Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's raining, it's pouring...

and I'm not yet snoring!

But I should be.
I am sleepy...
And I don't have anything blogable on my mind, just stress type stuff.
But I guess I can push all that aside,
stick it on a shelf somewhere and chat about the rest of my life--the Good Parts.

My Love works nights about the half the time, so tonight it is just me and four cats on this big ole bed.
I can hear peepers outside, and crickets or something.
I love how alive this place is.
This is NOT city living, that's for damn sure!
The country is loud with quiet...
And there are so many stars here it make me wish I could focus my eyes better.
I love it.

I have noticed some subtle but exciting changes in my kids lately.
I think they're growing up!
I think they've reach a new stage in their childhood...they'll be 9 soon, and I just think they're finally in a new realm of maturity and confidence.
I am enjoying this immensely.

This week I made several excellent loaves of bread, and two batches of strawberry freezer jam.
Very satisfying.
Trying to think of more intersting things, but all that comes to mind are my worries.
I guess that's just how life is.

Instead, here's a story I started writing the other day.
Just sorta rolled off my tongue, but with some editing and a few more pages, it could be a cool little story. Or first chapter to a book.........

She wasn't the only one there with tattoos and cut-offs, but she managed to look the sleaziest. Maybe it was the dark eye makeup, or the unexpectedness of so many lines on the childish face. She had a skinned knee and a hole just under the back pocket of her ill-fitting shorts, but there appeared to be knitting needles sticking out of the lumpy backpack she carried. She had something nondescript sprawled across her lower back, ink stains on skin, but the rose tattoo on her ankle was the final piece of the jumbled timeline. The rose was straight out of the 70s, but this girl's mother was probably too young for a tattoo in the 70s. Her name, obviously, was Crystal. What other name would a girl like this have? The dirt under her fingernails hinted at something, but the cigarette clasped between those fingers was what really drew the eye. She held it like a child holds a crayon, her fist curled around it, shoving it into her rotten, ragged-looking mouth.

The jukebox stopped and in the silence, other senses were sharpened--the grit on the floor could be felt inside shoes, while the scent of stale smoke and unwashed armpits was almost a taste, and made several patrons blink. The silence also left room for the Jimmy the bartender to notice this squalid presence, this aged child.

"You got some ID, junior?"

Crystal swatted the fly that had landed on the back of her cigarette hand. She looked into his grey, drooping eyes and said nothing.

"Look, I gotta see some ID or they'll shut me down. And I can't afford that shit again this month." He braced his hands against the bar, holding his ground.

She sighed and reached into her backpack. She tossed something hat looked like a receipt, or an invoice onto the polished wood stretched out before her.

After his eyes skimmed the paper, Jimmy cocked one eyebrow, smoothed his mustache with one large hand, and gave it back to her. Mostly to himself he said, "Well that explains a lot," shook his head slightly and met her eyes again. "What'll it be?"

She coughed from somewhere deep in her lungs and pointed to the Budweiser sign behind him. "Light," she amended.

"Three bucks." They completed the exchange in silence and she took the bottle to the far corner of the room. Sometime during that slow-motion exchange, the jukebox had started up again, same song as before. There was a dull buzz of conversation, but most people were edging away from Crystal's booth.

Crystal put the bottle to her lips and let the cool crispness wash through her mouth, her scattered thoughts each fighting for center stage. She didn't really want to be here, in a crappy bar full of crappy drunks, each making some version of a crappy judgment of her. She could feel their disapproval, smell their loathing. But she didn't know how she must look to them. She didn't know they could see her life spelled out in the way she walked, the breaths she drew. She lived inside her own head and had very little use for anyone in the outside world. She needed something, though, and she had decided that this might be a place she could find it, or get closer to finding it.

The scene before her seemed convex, with all the people clustered at the center of the warped vision. She sipped at the brown, sweating bottle until the scene stabilized and she was able to see each person separately.