California Coast

Oh my, got a new job. In Special Ed. Been there less than a week.

Quit the hotel job, had my last shift Monday. A truly hellacious set of days and am glad it’s over, over, and yeah, over. Mountains of laundry to a staff being harassed to the point where they had to barricade themselves in the office and general what-the-fuckery that I am not going to miss.

The weather, you ask? Oh, it’s tryin’ to snow.

What’s that? The dryer and water heater went on the same damn day?? Yeah. Yeah, that happened.

Rejections flying in like rabid bats on meth? Sure! It’s very disheartening. I need to throw away the stories that keep getting rejected and start afresh. Is that the answer? Sigh.

The candle I got, on sale!! is called California Coast. It’s a refreshing scent. Not anywhere near what the actual coast smells like [bitter salt and burned tourist skin] but hey, candle. Yes, I am one of THOSE PEOPLE. I luv luv luv candles. If you need to get me a gift, for whatever reason, get me a smelly candle. I like flower, fruit and Christmas stenches. But, really, would be happy with any candle.

I’ve been ordering clothes. Funky tops and funky pants. I also got a bag of costume jewelry and hey, total delight as I went through the items. Reminded me of stuff my grandmother wore. Both of them, actually. I still have a necklace apiece from both. A long string of jet glass beads and a long four strand of plastic yellow beads. Nothing fancy or museum-worthy but a link to a past that lives mostly in my memory…priceless. Ah!

It’s nearly March.

And then Easter. I do have lots of stuffed bunnies and now, stuffed flamingos. I seem to be collecting flamingos now. I think I just like the pink color.

I even bought a hot pink 50’s era necklace from the thrift store today. It’s very Doris Day. I do love Doris Day movies, if that helps or explains anything.

I’m going to try and start writing again. I am just exhausted and wrung out and blank upstairs. I did finish a rough draft of a story set in Eugene, Oregon. No zombies but it does have an imaginary dog in it. It’s rather sweet and hopeful…so not like me at all. I might start writing nice, sweet stuff, see how that goes. I am finding hope and light rather lacking of late.

Oh! What do you call baby tater tots?

Give up????!!!!


That was the joke told during morning announcements at the high school I work at now. Bwhwhahahahah!!! I laughed when I heard it. Sophisticated, subtle humor, no way! Corny dad jokes? Yes, please!

Stray Tape


  “Why does it have to be tape?” Callie clutched the only picture she had of her mother as Xu kept a lookout for bears. The dead oak tree on the old Pearson property had not seen bears for twenty-three years, but one never knew.

     “It can’t hurt the tree,” Xu answered, her face turning this way and that, the snow dancing past her suspicious eyes searching for objects to cover and change. It had not snowed for near three years. Not really. The sky seemed bloated and too gray-white for Callie’s comfort. “The tree’s magic won’t work. That’s the rules. What was that?”

     Both peered toward the tilled field, where corn had stood in military precision until just a few days ago. A rather large blurry object bumbled toward them. “That’s the stray dog. The St. Bernard Mr. Kelly tried to shoot. Said it was eating his chickens. So I tape this to this magic tree and my mom comes back?”

     “There’s words and stuff,” Xu offered, her crisp black hair covered with a raspberry beret. “It don’t always work. Like real magic. That’s how you know it’s real. When it doesn’t always work. That is a big dog. Tape it already. Duct tape, right?”

     Callie pulled a long bit of scotch tape, heart beating too fast, eyes dazzled by tiny snowflakes waltzing past. “You didn’t say that. You never said that.” She stepped back, the picture of her mother in her high school cap and gown flapping, threatening to fly off. She heard panting. The St. Bernard, skinny as the old barn cat, Mrs. Mouse, looked at both with one mournful eye, the other gummed shut and leaking yellow matter. Matted auburn and ivory coat and one ear shredded, swollen. A more beat up, unhappy dog Callie had never seen. Xu backed away and it shadowed her. “It’s just an old dog.” The picture tore free, zoomed into the air, upheld by the growing wind. “Damn it!”

     “No, let it go. Now say, dance dance, tree tree, come back to me. And your mom’s name.”

