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ROCK

The stone is silent, not mute. It was buried deep within my being, awaiting it´s truth to be heard and seen. I am ROCK solid. The one some cast away at sea or try to hide. I carry Truth. Truth that is gritty makes some turn away. Are you strong enough to stay?

No Pain, No Gain

ROCK has pulled LittleMe to her feet; she complains they feel like lead. He pushes her up a few stairs and taps on the small door that reads, “21”. LittleMe pulls out the small, tattered box marked Santa Fe. Shall we have a look? LittleMe remembers her abilities, her abled body, her dance, her talent and wants to throw it in the fire, the piping hot flames whisper burn, burn, burn them. ROCK taps on her head gently and forces her to remember. What strength in those little legs, the ones that ran up through the #SangredeCristo trails and fled from her past, masked her anguish and gave her courage.

Photo by Raychel Sanner on Pexels.com

She had such drive and focus on healing, yet she still did not know what exactly made her feel she must seek refuge in the wilds of the southwest’s terrain. New air. Air so clean, skies so large and blue, the kind of blue that makes a person wonder what is beyond. Her heart sped through each memory and her body could out run them all; out swim them all, out drink them all, oust them, joust them and yet, never tame them. She thought she was far enough away that she could move forward and not remember. She thought she knew what love was and that it would last beyond the desert sunrise, beyond the discovery of desire and lust. LittleMe looks in the eyes of the person she loved then and perhaps a bit of her will always be grateful for the nudge in her self esteem this human gave her even if it didn’t last. This love said as if all at once when she was shaking, “you are the most beautiful woman everywhere we go; that’s why people stare at you”, then what seemed minutes later but was perhaps some months from then, “my mother doesn’t think you are the kind of woman for me; you will not be as educated as I will be and you could hold me back.” Yes. It’s so. His MOTHER SAID….said LittleMe was not enough. She couldn’t be; she wanted to be, yet she had no inkling how to change into Boston College material or a Vasser girl. Not then. She only knew how to please. It’s as if she had been cursed with promises, all broken ones, and that she had to continue to hide, run and escape the world she found so desperate to beat her. Twenty-one years old LittleMe was having a birthday extravaganza with two bright young women, one became a professor of something and the other who knows. They were the kind that fit the east coast’s mold; they had parents who embellished them to embrace their college years and let them sow their youth whimsically in Santa Fe awhile, parents to support their play time, loved ones who flew out to see them and sent them care packages for fun. They saw LittleMe as one of them. She was not. She was splintered plywood, J.C. Penny’s, the sales rack, the book never checked out from the library and an unfinished year of community college; yet her beauty, her eyes, her perfectly formed body that was encapsulating her grief served as her pass to be part of someone’s life, just for awhile. Someone who was from old money, scholarly, men in suits and ties and enchanting, that is until the lover’s mother said LittleMe was not suitable for engagement. So she ate peyote, did shots of tequila and drank Tecate with the two better young women, the more than she could be types and the lover who needed her to move on wanted her so desperately back that birthday night, to own her flesh again, to make one last toast with Roxy Music in the background and with pools of hot salt water tears rolling down her cheeks, she said no. No. No he could not have her, he could not want her, he could not taste her, feel her or use her laughter or charm for his arm anymore. He compared her to the fragile “Norma Jean” while her very brilliant friends held her long, thick frosted hair away from her face as she vomited up her birthday cake. Twenty one and alone, vulnerable as a newborn giraffe on the African plains, struggling to get up on her wobbly legs before the sprinting prey discovered her smell, she began again. And again. Goodbye Norma Jean still is haunting, not being suitable or enough lingers like sour stomach acid rising into the throat. Her body is weak in it’s structure, soon fifty-nine and beauty is no longer enough. She can’t run from herself now, from anyone or any pain. ROCK snatches this box of time away and knows she is breakable yet ROCK is sure now of one merger that has come with time; her physical pain is so blinding, so smothering that now what is inside her heart and what weakens her sense of self matches perfectly well with her frail bones which holds her NOT ENOUGH memories together.

