Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dinner

thI take the bowl of rice being handed to me and carefully scoop out three spoonfuls, the melted butter drizzling off the spoon and onto the corner of the tablecloth. I peek up to see if anyone is watching but the small speck goes as unnoticed as the babbling children crammed at the table in amongst the adults laughter and clinking wine glasses.

My stomach growls as I fold my hands into my lap and wait for the rest of the meal to come my way, wishing that I hadn’t left the bagged sandwich that mom had handed me this morning at the bottom of my locker. Mom laughs about something with the woman beside her, the plate of chicken paused in midair and I silently will her to hurry up as I squirm in my seat, my gaze locked on the plate in her hand. I sigh inwardly, knowing that I have to sit still and not complain; we have company.  I pick at the lint on my black leggings and wait, thinking about the tuna sandwich sitting, uneaten, at the bottom of my locker. Wondering if it will still be okay to eat it tomorrow.

When the various plates finally make their way around the table I have to consciously stop myself from devouring the food on my plate frantically. The woman who stands too close when she talks to you and laughs too loud when someone makes a joke pours herself another glass of wine ignoring her plate of food as I take another heavenly bite, content to be invisible as the little boy in the chair beside me pushes away the “airplane” of food his father tries to swoop into his mouth in vain.

“No”, he asserts firmly to the numerous attempts of the spoon to pry open his lips as his father negotiates “just a few bites, Bailey”, “just three bites, Bailey”…”just one more bite Bailey”.

I am quietly helping myself to more rice when my father’s arm intercepts the man’s futile attempts to reason with Bailey who is having none of it. He leans in and although quiet in the noisy room I hear his words perfectly in my left ear.

“Don’t force the kid,” he tells the man matter of factly. “You should never force a kid to eat”. He leans in a bit closer and gestures towards my younger sister and I. I can feel my body brace itself as if preparing for an impact.

“If you do they’ll end up like this”.

As if on cue, little Bailey flails his arms in protest and knocks the half empty glass of his juice onto the tablecloth. I remain perfectly still and stare blankly at the purple liquid spreading onto the unnoticed speck of spilled butter as the adults flutter around beside me armed with napkins and paper towels.  I steady my gaze, my breaths carefully aligning themselves on an invisible balance beam of nonchalance as Chelsey takes another bite from her plate, her oblivion shielding her from the blow.

The shame slithers up my skin, embarrassment wrapping itself tightly around my chest as it squeezes my insides like a snake.  Hunger curls itself up into a ball of shame as I lay the fork down on my plate and sit quietly, waiting for enough time to pass before I sense it to be appropriate to leave the table.  My humiliation is as disguised as the purple speck of butter on the tablecloth as I walk over and dump my half uneaten dinner into the trash can before placing my plate into the dishwasher. I nod my head “no” when I hear my mother call out to see if I want dessert.

I make it to my bedroom before falling from the beam.

Heaving shoulders slumped in defeat as I muffle a child’s sobs and weep into my pillowcase of self loathing. I wrap the blankets tightly around myself and dig my fingernails into my skin, disgusted by the feel of the soft flesh of my belly and an inability to somehow be as small as I feel. My pain seeps into the pillowcase and absorbs into the softness of the cloth until it, too, is an unoticed stain on a tablecloth. I wait for the waves to subside, for the faimliar shield of numbness to slowly encompass me and close my eyes.

I can still hear the sounds of my little sister laughing with Bailey as I  finally drift off to the escape of sleep. For hours afterwards.

For years afterwards.

 

 

 

Lions and Tigers and Bears. Oh My.

So suffice to say I’m thinking that it’s fair to conclude that I’ve taken my ability to procrastinate to a whole new level as far as my dazzling new blogging career goes. Suffice to say I am also not entirely sure that I actually know what the hell the word “suffice” means in terms of definition and if asked on that “Cash Cab” Show or in a high pressure situation I would be likely to redirect to something shiny in the room like a sparkly diamond or a rainbow or a lovely window sill prism.

 

prism

 

What can I say? I have the follow through of an eleven year old with A.D.H.D.

