Journal Entry Monday-Straddling the Horizon

copyright-Tracy Rhodes

Copyright-Tracy Rhodes Photography

When I drove in to work this morning, I felt like I was straddling the horizon. The sunrise to the East, and the moon to the West. Stars settled on my shoulder and whisked pixie dust through my hair. I knew I was being reborn.

The last 30 days have been quite remarkable. Where do I even begin? I guess, I’ll begin at the beginning….

On September 26, I drove a completely packed UHaul to my new apartment. After I signed the lease and got the keys, I started lugging boxes. My friends arrived a couple of hours later and helped me drag the furniture up one flight of stairs. J bitched about having to drag the sofa bed up a flight. But with the help of my BFF’s teenage son, they got it moved with nary a broken fingernail between them. As a thank you, I took my moving crew out to dinner at a local Coney Island. The food was cheap and good. Our conversation lively and full of laughter. After the plates were cleared and the bill settled, I hugged my friends and headed home, alone.

Alone, that was what I wanted to be. I smiled at the prospect of it. The sense of it too. I’d never been alone my entire adult life, but I was anxious to begin my journey. After I arrived back at my place, I slipped a DVD into the player (Pretty in Pink) and started to unpack my treasures. Working tirelessly till about 1 am, I finally collapsed on my sofa bed and slept the sleep of the dead.

The next morning, I dragged my sleepy ass off the couch and drove to my local AT & T store. Seems my smart phone took a shit in the middle of the night so I had to get it replaced. Nick, my sales rep noticed my anxiety about the replacement fee of 250.00. He graciously waived it, set me up and shoved me out the door before 10 am when the cable/internet installer was to arrive at my apartment. Wonder of wonders, the cable guy showed up on time and I had cable and internet before noon. Thank God, because there is no way in hell I could live without Facebook or Word Press for more than 24 hours!

I won’t bore you with more details of settling in. Suffice is to say that it was pretty uneventful. A few leaks in the bathroom needed to be tended to by maintenance. My kitty, Cinders came to live with me. She’s a happy camper and good company. I hear from my children and ex-husband on a regular basis, and we’re all adjusting to the new ‘normal’.

Friends have wanted to come visit. I’m okay with it, but I enjoy my solitude. The quiet is welcoming and I let it envelope me. I read, write, shop, sleep, and buy my own flowers. I relish the times away, and revel in the time spent with myself. I’ve gotten the hang of budgeting my time and money. When my children call on me, I drop everything and go to them. It’s easier now to be a good mother without the rain cloud of unhappiness that used to follow me everywhere.

Roger Darling and I will always have a connection. We will be a family because we are parents to the two most incredible human beings I’ve ever known. Our Adam Boy and Meggie need us to be on the same team, even if we don’t live under the same roof. Our grown children may have suffered a setback or two with the newness of this life. But I think they’re getting the hang of it.

I’ll continue to broaden and straddle that new horizon, every damn day that I have the good fortune to wake up. To make heart connections, and make new friends. Who knows, maybe someday with God’s good grace a new man will enter my life. One that will love me with all my brokenness. He’ll place his hand on the shattered pieces, making me stronger than I’ve ever been. I’ll hold his hand, and we’ll walk that horizon together.

Until then, I’ll enjoy the solitariness. And live. Maybe I’ll even go to London. In the springtime. I bet it’s lovely that time of year. I have to research a book. A tragic romance. About a young writer that falls for a drug addicted poet…….

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Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Woman in WoodsNot all who wander are lost….-J. R. R. Tolkien

I awoke at nine last Sunday morning intent on spending at least an hour in bed reading a book that Harry recently gave me titled, Telling True Stories. Seems he’d found it in the bargain bin at a bookstore (Harry is a very, shall we say, thrifty man.) and knew that I would adore reading it.

As I snatched the book from the nightstand, my text alert chimed. Seems my young friend Cami needed me to check in on the animals where she was house sitting.   After my positive reply, I put the book back with plans to read a chapter or two before bed that night.

Once showered and dressed, I set out on my adventure. Travel to Plymouth, a little town east of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The fall day was flawless and the sun shimmered with an unusual brightness for this time of year. My left hand lightly gripped the steering wheel. The diamonds in my thumb ring,  displayed tiny prisms that danced around and dazzled my eyes. I chose not to wear my sunglasses. I wanted to delight in the radiance of the day.

