2.30. Dear Retailers

In light of the current snow storm, which has smacked Kansas/Missouri and surrounding areas in the face, I am appalled at the diligent pursuit of money over safety. Scrolling through my news feed on Facebook and Twitter, I was taken aback to see that so many people and their spouses were required to go to work today.

Now, let’s me mindful that some people are hard at work no matter what the weather; the doctors that will care for the ill, the police who are pulling people from their crashed vehicles, road workers attempting to restore the city to a better condition…people who work hard to save lives.

But retail workers?

There is a freakin’ state of emergency put out right now! Two years ago, I-70 was closed and up until an hour ago, no one thought that would come to pass during this storm. Well, both I-35 and I-70 have been shut down. Government offices have been closed due to the severity of the weather.

And yet…Macy’s is open. Target is open.

…Wait for it…

What planet are these people on? To subject employees to dangerous conditions in order to make a buck is appalling! These multi-million dollar companies ride on the backs of workers whose lives are not even remotely considered at the beginning of the work day.

It’s not like this storm came out of nowhere. We knew about this. We had time to prepare. Hell, my own store manager called me two days ago and asked me to work yesterday JUST SO I wouldn’t have to subject myself to the road conditions for my shift today. THAT’S a company worth working for. The other company I work for will send it’s employees home WITH pay despite not finishing their shifts. THAT’S a company worth working for.

No place of employment is perfect, I will admit, BUT any place that is willing to subject their staff to risk their well being is disgraceful. Shame on you!

My heart goes out to the people who genuinely felt like they had to go out in these conditions for fear of being reprimanded. Retail is not an easy job, though there are many who don’t have a lick of respect for the mistreatment undergone for the sake of selling…in the simplest terms…materialistic shit.

It’s stuff. Just stuff. Stuff that won’t matter in a week, a month, a year. Stuff that can and will be replaced once a new trend hits, a new design is made, a new product is introduced. What CANNOT be replaced is the life of a human being. A human being who just wants to support him/herself. His/her family.

For anyone who reads this, whether you are directly in the midst of this storm – please comment with your company name and whether or not they are/have been open or closed in severe weather/state of emergency status/other extreme conditions. People should know what mentality they are supporting when they drop a dollar.

Personally, I would like to know where I will and won’t shop. Needing a new sweater or a bag of chips is not as important to me as knowing my friends and family are safe.

What about you?

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2.29. The Stars Shine

This post gives me great joy to write. But it also has a deep rooted past. And so, we travel back to the first year I moved to Kansas.

Working for an in-home mental health care facility, I spent hours upon hours with a new set of people while our clients slept soundlessly in their beds. Between bed rotations, medicine distribution, and breathing checks…the staff would hang out in the living room and chit chat or play hours of card games. 

J and I sat in the living room for our first overnight shift together. We had eight hours to burn before our clients had to be woken for their daily activities…all we had was time to burn. He told me he’d had one girlfriend but that was it. And without skipping a beat, he divulged everything about his deepest secrets. He was gay. But his family had raised him Baptist and his father was a preacher; a man respected in the community for his devotion to God. J had tried being with a girl to “fix” himself. But it hadn’t worked. 

“So, have you come out to your family?”

J looked puzzled. “Why would I do that?”

He explained that he knew his feelings were wrong. There was no reason in coming out because he would never live that sinful life. He would never betray his God or his family. He would not burn in hell for the lust of the body. 

“So, you’re just going to be alone forever?”

He laughed at my “ignorance,” and explained that he wasn’t alone because he had Gods love. 

“But wouldn’t your God want you to be happy?”

He said he was but his eyes said otherwise. 

Fast forward more than a decade.

An attractive, Jesus loving hipster enters my world. I immediately lean on him for all of my Godly questions. But the world that we live in can’t understand why someone like him and someone like me would ever really talk. So the rumors started. I was trying to tempt him. I wanted to bring him over to the dark side. We were probably having secret kissing sessions when no one was looking.

