motomama

www.motomamablog.com March 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — motomama @ 8:21 am

I’ve moved. You can find me now at www.motomamablog.com

 

a break from reality November 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — motomama @ 10:00 pm

Gotta take an indefinite bloggy break. I just promised myself that I would write this other thing (fiction!), and i’d kick myself forever if I didn’t do it. I will miss posting, and the comments and support from amazing people I have met along the way. But I just have to get this story out of my head. Wish me flowing thoughts, inspiration and minimal procrastination.

 

goodbye Brooklyn, goodbye October 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — motomama @ 9:38 pm

Pardon the ugly looking blog. I am messing around with it. Its temporary. I hope.

Yeah, we moved. Out of Brooklyn. The kids have their own rooms, we have a playroom and a friggin dishwasher, and about 5 cars drive down my street every day. And I have a yard, front and back and the house is really, really awesome. A few neighbors came and rang my bell to introduce themselves. Another 5 or so introduced themselves out front while we raked on our front lawn and the kids helped fill the leaf bags. The block is lined with huge sycamores and the back yard has a dogwood tree and a big, big pine tree. Tonight Jack asked us what that beeping noise was. It was crickets. We no longer live in the flight path to LaGuardia, white noise decent every 2 and a half minutes. Our elbows no longer hit the sides of our bathroom wall when getting dressed after a shower. We can make all of the noise we want, there are no downstairs neighbors to complain. No downstairs neighbors smoking pot or cooking steak-um’s or burning some fish thing one girl made once a week. No creepy neighbors, no yapping dog at 5:30 every morning. We get to paint the walls any damn color we choose. Its ours (and the bank’s). A place that belongs to our family, and will be inherited someday. I have been so overcome with emotion over the last few days. Watching my kids ride their scooters up and down the block or playing in the backyard. This is where they will grow up, and I am so thankful to have landed here and be able to give them such a nice home. Ruby rode her bike all over with her friend today. She has never done that outside of Fire Island. We all sat together at the dining room table. We couldn’t all fit in our kitchen in the old apartment. There was some great stuff about living in Brooklyn. Mostly the friends I made. Socializing at the playground will be something ill miss. All the other parents with the same look on their faces, they had to get out of the house with their kids. And Ill miss the Greenwood Cemetary, and Prospect Park. But thats it really. Its funny, after ten years and huge part of my identity wrapped up in being a Brooklynite… I am older now, and want different things for myself, some quiet and some community and a good school district. I will not make my kids sacrifice to fulfil some need of mine to cling onto Brooklyn pride. I am not twenty or thirty anymore, wanting to be in the middle of it all are down the priority list. I just don’t care about that anymore honestly. I never thought I would think this way… but I could care less about Brooklyn. Ive done it, ten years of it. And I have sacrificed a lot to be there. I am just ready to move on. Ill see some of my Brooklyn friends over the next couple of weeks. Ill have to make the effort to stay in touch. We have some friends here too. Lots of drop by’s this week. Its been nice. Our fridge has a lot of champagne in it. (pancakes and mimosas?). Its a huge life change. Already I feel so much calmer. There is so much we want to do to this place. There are four rooms of Ralph Lauren dusty light yellow, and bedrooms with muddy floral wallpaper, a spiral shrub, and some tacky gold fixtures. But nothing major. OK, the grand to fix our chimney aint cheap. But it will so be worth it this winter snuggling up in front of the fireplace. We have many years ahead of us to make the place ours. It already is starting to feel like its ours. I never thought I would have a place so nice. I am so grateful that life has sent me this way and that I am here at this point. I am a lucky girl. And 30 minutes to Manhattan!

