my stint as rock star bicyclist: a true story

Papa gave me my first real bike when I was about 10—a brand new, purple and sparkly 10-speed. I rode that bike like it was my job, and I felt like a rock star while doing so despite its awful girly feel to it (if there was ever something I was not, it was purple and sparkly).

10speed

This is when 10-speeds were to bikes what the latest iPhones are to cell phones today. So as all the other kids rode their much smaller, probably hand-me-down bikes, I floated along on my brand new 10-speed (though I admit to being jealous of those with BMX bikes—why I never was gifted a BMX bike, I don’t know).

Really, I was a rock star. So much so that my 10-year-old self would ride my sweet 10-speed bike in the middle of the street!

It wasn’t a busy street, just the street we lived on: a side street where the traffic could only go in one direction and where stop signs were placed at the end of every block ensuring motorists maintained the 25 mph.

When I wasn’t riding my awesome 10-speed in the street, I was racing it through the alleys. Up and down and all around the several blocks surrounding our home in the burbs. The wind whooshing through my thick bowl-cut hair. The sun tanning my olive skin. I loved the sound the bike would make when I stopped pedaling and just coasted along, my nose turned up at the others who weren’t on 10-speeds.

Yeah me and my 10-speed bike.

We lasted all of maybe two weeks together. But that’s the good thing about being a kid. Things seem to last way longer than they actually do in GrownupLand where two weeks would be a sneeze in comparison to the eternity of two weeks when you’re 10.

We had a good run…till I was pedaling my sparkly purple 10-speed down the street like a rock star and hit a pothole in just the right way that catapulted me over the front handlebars, slamming me, face first, into the cement road.

I didn’t feel like much of a rock star walking my stupid fucking bike home with blood dripping from my nose and mouth.

I never rode that girly bike again, nor have I gotten on a 10-speed since.

Still waiting for the BMX though.

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disturbing and pointless

I had one of those dreams again last night. You know, one of the ones that you can’t shake. If it wasn’t so fucking disturbing (the content), I wouldn’t be so … disturbed by it. But I am. And I don’t want to broadcast what it involved because it’s really disturbing to me. Yet, I’m afraid that if I don’t write it down (at least), it’ll stay that much longer. And it’s such a disturbing dream that I really don’t want to remember it. Ever. Go away already.

Squirrel.

Rainbows.

A B C.

1 2 3.

Bryan Adams.

Watermelon.

There’s a video out there of a man cutting up a watermelon in like two minutes flat. He cuts it in half, takes one half and quickly inserts slices into the sides of the melon, then quickly slices the eatable part. Then when he’s done with that, he takes a big plastic bag and quickly, and quite effortlessly, gets all the watermelon pieces into the bag. Boom. Onto the other half of the melon, rinse and repeat.

Well, I call bullshit. It’s not as easy and effortless as he makes it seem. I tried it and failed. Badly.

  1. you need an incredibly sharp knife
  2. you need great strength to shove the knife into the melon to make slices from the outside in
  3. it’s just not easy to do and if you think it is you’re as dumb as me

on becoming badass

She made me feel like a badass when we hung out. Still in high school, we were so badass we even made a 12-hour drive to her hometown one weekend. Just the two of us.

We met junior year in high school. Or was it senior year? I know I met Danni* at the last high school I attended in the late 80s. She stood at maybe 5 feet tall—the most petite thing you’d ever see. She wore leather, lots of makeup, gaudy jewelry. She smoked a lot, talked a lot, lived a lot, sang a lot. She was pretty much the opposite of me, but she was also one of the few people to talk to me.

Danni worked at a gas station in town. I thought that was pretty rad, too. She closed up most nights with her boyfriend in tow. She constantly told me about her sexcapades with him. I’ll never forget her walking kinda funny one day and telling me it was because he went in from behind. My virgin everything was mortified at the idea. I don’t remember his name but he was kinda cute. And short, too. They really did make a cute little couple.

Danni was newer than me at school, which is probably why she talked to me. She wasn’t shy at talking with anyone actually; she didn’t really give a shit what others thought of her. At 16-17, she had more confidence in who she was than I’d ever seen before. I admired that about her. But I also soon learned that a lot of her confidence was a show.

Actually, Danni was kind of a show herself.

She was sexually and physically abused from a very early age on. I didn’t quite understand all of what she told me, but that part was pretty clear. That’s why I didn’t really understand why she wanted to go back home to visit since that’s where the abuse happened and that’s why she wasn’t living there anymore. But she borrowed her aunts car for the weekend and wanted me to come along—so I did.

I felt pretty badass driving shotgun in her big-ass car with her. Kinda Thelma and Louise (before Thelma and Louise) but without the guns, the cliff, and Brad Pitt (too bad).

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We weren’t best friends—she actually never really knew much about me—but we were on an adventure like them. At least that’s what it felt like to me.