     “What? Okay, whatever. Dance dance, tree tree, come back to me, Vivian Thomas. Oh her middle name was Jane.” Callie’s bare hand touched the back of the giant, emaciated dog. It leaned against her legs with a sigh. A collar? She removed it, the dog shook its entire body. Lady had been etched into the cracked leather. “Come on, Lady. You can live in the barn.”

     “It’s probably got worms,” Xu trailed behind, always wary about bears but quite good with magic. Callie took the picture of her mother, put it in her coat pocket. “No! It has to remain near the tree. The dog stinks.”

     The picture spiraled upward. Lady sniffed at a clump of weeds. Callie headed home, with her best friend Xu grumbling about it might not work now in her ears.

Not sure who took this pic

Remarkable Women

Good mornin’! It’s chilly here in East Oregon. Wind’s blowin’. I am considering a run to town but I’d have to take a shower, find my town clothes, put on real shoes. Ugh! But we are out of lettuce.


Hey, Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane, my dystopian cannibal biker versus elderly sisters in what’s left of Fallon, Nevada novel, can be read for FREE ON KINDLE at the moment.

Basically– three elderly sisters, Lily, Violet and Laura, are squatting in Lily’s house in Fallon, Nevada. They’ve made the house look abandoned as there are human monsters roaming about in what’s left of the world and they’re just trying to survive another day, another day after that. The Werewolves, a cannibal biker gang that’s tangled with the Glitterbugs, yet another cannibal biker gang, limp into Fallon and possibly their Waterloo. It’s Laura, the silent sister who discovers her voice and then some, who pushes the other two into a possible showdown with the actual forces of the universe itself or maybe she’s gone completely crazy, cooped up in a moldering house living on boiled pee and deformed mice or whatever Violet can scrounge from the surrounding area. But the actual threat might very well arrive in the form of church ladies on bicycles– the legendary Snitty Ratballs. This apocalyptic threat has managed to make it over the booby-trapped Rockies, intent on law and ordering the remnants of the Old West. Who will survive??! Why is there a lion? Will the sisters join the Werewolves? Will Gut Bucket ever make it to Utah? Can Amy Octopus ever be believed?


If you do read it, hey, leave a review.

Ain’t too proud to beg for reviews at this stage of my utterly barffling life. I added an ‘r’ to ‘baffling’. I think I’ll let it stand.


Wow. There’s a ‘how much worse can it get??’ vibe going into the new year. Betty White just died. It seems the last vestiges of laughter and goodness ebb away from the American shores. The fight has gone out of the dog, oh dear.

Let’s hope not.

Anyway, the weather where I am, Eastern Oregon, has turned FRIDGIDLY AWFUL. No water. Pipes frozen. Even the outside faucet seems iced up. More snow expected next week when it warms up a bit. Winter weather! And I have work tonight, of course. At one in the morn. Gonna be a fun drive.

Don’t really have much cheer or gloom to spread. Just kind of a blah, whatever sort of mood. Tired. I’m already tired of this new year. Is that normal?

But the cat is doing splendidly. She likes to nap by my computer, so I know she’s in at night. She also likes to nap directly on me. Cats!

Making no resolutions. None.

Oh, found the Great Canadian Baking Show, which is like its namesake, right down to the three challenges. Wheeeee!!! My tolerance for drama, nasty people always winning in movies and shows, and so forth is at an all-time low.

I did watch Ron’s Gone Wrong. Loved it! It’s wonderful. It’s not just a kid’s movie or a movie about a wacky robot. It’s about what real friendship is and oh gosh, you might be in tears at the end.

I skipped the holidays. I stayed home, alone. Of course the 25th I had work that night so traveling all that day, enduring relatives, traveling some more…just not a good option for nightshift people.

That’s it. Just a quick note. New year. New writing. Old writing spiffed up. Same ole same ole? I’d like 2022 not to be a terrible gut-twisting fuckfestival. There. That was hopeful!

A Cheerful Holiday Note

from great big canvas

It’s the holiday season. I posted a mournful scream a few days ago. Now I’ll balance that with something a bit more cheery.

