Just Keep Going

Well, look at that. Only three days in and I have already missed a day. But seeing as how it isn’t a resolution to “write everyday” but a goal, it doesn’t matter. And if you do miss a day in achieving your goal, you pick yourself up and keep going. You don’t look back and you don’t hold regrets. You just keep moving.

Yesterday was miserable, mentally. The news had me fuming and work had me stressed so that it felt like I was wearing a blindfold of pain. In the end I chose to be with people who would make me feel at peace than allow myself to dwell on my misery.

I could claim all the excuses I want to why I failed at my goal, but it would do nothing. In the end I chose not to because I was tired. And that’s okay.

We have to be happy with our choices because it was the best one we could have made in the moment. (Plus, I didn’t want to make a post about the shit the world is going through. Because enough has already been and will be said.)

Most people dwell on the things they should have done as opposed to what they did. But if what they “should have done” was the right answer they would have done it in the moment. Be happy with your choices. They were the right ones.

All down hill from here

As is custom, when I sit on the edge of a new year I take a look back at the previous one. And it must be said that 2019 was quite the train wreck. All the politics and world issues aside, my personal life was a rollercoaster.

Going chronologically, it started off great. In February of last year I passed my real estate appraisal licensing exam (on the third try) and officially became an appraiser. Then in May I was awarded my AA degree, summa cume laude (then proceeded to transfer to a more distinguished college campus). And in the space between these two landmark achievements, I felt empowered and returned to editing my novel (because nothing could stop the success train!)

I got halfway through my revisions before life turned on a goddamn dime.

The first punch to the gut was my mother getting, officially, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. (Prior to that a nurse practitioner diagnosed her weird mental failings as being under too much stress.) Her loss of memories be damned, it was her erratic and bizarre behavior that finally showed my father and I the ugly truth we had been denying.

Following that my grandmother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. She was given a month to live and that she did. She passed away in the early morning hours after everyone had left her to rest.

Immediately after that death, my father fell and hit his head while taking his morning piss. (His third time falling that week.) He arrived at the hospital unresponsive and stayed that way until I gave the order to let him rest. He was gone in less than a minute, surrounded by his family.

Since then it has been failure after failure as I struggle to balance my job, my academic life, my romantic relationships, and being the sole caretaker for my mother. I try to keep up but I’m always letting someone down or forgetting to do something.

This had been the way of things until very recently…

After my husband had his weight loss surgery he began to have issues with his balance and walking. It got to be so worrisome that he was sent to a neurologist who ordered MRIs of both his brain and spine, and who gave an early diagnosis of “pressure on the spine.” He has since had them and now we wait for that news to hit us across the face.

To say that 2019 fucked me up would be an understatement. It bludgeoned me and left me on the side of the road to die.

But all is not lost…

This notion that at the stroke of midnight we are all given new lives and new opportunities is ridiculous. In reality we have that at all times. Even when things are shitty. Every moment is new and undiscovered. We get to forge new paths everyday. But just like any route the terrain is vastly different from the one that came before it. How you navigate through it depends solely on your willingness to keep going.

I am glad this year is done. But the shit storm that has become my life will only get progressively worse. It’s just the path I tread. However, I will take every moment I can to find happiness. I will surround myself with love and companionship to remind myself that in the end all that matters is what we did with the time we were given.

Get in, Sit Down, and Shut Up

Here is day 4 and I am still doing it. Surprising to say the least. But I do feel myself pulling away. Although, why I don’t know. Is it because of the pressure I am putting on myself to perform? Or that there is a quasi audience reading what I write, judging me. Or is it because I’m just a lazy fuck? The world may never know.

In all honesty I should have done this earlier in the day. I’ve been bored watching television and stuffing my face with the holiday cookies my husband made last night. He’s been really busy the past few days, which left me alone to my own devices.

I had attempted to continue reading about druidism but it was throwing so much information at me that I thought I was going to die. Eesh. But once the husband goes back to work and thus leaving me all alone, I’ll pick it back up. Plus I need to read a book a month, per my year long goals.

Year of Writing Prompts by Brian A. Klems & Zachary Petit
January 4 365
“Days Something life-altering happened. As a result, you’ve decided to give something up for an entire year. Write a scene detailing the cataclysmic event, or the struggle to keep the vow you made.”

I stood staring at my car parked in the driveway. It was covered in a thick layer of dust, that some punk from the neighborhood had decided to scrawl obscene words in, along with the images of dicks and even a pair of boobs. Any other time I would have been furious. I had loved my car. It was the lover and friend I had always wanted. Loyal. No one drove her but me. Now, I couldn’t care less what happened to her.

