Sunday, February 28, 2016

Secret Room

Well kitty, I found out how you got into the ventilation system. I knew there was something off about the footprint of this house. There was a secret room between the kitchen and the spare bedroom. Mark showed up here faster than I’ve ever seen him show up to a job site. I don't know if he was excited about the found square footage or the mystery of the room. The room was wired for electricity, but it was completely empty so we doubt old man Rivers knew about it. He would have had it so packed with junk there wouldn't be room to move. The only way to get into the room is through a panel in the pantry. Going in there was like going into a time capsule. It was like something out of a horror movie.
Obviously the room was a living place, but whoever was in there couldn't have been comfortable. Mark had the workers take the wall down, do you want to go look at it, kitty?
You can see where the wall was built.  It wasn't original to the house. The workers took the stuff that was hidden in here. You can see the marks on the floor where there used to be a bed, but it had been taken out obviously by the people who had built the room since no one else seemed to know about it. Look, though. You can see the marks of a chain, here and here. Someone had been chained up in here and from the marks of the chain, they had been kept here for a long time. We think it was a little girl, or at least someone with a childlike mind. There were creepy, ceramic dolls scattered all over the room. Most of them were planted facing the wall. It was like they were children put into time-out. Only one of them was facing out. It was one of those that had the eyes that rolled around in its head, but it's eyes were missing. They weren't just missing though. It was obvious someone had dug the eyes out of the doll with something sharp. There was also a desk in here. A child’s writing desk. It looked like something out of the early 1900s. Too bad it was in such rough shape. I’m sure it would have been worth something if it hadn't been so damaged. It looked like the legs had been gnawed on by something. The freaky thing about it was the teeth marks looked human.
I tried to do some research at the coffee shop this afternoon, but my laptop couldn't hold any power. I wonder if it was hit by a power surge the first day I was in the house.
Anyway kitty, I did find out this house was built in 1903 and the original owners only lived here about five years. They sold the house to a family, but my computer died before I could pull up any information on them.
I did meet a cute girl at the coffee shop, though. That’s why I was later coming back then I told you. She is a little paler than I usually like in a girl and she’s tall. I usually like short, dark-harmed girls, but Claire is almost as tall as I am and she has fiery red hair. She also has the most amazing freckle right in the middle of her cheek just below her left eye. I was transfixed by that freckle. The apple of her cheek bounced as she laughed and the freckle danced with every smile. I don't know how long we sat at the table, but the baristas kept coming up and asking us if we needed anything. At least they kept asking me if I needed anything.. Claire didn't ever order anything. Honestly, I have no idea what she even came in to the shop in the first place. When I offered to buy her some coffee she curled her lip and said she hated coffee. She couldn't even stand the smell of it. I asked her why she came into the shop she laughed and said she saw me sitting here and I looked like I had a friendly face. I wish we could have talked more, but I didn't want to leave you here by yourself much longer. I went to the bathroom and when I came back she was gone.
I hope she lives nearby. I’d love to see her again.
I think we are going to be able to tie in some plumbing here and turn this space into a bathroom. Now that we’ve taken down the false wall we can turn this room into the master bedroom. I can’t believe this room was just sitting here for so many years. Old man Rivers lived here for at least 40 years. I really don't think he kept anyone chained up in here. Did you feel that kitty? I think the draft is coming in through the ventilation system. I’m glad the HVAC guys are coming in tomorrow.  I’m tired of these drafts. And who left the door to the basement open. I told them to make sure all the locks were in place. Mmmmm, Do you smell that kitty? It smells like Claire's perfume. She smelled like a soft, sweet flower. It’s too bad the coffee shop was so close to the massage spa. The odor of smoke permeated the air and almost overwhelmed her perfume.
We only have 22 more days here kitty. I just hope we get our electricity back soon.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Locks

What in the world is going on with this door? Where’s the cat. I really hope she hasn't gotten out. Her incision still hasn't healed and I haven't trapped that monster of a ginger cat yet. He's avoided all of the traps. Where are you, little girl? Oh, I hear you. At least you're not outside, but where are you?
I need to find a way to protect you from all the dangers of this house. I’m done with this door. I can't risk you getting out of the house. We’re going to the store and getting a padlock. Mark is going to replace all of these doors so said I can drill holes in them to install the hardware.  I don't know how the door keeps opening on its own. Every time I put something in front of the door one of the workers moves it and the door gets open again. I'm lucky the kitty hasn't tried to make a break for it yet.
There you are, kitty. How did you get in there? I thought we had all the vents closed off. We can't have you wandering through the HVAC system during construction.Too bad mom’s apartment complex doesn't allow pets. You would be much safer there than here. Look, there’s that old Tom again. I bet he was a beauty of a beast when he was young. He looks like he's come off the best in a few fights. Poor guy.
I know there aren't any open vents on the main floor. There must be some openings in the basement. I’m going to put a padlock on the basement door. I'm tired of having to shut it every time I walk past it. The cold draft coming up those stairs makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. What’s wrong kitty? You're staring at the stairs as if there's a mouse you want to attack. Oh, I saw it too. There must be a drop cloth or something fluttering in the draft down there. I just saw a flash of movement for a second. Your sight is better than mine so it must be driving you nuts..
I’m glad the workers aren't going to be coming in tomorrow. I need a break. Let's go to the store. Do you think you’ll be able to handle the carrier I got from mom. I don't want to leave you here alone. If I could keep the doors closed I could just put you in the bathroom with a can of food and the litter box, but I don't think that'll work. We will get some locks for some of these doors. Don't worry kitty, I'll keep you safe for the next 23 days. Mom is working on finding a place for you to stay during the flip. Don’t worry, I'll find a place we can both stay when we are done here.

