Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dear So n So - Thanks I think.

Dear So n So,

Whoever was in charge of this year gets a smack in the face.

I have endured two deaths, new laminate flooring and a booming business. The death part I can handle the aftermath no.

People have been really nice to me but friends have shown their colors. I look back and I see why.
Not that they don't care they just are too busy. Busy is a dirty curse word in my book now.

of course I am. Am I angry? Fuck yeah I am. I can handle death a 100 times over. The loneliness, the dark hours and even the craving for someone to kiss is gone. When will it come back? That is the burning question. That is the frustration I have.

Do I think about it? YES.

AM I getting better at it... yes I am - I am making strides. I think maybe my friends should too. I would hate to run into them and have to explain the year to them. You know? embarrassing.

So pick up the effing phone. no wait. don't you're too late.

So to the person in charge of this year, thanks. I think.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

now i know how the promoters felt...

Take no offense... I am only being honest.

There was a time when George Jones would not show up at one of his own shows...
I'd hate to be that promoter. 

money - time - calls - trying to get the radio and papers to talk about it...POOF-BAM-POOF The unwanted call... 

he's not coming... or no phone call. 

George's stupid reputation preceded him.

No-Show Jones was the name. He was better at it than Axl Rose. I am sure there are plenty patched walls in those old theaters he played in with pencil marks with a circle and "this is when the Possum didn't show up" arrows pointed towards it. 

He soon lost it. Everything. 

THEN someone helped him. Can't recall who. 

So how does this pertain to me?

Uh yeah - no one calls. no one shows up. everyone bails. I have to start over - 45 - reset everything. Cause someone died. Friends I thought I had for the past 20 I didn't share with my husband.


I'm waiting on my someone that helps me. I had one guy already do the best he could. I will remember his name on my death bed. Will yours be on it? 

I say that sarcastically cause 1-I didn't ask for it. 2- I don't think I should have to do all the work. It's been 6 months. I should have had friends in place right? Ready to go when the shit hits the fan. Well... hindsight is 20/20 - easier said than done. Whatever. 

See you around. Your silence is loud and clear.
So my sage advice? Get your own. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

I never got my bagel or coffee

Woke up at 3AM with Steve Ray Vaughan's song "The Sky Is Crying" in my head... 
Right at the time my husband laid down 6 months ago to die. I was told it took about 2 hours to happen. So at 5AM I fell back asleep and I had the most beautiful dream.
I dream in color all the time.
You know when you see people in your dreams and they look so healthy and good like they were supposed to be all along? 
Yeah, that's what Steed looked like. Thin, blonde shoulder length hair dressed in all black. I dreamt that we were sitting on a couch in a coffee house like a brick/loft building. Not a Starbucks. Just talking nothing important. 
Some people were causing a scene and I went back to the counter asking for my bagel and cream cheese and coffee as if it had been forgotten. 
"No, it will be right out..." I was told. 
Then we walked into a church that used banquet chairs instead of pews. I thought I saw Steed's old friend Al Pesto in the back. 
I asked Steed "Isn't that Al?" 
He didn't seem to think so or maybe he didn't look. 
We sat down and someone that looked like Kevin Federline came up to Steed and said "time to go" and took his hand he floated up to the ceiling. I tried to go with him, but he let go of me. 
It was like those scenes in a movie that the people in the photo are fading away? 
I floated back to the floor and cried on the church chair seat as the preacher waited for me to sit in the chair. Like everyone else. 
Then I woke up to another song in my head that I have now forgotten. 

PS- I thought I lost the last photo of us on my phone and I had no recollection of 'deleting' it until I went to my recently deleted and recovered it. Whew. 

PPS - I never got my bagel or coffee 

PPS- Nor have found my Nashville photo scan disc 

Monday, October 26, 2015

I love this better than anything...

Dear 6 months.

You not quite here by calendar standards but it's coming soon.

A little less than 3 more days.

It's been 6 months.

It seems like it sped by...

Vinyl, Roswell, Athens, Buckhead, Aisle 5, Nashville, Houma soon to be Chicago...

then at home in DC for Chrismas.

Those are my stepping stones.

It will be 6 months in a couple of days.

It was - ten days ago it was gonna be 6 months. Wait? What? I am in the now not the past...

