angela and d

March 22, 2008 at 6:42 pm (Uncategorized)

There are glass chemistry bottles with yellow liquids and old photographs and files encased in mahogany cabinets. Empty medicine bottles line the shelves like a marching band. Signs that say things like “smoking is very glamorous” and there are other trinkets that clutter the shelves.

There is a jar of shiny bulbs, not ordinary Christmas colors, but wonderful pastels – that shine and revel in the afternoon sunlight.  A small bar is attached on one side with white capped stools and a large dusty mirror sits behind it. In the waiting area, there are a few chairs lined up, and as I sit, I can see the stardust that seems to make everything sparkle. I can see an old framed photograph of a man that looks like D, except he looks too grim and sad to be my D.  

 The door keeps being blown open by the cool, March wind. I keep thinking that someone is trying to enter. I tell D it is a spirit but he doesn’t listen, as he paces back and forth in the office. The door is large and beautiful with an intricate cage-like covering. Grey photographs of people which I yearned to know are scattered here and there.

The old radio blares its hushed, small talk banter, daily news, people dying, people winning, people afraid… a mirror with spider-like hands stands near the doorway. Sad fake flowers in a bottle, cigar boxes in glass cases, silver capped bottles filled with straws …The room is framed by bowls, enormous green and brownish pots, and the floor is lined with tiny, checkered pieces that glisten like diamonds in the sea.  

The sound of the typewriter beckons us to enter. I laugh because I haven’t heard the sound of a typewriter since perhaps the fifth grade. D tells me that it’s his Nonno and I smile. There is a small closed, narrow door that reads PRESCRIPTIONS, and inside is where D’s Nonno sits behind a wooden desk stacked high with paperwork.

 “Angela, Come on,” so I follow him into what I perceive to be a small cramped office. But it was much more beautiful than I could have imagined – full of all the things that Nonno loved. On the right there was this magnificent bookshelf, filled and stacked high with books in all nooks and corners. I have always liked the look of untouched dusty books, and I wanted nothing more to take a photograph of this sight.          

As we entered deeper into the room, I saw D’s Nonno sitting behind his desk with a pen and paper in hand. “Nonno, Nonno” D said with that deep voice of his. I love the ring in his words, the way that it sounds like church music, and how I can never get enough of that sweetness. When Nonno looked up, he smiled. He had a head of white hair and large glasses that covered the half moons beneath his eyes. He had an Italian nose and his eyes looked sweet and sad. He wore a white lab coat with his name etched in the corner.

We talked and joked about D’s attire, and Nonno said that he belonged in the funeral parlor down the street. I laughed hard and immediately agreed. And how it was NORMAL that I didn’t like public displays of affection…And about Maryland and about his Nonna, and about the different portraits that hung upon the walls, and about the house down the street. Everything was new and it intrigued me deeply. 

 D asks me what I am writing on my little green notepad and I tell him to go away. I don’t want him to know that I am writing this. He gives me that grin of his and I brush him away. He makes me want to cry in happiness sometimes.  

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D and the demon

March 19, 2008 at 1:16 am (Uncategorized)

First and foremost I want to thank TheElementary for renewing my blogging spirit. I realized I haven’t written in almost a month…Thank you for inspiring me to write this next post. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For where have I gone? Why have I been away so long?  

I guess you can say that I have had a rough couple of weeks which explains why I haven’t been writing like I should. There has been too much drama in my life – more drama than I could have ever imagined and I hate, hate it….especially when your friends – yes your friends!! – think that they control your life, and order you around and tell what to do with YOUR life!!! I am not a moron, and though people may perceive me as a sweet, soft-spoken girl I stand up for myself when I need to, and I will not any guy walk all over me. But, we live in a world of perceptions and assumptions, in the words of Wharton “in a world of hieroglyphics in which the real thing is never spoken, said or understood” J 

But there is this one girl who thinks she can ambush me at 3:30 in the morning and take me away from sleep, just because she is worried and scared that I might die or something. They make me out to be some type of fool, and apart of me, a large part of me, wants to tell them to SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE AND GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!! But I would never, ever voice such thoughts to such an ignorant group of beings who judge a person upon one small conversation.  

