Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18th

He might come with the wind
He might tap on your window
and breeze through your door
he might walk in and spill his secrets all over you
like blood
on white carpet.
He might push his lips too close to your ear
And maybe run his hand too far up your leg.
He might come in like an earthquake
And shake you up
And break you down
And shatter the perfect house that you’ve built for yourself.
And at last you’d say
“Finally, I am awake,
Finally, I am alive!”

Take Me Home, Mr. Officer

I’d never sat in a police car before which is really rather shocking counting how many times I’d been caught drinking quite heavily before my twenty-first year. At any rate, I was finally invited into the back seat of a black and white. The door was opened and I gracefully slid in, hiccupping and talking too loudly about the sheer lack of comfort that the plastic seat failed to provide.
I was home from Los Angeles for a quick two week vacation—a retrieval of my mind and heart, the rebirth of my laughter. Also, my sister was due to pop with her little bastard. It was an emotional week that I was ready to spoon up and devour; I opened my mouth and invited every flavor in. And so, Saturday night rolled into sight and plans were made to take First Street.
First Street is quite an event…rather like walking back into high school and telling everyone to “Fuck off! You got Fat!” “Fuck off! You are still here!” And to the boy that I wasted four years of eye goggling at: “Fuck off! Can’t have me now!” All of this shouting while I flounce around in my cute little dress throwing hugs out like candy on Halloween. We girls are really such catty bitches but hey, it makes me feel good and I know I’m not alone because every time I fly home my dear cousin is sure to drive up and meet me in our hometown so we can do First Street together. We become a chorus line of Fuck Offs!
The Night had gone quite well, I can’t count how many “Fuck Offs! “ I had gotten to throw around that night but I know that my self esteem was soaring. Drinks had been bought, dances had been given, and last call had been called. Amos Otis (my darling cousin) and I stumbled into the night at which point things get hazy. An officer drove us home and let us pose against his car like pinup models of long ago. All this why he flashed his guns and his pearly whites. Only in Snohomish.
A week later, My mother and I found ourselves in the courtyard over a fire and under blooming clematis (which we are ought to do in the summer) and we were apparently playing our music a little too loudly (brought on by one too many glasses of red wine) and the old ears and old spirits of an unknown neighbor called us in. Noise Complaint. And guess who shows up to registrar said complaint; a blushing officer of the law.

The Introduction Of Ted

Ted lives in our cellar…
Wait, that is not a proper beginning.
Ted was born the year we moved to Snohomish. I had just entered second grade and was the new kid for the first time and there was no fitting in gracefully; I was a spot of red on a white wall. At my old school I was beloved and celebrated and when I announced that I’d be moving with my family to the next town over tears were shed and a giant party of showering gifts was given. I’ll admit that I was sad at my departure but mostly I was excited; these people knew me and they loved me this much, imagine being the new kid; everyone would want to be my friend. Naive little idiot.
I was Wednesday Adams dropped down into a Thomas Kinkaid painting. All the other eight year olds looked at me and knew right away that I wasn’t of the same cloth. “You’re not from around here, are you?” Brittany asked me one day. Maybe it was my cutoffs and flannels verses their pink stretchy leggings and Beauty and the Beast sweatshirts. Maybe because I never wore pigtails in my hair. Maybe because my mom dropped me off to school in our 74’ Volkswagen bus blasting the likes of Nirvana. It probably didn’t help that we moved into the towns infamous haunted house that sat perched on top of an overgrown hill. And then there came Ted.
For a week the local police who had very little to do took turns watching our house. 7am or 9 pm it didn’t matter one of their bejeweled white cars would be parked across the street with two sets of eyes pointed our way. Was he real? Were these people serious? Obviously they don’t belong here…general consensus around town. They almost seemed disappointed when fake cobwebs were stretched across our deck and pumpkins were carved and placed down our stairs. Okay, he’s fake but still it’s weird.
Ted looked much like the locals dressed in beat up denim and red plaid buttoned up to his chin. He was given shaggy untrimmed dirty blonde hair and his face wasn’t all that bad that first year. He even wore shoes which were hard to attach. And when he was stuffed full of the leaves that my mother had made us rake into giant piles he was splattered with blood and hung up high in a tree. Yes, it was weird.
The school bus crawled past our house every morning and every afternoon and it wasn’t long before it started to spread that we hung dead bodies. And then my mom was a witch and we were quite abnormal children. Everybody soon wanted the token freak as their friend. If I disappointed them by being a giggling eight year old like the rest of them they never told me besides, the sleepovers at my house were the best…we had a ghost that lived in the bell-tower.
October came and went and Ted was unstrung and packed up with the rest of the Halloween decorations and stuffed into our cellar where real spiders would make home inside of him. Between now and then his face would rot a little and the leaves that filled out his pants would dry and crumble and Ted would shrink into an emancipated corpse…no longer fresh.
Year two we were still given the eye but by the third Halloween the ceremonial hanging became quite expected. People asked for Ted. It was quite an honor to be invited over to rebuild Ted’s face or re-stuff Ted’s legs…forget hanging him…that was my brother’s job.
Time has lapsed and Ted has been refigured and rebuilt. He has had several different faces and worn multiple shirts. He has lost nearly all of his hair and in general looks much older. Sad how that happens to us…and I too have grown and changed. I live some 2000 miles away and my mother just called; Ted has been hung. The season has officially begun.

And So It Begins

I have promised myself that I will write every day. Regardless. I will tell the truth and also, I will embellish. I may even lie if it sounds good but know that this paper is mine and these words are mine. This is what I have to give.