Month: September 2015

Nostalgia

I’m feeling nostalgic, tonight. My mind is wandering back to another time, in a very different life. When I get like this, I often browse through old writing or photos just to get a taste of where I was ‘once upon a time’. This one stood out. I’m just an amateur who occasionally writes down thoughts or scenes in my head, or scribbles down the rare poem. This is one of my scraps… a not-exactly-autobiographical introduction to three characters that will probably never see their story finished… It’d be a pity to just forget about them, though. Enjoy. rain-122691_1280


Life As We Know It

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.

Avalyn enjoyed the familiar rhythm of the rain. Living in this city, you got used to it or you moved on. It was a far cry from the sweltering heat of her childhood home and she liked it that way. The gray clouds and abundance of shadowy corners were a comfort to her.

“I got us something to eat.” The young man came around the corner carrying a half smashed box from a local pizza shop. His oily, black hair only served to enhance his wild, grunge look. His oversize corduroy blazer extended halfway over the hand that eagerly presented Avelyn the abused pizza box.

She didn’t hesitate to snatch and open it as she spoke, “Awesome! I’m starving.” As the scent of the pizza hit her, she coughed and shook her head before shooting a nasty glare toward her companion, “UGH! Anchovies?! Really, little brother?”

Tony’s head flew back as he laughed and slid down the wall to sit next to her. Avelyn rolled her eyes and grabbed a piece of pizza, delicately picking off the anchovies and flinging them into the street.

“You can try to foist the rest off on Rynn, but…”, she interrupted herself with a big bite of food. Tony had no retort to this, so the two sat in silence while Avelyn ate. They watched the people mill about on the sidewalk while they waited for the downtown train to arrive.

The train screeched to a stop in front of them and as the doors opened, swarms of people poured out onto the sidewalk. Avelyn giggled in delight as one of the discarded anchovies was squashed on the tracks. She and Tony pulled their feet up close to them and kept their packs tight against their sides as the platform was overrun. Tony’s eyes darted over the crowd curiously. He moved to stand up and Avelyn grabbed his arm, pulling him awkwardly back to the ground. Her eyes flicked toward the edge of the platform where a cop had just stepped off the train and was surveying the crowd. Tony sighed deeply and nodded, pressing a little closer against the wall. It never ceased to amaze her to see how tiny the big guy could make himself.

Almost as fast as it had filled, the platform was clear and the safety of a blanket of people was lost. The cop sneered at Tony and Avelyn, but as he approached them, a man in a fancy suit stomped up and began yelling about some kids skateboarding outside his office building. They seized the opportunity and swiftly gathered their things, scurrying away and deeper into downtown.

The soft rain of the morning faded and the sun began to peek through the clouds, casting dancing light patterns on the bricks of the square where the two now found themselves. Some people milled about the square idly, while others hurried about their business. None of them seemed to notice the scruffy boy in his oversize clothes or the girl in her tattered coat and fraying jeans. Tony explored the crowd with his eyes, his focus flitting from person to person. When Avelyn chose a place to sit down, he tossed his pack down next to her. She looked up, mouth open to speak, but only sighed and pulled her knees up to her chest. He was gone, lost in the sea of people.

Avelyn’s hair fell in tangled curls over her face as she watched and waited. From here, she could see most of the square. This was one of her favorite places in the city. Sometimes they showed movies on a big screen for anyone who cared to sit and watch. On one corner there was a coffee shop and on the other, the travel information center. In the winter, the city would put up a giant Christmas tree in the center of the square. Today, it was busier than usual. Tourist season was beginning to pick up.

In all the hustle and bustle, Avelyn didn’t notice the approach of the brown-haired beauty in tight black jeans and a black t-shirt with the words ‘CAN’T SLEEP, CLOWNS WILL EAT ME’ written in white across the front. The newcomer brushed her straight, shoulder-length hair behind her ear and leaned her weight on one leg, placing a balled fist against her hip.

“Hey, Av! Where’s Tony?” She gestured with her free hand toward his pack on the ground.

Avelyn jumped, and her startling blue eyes shot up at the girl. Her features instantly softened and a bright smile crossed her face, “Rynn! Sorry I didn’t wait by the mall like you said… cops…”

Rynn shook her head, “No problem, love. Now where’s Tony. I owe him something.”

“Will it involve a hospital?” Avelyn quirked a brow at Rynn.

Rynn smirked and shrugged with one shoulder, “Maybe.”

A few moments later, Rynn squealed and whirled about to land her fist right in Tony’s jaw, knocking him back a step. “What the hell was that?!” Panting, she held a hand to her chest and glared at him.

“Shit… Was that really necessary? It was just a love tap.” Tony rubbed his jaw, which was already beginning to bruise.

