On a Saturday afternoon,
When the sun is out, and the sky is bright blue,
I’m in the house stuck again.
All alone and dancing in my room,
With a vacuum in hand.
I remember your face and the things that you said.
You don’t remember of course,
But I’ll never forget.
Now I’ll dance with my vacuum instead of with you.
I open the window to let in some fresh air.
Make my way down the three flights of stairs.
Just to wash all the laundry, I see images of you
In my mind, they taunt me.
Loading the clothes bit by bit,
I wash them and you as I close the lid.
Carrying my soap and basket
Back up the stairs, it’s not so bad I say,
Carrying the weight of my fears.
The weight of the years, the ones spent.
The time wasted that I won’t get back.
Into the kitchen now, here I go.
A sink full of dishes is waiting for me.
They’ve been there forever, just like I waited for you.
Those dishes can’t sit much longer,
We can’t live that way.
Soak them in suds, watch it go down the drain.
Turn around now, and I stare at the floor.
Bits and crumbs, tiny pieces on the tile.
The walls close in, and I feel the pressure.
Grabbing the broom hardly even remembering your smile.
Sweeping myself off my feet as I sweep the kitchen,
You’d be silly to think I even miss you a smidgen.
Hot water now fills up a bucket.
Another romantic date with my mop.
This is what I signed up for,
It’s exactly what I wanted.
Did you think I’d be your little puppet?
You had them lined up.
No use for me.
The truth would have been good.
Or maybe even sympathy.
Dirty mop water, pour it all out.
Like I did with my heart,
And you flushed it all down.
Not a care in the world, you don’t hear a single sound.
There’s a pot on the stove,
It’s been cooking all day.
Stirring and stirring, daydreaming as I go my own way.
Who is better at stirring the pot?
Is it me or is it you?
Because it’s not just myself who I need to feed,
But the little one who is relying on me.
What is a bathroom break when you must clean the bathroom?
Bleach, baking soda, and mini cleaning brushes,
Are part of my auxiliary.
It’s standard for the code, luxury is forebode.
Don't get caught taking a breather.
Scrubbing the shower, I scour and scour.
Pretending I could scrub you just the same,
But off of my skin.
Dusting the shelves and little knick knacks is part of the routine.
When cleaning the home, I’m also cleaning me!
I polish the floors, while you polish your whores.
When I caress the dishes, you are giving kisses.
I wash the tub, and I dry the puddles.
Reminiscent of the time when I wasn’t sitting in a muddle.
What touch feels like now is a mystery to me.
But then again, so are communication, respect, and boundaries.
The night comes fast, almost too quickly.
I still have one task to complete swiftly.
On top of the cooking and cleaning, I take out the trash.
Symbolic, I think, as I laugh and I laugh.
The house is sparkly and gleaming.
But a repair needs to be made, so I’ve learned how to do it.
I do your job now since you’re not around.
I don’t mind it at all, in fact, it’s quite profound.
The things you’ve taught me just by disappearing, I find quite endearing.
While you’re out nailing and screwing, I’m doing the same.
The only difference is the things you nail and screw actually breathe and have a name.
Here is a short excerpt of a blog that I will publish later this month.
TRIGGER WARNING – Do not continue reading if you are sensitive to sexual/domestic/violence issues.
One day, I was inside of a breakfast restaurant filling out a job application far on the north side of Chicago. Most of my time was spent on the Northside to be fair. This restaurant was almost on the outer limits of the city. I was around 18 years old at the time.
A man sat alone at a table near me and was eating his breakfast and drinking his coffee. He was a tiny little guy and spoke Spanish to the waitress. He saw me at the cashier counter of the restaurant filling out an application. Back then we actually had PAPER applications for jobs. What a wild world it was! Some of you will remember, and some of you will imagine.
I was writing down all of my information on this paper application and the man approached me. He asked me if I was looking for a job. Obviously, and clearly, I was. Of course, I said yes, and I asked why? Why did he ask me? What did he want? Back then I was rough around the edges. I mean, I still am. But my sassiness back then was much more vicious than it is now. I think so at least.
He slid a business card over to me and told me that he owned a nightclub in Lincoln Park. (Lincoln Park has been one of the most popular nightlife destinations in Chicago for a long time.) He said he was looking for a hostess. At the time, it sounded like a dream! He told me that I could start the next night. He told me to dress for the occasion. I was so excited. I picked out new outfits, even spending the money to do so. My mom helped me prepare. She said I looked beautiful.
I wore a small black mini skirt, black stilettos, and a white blouse that was a bit low cut and sleeveless. My hair was put up in a giant long ponytail before the Ariana Grande ponytail was ever mentioned. I wore a black cardigan to cover the tattoo on my back.
I remember it so well. I remember thinking how lucky I was to just have a job fall right into my lap, and not just a job, but one where music would be played all night and people would dance all night. The only thing I would be responsible for was to help collect tickets at the door and put roses on the tables and light the candles. “Make it feel romantic.”, he told me.
