sorchawench: (Mouse)
Nightwalker

A chill wind swept though the alley and rose to ruffle the short blonde strands of the woman who sat perched on the back of the stone gargoyle. Her denim duster swayed in the breeze and she yawned slightly, not concerned in the least by the fact that she was perched 3 stories above the busy Dallas streets. Her green eyes glittered as the neon lights became brighter and the stars began to peek out, although with the glare, one could hardly see them. A thin sliver of moon shone above the skyline of the business district.

Around her the other night life began to appear. Hookers took to their corners with their pimps lurking in nearby alleys, waiting in hyped up cars. Clubbies marched down the sidewalks chattering, peacock like in their clothes and hair colors. Her glassy eyes took in the sights of a minivan pulling up to a convience store. Three kids barreled out of it and rushed into the building screaming with a hassled tired mother yelling after them. Stray cats went diving into the dumpster of the Chinese restaurant. A cynical smile graced her lips, wondering if they might be the "Special of the Night" later on.

She sighed and flicked a Tic Tac into her mouth. The neon lights bounced off her white pointed teeth, causing them to flash and gleam momentarily. She was getting tired of this. She'd always hated Dallas and wondered why she put up with staying here even now. The hunting was good, no doubt. But the city reeked with an underlying insanity. There was a constant feeling of impending doom and it seemed like everyone was waiting for the explosion.

It made her itch.

She didn't like itching.

Tucking one leg up to her chest, she rested her pointed chin on her knee. The other leg swung over the head of the statue and her foot kicked aimlessly in the air. She could hear the constant rumbling of the cars and trucks. Rush hour? More like 3 hours. On a good day. Damn humorless city.

She checked her watch and gazed up to the building a few blocks away. Her eyes had no trouble picking out the lit window, 26 stories up. She could see him pacing behind his desk. On the phone again she figured. Closing one more deal before the night was over. There was always one more deal. She knew he would be there for a while yet. Like the Rolex around his wrist, you could tell the time of day by his movements.

She yawned again and sighed. Her mind began to wander, and since she had nothing to do, she let it. She supposed this listlessness wasn't this city in particular. It was any city. She was tired of people. The pleas for mercy, the babbling while on their knees. Almost made her wish she DID kill them when she was done with them. She hated whining, but she couldn't blame them. All they knew, all she knew before she had Become, was death. Stupid superstitions and movies. She didn't kill when she hunted. Hadn't in a very long time. It wasn't necessary. Another Hollywood myth gone too far.

Her dream she supposed would be somewhere in the frozen north. Cold didn't bother her. She rather thought she might like to see real trees. Might have trouble with the six months of daylight though. That legend was true. She had to avoid daylight at all costs. Not a great hardship since, before she was Born, she never saw the sunrise anyway.

She didn't miss a great many things from her previous life. She had few friends and her family was gone. She never liked her job, so when she called and quit, it was no big loss. The one thing she did miss, and learned that she could no longer have was gum. Chewing gum. The first night she fanged out while chewing it she damn near sliced her mouth open. Since that night, she took to Tic Tacs. Those she could suck on.

What also irked her about her present situation was the hunting itself. Before she became what she was, she had a strictly vegetarian diet. The Nightwalker who Turned her had a twisted sense of humor she grumbled to herself. She'd always joked about never being able to eat anything with a face. Now, she didn't have a whole lot of choice.

Ha ha, very funny, she thought.

Her predatory attention was caught by a darting shadow. Two people, just kids really, were walking down the street, heading for the Goth club no doubt, by their black clothes and hair. Two blocks up, in the alley, the shadow waited for them. Her eyes narrowed. Street gang. Scanning their thoughts she picked up that this was an initiation run, not a robbery. Murder was on their minds. She hated the scavengers of the city. Like hyenas they lingered around the edges of society and fed on the weak and the refuse. Only they didn't kill to survive.

Not tonight boys.

Focusing her mind on what looked to be the leader of the group, she sent an image out of his worst nightmare. As if it had just walked up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. The two Goths jumped and clutched each other as the gang came racing out of the alley shrieking as if the hounds of hell were after them. She cracked a feral grin. Some parts of being a Nightwalker weren't so bad. The mind control had it's benefits.

The two kids resumed their walk, with caution this time. Good, she mouthed. When walking through Hell, one should watch their step. There are dangerous things in the dark. She turned her gaze back to the office. Now he sat, hard at work, on his computer. Squinting her eyes she could see the monitor. Stock quotes. How exciting, she remarked dryly. Here was a guy who needed a shock she thought.

Talk about White Collar ruts. Same cereal every morning. Closet color organized. Shoes, polished and lined neatly. Same bathing rituals. Same route to the gym, then work. Same routine. Same greetings. If it weren't for his healthy lifestyle and all the fiber he ate, she would figure him to be dead in six years of constipation. How utterly dull.

Well, tonight, things were going to change in Mr. John Q. Public's life. Green glass eyes followed him as he shut down the computer and packed his briefcase. She knew the routine by heart. Grab the jacket, shake the imaginary wrinkles, put it on, buttoned fully, check the tie and the appearance and out the door. She watched his progress, stretching slightly on her perch. She knew when he would be stepping into the elevator and how long it would take him to make it to the ground floor. Sliding her leg down, she straddled the gargoyle and sat, as if she were riding on it's neck.

She could see him waving goodnight to the security guard as he was buzzed out. Time to move. She drew herself up, denim scraping against the cold stone. With a pat on the head to her silent companion she was off into the night.

~*~

"Night Mr. Graves."

"Goodnight Arthur, have a good shift.", Swinging the briefcase he stepped out into the cold December night. He turned the collar of his trench coat up and grasped it shut as a blast of cool air swept past him. Dropping his head he marched briskly towards the parking garage. His mind already working on the next day's trades. Stocks and figures whirled around in his mind and so he did not notice at first the footsteps behind him that fell into pace.

He stopped suddenly. He could have sworn he heard his name called. Looking around, he saw nothing. Just empty street and closed shops. The hair on the back of his neck rose and he shrugged it away. He hadn't made it far before he heard it again. The voice was soft, caressing. As if speaking to a lover. This time he scanned the shadows a little closer. The street was totally deserted. "Who's there?", he shouted, "Show yourself." There was no answer. Just a faint giggle.

Clutching his briefcase tighter he sped up his pace. He knew if he could make it to his car, he'd be ok. The wind blew around him, and it seemed as though he heard the giggle again. Closer. He stopped again, holding his briefcase before him like a shield. He was breathing hard and his heart thundered in his chest. The wind whirled through the office complexes and shops, moaning slightly. He circled and could find nothing.

A tap on his shoulder gave him a start and with a scream he dropped the briefcase and whipped around. Before him stood a young woman, a pretty blonde with green eyes and a smile on her lips. His eyes met hers and he was struck speechless. That was when the right hook caught him and blackness descended.

A throbbing, pounding in his skull told him that he had possibly had one too many Martini's at his bar. Slowly awareness came to him and he realized he was lying on the cold cement of the parking garage. He groaned and opened his eyes. Definitely the garage floor. The smells of rubber and oil were all around. His briefcase lay just to the left of him. Squinting, he saw a small bag sitting on top of it. Just as he was about to rise he heard footsteps.

