On Being an Enigma

imagesI am comfortable in the fact that people do not fully know or understand me.  There are those who like to believe they do, well-meaning friends who like to say, “Come on, I know you better than that” when they think they can detect my mood and wish to draw me out and comfort me or force me into banter when I wish to remain silent.

I know myself better and will recover in my own time.

I realize that most people mean well.

Still, the most interesting of all is the stalker who continues to harangue, harass, and darken my life pretending like she knows what I mean whenever I write something when she knows nothing about my life, has never actually spoken to me, and knows zero about my life.  Her constant threats, emails, and illegal behavior of breaking into my online accounts and calling places pretending to be me is laughable and only goes to prove how small her life is.

The very fact that she is so consumed with what I am doing all the while I think very seldom of her goes to prove that I am an enigma to her and she is a transparent manipulative crazy nut just like she appears to be.

Interesting.  Disturbing.  Funny.  But, at the same time, not even a microscopic piece of dust in the cobwebs in the furthermost corner of my mind.

No, when people say, “Come on, I know you better than that,” they truly do not.  They have no idea what I intended.

Some of my Favorite Artists

I have always been a fan of art, the thought of somebody using their creative talents to share their thoughts and ideas with the world.  Songs, paintings, sculptures, literature, any expression of how somebody is feeling inside – it all strikes me in different ways, depending on how I am feeling at the time.

Being somewhat dark myself, I am typically drawn to darker images myself, and the darker the personal story of the artist, I am usually more drawn to him.  For example the story of Vincent Van Gogh makes me like his art even more.

However, I have tried to expand my range to include more whimsical and colorful pieces; whether I own them or just covet them.

Michael Goddard – his pieces appeal to my whimsical side, which does not come out very often.  While I do not own any of his pieces yet, I almost did, but changed my mind at the last minute.  I determined I was not “fun” enough to have anything of his in my home.  If I did, I would start with “Lover’s Moon”.  He uses incredibly vibrant colors and most of his other art is fun and whimsical.

Michael Goddard - "Lover's Moon" Note how the wine turns into two lover's silhouetted against the backdrop of the moon.

Michael Goddard – “Lover’s Moon” Note how the wine turns into two lover’s silhouetted against the backdrop of the moon.

Michael Goddard - "7 Heavenly Chards" As I do not drink Chardonnay anymore (it gives me migraines) I thought I could not own this piece.  I realize this was a serious decision for a fun piece.

Michael Goddard – “7 Heavenly Chards” As I do not drink Chardonnay anymore (it gives me migraines) I thought I could not own this piece. I realize this was a serious decision for a fun piece.

Michael Goddard - "7 Deadly Zins" I do not drink reds... same line of thinking as the Chardonnay.  I take myself far too seriously.

Michael Goddard – “7 Deadly Zins” I do not drink reds… same line of thinking as the Chardonnay. I take myself far too seriously.

Fanch Ledan – Ledan is a French artist known for his bright colors and his “interiors”.

Fanch Ledan - "Interior with Max" This is one of the first paintings we bought.  If you read my posts last week, there is a picture of it hanging in my apartment.  I love the bright colors, the ocean outside, and the miniature of the Peter Max, since we also own a Max (not the one pictured, though).

Fanch Ledan – “Interior with Max” This is one of the first paintings we bought. If you read my posts last week, there is a picture of it hanging in my apartment. I love the bright colors, the ocean outside, and the miniature of the Peter Max, since we also own a Max (not the one pictured, though).

Fanch Ledan - "Interior with Klimt" - Another interior, as is Ledan's signature.  Klimt's "The Kiss" can be seen to the left of the spiral staircase.  I am fond of this picture as we used to live in a house with a spiral staircase.  It was a nightmare; you never think about what it will be like to move the furniture upstairs.

Fanch Ledan – “Interior with Klimt” – Another interior, as is Ledan’s signature. Klimt’s “The Kiss” can be seen to the left of the spiral staircase. I am fond of this picture as we used to live in a house with a spiral staircase. It was a nightmare; you never think about what it will be like to move the furniture upstairs.

Thomas Rut – Rut paints mostly semi-nudes; they are very athletic, as his father was an Olympian if I am remembering correctly.

