Over The Rainbow: Farewell to a Friend

Wendy at Club La Vela

Wendy at Club La Vela

My friend Wendy Pierce lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday. It started in her breasts, but by the end it was in her lymph nodes, lungs, heart and brain. It’s just too much.

We were at Kajun’s Pub when Wendy told me she had 9-12 months to live, and that she wanted to take a cross country road trip. Krys and I were there, and she invited us to come along with her. She said we could do some fundraising and get in her car and go. There were things she wanted to see, things she wanted to experience. She thought that what you knew, is what you took with you, so she wanted to learn as much as possible, and see as much as she could before she died.

We did some fundraising, and ended up raising over $5,000 and a car, thanks to some really lovely, and compassionate people. But the trip was never to be. Not in the way Wendy wanted it to be, and certainly not in the way I thought it would be.

Before I went on the trip, or committed to it, I was asking myself questions like “why do I want to go on this trip?” and trying to make sure I was doing it for the right reasons and that I was prepared as possible for it.

We did go on a trip, we drove from New Orleans to Florida, stopping every so often to eat some food or take in the beach views. The purpose of the trip became Wendy getting to see her son, Frankie, and her telling him the news. She no longer had nine to twelve months to live, she had three weeks. The cancer had spread to the blood vessels surrounding her heart and were cutting off blood supply. Her doctor expected she would die from cardiac arrest, and wanted her to start taking morphine tablets to lessen the pain when it eventually happened.

She was scared, and we would talk about it. We would talk about what we thought lie beyond the boundary of death. Wendy would joke about haunting her friends, and starting up a bar in the afterlife, getting it ready for us, when it was our time.

It’s so hard to write this, I can feel the tears pressing against my eyes. Sometimes I think I will be fine, and then suddenly seemingly out of nowhere a flicker of a memory will cause my heart to clench and I feel the loss all over again.

Wednesday night, many of us who knew Wendy gathered at Kajun’s. There was a seat at the bar saved for her, an altar of sorts and everyone could buy her a shot if they wanted to.

wendyaltar01wendyaltar02

I think by the end there was probably about 20 shots. It was a lovely thing to see, in a way, the outpouring of love for her, the comradery that losing someone can bring. We all came together to remember our friend, to celebrate her life, and to mourn her death.

The day Wendy died, it was Krys’ birthday, we were out having drinks at Grand Pre’s when we got the call from Lorie. I knew it was going to happen that day, just felt it coming closer and closer. The day before, I had woken up in a panic feeling the imminence of her passing. You see, Wendy and I hadn’t spoken since the trip.

After we left Orlando, the plan was to go down to the southernmost point in Key West, but Mike (an old friend and ex-boyfriend of Wendy’s, as I understand, the love of her life) had just come down and now he was doing the driving. I thought I would give them some time alone together and rent a car myself and go off to see a friend in Marco Island.

It ended up that I could not rent a car, and so I asked if they would drop me off at my brother’s house in Pompano Beach, and they could just pick me back up on the way. They never picked me back up. I didn’t hear from them for two days, and they were two hours drive north of me telling me I needed to find my way up there because they were going to leave. I couldn’t find my way up there, and so they left. I was hurt, but I found a rideshare back to New Orleans, and was no worse for the wear.

The anger, the selfishness, the fear, the inability to see beyond her own death. These were the things I experienced with Wendy on the road trip, the things I wasn’t prepared for. I didn’t know how to be, or what to do.

In the beginning, when I was alone with her there was the constant fear of me finding her dead in her room, and I was trying to prepare myself for what I needed to do. Call the doctor, call her sister, the location of her DNR papers and her will. Sometimes she would become so negative and angry, I didn’t know what to do. Friends advised me to just be there for her, to just listen and support her in that way. It was what I was already doing. It was all I could do, apparently. I couldn’t make things better, I couldn’t take away her pain or her fear, or her anger.

Once Mike showed up, I felt more useless and invisible than ever. I had to remove myself from the situation to try to relieve the strain I was feeling, and perhaps causing. I was worried after they left me, that Wendy thought I was only using her as some kind of a vacation. A very fucking morbid vacation, I have to say. These are things I have to let go of, thoughts that won’t serve me in any way.

The last time I saw Wendy, she dropped me off at my brother’s house in South Florida. The last text message she sent me was “Phone die laat night. N charger wasnt jllg”  I posted “I love you” on her facebook page at 1:43pm Wednesday, March 4th, 2015 about four hours before she died.

