• Ho, Earthling!

    Hands

    I haven’t told you yet about my hands. When I was in middle school and high school, people frequently told me I had “piano hands”. Long slim fingers, oval-shaped nails — I guess those things make piano hands. The same people also assumed I played piano, which I did a little if you count “Für Elise”, “Moonlight Sonata”, and “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel. My hands have been so useful. Writing, chopping onions, riding horses, soothing fevered brows, folding towels, driving cars. For all of these things, my hands were there, helping. In my 30’s I became a knitter. Knitting was the thing to do among moms…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    Where Did My Brain Go??

    Guess what it’s like, knowing that you used to be pretty capable and smart but now you struggle remembering a thing from just 5 minutes ago, and your vocabulary is down at least three notches, and many days it’s hard to even make words? Go on, guess. No wait, I’ll tell you. It’s scary. And it totally sucks. I don’t know whether my abilities will ever return. Maybe they will. I hope they will. I know now that my two brain surgeries from over three years ago aren’t responsible for these deficits. For a long time I thought, well my brain is just healing and needs time. Fuck healing. I have…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    Goodnight, Mensa

    My dad belonged to a group for smart people called Mensa. As a child I imagined the meetings as a bunch of guys standing around talking logarithmic equations in their white short-sleeved button-down shirts with skinny ties, with pens protruding from their pocket protectors. Maybe a slide rule poking out of a back pocket. My dad had to take a test to get into Mensa. Mensa means “table” in Latin. There are now about 134,000 members around the world. My dad was very proud of the fact that he had been tested at a 165 IQ or maybe 190, and he was obviously a card-carrying Mensa member. I mean, really.…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    My Beautiful Broken Brain

    There is a documentary out called My Beautiful Broken Brain, about a woman learning to communicate again after her brain injury. I keep meaning to watch it. But I just realized I don’t need to watch it — I am living it. It turns out that I am not as invincible as I once thought. Repairable, yes. Invincible, no. I have permanent brain injury. Brain damage. My brain got jostled about during its two surgeries, and it was even shifted over to one side for a few months, which I am now told is a Bad Thing. Some people don’t recover well from it. I’ve beat worse odds than this…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    Belongingness

    On weekends, she wandered across late-80’s on-trend gray-carpeted floors, regarding the mauve sectional they bought after hours of agonizing over seating choices. She walked right through the living room to the front door and peered listlessly out into the blinding-bright Phoenix sun. Then back again, this time through the kitchen with its white tile and whitewashed-mauve cabinets, over to the family room that the house’s one visitor said needed personal touches (tchotchkes, she thought — yuck) and then it would feel like a home. She wandered because there was nothing else. No long streams of adding-machine tape to pore over, looking for the one mis-entry that kept everything from adding…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  Magical

    Moonlight Serenade

    Twenty years ago, a little more, I walked. Nighttime solo walks. Walks under the light of the moon. Walks to breathe cool air and smell the damp on cut grass and hear distant dogs singing to the sky. Almost every night, in all weather, but especially after a snow. It doesn’t snow where I live now. I don’t miss it, but I remember how I loved the sounds of snow shovels patiently scraping driveways, and I especially remember how quiet the world is underneath a white soft blanket. Those walks, those twenty-years-ago-walks, were my sanity and salvation, my private world-wide Quiet Thinking Space. I do some of my best thinking while walking.…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    The Circle Game

    And the seasons they go round and round And the painted ponies go up and down We’re captive on the carousel of time We can’t return we can only look Behind from where we came And go round and round and round In the circle game — Joni Mitchell This is what reading my archives does to me. Inspires me, that’s what. Thoughts that go through my head: 1. She’s a damn good writer. Why doesn’t she write more? Where’s that fucking book she promised? (oh hey, I did write this one) 2. Seriously, where is the damn book? The other book? 3. Aha! A Category titled Rants. I shall…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    100 And Counting…

    There are so many ways to die. She knew this. Daily she plotted her death. Little ways. A sheaf of papers could grow edges and slice knifelike across her white soft throat. The cord of his headset, sprawled oh so innocently across her bed, could stretch and wrap itself like a hungry boa around her neck. The closet door could slam so satisfyingly, crushing her skull into the jamb. Kitchen knives could grow wings. Heavy pots with heavy lids could crash like cymbals into the grapefruit of her head. Cars could swerve and leap over sidewalks. So many ways. There’s no point to being here if Here just means pain.…

  • Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    Why I Have Cancer

    I figured it out. It should have been a no-brainer. Why I never suspected that years of self loathing would lead to cancer, I don’t know. But it clearly did. I hate myself. I tried to wipe me away by changing my name two years ago, but like a bad penny and a lost puppy, I came back. And all I can do now is imagine I’m jabbing an ice pick into the side of my now-irradiated head because the pain of being me is unforgivable. Please make it go away. The pain. I would do anything not to feel this anymore. I shouldn’t be here. I can’t be here…