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Archive for the ‘Pain’ Category

My Big Fat Life – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Shit.

In blog, blogging, emotions, failure, family, fast car, feelings, Foolish Hearts, Friend, God, grief, healing, Laughing stars, Life, Love, Pain, Portland Oregon, Questions, Rain, Relationships, The Little Prince, Writing on February 5, 2015 at 6:54 pm

I came here to write about a few updates, but I think my heart is so heavy that I am just going to vent instead. I need.. NEED to get some of what is going on inside, out.

Tomorrow I have a biopsy. I have no clue if there is something going on, and frankly I am hoping there isn’t. I am absolutely terrified.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about my life the past few days. Heaven knows I am beyond happy that I am a parent, and I love these people more than I can express to you.  They give me more joy than I can even begin to list, and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to since I am pretty sure you wouldn’t find it as entertaining as I do.

I do feel like if something were to happen to me today though, that I would be missing out on some things I have always wanted to happen, and certainly experience. I know that at the end of it all, that I want to know love. I want to know what it is like to share a bed with someone at the end of the day, knowing they will be there. There is no question, no fear, no worry… you just know they are there, and you’re a team. Is that even possible? Have I been watching way too many movies with scripted love?

Does it exist?

 

My Big Fat Lesbian Life – I’m Angry. I’m Sad. I’m Hurt. I’m Angry.

In Aaron Jamison, Blog, cancer, Cancer Sucks, children, Choose Joy, christian, communication, connection, Crying, Current events, emotions, encouragement, Facebook, feelings, Friend, friendship, God, grief, healing, health, kindness, Lesbian, Life, Love, military, Mom, Oregon, Pain, parenting, people, pictures, Portland, portland oregon, Questions, relationships, religion, women, Writing on March 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

A couple of days ago my son had his 4th surgery. This time, they removed half of his thyroid because of a growth.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I was expecting him home in April (he’s stationed overseas, Marines). I haven’t seen him once since his cancer diagnosis a year ago.

They’re not sending him home in April. In fact, it could be months before his discharge now.

He posted a pic of his surgical scar on his Facebook wall after surgery, and my heart just sank. Well meaning friends have tried to keep my eyes on the fact my son is still alive, getting care, and will be home. But I’m angry, and I need to be angry. Of course I’m thankful my son is still alive, in medical care, and will be home.

But I’m angry.

I’m angry that my son has cancer at 22. I’m angry I can’t be with him. I’m angry he has to have surgery. I’m angry he is left with the scars to remind the very real battle he is fighting. I’m angry that I can’t be angry and feel like I have permission to be angry.

I’m grieving. Anger is an important part of the process, and I can’t skip one piece to reach acceptance. It’s like building a bed, but eliminating the sides of the frame. If you don’t add all the pieces, it will just keep falling apart every time you lay down. Repeating the motion will produce the same result. I need to be angry, be free to be angry, be free to say it out loud and feel safe in doing so.

I know people mean well, and I’m blessed to have people in my life who love and care enough to want to remind me of what’s good. I love each and every one of them for it. I just need to be angry too, and be told its OK to hurt that my son is dealing with such big stuff in his life, and know that this feeling is normal as I watch my son stand through this. It doesn’t reflect on my faith, but rather the fact I’m human.

I’m sad, I’m hurt…

I’m angry…

and it’s OK.

My Big Fat Lesbian Life – Update On Son

In Blog, cancer, Cancer Sucks, Choose Joy, christian, Crying, Current events, friendship, gay, God, grief, healing, health, Lesbian, lgbt, Life, Love, Oregon, Pain, parenting, people, Portland, portland oregon, Questions, Writing on January 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm

My son is coming home in April. It’s just not soon enough.

I miss that kid more than I can begin to even tell you. My first born child, I had him when I was 20.

Just a child myself in a lot of ways, but having had lived a life full of challenges already, nothing prepared me for the love that would fill me the moment I first held him in my arms.

I received a message on Facebook a week ago, in which he reluctantly told me he’d experienced a blackout and a seizure. He doesn’t want to worry me, I know. But I can’t help but feel helpless in knowing he’s so far away right now, and there’s nothing I can do. Since he’s stationed overseas right now, it’s not as if I can jump in the car and demand he come home. Even if I could do just that, that baby that taught me what it’s like to be a Mom, is now 22. So, here I sit trusting the United States Marine Corps is doing their part to give my son the things he needs, and helping him find his way as these new developments take place. It’s a tough thing to balance out wanting to rush in like a mighty wind and take charge of my sons health care, while respecting his adulthood at the same time.

