Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Grinchennifer: The Rocky's Tale Series, Book 1

WOOF WOOF!

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

HAIL SMM SMM!!!!

Cold is everywhere. I'm very old and arthritic. You'd think that
Jennifer would let me inside once in a while, but, oh no! Can't risk
getting that fancy shmancy white carpet of hers stained or speckled
with bits of dog fur, now, can we?

So I sit, obediently, beside Jennifer in her large backyard, watching
her as she tirelessly pulls up weed after weed after weed. My ears
are ringing with the sounds of sharp cries of agony as the weeds are
mercilessly yanked up by their frail, skinny necks, then thrown,
carelessly, into the wheel barrel, where, eventually they will be
devoured by the hungry flames of yet another bonfire.

Jennifer's phone suddenly vibrates in her pocket. She doesn't answer
right away. She's obsessing over a particularly strong, fat weed who
is refusing to relinquish its spot.

Finally, with a frustrated sigh, she slowly gets to her feet, pulls
the phone from her jeans pocket, then says excitedly, "Hi Ashlee! How
are you?"

PLEASE put it on speaker! PLEASE put it on speaker!

Silently, through mental telepathy, I encourage her to do this. I
love the sound of Ashlee's voice. It's so sweet, so excited, so
innocent. Ashlee is my best friend. I adore her to pieces. Not a
day goes by where I don't wish I belonged to her rather than to
Jennifer, whom Ashlee doesn't seem to like very much.

"Hi Mom," says Ashlee in her beautiful, singsong voice.

My mental telepathy has worked! Jennifer's put the phone on speaker!
Woo hoo! Now, I, too, can be in the loop about what's being said. Not
just Jennifer's often very skewed version of what was said.

Right away, I get up and walk closer to Jennifer, pretending that she
is Ashlee. I sit down in the cold, uninviting dirt, and listen,
hoping that my body heat, or, what little of it I have left, hurries
the heck up and warms my new spot before I die of frostbite. Dogs can
die of that, too, you know.

Fortunately, Jennifer doesn't notice me. If she did, she'd yell at me
to "go lie down!" somewhere else. She hates it when I am too close to
her. Says she hates clingy dogs.

"What are you up to?"

"Oh, just doing some yard work," says Jennifer.

She is immediately right back at it again, her entire body heaving as
she tries, unsuccessfully, to get that one, rebellious weed uprooted.

"Oh," Ashlee says, disinterest evident in her voice.

I know what she's thinking. She's glad not to have to live there
anymore. Because, if she did, Jennifer would see to it that Ashlee
did her share of the yard work, just like she does to poor Conner.

I, on the other hand, wish I could help Jennifer with the work.
Maybe, if I could help her in some way, she would like me more.
Maybe, she would give me more scratches behind the ears, and, best of
all, belly rubs. Maybe she would tell me that I am a good boy once in
a while, if only I could be of more use to her.

"What are you doing today?" asks Jennifer, as, with a mighty heave,
she finally manages to pluck that pesky weed out of the ground and
throw it, victoriously, into the barrel of doom.

"Just hanging out at home. Today's a restful day for me. Too cold to
really go anywhere today. It's FREEZING here in Olympia. The
weatherman says it might snow in a week or so. I wonder if we will
have a white Christmas this year."

"I won't be surprised if we do," says Jennifer, conversationally, as
she moves to yet another poor soul to snub out its meaningless
existence.

Oh, how I long to be with Ashlee. She lives in a tiny, unfurnished
apartment, much to Jennifer's dismay, but I don't need furniture. I'd
much rather lie on the floor, indoors, than on hard, rocky, cold,
unwelcoming mountain soil that many of the plants that Jennifer
introduces to her garden do not survive, due to the fact that the soil
is so uncaring and unkind to many.

Ashlee would pet me. Ashlee would tell me just what a good boy I am.
And, if I did a trick for her, she would DEFINITELY give me a treat.
Her favorite trick is when I bark when she says, "Rocky, speak!"

I really don't like barking on command. Normally, I ignore people
when they tell me to speak, but for Ashlee, I would do anything. I
would even die for her, hands down, no questions asked. If only I
could make her UNDERSTAND!...

"What are you doing for Christmas this year?" Ashlee asks.

"We're all going to Palm Springs to get out of this weather," answers Jennifer.

The weeds that she is dealing with now haven't served as much of a
challenge for her. Jennifer has been at this for most of the morning,
and, still, she hasn't broken a sweat. Not that anyone COULD really
sweat in this sort of weather.

Shivering, I lay down, putting my big head in my paws for warmth.
When, oh when, will it warm up? And, why, oh why, does Hamilton always
get to stay indoors? It's not fair!

"Is Colie going, too?"

"Mmm-hmmm. We're all going. What about you? What are you doing for Christmas?"

"I'm still on the fence about it," says Ashlee.

"Chris wants to go to Seattle because there's nothing to do in Olympia
on Christmas, but I'm not sure I want to spend the money. So, we'll
see. It's still to be determined."

OH, please say you'll come over and dog sit while they're away.
PLEASE, oh please, oh PLEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSE!

"What are you going to do with Rocky and the cat?"

Oh, my god! Is my wish about to come true?

Very slowly, so as not to attract unwanted attention from Jennifer, I
lift my head and stare in the direction of her voice. I long for
Ashlee. I yearn for her soft, cajoling caresses all along my back,
tummy, behind my ears, and over my big, bulky head that many dogs find
off-putting, especially the small dogs. They don't call me Bighead
for nothing. That's my nickname.

"Conner's friend's mom offered to come over and feed and walk him.
We're only going to be gone for three days."

ONLY three days, huh? Seriously, Jennifer, you do NOT understand just
how lonely and miserable it is to be locked in a pen for three, solid
days in the cold, drizzly weather. The least you can do is empty out
the garage a little so I can stay in there for some semblance of
warmth.

But, even as I think this, I know it's a waste of brain activity.
Jennifer will never do that for me. I am only a dog, after all. She
has no use for me.

"Hmmm," Ashlee muses. I hold my breath, hanging on her every word. I
can tell she's in deep thought about something. Can it be that she's
actually considering coming over to hang out with me for Christmas?

Hope is a dangerous thing. Especially when Ashlee is in the equation.
Because, as much as I love her, she is a total flake. Plans hardly
ever stay alive when Ashlee is involved.

I hope she can forgive me for saying this, but it's true. And, just
like humans, a dog is entitled to its own opinion, too, even if we
can't speak a lick of Human.

"Well, I don't really have any major plans for Christmas as of yet,
but, maybe I can just come up to Port Ludlow and watch the animals.
I'm beginning to feel like a nice, quiet, uneventful Christmas sounds
nice."

"Well, just let me know," says Jennifer in a neutral voice. She, too,
knows just how dangerous it is to really rely on Ashlee for anything.

I know Ashlee doesn't flake on purpose. It's her anxiety and frequent
mood swings that prevent her from keeping any meaningful plans. They
say she has... What's it called?

Bipolar disorder? Is that it?

Still, I can feel hope begin to surface, despite the fact that I know
just how dangerous it is.

"There's no pressure.

Translation: No need to make plans with me now. I know you'll just
flake in the end. That's what you always do. I'm used to it and know
not to take your word very seriously.

"I miss rocky," continues Ashlee.

"It's been such a long time since I've seen him."

No shit, Sherlock! It's been two very long, boring, uneventful, loveless years!

"Can Rocky still jump up on my bed on his own? I don't think I can
lift him. He's too heavy and my back's too out of whack."

YES! YES, I CAN jump up on the bed on my own.

Mentally, I scream this message out to her in my mind, hoping she will
be able to hear my answer, somehow.

"Oh, yes. He can still get up there, so long as he gets a running
start from the hallway. Once he's running fast, he can make the leap
up onto the bed."

Truth be told, I haven't had much practice getting up there in quite a
while. Jennifer always keeps the gosh darn door to Ashlee's room
closed. To prevent me from going in there. And, Hamilton, too.

CAN I actually get up there?

The doubt begins creeping, unbidden, into my thoughts.

If only there was a way to find out. If only I could start practicing
before she gets here. You know, do trial runs of it. If only I knew
how to open doors.

Some dogs have mastered the skill, somehow, but I can't fathom it. I
think people must have installed special doorknobs for them to open
the doors in their houses. Not even Hamilton can open doors, and he's
very clever. Hamilton is, hand's down, the smartest animal I know,
and he's loads younger than I am!

HOW UNFAIR! Why couldn't I be made a cat? I would have so many more advantages.

"Oh, good. I'd hate for him not to be able to get up there and me not
be able to lift him. I guess I could try lifting him, but I'm not
sure I'd have any success, other than frustrating him and making him
feel uncomfortable. I'm actually a rather clumsy human being."

"No, you're not," Jennifer immediately objects.

"You're way too hard on yourself."

GEE, I wonder why that is, Jennifer! Could it possibly be because YOU
were too hard on her during her childhood? Even now, you are hard on
her much of the time. Honestly, I really do understand why she never
comes over here. This isn't a nice place to be, contrary to how it
often appears to outsiders. If I had the choice, I wouldn't be here,
either.

Oh, how nice having a lazy day with Ashlee sounds. I wonder if she's
got anything meaty and greasy in her fridge. Knowing her, the answer
would be a resounding "yes!"

What about something sweet? Oh, yes. Without a doubt in my mind.
Ashlee never goes a day without eating ice cream or something of the
sweet nature. It's a wonder her teeth haven't fallen out yet.
They're actually quite healthy and happy. What's her secret?

"When are you all leaving?"

"We're leaving on the twenty-third, coming back on the twenty-seventh."

THREE days my ass! More like FOUR days and three nights!

I hate the way Jennifer always undermines everything. Well,
everything that SHE wants to undermine. Yet, if she thinks something
is a big deal and Colie or Conner try to undermine it, she goes
absolutely berserk. It's her way or the highway, for sure. There's
no even ground to be had when you're dealing with Jennifer. You
either have to put up with it or do the heroic, courageous thing and
leave her ass in the dust.

Like Ashlee did. Was she at all frightened to leave? Or, was she
purely excited? I wish I could ask her.

How does a human go about learning every possible language there is,
but feel justified skipping out on learning Woof? And, how on Earth
can I learn Human? It's such a complex language; more than just barks
in various stages of pitch and intensity.

At times, I long to be a human. Other times, I feel so glad to be a
dog. Human life seems so full of drama and hardship a lot of the
time. Yet, so very fascinating.

"Hmmmm," says Ashlee again.

"Well, think about it and let me know. Like I said, no pressure.
Just give me a few days notice if you do want to come so I can prepare
the house with food and all. Oh, and I'll need to come get you the
day before we go."

