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Ballad of an Insomniac (Float Away)

I can't sleep. My two boys are engaged in an epic snoring competition in the next room. The big black boy sprawled on my side of the bed, the bigger white boy spooning him instead of me. Right now that suits me just fine.

We had a fight a day ago. About what, I don't recall - it's the escalation and subsequent trading of insults that tends to stick to my ribs. It's never the initial disagreement, is it? That's just the fuse, but once it's lit, look out baby - the whole of your transgressions from the past week, month and year are being locked and loaded, ready for strategic firing.

And so we fired our missiles, lobbed our grenades, until we were seriously wounded, nobody left standing. Me, face down on the couch sobbing. He, laying on the bed reading.

A 24 hour stand-off ensued. Monosyllabic sentences uttered only when absolutely necessary.
"You work today?"
"You walk Max?"

I tell myself that everyone fights, our elementary antics not uncommon. But not everyone lives their life like my husband. On a cigarette wing and a musical prayer. No thought to tomorrow. And then what? When he fails to stay then he'll fly away, to wake up tomorrow - if he wakes up tomorrow at all.

Only love can stop you now

He needs me

Float Away you're floating

If only to keep him grounded in reality...the semantics of life with which he has yet to make an acquaintance. Will his free spirited approach to living transform me, by default, into the person I never wanted to be? A sexy night consisting of dialing my credit card company to hear the computerized voice purr the dwindling balance of the Visa I work so hard to pay off? Yes. Yes! YES! Tell me more my sweet, electronic, baby. Was it good for you?

Perhaps The Surge will woo me to his side of the street.. because that's where my heart longs to dwell. But if I cross over, who will hold down the fort? Who will organize? Who will make sure to pay utility bills and student loans on time? That piercing thought niggles at my maternal instincts, keeps me from finding my way from this city of gray to his sunnier side of the street. Boy.

Will my demons and his insecurities devour us?

Any time at all
Any kind of blue sky over
Any kind of fall
Could land you on the lonely streets
Of anyone at all
Who's drifting from the arms of Somebody, Somebody, Somebody

Float Away you're floating...

On The Failed Potential of Fruits and Vegetables

So I was cleaning out my produce bin the other day when the enormity of my lunacy became apparent. I was talking to the fruits and vegetables.. Apologizing for not assisting them in reaching their full potential.

The depressed little fruits and veggies that spent their last days languishing in the clear, plastic produce drawer at the bottom of my fridge. Brightly colored tomatoes and green peppers, fervently hoping they would attain their inherent right as produce by making for a healthy meal.. Perhaps accompanying my salad or The Surge's signature stir fry.. But I failed them bitterly.

The three strawberries left in the container, clinging together desperately, praying I would pluck them from obscurity by placing them atop my morning bowl of Kix.. Alas, due to my rampant taste for junk food these living, growing beings were relegated to a stinky, wrinkly death. Their dreams slowly dying each time I opened the fridge, chubby fingers grabbing for the jar of nacho cheese, or the Diet Coke... but never the sweet strawberries, never the rosy cheeked apples.

Oh, I'd bought them with such high hopes. Plans for healthy breakfasts, creative low carb snacks involving Ricotta cheese.. Yet I left them to die. First their vibrant skins developed an unhealthy brown complexion, then they began sinking into themselves, and finally a fuzz of green began to mutate their once perfect forms..

I heard them shrieking for me last Wednesday when I opened the fridge in search of that Snickers bar I'd placed amongst them.. safely hidden from The Surge.. He'll never think to look there! But I callously ignored their calls..hedonistically biting into the Snickers and slamming the door on their screams... And now, like those forlorn Christmas trees on the lot, the sad, weepy ones that don't get sold before December 25th - the strawberries will never reach their potential.. I ask you, is there anything more heartwrenching than a Christmas tree, chopped down in it's prime - all for nothing??

Like the trees, the strawberries were planted, cared for by their devoted parents, Mother Nature and Father time, babysat by the sun, the moon and stars.. the wind whispering lullabies throughout their tender young days.. Until one day when they were plucked from their cozy, earthen home with promises of high powered jobs as garnishment in a five-star restaurant.. Maybe they'd end up gracing the pages of Gourmet in lusciously provocative arrangements! If they were lucky that perky lass Rachael Ray might utilize them to demonstrate a fancy cutting technique.. TV stardom! They'd do Mom Nature and Pop Time proud..

Little did they know they were fed a pack of dirty lies. Their life was for naught.. They would die a slow, agonizing death at the hands of a Doritos fiend.. resigned to a smelly grave in the trash bin.

I'm sorry fruits and vegetables... So sorry.

In Which Monica Develops A Horror Of Masturbatus Interruptus

Listen, I'm totally cool with masturbation. We all do it at least as often as we change sheets (for obvious reasons) or as regularly as we brush our teeth, as the case may be. I know this. We even do it together. You watch me and I'll watch you! Look! Aren't we adventurous? Not so much.. That's standard fare, ain't it? You watch me I'll watch you WITH SOMEBODY ELSE slips and slides it's lubricated way onto what I'd term "kinky" territory..

