I stare at the blank computer screen and will myself to become sucked into my homework and instead turn to Facebook. Having caught up with my friends I try again to study but am distracted by a text message, a growling stomach, the ticking of the clock.
Wish you were here instead!
I don't look at them to hard though. Who know's what I'd find.
It's just smart. Like not walking down that alley. From it's edge the homeless are audible. Having a quarrel. Maybe drunk? Maybe high on cough syrup.
The click of my heels keep me company. The way my scarf floats into the black make me feel light and worry free. Like I don't have a million things tugging at the daylight hours.
In the pitch of the night all the needy people fade away.
The click of my heels keep me safe. That and Orion in the sky, keeping guard.
Probably I spend to much time running from my thoughts.
I know I don't sleep well.
I'm up a million times a night.
But it's when I start thinking,
when I get back to self.
I want to run.
I'm not sure if there's a candle left to burn.
So for the last time here is:
dirty little secret.
my dream is to write a book.
I want to write."
It’s the tooth that you put under your pillow and hope for money to appear in return.
It is uncomfortable.
It’s what’s crafted between thoughts
and shared with the world, or
kept to yourself.
It is ever-changing, malleable
It’s the line that runs from the height of a woman’s cheek bone to the curve
of her breast, the slim of her waist, and ends with that poor baby toe.
Not in Canada.
That Dirty Little Secret.
"Don't laugh! My real dream is to write a book.
I want to write."
It's that tooth that you put under your pillow and hope for money to appear in return.
It is uncomfortable.
It's what's crafted in between thoughts
and shared with the world.
Or kept to yourself.
It is ever-changing, malleable.
It's not porn.
Perhaps it's the line that runs from the height of a woman;s cheek bone ti the curve of her breast, the slim of her waist, and ends with that poor baby toe. Perhaps.
Again and again.
I feel a little like I've been run over by a mack truck.
His lips are still moving. His eyes catch my attention. Nice eyes.
I am thinking about all there is to do this week and the 8 million ways to avoid doing any of it. Right now for example I am supposed to be listening to the words pushing past his lips and not day dreaming about what he might look like with out that beard.
Funny looking. Naked. Awkward.
The beard suits him.
I am trying to eat healthy but I am having trouble finding that balance between too little and too much. So I end up under/over eating. So weird. And water, now that I drink 8-12 glasses of water a day- I'm thirsty all the time! How the hell does that work?
I am buying myself a new bed for boxing day! Cant wait!
What else is new?
Starting bartending school soon, hoping to get a job where people actually tip. Then I'm going to work all christmas and hopefully make enough money for afore mentioned bed.
Getting my hair done at that place that is WAY too expensive by that girl who does a FANTASTIC job. But is rough on my skull. BUT she does a FANTASTIC job. What should I have done? Any Ideas? I'm not cutting more than 3 inches off my hair.
Have Homework I should be doing now instead of this.
Am taking Kickboxercise!!! it is awesome!!!! I get to kick things!!!!!
Have a good weekend everybody!!! Hopefully I will too! I need to relieve some tension... maybe... SHOPPING!!!
Art is personal. It is intention. An expression. A craft. It has no solid definition to the masses, not here, not in Canada. Here in Canada art is that dirty little secret.
The other day someone said to me: "Don't Laugh... my real dream is to write a book. I want to write."
It is that tooth that you put under your pillow and hope for money to appear in return.
It is uncomfortable.
It is growth.
It is discovering yourself and your potential and sharing it with the world, or keeping it to yourself.
It's not porn.
It is what I want to create and have you praise.
It is entertainment.
It is ever-changing and malleable and...
to some people
it is everything.
Realizing she has a fan base... Sarah, Allie is going to try to post more regularly... might need some metamucil first
I wanted to chase after her. But. It's early. And that would only be bad news.
Should have kicked the car as it went by.
Should have let her hit me.... I have a midterm this morning.
And she was driving slowly.
Chasing demons with a sword.
Playing the jester at court.
A parrot would talk to much.
Would lack impulse control.
Kinda like me.
Dicipline. No I do not want to teach.
Not big. Not small. Not teach at all.
I am wondering how long it takes to become. How long I can last like this:
I burn the candle at all ends.
I allude sleep. And it in turn alludes me.
I wrote a poem in the shower. In my head. It almost slipped away. Instead I just looked slightly foolish. I hate the "You're writing poetry?" Words work, twist, splay, and turn. Splish tare, and bare.
They leave everything naked to anothers eyes and judgement.
It's all relevant
I love it.
Except for this time she gets to keep her clothes on... but maybe it will be more appropriate to cat call?
I am so going to be the one yelling "Ya Mommy!" from the audience :P
Poetry class looks good tho. Even tho I am the worst poet EVER, I love workshopping, it is so educational. It looks like there is going to be a good group.
My problem is my poetry often ends up looking to much like prose.
