Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

I Created and They Bought… February 17, 2013

I am amazed. Yesterday, I placed some of my photos online to sell and I have already sold TWO! One is a small print and the other is an Iphone case. The company makes most of the money, but i don’t even care. To me, this is not about money. It  just blows me away that someone would PAY MONEY for something I created! WOW! The creative side of me is doing  a happy dance (it looks like a cross between The Harlem Shake, Gangnam Style, and a life-ending seizure) and hyperventilating…

 

Black and White Without the Gray February 10, 2013

Interesting reading I found this morning.

http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2011/05/brilliant-musicians-whove-battled-mental-illness.html

 

http://www.adhdandbipolar.com/famous-people-with-bipolar-disorder.html 

When I feel “Up”, I become very creative. By up I don’t mean a normal good mood; it’s so much more than that. This is the reason I suspect I have some form of bipolar disorder. It is NOTHING like what my daughter suffers, but it is there staring me in the face.

I really understand how so many creative people in the world are bipolar. When you have that edge of mania, just sharp enough to make you invincible, the creative juices flow. Even during depression I find inspiration. I could live and die by my art if there were not people in my world who keep me grounded. I often wonder what it would be like to totally give in; stop fighting the rhythm of my body and mind and let go. Forget trying to fit my square peg into the round hole. Sometimes it becomes so exhausting trying to be like everyone else; I’m just not like other people! I know this and have mostly accepted it. But still I continue to work the 9-5, and live the typical suburbanite life. I think that is where most of my unhappiness originates.

It’s not that I am miserable all the time. I’m not, really.  I have a great job that I love, and I am good at it. I have a husband who does love the me I allow him to see. Most people seem to like me and I like them most people. Of course you know I have my dogs whom I love more than most humans. I just know that I spend so much time suppressing “me” that I often forget who I am.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, who am I really? I am an artist who cannot decide on one art form. I love to paint with acrylics or watercolor. I enjoy making jewelry from metal, wire, rocks, glass, paint, and clay. Writing gets in my blood and I must get it out; poetry, quotes, stories, or simply blogging about life. I love pottery and feeling the slippery clay between my fingers. But I think my true art form is photography. I love photography and would spend most waking moments traveling around the world and taking photos.

new art april 2011 217So why do I work and live like I do? Because it’s what I’m supposed to do. You know: get married, have children and a career, buy a house in a good neighborhood. I did all of that. I’m not unhappy that I did, but I often wonder what life would be like if I lived by my creative juices like my heart desires. Ideally, I guess I could live this life and create in my spare time. The truth of the matter is this life consumes me and all of my time. Just taking time to blog is a challenge.

I have a studio. It is tiny; it once was the bedroom of my daughter, S. Now it’s crammed with the remains of old projects and the tools of all the above mentioned art. I’ve tried spending my summers, when I am out of work from mid-June until mid-August, creating. IT’S NOT ENOUGH! When I create, I become consumed by it like a drug or a new love. I don’t want to talk to people, or cook dinner, or do any mundane things of life. Yet, time after time, I must stop and attend to life matters.new art april 2011 163

I feel like I am some weird schizophrenic blend of two people: the Domestic Me, who enjoys working and conversing with coworkers and children. This version of Me enjoys having everything in order: files put away, papers organized, and dinners planned. She lays out her slacks and dress shirt before bed,  goes to bed on time, and even remembers to put gas in the car! The other part, the Creative Me, only goes to bed when sleep overcomes creativity, puts her hair up in a sloppy ponytail, wears t-shirts, old jeans and bare feet, and listens to blaring music as creativity rules her every breathe.

new art april 2011 164The Domestic Me has ruled for many, many years. Only on occasion has Creative Me taken control and she sometimes wrecked havoc in my life. But SHE is the one that seems like the real me! She is me if I am being honest and really, totally ME. Why, then, do I keep her deep inside? Because that bitch is scary! She would get the tattoos and piercings someone of my age shouldn’t even think about. She would quit the 9-5 because it impedes the creative flow. She would probably then starve to death because, while I love my art in all its forms, I’m not nearly good enough to live on it. Even if I were good, Creative Me would not know how or where to begin to sell my craft. At least she would be much skinnier than Domestic Me! She would always wear jeans or flowing dresses, seldom cut her hair, smoke weed, and probably scare the piss out of small children! 😀 Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the truth is out: I am the original hippy. I am a hippy living a soccer mom life and it sometimes hurts.