Instantly, my body sags. So does my spirit. Ashlee won't come. She
doesn't want to see Jennifer, or Colie, either. Conner is the only
human in this house she likes. I'm her favorite living thing, though.
I doubt she would have come at all two years ago if it hadn't been for
me. I hate to brag, but it's the truth.

"Okay," Ashlee says.

I can hear the uncertainty in her voice, the dismay. Ashlee is torn.
She wants to see me, but she doesn't want to have to deal with her
stressful, helicopter mother.

WHY can't Jennifer just let her find a way to come up on her own? Why
does she always have to be in control? Of...

EVERYTHING!

Suddenly, Jennifer is towering over me. She doesn't see me, though,
because she is walking backward.

I try to get up and out of the way, but my old body isn't cooperating.
It's locked up due to the cold, merciless ground, and, no matter how
hard I try to ignore the pain, it's too much to bear and I collapse
onto my side, my paws sprawled out at a very odd and uncomfortable
angle. In perfect reach of her careless, sightless feet.

"Eeeeeewwwwwwwwpppp!"

Jennifer is a lot heavier than I gave her credit for. And, this is
only with one foot on top of my right front paw.

Wheeling around, she bears down on me, glaring violently, malice in her eyes.

Dogs are color blind, but we aren't totally blind. I recognize her
body language immediately, and know there will be hell to pay.

It isn't just her body language that causes a bunch of warning bells
to go off in my head. It is also her smell. As I lay there, I can
literally smell the sweat pouring off her body. Angry sweat. Don't
mess with me, or I'll kick your ass kind of sweat.

I begin to tremble with fear.

"GET OUT OF HERE, YOU Stupid DOG!"

Roughly, she kicks me with the heel of her fancy work boot. I yelp
again, this time, more in fear than in actual physical pain.

"You almost made me fall down. I hate it when you trip me like that!"

This time, thanks to adrenaline, I manage to get up hastily. I am
about to run to the back porch to hide from this hateful woman, but
she's got other plans.

Bending down, she grabs my collar and starts dragging me toward the
cellar, abandoning her weed execution. I struggle to keep up with her
fast pace. My aching muscles scream in protest, but I know that if I
stop walking, she'll choke me to death. Or, nearly to death. So, I
walk on, ignoring my complaining body.

My prison stands at the ready, mouth wide open, eager to accept me
into its foul confines.

"Get in!" Jennifer says loudly.

When I hesitate, she roughly knees me in the butt. I nearly fall,
face-first, into the ground, but manage to regain my balance at the
last minute, and flee, tail tucked between my legs, into the hungry
mouth of my prison/den.

SLAM! Then rapid, purposeful footfalls as Jennifer leaves me to go
back to her executions.

Whining softly, I walk to the corner of my den that is the farthest
away from the direction in which Jennifer went, and, with my head
down, I lie in the cold, unloving dirt.

Sometimes, this pen feels safe. It feels good. It feels secure.
Like, Jennifer can't hurt me if I'm inside its protective jaws that
grip me tight, promising never to let me go. Or escape.

Other times, the pen is a prison. Like, when I've been locked in here
for one, two, and even THREE days, with no toys or bones to keep me
company and stimulated mentally, while the humans are off doing
whatever.

Sometimes, Hamilton will come to visit me, but he never stays long.
He often becomes bored with my incessant pleas for him to help me
escape. Sometimes, he doesn't even come at all.

I want to howl at the clouds in the sky that are covering up the
bright, orange ball of warmth that I so long for. I want to bite this
hateful, heartless woman whom I am expected to love and protect with
everything I've got. WHY haven't I bitten her yet? Am I that much of
a coward?

I used to try and love Jennifer. Really, I did. Colie, too. But
cuddling with Colie on the couch is like cuddling with a metal
cauldron. He is as loveless as Jennifer. He is creepier, too. Only
Conner is approachable. But, he has better things to do than pay a
simple dog any mind. And, he's only luke-warm emotionally. Which is
more than I can say about Jennifer and Colie, but, still, knowing what
I am missing out on after Ashlee's few and brief stays here, makes it
all the more difficult to cope with my situation.

Sometimes, I wish I'd never known Ashlee. If I hadn't known her, I
wouldn't be so miserable. I would be used to receiving little to no
attention from people. It would be normal for me, and a hell of a lot
easier to accept.

But, I love Ashlee. I think of her every waking moment of every day
and night. I can't imagine myself never having met her. Never
seeing, first-hand, what it is like to truly be loved and appreciated
for what I have to offer; companionship, a nonjudgmental ear, and
unconditional, undying love. Which are all things that nobody here
seem to appreciate.

I refrain from howling. It will only make Jennifer even madder.
Better to keep quiet and hope she remembers to give me a meal and some
water sometime today.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

HAIL SMM SMM!!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Pandemonium In Paradise: Part Nevaeh

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

HAIL SMM SMM!!!!

Dear Daddy,

A huge lump is swollen in the back of my throat as I begin typing this
letter to you. Chris has finally called today. According to his
voice mail, (I didn't answer his call), he explained that he didn't
call because he was under the impression I didn't want to hear from
him until he got a phone. My last e-mail to him lead him to believe
this.

That, to me, is understandable. I guess I was rather short, rather unclear.

He says he's not going to block my number or e-mail address. However,
he doesn't want me just showing up at his house, unannounced.

Fair enough. I wasn't planning on doing that unless he blocked me and
I needed to pick up my mail or something and couldn't get ahold of
him. So yeah, Chris, we're all good on that.

His message sounded so friendly, so sincere. As usual, it made me
feel guilty that I let my anger get the best of me. Yet again.

Chris says he still loves me. I still love him, too. But, by golly,
how on Earth do we get rid of these damn kids so we can have OUR time
again? Will his creative side, his naughty side, ever return? Or, is
it lost forever? Or, at least until the girls get older and start
leading more independent lives?

He says he still wants to see me. Why, though? It isn't like we
really DO anything special, anymore. Maybe, it's so he won't feel so
alone in raising the children. He's mentioned that to me, how lonely
it can be sometimes, without me there to talk to him and to touch his
nose.

Maybe, we talked more than I realized. Or, maybe he really does
appreciate me more than I gave him credit for. In the end, I...
just... don't... KNOW...

Too many feelings all over the place to deal with and too little sleep
to comprehend all the emotions I'm faced with now. It sucks. Really
and truly feels like I'm literally dying from the inside.

Chris says he doesn't want to read my blog anymore. That's fine. I
can understand that. Truth be told, I wouldn't want to read someone
else's blog about me, especially if the writer wasn't happy with me.

Quite honestly, Dad, I was truly expecting him to not want to ever
talk to me again. In a way, I'm very relieved that he still does.
Yet, his undying love, his undying friendliness, makes me question
EVERYTHING about the logic of my feelings, whether or not I'm
over-reacting, that sort of mind-fuckery.

He isn't doing that to me on purpose. I'm pretty sure of that.
Giovanna would DEFINITELY disagree, whole-heartedly with me on this
one.

Oh well. Can't make everyone happy in this crazy world, now, can we,
Daddy? There's always going to be at least one person you meet or that
are related to you that you won't always agree with. That's a given.

So, what to do, now that I feel all soft inside. Were a few words of
kindness all I really needed? Did I simply need him to say "I love
you?" And, "I miss you."

If so, then I feel very pathetic. I also feel like a wicked person,
and not in a good way that would honor me or my Dark, Unholy Lord,
Satan the Devil.

Confusion is all around me. Feelings are everywhere. Anger, sadness,
loss of connection with my partner because of the girls... The list
goes on and on.

Maybe I should call and apologize?

No. That won't do. Chris never takes apologies seriously, and,
honestly, neither do I. Besides, what I wrote is all true. If he
asked me to take it back, I couldn't truthfully do it. Not if I
wanted to be completely honest with myself.

So, now what? Sleep? Chris thinks maybe I should try and rest. That's
what he said in his message to me.

I suppose he is right. My achy tummy and body have made deep, rem
sleep virtually IMPOSSIBLE to accomplish for the past Smm Smm nights.
Maybe some good rest really is all I do need.

It still won't take away the feelings that I wrote about, but, maybe,
it will put things into perspective more.

Chris said he has a lot of things to do today. Hmmm, maybe taking
Rachel to yet another physical therapy appointment? Yes, that usually
seems to be the norm on Thursdays.

But, after that, then what? Is he really going to go to DSHS and get a
free phone? I think it's highly possible. Sometimes, it takes major
reactions from me to get him to do something. And, while I'm not
particularly proud of my angry outbursts earlier last night/today, I
will be pleased if he is finally reachable. It will save so many
annoying questions, so much unnecessary waiting.

He didn't say that he was going to get a phone today, though, so... we'll see.

When to see him? No fucking idea. Guess I'll sleep on that one. That
is, if I CAN sleep.

Wait a minute! Today's not Thursday. Not anymore! It's Friday!

Odd and a bit trippy how days just blend in, one with the other, when
you stay up all night. So, yeah, probably no physical therapy for
Rachel today.

Then, what the hell does Chris have to do today. He made it seem like a lot.

Whatever it is, I hope he has a good day, in spite of everything. I
hope that the kids are okay, too, and that, for once, Amira and Rachel
aren't crabby little monsters, sucking the life right out of the man I
fell in love with.

The man whom I'm still trying, desperately, to cling to even though it
seems pointless and hopeless sometimes.

Oh, Daddy. Wish me luck. I need it right now.

And, off to bed I go. Wish you were here to read me a bedtime story today.

Oh yeah, today is the day, eleven years ago, that I found out I'd lost
the person who I loved the most in the whole, wide world. YOU!
December eighth sucks!

FUCK YOU DECEMBER EIGHTH! YOU SUCK CAMEL DICKS!

No WONDER I'm a complete basket case today. At least I got a tiny sun
ray of clarity. Today's a good day to just sleep off and forget about
everything.

Good-night, Daddy...

Smm Smm Days Later:

Dear Daddy,

Sorry I didn't write yesterday. I know I left you in an emotional
limbo. I'd meant to write, but yesterday happened to be a very busy
day, and, by the time I got home, all I wanted to do was lounge away
in my bedroom, listening to yet another murder mystery on tape.

Yesterday wasn't all that bad. In fact, I'd label it a pretty decent
day. For starters, it was Bryan's birthday. He turned eleven years
old yesterday morning. I didn't mark his time of birth out of my ass
canal, though I sure kick myself for that on a regular basis, but I
know he was born bright and early in the morning. Around ten o'clock
or so.

