Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Story Basket

I started a blog several years ago to archive stories about my life. These are those stories carried over to this blog for archival purposes. Maybe I'll tell more stories as I go along.

Thirteen Chapter

December 22, 2010 § Leave a comment
In 2005 (and this date, like all others, is subjective due to my memory being a steel sieve), I had everything plotted and planned out to end my life.  My mate would be at work, my sister had come to get my son and take him down to their house and my grandmother, whom I was living with, was visiting family out of state.  I didn’t have to work so no one would be calling to check in on me.  I’d taken enough tylenol to choke a horse and drew a hot bath and as I lay there with my eyes closed floating and ignoring everything around me, some nagging little voice inside of my head nagged at me.
That bath ended up being just a bath that lasted well until the water was no longer warm and my mate came home from work.  My sister brought my son home and after I woke up and crawled out of the tub, I told him what I’d planned on and, instead, called to make an appointment with the doctor to talk to him about medication or something.
In the weeks prior to that, I had spent so much time in my life just packing up boxes and boxes of possessions, things I couldn’t bear to get rid of and things that I wasn’t using and put a date on them.  The plan was, if I hadn’t looked for it in over a year that I would go back to them, take one last look through and then get rid of it.
In 2010 when I am packing up to move, I am just now going through those boxes and clearing things out of my attic that really should have been gotten rid of years before.  Somehow, though, the boxes of crap have carried their energy with them and every one I open, despite it going back out again, carries with it all the negativity and bitterness I carried with me at that point and time in my life and it just clings to me like nettles.  Every time I try and wipe it off, it stings me.
Fire is the great purifier. Maybe that should be the answer to some of that nonsense from that time so I can move on.

Twelve Chapter

December 22, 2010 § Leave a comment
When I was young, which is what most of my stories thus far have been made of, I was essentially ignored until I did something wrong.  Sometimes they were things that I didn’t know were wrong and I was forced to sit and guess and grasp and straws and try and figure out what was wrong because asking never got me anywhere.  As a matter of fact, when I tried to ask, all I was met with was a stone wall.  They completely ignored me as though I weren’t even there, leaving me to turn didos on myself and try and figure desperately what I’d done so that they would at least respond to me when I spoke.  Sometimes when communication was necessary, they would leave me notes taped to places where I would “see them” like in the middle of the television or on my door or on the mirror in the bathroom.  And then there were the notes that were stuck literally everywhere like “close the cupboard door” and “shut the fridge” and “don’t drink the soda” or whatever they felt like yelling at me for when they weren’t speaking with me.
Sometimes I wonder where my paranoia comes from when I start thinking the other shoe is about to drop and I’m going to get fired for doing something I didn’t know I was doing or thinking my girlfriend is going to break up with me because I’m not her ideal of perfect (or really any ideal at all).  Sometimes I write blog entries.
I learned to live my life alone in my room with only my things around me and homework that needed done.  I had to walk on eggshells wherever my dad was concerned.  I never knew when he walked through that door rather or not he was going to be happy to see us or if he was going to raise his knee up so as we ran to hug him when we came in the door that we would run into it and fall back on the floor.  When we asked what we’d done wrong, he ignored us, walked past us like our hurt and tears didn’t matter and, apparently, they didn’t.  We needed to get a thicker skin.  Now when I speak to someone and they don’t respond or they’re angry at something that isn’t me, I feel just like I did when my dad brought his knee up and knocked me down when I was so happy to see him when he came home.  It taught me very quickly that I was only worthy of being ignored or screamed and punished and then ignored harshly when I did something wrong.  I learned that feeling happy and excited to see someone and to look forward to something, anything, was a foolish emotion that only led to being hurt.
Sometimes I wonder where my feelings of sadness and inferiority come from.  Sometimes I write blog entries.
I think that’s why it’s so hard now that I’ve figured out how incredibly important touch is and being able to touch someone and have them touch you without that touch being sexual in nature and just simply feeling good being around someone.  I have triggers and sometimes they’re hair triggers and a heavy breath out of place sends me into that same pool of helplessness and hopelessness that I’ve been in since I was eight years old.  Knowing what depression is now, I can remember feeling it even then.
When I think back, I have never been actively praised for anything that I can remember other than when I graduated from massage school.  My dad said he was proud of me.  Thankfully I haven’t really been around him enough since then so he hasn’t had a chance to be an asshole to me again. I can actually think that once in awhile my dad isn’t a complete prick and maybe does care. Along those lines, I read a quote earlier today that said “just because someone doesn’t love you like you think they should, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have”.  I find that rather apt.  Maybe my dad just sucks at love.  He doesn’t understand it.
Sometimes I believe that everyone loves me as much as I love them.  Sometimes I write blog entries.

