You are not Serious, are You?

You are not Serious, are You?

Integrity once viable has become inherently unreliable like the men I could mention. It is not my intention to show a reaction for their own egotistical satisfaction.

These men who report on what they are commanded. From where I stand they should be reprimanded for the baseless claims that ignite the viewers every night when assumptions are presented as truths without the regiments of proof.

When men that no longer care what is wrong nor right should consider taking flight with the rest who before them left. Do take care on your eastward direction where you may find nothing there but your own ignorant reflections.

The time now has come to pity the dumbed down people with smartphones that are used as weapons of mass confusion by the constant bombardment of fake news by you know who.

drip… drip… drip…

100% Perplexed by Her Behavior

100% Perplexed by Her Behavior

A few weeks ago I was grocery shopping.  For years I have shopped at the same market, usually purchasing the same foods as last week and the week before that, and well, you know. 

The produce department is my first stop. Unfortunately, standing 5′ with socks on, I have trouble reaching the plastic bags and ties so usually I will tear off ten plus ensuring I will have enough. Afterward, I will stand next to my cart and struggle to open the obstinate plastic bags. I open all the bags before I proceed because apparently, you need wet fingers to get a good grip for twisting and pulling on the plastic before it gives in. 

The produce department is separated with fruits and vegetables laced with poison on one side and the organic produce and juices on the opposite side. Perhaps, because the grocery store is located in Merced, there are no plastic bags available on the organic side. On this particular trip, I did not tear off enough plastic bags to venture over to the organic side. I reached up high again and tore off two more bags, one was for mushrooms and the other was for mixed organic vegetables.

With one plastic bag in hand and the other hanging from the first, I  headed back to the opposite side of the department. I was directly in front of the mushrooms when I attempted to open the top plastic bag. From somewhere a woman around my age and height came forward and stood right beside me yet she remained silent. I felt uncomfortable as she watched me so I spoke up and said, “these bags are really hard to open.” The women took hold of the second plastic bag that was hanging and tore it from the one in my hand.

I stopped my attempt to watch how she quickly opened the plastic bag, as I was about to thank her … she put other items into the bag! Stupefied by her actions I stared in disbelief as she continued to fill my bag with her items. In shock I asked, “Seriously, are you taking my bag?” She spoke not a single utterance. I looked around to see if anyone noticed what just happened. “Okay,” I said, “I get it, It’s Merced.” 

She turned and walked away leaving me holding the unopened plastic bag.  I started laughing, this was too much to believe even though it happened. I got the plastic bag opened and filled it with mushrooms then pushed the cart back to the opposite side, stretched up to reach another plastic bag and returned to the organic vegetables wondering if she was mentally ill.

Long ago, I developed an aversion to making lists. Not to forget something I need, I go up one aisle and down the next until I reach the end. At about the sixth aisle I saw the woman who stole my plastic bag. Only now she was speaking in English with a man about what brand of cereal he wanted. She saw me but looked right through me.  As I slowly passed by shaking my head in disapproval, I deliberately turned to her and said, “Only In Merced.” 

I cannot place this incident into a category, but it sure makes me laugh only because I still cannot wrap my head around the mentality of people in Merced that many have this low standard that reasons it is okay to  wear your pajamas to Wal-Mart or kick a stranger’s dog because it barked at you or steal a shopper’s bag just because. 

There is one thing I am certain of, I really am out of my element. 

 

 

The Reluctant Witness

The Reluctant Witness

Tonight, the reality of residing in Hell demands my attention. Outside my door are frightening sounds of an altercation that is too close for my comfort. Grabbing my phone off the table, I stand at attention prepared to dial 911 emergency. As the commotion outside escalates so does my anxiety. Past experiences have taught me to expect the exchange of gunfire as this is the usual end to altercations in my neighborhood. When the gunshots go off in rapid succession my hands shake as I press the numbers 911 on the phone’s screen.

A woman on the other end questions, “What is your emergency? ” Quickly, I speak, “corner of Madison and Denver… a woman was screaming… then gunfire… seven shots, hurry.” She replies, “They are on their way.”

True to my curious nature, I venture out into the back yard; into the darkness. Peering through the gap in the fence, directly across the street, I watch a car backing out of the apartment driveway the car makes a sharp turn and speeds off. Stopped in the middle of the street is the second car, I wonder if the passengers are involved in the shooting. The last time I heard gunfire split the night, in the morning, I learned that a young man had lost his life. The White car takes off like a jet and races around the corner, seconds later, a police car arrives at the scene. Still shaking, I dial 911 again to inform the operator that the police car just missed a White car that went around the corner.

With flashing lights and its siren blaring, the police car disappears around the corner. A crowd starts to form as people come out of their apartment. Not long after the first Police car left, an ambulance, fire truck, and other police vehicles arrive. Two EMT’s take out a stretcher from the ambulance and roll it over the driveway. The EMT’s return, a man on the stretcher moans as the stretcher is lifted into the back of the ambulance. One EMT jumps in the back and the other slams the doors gets in the driver’s seat and speeds off around the same corner. The crowd thins as people begin to go back inside. Doing the same, I go back inside and as usual, when exposed to the violence of these frequent incidents, images of my hometown fill my mind followed by my sworn declaration, “I Hate This Fucking Place.”

