Saturday, September 6, 2014

I Remember This Place!

I lied.

I said in April, I'd start blogging again....and, I didn't.

I started this blog, formerly known as FMD, to let my friends and family I left behind, how I was doing after making the decision to move to New York, following my bout with cancer.  I wanted to write. I wanted new things. I wanted to make a world where the eight million who live in the City and boroughs weren't scary unknowns, but, simply people I hadn't met yet. I wanted to meet other writers, to be published, to explore.

And, I did.

Since then, my life has been slightly chaotic, I've moved so many times, a friend has an extra piece of paper with all my addresses written on it stapled to my page in her address book.  I kept my old friends, made new ones who are just as dear, traveled, been institutionalized, stopped writing, became a Nana and moved, yet again.

A friend, after reading my lengthy FB post yesterday said, "It's time for you to start blogging again.".

She is, once again, correct. Now, if I can just manage blogging on the iPad, I may get this going properly. Otherwise, my trusty 2007 Mac is pulled out from under the bed, the power cord is once more black taped to the body and I use it's trusty self to help me along.

I thought of censoring some things, of blocking some people from reading, however, except for the name, I've stayed true to my life in this place...why change now.

And, we're off!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

it's been so very, very long

i had every intention of keeping this blog locked down and tucked away. i felt it's time was done, and i needed to move on to other things. however, things happen, time moves on and minds change.

once again, i'm blogging to keep my sanity, to discuss my life, to comment on things around me--and, i hope i do a good job.

i certainly plan on giving it my best shot.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Five years ago today, I had surgery to remove the (to quote my surgeon), "biggest motherfuckin' tumor I've ever seen on a thyroid".
Five years ago, with that operation, I went from a person with cancer to a person in remission.  Five is the magic number everyone with cancer looks toward--it says you've beat odds, it says you can breathe again, it says you've come out the other side, and the world is even brighter. 
Five years is more than I thought I'd have....I was so scared. But, I don't usually do what I'm told to do, so, I gave cancer the same treatment--refusal to submit. It changed my life. I moved to New York, found friends and adventure, and I may be broke, but, I don't regret anything.

Thank you all for being with me during these five years, and, thanks to Matt Neves who held my hand, and Joshua Stavros--who joined Matt in prayer over me. I felt that power, and held on to it's goodness.

Five years. Well done, me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

operator, will you help me place this call?

yesterday, i made a decision i thought i'd never make by placing a phone call.

today, that call opened a crack in a closed door.

i look forward to seeing what is next.... i continue to believe one of the biggest lessons in life is to forgive real or imagined injustices--and, i'm currently sticking to that maxim. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It's a Good Day

Time passes, things change, we move forward if we are lucky, stay stagnant if not.

Since my last post, I've gone from NYC to Niwot, to Denver, to New Orleans to Mississippi back to Niwot, Denver and returning to Mississippi in June.  Some of that journey has been a delight, some of it--hard to bear emotionally.  This period of time has drained me physically, mentally... I lay on the bottom of the vale of depression, held from doing anything to myself only by the thin thread of medication.

Well, that and after I figured out I had no desire to be found in a pool of my own body waste, I'd have to forgo eating and drinking for a few days along with taking strong laxatives.  When it became more of a bother to die than to carry on...I chose the latter.

I'm at 'home' now...sharing Mother's cottage in Mississippi...rural Mississippi.  I sleep on a bed that folds up and sits next to hers during the day, one I inflate at night, covering it with good sheets and putting it in the sweet spot of coolness--under the AC vent.  Sophie perches on windowsills, wishing to be outside.  The birds land on branches just beyond her reach, safely protected from her by a pane of glass, and they taunt her with their nearness.  Since she cannot stalk them, she's become the killer of house flies and the occasional roach--eating the first, letting the second lie on it's huge back in the middle of the kitchen floor.  I am thankful she does not bring them to my bed.

Douglass rules all, Mother's beloved pet, her companion.  It was a good decision to leave her here three years ago...they adore each other.

