Let me REALLY clear my throat

Truth. 2017

Here’s my reality.

Are you ready to hear my truth? My favorite people in the world? I’m not certain you can handle the truth.

The Renita truth.

While you all have your phone in your hand and in your pocket and in your faces, I have my head on my shoulder. I have my brain on buzz.

I have my hands full of life. Josie and Nichole and Nichol and Jen and Lauren and Joy and Willow and Sarah and Sara and Melanie and Nadia and Jennifer and Susan and Jessica and Silver and Megan and Jenna and Breanna and Bobbi Sue and Beyonce and Lady Gaga and J-Lo and Missy are full of it all. We are running it. We are all doing it. All of the girls. WE are the ones that are on the ground. We are getting the breakfast. We are the ones getting the kids to school. We are making sure our mama’s hurts are tended and talking to the church and the school and tending the bandages and most of the hurts. We are at the conferences. Now I know that many men are filling these spots. I’m not an idiot but, come the hell on. Most of the time, because of my gender? I’m set at home just because.

BECAUSE, it’s my job.

I used to work. I’ve worked since I stood upright. I cleaned bars. I cleaned bars that were rotten. I cleaned toilets that had needles in them that could have killed me. I watched men cut each other and then hid the blades from law enforcement that should have protect me and instead they beat my father. Yet, I defend them. That’s what I do. Because my heart still, to this day believes we are a good people. That’s who the hell I am.

I keep getting tagged with things telling me about “the world is good, the world is happy”

Damn you straight to hell.

I know the world is good! I have angels in my house. I raise angels.

I gave breath to them. I sing to them. They can also be little jerks. lol. WE all can can’t we? There is a very thin line between an angel and a demon. Go to a prison and talk to any man or woman. The darkest of man can do good deeds if you let him! Give him a chance in the right setting. Give him hope. I’d bet most, if the sickness is not too deep might pet a dog. I have that sort of hope in mankind. I just do. I have seen it happen. I believe in man. I believe in all of us. I just do.

I have fallen and gotten up more than any one human. I may come up spitting and gagging and cussing but, damn you, I always get up. Always.

So, Be love. Know that I’m always pure love. I may look dark but, I’m thinking. I’m always positive and going to be doing great things. I love those I love, ALWAYS.

You go and do GOOD. Be brave and be YOU.

Always,

Renita.

Gigalos, Juggalos and Drama Llamas

Men are silly little creatures aren’t they ladies?

I love them though. Really. I do. I always have. I’ve always been the Gemma to my boys. My father raised me to be Gemma. I was always the little girl that was hanging with the big dogs. I spoke their language, I have known how to read biker body language from the womb I think.

My mother actually used to tell the story about how when I was six weeks old she “took Neat to work with her and by God, she slept right there on the beer cooler!”

I remember going to the Poor Boy with mom and cleaning it on Sunday mornings. If you have never been to the Poor Boy, consider yourself blessed. Yep, Blessed. No offense to the lovers of the Poor Boy, but, wow. Damn. Cleaning the Poor Boy was a rough morning for this little girl, for sure. The only thing that got me through it was a microwaved cheeseburger and a quarter in the jukebox that allowed me to hear “Disco Duck” a few times.

I remember mom was tired and we plugged in that jukebox and the music started. Both of us were wearing our bell bottoms. We were the Poor Boy Queens for that moment.

Disco Duck Queens.

Life was good. Pine Sol in the Air.

Just as the songs were finishing ( we played Disco Duck a couple of times) a man walked in. He was a friend of a friend. I can not remember the man in question. I can walk to his grave. I found it. It’s in Londonderry, Ohio. He was a childhood friend of my father, a Korean war veteran and an alcoholic. He demanded my mothers pay. He said he had photos of her. Photos she had sent dad while he was in prison.

My mother had never sent my father photos in prison. Any woman with any sense would never send photos to prison. The guards intercept the photos and taunt the men with the photos typically. Torture. However, the raw truth is this. My father at one point, during a drunken escapade when my mother was at a very low point in her life, was convinced to pose with another man nude.

