First, a few alternative title options to consider:
1) Wacky Mental Constructs In The Age Of Feckless Metaphor Junkies.
2) Letter-Littering Literacy Lets Literal Letter-Lickers get Lit
3) The Wealthiest Woman In The World Has To Have A CAT
4) MONEY: what is it good for? Absolutely nothing to do.
5) There's No Place Like Oz
As a trifling side-note for the sidenote-patience-inclined: Don't you just love that a brood of cute little furry kittens is called a "litter"? ...(AND that that is the exact same name we give to the gritty stuff we subsequently buy for them to litter in???) There's a touch of perfection in that one somewhere. But then, truth can be found in any fabrication, 'long as one has ears to see and mine's to think and 'earts to hear.
_____And now for something completely related:_____
They weren't hers;
The ideas she kicked around.
She'd simply collected the remnants of things which caught her eye...
Quotes and quips and nips and notes.
The scraps of brilliance that no one wanted to buy anymore.
(Except environmentalists offering 10 cents a thought in the better receptacles - Not worth the bother really.)
They weren't her bits of metal and/or-papery-plastic ideas by rights,
They were public waste; old cans to kick,
And she was definitely a waste depository.
'Decided that from starts:
News ain't near as nice as Olds.
Birth-marked on her curiosity-peeking soul.
And she beheld them as so beautiful;
The un-hers bits and bobs of wits and whatnot-to-dos.
She couldn't have recreated them if she tried.
Not in a million years. Not with a million immaculate examples.
She got the tummyrotting feeling that no-one could these days.
Not even geniuses.
She'd seen the outside of the factory that produced ideas once. What a great big ominous thing that structure'd been. One that would require knowledge instead of mere ideas to build.
Knowledge... what a gargantuanly powerful thing it seemed to be. (But how easy to trick people with. What damage it could cause in the wrong hands or paws.)
No, it wasn't for her; knowledge. She'd stick to ideas. (Just as ideas would stick to her.)
And she wouldn't dare taste what they once contained:
These paltry vestigial vestibules of commercially bold-colored hopes and dreams (and p'rhaps a smidge' or two of propaganda sprinkled in to-taste) spawned from the smoke-belching belly of the Knowledge-Juggling-Beast.
For she'd gathered the notion somewhere (ingrained as a genetic survival mechanism maybe, like goosebumps at the sight of spiders) that a sip of that kind of fizzy-sweets'll make your brain swell up overgrown and pompous for a lifetime.
So instead she just enjoyed sniffing the empty bottles and guessing the flavors.
And she played with them; the catchy ones.
Those ideas that weren't hers by any right other than abject admiration...
She kicked them around with either glee or dejection depending- usually against brick walls.
Once a cat joined in her can kickery, swatting with untamed enthusiasm in frantic flicks of soft-clawed jubilation with far more dexterity than she ever could. She smiled. What a brilliant cat. But the cat soon got bored with it. Stood back and licked his paw aloofly - suddenly disgusted with himself for his own kittenish instinct.
She reached out to pet him and he hissed and scampered off.
Then it was back to the brick walls.
Most days she'd kick idea-cans at walls real genteelly so as not to ding them up; the precious, sacred, and mighty-collectable idealings that is, not the walls. The walls could crumble for all she cared... They were useless walls anyway. Garden walls. Eden walls... Alright, if she stopped to stare a minute she'd admit secretly that a certain prettiness pervaded them too... A structure. A meaning... But not near so much as it did the ideas.
Once in a bold blue moon she'd get maddened enough to punch a futile hole in the spacetime continuum, and she'd kick her beloved thoughts so hard that they'd crunkle up; buckle against the stupid ignorant ugly brick wall she was trying to persuade to play,
and one of the wall's bricks would chip
ever so slightly
on the edge near the age-weakened mortar,
and it was so elating - so darn satisfying for a split second
But then the remorse:
Such remorse as she'd never felt before.
What in the hell was she thinking? Not even the environmentalists would take crushed up things like those ideas anymore. Not that they ever really wanted them anyway. They just wanted to be the ones who got rid of them; the ones to pay to see them off the streets and everything neat and tidy so they don't have to feel quite as guilty about being a living organism who's alive by the mysterious graces of the Knowledge-Juggling-Beast and hating themselves for it...
