Bitten

A strange hornet/ant-looking/slinky winged insect stung me on my cheek, recently. I promptly hunted it down and killed it with rolled up paper, but I wasn’t satisfied. I smashed it a few more times, until it was pulp. Holding my hand on my face and getting angry about A)the pain B) the poison, and C) the bump on my complexion, I threatened to chase it through the afterlife and hold it under a river of repellent.

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The Dream Record

Good morning. I just uploaded the dream I had last night, chopped up into six parts for quick loading slash downloading slash opening, so there wouldn’t be a wait for one larger file. They’re just .wav (audio) files, and each part is one minute. You can right-click, save target as, and save them to your desktop. That’s how I do it.

If you want, you can check it out. You can hear my brother’s cat bitching for food a few times, in the background. I’m kind of impressed that this built-in mic will pick up the boombox on the oppositte wall. Anyway – here.

Part1
Part2
Part3
Part4
Part5
Part6

Autumn May’s School Of Driving

I’d like to bring your attention to more than just defensive driving. The following guideline pertains to the secret of efficiency and safety on our roads: consideration for the vehicle behind you.

Whatever end of these suggestions you may find yourself on, your familiarity with these concepts is the first step to a long overdue revolution. Once you begin to practice these, you’ll find they stick like instinct and not only decrease the levels of road rage around you – they just may prevent them, altogether.

Like, Duh

1. situation: 2 forward lanes at an upcoming red light. If you’re going straight, get over so I can turn right on red.

2. situation: you’re pulling out into traffic. If you’re going to be slow, wait for upcoming vehicles to go by before racing to pull out in front of me, only to slow me down.

3. situation: you want to cross lanes to turn left, but you’re incompetent. Just make a right first, and find a place to turn around in. Don’t make me wait.

4. situation: you’re in the left lane and there are cars approaching you. Watch your mirrors and get over for those going faster than you.

5. situation: The car right in front of us flashes red. SLOW DOWN. Those indicate their brakes.

6. situation: the lanes are merging. Figure out where I am and what you’re going to do before your lane ends. Make it apparent.

7. Don’t speed up if someone’s trying to pass you. You blew it, and now you’re putting the other person in danger on top of it.

8. If you’re making a left in the forward lane at all, put your blinker on early so I know to maneuver right, around you.

9. Know the 4 way stop rules. If there is hesitation, communicate and wave someone by, preferably me. (I’d advise you here to just press on the gas, but if you guys did that, we may collide.)

10. Do head checks for the blind spot at the rear-right. Do this every time before you even think about turning the wheel.

11. Don’t make slow left-hand turns that hog the yellow light. I’ll just follow your ass so close that we look like a short train.

12. Don’t block traffic in a parking lot because you want to sit and wait around to see someone pack up their car. Waiting for a (legal) handicapped spot is okay.

Others are welcome to contribute anything I didn’t think of.

Early.

The loft is the only place on his acres that I’d never been.

You look up, and the wind is rattling these massive metal plates covering the beams, and they’re slamming down against the roof. Birds are flying in and out at the very top, through the gaps in the boards. A playscape of old hay.

You know you’re very high up, and you feel way down at the same time.

The sun is shining through the oppositte side, where some new wood has been hammered. His wife and daughter’s money is going into this big, red monster that he built. I must have stood there for an hour, looking out at the impossible.

Big, spiked machines lying in the fields are wailing and disappearing. Row after row of plowed garden is being pierced with grass.

Everything there, is someone gone.

I went out by the pond he made and picked tiny toads out of the grass.

Aunt Robin gave me good things for being born, and Grandma slipped tiny bottles of bubble blow into my birthday sacks.

“Use this card as a pocket record of your important numbers.” And it has a bunch of long numbers on it. Okay. So I keep this, I guess. They’re important. Important to me. They mean some big adult shit, so hang onto these.

I got a savings account. And just as I’ve always feared, I’m rather numb to it. I’m not feeling the little deposit slips and double-sided booklet, but if I don’t guard it, something will happen and I’ll get yelled at.

One thing I’ve often hated about my life, is how other people assume I’m knowledgable. They’re breezing past things they think are underneath me, and I don’t have what it takes to stop and admit to them that I’m stupid.

And now that this liquidated account is mine, I have to do something with it, like school. But school didn’t work well, with me. I walked into an english writing course and the professor said, “I don’t like sentences any longer than 9 words because I get bored. So, you won’t be writing anything with sentences longer than nine words.”

I never went back.

Having always taken bullshit courses in high school like “michigan history” and “general math”, I figured I’d better sign up for “pre-algebra”. Like high school, the lower level class was filled with a crowd of loud students. The teacher stood up in front of a board and the kids told him to go fuck himself. But in-between throwing objects at each other and the teacher, they scribbled things I couldn’t keep up with.

