Some dust has been bitten.

Another year of the Slice of Life Story Challenge comes to an end. I didn’t do as well this month as I’d hoped, but I’ve made it through to day 31. Having surgery early in the month knocked me for a much harder loop than I’d been anticipating. I missed posting a couple of days — which, considering how sleepy and silly some of my posts were, is probably more a gift to blog readers than anything to be sorry for. Much more importantly, I was supposed to be welcoming new folks into the slicing ranks by reading and commenting on their posts every day, and I deeply regret how hard I fell down on that promise.

I participated in this challenge in 2008, the very first year. That was also my first year of blogging. I’d only had my blog for a month when I stumbled onto the TWT blog and into this challenge. Such a lucky thing that I did! I absolutely credit that first challenge with pushing me across the line from maybe-I’ll-have-a-blog to being a blogger. So grateful to that original group of slicers and to all the great folks who’ve jumped into the challenge over the eleven years between that first run and this one.

What my blog is and how I use it has morphed fairly dramatically since 2008. It’s interesting to look back at early posts and see the ways my voice has changed, the ways it has stayed the same, how some of the more embarrassing posts still sound totally like me. I clearly have a voice (“a Voice“), and it’s interesting to hear it over time.

I’ve come to think of March as my blog-iversary because of this challenge. No matter how absent I’ve been from this space, I always find my way back for Slice of Life in March. I exhaust myself with daily posting … and then I’m ready-not-ready to dive into April and writing poetry all month. March reminds me why I like having a blog and primes me for the rigors of National Poetry Month.

Thank you Two Writing Teachers, for another excellent slicing challenge, for giving me the chance to read such an interesting cross-section of blogs and for getting me reacquainted with my own little corner of these internets.


It’s the final day of the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! Hundreds of folks have been participating. If you haven’t been one of them, maybe next year will be the year you’ll join in!

Tiny Little Dirty Feet

I was out and about yesterday, which means I am flattened by exhaustion today … ergo, this post will be short and silly. (I really want to use “ipso facto” here instead of “ergo.” Thoughts?)

I managed to have three phone meetings today without falling asleep in the middle of any of them. I managed to get a few paragraphs written and submitted for a project at work. I did a LOT of napping.

Late in the afternoon, I decided to make myself move. I had trash to take out. I wanted to check my mail. I needed to give myself proof that I had not done a south Brooklyn take on Gregor Samsa and morphed into a giant slug.

On my way down the hall to the elevator, I noticed something weird was happening with the floor. An odd pattern of shiny splotches. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that they were bare baby footprints. Up the hall, pivoting, back down the hall. But what must she have stepped in before tottering down the hall? Baby oil?

I got my mail, then followed those shiny little prints back to my door. I really hope the next stop for my baby neighbor was the bathtub!


It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

Ugh.

I was out and about today, casual little jaunt uptown for my post-operative screenings. The hospital is nowhere near my house, so getting there is a long subway ride and then a several-blocks walk. All that traveling for the to-ing and the fro-ing reminded me of something I haven’t thought about in a while — how much people don’t like dealing with other people’s disabilities.

I remember being on the subway once years ago — maybe this was back when I first damaged my knee — and having a man shove me out of the way to get to an open seat I was trying to reach. When he’d settled in his seat, he looked up at me and said, “Well, I didn’t break your leg.” As if that somehow explained or justified anything that had just happened.

I understand that people don’t like to be inconvenienced, and a disabled person is an inconvenience. A disabled person on the street means other people have to maybe make extra room or slow their own pace until they can get past the slower-moving person. A disabled person on the bus or train means that polite and courteous people should offer up a seat, and no one likes to give up a seat on the train or bus.

And you, like everyone, want to keep your seat. So you don’t offer me your seat … and that’s when the guilt starts. You castigate yourself for not offering your seat … and you argue back about how tired you are and how you had the seat first … and how that woman doesn’t even look all that disabled or old or whatever … but there are billboards all around you talking about giving your seat to disabled people … and, and, and … and you start to get annoyed about having that conversation in your head … and there I am still standing there without a seat.

