We don't know what we 're doing.

...but we're doing our best.

Cookie Cutters

They shouldn’t have such a negative connotation to me, after all, cookie cutters are the kitchen tools of choice come holiday time. They conjure up images of flour faced kids in the kitchen yanking at Mom’s aprons while she throws another edible Picasso into the oven.

Cookie cutters come in many shapes and sizes, perfect for the mother of four at various ages with varying dexterity and a myriad of shape obsessiveness. I can purchase different colors too. And the textures they come in help any tactile dysfunctional kid. I say dysfunction because I will never understand the dislike of metal or aluminum cookie cutters. They are sharp, they get the job done quick, and what girl doesn’t like a good shiny object that can double up as a weapon at a moments notice.

Ahhh… Weaponry…
What I wouldn’t do for a nice sharp cookie cutter to uncut the dysfunction from the cookie cutter neighborhood my kids reside in half the time, half their lives, half cookie cutter suburban dysfunction.

So cookie cutter, unless associated with frosting, and warm vanilla aromas wafting from the oven during holiday regalia is a negative, albeit rancid association in my memory with this word.

Cookie cutter is like a paper doll, you cut the same pattern, undo the fold or the extra dough and everything, I Mean EVERYTHING is the same. And I swear, if you give those scissors or that cookie cutter to the frosted face girl with askew pig tails, everything will get fucked up and turned upside down. Then no one will eat those god damn cookies or color those asinine dolls because they don’t look right. And that poor girl who fucked it up is to blame.

That poor girl is me. (Incite pity party and maudlin violins please). But really… I love being that girl. I love being different. Always have been, always will. I don’t even know I’m different half the time but I sure as shit knew it when I moved into the world of Betty Crocker.

Here is a shining example of my (bite your lip and show disgust) difference …

Me: Walk into cookie cutter paper doll gym, walk onto cookie cutter paper doll treadmill, smile at woman next to me who is/ was my neighbor.

She smiles back. She looks to the woman to her right. There are whispers. There is laughing. I wasn’t told the joke.

Me: what’s the joke.

The joke is me. Apparently I am wearing my shirt inside out and back to front with the tag just underneath my chin. I didn’t notice. I didn’t care.

Me: I don’t care

I tell them. And I laugh. Then they frown. They whisper. I barely notice because I’m wearing headphones and since it’s a treadmill, I’m running. But those whispers became a conversation that turned into a neighborhood, cookie cutter diagnosis of my mental status. The whisper diagnosis was depression.

DEPRESSION!!!

Im depressed because I don’t fucking care which way a shirt lands on my body. I’m depressed because I admit I don’t fuck my husband more than once a week or on catholic Sundays? I’m depressed because food for my kids is more important then shedding the pjs for the store. I’m depressed because I don’t fit into their stylish ball of dough they mold and I’d rather be flattened and sculpted by trash then let them have their hands on me.

Wow, that sounds rather abusive and angry. that’s not me. And when I get into my cookie cutter soapbox routine, I yield to Buddha, the non cookie cutter higher power who has taught me lessons of reason, forgiveness , and wisdom.

Here’s the lesson, or rather lesson within a story I yield to:

A BAG OF NAILS

Once upon a time there was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he should hammer a nail in the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. But gradually, the number of daily nails dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the first day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He proudly told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
“You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, it won’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry’, the wound is still there.”

"It is natural for the immature to harm others. Getting angry with them is like resenting a fire for burning."

Shantideva

Candy Land

I am an avid game enthusiast. It started with the best marketing scheme ever. Think of what children want, draw pictures of that visual smorgasbord, minimize that imagery and duplicate it onto small floppy pieces of glossy cardboard. Then re-size those drippy gooey sweet messes onto a board that could smother the drippy tongue wagging youth that begs to touch it. And there lies the genius of Candy Land or is it candyland. If it’s not, it should be. Why waste the effort of seperating the things that will always be stuck together. And is it that simple? Can things be unstuck, untethered, pieced a part? It seems as of the brain develops, these small pieces get thrown a part and disconnected and as it happens to be for my favorite childhood game… Just lost, and mean lost because if I could retrieve this game as an adult, then it shall be retrieved yet again.