Now it’s not that I haven’t WANTED to write. The issue is more that the few times that I have actually tried to I just end up staring blankly at the screen like Bambi in the headlights obsessing about what to write about. Or what not to write about. Or how pointless my ramblings are. Or why I can’t seem to type without looking down at the keyboard. Or if I turned my straightening iron off. Or how many locks in the world my front door key would open if I did a worldwide experiment because come ON, just how many unique key shapes can they come up with REALLY?

It’s all pretty much a downward spiral from there.

I’m currently in the midst of moving which pretty much means I’m about a box or two away from a full blown nervous breakdown. I’ve decided that all cardboard boxes designed for moving should be sold with a mandatory bottle of Percocet to maintain even the slightest illusion of sanity. A mild hallucinogenic to take the edge off of U-Haul Hell.  I’m not so good with change. I even secretly get all freaked out when the seasons change. Kinda like when you let your cat outside after the first snowfall and watch as they stop dead in the middle of the yard and proceed to spin around in frantic erratic circles trying to escape the panic and horror of the unexpected. An abrupt move throws me into that same emotional turmoil but seeing as how the running in frantic circles tends to draw a crowd, not to mention cause some seriously unnecessary vertigo(oh-my-goddd-im-dizzy-its-the-first-sign-of-a-deadly-disease-i-just-knowww-it!!!) I instead choose to cope by micro managing much to the delight of my fiancé; writing obsessive compulsive lists about what to add to my obsessive compulsive lists and the occasional bout of weeping under the covers. Yes I’m a grown ass woman weeping under the covers but I figure it’s a step up from rocking back and forth in a corner.

Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my.

lions and tigers

I figure this whole fear of change thing is pretty much just a manifestation of my fears in general. If the famous quote is correct and the only thing we truly have to fear is “fear itself” then I’m royally screwed. Fear is this knawing relentless theme in my life that I both loathe and gravitate towards despite myself on an ongoing basis. It is crippling. The ferocity of it. And while I mask this fear to the outside world it’s the inside that receives the aftermath. That carries it day after day, one terrified step after another.

“What if?”

I hold on to the unsteady bars of that “if” with frantic hands that not even the deepest of pockets can alleviate. And despite my understanding that this is no way to live, that change is inevitable, and that if you spend your whole life bracing yourself for all of the terrible things that can happen you are not truly living; still I find myself holding on for dear life.

When I was two years old my mother bought me this windup bird that hopped around on the floor when you set it down. She told me that she was super impatient for me to open it up because I adored Sesame Street’s “Big Bird “and seeing as how I clapped my little hands in delight when the lovely yellow bird popped up on the screen each morning she figured it was a hands down touchdown on the toddler gift giving front. I can still picture my poor mom kneeling down in front of me winding it up all rainbows and sunshine only to watch me let out a blood curdling scream as she watched me turn around and thrash violently down the hallway as fast as I could to get away from the impending doom of the hopping mechanical bird. I was terrified of the fucking thing. And hey, I may get all “oh-hello-there-cute-little-birdie-chirping-outside-my-window” now but if I were ever to wander into the path of, oh, say, an emu or an ostrich?

I will take down a fucking line of angelic caroling preschoolers to save myself. Have you SEEN one of those things up close???

Anyway, my point is that sometimes I feel like I am still that same two year old tearing down the hallway to get away from the big bad impending something. And while a 6 inch hopping bird may have become less threatening as I grew up I sometimes feel as though I’m still running from it. Only this time it’s not a leaping plastic toy lurking in the background as I sprint forward desperate to never let it catch me. It’s life. It’s pain. It’s the unknown. It’s change.

Who knows? Maybe every box I reluctantly pack (and check off of my ridiculous To-Do List like I’m on some weird checkmarks-gone-wild reality tv show) is a little tiny baby step towards facing that change. Towards accepting a tiny little piece of the unknown. Maybe every day that we drag ourselves up and out of bed and remember to just breathe and try not to worry so much about the people we love and the things that we can’t control is a victory, regardless of how seemingly small to someone else. Maybe one day i’ll climb out of the very same box that I’ve trapped myself inside of and change the “if” to “else ” and finally just LIVE.

