I am predictably unpredictable.
Or unpredictably predictable. Maybe both.
Sure, I should take full responsibility for this unwanted state my life has become. Should, being the operative word, which, by the way, I’ve been trying not to use the S-word but I do, much to my dismay, I sadly do.
I know me. Well, kinda, because I am a work of art, not yet complete.
Aren’t we all?
Perhaps predictable is the wrong word. See, that’s part of the problem, I just don’t know much these days.
There’s been too many plates to juggle, so I crashed.
I keep forgetting I’m not a superhero. I keep trying to be everything to everyone and before I know it, crash crash baby.
Only, life doesn’t stop just because my body forces me to stop. Invisible health issues, the kind that I, as well as many others have, don’t give you a free pass when the wheels keep turning and your body won’t let you keep up.
It’s a constant struggle having to hide your fatigue and pain all the time because who the hell wants to whine about the way they feel? Ok, a lot of people do but I’m not on that team. I’d rather paste a smile on and swallow my misery instead of pulling out the fibromyalgia card.
It’s a double-edged sword, I can whine and complain or I can push through and hide the way I sometimes feel when I’m on a downward spiral.
Either way, I’m screwed. Nobody wants to listen to a whining whiner on one hand, and on the other hand, I push myself until I can’t push any more then get called out for not saying how I feel when I’m not feeling well.
Last thing I expected when I went to the doctor was for my blood pressure to be low. 80/60 weren’t the numbers I was shooting for, especially considering if anything, my blood pressure rises sometimes but that’s just because I’m a fiery red-headed Irish woman. I tend to get overly emotional and my body follows. Stress multiplies everything, especially when you’re me, an emotional sponge with codependent issues which lead me to put myself in everyone’s shoes and take on their bad.
Unfortunately, I seem to find it harder to take on their good.
That all makes sense in my head, forgive me if I lost you there. Understandable, since I seem to have once again lost myself.
So I’ve sent out an interior search team, in the hope of getting myself back.
I know I’m in there somewhere, I’ve been picking up little bits and pieces, following clues as if on a treasure hunt. Because I am a treasure.
I just need to remember that when I lose myself.
And it might be a good idea to, this time, brush up on my mapping skills.
I am predictably unpredictable.
Oh! Don’t forget this handy little link to the Summary page where you can catch up, all ‘chapters’ are linked to this page.
Joanne and I have been writing a Fiction Rally these last couple of months. It’s a bit like the fiction relay we were involved in last year but this time it’s just the two of us. To help us remember who is who and what is what, and to act as a “Previously” for any new readers that may stumble across the story, here is a Summary of what has happened so far.
Further chapters will be linked back from here too, so hopefully this little post will serve as THE Go To page for all things Fiction Relay. OK, so here is the story so far. Oh, and spoiler alert. Obviously.
CHAPTER ONE – TRG
Jennifer boards a mid-afternoon train to London – something she should have done long ago – carrying a bag. Text messages on her phone no longer make her angry, just convinced she is right…
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Fiction Rally Part 5 is up and as usual, TRG has got my fingers itching to work on the next part. Please, enjoy, I most certainly did!
Jennifer and Daniel are on a train. Jennifer’s purse isn’t. Lilly is her in her flat. Daniel isn’t. To find out more, visit the Summary page here. To read on, read on…
The smaller of the two gold hands on Lilly’s watch was now straying towards the four, beginning to obscure the end letters of the manufacturer’s very exclusive, very expensive Swiss name. Lilly placed the empty martini glass on the kitchen counter for her underpaid Latvian maid to clean and tidy away, and picked up her phone. Being kept waiting, being kept uninformed as to why she was being kept waiting, was not only rude, not only disrespectful, it was boring. She had places she needed to be. Well, that wasn’t strictly true, her day was empty, but she was not prepared to sit indoors waiting for projects like Daniel to arrive, or at least to…
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It was a dark and stormy night and- nah, it was a gorgeous sunshiny day that seemed like a dark and stormy night. Only without the dark and without the stormy.
So here’s what happened:
I’ve been looking forward to today for weeks, a lovely Birthday Brunch at a lovely restaurant with an even lovelier friend, a beautiful and talented force of nature named Maryanne who I met right here in the Land Of Pressed Words (if you haven’t read her yet, go, read, but come back here too!) http://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/.
I don’t get out much these days, I’m still in the midst of an existential crisis because I’m a Mama’s Girl and still haven’t been able to find much to help pull me out of the slump brought on by losing her. I know, I have to pull myself out of my own slump but it’s a long way up and I’m getting closer.
So I was extremely excited to take a nice drive to Avon-By-The-Sea for brunch with Maryanne and a few of her friends.
I woke up smiling, had my mandatory three cups of tea, looking forward to the drive south and a lovely afternoon.
