Ballerina Cat Part Deux

So Alice had turned from a cat into a dog and “Grandmommy” had had enough of the whole situation and announced “I’m taking the dog out” so it was me and my little terrier. I’m sure you can imagine what happened next. Yes, I was saved by the beautiful sound of my husband’s voice “I’m home!”

“Daddy!” Alice yelled stumbling down the stairs past me.

“Take them! Gotta go!” He threw several grocery bags at me and disappeared into the bathroom. Not exactly the welcome I was expecting but at least he was home. I figured he either really “had to go” or he “had to hide” (yes I have banged on the door more than once and yelled I know you’re hiding in there watching youtube!) either way eventually he’d be swinging Alice around in no time and getting her ready for bed so I could finish my quiche in peace. Maybe even peek at Facebook.

“I want Daddy!” Alice sulkily muttered, sitting in the hallway outside the bathroom.

“Daddy will be out in a minute, do you want to watch Dora on Grandma’s laptop?”

“Dora!” Alice yelled with the same joy she had yelled Daddy moments ago and minutes later she was happily learning Spanish from a cartoon character while I grated parmesan cheese into a bowl of eggs from the neighbor. They were actually really gorgeous, it was my first time seeing fresh chicken eggs from someone’s backyard. Blue, pink, red, green; it was like making quiche out of easter eggs.

While I was marveling over my bowl of eggs and cheese my husband came up the stairs and into the kitchen. I ran over to him and hugged him around the neck. “I’m so glad I’m not the only parent here anymore.” I told him happily.

“I don’t feel good.” uh-oh. “I made a bad choice.” This isn’t good. “There was this Mexican food at the food court that looked ok…I need to lie down.” Oh crap. Literally.

“Ok that sucks. We’re totally running late tonight and I was hoping you could get Alice going on her bedtime routine. She already ate dinner, mom and I are having this quiche if I ever finish it.”

“Yeah ok, just give me a few minutes.”

“Daddy I want to play. Let’s play” Alice ran over and wrapped herself around My husband’s knees.

“Daddy doesn’t feel good and it’s time to get ready for bed.”Nick (my husband) sounded weak with fatigue and perhaps…fear? (My daughter is one to be feared when angered. This is not an exaggeration.)

“NO!!!” Alice ran back to Dora feeling slighted.

“Go lay down I’ll bring her down after I get this in the oven.” He turned and went down the stairs and while I finished my quiche and Alice finished night school, Grandma made it home. Quiche in the oven I brought a reluctant but listening (she always listens better when Grandma is there) child downstairs to Daddy who was able to perk up enough to work his bedtime routine magic on her which is not always the case as my next blog post will reveal. (A teaser is her insisting on brushing her teeth with her mittens on.)

While I ate quiche with my mom I thought about how lucky I was to not have to do all of this alone. It was not that long ago that we lived in Anchorage and Nick worked 12 hours a day 7 days a week and Grandma was an hour away. Although Nick still commutes our lives are a million times less stressful. After cleaning up and wishing each other goodnight I went downstairs to check on my little ballerina cat, saying a silent prayer for my sons in Oregon as I always do. Nick was laying on the pull-out couch, Alice’s door shut. I opened it and walked over to her just for that high of baby breathing sweaty head wonderfulness. I kissed her and shut the door.

Since Nick and I are still in the process of moving into my mom’s house here in the valley  we haven’t set up our bedroom yet and are technically  living in two houses. So for now our bedroom is the downstairs living room which I actually don’t mind because of the remote control fireplace that left to my own devices I would use to melt the wall. It just feels so good! However you have to pay for that sort of thing so I restrain myself. For the most part.

“So are we watching Age Gap Love?” I asked Nick who was sleepily watching poker on his phone.

“Yep if that’s what you want.” He reached over and grabbed the tv remote.

“It’s just so oddly intriguing. Some of them are sweet and some of them are creepy and gross.”

“I agree.” He turns on the show and we watch weird tv by the light of the fire in the Alaskan winter darkness and say goodnight to another long day.