Ever since the accident I can’t bring myself to sit behind the wheel once again. My girlfriend says that I’ll get over it, in time, but I’m not so sure. It’s been a year since the incident and I still don’t even feel comfortable in a car, let alone drive one myself.

Angela walks up behind me and drapes and arm around my neck.

“What’re you doing, honey,” she says.

I lower my head. For some reason I can’t bring myself to tell her that I had gotten the urge to try and drive down the street. Maybe it’s because it would give her hope that I didn’t feel ready to give.

I look into her sapphire eyes.

“Just wanted to get some air.”

She hugs me tighter. With a peck on the cheek, she feels satisfied and turns to go back into the house.

I slowly walk around the front to gaze at her other side.

The body shop did an amazing job. No one would ever know that a Ford Bronco had t-boned me in the intersection.

A faint memory flashes through my mind of he headlights getting brighter and the deafening crunch of our cars colliding.

I stumble back out of breath. I double over and try to catch the air that has left me.

I still don’t know how I survived. By all accounts I should have been crushed. When I replay it I just hear sounds. No other details come to mind. It was like my brain had put me into suspencion to protect myself from the crash.

The next thing after the lights, that I remember, is waking up in the hospital days later. The doctors were afraid I’d never wake up.

The doctors released me into my own care, but what they failed to realize is that I would be consumed with fear whenever in a vehicle. I close my eyes and tense my body every time I go through an intersection. Every car that waits until the last minute to stop will surely collide into me. I just know it.

My heart begins to race. I was stupid to even try. I turn and head back into the house.

Halfway up the walk I hear Angela’s scream. I rush up the rest of the way, throw oopen the door and find my girlfriend sitting on the kitchen floor, blood all over the white linoleum.

“What happened?” I say.

“I’m such an idiot. I dropped the knife and it went right through my foot.”

She’s clutching her bare foot, the bloody knife only a few feet away. I rush to the drawer with the tea towels and grab everyone of the neatly folded cloths. I drop to my knees and begin wrapping them around her foot.

“You need to take me to the emergency room.” She says.

I look up at her. My eyes are wide and my mouth is open. Very slowly, I shake my head no.

“I’ll call an ambulance.”

I stand up, but she grabs me around my arm and stops me.

“Are you insane? We don’t have that kind of money. This isn’t that bad.” She says. “You can do it.”

I look at her. I want to tell her know. But her eyes plead with me and I can only agree.

I scoop her up into my arms and take her outside. I don’t even bother to lock the door behind me.

I gently lay her in the passenger seat and rush around the nose of the car to the driver’s side. I stop only inches from the repaired handle.

“Hurry, Jon,” she says, “I’m getting blood everywhere.”

I scream from the deepest part of my chest and pull open the door and toss myself inside. She starts up instantly, like she was waiting for me. Carefully, so carefully, I back out the driveway and head for the emergency room.

“You’re amazing.” She says.

My hearts pounding in my ears. I can barely focus on the road and all I can think about is she did this on purpose.

An Attempt at Irony

Todays prompt is going to be a hard one. That’s for fucking sure. Mainly it’s because I have no energy today. I am just absolutely 100% out of it. But, such is the weekend.

A Year of Writing Prompts by Brian A. Klems & Zachary Petit
January 3
A Cold Where you (Fill in the Blank) Instead of Sneeze
“You’ve developed a cold, only to discover that instead of sneezing, you (fill in the blank) every time you feel like you have to sneeze. This side effect proves to create a fairly entertaining scene at the office during your weekly budget meeting.”

Terry clutched the phone in his hands, listening to the ring on the other line. With any luck no one would answer and he could leave a message on the office answering machine. That was his best bet to avoid today altogether. No one at work would understand.

Although, the line clicked and Sheila answered the phone.

“Morgan, Pollock, and Masters, Magician Bounty Hunter.”

Terry pinched his nose.

“Sheila, It’s me, I’m not going to be able to come in today. I feel terrible.”

“Oh no, that’s not good! Well we will miss you at the financers meeting. The head from the state is coming in to talk to us about funding. I’m sure Lowell won’t mind. You get better.”

“Thank you,” Terry said from halfway down his throat.

The line clicked and went dead.

Relief flowed through his body and that’s when he could feel it surge. Terry craned back his head, his mouth gaping, and he let out the loudest sneeze, but with it came a puff of smoke and a young child appeared from within.

The young lad stepped from the thinning cloud and looked around Terry’s unkempt apartment. Panic was beginning to blossom in his face, as his lower lip trembled. There would only be a few moments before the boy exploded into tears. A crying child was the last thing his neighbors needed to hear. They knew he lived alone.

