Saturday, May 30, 2015

Short Story Time: Smoke

She trailed him out of the house and down the few steps to the back door of the garage. It was a bit chilly now that the sun had gone down and she pulled her hoodie a little tighter around her. Was this really a good idea? Maybe she should have simply insisted on waiting inside the house, where it was safe and warm, but he’d asked her to come with so nicely. And so she had followed him out to the garage and waited patiently while he prepared a smoking apparatus. Weed had always had a foul smell to her and while she didn’t mind people using it, she’d rather not be around when it happened.

And yet, here she was.

But he’d been understanding, in his own way, of her discomfort. He’d changed shirts just for smoking and slipped a jacket on, all things that would be removed again once he was finished. And he sat a fair distance away from her, on the stairs. She had crouched down on the concrete walkway, an attempt to keep warm. Even her hood had been pulled up, obscuring her face.

The radio was on in the garage, spilling out the deadpan warbling of an artist he’d told her about earlier. She smiled, he was always so keen on telling her about artists he’d discovered that he believed she might like. He’d yet to really hit the mark, but she didn’t mind that. Music was his thing and he did his best to share that passion with her.

He did a lot for her, now that she thought about it. Just two nights ago, he’d rescued her in the midst of a panic attack and carted her away from her life. A reprieve from the real world, so she could get her head screwed back on. He didn’t need to go out of his way at midnight just for her, drive all that way just to save her. But he had. And she was grateful.

So even if he was sitting outside, on the back stoop, exhaling a cloud of pot smoke and gazing at her in the most peculiar way, she couldn’t even find it in her to be a little bit irritated. She loved him, after all. And as long as he was considerate of her feelings about stuff, he could do whatever the hell he wanted.

So after getting mildly high, they returned to the house. True to his word, he ditched the now befouled clothing and slipped back into his original t-shirt. And when she buried her nose against his shoulder, all she could smell was him.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Charlie Charlie Challenge


If you spend any amount of time on the internet, you've probably heard of the "Charlie Charlie Challenge" - a Ouija board/spirit writing inspired game in which you supposedly summon a Mexican demon named Charlie (really, guys? Charlie?) whom you can ask yes or no questions and Charlie is supposed to move the pencil to the correct answer.

So what IS the origin of this newly popular phenomenon. Well, according to Spanish internet users, the modern take on this "game" actually merges two different activities - Juego de la Lapicera, which has always had a supernatural bent and is sometimes referred to as the poor man's ouija board; and Charlie Charlie, a creepy school yard game played with colored pencils. How the two merged into this one Tumblr-frenzied experience is hard to pin down, but speculation has it that this became popular after a news station in the Dominican Republic aired an alarming broadcast about this "Satanic" game being played in schools.

It took one English speaking blogger to play the game and put it up as a Vine.

So who is Charlie exactly? No one's really sure - it could be the victim of a suicide, a child who died in a car accident, or even a Mexican deity convening with the Christian devil - the latter is obviously untrue, but there's no doubt it makes for a scarier time believing you've got a demon telling you whether or not you'll go to prom with your crush or die in seven days.

Wanna play? It's real simple:

You take a piece of paper and draw an X to divide it into quadrants. You write YES in two of them and NO in the others. Then you lay two pencils, one of top of the other, over the dividing lines. Then it's a matter of simply asking: "Charlie, Charlie, are you there?" If you get a response (like the pencil rolling toward one word or another), go ahead and start asking some simple questions for Charlie to answer. But be warned, the whole of the internet is convinced that if you don't say "Charlie Charlie, can we stop?" and bid the affair goodbye, you've effectively kept open a demon portal and all sorts of nasty things will happen to you....

Sound familiar?

But just like Bloody Mary and the Ouija board, the Charlie Charlie game has been around for a very long time and has only now crossed cultural and language borders to become the new teen phenomenon in the English speaking quadrant. (See what I did there?)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

I've been giving this some thought...

And I think I need to move home.

Like, back to my hometown, in with my mom and brother again.

And I really have been thinking about this. Living with my uncle has proven to be kind of toxic for me. But at the same time, I've figured out what my comfort levels are concerning a variety of aspects.

1. I cannot tolerate a smoking household. Just, no. It fucks with my respiratory system, it messes with my allergies, and I can't stand the smell. However, this IS my uncle's house and he's allowed to do what he wants in it. Just as I'm allowed to move out at my leisure.

2. I DO NOT like being pressured to do stuff I'm not comfortable with. Driving, for one. Being forced to make all these phone calls and talk to all these people with absolutely NO REGARD for my mental state at any given point - he KNOWS I have anxiety issues and just fucking blows them off all the time. That's not cool.

3. I literally just started this new job. $12 an hour at the rail yard in St. Paul. But I already know that while I can withstand the long hours outside, on my feet, in all kinds of adverse weather while dealing with really grumpy and impatient drivers...that's not gonna work out long. For a few weeks, maybe, but not long term. Not more than a month or two. One week in and I'm so burnt out that this morning I wanted to die.

4. Walmart back home is hiring for a variety of positions, including the night shift. I'm a night owl - I don't DO mornings. And having to get up at 4 am every day and ride in with my uncle to work is just not doing me any good. I NEED to acknowledge this and do something about it. If I can't do early mornings, then I just can't do them. It's not good for my mental or physical health to force it, right?

5. My uncle promised me a safe haven where he would look after me and do what he could for me. But as soon as I have a need or problem that he doesn't agree with, that part of the deal shuts down and I feel isolated, trapped, and abused. As soon as anxiety hits and he doesn't understand that I can't do anything about it - I have to face exasperation and anger for it.

6. Mom deals with a lot of the same stuff I do, so she gets it. She gets me. I do realize now that moving out was a premature decision. And it didn't help that everyone I knew was telling me how great it was to get closer to the cities and better jobs and ....blah blah blah. I'm a small town girl. I prefer nature to people. I miss my cat and my old room and the atmosphere of the house....

There are some stipulations for moving back home though - I need to have a job and contribute to bills. This is fine. Hell, I can work more than one job if need be.....and I'll have a comforting space to work on my book, sew up some cute things to sell here and there, and never again look at a fucking hard hat or safety vest. I'll be in a smoke-free home once more, with people who stay up late like I do, and access to food items I am familiar with and eat regularly.

My mom's a lot nicer to my boyfriend too....

Monday, May 4, 2015

A summer-styled update!

A few weeks ago, our inflatable hot tub arrived on the front step. A few days prior though, we declared a space on the deck for it and set to work laying down some outdoor carpeting and creating a pad to lay it on.