This was to be her punishment. She was being blackmailed by her husband’s best friend. I watched in horror as my mother handed Harley the money. I slapped her hand as she did it. The money hit the floor and she cried as she picked it up and gave it to him. I was furious because I knew dad was going to beat her when we got home. He was setting her up. My father was setting her up three times to be abused. He first set her up to see if she was weak enough to submit, then set her up to see if she would also hand over the money and then he would beat her for handing over the money.

If only my mother could be standing here today. Bless her sweet soul. Later that night she was beaten. I walked to my room. Straight up the stairs to the room that I never was allowed to sleep in. I knew I could do nothing. If I could talk to her today I’d explain to her about technology. I’d tell her about hard drives and external hard drives. I’d explain to her about other names and other copies and printers and new friends and safety measures and protections. I’d tell her about never placing eggs in the same baskets. I’d tell her to love your husband but to protect your children first. Protect your heart and soul. Love yourself above all other because if you can not love yourself you can not love any man. Love your God and love your child. Protect your soul child.

Know your worth.

That is all.

Be the love you want to see in the world.

Always,

Renita

 

Easy Peasy

The most beautiful part about my growth was watching my father work. Learning the gears and mechanisms that was him.

He was hard and soft and earned a reputation from both sides of the fence. He was often misunderstood. I am also misunderstood. It is our advantage often and our defeat in some situations.

When my father was in a situation that he was coming hard and fast and wanted to blow someone completely out of the water. I would often sit with him and just let him scream and pace. I would listen to the players. I would listen to each of their names. I would list their family members in my head. I would listen to the names of the streets if he mentioned them. I would listen to the transgressions, imagined and real. I would then remind him of their charitable deeds. I would remind him of history.

Immediately family war would erupt between us. God, like we would become, silent inside voices we would tremble. Big and small, we would sit. Me on the table in front of him. Him sitting in his chair right there in the kitchen. Can you picture that? Right there in the kitchen. A tattooed man, the ex-con, discussing the citizens with his baby girl. We talked of their gossip and transgressions, he knew them all. He received all the calls and was judgment. Ezra knew.

Some nights he would walk out in the middle of the night smiling. He would talk gibberish that was not gibberish but, it seemed that way. It was a round and a round the subject at hand. Easy, easy the real deal would hear what needed to be done. Not everything needed to be bullet straight down the middle. That is what I taught him. Sideways, Listen to the side words. Diffuse with stealth. Not everyone needs the applause. We both learned to work that way. It’s better.

Yes, It’s good to be a proud peacock, however, easy peasy is good and just when dealing with something that causes massive loss.

What’s best for all is really best.

 

 

The Corrections Officer; Abuse of Privilege

2017-14-4--09-43-52

priv·i·lege

a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

I Support law enforcement.

I do not believe we should run willy nilly around acting crazy. I also understand pain better than some humans. I don’t understand all sorts of pain. I’m no superhuman. I’m not as well-read as I should be, I’ve been too caught up in survival and raising babies and chasing my own emotions to read the books I’ve actually wanted to read. That is my actual cross to carry.

I’m furious today, though I sit at my desk pretending to just sit and blog as if nothing is going on except my children running to sneak extra pieces of my birthday cake that I actually didn’t even want.

I feel bloated and achy. My muscles hurt and I want to pack up my car and drive far away from this place with my children and never look back.

If my mother were alive and living somewhere warm, I’d do just that. I’d drive to her and start fresh just like we always do. Start fresh. To hell with men.

I mean, really. Seriously? Love. Let’s get really real. What is it? This love thing. Sex?

Whatever.

Baby, I’m evolved. I can walk through New Orleans and get that shit anywhere. Yeah, I may need to work out and get my nails done, however, that ain’t nothing. I got it.

These men think they have my shit all wrapped up in a ball because I’ve been swinging from this damn tree outside like some fresh angel. Seriously? I am an angel. I do good because I am good. I am. However, I am no fool. Seriously.

