Tree House

I remember the first day I saw that gnarled old Tree; it seems ages ago now. I must have passed the house where The Tree stood a dozen or so times, but as with many things, one gets busy and life interferes with the ability to notice simple things.

On this one particular day The Tree finally caught my eye and I stopped for a closer look. It wasn’t a small tree, hardly one someone would miss, but easily taken for granted in a city where everything is rush, rush, rush. It is somewhat expected to see the odd Tree on a lawn in the smaller neighborhoods, as it lets people pretend they are not entirely surrounded by concrete and noise. Nature in the city is regulated to the cooing of pigeons on the sidewalk and dead leaves blowing past the gutters.

The house that sat behind The Tree was not overly remarkable, an older 2 story home, painted a faded shade of teal, that had been obviously subjected to the elements over the years. The only real character to the house was that the top floor window, which extended out and over the lower portion of the house in a curved cylinder shape, was as wide as the lower portion of the house. Shutters hung to either side of the windows on both floors, painted a dark, taupe, but they were not movable shutters just accents for the windows as many older homes used to have. This house did not appear to have been lived in for a great many years.

The base of The Tree was directly in front of the house, perhaps the contractors had built the house over a seedling and it sprouted from beneath in retaliation, and the base was the size of the tires on a Greyhound bus, round and stout like an old fashioned rain barrel.  A trunk of chocolate coloured, solid wood rose just a couple of feet off the ground before twisting upward and away from the house at such an alarming angle that it was a miracle the Tree had not fallen over. It almost appeared as if The Tree was trying to escape the presence of the house. There were no leaves on The Tree, no birds or squirrels hanging in it’s branches, it was devoid of any form of life, except that the wood was a rich brown and obviously very much alive.

The form of The Tree intrigued me, and as a storyteller inspired me as well. I began imagining what The Tree might be running from, what it could be afraid of. Was there some sinister presence in the house, like the story of Amityville, or was The Tree the true evil, reaching out for new souls to capture little children to eat, like the one in Poltergeist?

The Tree

 

Now you’re probably thinking that I have simply seen to many horror movies and read to many Stephen King stories, but this tree would make anyone wonder, if they took enough time to really notice it. Every day and evening when I passed The Tree I was compelled to stare at it with wonder and I honestly believed that the thing was growing bolder, that it’s arms reached further away from the house and closer to the street, closer to me.

Finally, on one cold evening in December, as I walked home through layers of gently falling snow that covered the sidewalk, cars, and fences that I passed, I noticed that the The Tree remained untouched by winter’s hand. There was a thin layer of snow on the ground beneath, some on the house behind, but no snow on The Tree itself.

This was simply too much to ignore and I was compelled to investigate such a phenomenon. I had finished my shift at midnight and it was now almost one in the morning. There was no one on the streets of my quiet neighborhood, no cars, no people, and not even a stray cat. Having no audience to remind me that technically I was trespassing, I stepped forward onto the front lawn of the house. There were no lights in the windows, nor had there ever been in all the time I had passed by at night, which was why I assumed it was vacant.

My boots left small footprints in the snow as I approached The Tree and part of me, mostly stirred by my imagination, told me to get the hell out of there before The Tree came alive or some zombie came running out of the house after me. However, the logical part of me, who dismissed such happenings, could not contain her curiosity.

Two more steps closer and I was at the base of the Tree, looking up through the branches, which offered a decidedly macabre appearance. Reaching out with a gloved hand I touched The Tree, not knowing what to expect, but certain something would happen, and when nothing did I pulled back. The Tree didn’t come alive, a hand didn’t appear to pull me inside, and I wasn’t shocked into oblivion or turned into a toad, it was just a tree.

Somewhat disappointed I stepped back to glance around The Tree to the house. It didn’t look specifically ominous this close up either. Shaking my head at my own morbid stupidity I turned back toward the street, only then realizing how incredibly quiet it was.

When I say this, you must understand that while it is late at night, in the city there would still be noise. The sounds of all night streetcars on the roads, someone shouting from three streets over, usually teenagers out past curfew, and sirens in the distance can almost always be heard along with the humming of streetlights and neon signs. Instead, there was only a deafening silence with only the sound my own heartbeat to keep me company.

A feeling of unease settled over me and as I moved one foot forward back onto the curb. I glanced down and saw that the lawn, dusted with a thin layer of snow, remained beneath my boots. I took another few steps, able to see the sidewalk ahead, yet unable to reach it. Like an old Jimmy Cagney musical, the ground seemed to roll backwards with each step I took, giving the illusion of walking without actually going anywhere. Another step, and another, I was almost running, and still I could not reach the sidewalk, until I took a giant leap and was propelled backwards into the Tree.

Stunned and frightened I lay there in the snow, staring at the houses across the street, a small convenience store just up the road with cars parked in front of it. This didn’t make any sense! What had I gotten into? I could see everything just as before, but I couldn’t get off the damn lawn. Horrified, I watched as a car drove up the street in front of me, moving without any sound. There was no crunching of tires on pavement, no hum of the engine as it drove past, only absolute silence like a movie without the soundtrack.

I scrambled to my feet and walked around to the other side of the lawn and the same thing happened, movement without movement, walking without getting anywhere. I began to shout, hoping someone would hear me, maybe call the police, come to their doors to check out the noise, but the neighborhood remained silent as a tomb.

