Why 15 Year Old Boys Can’t Read Minds and Why It MATTers

Abstract thinking is the thought process that develops in our teens and what that means is that we are given the ability to see things from the perspective of others. During the transition from adolescence to adulthood, the brain prunes itself, ridding unneeded neurons. Male adolescents are vulnerable to having “daredevil brain.” What teenagers fail to realize is that while tis true their brains are changing and adapting, they have a huge capacity to influence those changes, essentially creating themselves into a mold of their choice. The pre frontal cortex is not fully developed until roughly 24 and that is a damn shame because decisions, problem solving, empathic feeling and the way in which one responds to others is heavily influenced by the amygdala. In short, the brakes don’t work yet. Speaking of which, teens are susceptible to the likes of addiction and self medicating, not surprisingly, damn you amygdala. Teens need a solid and routine sleep schedule, actually, so do adults, a proper sleep regime has proven to have many health benefits especially for those affected by neurological issues. Patterns, mammals, hand in hand. Speaking of hands, don’t get me started on the raging sex hormones. Let’s see, horny, no empathy or consideration for most and lack of impulse control, sounds like a fantastic combination doesn’t it?

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SO, science bullshit aside, why is it that a teenage boy’s vision is so affected? What causes the brain to suddenly send signals to the cornea, blinding the individual, rendering them unable to see crusty food and dishes? What chemical response is responsible for shutting down a teenager’s ability to see and respond to food stuck on a pan, sat on a stove for days? I don’t expect the boy to read my mind and know that I am thinking it would be nice to not have a nasty stove and sink because I too would like to utilize the kitchen space. My rational brain expects a person of any age to see the filth and react appropriately. What bug crawls into a teenage ear embedding itself into the grey matter that would suggest to the teenager that if someone they are with has a migraine they should sit next to them, never ask what that person needs in realization that they are a tad incapacitated, and proceed to play a YouTube video at full volume? I don’t expect the child to read my mind. I do expect a person of any age to be considerate in anther’s time of need, especially if that person has any sort of positive emotion towards the migraine haver. Is it the same bug that crawls into the teenage brain, burrows itself and insists on watching TV at a blaring volume in the middle of the night whilst another person attempts to sleep in the next room because they have to be up at the ass crack of dawn? While the grown ups plan for futures, homes, children, building a foundation with another, work, school or what have you, why does the teenage brain prioritize video games over responsibility and hard work? If a teenager is lucky enough to not have to go to work on a daily basis to self sustain, why does that brain interpret that as thusly having zero responsibilities around the house in effort to be a productive member of the household? I don’t expect the boy child to read my mind when I’m thinking “I hope the dog doesn’t have an accident while I’m at work for near eleven hours a day.” I do expect a mature person of any age to acknowledge and treat the dog as a dog, a dog that eats and drinks and uses the bathroom like all living things and which cannot hold their bladder for eleven hours. I don’t expect the child to jump to help someone unload a packed car. What I expect, is for a grown man who was forewarned that someone would need help, I expect for that man when they see said person with boxes in their hand climbing up and down the stairs to actually do what they said, assist.

I don’t expect a child’s mind to get into a relationship and understand what that means as a partnership. I do have the expectation of a grown ass person to take a relationship, which they voluntarily entered into, seriously and with intent and purpose. I do expect a teenage boy to be unable to keep it in his pants. I expect the childlike brain to lie and hurt others albeit purposefully or not. I do expect a teenage male to sleep eighteen hours a day with little accomplishment to show in their daily life. I expect the teenager to have very little insight or consideration for the world and the people in it. I expect the boyish dude to have an inability to let go of ex girlfriends. I expect the teenage hooligan to play the rebound game consistently, sticking it into any idiot that will let him, it usually garners them a cute nick name of some sort, signifying his “conquests” in the bedroom. I mean, come on, we all know those venereal diseases they tried to scare us with in school were mostly myth. I expect the juvenile unbalanced brain to take the idea of marriage as a joke. Ask a fifteen year old boy to marry you, go ahead, see what happens. I expect the hormone fueled teen to flake out on special occasions such as a 4th of July BBQ. Again, priorities and consideration are not yet compartmentalized in their adolescent brain. I expect the ideas of trust, loyalty and general ethics to be lost in a boy’s mind, there’s simply not enough room for that stuff in there, what with all the video game, porn and bro knowledge taking up all the real estate. I expect the fifteen year old boy to get huffy when he doesn’t get his way and to resolve issues with that time old medication, what’s it called? Oh ya, alcohol. I expect a child to forget to take their actual, much needed and vital medication and I expect that child to need a parental figure to remind them to take said medication. I expect the teenage boy to be lost in the art of love making, there’s a reason they think the orgasm is a myth. I completely have the expectation for boys to be unable to budget properly and I expect overdraft fees and missed payments in lieu of fun and games and collectibles. Around a fifteen year old boy I would expect to feel insignificant and as though I was more of a nuisance than an ally, an inconvenience to their world, you know the world that revolves around them and their needs? I totally expect the teenage boy to damage the worth I see in myself.  The tragic thing of it all, is often times, there’s a lot of potential to be seen in a fifteen year old. What they do with that potential and what choices they make are, unfortunately, out of your control. Equally unfortunate, I expect any fifteen year old to be just that, fifteen, unmotivated, unwilling, without goals, napping and selfish.

