I was young, I don’t remember what age exactly but young, maybe 6 or 8 or 13. My parents would take us to church and I would hear all these things about God and Heaven, and I questioned it. I didn’t believe half the stories, I thought no way. So I asked my father one day about living and doing good, and what is the truth, or something along those lines.
I remember his face, it was gentle and scruffy and he kind of squinted, wrinkled his nose and looked up at the sky, and then at me and smiled. He said, “Well Corrie, you don’t live for the world, you just live in it and you do what you can, be honest to your heart.”
Lately this memory or saying has been going through my head, non stop, as if it’s on some kind of loop. Why??
So I thought I would write about it. However… I’m not sure what “it” is. Am I searching for something, am I not following my heart? Theses are the questions that fill up the blind space, where do I go from here.
You know that poem, “The Road Less Traveled”, Am I at that fork? What’s stalling me to walk the path I have chosen? Awe, right. The fear…..
I have been accepted into an MFA creative writing program. I’ve started my first quarter, and I am scared shitless. Do I know what I am doing? NO!! Well maybe, but I’m stalling. Slowly sliding my feet across the hot pavement. Maybe if I write about what I am afraid of, I can get over it and move forward.
Well of course, the all well-known fear, what the F*** do you want?
I have this image of me wearing amor, and I’m not standing alone. The best of the best–Faulkner, Doctorow, Chandler, Patterson, Hemingway, and more–have been right where I am now. I am not saying I’m any Doctorow or Patterson either, but I strive for it. I gotta let the fear go. Simple, Yay right. But it should be just simple. I have been reading many new and old authors lately and I can’t remember which one said it, but she/he said, “You have to write about your fears, your likes, your loses, your loves, your darkest dream.”
So this is where I begin.
I am scared to write because I’m afraid I am not at a graduate level, and I will be laughed at and fail miserably. I am scared to death to write a critical essay, It has been so long. There I said it. Now what? I guess, now I write.
I don’t own a car, house, I have no children and never been married. Oh yeah, I am currently without a career too. Am I supposed to have all this by the time I turn 40 years old? Seems like it, the ladies in my workout class have families, careers — they own businesses and homes. I look at them and then look at myself and wonder if I have done it all wrong.
Yesterday I picked up my life partner from work and told him, “I’m having a hard day. I hate my body, my life, the fact I don’t work right now — I don’t know what I want to do, or how to do it, I feel like a loser. An ugly loser.”
He tried to console me, but I sat and sulked anyway. I yelled at him actually to not talk, not say anything to me, to leave me in my cesspool of shit. He did, for a while — but it was dinner time.
“Are we still eating tonight?” he asked. NO matter how low I get, life still proceeds.
As I made dinner I realized that I was being a real bitch. Not so much to my Boo, but to myself. If someone else had told me I was a fat loser, my response would not have been too kind — I would have told them where to go. So why would I allow myself to break my own heart and soul. Because I really don’t hate myself. I have worked so hard to love my life and choices and be kind to my mind, body and soul. Am I really going to let myself down because I don’t compare to these outsider expectations of where I am supposed to be in my life due to age?
I have experienced the kind of life most people only see in the movies, and I have worked hard to get there. I am a beautiful woman inside and out. I am so sorry for letting myself get caught up in the idea that I had to be doing something different associated by some kind of social design.
Today I have been going over my choices, good and not so good, and I am noticing just how cool I am. Not because I do or don’t have things/jobs/kids to show, but because I am learning who I am without the usual outline, and am still solid in my heart’s desires.
I am turning 40 tomorrow, and I have nothing that my bootcamp ladies have, but perhaps I have something they don’t have. And being 40 is just an age, a number to show how long I have been on earth, nothing more. I am as young or as old as I will choose to be, and at 40 I will still wear my converse, ballerina skirts, and crazy hair. I will continue to navigate my life in a way that makes me happy and if society can’t handle it, well, I don’t care. We live in a day where life is what you make it, and the best birthday gift I could give myself is courage and confidence to continue on my path.
I have to admit I am changing, but that’s what happens anyways. Change is the only thing constant in life, so I will embrace my changes hold onto my youth and believe growing old gracefully isn’t a part of my vocabulary — at least not by any modern definition.
Happy Birthday Corrie. I hope the next 40 years are just as exciting, fun, and explorative as the last!!
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Her apartment was attached to a 1920’s converted hotel. The unit she lived in was an old, street level watering hole used for boarding sailors as they waited for their ships to sail. It was a loft style apartment, open and airy. Dimly lit by candles and white christmas lights gave it a warm and cozy feel, casting shadows across the brick walls.
“Let’s party.” Allen pulled a small black pouch from the side pocket of his jacket hanging on the arm of an oversized blue velvet chair. Inside the pouch was a pharmacy. “What do you want? I got it all tonight.”
“Coke?” She asked.
“Lets do a few lines first.”
“OK. Get that mirror from your bathroom, the small round one hanging in the shower. Make sure it’s dry this time.” He was pointing without looking up.
“Shut up.” She laughed.
He sprinkled out a pile of white powder and cut it into four chubby lines. He went first, snorted one line then the other rotating nostrils. She followed his lead.
“Another round?” He asked motioning to the whiskey bottle.