Bryan's excitement was contagious. Like me, he really enjoys his
birthdays. The concept of opening mysterious gifts is just
mind-boggling to him. He says that all of his tree friends become so
intrigued when he explains to them about birthdays and the rituals
that accompany them.

All trees (or, at least all of the trees Bryan knows), don't know when
they were born. They have no idea what a birthday party is. I guess
it's very much like being an animal of the wild. They have no
comprehension of what a big deal conception is, nor of how much time
has gone by. They're too busy trying to survive to think of all the
luxuries that go along with birthdays, like in our world.

Sometimes, I wish I were a wild animal, unknowing and uncaring about
human suffering. It sure would make life a hell of a lot easier, for
me, emotionally, if all I had to do was hunt, find shelter, and make
sure that I didn't become one of the hunted.

Usually, by the time that thought crosses my mind, however, at least
one of my imaginary friends reminds me that there's no way in hell
that I would survive in the wilderness for even a day, once my mother
gave me the boot.

"Why not?" I had asked angrily, the first time Chrissie had brought
this unwanted fact to my attention.

"Because, Mommy, you're blind as a bat. You wouldn't stand a CHANCE
of catching prey, let alone not becoming it. Be glad you're a human,
because if you weren't, you'd be a total goner."

Oh? And would that really be such a bad thing, Chrissie?

"Yes, it would!" she screamed at me, reading, what was SUPPOSED to be
a private thought, without invitation. As usual.

"Yeah, for you," I rebuffed, giving her a rueful smile.

"If I was conceived a wild animal, tree, or whatever else, YOU
wouldn't be so spoiled rotten!"

With a high-pitched laugh, Chrissie started darting around the house,
shouting, "HA HA! Ha HA!"

Putting all ha ha's and joking aside, though, the idea of never have
existed really doesn't sound all that bad to me. Have you ever
thought of that, Daddy? I sure have. A lot.

It actually makes me fear death a lot less whenever I think of the
time before birth. Because, there's nothing to think about! It's
all... Just... Well...

BLANK!

So, if there's nothing to remember before birth, then wouldn't it be
the same once you die? Doesn't it just make sense that there's nothing
but blankness and darkness all around?

For many, that thought scares the living shit out of them. Not me.
When I am at my darkest hour, it gives me unbelievable amounts of
comfort, knowing that, more likely than not, neither heaven nor hell
exist.

Which means that I probably will never see you again, Dad, nor are you
able to read my letters. Nor are you really there beside me when I
think I feel your gentle, peaceful presence at my side.

Not so long ago, I NEEDED to believe that I would see you again
someday. I NEEDED to tell myself that I would, once again, hear your
gentle, Nutty Buddy, drumstick ice cream voice yakking in my ears,
trying to coax me into giving you yet another disgusting, skin flakes
all underneath my fingernails, massage.

I no longer need to believe it, though. Now, the thought of pure
nothingness is enough to comfort me. As long as I don't have to come
back into this world as a human again after I die, which Giovanna now
believes does happen to some people if they fail to learn certain
lessons in past lives, then I'm happy. Nothingness is okay with me.
The idea, I must admit, scared me at first, especially the thought of
never getting the chance to tell myself yet another enchanting story
because I would no longer have the capability to do so. But, once I
was able to throw the useless fear aside like a used-up, dirty napkin,
I came to the greatest realization ever. Or, at least one of the
greatest realizations ever. That, if there really is nothingness on
the other side, then I will no longer have the DESIRE to tell myself
stories or to have vivid, mind-capturing daydreams of faraway places
with distant voices that nobody else could enter but me and my made-up
characters. Because, I will be nowhere and seeking nothing. It will
be like I'm asleep, only eternally, and with no dreams to keep my mind
company. To show that there is still brain activity going on inside
of my head.

I saw Chris and the girls yesterday. We didn't do anything too
special, but, nonetheless, I still had a good time. Chris and I still
didn't have much to say, and, if it weren't for me encouraging
conversation, there would have been a lot of silence between us. .
But, the prospect of an imaginary birthday party happening had my
friends in hysterics. So, when I had nothing to say, they started
talking to Chris in their high-pitched, excited voices. Oh, Satan!
What on Earth would I ever have done without them? How on Earth would
I have ever survived?

Jennifer treats them as such a bad thing, like they are a hindrance to
my mental health. But they're not. If it weren't for them, I'm very
certain I would have caught the bus (ended my life), a very long time
ago. Even before I finally escaped Jennifer's prison and met Chris.

Chris didn't mention Rachel's poop at all yesterday, until she
actually pooped. Which was fine. He was feeling a bit self-conscious
about what he said to me. That was evident.

Once, he started to say that it was almost time for Rachel to eat
again, then, immediately catching himself, he said, "Sorry I started
telling you about her eating schedule again."

"It's fine," I told him, and I meant it.

"I don't mind talking about it from time to time. It's just not
something that I Always want to discuss."

He didn't comment after that. Neither did me. The last thing I
wanted to do was make him feel uncomfortable talking to me. Yet, I
DID need to share how I was feeling about things. I still don't
regret doing so, though I am sorry that it made Chris feel unsure of
himself and of what to say to me and when.

I hung out with him and the girls for about ten hours before I called
it quits. It wasn't that I became angry or anything. I just felt
bored and tired and wanted to go home and read.

On impulse, I reserved a hotel room for the Smm Smm Smm Smm of us to
stay in during the Christmas holiday. Nothing... And I repeat...

NOTHING!!!

Is open on Christmas day in Olympia. The whole city is fast asleep on
that day. Not even the buses run. And this is the capital of
Washington State, for christ's sake!

In Seattle, however, things are different. A lot of businesses are
"snoozing", on Christmas,, as Chris often tells Amira when she sees
shops with darkened windows and a CLOSED sign in the doorway. But,
there are at least a Few things open on that day. According to Chris,
anyway.

So, I said, to hell with it and reserved a hotel room for Smm Smm
nights. Then, I bought us a one-way Amtrak ticket from Olympia to
Seattle, to avoid having to take many, many buses up there. Buses
that would mean many hours spent having to entertain Amira, because,
god forbid what might happen to her if she ever got her hands on a
game boy or any other toy with a screen on it.

The hotel room was actually a pretty good deal. I think the cost is
around 130 dollars for smm Smm nights. The woman on the phone who
dealt with making reservations for soon-to-be guests, was feeling
particularly kind yesterday. She decided to give me a deal, though,
for why, I do not know.

So, all is well...

Except...

For...

ONE, MINOR DETAIL.

It's the Smm Smm night thing I can't seem to get over. You see, about
all I can mentally handle being around the children is a day. Just
ONE day. Then, I frantically need to get away from them before I
start feeling both homicidal AND suicidal.

Being with them for a whole day is, often times, pushing it for me.

Having forgotten that the buses don't run on Christmas day in Olympia,
I was falsely made unaware of the fact that we would have to stay two
nights in order to not get stranded. Chris brought me to awares with
this lovely fact.

One night was really all I felt comfortable doing, and, even THAT,
seemed a bit much for me.

But TWO nights? That, outright, seems like a suicide/homicide mission to me.

So, here I am, with a lovely reservation in good standing, with every
doubt in the world attacking me. Not to mention, a bunch of synical
thoughts, harboring deep within the corners of my miserable mind.

For starters, what SHOULD feel like a date between Chris and I, does
not. Quite the contrary. Instead, it feels like a chore, like a
must-do thing, rather than a vacation that is much looked forward to
and anticipated greatly. Because, if we don't go, if I don't take us
on this long trip, then what in the sam hell are we going to do all
day in sleepy Olympia on Christmas?

Take walks around the neighborhood in freezing weather, just to escape
the horrifying boredom that lies within the borders of the giant house
that Chris and the kids live in? Then, after the zillionth walk, go
back into the house, where, once again, I'll have to put on that
happy, cheery face and, once again, become that highly devoted and
very overworked slave in entertaining Amira's nonstop being, hoping
with every second that I'm with her that she will either collapse from
exhaustion, or, perhaps, a brain aneurism.

Christmas would be much more of a doable day if Chris would only allow
Amira to watch some TV. I'm not saying, put her in front of a TV all
day and ignore the child. But a half hour to an hour of watching
Santa Claus and whatever else happens to be on television that day, so
long as it's child-friendly, which a lot of shows ARE on Christmas,
CERTAINLY wouldn't hurt her.

It would give Chris and I some time to be with each other and, maybe,
just maybe, have, somewhat, of a normal, uninterrupted conversation.

But, no. Only in a perfect world. According to him, screen time is
very, very bad for young children, and is thus strictly forbidden.

So, that leaves a whole, entire stretch of daytime to be stuck with a
very bored, whiny child, trying to figure out what game to play with
her NOW to get her to shut up already.

If we go to Seattle, though, things would be different. Or, would
they? When I asked Chris what was open in Seattle on Christmas, he
couldn't name ONE, single thing, other than the Big, Grey, Park,
located next to the Science Center that Amira holds very near and dear
to her heart.

SO, great. A park. And, Chris, what's the plan if it starts raining
or if the whole day is wet and freezing and there are no other kids
playing at the park? Then what? Will we be stuck inside, yet again,
only in a tiny, cramped, cheap hotel room, rather than a spacious
house with ample rooms in it for me to hide in for a few moments of
peace and quiet before Amira discovers me?

Seriously, I don't want to pay 130 dollars to be stuck in a tiny,
cramped room. And, the other thing is, why is it always ME who is
taking Chris on a date? Why is it always MY money that gets spent
until there's nothing left to spend?

Chris often calls our outings (when we used to have outings, anyway)
dates. But, are they really? Because, to me, it's starting to feel
more and more like a leach fest rather than a highly anticipated date.
Which is probably the main reason I canceled the last few of our
dates, last-minute, much to the dismay of Chris, not long ago.

I guess, Daddy, I'm having a hard time feeling good about throwing
away 130 dollars, plus the 40 dollars for the train ticket if there is
even a TINY possibility that I will not have a good time. It feels
even worse because, to me, the possibility of not having a good time
isn't little, either. It's, actually, very likely that I WON'T have a
good time. And, because we will be so far away from home, I'll either
have to endure it or spend another 200 dollars in cab fares just to
get away from those people.

I know I can cancel the hotel reservation at any time. The train
ticket, however, is another story. When I made the reservation for
the train, I stupidly forgot to ask whether the tickets were
refundable. And, if that weren't bad enough, I also failed to obtain
the reservation code, meaning that, if the tickets ARE, in fact,
refundable, that it will be near to impossible to get my money back
because I don't have the reservation code.