I don’t need a mind reader as a partner and a committed mate. I don’t need a mind reader to make me happy. “I can’t read your mind what do you expect?” I think we have all heard this excuse at least once in our lives. Does your ass have to remind you to wipe it when it gets dirty or is that an instinctual action? See and/or feel. Respond. I don’t need much. So what happens when you do fall in love with a fifteen year old boy? I did just that, I fell in love with a fifteen year old boy trapped in the body of a male who is, in actuality, in his 30s. I fell hard too. I fell hard enough to abandon all logic and reasoning, regressing myself to a school age. I was on cloud fucking 9, planning days out together, birthday surprises for him, planning all things for the future. I knew without a doubt I was going to marry that boy. I didn’t want to play house, I wanted to build a home. I had the ring to prove it, the engraved ring. Engraved with two words, two words that represent a lot for me because those two words are the title to one of my favorite showtunes, “For Good.” I was planning on giving it to him in the middle of “Wicked.” Oh, did I mention that was the birthday surprise, tickets to our mutually loved musical? Ya. That was a thing. I thought we were a team, for good. I was his, for good. No good deed goes unpunished I suppose. When the child ripped through his body and took over his adulthood, things became clear. Any person who would lie in a vicious way about his supposed love and never think to own up and maybe apologize is a person who cares about nobody but themselves and cares only about their needs, as shallow as those may be. What makes the whole thing tragic is not the actual break up, not the loss of what could have been a brilliant life together, but the loss of respect that I had, trust that I had and the loss in realizing that all the potential I saw in this other human being to be an extraordinary human being, father and husband was potential that I will never see fulfilled and that makes me supremely sad. I find it obvious that this person clearly isn’t happy in their own life because if they were they couldn’t possibly be as negative, as much of a downer, as unmotivated and as inconsiderate as they are. They certainly wouldn’t find joy in lying to people about the one person they are supposed to be leaning on and fighting with not against.  It’s a tragedy that most fifteen year old people fight through and eventually come out on the other side being stronger for. Most fifteen year old boys. I fell in love with a male in his 30s and I lost him to a fifteen year old boy in his anguish.

forrestgump

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I Said I Wasn’t Mad, What I Meant Was…

“A 24 Hour Camping Trip With Any Person You Want”

A mile away live the rich folk, sucking their spoons over pretentious plates, sucking and fucking out of boredom. Two miles away live their parents, polishing the silver they shall present as gifts, sucking and fucking in their memories. Suburbanites in motion without a poetic thought in their brains or on their hillsides. Ticky tacky little bastard boxes, useless boxes. Boxes for juice, boxes for donations and children’s garments, boxes for everything but wine, not the wine. On the other side of the proverbial tracks he sees me. He devours me. He found the nineteen year old me that I would slap should my Delorean have enough plutonium. Fuck it, get me out of here, lets go somewhere we can talk. Come on, you know you want to. This is me pitching an idea on your field. It’s a high fly ball, over the left field wall. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, it’s that reach for the stars, over the fence, world series shit again. Son of a bitch, I do believe it’s a foul ball, on account of the rules of the restrictive suburbanite dictatorship. Wouldn’t you rather sit by a fire and tell me a story?

Behind the moon and beyond the rain I would be out of his reach. My bruised ego and cracked cheek would turn to the trees to avoid his distress signals. Zoom in on the SOS in my back pocket. My remorse code has gone haywire and you don’t speak the language of a peasant such as I. Mercy not the dimwitted inexperience, I suck at life, but I make a mean s’more. Do you set the entire marshmallow aflame or do you toast properly? Maybe we would take a nap right? A nap on a pillow of blue bonnets, you know, in a blanket made of stars. Sounds pretty goddamn good to me, just you and your simple smile. Coming up next on the XM Cheese Whiz network. I’m not catching dinner for you. I’ll cook whatever your heart desires when we are back with the civilians. He used to make me cook his dinner among other things, my wifely duties serviced his ass for far too long. Next on the XM Revenge channel, angry music for the drive home. How about that story now?

