Oh, 98232.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You can't get hit by lightning if you're not standing out in the rain.

Struck, was I, not yet by Lightning —
Lightning — lets away
Power to perceive His Process
With Vitality.

Maimed — was I — yet not by Venture —
Stone of stolid Boy —
Nor a Sportsman's Peradventure —
Who mine Enemy?


Robbed — was I — intact to Bandit —
All my Mansion torn —
Sun — withdrawn to Recognition —
Furthest shining — done —

Yet was not the foe — of any —
Not the smallest Bird
In the nearest Orchard dwelling
Be of Me — afraid.

Most — I love the Cause that slew Me.
Often as I die
Its beloved Recognition
Holds a Sun on Me —

Best — at Setting — as is Nature's —
Neither witnessed Rise
Till the infinite Aurora
In the other's eyes.
(e. dickenson)

Monday, March 14, 2011

¿¿ʇɐɥʇ sɐʍ ʇɐɥʍ 'ʇıɐʍ

I'm taking less medication, which means I'm laying clutching my stomach for longer spells in the morning. I force my eyes to sleep through much of it. I get up and use the walls to balance as I walk to the kitchen for some early food when I give in to the pain and desire the "treat" from the orange pill bottle. Those plastic receptacles don't really seem much like bottles.

I think bottle has a few different nuances. I hear that Highwaymen song and I have no idea what "lost her bottles" means.

Today is sort of a TCB day. Business being hospital and school communications.

I just got off the phone with someone who is sending me a charity application to take care of my bill. I haven't even seen the dollar number attached to the doctor hospital business, and I'm certain it isn't going to be something that will please me or my empty pockets.

I'm kind of curious to know what the lab who analyzed the thing that was removed from my insides has to say about it. They said the results would be back in a week. Something wasn't supposed to be in there. It grew to the size of a goose egg and ruptured. I didn't care before, but now I really want to know why. I called the doctor and jussohappens that he'll be gone for a week. His assistant too. "Oh." I said and accepted another week of wonder. I know they said it wasn't cancer. But there is that little voice that sounds like "whatif." They didn't think the minor abnormality that appeared in my mom's mammogram was cancer until after they removed it and found out it was.

People keep asking me what I want to eat. I have no preference. My preference, actually, is to not let the pills make me throw up. As long as you present me with a meal, I don't really care. Wait, I DO care. And I really appreciate it. It can just be anything.

I feel a little out of it now, but it is apparently nothing in contrast to how I was when I took the nighttime doses. I fell asleep while continuing to communicate with my scientist friend, Lisa. I have the chat transcript to prove it:

me: My legs keep tripping

Lisa: ha

me: I'M not even walking

Lisa: literally or metaphorically?

me: I rolled my ankle
Like when you feel like you've been falling

me: Who Ii ty yyyy

Lisa: who what?

me: F ty u rob fu

Lisa: oh boy

me: I'm keeping the poltergeist

Lisa: sounds scary!

me: j can see him
They pullout pillow is texting

me: I have ny hand on my phone I keep squeezing a hand
But is the phone t

Lisa: hmm

me: It isn't.
Too far.
AND then they'd pull you t h chat records (like i did, i was onto my future self)
This phone turns into a tricky machine
Its ny brain.

[2:06 AM]
me: Don language, is eat

Lisa: hmm

me: I think I have small jerky seizures

Lisa: they're probz not for reals seizures
just little pilly blips
that happens

Clearly, I cut out most of the chatter, but for the most of it, Lisa was talking about real things and I was just mashing my keyboard in response. Actually, swyping on my smartphone. Same thing.

So that is my proof that I am still being medicated and it does nothing to contribute to my thinking brain.

I have been drawing. I stopped drawing pathetic self portraits and moved on to portraits of better looking people that I know. Also, each of them are awesome.

There's the aforementioned scientist. Who does not have an eye patch, but I couldn't help but take the Jeff's advice when he said, "have her wearing an eye patch that has an eye crudely painted on it."

