Monday, May 8, 2017

What Cannot Be Understood

What Cannot Be Understood

By Shaire Blythe

Fire me into the burning skies, sooted in coal dust.
Watch me soar, a radiant glow and continue
even as the blackness becomes consuming.

Back on earth, I must light the candle to see
what I’m fighting for, or turn on
the light when dusk approaches.

I’ve heard pathways have a track
that leads to predetermined fates.
We have the choice to water the seeds
planted along the side or let the itty-bitty
sprouts remain buried under soiled dirt.
Not even the water that trickles
from the clouds, like spewed out
diamonds can breach the shell,
propelling flowers to bloom.

I track the crumbs left for me to devour
and fire the hands that know no callouses.
For they only misunderstand my hunger
to be enlightened and meditate with Buddha in Zen gardens.

Most seem to bench thoughts before their advancement,
swerving to avoid blows of gods and goddesses.
They are the ones who moon the passerby
in the daylight screaming “Fuck this,” ‘cause fuck it.
Some might find themselves in handcuffs
being pushed to trial, but they’ll show
the consequence isn’t what was expected—
if any consequence at all.

If the moon had all five senses, it would chuckle
out a jolly laugh along with the beat of my own.
It would see a lonely bench in the park
next to the thicket of woods lost to some and loved by others—
a perfect location to be given a trial,
a snippet of releasing my sorrows of breathing.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Root from Which Wives Came

The Root from Which Wives Came

By Shaire Blythe

The root from which wives came is more than a thousand "I love yous" on a single page contorted to avoid the collision of o's with u's, yet still finding that not every aversion can be missed.

Such things leave behind the remnants of crimson dust leading to a point that becomes a blur with the passing of one—four year anniversaries and necks within the loop of nooses.

They could've killed the wives.

Eyes veiny, reaching out in desperate pleas to be released,
no words to choke out. Even if they could've, an answer to a call had the capacity to mosey by fellow ears, tuned out to the screams between bedroom walls.

Mothers before applied the permanent solution—boys will be boys.
Boys will wrestle in the dirt, letting the gooeyness spoil their ripped jeans and crust in their hair.
They'll reach for their toy guns and point them in girls' faces screaming, "Stop right there, or I'll shoot."
Wives have to be quiet upstairs while they listen to another wife being torn limb to limb downstairs.
It's okay—it's what must be done.
Obey.

Rooms are rearranged and brightened to keep the air from being stale, masking a vault from itself.
But the wives will always be given a solid reason to wear black.
Their hoarse voices don't align with the silent declaration, "Just do it, just fucking end me already" as fists draw back and land on destinations meant to be sacred.

Wives envision dancing a warrior's dance, feet pounding in the dirt. But visions are more frequent than actions, because they might've creeped to the first drawer in the kitchen by now and introduced the steak blade to hairy chests.

Wives minds rattles in conscious argument, when husbands pull back in disgust after caressing their faces just a minute ago, declaring there could never be another.
It was the dress this time—it's above the knee.
It's the breasts poking out of the top of a V-neck. Some turtleneck must be better or a wool jacket on a seventy-five-degree day.

Rita Hayworth with her long glove-covered arms and black dress contouring to each hip bone and lumps of mounded flesh must have really gotten it worse then.
Her hips on the dance floor had swayed, dipped and grinded at the amusement of Glenn Ford, as long as no one else was around to see.

Wives want to release a blast of a belch out of them, hard like a familiar fist to level the playing ground of torture.
Rage is one house visit away from the next one and the next one.
Girl scouts could go down a whole block and find wives behind doors seemingly open, but closed to the public.

Wives want to warn them to leave the block and never look back. Take their cookies with them. See the pain in dead irises and do whatever you have to to never end up on the block again.

Wives hope the girl scouts would firmly turn, fixing their eyes on the horizon, their cookies trailing behind in a cart.
The girl scouts' souls might be mad for today, but they would thank the wives later.

------------------------------------------------------
Revision:



Roots from which wives came--
more than a thousand "I love yous" on a single page,
contorted to avoid collisions of o's with u's, 
yet sill finding not every aversion can be missed.

Remnants of crimson dust are left behind,
leading to points that become a blur.
One--four year anniversaries pass with time,
and necks hang within the loop of nooses.

They could've killed the wives.

