XXX. The Return of Braticas

Dear Readers,

Nearly two months have passed since my last post.  When we started this, the words spilled out effortlessly, but as I healed from all the emotional and physical trauma endured this year, it has become difficult for me to write.  I abandoned you and I'm sincerely apologetic.

She wrote on my behalf because I refused to despite requests from our readers.  Truth be told, she angered me with her opinions on my inner most thoughts.  Mother's always think they know everything but there was a bit of truth behind what She said.

I am disappointed in this blog; but not for the reasons She stated.  Yes, people I thought would support me in this, simply haven't.  At first I bombarded them on Facebook, pleading to share our beautiful blog by posting it on their walls.  When that didn't work, I sent personal emails asking for help and support with a glimmer of hope that out of their hundreds of Facebook acquaintances, we would gain a few more readers.  Most of those letters didn't even merit a response.  That hurt.  Even if they didn't like it, or enjoy reading, I had hoped that they would share it just to help us.

She needed to tell the world how She changed whereas I needed something else.  I desired a sense of community, to feel connected to complete strangers simply by the power of our words, our tragic stories, creatively weaved together.  Just as I enjoy catching a glimpse of someone else's life via YouTube (Nerimon, Charliesocoollike, ElectricFaerieDust) I wanted to give strangers a glimpse of my life. We have done that, but I had hoped for more.

She thinks my writer's block is from lack of comments and overall disappointment.  She's wrong.
Recently, I was chatting with our friend via Skype in which I discovered the real reason.   She inquired about the blog and I hit send before I really processed what I had responded.  I typed that it now seemed like a chore.  It's true.  She wants to hold onto every memory of the Boy where I want the exact opposite. I want to forget. Everything.  Writing about all those things now glorifies all my failures and mistakes.

 I wish I could forget about the Meadow Street house, my deadbeat roommate that got us evicted, the car accident that screwed me financially, and most importantly forget about the Girl who shred my heart into little pieces.  Writing about the house isn't just writing about the tangible house.  I think about how I was finally able to be independent, to have my best friend only a few blocks from me, and to have a life away from my parents.  Most of my memories from the house have the Girl in it, unfortunately.  It started with me laying in bed, watching movies, texting her until I couldn't keep my eyes open.  Then as we progressed, memories of laying in bed with her, watching her as she slept were made. My house was the only place we could really be ourselves.  At work, we had to hide our relationship, at my parents house my Step-Father  made mean spirited comments about her, at her house I was never welcome because of a hostile ex girlfriend/roommate.  Most of our good memories are in that house, hence why I hate it. It's all connected.  The truth is everything that has happened to me this year is because of my roommate and The Girl.

 I trusted my roommate and he took advantage of me.  He lost his job, I paid the rent, he promised to pay me back but that money never came.   My personal bills fell behind.  The weekend of the snow storm, our heat kept shutting off.  Overworked, exhausted, and stressed I became horribly ill.  I was working 12-15 hour days and begged for my roommate to call the landlord to fix the heat.  He claimed he'd called several times but only called him once. (Something I found out months later)  In fear of catching pneumonia, I headed to my parents, but a part of me decided to drive home because I knew I'd be snowed in.  I wanted to be closer to the Girl.  I knew it would be easier to see her if I was down in Chester.  I knew the roads would be plowed the next day whereas in the city they wouldn't be at all.  On the way to my parents house, I got in the accident.  Then the next day we find out my car insurance lapsed less than two weeks before. Knowing these two people has put me where I am today.  Knowing them, destroyed my life. All the progress I had made to be independent was snatched away in  seconds, as my ford focus crumbled into a massive tangled web of metal with me trapped inside.

As difficult as things have been it's all lead to where we are now.  A year ago I never would have imagined that I'd be writing a screenplay with Her and our lovely friend from Indiana.  It's brilliant and I'm excited to be a part of it; however,  I fear as time drags on, that I'll lose the motivation and give up.  I fear that it won't ever come close to completion and that it will be just another thing that I fail at.



XXIX. DazzledGirl Doesn't

The first time I saw Her apartment she and her roommate were well and settled in. I remember driving downtown with the help of my GPS, programmed in United Kingdom mode with a sexy male British accent and words like petrol station and motorway, with final direction by cell phone as She stood on the side walk and motioned me through a parallel parking exercise. One of the hazards of living in suburbia too long is that one loses the ability to parallel park. (Since I’ve given up the suburban housewife mantle, clearly the next step for me is to purchase an automobile with the built in parallel parking feature. I’m much too old to relearn the traditional way.)