“Okay, you guys know this…*chalk writing things out*. And, then this… do that, due tomorrow. Let’s take a look at the next page, pretty basic, go ahead and try some of those. You don’t have to turn anything in. Just as long as you can fill in the tests. We can just skip to chapter…”

I quit that, too. I was too embarrassed to ask my teacher for help with my pre-algebra. It’s like asking for a fingerpainting tutor.

Fuck that kind of humiliation.

“Um, yeah. There’s a problem with my math book? This copy has a bunch of alphabet letters in it. ”

I’ll take the F, thanks.

My burner died, tonight, but not a natural death. It just isn’t worth waiting for it to ruin 10 blanks before finishing one successfully. So I threw it against the wall kinda hard.

I think I just bummed myself out.

Losing Grandpa L.

I hadn’t stepped foot inside that funeral home for years, and I mean years. My only memory of that place is a flash of reds and whites, of lots of sitting down and seeing my grandparents conversing from across the way. Occasionally I’d take notice as we passed by the massive building on our way through Ithaca, and I’d send my sympathy out to anyone coming down its front steps. After all – I’d be on my way to see my grandparents and favorite aunt, and there were the parlor people, with death on their hearts. Even though I’ve known we can’t live forever, I never thought Grandpa would be amongst us – wrinkled Mennonites and their wrinkled, black hat things – my parents, my brother, the evening – taking the Deceased And In That Coffin position.

Ma told me once, that after Grandpa had left the church, he’d gone to family reunions and was not allowed to sit at their tables. He went, anyway, and sat alone to be in the same vicinity as his mom, who refused to acknowledge him. Burns my soul.

We used to dig up shovels full of soil and pick out the white grubs for his bass, Charlie. He taught me how to hang onto the end of the worm for a moment until it loosened up, in order to pull it from the ground without tearing it in half. Concerned for his friends, he’d purchased that land and started a farmer’s market, years ago. The future of the farmer, it turned out, could indeed be rescued and filled with priceless moments like these.

“Oh, Grandpa,” was all I managed to reach at whenever I mustered the nerve to see his body lying there. Not this man. It should have been any of these other bastards walking around here with their facial hair and holier-than-thou-aire. “We’ll see you next time!” they’d say as they left, and I’d be screaming inside, bitter from my public tears, “See you because you’re still alive and I could CARE LESS!” Elderly folk who never bothered to keep in touch mused about how the last time they saw Autumn, she was “yae-high” (they say that EVERY TIME I SEE THEM) and I glared from under my newly-cut bangs, “Fuck off, why don’t you?”

For the funeral, Willard Litwiller’s cousin gave some bullshit speech about God, and I didn’t climb into a suit to listen to some stranger read from a book I already had at home. For someone else’s comfort, he spoke. Grandpa would have thought it good for us to be together, so I represented myself. Through the majority of time, they disgusted me with such lousy attempt at a tribute. Any sane person there, had they been able to hear my wrath, would have asked why I was having such sharp and pointed thoughts…

Because you all never even knew. You weren’t there when he built the pond out back and hosted hot dog roasts under the apple trees. You never slept those warm, long summer nights in the cabin he built. When you asked him to make a few more of those toys he made for us, he well informed you that their creation was a one time deal and were NOT for sale. You didn’t make apple cider. Your faces weren’t all over the walls, and on every shelf, around every corner. You don’t know the beauty of shutting the hell up and being reserved. WE DO. WE HAVE. THAT WAS US. And now, standing in here again, my memory comes back to me and the one vision worth saving does not even have the luxury of being with me, today. He’s gone, you’re all still alive and may this be one of the last times I’m forced to be displayed before you, in misery. This is embarrassing, humiliating. I can’t wait until you all leave.

Grandma has held onto the memory of that day when Grandpa got done working and picked me a bouquet. His friend stopped by, and so he lost sight of me for a bit. Fearing I had wandered to the pond, he took off running. She remembers seeing me, watching him take off from behind the willow tree, the flowers in my hand. I’d been too shy to so much as answer back, where I was.

Later that night the power went out and I took a sip of Vernors by flash-light. Grandma says I told her it burned my nose. Which, it does; Vernors makes me sneeze.

I wanted to say, “I remember that” but I didn’t speak, too well. It’s hard, for some reason, to admit that I’m still here, and that I remember everything. That she’s me – that girl with the red hair in the older photos. I remember holding the cup of Vernors in front of my mouth, I remember so well. Your lifetime was mine too, you know.

When they had his casket out there with the graves, it was like a bad dream. Suddenly I was in this tight, yellow shirt that read “spoiled” in metallic sticker across the front, which I must have had when I was six, and the hole far below him made me feel short again. For just a second, my hair was in pigtails and I was going through something no little girl should ever have to see…but she did. Hadn’t we just gotten off our bike? Her eyes widened, my eyes widened, and we stood with our hands down and slightly out, fingers spread wide in shock and disbelief. Had we not just been making ice cream in the garage? “And now you’re gonna put my grandpa’s body down in this ground?!?!” she screamed out, as it brought her flood to my eyes and I turned back to black attire, 22.

We’re still absolutely appalled.

