Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

and they said it wasn't possible.

daddy and his art.

photo cred: mom

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


so here's a big news flash, my mom and dad are divorced:) and have been for some time.

like everything in life, growing up with divorced parents has its good parts and not so good parts.

good parts.

* at 17 you can get out of any speeding ticket - claiming you are rushing off for dad time.
* you belong to the elite my parents are divorced, so on some level, i am a closeted control freak club.
* you are intensely aware. of everyone's needs.

not so good parts.

*people were missed.
*a lot.

internally, i have worked out the not so good...the un-cohesiveness of it all. allowing myself to be comfortable with my experience. knowing that its all OK. not defining. not comparing myself to others (pointless comparisons are...pointless). im passed all of it. enough. im proud to say i can see the good - the good and the murky. and it is just that, murky goodness with lots of layers in between. my family. oh how i love and enjoy them.

lately i have enjoyed watching my parents' current relationship from afar. life after the kids are way gone. she's a petite lady from hawaii. he's a tall jew from pennsylvania. and after 28 years, they still live within a 7 mile radius of each other in hendersonville, tn. separate lives, surrounded by the wal-mart, taco bell, ford car dealerships and jesus.

my parents are two of the most similar - and at the same time - completely different people i have ever met. it is painfully confusing. simply looking at them, one would never imagine they lived in the same neighborhood, let alone hung out long enough to get married and have children. both share the same love for music, art, humor, food, and health. they desire the same things out of life. however, they are the perfect example of how sometimes people must travel totally opposite paths in order to reach their similar destinations.

individually, mom and dad have always enjoyed photography - and are both very talented at it.

for a while now, dad has made a big push towards exploring his talent as a photographer- he has done a lot to cultivate and develop his art. recently, he had the opportunity to show his photography in Nashville with other local artists. its an incredible feeling to know anyone (let alone a parent) is getting the recognition they deserve. like pumpkin pie, its heartwarming goodness. the kids were excited for daddy-o. the morning of, i spoke with him on the phone. he let me know all the pics were printed and hung, and of course criticized this and that...made sure i knew he was learning a lot by just seeing the set up of the more experienced. he told me he was all prepared and ready for the people. dad was sweetly nervous and charged. i was sad i couldn't have been there.

an hour or so after i spoke to dad. mom called...

Hey mom.

Heeeeeeey. What are you doing?

Getting ready for work. You?

Im driving to see your dad's showing.

Really? You're.....going?

Um, YES I'm GOING! I have known your father for a looong tiiimmme dear. I am the MOTHER of this chILdren...I can GO to his SHOW.

Wow...great! Well...can you take a picture of it for me? I want to see it!

Yeah, I'll call you - so you can talk to him.

No mom, im not in India - i just spoke with him. Just take a picture with your phone and send it to me, so I see how everything looks.

OoooKaY! I'm parked. Gotta go. LOVE YOU, BYE!

Bye mom!

30 minutes later i received an email of my picture. subject: your dad.
i became confused.

yep, ok, there's daddy. thanks.

Really Mom?? WHERE are the displayed photos? He's sitting drinking coffee - watching the TITANS game on his macbook?! Like, this couldn't have been any other day - you couldn't have taken ANY other photos to send me besides Dad sitting down, watching football?!

this is what your father was doing - no one had arrived yet. You wanted a picture.

Good. Thanks Mom.

so special. my mother using her iPhone to capture, yet another important moment.........

i didn't realize how special this picture actually was until max and i received an email with an attached photo from dad the following day.

subject: at the show

Your mother came to see the show. It was very sweet of her to do that and I really appreciated it. She was so funny, trying to get her iPhone to take a pic. I finally handed her my camera...she's the one who took that pic for Facebook. Hope you guys are all good. It was great talking to the both of you yesterday. Thanks for your wonderful support. It helps more than you can know.


at least they both are on the same page.

murky goodness = similar ridiculousness.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

secret friends.

brief realization.

i notice and relish the details of people. if i have ever watched you in person from afar, you should know i commit to memory your details. you are my secret friend. i think i am addicted. in fact, i know i am.

secret friend loves of my past include: pickup truck drivin' good ol boys who wore confederate flag t-shirts and had a bumper sticker reading Lee Surrendered, I Didn't; too serious sweaty dancers named salsa fight guy dressed in black, scarves and eyeliner; dirty seattle bike messenger lesbians and their amazing muscle legs; a yellow sweater vespa riding italian man on spanish holiday in search of someone to help them practice english; a scientist who believes hobby degrees (ie women studies) are a waste of time and anything which can't be scientifically proven doesn't exist; a sorority girl who was supremely happy to invite me to her King Tut And The Egyptian Sluts costume frat party; and a woman who not only wore the color peach every day, but also decorated her entire house in the same shade, after a sales girl in florida told her it was a nice color on her - 20 years prior. oh to be there, to have witnessed more. i could have spent years being perfectly content...listening. watching. waiting for everything to play out. i would have given up all my long underwear for more time. and if you know me - that's serious talk.