We are expecting snow here along the floors of the Eastern Oregon/Western Idaho valleys. A covering of white over the mud. Yes, please! Even if I have to drive in it for work, it doesn’t seem right if the end of the year doesn’t have that blanket of snow or snow falling or some sort of snowy snow happening or already happened. If that makes sense. I have a bit of Fireball whiskey in my coffee. A droplet, really.

My cat goes in and out, restless as a mini tiger. What a joy she is. I am so very glad I decided to keep her. I am grateful for this loving little beast who seems to utterly adore me. She went from slowly dying homeless refugee to cosseted spoiled lovebug. Stop and help an animal if you see one in trouble or distress.

I have stories placed here and there. That’s a nice feeling. That my work is ‘getting out there’. That slowly, so slowly, but surely, I am making some inroads writing-wise. There’s City Full of Rain, Gladys, Pig Bait, Elbow and Bean, Seffi and Des, Blood and Bread, Witch of the Highway, the Fish Whisperer, Everything You Need, Jimmy’s Jar Collection, Let There Be No Memories…I am forgetting one or two or several, but what a list for 2021. Submit, submit! is my battle cry for 2022.

I also put a novel out– The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane, which is 99 cents over on Amazon through tomorrow, btw. Ahem, hint. I loved writing this. I love those three sisters I created– Lily, Violet and Laura. I adore the bikers that took shape in my head and oh yes, on the page. From Gut Bucket and Rosecheese to Amy Octopus and poor doomed Bluebird. I think the version that made it to final edits is the version closest to the one originally in my head. Sort of lighthearted doomsday fairy tale fare. Whee, indeed. I did have a very heavy, dense, savage version, but I think this go-around works so much better as a story and as a reading experience.

I do have a novel from last year I’ll blip about as well. Aftermath: Boise, Idaho. Yeah, it’s zombies but they’re sentient ones. Most of them are, anyway. It’s also 99 cents over on Amazon through tomorrow!! Ahem, ahem. This is Hannah’s tale. She kills herself rather than succumb to the zombies about to break down the door of the place she’s trapped in. But she wakes up in an office setting, with zombies for bosses, in some parallel existence, where she’s at a loss and disadvantage. However, being scrappy, pragmatic and mostly realistic, Hannah navigates somewhat successfully until she doesn’t. Her alter ego, the Hannah of the world she now finds herself in, seems to be some sort of spy for the resistance. There’s always a resistance. She messes up by killing her for-show boyfriend/one of the leaders of the resistance and it all snowballs from there, until Hannah finds herself fleeing the scene of many crimes, heading off into the Idaho wilds to take her chances.

Again, another novel I had such fun writing. I enjoyed making up slang and inventing this NWO as run by conservative zombies in pearls and business attire. I also toyed with explaining why Hannah fell through the time cracks, so to speak, but…it got clunky and stopped the story colder than a bowl of congealed brains. I also fiddled with several endings but decided on the one now as it seemed fair to Hannah and true to her character of a tough person just trying to survive the unimaginable.

Okay, I’ll keep this short. Happy holidays, however you celebrate or don’t. Don’t let what’s happening in the world or on your doorstep rob you of any joy or hope. Not just yet. New year comin’. Gird the loins, sharpen the knives, battles are comin’, woot woot.

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

The Day Before the Second to Last 2021 Battle On the War on Christmas!

from turbosquid

Brigit, cowgirl extremis, wonderdog and all around great canine, went missing the other day. She occasionally takes off for cross-country adventures, sometimes with Molly gamely in tow. However, Brigit returns a couple hours or so after disappearing across the fields if someone turns their back a bit too long. She hates being cooped up in the yard and if she doesn’t get to go out, do stuff, she gets SUPERBORED AND SUPER-RESTLESS. Yes, she’s a Border Collie type of animal. Needs near constant stimulation and attention. I am thinking of getting her an actual sheep to keep her busy. Sort of kidding.


She’s missing all afternoon. Up into the evening. It’s cold outside, baby. I mean down in the twenties. She lives in the house. She has short fur. I’m worried one of the farm trucks rushing to and fro hit her. There’s also the worry that the local coyotes led her somewhere and turned on her. Or that someone grabbed her and took her home. Or that…all the worries you get when your pet goes missing.

