Monday, September 14, 2015
It's been months in the making but somehow this wait seems longer. All this time she's been preparing, been planning. She's played out what she's going to say so many times that she dreams about it, and even has answers for answers.
The girls nearby chat and flirt, effortless charm dripping from their perfectly manicured hands. She simultaneously sneers and longs to be one of them.
Her stomach tenses up, and she can feel herself breathe faster. It's been fifteen minutes now, but she's still just as tightly wound as she was at the start of the night. Her mouth feels dry, and muddy. Her cheeks feel warm and flushed. She steels her resolve, and tries to focus on the posters on the wall. Her eyes feel not quite themselves, and she keeps darting back to the tiny crowd ahead of her.
The people slowly fade, one by one. She can feel it coming. She can feel her turn just on the cusp. Part of her wants to slowly slink away, and part of her can't help but notice the bile building up in the pit of her abdomen. Closing her eyes, she tries to flatline her thoughts and steady the rest of her body.
He sees her, and smiles. She hits him back with a big, dumb grin.
He goes in for a hug. She gladly reciprocates.
And then her mind goes completely blank.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Inside, I have a handful of dresses. I could probably count on one hand how many times I've worn each one, if at all. In the back, is a black and white knee length houndstooth dress. I was married in that. Well, rather, I stood in front of someone and signed some papers with it. In front of that, I have a brown, 70's style dress, that I've never put on, and in front of that is the black Dickies dress that I wore for both my brother's funeral and as a Halloween costume several years later. Somewhere in there I also have two discounted wrap dresses, which I fondly refer to as my "going to a wedding" dresses, and on the floor somewhere is yet another dress I've never bothered with, but have because...well, I don't remember, really. It looks vaguely Asian, but always seemed too formal or prom-like to use for any event I've been to since I've bought it.
In the forefront of everything I have, shadowing over even the collectables I own that take up 80% of the room inside, is yet another dress. This one, however, was always different.
It looks pretty much like other things I have in there. It's knee length, mainly white, with bright candy red cherries printed all over it and bold blue stripes around the trim. It's happy, cheery, and just begs to be worn in the sun.
I had always thought that whenever I saw it. One day, when the time was right, it would be there for me. I'd walk in, like the belle of the ball, and shine. My steps would be light and airy, and my smile would be warm and inviting. I'd socialize with ease, and charm the pants off of anyone I wanted. In my mind, I had inadvertently made this my modern day Wonder Woman costume.
That was what I had thought, anyway. In the 7 or so years since I've had it, I've not once put it on, other than to see if it still fits. It does, but, now it's not the same as it was when I got it. I'm older now, so the colors seem a bit bold for someone my age. And my legs aren't exactly begging to be seen, either. And there isn't a thing out there that makes me think I could wear this to...anything anymore.
I still love this dress, though. It's beautiful, and I had pinned so many of my future hopes on it. In my mind, I'd wear it to the parties I'd host at my future house, or to an upscale backyard barbeque that served tiny hors d'oeuvres and flutes of champagne.
But I don't own a house. And I've never been invited to anything that fancy. Nor do I think I will be at any point. So the real question comes to mind...what do I do with it?
I could sell it online. It's practically brand new, and in perfect condition. Or I could give it to a clothing center. I'm sure they'd happily take it. Or maybe I could give it to another plus-sized gal in need of her own power dress. That is...if I knew any.
I selfishly want to keep it though. That small, almost invisible part of me that still holds out hope that I can use it one day is what's keeping me from saying goodbye to it. I know it's probably never going to happen, but, my heart aches for it to come true.
So, for now, in my closet, this will stay. Away from the outside, away from everything else, and away from me.
I might not see it again for a long time...maybe for years, who knows. Life is odd like that. Maybe by then, the moths will have made a fine meal of it. At least someone will have gotten a use out of it.
Monday, April 20, 2015
There was only one way she was going to get any sleep tonight.
There is a person lying on the ground. He's been shot and stabbed.
Blood ebbs at an even pace from his lower abdomen. The knife wound seeps through his jeans.
Everyone turns to you for help.
She wasn't a medical professional. She didn't even study medicine. But she knew if she could focus hard enough on something, she could possibly lull herself into a mental mum and claim those last few hours of precious sleep. She shifted her thoughts back to high school, in health class. The torrent of information bent slowly to her will, before she was able to pull up something useful.