They (the Drs) don’t know if this new symptom is a part of the cancer, so I’m
remaining hopeful it was a fluke. I do know that my son, however, is a positive young man who keeps finding the bright side to all the things happening. I wish in this case I could be as encouraged, but I struggle to see anything positive as to why a 22 year old should even have to be met with such things.

In my own life, I’m finding joy in the midst of the fog that lies across the valleys. Every day is met without guarantees of how it will unfold, and every day I get up knowing this. I have responsibilities, and sometimes things don’t go according to the schedule I have set out for the day. Children get sick, snow days happen, appointments get cancelled. But I do try to roll with the punches and not get stressed. I learned a long time ago to pick and choose the things I’d allow to get me all worked up when things didn’t go according to plan. There’s bigger things, like my sons cancer, to give my time to.

In rolling with the punches and changes that life brings, finding joy is possible. There are times it’s the last thing we could imagine, there are times that grief or sorrow can make even the most beautiful of things seem invisible to our hearts. But when we’re ready, light will flood into the room and if we’re lucky,

our heart.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Thank You

In 2011, AP News, attorneys, Blog, Blue Like Jazz, Break-up, C.S. Lewis, cancer, children, Choose Joy, christian, Christmas, civil unions, clothing, coat hangers, Come Here Go Away, communication, cookies, court, Crying, Current events, dating, desert, Divorce, domestic, equality, Facebook, failure, family, fashion, fast car, feelings, finances, Fleetwood Mac, Flowers, Foolish Hearts, Friend, gardening, gay marriage, get a life, God, grief, health, Henry Miller, homosexuality, Jell-O, Kiss, Laughing stars, Law, law enforcement, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, Love, Marriage, minivan, Musician, Natasha Bedingfield, Netflix, New York, news, NYE, Oregon, Pain, parenting, Pears, people, pictures, Politics, Portland, portland oregon, promises, Questions, Rain, Regret, relationships, religion, same sex, school, September, single, sleep, Steve Perry, Steve Taylor, stress, Uncategorized, vehicle, vows, wedding, women, Writing on January 17, 2012 at 12:32 am

After much thought, I decided this letter belongs as the last entry under My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce heading. It’s really more of a morph (non Power Rangers style, though I’d like to be the Pink Power Ranger if I had to choose).

In saying that, I’m struggling for the words to open a good-bye letter. Saying “good-bye” has never been my strong suit. I’ve led a life of good-byes while I’ve longed for a life of “Hello”.

But you didn’t say good-bye to me or the boys, and in retrospect, neither did we to you. Rather, we’ve lived our good-bye through each day we’ve discovered our laughter and ourselves once again.

So, let me start by saying Thank You.

I didn’t know where this journey of uprooting myself and the children to move up here would lead us. Of course I had hoped it would lead us to a better level of a new chapter in our lives, and it has. Just….without you. At first I felt that was more of an ending, but in reality it’s become a beginning.

I know I cried a lot after moving up here. I had left behind open skies, the sound of crickets at night, and the quiet streets. But despite the reasons we married, I had left it all behind because I made a commitment and I wanted to see where that journey could lead us all as a family. It wasn’t easy but that was the level I believed in my keeping my word. It wasn’t what we agreed on when we decided to marry that day we went to the courthouse, but still….

I thought despite things hadn’t come into my life as I had hoped, that it could somehow grow into what I dreamed of once I moved and in time.

Maybe I didn’t see you as my partner the way I should have when we decided to marry, but I gave it my all to grow into love with you and to be your wife. Eventually I did, but by that time I had also realized that our union was in reality a business arrangement between two people for your job, and would never really be the loving relationship of two hearts discovering each other in the natural progression I had longed for. By that time though, emotions were involved so walking away became a tangled mess. I should have walked away much sooner, but I can’t question or second guess myself anymore, because things turned out exactly as they should.

Since I’ve lived here on my own, I’ve discovered my own heart, my own voice, and my own open skies once again. Perhaps meeting you was exactly what I needed to move me to this new level of my life that’s opened up new and different opportunities for the boys and I.

