah was quickly becoming a permanent fixture in her life, but other things that should have been there for her, were not. both of us have strange mothers..but hers left her. Literally that year. Her mom has a tendency to follow whatever guy takes her fancy and her kids were never at the forefront of her mind...ever. The love of her own children just didn't ever register with Linda as "enough". So her mom had packed up Triana's younger sister and brother (she at least had sense enough to realize they were a bit young to leave behind) and headed down to Kentucky,to follow whats his name, without my dear friend. It took her a while to tell me what was going on..and when she did, I gave what I could. I got her, Jeremiah, and I an apartment in C.C. and let her drive my car back and forth to school everyday, because I was not about to let my friend go through life without so much as a high school diploma. I walked to work so she could go to school..although looking back I'm wondering how many days of school she skipped out on during that time. Its not like Jeremiah was a good influence on her..but then neither were some of my friends either.
At the lot, there was a guy that both Triana and I thought was extremely good looking..a rarity for us because we never have the same "taste" in men. He would later become someone that to this day, if he were to walk in the door where ever I was at, I would probably be sick to my stomach and wish with every fiber in my body that I was somewhere else...this is the one incident that I find very difficult to talk about. And I was so naive at the time that I didn't realize what situation I had gotten myself into until it was too late.. And later that evening after it was all said and done, I did get sick to my stomach-so much so that I threw up in his bathroom several times at the knowledge of what he had forced me to do to him..and that's enough talk about that incident. That's as close I as can come to telling you about it, and I'm sorry if its not enough..I just can't.
i did tell Triana about it, but she too had a hard time digesting it, he was sooo nice and everybody liked him. But I will tell you that it was her acceptance that i was telling her the truth that bonded us as close as two sisters could ever be. We have never looked back since, but there were some hellacious arguments between us!
The apartment idea, while well meaning, wasn't working out quite as well as we had hoped and I had mistakenly fallen for Blondie, I knew better, but I was looking for something real, someone who "got" me and liked me for me. I wanted an equal whole to an equal whole. Yes he understood a part of me, but never the whole ball of wax and he only ever likes to add to his collection, never keep it for himself, much less be loyal back. It was during this time, we Matt came over to give word that Chris and Heather had tied the knot, that I got drunk with Triana for the first time..and punched my hand through a window without so much as blinking. No cuts, no bruises...just maniacal laughter and tears. I was never good enough for anybody....never good enough to keep or love or to accept love from. And the nightmare that she endured from me with Jeremiah looking scared for his life. To this day Jeremiah is 100% scared shitless of me, because I'm the crazy one who was at one time to immature to realize just exactly how to handle such situations, how to carefully keep your emotions in check, how to recover once you've let go. And yes, this is the teddy bear incident she keeps referring too.
what she doesn't know about this is in the weeks following how many things I broke, how many times I would run my car purposely off the road and down a few small drop offs...not because I wanted to die, but because I was tempting my own fate, I wanted to prove to myself that I could somehow survive no matter what was thrown my way, even if it was brought on by my own hand. It sounds crazy, even writing this, I cannot believe I did these things- and no, I DO NOT recommend trying it...no normally sane person would, so please don't, I was a mess back then. A product of what can happen to those exposed to too much heartache of any kind..but I am stubborn and I refused to have my experiences shape me, make me lose this precious, beautiful thread of life. It was that knowledge that brought me back up from underneath my own drowning.
And I did mend and learned some wise lessons because of it. I became kinder to others when I didn't understand why they were mean, I became more understanding, more patient, and I would take a hell of a lot from others just to help them help themselves. Why? Because I know pain and I know all the kinds of pains there are..and I would never wish on my worst enemy the kind of pain I have endured in my short lifetime thus far.
Soon, we moved out of the apartment and one of the teacher's at the high school took Triana in, after she had wrecked my car in the parking lot. Apparently, light poles in the parking lot are hard to see even though they are the biggest object in them ;)
If you remember, I mentioned a Ms. Knopp in a previous chronicle, and yes, it was her who took her in. It was during this time that Triana became pregnant and we went round and round about her decision of what to do about it, please do not judge her for this...it was not your decision to make, nor was it mine. My decision in all of it was simple- to stay her friend no matter what, how could I give her less in such a frightful time of her life and how could I not be there when surely she would cry later..and she would need a friend. It was always the one thing I could give to others. For I believe that offering your unconditional friendship is also giving your unconditional love..(and yes Triana, that mushy statement just did come from me, thank you).
"I shall pass through this way but once. Any good therefore I can do, or any kindness I can show, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it. For I shall never pass this way again." Etienne de Grallet
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." Oscar Wilder
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." Albert Einstein
Sunday, February 15, 2009
It was the start to a devestating love/hate relationship. One that if I'd have known then, what I know now..I would have tried my best to run like hell. But....we will get to that part (even if I have to pry it out of me).