So, how do you blend the unblendable? How do you mix black and white and not create gray?

sundown

 

Betty Sue and the Explosion of Colors: A Bipolar Fairy Tale January 13, 2013

Once upon a time there lived a little girl named Betty Sue. Betty Sue lived in a small village in the Kingdom of Nomia with her mother and father. Her parents ran a small shop on the corner of King Street and Prince Way. There they made an honest and decent living selling milk, hand-woven cloth, peacock feathers, and other necessities of life.

Betty Sue was a lucky girl. Her parents loved her and gave her all the things a young girl desired. She had her own bedroom decorated in black and white zebra stripes with accents of pink and green. She wore the latest fashionable clothing. Betty Sue even had her very own unicorn with a sparkly pink horn! Betty Sue’s parents doted on her and made sure she had all she would ever need.

Betty Sue was incredibly happy and energetic.  She excelled in her studies (she did very well in Dragons 101), she dominated in jousting, sang like an angel, delighted in eating a hearty meal, and glided through life with seemingly little effort. Most importantly, when Betty Sue looked at the world with her big green eyes, she saw the world in an exciting and vivid explosion of color that no one else seemed to see. It was amazing, exciting and beautiful!

Those times were the happiest of her life, but for some unknown reason, she suddenly changed. Betty Sue felt dull inside. The beautiful, colorful world around her suddenly turned to gray. The delight she usually felt in her accomplishments sputtered until -POOF- it was gone. She lost her appetite. All she wanted to do was sleep and let the dull, gray world go by without her.

Her parents were naturally concerned. They took Betty Sue to the family doctor. He checked her temperature and looked at her tonsils. After much muttering about, he declared she was fine. The doctor was a good man, but thought Betty Sue was just being a dramatic little girl to get attention. He informed her parents that she needed more of their time and she would be back to normal.

Betty Sue went home with her parents that day and nothing changed. Her parents gave her even more attention than before, but Betty Sue did not care. Her dad bought her a rainbow, but all Betty Sue could see were dull shades of gray. Her mom created a fairy garden for her, where they could work side by side and grow toadstool houses for all kinds of fairies and pixies, but Betty Sue would not even come out to see it.

After a few more days, Betty Sue started feeling better. The colors came back into the world, just as bright and vivid as before. She came out of her dungeon for the first time in days. Betty Sue joined her parents at the dining hall table and enjoyed eating mush again. Back to school she went, showing delight in all that she did, just as before. Her parents were happy to see the doctor was correct and all she needed was a little more attention.

However, it wasn’t long before it happened again. Everyone who knew Betty Sue became puzzled by her bizarre behavior. This girl had it all; why did she seem so sad all of a sudden? Her parents were even more concerned than before. This time, they took her to the Wise Woman.

The Wise Woman lived on the outskirts of the Kingdom. She was considered a witch of sorts, but not a bad one. Still, she was a little scary to the people in the village, so they left her alone unless they needed her. She lived in a little cottage surrounded by a strange garden. Most people in the Kingdom had gardens, but none like the Wise Woman’s. Her garden consisted of unknown trees, bushes, and herbs. Some glowed with an eerie blue or yellow glow; others looked as if they watched and followed your movements as you passed by. It was said that she used these strange plants in her magical potions. These potions could cure the ills that all others could not. For that reason, Betty Sue’s parents took her there one afternoon.

The Wise Woman took one look into Betty Sue’s dull, flat eyes and knew she could help, but also knew it came with a price. She explained to Betty Sue’s parents that she could help, but what it would cost. They did not care as long as Betty Sue could be normal again. Muttering and shuffling her feet, she motioned for Betty Sue to follow her into the cottage. Inside, she pulled various jars from a shelf and dumped the contents into a large boiling cauldron. She stirred it exactly three times, then scooped a spoonful out and poured it into a wooden bowl.

“Drink!” she whispered. Betty Sue gazed with uncaring eyes and did as she was told. The liquid seemed to disappear on her tongue and tasted faintly of silver. Betty Sue looked down at the floor. As usual, everything around her was gray. Suddenly, she felt a tingling in her toes. She lifted up her skirt to see what was happening and she watched, with amazement, as her toes filled with color. She could see the sparkle of her toe polish. Betty Sue watched as the color began to slowly fill in all around her. It was like watching a child color the world. She danced and clapped her hands together with delight as her world became colorful once again.

Her parents cried with relief. They paid the Wise Woman and went merrily on their way. All the way home, Betty Sue marveled at the beauty of the Kingdom.

