Thursday, December 8, 2011

On A Mission

As I wandered through this town, a town I had been to hundreds of times before, I really had no idea what I was doing. But I did know why I was doing it.
This day was about fixing regrets. I almost never had any regrets in life. I really only had one and I aimed to fix it this day.
It was only 45 minutes to drive to her town. It seemed like it had been an eternity since I had seen her last. Actually, it had been 20 years.
I had no idea what I was doing, or how I was going to do it. But I knew exactly what I was doing. I was going to go back in time while in the future and restore a life mistake.
Got to her town and drove around. I hadn't really thought this through. She probably lived somewhere else by now. Had a husband, a family, kids, a dog. She could be anywhere.  She could be dead. I had no idea. Any previous lame attempts to find her had come up completely dry.
If I was kidding myself, I was okay with that. I wanted to kid myself. It made it better to just be ignorant of reality this one time. I am one that is never okay with that, This time,  for whatever reason,  I was.
Just to drive around, to make any real effort to find her and right the wrong that had occurred some 20 years ago,  I had to do it.
Of course, the thought of finding her parents, who had lived their whole adult lives in that town was another thought. Reality again didn't matter. I hadn't really thought about how they were probably in their eighties and had died or moved away. Nope, none of that reality thinking this time. I was on a mission. Not a well planned mission, but a mission nonetheless.
I continued to drive around. Where to go? I had no clue. I just had to be in the city where she once was. Where I had seen her last. A chance meeting on the street because I was there and she was there. Fate had attempted to bring us together one last time. But it didn't work that time. I got distracted and she didn't see me. Before I knew it, she had vanished. Opportunity lost.
You don't many second chances like that in life. And I had blown it. If I had it to do over again, I would have stopped what I was doing and made sure I got to her. To make contact, to say Hi, to put my friendship foot back in the door. But I didn't. And now, it is twenty years later. And there is no door. I have no door to walk through to start up the conversation again. I am wandering around her town, what was once her town, and I have no idea what door she is behind. Or if she is even behind any door in this town. She probably isn't.
I tempted fate, and fate smacked me. Now all I can do is try to get another chance. Part of this mission is just hoping that I get a chance run in with her again. If she is around, in this town, that by being here, in this short amount of random time,  with no real purpose or plan, I will encounter her and we can start over.
Yes, start over. When I say start over, I mean go back to that instant in time, that moment I want back, and change what I did. What I said. That is the regret. That I put my selfish want above the friendship and destroyed what we had. In that instant. I don't even know if that is possible, but I am giving it a chance. What I said cannot be forgotten, but it can be discussed, dealt with and hopefully settled. Time sometimes can help with that. Emotions of the moment fade and the old good will and feelings return.
That is my hope as I wander aimlessly on this futile mission. 

I drive around some more, for another hour and a bit. Still no chance meeting. Of course, I was kidding myself to think it could work like this. That just doesn't happen. I missed my chance 20 years ago.
If there is to be another chance, then it will happen by chance, as it did then. Only this time, I have to see that chance, and take that chance.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The good times of the dark night

