Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Buttered Bread Comes Back Toast

I have had a tough time of it lately, as some of you know. The whys of it all just didn't make sense. Until I stopped and took a look at the battlefield my life had become. Said I'd take a week off--a mental health time out. And I tried. I truly did, but "Restless Pen and Ink Syndrome" got the better of me, and before I could say "What the hell," I was off penning again.

Tried it again for a second week. Well, we know how that one ended, but some good came from it. Honest. While tossing out unnecessary "gotta keeps" I came across a little booklet, titled "How To Handle Tough Times." It's so old it cost a $1 back when I bought it. Might have gotten it for free, but I don't recall. Not sure why I held onto it, and wasn't sure I'd even read it, but when I thumbed through the first time, faint penciled notations caught my eye.

Backtracking just a bit: My life is so good, most of the time, that I forget the tough times. Back when I had nothing but tough times to deal with, I couldn't see past them for a glimpse of any type of future.  Life used to be tougher than tough. It used to be barely livable to down right unlivable, and I spent most of my time searching for a way out.

I tried to exit early a handful of times. The first was in third grade. It took me five years to understand it was possible to orchestrate my own early intermission. From three to eight, I'd had a hell of a ride, and I wanted off the bus. In my little girl mind, all I saw after getting off, was me, standing in the middle of darkness. I never understood the images, but at least I was alone. Then it dawned on me. The booger man (the monster made of boogers.) probably lived in the dark, but he couldn't see me if I didn't close my eyes. So, insomnia became my first designer bag.

This is where the Bag Lady was born, only I was too young to know it then. Truth is, I didn't know I was a bag lady until Erykah-Badu identified me. I didn't show up to claim myself until last year. Seriously. I'd listen to Badu call my name, and I'd smile, and declare the girl wise beyond her years. I'd gone through some of her bag lady bags, for real, but, ha-ha-ha, she was calling' 'em out for sure.

"Bag lady, you gone hurt your back, dragging all those bags . . ." Skinny little thing, what does she know? 

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