This week kicked my ass. I also kicked its, I’d say, but I’m thrashed and really done for the night.
It is hard to know what the week will be, and how much those projects really use in terms of time and energy. There is a lot on my plate right now, different types of things I’m still at the early stages of figuring out how to handle them. I had a lot to get accomplished this week, and unfortunately, wasn’t quite able to get everything done, including Elliot Granger and The Clueless Brigade. I am not done editing it, something that inherently takes longer than anticipated.
This coming Friday, April 1st, the first chapter in full will be posted, without a doubt and every Friday until it’s done. New projects can be tricky regarding planning. The newsletter went out a little bit ago, so if you are signed up, you should be getting them in your mailbox over the weekend. I’m not going to feel defeated because I got really damn close to doing it all.
I really struggled focusing today. My mind was all over the map, and I need to do a better job asking for help. I’m pretty bummed I don’t have Elliot for you tonight, but I do have the first six hundred words edited. I had to stop because my eyes started doing the blurry, burning thing when I’d scrutinize each sentence. The whole thing could be ready, but it just didn’t work out that way.
I considered making coffee, but it’s time to sleep. This is one of the moments I need to accept and not fight it. I’m going to choose the right thing here. My brain needs a break. I’ll cross all my T’s next week—ir at least, that’s the plan.
The first part of Chapter One is below—like I said, the entire first chapter will be posted next Friday, which will officially kick off the serial.
Hope you enjoy your weekend.
Until next time.
Chapter One: Lost souls recognize others of its kin
The last words my mom spoke to me were, “I love you, have a good day at school.”
I wish I could honestly say that I knew somewhere in the depths of my stomach that was the last time I’d seen her alive. If I play back the memory of my walking down the stone steps and swear, there was a twinge of finality.
I can look back on the cloudy morning, and remember the winter chill wasn’t far from taking over entirely. My mom’s worn and freckled framed mouth twisted in a forced smile. The pain was getting the best of her, I knew that. Her eyes said it all. I heard all the adults talking even though, for some reason, they thought I couldn’t hear them. Even my kid brother knew what was happening. I wished it weren’t true. It didn’t seem right, and it certainly wasn’t fair. The truth kept finding its way in my head even though I couldn’t possibly begin to understand how much it was going to hurt.
I can still smell vanilla.
Right before going home for lunch, the office called me in and I knew mom was gone—that, I can honestly say. The emptiness swelled in all of my new holes that were just there instantly, open and raw.
I hate cancer.
Christmas lights coated the street in a forced cheeriness that made me want to curl into a ball after punching a lamp post. I wanted to scream. I couldn’t wrap my head around how the holidays could continue without my mom. The whole commercial twist on the holiday schedule uses “family time” as a vessel to sell everyone stuff. For every time, a commercial of a mom making cookies or gift shopping would air a metaphorical knife would bore itself into my chest. I bit at my thumbnail as I crossed the street. My eyes stayed focused on my feet as they walked over faded white lines.
I was too nervous to drive, so I walked everywhere. I did three hours of lessons and decided the way of the foot was for me—which for the most part fit my life fine until Glen’s new wife, Joan insisted I go to group counseling on account of my problems. Northern New Jersey, land of the malls, had terrible public transportation. It was basically unusable—in other words—it took me three buses to get to the group which was a trek I needed to make five days a week now thanks to my being a minor and having very little control over my own well-being. By car, it takes about fifteen minutes. As a recent high school drop out, my days were pretty empty.Glen and Joan didn’t know what to do with me, and I’m not sure they want to do a nothing other than getting through the next year and a half until I was eighteen, we all know I’m gone. At least, we can hope that will be the case.
The third and final bus dropped me in the heart of Clifton, one of Jersey’s rougher neighborhoods. North Jersey was a patchwork quilt of neighborhoods that are inside of gates that money drips off of, dirty towns that have streets lined with trash and graffiti, nothing-special collections of houses in between and the most elaborate retail assortment just all five minutes away. I felt like I was losing my mind like I was living in a box that everyone could see but me. I had eight, long blocks to walk past pawn shops and strip clubs to a large, crumbling building that held my support group for teenagers who abuse drugs. Not for ones dealing with grief. After three different therapists, my fill-in guardians decided group therapy was the best bet. Westfield’s group for lost teens is more of an out-patient program since me out of the cramped house for four hours was better than one.
Tune into next week!