 

my big pants September 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — motomama @ 1:51 pm

The time arrived when I needed to admit that the shreds of denim I called jeans were no longer functioning as clothing. I have always dreaded shopping for pants and had the crazy idea to just order something on-line. I noticed that the Gap had “tall” sizes, so I figured that might be where to go (I am nearly 6 feet). I didn’t know they now sold only their own brand, the last time I shopped at The Gap I squeezed myself into a tiny pair of Jordashes in 6th grade. Their site said that the “tall” pants had a lower knee (jeans have knees?) and a longer rise (in their low-rises?). Most pants I try on that fit me end about two inches above the ankle, and my “rise”  (crotch to belly button) is often the problem because the hips in most pants land about an inch or two lower than they should around the waist. In other words, I have been wearing low-rise jeans before they were the rage. So I thought: Yes. THATS what I need! Long low rises and lower knees! So I thought I would order my size and be done with it.

But I had to go to the mall anyway with my older daughter and remembered there was a Gap there and thought I would pop in and try them on just to be sure. I went to the rack and grabbed an 8 and a 10 just in case they ran small. In the dressing room I pulled on the eights and was swimming in them. Swimming. Like I could fit another body in there swimming. I know that I have lost some weight, but I am not THAT thin really. So I tried the 6s’ and then the 4s’. I am not a four! What was going on? Did the Gap just dumb down the sizes so that we think we were smaller than we are? What is wrong with accepting that the average weight of a woman (in the US) is a 14 and just be honest about it and make THAT the size that the tag says. Not make a 14 an 8! Does The Gap think that we are all so disconnected from our bodies or have such distortions about our appearance that we might fall for that? Try on some pants and say “Look at that! I must have lost weight, I went down four sizes!” Maybe so. As I stood and looked at myself in the orange glow of the backlit mirror (and man my skin looked really good in that light) I began hearing the Indigo Girls singing Lie to Me in my head. Yes, lie to me. For a few minutes I can try on clothes I can’t afford and feel like someone who has beautiful skin and am really, really thin (cuz thats what we all want to be right?). Cu’mon baby, liiiieee to meeee! So I took my four’s happily to the counter and paid for them.

But, and there is a but. I should not have purchased said jeans. I realised that when I got home that they didn’t fit me as well as I thought they did. Should I have gotten the 2’s? thats crazy. But the ass sagged. Although they fit everywhere else, I didn’t have the rear end to fill out the ass part. I could have fit a couple more of my own asses in there. OK, so I can admit that I am challenged in that department. Not to be racial here, but I am what some circles of women might call a “skinny white bitch”. But I am shopping at The Gap here! It’s not like I am shopping for a pair of Apple Bottoms or something. The asses in my lineage fell off somewhere back when we all lived on Pangaea. As they moved north and the continents drifted, my skirt wearing, stone throwing, grog drinking ancestors had no need for this thing called “ass” and it just evolved out all together. As Tom says, he is now just a back with legs. Along with “waist” and “inseam” there should also be a “but size” like a bra cup. AA, A, B, C, D, DD, etc. I was pretty sure I would be able to find assless pants at The Gap. I don’t mean without fabric in the ass region, that would be a different kind of store all together, not likely found at the mall. Do I have to shop for white girl pants at Lands End? I can get myself a pair of “mom jeans”. The ones that button above the belly-button, they start an inch below the bra. Jeans where the pockets are so far up they are practically on your back accentuating the space left open below. The hips will balloon out unnaturally and get tight around the ankle. No, not me. I can’t do it. The most favorite pants I ever owned were a pair of perma-press chino style pants in navy. I bought them out of a box on the floor of a small Mobile station on a back road in Georgia on a tour. My curves filled out my janitor/gas station attendant pants, I did not have to fill out pre-made curves. Maybe I just need to go back to spandex, something we will fondly remember from the eighties.