Then, there is Mother herself--bent over now, arthritis and a bad back hobbling her movements.  She's 79 now, and, I can say with hand on heart, I hope she is about for another 10 years.  We've mended bridges, we both now find laughter when one or the other irritates their housemate, she is my best audience, and I am free to be foolish around her.   I like her company.

I've ignored my writing lately--I am not sure if Quin is dead or merely sleeping... I do know I find a great deal to write about, I push words around in my head, then...

...I do nothing.

 Perhaps this will change--perhaps it won't.  I do know I found a wonderful quote today on Facebook:
"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."
— Marilyn Monroe
Thank you, Marilyn.  I think your candle did burn out long before it should.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

St Baldrick's or, How I Lost My Hair For a Good Reason

Three weeks ago, I sat in a chair in front of 300 people, and had my head shaved.

Even though I'd planned on having this done, had discussed it, thought about it, bought scarves, made jokes--half way through the procedure, I started to cry.  I had to take a minute and gather myself together, and remind myself, this is hair.  Nothing more nor less, and, you've raised a nice chunk of change for St Baldrick's Society, so, suck it up and get over it, okay?

Men go bald, and people don't notice.  Let's be honest, more and more men shave their heads now instead of the horrific comb over, and are good with the look. Hell, they're hot most of the time (I think of Stanley Tucci and Terry Kinney in particular...YUM!!) and it's accepted.  Women? Not so much.

I wore a scarf for around three minutes, then I figured, Fuck it... I'm going to rock the bald, and, I have so far.  Sure, I have to remember to put sunblock on my pate and, on occasions when it's cold I put on a scarf or even a hat--although they tend to slide down onto my face now.  No one says anything to me for the most part, and when someone does, they ask if I'm in treatment.  I'm glad to say that, no, I've been in remission for a few years now, then, I explain St Baldrick's and the great work they do there.

In fact, I've only had one negative comment--one that hurt, to be quite frank, and, one that came from a source I didn't expect.   It made me realise the person who wrote it doesn't know me as well as either of us thought.  I'm over it, although I must say I cried when I first read the mail.

Regardless... this is my new look for a bit.   I am glad I took this step, I'm glad I was able to be just a small part of the group that raised $600,000 in one event, I'm glad that I can say I did a good thing in my life.  We all need to do something for our fellow remind ourselves we are not alone and together we can do many, many things.   Cancer is an exclusive club, and, in my humble opinion, one children shouldn't have the right to join.  I do not understand how you can tell your child who barely knows their alphabet they are going to lose their leg.  Children shouldn't have to know more about their blood counts than they do their multiplication tables.  They should worry about how to beat Nana on Wii, if they can sneak in another hour before bedtime, how to kiss.  Puberty should be their biggest worry, not wondering if they'll make it to puberty.

If you are interested in donating, please go to  Give a dollar, give ten... you are working towards children never having cancer again, and that's a mitzvah.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Things That Make Home

His name was Bill.

He didn't go by Bill, though, he liked people to call him Billy.  I'd sat down across from him during my trek from Cassidy's in Brooklyn back to my new place in Manhattan, by way of the 2 train to Fulton, then, a long way down stairs, along the platform, up stairs and finally to the 4/5 train...from there, one stop to Brooklyn Bridge, walk straight over to the 6 and head uptown to my stop.

I was doing this lugging a small piece of luggage (hurrah for wheels!), my purse, a shopping bag...oh, and Sophie in her carry-case.  Having just been shaved and having been forced back into the carry-case and having been made to leave her holiday home with Cassidy and Sophie's new best fried, Daisy...well, she wasn't very happy to say the least.  So, I dashed onto the 6, plopped myself down, sighed and re-arranged all by bags, trying not to look like one of the Crazy Sisters of the MTA.

He was sitting across from me, and he smiled when I looked up, saying, "That your cat? It looks pretty."  He was missing his top front teeth, but, he was clean and neat and spoke softly.