However, this is not a sad tale of a pet lost or a pet found smashed on the road. The evening drew nigh. I, having worked a graveyard, settled in on the couch to watch Hallmark fare and see if Brigit showed up at the door. I opened the door to check, yet again, for Miss Bridge. We’d all looked for her. Drove around the neighborhood, walked miles in the mud. Did I mention how muddy it is here this week?

She slinks into the house, wet, alive and exhausted. Very much alive. Not hurt. Thirsty. I squeal. A high-pitched OMG shriek. Brigit is home. I repeat, Brigit is home. Yay!!!!!! The sheer relief alone. Coming back from work just days before, I had noticed a dead dog and a car pulling up alongside it, with people getting out to gather up their pet…and I wish they’d gotten a happy ending instead of that. I know that scenario. Where you find your beloved companion dead or dying. That helpless grief that you can’t make that pet better. And how big a hole their leaving rips in the very fabric of your being.


It’s the eve before the eve of Christmas. The troops are gathering to wage their final two assaults on the season, of course. The War on Christmas commences! I have no idea what those battles will be over. As the War on Christmas is a super-imaginary Fox News BS PR stunt that’s, ugh, endured. Was it Bill O’Silly who started the current version? The one touring with pumpkincunt to ever dwindling crowds?

As the Pilgrims hated Christmas and…anyway, American history has to now be super-postive, focused on WASP-y folks who were the ‘only ones’ involved in ‘building’ ‘merica.

No, really. Not kidding.

See Texas history books that have cut out nearly all or every mention of brown folks in the annals of American history. These same books go out to the rest of the country. Slavery was just imported labor or however that was repackaged. Ahem. Civil Rights? Good look finding anything other than carefully groomed MLK quotes said by white politicians.

See Ron DeDeathface, guvvie of Fluckida, and how he used an MLK quote to justify outlawing Critical Race Theory anything being taught in any school, ever. That includes where it’s actually taught– law schools. Not even kidding.

I am skipping this holiday this year, and maybe, always. Just done with it. I feel no joy or hope at the approach of the red and green monstrosity that doth croucheth across the end of the year like a particularly Lovecraftian Elder God horror. I went over, a bit, about my aunt and her charmless circle of nutballs. The other set of relatives are nearly as bad. I want to stay home, watch bad Christmas movies, drink whiskey and Kool-Aid [sort of kidding] and just…be. I’ve put up no decorations. There’s no tree. Not even presents. And nobody has said a thing. I’m tired.

My job has me waking up in pain, having to gulp down aspirin, noticing that twinge along my spine from trying to lift, several times over, a client at work who’s pretty much dead weight, not helping or trying to support themselves as they should. A situation that will need assessment quite soon, as it effects all at work, not just me.

Christmas has become the most stressful time of year and I just can’t anymore.

I just can’t.

I remember the Christmas of the past, with the entire family, both sides, there to celebrate. And I remember it probably not at all as it really was and isn’t that the point of holiday memories? That you don’t remember the icky, the awful, the mundane and the boring? You just remember the lights, the smells, the tastes, the sound of paper rustling and ripping. Maybe that it snowed or there was snow on the ground, if you lived in a state with four seasons.

At least, this year, there might be a white blanket on the ground by the time the Elder God settles over the world with a blood-smeared grin. And the guns will be loaded and set by the fire, in hopes that the Antifa will soon be near…bang bang, slaughtering protesters is the newest cool kid thing to do in America! Bring your boomsticks, Civil War Two will soon be on!

So tired of all this trumpie stuff. So tired. Wow.


Oh October, you beautiful orange beast. A big round ball of pumpkin-y goodness! A bowl full of candy corn and candy cigarettes. That time’o year when the leave turn yellow and the cows munch desperately at the corn stalks as they try not to lean against the electric fence. Whoop whoop.

I am now working a graveyard shift, at a place I used to work in the way back when time machine. A group home. It’s what it is. I hate it already. I cried the entire weekend  I had to start work. Why am I not father along, why am I not doing better, why am I not better at being me, better at everything by now??? I wrote to a friend of mine, she’s also crying about going to work, while working on finding some other way to pay her bills. What she’s doing now causes her untold stress.

Life sucks, then you die. That has never been a more apt or true saying. Perhaps the only true saying. Depressed yet?

