Como luceros fríos

Sobre el olivar hay un cielo hundido y una lluvia oscura de luceros fríos.

11 October, 2008

We ate all the mango popsicles at like 2am in the middle of a hurricane, because the power was out and they'd just have melted anyway. And every time I think about that, my throat gets tight.

07 October, 2008

I have a place to live. I'm moved in. My life is in shambles and it's just another fucking horrible fall that is going to be followed by another awful winter. Just when I think my life has reached the pinnacle of ridiculous, something even worse happens.

28 September, 2008

I lost my apartment in a hurricane. I've been a step or two from homeless ever since. I think I've found a new place to live, but until I sign the papers my anxiety levels are going to stay cranked up to eleven. I'm more or less financially devastated. My former landlord is refusing to return my deposit on a technicality. If this new place falls through, I don't know what I'm going to do.

22 July, 2008

Last spring, an old friend of mine said he and his partner would be visiting me here in July. Only, doesn't seem like it now, as it's the end of the month and they aren't talking to me. Also, my first husband, the rapist, is moving to their town to be around them. I guess it's time to write him off. Again. Only, this is the last time.

20 June, 2008

I just got a call from someone I used to be very close to in cult-land. One of the folks we joined up with died of cancer (I'm not clear on what type, just that it was reproductive). She never got out. She had two sons who are grade school age now. She died poor and without healthcare. I remember her as having chronic illness issues back when I lived on the farm. And now she's gone.

I've never met a sicker bunch of people than the hare krishnas. Everyone who has been in it long seems to have some kind of chronic illness. Including me. And it seems like a disproportionate number of devotees die of cancer. I think it was Alice Miller who talked about trauma leading to the body completely turning on itself that way. The cultists call it "Krishna's mercy," when they suffer, that Krishna is helping them remember him and lose their attachment to the body and the material world.

Advice from an ex-cultist: Run far, far, far away from any group that glorifies suffering. They will do you violence and then stand back to admire their handiwork.

Good-bye, Gopi-Lila. Lisa.

15 June, 2008

You ruined my life and I still love you. Happy Father's Day.

09 June, 2008

Summers and holidays were the worst. My mother would be at work during the day and, if I couldn't find a friend's house to stay at, I'd be with my father all day. There was a library. It was far, but still within walking distance. It was almost like school. But sometimes (often) I'd get grounded for looking at my mother wrong or something equally ridiculous and then I'd be stuck at home. With him.

I loved school so much. It was a refuge. It was the only one I had. They couldn't ground me from school.

He would follow me all over the house, from room to room, on some flimsy pretense. I had to keep moving. Pretend to be too absorbed in a tv show to see him. I could see what he was doing, but I could never acknowledge it. I couldn't really read while he was looming. I needed volume, noise. I'd pick up the phone and call a friend. But that was a risky one. Sometimes, after he'd gone too far even for my blurry boundaries, he'd think I was calling to tell on him. He'd start to get defensive. He always hated me being on the phone for any reason. You don't need to be calling anyone, he'd always say. Oh, yes, yes I did. I needed it. Because for those minutes while I was on the phone, he was too scared to do anything. But he'd order me off it quickly, tying up the phone lines all the time, he'd say. He refused to get call waiting.

So he'd follow me.

The bathroom door had a lock. It was a flimsy one. There was a metal key we kept in the hall cabinet. It wasn't a regular key. It was more like a tool to disengage the lock mechanism. You'd stick it in a slot on the doorknob and the lock would pop open. I learned very quickly to take the key with me into the bathroom. He'd yell at me. What if you fell in the shower? I couldn't get in to help you. If I fell in the shower, I'd be dead and not have to deal with your shit anymore, I wanted to say. But I never answered. I never acknowledged the question. Just like I never acknowledged what he was trying to do. Was doing. I never acknowledged that anything was going on at all. Well, almost never. I forgot the key once. Only once. He came in while I was in the shower. He said things that I won't repeat, but I remember every word of it. Get OUT, I told him, NO. Amazingly, he retreated. After I got out of the shower I retrieved the key from the cabinet, went to my room, and locked the door. And trembled.

I never had a moment's peace in that house.

When I first moved to the city where I live now, my ex-husband and I were staying with a couple I'd been romantically involved with, but no longer was. The man, T, would follow me from room to room, looming over me. He would walk into the bathroom when he knew I was showering. He invade my privacy and he would corner me and make comments about my body. Just like my father. I lived those few months in constant pain in my back, my shoulders, my neck, my jaw-- all from the tension of feeling like prey.

I'm in my 30s now and I'm painfully uneasy sitting with my back to a door. I can't stand to have anyone near the bathroom when I'm in it. I hate for people to surprise me, startle me, come up behind me, to watch me when I don't know they're watching, or to touch my back. He calls me up and he wants to talk to me. And there are so many things I can hear his voice saying. This is why nowhere is ever home for me. Nowhere is ever safe or restful. I'm never, ever quite at ease. This is why I overreact, why I forget things, lose things. Because, somewhere, sometime, someone will always be stalking me. He's old and sober and far, far away. But I've carried him here, with me.