The vintage clothier. Carmen, outfitter to the stars. I drew the logo for her brand, Closet Case Vintage.

And the musician. Caitlin Rose. She's on her way to being a really big deal. She has a unique sound and serious songwriting skillz. Go buy her new record. It's better than yours.

I'd like to do better drawings of all those folks and their interesting faces, but I think getting those out in my sickness ain't so bad. In the meantime, I'm going to try to get as much homework in as I can. Today has already exhausted me.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm the Queen of This Condition.

Six days post surgical. Five home from the hospital. I still hurt. Days alternate deliriums. I am frustrated because I want to write well, and I can't even think well.

Fee Fi Fo Fum. I wake with pain that hollers down the hallway throat. I will rip out of you! And then I have to eat, because none of my medicines sit without food ottomans to put their feet up on.

The pain killers make my vision fuzz. The head only finds comfort in one position on the pillow. I must not move or read or watch tv. I am really afraid of what heaving will feel like in my stomach.

The anti-nausea drug that takes the pain killer's hand just bring me to a sudden sleep. Until my mom wakes me up telling me she's going to get a sandwich.

The pain killers and the iron pills both constipate me. The one day I managed movement was the most miserable pain yet. I'll just take the anemia.

Photo 1853

Then there's the stool softener to battle that.

There are more kinds but that's all I'm going to mention for now.

If you put both grapes and blueberries in your mouth, it tastes good. I really wish I had the capacity for finishing my homework.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Laparoscopic Salpingo-Ooph!orectomy

I keep attempting to write more, but the drugs sort of grog the inclination away. My attention span has been limited to 150 characters or less and listening to podcasts. Today was the first time out of bed since coming home from the hospital. I went back to the hospital. They said I would have to make an appointment with the dermatologist to get a Latisse prescription.

My mom kept asking what I should/should not be doing at this point. They gave her extra post-op instructions:


I think she was hoping it would be more like, "Do go to the grocery store. Do not vacuum." I'm really not feeling like doing anything outside of bed anyways. Walking around the grocery store today was a bust and the old people teased me for sitting on the old people benches by the door.

The doctor explained that I may still be sore from any blood that might remain in my abdomen and also, because they removed something 3" in length that had ruptured (in addition to my tube and ovary). They looked for my appendix to take it out while in there but did not see it. I have a sneaky appendix.

They took some more blood. I got some more pills. I have plans to play scrabble with Max when he's home from work. He thinks he'll win because I'm medicated. We shall see.

I got a sweet get well card from Nashville. I'm day dreamy and tired. Back to my fruit and celery plate. Most boring post ever. I really wanted to write something interesting. Whoops.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Small Town Ovary Blues.

While I was waiting in the emergency room for more doctors to come and tell me about the surgery I was going to have yesterday, I searched the internet for ovary jokes. I couldn't find a thing.

Right now I am wearing hospital issue underpants and I have three slices opening my belly. Orange creamcicles are the only things that ease the discomfort of the raw throat from intubation. They help the medicine go down. I dislike taking pain killers very much.

I've never had a surgery before. This was my first. As soon as she gestured the size of the abnormality inside me, I knew my trip to the E.R. was justified. And I began to cry. Oh no, it's not like cancer, I think she said.

I had just been through the most invasive and painful set of ultrasounds in my life. I had an IV snaking into the ditch of my arm. My abdomen was tight with blood.


The night before I had gone into Edison for drinks and was well into enjoying the evening with my friends when the bad thing hit. Sonja and I went for a pleasant first-time visit to John's, and I excused myself to the bathroom. As soon as my bladder emptied, I was struck with a sudden sharp pain and the feeling that something was very wrong. I pulled my pants up and braced against the sink hoping it would pass. It didn't - and all I remember was going to tell Sonja we had to leave. I don't remember walking down the stairs, but I do remember the pain bringing me to my knees and loosing my lunch. All over poor John's patio. I couldn't get up. I think I cried over and over again "Why does it hurt like this?" Nothing in the world had ever hurt as bad and I asked for an ambulance. I rattled off Max's Nashville telephone number. And I cried and cried.

