Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just putting it out there...

Although I publish most of what I write on here, there have been some recent entries that I have chosen not to share on social media, namely, Facebook.

I'm not sure of who actually subscribes to this blog, if any.  (I've noticed that most of the people that I have followed in the past, have not been submitting entries.  For some bloggers it has been literally years.)  So this may be seen by only a few or a dozen people.  It really doesn't matter.  Because of the sensitive and personal material, I'm not sharing publicly for a number of reasons, that I will not disclose, but at the same time, I'm not going to make any excuses for not expressing myself on my blog.

The last thing I want to do is humiliate or offend anyone.  I'm writing entries for myself; no one else.

Take it or leave it…

Flat Tire

On some days, I just feel flat.  I feel deflated, and light-headed.  It as if someone just let out all the air out of me, and I'm just beyond tired.  I've been feeling this way for the past few days, and I think my body is really just trying to fight off a cold.

I think my car is too.

There is nothing more aggravating than driving around town, doing errands when you see that signal on your dashboard telling you that you have a tire that is losing air pressure.  Lovely.  The first thing I immediately picture in my mind is being stuck on the side of the road, unable to go to all the places I need to be.  Luckily I made it home, and had enough air pressure to finish what I was doing and safely park my car in my garage.  I know how you feel, dear Bleu.  (Yes, I named my car Bleu, because it's the color blue.)

Poor Bleu has been working overtime.  Sure he isn't driving over Hwy 17 as much as he was now that I'm not working, but boy, he has been busy.  I've taken him to San Francisco, and a not very pleasant trip to Oakland quite recently.  I don't know my way around the city very well, and poor Bleu has been honked at a few times, and been scared trying to follow instructions around the scary streets of Oakland.  So, fortunately, Bleu lost tire pressure a mile from home, and not on Telegraph Hill Rd---for this I'm very grateful indeed.

I've only have had experienced that scenario once before, years and years ago, (knock on wood) with two young children in a car full of groceries, on the side of the road with a flat, with no cell phone.  A nice woman on the road stopped in front of me, on the side of  the highway, and let me use her phone.  I was so grateful, but embarrassed.  I tried to quietly explain to the husband (ex) at home my unfortunate dilemma.  He was none too happy he had to leave and come to my rescue.  He was having far too much fun in front of the computer screen, chatting with some woman on Portuguese Chat.

It was on that day, driving back home, I realized (again-I had been in denial for years) that I had a much bigger problem than just a flat tire.  Sure, the husband (ex) eventually showed up, changed the tire, and put on the spare, (cursing under his breath the whole entire time) but that was just a band aid to a much bigger problem.  After a tearful drive home, the groceries were put away.  The kids were fed, and I watched them hoping they would be too young to remember what a terrible afternoon it had been. I could overhear him laughing again in front of the computer screen.  Things were back to "normal".  Normally dysfunctional.

Sometimes the best way to take off a band aid is to do it quickly.  It is so much worse than pulling it off slowly.  It had to happen eventually.  I was losing air and I was suffocating.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Voices Unheard

one bruised arm
one black eye
one more walk into the door
broken dishes on the floor
i tried to hide
and i lied
but honey there isn't enough Cover Girl in the world
that can cover
this or shut the voices

another bruised arm
another black eye
another excuse
not to run
push it away that glass of red wine
cleaning off the stain
from my face
broken pieces strewn across
leave without a trace
hide the evidence

one loud shrill
one loud crash
one little girl holding a suitcase
i'm shouting down the hall
loading up the car
and my soul
with what is left
what was always there
left unkept and silent
far too many years

open up the box
open up the book
let the moths fly out
I lost the ring
I buried it
I burnt it
with the letters and denial
let the voices attest
My Lady you have heard me
how I prayed and cried
I tried until
the door finally swung open
and the lights inside
sang with loud voices
I could not deny

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Things That Chirp In The Night...