B is flourishing in his new school, C is mainstreamed without an aide, G is reaching new milestones and D is excelling academically. Who knows if any of that would be the case had we not moved.

I’ve made new friends, explored new opportunities, found that I’m much stronger than I’ve ever given myself credit for, and learned to trust myself once again.

I’ve also found that I know exactly what I’m longing to feel with another person and a liberty to allow myself the freedom to feel it without reserve when it comes. I’ve had opportunities to do just that, but I haven’t settled. Because I’ve heard my voice when I filed for our divorce, and I liked the sound of my own strength.

So Thank You.

I say that without malice, sarcasm or for any other reason than to simply thank you.

You were the train ride here, that held a work shop of lessons that I needed to learn, for whatever reasons I needed. I appreciate that and I’ll always thank you for that.

But now, I need to tell you Good-Bye openly with my words instead of just living it as I have. The boys have said good-bye in their own ways, so I’m not just saying this as your ex wife, but also as your ex family.

We’re good.

I wish you love, happiness and I truly hope you find the peace you’re so desperately seeking. I hope you find healing, hope and joy. I hope many good things for you. I’m pretty sure neither of us had planned for it to end as badly as it did. That’s OK.

Because I’m exactly where God has planned all along.

If you listen to this song, you’ll hear exactly where my heart is in writing this. It starts when Chris Colfer sings, and ends with my

Good-Bye.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – The Birth Control Mobile Rides Again

In blog, Cancer Sucks, Choose Joy, christian, Christmas, civil unions, coat hangers, communication, court, Crying, Current events, current events, dating, Divorce, divorce, Edgefield McMenamins, equality, Facebook, family, fast car, feelings, finances, Friend, friendship, gay, God, grief, healing, health, homosexuality, KVAL TV, Law, lesbian, lgbt, LGBTQ, love, minivan, New York, news, Pain, parenting, people, Politics, portland oregon, promises, Questions, Relationships, religion, same sex, single, sleep, stress, vehicle, vows, wedding, Wedding Ring, women, Writing on January 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm

If you’ve been reading along the past month or so, you know my ex wanted the van back because of a payment arriving one day late.

Here’s the blog link that explains what happened to the van – http://mybigfatlesbiandivorce.com/2011/10/19/my-big-fat-lesbian-divorce-the-van/

We’ve been without a vehicle (which I have always tenderly refered to as “The Birth Control Mobile”. I think with some government funding that I could be hired to do high school drive bys, with my all van windows down and all 6 children arguing over the Game Boy. I could give a reality check to some of the teens and possibly single handedly reduce teen pregnancy… OK so I doubt the government will fund this and the idea of enduring another sibling argument over a video game is a bit exhausting).

Honestly though, giving the van back worked to my advantage. She has the vehicle and I no longer have to make monthly payments on something that is breaking down. It just  makes the most financial sense for my family in the long run to be free from that previous obligation.

However, I was left without a vehicle and I was pretty scared. I was really happy to be rid of the financial obligation of that stupid van, but I was really worried about how I was going to go about the daily things I need to do, to take care of my family.

After looking around and asking people I knew about any possibile vehicles for sale, I had found a place that fixes vehicles donated and then sells them for the cost of repairs. They had one van that had extensive work done, and they were selling for 1,600.00. Clean, great condition, and an 8 seater. I haven’t been able to save up much, let alone 1,600.00, because I am still playing catch up on some bills since I asked the ex to leave, but this van seemed so perfect for my family. I’m almost on track with the finances, but not quite. I need that money tree to sprout about 2,000.00 for that to happen, but so far it’s been more of a pocket change twig.

I looked into some loans and other possibilities, but things kept falling through. I sighed a breath of relief in a way, because I really didn’t want to create more debt while I was working on getting caught up, but I was still trying to figure out how I was going to come up with the money for the van. This was/is a need. It’s not like I was out there trying to find something that was above and beyond what we need. Something to get us safely from point to point is all I was looking for, and this can fit the bill perfectly.

The garage selling the vehicle  had decided to reduce the price for me to 1,000.00 because they were really trying to help me out. 1,000.00 was still more than I had, in fact all I had was 400.00. At 1,000.00 I knew they were reducing the price to below the amount of money and time they had put into fixing the vehicle, but without the money, I still felt pretty hopless.