"Good, you're awake. I was beginning to wonder if you'd sleep till dawn." He swung his head toward the voice and was immediately rewarded with an increase in the hammering. She saw him wince and chuckled. "Hurts still, eh?" She lightly touched his temple and blessedly the pounding stopped. "Better?" She turned away slightly, not needing an answer it seemed.

"What the hell is going on here!", He demanded, feeling his jaw, "You bitch, you HIT me! I'll sue your pants off for this!"

She knelt down next to him and laughed. That was when he noticed the teeth. Suddenly he wasn't interested in suing anyone. He'd gotten cold cocked and woken up in a bad B-flick Vampire movie. Only there was supposed to be a slobbering monster. Not a woman that looked like she stepped off the cover of Cosmo. He closed his eyes and groaned. "Ok, ok...whoever paid you to do this, game's over. You did a good job. Who was it? Bob, from the office? Or maybe Steve...", he trailed off.

She didn't answer, but cast him an enigmatic smile. Her hands went to the small bag perched on his Italian briefcase. Pulling out a pair of rubber gloves she slid them on, snapping them suggestively, with an evil gleam in her eye that would have made any man nervous. She turned back to her bag and reached in. His eyes caught the flash of light and grew wider as she pulled out a small scalpel.

"What the HELL!!", he started to move. One cool finger reached out and with a slight touch to his forehead, he fell back.

His heart hammered in his chest. He struggled to rise and run, but couldn't move. His mind fluttered like a butterfly trapped in a jar. She hunched down before him, resting her arms on her knees. Her green eyes flashed as she watched him slowly calm as his mind began to grasp the concept that it was no longer in control of his body.

He looked her over. She had a slim face, pointed chin. A little severe for his tastes. She has to have the greenest eyes I have ever seen he thought. Her ears were slightly pointed at the tips he noticed and from them dangled multiple earrings. He closed his eyes. Ok, this is a setup. One of the guys at work did this. The ears and teeth, movie props. Hell, even he knew you could buy this stuff in costume shops. The Gothic community of Dallas must own stock in them for all that they bought the same things.

He opened his eyes again and looked at her. She was grinning, her mind following his thoughts. He's so rooted in his mundane boring life, he can't even fathom the truth, she chuckled to herself. She always found the Daywalkers need for explanation amusing. Oh well, time to get on with this. She turned to her bag and began removing the first aid kit. Gauze, bandages, antiseptic ointment. She felt his eyes on her and could imagine that they were getting larger with each item she revealed.

"What the hell are you?", he whispered. Ah, finally, the questions. She sighed and halted her arraigning of bandages to look at him.

"Well, I would think that was obvious Jonathan", she said, "Is the concept so hard for you to grasp?"

"But there's no such things as...", his voice dropped even lower.

"What? Vampires? We actually prefer to be called Nightwalkers.", she answered flippantly, "And if you will cooperate with me, this will all be done in a jiffy."

His eyes closed and he groaned and then laughed. "Ok lady I'll play along with the gag, but you don't strike me as the typical vampire. Shouldn't you be, you know, biting me or something? The guys at the office are going to pay for this one."

"Superstition. And a silly one at that. Can you actually imagine having to bite someone? Who knows where they have been, or how clean they are.", her face scrunched up in distaste. "It's bad enough that we have to drink the blood of you Daywalkers. I couldn't live if I knew I had to put my lips on your dirty skin."

He frowned, he was clean dammit! Then he shook his head. I'm taking umbrage at a vampire insulting me, what am I thinking?! He heard her laugh as she turned and checked over the contents of her bag again. His mind whirled with the oddity of his current situation. He couldn't move. Well, couldn't get up. He did realize he had some movement. She hadn't denied him all mobility. With his free right hand he reached up and tugged out a gold necklace.

"Ah ha! This will set you straight. Now you can't suck my blood.", he announced triumphantly. She cocked her head around and peered at what he held. A white gold cross dangled on a thin chain.

"That's a nice one", she said, " but it won't work I'm afraid."

"What!? It's a cross, you should be running and screaming by now!", his triumph dimmed a little, he began to feel the first squirmings of worry enter his mind.

"It only works if the bearer has complete and total faith in it's symbolism, Jonathan. Tell me...", she leaned close enough for him to smell the slightly metallic scent of her breath," ..are you a believer?"

His hand dropped the dangling charm and he grew quiet.
sorchawench: (Mouse)
Bullying.

I was a victim of bullying when I was growing up. Heavy bullying. Physical and sexual bullying. And perhaps that is why I have such a hard time accepting even a little bit of bullying now.

Crab mentality tells us that people with it will do anything to keep those around them from rising above and succeeding. Looking back, I can see how this might have been true during my childhood years. After all, childhood is a great big scary time of finding your place. And if you feel that you're being left behind.....then the childishly logical thing to do is keep someone lower than you feel you are.

Adult bullying is entirely a cat of a different color however. We're supposed to be above that. Removed from the childish games we used to play.

I have a friend who was a recent victim of some pretty harsh bullying behavior. And it was another friend who was doing it. And unfortunately, when this happens, it puts the rest of us in an interesting predicament.

Do we ignore the fight between two friends? Do we stand up for one or the other? Do we step in and try to fix it? Personally, I'm a fixer. I fix everything. Got a problem, take it to Sorcha....she'll fix it. But I'm at a loss here.

My bully is a devout Christian. He prides himself on living a Godly life and living with honor. And then he goes and absolutely rips a friend to shreds. It got me thinking about God, honor, and what that really means to people.

I feel that all three are deeply connected and I feel that one cannot say they honor God...any God, when they treat the people around them like crap.

But at the same time, I understand that we're human and we all have our faults. My friend is also very young in years and experience. I think this may have a lot to do with it.

He messaged me this morning. I'd made a post on the Book of Faces last night, pondering this subject. It apparently struck a nerve with him. Not a good nerve either. He's rather put out with me. I haven't responded yet because I don't want to inflame anything further by responding in anger or defensively. Although if he see's this entry, I'm sure he'll be quite put out again. But I refuse to censor my own thoughts on my own journal.

I just hate that this particular barrel of crabs has landed in the middle of some really good people. I wish I knew how to fix it.
sorchawench: (Mouse)
The seven elements of shibusa are Simplicity, Implicity, Modesty, Silence, Naturalness, Everydayness, and Imperfection.

Living with depression is learning to live while paddling around an ocean filled with sharks while holding raw steak. Now imagine that depressed person trying to learn the meaning of Shibusa too.

We strive for simplicity. But rarely find it. Our lives are broken by rocky roads of stress and strife.

We long to have the ability to live with implicity. To see the carving inside the stone. To see the beauty within the ugly. But we can't seem to ever get past the raw materials to build something beautiful.

Modesty would be nice. To live a life within our means. To be happy with what we're given and to make the best of a situation. Unfortunately we often face ourselves at moments of panic or breakdown, when our emotions are not modest and controlled.