Desperate, I scooped up enough snow to form a ball and threw it, watching it land, soundlessly on the street. Then, I made the mistake of reaching my hand out, half expecting to feel an invisible barrier of some kind, like the one mimes often pretend to feel with their hands, but my fingers slipped through and I felt only air. I took my glove off, no, not air, I felt nothing, absolutely nothing and it felt horribly wrong. Even air feels like something, when it touches bare skin, when you wave your hand back and forth there is a slight change in temperature, a breeze, warm or cold, yet here there was nothing. I shivered, but not from the cold, and pulled my glove back on.

There was no sound, no feeling, and it was then I realized that my breath no longer fogged the air. When I tried again to move forward I felt a painful discomfort and I realized that my feet had fallen asleep. The prickling sensation ascended to my legs and intensified by the time it reached my torso, like a swarm of spiders had worked their way inside my clothes and embedded themselves beneath my skin.

I slapped at my chest and legs, ripped open my jacket expecting to see the insidious creatures, and found nothing. I spun around during my struggles, facing The Tree and the sensation stopped. That couldn’t have been just my imagination; my skin still felt like it was crawling, just not as strong. I stared at The Tree, it remained immobile and indifferent, but my chest was heaving like I had just run a marathon.

Still scratching at my chest and arms, I turned to look at the house. I could see no way around to the back due to a privacy fence, so my only choice was to go through it and hope there was an exit to the road behind. There had to be a back door, a house always had a front and a back door, didn’t it? Right, so that was what I would do. I’d go through the house to the back, shouldn’t be too bad.

Now, you are probably thinking isn’t it lovely how well I am adapting to the situation, aside from my spastic fit a few moments ago, but you have to understand… I HAVE read an enormous amount of Stephen King and so my sense of normality is somewhat different from others and I tend to adapt easier to the bizarre. I mean really, I suppose I could start screaming for help, okay technically I did try that, but I’m not yet crying hysterically, or praying because all is lost… that would only do for an hour or so and I would still be stuck now wouldn’t I?

So, over to the house I went, not really afraid mind you, just extremely cautious. After all, I had no idea what I would find in that house, but in it I must go. I couldn’t sit out here all night. Stepping onto the porch my foot immediately went through one of the boards and I twisted my ankle, which of course, was a wonderful start to my adventure. It hurt like a sonofabitch, but I was able to pull it out and continue.

I knocked on the door and received no answer, I think I would have been more surprised if there had been a response. The door was locked, and so I limped around the porch to the side of the house, hoping to gain access to the rear and put this Twilight Zone episode behind me. Oddly enough the porch only led into an outside wall of the house, with one door; also locked.

There was a smell here, to this day I can’t describe it and I have never discovered anything like it since, but it was strange enough that I proceeded with additional caution. A small window on the side, the top, level with the doorframe beside it, was slightly ajar by about an inch or so. It was too high up for me to reach but there was an old kitchen chair on the porch, rusted and with no backing, that I was able to climb on to boost myself up. Sliding my hand between the sill and the window I lifted it the rest of the way up, waited a moment to see if an alarm would sound or three-headed dog would take off my hand, and then I climbed inside.

Okay, I should mention here that whenever you climb through an open window, unlike in the movies, you should not expect a soft landing, nor are most people double jointed that they can start headfirst and land on their feet inside. I pulled myself through headfirst and that was pretty much how I landed, my scull and right shoulder bouncing off what I assumed was a kitchen counter.

Contusions aside, once I was through the window it was like falling into an open grave. The air was stale and rot with mildew, and an odd smell lingered in a darkness that was as black as the deepest pits of hell should be. Everything was so very still. It felt like a giant lump was starting to form on my forehead as I grabbed the counter and slowly rose to my feet. My shoulder and ankle ached, but now that I was inside I could only go forward. The street lamps outside could not permeate this dark, thick gloom and had I realized it would be so incredibly pitch black I might have considered other options.

Feeling my way around, wishing for the first time that I smoked because then I would have a lighter or matches, it appeared that the walls seemed devoid of pictures or ornaments. This must be what it was like to be blind, or dead, I suppose, but I didn’t really want to make that assumption right now. Groping my way across the wall, I was startled when I fell through a swinging door that led outside the kitchen into a narrow hallway. To the right a hint of silver light streaming through the panels of the front door and one of the smaller windows cast an eerie gloom over the bulky, white draped furniture of the living area. The walls remained in shadow, the light reflecting away from them as The Tree twisted away from the house. To my left was darkness and directly ahead was a staircase leading up, probably to that funky overhanging room in the front.

Well, since I was looking for a way out, the stairs would have been an asinine choice. Did you ever notice though that when the women in horror movies or slasher flicks are being chased by killers or zombies, they always run upstairs to get away from them? What are they going to do, jump out a window on the second floor, break their leg and wait for the killer to pick them off? Like I said, asinine. But that’s what makes for a good movie I suppose. If the characters had any real sense, they wouldn’t have been in that predicament in the first place and of course…if they were Texans, they could have shot old Jason or the screamer guy with the 357 Magnum they carried in their purse, for just such an occasion.

Sorry, I tend to crack jokes when I get to this part, I guess because what comes next isn’t really very funny at all. In reality, the fact that I can tell you about it without screaming is really quite surprising.

I moved closer to the wall, using my hand as a guide and wandered into the darkness. I came to what I thought was a door and pushed it open, a cold breeze greeted me. I assumed that this would be the way out. I could see the glow of moonlight up ahead and moved towards it, my boots a distracting clomp, clomp across the floor. I picked up speed as the light brightened through another open doorway and I was sure that I could smell fresh air.

Stepping through the door, I expected to see dark, open sky so was puzzled when to find myself in a child’s room instead. Well, wasn’t this a kick in the teeth? Who would put a child’s bedroom at the back of the house? Of course, I was taking for granted that I was at the rear of the home, stumbling around in the dark can play havoc on your sense of direction. Still, there was light coming from inside the room and I looked around to find the source.

