Tales of a Nearly 49 Year Old Nothing

Listen to me! Think what it is like to have most of your life ahead and be told you are obsolete! Think what it is like to feel attraction, desire, affection toward others, to want to tell them about yourself, to feel that assumption on which self-respect is based, that you are worth something, that if you like someone, surely he will be pleased to know that. To be, in other words, still a living woman, and to be told that everyday, that you are not a person, but a joke. Well, I am a bitter joke. I am bitter, and frustrated, and wasted, but don’t you pretend as you look at me, 43, fat, and looking exactly my age, that I am not as alive as you are, and that I do not suffer from the category into which you are forcing me. Zoe Moss-It Hurts to be Alive and Obsolete: The Ageing Woman

In the conference room, I sat in a chair without arms to accommodate my hips and ass made too large from stress eating. The food I put in my mouth seems to be the only control I have these days. I hate that I have no control, hence the reason I’m sitting in a sterile conference room on a Monday morning, with the HR Manager and my team lead. I was feeling confident about the performance improvement plan that I’d been on for the last sixty days, as my job performance and accuracy had been increasing. That was until they began to speak. I was told that I’d failed it and would be removed from my position immediately. It had been decided by the team lead and her supervisor that there was no way I could continue the momentum of my accuracy rate of 97%. I also wasn’t approving at least 30 reports a day, so they were going to immediately move me another position.

The HR Manager slid a sheet of paper in front of me and ask that we read through it together. This was difficult for me as I was in tears, and trying to digest all of what was being discussed. In summary, the settlement agreement would allow me to stay long enough to be eligible for full retirement from the U, but I could not be hired into the my current placement  ever again. Here I was, almost 49, single, fat, no higher education, a recovering addict, mother of grown children and grandmother, being told, bitch, you got to go!

They sent me home to read the agreement and consult with a lawyer before I signed it. I did that, but I also thought about how I’d gotten here. Part of the reason I was here was because I was an addict that had ruined my work reputation while I was trying to kill myself with drinking and other self destructive behaviors. I also had shown too much of my personality while at my new job. I laughed too loud, I joked too much, and I was too friendly. I didn’t focus enough on the work at hand, and that caused my managers to look at me negatively. I was scrutinized every time I made a mistake, but I owned the errors.

The next day I went back to work. I went back to my old desk and packed up my crap. I was smart when I moved to my new location and didn’t place too many personal items on my desk. I swear, I instinctively knew that I shouldn’t get too comfortable. And I never was…

I was told by the team lead and her manager that I would make the announcement to my colleagues that I was moving. And I did, with a smile on my face and positive lilt to my voice. But, if they could have seen inside of my body while I spoke to them, they would have seen a maze of jangled nerves, rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms and racing thoughts skittering around a brain in early recovery from alcoholism.

I took my medicine though, and I walked my chair and box of belongings down to the first floor.

My former supervisor handed me off to my new supervisor. The new supervisor greeted me with such positivity and warmth, I was so overwhelmed that I started to cry. I kept my head down to hide the tears, and went about the task of setting up my new work space. I put up a couple of photos of my grandson, but now that I’ve been in the job a few weeks, I’ve removed them. I’ve decided to keep my work space neutral. To keep the desk space clear of clutter, and to keep focused on learning my new job.

I’ve learned that I’m expendable, because of my personal and work history, and my age. I’m obsolete. I’ve married and divorced. I’ve bore children and raised them. I’ve worked at the U since I was 20 and I’ve worn out my welcome at nearly 49. I’ve nowhere to go from here. I guess what I should say is, I don’t know where to go. I’m so unsure of myself and I wallow in anxiety and depression everyday. I’m not young, but I am not old. I am not book smart but I am not dumb. However, because of previous errors in my life, I will always viewed as not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough. Never enough.

My daughter has told me to buck up and deal with it, but my tender heart continues to be crushed with sadness and fear, every time I try to look into the future. Because honestly, I see no future for me. Tell me, wouldn’t you be scared if that’s what you saw when you looked ahead, was nothing?

I want to feel vibrant and alive again. I want to feel stable. I want to feel hope again! To sparkle. Unfortunately, I don’t even know what to do or where to begin this process.

Actually, I think I’ll start here. I pray that this is my future, and I pray that I find my way home…

 

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Savoring Your Want of Me (Part IV and End)

bed boy

The rate you fuck me is excruciatingly slow.