Thomas Rut - "Ambiente" - We have this painting, although it is in storage; my apartment is the size of a hotel room, so there is not enough room for all of the art.

Thomas Rut – “Ambiente” – We have this painting, although it is in storage; my apartment is the size of a hotel room, so there is not enough room for all of the art.

Thomas Rut - "Aeneis" - This is the other painting hanging in my apartment.  We bought it because I also have long dark hair and similar features.

Thomas Rut – “Aeneis” – This is the other painting hanging in my apartment. We bought it because I also have long dark hair and similar features.

Fabian Perez – Perez is by far my favorite artist currently; while I do not own any of his pieces, I truly want several.  Perez often paints dark scenes in bars and brothels; he grew up the son of a prostitute in Buenos Aires.

These are just two of my favorites.

Fabian Perez - "Waiting for the Romance to Come Back II" My all time favorite painting.

Fabian Perez – “Waiting for the Romance to Come Back II” My all time favorite painting.

Fabian Perez - Untitled II - My second all-time favorite

Fabian Perez – Untitled II – My second all-time favorite

There are other artists I enjoy: Romero Britto, Peter Max, Van Gogh, Monet, oh… there are so many.  Perhaps I will have to have a second edition of the artists I enjoy.

The Fork in the Road

fork in the roadTypically, I am not given in to whimsy, but the other day I was walking to Starbuck’s to work and I saw a fork in the road.  Literally.  Well, it was off to the side, but it was actually a fork.  I smiled to myself as I thought about the meaning of seeing a fork in the road at this juncture of my life, a time when things are so chaotic and messy.

I am not one to snap endless pictures, probably another one of my “flat” features, so I walked by the fork that day; although I was still thinking about it the next day.

Seeing it still in the same place when I walked to get my daily chai tea, I decided to take a picture.

The forgotten fork sitting amongst the dirt and pebbles with little tufts of grass struggling to grow in the harsh Nevada weather, trying to figure out if it is winter or spring, has caused me to consider my path.

Do I go left, or do I go right?  Or is there another path somewhere down the middle?

I Have Been Ungrateful

The Box

The Box

Yesterday while I was unpacking, I found a box I had not seen in quite some time, in fact, I had all but forgotten about it.  Not quite, I had thought about it a while ago, but I did forget about the contents of the box.

The box is made of wood more than 100 years old, handcrafted with love and care, and it plays “I will Always Love You”.  I remember when it was made for me by the stepfather of my other; he made it was because he liked me instantly and had always had a strong disdain for the previous wife of my other.  The box was a symbolic welcome to the family.

I know it took him hours to construct; the hardware alone took him time to find exactly what he wanted.

While I was sorting through boxes I had not seen in almost 15 months (some years longer than that), I came across my little box; I recognized it instantly. I smiled when I remembered how much I had been thought of at the time when it was made for me.  However, as soon as I opened the box, my heart dropped; the contents of the box flooded my mind and my heart with a pain I was not prepared to endure.

There were only three things in the box: my other’s class ring, a diamond necklace he had given me, and a breast cancer pin.

It seems silly to be my age and to have a class ring hold so much significance; however, it means so much to him so it means so much to me.  The fact that he once loved me so much that he entrusted me to have a ring that he has had since the early 1980s, when the most important things in life were Lettermen’s jackets, class rings, cool cars, and prom dates… at least in his world.

The diamond necklace was one of so many gifts he gave me I do not even know where to begin, other than the fact that when it was given to me, I was ungrateful because I am certain I would have preferred more diamonds.  It was in the box because the chain was broken.  I was that way with every gift he gave me. Ungrateful.

As for the breast cancer pin, it is a complete conundrum; I do not know where it came from, or why it is in the box.  The strangest coincidence about the three items represented in the box is that, his mother has breast cancer.  I would have not known that when I put those items in there, as I have not seen that box for at least five years…

I spent the rest of my evening thinking about how ungrateful I had been with his generosity over the years: when he gave me a $300 portable DVD player for my birthday, I had wanted a new laptop; when I got a Fanch Ledan for my office, I wanted the Fabien Perez; when I got a new Tiffany necklace, I had wanted a $30,000 diamond engagement ring… it never ended.

