Wednesday, April 29, 2009

14. Dream Memory.

You know that tip of the tongue phenomenon? Well that happened to me this morning with my dream. In my last minutes of sleep, I swore I knew what I was dreaming about but as soon as I opened my eyes it was gone. It doesn't matter. I don't think I had the same dream because I wasn't nearly as exhausted today as I was yesterday, so I probably didn't spend my entire night running away down hallways covered with notes.

I have to admit that I am a little disappointed that I couldn't figure out what the dream was trying to tell me, but maybe that's a good thing. It obviously was just residue from my guilt about cutting L out of my life and in turn giving up resolving some of my personal issues. Maybe I was just making it out to be more than it actually was. I feel like I can finally get on with my life. I can keep my secrets tucked away and stop obsessing over some stranger. The whole thing with L was weird though, I had an intense and irrational fixation with someone I never met but who seemed to know the darkest parts of me and now it's gone. As quickly as it came into my life, it left; it's like it never happened. I'm glad it's over. I was on edge all the time, looking over my shoulder, having the feeling like someone was watching me. It was all very unsettling. I can breathe easier now.

* * * * * *

I left work before 5 just for the heck of it, ran some errand, and got home early.

Thanks Ray Ordinario!

As I waited for the elevator, I shuffled through my mail. "Street Level," and the elevator doors opened. I chuckled to myself as I thought about my boyfriend's sister who always said the talking elevator gave her the creeps. Seattle City Light. Crate and Barrel Catalog. Junk. Junk. Junk. Student Loan. The weekly newspaper ad. More junk. I decided to see what the Safeway had on sale this week. As I open the ad, a piece of paper fluttered to the ground. It didn't look like part of the ad, it looked like a torn piece of paper. As I bent down to get a closer look at what it said, I had a hard time making out the words. Was this in English? I bent down lower and it took a second for my eyes to focus. Suddenly, I was hit with deja vu: my dream. I froze as the newspaper ad and other mail fell out of my hand and littered the elevator floor. I opened my mouth to scream but nothing came out. There lying on the floor with all the other paper was the other half of L's note that I ripped; the half that I left stapled to the door at the stop. "Third Floor."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

13. Mr. Sandman.

I had a dream last night. I wish I wrote it down as soon as I woke up because I think it was important, I think it was trying to tell me something. As I try to remember it, I'm only coming up with vague bits and pieces and I also think I'm filling in the blanks that makes sense to me in my conscious state; but dreams take on their own logic so I could be creating a dream that I didn't even have. I'm going to try and have the same dream tonight. Hopefully I'll be able to do it, I'm not sure if it's possible, I've never tried it, although I wonder if it's the same as having control over your dream as you dream it; a lucid dream I believe it 's called. I have those all the time and I tend to change things if it's getting too intense or too scary, although I wish I didn't do that because sometimes I would like to see where the dream is going.

In my dream I was trapped in a place that had lots of hallways and I was running from something obviously, because why else would I be running. The one thing that stands out to me, that I know for sure was part of my dream, were the hallways: they were covered with notes. I couldn't read any of them because as soon as I got close enough to read the notes, something would distract me and I would have to keep running. I don't know where I was but I know I had to get out. I think there were also doorways and when I went through a door some rooms were full of notes, there were papers as high as the ceiling so when I opened the door, notes would just spill out. When I tried reading these notes, I couldn't understand them. Either they were words that didn't make sense when you read them together or they were written in a different language that used English letters. I didn't have enough time to figure out which one it was because as soon as I was getting anywhere with the notes, I would have to start running again. I remember being very annoyed and also very exhausted in my dream. Maybe that's why I was so tired today. On second thought maybe I don't want to have this dream again...

12. Simulacra.

I got a ride home from a friend yesterday. It was the only way I could avoid the stop. I thought about just walking to the next stop, but I knew I would have to pass L's stop and would be tempted to see if there was a new note. On the way home I wonder if L put up another note? Or if L saw that someone, that I, defaced the last note? I secretly hope that L feels thwarted and realizes that all the effort is for nothing, that no one is taking the notes seriously. It's just another flier, another notice, another thing for people to ignore. I do feel guilty for feeling this way and for admitting it. I'm in such an awful place right now and it's all because of L's notes, so if I feel awful I hope L feels the same way, if not worse. I know I'm being mean, but I don't care.

When I get home, I try to write in my journal to rid myself of the self depreciating mood I am in.

Thanks Will Lion!

Halfway through I stop and I realize that my writing is very reminiscent of L's voice, which is another reason why I need to purge myself of the stop and of L and of the notes. This is what I wrote:

"I'm afraid of being honest. I fear complete truth. My life is defined by the carefully constructed lies that come come from my lips. I'm the most fucked in the head person that walks among us; I fit in just enough, but in reality I'm teetering on the brink of normality.

I know too many truths about myself that it scares me. I believe that even the most knowledgeable person doesn't know as much as I know.

And this is what I know:

I know that I know nothing real and true about myself, yet I know just enough to know that this is who I am - a person so insecure and scared of being completely exposed that I will never truly be close to another human being. I am so far removed from myself that when I look at my face in the mirror, I don't see myself looking back at me, I see a created version of me reflecting a false image of someone I want to be but will never know; a distorted me is my reality. I know what I need to do in order to get by; in order to survive; in order to live. If my mind couldn't create a venue for escape into an alternate reality, into a world I disillusion myself to exist in, I could not exist. One truth I will admit is in this real life I am numb to everything I interact with, even to myself. And I move through my one and only life like a zombie. I know this. L knows this. And now you know this."

Friday, April 24, 2009

11. Depth Perception.

"I don't believe in God; not a Christian God anyway and I don't know enough about the other Gods to know if I believe in them or not. It's not that I don't believe in religion, I want to believe in religion; it's just that I have a hard time believing in abstract concepts. I wish I could have faith in something, I wish I had some guiding force to live my life by; but I ask too many questions instead of just believing. Sometimes I even have a hard time believing in science. I know it's based on real solid concepts, but sometimes I can't wrap my head around these facts, like I can't visual our galaxy because I don't have very good depth perception; I can't see things beyond a certain point. This has always been my problem: I can't believe and have faith in things that I can't see. But I'm trying to change that. I've gone my entire life not believing in anything and look where's it's gotten me. Nowhere. I'm lost and I'm broken and I can't see more than 10 feet in front of me but I live and dwell and stew in the past 10 years of my life like it was yesterday. Being that person has gotten me nowhere. So I'm trying something different. I'm going to try to find faith in something. I'm willing to blindly put my life in the hands of an abstract concept in the hopes that the tiredness and weakness, sorrow and misery, baggage and burden I've created and carry with me will be drowned out and soaked up by the good that is in this world because I believe that it's out there. I have faith that people are reading my notes. I have faith that they are giving me a shout out in their prayers. I have faith in myself that I will be able to change."