As things started to feel as though they were crumbling, I can’t even begin to described what happened other than love and human connection stood in the gap.

I received a message from a friend on Facebook, who wanted to know where she could send money towards the vehicle. She sent in a majority of the money I needed to purchase the vehicle, and with the 400.00 I had, I had the van paid for.

Then another friend put money towards the van, which helped pay for fuel.

Then another friend sent in money  to cover registration, and title transfer.

Then another sent in money to have both back tires and windsheild wipers replaced.

These calls jut kept coming in from the garage to tell me that my friends were calling in and putting towards the cost of the van. The woman on the other end of the phone was just so amazed and excited for us, that my friends were not only touching my life, but hers in the process as well.

The van is completely mine.

Knowing the people I have around my life, it doesn’t completely surprise me that they would step in and extend love and human connection and kindness the way they have. I simply know the most beautiful people. But it still moved me beyond belief. I was, and I still am, in complete awe of the kindness. I still look out my window just to look at the van and say a “thank you”. Even though I know it can’t be heard, I hope those who extended the kindness know it is still very much felt.

Someone gave anonymously, so I will never know to who I owe such a big thanks. But you are all truly amazing. These past months have been a journey for sure, but there are those  who have listened, cared, prayed, sent art, cards, phone calls, texts, messages, left comments, asked how we are doing, have taken me to coffee and all those things that friends do for one another. I want you all to know that I feel so loved. Not just because you extend compassion and love, but because you have been woven into my life to begin with.

Thank you soooo much

You are all truly amazing.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Rain, Rain Don’t Go Away *waves good-bye to 2011*

In 2011, blog, Blue Like Jazz, children, christian, Christmas 2011, communication, Crying, Current events, dating, desert, Divorce, Edgefield McMenamins, family, Flowers, Friend, gardening, gay, God, grief, I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Laughing stars, lesbian, LGBTQ, Love, marriage, Mary J Blige, Natasha Bedingfield, New Years Eve, New York, news, NYE, Oregon, Pain, parenting, people, Portland Oregon, Rain, Relationships, single, The Little Prince, Uncategorized, vows, wedding, women, writing on December 31, 2011 at 11:36 am

Dang what a year it’s been.

I don’t use today to mark my choice to make some big changes with a resolution list, I believe change should happen now. I know that people tend to look at it as some sort of day to mark as the big change day, but I want to change things right where I am. And I made a lot of changes in 2011.

The real year mark comes this April when I made the change to end my marriage and get out of a bad situation. Had I stayed, well.. it scares me to think where I would be today.

I’m not sure if she was home for NYE, though she probably wasn’t. I do recall thinking to myself that I wanted to not be sitting around for the holiday, again. In all my adult years, I’ve been out only twice for NYE. I had mistaking thought it was only once, but I recalled a really bad date I had years ago. I’m not a party girl and honestly would rather snuggle in with someone I love watching movies and eating pizza. I like going out for great food and all of that stuff, but standing around in a huge crowd of strangers after paying out some insane entry fee to a NYE party, just isn’t my thing. I’d rather spend that money on a new pair of heels or something equally wonderful. But mostly, it just goes to bills.

I picked up my daughter yesterday, and I was so happy to see her. She came bearing pressies for the family. We decided to have our Christmas together, post Christmas. As we piled out of the van (yes van. There is a blog I am working on, it’s an amazing thing) and stepped up to the door, we found a package left at the door. It was from my son overseas. It was his pressies for his brothers. There I stood feeling as though I had both of older children arrive at the door at the same time to celebrate with us. It was amazing timing, and so medicinal for my soul. We opened pressies, had chinese food and smiled. It was a wonderful feeling to have the sense of all my children together in the same room for the holidays.

