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The Problem with Past Tense

My dad died in 2006. Death is a strange thing. It’s not like you stop missing someone, but you get used to it. I don’t think you get over it. I think you just learn to accept it. Dad is no longer here. It sucks. it will continue to suck, but it’s the way it is.

Today my mum and I had to re-add me to the safety deposit box because the bank ‘lost’ part of my access. DON’T GET ME STARTED – THIS BANK, MY GOD. IT’S NOT LIKE MY MUM HAS BEEN A CLIENT FOR FORTY YEARS OR SOMETHING. Anyway, we have to review the list of people for the safety deposit box. Guess what? My dad is still on the list. We said, you know, we removed him when he died. He shouldn’t be on the list. You should take him off the list. He’s dead.

The bank dude was like, “UMMMM, I can’t take people off the list without my manager *anxious shifty eyes*.”

We went back and forth for a few minutes, and I finally said, “well leave him on the list, I guess it’s not like he’ll be dropping by to access the box!” My mum laughed and agreed, “Yeah, it’s not like he’ll stop by!” We chuckled, but the young bank teller was visibly uncomfortable.

But, I have a problem with the past tense sometimes. It doesn’t always come up. I’m okay saying “My dad used to own a restaurant” – he sold it before he died. I can also say, ” My dad read Louis l’Amour books.” He did. Or, “My dad tried to garden but never had the time.”

Strangely, I struggle with, “My dad was Greek.”

I know this may seem odd, but it’s like when I say he WAS Greek that he’s no longer Greek or he lost his ‘greekness’ when he died. But he is Greek. He’ll always be Greek. Canadian too! But how else do I say it? He’s “Dead but Still Greek”?

I feel like I need a tense in between past and present.

Death, man. It’s weird even after millions of years of evolution.

 

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Cleaning out my Junk Drawers

Internets. How you been?

I started going regularly again to the gym 4th and then on the 11th signed up for the 30 in 30 challenge [30 classes in 30 days – spin and/or yoga]. I’m about as flexible as a steel pipe, so the yoga is a struggle for me, but I realized it’s a struggle because I NEED it and OH WHY CAN’T IT BE EASY?

This morning I either had a breakthrough or a breakdown. Still not sure which.

My hips are TIGHT and I don’t mean that in a -ph- phat kind of way, [Yo, that shit is TIGHT, y’all!]. I mean that in an industrial strength elastic that has no give kind of way. So all hip openers, hamstring stretches and just general leg flexibility movements are tough. This morning, I found the hot yoga room extra hot [I don’t like the heat, but I do find the stretching easier and I like my gym which is a HOT YOGA and spin place, soooooooo hot yoga it is.]. When it’s that hot, I feel like there’s no oxygen in the air. I’m breathing but there’s nothing actually getting in my lungs. Sometimes, it makes me start to panic a little. But, I could handle that. But then, everything was HARD this morning. Downward dog was hard, child’s pose kind of hurt, side plank was impossible and don’t even ask about standing splits. It’s so far from the splits, I’m pretty sure you can’t even tell what pose I’m trying to do. Plus, a friend just lost her dog and I feel for her so much. Of course it makes me think more of Portia and how I never really had a good cry after she died because I was SO BUSY and every time I felt a cry coming on, I was at work or at the grocery store or at the yoga studio or on the C-Train. and then when I was finally home and COULD CRY, I was exhausted and went to bed.

And my hips HURT this morning. Not HURT like “Geez you need to stop this before you bust one of these hips”, but hurt like “Oh god, if I try to get out of this lunge, I don’t know if this hip joint will hold me! I’m going to fall over!” way.

So I’m there and it’s hot and I’m tired and it hurts and then I feel like I might throw up and then I just wanted to CRY. But I felt torn – should I just cry? my two sisters were in the room and the yoga teacher is a GEM and a SWEETHEART so, I could have had support. But, I’m a solitary crier and people around me when I cry makes me uncomfortable, so I probably would’ve just preferred to start crying and then leave and get in the shower. But then again, if I started crying, that’s going to make an awful start of the day and my eyes will be all red and puffy…

IDK. they say your hips are the emotional junk drawer of the body and maybe I’ve finally done enough yoga to start cleaning them out.

My Brain is getting Crowded

So. I haven’t been writing lately. Combination of still being in a bit of a funk about Portia, being hella busy with the day job and just… I don’t know. Stuff. I go through these phases where my anxiety creeps up on me and then it seems like everything sends me into a panic. Respond to comments on the blog? PANIC. Sit down to write? PANIC. Pick up the phone at work? DOUBLE PANIC.

I’m trying to break it all down into tiny, manageable bites. Today was to sit down and get 500 words done on book 4. A small goal, one that I know I can do. And then it would be a little deposit of good in my emotional bank. Goal achieved – got 538. And I still have more time to write, so anything else I get now is gravy.

But when I don’t write regularly, my crazy seems to leak out into my dreams. The more I’m away from the keyboard, the more bizarre my dreams get. I tried to write down one I had a few days ago:

I dreamed I was some kind of timeless, immortal woman who had captured some people in the upper floor of this grand old house. They had all agreed to enter the floor, but they didn’t know that as soon as they agreed, they were trapped there until I let them go – everyone was now immortal in this place. It was like a large apartment suite – the kind you would see in a really old castle or townhouse.
I was kind of dressed like I was from teh 1920s. I had a sort of manservant that was outside the apartment suite, or the Tea Room, as I kept calling it. He could bring us [or rather ME since he only did stuff for me] things from the outside world. He brought liquor and food [although we required none] and would take my things out to be drycleaned. he was dying of some kind of cancer and I was going to miss him terribly once he passed.
 