these secret friend impressions make my life. get me through the day, through the years. obviously yes i am more in love with them then they are with me, and that's fine and expected - half the time they don't know i exist (and frankly im not even going to try to compete with a King Tut and Egyptian Slut party). so there. though most of these encounters have never blossomed into full friendships, or they are intensely short lived, my heart lights up all the same. whether my attention was first attracted by their accent, smirk, story about their mother, dark comment, sigh, crows feet, or the way the warm their hands in front of the car heating vents as they drive. i love my secret friends and their truth.

for me, that's the ultimate deal maker. their sparks of truth. any truth- whatever it may be for just that moment. the glimpse doesn't need to be constant and ever present, doesn't even need to be on purpose. i don't have to like, or agree with it - for me its courageously beautiful and fascinating all the same. i am not saying i want to sit in a circle with you and listen as people divulge into the slough of life, as we cry, do trust falls and make lists of our shit. no. i can't handle that. i want the subtle, the unrehearsed and organic. i don't like parts that float to the top. i want the murky stuff that sinks to the bottom and and gets stirred up.

so yes, i am addicted to the murk. it's what i crave and actively seek out. little crumbs leading to some part of a back story. the why. why do they (and we) do the incredible things they (we) do. i find it fascinating...the truth of it all. maybe i obsess since i struggle with my own honest expression. my own murk.

brief (and not so brief) examples.

the other night i took the 73 bus back from work. i sat close to two younger gentleman both wearing long black trench coats, unkept patchy beards, and australian adventure hats. one brown one black. they were good pals, sitting next to each other, discussing a shared story from time spent in some alternate universe i wasn't familiar with. some location where they enjoy zorb. i couldn't decipher if zorb was a reference to their leader, or an activity. [got home and realized it is quite the activity]. anyway, black hat with glasses finally says to brown hat with red bow-tie, Hey, so i have finished that last chapter for my novel. You wanna hear?. brown hat replies, sure, and i become nervously addicted. From the inside of his trench coat, the author pulls out a small pocket size journal - covered in bright blue oriental fabric speckled with pink cherry tree blossoms. Where shall i begin?? oh yes...he smiles at himself and embarks. his voice and cadence swell into an homage for voice over guy from the Days of our Lives. firm and reassuring, wise and whimsical, but with some bitterness thrown in.

"Those of you present for the feeding
, i have a hidden gift for you. As planet Delpheriax selflessly provides our nourishment, I implore you to do the same for others. I pray you not to harm 3XY and his clan. Instead, leave them be. I shall escort them to the galaxy beyond the 3rd sun. Yes they have destroyed our earth clones, but what happened to compassion? Have we not learned from the crusades of Borthum and Bob?! The decision is my gift to you. Take it with substance, the healing shall begin..."

i couldn't decide which i was more in awe of...the fact that brown hat writes his novel in small $3 asian inspired fabric bound journals, or that he decided to read his prose allowed on the bus during 6 o'clock traffic - all while two seats down juanita chastised rico on her cell (something la ultima vez, puto!). She was very very angry. he was very very proud. it was like 3secondheat, i just couldn't get enough.

a more endearing example occurred last month while my mom and i visited my brother max at berkeley.

we had the fortunate pleasure of being in san fransisco the night of halloween. after sitting through a power surge of rock lobster sung by salvador dali dressed as a spanish bullfighter, we made our way back to el cerrito. if you ever have the opportunity to take the Bart at 2am, waiting patiently amongst hundreds of others, on halloween, in san fransisco - you should pack a lunch and go. pure inspiration.

after finally making our connecting train, i managed to score a seat next to Fred Flintstone. a 350 lb Cartman (who could have been identified from space) stood in front of the car, taking up the majority of the room. Bike Man stood next to him with the six remaining members of the Double-Wide Bandit Crew, and Pizzazz with her jealous girlfriend sat along the side. There was a gang of Zombie Slut Bridesmaids behind me, and a pissy Lady Gaga dressed in a belly button plunging black bathing suit, fishnets, stilettos, bedazzled ray-bans, and blond bangs. At some point, a young man in the front spotted his lost friend in the back of the car, and with dripping elation and a huge smile to match screamed out, JULIUS! JULIUS YOU MOTHERFUCKER!!! LOOK AT YOU BITCH!! I FUCKING FOUND YOU!!! HAHA! I THOUGHT I FUCKING LOST YOU BITCH!! FUCK! DAN, LOOK! ITS JULIUS!! I FUCKING FOUND YOU MAN! I FUCKING LOVE YOU!

i never did see julius, but it was worth the price of the ticket, just to see such friendship among men.

with all the amazing-ness abuzzing around me, i proudly sat next to fred flintstone, inhaling everything, being thankful - secretly wishing the train would break down at that moment - and i would be kept inside its' custom-made time capsule f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

to my surprise, Fred turned to me, smiled, and said, I should go home, and change out of this. I have to have brunch with my mom this afternoon. Fred was a young kid, sophomore at berkeley. skinny to the point of not really filling out his red/one shoulder strap/no shirt/cave man costume (but an excellent attempt non-the-less). sweet disposition. he reminded me of one of the guys in college that was a reliable, gentle soul. i said, Oh honey, im sure your mom would still love to have brunch with you - even if you showed up in that. he gave me a yeah i know goofy grin, and i went back to listening to 'Julius's friend' realize he had just found Julius all....over...again.

a minute passed.