I am not sure where some of you are, that read my blog. Which by the way, thank you for reading. If you are in a bad place, a bad relationship or a crappy situation… don’t wait to make that change. Courage is not something that comes first, it’s something that arrives during. That first step belongs to you. Don’t worry about what the possibilities are, worry about the reality of the situation of where you are now. If the memories of what used to be keep you tethered to what you have now, let me say that while things change and we grow over time, so does love. Sometimes I imagine love is rain . It’s why Spring is so pretty. I can’t imagine a Spring here in NW Oregon without it. I’m pretty sure you can figure out what would happen if there was no rain. Love is a lot like that. Without it, there is no growth. Trying to get something to grow by just demanding it, doesn’t work. Heck, if it did that money tree I keep trying to plant would have been old growth by now, but love doesn’t work that way. It can’t be forced, it can’t be demanded. But, I’ve learned that love can be given freely to myself, from myself. That means I need to be good to myself and walk away from those places where it has ceased to rain, and I am just stuck in a barren desert.

Last year I was in that desert, today I enjoy what the rain breathes.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – When The Mail Makes You Cry

In Aaron Jamison, AP News, Blog, blogging, Break-up, Choose Joy, christian, Christmas, Comedian, communication, court, Crying, Current events, dating, Divorce, equality, Facebook, failure, family, feelings, Friend, friendship, gay, God, grief, healing, health, Husband, Kiss, Laughing stars, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, LGBTQ, Life, Love, Marriage, military, Myspace, Oregon, Pain, parenting, people, pictures, portland oregon, relationships, religion, single, The Little Prince, wedding, women, Writing on December 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Penguin oh penguin wherefore art thou oh penguin?

Yes, my penguin. It’s what I say when I talk with sparkles in my eyes, romantic thoughts on my heart and dreams in my head. I long to meet my penguin. My life partner.

I spent a portion of my morning daydreaming. I was reflecting in the past months that I’ve been healing and gained some experience in the dating scene. So it was with a bit of wonderment that I let myself daydream and ask that question “when might I meet my penguin?”. I believe in love, so I haven’t given up, but I’m also not so stressed about it that I’m clinging to every possibility put there. I want a healthy love, not just any love.

I felt a little pang of wanting to be romanced and wished I had a lover who wanted to text me “Good Morning Beautiful” or something so sweet that makes me smile in that way only a lover can move me. To feel thought of in that way that women like to be thought of (well, me anyways).

Putting away my daydreams so as not to get lost, a knock at the door grounded my feet. It was UPS and thought at first it was the wrong apt. I don’t normally get packages.

Looking at the box, and not recognizing the sending address, I opened it to find a beautifully wrapped pressie. The card indicated it was sent from my friend Ta (obviously not her full name, but I haven’t asked her permission to call her out by name). I met Ta through my friend Aaron shortly before he passed, and she is a beautiful extension of friendship I had in him. His life literally rippled to mine.

I thought about slipping it under the tree, but thought “really?” and decided to open it right then and there.

Before me was one of the most beautiful snow globes I’ve ever held, and inscribed on the front is “Lia – Your Penguin is out there – Ta”

I cried.

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My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Failure… The Other “F” Word

In Blog, Break-up, Choose Joy, christian, civil unions, communication, court, Crying, Current events, dating, Divorce, divorce, domestic, equality, Facebook, failure, family, feelings, Friend, friendship, gay, gay marriage, God, grief, health, Lesbian, lesbian, lgbt, LGBTQ, Life, Love, love, Marriage, minivan, money, movies, New York, news, Oregon, Pain, Politics, Portland, portland oregon, promises, relationships, religion, same sex, sex, single, sleep, stress, vows, wedding, Wedding Ring, women, Writing, writing on November 21, 2011 at 6:00 am

I read the blog of another WordPress writer. She’s going through a divorce from her hubby, and I relate to some of the emotions she’s working through. She’s an absolutely amazing woman and I admire her courage as she shares her story.

She asked me a question that no ones asked before, but I’ve faced quietly many times with myself.

She asked me if I felt pressure not to have my marriage fail in light of the fact that marriage equality is becoming more and more of a reality. My response was….

“Excellent question.

Yes.

I felt like I was a horrible representation of everything couples have worked so hard to achieve for years. But, it was my own crummy choice in a partner that put me there, so I had to make good choices to get out. I hope that is something anyone in a bad relationship, no matter the orientation, can see that it’s possible to emotionally survive. If you’ve loved, you’ve experienced. Grief still processes without prejudice and healing comes like a long lost friend.”

