Sunday, October 25, 2015


The deep oxblood-colored fluid bubbles up from the mud near the edge of the river and trickles over the edge of the bank right into the flowing water that runs through the middle of Sandersville, a sleep little town about an hour from the Gulf of Mexico and split in the middle by Port River. The river itself was the life of the town, a source of recreation, food (with its huge population of catfish), and history. An annual festival, River Days, was even held near the river’s banks celebrating the gifts it brought to the town’s population; without it, the place never would have existed in the first place.
The fluid, almost as if it has a mind of its own, defies the pulling gravity of the banks on the outskirts of town, pushing uphill before making its way over the bank away from the rockiest places as if it didn’t want any obstructions potentially foiling its plans. Every drop that hits the surface of the moving water is mixed, dissipated, and carried forward…


Nancy’s frying up a mess of catfish that her neighbors had given her from their haul that day when she hears the screaming. It’s close but not in her yard close. She has 10 acres of land, so she figures it must have been coming from one of the neighbor’s property that borders hers. She tilts her head tucking her thick brown hair behind her ear to get a better listen and hears it again, longer this time, more frantic.

She flips the stove eye off, wipes her hands on the green dish towel hanging over the oven door, dials 911 on her cell, and explains the situation to the dispatcher. The sheriff’s on his way out, but given where she lives, it’s going to take him a good 20 minutes. Curiosity overwhelms her caution, and she heads to the closet near back door to grab her flashlight, her .22, and some extra ammo. Just in case.

She never keeps the gun loaded even though she lives here alone and has no kids. The dogs aren’t going to break in and get the gun, but her daddy always taught her safety first, and those lessons stuck with her. No exceptions. She takes a moment to load 10 rounds, braces herself, and steps out the back door.

Outside, she hears another blood-curdling scream coming from the Myers’ place on her left. Never in her life has she heard another human being make that sound. It makes the baby-fine hairs on her arms stand on end. Even in the 80 degree Southern humidity, she shivers violently like she’s found herself standing in the snow in her skivvies. Another scream pierces the air before its cut off with a loud thud. She feels a wave of panic and fear well up inside her chest, sending her heart into a flurry of beats. The beer she drank earlier announces its desire to make a fast, messy exit from her body, but she swallows hard, takes some shallow breaths, and moves slowly towards the sound. Really, the direction of those screams is the last place she wants to find herself walking towards as the last rays of sunlight fade behind the trees across from her land, but she could never live with herself if she doesn’t at least scope it out and see if she can help.

She isn’t really close to the Myers but they’re neighborly enough. She’s given them eggs when her hens laid more than she could eat and let their kids, Tommy and Michelle, come pick plums and apples from the trees in back. They don’t really socialize much. The women don’t get together for brunch or social hour or any of that shit, and Nancy is fine with that. Hell, she likes it better that way. But they *are*neighbors and stay friendly enough, and if there’s a slight chance Nancy might be able to help them out, she’s going to. It’s just who she is, and she knows it. No sense fighting her own nature. Her daddy had told her that too late one night after one of her softball games. “Nancy,” he had said, “one of these days there’s going to come a time when you can either hide who you are and who you love from the world like a coward or you can be brave enough to be who you really are. I might not understand much about how the world works, but all I know, girl, is that I want you to be brave. Be you, bug, and screw what everybody else thinks, promise?” She was only 14 at the time, and she really hadn’t understood it then, but the first time she went out with a girl, that same conversation came back to her, haunted her when she spent a few years trying to deny her real self, but eventually, she kept the promise she made to her daddy that night. She is who she is, unapologetically, and there’s no use hiding out in the house tonight acting like nothing is happening.

She thinks the night will be born into quiet as she crosses the last yards of her tract of land before crossing onto the Myers’. The screams are gone. All she can hear is her own breathing and the rustle of the dying grass of Autumn under her footsteps. It shouldn’t be quiet like this in the country at dusk. Night creatures should be coming to life, crickets chirping, dogs barking at their shadows. The dark, reaching its tendrils around the last remaining remaining stretches of dimming orange light, is eerily silent.

When she gets right on the edge of the property line she catches some sort of noise. Finally. But she can’t quite identify the sound or the cause. It’s almost like a low growl but there’s a gravelly crunching sound mixed in as well. The closer she gets to the barn on the Myers’ land, the louder it gets, the wetter it sounds…almost like a pig on slop, smacking and slurping and rooting around.

