stories worth repeating, thoughts, trouble

The thing about Liz

I was 19 when we met. I’ll never forget the moment. She was a new waitress at a microbrewery that I was working at for the summer in Seattle. I think it’s fair to say she blasted into the place from the start—long blonde hair, sassy New York attitude, a confident smile—and made a life long impact. She was older than I was and I was in awe. We were instant friends.

I had never really thought about why I was so starstruck. She always stood out in mind as such a powerful and unique person. In thinking about her now, though, I see what was so unique about Liz.

She was truly authentic; fearlessly herself.

She was fearless in other ways too, but it was the ability to be and show herself (for better or for worse) that I admire most, what made her a real artist, and is such a huge accomplishment in life. She wasn’t afraid to fail, or take risks or work hard, or be the fool—or if she was, she didn’t let it stop her; courageous in the hardest way.

Liz was also a connector, a builder, a maker. She took action, she made things happen. She was incredibly warm and she made life exciting. She was always doing things that you had heard were off-limits. She said things no one else ever said and she laughed about them. She was honest and funny and bold and she possessed a certain kind of freedom. That summer, as we worked together serving beer, dancing, talking, staying up too late, I was drawn to how true she was, how real.

When I got a better job at Cafe Sport at Pike Place market through my friend Shannon, I got Liz a job there too, and the three of us worked together cementing our friendship into the kind of thing that doesn’t disappear just because distance and time separates you.

There’s a feeling that I’ve always had about Liz, the magic she brought into the room and the way she made life seem: everything is possible.

You will be missed.

trouble, writing

NaNoWriMo, day 1

Almost no one is innocent in this story. Including myself. And so, no one will be protected. They will be identified, named, called out and held accountable in the hopes that when you see them on the street, you will not be fooled. That does not mean this is a work of non-fiction. Much has been fictionalized for lack of remembering, for one thing, but it is still as much the truth as anything.

Thus starts my new book, that collection of words written under the protective coating called NaNoWriMo. We will see…

trouble, Uncategorized

the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad…

Who knew that several years after I watched episodes 14 and 22 of season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that one day I would completely empathize with Buffy.  I mean, like, feel her pain.

This girl’s got trouble, but let’s face it, her real troubles began, like many of us, by falling for the Wrong Guy.  Who, in her case, is Angel, a cursed vampire.  Cursed to be good and have a soul and to care enough not to ruthlessly kill humans.  And it’s not like she doesn’t know he’s a vampire–she knows it–she just believes he can change, or, he’ll can keep the demon part under control or… everyone’s got their problems, right?

What she doesn’t know is that once Angel experiences one pure moment of happiness (which coincides with the loss of Buffy’s virginity) the curse is lifted, which means, he no longer cares about Buffy and would prefer to spend his evenings sucking blood, killing hookers, trying to destroy the world, and of course, torturing Buffy.  And he’s really into the last one.

Like most of us, Buffy gets over it.  Unlike most of us, Buffy is stronger than Angel and gets to, literally, kick Angel’s ass repeatedly (and once really hard in the balls), save the world, watch Angel get his soul back, and STILL stab him with a sword and send him to hell.

It’s a tough moment, but hey, that’s just desiny when your high school is perched at the edge of the hell mouth, and you’re the slayer.

And speaking of bad days…

I have always disliked the children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Even the title is exhausting (and, by the 10th read…).  I must confess I never found it that meaningful or satisfying, and the ending, “even in Australia” (as in, bad days happen there too, you can’t run away from them) always left me a vague sense of not really getting it. After a while, I tucked it away so it would not be in my daughter’s bedtime  reading rotation.

But recently, (for reasons I won’t go into here), I’ve started to really enjoy just how unrelentingly bad things got for Alexander. Pretty much without respite.  And guess what?  Things really suck sometimes in Australia too.  And, frankly, that’s making me feel good pretty good right about now.

Previously, watching Alexander’s suffering had been unpleasant (what a depressing story!) to witness. I kept looking for a way to rationalize it (is it really that bad?), not to mention searching for the pretty much non-existant happy ending (at least he goes to bed with the promise of a better day tomorrow?). It’s not exactly that I’m happy to watch Alexander suffer, but I do take some comfort in knowing we’re all in it together, hell mouth and all.