Can I ask you something? (Fred now wanted my full attention)

(intrigued - i turned to face him)

So, i like this girl...

[at this very moment, i had to take a deep breath to stop myself from screaming at the top of my lungs, THANK YOU! THANK YOU GOD! THANK YOU!!]


...Yeah so this girl, she is just so amazing and funny - and BEAUTIFUL, so beautiful... and so we have been talking for a while, and finally last night we were alone together and i kissed her, and i was so nervous - but it was amazing...so now i was so excited to go out tonight, because we made plans - us and our friends - to all hang out tonight right? but tonight we were all together and i was talking to her girl friends and they told me she really isn't wanting a relationship right now...and so now i am so confused and i don't know what to do... i just think she is amazing and we kissed... i mean, she wouldn't have kissed me if she wasn't in to me! so i don't know what to do?! she is just so beautiful and we have so much fun together! should i just stop talking to her? should i text her and ask her how she feels about me????

[by this point in his confession, the two men seated directly in front of us had perked up and were listening in on Fred's love life. they sat with their heads leaning back, holding hands and grinning. i took a second before i gave my response.]

You know (Fred), this is what I think you should do. You should call her up and tell her you would like to meet up for coffee, just to hang out, no big deal. Once you two are there, you talk about normal stuff. once you both are relaxed you just ask her how she feels about you - if her feelings are mutual. No pressure, no weirdness, just asking sweetly for an honest answer--

--Wait, so i shouldn't text her first? What about her friends?

You know, Im sure her friends mean well, but I'm sure you can appreciate this just being between you and her. It's important to make that connection with that person face to face, not through phone or email or friends- but just real people talking. Know what I mean?

Yeah, that makes sense...I'll should do it face to face.

(and then my heart kicked in)

Oh, and one more thing (Fred). So, when you tell her how you really feel - and if she dodges the question, or is mean to you, or doesn't give you a real answer?? Well, then she isn't worth it. Remember that OK? You are a sweet guy being very mindful of her feelings, putting yourself out there - and you deserve the same respect, OK?

(Smiling) Yeah, YEAH...you are right. Thank you so much! Thank You!

the gay couple in front smiled and nodded, as to say - 'good job'. i sat in awe of my sweet life.

fred's stop came up. he, and everyone else, departed.

secret friend success.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

twenty eightish

i have turned 28.

we will say it again - i have lived beyond my 27th year- i am now 28.

two from 30, twelve from 40, ten from 18.

now begins the point where i can mentor those who are younger. instead of answering their questions directly, i will begin recounting stories of my 'youth' in which i learned important life lessons: stories of high school drama, working as a telemarketer selling country music collection dvds, my sense of independence shaped by Waffle House and vain pointless conversation. these distant momories will be just as helpful as aesop's fables, but instead of the crow and some cheese- mine would include a football player and my self-respect. with these pearls i will illustrate how i too pretended to be apathetic to the world, because i was 18. i too simply went through the motions (and emotions), reveling in my mediocrity... i too pretended like it all began with acceptance from. just. that. person... i too sought my truth, which shone brightly in awkward displays for attention. wait, this is starting to sound more like 28.

never mind.

OK, this is what i know for sure:

grilled cheese is next to godliness.

here's to another year.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

no sleep for you.

The Sad Game.

keeps the sad game going.
it keeps stealing all your wealth-
giving i to an imbecile with
no financial skills.
dear one,

It Felt Love.

did the rose
ever open its heart

and give to this world
all its

it felt the encouragement of light
against its

we all remain



...hafiz is one of the few i can visit with at 2:30am, and still retain the lesson the following day...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

jobless in seattle

the process of finding a job in seattle is sort of like choosing between one crappy movie and a separate movie you know is going to suck. either choice blows, but hey. you need a job.

let's get right into it.

i am done with people asking the ridiculous question, 'Well, what are you looking for?'. First off, these are obviously people who currently hold employment, and aren't freaking out about the possibility of being homeless. they are not paying for the bus out of couch change, gum wrappers, and lint. they are not in frantic search mode. they are in advice mode, saying things like oh yeah, i heard its hard to find a job now a days, did you check out Monster??. they sit and calmly enjoy their coffee. such a treat for them, the coffee break. for me, coffee is starting to taste less like coffee and more like unemployment. i should write a book entitled The Coffee Break of My Life. 2009 - ?????. anyway. instead of listening to their sage advice, my mind is instead having a manic episode with the fact i just used my last dollar bill to pay the $3.00 for my cappuccino. damnit. now i have to make change for the bus...and spend more MONEYYYYYYYYY. these are my friends who love me. the people that say 'You know Elizabeth, you are SO blahblahblah - you would be an excellent LAWYER!!!'. Thanks, i know. i would be an excellent lot of things. i'll get right on that. can you loan me a dollar?

please know i had no disillusions about coming home and magically finding something that pays well, has benefits, and provides me some sort of personal fulfillment. i was lucky if i was going to get one out of the three. i was lucky if i was going to get anything, period.