I will never forget the night we were sitting at dinner in a warm, quaint Tai Restaurant. V had recommended the place, and I figured that I would give Tai food a try. After all, D lives nearby and I told him to meet us there, since I was dying to see him and so was my friend V. Now remember that V is the type of person who irons her jeans and hangs them up in her closet. She is the biggest neat freak/perfectionist/teacher’s pet I have ever met, to the point where it scares me. She needs to know and understand everything –except herself I course.

Let’s just say there is only so much “V—time” one can handle before they want to explode. I had a slight inkling that V and D would not get along and I was hesitant about them meeting. But V always has a way – and so – yes she always wins I guess you can say… When we walked in D was already waiting for us. He was drinking a beer, and he was wearing that long wool trench coat of his, and he eyes had tiny half moons underneath. His hair was slicked back in the way I hate it and he looked a little depressed. But when he saw me he smiled and waved. He tried to kiss me, but I turned away. He always says he’s Roman and I guess that makes me anti-Roman.  

After we sat down, V immediately launched into a conversation about his business prospects. What did he plan to do? Why was he doing it? What were his intentions? Was the software he was using authorized by the government? Was he downloading illegal software and reclaiming it as his own? Was he even authorized to be in business….? How old was he? WHY WHY WHY WHY???? 

Let’s just say I gulfed down my glass of wine too quickly. D asked for about six more glasses of beer, and each time he asked our waiter, she would nod, as though she knew too. This girl had the entire room listening to her! I wanted to runaway and never come back to the table. D did too, I saw anger color his deep dove-shaped eyes. I would look at him to say don’t worry, this isn’t you this is her…please don’t listen to her…

But it looked as though he was being bombarded by daggers in all directions ad he didn’t know what direction to turn….They fought for what seemed like hours, and my other friend and I looked like we at a pig-pong match, as our heads bounced back and forth…I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I squirmed in my seat and waited for the check to come…Check PLEASE!!! Check PLEASE!!! After the night was over and V dropped us off, D asked her if she practiced witchcraft. I laughed it off and nudged him in the stomach and gave him that look. V laughed too, but D was completely serious. I was scared, but I said goodbye and smiled as best as I could. The night was over. Finally! But then all D could talk about for the rest of the night was V and witches and demons. J Who the hell is she? Was all he kept saying over and over again.

I haven’t spoken to V since this happened, and I just don’t have any desire to do so. She violated me in a way that I can’t express. She thought I was helpless victim who would do something stupid and end up on the street pregnant and penniless or something. I had been perceived like a fool. No there is nothing worse than that.  There is more to this story, but I won’t go into here, but V hurt me. She has no right to treat people like that. Especially D. Who is eccentric, the most eccentric man I have ever met, but still, she never bothered to ask him about art, poetry, or books – all the stuff he loves too.

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my friend the fish

March 17, 2008 at 7:25 pm (Uncategorized)

          After I dropped my friend at the train station, which I have been doing quite frequently now — K, asked me if I wanted to go to the beach. After I made sure that I had heard her correctly, for K is not the spontaneous type, she lives by planners and order and all that stuff. I smiled immediately and turned the car around and sped my way to the end of the town. I too wanted nothing more than to feel free. To see the ocean and the sand and the seagulls and the everlasting expanse of whatever it was that was too far to even touch or reach.         

When our feet touched the sand and we began to walk, we spoke of things that I had been bothering us. All that was wrong and all that was right. K has seizures at least once month, and she was telling me about her last trip to the hospital. I never really say much when she speaks of this type of thing, simply because I don’t know what would be the right thing to say. I just hum and ummmmm and ohhh…and that usually works. I was with her when she convulsed and passed out that one afternoon in the library. I had nightmares for days afterward. I remember her sitting in that white hospital gown too short for her long legs. I will never forget that feeling of utter helplessness and the need to accept this feeling. I thought these thoughts as I listened to her speak of the conditions of her seizures and how the doctors have been unable to really out find what’s wrong.          

