I Never Thought I’d Be Doing This…

Well. I don’t know if this thing works off-line or not. Still haven’t taken the time to verify it does. So, I don’t plan on closing this window until I get home. It’s 2205 hours, on Wednesday, 06 May 2015. I’m sitting at the dining table, or is it better described as the kitchen table, in the Hurricane. I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to call it. The Hurricane. The AC is on (we connected the RV to campground electricity), so we won’t be overheating tonight.

It’s like being in a small house. I mean. If you call a 28 foot long house small. I mean. It’s bigger than a lot of small houses I’ve read about. Pat and I can fit in here quite well. And quite comfortably. There’s lights everywhere. But I don’t have any on in here as I type this. The display on the Chromebook is backlit, so it’s easy to read, and it gives off enough light I can pretty much see the keyboard.

Yeah. I’m a wreck. I’ll sleep. And I’ll probably sleep well. But, I’m a wreck.

We did learn, we need to get a Blu-Ray player to hook up to the entertainment system. That way, we can watch something other than broadcast TV channels on the TV sets. That’s another thing. The TV channels are all digital now. So the picture is either great, or doesn’t show up at all. No more “bad reception” on stations.

She’s in the bed, reading in her Kindle.

I had a rough day. A bad day. But a good day too. I haven’t been sleeping as much, or as soundly, or peacefully the past 2 weeks. As I told my doc, the brain cells are running wide open, trying to process all this new stuff.

What do I mean by new stuff? Well. I can’t really describe it. I don’t know how to describe it. Not yet anyway. But I can give you one example of what’s happening with my perspective on life. Another story Doc and I spoke of today. Washing dishes. See. All my life, I’ve washed dishes, because it’s what you do. The dishes are dirty, collecting in the sink, so you wash them. Black and white. Yes or now. A check box on a checklist called, “how to lead a proper life”. Wash the dishes, check the box.

And back in the days when all I had was my anger, and the energy it provided, this worked well. Because I had to do something with the energy the anger gave me. See. It wasn’t a question of me. How I felt, what I felt, what I wanted or didn’t want, never entered the equation. The dishes were just another part of being a proper person, in a black and white, yes and now, good and evil world.

Well. Now, the anger’s all but gone. I won’t bother you with the details of all the things I’m having to relearn how to do. I’ll just stick with the dishes. And I admit I’m not there yet. It’s a process of discovery for me. Let’s be honest, my autistic nature, with the hypersensitivity of my fingers, means I really don’t like washing the dishes. Getting my hands in that… That… Stuff. Eww. I mean. Just. Eww.

So, I’ve been having a bit of trouble keeping up with the dishes lately, if you call the last 5 months lately, that is. But I digress. I’ve been having problems getting the dishes done, and even getting around to starting them. Because I’ve been learning why. I’ve been learning how I feel about dealing with the dishes.

I told my Doc, and it took me a couple of dozen attempts to get the words I wanted. I told my Doc, I’m learning I don’t do them because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t do them because it’s proper. Or because I’m supposed to. Or because I’m a grown up. I don’t do them for the health benefits of a clean kitchen sink (Do you have any idea how many bacteria are in those suckers? Momma!) I don’t do the dishes for any of those reasons.

I’m learning to clean the dishes because I like having clean dishes, cleaner sinks, and a cleaner and neater kitchen. Right and wrong, good or bad, proper behavior, and all those crappy things we bury ourselves under don’t apply to me doing the dishes. It has nothing to do with any of those reasons. I’m learning about me. About what I feel, and how I feel about the dishes. And as much as I detest dealing with them, I enjoy the feelings I get when I have clean dishes, empty sinks, and a neater kitchen more than I dislike the yuck of having to clean the dishes.

I’m also not a total dingbat on some things. The math is kicking in, and telling me, “If you clean them up regularly, every night, or every morning, guess what? There’s less of them to deal with at any given time! And let’s be honest here. I don’t like putting my hands in a sink full of yucky dishes. I’d much rather put them in a sink that has a few dishes in it, so they’re there less time.