I hope that I can be strong like Wendy was, a bad-ass woman with a great sense of humour. I’m glad she’s not suffering any longer, and I hope she knows I love her.

I don’t believe you only take with you what you learned in your life, I prefer to think that your knowledge is boundless in the beyond. And now that Wendy has gone, she has the wisdom and knowledge of all the Universe.

Approaching Thirty : Fears

It’s one month until I turn the big three-oh. I’d like to take a moment to express all of the fears that have gone through me.

I haven’t done anything.

I’m going to die alone with only my cats to mourn me.

I’m going to be forgotten.

I will only get fatter from here.

I will never be prettier.

Closer to death, my own and everyone else that I love. (Fucked up, and true.)

I will never figure out how to change my ways, become a better more awesome person, and become successful.

Finishing writing a screenplay.

Finishing any creative project.

Losing all of my knowledge and memory.

Terrible credit score (just kidding, I could give a shit about this.)

Not having enough money to make my dreams come true.

Not having enough courage to dream big.

Not having enough courage to pursue my dreams.

Failure.

Success.

 

Fears and The Antagonist

The following is a list of fears written on a bar napkin:

Love, Loss, Intimacy, vulnerability, being myself to the world, shame, success, singing, writing, my loved ones dying, knowing I am dying, other people, stupid people with guns (or bombs).

I’m not going to transpose the other napkins, some of them have answers, some have more questions and fears.

I have been thinking about my fears a lot lately, and also trying to figure out the antagonists in my stories. I got some good advice, to look at myself. Everyone has a dark side, everyone. If I explore my darkness, and the darkness of others, then I will learn more about the world, and be a better, nicer person.  That’s the thought, anyway.

appearances

 

Meditations on Loneliness

I have to be one of the most reclusive social people I know. And I know some pretty reclusive social people. Sometimes, oftentimes really, I enjoy my own company, an engaging film filled with friends that can feel more real than the ones I’ve got.

I know some amazing people, with unique perspectives and varying degrees of humor about this thing we all have, called life.

I’m feeling the loss of one of those people incredibly strongly these days. He’s not dead, just gone. Far beyond my reach, so I can’t embrace him. My heart still holds a place for him there, but I’m afraid it’s gravely wounded now, and beginning to scab over.

He insists I let it be. That I let it go, and move on. I know this to be sound advice, as I seem to be receiving it from all over, but I cannot, somehow against all better judgement, let go of this person.

Perhaps, one day, I can look back on this and say it was only youthful foolishness. But at what cost do I let this deep wound heal?

I can feel the walls growing higher. I can feel myself receding into my own depths, my solitude amplified and vast.

I can still laugh. I can still go out and see people. I can still dredge up emotion and passion for my creations. But as for connection with other people? I find it becoming increasingly more difficult to allow others to find me. I hold them at arms length. I shove them away. I laugh at them, in their pitiful attempts to appear interesting, in their shameful, smutty words.

As imperfect as we were, in our relationship, there was perfection plainly there. Simply and beautifully, and readily there. Perhaps my preoccupation with my own imperfections soiled it Perhaps his fear overwhelmed him to the point of having to let go to preserve his own feeling of safety.

I have to tell myself over and over again that I am not a horrible person. That I can’t have been that bad to be with. Maybe I was. I’m afraid I’ll never have the chance to truly know.

I have to fight my impulses to do myself harm. I have to fight for my own survival and happiness. I am alone. I am all I have. I want more, but it is impossible. This is my only lesson. And in evenings, when I am truly alone and the world is quiet, and it all becomes too unbearable, all that I can feel is that wound ripping open again, and the warmth of the tears dripping down my trembling and contorted face.

I’m desperate to stay alive, because I have yet to make my mark on the world in the way I would like. I’ll find the joy where I can, in fleeting moments. They are closely followed by the constant throbbing of my heart, aching to show you what I’ve found. Wishing we could have more time, to create some of that magic ourselves.

If I hold onto this, it will grow into me, and I can keep it safe. I don’t know who it will turn me into. If I let it go, then I am lost. I will have to shield myself from ever feeling that way again. I don’t know for how long. I don’t know who I would become then either.

In this, I have the power to decide. I did not get to decide for you to break my heart. To abandon me, though you promised me you never would. I cannot forgive you, and I cannot forget you.

I am alone, remembering.

So… Lately, Doing Stuff

Howdy folks,
As you know, I haven’t been updating this blog. Mostly because I keep forgetting to come up with something to write about. I have no direction. I’m not the first person to tell me that.