For example, somehow I want to turn the following into a poem:
I study sex every chance I get.
That is to say I'm a scorpio.
Probably I'll add some random facts that I've learned over my last year of studies regarding western sexualities. Like that clitorectomies were used as lates as the 1950's to cure small girls from masterbation. Or that video killed the stripping industry. Oh, and my all time favorite, that Canada Customs has control over the media allowed into the country, and decides what is indecent. Customs. LAME.
Fun stuff like that.
What do you think?
Anyone have any fun facts?
But back to Seattle and my being weird.
For the week before my vacation I went ON AND ON AND ON about visiting my meca, the birthplace of ....STARBUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wanted to go, get my picture taken and just soak in the beauty of the original corporate blackhole that is Starbucks. It was right at Pike Place Market, where we were to spend our morning.
We got there. I looked inside. It was busy, full of people. I didn't go in. My friend took my picture. Her dad asked if we were going in. I said no. Too busy. Don't like crowds. I stepped in. Grabbed a mug, paid in the quickest moving Starbucks line EVER. And left.
Meca visited. Mission accomplished.
I love my mug!
Can you imagine the mess of a motorcycle hitting a deer, a moose?
I don't like motorcycles. I can see how they would be exhilarating, but they scare me. To drive next to, to pass. And my biggest driving pet peeve is the biker that zips up behind, then to the side, and is suddenly passing the person in front of you.
A venti non fat no foam tazo chai contains approx. 320 calories, thats 100 more than a slim fast shake. It is recommended that you intake a minimum of 300 calories for breakfast to get the metabolism going.
Give blood. It takes little time and makes a world of difference.
Everyone has cancer. It is scary. A few of my friends parents are fighting it. It makes me worry about my own. It makes me worry about my friends.
The tip of the tongue the teeth the lips.
I downloaded Courtney Jaye's "Can't Behave" for my ringtone. LOVE IT! I need new music. Current fave is Timbalands "The Way I Are". I know, I'm a pop music slut. Current least fave is Fergie's #1 hit, can't remember what it's called, something about being a big girl and not crying, or out growing diapers.
A lot of things are a changing for me right now. I am leaving my summer job that went from a 2 week position to a 4 month term. I am going to visit my very best friend and her family and then I will be working for my dad for 2 weeks and then school starts.
Working for my dad has been a challenge lately. He has two live in developmentally delayed dudes, and I do relief work for him. One guy is 57 and acts like a mostly well behaved 5 year old. The other is 40, autistic, and with a recent change in meds is now at the terrible twos. Before his drugs kept him pretty bogged down and easy to get along with. Now he is more alert and self sufficient. The down side is he has learned the word "NO".
Our daily battles this weekend have gone like this:
"Bill time to get up." NO
"Bill time for a bath." NO (he has recently decided against bathing.)
"Bill time to get dressed." NO
and my favorite... "Bill put your shoes on." NO
and then later "Bill take your shoes off." NO
And then when we finally do leave the house is cheerful and flirty and giggly.
The upside of all this is he used to have tantrums and throw his toys around when something bothered him, and i havent seen any of that lately.
Just the word NO.
And as I am no longer with the boy I don't have the extra help I used to with the guys. It has become a lot more work.
I think I'll wrap up now before this post becomes so long that you look at it and your eyes glaze over at the length of my verbal diarhea. Have a good week!
8. As far as toes go, mine are pretty darn cute.
7. I love romance novels... perhaps addicted is a better word
6. HATE job hunting
5. Can stand only green, orange pekoe and chai lattes as far as tea goes. Everything else tastes too much like perfume.
4. Am super scatter-brained and always double check anything that is important on fear of forgetting something.
3. Don't always know when to keep my mouth shut... but really, who does?
2. Have just started letting the cats out on to the balcony and watch the spastic little boogers like a hawk. The flies drive River nuts and I'm afraid he might jump off trying to catch them, but Bosley is content to just chill and sit by me, he is the needier of the two.
... I don't think I have anything else right now....
1. Like spontaniety but am mellowing with age... I hope
The voice of the woman at the till was shrill. We looked at her.
"Do you mind? You're supposed to wait back there."
"Oh? I think we'll just wait here thanks." I said
She huffed and went about paying. She glared at me on her way out.
"Have a fantabulous evening!" I couldn't resist, not when lil' preggo had my back.
She huffed. "You need to learn some manners!"
"Really?" I said. "I can't believe you think we should learn some manners when your mother obviously didn't teach you any."
Lil' preggo broke out in laughter.
Ya, so I wasn't nice,but wow. Just wow. If she wanted some space she could have just asked us nicely to move. It's not like I'm hard to get along with when I'm spoken to with respect. I just don't enjoy being spazzed on for no reason.
At least it makes for a good story.
At work. Sitting at desk. Is 5:58am. Am 2 hours early. Equals 2 hours OT.