Illumination from the street lamp outside streamed through the second floor window that I had seen from the street earlier, but how was that possible? It hadn’t felt like I had been walking upward and I had specifically avoided the stairs, so how could I have gotten into this second story room? I crossed the threshold and felt a hot flush crawl up my skin, followed immediately by a thousand raised bumps across my cold skin. I moved to the window and could see front lawn The Tree reaching away from the house.

Perplexed, I went back through the door, into the darkness and again felt my way across. The walls felt odd beneath my hands, not completely solid. I could have taken off my gloves to get a better understanding of it, but something inside me advised against this. The floor remained level, it did not appear to be rising or descending, or even curving.

On I went, through the darkness and the cold, searching for an exit, unable to believe that the house was so big, it looked so much smaller from outside. My head ached like a jackhammer was racing across the center of my skull and my ankle seemed to be getting worse with each step I took.

dark

I heard noises in the darkness, whispers, and sounds that I truly believed was either the wind or a product of my own over active imagination. They were so soft, you see, more like traces of whispers, and I had to question if they were even there. Like when you see something out of the corner of your eye, you turn and it is gone; the minute I stopped or cocked an ear to listen the noise stopped. And the smell, it was much stronger and I still have nothing to compare it to. It was like a mixture of seaweed, bleach, mud, propane and something…something else entirely. I had my scarf over my mouth and nose to try and filter it, to keep me from gagging.

After what seemed like forever I could see a light and moved closer, I realized that it was again the doorway to the upstairs room. This was getting silly, for all the walking that I was doing there had to be other doors than the one that led to this stupid room. I had not even seen the stairs again and could no longer find the window I had climbed through or the front door. I have never been particularly bothered by the dark but I was starting to be. The only light came from this room and it seemed that every path through the house led here. That wasn’t possible of course, but the fact that I was trapped in this house with the runaway tree was not exactly something for reality TV either.

On my third trip around, I’d had enough of the dark, the phantom whispers, and the smell and decided to try to open the window of the second story bedroom. Once outside again, I would at least have light and fresh air and maybe I could find another way around the house.  Ignoring that weird, flushed shiver and a moment or two of nausea as I stepped into the room, I was startled to see the light of dawn steaming through the window.  How long had I been wandering around in this Godforsaken thing?

I was starting to get really scared as I pulled my gloves off and ran my hands over the window frame, searching for locks or switches that would release it. There was nothing. No locks, no hooks, and the windows themselves appeared to be painted shut. No, on closer inspection, I could feel tiny rounded edges of metal…the window was nailed shut. To keep people out or to keep something else in, I wondered. That smell was filtering into this room and I started to gag again on the awful stench. I watched someone jog past the house and banged on the window to gain his attention, but he ran past without even glancing up.

I hit the glass and screamed as loud as I could, but the guy kept on going. I told myself that he had a Walkman on and couldn’t hear me; I needed the lie to keep myself sane. Then when two ladies walked past in the opposite direction, and they didn’t hear me either, I resigned myself to the fact that the room was probably soundproofed and I didn’t have the time to wonder why.

Turning around, I searched the room for something I could use to break the window, no longer caring that I was on private property. I just about jumped out of my skin when something skittered across my boot, but when I looked down I could see nothing. The complete silence of the room was broken by whispers in the dark, strange moaning and whimpering. Was someone playing a trick on me? No, who would have known that I would come in here?

In my frantic search for something to break the window with, I knocked over a small lamp and was surprised when it blinked on as it crashed to the floor. That was when I saw why the walls had felt so strange, they were covered in what looked like human flesh, many of it still covered in dry blood and hair, insects and God knew what else, stripped flat and stretched like wallpaper across the room.

My hand covered my mouth to keep the bile rising from my gut and spewing across the floor. Terrified, I backed up into the window. Click, click, clickity- click, the sound of someone typing, or perhaps nails tapping furiously on a desk, came from below and when something crunched beneath my foot I glanced down and saw millions of creeping, crawling insects. My eyes clamped shut. This isn’t happening; it’s all my imagination. All of this stuff wasn’t in here before; I’m just getting psyched out.

I dropped my hand and opened my eyes, prepared to see the room as it really was, dark, dull and quiet, but I was horribly disappointed. The lamp flickered out and a bluish glow descended upon the room reminiscent of the morgue scenes you might see in movies, with the overhead fluorescents flickering disturbingly. The light prevented my eyesight from adjusting properly and cast frightening shadows in the darker corners of the room.

I did not want to see what would come next and spinning around I slammed my hands against the window glass, demanding to be let out. Again and again I pounded on the glass until my hands began to bleed from the force of my fear.

Suddenly I could hear a strange scraping, like the tearing sounds of skin ripping from the walls. I froze in horror as the sound of shuffling crossed the room along with the crunching of insects underfoot as something moved closer. A single tear escaped my right eye and still I refused to turn away from the window towards the noise, terrified of what I would see. The smell was putrid, the whispers were now voices, groaning, crying in agony, and the shuffling, the crunching, the flickering of that damned blue light.

I covered my ears, wanting to block out the sounds, wanting to wake up from this nightmare. “You’re not real! None of this is real! Leave me alone, I don’t believe in you!”

I was so intent on my mantra of disbelief, so panicked, that it took me awhile to realize my hands and face were wet and when I looked at them, I saw that they were covered in blood, blood that was running down the window pane as if the house itself was crying for the lost souls hidden in it’s walls.

