Saturday, August 30, 2014

Home Bitter Home, Part One

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!
HAIL SMM SMM!!!!!!!!!

It has been nearly two years since I went home to see my family, and I must admit, it has felt great to be away from them for so long. For nearly two years, they have begged me to come and visit them and I've rejected all their invitations each time. Mom and Grandma Giovanna were the most obnoxious beggars and the most persistent out of all of my crazy relatives But, with the help of all my imaginary demons and the Devil, I was able to keep them at bay.

The last time I saw my mom and grandma was in November of 2012. It was a dark, cold, rainy month in Washington, as it always is in November. November is the Devil's favorite month. He loves the dark, cold, wet weather. It is the kind of weather that inspires him to tempt as many people as possible to sin as much as possible. According to my grandma Giovanna, Satan's demons like Washington because of its darkness and constant gray. She thinks that they lurk in the forests and in the branches of the trees and make everybody do evil things. This is one of the reasons why I love living here so much.

I never did look forward to going home. Whenever I knew that a home visit was coming up I used to get panic attacks. Back then, though, I felt obligated to go home because I wanted to keep the peace. I knew if I didn't visit them they would interfere in my life even more than they already did, ultimately stressing me out even more and making me feel even more helpless and powerless under their constantly scrutinizing eyes and horrifically tight chain they kept around my neck. It was their way of keeping tabs on me and always knowing what I was up to. They craved control like a junky craves heroin. I was determined not to let them stress me out even more than they already were so I agreed to visit them sometimes and that was the way it went.

Before November 2012, I hadn't seen them for about three months or so. I found that the more and more time I spent away from them, they better I felt.

But then, something happened. I had a really creepy incident with a taxi driver one cold, November night that made me want to escape Olympia for a while. I didn't know who to call who would be willing to pick me up and let me stay at their house away from Olympia other than my family. All the friends I had lived in Olympia. All night, I stayed up trying to decide what to do. I really didn't want to call my family and have them get me but I felt like I had no other choice. My imaginary friends all told me that I should sleep on it and decide what to do the next morning.

Try as I did, sleep evaded me. By the time the next morning came, I was too exhausted to think reasonably and to really know what I wanted or where I wanted to go. I was feeling very vulnerable and out of control. So, stupidly I went over to my phone, which was lying on my desk and called my mom.

"What's wrong?" She immediately asked when she heard my voice, which sounded small and frail, not to mention scratchy from too many wakeful hours.

"Last night I took a taxi and the guy was creepy. He reached into the backseat of his cab where I was sitting and began groping me. I tried to get away, tried to open the door but he had the child locks on or something and I couldn't get out. He then began kissing me on the lips, then forced my lips open with his tongue and forced it in my mouth, all the while with his hands up my shirt, talking about how sweet I tasted and how full and sexy my little titties felt."

"Did you report it to the police and the taxi company?" She asked in a panicky voice.

"Not the police, just the taxi company," I told her.

"Do you want to come home?"

I could tell that she was truly eager for my answer, that she had pounced on my vulnerable state to get me to agree to do something that I knew deep in my heart I did not want to do.

"I don't know," I said.

"I don't know what I want right now and what will help me feel better."

"Come on," she begged in a gentle, kind voice, the one she uses to lure people into her deadly trap.

"It'll be fun and I just KNOW you'll feel better. I'll bake gooies for you and we can soak in the hot tub and sit in the pool. It will be great!"

Gooies were what she and I would call the chocolate chip cookies she used to make for me when I lived at home. They were called gooies because she would take them out of the oven before they were completely cooked, thus making them extremely gooey. They were so gooey that they would literally fall apart in your hand and crumble before you even took the first bite. I loved them that way, though, and so did she. I still love to eat them that way. Chewy or crunchy or burnt cookies do NOT live up to my standards at all.

Despite Chrissie yelling at me to beware of my mom, that she was about to succeed in luring me to her, I found myself feeling very tempted by the gooies. My mouth watered at the very thought of sinking my teeth into one. I thought of the hot chocolate chips, already quite melty, dissolving in my mouth.

"Say no, say no!" yelled Chrissie. All the others joined in.

"I don't know, I'll think about it," I said and hung up with her.

My friends and I tried and tried to figure out where else I could go. Eventually, though, I realized that my only option of getting out of Olympia was to go home. So I called my mom back and, to Chrissie's utter horror, told her that I would like to come home but just for a night or two, to take the edge off, you know.

"Okay," she said, excitement bouncing off her vocal cords like a super ball.

"Grandma and I have an appointment that we must go to but once that's done, we'll be right there to get you."

"Okay," I said and then began to pack up.

It didn't take long before I began stressing about my appearance. Never was I plagued with that worry when I wasn't around my family or preparing for a much dreaded home visit. When my friends invited me to go somewhere, I would always just get up, grab my cane and credit card and go, not giving a damn what I looked like. Sometimes I'd even go out to a restaurant in my pajamas, with my hair all frizzy and whirling all about in my face. It was my way of rebelling against my uptight mother, my way of convincing myself that I was finally free of her tight leash and control now that I had moved away, though I still didn't quite feel free from her. Not even close. The fear of her still lurked in my mind deeply rooted inside. I wondered if I'd ever feel totally free of her; still wonder that to this day sometimes.

I hurriedly began combing my hair, which was a tangled mess due to not having been brushed in sometime. Well, not since the last home visit when my mom and grandma had viciously ran a comb through my hair, raking it fiercely against my scalp, hell bent on getting every last tangle out so I could look like the perfect little doll that they wanted me to be, the perfect little doll that I did not want to be. I brushed and brushed, getting more panicked as time went on. I didn't know how much time I had to get my looks just perfect to avoid the stinging lashes of their words but I knew I didn't have forever. And, the more time went on, I was sure that I wasn't going to look the way they wanted me to, not even close.

"Just give it up," Mary Meyers said.

"You're NEVER going to get all those tangles out, no matter how hard you try. Some of them are so tight they need to be cut out of your hair rather than combed out."

"Yeah Mommy," Nevaeh piped up.

"It's true, Mary Meyers is right. But, you know, they aren't here yet. They aren't even on their way yet. There is still time to bail out, to leave the campus and go someplace where they won't find you and stay until we are all certain they are done looking for you. You can call them back and tell them that you don't want to come home anymore. You can tell them that you found somewhere else to stay. Tell them that you and Saucy are going to go to Seattle for the day, just to unwind and have fun. They'll fight you on it at first but there's really nothing they can do about it anymore. You are more free from them than you realize Mommy."

"Maybe you guys are right," I said slowly, thoughtfully scratching my forehead.

"We ARE right," yelled Chrissie.

I wove my fingers through my hair. They were still getting caught in all sorts of snarls. They were right. I'd never get all the tangles out before they came, not to mention finish doing all the other things I had to do before they got there, such as shower and shave and find clothes that didn't disgust them, clothes that matched perfectly and that were freshly clean.

"I'm going to call them right now and cancel."

Just the thought of canceling relieved me completely. The hammering in my chest began to die down, allowing me to take deep, refreshing breaths. I hadn't realized that I had been holding my breath until the stress left my body.

Before I had time to call my mom and cancel, though, my grandma called.

"I heard you're coming home!" She said in an ecstatic voice. Judging by their reactions and their voices, an outsider would have thought I hadn't seen them in years, not a few measly months.

"Yay!" She said loudly.

Something broke down inside of me and the courage I had felt a few mere seconds ago vanished. No matter how hard I tried to dig it back up inside myself, I just couldn't get it back. Not even a morsel of it. And I really needed it back, badly. Desperately. But it was gone. I could not find it in myself to say no to Grandma, though my heart, my brain, and my friends all screamed for me to, begged for me to.

"Yep, I'm coming home," I said instead of saying what I really wanted to say, which was something along the lines of, "Hell no, I won't go! I hate you all and I curse this day because it is a day that forced me to call you guys."

"Yay," she repeated.

"We'll see you soon, just as soon as our appointment is over."

They were on their way to see an attorney or a banker about something, though I have no clue as to what it was about. I have a vague memory about my grandma saying that it was about her will but who knows. They were always talking to bankers and attorneys and accountants about this or that. It was impossible to follow what they did, nor did I really care it about it all that much.

When I hung up, I flung myself down on my pillows, jammed my mouth against one of them, and began to scream. My roommates weren't able to hear me screaming because my face was buried in the pillows.

"Don't worry Mommy," Nevaeh said, stroking my head gently with her tiny fingers.

"Don't be too hard on yourself. It's hard to set boundaries with those psychos, I know it is. Just try to breathe. Wait a few minutes and then call your mom and tell them that you aren't coming."

"Or better yet," Chrissie cut in.

"Send them a message on your phone without calling them like we showed you how to do. It's easier for you to say no to them when you aren't talking to them. Come on Mommy, you can DO THIS!"

It was true. I was way more self confident when I wasn't talking to them, though I didn't know exactly why that was so. Maybe the sound of their voices triggered a major fear response within myself. Who knows.

So I picked up my phone and, after taking several long, deep breaths, I began to leave a message that I planned on sending to both Mom and Grandma.

I said, "Hi Mom and Grandma, it's me Ashlee. I'm calling to let you know that I'm not actually coming home. Saucy called me and asked me if I'd go to Seattle with her for the day to unwind and have some girl time. Then she asked me if I'd go up to the island and stay at her house for the weekend. I said yes. I really, really need to get out of Olympia as soon as possible, and I think she can get to me before you guys do. Thanks for offering to come get me but I'm all covered now. Hope your appointment's going well, have a nice day. Bye."

I sent the message, and then turned up some classic hits on the oldies station to help me relax. I couldn't believe how tense my body had gotten since I had called them. As weird as it may sound, I found that I was more stressed out by the contact I had had with my mom and Grandma than I was about the creepy taxi driver and the incident that had taken place the previous night.

