Friday, 27 February 2015

Lady 3


She reminded me of Jamie Lee Curtis.
She had this really short grey pixie cut, with that same slender build. She looked extremely nervous, as if she was next in line for the electric chair. But I guess she kinda was in a way. We all were.

I had been to group meetings before but never like that one. The lights were barely on, which made it difficult to read the walls. All four walls were populated with motivational visuals, and any pamphlet a person with problems might need. The eighteen chairs in the room acted as baseboards, leaving very little room for the coffee table, and it’s basket of pencils and... pamphlets. 

I was pretending to read those walls, I can’t see shit without my glasses. I was being careful not to make eye contact. I didn’t want to talk yet. Other women began entering the room, choosing seats as far away from one another as possible. But the room filled up fast, making it impossible to not sit beside someone. 

I didn’t know a single soul, but I recognized all their faces. Some looked as frightened as I used to be, some as weak. Some of them had given up like I had before, and some were still fighting like I was. I saw all the chapters of my life through their expressions and body language. Even The Angry Princess was there. 


My job wasn’t to go in there and tell them how much pain I was still in, or how socially removed I was. My job was to tell them my fake name, and give them hope that they too could defeat all obstacles, and  beat all odds. I didn’t feel like the hero I was told I was, and I definitely didn’t want to seem like a show off. How could I look a bunch of women in the face and talk about how great I was doing, while they were all feeling so shitty? But I did it anyway, apparently it would be helpful for those ladies... and apparently it was. Tremendously.

I can’t tell you what went on in that room, but what I can tell you is that I left feeling really brave, but I knew I wasn’t the bravest. 

No. 
Not a chance. 
Before the circle of “tell us how you’re feeling” got to me, it got to six other women first. And by the time it got to lady three, I realized I wasn’t only there to spread hope, I was there to receive some as well. 

I can’t tell you her name or age.
I can’t tell you what her illness was.
And I can’t tell you what was written on her cue cards.

If there were a contest for most nervous, it would have been a tie between her and I. But as soon as she started reading from the notes she prepared, and I heard the honesty in what she was sharing, all my anxiety blew out the door, the door that wasn’t allowed to be completely closed. I guess leaving it open a crack was an effort to make the room feel more inviting, but all it was doing was reminding me how non closed windows and doors freaked me out. Tears began rolling down my face and my leg was shaking so much it was vibrating my whole row. Thankfully I was able to tune my focus back to her honesty and her cue cards.

She spoke really fast.
Her hands were trembling. 

It was clear she wanted her turn to be over and done with. Her vocabulary was incredible and she was making so much sense, I don’t think she had any idea how much sense. I was so enlightened by what she was sharing and how, that more tears rolled down my face. I was so proud of her, whoever she was, and I felt this overwhelming feeling of love for her. All I wanted to do was hug the shit out of her! But I could tell she was still on her own journey, far away from the day that she realized how inspiring, strong and kick ass she was. I didn’t want to frighten her or make her feel uncomfortable by letting her know how moved I was. 

But I told her anyway. 
I even gave her a gift.
I also suggested she become a writer cause FUCK could she write! I don’t know if it took everything in her power to get there that day, but I was so grateful she did.


The world moves fast. People move faster. Change is affluent.  The great journey to only God knows where, has us scrambling, making lists and plans, promises and mistakes. I constantly find myself orchestrating things that are far beyond my micromanaging skill set. We’ve become the bustle to the hustle. And somewhere in tiny four walled rooms, filled to the brim with pamphlets, sits a bunch of people who feel as if  they don’t stand a chance. Maybe because they see things that “aren’t there” or need to flick a light switch on and off thirty seven times. Maybe it’s because they cut themselves or because they hear voices. But there are other four walled rooms, with more people who feel helpless and beyond that room is even more rooms with more people and different problems, terrified to come out and admit to their struggle. 

All because somewhere down the time line, respected morons deemed it lame to feel.

Show me the man who was born successful and died happy.
Show me the women who enjoyed smooth sailing all the way to the top of her mountain.

Bullshit.

I don’t know exactly when the fuck people started kidding themselves. You can strut your ass around town all you want, pretending it's as effortless as you’re making it seem, but I’m not buying it. And neither are the people that exit those rooms. 

