July 30, 2014

A wooden shelter, on Clearview road.  Tin roof, wood benches, in a big square, with a concrete slab floor.  weathered 4 x4 for a fence-type sides.  Overgrown trees and vines, and a bunch of us as a girl scout troop camping.  there is a path into the woods, where we go during hikes, but there’s no detail about that.

the problem is the lion.  he lives across the gravel driveway, and spends his time ignoring us and eating grass and trees and vines and dead squirrels that he can scavenge.  But he is always there.  We wonder why he doesn’t smell us, doesn’t care that we are there, doesn’t  seem to want to eat us.  But we have one eye on him at all times, when we are washing our laundry in the river, hanging it over the 4x4s.  we are not too loud, we do not attract his attention, and we do not make eye contact.  he is content with the vines.

eventually, though, there is a baby lion.  and it does not stay on its side of the road, it wanders freely in and out of our shelter, using it as a jungle gym.  we are not afraid of the baby yet, but the adult notices us now.  we are growled at, and stormed, but he does not eat us.  our fear is growing because soon there will be two lions.  I ask my husband about shooting it, and he laughs at me.  “what kind of gun are you gonna use?  at what range?”  i don’t know, i say, who cares if you can shoot it in the head?  but he laughs again and says one lonely shot wouldn’t put an animal like that down.  so we are stuck living with the lion, the constant threat, and playing with the baby.

then Ms Lijewski turns up.  She walks right past the lion and asks me for Zoe.  she hands me her note cards and name tags, and gives me the instructions for her presentation.  I have no idea what she is talking about, but pretty soon there is traffic on the road, and zoe and her friends come walking up and everyone’s ignoring the lion, and she says, “pfft, yeah…” with an eye roll when i ask her is she giving a talk at school today.

at some point the lion is not content anymore with the vegetation.  i notice his mouth is bloody, and he is circling the camp, and i am afraid for real now.  there is something about purple goggles.

and we are walking to the parking lot, and my car is a convertible.  there are groceries in the car.  and Luke’s wife and kids and mother in law come by to pick him up and take him to school, and the girls are in dresses and bows, and colleen is nice, and jamie is there saying how well i handled that, and we all walk up clear view road to school.

it is a theater set-up.  we are on the balcony, and i am looking for luke so i can sit far away but i don’t see him.  i do see my bat shit mother, who i realize must have looked up the event day online and showed up all on her own because i didn’t invite her.  i don’t like the implications of this.  i ignore her and sit in the second row, well in front of her, next to an unknown dweeby teenage boy.  there are people with me but i don’t remember who they are.  the kids come filing in, and its one of those every-class-takes-a-turn-showing-what-they-can-do shows, and i notice his kid and she gets to sing a solo.

and it dawns on me somehow.  my mother was the one who fed the lion its first taste of meat.  she must have parachuted in, wearing purple goggles, and dropped a dead animal and made it hungry.

i decide to flirt with you-know-who, and i am typing a flirty text into my phone but I’m unsure of the number at this point because i deleted it so long ago.  but it must be right, because i get one back within a few minutes.  it is not flirty.  a pinterest saying of some kind about inappropriateness and being uncomfortable.  a second one comes through, more of the same but more strongly worded.  and finally, the last. a play on words on the one i sent him.  and i don’t remember exactly of course, but it is enough to embarrass me and put me in my place and make me cry.


July 21, 2014

My dad, picking us up from STL. its chaos in the lot, kids running everywhere, and I can’t find him. me and Zoe were later than the rest of the pack. then I remember he probably isn’t driving the same thing, given that he’s dead and all, so i start looking for him instead of the car. he’s in a sparkly green minivan, and as we’re driving home, he tells me about this new boyfriend my mother has, who is a 19 year old Pitt student, and he is worried that he’s going to have to pay the bills for this kid since their accounts are still all tied up together.
so later she is in the hospital and i am there, and she wants to buy something for a different little lover, and she says, spitting, “we’ll put it on Dennis’ card.” so i pretend to get the card out of her wallet but i really use my own, and i must not have glared at the ‘waiter’ kid hard enough, because he asks me to clarify right out loud, so of course she hears, and then its a big fight.

then we are traveling, my family, with the kids. and we need a bunch of hotel rooms to accommodate everyone of course, so i’m trying to pack up all the toys, and make sure we have complete sets of blocks, and lisa dennen and tammy manion and a couple of other friends i know come in, laughing “we heard you know where the rough porn is” and they don’t believe it, they think it’s ridiculous and that’s why they are laughing so hard. so i direct them to xfinity on demand, and show them the bdsm channel. and i’m all blasé, picking up the kids toys, while there are bound women on the screen. and now i’m laughing at them,, but in a ‘cat that ate the canary’ kind of way 🙂