after one month of revamping my resume, searching online, and walking door to door - i had given out my resume to around 35 jobs...and hadn't heard back from any. one. of. them. i applied for a plethora of admin jobs, education jobs, serving jobs, non-profit positions, DOG WALKING positions, personal assistant positions, coordinators, and house cleaners. i literally hit up everything except egg donation - which i considered. (however, while researching, realized i wouldn't have been approved since im not enough of a pure bred human being. for someone to pay me 20 grand to give them my eggs, i am not jewish enough, not asian enough, not hispanic enough, not white enough. i don't read enough literature or ski or play chess enough. not to mention my sense of humor is too inappropriate and i am too old. im just too much. done.)

towards the end of my crusade, i became so desperate, i even began responding to the gigs section postings of Craigslist. 'cause if i can't land a job, maybe i can get a gig. i am proud to say, the gig section is one of my favorite sections. if you are ever bored and looking for a good time - go to gigs. or free...i love free. if you are ever troubled and want to feel better about your life, go to free. its free fun. there is no where else you can witness someone trading pink flamingo lawn decorations (complete with bullet holes), a half drunken bottle of jack, and a wheel barrow - for a pure bred pit bull. in love.

through my gig search, i encountered some particular diamonds in the rough, seeming completely appropriate for my state of mind at the time. i replied to a Hair Models Wanted add...so some woman named Snow dressed in all black, a lot of leather, and four too many lip rings could cut and style my hair for a hair show. they would even pay me $400. unfortunately the position was filled (damnit!). im not bitter, snow will have to give me my androgynous sexy back another day. later on, things really started looking up when i found a post reading: Leopard Model Wanted. This was a special find where some lucky human got to pose for a save the endangered species calendar - head to toe in body paint- as a leopard. i was upset they had already cast the hippopotamus. i would have been incredible as a hippo.

the more i searched, it became clear i don't need or want my dream job (whatever that may be). as horrible as it might sound, at this point in my life, i don't want a world of unnecessary responsibility. i don't want to feel the weight of the world on my bony shoulders. i don't want to stress out so the rest of my hair gives up the fight. the fact is, i am tired of all of it. tired of being tired. im almost 28 and exhausted...which isn't normal (i think). i deserve a break from the intensity of: go to school, get married, clean this, organize that, get benefits, this agency deadline must be met or my boss will be fined 25K and thrown in jail, please format this and answer all the phones annnnd deal with the tea vendor coming at 12:45, here - go to india and figure out a way for the slum/village children to have a better education. ps, some the teachers don't like teaching, we need backing from government officials who are only driven by self interest, oh, and convince illiterate parents why it is beneficial to send their children to school. also, you may want to be aware that student scholarships given out to families are sometimes used to fund the father's alcoholism. not to mention, everyone could use a good bath, medical attention, and new shoes.

i should re-word my resume so under Skills Summary reads: i need a nap.

this is not me saying i haven't loved my jobs and the light of experience i have gained from all of them. i have. i know how fortunate i am to have worked with such wonderful people thrown into such thrilling circumstances. this is me saying that for this brief chapter of my life, i have lost my need to actively save the world. i don't have the desire to battle it out mentally anymore for things that are beyond my control. just for a little bit. i need a break. i need to save elizabeth instead of everyone else. i need to make some money, go back to school, write some, and enjoy. fun. just be superficially in it to win it.

i was discussing the job search with my sisterfriend emily. she of course asked me where i had applied. by that point i was so overwrought with the feeling of unemployment - nervous about selling my soul to the devil, if i did in fact find one - i informed her of my new vocational interests: coffee shop girl, anything involving accessories at Forever 21, dog walker, haiku ghost writer, body exfoliate tester. she thought i was joking. i was proud being so honest sans embarrassment.

i was just about to answer the add Dancers Wanted - No Experience Necessary - GREAT Tip$$$$!!!! when i was informed by a friend Anthropologie was hiring.

I don't know if you know about Anthropologie, but if you are a lady, and if you love the colors of your imagination on steroids - transcribed into physical manifestations of modern prints, fabrics, and necklines - you would heart you some Anthro. as a starving student in college i would visit just to sit on their couches, breathe in the air of cute bags and adorable kitchen accessories, try on clothes, and look at their bedspreads. it was a calm environment where i felt all the superficial facets of my personality come together. the creative - the silly - the professional - the fun - the mature. everything was organized, and fresh, and lovely. if you are hearing this and thinking What? A store can actually do that???. um yes. for me it did.

still no job in site. i looked to the heavens, and with help from the powers at be (and we will call them powers) - i managed to score an interview on a sunday. still ringing in at a whopping 116 lbs, i bought a pair of tight jeans for $18 from a second hand store, straightened my patchy hair, applied some lip gloss, gave myself a good pep talk/smack in the face, and went downtown for one of the most intense experiences of my life.....the dreaded retail group interview.

after 1.5 hours of conversation, discussion, and a style challenge (that's right. i said a style challenge) i not only learned about the behind the scenes of anthro - i learned the back stories of my fellow candidates... and we all know that elizabeth loves a good back story.

grace is blonde, short, cute, incredibly-excited to learn she is the third person to arrive, the first to introduce herself. firm handshake. wears cotton. likes yellow. grace just got back from studying abroad in granada, spain where she spent the majority of her time at an american bagel shop. she of course "LOVES speaking spanish", and after she graduates from college, she hopes to be a teacher. grace has so much energy emanating from her pores, her pheromones could have re-carbonated the left over flat coke i drank for breakfast that morning. the main attribute she possesses which would benefit the anthro team: her 'creativity'.