Acoustic Brunch on 107.1 was tuned in on my car stereo, and Serena Ryder sang about a Brand New Love. I depressed the automatic window button and let the wind rush through my freshly washed hair. I cared not that it was in disarray. Humming along with Serena, I felt such stillness in my heart. Contentment too, and dare I say, happiness.

I zoomed past trees full of vibrant color. Blazing crimson, and dazzling lemon and gold. Various colors of orange, like apricot and titian. The life of some of the leaves had expired and were the color of dust. Had I stopped and run my fingers through the branches, the leaves would have crumbled at my touch. My sky-blue eyes devoured every sight, and my ears received every song as if it were communion. I felt as if the gate to my life was finally open.

I displayed no symptoms of anxiety and panic disorder. There was nothing to stop me from arriving at my destination. I’d never been there before, but didn’t care. The quote, ‘not all who wander are lost’ came to mind and I began to beam, like the reflected light emanating from my thumb ring.

I exited M-14 and traveled from Ford Road to my destination. Of course, I got lost. Twice! Yet there was no fear to prickle the hairs on the back of my neck. I just went with it, and continued to smile and sing.

When I arrived at my destination, I was wildly greeted by two of the cutest dogs I had ever seen.  My spirits soared as they frolicked around my feet. They wanted nothing more than to be loved on, fed and walked. I did all of those things for them. In return, they gave me a reason to view the fall colors liked I’d never seen them before. With freedom. Without fear. With wild abandon.

Tunesday-Across the Universe

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Words are flowing out like
Endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
Are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me.

Lucy walked into Starbucks last night and stood before me. For a few moments we didn’t say anything. I hadn’t seen my young twin in almost a year, and here she was. Dark haired, with eyes painted like a classic pinup girl and hair cut and colored like Betti Page. I held her close and took in the familiarity of her form. Statuesque and bony from her straight edge life-style and vegan eating habits. I hugged her for as long as she’d let me. We ordered coffee and the blab fest began.

Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Lucy can be a scared rabbit and it’s hard for her to let people in. Me, she let into her life and shared everything with wild abandon. I was her spiritual sister. Her older twin. She’d often ask if we could build a time machine and rig it somehow so that we could forward and backward in time and become the same age. I told her not to worry, I’d plan on living with her when I was old and we’d do all the crazy things we’d ever discussed. With fear in her eyes, she’d say that the world would never be able to handle it.

Images of broken light, which
Dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe.
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe.

I spoke to her of changes in my life. That I was separating from Roger Darling. She shared that she was moving to another state for a great job opportunity. Her long-term relationship was in transition too. We caught up on all of our secrets, fears and even told each other dirty jokes. Hey, we are strong willed and smart women with filthy, dirty minds. At one point I laughed so loudly, I swear they could hear me in the next county.

Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Lucy spoke of anxieties about moving away and all the steps she had to take to get settled. She was freaking out, but I assured her everything would be all right. All of the little pieces would fall into place. That the universe would align and all would be well. As our conversation commenced, Across the Universe by The Beatles drifted through the air. It was cosmic I tell ya. Fucking cosmic. Like it was meant to happen.

Sounds of laughter, shades of life
Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me.
Limitless undying love, which
Shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on across the universe

Four hours later, our conversation was still going strong, but my long day was catching up to me. It was time for me to head home. We wandered out into the parking lot. As we hugged each other tightly, we promised to meet again before she left for good. I looked at her, and our history flashed through my busy mind. Even in the bitter yellow of the shitty street light, she looked fabulous.

Lucy and The Sparkly Girl, our universes have realigned, and the puzzle pieces are finally in place.

Jai Guru Deva.
Jai Guru Deva.
Jai Guru Deva.
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Quoteful Thursday-Boris Pasternak

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I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled.

Their virtue is lifeless and it isn’t of much value.

Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them.

Boris Pasternak

I know I haven’t written anything lately. I haven’t stuck to my format either. Life is crazy, crazy, crazy. So here’s a quote for Thursday. I promise that I’m writing a story for Friday Fictioneers. It’s a sad one, because that’s what I write best.

Sometimes words dry up, or I stop giving a shit. Or the family I’ve been trying to keep together for 24 years finally falls apart because of me. I would rather beg for forgiveness of my children than write a journal entry or post a Tunesday entry.