The pain is what fills my memory of the rest of that evening. Pain and utter humiliation. I opened my eyes and my third grade teacher was talking to me, asking me what was my name, what I had had to drink, where it hurt, and Sonja said he also asked me about my artwork. She told me I frustrated one of the paramedics by refusing to get on the gurney. Even in that much pain I know what an ambulance ride costs. I noticed a crowd of faceless people. I'm sure they all thought I was drunk sick. That's what you think when you see someone collapsed in vomit, right? Sonja was able to walk me to her car and she took me home.

I tried to sleep the pain off, but the night was filled with more pain and more sick. In the morning Max and I tried to figure what the pain could be using Web MD. We concluded I was probably passing a kidney stone and I was looking at more pain coming on.

I called my friend Jennie to cancel the plans that we'd made. (This is the first time in years I've had plans with Jennie.) Jennie recognized the pain in my voice and put me on the phone with her doctor parents who just happened to be in town from their home in Costa Rica. Immediately kidney stone was ruled out and I was being sent to the Emergency Room. I would not have gone without that conversation.

Good thing I went.

to be continued...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"There's no place like home. That's why I left."


the winter months bloom wooden blocks
clacking early evenings

our fingers spider over hot whiskey death
i don't wash my hair for days.


sounds of effort from the kitchen remind me of
hedonism, the greeks and royalty: pale skin

my layers of bruised fat, the things i don't like
about myself on television, projections abetting

sloth. me, i say, i'm writing. survey bookshelves
for words. it is more cruel to talk about the weather.


i did that job for a day, i silk my fur like
the cat's. i mop, he sweeps: more productive

every female child draws herself a bride, none of us
calculated the word wife, like our mothers. smile

lines cut deep in my face, it's her face i touch, he
touches. i know words like bound, but i cannot

sketch1 animal hat

reconcile ones like homemaker. house item. nor
academic. the sun set at four pm, his cigarette breath

cold exhale. opportunities for

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Save the Shuffleboard memories.

Here are my favorite excerpts from this week's newsletter (written by Phil):

Edison II got a 5-2 win over “visiting” Edison I, with good scoring from Jeston (37-24, 3-for-4), Frog (22-15, 2-for-3), and Michelle (a 13-pointer in her only game of the night).

An unusual match at the Edison saw both teams show up a player short. It was decided to play the match anyway, so everyone got to play 2 in a row and sit one out, and 2 players played 5 games each for both teams. In the end, it was Edison I coming out on top of home team Edison II, 5-2. Buck Buckius went 50-25 for the winners, not quite so astounding considering it was accomplished in 5 games, while Mark Meyer wound up 40-26 in 5 for the losers, and Michelle made a monkey out of yours truly with a 14-0 drubbing in game 6. Everyone agreed that the format made for a hell of a fun day of shuffleboard for the 6 players involved.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Princess of Tides

I rent a spot in a building we call Sloughside Studios. I sit at my desk and while I paint, draw or internet, the ducks play in the slough water out the window. The tide rises and falls. The dock rests and floats. Down the street are the bars where we play shuffleboard.

When the tide is in, the ground saturates with the water and the landscape changes ever so slightly. The shuffleboarders seem to be of the few that notice without looking at the water level or knowing their tide charts. The subtle underground gorge seems to effect shuffle play on certain boards, tilting them this way or that. This is especially noticeable when the king tides come in.

Two weeks ago, my lovely scientist friend Lisa flew in from Nashville for a birthday visit. We, of course, inducted her momentarily into the shuffleboard league and gave her a match against one of the league's best players. She held her own very well. I've invited Lisa to write a guest blog for Exit 236 about observations and insights she might've adventured while in Bow. Let's give her a round of applause.

lisa plays shuffleboard

Sunday, January 30, 2011

So much has happened. So much to say. So much Bow. So much Edison.

But I'm not into blogging about it now.

In the meantime, this.

sometimes i'm on dateline.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day of the Living Bees.