I thought I would write a brief update of what I’ve been getting up to these days. So..Lately- doing stuff…like:

-Entered a karaoke contest. I lost, but it was completely nerve wracking and fun. And I suppose as a consolation I got some PBR promotional schwag.
-Joined a gym. I have only been once so far. But if all goes well I should be losing about 30 pounds. How the hell long is that supposed to take?
-Got in a minor car accident, which brought back some nice PTSD from the other one. Managed to survive with only a couple scratches and a bit of soreness.
-Going to New Orleans Horror Film Festival. I went to one film last night All American Horror Story. In a couple hours, I’m going to watch some live readings of the script contest finalists.
-Met a bunch of awesome people who work in film. Writers. And photographers. Trying to network, learn, collaborate. Seems to be working all right so far. If only I continued to write about it. Well, here I am, writing.

I have a new nephew!

I have a new nephew! I did not cut the cord for this one. But he’s cute, isn’t he?

-Got my first Macbook Pro. Never would be able to afford to buy myself one. My brother, Matt, won some money and decided he’d be generous with me. He also offered to buy me a camera.
-My parents came to visit NOLA for a week and stayed with me. It was really lovely, and exhausting.

-Still trying to decide what kind of professional-grade digital camera that I want. DSLR? CILC? Something like that. Canon? Nikon? Panasonic? Sony? mhmm. I see.

-Changing my hair color many times over. Ever inspired by the spectrum of color and the innumerable possibilities they hold for self expression.

Of course, I’m single now. Hans broke up with me, what I can only assume was close on a month ago now. We still talk. He’s trying to focus on doing what he needs to do, and bettering himself and his life. He’s been working a lot, and is moving up the ranks of the kitchen he’s in pretty quickly. I’m so proud of him, and I still say- him being in charge looks good on him. I can see he is tired, but happy. He’s a hard worker. He deserves all that he wants.

Some people seem to think that I should get over him. And I think that those people should keep their advice to themselves.

I love him. And I always will.
I don’t think that makes me weak. I don’t think it holds me back.
If anything, it helps me be stronger.

I am a powerful person. I have many ideas. I have much passion. I have those whom I love, strongly and dearly.

 

Just UPDATED: Apparently, I’m on my own getting a camera- for the money has been lost. I suppose as the saying goes “you win some, you lose some” At least I have a new computer out of it.

A sole candle against the cold: Goddess in the Night

wow, this is intense.
oh my god. FRIENDS. who needs them?
wow. wow. wow. wow. kill me now.
just stop. please.
PLEASE! DON’T TEACH ME ANYMORE LESSONS!
I know enough. I know enough to know.
Don’t tell me what you want, i know that.
I know what you want, and I said no.
NO! NO! NO. No. no.

I said it already.

But you didn’t listen.
You said you did. you acted like you did, but you didn’t. did you?
You’re my friend. I see you. I respect you. I’ve always seen you. I know you respect me. I’ve seen that too. Not always but I learned how to read you.

what do i do?
i had reasons. reasons to start this. what do I do? god. I’m so fucking confused.
my eyes are burning. i want to smoke. I can’t smoke. not now. I quit. already.
finally.
does the buzzer even work?
NO!
Oh!
No, it does not.
I want to smoke. Make me a drink. A hot drink. Put whiskey in it.

I want to live. I want to be happy.
damn. That’s good. Warm too.

I sip it. I sip it, and I think.

How much today sucked.

How much today was awesome, and perfect.
If only that thing didn’t happen. If only THOSE things didn’t happen. It’d be perfect.

but they did.
they did, and they will. they’ll continue to happen. and i’ll continue to stand up for myself. and i’ll continue to be as badass as I possibly can. But I will probably break.

No matter how thick I’ve made my skin. And how many comments or feelings i can dodge, and overlook. I’ll continue to cry.
they will cut through me.

right through me.

I’ll cry.
I’ll try not to, but I will, despite myself.
despite my very real need to be strong. to appear strong.
and to be strong for myself.
i’ll cry anyway.
no matter what.

Because I can’t hold back anymore.

Because no matter if they love me, or they don’t know me, they can give a shit or not, it DOES NOT matter. They don’t care how I feel. They say what makes them feel engaged, and okay and ALIVE.
THEY DON’T CARE IF THEY KILL ME. THEY DON’T CARE IF THEY HURT ME. THEY SAY WHAT THEY WANT.

I’m unsuspecting. I’m trying to help, trying to heal. Looking to help those I love, to heal those I love, to try everything to take away their hurt.