Foot Prints

The workers are leaving footprints all over the floors. It’s ruining the carpet. Not that it matters much. Mark Sent over the finalized the plans today. All the floors are coming up and all new hardwood is going down.
Hey kitty, how are you? You sure do sneak up on me during the day. Why can't you be this quiet at night? I heard you tromping up and down the stairs all night. I swear, for such a little guy you sure do have a heavy tread. I thought you were  in bed with me last night, but I heard you going down the stairs when I was coming back from the bathroom. Did you find any mice there? I haven't been in the basement since we stripped it down. I wish I could figure out how to keep the door to the basement closed. The cold draft coming from that landing is freezing us out of the house. Until we get the electrical knocked out we need to rely on the generator and it keeps kicking off in the middle of the night. I’m glad we are not putting off the electrical work. Did you see the mess they pulled out of the spare bedroom? I don't know how long ago those wires shorted out and the fire obviously burned itself out before it did more but char the inside of the wall. Not even enough damage to warrant tearing out the entire wall.
Did you see how small the footprints were on the carpet? Whoever walked through there walked right through the tiny pile of charred dust the workers left on the floor when they pulled down the drywall. I didn't see any small guys on the crew. Whoever it was must have came in when I was getting our lunch. I wish I didn't have to lock you in the bedroom when I leave you alone with the workers, but they won't be as careful with you as I am. I don't want you slipping out between their legs or have you get in their way. Even the smallest feet can do damage to your tiny body.
Speaking of workers, we need to talk to the gardeners about wearing proper footwear when working in the yard. I found some old boards with nails sticking out of them stacked by the fence. There are probably nails scattered all throughout the yard. Tennis shoes just aren't going to cut it during yard clean up. I wonder whose leaving the bare footprints in the yard. It has to be one of the neighborhood kids. I don't see how any of the gardeners would run around the yard without any shoes.
Hello? Kitty, did you hear that? I think there’s still someone in the house. Did all the workers go home. It’s getting late, maybe they are just finishing some clean up. I think I just heard the back door. Let’s go see what’s going on.
Well, that was interesting. I think every door in the house was opened. Did you see the size of the footprints in the dust? It must have been the shorter worker just finishing his work. I just don't remember there being any small guys with the work crew today.
Where are you, kitty? Oh, there you are. You're so sneaky. Why do I only hear your footsteps at night?  Do you want to go for a walk? I'm glad the night shift clerk doesn't mind you coming in the gas station. We would starve to death if I couldn't zap my burrito in the microwave. One more day down, 23 to go. Turkey in gravy for dinner tonight? It was nice of Mark to drop off some cat food. I know he prefers dogs, but you have a way of traipsing  your way into a person's soul.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Fire


Come here kitty, lets go see what all the excitement was about last night. I don't know why the flames and smoke didn't wake me up, but there's no way I could have slept through those lights and sirens. Too bad the police line kept us so far back. I know it was the massage salon that went up, but I wonder how much damage was done to the actual building. In a way I hope it was a total loss. I don’t have anything against legitimate massage therapy, but that place was just too shady. Holy crap, kitty. Do you see the tree? One entire side of it is completely black. I wonder if it’s going to survive? I've seen trees come back from severe injury, but this, man, this is pretty extensive.

Well, the building is a complete loss. Yeah, there’s no way this business is going to come back from this. Even rebuilding would take too much time and money. Is that the owner over there? He doesn't look too happy. The reporters are descending on him. I never understood the term swooped down like vultures until now. I've never seen so many people crowd around one person before. Holy…Kitty, I think there are bringing out a body. No, there are two of them. Oh my…kitty there were girls in the house when it burned. What time did we hear those sirens? It had to have been three or four in the morning when we heard the first siren. Why were the girls still there? Do you think they were kept there? I need to talk to Mark about this. We need to put up surveillance cameras around the house if there are people being held captive in the neighborhood. The neighborhood needs to be cleaned up before we sell any houses here. 

Oh no, here comes the police. No, I didn’t see what happen. I’m only house sitting for a friend of mine. No, I’m in that house over there. Yes, It’s the old River’s house. When I was a kid we lived in the house the corner. I went to college in Texas six years ago. My mom moved into an apartment two years ago. She sold the house about a year ago so until my friend bought the Rivers’ house I had no reason to come back. No, officer. My friend is not planning on converting the house to a salon. He’s going to flip and sell it. I have no problem giving you his information. I’m on workman’s comp right now so I’ll be at the house more often than not. You’re welcome come ask me any questions. Can you tell me what happened? No, I understand. Ongoing Investigation. Thanks. I’m sure I’ll see you around. 

Kitty let’s go back to the house. The air is so heavy with smoke I can feel it burrowing into my pores. Poor kitty. That sure was a big sneeze for such a little girl. How about tuna fish for dinner tonight? Hey, did you see that? It looked like there was a girl standing by that tree. She’s gone now. I wonder if she was one of the girls from the parlor. I’m going to have to let the police know. They are all on the other side of the line. There’s no way I’m going near that mess.

Let’s go to the library. Wait, they won’t let you in there and I don’t want to leave you alone in all the confusion. Did you see where the girl went? What are you looking at kitty? Oh, those are your claws. Let’s get them out of my shoulder blade. What are you hissing at? There isn’t anything there. Ok, I need to go back and talk to the police. I need to let them know I saw someone. We’re only going to be here for 24 more days. Hopefully another massage parlor won’t move into the neighborhood.

Touch

I must be having some interesting muscle spasm. I keep feeling a ticking in my neck. If I didn't know any better I would say someone is trying to give me a neck rub. It's like there's fingers trailing up and down my neck. I've had muscles spasms before, but they've never felt like this before. I haven't worked my muscles like this since my accident either. I need to find a physical therapist to give me a good work-over. I sure don't like the look of the massage parlor down the street. They could be legit, but I've seen the cliental slipping in and out of the back door of the building. I've heard mom talk about the place often enough to know they aren't well-regulated. She wasn't happy when this one popped up in the neighborhood. Maybe I should talk to Mark about this. Just having one of these businesses in the neighborhood can be enough to drive down home prices. He might want to rethink the amount of money he wants to invest in the flip of this house.
Hey kitty, where did you come from? I hope you're getting used to being inside. I don't think I'm going to let you outside for a little while. I saw another cat slipping through the garden this afternoon. He was pretty quick and he looks a little vicious. He probably weighs as much as Mark’s yellow lab. I think I'm going to go to the humane society and get a few live traps tomorrow. Mom has a few friends who run a cat sanctuary. I’ll let her know they need to prepare for an influx of cats. You know if you see one there are ten more hiding in the bushes. I think I'm going to go visit the neighbors and let them know I'm going to be setting a few traps. I know Mark won't mind if I get rid of the feral cats  around this house, but the neighbors might get upset if their pets start disappearing.
I think we got rid of most of the smell, finally. Whatever it was it had to have been coming from the basement. The work crews dismantled most of the basement and got rid of that toilet. I still can't believe someone installed a toilet in the middle of the basement and just left it there exposed to the world. Mark gave me the clearance to hire some day laborer so we were able to get some of the cleaning done the cleaning crew wasn't able to get to last time. Sorry I couldn't let you at all the little birdies we found, kitty. It didn't help when the birds nest fell out of the chimney when I was trying to see what the structure was like. Maybe I'm still feeling the little feathers against my skin. They're tickling my ribs right now.
Here ya go, kitty. You deserve a treat today. It’s a good thing my workman’s comp came in today. We would be hurting for food. I don't think I would do as good of a job foraging for food as you did. I'm going to fix some hot cereal for dinner. Something that’ll stick to my ribs. Has to be better than these feathers. I can still feel them against my skin. The shower made it worse. Wet feathers rubbing against my skin. I think a few of them scratched me. Do you see the scratches?
I think you’re scratching me in the night, little kitty. I can feel you walking across my legs and back. It’s a good thing I’m a heavy sleeper. For a tiny little kitty you sure do have a heavy step. I swear you leave footprints on my back. Did you see this little bruise right here? I didn't have it yesterday. Of course we've all been working at tearing out walls and floors I could have been hit by debris at any time. I think I felt something brush across my back when I was helping the men move that toilet out of the basement. I probably ran into the corner of the wall. My delicate, Irish skin bruises at the slightest touch.
Come on Artemis, we need to get to bed. The electrical crew is coming tomorrow. It’s going to take a few days, but soon we’ll have some real power back. It’ll be nice to be able to buy milk by the gallon instead of the pint. You like milk as much as I do.
Mark seemed receptive to the idea of selling me the house. He said something about needing a project manager for his other houses.  If he gives me a job I’ll have a steady income. If I can make this house come together I can turn any house around. What do you say kitty? Is there more things than my Philosophy out there? What does it take to move Heaven and Earth? I thought I could use my brain to change the world, but maybe it’s going to take the work of these two hands. 25 more days and we can change the world.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sleep