She stands outside the barn doors, flashlight on now that the remaining light of day is asleep until dawn. The smallish circle of light is shaking as she moves it back and forth across the ground in front of the doors. Flecks of blood coat the grass like morning dew. Her own toes, unhidden from the elements in her plain black flip flops, are smeared with crimson streaks. Her breathing is fast and hard, heart thumping so hard she swears she is going to have a heart attack, but she pulls the bard doors open slowly and as quietly as possible. The rifle is still slung over her shoulder, but with her flashlight in hand, it’s hard to do anything with it that makes her feel any better about walking into that barn.

With a bravery she was unaware she possesses, Nancy sweeps the light first one way then the next but sees nothing out of the ordinary. The sounds are coming from a pen their pig Lord Byron used to live in before he finally passed from old age. The sheriff should be here anytime, and part of her knows she should just back out of there right now, but there’s another part of her screaming at her to keep going, to find out where those sounds are coming from. That part of her is thinking of Tommy and Michelle and knowing the difference between saving a life and burying someone can be just moments of time, and its that part that pushes her forward to see just what the fuck is going on in that pen.

And then she wishes she would have told that oh-so-brave part of herself to eat a bag of dicks because what she sees in that pen is a complete horrorshow.

Ted Myers is there kneeling over Sandra, his wife, feasting on some part of her that Nance can’t even begin to identify. Sandra is an all-you-can-eat buffet and Ted came to get his money’s worth from the looks of it. The light catches his attention, and he turns quickly growling and baring his bloody teeth before he turns back to his meal.

If this were a movie, she thinks, I would be wearing high heels and would fall, cut my forehead a tiny bit, rip my shirt so my boobs almost flop out, and become the second course to Ted’s macabre meal. She would be the part of Sunday dinner that would make Ted have to unbutton his pants to get some relief.

This isn’t a damned horror movie, she thinks, but are these shoes really any more sensible?

All the while she’s thinking, she stands frozen, light still focused on the unbelievable scene before her, her mind broken. Ted’s the kind of guy that holds his wife’s hand in the market. The man before her is nothing like the Ted she thought she knew.

Something within her finally snaps in place, and she starts to back away slowly being careful to move the light away from the scene without attracting any more attention from….that thing…than she already had. She struggles to open the barn doors without taking her eyes away from the back of the building but finally manages to get free and closes the doors behind her. A pile of 2 x 4s are stacked to the right of the door, and she slides one through the handles to keep whatever was in there from getting out.

In the distance she heard sirens and hoped it wasn’t too late for Tommy and Michelle.


Since it's the last installment of Sunday Confessions before Halloween, I decided to do a little campy horror. Hope it gets you all in the mood for frights and delights for the upcoming Halloween weekend. Be sure to check out the other contributions on More Than Cheese and Beer. The prompt this week is fluid. 

Happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I Loved

Before I post this, I just want to say this is fiction. I have never dealt with this personally and hope that I havent done any injustice to the topic by writing about it. I like to explore characters and potential reactions to life's problems like grief and loss and love... And I honestly hope I never have to know what it feels like to be in this narrator's shoes because I'm not sure I would handle it so well personally.


“At least we aren’t that bad off yet, right? Fighting each other in the mud for a scrap of water. What kind of life is that?” I had asked her during the first parts of Mad Max: Fury Road. We were home that night, neither of us being too keen on going to the cinema anymore with people on cell phones the whole time, loud ass, disruptive kids, and the recent rash of theater shootings.

“Are we really all that different though? Aren’t we all fighting for scraps while the rich keep the power and the money?”

This was another reason we didn’t like going to the theater, these conversations.

“Well… we have water and no one makes us shave our heads.”

“Shaved heads notwithstanding, does everyone have water?”

“Not everyone, no.”

“But isn’t there enough money in the world to make sure they do?”

“I’d have to do the math on that, but most likely.”

“And isn’t there some random rich white person that decides on occasion to do some charity and bring medicine or food or water instead of everyone pulling together and actually resolving the issues that cause it? Sort of like raining down water from a gushing pipe every now and then?

“I mean…I don’t think those people are necessarily as evil as this guy, Sadie.”

“Some famous guy somewhere said something about the biggest evil being inaction.”

And with that her point had been proven for the most part, I guess. We enjoyed the rest of the movie, but the conversation was done. That’s the kind of thing I remember about her most, the thing I might miss the most except smelling her in bed beside me, feeling her heat, being able to put my cold toes against her calves and start a wrestling match in bed. I miss those moments beside her in bed the absolute most, but I also miss that quick intelligence, the snapshot conversations that didn’t take a debate or hours worth of back and forth. She dropped in and made her point, and that was that. It was like that idea was waiting inside her perfect little brain just for the right moment to show itself.