Danni was a big flirt. Still, it amazed me how the guys flocked to her. She looked like she was a 10-year-old dressed up trying to look older because of how short she was. But the guys loved it and her. She loved fluttering her big blue eyes at them and putting on her best mischievous smile. She’d flirt with anyone anywhere. It didn’t seem to matter. We’d be driving down the highway about to pass a trucker and Danni would slow down and start mouthing shit to the guy, maybe even giving him a show of her itty titties too.

It really is incredible how different we were.

***

It’s been 20 years since I’ve last been in contact with her. But thanks to Facebook, that’s changed.

She’s still Danni. She’s still very different than me. She’s still very much a show. She’s still this little thing only now she doesn’t look like a 10-year-old dressing up to look older; instead, she looks like a 60-year-old dressing up to look younger. I was pretty astounded to see pictures of her to be frank. She’s aged a lot. I’m sure she feels the same about me and my white hair, though.

It’s strange, really. I feel like the last 10 years of my life have been the best years of my life. I’m certain of this actually. But when I look back 20-plus years, not all that much has changed. Not really. I’m still very much the listener amongst others. The only thing is that now I don’t need to hang with a badass person or take a 12-hour road trip to feel badass.

I just am. Badass.

 

 

*Danni is not her real name

what’s the frequency, kenneth?

I ate more than half of this fresh baked blueberry cobbler yesterday.

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It was quite delicious at first, but that’s not why I continued eating the thing. No, I continued eating it for various other reasons:

  • Because Taye didn’t get out of bed till Lovie and I were out the door to go to the park at 11:30AM.
  • Because she was too tired to ride her bike home and we had to wait for Taye to come get us. And wait. And wait because “getting clothes on” takes the man half a fucking hour each and every time.
  • Because he ate a piece of my pizza I reheated instead of getting his own that rested, already reheated, near the toaster oven.
  • Because I wanted to nap and during that hour I could hear Lovie shouting: “Where are you, dad? Where’d you go?!”
  • Because I know how immersed she gets while play-dohing, which she was when I laid down, so I can only imagine how long he was in the bathroom in which he spends hours daily. HOURS.
  • Because he disappeared back into the fucking bathroom, just minutes after I got up, where he stayed until Lovie and I started banging on the goddamn door to get his attention after going on a search for him.
  • Because Lovie begged her now-snoring-on-the-couch dad to open the front door so she could go downstairs to play since she was bored (I wouldn’t open the door for her).
  • Because I finally had fucking enough of her begging and his motherfucking snoring that I got up and started vacuuming the fucking play-doh bits while telling him to DO something with Lovie if he wasn’t going to open the door for her.
  • Because he then told me I was crazy …that I was hearing what I wanted to hear …that he wasn’t snoring …that he wasn’t sleeping …that he was just sitting there sprawled out on the couch (not sleeping) …that I was pissed because of something- who knows what- and he was the victim to my insanity.
  • Because I wanted to take him and shake him so fucking hard that maybe his head would snap off and then he’d be able to finally SEE that he DOES fall asleep on the fucking couch any and every goddamn time we’re all hanging out …that he DOES go to the bathroom multiple times a day and spends a RIDICULOUS amount of time in there every fucking time …that his kid is bored because he does NOTHING (active) with her …that he’s fat because he doesn’t fucking MOVE.
  • Because if I didn’t eat half of the fresh baked blueberry cobbler yesterday, I’m certain I would’ve packed a bag, grabbed my child’s hand, and left.

And why? Because he snores. Because he takes forever in the bathroom.

WHAT’S THE FREQUENCY, KENNETH?

Now, had I not just finished bleeding last week, I would’ve chalked up my insanity to PMS, but the fact is that I ate more than half a fucking blueberry cobbler yesterday because of all that shit up there.

Not because I was hungry.
Not because I wanted the funky shits.
Not because I just couldn’t stop eating it.

But because I gave up, like I often do, and turned to food.

I know this, and I’ve known this for a long time, yet I can’t seem to fix it.

But I sure as hell can grab another spoonful of that there deliciousness. Like it’s my job.

 

 

the big day

Tomorrow is a big day for my little girl.

As much as I want this change to happen, as much as I know this will be an amazingly good change…I also know that I’m going to cry. A lot.

I sat here today for over an hour trying to decide what the cake I ordered for tomorrow should say. The cake that will feed all the kids and all the staff (and then some) at Lovie’s daycare.

Tomorrow is her last day there. The cake is to help celebrate this milestone and help us say goodbye.

It would’ve been her last day there long ago, but there wasn’t an opening in her new school until now (summer program starts Monday). While Lovie is doted on like crazy at daycare/preschool (they treat her like a pop star), it’s really much more of a daycare environment than a preschool one. I’m not saying she should be schooled the entire day, but she’s so smart and I don’t want her to get bored (and Montessori school, which she’ll be attending, seems to be an amazingly perfect fit for Lovie and her independence and love of learning).

So tomorrow’s the day we finally say goodbye to daycare.

 

We’ve had some rough moments these past four-plus years—from getting ready in the morning to leaving her friends at the end of the day—but for the most part it’s all been pretty damn great. Especially since I’ve been able to spend nearly two hours more a day with her because the daycare was close to my work.

