Baby it’s Cold Outside

My friend always says, “can’t go backwards, only forward.” It’s super annoying. Duh, I know that. I don’t want to go back, but sure as hell would like to head south. Too busy for a staycation, I’d settle for a long week-end. Six, seven days for optimum unwind and relax. Meet me in Miami debauchery, cafe con leche, black beans and rice, hit the old haunts, sea salt brittle in your hair. Not a care in the world, the sun sets the mood. A free wheeling, bicycle peddling, meandering, waste the day with zero guilt. A young guy I know packed his bags, sold his belongings and headed to Hawaii. I asked, “what are you going to do?” “Live off the land, yoga, not sure,” he replied. “I’ll figure it out when I get there.” Ouch. I felt a pang of jealousy and hint of regret in the pit of my stomach. Ah, to be young and wise again. With nothing to do, nowhere to be. Meet me in Miami? Not so I might relive the past, but so I can be reminded. How good it felt. No obligations, no worries, no lists, no regret. Baggage left behind a closed door. Image

Hey Red.

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Yesterday was not a good day. No, in fact It was a very, very bad one. Crap, we all have them. Not exactly like mine. My bad day started out fine, until out of nowhere, it wasn’t. Frenzied, panicked, the emotional turmoil requires a great deal of work. They tell me ride it out, it will be fine. It won’t. My mother sits across watching, as my eye droops, I sob hysterically, my face contorts, reason jets out the window. Her face frozen with patience, sorrow and exhaustion shows me the way back. After an hour, the very bad subsides. I am wrecked. I tell her I am fine, which I am not but what the hell. It’s a small lie, a white one. Her heart has been broken too many times. She leaves, drives around the block, only to return. She has not done that before, I wonder did she see something menacing as I went missing? Clawing my way back to the here and now. A task, a physical task helps. I rake, working the body to exhaustion quelling the incessant noise. I work until numb. That helps. I spend too much time trying to be the person I was. Wasted energy. I must let her die. She was beautiful, loud, said all the inappropriate things, flawed and messy. She was free. She was me. I loved her, anyway. She is gone, but I celebrate the best parts of her. Even the experts aren’t experts on the bad days. They have no finite conclusion, no magic pill, tangible task to offer. Baffled by the mysterious workings of the mind. I’m leaving this muddled brain to science. That is my contribution to her and me. And all those that came before, and come after.

Today is better. I get out, and walk. Nature’s changing scenery reminds me, all is temporary. Billy Joel’s, “you catholic girls start much too late. Sooner or later it comes down to fate,” takes me to a happy place. Childhood memories, skipping, twirling and tacky plaid uniforms. The crisp air, biting wind off the angry water is good for the soul. Watching my pooch run leaps and bounds, ears at attention, I lose myself in her joy. I feel a smile coming on, in spite of it all. I’d dance in the oddly vacant parking lot, no one’s around. I better not. I must behave. Oh fuk it, I shake my booty just a little, shimmy my shoulders, press unlock and hop in the car. I hit repeat, singing loud and off-key, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun.” Only the Good Die Young. I’m lucky. How many of us die and live to talk about it.

The Vast Landscape, debut fiction

A year in the making, decades of prose, essays, blogging, writing, re-writing and working the craft. My debut fiction novel (a love story, go figure) is almost here. This close. I can’t wait to properly introduce you to Harrison. She rocks. THE VAST LANDSCAPE rocks and rolls. So I’ve been humbly told.

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What I Saw

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The traffic light turned red. This time, I could not avoid the person standing at the corner. In his spot night after night. I pulled over in a knee-jerk, impulsive instant. I looked at the once handsome man, hiding beneath the desperation and guilt of unlucky circumstance. I noticed the man with razor-sharp blue eyes, scraggly gray beard and sorrow stamped across his crinkled forehead. He immediately looked down when I approached him. His shame would not greet mine. I saw a man who’d been beaten. He wore only a ripped plaid shirt and stank ridden, dirty blue jeans. It was Autumn, not quite freezing but cold enough to bite. I saw a man without a coat, so I gave him mine. It wasn’t anything fancy, picked it up at the Salvation Army. Cargo, military grade. I like my coats to have weight, buy men’s most of the time. He hesitated, I placed the jacket delicately on the cold pavement. I noticed he wore weathered combat boots without laces or socks. I took off my cowboy boots, removed my Wal-Mart heavy woolen socks and set them on top of the coat. I didn’t mind. I didn’t mind at all. I’d come this far, figured I’d give him my jeans too. They were big and baggy, I don’t like my clothes tight. He was more embarrassed than I. Mortified that I stood half-naked in my boy shorts Gap underwear. He stepped in front of me, instinctively shielding the googly eye glares of ignorance, the tooting horns as they drove by. I didn’t mind being exposed. I had a warm car to climb into waiting curbside. Passersby noticed me, 6′ foot almost naked, they didn’t bother to notice him. I saw him. I couldn’t help but see him. We are not so different, he and I. Someone noticed me once. Yes, they sure did. I did not mind at all.