I Can Write What I Want

I am free here. ROCK says this is my playground and my rules RULE! I DoNOtHaVe2UsE PROPer punK CHEW-A.SHUN. I don’t have to please anyone, not even myself. I will ignore this attempt of LittleMe to run away with this childish notion for now. Nearing complete darkness the lake is not visible from the bedside window. Rain and scrawny trees and the reflection of three candles are front stage. Enter left, a door open just enough to be welcoming and polite yet it desperatly wants to be slammed shut. NO. The door wants for nothing. It’s an object says my inner creative writing professor. I am not an object. I am objectified. I can slam the door. If I stand up and slam the door the door will instantly alert others to my inner turmoil and strife. I don’t want to alert anyone. I have decided being unneccessary, unwanted or ambivolent is my new bag. I will write and write and write and no one can take that from me. No one can take me from me here. I need me. I need to be me. And if I scream from these pages in sadness, fury or hum softly with a lonesome hint of life, I can do just that. Now, HERE! is where my life is and there will be pauses for the mundane overtures of living but I will never come out of this palace of words and real trust that ROCK gives me. I won’t be needing much of anything again. Just me, ROCK, past, NOW, a minute from now, two days from now, to the end of me. ROCK dies with me. I am not alone with ROCK. I do not know why I ever thought I was special outside of this cemented stairwell and why I desired the light everyone finds a need to grapple for. Light leads me right back down to the cold, gray and ridged walls of reality. I smile at the familiarity. Happiness is not obtainable for everyone; it’s a whole lot of work and repetition of worn out half truths and dried flowers that should be thrown out. I don’t have to be liked or loved or ever seen again, for afterall, who I am is only between me and the hand that drives my pen or the fingers which type these thoughts. My heart is much too complicated for my brain. The question I am tossing up is ( *no one can answer me* ) should I listen to my brain and write about my heart or listen to my heart and write about my brain? Now there is a cunundrum. Cunundrum. CUN. NUN. DRUM. UNDRUM. Crummy word.

What Am I Doing In Sweden? I Don’t belong in Nashville. But, I can sing.

Listen to My Heart Speak

The words reverberate as the blood pumps through my chest; a knocking on my chest wall, much faster than a gentle beat. I am trying to reach you. I am bleeding with wounds that no longer heal with a simple apology. I am saving myself, tourniquet on tight from being no one again. I don’t need a love that questions my intentions. Silence is fearful for the answer is to only give of me without authenticity, a lost soul clinging to what was what I believed my haven. I am cold and it frightens me to listen to my own heart beat out of step with you.

Darkness in My Sky

I believe other people see me. I believe I am simple and my altruistic heart is understood. I have found those who claim to love me most deliver me my worst pain; I am a disturbing, empathetically redundant woman. I feel emotions and I feel love, always wanting to make a difference in this life but seem to fail. I too may need saving. I can’t bare to look up and see the stars beauty and feel alone. There is a song..a song we know well. Something special. Is it, “Oh darling please don’t let me be misunderstood”? Regardless, I am alone with my heart, my life as it is and yes, I am afraid. I was afraid from a very young age and after fifty plus years I still live in fear of hurt. Thank you ROCK for sparing me. If it was not for your sheath, your solid house that encompasses me I don’t know if I would still be alive. I live for my only child and gave up on my own shadow and dreams of love. Now, it is my devotion to my daughter that gets me on my feet, even if I must stand on hot coal and a bed of nails in my naked Truth.

ORDER! Stand Up!

ROCK guides LittleMe up, up, up and OUT! The sky although fairly clear is exposing, threatening, a violation of her fear. Hesitant ROCK pushes her into the light and shows her what real fear is. There, the children with swollen bellies and caved in eyes; There the fish floating dead on the polluted waters; There the Roma, nomadic woman forced on the street corner to beg for money; There the child abandoned because his mother was infiltrated by addictions she could not escape; People broken by loveless fathers, families and lovers. Look! Are you alone? Are you sufferring in self pity or is your hurt, your worth, your being more worthy? It’s the question of philospher’s for thousands of years, nothing one woman or man can answer. Bow to your pain, repent. LittleMe wants to hide, not know anymore than she does and Life is like that tiny shift an old house makes year after year until one day someone says, this house is not level. It is crooked and bent and needs so much work. Work that costs money, time, passion, drive, and it will take a very unique person to take on this mess, unveil it’s beauty, release it’s memories, embrace it’s dream.

