Month: January 2014

Rainbow Death

Daily Prompt: Roy G. Biv

by michelle w. on January 7, 2014

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image.

Husband’s Papa died yesterday at six. I don’t have any family other than a friend I consider blood, so Papa has been my grandfather for the past three years as well.

We have faithfully visited Grandma and Papa regularly ever since I met Joshua. Watching his slow decline has been painful, but even though we knew it was coming, death still hit us off guard.

I have been wading through a sea of repressed memories flooding back to me concerning parts of the abuse with which I haven’t acknowledged. I’m on weekly visits with Mary. We were in her office yesterday at the clinic. I was having a break down. Josh gets a call. He leaves the room. He comes back in and says, “He’s dying right now. We have to take Grandma.” Mary scribbles the prescription for my new medicine, passes it to me, and sends me off with a hug and a ‘love you’. And I said I love her too. I do.

I ran right past the car on my way out the door. Ran back around and climbed in the car. Josh is trying to hold it together. He’s speeding as fast as he can, but of course, we hit every red light. He keeps getting calls from his sister crying and he can hear people moaning in the background, “He’s dying! He’s dying!” It doesn’t seem real.

At grandma’s house, I jump out of the car and run to her door. I ring the doorbell. She’s home alone. She doesn’t answer. Josh rings. She doesn’t answer. The door swings open suddenly and she, with wig askew, clutches Joshua in her arms and cries a cry that is so tired it sounds more like heavy breathing. “I just can’t believe it,” she cries. We sandwich her between us in a hug. She goes back to the bathroom and gathers herself. We take her car and head out to the nursing home. Papa had just been transferred there from the hospital for hospice that morning.

The drive there seemed an hour long. Every minute watching those orange digital numbers flick on the car clock felt like ten minutes. Grandma kept exclaiming that it didn’t seem real. Her phone rings. She answers. “He died.”

That moment is frozen.

She says it so naturally. Josh is not jolted by this exclamation. I don’t feel like I deserve to react when those two are staying so strong. But after listening to the conversation, I realize that Josh and Grandma already knew. Somewhere in our communication, ‘died’ became ‘dying’.

We get to the home. Climb out of the car. Josh takes one of her hands; I take the other. We walk her through the doors and down the hall, and it hurts. I don’t know what to say but, “It’ll be okay.” At his room, the usually open door is closed. We push it open. I see a room full of people, but the faces that stick out are Mike, my father-in-law, crying. My brother-in-law, Jarrod, crying. These men I never expected to see crying. And then as I look around the room I see face after face of my husband’s family, the family I see as my own, in tears. They all cry out when they see her go and clutch his yellowing, dead hands.

Every time I see a dead body, I flashback to a funeral I attended three years ago when I first met Josh. The girl was a friend I had known since early childhood. She hung herself in the tree under which we used to wait for bus for years. The funeral was open casket. And her eighteen-year-old neck still had rope marks.

To be continued… Maybe.


Bed Full of Phoenix

Holy Shit: Have I expressed how much I love Phoenix? I love Phoenix. If I could have intercourse with sound, I’d be fucking Phoenix.  Just look at them. And the music is exponentially sexier and more amazing than they look. And they are actually better live than in recordings, which is ridiculous considering how perfect the tracks are. Yes, I’ll take a bed full of Phoenix please.

Last Saturday: Went to Mount Pony, Library of Congress and watched Pulp Fiction with Mack and Josh.

Last Monday: Mack came over and went to Mary. Then we went to State Theater for Harlem Gospel Choir.

Last Week: Mack stayed for a while because of snow. I had snow days the entire week last week.

Yesterday: Snow day.

This Tuesday: Niece’s going away party.

Today: Swimming with the kids for Winter Sports and Silvertone Swing Band at State Theater.

Tomorrow: Josh’s 26th birthday party.

Sunday: May help Mack move into her new room.

Update: I am depressed. I am reckless. I am craving adventure: sexuality, danger, and art. Maybe combine the three. I know how, but it’s against the rules. I don’t know how to keep the two versions of myself alive. I have a new self named The Reverend. Well, you know about The Reverend from the song I wrote earlier this month. But there are definitely two distinct other versions of me. I should give them all names so that it is easier to figure out which is which and maybe how to manage them.

Just Notes

Haven’t had to teach in five days. Another snow day tomorrow. I have been watching Downton Abbey, cleaning/organizing, studying, relaxing with Samita, and hosting Macky-J.

As you may know, I teach at a private school. The school is in major debt after separation from its associated church. With the deadline for a ridiculous sum of money due in February, the future of the school does not look bright. With my employment up in the air, I have latched onto the idea of possible starting a photography business.

I am not a photographer. I have never run a business outside of my private guitar instruction. But I live by the ballsy assumption that I can do anything. Young, idealistic, idiotic? Perhaps. My biological father always said, “To assume makes an ass of ‘u’ and me.” Regardless, this assumption has served me well thus far, and I plan to continue under its sway.

I was thinking of possibilities. Boudoir, photo booth, portrait, landscape, dimensional photography, freelance news-related. I hope to research and expound upon these ideas in the very near future.