Ah yes. I will never forget. That is exactly what I did!
The first and only night there at the club, I thought I scored big. After the tickets were all collected and everyone was inside, I danced with the customers! I danced all night! Luckily for me, the guy who hired me, who now I can’t even remember his name, also danced. It was a big party and I was the luckiest girl ever in the world because I got paid for it! I was offered drinks and shots multiple times, but I never drank back then. It worked in my favor.
Finally, the night had to come to an end. The nameless man told me that I’d be able to leave around 1 am, as the local bars closed around 2 and everyone would be heading home around that time. At the end of the night, I approached the mysterious boss man and asked him for my pay. It was pretty good money too, for being so long ago, and it was in cash. As a teenager, it was a sweet deal to me. He told me that my money was down in the basement. He wanted me to follow him down there in the basement of the club, right to his office.
I can’t remember now if I thought anything of it. Naturally, as an older adult now typing this and reading it, you can see how shady it sounds. We got to his little room (“office”) in the basement of the club. It was summertime and extremely hot. The fans in this little room did absolutely no good. My feet were definitely killing me at this point and I just wanted to go home.
Now, remember, I told you he was small. Smaller than me, and I’m a whopping 5’3 and must have been at least 5’6 with those heels. I remember asking him for the cash and telling him I needed to leave. He kept fiddling around with paperwork and money. I was standing near a desk, or a wall. I cannot remember now.
He kept telling me how good I did. But that’s when it started to feel awkward because in reality I hadn’t done shit (compared to other jobs) but light some candles and make an atmosphere that was romantic, with roses. You can’t forget about the roses! I collected some tickets from people who didn’t even speak the same language as me.
He kept telling me my greatness, and how beautiful I am. He had the envelope of money in his hand. He handed the envelope closer to me while his mouth wouldn’t stop talking, and I snatched it from him (out of instinct because I felt what he was about to do) as he pushed me against the wall and pressed his lips on mine. He tasted like sweat and alcohol. He tasted like FILTH. I pushed him off of me so hard when he did that and ran out of that place like I was running from a blood-thirsty animal. F*cking a**hole, I thought to myself. I ran towards DePaul University, the train stop was right near there. Fullerton. The feeling of wanting to escape is something that still haunts my dreams and I’ve felt it so many times. Not just this time. I remember actually, once I was far enough from the club I took those heels off and ran barefoot to the CTA train hoping not to step on any glass or needles on the ground. I never saw that guy again. Not once. And I hope I never do. I can’t remember his name, but I do remember his face.
He did fall backward when I pushed him. That is how I will remember his face. Because the look of shock on his face has stuck in my head like dried jelly on a jar. He must have thought I was weak. Did he think I would let him? That is never the case. It will never be. My only thought now, is what if he was bigger? What if I did not escape? What could have happened? And the worst part is, this is only one story.
I’d never been myself if I didn’t knock him on his ass that night.
And this is why you shouldn’t talk to strangers.
This week I’ve started thinking about obstacles that I faced in my past. Thinking about the past and what we have endured can help us plan a better future. With the experience of the past, we learn not to make the same mistakes over and over.
As a teenager and young adult, I felt this huge desire to want to fit in. The only problem is that I never did for some reason or another. I was a white kid, in a predominantly Latino/African-American school. I listened to rap music, and also rock. (Which was not really cool when I was a freshman.) My horizon was broad as far as cultures, music, and things of that sort; but only a fraction of what it is now. (Thankfully!) With so many interests, you’d think I’d have fit in somewhere, but not really.
On top of that, it was hard to fit in when I could not relate to the other kids I knew in high school. My situation at home was bizarre. I survived off of Instant rice, and hot Cheetos. Junk food was the main staple of my teenage diet. My bed was on the floor. Just a mattress with no boxspring. At one point I was sleeping on JUST a box spring. I’d rather have slept on the floor most nights.
Other kids had large families and were involved in the school clubs and sports. I tried that. It didn’t work. I was a chain smoker at 15 years old and would rather not even discuss the other unmentionables that I did. Listening to 2 Live Crew in the morning on the way to school, and Led Zeppelin on the way home I was just a strange kid. Of course, there is an explanation for everything I’ve mentioned. It all has some sort of underlying reason or story. It’s all part of my experience in this life and has helped make me who I am. How? I won’t give that away just yet, or the other horror stories, tragedies, and romances of my life. No, not yet. That’s not the purpose of this blog.
The purpose is that I overcame what I’d experienced in my childhood and teen years, and some of my adulthood. I did it in a way of learning hard life lessons and self-teaching. In fact, I may be overcoming still. In a way – we all are every single day. When you think of obstacles, it’s easy to just get caught up in the misery of them. It’s easy to just think of the obstacle itself and think of how miserable you are, and complain about it all and sulk in your own sadness while you drown in self-pity! The hard part is overcoming the obstacle, whatever it may be. In order to overcome – you need to take action.
