Okay, so I have started journaling on a document instead of wasting all of my creative energy thinking up Facebook posts.  Which is cool.  I am writing more.  I have documented information about my kids that I can transfer to their much neglected baby journals.  And I have fodder for my blogs.  What follows are excerpts from my Word journal, which I call my “Captain’s Log” because it is more fun that way.

Captain’s Log…July 16, 2014

11:55 am

“I either need more alcohol or more time to do yoga,” I think as I deal with the shrieking pee-bot and her supremely shout-y brother. At least he hasn’t wished death on me yet today. She won’t leave the baby alone. Presently, she is doing a downward facing dog with her rear side pointed at his face as she shrieks between her legs at him. Poor baby.

 12:30 pm

More alcohol. Definitely more alcohol. Thing One is freaking out over his Legos. Thing Two is still shouting at me. He does not like my attitude. Can’t buy me love with Neuman-O cookies, it seems. So we will make lunch and have a mandatory walk. (Did I dream about my father? I think I may have dreamed about my father last night. Either that or it is the essays on feminist motherhood I have been reading….) Lunch and a walk. As if that will fix anything. But The Dad says they don’t get enough stimulation—hence their behavior. Roughly translated, I am failing them and that is why they suck. I don’t think they suck. The Dad does. Apparently he thinks kids should be a good time all the time with no issues ever. He needs to live in a Disney movie.

Why is the shrieking pee-bot jumping at my elbow and screaming at me?

1:06 pm

I think the shrieking pee-bot is trying to wean the baby so that she can do all of the nursing without him interfering. She will be three next month, and I fear I will be unable to wean her when I planned to. She is determined to stay latched to my nipple. She locked herself in the bathroom with the baby & gave him her bottle of cow’s milk.

I also catch her copying my dance moves when “Smooth Criminal” plays. I’m not sure, but this may be considered child endangerment. Hopefully she’ll figure out her own moves.

Meanwhile, the baby follows me around the apartment at a Night of the Living Dead pace of crawling, his little hands slapping the wood floor to accent each painstaking move.

Captain’s Log…July 17

 Every day I think, “Tomorrow has to be a better day.” Every day I am wrong. Are the days getting worse or just not getting better?

 I tried to take Thing One on an outing, just the two of us, to a beekeeping workshop. As usual, I half-assedly look at the directions & think , “Oh, I can find that.” And then I can’t. Plus it was 5:30 in downtown traffic with construction. We spent two hours in the car trying to find the place, failing, trying to go to an art store downtown, stuck in traffic, unable to find parking…two hours in the car. We could have made it to Chicago in that time. We could have made it to Green Bay. But we were stuck in Madison the whole time. In maybe a two mile radius, maybe less. Two hours in the fucking car. When we went home, I looked at the map and realized I passed right by it several times, the beekeeping workshop, but failed to look in the right place. I felt like the biggest loser in the whole world. How fun the workshop would have been. How fun just going to the art store would have been. Instead, I am a loser who leaves us stuck in the car for two hours for absolutely nothing.

To make matters worse, poor shrieking pee-bot got me in a bear hug as I was trying to leave on our misadventure. She held on tight & would not let go. My heart breaking as I had to pry her loose and the dad says, “She’s the one you leave the most.”

Thanks, asshole.

 Today, somehow, at only 12:05 in the afternoon, is no better. I could not wake up this morning. The baby did though, at 6 am. I tried to call for help to the dad, but he slept through my trying and shrieking pee-bot’s asking him for help. He left for work, and I crawled out of bed—though before I left bed, I did have all four minions with me, harmonizing the sound the baby makes. We did that, giggling, until minions started pissing off other minions which eventually pissed off her majesty—so everyone was summarily cleared out of my bed.

 I then spent the next two or more hours making pancakes, doing laundry, feeding minions, refereeing minions, trying to make a cup of tea, doing dishes, cleaning around the dad’s messes as I refuse to clean up after him anymore.

I lost it. Thing Two was tackling Thing One and then throwing Duplos at him. In my scariest voice I hollered (yes, it was a horrible & scary holler calling up the ghost of all the abusive scary men in my life) at Thing Two, and the poor little thing scurried away to a corner to hiss at me but was too scared to leave his corner. For the record, I have never sent them to a corner. I guess he just felt safer hiding there. I am an evil queen sometimes. “Off with their heads,” I holler before realizing they are all I love in this world. I did apologize to him once I cooled down. I did. I know that does not make it okay. Is there anything that can make it okay?