L's note makes me feel sick. No it's my own guilt and lack of will power to change myself that really makes me feel like throwing up. I need to find a different bus stop to take to go home. I know it's weakness and fear that make me incapable of facing the dark places in my life but I don't care. I stare at L's note until the bus comes. Right before I get on the bus I rip half of the note off the door. It's my fuck you to L, it's me fucking myself over again and running away.

I put my half of L's torn note in my pocket and I know that today is my last day at this stop.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

10. My Note.

At 5:08.

I'm at the stop.

I walk up to the notes and there is nothing new. I linger at the stop for awhile and fidget with the piece of paper in my hand. I look to see if anyone is watching me. No one is around. I look down at my note, then look up at L's notes, then back down at mine. I stare blankly at L's note for quite some time and when I snap back, I notice there are people at the bus stop. I don't even know how long I was staring. The note in my hand is crumbled, I smooth it out and put the note in my pocket. I look down the street and start walking; and then I keep walking and walking, away. I pass a green metal trash can that looks like a iron railing that was bent into a circular receptacle. I casually toss the note in with the rest of the garbage, the discarded, the forgotten, the ignored; the best place to get rid of something you don't want to face.

9. Killing Me.

I think I finally understand what Roberta Flack meant when she sang:

I felt he found my letters and read each one out loud,
I prayed that he would finish but he just kept right on...

Except, I'm the one that is strumming my pain because every day I go back for more, to sing my life with L's words; it is killing me. I am drawn to the stop and I wish I could change my route so I won't have to face L and all the memories that have surfaced because of L's notes: but I can't; I like torturing myself. L is telling my whole life; with words; killing me: slowly, softly, painfully and I like it. I'm a masochist. I deserve this punishment. I've done dreadful, horrible things and I've ran for too long and hid to well, but judgment day always catches up, and mine could be right around the corner.

I have a choice.

I can either forget that L exists, forget the notes, forget how close L came to revealing my dark truths. I can forget and continue my life and pray that I never encounter anyone or anything that can make me remember my demons.

Thanks LucaM Photography!

Or, I can face it. I can confront my demons and force myself to understand where all the pain and hate I harbor comes from and figure out how I can make peace with it. I can leave a note for L and come face to face with the person who isn't afraid to tell the truth; with the person who is articulating my truth better than I ever could.

I have to stop running.
I have to stop hiding.

Monday, April 20, 2009

8. Old Habits.

"One week ago I set my goal. My biggest fear was to fail; and I did. To me the failure was an inevitable but ever so small bump in my road to being a better person, barely perceptible except under the closest scrutiny. I went the entire week before I screwed up and I although I expected to falter once or twice on this journey, I didn't expect it to happen so soon. But I expected to have this minor lapse forgiven, because in the grand scheme of what I'm trying to accomplish, it was a small error, a temporary slip back into my old ways. But to the people in my life, this mistake was a clear reminder of how horrible I can be and completely overshadowed any of the good that I tried to accomplish this past week.

I feel defeated.

Since I started my goal of being a better, more positive person, I can think of nothing else; this goal consumes my thoughts, my actions, my reactions; I think about it constantly; I try constantly: I try not to constantly think about failing. I think if I can just get through one week, and then I can get through two weeks, and then three, and then the rest will just fall into place. But then the first week ended on a bad note and now I'm back to square one again. It's like the first week of of being the new me didn't happen, because to those who matter, it didn't, because they know one slip will lead to another and another and another until I fall back into my own habits.

I know it's hard for those closest to me to believe me when I say I will change because if I said it once, I've said it a thousand times and I've never changed. In attempting to be successful, I decided to reach out to you for support. I need to know that no matter what you will be there to support me. I can't do this alone. In order to change, in order to be a better person to the people in my life, I need to look beyond them for help because I'm beyond their reach, they can only do so much, before they give up, before they just assume that I'm a lost cause, before I begin to believe I am. "


Today I finally see a new note. I don't know if L put this note up today or if it was over the weekend or if it was last Friday. I avoided the stop after my nightmare. I needed to stop thinking about L for a couple of days because these note's touch me a little too much; a little too close. L's notes have made me address issues about myself that I thought I buried so deep that they would never resurface. I thought I would never go back to that dark, painful place, but with a few notes from a stranger, I'm beginning to relive a traumatic part of my past that will expose the secrets I have tried so hard to keep from everyone in my life.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

7. Drops of Blood.

My dream; no, my nightmare about L haunts me. I keep seeing drops of blood as I walk downtown and I blink my eyes and shake my head to get rid of the images, but no sooner than I can see straight, the blood shows up again. And sometimes if I close my eyes too long I see myself drowning in a sea of blood and it freaks me out.

Once I get to work the visions of blood are not as frequent and I spend my morning googling pictures of puppies and kittens, sunny beaches, serene mountains; anything to keep my mind in a positive place. It works and for the rest of the day I don't think about L or blood or drowning.

Thanks ayngelina!

In the afternoon, I make plans with a friend to go to happy hour after work. I leave work and don't go to the stop; I go to a bar instead: I need to forget the nightmare; I need to drink until the L situation stops plaguing me; stops being too real to me: stops being me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

6. Left.

It's 5PM and I rush to the bus stop to see if L left another note. I'm 30 feet away when I see the back of a hooded figure stapling a note to the door. It's L! I start running, and all of a sudden the space between L and I expands and the once deserted street is full of people. I'm pushing my way through the crowd yelling for L. I see L turn and I wonder if L heard me. I'm screaming at the top of my lungs and violently shoving people out of my way, I don't care who I hurt along the way, I need to see L.