The people I had trapped with me were angry, scared and at times violent. I was more… amused or entertained by this than anything else. I dont’ know what I was planning. I do know that at one point, I curled up in this big easy chair – and this chair, I had the knowledge, used to be in some sort of a men’s club back in time. I opened one of the side pouches and found some cigarettes and lit one. As I sat there, one of the women I was keeping hostage came and sat in the chair next to me and I said something like “How easy it would have been to be a man back then. With items like this at your disposal, everywhere you went.” and I was so angry at how hard it had been to be a woman in history.
 
I had several lovely things picked up from drycleaning by my servant and my hostages ended up playing around in them like kids playing dress up. capes, hats, big scarves and feathers. This also amused me. They thought my things were so extravagant.
 
There was on person who said he wanted to leave, and he demanded it. he was escorted to a weird kind of old fashioned elevator and one of the other hostages went with him, saying he could accompany him on his trip down, but wouldn’t be leaving with him. As the elevator descended, it was consumed by fire, and the man who wanted to leave [he was young, maybe 20 or so?] turned to paper money and then to ash, only his mind was still present and he had this knowledge that he would be burning ashes for the rest of eternity. the fragments of him fell through the bottom of the elevator grate and then the elevator rose again, with the other man who had accompanied the younger, now ash one, coming back to the Tea Room.
 
There were large bay windows for one section and you could see the world outside, but they could not see in.

About two days after that one, I had one where I was playing some kind of game with people where I had to crawl through tunnels and small spaces [this is actually a recurring theme in my dreams. I have to crawl through a vent or some kind of portal and it only works as long as I don’t think too hard about it. but if I DO then I can’t fit through. And I’m always super anxious that it won’t work because I’m thinking so hard about it and then I won’t fit]. I was just about to crawl through a small vent when I noticed there was a stairwell off to my left. I went up the stairs and found myself in the top floor of a strange kind of house. It was like a little self contained place all on it’s own. And there were these two women there, who were more like girls. They were misshapen and didn’t speak any language I understood. and I had this sense that they were kept up in this attic, but not as a punishment. More like… a protection. Their caregiver arrived – a lady that started yelling and screaming at me for finding them and as she rushed toward me, I grabbed a chair and used it to ward her off only I pushed too hard and she fell out the window. And now these strange girls were without a caretaker. The stairs down from the attic had a complicated mechanism that the girls couldn’t use and but that I was able to and I found myself exploring the rest of the house. On the second floor lived another woman. She was the sister of the woman I’d accidentally killed. She didn’t tell me who the girls were, only that they belonged to her sister and her sister had left life to take care of them and so she followed her sister because that’s how their family worked. She was showing me old pictures of them from before they entered the house. they were beautiful women – dressed in fancy items and with silky, shiny, styled hair. I felt awful for what I’d done but I kept remembering how she’d charged at me and I didn’t mean to push her, it just happened. The sister didn’t seem angry with me. But did seem sad about being trapped in the house.

So, yeah. It’s time to start writing again. My brain gets too full when I don’t.

Sorry, I can’t go out tonight. I’m in the middle of my werewolf cycle

Things I think about – what if lycanthropy wasn’t really tied to the full moon, but was instead like a cycle that people went through like how women get their period. So every 28 days. BAM. Werewolf. Full moon optional.

Would it be as annoying and awkward as getting your period is? Like… women usually talk to each other about it in code when they’re out in public. “Hey, when I stand up, can you check me, cause. you know.” And then your friend will nod sagely and checks you out to make sure you’re not having an accident. Also, haven’t we all had this conversation with a friend: “Hey, you got any stuff in your purse?” “Yeah, you need?” “Yeah. Bathroom in ten?” – no, it’s not a clandestine drug deal.

But, if I turned into a werewolf once a month, I would hope it would be way cooler. “Oh, I can’t go out tonight. It’s that time of the month. You know, wolf time.”

But then! If we ALL TURNED INTO WOLVES AT THE SAME TIME – WOLF PARTIES IN THE WOODS!

Or would it just end up being annoying after a few years? “GOD, WEREWOLF TIME AGAIN???!! I just got all the hair out of my shower drain from LAST TIME. Ugh. And dont’ even get me started on how many pairs of jeans I’ve ripped through. This is costing me a fortune.”

 

This is what happens when I have 4 hours of sleep

Can you guess what song I’ve got stuck in my head? Here, read the story I wrote to go with it and see if you can guess:

Some say the object is magic, but others say the better word is cursed.

It brings inanimate objects alive, forcing life into their bits and pieces. Corrupting nature’s work, making things move and shift where before they were lifeless.

It brings to life a creature that cannot stand the sun – a lumbering, dripping thing that leaves bits and pieces of itself behind wherever it goes.

It likes children most of all.

As is often the way with children, they don’t realize they are in danger. They don’t see the beast for what it is. They see  a plaything – an exciting new toy that wants to jump and dance with them. They are happy. They don’t know any better. Its heavy footsteps fall on the ground – thump, thump, thump. The deep tone leaving a sick feeling in those nearby – rubbing at their chests as if they could purge the sensation.

On the wind comes its voice, ‘Come play with meeeeeeeeeee.’ And then later, ‘Catch me if you caaaaaa-aaaannnnnn.’

Until the sun rises. The glorious sun, burning away the effigy, the wrong-thing, the perversion until all that’s left is a soppy, sodden mess.

And the words, ‘Don’t cry, I’ll be back again some day.’

 

Points to all of you that recognized this as FROSTY THE SNOWMAN!!!