There are a few different ways to do it. Everyone will develop their own ways and methods of achieving success in what they desire and overcoming those obstacles that hold them back. For me personally, I think with my desire to fit in, the best way that I overcame that was just accepting the fact that I didn’t HAVE TO fit in. Acceptance was part of my method. I accepted who I was and who I am. I accepted my own truths, abilities, flaws, and uniqueness. Accepting the fact that I was not like everyone else allowed me this sense of mental freedom that I didn’t have before.
At many points in my past, I was so worried about what others thought of me, (especially considering certain events that took place in my life and within the family) that you could say I was living for them and not my own self. If you feel that way, I kindly suggest that you also start to try to overcome your own obstacles. Obstacles are not all that terrible. We do learn from them. They are there for a reason. It’s important to jump and climb over them instead of laying stagnant forever. You need to take action!
- Focusing on yourself and the issue at hand is the first and foremost way of overcoming the obstacle that you face. If you are constantly wrapped up in the news, media, or politics, that is going to leave you very little time to focus on the number one person in your life. (You)! When you catch yourself getting angry at small things that actually don’t concern you (like what’s happening with the Kardashians for example), you are wasting your time and energy. Catch yourself in the moment of those habits and redirect your thoughts and energy into thinking about you and what YOU need to accomplish.
- When you start to worry about yourself, something magical happens. Once you are rewired to focus on you and yourself you will start to want to achieve goals once the hurdle over the obstacle is finished. You need to make a game plan to surmount what you are facing. Be real and honest with yourself. It is key for success. If there is something you need to complete and get over, the best thing you can do is just write it down. Write it all out and make it part of your plan. Writing things down has this super positive mental effect that can actually help you overcome even more obstacles than you originally thought.
- Emotional intelligence within yourself and within the world around you is more important than you think when it comes to overcoming obstacles. To overcome something that is bugging you; you need to actually FEEL your feelings. Don’t drink them, don’t smoke them, don’t eat your feelings. Just FEEL them. It can be messy and you may cry and be upset – but in the end it is worth it. I think the feelings part is kind of intertwined with acceptance. Accepting that something is wrong, or that something needs to be overcome can have a huge emotional strain. But once you accept whatever it is, it is one step closer to defeating the problem or obstacle that you face.
- Ask for help! If you’re anything like me, you’re a stubborn ass who never wants to ask for help. Pride does get the best of us at times! It really does happen. However; sometimes it is actually okay to ask for help. If you have a team of people, or family or friends who support you and genuinely care, don’t be afraid to ask them for help in overcoming what you are facing.
These are some things that anyone can utilize. The main thing you need to do is just run at those obstacles head-on. Charge yourself up, and face them without fear. In the end, it will always be for the best. Obstacles are constant, learning lessons.
They help us build character and gain life experience, so don’t fret. You have to face your fears like a true warrior. You are the leader of your own battle. Armor up and be ready. It will all be okay!
Here is a thing you should know. When love is true it doesn't need to be proven. It's just something you can feel. Like a vibe. A sudden burst of energy. Like a ray of sunshine, you feel the heat touch your skin. You just know it's there. She didn't have to prove to you. You know she cared. But the best part now is all the time and energy she put into you - Now it goes into her. Right where it should have been all along. She thanks the gods every day, The moon, and the stars - For showing her the way. The goddesses too, For leading her down a path - To where she'd never have to see you, Ever again in her life. She's happier than ever that she is not yours! And even more ecstatic that she's Not a wife. 2 Years. Two years ago today, She thought you'd be together forever. Two years ago today, she'd never forgotten your face. Now she can barely remember your name. The memory and pain, It haunts her - but not all the time. Her brain, it wants her; To Leave you Behind. Just like you did to her heart. She just doesn't understand why you even had to start. Some things are better left unanswered; Now she doesn't care if she will ever know. See. Despite any difficulties, Her life has improved drastically since you left. In fact, she said she feels Like she was saved from sudden death. She thinks of it as some sort of a "Divine Intervention" It's really that magical. She laughs out loud now if someone even mentions your name. Although she is still healing, she no longer has the feelings; Of her heart sinking deep into seas of anguish and misery. Chained down by an anchor of sorrow. She is Lied to, not anymore. Not her. She was relieved when you walked out the door. Your exit gave her a better tomorrow. And when you said goodbye, for the hundredth last time; That goodbye was the opening of the doors to her New Life.
I wrote this poem one night while laying on the couch. It was after a long day of work, and I was all alone with nothing but my thoughts. Being alone is not something that I’m really afraid of anymore. I think at one point, I may have been. Due to that fear, I put myself into some really ugly situations. If it wasn’t for those “situations”, this poem would not have been born. This just emphasizes my personal belief that most certainly everything happens for a reason.