My sisters. My babies. That is all there are ladies. I love my husband. I always have! This man brought me yellow roses last night. For real?? Yellow roses of Texas. Trying to aggravate me like I’m an idiot. Are you serious? Oh dear lord have mercy on my sweet soul.

That poor woman down there in Texas. I love her. I do. Cathy Jo. I swear. I don’t know what in the sweet hell.

I’m telling you what. I will walk proudly like a damn peacock. My babies have and always will be my priority. I hope to hell everyone knows that. If ya’ll don’t know that? No one ever knew me.

Toth? You, son? Are an idiot if you don’t marry sassy pants.

That is all I have to say.

That’s the real.

 

Fake Cheese; The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Fake Cheese; The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

1975, I was four years old. Winter time in Ohio. It was cold and I remember my mom bundling me up to take me to a new babysitter because the other one, well, it was a bad situation.
My mother was working at two different bars in town and also helping my dad run the body shop that they owned. My grandma was a cook at the Gaslight Inn so I needed to go and be taken care of in the afternoons.
When I walked into the house it seemed cool. The women was young and she was smiling. She laughed with mom and I remember thinking “Well, this is going to be much better than playing with paper dolls and then being sent to the basement!” I had no idea. I just had no idea how complex humans could be. But, I was about to find out. Yes, I was.
My mom kissed me goodbye as I stood there with my little hat my grandma had made for me, my mittens. I stood there in front of this smiling woman, waiting. I hoped we could maybe play blocks. Maybe go outside later and play in the snow. I didn’t know.
Other kids came a little later. I don’t remember if it was one or two, that first day. My memory has fragmented. I apologize. However, what follows is crystal clear.
Lunch.
This woman wanted to cook lunch from dirty dishes. She wanted us to eat grilled cheese baked in an oven, made with cheese that was squeezed from a container that was molded. There was fruit that was bad. There was fruit that was good. She was giving the children the bad fruit and keeping the good for herself.
I told her I was not hungry. I was not mean. I was not hateful when it was time to eat. I simply stared at my servings and put my hands in my lap as the other children tried to pick their way through the horrid fare. They, were hungry. Of course, we were all hungry. I, however, refused to accept that, this woman, was being just mean, to children she was being paid to care for. You see, she was smiling as she served this food to us. She smiled and she curved her lips up meanly. So, I smiled and told her I was not hungry. I did this because I knew she was sick and sad inside. Some part of her was broken.
She considered my eyes, sizing me up. I knew I was in trouble. I remember the little boy’s cadence beside me “just eat the thing, just do it” then the little person beside him “come on, it’s ok! Just today! Try it!” Honestly, my days are probably mixing because this scene that I am describing happened for many days following this first day, however, the first day is set into my mind the most because I think I thought she could have just killed me and have been done to set the tone of our ride. Alas she decided not to do so. Instead she chose the snow. Cold would be my fun. I was wearing thermal underwear and socks.
I remember her sitting in her chair watching me. Sit. Sizing me like I was grown. I sat up a little straighter. The little boy touched my hand and I shoved him away because I was afraid he would get hurt too. I instinctively knew anyone near me was going to get hurt.
Quicker than a snake she struck. She flew across the table and grabbed me by my hair and drug me to the back door. She opened the door and threw me outside into the snow. She yelled “Enjoy the cold you little bitch! When you learn to enjoy dirt like your mama? You can come in!”
I didn’t understand. I didn’t know then that she had once loved my daddy. I didn’t know that a woman could hurt a child because of her jealousy. I didn’t know that brokenness could cause abuse that could kill hearts. I did however know that I could die in the snow. I was so very cold.
I stood looking at the snow. I don’t know how long. I can’t even begin to imagine exactly how long each day I was outside. I did not die nor did I lose fingertips or toes, therefore, I must not have been outside for a horrifically long period of time. I do remember the coping mechanisms I taught myself though.