Something touched my shoulder and I screamed. The horrific blue light; that dead light that I hated, suddenly went out and pitched me into darkness. Seeing the horrors of that room was terrifying, not seeing them was even worse. I could still hear them, still smell them and now I was blind to them.

bleeding-wall

I felt the insects crawling up my legs, dropping into my boots, scraping the bare skin of my calf. Hands that did not feel like hands at all, touching me, tearing at my clothes, pulling at my hair, caressing my face, whispering their death curses and promising suffering beyond my imagination. I wanted to move, get to the door, better the darkness out there where the walls didn’t breathe and there were no sounds of ripping flesh and masticating insects.

Scratching at the window drew my attention as I battled with the creatures in the darkness, and spinning around I saw that The Tree had twisted its upper branches towards the house.

I pounded at the glass and I knew, or perhaps I was just desperate enough to believe, that somehow it was trying to help me. “I’m here! Let me out! Help me, please!”

The branches slammed against the window, the sound echoing in the room, as my hands beat on the glass from the inside. Suddenly, all movement and sounds ceased and a curtain of silence dropped over the room.  A flickering red glow was reflected in the glass, between my crimson hands, firelight catching on the lower frame of the door and steadily climbing up the walls caused me to turn and face whatever new horror was rising. The only sound now was The Tree outside, scratching vigorously at the window as it would in a fearsome storm.

The floor beneath me began to move again, like the Moonwalk attraction at a carnival, soft, mobile, squishy.  A vortex opened, where the door used to be, and through the black pit a face moved forward bathed in fire and razor sharp fangs, the gurgling sound of blood being fed through an enormous mouth. Sharp talon like hands reached forward and I knew that they were meant to peal the skin from my bones and feast on my brains, as it had the others

The house wanted to devour me and this wasn’t a dream. I glanced at the walls, wondering how many people had met their end here, how many people had joined Jeffery Dahlmer’s interior decorator. I didn’t want to be its next victim, I refused to be, even as I felt the talons crawling up my legs, tearing through my denim jeans and gouging bloody trails through the delicate flesh of my legs

I slammed myself against the window matching the ferocious efforts of The Tree outside as it thrashed against the glass. Finally, the window gave away and I dove outside onto the closest branch. A roar unlike anything I have every heard, or ever care to hear again, filled with such hatred that the hairs on my arms stood up, released from the room as the talons made another grab for me.

The Tree was twisting again, moving back towards the street, and I climbed as fast as my tired, battered body would carry me. I grabbed onto one of the higher branches, tried to keep from falling as it rose higher and swung away from the demon house. My hand paused against the smooth wood, yes smooth, like a baby’s bottom and not like a tree at all; which was usually weathered and crusted and embedding splinters into your flesh. I realized there were faces in The Tree, faces and forms and all of them were crying for release, their features warped in agony and despair.

I saw my own frightened face emerging beneath my hand and wondered if I had not made the wisest choice in choosing The Tree for my savior. I began to see myself being eaten like the child in Poltergeist and cursed at my own stupidity. Escaping one horror for another, skinned by demons or eaten by a Tree, what a freaking choice to have!

The branches continued moving, groaning and creaking until it was back in its former position. The limb that I clung to hovered directly over the street, well past the invisible barrier I could not penetrate earlier. The branches lowered, moaning and shuddering with the effort, until I could tumble from its grasp onto the sidewalk without hurting myself further.

I shivered as the cold air slapped the warmth from my cheeks and the freezing snow melted through the seat of my pants, penetrating the layers and chilling me to the bone. A car passed by, exhaled a trail of smoke from its exhaust that immediately filled my lungs. I began to cough, the sound almost drowned out by a street screeching into the subway station several blocks away.  My breath! My breath was making soft misty frost clouds and the sounds of the city surrounded me.  I had never felt so alive! I had never come so close to death!

I looked up at the Tree, which was now back in its former position, untouched by the falling snow and devoid of wildlife, once again still and silent. Carefully, I managed to pull myself together and rise to my feet and wondering if I had imagined the whole thing, but it was daylight, the city was coming alive and there was dried blood on my hands.

I looked away from The Tree, unable to see the faces anymore and unwilling to share anymore of its secrets. I crossed to the other side of the street, vowing to never go near it again, and when I reached home I wept.

I took a different road home after that day, unwilling to go back near that horrific house, although part of me always wondered about The Tree. Was it trapped on that sinister property, forever guarding that dark secret the house held, or would it one day escape, once it’s branches reached high enough an far enough? Or was The Tree part of the darkness, but for whatever reason decided to change course and rescue me?

After a while I stopped thinking about what happened to me in that house, and I moved on with my life. Then one afternoon, many years later, a friend was driving me home and he took that street that I had avoided for so long. I was compelled to look for The Tree and was startled to see that it was no longer there. The house had been sold, and the tree had been cut down. The house had been remodeled and sported a new paint job and a quaint little fence around the yard, and had a for sale sign in the front.

I asked my friend to stop and I stepped out into the warm summer evening. I was worried for the people who would but the house and what horror’s they might endure, without The Tree’s protection, but then, as I moved closer to the fence, I saw that a small seedling had sprouted from where The Tree once stood, and its tiny, fragile stems seemed to be reaching towards me. I smiled, returned to the car and wished The Tree good luck.

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October 17, 2016 · 10:05 pm

What Do You Believe In- God, Angels or Demons?

People tease me sometimes because of the things I believe in and so I thought I’d write a little something about what people, (myself included) believe.

