Mothers never take their love away. It’s forever. It’s the stuff of fairies and dragons, but real magic. Lovers don’t do that. Their love is temporary, a fleeting foot of passion and circumstance. When they say so, it’s a suitcase filled with unfinished promises that they embark with, leaving you at the harbor. Their love is not forever. It’s briefly unpacked and in your possession, but what you hold is only temporary.
Along side those folded socks and wrinkled dress shirts, maybe a belt or two and some cuff links, lies the folded strings to your heart. They will attach them to someone new, something newer than you, where the answers to his or her questions won’t be the same, where they can delve into the eyes of someone else. Still not you.
That suitcase is not ours, not yours. It’s a lending of love based on conditions. It’s a capitalist love affair: “As long as I’m making a profit here….”
On your side or mine – all is a metaphor – we see the blood staining us there, from some strands of strings painfully still attached to our hearts….so we take out a big pair of scissors and cut, cut, cut ! But the scissors have a dull blade and we find ourselves cutting without precision. It hurts too as we end up frantically pulling with fingers and hacking at the strings, now sinewy threads… A throbbing constant pain inside; we know we will never heal.
That love vacation away from ourselves, that suitcase now packed & taken away was only a thought to begin with.
Did I make it? Did someone else put it there in my mind?
The wind rattled so much that even the screws safely secured in wood, trembled. Against the wall outside, an old red tiled square mirror rescued from the trash went, “Bang, bang, bang…” Then,” Scrape, scrape, scrape…” blown in the opposite direction. The home made veranda was already tired of feet trodding across it non-stop; today the wind added insult to injury by sending sand and anything flyable on to it. The various screws implanted here and there holding things together sometimes had a wisp of a wire holding on to them – leftover reminders of three temporary pergolas and flowing curtains….
The grey plastic water barrel sitting under an overhang of the transparent roof made no noise. It sat there peacefully. It was comforting in its steadfastness. An occasional “Gloup, gloup,”as an escaped rain drop came down into the water below. Prisoner guards in the form of pine needles watched in steely silence from above.
With no noises to distract me, my ears attended to those sounds. The sounds of an every day existance, but ones in which most people didn’t hear. Now, the flapping of laundry on the north-west end of the house, competed with a nearby thin, squeaky bathrrom door, also built with wood. Even the washing machine called out to this wind orchestra as it reached the spin cycle. “Whirl, whirl, whirl, ” it went as it began to shake in earnest.
“Bang, bang, bang…
“Whirl, whiiiirllll, whiiiirl…”
“Flappy, flappidy, flap…”
And suddenly, a dog barked off in the distance. A true performer on a stage made of argelas, rosemary and thyme. A soloist in a provençal garden with trees, rabbits and birds as it’s listening public. One could only hear his voice….
There has to be intention in what you do. Life must not be just you flowing through it, without any sense of who you are, of what you are doing and or of where you are going!
I think though that my intentions have often been muddeled in the past. I knew something wasn’t right, or that I wasn’t in a place where I fit in, but I wasn’t sure really of anything. So much that surrounded me made no sense. And I had at an early age, been unaccepting of accepting things, thoughts or concepts just because “some said so” or that it was written in “some book” that people were falling all over.
Today with intention, I’ve left my home in France. I am here in California – on a journey to find my tribe, to be able to use ME in wherever I will finally (?) put my suit cases down. It could be I will be living out of a hat so to speak before I lay my weary bones somewhere…I am accompanied by my two best friends, Foebbe and Fender, two smart Jack Russels (brother & sister) and with each choice I make, I consider their lot, their lives too. We are a roving family of three.
Last week, I was considering again a bike trip, with a rolling trailer for F & F. But now that it’s raining in California (I’m talking serious rain here!) I’m thinking that kind of trip can wait utill it’s warmer everywhere else. After blue sunny skies & 70 degree weather since arriving one month ago one thinks that everywhere else it’s the same – but it’s not!
