Teeny Little Super Guy

Teeny Little Super Guy, the Monster at the End of this Book, Poky Little Puppy,  Guess How Much I Love You, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Runaway Bunny, Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Squirrel Nutkin, Goodnight Moon. 

The smell of gummy bears in the summer with a sweaty little boy, singing Beatles on the way home, when you stopped calling me Mommy and traded it for Mom, calling me after school every day to make sure you got home okay, finding me hiding from you after class to surprise you, two kids, you and me. 

The Lion King, Aladdin, Babe, saying “That’ll do, pig,” or Hakuna Matata” for months afterwards. Singing to whatever was on the radio. Mostly Guns and Roses, Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe. 

Whenever you weren’t around, how alone I felt. Trying to comfort me when your dad made me cry. When I started having migraines you’d hold my head and tell me you loved me. You called Aunt Phyllis for me when I just couldn’t wait anymore and we didn’t know where your dad was. 

That’s when I knew you were a responsible kid. We were renegades. You and me. Uncharted for us both. You truly were my teeny little super guy!  I looked for you for comfort. I was a mom, it was me and my kid. Always. I didn’t go many places without you. We had a lot of fun, you and me. Jasmine. Daisy. Marty. You knew. You understood. It was okay. Not okay. Anger. Oh I understood anger. I lived anger. I understood YOU. 

My respect for you. My love for you. My pride for you. Grows stronger every day. You are still my Teeny Little Super Guy. Always.  

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Only How I Feel

Images blur between us, through my tears. Then I can’t hear you. Did you just say —- or was that what I wanted to hear? Nothing with us is ever what it seems to those on the outside. Even inside here with us, I feel it’s one way, you see it as another. And no matter what my feelings are to you, if that’s not how you see it you won’t even listen to what I say. Beg. Plead. If you don’t see it, to you, it’s not true. But it’s only how I feel. Only how I feel. 

I want to be by your side, but I’m always wishing and hoping you’ll let me or at least join me at my side. I know, I hope for too much, this I know. Leaves me feeling drained from so much exertion and empty. But it’s only how I feel, only how I feel. 

Little Bean

little bean in a big jar is friends with the baby carrot. Carrot is in a bag with snow peas, cauliflower, and broccoli. little bean watches them play. little bean is all alone in her jar. She’s too small to get the lid off, and is pretty sure it has to be opened from the outside anyway. Carrot smiles at little bean and little bean smiles back, tears in shimmery pools in her eyes. Carrot invites little bean over. little bean no longer holds back tears, for she know that unless someone takes her, there’s no chance to get out of the jar. Carrot laughs and laughs and continues to frolick with his friends. Knowing that little bean will never leave her place. 

Please Go Away

I told him I couldn’t be his friend, much less anything he desired. I  didn’t mean to hurt him. The very act in itself was brutal to us both. But I had to put my foot down. 

When we were friends, I enjoyed his company alright, even when he made things awkward, lingering in my hugs just a little longer than anyone else. We had a lot in common from our love of old movies to the books we read, music we enjoyed. 

So that’s when I thought he was just goofing around when he leaned over at the movies to tell me he wanted to kiss me. I giggled quietly and said something to the effect of how ridiculous that was. “No, I’m serious,” he told me and when I turned to look at him, he continued, “I have had my eye on you for a long time.” “Me?” I asked, “Why me?” “Oh, I can’t think of a bad reason why not,” he said. Well, I could think of several. Our friendship was good, I had someone in my life, just to name two. He looked crushed. 

Well he didn’t get that kiss and we said goodbye in the lobby of the theatre. No hug that day, either. After a few weeks, I get this text:  I wanna be with you so badly. Please say yes and make me happy. Okaaay, what the hell?? Shaking all over, I text back:  Are you crazy? You know I’m with someone, and you know we are friends. He texts back: About you, that’s all. I text: Where is this coming from? He texts: My heart. Hmmm…. I don’t know what to say, so I put my phone down to think. 5 minutes, 10. 15. My phone buzzed. I go pick it up and another text appears: Do you think you’re too good for me? I quickly respond: no, I don’t think I’m too good for anyone, I just didn’t know how to respond just yet and was thinking what I wanted to say. Pops up: Stupid bitch. You’ll regret this. Okay, I went from amusement, to puzzled, and now I’m scared. Really scared. But I have things to do, so I don’t respond. Later that night as I’m recanting the story to my boyfriend, he tells me, “I always thought he was odd. Stay away from him.” “Right,” I confirm. I blocked his number from my phone thinking I wouldn’t hear from him. He then began leaving messages on my wall on Facebook, leaving crude comments on twitter and Instagram. Block. Block, block. I am thoroughly creeped.

