Posted: December 12, 2008 in All

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few;
and let those be well-tried before you give them your confidence.”

George Washington

My writing blog?  I haven’t been posting a lot here because I’ve been posting there. Come on over and take a look!!!

 

www.asouthernpoetaster.com

 

I used to have a shirt, not a blouse, definitely a shirt hanging in my closet. I made sure it was always clean, it was my favorite shirt. I wore it no less than 2 times a week. I loved it because of the way it hung on my curves. It wasn’t revealing or feminine and it wasn’t refrained or masculine. This shirt, the color of burnt ash matched any mood I might be in on any particular day. I flowed with a sense of purpose in this shirt. This shirt clung to not just my body, but to my mind, soul, and spirit. It was who I am, inside and out.

The first time I met her, I was wearing this shirt. This shirt gave me confidence, and in my minds eye, sex appeal. I doubt anyone else saw what I saw when I looked in the mirror. Most people are this way. They live life being directed by the reins rather than holding them themselves. I don’t mind so much, because I have a sense of freedom from knowing what they don’t. Because of that fact, this shirt gave me the confidence I needed to go up to her, and smile my most sensational smile, and say hello. She took all of me in, and saw in me at that precise moment what I saw when I looked in the mirror every time I wore this shirt. I was grateful.

For many years, she and I were inseparable. She seemed to adore me, even if I wasn’t wearing this shirt. That’s something I’ve never been able to say before, so I knew this shirt had to have magic! This shirt brought us together and it was rewarded with it being worn over and over again. This shirt gave me 8 faithful years. I loved this shirt!

I’m not sure which came first, the dying of this shirt or the dying of my relationship with her. She began to despise this shirt with rolling her eyes, and mouthing, “Oh God, I’m sick of it.“ Did my shirt lose its magic, or had I? No sooner had the shirt lost its appeal, so did our relationship. I was back to being the only one who saw something special when I looked in the mirror. Whatever she saw, she no longer did.

This shirt hung in the closet, never to be touched again. But the pain of seeing it there, hurt too much, that I was forced to put it to rest. This burnt ash colored shirt that had given me so much, deserved no less. As I sat on the side of the bed saying my last goodbyes, one of the last 4 buttons that still hung on, rolled down the sleeve onto the floor, just as a tear rolled down my cheek.

I often think of this shirt, and the magic it had within its fibers. Deep down, a part of me wishes we had never met.

A vignette I wrote as a submission for a contest  for the Off-Broadway show Love, Loss, and What I Wore. I don’t think I won, so I decided to post it publicly.   http://www.more.com/love-love-and-what-i-wore-contest

 

I think I figured something out.  Those who could care less about you don’t wring your heart into a twisted knot.  Those who care about you, even love you, make you feel like shit.  Life and stuff, it never ceases to amaze me.

I certainly see the appeal of being a lonely old maid….

I’ve been on hiatus for a while now.  Not motivated to write a single word, publicly anyway. 

I have been enraged enough to start typing though.  September 11 is coming upon us again.  But this year, some haters, publicity seekers or whatever you wish to call them are turning this day of mourning into a revengeful, spiteful, hate fest against them (whomever them may be).

The burning of the Koran because Al Qaeda has chosen to hide behind their religion to spread hate and fear is about as useful as burning the Bible because the KKK hides behind their religion to do the same thing.

And the sheer fact that people can not or will not decipher the difference is exactly what’s wrong with the world today.

There are some bad eggs in everything.  I personally know Muslims, and they are as loving and peace oriented as some Christians that I know.

If you want to make a statement about who we as Americans are, spend September 11 volunteering, having coffee with a Muslim, or praying for those who are lost in hate and fear.  And by all means, light a candle or two in the memory of the lives that were physically, mentally, and spiritually lost on that day.

Most importantly, get over yourselves people!!!!!!!

