The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part Three

I cried so hard that I could see. I wiped the tear festival from my eyes and took a deep breath in. I could feel the coolness of the artificial train air conditioning on my face solidifying my tears against my face. I briefly glanced out the window again only to see that it had become morning. I’d been crying for long that the next day had happened. There was a deep green path outside with no human beings anywhere. No telling where I was or where we were going.

Nothing I knew to be true was true. I didn’t even have a name. Julia was something I named myself because I’d forgotten everything about myself. I had no purse, no backpack, no ID. So here I was on this train headed to Nowhere. I’d lost myself and I could figure out how to get her back. All I could do is go.

It was time for me to find out who I was and I figured that Nowhere was just as good a place as any to do that. Plus there were no scheduled trains coming after the train to Nowhere.

“What are you reading?” I asked the elderly man next to me with a sniff. I had no tissues so I wiped the snot from my nose on my arm.

I wanted to understand why his newspaper was so old. It wasn’t even from this century.

His hat was black but covered with a subtle layer of dust.

He looked up from his newspaper, turned to me and locked eyes with me. His eyes were icy blue. His gaze disarmed me and yet I felt as if I couldn’t look away from him. He had frozen me and I was stuck in my seat looking into his eyes. They transfixed me to the point where I was unable to do anything but stare back and attempt to keep my breathing level.

After what seems like an eternity, the elderly man opened his pursed his lips and spoke:

“Put the past away.” He said all the while keeping his gaze up me.

The air got colder.

My soul felt lonelier.

And I knew that I would find my answers when I got to Nowhere.

nowhere train grass

The Nothing Train to Nowhere – Part Two

I closed my eyes and relaxed in the hard plastic red seat. The elderly man next to me was reading a newspaper, or at least I think he was. My eyes were closed and I could hear the rustling of papers. I could only assume that he was shuffling through a newspaper. It was crisp and clean, the way he shuffled his paper. It would be a long time before I got to Nowhere, and I just wanted to sleep. I rearranged my body in several different positions; put my legs against my chest in the seat. It was hard to get comfortable. I was wearing green khaki shorts and a white tee-shirt and the train was severely air conditioned. It made sense, since we were in the middle of the summer, but my legs were cold as ice.

I opened my eyes for a moment and shoved my bare legs under my tee-shirt. It was a last ditch attempt to finagle some warmth. Upon opening my eyes I glanced over at the elderly man who was immersed in reading his paper. The story he was reading must be exciting, I thought. I looked down at the top of the paper. The date read: June 16th 1899. My heart began to race. Something was wrong here. This train was cursed.

The elderly man was was oblivious to the window beside him. The train moved quickly blurring our immediate surroundings. Trees, houses, roads all looked like a green, red, brown and gray blur. I began to sweat and tremble. There was no turning back now. The pigeons were gone and I couldn’t remember what color they were. Were they grey or brown? Did they even have eyes? I didn’t know because they were long gone. At least they weren’t pecking at my toes. I hate that.

But they were the only friends I’d known, those disgusting birds, for days, months, maybe a year. I’m not even sure. I’d been at that train station waiting for any train for so long that I’d forgotten what my name was for a while. I renamed myself four times before I decided on Julia. Julia isn’t even my name but I needed a name because this man came by and asked me what my name was. He was asking for directions to the nearest grocery store and then when I said I didn’t know he asked:

“What’s your name, sweetheart?”

And I could only remember famous people named “Julia.” Julia Child, Julia Stiles, Julia Roberts. So I told him my name was Julia so he would leave me alone.

I looked out the window and my eyes began to throb. I could feel them coming – the tears. The ache in my throat was unbearable, I could speak or breathe. So I coughed instead. I coughed and coughed and then I sneezed and then I started to cry hard; so hard that I couldn’t see the blurry tree rock road festival that was out the window.

To be continued…

train 21

The Nothing Train to Nowhere

I got on the Nothing Train. It had a sign but the sign was blank. It was a blank yellow sign that didn’t even flash. Still I got on because it was there. I stepped one sneaker after the other onto the train car. I was wearing my white converse that day. It was a Wednesday and I had nowhere to be so I got on the Nothing Train to headed to Nowhere.

I sat down in the first red seat I saw. An elderly man wearing a black fedora was sitting in the seat beside me – it was a green seat.

The seats on the Nothing Train were red, green, red, green, red, green.

Stop, go, stop go.

The Nothing Train closed its doors and prepared to leave the station. I knew deep down inside that this train wasn’t going where I needed to go. But I didn’t care, because I needed to get out of where I was. The station was dirty and it was dark outside. I knew there was no way I was going to survive if I stayed there any longer. I didn’t have any food left and the pigeons were starting to look at me funny. There were a lot of pigeons at this station.

So I sat on the train and waited.

To be continued…

do-the-dew

Compassion

I thought a lot about the post  I wrote the other day. I was in an exasperated state. When you have children you try your best to be a good parent. That was a hard day for me. My daughter was throwing a massive tantrum and I just wanted it to end. I also wanted compassion from the people around me in that moment, which is probably unreasonable since the people in the coffee shop were strangers and don’t know me on a personal level.