Eleven Chapter

October 11, 2010 § Leave a comment
Does she see us going the long haul? Could she see us settling down together forever or am I someone who is good for the moment but not permanent? Is she with me because marriage isn’t possible? Does she resent that? Would she ever consider marriage if it was legal? Once she was over her heartache and realizes she could have those things with me that she thinks Fate stole?
I didn’t say anything to her at the time because she was hurting, but it seemed like she was saying she would never have those things again and it made me question.
What’s he got that I ain’t got? I’ve got so much more than he ever had and somehow I think it’s not quite good enough.
I want to marry this girl someday. I wonder if she’ll ever feel the same.

Ten Chapter

January 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
When I was young somewhere between 8 and 12 where my life stops having any kind of order or sense, much like the rest of my life has been around it, my parents took me to visit their family friends.  We did this on several visits and I am not sure where they were living at the time.  It might have been Pennsylvania.  They lived in an apartment building and while we were staying with them, it was said that we were absolutely forbidden from going back down through the trees and down to the little stream.  Where did we naturally go?
There were other kids down at the stream and they had found some clams in the stream.  Freshwater clams.  I was intrigued.  I had never seen clams in a stream before.  I’d thought they only came out of the ocean.  We spent a lot of time down at the stream playing with the other kids until they came out looking for us.  The friend I had been with had told me to come back up around the house and go play in the big pine tree and just to say that I had been there the whole time.  When I was asked, I responded that, in fact, I had been in the tree playing.  At least for the last five minutes, not that I volunteered that up.
Apparently the son of the family friends had gotten caught doing things he wasn’t supposed to be doing before and ended up being punished for doing it and bringing me down there.  He ended up making a big noise when he got his ass beat and I ended up not punished at all since I was little and impressionable.  I didn’t understand what the big deal was.  There were other kids there and we were just looking around down there and playing in the water.  I still don’t know what the big deal was.
Apparently in Pennsylvania you aren’t allowed to play in open water or try and catch squirrels in big pine trees.

Nine Chapter

January 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
I used to be horribly, terribly afraid of drag queens, drag kings and transgendered people.  They used to scare the high holy hell out of me.  The very IDEA of someone wanting to be friends with me or date me who was transgendered was absolutely squickworthy and unreasonably so.  I had no idea why they scared me like they did, but to have a completely irrational fear of them told me there was more to look into with the problem.
I was raised that the gender you are born into, the lot you are born into, is what you are to become.  If you are sexed female, you will follow typical gender rules assigned to the female gender.  Should you be born male, you had to be macho and otherwise you could get away with whatever you wanted.  A lot of the rules with me changed, however, since I liked to go and get dirty in the shop working with dad and re-roof houses in the summer but I also liked to putz around in the kitchen and sew and cross stitch.  Girls were girls and dated and married boys.  Boys were boys and dated and married girls.  I, unfortunately, seemed to be male with female tendencies, much to my mother’s dismay.
She always used to tell the tale of how bad she wanted a boy and how his name would have been Chad Walton Bartholomew.  She was convinced she was having a boy all through her pregnancy and even bought blue clothes for me.  Well… I guess she partially got her wish.  I always used to tease her and tell her she needed to put me back in and bake me long enough.  She never really found that funny.
Looking deeper into things led me to realize that I was not, in fact, related to these little female creatures I had been born into but somehow never got the memo or the key card to let me into the member’s only area that told me how these strange little beasts worked.  I never got the insider’s book on how to be a girl.  Instead I always thought it was normal for girls to do things with their dads like I did with my dad.  I always thought it was normal to want to tear down walls and rebuild houses and have a workshop in the garage.  What was the sense in painting your nails a different color every day and owning sixteen different handbags to match all your outfits?  What’s the point of having a million pairs of shoes to wear with different clothes and what’s the point of accessorizing?  Put on a shirt and pants and shoes and out the door you go.  Run a brush through your hair and over your teeth before you leave, too, if you want to make a good impression.  I didn’t understand getting up four hours before school so you could dress and bathe and do your hair and makeup and all that crap.  Get me up an hour before school, shower, clothes, brush, out the door.  Done.
I wasn’t really part of the female gender, although I do understand it decently well, I figure.  I know that girls think everyone is always dropping them subtle hints and clues and shit or always talking behind their backs or making a dig at them.  So as long as I realize that women are crazy and think everything I say and do is against them, I’ll be fine.  As long as I know that I can neg them into doing what I want, that works even better.  That way I can get away from them that much faster.
I understand males a lot better.  No talking in the shitter, no frilly decorations and don’t worry about wearing makeup because we want to know how you’re going to look when we wake up beside you.  Plain, simple, direct and to the point.  That makes sense.  You can greet someone you know without saying a word and you don’t have to stand there and chatter to them all afternoon about what you’re wearing to whatever thing you’re going out for.  Guys are good to be dressed.
The reason why queens and trannies bothered me is because deep down and underneath it all, I was one of them and I was terrified to face it about myself.  Thankfully after a lot of gnashing of teeth and ruined velvet dresses, I got the hint.