Tell me what you wanted to be when you grew up. A teacher, a lawyer or maybe I peg you as a counselor of some sort. I don’t know maybe you can tell me what being a mother is like. Maternally speaking I have the instinct but lack the spawn. Tell me a story of what your back in the day was like. I wanna see the you that hides behind the facade of suburban functionality. Want another s’more?

I’ll throw another log on the fire, maybe that log will be the story of my back in the day, which was a Wednesday. Picture it. I’ll fan the flames until the dawn approaches and the dream turns to dust. I’ll throw knives at trees, you know the ones, deep in that darkness, as we ponder the symbolic chemistry brewing. Unzip the tent, I’m scared and I’m cold. I smell like shit and feet. It will be worth it, because you are. Put that in your metaphorical pipe and smoke it down. Mischief managed.

Writing Prompt

Write the Story: A Letter Changes Everything

Include the following in your story:

  • Alchemist
  • Waterfall
  • Birthday
  • Cottage
  • Spring
  • Roar
  • Syrup
  • Sift
  • Immeasurable
  • Bank

Beneath a wilted ego and behind a shattered eye, ebony locks held the frame she called a face. A battered flask flattened her thoughts. A bruised pill loved her tenderly. An alchemist of the mind not of the heavy heart that lead blindly and with malice away from the ideals that would allow her to stay gold. She chased waterfalls, veering from the lakes and the rivers she refused to acclimate to. She ran down paths less wandered, running toward a life that did not want her, did not have room for her. To be a white glove upon the hands of time, cleanly ticking and tocking in rhythm of a lullaby would silence the dirty thoughts stowed away underneath the ego and cracked glass.

And so she wrote. She wrote on walls and wrote on skin. She jotted down the nonsensical quips, the absurd wit and the horrifying truths. Raw, unfiltered and cerebral in her delivery, it was in the moment she admitted that her unwavering feelings for the proscribed that she wrote to her demons.

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To Whom I Concern:

The immeasurable prejudice that exists between your execution and your promises baffles me. As I sift through the incomprehensible array of bullshit that you wake me with, I can do nothing to pacify my cognition. What in the actual fuck are you trying to teach me? What is the lesson?

Angel headed hipsters, you laugh in the face of danger. You are not going to rob the bank of my love to satiate the debt of my infidelities. I cum bearing gifts, the gift of empathy, the gift of loyalty and the gift of multiplicity. My body is decorated, you may do what you want with it. Why do you force my feelings to bend towards the unattainable power play? Thick as syrup, you leave a sweet yet grainy taste in my mouth. What do her words taste like, the woman who does not see beyond the field of right and wrong? Does her roar echo amongst the laughing and fucking? Pink elephants and lemonade, Dear Jessie hear the laughter running through the love parade, or so you tease. My birthday is over and I can’t catch up. Spring chickens we are not and yet you allude me into feeling the sensation of butterflies. I don’t know why you are doing this to me. Can you please pick somebody else to set my sight on? I have a type as a writer. I sit in cottage dwellings, I dwell in city limits. I chameleon my way in the world but when it comes to your choice in female companions, your type is both blatant and unattainable. Knock that shit off. Let me be free of the “what if” torture. What if you let me go?

Gypsy

And the gypsy may not want to be alone forever, but she can be tonight, and perhaps tomorrow the woman she has her shattered eye on will be her home for the day.

Homework Freewriting Prompt

“A useless love–a connection or affinity that doesn’t fit into the plans of anyone concerned”

talking-to-you-makes-my-day-815489

It’s that can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, world series kind of stuff. You can read about it between the thin lines that separate the years of the skin and the wisdom of the mind. Refractive tendencies on sour dough with a side of judgement. Plastered on the wall that was built in conformity is a collage of all the red flags, signs of things that mustn’t be on the showroom floor. If one a bird the other a flightless and caged Passerine with a muted song. All of me that can be seen is not the me inside. All of me that I show on the floor is a reminder of who I ought not to be again, the raw fleshy exterior of the simplicity people accept as truth. In secrecy a quitter who gives no notice and gets none equally. A man in Portugal can still feel when it’s fucking over, whether it ended in 1966 or avalanched is inconsolably irrelevant.

Can’t Eat, Can’t Sleep

Tattooed gypsy in a world of her own, who can’t eat. The cupboards left bare, the lazy Susan stagnant and the transient hangry. Chocolate waffles could not satiate the growling creature by the name of Covet. Unconventional rebel just for kicks in an oppressive world, she never sleeps. The bed sheets soaked from the sweat dripped from the barrage of dirty laundry and the vagabond drenched in irritability. Hot Coco could not revive the living dead who goes by the name of Muse. Reaching for the stars in a world forgetting by the world forgot, can she see the Eternal Sunshine of my Spotless Mind as seen by the derelict jury. Each wish is resigned and I say to the good Pope Alexander, I quit.