July 20, 2014

at work. green tree. cute young, new PA sitting in the doc’s place. I’m defrosting hamburger at my desk. there’s a pound in my lunchbox with a bite taken out of it, saran wrap loosely on top, and i’m worried it will drip on my lunch. But i’m at the radiology computer and Val and Cory call me over and they have a testicular ultrasound report on a guy who I failed for a DOT. and there’s a grid pattern on the report, a wind rose, with 3 masses plotted out. there is a picture of a table fan in the bottom left of the page for a size reference. the report is labeled “nephroma” and i’m trying to figure out how a nephroma got in a testicle, and there’s a snarky sticky note at the top of the page saying that since this amounted to a pathology report instead of just an ultrasound, the radiologist wants paid more.

then I’m taking the hamburger and walking back to the kitchen, and Val has painted the kitchen in intense contrasting shades of yellow and green, and it looks fantastic , and i go out the back door and find a wedding rehearsal for a japanese wedding i’m supposed to be in, and they are doing this dance, back and forth, and arms overhead as they twirl, and they have to stop so that they can assign partners. so we are standing in a big circle in the hall, like in school, and everybody is pairing off, and i’m kind of hanging back so i can maybe beg off if they don’t have enough, but then a little 10 year old boy doesn’t have anyone either, so i get him. and i’m glad because he is a riot, and kids, I can talk to.


July 7, 2014

i did sit ups.  in a class.  on an incline.  obliques too.

tearing through my kid’s closet looking for something to wear to the Benedum.  put on a tshirt, under a glitzy low cut top, sparkles all over, a long black skirt and a mini over top.  we’re driving to the show when a car full of cute guys pulls by and starts laughing at me and i see the get up in the side view mirror  and change into a slinky plunging lace sling bodice with jewels on the lace and nipples plainly visible and a long mermaid skirt  silky and clingy.  my father disapproves.

walking downtown in my get-up with connie, going into tiffany’s not seeing anything i like  wondering where the good stuff is.  she wants me to go see this show at the museum but i have to go pick up zoe. so i go to school, can’t find the kid of course, but now me and sarah are wandering through chess club trying to find an empty table to study at. im looking for the snack bar because i need a diet coke

in a restaurant, all my family and someone else i don’t remember.  we’re drinking beer and eating burgers, and along comes this family of 4, mom, dad, 2 little boys, and they stand in front of our table and make the boys genuflect and then they sit down in our booth and start to give their testimony.  we stare t them with hairy eyeballs, hoping they will understand the inappropriateness of what they are doing, but they don’t, so finally i interrupt and say, “you know, I’m not really comfortable sharing personal information with strangers.  and this feels kind of crowded.  so you guys can move to the next table, or we can if you want, whatever”  and they get all huffy but they move to the big circle table in the corner with a million chairs and suddenly theres 20 of them, with the pastor and the lawyer, and they’re everywhere.  on the stairs, at the pool, around the corner, everywhere, just staring at us like stalkers.  so i bust in, yell at the lawyer, right in his face, that this is a free country, he has no right to dictate what my religion is going to be, we have laws against this kind of thing and I’ve written it all down and i shove the paper at him, and tell him the CFR reference for my claims, and that i will call the FEDS not the locals, THE FEDS if they do it again!

Me and taylor swift careening backwards down an icy road in bethel park on the way to school.  I’m trying to recover the car but  she won’t let me because the adrenalin surge is “her process” so i give up and start opening this enormous christmas gift in the back.  and when i open it, theres a bunch of little treat bags and boxes, like you get at xmas parties at school, and i’m opening them, and they have really nice gifts, like jewelry, and makeup and heart-felt notes from people i barely know, and how much they’ll miss me and appreciated me and i’m all weepy and crying.

in a dark bohemian red and purple silky draped room with all my friends,  and cher and jennifer aniston and suddenly cher and someone else start doing this duet (i think it was whitney’s ‘I will always love you’) and it’s beautiful and then the scene cuts to a holywood awards show, big auditorium, and brad is serenading angie and the kids are all sitting in the audience, no adult, perfectly behaved (which i point out to zoe and she rolls her eyes) and brad does this weird priestly bow and chalice thing during the song, to try to show his reverence for her , but it’s not a chalice, its a big glass vase, and she is glaring at him, makes a WTF face when he passes the cup to her and he is laughing.

there was also a bit with brad pitt playing honorary pro baseball for a day, and i’m counting his wrinkles to reassure myself its ok to get old, and then i look at her with wrinkles and i know its not.