Listening to Vangelis and Emile Pandolfi.

A Sea of Me

Neiko Ng {fantastic!}

I am a negative thinker. I am fully aware that my disorder contributes to this frame of mind, but I want to learn to be positive. In response to my Train Engine post, I’d like to now compare myself to this image of scuba divers reaching whimsically beautiful depths.

Progress has meant confrontation of painful memories, hurt, loss, and darkness. But I hope that as I delve deeper into myself and push harder toward my goal of self-empowerment and feeling good, I will find something beautiful within me.

Just as these divers are swimming past the darkness to the diverse, life-filled, pretty sea floor, I want to push through this darkness to discover my creative, life-filled, positive self.

The ocean has always terrified me – a great, powerful force of unknowns. Confronting my disorder terrifies me too – another great, powerful force of unknowns. While the sea holds giant creatures, murderous currents, and seemingly endless expanses of hopeless loneliness, my insides hold giant hurts, murderous currents of thought, and seemingly endless expanses of hopeless loneliness.

While afraid of the sea, I am fascinated by sea life – diverse, intricate, mysterious, and withholding so much power over mankind. Only twice have I ventured to dive into the sea to observe and swim as a part of the sea life, and while I was terrified of the sea, I felt such awe, thrill, and revival. In the same way, I am fascinated by the good parts of me. I hope that despite my fear of confronting this disorder, I will dive in and discover awe, thrill, and a revival of person, soul, and spirit.

Train Engine

Stay safe on an Indian train journey ....

I am this train engine. All of the people I take care of are the Indian people. All of my responsibilities and trauma are the cars of the train.

I have a rabbit in my bathtub. I’m fostering it until Mack is ready to take him home on Monday.

I woke up on Wednesday morning with unexplained, large, painful bruising all over my left leg. Mary says it’s a reaction to the medication of which I was taking 1/6 of the recommended lowest dosage.

I am doing well in my LUO classes. I have earned A’s on all assignments thus far and have submitted all assignments ahead of the deadline.

Mack tried to do herself in again on Wednesday night. She stayed with us last night and visited Mary this morning. I look forward to the day that Mackenzie feels better – feels happy, secure, confident, content – and that I don’t have to worry about losing my very best friend.

I slept through the night last night and did not have any nightmares or night terrors. I am still emotionally and physically exhausted, but I feel that I’m making progress.

Mary told me yesterday that I need to let myself be angry. I want to let myself be angry, but I am afraid of how that anger will manifest itself in my life.

I trimmed my fingernails as short as possible to prevent myself from tearing up my hands. Results are progressing as intended.

Full faculty/staff meeting at 8:30 AM Tuesday. We should know more about fate of the school then.

Studying psychology. Think I need to find ways to get my body into parasympathetic mode more often that not.

Finding A Happy Place


I am here. Bare feet. Loose black panted jumper. Hair down and clean. Clean face, clear skin. Moisturized with peppermint lotion. Smells like wheat and honeysuckle and pine. Temperature is perfectly situation within light warmth. Fresh air. Slight, dreamy breeze. Music is just there, in the air, coming from nowhere but in perfect quality. It’s playing my favorite songs from Phoenix, Foster the People, Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys. I can breath the music into my body and feel it living in my heart. Powerful. I can walk here. Stopping, lying in the grasses and ferns, and they feel like a fuzzy blanket. A cool spot. Time doesn’t exist. I have no pressure or demands. I am free. No agenda. I know that my beautiful home is nearby clean and purged of excess. I know that my husband and my Mack are back at the house waiting to continue the picnic, but they’re in no rush. Bang-bang shrimp, chicken Marsala with mashed potatoes and mushrooms, and macadamia nut brownie in raspberry sauce over vanilla ice cream are in beautiful bowls next to a hammock beneath shade trees and surrounded by flowers and herbs. But I just lay, arms stretched out, legs stretched out, deep breaths, happiness. This is my happy place.

“You Shouldn’t Feel That Way.”

chloe sevigny.Although a brief hiatus, this one has spanned what feels like a lifetime to me. Papa died. We’ve spent this past week eating and planning with family, performing a funeral, and indulging in celebratory fellowship. On top of this, I have been teaching and learning as a full time educator and full time student. I am exhausted.

In addition to mourning, celebrating, and singing, I have been dreading myself, my memories, my nightmares, the constant urge to stab myself in the chest. Morbid, I know, but real nonetheless. PTSD flairs. That painful place underneath the sternum throbs. And one question among many continues to repeat: Why can’t I be treated like any other person with a disability?

That sounds very self-pitying. Very pathetic. Very whiny. But really? I hear this all of the time: “You shouldn’t feel that way.” Would you say to someone with cancer or nerve damage or a muscular disorder who cries in pain, “You shouldn’t feel that way”? I am physically challenged not only by my body, but by my soul and mind. Please, do not tell me I shouldn’t feel the pain, the agony, by which I am plagued. Encourage me. Love on me. Support me. Do not chastise me.

I have a long week of work ahead of me considering the forces against me. I am making it a goal to give myself TLC each night.