It doesn’t even matter what I do. Good. Or. Bad. it doesn’t matter.

What matters is how they react to me. How they treat me. I can be not even thinking about how I look. i can be totally focused on anything but myself.

All they make me do, is think about me.
About how I look.
About how I can’t make them babies.
About how I can’t make them cum.
About how I can’t make them happy.
About how I can’t make them money.
About how I can’t make them whole.
About how I can’t make them feel like GOD.

About how I can’t be anything but me. About how I’ve changed.
About how I know I could be better. About how I let myself down.
About how I don’t know what I want. About how- even if i did- I couldn’t give myself what i want.
I couldn’t give Anyone what they want.

I COULD GIVE ANYONE WHAT THEY WANT.
I CAN GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WANT.
I can’t decide what I want.
Let’s find out what we want-
try to understand ourselves.
Be friends.
Explore!EXPLORE!

ADVENTURES?! I LIKE ADVENTURES!
Do you?
Don’t you want to be on the edge with me?
To find the boundaries of what we learned was home?
Was comfortable?
And question that?
And go beyond that?
And find out that really we are so amazing and awesome and loving?
And accepting and vulnerable? And exciting? And beautful?
And intelligent?
Aren’t we, though?

But why do I feel judged all the time?
I know I judged my Self.
But that is my right.
Is it not?
Not their right.
They take it no matter what.
Well! I just say FUCK OFF! GO AWAY! FUCK Y(OU THAT IS WHY YOU ARE A TERRIBLE PERSON>

oh no. we don’t care. no one helps us pick up the mess. the mess. THE MESS.
We DON’T MAKE THE MESS. We are given THE MESS.
We are given the mess.
We are given the Mess.
The mess. The mess, and the mess.
None of them belong to us.
But it’s yours. and I love you. And i’ll help you. but it’s not mine. i want to help but it’s hard.
it’s such a mess. not my mess. is it my mess? now it’s my mess. I am a mess. A MESS. Amess. a mess. it’s mine. it’s mine now. no i swear I know what I’m doing.

It doesn’t belong to me. it belongs to us. no not us. us all. not us. not US. together. the two of us.

Okay maybe one does. But they don’t all belong to us.
THEY DON’T ALL BELONG TO US~
But we have to clean them up.
we always have to clean them up.
we are not mothers.
we had mothers.
good mothers
great mothers.
GREAT FUCKING MOTHERS.
I’m sorry you didn’t have a great mother.
I’m sorry she is gone. BUT I AM NOT HER.
I can’t be her.
I don’t know how.
I’m sorry, I hate that. I am allowed to hate that.
Don’t TAKE that tone with me. I don’t DO aggressive.

I want to take care of you.
I’ll do my best. The best I can.
But don’t expect me to leave myself alone to take care of you.
Don’t expect me to be your mother.
Don’t think you can understand or speak to my experience.
LISTEN!
Listen, and learn.
I want you to know me.
I want you to feel me.
I feel you every day.
I FEEL YOU EVERYDAY!
so so so so so sosososo
strongly.

It hurts to know you.
It hurts to be me.
It hurts to love you.
It HURTS TO LOVE ME.
IT HURTS TO BE ME.

I’m trying. I’m really trying…
To understand you. To understand me.
Most of all, i want to know me enough to be the best love in the world
to show the best me
to be the best friend i can be
to be the strongest
to be the brightest
to have amazing stories to tell
stories with intrigue,
with meaning.
with metaphor,
and symbolism.
and the things that matter to me,
and that transcend the bullshit we deal with.
we fight, on the daily.

but i don’t trust myself enough. i’m learning to. i’m trying to.
everyday. more
and more.

please help me.
please trust me more.
please be myfriend.
my Friend, on this-
Lonely voyage around the sun.
My friend, who is me. Who shows me me. The me I am. The me I have been.
And you, the me I am. The ME I have been.
We are what we will be.
But we can’t be, without we.
Without us.
What we are now.
What we were,
Then.
What do we do?
We are nothing, if not lost.
If not hopeless.
If you cannot hear me.
And I cannot hear you.
We will cry,
horrendously loud,
screams,
hearts wrending,
on deaf ears,
as we stare,
at each other,
falling in synchronized step.
in manufactured step.
it mandated step.
in controlled step.
uncontrollable.
as we lose control of ourselves.
we realize we didn’t have much to begin with.
and what little we had,
we gave up to feel
safe.

bullshit in a coffin.
all i can see is dead already.
all i can know is i can’t be worse off than someone else. but i don’t feel better.
if i don’t appreciate the life I have, then why am i alive?
does this mean something> And if it does, why wasn’t it given to someone who would appreciate it more?
MORE THAN ME?
Okay. I know I don’t appreciate my life enough.
not as much as I would like.
But I try.
Why don’t I try more?
Is it possible?
For me?
For you?

