Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Total Recall

How do you remember? What does it take for a moment to sear itself into your memory? Pain, joy, grief?

How clear is your recall?

I remember the day the Challenger exploded. I was in my computer math class, with the scary bug-eyed bleached blonde teacher. We had a TV on in the room while we worked. We couldn't believe what we saw. Surely ... The loudspeaker came on. The principal, a definite hard-ass, was crying.

I remember the day that DG proposed. I remember what I was wearing (and I still have the skirt, though it stopped fitting me years ago). I remember the car he was driving. I remember when he pulled over to the side of the narrow country road, and I gave him the "what the hell?" look as he stopped. Not a lot of passing room. He shushed me, got out of the car, picked a handful of wild flowers (including some black-eyed Susans), opened my door, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him.

I remember the night that my paternal grandfather died. I was in bed, it was late. The phone rang. I heard my father start to sob. I've never heard him cry like that. My dread of late night phone calls started then. My father sounded broken.

I remember the day DG came home, with that hesitant little smile. I met him at the door, since he didn't come further inside. He took my hand, and slid the ring on my finger. A silver band of roses from James Avery. My engagement ring. So I would always have fresh roses, no matter the season. It all started with a rose, after all.

I remember the day we went to pick up my baby sister from the adoption agency. I was only 3 and a half at the time. I remember, because as we were getting back into the car, I cut my hand on something on the seat. A deep slice, between the webbing of my fingers.

I remember the phone call from Sabrina. I was getting ready for a date, Charlie was already at the house. She was crying, and as she tried to explain, the news show finished the story. We'd heard sirens maybe half an hour before. Two of our graduating seniors, two of the most popular and friendliest guys in the class, had an accident only a few blocks from our house. A drunk driver ran a light. One was killed instantly, thrown through the windshield. He wasn't wearing his seat belt. His passenger was critical for weeks, and suffered permanent brain damage. Graduation was only two weeks away. I always wear my seat belt, have from that moment on. And when we pass the cross erected where the accident occurs, I still tear up.

I still remember falling/jumping out of the persimmon tree that was in the field behind our house, knowing fully that my grandfather was there below. I knew that I would be safe, even if I couldn't fly.

I remember "falling" into the lake with my sister. "Don't get wet," my mother would scowl as we left with my grandfather. "Oh no, we won't," we'd tell her. And every time, we "accidentally" managed to fall in. And since we were already wet ....

Blackberries. I remember trip after trip with my grandfather, many times with me on his back. "No, THAT one, Poppie!" And he'd bend and pick that very one. We'd go out with bags and buckets, and every time we'd come back with only half full, and me stained utterly purple from lips to fingertips, scratches from brambles on us both. They never tasted so sweet. I had to pay for blackberries this year. It hurt. And they just weren't as good.

I remember seeing the look on DG's face the day Thing 1 was born, the day he thought he was going to lose us both. The day he almost did. I remember feeling like I was floating (blood loss isn't such a bad way to go), and my only worries were for DG, and for the baby that wasn't breathing.

I remember playing Danny's Game Boy (Tetris) while I was in labour with her, and the doctor coming in, scowling, and asking me if I knew I was having a contraction. I told him to hush, I was about to get a high score.

I remember Danny showing up right before visiting hours were over and after we'd both been dragged back from death, with food, with a huge chocolate milkshake. I hadn't eaten in two days before that. Milkshakes haven't tasted as good since then.

I remember ... GRRR ... that because Thing 1 was two weeks late, that DG and Roy used MY tickets to Jethro Tull and WENT WITHOUT ME to the concert while I sat in the hospital and sulked. Damn them! :P (Yes, I told them to go. We'd paid for the tickets anyway, no use in wasting them. The bastards.)

I remember getting the phone call saying that my great-grandmother was in the ER and that it didn't look good. We rushed to Tomball, and then SAT and sat, waiting. She had still been alive when we got there. By the time they talked to us, she was gone. They let us into the room to see her. She was still on the table in the triage room. I remember the towels over her throat to cover the emergency trach that failed. And I was Angry. Furious. I fled. Ran out of the room, out of the ER, down the halls ... I remember stopping when I couldn't breathe anymore. A nurse came over, gentle, with a clucking scold that I was bleeding on her floor. Somehow, in my flight, I'd ripped open the back of my hand.

