Posts Tagged ‘Changes’

Will You Visit Me?

October 12, 2016

Will you come to my birthday parties?

I’m going to buy you something very special.

Carmen, when is your birthday?

“December 18th, the week before Christmas, darling,” I ruffled his soft brown hair as we walked home from dropping his brother off at Rock Band Land.

“Carmen, I’m going to get you something amazing for your birthday, I’m going to get you brussels sprouts, five boxes,” he said and squeezed my hand hard (sometimes we get brussel sprouts at the Mission Farmer’s Market on Thursday afternoons over on Bartlet and 22nd Streets.  There is a food truck that does rotisserie chicken and every once in a while we stop there and get a roast chicken and boxes of brussels sprouts).

Oh sugar.

I kept a straight face, “thank you honey, that would be amazing.”

And so it begins.

The parents of my current charges have obviously begun prepping the boys for my departure.

Which explains why the littlest guy for the last couple of weeks has been hitting me and calling me stupid when he sees me and being very aggressive.

Classic splitting and projecting.

He can’t handle the emotions inside his little four-year old body and they are coming out in words and actions that I’m not very fond of.

But.

Being a psychology masters student.

Theoretically I understand quite well.

At one point in the day today I engaged with the four-year old one on one at dinner and asked him what he needed when I sat down next to him and he called me stupid and hit my knee.

“Are you trying to tell me something,” I said softly.  “Is there something you need from me?”  I continued, “I don’t like being hit my sweet friend, can you tell me what’s wrong?”

He hit me again, but this time softer.

“Are you mad at me?” I asked quietly.

He nodded his head affirmatively.

“Can I help you with anything?”  I asked and rubbed his hand softly, “it’s ok to be mad at me.”

“Hold me,” he said in a soft, plaintive voice that just about broke my heart.

“I need a hug and a cuddle,” he continued and crawled from his chair at the dinner table into my lap with his little stuffed cat, a blanket, and a pillow from the couch.

I arranged him in my lap and gave him a warm hug and tucked the blanket around him and let him eat the rest of his dinner swaddled with his stuffed cat on my lap.

I told him I loved him and that he was very important to me.

I told his brother the same thing as we walked.

“Carmen,” he said, and kissed my hand, “you will always be in my heart, make sure that you are coming to all my birthday parties and that I will get to see you all the time.”

Well, kiddo, I don’t know about all the time, but I could probably swing a birthday party or two and considering that the family I got hired to work with next and the family I currently work with are friends, I suspect that there will be more of you in my life than previous charges.

We had a sweet day today.

I had a lot of unexpected time with the boys and I was very grateful for that, and unsupervised, which is also a really nice thing.

We went to Mission Thrift and rummaged through the bins of silverware and kitchen cook ware and spent all of $1.39 for a good half hour of fun and getting to get some exciting “new” utensils for their tiny play kitchen.

We went to Paxton Gate for Kids and played with the toys and annoyed the hell out of the staff, but fuck it, they’ve got to be used to it by this point, it’s a kids store and I did buy stickers there and the parents have probably spent thousands of dollars in the store, easy.

We went to Mission Playground and rode the merry-go-round and I had a gaggle of kids spinning and whooping and screaming on it off and on for a good 45 minutes.

It was pretty hilarious and a lot of fun.

“Carmen!  You got your exercise!”  The six-year-old exclaimed as we left the park.

Boy howdy, did I ever.

My left shoulder is still a little sore from it.

So it goes.

Then a big lunch, running around had worked up an appetite for them and then an hour of quiet time.

Which was not really an hour as I got a text from the mom saying they were running behind and would I take the four-year old to Rock Band Land?

Hell yes I will.

We had an awesome walk over.

We dropped off the youngest boy.

Then we ran into friends and went for a cookie, well, he had a cookie, and I had a cafe au lait, cafe play date at Stable Cafe on Folsom and 17th.

It really was just a sweet and sunny day.

And although I didn’t get a chance to engage with the mom and dad around the end date of the job I am very grateful that they are taking on the actions of letting the boys know that I will be transitioning to a new job.

There are challenging days ahead, I am sure of it, but I know if I stay true to my feelings of warmth and love for the boys the waters will be navigated just fine.