2. I can tell the Olsen twins apart.
3. My part time job is hanging out with the developmentally delayed.
4. I have 4 brothers and no sisters.
My parents both have 4 siblings and my older brother has 5 kids. I am not having 5 kids. NOT. I am getting my tubes tied after 2.
5. I am not a fan of Shakespeare.
6. I hate stupidity. It is annoying.
7. I can touch my tongue to my nose.
8. I love the way the word "whore" sounds in Afrikan. It's pretty.
Dreams are healthy, they initiate change, they motivate, they inspire...
They can leave us crushed and disapointed.
So, the trick is to have a dream and let uplift you but also be a realist
cross your fingers for me because I hate job hunting
Oh well, no work on Monday!
Good thing, maybe I'll shake this cold that's got a hold of me. All day I've been sneezing and my nose leaks. Yummy.
I plan to celebrate with beer. Lots of beer.
All that is over in two days.
I hate job hunting. But I am going to tell myself I don't. It's an adventure. The beginning of a new and unknown experience. If I had my way I would stay home the rest of the summer and write. I would go to the park and write. I would go to Starbucks and write. I would get on a bus and write. I would go to the pub and drink... and write. I would clean my house, do the shopping, the cooking, and the caring for the Boy (who recently broke his wrist).
Instead I am off to a new adventure. An unknown experience. Another version of life that will add flavor and knowledge to my writing.... if I ever have the time to sit down and do it.
Lately I get to wake up at 5:30. In the morning.
Argh. I want my bed and a new pillow that isn't like a brick to lay my head on. I hate my pillow. It is a $10 pillow from Walmart. Serves me right.
Went to Vancouver saw my bestest friend and her family....
didn't want to leave.
Declared myself Godmom of her babies.
Now I have to remember their birthdays... I don't even remember my nieces and nefiews birthdays. Crap.
Flying hurts my brain. I yawned the whole way their and back trying to relieve the pressure. Didn't work.
Richmond is beautiful. Love it. Want to move there and by a condo directly over Starbucks. Actually I think that's in Steveston. I saw Starbucks and shouted with joy. Seriously. I am a Starbucks addict. And they had breakfast sandwiches that were AMAZING. Can't wait
Learned a little, about the boy.
Didn't sleep much.
Waited around a bit for hung over people.
Flew first class baby. Stretched my legs. Drank a little. Watched TV. Declined the hot towel.
Took LOTS of pictures.
Got home late.
Am really tired.
Saw the ocean. (while driving to the airport.) (and the dike by Steveston) LAME-0
“What have we done to incur your wrath?” asked the boldest, or perhaps dumbest of the villagers. Or yet again, perhaps the poor man was simply intoxicated.
The witch turned to him, livid, her untidy black hair in a wild mess about her face, pupils enlarged and darkened by anger. She opened her mouth and all that came out was blackness and a horrific scream of many voices. Her eyes rolled up in her head and she slumped to the ground, like a rag doll, her head landing in semi-fresh horse dung, it had recently stopped steaming.
The villagers glanced at each other, at the fallen witch, and then at the giant frog that was still destroying their homes and livelihoods. Many of them rolled their eyes thinking, “Great, just great, now what?” They looked at each other again, cautiously, no one really wanting to step up and take a risk.
From the back of the crowd the village idiot stumbled forward dragging his bad leg behind him and lifting his cap out of his eyes. He eyed the unconscious witch drunkenly, blinking widely, as if to clear his vision. He seemed to think for a moment before pulling a dagger from his belt. He bent down kissed the witch square on the lips and then killed her in the most humanitarian way possible.
As the last of the witches’ lifeblood left her the crowd held their breath in silence. They knew the moment of the witches’ true death because at that very moment the frog that had been causing chaos and destruction instantly disappeared mid hop. The villagers all cheered and rewarded their pal the village idiot richly with gold, and better yet, barrels of ale.
No one ever found out what had angered the witch, and caused her to attack the town. However, that night many of the village children returned from a forest picnic complaining of gingerbread tummy aches.
Please let me know if this is a bulls eye or a dart stuck into the carpet. Thank you, Thank you.
No bruises to call bones
just black and white
ink scratching out scars
while stars tell nothing,
keep their counsel,
tight lipped and bright.
Night covers the tracks
of those not innocent
while young minds dream.
Sounds fun, eh?
“Fuck no! What the hell’s wrong with you man?” Lee said. He exhaled slowly and passed the joint back to Pierce.
“Dude. Lay off. I really want a midget. I bet I could get all the chicks if I had one. Chicks dig guys with pets.” Pierce said. Stubbing out the roach he grabbed his laptop off the coffee table and started typing.
Lee shifted on the couch, “Chicks dig guys with pets?” he repeated, “Wow, just… wow. Oh, man, you have sunk to a new low. I cannot believe that you just compared dwarves- little people- not midgets- to pets. Dogs, cats, chinchillas and midgets all for sale at Pet Place.”