I refuse to be pinned down. I have accepted my weight, my height and my age.

Maybe not that order... but I am working on being alone. I don't care anymore what people say.

These are just things I think at 2AM.

Or 3 in the afternoon.

Or after a few glasses of wine...

I wanna go. I need to stay. I am hungry. No no not another bite. I'll pop like a tick.

This is not going to become me. Death isn't pretty. Wearing black is. So I refuse.

I ain't scared now, but I might be in 6 more.

How do I mark the milestone, a pebble in the Chattahoochee? a good meal? a drive around the block?

Lord knows I can throw...

"So kiss me and smile for me..."

#sleepbetter #gettingthere #waitingforthesun

Friday, October 23, 2015

Someone called me a mermaid...

When Patrick Henry stood up and said "give me liberty or give me death" he must have been speaking about his wife right?

When something is taken from you, a person, a burden or responsibility or a bill that has been looming... you have a rush of relief come over you. A sudden feeling of freedom is now at your feet.

You don't have to worry about it. Anymore. Until the next one. Right?

Yeah. This sense of freedom is something alright. It comes with guilt. So I start over analyzing it. I cry and get angry at myself.

Then I hear and see others react over their own dealings in the same light and I think thank God I'm not like that. So I learn from others and myself to mold my own path. I take what I feel, what I see and hear and throw bread crumbs on the ground to hopefully find my way back. If I want to.

I don't think I want to go back - I will glance around. But no. 

I have others look at me square in the eye and say; "I get it." Meaning you have to be strong. Tall. Not afraid to cry. And laugh.

I have one friend who has given me a key. A new key to unlock a new door. He doesn't know it. He gave me my first guilt trip for having a good time. It was a weekend of full on laughter. I am his biggest cheerleader - think of the Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri skit from SNL. He's tall and I am short. So I wear high heels around him.

I call him from the parking lot. 

I have another friend that has been with me every step but from hundreds of miles away. We've cried, talked and he told me he put the memory in the icebox. His wife told me too. I don't get it why but maybe a frozen in time thing? We are more like Gracie Allen and George Burns.

I call him Bubba.

Friendships have changed and evolved - come and gone. Friends who once didn't understand my present past - but now get it. That is probably my biggest validation or gift.

I only speak to one friend of the memory and I feel bad about that. But is it really a bad thing?

I have few local friends that I can call. They are new. My old friends are there, but not around. Maybe were never a friend. Just someone I knew in passing. It's hard to start over with stuff. Some things are the same, some are brand new, but always evolving. I don't know if I will get over it but I will get through it. I love the feeling of being. I used to love routine. Now I can only wait and see.

As my sister friend said one night, we are given a gift to be happy again.

I have a list of things that we wanted to do that has now turned into what I want to do. So if I looked like I am shopping a lot. I am. It's called Retail Therapy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Words to talk about

"Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” 

He would sing at night while I slept, he would play during movies, ball games and in hotel rooms til the front desk called. He didn’t have an angelic voice, he had his voice. He asked a 100 times what does it sound like and I would always say “like you.”

He was always most happy talking about music, writing about music and singing about music. He loved to talk to my clients about it, talk to his friends about it and make mix music Cds to share what he thought was the best. He would come back with some kind of insight from talking my clients and I’d share it with my then boss, and we’d understand our work a little easier. He was still doing that til that Tuesday morning hours before he died while editing a press release.

At times, music had to be put on the back burner for it wasn’t a smart choice at the time for a full time occupation but he kept writing and dreaming of the day he would he get his music heard by all. He wanted validation that he was good like of us, approval from other musicians counted. He would dissect their opinions and read between the lines. 

A legendary music producer told him once, ‘never put two songs in the same key in sequence” and then something that was so abstract, til the day he died he still couldn’t figure it out. I told him, he liked it. I promise, that’s his way of telling stuff. He had praise from around the world but still at times, he felt like no one liked it. A true artist is never satisfied with anything.

I remember he had sold all his guitars, mandolins, amps, pedals cause his job had given the staff a pay cut, a 30% one but I made him keep one acoustic. I always made him keep one. He wanted to smash it, kill it and not look at it. There were days he didn’t want to believe he could do it. I told him no that’s like cutting off your left hand; you have to have it to write.

