Drifting thoughts of a snowflake

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Robbie and Robie

Last fall my friend Robby brought some super Christian girl over to my house for the weekend. When I asked him if they were serious his retort was “We would be if she would give it up”. It appears as though Robbie, in his search for spiritual enlightenment (aka search for easy prey and women who can’t think for themselves) has met several girls through his bible study. A note on Robbie: Robbie just got out of jail about a year ago for running over a cop with his truck. The cop is ok, and Robbie has since sobered up. Robbie’s anger problem is still apparent, but he is managing it however possible. One of Robbie’s favorite pastimes is women and sex. He’ll partake in his sport with any woman or girl, no discrimination noted.

After his snide comment on the girl, I viewed her as a Mother Teresa type and went on with my life. We were having a party the weekend they were in town. Robbie and Robie went to a wedding and returned about midnight. At that point the party had deteriorated into a handful of drunken friends with guitars that just realized they could all sing and play better than any washed up band on 6th street. Sayings like “don’t you drink I drank enough” were seeping out of my mouth. It was ugly. Upon their arrival, I was not surprised that Robbie and Robie decided to go straight to bed. Robbie because he was determined to make that girl apologize for ever holding out on him, and her because she didn’t know any of us.

A couple of hours later, I spotted the church girl sneaking to the hall bathroom. In a tiny robe that no God fearing woman would ever wear. If was shorter than short. It was down right ho-ish! For a moment, I thought Madam Butterfly was in the house, or that the alcohol was creating devilish illusions. To the contrary. On her way out of the bathroom, another friend confirmed it. What kind of girl, who pretends to be so Christian that she won’t have sex with her boyfriend at 30, spends the weekend with him in the same bed and brings a fucking Fredericks of Hollywood robe? She is the spawn of a she-devil goat resembling pimp.

So in the months that followed her visit, she has often annoyed me. Robbie calls randomly for some skirt she left at our house. I have yet to see this stupid skirt. Not to mention it was Casual Corner, so what’s the big deal? You lose your Prada skirt at my house, ya – go ahead bug the shit out of me. You loose your Channel suit? Stalk my ass, I don’t care. But a fucking skirt from some shoddy story, that’s probably made out of remnants, don’t call me. She finally stopped when I minced words with Robbie.

Last week Robbie invited me to a housewarming at his house. I am deciding whether or not to drive to Houston for the occasion. Then I get an email from the she-spawn..

“I hope yall are having a pleasant week. It is funny how the time just flies by isnt it? Well before you know it saturday will be here. I need to know how much food to have. some of you have told me you are comming, but have not RSVPed. Please RSVP. After all, it is only polite.”

Ahh – WHAT? Man, this religious guilt thing must really be ingrained in this girl. I am so pissed! Who the hell does she think she is? “Only polite” Let me tell you one thing you fucked up Christian girl about being polite:

1) Don’t tease boys – it’s not polite. You are 30 years old, get a grip, you may never get married! Give it up, or get the hell out. I don’t want to see my friends with blue balls just because you decided not to carry on a basic human function over the constraints of some dogmatic religion that is so far removed from God no one even knows what they’re talking about.
2) It’s not polite to put down a whole group of your boyfriend’s friends because you think you are better than they are. Go put on your streetwalker robe and then come talk to me about how great and holy you are. Shall we say, “whorey you are?”
3) Don’t harass people over cheap synthetic skirts that are too small for your big ass anyway. If we did loose that skirt, we did you a favor. If we didn’t loose that skirt, I’m giving it Goodwill. I’m sure the ho on E.7th needs her ass-flasher back.

Piss off!

Friday, March 26, 2004

Cover up, Shut Up

45 minutes until I am done for today. Of course I have to work this weekend, but at my own leisure, so I am still really excited to be done. I’m feeling better than I did yesterday, wheew. That was hard one. Give this girl a drink!

On a work related note, don’t people just get to you? There you are in your work pod (nope, I still don’t like it), working away and the every move of your neighbor sets you off. Oh, is this just me? Regardless, it kills me.

Here’s the deal with this one. First of all, she has a problem with people who are speaking loudly. I can agree. I too am annoyed at co-workers who decide their conversation is a topic for the whole company. I don’t care. I couldn’t care less. Please please, shut the fuck up.
The only problem is that she is one of those people. This morning she has an hour meeting in her cube with another worker bee. I was trying to edit something. I was forced to read aloud and compete with her boisterous volume. Although, this probably made me appear to be some mentally challenged freak, it’s the best I could do.