Tiny Box of Treasures

Light delicatly flows down the stairwell and surrounds LittleMe who is carefully pulling out a box of good memories; ROCK stands guard so that noone interrupts her stolen moments of happiness. The box is cardboard and has a tattered top and freyed twine tied around it to hold them tight. Each memory is embraced, sometimes hastily before her pain comes rushing in like a flash flood.

Sitting in a crouched position in a concrete draining pipe that goes under a paved street, LittleMe presses her sneakers against one side of the tunnel and with her back curving in sync with the tubular safe place she watches the water flow past and under her bent knees, careful not to let her shoes get wet. The creek unnamed traveled along her mother’s property where it met the tunnel and gathered into a pool on the other side where crawdaddy’s and frogs were abundant. The local kids on her dead end street often met up at the creek’s murky pond on the relentless boiling hot summer days and their plans would unwind from there. The creek continued on from the meeting point winding further on to other neighbor’s yards and emptied into a large lake. The lake was said to be full of cotton mouths and water moccasins; on the trail through the high grass were stretches of thick brumble where copperheads made their nests and boys were always daring others to go into the great abyss that was beyond the paved street. At the road’s circular end were mysterious grounds with two homes. One was unkempt and unlike the rest of the homes which had pretty lawns and gardens and it was known that the parents to three of the Jackstaff Drive gang were poverty stricken. They had a dog that followed all of the children around named Buffy. Buffy had long worms dangling from her butt and everyone would run from her. She was a shiny black, and a fairly big mixed breed and had many litters of puppies. She was always where the kids were hanging out. On the other side of the dead end was a large, well kept white house with an elderly woman and her grown-up mentally challenged son. Some days this man would come to the creek and want to follow the kids around. His name was Benny. In the tunnel I was quiet, no one knew but one very special girl pal that I hid in there. I could hear the boys teasing Benny and screaming with laughter at Buffy’s worms. They asked Benny to unzip his pants and pee and he did. LittleMe wanted no part in that and began to stick damp moss onto the tunnel walls. Shapes of hearts, peace signs and smiley faces stuck well to the inside of the tunnel once they dried. Inside this make shift haven LittleMe’s dog who was a peek-a-poo named Bridgette-Marie would sit by her loyaly and also escape from the burning heat. This tunnel was where much reflection occurred about good and bad things and in between not much of nothing things. Why did she feel so apart from the rest of the kids on the street? Likely because they got into a lot of trouble for sure and she wanted no part in that. The dares were horrendous and involved knocking on Benny’s mother’s door and hiding, sneaking up to the local high school principle’s windows and peeking in, climbing over fences with signs which read “keep out”, “private property” and “violaters will be prosecuted” and more. After dinner they’d go out again when the lightening bugs were plentiful and dusk made hide and seek the perfect game. LittleMe liked to lay on the grass sharing stories with her best girlfriend. Slapping mosquitos was a full time job and often everyone would roll down a huge grassy knoll that ended at the creek to find relief from the pesky night time creepers. The memory which is held so dear is simplicity. No worries, no fear, just summer slowly unfolding. The memory of coming inside the air conditioned house, being checked for ticks then plopping into a vinyl yellow bean bag chair in front of the television. The ease of not knowing much. The freedom from dark pain and muddled feelings. The memory of getting into bed and not lieing awake with worries and old BaDDaD flashbacks. The box is closed and soon tucked away for now and in the night, before the dreams come LittleMe begs her brain to forget. Rain falls and the light has slipped away. ROCK pulls her up and encourages her to be strong. LittleMe listens and ties the purity of youth up with the freyed twine, tiny tears form and she huddles under an old quilt in between peace and pain.

