Thursday, December 24, 2009

i've been dreaming about my dad again. when he first died, i dreamed about him several times in a night, every night. but that lulled for quite a while. i hadn't been dreaming about him for at least a year until recently, and now it seems to be every night again.
the dreams are weird. it's my dad's body, but his character is strangely altered. he's usually mad and angry, but in the dreams, these aren't just temporary mood shifts, the mad and the angry are always there. but somehow, in my dreams, i know he's acting this way because he's sick, and for some reason, his illness has altered his personality.
this is nothing like real life. besides that my dad so rarely got mad or angry, no signs of illness existed until that very morning. we had no idea he was dying--no idea his heart was struggling as it was.
in my dreams, too, i know he's on the very verge of death. i know he could leave us at any moment, so i can't leave his side, no matter the strange alteration of his personality. i want to be around him. i want to cling to him, to get every last possible second with him that i can. i wake up every time. i never witness his death in my dreams, for which i'm thankful. but i'm not sure the constant waiting for it doesn't do more damage. it's like he's back mysteriously in our lives. i can't really figure out, in my dream, what happened, why he was gone in the first place, all i know is that i have a second chance to be with him, and i'm on the figurative edge of my seat in every dream, afraid that he's going to leave any second.

strange as it may sound, i'm grateful for these dreams. even though they're exhausting and sometimes heartbreaking, they're also small images of my dad. small chances to sort of be with him and remember him. i don't mind too much that he's not "himself," because even in my dreams, i can remember what he's really like, who he really was. i remember his smiles and his laughter, and i remember how he looked at me with that very special look that only daughters know. that look that says there's nothing in the world he wouldn't do for me. that look of sweet admiration. that look that says all he sees when he looks at me is the little girl he used to hold in his arms. i still know that look. i still remember those eyes. i remember his smell and the sound of his voice. i remember how he felt, where he was squishy, and where he was only bones. i remember where his tan line started on his arms, and which veins popped out that i liked to squish.
i remember it all. i remember it so well that it both hurts and delights; so well that most of the time i try not to remember it so i don't have to deal with the hurt part.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I feel strangely free tonight. Free from worry, free from grief, free from the constant weight that is life and the future. I don't know how. I don't know what's different tonight than any other night, but this is a precious sensation. No matter how long or short it may last, I must (and do) treasure it.
The most prominent freedom I'm feeling is from my constant worries about love. I want to be in it desperately, and on a normal evening, my heart hurts because no one I know is him. But tonight, i feel strangely free. He is there, or he is not, and either way I'm going to be okay.
This feels glorious.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

two years.