On a consistent basis, another rather socially inept and loud man stands by our cubes to talk to someone. You can here this guy all the way in the women’s restroom, with the dryers blowing gale force winds. When my neighbor hears him she becomes a mad woman. “Do you mind?” she snarls at him. I’ve seen her stare that man down on a daily basis, shut the door on him when he walks into an office, and ever throw her hands up at him.

What? What about you? What about me? Darling, he’s no louder than you! Ok, he is more annoying due to the WWJD bracelet, but equally as deafening.

And there’s more. She’s not straight. Who cares, right? I don’t care about that, but what does bother me is the cover up. She talks to her “roommate” on the phone more often than a teenage girl in heat. She gets that crushed out voice. The one that’s all seductive and purring like a cat. The end every conversation with “You know!!! (smiley smiley) I know you!!” Please woman, you’re 52 years old. Ok, your attractive, ok your active and pretty cool, but give me a rest from your insanity! Tell the woman you love her and hang up! I’m going to collapse at my desk if I have to hear another story about the roomie and her activities from the following weekend, while I sit there and pretend that she’s straight. I feel like a moron! Just feed me any old line, and I’ll buy. I have naive all over my expressionless face. I suppose it’s made me a good actor.

I understand that some people want to keep things to themselves, but in my case I’ve already been overexposed. To keep telling me stories about your roommate as if she’s just your friend is down right insulting!

Ok, enough. Tonight I am going to go and have a couple of drinks, wherever I can get in. I never thought I would miss my ID this much. Man, I miss it. The way it use to sit in my pocket, the way it was bent just right, the way…

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Brain injuries

Yesterday was couples with the hubby. Big sigh. On Sunday I decided to give back my rings. I was tired to pretending. Tired of people telling us, “You’re such a cute couple” and other sundry comments like, “I hope our wedding is as beautiful as yours was. It was the most amazing experience to go to wedding and know the couple would make.” Sure, come over for a dinner party. It’ll be fantastic. Wine, food I’ve never made before, in my charming and quirky house full of artistic photographs of the hubby and I.

I just couldn’t take it. We’re NOT a couple. Couples kiss, couples hold hands, and couples fuck. We do nothing of the sort. Yea, we’re cute. Bite me. Go sit next to your best-looking friend for a while, and see if anyone says that to you.

After deciding it would never work, at least not this way, we head off to see Miss Suzanna. I explain the situation at hand. I am giving up the ghost, the house, the big ass ring, the over produced pictures were we look like models of the perfect couple. Amazing what three grand on a photographer can do.

Suzanna’s analogy? She has a brain injury. What? Here’s how that breaks down. “When she was traumatized, she locked her thinking into a distinct pattern”. Ok part one, maybe I agree. After the incident, maybe I did feel like I was worthless and would never fit into some mainstream idea of marriage, stereotypes of what women “should be” and the like. Maybe there is nothing wrong with not believing in fairytales after your get raped over and over again. Fine, she can have point one.

“In order to break her of that pattern, she has to feel as if she is free and released from the pressure of trying to make this work”. Point number two, I completely agree. Isn’t that what divorce is all about? Then the woman suggests that I wait a month!! A month?? I waited over a year to make this decision, why wait a month. Then the angel on my shoulder says, “What’s another month”. Repeat after me class, “I WOULD BE LYING FOR ANOTHER MONTH!”

So here I am. Feeling like the problem is all me again. That I am the fucked up one. That if I just didn’t have that brain injury maybe I could have the perfect man, the perfect job, the perfect kids, and on and on.

I’m buying the first ticket to nowhere.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Let the word get out

Did I mention that I lost my wallet last week? Oh yes, during SXSW to boot! The one time Austin becomes fanatical about the ID. I’m stuck in a city with a bar scene that must be about 20 years old, and me at thirty, can’t get it.

So to you dear, who has my ID, I have a few words of advice. Assuming my illustrious personality will not come with that piece of plastic, you should be prepared. Being me is not easy. A fair amount of people already know me in this town, so you will have a lot to live up to. And not all good.

