If you haven’t read “Essence,” its below in my Saturday post.
“Essence” was born of a series of events and an incredible, at least to me, transportation in time. When I arrived in Tübingen, West Germany, I was assigned to a dorm with four or five other exchange students on my floor. There was a communal kitchen on each floor and ours had a very peculiar smell. Not necessarily bad, but different. I can’t even recall the smell as I sit here, it was so peculiar.
I do recall there was a counter around most of the room. A couple of sinks, cabinets, a table with a formica covering, tile floor, and once a day, the sunlight sat in the room at the perfect angle to illuminate the dust motes. Having rooted around somewhat, I found a jar of peanut butter, one of my favorite things to eat. There was only one non-exchange person on our floor. A medical student who was very friendly, but he spoke no English. Well, that’s another story.
The time I spent in Tübingen was very frustrating, new, exciting, lonely, and anxiety riddled. It was very difficult even with the quick friends I had made. We were in an intensive language course, designed to give us the best chance at being able to communicate with our families and others. I had trouble with my blood sugar and spent time in the emergency room with panic attacks. I cannot say it was a wonderful time, nor can I say it was terrible. I have a great many memories of that time, fast and furious memories. As fast as the time we spent there.
One of my friends was Bill. He was from Pennsylvania and had a U2 tape which I borrowed. “New Years Day” was on that tape. I played it to the distraction of everyone around me. Can you hear the song in your mind? The opening bars? When I close my eyes, I can hear it and still see the view as I walked the short distance from my room to the kitchen, the jar of JIF on the corner of the counter, the peculiar smell, the dust motes.
I left there, never to return. Or so I thought.
After I returned from Germany and settled back into my life here, my mind would wander back to my time overseas, but rarely, if ever, to that kitchen in the dorm. The memories at the forefront of my mind were those of my family and friends in the town I had lived. Until one day, my friend G.G. and I were out running around, picking up vodka and orange juice for the weekend. I believe, if my memory serves me correctly, we were sitting at a gas station. She climbed back in the car, dumped one of my favorite snacks in my lap, and then turned the car on.
I heard the opening bars from “New Years Day” and I saw her hand go out to change the channel. I remember stopping her and then I wasn’t there anymore. I was standing in the doorway of the dorm kitchen and that smell, that peculiar smell was all around me. The peanut butter jar, the dust motes, the feelings, especially the anxiety was right there. I wasn’t looking at myself standing in the doorway. I was standing in the doorway. I could feel the chill that only concrete and tile has.
It was so fascinating I wanted to stay there. I wanted it. I wanted to go back. I missed my exchange friends, I missed my family, I missed my other friends. Regardless of the overpowering feelings of angst and loneliness, I wanted it. It was the beginning of the one of the happiest times of my life. It was the beginning of one of the few times I have ever felt accepted completely based on who I really was. I was expected to change, expected to be different, and I tried to hold onto it.
I couldn’t though. Literally, it was like my focus shifted and I was right back where I had been. My hand still on G.G’s, “New Year’s Day” still playing on the radio. I looked over at her and she had a very confused, questioning look on her face.
“Where the hell did you go?”
“Germany.” I felt the tears fill my eyes and I looked away as they ran down my cheeks. I cried the tears I probably should have cried then. I let my pride down and allowed the feelings I had denied and shoved down inside overwhelm me, and as I cried, I let them go.
I have had instances where a particular smell has brought back memories. I have had instances where a particular song has brought back memories. That time though, was the only one where the emotion was tied to both, and it was the music that lead to the smell, which lead to the emotion, which lead to the music, which lead to the smell, and on and on.
That is “Essence.”
I was pilfering around on AJ’s site this morning, hoping I would see that he has posted, which he hasn’t, when I clicked on his profile, not sure if I had ever read it. Blogger puts random posts up below that and I started reading part of his “Deja Pew” post, where he talks about how scent is linked to memory. Which reminded me of Crypto encouraging me to post some of my fiction. Fiction about scent. But this is not fiction. This is actually something that happened to me one day. Okay, it is a bit fictionalized or rather… hard to explain.
Nate and I are going out and about today, visiting The Clay Center, where we’ll see “Dolphins” in the IMAX theater, “Mars” in their planetarium show, visit the museum, and do all sorts of neat things with the science center. Then we’re visiting T-Bird’s mom and after that having dinner with my parents and my dad’s Seabee buddies. Its also my dad’s 63rd birthday. Happy Birthday Daddy!
It happened as the stoplight changed from green to yellow, U2 singing about New Year’s Day, transporting me along the mythical lines of space and time, those of dreams, premonitions, and remembrances.