As I continued unpacking, I threw away boxes of ruined Bath & Body Works lotion, body spray, and body wash because it went rancid from being in storage.  I thought about the monthly trips where we would spend no less than $150 a month so I could buy whatever I wanted to smell good and have soft skin.  I threw away bags of countless dollars of skin care products purchased at high-end makeup counters because they were outdated and sour.

There was no end to his generosity and my spoiled behavior.  I always said “Thank you”.  I felt it.

But I think it fell flat.

I look at that class ring now; I feel it in my fingers, imagine him wearing it, think of him giving it to me, imagine him loving me… and remember.

***

As an aside, I had not always been so bratty and spoiled; in fact, I had never been treated this way before, never had anybody buy me things, love me, or want to do anything for me.  I truly did not know how to behave.

Fanch Ledan "Interior With Max" hanging in my apartment

Fanch Ledan “Interior With Max” hanging in my apartment

I Lied to a Vagrant

homelessYesterday, as I was walking the mile and a half to the downtown post office to buy three stamps, I was approached by a vagrant.  He had scruffy hair, was unshaven, and looked as if he had not showered in some time.  As soon as he moved towards me, I knew what he was going to do.

“Ma’am,” he asked, with his hand outstretched towards me, “Do you have twenty-five cents to spare?”

I shook my head no, saying, “I’m sorry, I don’t carry any cash on me.”

My eyes welled with tears behind my Coach sunglasses as I walked away.  I did have twenty-five cents. I clutched my Louis Vuitton bag as I thought of the $43.83 cash and $49.50 in my checking account.

However, that is all of the money I have.

With no income, I honestly could not spare the twenty-five cents.

The further I walked away from the young man, the lower I felt.  I know, dressed the way I was, and dressed the way he was, I probably looked like I had it “more together” than he.  Nevertheless, I felt more ashamed for saying no than he probably did for asking.

I thought back to the days where I would have given him the $40 I had, then turned to my other with my hand out and asked for more all without blinking an eye.  It was not that long ago.

Actually, truth be told, I am not different from that young man, with my hand out, waiting for somebody else to pay my way…

I am just sitting in a nice cozy apartment while I do it.  (So as not to be misunderstood, I am being supported… so, no “government assistance”, no actual income…)

I should have given him the quarter.

“You can’t go Home Again”

Vincent Van Gogh's "Bedroom at Arles"

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Bedroom at Arles”

They say “You can’t go home again”, and I think they are right (well, whomever this proverbial “they” might be).  However, I think you can reinvent what home can be defined as.

Whenever people are making small talk, the inevitable question arises, “Where are you from?” I always answer the same, “I am not really from anywhere.  My family moved all over when I was a kid and I lived in 53 places and attended 15 different schools before I was 15.  I lived in Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada as a child.”  Granted, it was probably more information than they were looking for; it was, essentially, small talk.  Nevertheless, I would ignore the bored look on their faces and continue, “As an adult I have also lived in Washington, Texas, California, and Oregon, and then back to Texas.”

Having no idea why they would engage me further, most would ask me, “So, where do you consider ‘home’?”

Often I would pause before answering, “I guess that would be Reno, Nevada.  I lived there longer than I lived anywhere else, and it was the last place I went to school.”

Returning “home” is not as one would imagine where you visit the familiar and are welcomed by family and friends and visit your childhood home.

The Biggest Little City in the World is entirely different from when I was a teenager here; the days of me cruising up and down Virginia Street in my beloved ’57 Chevy are over, I am no longer a teen with a classic car, and they have outlawed cruising entirely.  Downtown looks old and depressing with locals dragging the sidewalks like zombies amongst the dilapidated and empty buildings; the economic downturn hit the area hard.

I have no friends from high school, having had few to begin with, and not keeping in touch with (or falling out with) the few I had.  My family is mostly here, but is so dysfunctional I might as well be here alone.

There is no childhood home, as we rented a duplex for the few years I lived here with my family.  Eventually, my parents bought a home they owned for 20 years or so, but we sold it to pay for my mother’s attorney when she killed my father.

Other than my evening of “emotional cutting”, I am reluctant to return to my regular haunts of years past; there are too many memories, good and bad.  I have a tendency to get mired down in the pain, but if it is not in front of me constantly, I can suppress it and pretend it never existed.

