He dangled a
future in front of me
as an unattainable carrot
that only he could see,
then called me delusional
thinking that I want
what cannot be.


This selfie is proof that I am NOT delusional.

The painting is called SOAR… as in, NEVER TO NEST.  See those birds? I paint birds to represent souls. One of those two black birds flying solo is ME… the other is the old friend who cold turkey cut me out of his life via a one sided early morning text slam in January.

My art is abstract, but I am a realist…  I knew when I painted SOAR back in 1998 that there would never be a fairy tale romance leading to some happily ever after bull between us. That is one thing we had in common… neither one of us wanted that! I was fresh out of a suffocating marriage and the R.Tist was leaving before I met him.

Yes, there was a time when I wondered if we could be more than friends.

That was TWELVE YEARS AGO… he made it very clear that would never be, and described our relationship as a unique and special friendship back in 2004. Later that year, he moved to PA. The last time I saw him was in 2006, when he drove to Ohio to cheat on his then live-in girlfriend, who had gone to Vegas with her friends.

If he wanted to be with me, he would have stayed with me or asked me to go with him.  If he had a change of heart, his feet would have brought him back to me… that never happened so I had to get over it, accept what is as is… we were meant to be friends, nothing more.

So, I’m like totally confused.

I thought we were friends… long distance muses and friends.

I don’t understand why he would say things like he always doubted my ability to be his friend and how I could care less about what he’s going through… as if my interest in being friends with him was holding onto old hopes for more, rip me up one side and down the other.

Has he harbored a delusion of me being delusional all these years?

Maybe I gave him the delusion of me being delusional when I was twirling ideas of leaping in leap year… I wanted to run away, make a fresh start somewhere else and yes, I did considered moving closer to my old friend so we could hang out once in awhile and talk in person instead of texting.  He talked about moving, too. He’s the one who said, “yeah, I could live with you.” We did not talk about hooking up or anything stupid… it was more like a yeah, we could tolerate each other’s artistic quirks enough to share space, split the cost of living, make it easier to survive. Those conversations were like daydreaming out loud… just twirling ideas, nothing set in stone.


Can we make amends?

No… I am dead to him. He killed our friendship because I failed to live up to his expectations. My crime was being human. Okay, one slightly flawed bipolar human who self medicated during a manic stage and kept her personal life private, but it was really none of his business… and should have had no bearing on our friendship.

True, I could have been a better friend. He picked up on something being off with me… but was he there for me? No… when I told him that I wrote a letter to explain what was going on with me,  he mulled it through memories, twirled it with imagination, drew conclusions on assumptions, and slammed me with a text good-bye BEFORE the mail had time to arrive. Straight up, he could have been a better friend to me, too.

I’ve been talking to my shrink about all this… confusion, anger, mixed emotions is all part of the grieving process. I still care… I miss my friend, but I have to let the friendship go… it is dead.

We also talked about the death of my nephew.  I have a lot of anger, confusion, and unanswered questions about that, too. I want to blame the asshole who dumped his body in a McDonald’s parking lot. Paramedics were able to get his heart going again, but too much time had passed. The hospital tried heroic measures to save his life, even dropped his body temperature for 24 hours, but it was too late. He was brain dead. They took his body off life support last Monday.  I wonder where he OD’d, how much time had passed, if this dude purposely drove up to dump him on the south side of Youngstown, where discovery wouldn’t make the news. They lived way down in Columbiana County. What was he doing with that guy anyway? He was clean, why would he use heroin again? Was it by choice?

Shrink told me to keep writing… to keep doing what I’m doing… he said I seem more stable now, so that is a good thing. I feel more stable. I’m just grieving.

Thanks for reading.



Stoned Snow Man

In the wee hours of the frikkin night, I am instantly jolted awake by scrape, scraaaappppeeeee, scrape right outside my bedroom window. Was it a tree branch? NO… it’s my stoned ass neighbor out there ON MY PORCH scraping off the inch worth of fresh snow that had blown in through the rails. It was after ONE A.M.!!! Now he is out there playing, drawing maze paths with his shovel in the yards. I opened the door and talked to him. Oh yeah, he’s stoned, just got home, three sheets to the wind.

Okay. Fine. I toss a load into the LG washer/dryer combo machine. In an hour or so, he won’t be so high anymore and my laundry won’t even be halfway done. Will he hear the errrrmmmm of the water pump kicking on and off during the dry cycle through the wall? Nah, it’s not loud enough to bother anyone.

It just irritates me that he didn’t think… right now, I am jumpy at unexpected noises. It has only been a few days since an intruder invaded my space. I am still cleaning. To paraphrase the shaman of the bear clan, “if you want to cleanse your home, you must clean it.” I just took the carpet scrubber to the bedroom tonight. Yes, I wanted to remove the intruder’s invisible foot prints out of my sleep zone.

Oh well, I will just write myself to sleep? Ye about relaxed again now.

I am so utterly grateful to a dear friend for sharing three very simple and yet oh so powerful words: NOT AN OPTION.

Okay, so I am defusing tension with words by blogging how I feel and doing passive aggressive things like starting laundry in the middle of the night instead of automatically resorting to negative coping mechanisms. Yeah, but it’s going to be okay.

Thanks for reading!