As I started my car and pulled away I noticed the gorgeous white puffy clouds floating slow through the bluest sky and the temperature was perfect, no humidity, just warm sunshine and a beautiful day.
I’ve never been to Avon-By-The-Sea before but know the general area, to be on the safe side I programed the address of the restaurant, “Seed To Sprout”, into my GPS, filled up my gas tank and went on my merry little way. Happy.
I left early enough to give myself plenty of time since it’s a Saturday.
Apparently 4am may have been a better time to leave.
What usually takes me 15 minutes took me 50 minutes.
And in the words of Alice Cooper, I still had a long way to go.
The Garden State Parkway was instead The Garden State Parking Lot. Another 40 minutes go by and I get to give the lady in the booth $1.50 for the pleasure of moving 5 feet forward. Everywhere I look I’m surrounded by cars, mostly SUV’s because otherwise my low to the ground car would’ve allowed me to see further.
The Parkway isn’t moving. At all.
I try Route 9. Go ahead, laugh. Another parking lot only this time I can see for miles. And it’s just like the Parkway.
I know! Route 18! Only not so much.
I’m on the road, because I certainly wouldn’t call that driving, and I still have over 40 miles to go. In 10 minutes.
10 damn minutes and I’m nowhere near the town, never mind the restaurant.
I did something I did not in any way shape or form want to do; I called Maryanne.
Did I mention she’s an Angel?
I wanted to give her an update, I knew I’d be lucky if I got there by 1:00 and I didn’t want to show up without warning more than an hour late.
In the most angelic, understanding, warm voice I’ve ever heard, she said, amongst other calming things, “turn around”. And she spoke in such a way that I knew it was ok. I mean sure, it sucked. I wanted to be there so badly, I looked forward to this for weeks. I had birthday presents! This wonderful woman I admired, this ball of energy who gives new meaning to the idea of believing in yourself and getting things done was the last person I wanted to let down.
But I knew she was right.
I’m Irish and stubborn and wished I had Lola, Agent Coulson’s car in Agents of Shield because Lola can fly. Or one of those big trucks with the wheels that are bigger than I am tall so I could just roll over all the cars in my path and, uh, no, maybe that’s not such a good idea.
Anyway, common sense prevailed, Maryanne soothed me and left me in an unfamiliar state, not guilty.
Because I always am.
So turn around I did, as much as I didn’t want to. We made plans to make plans and all will be well.
Things happen for a reason, maybe there’s a reason I wasn’t meant to be there today. Maybe it was something as small as being home with my husband, his very close Aunt passed away this morning. He told me to go see Maryanne, he knew how much I wanted to go and said there’s nothing I could do about it anyway so I should go have a good time.
Even though I did attempt to go, to do something I wanted to do desperately, I’ve decided there’s a reason I wasn’t able to get there. I may never know that reason, but maybe I’m not meant to.
What I do know is this: Maryanne and I are rain-checking this one.
I have presents!
Lola. And Lola can fly.
stars glimmer and shine
until they die out,
dust grain formation
from years of icy surroundings,
or a momentary veer off course,
there’s a domino effect
though nobody knows when or where it began
it hovers, waiting for maximum impact,
hoping to catch you off guard intentional so you fall,
but you can glitter as you fall,
scatter and redirect,
stardust bouncing the bumpy road
and then, collision,
discarded matter coming together,
merged into something beautiful,
magical and beyond belief,
light, once again shining in the sky,
the darkness just a soft backdrop
to the eventual wonder of it all
[hides head in shame and embarrassment] FINALLY! Fiction Rally Part 4! It’s totally my fault that it’s late [prays TRG won’t throw items at me across the Atlantic Ocean]and I won’t even make excuses. In case you’re just joining in, this is part 4 of the Fiction Rally. You can read Part 3 here
http://thereclininggentleman.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/fiction-rally-part-three/#comment-6389, and because I’m so late with this, there are links to Parts 1 and 2 there as well. Without further ado:
Lilly looked at her watch for what seemed like the trillionth time, as if the hands would move faster just by the power of her stare.
She was used to that, getting what she wanted when she wanted went without saying. But right now, she was not getting what she wanted and she was not happy about it.
“Where the hell is he? He should have been here by now,” Lilly’s heels clicked against the marble tile of her parlor floor as she paced back and forth, talking to her empty flat. She took care not to walk over the few accent tiles her Father had agreed to have installed for her. She’d considered having the entire floor done with Pietra Firma’s most exclusive tiles but Daddy dearest hadn’t been too keen on the idea of spending well over twelve million pounds just for something to walk on. Normally, Lillith would put up a fuss and eventually get her way, but she had too much on her mind lately.
She half-smiled as she looked down at the LuxTouch tiles, beautiful black marble inlaid with mother of pearl and abalone shell, the brilliant raised diamonds forming a floral pattern.