I wondered how this downsizing might be working for The Gap. Anyone that ordered their size on-line must have had to send back their purchase, maybe a few times. What a waste of packaging, energy and fuel. I know that there was a campaign for universal sizing in clothing but I don’t see anything more about it on the internet. Maybe as we got bigger, the market dictated the migration of what was the median. OK, but why re-label it all? Or maybe it depends on the brand and the income level of the purchaser. At Macy’s I am a medium in a shirt, at Target I am an extra small. A person buying a shirt at Target is likely to have a lower income, and more likely to eat a high fat diet and therefore be more likely to be overweight. But what is overweight at this point? Where can we accept the real and natural size of most women and then still recognise that there are overweight people in the world. There is a difference. The plus sized model who posed nude and un-airbrushed in Glamor Magazine this week got all kinds of supportive e-mails. She is the size of most women but still considered “plus size” in the modeling world. But a 12 – 14 is pretty much an average size (depending on the brand). And still the magazines show painted 14 year olds and their concave chests and jutting out shoulder blades as something to aspire to.

I am a tall and thin person. I am just built this way. When I am at the playground with my kids, I get so many comments from total strangers about my weight. How can I look so skinny and have four kids? I usually answer that I am thin naturally and breastfeeding and running after 3 little kids helps a lot too. But I always feel sad that this is a part of our conversation. One woman referred to my weight three times in our ten minute conversation, it made me a little uncomfortable. I know so many women struggle with their weight. And most people do not think a thin person struggles with their weight also but they often do. And I wish there was more support and more acceptance and even admiration of what a woman’s body looks like after childbirth. I try whenever I can to say positive things to women about what they look like after having a baby and make sure to not include weight as a part of it. A woman’s body is so amazing, to have given birth to another human being and have gone through an incredible transition physically, hormonally and emotionally and yet be dependant on the comments of strangers to help us feel good about ourselves is such a shame. I wish we all felt it in our bones, that we are beautiful and strong and not need to feel so inadequate (or too much) all the time.

Web sites (like smallstep.gov) and health programs for kids and adults that focus on obesity remind them that they should excercise and eat healthier food and watch portion control. Although well meaning, a part of it feels a little insulting to me. It seems assumptive that people became fat accidentally and had no idea how they arrived there and do not know what to do to become thin again. It would be nice to see a web-site that did not use dancing vegetables to encourage people to get up and move. But addressed the psychology of weight and the social mindset and cultural differences that affect ones weight. Also the problem of access to healthy food and affordability of healthy food needs to be brought into the discussion. For some people there is just not the ability to change their high fat and sugar diets as easily as is suggested. Kids will eat as their parents eat and if the parents are buying two for five dollar boxes of Entenmans and eating fast foods, the kids are not going to change. If kids open their lunch boxes at school and find Lunchables and cup-cakes, that is what they are going to eat. And if this is what is advertised and displayed as nutritious food in our stores (and its all that little Johnny will eat), it will be what parents buy. It’s a complex problem that doesn’t solely rest on the consumer however, marketing and accessibility play a big role. It is a national mentality shared by all economic and cultural backgrounds. Most of us reach for the processed food and get caught in the cycle of sugar and empty calories for energy. Yesterday I was so tired of food that I had to thaw first or something starchy made in five minutes that I insisted we skip the playground and make our dinner a priority. Tom and the kids went to the fish monger and got some tilapia and we had acorn squash and rice. We all sat together and the kids cleaned their plates. It made such a huge difference in our moods. We are fortunate to be able to get organic vegetables and be able to afford them, they are so expensive in the city. It is so worth the effort to make healthy food, now I just need to learn to cook.

Social commentary tangent aside… the Gap isn’t helping people feel better about their bodies by dumbing down their sizes. Granted, the Gap’s job is to sell jeans, and maybe this “downsizing” works for them for the impulse buyer, but I don’t see it working for them in the long run. I would like to see a company as big as The Gap (they also own Piper Lime, Banana Republic, Old Navy and now Athleta) be honest about the size of women and not skirt around that. It seems like a cheap trick for such a big public company. They should have higher standards, if not be the ones setting the standard. When I get home with my size fours and look in the mirror I say to myself “Why should the folks at The Gap want me to think I am thinner? Is being bigger bad? Do they think I am stupid?” I don’t think that is the idea they were going for. It’s too late to take them back. So now I am going to peruse the internet for some ass pads, and have a donut. I’ve got some big pants to fill.