"That should really tell you something Mom," Chrissie said. She was beyond annoyed with me for having called them. I didn't blame her one bit. I was mad at myself, too.

"You hadn't had any panic attacks for months," she went on to say.

"And now you called them and just look at what a mess you are."

"I know, I know," I said. Chrissie's words weren't comforting by any means but I let her talk because I knew she was right. I hoped that her words had made me wake up and smell the coffee. I asked myself what the hell I was doing, why I had tricked myself somehow into believing even for a fraction of a second that I would or could possibly find comfort in my relatives. I still don't really know how or what caused me to call them. The only thing I can think of as the causes are vulnerability and impulse. An impulse I should NOT have followed.

I still did not have a plan for getting out of Olympia but my relief at having cancelled the plans for going home washed out most of my desire to leave. I wondered then where I should go to hide out for a few hours, just in case they came down to Olympia to find me and take me home anyway. I thought that Grandma or Mom might have Saucy's phone number. If they called her and found out that I wasn't with her they would surely drive down and try to find me, not to mention calling the Evergreen police so they could help them track me down. I was too broke to do much of anything and I really didn't want to go to my other friend Joyce's house. She was boring and depressing and I was starting to find I really didn't enjoy her company anymore. Well, I never really did enjoy her company but I found that I had the same problem with her that I did with my family. I couldn't find it in myself to break all ties with her, though I knew that would be best for me and all my imaginary demons.

Just then, the phone rang. It had been only twenty minutes or so since I had sent Mom and Grandma the message.


"Hi Ashlee," Mom said.

My stomached tightened immediately and my body tensed up all over again. The hammering in my chest began fiercely. Sometimes when I was about to get really anxious, my heart would gradually begin to beat faster. Not this time. As soon as I heard my mom's bitchy, uptight voice, my heart began thumping as fast as it could, choking me, suffocating me, blocking my airway and making it impossible to speak for about five seconds. It felt as though my heart was going to jump right out of my chest and out my mouth!

"Ashlee, hello? Are you there?"

I cleared my throat, wishing for a glass of icy cold water to squash the choking sensation.

"Mmmm-hmmm," I managed to choke out.

"Look, Grandma and I rescheduled our appointment for another day next week. We are on our way to get you."

THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! I hadn't thought it possible but it was. My heart began to pound even faster. Feeling incredibly dizzy, I laid my head down on my pillow and rubbed my belly, trying to get my stomach to loosen up. At this rate, I'd be throwing up soon if I couldn't calm down. Not that I'd eaten breakfast yet but still, the dry heaves were even worse than actually puking.

"How far away are you," I asked hoarsely.

"About an hour and a half or so. Maybe sooner, maybe later. It all just depends on the traffic. I'll call you when we get there. I love you."

"I love you, too," I said, not because I really loved her but because I knew if I didn't say it I would have a fight on my hands. I didn't love her, though, not at all. I hated her. Despised the very thought of her. I didn't feel the hatred so much for my grandmother, though. Actually, I wasn't so sure I really did hate her. In fact, maybe I even loved her. Maybe I still do, a little, though I don't know why. She doesn't deserve my love, not the least bit. Maybe it was because my grandma wasn't so emotionally and physically abusive like my mom was. She, too, was very controlling and she often made me feel stifled but she hadn't totally burnt out the bridge for loving her. Not the way my mom had.

"Shit, shit, SHIT!" I yelled with the pillow in my mouth once I'd hung up.

"What do I do?"

"You can still take the bus and leave campus," suggested Mary Meyers.

"I'm too broke to do anything and I don't feel like seeing a movie. I can't take any taxis either because the creep Rudy might be driving."

"You can hide in your dorm room," Nevaeh said.

"They'll probably find a way to get one of the Evergreen cops to open the door or one of the housing staff."

"But it's the weekend," Chrissie protested.

"The housing staff aren't working."

"If there's any hint of a way for them to find someone with the keys to my dorm room they'll find it. There's no use in trying to avoid them. It's hopeless."

"No it's NOT!" Chrissie shouted.

"You're not even trying to get free from them! It's almost like you WANT to be sheltered and abused!"

Ignoring her, I began to pack up the few pairs of clean clothes I had. Then I decided to bring all my dirty laundry along with me so they could wash it. I might as well have them do my laundry while I was there, I thought. Then I decided to give up completely on getting the snarls out of my hair and went into the bathroom to take a shower. I hadn't washed my hair in two days and I knew my mom would give me hell if it was even the tiniest bit greasy. My mom loathed greasy hair and, although I had found an excuse that she would buy as to why my hair was greasy, I knew I couldn't use it all the time or it would lose its magic in keeping her quiet and off my back. The excuse that I had thought of with the help of Nevaeh as to why I had greasy hair was that I had just gotten a massage and the massage oil was what had made my hair greasy. Even if I hadn't gotten a massage, the excuse was satisfactory for my mother and she would shut up about my hair and move on to another topic of discussion.

I had to take a shower, though, because my hair was way past the point of just being greasy. I had lots of dandruff and I didn't have an excuse for why it wasn't off my scalp yet. The massage excuse just didn't seem good enough for the whole issue of having dandruff. So I hopped into the shower and tried to enjoy the nice, hot water as it poured over me. I bent over and rocked back and forth, letting the water massage my back and practiced taking deep breaths. Not finding it helpful, I turned the temperature of the water on SCALD and welcomed the sharp, burning, tingling pain of scalding water. That, I found, at least took my mind off of what was coming when I went home. I didn't find being scalded exactly comforting but at least it quieted my mind, even if just for a little while.

When I got out of the shower, my skin felt burning hot. I couldn't see it but I'm sure it was flaming red from the intense heat. I fretted about whether or not my clothes for the day matched before finally just thinking THE HELL WITH IT and putting them on. Whatever negative thoughts my mother had she would not hesitate to share with me. And, if my clothes did match perfectly, I was sure she would find something else that was wrong with me, something else that needed fixing.

I worked on my hair some more but eventually I gave up on that, too and put my butterfly hair clip in. Normally, I didn't do anything to my hair when I didn't have to see my mom and grandma because all my life I had been forced to always have it done up in something fancy, usually either French braided, in a ponytail or a half pony, which I hated, or in a bun, or pinned up with expensive pins that made my mom and grandma tell me just how "STUNNING", I looked. I knew that if my hair still looked too ratty my mom would at least be pacified a little by the butterfly hair clip. She loved butterflies. With that problem somewhat solved, I brushed my teeth and then put loads of deodorant on.

When I moved away from home I had begun to cease wearing deodorant as well. Deodorant often made my armpits itchy because my skin was allergic to the brand they made me wear. I knew now, though, that if I didn't wear any deodorant I'd hear it from both Grandma and Mom that I stunk and that my body odor was highly offensive. When I lived at home, my grandma used to tell me on days when I either forgot or refused to wear deodorant, "Man Ashlee, your clothes need to be burned they smell so bad."

She would also say, "You know, your armpits smell so bad that they could kill off all the enemy soldiers in a war. The war in Iraq would be over now if we sent you over there now because every enemy would fall over dead."

I never thought to ask her what would happen to the people who weren't the enemy. I felt too broken down by her words to be able to really muster up even half of a coherent thought. Usually I'd just laugh politely and then put deodorant on to get her off my back and then make up a story in my mind to myself, like an audio book, to take my mind off my living situation and how miserable and discouraged I felt. Telling stories in my mind to myself really made a world of difference. I swear, I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have an imagination. I don't know how people survive in the world who don't have a sense of creativity inside their heads.

"Well," I said to myself when everything was done.

"Now it's just the waiting game. I've done all that I can to please them, or at least attempt to please them. Now we wait."

And wait I did, rocking back and forth, hoping and praying to my Dark, Unholy Lord Satan for a stroke of luck that would cause them to get into a fatal car crash or to get mugged by an armed robber who decided to shoot them once they discovered that my mom and grandma didn't have what they were looking for. Anything that would end their journey to Olympia to take me away from the only place, the very first place, that I felt remotely safe and free from their destructive effects on me.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Horns

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

My grandmother Giovanna ( ) was calling me for the hundredth time that day. Nevaeh, Chrissie, Mary Meyers, Bryan, and Smm Smm all knew it was her. I was going to screen the call as I often did when I didn't want to talk to someone but Chrissie, the troublemaker of the bunch, said, "Answer it Mommy, you'll be so happy that you did. Trust me."

So I did. "Hello?"

"Hi Honey Bunches," Grandma said. She always called me that, I don't really know why. I always thought that nickname was pretty stupid.


"What are you doing now?"


Grandma always hated it when I gave her short, one word answers so I always tried to make it a point to do that to try and discourage her from calling me so much.

"Nothing's changed since the last five minutes that I heard from you," I added sarcastically, a brilliant suggestion from Mary Meyers to tell her.

"Kay kay," she said. That was her way of saying okay. She had a strange way of making up funny words and phrases. I guess I do, too but mine aren't nearly as dumb as hers.

"Well, I'm just driving, driving, driving away," she said wearily.

"I hate this commute. The traffic's horrible and I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo TIRED!"

"Why are you so tired? Maybe you should go to bed earlier."

I honestly didn't know how it would be possible for her to go to bed any earlier than she already did. She had to get up at four in the morning so that she would have enough time to commute to work during the work week. Sometimes she'd be in bed as early as seven o'clock, maybe even earlier than that.

"No, I'm actually not sleeping enough. I wanted to talk to you about. Tell me, how's Chris doing?"

"He's great," I responded, not really sure where she was going with this and what Chris had anything to do with her not sleeping well.