But right now she was beginning to see them through a haze of red as she began to imagine Daniel’s blood running through the tracks on the tile, if she didn’t hear something from him soon Lilly was going to smash his head against the floor. It seemed like the right thing to do if he didn’t produce, he hated those tiles and made no bones about it. He told her she reeked of pretentiousness. He told her that after this, he was done.
Lilly decided to let him think that.
She was nowhere near done with Daniel.
Well that was a different story but Lillith’s perverted sense of humor couldn’t help but use Daniel to continue her plans with Jennifer.
“Who am I kidding?” Lilly said to the empty room, “My plans aren’t with Jennifer as much as for Jennifer. Little “Sister” may think we’re about to bond but it’s not going to be the bonding she expects.”
Pouring herself a dry martini with 4 olives, Lilly sat on her black leather sofa, admiring her reflection in the mirror across the room.
She was gorgeous and well aware of it. Her sleek blonde bob, parted slightly off-center, accented her cat-green eyes perfectly, her sharp cheekbones like subliminal arrows emphasizing their feline shape making it hard to break from her gaze. Her lips were full, kissable, the kind of lips men dreamed of kissing and women dreamed of owning. Some women paid good money for lips like this but Lilly’s were genuine.
One of the few things about her that was.
Finishing the last olive after downing her martini, Lilly got up, made another martini, this time with 5 olives, then walked over to the penthouse balcony, looking out at the Waterloo Bridge in the distance. She imagined Jennifer on The London Eye, stuck on top then plummeting to her death, just another piece of trash on the street, out of her life, out of Daddy dearest’s will, out of Lillith’s hair.
She took another sip of her martini, pulling an olive into her mouth and rolling it around her tongue before biting down on it.
“Where the fuck is Daniel?” Lilly walked back into her penthouse, her mood getting worse by the minute.
If he wasn’t so good in bed she would have gotten rid of him a long time ago.
He hated sleeping with her.
She knew it yet it gave her a sense of perverted pleasure knowing he had no choice in the matter. He owed her. He owed her big time, and even though they’d been lovers it hadn’t lasted long.
Daniel wasn’t like most men, he wasn’t easily controlled and while his body reacted to hers, he told her in no uncertain terms that he wanted nothing to do with her and her world. Lilly didn’t appreciate his brutal honesty and when she found out he’d gotten on the wrong side of the wrong people she decided to step in, pay off his debt and have him beholden to her.
Truth be told, Daniel wasn’t even Lilly’s type, she just wanted to fuck with him for having the audacity to turn her down. He was handsome enough, in a rugged way, but he was nothing, no one. He couldn’t do anything to further Lilly’s lot in life, perfect as it may be.
Lillith was her Father’s Daughter. Cold, calculating, and with a desire to rule the world, at least, the parts within her reach.
Jennifer, on the other hand, didn’t seem to inherent any of Daddy dearest’s qualities. Jennifer was more like her sniveling Mother, another one of Father’s castoffs, weak and pathetic.
Admittedly, Lilly had only met Jennifer once, when they were in their early teens. And that was at their late Grandfather’s funeral. Lilly never understood why they even bothered to show up. Daddy was 3 wives past Jennifer’s Mother, none of his other ex-wives showed up. Lillith was sure they were sniffing around for money but they just paid their respects and quietly left.
Glancing at her watch again, Lilly felt herself wanting to frown at Daniel’s lateness but didn’t want to have to suffer the effects of frown lines over Daniel. Or Jennifer.
Lilly had been planning this little game for weeks, ever since she found a picture of Jennifer in Daddy’s desk, along with a few letters, a little too friendly in tone for Lilly’s liking.
Things had been set in motion weeks ago, all Daniel had to do was make the drop and get his ass back here.
He thought he was getting his last payment, and he was getting his payment.
It just wasn’t going to be his last one.
just when you pull yourself up
the hammer comes down, like a whack-a-mole
on a cheap boardwalk game,
happiness is non-existent,
nothing more than a thread-worn blanket
thrown over misery then yanked away,
the only thing underneath is vacant loss,
hopelessness, and a lack of belief,
in me in you in everything,
i used to believe anything was possible,
i woke up
urgent low between
a prophecy, a dream,
never sure which is which yet,
i wait and wait and wait,
inside lives that sliver of hope,
the dangle of the prize
so close i smell it,
and like a cat i pounce,
inhale each word to roll around my mouth,
tickle my tongue and begin the slow slide,
down my throat, as every pump of my blood
leads me there,
the heart of the matter and the reason we’re here,
maximum thread count slithers around me mixing words,
phrases dreamed eons ago,
all on repeat
keeping me breathing,
the waxing and waning of the moon
my only measure
my midnight sanity