ROCK Hates Christmas

I am so small, an insignificant piece of lint stepped on or wedged into the stairwell and the cement walls. No one sees me and I am fine with that now. ROCK never allows me to come forward during meaningful holidays because I will be sad or insecure and always forgotten. I lie on a step, covered with leaves which have not been swept away. The memory of a party I went to with BaD DaD when he was in town for Christmas is clear. I look up at the light under the door and I can hear laughter from adults who are playing loud Christmas music, smoking weed and drinking heavily. I am in the basement room, it’s huge and there are so many other kids. It’s supposed to be fun but it’s not. I don’t know any of them and now and then someone opens the door and tosses us candy and a television blasts through the pack of wild children’s screaming and running like feral cats, hopping over furniture like hares and all the toys are deafening to me. Firetrucks with sirens, rolling bubble poppers clacking and pillows and stuffed animals are being thrown in every direction. I want to go to my paternal Grandmother’s. It’s Christmas eve and that’s where I feel safest when BaD DaD picks me up from my mother when he visits. Her house smells of cigarettes, cat urine, cat food and is full of antiques, dusty and dark brown. In my room there I have a little elf in striped red and white pajamas and peppermint candy in a drawer. I climb the steps and open the door to the adults who are not paying attention and look for my father. He is stumbling around and half dancing while trying to stay upright. This is my ride back to my grandmother’s. I don’t think how I could use a telephone to call my mother or grandmother to come and get me. I am crying to leave and my father says this is “a fun Christmas party, stop being so whiny, go play with the other kids”. A woman takes my hand and opens the basement door again and after that they lock it so we can’t get out. I sit with a little stuffed puppy and study his fake eyes. I believe he knows how I feel. I rub my fingers over the glossy brown eyes. I fall asleep there, amongst the noise and pull my coat over my head. BaD DaD doesn’t come for me. When I do wake up I am in the car; he must have managed to carry me. It’s blurry and we get safely to my grandmother’s and he can’t get the key to open the door. I am cold and he rings and rings the door bell. My grandfather comes to the door; he has a big tummy and is in a pair of matching flannel pajama pants and shirt and black leather slippers. He opens the door and stares at BaD Dad and I see he is angry. He isn’t BaD Dad’s real father. He is the vice mayor, a state legislature, a respected man and doesn’t drink alcohol. He makes BaD DaD lay on the sofa then walks down the carpeted hallway, lined with photos of my family and to my grandmother who takes me to the bathroom and helps me brush my teeth and change into my pajamas. When I get to my bed, she tucks me in and when she leaves, I quietly open the drawer of my nightstand and pull out my tiny elf, eat some peppermint and I see peeking through the wide metal blinds the sun beginning to rise. Merry Christmas morning is already coming and I fall into a deep sleep with my stuffed puppy and elf wondering if Santa Claus has missed me because I wasn’t home in my bed dreaming of sugar plums or saying my Christmas prayers. The leaves beneath me on this step are mushy and wet from my tears shed on so many “gone wrong” nights with BaD Dad.

Oh, Suzanna.

Our abusers, be they family or not leave an imprint. BaD DaD could play the harmonica and the good times were real. Keeping the “Healing Contract” of NO CONTACT is very difficult during the holidays. “LittleMe” and ROCK know this time is often painful, melancholy and bittersweet. If you feel weak, buckle down, as this is your time to share Safe 💕 Love. That means caring for your own heart with delicate and real life protecting mechanisms. No matter what good you might recall, toxic and selfish parents, spouses and relatives do not get immunity because of any special holiday you might celebrate. They will never change. YOU must be the one who continues to heal, protect and promise that you, like “LittleMe” will remain strong and enough. Love YOU first.

