Monday, January 30, 2012

Une histoire d'amour Américaine

This is a story... I have a lot of stories. I'm going to start sharing them... even if you all do start to think I am a weirdo. All are based on a true event, but the stories are not true as a whole. Sort of like Law and Order, there is some truth to the events, but they are fictionalized to be more dramatic and compelling. I hope you like my stories.

~ Amanda

She's sitting on the steps, arms wrapped around her knees, mouth agape, her cheeks flushed and wet. Unable to move, the fear has left her paralyzed. The scene that just passed has been seared into her brain with violent savagery. The smell of piss is overpowering her fear, snapping her back from paralysis. Her fingers start to curl, the nails are biting into the flesh on her palms, making them bleed. Her head is throbbing from the rage she feels, her ear drums are reverberating with every beat of her heart, the pressure is over-whelming her. Slowly moving her hand to her face, she wipes away the wetness, leaving a smear of blood from her bloodied palm. Standing up deliberately, slowly, quietly, she backs herself against the wall and starts to descend the stairs. Knowing that if he sees her, he will hurt her badly. Down the stairs, knowing which steps to avoid so there is no noise. Four steps down.... six more. Her arms are outstretched against the wall, hands flat for balance, her bare feet are freezing, her jaw is chattering. She stops and clenches her jaw, forcing it to stop chattering. This is her only chance, failure is not an option.

Three more steps, the smell of urine is getting stronger. The only sound is an occasional grunt. The stairs creek, she pauses and listens... cursing the old house. She has run up and down these stairs a hundred times before this night, she would play on these stairs, she would hide in this stairwell, now crying in this stairwell. She feels the carpet under her cold feet, curling her toes in it, feeling every fiber of the brown carpet prickle her toes and her arches. It seems like an eternity has passed, the occasional grunt can be heard again. She begins to move, avoiding the first step. After years of misuse, the step has been left in a weakened state, it creaks loudly with weight on it. Even the diminutive body of a young child.

She gets to the bottom of the stairs, and crouches in the corner, pressing her body as low to the floor as she can get and peers around the corner. Glaring at the figure she sees in front of her. His bare acne-laden back, with scratch marks down it. Some of the pus infected pimples bleeding and excreting their infectious waste. In the middle of it, a lone fingernail... enveloped by his skin, blood dripping down slowly. She looks away, tears welling in her eyes and fights back a sob. Her chest is starting to hitch, a tear descending over the ledge of her eyelid, falling down her smooth freckled face to the floor. She has to move. She has to go now, the opportunity is beginning to slip away from her.

Crawling, using her skinny, bruised arms to pull herself across the floor; her scabbed knees pushing against the carpet to propel her forward, she creeps through the doorway into the kitchen. The kitchen is lit up, bright as if the sun were shining like it had been earlier that day. It is the only light on in the entire house. It is kept on most of the time to keep the cock-roaches away and out of sight. The bright fluorescent light is spilling into the living room, where her mark is standing. Protected from view by the wall, she gets up and goes to the drawer, opening it slowly and methodically. Knowing exactly what she will extract from the drawer, she reaches in and finds the big wooden handle. The handle is worn, the wood has faded and lost its polish but the blade is still sharp. Looking at the weapon, she knows what she must do. After 4 years, she knows exactly what she must do; inaction means eventual death.

She moves toward the doorway of the kitchen, protected by the stove, crouching down to the floor she crawls back to the stairwell. Remembering the bear stew that had been simmered on this stove, the gamey wild taste of the bear meat in her mouth now. The angle of the stairwell corner allows her to be at his back watching him... waiting. She looks from his back to the floor and sees the piss stain on the carpet, a woman lying next to it. Her dark hair, matted against her head with sweat and blood. Her naked body in an awkward position, her fingernail bleeding where her nail once was. She is making no noise, the noise came earlier. She is hoarse now from all the noise earlier and his hands crushing her throat. No, she is quiet... she has resigned herself to her fate and looks upon him with intense hatred, his filthy excrement seeping out of her spread legs. Her right eye has started to swell shut and her nose is at an unnatural angle. She is wet all over, her belly, her breasts, her hair. The smell of urine is sobering, it is everywhere, filling the air with the rank odor. He is standing there, his arm tugging and yanking furiously at himself.