So, I didn't hang out with Shaun as much (obviously) but I did occasionally talk to him up at the truck stop. Triana and I would go there nearly every night to eat french fries and ranch dressing. They had the best fries! It no longer exists, a CVS pharmacy now stands where it used to. But it was a place to sit and sort out our live's. One night, We ran into Shaun, who was sitting with another guy. I could tell by the look on Triana's face where she was going to park her butt. I sat in the booth with Shaun, she wouldn't have let me leave if I'd have said the room was on fire.
Jeremiah Johnston. He was the push that begot her further down the downward spiral she was already on. Not too long before this night she had been arrested in Meijer's for stealing makeup... "Makeup!" I said,"What in the hell is worth stealing makeup for?" She confessed then that at least it wasn't a shirt or something. It dawned on me then where all the neat outfits that we swapped were coming from.. "WHAT?!" was all I could sputter out of my mouth. Do you know she had calmly talked with the security officer and explained to him about how she was going to go to equestrian school, what her GPA was, and what she was going to do in her life??? As if stealing couldn't have stopped her.
So there we were. And there she was across from me, giving me the look. The look she always gets when she sets her mind on something. And at that point, Jeremiah caught her attention. Sooo she began her journey with him, a walk down the lane to hell if you ask me, but she fell for him hard. I sometimes envied her, to be able to feel that way about someone- but I tend to look for more than she does, she just jumps and I tend to wait to see if the feeling is mutual.
Shaun started visiting the truck stop more frequently, but there was a waitress there he had taken and interest in. TK had broke it off with him and was now seeing Donnie. The waitress would later become his wife that he is still married to to this day.
I don't know how, but Shaun met Sam Brown. Sam & I went to high school together, but ran around with different people (he was not persistant boy). It was Sam that kept me going to see Shaun all the time. And it was Sam who in ways he didn't know, saved me from myself. Many people assumed that Donnie and I had "done it". But, I had discovered that the best way to keep people from coming on to you was to take away the desire, and apparently the desire was to see who get it from me first.
I never give something to someone if I don't want to give it.
I began going over to the apartment that Sam, Shaun, and Kelly (the waitress) were sharing, and from there Sam and I started dating. We played magic, I now had my own deck- a blue and green one that Shaun had bought me (that was part of his apology). And I drank. Triana has never seen this side of me. But one night, we had vodka jello shots (Vodka and me get along well it seems). First off, a lot people are always surpised at how much alcohol it takes to get me drunk...but I swear that has to do with genetics and also the angrier I am, the more alcohol it takes. Although, since I haven't drank more than one drink in nearly 3 or 4 years, it could be that I'm a lightweight now. So, back to the jello shots, I'm apparently extremely friendly when drunk. I took off all of my clothes...because I was hot (hot as in physical sweating, not hot as in pretty) I said. And my emotional range, I discovered, was more than anyone-except sam-who could matched the same emotional range, could handle. I was a violent storm wrapped up in a carefully packaged bubble...until that night. And it was that night, in Sam's bedroom that he looked at me with such sincerity that I could not have believed otherwise and stated,"My God, woman you are beautiful." I gave him the only thing I had left to give of my own free will. I gave him me. He is the only man to this day who has ever made me believe they were telling me the truth about thinking I was beautiful.
Sam is a very intelligent, but closed off person. I admit here and now- I'm a sucker for intelligent men. Our relationship was passionate and deep, if not awkward. It did not last long either, because two emotionally closed off people don't always communicate well with one and another. There were things I never told him about me, and likewise he never told me about him. Sam was also a drug user..acid was his favorite. The last vestige of our relationship ended when I realized that he, in his strung out state, might make me do the drugs with him. He even said he wanted for me to see our minds meld together as one, he could just slip me some without my ever knowing it. I wanted to trust him with my heart..and I couldn't do it for fear I'd lose myself. So I stopped seeing him, didn't even tell him why. No phone calls, no nothing. But I would later play those words in my mind when I needed to keep from destroying myself. He saved me from myself, from my desire to stop all the pain. Too bad those words couldn't have saved my car from all the deliberate damage I did when I'd purposely wreck it a few times afterwards, when I began to date other people, people who would not be as kind to me...
Saturday, February 14, 2009
It was good that I went to the funeral. It was in January.
I needed to reconcile everything, to believe in everything she had ever taught me. And I was reminded of how much my dad's side of the family gives to everyone else, without question, without even understanding that that is what they do...
Back at home, I began my road to patching me up again. It was a frail precipice I was on, but I hoped for better things you see. I believed, almost willfully so, that my life would and could get better...I just had to find my own way. It was in realizing how much I believed that the world could be changed- even if it only started with my own two, small hands that the next set of events started to occur. I will tell you that not everything from this point forward is pretty, not all pains are physical, but I learned....I learned how important to keep that belief was...
There was a house in town that one of Shaun's friends, Donnie, was renting. There were many, many people coming and going from that place. Shaun was dating TK (trudy). We all liked to play the card game called "Magic: The Gathering". One of his friends Rob was also into the role playing game of Dungeons and Dragons. If we weren't at the lot, we were at this place. It took me a while to figure out all the nuances of the game and I loved the artwork designs on each card, especially the blue and green decks. It is a complicated game, so I will not go into detail...but the game itself seemed to attract other people, other people with different beliefs and ideas.... or maybe there's something about me that attracts all sorts of people...I could never figure it out.
