25 years younger

My hair is feral.  I’m wearing bright red lipstick.
peaches song on the radio in the car at the stop light, I’m swaying with the music.

(the song was “dumb fuck”)

then i look over.  i see him.  an older guy.  grinning at me.  beaming.

i’m 49 years old.  this has not happened in forever.

he’s in the wrong lane to follow me.

he tries to change lanes to follow me.

i see his blinker come on, but he gets cut off.

i wonder if he will cut through the parking lot to catch up with me.

i get to my house too quickly.

that was fun.  i feel pretty hot.

for an older lady.  not twenty anymore.

this hasn’t happened in a while.

youth is wasted on the young.

 

Strange Days

It is strange when

you ask me for help

strange when

the world turns upside down

strange when 

the spaghetti becomes zucchini

when

your heart becomes cold

when you stop loving me

strange when 

suddenly you are old

and your friends are gone

when your shoelaces become loose

and you can’t find your shirt

strange when

he’s yelling

there’s almond salmon for supper

but no newspaper

on the train

it’s a long haul

How do I even?

This needs to be put into words.  It is November of 2016.  Donald Trump has been elected to be our next president of the united states of America.  And I am scared to death.  I hope I am wrong.  I fear I am right.  I put this down in case I am right.

It’s 2016.  Right now,  we still have some semblance of civil liberties.  Obama has created a health plan for Americans, but that is now in jeopardy.  The Supreme Court hangs in limbo, there is one vacancy that needs to be filled that the congress is balking on Obama filling.  I hope Obama fills the vacancy and screw the congress.  I believe he has the right.

Dark days are coming.  Ruth Bader Ginsberg, I don’t have much hope that she will outlive a donald trump term.  god bless her soul.  she should have resigned in the middle of obamas term, though.  Dark days.

Saturday Night Live did a satire about him, and he demanded an apology and equal time.  a harbinger?  The loss of first amendment rights?  The beginning of the end?

he wants a wall.

he wants a muslim registry.

he is stacking his cabinet with white supremacists.

he is asking for top security clearance for his children, who will also be running his businesses.  wtf?  loopholes much?

i just want to put this in writing, in case i forget who i am in the future.

i hope to HELL the country doesn’t become dystopian enough that i ever have to remind myself of these things.

i care about Muslims being able to pray.

i care about Jews being able to pray.

i believe Black Lives Matter.

i think a wall along our southern border is WRONG.

i WILL provide a safe space for those who need a refuge.

i sure as fuck hope i’m being melodramatic and this all blows over after four years.

 

 

Sippy Cup

The sippy cup rolls on the floor.

I wonder what kind of life you will have?  

Your father with his beard

his bright shirt

his black vest

his bowl haircut

your kerchief

your cherubic cheeks

your family on the train

playing  cards in the club car

drinking sodas

or is it water

i don’t know

but is it

that

you are one of the only children

who doesn’t squall

on the train

you seem

so happy

your father is doting on you

holding you

singing songs to you

you are stroking his beard

his strange beard

his Amish beard

Decay

lightning bolts fingers sizzling static uncontrolled

just try to butter a piece of toast this way

or button your jacket

like you’d chugged a gallon of coffee

with a side of sugar

electrified

jitters

“oh, geez, I guess I had too much coffee….ha….”

but I had none…

i really had none. 

I have essential tremor

the kate hepburn syndrome

the booze helps 

but it kills your liver

plus they frown on it at work

so what do you do?  

if you work with your hands? 

get fired for drinking?

or get fired because you can’t solder anymore?

Fitter Girl

Dripping wet, 98 pounds, it’s summer, carrying steel from one side of the room to the other.

“hey, fitter girl, why you want to do this?”   I think to myself, “she wants a baby and we can’t live on a woman’s pay”

I say, “I was unhappy sitting behind a desk.”

“hey, fitter girl, I thought “take your daughter to work day was YESTERDAY!”  (laughter)

I continue working.

Home, soaking wet, exhausted, bruises on my shoulders from carrying pipes.

“kathy, can you go get me mac donalds?”

“ok.”

“hey, fitter girl?  can you bring me a left handed pipe wrench?”

My middle finger goes up.

I decide I need to focus on something to be valuable.  Because being a 98 pound girl won’t cut it.  I decide I’m going to be a kick butt welder.  I go to the hall and practice for hours each night.  I get decent.
Time for a new job site.  New foreman, I’ve never met him before.  “you ain’t like M.W. are you?  ’cause she’s an asshole and you better not be like her.”

I don’t know her, but I’m my own person and hopefully not an asshole.”

“hey fitter girl? do you wanna suck me off?”

I carry a core drill up a ladder because there’s no stairway yet.  No I don’t want to suck you off.  “she wants a baby, that’s why I’m doing this.”  

Home.  She hasn’t brushed her hair.  There’s food in the garbage disposal from yesterday.  She’s playing video games.  “can you get me Mac Donalds?”

“ok.”

it’s raining, next day on the job site.  Mud.  slogging.  The welder doesn’t show up.  My chance.  I say to the foreman, “I can weld.”

~skeptical look across his face~….”okay, let’s see what you’ve got.”

New machine, plugs it in.  I put on my welding hood, I’m going to totally impress him.  The rod spits and sputters, just won’t run right.  I felt sick.  Terrified that maybe I didn’t know how to weld after all.

“it’s not working right.”   He curses and puts on the hood, picks up the stinger, and lo and behold, doesn’t work for him either.

Machine was hooked to the wrong voltage.

“hey, fitter girl?  you shouldn’t be welding.  you shouldn’t be here.”

I was up near the ceiling.  Somehow a shower of sparks happened to fall on the guy who said that.

Foreman:  “you won me over, you have that line over there to weld, I’ll give you K.Z. to pimp.”

Home.  It’s my thirtieth birthday.  She throws a twenty at me and tells me to buy something.  Lovely.

“she wants a baby but I don’t think she’d be a good Mom.” 

“hey, fitter girl?  Wanna go out with me?”

not really.

My welding hood drops and he’s gone and she’s gone and all that exists is the glowing puddle of metal.  Salvation.  Resurrection.  Zen.  Meditation.  Peace.

“hey, fitter girl?  You’re ok.”

“I’m damned good, is what I am.”