Wednesday, February 23, 2005


We want to live where we will be seen, where people will recognize our faces and smile and nod at us as we pass. Perhaps we will be familiar to someone on the brick lined streets of Boston or the secret roads of Savannah, who knows?

We don't even know if we really want to be seen. It's simply less painful to be invisible in a new place, a place where no one knows us, than invisible in a place where we've lived for more than twenty years.

"Norah? Now, do you spell that with an 'h' or an 'a'?" She asks, perfect blonde ponytail bobbing slightly with the question. She runs the center and must appear professional at all times.

"With an 'h." It's not as though my family has been involved in this center for just under fifteen years.

"I'm Cindy!"

"Yes, I know. We've met before." Several times, in fact, over the last fifteen years.

"Oh, we have? I don't remember." She shakes her boot-clad foot and turns her attention to the mess of papers on her wooden desk.

"It's okay." I smooth back my flyaway waves.

"Alright." Cindy eyes me skeptically. She thinks I'm lying, believes, instead, that I've never actually set foot in the center before today, despite the fact that I've volunteered for two months, went through another month of training, and have been here many times over the years.

It hurts to be invisible. It's easy to tell myself that this one person does not matter, but it's not one person. It's the pastor at church who isn't quite sure he knows Daddy, despite the fact that they are knights together. He always calls him, "Hey!" We've been parishisoners since 1981. Clearly not long enough. The church was founded in 1979 afterall. We must have missed the boat.

Still, there are times, like this morning, when I stepped outside at 9:30 on a sunny winter (almost spring) day and felt all the other 9:30 in the mornings fill me up. I remember Easter mornings with egg hunts, my little fingers poking through the raspberry bushes, hoping to find the last egg so I can go in and eat some nice, soft waffles. At 9:30 this morning, I felt Thanksgiving and waking up to prepare bread in front of the fire. At 9:30 this morning, I felt all those summer days spent running barefoot through my backyard, with a history of dogs playing beside me, tails wagging in circles. I am filled with 9:30 in the morning.

9:30 would be hard to relinquish.

Monday, February 14, 2005

A New Story

This week, I begin something new.

I fled the suburbs with the rest of the rats. We flee this sinking ship of a town on Saturday nights, hoping to find ourselves somewhere else.

I drove out of town, singing along to my familiar cd as I passed the wretched lights of the car dealerships, the intrusive purple of the movie theater. I needed something more than this place could offer me.

Everyone knows it. Everyone talks about it. Only the police have yet to come to terms with the decrepit state of our town. Decrepit may be too strong of a word, but is somehow captures my extreme distaste for walking downtown or for driving that stretch of road over by K-Mart.

Can I leave for real? Can I do more than escape to the comforting lights of the big city on Saturday night.

Cozy beside my friends in a house with a view overlooking the sparkling bay, I want to leave so badly it hurts. I want to take my family and my dreams and go where we can live how we want.

How do we want to live?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Mommy decided that she wanted to take me to see my doctor. I've always liked Doctor Flannigan. She has bright red hair and always talks about her kids. She has a lot of them.

I don't know what it's like to have brothers and sisters, and I've stopped wondering. Everytime I would say something like, "Oh, if I had a big brother, would he play baseball with me when Daddy's at work?" or "Mommy, if there were a baby in the house, would I have to clean up after her?," Mommy would look said. Her eyes would well up, and she would say, "I'm sorry, Misha, but it's just you."

That's another way I know I'm special. I got picked out by God to come here and be with Mommy and Daddy.

"Misha, are you ready to go?"

Mommy made the appointment for early today. I just showed her my spots yesterday, and already I'm going to the doctor. Luckily, it's Easter vacation, so I won't miss school. I like school. I like looking at all the books on the shelves in the classroom with their blue spines and their curly que letters, and I like knowing that I've read them already. Last year, my teacher and Mommy had a long time, and the teacher finally agreed to let me take fifth grade reading. We're reading A Wrinkle in Time, and the fourth graders are reading Old Yeller. Considering what the books are about, I guess I'm lucky. I never had to read Old Yeller. Do you know that a dog dies in that book? I don't like reading about anyone - especially Mommies, Daddies, dogs or cats, dying. It gives me a pain in my heart.