I was walking down across the lot towards Shaun's vehicle when He stopped me. "I like your cross your wearing" he was referring to the cross, the piece of costume jewelry, hanging on a chain I found, that had once belonged to granny Hila. I looked at him. I didn't remember seeing him before. A big man, blond hair, arrogant and assholish air about him.
"Oh, thanks." and I started to walk past him.
"What do you do when you see things in your dreams and they come true?" he said.
I stopped dead right there. How in the hell did he know that??? I don't talk about that stuff, with anyone. People are liable to think your crazy, fruitloopy, a few loose screws or a crayon short of a full box. Take your pick, I don't talk about my weirdness with anyone-including Triana. I wasn't even sure I was right about that part of me. It was too far fetched, doesn't or wasn't supposed to exist in this world. I turned and looked at this man again.."Excuse me? What did you say?"
He got a playful look, like he was sure of himself, crossed his arms around his chest (a bit puffed up if you ask me) a cigarette in his hands. "Well if you're not going to answer that question, how about this one...can you read me?"
I paused..what in the hell was this cracker box pulling? I looked at him, scrutinized him a little closer. Yes I thought, this man was definitely full of himself, but assholishness aside..I could see there were other things about him.
"Well go on, tell me what you know about me.."
"I don't know you." I said.
"You don't need to," he said. "I won't leave you alone until you show me you know.." H grinned half joking with me, half serious about what he said. He really wanted me to just spout out the first things that had come to my mind about him. His girlfriend, heather, also a big person-of whom I just now noticed, spoke, "Yeah hon, he's like that.. don't mean no harm but when he sees the colors floating around people he can't kept it to himself..." she turned and looked at him after taking a puff of her cigarette. "Leave her alone hon, she doesn't feel comfortable sharing."
Colors around people, what kind of crack are these people smoking? It was then that I noticed his necklace...that's odd. It was a circle, with a star in the middle and at each point there was a different stone..representing different colors. I knew at once it did not represent what I'm sure others less understanding would have mistaken it for..but I also did not know what it was for...
"Fine." he said. But he gave me a long, knowing look. "until we meet again then."
I walked away, a bit unnerved and at the same time a bit angry. Thinks he knows me, bullshit. And I left it at that. Well, I tried to leave it at that....
The end of the school year was rolling around. My birthday was coming up. Well actually the birthday came first, and then several weeks later the end of school year approached. I was going to graduate after all..by a slim margin. No one in my mom's family (except my oldest Aunt's kids) had ever graduated high school. I was the first to do so in a long time...
In April, a bunch of us went to a Marilyn Manson Concert. Katie, one of Shaun's friends talked me into it. I went on last minute decision, bought my ticket at the door and had to fight through a mob of angry protesters just to get there. I often wonder if someone had told the protesters that it was their voices that helped him draw in the crowds..would they have listened? Probably not I suppose. Marilyn Manson was not a favorite band of mine, but a lot of my friends liked him, so I thought what the heck...
I don't think I'll ever go to one of his concerts again. Somehow a picture of the virgin Mary behind him as the backdrop while he's got some girl on the stage on all fours with a leash on her neck just did not appeal to me, in fact, it made me cry..and I couldn't have told you why..it just did.
Anyways..My birthday rolled around. Rob decided he needed to get me something. I remember clearly arriving at the house and parking my car in back. I wanted nothing more than just to spend my time with people I liked hanging out with. I sat on the couch in the living area. Donnie was playing Tekken 2, a game i was good at (unlike resident evil, which I was not). i took a controller and started beating his ass. Marilyn Manson was playing in the background.."prick your finger it is done, the moon has now eclipsed the sun, the angel has spread its wings, the time has come for bitter things."
Rob walked in, leaned over the couch and said," I got you something.."
"Oh yeah? You didn't have to get me anything.."
Donnie got up to get a beer. And Rob took his place. He turned to me and opened his hand...there in his hand was a dubie. He had thought that a little bit of mary was all I needed. He was furious at my reaction. "Rob, I know you mean well, but I won't take it."
"One joint is not going to kill you April. Come on, I just spent my last couple of bucks on you, so we could smoke together you know. You're a down girl..cool as hell to talk to with interesting ideas..just come on out to the garage and share a few puffs with me.."
"No Rob. I don't do drugs. I've watched my dad, my mother, and several people in my family throw their lives away for this crap. I've never told anyone they can't do it if they choose, but you can't make me. I refuse to lose control over what decisions I get to make. I'm sorry Rob, but I will not smoke that with you."
I got up and walked out to the kitchen and there in the doorway talking to Donnie stood blondie. What was he doing here?