Silence. Oh, how we long for blessed silence in our minds.

What is natural for the non-depression sufferer often feels like the worst awkwardness for those with depression. Like dancing on marbles. Painful and awkward.

Everydayness. The ability to live in the moment. To take joy in every day that has been granted to you. That is one thing we just cannot have. We are constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And Imperfection. Oh, yes....we know this one all too well we think. But do we? Do we really know what imperfection is, or do we allow our selfish disease to make us think we're familiar with it?

The concept of Imperfection in Shibusa is not to find the imperfections and fix them or despise them. It instead teaches us that we should explore them, when we do find them, and allow them to become part of the bigger picture of fullness and beauty.

The depressed person sees imperfection as a flaw in character, a negative thing, to be despised, to be covered with make up, manipulated with surgeries, or twisted out of it's natural shape into something pleasing. The depressed person has a very difficult time seeing imperfection as anything but evil and to be removed.

The person with eyes of Shibusa sees imperfection as an element of the whole, necessary and even wanted. For without imperfections, without ugliness, how would we know true beauty when we see it?

I wasn't born with eyes of Shibusa. Mine are pale, blue, and occasionally filled with useless tears of self rage. But I have moments of clarity, when the blue of my eyes can see in other ways.
Eye
sorchawench: (Mouse)
The clouds skittered and swirled against the night sky, glowing in the light of the full October moon. The wind danced with fallen leaves and sang a haunting tune in the chill night air.

Five figures, cloaked in black, slipped through the trees, their way lit by only moonlight and memory.

The tormented clouds cast eerie shadows at the edges of a clearing in the woods. The robed figures silently approached it and paused at the edge. The leader gestured with one pale hand and all five entered the clearing, spreading out around the ring of trees.

They quickly set out candles and lit them. The flames guttered and jumped in the wind, but did not go out, protected in their glass jars. The leader strode to the center of the clearing and from beneath the cloak drew forth a long sword and placed it on the ground. One of the others produced a bowl and placed it next to the sword.

They drew close around the leader, forming a loose circle. In nearly a singular movement, the circle of figures cast back the hoods of their cloaks, revealing fresh faced young women, girls really, all appearing to be in their teen years.

The leader spoke, “Sisters! Welcome to the circle! Tonight is a Witch’s Moon and tonight we celebrate! Hail and Welcome!”

“Hail and Welcome!”, they chorused.

“Let us begin”, intoned the leader. She looked to the pretty brunette to her left. “Okay Tiffanee, just like we practiced….”

With a small giggle Tiffanee said, “Ok Melissa…” and raised her arms to the night sky. “Powers of the East! Powers of Air! We call upon thee!”

Around the circle the calls went out. Mandy, Theresa, and Julia each took their turns, invoking the four Quarters to join the circle. Once completed, they turned to the leader, Melissa.

“Ok, now we call the Goddess. Ummm….”, she reached within her robes and pulled a piece of paper out of her jean pocket, “Hail mighty Goddess! Maiden, Mother, and Crone! We call to you this night to join our circle as we cast our spells for love!"

Silence fell among the girls as Melissa finished the invocation. "Is something supposed to happen now?" asked Julia.

"Shhhh! Be serious!", Theresa jabbed her in the ribs.

"Ow!"

"Would both of you shut up!", demanded Melissa, "This is serious business"

A chorus of "Sorry" rang out.

"Ok, Mandy.....do you have the ingredients?"

"Yeah, I got em, do you know how hard it was to find all of the ingredients?!?!?! I got lucky with a couple of things. We had the Artemisia dracunclus in the pantry."

"Good....ok....let's get everything mixed and get this done. I have a test in first period tomorrow"

The girls began to mix the ingredients in the bowl, adding water and herbs and swirling them together. Melissa said, "Ok, now we say the magic words and we should be good to go!"

She lifted the sword high and began to chant, "I love you, so love me too. My heart be yours, your heart be mine. We shall be together to the end of time. Our love shall be unbreakable. This is our will, so mote it be!!!!!

"So mote it be!", the other girls chorused.

They stood for a moment, lit by candle and moonlight.

"Is it working?", Julia whispered.

"SHHHHHH!", Melissa demanded. "Just give it a second....."

"Maybe we should have.....", Theresa started to say, when a gust of wind blew through the clearing and the candles went out simultaneously. The girls jumped and shrieked.

It was then that they noticed the sound of music filling the air. A faint glow could be seen coming from the edge of the clearing, within the trees.

"Oh crap!", exclaimed Julia, "What did we do?!?!?"

"Stay inside the circle!", ordered Melissa, "Stay inside the circle!!!"

The glow became more pronounced as a figure stepped out from the trees. The girls stood, hugging each other, slack jawed at what they saw. A woman, wearing a white blouse and knee length skirt approached them. She had her hair in a messy bun and wore what appeared to be horn rimmed eyeglasses.

"What the heck have you done?", the woman said with a tone of exasperation, as she reached the girls who were huddled together. "You five are in big trouble, you know that?!?!"

Julia began to cry, "I told you this was a bad idea! We shouldn't have messed around with this! And now we've summoned a...a....::hiccup::...."

"A Muse, dearheart. You all have summoned a Muse.", the woman replied steadily. "And a rather annoyed one at that."

The girls could only stare in terrified fascination.

The Muse sighed. "I'm rather put out at being called out of my nice warm bed on a chilly October night, you know. Especially for this. What was that exactly that you were reading, anyway? That had to be the worst love spell I've ever heard in my entire immortal existence!"

Melissa bristled. "Hey, I *wrote* that myself! It wasn't THAT bad!"

"It was. And I should know. I am after all, Erato....", the Muse looked at them expectantly, "....You know....Muse of love poetry....does that ring a bell?"

"We haven't covered Muses in History class yet", Theresa informed her.

Erato pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed deeply. "Where is today's youth going..." she muttered. "Ok, you five are definitely in big trouble. Underage spell casting? And that horrible chant. Thirdly, you got the ingredients wrong! Did you even study for this beforehand?!?!"

The girls looked at Mandy, who had provided the ingredients for the spell. "Hey! Don't look at me! I went by the list!", Mandy defended, "I even ran it through the Spell-Checker!"

Erato gave a deep, suffering sigh and snapped her fingers. A clipboard appeared. She examined it. "And there was one of your problems. Trusting in modern technology. Artemisia absinthium, young ones. You needed Artemisia absinthium. Not Artemisia dracunclus. Your *Spell-Checker* substituted the wrong herb."

All eyes flew back to Mandy. "Spell-checker!", she insisted.

"What am I going to do with you now though?", Erato pondered. "I just can't let this transgression pass. What if you'd summoned an Incubus or worse, that Justin Bieber creature!! I'm afraid I'm going to have to curse you all with the worst thing I can think of doing to a teenage girl...."

"....Acne?", asked Julia hesitantly.

"No, that's just a fact of life. What I've got in mind is worse than that I'm afraid", replied Erato. "Cell phones out ladies!"

With fear and trepidation, the girls pulled out their cell phones from various pockets. "What are you going to do?", asked Melissa.