 My throat hurts.

 I never should have yelled at him. I never should have. I hate that feeling of helplessness when I feel like there is nothing I can do to get him to listen to me. No matter what I do, he is defiant. I respect & love that he is defiant…but can’t he be reasonable sometimes?

 Even more I hate the brief feeling of relief I get when I lose my temper and blow up like that. Blow ups do not happen often, but when they do, right before the feelings of guilt and regret, there is a brief feeling of, “That’s what you get.”

 My children are not my enemy. The dad isn’t even the enemy. Not my parents either, while we’re at it.

 Thing Two draws me a picture as a peace offering. He does this often after we fight. I should be drawing him more pictures.

 10:24 pm

I wish I could say the day got better, but I just got in another fight with Thing Two. I don’t know what to do. I don’t like saying the same things over and over and over. I don’t like his violent, hands-on approach to everything…everything. It seems like everything, anyway. How can such a sweet kid be so angry & hostile? What have I done to make him so angry & hostile?

Captain’s Log…July 18, 2014

 9:30 am

The baby is nine months old today. He is crawling like a big kid. Though he does stop to protest and demand to be carried. A bit of a complainer. That’s okay. Welcome home, kid.

 I made an appointment to see an ophthalmologist. For about a month now, my right eye has felt weird. Sometimes painful, like a spoon is stuck in the eye socket and I’ve gotten used to it. So last night I started worrying that it’s a brain tumor and that’s also why I am so grumpy lately, uncharacteristically so. Usually I pop out of a grump after a day or so. But this one is lingering so long I feel as if I’ve lost my sense of humor. So it’s probably a brain tumor, right? God, I hope this is just another neurotic episode of mine, but I would feel stupid if I keeled over in a month and the doctor’s all shook their heads saying, “If only she had seen a doctor a month ago, we could have saved her.”

 I asked the dad to help with childcare, but he has to work. I asked if he could go in late, etc. Nope. He offered that his ex-con, victim of molestation brother could watch the kids. Um…. No. So I say I will get one of my friends who has a history of being with my kids watch them, and he says, “I don’t want her in the house.” ??? Well, you know what, fucker? I don’t want you in the house.

 This better not be a brain tumor.

I can’t die & leave my kids with that asshat and his psychotic family.

10:14 am

We had a family bout of yoga without incident! Sure, it was extremely casual and completely freestyle and only lasted about ten minutes, but no one started squabbling. Then “Smooth Criminal” came on my mix, and I declared a dance break—even though no one will dance with me except for the shrieking pee-bot and the baby (who really has no choice.) Which, again, brings me to my fear of her copying my dance moves and forever being crippled for it. So I was going to put on a Janelle Monae video to give her a better example, but then I remembered Weird Al Yankovic’s latest release, “Tacky,” and decided to give Thing One and Thing Two an unschooling lesson on parody. Thing Two set at my laptop watching it over and over, backing it up to watch the same part again and again, with his guitar in his lap. Yesterday he told me he wanted to ride in a limousine. He wants to be rich and famous so he can have a chauffeur and a butler.

 My therapist thinks my “Captain’s Log” is a very good idea.


Captain’s Log…July 19, 2014

10:49 am

Eleven years ago today I married The Dad. It seemed like a good idea. My mom fell down a hill and postponed the ceremony until she got back from the ER. The Dad’s alcoholic uncle got crazy drunk and then helped The Dad drive the kegs back to the restaurant we got them from after the wedding. I was sure I would be widowed before my wedding night. Otherwise it was a perfect day & a beautiful pagan ceremony.

I am trying a different dance with Thing Two. When he starts to ramp up—yelling and calling names and stomping and his little eyes turning red & teary—instead of raising my own voice, I lower my voice and call him to me (or go to him if my hands aren’t full) and offer a hug and soft words of concern and offers of comfort. So far, he calms right down.

I had a surreal visit to the eye doctor, partly due to an anxiety attack, and partly due to David Lynch apparently orchestrating my experience. I will write more of it later. I need to get the minions to the farmer’s market before I lose my nerve or my sense of humor. Diagnosis so far for my eye pain is old age. Oy!

