What Do You See?

I have to wonder if you see them differently now.

Now that you know.

To assume that perhaps you don't believe it- that just doesn't fit. How could you not?

So what do you think when you see them with their masks on, knowing that is what they wear- their masks they cling to with every fiber of their being. What do you see? Do you see the ties ending in a looping bow at the backs of their heads? Do you see the distortion between frames?

I guess I'm asking,

Is what you see and what is real finally colliding? Or do doubts still linger?

Cause they still linger for me. And I'll try not to hate you if you still have your doubts. But I guess I'm looking for someone who is sure. Who knows what's going on and doesn't think that maybe, perhaps, it's all in my mind.

It might be too much to ask, still.

The Leaving Thing

I hate the phrase, "Well, everyone feels that way."

I didn't say they didn't. I was just explaining how I felt. I know others feel the same way. But it's not like you can really fit that in to a conversation without feeling like you're stating the obvious.

I don't know what I'm getting at.

I just... I get attached to people. And I hate it when they leave.

And if I say that to anyone, they say "Well, duh. Everyone feels that way."

But I'm just stating. Getting it out there. I don't want to start all over again. Please don't make me. But there's no choice.

This is how life goes.

It's for the best, really.

Still sad, though. I could really use a person to talk to right now. Someone who knows my story, so I don't have to explain and back track to where all this relates.

Je suis une ananas

I remember way back in grade 4 or 5, when we first started learning French, we watched this silly little french kid's show.

I had already known one word in French since grade 2. "Chat." My brother taught me it by sound, so I always thought it was spelled "Shat" and would wonder why my teachers would mark it wrong. I'd use it whenever I could, only knowing that it meant cat and sounded so much cooler since no one else knew it. The same thing happened with multiplication and fractions- my brother would teach me the basics when he would learn them, and then I'd be so great at them for the first few lessons when we finally got to try them, and then later on... Well, I dropped French in grade 10 (the earliest I could) and I had to go down to college level math in grade 10, too. Funny how things turn out, huh?

Well, the first whole sentence my class got to learn came from this silly show that starred a pineapple. I bet you can guess what the phrase was, especially if you remember watching it as well.

"Je suis un/une ananas!"

Oh what fun we had. We ran around for weeks calling ourselves a pineapple, our friends a pineapple, everyone a pineapple. Even before we learned to conjugate, we'd call other people pineapples by saying "You suis un/une ananas!" or "You are an ananas!" Phrases that would make many a French teacher cringe at the butchering of their beloved language.

But us? We kids? We found it awesome.

And it carried with us. We were all different, and everyone had been the brunt of a cruel joke, and everyone had been on the whacker end of it, through the years (very few people moved out, and very few people moved in, so until middle school (which was a huge shocker for all of us) we were all friends and enemies and knew each other's parents and sometimes grandparents). But no matter how long since that first lesson, if you said "Je suis un/une ananas!" or any of its conjugations, those from our grade way back then would smile, and we'd know.

We could remember the shouts of glee from years past in that one moment.

And sometimes, someone would respond, "Non, tu as un/une ananas!"

And it was on.

I Wish

Today's been a hard day.

I feel like I'd do anything to stay at Terri's again.

But I won't.

I just remember the coyote, sleeping without fear, eating pizza, sitting on her couch. The memories hurt and they sting, and they're the memories I honestly thought wouldn't do this to me.

I kind of feel heartbroken.

I woke up today at 4am to a huge crash of thunder that shook the whole house and continued and continued and continued.

I thought I was going to die. I hadn't heard thunder in so long, and in my disoriented state...

I know my mind shot to the questions it always does when I wake up at such a time: Am I next? Is my mom coming after me? What will she say now? Will I feel like killing myself again?

I don't want to fear my parents anymore. I didn't fear my parents at Terri's, and now it's blocked off to me.

I wish... part of me wishes I never asked for her help. But I don't really mean that.

I just wish it didn't turn out this way. I wish I knew why it did.

I can't take your pushes anymore.

"Where does this go?"

"Um... I don't know."

"Well, there's your mom, why don't you ask?"

"... I'd rather not."


"Ask your mom about it."

"Uhm... She's not in a very good mood so I'd rather not."



"She's going too fast calling out the numbers! I can't keep up! Do something!"

"No! I can't. I wish I could but I can't."

"Why not? Just do it!"

"Because it's just not worth it. She'll either snap at me for being a selfish, impatient bitch or she'll use it against me later."

"How do you even know that if you won't go ask?"

"Because I've been in similar situations before, and this is how it goes!"

"Just do it! My god."

"No! Don't even bring it up, or I could get in trouble."

"Yeah right. You're overreacting."


All. Day. This, all day.

Didn't you hear her snap on me for asking YOUR question about the types of soup?

Didn't you see her throw a knife and two potatoes at the wall after Grandma commented on the knife she was using being too long (it was awkward to handle when you're peeling)?

Don't you see her looking for someone to release her anger on?

Don't you feel that tension?

And if you don't, then can't you just believe me that it's safer to keep quiet, to let her do her thing, than to have to be a pariah in my own house? To be called every name in the book? To be punished by both parents when I have done nothing wrong?

Haven't I told you enough stories? Won't you just finally believe me?

Instead, you insist it's my fault. That this will all get better when I become better, or remove myself entirely. You insist that the stories I tell are exaggerations.

I'm honestly tired of being your friend. Because that isn't what you are to me at all.

I give up.