And it pissed me off. Because no one knew the conversations we’d had. No one knew that we stood in a parking lot at 4am talking about his love for God. No one knew that he’d revealed, he too, had felt things for the same sex but couldn’t act upon them because of his love for his Lord. No one knew that I cried for this boy and told him the story of J. That my heart broke to see someone so amazing trapped by their own love…only to be left deprived of love.

A distance built between us and I will admit that I grew to dislike him immensely. I felt betrayed. How could he open his world to me in such a way and yet distance himself from me as if I were a fucking leper? I hadn’t judged him or told him what he felt was wrong. I had embraced him and he’d turned the other cheek.

I had a moment when I thought he wanted me to shun him for his revelations. When he wanted me to be like everyone else. That would have been easier. But I hadn’t and instead…I’d been thrown away like garbage. What a friendship, I thought.

The boy moved away. And I shouldn’t care.

But I am beyond happy for this boy. I have learned that in his move…the star found his puzzle piece, has grown even closer to his God in his new love, and has learned to be honest with himself and the world he aspired to change. I watch from a distance and I am elated to see pictures and posts of pure, genuine love. My tears were not in vain. Everything turned out the way it should have and someone who is truly a gift to this world now knows it’s possible. To love with your whole heart AND to be loved wholeheartedly.

When he became a star

2.28 – Digital Dating Diary (Entry1)

Real messages from real people showing really sad attempts…

“Your son is very handsome , your not so bad yourself, im a single dad, business owner, and looking for someone to hang with in the little free time I have, so if your interested in rich Italian guys message me back”

“-May your wings lift you to the top of the world”

“Yet, a true happiness calls through the shadows of my loneliness stirring my heart to take again another chance risking pain once again….oh how I must find pleasure in the pain.”

“Priceless, you’re priceless!! No dollar amount can buy the joy & happiness you bring. You are the first lady worthy of a king, my queen. The moment I set eyes on you, I knew I would fall. You make it better! lets chat sweetheart, i would love to get to know U”

“Damn Lil momma any way u dig white boys”

“I wanna know you”

“Hello how are you doing and what movies do you like seeing and things like to do for fun maybe bowling; dancing; mini golf; playing pool; darts or anything fun like that just asking………………..”

“Hey I’m Brandon. I read your profile and you cought my eye. What is the first thing you look for in a guy? How’s was your weekend?”

“Hi i probably have no chance but i thought id balls up and message u and tell u wow”

“Wuz up. How u doin? Thought mayb we can chat n talk a lil get to know eachother hit me up.dnt b a stranger get at me”

 

I might be a bitch for how critical I am. But I’m not hoping for some random guy. I’m not hoping for some fair weather connection, intimate encounter, or sugar daddy. I want to fall head over heels in love. And so I wait…and laugh in the meantime.

2.26. Damn You, John Hughes

In light of my current read, Damned by Chuck Palahniuk, and the continuous reference to the John Hughes film, The Breakfast Club, I’ve decided to answer the detention assigned question in 1000 words. Here goes.

Who Do You Think You Are?

I ask myself this question time and again and the answers are numerous and yet nothing substantial for personal growth. It is always a reflection of where I came from, experiences that have influenced my life. So, I’ve come to believe I am my history. To answer in this way is to imply that I am what I was and therefore have no idea how to unearth the me I was supposed to be despite circumstance. But I suppose everyone needs a place to start and my history is all I know. So, maybe, in recollections, I will find the answer of who I am in the ashes of who I’ve been. 

I am the daughter of a con artist and a retired police officer. I am the step-child of a deceased Jewban who could probably answer this question for me better than I can. I am an incest and rape survivor. I am a diagnosed Bi-Polar/PTSD patient. I am an aspiring writer and an avid reader. I am a Puerto Rican female who does not feel connected to anything culturally, socially, mentally, spiritually, or physically. 

I am a divorcee. I am a problematic human being who delves into the deepest trenches of pessimism because optimism means I have hope and hope scares the crap out of me. I am a college drop out. I am a closet romantic. I am a scared little girl. 