Have you played dice? the developmentally turn this game offers is also genius. My new favorite is a spin on Yahtzee combined with a little poker step-in. It’s called - YamSlam. What the name lacks , the pieces make up for. Five perfectly squared dice in two colors. You grip them tight, then let them go. You look at them, those round turned faces of numbers; then congregate them into a point value. Don’t like what you see? Then roll again. You have two more chances. And 90% of the time , you end up with some value for your effort.

I reached a breaking point today. I’m not afraid to admit this. My ego protects me when I lash out as I did today at my four. My ego made them the game pieces I’ve rolled that made me lose.

Did you hear that?

If you didn’t , let me be your audible road map in this journey.

Candy Land… Oooohhh(finger scrolls down for more nostalgia). Right pointer finger clicks on Facebook for new status update. Update reads : Candyland , remember that? Right finger then clicks again then rolls the back of the mouse for status updates and likes and comments, and why didn’t my best friend comment yet? Click! Oh, she’s working. What is she working on? Why is her life more important then mine? Well of course she’s wearing that dress. CLiCk! hey other friend that liked our mutual friends status, why didn’t? Omg why am I being a BFT (big - turn your eyes away - fucking - terd?)

What was I talking about ? How did I get lost? Where did I start in the first place? Did I really start with CandyLand? Why didn’t I capitalize the letters ? What does this all mean?

It means, for those of you I haven’t lost. Is that it’s very easy to get swept up and distracted by pretty colorful game pieces that turn up as a Facebook status you never meant to click on.

It means that my status now is simple. It started in fifth grade at the edge of breaking into puberty. That status was tiny rows of interlocking hearts . I filled those hearts with evolving rows of initials over the years. I stopped drawing them when I had kids .

I encapsulated them when I met Sean. Yes… Life is a gamble and a game. Yes I’m often apologetic to my children when I get angry at them for not knowing my game. But when we all go to sleep, we know we are loved and that we aren’t a gamble. And that we can start fresh tomorrow because the game is us. And none of us will lose it or take it for granted or not remember the gooey sticky colorful pieces that keep us together.
How I feel around her. It’s a good thing.

How I feel around her. It’s a good thing.

Your Bad Day

Even your worst day is still a day that I have you. You lowest is still a moment where I’m overwhelmed by the idea that I may be able to put my hand on your waist and palm your stomach at any moment. Your worst day is nothing when placed in the way of the steamroller that is the sensation of your skin at the break of my nerves.

Calf, toe, neck.

Blare the acres of your pain until your bones break, your hand is still your hand, your cheek your cheek, your thighs your thighs. Oh your skin your skin.

We were together. I forget the rest.

—Walt Whitman

I have something’s I’ve started and that I don’t ever want to finish.

One and Two Won’t Work

She has a sharp secretion, or an acidic bard that is sticking her in the inside. It is painful she says. I’m not a doctor. I think you would need to be to cure something like this. But I’m not a doctor. Whatever it is, and I’m feigning not to know the exact cause, it is persistent. It is built in to her conscious, and unconscious. Her physical. It stays with her like a bad song. Or just a song. I have to except the fact that it will never go away.

But that doesn’t matter. In fact, I’ve been over this in my head many times already. There are several ways I can go about this, but half of those ways are fantastic, too much in fact to be considered realistically without recognizing something in me is imbecilic. So after weeding out the impractical, the options that will only leave you begging for me to seek mental rehabilitation, I’m left with these three options.

One. I bring it flowers. I show up at its doorstep and I offer it my friendship. I ask about its mother and father. I listen to it and I care; I really seem to care. I loosen it and allow it to become confident in its stability outside of her. I take its hand and I look it in the eyes and I nudge it to follow me. We make it past the door, slowly at first, it’s feet no more than inches apart. Once past the door, it becomes easier. The feet begin to glide, and it stops shaking. The wind feels good to it; it is a new sensation, but he knows it is friendly. The ground feels anchored. We move faster. I laugh, or maybe it does. We are now running, weaving in and out of parked cars. People stop and watch us. People forget about themselves as we pass, unaffected by friction. I take it to the water. I put some of it in its hand and it seems okay with this. I whisper eight words into its ear, or maybe six, but it is enough to convince it the water is its new home.