Marmas -excerpt from THE RED BENCH

The pixie dust floats freely now, sprinkling the air with golden specks of light. Love, real in your face love, never loses hope. It defies all logic, transcending illness, magic, planets, time and infinity. I’m sprinkling the air with pixie dust, faith and childlike qualities, so that we might grasp onto wonder, in these shaky, fast times of uncertainty.

Tomorrow will come, or it won’t. I needn’t remind myself of that. I mustn’t worry over the minutiae.

I have only to concentrate on the walk, making the now minutes count. I carve my name into my bench for posterity, so that I might never, ever forget. Be forgotten.

Oscar Wilde

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

[blockquote text=”Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.” show_quote_icon=”yes”]

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen.

Keep it to Yourself

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So, this just happened. Some days it’s better to keep your mouth shut, and the snarky remarks to yourself. Who knows where I’ll be seven months from now? Who can say what’s in store? Not me, no not at all. I would not presume. I am lucky, wishing away my lucky stars. I must remember to ration some, as luck fades to black; grey drizzle, freezing temperatures, crushing storms. The sun shines white-bright, autumn light beautiful. My most favorite September time of year. I could bottle it up, the 70 degree haven, store it deep in the recesses of the brain. Seems so cold, cruel to take away my aqua blue in motion. Lupe and I are depressed. Already. Who I am kidding, she hates the water and I barely went in all summer. Muscle memory. It’s the relentless muscle memory that ceases to forget. Won’t, can’t, refuses to give up on the joy. The uninhibited laughter that flowed so freely as a child. Freedom intertwined dancing between molecules, limbs and cells. Meditating, I sit cross-legged on the bottom of the pool, while ten million gallons of water hover all around. I feel light, lighter than I ever have before. A cool comfort to the soul. Seven months come and go. Luck be a lady, I’ll be here. Waiting out the storm.

Dry Land

Surrounded by water. Immersed, submerged, floating parallel in the mind.

On this day, I am a mere spectator. Feet planted defiantly on the autumn ground.

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word.

Welcome to my Writer’s page. Author sounds a bit pretentious. Many of you have supported, commented and visited my beauty blog over the years, Makeup To Model CitiZen. Beauty is fun and frivolous, I could never completely give it up. The world of Beauty and Fashion gave me wings. To travel the globe, be the observer, the chameleon and most importantly, to grow. Growth means moving through the fear onto the next Chapter. Time to get serious, take myself and the words seriously. Actually, it’s a return to the purest, most natural place I know. An endearing, bittersweet weIcome home. I have completed my first novel, THE VAST LANDSCAPE. OK, in rough edits, even so. After a decade of shape shifting the words, the story has come full circle. THE VAST LANDSCAPE exists and I’m proud. I can’t wait to share Harrison. There are many to thank, I was not alone on this journey. From the bottom of my heart, I hope you enjoy the trip.

An excerpt to wet the palette before the main course.