TWO YEARS. the fact is glaring, and obvious, and brightly lit in front of me. i knew over Thanksgiving that then was the two-year mark of my last time seeing and speaking with my dad. hugging him. sitting next to him. joking with him. being lectured for not checking my oil in my car.
TWO YEARS. the fact screams at me, like it's trying to force me to acknowledge my dad is never coming back. he's not going to show up at church one day. he's not going to come home for lunch tomorrow. in five more years, he still won't be here. in 18 more years, i will have not seen my dad in 20 years...and someday, that reality will be in front of me.
TWO YEARS. and i wonder if my brother will call this time. he must care..? is he hurting, too? should i be calling him? but i'm here. with my mom. he should call. he should call more often than he does anyway. he should visit our home more often than twice a year, too. for all intents and purposes, he should need us as much as we need him. we're family and we lost someone dear two years ago, and we need each other.
two years. i can't believe it. multiples of years. an S on the end of year. i still think to myself, "how did we get here?" partially because i don't really see how we've made it this long without my dad, but also because i just don't know how we got here. how we're here and he's not. it doesn't make sense in my confused head. it doesn't make sense at all.
24 years. that's how long i knew my dad. i'm so grateful for those 24 years, and i wouldn't trade those years in for anything. but two years is not a long enough time to be only grateful, and not sad. no, i will be a combination of grateful and sad on this day, and 364 others for the rest of my life.
i miss you, dad.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Over the Rhine, one of my favorite bands of late, has a beautiful song called "Latter Days." If only I could project some meaning, understand what they're trying to say. I'm far too careful with that, if it's possible. I despise the idea of labeling things I have no business labeling. The chorus, though, of this beautiful song, says, "There is a me you would not recognize...Call it the shadow of myself." I love the line. Applying my own meaning, which is terribly unlike me, I must say, I come up with obvious parallels to my battle against determining who am, now that my dad is dead and life is no longer what it once was.
I feel terribly like this person I am today is a shadow of who I used to be, before my dad died, before I lost important bits of faith, before I changed my mind about my purpose, if there is one, to my existence. But at the same time, in the same instant, with the raging battle between rational and feeling, I feel more alive, more like "me" in these latter days, than I ever whole life.
I've picked up a smoking habit. I like to drink, sometimes in excess. I curse and I lie and I bare this general weight on my shoulders...something about, "What does it mean to be real?" Feeling all these things, while tragic, makes me feel more real than I have, maybe ever. Feeling doubts and angst and anger makes me feel like I'm finally feeling something of value, something beyond this eternal and optimistic hope in Christ. It's like now I have this reason to understand grace to its fullest.
To add more cliches, it's like a veil has been lifted and I'm finally experiencing life, in all its ugliness and tragedy. But instead of feeling hopeless, or instead of feeling overwhelmed and empty, I feel grateful. Grateful for this opportunity to understand.
I am a dualist. A double. A complex. I am in a constant, never-ending battle with myself over my mind and heart. Which should win? Which should sustain? I'm learning, slowly, neither must beat out the other. Mind nor heart must win this so-called battle, because one cannot do without the other. ...
I'm not good at endings. That's all I have for now.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My moments of missing my dad come and go in waves, as is expected, I suppose. Some days I think of him every minute of every hour, and others maybe only a few times a day. Sometimes I can go a few days without misery, sometimes a week, and other times I'd rather die than feel the crushing pain of such a loss.
Some days, like today, I find little ways of bringing him back, of feeling him, of making him more real. These days I do something tangible, like wear his shirts, or play his guitar, or, as in today's case, build things.
I strapped on his tool belt, filled it with nails and screws. I used his chop saw, his electric drill, his battery-powered drill, his hammer, and I listened to his favorite CD. I stood on his ladder in that tool belt, hammering nails into 2x6s, humming along to Bill Mallonee and the Vigilantes of Love. "Welcome all you suckers to Suckerville..." Working hard with my hands makes me feel like my dad. Feeling like my dad helps me feel my dad. The pit of my stomach twists and turns and like so many other times, I'm pounded by the incessant silence of his voice that he's really, truly, endlessly gone.
I hate to be so glum. I hate that I can't yet put a smile on my face and be glad for him, where he is, and that even though I had 24 perfect years by his side, I can't for a second be thankful while I'm perseverently wishing him back. I'm not there yet. I pray, pray, pray that someday soon I can banish the cloud of sadness and grow in the light of the Hope which exists as my dad's legacy and love.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


i stood there, today, looking at his back, at his cute little tush (not too little, just perfect), thinking "he's one of the good ones, i think." and still, i stood there wishing, from the depths of my heart, wildly unknown to me until it creeps into my late night thoughts, as it so often does, wishing, dreaming, pretending he was someone else. someone i know is so much "worse." someone who broke my heart once, has never apologized, and who, undoubtedly, i would let break my heart a million times more, if he would.
why is it that heartbreak from some people is so much more priceless, so much more sought after, than happiness with another? how can i even think about letting him break my heart again? and again and again and again until the day i die. is this love? that i sink so low, willing to break for someone who doesn't need me? that i'm willing to leave every good path i know and travel, to follow someone whose value for me doesn't extend beyond occasional sex, and some fun times?
love is so many things. it's sacrifice, dependence, loss, pain, need, and passion, and does not abandon for mistreatment, rejection, dishonesty, or betrayal. love is so beyond reason, i lay myself aside one thousand times a week to pour my soul into another being, whether he accepts my soul or not. and in this case, he does not. he only takes advantage, and takes for granted, and takes whatever i give him, absorbing what he chooses, and banishing the rest to be swallowed back, choked down, and regurgitated later--by me.
this is love. a very one-sided love, but marked with all the intensity and passion of a love so true. where does it end? when does it stop? at what point, do i say "enough," and choose to move forward? more importantly, can someone please, please take me to that point and throw me over the edge, that i might jumpstart this process called "getting over him"?
the process has begun. it began when i saw the glint in his eye. the glint that spoke a million rejections, a million betrayals. the day i got on a plane and left his arms, i began the process, the long, trying, immobilizing and paralyzing process, of doing this thing called moving on. who knows how long it will take. i just passed the two-month mark, and time is moving slowly. but time is like medicine, healing and soothing, and powerful. it will end, this pang, or "knife" as some say, stabbing through my heart when i wish one man were another. time is my mother, my best friend, my physician and my comforter. today, time is my ally.

