Friday, December 4, 2009

From Bull Street to Abercorn

It would be a lie if I told you that I haven't a clue as to 'what it is' about Savannah, Georgia. It hangs billowing in the sage green spanish moss, it grows in the vines that spiral through the iron gates and fences and you can feel it in the redbrick beneath your feet. Savannah whispers and tickles your ear before you have even left the airport. It fills you with promises of a happily, lazy, southern sophistication. The sun seems to shine a little brighter on this slow moving city, it touches everything in its path and makes it glow gold.
Even in death, Savannah honors those who have come and gone with such poetic reverence. You could lose yourself in the immense beauty of Bonaventure Cemetery, wandering the twisting pathways that lead you through the asymmetrical aisles of headstones, winged angels, roman pillars, statues of young children carved in such minute detail, they seem to be looking back at you with stone eyes.
And this is just the daylight hours. At night Savannah becomes a different world.
Crowded bars and restaurants, filled with music and the kind of people who smile back and toast to life. Carriages roam at a trot with couples who admire the squares of Savannah, breathing in the sweet air, their whole bodies pulsing with love and romance
Groups of fascinated tourists are spotted walking up an down streets being led by guides knowledgable inthe ghostly history of Savannah.
Forsyth Park and The Mansion directly across from it will appear out from behind the great lashes of spanish moss and reveal itself as a mecca of beauty. And if you're lucky enough to stay at the Mansion, you will witness far better than I could describe a kind of slow moving beauty that will make a stain on your heart and nothing will compare to it, some things may be better, but there will be nothing quite like it.
The streelights combined with the last few rays of sunset give this city a warm orange glow that will never leave you, long after you've unpacked your luggage at home and regaled your stories with family and friends and you've gotten those pictures developed.
No, even then from time to time when you think back on old Savannah, you'll feel that orange glow swell throughout you and you'll remember how beautiful it was, how lucky you were, to have witnessed such a place.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This is my brain while you are all asleep...