Many people believe in God, Angels and Heaven and Hell and they are not teased about it.  Some are devout in their beliefs, praying every day and believing that no matter what tragedy befalls them, it is God’s will that such things happen and that they will be rewarded in the Kingdom of Heaven. They say they believe in the words of God, in the teachings of their faith and will disavow any suggestion that they feel otherwise.

I grew up as a Roman Catholic, but also had friends that were Jehovah Witness, Jewish and many other faiths. I don’t have a problem with anyone having faith in something higher, or leaving their lives and circumstances up to God. If that is what gets them through, helps them find Peace and Happiness, of course it should be accepted.  However, it makes no sense to me that people who claim to believe in God, or the scriptures or the prophets can act the way so many of them do. Those who use their faith as a way to hurt people and wage war and propagate the hatred of others through the words of their religion believe in only one thing. Themselves, and the fear and power they can create or gain by using the words of religion.

I believe in God, though not in the form that everyone else does.  I believe in the true word that we are all brothers and sisters and should treat each other accordingly, not through the words of Christ, but for the simple civility of Humanity. I don’t understand why people insist on treating others badly. I don’t ‘get’ the obsession with money and power and position and fame. I have no desire to rob someone of what they earned, or lie about someone to get a promotion over them. I have zero interest in being on a reality TV show or having my face or actions splashed all over You Tube with something that has gone ‘viral’.

As for Angels and Demons, I believe they do not reside in Heaven or some otherworldly plane, but instead live here among us.  The Angels are the people who show kindness and compassion to others. The men and women and sometimes even children who every day save lives by picking up the phone or some miraculously heroic act. They are the soldiers who despite all odds continue to fight for our freedom. They are the nurses who live their lives healing us and giving us their time, skill and energy.

Unfortunately, the Demons are here too, along with the Devils and the monsters and all the other evil things you can think of. Murderers, rapists, child molesters- is this who you think I’m speaking of? Well, they certainly can be categorized as monsters, but not Demons. The Demons are the rich and powerful people who live so far above us that we cannot even comprehend their existence, which is also shrouded in mysteries, lies and conspiracies.

The Demons who take our money under the pretense of guiding us to financial freedom. The Demons who lie to us about who they are so they can gain political power. The Demons who demand we pay them money for our old age, then when we reach retirement they say there is no money left, so we have to sell off all we own to live or just keep working until we die. The Demons who manipulate the stock exchange, the oil prices and the banks to devalue our money, or homes and our lives. You know some of them too, don’t you? You’ve seen the Demons plastered all over TV and on billboards, those who dare to show their faces, who pretend to be generous and giving and perfectly normal, but they’re not. We will never see behind their masks to the true form beneath.

Unfortunately, these kinds of Demons who hide in plain sight cannot be ousted by the Angel Gabriel or any other good entity, because we are not willing to see the truth. We are not willing to take a stand against the Demons because it is so much easier and convenient to just take it up the ass and let them control our lives. If they looked like the Demons we feared we would fight. If they acted the way we expect Demons to act, we would rise up. But they don’t and so we don’t. They lie and we accept their lies as truth. They’re pretty, they’re normal, and so we won’t bother them with our silly ideals.

It is only a matter of time before the place we call Earth becomes the Hell we are all so afraid of. But it’s okay, The Demons will still let you have your conveniences, and it will only cost you your soul.

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October 17, 2016 · 10:05 pm

Voices Of Our Sisters

Voices of Our Sisters

We Are Only Who We Are, What We Are

We Have Never Asked For More

  Than What Any Of You Would Ask

And still, We Rest Alone

Where Is The Justice?

Where Are Our Rights?

We Once Danced With Laughter

Wrapped In Colour Supported By Flame

Now There Is Only Darkness

Now There Is Only Cold

Why Don’t They Cry For Us

Why Have We Been Forgotten?

This Is Not What Should Have Been

We Had So Much To Say, So Much To Do

Why Was This Taken From Us

Why Does No One Care?

Why Have We Been Forsaken?

We Cannot Rest

Always Walking

Always Running

A Never Ending Journey To An Unknown Place

Searching For Light

Searching For Warmth

Crying For Justice

Until Then…

We Shall Just Keep Walking

Hundreds of  indigenous women have been murdered or gone missing across Canada since 1980 and remain, to this day, unsolved or open cases that the authorities have neglected to investigate.  In 2016 CBS launched an investigation of 34 of those cases, where police claim there has been no foul play. (for full details visit the CBC link below) Please- lend your voice to this cause by getting involved and forcing authorities and governments to stop treating these missing and murdered women as an invisible statistic.

http://www.cbc.ca/missingandmurdered/

https://nwac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Fact_Sheet_Missing_and_Murdered_Aboriginal_Women_and_Girls

missing_women_vigil-fred_chartrandthe_canadian_press_file_photo

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September 28, 2016 · 1:20 am

Friendship-I call Bullshit

My father once said that I do not have a selfish bone in my body, so perhaps I need a transplant to get a few in. I have always put others before myself. I have always done what others wanted to do, or worked to make others happy. I always heeded to another person’s schedule, sometimes even rearranging my own to make it fit so that I can spend time with them. I have always tried to be the comic relief for those that are stressed and the sensitive ear to those who’s hearts are bleeding, but no longer. No one is there to cheer me up, or pull me out of the pit of despair.

I am not a selfish person, but I am about to be. I lasted almost 6 years being 7th priority to my boyfriend, after his son, his mother, hockey, golf, his job and his ex wife. I find that I am even further down the list with the people that I call friends. I spent a lot of this day realizing, as I spent another weekend alone, that I am always the one to call and suggest a get together. I am always the one who texts first, or is left chasing after the attention of someone else.