I’ve dated since Sadie.

Let me rephrase that. I’ve been out with other women since Sadie, but ultimately I end up comparing them to her or her to them, and it never works out. And even if I like someone, she inevitably asks me how I deal with it—having been with someone who committed suicide.

Is there an answer to that question, though? Truthfully, I haven’t dealt with it. Truthfully, every time I sit down to dinner with some other woman, I feel like a lying cheat. I hate myself for it. My heart still belongs to a woman that never wanted to be in this world in the first place, and all I can do is lay awake at night and think of all the things I should have said or done or not done even while knowing there was nothing that would have changed it. Rationally, I *know* it wasn’t the first time she tried to end things and that it was a constant battle for her. I *know* that it was going to happen sooner or later because even when she got the help she needed, it was only a temporary fix. But, the part of me that doesn’t give a shit for rationalization, the part of me with all the feels…that part of me is always and forever going to search for something I maybe could have done differently that might have made all the difference.

I love her. Even now after 2 years in this world without her, I think I love just as much as the first time I ever told her. Or maybe just as much as the 12th time I told her. I did kind of rush into things, but the first time I met her I just kind of knew that I would fall head over heels in love with her. I don’t scorn her memory for leaving me with all this baggage, and I don’t think she took the coward’s way out of things the way her family seems to… What I do think is that I was lucky enough to spend 6 long years with her through the hard times and the best times, through the tears and the depression and through the days when we laughed so hard together that my face ached the next day. It hurts to be without her. It hurts more than I ever thought anything could hurt me, but she was honest with me from the start, so how can I fault her? She told me on our 3rd date that one day she would probably commit suicide one day, and if I was going to date her, she needed me to understand it would never be forever. It was a serious conversation, but I already had a serious crush, and I thought naively that maybe it wasn’t as bad as she made it out to be. That’s when I told her that life isn’t worth living without taking risks, and that I needed to know what falling in love with her felt like despite those risks.

She kissed me for the first time that night and cried softly into my neck afterwards.

So how do I deal with it?

I don’t.

I don’t think there’s a way to deal with losing the love of your life. Sure, life goes on and all that. I don’t cry every day anymore, so there’s improvement to be had, but there will never be a time when her memory fades, that I don’t fall asleep at night wishing she was here, and I’m okay with that. I took the risk with her and saw it through, and for at least awhile I knew how it felt to love someone more than I loved myself.


I hope the strength of my narrator shines through instead of this being seen as bleak and depressing... thanks for reading and be sure to check out the rest of the link ups and the More than Cheese and Beer blog!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Relationship Anarchy

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: deviant, haunted, desolate, transparent, wretched. 

They were submitted by:


Matters of the heart require a person to be completely transparent. I don’t mean that you have to tell someone you don’t like the way their eyeshadow looks that day (because maybe its not about your preferences), but you do have to be perfectly clear about what you want and how you feel.

I am, always. Transparent.

But, that doesn’t make things any easier for me.

You see, I’m sort of aromantic. That doesn’t mean that I can’t fall in love with someone. It doesn’t mean that I’m some sort of wretched creature haunted by the past who has had her heart stomped on one too many times or a desolate, lonely cat lady who can’t find love. I’m not some deviant who only cares about herself and has no regard for others. But, I can’t be in the confines of a traditionally defined relationship without feeling like I’m suffocated. I get depressed, anxious, lose all sense of self in relationships that come with all these expectations of how people are supposed to act and feel, what they do and don’t do, how they relate to one another.

The first reaction I get, typically, is a statement that I haven’t met the “right” man yet which doesn’t even make any sense to begin with since I don’t *only* like men. Regardless, the idea that everything I know about myself can be resolved or changed because of a man is a bit absurd. And then there are the people who assume I have a broken heart that just needs to find love to mend itself or that I need to get laid. There’s always a few people who believe I don’t really know what I want and need to figure myself out, or that I need someone to sweep me off my feet or that I have only had shitty relationships. I’ll come around. I’ll want to get remarried one day. I’ll stop wanting to have my cake and eat it, too. No matter how transparent I am about my thoughts and beliefs, rarely can anyone accept that they might just be the truth. Instead, how I feel and what I believe is treated more like a challenge to prove me wrong.

Not being heard is quite an annoyance to say the least.

The thing, for me, is that I don’t really need the labels. I don’t necessarily have problems being monogamous, but I don’t want someone thinking I’m not allowed to be my flirty self, that I can’t call on others for the conversations I crave, that I shouldn’t spend so much time on the people I write or my hobbies or writing period. And, in my own experience, even when the idea of a relationship is (even falsely!!) a remote possibility, I am expected to make changes that really aren’t me. I am perfectly willing to make comprises and sacrifices for someone I love, but I am not, absolutely not, going to lose myself in someone else’s insecurities while they attempt to control aspects of my life, theirs, and ours together that are truly beyond both of our control.