Ugh! Kitty, go to sleep. I’ve feed you, cleaned your stitches. Petted, scratched and rubbed every part of you. I’m glad you’re feeling better, but man. We are tearing out walls tomorrow and I need to be on my game. You cried until I let you in the bedroom, but if you’re in here you need to sleep. No, stay there. You already have my favorite t-shirt; you don’t need to take over my bed, too. All right, all right. Stop crying. This is good. Look. Your bed is right there. You stay on your side of the bed and… Oh, good lord. Okay, okay. Fine, but we are going to sleep. No playing. You sure are sweet.
I know you’re just looking for warmth, but there’s something comforting in the purrs your giving me. I don’t know if my body is up for the labor this job is going to require. I thought this was going to be nothing more than some glorified housesitting. Maybe I would end up tearing into a few walls, but this is so much more. I can’t believe I’m actually excited about seeing what this house can be.
Kitty, did you actually bring a spider into this bed. No, don’t let him get away. Where is it? Where is it? There. Got it. I’m sorry kitty, but I need to change the bed. Get down. I’m going to feel creepy crawlies all over my skin all night long.
It’s taking too long to go to sleep. I feel tiny legs creeping all over me. Thanks kitty. I really needed to dream about spiders all night long. Come here. We’re going for a walk. It’s still early enough we can walk around the neighborhood. I’ll show you where I grew up. It’s just around the corner.
The moon is so far away tonight. We need to sleep through sunrise if we hope to get any work done tomorrow. It would be amazing to watch the moon dip below the horizon in the morning, but I need to be useful when the crew comes in the morning. Are you happy up there, kitty? I can’t believe your favorite place is on my shoulder. I wonder if you’re going to be able to balance up there when you get bigger. Mom was always trying to get me to like the cats she rescued. They were all cute, but I don’t think any of them could hold a candle to you.
Do you hear that, Artemus? I think the wind is speaking to us. You can almost hear the distinct voices in each of the trees. I wonder what they trees are trying to say. It’s too bad it isn’t Spring. I love the sound of the leaves whispering. Look kitty. See that big oak tree over there? I used to have a fort in that tree. I think I even fell out of it once or twice. My dad took it down before he left my mom. He said he didn’t want to have to come over and maintain it all the time. It would just give mom an excuse to call him and he didn’t want to deal with the drama. I can’t believe I spent so much time thinking he didn’t want to be married to mom anymore because I was too high maintenance. How long did it take me to figure out it was just because he was a jerk. Funny thing is kitty; I still miss him. He’s been dead five years, but I still miss him.
I ruled this street for years. I would ride my bike up and down the street until dusk. All the other kids would come to my house because my mom was the best cook. I was so cool. I had my first kiss right there behind that tree. Stacey was the cutest girl in school. We had been racing our bikes around the neighborhood, but none of us would ride past old man River’s house. She dared me to run up to the front gate and touch it. I made her promise to kiss me. I don’t know what made my heart beat faster: racing to the gate and slapping it with the palm of my hand or my inept lips caressing hers. I still remember the scratchiness of her lips against mine and hear the sigh of her breath as she leaned into me. Too bad her family moved away after that summer. It would have been nice to have a girlfriend during fifth grade.
Let’s go back home, kitty. I wonder how much Mark is going to sell the house for. It would be nice to settle in the old neighborhood. Ten thousand dollars would make a nice down payment on a house. I’m starting to get used to old man Rivers’ place. Cold spots and all. Maybe after we get done with our work tomorrow we can go to the library and do some research on the place. It would be interesting to find out who owned it before Rivers.
Did the front porch light really just go out? That’s the third bulb today. I thought Mark said those packages were brand new. And the drafts are getting ridiculous. Did you see the curtain in the kitchen just flutter? Come on kitty, the walk had enough good memories to chase the nightmares away. 26 more days. Let’s try to get some sleep.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Moon

Wow, the moon is spectacular. It's hanging on the horizon glowing a bright orange. I’ve forgotten how awe inspiring the full moon caressing the horizon can be. I’m glad the cat woke me up. Poor girl. Nothing worse than an anesthesia hangover. I thought she was too young to be fixed, but according to the vet she's probably about three months old. Her sad little cries woke me and when I came to check on her I noticed the moon. It's only four in the morning, but I doubt I get any more sleep tonight. At least the generator is up and running again. It's only been here for twelve hours and I've already had to fix it three times. I need to invest in a warm pair of slippers. The kitchen floor is cold. There's a draft somewhere in the house. I keep feeling the whisper of cold air against my neck.
Hey, kitty. What am I going to name you. Poor little one. I wonder how long you’ve been wandering the streets. The flea bath sure did take away all sorts of layers of ugliness off of you. I never noticed, you have one green eye and one blue eye. Pure white. Mysterious. Look at the moon kitty. I can see why Greeks worshiped her. I can feel the draw of the light pulling me from myself. Diana. No, She is the Roman Goddess. Artemis, that’s your name. Artemis, Goddess of the Moon incarnate of Hecate. What spells have you put upon me this night?
I don't know if I should keep you little one. Come here, let’s go to bed. I will be the sun and you will be the moon. Together we will forge a path across the sky to define our destiny.