Last week I found myself alone with my thoughts in the ER with a blood pressure of 199/117.  In between  test after test I began to think back to my past journal writings of my deceitful friend, the back stabbing cigarette.  I realized, I really have to quit smoking…. again.  My cigarettes are holding onto me tighter than they ever have before.  I am at a loss at how to shove them out of my life once and for all.  I’m re-posting some pieces I wrote back in 2007 about quitting.  I did quit, but I felt as if I had become the monster my cigarettes had once been.  I  started smoking again in early 2008 and have been smoking steadily ever since.  And honestly, I’ve enjoyed the hell out of it!  But after my results from my test came back…. I know I have to quit.  I am putting a plan into action…. but….. I’m utterly terrified.

 

Beginning of old journal writing…

I started smoking on occasion when I was 19 years old. I didn’t smoke everyday. The extremes were, a cigarette or 2 a month all the way to a couple of packs a week. I really enjoyed smoking. Every time I would sit at my desk, with pen in hand to write a new poem or story, a cigarette would always take my writer’s block away. When I felt a little lonely, bored or depressed, they were there, always making me feel better. My cigarettes were a kind, non-intrusive friend. They were there when I needed them, but never forceful. If I didn’t want them around, they left me alone until I was ready. It was an ideal relationship.

Over time my cigarettes changed from a kind and patient friend to an over bearing, controlling one. After about 10 years of a wonderful, respectful relationship, my cigarettes became evil. They would no longer sit in the drawer and wait for me to come. They demanded I keep them with me at all times, and that I take up most of my free time devoted to them. They purposely left their scent on me, so everyone would know that they belonged to me. After a time, I became obsessed with my cigarettes. If I weren’t spending time with them, I was spending time thinking about them. Wondering when I would get my time with them and do I have them with me? I could not stop myself from thinking about these things, despite the fact that I knew I would always make time for them and I would always have them with me, as they demanded nothing less from me. I now lived my life as an addict. I smoked around a pack a day even though I could hardly breathe, and I was constantly exhausted. But the cigarettes are tricky and conniving and convinced me that if I have another cigarette, I would feel better. I believed it for awhile. But every once in awhile I would wise up to them.

Once, a few years ago I tried to leave them behind. But as controlling and manipulative friends do, they dug their claws in even harder, they stalked my thoughts, they made me feel out of control. Finally, after only 2 and half days, I took them back…and we were happy, for awhile.

About 7 or 8 months ago I began to see my cigarettes for what they really were. They began to annoy the hell out of me. I couldn’t stand the sight, the smell, or that sizzle sound they make when they’re lighting up. I was tired of them following me everywhere, and all of the time they demanded of me. I thought about leaving again, but I knew how slick they are. This time it would have to be different. I would have to outsmart them. Back door them when they least expect it. It was time to make a plan. These damn cigarettes were going to destroy me if I didn’t do something.

In February,  2007.  I was in and out of doctor’s offices with many problems going on at once.  Surgery was inevitable, but when was in question.  I knew that I would be having surgery, and I knew that being a non-smoker would make the outcome so much better.  But my cigarettes, my friend stood firmly, forcibly by me through the entire ordeal. 

The 5 days I spent in March when I thought I had cancer, my cigarettes were my constant companion. (It wasn’t cancer, thank goodness)  They spent even more time than usual with me, tricking me more and more with every passing minute.  They chanted over and over again that I couldn’t get through this without them, and I was actually stupid enough to believe them.  So, I lit up…A LOT.  I smoked more than I had ever smoked before.  I could literally feel my body deteriorating with every sizzle of another cigarette.

The results from my many test started rolling in.  Every incoming test confirmed that my cigarettes were slowly, but steadily killing me.  My impending surgery would be nothing compared to what was to come if I didn’t throw those damn things out of the door once and for all.

So, begins the plan.  I still spent time with my cigarettes, acting as if nothing was wrong.  But secretly, I was planning my escape.  I day dreamed about not smoking.  I day dreamed about not smoking in different situations that I would normally smoke.  These thoughts caused me to have a lot of anxiety and stress for awhile.  You’ve got to understand, these things, these cigarettes had been my friend for almost 20 years, it is a grieving process.  I couldn’t just throw the cigarettes out without thinking about it first.