I finally get to the abandoned door and the all the new notes says is Help Me. The note is stained with a burnt brownish color; it looks like dried up blood. I think L is hurt, but L is nowhere to be found. I look down and see blood, my stomach drops and I swallow hard. I'm afraid; L is bleeding, L is hurt. I follow the drops of blood, frantically pushing people around me. I'm in a panic now. L is loosing all this blood and is trying to find help; trying to find me.

I think I see a hood, but it's going the opposite direction of the blood. Shit. I stop and stand in the sea of moving people that suddenly parts showing me a fork in the road. Now in front of me I have two paths. To the left I see a stream of blood rising higher and higher and to the right, down a long, long path I think I see a hooded figure. I stand frozen staring at the blood splashing around and I fear if I go left I'll just find pieces of whatever is left of L. But to the right the hood is seeming faint and I start questioning if L was even wearing a hood in the first place. I stand at the fork for so long that the people on the left are all drenched in blood and all the people on the right are now wearing hoods. I don't know what to do, I drop my head in my hands and feel defeated. I can't move. I don't want to make the wrong choice. I look left, then right, then left again, then right, then left, then left, then left.


I start running through the thick blood that's almost up to my neck. I try to move my legs faster but the blood forms a tight hold around me and I feel stuck. I try to swim but when I look up it's nothing but a sea of blood, I try to tread to keep myself afloat as I look around. It's like I'm in the middle of the ocean, with nothing on the horizon. I'm drained and exhausted. I don't know where I am anymore, I don't know where L is anymore, but I think L is dead. I think I -

"And now my life has changed in oh so many ways, my independence seems to vanish in the haze. But every now and then I feel so insecure, I know that I just need you like I've never done before."

What's that song!

The Beatles?

I'm staring at the ceiling.
I'm awake.

I turn to look at my alarm, it's telling me it time to wake up. I feel around for the snooze button. If I go back to sleep now maybe I can still remember my dream. What was it about again?

"Help me if you can, I'm feeling down and I do appreciate you being round. Help me, get my feet back on the ground, won't you please, please help me."

Friday, April 17, 2009

5. Stealing Secrets.

I sat at the stop for almost two hours before I gave up and finally went home. More than once I thought about taking the notes and running down to Kinko's to copy them,


but I was afraid that as soon as I left L would show up and wonder where all the notes were and I would miss my chance to see L. I want a copy of these notes, but I feel like I shouldn't take them. It feels like stealing. I feel like I'm stealing more than just paper. I'm stealing a glimpse into someone elses life. I'm experiencing so much of who L is and I understand the horrors that L lives. I'm taking L's dark secrets and putting them in my pocket and keeping a part of L, a part that I become very protective over, I feel as if I need to keep this part and nurture it, care for it, feed it and love it. It is my part in helping L. But I shouldn't feel this close to L. I only discovered L 24 hours ago and now I'm completely obsessed. The more notes I read, the more I get a haunting feeling that L knows me inside and out.

I tried to take photos of L's notes with my phone but it doesn't work. So as I wait, I read the notes out loud and record my voice.

This is what I read.

"I tried to express how I felt today. It didn't go so well. I was trying to communicate that I feel like I'm being taken advantage of because I'm reliable; consistent; conscience. I was trying to have a conversation about values and maybe questioning if the values my parents instilled in me are the best values to continue my life with. I think what trips me up is I feel like I'm betraying my parents if I question how they raised me. It may be hard to believe that I'm a twenty something that strongly believes that I was brought up the best way possible. I don't know a lot of people who feel the way that I do; then again maybe I just know the wrong people; people who have different values; people that I value, but are these the values I want?

"I don't know what it is, but I feel very negative, very worn out. I've become the person everyone depends on and I can't say no. So maybe that's my problem. But at this point, it feels easier to just give up instead of learning how to say no; and learning how to not let people walk all over me. The ironic thing is I try so hard to not let people walk all over me when I'm with people who are my friends, my family, my loved ones, the very people who would never walk over me. I try so hard that I become an ugly person making demands and threats just so I know I won't get taken advantage of; and I never do when I'm with them. But when I'm among people who aren't close to me I'm afraid to speak up for myself and get taken advantage of in the process. So maybe I'm displacing my emotion on the people close to me who don't deserve my wrath because I can't take a stand for myself when it counts.

"I'm trying to articulate these thoughts, but I can't and something goes terribly wrong; I lose it. I go into a self deprecating rage that consumes me and my relationships. I'm breaking down everything I've built and I'm so angry that I don't care. I wonder what I was so angry about? Was it how I felt or that I couldn't communicate it another person? Whatever the reason I ruin; I destroy; I lose."


ThanksThe Littlejohn Collection!

The note continues, but I stop recording and read the rest in silence. I can't vocalize this note any longer. My voice starts cracking and I choke back emotions that I'm not ready to feel. L's notes are becoming too raw, too accurate, too familiar. I'm scared to read more.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

4. Waited.

I sat at the stop and waited until 7 o'clock.

L never showed up.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

3. Waiting.

I keep looking at the clock. Time is moving so slowly. I started counting down the minutes and seconds since 4PM. It is now 4:17 and it feels like an eternity has passed. I'm dying to get off of work; I need to see if L left another note.

Thanks lille abe!

The next 43 minutes will feel like torture. I can't wait any longer, I have to go; my need to see the next note is all I can think about. I won't get anything done in the next 41 minutes, so I decide to leave. The boss is gone, my other "boss" left, there are only two people here, it won't matter if I leave. I make up something, I don't even remember, something like I have an appointment-to-pick-up-my-friend-to-visit-in-the-hospital-at-the-police-station. Whatever, it gets me out the door. I race down to the bus stop. I pass the art gallery, the brick, the antique store, the brick, I'm getting so excited. I get to the abandoned shop and hold my breath with anticipation, I turn to look at the door....and?


I release the breath I was holding and feel disappointed. I feel let down. How could L do this to me? I'm rooting for L, I'm helping L, I'm supporting L and for L to just leave me hanging. I feel betrayed and wonder if L even deserves me as a supporter. I turn on my heels and cross my arms in a defiant stance. Then I realize that it was only yesterday that I noticed the note and I've already formed an attachment to L, it's a pseudo relationship because I have expectations of L.

What I don't realize at the time is L has been leaving notes for at least 2 inches now, were those inches achieved in months? years? And how long have I been at this stop? months; at least a year. Maybe I let L down. I've stood inches from these notes and never once have I seen them. I suddenly feel ashamed; ashamed for my noticing earlier, ashamed for being upset there's no new note.