Well. Toss 'em. She'd take the guilt, she'd take the guilt for everyone. Dash it all - she'd make the guilt worse for the sake of those beautiful bold ideas. The mindlessly niggly naggy environmentalists didn't deserve the ideas if they were just going to destroy them. She was suddenly sure of that. They didn't give a snot. No: worse: They Hated ideas. What had the ideas ever done to deserve that kind of animosity? She'd keep the ideas for herself. Ideas were still beautiful, even when crunkled. Maybe even more beautiful she imagined in a half-baked spurt of spontaneous megalomania; an abstract useless beauty; the ideas. The best kind! Yeah. Art. That's what. She started cackling to herself maniacally...
Woke up the next morning; Brain all damp and wiggly. Damn. Had she tasted knowledge on accident?
It was some time after that, in the merciful shade of a manufactured palm frond, that she started feeling lonely. Not just "started feeling" actually, more like got heatstruck by it in the dead of winter. Melty for it. Plum oozy over it.
Not for home. She'd never needed home, not really. She'd take helter skelter over shelter any day. Or so she'd say... Really shelter was pretty undeniably convenient for the preservation of life and sanity, no matter how anarchic your birth-soul wanted to make you out to be. The manufactured palm frond for instance was paid-for by her gorgeous brilliant masterful pet- Master cat. (Yes, that selfsame playful maniac who'd turned frigid and scarpered on her idea-kickery. It'd take too much filler to make it make sense right now, just sit-tight-shut-up-and-roll with the skeptically chosen metaphors- if you will. Chekhov shall likely approve in the end) But she digresses egregiously.
The oozy melty heatstruckey lonely feeling sunk her mud-puddled belly into a nice cool pit of beauteous despair. A stew-cooking morsel of time of wallowing in that kind of irksomely blue-spangled nightscape would turn even the coldest-hearted feminist into a hypocritical cock-craving dildo-diddling lunatic, and our girl was anything but a feminist. Never a silicon-phallus made which could satisfy her lust for meaning. Not even the mechanically purring vibrating ones could quell her life-loving urges.
No, if anything she was a bit of masculinist maybe - instantly adored anything with a shred of patriarchy left in it.
Not leastly 'coz anything that did have that shred approved of her beloved idea-collection enough to give her a second once-over...
But mostly because those paragons of kindred inkling-lovers also had idea collections of their own. Fascinating gorgeous collections. Objectively more impressive collections than hers (though in sentimental moments she still preferred her crushed and crumpled artsy ones for nostalgic feel-wellers.)
Maybe some of these patriarchal-genius-shred-exemplifiers had even worked for the Knowledge Juggling Beast factory earlier in life? Maybe some of them even, the rascally ones, had imbibed sips from the idea's sparkling fresh-content vat? Gosh was she ever curious.
She'd sniff in for a look, cautiously crashing their dashingly daunting abodes, and they'd give her gifts in return for unsolicited flashes of smiles-and/or-tits.
Magnificently antique and retro gifts the likes of which she'd never clapped eyes on before. And she worshiped and she treasured. She added them to hers.
She forgets sometimes, even now, that it's not hers; the collection. She needs to remember that; Be properly humbled and humiliated by the shocking remembrance of the thats:
That loving something doesn't make it yours.
That she can't recreate ideas near as pretty as those in her collection.
That none of the ideas stemmed from her.
That she's not a knower, never was, just a gatherer. At best an adder.
That that's all anyone is anymore. (Even the likely-vat-sippers she deigns to worship; those callous-handed humorists she had the audacity to bow to and/or tip hats with.)
Then it hit her that maybe that's all anyone ever was:
And she woke up with a cruelly-sober jolt and throbbing brain at a light too harsh for human eyelids to block out.
Drat she'd done it again;
Dammit. No! No knowledge for her. Ideas. Ideas alone for her.
Please, dear Knowledge Juggling Beast,
please, dear mystery, dear doubt, dear God,
Don't force her to see those precious ideas as others see them; As a scourge. As a sin. As a bore. As junk. As waste in a wasteland. No, not to her. To her they'll be treasures. Treasures to her. Always. What a wealth she'd accrued of them. What a sparkling beautiful trove she had. What a vast accumulation she'd morphed from them. Existence can't exist in a void. Don't let it be for nothing. Please. It was hers, wasn't it? The collection? It was unique to her wasn't it? Doesn't this one gem of obscurity in her collection prove that? Surely no-one else in the world has that idea in their collection anymore?