Betty Sue never saw gray again. But, just as the Wise Woman had explained, she never saw the explosion of colors she once saw. She saw the ordinary colors that everyone else saw. Betty Sue never again sang like an angel; she just sang like any ordinary girl. She enjoyed eating, but did not find the pleasure she once knew. Betty Sue lost the gray, but she lost the brightest colors, too.

One afternoon after her studies, Betty Sue ventured to the edge of the Kingdom. She saw the cottage in the distance and hastened her footsteps. As she approached the gate leading into the curious garden, Betty Sue saw the Wise Woman standing on the porch watching her. The Wise Woman whispered, “I knew you’d be back.” Then she turned and shuffled inside. Betty Sue quickly raced up the path and followed her. Without saying a word, the Wise Woman held out a cup filled with an oily liquid. Betty Sue gulped it down. This time it tasted sweet and sticky like a summer day. Her eyes thanked the Wise Woman and she left without a word.

Betty Sue was delighted to see explosions of colors in the Kingdom again. But she also knew that with the colors came the gray. Betty Sue decided, on that very day, that she would rather be herself, both colorful and gray. She knew the gray days would make the colorful days even better. She walked back toward the village and lived (mostly) happily ever after.

Color your World

Color your World (Photo credit: Michelle Brea)

 

New Quote August 5, 2012

New favorite quote:

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
E. E. Cummings

 

The Three Basic Wants

What do we, as humans, want from life? Even though we all come from different backgrounds, have different life experiences, and live different realities, I believe we all want the same 3 basic things from life.

1.Acceptance. All of us, young, old, and everything in between, need to feel accepted by other humans. In an experiment conducted in 1958, researcher Solomon Asch concluded, ” The tendency to conformity in our society is so strong that reasonably intelligent and well-meaning young people are willing to call white black.” (You can read more on this experiment here.) We all want to belong…to something. We are social creatures who need interaction with other like-minded people.

2. Love. Why do you think there are so many songs written about love? Because it is a driving force of our interactions with one another. I’m not talking about sex (that is a horse of a different color). The feeling that another person has deep, meaningful and strong emotional ties to you can make all the wrongs in the world seem of no consequence. There are so many levels of love that  one human can feel: everything from love of a parent to love of a best friend.  What matters is that you have a deep, meaningful connection with another person.

3. To have purpose. What is life if you are just drifting through it without a reason? All humans need to feel like they have something to contribute to the good of the world. There is a reason we do what we do. Victor Frankl, who was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, said humans are, “characterised by an innate drive to find meaning and significance in their lives, and that failure to achieve meaning results in psychological distress.” (See more here). This desire of a purpose is also why so many people of retirement age find it so difficult to give up a career. Until they see a new purpose in life, they struggle to identify a reason to get up every day.

Feeling accepted, loved, and having a purpose can lead to a happy fulfilling life. If we work on obtaining these three things, I believe the other goodnessness  (yes, I made up that word because it fit!) of life: success, pleasure, respect, and yes, happiness, will follow as a result.

 

Who Am I?

Who am I?

i am empathetic

~for animals and children, who need our love and devotion

~for broken humans, who are suffering in so many ways

~for elderly, who have lived and loved and become frail

i am liberal

~i believe equal rights mean equal for all

~i judge by who you are, not what you are

~i think all people should have the rights of all others

i am a survivor

~of childhood molestation

~of interior, self-inflicted wounds

~of life and all its curves

i am a mother

~my daughters will always come first

~my girls live in my heart wherever they may be

~my heart breaks every time they hurt

i am a creator

~of words that, together, come alive on a page

~of pictures i paint with film or acrylics

~of objects created of metal, glass and other beauties

i am a lover

~of animals and nature

~of music that feeds my soul with rhythm and words

~of my dogs, who quiet my restless soul

i am a hater

~of self, for things i cannot yet forgive

~of ignorant, bigoted people who spew hateful words at others

~of explantions molded to fit one view only

i am imperfect

~i hide from the truth when it hurts too much

~i pretend i’m okay when i’m not at all

~i lie to fit in and be safe in the group

i am a beast

~when you harm someone i love

~when your hatred turns against the helpless

~when i’m pushed into a corner, i come out swinging

i am so many things.

i am all of this and much, much more.

i am Rainey.