All that is left for me to do is pray that my name is at least in
their system. But, boy, will I sure look like a fucking idiot when I
call, pleading to get my damn money back because of yet, ANOTHER
stupid and impulsive decision. Which, of course, involves MY money.

Chris is always suggesting that I change my mindset about things, like
the money, being mine.

"We're all in this together," he often tells me.

"I think it will help you, greatly, if you remind yourself this."

Really? That is one of the most retarded things I've ever heard.

Anyway, gotta wrap this up now. Ari Nose, one of Chris's roommates,
though Nose isn't, really, a part of her name, is delivering triple
chocolate cupcakes to my house very soon. The timing couldn't be
better! My stomach is having one of the biggest rumbling thunderstorms
of all time!

I'll try and write later. Thanks for listening...

Or not.

CHRISTMAS EVE

Dear Daddy,

It is very, very cold outside. I feel so terrible for the many, many
homeless peeps in downtown Olympia who, for one reason or another,
aren't inside of a shelter. Just sleeping across the street from my
house in Sylvester Park, hoping to god (or Satan) that they do not die
from frostbite.

This year, for Christmas, I am sending Chris and the girls away.
There isn't anything at all to do in Olympia on Christmas if you
aren't planning on celebrating it with family, so Chris asked me if I
wanted to go to Seattle with him for a few nights.

I considered it for a while, but then decided I didn't want to be
stuck with two very whiny children and a quiet, sullen partner for the
holidays, not to mention, paying a fortune not to have a good time, so
I decided to send them on their own.

It's still pricey, but at least they'll have a good time. And, the
whiners will be out of my sight, so that's even better. I know Chris
wants me to go with them, but I get panic attacks just thinking about
being stuck with all of them in a tiny room. Like the times when we
all lived together like that, with the exception of Rachel. She
wasn't born yet. It was hell, Daddy, pure hell. I never want to
revisit those days ever again, and being stuck in a hotel room would
most likely remind me of that awful time.

"We can go out a lot. You know, ride the ferry and all," Chris
suggested, hopeful that, by saying this, it would change my mind about
staying behind.

I wasn't impressed. For one thing, it costs money to stay out all day
long. Money, that, of course, would be coming out of MY pocket. Not
to mention, the weather's supposed to be rainy, windy, and cold both
today and tomorrow, so I'd have to hear Amira's discontented wails of
frustration because she hates walking in the freezing cold wind and
rain. Can't say I blame her on that one. I don't like it, either.

Then, as if that weren't enough, my ears would have to endure Rachel's
shrill howls of frustration because Chris would have the stroller all
covered up to keep her dry and warm as possible, preventing her from
being able to see what's going on around her. Rachel HATES not being
able to see what's going on. She is a very observant little one. So,
she, too, would have something to bitch about in the form of
screaming. Constantly.

No thanks Chris. I'd rather spend Christmas alone. And that's
probably exactly how I will spend it.

Oh well. I don't really feel one way or the other about Christmas.
It's not like it's MY birthday. It's jesus's birthday, and, as far as
I'm concerned, jesus can fall from his place of honor on the throne
and join Satan straight in hell.

Jesus has forsaken me. That is, if he even exists in the first place.
I'm very torn about that.

If you exist, god, then you really fucking suck. How on Earth can you
expect people to worship you day and night when you do nothing in
return for your followers except cause more and more suffering? Then,
adding insult to injury, you somehow brainwash your followers into
believing that the suffering they are enduring is for a reason; to get
them into heaven. To make them stronger and even more dependent on
you. You turn their suffering around to try and make it seem like
everyone who suffers are heroes.

But, you know what, god? That's a load of bullshit, and you know it.
I am grateful to Satan that he helped me realize that I don't have to
live every, single day in torture, while thanking a merciless,
careless god all the while, because, somehow, I think that the
suffering will make me a better person. How thankful I am to you, my
Dark, Unholy Lord for making sure I didn't fall prey to ignorance like
so many others have. Thank YOU SATAN!

I've made sure to stock up my house with lots and lots of chocolatey
delights to get me through the holidays. So, if and when I start
feeling lonely, I'll just eat away my feelings. The wonderful thing
is, I don't have to worry about my weight. I'm skinny as a rail, and
am proud of it.

My friend, Monica, has told me on numerous occasions that, someday, my
poor diet will catch up to me in one way or another. I'm quite sure
she is right. After all, life catches up to everyone eventually.
That's just the way it is.

I try not to let that scare me. As a Satanist, one needs to be open
about taking risks, even if they are major ones. We all are aware of
the consequences that are inevitable to strike at any given time, but,
unlike many non-followers of the Devil, we are willing to just deal
with them when they arise.

By the way, I did get my train tickets refunded. That made me quite
happy. Chris isn't going to have the luxury of taking the girls on a
nice, long train ride all the way to Seattle, but oh well. I'm not
made of money. He seems to forget this fact constantly. I asked
Chris to give me the reservation code, and, upon receiving it, I
called Amtrak and got my money back. Chris had the reservation number
from the tickets that were emailed to him, so that was a relief.

It was easy. I didn't even have to speak with a person. It was all
computerized, and it took less than five minutes to do it. It took
several days to get my money back, but it finally came into my account
yesterday.

I was almost certain I would never see that money again. There have
been times when I requested a refund from Amtrak and didn't get it
back because the billing zip code didn't match up to the card I gave
them or something. That was before I got my own bank account and,
officially, got out of my mother and grandmother's control. Life has
been so much easier upon obtaining my own bank account. It feels good
not to have Giovanna constantly looking at my bank activity, inquiring
about every, single transaction like she used to when we both shared
the same account.

I'm not so sure the tickets I reserved were made to be refundable.
But, after the tragic train derailment last week, I think lots of
people are asking for their money back, so Amtrak is complying just
because they're already stressed to the max. Sure glad I wasn't on
that scary train! That's one hell of an adventure I was quite keen on
missing out on.

Anyway, as I was saying before cupcakes interrupted me last time...

By the way, they were exquisite cupcakes. They were moist, fresh, and
very, very rich. They enhanced my mood like no other substance has in
a very long time. Chocolate and things that are chocolatey are my
anti-depressants. They work wonders, and I actually enjoy taking my
frequent dosages of chocolate, unlike taking actual pills. Pills, in
my book, suck to high heaven. I know they do wonders for us, yadda
yadda, but, why can't they taste like chocolate?

Anyway, I whole-heartedly disagree with Chris's logic (or, lack of
logic), about me trying to rethink things, to try and convince myself
that we are all in this together. First off, how in the world are we
in this together if it's always MY money that is always the thing
vanishing all the time from my account? How are we in this together
when you think Amira's whiny antics are cute and funny when it makes
ME want to choke her? How are we in this together when we can't even
LIVE with one another because you live in utter chaos
twenty-four-seven and I absolutely CANNOT live that way? EVER!

I guess the children do keep us in it together, somewhat. But I can't
change the way I think because we're so NOT in this together. And,
even if we were, I don't want to be in this together. Constant chaos,
constant screaming, constant stress is not how I want to live my life.
Struggles do come up now and again, I get that. But, when it's
constant noise and stress from morning until night, with very few and
brief breaks in between, I just can't hang. And, I don't want to. I
don't want that kind of life for myself. I deserve better than that.

We're also so NOT in this together because it's always Chris's way.
At least, when it comes to raising the children. Sure, I can suggest
things, but nothing I ever say comes into play.

For instance, I really think that Amira actually SHOULD be allowed
some screen time. After all, when she does start school, her peers,
or, at least many of them, will be talking about all these TV cartoons
and characters, as well as computer games that are popular for
children to play, and she won't have a single CLUE as to what they're
talking about. She'll quickly become known as the dumb kid, the
retarded kid, the clueless kid. Not to mention, because of our money
status (or lack of), she'll also have added to her list of names the
under-privileged kid, the poor kid, the smelly kid with the ugly,
stained hand-me-down clothes. The poor kid with the tangled, matted
hair because she hates having it brushed, so tangles appear constantly
until Chris takes the scissors to her head and cuts them all off.

Then, that leaves her with uneven layers of hair. I can't even begin
to imagine what that must look like, nor do I want to. What I do know
is that it feels funny. Uneven, choppy, and it makes her hair feel
frail and fragile. Like, it could all start falling out any day now.
Her hair is also very greasy because she hates taking baths, so,
naturally, Chris gives in and her hair rarely ever gets washed.

Still, I can relate to not liking to get my hair brushed. Often
times, it hurts to high heaven, especially when the brush comes in
contact with snarls.
Which is almost always a given thing that will happen. Not to
mention, it's very time-consuming. So, I'm totally with Amira on that
one.
Screen time, I think, would benefit Chris, too. It would give him a
break from her to do other chores or to even take some time for
himself. Lord knows he's well overdue for a break. A break that he
refuses to take because he "doesn't want to miss out on her
childhood."

But, no. He won't budge on the matter. His reasoning?

"Studies have shown that watching TV is very bad for children,
especially when they're under the age of five. And, it would actually
be MORE work for me to allow her to watch TV or to have a computer or
toy with a screen on it because she would never want to get up and
physically play. Whenever I did manage to get her away from the TV or
toy with a screen, she would constantly be asking when she could watch
TV or play with the toy again. So, actually, it would create MORE
work for me to let her do that, not less."

Maybe there is some truth to what he says. But, he's the parent. He
can set times for when she can and cannot watch TV, play with the
screen toy, etc. And, if she refuses to get up or starts throwing a
fit, then simply DRAG her away from it. She doesn't weigh that much,
being only three-and-a-half, and maybe it will teach her to actually
fucking listen when he or I tell her to do something.

At any rate, there are plenty of children who watch TV and still
manage to get enough outdoor exercise. Parents do make it work. And,
those are the parents who still manage to live together.

Why, you may ask? Because, they show themselves love. They show each
other love. They understand how important taking a break from their
children is, so they let them watch cartoons and such so they can have
a half hour to themselves to be together, to love each other, to
really appreciate one another and everything that each parent
contributes to raising the children.

Chris also believes that watching TV makes the brain stagnant. He
believes that it tricks the brain into believing that the child is
being active, when, in reality, they are just sitting there.

Actually, Daddy, there are a lot of educational cartoons on TV these
days. And, although Chris may be right about the brain being tricked
into believing that the body is being active when all they are doing
is sitting there, that's when you step in as a parent and put a time
limit on how much TV or computer or screen toy exposure they get.

Amira whines like crazy anyway. It's not like she can whine any more
than she already does. Chris thinks that he will have more work on
his hands, but I think he is wrong.