Why can't it be the case that every single thing on the planet, material and immaterial alike, goes to the one person who loves it the most? Why can't thoughts be owned, and loved, and kept? ...Is it because they grow too big?
The cat sidled in to her thought-pit then and purred. She loves it when he purrs at her. So comforting. He had knowledge alright. Knowledge enough for both of them. Knowledge enough to shun and ban and shame her idea collection to smithereens. Knowledge enough to be bored with everything.
But cats are never truly past being kittenish (or literary) on occasion.
He pawed at one of the ideas he'd let her keep to stave off madness; a super nostalgic one. Nostalgic to anyone who'd ever read and/or seen it. One of her first ever ideas which weren't hers but still were. A wizard of an idea if ever a wiz there was. She grinned at the cat's suddenly rekindled interest. They flicked and kicked the common idea back and forth to each other until it wasn't pointlessly haphazard nor crumply-aluminium-can shaped anymore. Until it was round and bouncy shaped. Until it was sloppily sophisticated; specialized; a game.
Then, when they'd finished, the cat curled up on her belly and slept and purred some more. And her precious ideas seemed at last to take on a whole new meaning; to become something better than treasure; better than collectible nick-nacs and doodads; better than matter; better than wealth, far better than tricksy false knowledge. The ideas turned into more ideas.
And she sobbed happily,
Clutching her thoughts and rubbing the hairy belly of her aloofly knowledgeable cold-comfort cat...
The wealthiest woman in the world wept heartily
For she became aware that she was pregnant with her own litter.
And it would be the literariest litter there ever was. Oh she loved, oh how she'd love that litter; that brooding brood of literal-thinkers and illiterate litter-kickers alike. It would be her litter, hers, if ever a lit there was. For she loved it more than anyone had ever loved anything in the history of the world.
The warm putrefaction of time-honored profundity (and p'rhaps a rogue hormone or two) trickled down her blushing cheeks, watering the well-littered seeds of life.
Where Art Thou King Balshazzar?
Where is our darling King B?
The future is bleak without he.
Our randii unforged,
Our snoods un-engorged...
What foul Astral Vortex hath he?
She quivered and quaked in her rumbliest places,
drunk on illusions and fantasy faces of men
nay, of man...
in her headstrong delusions:
He felt (as they melded in logical fusions)
He knew (as she knew) only fools were the wiser...
He thought in bold concepts which spewed like a geyser
from mountainous innards shrunk mad for proportions.
(...He'd take all her torrents in generous portions...)
Abruptly she woke from reality-bending;
Seeing herself in his mirror's resplending...
She'd morphed like a Munch Scream; in melty distortions.
He'd done gone.
('though he never was hers...)
And both their minds drowned with the hanging of curs.
Dubious, to say the least.
Doubt everything. Especially doubt.
. . . . . . . . . . .
And a very fine fiddle had he
"He's playing you." Dishes admonished with glistening spoons, listening well under half cow-leapt moons...
"I like when he plays me" the fiddle retorted. "I'm only alive at his touch, since he thwarted my tender romances and done me in proper. He plays me and prances and clippetty-cloppers to tunes I make well now; I cry uniformly, and when I sound good he thrums soft and purrs warmly..."
The cat grinned in mirth as he twanged her proud strings. "But of course I make merry." he'd say to the kings, "what else are such fine fiddles for?" Ha.ha. haw.. "What strumpet could ever want more?"
The fiddle's heart tore once before; He'd got bored and demanded some gore so she'd jumped at the chore and partook and felt raw, and afterwards rotted; left tossed out and sore...
Yes. The fiddle was fine. very fine. very fine.
Yes, the fiddle was fine to the core.
“Who Gives a Flying F---?” ...Us. Obviously...
Survival's impulsive; we bear it out fine;
An instinct we share with the plants and the swine.
It's nothing unique; the force making us tick...
Where humans excel is in making it sick.
In puzzling out a good reason to die,
We punch and we laugh and we munch and we cry
(At the bliss of existing without all this muck)
'Til we fall hard for living; start giving a fuck.
