Categories
Real Life Writing Zenishness...

The (Only) 5 Fears We All Share…

Who - me? Scared?!
Who – me? Scared?!

Psychology Today posted a really interesting article that crunched all our phobias down into five big fears that all of us share.

According to this article, you may not have arachnophobia – maybe you’re even amused at another person’s fear of spiders – but if the thought of being eaten by a bear keeps you from hiking in the woods when you would otherwise really enjoy a hike in the woods, then, deep down, you actually share a common fear (the fear of mutilation, believe it or not) with that guy you’re laughing at.

So, quit laughing already.

I’ve been trying off and on to make a living as a writer in one manner or another since I was a teenager. It has never failed that at some point in every one of my journeys (“This time I’m going to do it. This time, I’m not going to quit.”), someone or something has always stopped me in my tracks.

Categories
Just for Fun...

Out of the Mouths of Babes….

I stole this from “Dream Manifesto”. Cuz it’s cute.

An elementary school teacher was giving a drawing class to a group of six-year-old children. At the back of the classroom sat a little girl who normally didn’t pay much attention in school. In the drawing class she did.

For more than twenty minutes, the girl sat with her arms curled around her paper, totally absorbed in what she was doing. The teacher found this fascinating. Eventually, she asked the girl what she was drawing. Without looking up, the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of God.” Surprised, the teacher said, “But nobody knows what God looks like.”

The girl said, “They will in a minute.”

Random Song-for-the-Day: “I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz

Categories
Other People's Stories...

He Saw Dead People…

"Menacing"
“Menacing”
Taken November 26, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

So, after a lovely Tilapia dinner, The Cook – oops – Kitchen Manager – no, make that Soon-To-Be-Revealed Self-Named Story-Teller, told me his earliest memory.

It was a memory that’s haunted him his whole life (and he’s even older than me, so you know that’s a whole lotta life to be haunted), and I really felt kind of sorry for the poor guy. When I think of some of the things that frightened me as a child, I sometimes feel just as afraid as when I was little…

I don’t know if I’ve got his “voice” down properly – hopefully, I’ll get some more stories out of him, so I can practice. When he gets going, he tends to speak loudly, and during several parts of this story, he would start to have an accent. I’ve begun to figure out when he’s a little upset by whether he has an accent or not. Which is kind of cool. Makes me want to piss him off, so I can hear the accent.

Okay, maybe that’s not so cool. Maybe that’s just a little mean. I’m such a little shit-disturber, sometimes. Ahem…*

Him: When I was little – maybe about four or five – we lived in an apartment that was across the parking lot of a funeral home. It didn’t bother me, at first, because I didn’t know what a funeral home was, but I remember I always had weird stuff happen there.

Me: What kind of weird stuff?

Him: In my bedroom. In the middle of the night. Weird stuff, man!

Me: What kind of weird stuff? “Funeral Home” kind of weird stuff?

Him: Yeah! Sort of. People used to come out of my closet.

Me: What kind of people?

Him: Dead people; that’s what kind of people. Geez! I lived across from a funeral home!

[I laughed. Couldn’t help it.]

Him: Why are you laughing?! That’s not funny; it scared the shit outta me! I was just a little kid!

Me: I’m sorry… Okay, so was this nightmare full of, like, zombies, all rotted and gushy or-

Him: NO!! And it wasn’t a nightmare! It was like, almost every night, and they were dead people! Dead. People. Coming out of my closet, and into my room!

Me: How do you know they were dead people? For that matter, how do you know they weren’t nightmares? You know, like the same scary dream when you’re a kid, because you’re stressing out, but you’re a kid, so you don’t know what stress is, and it comes out in repetitive dreams?

Him: What are you, a shrink?! Are you telling me I’m nuts?

Me (laughing again – see? Shit-disturber.): NO! I’m just saying maybe they were dreams.

Him: One: I was not sleeping; I was awake. Therefore, I was not dreaming. Two: I know they were dead, because I could see through them.

Me: Oh.

Him: Yeah. If you can see through them, they’re spirits, and they’re dead.