“Dwarves? Little people… and Pet Place. Sweet. All I got when I searched ‘midget’ on E-bay was midget cars and other random bits and pieces of crap.” Pierce said. He turned back to the computer and began a new search.
“Pierce! You cannot buy a midget on Ebay. Get over it. They’re not for sale. And the only kind of dwarves you are going to find at Pet Palace are dwarf rabbits,” Lee said.
“But you just said-“
“I was being sarcastic.”
“Oh.” Pierce said, “That’s not cool man. I was really stoked. If I can’t buy a midget on E-bay, and they don’t sell them at Pet Place, then where am I going to get one?”
“You’re not going to get one. They’re not for sale.”
“Sorry to dash your dreams.” Lee said. Satisfied that he had put his friend in line he sunk back into his chair. It was Sunday, the day of rest, and he wanted to enjoy the day before getting back to being a slave to someone else’s riches at Sofa Sofa Sofa World.
“I found one!”
“She’s not for sale but I can rent her by the hour.”
Lee sighed. He had thought that Pierce would be a pretty cool roommate. Now it was starting to look like he was wrong. He got up and walked out of the living room in search of a drink. In the kitchen he grabbed a glass from the dishwasher and mixed himself a gin and ginger. “Prostitutes come in all shapes and sizes,” he yelled.
“Who would have thought?” Pierce shouted back. “Shut up now, I’m calling.”
Lee sighed. Glass in hand he returned to the living room to eavesdrop on his friend’s conversation.
“Hey, how’s it going? … Good, good … I uh, um… well I wanted to rent a midget for a couple hours. I’m thinking about buying one so I thought it would be cool to test drive one first, ya know? ... Hello? Hello?” Pierce said into the phone. “The fucker hung up on me.” He turned to Lee, his face a mask of astonishment.
Lee laughed. “No, kidding. Maybe you sounded like a creep. You probably should have left out the part where you wanted to buy a midget.”
“Oh… Why? Never mind. Whatever, I’ll try a different one.” Pierce said.
“Dude midgets are people; it’s illegal to buy them. It would be like some one trying to buy you just because they always wanted to own a ginger-kid.”
Pierce’s face flushed; his freckles disappeared under the color. Lee thought he was embarrassed at his error. “Fuck you. Don’t call me a ginger-kid man. That is not cool.”
“See, that’s how people feel about being called midgets.”
“Stop harshing my mellow, we’re supposed to be friends man,” Pierce said.
“Ya? I thought you had some brains.”
“Dude!” Pierce said.
“There’s a midget convention in Springfield. Can you believe it? That’s only an hour away.” He looked back at the computer screen to make sure he hadn’t misread the page. “I’m gonna buy a midget, I’m gonna buy a midget! Yes!”
“You’re going to get arrested.”
“Shut up man. You can be such a drag. C’mon, let’s go.”
“There is no way in hell I am going. You’re insane. Besides, if we both go who the hell is going to pay your bail?”
“My mom. Hurry up,” Pierce said, already halfway to the car, his messy orange hair hidden beneath a ball cap, yesterdays t-shirt twisted awkwardly on his frame, and shoelaces trailing.
“I’m not coming man, things to do people to see- you know, the usual.” Lee shouted from the doorway.
“Fine. Whatever. I’m gonna buy a midget! I’m gonna buy a midget!” Pierce got into his car, put his sun glasses on with CSI cool and drove off with a crunch of gravel, “Today,” he said, “I buy a midget.”
Back in the house Lee sprawled out on the couch and stared blankly at the TV screen. He was caught by the mesmerizing voice that was narrating the documentary on sperm whales, or maybe humpbacks. He couldn’t think of the whale’s name, every time he tried he could only picture Pierce giggling, “Pickle-faced whales, hahaha. Dude, those things are ugly.”
Lee shook himself to break free of the TV induced trance. “This might not be the best idea I’ve had all day.” He locked the apartment door and walked reluctantly to the car. Maybe, just maybe he would be able to stop Pierce before he got arrested.
He turned his key in the ignition and his engine coughed, sputtered, and died. It caught on the fifth try and he let it run for a minute to warm up before he reversed and carefully steered up the alley and headed the car towards Springfield. Once he was safely on the highway he switched on the cruise control on, his cars one redeeming feature, and tried to remember what had made him think living with Pierce would be cool.
The guy was an idiot. But everything always seemed to be okay for him. He had luck. And the girls loved him. Everywhere Pierce went became a party: keg stands would be done, tops would come off, and even Lee would get laid. It was awesome.
Living with the “party” 24/7 was another story. The apartment was always a disaster, studying was impossible and he had seen more tits and ass then most porn stars. It wouldn’t be so bad but Pierce had an open door policy; the door to his room was always open… no matter what. One time Lee peeked in, he couldn’t help himself, and saw Lee playing catcher two an incredibly hot transvestite. A goat, covered in chocolate sauce, was tied to Pierce’s bed posts with a long piece of blue satin rope.