July 6, 2014

There is a friend who has a little girl. I am watching the news in my room, upper floor of a high rise, with floor to ceiling windows that have a view of the night- lit city. On the news, they are talking about two little girls who have been kidnapped and killed, and she comes into my room panicked, with a shoe box. and it has her kids name on it, with the date, just like the police files of the other 2 girls, and she can’t find her baby anywhere. so we know she is gone.
? her husband is in jail, does trash pickup duty on the beach, and notices a man running down the beach with a big cart behind him advertising the business, ”
” and it occurs to him this could be a front for a trafficking operation. so he gets some other convicts to ask around and pay attention and stalk this organizations fishermen when they come out of the water, and when they are sure these guys are bad, they call the cops, and they get a SWAT operation for the next time, and these guys have a firefight on the beach, and the bad guys get hauled away.
but of course, one guy gets away with our hero’s baby, and the police let him out of jail to go look for his kid. The rest of the convicts have come up with a picture of what the guy looks like, rick, cocky, long blonde hair, and by now the girl is like 10 or 11, and she is sending messages to mom and dad secretly so they can rescue her. so me and the mom meet up with the girl ? who is wearing these white jean sorts, and go crawling through the steam tunnels to escape, and she’s worried about her white jeans. and her boyfriend is this big gangster type with gold chains and he is trying to track us down too, and we come out of the tunnels onto the street. the blonde guy is there, arguing with the valet about a parking space, and there are a bunch of undercover cops ready to bust him, and we realize our mistake, but ts too late and he has seen us, and me and the girl and mom and dad are all there watching him watch the girl, with this hungry look, and the cops aren’t noticing anything, and then the mother crosses the street, goes right up to the guy, and they talk for a minute, and then walk away.   the next scene is the girl a little older with dad and getting notified by the news that the mom was killed in substitute for her.

also a dream where zoe finds a snake in the boys room, and we try to kill it with hedge clippers, but we can’t get a cut to go all the way through, so there are  a million smash lines on this snake, and its stopped moving, and is laying there belly up, and we figure the blunt force drama has done it in, and by this time we are out in the backyard, and zoe picks it up with a stick, but she tosses it toward the house instead of in the vetch, and so the thing lands back in the boys’ room, and of course it is still alive and ava runs outside screaming at zoe about being a dumb ass.

July 4, 2013

i remember looking at the sky, a circular space station with balconies and windowed hallways, suspended like the moon.  Spock was there, giving the tour, not understanding that the problem had been solved.  Urban planning, underground building , skyscrapers, indoor gardens, self-sustaining, rural communities in the heart of downtown. completely contained in your manhattan apartment building, with never a need to exit the building.  and as the sun set, i took him outside, pointed to the sky and showed him the station.

I am led to the basement, his bunker-at-home.  Bar, desk, kitchen, water, electronics, surveillance, power supply independent of the rest of the house.  solar.  independent, off the grid.  In reality, it’s own grid.  Leads me to the desk to show me his work.  He has data on everything and everyone in the corporation.  he shows me a profile.  The level of detail is frightening.  he knows how many people work here, who they are, background checks on everyone.  He knows about their affairs, their secret apartments, their heroin habits, their AA meetings.  He knows where the money goes, how much is lost at the casino, how much they give to charity, who is faking and who is not.  His motto is, “everyone lies” and he digs until he finds the pressure point on every one of them.  The bosses included.  His job is to protect the company, financially, intellectually, legally, physically.  But when I look at him, I see panic.

In the hospital.  Pagac treating a guy for diverticulitis with levaquin powder packets.  looking for the “big white guy” because he’s her relief.  the patient and his wife in the recliner chair in the corner of the room, me looking through the supplies as she mixes up his meds.  In the bottom of the linen shelf, there is another packet of levaquin.  together we wonder if it’s enough to treat him.  there are some clothes there, too, things I’ve donated in the past.  a pair of denim short shorts, size 12, that i take back, thinking they will fit  me.  I give the ugly baby clothiers to the couple, and go looking for, I can only assume, is Stiles, but when i make my way through the milling crowd in the cafeteria and look at the board, i see that there are no initials for JS, or BM, but there are for BR.  Could she mean Rebar?  He’s assigned to rooms 1,2,3,4 for the next 15 minutes.  but they’re only classrooms.  and he’s not in any of them.  and she’s waiting for me to find him because she needs help, and i’m failing.  i look in the other rooms, all classrooms, no patient care anywhere, I see my kid in lifeguard class and wave ‘Hi”.

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