Still, he thinks he is right, so, of course, everything I say gets
thrown out the window. As far as he's concerned, though he's never
actually come right out and said it, he's right, I'm wrong. End of
discussion.

So, Amira still doesn't know who Sponge Bob or Winnie the Pooh is,
and, at the rate we're going with Chris's micromanaging ways, she
won't know any time soon.

Here's to hoping that her peers don't make too much fun of her because
she doesn't know how to use a computer because Chris never let her
play an educational game in her life. Here's to hoping that teachers
don't call CPS on Chris for concern about Amira's well-being because
she's so technologically and socially behind her peers due to lack of
exposure. I mean, Chris takes her out a lot, but she's
three-and-a-half and she doesn't even know the alphabet, nor does she
really know how to count. Nor does she consistently use the potty.
Nor, does she know even the basics of reading a book on her own, a
part from looking at the pictures accompanying all the text she
doesn't understand.

TEN MINUTES LATER

Dear Daddy,

Just got off the phone with Chris. Amira woke him at seven o'clock,
eager to get going. According to Chris, she is very excited about the
upcoming trip. I'm happy for them. I hope they have all the fun in
the world.

It's not that I hate Amira, although sometimes, I really do. She just
drives me crazy, that's all. And, it just so happens to be all the
time.

Amira was really demanding today. As Chris and I were trying to have
a meaningful conversation, she kept interrupting by yelling, "I want
to go NOW!"

"It's too early to go now," Chris said in his ever-patient, soft
voice. The voice I used to love so, so much but that now, I'm growing
to resent. Because, that's the voice that always gets Amira what she
wants.

"We'll go later."

"No, NOW!" she barked.

Rather than correct her behavior, Chris laughed like it was the
absolute cutest thing he's ever heard, then said to me, "Did you hear
that? Did you hear her say "I WANT TO GO NOW!"?"

How could I NOT have heard her? That would have been the more
appropriate question to ask.

"Yep, I heard her," I said, not laughing.

Because, it's NOT funny. Children shouldn't go around making demands
like they rule the place. It's like people who have small dogs who
laugh and think it's cute when they nip and bite people.

"I want noodles!" Amira screamed next.

Again, Chris giggled.

"You want noodles?" he asked her patiently.

"Yeah! Noodles! I want them NOW!"

"But, we're talking to Mama right now."

"No! I want them NOW!"

"Well, I probably should actually make her the noodles now. The
baby's still asleep, so I should tackle them before she wakes up and
needs to eat."

That's what he said. There were no corrections made, no telling her
to ask nicely, no pleases or thank you's to be heard. He just does
whatever she says, most of the time without reminding her to ask
nicely and to say please and thank you.

She's got him wrapped around her little finger. And, it's not cute.
It's actually sickening just how much he dotes on her constantly, then
gets upset and put-out when I don't wait on her hand and foot. Then,
on top of that, he wonders why I don't come around much anymore. Gee,
I wonder why!

He accuses me of being grumpy and he tells himself that I am the way I
am because of Jennifer. It couldn't POSSIBLY be that I don't want an
unruly child on my hands. Oh, no! It just COULDN'T be that!

Jennifer always tells me that I should step in, take control of the
situation, give Amira more guidance. Who knows, maybe I should. But,
in the end, Chris always wins, I'm really not that fond of the girl,
and it seems like a never-ending battle, so I often feel like, why
should I bother even trying? Not to mention, it's pretty hard to
follow Jennifer's advice when I know what her motive is. To get the
kids in her hot, little hands. And the sooner I gain more control
over the situation, the sooner she will have access to them. Or, so
she tells herself.

Which, is, I guess, one of the reasons why I don't try. Sure, I could
try and get the kids to live with me or to get Chris to listen more to
what I have to say and suggest. But, the less control of the children
Chris has as it all becomes my responsibility, the more control
Jennifer will gain because, chances are, I'll need help with raising
them. So, either way, I wouldn't be free to do what I wanted with the
children, or, with my own life, if Jennifer became more involved in
our lives.

In the end, I would never be free. I feel like I am freer now with
Chris managing everything than if I had to and if Jennifer was around.
That's why I just let things lie and hope he doesn't die any time soon
while they're still so young and helpless because I don't want to deal
with them. Too much responsibility that I just don't want to take on,
nor am I sure I could even handle it all.

Okay, time for a cake break. This time, I have chocolate cake from
this restaurant I like called The Oyster House. It's a very rich,
moist, multi-layered chocolate cake that literally melts in my mouth,
it's so good. Everything at The Oyster House is expensive, but, man,
is it delicious. I hope they manage to stay in business for a while
longer. Rumors have been spread that the management there has gone to
shit since the original owner died and his wife took over, but I hope
they overcome whatever it is that is wreaking havoc so they can stay
around longer and continue pleasing my taste buds and filling the void
of my forever-greedy appetite.

I'm not really a lustful person when it comes to a lot of things in
life. It's the simple pleasures that bring me contentment and
whatever happiness I manage to scrounge in this crazy, up/down kind of
life I live. But, when it comes to chocolatey foods, all bets are
off. I am as lustful as they come, and I am not ashamed of it in the
least.

Yeah. I'm totally going to hell.

HELLS BELLS!

ABOUT AN HOUR LATER

Dear Daddy,

Chocolate cake's the best. I love how the piece was layered so that
chocolate frosting, creamy and rich as could be, was clinging to both
the inside and outside of the slice of chocolate cake. Bryan hummed
throatily, appreciating every bite he took.

I just spoke to Mom and Grandma. They're both in Palm Springs,
enjoying the condo that Mom and Colie bought. Yeah, I think Colie's
name doesn't actually have an a in it. I'm still not sure whether I'm
spelling his first name right, but who cares? I don't like him anyway,
so I'm not going to make an effort figuring out the exact spelling of
his stupid name.

Anyway, it's pretty funny how quickly they want to get off the phone
with me when they've got something else to do that's better than
talking to me. But, when Grandma or Mom are lonely and or bored,
hell, they want to talk to me for an hour or more.

Just goes to show how unimportant I TRULY am to them. Just goes to
show how they only talk to me for an extended period of time when it's
convenient for THEM. Grandma seemed like she didn't mind talking to
me, and might have talked on longer if it weren't for my mom, but Mom
sure seemed eager to end the call. She's always like that when
something better is going on. So is Grandma.

Maybe, though, mom wanted to be done talking to me because Grandma had
me on speaker phone. But then again, Mom always has her phone on
speaker when we talk and she is driving, so I'm not sure that's the
reason she wanted to go so bad. Why am I defending them, anyway? Just
face it, Ashlee! They're having fun in Palm Springs. You're on the
back burner! That is, until they go back to their own homes. Then, it
will be back to wanting to talk to me all the time because there's
nothing else better going on for them.

Fuck that and fuck them! If that's how they want to be, fine! Two, or,
I guess in this case, THREE can play that game! I'm not going to call
them tomorrow and wish them a merry Christmas. They can kiss my
shit-covered ass.

I'm not sure why this is bothering me so much right now. Maybe it's
because Christmas is almost upon us and I have nothing good or
positive going on in my life or to look forward to. I guess, really I
don't want to spend Christmas alone. Who does? But the alternative is
worse. I'd rather be alone than stuck with Jennifer and Giovanna,
hiking until I wish I could drop dead in the constant California heat
from both physical and mental exhaustion. Being alone is also better
than being stuck with two very needy, whiny children and a very
stressed out partner who barely talks to me, nowadays, for two days
and nights to boot. Or, really, it would be THREE days because Chris
would, undoubtedly, want to stay in Seattle for the day after
Christmas and come home late as usual, despite all the luggage he
would have to haul around with him.

Jennifer just cannot FATHOM that I won't be spending time with the
girls on Christmas. I guess she can't wrap her mind around me not
really enjoying motherhood or what it has to offer. Which is pretty
much nill, in my mind, anyway. She seemed all grouchy when I told her
I wouldn't be seeing them for Christmas. I wonder why she cares so
damn much?

Maybe it's because I have unlimited access to them and she does not.
That's the only explanation I have come up with so far. She can't
imagine why I wouldn't want to see two bratty, whiny little monsters
every chance I have when she does not have that option.

I didn't dare tell her that I'm not going to see them for Christmas
Eve, either. That would just cause more headache for me, and I'm not
in the mood to hear her nag and bitch at me today. Some days, I can
tolerate it, but not today.

They are going hiking today. Up a super tall mountain that is riddled
with switchbacks. I am SO glad I'm not there. I'll take being alone
on Christmas any day rather than torture myself with hiking a mountain
in steamy Palm Springs.

The other thing that really bothers me about Chris always having to
have his own way is that, often, it effects me just as much, if not
more so, than the girls. Here's a really good example of this.

About a month ago, Chris's roommates confronted him during a house
meeting about Amira. According to Chris, they said that they were
tired of him pawning Amira off onto them and expecting them to play
with her constantly. I wasn't at the meeting, so this is all
secondhand information that I got from Chris.

Chris says that he never has pawned Amira off onto them and that, if
they got tired of playing with her, all they needed to do was tell him
and he would have taken over from there.

Because of the little spat, Chris has since kept the girls upstairs
during the evening, rather than allow them to hang out downstairs,
where it's much roomier and cozier.

I wouldn't care about this at all, but here's where it gets bad.
Because Chris has begun holding the girls hostage up in his room, he
expects me to hang out upstairs in his room with the girls. So, if I
come over to visit, I don't get to see the girls unless I go up to his
very cluttered, cramped bedroom that makes me feel very claustrophobic
when I'm up there a lot of the time. Not really when Amira goes to
sleep, but when she is awake, it is definitely an issue for me.

I hate that I can't visit the girls downstairs in the general part of
the house. It's not fair that things always have to be his way, that
he always wins. It makes me so angry! I think Amira must sense my
anger, because, more often than not when I come over for a visit,
she's whiny, needy, and seems tense. She can NEVER entertain herself
for more than a minute. Chris says she does when I'm not around, and
maybe that's true. But, if she wants to have a mother who's around
more, she really needs to start being her own person and fucking quit
being so needy.

When Chris makes these "rules", it makes me feel like I have to follow
them, too. I feel that they effect me rather than just the children.

The day before yesterday, I came over to the house with a few slices
of chocolate cake from The Oyster House. My plan was to put the slice
that I intended to share with Chris in the house's fridge, since this
particular cake tastes way better when kept cold, due to the frosting
dominating the inside of the cake. The other slice was to be kept
hidden in my backpack because I had no intention of sharing it with
anyone. I would put it in my own fridge when I arrived at my safe
haven, which is what I consider my house to be for me.

"Mama!"