To me, any social relationship, even one without clearly defined labels, is existential in nature. It’s going to end. One way or another, the relationship will either run its natural course or at least one member of the relationship will die. It’s a fact of life. There is no escaping the fact that forever is sort of an arbitrary term that doesn’t mean what it implies. To me, and in my experience, promising someone forever is taken to literally mean forever, and both parties end up trying to control every little thing they can to ensure the other person’s promise is upheld. Controlling another person’s behavior, though, is really sort of impossible without a pretty severe level of emotional abuse. See, I can make a commitment, a promise, and focus on my own behavior, what I do, how I behave, and how I treat the other person, but I can’t *make* them treat me the same way, behave the way I do, or not sleep with anyone else. I can’t make them love me and only me for the rest of life. As human beings, it seems like controlling things is what we want to be able to do….but it’s just not the way things work.

My existential responsibility, then, is to enjoy what is in front of me while I have it because I really have no control over how long that person is in my life. All I can do on my end is love them, treat them fairly and with affection and the way I want to be treated. I can choose monogamy and hope that person does, too, but there’s no way I can put a metaphorical chastity belt on them with a label or a piece of paper. I can tell that person what I want and what I expect, but I can’t enforce that in any way, so why should I spend the time we do have together worrying about it? I’d rather just *be* with that person for as long as we decide it’s good. And when it no longer is, we can agree mutually to go our separate ways. Does that take a label or a marriage certificate? Maybe it does for other people, but it’s not what I want. I just want to appreciate what I have for as long as I have it with someone and live life instead of spending all my time worried about what the future with that person holds.

I concede that may be odd in the world today, but it doesn’t mean I don’t know exactly what I want and how to get it or that I need someone to come along and show me everything I knew about myself was wrong. In fact, I don’t *need* anything except coffee in the morning, hugs from the kid, and Halloween candy.


Thanks for reading! Here are the links to the rest of the participating blogs: Baking In A Tornado Spatulas on Parade The Momisodes Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Southern Belle Charm Rena’s World Confessions of a part time working mom Never Ever Give Up Hope Someone Else’s Genius Searching for Sanity Climaxed Dinosaur Superhero Mommy The Bergham Chronicles The Angrivated Mom Eileen's Perpetually Busy

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Teenage Wasteland Mixtape

In my teens, I thought I was a real rock rebel.

I wasn’t.

More than anything I was a misfit, insecure and scared on the inside who paraded around like some kind of badass bitch hoping that everything I thought of myself and everything I felt wasn’t as blaringly obvious as I feared. That was me in a nutshell--always pretending to not give a shit, always hiding behind what I wore and big, scary words. A heart of glass masquerading as a heart of ice, me.

I can say that now that I’m 34 looking and feeling better than I ever have, but then? If this me traveled back in time to give young me some advice, young me would flip the bird and tell this me where to stick it. Young me thought of herself as wise beyond her years not realizing that years are a requirement. Maybe everything I went through did make me a little more mature than some of the other people I knew back in those days, but in no way did I have all the answers I thought I did. No one that insecure in her own skin has the answers to much of anything. Getting over that insecurity, an ever-present battle, is something that comes with time and a whole lot of effort, and maybe just maybe I will have half the answers I thought I did when I was young and full of it.

The songs you might find on an autobiographical mixtape from my adolescence are just as eclectic and confused as I was. In those songs, you can feel my rage from the turmoil and upheaval of my parents’ divorce and the aftermath of death threats against my mom and foolishly moving back in with my dad despite his history of abuse and drug addiction problems. You find evidence of my drug experimentation, of the friends loved and lost, of unrequited love and a budding sense of my own indefinable sexuality. There’s an air of melancholy to it all, to being such an outsider. But, simultaneously there’s a heavy forcefulness that shows just how much I *made* myself an outsider. It’s a soundtrack of contradictions, changes in tempo, and every over-the-top teenage emotion possible. Every song brings up a well of emotions and memories crawling out of locked boxes and dirty hampers and shadowed crevices to both electrify my senses and make me cringe in embarrassment.

It’s time travel that leaves you breathless and nauseated and weirdly nostalgic for days that you’re glad are over.