The World Forgot

The metamorphosis between reality and the imagined is clear as tape. The residue of transgressions sticks to the shared mortality that necessitates sustenance. Shit. Muse and Covet are battling in anger out past right and wrong, in a field of mandrakes. Why must they be angry? The music dies on the days sorrow is instigated by separation. No dances and no wine. The tigers eat at night and the lion sleeps. Bare and drunk I still feel it, roots pull to my trunk above. My dimwitted inexperience is merely a subtle form of manipulation that serves to lower peoples expectations and enhances my maneuverability. To be loved is good. To be understood is profound. She might could understand the cryptic humor that lurks behind a Wonderwall. And maybe, she’s gonna be the one that saves me.

Wonderwall

That Wizard and I

For most of my life I was painted in a particular hue of jealousy, not unlike a famous Ozian. I wasn’t born that way. I wasn’t sea sick, I was totally fucking see sick. I saw happiness everywhere. I saw money everywhere. I saw laughter and I saw love, fucking everywhere. Everywhere but in the mirror. I was constantly praying to entities I didn’t believe in and consistently disappointed with my lack of success and progress. And then I turned 5 and started going to school. The hue of jealousy turned into a distinct color, an unmistakable spot on the color wheel of flesh. I wrote about it. A lot. Fate’s vengeful eye seemed to always be fixed on me. But I made it through. I didn’t have any prospects after high school, no college plans and felt like a vagabond with no direction.


I chased a dream or two but the disappointment and lack of financial means to achieve what I wanted put a stop to that. I watched a magician at work from afar, a wizard of the craft, if you will. I felt in my bones that one day it would be the wizard and I. All I needed was one short day. And wouldn’t you know, when I was at my lowest, something happened. The proverbial wizard sent for me to work on an Ozian masterpiece. I followed a road unknown to me, a road the color of champagne dreams. Along the way I passed through towns like Roswell, oh look! Aliens that wore the same skin tone I chose! I drove through territories unknown. The closer I got to my Emerald City, the smaller the minds of wanderers got too. Munchkin minded fools. But the dream, ah the dream, it grew bigger with every mile I drove and every mile I saw in the rear view.


The moment you meet the wizard, who holds the whole of your desires in those powerful palms, well, that is a moment that can define you. So how was my moment defined? It was defined in disappointment and my day in the Emerald City could not be short enough. Once you look behind the curtain, you not only see your dreams disintegrate along with your hope, but your flaws and guilt stare blatantly at you, mocking your very existence. And where does one assign the blame? I assigned it to my naivete. I kicked myself for feeding into the possibility of my own success. I had never believed in the possibilities, I wouldn’t allow it, and the one time I did, I had an abundance of confirmation that it was all in vain.


I blamed a lot of factors. The truth of the situation was that there was nobody to blame, nothing to blame. It was what it was and when I started on that brick road of champagne dreams, nothing was promised to me. It wasn’t a disappointment from the get go, which is perhaps the most frustrating thing about the whole journey. For a period, the wizard and I did great things together, we discovered things together and I was shown some truly beautiful prospects.


Art, as it were, saved me again, laughter healed me. Well, art, laughter and the cutest goddamn dog you ever did see in your life saved me. That adorable dog was in many ways, a direct reflection of me and our journeys were mirrored to perfection. The wizard saved us and showed us the way. Little Miss Daisy is the reason I survived. She survived and because she did, I knew I could too, even when I had to say goodbye. It’s true, I believed in the wizard more than anybody. And let me say this, through the disappointment behind the curtain, when the wizard was revealed to be nothing more than a facade, a mirage of a detailed life, I somehow left the Emerald City with more of a brain, a hell of a lot more courage and a heart that had grown three sizes. Unlike a girl with red, or silver depending on what you believe, shoes, though, I left without a home. I had no hot air balloon and no particular place to go. This wizard, who had appeared to become more of a sparkling good witch during our time together, was gone from my life For Good. But it is a good thing my heart had grown three sizes, because it made enough room to carry the wizard and everything she taught me, with me always. I learned that appearances mean dick. I now know that I am not an artist I just have big emotions. I can only hope that I brought laughter to the Emerald City and hopefully showed the wizard a thing or two from my perspective.