It was a dark night. I loved a dark night. You never knew what was out there. It was so peaceful, yet so dangerous. Rarely did you come across anyone, and you could really collect your thoughts. It was always my preferred time to go for a walk. It still is to this day.
I walked Minnie almost every night. Late. During the daytime, she was so friendly and had to stop to greet every person and dog she saw. The night walks were the only way to get her to walk continuously. Late at night, you could just walk and walk and hardly come across anybody. We used to go for an hour at least. By the time we got home, she was content and just hopped on the bed and slept.
She loved to be off the leash in the park. Late at night that was never an issue. During the day it always seemed to be.
She loved me so much, and was attached to me so much, that even though she wandered off to do her own thing, if she got too far away, she would come tearing full speed in the middle of the dark night to come find me. If she didn't, all I would have to do is call out her name and she would come running.  We had done this hundreds of times and it never failed.
Until this night, when it did.
I guess I was too overconfident.  You can get like that when you are younger. I had seen a lot of bad things in my day, but I still thought that no matter what I did, things would always work out for me. Because they always had. We made our way to the park,  which took about 20 minutes. As soon as we approached the opening to the park, she started to pull and swell up. She knew I was going to turn her loose. I barely had the leash off of her neck when she tore away and began to explore. I walked my usual circle around park, and she knew where I was at all times. Dogs have a very good sense of sight in the dark.
Of course, I had no clue where she was. She was a pitch black dark Labrador Retriever and could not be seen in the the park with no lights of any kind.
At the time, I was heavy into the writing of songs, and I had one in my head. As she was now a dog that was getting older, I wondered what I would think of when she was no longer there. It would only be 6 or 7 years at the most until that would happen. We had her since she was an 8 week old puppy,  so basically her whole life,  and most of my adult life. It was hard to think of my life without her. I had made several moves since I moved out of my mothers house, and she was always the constant. She slept on the side of my bed and pretty much made every move I made. She even came to work with me in most of the jobs I did. We were attached at the hip. Girlfriends came and went, but Minnie was always there.
How would I respond to her not being there? I thought that, as with most things I had lost over the years,  I would remember the good times. We had so many good times, that would be easy. There were also some very interesting stories that were attached to her, and some with not so happy endings, but even still, mostly everything about her was a good time. I told myself that when the time came,  I would remember the good times.
I even wrote and finished that song and have it in a drawer somewhere. But that was a song.  This was real life and she was still here,  live in the flesh with many good years ahead of her.
I continued my walk around the circle of the park.  I was more than 3/4 of the way around,  and as of yet she hadn't come tearing towards me. That was okay. I knew she would at some point. Anyway, how much trouble could she get into in a dark park at 1am in a nice secluded neighborhood? Not much, I told myself.
I reached the end of the park and still no adoring dog by my side. I called out her name. Still nothing. I did that 3 or 4 times and then I began to get concerned. So I began to walk the park, but much more briskly, and with a sense of purpose. But, if she was out there, she wasn't coming. This had never happened before, so I really had no clue what to do. I continued to walk and call for her, but there was no response. This went on for about 20 minutes. I started to think she got distracted somehow and maybe headed towards home.
Heading towards home meant going down the street.  Going down the street meant the possibility of cars. Even though it was late and there would not be many cars, it would only take one. She was used to walking down the middle of the street, and she was black as the night, so getting hit by a car was a real possibility.
I decided I would head home. She didn't seem to be in the park,  so there was no point staying there. When motivated, it was only a 10 minute walk for me to get home.  I took the route we always took, in the hope I would come across her. I didn't.
I knew one thing: She had not been hit by a car. At least there was that. I got home and got in my car and started to drive the neighborhood. Still no sight of her... either way. Of course by now my mind was racing. That song I had written was now starting to come true. She could be gone forever. For a brief instant at home before I got in the car I had thought to myself that I was fortunate to have had the 8 years I had with her and I would hold on to that if she was truly gone forever.
But that faded fast and I headed out to find her. I had driven the neighborhood 5 or 6 times and nothing. I was now back home, but she had not made her way there either.
Now what?
I thought maybe I would go out on foot again. It was now 2:30am and I wasn't giving up until I found her, one way or the other.
Minnie was always a happy go lucky dog and nothing really fazed her. I kept walking and then I heard a rustling. I moved towards it. And it was her. She was digging into a garbage can scrounging for food. She always did that.  No matter how old she got, or how much I fed her fat self,  she always had to dig up garbage. She was a sweet lovable dog,  but her manners were always very suspect.
I called to her, but she paid me no mind. Except to wag her tail. She was forever wagging her tail. That was her. That is one of the good times I always remember, her wagging her tail.
As I approached her, she turned towards me and gave me that look "Oh, Hi, look what I found in the garbage can". She stood still while I put the leash on her and we were on our way home. No big deal to her. She didn't seem to know or care how much danger she was actually in.
After that night, I kept her closer to me, but even still, I still let her off the leash to run free. She was a dog, and she needed to do that. We never had a close call after that night, and she was never lost again right up to the day she died, 7 years later.
I will always remember that night,  and all the good times with her. Even the bad times were happy memories with her.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In my head

We went way back.  She knew me. She knew me very well.