Maybe I’m trying to stay sober and need to write out my fourth step. That’s more important than writing about romance. I love the written word, but ‘writer’ is only one of the many names I bear. Today I’d rather be a mother, daughter, friend, employee, etc.

I’d like to hide, but I won’t. I’d like to go running, but I’m out of shape.

I’m not asking for pats on the back or kind words. I don’t want to be told it will be all right, because it won’t.

Tonight, I’ll drive home while music blares on the radio. I’ll be chair dancing and singing along. When I arrive, there will be dogs barking and warm kisses from Wonder Schnauzers and Baxter my grand dog. Roger Darling will be there with a cup of coffee and conversation. Dinner will commence and dishes will be done. I might pack a few of my things up before I head to bed.

During the night after I head to the bathroom for the third time, I’ll snuggle back down in bed and listen to the silence.  I’ll pray that the next time I fall, I don’t take my whole family down with me.

Amen.

I Don’t Get Along With Women Typically

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“I don’t get along with women typically.” -Duchess Bella Lynn De’Lioncourt
Baroness Jade Mira
House of Vega

Last Monday night I sat at a table at Dan’s Tavern with my BFF of 30 years. There were three other women sitting with us. The one seated to my right and I were jabbering away and having a great time. We laughed a lot even though we weren’t particularly close in high school. My BFF was seated to my left. She shook her head at me from time to time while listening in on the conversation that I was having with my new but old friend to my right.

I looked at my BFF of 30 years and stated, ‘I’m a lot like you ya know. Quiet, reserved. A wallflower.’

Her reply, ‘Renee, you’re about as much of a wallflower as an earthquake.’

My BFF of 30 years, new but old friend, the two other women at the table and I laughed until we were nearly in hysterics. BFF was right, I am about as subtle as an earthquake. When I’m in my element. On Monday night, I was not. I still harbor resentment for my hometown and the people I went to high school with. I didn’t fit in then. Don’t now, but that’s okay. It was fun to sit and chat anyway. To get to know someone that I kind of knew. To have them get to know me.

As we were talking I shared a story about an old boyfriend of mine named Brian H. He was the only ‘jock’ I ever went out with in high school. I was a ‘stoner’, ‘drama’, ‘singer’, ‘actor’ girl. The girl who sang in choir, talked too loud, and read books. I didn’t go out with jocks. But Brian, he was nice. And he liked me. He asked me out and I said yes. We dated off and on. Eventually we started ‘going together’. He gave me his baseball shirt to wear. I was a curvy girl, but he was a big guy, so I kinda swam in it. It was the 80’s, I put a belt around my waist and cinched that sucker as tight as I could. I was so proud to be his girl.

One night he took me to a party to meet his friends. I was scared to death. Me, the force of nature that fears nothing was afraid! I was out of my element and I didn’t have my BFF with me. The only girl I’ve ever trusted with my life. I had Brian though, so I hoped I’d be okay. It was so long ago, I don’t even remember where the party was. As we walked to the front door, the hairs prickled on my neck. Brian slipped his hand into mine and gripped it firmly. When we walked in, I smiled at the girls as they looked at me with disdain. We said our hellos and walked to the part of the house where Brian’s friends were. With the boys I felt at ease. Not because of my boobs, ass or what I had between my legs. But because I could drink, cuss, and shoot the shit with them. It was Brian’s turn to be proud of me. He loved the fact that I was not a girly girl.

New but old friend said, ‘you were the fun girl that’s why Brian loved you, and that’s why the guys got along with you.

Yes, but I’ve always gotten along better with men than I have women’, I replied. ‘I could also drink them under the table too.’

BFF and new but old friend laughed. I teared up a little and began to speak as I pointed to my left, ‘My closest friends have always been men, but that woman right there has been my best friend for 30 years. I would trust her with my life and with every secret that I have to tell. She has never judged me and I’ve never judged her. When life falls apart and turns to shit for either one of us, we turn to each other. I love her beyond measure.’

BFF’s eyes misted over and the rest of us at the table were silent.

‘Now it’s time to let all that old stuff go’, my BFF said.

The unshed tears in my eyes dried and I gave a radiant smile. I realized that she was right, it was time to let it go.