I also, if you go back through these hit or miss posts, trim weed for my aunt every year. Until this year. I flat out quit. I wrote a desperately long scream about that, did not post it. Why bore the shit and crap and hell out of my patient sometimes readers? Why??? To sum up, my aunt and her new-ish boyfriend are deep down the alt right rabbit hole. It was like sitting in at a Klan meeting. Right down to the n word being tossed out. As in there are good Negroes and then there are ahem ahem. It’s 2021 still, yes? Not 1951? 1851?

Not even kidding was this person. This was tossed out with the reasonable tones of someone who meant it, was not trying to be satirical. The person tossing that out, by the by, is the reason I up and walked out of that shed.

I had headphones on, the day was frigidly cold, so the portable heaters blasted away, adding their level of noise. In walks, let’s call him Klarence, who brings donuts or some sort of breakfast type breads. Like he does every damn time he shows up to trim. So, it’s my aunt, her boyfriend, some ex-cop [who’s a total shitshow loudmouth braggart sort you might find in a Smoky and the Bandit movie. Old reference but Google is right there, kids.] and me cutting the devil’s lettuce this Arctic morning.

Klarence stops right in front of my table, says something. I can’t hear him. I’m fighting with my phone to pick up anything FM wise, as my aunt does not have the internet. That’s right, no internet. I’m trying to tell myself all that static will be fine, at least it drowns out the We Love Joe Arpaio Hour.  At least I don’t have to listen to how we need donnie chump back to save us from Joe Biden’s Commie Agenda. Fuck me running, some of their conversational threads about turned me into an actual serial killer. I just grab the nearest chainsaw, and there’s one right behind my trimming table, and go all Letherface on living beings who bought into everything Fox News was selling, is selling still.

I can’t hear Klarence. I say, rather loudly, yes, I saw you, hello, hi. Something like that. As he insists on greeting everyone when he comes in…so fucking annoying. I thought I was the only one who bristled at this. But no, it’s not just me. I really honestly don’t get upset or mad if someone doesn’t say hi to me or good morning. But I have no manners and I was brought up by parakeets.

So here’s the gooey good part.

Klarence EXPLODES.

I WAS JUST GONNA FUCKING TELL YOU THERE WAS DONUTS and some other stuff that probably had ‘bitch’ and ‘cunt’ included in it. I mean, he blew several gaskets. I don’t know what those are but he blew several. The other two guys had to rush in and save poor Klarence from the loud-voiced meanie. Again, not kidding or making that up to sell my books or make you go read some of my short tales available on the web even now as I write this.

I decided, logically and coolly, that remaining there as my aunt sat there like a lump, not saying a word, to go home. Enough of this stressful experience that I dreaded so each time I went up there to trim weed. My first day there was a surreal theatre of cruelty play as if written by Samuel Beckett, except ole Sam didn’t have talent and could only vomit back up what he’d heard that day from a Q drop. That’s where the someone/s pretending to be Q released some fecal-infused blurb about the Clintons, mostly, and their love of draining children of fluids at pizza parlors.

That first day, people there shared how they all kept guns on them at all times because the Civil War was almost here. My aunt was the loudest voice in that one. My aunt.

Back to Klarence. I told my aunt I couldn’t trim anymore. I told Klarence to enjoy his donuts and mind you, he’s still ranting and vibrating visibly with the urge to smack me. All because I spoke a bit too loudly, over the heaters and my headphones. And hurt his feelings. I can’ even with these people is, I believe, an expression that’s probs out of date by now. My aunt is asking if I’m all right…not telling Klarence to stop acting like a murderous tree frog on meth.

I left my purse in the shed. I had to go back and get it. The ex-cop was in the middle of a thoughtful diatribe on what a bitch I am. I pop back in, ask him pointblank if he just called me a bitch. I then tell him thanks, I love being a bitch. Out I swan, into the sunrise, as it’s before noon and go home. My aunt also tried to say that they all like me, just not when I’m…yeah.

She has not called or come over to see if I’m okay. She sided with Klarence so quickly it should have gone into a record book but it’s expected. It would have been my fault, after all, if poor poor Klarence had smacked me for hurting his feelings with my loud vocal range-ification. I’ve experienced this one before, after all. When my brother tried to choke me. It was my fault, according to mom and dad. I deserved it.