I arrived in a vortex and noticed the smell. Our lives are inundated by scents – food, soap, laundry detergent, fabric softeners, perfumes, colognes, never one, but many, mixed in the right combination to form our essence. Some betray our profession, some our sins. Places hold this essence as well. Must, mold, mildew, candles, potpourri, dogs, cats, rats or just the essences of many humans who pass through.
So it was as I arrived in the kitchen of the dormitory where I lived just a month. I could hear my music down the hallway, U2 singing about New Year’s Day. It smelled of medieval history and the essences of many. The peanut butter jar sat on the table, the sunlight cut the dust, and my feelings were still there.
My stomach tightened, the essence of my angst and loneliness still lingering there. Even so, I wanted to stay, to experience those new and harsh feelings again, so I could be as strong now as I had been then.
I could not hold onto it, my eyes focused forward, the light changed green, and U2 sang about New Year’s Day.
Got home yesterday and I saw the distinctive white-with-green-triangles-border envelope which I normally send queries in. This envelope was beat up and covered with black magic marker. I walked up and grabbed it off the top of my mailbox. It was to my friend Jeremy in Iraq. But he’s been home for two months….
The postmark – September 10, 2004. Return to Sender. His address had been marked through and another address listed. Then that address had been scribbled through. Holy shit. No wonder he never wrote me back! This was about 5:10 or so. I went in the house and made sure Nate didn’t have any homework and I got the phone and called Jer.
I hadn’t talked to him since December of 2003. And… obviously we had stopped writing while he was overseas because… he never got my letter. He got on the phone and we talked for the next… almost three hours. That particular package had the first beaded bracelet I ever made in it. And photos. He said, “Send it to me here! At this rate, I’ll probably get it in July.” LOL!! He is a wonderful guy. His girlfriend is a very, very lucky lady. He’s leaving the military and going into respiratory therapy. Good for him!
He said, “I just want a job where I don’t have to kill anybody and nobody’s throwing bombs at me and trying to kill me.” Well said. And if I ever have to have respiratory therapy… drool… I’ll take that 6’4″ dude with the baby blues. He’s a very compassionate person so I know he’ll do well.
You know how I feel right now? I feel like I do when I’ve spent a month preparing for a million dollar case and it settles right before trial… when we’re getting ready to pack the cars with boxes and trial suits and the damn case settles. The adrenaline goes…pfffffffffffffffft! And we’re left with the depression, the let down. That’s how I feel. I feel that way because of the recent goings on in Blogland. I miss Jack. I miss Jack’s archives.
But I’m not gonna whine about it. I’m too devious to not try and do something about it… hee hee.
I wrote this in a letter to a friend and had mentioned it to another blogger and they wondered if I had posted it and I hadn’t so, here it is:
You see, I could lay out topless in Europe. Go to the local beach and watch Nate play in the sand with my breasts bared. I’d watch the men behind my glasses in their Speedos, trying to look at me without getting caught. Not only me though, the other women too. All of us different, our breasts different, some women pregnant in their bikinis. I wanted to laugh sometimes, wondering why those men put themselves through the game of trying to look like they’re not looking when they were looking. They seemed interested in our bodies and then they would leave the beach and swim out to the boat line. I knew the water was deep and cold there, its where I almost drowned. I wondered if they cooled their bodies just to come back to the beach and put themselves through it again.
Have a good weekend. I’ll be making a trip by your place. Yes, you. No need to tidy up. I’ll just pop by for a minute. Oh, and I can’t remember who, but somebody had pudding on their monitor. You guys may want to check that.
That’s Southern speak for “G-ddamn, I’m busier than a one-armed paperhanger in an ass kickin’ contest.” Ya’ll say that in the North?
And what is up with all of the damn passwords I have these days?? Three e-mail accounts, two separate Blogger log-ins, Blogpatrol, Photobucket, Haloscan, Jeanette’s blog, my work computer, my accounting program, audioblogger, porn download, Verizon account, eMinutes, online bill paying, cell phone voicemail, home voicemail, two check cards. I even got a password on the damn PS2 so Nate can’t play Grand Theft Auto. Gahhh!! I get all dicked around and bumfuzzled and can’t remember which password goes to which username, if I can remember the user name at all. No, I don’t write them down. I mean to but I just never seem to get there.
Craft projects out the ass.
Seven books to read.
Nate is a little under seven points behind on his AR points. So, we’re going to read “The Book of Three” together. I really want him to sit and read it to me a bit and we can read back and forth. The amount of homework he’s bringing home has decreased and the teacher says he’s doing better.