BFF and I know we’ll love each other till we’re dead. Seeing as we both believe in the hereafter, we’ll love each other there too. I don’t know if I’m good enough to get into Heaven, but she is. The woman should be sainted.

As for Brian and me, we broke up. I was the one that broke his heart. I don’t even know where he is.

Even at the age of 45, I find that most of my friends are men. There’s Roger Darling, Harry, Rory, Biker Dude, My Little Work Brothers, my nephews, and even a few from Across The Pond.

Laura calls me an earthquake but she is a volcano. And when the two of us combine, we are a force to be reckoned with.

Sometimes God Sits on a Stoop

Homeless-Veteran-Sign1Wounded Warrior Project

Please click the link above and give what you can. PLEASE!

I saw the face of God in a young homeless man in Detroit City last Saturday afternoon. He was sitting in the doorway of an abandoned building. The concrete was blazing hot, even in the shade. I couldn’t imagine the discomfort he felt while dressed in fatigue pants and a white cotton shirt.

We made eye contact and said hello to one another. With a smile shared, I knew he was a good man.  I was entranced by his features almost immediately. His face was young but hardened by life. His eyes were exquisite in their beauty. Arms, sinewy and covered with tats. Hands with long fingers should have been trained to tickle the ivories in a jazz joint.

I turned my face to the right and looked at the remnants of an abandoned building.

“They really should tear that down,” he said.

“Why hon? It’s a part of history, just like all of the surrounding buildings are,”  I said.

“I guess you’re right.”

“Nah-”

My reply was cut short by a mouthy and street smart, yet delicate woman that spoke rudely to the young vet.

“Get a job you fucking faggot,” she yelled at the homeless man.

“Hey Gwen,” he said back to her.

We laughed, even though I cringed when Gwen called the vet that word, faggot. That’s one I will never, ever say out loud.

Roger and I continued to enjoy the festivities before the Jimmy Buffett concert at Comerica Park. We laughed at all the drunk people, and how folks were dressed. So many men wore grass skirts and coconut bras. As for some of the women, I wondered if they’d checked a mirror before they left the house. I felt bad for them, really I did.

We sat in our seats as the sun slipped behind the metal girders at the highest point of the stadium. The breeze began to dry my clammy skin. Jimmy began to sing about Caribbean Islands, but my mind went back to the young man sitting in the doorway of an abandoned building.

We left the concert early. Can you believe it? We paid over $100.00 for each ticket, but we left early!

“Do you want to go home?”, Rog inquired.

“No, I’d rather sit at the bar at Cheli’s and listen to the music,” I retorted.

What I really wanted to do was go back and find the man that I had talked to earlier in the day. I wanted to know his story. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t brought a pen or paper with me.

“Can we go look for that guy?”, I asked as we walked back to the car.

“Really Renee?”, Rog sighed.

“Yup.”

“He won’t be there.”

“Yeah, he will.”

In my heart, I believed he would be. See, he was my glimpse of God for that day. I knew he’d be there. We drove past the doorway and there he sat. I pulled my unopened water bottle from the car cup holder. Unfortunately, it was all I had to offer him. Roger barely had the car in park, before I dashed out of the car.

I walked up to the young man and he eyed me cautiously. Without hesitation I sat down next to him and handed him the water bottle.

“Hi, I saw you earlier today.” I smiled as I spoke to him, “We discussed the building that should be demolished.”

“Oh yeah.” He shook my hand. “Hi, again.”

“I brought you a water. Unfortunately, it’s all of I’ve got to give you today.”

“Thank you. I’m parched.”

He flicked his cigarette out and grabbed the water. I swear he drank it in one gulp. I briefly told him my story, that I wanted to tell his. Of course, I was traveling light that day. I had no paper or pen. There we sat, me in a dress and *Curt in fatigues on dirty concrete. He let his words flow and I slowed my ADHD brain down so I could retain every word he said.

Originally from Michigan, he shuffled back and forth from the Mitten to Tennessee when he was a kid. At the tender age of 18, he signed up for the Army. The young man served in Fallujah in ’05 and ’09 and came home with nothing. Once discharged from the service, he went to live with his dad.

Curt’s father died last August. The cause of death left a mystery to me. He left that home and with his meager savings bought himself a house in the D.  It burned down, taking all of his possessions with it. With no homeowner’s insurance he was fucked. Curt took what he had left and lived out of a duffel bag.