Okay, enough common as dirt family confessions.

It’s nearly Halloween, darlings. My favorite time of year. I love skulls and spiders, pumpkins and witches, vampires, ghouls and zombies, oh my. The season is changing, winter is around the corner with its snow and smell of cinnamon and sage. It’s harvest time, the mice move into the house and you’re not surrounded by ominous corn fields full of cult-minded children with butcher knives at the ready.

I am skipping the stressful, awful end of year holidays this year because I have to work. That’s my excuse. I have to work, sorry, can’t sit there and suffer through Fox News shitvomitings from y’all. As I’m the only not-Foxie on either side. In a deeply red part of Oregon, with a lot of my relatives from batshit blood-red Id-ee-hell. I don’t want to sit there and silently hate every single fucking one of them this year or ever. I have to call quits to all those family helldays. Sorry, holidays. My mouth wants to flap. I don’t have any backup and I don’t truly wish to hate any of them. I’m almost there already. Sigh of sighs.

The toad is croaking away. There’s a big collection of storms comin’ in. The cat says hi.


It’s been over a week of record high temps. I do mean well over a hundred for most of June. I recently traveled to La Grande, to meet with a friend of mine who has family in the area and is traveling further to Lincoln City, Oregon. Hot. It was hotter than those inedible Takis burn holes in your tongue snacks. La Grande is in the mountains. I do not recall my undergrad town being almost too hot to go outside, not even once. In June. Or any other summer month. Unusual weather we’re having here in the West.

So, here’s a poem. I have no idea where this one arrived from. But here it is. Maybe it’s a bit of nostalgia. My family would gather, both sides, during holidays. My grandfather loved loved loved Fourth of July. Both did, actually. But my dad’s dad would order fireworks, then delight in shooting them off or having one of us light the fuse. Roman candles, those ones that spin and fly, bottle rockets, everything illegal that would set giant fires, woot woot. Maybe I am missing the sense of celebration, family now scattered or passed on…maybe maybe maybe. That careless ignorance that such gatherings would never stop. Of course they do. Time marches like a savage merciless army through everything and everyone, after all.


Catnip and thyme, basil and lavender.

Her left hand tugs at the leaves,

caresses the stems.

She will smell like spaghetti sauce

and old lady purses

when she wanders by.

She eats a banana while standing on one leg,

her eyes on the cat chasing the dog

through the new mown grass.

They put bananas on hooks,

some sly wit tells the child.

Maybe that’s where bananas go,

Jessica replies

before arranging the rocks she painted

into odd and various piles.

The Good Girl

My aunt raises marijuana. It’s legal to do so now in Oregon, for some years now. She has a small operation, it gets harvested in October. Or when it’s ready, which is usually October. Takes about two weeks for thirteen to twelve plants. There’s roughly two to three people working a day, on weekends it’s more. You sit and trim the buds off the branches. It’s tedious, mind-erasing work.

The trimmed buds are then ‘ground’ up. This cuts off the excess leaves and such, turns everything into a round green or purple or amber ball that is then dried in a sealed container. It’s all labeled. Every plant has a name. You don’t just trim the stuff willy-nilly! You don’t mix the Blue Diesel in with the Girl Scout Cookie, after all. Bad!

Okay. All righty. Let’s skip the boring part. How weed gets into your bong or rolling papers you can all look up. It’s a process. It’s farming. Farming is really boring stuff to those not farming. Or is it? Do y’all wanna know how onions get to your table? Ask me, I know.

So, as I’ve disclosed, I’ve been working for the US Census. That work was supposed to end in September. Yet a California court case said, no, you will continue through Halloween! We at the Census got many a conflicting order and hysterical message and now we’re going through Halloween; at least, that’s what I know as of right now. When I told my aunt I could trim for her, I thought my Census job would be over and I could work for her no problem, with no other job drawing away my attention and time.

Yeah. What is it about those well-laid plans? Something about mice?

Oh dear. I block out the conservations that go on around me when I strip the buds from the branches.

The racism. The sexism. All the isms you can imagine that deal with human rights and who should be counted as a human and who should actually have rights or not. Yep. In years past I don’t remember it being this bad or this loathsome.