Eyes bulging out in desperate pleas--
no words to choke out. 
If they could've, an answer to a call knew how to mosey right on by, 
tuned out to screams between bedroom walls.

Mothers before applied the classical tune--boys will be boys.

Boys will wrestle in the dirt,
the gooeyness spoiling ripped jeans and crusting in their hair.
They'll reach for toy guns, point them in girls' faces screaming, 
"Stop right there, or I'll shoot."

Wives are quiet upstairs, 
listening to other wives being torn limb to limb downstairs.
It's okay--it must be done.
Obey.

Rooms are rearranged, brightened to keep the air from being stale, masking a vault from itself.
But the wives will always be given a solid reason to wear black.
Their hoarse voices can't align with silent declarations, 
"Just do it, just fucking end me already" 
as fists draw back, land on sacred destinations.

Wives envision dancing a warrior's dance, 
feet pounding in the dirt.
But visions are more frequent than actions--
none have crept to the first drawer in the kitchen,
introducing the steak blade to hairy chests.

Wives minds rattle in conscious argument, 
as husbands pull back in disgust.
It was the dress--it's above the knee.
It's the wives breasts poking out of the top of her V-neck. 
Turtlenecks must be better on a seventy-five degree day.

Rita Hayworth with her long glove-covered arms,
black dress contouring to hip bones and lumps of mounded flesh 
must have gotten it worse.
Her hips had swayed on the dance floor, 
dipped and grinded at the amusement of Glenn Ford.

As long as no one else was around to see.

Wives want to release a blast of a belch, 
hard like a familiar fist to level the playing ground of torture. 
Rage is one house visit away from the next.
Girl scouts could go down a whole block, 
find wives behind doors seemingly open.

Wives want to warn them to leave the block--
take their cookies with them. 
See the pain in dead irises,
do whatever to never end up on the block again.

The wives hope the girl scouts would firmly turn, 
fixing their eyes on the horizon, cookies trailing behind in a cart.
The girl scouts' souls might be mad for today, 
but they would thank the wives later.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Jumping From The Pier


Jumping from the Pier

By Shaire Blythe
February 13, 2017

Lightning flashes across the night sky
like the purple heavens are crashing down around us;
but locked tight into your embrace,
my mind has been put at ease.

Panama's sand sinks underneath
the weight of our feet,
and the turbulence of dark
waters caress the shore.

I'd never known a breeze to
be crisp and cuddly, and
maybe I enjoy its hold more
than what your arms
are capable of.

Evoking those hidden tendencies
of your eyes widening in fear
and prepping your fist to impact
your chipped walls has never
been my intention.

So just for this moment,
I will laugh from my gut and carry
us into the silent storm,
stealing a glance over my shoulder
at the candlelit pier we started from.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Say It


Say It

By Shaire Blythe
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Say it, whatever it is you must release
Forget my feelings, they're gonna be damaged anyway
I'm just over the waiting for you to make your move, the one we know is coming
Testing me out, to see how far I'll let your game go
You're better off leaving me alone
There's plenty of others out there, we know, that will be down
I just can't see the same way, not anymore

Cause once you see, you can't unsee
Once that shit gets to your soul, you realize what's not needed
Tired of all the stressing, making us complicated
Say that I'm complicated, when I could care less if you hate me,
Just say it

And I'll be gone
A blemish on your charts that strive for perfection
I don't know perfection
I know the constant changes
I know the love for the moment
I know the men pretending
I know what it means to be manipulated

Still given the benefit of the doubt
Fuck the ones I started off with in the beginning
I'm just trying to see if I can ride for you
Trying to see what puts you in your moods
My bad for communicating
Guess I should just jump to conclusions
Blame me when we have to face the music
Usually I would just take the blows with the confusion,
I can't anymore

Cause once you see, you can't unsee
Once that shit gets to your soul, you realize what's not needed
Tired of all the stressing, making us complicated
Say that I'm complicated, when I could care less if you hate me,
Just say it

At least you would be honest
Putting on these faces when I just want honesty
Didn't know it was so much to ask for
Thought that not hiding would give the greatest release
Guess we don’t see the same

Cause once you see, you can't unsee
Once that shit gets to your soul, you realize what's not needed
Tired of all the stressing, making us complicated
Say that I'm complicated, when I could care less if you hate me,
Just say it