At this point,  I think she knew me too well. Maybe even better than I knew myself.
Was she in my head? Yes I think so. She was in my head. Definitely.
I was thinking about posting a status, but before I finished it, she was already responding to it. How could that be?
I was totally lost at this point. Lost in her. I had drowned in the infatuation and had no air left. Whatever air I managed to breathe, came from her. Whatever air she let me have. She was my lifeline at this point.  She was also becoming the death of me.
She was the devil,  and she sucked me in with her charm. She knew my weakness,  and she exploited it.
Now she had me.  She had consumed me. My every fiber. There was no longer any me. Me was now her. I had lost her.
Ok, the truth was, she was never in my head. She didn't actually exist. Well she did exist, just not as I saw her. My fantasy,  as I had created her in my mind, had taken over. She was just a woman, an ordinary woman. But I never saw her that way. She became the superwoman who could do no wrong. I had put her on a pedestal.
She had told me that she liked me. In those words, I took it to mean she was madly in love with me.
l started to believe my own delusions. Fantasy had become reality for me, and I had driven myself insane. Who could blame her really? I had done this to myself.
Anyway,  it was past the point of blame. I was too far gone and it made no difference at this point to assign blame. Could I save myself? Was there any self left to save? How would I do it if I had the will and the power to pull it off?
No, I could not. I was too far gone. The devil  was now inside me. A self made devil I created to destroy myself.
It owned me by now, and every fiber of me. Every pulse of blood inside me coursed with the power of the devil within. The longer it went, the more it took over.
How could I turn the tables and stop crying and submitting to it? I had to stop lying to myself. To stop believing my own delusional fantasies. Writing about them was one thing,  but believing them was quite another. I could not separate fantasy and reality, and I had to if I wanted to gain my true self back.
I had played with fantasy and got burned by it. Now the burns were deep..and scarring. Even if I made it back over to the other side, the scars would remain. I was changed, either way, no matter what,  I was changed.
But there was still her to deal with. Could I even exist anymore with her in my life? Could I exist with her out of my life? Was there some happy medium? I had no answer to any of that. But I had to gain that answer. It meant life or death to me.
  As I tried to sleep, all I could hear was that Alan Parsons song, and her saying hauntingly,
"I can read your mind, I can read your mind, I can read your mind".
Try to leave your false illusions behind. I was trying,  but not succeeding.  I had been consumed by her. By the Eye In The Sky, that I had created within myself.
My own creation had latched on to me and was not going to let me go. I fed the bad side of me and now it had grown bigger than me. I couldn't reverse the trend. I could not starve it to death.
I really had cheated myself blind. Blind to the power that I created within to destroy myself. I had become strong enough to make myself feebly weak.
I am the Eye In The Sky and I can read your mind. The devil now had the eyes and the vision, while I was now the blind helpless one.  I had to submit and give in to it. It was too powerful and had too much control  over my insanity.
I was now lost. Lost in a song. Lost in a fantasy. Lost in a story I created. Lost in the eye.  In the eye of the storm within me.
Nothing else mattered. No one ..or thing, could get through this wall I had created, that was more powerful than me or anyone else that would try to break it back down.
I posted a status about it, and the devil didn't bother to respond this time.  It knew it had me and didn't need to make an effort to break me anymore. In fact,  the devil within actually posted the status. I never really got to do anything anymore.
There simply was no me anymore.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Life Of An Oven Mitt

 Edited by Demetra Fisher
So it has come to this. This smelly garbage dump. Where did it all go wrong for me? I had so much hope and promise. Now, I am just yesterday's garbage. 