He told stories, jokes and one off comments. We were in Macon, GA, at a client’s show and as we talked to the side of the stage in the back he told the cop who questioned us,  back there he was a serial killer…

He could talk your ear off with music and baseball and always leave you with your hat in your hands when came to politics and religion. Not to prove he was right, he had a way of showing you how to look at it. 

He had a wealth of knowledge for he told me “If I could be a professional party goer – I would.”

Friday, July 24, 2015

Taping My Mouth Shut

It's been about 3 1/2 months. And I'm learning to be uber quiet and not say a word to anyone about how I feel. I have to be careful. Shit flies around blue skies.

People talk. People walk.
Friends aren't friends.
People don't care. They just wanna be paid.

So I've arrived at a crossroads in this. Do I lash out? Be honest? Or just keep my mouth shut.

I am afraid I have to mix this one up and it all depends on the physics' advice. Put it in a box. Save it for a face to face. A guilt trip? A big let down? I dunno. I will see what the therapist says on Monday. I am sure I am fine. Just a tad disappointed.

I see my future as bright as soon as this astral energy goes away for now it's screwing with my mind. Makes me think horribly about people who are probably just too busy. I hate that. I mean I am too... but at least I call back. Sigh.

For instance, I have a huge 'crush' not a romantic one but just smitten with a new friend (a year or so old) who is so busy that I think he's not paying attention to what vibes he's sending out. I love him dearly, but I get that sinking feeling you know? I wanna walk into his office, slam the door and feed him a cupcake. Crazy it sounds, but it's a real true feeling.

I have another friend who has gone through the same thing as me, not as permanent but close. She gets it. But all she can do is what I did for her - pay attention. She had a similar situation where the ladies in her office wouldn't even invite her to lunch. They would walk past her and go. She was very hurt. I hope something hit them on the way out the door.

People are stupid. I am dumb. I get it. There's no way around it... oh wait there's that bottle of ....

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Never ask a woman how much she weighs...

I'm not 800 pounds I'm like 115...

Never ask a woman how much she weighs... it's insulting. Ask her what colors she likes, patterns and fabrics. Maybe even designers. 

Never assume I'm gonna crash your party to the ground. I will if you want... but I don't want that so I will laugh, giggle and dance just like you. 

But I can level the playing field in 2.3 seconds. 

Never think "she's covered she's got plenty of friends." I would love to be your bridesmaid. Really. All 10 weddings. Let's just find a dye-able dress. 

I am not bad luck to have around. 

I will be your pocket piece, your cardinal, hawk and dove. 

I love being alone but not 'alone' ... Give me the chance to turn your invite down cause I've already gotten one earlier. 

I do the best retail therapy sessions around. 

Don't say "call me anytime" and not mean it. That's disgusting. 

The one thing you gotta remember, this is like a bad debt hanging over my head, a foreclosure in the newspaper or a tailgater locking bumpers on a two lane road. But it's all in my head. It's not in yours. 
It follows me everywhere. It creeps up on me anytime. And sometimes, it makes me mad when I'm met with silence. That hurts more than "I'm so sorry... anything I can do?"

While I want to be treated like usual. I don't know what that is, but I do know is, I'd rather not be reminded of the stuff in my head out on the street. 

This will be hard. I know it will be. Even though holidays didn't mean much but laying around catching up on sleep and watching movies, it looks like I'm in the dark for a while. 

And by the way, let me bring it up, not you. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

If Patience is a virtue - then I'm a saint.

Thank God, I'm patient. Well sorta. I mean at times. Oh ok, only on Monday mornings between 9-11AM. After that it's sporadic til Thursday about 3PM then I am good til Saturday am.

These are things I am thinking about nowadays:

I am a young widow in waiting.
I am a 45 year old woman in waiting.
I hate the sound of it.
I hate the look of it.
"I am 45 year old widow."

Oh and did I set up that interview?
Did I run the dishwasher?
I wonder what Steed wants.... oops. sorry my bad.

Honestly -- I wish I was in heat.

These past few weeks have been filled with wonder as I wander about - you might see me at Target or the mall just loafing about. Or you might've seen me at Criminal Records or Goodwill trying to get a little bit of retail therapy in. OR better yet I have been spotted at the gym. Sweating my grief out.