Time to Reinvent

I have reconnected with a friend I worked with during my second “homecoming” (this is my third).  We have reinvented a friendship that exists in the present; we are the only two involved and there is nobody from our past to stir up trouble and create a triangle wherein they create drama.

For the first time, I am living alone; granted, the apartment is not ideal.  It is smaller than most hotel rooms I have ever stayed in, and the neighborhood is less than upscale.  Very much less.  Nevertheless, I am alone and I can write to my heart’s content; the goal of this exercise.

My days are filled with working out, going to Starbuck’s for an internet connection, interviewing people to write about, and learning about life by myself.

So, while you cannot go home again, I have decided to reinvent what home is to me… it is wherever I happen to be at the time.  For now, it is here, at Starbuck’s on a lonely corner downtown.

“Liebster Blog Award”

liebster

I was nominated for The Liebster Blog Award by Lady Dee Lisa.  Visit her at http://ladydeelisa.com/about/

First of all the rules for the ”Liebster blog award’

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs!

11 Things About Me:

1. I just moved into an apartment by myself for the first time ever.

2. I  hate potatoes and anything made from them, like potato chips, fried potatoes, french fries, but I love mashed potatoes (as long as there are no lumps).

3. I can be extremely loving and caring, or incredibly icy and cold.

4. I feel like I am starting a new chapter in my life… starting over in a sense.

5. I am a huge believer in “you are only as old as you feel”.

6. I am finding it challenging to say 11 things about myself, even though I can write about myself until the cows come home, can talk about myself endlessly exposing every secret about myself… when it comes right down to it, this is a challenge.

7. I bust my butt working out every day, and even if others say I look good, I never feel good enough… the nagging ghosts of my past who used to put me down always seem to override them.

8. I have a knack for making everybody around me feel comfortable regardless of whether they are the CEO of a company or the janitor in my building, people seem at ease talking to me.  I like that about myself.

9. They say that with voice coaching 95% of the people in the world would be able to sing and carry a tune; I am the 5%.

10. I have done karaoke one time.  It was hysterical and disastrous, I was drunk and it was fun and crazy.  See #9.

11. I feel entirely honored each and every time somebody “likes” one of my posts.

Questions from Lady Dee Lisa:

1. What made you decide to start blogging?

My significant other had been encouraging me for years; finally one day I was just bored enough to decide to put fingers to keyboard.

2. What is one thing would you change about your life?

I would not be living alone.

3. What do you find most attractive about a man or woman?

Eyes.  They tell a story.

4. What’s your favorite color?

Purple.

5. What’s you favorite childhood memory?

No real favorites… tons of memories.

6. Are you Apple, Android or Neither?

Android.

7. What relaxes you?

I am possibly the most rigid and uptight person there is.  I cannot think of the last time I was relaxed.

8. Tea or Coffee?

Both.  Right now I am in Starbuck’s drinking an Unsweetened Iced Passion Fruit Tea with a shot of Raspberry 🙂

9. Do you prefer texting or face to face conversation?

Face-to-face.  Always.

10. Have you ever been to Disney World? :-)

Never to Disney World, but I have been to Disneyland at least 100 times.

11. What’s your most despised and most enjoyed household chore?

I hate to clean the bathroom, but I love to vacuum.

My nominees:

http://unlovingyou.wordpress.com

http://matteringsofmind.wordpress.com

http://tocksin.wordpress.com/

http://myexpwithsanity.com/

http://lostcompanion.wordpress.com

http://courtingmadness.wordpress.com/

http://thetearsofabillionchildren.wordpress.com

http://sereneillusions.wordpress.com

http://motivationalrants.wordpress.com

http://poetryblogofmine.wordpress.com

http://kirstywirsty.wordpress.com/

Questions for my nominees:

1. Where are you when you write?

2. What inspires you?

3. If you are what you eat, what are you?

4. Dog, cat, fish, or bird?

5. How old were you when you learned to drive a car?

6. Can you swim well?

7. Do you sing out loud?

8. How often do you laugh?

9. Have you ever cried in public?

10. What is your favorite season, and why?

11. Do you like rollercoasters?