"Watch and learn, ladies. This is poetry in action!"

"With each ring the curse will grow stronger
To be honest with you ever onward.
This is my curse,
Honesty in verse.
And to lie in texts, never gonna"


"What....was that?", said Melissa, confused.

"Don't be a critic, dear, best I could do on short notice. Besides, you've not got a leg to stand on when it comes to critiquing poetry. I've just cursed you all to perpetual honesty in text messages. No more lies about each others hair or outfits. No more playing around, leading boys on. From now on, whenever you text, you have to be completely open and honest or your phone will auto-correct to honesty."

"But...but...we've never done that before!", exclaimed Julia.

"Exactly. Which is why it's going to take some time to get used to. But I think, in the long run, it'll do you good. Now run along home before I change my mind and do something truly dreadful to you."

The girls gathered their things and began the walk home.

"What are we going to do?", wailed Juila, "I don't know if I can be honest...."

At that moment, Melissa's phone buzzed. "It's my parents. They want to know where I've been". She hesitated before typing out her response....BEEN STUDYING AT JULIA'S HOUSE....

"Here goes nothing..."she said and hit Send.

full-moon-briars
sorchawench: (Mouse)
The harsh tones of the emergency klaxon fill the quiet but busy ER and the Charge Nurse's screen lights up with INCOMING CALL. The ambulance gives the Charge Nurse the details of the patient they have coming in. The front half of the Nursing Station begins to move like a kicked ant hill. The technician starts to prepare the trauma room for the incoming patient. The nurses prepare the crash cart. A call is made and the overhead speakers announce "Code Blue in the Emergency Room. Code Blue in the Emergency Room". Within a few minutes the ambulance bay doors open and the Paramedics come rushing in with their gurney. One is perched on top, steadily providing CPR. The Pharmacy and Respiratory have arrived at Trauma Room 1. X-ray is waiting with their portable equipment. The patient is moved to the trauma bed. The Technician takes over CPR from the exhausted Paramedic. The Doctors begin to examine the patient as the Nurses start IV lines and Respiratory intubates the patient.

The patient is a 45 year old man who had a massive heart attack.

The patient is a 52 year old victim of a car accident.

The patient is a 4 year old girl suffering from the flu who suddenly stopped breathing.

Now let me explain why I don't want that patient to be me.

Television would provide us with a similar setting as I have described above. They would have some good looking actors bellowing directions to other good looking actors as dramatic music played in the background. There are a few marked differences between the above setting and what TV would have us believe is Prime Time Drama.

First off, they would perform CPR effortlessly. Not a hair out of place. In real life, the Technician's shirt is growing dark with sweat, as he battles to save the patient.

Secondly, the patient would survive.

Our 45 year old heart attack? Deceased.

Our 52 year old accident victim? Didn't make it.

Our 4 year old who stopped breathing? Never made it out of our ER. That was a very hard day.

I witnessed all of these deaths myself, from my position in the ER. As a Housekeeper, I cleaned up the Trauma Rooms they were in, after the Funeral home came and took them away. I started noticing that despite some really talented Nurses, and despite the dedicated Doctors....not many people who required care in Trauma 1 survived.

So I went looking.

Let me lay some numbers on ya. A 2012 study showed that only about 2% of adults who collapse on the street and receive CPR recover fully. Another from 2009 showed that anywhere from 4% to 16% of patients who received bystander CPR were eventually discharged from the hospital. A third review showed that about 18% of seniors who receive CPR at the hospital survive to be discharged.

The few who do survive after CPR are what physicians describe as the "healthy dead": i.e. "a boy who drowned moments before," "a man who collapses while running a marathon" or someone experiencing a mild heart attack.

More common are the "unhealthy dead": those with terminal illnesses, the chronically ill and patients who do not receive CPR within five to 10 minutes of cardiac arrest.

In these cases, CPR is unnecessarily burdensome, invasive and arguably cruel, with little to no chance of benefit. Many survivors suffer abdominal distention or broken rib cages; some have severe brain damage from being without oxygen for so long.

I'm not forgoing basic life saving techniques, should I fall ill suddenly, and still be in a reasonable state of health. And I realize that I have about as much chance of being in a traumatic accident as the next guy. No, I'm looking into the future. My "Golden Years". Do I want to roll the dice when I'm 80 and suffering from God only knows what ailments?

I have to admit to myself that when it comes to more invasive, less certain maneuvers.....I'm a lot more hesitant. What the studies don't always show are the number of patients, brought back by CPR, who go on to die in ICU later that day or the next. What they don't show are the recovery times of those patients who survive to be discharged. Those extreme life saving efforts are rarely a "fix".

Yes, life is precious. I'm not arguing that. But quality of life is as important to me as just "living". Do I want my final hours or days spent unconscious, with my family gathered around my hospital bed, waiting for a miracle that likely would never come? Or worse for me, do I want to wake up to find myself tied to machines that keep me alive, but provide very little "life"?

End of life decisions are difficult. My father recently suffered a heart attack and required 2 stents to be implanted. We, my Brother and I, have yet to discuss end of life decisions with him.....but I know that it's a needed thing. I asked my husband to read this over my shoulder, and as I watched his face as he read, I wondered when would be an appropriate time to have the discussion with him.

Life is a beautiful thing, but it ends. It's very end is part of what makes life so beautiful and precious. Death will eventually happen to us all, and should be viewed with a reverence and acceptance. Not a desperate push to extend the mortal body beyond it's capabilities, no matter the cost.

filepicker_Za9kYbmHRKeZSLkBdJcB_flatline
sorchawench: (Mouse)
This is for an oral presentation I have to give for my Music Appreciation class. We have to discuss an assigned musician, the evolution of their music, and how they influenced American music culture. I was assigned George Strait

~*~

Out of all the new country singers to emerge in the early '80s, George Strait stayed the closest to traditional country. Drawing from both the honky tonk and Western swing traditions, Strait didn't refashion the genres; instead, he revitalized them for a new decade.

He is known for his neotraditionalist country style, cowboy look, and being one of the first and main country artists to bring country music back to its roots. In the process, he became one of the most popular and influential singers of the decade, sparking a wave of neo-traditionalist singers from Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam to Clint Black, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson.

Neo-Traditionalist country refers to the legions of country singers that emerged in the late '80s, of which, George Strait is arguably the leader. The reworked and updated classic sounds of honky tonk and traditional country, with contemporary production touches to make it more commercially viable, was essentially hardcore country.

Honky tonk music represented a radical break from the course of traditional country music that evolved in the Appalachians, strongly religious, family-based, rural music. Instead, honky tonk was made by Southerners living in cities, lyrically detailing the pleasures and miseries of urban life.

His song “Unwound”, released in 1981, showcases both the Western Swing style of music and the Honky Tonk cliche of a man having issues with his woman. He’s out drinking and everything is coming unwound...



His influences include Merle Haggard, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Hank Williams, George Jones, Frank Sinatra. "I've always wanted to do a totally swing album," George says. "Maybe someday I'll do an album of old Sinatra-flavored swing with a huge band." (Fabian)

Strait holds the record, along with only Elvis Presley and The Beatles, for having the most number one albums, including gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums in music history.

