whatever’s lying around

April 24, 2009

These days I find myself thinking kind of “chicken soup for the soul” thoughts. Like right now, I just thought there’s nothing a chocolate cookie can’t make better. I don’t really believe it, but I do understand that for me junk food and TV are part of my coping strategies. Not the best ones. Not the worst ones either.

But then I remembered the PBS show I saw last night and this woman, who survived the Holocaust, was talking about having to leave her cousin to die in the snow on the ground outside their barracks.

I tried to leave RU an uplifting message the other day. A message about how we will be fine. Our lives are changing and we are in transition and it’s really fucking hard, but no one’s trying to chop off our hands. So we will be fine. Luckily, RU is in a place where she heard that as heartening as opposed to darkening.

Dark people bring up dark kids. And broken people raise their young with scraps and bits, string and paste, whatever splintered off, whatever’s lying around.  Stop gap measures, quick fixes, slight of hand–techniques better suited to a house of cards.

That’s why poetry works. It gets at all those things in a way prose can’t, not without run on sentences and footnotes and extra chapters and the next thing you know you’ve got a five volume set of crap that even you can’t stand to read no matter how self involved you are.

You wouldn’t know it by anything I said here, but the sun is shining.

1 Comment »

tear it down

April 14, 2009

Last night I had a dream I was telling Heidi about my dad dying and trying to sell his house in Carmel. It was so real.

My sister signed the last bit of paper work yesterday to sell the my dad’s property and with any luck the whole thing should be closed this week. Cars, house and whatever is still on the land and in the house and is salvageable, which at this point can’t be much considering the rain and however many days with warmer temps you all have had in Indiana. We met the buyer when we were home. Our first face to face was at a McDonald’s on 98th and Michigan Rd. I imagine at this point for him it’s gotta be all about getting the place torn down as quickly as possible. It always was, but with spring right on his coat tails . . . well let’s just say, good luck.

It’s strange and sad and I don’t know what to make of it really. We had no real relationship with my Dad’s house. My sister had never even been there until going home for the funeral. But it is another sign of the finality of it all. And that is sad.

1 Comment »

what a mess

April 6, 2009

Grief is making a mess of me. And it sucks. It really does. I do better when I am busy. Either physically or intellectually. I realized that yesterday when I ended up with a butter knife in hand trying to dig the grit out of the narrow gaps in between the plastic molding in the interior of my car. And because it was sunny and I felt satisfied, I just kept going, making my way to the do-it- yourself car wash on the other side of town. Something about the whole experience felt very midwestern to me. Maybe it was the sun or playing my stereo loud with the window rolled down or wearing mirrored sun glasses

I’ve been hesitant to admit it out loud, but I’m tired of trying to keep it together. Because I am in fact suffering. And it is not at all like I thought it would be, not that I thought a lot about it. My anxiety is kind of all over the place and I just feel so confused and tired. Plus there’s periodic bouts of just being sad and angry and terribly lonely to contend with. It’s not like I miss my dad more than I missed him before he died. I’ve always missed him, but  more like white noise in the background. Easy to forget because I’ve lived with the white noise of his absence longer than I lived with him. I just miss him differently  now that he’s dead. Plus in his dying, we peeled off a protective layer that barely concealed all the craziness so now the whole world can see how fucked up things were, which is both freeing and incredibly scary.

I don’t know if it’s a free for all or a free fall or some combination.

And there’s barely any solid ground, save for a couple friends and my sister. There’s work, which is consistent and constant, but it has it own host of headaches and a fair amount of stormy waters to navigate. Still, it keeps me busy. Pays my bills. Gives me some meaning or a distraction from things seeming so meaningless. RU has been a god send. Seriously. And yet she is dealing with her own free fall. Ditto my girl in Western Mass, except she’s it’s more of a wrecking ball for her than a free fall.

I manifest in other ways what I can’t express through more traditional out pourings. I drop things a lot. Knock things over. Set things down on an unsteady surface from which they will obviously fall. I don’t make sense sometimes when I’m talking. I hear myself say things out loud and I’ll think to myself that’s not at all what I meant. But I’ll just keep talking. I watch bad TV, shows like American Idol and Biggest Loser. I eat junk food. I shop for the perfect pair of sneakers. I’ve not bought them, but I have bought various pairs of work boots off ebay, most of which I’ve donated or sold.

Grief is not gracious or convenient. And it doesn’t even make sense. My boss asked me how my weekend was and I told her that weekends seem to be hard for me because I have less to occupy my time and my dad died on a Saturday. She responded, kinda hopefully, “but it was sunny.” I just looked at my shoes and told her, “grief doesn’t care.” And it doesn’t.

No Comments »


March 19, 2009

What to say when mostly what I want to say is “fuck it”. The thing is I’m not getting done the things I’d wanted to get done, like writing or playing music or working out or updating my resume. In part, it’s because my sleep is not so great and my energy level has taken a hit. But I think the larger part is that right now I can’t stand to open myself  up to heartbreak or hope or longing or disappointment. I don’t want to deal with wanting something.

So I’m doing what I can to get by. Going to work. Cooking food. Doing my dishes. Riding me bike. Paying my bills. Reading the New Yorker in bits.  Watching TV here and there. Eating donuts.  I love donuts.



March 17, 2009

Grief is not a reasonable companion.

I go to work and try and sell lighting and hardware online; my work is weighed against our sales. I’m as good as my next idea. I pay my rent every month but when my hot water goes out and the land lord won’t fix it on a Saturday, I’m reminded that I’m just a check.

Reasonable expectations, work and rent. Except it’s an unreasonable time.

No Comments »

hanging in

March 1, 2009

I am much more tired than I’d anticipated. I can’t express how tired I am. So I’ve sleeping extra. At the same time, in my gut I feel it’s important to keep working at things – go through the stuff I brought back from Indiana, make calls about sorting through my dad’s estate, talk candidly about my family and the experience of growing up with them. The secrets, the privacy, the disassociation has not served me. Not sure it served anyone, really. My dad had a second family after he divorced and he was in fact a pretty good step dad. I want to get that in the mix of how I understand my dad. There are other things too, but things best left off the blog. The point is . . . well what is my point . . . hm . . . it’s a mess, but it’s my mess and one I’d like to figure out how to negotiate with.

No Comments »