10:50 pm

We survived a Saturday Farmer’s Market in Madison, Wisconsin (home of the largest farmer’s market ever) once more. I shouted this triumphantly when we reached the car. I was there with my four kids. Before we got to the market, we were across the street to go to the bank. At one point, Thing Two crawled into an empty newspaper box with the word “Free” across the top. He drew an audience of passer-byers who laughed as the shrieking pee-bot opened and closed his box. Next, the shrieking pee-bot crawled into a newspaper box so that two of my children appeared to be “Free” to the public. At one point someone did ask to take a picture. I suggested to my children that the next time they decided to do performance art, they should throw down a hat. My kids are adorable. They are. They are gorgeous. The Dad and I look a lot alike (both of us are narcissists?) We created four little clones with huge blue eyes and cherubic faces. There personalities are as outstanding as their looks. People stare at us whenever I go out with them. I do not know what they are thinking. I do not know if we are a freak show or a circus act or performance art, but we always seem to have an audience.

real help?

I feel like crap.

My birthday is on saturday. I think that may be a big part of it. I used to love birthdays because they were all about me. And being the 4th of six kids, being quiet and shy, being sensitive and afraid of attention–rarely in my life has it been all about me. Except on my birthday.

Then I became a mom. After that it was no longer about me. Ever. Not even on so-called “Mother’s Day.”

Plus, some of you may know this. My big brother, the other “em” in my life, was killed five and a half years ago. We weren’t close-close…but we were? We were the “ems” in the family. Mike & Mary. When our parents had us do the “See no evil; Speak no evil; Hear no evil” family pose, he always put his hands over my eyes. Though he was very active in the Catholic church and was dangerously Republican, he never judged my Punk rock Pagan Socialism. He accepted that that was who I am. At least I felt that way. I may never know for sure how he felt because I never got a chance to ask. I was always too busy. Then I decided I should get to know him better–after talking to him on his birthday. Twenty days later, he was dead.

Anyway. One time I always heard from him was on my birthday.
But he doesn’t call anymore. And I know that now, going into each birthday. So I feel sad.

And I found myself browsing the DAIS webpage wondering if I should talk to someone. Am I really being abused? Are the kids in danger? Am I over-reacting?

The dad has a bunch of stuff coming up about his own so-awful-no-kid-should-ever-ever-ever-have-to-experience-that childhood. And I find myself void of sympathy. Have I always been void of sympathy? Am I terrible and that is why he treats me badly? I wonder these things.

Then I see how people grossly misunderstand my six-year-old, painting him the bad guy. And I think, “He gets that from me.” And I wish it were different for him because it really sucks being misunderstood all your life. My older son gets his father’s ability to charm and woo no matter what behavior he exhibits, but the six-year-old constantly gets judged and labelled for his behavior.

Then I read one of those so-called inspirational I’m-a-Mom-so-I-know-what-you’re-going-through blogs that is addressing the anger a mom feels. And the moms are all like “give your kid a hug & a tickle.” And this just makes me more angry because it is not helpful. Is this helpful to someone else? Are there Hallmark moms out there who respond with, “Oh, of course, put down the cleaver and just give the little beast a tickle.” No, I would never take a cleaver to my kids, but I do have some pretty dark thoughts that don’t just go away with a hug.

No, it’s not these fucking Hallmark moms’ fault that I have a dark voice inside me from growing up abused and having subjected myself to abusive, non-supportive, non-validating relationships all of my life. It is not their fault that I want my roommate/ex-husband/co-parent to just move the fuck out, and he won’t. It’s not their fault that I am seemingly unable to give myself enough self-care to keep myself out of these horrible dips of depression.


I should say something whimsical and quippy here to lighten the mood, but this is not a true mommy blog, so I’m not gonna.

cryin’ on my therapist’s couch

Soon to be a Lifetime original movie.

I feel better today. For the moment, anyway. I have been having my ups & downs more rapidly than I am comfortable with. My therapist attributes it to my having summers off of my degree-seeking schooling. She believes I do not know how to manage the lack of direction I perceive when I am not engulfed by my studies and motherhood. There is an awesome collection of essays about how writer’s tend to lose their identities and their minds a bit when they become mothers. It is called Mother Reader, and I really need to re-read it.