There is nothing wrong with falling.
There is nothing wrong with the fallen. 
The fall is forever as important as the climb.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Blip


If Grumpy Bear wrote a book, I bet you it’d never end.
He would probably write a couple chapters on why he’s so grumpy, but the rest would mainly be about what pisses him off, with a few pages reserved for vengeance writing. That’s where his book becomes his weapon of choice. His mighty “fuck you!” to those, and all that need to hear it. Left to bellow in their minds forever, as Grumpy Bear becomes G.B, sells his book and moves on to bigger and better clouds, being the greatest thing to come out of Care-A-Lot, since cloud cars.  


I had two hours to kill before a concert.
It had been awhile since I visited my fair city, so I was due for some quality time. I had been living in the suburbs for a year, which was a long enough time to forget the little things I secretly enjoyed so much. 

Staring up at enormous buildings always made my problems feel so small. The herd of Leaf fans that blow by, yelling and cheering, giving Toronto forewarning that there’s a game on tonight, like sirens before a tornado. Or the endless flow of foot traffic, that always makes me feel as if I’m riding the current, like those turtles in Finding Nemo. I forgot how funny it was to catch bits and pieces of conversation, as the people having them sped by. 

“...cajun food isn’t one of those things you can just sit down and eat...”  

Huh?

“...eleven is a good enough number right!? What the fuck’s wrong with eleven!?...”

Nothing. I like the number eleven. 

“...you don’t buy those for a forty three year old women. Not without a gift receipt...”

Don’t buy what? Come back! I want to know!

I loved that I was one of the city folk who understood the flow, and was brave enough to cross the street when and where I wasn’t supposed to. I smiled as the drivers honked at me and called me an idiot. 

“I missed you too dirtbag.” I thought to myself. 

It felt good to be back. 
I’ve never really had a “home” but, if where you’ve spent most of your life is considered your “home,” then I was there, and there truly was no place like it.


After, what seemed to be a tour of every Starbucks in the vicinity, I finally found one that sold the tea I liked. I paid the barista for my ridiculously priced beverage, wished her a pleasant evening, and went on my merry way. 

As soon as I popped back onto the street, a girl I used to know from a whole other life, zipped by in front of me. The person I used to be from that life, was not at all happy to see her, as this girl was what some might call, a douche. 

The bits and pieces of her conversation that I caught, led me to believe she was still working in production and that she was as arrogant as ever, and a true piece of work at best. 

A long time ago, that girl told me my writing wasn’t very good. She made fun of my style and told me I wrote “like an old person.” She was a terrible friend, and it took her humiliating me in front of a bunch of people, to realize it.  As tardy as the lesson was... lesson learnt.

I smiled at her anyways. 
There’s no way she knew it was me. 
Nor did she give my smile the time of day. 
She was gone in a matter of seconds. 
A blip in my city visit. 
But would I let her stay that way, was the question. 

Was my brain going to accept her as a stranger? And leave it at that? Or would it begin recycling all her old antics into new anger, that would consume me for the rest of the evening, right before I was to meet up with friends for a concert. Would I let seeing her serve as a reminder, that I hadn’t been successful with my life, in all the departments I had hoped to be.

Absolutely not. 
I couldn’t.
I wouldn’t.

The smile I gave her was sincere.
It was the same smile I gave all strangers, strangers that I had never met and strangers that had never hurt me.

It took a sold out show at the Air Canada Centre, for me to realize what a blip she truly was. The here and now was where I needed to be and it was one of the most beautiful things I had seen in a long time. Thousands of people singing along in the dark, waving their lighter apps, swaying to a tune we’d all heard a million times before, but never was it so special.


I tucked my hand in the back pocket of Luis' jeans, and leaned my head on his chest. He threw his arm around me and the two of us stared down at the stage, him singing, me smiling. 

Smiling and thinking.

You don’t play a sold out show without someone having told you your music sucks, or you can’t sing for shit, or you’ll never make it. And you definitely don’t become a writer without hearing “your writing isn’t all that good.” 

But you do play sold out shows if you don’t listen to them. 
And you do become a writer, if you keep writing. 
No matter how shit you’re told you are, or how crazy, or how bi polar.

I can’t lie and say all is forgiven and forgotten when it comes to the detractors in my life and although Grumpy Bear, you, me, and every rock band in the world could probably write the book on “FUCK YOU!” ... why would we ever want to?

Just prove them wrong.


Monday, 23 February 2015

We Can't Hear You


An Old Rant By: E.FG


I had about six shots of Jaegermeister and a lemon drop or two, before I busted through the door of a woman’s washroom at a banquet hall. That night, I was attending a wedding and I had begun the process of drinking my face off at the open bar. My mind was in a dark place at the time and alcohol seemed like the handiest helper, when it came to  surviving a function where I had to pretend I was happy for someone else, while my life was all: 

Mayday! Mayday!