The embarrassment of his living situation, deters him from telling his grandparents. Curt’s eyes showed sorrow as he spoke sweetly of them. I asked if he wanted me to call and tell them. He shook his head no, despondently.  I turned my face from his so he wouldn’t see me cry.

We talked more about VA Hospitals and how he had been stabbed at the one in Detroit. My heart lurched when he showed me the scars. I told him to get to the one in Ann Arbor. He assured me that he had an appointment next week that he wasn’t about to miss.

I wanted to sit there all night and talk to him. I wanted to give him more than a bottle of water. I wanted to pray with him. I wanted to give him the price of my concert ticket. I wanted to give him back his youth. I wanted to drive him to a homeless shelter. I wanted to give him some kind of fucking relief.

“Curt I have to go, but I’ll come back.” I told him. “Are you usually sitting on this stoop?”

“It’s okay Renee,” he replied. “I’m only here during big events. I’m usually outside the MGM Grand Casino.”

“Do you have a phone? Can I call you?”

“Yes I do, but I ran out of minutes. Try me in a couple of days though.”

I saved his number in my phone.

Gripping Curt’s shoulder I said, “Thank you so much for your service, you gave us everything including your youth.”

His eyes misted over, and he whispered, “you’re welcome. See you soon Renee. Thanks for your time and the water.”

As I stepped away from my new friend, I wondered where the hell Roger was. I exited the car so quickly he hadn’t even found a place to park. I looked to my left and saw him wave. I walked the few feet to the car and as I opened the door, welcomed the coolness of the air conditioned interior. I thanked Rog for driving me over to meet the young man I had talked to earlier in the day.

The ride home was quiet. I thought hard on my conversation with Curt. I was so glad I went back to talk to him. I’ll try to call him in a couple of days. I’ll be very sure to go see him in a couple of weeks. I promised him I would. He was my glimpse at God that day. I’m sure he will be again.

*’Curt’ asked me not to use his real name, but I’m not above telling you where he frequently panhandles. If you see him, give him a little something. 

Quoteful Thursday-I’m Constantly Explaining Myself

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I am constantly explaining myself to almost everyone in my life. It’s exhausting. I just want to be loved for who I am, not what you need me to be. I am human, and I am flawed. I am woman, but more than that. I am a writer, lover, whore, mother, saint, sinner, and child. I am love.
–Renee Heath–

Sir Dorian Vega of  The House of Vega, a society and culture page on Facebook took a comment of mine and posted it as a quote. I was incredibly honored that he thought enough of what I had written to do so. It was shared 13 times by people all over the world. That means that maybe, just maybe today someone thousands of miles away from my little corner of the world is sharing the words that I wrote. Maybe, just maybe, they are being read and changing the life of someone that feels the same way I do, sometimes. Maybe, just, maybe.

Love and kisses my friends.

Sparkly Girl

I Still Call it Pine Knob

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This slogan is emblazoned on a t-shirt that you can find on the Down With Detroit website. The outdoor concert venue is now called DTE Energy Music Theater, but anyone that has attended a concert there since it opened in 1972 has called it the Knob. There is theater seating. I’ve never sat there though. I’ve always chosen the lawn. There’s nothing like standing at the gates waiting for them to open, ticket and blanket in hand.

The first time I attended a concert there, it was with my daddy. He got free tickets from one of his state trooper buddies, I’m sure. We saw Eddie Rabbit and Juice Newton. Don’t you dare judge me, I was a kid and had no idea what good music was yet. The night was warm and the crowd, huge. We left before the encore though, as Daddy always had to beat the traffic.

I saw Bob Seger there in 1985. I danced on the hill with my boyfriend at the time and my BFFs from high school. When Bob sang the song Main Street, I screamed, ‘hey, I know where that’s at.’ I was such a dork.

In 1988 I saw Guns and Roses, and Aerosmith. Holy shit that was a great night! All I remember was lots of beer and great music. Gina and I danced like maniacs and ran around chasing boys. Aerosmith put on a spectacular show, and Steven Tyler while nothing to look at, had an incredible voice. Yes, Axl Rose was crazy, but his voice was meant to be that of an 80’s rock god.