Make the person comfortable. Calm him if possible.
Recruit others nearby. Send two to get help. Send one to call 911.
Tell two or three strong ones to stand by.
Lift his shirt. Inspect the wound.
The bullet seems to of went through. No visible debris.
She couldn't imagine actually doing this to a real person. In real situation, she would probably be one of the people sent for supplies. She wasn't afraid of blood or emergencies in general, but, she reasoned, the chances of her being the most qualified in this situation were pretty slim.
For a moment, she considered giving this person a name. Make it somebody she knew, or somebody she cared about. Perhaps even somebody she loved. The generic mannequin of a man in her mind began to ripple and move, like oiled water, filling out details that otherwise wouldn't of been there. First his feet, squared in boots, then his legs, thin and covered in black jeans. A prominent belt buckle. A black shirt. Calloused fingers.
Then his face emerged, twisted in agony. Droplets of blood painted his cheeks. Lips pale with panic.
She visibly frowned. Even though this was all in her mind, it felt as if she had actually just hurt him. Her heart sank. She couldn't change it now.
Grab something clean. Take the white tee off of the person in the back.
Tell the strong ones to gently hold him.
Slide it under the wound. Grab someone else's shirt.
Gingerly press with the second one.
She could hear it. The room she was in was completely silent, but somehow she heard the roar of his pain. She internally flinched, and forced her tongue on the roof of her mouth. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. She looked over at the clock, and it was ten minutes past 3 now. If sleep was ever going to come, she was going to have to finish this. She mentally kicked herself for not going with something simpler, like a farming or cooking a favorite recipe.
Hold the shirts in place. Slow the bleeding.
Try to get him to settle. More movement means more blood loss.
She imagined the things she would say in this situation just then. Soothing, wonderful things. Words of assurance, words of care. Things that really should of been written down, if she had the mind to grab something to do so then. Not really anything of poetic value, but maybe something Hallmark might want in the future. She snorted at the idea.
She heard the sound of him hissing in pain, looking her dead in the eye.
Inspect the knife wounds. No visible debris.
Most are shallow, save for the one on his thigh, near a major vein.
Blood loss is steady, but not heavy.
Take my hoodie off.
Ready the strong ones again.
The odds of her wearing a hoodie any day of the year were pretty good, she reasoned. It could be 70 degrees outside, and she could still get a chill.
Slide it under his leg, above the opening.
Pull the sleeves up--
She paused. She knew the next step, but not how to go about it in this situation. She was working on a man, after all. And in a crowded situation like this, would she really check for something like that? The potential to cause more harm and then adding something bordering on fanfiction fodder made her squirm underneath her sheets.
She rolled over on her side, and pulled her legs up. The red lights on her alarm clock stared her directly in the face. She sighed.
He tucks on the other side today.
Pull the sleeves up. Grab a thick branch and tie the arms at either end.
Begin twisting. Keep the pressure steady.
Keep him calm.
Surprisingly, she seemed to remember most of what she learned, despite actually failing the class twice in school. She couldn't climb the ropes, or run the mile that was required, so maybe that had something to do with it too. Or maybe her teacher just didn't like the way she laughed at the tourniquet slides. They were made of construction paper, after all.
She yawned, but still didn't feel tired yet. Closing her eyes, she tried to think of nothing, but nothing came. Her head was still so filled with restlessness, and her right eye began to twitch as if she had too much caffeine. She briefly thought about getting out of bed altogether before turning back to her imaginary reality, focusing as much as she possibly could on details this time.
Maybe if she made it more like a story, she thought, then maybe sleep would finally come for her.
The faint whine of police sirens echoed between the buildings, and the chorus of car horns blared loudly in the slow moving jam behind her. A soft wind weaved its way between puffs of exhaust and into the fabric of the crowd around her, all of them stupidly still gawking and unmoving, just as they were from the start. The man in front of her, still bleeding but nearly not, seemed to settle as well as anyone could, given the situation. His breathing became slower, and he wasn't moving around as much, which was good for not only him, but for the people who had to hold him earlier. She took her hand that was still holding on to the gunshot wound from earlier, and carefully eased up on the pressure until she had a free hand. Thankfully, the blood that was on his clothes and skin helped stick the wad of cloth enough to his side that only a faint dribble ebbed from beneath it.