And so, after travelling around trying to find something, I put all those emotions to ink. A cricket, a daisy and a longtail boat. They each bare significant meaning to me, deeply significant. I won’t divulge in what it all means, as I would have to reveal things that I am not prepared to. What I will say, is crickets are natures musicians, and we are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams. Daisy was the furry savior and also a little old woman who became best friends with an unlikely Morgan Freeman, the yin and the yang. The longtail boat? Well, that’s just to show that we can all dock our boats where we choose and the choice of who we share that boat with and who we task with helping us steer our boat is entirely up to us. What will I be? The orangutan, the zebra, or the tiger? Everyone deserves a chance to fly, even me and I see that now. I put the ink on my left shoulder. Wasn’t the Emerald City just a farm as seen through the eyes of one Kansas girl? I have literally put the Emerald City on my heart yet behind me. And onward I go, as the girl she didn’t choose, sometimes by boat, plane, bubble and even a broomstick. Farewell to the person who I believed was my Galinda but was actually a wizard with a curtain.

“The Wizard and I” From Wicked

Rose Tint My World

“This is what my life looks like when nobody is watching.”

Rose Tint

Come in, close the door and hit the snooze button. All of me that can be seen is not the me inside. She’s out there, the other me. That other me might be homeless, maybe a queen but it is certain that the other me has seen things that the real me has never seen. She’s a poet, a knight and the hero, out in that big bright beautiful world. She gets the girl and the laughs. Close the door because I didn’t chase those glory days. I’m not cool, I am a tired old fool. I learned to drink my coffee cold, to stay awake on tired feet. I tell myself I’m rich at last in money and in time. I pour myself a glass of whatever she’s having. Hit the snooze button because I can’t amuse myself. Counting, so much unnoticed counting of things when eyes are elsewhere. My years, my money, my friends as they dwindle down to those in truth. The moments explode with every tick of the clock and click of the door. I’m too young for this one and too old for that one. Meanwhile, she’s out there being the perfect age and the perfect weight. I’m not a tree doing purposeful work with breezes, I am a shrub. I can’t afford many things. I can’t afford to be an artist. I can’t afford not to be an artist. The rules are set in opposition and vanity is not my favorite sin. I fancy myself a fan of lust because shit never gets real. Perhaps though, envy is what I’m most guilty of. Green for her and what she still believes in out there in front of the masses. Maybe I could lose my hurt and anger, goddamn it all I try, I try. I hear the laughter she sparks in so many from in here. Hark the sounds of joy, that bitch is funny. Shift. Tilt. Askew. I contort my perspective out of boredom and play the what if game. Love doesn’t make us perfect, it just makes us want to be, so why does it avoid me so? Do I need new eyes or new surroundings? Do I run this time? How do I wipe the glitter and grease from my bed? Can you Shout that out? Fear has hidden my heart away. She’s out there being kind in the world and I can’t understand why, when the world has never shown a kindness. I dream of marigolds and wine until suddenly it’s orchids and swine. You there, with that face in the mirror, that face full of judgement, I see that you don’t see me. Rose tinted glasses, shit, I lost my glasses. I’m missing two of my four eyes. Still, here I go, this is what I see.


On the edge of the mirror is a smile. Hello mirror, hello smile. There’s a faint chorus hitting a whistle tone beyond what is right and what is wrong. Nobody needs to love me here. I don’t make promises here. Pie crust promises are left in the real world. Time is not wasted as I stare out into the abyss. All the fears and all the disappointments spoon me to sleep. There are no clocks, only crickets. No laughter and no movie quotes roll off my tongue. On the edge of the bed is a dog and what I left in my pocket. Hello bed, hello dog. Chapstick, a knife and some change make it out of my pants. Hello moisture, hello reality, hello 401k. Don’t say moist you asshole. Insert me freaking the fuck out, right about…HERE. I’m a rebel just for kicks now, so let me kick it like it’s 1986. I chew gum and smoke in your face like a bad kid, you know, the outcast, the loner and the weird kid. Speaking of which, cue the text messages. Those are always with me and nobody sees. Nobody sees all the cords attached to all my vices, oops, DEvices. Connected to none by being connected to all. There’s a sketch on the wall and a box of history sitting on the shelf. Hello dead dreams, hello triggers. There’s a mother and her child in the next room. Hello aspiration, hello wish. The moments explode. A rude hush from the day I’ve longed to escape from. And here I am, reaching into the future and the past. The day starts over and I muster up the balls to go to “work.” Work, where I can’t be an artist, only a functional member of a decayed society. I collect broken people and the decay seeps into the clientele. My name is not “Hey you!” I only respond to “action!” not “hey you!” Hello world, how may I help you today?

Selfie

The Girl Who Cried Help

I tweeted something that sparked an idea:

Here is what I came up with:

A woman stood at the height of a bridge. The world beneath her, so above. Beckoning to the townspeople below, to join her in marveling at the sights of heaven and hell. With a song in her heart, she chanted for help in painting her soul’s collage on the old and squeaky wood that somehow managed to call itself a bridge.