A Pittance For The Wishing Wells
You tumbled down into my bottomless pit; that escape route I'd dug for to die. My heart leapt in worry; you'd never come back! Who could make it out from my foul sty?...
Yet safely you plonked in my murkiest slime; found the lost bottom beneath all the grime...
Now slowly but surely you're filling it up
pebble by pebble by pebble with care
treasure by treasure
you're finding things there.
And all I can do is watch, wondering (((why?)))
All I can whisper is "thank you"
as you rise with the tremulous waters.
Manifestations Of Visceral Accord
Heart thudumps abounded. The moment was so surreal. Nimbly yet numbly, she stepped into her intellectual lover's house, easily avoiding the unintentional booby trap of a scuffed threshold mat but (mentally) tripping upon the makeshift Gothic-style calligraphy sign which read "Trespassers shall be harvested for experimental purposes." She was almost certain her beau had penned it himself in his own noble hand. ...Smiling at the warm tickle welling up in her belly she knocked delicately on the open door, perusing and inhaling the interior of the ink-musky abode adoringly while she awaited permission to enter further. Carpets of various thicknesses layered the floor and books titled on incoherently scholarly subjects were scattered in tasteful disarray everywhere her eyes dared to roam. Century-old jazz music was emanating from his domain as though it were softly resonating from the walls themselves, though she could see no speakers nor could her ears pinpoint the direct source of the mysterious revelry.
"Well?" a vigorous voice came somewhat gruffly from an amalgamation of scruffily concentrated artistry adjacent to an antique desk in the corner. "what business have you here?" (this intoned without glancing)
Her heart thadumped again. He'd been there all along; perfectly camouflaged to his eccentric surroundings in much the same way a weedy sea dragon dwells elegantly amid kelp and sponges.
After a moment or two of silence he looked up from his work and their eyes met. Each of the two entity's lovelorn gazes seemed to chew on cloud-cud nibbled from heavenly pastures for a time before reality befell them once more and they were there in the dwelling again; a male and a female of likely the same awkwardly bipedal species, each sweaty-palmed with an excruciating lack of indifference for the other.
He was not expecting her to ever see him in person. This much was abundantly clear from his blissful horror at her presence in this paltry corner of the galaxy.
The collector collected himself, intricately gathering his feelings together before performing the inexpiable barbarity of uttering another word to this angel of interstellar transience.
In the end he opted for silence. They possessed such intimate knowledge of each other... one must understand that these two were intellectually on more familiar terms than many constituents of a corporeal marriage spanning decades would have been. The female, for a mild example, was profoundly and appreciatively aware that the male intensely enjoyed having his scrotum fondled in a particular manner, whilst the male was unforgettably cognizant of the female's silent yearning for nipple stimulation.
Though they had never physically touched, their minds had copulated in every imaginable way, and some heretofore unimaginable ones. It was all in accordance, each one supposed, with the other's overzealous idolatry, and nothing to do with their self as a person. Yet both were aware of an ineffable connection; Something which surpassed purely biological reactions, but which remained perpetually within the realm of procreation instincts nevertheless. They called it "love" (a geekily archaic term applied in relation to early homo sapiens mating rituals) The feeling of attraction and mutual understanding came to each of them in overwhelming surges at times, and other times lapped and gargled along the periphery of their minds like a babbling brook. It felt so unique that they thought they might've invented it, or else extracted it from legends and mythology and morphed it into a kind of shared delusion.
Anon she smiled bashfully and slithered eagerly toward him, one hand placed affectionately atop her own gut while the other reached up to tentatively stroke his luxurious mane. How she'd longed for this... He extended a dexterous claw to touch her gently, and in stunned reverence, felt a kick emanating from within her tumescent abdomen.
Ours, she said, through eyes sparkling with both incredulous mirth and sheer adoration...
We did it? his eyes whispered back.
"The first known viable conception through cybermingling expanse technology." she confirmed aloud.
He grinned in paternal pride, wiping the rapidly accumulating ooze out of his eye-socket lubrication duct.