My aunt has a new boyfriend. Her husband died of a heart attack. Her second husband. They were together quite a long time. It was very sudden and horrible and I actually liked him. She did quite badly with his sudden demise but now seems okay again. The new boyfriend, by the way…is a dead ringer for her deceased husband. Even his voice is similar. It’s a bit eerie, to be honest. Did she deliberately go alley catting for a replica or what??? Prolly not. I might be watching too many sci fi switcheroo bad aliens imitating humans movies or something. Mm.

I’ve been exposed to COVID. I’m seated at a table well away from my aunt, the new boytoy and the boytoy’s elder brother. None of them are wearing masks. I’m far enough away but still should be wearing one, yes. I try not to go near anyone that much but…I am careless and ill at ease and am just counting down how many hours I have to do before I can BOLT LIKE A RABID HYENA. I figure at least five to six.

I start itching by then, getting headaches [probably from grinding my teeth or chewing on my own tongue rather than start screaming like some demented suffragette in a town square full of mockers] and wanting out out out.

Social anxiety or just don’t wanna be there around these assclowns no more syndrome.

For the Census, by the way, I wear my mask religiously. Every time I approach a door or have to talk to someone. I want that on record.

So in walks a friend of my aunt’s. I’ll call him Percival. Not even close to his very ordinary common name but yeah. I’m petty.

Percival, to me, is the name of a small diseased dog rotting slowly away from the inside on a stained sofa cushion. Someone’s too pampered pooch on its last legs but with enough venom to bite you if really necessary.

So “Percival” swaggers in, with his cheese grater of a laugh. No, really. I feel my skin grated off every time he sniggers. Urh urh urh. I try to be pleasant and not let his presence ANNOY THE EVER-LIVING JIM DANDY FUCK OUTTA ME.

I am at the back of the shed, after all. I am head down, cutting away, filling my giant pan with buds, buds, buds. Snip snip, gloves getting sticky. You have to wear gloves to trim. Fresh Mary Jo is like handling syrup-sticky toddlers. Better done with gloves and protective gear.

Percival is jovial, radiating good will and has brought donuts. Yay. I didn’t have breakfast. So I have a donut. I’m polite but cool. I’ve made it clear before I am not a fan of his. So. Yeah.

And then…it starts. Percival makes some tired joke about trans people. And then descends into a truly angry outburst about knowing who you are based on if you have a dick or a pussy. Everyone laughs and nods and is having a good ole time with this. I am…speechless. I…miss a chance to correct this. To say something.

Anything. Say anything at all, really.

Because I was taught to be the good girl and be quiet rather than cause a fuss. I was told I was nasty or mean or awful if I questioned what was said around me by the men of my family.

I learned women are quiet or go along with whatever flows from the lips of the menfolk…and take them apart in private. Rather like slaves would. Slaves who pretend all is well and good, then clutch at each other behind the scenes, when they don’t have to perform, exclaiming their actual opinions. Letting their real voices chime for a bit, when it’s safe to do so.

Oh. I learned this too well.

I speak out at the wrong times, say the wrong awful cutting things and stay silent when my voice is needed. I am ashamed of this tendency. Ashamed.

I am the good girl. The good German who does what’s told and doesn’t cause problems. Oh yes.

So from bashing transgender folks, it went to, yes, the coloreds.

The coloreds. The N word wasn’t said. There’s…that. I guess.

I got to hear how any road with MLK in the title of it should be avoided. Because you knew you’d get murdered for your shoes on such a road going past such a neighborhood.

I learned that there’s crime in big cities, and that the crime is them coloreds stealing everything as they killed you dead! Usually for your Nikes.

Yeah. I probably had my lips scaled back by then and my teeth bared. New boyfriend of aunt is also popping off with remarks about the coloreds. It’s hard to breathe. Hearing this sort of thing said so casually. The hate in the air like wildfire smoke.  Hard to breathe, hard to breathe in this now.

And I failed to speak up.

I am the only liberal in my family that I know of. Everyone else is an avid Fox News junkie. It’s…stomach-turningly hideous. I hear it all around me all the time. It’s that dream where you’re drowning but you never quite drown all the way.

