An Unusual Christmas Wish

If I had one wish it would be to have more time. Not time in a day or time for getting things done but time that I didn’t get; that was lost. My life is a lot like a blank slate in many ways since I lost my mother so young. My memory of her is a tangled mess of broken pieces that are faded and unclear sprinkled with a few bright moments that are so brilliant they illuminate the absolute desperation of the wet hard road of my childhood. The floor didn’t just fall out from under me the house caved in on my head as well and just as I dug up out of the rubble my darling sister died. Fucking time again. It managed to lasso me with my back turned. She was gone and what might have been was miles back on that bloody fucking road again. So it’s time that I would wish for, memories that were never stored, logged, booked, banked.

…..And my solution is that the next twenty years of my life are going to be dramatically different from the last twenty years. I’m going to write more, paint and listen to music every chance I get. I will spend quality time with my kids and do everything in my power to never become my parents. I vow to enjoy the scenery and not take things so seriously. I’m going to try to learn to appreciate my gifts and life skills and while this road has been brutal; left me jaded, torn, run-down and left for dead, it’s also taught me to survive and then how to succeed. So it’s not about everything that I remembered; that I hate about my past and what I lost. The answer is in how to change the future; survive; succeed.

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Say What You Mean

When I was a little girl, I remember very clearly that I had a distinct plan to grow up in our “beautiful” blond-blue, two car, four-story, pool in the back yard, above average but not affluent neighborhood. I would attend the same schools without being yanked out of my lovely family or home and then attend college, meet a wonderful boy, fall madly in love, get married and follow in the footsteps of my parents to build a life just as they had. Sadly, I’ve also known from an early age that I should make it my definite mission in life to be nothing like either of my parents. It was like the “shining” gift only it was a nightmare of sorts because I coveted a hatred for both of them in knowing how fucked up they both were. While I loved them dearly, I knew that I could never raise my kids the way they raised me because they always made me feel abandoned even when they were around. It could be as simple as a nasty comment or a punishment that was so unfair it made absolutely no god-damn sense at all. Or perhaps, it was an off-the-cuff remark because someone had a bad day and decided to take it out on one of the kids. Geese, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time but I’ll be damned if words don’t hurt just as badly as being hit and I sure as shit remember them a whole lot longer. When you tell me “I don’t matter”, that”you’re not going to be parenting me any more” since my dad is paying so much attention to my brother. When you say that I “look like a slut” in the clothing that you bought me, you confuse the hell out of me mommy dearest.

Remember the Christmas that you didn’t come home? I set up the tree by myself. I decorated the apartment that you were renting me and tried to make the place look festive and I’ll be damned if anyone bothered to show up. I cried through the holiday. Merry Fucking Christmas Mom. I was only 15 years old. Where in Christ’s hell did you think I was going to be spending Christmas that year? Honestly it was like Heaven down in 111. The fellas down the hall took me in and saw to it that I was fed and “happy.” I do appreciate you stopping by over New Year’s with your murderer. I saw the two of you going at it and it made me want to vomit tacos. I sprinted back down the hall to 111 and stayed there until you were gone and you never knew I walked in.

The truth is parts of me are stalled at 13 years old when it comes to you because that’s when you took off on me. I never got to reconcile and then when I got that fucking phone call, it was over. I have no idea how to turn it loose and to say it’s okay – to know that you’re not angry and to cleave to the calm. I’m not at peace with you and I never have been. People say “Oh Kristi, she’s with you” and I think to myself, bullshit, she never loved me. I don’t know faith. I don’t walk around being pissed off because the 26 years has numbed the pain however I have no clue how to deal with girls or women most of the time and I never have. It’s a blank. Literally.

Lost Girl

When I was fourteen years old my mother said to me, “Kristi, I’m done raising kids.” She rented me an apartment and moved in with her boyfriend which was forty-five minutes away from me. I admit I was both terrified and thrilled because in my mind my house was going to be party central. Luckily for me just down the hall there was a group of three twenty-something guys who were nice enough to truly look out for me. Yeah well, they also let me smoke pot any time I wanted but they saved me from a lot of bad things and made sure I got to school most days. Fast forward to three years later. My mom decided she didn’t want to rent the apartment for me so I could finish high school so she told me to find a place to live. We didn’t exactly have a great relationship because I’m sure I was a normal teenager and I was pissed that she had taken off on me. Anyway, I dug up my father and he found a condo that we could live in. He bought me a little car that I could drive forty minutes each way to school every day and I moved in. I was there a total of eight days and the phone rang one evening about 7:30 pm. My mom was dead. I was seventeen. To say that there were things left undone and words left unsaid is a gross understatement of epic proportions. I cannot ever express the regret I have about leaving things the way I did. People always say, “If I could just have five more minutes…” but that would never work because those five minutes wouldn’t be enough because how would you leave them? How could you leave them?

