Barefoot and Packing

I am of the mind that a woman or a man, for that matter, should be able to walk down the street naked and everyone else should be able to keep their libido in check. One may get a stiffy or have sugar down her legs, but STAY ON YOUR LAWN! Having said that, I am sure you understand that I have no patience for rape.

A few nights ago, I was raped for the second time in a year by the same ass. His name is unimportant as is he. If I had a soul when it came to rape, I would be heartbroken by the way that the police, both state and local, doctors, and all but one nurse treated me. Again, asses. They actually convinced me not to do a rape kit. I had not showered for the sole purpose of having the SAFE exam. However, broken and downtrodden, I am not! Determined, I am.

My assailant has a very affluent and influential brother in a neighboring town. No doubt he is holding up there. I sleep with all of the lights on and barely sleep at all. I swore I would never allow this monstrosity to occur again yet here we are. I have one main and several under advocates at Ampersand Sexual Assault; they rock the kasbah!

Obviously, I didn’t go into detail about what exactly happened; that was in order to keep the creepers at bay. My message to you is this one: if you have been, or are currently being, sexually or physically abused or have been raped, please, reach out to someone. I know how terrifying it can seem, but, believe me, you ARE worth it. Jesus wasn’t a doormat. He didn’t intend for you to be one either.

If It Walks Like A Duck

So, the pain in my breast has become unbearable. If you haven’t been following me, “they” found “something” during the mammogram. That something turned out to be cancer, and, not just any old cancer, but stage four Big C.

My PCP put me on one dose a day of the weakest strength of the weakest pain medicine, if you want to call it that, available. Let’s just say that I could buy it off the shelf in other Capitalistic countries. It wasn’t doing jack.

I had four telehealth conferences with my PCP yesterday- four because I couldn’t hear him. At first, I thought the auditory problems were my fault. Something has to be wrong with my phone. What am I going to do about my mandatory zoom meeting? All I could hear him say was my office, eight o’clock, tomorrow morning. I soon learned that the auditory situation was one of his own making.

I somehow overslept twice passing two alarms- a very rare occurrence. I had missed my appointment. I called and begged for an appointment. They could squeeze me in at 10:45 but I would have to wait. I got there, got to a room within five minutes, and was being screened by him within another five. He even skipped over another patient waiting before me to get to me- boy, did he get to me.

It’s never a good sign when the doctor brings in a nurse- well, period, but especially when he is already putting gloves on and she is holding fifty more pairs. He went straight for my girls. I had to pull up the old bra and everything. Then, he throws this at me, “You have fibrocystic breast disease. You need a mammogram.”

Quack.

You Look Just Like Her!

As I look at my stained glass eyes of red, buff, and white, I marvel at how much I look like her-my shaggy auburn mane adding to the effect. I see Mom staring right back at me. My sister must see the quality, too, because, every time I ask her if I should go back to blonde, I get an emphatic YES AND ALWAYS!

If one were to line up my sister, my brother, and me, one would think that we were just friends talking make that arguing make that fighting. From my sister’s 5’2” stature to my brother at 6’2” and me in the middle, we look nothing like siblings taken as a whole. However, if one were to divide us up into pairs, the resemblance is uncanny- short, medium, or tall.

I remember the snotty photographer at my brother’s wedding. While he pulled off an amazing shot of my brother looking like he was hovering above Granny’s beautiful backyard, he had to do an even trickier photo of the three of us up close without cutting heads off. He nailed it! Of course, all of the things precious to me in the storage units were stolen, so I don’t have the picture.

I miss my brother, but not as much as I miss Mom. The poem, “She Walks in Beauty like the Night,” perfectly describes her- remembering that light and dark are not inherently good or evil; it’s what we do with them that counts. And, she did exceedingly well with both. I love you, Mom. Until we meet again…forever, your youngest.

Would you like some chai with your tea?

I had the pleasure of visiting my sister, Beth, today. We had a marvelous time of her telling me where and how to stand. (Watching the cogwheels in her brain work as she makes small gestures for she is a small woman is fascinating. It always puts me at ease.)

She elegantly served us both some chocolate chai tea. You know when something just isn’t quite right, but you don’t want to say anything? So you smile awkwardly and watch to see what the other person thinks. Well, Beth’s cogwheels where in a rare, confusing pattern. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Almost dead stop. Then, our eyes met. She wanted to know what I thought of the beverage. I responded that I didn’t know what to think as I had never had chai before. This wasn’t chai; it was chai tea.