Then I wonder how long the last note was up. Was it days? Weeks even? I think back and decide that it was fairly recent. It was raining for two days prior so the note would have gotten wet and then dried so the paper would look wrinkled. So maybe yesterday was a new note, or maybe I'm too early. 4:40. I was here at least forty minutes later yesterday. Then I get really excited because maybe I'll see L. Maybe L puts up the note at 5PM when the work day ends and people are out of the office, walking to the bus stop, waiting at the bus stop, getting on the bus at the bus stop and never noticing L's note.

Thanks amyliagrace!

I decide to wait.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

2. Two Notes Ago.

I left for work early today. I wanted to swing by the bus stop I take to go home to see if L left another note. Last night I toyed with the idea of communicating with L, I thought maybe I should leave a note on the door and say something like:

"Hi L! I am supporting you. Good Luck with your journey!"

Or something like that.

I also thought about why L was doing this; then, I decide that it may be therapeutic for L to write thoughts down. Then I realized L's notes are like people's blogs, except L writes it on paper and staples it to a door for all to see, but I wonder if people read it or if they don't even notice. I didn't notice for so months, it just blended in like part of the background. There is nothing that calls attention to it, it's just another flier, another notice, another thing to ignore. Then I think that it's odd how L left the notes at a bus stop that also blends in and I wonder why L doesn't leave the notes at a busy stop right in the middle of downtown, where more people would pass it, where more people could read it, where more people could ignore it; so maybe L picked this spot for a reason.

8:40. Perfect. I get to the stop and the note is still the same from yesterday. I decide to read more since I have time. There are no dates on these notes, so I have to assume that it's in chronological order. This one is two notes since the last one.

"It happened again. I became a monster last night. I let a small insignificant tiff turn into a full blown rage. It's as if I snapped and was no longer a normal human being. I became a sick animal burning with fury, a destructive force that leaves me on the verge of madness. Nothing can stop me. You can't try to reason with me. You can't try to leave me alone. You can't tell me what to do. Once I become this beast, I unleash my venom violently. I experience a rage-blackout. As soon as my ire becomes so strong that I cannot see straight, I know that I've lost control completely and I cannot be talked down. Somewhere in my mind I hear a tiny voice saying stop. stop. But I'm yelling so loud that I can't hear it. If I just listened to myself, I would have stopped something that went too far, because then the violence got physical. I push and pull and push and pull so hard I'm thrown back and I slip and fall and crash into the floor. I scream, a deep and desperate scream that makes it's point. I'm bruised and angry and embarrassed for falling and showing my weakness. Now I've lost the upper hand. That made me angrier. It goes on and on and on. And it leaves everyone in my path hurt so badly, so badly hurt, I hurt them so badly they become nothing but a shriveled up ball of nerves shaking in a corner, sobbing, begging, pleading for me to stop. The pain I hear in their voices vindicate me. I feel powerful. I feel in charge. I feel validated. No one will ever take advantage of me, but no one was taking advantage of me, I lost control.

I wake up the next morning and try to pick up the pieces.
I can see clearly now that the rage is gone."


WOW. Shit. 9:05. I was supposed to be at work 5 minutes ago and I'm 15 minutes away. As I race to work, I think about L. I wonder if L is a man or a woman. L is violent like an abusive wife beater, but thinks like a sensitive woman. I'm suddenly afraid. I'm afraid that L is a woman because I am a woman. I'm afraid because I am a woman who finds what happened two notes ago, not very unique. Two notes ago, two days ago, two months ago, two years ago, it could be today.

Monday, April 13, 2009

1. Positive Help.

I catch the bus to and from work everyday. On the way home, my bus stop is along the side of a building, there is no shelter, no time schedule, nothing that indicates it's a stop. You could walk right past it; but there is a sign. It blends in and looks more like a temporary no parking sign and is often mistaken as such. Only a limited number of buses stop there and only in the latter part of the day too; even the people who ride these particular buses don't know about this stop, they think the first stop is two blocks ahead, around the corner. It's like this stop doesn't even exist except for the select few who know about it.

Everyday I come to the stop, casually lean against the brick wall and prop a foot up for added support. Everyday I come to the stop and I know exactly what I'm going to see: the corner business is an art gallery with big picture windows, but the glare makes it hard to see inside so I stopped trying, then it's a couple of feet of brick wall, then an antique store, then more brick, then a boarded up shop, then more brick, then a tailor, then more brick, then I don't know. My stop is somewhere around the antique store, the brick and the boarded up shop next to the tailor.

I know this block like the back of my hand.

Thanks bondidwhat!

I know that everyday of the week the antique store has their sandwich board advertising new finds in the middle of the side walk so I have to maneuver around it except on Wednesday, because on Wednesdays, they are closed. I also know that the tailor leaves his door open and gets upset if someone at the stop is smoking, then he give the smoker a death stare and slams his door. I also know that the boarded up shop has signs haphazardly stapled to the door and I also notice that the sign always looks brand new.

I notice the sign; but today I actually see the sign. I've always assumed the sign was a notice from the city or from the shop owner advising it's customers of the store's new location, so I never bother looking; today, something caught my eye. This is what the sign said:

"Please help. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. (I rolled my eyes, how cliched, but I kept reading) Please help support me as I take steps to become a better person. I know things will not happen overnight and I know the journey will be arduous, but I also know that I can do it. I can do it if I know there are people out there who support me. I may not know you personally, and maybe I never will, but knowing that people are cheering me on, giving me well wishes, and have me in their thoughts and prayers will help.

If you read my previous messages, you know that I am in a very bad place in my life. I may have serious mental problems that may need professional help,
(so this IS a crazy!) but I think I can change on my own because this time it's absolutely necessary. I've realized what is important in my life and I am wiling to take the necessary steps to keep these things. I have spent too much of my life hurting the people that I love. I have spent too much time testing the people I love. I haven't spent enough time loving the people I love. (actually, this person is staring to sound sane, honest...) This is a big task. I have decided to start small, with two simple things that I can do that will improve my overall well being.

a) I will be positive. I will turn any negative thought I have into a positive. I will try to see the positive in every situation. I will be positive

b) I will succeed at being positive.

I thank everyone for reading this and supporting me.


