When there isn’t much time, make due with someone else’s.

Two of my friends have recently posted self-revealing reflections on their life and where they’re headed.

Best wishes to Jenni Lynn who has chosen to leave Michigan weather in order to improve the quality of her day-to-days as a new graduate with a b.a. in health care administration! A textbook-sweetheart like you deserves her own piquant eden.

And to the dispirited legend of Amanda Purnell, ageless ancient kicking up dust on the fringe – it brings a tear to my eye to have to sum it up so simply,

On some days I’d give anything to be sixty seconds from that church-lent house, siblings running up the driveway while you applied the final touches of mascara. If I could just go back a better-involved person, take longer, harder looks at my reflection in the puddles of spilled milk left overnight…

I know now that trouble and mischief was never a sidekick of mine; it was my inability to be the steady constant which caused you to spin into obscurity. And even though I know it’s all part of the trip, I’m sorry that you ever left.

May the next turbulent path be your homestretch.

***

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The Body Exhibit

To celebrate my newly-hacked Razr’s transfer abilities I am posting some of the photos from Detroit’s Body Exhibit. I’m not sure that Photobucket will allow them to stay long because they’re a bunch of dead body parts, but here they are for now.

But first a kitty photo of Leeloo in the bed I bought her, because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want:
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awwwww.

Please note that you lose a lot of the educational part when you take this tour with me but it’ll give you an idea of the kinds of things you can see for yourself.

Okay. Onto the severed people:

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One of the first gentlemen you meet. He’s dead.
Continue reading

A few days off with pay to use however I want…

I was going though some documents on the PC and found the .PDF file featuring my dad in Motor City Bob’s (now in Italy) syllabus. A few years ago he was reading all of my entries about the DAV I lived with and our many family troubles; something about the way I described him caught his interest and he asked for permission to use one of the photos I’d scanned from a rotting scrapbook…

hero

Because of me, a bunch of students looked on the image of my dad as a soldier and he has no idea that his impressions have created a complex character that lives in the archives of my thought log.

Speaking of writing, I’ve recently released the entires re: my stint in a clique of drag race boys from inner city Flint, MI. They were on lock down for a while because specific locations needed to be substituted as well as some people’s privacy respected. Anything that was senselessly hurtful to the few outsiders who still read this, has been edited out and I offer my apologies for complicating a scene with my non-stop, ephedra-driven high that assisted me in saying and doing a few things that I’d take back, if I could…

but I can’t, and the really sad part is that *if* I had the same free and easy access to that time period… who knows what kind of shames would be repeated.

Anyway. Those entries can be found here:
http://www.livejournal.com/tools/memories.bml?user=great_dame&keyword=Flint+Era&filter=all

Nothing stays the same. Sometimes, nothing stays, at all.

One of the jewels of my hometown was the Lebowsky, an eighty year old theatre where I went to see numerous plays and concerts. One of the first things I ever did with Brad was go to see the Battle Of the Bands two years ago. I remember waiting outside under the marquee lights, flattered that Brad wanted to purchase the tickets and then asked me if I wanted anything to drink. I thought I was just driving my brother and him there as a favor and didn’t realize yet that he had been coming up from Detroit to see me.

I sang a duet with the jazz band, played piano for a holiday concert and performed in a few plays on that stage, too. There are hurried, fuzzy memories of running through narrow, dark stairways with the other community players as we explored the mazes and peered out from high, dusty windows…

My dad’s mom asked me to accompany her to a swing concert there a few years ago – something I gladly agreed to. She shared her knowledge about the town’s history (everything from where everyone lived, when milk came in glass bottles to the single brick road that remains) as we waited in our plush seats for the music to play.

sad

Two weeks ago it was gutted in the middle of the night. Yesterday morning, my grandmother slipped into a coma and passed away. The events are told to me in telephone calls and RSS feeds on my computer monitor.

I didn’t expect things to begin changing this fast…

and I never even considered that the only place I ever knew could literally disappear.

sigh

A few more photos of the fire are under the cut. Continue reading

Unclump Your Eyes

Rachel was recently on the cover of my hometown’s paper – in a photograph her parents held up. Murdered in 2000 and dumped in a field close to home, her death remains a mystery.

We had taken some classes together and she’d driven me home one day when I couldn’t get a ride. I was friends with some people who affiliated with her and her on-again/off-again boyfriend…her undergraduate followers…no one I think she had ever really called to hang out with or considered close. But once she was gone, man – all of those people wanted to claim that they’d been a buddy. Everyone made her mystery their business.

