Pet Friendly on Bleeding Ink with Feminine Collective

“Pet Friendly” on Bleeding Ink with  Feminine Collective

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Pet Friendly

I am not a patient person and yet, somehow I find the patience, for her.
Maybe it’s because she needs no words to show me what she wants, just a tilt of the head to the left or the right. Her gold and grey swirls of fur glisten when she sees me, a smile lights her face accompanied by the back and forth velocity of her wagging tail. I understand she gets all the colors of me, the sliding scale blacks, blinding whites, kaleidoscope greens, envious purples, indigo blues, muddy yellow, envious green, sherbet pop orange and the griege in between.

Some days I don’t want to make the trek in the heat, the rain, the bitter freeze, walk the same block after block, be pulled and yanked in this direction or that chasing some unfortunate cat across the way. Some days I’d rather not walk at all, too tired of the monotone. I do it anyway, in spite of myself. In sub-freezing temperatures, sweltering unbearable heat, in all climates because she is my responsibility.

I’m grateful I didn’t have kids. I fear I would’ve been an inadequate parent and grave disappointment, too quick to lose my temper, too consumed with worry, too selfish probably.

Truth be told I don’t particularly get most humans, but she does.
They expect too much, disappoint too much, ask too much, or maybe it’s me. Maybe I do. We are the rare breed of misfits and misunderstood.

My girl, my spirit animal loves everyone. She does not discriminate, so I let her stop and say hello. Sometimes, I surprise myself with a smile and hello; the corners of my lips curling upwards like an emoji before I realize it. Sometimes the smile turns upside down when she sees a cat pulling my arm out of the socket. Sometimes I’d like to strangle her, she can be stubborn and doesn’t always listen, come to think of it neither do I.
She knows I’m not always 100 percent, and she couldn’t care less. She loves me anyway. Maybe that’s the beauty of mutual pet-friendly understanding.

If only people were so kind.
When she snuggles in between the crook of my legs for an afternoon nap, and I feel my breathing slow I understand what selfless love means. Her heartbeat calms the storms, the anxiety, and my forever-impatient soul. I’m a better person in that singular moment when she’s sound asleep without a care in the world.

The house is too quiet when she is not around. I missed the pitter-patter of paws the umpteenth days I did not see her. She could not visit. All the days I was committed, locked in a hospital ward with no air. I’d press my forehead to the glass trying to teleport myself the two blocks between her, me and my family. Two impossible tiny blocks from home, and later sixty miles farther away, but it would not matter. No matter how hard I tried, I could not escape the locked windows and doors. Walking out wasn’t an option.
At the least, the night sky still sang for me, and the stars shined brilliant the same for her and I. Lighting the way back to my humans, the ones who love me unconditionally, waiting on the other side of pane. The precious ones, who made sure she was fed, cuddled and loved while I was absent. I drew a map with a sharpie on the window in my room, so I wouldn’t forget my way or lose my mind deep inside the blacks and greys come morning. I wasn’t supposed to; I couldn’t give two shits. Eventually, they took all my pens away, my weapon of choice. Talk about writer’s block and cold, cruel punishment. Someone handed me colored pencils as if I was a five-year-old playing outside on the sidewalk. Give me a break, life is complicated and chaos lives outside the lines in a coloring book.

So what if I’d gone a little insane? I missed her warmth inside the cold, cruel sterile environment. The scratchy sheets inside the empty room where she was not allowed to visit. Too bad, she would’ve brightened everyone’s day. It was not a warm place, dog-friendly or inviting. It was indifferent. Twenty plus days is a really, really long time to miss being outdoors, oxygen, and the daily routine of a quiet life.
The simple task of walking the dog.

I’m home now, passing the grotesque, uninviting, terrifying inhospitable building, pausing short of breath questioning was it real or was it all a bad dream? I steady my footing, let out an amen and a great big “FUCK YOU, fuck the whole lot of you” under my breath while speeding up my gait.

My girl, pet-friendly crooks her neck way back, and her eyes tell me all that I need to know. I am less selfish, less mad, and more me than yesterday.

