Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dancing with Fear


This morning I leaned over the bed to check for monsters. The little gray cat, the straw thief had a few straggling toys under there and a wrapper for some really good chocolate and a book of poems by Yeats. I took that book from the shelf when I lost a Saturday and today I put it back being very careful not to flip through the pages, too fragile today. No monsters, all is clear. The kitchen was almost clear of fruit flies, almost.

Yesterday the kid calls all mental because since he was little he's afraid of storms. I used to dream he'd be one of those weather guys in the bad suits. "Mom, check the doppler." He is sometimes my Best Friend's child. The doppler. Storm watching is not my thing. I've only once been afraid of weather stuff and that's when the crawl space was filling with water seeping in from the crack in the foundation and going near the new furnace. I wasn't checking the doppler. My advice? He should run for cover there's a horrible storm on the way, live in fear little one, live in fear. Fear can be a motivator and get a job.

Fear has been a constant companion for what now? 68 days? Fear. He's been my friend, my companion, even my lover. Imagine that. Fear climbed on top and took me in a moment of weakness when I was sure I was still in charge of all the voices. He seduced me with promises of adventure. Fear wears nice shoes and I was so busy looking at the shoes I couldn't see the storm cloud ahead. Isn't that the way of the world?

When fear takes over your head goes wonky. You start looking for an exit plan. My exit plan from a business that had taken over my life, every moment of free time? Oh, I'm still working on that. I thought about writing a book, falling in love, maybe even buying a camper. Did I mention I don't like to drive? A failed plan at best.

So the bossy Republican once asked me to write a sonnet about fear, he likes when things rhyme.

I woke up 68 days ago and realized fear was my lover
he seduced me in the middle of a starry cloudless night
with red red wine and under the buzz of locust cover
his dance so hypnotic he pushed away boredom's plight
and now we are constant companions of a sort; fear and me
when i feel confident, when someone calls me an artist
Sure I am mother and poet and to my world this is my plea
he stands there whispering you aren't the smartest
leaving a world that was planned to the tiniest detail
twisting my hair around his long skilled fingers
his pounding and pounding leaving me damaged and frail
the sweet smell of his breath on my teeth still lingers
Our wedding will be the social event of the season
I have come to love fear and yet I am not certain of the reason.

See I can follow rules? Well some of the time. I know where the path goes, I know how to follow it, I'm not an idiot. I am working on taking that F in common courtesy and making it into a B so I can show my mom. I like to take my socks off though and walk in the grass and sprinkle them with water because one day those chicken legs will be a mighty oak and ground me in ways that feel like leaning into your father's shoulder. I like to play Dr. Seuss with Best Friend but I like to play anything with her, even scrabble.

I have this little game I play with myself. When I sell one particular piece of jewelry that makes me feel clever, I allow myself to download more music to my Ipod. Today I find my way over to Ray Charles. Not Just Ray but ray and Elton. The first few taps of the keys is so beautiful and then you can hear Ray

What have I got to do to make you love me?
what have I got to do make you care?
what do I do when lightning strikes me
and I wake to find that you're not there?

What have I got to to do make you want me?
What have I got to do to be heard?
what do I say when it's all over
and sorry seems to be the hardest the word?

It's sad
so sad
it's a sad sad situation
and it's getting more and and more absurd

It's sad so sad
why can't we talk it over
oh it seems to me that sorry seems to be
the hardest word

What do I have to do to make you make you love me?
what do I have to to to be heard?
what do I do when lightning strikes me?
what have I got to do
what have i got to do
when sorry seems to be the hardest word?

I couldn't find it on U tube to share it here so you'll have to buy it on I tunes. It's on the Genius loves company cd. It's sad so sad, it's a sad sad situation and it's getting more and more absurd. You never do know when lightning will strike. I look outside tonight and there isn't a movement of the leaves. Last night the tornado sirens were crying out the sky was full of thunder and lightning. The warm air hit the cold front. Mother nature showing me what happens in a heart if the whole world could watch. My heart is a stone and it breaks glass. Lesson learned over and over again. A moth danced with me on the deck for a few minutes and fluttered off to sneak in a window somewhere and eat a coat.

When I fell asleep last night sleep fell like a velvet curtain wet from the rain just covering me and for this I was grateful. sorry, sorrow ful. I'm thinking of shaving my head and maybe painting a flower there backwards or maybe paiting a big crack right through the center. Nothing permanent, because nothing is. It could be time for red wine. It could be.


If you defeated fear, then drop me an email and tell me how at If you are fan's devotee (that word stings) then you're in good company, confused but solid company. Tell me three songs you'd download to your Ipod right now. I will load them and take them to the yard with me. What do I do when lightning strikes me and I wake up and find that you're not there? YOu can find my work at


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