Mercedes. mercedes wears a leather jacket and motorcycle boots. her front tooth is chipped, and she wears a huge gold rose on a choker. her real job is performing at local night clubs as a singer/songwriter, and "on the side" works as a stylist for a local band (Death Slayer Something-er-rather). I missed the name, since i was already obsessed compiling the story behind the 1/2 missing front tooth. fascinating. the main attribute she possesses being of benefit to the anthro team: her 'blunt honesty'.

Lalalksdfj. i am embarrassed to say i don't remember Lalalksdjf's name, mainly because she sat on the opposite end of the circle (yes we were in a circle) and spoke so quietly, i honestly don't think a single person heard a word she said the whole time. we all collectively nodded our heads, too idiotic to say anything. i mention Lalalksdfj for the pure fact that she is from india:) her interests are biology and she loves to read. she wears glasses and lives at home with her parents. she wears socks with little kitties, and says she takes direction very well. an attribute she possesses being of benefit to the anthro team: her 'work ethic'.

oh india. you follow me still.

my favorite part would have to be the style challenge (i know, incredible). one of the managers gave us her style preferences and then we were given 3 minutes to run around the store- and compile an outfit for her night on the town. it was right out of BRAVO tv hell. a mad dash to the finish, complete with shoes, bags, jewelry, all of it. each one then got to stand and explain their outfit/concept. it was actually pretty clever of them - seeing who could really put a look together - explain and defend their concept - or just bullshit their way through all of it. hey, if there is one thing i learned in the south - confidence is key - fluff and butter works for me.

this whole scene was such an out of body experience. still readjusting from being back. interviewing for a position at a store that sells knicknacks from india for 40$, which i could have gotten for 50 rupees a month ago. sitting amongst the 90s kids discussing how they are just looking for part-time work, nothing too serious. it took every fiber of my being, controlling myself from introducing myself as, "Hi, I'm Elizabeth, i just got back from lucknow. Yes, Lalalksdfj, that is your country of birth. i have no money. i just got a cell phone yesterday. i gave up 6 months of my life, 20 lbs, and 1/3 of my hair for the good of humanity and i have nothing to show for it besides various stories in which i repeatedly crap my pants. fyi, to all of you with hobby degrees, this will be you in 8 years....now back off so i can have this job. thanks." i am such an embarrassing human being.

but its all going to be ok (as baldy would say). i got the job, and i am working it all out.

i am thankful, and happy to say that im gainfully employed (well maybe not gainfully) - currently working a zillion hours at the downtown Seattle Anthropologie. the environment is colorful and lovely. art displays are creative and inviting. the clothes are fabulous. and i get some of the best stories of my life from the customers and employees. we will survive. no, this this is not my life's new career. but it is definitely something new to learn - something i can enjoy.

i won't have to dance...unless i want to. and that of course, is another story to tell.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

yeah, i'll eat that.

so it's been a while.

i should officially post and inform you that the rumors are true. 1 month and 4 days have passed since i landed in Seattle, and probably for the first time in my life - i am proud to be back on this side of the world. happy to be in the good ol' U.S.of A. relieved for a whole list of reasons, and sad for a list equal in length.

part of me feels as if india was one of those hallucinated melatonin induced dream sequences. like one morning i woke up and there was a goat playing the harmonica in my bathtub. i don't know how it happened, but it did, and it was real, and i got the pictures to prove it...but why dear God was there ever a goat? How was that ever my reality? Life is incredible. On the 15th I can be with a delhi belly cindy, on a moving train balancing ourselves in the toilet at 3 am - and at the same time - Nordstrom's Rack is having a sale. I have personal investments in both obviously.

my friend paul warned me about my return to this life. 'its like you've been through war elizabeth...its gonna take a while to get it together.' never has a statement been so true.

i miss lucknow. i miss the simplicity of it all. the truth behind living within your means, finding a connection with people not based on what they have, but who they are. working towards something you believe in, both in the professional and personal sense. the strange pride of managing your life with hot spit and a prayer. experiencing the outrageous-ness of monkeys and madmen and oiled braids, and loving every. darn. minute. but i aint gonna lie, i heart me a caesar salad, a strawberry lemonade and clean fingernails. i loved my work, but it is good to move on. i must be satisfied knowing it provided me with a deeper sense of humor, clarity, direction and motivation. its up to me to just accept the good...here's to accepting the good and moving in that direction.

the arrival.