The drive was made slower by remembered misery and it was with relief that Lee pulled into the Springfield Convention Center parking lot. It was short lived. Spotting Pierce he parked and ran towards him. Pierce was standing behind his car emptying a hockey bag onto the cement. Condoms, month old slices of pizza, Lucky beer cans, and an exotic array of hardcore German porn magazines fell to the ground. One particular magazine seemed to feature an incredibly hairy pregnant woman getting tagged teamed by two men in Nazi costumes.
“Lee! You came!”
“Jesus Christ Pierce. Put that shit away.”
Lee changed tactics. “Pierce, listen carefully. I would like to live to see another weekend of lounging on my couch watching hockey, that means no calling the dwarves midgets, no trying to buy a midget, and no trying to steal one by putting it in the hockey bag your carrying. Put the hockey bag back in the trunk.”
“Aww, man. C’mon.”
“Put the bag in the trunk. I am so not going to jail for you.”
“Alright, alright, lay off.” Pierce opened the trunk and shoved the bag in. He slammed it shut, “Happy?”
Lee looked at the porn mags and other junk still on the ground behind the car, “let’s just get this over with,” he said.
Recovering quickly from the lecture, reached into his pocket and pulled out a fat joint.
Lee smiled. Nice. Maybe the day wouldn’t be so bad. Pierce linked his arm through Lee’s and began to skip, “We represent the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild. We represent…”
Giving in Lee sang along, “The Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild.” He stopped mid-skip as he realized people were staring at them. Little people were staring. At them. And they looked angry. “Uh, Pierce… Pierce, man, shut up.”
Pierce stopped singing reluctantly. He looked at Lee “You are such a buzz kill.”
“Ya, that’s me.” Lee said. He smiled apologetically at the angry dwarves as they walked through the convention center doors. It was one thing to see a few dwarves on their way into the convention center, but seeing thousands of the little people wandering from booth to both, talking on pay phones, gabbing with friends, was another. Lee and Pierce stopped, just inside the doors, mouths dropped in shock.
“Move it moron,” a voice came from behind them.
Lee turned around and saw no one. Remembering where he was he looked down. “Sorry,” he said and hurried out of the way, yanking Pierce’s arm to get him to follow. He led his errant roommate to the information booth set up near the entrance. “Hi,” he said, “my friend would like to ask you a couple questions.”
“Hey, I wanna buy a midget and I’ve been trying to find one but I can’t, I found a couple I can rent by the hour but that’s not the same, you know?” Pierce said. “Can I buy you?”
Two tiny uniformed guards descended upon the two boys.
“OH, OH!” Lee said. He jumped up and down, the caricature of a five-year-old who has just spotted Barney, “I’ll take the one on the left. She looks like she would be a good pet.” Lee said.
While I'm not sure how the play would end, I can say that some one would be dead by the time the curtain fell to the applause.
3 months till I can get River his own pet cat.
Sitting in class,
The tip of my nose is cold.
It was late. After a long day of preparing for the party, and trying to not be bored by the "millions" of people I did not know during the event, TheBoy's parent's cocktail party had wound down to the few of us who were spending the night and hot cups of tea. We were trashed. The bartender "Insert Lame Name Here" had done his job well.
Crowded around the counter were TheParents, an aunt and uncle, and TheBoy and I. And passed out on the couch nextt to us was TheBrother. Glancing at TheBrother, too drunk to censor myself, I began, "Last time we were here TheBrother came back to the house quite drunk. He stumbled throught the door and started playing wrestling with Maggie," the dog, "And then disappeared down the stairs."
"Later when I went down stairs to grab his phone I saw him wrestling with Maggie again. He had been in the hot tub and was out on the back lawn wearing only his boxers. The dog and the man were on all fours both with an end of a chew toy in their mouths. The dog was winning. " I said.
"Startled TheBrother notices me, gets up, and his COCK is hanging out of his boxers. The funniest thing is after all this he looks and me and says 'stupid dog."
"Penis, dear, not cock" TheBoys mother says.
So I assured her that it was ok, I always swear like a sailor. In fact I have a potty mouth.
'K boys and girls this story is a work in progress so let me know what you think! I want feed back.
I learned a lot in logic.