We talked less and less, the last few years. Speech wasn’t easy or even quite necessary, so long as I was present. He was a quiet man, a birdwatcher, retired farmer, and I was a quiet granddaughter, a watcher, a retired princess, and we enjoyed each other without having to make it obvious. That’s style, to me. His final weeks, though, I couldn’t bear to be there. I saw him once – last week, and he opened his eyes to see me crying. I tried to hold a firm face despite the water streaming down, and my hands were on my hips to help me seem mightier. I felt him looking at me, but I looked to the side. That moment was so painful. I was in so much pain. I didn’t know what to say. We were both so completely…in trouble, and it hurt so much. To know.

“Because you all never even knew…”

And now, here it is. And we were right, Grandpa…

it kills.

Railway Opening Day.

This is a bad time for an update. complete sentences hard.

I rode a caboose and a turntable. Lots of old men talking about trains. Cameras around their necks, fat guts, and little kids at their feet. Some old trains. Dead trains. Without any people or active status, they certainly seem dead.

it’s actually sad. they make you feel empty.

A museum opening, I guess it was. We have the locomotive they used for some Tom Hanks movie coming out. WHOOPTIE DOO. par-tay.

lot of dying people, and tards. You could tell some of the retarded people were dying. Oh, and the physical handicaps. some were all 3 and i had to shake it off, every time.

i can’t stand that. its so unfair.

i dont know why i got up. sometimes i get up to empty my bladder and come back and sit down.

i could have sworn someone took a picture of me and nick. we were looking at this train and they stood a train cart away, turned completely sideways from the exhibit, and focused in on us. It was unnerving.

Christopher says, “Even in my dreams, you’re up over everything, looking down on everybody.”

You know. I was standing there, thinking, “WWGCS (what would george carlin say)” and I figured he’d say, “Dump these fuckin’ trains and build something nice here.”

One of them was yellow, right? This long, yellow tunnel of metals. And it had rusted, so it had streaks of red. The windows had… tarnished, for lack of better word. To this aqua, sea green… all 3 of those colors.

Ruined beauty.

kinda like electro, only with more stories to tell.

So I’ve got this idea. It’s lame.

But. My brother and I were talking, right? He says… he flies in his dreams. That it’s incredible. I don’t, or I can’t, because…I’d know I was dreaming, I guess. So.

Chris says, he just jumps up, and goes stories high. My Plan:

Wherever I am, I’m going to kind of jump. See if I take off. Cause you never know when you might be dreaming. I might train myself, to try in my dreams, this way.

You know? YOU NEVER KNOW. I may catch myself offguard, and by force of habit, do the jumpie thing… and be flying!

i wrote this the way I talk. i just noticed that. A little more cut, actually. I’m tired. sentences are like short breaths of air.

its 3 am. i’m going to sleep.

Dream Record

I’m at a psychiatric ward, which doesn’t shock me.

We’re sitting at tables in a half-cafeteria/half-waiting room looking place. Part of me is wanting to know what’s wrong with me that got me here – as though the sickness doesn’t allow it to register. Meanwhile, parents are meeting up with their kids, as everyone in my group seems to have that same “mom shows up after football practice” mentality, and are in my blah-to-24 age bracket.

One girl sits down at my table while I’m reeling from having been thrown into a dream. I remember her saying some sad things like… perhaps attempted suicide? And she seems to be one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. After I’ve gotten to know her a little, my mom shows up and asks where I’d like to go for lunch.

She names places where you have to wait for your meal and pay lots of money. Chillis. TGIF. Outback. Etc. A few feet away, some very large lady and son have settled on another big place to eat, and are walking away.

The girl is sitting all alone, now. I’m really sad, and tear up. I ask if we can just go to a fast food place (which we’ll find to be built in like a mall cafe) so we can pay for her to have a meal, too. My mom agrees to the idea.

Then I’m standing at the counter, trying to show this girl what they have, but none of the menu has legible words on it. “What, is everyone used to knowing what they want, here?” So I’m asking her what kind of meat she’ll want – fries, blah blah blah – when it jumps sequence.

I’m in an audience with my family, watching an extravagant stageplay entirely devoted to clowns, starring Robin Williams. He’s singing and moving around – everyone is brightly dressed and balancing and dancing on weird things. Some lady with a clipboard walks up and says to my row, “Anyone for two seats blah blah blah?”

Dad jumps, “Me and my daughter…” So, we’re following her backstage and up to a …almost…balcony seat. And the perspective of the show has changed… we can’t see the special lights, anymore – we’re closer and watching this raw performance. Lots of… behind the scenes things we couldn’t see, before.

I have some kind of black eye-nose mask on, maybe from the gift shop or program. I pull it up to rest on top of my head. And I swear… I thought I saw Robin turn around and applaud me.

Finally, I’m riding in a car down my dirt road with other people. Who, I forget. Parts of the road are on fire, and I reason, “Huh! Someone must have dumped a flammable chemical in certain places.” It’s also raining, and there appear to be a lot of tree roots and sticks on the road.

End.