After the death of my mother I stayed in bed for six months. Literally. My father attempted to help by getting me counseling but it was a total waste of time because the counselor was an idiot. We also took the, “someone died, let’s take a trip” vacation, which was fun but weird and sad. Of course, I paid for the trip with my inheritance. I also bought a car. In fact, we both did, dad and I. When we returned from Mexico my father bought a house so I could start college and he could commute back and forth to Kansas City from Minnesota. He had started seeing a woman pretty seriously around this time and was spending a lot of time with her which was fine because I wasn’t used to seeing him anyway. He finally came to me and told me that he was moving to Kansas City for good and if I wanted to come along he would pay for me to attend the University of Kansas. I was in a serious relationship and had been for nearly two years but it was tumultuous and had been for quite some time so Kansas City was a no-brainer for me. I packed my things and headed south. Dad had re-married and they bought a house that we all moved into. None of us were used to living together or even really knew each other. I suddenly had four brand new brothers and a stepmom and I was twenty-one years old. I had been living on my own since I was fourteen years old so to suddenly be thrown back into a home with rules and limitations was a bit of a wrench-to-the-head. My stepmother expected me to act and behave like her children did and when I didn’t conform to her standard, she hated me. She hated that my father didn’t discipline me for things that she didn’t like. She finally told me that she didn’t care about me or my poor dead mother. That was the point when I turned loose of any hope of ever having a relationship with her.

That first fall I lived with Dad and her, I enrolled at KU and I gave them my tuition statement. Apparently though, the agreement had changed. They declined to pay. I spent that year working and saving money and learning how to get loans. Then the following summer I went to my dad without any previous discussion and let him know that in one week I would be leaving for the summer and in the fall I would not be back. I graduated with honors from KU four years later without taking one red cent from them. That was my fuck you and my thank you to them.

Currently I have no relationship with my father and that’s totally by choice. The relationship we used to have was phone calls, seeing each other at family gatherings and seeing each other if I bring my kids to see him. We live thirty-minutes apart, not 500 miles.  He has never taken the initiative to seek me out or spend time with me unless he needs a ride to the airport. At this point in my life I have no plans of ever re-establishing a relationship with my father because I fear it would always be on his terms and I’m not prepared to go the distance of fighting it out and being a belligerent child in order to get my way. I am prepared however, to just walk away.

A Felony of Sorts

Dealing with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaints is a real pain in the ass. It’s worth complaining about since the work you have to do to chase down the guilty parties is nonsensical.

In “Kristi-world” there is an enchanted program that immediately attacks a blog, website or any online location as soon as it recognizes a single copyrighted sentence. This wizard-like system will then temporarily shut down the user’s system while also committing the owner’s name to a wall of shame and a life sentence of sorts which prohibits the squire from ever possessing a domain again.

Does this sound farfetched? Perhaps.

  

The Stonewall Effect

The soundtrack of my childhood is a beautiful and bitter goulash of Presley, Franklin, Ross, violence and hatred. The blood spatter that stained our stairway walls never washed off because no one bothered to address it in between beatings. It’s unclear to me still if anyone ever knew the stains were so prominent or if I just noticed them as my hair was being ripped out at the scalp.

The seventies weren’t as beautiful as GQ and Playboy make them out to be on account of my functionally alcoholic parents. The true romance of growing up in the fifties and sixties was that bourbon was actually served with every meal including holidays unless it was a Sunday in which case copious amounts of wine and brandy were in every glass. There were drinks at every meal; near applause when the ice jingled like tiny bells into the first glass and screaming when the first knuckles berthed onto skin. It was liquor that afforded me a sickness I never wanted and a big screen to watch and learn several generations try and fail, laugh and cry, sin and be victims. I knew from a very early age the person I never wanted to be and I always felt a secret bit of kept joy that I escaped my own demise. It’s as though I’ve escaped a lifetime that passed me by on a train. I did not wave and but also I did not fully appreciate the gravity or significance of my fictional deposition. What I did do was survive.

The one thing I never planned on was that it would take me so long to learn how to make good choices. Not like having ordered the best plate on the menu or feeling as though you found a really great pair of jeans. After decades of watching the women I love being treated like professional whores it would seem like a high school diploma and the University of Kansas might have cured me of needing something just short of a rape kit.

So my New Year’s resolution in July is to spend the last six months of 2014 escaping regret that I don’t absolutely have to pay for. I’m not afraid of the future but rather the past. My alcoholic father likes to brag that Stonewall Jackson is a distant and historically important relative to this family which is probably total crap with the exception that according to namesake, we are inherent bullshitters.

Plaster of Personality

imageLife is about circles and cycles aside from the one that finally lands you on the slab.  I’m on the way down, just hitting the bottom of another of life’s wonderful coaster-like seasons. It’s easy to get caught up in negativity. Some days putting on a perfectly poised smile is like staring up the beanstalk with a fifty pound salt-lick strapped to my ankles. Other days, smiling just erupts across my face.

I love reality television because you can select the depth of whacko. There is a disproportion of over-indulgence and in some instances there are educated people involved. I also enjoy watching love stories and when the little guy comes from behind for a win of epic proportions.

When you were searching for your “soul mate” it might have been handy if you could have seen a plaster version of their personality first.

Friendship

If you are my friend then please don’t feed me heroin. Don’t shoot me up don’t tell me you love me. 

It’s been a year since my sister died. I watched her go into the ground and realized for the second time that regret is the most awful taste and the most expensive debt. 

Don’t fucking say you we’re her friend; that you LOVED her. 

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