Monsters Under My Bed

I was told, that even as an infant, I did not sleep at night. Neither did I cry.

I was told that I would be found at the foot of my crib, under the covers, as if I was hiding.

Later I learned, without being told, that indeed I was hiding. But I wasn’t afraid of the dark; I was afraid of what hid in the dark.

I’m all grown up now.  I love the dark, I love the night. I can take refuge in the dark and the night covers me.

But I still fear what comes in the night; who hides in the dark; the monsters under my bed.

I don’t like to sleep with a lot of covers. I kick the covers off my feet, and my feet dangle over the side of the bed.  But not for too long.  As I sense my toes almost touching the bed frame, I quickly pull them back. Because there are monsters hiding under my bed. Waiting to pull me down; and under and then…

Unlike the little girl in this video, my monsters and I never became friends.

It's not you,

it’s me.

I deleted all comments that have ever been made on this site and I have turned off the comment function.  It’s not that I’m not interested in what you have to say, I am but you say it on your own blogs, right? So you don’t need to say it on my blog.

Because comments usually have nothing to do what I have written and that, for one, annoys me and two, I have no way to respond.

Now that could be because I am not making myself clear, so folks in attempting to be kind, pick out a word or phrase or something that they might relate to, and comment accordingly.  I sit here and read it and think “What the hell does that have to do with what I wrote?”

Let’s be honest, I have done that too in commenting on a blog, something they wrote resonated with me and my comment became all about ME and not them. I try really hard not to do that, I’m sure I don’t always succeed.

I write here for myself, I’m not interested in generating any attention or revenue. It has just become easier to type out my thoughts, even tho I hate typing, and have spent the afternoon trying to find a free app for my iPad to use with my Apple pencil so I can handwrite posts and then just import them into the blog, rather than keep a pen and paper journal (whew! that’s one hell of a run-on sentence). (Besides, I have been using a word processing program for so many years I have forgotten how to spell and NEED spell check.)

I’ve had a blog, on one platform or another, for 15 years. Back in the day when blogging was new and shiny comments were fun, exciting even. Comments became a springboard for a deeper discussion of the blog topic. And they weren’t all sweetness and light(weight). I miss that. We weren’t rude or antagonistic but we did disagree and there was much back and forth and it was good. Now – comments are all “Thank you” “No, no, no Thank you” and “Oh this is terrific” – What does that add to the discussion? Nothing, but you know, no one is offended either. No one is asked to consider another POV – just all sweetness and light. And that is ok if that works for you. If that’s all you want.

I’ve been on and off WordPress many times – my last time around I was reading blogs that were a bit weighty and witty – this time around I seem to have stumbled over blogs that are just concerned with ‘challenges’ – I honestly don’t know WTF that is all about but obviously it fills a need for a lot of people.

This time around I also found myself reading a lot of mental health blogs (as they categorize themselves) and that was just so painful. I was getting really worried about some of these people – there were posts that were heart wrenching and very disturbing.  I had to stop reading them – I was in no position to help these folks, and I didn’t really understand their pain but oh boy could I feel it.

I suppose I could just try searching, by hashtag or category, for people who are writing what I’m interested in reading – Good idea!

I will share with you the blogs I do enjoy –

A Guy Called Bloke – He has a lot of categories of posts, I skip most of them but he also features of lot of music and that has expanded my listening horizons.

Melanie B Cee – She is a very funny lady, sharp and acerbic. She does the occasional ‘challenge’ – mostly I skip those, but when she writes about personal things, her life and her outlook on life – I’m there.  She is very relatable.

And then there is this guy – Ian Huston author of The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company. This guy totally cracks me up, just makes my day whenever he posts. Half the time I have no idea what he is talking about but he does it in the most delightful way. Gotta love it, and I do.

One more – Jim Webster. He’s got this running series about rebuilding the village hall which has been keeping me very entertained and I’m waiting for the next installment.

So that’s it for me and my rambling thoughts of the day. Since there is no comment function, if anyone has read this, look how much time I’ve saved you.

If anyone feels compelled to agree, disagree or excoriate me – there is now a “Your 2¢” page where you can comment – feel free to use it, if you like. There is also a contact page that you can use to email…Have fun!

Suspension of disbelief

I struggle with it. (Definition here). I am so literal minded that flights of fancy elude me, or should I say flights of fanciful elude me. I have trouble setting aside reality and accepting something other, which has become the premise for the presentation – be it movie, play, novel, poem. It’s probably why I am not a fan of science fiction, or fantasy films or stories.