His voice has been described as a “mixture of caramel and whiskey” (Tipping, 2014). With his trademark black cowboy hat, George Strait has lead a generation of country fans as the proclaimed King of Country.

The fourth track from George Strait's new album "Love Is Everything" takes the band back to the 1976 single "I Just Can't Go On Dying Like This" which George wrote. While not exactly the honky tonk swing sound of the 80’s, this version fits the song in George's "new" sound, which is more polished and refined.

sorchawench: (Mouse)
He

I will swallow your gasps like wine. Feel them shudder down my throat in time to the tremble in your knees. I'll feel you begging long before the words are ripped from your tongue. Teeth bitten lips that part on lines of fire.

I'll paint you a chessboard of rainbow agony. Skim tooth and nail across blood screaming to be let loose just to watch you stumble. Fall for me.

You're stubborn. I admire that in you, and I want to tear it from you. See you give in to gravity, to the tears you're blinking back. I will demand them one by one until you show me rivers.

Show me your soul. Lay your pleas at my feet. Let me breathe in the canyons you're carving into wood just to keep your balance.

Fall for me.

Fly for me.

~*~

She

Lust has no mercy and neither do you. Your words rip into my soul and leave gashes bleeding pure desire.

I wished to lie trembling at your feet, fallen, knowing that henceforth, whether I wished it or not, I existed for love, and passion.

For nothing silences my sobs like the abyss that is your bed. When lust commands, even love obeys.

~*~

He

I want to taste you.

All of you. From the curve of your back to the sweep of one graceful leg.

I want to make you scream my name until your throat is raw.

~*~

She

Give me someone who writes

Who knows how to find the words and force them to their knees on the page, on the screen. Mouth to mouth....a shouted greeting, a whispered command.

Give me someone who can string the thoughts together, tie them in knots, as I get tied up. Ribbon fantasies wrapped about my wrists....pulled tight, pulled taut....suspended from that hook in my mind.

Leave them to dangle like a string of pearls about my neck, cooling on my skin and give me just a few more precious words.

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sorchawench: (Mouse)
I will swallow your gasps like wine. Feel them shudder down my throat in time to the tremble in your knees. I'll feel you begging long before the words are ripped from your tongue. Teeth bitten lips that part on lines of fire.

I'll paint you a chessboard of rainbow agony. Skim tooth and nail across blood screaming to be let loose just to watch you stumble. Fall for me.

You're stubborn. I admire that in you, and I want to tear it from you. See you give in to gravity, to the tears you're blinking back. I will demand them one by one until you show me rivers.

Show me your bleeding soul. Lay your pleas at my feet. Let me breathe in the canyons you're carving into wood just to keep your balance.

Fall for me.

Fly for me.
sorchawench: (Mouse)
I shall call myself "his lover" and not reveal my name.
Who I am is not important, the result is the same.

I type for a living with a computer on my desk.
In dreams, I am dancing in some seedy downtown burlesque.

He walks into the dance club, beholding my firm, full breasts.
I can see where he's looking and where his desire crests.

His growing passion is obvious, pronounced in his sighs.
I bend my body over as each man beneath me cries.

The flames are climbing higher as the lights glimmer above.
I give them what they dream of, some exotic goddess love.

My flesh is wet and glistening and dripping quite entire.
His lips are all but sipping me, moistened in his desire.

Honey seeps through my closed lips as I dream we are alone.
He pours himself into me to the sex of saxophone.

smokey-jazz
sorchawench: (Mouse)
Monster in Love


Oh? You want to interview me? I suppose that would be alright, although I must warn you, I have the worst luck when it comes to men. All men. But you are my first....what did you call yourself? A jour-nal-ist.....yes, that's right.

Let me start by stating that I am not a monster. I only want what every other girl in the world wants. Love. That deep, soul searing, rapturous kind of love that they show you in the moving pictures.

My name is Lorelei, and I am a Siren.

It's not a bad life, sitting here on these rocks daily, playing the harp, combing my hair, waiting for my true love to appear. But time has proven again and again that true love is not as easy to find as one might think.

Each time a sailor comes to me, I think he might be the one. They are initially euphoric to be here with me. They listen to me sing my songs of love and become nearly hysterical to hold me in their arms.

Are you feeling okay? You look a little.....stressed.

It isn't meant to be, however. As time passes I can see that logic and reasoning grow impaired. The men begin to have wild delusions about our future together. They want me to meet their Mothers.

The Nymphs called it NRE one day. New Relationship Energy. They said that my love was so grand that it drove men to madness. In my defense, I maintain that they were mad to begin with.

::snaps her fingers:: Still with me?

Those damned Greek poets aren't helping the situation either. They go on and on about how I lure men to their deaths upon the rocks. How my voice causes hallucinations and hysterical blindness. How one look at my body would drive men so far around the bend that they would throw themselves into the deep with terror.

I only want love. Is that really so much to ask for?

Ummm, hello....are you okay?

::pokes::

Damn. Lost another one.

Armitage_Siren

My partner for this Intersection is the wonderfully talented [livejournal.com profile] fodschwazzle! Click the link on my title to visit another Monster in Love.....
sorchawench: (Mouse)
So. After 20 years, I am going back to college. I am going to be working towards an AAS in Health Information Management.

20 years ago, college was not an easy place for me. I was suffering from extreme Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and Agoraphobia. I was borderline suicidal. Every class felt like I was being watched, stared at, and talked about. Every class was a trial. Some I dropped. Most I just didn't attend enough and therefore didn't end up with the best grades.

It's 20 years later though. I'm a different person than I was back then. I still have GAD and Depression, but I am no longer suffering from the Agoraphobia to the same extent as I did. I feel "stable" enough to try the school thing again.

That being said, I feel the need to...."explain".....one of my newest coping mechanisms.

With the hep of my counselor, I am going to be relying on the use of Loki. He will be acting as a Psychiatric Service Dog for me, during school hours. Now, before anyone runs off to figure out if this is legal, please let me assure you that yes, it is quite legal.

According to the ADA, a Service Dog must be task trained to perform a service to the person it works with, that the person might otherwise be unable to do themselves, due to their disability.

I have been working with Loki to alert to my anxiety attacks and to perform a specific function to make me aware that my anxiety is peaking. Specifically he registers when I am highly anxious, paws at me to alert me, and then when I pick him up, lays in my lap to help keep me focused and grounded. This is also known as deep pressure therapy.

Now, some of you may call bullshit. And that's fine, your opinions are your own. I had my own doubts about this from the beginning. But I know how I react when I do not have him with me, and I know how I am when he is there. As a result of having him doing these tasks, I have had to rely on emergency PRN medications much less. Like......never. These are highly addictive medications and I don't like relying on them to help control my anxiety.

Some of you may be scratching your heads, wondering where this is all coming from. Because I normally present as a stable, relatively in control person. Let me assure you, that is far from the case some days. What you see is 39 years of learning how to hide the raging panic I'm feeling behind a calm exterior. It's a coping mechanism. It's a method of self-protection.