In the last year, do you know how many invitations I have received from my friends to get together? And I am not talking about the mass invite to an event that I can’t get to because it is out of the GTA, or for a product party, I’m talking about actual; invitations for me and that other person to get together, see a movie, play some cards, have a good laugh… None. 0. Zip.

Do you know how many invitations I have made to others in the last year or so for the same reason? Dozens upon Dozens. Do you know how many accepted? 0. Zip. Ziltch. The reasons are all the same. Their work schedule is crazy. Their home schedule is crazy. They’re out of town. They’ve got too much going on….and then I see all the lovely updates of them out on the town having dinner, at a party, at a movie or whatever with their ‘other’ friends. All things that I wasn’t even considered for.

I began to realize that my friends didn’t really think about me all became most apparent when my friend married a few years ago. I was the one that got her and her husband together. I had them over to our house multiple times, helped them move and any manner of other things. When they got engaged, we were the last to know. When they got married, she had eight…eight bridesmaids, and I was not one of them. I was not even considered, though I had known her for several long years and considered us close friends, the only thing she asked me to do for her big day was a three minute reading, and that was last minute and mostly, I suspect, out of guilt.

My definition of friend obviously does not coincide with everyone else’s definition. A friend makes the time to get together with you after a month or two has gone by and they have not seen you. They don’t wait until you call or message and then beg off and claim they are too busy. A friend will check in on you now and then, with a call or a text or a message, just to see how you are doing, not wait for you to send a witty text and respond three days later with a simple ‘lol.

With the exception of my sister, who is also insanely busy with work and family and life, and my best friend who is in another province so we cannot see each other, I have seen only two of my friends, once in the past twelve months, and as always, I had to go to them and our time together consisted of a quick meal then they had to go again because they are busy, busy, busy.

Even my extended family wished nothing to do with me, the last few times I was home. I advised I was coming and with the exception of my Aunt, no one asked me to come for a visit or said they wanted to see me, but when my sisters or cousins go home, everyone makes the effort to get together with them. And people wonder why I have low self esteem? This is why. Actions speak louder than words, and the actions are that I am not wanted or welcomed.

When I deleted my face book account over three weeks ago, only a few asked for my contact information, and so far none of them have actually contacted me. Friendship is a two way street, and I am tired of being the only hitch hiker on a One Way going the wrong way.

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March 18, 2016 · 9:51 am

SNOWMAGEDDON

 

It’s snowing. Not just any snow, but the kind of snow I love…big fluffy flakes, gently falling to create a pristine blanket against the ground. There is nothing so peaceful and serene as walking in this kind of weather.
When it snows, ain’t it thrillin’? Blow your nose it’s a chillin’. We’ll frolic and play the Eskimo way…walkin’ in a winter wonder laaaannnnnnnnddd!
Ouch. Oh yeah….one other thing I forgot to mention about this type of snow…it’s slippery as hell! Okay…gimmie a moment. Nothing broken. Check. All limbs attached. Check. Buttocks re-calibrated from sudden impact. Check. Okay- we’re good. Where was I?
Ah yes…snow.

It’s always interesting how people react to inclement weather. There are some people that unless it is clear and sunny, are all bundled up like they are living in the Antarctic instead of Canada. Others, what some would call- Pure Canadian’s eh- are walking around, no gloves, hat or umbrella, just a hoodie or an open jacket without a care that the rain or snow is falling upon them.

Drivers who are already suspect on the road, become candidate’s for Canada’s Worst Drivers, either driving in bad weather as if they were trying to outrun it, ignoring the carnage of pile up’s they leave behind, or they are crawling along at 10 km an hour, afraid more than a couple of snowflakes might actually collapse there Smart car.

As for me I am somewhere in between, I wear my winter coat in the winter and my summer jacket in the summer…and when I am back home in Newfoundland, I switch them out on a daily basis regardless of season and always carry a sweater or a poncho. I don’t drive, so feel reasonably secure (most of the time) on the buses during bad weather days. It’s not fun standing out in the elements waiting for a bus during a storm, especially when the bus you were waiting for doesn’t show and then the next one isn’t for 30-40 minutes, but I still prefer it to risking my life trying to drive in it with unsuspecting road terrorists ready to cause chaos.

And what kid doesn’t love snow days! They get to stay home from school, and build forts and have snowball fights and go sledding and happily exhaust themselves with fun. I was never one of these kids of course, I disliked the cold and couldn’t throw a snowball to save my life, so I was usually the one that ended up battered by them, or face down in a snowdrift, but nowadays, I rather like snow.

At the office, however, snow takes on an entirely different meaning. Snow means looking out the windows every twenty minutes and checking the weather forecast online. Will it snow? When will it snow? How much will it snow? They’re predicting the storm of the century! Can we go home early? What are the roads like? I don’t have snow tires, how will I drive? And on and on and on. OMG it’s Snomegedon! Twenty to Thirty centimeters!? Outrageous! We’ve never had that much snow! The world is ending!

We’ve never had that much snow? We’re in Canada! We’ve had ten times that much snow. But, a funny thing happens in Canada every year, and not many Canadian’s are aware of it. The moment Spring steps forth, people forget about snow and complain about drizzle and rain. Then summer seeps its way around the corner, and it’s too hot. Autumn falls upon on us (sorry- couldn’t resist), and for the most part, people seem to be content as we get warm days, cool days, sunny days and rainy days. Everything everyone has been complaining out for the last two seasons, suddenly is just dandy.