Lately we have sampled some tv shows that are based in previous centuries, particularly the 19th. Whatever the stories were, the thing that I focused on was – the dirt. I could not get passed how dirty everything was; how dirty the people were; filth offends me; dirt offends me. What ran through my mind, while watching what may have well been a good story, was – “Eww – how did people live that way?” “Where’s the bathroom?” “When did they last have a bath?” “How did people survive in those conditions?”  That’s all I can think about.  I can’t see past it.

Then there is my eye for the small details which interrupt my attention on the story. You know the kind I mean. A woman gets out of a car, without a handbag, rushes into a building, and then is immediately seen reaching into her handbag! Wait, what? Where did that come from, she didn’t have it 30 seconds ago when she got out of the car. And that is a simple one. Nevermind more egregious ones, where in the space of time of a camera pan between two people, all of a sudden clothing is different, or a prop has disappeared. I see that. It annoys me.

And my obsession with dates. The first time I read ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ I wound up taking notes because the dates never matched up with the ages or the span of years in the story. Pages and pages of notes, which I actually typed up and sent to the publisher.

And that is my life – seeing the details. Seeing all the itty-bits. The big picture eludes me. Yet I can follow a detail into the future. I can see all the possibilities of one little action or decision, which can then immobilize me from any further action/decision. I am not a risk taker. And it is not so much that I crave certainties as that I need to know where I’m going and how I’m going to get there before I start a journey – of any kind.

Which is probably why, after reading the first few chapters of a book, I read the end. Then I go back and read from where I left off in the beginning.

‘It’s not the destination, it’s the journey’ – Not for me.

Where's my tribe, my kindred spirits?

Those concrete and carbon monoxide, city lovers? All those folks who are awestruck from the architecture of buildings old and new. All the urban vampires who get their energy and sustenance from the hustle and bustle through the concrete canyons?

It has now been firmly established that I cannot, simply cannot live without a view of trees and sky or the sounds (and sight) of birds. I need these like the very air to breathe. BUT –

The only time in my entire life, all 73 and half years (so far) that I did not have that/those, was the four years I lived in Philadelphia. That’s when I learned that what I had always taken for granted – trees and sky and birds – was essential to my well being. ESSENTIAL.

I lived in NYC for 44 years and always, always had that – and the most perfect view was when I was living in the middle of Manhattan – yes, the damn birds woke me every morning around 5am, and yes, my third floor windows looked directly into lush trees BUT if I lifted my gaze, just a bit, I could see the Empire State Building. Now that is perfection!

I read all these blogs where folks wax rhapsodic about “Nature” – many of them live in rural areas or suburban areas. They have ‘gardens’ and lawns and forests. They spend time hiking through wooded areas, are passionate about it. I enjoy reading these blogs. I don’t understand their enthusiasms, and I certainly would not want to share these environments in real life but I am often amazed at their knowledge of the natural world (as some call it) and it is all very fascinating to read about and look at the photos – and that’s where I draw my line.

There were times when people would ask if I was getting away from the city for the weekend. And I would reply – “Why? What for?” And they would reply “To get out in the country, of course!” Um, what did the country have that the city didn’t?

The country is a one-trick pony. Whereas the city – the whole damn circus, baby! Have you ever been to Central Park? Or the Bronx Zoological Society? Or the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens? And yes, I have gone skiing – in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

Yes, that is New York City and there aren’t many like it in the USA – but still. Cities, with a few notable exceptions (Philadelphia!), usually have it all. Or close to. The country will never have it all – it will only ever be ‘the country’.

I do not understand, and I mean this with all sincerity and bemusement, why all the inspirational claptrap advocates, urges, nay, demands that we must all return to ‘Nature’ to find peace and solace. I am happy and appreciative that ‘the country’ exists and may it always be so. I mourn the loss of forests, their flora and fauna, of clean and clear water river, lakes, streams. They are beautiful and essential to the well being of the ENTIRE planet, and in small doses, essential to my personal well being BUT

I don’t want to live there. They are not my essential soul and essence. They don’t strike awe in my heart or bring peace to my soul. The Grand Canyon is just a huge hole in the ground, the desert is a whole bunch of sand, and I prefer sand, if sand there must be, adjacent to an ocean. And mountains, well, a lot of dirt and rocks. (Wow – that’s big! And-so?)