32 Autobiographical Snippets Bled From the Gnarly Scar Tissue of a Sappy 30 yr Old.
age 0) In the womb, (or maybe even before I was conceived) something in the universe embedded a glimmer of hope for humanity in my initial cell structure which made my whatever-I-had--or-was-at-the-time shiver in primal appreciation when I first felt (yes felt, not heard, I hadn't developed ears yet after all) Nina Simone sing Feelin' Good:
age 1) The only place I'd be willing to sleep as an infant was on my father's chest. That exceedingly devoted man stayed up late most nights, coddling my chubby little baby form and watching classic Dr. Who. As a result, this theme (and an alarmingly persistent proclivity for sleeping on hairy heart-rythmed pillows) will forever be imbued in my being.
age 2) I was a rambunctious but shy little thing at this stage. Still a difficult sleeper, clearly. My Dad had this ingeniously unique lullaby he'd play for me on cassette tapes at night time. Really it was just one of the only cassette tapes my dad owned aside from Sex Pistols and Judas Priest. I guess he figured this particular cassette was more fitting than the other two for nighty nights (and by goshkins was it ever the perfect choice... though in hndsight I wouldn't have objected to punk or metal either.) without further ado, the incidental lullaby was of course:
Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds:
age 3) I suddenly realized that all this time I had had an extremely loving extremely quiet mother in the background of my life. It was a breathtaking realization, that this timid, sweet, caring nurturer contained in her a glimmer of courage; of humor, even! She laughed with me, such joyous laughs. She is such a little woman, my mum, I think I'd already outgrown her in kilos by this time (just kidding, but only kind of) ... When she gives you a hug, my mum, she just melts right into you. I think she has buckets of tears weighing down her insides all the time because I often see them well up and come out... But oh the courage she has when she works herself up; what courage it takes to smile through tear-welling throatlumps. I know now. I know. it was at this age something horrible happened to me (the same that had happened to her as a child, but mine was not near as bad as hers) which wouldn't come back to bite me till my nightmares got out of hand years later... So I know now, but then I was cluelessly chipper. I remember twirling and dancing around the living room with my dear mum on a few occasions at this stage, to "I Have Confidence" from the Sound of Music:
age 4) A lot happened at 4. but I'll stick with the bare necessities: https://youtu.be/08NlhjpVFsU
age 5) to this day I still cannot express the fathomless feeling of exuberant idolatry this epic tune stirs up in my gut. I remember one day one of my dad's nerdy acquaintances came over and asked me who was my favorite, between Captain Kirk or Mr Spock. I just looked up wide eyed and panic stricken. A question! A grown-up asked me a question! ... but I didn't know the answer. My Dad shook his head sadly and muttered "I've failed as a father...we'll have to remedy that." it was that night that I was introduced to one of the first and greatest loves of my life. I was a trekkie to the core from that moment on. (oh and the answer to the question was Mr. Spock. all the way.)
age 6) I guess we're going to have to whip this list into shape (it's not too late..)... Devo gave me the impetus to get up and move, without which I could've all too easily spent my life as a pathetically-yearning-for-other-things couch potato.
age 7) It had to happen sooner or later. I pretended to be sick one day so I could stay home from school, and got taught something so much better than whatever they were going to teach me that day; I'm speaking of course of the event of a lifetime: being introduced to epic film scorer Ennio Morricone's music via Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns.
age 8) My beloved grandmother introduced me to the timeless joy of Luciano Pavarotti whilst cooking and cleaning one Sunday afternoon after church:
(okay I seriously have to shorten this or we'll be here for several millenia. from here on I'll just jot down a few associated memory engrams followed by the song... unless I can't help myself... yeah. sorry...)