I bolt. I see it’s near noon. I’ve been there since eight or so. Enough. Boytoy is outside, with the cart to go cut some more MJ. I have to drive past him, his steady glare a sign they will discuss me thoroughly, have discussed me thoroughly already…

I don’t wish to hate my aunt. She agrees with whatever man has spoken last. I’ve heard her say women are not as intelligent as men. I’ve seen her make up drunken Christmas songs about her own kid and then call that same kid a traitor…her drinking an epic family cringe-worthy festival in years past. Yet she is one of the kindest people I know. A hard worker, she…ugh.

Family is complicated, says the poets and playwrights and homeless guitar player singing about his brother.

It was like attending a mini klan rally or maybe the part afterword where they all meet for some fellowship. And I wanted no part of it. I want no future part of such sentiments and expressions and beliefs as theirs. I have no wish to nod along to Percival’s garbage take of race or gender or anything else, really.

I keep waiting to fit into my own family. I realize I never will. I realize I will never accept that and keep waiting. Keep waiting. I cannot mouth the things they do. I cannot endorse their casual hatreds and ignorances but I can be the good girl, go silent and hope I win their approval at last.

But I never will.

I am the odd duck. The not-pretty one. The fat one. The one without a man. The loser. The writer who’s not Stephen King level. The…yep. The list of negatives extends well into and past eternity here.

2020 is an awful year. It might be the year I break with my family, avoid them from now on. I can’t flee anywhere, not with…well, maybe another post I’ll go into that sad pickle of a situation I could have avoided by getting knocked up at seventeen, getting into meth real hard, then turning my life around or not.

This has been a perhaps too-honest post. I have learned not to share anything of myself with anyone. I seem to get rejected bigly when I do. People don’t like me when I’m sad. Or I get told I’m just attention-seeking. Or I get called a bitch or a cunt or that I’m mean and nasty…When I can’t control the confusion and fog in my head anymore. Hello, depression. Ain’t you fun.

So I hide the sadness, the rage, the pain…until I can’t. And then I’m usually alone anyway, with a razor blade in one hand. Considering some stuff. Considering.

And tamping it all down again. To be that good girl my mama so wanted. And never ever really got.

After all, my family already barely tolerates me. What more harm can I do to my family’s image of me by making it clear such talk as I overheard is not okay with me? Lots.

There’s the rub, aye. But it’s not okay. I am not okay with such shallow shit as Percival and the two dork brothers bleated out all morning with my aunt playing anxious drums  in the background. As she tried to not be so bossy. Her words.

Her words. I guess there were two good girls trimming buds today.

To Post or Not to Post

yakima river.jpg
The Yakima River. Not sure who took this or what year this is. Washington State.

Hi again. Double post. Sorrynotsorry whatever. 

I always hesitate about posting some long rambling ranty rant that goes in every direction at once. Most of the time I don’t post those. Thank me with chocolate. I’ll also take your spare change or that coupon that’s stuck to your garbage can for two for one cans of creamed corn at the Piggly-Wiggly. That would mean a road trip for me, but I will accept out of date Piggly-Wiggly coupons because I didn’t post some unreadable screed on postmodern-retro tropes in feminist Marxist socialist anarchist subgenres of indie films that start with the letter J. 

However, sometimes I need to clear the writing pipes. 

As I’ve been uncharacteristically not writing at all lately, any sort of attempting to write seems a triumph. An actual triumph over my lackluster, nearly dead and gone to hell already spirit. 

So yeah, posting the occasional heavy-handed scream against the evils of the universe is gonna happen. Along with updates on my cat and my garden and the state of my sludge-slapped brain. What else, I ask ya, is a blog fer??? 

I am also trying to force myself to just write something, anything. To get back into practice. It’s very hard to concentrate. I have projects I need to get done that in years past I’d have whipped out,  many times over. I was oddly very productive once upon a time. It’s galling now. 

So yeah. Trying not to care how unpopular and unseen my writing is. I expected so much more by the time I hit this age and I can’t seem to slap myself into working toward fixing that at all right now. Just want to sleep. 

Just wanna sleep. 


afterward: thank you as always for reading my stuff. I appreciate it.