I get that. I do. We’re all tired. We all hate the train. We all want to just get where we’re going. I really, truly get it.

What I don’t get is open hostility. If you don’t want to give up your seat, don’t. Everyone’s life will go on. Yes, I might think less of you, but probably only for a few seconds. It’s more likely that I will forget about you immediately. Let your guilt boil up inside you and bubble out in the form of treating me horribly, saying something disparaging and ugly? That I’ll remember. And probably you will, too. Because it’s entirely possible that you’re not actually a horrible person. But then you felt guilty about sitting and not giving up your seat, so you snarled at a cripple … and that made you feel more guilty, and you can’t stop thinking about the whole mess for the rest of the day. Well, that’s on you, friend. All you had to do was not do that. All you had to do was sit there and not give up your seat and you could have had a perfectly unbothered day.

Today I had five different moments of someone feeling the need to be rude to me because of my cane. What the hell? Is it the moon? Is it the Mueller report? Is it allergies? That’s really a lot more than I should be expected to expect.

Do better, neighbors. Do better.


It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

A little bit country, a little bit …

Yesterday, Sophia and I mixed things up a bit. Instead of meeting at our coffee shop, we met in Brooklyn at a Five Guys. I wanted to be closer to home when we finished our pair session, and both of us live in Brooklyn, so it made sense. I chose a Five Guys because I wanted fries and Barq’s. And Sophia came with her friend Analise. I’ve met Analise a bunch of times, so it wasn’t weird to have her there, but she doesn’t usually join us. When she comes to the coffee shop, she sits at another table, hanging out on her phone while Sophia and I hang out and write.

The Five Guys had an interesting soundtrack. The hodgepodge included Boston, Little River Band, John Cougar Mellencamp, James Taylor, Queen, the Back Street Boys. With nearly every song, I would pause and look at the speaker above us, surprised by whatever was playing. At one point, I started laughing and commented that we’d heard so many different things that didn’t seem to go together. Sophia wondered if we’d heard every possible genre of music. This should have given me a clue that I was about to have a wonderful Sophia moment — nothing as dramatic as the wooly mammoth moment, but something.

I said we still hadn’t heard any country. Analise shuddered, clearly appalled at the thought of country music. Sophia pointed up at the speaker. “What about this?”

Yes, what about that. Country, my darling mentee? Country? I think not. I pointed at the speaker and said, in sync with Mick’s singing: “It’s only rock and roll, but I like it.”

Analise and Sophia fell out laughing. “Hey,” Sophia said, “If I hear a guitar, to me that’s country.”

Um … what? Oh, my sweet Trini girl. No. No. And many more times no. I know it’s not the music she grew up with, but … country?

Oy.

If I could win ya, if I could sing ya
A love song so divine
Would it be enough for your cheating heart
If I broke down and cried?
If I cried?
I said I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it
I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it, like it, yes, I do

 


It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

Spitting into the Wind

Well you don’t tug on Superman’s cape,
You don’t spit into the wind,
You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim.
… or Slim.
… or …

… my body when all it wants is to be resting.*

This is an old song now, of course. And I know all the words. I just keep trying to sing it my own way, and my body just keeps telling me to sit back down.

With three solid days of rest behind me, I was feeling like aces this morning. Of course I was fine to head out for my first day of physical therapy, do a couple of hours in the office and then go hang out with Sophia. Of course.

I left the house feeling great. Walking down the stairs into the subway, I was surprised by the ease, the near-pain-free-ness of my step. But that was alarmingly short-lived. A little jostle on the train and I was instantly aware of my knee. And then I got to PT and was reintroduced to all the ways my knee can be made to hurt my Jeremy and his pulling and pushing and stretching. Ugh.

By the time I got home, I was done. I sat down to take off my shoes … and woke up about three hours later! Only just remembered that I’m supposed to be putting up a post for the day. I can pretend to all kinds of wellness, but my body is clearly prepared to call me on my tale-telling again and again and again. Sigh.