I have to say that the more I’ve thought about it, that yes… I feel like I’ve done such an injustice to the work, sacrifices and tears put into the fight to openly love and be married. I know not every relationship is going to work out, straight or gay, but I know people are watching when you’re in a partnership that’s seen as a marriage.

Politically and religiously some people are ready to pounce and shout “A HA! See? There’s no integrity in gay marriage!” and so ready to use the failures as support to endorse their beliefs that gay marriage is wrong.

Love should be allowed to be equally recognized between two loving adults, regardless of gender. But please don’t use the failure of my marriage as an example of limited possibilities of a loving marriage.

I hope that my getting out of a bad situation can be seen as a representation of what it means to make a stand to do the right thing. That may not be a lot to advance the fight for marriage equality right now, but it contributes to the advancement of me evolving more into the woman God created me to be, and that’s empowering.

Just because my marriage failed doesn’t mean it was a complete failure, I grew a lot from the experience. I walked away stronger than ever. Not all failures fail to produce something wonderful.

I’d still love to meet someone to share life with, because I still believe in love and marriage. Importantly, because through the failure of my marriage I learned I still believe in myself.

That’s pretty successful.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Month 7

In Blog, Break-up, christian, civil unions, Come Here Go Away, communication, court, dating, Divorce, Facebook, family, feelings, Fleetwood Mac, Foolish Hearts, Friend, get a life, God, grief, homosexuality, kisses, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, Life, Love, Marriage, Military, netfix, New York, news, Pain, portland oregon, relationships, sex, single, sleep, stress, vehicle, vows, wedding, women, Writing on November 9, 2011 at 6:15 am

Month 6 slipped by me without thought.

I guess I figured month 6 being the half way mark into my newly single life (since I had her asked to leave the apt), that some amazing moment would transpire within me, but instead it went by without thought.

I was dealing with the van thing (I’m still super thankful it’s gone), the now defunct attempt at spending time with someone (I’m really glad that’s over) and just… living.

Here it is and month 7 has passed. I admit it feels longer primarily in part I never have to see her (I’m reallythankful for that).

A few days ago the biggest stress in our home was the 7 year old stormed into my room, angry the his 11 year old brother was bossing his imaginary kangaroo around. While I know life has it’s ups and downs and invisible kangaroo interventions are only a part, I felt that peace that comes in knowing that life continues to move on.

My Big Fat Lesbian Divorce – Reckless Train Rides

In AP News, attorneys, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Comfort, Blog, Break-up, Choose Joy, christian, civil unions, communication, court, Crying, Current events, dating, Divorce, Edgefield McMenamins, Facebook, family, feelings, Fleetwood Mac, friendship, gay, God, grief, homosexuality, Laughing stars, Law, Lesbian, Lesbian Relationships, lgbt, Life, Love, Marriage, movies, Musician, news, Pain, parenting, Politics, portland oregon, relationships, religion, sex, single, sleep, The Little Prince, Uncategorized on October 25, 2011 at 6:55 am

I’ve written three different paragraphs and I’ve deleted them all.

A Train Ride

(edited 10/2011)

Leaning against the window, I can feel the cool glass of the window pane against my cheek. True to the way a train moves down the tracks, it rocks back and forth and I find no comfort in leaning against the window other than my eyes are searching for a glimpse of the next stop.

Houses, small towns, fields sprinkled with colors of spring.. all pass by.

My bags are packed (well, really only one bag) and I am clutching the handles in my hands because I’m afraid I might let go and let it drop to the floor. There’s no room in the overhead for my things.

When I boarded I tried to find space for my bag. I glanced at some of the tags and noticed some of them had been there years. On the lip of the over head was a tag that read “Do not touch, ask about, or even think of moving the bags that are here upon your arrival” so I just tried to fit mine in between the hard shell cases left behind.

I looked around to see if anyone would notice me reaching up and tugging gently on one of the suitcases left behind. If I could just slip it down and move it behind a seat, no one would notice. The suitcase had been there for years, so I doubted the owner would be coming around to retrieve it anytime soon.

Pulling it down proved to be a bit more work. As I reached up to slip it down, it was as if the bag was glued to the shelf. As I stood there gently tugging, I glanced out the window and became mesmerized by the passing fields and the excitement of an unknown destination. I wasn’t focused on what I stood up to do in the first place and so somewhere between the distraction of the beauty and intrigue, I simply went back to my seat with my bag in my lap. As I realized the choice I had made, I thought maybe I would feel better if I kept my bag in my lap anyways, just in case the train asked me to unboard quickly.