However, the flack that I got for writing that post was harsh.

  • I was told that I had a personality disorder (NPD) and needed therapy.
  • I was informed that my card as a feminist should be removed
  • I was told that someone was there in the store and that I didn’t discipline my child at all
  • I was informed that I am a bad parent

Is this necessary? I don’t feel that my post warranted such harsh criticisms.

I wrote that post in the heat of the moment. I wanted to show that there is a cultural problem. We don’t try to help one another out. When I see someone struggling with New York geography, I try to be kind and give directions. That’s the kind of compassion I’m referring to. It takes just a moment to be kind to a stranger.

On the other hand…in hindsight, I was not kind or compassionate to the people working at this coffee shop. I didn’t consider the fact that they were trying to do their jobs. And they were concerned that this child screaming was disturbing customers. So they did the best they could in that moment by asking me and my family to leave the store. And frankly, it’s unfair (and lacking compassion) for me to fail to see their point of view.

So I do want to apologize for lacking compassion. The woman behind the counter at MILK was doing the best she could in that moment. She wanted to make sure she did her job and I can’t be upset with her about that. It’s not about me. This is about her having integrity. She did the absolute best thing she could in that moment in time. I am deeply and sincerely sorry if I offended you when I wrote that post. However, I did want to show that we need to try to understand one another better.

Peace

planet

You Don’t Have to Like Me

It’s okay if you don’t like me. Really it is. I have a problem where I want everyone to like me. It’s seriously a problem. I think it’s called being a human being. I don’t know how to get over this problem. The only solution I have is to articulate this sentence: I do not have to be liked by everyone. It is okay when someone doesn’t like me. Not everyone likes everyone. So I’m going to be okay with you not liking me, whoever you are.

 

sad times

To the millennial employees who just kicked me out of the fancy coffee shop because my 5 year old was losing her shit – i can’t fucking WAIT till you have kids.

This story started as a Facebook post. “To the millennial employees who just kicked me out of the fancy coffee shop because my 5 year old was losing her shit – i can’t fucking WAIT till you have kids.” I wrote this status because this actually happened to me and my daughter in a store on Smith Street and 2nd Place called Milk Bar. If you ever go there, I highly recommend the sparkling water – it costs $1.63 and comes in a beautiful blue bottle. Every time I buy it I feel like a princess as I sip on on it. My name “Sarah,” actually means princess in Hebrew. Okay, enough with the tangents. Let’s get to the story; the terrible story.

After school, I took my kids to Milk Bar for two sparkling waters. My kids sat on two stools as I collected the magical bottles of sparkling goodness and split one of them between my son (8) and my daughter (5). Naturally, because my daughter is a child, she spills things frequently. Today, she decided to spill her sparkling water intentionally on the stool in order to make a “lake” for her stuffed monkey to swim in. She loves monkeys. It’s adorable, actually. Ironically, she was born in 2011, which (according to Chinese astrology) is the year of the monkey. As soon as I see this impromptu lake that she’s created, I look her in the eyes and say:

“Clean that up.”

My 5-year-old (whom I am convinced is a genius) meets my gaze and promptly states “No.”

I silently walk over to the counter while the millennial employees with flawless eyeliner watch. I want that girl with the nose ring to teach me how to do what she has done with liquid eyeliner. She looks amazing. I pick up some napkins and walk over to my child, who is standing beside her lake and simian pretend creature.

“Clean this up please.” I say to her.

“NO!” She screams at me and starts to shriek.

Every child development professional will attest that the most effective way to handle a tantrum is to ignore it. My five-year-old began to throw the most epic mind-blowing tantrum I have seen this week. I attribute her ornery state to the fact that it was 86 degrees outside, she hated her lunch today, her Pre-K partner tries to kiss her shoes (true story) and she just woke up from nap time. In other words, she doesn’t fucking know, she’s five and doing the best she can. Give her a fucking break. I followed the advice of pediatricians and clinical psychologists and ignored her massive freak out.

Unfortunately, my child is extremely intelligent and persistent, qualities that will serve her well. She continues to refuse to clean up the “lake” by shrieking. I do not want to clean up the mess for her. I resort to threatening, because clearly I don’t know what the fuck to do.

“If you don’t clean up that mess, you’re not going to watch TV when you get home.”

“I DON’T CARE ABOUT THAT!” Yells my five-year-old bad ass.

Oh well.

In the midst of this insanity, one of the parents from Samara’s class comes in and reminds me that I am doing the best that I can in that moment by ignoring the tantrum. My child is flipping out, losing her shit because she refuses to clean up glorified seltzer and throw the napkins in the garbage. After this goes on for five minutes, one of the women behind the counter (with the flawless black eyeliner) walks up to me and says:

“Excuse me. You’re going to have to leave.” She says to me while modeling her flawless eyeliner.

“What?”

“Yes, you are disturbing the other customers.” She says.