as i exited the plane in chicago at 4:30am - i was greeted by my two besties: quite and clean. in a matter of 14 hours, overstimulation had ceased to exist, and i was gifted personal space, a self-forming line, and easy to read signs of what to do in the event of an emergency. it was a scene straight from the movie Babe, when only after knowing the secret sheep code could the herd understand Babe's requests, and in complete silence and without instruction, lead themselves through the obstacle course into the pen -to win the prize. i was that pig. i was that sheep. i won the grand prize. i stood muhaha-ing at all the aunties and uncles in the foreign entry cue - while i cruised by with my american 'chai is something you order from starbucks biiiittttcchhhes' comrades. customs was welcoming, i was overjoyed when the agent hit on me sans crotch dig, wink, or invasive energy - i let out a big 'aawwwwwww', as i was flattered. good to be home.

immediately, i bypassed baggage claim and found the nearest ladies room. i entered, stood with my eyes closed and took 5-7 deep breaths, frantically searching for some trace of filth....nothing....incredible. for the first time in six months i didn't have to hold my breath, or make a choice between stepping in liquid or liquid, or purposefully not wear my glasses to fuzzy up the situation. it was embarrassingly clean. tasteless air is underrated. there is no shame in the fact i love sitting down when i pee. it is euphoria knowing nothing can possibly attack you through the toilet-while you are seated. i celebrate the death of my internal conflict: the belief that using soap from the washroom somehow makes you less sanitary. like a good product of therapy, i felt safe and loved knowing i could lick the stall wall and not melt of dysentery four hours later. it's a gross truth and it was my reality.

seeing everyone.

being home and hugging everyone was wonderful. while gone, i was never really homesick for family and friends. from my end, there was no feeling of missing out. most of my friends are married or have kids - the days of going out dancing, vacationing, and relaxing are fading out. i knew people were living their lives, and they would still be doing so once i returned. on both sides of the globe our daily routines were monotonous, slowly completing what we have been trying to complete since we began. school. work. kids. sleep. bills. weekends. everyone's day - even mine - had these major headings, but constructed in different orders and colors. with the exception of not being able to make it home for the passing of a man who was a father figure throughout my life (Danny Seals), and the wedding of one of my best sisters (Courtney Gundry) - i felt confident with the distance. i missed my people. but it was good to leave, so i could be reminded of why i love them, why they love me, and why they are my people.

i haven't gone all out yet - eaten everything, seen everyone, pulled an all nighter dancing my heart away- but i've done enough to recognize that i have definitely returned to a new stage in my life and all the ridiculousness that ensues with new shiny stages.

a week or so after i got back Anna, Anisa and I were invited to a 16 year old birthday party for one of our friends in the Baha'i community. sweet 16 party, sounds easy enough right? who would have thought something so straight forward could actually give you the insight of what was to come. Anu's birthday was the persian tea, fingernail painting, place to be. her friends were adorable of course, but i was baffled how children (because that's what they are right?) can have such an intense sense of personal style and grown up sass to accompany such flavor. all i had at 16 was a lack of hair product and cleavage. well, welcome to the new generation. they have hair straighteners, and push-up bras. instead of dancing with the 'kids' in the other room - the 28 andnevertoolate club found ourselves sitting around the dining room table with the parents, discussing Obama's health care plan, politics, and intercultural marriage. my dream of sitting at the adult table had finally arrived, and i wasn't even employed. that night i had an epiphany. i had met Anu and her parents when she was 6. that's right. i have lived in Seattle for a decade. why does this make me feel old. that was more of a statement than a question.

later that week one of the girls friended me on facebook, which i accepted. as i snooped around her page, i clicked on her info to discover her birth year read 1990. my first thought was this had to be a mistake, there is no way a 10 year old could be on facebook, let alone want to friend ME?? and then i realized...it is almost 2010. I am almost 28. i have lower back problems and make the choice to buy and wear orthopedic shoes. i can identify flaxseed in a poopy diaper. i have spider veins. i like to drink hot water. a good nap sounds like a great plan. i watch Suze Orman and take notes. i don't care if she has a jacket addiction. i love her.

note: i will no longer befriend anyone on facebook whose birth year is pre- 1990. so if there are any of you out there reading this, please don't take it personally. also, if you are pre-1990 - some topics in this blog may be inappropriate and misleading about my character.

the plan of getting it together.

so, for my own sanity, i am definitely continuing to blog.

a while back, an episode of Clean Sweep on TLC made the point that we should respect and honor the things we cherish - and remove the things we don't. for example: keeping my home and possessions clean, donating clothes i don't use or need, removing the clutter and excess that hazes your ability to live your best life.

[yes. i am going to be 28. i fantasize about calling in on the Can I Afford it Segment on Suze's show. yes. I obsess about being that favorite guest assistant on Clean Sweep. i will make them cry damnit.]

i actually have come to see this outlet as something of value, something that organizes my thoughts and verbal outbursts, and reminds me of me. with the same immediate powers of the cinnabon center - it makes another day possible. the first part of my plan to get it all together.

and artie, this does not mean that i will be correcting all grammar and spelling mistakes. i will never have it that together, sorry to disappoint. better look to max for that, he's the poet at Berkeley.

that's all i know for now.

yes please.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

i smell the end.

Before I left Seattle, i had the most vivid dream.

