Earth Day

Sunday, April 22nd, was Earth Day. And as an afterthought I realized that I celebrated it shouting "timber".

Before:

As you can see, the whole center part of the tree on the left was dead and falling off.

After:

My front yard just got a whole lot bigger! NEW PROJECT!

Wasn’t Warm 2 Me

Everyone seemed baffled by the mild winter except for me. When it was time to finally perform, the season had been spent in an over-stayed welcome. The strongest in best of places did not even need to sleep – I, for one, was awake the whole time.

Winter decided to stay last year,

 which it had never done before

the chill just would not go away

even when the sun shined,

I felt it all the more

The truest blacks and white on grey

Bonus

This popped up recently and I think its roots were probably in the dirt clump of lilies that a coworker gave me in 2010. I remember seeing a tiny spec of purple in 2011 but didn’t pay much attention to it. Now it’s really interesting.


What IS that thing?!

“The world famous Boogie Woogie Wu will come to you.”

When someone comes in to the building with over-sized clothes or accessories I make note of it. It’s not a matter of taste or style, or color or sex – it’s the perfect opportunity that concerns me.  Shopping bags, after all, can be worn and used to steal.

One gentleman in particular had a large, puffy coat that I really liked for the vibrant red color. I didn’t pay much attention to him (after all, it was chilly out so most people are gonna dress appropriately). It was a bit uncommon to see a man holding two big fistfuls of DVDs as he made his way around, but ‘uncommon’ is not a problem.

He had a few WWE titles and some horror movie called Rubber, among other things.

After he made his purchases, like a lot of other people, he pulled a hat over his head to prepare for the outside weather. I recognized an emblem on it for Physchopathic Records which is why my gaze lingered. It always amuses me to see a ‘juggalo’. Not only am I educated in their music – a proud fan is often passionate and living in their own culture of the dark carnival.

Then I realized something at the very last second, as he was actually facing me on his way out. The eyelids, the cheeks, the lips. Instantly familiar. This wasn’t a fan.

It was Violent J without any face paint on.

As he stopped to look at the candy machines in our vestibule, I was bubbling up. I said to the nearest employee, “Pretty sure I just told Violent J to have a good one.”

“Violet J?” She mispronounced, “Who is that??” and walked over to speak to him. He was vague, ‘yeah, I tour with a group’, etc.

“I had no idea – she’s the one who knew who you were,” said Leia, pointing to me. J looked back inside.

I smiled, waved, said something like “Hi, I just, I’ve never seen you before. Awww! That’s cool. Thank you.”

He thanked us and turned away. The automatic doors closed.

Gurrrrrl?!?! You see how he looked at me? You know he likes the black girls!” Cierra shouted, throwing her arms up, doing a little dance.

What A Sight

My workplace has been running video of attempted theft at our store. It’s a “watch the footage and point out all the things wrong with this picture” exercise. No sales people, calls for help and no one moving, etc. In the example being shown, management responds to my broadcast and we save the day but, ideally, they want every team member to deter theft with customer contact.

“You’ve been a superstar all week.”

I joked to my boss, “I didn’t know I ever wasn’t one.”

***

Last night, two people caught my eye as they looked at a Pioneer CD receiver in carfi. It was something about the way they were all alone, hovered over the box that had been difficult to reach, looking back and forth at each other that interested me.

They had two small children who appeared to be disabled. Their skin didn’t look healthy – they had dark blotches, visible veins in their face, like they were sick. I see things like that sometimes, and my heart hurts. There are just so many ways that people are given individual struggles, unfair disadvantages, that I can’t rationalize.

The shopping cart was one of those shaped like a car to interest children in remaining seated. I watched the product start in the top basket of the cart. Then it disappeared behind a bulky corner of the store so I paged my team and saw the couple emerge with the box resting in another position. After a continued stroll through dark, unoccupied areas (calling out for contact again), they strolled up to the front door and their box appeared to be gone.

They paused before attempting to exit and looked at each other in those subtle ways that I can almost hear like conversation.

Looking toward me, I could tell they were trying to pick up on whether or not I was paying attention. I caught a glimpse of the red and white box, now nestled in between the children’s car seats. I purposely looked in the opposite direction and hummed a cheerful tune like I didn’t have a care in the world.

The female positioned herself to block my view and the male slowly pushed the cart past check-out.

I stepped in front of them, so close to the doors that they automatically opened, and thanked them for coming in with a great big, oblivious smile.

“And your kids are just beaut-OH, Did You Want To Pay For That?” I asked, and pointed at the item.

Ohhhhh. We forgot that was” was really all I remember hearing, as I kept smiling and insisting everything was hunky-dory. While my mouth moved, I bent down and wrestled with the product, focused only on getting it back. I didn’t want my voice to match the assertion it took to alter a plan in motion.

We made small talk about how times were hard. The man said he didn’t have a job. Blah blah blah, this fucking box is really in here…

I was still telling the little kids how adorable they were as I jerked that thing out from between them.

Sometimes there are more things wrong with the picture than I dare say.

Hands Still Clasped

First-hand experience has taught me that when people stop coming around but insist they haven’t gone anywhere, there’s more to it than that. They’re gone because something is changing. Things are different. And either you level with the other person before it’s too late or barrel forward until you can never come back.

Dear Diary, something has changed. Things are different.

And I took the time today, to let someone important know what I was dealing with. It wasn’t easy, getting the chance to explain, and once I had the opportunity I almost didn’t take it because the game of catch-up sounded like another chore on my list. Thankfully I can recognize my own patterns, how shutting people out is only chemicals swirling, and I didn’t let negative vibes influence my determination.

I took a breath, thought about what I had to say and shared a relevant part of my life with someone who matters a lot. It didn’t take long to find the words and once I had them I returned to an exciting place where people connect and dreams are realized. It was a spark I had been going without, that I’d temporarily sacrificed so I could be better at more trying challenges.

She knew, I believe, that I wasn’t going to be gone long. I like to think that she knows how much self-worth I put into the code of sisterhood. She’s a smart girl; she knew that something was up and hoped that I would bring back enough good dish for the both of us.

I did, indeed.

Only I am not entirely sure how I can share it without getting into trouble for my troubles. It’s not good to live in secrets and silence. My sister cautioned me about this, and she said, “Make up the names. Use animals if you have to.”

I laughed. She has The Bull, a raging mafia fuck who stampedes through her life, messing it up at the brink of perfection.

A long time ago, when I was still building my beliefs, someone quoted me a song. Its declaration was sworn by death to be the very message they brought. That was when every column stood up and towers stayed tall. Before the ivy found its way into the stone, before my life was a story to tell.

Back when being queen came naturally. Because, you know, there was nothing at stake.

I’ve never heard the song myself because I don’t care for easy listening. And I can’t say that the messenger lived up to the words. I remember them, though. I decided that it was how I would treat people. How I would set my course.

My dearest moon sister,

Everything is fucking crazy right now. I don’t know what the big picture is going to look like in another few months. But you can be sure…

You are there

And my life changes with you

Look It’s All Eastery!

Following my moon sister, quiet_exchange, I decided that I needed a tree for the upcoming holiday as well. A huge thanks to her for always inspiring me.

I didn’t spend a dime on this – I just grabbed an overgrown branch from that forsythia shrub, stuck it in the ground and hung some plastic eggs (I pulled ones that coordinated and left the neon ones in the bag) using tooth floss and pink yarn.