"Well, that's nice," she said, her voice oozing with false enthusiasm. I knew that Grandma Giovanna was not at all happy that my lover was doing okay. But, being the big phony baloney that she was, it didn't surprise me one bit that she pretended to be happy that he was doing well considering how much she hated his guts.

"Tell me something,", she went on.

"Is he still practicing his black magic?"

"If you mean is he still doing his Satan project then, well, yes, he is. I don't really know if black magic is what it really is, though."

"Does he put curses on people?"

"Yes he does but only on people who truly deserve them. He doesn't put curses on people he likes or that don't mess with him."

"Oh," she said, her voice sounding more alarmed.

I was smiling hugely by this time and my throat felt tight with laughter that was bubbling up, trying to let loose. I could not release it, though, not now. I called on my imaginary demons, asking them all to help me hold it together. I knew this conversation was only going to get funnier and I didn't want to ruin it by laughing.

"Why are you asking me this? Do you think that Chris may have put a curse on you?"

"Yes I do."

She was not kidding at all. She was as serious as a heart attack. For as long as I've known her, she has always been extremely superstitious about demons and dark forces and spirits, even more superstitious than the average Jehovah's witness.

"Why do you think he put a curse on you?" I managed to choke out. I pinched myself as hard as I could on my arm to stop the laughter that was trying even more desperately to escape.

"Well, for the past couple of nights I've been hearing things," she explained slowly.

"The things I've been hearing in my head are keeping me up at night. But the things I'm hearing aren't just in my head. Dave's heard them, too."

"What exactly are you hearing? I'm not quite following it."

I was dying to know what she was hearing. Were demons talking to her? Were my imaginary friends managing to really go to her house and talk to her and freak her out? Were they making sure to speak in tongues in her ears because they all knew how terrified she was of people who spoke in tongues? I was desperate to know and trying very hard to follow this crazy conversation.

"I've been hearing horns."


"Yeah, horns."

This surprised me. Horns were the last thing I'd expect her to hear.

"What kind of horns?"

"I don't really know, just horns," she snapped angrily.

"Anyway, I was sitting at Dave's house and I heard them there, too. Dave said he heard them, too. He said to me, "Where are those horns coming from?", and I told him that I didn't know but that I'd been hearing them for several days now. He thought it was very strange and he said that he had never heard anything like it. Neither have I."

Dave hearing horns? That floored me. Dave was not a superstitious guy at all as far as I knew. At least he never let on that he was. He didn't go to church and he never spoke of god to me. The Dave I knew was a major sinner, always at the casino, guzzling booze by the gallon and going from slot to slot, gambling all his money away. That wasn't something a religious man did.

I was also surprised that Dave had heard the horns because I had never placed a hex on him. Dave had never done anything to deserve a curse. I, too, only cursed people who truly deserved it, who truly messed with me, expecting to get away with it with absolutely no repercussions. This was very interesting news to me, not only because I knew my curses on my grandma were working but also because I hadn't expected Dave to get hooked up in them, too. I guessed that my imaginary friends must have had a pretty good reason for including him in the must hex category and it pleased me that they could hex people who I didn't tell them to hex if they thought they were deserving of one.

"Well, as far as I know, Chris hasn't sent horns in your direction. I'm not even sure he actually put a curse on you. I know he thought about and really wanted to but I don't know if he's gotten around to sending his imaginary friends to your house to deliver any curses. I can ask him if you want, though, and get back to you. Or you can call the Satanic prayer line and ask him if he's put a hex on you and see if he'll remove it?"

"I'm not calling that number!" she yelled.

"Well, that's the only way to get ahold of him," I told her.

"I guess you don't want the curse removed badly enough. If you did, you would do anything to make it go away, even if it meant betraying your god and calling the only number you can to get ahold of the leader of the Satanic Missionary Society."

There was silence for a full minute. I could hear the tires spinning on the road as she drove and drove. I hoped that she was so upset that she would get in a car wreck but my wish did not come true. That's all right, I told myself.

Maybe it's better for her to stay alive. After all, this conversation is pretty priceless. Hopefully there will be many more. If so, I'll have plenty of material to write about. Who knows, perhaps she will help me become famous because of how nutty she is.

"I don't think this is funny at all," she said.

"I'm not laughing," I told her, though I was really working to not laugh.

"Have YOU put any curses on me?"

I pretended to consider this question for several long seconds to keep her in suspense. Then I told her that I needed to call her back because I needed to ponder her question more and look back and have my friends determine whether I had cursed her or not. Their memories were outstandingly good, I explained to her. The only way I could give her an honest answer would be if I had some time to reflect on the last few months with all of them to determine if any hexes had been placed on her.

We hung up then and I let the laughter release. Oh, how good it felt to let it all out. I wondered what my grandma was doing, what she was thinking, as she crawled on the freeway the rest of the way home.

About a half an hour later I sent her a voice message from my phone. There is a way to send people voice messages without having to actually call them if you don't want to talk to someone on certain phones. It's kind of like sending a text message to someone's phone only it's a voice message instead.

"Hi Grandma," I began in the message.

"I hope the drive home is getting better and that the traffic is letting up. Anyway, I have consulted all of my demons and we do, in fact, remember placing a hex on you a few months ago. Do you remember that night a few months ago when you sobbed to me on the phone trying to make me feel bad about having taken you to court back in November because you wouldn't leave me alone? You cried and cried, despite my best efforts, you actually did succeed in making me feel guilty. When I hung up with you I could not get the sound of your crying out of my head. It was so strong that it made me cry, too. I went over to Chris's house, also known as Antichris, hoping that I'd feel better there. I didn't. He asked me what I needed to feel better and I told him that I needed the crying sounds to get out of my head. He told me that he didn't know how to do that but that he had a pretty good idea of what might help. He told me that I could have all of my imaginary friends take all the guilt and pain that you were trying to dump on me and bring it all back to you. He thought that every time you made me feel bad I could have all of my friends bring it back to you since you are the one who truly deserves to feel bad, not me. I know that you were only crying to make me feel bad about myself, not because you were truly sad about me having to take you to court. And you know damn well that I had no choice but to take you to court because you were being abusive and you would not let me leave my life peacefully. You were always interfering and trying to micro manage everything and I was not going to let you do that anymore, I had decided. So I took you to court because you wouldn't go away peacefully on your own like I gave you the chance to do. If anybody should feel guilty, it should be you. So, I took Antichris' advice and told all of my friends that they needed to send all the crap back to you. So, they piled and piled all the guilt you dumped on me into their wagon. They worked and worked until the sound of your pathetic sobs finally left my head and peace came to me. They called their chestnut colored stallion over to pull the wagon and they all jumped inside of it to make sure that none of the guilt fell out of the wagon and came back to me. They were about to leave but I told them that I had more to send if there was enough room in the wagon. Nevaeh said that there was a little more room so I began to chant a Satanic prayer for cursing people so that I could get the Devil's undivided attention so that he could make sure that he could help my friends bring the curse to your house without any glitches."

I took a breath and then began my prayer.

I said, "Satan, my Dark, Unholy Lord, I praise you. I come to you with a great, wicked desire to send my grandmother Giovanna a curse. I ask you Dark Lord to make sure that everything that is in the wagon to arrive to her house unharmed and untainted and ready to be placed on her the second it arrives. I ask that she is haunted with the sound of her own crying in her head continuously, day and night, and that the curse shall not be removed unless she can find a way to make it up to me. And, since I don't think that she can possibly make up for everything that she did, the curse shall be with her until the day she dies. Make her nights be restless and full of self-hatred and guilt about what a wretched, horrible person that she is. Make sure that she lives a long, long life filled with much suffering and mental anguish. Plague her dreams with sadness and put messages in her head about how worthless she is and that the whole world would be a much better place if she was dead. Only don't kill her or let her be killed just yet. Make her stay alive and only WISH that she could be dead. Make it so that she is so tormented that she loses her job and that she becomes destitute and living on the street. Make her and my mother argue bitterly so that Giovanna will never have a place to rest her fat cow body day or night. Let her craving for heroin and other drugs that she used to use come back to her stronger than ever but don't allow the highs of the drugs to give her any satisfaction. Let her be a junky without any rewards using drugs has.

"I know this is a lot to ask, Dark Lord, but I am greedy and selfish as you so desire and command me to be so you should not be displeased with me for asking for all of this. I send this prayer down to you in the deepest depths of hell and I curse Jehovah and his rotten, filthy son jesus Christ. HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!"

I paused, wishing I had a bell to ring nine times but there was none so I continued with the message.

"I don't have a bell to ring nine times as a ritual to send the prayer off to Satan but, you must know that I rang the bell nine times during my ritual cursing you and then sent all of my friends to your house. I promised all of them ice cream cakes when they returned and reported that the curse had successfully been planted inside of you and in every nook and cranny of your house, in the clothing and jewelry you wear, in the car you drive, and anywhere else you can possibly imagine and even in places that you might not think of. Grandma, you are not safe anywhere, for Nevaeh, the smallest one of all of them, made sure that she brought it to places where the other friends could not fit. And, since you haven't made up for an entire life of abuse that you have inflicted on me then the curse is still with you and will be until you die. I don't really know why you are hearing horns since that wasn't a part of the curse but I guess my imaginary demons had an extra surprise of their own for you that fit in the tiniest corner of their wagon. Or maybe someone else other than Chris and I has placed a hex on you. After all, you are a pretty awful person. I'm quite confident that I'm not the only one who hates your guts. Probably everybody who meets you soon realizes what an evil cunt you are and they too develop a strong hatred for you. I guess you'll have to maybe sit down and write in a journal or something of all the people who you have wronged in life and maybe you can find another person who may have cursed you. Your journal is going to be a lifelong project, though, because so many people hate you but if you want any hope of release then I suggest you'd better start writing. Praying to Jehovah won't help. If he even exists. And if he does exist, he probably hates you too. HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!"