I am a mother. I am a soldier for my son and his number one cheerleader. I am an example of all the things he should probably not want in a companion. 

Yo, this shit is depressing.

I am all of the labels I have ever been given over the years. And I am a trapped entity; unable to escape the baggage and drowning under the weight. 

I am a spirit lost in what I wanted and what is. 

I am a bitch when I think I have to be, which seems to be a lot. I am a woman willing to forgive but searching for my own forgiveness. Yearning to be cleaned of my sins that leave me in the spiral of hopelessness I continuously fall into. 

I am far more vulnerable than I am comfortable with admitting. I am weaker than I want to say. I am struggling to know why I am here. 

Perhaps I am still damaged from the ongoings of recent years. I am still buried under the pain of loss, death, failure. Perhaps I cannot answer who I think I am because I’m not ready. Because I’m scared to leave a page blank and admit that I think that’s all I am. A blank page. A nothing. A mistake. 

Nowhere near 1000 words and still no answer. But an honest, horribly honest start. Something to revisit. Something I will attempt again at a later date.

2.24. Parental Efforts

If you’ve gone through a divorce, you know life can be hard. If you’ve gone through a divorce with a child in the mix, you know life can be gut wrenching. But I have to tell myself, time and again, this isn’t about me. Revenge cannot exist when you have a child with someone because the only person you’d be punishing is the innocent. The one who didn’t ask for two parents who couldn’t resolve their shit.

I’ve been on the receiving end of the spiteful intent many times over the course of this divorce. I’ve been deprived of hearing my sons voice solely for the fact that it means so much to me. And as much as I want another to know what that agony feels like…I can’t.

He calls and I answer. But my son is somewhere between sleep and annoyance. He doesn’t want to talk on the phone and screams instead. The call ends. It could be just that. I answered. I did my duty. But is that all my duty entails? In my eyes, no. I sit with Hunter and talk to him. I ask him why he doesn’t want to talk on the phone. “I don’t want to talk to daddy because daddy is mean.”

And that breaks my heart. But I know my son can also say I’m mean because I won’t give him 5 cookies. So, I try again. I tell him that his daddy loves him. That his daddy called because he misses him and thinks he is very important. I tell him that his daddy is happy when he hears his voice just as I am when I call. I ask him if it’s okay to call daddy back and try again. He says okay. He calls and they share a moment on the phone. They laugh and say I love you. The conversation ends and it is good for them.

Now, my duty is fulfilled. At the end of the day, I may not like the person on the  other end of the line. I may feel that my son is being used as a pawn to punish me. BUT I know that despite my feelings, I cannot do the same things and feel good about the state of my soul. And so, I will encourage every phone call. I will encourage every visit. Because encouraging my son to love and know his father does not take away from our bond. It simply says that my son will know that I always put his needs before my own.

I can’t force anything. I can’t make strong bonds form. I can only nurture what is there. I can be strong for my angel and be there for him, to talk and work through the good and the bad.

Bottom line, we didn’t get stuck with each other. He got stuck with us.

2.23. Random Guy (A Convo via Facebook)

The following is an actual conversation that has recently occurred via Facebook. Anyone that knows me knows that I do not collect friends on Facebook. All of my friends are people I’ve personally met over the years, a rare set of gamers, and some artistic contacts. I’ve met a lot of people in my life so I don’t have a problem accepting an add. But if I come to find out that I don’t, in fact, know this person in any way…I delete.

I’ve had a multitude of experiences in which someone claims to know a family member or friend of mine and inevitably attempts to extract information or deliver sexual advances. Either way, I’m not interested and so I stay on guard when randoms appear. Call me a bitch for this convo, call me rude. I am protective of my world and those I allow in it. I will never apologize for that. Now, without further ado…

Random Guy

Hello  how are? I’m ***** and you are? (My FB has my name on it. Asking who I am is asinine). 