His mid-term grades are all over the map. “A”s in Spelling and Health, “B” in Social Studies, “C”s in Reading and Science, “D” in Math and “F” in English. I think. I haven’t actually seen it yet as he keeps “forgetting” to bring it home although the principal called to tell me what they are. He has 2 1/2 weeks to see how things go before I do intervention.
I reminded him that he’s brought his Spelling, Health and Science up from C’s last nine weeks. He’s holding steady in Reading and Science and we just need to keep all of those where they are and work hard on bringing up the Math and English. Its like he can bring one up but then another falls. Everybody send him good vibes.
My desk looks like … a dunno a hurricane came through??? Tornado?? File folders, loose records stacked in piles and the boss keeps coming back with more files.
I started this at 8:54 a.m. and I’m just now getting the time to finish it. I haven’t had enough coffee. My parents stopped by. They have a lemon law case with my firm. My dad is so meticulous about his car you can’t imagine what hell it is for three sets of front tires to wear out in 36,000 miles and then have to listen to him about it. They think either the frame itself is bent or the spindles are wrong. It gives me a headache. The lawyer here who is dealing with him told me that now he realized I got my personality honest.
What? Do you have a problem with my personality?
Damn. Pulled off another project for another project which will put the other project behind and then that will filter to the other projects. Damn. Gotta go.
I look at my links sadly. As of yesterday, yet another, YET ANOTHER! Blogger forced to close up shop. If you haven’t heard, its Jack. Yep, someone in his office found his blog. Lovisa has closed up, whether temporary, I don’t know. Dastard likewise. Kristin is out although still about. Seeker hasn’t posted since January 7th. Phoebe is on hiatus for her pregnancy and perhaps beyond. We’ve lost Sloth and Michael for a time, but lucky for us, they came back. Other bloggers have moved their URLs or simply quit due to hatemail.
We, collectively, us, we bloggers, should not feel pressure to blog. If I didn’t blog I would simply find another outlet, whether it be handwritten diaries or long letters, poetry or other forms of written expression. Sometimes I post just for me. Sometimes, like today, I post for you and me. Sometimes I would prefer not to have comments because whatever is the basis of my rant is now over for me. I’ve said it. Its done. I’m ready to move on. Comments tend to string it out though and I’m contemplating on posts that are just something I need to get off my chest and move on from, I will just disable comments for that post. Or just tell ya… no comments needed.
I hope Jack finds a way to continue blogging. I offered that you can indeed have a private blog, accessible by anyone who has the URL but unfindable in any search engine. I know. I have a private blog and I have googled, yahooed, AOLed, Dogpiled that bitch to hell and back. I figure if I can google, not the just the name of the Blog but also the URL and nothing comes back, I’m pretty sure no one is gonna find it. I even googled titles of the posts… na-da. So, I hope that is an option for him.
In other sad news, my kitten, Emmett, died yesterday. He’s been sick and then sicker and then better, getting better, and then just start that over. Seems as soon as I would get him eating good, no bowel problems, starting to gain weight, he would backslide, although all the other cats remained healthy and thriving. Monday I noticed a drainage from his ear and the unmistakable smell of infection. I knew it was an ear infection, easily treatable in a healthy feline with antibiotic ear drops, but… I knew that would probably not be the case in my little buddy. I still stopped and got the medication but pretty much knew when I got home he wouldn’t still be alive.
I knew he was ready Monday night. I got up at 1:00 to answer the phone and he followed me into the computer room. I figured he wanted me to feed him since I always made his food special. He didn’t though. He just climbed onto my lap and nestled down, purring non-stop for the two hours I sat there. Funny thing is, his brother did the exact same thing before he died.
Nate sobbed. We comforted each other, buried him together, and then talked about what a good kitty he was, how much we loved him, how much he loved us, and that love is the best thing of all. Emmett used to lay on top of or beside of my floor furnace and all evening, and this morning, I side-stepped it, like I have for the past 8 weeks, careful to not tread on his little body. Ah, yeah, that was rough. I can’t talk about this anymore….
I posted some of my drawings on my photoblog over the weekend. I did most of them in college. I also got some pics from CooterAng of the bracelet I did for her. If I can figure it out…. I’ll post it here… they may turn out huge and stuff since I don’t know much about re-sizing and all that so… deal with it. Okay.. let’s try this….
Yep, they’re huge but at least you can see the detail of the beads. And here’s a picture of a beaded sunflower which Trashman has asked me to make into a brooch for Jen.
I’ll need to fiddle around with it and order some special beads but that’s going to be fun. Hopefully I’ll have it done by the time I get to Texas. Which would mean, might be a good idea to get the template for it if I don’t have one at home. I forgot to look.