The last place I wanted to be was at a wedding. 
Also, I was about three times my body size/comfort level/circumference due to, what we will call, “shit." 

The skies went to Taco Bell for lunch, came back and then shat on my life. That is how I was feeling on a constant basis for a substantial part of my existence. 

When your problems are your problems, they are the
biggest problems.

Obviously not to the point of:

Someone You Know: Did you hear about that giant tornado that wiped out an orphanage, a puppy farm, and an elderly home!? I can’t believe how many people and puppies died!

Me:(looking sad)Aw Lucky. I just got a parking ticket.


I wasn’t really game to be anywhere that required me to attempt to look happy, as well as attractive. But I went. 

I squeezed myself into one of those body shaper thingy’s, that work but they’re not a magic wand, then threw a dress on top and went. I felt like a fart at a funeral. Uncomfortable. Holy hell did I want out of that female monkey suit. 

The wedding was a wedding, and then the reception was like when they shoot the gun off at a horse race. It was a socially appropriate dash to the open bar. Finally! We could all breath. I don’t know about you, but wedding ceremonies make me feel congested and always have me thinking about:
  1. my laundry 
  2. what my drink of choice will be
  3. nothing, cause I’m lightyears away/spaced out
The after-ceremony stuff is always good though. Eye candy is a bonus. Anyways, the “I do’s” were done, we all clapped, beautiful things happened, magical kiss  and then it was off to the races! 

The bar was calling my name that night. It was saying: 


...about six shots of Jagermeister and a lemon drop or two later, I told momma my problems. 

I had had enough of the sausage casing that they called “body shaper”. I couldn’t breath. 

Body Shaper? 
More like Body Slayer! 
Am I right? 
Who makes those things? 
Fuck!


I was at my patience max capacity. 
I was taking that thing off and not even an oiled up, eager, Ryan Reynolds with a basket of weed and watermelon could stop me. 

I took a look around to see if I could figure out where the restroom was. I noticed there were a few elderly ladies, walking in a little cluster, making their way somewhere. I figured they probably weren’t smokers so the only other place they would be heading to was the washroom. Unless they were all: 

“Hey Gloria! This wedding’s a piece of shit! Let’s bounce yo!” 

Highly unlikely. 
Awesome. 
But highly unlikely. 

I followed them and wouldn’t you know it, they were going to the washroom. Jackpot! I just about trampled them to get in there to rip that wretched demon off my body. Gloria and friends were giving me this sweet old grandmother look, as if to say:

“well dear, when you gotta go, you gotta go.” 

Totally. 
But that wasn’t the case ladies.

After my drunken dramatic entrance, I plunged into a stall, slammed the door and went to town on the zipper of my dress. 

“Off! Now! Let’s go! Shake a fucking leg!”

Those were the kinds of things I was shouting out as I was banging around in the stall like a huge bull before a fight, all cooped up and angry. It sounded like a Transformer was in there...transforming. 

Poor Gloria and friends. 

This is an ‘anything goes’ kinda generation Glor, so I’m not all that sorry. Well that and I don’t give a fuck...but I think they go hand in hand. 

I finally freed myself from the contraption, unlocked the  stall door, hair looking like the nest of a pterodactyl, body slayer in one hand and my cigarettes in the other. I opened the door, and there was Gloria and friends, looking at me with the same face I make when I'm actually putting legitimate effort into figuring out what the fuck Busta Rymes is rapping about/saying. 

So happy that the struggle between man and mechanism was over, I burst out smiling from ear to ear. 

“Well fuck the dude who makes these things”
I said waving my body slayer around. 

“No thanks spanx! Am I right ladies?” I said washing my hands. 

“I was starting to think this thing molded into my skin!” I said drying my hands on my dress.

“Now momma needs a draaaaank!” I said exiting. 

“Peace out mo fuckazzzz” I said, emphasizing my z's as the washroom door closed behind me.

I then wobbled off into the night, not even thinking twice about the trail of bewilderment that I had left behind me. I didn’t care how old those ladies were in that washroom, who else was listening or what they thought. Honestly, I just needed a mountain top to yell off of after getting through that whole ordeal. No mountains... so Gloria and friends would have to do.



I have no filter...

so I’ve been told many times. But in my defense, what you think is me having no filter is really me cutting the bullshit. I lack the sugar that coats. Sugar free. Not because I’m an asshole but because I naturally can't dance around what needs to be said or what I feel needs to be said. Two very different things and yet both equally necessary. 
 