You look up at my face and smile at my impatience.

I bang my hands on your back, but you continue your momentum.

I cry, and you catch my tears with your lips.

You whisper, “hush,” then hasten your movements.

“I want you to feel where I’ve been,”  you breathe into my ear.

“Tomorrow.”

“And the next day,” you say.

As you release your essence into me.

You breathe your promise to me.

To do it…

Again.

And.

Again.

To never stop,

What we’ve begun…

Tunesday-Tiny Dancer, Adam Boy and Sublime Moments

Claire and Adam

Thanks La La for your tale of sublimity. I liked it so much I had to share one of mine.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about my kids. They’ve been busy. I’ve been busy. This is about my Adam boy, the quiet one. I think this is my favorite photo of him and the  lovely Claire, his girlfriend. She is the daughter of my heart.

I remember a few months back, he participated in a talent contest. There he stood, this stoic but sarcastic young man. A spotlight lit his baby face and the music swelled around him. What emitted from his throat was raw emotion. I thought my Meggie could sing, but damn. His tone was pure. Pitch, perfect. There was no sliding up to the note. He just hit it!  His voice a sweet tenor, with a falsetto that when you hear it, makes the heart soar.

You know, I’m proud of my children. Their talent. Their brains. Their rebelliousness. Hell, just about everything.  That night, I was proud of my son’s ability to lay his heart open and bleed while singing the lyrics of an old Elton John tune. As his falsetto crescendoed, his father and I beamed at each other. I rested my head on Roger Darling’s chest and let tears spill down my cheeks. Our Meggie is classically trained and a talent in her own right. But our Adam Boy, he sings his emotions. They project from his body with every note he sings.

Hold me closer Tiny Dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Peaceful Beauty, Raging Soul

Peaceful Beauty

“Everybody sees me as this sullen and insecure little thing. Those are just the sides of me that I feel necessary to show because no one else seems to be showing them.” Fiona Apple

My words calm her, and make her feel like I understand. Thing is, I don’t know her story. I don’t have to, because her story could be mine. Or yours. Just because she’s young, doesn’t mean that she’s carefree. She’s insecure, and unsure of her future.  She’s hopeful she’ll find her way. Find someone that will love her, for everything she is and isn’t. She wants to be normal; Better. Hell, don’t we all? I want to hold her, and assure her normal is merely a washing machine setting. I won’t tell you her name, though some of you may know her. Even if you don’t know her name, you will know her story. As much as I’ll share anyway.

Peaceful Beauty, Raging Soul

A knowing smile

Hides insecurity

Her tears

Beneath the surface

Her need to love

To be loved

She mourns her want

She’s stunning

But blind to it

Questions her worth

What is this desperation?

Her spirit wails

Listen, see, and accept me

Restore my soul

Ease my mind

Fulfill me

Kiss my lips

Stroke my cheek

Set me afire

I am precious

I am love

Friday Fictioneers-A Prayer and a Phone Call

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the following prompt. It was a difficult one for sure. I hope you all enjoy it. Actually, I hope it leaves you scratching your head and wanting more. Happy Friday my sweet friends. 100 words!

Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech ha-olam a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mitz-vo-tav ve-tzi-va-nu le-had-lik ner Cha-nu-kah.

Rebekah strikes a match on the hearth. Lights the shammus and first Chanukah candle. Her two young sons stand by as she chants a prayer in Hebrew. When finished, she smiles to try to brighten the solemn look on their faces.

She says softly, “Daddy will be home soon.”

They remain silent and her smile falters. Even she doesn’t believe it anymore. The children wander back to the kitchen to continue their coloring.  The phone rings. She picks up the receiver and puts it to her ear. Hearing the words of the caller, her hands shake and the tears spill.

Genre: historical fiction

Sweet Child O’ Mine, A Meeting with an Old Friend

She was drunk. She had hoped it would help her sleep. She had hoped it would help her to be able to finally climb into the bed that she had shared with her husband of over 20 years with. She was so tired. So fucking tired. Her husband had been convicted of hurting a child. Her youngest son had run off in response, while her oldest stayed by her side. She’d been barely holding it together for too long. Living in a little cocoon. But at that moment of trying to get into bed, she finally broke down. Finally, she laid on the floor and wailed. Her oldest son, her child, her baby, had to see her in her weakest state. Drunk, and sobbing uncontrollably because she couldn’t get into the bed she had shared with a man who was now in jail, as he would be for years to come. She begged her son to call her mother. He did, while taking care of her as well. He waited for his grandma to get there and put his mother to bed, so she could get some rest after living a nightmare that actually came true.