It's eleven.
It doesn't feel like eleven.
It doesn't even feel like I'm not alone in this house.
But I'm not.
There's a husband and a puppy.
Not really a puppy.
She's almost a year.
But calling her a puppy is like calling your significant other sugar or honey.
They aren't really sugar or honey.
But it's a term of endearment.
Not like the movie though.
The movie made me cry.
Never felt the urge to watch something that depressing ever again.
Except I do like to watch depressing movies.
Schindler's List, Amadeus and Wuthering Heights.
All highly tear-inducing films.
You could deduce that I watch these films because I think I'm better than you.
Smart people enjoy really sad shit.
But you'd be wrong.
You could also say that I watch these films because it makes me feel better about myself.
Wrong again.
I just like to watch 'em.
Why do I need a reason?
Not every single action has a reason.
Why do I like the color red?
Is it because I'm a sexual deviant?
Bloodthirsty?
Emo?
I don't know. I just do.
Sometimes there is no justification for the shit that we like.
All we know is that when that movie starts or the music begins or the sunlight pours in, that we feel content. Pleasent even.
Isn't the internet convenient for this age?
Everything you might find interesting about a person is usually lined up, all nice and neat in a little box.
Saves us the time of asking those inane questions.
"What kind of music do you like? Where are you from? What do you do?"
Instead, go to their myspace or facebook and voila! There it is.
Your homework done for you.
Hell, if you don't like what you see, you can delete. Unadd. Disapprove with a button.
Friend Request Denied.
And now, with the invention of Twitter. There's even less to read.
All you think you need or want to know about a person is posted in their latest update.
You can judge a person based on what they wrote 23 minutes ago. No need to follow.
Kinda weakens our social skills doesn't it? Makes us lazy. Interacting with real people becomes a task.
Because in real life if someone is yammering on about shit you could care less about, you can't stare them in the face while you interrupt with a fake emergency. Walk up to someone new and start a more interesting conversation.
You can't put up your away message in reality.
The internet has taken some of the worlds social butterflies and retarded their social skills.
It has also taken wallflowers and given them a voice. A veil to hide behind, so that they may say what they please.
The good come with the bad I suppose.
The internet changes the meanings of things. Like the word Friend.
How we have beaten and belittled that word haven't we?
A friend used to mean someone who gave a shit. Someone you could rely on, depend upon. Someone who knew you, liked you for you.
Now it's become a marker for popularity. A pissing contest with the world.
Look how many friends I've got!
Like you could substitue any other word for 'friends'
Look how many bananas I've got!
Look how many meepmeeps I've got!
Look how many bloppitybloops I've got!
I'm not innocent. I've got a little under a thousand people as my 'friends' on here.
I don't know more than half of them. Not their real name. Not where they're from. Not what they do. Not their favorite color.
Just numbers. Not really showing how many friends I've got.
Just showing the number of people who have added me, or I have added just to make myself feel good.
My real friends, the ones who know me, love me, like me for me...I can count on one hand.
And that's fine with me. I don't need all these tally marks to prove something. I thought I did, I thought it would make me feel special to have thousands of friends.
But it is what it is. Just a collection of numbers that don't mean anything.
That's the reason why I deleted every single person that I haven't spoken to. Anyone I haven't chatted with. Every band who added me for more numbers. Every emo boy and girl looking for acknowledgment. Gone.
If we've never met. I deleted you.
If we haven't spoken. I deleted you.
If you're an old schoolmate who added me so I could occasionally read your status update to see how well you're doing.
I deleted you.
Hell, I might delete myself.
Internet suicide.
No one wants to read. Not for very long. And this goes in the category of very long and uninteresting.
If it isn't quick and painless it is passed by rather quickly.
That is the allure of Twitter.
Life in less than 140 words.
I am robot.
You are robot.
We are all becoming robot.
Slowly but surely.
I don't want to be robot.
I want to be flesh. I want to be soft and warm. I want to be colorful and deep. I want to have meaning and for that meaning to apply. I want to smile, laugh, wish, dream, think, learn. I want to talk. I want to move. I want to dance. I want to run. I want to shake hands. Give kisses. Hug. Wrestle. Snuggle. Breathe.
Hard to accomplish that with all my lol's and :)'s and brb's and <3's.
There's a puppy to feed.
There's a sleeping husband I want to hold and kiss.
It's noon.

They do most of the living, fighting and dying around here

Notice how most people just don't give a shit about anything unless it's breathing down their neck? Infiltrating their lives? Fixing them with a wide-eyed stare?
Take me for example.
I'm not political, the news bores me. This was no different six...seven...eight years ago at the beginning of this Middle East 'issue'.
I was aware of the war, but never followed it the way most Americans closely watch and scrutinize their favorite television series. (Oh, I can't wait for the next season of True Blood.)
I was aware of dying soldiers, the casualty count, the broken families and outraged mothers. But it wasn't in my daily, weekly, bi-weekly thoughts.
What can I say, the truth? I was a self-centered little teenage shit. There, ya happy?
No one in my family was fighting a useless cause in Iraq, what did I care?
But then a terrible, wonderful thing happened. I fell in love.
With a soldier no less. A soldier that was then stationed in Iraq.
The Middle East issue, became my issue.
I officially had cause for concern. There was a living, breathing, amazing being thousands of miles from me in a war zone. A person I wanted to return safely, and all in one piece.
Suddenly it had meaning, it became personal. It had knocked on my door, let itself in and made itself comfortable in my life.
I had to care. I had to know what was going on. It mattered when men and women running for the upcoming election promised an end, promised to bring our men and women home.
It had stitched itself into the lining of my life. Eventually, I even married into it.
Now a friend, turned companion, turned husband, and my life has altered and changed. Many things I never would have given a second thought, are my main thoughts. Words I never used, I now speak regularly.
Words like FRG meeting, PCSing, ACU's, Battle Buddy, NEO packet.
I wake up at 'oh-eight-hundred' instead of eight o'clock.
I had to make the choice of giving up school and a steady job or being apart from my spouse for a year.
Sometimes, that's not always the case. More often than not, there is no choice and I just happened to be one of the lucky ones.