Exercise and sleep. Out by 9pm up by 6AM... two times I went to bed at 6:30 - oh hell why am I telling you this?
Pity party?
Self Loafing?
Bored out of my gourd?

No. I am trying to find my footing. I am trying to make sure each foot is steady - left foot - right foot - head up - shoulders back - stomach in - oh wait, that's charm school drills.

What? Jill in charm school? Gasp!

So I put on the alarm on the house.
And  I wait,
And I think,
And I cry,
And I punch the pillows,
And I holler.

So what I am waiting on? Oh yeah, I'm still waiting on the answer of what took my husband... yeah. I am beginning to think it's a trick question. I am gonna start looking to the outliers for theories and hyperpole definitions. So I wait cause that's all I can do.

Open the garage door.
oh hell you get it.

You know, I have hugged alot of folks lately - I sure hope I smell ok, cause that's another story.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Visions of Sugarplums... smashed

Ask anyone if they could handle a huge setback or tragedy or death and they'd probably tell you no. 
People have told me I am brave, strong and have so much respect for how I am handling my husband's death. 
Well let me tell you: I am a survivalist, a realist and a hopeful-ist. 
I tend to go into a mindset that when things are going topsy- turvy, I can solve the problem, I can work it out and I can make it better.
Put this way, any knot in your necklace, I can take it out. 

I made Steed go to the Kaiser urgent care on January 1st to see what was going on and essentially saved his life. He went into a coma, mind you, but he got medical help. He was scared right before he was carted off to the nearest hospital for his eyes told me so. 
After he was admitted and I was told he was gonna be OK, I wasn't scared. I just handled it. 
I made my work schedule work around visiting him - even if it was at his bedside; I held phone meetings in the halls dodging nurses, texted clients from at the cafeteria and even had an argument in a Waffle House parking lot over bad grammar. I finally dropped the news that my husband was in the ICU with double pneumonia. That shut him up. 

I had to travel to Rome, GA to see Steed for he was undergoing trachea rehab. The whole trip took 3 hours with the 100 miles round trip. I went the scenic way so I could have something to look at.

Six weeks of constant thinking of how I am going to do this made me really tired one Saturday that I slept for about two hours in a chair at the ICU in Marietta. It was a hiding place for me. No one knew I was there. 

He told me all about his dreams he had while being under, he told me NOT to tell him anything from my end. He didn't want to know. Ignorance was bliss. 

If Steed was really feeling low, I'd have to separate my mind from his to let him explore his feelings. I couldn't go in and paint the walls yellow for him. He suffered from depression and many physical ailments that were probably hereditary or as simple as mind over matter - where his mind was distraught and so his body. He would joke half way of course, about his condition. He told a cop as we went backstage in Macon, that he was a serial killer. I glared at him. I didn't feel like bailing him out of jail. 

The picture above is the walkway from the parking lot to Kindred Hospital in Rome where he was for about 12 days. He fought the nurses to get home. He said he didn't like me being alone.  

I had turned off the TV for six weeks. I have no clue still how to the work the remote. That was his domain. But I can rewire a lamp.

My visions of sugarplums often were sprinkled with salt.

I protected him with my life against all the elements around him, sometimes even lied so he wouldn't feel bad or worse. People would criticize me for it. I made faces at the phone while they lectured me. I had my reasons and some I was able to get to understand it and to others it was a lost cause. 

At hotels and at home, he slept on the side of the bed nearest to the door so he could protect me from intruders. The last hotel we stayed in was in Athens - and I slept in front of him near the door. 

A client of mine, told me once, about having bad days awhile back;  "...sometimes you gotta crawl inside the sadness. Embrace it. Feel it. Then walk away." And that's what I am trying to do... maybe a few more 100 times than I anticipated.... 

I consider myself very blessed and lucky that I had him as a husband so that's what makes me strong, brave and able to take out the knot. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Throwing Plates Against The Wall...