It’s really okay, though. I’m not looking for pity, mostly just laughing at myself. What did I expect? Even without the rest of my busy day, a session with Jeremy is not to be taken lightly. And a full day of activity after three days of no activity? How nuts was that for a plan? So tomorrow I’m back to working from my bed, back to a couple of cat naps during the day and lots of ice on my knee. Back to remembering that you can only go as fast as your slowest part can go … so I have to cater to my slowest part in all things. Yes. Back to learning patience, practicing it like a meditation.

__________
* All apologies to Mr. Croce. The refrain just came into my head, and I couldn’t resist it.


It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

April … come she will.

Come she must is more like it. April is fast approaching, and I am entirely unprepared for her. April means National Poetry Month, and I will be attempting to write and post a poem a day. As I’ve done for a bunch of years, I will be writing in one form for the month … only, I haven’t chosen my form yet. I haven’t spent any time this month combing through poetic forms to find one that seems like the right choice. Ugh.

so tonight I fired up The Google and started trying to figure out my form. Part of me is tempted to look to the past and pick a form I struggled with and give it another go. The Nove Otto came immediately to mind, as did last year’s choice, the Erasure Poem. I really don’t see myself diving into either of those for a month’s torment, however. (Good lord but the Nove Otto gave me grief!) No. Also there are so many forms I’ve never tried, it seems wrong to go back to a form I’ve already used — well, with the exception of the Arun, of course. Perhaps, in fact, the Arun is the form I should go back to every couple of years just to keep the form alive! (Hmm … that’s actually something to think about, but I also don’t know that I feel like doing a month of Aruns, so maybe that’s for next year!*)

I’m looking at four contenders right now. And, adding another level to my annual challenge (because heaven knows I don’t struggle mightily trying to write a poem a day in the same form for 30 days in row!), I have an idea for a theme for the month, and I need to be sure whatever form I choose will also give me the room to work with that theme. Thank goodness I have a whole week to figure it all out!

What are you doing for National Poetry Month? Care to join me for the crazy-making pleasure of this 30/30 challenge?

__________
* For folks who are new/new-ish around here, the Arun is a form I seem to have invented in 2013. It’s a 15-line poem with the syllable count 1/2/3/4/5 — 3x.  Extraordinarily basic and not a rhyme in sight. I’ve had some fun with it.


It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!

Lost Weekend …

I’ve never actually seen Lost Weekend, but I think of it often, think of myself as having had a lost weekend. In my version of the plot, this never has anything to do with alcoholism, but with my life catching up with me and forcing me to shut down for a while. And, of course, I say all of that because this weekend has definitely been a Lost Weekend weekend.

My knee was super swollen, really stiff and hard to move. I canceled my Saturday plans so I could relax and stay off my feet. I slept. I slept. And then I slept some more. I slept so much, I lost the entire day. I forgot to write and post a slice, I forgot everything. When I tried to do anything, all I succeeded in doing was falling asleep. Yes, that random words post I put up on Friday made it clear that I needed sleep … but a whole day’s worth? I haven’t slept like that in a LONG time.

Still overly swollen when I woke up this morning. So I decided to postpone my Sunday plans and keep right on resting. I haven’t spent the whole of today sleeping, but I have rested, have stayed off my feet, have been icing regularly.

And now, as I get ready to sign off for the night and prep for my work week, I see that some of the swelling has gone down, that it’s a little less painful to move my leg. Result!

Going to work last week — even just for half days — suck every bit of energy from me. I’m going to try at least one full day this week, and I’m hoping to start physical therapy as well. All that is surely going to add up to another lost weekend on the horizon. We’ll see how it goes.

Sleep, sleep, and more sleep. I forget that sleep is the primary thing my body wants after surgery. Weekends like this one are my body’s way of forcing me to remember.


It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers! With hundreds of folks participating, there’s more than a little something for everyone … and plenty of room for you to join in!