joannebest











{January 29, 2014}   Robot Love

coupleignoring
every day is mechanical,
their feet hit the ground, in different directions
he goes there and she goes there,
apart, away,
now, not much more than strangers
who used to know each other
going through the motions in lockstep till it’s habit,
like memorizing mathematics,
multiplying and dividing,
adding and subtracting,
without deviation from the rules,
rust flakes like tears falling to the floor
she sweeps them under the rug
he pretends to not notice and they go on their merry way
step by step by rote
like robots
robotlovee

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sephandscally
AUTHORS NOTE: Even though she wants to be alone, Persephone’s been feeling ignored by me, so this is a little peek at what she’s been up to, also known as The Persephone Myth, My Way. All photos were taken by me excluding the first one, which came from the pool of Bing. Now, please to enjoy Persephone’s day at the beach.
My internal alarm gives me a gentle nudge waking me soft and slow.
Slipping out of bed in the pre-dawn hours I tip-toe quietly out the door and make my way to the beach to watch the sunrise, with only my thoughts to keep me company.
I have a lot to think about but right now, I have no desire to think about anything more taxing than whether or not I should grab a jacket to ward off the early morning chill.
I’m at a crossroads with no sense of direction.
My life has turned into a series of dramas with no resolution and I feel as if this is it, time’s up, it’s make-it-or-break-it time.
If I don’t figure out what the hell I’m doing with my life, and soon, I’m going to be the one who breaks.
I’ve spent most of my life worrying about everyone else and always putting myself on the back burner but that’s gotten me nothing.
Just me running in place going nowhere fast.
The feel of the ocean breeze playing with my hair reminds me why I love this time of the day. It’s quiet, hushed, nothing but the sound of the waves lapping gently against the shoreline. I idly wonder where the seagulls go to sleep as I sink down onto the cool sand.
I’ve been successfully avoiding my husband for weeks now and I know that Hades has been showing more restraint than even I knew he was capable of.
I know I have to come to some sort of decision soon and I will, but right now I don’t want to think of anything.
As the sun peeks over the horizon a gull appears as if out of nowhere coming in for a soft landing right next to me.
I’m the only person on the beach so there was no mistaking who was speaking as the sea-bird opened his beak and quietly whispered “Persephone”.
2010-09-30 11.08.37
Soon as I heard that voice I jumped to my feet and started walking away, cursing under my breath.
To the casual observer there may have been something odd about the lone seagull hovering next to me as I walked along the shoreline.
To me it was just another day at the beach.
“Persephone you really need to come back early!”
This was getting ridiculous. No matter where I went, no matter what I did, solitude was impossible.
All I wanted was some time to myself.
I thought I could be alone for at least a little while when I slipped out earlier to see the sunrise but it wasn’t to be. Ascalaphus had appeared beside me in the form of a seagull pleading with me to come home and I had a gnawing suspicion that Hades was behind it.
“I’m not talking to you Scally. Go on, fly away, shoo!”
I started walking faster and he started flapping his wings harder to keep up.
He was still having trouble adjusting to his avian form. Serves him right for ratting me out when I ate those stupid pomegranate seeds but it could have been worse. He might be a bird but at least he wasn’t a dead bird.
“Persephone please! You’re needed back home!”
He did sound a little panicky but I was determined to ignore his pleas.
My determination lasted all of two seconds.
“Don’t even talk to me Ascalaphus, I’m still pissed at you. Go away!”
“Please Persephone, I’m sorry I told your Mother you ate the seeds, you have to forgive me, you can’t stay mad at me this long and you have to-”
“I don’t have to do anything! Now get the hell out of here!”
“You must return to Hades!”
I was so sick of being told what to do by everyone and my Mother that I did what any grown woman would do, I turned tail and ran down the beach as fast as I could.
After managing to lose my flying shadow I spent the rest of the day alone, wandering the streets of the quaint little seaside town I’d grown to think of as my safe place.
It was driving me crazy that Scally had found what I thought was my secret hideaway.
If I didn’t know better I’d swear Hades had a GPS implanted on me somewhere. More than likely though, somebody’s pockets were probably bulging with a big fat wad of cash. One thing that had never changed over the centuries was the fact that pretty much anyone could be bought.
I should’ve at least dyed my hair or something.
IMG_20110713_202000
I stayed away from the beach house the rest of the day. Sleep wasn’t my friend lately and I was hoping all the walking I’d done today would tire me out enough to sleep through the night.
I decided to end the night with one more stroll on the beach before turning in.
As I walked along the shoreline the surf swirling around my ankles was frothy and foamy, like beer.
Which sounded like heaven now that I thought about it. And I don’t even like beer.
Maybe if I got mind-numbingly drunk I could forget all the bullshit clogging up my brain.
I’ve been in avoidance-mode for so long now I was getting on my own nerves.
“I’m pathetic,” I muttered into the sea air.
“You’re just catching on now?” Scally dropped out of the sky right in my path, flapping his wings slow and flying backward.
I had to ask him how he did that sometime.
Some other time.
Some time when I actually wanted to talk to him rather than squeeze his neck till his beady little seagull-eyes popped out of his head so he’d stop giving me that guilt-inducing look.
“Hey, don’t kill the messenger,” Scally squawked.
“You read minds now?” I asked.
“I don’t have to, you look pissed.”
Nothing worse than a self-satisfied seagull flying in your path.
Wait, yes there was, a self-satisfied seagull with a smirk.
“I am pissed!” I shouted. “Why can’t you just leave me alone! I don’t want to deal with-”
“Too bad princess, you got no choice, suck it up and get your ass back to Hades, there’s some serious shit going down.”
With that Scally flew out of sight leaving me the way I wanted to be left, alone.
Suck it up? Serious shit?? Princess???
He was watching too many bad movies again.
A crashing wave sprayed me, drawing my attention away from Scally and his latest reminder of my responsibilities.
It really was a beautiful night.
The moon was bright and full, reflecting a path of light leading straight to where I stood ankle-deep in the surf.
I wanted to walk on water, dance across the reflected moonlight and not think about the mess of a life waiting for me.
So for just a little while longer, that’s what I did.
IMG_20110713_204612
to be continued…



