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The Phoenix

Originally, this was intended for my English Comp I class, but it was not the write type of piece for the assignment. So I’ve decided to post it here.


She could hear the soft pitter-patter of a light rain on her window. She felt so calm in the warm comfort of her soft blankets and fluffy pillows. It was in that quick and fleeting moment she felt safest, that brief breath between sleeping and awake. Safe and at peace with the world the way it was.

At first, she wasn’t quite sure of what woke her. Opening her eyes as little as possible, she was confused to see it was still the dead of night. With a soft grumble, she twisted her body to look at the clock. The digital display read 2:48 AM. Before she could register even more confusion, she heard the first crash; a vase smashing. Then, seconds later, a bang; the dining room door slamming open.

            Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, slowly she slid from the warm sanctuary of her bed. Shuffling to her bedroom door, she heard the third commotion of the night. Bangs and crashes, glass breaking, and a string of slurred curse words. Rubbing her temples, she spoke softly to herself, “Mama’s home”.

            She made her way to the kitchen, stopping at the next bedroom to check on her twin sisters, Seraphina and Illiana. She slid the door open quietly, and looked in on two innocent and sweet 4 year old girls, dreaming peacefully, blissfully unaware that they were poor, almost destitute, and their sister was struggling to keep it all a secret from them. Seeing that they were still asleep, she slowly shut the bedroom door and continued on to the kitchen, surveying the destruction along the way. To the left of the back door lay a black purse. Spilled around it were its contents. Multiple pill bottles, loose pills, a few pennies, and two empty nips of gin. Definitely her mother’s purse.

            Just a few steps down the hall, amid the broken shards of the vase, lay a black stiletto pump. A few steps more lay the other, next to her mother’s black jacket. That jacket cost almost a month’s rent, but Mama never went without. Whatever Mama wanted, Mama found a way to get it. Unfortunately, food and shelter for her children wasn’t ever on the top of Mama’s shopping list. Stepping inside the kitchen she found the source of that final disturbance. Splayed out on the floor, half underneath a pile of broken dishes lay Mama, groaning pathetically in a drunken stupor.

            A heavy sigh on her lips, she flicked the kitchen lights on to further assess the damage. With the fluorescent light came a slurred command. “Turn that damn light off before I slap the shit outta you!” her mother boomed.

“Sorry, Mama”, she whispered, flicking the lights back off quickly. With the request granted, she gently kicked aside the glass and extended a hand to her mother.

            It took a great deal of effort, but she was finally able to pick her mother up off the floor and get her on her feet. Slowly, she led her mother towards the bedroom.        

“Le’ go’ o’ me! I ain’t fuckin’ crippled!” her mother shouted.

 “Sorry, Mama”.

“And clean up this damn mess! You are disgusting! Worthless!”

Holding back the tears, she replied “first thing in the morning, Mama. I promise.”

            She didn’t see it coming. The punch her mother threw caught her completely by surprise. She felt a crunch and a warm flooding sensation as the fist met her nose, breaking it. She screamed just in time to feel the clump of hair being torn from her head. Bursting with rage, fueled by booze and pills and Heaven knows what else, her mother shoved her to the ground and pummeled her.

            Tears poured from her eyes as she begged and pleaded with her mother. “Stop, Mama! Stop! Please!” she cried, curling up and making herself as small as possible. It was hopeless, no matter how she cried, her mother continued to kick, punch, slap, and scream at her. Bloodied and sobbing, she took her beating, afraid to fight back, afraid it would get worse.

            Just as sudden as it came, the vicious attack ended. Exhausted, her mother struggled to her feet, spit on her eldest daughter, and stumbled off to the bedroom. She lay there for what felt like hours, but was just mere moments. She fought the sobs she felt deep inside, suppressed her screams, lest she instigate another outburst. Finally, with all the strength she could conjure, she stood and painfully cleaned up the mess as best she could.

            As she slid the shards of glass into the trash, a series of hard knocks came at the door. She hurried to answer, fearing it would wake her mother, and yelped with pain as she sprung for the latch. “Police!” a loud, let familiar voice called from beyond the door.

“Open up, honey. You know who it is. Officer Hickhock”.

She slid the chain just enough for the door to give way a half inch. “Everything’s fine, officer. Just a little argument this time. Promise. And please, keep your voice down, she’s trying to sleep.”

“This is the sixth call we’ve had this month, the 17th since you guys moved in only four months ago. This has to stop, now let us in.” When no response came, he continued, “don’t make us break the door down. That’ll wake her for sure. Come on, honey. Open the door for us.”

            She shut the door with every intention of walking back to her bedroom, closing her eyes, and grasping for all the solace of sleep. She had done it time and time again. But this time, something was different. She began to shake, and her mouth dropped open with cries only she could hear. She felt a red hot pit of fire balling up in her gut, emotions coursing through every nerve in her body, every hair standing on end.