Monday, August 3, 2009

i sort of have this feeling i could write. right now. but i'm terrified of it. of writing, of the feeling like i could. what if i try and i fail? what if i DO write something, then tomorrow i'm back to what's lately been "normal," the extended power writer's block of this millennium. i'm not going to try. i'll just do my normal thing here and write what i can.

i went to the gravestone today. at the memorial gardens. i didn't feel like i was going to cry when i pulled up, but i always cry at the memorial gardens, sitting next to that impersonal gravestone marked Edward E. Schorstein, who's my dad, but how can it possibly symbolize reality? reality: he's gone. he's dead. he's not coming back tomorrow, or next week, or when i'm 50. that's the real and terrifying kicker... he's gone forever.

that's all i have for now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

just got really bummed out by something so silly. my mom cashed in this bucket of coins, that i thought we'd agreed not to cash in. it was my dad's, and we jokingly made it my "dowry." but we seriously spoke once about it belonging to me and now the bucket's empty with bills.
i know it's silly, i just miss my dad and get sad when my mom goes through these purging stages, when she gets rid of things that were his because they're useless to us now. they're not useless to me. they're his things, and they make me feel like he's closer.

Monday, July 13, 2009


i reread this tonight, and got teary for only the millionth time. it's an excerpt from the velveteen rabbit.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

a poem for now.

to hope for seconds
hurts worse than no hope at all

to believe for a minute
hurts worse than a meaningless lifetime

these things end

reality is that
no hope
no belief
is so far less painful

than the disappointment
the sorrow
the burn

of having never
or hoped
or dreamed

at all.

Friday, July 3, 2009

i have to focus on the positives today. like i'm going to be an auntie! and how many wonderful, true friends i have. that i live in COLORADO, and that everyday i wake up to fresh air. i have to focus on truth. like the Lord. that he loves me, even though i feel nothing. that heaven is truly moments away, though a lifetime stands in the way.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

i still love him today. maybe a little bit more. sigh.

i wish i had someone i could ask to stay with me this week while my mom's away. i'm so lonely and when i get this way, all the terrifying symptoms visit me and i do stupid things.

i don't want to sleep alone anymore.

i don't want to be alone anymore.

my heart aches.

Monday, June 29, 2009

warning... stream of consciousness...