I, myself, had never pried. We were standing at the door before the bell rang, waiting for the signal to throw the doors open, and she had just performed a solo in choir (there was profanity coming from the CD player on the piano and our director shook his head, making some notes about the need for selected songs to abide by the guidelines) to a Marilyn Manson track. The mostly Christian group had either snickered or prayed for her soul, looking at her black attire and wondered how someone could cause such a stir.

People usually got up and sang to Celine Dion.

She looked at me after her performance and said, propped up against the door, "People have no idea how fucked up I had it, as a kid. Some terrible things happened. Horrible, unimaginable things."

I think I nodded. I think that in my mind I kind of thought (being a victim of abuse, an alcoholic parent and still never having felt the need to wear heavy makeup or spikes) "Oh, how goth" and didn’t push her to go into detail. She was absolutely beautiful, admired by many and I couldn’t really fathom someone with an active social life and supportive family to have too many issues.

One day in art class after separating from her boyfriend she walked to up where he’d turned in a Friday Sketch. She picked it up and tore it into pieces before running over and punching him several times. The blonde boy grabbed her, lessening her blows, and never did hit her back. She collapsed against him, sobbing.

A few years later she came back to visit the art teacher and stayed for the entire day, drawing, talking to the seniors about to graduate. Somehow she had a seat next to me and was complimenting some of my portrait art.

She asked if people still talked about her. I didn’t talk to many people, really, so I said I didn’t know.

"I can’t believe the way I used to be!" she recalled, reflecting on her high school years. "My mascara was so clumpy."

And I thought to myself how odd it was, that she’d chosen to say that as opposed to something about her personality or her accomplishments. Never did she add to that, either – it was simply about the eyelashes.

Then we got on the subject of her schooling out-of-state. She had gone into computer graphics, which she wasn’t sure was the best decision to make as far as focusing her artistic talents. And before we could cover any more of her academics the conversation swayed to drugs, abortions and wild parties.

With a smile on her face she talked about freedom – of being away from a conservative town and how much her life had improved. Then she explained how she’d just been to a party and gotten so messed up that she’d woken up somewhere and didn’t know where she was or how she’d gotten there.

"It was crazy," she said, smiling.

Then she talked a little bit about her career at the Vouj strip club and how she’d been very nervous on her first day.

"But once you get out there, everyone is so supportive. The other girls, even the guys…" She’d cured her stage fright after one day.

And that’s all I can remember about my last moments with her. I briefly recall the ride home – some fuzzy thing over her steering wheel and purple or leopard cloth over the seats – but all of that has faded from my memory. I remember the football team practicing beside the middle school building… I remember the warm weather.

Rachel had attended a town carnival and the last anyone reportedly saw her was when she had to walk several blocks to her car after the event. Then she was gone.

And when any one of us wanted to find out what happened, we couldn’t. The paper released no information and neither did her family. The newspapers talked about her Christianity and her love for animals.

I would say to Mandi, "Well you know. If she was messed up in someone’s car and flipped out or was in trouble, maybe some asshole just dropped her off to overdose in the dark." We had nothing to go on besides the impression she’d made. The things she’d said, the places she’d gone…

The recent article read, "Her mother and father are angered by rumors of a drug overdose" and I got a sick feeling in my gut because I was one of the people who’d suggested it, telling one of my friends who surely related information back those people in Rachel’s outer and inner circles.

I rode along with some of her people to visit the tombstone some years ago. Black marble, white etching of a cat. Sleek, beautiful, strange and intense – just as she was.

Although it might not present the perfect image of her, those final moments with her and conversations we had are things that I hold onto because they’re truthful. I don’t know what happened to her. But maybe one day, by remembering to sort fact from fiction, we’ll be able to figure out what did.

The internet puts me in a good mood and I bitch a lot less.

O, the shamrock shake. Shammy goodness.

I can’t even set it down long enough to write.

You know all of those wacko bitches who go out and blow money on retarded crap for their shitty little dogs like carrying hand-bags, sweaters, jewels and feathered accessories? Well I did that for my cat, tonight. She now has a small, pink and white bed to curl up in as well as matching food dishes that sit a few inches up on a wire frame.

They’re ceramic, in the shape of hearts.

And that’s really as deep as I get, lately. Consider my soul on a getaway cruise.