If nature brings you joy and peace and calm – whether it’s your back garden or a forest or just a couple of acres that you call your own and you like to interact with it – planting, mowing, tending and growing – I am so happy for you. Happy you have found your place and happy to read about it, truly I am.

But you’re not my people, not my tribe. Where are the people who can walk up Fifth Avenue on a sunny Spring day and be stopped in their tracks by the breathtaking sight of the sun glinting off the Chrysler Building?

Or be reduced to tears by the wonderment of looking out over Central Park on a late Autumn afternoon, the setting sun transforming the gold and red leaves of the trees into a fantasy of light and shadows, and the turrets and towers and spires of The Dakota in the distance conjure flights of imagination into magical places that never existed.

It’s not just New York City – The world is filled with cities that evoke such emotions and people who are filled with ineffable joy to be amongst the wonders of nature and man. To be alone from, and yet, together with, members of their tribe.

What's rolling around in my mind

The only thing you forgive is a monetary debt.
The only person you can forgive is yourself.

lettinggo-let it be

Yes, your life is all about you. If you don’t do your best for yourself, you can hardly do your best for someone else.

others first

Why I don’t sleep at night (or any other time for that matter)

And relative to the above I have had a line looping through my brain since yesterday – “I have new memories to forget”. It came out of an imaginary conversation I was having with someone I once knew long ago – long story.

And searching through my collection of posters and quotes, I found this – something I wrote.


Whining about whiny old people.

Sometimes old(er) people can pluck at my last nerve – always whining about something. Lately every time I go downstairs to pick up a package the same woman seems to be there complaining about all the packages that get delivered. How it never used to be this way. How the building doesn’t have room to store all these packages and on and on and on – whine, whine, whine. First of all – what business is it of hers? How does this impact her life in any way? We have a front desk concierge – this person accepts and signs for all deliveries. Packages are kept behind the desk and there is a small storage closet off the lobby. It’s the front desk person who should be whining about all the packages, not some random resident. But bitch and whine she does.

The powers that be decided that there needed to be a more efficient way to track packages and notify residents. And they did that – installed a system whereby the desk person scans the address label, clicks a button and !Presto! an email is sent notifying a person they have a delivery. So flippin’ easy, right? It’s a beautiful thing. When the resident picks up his package he signs for it using the electronic signature thingy. So easy. So much less work than handwriting little tickets, logging the packages by hand and then…I mean just layers and layers of crap.

Now packages don’t pile up behind the desk and in the small storage closet, the desk person has less work and there is an electronic record of everything. Life in the 21st century is good. Why are old people always whining about it? Embrace your electronics people. Learn to click! And mind your own business.

My husband’s brother called him this morning to ask if the fee to renew an expired passport was higher than to a renew a non-expired passport. Are you asking the same question I am? Why the hell is he asking my husband. Well, because my husband works for the federal government. And yes, my husband works in land border security but he has nothing to do with issuing passports. Further, his brother is sitting in front of his computer. Look it up!

What does my husband do? He asks ME. Yes, I am my husband’s Google. Takes me about 30 seconds to Google “US Passport Renewal” and get the url. I’m sorry people this is not rocket science.

On a more interesting note – this afternoon there was a big fat robin sitting in the tree outside my window – and sitting and sitting. Occasionally he would fly to the holly tree but moments later he was back – same spot. This went on for hours. It was like he was waiting for someone (or something). Since he could obviously fly I’m figuring he is not ill, and he sure is not starving because he is one FAT robin…Still – and guess what I just turned my head to look out the window and he is back…

Getting old is not for sissies,

as some folks are discovering, according to some blog posts I have read recently.  Most of these folks are younger than I – much younger.

I’ve been tracking the changes of getting old(er) for a while now, one of them being that the days of “I can eat anything – I’ve got a cast iron stomach.” are long past.  I went so far as to write about it –

Getting old is not for sissies,
So they say,
and they,
are right.

Unlike J. Alfred, peaches
are not a problem
but peppers

Green and hot,
onions raw,
salami, cheese,
all of these

Bring me to my
knees, and more,
find my husband

At the store.
Pepto, Maalox,
liquid chalk –

All are bought,
and chewed and drunk.
Gagging, gasping
oh the pain!

As I moan,
Never again.

Amazing how a good
nights sleep
has me now on
steady feet.

What’s for lunch?

© Grace St. Clair
(March 2010)