“Hey, buddy,” he said in a sickening sweet voice, “It’ll be okay.”

The young boy wrapped his arms around his stomach.

“Where am I?” He said stepping away from terry.

“It’s okay,” he said, “This is all a dream.”

The boy’s eyes grew wide.

“Really?” he said, “I don’t remember taking a nap. I was shopping with mommy.”

“Yeah, you fell asleep under some coats. She’ll find you in a second.”

The boy looked perplexed.

“How do you know that?”

“Cause this is a special dream.”

Preceded by a large gasp, terry sneezed again and the boy vanished from the room.

“Thank the gods,” he said.

The last few sneezes had become even more infrequent and produced the most horrible of momentary guests. At least the kid disappeared before he could cry. The one woman shrieked so much the nosey neighbor next door came poking around to make sure everything was “okay.” Terry wasn’t sure that he had bought that it was tv program he had been watching.

Now without the worry of work looming before him, terry rushed to the kitchen and began to concoct a potion to end this magical mishap. It wasn’t entirely obvious where he had gotten the calling cold but he had it never-the-less. He must have gotten it when he had been on assignment in Southron and they raided that sorcerer’s drug den. It had been absolutely unsanitary.

He was certain that had been where.

The ingredients came quick to his mind. This wasn’t the first time he’d have to brew one. He had gotten the same thing back in school. Luckily, his parents could excuse him and no one would ever learned he was a blossoming magician.

Pulling the sage from the cupboard he could feel another sneeze building. He tensed his face muscles and refused to let it out. Though try as he might it had a will of it’s own and he blew. This time he conjured a flock of parakeets that fluttered furiously around his apartment.

“I can deal with this,” he said.

He bustled around the kitchen pouring each item into his battered black cauldron. He stirred it the appropriate amount of times until it turned a beautiful lavender and he knew it was ready. He couldn’t ladle it fast enough into a copper mug.

Just as the rim touched his lips the phone began to ring. He looked over at the caller ID and it was the offce number. His blood went cold and he sneezed again, dispelling the birds back to wherever they had come from.

He set the steaming cup down and answered the phone, pinching his nose as he did it.

“Hello,” he moaned.

“Tare, look I know you’re sick but Sgt. Errol is coming and I know he will be absolutely pissed if you’re not here. He is insistent that he meets you. He wants to meet the man who took down the Black Ranfort warlock.”

Terry moaned again.

“Boss, I would love to but I can’t-“

“Terry, if you do you know we’ll get more money than we could ever need to take down these filthy magicians. Don’t you want to be the guy named the man who eradicated all things magical?”

Not really, he thought.

“I would, yes. But I can’t even get off the couch, Rick.”

“Look, if you come in I’ll give you the raise you’ve been hounding me for.”

Terry gulped. That raise had been his mission the past two years. It would give him enough money to move out of the tiny apartment he lived in, that he now noticed was covered in bird shirt and feathers.

“See you in a few.”

Before Terry could argue his boss ended the call.

For a brief moment panick gripped his chest, but then the saw the cup gleam out of the corner of his eye. He chugged it and waited, but within only a few moments he sneezed again, producing a pair of old men playing chess, table and all. But he didn’t have time to explain, he hurried around his apartment trying to get ready. Although he didn’t want to look too good. He put on a white shirt, top button undone, a striped tie as slap-dash as he could get it, and a brown coat. He put on his glasses and messed up his hair and then tried to wrestle it into something decent.

By the time he was dressed and ready to go he sneezed again and the men disappeared.

He hurried as quick as he could and got to the office without a single sneeze. That would mean the potion was working. He just needed to trust his skill.

He climbed the steps to the fourth floor office just o wear himself out and appear more sickly. This wasn’t his first rodeo. By the time he entered the office he was sweaty, red faced, and breathing heavily.

“Terry! You look awful.”

He could barely speak so instead waved and nodded.

“Go right on in.”

He wound his way around the cubicles to the conference room and entered. Everyone stood, especially Sgt. Errol.”

“Son,” he said, shaking his hand, “I really admire your moxy. If I was as sick as you I’d have told my boss to go fuck himself and not come in.”

Everyone laughed nervously.

“This is why I wanted to meet you. You are the best. I’ve been keeping an eye on you. I knew you were something special. It’s guys like you that will take down this magical menace and-“

The sneeze built in his chest, which prompted him to swallow air.

“You alright?”

Terry nodded as he cosed his eyes an concentrated.

“Course you are!” Sgt. Errol said, slapping him on the back.

Terry sneezed and in a puff of smoke appeared a man, bathing in a shower on top of the table.  The water slowly trickled away out of the shower head, as the man looked out of the clear curtain.