Workers

Either Mark has the laziest workers in the universe or there is something seriously wrong with this house. Mark came over to do a walk through of the house today with three members of his crew. We were only half way through the first floor when one of the workers came bolting out of the basement. He was pale and shaking so bad even the fat under his jaw was quivering. Mark had to chase after him to find out what was going on. I followed the two of them out into the yard but I couldn't understand what the guy was saying. He was speaking Spanish so quickly I could barely make out any of the words. I know the language fairly well, but this man’s rapid speaking was behind my comprehension. His teeth were chattering so fast it was hard to believe he could even speak.
The other two members of Mark’s crew stood behind me whispering as they listened to their partner speak. Their whispering became more agitated the more the man spoke. Finally I turned to them and asked what the other man was talking about. Both of the men’s eyes were so wide all I saw was white surrounded by red rims.
“David was touched by someone when he was in the basement.”
I looked from the two men standing behind me to Mark and David, who were still arguing in the middle of the overgrown front lawn. David’s eyes hadn't lost their wild look and he had added wild gestures to his performance. Between the he wild gestures and the few words I was finally able to make out I soon came to understand David had no intention of ever entering the house again. Mark was trying to convince him to come back into the house and finish the inspection, but David was shaking his head so violently I knew there was no way he was going to go back inside the house.
“You probably just walked into a spider web.” Mark was practically screaming in David’s face.
David had stopped shaking his head. I think he made himself dizzy. “No, I saw a man standing in the corner. He didn't want me there. He pushed me.” The rest was said in Spanish and said very quickly, but I think I heard him say “Diablo”.
I asked the other men who touched him but they both shook their heads. “We were upstairs. No one touched him.” The men glanced over their shoulders and shuffled away from the house. They took tiny, stuttered steps and I could tell they were trying very hard not to catch Mark’s eye.
“Carlos, Juan get back in the house and finish the inspection.”
The two men nearly stumbled over themselves as they turned back to the house. Mark had turned back to David, but there was no convincing him to return to the house. The rest of the day the other two men refused to work in separate areas of the house. I couldn't convince them to go into the basement at all. Mark and I had to go down and inspect the foundation. It looks like the foundation is pretty solid.. I'm kinda shocked the house hasn't shifted like I thought. I wonder what is causing all the doors to swing open at odd hours. Mark isn't going to give me any money for locks for the interior doors. Most of them are going to be replaced when we change the footprint of the house. He agrees with me about the wiring, though. He's going to send his crew over tomorrow to start the work. The walls are all marked so we know which ones we are taking down and which ones are staying. I’ll be living in a construction zone for awhile. It won't kill me.
At least Mark confirmed if I make it through thirty days he really is going to give me $10,000. Devil or no devil, I'm going to stick it out in this house. The money’s going to give me a way out of this hole I'm in. 27 more days. It's a good thing I don't believe in ghost, but I think I'm going to get an exterminator out here for those spiders.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Hunger

I don't know how I'm going to survive an entire month in this house. Mark’s guy isn't going to be able to start the rewiring job until next week and I don't dare trust the fridge with what little bit of food I'm can afford. Life would have been much easier if I hadn't moved mom into the apartment across town and sold the house. It would have been nice to be able to just go next door and get a home cooked meal. I could order Chinese if my phone could hold a charge long enough to get a call out. Dang thing is less than a year old. I should have hit up Cell Phone Repair while I was out and about yesterday.
I'm going to starve to death before the electricians get here next week. I can't afford to hit up the fast food joints every night. I can only stretch my budget so far.
Every time I go past the basement door I swear it's open. I'm going to have to check the foundation. Somehow this house is settling and  the door jams are all twisted. There's no way Mark is going to be able to salvage the original footprint of this house. It's a good thing the city gave up on restoring the house and decided not to put it on the Historical registry. It would be impossible to restore this place. It's a total gut job. I wonder in Mark is really going to be able to invest the time and money into this place and get enough of a return to make the work worth it. I know he thought it was just going to be a quick flip, but no one is going to want to buy this place unless he does a major overhaul.
At least most of the smell is gone. Maybe all the place needed was a good airing out. The house has been empty long enough I bet a few college kids have broken in and hosted a party or two. There's probably a few slices of pizzas hidden away in corners transforming into completely new life forms. Im going to head to the library and pull up the original blueprints for the house. I've made it through every room of the house and the footprint seems off. It seems the outside of the house is bigger than the space inside. I've sketched out what I think the house should look and it seems there is some missing space. Maybe one of the previous owners tried to expand a bathroom and closed off a closet or something, but there's something just awkward about the layout here.
Man, I'm starving. All I can think about is food. I’m going to walk down to the coffee shop and get something to eat. I’ll worry about money later. I can plug in my phone there and call Mark. I need to find out when he's going to drop off the generator.
I need to get a bike. I don't want to waste any gas when everything I need is so close. A bus pass would probably help too, but the bussing schedule is so sporadic a pass might not be worth the investment. What's the deal with this back door? This lock is worthless. I’m just going to nail it shut.
What's that noise? I knew it. I knew a cat was going to get in here? “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.” Now I sound just like my mom. She was always trying to rescue Old Man Rivers’ cats. I can't believe this cat is letting me pick him up. He's so tiny. My gosh, he looks like he's only a couple of months old. He looks healthy enough, but I better get him to the vet.Mom will pick up the bill. She always has a little money tucked away for vet bills. I guess I could always ask her for some food money but it would be a little pathetic for a 27 year old man to ask his mommy for groceries. I need to wait until I get this electrical issue worked out before buying perishables. I better put cat food on my list. I guess I'm going to have to use the car today any way. I’ll head over to mom’s and get a cat carrier and call her vet from there. I'll borrow her phone and leave mine there to charge.
I'm only going to be here 28 more days. I need to talk to Mark about the house budget. We need to sit down and go through what he really wants to happen before I start knocking down walls. Come on kitty, let's go.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Electric