I remember when I was just cotton and thread, not really anything. I had no form, no purpose, no direction as I moved along the conveyor belt of life. It wasn't long though, before I became something - an oven mitt. And a very pretty oven mitt. I was sure to be liked and cherished.

Life started out with such promise. I was fresh. I was fluffy. Every stitch was exactly right. I had my place, with all the other oven mitts on display in the store, neatly stacked on the shelf, ready to be bought and put into action. I had high hopes at that point. I knew I was wanted, in demand. I was not going to be marked down. No, I was definitely all that.

I never realized what it meant to be an oven mitt, but I knew that I was going to be the best oven mitt I could be. I was sure of that.

One day, a nice young couple looked me over and they ended up choosing me. They put me in a nice colorful bag and I was on my way to my new home. When we arrived, they played with me, tried me on and then showed me to my room - my new living quarters. Life seemed to be falling into place for me. 

Sure, it was a small dark drawer. I was used to the bright open spaces of the store, but I had some experience with dark closed-off  spaces. I remember being in that horrid cardboard box, tightly pressed against all the other oven mitts during distribution. That oven mitt Harry... he never shut up for the whole trip. I was so happy when he got sold at the store. Hated that guy. 

As I lay in the drawer life was good.  I was content.

As the days went by, I got to come out at the odd time. Sometimes, there was a warm handle that a hand needed protecting from. I was glad to help. That was my purpose in life. And I was loved. Still young, fresh, and in all my glory.

Then, about two weeks after they took me home, came that day I will never forget. My whole world, my illusions, were shattered. Oh... the pain. That first time, when the hand slides inside you and you grab onto that hot sheet of fries just coming out of the oven.

"Oh, that fucking hurts!"

You never forget that, no matter how many times you go into battle.
I grew to know when it was coming. I had developed a sense of smell. Yes, oven mitts can smell.  And feel. We hurt just like the rest of you. The aroma of fries, or of just baked bread or cookies - I came to associate that with the pain. I crouched in fear every time I took in that air heavy with the scent. 

I have lived with that fear. Everyday, every minute,  I feel it. Whenever, I overhear that the owner of the house is going to make fries. Or a stir fry. Those are the worst times - the worry and the waiting. The knowing that at any second I could be called to duty to face that intense heat. The pan is always sizzling hot.

I longed for the times when they would go out to eat or when they were at work. I knew I was safe until that front door opened again. As soon as they arrived, until the time they left, my fear continued.
The times when they went out, or would o on vacation, those were the best times.  Then, I knew I was truly safe. Safe and sound in my little drawer -  my home. The third drawer from the top, where it is quiet and peaceful.
I always wished I could do something about it.  But what could I have done?  After all, a plain old oven mitt is helpless to fight against fate. My fate... my destiny.  But, freedom is what I longed for.

Freedom, ahhh... Yes, freedom - like being left out on the counter for a few days.  It was as if I were on vacation and lying on the beach. Daylight, but yet no work.

But, now I am older. I have been burned many times. My young fresh stitching is all gone. I have been through the washing machine a few times. My once fluffy exterior is now matted down and I am no longer appreciated as I once was. Often times they would just toss me in the drawer. They used to place me nicely. 

I have even developed a burn hole at the end near where their fingers go. Deep down, I knew that it wouldn't be long before I was on my way out. I can't do the job I was born to do anymore. And I don't really want to do it either. I have had enough. I knew they were going to put me out of my misery and I was kind of hoping for it.
At the end of the day, they never really loved me. That hurts.

Yes, I burn. I feel. 

I feel the pain. 

So, finally, it has come to this. This smelly garbage dump. Where did it all go wrong for me? I had so much hope and promise. Now, I am just yesterday's garbage.