Friday, April 21, 2017

Never Hurts


Never Hurts

By Shaire Blythe
Monday, March 3, 2017

You know, darling
I told you so

Don't forget about me
I'll be waiting

It's been a long, long time
Tried to get you out my mind
But I've been deprived

If you really knew how much I tried,
Tried to be the good girl
But you make me wanna lose her
And never return

If they come to save me
They only would hurt themselves
My whole world is changing
But this never hurts
No, it never hurts me

Give it to me one more time,
You know what I want

No need for a disguise
We're on the same level

These other guys come in and out my life
I have no expectations
But you have my world shaking
I won't let you know, but I know it shows

These fortified walls could all come crashing down
One single touch, one single look
I really don't want to stick around
I don't wanna witness our disaster

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sandcastle

Sandcastle

By Shaire Blythe
February 20, 2017

A child lives in his own sandcastle along crested waves
that come to life each time dawn emerges
from the edge of the blue expanse,
and he drags out stars and coral fish,
whispering, "What shall I do with you?"

He lets the creatures free, to roam the waters that sing
sweet lullabies of treasures buried and lost
at the hands of mystified explorers who had calmly
stroked their beards, smelling of greasy layers of six month filth.

Delicate breasts had once known the comfort of the child,
swaying him as the seagulls elegantly soared above,
circling a temporary spot as they waited for him
to rise to his feet and inch closer to the sea.

Waves tickled the tip of his toes and
he had stopped, uncertain about how far was enough,
and no one had cried out that seagulls weren't to be trusted
and to linger on the sand was a safe haven.

A child lives in his own sandcastle along the crested waves,
that cannot be seen by the eyes of the bikini-clad beachgoers
and stationed lifeguards in wooden towers,
only coming to life each time dawn emerges.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Collected Silhouettes

Collected Silhouettes

By Shaire Blythe
March 1, 2017

I shiver from the lies that trip from his lips, spilling like honey from his tongue, and I'm left alone in this narrow cavern of madness. Silhouettes prey among the walls, my bones are warped, insecure--and all I require are his arms to brace me for the splatter of my body against jagged boulders that await below--but how insane of me, because I am forced into my own straightjacket, rocking back and forth, knowing that another will soon accompany me while he saunters away, daintily whistling to the tune of his own voices that prey upon the girls who drop change to the homeless men under the awning of corner stores and gently cradle his head into her chest as he braces to flip a chair, irrationally cursing at a criticism he cannot bear to hear--but he only takes his collection to the shadows after the phone calls made just to hear their voice and sweet kisses on the forehead to feign rationality that was never there.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fall In Line

Fall In Line

By Shaire Blythe
Monday, March 27, 2017

I've learned we're all looking for that one thing,
Bound to get it one way or another
Even if it's just for a moment,
Still gotta have that something
Whatever it may be
Whatever it may lead to

Jumping from one train to another
You don't really mean it when you say you know how to be alone
Even sometimes I get tired of being ghost
Power to drive the sanest insane
Make 'em take up different faces
But they'll come back to the same place

A cycle maybe we can or cannot see
Really, we're not as different as we claim
Did some shit that made you hurt
Next one come, roles are reversed
Tell ourselves it's all for the better
Outrun our pasts to sometimes go back
Are there changes?

I guess it's a matter of time
For us to fall in line
I just pray I find a peace of mind
Everyone deserves not to live a lie
Everyone deserves what they refuse to see
A love never-ending

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Game of Crazy

Game of Crazy

By Shaire Blythe
March 19, 2017

Too bad you was Brown, I was Rihanna
Destroyed a picture perfect,
So young, carefree
I put all my trust in you
And look at what you do
There's no getting through
No getting through

The ups and downs
They were never worth it
Twisting words around
Played the game of crazy
But not anymore
Fighting a losing battle
No longer torn
I see who you really are

Damn you were good, you knew just how to catch me
Realest one I'd known, so it seemed
Catching all my weaknesses,
Had to toy with them
I would say I'm through, then run back to you

Even with the scars on my heart, I can view a gentle man
More than playing a part, to get the benefits you can
But we weren't going nowhere
We still are hopeless
No we're not going nowhere
I always make sure of it

Would've given my last breath
You made it where I couldn't
War after war, you let me see I shouldn't
Play the game of crazy