An excited yell from Amira sounded in my ear, and the next thing I
knew, she was standing in the kitchen, super stoked to see me.

I don't understand why the child is so happy to see me. I mean, I'm
often frustrated with her and, hard as I might try, I can never seem
to feel as excited to see her as she is to see me. Even when I try to
force the feeling, it's all done in vain. The thrill just isn't
reachable for me.

"Hi Nose," I said to Amira, bending down to give her a hug. I
wondered how on Earth she'd managed to hear my voice from within the
prison walls of their upstairs bedroom.

Little did I know they had just gotten home from playing at the mall
until later when Chris explained it to me.

"Come on," Chris said to Amira. He sounded very stressed out, almost
breathless.

"Let's go upstairs."

Amira stood there, ignoring her father, waiting to see what I would
do. She does that quite often, and, although, sometimes it's cute,
often more times it's very annoying to have someone wait on me so they
can do whatever I'm doing. I hate that feeling of such close
observation. It makes me want to run out the door, screaming, never
to look back again.

"Come on!" Chris repeated, sounding even more desperate this time.
God forbid, Amira stay downstairs for more than a minute. Why, the
world might just, outright, end!

"I need to put the cake in the refrigerator," I told Chris.

"Then I'll come up. Oh, and I need to find someone to put my name on
the box so it doesn't get eaten."

Chris was standing right there, but he seemed to be on the brink of an
anxiety attack, so I didn't dare ask him to do it for me, though the
action was such a simple one. Besides, if he did write my name on the
box, I would have to endure listening to Amira holler over and over
again that she wanted to have cake, too. That would have exacerbated
BOTH our anxiety. So I kept quiet, thinking I could get one of the
house mates to help with this simple task.

"I want to help Mama," protested Amira as Chris reached out and grabbed her.

The protesting became louder and louder as Chris started walking
toward the stairs leading to their prison. The prison HE created for
all of them.

For all of us.

Because, yes, when he imprisons himself and the girls, it imprisons
me, too, in a way.

"I'll help you with that in a little bit," Chris said to me.

I immediately knew what he was trying to convey to me. In those few
words, he was asking me to forget what I wanted to do and come
upstairs so that Amira would calm down, thus making things easier for
him. Always seeming to forget that, by imprisoning the girls, he
ended up making life THAT MUCH HARDER for himself, though he won't
ever admit it. In fact, quite the opposite. Just last week, he tried
to convince me that it was actually easier to keep Amira in the room
rather than downstairs.

"There's just too much for her to get into when we used to hang out
downstairs," he explained to me.

Oh, yeah? How about taking control of your kid, Chris, and teach her
to quit getting into other people's shit rather than trying to solve
the problem by holding her captive in a cluttered, stuffy bedroom,
with no TV, no computer for her to play with, and no screen toys? Gee,
what a concept.

I didn't want to give into Chris's silent request. I didn't want to
let him take my power away from me. Yet again. It would be different
if he absolutely HAD to keep the girls locked away during the evening
hours, but he doesn't. He is CHOOSING to. And that's what makes me
so mad about all of it.

Yet, to my great dismay, the constant shouts and cries from Amira were
really starting to get to me. I could feel a hot, angry flush of
anger start to creep, slowly, up my neck, where it would eventually
spring up to greet my cheeks and would stay there until the situation
either calmed down or I left it. So, in spite of my great efforts to
keep Chris from getting his stupid way, I consented. Slowly, feeling
heavy with defeat, I started for the stairs, feeling my ever growing
tower of resentment get bigger as yet another hard, cold, heavy block
of it was added to Chris's and Amira's part of my mind.

The room, as always, was cluttered and uncomfortable. I used to try
and walk carefully so as not to step on anything important, but not
that day. I just walked toward the bed, feeling myself step on
silverware, something squishy that turned out to be part of a
half-eaten orange, and Satan knows what else. When I got to the bed,
I plunked down, feeling trapped and anxious, wishing that I'd never
come over at all.

Often times, I find myself wishing that, only to keep returning time
and time again. Though, honestly, I really don't know why. I guess a
large part of it is the sense of obligation I feel to see the girls,
though they bring me way more hardship and stress than joy and smiles.
I also happen to still love Chris, despite everything, and find myself
wishing I could be near him. So I secome to the weakness and go over
there, always to wind up feeling anxious and disappointed in the end.

Not really when I come over and the girls are already in bed. Then I
have a nice time with Chris. For the most part, anyway. Unless, when
it just so happens that I come over on a night when he's feeling
particularly sulky because I haven't seen Amira in three days and he's
choosing to allow himself to feel guilty for enjoying my company when
Amira hasn't gotten to enjoy me in so long. But, often times, when I
come over because I feel like I HAVE to see Amira, it's often very
stressful and I find myself checking the time repeatedly, counting
down the minutes until Chris announces it's time to get ready for her
to go snoozing.

I waited and waited, thinking about the poor cake and how warm it was
getting by the minute. Chris, seeming to forget about it, kept
unloading groceries he'd bought from Target that night. As the
minutes ticked by, I felt myself growing more and more anxious, angry,
and agitated. Rachel began to cry because she was hungry, and when I
offered to feed her, Amira Brat started shouting "No, no, NO!" at the
top of her lungs.

"I want Daddy to feed the baby. I want you to hold me!"

SHUT THE FUCK Up!

Oh, how badly those words wanted to spew forth from my screaming lips.
Amira is such an attention-hungry beast! If I were to give her
twenty-three hours of nonstop attention, she'd still be demanding I
give her the last hour of the day's worth of attention.

Meanwhile, the baby's crying grew louder, more desperate as the hunger
pangs worsened inside of her.

In the end, I just couldn't take the noise level in the room. It was
all too much, just like it always is when I'm around the girls.

More for my own sanity than for the need to keep the cake cool, I said
to Chris, "I'm going downstairs to put the cake in the fridge."

By that time, I'd been waiting for him to put my name on it for nearly
a half hour, and still, he showed no sign of remembering it. Or, if
he did, he didn't care enough about it.

It felt good to get up from the bed and start moving to the door, all
the while stepping on crap on the forever-cluttered floor. It felt
like I was taking my power back, and it made me feel victorious. Just
because he insisted on keeping himself and the girls prisoners of
their own house didn't mean that he could keep me a prisoner. Even
though I had given into him earlier and had gone upstairs before I was
ready to didn't mean that I would keep letting him take my power away
from me.

I was leaving this bedroom! I was going downstairs to do what I wanted
to do, and, over my dead and bleeding body would I allow him to stop
me from doing what I wanted a second time.

Immediately, Amira jumped up from the bed and ran to the door.

"I want to help Mama," she announced before opening the door and
sprinting out of the room before Chris could stop her.

Unfortunately for her, Chris's need to keep her away from everybody
else in the house, overpowered her quick escape.

Abandoning the baby on the bed, leaving her to cry in earnest because
Chris had taken the bottle out of her mouth so as to get to Amira
before she reached the stairway, I watched in utter frustration and
disbelief as he picked her up and carried her into the room. Rachel
screamed on and on, still hungry and in need of the rest of her
bottle.

"You need to stay in here with Daddy," he said firmly to Amira.

"Mama will come back."

"Yes, I will," I said, trying to sound soothing, though that was the
last thing I felt at the moment.

"I'm just going to put the cake in the fridge. Then, I'll be right back."

As I said those words, the temptation to sneak out the door and just
go home was greatly on my mind as I quickly left the bedroom before
Amira could start screaming again.

In truth, it was easier for me when Chris decided to keep Amira from
helping me. Often times, her version of "help" isn't actually
helpful. It's a nuisance, and I often wish she would just go away
already.

However, I couldn't help but feel angry at Chris for forcing her to
stay in the room. After all, I wasn't planning on staying downstairs
for more than five minutes. Would that really have killed her, Chris?
REALLY?!

In the end, I did go back up there, though I had to mentally psych
myself up for going back into that awful room again. I told myself
that it wouldn't be long now before Amira was carted off to bed. Once
that wonderful thing happened and she was finally out of our sight, I
could share my delicious cake offering with the man I love. That is
the ONLY thing that brought me back up to that wretched room.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

HAIL SMM SMM!!!!

PS: Chris still has not gotten a phone, Daddy. It's fine, though. I
don't care. I just go about my business and absolutely REFUSE to wait
on him anymore. If he wants to remain unreachable, that's fine. He
can do his thing, I'll do mine. I guess that's the unspoken agreement
Chris and I have come up with.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pandemonium In Paradise: Part Smm Smm

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

HAIL SMM SMM!!!!

Dear Daddy,

My god, hanging out with people is SOOOOOOOO fucking draining today.
I hung out with Laura for a whopping hour or so and ended up walking
out on her. It was the first time I ever just up and left her with
barely a good-bye, but, suddenly, I just couldn't take her presence
anymore. She had very little to say, and so did I. So the majority
of our time was spent making shallow, superficial small talk to try
and ease some of the awkwardness that we both felt. Fun TIMES!

It wasn't so much her presence that was draining for me. It was the
music she wanted to listen to, and, more than that, the volume of it.
I just wanted quiet, but she almost always insists on listening to
music when we hang at the POWER office. And, being the coward that I
am, I never say no to her music. I know I can and she would probably
be all right with it, but, still, I can't bring myself to do it.

Normally, it is tolerable for a while. But tonight was different.
Loud, obnoxious advertisements kept playing on YouTube every time a
different song was about to play. Finally, in a huff and just plain
tired of it all, after only about Smm Smm songs, I said, "I'm going
home. I don't want to hear all these dumb advertisements. I'm bored!
Good-bye."

I could tell that Laura's feelings were hurt. Yeah, I feel somewhat
bad, but it wasn't enough to keep me there. And, more than the
boredom that I felt, was mind-numbing, soul-crushing agitation and
anxiety. Not like the panic attack kind of anxiety, just pure,
restless agitation that cannot and will not go away, unless you leave
the situation.

As I headed for the door, she said, rather sadly, "I know I'm not
always a thrill to be around."

Whether that was meant as some sort of guilt trip is beyond my
knowledge. She might have been sincere in saying that, but maybe not.
Either way, whether it was a ploy to keep me there for longer or to
take pity on her and apologize for me practically storming out of
there for no apparent reason, is also beyond my knowledge. And, at
the moment, I really don't care.

I didn't mean to hurt her feelings, but I also wasn't going to just
sit there, listening to her sing in her tone-deaf voice for the next
hour and a half that she wanted to hang out at Power before the last
bus was scheduled to leave the transit center and bring her home.