A peasant climbed to the spot of the song with rough leaves and an intention of preparing the wood. He joined in the melody and chanted for help in shaping his creation so that the woman’s soul could be free, staining the bridge and showing him his own soul.

Two maids answered the hymn by collecting berries and two buckets of water with the intention of hauling their tools to the center of the bridge, for which to paint the story of heaven and hell.

The man completed the task of composing the blank slate. The two maids pressed their berries and delicately created a mixture of colors for the woman to make her masterpiece.

After constructing a brush of twigs and the left over leaves the peasant used to smooth the bridge, they presented the instrument to the woman who took no notice as she sang louder and more agressively for help.

Feeling alone and abandoned, taking no notice of the three kind strangers who came to her aid, the woman saw not what they had done for her. In a rage of lonliness she condemned the bridge to hell for it bore not her soul’s purpose in the light of heaven or the shadows of hell.

Frantically grabbing remnants of the day’s work, she built a fire. As the kindling took to the breeze, the peasant and the two maids began shouting for help, fearful of the fathoms below. The woman quickly acknowledged the presence of the three townspeople as the fire roared with no intention.

Afraid she would be seen in the truth of the flames and accused of murder, she pushed the peasant and then one maid and then the second off of the burning bridge before the flames overtook her body.

Pieces of the bridge fell to the ground below with the woman’s body. Her soul, now free, was burnt into the earth, painting the baron land in ash.

The three townspeople survived the push they equally received. They survived, however their bodies were broken and their minds were tainted of good deeds. They moaned for help.

in a moment of realization, as the heavens shone down where the bridge had once stood, blocking the rays of above, the two maids helped the peasant and the peasant helped the maids. Broken but present they saw that help was in front of them. Help didn’t look like the prodigal assistance so often imagined. Help looked like themselves, like the equally battered soul staring across the way, in the light of the same pain.


I am reminded of a story as I try to express the experience of helping those who are not capable of seeing:

A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”

Untied

It has been brought, quite abruptly, to my attention that I indeed have a type. Me, this self proclaimed and outwardly noticeably, uniquely diverse in taste, person. My taste for telly is distinct yet spans across all genres, not unlike my taste for humans. Let’s play a game of connect the dots shall we:

  • American Horror Story
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • The Golden Girls
  • Masters of Sex
  • Wentworth
  • Black Sails
  • Breaking Bad
  • Penny Dreadful
  • Sex and the City
  • Law & Order: SVU
  • Shameless
  • The Good Wife
  • The Affair
  • Grace & Frankie
  • Younger
  • Will & Grace
  • How To Get Away With Murder
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Empire
  • LOST
  • Desperate Housewives
  • Bloodline
  • Roseanne
  • Togetherness
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Wonder Years
  • ER
  • Girls
  • Weeds
  • Nip/Tuck
  • The Sopranos
  • Friends

Now, what do all of these shows have in common besides being some of my favorites? Some are dramas, some are sitcoms, some are comedies, some are old, others new, some are network, some are cable and some are streaming. It’s really simple actually:

Ohana

famiglia f (plural famiglie)

  1. family
  2. household

malocchio

Italian slang for ‘the evil eye.’ Basically it has similar meaning to the stink eye, but is scarier because it is given by little Italian women who damn you for eternity for doing them harm, doing their family harm, or going against their will.

Rent SynopsisFade to a high school performing arts auditorium circa 1998-2002, where one would find a gaggle of drama geeks belting their hearts out:

How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life
How about love?
Seasons of Love
Of course they were supposed to be in class somewhere, but that auditorium was home and those geeks were my family. Through bullying, loss, life, love, hope and dreams, we stayed family and I am still in contact with almost all of those Rentheads who made me thrive on theater. “Rent” was one of our favorite pieces to meddle with. The meaning behind every lyric Jonathan Larson wrote, the way in which Jonathan suddenly died before ever seeing his creation come to full term and the way it hit every nerve connected to our heartstrings, make “Rent” a very special piece to me, one which has carried it’s meaning over into my full blown adult hood, without an auditorium.