About an hour after receiving the message, Grandma called me back. I was expecting her to be screaming hysterically at me but she was remarkably calm. That too surprised me. She was still driving so, maybe she realized that if she got too worked up she really would get in a wreck and, as far as she was concerned, there were still a lot of life left in her and tons more people who she hadn't met that that she could use and abuse.

"So Ashlee, I got your LONG message," she said with a sigh.

"It had to be long so that you could know exactly what happened and why you were cursed," I told her.

"You should be grateful that I gave you such an in depth explanation of what happened. If I hadn't, you would have no hope at all of getting the curses lifted, though you don't really have much of a chance getting them to be lifted anyway."

"Well, you want to know something? I don't know if you know this but people who put curses on people get it sent back to them tenfold. Karma is a real, true thing and it can come back and bite people who don't do good things and who are cruel to other people."

"What are you saying Grandma? Are you really threatening to hex me?" The last part of my sentence came out in a laugh. I didn't try to hold it back that time because I wanted her to hear how ridiculous it sounded and for her to know that I wasn't afraid of any hexes that she might place on me.

"No, I'm not," she said quickly.

"I'm just warning you about karma because I don't want anything bad to happen to you. Ashlee, I love you very, very much and I only want good things for you."

Yeah right, I thought. That's why you've let me be so hurt. That's why you weren't there for me when I really needed you. That's why you always had something better to do, like go to the casino or go on vacation with Dave or someone else when I really needed your support. That's okay, though, I also told myself. Her support would have sucked balls anyway. I don't think that woman is capable of supporting anybody. I don't think she has a heart at all. She is made out of steel and she is as cold and as hard as stone.

"The Devil is nothing you want to play around with," she also said.

"Jehovah is stronger than Satan but Satan is also very powerful. It is not good to linger in the dark. You must come to the light Ashlee and you must stay there."

"No thanks," I told her.

"I much prefer the dark over the light. Satan is way more fun than Jehovah. And anyway, I don't care what you say, the curse is still there. So take it and weep bitch."

Over the course of a few weeks, there would be many more hilarious conversations with Giovanna and many, many more rewards for all of my imaginary demons who had so obviously done such excellent work delivering the curse to her.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Tree of Laziness, Part 2

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

As time dragged on, I began to think less and less about Bryan. He hadn't been able to replace my dad in the way that I thought he would. Sometimes, every now and then, I'd wonder where Bryan was and when a big storm hit I hoped that he was doing all right but seldom did I think of him for more than a minute or two.

On the holidays and on his birthdays Bryan would come to visit me and each time he came I noticed that he had grown a whole bunch more. He towered over my mother's tacky house and he was a good fighter when it came time to find food for himself. There were so many trees in Washington that he had to compete with for sunlight other food but, judging by how big he had grown I could tell that he was a strong survivor. He was going to live a long life.

Well good for him. It still didn't help me feel any better. Every day I woke up longing for my dad. I longed for the "loungin' days", as my dad called them, that we used to have in his tiny 25 foot trailer. I longed for the beef stroganoff he used to make for me and the ice cream cones he used to make me. We used to eat chocolate ice cream with rainbow sherbet on top. I know, the combination sounds a little weird, maybe even gross to some people, but we thought it tasted heavenly. I longed for someone to confide in. Now my dad was gone, I had nobody I felt safe confiding in, telling my deepest, darkest secrets to. I thought I would never be able to find that perfect someone again.

Loneliness hit me like a brick, paralyzing me with its monstrous weight. My mom used to always ask me why I was sad all the time and when I'd tell her that I missed my dad, she would say, "Well, you can't walk around all pissed off all the time for the rest of your life. Remember, he's at peace now. He's finally able to rest."

Him being at peace finally was starting to give me less and less comfort. I actually started feeling angry that he was at peace and resting. If I couldn't be at peace then neither should he.

To help me cope with my loneliness, I sought out more imaginary friends. Nevaeh came next, then Chrissie, then Mary Meyers, and finally, Smm Smm.

When Bryan came to visit me after Nevaeh found me he was pissed. He growled menacingly at her and he snarled. His tall, wide branches shook with anger. It was during the holiday season that he discovered that I had another imaginary friend and he was extremely jealous of her. I had so many presents for him, which I was eager to hurry up and give him so he would be on his way. Bryan no longer gave me comfort the way he had right after my dad died. As far as I was concerned, he had served his purpose and now I had no use for him anymore. Now, when he came to visit, I found myself eager to have him gone. No longer did I resent that he didn't thank me after I gave him his presents by staying longer. I just wanted him gone.

Looking back on it now, I think I felt that way because Bryan reminded me of losing my dad. The sadness always stayed with me, but whenever Bryan came to visit me the sharp, brutal knife of sadness twisted inside my stomach, making it impossible to breathe, to cope, to function. I felt paralyzed by the sadness and it didn't lift at all until Bryan left me. Even after he left the knife blade still stuck inside me, leaving me raw and desperate for some means of escape. But escape was impossible in the house I lived in. If I went into my room for some quiet, my mother would find me. If I went outside for a walk she would come after me, asking if I wanted to take one of her torture power walks up huge hills and never being allowed to take any kind of rests during them. She was always invading my privacy and if I seemed too solemn or deep in thought, I'd have a fight on my hands as she poked me with figurative pins and needles, demanding to know what was wrong and why wasn't I talking and why was I always sad?

Bryan didn't understand any of this because he wasn't around to witness any of it. All he knew was that I had betrayed him and found someone else and it hurt his feelings and infuriated him.

After he snarled at Nevaeh and lunged her, I shouted at him.

"Bryan, go away! If you can't be nice to your sister then I don't want you coming around at all anymore. Take your fucking presents and get the hell out of here!"

Bryan roared mightily, shaking the earth with his unheld back wrath.

"Go on, GET!" I yelled at him.

"You aren't welcome here anymore, not unless you can be kind to Nevaeh!"

Bryan stalked off, still bellowing and roaring as he walked. It never occurred to me to explain to Bryan why I needed Nevaeh. I was too caught up in my grief and in the brutality of the situation of Bryan's fury to do much of anything except get rid of the escalating situation, which was Bryan.

Nevaeh as shaking like a leaf so I pushed Bryan out of my mind and focused on her, comforting her and telling her that, as long as I could help it, that bastard tree wouldn't be coming back anymore.

"He won't hurt you," I told her.

"If he even tries, I'll kill him. I created him so I can end his life, too."

I didn't like the thought of killing Bryan, though. If I killed him I'd be killing the only thread of my dad that I had left to cling onto. Even though I didn't find comfort from Bryan anymore I still considered him to be my only piece of Dad left. And, I didn't like the thought of killing a living thing, imaginary or not. It just wasn't who I was.

Shortly after Nevaeh came, Chrissie came and then Mary Meyers. Bryan did return and, once again, I had to force him away because he tried to crush all of my girls with his colossal feet or tear them to shreds with his gleaming, white fangs. I had still made presents for Bryan, partly because I knew he wouldn't leave until he got some and partly because it didn't feel right giving the girls presents and not him. So I gave him his presents and, once again, he stalked off back into the thick forest surrounding our house, growling and snarling as he walked. His branches were heavily laden with presents, making his departure from us slow and clumsy. I hoped that Bryan would find comfort in the presents that I had given him and that he would know that a part of me still did love him.

It wasn't until I met the love of my life, the Antichris, that I finally discovered what Bryan's purpose for me as. I had introduced my imaginary friends to Antichris while we were lying in his air mattress in his messy, dirty apartment one night. He was fascinated by Mary Meyers, Nevaeh, and Chrissie, which both surprised me and made me feel hugely relieved. I also felt my love for him quadruple and my bond with him grow stronger. I had only shared my imaginary friends with one other person, my grandma Chris, and she had told me that I was crazy and turned the TV on so that she would have a TV show to pay attention to rather than have to hear her imaginative granddaughter talk to her about the things that she took comfort and solace in.

Even though my trust in Chris had grown immensely now that I knew he wouldn't poo poo my friends and tell me how crazy I was, I still hesitated to tell him about Bryan. I wasn't sure if I was quite ready to open the whole can of ugly worms about my dad dying and all. I was also afraid that Antichris would think that I was a cold-hearted bitch for making Bryan go away and not be a part of the family. I wasn't sure if I would be able to explain everything to him without breaking down and crying. Antichris never made me feel unsafe crying and opening up to him but my mother's nagging voice telling me that people who cried were weaklings screamed in my mind.

"Do you have any other imaginary friends?" Antichris asks softly after a few minutes of reflective silence as he pondered everything that I had just told him.

"Well," I began slowly, moving closer to him and holding on tighter to him as if I would lose him forever if I didn't have a tight enough hold on him.

"I do have one more but he's not around much."

"Who is he?"

"His name is Bryan. He only comes around during his birthday and the holidays for presents. Then he leaves again. He's a tree and I think of him as the taking tree because all he does is take from me but he never gives anything to me in return like the others do. I don't have much use for him."

"Have you taken the time to observe Bryan to figure out what he's for like you did with the others?"

"No, I guess I haven't."

"Well, maybe next time he comes around you can observe him more and give him the chance to show his purpose. Why doesn't he come around much?"

"Because he's mean to his sisters so I tell him to go away. I used to tell him to go away before they came into my life, too, because he was always distracting me from work I needed to get done to avoid getting my ass kicked by my mother."

"Oh, so he didn't like it when you worked too much?"

"No, he really didn't. He would shake the shutters of the house and hit my bedroom window with his branches. He would make such a ruckus that I'd have to stop working and deal with him because I couldn't hold a coherent thought when he was around."