Teenage Wasteland Mixtape

1. Smells Like Teen Spirit—Nirvana

Did you call that? I bet you did or at least you could have because didn’t everyone who wanted to stand out think that listening to this would do the trick? I think it was supposed to be like some magic pill to take to instantly be about a million times cooler than you actually were at least until everyone took that same pill and it was no longer the edgy thing to do. The lyrics were nonsense, but that made it better somehow. More mysterious to explain to parents. And the naked baby on the cover outraged them which is exactly what made me buy it. I hadn’t even heard of the band, but I was fucking angry. I don’t know that I was angry about the divorce necessarily, but it was so much change, so much fear when my dad came around, so much guilt when I visited him, and so much resentment about my mom moving on so quickly and adding yet another element of change to the chaos and all I wanted out of life at that time was to make her just as angry as I was. Now, I’m not saying that was a fair attitude to have, but that revelation came with time and a whole lot of growing up. Back then it satisfied all my misery and channeled my anger into something I could deal with. That whole album was one of the first times I realized that music could do more than entertain for whatever brief time a song lasted; it can make you feel alive, make you want to keep living--which is something I contemplated a lot in those days.

2. Me & Bobby McGee—Janis Joplin

I moved back in with my dad not long after my mom moved in with her new boyfriend (who has been my stepdad for almost two decades or more than two decades or something like that). It was too much change for a kid my age (12/13) to take one, I guess. I don’t even know why I wanted to in the first place, but I missed my room and the dirt roads I grew up on, the familiarity…I missed home. My dad had his own bar in his house. He built the actual bar and the shelves behind it with his own hands. There were lighted beer signs on the walls and random things to do with dicks. It was definitely an adult area situated essentially in our living room. And, man, did he have a killer sound system. He had progressed from a turntable to cassettes at that point, and eventually got a CD player, but I remember listening to a Janis Joplin greatest hits cassette with one of his many girlfriends over and over and over. This song in particular takes me back to sitting on the kitchen counter laughing it up with her in some of my dad’s old clothes. She told me that day I had a little bit of Janis in me.

3. Say It Ain’t So--Weezer

I listened to a lot of stuff in the year and a half I stayed with dad. Most of it was his music—lots of Allman Bros and the Eagles, Floyd, Zeppelin, the Marshall Tucker Band, Little Feat…all the Southern Rock. But I branched out, too. I had a boyfriend (if you can call it that when you are 13ish) that introduced me to Alice in Chains and Korn and STP. And then my dad got himself a side chick whose son and daughter were a few years older than me. I started hanging out with them when I was just 13 and many of them were 17 or older. It wasn’t exactly the best parenting decision my dad made, but it was far from the worst, I’d say. Trying to kill me was probably the worst. The girl’s boyfriend was in a band, so I started going to their shows pretending I was about a lightyear cooler than I actually was. My life started to resemble something like Dazed and Confused… The parties were in fields, and I was with the band, but I was still Sabrina having bitches like Parker Posey telling me to air-raid when I just wanted to look like I might actually belong there. The band did a cover of this song that was remarkably mediocre, but I loved it anyway. Every time I hear it, it takes me back to the first few times I ever got stoned, listening to music in the middle of a field with people who thought of me as a tagalong they had to babysit while I pretended they actually wanted me there.

4. Glycerine—Bush

I lost my virginity the weekend I before I turned 14. It wasn’t a decision I made or had any control over; that choice was taken from me just like my innocence that night in front of my dad’s bar. I didn’t deal with it very well for a long time. Do you ever really deal with something like that “well?” Maybe not. Either way for a long time, I bottled it in, and lost all respect for myself, for sex, for the idea of choosing to have sex with someone you really love and care about. It warped my ideas about sex in general. I never saw it as special until I was old enough to have sex with someone I really truly loved, but that didn’t stop me from doing it, from seeking attention that way, and from making terrible decisions about my body. In some way, I think I was attempting to exert the control that I didn’t have that night in the worst possible ways. The first person I did choose to have sex with was just a friend, an older boy who was a friend of a friend that I started talking to on the phone regularly and flirting with. That’s the thing of it though. We didn’t even meet in person until the night I snuck out of my dad’s house to screw him in his dad’s shitty white Cavalier. I enjoyed myself in so much as it is possible to enjoy oneself while also being scared shitless about getting caught. Sixteen Stone, Bush’s debut album, was playing in the car and this song in particular always takes me back to that night. I stayed in touch with that guy for a long time, and even now I might hear from him every now and again. There’s a part of me that fell for him in my own way over the years, and a part of me that will always love him.