 

The Coolest Thing About Me

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The Coolest Thing About Me

I have arrived at the supposed highway, halfway mark. That’s a median guess based on statistics, there are no guarantees. I have learned a few lessons along the way. I am not more of any old thing, prettier, richer, kinder, or smarter.
Sure, I was granted a great big superficial life for a brief moment filled with stuff, lots and lots of stuff. All disposable.

It sits in a closet waiting for someone fabulous I suppose, gathering dust.
I prefer to dress down these days. Forced to live a smaller, more manageable existence where vacuuming the rafters, doing the heavy lifting and hard physical work occupies the days.
Choosing life, and the 180 degree paradigm shift to survive means to move slow, forced to move painstakingly slow. Snail slower than accustomed.
I am a work in progress, and pig-headed acceptance of small town life comes with time, tables and variants.
Old friends who never cared about my moody hues whether fluorescent red, shady purple, mellow yellow or tequila blue help stay the course. Kindred spirits up for the walk.
Have I been lucky? Damn straight. Have I been unlucky? That, too.
Fate can be a greedy, sarcastic bitch.

Some would say I’ve been only unlucky. Perhaps, yes at times that’s true. Others might say I have been only thrice blessed. Guilty, I have been that ‘luck be a lady’ as well.
I have been all of it to varying latitudes, climates and temperatures.
But perhaps, just maybe, is it possible that you have been all that too?
Others cannot see or feel the colors I’ve been, the places I travel without ever leaving home, or the familiar, unfamiliar surroundings. There is nothing special or redeeming about me or you. No we’re not really that different at all. Not really.
I welcome the day I am set free from this imperfect mind- body left with only purity and lightness of soul. And, the love.

The infinite, crystalized clear water wishing well of love abundant, shared, given freely and received gracefully. To know love intimately is to recognize and accept your whole self.

“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

I am special, after all.

The halfway point overflows. The unconditional love of a four-legged blind in one eye, loyal, sweet, funny, kind, compassionate creature teaches me patience; pure, reflective, bounce back safety net self-love. Everyday, and whatever come what may season. No, no matter what came yesterday or might be on the way, no matter rich or poor, no matter the path as long as we’re traveling together.
As long as we take the walk, her and me. As long as I make the effort even when I’m unable and unwilling, that makes all the difference.
Me seen through her eyes, well that is touch the stratosphere something beautiful.
She is by far the coolest, most special thing about me.

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” ― Martin Buber

The Coolest Thing About Me © 2015 Jacqueline Cioffa

"I learn love from her everyday." Jacqueline Cioffa

“All she wants is to be close, eat, cars rides and chase things. I learn love from her everyday.”#Lupita ❤

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My life is a barrage of pills, moods, malaise, emptiness, haze, mania, depression that stagnates my spirit, anxiety ping-ponging against my brain fighting an illness I cannot see. The willful fighter, deep-thinking me and misfiring neurons I cannot comprehend. There is no recovery from a serious mental illness, there is only finding ways to cope, reasons to get-up to battle and exist one more day.

I can’t just ‘pull it together,’ no matter how deep the desire or the will.

It’s generational. The genetic jackpot I won, but did not enter.

I. was. born. this. way.

I. was. born. this. way.

I won’t win, there is no winning, no contests, no rules. There is only luck and time before I am gone away.

I am not misguided, I understand exactly what I am up against. Well, sorta. I understand each day gets a little harder, the thoughts a little louder, the light a little dimmer and the physical discomforts heavier.

My words, while I can still see them and get them out are not to be misunderstood or misconstrued. This life, my life has been beautiful in more ways than I can write.

The memories help me stay.

The spirit animal kissing away my tears, snuggling so close I feel her beating heart against my skin is never too far away. She keeps me present and accountable.

Smiling from the heart is the rarity, and this dog makes me smile. Multiple times a day. She understands my crazy, the sorrow and spectacular. She loves me anyway.

No matter the color or mood.