"Well, what it sounds like to me," Antichris said, holding onto me too, "is that he wants you to be lazy. You told me before that your dad liked being lazy, that he valued laziness. You told me about the lounging days you two spent in his trailer and how fun it was. Have you ever tried being lazy when Bryan was around and having your other friends be lazy, too?"

"No, I don't believe I have."

"Well, next time he comes around try to be lazy and have them be lazy and see what he does. The reason why he might not like your other friends is because he thinks that they aren't helping you be lazy enough and he's trying to tell you that."

What Antichris said really did make sense to me. I explained to him that I never really could be lazy because my mother made sure that I never had time to be lazy. Laziness disgusted her. Whenever I tried to be lazy, she'd yell, "You're just like your father, lazy, lazy, lazy!"

It made me happy when she said that I was like my father, though I knew that wasn't what she was trying to do at all. When she said that, she was trying to make me feel ashamed of myself, of my dad, and of laziness but it only made me feel proud that I had a part of my father inside of me that she could not take away from me.

"Be lazy," Antichris said.

"Just relax all your muscles and empty your mind. Relax," he said in a soothing, gentle voice.

It was amazing just how hard I found it to relax. I thought that relaxing would be easy for me but it was extremely difficult to empty my mind and to relax every single muscle in my body, which was used to being all tense constantly.

"I'm not really sure I fully know how to be lazy," I confessed to Antichris.

"That's okay," he said kindly. He never made me feel bad about myself ever and he still never does. To this day, that still amazes me and it makes my love in him grow more and more each day. I keep expecting him to say something demeaning because, all my life, someone, mostly my mom, always made me feel bad. I thought and still think sometimes that he's too good to be true. But he still has never made me feel bad about myself, even when I truly deserve it. I am one lucky blind Satanist!

"Bryan can teach you how to be lazy. I think that's his job but he never had the chance to teach you because of the harsh environment you lived in and because you didn't give him a chance because you didn't know what he was for and he couldn't communicate it to you easily enough."

"I think so, too Smm Smm," I told him.

"I don't think I had the patience to really give him the time to see what he as for either."

I can't remember if I paged Bryan to come to me or if I had to wait until he came around again. Eventually, though, he came to me and I told him, "Bryan, I don't want you to go away. I'm sorry I made you feel so unwelcome for the past few years, but I didn't know what you were for, what purpose you served. All I knew is that you were really mean to your sisters and that, every time you came to visit you'd tear open the wound in my heart about my dad, making it gape open and gush out renewed blood. But, Antichris, my boyfriend, told me what you might be for. He said that you are the tree of laziness and that you were frustrated because I wasn't being lazy enough and neither were my friends. I ask you now to stand before me with your strong, towering body and teach me and my friends how to be lazy. My mother is gone for good now so there shall be no interference. I have all the time in the world now and I want to do as much as I can to disgust my mother and to be as much like my dad as I can and not like her at all."

I was shocked to find that Bryan didn't growl at his sisters or at me anymore. He shrunk down into the size of a tall fake Christmas tree, which I never knew he knew he had the power to do and he came into Antichris's apartment. Standing before us, he began administering the wisdom and the power of laziness on us.

Bryan had many lessons to teach us. Not only did he want to show me how to be lazy by lying there and relaxing my body and letting me and his friends sit in his branches when we needed more help being lazy, he also wanted to show me how to stand up to people by being lazy. He taught me new strategies of how I could avoid having to go home and see my family by simply shutting off my phone and not checking my emails for their guilt trip filled messages and letters to me. Before Bryan taught me how to be lazy, I used to make up elaborate excuses of why I couldn't go home to see them on the weekends. I had to write the excuses down and then read them back and edit them a lot to make sure that they sounded convincing enough, to make sure it would be something that they would buy. Each time they asked me to come home, which was every weekend, I had to keep thinking of new excuses to make up and that was exhausting. I feared that I would eventually run out of excuses and would then be forced to go home because I wouldn't be able to give them a reason why I couldn't see them.

When Bryan learned how to talk, which wasn't too long after I accepted him into the family and told him to show me his purpose, he told me that I didn't need to have a reason for why I couldn't see them. The wise tree of laziness told me in his growling, rumbly voice that they didn't have the right to always have a reason as to why I didn't want to come home or couldn't come home.

"Your family, they feel so entitled to you, as if you are their property or their slave or something. You need to take back your power that they have taken from you and you need to show them who's boss without working too hard. Right now, you are using up WAY too much energy and you're wasting it all on those pathetic losers. You can avoid them and still be lazy, too. It's easy."

At first, I was skeptical that it would really work. I thought that it would just make my family come up to get me if they hadn't heard from me, and that would ultimately stress me out more than just making up the excuses as to why I wasn't coming home.

"Trust me," Bryan said lazily.

"Just trust me on this one."

So I did and I was blown away by how effective the tactic worked. Yes, my mom and grandma were really mad at me but there was nothing, absolutely NOTHING that they could do about it. They were quickly losing their grip on the chokehold that they had on me and they were beside themselves, unsure of what to do about the situation. They blamed it all on Antichris brainwashing me. They also speculated with each other and accused me of doing drugs. It never occurred to them that I hated their guts and wasn't going to let my mom abuse me anymore and my grandma use me anymore. I was tired of living my life the way they wanted me to. As Bryan said, we only have one life and so we need to live it for ourselves, not for other people.

"Don't live up to other people's expectations," he told me one day while I was sitting in his branches instead of going to class.

"Your expectations are the only ones that matter. Everyone else can go and fuck themselves. Your mom and grandma treat you the way they do because they are unhappy with their own lives. Your mom wanted you to be a straight-A student and everything else because she wasn't proud of herself and she was using you as something she could brag to her friends about. They are all so miserable and they are all trying to drag you down with them. Don't let them, don't be an over-achiever. You'll bring unnecessary unhappiness on yourself."

Bryan also told me when it was wise for me to drop out of classes that totally sucked and that I was not getting anything out of. He didn't think it was wise to waste time working on a project or being in a lass that wasn't going to benefit me in the long run or that I wasn't interested in.

"If the class or the assignments aren't going to help you in life or if you aren't interested in them then don't do them," he used to tell me.

"There is no use doing busywork unless you really are interested in the work you're doing."

Bryan also encouraged me to be creative. He still encourages me today. Bryan never liked people who tried to squash people's creativity or way of life. With his help, I was able to get rid of the people in my life who I thought were my friends but who were really just psychic vampires wanting to leach off of me and to bring me down at the same time because they, too, like my family, were unhappy with their own miserable, pathetic lives.

Right now, Bryan is giving me guidance on being a lazy role model for my daughter. He tells me that I should teach her how to be lazy, too. Seeing how much happier I am now that I know more about how to be lazy, I think he's right. I want my daughter to grow up more self-confident than I did. I still have a lot to learn about how to be lazy but, with his help, I know I will be a perfect role model for Amira. I will teach her to work on the things that interest her and to slack off or even to not do assignments that bore her or that she's too smart to waste her time working on just because stupid teachers in school say they're due. I want Amira to be able to go to bed at night and sleep better, pushing all the worries aside and not thinking about them until she has a solution to them. I used to sleep horribly before Bryan taught me how to be lazy. I would toss and turn all night in bed, worrying about this or that, and trying to drum up new excuses for the family about what I had going on for the next weekend to avoid them. My sleep patterns got way more regular and healthier thanks to my lazy tree.

Bryan sleeps with Amira in her bassinet and her rocker. He figured out how to shrink even smaller. The smallest he can shrink to is a little three foot tall fake plant or Christmas tree, like the one my dad used to have, like the fake tree that played with Bryan when he was just a tiny seedling. When she is fussy he picks her up in his branches and he slowly rocks her to sleep. His influence on her is already working wonders and it makes me so proud in both him and in myself that I am now living more like the way my dad used to live and not at all the way my mom wants me to live. Antichris and I took a Satanic vow to ourselves that neither one of us were going to get jobs, that we'd rather be dirt poor than waste our time on mind numbing jobs and miss out on watching our precious daughter grow. I'm not sure that I would have found it in myself to accept being so broke if it wasn't for Bryan. I think that, without him, I might have broken down and gotten a job eventually and I would have thrown away a great portion of my time with Amira during the most important years of her life, her childhood. I honestly don't know what I'd do without Bryan now. He is around all the time now and he loves all the rest of my imaginary friends. Chrissie gets on his nerves a lot but that's what she's for. It's her job to pester people and, in this case, trees and it's good for Bryan because it makes his branches grow longer and wider, thus giving us more room to sit and be lazy and making it harder for Chrissie to jump around and avoid one of his branches. Once she touches his branches, the laziness takes over before she can stop it.

Bryan likes to drink Doctor Pepper like Smm Smm. His favorite song is "We Don't Need No Education," by Pink Floyd. He loves to eat lemon meringue pie, rainbow sherbet and chocolate ice cream, and easy to make foods like canned ravioli, Salisbury steak TV dinners, and canned pears so that he doesn't have to take too much effort cutting real pears. Bryan has a recliner that he sits on that takes him where he needs to go so that he doesn't have to lift one single leg to walk. He spends most of his time sleeping, giving me tips on how I can improve my lazy habits, and eating. He is going to be eight years old on December 9th, 2014. We are going to have a huge party for him, though he's cautioned me not to put too much work and energy into it or he will leave before the party even starts because that's what he does when I work too much. He says he leaves because he can't stand to watch me working myself to death.