The oars on the boat rowed as if possesed by a gingerbread man. Looking closer I discovered they were employed by a gingerbread man, Fred. The oars moved clumsily, jerking, and yet slowly to avoid splashing water into the boat. Nothing is worse than being a soggy gingerbread man. Looking closer I noticed his red M&M eyes and blue icing mouth puckered into an exhausted grimace. He was breathing hard and I could see the sugar on his breath. No wonder he was acting irrationally.If I've told him once I've told him a million times. Lay. Off. The. Coke. It's not good for anyone but it's especially not good for water soluble gingerbread men. One if these days he's gonna be stoned out of his mind and decide to run through the sprinkler, or worse, take a shower. Why should a shower be worse? I'd have to clean it out after. At least if he melted onto the lawn I could leave him to decompose in peace.Looking out a Fred one last time, I shook my head in disgust. Everyone I knew was already making fun of me for being shacked up with a gingerbread man. Imagine if they knew he was an addict too.I've had enough. Grabbing the suitcase that'd been packed for over a month now I jumped onto my magic carpet and flew off into the sunset in search of my happily ever after. Fuck Fred the gingerbread man and his coke habit. I think I'll go find Prince Charming.
"Fuck no, what the hell's wrong with you?" Lee said.
"Dude, lay off. I really want a midget. I bet I could get all the girls if I had one. Chicks dig guys with pets," Pierce said.
Alice was never popular, not in play school and not in high school. When we were in high school she was the girl the “cool” kids made cruel jokes about. When she was near they would point and laugh and say things like “You’d have to roll her in a bag of flour to find the wet spot!” or tease, “We know what you’re going to do with that hot dog Alice… Get a room!” and pretend to gag and vomit. I think if Alice had ignored the taunts the teenage miscreants would have left her alone. But that wasn’t in Alice to do. She would turn guiltily red or, worse, burst into tears and run to the principal.
Perhaps it was her mistreatment at the hands of childhood peers and warped adolescents that brought her down the rabbit hole. Or maybe it was due to being fathered by the inbred mail man. Well, that’s what I always told her. Whatever the cause, it seems that there was no way for my sister to escape her fates. By the time she was supposed to have graduated Alice had eaten herself up to a massive 435…582….677….714lbs! She became loud, angry and obnoxiously rude, perhaps even more ignorant. Anybody who felt sorry for my sister earlier on in life learned to despise her. Even me. At home I ignored her completely; at school I joined the ranks of her tormentors to protect myself from becoming a target by association.
In the end it wasn’t a surprise that Alice turned to the bottle for comfort. And it was a relief that becoming an alcoholic eventually led to becoming a shut-in. We no longer had to put up with her loud and presumptuous rambling monologues on the “shitty-ass” state of the world, lack of clothing stores for “big girls” and sexual fantasies involving the promiscuous Bill Clinton and/or Lindsay Lohan.
For years Mom and Dad paid Alice’s rent and kept her well provided with enough cash to drown herself in vodka with. But that got old and they got old too. One day they just took off and retired to Florida or Arizona or God-knows-where, leaving me responsible for doling out her trust fund. It falls to me to deliver the rent check and pay her booze tab. I’m the one who has to go over every week, poke her with a stick, and make sure she is only passed out and not rotting, dead, on the couch. Every week I leave the reality I created for myself and have to go see her. It wasn’t so bad before my son was born but now, sometimes, it just feels like too much to juggle: baby, husband, career, friends, volunteer committees, and useless lump of a sister.
The Friday before Thanksgiving everything changed. The town woke up to bright orange spray-painted scars across store windows hiding immaculate window displays. “www.savealice.com” was spray painted in a beautiful cursive. When the store owners tried to remove the tag they were disappointed to find that the web address had been permanently etched into the glass beneath it.
I would like to believe that I was one of the first to visit the site. One of the first to make a shocking discovery. Alice had been kidnapped! Her life hung in the balance. Unless a million dollars was raised by Christmas she would be executed on live feed. On the plus side if the money was raised then Alice would be dropped off at a Betty Ford Clinic for a ninety-day spin dry and a second chance at life. No mention was made of what was planned for the rest of the cash.
The website was magnificently designed. The kidnapper must have realized that proof would be needed to inspire donations. The mostly black page featured live-feed of Alice. Above the video, “Save Alice” was splashed in the same color orange that now decorated the town’s windows. Beneath the video was a thermometer that was in place to measure the amount of money donated and a “Donate Now” button. Banners ran along both sides advertising Prozac and Financed Liposuction Therapies.
This was not the Thanksgiving the townspeople had imagined. Their dreams of moist golden turkeys, fresh homemade cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, almond rosemary stuffing, seasoned wild rice, and of course wine, both white and red, were dashed. The flavour went out of their food and all that was left was extended family; whiny snot-nosed children, some with full diapers, touchy feely uncles hiding behind bowler hats and bushy mustaches and half a dozen mother-in-laws, nagging and smelling of too much Calvin Klone perfume. I know this because they suddenly remembered that Alice was my sister and while no one came by to offer their condolences many people stopped by to bitch at me. I was well rewarded for being related to the fat blimp that had managed to corrupt the holiday.
The townspeople did not forgo the festivities altogether. Though, after visiting that webpage and seeing live feed of Alice sprawled out half-naked on a mildewing couch, in the middle of what looked like a dilapidated root cellar, a blur of ham thighs and puffy Pilsbury doughboy arms, they did lose there appetites. Some were unsure if they were more disgusted by the fact that Alice might be mercilessly killed so that some one could make a quick buck, or at the nauseating sight of her.