Eight Chapter

October 5, 2009 § Leave a comment
When I was eight years old, my parents liked to drive to visit friends of theirs when they moved all over the country and would take me along with them.  At one point, their friends had moved out to New Jersey and while we were out visiting, they agreed to take me to the shore to get steamed clams.
I had eaten steamed clams when we had been in Pennsylvania visiting my aunt when she lived out there and fell in love with them when I was four or five.  Finding them had been nearly impossible.  So when I had a chance to get some off the coast, I was stoked!
I asked dad to get me a couple dozen clams and I waited happily at the table for him to come back with them.  When he came back to the table, he only had six.
“Where’s the rest of them?”
“You get around those and I’ll go up and get you more.”
“But I wanted at least a dozen of them.”
“The guy wouldn’t give me more.”
“What?  What for??”
“Just get around those and I’ll go up and get you some more of them.”
I polished off six of them no problem and dad went back to get me the other dozen and a half.  The guy at the shop said he would give him another six, but dad told him that he’d be back for the other dozen.  He brought them back to the table and I gave him a look.  He told me the guy wouldn’t give him more.  So I ate all of those and dad went up to get another half dozen for me.
The cook came out with dad to the table and stared at me.  “Who’s helpin’ you eat them?”
“E-excuse me?  What?”
“Who’s helping you eat all those clams?”
“Nobody here LIKES clams but me.”
“Somebody’s gotta be helpin’ you eat those clams.”
I just looked at my parents like “save me from this frigging madman.”
I ended up getting my last half dozen for free because I was the only eight year old kid he’d ever seen eat two dozen clams in a single sitting.
This story was reminded to me by my father who told it to my girlfriend as we sat eating fried pickles and drinking rumritas on my parent’s anniversary which so happened to also be the day I graduated from massage school.

Seven Chapter

October 4, 2009 § Leave a comment
Apparently I am called “The Miracle Worker” at work.
A client of mine, after I had worked on her and gotten some relief for hip pain she had been having for several years, came back through the darkened glass door separating the clinic from the reception area and called to me.
“I just heard your nickname.”
“Oh?  What’s that?”
“The Miracle Worker.”
“Oh!  I didn’t even know I had a nickname!”
Leave it to me to have a nickname I didn’t know about.  At least it’s not that silly rhyming bullshit.  I HATE that.
Apparently the story began with a client who had cancelled her membership six months or so prior to coming in for bodywork before a rigorous training session.  She was a self-admitted hardcore “push yourself to the limits” kind of person and was having some pretty severe pain.  She had turned down one of the people up front a few times when asked about renewing her membership.
When I got finished with her, she came back out front and said she would make it work somehow and renewed her membership.  The two girls up front looked at each other and said I was “the miracle worker”.
So today when a client was talking about how wonderful I was for helping her pain, they jokingly made the comment about it being my nickname.  At least my client said she agreed.
Apparently this nickname has stuck.  I don’t mind.

Six Chapter

September 20, 2009 § Leave a comment
I had a stunning revelation today.
As I was lying in bed three quarters asleep and only a fraction of the way awake, I felt a body press against me and a head rest against my folded arm that tucked under my head.  I knew who it had to be.  I could feel her even through the partial dream haze, but she was supposed to have been at work.  Cue the attempt to wake up.
I rolled over onto my stomach.
An arm closed around my waist.
My eyes blinked without ever opening and a rolled onto my side, clenching and unclenching my fist to try and wake the limb I hadn’t realized was asleep and heard a soft sigh beside me.  My eyes finally opened and lit on her face.
She’d had a panic attack trying to go to work that morning and had spent hours organizing and prepping and mailing things before she’d come back upstairs and curled up with me in bed.  Cue instant protect mode and I wrapped her in my arms and buried her head against my chest, holding and petting her until she fell asleep.
I don’t know how long we lay there, me stroking her head and running my nails lightly over her shoulders but a strange thought struck me right between the eyes.
I loved her.  Not just that I loved her, but that I was in love with her.  More than just the several month crawl until one or the other of us got sick of each other, but the “I could see myself eventually living with you on a permanent basis” or “I wanna grow old with you” kind of vibes.  Like the “I don’t mind spending hours holding you like this when you need it” thing with a “I would do anything it takes to soothe the pain”.  The complete connect with someone.
When she later woke and I finally found the balls to spit it the fuck out, her response was, “Well, duh.”
Well, duh, indeed, I thought with chagrin.  The thought had just occurred to me.  Apparently it had been known to her all along.  Imagine that.  The last to know.