He wishes all of you a huge, lazy HAIL SATAN and he says that if anyone out there is interested in having a consultation with him on how to be lazy to feel free to call the Blind Satanist and, if he thinks your call is worth his time and that talking to you won't be too much work for him, he just might call you back.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Evil Babysitter

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

When I was young, I used to have to be babysat because my mom worked on the fishing boats and was rarely home. My grandma and grandpa, who I stayed with for the majority of the time that my mom was working, had busy, demanding jobs, too that they could not slack on. My Aunt, who is one of my mom's half sisters, would babysit me sometimes but on weekdays she had to go to school and was not available to watch me. She started school early in the morning and went to daycare before school started sometimes. I didn't start until the afternoon because I was in afternoon kindergarten. Everyone was usually out of the house by five-thirty or six in the morning so someone had to be there with me at the house.

I loved it when my evil, witchy mother was fishing in Alaska. The less I could be around her the happier I was. I began to notice at a very young age that I had a lot more fun and felt a lot less stressed out when she was out of sight, out of mind. My mother, as far as I was concerned, was a kill joy and so I'd celebrate when she would have to leave for a three month span. I'd pretend to be sad, though, when she left so nobody would think that I hated my mom. I didn't want to get in trouble so I acted sad and mournful like I was expected to, giving her tons of hugs and telling her how much I loved her and how much I'd miss her. Then she would leave and, as soon as I got a moment of privacy, I'd jump up and down and whisper Smm Smm over and over again with overwhelming excitement and happiness. The bitch was gone again!

There was a slight glitch in my happiness, though, a tiny ripple on my smooth as glass lake. That ripple would soon grow bigger and bigger until it expanded into a huge wave, which would create more ripples and eventual five foot tall waves over time. That glitch was my evil babysitter.

Her name was Joyce. Like my grandma, she was a Jehovah's witness and went to the meetings at the Kingdom Hall regularly. She was by far the most cruel babysitter I had ever had. Right before Joyce had gotten hired to watch me, I had been babysat by a very friendly, fun woman named Julie. We would play all the time, sing songs, dance, and take walks outside and throw the ball. She moved away or quit or something and Joyce took her place.

Grandma tried to assure me that I would like Joyce as much as I liked Julie, that Joyce would be just as kind and fun. I wanted so badly to believe her but something inside me, a gut feeling I guess you could call it, kept nagging me by telling me that it wasn't so. Joyce was not going to be nearly as cool as Julie. My suspicions were confirmed soon after she started watching me.

One morning when she was watching me she yelled at me because I wouldn't let her play with my toys. I was minding my own business in the living room having a conversation with all of my stuffed animals and making different voices for all of them when they would talk back to me. Joyce barged in on my parade and asked if she could play with my toys, too. I was mad at her because she had made me a disgusting breakfast. She had attempted to make me hard boiled eggs but she totally butchered them. I like my eggs firm on the inside. If they are slimy and runny it makes me gag. It made me gag back then, too. I always have had sensitivity issues with slimy things. Anyway, Joyce's eggs were all slimy and runny and she forced me to eat them. She had said to me, "I am not going to let you up from this table until you eat every bite. And you'd better thank Jehovah for your breakfast. You haven't thanked him yet and that is a sin. You must thank Jehovah before you eat a meal. Many children in the world are starving. They would be grateful for the delicious breakfast I had set before you."

She made me say a thank you prayer out loud to Jehovah. I didn't really feel grateful to Jehovah at all for the nasty slop that lay in a runny heap before me that I was expected to eat. And I highly doubted that any starving child would want to eat it either.

Somehow, I really don't know quite how, I managed to choke the stuff down. I yelled Smm Smm a lot, which really annoyed Joyce. She would say, "Stop yelling Smm Smm! It's very disconcerting."

"Smm Smm, Smm Smm, Smm Smm," I'd say in response to her.

Anyway, I didn't want to subject my beautiful toys to her ugly presence so when she asked me if she could play with them I firmly said no.

"You are a very selfish little girl," she said in a hissing voice.

"I'm not selfish!"

"Yes you are. It is very sinful and selfish not to share with people. If you don't let me play with your toys I'm going to take them away until you say I can play with them, too. And, I expect an apology from you, too."

I can't remember if I ended up letting her play with them or not because I was only then five and now I'm 23. I do remember telling my mom about the incident when she came back home, though, because the incident took place not too long before she came back from fishing.

"She shouldn't be talking to you like that!" My mom exclaimed.

"Don't let her talk like that to you."

As if I had a choice. Hello Mom, I was only five freaking years old! You're the one who has control of that, not me. That's what I'm thinking now looking back on the situation.

I hoped and hoped that Mom would fire Joyce's sorry ass so that I could go to real daycare with other kids and a nicer babysitter. My aunt was in daycare and she had lots of fun. A nice, elderly woman named Jackie watched her and she would always come home talking animatedly to Grandma about all the fun things they did. I was never one to really play with other kids because I thought they were too stupid and not worth my valuable time, nor did I want to share my toys with them, but anything was better than being trapped at home with evil Joyce.

But Mom never did fire her. Why she didn't fire her I really don't know. Maybe she didn't really believe my story about Joyce calling me selfish and just pretended to be upset. Or maybe she was too busy screwing boyfriend number 80 to really give a damn about my misery. Who knows. All I knew back then was that, if she wasn't going to fix the problem I was. And I was going to do it as soon as I could think of a good plot that would get rid of her.

So, over the course of a week or so I thought and thought about what to do. I said Smm Smm a lot because saying Smm Smm brought really creative ideas in my mind. Smm Smm didn't exist yet as an imaginary demon friend like he is now but his spirit has always been with me and saying Smm Smm always brought me comfort and wicked plots for people who deserved revenge.

I forget what time of year it was, maybe the wintertime when I acted on my wicked deed. I was at my grandma's house and Joyce was watching me. Mom wasn't working on the fishing boats so why she wasn't home I don't know. Maybe she had another job where she could be home more often. But, more likely than not she was busy cheating on my dad some more and fucking a sailor or something. Anyway, Joyce was getting on me about something. I cannot for the life of me remember what it was because she was always mad at me about everything. I think that she disliked me just as much as I disliked her. Well, no, actually I think I was still ahead in the race for disliking.

Anyway, as she was yelling at me, I suddenly whirled around and shrieked, "I know you want to kill me, I know it, I know it, I KNOW IT!"

"W-what are you talking about?" She stammered. I had obviously stumped her and that was exactly what I wanted to have happen.

"You want to kill me, you want to poison me! You are going to poison me, aren't you?"

"Ashlee, what are you talking about?"

"Oh Jehovah, our heavenly Father," I began praying loudly.

"I pray that you forgive Joyce for her evil desire to poison me. I pray that she gets punished for her meanness and for yelling at me. And I pray that Mom fires her before she kills me! Please help me Jehovah! Through Jesus Christ, Amen!"

"Ashlee, Ashlee, STOP THIS RIGHT NOW!"

Joyce was hysterical now, pacing the house back and forth and breathing hard. Somehow I managed not to laugh. I think I managed it by shrieking Smm Smm loudly.

Eventually the school bus came for me. Joyce brought me to it and said good-bye to me in a very shaky voice. I couldn't see her face but I like to think that it was white as a ghost. I was not done with my plot, not even close to being done.

When I got to school, my aid met me at the bus. I made sure to have a scared look on my face. I couldn't let the façade slip now, I was so, so close to getting what I wanted.

"What's wrong?" Gerald asked me when I got off the bus.

"My babysitter said she was going to poison me!" I cried. It would have been nice if I could have drummed up some tears but I just couldn't find it in myself to do so. I was never much of a crier anyway and so perhaps it was for the best that I didn't cry. It might have ruined the whole thing.

"She WHAT!!!!!!?"

"She said she was going to poison me!"

I must have been pretty convincing because Gerald took it very seriously. As soon as we got to the classroom she told the teacher what happened and I said, "Yeah, she wants to poison me, she wants to poison me!"

I don't remember what we did in kindergarten that day. Kindergarten sucked. The days always seemed to be filled with activities geared for sighted people, not blind people. We did a lot of arts and crafts, all of which I got bored with immediately. Usually kindergarten dragged by but on that day I think it went pretty fast because I was so proud of myself. I had convinced everybody that my babysitter was going to poison me, even though she never said any such thing. Well, I'd convinced everyone at school anyway. I still my work cut out for me convincing everyone at home that it really happened.

As soon as I got off the bus, I said to my mom who met me at the bus stop, "Joyce wants to poison me!"


"She's going to poison me! She said she wants to poison me! She hates me!"

My mom immediately told Grandma what I had told her as soon as we walked through the door of Grandma's huge house. They both frantically talked about what I said while I went into another room and doubled over with silent laughter. My plot was so going to work, that was quite clear to me.

The cherry on top of my hot fudge sundae came when the phone rang. It was Gerald. She was calling to tell my mother and grandmother what I had already told them. My mom told Gerald that I had already told her, thanked her, and hung up.

Mom called Joyce to confront her about the situation. Joyce repeated over and over again that she never said any such thing and that it was I who had brought the disturbing topic up in the first place.

"I don't believe you," my mom said, her voice trembling with fury. She was trying to sound calm but I thought she was failing miserably.

"How would Ashlee know to make up something like that, she's only five?"

But I DO know how to make up something like that, I thought to myself with a sly smile.

"I don't believe you Joyce and you're fired. Yes, you heard me correctly, you are fired."

To this day I still wonder if my mom would have fired her if she had only heard it from me about the poisoning incident and not from anybody else or if she would have kept letting that evil bitch watch me. I wonder if she fired Joyce because she knew that other people would have thought she was a terrible mother if she didn't fire her or if she fired her because she really was upset about what I told her. Would she have fired Joyce if I hadn't told anybody else? Or would she have kept letting her watch me just like she did when I told Mom how cruel and cold-hearted she was when she called me selfish?