As we walked deeper and deeper upon the shore, we saw a dead fish! It was sitting there, not moving, but it had a strange smirk on its face, as though it was about to jump out and say something vulgar. It was about 16 inches and it looked like a bass fish – it was silver with a blackish fin. At first we weren’t sure if it was alive or dead, but K, the biology major took the initiative to touch his fin. She told me it was his dorsal fin, and she seemed to be happy. Yep, he’s dead, she confirmed. K, wanted to take it home with us in a paper bag so she could experiment on this creature. I continually insisted that it smelled horribly and I was not taking it back in my car. Hiding the fact that I would never,e ever, take a dead fish – dead!! — with me…The poor thing looked so sad and it would be a sin to take it home with me.          

 So I insisted that we throw it back in the ocean. K agreed. We should give a proper burial I said, and she nodded. I was scared to touch the fish at first—anything dead, I realize, I am afraid to touch. So, K and I agreed that we would each take a side and toss it back into the ocean. I watched it for a few moments and then worked up enough courage to pick it up, the tail side by the way, because I was completely creeped out by the beady eyes and the bleeding, open mouth. As we carried it over, I tried to hold on tight because it was slipping through my fingers. But we managed to reach the end of the ocean where our toes almost touched the shore. On the count of three, I said, let it go!“ONE — TWO — THREE!!!” And off the poor fish went into the low tide of the ocean. I thought the ocean would have immediately scooped the fish it and held it within its embrace, but instead the ocean didn’t welcome the fish. The fish floated motionlessly near low tide and for the first time that day I felt saddened. All I could see was that strip of shining, flickering silver in the midst of passionless grey. It looked like a star that had fallen from the sky and landed in the ocean. Then I said a prayer for the fish, hoping that he would find his way home.  On the way back to my car, I spotted a beautiful ivory spotted conch shell along the shore. I was so excited that I was jumping up and down.

“What is that Angela?”

“A conch. Have you ever read The Lord of the Flies?”

“No, but I’ve always wanted to.”

“You should read it. Read it.”

“I’ve been meaning to.”

I told K all about The Lord of the Flies, and Piggy and the conch shell and the end of reason. She only she smiled as we made our way back to my car.

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i’m back!

February 19, 2008 at 2:25 am (Uncategorized)

I have realized that I have completely stopped writing. I have been so busy, with classes, reading, work, and everything else that takes us further and further away from what we love and cling so dearly to. I miss my writing! I always felt so much better after I spouted all that was inside, all that couldn’t be spoken, yet could be revealed through the beauty of language and words.  

What’s been going on in my life? Not much new really. Though I find that my nights are consumed by talking on the phone to a friend of mine who really needs my help. It’s the same business fanatic friend whose live is consumed by all that I hate and despise. All he talks about his training sessions. His new employees that he hired for so much money per month. He talks about his drinking problem. He talks about his Nonna who died 4 years ago. He talks about how his grandfather won’t speak to him and how he needs his medication and can’t get it. I could probably write a book about his life. He is by far the most troubled man I ever knew, and my heart reaches out to him. Apart of me wants to be the rescuer. But I have read too many books to know that I can never do that (A Long and Fatal Love Chase, by Louise Alcott springs to my mind). He must save himself.  

I know this, so what in the world am I doing? He has so many issues and I don’t know what to do or say, so I just make that awww….sound and say that everything is going to being OK, even though I don’t understand and don’t really know anything. But I have realized I have kind of become his therapist, he tells me everything, everything that has haunted him past and present and how scared he is about the world he lives in. But then I think, he is so alone and he only wants someone to speak to about his problems, but it’s a lot of baggage for a mere one person to handle, and it’s hard for me to listen sometimes.  

Why? My friends ask. Why? Because no one should ever have to feel abandoned and alone. Why? Because I am a human being who feels pain for others, and who wants to help this broken soul regain life. I know I am helping him. I can hear it in voice. His voice is as cool as a forest and as a sweet as the trees in the spring. I look forward to hearing his lulling melody, and apart of me doesn’t want it to ever go away.  

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kindness

February 12, 2008 at 6:12 am (Uncategorized)

I was preparing something for my Irish spirituality class and I wanted to share this segment I wrote on here as means of thanks.