Until then, back to Uhaul Hell. If you hear about some girl flailing madly down the freeway on a metal dolly muttering in  nonsensical sentences you’ll know I never made it out alive. Either that or its because I’m being chased by a giant pissed off Emu.

Maybe one day I’ll stop running.

🙂

emu

Are you afraid of the dark?

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

I have had this quote posted on the front of my refrigerator for a few months now. I was feeling a little crafty at work one night and with the front office laminator, a piece of Dollarama magnet tape and some left handed scissors,  Ta-daaaaa…my masterpiece was complete. Now I didn’t actually say “Ta-daaaa” but I have to admit, I was pretty damn proud of my little black laminated square thus making it totally “ta-daaa” worthy.

Come to think of it, I don’t know that I’ve ever actually “ta-daaa’d” much of anything since I was about seven.  Maybe it’s just one of those words you can only use after you do a perfect handstand when you’re really, really drunk or after you pull a white rabbit out of a  hat or  while dramatically sliding a white sheet off of a (cue-in-overly-excited-game-show-host-voice-here)  branddd newww carrrrrr…!!!!!

Who knows..maybe that’s what’s lacking in my life. Maybe the decline of the “ta-daaa” has been society’s downfall and people just need to throw it out there a little more often.   Celebrate the small victories in a world too often so quick to point out the dread and misery of the day. Like after you manage to peel an orange in one peel or pop a cork out of a bottle of wine without flinching; a skill I myself have not yet mastered.  I’ve decided at this very moment I’m bringing it back with a vengeance. Next time my boss asks me to make photocopies he’s getting himself a  dazzling and enthusiastic  “TA-DAAAAA!!” as I place the crisp papers dramatically in his outstretched palm to both illustrate as well as  celebrate my cat-like dexterity and mad skills with a photocopier.

Maybe I’ll even throw in a fucking back flip and somersault for good measure.

Anyway, back to my little black square.

Image

I glance at this quote almost every single day.  Little good it has done me so far yet still it remains, the little black square with such a small seemingly harmless  question that in truth could bring me to my knees if I allowed myself to seriously consider it. Fear has somehow become a permanent theme inside of my head for much of my adult life. Has somehow etched itself into my every thought, every breath, every decision. It has become so much a part of me that I now wear it like an invisible crown. I wander through life pretending its not there yet deep down I am fully aware of the heaviness of it..the crushing weight of it…the immense pressure pushing down on my  shoulders….how as a result I walk with my head hung just a little bit lower than the day before…my eyes just a little bit older.

I live in this constant state  of….bracing. Bracing for the phone to ring in the middle of the night; horror awaiting on the other line. Bracing for the email..the letter…the text…the xray…the lump…the ultrasound…the sharp pain in my chest… the world... to bring me to my knees. To knock the wind from my lungs. To crumble the earth at my feet.  It is a terrible thing to live in fear. To tread in it just enough to stay afloat while you watch the world passing you by as your head bobs up and down in the water; frantic hands clawing at the air for something..for anything..to keep you from being sucked down into the doom of the horror on the other end of the telephone.  The answer to the little black square is supposed to be wrought with daring feats and mountain tops. Dizzying heights; speeds so fast it would make your head spin. Claws as sharp as razor blades. Death staring you blatantly in the face in all its ferocity.

“She scribbles hers in red felt marker and crumples the paper up in a ball of shame. If you look closely you can still make out the first few lines.”

Sing a song out loud.

Read a poem I’ve written in a room full of people.

Touch an elephant.

Make a doctor’s appointment and not be afraid to go.

Love myself.

There are times in my life when I have these moments of complete clarity. Fragments in time when suddenly everything makes sense and I am filled with this humility..this incomprehensible sense of  love…a sudden understanding of the beauty in my life that is almost unbearable.