5. Low—Cracker

The stupidity in my decision to move back to my dad’s didn’t take long to figure out. My dad had moved yet another woman at the house that looked at me like the competition. His drug use had progressed to the point where he was doing coke all the time and sometimes meth. He was drinking more, smoking more weed, and then he got caught trafficking. He was in prison for awhile and married the woman when he got out, literally the moment he got out. They drove straight to the courthouse in the city he was doing time in and tied the knot. He was ever the romantic. He came home worse than ever before, and I knew it was either go or get beaten more. Go or get in an accident because of his drunk driving. Go or let him kill me. So here I was making another move after having dealt with all that and having been raped. I became a really apathetic mess. Truly. I was still getting all As, but I was high more days than not, drinking a lot, still dressing in my dad’s old clothes. My mom and her husband didn’t know how to deal with it, and I didn’t know how to deal with everything going on in my own mind. Depression, zero motivation, a complete and total lack of regard for them and myself. I was a fucking wreck. Taco Bell put out a completion album around this time. Do Something it was called and it was supposed to be full of alternative tracks. This one captured my don’t give a fuck attitude at the time while soothing all the chaotic swirls of emotion. I could listen to it over and over and sing the lyrics and actually get some peace from myself.

6. Loser—Beck

This one, like Glycerine, makes it onto my life soundtrack because it was such an instrumental part of my life. When I moved back in with my mom, she and my stepdad had moved into one of the nicest neighborhoods in this town. It was at that time, at least. Everyone I had become friends with had parents who were struggling to make ends meet. Most of them had single moms barely scraping by. And then there’s me living in this neighborhood with rich kids… So this became my theme song. It was a way to put down the thing that most of us actually wanted—some sense of security and a bit of status—if I had to guess, but I just know it made me feel like an imposter with everyone I knew and strangers alike. I hated it when I should have been thankful my mom met someone that could give her the financial security we never had with my father. You don’t see things like that though when you’re 16 and hanging out with a bunch of stoner kids. I do know that singing along to this song riding in the backseat of a car passing a joint around made me laugh and feel like none of that shit mattered.

7. Stickshifts and Safetybelts—Cake

When I think back on being young and stupid and trying to hard with the people I called friends, this song always comes to mind. I can listen to it now and have a few flashbacks of riding around in a little red pickup with a couple of my friends looking for a place to get stoned and listening to it back to back, over and over. Every single one of us would hold that long note towards the end then bust out laughing and do it all over again. I loved those nights when the song was all we needed.

Stumbleine—Smashing Pumpkins

“Nobody Nowhere Understands Anything….About Me. All My Dreams Lost At Sea….” That line still gets me even now, but in my teenage years the melancholy notes of this song and that particular lyric made me feel less alone in the world. I still get goosebumps when I hear it. I still feel that little swell in my heart from feeling the absolute bitter truth in that lyric while simultaneously hoping that maybe the person who wrote it really does understand what it might be like to be me. I needed that more than anything at the time I got really hooked on this band. I needed that feeling of connectedness especially when I could go into a room full of people and still feel alone.


I wish there was something I could share, some powerful melody that showed that I made it out of my adolescence relatively intact and unscathed and all would be fine like the triumphant moment at the end of an 80s high school movie, but there’s not. Finding music that connected me to other people and that made me feel less alone in the world was the only triumph that could be had back then. It took me a long time to deal with it, to process everything from those years in a way that left me stronger and better than before, but that’s where I eventually ended up—an improved version of me that made it in spite of and despite everything that happened earlier in my life and a version of me that still embraces her rebellious roots with purple hair, tattoos, and skulls on her clothes. No matter when it happened, it's a win in my book, and I still love laying back, hitting play on a nostalgic playlist, and traveling through time.


So today is, as always, Sunday Confessions with More Than Cheese and Beer. I hope you will check out her blog and the rest of the link ups. The prompt was low so be sure to join in if you have something to add. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Not So Happy Reunion

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

High school reunion. You are not only expected to attend but to get on stage and talk to your former classmates about real life after school. Share your speech with us!

It was submitted by:

Just so you know, this probably wasn't the kind of prompt that goes well for somebody like me. Consider this your fair warning. 


Growing up in rural South Georgia as a bit of a weirdo, a social outcast, didn’t necessarily give me good experiences in high school.

Allison from John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club was my teenage spirit animal. In a way, she still is.

I had hippie parents growing up that had been more into records and drugs (the latter part was true for my dad not my mom) than Jesus and football. We didn’t spend Sundays dressing up to go to social hour at church only to dress down and worship the pigskin afterwards. It was a bit of anomaly here in the Bible belt where high school football teams get police escorts and the principal of our high school openly talked about Jesus at every pep rally.