I was in India atop a huge sand dune, no civilization in sight, screaming at the top of my lungs into the desert sun. It reminded me of a silent scene from Babel. Soundless yet palpable. I stood in the sand, howling, punching, blaring my anger at the world. My throat, long black chow mein hair, and dad's red loose C&K t-shirt from the 70s, being sliced through by the gritty wind. The harder it blew, the more manic my rage. It was mocking me. My voiceless verbal assault ready to wrestle it into submission.

The dream was so startling, i woke up. Due to stress, I hadn't remembered a dream for months, and was surprised this one decided to stick.

I think its safe to say I had a lot of anger before this. A lot of misdirected and mis-intended emotions. A lot of unbalance. Too many things to do, and not having the foresight to start or finish any of them. Sometimes we run our lives, and other times our life runs us. Both are inevitable.

My time here is almost up people. I can't believe 6 months is allowed to escape like that. so quickly. I leave Luckland on the 10th. Anna's last day is tomorrow. my cindy is coming this friday - visiting for 2 weeks - before we both head home on the 20th.

Anna and I are shifting to Urvashi's house tomorrow, so this apartment can be cleared out and done with before we both leave. This evening has been filled with packing, tossing, washing, moving, and praising the sky for finding a hidden travel size Purel. i am sitting in my apartment, wearing a jacked red t-shirt, with the fans torturing my challenged bouffant. Look like ive been through Desert Storm without the desert. or storm. The rains psychotically starting and stopping. Tomorrow is a holy day (again), so tonight the mandir (hindu temple) across the street is on fire. No, not that kind of fire. It's blasting music to make sure allllll the gods can hear. hindu gods are the most sleep deprived of all the gods. we will be marching to this same 3 song track until 10am, guaranteed. all the furniture is piled in the kitchen/seating area, and since the rain can't make up its mind - every piece of underwear i own i have brought inside to dry, instead of out on the clothesline. i am surrounded by filthy clean clothes.

2 more weeks.

i don't know if it is because the date of my return is eminent, or just that i have been here for almost 6 months. the extra - ordinariness of this place, the daily exclamation marks, are losing their hold of me. difficulties are becoming less difficult, and the honeymoon is eclipsing. my football stadium of noise is no longer noise, more like elevator music with a lot of cowbell. yes the honking is still as loud, but it has lost it's power to completely immobilize me. of course the smells are still ripe, but i have grown oddly fond of the 7 deadly scents on my cycle rickshaw ride through the city. men still leer and i still yell, but i don't feel the same hatred and resentment as before. i don't internalize the negativity. walking home the other night a man on a rick screamed at us "Oh Yes, verrrrry nice item!" and then blew a kiss in our direction. i swallowed it, and spit back at him, "You are disgusting! You are a pig! Say hi to your wife!" and dear dear sweet Athena yelled "YOU MAKE ME WANT TO VOOOOOMMMIT!". The words just fell out of my mouth, no asking questions - just another day trying to get home.

the total eclipse of the heart has gone from 'im going to miss the people', to something greater. or little-er. depends on how you look at it.

*while walking home tonight. i passed the trash pile with the abandoned shacks, by the yogurt stand. instead of smelling garbage, i noticed the family of cows who have reclaimed their turf. to my elation they had 2 baby additions to their family. i was happy to notice.

*when deepmala cleans, we both hum to ourselves. two separate melodies.

*i get a tinge depressed when we arrive home, but the happy dirty dogs - all named Babo after anna's grandfather (since she sees his spirit in them) (i don't make it up, i just blog) - aren't there to greet us. kind of like i was being stood up.

*the Barista guy knows my drink, and plays early Enrique Iglesias upon my entry. he also calls me ma'm.

*at the intersection of death in the Haz, i choose to cross directly in front of a massive muffin top Tata trucks plowing through at full speed. I hold my hand out and use the magic 'thereisnowayyoucanrunmeovertruck,iamusingthemmagicsignal' signal. magic hand signal works every time.

*the hide and go seek game with the mouse that is crapping on my bathroom floor. i am at peace with the fact that we will not meet.

*the thickness of the air right before it finally decides to rain.

*surprises. buffalo milk. roti shaped like a monster.

so yeah, im sad to go. im going to miss the connections ive made. my co-workers. the kids. deepmala. athena. the guard across the street smiling and waving. movie theater intermissions. eating a mango by sucking it out through a hole in the top. laughing at ugliness and scabies and pregnant parasites. my fairly simple life and simple joys. its relieving to feel my difference pre and post l-town. the stress and anger diluted by an even stronger dose of contentment and gratitude. there isn't a lot of room for anger when you're full on happy and thankful. its a relief to have that feeling back. to remind myself of myself. and this time, i plan to hold on to it.

cindy comes very very very soon. i pray the blog will do her justice.

namaste y'all.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

there are many things...

....which have happened.

i just didn't feel they were blog worthy.

well, i take that back. here are the updates:

Cuz the monkeys weren't enough.

With no real change in our health (read: we aren't dead yet) - we were jonesing for a because my life isn't ridiculous enough fix. Yes yes, the hair is still falling etc....and although that may be exciting news to some of you - i am kind of over it. bald, and over it.