But tomorrow will be the last time we’ll spend so much time together during the work week. Tomorrow will be the last time I get to peek at her through the rear-view mirror as I drive the 20 miles to daycare to drop her off, or the 20 miles from daycare driving home. Tomorrow will be the last time we can jam out to Pompeii or Happy or yes, even the Wiggles. Tomorrow will be the last time she can ask me to stop for an Icee or chocolate ice cream because after tomorrow, we’ll be literally two minutes from home.

So what do you have written on a cake for such an occasion?

I almost went with a silly “got cake?” message. Then I thought maybe “eat me” would be fun, too. But this isn’t fun. This saying goodbye to the people who helped mold my baby into a little person, who helped her and encouraged her to sit up and crawl and walk and run and eat with a fork and use the bathroom, isn’t a ton of fun.

So then I thought maybe a simple “Thanks” on the cake would suffice. But really? “Thanks” on a big-ass sheet cake with a smiling sun and flowers?

Eventually I opted to leave it blank. Let the smiling sun and flowers speak for itself.

 

smiling-sun

 

Tomorrow is a big day for my little girl… and me.

 

************

writing while sleeping

I wrote this earlier today while I was trying not to fall asleep at work. I knew I was falling asleep but I was hoping maybe I wouldn’t if I started writing… and, also, I thought it might be interesting to see what I would do if I did fall asleep. Pretty interesting results–if you can read through all the horrid typos. Maybe tomorrow, when I have more time, I’ll translate this. Or maybe not. 🙂

 

It’s hard not falling asleep at work some times. I never used to be like this. Notreally. But lately I’ve just been so tired. Actually I think it started when I got pregnant and had to nap nearly dail. At tleast I had a reason then. Now I’m not pregnant, just fat. So what’s my excuse? I mean, how bloody rude is it that I fall asleep. WHILE I’M SUPSE D TO BE WORKING. Almost put married because I’m pretty much writing this with my eyes closed. Because I’m SO tired. It’s not normal to be this tired I don’t think. Is it? Maybe it’s the drugs. The Prozac, th elebaalol. I dnno.

ZPoor gilr afcross from me has to  answer all the dmb calls now. Better here than me that’s for dang sure. I hate answering th ephon, I hate cleaning up after.

I hate wearing stockings or socks

I just like my feet to be nakeed whenever time allows.

Which isn’t often.

I’m literally flaaing asleep right now. Wow. I tired typing in the hopes that it would wake me up, but it doesn’t seem to marry. I keep typing . I keep trying to wak but my eyes are SO heavy. Like garage doors that have afallen off its hinges. BAM!! They (my eyelids) just scrash into the ground.

 

Soon I’m gonna snoring. I already dis so once – that I caught- and then I played it off, of course, like it was just a blech or something.

They have to know. THEY HAVE to know I sleep wile I’m re

everyone has a story

He taught me how to read people’s eyes.

When I was 8, Scotty took me to the bars with him. I watched him load up on booze and cigarettes. I watched him laugh and lean into all the women. Any of them. I watched him place his hand on their thighs. I watched him back away if they moved his hand. I watched him lean in more when they allowed his hand to remain. I watched him remembering I was sitting at one of the tables with a bag of chips and glass of Coke. I watched him throw his head back and toss the gold liquid from a small glass to the back of his throat before slamming the glass onto the table and standing up.

“Lessgo!” he’d bark.

Sometimes he’d slap the woman’s ass on our way out. Sometimes he’d tilt her head back and kiss her for a moment or two. Always he’d stumble out of the bar while I followed like an obedient little puppy.

We’d go back home where my mother would be passed out in her bedroom. Scotty would go in anyway. Always I’d hear the click of the door lock. Sometimes I’d hear a knocking sound. Sometimes I’d hear my mother yelling. Always he’d end up leaving at some point in the night, only to repeat the same game within a day or two.

He never really did much talking and he made even less eye contact. I don’t know what my mother saw in him. He was always drunk, always coming over at the oddest times.

When I was 12, Scotty showed up one night when my mother wasn’t home.

“Where the fuck is she?”

“I dunno.”

“Well what the fuck, man.”

“I dunno.”

He barged into the house anyway, headed straight for the fridge.

“Where the fuck is the beer!?”

When I didn’t answer right away, he came toward me like lightening. Before he knocked me unconscious, I realized his eyes were almost black and he was looking at me with such rage. Like I had taken all the beer and hidden it. Like I had told my mother to not be home at that time.

I’m not sure how he didn’t kill me that night.

***

Everyone has a story. Mine involves Scotty. Mine involves a shit of a woman I was lucky enough to have as my very own mother. Mine involves learning that people look at you, really look at you and study you. Mine involves learning how to attack without them even knowing I’m going to do so.

Why Scotty didn’t learn to attack like this, I don’t know. I don’t care. What I do know is that it’s so much more satisfying when they have no fucking idea what’s coming. And then bam!, completely blindside them with the unraveling of all your rage.

***