The girl begins to stand up slowly, she sneaks across the floor, lining herself up behind the man. The weapon is in front of her, her small hand closed tightly around the wood. Her heart is pounding and the lump in her throat is making it difficult to breath. Her eyes are burning from the tears from what she saw, she moves closer until she is only a couple feet behind him. The woman glances at her quickly, recognition in her eyes, acquiescence in a barely noticeable nod. 

Up close to this man, she can smell the bitter odor of Jack Daniels and the Old Spice after-shave that he kept in the bathroom. She comes no higher than his mid-back, he is a towering, large man. Looking at the fingernail embedded into his skin, she must exhale from her mouth quickly to avoid vomiting. Her throat raw from the screaming and sobbing earlier in the night. Choking down the bile that has arose, she lifts her skinny arms, gripping the handle with both hands to steady herself and brings the blade down ripping through the soft flesh of the man's back; jamming the handle with all the force she could muster. Immediately, she lets go of the knife and backs away into the closest wall. Sobbing uncontrollably, she remembers how much fun she had that day digging a hole in their backyard with a spoon, in an attempt to dig her way to China. Finally, comprehending the fact that it is not possible to dig from New York to China with a kitchen spoon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

An EPIC Adventure

I went to Atlantic City this past weekend to celebrate the birthday of my friend with my favorite group of people. Always a good time to be had when I am with them. A few key players were not able to join us, but that is OK... we still had an awesome time. On Saturday night, we decided to go to dinner and go out afterward... we ended up in a club with Bruno Mars, whoever the f*ck that is... but he was there and EVERYONE else in the club was really excited by that fact. It seemed our group was the only ones who associate Bruno Mars with a plastic horse and not as a pop artist with a top 40 hit.

By 2 am, we had ended up in the 40 oz bar, showing our beer guts to each other, sticking Blanche and Ethyl into a mounted shark's mouth, and me dancing all by myself. Some Asian girl named Linda from DC eventually came over to talk to me and asked me which one of the boys was my boyfriend, I said none of them and somehow we ended up going to dance together. While her and I were out on the dance floor trying to bust a move to some terrible house music (house music ALWAYS sucks, I don't care where you are at... house music sucks) she kept asking me why a girl like me was single (maybe she was hitting on me?), I said I was single because I wanted to be single. Then she told me she was single too, I asked her why she was single and she said she didn't know. We ended up exchanging phone numbers to hang out some time since we live so close to each other, but our conversation made me think a little about the perception of single women, especially since my dear friend and I have been talking about relationships a lot lately.

So I guess I am one of the few people who see absolutely nothing wrong with being a 31 year old happily unmarried female. I am not single because there is a lack of suitors or there is something wrong with me. I am not defective, and I am not crazy just because I don't have a boyfriend. I am single because I want to be single.

I have been EXTREMELY lucky when it comes to love and the men that have loved me. I was in a long-term relationship up until about a year and a half ago and it was filled with understanding, respect, trust, laughter, intellectual conversation, and gobs and gobs of love. He is a truly wonderful person and I love him very dearly, I respect him and his opinion very much. Something was missing though. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, but something was missing and I knew it. I recognized the void that I felt and once I recognized it, I couldn't stop feeling it. I couldn't force myself to cover it up and no matter how much I love him it was still there. My love for him was not enough to fill this void and my own personal desires for what I want in a partner. So I ended things... and started dating a douche. Dating douchebags is a truly life-changing experience, much like hunting for poisonous snakes in the Amazon. It is a dangerous sport.

So here I am, a year and a half later and single, telling you all why... Why am I telling you? Mostly because I am a woman and I have feelings, no matter what my facade says, but also because I have a bad rap as someone to date. I have been advised not to date certain individuals because they seem "clingy" and I would probably hurt them. This really isn't fair, nor is it accurate.