See? That’s something I don’t know how to say yet. I don’t know how to express it in words yet. But that’s what’s happening with me at this time in my life. I’m rewriting all the rules beneath everything I do. And yeah, there will be things I don’t do. They’ll be things I don’t like. Or things I don’t like the benefits of doing. Or some similar reason.

I’ve tried to explain to people around me about right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust, light and dark, and all those moral, ethical things we hammer into ourselves relentlessly from the time we first start becoming aware of how our society works, and what’s acceptable/expected behavior within that society.

Somehow, it gets turned into right and wrong. Somehow it got corrupted. And somewhere, I lost my way. And forget what I feel. How we feel. And how what I feel ties into what I do. If that makes any sense. And I can’t say if it makes any to anyone other than me, and my Doc.

As with the dishes, so it goes with my walking, my picture-taking, my writing, my exercising, my reading, my watching TV, my listening to music. For every aspect of me, I’m actively questioning why I do the things I do. And I’m learning to do what I like. What I enjoy doing. What I like doing. And even the things I don’t like so much, but do like the benefits of doing them. Like the dishes. And the laundry.

It’s been an interesting five-year journey. It’s been five years since this all started. Since I began to question how things were. Since I first stepped outside the box of predefined, acceptable behavior. Since the days I started to wake up. Five years. And I’m only now getting to this part of my journey.

Well. No one said life would be simple, did they. 🙂

Now, I’m gonna go crash for the night. It’s 2235 hours. She’s already crashed. I’ll try not to disturb her too much as I climb under the covers.

Holy crap. I’m gonna sleep in the Hurricane. Wow. Never, ever imagined this would happen. Have no idea how I feel about it. Other than I feel all kinds of stuff. Yeah. All kinds of stuff. Could take me a while to figure out what that stuff is.

Journey

Harry did his best to quietly close the front door when he got home from work. He knew she would be asleep, and he didn’t want to wake her. He hung his jacket on the coat-rack, pulled off his shoes, and walked to the kitchen in the dark.

“I should eat something. I haven’t eaten since…” He never finished that sentence. He hadn’t eaten since before he left for work, over 9 hours earlier. He was home, and he was supposed to be hungry. He was supposed to eat something. Something dinner like. A sandwich, and a salad maybe? He rummaged through the kitchen. “Everything takes work.”

Which is how he wound up with a can of beer, and four chocolate fudge cookies. “This’ll do.” It wouldn’t really. But he was too tired to care.

He carried the beer and cookies to the Family Room, where he sat on the sofa and turned on the TV. Harry took a chug of his beer, popped an entire cookie in his mouth, picked up the remote, and started surfing the channels. Surfing channels was always a challenge for him as he never knew what he wanted to watch until he found it. With five hundred channels, that sometimes took a while.

He finally settled on a movie. One of those action movies, with lots of bullets, fights, car chases, explosions, and a hero who got the girl. Harry liked action movies. “No brain cells required.” This was his time. His quiet time. His escape time. He knew, when he went to bed he’d wake to the noise of her alarm. He’d be awake until she left for work. He could take a nap after that, but then the laundry wouldn’t get washed, the dishes would sit in the sink, and he wouldn’t do his exercises.

He leaned back in the sofa, closed his eyes a moment, and realized closing his eyes was a mistake. It let his brain cells think. And his brain cells told him how tired he was, how much everything hurt. His knees, shoulders, back, ribs. Everything hurt. So he opened his eyes and resumed watching the movie. “That’s better.”

This was his life. Get up when she got up. Say goodbye when she left for work. Put in a workout. Wash laundry and dishes. Run the vacuüm. Mow the lawn. Whatever needed doing. Then, eat something for lunch, get a shower, shave, and go to work. She always got home after he left for work. She was always in bed when he got home from work. He knew she’d insist he eat something, so he always ate something. He watched a bit of TV, and unwound from his day at work.

Then, finally, he went to bed. This was his daily journey through life. “I suppose, as it goes, it’s not much of a journey, is it.” Sometimes he found himself thinking such things. When he did, he always heard that old song, “Shove me in the shallow water, before I get too deep.” It was like a danger sign in his head. “Stay away from this. It’s nothing but trouble.”

