Today I lost a Teenager

  
She’s 20.

No more kid stuff.

Taking hold of the reigns now

or soon;

she’s doing the best she can.

Life’s a dare to this one.

The pink princess 

in full length satinate gown

and high hennin 

who paraded the deli 

and bakery aisles at 5,

unfazed by stares and 

critical remarks, judgment,

now browses thrift stores

along drizzly Seattle store

fronts; her pink fingernails 

tap store front windows

reflecting a pink rain parka.

She, ever the reserved

rebel, attention-seeking 

hermit and lover of the

ironic, twisted and fair,

bristles at injustice

and believes in rescue,

animals, people and causes.

Her creative bent 

will carry her to lands

exotic and disturbing, 

she with the peace corps

heart and that childish

pampered primpery,

but her practical wit and

earthy reason will ground 

the journey into decades,

the twenties’ bent up

crazy pinnacle of strength,

stamina, speed, purpose-

less with purpose and youth

in all its media-cracked-up

to be supercharged, idolized

and adored, culturally induced

figural, figurative and free beauty.

**************************

Enjoy the run, my princess.

The best is yet to come.

  

A Cello Rests

 
 

A cello rests in a room, its neck snugged to the corner, 

nearly facing the wall in neglect as if ashamed, 

calumny’s dust. 

Never her fault, I never loved enough, not until late, too late.

I played for spans.

A public school music teacher examining my third grade hands declared, 

“You have long fingers; you’ll play the cello.”

And pronouncement became performance.

I practiced and played: solo, ensemble and orchestra.

Competitions endured at the lust of a failed cello teacher and complicit parents

yielded no more than a B plus plus, merely a red ribbon.

But I scored Romberg’s cello sonata into my fingers for life.

And the taste, a hint of burning desire–first conquest, then mastery.

Until the mid-70s teen culture enwrapped me in smokey rock concerts and pubs,

boys and weed.

And the cello lay low in my childhood home ’til California stole me.

She plays me time to time, decade to decade since then,

testing my resolve and desire, the want-it factor.

She breaks my every attempt, every dream of recapture,

having long ago mastered me.

 

credit: clker.com

The Moonies

  
After meeting other friendly youths, I somehow found myself enticed and then enclosed by the friendly conversation about spirituality and God. They spoke of all Gods being one, and led me to a classroom where an older man, maybe in his 30s, taught a class of one, me, the evidence supporting the coming of Christ by an infallible timeline. 

I sat for a good ten or fifteen minutes until the sudden thought struck through the morass of sweet, thick confusion my mind became, like drowning in syrup: “Holy shit, I think I am being indoctrinated.” 

Then a panic swept over me. How was I to leave this uncomfortable scene without a complete bolting for the door. “Could I just get up and walk out while he spoke?” I did not think I could. These people were not rude, but clearly they were trying to enfold me. 

I did manage finally to politely but insistently–and it took insistence–tell them I needed to leave. They were followers of Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church, informally his followers known as Moonies. One of my lonely teen claims to fame is having been kidnapped–almost–by the Moonies on my 17th birthday.

 
credit: Wikipedia

Finding the Cost of Freedom

  
Find the cost of freedom

Buried in the ground

Mother Earth will swallow you

Lay your body down.  CSNY

Randy would not be the first or the last gay man I fell for. I never pieced together the hitchhiking he did from work instead of taking the bus, and the expressed hopes to pick up someone “interesting.” I’m guessing now that he got paid on the side for his lovely looks: from delicate hands to his big style and classy flare. Anyone else with more exposure might have known, but no one in my town growing up was gay–except my sister’s best friend and the drama department at school, to my knowledge. It was the late 70s and no one was gay–openly. I just never suspected that men could be anything but interested in me as a female, someone to stick a dick into at the very least. My worldview was small, provincial, like the state I grew up in despite its savvy sensationalized reputation world wide to the contrary, no doubt based on one city, a small piece of real estate relative to the entirety of the state with its miles of farmland and country roads.

It was after these first 6 months or so on my own, working, going to school, quitting school and trying to make a life nearly on my own, a lonely pursuit of angst-filled growth and delirious abandon, when I concluded that I wished my parents would have reigned me in more, made the effort; my limitations were few and the responsibility of that freedom was overwhelmingly burdensome. I was lonely, and my life felt like one huge scary spin of outright disregard for my own safety–even to a 17 year old alley cat on a crash course to world wise self-sufficiency.

 
credit: http://www.thewolf.ca