I still have the scar.

I remember the absolute ROAR that Thing 2 gave out when she was born. The doctor and nurses were startled. No butt-spanking for this kid. She was out and ready to take over. I remember the words: "Oh, she has a birthmark" and utterly panicking. Imagination took over fast, but it turned out to be a relatively cute round brown "witchmark" under her right arm on the side. Talk about foreshadowing against the future.

I remember the utter shock at having my name called out after our UIL One-Act play performance for All-Star Cast. I remember my father, chasing me down after we were through to hand me an enormous bouquet of pink roses. I remember power-barfing in the bathroom AFTER we were done. I always let stress go afterwards. Before, I was the rock. I remember, in my shock at being named to All-Star, seeing an old boyfriend in the crowd that I hadn't seen in years. Jeff smiling, and giving me the thumbs up.

It is amazing how we remember, and the clarity that surrounds some moments and yet is absent from others. The human brain is an amazing thing, and it frightens me now that many of those pathways are being closed off or severed as my illness progresses.

Still, I think that, no matter what happens, there are some things that will never be forgotten. There is always paper, there is always my journal to record those moments that might slip away.

I will hold them to my heart forever. No matter how painful, or how full of joy they might be. It is my past, my history, my future, and they are parts of what has made me who I am.

just me, pretending to be

Monday, September 09, 2002

On Remembering

It's not that I don't want to remember.

I never want to forget. But it's not just one thing that's the problem.

September 11.

It's a birth day, an anniversary. It's "special" to many people for many reasons, but life went on before, and it will go on after.

Something tragic, unfair, and horrible happened on that day. The thing is, horrible things happen all the time. To Other People. When bad things happen to Other People, it often doesn't seem as important, or isn't even remembered. It was Them, not Us.

But people do remember.

Mai Lai. Pearl Harbour. Hiroshima. Columbine. Fairchild AFB. Rwanda.

Nanking. The Holocaust. Jonestown. Yakaolang. Srebrenica. Apartheid.

The Challenger. Tiananmen Square. Bosnia. Khmer Rouge.

The list has no end. Perhaps it never will.

A few years ago, I was visiting Jon, and one of our trips was to the Smithsonian. (Several of them, including art, cultural history, and Air and Space, as Jon and I try to remember what all we made it to that afternoon)

Jon lost me for a while when we reached the Enola Gay.

I don't know how long I sat there and cried. It is overwhelming, when you see her. Everything hits you at once. Everything is suddenly, painfully REAL in her presence. And it hurts.

People are stupid, greedy, vicious, and single-minded. For every good, there is a corresponding evil. Someone will always want something that someone else owns. Someone will always want to be more in charge than anyone else. Someone will always have different beliefs, different faiths, different ideas of morality. Someone will always disagree with someone else.

And it isn't fair. It never will be fair.

We cannot forget what we as a race have done in the past, in hopes that in the future, someone will think twice or even three times before engaging in conflict. Violence sparks violence. There is no right way to answer violence, when every response seems and feels wrong. It hurts when it happens to you.

What we must keep is perspective.

No one atrocity is more important, more painful, or more vital to remembrance than another. Each act of violence is a failure on the part of us all. Commemorating a single event that happens to Us instead of Them is an act that will always be repeated. It's human nature, for the most part. What happens to Us is easier to feel and remember and is more Real to us than something that happened to someone else, far away.


Should you chose to remember the One, try to keep in mind the Many that came before, and that will come after.

Should you shed a tear for heroes lost, remember the others that have sacrificed their lives for the sake of freedom and peace.

In the end, we have only one world, and we must live on it together.

Some things, we should never forget.

Random Wisdom

-- First impressions are important, but not as important as to whether or not you maintain it.

-- If your track record is public, don't be surprised if the public knows about it. And discusses it. Often.