Tonight a week ago was the last night my husband was alive. He wanted burgers over tacos and some cheesecake.
Typical cravings.
He was having a hard time relaxing that night so he kept the tv on and took a shower
Typical routine.
I got frustrated with all this and pulled the covers over my head to sleep.
Typical reaction.
He finally laid down, turned off his light and left the TV on
Typical give in.
I didn't wake up til late; made that decision two times until Ferdinand jumped on the bed
Typical feline action.
I saw he was sleeping. Good deal.
Typical reaction to a late night of restlessness.
I came down, put the coffee on, fed the cats and began to work.
Typical morning.
One time went up to get something, check on him - sleeping like a baby
Typical mid-morning.
Got back to some work and went up to see what he'd want to eat.
Typical 12:10PM
After that it wasn't typical at all.
All hell broke loose, men in cars came, cats ran in the other room under the shoe rack in the closet.
Called sister and my mom, called my client to remind him of interview and told another friend
who called another one, they called, he called - then the pens and paper were pulled out - officer this, EMT that, detective who? and the ME - who what where when how... all answered but why.
Medical Examiner said he was gone. He had been gone.
50. Too Young. On the mend from a coma, he was happy; we were happy.
This was a flurry that no one wanted. This was a storm no one wanted to hunkered down for. The umbrella? It was in the car. We didn't even have any batteries or back up plan. All we had was a new beginning and a fresh start.
Time was on our side.
We had plans.
We were going places. Memphis, Daytona and anywhere else.

Someone said it's funny how we watch the movies and they get results of a death in five mins, Dr House could solve it in one hour, and MASH took the whole war. I have to wait almost 3 months.
According to the Buddhist religion a deceased take about 100 days to travel around saying good bye and coming to terms with their transition. This is about the same time I will find out what took him.

Until then, I'm angry, sad, lonely, frustrated, pissed off ... I kiss your ashes in the box but I stick out with my tongue cause I am mad. I am furious with you so you better have a good excuse for this.

I love you Steed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Jubilee Riots Trying Times video

Jubilee Riots - Trying Times
Penny Black 
Artist: Steve Smith 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lucky for him, I am the best mean nurse in town.

This sick bug is about deadly.

All it took was about a month and a half in two hospitals, bottles of milk of amnesia (propofal), every antibiotic known to man and a tracheotomy. A central line, a picc line, a pee line and a food peg line. Every kind of test you could get on a human body. Oh a tiny weeny heart attack.

To find out he had pnuemonia.

He didn't know he was in some Lewis Carroll dream.

So I folded up like a pretzel in a chair in the ICU units to cat nap, working for sometimes 18 hours a day, walking from one end to another of the hospital. I texted his sister every time he moved. Held calls in the ICU halls, set up interviews in elevators and argued with future clients in Waffle House parking lots. None of my clients knew, for they were my sanity. Not many of my friends knew. I know I probably am making some of you mad, but I had to keep it close.

Hubby didn't wanna go anywhere that day. He didn't want to spend New Year's Eve at Kaiser's urgent care so we waited til Jan 1 still fought me on it. Finally he began look ashen and I said we're going. Last thing I told him was I love you.

He had to go Kennestone - the few minutes extra to KP approved Northside would've killed him.
The last thing the Kaiser doctor said was he's septic.
They sealed off his room for 5 days in case he was contagious. Just in case.
I went in anyways. I am a rebel you know.
The first thing the ICU nurse said, was he will be fine.
I knew how to read all the screens of all 15 machines in his room.

He didn't know he was in some Lewis Carroll dream.

The first and last thing I told him each time I saw him was I love you.
He had every machine in the room with him, a cooling blanket, boxing gloves to keep from pulling the cords out, he was a House episode, he was in MASH, he was in Dr Jane Medicine Woman, he was Robin Williams in Patches.

All roads lead to Rome right? MacLand to Hardy Parkway to Smith to 101 to Kindred in Rome, GA. They got him off the trachea and his lungs got better after just 10 days. Drove 100 miles a day.

But he was gonna be fine. So was I.

I sang to Mariah Carey's O Holy Night about every day for a month after Christmas.
When little things happened to him I listened to Joy to the World.
I turned off the TV for over a month. I read the news on Twitter.

He thought that Jan 15 was really Jan 3 - see he was in a medically induced coma for 15 days dreaming about Alice In Wonderland. Propofal is a wonder drug - for it makes you forget everything but dream about anything.

Next time you feel like you have the flu, you probably don't, you probably have bi-lateral pneumonia with a staph infection.

Lucky for him, I am the best mean nurse in town.