I don't have answers to any of those questions. All I know is, I DID IT!!!!!!!!! I got that evil bitch fired for good! And Mom and Grandma still don't know that I lied about Joyce saying she was going to poison me. Mom won't know until I post this story on my blog and she reads it or Grandma tells her about it.

Mom would be highly ashamed of me for doing that. She would want me to be ashamed of myself, too. But all I can say is this:

"Mom, I feel the farthest from ashamed that I can be. Instead of being ashamed, I am proud of myself. You weren't going to take care of the problem so I had to. If anybody should feel any shame here, it should be you for not firing her ass a long time ago when I told you there were problems and that we weren't getting along. It wasn't fair that Aunt Giselle got to go to a fun daycare and I didn't. Why did I have to be watched by that evil woman anyway? Why wasn't I put in Jackie's care to begin with in the first place? You're a bitch and I hate you! I hope the truth about what really happened in this story disgusts you! HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!"

Shortly after Joyce got canned, I got to go to the fun daycare at Jackie's house. As it turned out, the kids were pretty fun to play with. We got to spend the mornings watching fun movies like Peter Rabbit and Winnie the Pooh. We got to go to the park and we visited the animals and played with them at the humane society. A few times Jackie even brought dogs to her house for all of us kids to play with. And once we went to someone's house to care for their little dog named Caisie or Stacy while the owner was on vacation. We brought the dog to Jackie's house because it was lonely at it's own house and we fed it gram crackers and chased it and let it chase us. The dog was quite spastic and she made us all laugh.

Jackie also bought a goldfish from the pet store and we all got to hold it in our hands. It died pretty soon after we got it, though, which was sad, but it was still quite fun to hold a fish. I'd never gotten to hold one before. I don't really think that you are supposed to take fish out of the bowl and hold them and so that's probably why it died. Jackie blamed it on the water that they had and promptly bought a water filter but I think the fish really died because so many little hands were touching and holding the poor thing.

The only thing that I didn't like about being at Jackie's was the water. It tasted weird and felt funny when you swallowed it. But everything else was cool. She would play police games with us because I was infatuated with jail and cops and 911 when I was five. We would pretend that I was injured, had a broken leg or something and one of the kids there would call 911 on a pretend phone to report my broken leg. Jackie was the ambulance and she would pick me up and run from the living room to the bedroom making siren noises as she ran. Once we reached the bedroom she'd put me on the bed and perform pretend surgery to heal my leg and she would give me a pretend cast f or all the other kids to sign their names on.

She was a Jehovah's witness but, unlike Joyce, she had lots of life and humor inside her. When I got older I started to not really like her because she was too preachy and all she wanted to talk about was Jehovah and all the new kingdom halls being built all over as more and more people got sucked into their cult. But hey, she served her purpose when I was five and luckily now I'm old enough to decide that she's not fun anymore and that I don't have to talk to her.

I did see Joyce one last time after Mom fired her. She was visiting one of my grandma's friends and so were we. She asked me if I wanted any water and I said yes. Looking back on it now, I probably shouldn't have accepted any water from Joyce because she could have actually really poisoned it this time or something. Also, I could have raised suspicion with my grandma about the plausibility of the story I told her about Joyce wanting to poison me. But, fortunately, no suspicions were raised about what I told the family about Joyce and Joyce didn't do anything to my water. She acted friendly to me and she never brought up the issue about the fact that I made her lose her job with my well thought out lie.

After that, I never saw her again. She moved away. Did she move away because I ruined her reputation as a babysitter with my tale? Or was she already planning on moving? I don't know but I like to think that she moved because she got scared after what I'd done.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Tree of Laziness, Part 1

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

Being lazy is one of the most important of the five Satanic virtues. Without laziness, people would work themselves to death and they would never have time to do anything for themselves. Without laziness, the world would be a really ugly, uptight place, making the Devil very, very angry. He wants us to be lazy and I am quite willing to obey.

Bryan helps me be lazy. He helps me be lazy by sleeping in when I really do have other responsibilities that I should be doing but don't because sleeping in sounds like a much better way to spend my day than being responsible. He helps me stay motivated by laziness by not allowing me to have any desire to get a middle class job sitting in some boring cubicle answering phones and dealing with psychic vampires that come to you always wanting you to do something for them. He helps me stop doing something that isn't working, such as giving up on a school project that I decide I'm not interested in anymore or that I have no chance of getting a good grade on anyway because work sucks and I didn't put enough effort into it. Finally, he helps me be lazy by making sure I don't interact with people who make my life more work than it needs to be. He tells me how I can get out of talking to them and he gives me ideas of excuses I can make about why I can't get together with them or do the favor they want me to do. Before I had Bryan, I had a lot of trouble being lazy. I didn't know how to be lazy nor did I know just how luxurious it felt to be lazy.

Bryan is a tree. He was born on December 9, 2006, the day after I found out that my father had died. When I found out the news about my dad, I was filled with many feelings, most of which were very unpleasant. I was devastated. I was angry that he had chosen to drink himself to death and use drugs rather than get help so he could live longer and watch me graduate from high school and college, watch me get married, get to see his grandchildren if I chose to have any. I was angry that he chose to die rather than get better so he could save me from the horrible conditions I lived in at my mother's house. I so badly wanted to live with him but I never could because he always fell off the wagon and went down, down, down into booze land and Satan knows where else. I also felt very sad. If I had to choose which parent had to die, if having both parents weren't possible, I would have immediately ruled that my uptight, workaholic, bitchy mother should die so that my dad could live. When I found out he was dead I was so angry that it hadn't been her instead. Sure, my dad had issues but at least he was kind to me. At least he didn't hit or yell at me and say hurtful things to me, not even when he was drunk and high out of his mind.

Back then I considered myself a Christian so, naturally to help myself feel better, I felt a tiny twinge of happiness for him that he was in heaven and finally at peace. He had such a tormented soul and I was glad that he could finally find peace and happiness in heaven or wherever he was. That quickly turned into jealousy within a few months, though. It wasn't fair that he was happy and at peace while I was stuck here on Earth being constantly tormented by my mother and other family members.

I couldn't sleep all night on the night of December 8, the night I found out that he was gone. By the morning, I was delirious from exhaustion and I cursed the sun that shone through the curtains of my window in the bedroom. The sun had no right to smile and shine on my dark day. I wanted dark, gray clouds with torrential downpourings of rain and wind to blow down all the trees. I didn't know how to cope with all of the emotions and feelings that were raging inside of me. I couldn't release them because my mom always made fun of people for crying or feeling sad. In her eyes, people are expected to be happy all the time. Only SHE is allowed to be unhappy and drag others around with her.

She was a at work and wouldn't be home for a few days but my grandma was planning on coming over to check up on me because my stepdad had to go to work at the driving range. I thought it would make me feel better to talk to her when she came but it didn't.

How do I cope, how do I cope?!!! I kept asking myself that over and over again as my grandma cleaned pine needles off the stove from the wreaths that my mom had put over it because she thought they were a fire hazard because they were all dried out. As she did that, I sat there, trying desperately to figure out what I needed to do to stay sane and NOT scream! Finally, an idea came to me. I would make an imaginary someone to help me through these hard times and I was going to do it right then and there.

So, sitting on my mom's cold, unwelcoming, ugly leather couch, I began to visualize creating a tree. I soon realized that I didn't have enough energy to create a full grown tree and, besides, all beings start off as small babies that have to grow over time. My imaginary tree could not be robbed of his time to grow and to learn things on his own. I would not create him with knowledge already built into his brain. I'd make him as a tiny seedling and he would grow all on his own and serve his purpose, I decided.

So I created a tiny shell in which he could hatch out from. I pictured Bryan and his shell coming out of my butt. I couldn't really think of where else he could come out of. The vagina never occurred to me. I pushed and when I felt him starting to come out, I leaned over to the left so that I wouldn't squash him because I was still sitting down. He came out, warm from my body but he hadn't hatched out from his shell. I reached in my pants to get him out, afraid that I would lose him because he was only about the size of a pea. I had my mind made up that he was going to be a boy tree but I kept my mind open to the fact that some biological error might have occurred in the creation process and that he might end up being a she. I prayed and prayed that wouldn't be so. I needed to have something to replace my dad, even if it was only in my head, though I told myself that he wasn't only in my head, that he was real but that nobody took the time to notice him except me. That was the only way I could think of to still keep my dad alive and with me.

Grandma saw me reaching in my pants.

"What are you doing honey?" she asked. This is the Jehovah's witness grandma we're talking about here.

"I had an itch," I told her.

"A butt itch?"


I couldn't really think of what to tell her. I didn't want to share what I was doing with her, with anyone. What I was doing was sacred. If I shared it with anyone, I knew they would taint it. I could not let anyone taint what little of my dad I had to cling onto.

Grandma let the matter drop. She was too busy fussing and complaining about how my mom was asking for a fire to happen letting all those dried pine needles fall all around everywhere. I probably looked like a zombie, all zoned out and spacey and in any other circumstance my grandma would have confronted me about my appearance. But, on that day, she didn't, probably attributing the zombie, zoned out look of me just sitting there doing and saying nothing to the fact that I was grieving the loss of my father.

That was fine with me. I had no desire to speak to her, or anyone, for that matter. I just wanted to meet my little seedling!

I can't remember how long it took for Bryan to finally come out of his shell. All I remember is that the shell eventually wiggled a teensy, tiny bit. I wouldn't have noticed it if I hadn't been paying such rapt attention to it. After the shell moved a little, it began moving more as Bryan positioned himself and began pushing on the shell, proceeding to make a crack in it that would grow bigger and bigger until he came out of it.