As he watched the movie, Harry stretched out on the sofa. God, it felt good to stretch out, to lie down. God, it felt good to let the day fall away. God, it felt good. Harry fell asleep, with the TV on, knowing the next day, his journey through life would continue with another endless day in a string of endless days. Where every day, and every thing, were always the same.

Harry never remembered his dreams. They just got in the way of his journey.


It’s April 11th, the 10th day of the 2015 A to Z Challenge. This is the 10th of 26 pieces I’m writing in April. Today, the letter J. Tomorrow, the letter K? Even I don’t know what I’ll write.

#MWBB 35 : I Am Going To The West

I closed my eyes, and listened to her song, and felt once more those first words touch my heart, and stir my memories.

In this fair land, I’ll stay no more
Here labor is in vain
I’ll seek the mountains far away
And leave the fertile plain

It’s what I’d done. I’d left the land I’d lived in for nearly 30 years. I’d abandoned it. Because it was a dead-end. That land of work I used to live in. Where nothing ever changed. No matter what I did. No matter how hard I worked. No matter what I tried. Nothing ever changed.

I didn’t have the words then, to explain what was happening. How do you explain to everyone you know that you’re trapped? Stuck in place. In a cage. That’s what work had become. A trap. A cage. Where nothing would ever change. Where I faced the same day, the same problems, the same expectations every day. Where there was only one way to behave. Only one way you could be.

I remembered the words I’d been told a thousand times, across a thousand days. “You should be more like him.” I used to wonder how I could. “How can I be like someone else? Someone I’m not?” Until I found myself asking, “What would he do? How would he react? What would he say?”

And I lost me. Somewhere.

Do you want to know if you’re trapped? Look in the mirror. Into your eyes. And ask what the person you see in the mirror wants. What that person feels. If you don’t know. If you can’t answer. You’re trapped.

And I listened to her words as she sang them. I know they weren’t meant for me. But it felt like they were.

Where waves of grass in oceans roll
Into infinity
I stand ready on the shore
To cross the inland sea
I am going to the West

Her words echoed in my memory. For 3 years now, I’d been on a journey. Across an inland sea. A sea within me. A sea I had to cross. To find my heart. To find my soul. To breathe life into me. I remembered standing alone. Straining my eyes, my mind, my heart, to see the future, what was ahead of me.

I couldn’t. No one can. If they tell you otherwise, they lie. Don’t listen to them.

“What are you going to do when you grow up?”

“What are you going to do to earn a living?”

“How are you going to pay the bills?”

“Where are you going to live?”

Yet, no one ever asked the questions that mattered. And it was those questions that ate away at me.

“Who am I?”

“What do I want?”

“What do I believe?”

“Are my dreams still alive?”

“Am I still alive?”

I remembered everyone thinking I’d gone crazy. Telling me to pull my boots up, and get tough. “They’re watching you. If you don’t straighten out, they’ll get rid of you. If you don’t behave, they’ll get rid of you.”

They did. And it hurt like hell. And it scared me stupid. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t sleep. I swear there were times I couldn’t breathe.

But with time, that changed. I figured it out. I’d done what I had to do. To save me. I’d escaped.

You say you will not go with me
You turn your eyes away
You say you will not follow me
No matter what I say
I am going to the West
I am going to the West

It cost me everything. Every friend I had. Every person I knew. To escape. To take those first steps into that inland sea. To begin to ask those questions.

“Who am I?”

“What do I want to do?”

No one followed. That was what scared me the most. What kept me there in the first place. What kept me trapped. What kept me lost. The fear everyone would say what they’d said all my life.

“I will not follow you.”

“You can’t live that way.”

“You can’t be that way.”

“You’ll always be alone.”

If only they knew.

If only they knew.