I found a dead bee drowned in rainwater on the porch of Sloughside Studies, where I work. I picked him up by wing and brought him in my car with me as I was leaving. I put him on the dash on a bit of paper. He was most certainly dead.

Later, I went inside to collect books to return to the law library. When I resumed driving, he was all a flutter around my head in circles. I thought, this zombie bee must die! But then I didn't want to risk a sting so I rolled down the window and transplanted him from Edison to Bow Hill at the intersection of Samish Hts (Sandwich Heights, Max says) and Hobson (Hotdog) Road.

This was the most exciting thing that happened to me yesterday.

The end.

[Two days earlier, two wasps emerged from studiomate David's easel as I was borrowing it. I stepped on one to kill it. It just started moving it's little wasp legs around again. It is certainly undead, I fear.]

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Hard Bed to Lie In


A Hard Bed to Lie In
by Marilyn Dumont

A hard night, slept up against a rock face on the side where my mortality
looks like a mountain, leaving my life where it is on an edge
looking down.

tempted to jump, sprout wings as fantastic as the married arms that would
catch me if I leapt

I could have easily been a doe on a highway, (you a driver, your wife
beside you sleeping

me grazing, ruminating the coarse clover, wet blades a mixture of green
desire and

regret that I didn't accept the offer even though

a gold band shone like a beacon, to ward off prey
—not to be mistaken for a jacklight,

just a doe, a stretch of road, high beams

headlights, your eyes,

legs petrified at the speed of light, a flash burn, flare

transfixed by the jacklight and the daylight of the woman who moves
touching you
with her mouth of the moist night,

the night of my turning, aching, having you disclose your desire for me,
turning to yet
another confession in my bed, another crease,

the safe imagined hand crosses my breast to my waist, pubic bone, and
thigh, turns to
another imagined and perfect clean slice of a meeting, the one where I
would have met you years ago when you were an open space, a
meadow to be walked through at high altitudes

and the night's turning

down, wears out

trust in my age, that

flat sheets and a hard bed will not forgive.

Sometimes There's a Day that Begins Before 11 AM.

Some snow came. Then snow came heavy in secret in the night. Warm rain puddled into mud on waking and disappointed hopes of school cancellation. Winter break made us itch to go back, but it feels time is more precious if it's supposed to be dedicated to something else. Something more tedious.

After eight years of college level art studies, I should have been done. But then, here I am. Enriching my value as a worker, a useful cog in the machine, learning how to this and how to that ever so carefully so that I might contribute one day. Pull a salary while I nurture my artwork. While it grows into the big thing everyone promised me, (and I had promised myself), it was destined to be. So at Skagit Valley Community College, I chug along a route that will take me to hold a certificate from the paralegal program. Might as well, here. While I'm tucked in between the salt water and the snowy mountains of the valley, might as well. I scored an unexpected 4.0 GPA last quarter, and last week I was nominated for and elected paralegal club vice president.


I woke this morning with my husband. I sat in front of the light that mimics the sunrise well before there was any light in the sky. I showered, brushed my teeth, and thought about my week. Now, at the art studio space I rent in Edison, I plan. I look out the window at the slough, brimming with murk and a very special wildlife. Two hours until I'm to do some contract work at a local law firm.

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and I've been thinking about him. I've been thinking about Eisenhower. I've been thinking about Jack Kennedy. I'm only blocks away from the elementary school I attended until I was 14. I remember loving the holiday because sometimes it fell on my birthday and I would have the day off. I have the day off from classes today. My birthday is this Thursday. Fifty years to the day after JFK was sworn into office.

Tomorrow, there is a Paralegal Club budget meeting.
Then class at the Law Library.
Wednesday there is homework due. Class lets out at 8:30 pm.
Thursday, there is a chapter to be read.
Then another club meeting, out of which, I shall duck.
Max will take me to dinner to celebrate my birthday. Il Granaio.
At 1 pm on Friday, I will be getting my #10 root canaled.
Hopefully to recover quickly to dash off to Seattle and collect my scientist pal from the airport. (flying in from Nashville!)