age 9) Saint Seiya ost, "sad brothers" stayed with me through one harrowing night when I lost a baby pademelon I was trying to save the life of:
age 10) I was in the depths of despair one evening after I'd stayed up late reading Anne of Green Gables and the series was tragically over and there wasn't any more!... and I'd got my first period and everything seemed like the end of the world. it must've been just after my birthday because my dad had bought me my very first second-hand disc-man (portable CD player) and took me in to an old record shop which sold mostly vinyl and just had some CD's (pieces of new-age plastic junk to the store owner) in a bin by the door. I rummaged, picked out a couple of CD's, one of which was a Frank Sinatra collection called Nothing But The Best. Years later I couldn't decide which I liked better between the Sid Vicious version or the original, I seriously couldn't decide, but for most of my life this would become my favorite song of all time, in either format, for the way it soothed and stoked my visceral-aches and made me believe that everything would be alright again, that it's alright to do things my way:
age 11) The nightmares started recurring in a too-big way to ignore. Sleeping had always been touch and go for me anyway but now I was petrified of it. late one night I snuck out of the house, little transistor radio in my pocket (discman had broken then I guess), into an old dirt-floored shed in our backyard to sleep next to my pet sheep. I was sobbing into his wool thinking about how horrible life was. Right when I needed to hear it the most this Beatles song came crackling over the radio. when it ended my sheep let out a commiserating "baa" .. we both wanted to hear it again:
age 12) 50-min-long drives back and forth from the wildlife park (my first job, alongside my father) we listened to lots of great music. Eclectic tastes, my dad, like me. But I particularly remember Queen:
age 13) I got left alone with my awesome uncle for an evening, and as he awkwardly scrounged for some morsels of food to offer me (hand-rolled cigarette in his obviously-hadn't-bothered-eating-much-in-days mouth.) I said I wasn't hungry but he kept scrounging anyway... he inadvertently introduced me to Jimi Hendrix (playing in the background) as I stared around the squalidly unkempt and slightly weedy-smelling domain of an artist's heartbreak in abject admiration:
age 14) Got suddenly obsessed with romance in every way. Sitting on the rocky shores of Tasmania's north coast at sunset, casting longing glances out into the tumultuous waves, listening to Romeo and Juliet theme, composed by Nino Rota (this time via a fancy schmancy mp3 player discarded by a wealthy classmate because it had a scratch on it's screen):
age 15) I started chatting online to the young man I would eventually marry. on a clunky desktop keyboard left over from the dark ages and dial-up internet which was already obsolete enough that no-one bothered to try to fix it when it went out. By the grace of the gods it worked sometimes, and by their wrath sometimes it didn't. I remember it stopped working halfway through this glorious music which my then-heart-throb-now-husband had sent me. Requiem in D Minor by Mozart. I went crazy needing to hear the rest of it (literally, I think I might've gone quietly insane and stayed that way ever since):
age 16) my Mum, my darling sweetest-thing-on-earth Mum... she was crying to herself in the kitchen. She'd found out some months prior that my Dad was in love with another woman, that he'd left her. Broken vows. The tears in my eyes reflected hers; that pain in her heaving bossom... she crumpled on me as though she were dying (I had definitely outgrown her in size by then) and I held her, pretending to be the man she needed back. I was so much like him after all. It must've been so painful for her to look in my eyes. I did the only thing I could think of to do. I'd been an extreme Youtube-delver at that stage, so I had the situation well in hand. I rushed to the computer and looked up the song I knew she needed to hear. "I will survive" by Gloria Gaynor. Then we both did the smile-through-tears thing we women of this bloodline are evidently prime exhibitors of, and I twirled and danced with her again like the big old child I'll always be inside.
I can't do 17 without giving you two vivid memories in quick succession:
age 17 part a) oodles of time listening and re-listening to this song by myself while I hungered for the touch of the manchild on the other side of the planet whom I mentioned in age 15. Righteous Brothers's Unchained Melody:
age 17 part b) no rhyme or reason to this one, but perfection nonetheless; it just happened to be the song playing in the car radio while my nervously cold-fingered sweaty hand perused his warm masculine one. finally, finally, at long last I got to touch that overwhelmingly swoon-worthy demigod in person (I lost my virginity that night)...