One step I have taken towards feeling a bit more sane is limiting my time goofing off on Facebook. Generally, I believe, I go on there desperately seeking adult interaction. I also look for parenting ideas and knowledge of issues in which I am interested. However, I go on there a bit manically throughout the day–compromising my ability to be present for my kids. I have even noticed that their demands escalate when I am on Facebook. Plus, I do not spend time blogging or working on finding editing work, etc. when I am obsessively scrolling through Facebook. I figure if I can quit eating after 8 pm (which I have done in order to be healthier & more fit,) I can avoid checking Facebook when I am wearing my “mom” hat and only interact on Facebook when it is mostly “me time.” Is there ever an entirely me time for a mom with small children?

I’m sure by the title, you are expecting more about my therapist visit–or are simply relieved to know that I am in therapy.
Here’s what I was thinking after seeing her yesterday. She asked me, “What is the one thing, be it sleep or more time, that you feel you need in order to feel less overwhelmed?”

I did not have to think long. “To have the dad gone,” I answered. Not “gone” in the way he suspects I want him gone (lately he has been accusing me of plotting his death??) But gone in the sense that we do not live together, and in the sense that I do not have to deal with his stuff on top of my own stuff as I try to be a good mom.

Which then made me realize, that is exactly the reason I gave her almost three years ago when I first started seeing her. She asked me my one big reason for being in therapy. I gave her…the dad.

At that time we were living in a 30 plus person cooperative house in downtown Madison. We were sharing a room in order to save money and because we were, once more, trying to work things out. I had just had a baby, my daughter, and she had suffered a rough birth. I wanted to move out of the dad’s room in the co-op, but there were no other rooms available for me. Imagine two adults, two kids, and a baby sharing a room in a house shared with 30 some other adults. Now imagine that those two adults have the communication skills of cranky preschoolers. Hence I sought therapy.

Shortly after this I was ill-treated (and illegally discriminated against) by members of my co-op for having kids, but eventually I managed to get a small space of my own and then a bigger space after that. At which point it was rather obvious that the dad and I were broken up again, so I said to him, “If you do decide to date someone, please wait six months–to make sure it is serious–before bringing that person to our home.” I felt that needed to be said since we did share space in a cooperative house. He agreed and immediately started having sex with one of our housemates whom I believed to be a friend of mine, though our relationship was difficult for me.

I found out about their relationship when she betrayed my trust and told him something I said in–I assume–an effort to turn him against me. I found this especially abominable considering the dad & I had a difficult relationship to begin with but were doing our best to co-parent and be friends while living in close proximity.

This began a horrific cycle of obsession, hate, and anger between the dad and I as well as other members of our house. Having been out of that house for a year now, I feel I must have been half insane while I was living there. I am a highly sensitive person and living in a cooperative house with as much drama as that one had–I must have been in a constant state of arousal–not the good kind.

When I moved out, I meant to leave the dad once more. However, my co-signer on my lease fell through, and the dad offered help. Still reeling from the drama and damage of my cooperative experience, I was vulnerable enough and desperate enough to think we could work things out. And, of course, I was pregnant again.

Which brings us to present day on my therapist’s couch, realizing I am in the same boat I was in when I entered therapy three years ago…but with one more kid on board.

Boy, I am a slow learner.

looking for the lost mama

When I had my first child, it was easy to get lost in motherhood. After all, I was well used to losing myself. I often hid from myself in relationships. Preoccupying myself with throwing myself, heart & soul, at one person or another. Then, in cherished moments of clarity, running as fast as I could to find myself again. Leaving. I loved leaving a terrible relationship. With a note, with a changed phone number, with a move to a new town. Like fasting to get rid of toxins. I fasted and got rid of toxic relationships.

I was fast buried in the relationship with the dad when I became pregnant. I’ve read recently that it is normal for women to immerse themselves in motherhood and how romantic relationships suffer for it. Mine was destroyed by this phenomenon.

The dad who did not want to be a dad in the first place could not understand how he had lost me to our baby. However, he did nothing to win me back, as–in retrospect–he had done nothing to win me in the first place. My being a whirling dervish of epiphanic revelations & neurosis–I never required being won. I was used to doing all of the work. In fact, should a man try to win me, it would only cause me to spin away–confused by the foreign notion of kind words, supportive efforts, and loving gestures.