Well, the place is marginally more livable now. The cleaning crew was able to come in yesterday and get the kitchen and bedroom cleaned before the breaker blew. Mark is going to have to add rewiring to his budget. This old knob and tube is a fire hazard. I probably shouldn't even be living in the house until it all gets rewired, but I already have my bed set up and the wooden frame of the futon weighs a ton. I flipped the breaker back on, but I doubt the cleaners are going to be able to do the heavy cleaning all the other rooms are going to need until the electrical system is up to code. I can almost feel the throb of electricity through the walls whenever I go to flip a switch.
I tried running the microwave this morning but the lights in the kitchen kept flickering. My sausage muffin was still nearly frozen even after two minutes so I gave it up and threw it in the trash. The muffins at the gas station were bigger and probably better than the microwave crap anyway.
We're going to have to take the cleaning one room at a time. There’s no way the cleaners are going to be able to come in on a large scale and scrub with the electricity acting all wonky. I'm just going to have to go get a ton of air fresheners and drop them in every room until we can find the source of the smell. I waited until today to really go through the house and see what I was up against. I couldn't even explore the basement fully. My flashlight died halfway through the inspection and the basement is just too dark. Just about every light bulb in the house is blown out. I think the only ones that work are in the kitchen and bathroom. I had to grope my way to the bathroom by the light of my cell phone in the middle of the night and even then I was halfway through doing my business when the battery died and I had to stumble my way back to the broom. My toe still throbs from where I stubbed it on the door jam.
I need to hit the supermarket today. Mark gave me some cash so I could get supplies for the house, but with all the cleaning I'm going to blow through it pretty fast. If I have to get lightbulb so for every room I'm going to need to hit the dollar store. Maybe they'll have those little night lights with the smell good stuff, too.
I swear the electricity in this house doesn't stay in the wires. When I walk into some rooms I can feel the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stand on end. I need to check the HVAC system too. There are some real cold spots in the house. I swear walking across the landing on the stairs is like walking through a block of ice. The bathroom can't decide if it's hot or cold. Every time I go in there it's a different temperature.
There's so much work to do in the basement I think I'm just going to lock the door at the landing and wait until Mark decides how he wants to handle it. Theres nothing down there but storage and a barely functional toilet anyway. Literally, there's a toilet sitting in the middle of the basement, no walls or doors, just a toilet against the far wall next to the washer and dryer. I'm not going to do laundry down there anyway. Mom wants me to come mow the lawn at her place every week. I'll just bring my laundry over there. I don't need the circuit cutting out mid-spin cycle. Pulling soaking clothes out of a clunker of a washer is never fun.
Top of the list: get and electrician in to change out the knob and tube wiring. Mark’s guy could probably get it done in about three days. Four bedroom two and a half bath. They might push it out for five days, but I'll just drop in a generator for the time being. End of February doesn't get too cold. I think I'll be able to live with space heaters. I think I'll give up on the cleaning for now. It’ll just get messy again when they tear into the walls.
I wish I could find a flashlight that works. I thought I had put fresh batteries in both of mine, but I guess they had been left on when I dumped them in my tool box. The one I found in the kitchen is useless. The bulb is shattered and the batteries have leaked into the base. Too bad, it looked like a pretty good light.
I don't even dare plug in my TV. 62 inches of useless. I can't get the surge protector to work. It keeps cutting out and I'm not going to risk frying my electronics in this place. My laptop has a good charge on it and I'll just plug it and my phone in at the library while I work. Maybe I'll get a generator in here anyway. I need to keep my phone charged so I can call Mark and I really miss having free access to my laptop.  Not that it'll do much good. I can't get internet until I get electricity. I'm not going to burn fuel just so I can surf the web. The library’s good enough for me.
Time to hit the store. Maybe Wally’s World will have some cheap light bulbs and flashlights. I'm going to need something with a longer life than whatever I can find at the dollar store. I need to find a new lock for the back door too. It keeps popping open in the middle of the night. Where’s my phone charger? The store and then the library. I'm going to put a chair under the knob of the back door. The neighborhood kids don't spend too much time trying to break in but I think I saw a cat skulking about the back yard. Some battery operated motion sensors might help keep them away. This list is getting too long. I'm only going to be here another 29 days.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The House

I have no idea how I got to this. I mean really, a dare is a dare, but this is ridiculous. I'm standing here outside the gate of this obviously two-stages beyond condemned house about ready to move my belongings in and even I'm a little scared. It takes a lot to scare me. I mean I used to race the train to the crossing until my parents found out took away my keys for two months. Anyway, I’ve heard the stories about this house for years. I think I was about six when they found the body of old man Rivers in the basement from where he had fallen down the stairs. No one had seen him for about six months. I don't know how long he had been in the house, but I remember one of the medics had ran out of the building and had thrown up in our bushes while they were moving the white-draped stretcher out of the house.
I didn't like old man Rivers very much anyway so I didn’t miss him much when he was gone. The house was supposed to have been a town historical building so the city did what they could to clean it up and restore it before selling it to the next owner. Rivers didn't have any family so the city took ownership after he died. It took three garbage trucks to haul all his junk away and the local animal shelter was full of cats for about two weeks as they were trying to decide what to do with them. I think there's still a few descendants of those cats running around the town, those animal control hadn't been able to round up and re-home.
I don't know why I'm still standing here at the gate, the house isn't going to get any less creepy looking. There have been five owners since old man Rivers died, but none of them have lived here for more than six months, the last one didn't even last three weeks. Mark, my friend, bought the house at auction before he found out the history of the house. We worked construction in Dallas together when I was going to college. He decided to move a few months after I did because he wanted to start a house-flipping business. He made a fortune in real estate in Dallas and I guess he wanted to move to Boise to get away from the heat of Texas. I had no intention of living in Boise after graduating from college, but when you graduate with a Bachelors in Philosophy there’s not a lot of high paying jobs out there for the taking.
Mark said I could live in the house rent free as long as I helped out with the repairs. I don't know if he was joking when he said he would pay me $10,000 if I made it 30 days in the place, we were at least four drinks in when he said it, but I could use the money. He said it’s livable and it needs to be occupied to keep the vandals away until his crew finishes their current project and can get to this house. I wouldn't even be here if he hadn't dared me to stay in the house. I told him I didn't believe in ghosts, and the old neighborhood haunted house wasn't going to scare me away.
I put myself through college working construction. It took an extra two years, but at least I graduated without any student loan debt. My knees and my back scream at me every morning when I try to get out of bed. That last fall from the roof nearly did me in, but the workman’s comp will put food on the table until I'm strong enough to go back to work. Maybe I'll go to one of the technical schools and get my computer science certification.
Thinking about school isn't going to get me into the house any faster. Mark just pulled up.. I better go get my stuff out of the bed of his truck. The futon isn't going to move itself. Man, that bumper sticker slays me every time. “Yes, this is my truck and no I will not help you move.” It's a little ironic that he's helping me move now. Of course I think I'm doing him as big of a favor as he's doing me. I don't think I can take one more day of living in my mom’s basement.
At least Mark brought a couple of his buddies. I guess the house isn't too bad. The kitchen is small and the stove looks like it's about four-hundred years old. I'm not an award winning chef any way. Grilled-cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Good enough for me.
Futon in the bedroom, dresser against the wall. Box of scratched and dented pots and pans. Two plates, seven plastic cups, two coffee mugs, three knives and a fork. No spoon. Damnit mom, you couldn't even part with one of your precious spoons. I'm going to have to go get a box of plastic silverware from the gas station before I open my soup tonight. I'm glad the soup cans have the pop-tops now. I have no idea if I even packed a can opener.
Mark dropped the last garbage bag full of clothes into the hallway and took off. He needs to get back to work. I’m going to call a cleaning service. There’s no way I'm going to be able to get this place junked out. I'm not fastidious when it comes to cleanliness, but my eyes are already burning from the dust.
Ugh, I think I smell a dead cat. I'm not going to wait. The library’s just around the corner. I'm going to walk down there and get on their wifi while I got the chance. I'll call a cleaning service and get them over here. I know there's a couple that'll come right away.
Once the cleaning crew is done I'll start making a list of projects that need to be done before the flipping crew gets here. I’ll have thirty days in a four bedroom, two bath house with no one else to bug me. I think I'm going to be king of the castle for a while. That’s funny, I thought I had put the keys on the table. Oh, there they are, by the sink.