{June 19, 2013}   Update : Blech

i'm fine
I don’t love today.
2 months ago to the day my Mom died.
It’s also 5 years since my Mother-In-Law died and, in a bad cosmic-joke way, it’s also my wedding anniversary.
My Mom was always the only one other than me who remembered my wedding anniversary.
This year I’m the only one who remembered my wedding anniversary.
I miss my Mom.

{steps off pity train and goes back to working on the next Tower Story chapter thing for this evening’s post-age}
writing



{June 5, 2013}   Long Way From Home

communion
Is it always this way?
Families.
Crumbling falling breaking down breaking apart going going gone.
It’s true, in most cases, the Mother is the heart of the Family.
Our heart is dead and every limb on our little Family tree is broken beyond repair now.
Infighting isn’t the correct word, it doesn’t explain the destruction and rapid decline of a Family now consisting of one Father, two Sons and one daughter.
We are all broken and at a time we should be pulling together we are instead pulling apart despite my best efforts to keep a broken Family as whole as we can be when the most important part of the puzzle is forever gone.
At a time when we should be close, my 86 year old Father has decided he needs no sons, no daughter, no Family and in fact is basically disowning us.
I say us but I’m the middle-child-only-daughter, and the truth is I can usually manage to get through to my Father. A little bit. Usually. Sometimes.
He hasn’t disowned me, yet, but the fact that he feels there is no problem with disowning his sons is killing me.
We are blood, we are bound together in this lifetime through our bloodline and no matter how nasty he can get I can’t help it, I still love my Father and, deservedly or not, I still respect the fact that he is My Father.
Maybe it’s the memories; me in my Communion Dress driving home from Nana’s house falling asleep on my Father’s lap as he sang “Daddy’s Little Girl” to me.
Walking down Third Street at the age of 4 on a full moon Halloween night, my hand clasped firmly in his as I safely strutted my gypsy-wear, trick-or-treating my way up and down the street. Tugging on his hand to hurry because, candy, and him pretending he couldn’t keep up with me while enjoying every moment.
Me being so sick his employer sent a holy-shit-your-kid’s-pretty-fucking-sick fruit basket to the house and all I cared about was the Mary Poppins doll Daddy bought me.
Walking down to the corner bar where my Dad worked a second job as a bartender on weekends, the only 8 year old sitting at the bar, swinging my feet drinking root beer and eating Slim Jims as my Dad got all the old records the jukebox man took out and handed them over to me.
Maybe I’m just a sentimental old fool, melancholy flowing through my veins as I watch my entire past implode.
Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment as I continue to love my Father even when his face takes on that detached look as he tells me he doesn’t need any of us.
But maybe it’s also because I’m unfortunately an expert when it comes to Alzheimer’s and I’ve been watching his descent for years now, doing everything the law would allow to get control of it before it got control of him but there’s that whole doctor/patient thing so I only got so far, but nowhere near far enough. Now it’s advancing more rapidly.
My brothers (deal with it bro, this is my blog and nobody told you to read it) refuse to recognize the fact that my Father is grieving for my Mother, his wife of what would have been 65 years come August.
I love my brothers but we are different, they both married and had 3 children each, white picket fences and minivans, I married, but wrote songs and played shows, recorded cd’s and ooops I forgot to have kids. And I pass no judgment on them, I love and accept them as they are and only want the same in return.
But.
One of the side effect of me not having kids was the amount of time I spent with both my Parents together, me staying there night after night as they aged and broke bones and had eye surgeries and different cancer surgeries and treatments. Me going away with my Mom twice a year and talking, always talking as I thirsted for her stories. Me being there, being the one who watches and thinks and sees. And me who didn’t move right out at 18 never to return except for holiday visits for the most part.