"so you gonna read me yet?" Ugh. Go away I thought. But he didn't. He stayed for that whole night, watched as the people began to show up to play Magic and down some beer, a few out in the garage puffing. This man was seriously starting to irritate me. But, I let it go, it just was not worth the effort. I watched as people who filed in, began asking him how he was, "hey could you show me how to do this move?" or "I was trying to do this one thing you were talking about and it just didn't work..what do I need?" They all knew him. But I didn't, at least not the way most people know each other. The questions were about Martial arts and something else..something I couldn't put my finger on just yet. Then Matt was kind to me, noticing my puzzled look and said, "That's Warlock, Chris is his real name. He thinks he some sort of wizard or something." Well, that did explain a few things...I still didn't like him just yet though. Why on earth would you want to call yourself a Warlock I thought..
A couple of weeks later, Prom was coming up. I decided this time, it would be nice to have a date. So, I asked Donnie to go with me. He seemed nice enough. I got a velvet, dark blue, long form fitting dress that came up the front and closed around my neck in the style of a choker necklace..there was no back to this dress-and no real way to wear a bra. But I thought it looked good on me- the color matching my eyes. ( I still have that dress in a box somewhere) Donnie stood me up, decided on last minute he wasn't going and so Matt, my good friend that he was went instead. I felt kind of proud to have Mr. Army in uniform go with me..and it was a nice gesture. It would be one of the nicest things anyone had ever done for me.
Friday, February 13, 2009
"Step out the front door like a ghost into the fog,Where no one notices the contrast of white on white. And in between the moon and you, the angels get a better view Of the crumbling difference between wrong and right. I walk in the air between the rain through myself and back again,Where? I dont know..........Round here we always stand up straight. Round here something radiates..........................Round here were carving out our names, Round here we all look the same. Round here we talk just like lions, But we sacrifice like lambs. Round here shes slipping through my hands..............." Quotes from Round Here by Counting Crows
So it seems like we were having the time of our lives for a while during my senior year, and I guess we were there for a while. There were so many crazy things we did in that short blip of a moment in time..
I was hanging out alot with Shaun, Matt, and Adam. Triana, Eddie, and Ryan did a lot of things together, and we mixed and matched...depending on who could go where and when. There's a lake not too far north of my mom's place that has a long dirt road with no houses on it and a dead end circle area that has a farm gate at the end. We would hang out there late at night make a bon fire and just be crazy. We would be talking bullshit, talking dreams, talking anything.There aren't any lights up that way and you can see the stars as clear as ever there. They were beautiful.
Ryan had a penchant for doing the wildest "what in the heck made you come up with that crazy idea" things. He figured out how to make a potatoe gun...potatoes, avacodos, anything that came to mind went in that thing and the messes they made with it! My poor sister got blasted with a very overly ripe and rotten avacodo once with it....oh my dear lord she was green....and a shower was definitely in order.
Aside from Triana, Shaun would become one of my best friends that year and later we wouldn't talk to each other for years...over me telling the truth again..He and his wife are currently waiting for their Habitat home to be built soon. He was like the big brother I had never had and like my friend Missy in school, Shaun knew the pain of not knowing where he came from or who he really was. I honestly think that messed him up more than it did Missy, but for different reasons that are not my privy to say.
Matt was our patriot, and still is to this day. He's been serving in the national guard since his junior year in high school. One of the smartest damn people I know and yet he still thinks its a good idea to try to dodge bullets for a living...
Adam was a mush. I mean that in a good way. I just had never before thought guys could be so sensitive with how they felt or anything. He had a tendency to date girls that would walk all over his butt..which is how he got the nickname "Putts". He would later end up marrying my cousin Jessi.
So anyway, these were my "close" friends from the Lot. Like I said, we did alot of crazy shit that year. It was in getting to know some of the other seemingly friendly people there at that lot, that I was reminded that a bubble in life is neccessary.
Bigfoot was what everyone called him. He was a local firefighter. He was dating a girl named Chrissy who seemed fairly sweet and bubbly. But he, well I just couldn't figure it out. Why was such pretty girl dating someone like him? Her and I started to get to know each other, and pretty soon we were hanging out occasionally. I thought I was a mess inside, this girl had a lot of baggage and no one to talk it out with. Borrowing some words here... yes the sheep can't see in the dark like the wolves can, but then sometimes the sheep don't always know when they're in the wolves den either....
Mom and Phil at this time were getting really, really upset over my late night outings. The resistance that they met with in me refused to budge for them. And so came the night when they came and got my car and left me there in town to find my own way home. Another guy whom everyone called Harley, took me home that first night without my vehicle. He was nice about it and didn't ask questions or offer solutions. It was the next day that I realized I needed to pick up my check from work and no way to do so. So, I called Chrissy, who didn't answer and I got Bigfoot instead. Going out on a limb thinking it wouldn't be a big deal if I offered gas money, I asked him if he'd pick me up from school to get my check and then drop me off in town. I should've just swallowed my pride and stubbornness and asked my mother. But, like I said before my stubbornness is sometimes my weakness...
He did pick me up and he did take me to get my check. I thought that was the end of it, no reason to think of it any further. But he did not feel that it was the end of it. Later that same week, Chrissy had asked me to go with him and "talk to him, find out whats going on". You see, she thought a proposal was near and I was the one designated to find out the details. I had no reason to believe it would be a dangerous situation to put myself in, I had no reason to believe...well, it just wasn't something you thought of as you get in your friend's boyfriends vehicle. But he was in control of the situation, not me. I was not the one behind the wheel and as I tried to ask about his plans for her, things took an alarmingly horrific turn. He began to drive out of town, out of sight, out in the country to god knows where. "Where are you going?" I asked. "Oh, there's a place I need to go, we'll only be there a minute".