Me

You don’t know who I am but you sent me an add on fb?
Random Guy
Nope I don’t kno you, but I was hoping I could get to kno you I mean that is the point of FB right? Loll to stay in touch wit who you kno and to network and meet wit the ppl you don’t .. not bein a smart ass just bein Real think about it every friend you have today started off as a stranger at some point or another .. now wit that bein said I don’t wanna waste yo time or be thirsty I just simply want to kno you  I apologize got the kinda lengthy message (I hate people who cannot spell a word as simple as k.n.o.w. Seriously, it’s four letters. He doesn’t want to waste my time or be thirsty…we shall see.)
Me
Everyone I have on my facebook, I’ve met in person before friending them on this social network. Not to be a smart ass. I don’t use fb as a dating site.
Random Guy
Loll who said anything about dating you? ok so I’m not someone u met in person but that don’t mean I’m not someone you could meet .. I’m dye the amount of thirst you receive from dudes on here is annoying asf and I don’t wanna be part of that group loll I just seen someone I found interesting and instead of judging as book by it’s cover I decided to add you and introduce myself as I would in person (He found me interesting…really? Based on a picture, I’m interesting. Honesty, people, try it some time). 
Me
Okay, nice. Thanks. (This is me, not being interesting or interested). 
Random Guy
Wuss the worst that can happen , I turn out to be cooler than you expect and we actually have a friendship? Would u at least like to kno what I’m about I’m not like everyone else .. (Doesn’t get the hint. Thirsty much)?
Me
What response are you wanting cuz to be honest, now the long ass tirades are just annoying. (My version of honesty). 
Random Guy
I apologize for the long messages, just wanted you to get to kno me before u count me out not looking for any response So can u just have a conversation wit me and see where it goes? (Do people try this hard for a new “friendship?” Damn). 
Me
Nowhere right now. I’m going to bed.
Random Guy
Goodnight ..

Today

Random Guy

Goodmornin  .. how are you today?
Me
good (Still not interested). 
Random Guy
What u got up for today?
Me
relaxing at home. (I.E Noneyadamnbusiness.com). 
Random Guy
Yeah I feel you I’m of work today so I’ll prolly finish my song I been working on hopefully they don’t call me into the office loll how’s your Lil Mann? (This was clever in dropping the music/my career info. But I don’t care. A guy asking how my son is, a guy I don’t know from Adam…officially is in the ‘ya gone’ category. Guys think this will make a woman swoon or become more talkative. What it really says is, “you think my son is bait”). 
Me
He’s fine.
Random Guy
So tell me a bit about you? (Reminder: he added me. Why am I filling out the questionnaire? I don’t even feel like talking). 
Me
My fb says it all. (Leave me alone!!!!)
Random Guy
I wanted you to tell me instead of snooping all they to page (Did that sentence make sense? No, not really). 
Me
This is not intriguing to me by any means. How is it exactly that you found my page? (We have two mutual friends, I’ve already checked. They are both females I went to college with). 
Random Guy
Yo page popped up you seemed cool so I added you .. I ain’t tryna holla at you if you let yo guard down you would see that I’m just a cool cat tryna get to kno u (Tryna is not a fucking word! I just want to put that out there). 
Me
My page popped up? Right. See, when I dont trust someone because its obvious they are full of shit on their intentions, then I keep my guard up. How about you just hit delete and scope out someone else. (I.E You are coming off so damn thirsty right now and it’s seriously unbecoming). 
Random Guy
Actually yes yo page popped up in the ppl you may kno suggestion box .. I added you .. you ont kno shit about me to tell me I’m full of anything .. yeah you cute but you not all that to just be rude to someone like that my intentions were as stated previously now whether you believe that is not my problem but gettin wit you is and was not My intentions at all like I said to be friend someone you have to meet them first but you have a nice day Ms. ***** (He sounds mad that our friendship is over. I feel bad. Oh wait, I don’t. Why is me being cute relevant? Why is it an assumption that I think I’m all that because I don’t want to get to know this random guy who can’t speak properly? I’m crying on the inside from his painful words against me…)
Me
Who claimed to be all that? I dont want to know you. Period. Get over it.
If me saying I’m not interested in getting to know someone makes me a rude bitch…then a rude bitch is what I shall be. With joy and glee in my cold, black, dead little heart.
Wah wah wah, cry me a river.