The next morning, coffee and book in hand, I decide to sit on my patio. My neighbor across the street is watering his flowers and when I catch his eye, I wave. After finishing, he jogs over. I look up from my book and say good morning, but the look on his face suggests otherwise. “What’s wrong, Ron?” “Come here”, he says grimly. “You need to see this.” He began walking across the lawn, so I get up to follow. He stops at his driveway, so I too, stop. He takes me by the shoulders and pivots me so I’m facing my house. To my shock and disbelief, I now see what troubled Ron. Scrawled across the siding in red, is a message: “Die Bitch” and “Whore”.  Red spray paint. “Oh my God. What do I do?” Ron assures me he has taken photos and emailed them to the local precinct. He then takes a hysterical, sobbing me to the station so I can fill out vandalism reports, because, clearly I know who did it. No, I didn’t catch him in the act, I don’t know if he will come back. Yes, I would like help getting it off. Please. I see Ron in the glass walled lobby walking, no pacing, phone to his ear. After an hour, finally the cop I talked to cuts me loose. Ron talks me into breakfast. He excuses himself to take a call outside. When he returns, he looks relieved. 

Turning the corner onto our block, I see cars lining the street. Then my house comes into view. The ugly paint is gone, and my little grey home gleams, sparkles. I look at Ron who shrugs, and says, “I know people.”

The next few weeks go smoothly. No corresponding messages. One night I was having trouble sleeping so I get up, make a cup of tea when I hear rattling. It’s my back door. I duck behind the pantry door and call Ron, then 911. I don’t dare move. After 5 or 6 minutes I hear Ron’s voice, booming, “Hands up or I’ll shoot!” Then the unmistakeable red and blue lights. I pull on some clothes and walk outside. “Ma’am, we need you to identify the suspect. Is this the same one you filed a report on?” “Yes,” comes out a hoarse whisper,”That’s him.”           I learn later he was arrested on a laundry list of charges. After placing him in a cell, the officers left that part of the jail. When the day shift arrives and began making rounds, they discover him hanging in his cell. He’d been dead 4-6 hours.

And that’s when the true horror began. Doors slamming, lights that were off, come back on, faucets being turned on,then off, dishes on the cabinet were on the counters the next day, television blaring then muted. I could hear his whispers all the time. One night, sitting in my darkened living room, he sat next to me on the couch. I wasn’t scared, annoyed, but not scared. He asks me if we can still be friends. “No” I say. “Can we start over?” “No,” I repeat. I explain how I can’t be anything to him now. No matter how many times I explain, he just doesn’t get it. Tomorrow I have a priest coming. And I’m not Catholic. I just want him to leave me alone. I don’t feel that’s too much to ask. 

You With Me With You

It was still dark outside when I awaken to you whispering in my ear. I sighed, stretched and leaned back into you, finding my safe spot. “Good Morning sweetheart,” I mumble while reaching behind me. I opened my eyes to see your clock. 4:17. “What’s wrong, can you not sleep?” I sighed, closing my eyes again. “Not with this woman next to me I can’t.” “Oh honey, come ‘ere,” as I roll over facing you. I pull you into me and the first wave of passion hits us hard, just like the first time. 

This is so easy, between us. Like it was meant to be. You. Me. The lines blur where you end and I start. Perfect rhythm every time. This beautiful dance we share only deepens us. 

Before I open my eyes again I can tell it’s daylight, and I stretch. Your arms are wrapped around me, my head is on your arm. Feeling me stir, and keeping your arm beneath me, you roll over to face me. “Good Morning,”you whisper. Your right hand is brushing the hair off my face. You cup my face towards yours as you kiss me softly pulling my body into you. I inhale deeply, your cologne, my perfume, two totally different styles. But between us, it works. Everything between us works. 