 

First Appointment? Check April 26, 2012

Well, I kept my appointment with the doctor today. It was just with my GP, not with a specialist. She listened to me and agreed that something else besides depression was going on. She did up the dosage of my anti-depressant to help me through the next month or so. She stopped short of saying it was bipolar, but wants me to see a psychiatrist and consider therapy. She didn’t have one to recommend, so I worry about finding a good one. This area is not known for great mental health support, and we have gone through hell finding any help for my daughter during the past 6 years. Hopefully I will find one that will listen to me. I am going to kept writing and keeping my mood journal until then.

I feel….anti-climatic. I guess I wanted her to give me some sort of test and say, “You have _______ wrong with you and here is the magic pill to make it all better.” Logically, of course, I KNOW this will never happen. There isn’t a definitive test for mental illness. There isn’t a magic pill. I have seen my daughter go through such incredible struggles, and I know the road is never smooth. But my life has never been smooth and sometimes I just wish I could get a little slack….Okay, I’m finished whining. I will do what I always do: put on my big girl pants and keep on going. It just seems that if I stop trying it would be so much easier.

 

The Clash of the Shovel and the Sign April 20, 2012

Before the alarm had time to blare, Sarah sat up and switched it off. A heavy sigh escaped her lips as she contemplated the upcoming day. I wish I could just stay in bed and skip this day, she thought.

She pushed her body up and out of bed with the grace of a hundred year old woman instead of the 39-year-old that she really was. She padded down the hallway with bloodshot eyes and somehow found the energy to fix a cup of coffee. Stepping out on the back porch with a steaming mug, she sucked in a breath of the warm, humid air. “Welcome to Florida”, she muttered. “Home of the hot and humid at 5:30 am.” She sank into her favorite Adirondack chair and sipped from her mug. She was not looking forward to this day.

As she drained the last of her coffee, Sarah debated getting another cup. Realizing she was just delaying the inevitable, she sighed again and decided to just be done with it. Today was the day, like it or not. “Just get over it”, she stated out loud. She jumped out of the chair and flung herself into preparing for the day.

After showering, styling her hair, and applying a bare minimum of makeup, she stood looking at her reflection. Not too bad, she thought. A little pudgy around the middle, a few fine wrinkles around her eyes, but overall, not too bad. She stuck out her hand, as if shaking hands with someone. “Hi, my name is Sarah, and I am divorced.” The words sounded foreign on her lips. She tried again, this time with a forced happiness. “Hello, my name is Sarah, and my husband walked out on me. Today we make it final: our lives together are now over.” She dropped her hand as tears threatened to spill from her eyes. No, she thought, not today. No more tears.

Sarah grabbed her purse and keys from the nightstand table. On the table by the front door sat a packet of papers. Divorce papers. Sam’s lawyer had sent them over for her to preview but she had not been able to open the packet. Instead, she had placed the packet in the exact spot that Sam used to place his briefcase. But that was BEFORE. When she thought of her life now, she thought about it in two parts: BEFORE, and AFTER. Her mind drifted as she remembered how life was…BEFORE.

BEFORE, her life had settled into just what she had always wanted: she and her husband, Sam, had dated for 2 years before getting married. Sam worked as an insurance agent and she worked as a receptionist at a day care. They bought a newly built three bedroom house with a two-car garage. Life was grand. Sam golfed on Saturdays and Sundays, and she would go shopping or meet friends for lunch. At night, they would go out with other couples. Most of the couples were Sam’s business associates, but Sarah got along well with most of their wives.

They were in their second year of marriage when Sarah began to notice a change in Sam. He seemed a little less attentive, somewhat preoccupied. She thought that maybe they needed to get away alone together and rekindle some romance in their marriage. Sex was good, but a little predictable. So she arranged a surprise romantic getaway for a weekend trip to Miami. She booked the Honeymoon Suite for two nights and bought sexy new lingerie to wear. She sprung the surprise on Sam that Wednesday night.

“Honey, I have a surprise for you!” she told him as they sat together in the living room. Sarah sat curled up on the loveseat, while Sam lounged in the recliner with the day’s newspaper. Sam continued to read the newspaper as he absently muttered, “Huh?”

“Put the paper down and talk to me. I have a surprise for you that you will love!”

Sam peered at her over the top of the paper. “What?”

“Well, I decided that we needed some time alone together, so I booked the Honeymoon Suite at the Heavenly Inn in Miami. We leave on Friday night and return Sunday.” As Sam frowned and started shaking his head, her voice began to falter. “It’s just….you know…we haven’t spent much time alone lately….I thought…” her voice trailed off as he sighed heavily.