And thanks, by the way. I asked you not to make a big deal about her calling too fast, and then you flung it in her face the second you had a chance. I told you. I begged you to just let it go. And now she's most likely going to project that opinion onto me, though I didn't say anything, and use it against me in an argument.

I begged you to believe me, so many times. Each time, you pushed it away. I didn't want to do this. I didn't want to have to go through this again. But I'm stronger now, and if I want to keep healing, I can't have you around, doing this to me.


I have been to two funerals in my life. Both of them for people I hardly knew. My grandfather on my mother's side, who was abusive to his immediate family and intimidating and scary to me (my only memory of him from when I must have been 4 or 5 is a big man cloaked in shadows with my uncle Bill trailing behind him as he walks by me playing in the kitchen and disappearing down the stairs). My aunt's husband who was kind, but my mom disliked her sister and we never really saw them much.

To think of it, they both died in cars. Not in car accidents, specifically, but at lights. I think my grandfather was in a car with my uncle Bill and had a heart attack while driving, and they might have been in a crash. My aunt's husband was at a stoplight and had a stroke or heart attack of some kind.

I've always been kind of removed, you know? It's an uncomfortable feeling. You don't even know what you're feeling, or what you're supposed to feel.

Then one of my friends' friends died. I knew him a little, mainly from playing cards in the library once with everyone. What was I supposed to say? Feel? I felt scared, lost... I think I cried a little but I didn't know if I was supposed to cry if I'd never really, truly known him.

I've got a lot of uncles. Not all of them are really uncles. More like good friends of the family. I think we've got three or four. We had three or four. One of them got pushed out of the circle by my mother.

One of them, my Uncle Ken, came from England. Has such a heavy English accent that half the time I can't even understand what he's saying.

He was lying on the floor of his apartment for three days, unable to move. The Superintendent found him and called 911 today. He was sent to Mac and then his condition deteriorated and now he's heavily assisted by a breathing machine.

His son can't fly over till the 22nd. That's 19 days away. I don't think anyone believes he'll survive that long.

I wasn't ever really close to my uncle Ken. Or, perhaps I was when I was young, but not anymore. I remember once he got me a doll from England with wide eyes that blinked and moved depending on how you tilted the head. I believe that doll gave me nightmares. He also often brought back small double-decker buses painted red with real advertisements around them.

We invited him over every Boxing Day, Christmas, and Christmas Eve, and we took him with us for Thanksgiving. He was invited over at other times too. But he was always a step removed from everything, and I wanted to include him but couldn't understand him with his accent, so I'd just make it worse.

He was kind though. Always kind.

I don't really know how to feel.

A Memory: Coffee, Pennies and Duct Tape

You know what I remember?

The day before my friend's birthday.

Me and M and S all went to get his present. It involved four of those large cans of Maxwell coffee grind, and 15$ in pennies.

We had the bank tellers laughing at our intentions, but they exchanged the money happily.

We carted it back to my house, or I think perhaps my brother picked us up. S went home, M stayed.

We found a box. A huge box. Set it on my bed and taped all the seams. lined the inside with tin foil, scotch tape, and duct tape. Messed up a thousand times. We didn't know what we were doing exactly, just that we were doing it and we were making it up along the way.

Grouped pennies together in ones, twos, threes, and sometimes fours and wrapped them in little pieces of siran wrap, because we were worried the copper would get into the coffee and make it toxic, or the copper would end up doing some weird coffee-oxidizing thing and mess everything up.

Tossed the covered pennies into the bottom of the box. Opened all the cans of coffee, poured them out in the box, re-lidded them and wondered what to do. Fit them all in at the top, completely obscuring the sea of coffee grinds. Closed the box. Taped it up.

But that wasn't enough.

I forget all the layers. There was a layer of plain scotch tape. another layer, I think, of siran wrap and/or tin foil, and then an impressive double layer of heavy duty duct tape that made so much noise, my father told us to quiet down. Which only made us laugh louder.

Said good bye, waved her off from my front porch. Stared at the box defiantly. Wondered where the heck I was going to put it.

Got my brother to drive us to the party. Lugged the box in and down a deadly flight of stairs.

The party sucked. I remember that. Awkward, because of a break up, and I found no point in Guitar Hero. Still don't, honestly. Or at least, no point for me. I rather dislike it.

But the presents opening.

He cheated, our friend. Took his pro exacto knife to the box and had it open in seconds. But we weren't done. He saw the cans. Laughed, said thank you, then picked one up. Empty. And beneath it, darkness.

Laughter. Hanging off each other, Me and M and S could hardly stand up. The look on his face was priceless, though I can't remember it now. He picked up each one. "Well... at least I won't need to buy coffee for a while!" he joked. But that still wasn't all.

We told him to dig. Dig like he'd never dug before, till he felt something. So he dug, and pulled out a poorly-designed sack half filled with coffee grinds despite our best efforts. Opened it up, saw the pennies.

"There's about 14,997 in there. We think we lost about 3," we explained. "Good luck unwrapping them all and getting people to take it."

For the next two months, M was volunteering at the school store. Our friend paid for everything he bought in rolls of 100 pennies.

He told us the actual total. Something like 14,987 or so.

Others thought it was too cruel, but this was payback for a trick present on S earlier that month. Us four, we got it. We understood it. And we laughed the truest and the hardest at it. He got us back, of course, but that was part of the fun.

It never happened again, but I like to think I'll always remember this memory.