693 Words
@LurchMunster

NOTE : The song lyrics used are from the song I Am Going To The West, from the CD The Border of Heaven, by Connie Dover © Taylor Park Music/Connie Dover


This is my entry for week 35 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

Fairies : For Rose (Part 2)

Sword had never really had the chance to explore the land when the villagers had taken him captive, and Mystica had rescued him. So, he was intent on seeing what the land was like between his ocean home, and the lake.He took the clothing he normally wore. Short pants that allowed his legs to move freely. No shirt at all. No weapons for protection, he didn’t need them. He had a small bag of supplies, a couple of bags of water, and some dried fish and seaweed. It was enough food to last him several days. But he would need to find food and water both on his journey.

While he knew the dragons would be watching over him, and Mystical would be available of he needed her, it was his intention to make the journey on his own. He’d realized he missed Mystica, and her adopted daughters, Sunshine, Musica, Dream and Rose. Especially Rose. He didn’t know what it was about her that made him want to take a six-day journey just to spend a week with her and her sisters. But he didn’t really care that he didn’t know. All that mattered to him was seeing her again, and spending time with her, and her sisters.

Being around her just made him feel good. And every time he held her hand, well, he’d never felt anything like that before. And he wasn’t sure at all what it meant. But it sure felt good to him. So he was very excited to be able to visit Rose.

And Rose could fly. Could she ever. Little fairies aren’t suppose to be able to fly at all. But Rose could. She could fly better than he could. And she could fly almost as well as any full-grown fairy could. Sword thought he could watch her fly all day long.

Sword had never left the ocean on his own. Walking through the surf, onto the sand of the beach was a new experience for him. He found it surprising how the ocean waves sometimes knocked him over, and tried to pull him back out to sea. He tried to use his magic swords to anchor himself in place, but they didn’t really work. They couldn’t stop the waves. And they only held so well in the sand. But with a little practice, he learned to keep his balance, and when to step, and when to just stand still, and when to jump. It took him a little while, but he did make it to the beach.

As he walked across the beach, he felt the sand get hot under his feet. The sand never got hot under the water. But on the beach, where the sand was dry, the sun was bright, and it was hot, the sand got very hot indeed. And it made his feet hurt. That wasn’t fun at all. So he used his wings to fly short distances, and test the sand again.

As he crossed the beach, Sword saw ocean birds for the first time. Sea gulls, terns and pelicans. He watched the terns along the shore, running back and forth as the waves washed in, and out. Whole waves of them, racing toward the ocean, poking their beaks into the sand, as the waves washed out. Then, racing away as the waves came in.

He watched the seagulls as they stood on the sand. It was like they were resting. He also watched them as they flew over the waves. Sometimes they would dive into the water. He realized they were fishing.

The pelicans were the most amazing of the birds to him. They always seemed to fly in formation. One after the other. The way they flew so close to the water that their wings sometimes skimmed the surface.

Sword also learned about the vegetation along the shore. Sea oats and grasses. Wild flowers. And scruffy wiry bushes, and small trees. He noticed how the trees seemed to grow sideways, with short limbs toward the ocean, and longer limbs toward the land. They also seemed to grow taller as he went further inland.

As he moved further inland he saw rabbits, and more birds. Then, he saw some deer. He knew what they were. He’d seen them in pictures his mother had shown him. These were the first live ones he’d ever seen. And he found himself taking time to stop, and watch them from a distance. He found it really funny, the way the rabbits ate grass, their ears flopping, and their whiskers twitching, as stalks of green grew shorter and disappeared into their mouths. The way they moved about with such powerful hind legs, and such tiny front legs fascinated him. It was as if rabbits were built lopsided, and had learned to make the best of it.

The deer were just majestic. That’s the only word he could find to describe them. The way they walked. The way they ran. So very graceful. So fluid. He’d never seen anything like them. He watched them for quite a while.

After several hours, he came to some low hills, covered by a forest. His mother had told him of the woodlands that would become the Northern Forest. She’d also told him he should sleep high up in the trees. Out of reach of the wild animals that stayed on the ground. Things like wolves, and perhaps even bears. So, as he entered the woodlands, he used his wings to take to the trees. He used his wings sparingly to move from tree to tree, or to cover distances he could not cover just by jumping. And he walked along tree branches.