Getting back to those intentions and leaving everything behind…Well, easy and not so much – also I have a return ticket for this summer. (If we return, I do not have even the slightest idea of how that would go or where we would go etc)..It’s too soon to consider my return with F & F. For now, we are here and I want to check things off my life list. Maybe i will finally choose a place, a person or a job that will give me a kind of stability – though I feel totally stable in my head. When I use that term ‘stability’, I don’t mean a stable life that measures up to the status quo – not that normality : that kills you with emptiness, boringness, steps on your soul repeatedly, the normality that crushes your dreams, the one that makes you forget who you really are…. NOT THAT NORMALITY! Don’t forget too that NORMALITY = the majority. So that means that if it were normal to jump off a cliff and kill yourself at 30 – you had to do it, or you weren’t normal. I say, question your beliefs, question your life, I say, “WAKE UP!”
My intentions are not to have regrets in life. My intentions are to be with people I love (or loved) and reconnect if possible. Also to follow my project ideas: tennis, music, writing… I’m putting myself out there – if someone doesn’t want to connect, that’s okay. Then we’re done. You won’t see me making a scene over it. It’s probably your loss anyway…..
This weekend, I’m going to Indian Wells for the biggest tennis tournament in the world (outside of the four grand slams). Palm Springs is a desert island full of wealth people and hollywood stars, 70% of the population LGBT. That’s a lot of rich gays under the sun. Will go with a friend of mine and we will see a few friends of my past – that’s gonna be nice!
I also have a job possibiity hook up for teaching tennis again full time. It may or may not be what I am looking for. My intention is to find out. I love tennis, love teaching it, love stringing, am totally passionate about it. Whatever happens, I will check this off my list.
Going with a positive intention to find out and spend some fun time with friends. “Good, good, good, good vibrations…..”(Beach Boys song…!)
Road trip? Kind of. But a bit of a different one! A life changing road trip with an intention of moving on, not knowing what that destination will actually bring to your life, because it’s not just about the road trip – its the choice I’ve made to leave France.
A big f***ing road trip, huh? And yes I am flipping out – the stress shows itself at strange moments. It’s better to lay off the coffee for sure. After almost 27 years of living here in France too – half my lifetime. Add to that the recent ending to a disasterous ten year relationship with a sufferer of Boderline Personality Disorder and consequent attacks of a hateful nature! Yuck, huh?? (I’ve had to defend myself against repetitive lies & the twisting of reality or just plain nastiness…) I won’t go into detail here (and this is not why I am leaving) but the change (though it may be short) will be helpful. I think its true that returning home after time living elsewhere can only improve your perspective of it.
I did return this summer and there was a whole lot of joy going on seeing people that I loved after a fifteen year absence. It was my intention to reconnect with family and a few friends. Connect I did and I was sooo happy to see that I wasn’t the only one happy about that ! 😉
Today I’ve left Paris after finding work! I know, crazy, huh? Well paid work too, but I was feeling an important desire to go home. To be with my brothers and their families, my cousins, nephews & nieces…. and of course friends that I haven’t seen for ages. It might not work out, it could be alot of pain for alot of effort, maybe it would be safer to stay in France….but all of those thoughts, I’ve put aside because my intention of being with loved ones is so much stronger.
This is the moment. It’s now or never. In ten years, if I don’t go I will always wonder. This way I’m going to see it for myself and I will have no doubts about an ‘eventual’ outcome. It will be what it will be. We cannot know what the future holds for us, we can only try to create a part of it’s outcome – yet we are not the only factors in determining that outcome. So, what are you going to do? Not do something because of fear ? Not do something because other people don’t agree with you? Not do it because someone is going to get mad at you? That people won’t understand? Judgement? ….The list is long. Life is short.
Follow your instincts. Live a life of following your purpose whatever it is. No one and I mean NO ONE can tell you what you are all about! That’s up to you! And me, my life, like you and yours, it’s not other people who decide (though many try to do that for us); it’s up to us.
Be happy. Look for fulfillment within, find that purpose. Then learn how to share it. I’ve found mine…still learning how to share it.
(Le Chateau de La Reine Blanche (the white queens castle)…
“Click, click, click,” went her wheelchair. Patches was constantly playing with the small gear shift-like lever on her electric chair. It was all she could do. The moving a bit to the right and then to the left, or even backing up gave her some sense of self control. Her world compared to everyone else around her went at about 0.2 miles an hour meaning: slower than slow.