Me: Ghosts.

Him: Ghosts. Yeah.

Me: And you stopped seeing the ghosts after you moved away?

Him: Whose story is this, Girl?

Me: Sorry. I’ll shut up.

Him: Thank you. So, every night, almost, these ghost-people would come out of my closet and scare the shit out of me. They didn’t jump out and yell, “Boo!” or anything, but they’d look at me. And they’d wander around the room, and after awhile they’d sort of just…. go away. Fade away, or just disappear or something.

But it was always different people. It’s not like I had one ghost or the same couple ghosts haunting my room every night. Every night, it was different dead people, and they were always dressed up like they were going to a dance. The women were always in fancy dresses, with their jewelry on, and the men were always in nice suits and ties, but it was always different people. Different dead people. Brrrr!

I think I coulda got used to it, if it was the same people all the time, but different people made it worse. Damn!

[Very, very, very, long pause….]

Me: And…?

Him: And, what?

Me: And, then what? Need an ending, here. Do you still have dead people coming out of your closet, or what?!

Him: No! That stopped after we moved.

Me: Like I said…

Him: Yeah, yeah. But, I started dreaming about that a few years ago, and every now and again I dream about those dead people wandering around my room, and looking at me, and I’m like, four or five years old again, but not really, and it still scares me. Kind of gives me a creepy feeling for a few hours every morning after I have that dream.

Me: Yeah, that is a little creepy.

Him: But then, worse, a few nights ago, I had that dream, and you know how you wake up after a bad dream, and it kind of sticks with you while you get up, and you’re trying to wake up and get ready for the day? Well, I was in the shower, thinking about that dream, when I realized, looking back on that room I slept in, that those dead people weren’t coming out of the closet at all! The closet was on a different wall! They were coming through the window!

[Pause… as if he’s expecting a reaction from me.]

Me: And that’s… worse…?

Him: Yes, it’s worse! They were coming out of that funeral home! And right through the window-glass, into my room! Geez!

Me: Why is that worse?

Him: ‘Why is that worse?! ‘Why’?! Are you serious?!

Me: I don’t understand why it’s worse that they were coming through the window-glass than if they were coming through the closet door. What’s the difference?

Him: What do you mean ‘what’s the difference’?! The difference is that I could deal with them coming through the closet door and just hanging out in my room! Every little kid that ever lived has monsters in their closet! It scared me, but I could deal with it. Once I figured out they were coming out of the damn funeral home, walking all the way across the parking lot and then coming into my room, I knew they were after me! I’m lucky I survived! ‘What’s the difference?’ Damn, I don’t believe you said that.

[Okay, so then I laughed again. I shouldn’t have laughed, because I’m pretty sure he was seriously freaked out about the whole thing, and laughing was just mean. I couldn’t help it; it was funny as hell.]

Me: Okay… Ahem…* What do you want to call yourself?

Him: What? Call myself? What?

Me: On the blog? When I write your story… how do you want me to refer to you?

Him, with no hesitation whatsoever: As The Victim! I want you to refer to me as The Victim! Geez!

And, so, “The Victim” he shall be called, at least in this space, now and forever more.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Hayfield Crooning” – The Wild Turkeys

Categories
Real Life

Where Did the Time Go?

Image: Where Did the Time Go?
Where Did the Time Go?
Taken March 1, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Whew! That was a hiatus I would rather not have taken. The Real World sucks compared to this one, it really does.

That said, it could be added that my time “away” basically consisted of two types of events: losses and gains. These are some of them.

Lost: My hatred for cooking… sort of.

I’ve had to get into some tight routines during the last month, and since I already had the problem of rarely thinking of what’s for dinner, the idea of not having time to rush around anymore when I finally did realize we hadn’t eaten didn’t appeal. Starvation just doesn’t suit me. So, I smartened up (only took me a quarter of a century – not bad, huh?), and sat down and wrote a list of every meal ever known to man… er…. woman-kind, and wrote them on the calendar. Voila! Dinner is served. I’ve since discovered that it isn’t cooking that I hate, it’s not knowing what to cook. Problem solved.