Lullabye Baby

On the last night I sat with you in an old rocker somewhere new, you told me I was all you had, how much I meant and you were sad. Your tears fell and you held me tight, I cried too on that last night. Parting was always tough, knowing that was enough. I never told how you behaved because your tears of sorrow were so engraved, in my heart and in my mind I returned to mother without a sign. I never knew how to handle you, how to make you happy and cease your blues. I was a child, you were my guide not a toy to carry by your side. Like a spell was cast, I followed your lead, I was a sprout and you were the seed.

Rockabye baby fell for your song, thinking I was so special and our bond so strong. I grew up and now I see you were not trying to comfort me. In that old rocker, in some place new I believed I belonged to you. I was a manifestation of lover’s guilt, not a blanket or handsewn quilt. I did all I could to be in your life, but your need for me faded wife after wife. I am a reminder of what you are not, I am the Truth which you wanted stopped. Lullaby lies, lyrics so sweet I carried your song and was thrown on the street. You told me no one could take my place yet turned from me to save your face. You are no longer number one, yelling at me that I was no one. “You are not part of this family” the words stung and broke our old melody. To be part of your present I had to close my eyes while you made more children and told them more lies.

The song is finished, I long to weep for your love for me was never deep. Oh Father, how could you grow so cold when year after year I never told. You made me to look like I was the cause of all the chaos and you got applause. I looked back at you and your younger wife and you made it clear I was not part of your life. It’s been eighteen years and three months since you kicked my heart without a wince. The lullaby memories, the lullaby years all an illusion with lullaby tears.

Hurt

Anguish has it’s own disguise, buried deep behind old lies; I know it’s in me, I feel it’s heat burning in an endless heap. No matter how I try to slip away, it beckons me back everyday;
Tarred and feathered, scalded skin falls from me again and again. I’ve felt this way for so very long it’s embers are like a favorite song; lyrics I can n’er forget sung in a whisper under my breath.
An old love from another time, a flame from the past, that’s softly mine. My eyes are glassy as I stare at the fire, not from it’s heat but my past which Hate devours;
A moment of me or perhaps an hour, slowly my spirit bows to it’s unwanted power. The fight began fast as I entered this world, through the canal of a woman who’d never been heard. Oh, Hurt how much can you take, from a child or a mother, who’s next at stake?
I am not alone with you I’m sure of that. I see in the eyes of strangers, a deep lost stare, where are they really, is it you in there? Oh, Hurt why do you live in a hungry baby’s cry, taking from a milkless breast, why oh why? Must you bury so deep a nest?
If I could do just one thing, it would be to eradicate everything. All that you create, your determined drive to exist in the souls of all who’ve survived. I am a warrior, you my beast, I won’t let you steal my love and feast.
You may burn and cut me from your darkened well, but I will fight you and make your hell a place that screams when I knock you down, backwards and over until you will drown.
If you try to rise again, I will recognize you over again. An endless loop of hide and seek, I’ll beat you until you can not speak. Hurt, you take away so many lives, you shorten days and cause mournful cries. You do not try to redeem yourself, you take, take, take and live on wealth.
You dictate the hearts of madmen and fool’s, no one’s too good, for you have no rules. Each scar you leave peels slowly away at the heart of humanity day by day. Oh, Hurt. It’s not just me. I am not alone with you I see.
I feel the new wind, the autumnal change and know I need to rise again. You are not my master, or keeper more. I am one step ahead, my feet on the floor. Oh, Hurt how you deceive, and take us back to memories, the ones that swell and take our hope, the ones that we run from, you envelope.
Today I see you so clear, and my tears do fall but not in fear of you at all. You stole my childhood so you thought yet I have my own trunks of good times locked. See, Hurt you are not the King, I have treasures you haven’t seen. I see laughter in places you can not go, Love all around, and you aren’t in the show. Hurt, I can not save all it’s true, the lonely starved victims you’ve kept for you, I can only rise up each day, push you down and go my way. Hurt, you are not my almighty guest, now leave as I bow to resist.
I am no Goddess nor magician, I only have my intuition. You are here to make us see, that Love will always conquer thee. So though I lay my sword down to rest, never think you’ve won this test. I may cry and I may faulter yet I will always kneel at Love’s alter.