I have already been in contact with the college's office for Students with Disabilities. Matter of fact, Loki and I were there for a face to face meeting yesterday. I was very open and honest with the Director for Student Services about my issues, and being that this is the first PSD they've seen, it helped them to understand the concept much better. I have received approval from the office to have Loki join me in classes.

Many of you have seen Loki with me at events. Yes, even at events I have anxiety and panic. He is a buffer for me, between the world around me and my own crazy fears.

Please do not assume that this makes me any weaker, just because I am not sure I can function in some aspects of my life without a dog trailing after me. I assure you that I am stronger than you may realize and am perfectly willing to ram any predisposed notions up arses, as needed.

Even so, I felt the need to explain in greater detail to those around me the whys and wherefores of Loki joining me in classes. Someday I hope that I'll be confident enough to walk in those doors on my own, and achieve the goals I set. Until then, I need a little help.

If you have any questions about this post, feel free to ask away. I have always been an advocate for mental health and removing attached stigmas, and that hasn't changed.

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sorchawench: (Mouse)
Nothing illegal is happening. Do not be worried.

But if nothing illegal is happening, why is the media being blacked out?

Nothing illegal is happening. Do not be afraid.

But if nothing illegal is happening, why are they tear gassing Al Jazeera?

Nothing illegal is happening. Trust in your law enforcement.

But if nothing illegal is happening, why are the county police being removed and replaced with State Troopers?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
I am worried.....

I am afraid....

Nothing illegal is happening. Here, drink your kool-aid.
sorchawench: (Mouse)
The legend goes, there was once a king with a vast kingdom. He had everything he could ever need and his wealth grew daily. One day feeling bored he called upon his men and challenged them to bring him something that would make him sad when he was happy and happy when he was sad.

Days went by and his men failed to find any such item. Getting desperate, they went around the kingdom for help.

An old man, who was a wood carver offered him help. He carved something into a piece of wood and gave it to one of the king's men.

The king was then presented with the item he had asked for. When he opened the packaging he saw the words "This too shall pass" carved into the wood. Such powerful words that the king was left speechless.

~*~

4 little words. I feel like writing them on my wall right now. Or wait, actually on my ceiling.....that way I can look up at them when I'm in bed during a 'drop'. I love these words as they are important not only in bad times, but also in good times. We seem to so easily forget to live in the moment, to enjoy what we have. The world keeps spinning. It doesn't care if you've just been rejected by a hot girl. It doesn't care that your best friend got cancer or that you lost your parents. It simply keeps spinning.

Depression is nothing to dismiss lightly. It is an insidious, sneaky disease that takes you by surprise and slams you to the ground. Even with the best support system in place, sometimes it still wins.

If someone around you suffers from this disease, don't belittle the issue. They face very real challenges every day, just to survive. Stand with that person and give them your love, even when they seem to shove you away. That's the disease talking, not your loved one.

And if you suffer from depression, never, ever give up. No matter how dark your day is, tell yourself that the light will return because it will. We who suffer tend to dwell on the whys of the disease. In the end, it doesn't matter why it happens, we won't be any happier for the knowing....but it is about the struggle and the lessons learned.

If you're reading this, lying in bed with the most beautiful person you know right next to you, kiss them. Why? Because this too shall pass. At the same time, if, like me you are sitting alone in bed venting to the world who may or may not be listening, this too shall pass. The darkest night must at some point become day, just as the brightest day must turn to night.

I hope to remember these words when I'm with the ones I love. Nothing is forever, but the memories you create will keep you warm on the coldest night and keep you smiling on your worst day. If I remember this, I will live every moment with them to the fullest. At the same time, I must always remember this time. In the future if I ever feel sad that I was not able to make myself attend an outing, I must remember that there was a time when I couldn't lift my head from the pillow.

So live in the moment as that moment shall pass too!

~*~

Albert: You don't understand.
Chris Nielsen: It's not about understanding... it's about *not* giving up!

What Dreams May Come

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sorchawench: (Mouse)
The devil sat on my sofa, leaning back into the cushion, leg crossed. He sipped a cup of black coffee, and seemed in no rush to leave.

"Isn't it about time you go?" I impatiently looked at my watch.

"What's the rush?" He shrugged one shoulder. "I mean, it's hardly worth it to leave. It seems I barely get out the door, and you're already calling me back. Next time, I'm bringing a bag." He took a mouthful of dark brew, and savored the taste. "You really do offer the best hospitality."

"Yes, well, I do appreciate that you always come so quickly, but, I don't believe that I invited you this time. In fact, I think that you may have initiated this visit all on your own."

The devil laughed, and the richness of the tone rippled across the room. "No, no, you definitely called me. You ALWAYS call me."

"I don't recall..."

"You butt dialed me." He paused for effect. "I could hear what was going on, and, believe me," he rolled his eyes, "it was most definitely an invitation."

I started to protest.

"Uh uh." He pointed a finger straight at my nose, "You were screaming for God, but that wasn't who you wanted. You definitely don't want him showing up and seeing you like that, now do you?"

He had me there.

"You know," he mused, "Before your ass made its booty call, I must have been the last person you dialed on that phone. Hell, it's starting to look like maybe I'm the ONLY person you've been calling." He nodded emphatically, "I'm definitely bringing a bag next time....and maybe a toothbrush too."

I hung my head in shame. "I could have handled this one."

"My dear," he kicked off his black, snake skin boots and put his feet up on the sofa, "there is trouble you get into, that only the devil, himself, can get you out of."

"How do you figure?"

"It's not the temptation. No, you snap that up without any intervention from me." He sat his empty coffee cup on the side table, and laid down on the couch with a throw pillow behind his neck.

"Please, don't get too comfortable."

He continued, "But after the deed is done and your head cools, you just don't have the stomach to clean up the mess. You need someone to blame it on...."

"The devil made me do it? " I cringed.

"Exactly." He smiled.

"I'm going to stop doing this. I'm going to straighten myself up. "

"Why, of course you are, my dear."

The bastard reached out and patted my hand reassuringly.

"Stop that!" I pulled away.

"Don't pretend you don't like it," he chided. "My sin is all over you."

Pulling my feet off the floor and making myself very small, I sat quietly, as if I thought I might be able to hide.

"There, there, " he consoled in that smooth, familiar devil voice of his, "it's not that bad. You and I are old friends. I don't judge you. In fact, I'm the one person who won't."

"Mmm hmm." I didn't like it, no, not one bit....but it was true. "You are the only person who always comes when I call."

"That's right," he agreed, "and I always will. When no one else cares..."

"Please, please...don't finish it!" I shook my head, like I had just tasted something very bad.

"Okay, I'll spare you," he smirked, then reached out again with his hand. "Here, give me your phone."

"Why?" I reached to fish it out of my rear pocket.

"Relax. I'm just going to put myself on speed dial. " He started fumbling with the buttons. "Beezlebubb...too obvious? How about Justin Bieber?"

"A bit played. But it will do."

"It's getting late," the devil noted, looking at the wall clock. "I'm thinking that I'm just going to stay over. I don't really want to leave you alone with your conscience tonight. You look overwhelmed enough as it is."

