Monday, June 16, 2014


We all have choices in our lives... 

Which way to work? Which piece of art to buy? What to make for dinner? What time do I get up? What color lipstick? Which shoes? What shirt to wear? Will I make this blog and other internet things about me? Should I be happy today? Etc...

The choices we make for ourselves are not the only ones we are in charge of. But they are the best place to start deciding.

I tell someone the other day the only thing we can control is ourselves. She told me in response, "Monica, sometimes we can't even control ourselves further than this much," And she motions about half a foot in front of her and behind her, "Or at all. And most people get upset because they can't control what other people will do or say to them without realizing this." I smile and agree because I know she's right. 

The who or why really isn't important but I'll share a bit more. She is a co-worker who gives me a bit of life wisdom more often than I want to hear it, but I at most times I need to hear it, dwell on it and apply it. She's usually right so I am so grateful she does. And honestly sometimes it's not what I want to hear. Why? Because she's right even when I didn't want someone else to be. I am thankful though, I could not find my way sometimes without people there to bounce things off of to help guide me on my journey. Although I do try & often succeed with my best effort it's nice to have a little help becoming a better me.

On this morning, she's told me the best wisdom I've heard on my current matters without me having to discuss my state of life affairs of with her... "Don't ever feel guilty or be sorry for loving, caring or having compassion for others. And don't stop helping, having or giving love to others."

With this said she tells me story about her week where she was waiting in traffic. There was a man sitting on the sidewalk on Scenic with his head down in his hands and no one seemed to stop or care. Until one man did. 

She was on her way back to stop to check on this man. An ordinary looking man, not homeless or badly dressed. He looked like you or me, but something had gotten the better of him. The other man helped him to his feet, although he pushed and resisted, but the man, continuing to talk to him, console him, held his arm steady as he help lift him & escort him to his car. 

She said "can you imagine if no one had stopped? You would've stopped. Right?" I nodded and understood her point as she said it again. "People need each other Monica. Never forget that."

I think that we all have choices in life, and how we react to people and interact with other people is up to us.

It's hardly relevant but it seems to be connected. I was present for a love affair raveling and unraveling last week. Different affairs & sets of people. I feel a bit mixed. On one hand I'm glad because I encouraged one set to move in toward each other, they're happy... And I feel badly for the other set, I encouraged to part when they approached me. I suggested they forgive each other for years of unhappiness & move ahead. That pair is quite hurt &
it's sad. But they're happier now and I think it's hard for them both to accept that.

Something about these situations remind of the choices we make, my conversations about helping, and the choices other people make to hurt instead of help and how it's affects each another. I mean how you react to something is entirely up to you. So I suppose its a choice. 

I think there was a time in my life where I didn't face an ex very well or treat the other people in my life well. I don't return the mistreatment my former loves & friends bestowed on me during that period. And I don't judge my former friends for leaving. But I also don't judge others for behaving the way I used to. No one deserves judgment. People are worthy of and need love even at their low points. Needless to say I wrote during that time. I destroyed the journals but not my fiction during that period. 

Here's a story, inspired by a song, about having the wrong reaction to a person and it came in part due to a cataclysmic breakup... That occasionally sends me into a panic. But I'm fine.


Wrong Reaction

The past. We all run into it now and again. There’s nothing you can do to avoid it. Bad breakups. Don’t get me wrong we all have them. Some of us walk away more intact than others. None of us are ever prepared to deal with them when they come face to face with us. I happen to have an uncanny knack for coming face to face with that unbelievably horrific fellow that broke my heart. Time and time again there he is. With that said… sometimes panic isn’t a choice.

Traffic. Beautiful afternoon. Top down. Driving fast. Looking and feeling fine with my fierce hair. The music is amazing. Prince is singing about wanting my kisses. It’s just about when he’s telling me that I don’t “have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude” that it happens.

Red light. Fix my lipstick. Mouth the words to “act your age mama, not your shoe size” before dropping my tube of fiery red. Somewhere after reaching down to recover the tube I manage look up and over to my right. There he is...


It’s been twenty-two months and now I’m fine. It’s been fine. Prince loves my kiss. I’ve been smiling and wearing lipstick again. Damn it! My hair is fierce. But there it is. On the right. There he is. Over to my right with her. The new me. Sitting there with this new girl that’s not me. Another girl to replace the imposter that came before her. This one that looks like a stick of dynamite left a terrific crater where her face should be. I’m not sure whether I should be hurt or offended that he’s replaced me with this scarier version.