My mother-in-law, that hag, was particularly disgusted by Alice.
“I’m surprised that thing,” Mother said, “is still alive at all.” She looked down her nose at me and harrumphed, clearing her throat. “The child is grossly over weight and absolutely hideous in appearance. In my day we used to take sick animals into the field and shoot them. Alice is your sister, eh dear? She should be put out of her misery, perhaps not on live feed, no, that would be rather gruesome, wouldn’t it…” The old lady looked at me expectantly.
“It would make for great television ratings,” I joked.
Henry, my husband, nodded in agreement, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down. “If it is televised perhaps I could execute an exclusive advertising deal. I bet the NRA would buy a spot.”
While he spoke, he watched our pride and joy, two-year-old Sweet, play on the cherry hardwood of the living room floor. A perfect blue-eyed bundle of baby fat and blond hair that curled tightly against his head, Sweet is all we could ever have asked for in a child. He was lifting his toy cars into the air and happily bashing them together, squealing with innocent delight.
“Can you imagine of Sweet ever became as disgusting as your sister?” Henry said. He immediately regretted voicing his errant thoughts. His mother and I turned in unison and gave him looks that could peel decoupage off a side table.
Because we lived in a small town Alice’s kidnapping and impending death caused me to become suddenly famous. In the spotlight there was only one way to react. I threw myself into fundraising for Alice’s safe return. I organized bake sales, door-to-door chocolate sales, magazine subscription and Christmas basket sales. I got the ladies in the PTA to open up a temporary day spa, and all the proceeds went to saving Alice. I enrolled Sweet in playschool so that he can learn to socialize; he will not become my sister. In the first week almost $100 000 was raised, $97 732.03 to be exact.
In the next couple weeks sales began to slump and by the end of week four the thermometer on the Save Alice website was sitting steady at $259 498.00. We were a quarter of the way to the goal. The glass was ¾ empty with just a month and a half left to go. Alice, who had once been the ugly duckling media darling, was being forgotten in favour of things less gross. Brightly decorated trees and sparkling, colorful lights lined the streets. Santa’s villages were being raised in the malls. Eggnog and gingerbread men lined the grocery shelves. Christmas was coming. No one wanted to look at my disgusting sister. No one wanted to help her. They were all caught up in the magic of Christmas and Alice was just a little too much reality for them. She wasn’t going to ruin a second holiday this year. Even the ladies at the PTA who had been so kind to help had now abandoned the cause.
I suppose I could have let it go then, and just let Alice be killed, after all I was only fundraising to keep face, but I decided to forge on, to see how close I could get to reaching the goal. I decide to go for the big fish: My parents.
I wasn’t sure where they were. Somewhere in the Southern states. Every couple of weeks I would get a postcard from Kentucky or Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Florida. They moved around exploring the winter heat in a customized motor home.
I hadn’t wanted to call them at first. Didn’t want to upset them. Alice was a huge disappointment. Didn’t want to take their money. But something had to be done about Alice.
Mom answered her cell phone just as I was about to hang up and try again.
“Hello?” she said.
“Darling, I was thinking about you,”
“And your sister.”
“I was reading the paper today, the Sun. Is it true?
“You were supposed to take care of her. How dare you shame our family this way? It says she wears a sheet and drinks all day. I knew that, you knew that, NOW THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS…”
Mom’s sobs filled my ear. I held the phone away, waiting for her to stop. I didn’t want to hear her blubbering on about my failure as a dutiful daughter and sister. My thoughts turned suddenly to Alice. I didn’t want to think about her, I had seen enough of her this morning on the web page. All day while Alice had slept, her sheet-poncho had been twisted about her in such a way that it framed her large and surprisingly hairy ass, for all to see. If only she knew. I watched as her eyes fluttered open and she realized where she was. Watched her sit up and wipe the drool off her lips and reach for the two-six of vodka. Alice clearly enjoyed her first drink of the day. Each time she brought the glass to her lips a look of pure contentment crossed her face. Each time she put the glass down on the floor in front of her she glanced at it wistfully and picked it up quickly for another sip.
“Darling? Are you there?”
“What can we do?”
“I’ve been fundraising to try to raise the money but nobody is donating anymore. We’ve only raised $4000 this week. It’s not enough. Can you and Dad pay the balance?”
“Of course, of course, but listen honey I don’t want to pay anymore then necessary. You keep fundraising there and on Christmas Eve Dad and I will hold a press conference and donate the rest. We’ll pretend like it took a while to get the money together.”
Dad had inherited several million dollars when his parents died. The money wouldn’t be hard to find at all. “Oh… ok. Sure mom. Thanks.”