I used to sit through events that I didn't want to be at. Tolerated
them because I felt too polite, too timid, to up and leave. Not
tonight, though. Tonight I'm not taking any crap from no one.
Tonight, timidness and politeness are totally out of the question. No
doubt about it.

Tomorrow, I may awaken to the horrible feelings of guilt and shame for
my behavior, but I'll deal with the shitstorm when it comes. Because,
more likely than not, it WILL come. It's a fucking matter of time,
just like everything else in my life.

I had no comment for Laura's pitiful, parting words as I left. Even
if I wanted to speak, I just couldn't, for the life of me, think of
one, damn thing to say to that. So I just booked it out of there,
hoping not to get lost on the way home, being that visibility was shit
due to all the freezing fog hanging thickly in the frosty, fall air.

Still haven't heard from Chris today. I wonder if he's seen my blog
post about him yet. Surely, he's seen the e-mails I sent him.

As far as Giovanna is concerned, all she wanted was to talk, to see
how my day was, bullshit, bullshit. Her voice was riddled with
concern as she announced that she hadn't heard from me all day. As if
I didn't already KNOW that.

So, back to the pandemonium. Boy, do I get off topic a lot. Oh well.
Beats me, but it happens all the time.

So, do you remember how much I used to love to hand Chris things, like
money, coffee, food, etc? Yes, I'm using the past tense. Why, aren't
you mighty observant for a dead person?!

Well, that basically hit the shit hole when Amira turned three, maybe
even two-and-a-half, and started walking more rather than just sitting
in the stroller and allowing herself to be pushed about like a
pampered princess. Now, she is three-and-a-half and doesn't use a
stroller anymore. Why, you may ask?

Because Rachel has taken her place in it. So, whether Amira likes it
or not, she has to walk everywhere now, no matter what the weather is
doing. She particularly hates it when it's windy and the rain is
coming down sideways, hitting her in the face as she attempts to walk
with her dad to wherever they're going.

I used to be able to hand Chris everything and anything I wanted and
actually enjoyed it very much.

That is, until Amira Brigit Allert took that joy away from me and
turned it into her own.

Now, I can't hand CHRIS ANYTHING without her whining, crying, and
shouting that SHE WANTS TO DO IT!

I used to not really mind, or at least, tolerated going to the coffee
shop with Chris because I knew that I would at least have the pleasure
of handing the hot, steamy little Espresso cup to him, feeling all his
fingers in the process as I savored every second of the exchange.

Last time I tried to hand Chris coffee, I nearly had it knocked out of
my hand by Little Miss Brat Face. I was barely able to catch it on
time. If it had spilled on me, chances are pretty high I would have
gotten a decent burn on my hands.

"I...!!! WANT...!!! TO...!!! DO...!!! IT...!!!"

Over and over again, Amira screamed this chant.

"I want to hand it to Daddy!"

At that moment, I felt quite blessed to be blind. I am quite positive
I was attracting some very annoyed stares.

"Mama gets to do it," Chris said calmly.

Then, trying to diffuse the situation, he said, "But, you can hand
Daddy the sparkly water."

You'd think that would have been good enough, but, oh no! She
proceeded to yell and holler like a banshee. She kept halting
directly in front of me, almost making me trip and fall on top of her
with the hot coffee, several times, as I attempted to get it to the
table that Chris was sitting at.

At a painstakingly slow pace, I edged my way to the table, all the
while fantasizing about how awesome it would feel to just dump the
burning, hot liquid over her curly blonde hair.

Then, at least she would have a fucking REASON to scream besides
spoiled brattiness.

When I FINALLY reached the table, Chris practically snatched the cup
from me. He was eager to get the situation under control. I get
that.

But, what he forgot to think about was how sad I felt, not being able
to touch his long, skinny fingers as I, very slowly and carefully, set
the fragile cup into his outstretched hand.

Since that time, I don't believe I've been to the coffee shop with
him. But, before this incident, there had been many more times when I
simply retreated to whatever table Amira decided we would sit at and
just let her hand her father the damn coffee rather than order it for
him and bring the coffee to the table like a server would, and hand it
to him like I used to.

It wasn't worth it. It's STILL not worth it. Amira robbed me of that
particular joy, along with many others, so I've accepted it, though
grudgingly so, as I'm sure you can tell.

I know that being angry with Amira is irrational, but I just can't
help it! I know that most children enjoy helping out with chores and
handing their parents things, but, my god, she's with her dad all the
time! I'm hardly EVER with him.

And, it's because of them. Meaning, Rachel and her older sister, Amira.

Now, here's the real deal breaker for me. When Amira first started
throwing fits whenever I tried to hand Chris something, he used to
laugh and say, "Oh, you're so cute. Do you want to hand it to Daddy?"

For starters, it's NOT FUCKING CUTE when your children throw tantrums!
Period! It's loud, it's obnoxious, and it fucking makes me want to
pick them up by their necks and strangle and shake them into oblivion
until every ounce of air has left their lungs, and they collapse,
headfirst, onto the cement and die a slow, agonizing death.

And, why in the world was he asking her if she wanted to hand it to
him when she was screaming at the top of her lungs that, yes, she
wanted to do it. She wanted to hand it to Daddy.

I used to fantasize about becoming rich with my writing or whatever
else, someday, and handing Chris wads and wads of money. Pure, crisp
one hundred dollar bills, hot right off the press. Now, the idea
SICKENS me! It fills me with wrath, with hatred, with longing...

With despair.

For, Amira has robbed me of that joy, too. Whenever we go to an ATM
to take out money, I practically have to snatch the money out before
she can get to it. It's like being in a cat fight!

Once, I became so frustrated, I pushed her away from the slot where
the money comes out of. I didn't push her hard enough to make her
fall, but, boy did I sure want to.

I don't think she even noticed the push, though. Because, less than
five seconds later, she was squawking about how SHE WANTED TO HAND THE
MONEY TO DADDY, and attempting, unsuccessfully, to snatch the twenty
dollar bills out of my hand.

Even when Chris doesn't snatch things away to get Amira to shut the
fuck up, the exchange isn't the same. It's rushed. Before I can even
get to the third finger, he is already drawing his hand away to pocket
the money before she can get ahold of it and lose it.

So now, I don't accompany them to the coffee shop. Nor, do I feel any
sense of eagerness to hand things to Chris anymore. Paying his bills,
and "enabling him," as his parents and the majority of my family would
say, have also lost their appeal. All I want, now, is for them to
just leave me the hell alone.

For tonight, anyway. Feelings may change by tomorrow, at least with
this kind of intense ferocity, but I don't think they will be
completely departing any time soon, if ever.

The damage is irrevocable. Chris hates it when I say this to him,
which I have before when feeling these strong feelings, but it's the
truth. That's why he hates it. Deep down... Or, maybe NOT so deep
down...

HE KNOWS!

One time, in particular that is coming to my memory, is when I blurted
out to Chris that we just don't have anything anymore. Not when it
comes to a relationship.

He got very upset and discouraged when I said this to him, and that
was at least Smm Smm months ago.

Smm Smm more months have gone by and still, I feel the same about us.
It's just all about the kids. Nothing else. Though, honestly, I
don't know if he will ever admit that to me. And, even if he did,
it's a moot point. I already know this, HAVE known for a long time,
and have since started accepting this nasty fact and have started
moving on.

At first, it wasn't easy at all. I would get teary-eyed just thinking
about it. But, not anymore.

The other thing is, Chris and I seem to have absolutely nothing to
talk about anymore. NOTHING!

His explanation for this?

"Because I'm afraid to talk. I don't know when you'll get mad. And,
when you don't talk, it makes it harder for me to talk because I think
there's something wrong."

So, yeah. Of course it's MY fault. I mean, why not? Who wants to
take the blame?

I used to hate accepting blame, especially from Chris. It was more
the fact that I had disappointed him, had made him feel discouraged
and sad, that upset me the most. Often times, I did not want to
accept the blame, and fought it all the way like a toddler may fight
receiving a shot at the doctor's office.

Now, though, blame really doesn't seem to have much of an effect on
me. Good or bad. So, Chris, you win. I'll take it. I mean, why
not?

You're stuck with the children all the time. That's got to suck. I
know you won't ever admit it, but, seriously, who in their right mind
would WANT to be with ONE child day in and day out, let alone Smm Smm
of them?

Personally, I think taking the blame is easier than dealing with the
kids. So, yeah, I'll take it. And, although it may seem like I got
the short end of the stick...

And maybe I did, after all...

As of right now, though, I am not at all convinced of this fact.

So, yeah, take a load off. Blame's on me. What's new?

You want to know what's new? I'm not fighting it anymore. I'm
accepting every, last bit of it.

Really, in the end, none of it matters. Lately, I've felt so
unattached to everything and anything around me, including my own
life, that, in a way, it's rather liberating to accept the blame
without the usual fight-or-flight response.

Many people think that not being attached to your own life is very alarming.

"How awful that must feel," many would say.

But, you want to know something? It really doesn't feel awful. In
fact, it feels great! It is the most liberating experience I think
anyone can ever undergo.

Because, really, if you're not attached to your life anymore, there's
nothing and no one holding you back. You simply find yourself
floating about, wondering how the hell you got to that place, then
quickly not caring because it feels so good to just not feel, to just
not think, to just accept what's thrown in your lap and move on with
it.

Chris has often told me that when I get like this, it makes him feel
discouraged and suicidal. All I can say is this:

Sorry, bud, but I can't help you. I'm not responsible for your
feelings, either good or bad. And, quite frankly, at the moment, I
don't really feel responsible for my own. They just keep coming and
coming and coming. There's not a whole lot I can do but sit it out
and express myself to you.

If you don't like it or can't handle it, that's fine. Then, go away,
and tend to your whiny children. They're the only things that make
you happy anyway, so, yeah, go to them. They need you more than I do,
anyway. So, just go to them and let me be.

Dad, I know this sounds so callus. So cold. But, it's what I'm
feeling right now, and I'll be DAMNED if I keep holding back like
this.

I may lose some fans over this, but whatever. It doesn't matter. At
least I'm being honest. At least I'm staying away from the children
while I'm experiencing these raw emotions, rather than pretend to
enjoy every aspect of motherhood like Jennifer did and abuse them
physically and emotionally until they are old enough to escape me and
try to live normal lives after how badly I fucked them up from abuse.

Giovanna hates the fact that I blog so publicly, especially when
experiencing such raw emotions. If she had it her way, I would simply
journal to myself, writing in a plain Microsoft Word document that was
for only ME to ever read.

I've tried that before. It doesn't have the same effect as publishing
it for OTHER people to read.

I'm sure Giovanna and Jennifer would call it self-sabotage. Chris may
even agree. He often accuses me of sabotaging things, so, yeah.
Maybe it is self-sabotage.