Of course I know The Surge plays the ol' whorepipe when I ain't around. Hell, I know he probably has a jam session or two when I'm on the premises. It's not something I make my business.. And here's the kicker - I have a horror of catching the fellow in the act.. I think I developed my complex whilst dating the news reporter in Salt Lake City.. Sure the sex was fun... "Put your finger there.. What about here? Do you like that? Wanna try this? Let me just strap myself into this leather swing..." etc... So I knew he was well acquainted with his body.. Had seen him work his goodtimes like a professional penis player with an eye toward Olympic stardom.. But I never gave much thought to what he did when I wasn't around.. or as it turned out - even when I was around.. in the next room.

That Thursday dawned like any other morning. With the exception that we were excercising. That certainly wasn't like every other Thursday. We'd gone for a quick jog in the misty mountains surrounding Salt Lake City... Taking a half hearted stab at this bright-eyed, bushy-tailed lifestyle we'd heard friends speak of in glowing terms. As pulling the mattress in front of the television and spending the weekend alternately stoned, eating chinese takeout and fucking - sometimes all three simultaneously - was our idea of good living, this healthy busines was uncharted territory in our relationship..

In order to keep up healthy appearances one must move ones limbs vigorously upon waking.. I know, I was as surprised as you are. This involves putting on gym shoes and moving said limbs up a nearby mountain trail. I was immediately suspicious of this "healthy" I'd heard talk of when I realized it involved the vigorous moving of limbs in cold weather when I could be home tucked under my comforter, not moving a thing save for a hand when my ass needed scratching..

Nevertheless, that crisp Thursday morn found me gasping for breath on a mountain trail in the canyon that ran directly behind the apartment in which Casey and I had made our home.. It being November, high up in the Rockies - it was rather chilly out. Each dramatic gasp for breath made painfully obvious by the giant puffs of air fuming dragon-like from my gaping mouth.

We finished up our "jog" - both of us not so much breathing heavily as choking for air, clutching each other to remain upright by the end of our attempts at healthful living.
"I could go for a plate of waffles floating in an obscene amount of butter and syrup right about now." Casey panted noisily.
"Mmmmmm... Waffles (GASP!) Butter (GASP!) Syrup (GASP!) Oh my."
"Well, we can, you know.. We just burned off, like, a zillion calories. Right?"
"Yeah! We CAN eat waffles! We burned calories, now we'll eat 'em back.. It will put us at even. Like we didn't work out. But that's much better then eating waffles and NOT working out."
"Maybe there is something to this healthy living after all."

We herded through our front door like pigs at slop time..
"Put chocolate chips in the waffle batter!"
"Fantastic idea! Hey! It's freezing in here. Did you leave the window open?" I shouted as I slammed it shut.
"Sorry! Was trying to air out the kitchen from the burned microwave popcorn incident."
"Oh." I hung my head in shame at the reminder of my failure to properly monitor the microwave while zapping the LAST bag of popcorn in the house. Had nearly ruined movie rental night.
"You get the batter started, I'm gonna take a quick shower." Casey tossed over his shoulder as he disappeared down the hallway.

I pulled out the Bisquick and tried to dislodge a mixing bowl from the puzzle of bowls stacked precariously under the counter.. My teeth were chattering and my hands were shaking so hard I dropped the bowls all over the floor.
"Shit, it's cold in here." In the distance, I could hear the shower running and envisioned the warm bathroom, a steamy oasis in our ice cold apartment. Maybe I'll just crank the thermostat and surprise Casey in the shower.. by the time we're finished - the house'll be warm again.

So that's what I did. Or tried to do anyway. I got the thermostat cranked all right. Then pattered down the hall toward the bathroom, pulling my clothes off on the way. I inched open the bathroom door, tiptoed across the glistening white tiles and yanked open the shower curtain.

Oh it was a surprise all right. For me. There he was, legs splayed, one hand against the shower wall like he was a criminal being frisked by the cops, other hand cranking his business harder than Helen Keller working the water pump, learning the word water for the very first time. Oh dear reader, but that wasn't all... He was.. He was - finishing, if you will.

I'm familiar with that face. His orgasm face. The ugly face akin to a girl's squinty- eyed visage seconds before she begins to cry. Lips stretched and twisted into an unattractive grimace, tongue lolling thickly..

It was days before I could look him in the eye again. Each night as we slept, the slightest movement on his side of the bed had me checking to see if he was wanking.. Every time he showered I envisioned him going at it.. Every time I showered I sprayed Tilex all over the back wall.

Of course, like every issue under the sun, I've dragged my masturbation complex into my marriage. If The Surge is showering and I can't hear noises indicating hairwashing, I'll bang loudly on the bathroom door.
"WHAT?" He'll shout.
"Do you want me to make coffee?" or "What do you want for dinner tonight?" or "There's a funny show on TV!"