I reread the note three times before I notice that there were more notes stapled haphazardly to the door. There was combined about two inches worth of notes. How long has L been reaching out for help? I stood there and read a couple more notes before my bus came and I had to go. I felt an uneasy chill as

Thanks xplan303ex!

I climbed onto the bus and caught a glimpse of L's note fluttering in the passing breeze. I didn't know what bothered me more, was it the fact that someone was leaving notes that were obviously a cry for help? Was it that I was oblivious of it for so long? How did I miss something that I saw everyday? Or was it the fact that L's cry for help and plead for support and desperate need to be better, to be positive, echoed my own cry, my own plead, my own: help me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Part Two.

Five years ago, their younger sister Penny moved back to their home town with her husband and daughter and ever since then their father Albert was in a lighter, happier mood.

Thanks boydjones!

He started gardening and cooking, two hobbies that he always enjoyed. Albert even started taking his wife out on the town, something he never did before. It made Deborah so happy to see her mother all dressed up with a smile on her face. Recently, he invited all his children over for Sunday dinner and said he wanted to make a habit out of it now that his Penny was home and all his kids were together again. Although Deborah wasn't keen on seeing her father or Penny every week, she obliged and brought her family to the house because it made her mother so happy to see the her grandchildren and the whole family together.

Deborah resented the fact that Penny was back in town, but she did have to admit that Penny made her father happy and when her father was happy, there were more chances for her mother to be happy. What Deborah didn't know was all the gardening and cooking that her father was doing went to feed Penny and her family. Every day her father would go out to the garden to pick the freshest herbs and vegetables to create a feast just for his Penny. He spent his entire day picking out the spices and pairing the flavors that went into each dish. When he finished, he would carefully pack up the food and drive over to Penny's house.

Thanks cleverswine!

He would let himself in with his spare key and set the table and heat up the food, so when Penny walked into the house at exactly 7PM every evening, she would have a nice, hot home cooked meal.

Penny sat at the head of the table with her husband and daughter flanked to her sides and watch lovingly as her father served their meals and asked if everything was okay and if he could get them anything else.

Thanks jim crotty!

Half way through the meal, he would tell them to save room for dessert and start decorating dessert plates with strawberry syrup and then he would place a decadent piece of chocolate cake on each plate and finish it off with homemade whip cream and freshly picked strawberries. It was a five star home cooked meal and he made a different entree every night just for his Penny.

Had Deborah known this, she might have also known that while her father slaved over the stove preparing the fabulous dinner for Penny, her mother sat alone in her room, twiddling her thumbs, and rocking herself gently while she inhaled rich flavors of food she would never eat. Then when he left for Penny's house, she would be left alone in a kitchen that lingered with savory aromas that teased her nose and betrayed her stomach because instead of a feast, she would eat a simple, plain meal while sitting at a dimly lit table. While she sat she pined for the love and attention that her husband saved only for Penny.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Part One.

"You said no?! How could you say no? Peter's perfect!" Deborah exclaimed as she tossed herself onto the bed and playfully hit Kate with a pillow.

"I know, I know. I just don't feel like I can marry a widow. This may sound juvenile, but it kind of creeps me out, I mean I would sleep in her bed and have her half of the closet, ugh, it just freaks me out."

"Oh my gosh, Kate. You are acting like a child. Peter doesn't even live in the same house first of all, and second of all haven't you already slept on her side of the bed, if you know what I mean," Deborah kidded as she winked at Kate and turned onto her side and propped her head up with her arm.

"Deborah!" Kate shrieked and grabbed the pillow and threw it back at her sister laughing.

"And besides, don't you want to get out of this place? This room getting way too cramped," Deborah said surveying the room. In one corner was an easel with a watercolor painting Kate just completed. It was a serene pond filled with water lilies.

Thanks dotpolka!

Deborah smiled as she studied the detail of each petal and noticed how the colors played on one another to highlight different shades of lavender. Behind the easel was a bookcase packed with art supplies and magazines and shoe boxes. Above the book case was a shelf that sagged beneath the weight of hardcover books and picture frames. Across the room was a tall glass cabinet filled with the remaining clowns in Kate's collection. Next to that was a massive dresser with an over sized mirror above it. The dresser was littered with make up and colored pencils, an ashtray and a carton of cigarettes, empty wine bottles and crumpled receipts. Deborah looked towards the door that was slightly ajar and spied hooks with layers of clothing threatening to fall.

"I know. I've been here for almost four years now, can you believe that? I swore to myself that it would be six months tops and look what happened," Kate said between drags of her cigarette, the she lowered her voice. "He's been surprisingly decent to me since I moved back." Kate glanced nervously towards the door.

"That's good. I've noticed a significant change in him," Deborah whispered, then she leaned in towards Kate and motioned her to come closer. "Do you think it's because of her?" She exchanged a knowing look with Kate. The her she was referring to was Penny.

Monday, April 6, 2009


"Kate, I know you've been hurt in the past and if I haven't already proven to you that I'm not like your father or your ex-husband, then I'll do more. I'll do whatever it take for you to trust again, for you to believe in love again. I don't want to rush you, but I want you to know that I love you and I'm willing to wait until you're ready. But I would like to wait as your fiance," Peter graciously spoke as he got down on one knee.


"Kate Thomas, will you marry me?'

Kate was at a loss for words. Peter had surprised her with two plane tickets to San Francisco, to celebrate their one year anniversary they would take a long weekend and enjoy one of Kate's favorite cities. Kate's relationship with Peter was unlike anything she was used to, the main thing was he respected her and that made all the difference. He never put her down and he never used her to get something for himself, he adored her and never missed an opportunity to show her how he felt. With Peter's support, Kate started painting again and was doing amazing work, she showcased her art in local coffee shops and consistently had buyers.

Thanks pbrewer 1965!

Kate's ability to express herself was doing wonders for her self esteem and she felt like she was gaining some of the confidence and self respect that she never quite established for herself while she was growing up. She was on top of the world and this proposal was the cherry that made her life that much more sweet.

Tears were streaming down Kate's face as she looked into Peter's eyes.

"Oh my gosh," Kate gushed, covering her mouth with her hands. "Peter, it's beautiful. You're a wonderful man and I love you so very much. I don't know what to say."

"Yes. Say yes."

"Peter. No I can't marry you," Kate soberly said.