I want to be treated nicely, but I don’t know how…or what it looks like, exactly. I know what abuse looks like. It’s not that I trust abuse. I just recognize it. Therefore, it enters my life more easily than love and support.

When I look at a picture a friend has posted, with sweet words, of his wife and children. A picture worth a thousand words. You can read the love he feels so thoroughly through the lens of a camera and the screen of a laptop. He adores his wife and kids. He probably even washes the dishes. He probably helps with his children and comforts them when they are upset instead of referring to them as “shit stains.” He probably never accuses her of plotting to kill him, blaming her for everything he feels is wrong with his life.

There are no pictures like that of me and my babies.

I wonder how lost I would feel in my role as a mother if I had a partner telling me that everything was going to be okay instead of disappearing, physically and emotionally, as if our existence is more than he can bear.

I want to know how it feels to find myself again. Long enough to breathe again and be a good mom and be who I am without feeling like I am wrong for it.

I need to leave. It should have happened a long time ago. All I can tell myself is that I had to create these four beautiful souls from our union before severing the relationship the kills me a little more each day.

kicking and screaming

Today as I listen to him stomping and threatening and saying his, “I hate you!”s and his little face scrunched up into such a painful looking ball of emotion,

I think, “I just want to stomp and scream and threaten, too.”

But I cannot.  Because I am the grown up.  Because my stomping and swearing does not show them a better way to deal with their own over-flowing rage.

But I still want to.

Will they be better people one day because I do let them rant and wail and rage and stomp?  Would I be a better person had I not been silenced by my own easily enraged father?

I hope that I am modelling a better way to cope than was modeled to me.

lumbering limbo

the exersaucer that takes up too much space in our two bedroom apartment won’t stop playing “london bridge is falling down” like some demented toy out of a horror film.

my two year old, almost three, who i promised could nurse before i accidentally had another baby who also wishes to nurse.  three years i gave the toddler.  those three years that the brain develops because according to an MRI she has brain damage even though there is no other sign of such an event.  but i told her she could nurse and nurse she does even though there are less than two months left to our contract.  she now nurses more voraciously than before, competing with the baby.  pulling my poor nipples dry.

an irritability that ebbs and flows and makes it so i cannot stop myself from blurting “oh god i hate him” when i know i need to hold my tongue in case they hear me.  it is the way someone would hate a wart that will not go away.  a wart who insists on staying and convinces itself that you really do want it to stay even though you tell it over and over to go away.  the wart does not have to do anything but to be there to provoke your hate and your longing for it to just be gone already.

i know i am brilliant and talented and beautiful and have all this wonderful life experience.  i have a box full of treasures.  a puzzle of wonderful pieces that for the life of me i cannot put together in the right way.  a list of things to do to make everything perfect.  but everything goes out of focus and i hide away and tell myself that i am stupid and useless and ugly and that that is all i can be.

onward i trudge in this lumbering limbo.

bitching about the ex

i have a sister who always bitches about her ex.  she calls him names and complains and i would just rather not listen a lot of them time.  i worry that this is what my blog will become.  however, i actually started it for this purpose.  i had no where else to go.

i started this blog because i had no where else to bitch about my ex who is still very much a part of my life and does not tolerate my talking about him to anyone.  he fears my speaking badly of him.  years ago i blogged about him all the time.  this pissed him off.  i told him not to give me bad things to say about him if he did not want me saying bad things about him.  eventually i quit the blog.  his anger at it was too much for me.

i started this blog secretly.  i wonder if he knows about it.  we live in the same apartment.  does he notice when i am working on one of my other blogs that i have a third blog?  has someone who reads one of my other blogs come across this one and told him about it?  what would he do?  would he be hurt?  angry?

the dad, as i call him, has never been violent with me.  he has been rough with our kids–grey zone things like a swat on the butt or a quick grab to the arm.  i call him on it because i know that even “harmless” things like that hurt–deep in the soul, they hurt.  but he has never raised a hand to me, and i wonder if he ever would.  i theorize that most abusive men i have been with know not to hit me because i would leave in a heartbeat.  if he were to leave the grey area in his dealings with the kids–i would leave.  i should leave anyway, but i keep giving him the benefit of the doubt.  fearing his anger & cruelty.  fearing his pain.  he likes to hurt me with his own pain.  how does he even know to do this?  how does he know it will work?  once before i was able to break free of the dad’s hold on me.  i embraced my role as the bad guy.  breaking his heart.  tearing apart our family.  and i was rid of him.  but he worked & he wormed & he got back in my head.  it’s been 3 years of my trying to get him back out again.