 

its good to have goals September 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — motomama @ 9:17 pm

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In my house we are very goal oriented. On the wall is a chart for “Good Listening” and a chart called the “Poop Chart” where you get a star whenever you make a poo in the potty. If the kids fill up the chart they get (tons of praise) and a special treat of their choosing (within reason, usually ice cream from the ice cream truck). We have words of praise for speaking without whining and using your words well. If you eat your dinner, you get desert. For Ruby, if she cleans her room, is respectful and honest and keeps in close contact, she gets more freedom and trust and sometimes more stuff she wants. If you sit down and talk to her about what she wants to do with her life, she will say that she wants to be a famous actress and if that doesn’t work out, a writer. But first she will travel for a couple of years before college. Eh, well maybe she figures out how in time… But right now she lacks the practical skills to understand that it takes things like money to travel. I think I dread those days (years) the most when she will get a reality check after high school. I did the same thing. I was pretty sure I would go off to a big college and be famous somehow. But harsh reality and lack of privilege blew that out of the water and I resorted to plan B which was pretty much survival. Still there was something in me that made me feel that I would not be satisfied with mediocrity (suburban Jersey) and was determined to get ahead in a career and live in the biggest city I could find (conveniently an hour away). I don’t think it was that I felt I was better than other people, but I knew that I would never be able to sit still in a small town and not need to know what else was out there.

The other day my family and I were driving down Route 286 to go celebrate my Mother’s birthday at my sister’s house. From the third row of the Durango Marlowe said “I hava go pee pee”. And we pulled over into a parking lot of a condo development circa 1980 something so that we could bust out the Pottette right there on the fertilized sod separating one line of parked cars from another. Ruby looked out and said “What is this place… people live here?” For her it was as if we had landed in some alien landscape and she expected the cast of Yo Gaba Gaba to pop out from behind the shrubs and waddle towards the car like zombies. “Um, those are condos, pretty much where most people in the United States live”. She was honestly amazed and said that it looked depressing. This is from my Brooklyn 13 year old who said upon return from summer camp of her co-campers in Pennsylvania that a Brooklyn 13 year old is like a PA 14 year old. And I wondered who was the one more sheltered. I hope she does get to travel after high school, but I hope that she drives across the US and gets a sense of how most people live; and see farms and small towns and industry and get that feeling (as all traveling should) that she (and New York) are not the center of the universe.

As we were parked in the parking lot I watched a woman leaving her brick fronted condo that was next to about 50 others that looked exactly alike, I wondered what her life was like. She looked like she was dressed for work in polyester slacks and a blouse and she got into her old crappy car and drove away. And I wondered if she owned the place or rented. And was this for her a nice home that she had worked hard to buy? Or was she resigned to the fact that with her salary, this was the most that she had hoped to achieve. Or was this a place that was a stepping stone to what she felt was her true potential which was to own her own house someday. I didn’t know this woman or anything about her, maybe she had overcome great obstacles to get to where she was in life. Maybe she was happy and house proud and it didn’t matter at all that her house was the exact same lay out as her 49 neighbors, and that she heard the sounds of the highway and that the area between the sidewalk and the curb was her lawn, and the parking lot in front of her house butted up against a Wallgreens. Maybe it was just enough.  But I judged her anyway and titled (pigeon-holed) her a representative and advocate for all dwellers of early eighties constructed condos everywhere. Maybe because I have spent the better part of a year looking at homes to buy and going through all of the hoop jumping associated with trying to buy one, my mind is focused on this kind of thing. And maybe I make the wrongful assumption that everyone wants to buy a house also. Tom and I would look at houses and decide that one house or another wasn’t good enough, or wasn’t in a good enough neighborhood. We would feel a little guilty walking through a house knowing that it was probably someones prized possession and wasn’t something we would ever consider living in. It was so much easier to look at properties without the owner home. But we had a list of criteria and decided to stick to it and be willing to compromise on some things (like aesthetics, distance to shops, the model of house we preferred, etc) and not on others (like space, school district, busyness of street, neighborhood, etc). Maybe some of it was just where we saw ourselves within a class. And some of it was just a matter of taste. Some part of this decision also had to do with how we were raised and taught what was of value. They were some tough questions to ask ourselves… What does moving up look like and how high up can I get? What qualities of life and standard of living do I think I deserve?