"What? No?" Peter was genuinely shocked. "Kate. If this is moving too fast then let me know, I mean, I thought that's where this was heading. I'm not saying that we should get marry this month or this year for that matter. I just want to know that you want to be with me for the rest of your life, the wedding, that can wait until you're ready."

"Peter. That's not it. You have changed my life in so many ways. I mean I thought my life was hopeless, worthless, until you came and showed me how much I have to live for and how special I really am. I've never had someone in my life who supported me and loved me unconditionally like you do. I want nothing more than to be your wife, but I-, I actually should have told you this a long time ago. And maybe it was selfish of me because I loved how alive you made me feel," Kate paused and struggled with what came next.

"Peter when you told me that you were married before, and you're wife passed away, I, I knew that I could never marry you. You didn't have a horrible marriage that you needed to get out of like me; you didn't get a divorce. From the sound of it, you and your wife had a great marriage, you would still be with her today, if...." Kate trailed off.

"Do you see where I'm going with this Peter? I feel as if I'm a replacement for your wife. I know you love me and have true feelings for me and I know that what I'm saying is cruel, but it's a deal breaker for me. I'm sorry. It just doesn't feel right to me. I can't marry you."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Part Two.

Deborah stood on the balcony hugging her arms around herself. She just put Kate to bed and promised to stay the night and help her get packed up in the morning. It scared Deborah to see Kate so out of control that she seemed on the verge of insanity. It took Deborah two hours to finally calm Kate down. Once Kate was sedated, she told Deborah about Hank's gambling problem and how for almost two year, she tried to cover it up, but she couldn't do it anymore. When Kate tried to talk to Hank about it, he dismissed it and accused her of always finding fault with him when all he was trying to do was give her nice things. He even had the audacity to turned the tables on her and ask what she was doing all those nights when she had to 'work late'. Kate exploded at his accusation, everything she had done was to help him and he refused to see.

Thanks brianwestscott!

Kate was mentally and physically burnt out and two days ago, she finally told Hank she was leaving him. Hank got violent and screamed at Kate for not supporting him and his addiction, he tore up their apartment with his anger, and although he never laid a finger on her, his rage was enough confirmation for Kate that her decision to leave was right.

Deborah sat down and stretched her legs out resting them on the railing. She noticed Kate's pack of cigarettes sitting on the table and was tempted to smoke one. She opened the pack and put her nose to the cigarettes and took in a deep breath, the smell on tobacco was intoxicating. Deborah reached for the lighter, took out a cigarette, and put it to her lips. She hesitated just a second before lighting it, and in the moment, she decided against it and tossed the cigarette back on the table.

Thanks wakimita!

Deborah didn't know what she was doing. Kate's situation made her so upset. But in a way, she felt proud of her sister. She knew it wasn't easy to take such decisive action and leave, but it was the best thing for Kate. And so what if Kate was moving back in with their parents, it would only be temporary until she got back on her feet. Kate was right. It did look bad, but the way Deborah saw it, things could only get better from here.

* * * * * *

Little did Deborah know, Kate's situation didn't just look bad, it was bad. The first man in her life, her father, made sure that she knew she was worthless. It was no secret that Kate had complications when she was born and every year on her birthday her father would say that he wished they were celebrating her death instead of another year of an ungrateful mouth to feed.

Thanks aphrodite!

Then he would get drunk and beat her until she too wished she was dead. Kate never knew why her father took a particular interest in making her life miserable. Everyone got it, but she got it the worst. Getting married to Hank was her way out. But nine months into their marriage, Hank started drinking and gambling and using her to pay his debts. Hank thought that he rescued her and assumed she would take anything he dished out. Somewhere in the two years that Kate started working three jobs, she started relieving some of her pain and exhaustion with pills. It started innocently enough, her back was aching from being on her feet all night, so her doctor prescribed her with vicodin.

Thanks ashley rose!

When that prescription ran out she used the three extra refills and by the time that was gone, Kate needed it every day. She went back to her doctor two more times before he got suspicious. Now, she was like a junky and found different avenues to get her pills. Two with breakfast, two with lunch, and three with dinner because it was a very hard day.

Kate heard Deborah come in from the balcony. Kate sat in the dark on her bed and reached for her bottle of pills; one, two, three, four, and five because it was an extremely hard day.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Part One.

"I'm on my way. Don't do anything til I get there, yes, I'll be there in 5."

Deborah toss her cell phone into the passenger seat and accelerated with just enough speed to make the light before it turned red. Kate needed her. She sounded absolutely desperate on the phone. Deborah's mind raced with reasons why Kate might be in trouble, but no matter what the scenario, it always came back to Hank. Deborah knew that Kate and Hank were having problems; from the outside it always seemed like Kate had things under control, but what Deborah heard in Kate's voice was a woman on the verge of collapse; a woman, her sister crying out for help. Deborah could not help but picture the worst case scenario, Kate bruised and beaten to a pulp; if Hank lay a finger on her sister, Deborah wasn't sure what she would do. Could she kill him? No, that was crazy.

Thanks toastforbrekkie!

As Deborah's thoughts got more erratic, she didn't notice that her speedometer was racing closer and closer to the end line. Finally, after what seemed like hours, Deborah pulled in front of Kate's building and maneuvered into a guest parking space.

"30th floor, penthouse," the mechanical voice said as Deborah stepped off the elevator. The talking elevator always gave Deborah the creeps. One minute the elevator was saying, 'going up' and without any indication that the elevator actually went up, the voice was announcing that they arrived. She shuttered as she walked up to Kate's door and knocked.

"Deb!" Kate threw her arms around Deborah's neck and pulled her inside. Deborah looked around Kate's home and her heart sank. The once lavish home now felt like a dirty dive bar. There was a stale smell of alcohol in the air and a layer of thick smoke clung to the ceiling. As she set her bag down next to half empty packing boxes, Deborah saw dozens of empty wine bottles scattered throughout the room. Then, Deborah noticed that some of Kate's most cherished clowns were broken to pieces in a corner.

"Sorry about the mess, Deb," Kate said as she leaped over a pile of clothes and grabbed her wine glass.

Thanks beautiflaw!

She lit a cigarette and manically continued between puffs,

"I know it looks bad, Deb, but you caught me right in the middle of the big stuff. See since I'm moving back in with the parents, I'll only have one room, so I thought what better way to get rid of all this useless shit, then to give it to charity. See here," Kate motioned as she walked to one corner of the room.