Shit!
I DON’T KNOW.
I can’t jump. I can’t slice. I can’t quit.
I want to sometimes. I’m too tired sometimes.
But i’m too curious.
no matter how much I feel alone
not matter how much i fail
i’m too curious to know what happens next
and i’m too in love to leave you willingly.

i couldn’t possibly do that to you.
the thought alone destroys me.
DESTROYS ME.
REBUILDS ME. STRONGER.
AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Over AND FUCKING OVER.

I might quit. I might quit for me or for naught.
I quit but I can’t give up.
and so I wake up in a cold sweat.
Nightmares scratching at the corners of my conscious mind.

And I’m still here.
I’m here again.
I haven’t left.
i haven’t gone anywhere.
i’m still here for you to see.
to judge.
to belittle.
to build up.
to love.
to estrange.
to hold dear.
to ignore.
to forget.
to kill.
to love.
to not feel anything.
like i don’t feel anything.
like i forget, how to feel.
or hate you for insulting me.
or forget you for loving me.
or hold you in your time of need.
and remember that feeling, but ooooh- not quite what happened,
or how drunk I was-
or how much I cried,
or just quite how we connected our souls,
and touched them together in such a way
that could make us forget this drama
that we are so in tune with
that we are so blinded by
that we can’t escape
that we want to leave, so badly.
to forget who we are
so we can remember what we are
and what we need.

Love In a Time of Internet

Link

When I was a young girl, I thought I would grow up and get married and have all those things you think you’re going to have- a house, a car, and some kids. That dream, or thought, or assumption, whatever it was, didn’t last for very long. I honestly never thought I would fall in love, or get married. I thought I would be single for the rest of my life, and I was okay with that. I have plenty of friends, and a few cats. Everything was all right.

I have been very lucky in my life, I have met amazing people continuously. I have loved a lot of people, and been loved by a lot of people. I was even engaged once before. And I have had people ask me to marry them on more than one occasion, though I would always laugh and say “I’m not the marrying kind.”

The funny thing is that during all this time, I had known one person, kept in touch with one person, through it all. I met him in a Yahoo! chat room, “Christian Punk Rock” in the year 2000. His screen name was “mxpxguitarplayer” and mine was “progroupie,” even then we were a well matched pair, though we wouldn’t see it that way for at least 13 more years.

We used to share some things in common back then, like enjoying music, and being active in our Christian youth groups and such. I think we had crushes on each other then too, but there were certain obstacles that we couldn’t overcome. We didn’t really know what the other one looked like, I lived in south Florida, and he lived in Toronto. Plus, there was the added stigma of him being younger (he was 13, and I was 15), and there was no way I could contemplate having a crush on someone younger than myself (not for at least another several years).

We remained friends, and I maintained the illusory construct that he was more like my little brother than a potential mate. There was a period of time when we lost touch for about two years, and then in 2007 I got a friend request on Facebook from a familiar name.

It was Hans, and he somehow had found me and wanted to be friends. I was stoked to be back in touch with him and catch up on all that I had missed. He was in Australia on tour. He was married. All kinds of things had happened! I had finished school and moved to Portland, OR. And we had tons of photos of all of that life, right there on the internet.

There were certain things I always knew about Hans, which was that he was really a nice genuine person, and that he was incredibly silly at all times. I knew he was an avid skateboarder, and musician. I knew he had had recent success being a DJ/Producer. But I didn’t know just how damn attractive he was on top of all those things.

Knowing all kinds of things about a person, doesn’t necessarily mean you have synthesized that information. I still couldn’t see him as anything more than the friend that I had known for years. He was Hansy, my silly Canadian friend whom I could talk to about all manner of things. There was no way I could allow myself to feel the gravitational pull of attraction. I loved him as a family member, as a brother even, but that was all.

He was in Canada, that posed enough of an obstacle, but he was married on top of that. No, I mustn’t allow myself to feel or acknowledge this beyond face value. Though I knew I found him attractive, and that he was an awesome person, any kind of putting those two thoughts together wasn’t going to be allowed to happen. There was a disconnect, which I think is a survival instinct in this day and age. I mean, why allow myself to develop feelings for someone I couldn’t have, that would be starting in 5th grade all over again. Unrequited love, pining in full effect from 3,000 miles away. No way, not a chance. Way too impractical. Move along, nothing to see here!