2.21. I’ll Take That

“If you can’t accept me at my worst,

you sure as shit don’t deserve me at my best. 

Call me crazy

For every outlandish, brash, bold, blunt verbal vomit I will lay on the land. For every lapse in judgement and weakened moment. For the insecurity that beats in my chest. For the endless array of questions as to what and why and how and when and what-if?

Call me crazy

For wanting love despite the madness. For believing in a pure, true, and deep connection based on something other than violent thrusts and faked endings. For dreaming about love stories even greater than the sun and moon leaving letters of adoration in the stars. For anticipating something so profound, the world just won’t know what to do with us.

Call me crazy

For expressing the happiness, sadness, joy, horror, thrill, worry of what this life has to offer. For being a cryptic read. For wanting effort, loyalty, honesty, integrity, passion, romance, intensity, forgiveness, growth, inspiration, laughter, conversation, sincerity, hope…and more laughter.

Call me crazy 

For feeling frail after the world I called forever crashed down upon me. For not being as strong, as tough, as bold, as brave, as resilient, as optimistic as the next one. For feeling just a tad broken after the glass castle broke. For not healing to your liking.

Call me crazy

Call me what you will. A failure. A disappointment. A mistake. A burden. I’ve heard it all before.

I am a beautiful chaos. Not meant for just anyone. Not meant for those weak of mind and heart. For some, a blessing to never know. To each his own. Souls like mine aren’t meant for the world to love. Being me comes with the risk of loneliness and labels.

Call me crazy. 

From a cowardly lion, that’s a fucking compliment. 

2.13. Tragedy Is Our Reality

There is NOTHING that justifies killing a child.

There is NOTHING that explains away how someone could rip a gaping hole into the future,

There is NOTHING that makes me believe in the concept of pure evil as the capability of slaughtering the innocent.

There is NOTHING that makes me lose faith in human kind more than innocence being so blatantly debilitated.

There is NOTHING that scares me more than knowing NO ONE is safe from the insanity of an angry, over-privileged, self-righteous, greedy, egotistical world and its inhabitants.

There is NOTHING anyone can say to make tragedy better, easier, calmer, more bearable.

There is NOTHING that will bring those children back.

There is NOTHING that will erase the nightmares, terror, fear, and trauma from the survivors.

There is NOTHING that will ever make this make sense.

My heart breaks for the pain, the sorrow, the agony shrouded over the memory of those lost. My mind reels in pure loathing for the despicable disregard for others so easily displayed by the shooter(s). The facts are still unclear. But the only fact, the only relevant piece of this puzzle, is that children are dead.

The media is going to dive down on this like vultures. They will analyze the killer(s) as if they are specimens to be understood. They will try to make sense of this just as they have tried with every other act of terrorism on our soil. They will blame mental illness, the economy, music, TV, movies, a failed marriage, the turmoil in the lives of the assailants. They will put a stamp on it and in six months…no one will be talking about the 18 dead. No one will remember their names, what they wanted to be when they grew up, their favorite foods, their letters to Santa. No one will remember.

And the day after WE forget…THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.

This is not an epidemic. This is not something to work toward curing. This isn’t Cancer. This is Death. This is now an inevitable part of our reality. Because when you do the same shit – you get the same results. This is something that isn’t going away. No matter how many poor attempts at understanding and discussion we pretend to have.

With every form of social media sending out condolences and cries of dismay…ask yourself…what are YOU going to do to stop this? What are WE going to do?

Because I will be damned if my son is going to be shot up at a movie theater. I will be damned if my child is shot up in the halls of his elementary school, his high school, his college. I will be damned if my son leaves this world before I do! Point blank period.