I can’t say that I didn’t have friends. I did. The lot of us had very little in common and looked, at least on the outside, like the Misfit Toys from that old Rudolph Christmas special. Our common bond was the fact that we didn’t fit in anywhere else. We weren’t nerds though many of us were intelligent. We weren’t jocks though some of us could play sports. We definitely weren’t princesses though some of us had a little queen in us. And, there was a little bit of a criminal in a few of us. Weirdos. That’s what we were and in a lot of ways that’s what I still am.

In school that mattered more than it does now. I made a conscious effort to make sure everyone knew I didn’t want to fit in. I rebelled. I wore black lipstick and laughed when someone asked me if I was a witch. Rumor had it that I sacrificed goats at lunch. I was a vegetarian at the time, and I let the rumor get to me. The times that I was called dyke bothered me. The note that was stuffed into my locker featuring crudely drawn dicks and magazine cut-out letters that told me to take my fag friends to San Francisco where they belonged bothered me. Every time my friends, who did happen to be gay, were mocked and threatened, it bothered me. The whole thing was a massive trial in just how much a person can be tested, I think. I was coming out of an abusive home and recovering from a rape that took my virginity, and none of the people, you all, that pointed and laughed and spread gossip on a daily basis bothered to get to know that. The more you pointed, the more outlandish I got like it was a competition to see who would break first.

There is some part of me that would like to think I won, but the truth of it is that it just stopped mattering. I started going to college full time when I was a high school senior and never really looked back.

I had friends that would have probably walked by my side in school if I had shown up in an alien mask and an Elvis jumpsuit, and I still have some of those friends today. Outside of learning and increasing my knowledge, the only thing that matters are those friendships I made, the connections I still have, and the fact that I know in my time there I took up for people around me I loved whenever they were as heavily picked on as I was. That’s what I learned about life after school—that the things that happened there really were inconsequential. I was already going to be the strong free spirit I am today, and no amount of hillbilly finger-pointing was going to change that.

The thing of it is, a lot of us still live in this same town, a lot of us see each other on a regular basis running errands and picking up groceries, and I smile and wave and accept the friend requests on Facebook because life is a lot more complicated than bullying and high school dances and football games, and sometimes we have to play the part even when we don’t want to. But, I don’t have to stay here and party down at this reunion with people that never gave a shit to know me when we were kids, and I’m not going to. Who wants to celebrate with a bunch of assholes that I never should have let bother me in the first place, assholes that, once high school was over, really didn’t make an impact on my life whatsoever?

Now you guys can all go fuck yourselves because life after high school doesn’t involve giving a shit about what you all are doing.


That's the way she goes. 

Alright, be sure to check out the other contributions to the Swap below. Enjoy! Baking In A Tornado The Momisodes Spatulas on Parade Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Southern Belle Charm The Lieber Family Blog Never Ever Give Up Hope Confessions of a part time working mom Someone Else’s Genius Cluttered Genius Small Talk Mama Rena’s World Climaxed Dinosaur Superhero Mommy The Bergham’s Life Chronicles

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Plan

“You’ve put me in a bit of a difficult position here, Ms. Fernandez.”

Simone looks at him a moment with a half smile curling the left side of her mouth upwards. She runs her olive-skinned fingers through her jet black hair being careful not to snag her expertly manicured nails in her waves and slides out of the maroon silk sheets to grab a hairbrush from the master bathroom.

“Are you back to calling me Ms. Fernandez so soon? What happened to ‘Simone’?”

Her back is turned away from him, but she can still feel his eyes roaming every inch of her naked body taking in the sights of the skin his mouth and hands had just finished exploring. She lingers there letting him look a little longer hoping to break a little of the resolve she heard in his voice. Surely a man this weak, a man that had given in to her, his boss’s wife, in less than 10 minutes, would cave with just the right amount of pressure.

“Well, Ms. Fernandez…”

“Jimmy, call me Simone. You’re naked in my bed. I think we can safely agree that at this point we should be on a first-name basis.”


“No buts, Jimmy. Play nice and I might let you stay for a second round.”

She turns then tossing her hair back over her shoulder and makes her way slowly back to the bed. His pale blue eyes soften a little, and she knows she has him. A fly in her web. He licks his lips nervously, watching her climb back under the sheet. His hair had been pulled back and now fell in messy tangles around his shoulders. The sandy blonde beard that covered a portion of his cheeks and chin was a little patchy, but it disguised a weak jawline. He spent a little bit too much time in the gym for her tastes, but she liked the roughness of him. Her husband, Enrique, was a bit too meticulous about his looks. Too smooth, too polished and put together.

The fact that she hated him, her husband, probably didn’t help things either.