I was starting to get nervous, something was amiss. But for the life of me I couldn't think of what it was. I said I was naive back then, and believe me I was. We pulled into one of the fire station posts, I knew where we were, it wasn't but 5 or 7 miles away from my place. I figured maybe he forgot something here, I mean he is a volunteer firefighter. Makes sense....
"Come on in here, I want to show you something." Okaaay, this is odd but I'll see what's up. We walk into the place its dark you see. My eyes adjust a bit and I see a huge red fire truck. He flips on one light. I look around then turn and said, "so what's up".
"You owe me something." he said. what? what could I possibly owe him? my thoughts were scrambling, this was turning from bad to worse. He walked right up to me, pushed me up against that damn fire engine and lifted up my shirt as if he had every right to do so. I was shocked. Horrified. What the hell gives him the right to feel me up without my permission? "Stop.Stop!What are you doing?!" Not again. I was not about to let someone take something from me that they had no right to take from me, not again. I could feel the fear of my 4th grade horrors all over again. This man was not who my friend thought he was. This man was a filthy stinking leech who ought to have been skewered on a hot bed of coals. But he was a big man who was used to throwing his weight around. He did not expect me to be so flexible, the look on his face as I wrangled my way out of a stronghold no woman could have rightly gotten herself out of without being hurt. But then there was a gleam in his eyes in the next instant. He was surprised at the move but liked what ideas it brought to his mind.
I stepped backwards,"Take me back. If you do not leave me alone and take me back to town, I swear to god I'll have your ass!" He stopped then. starred at me as if to judge my words and my disheveled looking appearance, what could a girl like me possibly do to him? But something made him stop, whether it was his own doing or my words I don't know, but he walked out. I shuddered, fixed my bra and shirt back into place, realizing he had torn both. How was I going to explain that? It was 10 miles back to town, I would have walked it had it not been so chilly. I would've walked back to my own house, but the distance was basically the same. I wanted to be near people I trusted. My personal space had been violated. The whole ride back I did nothing but stare out the window, keeping the tears from falling and thinking to myself "why me?" I never told a soul what happened.
I avoided Chrissy after that. And I never make the same mistake twice, I never went near that disgusting, repulsive bastard ever again. But it was the first of several lessons I would learn about what men were and weren't capable of.
Granny Hila also passed away this year. She died two weeks before her 100th birthday. One of my unconditionally loving, wise people was lost to me. I cried uncontrollably for two days. And then I made up my mind to go to the funeral. It was in Kentucky, school was in session, I would need to catch a ride down with Aunt Kathy and Uncle Gary, I'd be gone for a week. No mom, I'm going. End of story....and I did.
She is currently deemed Cancer free!!!!! I'm going to have to go out to dinner with her to celebrate! Good things do happen to people.....
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Senior year for me was crucial in many ways. I met a lot of people. I learned a lot of valueable lessons. I got a job at Wal-Mart. And I didn't have quite as strong a bubble as I do now. I was naive enough to believe that it wasn't all that neccessary anymore...
There was one event that occurred in school that just absolutely made me stop and rethink the whole no boys rule. Persistant boy and a friend of his were honored at a school assembly by the mayor and the police department. Why? Because they had run down a thief who had stolen some old lady's purse. Could a guy really care about others? Was it possible that he had really truly liked me all this time?? I knew that not all guys were like the ones I had known in my childhood, but it was hard to make my myself believe it. I was afraid of two things- the worry that I wouldn't know the difference between a good guy and a bad guy and the fear that a good guy wouldn't want me anyway. I never did tell that boy my revelation, but it did give me a freedom I'd never allowed for myself before. I should have read the warning labels...
At home,Phil used to tease me about needing to "burn the rubber off my tires". I was always gone. Before I got my license, Ryan had introduced us (Triana, Eddie, and me) to a group of people in C.C. who hung out at an abandoned lot in town. He didn't live down the street from us for very long. His father and him had a huge fight and so he went to live with his mother. Who lived in C.C. Which is where he met Shaun Phillips and Adam Pletcher. Ah, the many memories of the hilarious, but stupid things we did or the dire trouble some of us got into...
The Lot. that's what everyone in C.C. knew it by. We each had our cars lining that fairly large abondoned lot. I think I actually have some pictures floating around somewhere of the people down there. There is now an Auto & Tire place sitting on that lot. Guess the town got tired of seeing the eyesore of so many young people without something more constructive to do.
The age ranges were wide and varied. Some of them were as old as 25-28, maybe a few 30 somethings and then there were the pipsqueaks like me who had just turned 16 and Triana who was 15. The clothes we wore! there is still a running joke to this day about what sort of apparell Triana would like. Loud, bright, shiny shirts, cut off at the mid section- yes, I begrudgingly admit, she roped me into wearing a few... We could at that time wear the same size shirts and we swapped them all the time.