-- Physical pain can be forgotten, otherwise women would never have a second child. Emotional wounds take longer to heal. If ever.

-- Never do yourself what you can delegate. Then be prepared to do it yourself anyway.

-- Never light a cigarette with a blowtorch. It may look cool, but it takes your eyebrows forever to grow back in.

-- If you have a gut instinct about something, you probably had bad pizza. If you haven't had pizza, pay attention to it. It's rarely wrong.

-- To err is human: to forgive yourself, impossible.

-- The RED wire. Always cut the RED wire. Unless it's blue.

-- There is a reason why hair dryers come with a warning label about not using them in the bathtub -- people are stupid.

-- If you can't find anyone else to blame, it probably IS your fault.

-- Cold pizza and hot beer are only safe breakfasts if you're in college. After that, they just give you ulcers.

-- A cat will always decide to lay down on you at precisely the moment you need to move.

-- Your fart might be funny, but trust me, we don't want you to describe it in depth. Same goes for what you just did in the bathroom. We've already suffered enough.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

Superwoman is D-E-D

Somewhere I lost what I think I was going to say, and it turned into some painful self-contemplation.

There are friends that I have made online that remember Super Woman. Invincible. Offline, as well. Nothing phased me. A catch-phrase: "I'm all right. Always am." has fallen flat. It was something of a thin running joke for a very long time.

I survived it. Didn't matter what you threw at me, I survived it, usually with strained laughter and sheer stubbornness. I'd get over it.

So how do you explain to these people that Super Woman is dead?

There are people that I have never met in person that have been closer to me than any relative. People I utterly adore with heart and soul and that have been there for me, and I for them, time and time again. How do you tell these people that despite that, you no longer would accept a chance to actually meet them? That to show them what I have become and what I have lost would hurt me deeper than the lost chance of becoming closer?

It frightens me.

My husband told me yesterday that he had told one of our old circle about it. We haven't spoken with him much, DG much more than I. He explained, and that I could not walk without a cane, how I could no longer do simple things.

Part of me was torn. I was ... hurt. Angry, that he told, and didn't understand why.

Some part of me still wants to be remembered as invincible.

I know that most of my family does not know, that my monster has not bothered to tell them. She never had before, when I had surgery, or anything else went wrong. And it is strange, where she doesn't seem to care, I know that they do.

I've not told them either. Super Woman syndrome again.

Yet, she invites us down for the traditional holiday dinners. What does she expect to happen if I come, if they see me and realize what she had been hiding? She hasn't done herself any favours. My uncle's wife (as opposed to my mother's sister, who is perhaps the neatest lady I know, and who DOES know) already dislikes my mother intently. I used to wish that I'd been his daughter instead, so that Liz would have been my mother.

It did not take long, the last time we went down for Thanksgiving a few years ago, for them to find out why our trip down there lasted less than 24 hours. And Liz was Angry. I was invited to next time, stay with them.

It is not a bad thought.

My husband has the time off for us to go down this year. But it's at the monster's house this time. (Every year, Christmas and Thanksgiving trade out.) I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if I can face what is to come when we show up.

I suppose in a way that a lot of it is that fibromyalgia is actually the least of my concerns, as it is also with Heidi and Cairyn. We have other problems that just amplify everything we can worry about.

I just don't want to be remembered as I am now.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

CAT for sale

I'm not sure whether I should laugh, or gross out.

Zamboni moved slowly out into the living room, and hunched in the position that indicates that either A) the carpet is looking at him funny, or B) he's about to yark.

Another turn, and he saw me looking at him.

He turned a little again, looked up, and yes, I was still looking at him.

He gave me the Evil Cat Eye, the one that says "I hope you're a mouse in your next life so I can eat you, bitch."

AND HE TURNED HIS BACK ON ME so I couldn't watch him throw up.

DG, your cat is SO weird.

Of course, now someone needs to clean the hot cat barf off the carpet.

Monday, September 02, 2002

What Thing 2 has learned at school:

"I pledge allegiance,
To the Texas flag.
Under God,
I am invisible."