I’m still working on getting the cloth together for Savannah and EJ’s quilts. Trashman sent a bunch and I need some other fabrics to go with it. Angi sent me photos of some fabric she has I just haven’t had to time to compare and contrast it with what Trashman sent. I’m hoping after I return from NOLA/Houston (yes, seems more and more like I’m going), I can in ernest get moving on it, at least get all of the pieces cut out and then go bug my mom to help me, at least get me started on doing it right.
I’m done for today. I’ll post some pics that my cousin sent of her artwork tomorrow.
I check on occasion my Haloscan account and find that at times I miss comments when I’ve moved on to another post. So, to those I missed:
Lee Joslyn – Lee left three comments on my post about dyslexia. She didn’t list a blog address but did leave an e-mail. I’m not sure how she came across my blog but she wasn’t real happy with me. That’s okay. I know I’ve been harsh towards the school system in general. She also stated though that she had recently lost her daughter to a violent crime. Her anguish, heartache, and anger came across loud and clear. Her husband has also been an educator for 29 years so I can understand her ire, although I may not agree with all that she said. My heart goes out to Lee in what must be a terrible time in her life. I’m going to e-mail her.
Vader – Thanks for coming by. Its good to see you out and about in blogland. I haven’t been by very much lately but I will swing by and see what you’ve been up to besides trying to corrupt Ciggy.
Harleyquinn also posted after I had moved on from the “Real Me” post. She said something about SD “pissing up a rope.” Bwhahahahahahaaha…. I need to save that one.
Green-Eyed Lady also left three comments on the same one that Lee did. I did catch those. GEL has also been involved in schools and teaching. Its good to get many view points. Thank you GEL.
Timegod stopped by to say hello and let me know he/she appreciated my comment to them when they’re pet passed away. Again, no blog address.
I’ve been lax in replying to e-mails. That includes one from a nice young woman after I had commented on her blog regarding her wedding plans. Yeah, first time I ever commented and I’m leaving her suggestions, which she was soliciting. She was sweet enough to send me an e-mail thanking me. Weddings can be so stressful.
Jeanette, Angi, Cybele, Julie… you gals should know you’re in my thoughts.
Right now I’m wavering on making the trip to NOLA/Houston. Why? No, its not money. I’m not an expensive traveler and I have a little extra cash coming in. This would be a “please, I want to keep my sanity” trip. My guilt comes from leaving Nate behind. Even though I’m planning three short trips for us this year: Nashville Renaissance Festival, white water rafting, and Holiday World.
Yes, I feel guilty. I feel guilty for thinking of leaving my child with his grandparents for over a week and then shipping him off to his dad’s thereafter so I can take some much needed R&R. Yes, I need it. I normally try to keep my trips to weekends only but two days is barely enough time for me to stop gritting my teeth much less relax.
Save the lectures. Troy has beat all of you to it. “You only live once.” “Ever think he’s sick of you and the both of yas could use a break?” “You’re not just a mom, you’re a woman too, a person.” “When are you gonna give yourself a break?”
Or in the immortal words of T-Bird, “What the fuck are you waiting for?”
“Yeah, let me see you leave J3 for over a week.”
However, my plans as of right now are:
Leave the 24th of March about noon and drive to the general vicinity of Birmingham, Alabama. Yes, DRIVE. That’s nine hours. Its another five from Birmingham to where my cousin lives. I like driving and with gas prices cheaper in the South it will save on me flying and then getting a rental car. I can’t be without wheels.
Stay in NOLA from Friday to Monday. Leave Monday for Houston. Stay in Houston, Monday through Wednesday. Leave Thursday, back to NOLA. Leave Friday for home.
Then again I may leave the 24th right after I drop Nate off at school at 8:05 a.m. Drive, drive, drive… until I don’t wants to drive no more. That would probably put me somewhere between Meridian and Hattiesburg, MS.
Then I’ll have the parents saying, “WHAT? YOU’RE DRIVING?” Yes, driving. “But what if…” Yeah, what if I’m standing on the street corner and some freak pops the curve and runs my ass over? I’ve traveled a lot, in planes, on trains, in automobiles. I’ve visited NYC, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, New Orleans, Houston, Kansas City, Portland, Charlotte, Atlanta, Knoxville, Norfolk, and I’ve been lost in downtown Detroit, at night, by myself. But they’re my parents and they’re going to worry.
I worry more about NOT doing it.
I saw “8 Mile” for the first time this weekend. I wanted to see it in 2002 but of course, I’m three years behind on just about everything. I was impressed and enjoyed it a lot. More than a lot. I think I enjoyed it because I could identify so strongly with Rabbit. Plus, I’ve been to Detroit. His Detroit. At night. I’ve known trailer parks. I’ve known poverty. I’ve known drunks and drug addicts and people hoping and wishing but going nowhere.
