Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last weekend’s writing prompt. From the choices of titles I have chosen a reaccuring dream. As well as the terms orchid, silk tearing, and inscrutable. I’m writing a poem so no names needed. ——–
My smile it isn’t real, although I appear happy and unafraid. My smile is goofy and I’m laughing but in reality, I’m quaking inside. Clowns have always frightened me so much I used to have terrible dreams about them even into my teens; so many nights I woke up screaming in horror. My husband doesn’t understand it but standing beside this clown is my worst nightmare and he had better be grateful; it’s not everyday I take a photograph with my the thing I fear the most.
“I was dancing with this guy at the club. He was so hot. He went to buy me a drink and then he fell. There was such a look of shock on his face as he held his chest. He’d been shot, and the blood was running down his chest through his hands. . . He was staring at me and well, he never closed his green-green eyes. His body slid down the bar, half-slumped against a barstool. There was no more light in his eyes. . . ” One star went out.
“What happened to you?”
“Well, I was walking through my school. It was like any other day. The bell rang for fourth period, and I heard screaming and shouting. Kids were running, hiding in classrooms and hitting the floor. There were two shooters who had appeared, they were randomly shooting at anyone. But I was sure they had some targets.
“They walked up to me and asked me if I was a Christian. I wanted to lie, but in the moment I couldn’t. I said yes, and the one shooter shot me several times. I felt the bullets, the agonizing pain, the blood flowing out of me. . . Then I was here.” Two stars went out.
“Why are you here?”
“I was told it hasn’t happened yet, that I could still change the future. This guy told me I could help end many incidents of gun violence. He showed me this tiny infant girl named Tula, my great-granddaughter. My granddaughter Alison’s, future daughter. Alison was beautiful and all grown-up, walking in the mall with precious Tula in her stroller. Then, there were loud gun shots, mayhem, screaming. I watched helpless as Alison cried and wailed. Tula was shot fatally, they couldn’t help her in time; she bled out.”
“It made me think about gun control legislation. It made me think if Tula could live, and this didn’t happen to other people’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren, I could give up my right to bear arms. If I could stop my great-granddaughter from dying, I would give up those rights.”
Peter Pan taught me that it is vital to keep your shadow close; it can be an easy enough part of yourself to lose. Sometimes, I think I would rather not have a shadow but then I consider, that would be like a vampire looking into a mirror and not having a reflection because they’re a vampire. Without a shadow or a reflection, you would be something inhuman.
That’s why I’ve never understood how I remain human but my shadow went missing one night. People don’t notice, but I do. It doesn’t matter the source of light, rays of the sun or a glow from the light bulb, but I have no shadow; it left me in my sleep.
I had this nightmare I don’t remember. I was sweating and I woke up screaming and I’ve never done that before. I’m sure it was the Sandman, or maybe the song,”Enter Sandman” by Metallica had me uptight.
But in the night, ” [I] sleep with one eye open, holding [my] pillow tight,” so when the Sandman comes in my dreams, I can steal back my shadow and sew it to my body as Peter Pan did.
I’m not sure how that will work yet, but I’m tired of being a freak without a shadow. You think I would have superpowers at least, but losing your shadow doesn’t work that way. Dogs don’t like you anymore, cats hiss, animals at the zoo all go wild when you pass by.
It appears I’m some unholy being, and I don’t even know what I am.
It is a great deal easier to write about my worst qualities then my best. Mostly, because I am aware of my faults more than my best characteristics. There are two things I do that are my worst qualities:
My, first worst quality has to do with my ability to not be able to contrentrate long or be multi-functional anymore. I am not blaming my health for it; I am saying my health intensified the issue.
I can do one thing at a time and it is often frustrating when I am working on writing up a paper or blogging about a subject, and someone starts trying to have a conversation with me. It makes me angry because I can’t multi-task, the person talking to me is interrupting my ideas and line of thought. And you know how if you are a creative person, ideas often flow out of you when they do; you have to write, paint, or do whatever you do to get your burst of creativity on paper. Meanwhile, a person is still talking to you none-stop and asking you questions and it is annoying. At the same time, I feel bad about being irritated.