The first week I remember telling myself not to look toward the house because I wanted to make certain I would not cry and make the other children cry. I was afraid she would hurt them. I was afraid that they would end up outside with me. The little boy was the weakest of all. I knew he would never survive outside. He would tell his parents and then the babysitter would end up in jail or worse. I figured if she saw that I was tough she might learn that my mama was tough too and she’d learn something.
So, that first week, I didn’t look at the house. I stayed near the house and scooped out a little burrow in the snow and stayed in it. It kept the wind off me. The sun basically kept me warm and I could watch the sun glint off the snow. The crystals looked pretty.
I remember listening to her sing from the window. Repetitively. The loudest music she could find to attempt to ruin my crystals. Anything to remind me she still was there. I stared at my crystals. Remembered that my mother would come. My mother always came back. My mother always came back with the warm. Out frost. In fire. I had learned that chant as a little girl It’s an old one. “Three sisters came from the east, two brought frost, one brought fire…” Have. Mercy. My life, you cannot make this story up.
My last day in the snow was a rough one. It was bitterly cold. I remember being inside the house, the power was out inside the house and even the other children were more indignant than usual. They were vigilant that Tinker Bell was not going outside today. Neat was staying inside. So, they were doing everything they could to lay down little “issues” to keep me inside.
Cars were left in the hallway and almost tripped over. Cigarettes were lost. Doors locked. This woman almost lost her already broken mind because she wanted Tinker Bell in the snow to suffer. See, she wanted me to hurt. She wanted to hurt me because she hurt. I let her. It was ok. I was strong even in my youth. I let the other children see. I understood her hurt, almost. I didn’t really, back then. I do now. I have been the hurt and I have caused the hurt.
That year, 1975. I suffered in the snow and almost died as a little girl because of my father’s transgression. I survived because my mother showed up early.
The power went out at the bar, or so I heard. Maybe it was a fluke. Maybe mom had a twitch in her ear. Maybe she heard a train. I know this, my heart was beating too slow that day. I remember the ice crystals dancing in front of me. I remember seeing the hawks flying above me, dancing.
This little girl here was waiting for her mama. Mama came. She charged into the front door looking for me. Somehow, she knew she wouldn’t find me inside. The kids told her where I was. She came and found me, scooped me up and put me into the warm car. I remember her kissing me. I remember her face being hot, wet. I remember she was vibrating. I remember her telling me to stay put and I remember she covered me from head to toe with a blanket and a tarp from the back of the car. I felt like a dead person. I was in complete darkness and it was good. The car was filled with exhaust. It was perfect oblivion.
My mother proceeded to clear the babysitters house of children. I hear she took them to the neighbor’s houses who then called their parents.
The rest of the story took many years for my grandmother to tell me. I begged for the truth. All of it, I wanted to know what had happened. The “why”. What had I paid the price for? I just wanted to know. I felt that I needed to understand the lesson at least. I was owed that. I needed the justification.
My grandmother explained to me that I had done a good deed. I had taught the children to be honorable. I had taught the women to look inside of herself. My mother had taken the children to safety. My mother went inside that house and sat down with the women. Her first instinct was to whip her ass. I do think she may have battled with her. I do not care what my grandmother said. Well, I do, actually. Perhaps they battled, perhaps they did not. Does it matter? A price is always paid.
We decide how long and how much to pay. We decide the cost.
Suffer. How much? Will a child pay? Or will you pay? Will I pay?
Something to think on today. I’m not sure. I’m not certain it’s worth the cost. There is much to consider. More to write. Many more words. Many more succinct words for you to eat. Wait.