Break Down Saturday

It started last night, but then I got lost drawing with colored pencils between texts and phone conversations. I wanted one more night with the Christmas lights and I am half tempted to leave the strand up that frames the window. The outdoor decorations will have to stay until a thaw as the candy canes wired to the porch are seriously encased in ice.

I almost hate to take it all down, but the skinny tree has been stripped of ornamentations and shoved back in its box. Just a few more pieces and it will be broke down and put all put away. Another holiday season committed to memory.

It was a good year, peaceful and pleasant, with many smiles. It was fun watching grandchildren play with new toys. Miss Z throwing her head back and neighing – who knew a stick horse required such lively animation? And Zavie-baby, just one year old, knew exactly how to pass a football in that “hut” thing shoving it back between his legs. Okay, so the babe knows more about football than grandma? There were also hugs and laughs and tender moments, visits with friends and family, trading fudge & sweets, shared meals and conversations.

I almost hate to break it all down and pack it away. It is like admitting that it is time to settle in for the long cold winter, the endless days awaiting the arrival of Spring. Groundhog’s Day comes next, along with the arrival of a new grandson, then Valentine’s. Drats! If the window lights were clear/white instead of multi-colored, I could leave them up and drop red & white hearts or something, add festivity to February.

On another note, I’ve been somewhat amused because I think that I am “supposed” to have hurt feelings about this Christmas. Like I am “supposed” to be upset and hurt and wonder why two of my sisters didn’t even bother to send me a Christmas card this year. They did post “Happy New Years to family and friends” on Facebook. (If they posted a simular Christmas greeting, I did not see it.)

Sister #4 is just busy… burns the candle at both ends and had her hands full with her own family. And a few years back, she told me to quit buying for her family. Yeah… they didn’t like it. Or rather, her grandkids must have loved that year’s theme of “Make a Joyful Noise” a little too much and drove all the adults insane with the box of giftbags full of candies and toot flutes, kazoos, and whistles that I mailed down that year.

As for sister #5, I think she has an issue with me or something because I commented “Happy New Years!” on her post – twice – only for my comment to later disappear so she must have deleted it twice, lol. Oh geez. Should I go for a third? Nah… don’t matter.

I don’t know what her problem is, so bump her games. I’m not playing.

That’s the thing… IF she knew me, she would know that I don’t play games. I do not play “guess what’s wrong” with people. This is like “act two” of the same play, but the thing is… “act one” went on too long.

She USED to be able to hurt me, but I have already moarned the loss of my sister. She shunned me for two long years and I still don’t know why. All I know is that one day, I had a kind and loving sister who suddenly wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. She would not take my calls, ignored emails, no response, no reply to anything. It was like she threw up an inpenatrable wall of silence and it baffled the hell out of me. She was dead to me, and I moarned the loss.

The family did not help as they kept us separated. I heard round about that me & her were fighting so much that we could not be invited to the same family functions, like wth? It takes two to tangle and I was NOT fighting with her or anyone so that just made me more baffled.

It finally ended on my 50th birthday, but I still don’t know WHY she shunned me. Oh, she gave me a vague non-explaination, something about a personal problem prepared like a canned statement so I wouldn’t pry into her personal matters. Maybe she did have a personal problem, but why take it out on me?

I should thank her for shunning me because, in my effort to understand it, I did something that I only dreamed of doing before but never imagined that I could actually do it. Yes, in the months of confusion, I started writing and cranked out 68,000+ words documenting every messed up sister game played on each other since we were little kids. It was a long angry rant… started as a simple journal entry and kept going until I poured it all out. Then I shoved the stack of paper in a box and stuck it under my desk.

Writing helped me heal from the loss of my sister. If she had never shunned me, I would not have wrote it. And now, it is the basis of my first novel. Now that the hurt has healed and the anger is gone, I can re-write it, spin it off into fiction. Right now, I am on chapter 9 and with any luck, it will be done this year.

Still, the relationship with this sister has remained tentative and I suppose I could have done more to rebuild the bridge between us. But, part of me says that is her job – she burnt the bridge, so it is her job to rebuild it. There is also a part of me that says protect myself… if she could do it once, she could do it again. The fact that she had it in her to shun me for two long years, to turn her back to me without a reason – at least none that I know of – still kind of blows my mind.

So, this not even a card this year makes me think that she’s got another burr up her bum. Is this Act Two, shun me again?

I don’t know… we never fully recovered from Act One. At best, we became like distant relatives, the kind you rarely see, odd cousins that you may run into on the street or when attending funerals and weddings. The type you greet each other with hugs and a friendly hello, then talk about everything but really nothing at all.

We don’t know each other anymore and perhaps we never did because IF she knew me, she would have brought her bee with me to me. We can’t resolve anything without communication and odds are, the original bee in the first place was something stupid. Maybe it was something someone else said round robin and it got blamed on me? I don’t know.

It is sad… there are times when I really miss my sister and I wish things could be different but, things are the way they are. I don’t know what is going on with her these days anymore than I did when she was shunning me. If it is, as she said before, a “personal” issue, then I hope she can resolve it.

Bottom line, it is not my problem. All I can do is silently wish her well, smile and wave from my side of the river. Maybe she will make the effort to rebuild our relationship someday? That’s the problem with burning your bridges, the stench can linger for years.

And so, I shall but these thoughts in the old popcorn tin with the glass bulbs and other fragile things.

~ N.

Note: this post was sent by email via cell phone. Spellcheck is not an option so my apologies for any words that make you groan.