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Red Lipstick Takes You Everywhere


Miami, Florida, United States
December 31
Ghost Writer Extraordinaire
Siren Publications
"I'm the greatest little hoper that ever lived." -Dorothy Parker


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FEBRUARY 11, 2012 10:47AM

Black Loam

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"We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam.” Ray Bradury 451 

The older I get, the more I realize how young I used to be.  I was bitter in my twenties, when youth and cynicism are a luxury. A cigarette dangling from my lips, sluggish from grief eating (I went to Thailand to do a raw food detox) and was just so frustrated about everything. I had no support from anyone. I was working three teaching jobs (day school -night school -summer school and doing home school tutoring) while my father was generously handing out money to everyone but me. My father’s one of many mistresses turned wife went so far as to brag about how much money they had when I was around. Yep, she’s classy. My family was so unfairly critical of me that I was afraid to admit any weakness even to myself bc I was overwhelmed with criticism and defeat. I was raised upon denial, we were Catholic God was just testing us bc we were bad children. When I confessed to my mother that I hated my father, she told me I couldn't because he would pay for my college. Years later he reneged and was defensive that I even expected it; apparently he had strangers to impress. I finally allowed myself to openly hate him. Hate him I did. He never reached out to me after my mother's death, my serious neck injury, or when I was laid off at the museum-my dream job. Just as openly, he only felt apathy towards me. Now that I understand he is a sociopath, I know all my anger has been in vain. He could never love me just as a snake has no emotionally attachment to the very cute mouse it is eating.     

  Last week I talked about forgiveness at length and all this week the topic has come up over and over. My sister with dyspraxia called me last week to give me a family update. My Aunt Rita went to visit my Uncle in Chicago. Rita was left with the grandchildren when she promptly bad mouthed their grandmother -My Aunt Beatrice (my dad and uncle both married Irish women and both spent most of their marriages cheating on them.). I understand how upset these young children were because I had had it done to me so much when I was younger. They told an adult that actually did something about it. My Aunt Beatrice roared back. She told Aunt Rita that she had no right since at 60+ was not unmarried, without kids and therefore grandkids to judge Aunt Beatrice. Raising kids in theory is much easier than in reality. There was no need for my Aunt Rita's words; it breaks a child's heart to hear bad things about their loved ones. Aunt Rita was given an hour to pack and my Uncle would drive her to the airport, Aunt Beatrice was not interested in apologies, and her grandkids had to be protected.Aunt Rita protested to deaf ears. She was forced on the plane full of self-defensiveness. She called Chicago when she arrived in Miami, they refused her calls and are doing so to this day. Finally, someone put her in her place.    

    My flamboyantly gay uncle Delio who was heavily into black magic called Santeria. He placed curses on family members and the family is convinced he placed the death spell that caused my mother's aggressive cancer. As a child he would call us using double lines and one of my aunts would stay quiet listening in. When I figured this out, I would wait for him to hang up and he would get angry. Hang up he would tell me, you go first I told him. A 33 year old arguing with and 8 year old. To this day, I do not understand how someone would do this. My mother treated him like a younger brother and always lent him money. Delio felt he was an eternal child who was in competition with his siblings' offspring. He delighted and brought about my family’s downfall with his venomous words and actions. Now he sits in a nursing home having a brain tumor on his brain stem that is inoperable. I wish him an easy death that my moth He purposely made himself an enemy to a newly transplanted to Miami 8 year old child.   

   Aunt Cuca has her place this week as well. She apologized to my sisters for being a mean girl to my mother and participating in my father’s turning against us. She wanted my father  to renounce us, something she would never do to her own sons one with Tourette’s and the other a druggie.

       Do you know what it meant to me? Nothing, the damage has been done. I think she is sorry that is what she will be remembered for being a hellacious bitch. Given the right circumstances-a functioning time machine-my 3 family members would do it all again and then try to make me feel like a bad person for not forgiving them.    

     Last night I had a dream after I went to see my neighbor play a small show, I was in Bosnia-Herzegovina travelling through a field with my German Shepard mix Gladys, two foxes came up to attack her, I unleashed a beating on both of them and when they left her alone, I tried to go after them again, “No” my internal voice said “they can’t hurt you anymore, let them go.” I think my dream was telling me to accept those who had trespassed against me starting at such a young age and let them go.  

   The universe will have to forgive them. My job is to accept them and move on. I can’t engage in the denial they want me to believe is forgiveness. Maybe they have taught me lessons I am still too annoyed to figure out, they are immature adults yet their stories are interesting.  A mishmash of my aunts made it into my novel and although the character is barely sketched out in the first serious draft she will be more developed in the second draft. A good thing after all in some ways, in other I would have loved loving, sweet aunts but more important I would love some flowers to go with the rain and black loam. White roses are my favorite. 

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Now that you let it out, you will be able to let it go. May your garden be filled with a bed of a thousand white roses. R
Thank you!!! Making use of the black loam and good rain.
I suppose you must have been told this before, but it seems that the only one you can't seem to forgive, is you. Which is silly because you've made up reasons to be critical of yourself and hold onto the criticism like a bagde of courage. Let it go. There is a song by Dar Williams that I think you would find interesting as it talks about this concept, the song is called "What do you hear in these sounds".
The universe is in perfect order; it is innocent of what humans do. Our immediate environments--bad people, good people or in between-- help educate us so that we can groom ourselves to the best image we can be. I am sure that is what any God would want. Nice piece. R
Enjoyed your piece. Reminds me of my own path, aka road less taken. Hate traffic.
You definitely have the instincts of a writer -- character sense and what enchants. Please do be careful of taking a real life situation and carving space story - wise. It's an autobiographical trap that we can fall into -- done it myself.
And I look forward to more of your renderings, colored with the breath of you in its needy loam.

An interesting take on forgiveness vs. denial. Thank you for the comments.
Quite a catalogue of disfunction.
Expertly catalogued.
“ I can’t engage in the denial they want me to believe is forgiveness…”
Ok but… “ yet their stories are interesting “…

That is the f-ing key. F. forgiveness. Get revenge by eating their damn heads.
White roses with the rain and black loam... :-) Feels like Portland, one of my favorite places to write! And congrats on finishing the first draft of your novel, hopefully the rewrites and other drafts will come effortlessly. So enjoyed Black Loam and I look forward to reading more. R :-)
What a powerful dream...and moving history. Forgiveness...what a lifelong struggle that can be. Moments of it occur than fly out the window again. May your foxes stay at bay.