There’s a reason they say a daughter’s a daughter for all of her life and a son is a son till he takes a wife.
In other words brothers mine, I think I know them a little better than you. It doesn’t matter how much of a mean son of a bitch he is, he’s our mean son of a bitch who gave us life, drove 80 miles a day round trip to work so he could pay for that house in the suburbs, those two weeks at the beach every fucking summer and the Pennsylvania trips we always took.
He bought all those presents under the tree and fed us and guess what?
We are not entitled to anything just because we were born.
And don’t even with the semantics, I know Mommy worked too but not until we were all in double digits, this isn’t about her, except for the fact that our Father, my Father, just lost his wife of 65 years, the woman he loved and lived his life with.
They were us once upon a time. Then they grew old.
But they were us, why can’t you see that we will be them one day? I don’t have kids, but brothers mine, can you even imagine, in your wildest of dreams, how you would feel to know you are losing your mind but are too proud and scared to admit it,and to know your sons have no use for you and your wife died; to be a control freak with no control over anything anymore.
Can you even imagine how that must feel?



{May 29, 2013}   Persephone Letters

IMG_20110713_2020001334853092284
AUTHORS NOTE: Ok so here’s the deal; Persephone (yeah, that one)doesn’t have many friends since she married Hades. Not a lot of ‘BFF’ potential when you spend most of your time living in the bowels of Hell and all that. Thelxiepeia is a Siren and Persephone’s best friend and confidante. Due to their circumstances (more on that later, bits and pieces my lovelies, bits and pieces) the bulk of their interactions are through letters, good old fashioned hand written letters. Oh, there is internet in Hell but Persephone doesn’t trust Hades enough to send personal letters electronically, he has a habit of snooping through her email. Saying anymore would be telling not showing (or is it the other way around?) so please to enjoy one of the many letters Seff wrote to Thellie, more to follow after I, rather Persephone, writes them.

Dear Thellie,
I’m finally home.
It seems like forever since I’ve been above ground.
After spending so much time wandering along the River Styx it feels wonderful being able to stretch my legs against the beautiful backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.
Hades fought me tooth and nail this time.
He didn’t want me to leave at all.
“We’ll never work things out if you keep leaving me” has become his mantra.
Working things out is the last thing on my mind these days Thellie, and oddly, I don’t care.
Not anymore.
So much time has been wasted trying to make something of this farce of a marriage yet the only one trying has been me.
I’ve just about run out of patience.
We had another argument as I was leaving, this is nothing new of course but there was something different about this one.
Where I usually find myself yelling loud enough to frighten even the Reaper himself, this time I was deadly quiet.
I gave him nothing.
Hades did his best to bait me but I refused to bite.
He even went so far as to accuse me of taking a lover.
A year ago I would have gotten my back up at his insinuating I was unfaithful knowing that unfaithfulness is one of his specialties.
Now when I hear these words it just makes me wonder why I haven’t taken a lover.
I’m being hung for a crime I never committed dear friend but if the truth be known, I wish he was right.
I’m so lonely Thellie.
Hades does nothing to ease my loneliness, in fact he does everything he can to keep me isolated.
He’s been hiding most of my correspondence too.
I found a box full of letters addressed to me hidden away in his safe when I opened it to put away some of my jewels.
Hades has gone too far this time.
Love,
Persephone
PS: I can’t wait to see you, we have much to talk about, things that are best said face to face rather than on paper. I’m hoping that will be enough to lure you here as soon as possible, I did learn a few lessons from you after all sweet Siren xx
sirenletterwritingthellie



girl lookingup
It’s late.
Everyone is asleep except me.
Sleep eludes me as I toss and turn restlessly. My thoughts tangle and twist in my head and I try to grasp onto that one strand that will soothe me, allowing me to drift off into the Land of Nod.