Five Chapter

September 18, 2009 § Leave a comment
I have always loved to draw.  When I was young, my grandfather would always sit at the dining room table and doodle.  There were some of his drawings around the house stuffed in scrapbooks and such from when he was in the war and had drawn pictures to send home in the mail, many of them scenes from the battlefield he was in day in and day out.
When my grandfather was young, he had the opportunity to go and work for the Walt Disney company as an artist.  His parents denied the opportunity and so he had to turn it down, but I wonder how different my life would have been if they would have allowed him to have traveled and been an illustrator.
I take my love of art from my grandfather and although I might not be good, I still take pleasure in the simple act of creating something from nothing and calling it mine.  It’s like my grandfather is still here with me when I create.
Hopefully he isn’t terribly put off by the naked figures I draw frequently.  However, he did call my grandmother “Butch”.

Three Chapter

August 24, 2009 § Leave a comment
When I was eight years old-ish, the style that was all the rage was having your hair cut in what was called a wedge cut.  For anyone who has no idea what I’m talking about, Dorothy Hamill was still “in” when I was a kid.  Does that date me a little?  It should.  Anyway, for those of you who have no idea what it looks like, I’ll help you out.
The Wedge looked a LOT like a bowl cut, only it was said to be fashionable.
The Wedge looked a LOT like a bowl cut, only it was said to be fashionable.
My best female friend at the time had her hair cut like this and told me I’d look cute if my hair was cut this way, too.  Thankfully the stylist did the more modern version and gave me some spiffy bangs.
…. although looking at it now, my hair looks very much the same now as it did then.  Hm.  Maybe it was more formative than I’d thought.
Regardless, my hair was cut this way.  It had a really cute back to it with a little hair down at the nape of my neck and was short and could have been kinda spiky if my parents would have let me do it that way.  Going from waist length hair to something this insanely short helped the headaches I’d been having and I didn’t get my hair stuck in the chains of the swings anymore and it didn’t static stick to the back of my classroom chair.  All around it seemed to be perfect.
That is, until people started calling me a boy.  I don’t remember being upset about it other than a mild irritation.  My best friend had figured out for me that I was a girl and I clung to that label because it made me a connection to my then best friend.  If I wasn’t a girl, we couldn’t be friends and I wanted to be friends with the little girl with the same first name as me who lived the house after next down from my two best boy friends, the brothers who lived near the creek.  The little girl and I were in the same class, sat beside each other in class and had the same first name, although mine was just the abbreviated version of her longer name.  The older of the brothers was in our class up until the first grade when he was held back through no fault of his own, at least as far as I could tell.
I had made the gender switch from something that gender didn’t matter to someone who was a girl to fit in with a friend.

Four Chapter

August 24, 2009 § Leave a comment
When I was in the first grade, I started out the year with a substitute teacher.  I remember her name only because I would later be in junior high with her younger son and in theatre and drama with her older son.  They were both pretty amazing people, although completely different.  The older boy was hugely overweight.  The younger was really fit and muscular.
She taught our class for the first half of the year while our regular teacher was on maternity leave.  When our teacher came back, we had to get used to a whole new teacher.  The first one was fun and seemed to enjoy being with us.  The regular teacher seemed to hate being there and was immensely cranky.  She had outbursts in the classroom about things that should never bother her, but all of those were forgotten to vague remembrance.  The only one that stuck with me was when my friend tried to hand in a paper he had to make up due to being sick a few days before.  The teacher was reading a story to the class while he tried handing it in.  He was waving it at her and calling her name so he could come and sit down on the floor with the rest of the class.  She jerked it away from him, wrinkled it up into a ball and threw it across the room.  We all sat stunned and stared.  She told my friend he would have to do the paper again even though he had just done it.
I couldn’t believe someone in a position of authority like that had flipped shit like that and made him redo a paper he’d already done just because she lost her temper.  That rather tempered me.  I had decided in some small verse that I would always strive to be in control because it wasn’t fair for someone to do that to someone else.