She walks into the bar and I see her as she once was, when we were just teens. Striding towards me, she is statuesque, blonde, violet blue eyes, and wearing a huge smile. As she zips to the table, so many men turn their heads to look at her. Some of them appear to get whiplash as a result. She’s a ravishing beauty after all that she’s been through. We hug for what seems like forever. We haven’t seen each other in 26 years, but you’d never know it, by the sounds of our laughter and the constant exchanges of “I love you.” I think to myself, “Oh my God how did I ever let this light out of my life?” We were best friends at one time. But life pulls us in different directions. Even though we lived just a few towns away from each other, our lives were busy. She was married, and so was I. We’d each had two children. We were part of our community, and our kids kept us plenty busy.

I’ve already ordered her a Bud Light. I’m sipping white zinfandel and water, because I have to drive home after our meeting. We sit down and start talking. She goes first because she has a story to tell. One that is difficult to hold in. I let her have the floor. I let her go, and let go she does.

But this story is not about her ex-husband. This story is not about her sons. This story is about her. A beautiful woman, that was my best friend during our teenage years. She and I fell away as high school friends often do. We find lovers that we marry and plan on staying with for the rest of our lives. We have children that mean everything to us, that make us better somehow. That we in turn make better by raising them up right. We become involved in the places that we live, in our communities, in our children’s activities, in our lives. It becomes our lives and nothing else matters. But then the unthinkable happens: your husband is accused of taking advantage of a young woman.

She told me that she knew that the light had switched in his brain somehow. They’d been married for 20 years and he started becoming abusive – mentally at first, and then physically. But she had been living with the mental abuse, or as she called it, “passive-aggressiveness” for so long she knew how to diffuse it. For some reason though, this time she no longer could. He started hitting her. Why after so long? She has no idea. But he did hit her. He made her feel small, like she was inadequate. He turned into a stranger. Someone she didn’t even know. She stayed though, for her kids, for the idea that they were “pillars” of the community. They took good care of their kids and the kids of their friends.

When her husband eventually went to prison, she hid herself away. Her youngest son started his senior year of high school shortly thereafter. He told her that he was dealing with some aggression at a home football game. That was what brought her out of her funk. She said to her self, “no one is going to make my child pay for the sins of my husband.” So the next football game, she went. She dealt with the animosity, so that her son didn’t have to. She is one tough momma bear and she loves her boy immensely. While she was there she saw a good friend of the family who, taking her hand said, “If you need anything, anything at all, call me.” She looked at him and knew that he meant every word he said.

She did eventually call him, and they became inseparable. He brought her back to life. He helped her figure out her way, helped her figure out how to continue to take care of her boys, even though she was damaged. He helped her to realize that the man she had married all those years ago was no long the same man. He helped her figure out that the men that were contacting her with offers of help, were only wanting to take advantage of her. To fuck her, own her, hurt her even more, and then disregard her like yesterday’s trash. If she didn’t have this wonderful, flawed man in his own right by her side during this time, who knows what mistakes she might have made.

She finalized her divorce as quickly as possible. She lived in utter poverty for two years. Sometimes, without even electricity, warm water, heat, or food. In short, all the damn things that we normally take for granted. She had nothing. Every time she went to an interview, they would uncover her history and the job offer would disappear. She would think to her self, “They have no reason to judge me. I am NOT the sins of my husband. I am ME!”

Taking a break, we both look at the crucifixes around our necks. As our conversations have progressed, we keep touching them throughout. This recognition turns our conversation towards the topic of faith, and therapy, but mostly faith. We realize as we hold hands across the table and cry, that our faith is what’s gets us through. I told her I haven’t taken my crucifix off for 14 years. When I had to have an MRI recently, it killed me to remove it for even that hour. She told me that her original crucifix broke, and she found herself lost without it. She then acquired the one that she wears now, and she finds herself touching it daily. It’s her center, as it is mine. She says that without her boyfriend, her faith and her therapist, she would have never made it through this part of her life.