A tiny crack appeared in the shell. It quickly became bigger and bigger until:


The top of the shell came completely off and there he was, tiny, tiny, tiny, lying there in the bottom half of the shell, waiting for his mommy to lift him out.

I gasped, delighted to see him. My wish had come true! I had gotten my little boy after all! And his name was going to be Bryan, after his grandpa, the grandpa that he would never meet.

I pushed that ugly thought out of my mind and lifted him from the shell. The shell immediately dissolved completely and, with a whoosh of air, any particles that remained of it was gone.

"Honey, are you okay?" Grandma asked, coming over to me.

She had I guess thought that my gasp was a sign that I was about to cry. It took her by surprise when she saw that I was smiling.

"Um, yeah, I'm fine," I said drily.

"What are you smiling about? And why did you gasp? You know honey, it's okay to cry, you know. You don't have to pretend to be happy. It's normal for you to feel all sorts of emotions and it's normal for it to come in waves. Like, one minute you'll be fine, the next you'll feel like crying, then the next you'll feel overwhelmed with anger. It's okay to cry, no matter what your mom says, it's okay and actually even healthy to cry."

But I refused to cry in front of her if I could help it. And, right at that precise moment, I didn't really even feel like crying. For once I felt peaceful for me, not for my dad. For once I felt happy for me, not for the fact that my dad was in heaven. For once since I found out about his death I had finally done something for myself to cope and I knew that nobody could take it away from me. Not if they didn't know, not if I kept it very, very quiet. Whenever I told them anything they always found some way to kill my joy, to break me down. I WILL NOT LET THEM STEAL THIS ONE SLIVER OF PEACE AND BLISSFULNESS! I kept telling myself this as I racked my brain for a reasonable answer I could give my uptight Jehovah's witness grandma that she would buy and not pry me more on.

Stroking Bryan very, very gently in my with my left hand as he lay in the palm of my right hand, I thought of a brilliant answer.

"I'm just thinking of happy memories of my dad."

"What memories are you thinking about? Will you share them with me?"

DAMN! Just when I thought she wouldn't pry she did. Of course. It's always something with them.

Just then, the phone rang. Grandma got up to answer it, leaving me alone with my dear tree for a few blissful minutes. Just long enough for me to carefully feel and explore him. He didn't have any branches because he was just a seed. I could tell that he was going to be a healthy tree, though. He felt plump and full. He kept opening and closing his mouth, asking for water and some brownie batter soil to eat. And maybe some mousse mud, too. It had been raining so I knew there would be plenty of each of those things.

"I'm going outside for some fresh air," I called to my grandma as I hurried to get my North Face winter coat and shoes on.

"Okay, but remember, it's cold outside," she called back.

No shit Sherlock, I thought. Instead, I said, "I know. Bye."

The sun was still out but the air was bitterly cold. I didn't want to set Bryan down in such cold soil so I collected a handful of brownie batter soil and lots of brown chocolate mousse mud that the rest of the trees and plants and grass were too full to eat and brought it inside. Later, when Bryan grew older, he'd be eating thicker soil. He would be upgrading to the softer brownie batter soil to rich chocolate chip cookie dough soil, which was what grown-up plants and trees and grass eat, along with the softer soil. When it rained a lot, the chocolate chip cookie dough soil turned into soft brownie batter or chocolate cake batter soil because the rain broke it down and softened it. In drier months, like July and August, the soil goes back to chocolate chip cookie dough soil and the chocolate mousse mud is sparse.

Bryan sniffed at the soil and mud. The rich chocolatey smell made his mouth water. He took a bite out of the mud first and then the soil. It wasn't long before he was cooing with contentment.

I brought him inside for some water after he had finished eating. Grandma handed the phone to me after I finished giving Bryan his water. I had told my grandma that I needed to drink some water before talking to whoever it was on the phone and then went away from her into the bathroom, poured a few drops of water into my hand after drinking some myself, and then set out to talk to the person on the phone after he had had his fill of mousse, batter, and water and after I'd washed all the dirt from my hands before Grandma had a chance to notice it. I wasn't sure what kind of excuse I could drum up if she asked me why I was walking around with mud and dirt like a crazy person.

Thee person on the phone was some friend or relative wanting to give me condolences for losing my dad. I said thank you and hung up as quickly as I could.

All that day I was swamped with phone calls from people giving condolences. Whoever invented the idea of calling people to give condolences right after they lose a loved one ought to be shot. Or, better yet, have a lifelong Satanic curse placed on them. I had no desire to speak to any of those people. I was trying so hard not to cry in front of my grandma or on the phone and, with each call, it felt like an entire hive of bees swarmed all around me and stung me over and over and over again.

I honestly don't know what I would have done without Bryan that day and for many days to come. I think I would have definitely broken down. The only thing that kept me whole and sane was picturing myself holding him and feeding him every couple of hours and watering him. The sunlight was good for him, too. There were many different kinds of foods he learned to make for himself from the sunlight that I could not provide for him. He learned how photosynthesis worked by observing other trees and plants outside make food for themselves.

Several times that week, people, such as my stepdad, asked me what I was holding when I'd bend down to pick up Bryan after he'd had a long romp outside and wanted to be rocked and held. I'd just smile and say sweetly, "I don't know what you're talking about."

My mom never caught me making gestures for Bryan, such as holding him or feeding him. Since she was the most critical out of everybody in the family I was extra careful not to let her see me do anything with Bryan. I knew that she couldn't physically take him away from me but I didn't want to subject Bryan to the stinging lash of her words. I didn't want them to pierce through his tiny, innocent heart like they pierced mine hundreds of times each day.

Christmas sucked that year. Bryan, once again, got me through it. I made him little Christmas cakes with mud packed into them and lots of ice cream treats. I also made him lemon meringue pie because my dad liked that very much. I wasn't sure if Bryan would, but upon taking the first bite, he was hooked for life. Nobody in the family was in the holiday spirit so nobody bothered to get a real Christmas tree. Instead, my mom set up my dad's little fake Christmas tree in the living room. The little fake tree was bigger than Bryan but she was very gentle with him, recognizing that he was just a tiny baby. Bryan grew to like the tree and all of her shimmering, glimmering lights. They played together, which I was grateful for because it was far too cold to let Bryan play outside with the other seedlings and saplings and I wasn't always in a playful mood due to my heart feeling heavy with sadness and my whole being feeling lifeless and hopeless, stuck in a deep, dark hole, impossible to escape from.

Bryan grew big and strong. I kept him inside during severe windstorms, which we had a lot of that year, but let him play outside when I knew the wind wouldn't damage his roots or blow him away. He had learned within only a few hours of life how to root himself into the ground and, thankfully, the soil had been soft enough for him to do so easily. But I still didn't feel safe keeping him outside during really bad weather. Eventually he grew too big to keep inside, though, so I had to let him pick his own battles and deal with them and how to take care of himself during stormy weather. I knew when he was still little and that other friendly trees might give him shelter during major storms like they do for young trees that are not strong enough to survive a full-blown storm on their own, but when he got too big for that, I told myself I had to stop worrying about his well being all the time. I told myself that he was a thing of the wild and that his instincts would take over and that they would give him guidance in every situation he experienced, along with observing how other trees dealt with various situations that being in the wilderness brings you.

Bryan started taking journeys away from home and I let him because I knew he needed to explore. I did not want him to be stuck in the tiny, bum fuck nowhere town that I was stuck in. I missed him but I knew that he needed to be in a pack of other trees and travel with them and, eventually, find a female tree and reproduce. I asked him to come home, though, to visit me sometimes so I wouldn't get too lonely. He couldn't talk yet but I imagined him saying in my dad's voice that he would.

At first, Bryan would visit me pretty frequently, every other day or so. But I had schoolwork to do and other things on my mind and Bryan seemed a bit too needy for my patience to tolerate. If I wouldn't pay attention to him he'd shake the house and make my mom fight with me or her boyfriend. Or, back then, that's what I thought was making her be meaner to me. Bryan mostly shook the house and did other things to cause trouble when I was trying to get an assignment finished because it was due the following day. It never occurred to me that he was trying to tell me something. I only thought he was just trying to get my undivided attention, which I really did not have time to give him because my mother had me in such a hectic schedule and I never had time to do what I wanted to do. If I did take some time for myself, to listen to music or watch TV or read an interesting book, there'd be hell to pay because she thought I was being too lazy.

I began to ignore Bryan when he'd come to visit me. A few times, when I was really pressed for time on schoolwork or being screamed at by my mother for one reason or another, I'd tell him to go away. I would tell him that he wasn't doing a good enough job replacing my dad and that I didn't have any use for him anymore. I told him that he belonged in the wild with the other trees so he could run and grow and reproduce and do what wildlife does.

Eventually, his visits became less and less frequent until he only would come to visit on holidays and on his birthday. He was born on December 9th but I celebrated his birthday on the 5th, which was my dad's birthday. Only last year did I finally celebrate his birthday on the 9th. Well, I threw a party for him on the 5th and another one on the 9th. Not celebrating on the 5th of December just didn't seem right to me. It felt like I was leaving my dad out, which I didn't want to do. Even though he's dead and I'm not really sure what happens after life and don't really believe in heaven so much anymore, I do still like to keep him alive inside of me. He was a really neat guy and he tried his best at being a good dad. So Bryan gets two birthday parties all in one week.

I used to think that Bryan was selfish for only coming on holidays to take presents from me and then leave. I knew that I was partly at fault for having told Bryan to go away, that I had no use for him anymore but I felt that he still could have at least found it in his heart to stay for dinner rather than just taking his presents and running. It took me a lot of work to make his presents and he didn't even seem grateful for them half of the time.

It would be years later that I would finally discover his true uses and why he stopped coming around other than the reason that I told him to get lost.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!