Often, it is my Mom who is trying to talk to me. Before, I was ever ill I remember being so mad because I would be researching, writing up a paper, or working on a spreadsheet from work and she would pepper me with questions. But I knew she only wanted to talk to someone after a busy day at work about what went on good or bad. She wanted to talk to someone who wasn’t involved in her office life and get my opinion or view on a situation. She wanted to be able to talk about the people at her work, honestly. She wanted to ‘take a load off.’
I want to be able to talk with my Mom and others. But if I am busy or worn out after doing activities all day, I will brush people off. I will tell my Mom to stop bothering me. I go to my room and finish what I’m doing or sleep if I’m tired. I want to be chatty and happy but I feel bothered and drained by people talking at me and asking countless questions at times. So my first big flaw is I am irritable and single-minded. I am working on actively being a better listener. But it is hard at the time of day everyone gets home from work because I am worn out from the day and my medication is wearing off. I want to listen more and be involved in the conversation and not tune it out or walk away. Sometimes I able to be a better listener and sometimes I’m too irritated to pay attention.
The second flaw I have is something I try to attend to before it becomes worse. I have a tendency if I get mad or angry to let the issues I’m upset about build-up inside me. I get stressed-out when this occurs. I will sort through issues in my head trying to solve them. “Problems to solutions that don’t even exist,” I was told once. But the issue is my problems are real and bothersome. And I attempt to be a nice kind person so I don’t usually tell someone off or ask them to stop doing something unless they are especially bothering me.
An issue arises, however; if someone is repeatedly doing a hurtful action. Or if a person keeps doing a whole bunch of bothersome and hurtful actions all the time. I try to tell myself it is no big deal. I pray about it. I practice yoga and meditate sometimes. I write a lot as you know. And often writing helps a ton. Sometimes if I write something up and even if I don’t post it because it’s too personal or mean about another person, I feel better.
But every now and then someone pushes my buttons and I explode into yelling and tears. I’m a soft spoken reasonable person so when I yell and scream people are surprised and usually offended. Maybe, they didn’t realize something was a larger issue to me then they would have thought. Maybe, I am blowing the situation out of proportion. And maybe, I genuinely have the right to be so upset at someone.
I scared and hurt a friend in Vegas once when I erupted with anger. My friend T and I needed to take L aside and talk to her before the situation got worse but neither T or I did. L had been treating T and I badly the entire summer. Not to mention, she wanted to do all these things with us in Vegas but didn’t actually have the money to pay for it so T and I ended up paying for L, on many activities we did. Also, the fact L had a wonderful boyfriend who was our friend too, and L was flirting and making out with other guys made T and I angry.
I have told this part before: while we are in a club, T became so drunk she was sick and we had to leave the bar. We tried to get L to leave because we promised to stay together, all three of us. L kept telling us to wait and I finally told her T and I had to go, the bouncer was about to carry T and I out the back exit. L chose to stay with two guys she had been flirting with all night.
We finally saw L again as we got back to the hotel room. She was angry too and tried to blame it all on us and said we had abandoned her at the club. I knew T would never stand up to L because she prefers not to handle situations head on. T used to let a person treat her badly, instead of standing up to them. Luckily, she has become better at this over time.
I was so mad about L’s behaviour all summer. I exploded. L was shocked and she asked me why I would even want to be her friend if I thought so badly of her. And I told L how bad she was treating her boyfriend and if she didn’t stop, even T said she’d tell L’s boyfriend on her. L had been treating T and I badly too. L left our room with all her stuff. She wouldn’t talk to us the rest of the trip.
L made up with T because she hadn’t yelled at her, even though L had been a bad friend to T, ditching her for guys countless time. After many emails and some time L and I were friends again three months later. I finally apologized because she wouldn’t. And funny enough, she became closer to her boyfriend. L saw how valuable he was, and ended up becoming engaged, and marrying him.
Even though, L was misbehaving, she didn’t deserve to be yelled at so loudly and L didn’t deserve to have everything T and I were mad at her for dumped on her. People are imperfect and you have to pick and choose your battles. Some things about your friends you have to accept; just as you have flaws so do they. The best friends love you after you’ve shown them your worst side and you love them after you have seen the worst of them. Ultimately, it comes down to choosing your friend or choosing to be right.