Billy Joel's Piano Man:
age 18) On my birthday the one-and-only of my life was back on the other side of the planet again. I was lovesick and lonely so I started bonding big time with my wonderfully talented tattoo-artist older sister. I got drunk on Jack and Coke while she tattooed the requested lion's head on my thigh, with "property of then-heart-throb-now-husband's name" type-scripted in the mane (much to my sister's mildly feministic dismay)... We both loved this song, though. And she let me play it on repeat as the ink sunk in to my alcohol-muddled veins. "I'm eighteen" by Alice Cooper:
age 19) I dropped out of college and moved to the other side of the planet to reunite with and marry-the-heck-out-of the man who's name my thigh-lion guarded. Traveling from Hobart, Tasmania to St Louis, MO. Long plane flights. Lots to leave behind. My over-clingy sob-faced perpetually-looking-backwards self had to cling to something new now; something to look forward to. Of course, true to form, I found my future in the past, delving through the free songs available on the plane, I happened to find my destination more than a hundred years in the past as it happens. "Meet me in St Louis, Louis" by Billy Murray:
age 20) When I was first-time pregnant, living in a foreign country, working as a full-time hospital cleaner for 7 bucks and some decent health insurance per hour, the love of my life shattered my blood-pumping mechanism into a thousand cataclysmic shards. I've been trying to collect them and glue them back in ever since. I needed him so bad... I wept so hard trying to salvage the soul-scraps of who I thought he was. Crying, crying my heart out into too many un-hairy un-heart-rythmed pillows "stop! in the name of love" by the Supremes:
age 21) In an unfathomable display of reconciliation and solidarity, the man-shaped entity I was married to decided to be a real man, and a husband, and a father, after all. He sang this song to me and our newborn daughter when the three of us were alone in the hospital, and I bawled my eyes out, cradling this beautifully red-faced screamy life we'd somehow spawned together who now slumbered peacefully in my exhausted happy arms... "If I Didn't Care" by The Ink Spots:
age 22) breastfeeding and a newfound love for home-cooking in the previous year had made me both ravenous and eager to win my man's heart back through diligently abusing his stomach (and mine in the process.) As a result, at this stage of post-incubation I was immensely obese. I had to dig deep to find some interest to distract me from food; some idiot-proof method which could be carried out with a baby-in-tow. (I wasn't ready to go back to writing just yet. it was too much.) so I got myself an MP3 player and went on walks, carrying my daughter strapped to my chest and my dog's leash wrapped around my wrist, we'd walk, we three. Happy go lucky care free through horrid-weather walks. I'd walk and sweat and listen and think. Think of motivational things like Rocky Balboa's passionate punches at life... or ya'know, just Rocky Balboa's passion in general...
age 23) hard times. I'd lost about 60 or 70 lbs, renovated our first hovel, got preggers again and had our first son. Too much going on that year. Husband sick, lots of job changes, had to go back to work myself for the health insurance all through second half of pregnancy and breastfeeding. (it is so doggone hard to leave a newborn with somebody else.. the hardest thing. but you gotta do what you gotta do. Humans have lived through worse.) Listened to a lot of the local rock station K-SHE 95 on the drives to and from work. Lots of great great music I knew very well from my youtube delves years prior. Hard to single one out, but if I had to in the very moment I'm writing this, I'll pluck out Pink Floyd's "Time" as it brought back some nice memories of art college and for whatever reason I was caught off guard and pleasurably flabbergasted one early frosty morning when I heard those familiar chimes of it on this local American station.
age 24) I adored living vicariously with my younglings at this age. (still do. Who am I kidding?) The height of it was rediscovering and sharing with them this show I used to watch when I was little which is the best children's content ever devised by mortal imagination. I have to add the intro to Jim Henson's The Storyteller to this list. I simply have to:
age 25) Miscarriage...no words to describe the stark juxtaposition between that forever-agony-swelling loss and holding my cluelessly happily grinning life-living younglings on my knees at the same time. I made the gorgeously painful mistake of watching Dumbo with my two litluns the evening after I came home from the doctor's office, while I was still bleeding out the remains of the sibling they never knew. I don't think I've ever tried so hard to suppress an expression of emotional turmoil in my whole life. Such anguish... and yet simultaneously, such gratitude. The tears leaked out despite my best efforts. No matter what mood I'm in, (and I get in some pretty emotionless moods) I will never be able to witness this scene or hear this song with dry eyes ever again.
