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4:07 p.m. - 2013-10-09
Another Loss.

What a dichotomy. Outside my window it's my favorite time of year and on my computer screen it's my least. The obvious solution is to get my tubby butt outside more and stay off the damn computer, but we know that ain't gonna happen.

Wait, what? Since when does the internet have seasons, LA? Browsers don't change colors and shed their leaves. You don't have to defrost Google before you use it in January.

Yeah, I know. But marketing changes. And now through the end of October it's, ugh, Halloween. Don't get me wrong, I adore pumpkins and little kid costume parades and hell, I even like candy corn. My problem is with the hyped up gory shit. It's everywhere! It's not enough that I don't watch slasher flicks or 'The Walking Dead' and that I stay out of abandoned houses now that I'm too wide and slow to scale fences and wriggle through cellar windows with any kind of ease, during October there's NO avoiding the relentless gore-fest on the interwebs. Seriously. It's imposs. The sidebar adverts are full of dangling eyeballs and blood splatter. Open IMDB and along with the cast list of whatever movie I'm looking up on the peripherals is Chuckie and his butcher knife on the left and a dripping severed limb on the right. Read the goddamn comics and there's a bottom pop-up for haunted amusement parks with screaming faces and any number of zombies and chainsaw wielding goons. My gore loving friends post endless pics of the most disgusting shit on FB, all with gleeful abandon and happy squeals of delight.

Look, I get it. In this padded playground life we have in the west where handrails and antibacterial soap and airbags on everything has made daily living a total snooze of safety people like their 'thrills'. When the day's biggest fright is Starbucks being out of cinnamon sprinkles for your pumpkin latte life gets soggy for some folk. So they chase the awful and the sick twisty faux evil of Hollywood horror. They watch 'Saw' movies on their 58" flat-screens from the comfort of their recliner chairs and relish the rush of watching pretty teenage girls getting chopped to bits by maniacs with Bowie knives and grudges against their mothers. They tootle over to the local haunted house in their Subarus with their seatbelts on and pay good money to spend the next hour having the living crap scared out of them by college theater majors in freaky make-up. All in the name of 'fun'. Something to get the blood pumping and the adrenaline squirting to balance off their cushy, cushy lives of Trader Joe's organic bananas and working all day in a cubicle.

I'm not a total special snowflake but my life has had real horror. I don't have to manufacture my fright jones, quite the opposite. I spend my time deliberately cultivating warm fuzzies and kittens and the peaceful security of the nicey-nice life. I'm 50 years old and my trauma scars still pain me every single day. If somehow I could put my gruesome nightworld on film I'd be famous-er than Wes Craven and I'd be a bazillionaire. But I can't and my Hell is my own. So yeah, I absolutely resent being subjected to the safe people's idea of 'scary fun'.

There's nothing fun about blood and pain and being afraid for your life. Not if you've really been there.

I hate Halloween on the internet.

In other local news Stage 2 of the fall cleaning is going on. I took care of the most egregious chores earlier this month and now it's down to the fine-tuning and the upkeep. It's not as lovely around here as I'd like. The paint is 11 years old now and starting to show its age. Painting the interior will have to wait until spring- weather, budget, and practicality demand this, but redoing the kitchen and the bathroom will be great. Even if you're super vigilant about cleaning (and I'm not) these two rooms that get the most use need TLC. Mildew has stained the bathroom ceiling and the lovely pale yellow of the kitchen walls and trim is tired. I think back to the fun I had 11 years ago when we were making this place our own and want to relive that feeling, just a little anyhow. I'm still pleased with my color choices and will likely just refresh rather than wholly re-do. But when we first took possession we didn't live here yet. The rooms were empty of furniture and the walls stripped bare of ornament. This time painting will mean taking things down and tarps and piling furniture and being wretchedly inconvenienced. Back in 2002 we had the luxury of working all day here and then going home to the Big White House where all our stuff still lived and our lives were just as they'd been since Alex was in elementary school. At least as far as furniture and living space went.

We'd been able to take our time and while it was a good thing in most ways our moving into this house in the fall of 2003 had one huge drawback...Alex. Our plan to keep his life the same as ever backfired big time. Moving while he was away at college during his freshman year meant he came 'home' at Thanksgiving to a completely new house. Everything was strange and new. Even most of the furniture was new. He didn't know where the silverware was or where we kept the peanut butter. The washing machine was in the cellar now instead of the kitchen and that was only the most obvious strangeness. His bedroom was 'his' but it might as well have said 'Guest Room' on the door. Sure, he'd picked the paint colors but his new room knew nothing of him or his history. So much had changed! The annoying obnoxious little brother had morphed into a schoolboy and had usurped all our daily attention. His parents were in the middle of a separation that eventually led to a divorce. The whiny sad mother who'd always been shaky and needy and hugely fat had become a thin stranger with her eyes on the future and little time to comfort and acclimate her suddenly hostile and angry son to the New House Ways. And the New Parents. His displacement from the old family was complete. It wasn't intentional but it happened.

And he has never, ever, ever forgiven or forgotten.

At first I was angry. Every goddamn decision I'd made since his conception had been about him. Where we lived. What jobs I took or didn't. Not long before I caught pregnant with Wolf I turned down an offer from Nine West Shoes to be their corporate sales motivator. A job that would have required me constantly being on the road traveling from store-to-store nationwide teaching sales techniques at the 100s of Nine West facilities. I turned that job down flat. How could I be away from my son? So not fair to him even if I would have secured a really terrific job that brought not only money but a whole lot of personal satisfaction. I owed my son my time and attention and my physical presence. I kept my crappy third-key job at the dish store so I would be home every night (except Wednesdays) to make dinner and be there to attend every single karate lesson and band concert. I knew his lousy father wouldn't be there for him. Mike did his dad duty exactly once a year when they made a Pinewood Derby car together. A racer that always came in Dead Fucking Last. Alex's needs came before my own no matter the cost.

So after he was grown and was well on his way to being on his own that life back at home went through some galvanic upheavals?...Tough titty. He got his 18+ years as the shining star and lodestone of any and all choices about how four people's lives would go. Plenty of people (including his wretched shitty mother) got far worse and they survived. I'm done doing penance. At least for Alex's growing up years. He got my best. Wasn't good enough? Oh well.

It's Halloween season and I'm forced to relive stuff a heck of a lot worse than parents who moved house and got divorced.

About an hour ago I found out that Dean, beloved husband of our friend Terri HERE has died. Not unexpected but far sooner than any of us hoped.

There's good, good people out here with real hurts and real losses. And the manufactured 'frights' and 'scares' of the Hollywood Halloween crowd and the self-centered soppy little problems of those who don't know dick about true pain and loss just piss me off.

Mourning for my friend and on a tear, ~LA

Posted before but still true as ever.

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