Ten Streams

Ten Streams

By Shaire Blythe
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The waters went deep
I lost everything
So it seemed

I passed ten streams
They never meant anything to me

Can they ever?
Will they?
No forever
Nothing true
I still feel the rain

The waters play tricks
I sunk beneath

The waters keeps secrets
I will never tell a soul

I walked ten streams
They could've meant something to me

Maybe I'll reach my destination
Won't be having same conversation
I don't know

One thing about all these waters
Something that I never thought of
They'll live on

And so will I

No forever
Nothing true
I still feel the rain
Time to time, the pain of ten streams




Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lust & Love

Lust & Love

By Shaire Blythe
February 6, 2016

Fall in love, on the outside
Let's give it a try, give it a try
Rotten to the core, on the inside
I don't mind, I'm a savior
I can switch you up, cloaked in red love

Brain and heart has no connect
Not even included in the sex
Block all thoughts and emotions, floating on what's displayed before me
I adore you

And let us do it over again
Guarantee that we won't meet our end
Do it over again
The only way to numb the pain
Or is it?

Seems like more than a moment
Make it out like it's harmless
I don't wanna think about it
Let me drink up out it

Caught up in confusion
Man, I'm losing it
Let me put some distance here
I'll get back to you when I can

Monday, March 6, 2017

Fighting To Keep Love Within

Fighting To Keep Love Within

By Shaire Blythe
Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hidden ecstasy,
I don't wanna go there
Hidden meanings,
I've been there before
Over and over again

I don't wanna lie
And I don't care to cry
I don't wanna fight
So let's say goodnight
Looking in your eyes
Why do I even try?
I'm giving up the war

Cause I'm not that girl
I can't be a part of your fantasy
It's not real to me

Not many words to say,
I'll let you do the talking
Such a pretty face,
But I've seen plenty
Countless others

I wish you were a bad dream
I wish this didn't mean
I have to give you up
Lord knows I'm strong
And I used to carry on
But not this time
Not anymore

Cause I see the pieces
That you're feeding me
You're not who you pretend to be

No more
No more
No more
Stay a stranger
No more
No more
No more
Putting my heart in danger
No more
No more
No more
I can't take it
And I'm not going to fake it
My love's being erased
So go on, go on, go on

I lay down tonight
Without you next to me
And my heart may be heavy
But you weren't good to me
Same 'ol story...

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Political Has Become Personal

You know those moments where you are feeling as if there is a weight just sitting on your chest, bearing your lungs down, decompressing them to the point you feel as if you cannot breathe, and you are truly gasping for air, but it is just not coming and, any moment, you know that you are going to go falling over, clutching your chest, and die right there?

No? Well, I have. I am. Until now.

I do not like stepping on political territory. I love history. Love, love, love. Anything dealing with wars, I am on it. Especially World War II and the Holocaust. That is my specialty. Civil Rights does not follow far behind. 9/11 comes before the Civil Rights Movement, at least in my field of knowledge. This is coming from a person who absolutely hates war. I believe the aftermath is completely devastating, many innocent lives are taken and it is all just horrible. But only by studying up and knowing history, do I feel past actions can be prevented and known. Hence, one of the reasons I cannot keep my mouth shut anymore.

Modern-day politics, I always strayed away from. It gets too confusing to me, because they are still ongoing, and you get information here and there, and it goes everywhere, opposed to history, which has had more time to be "solidified," typically. And, I just feel it is more complicated with the passing of time.

Need I point out, I am just a writer and lover.

Lover.

That means, when I feel people are being completely unjust on others--lets just say due to their religion or because of where they come from--it does not sit well with me whatsoever.

So I am going to fight back the best way I know how.

Through words.

The political has become personal.

I was one of those that felt my vote did not matter, the whole system was rigged. I thought politicians are all liars, for the most part. They do not do anything for me and so on. I still feel strongly about politics in the sense that they can be very corrupt. Or are. But even that excuse could not stop me from making sure I took part in this election, unlike before.

I gave Trump a chance. I did not just decide I did not like him from the start. I listened to him. I listened to Clinton too. I was not for her right away. Red flags were raised with each debate, not just for Trump, but Clinton. But who raised the most red flags to me... Trump.