I’ve cycled through many friends over the years. I was never really one to have long term... anything. It does wonders for life lessons tho. I’m a straight women, but I have way more ex girlfriends then boyfriends. It’s the “not having a filter” thing. 

Friend: Do you like this top?
Me: No
Friend: Do you like my idea for this project
Me: No
Friend: Do you like my new boyfriend?
Me: No
Friend: Why
Me: Cause he’s an idiot
Friend: Do you think I should stay with him?
Me: No
Friend: He said he would change. I’ll give it one more shot. Ya?
Me: No
Friend: Yes
Me: Then you’re an idiot.


Don't ask me if you don't want the truth!
Like, are you kidding me? I’m a very honest person. I will give you very honest answers. And if you honestly get pissed off, then you don’t want honesty, you just want validation. So next time don’t ask...honestly! 

Unfortunately for some, everyone was blessed with a voice. Whether it’s poop or poetry you choose to spew out of your mouth, it has every right to be spewed. You can bypass so much drama if you just speak the fuck up. 

You know how many times I’ve made plans with people and they pull the “I dunno, what do you wanna do?/I’m cool with whatever” dance. 

So, what do I do? 
I choose what I want to do. 
A nice long walk. 

Then, midway through, I start hearing “how long have we been walking for? We’ve been walking for a while now. I didn’t really feel like walking. Ugh! I hate walking.” 

Hi.
Have we met? 
I’m An Hour Ago.
I asked you if you wanted to go for a nice long walk and you said yes? 

My favorite is when you’re out somewhere, and the friend you came with, is disappointed in the lack of people they are attracted to. 

Me: Soooo do you wanna leave?

Friend Who Came With: Naw. It’s cool.

Then you know what Friend Who Came With, stop holding up/leaning on the bar, it's not going fall, it doesn’t make you look cooler, throw a fucking smile on your face and set up camp. Cause in my language “naw. It’s cool” means “naw. It’s cool!”

Holy cows! 
Just say it! Whatever it is, just say it. Majority of the time your being asked, so why not do what your supposed to do when asked things, give an answer. Give your answer. Yell to the high heavens if need be! Get it out and off your chest and send it into the universe as a thought you once had, as opposed to holding onto it for forever and a day.  

I see people not being honest everywhere, wasting precious time. I was at the grocery store and the guy in front of me is having a heart attack cause he thought the chicken was on sale but it’s ringing in as not on sale. The cashier is trying to tell him it’s the wrong chicken and that it’s the other chicken that’s on sale. The annoyed customer responds with:
“are you sure?” 

Cashier dude, you are sure. 
You and Tony from produce price marked those chickens yesterday. You had to stay three extra hours just to meet your quota. Then, the deli girl showed up and offered to help price mark those chickens, which was even better cause she’s hot and you’re a virgin. You know for a fact that you are sure.

Just tell him! Say it. Then the rest of us in line, don’t have to wait ten minutes for a price check. 

I see these “speak up” situations numerous times a day. 

Here’s what my Monday looked like:

10:00am- Lady at local coffee shop, please stop pacing,rolling your eyes and breathing like a bulldog. It’s unbecoming and that’s coming from me. The barista did not intentionally forget your sugar. She has no clue why your tapping your fingers or why you keep looking at her like she slept with your husband. Relax, use your big girl voice and tell her you’d like some sugar when she’s got a sec.

12:15pm- Old man on the bus. It’s not ok that you just pushed that high school boy because his knapsack was in your face. The bus is packed, he’s turned the other way and he can’t see that his knapsack is in your face. Instead of shoving him, how bout you ask him to take off his bag? Who pushes kids anyways? 

3:45pm- Girl on a day date, instead of practically walking into traffic, make it known to the dude your on the date with that you don’t want him to attempt to hold your hand, put his arm around you or even touch you and to share the fucking sidewalk! You’re going to get hit by a car.

6:00pm- Important business man. No one knows how important you are. So please announce it or realize that announcing how important you are is just as silly as you expecting us to know how important you are. Back of the line. 

6:50pm- Father who’s daughter is currently manipulating him in the clothing story. Just say no. You can’t afford it and twelve year olds shouldn’t be wearing $80 florescent mini anything! You might as well hand her a sign that reads “Forbidden Fruit Tasting.”

9:45pm- Old lady on the subway, who’s currently making a face that would suggest she just ate poop. Stop looking around at everyone else and tell the hipster beside you to turn down his music. He doesn’t know your making these faces at him because his music is too loud. You just look like a crazy old lady. Stop it. 
  