“Well keep your hands to yourself, little brother, or the next one’ll break it.” She gestured toward his face.

“Yes ma’am.”

“Would you two stop fussing already? I don’t wanna miss the feed.” Avelyn held out the box with the anchovy pizza to Rynn who took one whiff and brushed it away, wrinkling her nose and shaking her head emphatically.  “See, told you she wouldn’t eat that crap.”

Tony shrugged and leaned down to scoop up both of their bags by the straps. He held out a black leather wallet to Rynn, who sifted through it and tossed everything except the credit cards and the cash into a nearby trash bin. The trio started walking, talking back and forth about the mundane happenings of the day. Together, they caught a bus and met up with more friends along the way, all heading to the same place.

This was the way of life for them. With the street as their home, they’d learned to keep moving to keep the cops off their back. Tony had found the girls soon after they’d wandered into town with the shirts on their backs and a few books. He taught them who to play nice with and who to avoid. He showed them the city and they showed him friendship. They’d become fast friends, nigh inseparable. Most days, they wandered the city together, stopping for food at one of the homeless feeds at mealtimes. Sometimes they’d sit in the parks or bookstores and talk about all the amazing things they’d do when they got off the streets, though not one of them was sure they’d ever get that far.

To the rest of the world, they had absolutely nothing, but in their eyes they had everything they really needed.

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Lifetime Learning

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I can’t believe I’m doing this, but I’m about to quote country music at you…

“Life’s a dance you learn as you go
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
Don’t worry ’bout what you don’t know.
Life’s a dance you learn as you go.”

  -John Michael Montgomery in “Life’s a Dance”

So, growing up, I was exposed to all kinds of music, including 90’s country. Growing up in the Lone Star State, how could I not be exposed to more country caterwauling than any one human should ever have to endure? I digress…

This song is one of a select few that’s stuck with me my whole life since.

I’ve traveled an interesting road. I spent a couple years wandering the country, homeless and broke, with my ex wife. Spent ten years of my life trying to be someone I wasn’t for a multitude of reasons, none of which were all that good. I’ve taken part in spiritual practices that would make your hair stand on end. I remarried, to a man I met on the internet and moved across the country to be with him. I’ve made good decisions along the way, but also made a lot of bad ones. I’ve lived in seven different states and seen more people pass in and out of my life than I care to count. I’ve burned bridges that might have been better left intact; I’ve held onto people and things that might have been better thrown overboard. Each chapter of my life is full of stories, good and bad; enough to fill several books with, I’m sure.

All the time, I was learning. I was stumbling, falling down, tripping on my own feet, picking myself back up, tripping over other people, breaking down one wall, running into the next… But here’s the thing…

I regret nothing.

Most people don’t believe me when I say that. The more of my story they know, the harder it is for them to believe.

Every piece of my story, every single line, has made me who I am today, and you know what?

I’m pretty fucking awesome!

I’m smart, geeky, curious, capable, and hell, I’ll say it: I’m beautiful! I’m so many things, but most of all, I’m self-aware. I’m not afraid to make mistakes and I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. I’ve learned to do all the cliches like taking the good with the bad and getting back on the horse and… you get the idea.

Am I always happy? No. Certainly not, that’s ridiculous. No one is happy all the time. I cry, scream, flail, and even wallow in depression sometimes. The difference between me-that-is and me-that-was is that once I pull myself up by my bootstraps again, I move on and move up. I know that each experience has taught me something that will serve me well, going forward. That lesson might be something simple like, “Watch where you’re going or you’re going to kick the bed and crack your toe.” Sometimes, the lessons are far more profound. Occasionally, the lessons are life-changing.

So, this is me, World. Take it or leave it. I’m the full package, with storied past and plenty of flaws, but if you can get past that, there’s a whole lot of awesome in here that I’m happy to share.

As a wise baboon once said,

“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”

– Rafiki in “The Lion King”

Get out there and learn something, my dears.

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Trippin’ the Light Fantastic!

Have you ever just cut loose like this? If you haven’t, you really ought to give it a go. Grab a drink, tussle your hair, and give your whole body a little wiggle.

Howdy, hola, hello, and welcome to my Madcap Revolution. I’ll be your host, the Madcap Dreamer, but you can call me Maddie. On a good day, I may be your best friend and closest confidante. On a bad day, I may be a bumbling, tearful, pitiful mess of a humanoid being. In between, we can seek out the happy medium and maybe get to know each other.

Those who know me have described me as many things, including (but far from limited to) crazy, playful, impulsive, and eccentric. I’ll take it! I’ve certainly been called worse.

I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of me very, very soon, but for now, come dance with me and we’ll trip the light fantastic all over Crazytown.

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