Last year in March the airplane poked out from under the clouds and in its decent, flew a loop around Rio just as the sun was rising. It was a magnificent sight. All of the windows of the endless high rises reflected orange and gold. There were miles and miles of high rises sticking up from the trees below. My face pressed up against the glass of the airplane window while my daughter slept in the seat next to me. The off white apartment buildings ran up and down the hills from the ocean to the mountains. I had never seen anything like this, I had no idea there were so many people who lived here. I imagined the people inside, waking up one by one to start their day. Their whole lives complicated and filled with relationships and histories. I wondered what motivated these people individually to get up and put the coffee on and start the day, what things did they have to do and what achievements did they hope to reach. Maybe a generation or so ago someones ancestors came out of the jungle, or from a small town or up from the south out of slavery hoping for a chance at a better life. People came to Rio because that was where the work was. And this is how they live here. There below me passed a million stories of success and failure, and of achievements and dropping out. If I lived in this town I would live in a high rise too, maybe a newer construction up on a hill, and that would be the best I could hope to achieve. I could not live in a high rise apartment in New York. I don’t care if it had a view, a weight room – sauna and pool and a doorman… it would make me uncomfortable and depressed. I lived in hotels for many years and all that convenience is a little bit sterile for me. I keep thinking of Fight Club and the flaming yin/yang coffee table. Not enough individuality in the cookie-cutter floor plan. Too much Ikea and recycled air.

At my sister’s house my sister asked me if I wanted to stop by a local farm and buy some milk, it was almost two dollars for a half gallon. It wasn’t organic so I said no even though it said on the carton the cows were not fed hormones. I told her I spent $5 for a half gallon of organic milk, and we went through one of those a day in our house. My father who was listening to us said “I don’t know how people can live like that.” And I told him that we didn’t have any choice. That was how much it cost if you wanted to buy organic milk in the city. And people live there because that is where the jobs are …and people’s families.” And that I couldn’t live anywhere else (oh, and that I legally have to live within 15 miles of Park Slope). We make the most of what we can within the parameters we have to work with.

On the way home from  my sister’s house we took Route 202 in NJ back up North. Along the road were older houses that were not set back at all. Tom said that he could never live in a place where the highway was going through his front yard. I said that chances were that those houses were there when the highway was a dirt road. I thought about the people who lived in the houses, and how maybe the house had been handed down within the family over a hundred years and the family was proud of the house and living next to the sounds of the highway was all they had ever known. My home in Brooklyn is just a row house  in a half working class Irish and half yuppy neighborhood. There are mosquitoes breeding on my roof, my street is getting more and more busy with truck traffic, I have no yard and I pay too much rent. There are many, many people who wold look at my house and wonder how I could live here, and I know that judgementalness hurts. Even though, by Brooklyn standards, I have a big apartment in a coveted neighborhood. My new neighbors downstairs have been showing the place off to friends all week. I would not last more than a week in a rural or suburban setting, I would feel out of place and get terribly bored. For Tom and I, our big goal in life has been to find a nice home to raise our children. This is where we are at. Adults with adult goals. Our own goals take a back seat to what we need for our kids to be healthy and happy. We make decisions that enable us to continue to feed our family before our egos. But still, there is a bit of ego in buying a house. A bit of a declaration of Who the hell do I think I am?