I watched how he treated others. I read his infamous tweets. I studied much about his demeanor and what he was allowing to spew out of his mouth. Granted, he was being "real." I mean, he talked about a wall. He is trying to put that into effect now, right off the bat. He talked about immigrants, and what do you know, he has set that into motion too. So he did not lie. Not at all. I give him a hand clap for that. But the actual action and thought of what he is implementing is completely demeaning.

I have talked to people that voted/support Trump. I seriously wanted to know why. And, I kid you not, (I still like them as a person) but each answer I received was selfish, and I did not receive one response that really dug into the repercussions of what they supported. (Granted, I have also heard selfish, questionable comments from Clinton supporters/supporter of no politician, saying "I did not vote, but I did not expect Trump to win" and "I am not Muslim or an immigrant, so it does not matter to me," referring to the situations at hand).

I believe in differences, but I really have to wonder, is banning immigrants/refugees really okay to them? Especially since so many claim religion--religion backs their anti-abortion laws, religion backs their anti-gay rights--what about God opening his arms to the suffering, the poor, the hurt and sinners? I find that part of religion completely ignored at almost every turn.

I do not even want to get into the facts that the news reported, I just want to focus on the humane part of what is taking place.

Can I say that I would never personally get an abortion due to my religious beliefs, but no woman should be told what to do with her body? Can I say that Planned Parenthood is not just about abortions, but among countless other health services that are and have been beneficial to many? And before it came about, women were seeking some treatments provided in an unhealthy way, which resulted in further health issues, if not death. So it is okay for these women to be stripped of certain services and possibly risk death by going about them an unhealthy, unregulated way? And say these women are forced to have children. What about the possible aftermath? There is the possibility of these women giving birth and then killing the child they did not want/could not provide for, etc. There is the possibility of more children being orphaned, abandoned. Abused.

I look at both sides. I weigh the outcomes. I will always side with the side I see the less damage. And again, while I do not advocate for abortions, I cannot stand the thought of these kids being birthed and then completely abandoned, abused. And who is anyone to judge what one does with their body? I cannot judge. I am not God. And I do not have any intentions on being Him.

He gives free will to all of us. He has His commandments, but He does not put us on strings like puppets. Why should one human being have that right, that power?

And religion can come into play again when hearing: abortions are a sin in the Bible. I hear you. I read it. I read fornication is also a sin. Wrath. Murder. Pride. Lust. Adultery. Gluttony. So on. The list goes on. And guess what, sin has no hierarchy to God. So if you have had sex before marriage, another guess what, you have sinned like the women who received an abortion.

That is about half us, right?

I am tired of hearing that religion excuse.

Tell me you have not sinned, and then maybe a valid argument can be made. I will really applaud you on that one, 'cause, boy, sinning is hard not to do, especially nowadays.

I will never use this as an excuse to do something and continue abusing whatever action being done, but God offers forgiveness for all sins. I think I read in there that we are supposed to be just as forgiving...

In all honesty, I do not believe abortions are the answer. I also do not believe telling a women what to do with her body is the answer either. I find the answer lies in education, knowledge, being explained the consequences of all actions. But that is just me.

I sort of ran off and skipped the immigrant ban that is happening right now. My bad. Let me get back to that, 'cause it really sparked this whole rant.

So, I believe it is not helping anything. All terrorist groups have to do is use this as means of recruiting more people. When people are excluded, do not feel welcomed or feel they have nothing else to lose, and grow strongly with hatred, that is when you can expect acts to be taken that are typically violent.

I recently got caught up in old news videos and documentaries. I watched the announcement of Obama share that Osama bin Laden had been killed. Granted, that man was bad. What he did was absolutely horrible. But I had to wonder, what made him hate America so much? People are triggered or taught these things, and even if they are taught these things, someone above them was triggered to even relay such messages of hatred.

So I pondered on that a lot. We had upset him and others by being in their territory. They never wanted us there, and we invaded their space regardless. I am certain more could be placed with that, but I know that added fuel to flames. Because, if you are not aware, at some point in history, we actually gave Osama bin Laden guns, which he then, turned on Americans or the Western world. Fact.

Watching that footage, I immediately thought of the message that turning immigrants away would send. I could see nothing but more hatred.