The themes of “Rent” are constants in my taste for entertainment, both on and off screen and behind the camera. I’ll examine some of my telly habits as examples, as someone pointed out that they all have strong themes of family and the meaning of family. “American Horror Story” is one of my favs of all time, and the themes of family that Ryan Murphy explores are brilliantly woven into each season whilst still maintaining the complexity of suspenseful telly:
  • Murder House: All about family and the consequences of infidelity. Constance had a deeply disturbed connection with her children, but they meant the world to her. Heartbreaking to witness when Addie is struck and killed by a vehicle and Constance fails to get her body on the property in time to ensure she would still see her.
  • Asylum: Kit constantly fought for his family, the patients had to become a family to survive and take care of each other, even Jude became Kit’s family in her downfall, he went back for her and she helped raise his children.
  • Coven: The coven is family, the coven will fight like hell for that family. The complex relationships between mothers and daughters, as masterfully portrayed in Cordelia and Fiona.
  • Freak Show: Freaks band together, kill together, to protect their home and family. The relationship between father and son is explored with Lobster Boy and the Strong Man. Pepper returns and we learn of her family abandonment issues. She becomes maternal with Ma Petite and even attempts to start her own family with Salty, despite their disabilities.
  • Hotel: All about family, the one that lost a child and their marriage is suffering, the mother who lost a child to drugs, the mother of vamps and then the family that was built between folks such as The Countess and Liz Taylor. Trapped in a Hotel, you can either build a family with those trapped with you, or…
  • My Roanoke Nightmare: A mother’s child is kidnapped, her brother is involved. The actors on a reality show, as dysfunctional as it may be, are family, bonded.
Besides all of the themes Ryan Patrick Murphy executes, the concept of a pool of actors returning each season to tell a different tale speaks to the idea of a close knit family, bonded by their experiences, and that bleeds through to all of his iterations, from “Scream Queens” to “American Crime Story.”


Einstein Family
I will not go through the list of all of my favorite shows, but the common thread is the fight for family and the building of families that are not necessarily related. “Sons of Anarchy” for instance, Gemma was, how to say, hell bent on protecting her family. The club was a family and that family meant everything and was worth killing for. Loyalty meant everything to SAMCRO. Will, Grace, Jack and Karen were a family through and through. “Friends” should have been called “Family.” Frankie and Grace are family through mutual betrayal. “Wentworth” and “Orange is the New Black” are very different shows about female prisons, but it is natural in a prison environment both fictional and factual, that bonds are made and loyalty to that family are of utmost importance, just ask Tony Soprano about loyalty.
As a black sheep, outsider, freak and overall lost soul, the concept of building family through experience is something I’ve always been enamored with. My blood family is tight, we are close but as an adult finding her own way, I’ve long since sought out my adult family. My roots remain but in the process of growth and experiencing as much of this world as possible before I leave it, I am not a foreigner to being free to have other families. My theater years afforded me many families of that era. Theater families are so special and yet so short lived.


It is increasingly difficult as I get older to build families because through the years the innocent trust we are all born with decays and the true irony is that the moments where you find yourself fresh out of trust and feel alone, are the moments when you need a family the most. The epiphany that writing this has manifested, is that creativity and art are the core of my families. When I find a family I can express my creativity in I become the girl in the plastic bubble and nothing else matters. My loyalty shines through regardless of what brought me and my families together. La Vie Boheme. When the bonds break within one of my artistic families however, that is the single most painful thing I can and have experienced. Those situations leave me the rawest, the most broken and they steal any sort of faith I have left in my reservoir.
Weeds 3
Perhaps my part in all of it, is that I assume the word “family” means to everyone out in the world what it means to me. Maybe I trust my pseudo families to the extent that I refuse to believe they don’t possess my vision of what loyalty should look like. For me, it truly is in the midnights and cups of coffee I share with people. It is certainly in the inches and miles I would travel for family and the inches and miles in which I grow from absorbing the ideals of others to better understand my own ideals. Not necessarily in the strife of everyday life in this fucked up world we find ourselves, but MOST importantly, it is in the laughter I share with other beings, without which, myself and a lot of them would cease to live.

What family represents for me:

No Day But Today

Jonathan Larson said it best:

The heart may freeze or it can burn
The pain will ease if I can learn

There is no future
There is no past
I live each moment as my last

There’s only us
There’s only this
Forget regret– or life is yours to miss.
No other road
No other way
No day but today

There’s only yes
Only tonight
We must let go
To know what is right
No other course
No other way
No day but today

I can’t control
My destiny
I trust my soul
My only hope
is just to be

There’s only now
There’s only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear it
No other path
No other way
No day but today

Italian Miss You

Note: Someone said some words to me today that really stuck, “Family will never be the ones asking you to leave. They are always the ones hoping you’ll stay.”

Today also happens to be my late grandfather’s birthday. Speaking strictly biologically, what with DNA and everything, not unlike Forrest and Bubba, we were of no relation. My grandpa did not ever tell me what family is, was or should be. He showed me, every single day what that word meant to him and I carry THAT with me in everything I am. His heart.

Cookies in the Bathroom

“This is how I got lost in the wild.”