Indigo Man; Deep Purple

I have always been a questioner. I pondered and ask “why” when I was a little girl until my mother stared blankly into the fields behind our house.
I remember being a very little girl I looked up at her and said “mom, why is the grass green and immediately ask why is the sky blue and why is the cloud white and why is the”—she interrupted me with her reply of “Renita Dawn, you will make the world weep with your mind”
I stared out into the field and smiled. As the passenger train slowly chugged on by I heard the screen door open and then close softly. Dad walked out and stood beside me.
I looked up at him and I said, “Why is the sky blue?” He leaned back a little smiled and said,“It ain’t blue Neat, it’s Indigo.”
Therefore, I am who I am. Just, Renita.

Kentucky rain

My toes. I feel them being caressed, still.

On evenings like tonight, I remember my toes dragging along the dirt under the swing set. I would swing slowly back and forth listening to Elvis sing to me about Kentucky. The rains.

I always kept wondering if I’d make it to Kentucky by myself. If I’d get to go and wander through faraway cities all by myself with rain in my shoes too. Seems silly now. But, not so silly.

I love to wander. I look out into the sky and ponder the future of our world and ponder my own life and the lives that have gone on before me. As I do this I feel so very thankful that I have breath in my lungs. I feel thankful that I have a smile on my face and I feel thankful that I am a brave soul that still wants to explore.

I want to explore my heart, I want to live. I feel so very blessed that I still have that inside of me. Passion can be easily lost.

Cirque Du Soleil; Sister

Listen carefully young one,
Carrying on into this brave beautiful buddistic flower filled future sounds fantastic. Eating cupcakes and sunshine, however, be aware, making me cry and break down did not shatter my illusions of love. I carried no illusions. My mirrored creations were ones that you imagined that I carried. I created a gigantic beautiful cirque du soleil for the planet my sister. This is your gift from me. My lesson to you, young one.
If you think me a super hero now, you should have seen me then, back when I carried no children to watch after. No baggage to worry after. I would have slaughtered the masses of fools that bothered to mess with me.
Now, you learn. You watch. Watch me rise.
I love you. Still.
I never left. I was just tired.
z.

Deer Visitors 2013

My memory is sometimes poor. Dates and times slip away because I’m off to the next adventure once the party or event is over.
2013
In September, the kids and I went to Chillicothe just to wander as we love to do. It was a beautiful day. Indian summer we would call it. Warm, beautiful. As we wandered through an entire herd of deer walked out of the forest. The kids stopped dead in their tracks and then Alexander crouch down like a little Indian boy and started to whisper. I giggled. Bella said, “What the” and looked back at me in wonder. I giggled, smiled. Both kids took off running straight at the deer as I started to take photos. It was beautiful. My smile turned inward because I knew an event was coming. When deer present themselves to me in mass, an event is coming. Typically, a presentation, a big event, an ending of some sort is coming. A life changing event is coming. Typically, it’s scary for me. No one can say they like scary things, not really. Scary things can be good. But, wow, the beginning of them suck.
One month later I found myself hanging out with my sisters Joy and Jen. We were known as the Trinity. An unlikely trio. October 2013. A soft rain was failing. We were on the back porch. I remember thinking “We need a fire” and joy said “let’s go” Jen said “I’ll stop it” and the rain stopped. For a minute.
Or two. We started a fire that day and for some reason, though it had been raining, the fire burned hot. I stood at the north which was unusual, Joy was at the south, also strange. Never the less. The fire was burning. We joined hands and I said that we should bring change to our lives. Release the negativity we had created. Pray for our mothers to release their pain. I will never forget that moment ever. I prayed that my mother’s pain would be released. In October.

At the time, I Knew she was addicted to pain medications. I knew she was drugging herself with sugary foods and junk although she was diabetic. I knew she was taking sleeping pills to sleep away her life and I was exhausted from trying to talk to her about depression and I didn’t know what to DO anymore. And… I had forever felt that she was slowly dying.
So, I went to a bonfire and I prayed that my mother’s pain would be released.
6 months ago, I would have written this story by saying-
Because I was such a horrible daughter and went to that bonfire and praying for my mother I somehow caused my mother’s death. I actually had the power to cause her damn apartment to burn down. Oh, my God.
Instead I can tell you this, my sisters and I stood in front of a fire and prayed for the release of my mother’s pain. I am thankful that it was released and I am truly grateful that we were able to have four months of good time with her. That is for certain. I am really glad that we were able to save all of the photos. I am really glad that were were able to donate her tissue just like she wanted us to. That is what I am thankful for. I am truly thankful for. I am truly humbled and honored to have been blessed by this graceful soul that called me her heart.
I am also thankful the deer gave me a heads up.
R