Awhile ago, my mother called me at work with a problem.

"Julie, I have a problem.  There is a sound in my house, and I haven't been able to sleep the last two days."

"What kind of sound?"

My mother went on to explain that it sounded like a cricket, but she wasn't sure, because the "grilos (crickets) in Terceira (Azores) sounded different."  I joked with her and pointed out, that all crickets "spoke" the same language of course, but my mother didn't think it was funny at least.  She wasn't able to sleep and she was exhausted.

She tried everything.  She looked all over the house looking for this "bicho" (bug) but was not successful.  She checked the windows, the door ways, the vents in the heater, and the attic.  She turned on the vacuum cleaner some nights hoping to scare off the little critter, but with little success.  According to her, it would stop for a few minutes, and as soon as she put the vacuum away, it would start again.  The sound proceeded to taunt her throughout the evening.  Even with the pillow over her head, did not prevent the sound from keeping her awake.  She was always afraid that she would awake with a cricket next to her pillow.  It was driving her crazy, and praying on her rosary was the only thing she could do to help her sleep a few hours.

I went over to her house that day to check it out, and honestly, I heard nothing.  She told me, "It only comes out at night, right when I fall asleep.  It knows."

Lovely.  Was my mother going completely crazy?  "It knows."  I questioned my mother's sanity for a moment, and wondered if I should just spend the night to hear this "cricket" for myself.  I continued to reassure her that it was probably just a cricket, and it couldn't hurt her, but that really didn't ease her concern.  She was afraid it was something else, perhaps "something more dangerous." She went on to say that she would ask my older brother to check it out, because in her words, it was more of a job for "a man" and I let go the responsibility cheerfully.  In the meantime, she would continue to sleep with a flashlight and her "nervous pills" close by along with her white crackers, and 7UP.

A few nights later, my dog, Max started to bark for no known reason.  It was then I heard a sound coming from the hallway.  It was a small little beep sound.  Hmm..I wondered, what could that be?  I thought it might be one of the older kids who just got home, or my youngest was still awake and playing  a video game.  I got up from bed to investigate.

At first, I didn't know what it was or where it was coming from.  I checked the bedrooms, and all the kids were home and asleep.  I just happened to look up, when I heard the sound, and saw a green light coming from the the fire alarm detector.  Of course, Max was following me through the house and helping with my "investigation" barking nonstop each time the thing beeped, which alerted my husband, who proceeded to take it down  from the ceiling.

My husband reassured me that it was probably a dying battery that was setting it off, but of course we checked the house for smoke, and fortunately didn't find any.  It was after we went back to bed I realized that the beeping sound could be the same chirping sound that was keeping my mother up all night for the last week.

The next day I called my mother and asked her how she slept last night.  She told me that my brother did not find where the sound was coming from and she had another sleepless night.  I told her about what happened to us the night before, and she didn't seem to believe, it was coming from her fire alarm, but was hopeful that it was.

"Ah Julie, nao e possivel….mas vem ca e ver!"

 In other words, Julie it's not possible, but come and see!

I drove over to investigate.  The last thing I wanted was my mother climbing on a chair and trying to take the alarm down by herself, and break a hip.  When I arrived, my mother followed me into the hallway near the kitchen where her alarm was on the ceiling.  She already had the chair sitting directly underneath the alarm.  I got there just in time.

"It's not making any noise now!"  my mother explained.  "It only comes out at night!"

I got on the chair and twisted the alarm off and pressed the button.


I looked down at my mother.

"Is that the sound you have been hearing?"

My mother crossed herself and smiled.  I proceeded to pop in a new battery in the alarm, and twisted it back into the ceiling.

It was kind of strange that the batteries in my own fire alarm happened to get weak the same time my mother's, but somethings in life are just unexplainable.  Operation "cricket" was successful and my mother finally enjoyed a restful sleep, and was able to put away the vacuum cleaner and flashlight, and that is all that mattered.