We encourage you to find more of Teisha’s writing at the blog http://betterthansleepingalone.typepad.com/my_weblog/Comment
Luna lays on her right side across the bed and makes low snoring sounds. Since the trusted Sasha passed away suddenly Luna is a different dog. A call to the breeder offered affirmation that dogs do grieve. When we buried Sasha in the northwest corner of mom’s garden we covered her with straw, she was wrapped in the blanket the vet had put her in and we sprinkled flowers over her before folding her into the ground. We sat on the deck, the grave diggers and genuine fans of the sharp dog with the keen ears and intense eyes. Luna was seen wandering around the freshly fashioned resting place.
Sometimes it is hard to fathom, in any sense of the phrase, the meaning of life. What are we doing here? I do believe in a Universal Power, a benevolent God. I pray. Still, there are questions. What does it mean this life experience? To know you exist at this moment but will not at some point in the future. To not ever know when that day will come when you cease to exist or when it will come for anyone else and yet to go on living day to day, making plans thinking about your aspirations as many of us do. Is it to pass the time? We have an energy, a drive to do something. Our time is filled with the drive to survive. It can be overwhelming.
Morning time is not my very best time of day although the blue sky helps immensely. I aspire to quiet the mind as it rattles around wondering about the future. I want to roll up in the covers and hide from life. I truly do.
The newpaper finally came and while I was waiting for it I watched (via Tivo) David Letterman’s show last night to see someone I know play drums for the band. The camera really does add ten pounds. He looked nothing like himself to me. Then I turned on Oprah and watched David Arquette talk about surrender and suffering and loneliness. Sitting, as I am, on the cusp of this reckoning transition I feel the fear of signing up for something that caused me so much pain, ended a romantic relationship, stalled the music endeavor I have worked hard toward, clipped the chance of being pregnant with my own baby.
I’m not trying to dwell. I’m trying to accept. I’m trying to deal. The sky is still bright blue and the dogs are curled up on the edge of the bed. I am scared and disappointed. So many highs and so many lows, it feels like an exercise in exhaustion.
Nothing says “ “I’m alone” like a bad case of genital warts” ” says Brenda, 38.
“Oh, fuck” says her mom, all whispery and sweet.
They are on the phone. Brenda tries repeatedly to balance the phone between her chin and shoulder
But it slips off again and again and again. Too small.
“Let me call you back on the land line” she huffs. Irritated and largely unaware of why.
Just a sense of urgency relating to the relative inconvenience, at times, of technology; this feeling is fleeting and in three, two, one seconds she has forgotten she ever had it and we both know she will never remember it again. It was one of those moments on the cutting room floor of the memory of her life. Like so many pictures taken of her in the background of a strangers camera framed in one of the small spattering of places she has ever visited. There she is, just behind the fountain between the hedges squinting in to the sun, hands on hips unaware of her capture but there, as plain as day in a pictures worth of words.
Does it matter that she won’t remember? Probably not at all. And still though, it is sad to think about. She is not contemplating the overwhelming majority of moments to be experienced and forgotten all in one perfect swallow where they will live out the rest of her day, invisible and silent.
“My vagina is broken. My stool is loose and my butt hurts” she pouts from the cordless telephone which temperamentally waxes and wanes between clear line and fuzz filled line like stripes on fine linen made into sound. Brenda, one hand running through her very chemo induced short hair attempts to change the channel by pushing the button that says “Channel” although this technique doesn’t ever really seem to work, she hits it, compulsively anyway. Just in case.
Let’s leave Brenda where she is for now and focus, for a time, on her childhood. Not bad. No fairy tales. No nightmares. No shark attacks. She made new friends easily and often. At some point during high school or early college, she comes to know and understand the meaning of the word onomatopoeia. On the internet you can find this explained as “the use of words whose sound suggests the sense.” like hiss it says. This takes some time to sink in for Brenda who, at the time, must have been in High School maybe even early college. It was an eye opener. She would go on to associate it with words that could arguably not be onomatopoeic in the first place. Like Cheesy. Not the dairy kind. The one used to describe the style of some person, place or thing with mild condescendence and jolly distain. But see, this is not an accurate example. This fact would only irritate Brenda were we to interrupt her phone call to explain. She is not in the mood today.