She’s grown. She’s changed. Yet she’s still the wonderful and fun girl she always was. With a twinge of jealousy, she looks at me and says, “You are so lucky. You get to grow old with the man that loves you. My ex-husband stole that from me.” She does tell me though that she has been redeemed with her new love. The man who simply took her hand at a football game, and said if you ever need me, call. God, she is so glad that she did.

I think she’ll make it, I do. I think she has found her happiness. She’s found it in her children and in this new man that accepts her for what she is – good woman, with a tough past. But then again, who doesn’t have a tough past? Who doesn’t have a broken road? Isn’t it astonishing when that broken road leads us to the right one?

As I leave her, we hug some more. We once again exchange our “I love you’s.” We promise to not leave 26 years between us again. And we haven’t. We talk almost daily. She is of my heart and one of the strongest women I know. I love her now and forever. What her husband did, doesn’t define her, or her grown up babies. I admire her strength and the ferocity of her love. She is a good woman, a strong woman. And she always will be.

***Edited by t from aslongasimsinging.wordpress.com. Read him. The man rocks my world, and makes my pretty words more beautiful with his touch. This may be my last post for awhile. I promise to come back. Just not sure when. Take care my dear readers and followers.***

Sundays in the Grooming Salon-Revisited

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. -Ben Williams

Today I’m quite emotional, but when am I not? I have to say goodbye to my second home. To a job I love. And to people that I think of as my children.  They are my confidants, and my friends too. But they are ultimately my “other” children. They complete me. I know this post is lengthy, but it has to be to explain how I feel for each one of salon bitches.

Lucy: She was the first one I fell in love with. She was cranky, snarky and dramatic. Such a brat, but so damn funny. I found the more I got to know her the more I loved her. She is a lovely Goth girl. Her hair color changes with the phases of the moon. Her dark eyebrows made darker with kohl pencil. Her lips red and full. A Medusa piercing above her lip and one in her nose. Her ears are gauged, but I don’t really notice the holes anymore, because all I see when I look at her are her eyes. Her eyes are the color of midnight. Her laugh is a symphony and her dirty whorish mouth, music to my ears. We have often said to each other we wish we could find a time machine. One that would take me back to her age, or bring her forward to mine. She is me and I am her. We’re twins even though we look nothing alike and we have a 20 year age difference. If I was her age, I would be exactly like her. I AM her but older and blonder.

Marlena: She is my Goth goddess. Her painted on eyebrows and curvy body are to die for. She has a wicked laugh and an arch to her eyebrow that would make you melt. She is provocative and wickedly funny. She and I have issues with ourselves. With our fears, passions and emotions. For some reason we get each other, even when no one else understands us. The first time I met her, her hair was the color of a Beta Fish, vibrant blue, and a shocking magenta. I commented on it immediately. We barely knew each other then but I liked her instantly. We have become close like sisters. She told me recently I am like a mother to her. I replied, Honey, here, I am your mother. She smiled and said, Yes, yes you are. I love her and I know that she will find her way in this life. Though I may not be right beside her every step of the way, she will make sure to keep in contact to share her joys and sadness with me.

Betty: She is like a young child when you see her. You think she is all of 17. She is tiny but full of life. A beauty. Slender, with gorgeous blue eyes. A smile that lights up a room. I love to watch her groom a dog. The loving care she gives to each one of her dogs amazes me. She told me she loved me as she was finishing her shift last Thursday and I burst into tears. She is the one that I’ve most recently gotten to know. I still want to know more about her. Talk to her about her writing. She’s a poet, and she has carried life inside of her too. She is a good momma. Her baby boy goes with her everywhere. Says her life wasn’t complete until he was born. I will miss her smiling eyes and wicked grin. The way she loves animals and focuses solely on them when she’s in the “zone”.  I will miss her so.

Clara: She’s the happiest, earthiest little hippie Goth I know. She’s a little bit of German dynamite. I’ve told her on more than one occasion to come live with me. I’d be happy to take care of her. Her eyes are like that of a cat. Their color I can’t even describe. They are more yellow than hazel. Her hair is the color of wheat ready for harvest. She talks a mile a minute but you understand every word. She is tatted and gorgeous. She wears her art with pride. She is an artist in her own right. She is designing a spine piece for me. I can’t wait to see it! She and I sang the Making Christmas song from that movie during the holidays. La, la, la, la. She is an earth girl and loves to camp. I look at her like she’s crazy. I ask her, why the hell do you want to sleep outside. She said, there is no better peace than lying on the ground, looking up and seeing the stars. Plus her boyfriend is probably in the sleeping bag with her so that makes it even better. I’m sure we’ll go see Joey our tattoo artist sometime. Hang out and flirt with him. Or go to Factory Night at Necto.