What once was Me

Once upon a time I was beautiful
My skin was dark and shining and my hands were strong
I had eyes the color of ashes and wind
My legs curved and my back was like iron
Once upon a time I was immense
Each rebellious curl on my head was a voice and my mane was a symphony
My breath filled my chest and spilled out before me tasting of honey and grass
I smelled of wine
and wicked earth
Once upon a time I was precious
Each beat of my heart was a warm glittering thunder flashing and fading in the darkness
My life-force was an electric
My spirit was a mountain
My memories were swift and gentle birds

Kimkoa 2017



Ballerina Cat

Now of course this whole time she was dressed in pink tights, a black leotard and a tutu like the most adorable baby ballerina you ever saw. Ironically she was kicked out of ballet for pretending to be a cat; crouching in the corners and meowing and hissing at the other dancers.

Well, here goes…
I’ve never written a blog before. I’ve written poetry, good poetry. I’ve written text-rants to my sister and made her laugh so hard she almost dropped her baby (too much? “she almost dropped her coffee” there, feel better?) Anyways she text-yells at me write a blog!
     So here I am, writing a blog and it feels very weird because I’m supposed to be sleeping and I’m writing on an iPhone with a cracked screen that I can’t afford to fix for various and assorted reasons I will go into someday. So I can’t see that well, plus tonight was ridiculous anyways because I was making quiche which was taking forever and my mom was playing with my daughter who was being a cat. Things were rolling along sort of when my mom, affectionately known as Grandmommy by my 4 1/2 year old daughter (the half is EXTREMELY important) suddenly stood up and said “I can’t take this anymore will you please turn back into a child?!” And Alice, that’s my daughter’s name (yes I named her after Alice in Wonderland because I am awesome) just kept meowing at her until she gave up and was mama cat for like 15 more minutes and then she was REALLY done. She told Alice to pick another game or she wasn’t going to play with her anymore. So of course Alice started barking at her. My mom said “I give up.” I said “She’s a method actor, she likes to stay in character.”
     Now of course this whole time she was dressed in pink tights, a black leotard and a tutu like the most adorable baby ballerina you ever saw. Ironically she was kicked out of ballet for pretending to be a cat; crouching in the corners and meowing and hissing at the other dancers. Of course she dances perfectly with Emma from The Wiggles. Hey, your kid learns their way, my kid learns from the happy Australians on my television set. It’s a free country. Sometimes she’s a ballerina and sometimes she’s a cat. Sometimes she’s a ballerina cat. Sometimes she’s a cat for a whole day and that’s when I find I myself have forgotten how to form complete sentences. Well, this is only the first half of my evening, and truly a teaser! For the next bit you’ll have to check out my second post. Trust me, it’s well worth the effort.
So as those who know me will tell you I am a writer and mom of 3 diagnosed with bipolar 1 with psychotic features. My mission in life is to eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness. As part of each post I will be including a poem that I feel reaches through the void of falsehood and touches the realm of the heart. God bless.
The shells I pick up are bits of who I was.
This expanse of beach with its white, twisted limbs and water rounded rocks is the vast and lonely world my mind has become.
I gather the bits of shell and bramble, desperate to build the husk I used to wear. That they all wear.
I plaster a smile across the face of it thinking there’s no way they won’t notice this shabby, thrown together version of me with its wide fake smile: my teeth too white, my lips too red; cracking at the corners.
But I’m wrong.
I leave the desolate beach of my mind and it’s as if that husk reassures them.
They greet my clown face with their own false cheer. Can it be that no one notices I am a collection of forgotten, broken beach glass and fragments of shells cast off by creatures freer than I’ll ever be?
I try to focus on their words but all I can see are their jaws moving and their teeth like angry warnings.
I am suddenly hit by the ugliest truth: what I see is nothing more than their cobbled husks and I can see past it into a well of confusion and fear.
Their teeth give it away. Angry, rebellious. Cruel.
So I run. I run away from their fake leering curiosity masked as concern. I run, my chest heaving, the shells and glass breaking away and crashing to the frozen, unyielding earth. I run until I can see the beach. The beach of my mind.
I run tripping over sticks, cutting my naked feet on broken shells and rocks. Then I stop. My husk a distant memory. Like a snake I have shed my skin and I stand there naked and new under the cold sun watching the waves crashing against each other, the delicate sea foam riding the water’s crest.
I marvel at the beauty of this moment. My feet bleeding into the cold sand. The pools of red waking the dead ground. I race forward and jump into the waves leaving only red footprints.
I am a mermaid.
Kimkoa 2018