"I'm coming, Mommy!"

As I run down the hallway, I trip over my right foot as the ankle gives way.


"Misha! Are you okay?" Mommy is right next to me. I feel a surge of anger.

"I'm fine! Let's just go, okay?" Tears sting my eyes, and I don't know why. It's just an ankle. I think it's the look on Mommy's face. She looks scared.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Mommy doesn't like the flower on my knee. This morning she said, "Misha, what's that on your leg?"

"It's a circle of flower petals, Mommy!"

"Oh really. Let me see."

Mommy leaned in and then jumped up with a start.

"What's wrong, Mommy?"

She asked me if the bruises hurt.

"Bruises? They're not bruises. It's another place where God touched me to show that I'm special."

I think Mommy might think I'm a little but crazy, like the big, bald man in yellow pants and a purple shirt who shouts out how much he loves Jesus on the corner by Toys R Us. I know that other ten year olds might not believe that God is in them quite so much as I do, but I have to believe it. I'm a miracle child. That's what Mommy and Daddy tell me.

"You shouldn't even have been put in Mommy's tummy." Daddy says, smiling in Mommy's general direction.

"That's right! You were scheduled to be at that conference in New York that weekend."

"But he wasn't, right, Mommy?"

"Right, Misha."

Then, I burst into the world two months early. That's what Granny says. She says it like I did something wrong, like I should have been more patient.

I think I knew that I needed to get here, needed to be part of this family as soon as I could.

"Misha? Do you have bruises anywhere else?"

"No, Mommy."

"Are you sure?"

I tell her that I am, but I lift up my shirt to show her the raised red dots on my stomach.

"Oh!" Mommy reaches out a finger and barely touches me. I think she's afraid she'll hurt me.

"Does it itch, Misha?"

"No, Mommy. It's just God touching me."

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Perfect Circles

There are perfect circles around my knee. Little greenish brown spots. They're very pretty. The circles make me feel like the teenagers with spiky black hair and rings in their ears. The green circles are my tatoo.

The ring of circles makes me rubbery knee cap the center of a flower. My kneecaps float when I pop them out. I like to gross people out that way. Not everyone can move their kneecaps. It relaxes me when I'm sitting in Mrs. Jones spelling class, bored out of my mind. I just reach down, pushing my red and green plaid skirt out of the way and push my knee around. I know that I'm going to have a bad night when my knees won't move when I try to push them.

But the circles are new. I don't know anything about them. I push on them to see if they give-in, like the little bubble on my elbow.

Nothing happens. My thumb leaves an imprint, but that fades before I can examine the mark.

Perfect green circles.

Maybe I'm marked by aliens.

I bet that's it. I have four freckles around my the top of my arm. Four freckles right in a row. All of them the same size.

Mommy says I'm meant for something important. She said that when I lost my first tooth six years ago, when I was only four. My friends were so jealous when I showed them the stickers and the bright quarters left under my pillow at kindergarten the next day. No one else had gotten anything from the toothfairy yet. But I had. Like Mommy says, I'm special.

These green circles are just another example of that.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

An Introduction

It occurred to me after months of fruitless attempts to market my creative writing that I might try another way.

Even if this blog only serves to entertain or inspire a few readers, then I will have accomplished more than I can by letting my stories sit on a computer, unread.

Please be patient with me. I am used to sharing my stories only with publishing houses and magazines - organizations that have shown little interest up this point. Putting my fiction out on the internet - now that takes heart (at least that's what I tell myself).

This is not a "day in the life" kind of blog. If you're interested in that aspect of me, please visit Pink Cereal and Raspberries.

My goals with 65WPM©:

· To post at least a portion of a short story, book chapter, or poem every week.
· To improve my writing skills.
· To reach a welcoming audience.
· To find some constructive criticism.

Thank you and welcome aboard!