Here are some things you should know in order to pass as me. No you do not look exactly like the picture, because in a moment of panic you freaked out and cut your hair in order to change your inner self. Obviously it didn’t work. People will tell you that you look like Joan Jet. Don’t worry about it, she’s hot. Just do your best impression of Heartbreaker and laugh a lot.

You wear your glasses only on Wednesdays, rainy days, and when you are wearing brown. Why? I don’t know. You never wear them at night, or to the movies.

Your favorite saying is “yea you” or “yea me” depending on the circumstance. This should be followed by a little chuckle. If you are hung-over your chuckle will turn into a noise, resembling a Turrets syndrome freakish mutation of previously normal laugh.

You dress depending on mood, like the rest of the free society. You will vary between complete slacker and glamour girl. The in-between state is reserved for work. Beware the ghetto bootie that you now acquired. It is a bit much. People of ethninticity will assume you are their peeps. You are not. It is a freak of nature in which you have been given the responsibility to take on. Enjoy the power of the bootie, but beware the lamentation in which you take dressing it.
Also, white girls will start quoting “Baby Got Back”. You particularly like the line that goes, “your anaconda don’t want none, unless you got buns hun.”

If you are drinking, you will feel the obligation to spread the cheer and buy people shots. Not always people you know. The people you buy them for are your new found charity. Since you have given up shots, you now feel the best way to deal with it is to buy them for other people. That way you will remember why you don’t do them. If you do take one, you are not allowed to drive anywhere. Also, please get the drinking straight. I love drinking, but lets keep in mind that I am fanatical about moderation – least you will beat yourself up the next day. If your drinking beer, please let’s have a nice one. No Bud Light or MGD. If you want alcohol, fine. Sapphire or Stoli and tonic will work, extra lime. If you have a weak tummy, go for Jack and Coke. It works every time, I have no idea why.

You love music. You love to sing. Especially to anything written or sung by a woman. Please be forewarned, you haven’t practiced enough lately to jump on stage. I would hate for you to embarrass us. You are more than welcome to sing with friends. Keep it at blues riffs and funk or soul. Anything else is questionable.

You love flowers, and have them all over your house at all times. You believe this is the one way to stay happy in the face of misery.

Oh and the most important thing. Random people love you. Men and women. For some reason you have a sign that says, “Yes, please please talk to me. I understand all”. They see it from miles around. You will average meeting five to ten new people a week. Never, never be friends with these people. They are weirdos. They will vary between homeless and super rich, but they are all the same person. Don’t let them fool you. They are the people who are trying to find out if the ghetto bootie is real.

Well, I hope it goes well for you. If you get tired of being me – just mail me my ID. I would love to have it back. Just remember: don’t wear something hideous, don’t drink cheap beer, and don’t talk to strangers. You’ll be fine, now go buy some flowers.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Not much to say

Oddly enough, after my grandfather has passed I haven't had much to say. I did have three epiphanies last week. I guess it was a quiet and thought pondering week, one of shallow solitude and still thrashing.

And the epiphanies are:

#1) I like who I am, I just don't like where I am.

#2) The reason I have stayed with the hubby is due to my loss of family. Obviously that's not the only reason. He is the best person I know, and I respect and admire him more than any other person in this world. Yet when I interacted with my family this weekend at the funeral, it reminded me that I had built a stable and safe life with him. He and my sister are the two people in my life that are constants (besides some really good friends). They love and support me unconditionaly. Therefore after feeling rejected and a sense of loss by my family, I am unwilling to loose someone who offers me so much.

#3) I can't pretend anymore.
I can't pretend any more that we are married in the traditional sense of the world. Married people are intimate and share a relationship beyond that of friends. At the least that is what I consider a marriage.

So I went to his house, took off my ring, and told him how I felt. Now I am stuck on #2 of the epiphany. He's my family, he's the one the helps me and loves me. How can I do this? And the spiral takes over. Maybe I can make this work. Maybe I can change this. But how can I stay in a relationship that is unfair to the both of us.

Confusion. I should be happy for the 3 enlightenments I received. Yet, I can't help but to want to ask for another one. Please, please, let me know what to do.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Snippity Snap!

I had an appointment with Miss Suzanna today. A much needed appointment, and I do believe this is the first time a therapist has ever asked to give me a hug at the end of it. Yes, it was that bad!

However, I feel inclined to pass on my new knowledge procured after a 50-minute session that cost me a $100 session. I hope, my friend, that you take this enlightenment into your life as a gift from me.