I have recently decided that I absolutely refuse to settle for anything less than what I want in a partner. I am perfectly and 100% fine with being single; therefore, I do not have to settle on anything. I do not want a mediocre love story or a mediocre man that can not express himself or how he feels about me, I want a "knock my socks off and rock my world" love story. Part of this touches on my lack of faith in higher beings and knowing this is probably my only life. I do not get another chance after this one is expended, so I want this one to be as rad as humanly possible. I do not just want a "suitable" man that will make a good husband and a good father to my children (if I ever decide to have them). Suitable is not good enough, average is not good enough. I need passion. I need adventure. I need love. I need affection. I need the unknown. I am flighty by nature... I thrive on the unknown, I thrive on change.

I want a partner that is willing to go on an adventure through life with me and not be afraid of the unknown. I have not met many men who are like this as of this date. I meet a lot of men who are afraid of being hurt, they are afraid to give their hearts completely to someone else, and instead just coast through life pretending they are happy being playboys and banging a bunch of random women. I am of the opinion that these men probably do not have much to offer a woman so they don't get too close because they know they probably couldn't hold a woman's interest longer than the 45 minutes required in the bedroom. That or there is something wrong with their self-esteem and they need the validation that sleeping around gives a person's ego, and I do not f*ck with boys who have self-esteem issues.

My love for being single has nothing to do with being able to do what I want when I want, because I do what I want in a relationship. It isn't about being able to hook up with whoever I want, because I have discovered that hooking up with randoms really isn't my thing and I don't get much pleasure from it. I am loving it because I am living my life for me and I am not settling. There are days when I am lonely and I just want to cuddle with someone or lay around in bed all afternoon on a rainy day, enveloped in a man's arms discussing life. I would be lying if I said the feelings of loneliness didn't exist. On days like that, I call a friend and we go do something fun instead.

So here is to all of us not settling when it comes to what we want from the person that we decide to share our life with. To all of you who have found the person to share your life with, the person who brightens your bad days when you see them, who shares your passion, and drives you absolutely bat shit crazy on certain days... congratulations. Do not take them for granted.   

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sentiments from an Unsentimental Person

I am adjusting to living alone for the first time in about 6 years, and so far I must say that I really like it. It has only been about 6 weeks, but I find that I truly enjoy spending time alone. I keep a very busy and tight schedule on most days during the week, so when I finally get home my few hours of down-time are treasured. Last night I got home around 9pm after an evening spent at the climbing gym gawking at my crush (Red Dye #5) crushing a 5.12 and also climbing some myself (those 5.11's are not going to climb themselves). I went through my routine of cooking something to eat for lunch today and all the other boring things that needed to be done. After I completed my tasks I decided that I was going to sit in my big, over-stuffed, and over-sized chair that is in my bedroom to read the latest Pottery Barn issue that came and delve into the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel.

So I am in my chair with a glass of white wine and I am covered with my Biederlack blanket that I have had since I was 15 years old and for a complete 20 minutes I felt so content and so thankful to be at this spot in my life right now. I was admiring my blanket and smelling it because I like how it smells and feels against my skin, when I realized that the material possessions in my life that I treasure are very few and far. I don't really hold onto things and I don't get sentimental about material items. As I was looking at this blanket though and thinking about how much comfort this blanket has brought me over the years I started to think about other things that I value. I have 3 material items in my life that have any sentimental value to me and they are all pretty silly.

The first item is a book. It is Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. My mother got me this book in 1990 as a Christmas present. I was 10 years old. She wrote in the book for me for Christmas. My mother was an avid reader and books were very important to her, I remember how excited I was to get this book and how proud of myself I was when I finished the entire thing. My mother would often lay on the couch in the evenings reading and I would curl up behind her knees and read with her. I was the only one of her three children who took to reading when we were young, maybe it was because of the closeness I was able to have with my mother when I was reading. She would let me lay in her bed when I was reading on Friday nights and she was out partying, I always enjoyed this... she would then wake me up during the wee hours when she got home and take me upstairs. When my mother died on December 28, 1994, I traced over the writing in the book with pen because it had already started to rub away since it was initially written in pencil and I didn't want to lose her writing forever. My shaky 14 year old hand made it look sloppy, but it is still there and I still have this book. I re-read it a few years ago, it still holds the magic it had when I was 10.