People hurt you. Father’s die. Pain is often inescapable. But babies fall asleep in your arms. And you sometimes laugh so hard it hurts but it still feels so good. And when you ride your bike down a steep hill your hair flies out behind you in the wind and you feel like a kid again; like you can do anything. And people hope and believe and want and need just like you do. And sometimes when you dare pick up the phone, awaiting on the other line is love. It is in those moments when I shed my crown. Pull my tired body from out of the water. Remove my armour, lay down my weapons and live. And all at once I’m not so afraid of the dark any more.

download

So  I’ve decided to keep my little black square. Productive or not, it shall remain on my fridge; my Telus bill hanging on to it for dear life. Maybe I’ll get hit with another Suzie-homemaker-crafty-mc-crafterson wave and make a totally new fridge magnet or knit a swanky new scarf or bake something with rainbow sprinkles on the top. I made cupcakes about a year ago and they were horrific but I decorated them up like a mo fo with the rainbowiest of spinkles and if I dare say so myself..They. Looked. Awesome.

Tadaaa!!!!

And then there was nothing.

So it didn’t exactly dawn on me when setting out on my dazzling new blogging career that I’d actually need to have something to say that would be  even remotely interesting enough to read. There I was on a Tuesday night setting up my lovely new account, all rainbows and butterflies, carefree and breezy, nonchalant and indifferent to the impending pressure as I selected my user name (“drivingmizzkrazy-oh-myyy-what-a-brilliant-choice!”)…..meticulously picking out my titles and fonts… not a care in the world. Visions of the passionate writer slumped over the keyboard typing away into the wee hours of the night; candle burning furiously on the night stand (“wait-a-second-i-don’t-even-HAVE-a-night stand?!”) as I bared my soul and innermost thoughts to my eagerly awaiting readers. It was all so beautiful in the beginning. So natural. So effortless. So right.

It wasn’t until the deed had been done that the whole hindsight thing kicked in and ruined my happily ever after. There I was one week later as I opened up my laptop and logged into my account when the realization of what I had started clamped its vicious little claws into me. I took a sip of my way too hot coffee (“dammit-why-do-i-always-take-that-first-sip-when-i-know-its-still-too-friggen-hot?!”) a drag of my cigarette (“im-quitting-tomorrow-for-real-this-time-i-swear-to-god), stared panic stricken at the blank screen and thought to myself;

Oh god. What the fuck have I done?

villains_expression_to_what_ralphscoe_have_done_by_thetruedisneyking-d52thnv

I still haven’t decided what’s worse. A flailing attempt at writing a blog or the realization that I have nothing inside of my head that has any real significance. That I have no real significance. But I guess that maybe we’re all a little afraid of just that. Of opening ourselves up and finding out that there’s nothing inside.

I can “hashtag” to my hearts’ content (did-i-really-just-use-the-phrase-“to-my-hearts’-content??”) little pieces of who I am. Of what I am. Of the things I need to say. But when I do, they all feel so clinical. So impersonal. So blank.

Fear. Hope. Compulsions. Panic. Shame. Courage.

Putting a little number sign in front of them isn’t enough but expressing them so that they make sense….stringing all of the words together in a way that flows…in a way that explains what it feels like…what this feels like…well that’s a different story.

My life is like a song that I don’t quite know all of the words to. Like when you’re singing along to the radio in your car and you think you know the next line. And you kind of do but the words come out all mixed up and some of them are in the wrong order. And some of them you know and you hit them dead on but some of them are off key and you can’t get them out in time to the music. So you trail off at the end of each verse as you look out at the world through the window and just do the best you can. Because you like the song even if you can’t seem to get it right. And because regardless of how hard it is to do it perfectly….well…it’s still worth singing.

Whoa. What’s with all of the seriousness all of a sudden? How the hell did I go from rainbows and butterflies to intense- thoughts- therapy-101 within a few paragraphs? They’re butterflies for god sake. You can’t have shame, panic AND butterflies in the same blog. It’s against the rules. Total policy breach. It’s in the handbook. Section 17. Somewhere between a ban on the term “yolo” and overuse of the “this-is-the-eighty-fourth-sexy-“selfie”-of-me-in-my-bikini-gazing-nonchalantly-into-the-distance” clause.

But I digress.

Hey, speaking of butterflies, I saw one today. Yeah, I totally did. It flew into the passenger side of my car window and hung out on my steering wheel for a few minutes before fluttering away. Maybe it’s a sign that the rainbows are coming?Or maybe I just spend too much time in my car.

It’s hot and I have air conditioning. Don’t judge me.

images (1)

 

My God. I’ve started a Blog.

A blog, you say?