I reluctantly nodded, and stood to begin shutting the house down for the evening. "I know you're used to warmer accommodations. Much warmer accommodations..." That won me a glare. "Do you want me to get you a blanket?"

"Not necessary, " he dismissed, getting up off the couch. "I'll help you finish cleaning up down here, and then we're going upstairs."

"We?" I eyed him.

He strode across the floor, and as he snapped his fingers, the dishes were done, and the lights turned off. "Stop making a big deal, and come along, my dear...after all, this will hardly be your first time getting in bed with the devil. Look at this as the birth of a terribly beautiful friendship."

I paused for a second to think, and then followed along sheepishly...he was right. "Um, you aren't going to tell God about my calling his name tonight?"

"Not as long as you don't tell him about me answering."

"Deal."
sorchawench: (Mouse)
Like a bullet from a gun, once the words are spoken, you can't retrieve them. You cannot change their path and you cannot apologize when they hit their target.

That was kind of how I felt when Dad told me that Mom had passed away. Like I'd been shot.

I recently read a poem....“Grudges,” by Stephen Dunn, he writes:

Before you know it something’s over.
Suddenly someone’s missing at the table.


I hadn't assumed that I would be a Motherless child at the age of 39. Oh, I know.....it's not like loosing a parent as a young child. It's not like I hadn't any time at all with her. But while I accepted the reality of my parents aging, myself....aging, I never expected those milestones to come so soon.

We've gone through some firsts now, since she passed. The first of her birthdays without her. The first holidays. The first Mother's Day. And their wedding anniversary. We've been careening along, all of us, like bullets fired from a grief gun.

Her birthday was rough. But we've never been huge on celebrating birthdays in our family, so there was no huge party to miss. But we felt it, nevertheless. The holidays sucked and I was glad to see them gone. For Mother's Day I had bronchitis and pneumonia, and spent the day in various stages of unconsciousness on the couch.

In June they would have celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. Instead, my husband and I took Dad out to eat and listened to him rant about the government coming to take his guns.

Mom and the reason we went out on that particular day were not discussed.

My birthday was yesterday. I've hit 40, and I'd like to think I'm taking it with grace and dignity. But even though we aren't a family of big parties and tons of presents, I missed that phone call from her, wishing me a happy day. I missed having her there, with Dad and myself, at lunch that afternoon. I miss not being able to tell her, "Look Mom! I'm 40, and I'm going back to college in a month!"

We're coming up on the first anniversary of her passing. They say that the second year is in some ways, worse than the first, but then again, they also say that time heals. All I can think of is how each milestone is, in some way, like being shot all over again.

I am now 40, riddled with bullet holes, and I want my Mommy more than I have ever wanted anything in the world.

Loss
sorchawench: (Mouse)
In my years of therapy, I have sat in many chairs and confessed my deepest secrets. But one chair in particular crosses my mind more frequently.

It was 1989. I was 14. Locked behind the doors of the Riverside Adolescent Psychiatric Unit, in Riverside Ca. My parents brought me here when they no longer knew how to deal with my suicidal obsessions, my anxiety, my self hate.

I was a typical teenager, but for those deadly shortcomings in my brain. I was in unrequited love with a handful of movie stars, I'd cut my teeth on Star Wars, had a hidden stash of My Little Pony's, and I knew that greater things waited for me.

Bon Jovi for example. Gods....I loved Bon Jovi.

I'd like to say that my stay was something for Hollywood to desire, that I roomed with the 80's version of Angelina Jolie in Girl Interrupted....but no. We were just a bunch of scared, crazy kids....with problems bigger than us, larger than life, and completely out of our control.

I had two Psychiatrists while I was there. One, provided by the Military (I'm an Army Brat, after all), and based in my home town. The other was a Doctor based with the hospital itself.

Every other day one of these men would lead me into an office, have me sit in the brown leather chair, and they would lure the secrets from my lips, the fears I'd expressed to no one, the desires I had, the dreams I kept close to my heart.

I usually saw Dr. Taylor. He was based with the hospital and was a Child & Adolescent specialist. He was easy going, fun to talk to, understanding, and patient. I have blacked out my other Doctor's name, I fear out of a necessity to remain sane. He was the complete opposite of Dr. Taylor. He was demanding, he was harsh, he was not patient. I was afraid of him, even though all he had ever done was leave a bad taste in my mouth, but I was afraid of him to my very core. For purposes of this entry, let's call him Dr. X.

I had been on numerous medications already in my 14 years. Trying to find the magic pill to make the demons go away. But the right cocktail had not been found. So in yet another attempt to gain control, my doctors prescribed me Prozac. Then Dr. Taylor went on a week's vacation.

Great pill, Prozac. Energy, relatively upbeat mood, mostly no weird side effects. Just a growing sense of paranoia that went unrecognized until THAT afternoon......

That's when it all came to a head. The orderlies led me down the hall for my therapy session. I was let into the room where Dr. X sat waiting for me. A wide desk separated us, as I dropped into the familiar brown leather chair. Dr. Taylor never sat behind the desk. Dr. X ALWAYS did.

Things get fuzzy at this point. But the one thing I recall with crystal like clarity was Dr. X telling me that if I didn't shape up and get with the program soon, he was going to have me committed to a State Psychiatric Facility. I was terrified. I was also pretty damned paranoid at this point anyway and to my 14 year old mind, that meant I would never be able to see my family again. And again, with crystal clarity, I recall my reaction.

I recall becoming enraged at his off handed attitude at handling my life. I was convinced that he was the root of all my troubles. And so I decided in a snap moment to get rid of him. I was 14.....logic is not a strong point in 14 year olds.

The chair I had been sitting in flew across the room, across that desk, and slammed into the wall on the opposite side. Dr. X screamed and ducked. I just screamed. The door burst open and I found myself being taken out of the office and placed into the seclusion room. The door was locked. I was left alone with my fear and rage.

They let me out after a while. Everything from that time is fuzzy and distant, but I know that I never saw Dr. X again. Dr. Taylor returned from his time away and in our next therapy session, suggested that maybe we should wean me off the Prozac. I readily agreed.

He never mentioned the incident with Dr. X. Never mentioned a State facility. I was eventually stabilized and returned home. Not cured, by any stretch, but better able to cope at that point.

I occasionally think about that time of my life. Wonder at the level of crazy in a 14 year old girl. Wonder about the Doctor who tried to help. And wonder if Dr. X ever improved his bedside manner or does he now work with furniture, bolted to the floor.....
sorchawench: (Mouse)
This wasn't what I originally planned on doing as a career when I was a child. I had all the normal dreams....fireman....astronaut....policeman. Somewhere things changed, as they often do. Little girls weren't supposed to be those things. That's how I found myself standing in front of Armageddon Entertainment that day. A nondescript building that also houses an insurance agency and a Mom and Pop bookstore. You really have to be looking for it to be able to find it.