The second item I have that has some sentiment to me is this Biederlack blanket, it is absolutely hideous, but I have had it since I was 15 years old. My sister and her then boyfriend Ben bought me this blanket as a Christmas present also. The few years after my mother died and my sister moved into the family house to care for my brother and I were tough. She was only 17, I was 14, and my brother was 11. My Grandfather didn't much care about the bastard children of his only child, so we were essentially on our own with him making an appearance whenever Child Protective Services were called or we were trying to kill one another, which happened more than you can possibly imagine. There were many tears, many fights, and many painful memories to be had and made during those years but they helped to shape me as an adult and I am a better person because of these struggles. This blanket brought me so much comfort then, because it was mine and it couldn't be taken away from me like so much that already had. It was bought for me and I had just went through so many traumatic transitions, that this blanket truly became my security blanket. I would curl up on this crappy love-seat that we had that was covered in holes and dirt, and I would read all night covered in my blanket on most nights. The stories and the blanket helped me to escape the reality that I was forced to live during the day. I still use this blanket, and it still brings me comfort to be under it. (Photo taken last night)

The last item is this really stupid and really ugly ceramic horse. My mother bought me this for Christmas at some point also, though I don't know which year. I think I was probably about 12 when she got me that (I'm basing that on where we were living when I remember opening it and being disappointed because I thought I was too old for it). It is the ugliest, gaudiest, most little-girl thing you will ever see and I still have it. I don't have a picture of it for you because it was buried away in a storage box last night and I was not going to go digging for it but for a long time I displayed it and I probably will again when I go through the boxes I have in my closet. I don't know why I kept that thing, it is ugly and I have never really liked it but as the material items that my mother left behind became more scarce I felt like I had to hold on to something. My sister is notorious for her "spring cleaning" habits and throwing everything away, so she pretty much dumped everything in the trash the day after my mother died. I guess it was her way of coping.

It has been 17 years since my mother died and most days I don't think about her, but last night I found myself thinking about her and how much like her I am. She would have been 50 right now. When I was 13 and 14 years old I was so embarrassed by her and the way she acted. She was only 33 when she died, that is 2 years older than I am right now and it is funny to me because I see so much of her within me. It has been a very long time since she has had any influence over my decisions and choices and our adult lives are nothing alike. She struggled most of her adult life and I have had a very posh adult life with no struggle. The company of misfits we usually had at our house on most weekends and all holidays, much resembles the company of misfits I keep close to me (meant with endearing love). We often had hitch-hikers in our house and stragglers that my mom would pick up on the streets. She always thought these people were interesting, so she would pick them up, bring them back to our house to talk and smoke some weed, feed them, and have them help out around the house or something. Maybe it was because she could relate to the hard times that they had fallen on. There was more than one time that we found ourselves living in a car, or "camping" at the crick in a tent.

Some of the things I saw her go through at the hands of people who said they loved her left a permanent mark on my psyche. Seeing what was done to her by men who were insecure cowards taught me to never settle in relationships, be willing and able to protect myself, and to never get too close because it can be ripped away from you in a second. One day you will be away on a church trip with your friends thinking life is grand and great, the next you will find yourself on a kitchen floor trying to cut yourself because you don't know how to express the pain your 14 year old self is feeling because her life had just been ripped away from her. I am a lucky girl, I have always had a great support system within my friends though and I learned to laugh. I learned to laugh a lot. Laughing is my coping mechanism for things now because I have learned there really is not much else you can do in certain circumstances. So just keep laughing (with tears interspersed in there too, I am a really ugly cryer) and more than likely things will work themselves out. It won't be overnight, but time heals all wounds. I have learned to never take things too seriously and more importantly never take myself too seriously. Life is just a game, what matters is not that you win, but that you have fun while you are playing.

As for that 14 year old girl? Well she turned out mostly ok. She gets a little too wild sometimes, trusts too easily sometimes, and makes bad life decisions sometimes... but all in all I hear she is doing quite well.

Have a nice day guys, it might be your last... you wouldn't want your last day to be you being a piss filled asshole. :)