And being that she had very little awareness of anyone else, unless that person served a purpose, she didn’t give a flying fuck about them. It was when she wanted it and how she wanted it. Was it the MS that did that to her? Or was it her personality that had created the disease where her body was slowly destroying itself? The lesions on her spinal column and the attack on her brain circuits leaving no room for a normal existance.
She had gone to Kansas State University and become an engineer in spite of the obstacles for women in that field. Later on she helped design rocket engines, was offered a job in Paris and jumped at it. Maybe living in a truly cultural city away from Kansas, away from her family would improve further her image in the eyes of others. Because inside, she didn’t feel good about herself and never had. She knew that deep down all the university diplomas in the universe and or learning a new language could not change who she truly was: a piece of shit.
“No, not there!” she spittled while yelling at the young woman who attended her for the first time that morning. “Open the cupboard. Those bowls are not supposed to be on that shelf!” Then: “No, no, no! Put that bigger bowl over there, under the orange one…not like that!” Though she never used her own cupboards anymore, today at least she wanted to control where they sat.
Unknowingly to the young woman, if she had changed the subject to something else, Patches would have quickly forgotten about the state of her bowls. But would’ve continued on with the pleasure she wrought at controlling the actions of others – it was her thing. Only a short reprieve was possible… That this woman was showing signs of weakness and frailty was a tickeling pleasure deep down. The more she could control a thing, the better she felt about herself.
“Like dis Madame Phuckett?” asked the woman timidly. She was quite afraid of the old woman who spoke to her like she was trash.
“No, no, no! Arggghh umm…no, take them out one at a time….Oh that one doesn’t look clean…Just take evrything down – we’re gonna start over!” And on and on the day went from one scene to the next: taking her to the toilet, wiping her ass, getting her phone charged, taking her pills, dressing her, choosing what to wear and which color, answering the incessant and shrill door “siren” (no one could qualify that as a door bell), chopping up her fruit and fixing a vitimin drink. It never stopped. Patches could do nothing on her own; she could tear off her glasses from off her nose with a gnarled finger, put them back on smashingly as if she were mashing potatoes (while smearing the lenses of course), she could still shovel food in her bird-like open beak (she had no lips) with a large spoon (her favorite activity after terrorizing the state paid help…)
The simplest of gestures were, through the perversity of Patches made to feel uncomfortable as if you had never known in your entire life how to cut a piece of fruit up or put a plate in the dishwasher or take off a coat. Thank god that Patches could teach them, right? Humanity would’ve been lost without her…
Patches had no flexibilty, besides if she could take off her own coat she would have done it her OWN way, not the way that someone else did it. So she would clutch her left unfunctioning arm close to her with a partially functioning right hand and scream at the person who was only trying to help. Wasn’t she paying for this service? (Well, no actually … but she had a selectful memory.)
Around five p.m. the announcement was made to Gelledge and Brandon :
” I’m…um abababa ha…ha… having guests over for finner no dinner from New York.” Being that her ability to communicate was a challenge, she made no further effort to explain details. And so her two “roomies” stayed in their respective living spaces that evening. Unfortunately however for Gelledge, he could hear every word of their conversation from upstairs in spite of headphones and a movie on You-tube.
The visitors were a modern gay family finally ( a nice surprise) two middle aged men with a daughter and a son who were teenagers. The discussion was typical with visitors from the states with their questions and curiosity about Paris and this gnarled old woman stuck in a wheel chair who actually seemed very nice. For the kids, it was a first to see someone handicapped up close.
But the instant where she could bring attention to herself, she did. One of her guests had a connection to writing….
“How much would it cost to get my book published?” Everyone turned to look at her amazed. The children “oooh – wow” surprised at this woman who lived in a castle, spoke French (was american) had been an engineer, was sitting in a wheelchair and was actually writing a book!
“Are you writing a book?” asked one of the men.
“Yes,” she lied. “My biography and I want it to be translated.”
“You mean you want somone to translate it for you?”
“No, I can do that myself; on English and in French,” she lied again. “How much would that cost?”
The two men looked at each other and the kids too with their eyes wide open. They were all wondering the same thing as it was more than obvious that this woman could not not type on any keyboard known to them.