And it is something to be leaving a family after two and a half years and the children being so advanced with their communication skills.

Most of the time I’m leaving a family with toddlers.

These boys have feelings and they are letting me know.

It is hard.

But.

It is exquisite.

It really is a gift to have such love reflected back to me.

I suspect that I have always known that I have an impact on the children I have gotten to work with, but I have never had it articulated to me in the way that it was today.

It is an extraordinary thing to let myself be seen and loved.

So very grateful.

Beyond words.

Just beyond.

And ready to move on too.

Nice to be able to hold both emotions.

Shit.

It’s nice to hold all the feelings.

All the feels.

All the time.

It.

Really.

Is.

Good times.

Seriously.

Let’s Dance

January 12, 2016

I’m always down for dancing.

Except.

When I’m not.

David Bowie has passed.

I am listening to his last album, Black Star, as I type.

And.

Thinking about the crush I had on him in high school.

Along with.

Yes.

Wait for it.

Sting.

And.

Mikhail Baryshinikov.

Oh.

And let me not forget Michael Hutchence from INXS.

Good lord.

There was something about David Bowie, though.

My first album of his is not the one most folks would have chosen.

Never Let Me Down.

From his Glass Spider tour.

I have absolutely no recollection why I bought that one, but it makes sense, time wise for me.

That must have been when I had my Columbia Record House membership.

Ha!

Remember those?

I remember how exciting it was to get that package of tapes in the mail.

I mean, talk about waiting for something with baited breath.

I don’t remember all the albums I got, but David Bowie’s Never Let Me Down was in there, also INXS; Sting’s Dream of The Blue Turtles: REM’s Out of Time; Madonna’s Like A Prayer; and I am completely unabashed to admit this one, hahahaha, Simply Red.

Oh.

Good gravy.

There were others, I am sure.

Now that I have had a moment to reflect on it, I bet I got the David Bowie after watching The Breakfast Club:

And these children that you spit on, as they try to change their world, are immune to your consultations.  They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.

Granted, that quote is from Changes, but if I recall, you couldn’t always get the album you wanted from Columbia Record House, they didn’t have the entire discography of the artist.

It was sort of, you get what we got, and that might be why I had the Simply Red Album.

Or.

Gah.

Complete honesty.

I think I saw a video on VH1 that was on somebody’s cable when I was baby sitting and I was attracted to the lead singer?

Oh.

I had my moments.

I still do.

I don’t think I was the only girl in the world with a crush on Mick Hucknall when it comes down to it, but I may be the only woman currently willing to admit it.

I also had a minor crush on Thomas Dolby.

I was lucky in some ways, now that I think of it, I got exposed to interesting music and then I also dated guys that were into music and I got a lot of exposure to bands and groups that I probably wouldn’t have.

I am thinking of one boyfriend in particular.

Although he did not expose me to any music in general, he was the person I thought of when I heard that David Bowie had died.

His name was John.

John Morgan.

I have looked for this guy a few times, owe him an amends as it were, and probably a hug.

Never found him anywhere.

But.

He was a love.

Someone that in hindsight I loved so much more than I realized and also some one whom I was not capable of being with.

I just had too much shit happening in my life.

My sister, homeless, pregnant, her felon (ex)husband, my niece, my crazy dad, my crazy mom.

And crazy me.

I had met John on State Street in front of the arcade Challenges.

It was right next to the coffee shop Espresso Royale.

I have many fond memories of sitting in that coffee shop drinking vanilla lattes and smoking cigarettes.

Gah.

I had my tastes.

Thank God they have changed.

I don’t know how I struck up the conversation with John.

I don’t remember.

I do remember his eyes were blue, he was a little on the heavy side, but not fat, just solid, big, he smoked, but he tended to roll his own cigarettes and yes, indulge in a pipe.

Affectation anyone?

But I found it adorable.

And he smoked cherry tobacco.

He was a virgin when we met.

Not for long.

Oh.

The stories.

There’s a lot of them.

But.

He was a dear, kind, sweet soul, who went above and beyond, helping me out in some tight places and also loaning my sister and her ex money.

If you know a John Morgan from Cambridge, let him know I’d like to pay him that money back.

I hated asking for it.

It was to bail out my sister’s ex.

They ended up jumping bail and leaving John sitting with the bag.