The things teenagers do when they have no fear. Drinking and a few other things were also a part of the mix, although I never actually drank there on that lot and never, ever have I put any sort of substance other than alcohol in my body willing. But there were a lot of people there that did use a variety of substances.
The people down at the Lot had a couple of things- first everyone had a C.B.(the little radio devices that truckers use alot to communicate and drive at the same time) and we each had a "handle" -a nickname if you will. No, you couldn't come up with your own nickname. And believe me, you were stuck with whatever amused them the most. Oddly enough, Triana never really got a nickname because they all had so much fun, making fun of ,the name she already had.
And that was the start to where Turtle was born. Ryan let it slip about how I seemed to take my time doing things, how my mother liked to refer to me as slow as turtle-hence the name. I was never on the same time frame as others, which is probably why I seem to have infinite amounts of patience in certain things.
Turtle, it stuck to me like a glue you just couldn't get off of you. The endless innuendos those boys could come up with were enough to turn me all sorts of shades of red. I remember the first time I was down there, I had curled my hair (trying to look a little more girly). I overheard many comments directed my way that I will NOT repeat here. And I swear my memory recalls a few stray whistles being let out. They were a loud, boisterous bunch of people.
As I began to warm up to the group, all inhibitions were gone.I hung out mostly with Ryan's group- Shaun (hmm.. I can't remember his nickname right now), Matt (Mork), Adam (Putts), Nate (NateDawg), Donnie, and Katie. Later on in the story you will meet Chris (Warlock), Tyson (Bushy), Kevin (Bigfoot), and a host of others- there really were a lot of people down there at that lot and its hard to recall everyone.
I had a lot of brass if you will. Can you believe I actually stood on top of a car all the way down a street once, while someone else was driving? I skied by the ball hitch in my shoes through a dirt alleyway. I went midnight swimming in a nearby lake My poor car suffered a severe trauma as Ice Man, as he was called, sat his huge frame on the hood of my car one night at the lake. There was literally an imprint of his ass on my hood as wide as my car, complete with the butt crack to match! You cannot believe the laughter everyone got out of that one.
I went to the field parties and went mudding (that's driving your vehicle crazily in someone elses field-kicking up as much mudd as you can.) These were all instances of my stubborn nature...don't ever tell me I won't do something, I'm liable to prove you wrong. I sometimes think my stubborness is also one of my weaknesses. But we did have one hell of a good time!
We also sat up at the truck stop for hours on end thru the night. Eating french fries and ranch dressing, with a bit of coffee thrown in there. Triana and I would listen to the jukebox alot, the song "She talks to Angels" by the Black Crows was our absolute favorite track on that jukebox.
There was no other place open 24 hours, and there was no other place (just like today) where young people could spend their time.They did have an arcade in there. There were many nights that I would drive home at 2-3 in the morning, only to turn around and go to school bright and early in the morning. Remember, there was never a curfew set for us...and when mom realized the implications, it was too late to harness me down.
I sometimes wish I had had better sense back then, because the events that would transpire from this point foward gave me reason to remember the childhood days..reason to remember never put your trust in those who it doesn't belong.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
"And just...Let her cry...if the tears fall down like rain. Let her sing...if it eases all her pain" quote from Hootie and the Blowfish's Let her Cry
A 1983 ford fairmont. Red interior, grayish green in color-similiar to the theme colors on Clay's blog- white pin stripping down the sides. A car that had been proudly owned by an old couple who decided that they needed to finally buy something more modern...a car that saw frightful events as I became the driver behind the wheel. A car that would one day be my freedom to my own demise..
The car sat in the driveway long before I could get my license you see- the driver's ed course I was able to take because I just barely made the cutoff for 15 year olds to attend. I would sit in that car for hours on end just thinking about where I would go, what I would do. It was my car. I had slaved in the corn fields in the wee hours of the morning before each driver's ed session at my first real job where a paycheck was involved . Corn de-tassling. It is a muddy, hand cutting, not really a job for a 5 footer since the corn is soo much taller than me job. But it paid for the driver's ed course and it paid for the car.
No more riding the bus to school- there was a kid named Max on the bus that I despised. He was a red headed brute, and he was one of those rare people who could make me so angry that I would react faster than I could think it through, which is why he ended up with a bloody nose one day and I had a bus load of idiots staring at me as though they couldn't believe what this small creature had done to him. I could not wait to stop riding that hour long bus trip to and from school everyday. But I had to wait til nearly the end of the school year for that. It would come soon enough, just not as fast as I wanted back then.
At school, I now had English class with Pamy and Ms. Knopp. My slacking was catching up with me...I needed to rectify that situation if I was going to graduate from school. I would doodle- frustrating Ms. Knopp when she knew I knew the material...and Pamy would sit by me everyday, even make me turn around so that she could check to see if I not only had my homework done-but that I had done it right! Pamy of all people checking my English papers...she's the one who spells everything backwards! But she cared enough to tell it to me truthfully, I needed to buck up and do the work, not for everyone else, but for myself.