2013, January. Hans messages me, we begin our conversation in the usual silly way, but something is different. What’s up? Hans is distraught. He thinks his wife is going to leave him. Oh no! What is happening? My heart goes out to my friend, who is hurting, and I try to find out what’s going on. I try to comfort him, and give him any advice I can. Ultimately, I know all I can do is listen and try to be a good friend.

Previous to this really serious and intense conversation, most of our conversations hadn’t been all that deep. Maybe it was because we liked to talk a bunch of silliness, or keep it casual, and talk about what was going on around us. But things hadn’t usually been in depth emotionally, not that I can remember. That may have been due to us holding back, subconsciously afraid of what might happen.

Over the course of a couple weeks, Hans had moved back in with his parents, and gotten broken up with. She said she didn’t love him anymore. He wrote her a letter. I listened to him, as his heart was breaking. I tried my best to cheer him up, and be his friend, all the while I started to realize something.

I’m talking to Hans a lot more lately, than usual. I’m talking to him nearly constantly, and for hours at a time. What does that mean? Does that mean anything? Oh my god, I have a crush on him. Shit. Well, I can’t do anything about it, or say anything about it. I mean, he’s going through so much of his own emotions right now, it would be awful of me to say anything and put anything more on him. So I kept my feelings to myself. The one thing I did do early on was to invite him to come down to New Orleans to get away from everything. That was part me, being a friend, and part me being like “and in the mean time I can help you get over your ex.” Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Over the next month or so, we still continued to talk all the time. And we were laughing a lot. We were Skypeing for hours at a time. I had to ask myself a few things after that. Okay, I know that I have a thing for him, but I haven’t said anything. But ask yourself this, maybe he feels the same way, maybe he likes you too, why else would he be talking to you all the time? I mean, he was going to school full time and working, but still found time to talk to me. It was then I decided that I wasn’t going to modify my speech or anything, or try to hide anything. I wasn’t going to be explicit in my feelings. It wasn’t going to be one of those outpouring of feelings with the expectation of an answer. I was just going to not stop myself from acting in ways that came naturally. Whatever would happen would be fine, at least I was being real. And what happened? Turned out he was going to do the same. I don’t know what was the exact moment beyond this decision, but we somehow both realized at the same time that we had feelings for one another, and it seemed to progress naturally from there.

On the sixth of May 2013, Hans flew to New Orleans for one week- to see me! I was so excited. I had been looking forward to it for months, counting down the days. I was so nervous about meeting him in person for the first time. What if everything we felt was in our heads? What if when we met it wasn’t right? What if someone’s feelings changed? I had done this before in the past, met someone online, it wasn’t anything new, and usually it didn’t work out or go anywhere. The odds weren’t in our favor.

I wanted to meet him at the airport, so my friend Victoire was going to give me a ride. She was picking up a friend from the airport too that day. I was to meet her at Kajun’s and we would go to the airport together. I had a brand new outfit picked out. She was over an hour late picking me up from Kajun’s so I had a few whiskeys in me to bolster my confidence.

When we got to the airport Victoire dropped me off and went to go find parking. Hans didn’t have a working phone, so he was tethered to the WiFi in the airport. Apparently, I had been dropped off on the wrong floor, so I had to go inside and go upstairs to arrivals. I went outside and looked around, didn’t see Hans, or anyone resembling him. Then I remembered he couldn’t be outside because the WiFi didn’t work out there. I looked back toward the sliding doors and I spotted him. He was on his iPad, several yards away, at the place between inside doors and outside doors.

I go inside, and I know since I spotted him first that I can go up behind him. I go into the airport and around to the other exit where he was and gently grasp his arm. He turns around and looks at me. Realizing I have my sunglasses on, I quickly lift them to the top of my head, so we can make actual real life eye contact for the first time.

Cue expansive ethereal music.

We hug. I can feel how nervous we both are, but how relieved too, and how excited. He bends down to kiss me. He is so tall, like a foot taller than me, so I have to stand on my toes.

Cue fireworks.

Copy of bestphotoever

We had to find Victoire and wait for her friend, Matthieu to get through customs and immigration at another gate in the airport. I remember certain things, like the couch outside the bathroom where he waited for me. We kissed and I literally knocked his hat off.