It doesn’t work. I can’t turn my mind off.

I sigh along with the unending sound of snores filling the house, all out of tune. Even the cats are snoring along with the humans.
I can’t lie here anymore watching the time slip away so I get out of bed and slip my bare feet into my warm fuzzy Uggs. I wrap myself in my favorite fleece blanket and slip outside with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company.

I sit on the deck in the back yard and watch the late night sky.
It’s a clear cold night and the stars sparkle and shine, a glittery compliment to the near-full moon. It’s so beautifully silent.
Quiet.
A perfect time for reflection. Time alone to think back on all the twists and turns of Life that led me right here to this very moment.
No one here but me, a few fireflies, and the glorious Heavens above.

I don’t want to reflect.

I don’t want to think about the would-haves and should-haves and could-haves.
I don’t want to think about the many roads I’ve travelled.
I don’t want to think of wrong or right or what’s best for me or anyone else for that matter.
Thinking back changes nothing and thinking forward, well that’s just wishing, isn’t it?

Part of me yearns to know what lies ahead, which roads I will travel as impending decisions weigh heavy on my mind.
But as I gaze into the darkness I spot a shooting star and marvel at the wonders of the unknown.

Later, I think to myself.
Eventually I’ll find out how the story ends.
For now, I want to stay in this moment, just me and a sky full of endless possibilities.
suburbanstar



{May 26, 2013}   Persephone Series

persep
I’m getting antsy.
And Hades is getting on my last nerve.
I always gets like this when Springtime rolls around.
I start counting down the days until I can get the hell out of, well, Hell, while Hades does anything he can to throw obstacles in my path.
Sometimes I think it’s slipped his mind that he’s not the only one who has a degree in Passive-Aggressive Behavior. He may have been Valedictorian at Olympus University but I sailed through PAB classes with flying colors and I love a good mind-fuck even more than he does.
But I’ve grown weary of the games.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just that I’m tired. Spending so much time around somebody who can’t decide if they love you or hate you can drive even the most normal person insane and I am far from normal.
It’s only a few more days until I can go back home again but that’s a big part of my problem
I feel homeless.
Sure, I live here with my husband a good part of each year but it doesn’t feel like it’s my home.
And when I’m not here then I’m at my Mother’s house and lately even my Mother’s house doesn’t feel like home to me.
How is it that I find myself homeless?

I have this dream every once in awhile where I’m walking through a huge empty mansion overlooking the ocean. I know I’ve never been there but when I’m dreaming it seems so familiar.
When I wake up I feel as if something precious has been taken from me.

They say there’s no place like home but when there’s no place I can actually call home, then where do I really belong?

Lately I feel like I belong nowhere.
cerebus seff seffy

Three pair of dog-eyes follow my every move.
They know I’m getting ready to leave and they hate when I leave.
It was nice to be missed.
I wished I could take Cerbie with me.
“Don’t look at me like that Cerbs, you know he’d have a fit if I took you with me.”
Three howls disagreed with me.
“Come on guys,enough with the guilt-trip,I’m already on my Mother’s shit-list. She’d kill me if I brought you back with me, you know she’s allergic to dogs.”
A three-growl-harmony fills the room and I silently agree with them.
I was a little suspicious myself about my Mom’s sudden dog-allergy but nothing to do about it now.
“I know, I’m gonna miss you too but it’s just for a couple of months. You know I always come back.”

And I always did come back, like it or not.
Part habit, part obligation. Either way I had no choice.
Every year around this time I left Hell and went back home for a few months.

My Mother always went all out when I came home.
I know she’ll have fields of flowers awaiting me but the truth is, I’m getting a little tired of this constant back-and-forth.
I’m also getting a little tired of the Dutiful-Daughter role but I wouldn’t dare even whisper that thought out-loud.
My Mom was a lot more sensitive than anyone realized and her temper rivalled Hades’ in intensity, at least when it came to me.