There are some memories of hers she is not sure actually happened. She remembers a dairy farm once, milk cows, but this has always seemed like a dream she had and there is no hard evidence to corroborate her cloud covered recollections. Conversely, there are things she knows she knows and will never forget. A name tag torn from her chest by a goat at the zoo; a particularly wondrous ice storm and the black-out it splayed all over town during this time, ice covered everything outside of the house her mother rented for the two of them high on the hill. Without a single noticeable exception ice covered everything. Among the things they will find of hers in the days after she is gone is a photo imprinted 77’ in small letters on the side where a border of white trim around the picture allows you to hold it without getting your finger prints all over the place.
She makes amends. Childhood has come and gone. The time comes to lay that burden down and she does so sometime in her early twenties. Letters and snotty confrontations with parents and parental figures alike. Therapy. Temper tantrums. Obsessing about one man, then the next. Fervently. Using words like “cock” with her closest friends as if speaking in some secret and dangerous language. She drank too much. But not too often. When she did though, her head would spin the room and then suddenly she opens her bright green eyes to remember through that first fog the moment the night before when everything goes dark. One memorable morning she sends the sailor off the shore, showers, pops the stereo on and music sails through the air very, very, very loudly. Yet, she has no memory of this whatsoever. Just the evidence that she was blasting the stereo late into the night and instantly she feels indebted to Art, her neighbor, for not calling the authorities.
Brenda spends the vast majority of her time singing to the car radio, TV commercials and the record player. Music is one of the first really hard hitting drugs she ever tries. It intoxicates her every time. It always knows the kind of mood she is in. It never leaves her lonely. She might think that description if cheesy.
“I feel like I want to throw myself in front of the Max.” she sulks. “Oh. My. God.”
“Oooh Honey. Yikes. Oh shoot.” And then, “How is your stool?, what color is it? You know how much I love Scatology.” Laughter on both ends of the line buoyant and from the belly. “A cackle” it has been called. They are identical in this way. Same laugh. Hardy har, har as they say. But it really was.
“We’re so old but we’re as young as we’re ever going to be.” Teisha
August 3rd 2005
They say it’s going to be 94 degrees today so if you’re out and about in Portland you might hear people asking with a wry pleasure common for this time of year, “hot enough for you?” Summer is in full bloom and Saturday marks the beginning of the recording sessions in earnest. Almost all of the songs are finished. There remain only a few stragglers, like overdue term papers being furiously finished and whisked across our imaginary campus clutched in the hand of our fourth year student with beads of sweat on his beaten brow and a hidden hope in his hardened heart that this will more than make for a passing grade.
Starting Saturday at about noon and continuing for six days in a straight row, we will willingly and with more than a little anticipation sequester ourselves to the confines of a few rooms looking to capture the sounds that come out of our collective hands and feet and heads and mouth. We will eat together. Read magazines between takes. Talk about current events both disturbing and sublime. There might be dogs there licking at each other and looking longingly from behind brown eyes. Each of us will take unannounced turns checking phone messages and remembering the world as it turns outside. There might be a fight. There might not. Jokes will be cracked like so many dusty peanut shells and tossed on the floor after the salty sweet has been taken in and left us wanting for more. It will be fun and amusing and then, like a rose parade come through town -bum bup bum bum – this part of our story will have come, all clumsy kids in clumsy clothes, to a clear but temporary end. And we’ll say thanks for the memories to the steely walls of the birthing room of our buxom babe and we’ll move to yet another room in another part of our precocious little town to mold and refine even more what we will have so earnestly begun and we’ll agree (dare I say?) no matter what we have to show and tell to you when we’re through, that there are worse ways to spend your summer days…
Mom’s Note: Scott and Jesse put together a CD of Amelia Lost Tapes on 8/14/13.
You can get a digital download at
or the CD from Deb (503.704.3427 firstname.lastname@example.org)
Keep the music and her memory alive.Comment
The foul temper that I’m in puts a pit in my stomach a mile long. That makes no sense. Mom expressing how worried she is about me makes me feel angry and guilty all at the same time. I wish I was driving myself home. I wish I could just spend some time alone. She appears as though she is tolerating everything and then I find her sitting teary at the table. Under all of this is the answer to the question, am I going to live or am I going to die. The answer being of course I’m going to die. Everything dies. Which begs the question, what does it mean to die? Your body stops. Where does your soul go? When I start to think of writing lyrics I feel a wave of “I’m so cheesy” flush across my mind. I need more independence. Not need, want. More freedom. More lightness in being. I’m eating an apple. I drank an Ensure mixed with chocolate milk. Easy eats – shakes, nuts, fruit. I want more control (don’t we all). I do often feel like closing my eyes and laying my head down. Fatigue. What a bitch.
Written August 4, 2011.
We left Manzanita and went to Neahkanee Mountain where she hiked as far as she could.Comment