“You decided? Sarah, you know that I golf every weekend. I can’t just go running off because you have some stupid romantic idea. Besides, we spend every Friday and Saturday night together. I take you out to dinner; what more do you want?”

Her eyes filled with tears. “But we are not alone! We are always with other couples. And it’s not a stupid romantic idea! I just thought it would do us some good!”

“What would do us some good,” Sam replied in his I’m-being-patient-and-you’re-being-ridiculous voice, “is if you just cancel those reservations and let me go golfing, because THAT is how I make business contacts, and THAT is how we pay the bills, remember? You’re little “meet and greet” receptionist job certainly doesn’t pay for this nice house you live in, now does it?”

Sarah knew better than to argue. Anytime she pushed things with Sam, he gave her the silent treatment for days. She wanted to tell him that she was not the one who wanted this large brand-new house. She wanted something small and cozy that she could furnish with yard-sale finds. Sam was the one who insisted on this house because “it makes us look successful.”

As Sam went back to reading his paper, Sarah grabbed her cell phone and went out on the porch to cancel the trip. After the call, she sank into her chair. She really thought Sam would like the idea, and it stung to know that he had no interest in spending time alone with her. She knew how important his business golf outings were to him, but she didn’t realize it had become the most important part of his life.

It was a few weeks later when she began to get suspicious. It was a glorious Saturday morning and Sam was golfing at the country club, as usual. Sarah had just completed the last load of laundry when the phone rang. It was Sam’s sister, Claire. She called to tell Sam that her husband, Manny, had fallen from a ladder while cleaning out the gutters on their house. Manny was being stubborn, as usual, and Claire needed Sam to convince him to go to the hospital to get checked out. Claire was Sam’s younger sister and she always called Sam when she needed something. It was annoying as hell, but Sarah dealt with it.

“Call his cell, Claire. He’s at the country club.” Sarah told her patiently.

“I tried, but he didn’t answer. Can you please, please just drive up there and get him? I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important.”

Sarah thought for a second. “Okay, I can do that. I’m about to go shopping, so I will just swing by there on my way. I will tell him to call you.” Claire thanked her and Sarah hung up the phone, grabbed her purse and jumped in her car.

Within fifteen minutes she was at the clubhouse. The first thing she noticed was that Sam’s car was not there. That’s funny, she thought to herself. He usually tells me when he is golfing at a different golf course. She decided to try calling him. After three rings, he answered.

“Hello, Sarah; there must a problem because otherwise you wouldn’t call me while I’m golfing.”

His brisk manner stunned her. She knew he could be short with her sometimes, but he sounded so angry it shocked her for a moment. Finally she found her voice and said, “Hello, honey. It’s just….ummm…Claire…where are you?”

“What do you mean, where am I? Have you been hitting the bottle early today?” Sam chuckled harshly into the phone. “It is Saturday, I am at the club, I am golfing, just like I do every Saturday, remember? Now, what is this about Claire?””

Sarah sat in her car staring stupidly at the parking lot of the country club. Sam was not there. He had just lied to her. Something kept her from telling him that she knew he was lying.

“Claire tried to call you. Manny fell and she needs you to call her.” Sarah heard her own normal sounding voice and wondered where it came from.

“Oh, okay then.” His voice softened. “Sorry, I just thought you were calling to bother me about taking you somewhere. I will call her right back. We are in the clubhouse now taking a break. I didn’t hear the phone ring.”

“No problem, darling. Is Carl working the counter today? I need to ask him if I left my earrings in there Wednesday when I had lunch with Eve.”  It was shocking to hear the lie slip so effortlessly from her mouth.

“No, Carl is off today. You can ask him later. I have to go so I can call Claire. See you tonight.”  Sarah heard the click as Sam hung up. She sat there for several more minutes, trying to figure out a way to make the pieces of the puzzle fit. Without thinking, she opened her car door and got out. Sarah walked quickly up the path leading to the clubhouse restaurant. Ducking inside, she slid her sunglasses off to allow her eyes to adjust to the interior. After a moment, she stepped up to the front counter. There in front of her, stood Carl.

“Hello, Mrs. Tanner. Will you be alone, or will others be joining you today?” Carl inquired.

“Hello, Carl.” She managed to say. “My husband asked me to stop by and see if he left his sunglasses last time he golfed here.”

“Well, I can check, but as you know, he hasn’t been here in months. In fact, we were going to call to see if there was a problem with the clubhouse. He was such a regular, and now we never see him!”