i shouldn't have even bought tickets to come out here. or i should have come with much more serious intentions of honoring my Lord and giving even a tiny little shit about how HE loves me.
how is it possible that i think this much, and still make this many mistakes? how do i end up making so many rash, poor choices with insufferable consequences, when all i do all day long is think-think-overthink?
i miss life as young. i miss being four or five or three and being content, quiet, pure, and loved.
maybe i'll feel different tomorrow, sometimes that happens, but what if i don't? what if i stop taking anti-depressants? will i make better choices because i'm not being so rash, or will i make worse (though it can't get much worse) choices because i'm depressed?
i'm going to love him tomorrow. i know this. i love him right now even though i hate him. and the only reason i hate him is because i can see in his eyes that he does not love me. he could never love me, and i know this. and it breaks my heart a little bit more than it's already broken.
he is funny, and so so smart, and when he smiles, i feel like i could look at his face until the end of time. he eats chips in the morning and takes five minutes to put on two shoes. he struts when he walks and does a weird thing with his tongue when he's thinking, or bored, or mindlessly, or i'm not really sure why he does it. i pretend like all of these things annoy me, and maybe the first time i saw him biting his tongue i thought it was weird, but now i know i pretend to be annoyed because if i can find things to dislike in him, then maybe i don't actually love him, and maybe it won't hurt as badly that he doesn't love me.
but it does hurt. it hurts so badly because of a million little things in my life that have led me to this point, when and where i believe that no one loves me, and i'll try anything to find that love. and with hopes so high, yet buried so deeply, i jump in - all in - and i just fall, fall, fall. but hitting the ground is not nearly the most painful part. it's the healing. it's the mending of the cracked ribs and the fractured limbs and the broken, broken body that takes the longest, hurts the most, never ends. i will heal until the day i die. i will die a broken, pasted-back-together, healing creature, in the process of constant mending from cracks old and new, but i will never be this thing people call healed.
is that what tortures me most? that i will never heal? i will heal from him. i know i'll heal from him, but my fissures are deeper and fuller and fresher than silly little him with his tongue-biting. they must be filled and casted and loved tenderly by something, someone, else. for some reason i can't say who. i can't bring myself to say it. and i wish i could stop trying to figure out why i can't say it and just be fixed.

now how do i proceed in my relationship with him? ideally, i will continue to be his friend, and when he treats me like a dick, which is unavoidable, i will laugh it off and proceed as his friend. a good friend, maybe, even. but i know i'm not that cool, i will never be that cool, and there will be times when i'm so so mad at him i will tell him, "fuck you" and try to be done with him. and there will be times when he will sleep with other women, or when his status will change to "in a relationship" and i'll be broken some more. predicting it somehow makes it less painful. but of course not really less painful. just less humiliating.

this is why i hate boys and relationship, and why i love fiction. this is why i spend my hours reading charles dickens and jane austen. because they write stories that win. they write endings that warm. they cure reality with tender plots, and for the hours i spend absorbed in their stories, i can be convinced that the world, and boys and relationship, are not horrific things.

i hurt, too.

this song helps me today.

When you're weary
And haunted
And your life is not what you wanted
When you're trying so hard to find it

When the lies speak the loudest
When your friends are starting to leave
When you're broken by people like me

I hurt too, I hurt too

When an ocean sits right between us
There is no sign that we'll ever cross
You should know now that I feel the loss

I hurt too, I hurt too

Even though you are drowning in valley's of echoes
I believe there is peace in those hills up ahead
You will climb 'til you find places you'll never let go
And I will also be here praying just like I said

I hurt too, I hurt too

-Katie Herzig

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

i can't understand why people feel like their job is to critique things they are not asked to critique. never in my right mind would i dream of breaking down someone's artistic expression into theoretical (or otherwise!) elements and "grade" them based on personal OR professional standards. i'm disgusted by some people's ability to spout open-mindedness in one breath, and in another whittle a fellow human being's expression down to bare-bone matchsticks in an effort to make them suitable for their own interest.

(long story.) :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

why why why why. that's all that runs through my head. how can there be a greater purpose to my dad's death? he died because heart disease runs in the family, he ate like shit for a lot of his life, and he didn't go to the doctor when he started feeling badly. end of story. God didn't "need" him in heaven. i didn't "need" to learn some life-lesson that i could only learn at his death. we NEED him here. i NEED him. i need him to hug me. i need him to tell me that i can do whatever i want with my life and he'll still love me. i need to hear him sing Jellyman Kelly. i don't understand. not even a little bit. shit happens. i get that. but why this? why my dad? what am i supposed to do?
i miss my dad so much. the hitting-you-at-random-times doesn't seem to improve. i still wonder if this is real. sometimes if it's really happening; sometimes if it ever happened. did he really DIE? or did he ever really exist?

