Habit

faithrhyne@gmail.com

show details 12:34 PM (1 hour ago)

Well, here I am again. The force of habit that keeps me keeping myself company.

Today, started off pretty weird. I woke up with a start and checked the phone/emailer. Also habit. Got this letter from Shipman.

I will only say this, from that:

My mother tries, but she is phobic of the internet and can’t manage to brave it to read my words. My dad doesn’t know what to do, and so he just puts on his brown clothes and stoically tends the garden.
Faith, does your Mom have the URL? Have you given it to her? Does she even know what a URL is?
Perhaps you could help or nudge her here. I dunno.
I’m here to listen (and babble nonsensically) if you desire. But I’ll be quiet for now.
Got no magic here, plenty of patience tho.
Also, yeah LOL I dress in brown too. Ha! (Makes decision making easier in the morning)
:)
Holler.
EndeGutAlleGutShipman
********************************************************************

I fell asleep with my contacts in and so my eyes were dry.

I walked into the bathroom and I must’ve still been 1/2 asleep ’cause I reached for what I thought was contact lens solution – which I don’t even keep upstairs! – unscrewed the cap on the bottle and upended it, my eyes open wide.

Not contact lens solution at all. But, Watkins Apothecary Dry Mist Body Oil with Cocoa Butter (Big Lots – 1.50) –

Which wasn’t dry at all as it turns out. What I had believed to be the cap to contact lens solution was the spray nozzle for body oil of questionable fragrance.

It was the sickest thing ever. But, because I was alone, I just calmly wiped my face and took out my ruined contact and flung it somewhere, then scrubbed my face, and dried my face and then

washed it again.

Last night’s excellent storm.

And then I went downstairs and put on the coffee and my glasses, in some order. Opened the front door, used the bathroom (finally!) and rolled a cigarette and went out with coffee to write Shipman and smoke.

faithrhyne@gmail.com

show details 7:34 AM (4 hours ago)
Hey Shipman –

Of course my mom has the URL! I see why you had to ask, though. Some people would sit and be like ‘my mom doesn’t read my stupid blog…boohoo.’ And never would have even given her the address. People are lame like that. Nah, I’m pretty direct. In addition to going to Kinko’s and printing her the first six months of the damn thing, which – I think? – she read some of. Said she liked it. Said she read some to my dad, said he said wow.

.

At least every single time I am knocked flat by the complete and utter lack of interest on behalf of my family – at least once a week…well, I tell her again how to access the weblog.

A few days ago, I offered to sit down with her and show her how to navigate the internet to my words.

She declined.

I think there is some larger issue than not being sure of the URL.

Oh well, she’s tired. I get that. I am trying not to let a grudge against the world take form from all of this. But, I have been quite clear about the simple ways that the people who profess to care for me can PROVE IT…

Simple ways, really. ‘Mom, do want to help me sort my drawings?’

“Yes.” And then she goes off to do some other thing or starts asking me about the mower or some other random unnecessary thing. I think I busted my mother’s love, used up all her energy to put up with my crap.

Oh well. It’s okay. But, yeah – my mom knows the URL.

The thing that gets me about ALL of this is that I have gone out on a limb for SO many people…

Driving people hundreds of miles to get back home, taking kids to the beach ’cause they’d never seen the ocean, holding a rag over a gunshot wounded 12 year olds bleeding stomach while my baby was in my other arm, losing a job I loved so that the person who I married wouldn’t have to take the rap alone – even though it was wholly his to take…

Driving a heroin withdrawal case clear across the country to take him away from his demons, loading endless stray dogs into the car, offering a pregnant teenager a place to live even though my family advised against it, logging thousands of miles as a Guardian ad Litem (still logging them – won’t quit those girls!) to visit kids and go to meetings and sit around tables of professionals and bravely say: “I disagree.”

And these are some of the things I haven’t been paid to do. Paid employment is another whole list of pushing my fear or disgust down in order to comfort or help a person. I have hefted and heaved a three-hundred pound i-n-s-a-n-e woman, covered in slimy medicated shit, onto a motorized wheelchair and across the hall to the showers, and I have literally washed more than a few feet. Old, sick feet. And it was okay. People are washing feet for minimum wage right now as I write this…and I hope that they are kind to the people whose feet they are holding. It takes a swallow of pride (hmm?) to wash feet, but also takes humility to have your feet washed by someone who is being paid to do it.

