We don't know what we 're doing.

...but we're doing our best.

The Hard Part

The hard part is, you can’t have this because you want it. You couldn’t even have it if you needed it. It’s never going to be that easy for you, for any of you. It has taken me, us, two years to build this, and this thing was not easy. Forget what you think you see when you see us together. This thing was not easy. Although, at times it seemed to assemble itself without much design on our part. But that was and is our privilege. 

You don’t have that privilege. You are fast off the block now, but the gunshot was last week.

You don’t deserve this place I now call home, the walls of which we put up with our bare hands before they were calloused. The paint that, to you, freckles my pants in chaos, was mixed on our time, and layed out evenly in thick bars without overlap. And although the heat and sweat sandpapered our brows and made it laborious at times, man, these walls. These fucking walls look divine. 

And I haven’t even told you about the floor. Would you like to know? Yes, hardwood. Where did we get the wood? Fuck you, we grew it. Though I’ve never been told this, I’ve heard that if you want something done right, then do it yourself. Mother nature could not have grown these trees any better then we have. Red Quebracho, also known as the “axe breaker.” South American. Generations of squirrels had generations of squirrels while these suckers shot up like wooden geysers through the dirt. But even so, there were several times where the floors seemed to bow and moan sharply downward so that we had no choice but to tumble towards it’s center, knocking our heads together. Teeth hitting teeth. But you should see this floor of ours. This fucking floor of ours is worth dying on. 

The ceiling we had flown in from Japan, by a French Architect that speaks several endangered aboriginal languages. He is dead now.

You now must be rolling yours eyes and saying to yourself, don’t tell me, the door is made of 5Cr-Mo-V reinforced sheet steel used most frequently in aerospace engineering, and of which has an Ftu of up to 280 ksi?” It is, and it does.

There is no glass in our windows. Air passes through all space. Life is allowed to come in and out with the safety and freedom it deserves. 

It has taken me two years and counting to build the place I now call home. It was not immediate. There was no rush to seize property. I did not plunge a spear in to the ground and declare it mine or call it beautiful before I knew it. I claimed it because I appreciate it. I claimed it because I thought of it, because I went to it day after day after day until I was sure there was solid enough ground in which to live on. I claimed it because it claimed me.

My point in this cluttered, heavy handed metaphor: I have a mansion with a steel door and eighteen German Shepards with the same loyalty the light has for the sun. You have a stick, a pair of binoculars, and a bag of “likes.”  You are going to have to try a lot harder than that, because we can see you in the infrared scope on our homemade Tesla Cannon, and you look very very small.  

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.