Two Chapter

August 16, 2009 § Leave a comment
Nothing in life is ever really in order, is it?  I mean, when we think back in time, does everything seem like a line or does it seem more like we’re trying to walk back through the fog and find the things we’ve said and done in our lives and try to put a time on it.
Job applications are notorious for asking me to put a time frame on things.  Put in three personal or business references that you have known at least one year.  Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?  But then they have to go and do that thing that asks how long you’ve known this person.  Fuuuuck I don’t know!  Doesn’t it suffice to know I’ve known them and they can give me a character reference?  It doesn’t help things when they put on the application that falsification can be cause for dismissal even after you’re employed, so I take my best guess and hope it’s good.  I put down names, numbers and guess at times.  The only person I can figure the years I’ve known is because I met her my freshmen year of high school and I have a definitive date for that I can count up from.  Ask me how long I’ve known my girlfriend, however, and I couldn’t tell you.  I have no idea how long she and I have known one another.
I know we met at a coffee house and we found that we had a shared then ex friend in common.  I remember talking and having a good time.  I do not, however, remember rather or not I talked to her after that although I know I did because we’re still talking and I spent a lot of time at her house crafting and exercising and whatnot before we were ever a couple.  But ask me how long I’ve known her?  I have no idea.
I had to ask her and she’s sitting and counting.  We finally figured out we’ve known one another since 2003.  Both of us had to sit and figure out events from around that time and count on fingers and toes.  After ten minutes of figuring, we finally came up with a number that is recorded and will probably be forgotten just as easily as it was begun.
This rather long winded explanation boils down to a point, I promise and that is to explain to you that this memoir is not going to follow any kind of a timeline.  I am making up the ages and they might change depending on the story.  I will put the stories in as they are recalled and they will all be on no kind of order or relation to one another.  They’ll just be down and I don’t ever intend on making them have a timeline.
I’ll have to actually post my first memory that I can recall.  I only have my age from my mom who says it was around eighteen months old.
Regardless, I hope you’re here to enjoy my stories more than you are to try and piece together the person.  However, if you do, let me know because I’m sure we’ll both be surprised.

One Chapter

August 16, 2009 § Leave a comment
One of the things that was common when I was younger living in the country, was for one of the houses to host what could really be referred to as a “Country Block Party”.  Someone would host a party, invite everyone in the neighborhood to come and have food and drink and conversation, let the kids run wild and play so the adults could have some peace and quiet and a beer or two.  Anyone could come as long as someone called or dropped by beforehand so there was enough food and as long as everyone brought a dish and some drinks.  Usually when a certain house hosted, there were easily a hundred or so people there at any given time and from what I can remember, everyone seemed to have a good time.
The lady of the house, and if she knows I’m writing about her will hit me for calling her a lady, was my babysitter for several years after my great grandmother wasn’t able to sit for me any longer.  Mom dropped me off at around seven in the morning and I would sleep for another half hour or so before her boys got up and we would all sit on the pull out sofa and watch morning cartoons when there still were such a thing and have breakfast in special plastic bowls and drink from fruit shaped cups.  We played games together, argued over rather or not I could be Battle Cat or Man at Arms or if I had to be a girl character and over what shows we would watch in what order or what we would do after cartoons were over in the mornings.  We’d swim together in the pool in the back yard and wade in the creek in the afternoons or help clean out the top shelves of the cupboards.
When I was probably five years old or so, this particular neighbor had a country block party.  There was to be a bonfire at some point, there was plenty of food and I’m sure they were roasting a hog somewhere because the acres and acres of the land they owned smelled like cooking meat and baked beans.  As was typical of children in the same neighborhood, some of us knew one another, some of them were the cousins of the boys who lived at the house and some were the children of friends.  No one really discriminated against anyone else as far as it went.  We were all kids and we were all doing things and it was of the good.  As fate had it, we were all down at the creek and several of us were wading around in the water.  I’d taken my shoes and socks off and left them on the shore with everyone else’s with my jeans rolled up over my knees looking for crawdads and minnows.  One of the boys shouted up at the two girls standing on the shore and asked one of them to “ask mom if we can take off our shirts”.
The oldest girl wandered off and when she came back, she said, “Yes, mom says we can take off our shirts.”  There were whoops as shirts hit the shore one after another, my needlepunched Mighty Mouse shirt following.  That is, until I heard her say, “Oh, not you!”
I frowned at her.  Why not?  I decided to play it off.  “Oh, I know, I was just turning it around.”
“Well, good.  Girls don’t take off their shirts, silly.”
Huh.  Okay, so what did that have to do with anything?  I’d been over at the house before and gone swimming in a pair of the boy’s trunks.  I’d stripped down to my underwear and gone wading out into the creek before.  What difference did it make?
Even now I still don’t really understand.