I will relay two very funny instances that I believe happened in this school year. First Pamy would not talk to Triana for nearly a month, because she started wearing a nose ring to school. Now, at first we all thought it was because she thought it a stupid thing to do..so Triana showed her that it was just a fake, no biggie. But Pam really got mad then..oh my lord! It was so funny now that I think about it, but I tell you we were mystified as to why she was so upset. I mean heck, Danny (Danielle) wore dog collars to school- what was the problem with a fake nose ring????
Soon, Pamy finally broke down out of frustration- she looked at Triana and said," I'm not mad about the nose ring, I'm mad because your a fake. You would rather wear a fake ring instead of a real one. Instead of just being who you are. If you can't have enough balls to show who you really are, then there's no point in pretending is there?" It was a very insightful thing for someone to point out to Triana at that time in her life. And as far as I know, it still sticks with her to this day. Pamy was good at telling the truth, but in much more eloquent ways than I am. Although, I assure you she was more tom boyish than all of the rest of us put together with a short, stocky, yet pretty frame to match it (Pam could bench press more than the boys could on any given day), so she would probably not agree with me on the eloquence thing.
The other funny incident that I can recall, I wasn't there for, but heard about it that Monday in school. Pam was upset and mad about something while her and Triana were attending a basketball game (they didn't share my same opinion on the no boys rule). Triana, being the impulsive natured being that she is, could not think of a way to make her smile or get her attention. Finally, she took her licorice that she had in her mouth and put it on Pam's leg. They were wearing Khakis...I'm sure the pants she had on still bear the scars! All Pam could do was stare down at her leg and burst out laughing...only Triana would think putting something that had been chewed up and drooled all over it on someone else would be the perfect smile getter! Apparently she was right.
I was the "talk it out with and get her advice friend" for nearly everyone in our group.My friend Missy Shepherd was having trouble coming to terms with her own past and Danielle was venturing much further in the boys than she probably should have. I once went to a football game with Missy and Sandra (at their pleading) and Missy and I sat under the bleachers discussing her woes. She was adopted you see. Never knew her mother or father, and most likely never would. All she had was a bag of 22 pennies that she could remember getting from her the last time she saw her mother- when she was 4. I sang to Missy that night because she asked me too and I held her with my small arms outstretched around her shoulder frames. I'm not always good at giving hugs to others, but I could not bring myself to give her less. I let her cry it out, because that was the best medicine I could think to give.
Danielle needed a listening ear, someone to tell her that her mistakes did not mean that she wasn't a worthy person. She had crossed the intimacy line with someone and felt sure she was expecting. She had no idea what to do. I didn't have any ideas for her myself, so I gave what I could and prayed that was enough. Like Christina's sister Melissa, Danielle came across my path last year. She found me on myspace (again Triana had convinced me I needed a myspace account, it took me a year or more to do it) and told me how much that had meant to her, my being there unconditionally throughout her experience.
Now our friend Sandra, she could drive. She was a grade ahead of me. She had a more stable home life environment than the rest of us did- and every single one of us thought her younger brother Joe was the cutest thing that ever walked the earth. But I was closer to her than the rest of the group, because I was the first to get to know her and to accept her for just being her. She had a learning disability (that did not mean she was dumb, she was far from it actually) and she was no small girl, which as most high school age groups do- they made fun of her for. But on New Year's eve, Sandra and I had made plans to go midnight bowling. She drove in the snow. We began down the dirt road just down from her house. A black cat skittered across the road, she swerved to miss it, wrong move- there's ice there on the road and a huge drop off on the side of the road. Yep, we went down. The drop off was so steep that the car rolled over and landed upside down on the roof. You could see all the underbelly of the car with all four wheels up like a possum playing dead with all limbs sticking up.
Sandra was shaking like a leaf and I, the stick that I am, literally slid out from my seat belt an hit my head on the roof of the car... it took me a little bit to re-orient my brain from the disorientation. We both amazingly walked away without so much as scrape on us......can't say that for her car though.
So school had its ups and downs, downs and outs. Triana began seeing my brother at this point. And my brother was hanging out with the new kid who lived down the street from us, Ryan Rupert. Ryan was my age, and it was him who would introduce us to our night life friends that summer...but we will get there, I promise....
The school year began to draw to a close. Prom was coming and I didn't bother trying to find a date, but I did find a long, form fitting black & simple open back dress that I liked for 20 bucks at a local shop. If I wanted something, I had to find a way to buy it myself, so thriftiness was neccessary, not optional.Didn't bother me though, I was just feeling the need to feel good about myself for a change. So I went by myself. Mike, one of the guys I went to school with and didn't mind talking to occasionally, teased me about looking like a woman..."with my hair all done up and everything" he said. If it had been any other guy saying that, I probably would have taken the compliment the wrong way and decked them. But Mike was a shy sort who meant well.
Then May came along and a driving test and Whala! I was free to drive! So long home life....hello world. Or so I thought...
Monday, February 9, 2009
She was the Angel who saved me from disaster because she was disaster herself. There will be many people you will meet throughout these chronicles who in one way or another, made a lasting impression on me. Some were good, some were bad. All were lessons well worth remembering...