And the thing is…none of it really meant a thing in the end. The heroin addict died anyway, a few years after he screwed up my life in ways quite profound, the gunshot wounded 12 year old survived and his stepfather continued to sell cocaine out of his home and his older brother – who, as a nine year old, had eyes like a goddam saint (FULL of plain-faced good) got hard faced and mean and they probably both have guns of their own now, the pregnant teenager said my house was creepy and hasn’t called though her baby is over a month old…I can’t look for them right now…but, one day I will. My to-be -ex-husband learned that I would do anything for him and for a long time I tried…

And then the biggest bravery – to see clearly that to continue living in a way that cut me into a cardboard form and smothered my sense of wonder…in a way that kept me quiet and ordinary and sad in the middle of night, when I was told that I only do good things so people will think I am a good person…

No, I do good things so that I will feel like I am a good person and so that – for the duration of the foot washing or the outstretched hand – some asshole will feel truly loved…because growing up in woods, with ghosts and old ladies…driving down highways and staring straight down the line taught me to see straight into a person…to notice the details in their face that tell their story…and I understand.

I try to do good things because to have the ability to offer of yourself and to ignore the opportunity to ease another’s being – even for a moment…well, to know you can do some small thing and to do nothing at all is – though I don’t believe in the god of religion – well, it is what some might call the biggest of sins.

If we all did more small things to uplift or surprise or give respite to…well, the world would seem friendlier to me.

I see clearly that my children will travel a road in their hearts that I seem to recall…

And I want them to know that I tried real hard to balance all the points of self and mother and daughter and wife and daughter-in-law and ALL that…the energy it took to keep myself down, to keep myself quiet and compliant…



(the boy took this phone picture of the train+dragon situation in his room last week)


I am harmless. I mean no harm.

I just can’t stand the thought of my kids being raised by a cardboard cut-out. A psychic suicide case.

Because then – when they are older and wondering why they seem to feel so goddam out-of-place – I will be able to say, see: It’s okay. We are okay. We are smart and good and we remember the details and find beauty in small things. The world doesn’t always understand. It’s okay. We’re okay. Sometimes we need to find our own way.

We can make our own beauty when people let us down.

(or at the very least: cookies)

We can talk to ourselves and write our own truth. It is okay to claim yourself.

But, maybe not so much…because it seems that

everything
is
a frickin’ mess now

and

I can’t even figure out how to manage it all.



I guess the wounds of late have come from realizing that there are no guaranteed returns on kindness and that sometimes a stray dog will turn back and snap at you or lay up in your house and piss in all the corners or never let you out of it’s sight and growl if anyone comes near you…

And sometimes it will just wander off, and you’ll call it’s name and it will act as if you never said a word.

I miss Shiny very badly. She was my stray dog saint – she gave nothing but kindness and when she looked at me, I knew she would always come when I call and she would be there, not because she had to be – but, because she was a good dog.

She was running to me when she got hit by that red car.

So, yeah – my mom knows the URL to this blog.

Gotta make pancakes. Boy’s got skatecamp again today.

************************************************************************************
Two hours of kids, “Are the kids available?” Up the stairs and down the stairs and I didn’t even have a chance to wash that oily beach-y stink out of my hair. Skateboard camp and burnt pancakes and breakfasts and brushings and milk and dishes and sweeping and garbage…

The girl is at the neighbor girl’s house for a minute and now suddenly she is not and we are going to get plants –

better get a new supply line for the tub – still haven’t done that…


The drop of water on the kitchen ceiling
after I broke the supply line. oops.

Nope – later. The girl wants to go to the big nursery by the big market.


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Best $1.00 plants ever. Portulaca in my favorite pink orange and fleshy leaves. Lots of marigolds. 4/$1.00. And annual sage and some extremely odd celosia with small and contorted blooms. Like color stained brain coral. Not particularly pretty, but so freaky I had to get eight of them…for two bucks. I never feel too badly spending a little money on plants, especially if the kids are with me. Because then we get to plant the plants and then we get to take care of them and enjoy them and they aren’t made in china and they aren’t made out of plastic chemicals.

Okay. More day to do. By the way, aside from the letter from Shipman (bless his weird Florida heart) and two sorely missed phone calls…my last request has gone unnoticed.

And so I guess I’d better get on with myself.

I got my mom some of the $1.00 plants. I don’t hold grudges. I buy plants.

Remember:

I repaid vileness with doves. Yo pueda vilenza con palomas.

P. Neruda

No child on earth was ever meant to be ordinary, and you can see it in them, and they know it, too, but then the times get to them, and they wear out their brains learning what folks expect, and spend their strength trying to rise over those same folks.

Annie Dillard, The Living

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