And then, out of n where (not like it comes the same time every year or anything) comes the dreaded Winter. Oh My Heavenly Gods! The cold! It’s so cold! Why is it so cold? Was it this cold last year? Oh wait it’s warm again, why it’s practically summer. It must mean that Global Warming is a real threat. I have the flu, yes me too. Why is everyone sick? Because the weather keeps changing. Why is it doing that? Because we don’t have enough to complain about!

Suddenly the worst happens and a weather forecaster predicts snow. EEEKKK! Snow? Here? In Canada? The world has gone to hell in a hand basket! Stock up on supplies! Get those Winter tires! All schools are closed due to prediction of snow! (YAY! Snow day for the kiddies) Office workers are calling in sick tomorrow due to weather. Some can’t drive on snow. Some can’t see in snow. Some can’t remember what snow looks like! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!

The snow comes, as a gentle whisper of flakes softly drifting to the ground to create a lovely wintery blanket over the dying grass and hard, dirty sidewalks. As this snow lazily floats to the ground, it has no idea of the carnage that is predicted, for it is just snow and has no understanding of us silly Humans. It dances, and prances, and drifts and sways, until Father Wind decides he’s had enough of all those cars driving over his beautifully individual and unique flakes and all those people stomping across his crisp clean carpet of white. They need a lesson.

A snow squall picks up and no one can see outside the office windows. Car alarms are going off, birds clinging to the building ledges peering in as if to say ‘What is wrong with you people? Let us the Fuck in!’ Trash bags float past, but you can’t tell what it is until it slams against the window and everyone…EVERYONE that is glued to the glass shrieks! They stand there waiting, watching and predicting their own demise by this horrific thing called snow.

Then the wind stops, the snow resumes its graceful cascade to the ground and pandemonium breaks out. Cries of early departure abound, coats are flung on even before the people are out of their seats. Alarms are beeping like a symphony as everyone rushes out to their vehicles in the hopes of getting home before the next phase of the storm hits and they are sucked into the never-ending void of white.

Once on the road all the rushing comes to a complete and sudden stop as each vehicle crawls along the snow laden roads, inching desperately towards their destination where they can lock all the doors close all the curtains turn up the heat, watch Hawaii Five O and forget about the snow, but they won’t be getting home any time soon.

Jack Frost and Old Man Winter have a bet going to see how many accidents there will be, how many pedestrians will wind up with a wet ass as they try to hustle down the sidewalk in four inch heeled boots, tugging at their micro mini’s and shivering in their tights and yoga pants. HAHAHAHAHAHA

I’ll take a piece of that Jack! Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, snow. The moral of the story boys and girls is that snow, while wet and cold and somewhat slippery, it is NOT the end of the world and the only thing that really makes it dangerous, are the people who panic over it.

 

This combo photo shows people falling on the ice and snow along on January 22, 2014 in New York. The northeastern US shivered amid heavy snowfall and far below average temperatures in a storm that grounded thousands of flights and triggered traffic chaos.   AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY CLARY        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

The end.

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March 2, 2016 · 2:18 am

The Wheels On The Bus….

Ahh..It’s Monday

 

Taking the bus in Mississauga is like feeding a mass of starving chickens, while following a laser pointer just ahead of the running of the bulls.

I am very bad at math, but even I know that a line is not created by forming a hexagon around the circumference of a rectangle, or that ten people can fit through a 40-inch door at the same time. As I think this, (To be documented at a later date) I am being pushed, shoved, stepped over, stepped on, nudged and OY! Watch the hands there, ya pervert!

It matters not that I arrived before the three people that just crowed in front of me as if I were invisible as they tap away at their smart phones with thumbs that are moving so fast it creates a mild wind tunnel around the crowd. The only time they look up is to see if the bus is coming, not if someone is in front or behind, not if they are trampling a kid or smooshing a cat, just the bus and the phone- that is all that can fit in their tiny, insect like noggins.

Finally, the 109 express arrives, which is the one that only half of us are waiting for. In the distance, there is a flickering of orange and white, and suddenly the Time Warp begins…It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right. With your hand on your hips… and a stomp on the foot, with an elbow to the head, then they turned out the lights, as you’re lying there dead.

You manage to drift back to consciousness in the middle of the Barnyard Shuffle as everyone is scampering to the left, expecting the 107 bus to magically appear behind the 109. Suddenly the 109 pulls away and there is a massive scuttle to get back to the place they just were, five feet away.

Finally, the 107 bus arrives, and the oxygen is sucked out by the sudden vacuum crush of bodies trying to squeeze in through one tiny, bus door. As I am jostled, elbowed, squeezed and OI! Again with the hands! I finally make my way inside the bus, to see a bored, bleary eyed driver too disinterested to even meet the gaze of the cattle he is taking in. More jostling and inappropriate touching and I am stuck in the middle of a standing room only mid-town express.

Mmmmm…the smell of BO and armpit in the morning, nothing quite like it. My eyes are watering from a ‘man’s man’ who is too masculine to wear deodorant, and a woman who decided to bathe in a perfume that smells overwhelmingly like a funeral flowers mixed with cat piss.

A student carrying a backpack three times his width on his back keeps turning to talk to his buddy next to him. The backpack, that is obviously crammed with bricks, hits me twice in the head, before I squeeze a tiny hand through the microscopic space between me and everyone else and pinch the shit out of his side.

He yelps, looks down and I glare at him, while pointing to the back pack. He apologizes, and then there is an uncomfortable struggle as he tries to take it off while packed in with the rest of the sardines. Halfway through the route, we’ve shed a few pounds (people) and are actually able to sit down, and then, just as our resting rumps hit the seats, an idiot driver tries to cut off the bus and we are all thrown forward into our closest neighbor as the driver slams on the break. Much horn honking and fist waving ensues, then we are on the road again.