I don’t have the answers. I have only one suggestion. WE, as a society, need to realize that EVERYTHING we think we’re doing right – nix it. EVERYTHING we think we know – null and void. Throw away all of the options of normalcy and forget it. It’s gone. It’s time to think outside the box – because innocents are being shot up inside that box. Inside the confines of our little minds and our shortened attention spans. Inside of the walls of a world WE have built.

It’s bullying, it’s hatred, it’s killers, it’s the anonymity of evil. It’s that we live in a world in which ANYONE is capable of covering our children’s lives in veils of red. Ending a better future before it has a chance to replace the reality we SHOULD BE ashamed to call our own.

This post means NOTHING in the grand scheme of things.

These words are just those of a heartbroken, shocked, appalled, terrified mother. A woman who doesn’t know how to save her child. A woman who wants to figure out how.

 

2.10. Shooting Arrows

“Do you like to tear people down?”

Do I like it? No. Do I do it often? With ease. Call it self-sabotage, call it being socially awkward, call it rude, call it being a bitch. The point is – you can call it whatever the hell you want but it’s going to happen, regardless of its name.

I’ve written pretty openly about my predator-prey complex. I’ve told myself that in order to avoid being the prey anymore…I have to be the predator. In turn, I have probably scared off many people and subsequently been the prey of my own actions. Have I missed out? Probably. I’ll admit that.

I am an extremely flawed human being. My flaws may keep me in a position in which I am without companionship. It’s not something I’m excited to face but it may just be the reality of this girls life.

1.190 – Quality vs. Quantity

“If you can’t handle me at my worst…

…You don’t deserve me at my best”

The clouds have rolled in and the storm is set to begin. The forecast is calling for guaranteed thunder, lightening, tornadoes, tsunami’s, and typhoons. The damage will probably be irreparable and the casualties of family bonds and friendships will be countless.

Fair-Weather Friend: A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable.

Fair-Weather Family: Someone who is family or acts like family when it’s easy for them to be, them change on you when it’s through thick and thin.

I could cry over what I feel my son and I have lost. Instead, I want to really focus on the people who HAVE been invested in the calm before the storm, the upcoming mayhem, and the potential rebuild that awaits.

 I want to say thank you to the friends and family who don’t depend on Facebook to be real friends and real family. The people who call to ask how Hunter is doing. The people who have set aside time in their busy lives to reach out and stay in touch. The people who have reached out more so when the clouds have set in INSTEAD of playing the vanishing act. The people who don’t just say “I love you,” “I care about you,” “I hope to see you soon,” but actually show that as fact.

I want to say thank you to the people who believe in me as a person. The people who don’t focus on my past and every mistake that I’ve ever made in my entire life. The people who appreciate me for the person I am striving to be. The people who have taken the genuine time to see beyond the hype. The people who have supported me as a dreamer and have motivated me to be a doer.

I want to say thank you to the people who have shown my son UNCONDITIONAL love. The people who have PROVEN that they love my son. The people who do not allow trivial adult nonsense to prevent them from reaching out and engaging with my son. The people who have opened their hearts, homes, and ears to my son. The people who have put forth effort to include my son in the happiness of their own lives.

I want to thank the people who have not shunned my son for the simple fact that he came out of my vagina. The people who do not put my son so far out of sight that he will inevitably end up out of mind.

In April 2012, my son and I enjoyed an amazing trip to Disney. It was the most wonderful trip of my life. Watching my son show such excitement to see all of his favorite characters, to play with his cousins, to laugh hysterically…it was magic. But the moment that stuck with me the most was seeing my sixteen year old nephew sit on the balcony and watch his brother and my son play. My nephew reached out to me and gave me a hug. He refused to let go. He cried. He held me tight and let the tears flow. He cannot speak. He has Cerebral Palsy and has never been able to say “I love you, titi.” But he told me. In that moment. Just as clearly as my son tells his tia that he loves her every time she calls.

These children are beating the adults. They are the real inspiration. The real conveyors of what it means to love unconditionally.

Thank you to those who have given me strength and hope. We’ve done the good. We’ve done the bad. The ugly is on its way. We may not have the masses supporting us but what we’ve got is real and will be there long after the storm passes.