Between the time I returned from Germany and started college, my friends from back home in the coalfields sat me down at the kitchen table with a bottle of vodka, a gallon of orange juice, and told me I didn’t belong there. They were older than me. Gayle and Mike were probably 25, Dean was probably 30 or so with three kids. I was 19. It was tough to hear the friends I looked up to and felt a part of tell me I wasn’t a part of them anymore, or as Dean said, “If you ever were.” They saw a greatness in me, a destiny, I couldn’t see in myself.
I left the coalfields. I left the endless lines of coal trucks belching black diesel smoke as they chugged up the rugged mountains. I left miles of winding roads, the valleys and the hallows, the small town gossip. I left my youth spent running the fields, climbing the mountainside, riding bikes, and playing sandlot football. I transplanted myself into a hell of my own making.
Anyone who tells you that anywhere in West Virginia is urban, is fucking lying. We have about 54,000 people that live in the capital city. New York City… oh… 8 million. New York City has more people than my entire state by about 6.5 million. However, by West Virginia standards… Charleston is urban. Considering the county I lived in had 25,000 residents (and maybe 10 last names), moving to the ‘BIG CITY’ was something.
Life is slow here. Simple. The worst that can happen on your way to work is a detour because someone in an SUV didn’t realize ice is still ice. You might have a shelter-in-place drill, just in case one of those chemical factories blows and we become the next Bhopal, except there were a lot more people in Bhopal. The last Wednesday of every month, the shelter-in-place siren is tested at noon. Everyday when I go to work, I see the same people in the parking garage. I see the retired doctor walking his dog. You CANNOT walk down the street without seeing someone you know or seeing someone else that knows someone that you know. And OH THE HUMANITY! People stop and talk on the sidewalk! Actually… STOP!
This is the big city.
I moved to the ‘burbs. Ha. I bought a trailer almost as old as I was from a friend making a quick getaway to WV2, North Carolina in other words. You doubt this? Try going ANYWHERE on I-77 South during the holidays. The wait at the tollbooths can be two hours long. I was proud to own my first home, regardless of how old and ugly it was. Regardless of the fact I had to hold the door together with duct tape. Or the those nifty fold out windows that had folded out one day and just decided to stay there.
The trailer park sat on top of a hill, which I now, not so affectionately, call The Hill. The Hill was full of other transplants. They had just grown up in different and hollows than I had. It became apparent that once you got on The Hill, it wasn’t very likely you were leaving. To me, it was just a transitioning place until I could get where I was going. Then I got pregnant.
Perhaps making $14,000 a year was all fine and dandy for me and my simple lifestyle, my 7 year old car, my $3000 trailer but it didn’t go very far at buying diapers. The juggle began. Juggling everything. Splitting a penny four ways became my speciality. Even as I got a different job and I started making more money, it didn’t really ease the pressure that much.
However, some lady decided to ram her huge truck into the ass-end of my car, which still causes my neck considerable pain at times, even seven years later. The settlement wasn’t grand but combined with my income tax return, I was able to pay off the trailer and the rest of my debt and still have some money in the bank. Around that same time, AZ was studying for his realtor’s license and I told him if he passed I would buy a house from him. He did, I think in November of 1998.
After income tax time of 1999, I called him and started getting serious. Trust me, having a child can ruin your credit so I had just spent the last four months getting my ducks in a row. It helped that everything I had was paid for. I qualified for first time home buyer since the trailer had been bought with a personal loan. I got interest free downpayment money (for three years) and a sweet interest rate for the time. I sold the trailer for $1500 and said good riddance. It had served its purpose.
On May 19, 1999, AZ handed me the keys to my home. The one I sit in now, blogging. Its very modest. Three bedrooms, one bath, attic, crawl space, front and back yards, no central air, floor furnance, living room, kitchen. I don’t take it for granted. I’m sure on The Hill, every other trailer holds a meth lab. At least down here next to the tracks, we only have one every other block.
But its not where I want to be, if it ever was.
Perhaps its not the place, but how I feel about being here. Perhaps its not the place that’s keeping me from pursuing my dreams. Perhaps its me. Is it fear of failure or fear of success? Is the fear of uprooting Nate? Or the fear of never leaving? Or the fear of losing my simplicity?
I don’t feel like I belong here anymore, if I ever did.
“Hey, you know, its okay to say no. Sometimes you just need a break.”
“Hey, hold on, I gotta beep, it might be so-and-so.”
“Hi, may I speak to Inanna puhhleeze.”
“Oh, shit, goddamn, no. What the fuck do you want?”