With trembling lips, she squeaked “she beats me. All I do is love her, but she beats me. I cook, I clean, I take care of the twins, I carry her to bed, I wipe the sick from her face, and I mix her drinks when she screams at me.” The word poured from her lips like water, she couldn’t stop them even if she wanted to, not even if she tried. All she could do was stand there and let it all stream from her body. “We have no food, rent is unpaid, everything is being shut off… and… she… beats me.”

            And then with her own admission, the nerves calmed, the trembling ceased, the fires extinguished. Her battle weary body relaxed for the first time in who knows how long, and all her fears were gone. With a single confession, she conquered. She no longer feared losing the love she didn’t have, the comfort she hadn’t known, and the mother she didn’t realize she had already lost.

            Sliding the lock from the door, two police officers entered, and promptly searched for her mother, their intentions to arrest her. She stood there staring at the floor as Officer Hickhock finally entered the apartment. As he looked at her, he saw past her abuse. He barely saw the bruises, burn marks, and scars. Hardly noticed the visible rib cage and malnutrition. What he saw before him was the rebirth of a 15 year old phoenix, and all he could whisper was “Oh… Lucy” as tears slid down his cheeks.



On my last post, I mentioned my new journal, Listography. That night, I did my first list which was about pets. I had no problems coming up with my long list of feline, canine, and yes, even… fish friends from my past. What I didn’t realize is that listing these guys brought back some great memories, and scary ones as well.

Like, remembering Blue, my dog, who got hit by a car the day before I started the 6th grade. Which, was the same dog who literally ATE MY HOMEWORK in the 5th. (We even brought the remains to the teacher to prove I wasn’t lying!)

And Swifty the gerbil, who I loved SOOOO dearly, I didn’t realize for a month that he had passed away and my step-dad had even gotten rid of the cage. Oops.

And the 4 teddy bear hamsters I got, that multiplied into 4,000!! My step-father wouldn’t give any of them away, so we had tote bins for cages lining an entire wall. I wanted nothing to do with those creepy little vermine once I realized the reproduction rate. Rabbits ain’t got nothin’ on those bad-boys.

And we can’t forget the best impulse purchase ever, Fido Nemonius the Gold Trash Gutter Fish. You know you wish you thought of that first.

Looking back at my list, I see all those familiar names. But the pet that tops my list has a very special story attached to it, and (s)he was the first pet I remember.

When I was around 4 or 5 years old, my Uncle Steve brought me home a kitten. For whole MINUTES I wracked my brain for a name for the adorable little wonder. Finally, it came to me. Dogfood. Yes, I named my kitten Dogfood. I was just learning the circle of life (waaaay before Disney made a nifty little song about it, mind you), and I was intent on calling a spade a spade.

With an awesome new name, I ran outside with my new little bundle of fur to show off to my friends and neighbors. Just as I stepped onto our back porch, a thunderous bark starts up, and second by second it keeps getting louder and louder. All of a sudden, our neighbors massive (to my kindergartener self at least) German Shepard came barrel-assing around the corner, lept at me and my new precious kitten, and bit it’s head clean off. Seriously.

I was covered in blood, the hallway and porch were covered in blood, and I vaguely remember standing there, not crying, not yelling, but utterly stunned. My uncle got me all cleaned up, buried what was left of poor Dogfood, and sorted everything out with the neighbor, who couldn’t have been more apologetic as I’m told.

The next day, the same neighbor came to the door with a little basket and handed it to me. Inside was a brand new baby kitten for me. I named her Alice. You know, JUST to be safe. I don’t really remember Alice, in fact, I think she became my uncles cat, but I will never forget Dogfood.

Now that I’ve relived that horrible (and yes, humorous, suck it) memory, it’s on to my next list. Tonight’s list is asking me to list my closest friends. I’m starting to think that these lists are SUPPOSED to help me revisit all these memories, and I have to say, I like it.

So, faithful reader(s? too hopeful?), who are some of YOUR closest friends, and why?

I’ll shut up so you can talk (post?)


Lists, lists, lists

I’ve found myself in a deep funk after returning from vacation in Southern California to ring in the new year. Why? Because my heart belongs there, not here, that’s why. This funk has got me evaluating and re-evaluating my life, taking inventory of feelings, and I’m trying to decide what to discontinue and what is my biggest seller.

While I was in So Cal, I stumbled across Listography Journal: Your Life in Lists at a store in Costa Mesa down at the L.A.B. I picked it up, perused it, and wanted it. Being on vacation, I didn’t want to snag the book, should I need money to travel home. With a sigh, I put it down and headed out of the store.

Since that day, I have no been able to forget about this book. This was PERFECT for me! I am constantly making lists, and it’s the easiest way to get my ADHD mind to focus. Knowing full well I needed to do something therepudic, for myself, I went on the hunt and found this book at a great price on Amazon! (At the original store I saw the book in, cover price was around $17.00). I had to have it, and snagged a second book along with it, but that book is another blog.

Listography, as I said, was my journal match made in heaven. It is an incredibly unique and organized way to write yourself an autobiography. One of the things I need to do most is just organize the thoughts and memories in my head, sift out the good things, and dump all the bad. I have all the faith in the world that this book will help me accomplish just that.