He stopped a few times to snack on the dried fish and seaweed in his provisions. And any time he found a stream, he had a drink of water from it.

As the sun began to set that night, Sword found a nice place to sleep in a tree, resting against the main trunk of the tree, and one of its major branches. He fell asleep that night, listening to crickets, frogs, and birds as they sang their songs. It was unlike anything he’d ever really heard. A wonderful music to his ears, that sang him to sleep.

And so ended the first day of his journey to visit Rose.

No One There But Me

I’m afraid of being alone.
With myself and no one else.
When there’s no one to talk with.
Except for me.

But I’m learning.

I’ll have completed
The next step of my journey
When I can spend time
Alone.
With no one but me.
And being alone
Doesn’t hurt me
Any more.

When I’ve learned
How to appreciate me.
The things I like.
The things I feel.
I know right now
I don’t.
At least not all that much.

I have a lot of fears
Of being alone.
If having to face me.
Having to deal with me.
Openly and honestly.

I have a lot of things
I have to change.
Things I have to relearn.
Rules I have to break.
And when those rules are broken,
I have to sweep away
Their remains.
Not let them be rebuilt.

There are so many things
I’ve got go change.
But they all come down
To the same thing.

I have to learn
Not to hate myself.
Not to be afraid of me.

That I’m not defined
By how many people I know.
By how many friends I have.
By how well I get paid.
By how big my house is.
By how nice my car is.

None of those things matter,
In the end.
When you get down to it
What matters most of all
Is learning
To live with myself.

And that’s what I’m working on
Right now.
In this journey
That began
Two years ago.

I’ve come so very far
In only 24 months.
How far, you might ask.

Far enough to know
And understand
I have to learn
To live
With me.

So that on afternoons like this.
When I’m at home.
Alone.
With only me.

I won’t hide from myself.
I won’t find endless things
To kill off time with.
So that I won’t feel
Like everything’s wrong.

So that I’ll be content
To be alone.

With no one there
But me.

Finding My Wings : For Amy

Tonight,
I make this wish.
A wish for a friend.
A simple wish
For I have learned,
Those are the best wishes
Of all.

I wish  for you tonight
To find your heart and soul.
Your self.
The you that life intended
To bless this world with
On the day your were born.

It won’t be easy.
I speak from experience.
But that’s not really the point.
Nor is finding that answer
To the question
“Who am I?”

It’s a question I’ve been asking
Of this life
More than twice as long
As you’ve been alive.
And I truly don’t know
If there’s an answer
At all.

But I’ve learned.
It’s not the answer
That matters.
It’s the journey.
The walk.
And all the things that happen
On the way.

It was almost 2 years ago
When the journey I am on
Changed dramatically.
I’ve told you that before.
And that change
Was wrought with pain.
More than I have ever known.

But it seems to me
Sometimes
Pain is what we have to face
To take the next step
Down the path
Of the journey
Each of us is on.

I know to many souls
That stopped walking
Long ago.
The pain got in the way.
And they became afraid.
And settled for staying
Where they were.

They haven’t changed.
They haven’t grown.
In years.
Some of them in decades.

I know this to be true.
Not so very long ago
I was one of them.

But you,
My friend,
Have not let fear
Stop you.

I can’t imagine
What it took
To take the step
You took this week.

I wish I could tell you
What it is you’ll find
On this journey you are on.
But I know I can’t.
For it’s your journey to take
Not mine.

Life’s like that.
We’re each different.
We each walk
A different path.

But I’ve seen you take
Your next big step
Along the way.
And I can‘t help but feel
It was so hard to do.
And I can’t help but know
It’s what you heart told you
You had to do.

And that’s good enough for me.

Follow your heart,
Dear friend.
For written in your heart
Is the story of the path
Life wished for you
On the day
You were born.

If you listen carefully.
It will never lie to you.
It will simply be your guide
In life.

On your journey
To find you.

Tonight,

I make this wish.

A wish for a friend.

A simple wish

For I have learned,

Those are the best wishes

Of all.

I wish  for you tonight

To find your heart and soul.

Your self.