i’ve once again lost interest in his pain.  now i just have to push past my fears of confrontation.  those are deep-seeded fears.  but i can do it.  it takes its time.  but i can do it.

so if you’re tired of hearing me bitch about my ex.  tired of hearing me plan on leaving him–but never quite doing it.  this might not be the blog for you.  i may always be bitching about my ex–although i do have other things to do & talk about, so it will not be a constant.  and though it takes me a long time to work through my emotions and fears, etc.  i do work through them.  and i do save myself in the end.  i always do.

if i had a million dollars….

i would not be living with the dad.

i would buy a school bus, turn it into a mobile home, convert it to run on fryer grease, and head out to montana to buy a bit of land to homestead on.

maybe if i just keep putting it out to the universe….

while i’m at it.  i would like to be in a loving, supportive relationship where i am celebrated, trusted, and respected.

i survived another mother’s day…just barely.  mother’s day went south for me when i was in second grade & the teacher had us grow marigolds for our mothers.  i took mine home to my mom who said, “ick, i hate marigolds.”

my first mother’s day as a new mom, someone asked the dad what he was going to do for me for mother’s day, he replied, “she’s not my mom.”  and i get that same special treatment every year.  funny thing is–he often treats me like i’m his mom!  expecting me to clean up after him, etc.  so funny.

i kept crying today, just thinking about that & wondering…why did i stay with him?  all these years?  why?  i remembered how he lived with me for a full year when we first met, but because he had his own apartment to pay bills at–he never once offered to help me with mine–even though he was at my place 100% of the time.

why don’t i think i deserve to be treated better?  why do i let this happen?

i realized the other morning, after a fight, that he sabotages our relationship the same way he sabotages his jobs & friendships.  what the what?  but then he blames me.  always me.  we haven’t been in a relationship for over a year now at his insistence.  he regularly offers me sex with “no strings attached.”  (i politely decline.)  yet when i told him i do not want to live with him anymore–he made it out like i was dumping him.  ???  but we’re not a couple ???  so confusing.

so the dad is cruel to me the majority of mornings.  it angers him that i lie in bed nursing the baby, cat-napping, playing with the kids who crash my bed.  i let him know that the baby has me up at 4:30 or 5 every morning & i only get snippets of sleep thereafter (plus i’m up during the night changing diapers & nursing) plus i’ve been staying up late to get my homework done.  so i’m tired.  tired.  tired.  but the dad thinks i should get up in the morning & it angers him that i do not & then he is cruel to me.  then, later, he apologizes and is nice…until the next morning.

so i wrote this after one morning episode this week:

he cuts me down because he fears he will fall

i see now that it is not me at all, but himself that he hates the most.  because i remind him of what he hates in himself, he hates me too.  but not as much as he hates himself.  when i try to improve myself, he is reminded of his own lack of motivation.  when i take care of myself, he is reminded of his own self-destruction.  when i am a good mom, he fears he is a bad father.  he cannot celebrate/support me because he is too busy destroying himself.  he sabotages himself every chance he gets.  with his job, with our relationship, even with his own kids.  does this ease hes fear of failure?  to not try?  to be his own destroyer?

that morning he basically told me that my going to school was a stupid waste of time.  yay.  but then at school, my professor told me i should go for my MFA in creative writing!  i think i will listen to my professor rather than the dad.

awww crap

the dad is super depressed.  he says we would be better off without him.  he gets like this.  and i spend so much energy trying to cheer him up & to keep a peaceful-ish home & to be super upbeat while he is like this, that the minute he walks out the door, i feel like crap.  i didn’t even realize i do this.  is it a reflex?  did i do this as a kid when my own dad was on a rage?  i wonder.  but as soon as the pressure was off of me to convince the dad that the world is not a terrible place–i am spent, and i just want to hide away and lick my own emotional wounds.  it is easier for me when the dad is not around.  i do not want to live with him anymore.  but i do not want him to suffer either.  and when we can be friends…it is nice.

i’m tired.

to the bone.

another excerpt from together, tangled:

     She was the one to tell me about her idea and the Cowboys and how she thought she could make them work for us. She said she didn’t know how to feel about them sometimes. After all, they were fighting the same enemy as us, but they were also an enemy to us. Rough, mean killers. Rapists. Thugs. No love there, she told me. But was there hope?