Rock: What to say about Rock. He’s a tall blonde god, with blue eyes I could swim in. His hugs are beyond compare. He’s funny and makes me laugh so hard I become weak and I ache all over. He was one of the first employees I took a shine to. He let me in and we became fast friends. I screamed when he showed me an old picture of me on his phone recently. It was from before I started my weight loss program. He says he looked at it and was shocked. Said he never thought of me as overweight. He just saw my beautiful face. I love him like he’s my own. He is, essentially. He really is one of mine. I love that he gets me, even though I’m old enough to be his mother. He never lets me get away with doing all the work. Oh and he calls me a whore all the damn time. Some would say that’s disrespectful, but for me I find it fucking hilarious! I make sure to say something filthy to prove to him that I kinda am. I miss him already.

Renaissance Girl: When my husband first saw her, he said she was a cutie. He wasn’t lying. She is a gor-geous! After some of our conversations, I tell her she is just like me when I was young. I told her, see you don’t have to change as you get older. You can still be a potty mouth. You can still be loud, gregarious, outgoing, smiley and funny. She and I have shared some wild stories. We’ve motivated each other to take of our bodies. To get healthy and nurture ourselves positively. She is young, exuberant and kinda jaded. I will miss her smile, and the fact that she makes me feel young.

Holly: How do I describe Holly? She’s a firecracker. Smart, loud, funny. We are so much alike. We are the same age. Born days apart. Adopted. We love the same music. Have a propensity to be a bit mouthy and say the word, fuck. We have past loves that still devastate us when we recall and share the memories. We love our lives but strive for more. More life, more time, more love. She is tough. I believe she could kick my ass. I don’t ever want to chance finding out if she can. I love her and I will miss her. She was the one that wanted me to work with her. She’s proud of the work I do. I’m proud to call her my friend.

Today as I leave, I will take with me the scent of dirty dog, their hair, their slobber on my chin from kisses and maybe even a bite or scratch. I will also take with me love, hugs, kisses, and terrific memories of those that I’ve worked with and come to love. Though I walk out that door, I know I will see them all again. They will still be a part of my life. I will miss my Sundays in the salon though. My Sundays will never be the same. I will miss them them with all my heart.

When the Words Stopped

Hate leaves ugly scars, love leaves beautiful ones. 

~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

Madeline knew one day the words would stop. That Ian would move on. That she would too. Today she decided it was time. Time to put away the love notes and drink a bottle of sweet wine. The autumn air is crisp and it’s close to sundown. She grabs the wine from the fridge, uncorks it and walks out to the end of the dock. She looks at Ian’s words one last time. Then starts folding the pieces of paper into little boats.

She asks herself, “where the hell did I learn to do this, and how come I still remember the process?”

She slugs the wine right out of the bottle. Figures, what the hell, there’s no one here to see her do it. To tell her no. Of course not many men have been brave enough to say that to her. She knows she can be kind of a bitch. Why does that thought bring a smile to her face? After the boats are made, Madeline rolls over and lays on her stomach. Then places the little boats in the water. The setting sun is the color of butterscotch and it makes her pale skin glow. Her fingers become chilled by the lake water, but she keeps them in it all the same.

Once the letters have all set sail, Madeline sits back up. She takes her shoes off and dangles her painted toes in the water. Her foot touches on one of the boats and pushes it further away from her. She thinks of Ian, and all of his great words. All of the sweet, sexy, dirty and sometimes hurtful things he said. Some of the words are hers too. She tries not to think about him. What he meant to her. All the wonderful things they said they would do. Really, it was her that said what they would do. He just went along with her plans.

He’s where he’s meant to be and  she’s sitting on a dock, swilling wine from the bottle and throwing away their love letters.

She says out loud to no one, “this night sure does suck!”

With the wine gone and the letters sailing away, she wishes for him one last time. Whispers to the night air that she loves him still, gets up from her spot on the dock and heads back into the house. She grabs another bottle of wine, uncorks it, and then sits at the kitchen table. She looks at her hands and then the tears begin to spill from her eyes.