“You know what I want.”
“Oh, goddamn, fuck, god, fuck no. No, I’m on another line. NO.”
“Guess who that was?”
“Ex-boss callin’ for some booty. Dumbass.”
… Later that same evening
Lex: how come ur not out and ’bout?
Nanner: Just chillun.
Lex: ever get your cleanin’ done? lol
Nanner: Hell no.
Lex: Gonna head out and about…
Lex: I’ll look fur ya online later.
Nanner: Okay. See ya, have fun, take care.
Lex: Too bad about da cleanin’… Wuz thinkin bout coming by and inspecting… lol
(Lex logs off)
Nanner *sings* Lex is a big ole farty cat! Farty cat! Lex is a big ole scaredy cat! Scaredy cat! Lex is a big ole smelly cat! Smellllly CAT! Smelllly CAT! Pfffffft!
The ex-boss called me on Wednesday too. Luckily, I saw the Caller ID and just rolled my eyes and didn’t pick up. WHAT. THE. FUCK? After almost four years the mofo suddenly decides that he can’t live without fucking me??? Not that I would have slept with him anytime IN the past four years!! Stupid.
As for Lex… Pfffffffffft! What the hell?? And what exactly did that fucking mean? I know, its an inside joke between us about the “house cleaning and inspection.” Its just that everytime he got ready to come down I ran around straightening because I wanted him to feel comfortable here and when we broke up, I didn’t feel any such pressure. Soooo, had I said, “Yeah, house is clean,” would that have entitled him to come down here? Did he think that?
But to me, its like he was dangling his carrot in my face. Yes, that carrot. As though I’m so hard up for it (shut up) that I’m just going to accept what ever dangles?? Notice that he said he was going out. Did he ask me if I wanted to go out with him? You’ll notice, he did not. I do not like being hidden away. That’s bullshit. I can pay my own way. Don’t let me interfere with your style man, but you ain’t gettin’ any either!
If you can’t be straight up with me, say what’s on your mind or your dick, then stop playin’. And I HATE THAT.. if you were only X or do X then I would be Y or do Y. Fuck that. The whole, if you would just conform to my standards you shall be rewarded thing. What the fuck makes him think being with him was ALL THAT? Sexually, okay, I can’t complain. Otherwise … no. And I would want this again why???
So last night…er this morning at 3:30 as he was logging in, I was logging out. I woke up this morning and found an offline message that said, “Nighty.” I flipped it the middle finger. I’m not holding out for us to pick up our relationship where we left off. I’m really not interested because it appears as though the things that we talked about a few months ago… well, it hasn’t brought about any significant difference in how he treats me. Okay, none. He’s a really nice emotionally disabled guy with his head stuck up his ass.
Between him and AZ, I’m done with pulling guys heads out of their asses. It doesn’t work. People will not change unless they want to, no matter HOW MUCH YOU ENCOURAGE THEM TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGE IN THEIR LIFE!!!! Not for someone else, BUT FOR THEM!! To lead happier, more fulfilling lives. You know, its not like I sat back in judgement and said, “Yo, you need to change this.” They came to me, telling me of their woes and trials and I was honest with them, then nothing happens. Okay. Fine. But in the words of My Sunshine, I gotta keep on, keepin’ on.
Its all about me today. I love my son but today… its about me. Its not about Mom… Mom fell asleep two or three hours ago. Its just me, the Peachy Goodness now. The Nannerlicious…
I want laid. But I know I’m not gonna get laid. Why? Well, I’m not really looking to repeat previous mistakes and I’m too dang tired to get dressed up and go out lookin’ for some strange. Besides, strange can become your worst fucking nightmare and I don’t need any more nightmares.
Relationship wise… ummmm… yeah… Well. Its difficult realizing that you’re not as compatible as you once thought. I’ll leave it at that.
I did have something happen that brought a smile to my face today. A big smile. A big goofy smile. A blushy, goofy smile.
Huh? What was it?
Nah… not tellin’.
One of those things it takes forever to put in your diary. Like a small jar of sunshine you carry with you in the darkness of life. You see it. You guard it jealously. You hide it. Its yours and you’re not sharing! Its mine! Hands. Off.
Back to that laid thing. I’m actually quite exhausted. Mentally exhausted. A totally different feeling than being physically exhausted. I find myself feeling romantic. You know, long, drawn out, slow, sensual sex instead of the BANG ME BABY!! sex. This doesn’t happen very often. Shame to waste it.
That should say something about how mentally fatigued I am… my brain is actually slugging along so slow… I want slow sex. I think I like the harder, faster sex because I’m so impatient! Must be why being blindfolded, tied up and tied down is so exciting… irritating… frustrating… enticing. Someone making me slow down and wait………………………..