Well, let me change that. Trump is indirectly emitting hatred, discrimination. And I will not call it a Muslim ban directly, but most those countries pertain Muslims, so... it is kind of one of those things that you can cock your head to the side, squinting your eyes and say, "Well, I do not know. This is an iffy one." Or, for instance, one of my friends (who is black) had a white girl say "Oh, there you go. Get yourself a man on there," when a Black People Meet commercial came on. And my friend brushed it off at first, but then the commercial came on again, and she said "For real, you should do it." My friend did not know whether to take it as racist or not, but... if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck... it is a duck. Honestly, that was not the only sly remarks made, but keeping them to a minimum. So knowing Trump was iffy about Muslims from the jump, and knowing those territories have a majority of Muslims... It is quacking a bit like a duck.

And let me not even get started on the ones he chose to ban. If you are going to ban something, do not half-ass commit. Especially not to your own, personal benefit. I just cannot...

All I see is selfishness across the board, ego and pride. And fear.

And it is so easy to be that way. I know that space, coming from a place where I did not open my eyes to truly imagine being in the shoes of what some people go through. I used to believe I had it rough. Oh, pitiful me. When was I ever going to catch a break. But no. That is not what living should be about. We are meant to help each other. When we see a fellow person down on their luck, we are meant to help them up, encourage them. Not exclude them. Not produce hate in whatever shape or form it may come in, 'cause it has many.

I feel for the Syrian refugees still stuck in a war they never asked to be born into. I feel for any immigrants, gays/lesbians/bisexuals/transgenders who feel or have ever felt completely discriminated against and hated. I feel for any minorities, like myself, who have felt voiceless and beaten. And, you know what, I feel for anyone who still has not taken the time to step out of their own, comfortable little bubbles to see that there is so much injustice outside their door that they ignore.

But "Nothing is real until it is experienced," right? John Keats said that. And, painstakingly, I have found that too true.

If it was not immigrants, then who would the target be next? Would there be a target on the backs of the LGBTQ community? From there, would the African-American community be next, or any other minority group? There always has to be an enemy, right?

I feel the only people that can save this country and will are the people that let others outside the country know we do not stand for walls. And we do not stand for any sly discrimination.

Call it what you want, but from the perspective of an African-American female, I see his true colors, and they are not in any shape or form pertaining to love. My foundation.




Higher

Higher

By Shaire Blythe
January 8, 2016

Heart beats, I barely feel it
My body has turned cold
In this lifetime I might never reach it
A place that knows no despair

Take me higher
And leave me there
I'm surviving even when you disappear
And let me down

Wrapped up in what I'm doing
Such a pretty distraction
Running seems to be everyone's answer even though they can put you through it
And it wasn't what I was after

Down, down I drown
Can't figure anything out
Not even how to steer my own life

Once I thought I had a hold
All in my control
But the skies are laughing that I'm just a child
Have a long way to go
And I might never know

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Duck's Hex - Mailroom vs. Boardroom

For my creative nonfiction writing class last semester, with the lively, inspiring Dr. Rigby, I had to create a fifteen page piece. I do not like composing nonfiction at all. I like to keep myself out of my stories, and sometimes, coming to your truths can be dragging your feet through the mud agonizing, but I had to face a lot in his class if I wanted to pass. And surface crap does not do good with me, so I had to dig hella deep to even become inspired to get words on a page.

This section was not a part of the original piece or portfolio at all. In fact, I added this part and a couple of others after I had already completed the course. It fit too well, and I had a knocking at my heart to add the experiences to what I already had. It was as if Dr. Rigby was right in my conscious, urging me to continue. Wish I could have taken on his Autobiography class just for his inspiring presence and words, but adding to this piece will have to suffice, and maybe even more will be added in the future. Who knows.

Enjoy.

Duck's Hex by Shaire Blythe

I watched Mt. Zion of Nashville's Video-On-Demand a couple of nights before going home. Bishop said, "If you can't handle the mailroom, how do you expect to handle what happens in the boardroom?" The moment I heard that, I quickly scribbled his words down in what has become my church-going notebook. Sometimes, I find it ironic how I had won the yarn notebook at a Women of Faith Christmas dinner when I was only in elementary school. Playing Dirty Santa, I had noticed the palm tree on the front of the cover and knew that was the gift I had to go home with at the end of the evening. It reminded me of an island. It reminded me of an escape to paradise.