The book arrived today, and I made myself a promise. Once a week, I will fill out a list. If it takes me all week to finish it, fine. But I will start on a new list each week. And because I am OCD, I will do it in order! I am still unsure as to what these lists may drag out of me, but I hope to have you guys participate in this with me.

The first list in the book is simple. List the Pets You’ve Had and Their Names. Easy, not too bad, right?

So, what are your favorite pets you’ve had in your life? Share yours and I’ll share mine 🙂

I’lm gonna shut up and write in my book.


Miles May Seperate…

As tiresome as it gets, today is another day that I have to thank Julien-K for. If you’re a frequent reader, you might get it. But these boys have really brought the best (and sometimes the worst) people into my life.

One year ago today, I was 3,000 miles away from home. One year ago today, I was living the best worst decision I had ever made financially. One year ago today I was living the life I wasn’t sure I had much time left to live.

April 8, 2009 I spent in Los Angeles, California. I flew on 3 different flights to spend 3 glorious days soaking in the west coast sun… just to see the first Julien-K show of the year.

It was there, outside, I met one of the BEST people to have ever come into my life. Since this day in 2009, we have truly become so close, and I love her so much.

We didn't NEEEED the Voska, but we used it liberally.

Melissa, my love, you are an amazing woman. It’s been a great year with you as my friend, even if the other crap sucked. I am eternally grateful I met you on that wonderful night. It is so thrilling to have someone like you in my life. Someone who cares about me, understands me, and yes, makes fun of me relentlessly. You, my dear, are the ying to my yang sometimes. The method to my madness, the voska to my sprite.

Happy One Year Friendaversary. I have a feeling in 50 years, we’ll be drunk on the beach, still remembering the day we met.

I should shut up…


The Storm Has Passed

The past few weeks have not been easy ones for me, as I am attempting to readjust to recent changes in my life. I will be the first to admit, I let a lot of my goals and resolutions and priorities slide, this blog being one of them.

Now, however, I am back, and ready to get myself back on track and organized. I always believe that in order to move forward, you must look back. In saying that, I’d like to review my progress on my resolutions, it being over a month since I’ve started.

#1- Lose Weight ~ I am proud to report that so far, as of yesterday, I have lost a total of 11 lbs! I had a minor setback at the end of January, but pulled through that, and I’m still going strong!

#2- Read 50 Books. I am on book #5, a little behind, but chugging along. If you want to know what I’m reading, be sure to check out Book Worm Sundays, and the NEW page “My Book Shelf”!

#3- Keep this blog going. Okay, we know this one isn’t going so well…. but I’m trying!

#4- Move, and stay gone. This may take a backseat this year, because I’ve made a very important decision to go back to school. More about that another time.

So, that’s how I’m doing so far. In lieu of a meme from elsewhere, today’s meme is “Tell me how your resolutions are going!” Hit me up in the comments… or else I may never shut up!


Hope for Haiti

Yesterday SHOULD have been Awareness Wednesday, and I had a very nice post about relief in Hati. However, a program I was using to auto-post… well… does NOT auto-post, and I lost the entire thing. Ugh.

So as not to overlook the powerful loss and need Haiti is experiencing, I’m combining posts. Below is a list of websites to charities providing help to Haiti, and I explain what each organization is doing to help. Your quotes for today will follow the links.

Forget not that we, as in Americans, lost people in this devastating earthquake. More importantly do not forget that we, as human beings, lost other human beings in this horrific natural disaster. While the earthquake was natural, there is nothing natural about the heartache and suffering the people of Haiti are enduring.

Please visit the following sites for more information as to what they are doing to help, as well as how YOU can help these charities help the broken souls of Haiti.

The American Red Cross Red Cross is sending food and supplies to Haiti, providing clean drinking water, meeting health needs, and donating shelter supplies. To donate $10 via text message, text “HAITI” to 90999.

Oxfam America Oxfam is delivering clean water, providing sanitation services, providing shelter supplies, as well as providing cash for work.

UNICEF UNICEF is deploying clean water, sanitation supplies, therapeutic foods, medical supplies. They are providing temporary shelter to Jacmel and Port-au-Prince. UNICEF is also be helping children who have become separated from their families, protecting them from harm or exploitation.

Direct Relief To donate $10 via text message, text “GIVE10” to 20222.

Hope for Haiti Now Distributes donations to several charities.

On iTunes you can download musical performances from the nationally aired telethon. Artists will then donate their proceeds to several charities, via Hope for Haiti Now .

Yele Haiti Text “YELE” to 501501- Donate $5.

Doctors without Borders

Habitat for Humanity

And now, your quotes for today.

“If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” ~ Bob Hope

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have is now.” ~ Bill Cosby

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~ Mother Theresa


A Clean Fresh Start

For all 2 (3?) people who read this blog… I apologize.

Starting the first of the year, this will be a hoppin’ place to be, I promise.

I’ve got a lot in store for this place, and I can’t wait to get started.

Off to chug the eggnog… that’ll shut me up!

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