I have been told that one of the ways to stave off depression is to set out attainable goals and achieve them little by little. Start small and eventually build up your self esteem and confidence and eventually get yourself out of the mindset that everything is just an exercise in futility and that life is just pushing a boulder up a hill only to have it roll you over in the end. I am thankfully not depressed these days, but I really should be, considering. My life seems to be a series of lists of stuff to do that never gets anywhere near finished. When once I had a job where I could plow through 300 e-mails a day and practically do two jobs and get shit done yesterday… I now am lucky if I get a shower in once a week. And I am lucky if I get one thing done off of my list over the course of three or four days. I have been stuck in the fast forward passage of time and the molasses of movement that pregnancy/infant/toddler land puts you in for about two and a half years now. I am as task oriented as I was as an Administrative Assistant (I think I was called that), but now I am my own boss and my hours are more, the pay less and now I only eat lunch standing up. Making too many lists of goals seems to be half of my problem, I can’t get past the “shit I gotta do” let alone get to the goals (stuff I wanna do). I used to tell people who were new to being a parent that if they got half of what they wanted to get done, they were doing good. With three little ones, it is now more like less than a quarter if anything off the list. This has been one of the hardest things to get used to. I no longer set myself up with unreasonable goals such as “I will floss everyday” and “I will set my alarm for 5am and do yoga every morning.” As lifestyle choice-y and just plain maintenance as those things are, I can’t ever get it together to do those things daily. I lack the discipline. Strangely enough, I would have a better chance of raising money for and completing a walk-a-thon or organizing the logistics for a world tour for a 25 person traveling party or birthing two large twins than taking a vitamin every day (needless to say, I am not “on the pill”). Some discipline might make me a happier person perhaps. But for now, ill stick to trying to reach 1/4 of my goals. I finished one out of four books I had set out to read this summer, so I am right on track. But the goals to complete a NY Times crossword, jog (or is it called running now) and learn a language has moved so far down the list that I think they have fallen right off the page.

Honestly I have long term goals and a plan and all… but my big personal goals these days are just to try and be a good parent, and raise healthy and happy children. And to try and be a more patient and peaceful person. And to write, and write and write. Without a creative outlet I get depressed. Sometimes a week will go by and I haven’t had the chance to write and I can feel the uneasiness and irritability start to creep in. At this point I know my nature and I should not mess with what gives me balance. The big challenge is that the urge to write and never seems to be at the time when I have a window of free time, and when I do get a window, I feel pressure to hurry up and be creative. As much as I would like to drink a bottle of wine and write by candle light listening to old PIL albums at 4am, thats just not a good idea. I don’t lament the time when I was single and young, now I look forward to being old and my kids are grown and I can catch up on all my reading and writing.

Tom and I have goals set out for the family. Places we want to take our kids and traditions we want to have with them. Right now we have been thoroughly obsessed with buying this house we settled on. We are at the end of the process and half in boxes ready to go.  We found something that fit everything we wanted, now its up to the bank to decide its worth what we are willing to pay. Its a long process, once we are past it we will have taken a huge step for our family and the house will be the foundation (no pun intended) for many ideas and memories to spring from. Even though I will have one foot in semi-suburban NYC, I will still be 4 minutes to the ferry to Manhattan. During the whole house hunt,  Tom and I had the same or similar opinions on nearly everything. It was a relief to feel the same way about where (and how) you wanted to raise your children. Thankfully he never said he loved something that I found awful. And we almost always found the same things to dislike about a house. I am excited to have a house with him. There is so much we could do to make it “us”.  But at our rate of achievement these days, it will take years. And something about us taking our time and growing with the house makes me happy. We already have lists of things we want to do. But there is no rush, nothing on the long list is anything we have to do. And I don’t care if we ever finish really, I will enjoy adding a little every year.