After a time, the thought of ditching my smokes  no longer caused panic and anxiety.  Hell, I could do it in my sleep it had become so easy.  At this point, I started practicing what I’d been thinking about.  For example, usually as soon as I jumped into the car I would immediately reach for my cigs.  Instead of reaching right away, I would sing along with a song first…and then smoke.  At first, my cigarettes didn’t know what was going on…but after awhile they began to get suspicious.  As you know, when an evil, vindictive friend gets suspicious of your loyalty, WATCH OUT!!!!

My cigarettes were on to me, and they came after me with a vengeance.  They made my life a living hell for awhile.  They did not leave me alone for a free thought for more than a second, as they were always on my mind.  It seemed they were  controlling my every movement, forcing me to reach for a smoke, not realizing what I was doing until I was putting my cigarette out.  They are sly and they are sneaky, but above all else…they are powerful!  Cigarettes can put Lord Voldemort to shame!

Obviously, I had lost all control over myself and my life.  I knew it was going to be exhausting, but it was time for me to take  control of the situation.  Being a control freak, I  usually enjoy this,  but I knew this was going to be extremely daunting. 

At this point, we are up to about mid August, 2007 already. The war had been going on for about 5 or 6 months, and the cigarettes were beating my ass!    I kicked the fight up into high gear.  I understood the motives of “my friend”, it was going to be a fight for my life. 

For the next 2 and half months or so, I would purposely “forget” my cigarettes, or I would purposely make myself sick by smoking too many cigarettes, or smoking cigarettes that were stronger than I was used to.  I was still thinking about and practicing not smoking in certain situations.  I could feel myself getting closer to walking away and I could feel the anxiety creeping in.  Every time my cigarettes tried to take the power back, and control how and when I smoked, I’d push them away.

On Sunday, October 21, 2007 I realized that in order to give up my smokes, I was going to have to trick myself.  I would take over the roll of tricking.  I gave myself permission to smoke, but I thought of better things to do instead.  If I wanted a cigarette, I could have one if nothing else made me feel better.  It would be a battle of the wills, a competition against myself…and I was, I am, going to win.

end of old journal writing….

My cigarettes are still a manipulative, controlling, annoying friend that I allow to stay in my life.  This friend is slowly killing me….

I hope to figure out how to break this…. and I hope I can find the courage to share it here.  But I have to admit…. I’m a bit embarrassed for anyone to know that this beast is still in my life, and that I’m allowing it to do so.

Sitting outside on a brisk early spring day, every inch of my skin is covered like a face wearing a made for zits mask.  The winds are blowing too, which makes it more uncomfortable than a hoover in a walk in freezer. 

Any hoo, I notice the dog  slouching against the deck railing, sniffing every scent that blows by and intently listening to the calls of the blue jay in that pine tree over there.   Suddenly it hit me, I wonder why I can’t be more like a dog?  I know it’s weird to say that outloud, but it’s really freeing.  You outta try it.  Go back up there to that sentence and actually say outloud, and not just moving your lips, “I wonder why I can’t be more like a dog?”  Okay, maybe it’s not that freeing….

But I really didn’t  come here to talk about that anyway.

Have you ever noticed that the most annoying people are always pointing out how annoying everyone and everything else is?  I say this because last week I found myself, …., I caught myself, …., No…. neither of those…. I NOTICED that I thought to myself twice and actually said outloud to someone else once that I thought 3 separate people were so annoying.  I guess we keep ourselves busy noticing the annoying stuff around us so we can actually tolerate ourselves for more than an hour. hmmm

But I really didn’t want to talk about that either.  GAWD, this is so annoying!!  In fact, I’ve annoyed myself to the point that I can’t tell you what it is I came here to tell you.

So please, if you would do me a great favor and tell me how annoying everyone and everything is so I can tolerate myself enough to come back and talk about what it is I really need to talk about….  Thanks!

Did you notice how many times I used the word outloud?  That could be one of your annoying things. But at the very least I hope I’ve helped you to tolerate yourself for a bit longer….

Damn it…. now I’m late for work!!!

I WANT ONE REALLY BADLY!!!!!!

 

Kiasoul.com