"This stuff is all going to the American Lung Association, I mean I figure, if I'm going to keep smoking like a chimney, I'm going to need them to find a cure for lung cancer right?? Or at least I'll get some good karma and never get cancer so I can keep smoking til I'm 102! Oh my gosh, and Deb look at this, it's sad right, I mean, what's more sad than broken clowns, but see look, look what happens when I smash them, see, it makes me happy, these broken clowns make me smile."

Kate finally stopped talking a mile a minute and began frantically throwing her clowns against the floor. Deborah shrieked and ran to Kate's side.

"Kate stop. Please stop,"

Thanks vern!

Deborah pleading as tears streamed down her face. She wrapped her arms tightly around Kate until Kate broke down and froze, clutching the clown she was about to smash against the wall. Kate collapsed, sobbing as Deborah cried and rocked Kate in her arms.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Part One.

For those of you following my blog, this is another installment of the fictional story. Enjoy.

Kate sat at her kitchen table with her head in her hands . She ran her hand through her hair, then began clutching fistfuls of hair and pulling hard until tears started forming in the corner of her eyes and even then, she kept pulling; she pulled and pulled until she felt a clump of hair separate from her head. She dropped her fists to the table and threw the strands

Thanks movimente!

across the piles of papers and receipts. "Arghhhhh!" Kate screamed at the top of her lungs and slammed her fist on the table and kept pounding and pounding, scattering the paper to the floor.

Kate stood up suddenly and knocked her chair back. She grabbed her glass of red wine from the counter and went out to the balcony. She took a long sip of her drink and went to the railing and leaned over. From the 30th floor, the people down on the street looked like tiny speaks, like little porcelain dolls that Kate could pick up and throw against the wall. Kate closed her eyes and thought of the comforting sound the the shards of porcelain would make as it hit the wall and the

Thanks susurrus sparks!

kaleidoscope design the pieces would make as it shattered to the floor.

A displaced smile crept across Kate's face as she set her wine glass on the table and climbed up on the adjoining chair. She reached down for her cigarettes on the table and lit one. Standing on top of the chair, Kate closed her eyes and sucked hard on the end of her cigarette , then deeply exhaled the smoke. She swayed back and forth and wondered what it would be like to fall; just free fall from the 30th floor.

Thanks sleepflower18!

She wondered if she would be faced down as she fell and if she would she keep her eyes open until the very end. Kate thought that if her face was towards the sky she would have one last chance to see shapes and patterns in the clouds before she hit the ground. She thought that would be a nice last image to have. Kate wondered if there would be enough time to do a flip in the air, or if she would fall too fast.

Kate leaned forward with her arms outstretched, imagining the fall, but then she lost her balance and felt herself being hurled towards the railing.

Part Two.

The sensation jolted Kate's senses and she jerked herself back right away and fell into the chair. Kate's heart was racing and her palms were sweaty. Her knees felt weak and she was breathing heavily. Kate reached for her wine glass and finished the rest quickly. In that moment, as Kate felt herself falling, she got really scared and decided that it wasn't the way to go. She lit another cigarette and curled up in the chair, hugging her knees close towards her chest and rocking herself gently.

Kate didn't know how any of this happened. Three years ago, she got married to the man of her dreams. She did everything the right way and it was perfect. The wedding was lavish and beautiful.

Thanks nicholaus haskins'!

The honeymoon was magical and exotic. The condo was penthouse level and the car was sleek and sporty. So what went wrong? Kate's prince charming turned out to be a gambler and a thief, promising these thugs that he could double their money in a week if they just fronted him the cash, while begging the other thugs for just two more weeks, you know I'm good for it. Kate's fairy tale ending didn't turn out happily ever after after all. But instead of playing the damsel in distress, Kate took up freelance work and also got a night job waiting tables, in addition to her 9-5 job. All the money that came in went right back out to to pay the loan sharks and the mounting debt that never seemed to go down. She was stretched as thin as it was and felt like she couldn't handle much more. The way Kate saw it she had two options, she could jump or she could declare bankruptcy. The former sounded simple and easy, and would solve so much more than just the money problems, but she still felt uneasy at the way her stomach dropped when she lost her footing on the chair, and Kate knew she didn't have the guts to do it.

Kate lit another cigarette and smoked it quickly, then went back inside to face her reality. As she walked into her apartment, the sliding door slammed and shut out the murmur of cars and engulfed herself in silence. She got another glass of wine and began pacing around the living room, thinking about what to do; just one step at a time, one step at a time she kept repeating to herself. The more she paced, the more she drank; the more she drank, the more clearly Kate began to see things. During one of the laps around the room, she paused to admire the massive display case that tactfully decorated the sitting area with her clown collection. She eyed each and every one, noting the details on the painted faces and thought how she too painted a smile on her face everyday just to come across as normal; as happy. Kate lost the ability to smile freely a long time ago, but she didn't forget how to fake it and her clowns reminded her everyday that you're only as happy as you look, so she look the liberty of painting big red lips with a bright happy smile

Thanks marcelock!

and no one knew that deep down she was ripped and torn to shreds by a disappointing and worthless existence. As Kate studied each clown, her face softened and her eyes brightened and a big happy smile spread across her face. She just needed to take things one step at a time, one thing at a time and she could dig herself out of this mess.

When the wind blows.
Part four.

A blank screen.
A blank screen that reflects.
A blank boxed screen that sees all,

And I have seen; I've seen them laughing, sharing and revealing. But have they seen? Have they ever stopped to look; to really look at their reflection in a blank screen? What do you suppose they'll see? Would they see that this tension is eating them both up? Would they see that they both want to remedy this malady?

But even if they did look, they would see a reflection of lies. I lie to them. I show them things; idealistic and fake things. I show them stories of other people's lives; carefully constructed stories that always seem to work out in the end. They think I have it all together, but I don't. I form something that looks cohesive, but my picture comes from separate parts; pixels that come together to form a whole. Why can't they come together?

They watch me. But do they know that I watch them too? Do they know that I'm watching them now? In my corner of the living room, my blank screen comes to life with their stories. And I realize that these two people are just like me. They are just like the pixels that come together when I'm turned on. These two people are separate, disconnected but when they're on they come together perfectly to form one friendship; one whole. Why are they turned off now?