Slowly, then suddenly. Not succumbing to be anyone’s goddamn monkey, gradually then quickly. The squealers hiding inside the mind, swine of descent, rapid and racing it happened, inside my human body. So disgusting. To be the motorcycle, the bucking bull, the bench on which she sets her truth on display. To be the pen, the guitar, the brush by which she feels said truth. Wandering in a metropolis within four walls, no windows, it happened. Transient in desolution, I couldn’t find a bus ticket, I had no destination, no home and no desire. Had nothing but faith in nothing.

I found a bedazzler at a garage sale, it was covered in grease and glitter. Memories not recycled, lost forever, in my loathsome, jeweled reality. It happened when I ordered gummy bears and a knife. Trauma was not my ultimate killer, but a creator with no reins. No intimacy, just bodily reflexes. Zoom in on my empty wallet, closer. Closer. Crescendo as I tie my hair to the bars of captivity. Fade to red, the lying shaded lips of those in my reach. Kiss the bartender thrice, it happened so that I could taste the Jameson and compunction. Bam.

With a wired jaw and manicured fuck you finger, it happened on a tiled light show. Where was I? Bangkok, Dubai, Melbourne, London, Toronto, Underland or the swamps of sadness? Was there any distinction? I might miss someone, cupid squeezed my ass in the murky rentals of truckers and thieves. Plan B involved some heavy touching, ya. As I would step out into the bright sunlight, nothing gold was visible, man that was a drag. I was an asshole. I was one of the guys. It happened vaguely then clearly. When she cums, she covers her face. I wasn’t real, I was in rehearsal. To be anybody’s baby doll, stuck in a corner, it happened animalistically.

I couldn’t hear the rock n’ roll, the drums faded with every pop, every extended release. Six whole years her sticks lay dormant. Life for all it’s anguish, was mine. She put her drinks up and packed away her palette. So it happened. Pink elephants and purple lemonade dissolved from the internal playroom, allowing a tango in the flaming fallacies. Searching for that something final by the name of life, it happened on an edge, in a field and whilst engorging on noodle salad. Drifting smoothly then roughly, more silence, I was standing on a precipice, ice cold water to catch me.

Never saying die, never hearing live, it happened. Deep into that darkness I pondered, who had left cookies in the bath, keys in the fridge and make up in the garage for me to find? Who put ink on my person along with holes in my tongue and tits? Cloudy with a chance of ass. Who were these wrecked up friends of mine, spilling spaghetti on the carpet, smoking my butts and snorting my bullshit? Who was this person inside of me? It happened with humor, with the jokes and vulgarity I had built in angst, after all the boys and girls that I’d been through. It happened because I was altered from compliance, dancing in darkness, running from the monsters I might’ve fucked but couldn’t recollect. Like my first outdoor picnic, I had no memory of it.

It happened as I remembered the time I spilled the cup of apple juice, the time I pretended to sleep and the time I remained motionless, praying to be turned into a bird. I could fly far, far far away from there, in those moments I chemically allowed the wind to find my face. When I let the me that only I can see surface in a song, a word, a sketch or a thought, it breaths. It follows. I was lost in the wild trenches with a faction refuting silence. A little serving to start, then all at once, it is happening. Lost in the wild and you wanna know why I’m mad. Ha. Life for all its anguish, is still mine.

Throwback to 2007

Found whilst showering:

The recognizable pain growing inside a force field of faults and disappointments is ready to burst The noise is contorted by the demons and influences in my head No plans to bring the world to it’s knees. Trying to live,  living to try a new destination Set coordinates of an unknown location Tattooed and buried in a cannon using the words in my brain A heroine in action is not noticed for achievement Rather the heroine be noticed for the unpreventable Because she cries because she is full of passion because she forces a second look because she is imperfect Groundbreaking reinvention is damaging to the creators of mortality Knots of a nocturnal nature creep up on ideals Steadfast and heartbreaking is the realization that holds us back  Tears are for those who have no emotional doubt  Thought provoking and unreal are the dreams of thinkers Take a stand for what is lost The past is foreign the future will be history and the present is both Determination is the stepping stone to hardship Inconclusive arguments drain the mind of decisions

The empty inkling that he might see

is the source of fire in my burning fear

The phantom clock ticks me to sleep

but only for a few moments, I can’t

There’s a rapidly growing visual

I see it on the second hand

The hands, the arms that overpowered

I hear the tocks and its like a bird

mocking my insecurities

His smirk matched the stain on his jeans

His eyes were cold like my feet

His shoes were what I stared at

His hair was greasy and uncombed

I don’t want to remember

I hear his voice with the ringing of my alarm

I don’t want to get up

What if I live through the day?