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Hometown

Maybe I do use you as a journal. Or at least, I always think of something else I'd meant to tell you.
Like how tonight I remet a semi-pro wrestler who had never watched a UFC fight before. He sat in the purple lawn chair I brought and laughed when I noticed how much a man on tv looked like a fish. It wasn't a racial thing. Although living here has taught me that just because I don't consider race doesn't mean other people don't.
After he won, Brock Lesner used his mic time to plead with all nationalities to work together. Twitter thinks he was referring to Dallas.
It's so strange to me how cities are becoming events. San Bernadino. Orlando. Dallas. I wonder how long it'll be until they go back to being just places again.
I'd be scared just about anywhere at this point. Not because of guns or extremists. Just of new people. It worked out for me in this mildly dangerous city thanks to my partner and his friends and their kindness that is somehow strong here and not weak like when I tried to wield it elsewhere.
Anyway, I have to try to find out why my gray and white cat is suddenly afraid of the sound the treat box makes when I snap it open. No one should be afraid of the sound of food. Sun chips are pushing it with those bags tho, amirite?

Lord, I miss Daniel.

I never really understood Ian McKellan's praise for the rhyming of, "fool of a Took!" until just now when I had "dearly" and "dreary" at the end of consecutive lines in a haiku. I always understood the assonance aspect of it but never saw the beauty of it.
I'm easing back into writing. I'm not sure why I stopped. But it's baby steps with haikus on Twitter. It keeps me from taking myself or my compositions too seriously and also gives me a sense of obligation to meet non-existant daily deadlines for whatever reason.

I've been thinking a lot about all the wrong things. They race with each other for my attention when I only want to sleep.

I hate that I don't know when Doug's flights are and the way I turn into the wife on the widow's walk in Cape Cod staring at clouds for tales of weather and safety. And I can't stop humming that Elton John song about Daniel who is traveling tonight on a plane.
He's not mine to miss in any case.
So I'll catch up on some reading about Vision from the movies and find a way back to the depths my tip-toes crave.

Don't you dare skip Olympic Park Beach.

Terror

There's a lot of bad happening in the world.
And yet I'm focused on how loud my neighbors are or how often they smoke too close to my door.
Or the way the grocery store cant figure out that they need more than two cashiers at busy times of the day. Or the lady in line in front of me with 5 items - a seemingly good choice to get behind - who tells the 75+ year old cashier she has 5 separate orders that are all tax exempt.
Or the way yarn breaks when im just trying to finish the goddamn hat.
I, me, mine.
Because its easier to be present in your own life when it becomes the least scary thing. I don't want to travel right now. I barely want to turn the tv on.
But I wish my friend would rely on me heavier during her break-up so I can react to something with self-righteous indignation.
It's safer to be angry at the small things. It makes the world smaller and easier to understand. Like a paperweight that should shatter but only ever really just thuds and rolls when you drop it.

Birthday Hospital


My dad was admitted to the ICU from his recovery center on my sister's birthday.
She called me - too early and sobbing - to ask me to go visit him since she couldn't make it back to town. Then my mom texted to ask what time I wanted her to take me there. This is how my family traps me.

It was mostly fine to see him. I teared up when I saw my Grandma's condition and when my dad was so shocked to see me. Like I used to be when he would show up at the door after weeks or months of not seeing him when I was little. Turns out he wasn't dying. Something about dangerously low blood counts.
There had been other emergencies that landed him in the hospital that I was never bothered for. I'm not sure why this one was any different or required me.
Because I showed up there, though, I was expected to go back. He called to try to bully me into coming to watch America's Got Talent one night, but I hate that show and couldn't see driving home from the hospital at 10pm. But I went back the next day after much prodding from my mother, my grandmother, and my Aunt (all of which I ignored).

That visit was not "not all that bad" as my boyfriend assessed upon our departure. He had been busy handling various business type things on his phone while I listened to my dad tell me about the life he should've lived. My Aunt had encouraged me to talk about the old times to keep his spirits up - my childhood before my stupid needy sister was born. And we did that for a while. He told embittered versions of the times I had thrown up on him or made him chase me through the baseball fields - all ending with jokes about how he never really liked me much.
When the meds started talking, I heard about the old times that he wanted to talk about. The life he used to have and imagined in front of him now. The one with his highschool teammates from his baseball and football teams who could've cheered him up (I did a terrible job apparently - he broke down and told me to please tell my sister that he's scared shitless and doesn't know how much longer he can do this). The life with a woman named Patty who would've made him a better man and a better father to their children.
Their children.
Not the ones he had with my mother - that bitch.
He should've been with Patty from the beginning - the love of his life. They've been together for the last 50 years in their hearts.