The you that life intended

To bless this world with

On the day your were born.

It won’t be easy.

I speak from experience.

But that’s not really the point.

Nor is finding that answer

To the question

“Who am I?”

It’s a question I’ve been asking

Of this life

More than twice as long

As you’ve been alive.

And I truly don’t know

If there’s an answer

At all.

But I’ve learned.

It’s not the answer

That matters.

It’s the journey.

The walk.

And all the things that happen

On the way.

It was almost 2 years ago

When the journey I am on

Changed dramatically.

I’ve told you that before.

And that change

Was wrought with pain.

More than I have ever known.

But it seems to me

Sometimes

Pain is what we have to face

To take the next step

Down the path

Of the journey

Each of us is on.

I know to many souls

That stopped walking

Long ago.

The pain got in the way.

And they became afraid.

And settled for staying

Where they were.

They haven’t changed.

They haven’t grown.

In years.

Some of them in decades.

I know this to be true.

Not so very long ago

I was one of them.

But you,

My friend,

Have not let fear

Stop you.

I can’t imagine

What it took

To take the step

You took this week.

I wish I could tell you

What it is you’ll find

On this journey you are on.

But I know I can’t.

For it’s your journey to take

Not mine.

Life’s like that.

We’re each different.

We each walk

A different path.

But I’ve seen you take

Your next big step

Along the way.

And I can‘t help but feel

It was so hard to do.

And I can’t help but know

It’s what you heart told you

You had to do.

And that’s good enough for me.

Follow your heart,

Dear friend.

For written in your heart

Is the story of the path

Life wished for you

On the day

You were born.

If you listen carefully.

It will never lie to you.

It will simply be your guide

In life.

On your journey

To find you.

There Is A Dream I Have

There is a question
That’s haunted me
For years.
One Bruce Springsteen asked.
In a song of his.

“Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse”

That question is still there.
In my dreams at night.
I see it in the mirror
Even in broad daylight.

“Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse”

I find myself,
At last,
Reaching for a dream.
And wondering
If it’s too late.
And wondering
How many people will get hurt
If I reach for that dream.
If I try
To make a dream
Come true.

At least partially.

But that question,
Asked so very long ago
Remains a question
I have no answer for.

Robert Brown,
Of Abney Park
Sings words that echo
In my heart.
Words I understand
So very well.
About dreams.
And life.

“I’ve packed my bags
Brought back my pride
I’d rather live in rags
Than throw my dreams aside!”

I understand those words
Better than you know.
They haunt me every night.
They ring true
In my changing life.

And I ask myself
Endlessly.
Can I reach for a dream I have,
No matter what it costs,
Or who it hurts?

I have this dream of one day
Writing.
Even though I know
I’d never make a living
Doing that.

I’ll always have to do things
To pay the bills.
To get by
In this life.

And in pursuing that dream
Of writing.
What will happen to the dreams
Of My Lady?
Of my princess bride?

Already,
In the past two years,
All that I’ve been through
Has pushed her dreams aside.

And I just don’t know
If I can find a way
To balance it all out.
So that I can reach
For this dream I have.
And help her
Reach for hers.

But as I search
For answers to the questions
That I have.
Search to find a way
To reach for both my dreams
And hers.

I hear other words
That echo in my heart,
And reach my soul.

“Fear is a natural reaction
To moving closer
To the truth.”

Words from Pema Chõdrõn wrote.
Words I know so well.
Words that always remind me
When I am afraid.

As I am now.

I know that change takes time.
Sometimes,
Lots of it.
And that change
When done well,
And done right,
Doesn’t happen
Overnight.

I know I’m on a journey.
That I have
A rebuilt life.
Built from the ashes,
And the ruins,
Of a life that’s dead and gone.

I’m in a painful transition.
This much I know
Without a doubt.
One that’s nearly
Two years old.
And’s still going on.
Without any end in sight.

And there are things I face
In life.
Of which I am afraid.

What if I never make it.
What if I should fail.
What if my failure
Leads to my lady
Asking the same question
I first heard
So many years ago.
That question I still hear
Even now.

“Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse”