Per request-

Mia: Don’t you hate that?
Vincent: What?
Mia: Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it’s necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?
Vincent: I don’t know. That’s a good question.
Mia: That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.

That, my dears, was my weekend.  But you’re going to have to wait to hear that tale.

With that, the sound begins again.

I know that it has been awhile since I’ve done this.  So much has been going on.  But don’t fret.

I have not stopped writing- I just changed mediums for awhile.

I have not stopped dating.

I have not stopped smiling.

(Non sequitor.)

I have not died.

(Well, that part is only partially true.)

I still exist.

I guess part of what happened is, as generic as it may sound…

life.

I was walking through the art supply store yesterday waiting for my friend to be free to cut me some canvas.  I can’t remember the last time I painted.  I was inspired and felt it was time.

My weekend had been a blur.  A punch drunk fury of hours come and gone like a gust of wind.  Perhaps the rain this week washed away more than just a few dirty streets.

I think I know what I’m going to paint.

My best had to help a customer.  I found myself lost in shelves lined with magic.  I called the one person who I knew was a combination of both worlds.

“Grandma what are you doing home?  You’re supposed to be in Dwight enjoying your childhood memories.”

“Next weekend.”

“I want to have sand in my paint but I forgot what I need for that…”

“To thicken it up you need a medium.  Or you can just use oils because its thicker.”

You see, and this should not come as much of a surprise, but my grandmother… is an artist.

“Grandma I had… All I want to do right now is paint.  I want to hike and paint and watch sunrises and sunsets over the city and paint for awhile.  It’s been too long.  I have a lot on my mind.”

“I think thats wonderful.  Do you still have those brushes your aunt and I bought you years ago?”

“I do.  I’m going to have to dig them out.  I’m buying a couple of artist pallates.  I want to go to the beach and paint so I want something that if I lose I won’t be super upset about losing.”

“Buy a plastic one or get paper ones for that.  Best bet would be plastic. It’d be easy to clean.”

“Grandma, tell me about how it was to date in your time  What was that like for you.”

“I don’t talk about that.  I did date before your grandpa but I’m a very private person.”

Oh what she doesn’t know…

We walked around and talked about life.

“Why as a society are we brought up and told “Be honest. Be yourself.  Be open.” but then when you actually are, people crucify you for it… because there’s something about them that they can’t fully express and they’re envious… because you are the colorful painting and they are stuck in black and white.”

“Because people are hypocrites!” She said with a laugh.

I guess that’s part of why I took a pause.  My scrawlings, despite being vague and relatively ananomous nature have been both uplifting and the knife of the final move of my demise.  Despite my openness about this blog before I ever even enter into anything, men seem to become entransed by the words and then… when the plot really thickens and the soufle is in the oven… well, they fall short.

“Choose your words wisely.  They make or break you.”

I am not broken anymore.

I may not be that black and white picture all of the time but…

Life has been busy.  I have eased into a semi normal lifestyle believe it or not.  I have slept some wonderful nights and I have also tossed and turned with dreams of a ghost.

But those tales shall come later.

Know that I have been to hell and beyond and… it’s good to be back.  We have a lot of catching up to do my friends.  And thank you for the messages telling  me to get back to this.

More later.  But for now?  I have to get dressed.  Someone got a normal 9-5 office job downtown.  Mind boggling huh?

Cheers,

j.

Advertisements

Postal Project in found art

To Mr Cheng

To Mr Cheng

I’ve always been a little off.  This idea has been something that has actually done by my family at one point, but for a reason that wasn’t art.

The picture seen here is from Swedish Artist Eric Ericson.  He spent many years sending objects through the mail and these are a few of them.  I have every intention of copying it.  My mother does not know it yet, but she is about to get sent random miscellaneous objects from me.  So if anyone reading finds something quirky that they want me to mail (within reason), I will send it to my mother.  And when I say within reason, I’m talking stuff that she will likely just laugh at as opposed to something I will get a lecture about.  As it is I’m sure she’s going to mail me a list to therapists in the area and tell me to seek help after this.

I called my grandmother this morning and told her about it.  She is doing much better.  She told me she’d received the postcards I’d sent her and asked me about my weekend.  She was more curious about the things I was doing.  She told me many tales about her life.  We talked a little bit about the hospital and then I mentioned this.

My friend the dark prince said he will help me in the experiment if I want to send him things.  The project is for art as well as humor.

My grandmother reminded me of the time my grandfather did this.  He is far from being an artist though.

In a box somewhere is the muffler from my dad’s old Seabring convertible.  My dad was moving back to California from IL and wanted to try and get a trailer hitch on the back.  Grandpa’s brilliant idea was to saw off the muffler- which he did- take a permanent marker to it and some stamps and mail it to my dad’s new address in California.

It did indeed get there and has been a family joke for nearly 10 years now.

Seeing this post made me smile and so did my grandmother.  I told her I was going to send various objects to my mother and not tell her beforehand.  My grandmother didn’t help.  She actually encouraged the project.

“I found one of your shoes here.  Just one.  You should send it to him or your mother.” she said with a giggle.

“Oh really?  Which one?”

“Some black and white one.”

I told her some of the things I planned on sending my mother already.  Just miscellaneous crap that’s around the apartment that I really have no clue why it’s there.  I told my roommate to let me know what he finds while he’s cleaning to send to mom.

“I may be little but I’m odd.” I quoted Eddie Munster.

“I know.” he said and chuckled.

And now my postman is going to know too.  Yay!

Epilogue:  My grandmother thanked me for the cards I’ve sent.  I told her I will send her more.  She told me “Thank you for making me smile today.  Thank you for making me laugh and feel full of life again.”  I think this is the start of a beautiful morning.

Epilogue 2: I’m going to see if I can actually tape some of this but will need a partner in crime and would prefer not to do it at the post office near me as I’m there twice a week as it is already.  If you are interested in being said counterpart please send me an email to inquire about this position or I may just post it on Craigslist.

Unconditional: My grandmother’s heart starts to fail

“How is your grandmother doing?”

I froze.

I was at a bar last night trying to get my mind off of things and I really didn’t want to hear that.

You can tell who is really there for you when things like this happen.  It’s a mixture of the people reaching out and the ones that know when to let it be.  In this case, though I know you weren’t trying to upset me sir, it just…

My best friend heard little about what was going on but wanted to make sure that I was out and about.  He didn’t want me at home miserable and contemplative.

I’m happy I went.

I reached out to a few people about it.  A very tiny handful of friends whom mostly know only bits and pieces off of twitter.  I really don’t enjoy talking about it.

When I got the news yesterday with her updated condition, I broke down.  I feel horrible saying that I wish I had my camera for it.  In my mind that day will forever be encased.

“There’s 3 options.  All of them have risks.  One.  They can give her a full surgery and she could potentially die when they’re trying to put her back together.  Two.  They can give her partial surgery and medication.  She can still potentially die.  Three.  They can send her home with just the medication and she would be at risk of a stroke.  She could potentially die.”

I’m in the middle of a starbucks after I’d just walked along Venice Beach trying to unwind.  But I’ll be damned I didn’t care.

“She is not allowed to die right now do you hear me?”

“Grandma doesn’t think its her time.  We’re all worried though.  We’re going to talk about it.  Ultimately it’s her decision though.  I’ll call you and let you know more when I can.  Are you going to be ok?”

“I’ll be fine.  I think I just need to find a bar now.”

The people at the Starbucks turned on music.  I might have been a bit loud.  I don’t think I was.  Starbucks feels more and more cash and carry than ever.  I’m hesitant to go back now.

I’ve been crying off and on since it happened.  My best friend from back home called me to find out how I was.

“Well I think I may be going home.  Awesome huh?”

“Not really.  I’m sorry.”

We talked a bit more.  My brother called back.  I had to take the call.

“It’s John Paul.  I’ll call you back.”

“Goodluck chicky.  I’m here for you.”

“Thanks.  I appreciate it.  I’ll talk to you soon.”

I switched over.

“What’s the status dude?”

“We talked about it and we think it might be best to send her home with the medication.  None of us want her dying on the operating table.  This is what we think she would want too.”

In my mind, that’s not how I would ever envision her going.  That’s not her.  No one believes that.

“I’m going to write Andre an email and try to see what I can do about getting the kids if I can drive out there. Let me talk to dad.”

He handed the phone to him.

“I need you to be strong now.  I want to come home.  Can we please figure out how to do that?  I want to pick up Maddox and Sakura if I drive out.  It’s important.”

“This isn’t the place for kids.  That’s why I didn’t bring Ethan.  He’s never going to follow through with that…”

“Dad, let me try and take care of that.  Can you get me home?”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

More time passed.  I messaged the grip and told him it was an emergency.

“I’ll see when I can get out.  How bad is she?”

“Not good. Please get out soon.  It’s important.”

My cousin (who is close to my dad and grew up here in California) called.  She is a hypochondriac.  She believes she has a heart condition.  Years ago, I thought so highly of her.  Now, I’m not sure what to think.  But for what she was going to say on that call… I’m a bit insulted about.

“We think we’re going to send her home.”

“What?!   No.  That’s just stupid.  She is going to die then.  Not getting that surgery is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard.”

She continued as my jaw thudded on the ground.

“She has 100% blockage in one area, 90% blocked in another, and 70% in another.  And one of them has a blood clot in it.  Why the hell would that be a good idea?”

I hadn’t heard the specific numbers.  The updates I’d had were the ones I’ve gotten from my younger brother.  My dad was in no position to deal with it.  He didn’t have it in him to tell me.  He didn’t want me to know how badly he was taking it.

“I know dad has to be taking it the hardest dude.  I’m worried.”

“I don’t know Jen… I think its a tie.  Grandpa is really bad too.  They’re both breaking down.  I think Grandpa will likely go soon if she does.”

Right now my family is pushing to be strong.  Those of us who grew up with her.  Those of us who’d spent years upon years with this woman.  What my cousin said really was out of line.  She put herself on a high horse and then spouted off about her own “heart condition” and proclaimed she was more knowledgeable.  But that wasn’t all.

“This is my grandmother and ultimately it’s her choice what she wants to do.  If she was to go home, she would be surrounded by her family and loved ones.  It is better than being in a sterile hospital. I want her better.  But I also want her to have what she needs.”

“That’s my aunt.  My grandmother is her older sister.  I’m just as close to her if not more as you are.  I’m very close to just jumping in the car and driving out there now…”

A few visits with her may have been lovely.  My grandmother is one of those people where everyone quickly adores upon meeting her.  She is genuine, vibrant, old fashioned, conventional, artistic, talkative, and sincere.  She is a rare individual of beauty and art where I doubt anyone could ever compare to.

But my cousin does not know my grandmother.  Not like I do.  Not like my family that grew up with her.  Not my sister and brother that still live a few miles away from her.

She didn’t spend holidays there eating tons mediocre food.  (Sorry my grandmother wasn’t the best cook.)

She didn’t spend holidays watching how she would decorate the inside of the house and argue with my grandfather to help with the outside.

She didn’t watch all of the things that she grew up with remain there as she grew older:

  • some little chairs from when me, my sister and brother were toddlers
  • a tiny piano
  • of dolls, nicknacks, a bulb vintage hanging black & white television, and happy meal toys

She didn’t spend summers painting on the screened in porch.

She didn’t…

She didn’t…

“I’m going to a place that has girls dressed up in nurses costumes for a show.  Come out with me and get your mind off things.” my best friend told me.

“I’ll think about it.”

“Jen, you don’t sound good.  Are you going to be ok?” Molly asked me again.

The other line beeped.  Mo was here.

“I’ll be at a bar.  I’ll be fine I guess.” I told her.

We didn’t feel like buying booze there so we grabbed a flask of vodka and a chaser. Down the hatch it went.  Not to get drunk- but just to feel something different than what I was.  I drank very little.

The new bar wasn’t really great.  I stood there blankly and watched the show.  My best friend and I talked about other things… things that will likely get blogged about later and elaborated on.  Things I’m reflecting on.

The crowd dispersed around midnight.  We headed to our bar.  We walked into…

“How is your grandmother doing?”

I’m hitting refresh on my inbox hoping for that response from my ex.  As soon as he gives me a green light I’m most likely going home quicker than Dorothy with a pair of ruby slippers.  I wish it was all a dream.  Please just tell me this is all a really bad dream.