Woodsmoke and Coffee

It’s all wrong now.

The days seem perfect on the surface.  The sun, the clouds, the big and wide bright blue sky, the wind in the tops of the tallest trees.

The weather is cool, but the smell is wrong.

It’s all wrong now.


Air of this temperature should burn my throat, and the world should smell like wood smoke and hot coffee and toast and cigarettes.

It should not smell like cigars and dryer sheets and desperation.

And oh, I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you.

I’m accused by some, in one breath, of not feeling enough for the ones that are gone, and in the very next breath of making you a laughingstock, painting verbal pictures of a redneck but they don’t know.


They can’t understand how the world smells different and how much that means and how big of a hole can be caused by the absence of woodsmoke and toast.

They can’t understand that I don’t PROCESS grief, I HOUSE it.  That every single loss is RIGHT THERE every bit as open and bloody and raw because I didn’t lose you years ago, or months ago or days ago.  I didn’t lose you yesterday or an hour ago I lost you right now, right this very second and if I stop and if I think about it, it all becomes much to much to much.

I cannot look at your picture, I cannot hear your voice, I cannot open the letter I have in my top desk drawer and I cannot read it because I cannot keep losing you over and over and over.


My sons were both born in the same week as you, but you only got to meet one of them and neither of them know you and neither of them have heard you sing, and I can’t think of you on your birthday because I have to think of them on theirs and it will always be one or the other because emotionally I can’t handle both.

Oh god how I miss you, and I want you back I do, I do want you back so much I want you back but I can’t go where you’ve gone and I’ll never see you again and it doesn’t matter if I wear my heart on my sleeve or crush it under a mountain of disassociation it doesn’t change the fact that you are gone.

(EDIT: I realized after posting that this also fits the Daily Post theme for today of aromatic.)


Tiny, Like a Moth

I turn the water hot, hotter, hottest, let the tub fill up.  I let the window up to let the steam out, the cold in.

Even my baths are a contradiction.

moth-645812_960_720A moth flutters from the window (inside the glass, how long has she been in here?) to the wall beside the shower head.

Small and brown and unobtrusive she tries hard to blend in with my ancient floral wallpaper.With my glasses off she mostly succeeds.

With my glasses off she mostly succeeds.

Some moths are huge, the size of hummingbirds.  The size of dinosaurs.  They throw themselves at lights, at people.

She is tiny and silent and easy to ignore.  She is going to die inside of this house, I know.  Not because I’m going to smash her, but because I can’t catch her, set her free.

She sits on the shower head and I lower myself into my scalding water, into my book about self-harm and institutionalization.  About being all alone in a hard, hard, hard world.

I think about this week.

I think about tomorrow.

I think it might be nice to be tiny, tiny like a moth, hiding in a steamy bathroom, disappearing beside a shower head.


Dying quietly, unmourned, swept up like trash at the end.

The world is full of giant, loud moths.  They thrash and thrash and thrash against the light, and think this makes them superior somehow.  Because the bruise and they batter and they convince you in tiny little ways that their self-destructive way is the best way the ONLY way.

Why is it so wrong to be silent?  Why can’t you ever win by disappearing into the wallpaper?

And why does it always end badly, no matter if you refrain from battering yourself to death trying to achieve something that isn’t real.

Tiny and silent, or large and loud, we all die in the end.

Images from pixabay.

The Girl with Blue Hair



Blue Envy by SPLAT hair color.

In my 35th year, I dyed my hair blue, and I never regretted it.

Except for the part where I also dyed my skin blue, but after I fixed THAT I never regretted it.

If you knew me in real life you would know that the whole idea of me dying my hair blue is laughable. I never do anything to draw attention to myself.

Early on I learned that different was bad. I was different.  I was poor.  I was fat.  I was bullied. I was scorned. I was used. I was a laughing stock.

I became such a dormant, quiet creature that I ceased to exist. I went along with whatever the person in charge told me to do. I quit voicing any opinion I had on anything.

I learned the disappear.

By the time I graduated high school I suffered from an intense depression and a case of anxiety that can be crippling at times.

By the time I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s I began to want to “find myself.”  Because, without a doubt, there was none of ME left in the shell that was my body.

The problem with disappearing when you are young is that you forget how to be SEEN!

I tried this, I tried that, I kept rubber-banding back to depression and invisibility.

So (after clearing it with my boss) I dyed my hair, and suddenly I was being SEEN.

For 35 years I was ignored unless someone wanted something from me.  Suddenly random people were shouting out across the room, “Hey!  I like your hair!”

And they said it without giggling behind their hands afterward.  They meant it.  They really did.

I had blue hair, and I liked it, and I had blue hair, and other people liked it.

It took years to perfect my invisibility.  It will probably take years more to fix it.

The anxiety is still there, bad as ever.  The depression is still there, and it get worse after every down cycle.  The urge to disappear into the woodwork if there is more than 2 people in a room is still there.

But in my 35th year, I became known as “the girl with blue hair.”

And that’s a step in the right direction.