The two of them had been married since she was 19 and he was 22, roughly 17 years now. At that time, he was young and full of passion. He had goals. He wanted to open his own restaurant, cook the food himself, and keep things low-key and simple. They talked about having a small family and still living in the city so he wouldn’t have to commute to work. She would stay home with the kids, but they had agreed never to take each other for granted—he wouldn’t act like she didn’t work just because she was at home and she wouldn’t hold the fact that he always had to be at work against him. They had seen those very problems ruin marriages. Simone’s parents had succumbed to the very same ones themselves.

But nothing worked out like that. When he was 24 and still taking business classes at the local community college (the plan being to get his associates in business then go to culinary school), she worked at a Hooters type restaurant to help pay the bills. She would work to put him through school then they would start their family. The work was shitty. Customers always coming on to her, following her when she left, demanding her phone number. The store’s management wasn’t much help and told her it was par for the course. The tips were good though. She couldn’t make the kind of money they needed to get them through this without that job. So, she convinced the owner, Steven, to hire Enrique as a type of bouncer on weekend nights when the crowds were the worst. He would seat people, bus tables when needed, and if someone got out of hand, he would essentially kick their ass out. That was the nice way of putting it anyway. Enrique had a bit of a temper and was especially rough on the guys that put their hands on his wife. But, he built up a bit of camaraderie with all the women after awhile watching over them like a protective older brother. It didn’t take long for him to get a bit of a reputation. That’s when Adolfo Machado started coming in the club with some of his goons.

The first night, one of those goons took it upon himself to grab Simone’s ass. When Enrique tried to throw him out, the two got into one hell of a brawl which is exactly what Adolfo had wanted. That was his plan all along, and the thug on his payroll had acted on his orders when he made that ass grab. Adolfo wanted to see if Enrique lived up to the reputation. He did. Unfortunate, that.

At first it was just a fight here and there, underground fights that paid a few thousand dollars a pop—well more than she could make in a week’s time even on the best weeks, even when she flirted too hard for tips and overlooked the comments and the touching. She didn’t like, had told him she didn’t like it, but he always said it wasn’t a big deal, that they needed the money, and that it wouldn’t be forever.

All of that was a lie. It WAS a big deal. Anytime you get involved with someone like Adolfo Machado, it’s a big fucking deal. They didn’t need the money bad enough to get involved in shit like that. And here they are all these years later with Enrique entrenched with that man more than ever. Their entire lives revolved around Adolfo. What started out as a fight here and there turned into fight nights every weekend then bare knuckle fights once a month, then Enrique was traveling with Adolfo on jobs as protection, taking orders…doing things to people who owed money. She used to ask him questions about what exactly that meant, but he wouldn’t answer, didn’t want to involve her in what he knew. The risks to her life if she knew certain things wasn’t worth sharing those secrets.

So that’s how they lived. She was his wife, but she knew next to nothing about his life anymore. Enrique had risen up to be one of Adolfo’s most trusted. He was gone more than he was around, and when he was around, the two barely spoke. He mocked her when she asked for more of his time and told her if she was so unhappy she could find some other chump to buy her $2000 purses and $5000 gowns.

The man she fell in love with had gone a long time ago, the man who would have understood she would have been happy working every day beside him in a little sandwich shop making bread at 4 am and getting her hands dirty, coming home smelling like garlic and onions and grease. She wanted her Enrique not this stranger who came in, patronized her, then waltzed out to cater to one of the young women Adolfo provided or do God knows what on Adolfo’s orders.

The last time she packed her bags to leave, Enrique told her if she left, she was as good as dead. As far as she was concerned, she had no choice given that Adolfo, she was told, had been diagnosed with and advanced stage of pancreatic cancer and had chosen Enrique to take his place when he was gone. If she ever wanted a life of her own, Enrique had to go.

Simone snuggles up closer to Jimmy nearly purring in his ear about how good he makes her feel. She runs her hand along the smoothness of his chest enjoying it but knowing this charade is just a means to an end, her way out. All she had to do is convince Jimmy that taking out Enrique would earn him the top spot. It was just the distraction she needed to get out of there. She could clear enough money out of the account to set her up for a few months and leave the rest of this shit behind right.

“Jimmy?” she says.

“Yeah, Ms..I mean, Simone?”

“Why don’t you do more for the business? You seem like you should be the one running things, you know.”


Well, I just finished up an Elmore Leonard novel which might have had a bit of influence on this piece. The prompt was Position. Thanks for stopping by for another Sunday Confession. Be sure to check out the other entries on the More Than Cheese and Beer blog