After I was done groveling over the recent anger match I had with my father, Miss Suzanna was very quiet for a moment. And then she dropped the question, “Have I ever talked to you about the pet alligator?”

A look of bewilderment flashed on my face, memory think, think. But I wasn’t thinking about hearing her tell me a story, I was wondering what in the hell a pet alligator had to do with my wretched father. This is a man that spews anger and animosity from every pore, like a drunk after a five-day bender. Our “relationship” is one of falsities and voids. Pet alligator…really?

I took a breath, looked down at my scuffed brown boots, and solemnly responded that I hadn’t heard the story. Her blue eyes brighten and she begins: “ Well you wouldn’t get an alligator as a pet, would you?”

Wrong question. Family feud buzzer goes off – ERRRR. “Actually, we had a pet alligator once. My parents brought it back from a trip they took in Florida. His name was Snoopy, but my brother killed him.” I always thought of my parents in red convertible, happily singing songs as they drove back to Texas with the alligator snoozing in the back seat. My dad’s smiling and my mom has a polka dot scarf tied around her head. I’m sure nothing is further from the truth.

At that Suzanna bursts out into a fit of laughter. “Of course they did! This explains everything. I have to tell my friends at the therapy class about this next Tuesday.” She’s flushed and trying really hard not to start laughing again.

“Well Amanda, why would most parents not buy a pet alligator for their children?”
“Because it could hurt you, and bite you”.
“And does the alligator mean to hurt you?”
“No, it’s just their animal instinct”
“And so what do most rational people do when they are near an alligator?”
“They stay away from it, so they don’t get hurt.”

By this point I am nervously playing with my rings, and she’s still humored over the idiocy of my parents. And I get her point. With my dad, he’ll always kick, because he’s a jackass. The best I can do is to stay away from him, so I don’t get hurt. After we were done going over everything, she asked to give me hug. Man, you know you’re messed up when that happens. It’s like a mirror of yourself going, “Yep, I told you! You’re one messed up cookie!” Oh, shut up mirror. I’m doing fine.

The best was my walk out of her office. The whole way down the stairs, I could hear her laughing drifting in and out, with her repeating intermittently “they bought those kids an alligator!” The question here: who should pay for this session? Me, Miss Suzanna, or my freakin parents?

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Damn Vanity Gods

The vanity gods are after me. They are, I know they are. Why me? Why right now? Haven’t I paid enough? I’ve had my share of bad haircuts. My sister can vouch for one cut that made me look like Mick Jagger. It was horrible. I was in middle school, and felt like my mouth was way too big for my face. Not to mention my teeth. They seemed so large and imposing. So the layered feathers and down the middle cut, pretty much made me look like a middle school Mick with the same bra size.

I’ve paid my dues, leave me alone! But they won’t. Not for this week. There are just around every corner ready to make something else on me look horrendous. I hear them. Giggling in the distance at my vain misfortune. What’s next? What do these divas want from me?

I admit it. I am vain. However, I am not the most narcissistic person I know, nor do I believe that I am the prettiest girl on the block. But I have my own thing going, and I think it’s pretty good. So, with everything else falling around me, shouldn’t I have that to be pleased about? Can’t I just hang on to that? Sit a home with a bottle of wine, put my tiara on and sing songs about how great it is to be a woman? Come on – give me that.

Nope. About a month ago my lips started peeling. Thanks to the stress they are sliding off my face at a rapid pace. Imagine a California mudslide. It’s the same thing. And for an added appeal, they are really red. Not in a good way, not in the kind of way that makes you think, “look how young I look with my pretty pink lips”. No. More like when you attempt to put red lipstick on after you’ve had that 5th margarita and your friends don’t tell you, because you’re their little monkey. “Dance monkey dance!”

To my dismay I peered into my little mirror after lunch to apply more stuff to my lips. I am trying everything. And what do I see? To pimples! What? Big deal, right? You’re at work, not in the limelight – who cares? Oh but you do. You do care when they are whiteheads, don’t ya! You do, I know you do. And there is nothing you can do about them at work. Pop it and it’s worse. Leave it and everyone stares at it. Your little friend, the volcano on your face – oh, and it’s making its debut at the meeting this afternoon. You must be thrilled.