Out of the left corner of my blank screen, I see Amy emerge from her room in her blue t-shirt and yellow and pink poke-a-dot shorts. She seems bothered and exhausted; and she should be. I understand. I've seen her come home and just sit. She just sits and stares out the window. She sits and stares at my blank screen. What is she looking at? She needs to see herself in my blank screen. I desperately want her to see what I see. I want her to see that just like my pixels, she and her roommate need to be cohesive then she can be happy; then they both can be happy. Maybe it will happen today; hopefully it will happen today. I haven't' seen them both together for so long. But I've seen them both. Alone. Sitting and staring. LOOK AT ME! Look at me; look at your reflection and see, see yourselves and see each other. Turn your friendship back on.

Amy goes to the opposite corner to use the phone. Just then the right corner of my blank screen spies Mercedes coming out of her room. Freeze Frame. What we have here is a reflection: two different people expressing the same kind of frustration. Amy tenses at the sound of the door opening; she angles her back to Mercedes. Mercedes is surprised at seeing Amy, she glares at her back, then looks hopeful. Action. Amy rushes to dial someone's number while Mercedes goes to the kitchen. And in separate instances I see the reflection of both Amy and Mercedes getting their hopes up at reconnecting their friendship. But instead of someone making the first move, they both slam their stubbornness trump card on the table. WHAM!

The TV stand that props me up shakes as a gust of wind blows through the house. I silently pray that it blows me over and shatters the blank screen - then maybe they'll both come out and put the pixels back together.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

When the wind blows.
Part Three.

Amy lay in bed staring at the ceiling. Through her closed bedroom door, past the bathroom, across the living room, and behind another closed door, she could hear the faint sounds of her roommate''s alarm. It was going off for almost two hours now. She rolled over and stared through the blinds, out the window. Amy tried to focus on the cars on the streets below. She tried to drown out the constant wailing of her roommate's alarm. But every nine minutes without fail, she was made aware of the person on the other side of the closed door. Every nine minutes rang in the reminder that something had changed.

She sat up in bed and looked at the clock. 12:30. Church in half an hour. While tugging on her yellow and pink poke-a-dot shorts, Amy looked into her closet. Nothing. Her eyes wandered. There in the corner was the laundry basket over flowing with not so clean clothes. She rummaged around and without much effort picked out an outfit that combined comfort with style. Admiring the creation laid out on her bed, she patted herself on the back for making something out of nothing. Now if only she could make something out of the mess that exploded between her and her roommate.

Amy could always do things effortlessly, but her roommate presented a problem. Mercedes was hard. Amy began to pace. Back and forth, back and forth. She walked out onto her balcony. Finally; she escaped her ringing conscious. While smoking her morning cigarette, Amy remembered: she remembered that she was different from Mercedes. Amy always knew this, but now that she was living Mercedes, she was constantly reminded of the one thing that set them apart from each other. Mercedes was comfortable being alone, in face she relished in the time that she spent by herself, while Amy liked to surround herself with other people, being alone meant dealing with things that she wasn't ready to face. Amy's thoughts drifted in and out of the previous night. In: inhaling, Out: rows and rows, In: glasses and glasses, Out: more wine please, In: people, Out: friends, In: Mercedes? Amy thought that one of their friends called Mercedes to came and hang out. Maybe she should have called Mercedes? Or maybe Mercedes should drop the guard she's holding up so high.

1:00. Where's my sister? Amy went to the living room to call her sister to see if she was giving her a ride to church; she hoped Mercedes was there. If they were both in the same room they would be forced to talk to each other, right? She extended her had to the door knob, preparing herself for a confrontation. Nothing. Amy went to the corner and picked up the phone. Then she heard a sound. Mercedes was opening her door. This is it.

"Ugh." That was it? That's all she could do? That's all I could do? My sister's not coming. No church. Amy heard a door slam; then felt the chill of the wind shaking the house.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

When the wind blows.
Part Two.

Mercedes' body twitched like an addict craving its next fix. She tossed and turned as if the Captain of a ship battling a storm. She was having a nightmare. It was as if with each furrow of her brow, she revealed that this was more than just a bad dream. The worry and conflict that her face expressed in her unconscious sleep gave way to her inner turmoil. As the blaring alarm slowly made its way into the background noise of her dream, Captain Mercedes realized that the rescue siren was actually her alarm clock begging her to relieve it from its duty that had gone on for over two hours.

The effects of the previous night's self-pity pride parade were beginning to tune in as Mercedes sat up in bed and looked around. Two jugs of cheap Carlo Rossi Chablis wine. One empty jug of cheap wine; one half empty jug of wine; one wine glass. It disgusted her that she had consumed so much wine in one night and by herself too. What had brought her to such a low point? She reached for her big mug and cherished the few drops of water that were left. As she mad her way to the door, mug in hand, she saw a little plastic baggie,reaching for it she cringed at seeing just a tiny nug of weed. She just bought this sack and in one night she had smoked so much and by herself too. Why did she feel the need to do this? Her had finally reached the door knob, but she stopped. Lying on her desk was a rolled up dollar bill; residue of white powder stained her desk top, a razor blade peeped out from under her mouse pad. This made her feel guilty. She abused these pain killers that abused her nose. With every line she hoped to relieve some of her pain. She had snorted so much and by herself too. Why?

Mercedes opened her bedroom door to confront the reason for all this self destructing behavior. Standing hunched in the living room corner was her roommate. Mercedes stood in her doorway perturbed at the sight of Amy with her back towards her. In the dim light, Amy just out bed with her blue t-shirt and yellow and pink poke-a-dot shorts seemed incapable of causing the torment and grief Mercedes had experienced the night before. Looking at Amy on the phone made Mercedes heart sink; but everything changed once Amy turned around and they stood standing face to face.

"Ugh.' And with that they both turned and went in opposite directions. In the kitchen, Mercedes turned the faucet and watched her pain and frustration pour into her over sized mug. It bothered her that within two weeks the relationship she had with her roommate did a complete 180. Mercedes lingered in her doorway pining after a friend that lay behind closed doors. She tried to remember how this all started; she couldn't quite pinpoint what it was but ever since school started, something was different about Amy. Amy was never home and didn't have a cell phone, so she couldn't be reached. It almost seemed like Amy was purposely avoiding her, but why? Mercedes considered knocking; making amends.

She heard the wind rumble, shaking the whole house. Then she went into her room and closed the door.