What I used to disregard and take advantage of, is now my life.
How's that for irony?
My lesson to you:
Be aware of the world around you, learn everything you can, and finally...
When it comes to those in uniform, living, fighting, dying, so you don't have to, show them some fucking respect.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Sweet, Painful Addiction

Monday evening, I'm waiting on James and a hot steaming bag of Suji's, the only food I will dain to let pass my lips at this moment. I'm obviously cranky, undeniably irritable and I want to smoke a cigarette more than I want to take my next breath.
But my next breath comes and goes and many follow after it and still no cigarettes. I swear to god, this quitting thing is going to kill me quicker than the cigarettes would have.
James took Persephone with him for the walk, which is helpful because the bitch doesn't listen to me when James isn't around. I have the deepest urge to copy the word 'nicotine' over and over again, because it is all I can think of. I thought taking the time to write in my blog would take my mind off of it somewhat, but it only illuminates my pain and frustration and reminds me of the countless blogs I've written before while chain smoking reds one after the other.
SO I started watching Coraline for the hundreth time, I'm at the scene with the jumping circus mice and it has to be the coolest scene created in claymation. Actually, it isn't 'claymation' anymore, they call it something else but I can't remember what that something else is. Oh well. Memory loss must be another nicotine withdrawl.
I'll quit boring you with my addiction.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Someone slipped some Christmas cheer into my coffee

It's coming on Christmas and I'm missing Massachusetts so much, at times I almost can't breathe. I'm familiar, only, with the exclusive cupped hands of a New England winter. Where roads and sidewalks meld into one wide, white space that cars brave each day and children wake up excited, hoping to spot their own town on the blue bar that travels at the bottom of their TV screen.
It started only a few days ago, while walking Persephone, I turned to my husband and declared with a childlike pride, "It smells like winter!"
That's one of my useless talents, being able to smell the seasons, and winter has a very distinct and familial smell. Clean, fresh and new. Not the kind of store bought newness, that you find in packages and cars, but something pure and untainted, like the way newborn babies smell.
Well, I can smell winter and the coming of snow.
South Korea is known for their harsh winters and snow storms and I can only wait with a childish hope that I get a glimpse of those friendly white flakes before I leave here, it will make my long anxious wait worthwhile.
Most of our belongings are boxed and packed, our fridge looks more bare every day and our home is looking more like a house; empty and unfriendly.
Which is the exact opposite of the winter seasons I am used to. Right now, if I were living back home my mother would be filling every inch and bare space with baubles, lights and Christmassy knick-knacks; bought and home made. There would be a tree in the living room and a tree in the finished basement, the one the kids will gather around come Christmas day. Almost every night she will light a fire in her beloved fireplace and candles bought from Yankee, smelling of spices and pine, will be burning in every tart burner she owns.
Not a day will pass without the cheery voices of Bing Crosby and Andy Williams, wishing a merry christmas and reminding the entire household with a holiday boom, that THIS is the most wonderful time of the year.
When the snow has fallen and the plows have packed it against the fence, my mother will zip and bundle every child and send them out into the yard; her tailing behind them with the camera, their rosy, frosty faces a collection of memories to save for later years.
A custom, beginning with yours truly, will some year soon apply to Hunter, now the oldest child of the house. After the younger ones are tucked in bed and sleeping, he will be offered the chance to go out into the yard with the adults, while they indulge in the childlike antics that this season embodies. Sliding and falling down into the paths made by the sleds.
Maybe, just maybe some year soon, he will also be allowed a mug of the hot mulled rum cider my mother makes and even if he dislikes the taste, he will simply relish the seniority the offer. A boy becoming a man.
Something akin to how I felt, a girl becoming a woman, being included in the late night affairs of the adults.
There is so much this individual time of year brings about in me, a certain brand of memories, a certain childlike hope and even at twenty-two, it is far from diminished.
Now, as I sit in my living room, my walls bare of picture frames, the bookcase dismantled and boxed, my kitchen becoming increasingly bare, I play my Christmas favorites and the little amphora of hope I keep locked in my chest runs over with red, green and white light...speckled with silver and gold.