If it is, oh well. I'll deal with the repercussions later. For now,
it feels so incredibly good just to get all this rotten, festering
shit out in the open already.

But, yeah, seriously, Chris and I have, like zero stuff to talk about.
Here's a pretty perfect example of how a typical conversation between
us two goes these days.

Me: What did you do today, Smm Smm?

Chris: Went to the ZOOM-A-ZOOM (children's museum, but pronounced
"Zoom-ee-zoom" by Amira because she doesn't know how to say the word
museum yet), then went to buy pull-ups, diapers, and more wipes.

Me: Oh.

I mean, seriously, what in the hell is there to say about that?

Chris: Rachel still hasn't pooped yet today. Wondering if, perhaps, I
should try switching formulas on her again to see if it helps.

This whole constipation drama is an ongoing ordeal with Rachel. Yeah,
yeah, I know. That's my fault, too, since I've refused to breastfeed.

You want to know what ISN'T my fault, though?

The fact that breastfeeding hurts like a mother fucker, no matter how
much Lanolin you lube your nipples up with before and after
breastfeeding.

Ha! Take that! Finally there's some blame that I WON'T accept because
it doesn't belong to me. It belongs to evolution or to god or
whomever or whatever started humanity in the first place.

Me: I sure hope she feels better soon. Has she been crabby?

Chris: Yeah, she's uncomfortable. Amira's been crabby, too, today.

Go figure. When is she NOT crabby?

A long silence forges its way between us. It threatens to overtake
us, but I fight it as hard and for as long as I possibly can, though,
honestly, I am literally almost BORED TO TEARS with this conversation.
Because, it's the same, damn conversation we have almost every day.

Me: What do you want to do now, Smm Smm?

No answer. He's distracted, yet again, by Amira, no doubt. Or, maybe
he's just zonked out for a moment. Either way, it's irritating.

Me: Smm Smm.

Still, no response.

Me: Smm Smm!

Nothing.

Really irritated me: SMMMMMMMMMMMM SMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!

Chris, finally, in the calmest voice imaginable: What?

Me: I said, what do you want to do today?

Chris: What do you want to do?

Oh, my fucking god, just answer the goddamn question. I asked you first.

But, then again, he often tells me that he's tired of always deciding
what we're going to do, along with other decisions, so, I guess he
feels the same way as I do. The frustrating part, is, usually, I just
feel so neutral when I'm around him and the kids that I truly do not
give one iota where we go or what we do, so long as it's a
kid-friendly place where Amira can find other children her own age to
play with.

And, where I'll have to interact with her and entertain her as little
as possible.

Me: How about the mall?

Chris: We already went there yesterday.

Okay, then why the hell don't YOU choose what we'll do?

Finally, after some debating, we go to wherever, and, as soon as
Amira, thankfully disappears to go play, Chris and I are, once again,
greeted with that over-sized, looming silence, threatening to overtake
us once again.

I truly have no clue as to what I should say, so, I go for a question
that will, with some luck, stimulate some sort of an intelligent
conversation that isn't about kids, piss, shit, diapers, and formula.

Me: What are you thinking about?

Pree-children, this question often would unleash a whole slew of
creative, and often forbidden ideas that would spew forth from Chris's
eager lips. Eagerly, I would listen, hanging on his every word,
enjoying his funny way of talking where he adds an extra syllable to
every word without even realizing it.

Just the sound of his voice, alone, was enough to seduce me. It made
me feel safe, happy, and warm inside to listen to him talk.

Now, though, it's very different. It's almost like the lights are on
in his head, but nobody's home. Very sad.

Chris, sounding weary and tired as usual: Just watching Amira play. I
think it's almost time for the baby to feed again. Let me see if
she's pooped yet...

Oh, the poop talk. At this rate, we'll be discussing the color and
texture of each, individual turd that pops out of Rachel's tiny ass.
Soon, Chris will have his nose to her ass, absolutely worshiping every
brown trout he sees because he's just THAT obsessed with her. More so
with Amira, though. Actually, Amira is his favorite. I can already
tell.

Will he admit it? Probably not. There's no need, though. I already know.

Me: Would you like me to feed Rachel so you can have a break, Smm Smm?

Chris: No. She has been really difficult to feed lately.

Yeah, like every, single, day, she's difficult to feed. Is that
really what's going on, or does he just not want me to feed her
because of her stupid, crooked neck problem? Yes; yet another one of
Rachel's ongoing sagas.

Again, silence. This time, I do not fight it. I'm done making the
effort. Besides, Chris has leapt to his feet because some kid has
pushed Amira or whatever, so he thinks he needs to go on Cujo
protective mode so that his sweet, little angel won't get a single
little scratch on her precious, little body.

Many times, Chris and I have ALMOST started a halfway decent
conversation. On nearly all of those rare and precious occasions, we
have been interrupted by one or the other. It's always something when
you have children, let me tell you.

Thank Satan for a wonderfully large scope of imagination. On a really
good day, I can easily sink down into one of my stories or daydreams.
Usually, in my stories and or daydreams, I am someplace else. Not
with Chris or the kids. I'm in a happy, peaceful bubble that cannot
be penetrated by anyone or by anything.

My bubble of imagination got me through my entire childhood. Without
it, I swear I'd have gone insane. Even more insane than I am now. I
got out of it pretty unscathed, if you ask me. But, that wouldn't
have been the case if I was some imaginationless prat who took people
seriously and stayed one hundred percent in the moment all the time.

On depressive days, or when I've come across a road block from within
the quarters of my mind, I am SCREWED. Literally, hating almost
every, mind-numbingly boring moment spent with Chris, sitting there in
silence, like a total idiot, hoping that I don't look too bored or
depressed to fellow parents who have brought their children to play.
Those days are the hardest. I usually try to avoid Chris and the
children at all costs during those days, because, if I can't mentally
disappear, I find myself growing more and more agitated as the boredom
worsens, as the silence deepens and thickens before us.

I wonder why Chris thinks I care about how many times Amira or Rachel
have pooped. I wonder why he always feels the need to talk about the
same, old, mundane shit with me every time we meet.

Yes, I AM interested to know how the children are doing. I do feel
some affection toward them at times, especially toward Amira because
she's more of a person than Rachel. Meaning that she can actually
hold a pretty decent conversation with me for a while, rather than
just crying and puking all over you because her retarded stomach can't
seem to figure out how to digest formula properly.

During my affectionate times, I DO want to know how they are. But,
don't spend the whole entirety of our time together talking about piss
and shit and why Amira STILL isn't allowed to have screen time, even
though she's halfway to four years old. It's those sorts of
mind-numbingly boring conversations, 24/7, that spiral me back into
the bitter, affectionless, cold, hateful mother that I can so easily
turn into if not shown much love from my partner in a significantly
long period of time.

Seriously, Dad, I miss the old days where Chris was still creative,
still mischievous, still excited about the Satan project and the
prospect of disgusting a fair number of people while it became more
and more noticed throughout the public.

Now, he never gets on the news. Remember all those pact with the
Devil ferry rides he used to take once a month at night?

GONE!

Remember the weekly meetings he used to hold at the Olympia Center for
the Satanic Missionary Society?

GONE!

Remember, all those delicious cookies he used to bake for the
meetings, for Satan, and even just to snack on while working on
creating new and improved fliers about the Satanic Missionary Society
to put up all over the Evergreen campus?

GONE!

All of it just...

GONE!

Several times, I've asked him whether he ever misses doing artwork,
whether he misses working on the Satan project. His answer is always
the same.

"I don't have time for much of anything these days. I'm stretched pretty thin."

Yes, I suppose that's true. He IS stretched quite thin. Again, I
don't envy him. I wouldn't want to trade his post for anything, not
even his eyes, which work about a thousand times better than mine ever
will.

"Do you ever miss the time before we had the children?" I've asked him before.

"No, not really. Sometimes, I wish I could sleep in, but, other than
that, no. And, I try not to think about those times much. This is my
life now."

I remember feeling absolutely STUNNED by his answer. I mean, how
could anyone NOT miss at least a part of their lives before they had
children? A part of me doesn't believe him. Because it just doesn't
seem real.

But, then again, Chris is a strange cat sometimes. So, yeah, maybe it
is true. Nonetheless, I can't wrap my head around it. Almost on a
daily basis, I go back and think about the good times Chris and I
had before Amira was born. I try not to dwell on those days too much,
but I honestly can't help but go to that place. My mind just wanders
there, on its own accord. I have no say in the matter. And, to be
quite frank, I don't mind that place. It's nice to visit, especially
when I need a strong reminder of why I fell in love with Chris in the
first place and why I still love him, despite our many differences
that have reared their ugly heads, more and more, as time goes by.

Chris doesn't disgust people anymore. He doesn't shock people anymore
by proselytizing, openly, about Satan the same way that christians
proselytize about jesus. These days, he's too busy trying not to
attract attention from anyone because he's so damn paranoid about
someone calling CPS on him. Hell, I think he might even be afraid of
his own Satan project now. And it's all because of the children.

Well, enough for now. By the way, Jennifer called about an hour ago.
Didn't leave a message. Which means she saw my latest post about
Chris and not wanting to be a mother.

Stupid bitch thought I would answer the phone and allow myself to be
ripped into by her yet again. For, about the third time this week.
The fifth or sixth time with Giovanna, and that number is after losing
count.

Seriously, Jennifer, do you think I'm stupid or what? Mad at me? Go
ahead! Leave me a message! Send an e-mail! I'm sure Daddy and the rest
would just LOVE to hear you in hysterics over the embarrassing things
I wrote that, without a doubt in my mind, made you cringe repeatedly.

I wonder what will happen with Chris. Tempted to call and see if he
has blocked my number, but a part of me just doesn't want to know.

If he has, no biggy. I'll just show up at his door if I need to talk
to him if he's going to get into "let's break up" mode after this
whole deal. Or, crisis, as he would put it, though, honestly, it
really doesn't feel much like a crisis to me. It feels like healing,
like being liberated from a horrid, infectious secret that would have
eventually driven me COMPLETELY off my rocker if I hadn't, finally,
gotten the vagina balls to address it at last.

I hope Chris and I can get past this because I really do love and care
about him. Even the children, too, though not as deeply as I love and
care about Chris.

But, if he can't get past the truth of what I wrote, then, so be it.
I guess he's going to have less money to live on as I will have to
start buying my own food, which means going out to eat since I can't
cook worth shit.

I love you, Daddy. Thanks for listening, wherever you are.

HAIL SATAN!!!!!!!!!

HAIL SMM SMM!!!!