Why this blog? Well, I am here to bleed, fume, whine, think out loud, entertain myself, tell stories, and/or sometimes share one of my poems. I’m nobody, just a poet, a woman who loves literature and writing, art and painting. And I’m a dreamer. I encourage you to dream. Just be careful. There are dangers. Some dreams turn out to be mirages, illusions, delusions, hallucinations. Make sure you learn to tell the difference. Otherwise, you best not even try it. Take the straight road. It’s dull, but solid, easy, and safe.
Emily Dickinson wrote letters. It’s what people did in her day. She often included poems in her letters. I’ll bet she would’ve had a blog if she’d had a computer. Her “letter to the world” would have gone beyond the confines of her room and the few recipients. Would the world, then, have written to her?
I’m not exactly a loner, but I do spend a lot of time alone. Sometimes I get out, but I go alone: to the bookstore, the library, a little fun shopping, a walk, get little something to eat, a coffee. Sometimes I interact with other people. I might even occasionally meet someone for coffee. Well, it’s rare, but on occasion. It’s true, though, that I do spend a lot of time alone. (But at least I don’t hide in my room and talk to visitors through the door.) To many people, apparently, think I spend “too much” time alone. That, of course, is judgment of me. Anyone who has said that to me isn’t anyone I want to spend time with. This is my judgment of them. Borrriiinnngggg.
Other than boring me, people tend to disappoint me. Like last December, I had coffee with a woman I met through someone else. She seemed interesting enough, intelligent enough, decent enough, nice enough. And she is all those things. But she did disappoint me.
The disappointment came while on our way to the café. She carries a rolling bag with her. I have no idea why she has this big bag with her. When I carry a bag, besides my purse, it’s because I have a book that doesn’t fit in my purse, and it’s easier to carry it in a bag than hold it in my hands or the crook of my arm. But it’s a shoulder bag, not a big bag with rollers. I have seen Cheryl (not her real name) pull books out of her bag, and papers, and she carries her money in it too. So, maybe it’s her book bag and purse? I don’t know. I wondered, but I didn’t ask. Anyway, it was early evening, sixish, dark, it being December. We’re walking up Valencia, and she’s dragging this bag with the little wheels. Then a woman, a street woman, you know, down and out (judging from her appearance), a bit revved up, actually, wild in her glazed eye, muttering, gesticulating, by herself, passed us walking in the opposite direction. She passed by on Cheryl’s side, where Cheryl had her rolling bag, and the bag rolled over the street woman’s foot. “AAAHHH!” she screamed. “Watch it! My foot! You ran over my foot! You fucking bitch! Watch where you’re going with that thing! You ran over my foot, you fucking bitch!”
“Sorry,” Cheryl said angrily.
“Watch where you’re going with that thing, you fucking bitch. You runnin’ over people’s feet!”
“Well, move out of the way, then, you bitch!” Cheryl screamed back. She stopped and turned around, looking after the street woman. “BITCH!” Cheryl yelled. She stood there as if challenging the woman to come back and argue or fight or I don’t know what. The street woman kept cursing and bitching, but she kept walking. I didn’t know if she was going to stop and come back to kick Cheryl’s ass, who stood there, yelling, “BITCH! YOU BITCH!” I’m thinking, Oh, shit. Why doesn’t Cheryl just apologize, let it go, and just keep walking? Ignore the street woman’s drama. I don’t want to be involved in this mess. Cheryl’s behavior stunned me, and I was embarrassed when heads turned in our direction. If she got into a confrontation with the street woman, I was going to walk away. If she wants to do this, it’s on her, I’m thinking. I want nothing to do with this stupidity. Oh. my. god.
Cheryl wears her hair in a bun. She reminds me of an old-fashioned librarian. She looks like a sweet, gentle, intelligent woman. I rejected advising her to let it go. It isn’t my duty to tell people how to behave. I simply made a mental note that I would never meet with her again, that we were not going to be friends.
Other than that, Cheryl and I had a nice conversation. She talked about Buddhism (yet she had behaved so unBuddhist-like with that street woman), the Dalai Lama, her admiration for Leonard Peltier’s intelligence, and we even talked about Jim Morrison. She told me she’s working on tracing her heritage, wondering if her grandmother was Native American. She brought up Peltier’s poem, I am everyone. I asked her if she’d read his book. She said, “My Life is My Sundance?”
“Yeah, that’s it,” I said. “Have you read it?” She said she hadn’t. I told her I think she’d really like it. I loved it. She asked me if I knew that Leonard Peltier was a painter. I told her I did, and that I’d seen some of his work online. We wondered if he can still paint, since he’s nearly blind by now. We talked over two hours.
Too bad Cheryl disappointed me. I enjoyed our conversation. In fact, I like the woman. She’s a nice woman. But the way she behaved with the street woman was not cool. Not cool at all. Her behavior was very stupid. I mean, all right, sometimes it can’t be helped. Sometimes you gotta stand up, talk back. But it makes no sense to challenge a raging, loaded, street woman. She was a only ghost, for christ’s sake. You should really leave specters alone. They can be dangerous.
I’ve heard it said that we should not judge, that we should love everyone unconditionally. I disagree. I refuse. If people are stupid (in behavior or judgment), or unnecessarily cruel, or really foolish, I cannot love or like them. If you treat me, or anyone, like shit, I will not love you. These are the conditions for my love: don’t treat me like shit, or insult me, or disrespect me. I won’t hate you (after I stop being mad), but I won’t like you. I might still love you, but I will leave you. If you thrive on drama, invite trouble, I will not be your friend. I might admire you, if I find you intelligent or talented, but I won’t hang out with you. Sorry, man, no hard feelings. It’s just that I gotta take care of myself.
Next time, I’ll share a poem. I meant to today, but I’ve run out of time.