I stare at her, amazed that she just kicked a child out of a store. I had one solitary thought.

This woman does not get it. She doesn’t have children. When/if she has kids she’ll understand.

So my daughter, my son and I walked out of Milk Bar and I felt sad that this woman lacked basic empathy skills. Because the truth is, she didn’t have to have kids to have compassion. She could have looked at the situation and said, “hey, I’m sorry your daughter’s going through it.” But she kicked us out with a cold heart and closed mind.

As I walked with my screaming child to the F train, I thought about the time that I visited Puerto Rico when my son was 14 months old. We walked down the street and strangers proclaimed:

“Que lindo,” when they saw us. In Puerto Rico, children are treasured. If my daughter had thrown a tantrum in San Juan, I’m certain that random strangers would have tried to soothe her or empathize with both of us. It’s just not that way in our culture; particularly in New York City, where the priority is not disturbing customers and correctly applying liquid eyeliner.

o

Angel Isn’t Evil – He’s in Love

On the series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel (Angelus) turns evil after experiencing one moment of true happiness when he makes love to Buffy. For those of you that don’t know the story, I’ll break it down for you:

Angel is a 200 plus year old vampire who tortured and maimed several human beings. He was known for being especially malicious to his victims psychologically.

Drusilla-Spike-Angel-promotional-images-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-12513259-2074-2560

 

Angelus murdered a young gypsy girl and this time he went too far. The tribe of gypsies cursed him with a soul. This meant that he was aware of every terrible act he had committed over the years. He could no longer carelessly kill human beings, because the thought of hurting anyone else made him physically ill. And he’s a vampire. Oh snap! That sucks dude. I’m sorry. Instead of feasting on live humans, homeboy subsisted on O Positive bags that he got from Sunnydale Hospital. Hey man, whatever works.

Angelus turned into Angel when he was given a soul. BYE BYE EVIL VILLAIN. Now he’s gotta be a wimp.

Many Buffy fans think that Angel is way less interesting than Angelus and they are right. Angel is kind of a dip shit. Angelus is a fucking bad ass. One of the best lines in the entire series is this:

Angelus: (to Buffy) You made me the man I am today.

Buffy is responsible for the removal of Angel’s soul. There was one catch to the gypsy curse: if Angel had one moment of true happiness, he would lose his soul and become the evil Angelus again. Buffy lost her virginity to Angel and directly after “giving him a happy” (the show’s words not mine) lame ass Angel becomes Angelus again. They fall asleep after they bang and when he wakes up, Angel is in an extraordinary amount of pain. He runs out into the street moaning (not in a sexual way I might add) “BUFFFFYYYYYY!”

Shit is about to go down.

The scene changes. Angel is curled up nearly in the fetal position in an alley way. Boo hoo (thinks the viewer) poor baby. Until, he is disturbed by a female passerby.

“Are you okay?” She asks while smoking a cigarette. Obviously she was more worried about this poor vampire than lung cancer.

Angelus emerges, sucks the woman dry of blood and blows smoke out of his mouth. He then says that he is feeling just fine. HE JUST MURDERED SOMEONE. Angel the cowering fool has left the building. When Angelus sees Buffy again, he acts flippantly about the fact that they slept together. She even tells him that she loves him and he replies casually “Yeah, love you too.”

Let’s look at this on the surface. Buffy (a teenage girl) sleeps with an older man/vampire and what happens? The dude turns evil. How many women has this happened to? Thousands. Millions. We cannot even count anymore. That is not the point though. The point is this. Once this asshole turns evil, he still loves Buffy. He just displays it differently. Angel was shy and emotionally available. He tenderly kissed Buffy, told her he loved her and tried to keep her safe. Once the demon was unleashed in Angelus, he feels the same fiery passion and love for Buffy, except that he uses that passion to torture her. This is the strange way that he externalizes his love for her.

This dynamic is the epitome of an abusive relationship. It has happened to many women I know. A woman enters into a relationship with a dude thinking he is one way. Then they get emotionally involved, she becomes emotionally invested and all of a sudden his true colors come out and he is an evil son of a bitch. The tale of Angel and Buffy is a parable. It’s a cautionary tale. You cannot control who you love, but you can take steps to protect yourself when your lover becomes a demon.

I mean, Buffy had to kill Angelus to stop him. But guess what?

That motherfucker came back from the demon dimension of hell and surprised her during her senior year of Sunnydale High School?

What does this show us? When you are in a dysfunctional (abusive) relationship, your lover is difficult to break ties with. They might become a demon, get murdered and come back to haunt you; just as a for instance.

What is the moral of the story?

Don’t fall in love with a guy that has a scary dark side…err…or try not to.

Be In Me

Touch me again.

Hold me close.

Be in me.

I feel your skin.

Everything is horrible and wonderful wrapped up in a hurricane.

You’re my drug.

I breathe you in and feel you inside me.

Warmth and exhilaration resonates through my body.

Starting inside my chest and pouring all the way down out me.

You don’t know what you do to me.

You may never never know.

water

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