A FAKE! I knew I smelled a rat. We nodded to each other. This “tea” wasn’t chocolate or chai; it was a watered down version of the original. With eager anticipation we had waited for the water to boil, the china to be placed, the beverage to cool. All hopes of tastiness thwarted by a fraud. Beth looked frustrated, infuriated, mortified, and slightly embarrassed all at once…and definitely deflated. I felt so sorry for her that I drank all I could, thinking of the Quik, in my purse the whole while. Then, we gave each other a to hell with Covid hug.

I adore my sister tea, chai, or 7-Up!

Give Me Your Breast Guess

Rant on: I wasn’t going to say anything, but this situation is ridiculous and dangerous. A lump has been found in my breast. I have had all of the tests, and, considering my own and my family’s history of breast cancer, the experts agree it’s cancer. (Biopsies are considered an elective surgery during Covid. Absolutely ridiculous!!! I could rant right here.)

To complicate the matter, after having two lumpectomies in the other breast for cancer, I had an implant inserted which recently ruptured. Now, a painful, silicone sac floats around inside my breast cavity reeking havoc.

The problem lies in that no one wants to touch this two for one surgery due to Covid. BUT, no one wants to perform the CANCER SURGERY either as it is being seen as ELECTIVE!!! Elective??? Really?! Because I am sure I chose to get cancer. I waited at home just hoping it would knock on the door. I find this whole ordeal ludicrous.

One may wonder how I can step out of place and speak of such things. The answer comes quite easily; I don’t give the care of the last feather plucked off of a peacock’s ass who knows.

Saying “No” is Not a No-No

I feel off- not myself. I advocated for myself today, and the whole thing just felt wrong. I sat with this feeling and others for quite a while, and then it hit me. Since my voice, my choice, my song was taken from me right from the start of my life, I don’t know how to speak up for myself. I don’t know how to say “no.” No, this isn’t working. No, I am not being true to me. No, this feels awkward, confusing, forced, frightening, etc.

Now, I have no problem taking up for two people: God and the underdog. God because from those crazy years of torture and abuse to now when I am stricken with the pain of grief, He has never left my side and has never forsaken me. I may have walked away from Him, but He remained and even left the ninety-nine to come and find me. God because He got in the mire and the muck of the abuse with me and ultimately saved me from it, from them.

The underdog is a different story. It’s really my story played out in another person. I see myself in them and the talons come out, and I scratch and scrape to help them out of their pit-or I used to. I got tired along the way. Lost my passion-even for people which was my greatest gift.

I am searching for my passion now. My voice. My song. My story. My strength to say “no” and “enough” and many other powerful magical words. So, if you see any of these things of mine out there, tell them I am coming. Tell them I am on my way back home to me.

The Nitty Gritty: Because I love you so

I remember you as a baby, and, when you are truly expressing yourself, I see those same eyes and am bewildered at the young man pleading his case with truth and passion before me. I call it a great injustice that all of the true matriarchs, the ones who taught me, have died before your time, before they could see your eyes asking for truth and answer them.

Dearest Hank,

At your mother’s behest, I have stayed away, have clamped my mouth shut, have shamed those women who went before me by not doing what needs to be done. Damn it all! You will know our side of the family if I write the last sentence of this book with my dying, smoke smelling breath from cigarette slimmed lips. You are a Martin, a Hamilton, a Bell, a Hill, and, unfortunately, a Vest. Everyone deserves to know where they come from, their roots, and you will know yours.

There is a reason you are creative. There is a reason that you play video games in your “bear, and bare, cave.” There is a reason that you used to believe that the devil lived in the bathroom. There is a reason you have anxiety. There is a reason you are so highly intelligent. You should and will know by the end of this book.

You will know the truth; truth is one of the most powerful forces in the world. As Uncle Ben reminded Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Jim Qwik was eager to point out that the opposite is, also, true. So, use the stories, the truths, and the lessons in your book, this book, with wisdom, compassion, and honor- traits that many have fought to have passed down to you.

Read slowly, and digest what you take in. Learn the truth; it will truly set you free. As Marcus J. Borg promised, “Honesty begets candor.” However, prudence goes a long way, too.

This book will give you grit which, when nurtured, will give you courage. Courage will give you strength and strength gives rise to passion. Ignore zeal until you are firm in your foundation or you will flounder. Passion will ignite a thirst for knowledge, and knowledge leads to truth. And, the great Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was correct, “The truth shall set you free.”

Every person deserves to know his roots; these are yours. They are not for boasting or bragging rather for knowing the why of deep longings and of things abhorred. These truths are not to be picked through and tossed to and fro willy nilly but to be taken as a whole and honored in your being.

So, it is that I give you your birthright. Cherish it. Know that I did it in love for you and in respect of your becoming a man. I wrote to those eyes, wide and wild with wonder, begging for truth. I turned a yarn of honesty, because I love you so.