Where the fuck did the word blog come from anyway???

Blog.

It sounds like what was hiding underneath the bridge.

I’ve decided that if a blog were an actual object it would most definitely be green. I’m talking a dark, marshy “foresty” kinda green. And let’s face it, we all know that itain’t easy being’ green. Just ask the charming yet perpetually anxiety ridden object of Mizz Piggy’s undying affection. Or your front lawn as it succumbs to the wrath of the lawnmower on a Saturday afternoon like some “The Nature of Things” gore scene from The Chainsaw Massacre.

images

Now where was I?

Oh yes. The blog.

Maybe it’s because I’m going to be a writer when I grow up. Except…well…I am grown up. Textbook adult.Technically, anyway. Real grownups aren’t supposed to play old school Mario on their swanky new Super Nintendo(thank you eBay) until 4 am on a Tuesday night while devouring Valentine’s Day cupcakes that were supposed to be for work (screw you Valentine). Real grownups aren’t supposed to be terrified in the middle of the night when they’re in bed that some freaky little child will be standing there mouthing “redddd rummmm” if they dare open their eyes. I’ve been waiting for this grown up thing to kick in for some time now to no avail. When I stop drinking out of the juice carton instead of dirtying a glass, secretly imagining a much more dazzling version of myself as the “star” in my mind’s made up music video to all of myfavorite songs and cease the continuing reign as the victor in the “I hit you last” game with my twenty eight year old sister, I’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, I intend to fake it. I’ve armed myself with an oversizedpurse, a Costco card, and an increased concern to not drink too much water before bedtime.

In other words, I got this.

I’m no good at introductions. Introductions and figuring how to put back on the duvet cover after washing it. I am a deceptively extraverted person who is secretly introverted and horrifically shy until I feel comfortable enough to breathe my truths which has been known to take more than two years if I have any say in it. I am torn between loving the human race and loathing eight out of the ten people in the room at any given time. I once fell in love with a Safeway bag checker in seven minutes and I can never find my bankcard thus inducing the continual walk of shame to my nearest TD Bank for yet another new one seventeen times a year. I like grapes. I have a tendency to suddenly start developing “symptoms” of every friggen disease I read about on the internet (numbness…tingling…swelling…ohmygoditotallyhavethis!!!”) and have been known to confess my undying love for my mother to a 911 operator in the midst of a self diagnosed heart attack that turned out to be a lovely bout of humiliation the attending physician called “anxiety” as I blinked back at him basking in the glow of awesome-I’m-fucking-crazy. I don’t know how to love myself.  I cry at World Vision Commercials and make neurotic obsessive lists with pressing goals that I never finish and my ridiculous tendency to over apologize reached an all time low recentlywhen I heard myself apologize to a q-tip that I dropped off the dresser.

What can I say; it was name brand.

Anyway, although I’m pretty confident that the only person reading this blog will be me, myself, and my mother (“Oh Keisha-what a LOOOOVELY story you wrote today; you’re SURE to make your mark on the world”) dammit, I’m starting one anyway if not only to cross it off my obsessive compulsive iphone list in which it has lay lurking for the past eight months, directly underneath “Look into therapy” and “Buy more q-tips”. Besides, if I write it I can identify myself as one of those deep, sullen and angst ridden artsy people that sit in coffee shops late at night with a shitty latte in one hand and a brooding expression looking down at the other as I wait for my next inspirational thought to magically leak from my pen. I’ll get a black cat, start a vinyl collection, wear a weird hat, and explain nonchalantly to my friends “It’s for my art”.

Way to stereotype, Keisha. . If you happen to be a feline loving artist in a blue and yellow floppyish hat with a flair for poetry and a kick ass vinyl collection, I’m really sorry. If I come across as bitter and jaded scroll back up to the Safeway bag checker mark and know that I am likely to love you in less time than it takes to make a waffle. Know as well that if I think I’ve hurt someone I’m likely to break down and weep openly as a monotony of apologies comes raining down as I stand at the 7-11 counter making you feel both forgiving  as well as totally awkward and uncomfortable.

Right mom? Uhh…mom??

1a30c822b6f3cc59d804734c87c46827_ra,w403,h403_pa,w403,h403