Words of encouragement have come from many people in my life, but one act of kindness particularly comes to mind. I will never forget the day I went to see one of my professors and I was having a really bad day. He consoled me and told me to that I needed to take time off and travel to say California for awhile. I laughed and told him that I wasn’t a Romantic and that I couldn’t do things like that. He looked skeptical as he pulled out a passage from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and read one of my favorite passages:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.”

I will never forget what this one act of kindness did for me. It still resonates very near to my heart, for it is what gives the means to keep going.

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my epiphany

February 12, 2008 at 5:56 am (Uncategorized)

Today I had a good day. I am taking Hobgoblin’s sentimental literature class and it has been so wonderful. I look forward to it every Monday morning, and I can not imagine a better class. The reading, honestly has been a little tough to get through, but in the end I realize, it is worth it. I am forcing myself to relate and empathize with the characters as much as I can, since I felt like I gave up a little to easy in the beginning.

The problem with me, as you know if you read what I write, is that I am a sad person. I am a sad person who likes to read to sad literature, simply because this type of literature it gives me parcels of what happiness can mean. So I am so used to reading texts like Beloved or Scarlet Letter or Flight or Black Boy – all have a victim, all struggle to attain individuality in their society, and I won’t go any further with this because you probably know where I am going… 

But today in class I had a kind of epiphany. I suddenly felt like a true scholar of literature. I was making all these connections to Hobomok (the book we were reading) to Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn and Puddin Head Wilson, and then Midsummer’s Night’s Dream…and I don’t know where any of this was coming from — but that respiratory that seemed sealed shut was now finally opened and I felt myself reveling in its magic and beauty. I felt as though all my hard work had paid off and that I was suddenly flying away – flying away with only my knowledge of literature to help me rise above the clouds. For I felt so free.  

With Hobgoblin’s help, we discovered the reason why the novel was called Hobomok, and I felt like a new seed had been planted in my soul. For literature always gives me the feeling that there is always more to seek and discover and know. And when we give up this search, then we are denying ourselves from the humanity that we so heartily seek.

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as I grow older

February 5, 2008 at 5:14 pm (Uncategorized)

As I Grew Older by Langston Hughes.

It was a long time ago.

I have almost forgotten my dream.

But it was there then,

In front of me,

Bright like a sun –

My dream. 

And then the wall rose,

Rose slowly,

Slowly,

Between me and my dream.

Rose slowly, slowly,

Dimming, 

Hiding,

The light of my dream.

Rose until it touched the sky –

The wall. 

Shadow.

I am black. 

I lie down in the shadow.

No longer the light of my dream before me,

Above me.

Only the thick wall.

Only the shadow. 

My hands!

My dark hands!

Break through the wall!

Find my dream!

Help me to shatter this darkness,

To smash this night,

To break this shadow

Into a thousand lights of sun,

Into a thousand whirling dreams

Of sun!

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a tribute to a drummer boy

February 4, 2008 at 3:30 am (Uncategorized)

small-bridge.jpg

Every night, back in Ireland we would gather at a stucco yellow painted bar called The Small Bridge. Each time I walked in, I was always amazed at the small fire that blazed in the corner. Sometimes we would sit in the back near the pool tables and listen to the jukebox, but most the time we seated ourselves directly in front of the small band that would come together every night at precisely nine-thirty.  

On Mondays and Wednesdays it was the older men – one in the cowboy hat and dried, burnt looking long hair, and the other one with a face like candle wax — and during the rest of the week, it was the young, spirited boys that played, but it didn’t matter who played – music was music, beauty was beauty, sound was sound. I was so lost within the deep inspirational tunes that I forgot again and again who I was and where I was. I forgot all things except for the resonant rhythm of something that I never wanted to live without. 

As soon as the men began playing we would order a pint Bulmer’s (hard cider) from the gothic-looking lady at the bar named Irene, and we would sip that drink all night (hey it is 4. 30 Euros) and just listen and watch the band play.

My favorite was the drummer, except he played an Irish type of drum to which I forgot the name of. I don’t think we ever learned his name, but he came every night dressed in the same tweed pants and white collared shirt. He was short, thin, and had dark, almost black eyes that had a distinct fury that I admired. His nose was pointy, and his lips were tiny and somewhat refined.  I would watch him play in awe and when he would look up, our eyes would meet, and I would blush, smile, and turn away.