Walking hand in hand to the other terminal. Finding the car in the parking garage. The scenic ride through the French Quarter as we gazed into each others eyes, seemingly struck dumb, or giddy, or whatever the hell falling in love is. I don’t even know what happened next, Victoire dropped us off somewhere and we had to walk home, but I don’t remember the walk home. I guess I was in a brain chemical soup!

We had a lovely week together. I tried to enjoy every moment in the moment, and not think that after just seven short days, I would lose what I had just gained. I chose not to acknowledge it because I knew it would happen soon enough and there was no point wasting tears on it now. But something amazing happened.

May 13, 2013 Hans was supposed to leave, to go back to Canada. But he didn’t. He knew I wanted him to stay, and he wanted to stay too. He told me he didn’t want to have to say goodbye, he didn’t want to see me cry.

And so he stayed, for as long as he could, until his visa was about to expire. Then he had to go back to Canada. We already knew we had a bond so strong, and that we were now a family. So began the realization that I did not want to keep doing this. That I did not want to live without him. That we needed to form a union, so that even the governments of our countries couldn’t keep us apart.

Thank you for reading our story! Most importantly, thank you for your love and support!

Amari

All The Wrong Things

The lines crisscross my skin, along my chest and stomach- impressions the fabric of my dress left upon me even after I removed it. My vision starting to blur, everything a bit hazy-white around the edges, I’ve been awake too long, staring at screens too long, all day long. I keep thinking about the imperfect parts of myself, and then I get depressed, I get sad, I get upset and I do things that add to my imperfections and so the cycle continues. I thought maybe if I could break the cycle by writing about it, writing about all the wrong things, maybe I would feel more honest with myself. Maybe after I was honest, I could face these things and I could accept them, or change them.

I suppose we have to look at what there is and what I can change, what I can’t change. I had the idea once to write a self help book to myself. It was a good idea but I didn’t do it because I don’t finish books. I start them, but I never follow through with anything. Things take focus, perseverance and a lot of time and patience. The strange thing is that these are all qualities I possess, but for some reason I seem to lack the ability to combine forces and get shit done. Sticktoitness, I think they call it, is a quality I am grossly lacking.

I feel like I used to notice the world more. Now I witness things, but nothing really seems to surprise me anymore. I am increasingly more unhappy with my body. I’m getting older, fatter, weaker and more bent over. I’m not even thirty yet and this is happening to me. I didn’t chose to get hit by a car and to have pain every day of my life. I know there are things I could have done to make it better, and there still are things I can do to make it better.

No one but me can get me out of bed and make me do the things I need to do to become the person I want to be. I don’t want to hold on to dearly to the person I used to be, it always seems like things were better then, and you want things to be like they “used to be.” It’s really sad to think that things will never again be the way they once were, but I don’t think I should be continuously trying to recapture those moments. They are gone and I am on a quest for new and better ones. I’m not dead yet.

If I can write myself to be a more positive and proactive person, maybe I can become one. Maybe instead of noticing my clogged pores, and increasing adipose tissue, I could focus on making my dreams come true.

In order to make something come true you have to know what it is that you want. If I wanted a child I might not know who I wanted them to be, or who they would become, but simply knowing that I wanted one would set me on a certain course. I don’t want children of my own. Sometimes I get caught up in some romantic thoughts about it, sure, but realistically I can’t see myself in such a serious and committed relationship, not to mention a painful and mostly one-sided one.

That was a bit of a tangent, but I suppose it’s good to talk about what I do and don’t want. I don’t want to work for anyone, but with someone is much preferred. I want to travel and see the world, and meet the many people that populate it.
I have a strange relationship with my own species, I feel so outside of it sometimes, looking at humans as incredibly odd animals. They are animals who no longer feel like animals, who no longer see themselves that way. They are separate from nature, from the natural order of things, from the cycle of life on earth. Perhaps that is why they fear death so.

I fear death. I thought I didn’t but I was wrong. I do. The death of those whom I love frightens me most of all. But I often worry that I will die violently and painfully. It scares me. I try not to think about it, but I do, everyday.

I want to surround myself with friends, and family. With people who I love and who love me, with people who share my values. In an ideal world I would love to have a chosen community of those people to live with me and form a village. We would live close-knit lives in communion with the earth and all of her seasons. I could become more skilled at survival, stronger, more fit, healthy, energetic, and hopefully best of all I could become a better storyteller.

I would love to share stories with others. I would love to share myself with others. Writing is a way I can do that, but I often forget- or become too bogged down in negative thoughts and emotions. I used to get really down on myself and hard on myself when I didn’t write. It was as though I was letting down a friend by not keeping up with my journal. I still feel that but I am so used to feeling that with everything else in my life that I just stopped letting it affect me.