I didn’t do much better.

I broke up with him and then left and hit the road with his room mate and traveled down to Florida.

Where things got even weirder.

And all this when I was 19.

Sometimes I wonder that I made it out alive.

Living, squatting really, in a house on Monroe Street with my dad, who was gainfully in his cups and dating the daughter of the woman who owned the house (who was younger than me, ew dad) who was an alcoholic, self-admitted, who slopped around in house slippers and would drink her beer in a sippy cup with a straw.

Patty!

Oh my God.

I can’t believe I remember these names.

And the daughter’s name was Faith.

Of course it was.

And her brother Noah, an alcoholic, psychotic who would constantly bum cigarettes from you.  He was like a honing device, anyone, anywhere, in that house, from the second floor to the basement who might, might, have had a cigarette, he was there, slouched up right next to them.

“Can I bum a smoke, man?”

He was always damp, with a shank of dark hair that would fall into his eyes, and his eyes were dark, pale skin, five o’clock stubble at all times.

Yes.

Of course I slept with him.

I was drunk.

And it was one time.

And.

That never happened again.

I digress.

John bailed my ex brother in law out of jail and I broke up with him when I demanded more from him than he could give.

I had this unreasonable idea, too much reading the Princess Bride, too much, or too little, I suppose, patterning of relationships on my mom and missing dad, of what love looked like.

It did not look like this sweet kid who gave me socks for my birthday.

“Socks?!”  I was appalled when I opened the package.

“You gave me socks,” I almost hollered.

“You don’t have any,” he said baffled, the pleased with himself look fading off his face rather fast.

“I just thought, you must have cold feet all the time,” he added, now chagrined and blushing furiously.

“My feet are not cold.” I said and stuffed the socks down in my bag.

(My birthday, mind you, is in December and I was living in Wisconsin, and it’s not exactly warm there, my feet were probably always cold.)

I remember the color of the socks, I remember the feel of them, they were expensive and heavy and wool and had multi-colored stripes.

I threw them away.

(Aside, that just made me tear up, poor girl, being offered love, not knowing how to take it, spitting on it, not knowing what this was, this kind of sweet regard and tender taking care of.  I had never had it.  How was I to realize what was being offered?)

I break my own heart.

Then break his.

Then leave for months and not tell anyone where I am going.

Then.

Oh.

It just keeps getting better.

I end up homeless outside of Miami, Florida with some crazy low level hill billy mafia crack head who was nine years older than me and was named.

Oh.

God.

Billy Ray.

I do not make this shit up.

Long and short of it.

Which it was.

Horribly long and thank God, awfully short too.

Billy freaked out on me, threatened to kill me, and basically I hitch hiked to a Greyhound station with a paycheck from a gas station/convenience store I had worked at for a week in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

This blog is getting long.

But goodness, there is so much rich material here.

David Bowie.

Get back to David Bowie.

Right.

I made it back to Madison, I was crashing on the couch at my mom’s house, my sister had just had a baby, it was not good, my mom’s room mate was not happy, it was a bad idea to try and stay with my dad at Patty’s, but I did for a couple of nights, and then my sister tells me about the plan.

Stripping.

Let me just say this.

I did it.

One time.

It did not go well.

I did it to a medley of David Bowie songs.

Blue Jean.

China Girl.

And.

Let’s Dance.

By the time I was at Let’s Dance the top was coming off.

The floor was black and sticky on the stage, the lights were hot, John was there for moral support.

We got back together for a weekend.

His face in the club, a halo of blond hair, his spectacles pushed up the bridge of his nose, his blue eyes wide watching me.

It is one thing to dance for your boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, in the warm afternoon light of a flat on E. Johnson Street with David Bowie crooning in the back ground.

It is quite another to do it at Visions Night Club on East Washington Street.

I remember him mouthing “smile” at me.

I remember not being able to take any of the money being held out to me.

I remember a lot more.

But.

Like I said.

The blog.

She gets long.

All the things I used to do that I don’t do any more.

All the music, the soundtrack to that wrecked part of my life.

David Bowie.

Thanks for the memories.

And.

All the glorious music.

It made my life.

Somehow.

Less.

Tragic.

And always.

Always.

More.

Beautiful.

 


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