I had no emotional reaction to any of that at the time. I remember thinking that I didn't think I cared if he was scared or not. I flashed back to all the times I would start to ask him something - anything - when he was watching TV and always got "I don't care" as a response regardless of if I had even finished asking.

As it turns out, Patty is a real person. My Aunt has her in the text group where she gives updates on my dad's condition and next steps.
Not that my Aunt could be bothered to even respond to the text I sent her about who the Patty in the texts was. My mom's response when I asked her about it was "could be."
It was my sister who finally told me that it's true; she's talked to Patty several times; Patty feels a spiritual connection to my father and always has - since they were kids. I looked her up on FB. She looks a little bit like my mom. Just happier.

I've been bombarded with invites and offers for rides to go visit him again but I don't think I will. He's not dying. I don't have anything else to say to him. And I can't go there and hear his regrets that don't involve missing out on my sister and I.
It took a full five days for me to recover from it. I'm still so fucking angry.
I knew walking out of there that I wasn't loved - maybe ever. And that even if that's an over-reaction because of his intentions or his meds, it was the legacy that he gave me the day he left and every day after that when he still didn't give a shit about us.
It's not my responsibility to give a shit now.
It's not fair for these people to keep making me try to.

edit:
The poetry that my thoughts so often rise and fall in has been largely lost this year. I still glimpse it in my dreams but can't seem to pull it out. I know it's not lost but I sure do miss it when I reread these entries. My apologies. My life is not nearly so dire as my father's circumstances or the ones I find myself contemplating when he's around. I'm in the middle of it at the moment but will surely greet you smiling on the other side.

Olden tomes

I sat down to reply to a letter and felt so shaken up about the things in my head that I pulled out my old hard copy of my oldest entries from this site that are long since deleted for some dumb reason or another.

One of the first things I came across was  my father's absence.

It's been so long that I don't even remember the you I was referring to.

I'll see about any other gems.

Daddy Issues Part 2

Early last week, I had vented to my mother about my sister's incessant guilt mongering. But her response was more of the same. She said she thinks it's sad that "Daddy" is dying and that we all need to work together to help out so that when his life ends we're all still around to grieve together without feeling any regret.

But the thing is, I've already grieved for my father.

I grieved during the years that he ignored me.
I grieved after they told us they were getting divorced.
I grieved after the divorce when my mom begged for help with her abusive boyfriend but found none from my father.

And after a while, after years of less and less interaction, I grieved for the relationship that I never had and would never have with this man. Or his parents. Or my cousins.

I even had to grieve after happy things like my mom's marriage to a nice man who had nice kids who looked and acted and achieved success the way my mom's family should. But I was never part of that picture. I belong with my dad's side of the family. The ones with dark eyes and meaningful memories. I followed their path without ever knowing it was laid out before me. Because I'm one of them. And that's just what we do. Except I never knew that so
I just always felt lost and alone.

I grieved for my own wedding when my father didn't tear up at the thought of losing his baby girl, but fought with me about music and slapped my ass in front of God, friends, and family at the end of the aisle that he talked me into letting him walk me down. Good game. I lose.

I grieved for my sister's unfaltering loyalty to the man. She was able to connect with him despite being one of my mother's people. She was rewarded with sarcasm and racist jokes and his time. And a well-adjusted outlook. And emotional health.

I grieved for my chance to settle these scores with my father the day I found out he had the type of brain cancer that's not operable because it's the burrowing kind that just keeps erasing body functions and memories. I'm never going to get my righteously angry speech.
Or an apology.
Or any kind of closure.

I'm all set on the grieving portion of this thing. And I won't be going through it twice just to satisfy what people I can't relate to think is the correct way to handle things. But my mom and sister can't understand such a harsh logic.

So when I had the chance to choose any shift I wanted at my workplace, I chose the one that would give me the biggest excuse. So no, sorry, I can't take him or pick him up or get groceries or medicine - I have to work. Sunday - Thursday 8-5. I'm not going to "come around" or change my mind.
I'm just going to go to work.
And no, I don't feel bad about it.
I don't feel anything.