She breathed in, and wiped her brow. A streak of clotted cerise marked her forehead.
Idly, she rested her hand back onto his torso, staying gentile yet firm on the wet wad. Help would be there soon, and then everything would be ok again. Only, something felt off now...
She moved her hand, and pressed it firmer. Nothing. She placed her hand on his chest and splayed her fingers flat, concentrating. Nothing. She dangled her fingers in front of his nose and waited. Nothing.
He stopped breathing.
Of course, she had to make it dramatic. Her overactive nocturnal brain dictated that it must be so. Because, if she cant manage something as simple and easy as sleeping, then why should anything else be any less cumbersome?
Perhaps storytelling wasn't what she needed right now.
Have someone take the tourniquet. Have another keep pressure on the wound.
Head tilt, chin lift. Sweep the mouth for debris.
The idea of actually putting her finger in someones mouth was a bit odd. Especially since, in this scenario, they were coated in blood. Granted, this was his own blood, so she reasoned that it cant actually be any different than putting your finger in your mouth after getting a cut.
Listen for a heartbeat...none.
Two fingers up from the bottom of the ribcage. Start chest compressions.
1, 2...listen. 1, 2...listen.
She could end it here. Just let him lie where he is, and wish him well on the river Styx. After all, this wasn't even real to begin with, so the consequences therein had no real meaning. Or, she could just as easily imagine a medical fairy, and poof! Everything is back to the way it should be. No need for gore, no need for realism, and no need for buried high school things that she wasn't even 100% positive she had right in the first place.
By the same token, she could just imagine pretty much anything else and wipe the whole façade away. She could conjure an entire world where death, sickness and injury wasn't even a possibility. One where she was queen, and could rule it all with her feminine charm, beauty, and piles and piles of gratuitous, Scrooge McDuck money.
She smirked, and rolled her eyes.
A methodical process is what she wanted when she started it. And that process wasn't done yet. She took a short breath of air in, as she bit her lower lip in anticipation of the next step.
Pinch the nose...
Her cheeks, suddenly felt warm.
...and begin resuscitation. Seal his mouth with...mine.
1, 2...listen. 1, 2...listen.
Alternate breaths with compressions.
Keep calm, keep focused.
A truck just outside her window sputtered into life as the man in front of her started coughing and inhaling ragged, rasping breaths. Her eyes flew open at the sudden collision of worlds, making her question which side she was actually on. She blinked a few times before she could remember.
Slowly, she reached back into her mind. She held her hand out just to be sure his breathing was ok, and then brushed away the stray hairs on his face. His eyes darted around for a moment before focusing on her face. The corners of his mouth weakly curved up in a smile of gratitude.
There...she had done it. She had saved her imaginary man. A feat altogether fruitless, yet, somehow, satisfying.
From where she was, she could see the inky skies of midnight giving way to the pastels of the morning sun, telling her that it was probably much later than she wanted it to be. Unfortunately, she still wasn't any closer to going to falling asleep. She rolled over with a small grunt, facing her back to the clock.
Only a few more hours to go before she had to wake up.
Maybe it was time for part two.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Usually, once a year, we would all go on a camping trip. Nothing major, just a nice extended weekend or so stuck out in the woods, huddled under platform tents or holed up in a cabin if it happened to be winter. The tents were a bit of a pain in the ass if you were unlucky enough to grab one last, as nobody wanted the tents under the trees by the river...too many web worms and spiders for anyones liking. So I would sometimes (though rarely) pass on those trips. But I always went to the winter ones. They were more fun anyway, and, who doesn't like sleeping by the fire, in a clean cabin, with a quilt and hot cocoa in tow?
I couldn't of been older than 14, this particular time. There were only about 10 of us, leaders included on this trip. I had my bag packed, my CD player in tow, and I was really looking forward to the days ahead. The snow was thick and fresh, and the air was just chill enough for frosted breath without being too harsh. Perfect.
The night when we first got there, the leader's daughter got really sick. She didn't boil the tapwater before drinking it, and had multiple projectile episodes throughout the first 24 hours. The water came directly from a lake that was a hop, skip and a jump away from where the cabin was, and apparently nobody told her. Admittedly, I drank some too, but I guess I got lucky.
