Monday, March 24, 2008

Still frames in your mind...

Cheers to some of the best memories a person could ever ask for:

-Fried eggs, couch beds and watching Arsenio Hall
-Living room fort-tents dangerously held up by stacks of books and statues
-Bean bag businesses
-Bicycle face-plants and running into campers because of loose chains
-David the Gnome
-N'Sync choreography
-Chicken nugget black eyes
-Airborn, the movie... Devil's Backbone
-Suggity Suggity Suh Poh Poh
-Pusoy Dos tournaments
-Summer camping trips
-Pool slides and broken bones
-playing it off all cool...
-Being soda-drunk and not understanding solitaire
-Too many people in one cabin, but loving every minute of it.
-"That one time when we sat around reminiscing..."
-Jessica Pesci
-animal mating calls
-homemade horror movies
-the care bear room and the red bunk bed
-late-night delirious laughing
-screwballs and big sticks.. 50 cents for the ice cream man
-monkey-climbing the hallway walls
-lying to your parents thinking that they'll actually believe you
-bloody mary in the bathroom
-scary stories
-white board poop comics
-toejam and earl
-fortune cookie hair
-Jill of the Jungle and Carmen Sandiego
-looking back at everything and being thankful for NOT having the Internet

To my dearest fambam... thanks for all the great memories.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs...

Death is a complex thing for the living. It's not like love or anger or happiness, where we as humans are expected by nature to react in a certain way or display characteristics that reinforce our state of being... a whimsical glance, lowered brows and a crinkled forehead, a smile or laugh. When I see someone walking down the street, I can usually tell if that person is angry, happy or in love. And observance of those characteristics is what helps the rest of us shape our response. Nature generally tells me that I wouldn't show pity to someone who is happy.

But death... death skews the playing field. It's the only natural inevitability about life, yet it's the most complicated thing next to living that we have to deal with. Some people will cry, some will laugh, some will get angry, or dwell, or find regret. Others will show nothing at all- just a blank face in a crowded room.

When death steps in and claims someone we love or care about, we're forcefully plunged into a bigger picture. Our individual lives seemingly become so small- insignificant in comparison to the rest of the universe, all because nature doesn't allow the world to stop. Unless death takes a celebrity or commits a massive, tragic act like the Holocaust or 9/11, nobody else cares... and its not their fault that they don't care, no matter how much our grief would like us to think so.

I lost a family member this morning.

She was 43-years-old, single, without children and had a successful career. I admit we weren't that close. As first-cousins, we'd see each other at family functions; she even lived at my house for some time. And though we always extended the highest level of respect, love and courtesy possible for two relatively distant family members, I really didn't know her that well.

I'm not writing this now to go over all those cliche attitudes and sayings about death - because we know them all. They would tell us to live each day like it was our last, to always say 'I love you' or to help us believe our loved one is in a better place now. But still, these are the same sayings that could just as easily plant seeds of regret and hurt in my head... that maybe I should have tried harder to be closer to her while she was alive, that I may have taken her for granted.

Why haven't I cried yet today?

It's not because we were never that close. It's not because I'm not sad. On the contrary, I'm heartbroken - she was a wonderful, selfless, caring person and she was family.

I think that what it all comes down to is the complexity of dealing with death. Maybe by writing this, it's my way of dealing. She's not in my immediate family, and so society says I don't need time off from work to grieve. As I write this... the clock ticks by closer and closer to my own work deadlines. Just a few hours ago, I told the news to my editor, hoping that he'd understand if I turned a story in a little late.

He replied with... "I'm sorry to hear that... Do you have anything new on the homicide story?" And then I answered him, as if it was just another day on the field.

It's a conflicting place to be in now. Maybe society is right... Maybe I don't need to grieve and I can just continue on with my day. We weren't that close anyway, right? Well deep down inside, it feels wrong. Because inside, I AM grief-stricken. And I DO really wish she's in a better place now.

I'm not looking for condolences or paid time off. I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me or stop their own lives because my family is suffering a tragedy today. Honestly, I really don't know what I want. I don't know what will make me feel better or worse, or perhaps even less guilty for being in front of my computer instead of with the rest of my relatives. I just don't know.

Because like I said before... death is a complex thing for the living.

REST IN PEACE, ATEH JESS. We'll see you again one day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

the end

Don't you have anything better to do besides let yourself become so consumed with hatred and jealousy, that you're willing to dig yourself into a deeper hole than you are already in?
Before you make the decision to act like a bitch, do you honestly believe that you will be in a better place than before?
What makes you think you have the right to threaten a good person, just because you simply weren't worthy to come along for the ride?
Why are you so fucking concerned about where I am, yet so afraid to confront me yourself? Stop using my friends as scapegoats - they're worth so much more than that.

Get over it. You're NOT better than me.

I would say "sorry" in hopes of making you feel better, but I didn't do anything wrong. And I just don't think you deserve my sympathy.

I know you're insecure because I am a part of something that you can't infiltrate. I know you hate it when my name comes up in conversation, because those instances are often accompanied by expressions of fondness. I know you're jealous of the memories I have... especially the ones you will likely never hear about. I know it kills you to think that I have qualities you will never possess. I know you wish I didn't exist, because then I wouldn't be a threat... I wouldn't have been there, with him, and with everyone else, while you were forced to stay home alone.

It didn't have to be this way. We could have made amends... I was ready to take that step to put shit behind us and clear the air. I was going to invite you outside for a cigarette, and tell you my intentions were innocent. I wanted to make you feel better, more comfortable, and help you - even if I didn't want to be your best friend. I was going to tell you that it was just about music and friendship, that you didn't have to worry because I'm not trying to get in your way. Whether you believed me or not, I was willing to extend you the courtesy of truth - without the fucking mindgames that women are always so willing to play on each other.

But you fucked it up. Without knowing the full story, you jumped to conclusions and laid the blame on an innocent person instead of examining yourself. There's a reason that I was there and you weren't. But instead of understanding that reason, you turned to insults and ruined your chances of ever being fully accepted. You made enemies, instead of allies. You didn't even come after me - you went after my friend. You ruined his weekend, and now it's personal.

Your threats don't scare anybody. And if you think they do, you are truly unaware of the type of bond this circle of friends has. You have no fucking idea.

You've been trying so hard to convince everyone that I was wrong about you. But this time I didn't have to do or say anything. You ruined it for yourself. So grow up, and move on. We don't want you here.