THE VAST LANDSCAPE

Let There Be

Colored, shiny, New Orleans beads sway in the trees. Mason jars, filled with tea candles flicker, making magic, plastic stars illuminate the night. Solar powered dragonfly and butterfly globes change color at random, scattered about the yard. Round, color bulbs decorate the screen porch. Wetsuits hang on hooks. Orange and yellow boards stand at attention, propped against the house, in formation with a baby blue, wave decaled, pint size version. The beautiful chaos makes Harrison chuckle. Chimes dance on the wind, in perfect pitch. Harrison sits at the picnic table drinking a Shandy, stupid grin permanently plastered on her face. The grill fired up, table set, mismatched dollar store plates, tacky sunflower paper cups dress the table. She can barely see Zack, knows he’s in the kitchen. Prepping BBQ chicken, steaming corn, and tossing a salad. Harry doesn’t cook. Dr. Pretty tells her it’s for the best, having tasted her God-awful attempts. This meal, her baby’s favorite. It’s a special night, first day before pre-school. Harrison cries, desperate to stop the clock. She begged to keep her home, Zack insists. Music plays from the kitchen. There’s almost always music playing at the beach house. Harry can’t quite make out the song, some familiar, catchy pop tune, her daughter loves. Plays over and over, loud. The girl is bossy, fearless, like her mother and sticky sweet, Southern mannered, like Daddy. Let there be. Life by the beach lived at sunrise, sunset in Technicolor. Harry watches Pretty, dancing, laughing and bending down. She can’t see her golden ringlet, hell on wheels angel from the window. She knows she’s there, the reason behind her father’s good mood. Addie does that, her zest for life contagious. She’s an easy kid, chill for the most part. Braver than her mama, she swims, surfs, twirls and skips in her ocean. Harrison doesn’t regret walking away, fame, ugliness, the soul snatchers. Not for a second. She has more money than any human being should. Zack’s happy she’s at home. He’s Head of the ER, big shot Doc., means more responsibility and more hours, away. Harry teases him, no cracked out celebrity patients. Secretly, she’s grateful for that night. He saved her. Stitched her feet, it was so much more. Lord knows he’s a patient man, did her best to push him away. Wasn’t budging. He saved her more times than she can count, and their baby. She shudders to think they almost didn’t make it. If Zack hadn’t reacted, Harry wouldn’t have a life. With the caring, smart, sexy partner she adores, and her spitfire, intuitive daughter. Who jumps into strangers’ laps? Harrison scolds her, shaking her head. “Adelaide, why did you do that?” With big, beautiful, curious hazel-eyes, all serious, she replies, “He was sad, mama. Like you get sometimes, I wanted to cheer him up.” Off she goes, not before planting a fat, wet kiss on her mother’s cheek. Harrison heads into the kitchen, “Do you guys need help?” Zack grabs her, before she can react. “We do. We need. You. Dancing, Queen.” Laughing, he turns up the volume, pulling Harrison close, scruff skimming her face. Goosebumps. Addie tugs at Harry’s dress. Strong, supple Zack scoops her up in one arm, swinging her around. She squeals with glee, “Daddy.” Harrison looks at her loves, and knows, instinctively. This, this is it. She’d searched the vast landscape, without a map, the rough, scary terrain swallowing her whole. Harrison’s dusty, torn backpack pushed aside, on a shelf in the attic. Twenty years, ache and itch all gone. No running. Destination arrived. Despite the pit stops, fires, sinkholes, pimps, mistakes, lone railways and scars. It was worth it. The backyard lit up like a redneck Christmas, Harry didn’t mind. “I’m hungry, let’s get this show on the road. Addie, bring the radio. “You can play your song, baby. As loud as you like.” Let There Be. Light. Let There Be. Family. Let There Be. Love.

Looking Glass and The Windowpane

Let’s face it; there’s no fooling. The sagging skin, the wrinkled face, the ridiculous forty something woman in short skirts and bottled-up Botox. The gravitational pull and the eventual flight back home were booked in advance. You already hold the winning ticket. I recognize the faces in the street, the fear, the familiar grimace and disgust at the sideways glance in the shop’s windowpane. I see the doubt, the two-second pause, the roll of the eyes in the rear view mirror. I’m going to rise above it, be the lady lit from within. I’m going to honor this body that works, that walks me from place to place. I’m going to love this heart that beats and eyes that see the sun and feel the heat, and arms that sway to the rhythm and ears that hear the beat. I’m going to resist the tug; I’m going to dig the features and the sum. I’m going to take the very best care. Every so often, I’m going to eat eggs with buttered toast and pancakes dripping in maple syrup. I’m going to drink beer without the guilt. I’m going to love a man head on without flipping the light. Sooner or later, I’m going to want to play the parts. I’ll be mother, daughter, sister, lover, and feminist right on time. I’ll want to write the appropriate words that answer the meaningful questions. I’ll get the joke. I’ll laugh out loud without bringing my hands up to cover my face. I am timeless, ageless and the perfect temperature. I will not grimace at the sight of a beautiful young woman. I will nod and offer her a secret, knowing smile and familiar glance. I will put away the minis, the boots, and the crazy forms of self-expression and store them deep in the back of my closet. I’ll hold onto them for a younger version of myself. I no longer have any use. I’ll walk the walk with conviction. I’ll talk the talk and hear the discussion. I will listen, with a mind that is open. I will wait ten seconds to answer. I’ll have a well-thought out appropriate response. I’ll take an interest in the world around me. I’ll be empowered, insightful, bright and impulsive in an instant. I will mellow out and leave fear, jealousy and rage behind. I’ll do all the things that a grown up does. I will act like a curvy, sophisticated, well groomed woman. I will see the face and body; I will embrace and endorse the beautiful. I will tuck away my first class ticket in the back pocket of my favorite pair of ripped, familiar blue jeans for a later date. I will remember where I put it. I’ll keep my head on straight, high upon my strong, beautiful shoulders. I will put one determined foot in front of the other. For now, I’m just going to walk. And face the window without the pain.

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