Finally we get to my stop and I pull the wire alerting a stop is signaled. We drive towards my stop, up to my stop, and then past my stop. ‘OY!’ From the depths of a wee person’s tonsils comes a warrior’s cry. “STOP!” The driver flinches, slows, pulls to the curb and I stomp off the bus (along with three other irritated people) and make my way back an extra block from where I needed to be. I turn down the street towards the building that houses my current employer, push through the doors and take the stairs rather than the elevator as I have the extra energy, up five flights and then key into the office.

Hang my coat up, drop my purse at my desk, reach for my lunch to put it in the fridge, and realize it’s still on the counter at home.

Yes…It’s Monday.

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February 23, 2016 · 1:06 am

Small Talk My Ass

I don’t really get this whole ‘Small Talk’ thing. I know people do it all the time. I know it is expected that everyone can do it, and that everyone does do it. Supposedly, it improves your social skills, and that you have to be great at small talk in order to have ‘good’ social skills.

For me, I just don’t get it. I am a writer, so words are important to me and always hold some meaning. With words, you can make someone laugh or smile, you can make them cry, you can hurt them in a way no physical pain ever could. Words are the greatest tool we have, and they are also our greatest weapon. Words, when used properly, can express a new opinion, educate, excite and, when others share your words, they can eventually change the world.

I’ve never been much of a talker. I prefer to speak my mind on paper (Or in this case on a laptop which is then uploaded to a website). Despite my preference, I have tried to learn this ‘small talk’ because friends and family insist that I need it in order to fit in with society and to grow as an adult. Well, at forty-four and 4’9″ I am already an adult and no amount of small talk is going to make me taller, so the growing part is over and done. But, I see where they are coming from.

Now, I have tried to use small talk with friends, co-workers, the odd vagrant or cute guy on the bus, until my eyes roll up in my head and my tongue turns blue, but in all honesty it just makes me even more socially awkward. I can never think of anything interesting to say; did I mention that I like my words to mean something, or at least instil some sort of reaction in the other person?

Sure, there are the generic comments/questions. “Nice Weather We’re Having” or “How Is Your Day Going?” which is usually followed by the standard, unimaginative replies of “Yes, Fine Weather.” And “Fine, Youuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Snark! Huh, what? Oh, sorry, I fell asleep while typing the MOST BORING RESPONSES IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSAL TIME SPACE CONTINUIUM!!! pant, pant. Breathe* Okay where was I? Oh yes, social monotony. When you look at the words above…no, above that, the paragraph above…don’t get technical! Sheesh. Anyway, the common responses and comments have no meanings. Someone asks how you are and you automatically reply fine or good. There is no thought put into it at all.

Let me e’splain….no, there is too much, let me sum up… INIGO! Get away from my computer!! Go find that six fingered guy. Now, anyone and everyone can use the oh so common phrases during small talk and receive the prerequisite response, sure no prob. However, what if you said something that is not in the Universal Small Talk Handbook? Say… for example, if you were to ask the woman waiting with you at the bus stop if she ever noticed how hard it was to move a body after it was dead?

As there is no standard response, the woman freezes, stares, and then slowly starts to move away. Sometimes she might reach for her phone, perhaps to Google what the proper response would be, or perhaps to contact the police on a possible serial killer- who knows? Now really…How is that kind of response supposed to help me improve my social skills? I suppose if I went to jail, I would certainly develop new skills, but I’m not sure how they would benefit me socially.

Now, everyone once and awhile you might meet that one non-drone, anti generic individual who might actually be able to attest to how heavy a corpse might be. If you are really lucky, they may even offer some good suggestions on disassembling and disbursement to make moving the dead body easier. Unfortunately, those unique and special people are few and far between (or serving life in a maximum security prison) and so after sharing your socially inept and slightly morbid joke, they walk out of your life forever.

So, I ask you, why must we all be judged by the same standard of social maturity when that standard pushes for everyone to be the same, and offers no respect for a person’s individuality? Talk the same, act the same, react the same…BORING! I am not the same as everyone else, I never have been, and while I did try it for many years, I found I don’t really care for it. I’ve always excelled in following the rules. Always tried to be what others people wanted me to be, or behave the way I was expected to behave. Not so much anymore.

I am socially awkward, and I don’t care who knows it. No amount of self- help books, twelve step programs or $500.00 sessions with a psychiatrist is going to change that. If you are shocked, dismayed or amused by the things I say or the way I act, I am totally fine with it, at least it is a reaction. Life is too short to be boring and far too long to be a sheep among sheep.

Please don’t insist that I have to be like everyone else, just because you chose to be. Don’t try and change me into follower when I am someone who likes to carve their own path, and leave it up to you to follow or go your own way. It really doesn’t matter to me what your choice is, because this is my life and my choice. You are responsible for your own.

I’ll tell you my idea of small talk, and I never expect a reply, though it is always nice to get one. I told a man with dreadlocks that his hair looked like snakes, and before he could respond, I said I like snakes. What might have angered him before, made him smile afterwards. I asked a woman in the elevator if she ever wondered if the goblins pulling the cables ever got a break for lunch. She paused, uncertain of course, and gave me a funny look, but as she stepped out, she looked up at the ceiling of the elevator- maybe looking for the little people behind the scenes?

Who knows? Maybe she went home and told a friend or family member about the crazy lady in the elevator. The point is, words mean something, whether you get a response or not, people remember your words when you have something interesting to say…and isn’t that simply amazing?

 

DSC_0301

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October 1, 2015 · 1:39 am