Of course all the questions are bullshit. I just like to fuck with him since he's likely fucking himself.

Dark inVader

He strikes quickly. He steals great square footage of bed and generous folds of covers.. and before you know it, you are quite literally left out in the cold.

He lays in wait... only his heavy breathing can be heard... biding his time until you are defenseless as a babe, sweetly dreaming, innocence personified... and then he strikes like a rattlesnake!

It was four o'clock in the A.M. I was wrapped contentedly in covers I had prudently gathered around my shivering body before the Dark inVader concerned himself with thoughts of Eminent Domain. A small war for land, waged nightly.. And then it happened...

Bladder sent up a flare. "I am full. EMPTY ME." At first I ignored it.. Desperately trying to reacquaint myself with the land of dreams.. The place where Clive Owen makes regular appearances and I can eat all the nachos I want without gaining a pound. But Bladder can be a persistent bastard.. "Empty me now or face mortifying repercussions." I took Bladder at his word. He was sending small shock waves throughout my uterus.. I must oblige.

Easy now.. I silently rolled over, risking a peek at the always scheming Dark inVader. He appeared to be asleep. But after nightly skirmishes for going on two years now, I know better. One shouldn't be so easily fooled by his slumbering facade.. He is wily. The snoozing could be genuine. Or it could be a clever ruse designed to lull me into a false sense of security in order to gain land.

I'd already suffered a serious setback around two A.M. when he heaved a cumbersome leg on top of my slender form. "Affection" he calls it. "Trickery" is what it is. A slick ploy to gain more land. Like Sherman marching on Atlanta, the Dark inVader is always on the move.. chiseling away at the barricade of pillows I had wisely erected after sleep overtook him. The casualty of his "affectionate" leg-over-my-body tactic was my foot - which died a slow, painful death.. tingling into silent, numb submission. That brutal blow to my armaments.. or in this case, my LEGaments...and now this...But Bladder is a bulldog, not someone to be trifled with...

I slid delicately from underneath the covers I'd worked so hard to amass.. A last glance at the Dark inVader and I was tiptoeing to the bathroom. One minute (at the most!) and I was stealthing back to to the bed. But it was too late.

The Dark inVader had blasted easily through my pillow barricade and advanced onto my side, positioning himself on land I had foolishly left unguarded. And I wasn't the only victim. He had taken a prisoner of war! He kidnapped "Bear". Poor Bear. Silently suffering in the sweaty embrace of the dark one who was once again "sleeping".. I shed tears that night. Tears for Bear. Tears for me. At the whim of such a mad man.

Not all is lost.. sometimes one's dog Max can be employed as an ally.. If he can be convinced to lay quietly - a placeholder if you will... His warm body fooling the Dark inVader into thinking the land is occupied.

I comfort myself with memories of the halcyon years.. Reminiscence of a better day when I and I alone happily occupied my territory without fear. Back when the television could be left on into the wee small hours, volume cranked, tuned to Nick at Nite.. My sitcom mom Roseanne would find me in my dreams and comfort me.. Now I am all alone with the Dark inVader.. left to my own devices, fighting a one woman crusade for my territory, MY LAND!

It's a losing battle..

You Say You Want A Revelation... Well, You Know...

I'm in the midst of a revelation.. No, I haven't invented a new form of fuel for automobiles or cold fusion or anything that might actually be useful for humanity... Good lord - if I can't stop myself from shoveling nachos into my gaping mouth despite squinching cellulite covered thighs and sobbing in the shower in my version of The Crying Game, how in god's name do you expect me to worry about starving children or the environment? Seriously. I'll leave that to Angelina. Or Sally Struthers, she's still in the life saving game ain't she?

This here revelation is just a minor eye-opener involving a particularly detrimental way I've been viewing a circumstance in my life. Could I BE more abstract? S'just that I don't want to incriminate myself too much. Despite what one may think after reading the atrocities contained within this blog (i.e. hairy nipples, roast beef labia, mormon muff) I'd like to maintain some semblance of dignity. No, really. Stop laughing.

What I'm laboring to impart is THAT moment in your life that happens every now and again.. You know - you're toiling about, slopping around in the every day minutiae.. half heartedly trying to dig out from under the feces those fickle bitches Fate and Destiny excrete on an hourly basis.. when the light bulb snaps on.. Y'know - Oprah would call it an "Aha Moment".. And then you get it! BY GOD, YOU GET IT! You have ascended the plateau and are now sunning yourself on a luxurious new level of understanding.

Was it really that easy all along? Just cranking the ol' switcharoo lever on your perspective machine? A new way of looking at something? That's it? That's all you got for us, Monica?

But it's sooo huge. Simply switching that perspective changes your life. Although it's a cliche, changing your way of thinking can move mountains. Really you're just a prisoner of your own thoughts... and once you smash through the glass ceiling trapping you in a transparent prison of your own creation, the sky is the limit.