The Next Tirty-Days

It's the next thirty days.
It's time for a new voice and a new setting.
Enjoy the next thirty-days.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I Have to Give Myself Permission

Carol- Age 57
Sometimes I just have to give myself permission to be OK.
It's hard for people to understand what it's like being like this
You don't live inside my head, my body, my heart
All you see is what's on the outside
I look like I'm fine
With my neatly ordered house
And my job
And my car
It looks like I have it all together
But you don't know
You have know idea what a mess I am on the inside
Everything is structured
And regimented
And so chaotic where no one can see anything
Sometimes I want to give people just a glimpse of what it is like on the inside
But I'm afraid of the judgement and scorn I know will come my way
Next time
Maybe
But not today

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I Have People Over

Jordan-Age 22
I have people over all the time
They eat my food and talk and play all day
We go places and play tricks and laugh and do all sorts of things
More importantly they chase away my loneliness
I wish they could stay longer
Sometimes they only stay a few minutes and I can catch a glimpse of myself
And I smile, just a little bit
Sometimes they dance around the edges
And I frown and tell them to go away
Most of the time they make me happy and I can find joy
But sometimes
Sometimes
I just don't understand why they can't leave me alone
I want to scream
And cry
And throw things at the wall
But they don't like it when I “act up”
I hate them
I hate it when they whisper at me
Not that they always whisper
No, they did not do this to me
No, I did not do this to myself
No I don't know how that happened
Look, I can't do anything about this right now
Can't you see I have people over
Go away
I need my privacy

Monday, February 15, 2016

Shadows

Marissa -Age 15
I can't take the shadows any more. They are everywhere. When I glance out of the corner of my eye I see them crowding around the edges and trying to force their way into my head. When I go to sleep they sit on my chest and when I wake up in the morning I discover I haven't been breathing. It's fine that they want to steal my air because I don't need to breathe anymore anyway. I don't need them to remind me what I have become.
I wanted to keep them out. I wanted them to stay in the corner and leave me alone, but they wouldn't behave. They never behave. I couldn't control them any more than they could control me. They invaded my dreams, my thoughts, my private moments.
It was fine when they resided in my dreams, but now the shadows have invaded my waking moments too. They tell me what to do, who to hurt, how to hurt them. At first I tried to ignore them. It was easy when they just whispered quietly in my ears and told me secrets and eased my pain.i could hide the scars and the marks with long sleeves and white make-up and long, dark hair. But now, now they are screaming in my face and keeping me up all night. There's only so much make-up I can use to cover the scars they leave behind when they visit me.
The shadows creep up on me when I think I am alone and whisper all sorts of nefarious plans into my soul. They are devious. More devious than even my twisted mind can imagine. Shadows hide in the darkness and scheme and plan and twist themselves wherever darkness reigns. Even God can't understand the twisted nature of the shadows. God is all light and power and strength. Shadows are the darkness and the hate and the weakness I try to hide away.
I was pretty once. Before the shadows took over. Pretty hair, pretty eyes, pretty smile. Now all I am is shadow.
I used to love the shadows. I could play hide-and-go-seek and the shadows would tuck me in And keep me safe from the seekers. But, they found me. They always found me. No matter how well I would hide myself away. The shadows that hid me soon began to hide the secrets.
There are too many secrets now. I can't keep them from coming back. They mark me as deeply as the scars on my arms and on my thighs. The scars are faded and I think I'm the only one who can see them anyway. Just like I'm the only one who can really see the shadows creeping towards me.
The shadows, they are everywhere now. In my room, in my head, in my heart. They are in you, too. I see them behind your eyes. They are laughing at me. I can't get the sound of them out of my head. Maybe I can get them out of yours.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Staying Whole

Anonymous
I try to let the world know I am staying whole.
I put on a smile
(Sometimes I need to paint it on, but at least it's there, right?)
I look them in the eye
I laugh
I play
I let them know I'm fine
My words speak what my heart wants
But my brain knows everything is not fine
It's better here
Because I don't need to hide my brokenness
Everyone here has shattered lives
So pretending to be whole
Takes less effort
No one knows exactly how broken I really am
When I don't have to say the words
Tumbling through my head
And am only allowed to use the words they tell me to use
It's easy to hide away my pain
And gather my broken parts into myself
Smile and nod
Use “I” statements
Repeat back the words they are saying
So they think you are listening to them
No one cares what I am going through
Once I leave these doors I don’t exist for them
Why am I so surprised when they turn away from me
When they see me in the store
Or at the pool
Or at the restaurant
I am not real to them
I am outside of the world where I exist for them
We created pseudo-relationships
It isn't any more real than the smile I painted on my face
To hide away all my broken pieces

Saturday, February 13, 2016

My Fractured Soul

Bill-Age 35
Every blow fractures a little part of me and I lose just a little more of myself. I didn’t start out this way.  When I was born I was the perfect baby. I know this because my mom told me I was perfect. She told me how when I cried at night she would nurse me and change me and I would go back to sleep in less than half an hour. She used to stand above my crib and watch me sleep for hours. It was her job to keep me safe and warm and fed and dry. She would tell me this as I fed her and changed her and kept her warm and safe and dry after she had her stroke.