And on Saturday, this:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cliche. Aphorism. Inanity.

*There are a few swears in this episode of Bow adventures. I'm sorry, but they're essential to the story.

Yesterday sounded like turkey murder from the kitchen. I had to think, "Did I leave the gate open!?" Dogs and turkey and ...human? chaos resounding through my one window. I ran outside and a man was standing across the driveway yelling.

(The turkey just makes reactionary noises when things get loud).

"I'll ---king kill you! You son of a bitch!" he yelled toward the three dogs gathered around him. I looked at his truck. Post office vehicle.

"What is going ON HERE!?" I got quick with the yelling too.

"HE BIT ME!" and pointed at Eddie. "ASSHOLE!" He got in his truck and slammed the door.

I approached the window. "WAIT?! He bit you?"

"Well he nipped."

"I'm sorry, are you okay?"

Then the postman communicated that ol' One Eye had just nipped his PANTS and that he was fine, but in the most curt and aggressive way possible.

"He's never done that before," I tell him, and that's the truth.

He handed me a certified letter to sign, all the while tangibly hating me. My mom came out and he warmed up. So kind to her, he turned away from me. I just handed her the letter to finish signing, grabbed my dog and walked away.

I'm sorry mister postman, you were a dick to me. Like, a total dick. And I don't know what you did to my dog, but it must have been something. I've known him longer and better than you and I got his back. I rescind my apology.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"For (the sake of) old times"

Since thoughts of thee doth banish grief,
when from thee I am gone;
will not thy presence yield relief,
to this sad Heart of mine:
Why doth thy presence me defeat,
with excellence divine?
Especially when I reflect
on auld lang syne

flowers from algernon

Hearts beat much the same way they did in the days of poets Burns and Watson, who in the 1700s penned our midnight song to bring in a new calendar year. Hearts will continue to beat forth with regret and nostalgia (and more regret and more nostalgia), with hope and intentions (and greater hope and honorable intentions), and so on and so on. Just as fast as Christmas pulls the rug from your feet, you land on your ass December 31st. And a heartbeat away is 2011. A landmark propelling you further away from your past. Your mistakes. Your losses.

Last year we made our hair tall and checked into a hotel and cabbed to a party and danced among strangers in Seattle. This year we didn't even feign plan. I have lived a thousand theatrical celebrations. I feel my heart beat for another time and another place. To ring in another day, another year in a place I don't necessarily feel celebratory about remaining in, calls for no party dress. Only simple attire. A heavy coat.

I look out the only window. The sill, a shrine. A collection. Offerings to Ra, of whom I know too little. I drop vitamin D on my hand and lick it up. I look past the flowers of 2010, the dried remnants crumbling into the new days. The lavender bunch that felt like an apology. The twigs from the honeysuckle that smelled so much like summer. The dried Christmas flowers that were a miscarriage comfort gift. Above them sits the latest and the living. A "just because" bouquet that drinks up the water in the vase and the broken orange sunlight from the woods outside. I surround those memories with succulents because they need me the least. Aloe from John Simon's studio and the Belfast feed store. Jade because it reminds me of Eloise. A wandering jew wanders toward the sink where the woman's work is. It tangles with the dishsoap. Other treasures are there too. The bleached wishbone from the first turkey we slaughtered. I dare not wish.

I feel my heart flutter just in that way it takes your breath. I skate across the ice parking lots and the frozen mud driveway. I race the one-eyed dog around the property.

ole one-eye

We heard mysterious snow crunch last night just outside of the porch light's illumination. The dogs went barky and we corralled them for fear of predatory cat. Listening harder with dogs safe, we decided it was not a wild creature. The sound was more human. More frightening. Roseanne flipped off the darkness and at the end of the night, I locked my deadbolt. I felt grateful for the protection of only one window. The guns nearby and my husband unafraid, I fell asleep and dreamed of what-ifs.

I wonder what's out there in the woods. What's out there in the future. I wonder what's waiting to be.