Huh? Sorry, lost in my thoughts. Thinking of the weight of silence. When you can’t see them. Reach out to them. Can’t hear them. But you feel them. When hot breath on the back of your neck can make every muscle tremble… with desire. When the sound that breaks the silence is your own quivering breath. One finger traced down your spine…………..
Ahem. One can dream.
When I got home today Nate said he had a great day and had no homework…. YAY!! I told the babysitter after Nate went home (she lives next door) that I had spoken to the resource teacher today and she was a bit frosty. They want to start with a 504 Plan… all good, and he’s to be tested on March 17th. Then she looks at me (Jackie, my angel), and says, “I still think he’s dyslexic.”
I looked at her strangely, “but, he can read just fine and he understands what he reads.”
She said, “but that’s not all of what dyslexia is.”
Food for thought. Naturally, Nanner comes home and gets on the Internet. *sniff* Here’s what I found (those things pertaining to Nate are highlighted):
The word dyslexia comes from the Greek language and means poor language. Individuals with dyslexia have trouble with reading, writing, spelling and/or math although they have the ability and have had opportunities to learn. Individuals with dyslexia can learn; they just learn in a different way. Often these individuals, who have talented and productive minds, are said to have a language learning difference.
Individuals with dyslexia usually have some of the following characteristics.
Difficulty with oral language
̈ Late in learning to talk
̈ Difficulty pronouncing words
̈ Difficulty acquiring vocabulary or using age appropriate grammar
̈ Difficulty following directions
̈ Confusion with before/after, right/left, and so on
̈ Difficulty learning the alphabet, nursery rhymes, or songs
̈ Difficulty understanding concepts and relationships
̈ Difficulty with word retrieval or naming problems
Difficulty with reading
̈ Difficulty learning to read
̈ Difficulty identifying or generating rhyming words, or counting syllables in words (Phonological Awareness)
̈ Difficulty with hearing and manipulating sounds in words (Phonemic Awareness)
̈ Difficulty distinguishing different sounds in words (Auditory Discrimination)
̈ Difficulty in learning the sounds of letters
̈ Difficulty remembering names and/or shapes of letters
̈ Reverses letters or the order of letters when reading
̈ Misreads or omits common small words
̈ “Stumbles” through longer words
̈ Poor reading comprehension during oral or silent reading
̈ Slow, laborious oral reading
Difficulty with written language
̈ Difficulty putting ideas on paper
̈ Many spelling mistakes
̈ May do well on weekly spelling tests, but there are many spelling mistakes in daily work
̈ Difficulty in proofreading
Does My Child Have Other Related Learning Disorders?
Difficulty with handwriting (Dysgraphia)
̈ Unsure of right or left handedness
̈ Poor or slow handwriting
̈ Messy and unorganized papers
̈ Difficulty copying
̈ Poor fine motor skills
Difficulty with math (Dyscalculia)
̈ Difficulty counting accurately
̈ May reverse numbers
̈ Difficulty memorizing math facts
̈ Difficulty copying math problems and organizing written work
̈ Many calculation errors
̈ Difficulty retaining math vocabulary and/or concepts
Difficulty with attention (ADD/ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
̈ Variable attention
Difficulty with motor skills (Dyspraxia)
̈ Difficulty planning and coordinating body movements
̈ Difficulty coordinating facial muscles to produce sounds
Difficulty with organization
̈ Loses papers
̈ Poor sense of time
̈ Forgets homework
̈ Messy desk
̈ Overwhelmed by too much input
̈ Works slowly
̈ Difficulty naming colors, objects, and letters (Rapid Automatized Naming)
̈ Memory problems
̈ Needs to see or hear concepts many times in order to learn them
̈ Distracted by visual stimuli
̈ Downward trend in achievement test scores or school performance
̈ Work in school is inconsistent
̈ Teacher says, “If only she would try harder,” or “He’s lazy.”
Relatives may have similar problems
Everyone probably can check one or two of these characteristics. That does not mean that everyone has dyslexia. A person with dyslexia usually has several of these characteristics, which persist over time and interfere with his or her learning. If your child is having difficulties learning to read and you have noted several of these characteristics in your child, he or she may need to be evaluated for dyslexia and/or a related disorder.
The International Dyslexia Association thanks Suzanne Carreker for her assistance in the preparation of this fact sheet.
The International Dyslexia Association · 8600 LaSalle Road, Chester Bldg. #382 · Baltimore, MD 21286-2044 Tel: 410-296-0232 · Fax: 410-321-5069 · E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org · Website: http://www.interdys.org
© Copyright 2003, The International Dyslexia Association (IDA). IDA encourages the reproduction and distribution of this fact sheet. If portions of the text are cited, appropriate reference must be made. Fact sheets may not be reprinted for the purpose of resale.