The next day, due to the events of the night before, winds up being a 'free' day. We were allowed to roam anywhere we wanted, just so long as we took a buddy and avoided obvious dangers. I, as well as my friend and some other girls, opted for a snowball fight. Then when we got bored of that, we tried to slide down a pathetic bunny slope we made by taking two of the 'forts' and pressing them together. We were outside for maybe, 3 hours or so, before we all came scrambling inside for clean clothes and drinks.
Then, came the big event. The reason why we were all there.
An entire day at the Camelback ski resort.
Only some of us actually knew how to ski. So the one or two of us who did, had brought their gear along and did mostly that. The rest of us, who had never even seen the snowy side of a mountain before, headed over to the snowtube slopes. Well, 'slope' is kind of inaccurate in this case. Its was almost more like a snowy obstacle course that you had to traverse in a big, bouncy black tire. Most people were trying to stick to this or that, but we were determined to try and do it all.
I was shivering the moment we got there. The sun was as bright as a thousand incandescent flood lights, but not a whisper of warmth was in the air that day. I had on a pair of old shoes, worn jeans, a t shirt and one of those ever-popular Starter jackets that everyone was issued in the 90's. Stupidly, I remember thinking I was dressed decently for a day on and around cold, wet snow. Apparently to my adolescent brain, denim and cheap, K-Mart sneakers were waterproof.
We were there all day, and it was non-stop from the moment we got there. I did a lot of pushing, considering I was the biggest one there, including the leaders. When I did get my turn, I usually didn't get to go far. I wound up being pushed out of it more than in the tubes, so I slid on the ice and the white stuff a lot. I was soaked within the first hour, and I remember shaking a little from how cold I felt. Eventually, my body numbed over, and I took it as a sign that I could just go at it harder...y'know, since I was used to it now.
It was nearly dark when we left. Everyone was red-faced and smiling, and shared their stories on the way back. The skiers talked about riding the lifts and occasionally wiping out on the blue square paths. The chalet they wound up at apparently had killer hot chocolate and doughnuts. The others shot back with their tales, and the car was lit with giggles. I remember getting a headache the moment I sat down, so I just played my Discman until my batteries ran dry.
It only got worse on the ride back. I could feel my eyes droop, and my skin re-warm and shiver. The minor headache I had turned into a vice clamping down on my skull, and by the time we pulled into the driveway, I was desperate to get changed and under a blanket.
As quickly as I could possibly manage, I switched outfits. My skin still felt like frozen meat underneath, despite being in a warm building and rubbing my arms. When the other girls settled back into the other rooms, I grabbed someones quilt and sat directly in front of the fireplace. I was shaking, nearly convulsing now. I could feel myself registering heat, but I just couldn't get warm enough. So I pulled the chair I was in as close as I could to the glowing embers, without the risk of going up in flames. I remember my head feeling like someone had hit me with a sledgehammer then, pounding and blindingly painful. I started to feel dizzy, and my breathing felt off. Within moments I was swallowed by it all, and everything turned black.
It was a long time before I finally woke up. Hours, maybe. One of the leaders was sitting opposite of where I was, quiet and lost in a magazine. She smiled when she saw me finally stir.
"Boy, you must of really had fun today, huh? You came in, and passed right out!"
I mumbled something in response. What it was, I don't really know. All I knew was that I needed to get to bed, and get to bed now. I moved my arms and legs slightly, a little surprised at how difficult it was. My head, thankfully, didn't hurt nearly as much, though it did feel like it was wrapped in a thick, wet wool. I stumbled to my bunk, absolutely ungraciously, and slept a hard, dreamless sleep.
Morning came, and I was the last to rise. I was sore, rigid, and I still couldn't coordinate my movements too well. It was a bit of a task to focus, so I did the bare minimum when it came to getting ready for the day. I didn't really initiate conversation, and avoided eye contact too. Not like that was unusual. Even then, I was a bit of a weird loner, so nobody seemed to notice. And, for whatever reason, couldn't hear anyone too well that day, either.
"You don't remember?"
"Last night. When we got back."
Carol and I tried to wake you up after you fell asleep in the chair. Megahn even threatened to take pictures of you sleeping. You really don't remember?"