“Oh, there’s no problem at all, Carl. He has been so busy at work lately. I’m sure he will be back before you know it. Don’t bother calling him. I will pass on the message.” Sarah smiled sweetly as Carl dug through the lost and found basket. He of course came up empty-handed.

Sarah somehow made more small talk and managed to make it back to her car without her knees buckling. She didn’t allow herself to think as she drove to every other golf course in the area. Sam’s car wasn’t at any of them.

That was the end of the BEFORE and the beginning of the AFTER, Sarah thought, as she snatched the packet of divorce papers from the table. She flung open the door and stepped into the scorching Florida sun. Slipping on her sunglasses, her eyes fell on the signpost that still had “The Tanners” spelled out in gold letters. Somehow, just seeing that sign, the sign that they had picked out together, made her furious. The day Sam had poured the concrete and buried the post in the ground had been a fun, silly day for them. They drank a little wine, got giggly, and made love right on the living room rug. Just remembering those details made Sarah so angry she punched the code to open the garage door and tossed her purse, keys, and the divorce packet into her car. She found the shovel she and Sam purchased together at the hardware store, and stomped out to the sign. Without hesitation, Sarah began beating the post. The metal clashing with metal sent vibrations all the way up her body, but that only made her more determined. She continued to pound until the post began to lean heavily to one side. The post finally fell to the ground and the offending sign lay against the manicured lawn. Satisfied, Sarah left the sign lying against the grass, turned around with the shovel thrown over her shoulder and marched back to the garage. She carefully placed the shovel against the wall, then opened her car door and sank on the leather seat. She saw her reflection as she closed the car door: her hair, which she had pulled back into a prim bun (that Sam once liked), had worked loose and now most of it stuck to her sweaty face. What remained of the bun was sagging low enough to touch the back of her neck. Her carefully applied makeup now had smears of dirt from the handle of the shovel and her eyes looked like those of a lunatic. She pulled the rest of her hair loose from the bun and wiped the smudge from her face. That is when it hit her: Sarah knew, in that moment, that she would be just fine.

 

Blogging Thanks April 9, 2012

Thank you, all of my blogging friends. I have struggled alone for so long, the support I have received here in recent weeks is astonishing. Each like, each comment, all the feedback, is oh so welcome. It means so much to be able to pour out my uncensored feelings and thoughts, and still be accepted. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. ~Rainey

 

How He Folds T-shirts and Other Insignificant Details

Why is it that seemingly insignificant details seem to stick with me? I can’t remember what I had to eat this morning or the name of the toothbrush I need to replace, but I can remember a chance remark someone made to me ten years ago. I don’t wash clothes mid-week because if I do, I can’t remember what I’ve already worn that week and I might repeat (heaven forbid!).

I understand remembering hurtful things from my past that come back to haunt me. Like the time, when I was a teenager and acting out, my mother told me if my dad had a heart attack and died it would be my fault. Two years later, he had a heart attack….he didn’t die, thank God, but I still felt to blame. Things like that tend to stick, and I understand that.

But what about the stupid, minor things that happened? Like the time a friend showed me how he folds his t-shirts. I hang mine in the closet, so why do I remember him explaining it to me? Of all the billions of memories, why that one? Why do I remember that a friend from long ago, a girl I haven’t had contact with in many years, loved the color pink? I have no real attachment to her, the color pink, or that memory. But there it is, stored like it is of some great importance, right between my social security number and the names of every pet I ever owned.

Memory is a funny thing. For a very long while, I blocked out some terrible things from my childhood. In fact, I don’t remember as much about my childhood as most people do. While blocking out the bad, did I also block out the good? Or was my childhood so unremarkable that I simply forgot most of it? I do have some memories, don’t get me wrong. I remember my dogs, with great detail. I remember playing outside, alone. I even remember a terribly vivid nightmare I had where I tried to escape and the fence had knife-like jagged edges that sliced off my skin every time I tried to get away. I don’t really remember my family, or any friends, or things we did together. All of my earliest memories are of me, alone.

In my teen years I found drugs to erase the memories that were beginning to haunt me. Drugs, alcohol, sex, and rock ‘n roll became the way to escape. I have lost many of these memories due to my self-medication. This is probably for the best, because I am not too proud of some of the things I said and did during this period of my life.

Maybe because I have lost large chunks of important memories it leaves more room for the insignificant ones. Like the time a friend told me she gets really warm right before she gets out of bed, even in the winter. Who cares? Apparently, my memory does.