It’s the little things I’m talking about here. It’s the itsy bitsy tiny little things that become gargantuan, then ignite the fire that boils our blood, that can be easily avoided if you just said

 “I’ll take Honesty for $500, Alex.” 

Being honest is even profitable. 
You know how much money you’d save if you said

“Hey guys, you know what...ya...I’m actually gonna pass on Club Pretenciou$ tonight”

or



Take whatever money you were going to spend on shutting up, and put it in the Honesty Jar. Fuck the Swear Jar! Clearly.

$$$

I’ve come across a few people that withdrew from me because of my view on voicing things. It was quite apparent that it wasn’t their cup of tea. I can respect that. Duh. I can’t hide my facial expressions either, so there was no way a friendship was in the cards. For a long time, I was upset with myself that I couldn’t just sit and look pretty, especially in the dating scene. I would be sitting there biting my lip at a club and guy’s are thinking “oh she a freaky girl” curling their lip all Pitbull like. 

No Mr. Worldwide, I’m not “down”. 
I’m physically biting my lip to keep my mouth shut as this, what looks to be 14 year old girl, walks by me with her lady Delorean door open and hanging out. I’m all for sexual expression, 100%. But my dear sweet child, don’t be mad when you show up to club swanky, dressed skanky, then get mad that men give you spanky.
 
Honesty 

It’s like a multi-vitamin. 
It does so much all in one shot. 
Cures drama, cleans messy situations, good for your self esteem, great for your respiratory system and can protect you from chances of pains in the ass. 

It even saves lives! 

A very dear friend of mine was put in a situation many years ago, where she had to choose between potential death and honesty. Seams like an easy choice to make doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

Let’s call my very dear friend... Claire. That’s a fake name she might like. In this story, Claire is a young girl, making an honest attempt at being cool and being herself at the same time. Claire was also a very bright girl. Brighter then most her age. One night, Claire and her friends, thought it would be super cool to go to this haunted abandoned house on a haunted street that everyone claimed to be haunted. Sounds spooky and super cool but it was actually quite lame because it wasn’t a haunted house at all. It was a house someone owned, on property they purchased, but obviously didn’t take care of. It looked haunted. So really this is a story about a bunch of dumb ass youngsters breaking and entering. 

Claire and her friends made their way into the house and found an area that they felt was appropriate to start a fire. 

✔ Smart.

I mean if your going to break into the place, you’re going to need heat right? 

✘ Stupid. 

The fire was ablaze as were the joints. With that being said, you can imagine how important the fire became to this scene. Stoners + Fire = Awesome. 

“What else can we burn?” They asked one another. 

The house, being dilapidated and all, had a wide variety of pieces of wood to choose from. So pieces of wood began to fuel the fire. Soon pieces of wood weren't good enough. They needed more, so someone suggested that they burn the dusty old couch cushions they found. Cushions? 

Cushions! 
Of course! 
Brilliant.

The couch cushions were soon thrown into the fire. Claire began to hear a tiny little voice in her head that she ignored right up until they started with the cushion idea. A little table was the next to burn. The voice in Claire’s head was screaming at this point, telling her to get her ass out of there.

Claire expressed aloud that she didn’t think what they were doing was a good idea. She kept hinting in that they should leave but Claire was silenced and out numbered by morons. Numerous times Claire was told she was being “too mom like” and to “chill the fuck out.” Claire took a second to think to herself... 

“Maybe I am being too mom like.”

That concept was soon smoked out of her head as soon as she noticed the amount of smoke in the room. She looked up at the ceiling and saw black clouds. Not only was there a bonfire indoors, but people were smoking cigarettes on top of that. She then did the math of how many hours they had been in there vs. how long they had been breathing the smoke in. 

You want to know what that equates to? 

“You guys can stay. I’m out.” 

Obviously when she voiced her concern and left, others followed. What else were they going to do? Claire had just pointed out the obvious. What was going to be their rebuttal? “No your wrong. This couch smoke is completely healthy, we should stay”?

Breaking and entering was one thing. But arson? That’s where Claire drew the line. Who knows what could have happened that night if she didn’t guide that idiotic flock out of there. 


Speak. 
We've all got shit to do in this life, and we're never going to get around to said shit, if we're sugar coating or waiting for someones decision to speak now or forever hold their peace. 

Call a spade a spade when you see one. They are not hard to miss and it helps everyone out in the end. Whatever conversation you’re having in your head regarding a current situation, we can't hear you! So share with the class. What’s the worst case scenario? Someone doesn’t like your opinion? Fuck em.