And two. I kick down a door, push over a table, press it’s neck against the wall with a baseball bat and knee it in the groin. I press hard in every action and keep eye contact. It will know faster this way, of both who I am, and what my intentions are. This way abates time. This way we can move on faster. Maybe I’ll break a bone, although I know I don’t have that in me. But with adrenaline and alcohol, maybe I’ll find a way to snap an arm or a nose; a nose would probably be the easiest, less audible snap of bone. Things would get too heated this way though, and I’ll make a mistake. I’ll forget to check the back room, or make sure the door is locked behind me.
Or I’ll kill it.
I’ll push too hard and have to live life on the run, which won’t last but more than a day.
Neither of these will work, because in both situations I chose to ignore the fact that I am breaking into a home with memories. I am pressing its neck against a picture frame of four beautiful children; pushing something full of compassion into the sea. It is fine where it is; it has carved out nice little hole and just wants live inside her while making sure not to stretch too far over the spleens territory or through the heart, throttling the spine. It’s not not dangerous if we just watch it. As long as we know it is there we are safe.

I’m no doctor, but I think we can live with this. I think we have to.

Numbers

I was asked what percentage I would give to her; how much do I want to be with her still. This question is poisonous. It tells nothing of its intended answer, but instead speaks only to the difference between the way men and women think. Thoughtfulness VS emotion. One hundred percent is an emotion response. One hundred percent is the quick way to a smooth ending. It is perfect, flawless. It leaves room for nothing. But it feels good to hear. It is heart vomit. Anything less than 100% means you now have to calculate a person, a future; you have to think. It means someone is getting judged, and even at 99%, someone is getting hurt. So now how do I rate my family, friends, dog, acquaintances. The teller at the bank. My boss. My girlfriend’s children, their friends. My girlfriend’s ex. I can either think of this all and do the math for accuracy, or I can just say 100% and be done with it.

Or maybe if I found out that tomorrow was it for me, that my time would soon be echoing its last ticks and my body it’s final tocks, the only thing to soften the edges of that news would be the idea of your hand and the prospect of your lips.

Why don’t you tell me what number that is.

If I Were You.

If I were you, I’d ask …

When will you and daddy kiss again?

And if I were you I would scream in your face and say that your words don’t matter in the house you left.

If I were you, I’d stay up at night and think through the minutes left til I was at your house.

If I were you I’d be embarrassed and not invite my friends to my other home.

If I were you I would call it moms house and dads house home.

If I were you I would be angry and I wouldn’t want my friends to define me by my parents divorce.

If I were you , I’d turn my back on you and run away and pretend that this never happened and convince myself that not talking would make it not true.

If I were you I would ask you if you still loved daddy. I would think that daddy could someday be me. That I might wake up and your love would be gone.

If I were you I would look at your moms face a little longer and see a smile that grew a little bigger because she took a step that created space to love you more. And I would feel that smile and know I was the catalyst to it always being there.

If I were you , I would look up the word struggle when I was old enough to thumb the pages of a dictionary and know that not only is this my mom, but it’s me, and it’s you.

If I were you I would trust a little more and uncurl the swirling worries in my head. I’d ask more questions
Because I wouldn’t want to fear. And I’d want to forgive and believe there are happily ever afters.

So I want you to know.
My child.
My children.
My four.
There is nothing more sacred, more honest, more fierce, more … There is nothing greater than my love for you. I clutch my heart when I tell you this and feel the body that I’ve grown into start trembling because it’s a part of me so big that it pushes into the cells that grow you. It can not be re-created , it can not end, it replicates and multiples in you because of you. And if I were you I would believe me, your mother because it’s a truth stronger then any strength you’ll ever build. And that is the only thing I will ever beat you at.

SoC 1

Dismiss any binding authority that blocks a synapse that pushes everything to the side and let’s nothing through because I’m coming and I’m bringing a heart that attaches itself to only the brightest of reservoirs and quickest of earthquakes and never letting go never letting go never letting go until there is a break in the mental fissuring of a body that aches for a touch beyond anything the Milky Way could float by in a lucid dream And beneath all of that is a finger typing tapping rapping rapping rapping on the inside of a rib cage for the inner concrete selection of a woman it loves loves loves loves loves loves loves loves loves lives.