The first time we met was in choir. I am chuckling to myself right now at the irony in that statement.. she loves music, but cannot carry a tune to save her ass ;) She sat on my right side, not realizing I'm deaf in that ear and so began a timid friendship. She smiled, was polite, but refused to talk in more than one or two syllable sentences.. and people thought I was shy! It was the only class we really ever had together. It was through our short, but growing longer, conversations that I began to really get her. To form a friendship that is as strong as ever today. She introduced me to Pamy, Misty, and Danielle. I introduced her to Missy, Christina, Christina's sister Melissa, Inger,Sandra and my brother. Now there was something I didn't see coming..but that was because of how I viewed him.
We all ate lunch together( not my brother, he stayed well away from me), we all had a bond in common. Pam was our consistent one. She struggled with homework, but always made the grade. She would get so furious with me and Triana because we never had to study like she did in order to get the concepts. Misty was the thoughtful one. Danielle was our gothic chic. Christina & Inger were our "alternative lifestyle" couple, and Missy was chatty and Melissa was the little sister who was always standing around listening into the conversation saying, "Whatcha doing?" Not a one of us was alike, but most of us knew something about the pain that life sometimes brings.We never talked about those pains though, I think that was our common bond. That understanding.
It's a little nostalgic thinking of those days right now, Melissa recently passed away last October. She had been battling severe heart issues since she was 22. 4 major heart surgeries- 2 of which involved transplants. I was one of the last people to get to speak to her..all because her and her family had come into Habitat asking how to apply for a home the year before. I hadn't seen her since the day I graduated.
Soooo, back to the story. These were my friends at the high school. We laughed, we passed notes all the time. I did try to talk to a few other people in school, people who I thought were nice. One of the girls I graduated with I sat with one time at lunch.. I don't know how the subject came up, but it never, ever came up again. I learned a lesson about people from her. We somehow got on the subject of why I didn't talk all that much and I explained to her my short version of changing schools all the time and a few of the things that happened in my childhood. I learned very quickly-a reaffirmation of what I already knew but wanted to believe differently- that people don't want the truth because the truth is too hard to believe.
I could tell from the rapidly changing expressions on her face that she at first felt pity (like anyone needs that) and then after realizing she couldn't handle the words of the conversation- she assumed that somehow it was all made up, that somehow I would lie about those things. It was a sad assumption to make and it made me very aware of why it was important to not share too much with people. I could never bring myself to lie about anything you see, so the only thing I could do was simply not say anything. To be watchful and mindful of what to say and how to say it.
At home, Phil and Mom finally got married. I was still depressed and spent 90% of my time in my room. I even got into trouble for drawing a huge mural on my wall. It was beautiful, one of my best works during that time, but they went and got paneling to cover it up. Brown paneling with bears and forest scenery on it. My sister got to pick it out.
We constructed the barn. I had to use a manual post hole digger to dig 4 feet down, 2ftx 2ft, for nearly 16 square Amish cut posts. I was so mad at Eddie and Amy because they did not help much with that aspect of the building. We did the entire barn by ourselves. You should have seen me trying to carry a few sheets of shingles up a ladder and onto the soon to be roof. It was probably a sight to see!
Once we got the barn done, Phil bought us our first real live pony. Star was his name. That damn pony was the most fiesty thing I ever have encountered. But it was the gesture that meant so much. I was really wishing for a driver's license, a car, a way to get away. But the pony worked for now. I learned how to bail hay that summer- 50-75 pound bales, slinging them up on the wagon. I learned how to clean a horse stall. I learn how to clean out their feet. I learned how to ride-well ok somewhat, I admit that I was not very good riding at any rate. You would have laughed your ass off at the sight of me trying to ride bareback. It was like slow motion, watching me slide off from one side to the other. But that pony's belly was fat I tell you! How in the hell do you expect someone to keep their short ass legs wrapped around a horse who I'm sure felt smug at the fact that I could not stay on him without a saddle?!
It was that summer I took driver's ed. Phil taught me many lessons that I will forever remember, but this one still stands out. Mom and Phil didn't have the money to send me you see, but I asked him anyway. He made a deal with me, I find the money for the training course- he'd buy the car and insurance, as long as I paid it back. He looked at me and said after that "Always remember April, the worst anyone can ever tell you is no." He was telling me that No was not the end of the world and that there was always a way- you just have to find it yourself. He was always pointing out valueable life things. He once told me that I will be able to call few friends in life true friends. "You'll be lucky if you can count them on one hand." he said. He garnered much respect from me for having shown me how to do things myself, rather than doing it for me.
The start of my 11th grade year,was also the beginning of Triana's 360 degree personality change( her 10th grade year).The first was she chopped off all the long hair and it was now shoulder length. Second, there was no trace of shyness anywhere. She tried out for every stinking sport event there was I think! Not me, sports was not for me. I am hopelessly clumsy. We didn't live very far away from each other and soon, she riding her horse over to my house across many neighboring fields. Leave it to her to turn American life into a past time western show...
But it was when I got my driver's license and car that things really got interesting.....