Monday, April 6, 2009

damn it all! i came sooo close to crying tonight. i NEED to cry. sometimes my body just must have.
currently my body has constipation of the face. it's horrific. i haven't cried in a very, very long time. soon, i hope. i must.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

carry you with me

i've always thought of this song in terms of my dad singing it to my brother, mom, and me as he left this world for another. if i were able to cry, this one would do it for me every time. thanks, tyler.

carry you with me
children keep on dreamin
when you wake i will be gone
i will vanish with the darkness
i will leave before the dawn
and i am going
to a city by the sea
but don't you worry
because i carry you with me
because i carry you with me

darlin you're so pretty
like an angel in your sleep
i wish that i could stay with you
no i don't wanna leave
but there are some places
that i really need to be
well don't you worry now
because i carry you with me
because i carry you with me

i carry you with me
like like a haunting melody
i carry you with me
i hear you cry
i hear your laugh
i see your smile
i taste your kiss
i carry you with me

and maybe someday
forever i will stay
lord knows that's what i'm dreamin of
and i'll try and find a way
but for now the wind keeps blowin
it carries me across the sea
but don't you worry now
because i carry you with me
cause i carry you with me
-tyler burkum

Monday, March 23, 2009

it's happening again. the sickening need for change. i say "sickening" because i start to feel sick. enclosed. entrapped. ensnared. i need to get out. to go somewhere new. to start over.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

why can't i shake this funk? i hate today. today is a funk. again. like yesterday...and the day before that...and the day before that.
i usually say, "i just want today to be over." but i don't think that's going to help here. i'm putting on my shoes. so i can run.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I'm giggling right now because I just found something hilarious by my bedside. hehehe A few nights ago I had more "adult beverages" than ever in a solitary evening, and several of the night's specifics were lost to Bombay Saphire. Unfortunately, I can't remember a few key points, and because I dream such vivid dreams, I can't quite figure out if some of these flashbacks I'm having are real or fictional. This happens to me in regular life, too, so don't think poorly of me. Any given day, or maybe even every given day, I have flashes of insignificant tasks, and can't recall if I did them, or if dreaming-me did them. Like one time, all day I kept thinking of a really mean text message I got from a guy friend in the middle of the night...and I'm still not totally sure whether it happened. I don't think it did, I think it was just part of a dream, but who really knows.
Anyway, the thing I found by my bedside just now was/is quite a delight. I had a flashback of writing something in a notebook, but was fairly sure I dreamed it. I kept forgetting to look for it, until just now I was changing into my PJs and there it was. A red, wide-ruled notebook from WalMart, complete with scrawled [drunken] writing. What a treat! Here it goes:

"I'm so much more drunk than I've ever been. Ever. I'm currently writing w/ one eye opened, in my pajamas, one knee up wagging to the beat of my intoxication.
I went to The Rock tonight...celebrating the ______ of T* H*, a boy who is both [devilishly] charming and 100% lovely after three cocktails (dirty martinis; bombay saphire). He finished the rest of my 4th and final beverage, a Fat Tire.
I'm writing all this down so I remember it tmrw, b/c chances are, I'll forget it all - as I've never been so...drunk. sigh.
I think I kissed I can't remember shit. And so I'm that intoxicated...I'll even sware to the sober-me in 4-letter words.
What a night. I feel so...special and common both. sigh."

hehehehehehe....I tried to stay true to the actual puncuation, and I must say how impressed with myself I am, that I can still spell and puncuate properly (mostly) after that much gin. A couple of side-notes, 1) I actually drew the "_____" in the second paragraph. I usually do that (when I'm sober), to indicate that I can't think of a satisfactory word. hehe 2) In the original, I did write out his name (I'm sure I never imagined I would publish this darling little note), but in order to protect him from potential embarrassment, I thought I better leave it out. 3) The scribble is really difficult to read, and I can't decide if the word in the "[ ]" is devilishly or deliciously. 3) I always use that many elipses. 4) I had a beer and a glass of wine at home before the liquor. Ouch.
I'm sort of a little bit in love with this precious bit of honesty. Even though I was toasted beyond all measure, I was at least being true. And, even though I was toasted beyond all measure, I think I actually used the bit of real eloquence I do posess. I adore the last line. How is it possible that I might be able to articulate my feelings better when too drunk to remember they even happened?