I had so hoped that moving into Her own place downtown would be her salvation, that she would settle into a routine of biking to work, having picnics in Hollywood Cemetery and sitting on her stoop talking to her neighbors on lazy Saturday afternoons. I wanted her to have a life without me, a life far from the shadow of my deteriorating marriage. Her little house on Meadow Street seemed the perfect place to start.

I have said for the past twenty six years that I would never win Mother of the Year but do admit to being particularly gifted at mothering through the eyes of my child. I can become a five year old at her ballet recital, realizing after the tutu has been tied on that she needs to use the potty. I can become a thirteen year old not wanting to take gym class because she has her period. I can become a seventeen year old with a gay prom date who forgets a corsage. I can become a twenty five year old with her first dilapidated rental house. I remember the feelings of my childhood more so than the events and I have always tried to keep them foremost in my memory when parenting Her. I don’t ever want to be the parent that can’t remember the foibles and mischance of their own youth.

Her house was charming as I looked at it through the eyes of the twenty year old living deep inside me. I remembered my first apartment in downtown Buffalo, just across the street from Canisius College, where I was in my junior year as an English major. It was a two family house; I was living upstairs with three girlfriends and four football players were living on the first floor. You can imagine its appeal. My share of the rent was sixty five dollars, an utter fortune, and I was bartending at a place my landlord owned, to pay my share.

The apartment didn’t have a refrigerator. The reason being: the staircase was too narrow to navigate a modern fridge up, something that, I assure you, never crossed our minds. But it had hardwood floors, built in book cases and beautiful bay windows that ran the length of the living room. There was a third floor attic room that had no heat but was a great place to escape to with a thick novel and the afghan my grandma had crocheted for me. In the summer I would wallpaper part of those slanted walls with an oriental floral paper and cut out individual dogwoods, pasting them to the ceiling where I could enjoy them while lying on the floor of the furniture-less room.

I knew She saw Meadow Street through those same idyllic eyes. She didn’t see the faulty plumbing, the inadequate kitchen or the furnace that wouldn’t heat and would force her out into a snowstorm and into a hospital that coming December. I knew she saw the hardwood floors, the pretty moldings and the fenced in yard. I smiled brightly and enjoyed the brunch She and the Baker had made that morning; fresh fruit salad, a vegetable frittata, French toast, sausages and peach pie with Mimosas to celebrate the day. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon; She was content, I was happy in love, my Husband was at work. The only thing to mar that perfect day was meeting her roommate.

I knew as soon as I saw him. Between my precognition and a well developed judge of character, I knew immediately that he spelled trouble. At the time I thought he was a gay boy; very slight of build and mildly unattractive. He turned out to be something else entirely but I trusted Her judgment and swallowed the bile rising in my throat. ~DazzledGirl

XXVIII. Braticas Takes a Break

A few times in the past I have let you know that I was waiting on Braticas, that sometimes she had trouble getting her story told and there was a delay in our posting. I skipped her once, it was supposed to be a post about her father but she couldn’t quite get herself to do it. This time it was supposed to be about moving out. That subject certainly isn’t the emotional time bomb the other subject was, so what’s the problem?

The problem is she expected too much from this blog. She expected her friends to read it and they didn’t. She expected to get hundreds of followers and comments; the truth is we get emails and tweets and Facebook chats but very few followers and very few comments. She’s a bit disappointed. I could tell you why it bothers her when it doesn’t bother me, but it would just be conjecture. All I can say is that, for me, telling my story was a necessary part of surviving what happened in my life.

Falling in love with the Boy changed me so completely that I desperately needed to tell someone why I wasn’t the same person anymore. I needed someone to know who I was now and who I used to be and that somebody turns out to be you. Who are you? You are my family. You are friends I’ve reconnected with that I hadn’t seen in thirty years. You are coworkers. You are neighbors. You are people I gave my card to on the street somewhere. You are the beautiful new friends I have made on the internet these past months. And you are the Boy. Yes, him also.

I understand why she wants comments. When you write like this you want to know that you have been heard. That someone out there is listening. If anything we have said has meant something to you, please tell us. I think it would help her. In the meantime, I’m going to continue my story until she feels ready to catch up. ~DazzledGirl