That was a blow.

I was a good father. My wife told me how much she appreciated everything I did for our children. The only thing I couldn’t do for the babies was nurse them. I was jealous of the attachment my wife had to the babies as they latched on to her nipples and sucked the nourishment from her body. I knew I didn’t love my children any more or less than she did, but I used to watch her feed them and gently sing to them as they fussed and fought sleep. After she nursed them she would hand them to me and I would change them and make sure they were warm and dry and safe and tucked into bed. Twin girls. Born too soon. I made sure their coffins were comfortable and warm and safe and dry.

No parents should ever have to bury their child.

And to bury two.

That was a one-two punch.

Another blow.

A year later. Cancer. I stayed by her side, even when the nurses told me I could leave. I buried her babies. I could bury her.

Another blow.

The bills came. I couldn’t pay. Bankruptcy. I lost my job. I tried. I was a veteran. I should have had preference. Nobody prefers a middle-aged man with no skills, no training.  

Another blow. And the blows kept coming.

I don’t even talk about the war. The blood. The mangled bodies. Do you really think its glorious and brave? Yeah, I ran towards the big bangs and loud explosions when everyone else was running away because that’s what I was told to do. Every generation has been damaged by some form of war. Every mother’s son has had to confront the bullet that was meant for him. And now we are sending our daughters to war, too. Would I have been able to send my precious daughters to face the horrors still burned into my brain?

Get down, stay down.

Another blow

You can’t keep a house if you have no money. You can’t get a job if you don’t have a house. You can’t go to school. You can’t learn. All you can do is give up.

Another blow.

Stay where you are. There’s nothing here for you.

Another blow.

Don’t you see? I can’t even feel the blows from your boots as you kick me and tell me to stay down. I no longer feel the pain.

Another blow.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Scream

Trust-Age 26
It builds up inside of me until I can't control it any more and it comes out in one prolonged explosion of sound. I try to hold it in as long as I can. All of my life I've been told no one wants to hear it. It's my problem. Deal with it. Your voice doesn't matter. Your voice isn't as loud as mine. I didn't hear your voice when you said no. You didn't really mean it when you said no.
You took my voice away from me. Pressed it down inside of me as if you didn't hear it, didn't see it. You pressed until it hurt so bad I couldn't hold it in any more.
You took away my voice. You took away everything that was precious and good about me. You had no right to what I had, but you took it any way. You covered my mouth and choked away my screams. You took away the moments I was saving for my love and poisoned the joy I would share with the only one who mattered to me.
I'm not talking about my virginity. I don't even know if that word has any meaning any more. I'm talking about my ability to ever trust another human being. I'm talking about being able to accept the touch of someone who loves me without flinching. Without suppressing the tiny scream that wants to escape every time some one tries to hug me. I save up the screams until I'm alone and can let them escape when there is no one there staring at me as I yell out my pain.
I was alone as I crossed in front of the protesters who screamed at me when I went for treatment for all the things you left behind. I wanted to shout back that they couldn't understand why I needed help, why I needed to cleanse my soul of the filth you left inside. I squeezed my lips together and swallowed the sobs back as they looked for disease and took what rooted in place from inside me. Leaving a void where I had covenanted to keep sacred. I wanted to fill that void, but every time I remember what happened the scream builds again.
Sometimes I can't hold back the sounds and they escape to race my pain around the room. Circling and echoing and building until the pain is too much and I need to bury into myself and hide away from everything. I wait there until the silence becomes too much and then I begin to build up the screams again. Tucking them away until I need them again.  

Thursday, February 11, 2016

My Slow Suicide

Marissa-Age 15
My death drips from me
Slowly fading into my existence
I see its face
Mocking me from deep within my soul
My death is near
And yet so far
Why should it take me so long to decide
I don't want this moment
To end
Is to begin
The way back
Fade away
Bring myself near
Embrace me
Surround me
Swaddle me
Comfort me
Let it tighten its grip around my soul
Let it drip out of my heart and fade away into the nothingness
But is there really nothing there
Bring me around to your way of thinking
Let me see what there is for me
Do I want the nothing
Or do I want the reality
And is the reality really worth living for
Or is it the nothing that is real
Let me see how your words matter
Let me hear how the world can live for me
By me
Through me
Let me taste the sound the wind makes
As it touches my face
I can smell your faith
Bringing me hope
And pain
And love
And life
And death

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Take Cover

Dave-Age 42
Take cover
Duck
Cover your head
Bury your head in the sand
Don’t see
I can’t unsee
No
I can’t do it
Hide
Run
No
Don’t go right
Go left
Duck and cover
Fire in the hole
No
See
No don’t look
Fight
Run
Hide
Go! Go! Go!
Burn!
It hurts
Run
Hide
Duck
Cover
No
Don’t
Go!
Go!
Go!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I Can't Afford Him

Carol-Age 57
I can't afford him any more
I know I said for richer and poorer
But when you are rich it's hard to go back to being poor
I want to keep my promises
But it's hard to love and to hold when there is so little to hold on to any more
You will never understand
You have never been where I have been
You approach the world with one eye closed and the other eye towards the future
How can you see me if that is how you view the world
How can you judge me if you can't see me
I can't afford to pay for what he needs
I can't afford to pay for what I need
I can't even afford to breathe
I can't afford to live
I'm pinned down
Pulled underwater
Drowning
Fighting
Dying
Dead

Monday, February 8, 2016

My Words

Jordan-Age 22
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, go fuck yourself. What? You asked me how I feel. This is what I feel. Stupid Bitch. Fuck you.
They are my words. You have no right to take them away from me. You're offended, fine. Fuck you anyway.
You strip me down to nothing. You push me into a tiny hole, tell me my feelings don't matter and then expect me to sit quietly. Well, fuck you. I matter, my words matter, my feelings matter. You're the one that doesn't matter.
I have value. I matter. Fuck you.
To you they are words. To me they are feelings. This is how I feel. Stop making it something it isn't. go fuck yourself you stupid Bitch!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Useless