Now as I sit here with my cheek pressed against the window, I can not clutch it tightly enough.

As I stand up between stops and walk up and down the empty aisles to stretch my legs, I’ve the train seems to take off rather quick. With no warning of departure, I’ve been unprepared for the the quick acceleration and stumbled a little to hurry back to find my seat. A few times falling backwards and being tossed back into the place where I was sitting like a last minute thought. But just as I was adjusting the seat, and getting comfortable, the train would come to a full stop void of warning and I would be thrust forward like a rag doll without care or consideration.

From time to time the train will come to a stop for a long period of time. I would sit waiting for other passengers to arrive, maybe someone looking to claim their baggage, but no one ever shows. As I stand to walk up and down the aisles to stretch my legs, I quietly wonder why there were so many seats on the train, if I am the only passenger. In fact, I realize I have never even seen the conductor or anyone else. Who is driving this train? I ponder this for a minute and decide to get off at this stop.

Suddenly this ride seems ominous to me. Just as I decide to get off at the stop, the train starts to pull away from the station. I realize at that moment I’m no longer holding my bag and I begin to panic. My most prized possessions were packed for this trip. My eyes search furiously as my heart races, then I see it. Somehow, it’s been moved to crowded overhead. I don’t remember fitting it in, yet I’m positive no one else could have. I quickly walk over to my bag to pull it down and find the bag is stuck to the overhead shelf. This time, I am not distracted by anything other than my clear determination to pull my bag down and quickly find my seat.

This time, I’m not looking to find space for my bag so that I may enjoy the ride. I want off.

The bag falls to my side and I rush to my seat.

As the sound of the train speeds down the track with distinct rhythm I think to myself “Oh God, let this be a short burst between stops.”

The rhythm counts each second as I move from place to place pushing to the next, wishing this ride to end. Now that I want to step off the train, it feels like the longest distance travelled at one time since I’ve boarded the train.

I lean against the window pane looking, hoping.. waiting.

Houses, small towns, fields sprinkled with colors of spring.. all pass by. This time I don’t smile with a feeling of warmth as the train rushes past, but a longing to be a part of it all again.

As they pass by I press my face a little more to the window hoping for a glimpse of the next station ahead. I want this train ride to end.

I see it. The station, there it is.

Standing up and clutching my bag in hand, I prepare myself for the quick and complete train stop by bracing myself with the seats as I walk towards the exit while the train is still moving.

The train comes to the complete stop it has so many times before, and I push to slide the exit door open. I move quickly to step down and I become still as I put my foot to the ground.

The station is empty.

My eyes sweep across looking for some sign of life, but even the air seems still.

I step fully down and have my right hand on the hand rail. Standing there, I am a little scared and sad about removing my hand.

I argue to myself for a minute about staying on the train and holding to the hope of arriving a destination filled with life, opposed to standing in a deserted station. But I know that sitting on a deserted train heading nowhere is nothing more than exactly that, and I can at least walk away from the station.

I am sure one of those small towns I passed through many times while on the train, is up ahead. Perhaps I will stop by one of the fields and pick some of the flowers that I have admired in passing.

My right hand falls to my side and I turn to the left. My heels against the concrete is the only audible sound as I walk across the platform away from the train, the station and the stillness while clutching my bag tightly.

Behind me I hear the train begin to move and in and in a matter of seconds it rushes past me in the same accelerated manner it has departed so many times before. It moves as quickly as it stops, I have never connected the pattern before now.

Within moments the train disappears from sight and only the faint sounds of the wheels against the tracks is all that is left, but fades quickly.

For a moment, I think I hear the train quickly approaching from behind and stopping abruptly at the station once again. Maybe just ghost sounds.. I don’t know.

I do not turn to look. – L.W. 6/17/2009

Sometimes I stay on the ride longer than I should for whatever reasons I do. Maybe it’s because I’m so smitten by the shiny things that I don’t see the scary things, or maybe it’s because I’m afraid it’s as good as it gets.

Whatever the reasons, I’m learning that if you want to know what the ride is going to be like, look to see what the ride was like for previous passengers. If you listen, you’ll hear.