Because we are creative educated type women, we have taken to hunting the cockroaches hooking up on my bathroom floor at night. The little buggers hide inside the floor drains, and when its dark and quiet, the residents of drain no. 1 venture out to slut it up with the loose ladies of drain no. 2. That is, until I caught on. I hadn't yet done anything about the nightly party in my bathroom - im terrified of cockroaches. And these ones are big fat juicy suckers. I once peeked out from behind the wall and watched one struggling to smush itself back into one of the tiny drain holes - its ass wriggling around in the air - until it succeeded and returned to roachland below. disgusting. angry at being scared to enter my own bathroom after 8pm - i made the decision to overcome my enabling nature of cockroach city, and implemented a plan.

i will kill every last one of them.

The slaughter occurs while babies sleep. We whisper "Shhhhhhhhhh, we are hunting cockroaches..." and then tiptoe in the dark...slowly...calculated...and then SPLAT!! They ooze fear. you would too.

don't be too jealous.

The blogging fast is also in part to work picking up. quiet moments at home are spent napping off sweaty days- instead of writing about them. Just when i was convinced life was becoming normal and boring, I looked down at the back of my hand and noticed a rash forming. little raised clustered red bumps forming a long line, traveling throughout the web of my fingers.

there is no use lying to myself. this is no typical bug bite. i have scabies. of course. because i didn't feel unattractive enough. no adventure would be complete without the one skin rash that carries the weight of the world screaming 'you are dirty'. i feel like some character out of the Grapes of Wrath. "Elizabeth, bring me the lie - gonna scrub yew down. haven't had a scrubbin' since paw lost the harvest." I know this is a bit dramatic. and i know lie is for lice. and i know im not in cali or a sharecropper. but i am allowed to say it. scabies depresses.

I probably picked it up from some kid in a school, or in a village, or some friendly dog. Scabies is everywhere - everyone gets it - its no big deal. right? There is dirt and mites and bacteria - what do you want? yeah, I WANT TO NOT HAVE SCABIES.

To kill this mite crawling around under my skin - laying its little baby mite spawn - i have been applying Neem Oil. i am also scalding my hand each night with boiling water in hopes to seal the fate the damn things. its a difficult balance. purposefully burning the shit out of my hand, while making sure the temperature isn't hot enough to result in a skin graph. I thought i would give the Neem Oil and boiling water a couple days to see if there was any improvement. sorry sucker no go. it is still spreading. Neem Oil (dark brownish in color) smells a little something like.....dirty fermented ass...on a hot summer day.

it is actually kind of amusing. while i am dealing with my own oil issues- anna has hers. in her effort to do everything short of a scalp transplant to prevent the big head shave, she has taken to using Parachute Therapie hair fall solution - a hair growth treatment used by the local ladies who have had their olfactory glads removed. Anna religiously oils here hair every third night and then washes it the next morning. When she first started the treatment, i would sit in bed at midnight and wonder why i could suddenly smell the trash pile rotting outside. got a little closer, and realized it was her. Honeybucket eau de toilet, literally. one month in, it isn't working. but at least our night smells compliment each other. if you have a sensitive gag reflex (or you don't like friends who smell like shit) we are not your kind of people. you will throw up, and probably get scabies as well. athena and anna both have started itching.

tomorrow i plan on getting some 'real' medicine, the kind with western chemicals in it.

(we smell like the train toilet. mom are you ready?)
(yes the brown blob is what you think it is)

uptight americans need not apply.

Deepmala's son (i call him Beta meaning 'son') has been coming over more frequently. He is the most adorable 3 year old, full of curiosity, silliness and little boy attitude. clear gender differences are strongly defined at an early age (like any culture). The preference of boys over girls is no secret. Beta will run jump, get into trouble, demand pani tanda (cold water) from his mom - and get into a whole bunch of mischievous trouble. When Deempala is finished cooking, he will sit at the table and eat with us - slurping his dhal with one hand - munching on roti with the other. His sister (Gudia) sits quietly and smiles, does what she is told, much more under control. both are very sweet children. very intrigued by us ladies, our computers, our strange lives. We watch a lot of Tom and Jerry on youtube.

Beta is just a little younger than my nephew Devin in Seattle. And like my nephew, i am constantly overwhelmed with the fear that the child is going to hurt/kill himself and i could have done something to prevent it. Devin jumping on a trampoline gives me a heart attack. I was half terrified half overjoyed when rode his bike without training wheels. i had to hold my breath. i have nightmares of him poking his eye out as he furiously plays the drums (he is a drummer boy). i am a worrier. i blew on his food to make sure it won't burn him, gave him plastic spoons to play with, and sat with him with a whistle around my neck during his bubble baths - making sure he stayed above the water at all times. My poor poor children will be bubble wrapped until their 18th birthday. Can't you insert some sort of chip underneath the skin to act as a tracking device?

So you can imagine my shock when helping mommy time in the kitchen turned into a mantra meditation exercise for elizabeth to calm herself. i did end up storming into Anna's room to express my fear and concern. she of course calmed me by recalling the story of when she lived in africa, her mother would send her outside with some matches and a tin can to learn how to make her own fire. le sigh. I am so american.

(cutie pie has two knives, just in case one doesn't do the job)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...