And there’s no where to turn.
The light is green but we’re not moving.
Between the cars I can see the delay in the traffic.
He can see my face as I try to keep performing my car concert duet with Prince. Over to the right… He’s laughing. And she’s laughing.
Although they might not be laughing at me… I’m freaking.
 Green light. Go.


Somewhere between fifty and a hundred feet I’ve done it. Happening like slow motion. A force of nature that can’t be contained. Ran the light. Acted my shoe size. Sped past my ex and hit a hydrant. There’s a blanket of water cascading over the hood of my car. The ex and the diss see me now parked on the curb with gallons upon gallons of water spraying into my car. Wet hair. Prince’s wet kisses. I’m not feeling fine as he drives by slow with her, a laugh and smile that leaves me hanging by a thread. A wet one. Damn.

How are you? It’s been a while.”
“Not long enough. And I’m fine. You’re gone now.
“Fine. Is that what you’re calling it now?”
“At least I’m not you. Going around lying about it.”
“You know the way you overreact, it’s happening in your head again.”
“Overreact. I’m not the one running around town with my crying and tongue wagging.”
“Don’t worry I’m done. Besides I think “that girl” over there is waiting for you.”
Its after he leaves me to be with this other girl that I know there’s no going back. We’ve been over for less than 3 months but there’s a line of girls waiting to be next. I can’t compete with this and shouldn’t want to.

At lunch with my girl at this lovely restaurant trying to make small talk about the fun stuff without thinking of him. It’s been 13 months and I’m fine. We’re thinking of a fun road trip to the city that never sleeps when I hear it. That voice. The waiter has just seated a pair of people behind ours when I hear it. I look at her and she knows I know. She says “don’t panic” when I make the face of recognition. I instantly want to turn when she says "don’t do it", so I don’t. There’s a lot of laughter behind me and she keeps telling me about the latest guy she’s been seeing. I can’t get this fixation out of my mind. I can hear his voice and her voice and there’s a picture in my head. Two smiling faces talking and pointing behind me. I’m nervous when I think they’re talking about me and I spill the water. My girl quickly stops me and cleans it up. I can’t focus.

“Mina tell me about this new guy you’re talking to.” She says.
“Girl, that’s got to be him. It sounds…”
“It’s not him. Stop.” She says.
“I think its him. And he knows its me.” I whisper.
“Mina, stop.”
“I can smell his cologne. It’s him.”
“Shh. We’ll get up and leave in a minute then.”
“But then he’ll know it’s me, and…”
“I thought you said he knew it was you…”
“Okay. Here’s what we’ll do. I’ll go to the bathroom and see…”
“What will that do?”
“This way… if it’s him he won’t think I ran away when I saw him.”
“Mina, stop.”

Getting up when I know she’s right that maybe it doesn’t matter and it’s not him. She may be right but I keep moving. Turning my head to the left to get a quick glimpse. A glimpse that reveals nothing quickly as it lasts longer than is necessary when I realize I’m attached to the tablecloth and pulling lunch with me. My girl is screaming, “Stop” and a server collides with my chaos mid restaurant. I’m falling and looking. Oh no. It’s him.

Panic. Don’t Panic.

Instead of cool calm collectedness, there’s wetness, flames, and broken dishes before me as the man who broke my heart sits there with yet another new girl laughing at my disaster. My haste to get away only makes things worse. The waiter falls into the slippery mess alongside me while another catches on fire as more and more dishes land around me. Table after table stands to witness the wreckage. Everyone keeps gasping and laughing.  It’s time to leave the scene of the crime. My girl hands me a napkin and helps me back to my feet.

Twenty-four months and I’m fine. I’ve hit the past head-on and lived to tell the tale. Ran into the past without the grace and composure that is needed and lived through it. There’s nothing you can do to avoid it coming. When it’s too late to recover from the slip and you’re falling down into the bottom of the hole. Somehow we all have to find the courage to keep going. Especially after the shit hits the fan. There are those people that will tell you to calm down when it happens. Don’t panic. It will be alright in the end. I bet they’ve never run into an ex…

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