Gained: Several pounds that have stayed with me.

Finally. No, it’s not from cooking – I was doing that anyway, I just wasn’t liking it, remember? It’s all muscle-mass, from the regular work-outs. Yes, Suzi, I’m working out! Every. Freaking. Day. My arms and legs hurt like hell, but I now have an ass again. Boobs can’t be far behind… 😀

Lost: One of my Ortho lenses.

This totally sucks, because now I’m back to glasses, which are heavy and hurt my already bumpy nose (bumpy because of the F-ing glasses, I might add). I’ve decided not to replace the lens, for several reasons: they cost an unreal amount of money – it took me so long to pay for them, in fact, that I’m too embarrassed to call my optometrist and make an appointment. And I’ll probably just lose one again. And, since they wear out and cost so much, I let them go too long and they cause a freaky sensitivity in one eye that makes it hard to sit in front of the computer for long. Or watch a movie. Or blink. I’m going to go to some eyesight mill and pick up a new prescription instead, and then get lasik surgery in another year or so. Take that blindness. Ha.

Gained:  A new desk.
Gained: A new desk.

It was Ruby’s. She didn’t know she even owned a desk. Now it’s mine. 😀 I will have to post about it, because it’s so cool.

Lost: My love for The Patch.

Freaky-Deaky dreams aside, the thing itches, and half the time I forget to put one on anyway. I’m only still using them at all because I still have some left and my mother says I “shouldn’t waste them.”

Gained: A new couch.

And a chair to go with it. To be delivered Wednesday. How cool is that?! I made sure to get a colour that will match the sheddiest cat.

Lost: One of four “I Want” lines between my eyes. I’m told they’re from stress (not from old age – who’da thunk?!), so I guess that’s a good sign. Who says wishes don’t come true? I’m going to erase my entire face with wishes, you just see if I don’t.

Gained: A sleep routine that works.

That might be why the “I Want” line disappeared, come to think of it. Mind you, all the sleeping, nice as it is, messes with my blogging. I wonder if “Remote Posting” is a possibility… It’s not like I make a lot of sense while awake, so what’s the difference, really?

Lost: The “Slow It All Down” button.

Or I’d have posted long before this.

Gained: A ton of new stories from both Ruby and my parents.

So, I’d better find that button, huh…?

Lost: David Letterman and Craig Ferguson.

The sleep routine just doesn’t allow for them anymore. The worst thing I’ve discovered out of this particular loss is that I can’t discuss U.S. politics with Ruby anymore (it’s pretty bad when everything you know about U.S. politics comes from David Letterman). We now watch movies after the crossword instead.

Gained: A new address.

Eventually. Maybe. I haven’t decided on this one. I hate moving even more than I thought I hated cooking. It’s a bigger place, though, and The Turkey wants to go. She may win this one. I have time yet to mull it over, though, and mull I shall.

Lost: The Hummingbird.

Well, I didn’t lose her, exactly (although, I couldn’t tell you for certain where she is, either), but she’s not here. I’m both heart-broken and greatly relieved. And up to my neck in “Oops, I take it back” government forms.

Gained: Hot water.

Gallons and gallons and gallons of it, now that I’m minus one teenager.

Random Song for the Day: “You Never Can Tell” – Chuck Berry

Categories
Artsy Fartsy Little Bits of Stupid Projects The Father Chronicles

In Pursuit of a Dream… Take 2

I have been forcibly “de-funkified”. I really should thank Carol for doing it with her nasty comments (and even nastier private emails), but I’m not quite ready to do that, because, truthfully, I don’t think I’m quite ready to be “de-funkified” at all.

But she’s right. Wallowing in it, publicly or privately, only makes things worse.

I still don’t have A Dream. So, I’m going to force one. And I’m going to be purposefully vague about it (sorry), because it’s an old dream, and only a couple of people know about it.

One of those people is the one that killed it. Granted, I let it be killed. I let it be killed because Way Back When, I didn’t have any guts. I don’t have any guts, now, either, but I intend to grow some.

