I'm in the business of arriving.
We bought a house and moved into our new place of residency two weeks ago. My boxes arrived before me, they came in a large truck while I drove up to the house with my kids and a couple of suitcases. It's good that we're all here now, finally. I know I'm supposed to be dancing. But in terms of being here, finding myself at this new place, I'm still on my way. It's a funny thing, when you leave behind an area that's trusted, well-known roads and short cuts and a house that is so familiar, you know every noise you're about to hear when someone from your family moves through adjacent rooms. 10 years is a long time. New house, new town, and it doesn't sound or smell familiar. It will someday, but it takes a lot of time. I think I need spring, yes, maybe that would be a great time to arrive, to meet everyone and shake a couple of hands. Right now I feel like I'm at the airport, waiting for my luggage to arrive. Everything's in boxes and I don't know where anything is. And my kids keep saying they want to go home. I can't argue with that. Home is a state of mind I haven't gotten around to just yet. I tell them and myself, that this is our home now. The other house is empty, another family will move in there shortly. We are here. They then nod, as though they'd understand, but I know that they don't. How can this be, their glances ask. The large truck came, it took all our belongings and it brought them here, I tell them. How can this be, I ask myself. And it's hurting a little to think that someone else will be living where we lived, invading our space. Yes, we moved. Yes, I am still moving.
This thing that I'm about to tell you may sound extremely odd. OK, here goes. Lately, I have been worried about my freak flag. Let me explain what that means. A freak flag is a symbol for a person's level of weirdness. Everyone is a bit weird and, usually, a person's freakishness is visible to others by their flag. Brave people let them fly high up in the air. Like colorful birds, they tell the world that they are flamboyant, unique beings. The higher it goes, the farther you will see it. Hah, space even!
OK, so, in regards to my own freak flag: I think it has been in hiding ever since I had my first kid. Especially having a special needs child, I felt it was time to tuck it in. The thing is, I was afraid that people would link my boy's condition to me, and somehow look for an easy answer to why he is the way he is. I'd rather let them judge and diagnose him by an objective standard. Don't get me wrong, I think it's quite normal trying to figure out why a person is tuned a certain way, and looking at the parents for clues is one of the first things we do. Personalities vary though. My boy is odd. He's very unique. I am too. But while I'm quite shy and introverted, he's the opposite of that. Unlike him, never in a million years would you see me throwing a tantrum in public.
He's suspected of being on the verge of the autism spectrum, but, as things are progressing right now, it could still be a delay in his general development. There currently is no diagnosis that exactly fits his condition. Since most of his problems are centered around speech and social abilities, that area is where his oddity is most visible to others.
So in trying not to be at the center of blame, I made an effort to be less suspicious. I even got accustomed to talking to people. Yes, people. This may not sound like a big deal to the major part of the population, but it is to me. I'm not much of a conversationalist. Small talk makes my palms sweaty. Remembering names and faces and details to me is like playing Sudoku. Once I get it, and I know someone, I'm OK, but it's hard getting used to it. So, when my first kid was born, like all parents, I knew I had to let the world in a little. Talking to other parents, moms, professionals, doctors. And while I got a little bit of practice in doing so on a regular basis, I still feel uncomfortable at times. I think in trying to hide the freak flag, it has become even more elbowing. Because nothing is more odd to people than talking to someone who tries to hide a freak flag. It's like trying to hide a speech impairment by not talking. It's super freaking weird. And that's what I think has happened.
I should have known that overcompensating for my inner freak would not create "normal" behavior. Sometimes over-compensation works that way, with minor flaws it certainly does, but not with a whole personality. So in my quest to appear normal and together to the outside world, I forgot about my own well-being. I got a lot of stomach trouble. Now I want to go back to the old me, at least meet her halfway between crazy town and where I live now. That old me was a super creative, sensitive person who would look at her world through matted glass. I want to be her again. I am her. Freak flag, get out from under there. You're all sad and crinkled. Get up there. Fly.
To be continued!
Hi there and welcome back to my blog, warriors! Today I'm looking forward to making the rounds and sharing another part of my recently published fantasy novel Anoethau. Critique and comments are always welcome, and I hope you enjoy today's snippet. :-)
After fleeing his parole, Artie, the protagonist, finds himself at a place called Southampton, England. Most commonly known for the Titanic commencing its first and final voyage from the Port of Southampton, it is also a place of pubs and heavy drinking. This is what happens, when Artie finds himself in the midst of it...
The next thing he knew; there was a large object flying right by his face.
It landed behind him on the road and from the sound of shattering glass, he recognized it as a beer bottle. People yelled at each other in front of another bar only a few feet ahead and there were three or four men in a drunken fight out in the street. The loudest of them wasn’t involved in the actual fighting, but shouted from the sidelines to the ones pummeling on one another with their fists.
“Get on with it you sissy,” the agitator yelled, laughing.“If I lose the money, I’ll start beating on you too,” he shouted, slouching at the corner to the open bar door.
Artie didn’t want to get involved in their quarrelling, but he knew, if he passed the group, they would make him get involved. From his experience with fights in prison, he figured that his best bet was the offensive mode, but he was a little too drunk to spin the plot all too clearly.
“Hey Dickhead,” he slurred at the agitator from a distance, “how much money did they bet on your stupid face?”
Dumb, I am dumb, he thought, but it was too late.
A play on the famous Arthurian legend, Anoethau tells the story of Artie Kendrick, an ex-convict, who has spent the better half of his life in prison, and now prefers the solitude of his house to being in the company of people. Backyard gardening is a newfound and most welcome hobby of his, until, after days of heavy rainfall, he discovers a strange artifact in the puddles of his vegetable patch - a sword. It's not just any sword, since it was given to him by a mysterious woman named Viviana, who introduces herself as a deity of another world. The gift comes at a tremendous price: with it, Viviana wants him to kill her arch enemy and save her world from destruction.