Fact Sheet #63 – 01/03
Additionally, there are the social implications. To save space I’m just going to cut and paste those passages which I see in Nate.
The frustration of children with dyslexia often centers on their inability to meet expectations. Their parents and teachers see a bright, enthusiastic child who is not learning to read and write. Time and again, dyslexics and their parents hear, “He’s such a bright child; if only he would try harder.” Ironically, no one knows exactly how hard the dyslexic is trying.
The pain of failing to meet other people’s expectations is surpassed only by dyslexics’ inability to achieve their goals. This is particularly true of those who develop perfectionistic expectations in order to deal with their anxiety. They grow up believing that it is “terrible” to make a mistake. However, their learning disability, almost by definition means that these children will make many “careless” or “stupid” mistakes. This is extremely frustrating to them, as it makes them feel chronically inadequate. The dyslexic frequently has problems with social relationships.
This next passage is absolutely one of the most frustrating things for a parent. Knowing you’ve taught your child right from wrong and yet they seem to “lie” even when confronted. If you can imagine a scenario involving Nate, this is what would happen:
My clinical observations lead me to believe that, just as dyslexics have difficulty remembering the sequence of letter or words, they may also have difficulty remembering the order of events. For example, let us look at a normal playground interaction between two children. A dyslexic child takes a toy that belongs to another child, who calls the dyslexic a name. The dyslexic then hits the other child. In relating the experience, the dyslexic child may reverse the sequence of events. He may remember that the other child called him a name, and he then took the toy and hit the other child.
This presents two major difficulties for the dyslexic child. First, it takes him longer to learn from his mistakes. Second, if an adult witnessed the events, and asks the dyslexic child what happened, the child seems to be lying.
Unfortunately, most interactions between children involve not three events, but 15 to 20. With his sequencing and memory problems, the dyslexic may relate a different sequence of events each time he tells the tale. Teachers, parents, and psychologists conclude that he is either psychotic or a pathological liar.
This explains why, why, why Nate can one day be golden boy in school and the next, just completely blow it.
The inconsistencies of dyslexia produce serious challenges in a child’s life. There is a tremendous variability in the student’s individual abilities. Although everyone has strengths and weaknesses, the dyslexic’s are greatly exaggerated. Furthermore, the dyslexic’s strengths and weaknesses may be closely related.
These great variations produce a “roller coaster”effect for dyslexics. At times, they can accomplish tasks far beyond the abilities of their peers. At the next moment, they can be confronted with a task that they cannot accomplish. Many dyslexics call this “walking into black holes.”
Finally, dyslexics’ performance varies from day to day. On some days, reading may come fairly easily. However, another day, they may be barely able to write their own name. This inconsistency is extremely confusing not only to the dyslexic, but also to others in his environment. Few other handicapping conditions are intermittent in nature.
A child in a wheelchair remains there; in fact, if on some days the child can walk, most professionals would consider it a hysterical condition. However, for the dyslexic, performance fluctuates. This makes it extremely difficult for the individual to learn to compensate, because he or she cannot predict the intensity of the symptoms on a given day.
There’s more, but… I’m overwhelmed. I thought dyslexia only had to do with reading and meant that kids always inverted letters and numbers but then I realized that Nate does do that but I thought it was because he wasn’t paying attention and yes, he does make a lot of spelling errors although he is a good speller on spelling tests. And the writing thing… he’s a poster child. And the inconsistencies… fantastic one day… shitty the next. No wonder the kid is fucking confused.
I also read where they believe the same type of “scrambling” which occurs with ADHD is also linked to forms of dsylexia.
I know, I know… he’s not been diagnosed. He’s been tested twice… but not for dyslexia, which is a different type of test from what I understand, especially the written expression part.
I didn’t want to believe that he might have dyslexia. I really thought it was just about reading, more so than writing. After reading this, and especially the social factors and how Nate acts and what happens, I’m just… overfuckingwhelmed!!! Furthermore, all of the accommodations I was going to ask for based on NATE’S WEAKNESSES are recommended for children suffering from… dyslexia and dysgraphia.
Guys, am I nuts??? If you think I’m nuts just say so. I’m printing this stuff out tomorrow, marking it and faxing it to the school. I want to know if I’m the only one who sees this. They have to see it, because they’re the ones who keep pointing it out. I know my neighbor sees it (and yes, she’s had all kinds of child care training and her husband is getting ready to graduate with a degree in secondary education.) Am I just seeing what I want to see??