Anyway…! On with it.

Way Back When, when the world was still new (1982, I think it was), I saved up $250 to help make my dream come true. A friend of mine, The Dream-Killer, boosted me along. I worked in a restaurant as a dishwasher for really crappy pay back then, and it was only part-time, since I was in school. Still, when I got that paycheck every week, all I wanted to do was buy jeans and party. The Dream-Killer would remind me about saving for my dream, and I would gratefully set aside some cash, and then steal beer money from my parents. Sometimes, I just cut out the middle step and stole beer instead. Even so, it took a long time to save up $250, let me tell you, but I did it.

I lived in a teeny-tiny town 50-odd miles East of here. I had to come up here to the Sault to plunk down my money and make Step One happen. The Dream-Killer came with me for support. We skipped school and hitch-hiked, of course. I wasn’t about to spend Dream Money on bus fare, was I? I wasn’t stupid.

Hitchhiking 50-odd miles sometimes takes hours. By the time we got here, The Dream-Killer had almost convinced me that The Dream was too big for me…

“You’re too young. No one’s going to take you seriously.”

“$250 really isn’t enough to do this with.”

“That guy is just looking for money. It’s going to turn out like shit.”

Almost convinced me. Almost.

And then, killing time until Step One would be underway, we wandered through the mall… and saw…

The Chair.

It looked a lot like this…

“Look at that chair! Don’t you love that chair?”

(It really was a cool chair. Yes, I loved that chair…)

“That chair would look sooooo gnarly in your room!”

(It really would…)

“It’s only $200! You should buy the chair!”

(I really wanted to buy the chair. But The Dream…!)

And then…

“You know… I don’t know how to tell you this… but… your stuff’s really not…. that… good.”

Poof!

I bought the chair.

My father worked up here at the time, piloting one of the Lock Tour boats, and reluctantly agreed to truck it home for me. Wicker chair… Open truck bed… My chair blew out of the back of the truck at about Echo Bay.

We got turned around to go recover it just in time to see another truck wing by us with my chair in the back! Pissed my dad right off.

He took off after this guy at breakneck speed, berating me the whole time for being so stupid as to spend $200 on a chair for Chrissakes, and now he had to chase it down the damned highway, and so help him God, if he got pinched for speeding, I was paying the God-damned fine.

He caught up to the guy and pulled up beside him. Waved.

The guy waved back.

My dad yelled at him to stop, God-damn it.

The guy wouldn’t stop.

My dad darn near ran him off the road before he gave up and pulled over, telling us he was “trying to catch up with us”… ?! The chair survived with nary a scratch or break, surprisingly, and the story is incredibly funny now, but only because I survived. I was certain through the whole “chase” that my dad was going to roll the truck and kill us.

We pulled into Thessalon an hour or so later; my dad with a snarl on, and me with a crushed Dream, an un-crushed chair, and $50 burning a hole in my pocket. I’m pretty sure I spent the $50 on beer. And probably grass, too.

Every time we had company over after that, my dad would tell The Chair Story, bring people into my room to show them The Chair, and beam as if me spending $200 on a chair fer Chrissakes was the most brilliant thing I could have done. Maybe a highspeed chase down Highway 17 East was one of his dreams, I don’t know…

A year and a half later, my first apartment went up in flames. Wicker burns really fast.

I’ve always regretted buying that chair and forfeiting what I thought at the time was a pretty good chance at a really big dream. I’m not really sure if my heart is in this yet, but I’m going to give it another go.

Step One is now actually Step Three – as the world has changed a little since it was new. I have changed a lot since the world was new, but I’ve already begun Step One. I’ve talked to some people, and got some advice. Step Two is coming in short order.

It’s going to cost a lot more than $250.

I know it’s a bit of a cheat to not actually detail this further, but I haven’t exactly grown those guts yet. And I hope some of you will wish me well anyway. Comments are welcome. No Dream-Killers will be taken seriously. I hope.

Random Song for the Day: “9 Crimes” – Damien Rice