And it ridicules you. “Go ahead, mess with me. I dare ya. Just try it and I’ll spread like wild fire and turn you into a prepubescent laughing stock. What do I have to lose?”

You know what I have to say, “We’ll talk about this when I get home. A little toothpaste buddy. See how you like that!” And to those vanity gods, trying to rock my little boat – you’ve had your fun, so move on! And if you want more, think back – the time you made me fall down the stairs at nightclub while my friends were missing, only to spend the rest of the night in a short skirt with bloody knees…you got yours in spades.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Who’s THAT guy?

I work in a cube. Someone I met once called them work pods. It sounds so futuristic, “work pod”, almost cozy and warm. Can’t you just see the girl down the hall, who looks like a Who cooing, “I’m going back to my work pod right now… where it’s all soft and cuddly…and there’s warm coco in there”.

Well I can’t. Any girl who looks like Cindy Who is down right chilling to me. Our cubes should really be called work bins. Metallic and gray, but in the end better than the open air design. Privacy please! Of course we all know, there is relative privacy in our little boxes. We all know the intimate details of the people around us. The hushed fights they have with their families and friends. The gossip mill is in full tilt.

However when someone new comes into my work, we don’t have a formal introduction custom. They just appear and start going into their little pod everyday. A couple days later, some hideous pictures of relatives arrive to adorn their little space. Or worse, they put out pictures of their adolescent children, which are lured at my middle-aged office perverts.

Last week a new guy arrived. I saw him on his first day. He looks pretty normal. Short, fat, older, but you don’t want to get too close because it looks like he might have bad breath. You know the type. The first day, I wasn’t introduced to him. In the back of my mind, I told myself that I would introduce myself to him the next day. But then my procrastinator nature took hold of me. He only sits 3 or 5 bins down. How hard would it be? I just didn’t feel like putting on the smile and being nice. I was having (am having) a horrendous week. Why do I have to be the greeting committee for this guy?

Now time is against me. He’s been here two weeks. I barely smile at him, because I am embarrassed that I haven’t introduced myself. Worse yet, I realize I must look like a bitch that doesn’t think he is worthy of my time. When we pass in the hall I flash a small smile. I know they look like evil petty smirks from a young coworker. My laughs in the office next to him come across like cackles.

My avoidance of him grows daily, because of my shame of not introducing myself immediately. What am I going to go now? I panic. He’s walking toward me – move girlie move, take a right, a right, oh damn I’m dyslexic and I went the wrong way. Now we are walking down the hall together, walk faster, walk faster. Next thing I know I appear to be a speed walker, the kind who wear fanny packs and moves their ass in a contorted way. Great! Now he really thinks I’m a freak.

Guess I’ll keep avoiding him. How long can this go on? If you have advice, let me know. And no – I am not an introvert. Thing is, if you knew me, you’d know that I’m one of the most social people out there.

Comments appreciated!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Get a hobby

My sister, given my recent depression, suggested that I develop a new hobby or explore an old one. I love my sister, even in her pink sweater with a matching pink bag and her diamond cross.

Katie, my sister, is one of the most adorable sheltered women you will ever met. The house we grew up in was emotionally and physically unsheltered. However, Katie was able to turn a blind eye to the rest of the world. Her experiences with drinking failed miserably. Her one time attempt with getting high was prevented by an inhaling problem. "I just can't seem to inhale..it hurts or something", she would choke out. As far as I know, she has never had a one night stand or lied to anyone. Hard to believe she's my sister.

Around her senior year in college, of course she graduated in four years, she discovered God. Thanks to her friend Angie. Thanks Angie. I have no problem with people investing their personal devotions to a higher power. I can say that I do the same. However, I don't believe that you have to accept Jesus in your heat to go to heaven. Nor do I believe that some of the greatest people in this world are doomed to eternal damnation because they have failed to "accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior".

This issue came up when my grandmother was dying. Lillie was a great woman. Always charming, socially adept at any situation, and loving in her own way. She did the best she could. The week before she died my sister was in a frenzy that our grandmother was going to hell. Despite my attempts to calm her nerves, Katie was devastated to think of our grandmother burning in some type of fire for the rest of eternity. I assured her that if that was the case, she could hang out with Gandhi and it would be alright.