I wrote in the notebook a couple of times after winning it. It was filled with prayer requests and rough sketches of flowers in vases, and my future children's names at the time. Eventually, it became untouched, forgotten, nestled between my name inscribed Bible and an old cigar case that had a tropical island of some sort depicted on its cover. A century later, when I revived the notebook, it resumed its role of being a godly instrument.

One thing I have learned over and over again: nothing is a mere coincidence.

I kept returning to that part of Bishop's message, repeating it over and over in my racked mind. I broke down once after seeing the ceiling crumbled on the floor, soaking, reeking of wet death. But just that once. I was still in the mailroom. If I couldn’t get off of my ass and fix this problem to the best of my ability, while I was still home, then I was never going to make it to the boardroom. And damn it. I wanted that boardroom.

The day right after I discovered the ceiling, I got a plumber to come inspect the pipes above. I would love to disclose his name, because he was extremely helpful and generous, but I won't. I'm still not certain if his curiosity toward what I was studying in school and talk of my lack of a driveway was actual interest or simply causal part-of-the-job conversation, but I was still grateful for his kindness and dedication to finding the problem and, then, fixing it two days later, under thirty minutes.

One of my main concerns was the smell that people had to deal with coming in an out of the house. The plumber nor the independent contractor hired to look at the roof said a word about it, but I knew it was a cross to bear.

Granted, of course there was going to be a smell; water had leaked and was absorbed for days into half the flooring, and wet debris didn't smell like evergreen mountains. A close friend had volunteered to look at the damage on Christmas day, when everyone else had been closed for the holiday. While I was thankful for his kindness, I couldn’t allow him to because of the mess and the smell.

"I don't want you around it. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t choose to be around it," I had messaged him. He didn’t put up a fight, but he did ask once more the next day. My answer remained solid.

I've never been great with opening myself up--to be around others--when my world is catastrophically unstable. I prefer to become a ghost, floating through my issues and returning to my physical body only when I have solved my problems, or have gotten a better handle on them. I must have shut people out for two days, at the most, meditating on what I saw as priorities, trying not to flip my shit. For a pipe to burst when it did and cause so much damage was the worst time. I had purposefully chosen to divert from working a lot that winter break to focus on my writing. I didn’t have a steady flow of money coming in like I was used to. Some of this, if not most, was going to come out of my pocket. Financially, I was going to be set back a couple of places, more than I had already planned for. But that boardroom. I had to remember the boardroom.

I was lucky enough to have my half-brother's mom open her home up to me, to take a shower, while my water wasn't running. I was lucky enough to have heat, electricity coursing through the walls--cracked or as scarred as they may be--of the ________*  home. I was lucky enough to have been able to get Christmas dinner cooked without the rest of the ceiling caving in above my head. I was lucky to still have a roof. A home. A bed. Money to pay for the damage, for gas, for my bills back at school and so on. I was lucky.

Breaking apart the ceiling pieces, so I could pack them away in bags and toss them out, I couldn’t help but think of the people out there that have no place to call home. They can't take a shower daily. They don’t have food to eat on the regular. They have no money to their names. They are locked out in the cold and the rain and have no one to call on. How could I possibly sit in that home and complain, throw a fit and give up saying, "Woe, pitiful me?"

I had no right.

I can say that I've dealt with a lot of shit--heavy shit--for a long time coming. When I think back, I don’t even know how I survived, not being as close to God and in tune with faith as I am now. I can recall wanting to give up at times back then, but I guess I am just more aware. On some ends, things got worse, placing me right at the front of the battle lines. Sometimes, I have been by myself. Or, so it seems.

I read somewhere that you have to act like the cards you've been dealt were the ones you wanted all along. Duck's hex, or not, I was handed these cards. My entire life could be a parody. It all could be one big joke on me. But I have made it this far. I have been to spaces and dealt with issues that other people my age know nothing about yet, which makes it harder to explain to anyone who has no idea what it can be like to take on the role of an adult before even settling into the stages of being a kid. While I used to see every roadblock as a misfortune, I know it's really not. My cards are just preparing me for that boardroom meeting.


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*= unable to be disclosed


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Charade


Charade

By Shaire Blythe
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Come gradually, control I disown
Can tell placing me in your hands feeds that ego
I'll let you have it your way each time we collide again in the middle of our charade
At least, that's what I'll claim

I don’t expect you permanent
Both here to steal each other away and build going our separate ways