“Well Patches, umm how would you write it – like with a tape recorder you mean?”
“Yep,” she replied. “It’s a biography about my life. I’d do it in English and then in French. But I’d need someone to edit it. How much would that cost?”
When the carrot question got an answer of 2000 to about 5000 dollars, Patches changed the subject. She didn’t want to spend any of her money. She only wanted to hoard it, like she did with her ‘things’. Her house and basement was crammed with useless stuff she would never use. Besides she couldn’t write.
When dinner was brought up and the apparent desire by her guests to go out to a restaurant, Patches became mute. She didn’t want to go out.
She had ordered all kinds of food by her personal chef a few days before and had to tell her guests that she had one.
“Well, I’m not sure about going out,” she began (this would be too eye opening to her guests about her multitude of handicapes) “I have a chef and have alot of food in the refrigerator.”
She had forgotten to tell them that she had ordered it exactly for an occasion like this – though not exactly for them – in fact she hadn’t really considered the many ramifications of ordering all that Christmas food, which was now sitting in several plastic containers in the fridge. It would remain there until her chef came to collect it.
When her guests verbalized their willingness to order take out (or anything at this point -their american dinner hour having been over three hours ago) Patches immediately sang, “I know a great Sushi restaurant. I have a card with a phone number. Its on the fridge.”
And that was that. They would have take out sushi for Christmas dinner. As they sat all scrunched up in the tiny kitchen, the conversation flowed easily thanks to the champagne and the newness of it all for the children. The men were happy to give this unique experience to their children. Patches was happy for an instant too and decided not to call upon Brandon to take her to the toilet, besides she hadn’t had her diaper doubled for nothing. She smiled as she released her bladder and sipped her glass of champagne.
“Oh Paris,” she sighed out loud while thinking to herself, “I’m living the dream in the city of lights…”
Bill, the north African caretaker of the Chateau de la Reine Blanche was an albino. The hair on his short stocky body was whiter than white. He wore round glass frames and nondescript clothing to work every day. Before leaving to go to work, he would light a candle, say a prayer to his Lord, take a last look at his very organized studio apartment before locking up and then would take the metro number 6, Les Goblins to work.
He would arrive very early each day at the castle, open the security gates and once inside walk directly to the small door that led to his tiny office. He would repeat the same gestures once inside, verifying the sign in and sign out papers, check the keys on their hanger, then he would prepare his wash cart for the mornings cleaning circuit. Everyday at the exact same hour he did the same things, repeated those same gestures, said hello to the same people, usually waiting for them to address him first of course.
At precisely 8:00 a.m., he would fill his bucket with water from the court yards faucet and water the rose bushes in their pots and eventually pull out any uninvited weeds that might have found their way in. Doing things methodically the way he did was a way of keeping sanity: like rituals of prayer throughout the day. He felt that if he did things the same way, at the same hour each and every day, that no one could ever cite him for wrong doing. If they did, they would have to say that he had made the same mistakes every day for the years before, the months before, the days before and so on. And during certain chores, he would be praying, though no one could possible know that. He kept his face still without expression.
And so life continued this way for him without regrets, without questions, without any apparent change. He would tell himself that he liked life that way – would repeat this fact to others if someone asked him (usually no one did) & with the same answers i.e. : “I’m fine thank you. How are you?” …Bill liked the sameness of every day, the sameness of every evening. Monotony was a good thing. It made him feel safe. And there was the praying too.
The more that things were the same, the less he would feel unsure, troubled or surprised even. Bill didn’t like surprises generally speaking, there was too much room for unpleasantness. It was one of the reasons he had never married. Being with someone full time was too much organization, too many unknowns, too many opportunities for pain and suffering. He didn’t like to suffer, didn’t want others to suffer either and besides he wasn’t very sexually inclined. He liked girls when he was younger, women too now that he was older, but he didn’t relate to them, couldn’t truly understand them. Love was important, he would tell himself, but would then justify it all away. Besides he had God.
His relationship with God was constant. God followed him everywhere, was everywhere; God was in his heart, his soul. God had filled him up to such an extent that he felt he needed nothing else, felt that he needed no one. God sustained him – was his wine and cracker every day.