~*~

For LA it was an odd day. It had been raining hard for 3 days and the skies, while currently dry, threatened to open up again. Rumor had it there was a large boat being built near Mann's Chinese theater. I had just lost my job as one of the writers for "The Way We Were", that soap opera on channel 6. I thought I was doing a good job. But I guess the producers didn't see it the same way.

I helped them win six daytime Emmys. Ungrateful wretches. And now, here I am, jobless. All because of a little typo. I didn't mean to miswrite the star's name in for the latest murder victim. I was just a little angry with him for coming on to me in the coffee room that morning. Well, maybe coming on isn't the right term, since I had to dislocate one of his fingers to remove his hand from my.......well.....someone should have been proofreading the scripts anyway.

Hindsight is 20/20. If I knew I was going to be canned I would have broken his arm. That's what lead me here today, that and the crummy Temp agency I signed up with. Six interviews I'd been on and none of them what I needed. My job counselor swore this one was right up my alley. I stepped inside the door and found myself in a very dark lobby. Great, I thought, they're closed.

"May I help you?"

Shit! I dropped my briefcase when the voice called out from a dark corner. Scared the living daylights out of me. I could barely make out a desk and behind it the voice, the secretary.

"I have an 11 o'clock appointment with Mr. Smith" I said, picking up my briefcase and walking to the desk. "I'm Ms. Thompson"

"Yes, Mr. Smith will be with you shortly. Would you please fill out this paperwork and have a seat over there." She gestured with a clipboard to some chairs on the far side of the lobby. I took the clipboard and as my eyes adjusted began to fill it out. Basic questions on any application. Name, Birthday, Address.....hmmmm, this is odd. Religion. Do you have any religious beliefs that would prevent you from performing your job? For a writing job? I finished the papers as best I could and leaned back on the hard chair to wait. I didn't have to wait long.

The secretary looked up at me and said "He'll see you now, last door on the right." Odd, she didn't call to tell him I was here, much less tell him I was done with the paperwork. She points to a door behind her desk. I walk in and slip down the hall. Along the walls are pictures of movies. Some I know, some I don't. I had to raise an eyebrow at the picture next to the door I was to enter. Some artist's rendition of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Cheery.

I lift my hand to knock when I hear the order to enter. With a shrug, I set my shoulders back and swing the door open. My eyes are shocked by light. The big bay windows let in the gray light that, when compared to the darkness of the hall and lobby is blinding. With watering eyes I blink several times to adjust my sight.

"Come in and have a seat." The man behind the desk tells me. I have to assume this is the mysterious Mr. Smith. I take up a perch on the chair in front of his desk. "Is that your paperwork?", gesturing to the clipboard I had grasped in my hand.

"Oh, yes, it is" I passed him the papers and began to look around the office. For all the dark dreariness of the lobby, his office was very homey. The walls were warm and golden. There were plants in planters, on the bookshelves and near the windows. In the corner, next to a fax machine was a fountain. The water tumbled over the smooth stones. It would be relaxing any other day.

"You didn't finish filling this out." His voice jarred me back to reality.
" You didn't fill out the religion and belief questions."

"I didn't know exactly how to fill those out Sir." I figured honesty was the best policy here. This whole experience was unsettling to me. "This was the first time I have ever had questions like those on a job application."

"It isn't that hard to figure out Ms. Thompson, but I'll be patient with you. What we want to know is, do you have any religious beliefs or theories of faith that would prevent you from doing the job we set you to?", His voice had the tone one might use when explaining something to a child.

I hate that.

"Umm, No Mr. Smith, I can't say that I do. I have been out of organized religion for a long time now. And I can't think of any beliefs that would prevent me from doing my job."

He smiled. Somehow I was not comforted by that smile, but I returned it.

"This is good.", he looked over my application one last time., "We'll need to set up appointments for your fittings Emily. You don't mind if I call you Emily, do you? We'll be getting to know each other much better in the days to come. You'll start next week. Just sign this contract stating that until you are terminated, you'll work for Armageddon Entertainment Enterprises exclusively, foregoing any other employment."

First name basis already. Fittings? Pen in hand I bent over the contract and began to sign. My hand tingled slightly and I knew I had to ask, "Pardon me for asking Mr. Smith, but what exactly am I being hired for?"

He took the papers away from me and smiled. This time I didn't smile back. "Welcome to the Armageddon family Emily. You are going to be our new Death. You may call me Pestilence."

With a flash of light and a clap of thunder, the skies opened up again.

"By the way Emily, do you know how to ride a horse?"

Someone in the Temp agency was going to answer for this one.

~*~

(This is a WIP ~ Sorcha)
sorchawench: (Mouse)
"Your life must be more fun than a barrel full of monkeys! I wish I could have that!"

"You're so selfish! Don't you want to carry on the family name?!?!?!"

"You must be living it up, no kids, no real responsibilities!"

Right.

Living child free was our choice. And I have caught more flack for that decision than any I think I have ever made. Friends tell me that I'll never know true happiness because I've never heard the words "I love you Mommy". Coworkers tell me that I don't have real responsibilities because I don't have children to chase after. Random strangers call me selfish because I've chosen to not open the baby factory for my In-Laws.

What people don't realize is the sacrifice we've made, by deciding to live child free. We face an questionable future as elderly people without the traditional family to take care of us. We've never kissed a boo-boo, sung a lullaby, or put on a brave face for the first day of school.

We've chosen to live child free for health reasons. Because we've got some genetic issues we didn't want to roll the dice on, for our future offspring. Why would I want to subject a child to my anxiety issues? Why would I want to risk having a child with my husband's bipolar issues? We've sacrificed all the experiences a child would bring us, and we are labeled selfish and carefree.

I like to joke that as dog owners, we can chain the mutts in the yard, and as long as they have food, water, and shelter, we're good. Tongue in cheek, I say, try that with a child and eventually someone's gonna call CPS. Parents look at me in horror.

Yeah, we're child free. We're rolling in money, living it up weekly, and enjoying the free life. ::eyeroll::

My life is fulfilling. I am complete. I am at peace with my decisions. Please stop assuming otherwise.
sorchawench: (Mouse)
The moments that stick in my memory tell me I was never bullied in a normal way. I remember stepping off the school bus and heading home when the boys grabbed my arms and legs. I struggled, but they were older boys, bigger than me, and stronger. They held me there while the 5th boy tried to kick me in the face and stomach. The neighbor who called the police said that I ended up dragging all four of those boys half a block, trying to get away.

I was in 1st or 2nd grade then.

~*~

Then there was the night that I was lured off to a maintenance closet. He had sweet promises, was gentle and soft spoken, and I was a trusting early teen. When he tried to take my clothes off and his sweet talk became more rough, I became frightened and ran. The next day on the bus was hell as he had apparently recounted his exploits to his friends. All of whom enjoyed trying to humiliate me to no end.

~*~

I'm sure, to some level, there has always been bullying. From the time we were monkeys in the trees. Ha, Ha! I'm better than you! My banana is bigger!

But when did it become okay to fall to the levels of violence we have today? When did it become okay to take a gun to school? When did it become okay to stab your "friends" to death, all for a childish whim?

~*~

I think humanity is slowly going insane.
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