"Yeah, I had a cat.  His name was Coco...I mean, he was so beautiful! He was like white?  Only, if you looked real close, he had reeeeeeeeaaaaly light brown tips on those hairs so, I called him Coco cause he looked like you know, cocoa powder.  Oh, and his eyes, man, those eyes! They were either blue or green and he'd come when I called him.  I found him outside, in an alley, his mom was dead or something, he was this little guy....and I fed him and man, I'd just had him fixed, over at the Animal Shelter?  They were the ones who fixed him up when he was in the fire....I slept outside the shelter so I could be there all day with him.  They let me sit by his cage.  And, I was up on Grand Concourse, you know, in the Bronx?"

I nodded, said I knew the place... before I could say more, he was back on his tale.

"So, yeah, I've got Coco, and like, I have a shopping bag with his food and stuff, and he's in his little case...I stepped into this store, where I sweep sometimes, and I, man, I just turned my back, like two seconds...two seconds! When I looked back, Coco and the case were gone! Gone.  Man, I went crazy.  I ran up and down and yelled for him, because he comes to his name and all, and I was crying and stuff...because, Coco? He's all I have.  I'm supposed to be getting housing soon since the place we were living in, me and Coco, it burned--that's when he got sick and was at the vet place.  He wasn't breathing when the firemen carried him out and they gave him oxygen cause I was crying and yelling his name and then he went to the vets.  He was all better, and I was taking him with me here on the train, every day, we'd ride the train so I could sleep.  I'd put my hand inside his case, and he'd sleep on it..just lie there, and lick it and go to sleep."

Sophie pushed her face into the mesh window, meowed.  He reached over and stroked it with the side of his finger.  "Where did you get her?", he asked, crooning to her.

"WalMart, in Utah. In a parking lot.  Proves you can get anything at WalMart."  He didn't stop his whispered words to her...looking up at me, sad, so very sad.

"It's been a month, and, like, I'm still so full of grief.  Everyone in the neighborhood..they know me, they know Coco, and I know they'll grab him if they see him.  I just hope who ever took him really liked his looks, you know? Not grabbed him to be mean, but, because he was such a great looking cat.  Oh, I do miss him so much, especially when I'm sleeping on the train."

I asked him if he worked...where did he eat?  He told me he had a few businesses that paid him $20 each for a week of sweeping their was enough to buy him a train ticket for a week and some food.  He'd often buy Coco food before he bought his own.  He is on a list for housing, should be soon, he tells me--a friend got him on the HIV housing list, and even though he doesn't have HIV, he is going to take the place.

He's been off crack for five years family.  People need family, he tells me--Coco was his.  I offer him $5, he refuses.

"I work. I don't take handouts, and I really appreciate you offering.  I go to the shelter, shower and shave every two days.  I mean, I'm on the train, but, I don't want people to think I'm a bum or a begger.  I had bad times, I'm out of them.  Thank you, but, no."

Sophie meows, fully irritated there are people on this train, that she is naked now, and she is not happy.  He laughs.

"She's going to ignore you tonight! Man, you're going to really have to work hard to get her to like you again."

I open the zipper a bit, she pokes out her head...looks around, ignores everyone there and focuses on his face.  He reaches over, strokes her head.  She turns, licks his finger, ducks back in and settles down.

His eyes fill.  "Man. I miss Coco.  He was all I had."

I suggest he go to the shelters, get another cat.  He says they don't allow homeless people to have a cat or dog.

"What they don't understand is, sometimes, that's all we have, those pets and we take better care of them than someone who has a dog or some pet because it's cool and stuff.  When you have a pet, you can't go to the shelters.  They wont' let you.  When I win the lottery, if God lets me win it, I tell Him, "God, if I win this, I'll spend it all on building shelters for homeless people and their pets." I say that every night."

It's my stop.  I stand, gather the stuff, swing Sophie's case onto my shoulder.  I reach out, shake his hand... tuck the five into his palm.  "It's from Sophie."  And, I move quickly so he can't give it back...he's almost out of his seat when I go out the door, turning to wave and smile.

"Thank you, Sophie!", he calls.  "Coco would have liked you!"  He waves, settles against the wall, closes his eyes as the door closes between us.

I hope he does win the lottery.  I know he'll keep that promise, and build places where homeless people can have those animals that are so important, that are family, that represent home.

I prayed that night that Billy finds Coco...I hope God listens to that request, too.