Today while I was having my pity party and complaining that I couldn't seem to make my life slow down, she suggested the hobby. I was surprised she didn't mention church, relieved actually. Not that I would mind going, but I didn't need that from her today. "Take some music lessons again, just to get your mind off things." This from a woman taking her 5 year old to a therapist and talking to me while she was getting a pedicure. Once she's done, she'll jump in the Mercedes and run back to her million dollar estate overlooking down town Austin.

A hobby huh? Maybe she's right. I could stop going out and acting like a party girl, I could stop being intrigued with men I don't need to know, and start pretending that everything with the husband I is fine. Have a little baby. Hope he doesn't leave me, and go back to my little house where everything looks perfect; but is really falling apart. If I could just start church and find that grace, I might be healed.

The scariest part of the idea, is that it sounds logical to me right now. Maybe she has a point. I think I'll call Strait Music for an appointment.

Oh wait, shit. I tried that. I was called the last 6 years of my life. Cocktails anyone?

Monday, March 08, 2004

7 Come 11

I suppose one might look at their life like a poker hand, or a craps game. Destiny and fate intersected with luck and the stars. My game’s not going so well. Perhaps I don’t have the skills for it, or perhaps my luck is shot. The reason doesn’t matter.

I was in Vegas this weekend. Vegas was overcome with Nascar fans, and other sundry types of people. It teaches you that greed is universal. From blue haired old women, to fat old men with pinky rings with tortuous whores, to regular folks, and the poorest of the poor. I repeat, greed is universal without a glance towards racial or social structure. Everyone wants money. It’s about the two seconds before the dealer flips the cards. You feel your heart speed up, you feel your breath getting shallow, and your hands twitch.

And then they come. 21. Not for me, but hooray for the dealer. At one point my father-in-law asked the dealer, “Aren’t you even going to smile?” The ordinary looking woman wearing a preposterous skimpy outfit replied, “Would you like me to smile while I take her money?” Touché.

My life is going about the same as my luck this weekend. Heart racing, hands wringing and another 21 for the man in the sky. I’m taking a few bets right now. My hand’s been plaid to this point. Some bad moves, some righteous moves, but I have to wait for the flop. I might be up the river, literally.

Of course it’s all a lesson in expectations, you could say. Of course I went to Vegas hoping to find something I might have lost there a couple of years ago. It wasn’t there. I felt devastated not to find it, and he knew. He felt it to. We talked about divorce again. We talked about hope again. We cried because we are best friends, and at the end of it all we’re waiting on lady luck.

At this point, I’m still at the table with my loosing hand. At one point, I’ll have to get up. After all, it’s probably someone else’s seat.

But damn, you never know what that turn of the dice is going to bring you. 7 come 11.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Old men and fighter pilot's

When I decided to get married, my grandfather was one of the first people I wanted to tell. I always envisioned him walking me down the isle.

My grandfather, Poppy, grew up in a small town in East Texas. If you don't know anything about Texas, East Texas is notorious for backwoods people. Hillbillies and rednecks stereotypically. At times Poppy could fall into this category. It was one of those things you look past when it's family.

Poppy's family earned their living farming a little plot of land. He would tell me stories about laying in the fields and staring up at the sky waiting for a plane to fly by. He said it was rare to see one, so much of his time was spent daydreaming about it.

He would tell me stories about being mischievous in school (I know where I got it from now), and how he fell in love with my grandma. We would laugh when he would tell us how Nano, my grandmother, was trying to set him up with her friend. Evidently Poppy knew what he wanted.

He went into the military at 17. Lied about his age, so he could fly. Went off to WWW II, Korea, and Vietnam smiling, I'm sure. Came back from POW camp as white headed as a rabbit, but not so timid.

The best advice he gave me was, "Girl, fly straight and spit in their eye". Poppy didn't make excuses for women. I believe my grandmother probably had something to do with that. He was always there to support me, and to tell me I could do anything.

I'm adopted, and happy to say Poppy gave me my first bottle. He also had his car ready to go and parked outside the court house on my hearing for adoption. He laughs and tells me if they had said no, we would be speaking Spanish right now and have great tans.

My dad tells me that Poppy has two months to live. It feels like he's lived forever to me. He's made my life a beautiful place. His strength is always with me, especially when I'm scared. My stubbornness a reflection of his determination to fly. My dreams a mirror of his days in those fields.

I wish him the best in the clouds. I'm sure it will be one hell of a flight.

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