age 26) I got a wee bit mindsick(er) and realized I was an all-over-the-place manic-depressive lunatic, or at the very least an extreme oddball. My sister came back to visit me and since my husband detests my sister, and since she reciprocates with a fiery vengeance, it was decided that the best thing would be if I just went off with my sister for a few days to sight see and spend time with her. I was pregnant again, delightfully, and intent on being super cautious and super healthy, so I hesitated a little bit taking her up on the trip, yet my in laws offered to watch the first two younguns while I was gone and reminded me that it wasn't healthy to never get out or do anything ever, so after some more hesitating and extensive safety research about travelling while pregnant I eagerly accepted the opportunity to spend time with my dearly loved sister. It was on this trip I got torn asunder by own expectations of reasonableness on my husband's end all over again. He punished me for this inexcusable dereliction of motherly duty (while my kids were being happily spoiled and pampered and coddled by their caring, sensible and most-trustworthy-people-on-earth grandparents) by not returning a single call in the entire three days of nigh-on-a-hundred texts and calls I'd send into the echo-less void of him. Serendipitously, during one of these ill-fated call attempts, Blondie started playing over the stereo of the cool retro antique shop we were hanging around in. Oh how I swam, sank, paddled and drowned in this song. I'd heard it before but I hadn't felt it before. After it ended it kept on playing and playing in my head just as though it were still corporeally audible:
age 27) after enough time caving and simpering and "all-my-fault"ing with my ears tucked down and my tail between my legs in the pseudo-love cage (that place in which I am both housemaid and whore to the man-shaped thing whose name was still guarded by my thigh-lion... or is that too harsh? he's still a person after all... still my one and only... maybe I'm the one who's crazy for thinking he's changed?...) I'd mercifully managed to delude myself once more into blissful ignorance. One magical close-to-christmastime day my husband was snowed in, had to call off work, and we spent the day baking cookies and decorating with the kiddos; my husband played his favorite christmas tune from when he was a lad... and forever now it's our favorite too, me and the kids. The way he sang that song in his deep voice like Santa, the way he was making best-dad-ever memories in the minds of our litluns.. Whatever happens, it's our favorite christmas song from then on till we die:
age 28) ... I can't really type out all that happened in that year. so much. far too much. most importantly another miscarriage followed by an immediate new pregnancy during which I was stressed out over a host of other things (long drives, getting swindled, knowing but refusing to know that I would never be loved, illness, mortal every-day dread of a late-term stillbirth and a multitude of other various exacerbations) then my son lived. My son lived. I had four children. Life was full. Oh so full of so much meaning. There were no words when I was bottle-feeding my darling son my previously-pumped breastmilk. No words. Just music.
age 29) the next one speaks entirely for itself. Ruth Etting's rendition of "so is your old lady" I inwardly smiled to myself while doing the dishes to this one. Another serendipitous coincidence in my automatic youtube song recommendations:
age 30) right now? As I'm typing this? My lifelong semi-insomniac ass stayed up all night and day writing this. What do I feel... right now? All possible human emotions. Everything all at once.
All of the above and so so so so many more...
In then end, I'm just another one of the Animals... Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood:
On Brazen Skipping
I never could skip stones like my dad could; smooth and calm and full of purpose. six or seven skips sometimes, like a jesus lizard.
Mine would always fly off with too much enthusiasm. And it hurt because I'd spent ages finding the perfect one: the perfect pancake-flat and lightly rounded pebble; I'd pick it out with optimism every time.
I'd grin so hard as I made the pull back, I know I had the technique down now. This time it'll work, I know it will. This loving momentum could carry anything to heaven, so to cross water should be a cakewalk.
Release, fly high...
plish plonk and gone.
It takes such skill, such calm... to skip stones. My dad could skip a boulder if he'd wanted.
I found other more childish ways of skipping of course. skipping jolly to the lolly shop at first, (Oh the jiggles I'd add to my skip for the sake of a Witchetty Grub or a thinly-whited Jersey Caramel...) then later on I'd attempt enthusiastically skipping everything I came across; school, meals, acceptable methods of bonding to other human beings...
Sometimes I feel like I skipped over adolescence all together. It's funny because he'd always tell me to do that. My Dad; he'd say "Don't ever be a teenager. Trust me, it's not worth it."
So that's what I did. Skipped adolescence. straight on from onesies to gowns. "12 to 20" Dad'd say. I'd nod in vast approval of the genius scheme. decided I'd spend from age 12 til-I-found-it seeking out the perfect skipping stone.
Then at around age 15 I eureeka'd:
Enthusiastically I picked up my rock; how handsome he was... the stone itself I mean; brilliant colors; a hard thing, solid, heavy... yet somehow callous and smooth simultaneously. Consciousness had weathered him flat as a pancake... the perfect one. perfect.
My heart skipped a beat.
Plish plonk and..... .... .... ....