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Showing posts from August, 2019

Teef vs. Why I Can't Take a Nap Right Now

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I'm fresh back from the dentist, and dying because I want to take a nap but my written instructions say:

DO NOT LIE DOWN.

I so much want to lie down. Here I am with y'all for another 1.5 hours, so it's story-time.

I started this trouble when I was 18. After a weekend of nothing but Coors' Light on the beach at Port Aransas, I decided to go home and fix a hot dog. I woke up the next morning still at the neighbors' house. I went to the bathroom and cleaned the blood off my face and shrapnel out of my mouth; everyone playing cards in the kitchen could say only that I'd fallen on my face.

One of my front teeth was broken. I went around like that for a while and even survived a spectacular abcess. That's what you do in this country if you're too poor for proper medical treatment, what you do if your family structure is such that you can't support each other.  My grandma finally footed the bill for a flipper - removable artificial tooth. A lot of people h…

The Bringer of Good News

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I saw this tank with wings patrolling my tiny cottage a couple days ago, and then it was gone.

And then it was back last night.

I enjoy all the beasties that find their way into my home, and I enjoy putting them the fuck back outside. I've liberated many spiders, including an adorable teenage Orb Weaver, moths, a butterfly, a skink, two baby snakes and a mole. Not the ants.

I thought at first it was a variety of bumblebee who'd bumbled in from the mint out front. I couldn't find a picture online of a bee like this -- but wait...shoot.

I'd forgotten all about yellowjackets.

One of the first things we learned as wild kids in Michigan is that bees don't want to hurt you, because they will lose their stinger and die; wasps and hornets can sting you over and over, unrepentantly. While I flipped through pictures of things that will stab me, the hovertank disappeared again. I thought maybe it had gone to bed, so I would do same. And then the cat yelled for dinner (which …

...and That's What I Did This Weekend.

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The tall guy turned around and came back to my art station - he was wearing a Bell's Brewery shirt and had trouble finding his words.

"I never do this, I'm from Michigan, but could you draw a skitty sk...shitty sketch of my best friend and I at the bar there, like a Hemingway feel, you know...a well-lit room..."

 I was stationed between the bar and the side-door at Palette 22 as an Artist-in-Residence. Heavy humid air bustled in with every turn of the revolving door. Outside, two young women with elaborately-braided hair nestled together as they perused the menu taped to the window above my table. The young man was in front of me, unsure whether he'd made his request clear.

"I hate Hemingway," I grinned. "Also I dislike Kalamazoo very much."

My daughter's voice giggled in the recesses of my brain:  "You're the one who taught me, if it isn't worth doing for the story it isn't worth doing at all." I looked around at …

The Battle of the Laundromat

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@RageMichelle and I were talking about writing funny. I thought about how my daughter's friends think I'm hilarious and always ask for stories, but there isn't much humor on this blog. I'm gonna try it - here ya go.

@lia likes to tell people I got drunk and broke the laundry machine, but that's not how it went. I was staying with her in Michigan while she had knee surgery. Maybe it wasn't that visit - I think she left me unattended to go to her job. All I know is I got bored. I would be HELPFUL. I would do the laundry.

At my place in DC, we didn't have machines so I used the laundromat down the block. Across the street from the laundromat was Room 11, an excellent Foodie joint with talented mixologists (hi, Shaun.) I wisely developed a routine:  put my clothes in the washer, set an alarm on my phone to signal the end of the wash cycle, cross the street and order a drink. Before the alarm went off  I'd order food, which would be ready by the time I came…

The Hole vs. Maybe a Gap in the Smoothie

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I was terrified of the hole, and did whatever I thought would keep it from manifesting.

...the empty feeling when a loved one is gone; when your relationship still feels empty; when you finally get the thing you always wanted but it doesn't feel like your dream.

These losses are each very different, but there's a unifying thread. I've felt "the hole" when there was absolutely nothing wrong or different in my life. That tells me it's not always situational. And it's not always gnawing. Psychological or biological, it's real and part of the sum total of Me.

Maybe I shouldn't think of it as something that needs fixing, a literal hole, but a space - and here's the thing:

Nothing is really empty. An empty room has things in it: sunlight, air, dust, energy. The University of Konstanz is home to ground-breaking science on what's really in a vacuum - they call it a Traffic Jam in Empty Space.

That empty space within us also contains things we are …