Clearly, all of these things affect me. For some reason I stopped listening to that part of myself. I think part of that is because I stopped writing. Writing and journaling was the way I could think things through, I could argue a point with myself, I could explain and explore a feeling or a thought or a desire. Instead, I now fill myself up with other people’s stories. I consume them like so much junk food. Filling me up but never satisfying me, leaving me hungry for more.

Oftentimes, I feel insecure. The things I feel…that my grammar or spelling isn’t right, that I will use words incorrectly and that, generally, I will be a terrible writer. But I want to be a writer, it’s all I ever really wanted to be without fully allowing myself to be it. Anything I ever wanted to be I never actually tried to be. That is a life plan sure to make me regret everything when I’m lying on my deathbed. Assuming of course I make it to a ripe old age and don’t get shot to death at a parade in New Orleans or something equally stupid and terrifying.

I want to travel. I want to love a lot of people, and be loved by a lot of people. I want to write. I want to make things, be creative and express myself in any way possible and without being afraid to fail. I want to fail so that I know I can try and fail and still keep trying. I have failed. I have failed so many times at doing the things that I thought I was supposed to do, that I fell into, that I thought I was good at and could use as stepping stones to the things I really wanted. But that never happened because I left those things behind and then it was all about surviving. Just getting money to survive and it didn’t matter how.

I am sick of surviving. I want to be happy! I want to DANCE instead of holding back. I used to dance all the time. I used to dance all the time and now I desire to dance. I keep holding myself back. I am my biggest obstacle. Remember when things outside were the biggest obstacle? Now it’s me. Perhaps it was me all along.

I need to get out of my own way.

I can have my dreams. I can make them come true!

Broken Heart

There is no one who can understand what I’m feeling today. The love of my life, whose love was the purest and most wonderful love I have ever had, is dead.

I don’t understand it.

I’ve been wasting away the past six weeks. I was going to bring him with me because I knew I would miss him too much. My mother convinced me not to bring him. I wish I would have stuck to my feelings, maybe he would still be alive.

I will see him tomorrow, but he will be dead. All I wanted to do was go home and love him, see him. Have him wake me up with kisses like he used to do every morning.

No one can understand how I feel. They might feel sorry for me. They might try to empathize with me. But no one can understand how I felt because of his love. And now it’s gone and I will never have it again.

He wasn’t just a cat to me. He was a thread of pure love woven into me. I could see it in his eyes, how much he loved me. I hope he knows I thought of him every day and missed him every minute. I miss him so much.

Life is to be this cruel to me. I barely made it past a week into the year and it’s devastatingly ruined.

I was walking out of the Target after having just bought a cat pack. It was black and brown just like him. That’s when I got the phone call from Jayke. I couldn’t even listen to what he had to say. I screamed and hung up the phone. It was like pulling your hand back from a hot coil. But it was too late. It hurts. My heart is aching. Nothing I can do will stop this pain.

His name was Creation Pre-Divinity. He was an Adventure Cat. He was Random’s first born, her first son, her second baby to die. I know we will all miss him dearly. Me and Random most of all.

I’m still hoping this is all a bad dream.

I love you, my baby.

CPD (22 April 2012 – 09 January 2013)

Art/Basel. Art/Miami.

Viewing art has always seemed a solitary act for me. Viewing art brings out a meditative quality in me of quiet contemplation, (much like taking a walk and noticing the beauty of the flowers, the sky, or architecture as you pass).

Art Basel 2012 was a strange experience for me. The countless booths and collections, the streaming hosts of people scrambling to try and take it all in. And the talking, talking, talking! Whilst I love viewing art as much for the solitude and quiet contemplation, the stirring of thought and emotion- I don’t love talking much about it. The magnitude of Art Basel at the Miami Beach Convention Center was far greater than I anticipated (or could have as it was my first time going in). At times, it felt like a rat maze. Everyone was working their way through it just trying to find where the cheese was hidden.

Installation where the camera sees more than your eye.

I’m of the opinion that the cheese is elusive. Rare and highly addictive, the cheese is (for me) the first time I saw a Van Gogh (in person). I stood there in front of it looking at the brush strokes. Strokes whose depth I had never seen in a printed reproduction, post card or text book. Amazement was among the many emotions that stirred inside of me as I saw Van Gogh’s hand at work- tears rolling down my cheeks.