“Yay, I got the bottle.” She grabbed the Jack Daniels form the cement kitchen counter along with blue colored shot glasses. She poured two drinks while he carved out four more lines. His ass crack stuck out from an adult diaper as he bent over the mirror. Without his knowing she took a small vile of clear liquid from a locked box in a cupboard and poured it into one of the glasses.
“Bottoms up.” She said.
He tossed his head back and drank the spiked whiskey, she tossed hers into a plant next to the couch. She sauntered over to the entertainment center on the far wall and turned on the stereo. “Im Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred blared through the surround sound.
“I love this song, turn it up.” He said.
Of course you would, she thought and obliged him. She turned facing him and started to move her hips back and forth. Her hands twisted in her hair and she flung her head back, caressed her breasts and moved her hands slowly down her torso, she shimmied forward revealing a bit of cleavage over the black corset.
“Are you ready?” She was pointing her finger and moving it slowly motioning for him to come her way.
“Are you going to be my good little boy?”
“Oh yes.” He tiptoed to her bed.
“Oh no naughty boy, why I have a surprise for you.” She slid her sleigh bed to the side, flipped back the yellow shag carpet and pulled up on a set of trap doors.
He stopped and pulled away from her hold. “Wait, I’m not going down there. What is that.”
“Don’t worry, C’mon. C’mon baby boy.” She was taunting him again with her gloved finger.
He was skeptical, but went with her down the dark stairs.
“See, no boogie man.”
Slipping back into his role-play he said, “I forgot my toys miss,” in an awkward high pitched baby voice.
“You won’t need them, I have better one’s where we are going.” She nodded towards her extra large red and white tricycle stocked with bells, whistles and an attached backseat.
The tunnel was musty, the concrete floor was cold and there was limited light, just enough streaming from the crack of the ceiling illuminating the immediate area of where they stood.
“It’s dark down here.”
“Don’t worry little boy, you will be safe with me.” She lit a lamp hanging in the handlebar basket, “Hold on.”
She rode the tricycle through the curvy tunnel for about ten minutes, all the way they sang nursery rhymes.
They approached a small opening where she could turn the bike around coming to a stop. “This is my special place.” She laughed a little.
“Where are we miss?”
“Someplace that only the damned come.”
She pushed open a heavy wooden door. Inside was an old water tower hollowed out and now decorated like the inner parts of a circus tent. In the middle of the space a hole was dug out of the wooden planks, water sloshed up against the edges. Around it was a table full of candles, she lit them all. The light shone off porcelain doll faces stuffed into a corner of the room where a small gouge had eroded into the wall. Painted on the stone walls were black and white heart shaped polka dots. On the side of the table was a small pull out drawer, in it was a variety of drugs and their utensils. She pulled a needle, spoon, a little baggie of white stuff, and a rubber tube.
“Whoa, what do we have here?” He said.
“Just something for me.”
“I have never done that!”
“There is a first for everything, C’mon baby, get high with me.”
“OoooKay.” His voice was shaky.
“You can go first.”
“Are you sure?” But he was already holding out his arm relaxed on her thigh. He could feel the scratchiness from her garter against his skin.
She lit the spoon and boiled the contents, then sucked it into the syringe. She tied the tube around his arm and tapped at his veins. One of them popped out begging to be pricked. She pushed on the syringe releasing some liquid and gently stabbed his arm. He laid his head back against the stone.
“It’s cold against my head.” He said.
He started to vomit.
“That will happen, best high after that.” She smiled.
He felt something wrapping around his wrist, then the other one. He could barely hold his head up and his vision was blurry. Handcuffs.
“What are we doing, gettin’ kinky are you?” He slurred his words.
She helped him up and walked him over to the circus death wheel. She propped him up bringing his right arm up above his head, clipped the other end of the handcuff to a metal ring repeating the same for his left arm. She started to tickle him with a feather caressing his nipples, going down on his tummy and along his upper thighs.
“Oh god that feels good.” He said.
She unpinned the diaper and it fell to the floor. She softly placed his penis in her hands and started to stroke in an upwards motion.
“Oh god baby, oh yeah.”
“You like that, naughty lil’ boy.”
She stood back and grabbed a soft pouch from under the table and rolled it open. Twelve small sharp knives gleamed from the candle light. The pouch became a belt around her slim waist. She threw each knife with diligence, the first hitting the back of the wheel next to his head, she went around his body.
Allen started to get antsy. “Hey, this is fun, but the kinky just got crazy. Can we just do what we normally do?”
“But this is so much more enjoyable, Allen, if that is really your name, Mr. Smith. I am so happy you could join me, I am so thrilled that you see me as your party favor. I bet your wife and kids would love to see you now. You disgust me, Allen, don’t you know.”
“What are you saying, Wella, I don’t understand?”
“They are better off without you, Allen Smith.” Her next hit was right between the eyes. The blood started to dribble out of his head, down his nose and dripped onto his chest.
She laughed hard. “That is better, don’t you think Mr. Smith?”
She took her time to get high repeating the ritual as she did with Allen. She un-cuffed him letting his body fall over in a slump. She jammed his arm a few more times with the needle and then pushed his body into the hole of water. He floated briefly before she pushed him under with the end of a broom stick. A quick forceful shove and his body was thrust into the flow of the river beneath them.