My Little Boy Lost

My Little Boy Lost

In 2002, I filed for divorce after sixteen years of marriage. My twelve-year-old son, Jacob, chose to live with his father but had I known that over the following years a distance between us would develop, I might have thought twice about breaking up the family.

When Jacob became increasingly uncommunicative and started refusing weekend stays with me, I knew our relationship had hit rock bottom. I tried every way to engage my son but he remained aloof and at times hurtful with sarcastic remarks about his unhappiness with my, what he termed, “intrusion in his life.”

Jacob, now an adult, is a stranger and bears no resemblance to the young child I once knew. Now and then, his sister updates me on his life  Last Fall, she told me he was accepted into the University of Santa Barbara and is studying for a master degree in research psychology.

Even though I tried my best to include Jacob in my life, my attempts of inclusion were most often met with his resistance and rejection. So often, I would sit on the couch in the quiet and mourn the loss of Jacob, feeling like I had come from his funeral. Overwhelmed by this constant suffering, I had to accept the truth that my little boy had become lost and I had become his devastated mother.

There are reminders of Jacob spread about the house. A framed picture of us together in the snow, the clay dragon he made in art class, and I still use the knitted sunglass holder he made for me while in fifth grade. Perhaps when he becomes a parent Jacob will realize how much I have always loved him. What I fear most is not living long enough for that day to arrive, but without choice, in the quiet, I patiently wait.

Welcome to the Ghetto Hood

Welcome to the Ghetto Hood

The image I held in mind of a Ghetto was developed over the 80’s and 90’s with visual cues broadcast over the television of neighborhoods in decay, a place where the poorest people lived. This is what I thought before circumstance brought me to the Ghetto and I realized my definition was markedly deficient.

Being White, female, and single, I was shocked by the Ghetto I now live and a bit fearful. Most of my neighbors are drug addicts and gunfire is as common a sound as women arguing with their man around midnight. The Ghetto is void of color, civility, and the average income is below standard. I also have come to learn there is a high number of uneducated people. Speaking with a woman down the street, I mentioned Communism and she asked, “What’s Communism?” Merced, California, in 2015, ranked seventh on a list of cities in the U.S with the highest crime rate per capita. Also, in April 2016 Merced was given the prestigious title of Murder Capital of California.

In all my fifty-three years of life, I never had witnessed a person being shot, heard rapid gunfire in the night then in the morning learn that a young man was murdered in those rounds. I never witnessed drug raids by the police with their guns drawn nor have I been the victim of an assault by a female gang member. I had never been attacked by three pit bulls while out walking my dogs. Forced to live with polluted creeks and tolerate the trash thrown onto the lawn and in the bushes. In fact, trash is everywhere in the Ghetto and is as normal as the junk piled three feet high on sidewalk corners. Fences are falling apart, dogs run in packs, and dirt is the most common ground cover for front lawns. When a rental unit becomes vacant, the owner boards up the windows with plywood and weeds take over the yard to grow more than two feet tall. Such a wonderful sight to brighten one’s mood.

Sadly, there is a cycle to the longevity of a Ghetto; Ignorance will breed poverty, poverty will breed tolerance and tolerance will breed acceptance. When this formula is brought into play a new generation will be born to continue the Ghetto Hood.

 

Exaggerated Utopia

Exaggerated Utopia

I keep myself from sleeping thinking that if I was to wake with the rising sun that I would have to live another day. There is nothing different about how I feel emotionally, how I regard life in general. I have not become more sensitive to the smaller things. It is not unusual to find myself silently weeping with an ever familiar pain memory so skillfully resurrects just for me to lament.

With each breath that I inhale is a hope it may be the last required for whatever crime I committed. From the continued battle of life, I have developed Post, Present, and Future Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I refuse to explore this state of being;  I am too tired for stupidity. If there be a God, I will not accept excuses as to the why he has played cat and mouse with humanity since its formation. How can anyone believe in a God with whiskers? 

With the exportation of universal misery by revered psychopaths found in all religions, it should not be unreasonable to demand compensation for what little there is left to call one’s own. I am tired of being human, tired of rationalizing, tired of contradictions, and the state of everything neglected, the most being me by those whose pretentious love is nauseating and of which I consider as the ultimate betrayal.   

When I Was

When I Was

These are the days when I question how did my life come into disrepair? That I surmise my life was made from my actions that were without reason. Am I adult-like enough to have the wisdom to resurrect a self that has fallen to pieces?

A  wordless funeral tune is my inner song. Only when in a dreamless sleep do I find reprieve from this self I no longer recognize. I do not know when this hole in my heart began to drip away my happiness.

Before becoming disabled by glaucoma, my three brothers. two children and former husband were there to answer the phone or to make a call. Do they not conceive that being visually challenged by definition is a hardship? It is only reasonable for me to ask, that if I cannot drive to you, should you drive to me? Now that I no longer have the funds to purchase gifts as I once did, should you now purchase one for me? When I was strong was I not there for you in your darkest days, so now in my darkest days should you be here for me?

Nonetheless, I feel as though, to you, I have become the less that is now the none.