     “Hope?” I asked.

     “For a truce. What if we could use their hate?”

     Hope. Sugar seemed coated in it. She seemed awfully hopeful about the whole goddamned mess.

     “But you said we couldn’t trust men,” I reminded her. I was afraid of this new determination to meet with these Cowboys to work out a truce. She wanted to go alone even, for christ’ssakes! She insisted that she had to see them alone, in good faith. They’re assholes. Whoever gave good faith to an asshole?

     “Not all men aren’t to be trusted. You’re right though, the Cowboys shouldn’t be trusted. But not all men are as tricky as that. I didn’t mean to make it so all men fall in the same hole, Ginger-baby.”

     “You said, anyone born with a dick. That’s what you said.”

     “Right. But some men are born dickless.” Sugar said it so matter-of-factly. I could tell she had spent a lot of time thinking about it and had some pride in her ideas about it. “Dicks, yeah, fuck ‘em. Anyone born with a dick, fuck ‘em. But sometimes you find one whose just born with a normal, harmless member hanging there between their legs. Dickless men are different. They aren’t always looking to get their member stuck where it don’t belong. Sometimes they do. But sometimes they don’t. There is some hope for the poor fuckers born dickless.”

being critiqued

i’m still in limbo with the dad.  i did talk to him last night.  i have been feeling completely rabid lately.  everything pisses me off.  i just want to lock myself in a closet.  after talking with my therapist–surrogate mom–whatever…i decided to talk to the dad.  it seems petty to me to be so upset by housework, but i am.  when i was a kid, i imagined myself trend-setting in new  york & europe.  but here i am, 43, mother of four, housewifing it up in the midwest.  it used to be that he paid all the bills–so i felt more obliged to do the housework, but he hasn’t done that in …um… five years?  for over two years now he hasn’t paid anything at all.  just recently he started giving me some child support.  after buying himself a $2000 laptop to play games on (but that is another story.)

so i told him that this is not working for me.  i am not his housewife.  i don’t see why he is entitled to declare that folding laundry goes against his core beliefs & not do laundry and even though i feel the same way about scrubbing a toilet–i still do it–because if i don’t–gross.

i told him we either have to learn to live together or learn how to live apart.

but it just kept circling back to the goddamned laundry.

fuck.  why is my point always lost beneath a pile of laundry?

so friday my super violent, lesbian, profane dystopian short story is being critiqued in my writer’s workshop.  here’s the excerpt i am thinking of reading for class:

     I was smarter than Sid. I kept going to my job. I kept acting like some mindless thing with no spirit born to me. I kept saying my “yessirs” and “yessums.” I never held my head up…except for when I was alone in a bathroom. There I would glare and snarl at the mirror and challenge the world to fuck with me—even though I knew I had to be quiet about it. And if any other person should wander in to the bathroom, then I would have to go into one of my coughing fits. Coughing fits to make them think I wouldn’t make it another year in this cold, damp world. Coughing fits to make them think I wasn’t enough of a bother to think twice about. Coughing fits to keep me alive. Coughing fits were my specialty. Some girls do spasms. Some do nose bleeds. Some think menstrual cramps are enough. Who’s afraid of some snit with cramps? The ones that can make their eyes yellow and skin cracked and hair brittle are the ones to reckon with. The ones who can make themselves look like they died a long time ago…man, those chicks are it. They can make the whole world go around as their hair falls out in handfuls.

     She was one of them. Sugar was. She was the toughest. She was always the one with the sickliest snot hanging low off of her chin and the one with the biggest flakes of skin peeling off of the hairless patches of her scalp. She did mange better than an alley-dog. Fuck, she didn’t even have eyelashes. She was amazing. So pale and weak looking. Made you think that if you cut her open she wouldn’t even have enough in her to bleed anything out. Nobody thought Sugar would make it past fifteen. She had them all fooled. I loved her for that. I worshipped her.