Daddy Issues Part 1

So my dad was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.
The dad I see once every six or seven years or so.
And I'm having a hard time deciding what my role should be.

The last time I saw him before he got sick was around Christmas. My sister, my boyfriend, and I met him for lunch at Applebee's. It was the least awful I can remember it being. Which made it worse, really. I was just starting to process his new-found interest in having a more frequent relationship with my sister and I when he got sick.

One of the symptoms of this particular brain tumor is a change in behavior.
It's very possible that's the reason his give-a-fuck was on the fritz.
Another symptom is memory loss. He's having a hard time focusing/remembering enough to read a book or watch a movie.
So it's this weird conversation in my head about whether or not I want to "be there for him" when he's not the man I know and I'm not the daughter he'll remember or even continue to give a shit about once he's better.

Or he might not get better. The more I learn about grade 3/4 pilocytic astrocytoma, the more it seems like this will kill him. Especially after 6 months of daily radiation treatments and oral chemo.

I don't know if I want to finally find some weird version of a relationship with someone who's not going to know me any better at the end of his life than he did at the start of mine.
I tried thinking about it as if he were a sick animal that I found on the side of the road. Because I like animals better than people and have all the mercy and compassion in the world for strangers. If I took that sick animal to the vet and they told me it was sick and going to die, would I pay to put it down or would I take it home and love it and help its remaining life be good? It would be my responsibility because I stopped for it, not because I was born because of it, but still. I think I'd take the poor thing home and try to be sweet to it. But that's the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip about the raccoon that lived long enough for them to love it enough so that when it died, it broke both of their hearts.
I don't know if there's any solace in that.

When I first heard that he was sick, I was bitter and angry about him interrupting my life. I told my mom that if he died right then, my life would change 0%. And I wasn't wrong. What's the difference if he's in Buffalo not giving a shit about us or dead? There's still zero contact and zero thought on either of our parts.
Now the only difference is that I know how shitty my grandma's life has been lately and I don't want to become her.

But my sister is doing the daughter in shining armor thing and I'm still not answering my phone when it rings with his number. She keeps trying to give me pointers on what to do and what to bring and what to talk about when I go see him but I'm not sure I can go back there. I can help getting him to and from his soon-to-be daily chemo appointments, I guess. But I don't know if I want to keep him company or watch him/my grandparents wither.

Which I'm pretty sure makes me a shitty human/daughter/everything. But the guilt hasn't and won't kick in thanks to a whole lot of very old and very real hurt feelings/memories. So it's just a fucked up and impossible decision at this point.

And yes, I know I'm not the one with cancer in this scenario and it's not about me. But that's the point. Why should I have anything to do with it? How does it fall to me?

Fucking adulthood bullshit.

One More Day

The books I've been reading have dealt with opportunity cost. I hate feeling like you're the toll I hastily paid to cross a bridge just to stand on a distant shore and strain to guess at your outline. Longing has a way of filling my doubts up with air. I can almost float across the divide. I just don't know if your arms would be open to catch me or crossed in some aloof gesture you haven't decided on yet.

Just smile and wave

Nights like this I wish I was as cool as I pretend to be.

Beauty and the Beast

Last night I had a dream about Big Foot.
I think it was mostly about belief.

We were in a pretty cabin - light wood that smelled like it had just been cut. It was autumn - just cold enough to need a heavier jacket at night. Everyone brought red and black plaid lumberjack style coats.
And I was there because I was invited to be - to take part in some ridiculous hunt for Big Foot. I was the only one who didn't believe.
They were all inside going over gear when I remembered something in the car. I got it and was back inside the house when I turned around to pull the door shut and I saw Big Foot walk through the clearing in front of our cabin and into the trees.

And I never said a word. I never told any of them what I'd seen even though the rest of the trip turned up zero evidence. Even though I knew they so desperately wanted to know he existed. Even though I knew they'd believe me - me the skeptic...

I knew what I saw the moment I saw it and knew I could probably see it again - just because I wasn't looking... And I think that maybe that was the point of the whole dream - That just when you know something for sure, you're proven wrong.

And it made me sad. To have had that special secret glimpse. To know I was just so wrong...
You think you know a guy... You know?

Ben Harper got it right: "People don't change. They just reveal."

What good is knowing a thing you'll never tell?
Once you see the monster, do you ever see the man again?

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