Monday, September 17, 2018

Death, as Public Domain

A white dude put a bag over her head. A white dude dumped her like so much trash on the side of a back road where we wouldn’t find her for two and a half years. Her father had to ID her teeth. Her teeth. They found her pelvis in a creek bed where it had washed down from seasons of melt and deluge. We searched. Shoulder to shoulder. Heel to toe. I still don’t see a field for a peaceful place for a picnic. I see divots and slight mounds and wonder if those are shallow graves, like the ones I’d jab with a stick to see if it smelled like corpse in the blistering August heat. That shit changes how you look at everything. And the inescapable mob of opinions and accusations. The heavily cliched angry townsfolk gathered on smart phones, thumbs perched over “send”. Armed with righteous indignation and a tv education based on bad crime series, they took pictures. Publicly speculated. Tried to befriend us so they could dig fists into our guts, our lives. Used that tv knowledge to build a world that fit their narrative. They harassed the mourning. Her name. Their cause. They tried to steal her identity away from her after she was gone. They dissected her fb page, analyzed each word for what it wasn’t. Nothing mattered to them but their insatiable hunger. No matter what we said, no matter who we were and had been for all of our lives...a flawed, but loving family, and she was part of us. Sharing merriment, food, drink and love. Always love. She was the Adored One. It went national. Everyone had an opinion. We met people no one should ever have to. There was no privacy, though I could hide. Stay as quiet as I could, become a nonissue and provide a place to hide a while, where others in my family had no choice but to face the blinding camera lights. I learned a new kind of disgust when our lives intersected with Nancy Grace—May she never know peace. It’s been seven years. I know this because I found out while I was searching that I was pregnant with my youngest. All I really have left of her are some private memories and some texts. I’m a better person for having her in my life, for the six short years she was here where we could hug.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I flatlined here for a little while. Ok, a year. It's been a year of introspection and change, both inside and out. I've been writing, but mostly on-topic of some longer work I've been at for a couple years now. She is a character born of blood and stone. Forged by rage's own fire. She has been waiting for me to get it right before I go too far. But being mom and writing from that place don't always mix well. She's patient. And I've been playing with other, calmer points of view pieces. The post I just made was a good-bye to a girl I loved, who went missing one night. Parts of her were found much later by people who don't deserve those kinds of memories. It's taken 4 years to find those words I said to her one afternoon. She was a jewel of the Milennial Generation. All of you are. Sine on.
She said: I suppose I am the color blue. I said: No, you're the color yellow. She said: It's because of my yellow eyeshadow in that picture, isn't it? I said: No. You're the yellow of daffodils who defiantly stare down the sweeping, gray skies that want so much to cling to winter. You're the yellow that chases the smear of clouds so the sun can bring us spring again. And then. And then she was gone. And her daffodils still bloom.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Letting go

by death or by choice. Either way it burns deep because the wound is fresh with blood and emotion. Be it art, writing, people or pets. Today was a little of both. 

I was invited into the intimacy off the final moments as a friend's dog fell asleep for the last time. We cried. Engaged in gallows humor, cried and hugged. 

But I also said goodbye by choice to someone I can't quantify in my life. He has always been there like a shadow, dark and dangeous, but safe...for me. He was home. We kissed on my mothers porch and he disappeared for years. We found each other again, and always did. I can't find what wishes to remain hidden. I wanted to though. I always did. 

I've thought he was dead a hundred times before. But now I suppose I will never know. 

But I'm just a silly girl. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Only Half

Half a pill waits for me. I stare at it for a while. 57 is all that's left of the identification code. The ragged edge where I broke it. Took the other half a while ago but I can't feel it anymore. Half doesn't last like it used to. I've been here before; staring at the half of a pill. I know its voice. The way it sounds in my head, my chest, my legs. I've been here before at the end of a bottle wondering how 160 half-a-pills go so fast. The first few--twenty, maybe--slow and steady. Only when it hurts. Promising myself this time will be different. Promising myself I will ignore the voice that starts with a whisper I can barely hear. But the whisper becomes a shout and soon I can feel my arms twitch, just a little at first. That voice whispers "it's just a half a pill". Half. Not whole. That would be too much.  One would lead to two then five and more and thy would be addiction. 

This is not addiction. 

It's just a half a pill. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Taste

She's come and gone a thousand times. In like a lovers whisper. Gone again like a tornado had passed through the place, but that's what always sucked me in. Knowing the wind behind that whisper.

I stared down into those confused, beautiful eyes that once filled me with such excitement and hope, and said goodbye. I didn't want to. I don't like leaving. Losing. Departures that are chosen; especially the ones I have to choose. But sometimes that's all that's left. 

She said she didn't understand, which made it all make sense. She said it wasn't about me; I knew as much. I could read her like I read myself. I closed my eyes and slipped myself into that beautiful, chaotic mind of hers on a wisp of cherry blossom and basked for a moment--one last moment--in the glow that she always became. 

When I opened my eyes, and looked at her again, hers were closed. I don't know if she saw what I was doing in there. Rummaging in some memories, finding my little space there. I left a little ivory box on a table in a room in her world and maybe she would find it some day when she thought of me. Maybe she would open it. Maybe she would just tuck it away and never want the truth. 

But before she opened her eyes again, I was gone. The scent of me was all I left behind; sweet jasmine and honeysuckle. 

It was freedom she needed. And freedom I gave willingly. I may never see her again, and I have to be okay with that. 

I feel no anger. 

I feel peace. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Go-Away Girl

It's what she called herself as she walked away from the group of boys that had just shown up. Mark punched her in the jaw for effect this time, but it didn't bother her. Philbert was in from the service and was the meanest bastard she knew. He was a Marine, and at nine years old all that meant to her was "asshole". Every time he came home, the temperature of the neighborhood changed.

She climbed her tree as high as she could get, and felt the summer breeze sway her gently. She listened. The boys all played war games and Philbert told wonderful and horrific stories that those boys believed. She didn't. But that didn't matter. None of it did, really. This wasn't new.

She closed her eyes and made impossible wishes, just like she always did when she was told to go away. Not once was she asked to stay but she wasn't bitter. She just accepted it as life. Unhappiness never occurred to her, not even as she rubbed her jaw.

It would pass. Philbert would go away. The rest of the boys would go home and she would be a part again. It wasn't that she didn't fit in, or that she wasn't the toughest kid around, or that she could throw and hit a baseball farther than the rest, or that her hair was just as short. It's that she was a girl. And she turned that hatred inwards, at her gender.

She could cut her hair, she could wear her bother's hand-me-downs, and would never correct anyone who called her a boy, or son. Sonny. It felt good. Like she belonged somewhere. But she could never change what God gave her.

Regardless, the boys were her best friends. Singly and sometimes in groups, but there were always hidden places she was never allowed. Not ever. Go away, girl. Boy stuff happening.

Understanding and acceptance would come much later (long after her body betrayed her and did what girls' bodies do), but in that tree with a sore jaw, she knew she had to wait til it was safe to come back again. Eddie would come looking for her, and they'd dig in the dirt and have rock fights, and play cars and blow up Barbie dolls with firecrackers again. Eddie was her favorite; he knew when to defend her and when to back off. And that nothing would buy him a rain of her fists like protecting her.

Besides, she knew when it was time to go away.