Matt-Age 17
This is completely useless. I don't see how this is doing anything and I hate everything about it. You sit there so sanctimonious, judging me, judging everyone. Can't you see you are the problem, not me.
It's not my fault I'm this way. You’re the one who made me what I am. Your words built me up and tore me down. Your drugs calmed me down and kept me up all night. Yeah, I won all the time but now I've lost my mind.
You think I'm joking, but I'm not. I'm dead serious. I'm deadly serious.
Your words don't do anything for me any more. Man, for a smart person you sure are stupid.
My head is spinning so fast I can't even keep the world straight.
Keep still. I can't see you. I have you in my sights, sites, cites. I don't know the right word. The words drill into me, cutting deep.
What can words do anyway? They can't cut, they can't hurt, they don't mean anything.
I mean they mean something. They mean whatever we think they mean, but they aren't mean unless we mean them to be.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. They're just words.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

From the Inside

Marisa-Age 15
Everything is quite in my room. I can see the leaves on the trees flittering as the wind catches them and spins them to first show me the dull green side and then the bright, dark green, blood filled viens. I know trees don't have blood, at least they don't have red blood like mine. Did you know trees don't show their real colors until Fall? I didn't know that either, until I came here. The green is from the chlorophyll in the leaves. Chlorophyll fills the veins and reacts to the sunlight and trees continue to flash their silky green underside and shiny green surfaces as if they are something special. I’d like to flash the trees something. Stupid trees. Stupid me. It’s only when they are dead that they are really pretty anyway. I like the bright orange and golden-yellows of of Fall. It’s only then that you can see the true nature of the trees.
I wish I could be like the leaves on the trees. Maybe if I take out everything making me all pink and pretty I will be able to see my own true colors. Maybe if I take away everything that makes you so pink and pretty it will make you see your true colors too.
I tried digging into the bark of the tree to see what was on the inside, to see the blood spreading through the branches and flooding into the leaves. I wanted to see if trees bleed green too. Humans bleed red. We don't bleed pink, like the outside of our skin reveals. I guess humans are as deceptive as trees.
I hate being on the inside. I hate hiding my secrets away and not letting the world see who I am. Why can't we show the world what we really are? We can't even reveal what we are like when we are dead. They cover our skin with makeup and our body with clothes and then make up lies about us to speak at each other at funerals. No one believes the lies we tell, even though we smile behind our red mouths and pink skin and say how much we loved him and how he was the perfect father. I wish we were liked the trees and our true colors would show when we died. Then we would see what we were really like.
I can't hear anything from the inside. I mean, I hear things. I’m not deaf. But, I can't hear anything real. I can't hear the trees or the wind or the squirrel running through the leaves. Oh, look. There's a squirrel. I wonder what he's up to now. I don't think a squirrel thinks about the nature of trees when he's searching for nuts to squirrel away for winter. Hey, I just got that. All a squirrel ever thinks about is nuts. How many he has, what they are good for, how to make more baby squirrels. Man, now I'm thinking dirty. I need to clean up my act.
I hear someone in the hall. I always hear someone in the hall, unless I'm the person in the hall and then all I hear is me. I’m good at screaming. Not as good as some people here, but I'm pretty good.
They are coming to tell me it's time to go. I’m always going somewhere. I think it's time for dinner now. At least I won't have to talk to anyone during dinner. I might have to listen to someone scream, but maybe they'll give me a real fork this time and I can see if she bleeds green too.

Ghosts

Bill-Age 35
I’m followed everywhere. They shadow me as if I can give them the answers they could never find in life. I see them out of the corner of my eye, no matter how hard they try to hide.
Don't you see them. There is one right there in the corner. I don't think he realizes he is dead. He should, I killed him. I didn’t want to kill him. I didn't want to kill any of them.
The give us a gun and teach us to point and shoot. I can take out the black dot on a piece of paper from miles away. But paper doesn't bleed and a black dot doesn't call out for his mommy as he tries to hold his insides together. They don't teach us how to unsee that.
I tried to make them go away. Drugs, alcohol, sex. None of it worked to burn away the memories. How can you wipe away the memory of digging through body parts looking for tags so you have something to send back to the wives and mothers waiting for something to connect them to their ghosts?
Don't look directly at them. They will drive you crazy. Try to scrub them from your mind. If you don't think about it too hard you might be able to go whole minutes without seeing them.
I tried to leave the ghosts behind. I really did. But they followed me home. They followed me through the walls of my house and into the rooms of my children. I saw them behind the eyes of my wife and heard them in the sound of her breath when I was sleeping. Maybe that's why I woke with my hands around her throat.
Now all I have of my wife and children are ghosts of their memories.
I don't want to see all the ghosts, but once I let one of them in they all come flooding through. Shut the doors. Don't let them in. I want to see and not see at the same time. Can't you see. They are everywhere and nowhere. And so am I.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Help

Matt - Age 17
Can anyone help me?
I need help.
I’m here waiting.
Please help.
Ha!
I fooled you!
Does it look like I need help?
Look at me!
I’m strong
I’m young
I’m good looking
Yeah, I’m better looking than you.
Wait!
Don’t go.
Look, I’m only kidding
Can’t you take a joke.
Man, I don’t get you, dude.
Come on
Let’s go hang
Like literally
Here come my friends
We’re going to hang you from the flag pole
What?
You don’t want to hang with me?
I thought we were friends
No, don’t go.
I need your help.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

See Me!

Dave-Age 42
See me
Just look at me
Don’t turn your head and pretend I don't exist
I saw the look in your eye before you pretended to talk to your husband
Like I didn't see you read my sign
I heard the whispered comments
The way you said you have too much pride
But you feel like you should be standing beside me
With your own sign and desperate plea
What disgusts you more
My dirty clothes?
My tangled hair?
My smell?
My scars?
Do you want to see all of my scars?
No, I know you don't
You don't want to even see the reality of me
Pull myself up by my bootstraps?
Ha!
You, who have two feet to put on your boots
Do you even see what I am
What I was
What I could be
No, you don't even see me when you walk two feet away
And throw your left overs in the trash
That is two days worth of food to me
You who say you don't have anything
Just gave me everything I need
See me!
Just see me!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Half Full

Carol-Age 53
I live my life half-full
All the time.
It’s all I have to give any more
So much of who I am has been taken from me and now there is just a little bit left over
I don’t know what people mean when they say they are running on empty
Or they are just so full of energy they don’t know what to do with themselves
I’m just stuck here, half-full
Half-empty
Halfway in-between
I don’t know if I should go forward or if I should go back
There’s nowhere else to go
I look like I’m stuck
Like I don’t know where to find myself
But that’s not true
I’m somewhere
Inside here
I’m living my life like this
Because I don’t know how else to be


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