 

at the beach August 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — motomama @ 9:49 pm

will post again soon.

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and the whole world has to answer right now. just to tell you once again. June 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — motomama @ 9:10 pm
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Today was the first time that I ever cried when I heard Michael Jackson’s Bad. Its not that I was a huge fan, I would always say he was amazing, and I tended to defend him if people spoke of him acusatorilly and I felt sad over his slow, slow death, and now over his quick one.

But strangely enough I had a dream about him three nights ago, two nights before he died. 

I was under a quiet overpass in Los Angeles with some homeless people, it was a cold clear night. We were standing around an old oil drum burning wood and paper and anything else that would burn for warmth. The people were nondescript hunched bundles wrapped up so only their eyes could see and were too cold to speak. About six to eight of them just waddled around through the smoke looking around for something to add to the fire. One of the figures was wrapped up in a brown freyed fabric, and it slipped off his head a little revealing his face. It was Michael Jackson and I was shocked when I recognized him. He had a short afro and his nose was his original, broad across his face between two brown cheeks glowing in the fire light. I noticed also that he wasn’t wearing a shirt but didn’t seem affected by the cold. He pulled at the fabric and hid his face again. I said to him “Hey! I know who you are?”, he didn’t respond. I said “You are Michael Jackson, what are you doing here?” (thinking that a rich and famous man could choose to be anywhere he wished), and he said “I am here like you are.” I thought for a second. It hadn’t ocoured to me that it might be strange for me to be there also, but that incongruity seemed small compared to running into Michael Jackson of all people. “But you have to go make music.” (why I used the word “go” in there I don’t know). And he sat down on the curb letting his hood fall back and started scratching at the dirt with a stick he had been using to poke at the fire. He smiled and said, “I am everywhere, cant you hear me?” and pointed to the distance with his stick. At  first I made a smirk thinking that that was a little corny but in the next moment I got what  he meant. I heard his music everywhere as if it was coming from the stars, but there was no sound. I then said “But you shouldn’t be here, you should be…” and he replied “Where should I be?” and he started to laugh. Not a crazy person laugh, but the laugh a child would make. I turned from him and looked around behind me to see if anyone else had noticed the real Michael Jackson sitting in front of me, but I couldn’t see anyone outside of the firelight and I sensed that they had wandered off. I turned back around and Michael was gone and I felt my heart sink. I looked down the dirt road in both directions and there was no sign of him. I stared off in one direction hoping he would reappear. I started to feel angry. I had had Michael Jackson in front of me and I hadn’t asked him anything good really, I had blown it on stupid pointless questions. And then I turned my anger at him. Why had he come to me as a wise old homeless man and had nothing important to say? But thats when it hit me. He wasn’t a wise old man, he was not a teacher. He was a child again and free, and he owed nothing to anyone anymore, not even answers. 

And I woke up peacefully then and smiled to myself and felt as if I had been handed some kind of answer to some big picture somewhere if only I could remember the lyrics. It was only a dream,  I know. But I was left with a feeling of him for a couple of days. He was part Jesus figure, part grim reaper, part clown like as he played in the Wiz, and part Tiny Tim… go figure. I didn’t predict his death, in fact I wondered if it was a predictor of my own. But I was left feeling somewhat blessed or just lucky that I had stumbled upon him, the flash of him, the too bright star that he was.

I do not think of myself as psychic, but I have so many premonitions that it isn’t something that shocks me anymore. That is why when I was 9, my Mother came into the room in the morning to tell me that my grandmother had died, I answered “I know, she told me.” And why when last Thursday, before I heard the news, a passenger in a low riding Honda Civic with his sneakers up on the dash drove past me as I got out of my car and he said to me. “Yo, those are some mad tats. Hey, Michael Jackson died…today. That is some fucked up shit.” I answered “Thanks” and “yeah, I know.” as he drove off.

 

 
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