I close my last suitcase and reach into my dresser to grab some treats for my three-headed-dog. My hands lingered over the tiny bottle of water I’d filled from the River Lethe.
I was tempted to drink it myself but there wasn’t enough water in Hell to make me forget that this was nothing more than a vacation.

I’d be back too soon for my liking.
But a deal’s a deal.
per sefdem sef



{May 18, 2013}   Concentrate

feelings
It was nearly impossible.
It was hard enough trying to come up with a perfect phrase or a snarky comment on a good day.
Just some words strung together in the right order perhaps, but a baby’s breath whisper of her soul went into every word she wrote him.
It flowed out of her with or without her permission and she’d end up naked and exposed on a piece of paper or the soon-to-be-not-blank screen of her laptop.
He was her sanity in a world gone mad.
Her few precious minutes alone, when she could put herself onto the page and be taken away.
That was the glue that held her together.
So that she could be the glue that held everyone else’s lives together.
It was easy when she had silence and calm and her cat Drusilla curled at her feet.
That’s when her thoughts came fast and furious. Sometimes it seemed as if her fingers could barely keep up with her mind.
She turned into a wordsmith and was happy and alive and smiling.
And she sat down to write.
Tonight, it was impossible.
She was good at tuning noise out but when she heard the footsteps on the stairs and saw her husband lurching toward the bed, the unmistakable stench of rum surrounding him as he tried to walk straight, she knew what was in store for her.
She also knew concentrating on which words to use while trying to evade the groping sloppy-drunk man, once the boy she married many years ago, was impossible.
She sighed and closed her laptop which led to a fight which he forgot about 10 minutes later when he began again to grope her and prod her.
She gave in. And hated herself a little bit more for it.

He fell asleep. Snoring loudly of course..
She went back to answering her last note from someone else’s husband.



{May 11, 2013}   Persephone Series ~ 1

bdoorbandsspikedoorpandh1
It’s the same every year yet I never quite get used to the fact that it’s all my fault.
Winter.
Long, cold winter came every year without fail.
Gotta blame somebody for it so why not me?
Personally, I’m getting a little tired of this whole Let’s Blame Persephone wave that’s sweeping over my world.
It’s giving me an inferiority complex and making me paranoid.
But if I let myself believe that everything is my fault, does that mean I may instead have a superiority complex?
The sound of Hades thumping up the stairs toward my room interrupted my thoughts. It was bedtime, unless he passed out from too much alcohol Hades never failed to show up in my room.
Cerbie let out three short barks in his sleep, one from each head, my brain translated it into “Suck. It. Up.”
I hated this nightly ritual.
His drinking was getting out of control again. It always got worse in the dead of winter. Of course that was my fault too, according to my dear husband.
Mom had not-so-kindly reminded me that, “after all dear, you were the one who wanted to marry him” when I whined away most of our daily phone call earlier today.
I hated that she was right but hello, I was just a kid!
“Seph.”
The slur in his voice sent a shiver of loathing through my body. I was so not in the mood for a confrontation with a drunk.
“The door’s locked Seph, open up.”
He rattled the doorknob while his hand continued to pound against the door.
And at that very moment, it hit me.
All we were was habit.
We cycled, and we cycled unhealthy.
I was ice and Hades was fire and he was burning out.
Cerberus growled agreement in three-part-harmony.



{May 5, 2013}   Anywhere But Here

1334853166299Some nights are harder than others but she knows the sooner she goes through the motions the sooner it would end. So she does. She tells herself she’s done worse things than this before but can’t help feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt when he touches her. She can usually hide the shiver but sometimes she slips. That’s when she has to go overboard hoping to penetrate his drunken fog so he doesn’t lose his temper and wake the house. She closes her eyes and tries to call on some of those acting classes back in high school and wishes she paid more attention to that whole method acting thing. She tries a mental round of Anywhere But Here but for some reason all she can think of is that old ‘close your eyes and think of England’ school of thought. Which makes her wonder what Queen Elizabeth thought of while Phillip was pawing at her and she’d rather be anywhere but there. If she allowed her thoughts to remain inane she could sometimes remain removed from what she subjected herself to in order to survive. She lost her pride a long time ago. All pride did was make things harder. She gave up on being rescued. There were no saviors out there for her, no amount of wishful thinking was ever gonna change that. She’d resigned herself to the fact that wishful thinking only leads to more disappointment anyway but it sneaks in and tickles her from time to time. Sometimes she wishes she never woke up from her Sleeping Beauty existence.



et cetera