I am careful now because of this situation in Las Vegas when I was twenty-three, to not let my anger build up. If I have a big problem with someone or something they are doing, I am honest. And I try hard to tell people how I’m feeling in such a way that isn’t accusatory but rather focuses on how something is hurting me or causing me to feel a certain way. The truth is people do not always realize they are being hurtful. Often, you need to tell the person who is damaging you to stop treating you a certain way and they will listen and cease.
Not letting issues build up helps. I also have learned to let some issues go. I try to get someone else’s view on the situation, Google the general problem, or pray about it. For many situations I find looking at them from a different perspective is helpful. If you see the situation differently it won’t become a problem that will build up. I have also learned that you have to say goodbye to some people or take your issues with a person to a higher authority. But since we are adults, there is usually no higher authority, unless it is a work issue or an issue of crime.
So for instance, I had trouble with a girl who was editor of a magazine I volunteered to write for. She didn’t understand why I was upset about her editing my articles to sound entirely as if they were in her voice. Some of her other editors were being taught to do the same. I didn’t find out until later when I took actual editing courses, what this editor was doing was incorrect and rude. You always try to preserve the voice of the writer and the way the article is written as much as you can. I was confident enough in my writing skills, my BA in English Literature, and the couple hundred articles I had written for her magazine previously. My ideas and my writing style wasn’t bad but my grammar and spelling needed work.
The editor wrote me a letter saying I had to work on my grammar and spelling, which was true. And she had tried to let me improve but I wasn’t, so she increasingly, cut down my article writing until I was only writing one article a week; before I was writing nothing. I exploded to her letter with a nasty email. She thought this was exactly how I was going to react. She probably had the same issue come up with past contributers to her magazine. I ended up apologizing to her for being ageist because she was more than five years younger then me with no degree, so I didn’t trust her writing or editing experience. Honestly, I had good instincts with her, despite my hasty email.
In truth, she was being manipulative and I finally recognized, she didn’t like my writing style. She was looking for people who wrote how she wrote on her personal blog and in her articles. And she didn’t want me to write for her magazine even when she needed writers. I was offended but I knew I didn’t want to be a writer like her or for her. She said the magazine was expanding and the writers had to expand or become better with it. I agreed but still had problems with how she chose to write and what she focused on in her magazines.
I didn’t like how she regularly wrote about cheating with men and women and ruining relationships. Although I support LBGT people, I was offended that she rarily had articles pertaining to man and woman couples, boyfriends and girlfriends. I found this editor to be selfish, micro -managing, and immature despite her attempts to appear professional.
She didn’t want my writing but wanted to use my blogs to tweet and post. She wanted to stay friends but didn’t want me to write for her because I was offended by her note. I had every right to be.
So, I let her go. I stopped supporting the magazine by buying the quarterly issues. I wouldn’t let her use any of my writing for her magazine. I unfriended her on Facebook and Twitter. I stopped taking her text messages and didn’t give her my new number when it changed. I unsubscribed from her blog and anything related to the magazine. It was a great decision.
I don’t know where she is at now. I hope she is well and has worked out some of her life and issues with the magazine such as finding writers. It was mean of me to write her a nasty reply to her email. She didn’t deserve it, even if she lacked a degree or experience. But I couldn’t be friends with her after how she talked about my writing, how she treated my skills as if suddenly they were useless. I knew from professors, writing articles in the Edmonton Journal in University, and even strangers my writing was good. It didn’t mean my writing didn’t require improvement (it still does and will forever) but I didn’t like how she belittled my skills and my person. I let her go.
So, I have learned some tricks to working off stress and dealing with problems before they become so large I explode in tears and screaming. Every once in a long awhile, I can’t help it but I am getting better. We cannot always overcome our flaws but we can try to manage them.
When I was a little boy I use to love trains. One Christmas my Grandpa bought me this train set that went around the whole Christmas tree and all the other presents. I was 4-years-old and a train that went around a track and whistled like a real train was the funnest gift ever. I wanted to be the engineer who drove the trains on the track when I was older.
That’s what my Grandpa did. There is this picture in his office. It’s black and white and there is this sense of wanderlust I receive when I look at this picture. My Grandpa tells me stories, how he took people all across Canada on this train.
Now I am 21-years-old and I trained to drive the metro. I love my job. Except one day I wasn’t paying attention and I hit another train. I heard the screeching, the screaming, as metal bent and people died.Train driver error. But it doesn’t matter anymore — I am driving trains in the sky.