One day he dared to step outside of his rigid daily grind. He was cleaning the stone window sills on the outside of the castle, the cars whizzing by, people hurrying off to work, taking their kids to the nearby schools. There was constant noise everywhere and it somehow exacerbated his solitude. Where was the world going? Were these people thinking about God? Or of what they had to do? He knew the world was going towards Hell – all the signs were there. He had to speak to someone about it.
It was then that Gelledge passed by with his 2 little dogs on a leash. He said hello openly and asked about his well being -something that almost no one ever did! He took his chances and asked in return, “Have I asked you about what you think of God?” He trembled while waiting for an answer, his hands twitching nervously.
“Yes, you have,” responded the American dressed in white sweat pants and a red sweater. His 2 dogs pulling on their leashes. It was pee time and they were no longer moving.
“What do you think about God?”
“I don’t. He doesn’t exist. I’m an atheist.” Was the reply.
Bills heart felt a crushing sensation. His head felt as if there were suddenly ants crawling in there.
“That doesn’t mean anything saying you’re an atheist. How do you think you got here? How do you think you were created?” Bill tried to keep calm, but the words were accelerating on their own – the volume had been switched up.
“Created? I don’t know exactly how “I” came to be. But there has never been any proof of God’s existence. There is however scientific proof concerning our evolution….There ha…” Bill cut him off.
“God created you. Yes, there is proof! You are proof of God’s existence – right here! You breath because of God!” His red face seemed to start taking on strange forms as if he would implode. He remembered his training from church and took a deep breath. Keep centered on what you want to ask. Get the person to say something and then use those words as a way to question him back. It was a technique of getting people off balance. Once off balance, you built a bridge for them – offering a solution to their doubts.
“So you came from a monkey? That’s what you think? And what about the future of mankind? Do you like what’s happening?…”
Gelledge took a deep breath. He had had numerous discussions with Johova’s Witnesses before. When living in Marseille, a woman came by regularly with an “assistant” to preach or discuss ideas. Gelledge accepted these discussions because he thought it was interesting but also because she normally came with an attractive male assistant.
“Well, I respect your right to believe what you want,” Gelledge began. “But it’s very difficult to have a discussion based on beliefs. It’s what you believe so…”
“And what about the Bible?!” Hammered Bill wanting to nail in more weight to his argument.
“The Bible was written by men.” Was the response.
“Yes, but inspired by God!!!”
“No, I don’t think so. Only men.” The answer was with a normal voice tone. Bill’s insides were flooding with pulsating anguish. How could this guy say those things about the Bible? About God?!
“Remember this,” he began. “The day when Jesus comes back with the day of reckoning – remember what I told you!” He wanted to add, “you’ll be sorry you didn’t listen,” but didn’t. He turned away and continued to clean the stone window sills. He would pretend to no longer see the American after that.
Gelledge replied, “Okay, well I have to go,” as the dogs pulled more forcefully on the leash.
Another day in Paradise, he thought. The religious blackmailing concept had been heard many times years before during his childhood: an idea that if you were ignorant or didn’t accept the concept of Jesus Christ being the son of God that you would burn for ever in the fires of Hell. Fear, fire and damnation. These types of threats came from followers of different religious groups – he had heard it numerous times and yet was always surprised to hear it again. If ever God had existed and had been perfect, then perfection would not make people suffer with terrible pain & suffering because of conceived ignorance &/or refusal to believe in something.
No, religion was made by men, the concept of God fabricated by man to give previously unattainable answers to people with answers to “What is life?” “Who are we?” “Where did we come from?” But also, to govern people, to build power, to reap rewards of money and power. Religion was putting on a pair of colored glasses and seeing everything through them. It was denial to see what was truly happening. It was denial. It was about NOT taking responsibility for ones actions and for others – only God decided. Religious groups even borrowed the concept of values (or morality) as if values were born from the church – which is not the case.
Gelledge thought about Winnie The Pooh and a quote that his friend Brittany had sent the other day. It showed Piglet & Winnie walking hand in hand in a forest and Piglet asked, “What is your favorite day of the week?”