“I’m very disappointed in you. We took care of that girl for years without anything bad happening. You were supposed to look after her.”
“I know mom, I’m sorry. I call you this weekend and let you know how the fundraising is going, ok?”
“I have to go Mom, bye.”
On Christmas day I woke, peaceful for the first time since my parents had retired and I had been put in charge of my sister.
Christmas Eve had been a different story, I had woken up to reporters pounding on the door. My parents had paid the ransom. Alice was saved. I spent the day talking to reporters and holding prayer vigils. Ninety percent of the time kidnapping victims are not returned safely, even if the ransom is paid. By nightfall there was still no news. But Alice was alive, we watched her go about her daily binge drinking on the website. Because I was certain she would be safely returned today I had slept fitfully. After a light breakfast and an argument with Henry over who had to clean Sweets incredibly full diaper, it smelled like rotten potatoes, I packed my family into the van and we drove off to find a little holiday magic. After all the stress of fundraising and trying to save Alice, we had decided to take a tropical vacation.
Driving towards the city I watched the snow dusted scenery fly by. Trees stretched naked towards the sun, stark lines against white fields. Hay bales dotted the land reminding me of Frosted Mini Wheats. In the seat beside me Henry sipped at his coffee and read a National Geographic. Every now and then I would glance in the mirror and see the sleeping face of my beautiful child. Being in the car always lulls him into a heavy doze.
As the van ground swiftly on I thought of Alice. My parents had put so much energy into saving her when we were younger. It was always Alice this and Alice that. They never had time for me. When I performed the lead in Chicago they were in counseling with Alice. When I graduated high school they were at home staging and over-eaters intervention for Alice. When I married Henry my dad didn’t walk me down the aisle; He was at the hospital visiting Alice. She had ran into a little trouble experimenting with masturbation and fruit. Her advice to me on my honeymoon was “Don’t peel the banana first.” My thoughts turned to the mashed banana I had fed Sweet for breakfast. I gagged, bile rose, burning, in my throat.
Looking back at the road, I saw a large rock leaning into a creek bed. The creek meandered away from the road towards an abandoned barn. Slowing the van I turned onto a driveway hidden by 6 inches of snow. Henry looked up from his magazine.
“We’re here already?”
Nodding I pulled to a stop in front of the barn and checked on Sweet once more. Still sleeping soundly.
Henry pulled back the barn doors and we stepped into the musty chill. I followed him down a set of stairs. As we stepped down into the cellar I smelled something putrid rising up to embrace me. At the bottom of the stairs Henry opened the combination lock on a solid steel door. We had locked her in just in case she became drunk enough to want to make snow angels or play in traffic.
“Come on Alice.” I said. “Your apartment’s finished being renovated. You can go home.” The final straw had been when her landlord evicted her. The smell of drunken unwashed filth had begun to spread to other units in the building. He had come to talk to her and found the apartment in large disrepair. Maggots crawled in the garbage and fruit flies swarmed thick in the air. The carpet that had been white when Alice moved in 5 years earlier had become matted and spotted with urine stains. That had been the end of her lease, and there was no way she was moving in with me.
“Hurry up Alice.” Henry said. “Or we’ll leave you here and you can walk.”
I shot him a look. Alice was struggling to get of the couch but neither of us moved to help her. She was beyond help.
“Go home?” Alice asked.
“Yes, it’s all renovated.”
I went back to the van to keep an eye on Sweet while Henry and Alice came slowly up the stairs behind me. Sitting back in the driver’s seat I examined my nails tracing the edges with my thumb. The van sunk down and I looked over my shoulder and saw Alice crawling into the back of the van. We had removed the back seat so that she would have plenty of room. Henry closed the trunk and slipped protectively into the seat beside our son.
We drove down the drive and onto the highway following the double lines into the city. At the airport, we met with a representative from the Betty Ford Clinic and I left Alice in the care of a woman so annoyingly peppy it made my teeth hurt. The contrast between the two women as they boarded their flight was striking, like an elephant lumbering slowly onward with an excited yappy dog nipping at its ankles. They were on their way to the clinic in Texas. Maybe my parents will stop by and visit her.
I don’t think I looked back as my family got onto our own plane. The pressure was hard on Sweet’s ears and he screamed bloody murder as we took off on our way to a new life.
Three weeks later I ran across a Sun. The paper reported Alice’s death. My repulsive sister had snuck a number of cigarettes in to the Betty Ford by hiding them deep in her skin folds. When she passed out on her bed one night she dropped a smoldering cigarette onto her sheets. Her bedding caught quickly, engulfing her form in flames. Perhaps she might have woken and saved her self, but her oxygen tank sparked and exploded. Fire fighters arrived quickly, but there was nothing they could do, they didn’t have the equipment to move some one her size. Nurses and Firemen alike watched from the windows as Alice burned. The food network blared in the background. The smell of Alice baking was thick and not unlike pan-fried bacon.