I took my kids to see the Barenaked Ladies in 1998. They were seven and eight years old. I warned them that there may be people drinking and smoking pot. That there would probably be a few people making out and otherwise acting stupid. I explained that I wasn’t going to shield them from real life.

I stood on the hill with the kids and my nephew, the lights went up and the band took the stage. Of course, people starting sparking joints all around us. Meggie yelled, ‘Mommy, someone is smoking pot!’ All I could do was laugh and move her closer to me. We danced and sang every tune. I was spending time with my kids at Pine Knob. Fuck the fact that the proverbial they were now calling it the DTE Energy Music Theater.

On July 6th, 2013 Roger Darling, Meggie, Kylie and I sat on the hill. We were surrounded by at least 25,000 other souls. We took in the sights and sounds of the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20. The tickets were 25.00. A steal in this economy.

As the sun set, the air became redolent with the sweet smell of weed. I don’t smoke it anymore, but I did take a quick intake of breath as the scent wafted in the wind around me. Roger laughed when I turned around and waved my hands at the kids behind us and signaled to them to blow their second hand smoke my way. They looked up at me sheepishly, but I just smiled and told them to have fun.

Matchbox 20 started playing the song 3 A.M. I swayed to the beat and sang the words at the top of my lungs. I looked to my right and one of the cute young men behind me passed me his joint. I was so damn tempted to take the hit, but I declined. I smiled my best smile, whirled around and continued to sway to the passionate voice of Rob Thomas.

After the encore, we made the slow jaunt over the hill and back to the car. The reverb jostling our eardrums and the fresh memories of our night falling from our lips. Yes, it will always be Pine Knob. The name alone holds a certain nostalgia for so many of us Michiganders.

Tunesday-Summertime Sadness

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My brother Troy P.  at As Long as I’m Singing, told me that my blog lacks direction. Doesn’t he know by now that I like to fly by the seat of my pants? I like to write whatever the fuck falls out of my blonde head. In this case, I’ve relented and decided to take his advice.

I will do my level best to follow the format outlined below. I’m sure I’ll throw in some other stories and poems from time to time. As you know, I like to shake things up a bit.

Please follow Troy. I love his stories, and I know you will too.

Journal Entry Mondays

Tunesdays

Romantic Wednesdays

Famous Quote Thursdays

Friday Fictioneers

(now to figure out how the hell to make my menus appear across the top of my page. I swear I’m getting too old for this shit!)

Today I’m featuring the song, Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey. Though I’d like to elaborate on the song meaning, I can’t. I’m pressed for time as this is a short work week.

Don’t forget I still love it when followers send me pictures. It’s fun to write stories to photo prompts and see how close I get to the real story.

Love you all so very much!!!

Memories of The Guggenheim

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When I visited the Guggenheim a few years ago, we were told not to photograph the glass ceiling. They said we could buy a postcard in the gift shop. Me being the rebel I am, took the shot anyway. There was some satisfaction in pulling it off without anyone knowing what I was up to. My Adam Boy knew. He was mortified, and  sure I was going to jail. I assured him I wasn’t going to jail if I was caught. I was creating a memory. Of the glass ceiling, rebellion and my son.

After I took the photograph, I ran up the ramps of the museum. I was morbidly obese at the time, so running wasn’t that easy. I kept up though. I commented on sculptures that looked like copper vaginas and how we could’ve skateboarded down the ramps as we perused the ‘art’.

We tried to lunch there, but it was all gourmet. Our kids wanted McD’s. Hell, Kathy and I did. Yummy french fries with lots of salt. We walked blocks for them. Passed homeless people and gobs of construction.

We arrived at the Golden Arches and I swear, I heard the singing of angels as we opened the doors and walked inside. I was covered in the sweet smell of grease from hot fryers. I took in the scent of burgers and I knew I was home. It was like sex. That smell.

The kids and us chaperones ordered our food on the main level and then wandered up the two flights of stairs to nosh. Oh what sweet heaven those salty fries were. The decadent flavor of that 1.00 burger. Mmmmmmm.

Wandering back to the Guggenheim, I wondered, could I ever fit in here? In the city that never sleeps? No. My home is in a small state shaped like a mitten. No matter how much I dream, my heart belongs here. As does my family, friends, and life. I can’t imagine a better state to be from. I just can’t.