"N-n...uh, no. I guess."
"Heh...yeah. You really were dead out. Here, look."
She showed me the photo Meg took. I remember having to stare it a little too long to register that it was even me. My face was bloated, my lips looked weird, and my hair was everywhere. If there was a more unflattering shot of myself, I dare anyone to find it. I looked so stiff. So pale. So very...corpselike.
I struggled through the rest of the day. When it was time to leave one Sunday, I still didn't feel like myself. I was in too much of a cloud to do anything other than what I was told, and I didn't even bother with my Discman the whole ride back. Which, made the fact that everyone got real chatty on the trip home that much more of a task.
I never told anyone what happened back then. It didn't really seem that important. In my mind, I ran my body into the ground having fun...you know, normal kid stuff. Next time, I would just have to be more careful, maybe even make myself take a break or two. No big deal, right?
Well, as bad as all that sounds, it's actually a bit worse than it is. If you don't already know, I have a rare blood disorder that makes me allergic to cold temperatures. Yes, that's right. Allergic. Hives and all. At the time, I didn't know that. Nor would I for years afterward. My mom had told me that we just get "red spots" if we didn't keep ourselves warm. It's a hereditary thing, going back to my grandmother. Maybe even further, I don't know. All I did know, was that winter tended to make me feel like I had been punched by a titan with a drinking problem if I stayed outside for too long, for...some reason.
I sometimes think back to that photograph. Does anyone still have it? I lost touch with everyone from that troop fairly quickly after this trip. Not because any of us meant to, but, high school was becoming more important, and, well, priorities change. Part of growing up, I suppose.
It's strange, seeing yourself in a state you don't recognize. Was I ever really just...sleeping?
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
May my precious little gray window into the online world rest in peace. A moment of silence, if you will.
Ok, well, maybe that's a little dramatic. But it's something out of my hands currently. I've boiled it down, with the help of my friend Sarah and Google, that it's either the motherboard or CPU. And I don't really have the skills to manage repairing either one of those. I'll try taking it to a technomancer once I get my tax return this year, but I'm not holding my breath. As for now, my husband is letting me use his while he's at work, so I'll have at least that. Though, to be perfectly honest, with the amount of downloading he does, and the number of malware/viruses he's unintentionally absorbed, writing on this one feels akin to bonking the cheapest hooker in the horde. So, I'll be a smart girl this time, and save everything I do on it to multiple online sources, lest the cyber gonorrhea dissolves it all.
I'm currently working on a few things now, so expect a new post or two soon.
Because we all know...the anticipation was killing you.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
So, you may be wondering where all that promised content went that I talked about in my last entry.
I still have all of it...I'm actually staring down at least 4 draft entries as I type. But I can't do much with them for the time being. I don't have the other halves of the drafts in my phone, and typing out multiple paragraphs with just my index finger is a real nuisance. Why not just use my laptop, you say?
Because it's sleeping. It's sleeping soundly in a wordless, pictureless void. Drfiting, without color, without music, in the black hexidecimal rivers of electronic limbo.
Plainly speaking, the damn thing isn't working.
It happened right around Xmas. My innocent Acer, sitting on my kitchen table, waiting patiently for the holiday craziness to be over so we could both get back to business. And then, one night, a nefarious pointy eared villian took it upon herself to make a statement...
...and peed all over the laptop. With like, an incredible amount of fluid. Seriously.
I'm trying to resurrect it though. The first day, I let it drain and dry, then I dismantled it days later and swabbed everything down with alcohol. For whatever reason, I couldn't pry the keyboard out initially, so I only got to clean the motherboard on one side at first. I tried to start it, but it wouldn't budge. Days after that, I got it completely taken apart, and, OH JOY, I see corrosion. So now I'm waiting to get some stronger stuff to try to get that all off. Weirdly, 99% alcohol/denatured alcohol are sometimes hard to find. Ech...
I'd have it professionally looked at if I had the money. Because honestly, I'm not even 100% sure that all this will work or if I can help it without replacing things. The minor stuff isn't too bad, about $60 or so. But if the CPU or motherboard need to be replaced...I'm screwed.
So, that's how things are at the moment. It's questionable when I'll be able to post again. I may have to wait all the way until June, worst case scenario. Hopefully, I'll have something worth the wait.