It always has. It always will. Our souls are old and they’ve known each other a long time. They communicate without us knowing, not externally anyway. No words are needed. With a single embrace, our story was written. The first kiss, poets couldn’t come close to describing how we soared, flew over everything but yet still on solid ground. 

My Sweet Valentine

Here’s a thought, free even. If you love/appreciate/admire someone, TELL THEM. Not just today, either. Pop into your head 15 times a day? Tell them. Someone you admire from afar? Tell them. It brings you closer.

I always thought this was surely a holiday wholly created by chocolatiers/candy companies  in unison with greeting card companies. But then, who, shall benefit, which rich sweets to what sappy (mostly bad) poems? Where then, shall the toy makers, florists, fine dining establishments, which cable company (The Walking Dead marathon; AMC, Hallmark movies – pick one, Lifetime or Hallmark Channel) or video streaming services, where then, do all of these fit in and who decides on how big the slice of pie shall be? And where on earth did someone make the connection to pick out one day to celebrate your love? What, the other 364 days, each spouse/significant other/sweet baboo/bae, et al, can go back to being grumpy, hateful, dishonest, inconsiderate,not to mention hungry ? 

Maybe it’s me. This doesn’t make sense. Economically – wow, what a boon, sure, right after Christmas but before summer vacations start. Between “O Holy Night” and “Ma, she’s totally shading me, I can’t be shaded, my tan will be uneven and if I have an uneven tan my whole life is ruined in which case I won’t have to go out of the house at all and if I don’t I’ll just be under your feet all the time, so Ma, tell her to MOVE.” I see why we needed a holiday in between. But this? Where’s the expression of gratitude, the swoons of the leading man after Our Hero takes her into his arms and tells her how every day his life is richer because of her? And then he takes her to dinner?

Ok, already. If you can’t get along every day, maybe shoot for most of the day? Or maybe just dinner. That too much? When did it become commonplace to be sweet to someone on a special day but a jackass the rest of the year? Birthdays, I’m lookin at you, too. It always bothered me that the coworkers who whined about you to everyone suddenly is nice enough to decorate your workspace and give you a huge smile when the birthday cake is passed around. Why only one day? Why then only celebrate our love for one another every day? Ooh, that’s where jewelry comes into play. It’s starting to dawn on me that everytime we’ve had our emotions manipulated, commerce sees a boost. Is that fair? Yes, absolutely. Until we can be in control of our lives, we absolutely must be manipulated. Recently, I saw an advertisement for a reality show “My Diet Is Better Than Yours”. Really? Yes, and countless of bored (and hungry) consumers fell for it. 

People, please learn to appreciate ALL things. Bad and good. Until we decide not to be seduced by the latest greatest thing, and learn how to appreciate each other, our lives will always be in competition not with only each other, but ourselves. Yes it’s nice to improve. When we make ourselves better for the sake of enriching our lives only then can we stop trying to “Keep Up with the Joneses”.

Today I have someone special in mind. Someone who thought to pull me aside and say “Hey, I think you’re swell. Here’s me.” Neat – o, said my heart. Here’s me. And what we’ve built from there is solid. Respect, committment, mutual fondness not just for our physical characteristics but those quirks that made you cross your eyes. Stick out your tongue at your brother at the dinner table. We celebrate those. Every day. We’ve made a pledge to make every single day count. If someone is special enough for you to wake from a deep sleep and automatically think of them, tell them. Tell them how you feel. We do. Every day. Several times a day. 

Happy Valentine’s Day, 2016.

P.S. If you’re hungry, I’ve made a snack. 

Lessons

I’ve seen certain struggles no child should have to see. In turn, my child has seen struggles he shouldn’t have. Repeating mistakes? I think that chain is broken. I pray that it is. If there is any consulation as to what kind of husband he is, then he will be a fantastic father. 

My hurt will never be diminished. I’m counting on making a lot more good memories so that the impact of past memories fade. I’ve been handed a gift. A second chance. 

Now I know, every time I asked, “Why is this happening to me, still happening?” I know it was to learn to let the little things go. It was so I can truly cherish what goodness is, what it looks like, what it feels like. To be able to appreciate, to be able to truly be thankful, and most of all that no matter how many times my heart got broken, it’s still capable of love. It still beats wildly.