Soul Retrieval

Contemptuously conditioned to stuff extremely complicated subjects ⁣
into tiny boxes.⁣
Hoarding what’s ours and hissing at anyone who questions,⁣
No, threatens!⁣
I don’t believe that some are tougher than others.⁣
Sensitivity is the nature of our species,⁣
Some of us are just better liars,⁣
Cloaking ourselves in more acceptable emotions like ⁣
indifference, anger, annoyance.⁣
Because most of us have souls that fled somewhere in the early chaos,⁣
Leaving our hearts exposed to whatever change of wind life decides to blow.

Oaxaca, Mexico

To the Hills

I ran to the hills to catch a breath, a few breaths, 
some new fucking lungs.
I needed time,
Everyone needs time sometimes, 
Despite what we’re raised to believe.

I needed my memory and in these hills
the last they were seen.
The smell alone was enough, 
The cedar, the soil.
And just as I suspected, they arrived.

Many say you can’t live in the past and I agree
it can be a horrid place.
But you also can’t heal what hasn’t been exposed.
And there are few things I find more courageous than facing your greatest opponent.

Table for One

When the lights dim and the noise fades,
And your juggling that fine line of loving yourself
and thinking you’re better than others.

When all the other soldiers have gone home, 
And your about to pour that drink, turn on that show, take that hit,

Remember,
Sometimes the only person left to battle is yourself.

Bandera, TX 2019

Valor

You told me fear was necessary,
That you loved your fear,
That you respected your fear.

That it brings the most clever out of you,
Heightens every sense,
Reveals your resilience under pressure.

Teaches you how to best navigate a difficult situation.

I sat in admiration,
Thinking about how much stronger the world would be with more of you in it.

The Same

I am, he’s not
They don’t, I do
I can, she shouldn’t

Most of us spend our entire lives making rules for others that don’t apply to ourselves.
Most of us spend our entire lives desperately trying to differentiate ourselves from others.
Only to discover we all shit, piss and sleep the same.

Plateau

Elevated, flat, but going nowhere for a while, or possibly ever.

I couldn’t have thought of a better word.

Traveled far and high, blistered feet, bloody knees only to stop, bottom out, flatten out, fade out into something that almost represented a mountain.

Can you imagine? The humiliation of almost being a mountain and settling as a plateau?

Yea me neither.

I couldn’t have thought of a better word.

Taking up a third of the Earth’s land, you must be something special too.

Fuck a mountain, I’ll be the plateau.

There’s space for the both of us.

Coffee Talk

I watched her soft adolescent hands fiddle the fake engagement ring on her finger,⁣

She spoke of wanting marriage.⁣

I wanted to tell her to wait.⁣

I wanted to tell her that boys suck every last bit of life out of girls her age.⁣

I wanted to tell her she needs more time to learn how to be a strong woman in this unforgiving world.⁣

I wanted to tell her she needs to learn her boundaries for her soul’s survival in a marriage.⁣

I wanted to tell her to live and travel so that one day she doesn’t wake up to a stranger in her reflection wondering when and why she surrendered all her power to a man.⁣

Instead, I stayed quiet and continued to listen like you do when you’re learning another language.⁣

Instead, I fiddled my own engagement ring on my finger thinking about how none of this was my business. 

Sorry Grandma

The plane trolled into it’s terminal and like always, everyone stood up like seething beasts. I understand why this is so intimidating to an elderly person, it’s intense for me and I’m only 33.

I was grabbing her cane from the overhead bin when I could feel him trying to shove himself past me. His hot, impatient asshole breath on my back, “Excuse me I’ve gotta plane to catch, can you just let me, can you just, can you just speed it up!?”

I fucking hate it when I can feel someone’s breath on me, I raised my shoulders to my neck in discomfort. My grandmother worried, patted my hand, “Melly, let them go first, I’m too slow.”

I looked the man in the eyes while addressing my grandmother, “Grandma, we have to get somewhere just as soon as everyone else and if they’re impatient than they need to learn some patience, it’s no problem.”

The man let out an exaggerated sigh and shifted back and forth on each foot, pouting like a toddler. I laughed at the thought of this type of man, so predictable, so very unoriginal. You know the one I’m talking about, the fragile one that doesn’t hear the word “no” very often. The one that throws a hissy fit when you tell him you aren’t interested in having sex with him, yea that’s him.

We were traveling to Spokane to visit her brother who was recently admitted to memory care, which is just a fancy, new-age name for nursing home. She wanted to visit him before he lost his memory completely, so I volunteered to go along with her. As a child, she and my grandfather took us everywhere, so it was an honor to spend the time and take her to visit her brother. Traveling always brought her so much joy and I know its frustrating for her to be limited more and more with age. I wanted this vacation to be all about her. I wanted her to feel confident, comfortable and cared for because unfortunately, those feelings become so fleeting at her age.

I think it’s hard to imagine for those of us who are lucky to still have our physical independence. Independence begins to disappear as you get older, you get slower, you need more help. I hate that they feel like their existence is bothersome to others. I hate that they always feel so rushed just because everyone else doesn’t know how to slow the fuck down.

Not with me though, at least at this moment, I could fight for her basic existence in a society that has no respect for people of a certain age. It’s not everyone though. It’s amazing how many times during this trip I was seen by people my age and even older as a “saint” for traveling with my grandma. Yes, I had a flight attendant call me a “saint.” I guess she was impressed by my patience. Of course, it was appreciated, I’ve always loved throwing people’s shortcomings in their faces in hopes for a lesson learned but this was different. It was different seeing people’s reactions to a young person having patience with an elderly person. You usually see them being dragged around and yelled at by family members or caregivers, sickening.

I wish we were more like Mexicans, where the elderly are respected and cared for by family members and not left to rot in nursing homes, what a fucking concept.

Yes, I was traveling with my grandmother who’s in her 90’s, but that doesn’t mean that she has to take a back seat and risk losing her next flight just because other people are impatient assholes. I hated that this was even a thing she had to think about. I hate that this is a thing most elders feel. 

Inconvenient, obsolete.

I wasn’t about to let her feel as though her needs were lesser than others just because of her age. I didn’t have time for that, we had another plane to catch. And in general, I wasn’t about to have this dickwad validate her prescribed insecurities.

I dramatically swung my backpack over my shoulder causing the impatient man to take a step back.  I smiled at my grandmother and she gave me that familiar smirk of catholic disapproval. It’s a mix of consent with “on the record” disfavor.

He scoffed, “Jesus, can you watch it, you almost hit me with your bag!”

I laughed, “Who do you think you are? You’re the one shoving your body into me because apparently, your needs are the most important ones on this plane. You know, you’re lucky you met me now and not a year ago. You wouldn’t be complaining about the bag that “almost” hit you, you’d have this cane lodged in your fucking jaw. You can call my EDMR therapist Carolyn Poole and thank her for that. Your impatience is unbecoming and frankly just disrespectful to me and my sweet grandmother so back the fuck up.”

He took a step back with his eyes wide and mouth open in perplexity. Not surprising from this shit-stained toddler. The line began to move. I held out my hand for my grandmother, “Alright Grams sorry for the language, let’s blow this popsicle stand.”

My grandma snickering, took my hand, nodded at the excuse for a man and gushed, “How do you blow a popsicle stand?”