One night after he and his group had played, he came up to me and my friend, V. We told him that we were Americans, and that we were here for only two weeks and that we were taking a course on spirituality in the school on Florist Street. His interest seemed piqued.  I was surprised by his soft voice and the candle glow that emerged from his eyes. He told us that he had lived in France all of his life, and that he had lived in Dingle for the past nine years. I didn’t think this seemed right. I imagined this man as a native. I could see him walking up and down the streets in the morning just to hear the birds sing.

He lingered around us for awhile, and asked me if I would like to go with him to the wine bar the street. I turned to V but she was suddenly gone. I didn’t know what to do. He seemed nice, hell everyone seemed nice, but I didn’t trust him for some reason. So I went with the indecisive answer

Ummm…I don’t know…Ummm…. to wish I regret to this day. I don’t think I looked at him then. I think I turned away and left him alone. I felt horrible. I ran away.  

When I went to find my friend and told her what happened, she seemed sorrowful. Why not go Angela? I don’t know. I don’t know, I said again and again on our walk home. It was just who I was. The indecisive, insecure little girl about me will never quite leave I guess.

He wasn’t there the night after or the night after that. The poor drummer boy! Gone! 

What had I done? I was a horrible person. I’m sorry, poor drummer, if you happen to be reading this, please forgive a poor little American girl, who liked you and whose music brought her so much joy.

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a little brown bird

February 2, 2008 at 7:38 pm (Uncategorized)

Today I was walking to the library, ready to devote a day to reading and contemplation, and I saw a bird fluttering through the hallways of our school. I thought how sad! A cute little brown bird keeps racing head-front to the large windows in the corridors in hopes of an escape only to find nothing more than a specious sheet of glass. My friend and I tried and tried – for at least 15 minutes anyway – to get the bird out of the nearest door. Except he wouldn’t leave! He kept on flying past the door without any recognition that just a few feet away – lied the ends of freedom. We sadly left the bird alone, not really knowing how or what do to in order to rescue him.

But perhaps, I thought, he was happy here, and didn’t want to leave. Perhaps, he found a sense of comfort in these lemon-scented, empty Saturday morning hallways. Perhaps he knew that out there was hell. Perhaps he didn’t have any friends. Perhaps he was scared of sky.  

Except when we walked back, the little chirping bird was no where to be found. I could no longer hear his voice. But in my mind it was there, it was there and I wanted it to be. Oh, thank you little bird for reminding me why I am here.  

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seedfolks

February 2, 2008 at 7:35 pm (Uncategorized)

I am reading a book called Seedfolks for my education classes and this quote really inspired me to write my own philosophy of life.

First here is the quote:
“I walked back there that evening and checked on the beans. They’d picked themselves up and were looking fine. I saw that she’d made a circle of dirt around the other three plants. Out of nowhere the words from the Bible came into my head: ‘And a little child shall lead them.’ I didn’t know what at first. Then I did. There’s plenty about my life I can’t change. Can’t bring that dead back to life on this earth. Can’t make the world loving and kind. Can’t change myself into a millionaire. But a patch of ground in this trashy lot – I can change that. Can change it big. Better to put my time into that than moaning about the other all day. That little grammar school girl showed me that” (12).  

Here is my reaction:

Times moves. Time moves too quickly to even think about or recount. It is a sad in a way. Sad in that we control anything that happens or make people love or hate us. We can’t do anything really to change much. We only have the power to change our circle of the world, whatever sphere that might be. We must change it, change it for ourselves, for others, but mostly for others. When I look at my days, really look and examine them like Socrates once said to do, I realize that I spend most of my time talking to this person and that person and oh, that teacher or that friend. Ninety percent of my days are devoted to speaking with other people and I find such joy in this. Human interaction, I realize is the core of our existence here, for if we can reach out to other people, truly reach out for their hands, then we can say that we are truly a living people. I feel this way very strongly. I never realized it before, but for some reason I have been contemplating the questions of existence and being, and I realize that if I died tomorrow that I wouldn’t be sad at all, I’d be ready — simply because I had experienced something called life. I realized that life – oh life – exists outside of the pages of books – life exists within us, and only we have the power to unleash it.

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