Life Quest

There is us, and then there is them.

Who are they? They are those who live in a world surrounded by hundreds and thousands of people, mostly people they do not know. There is not a minute in the day that doesn’t tic on by without contact with someone else. Every comment, every like inflating that ego; if gone a unnoticed, a pinprick. Alone time scares them. To them, it is an infinite darkness tightly wrapped in an anxious silence. These people have settled in life. They have obtained what they felt they needed but nothing more than that. Falling in a pattern of life that only allows them to come across life’s basic necessities, that to them is enough; content with living the social “norm.” Every morning they wake up and tend to their responsibilities. They eat, shit, sleep, and then wake up the next day and do it all over again. The most they do to spice up their day is to socialize with other’s of their same caliber. No one greater, no one who pushes them to strive for more, just mediocre people who allow them to coast just so they can have the upper hand. These people surround themselves with people, places, and things that do not serve them.  These are people who ignore their inner self. They don’t look to nourish their soul but instead their bank accounts. Instead of filling their homes with love and adventure, they fill it with stuff that ends up collecting dust.

On most days these people complain. They hate their jobs but it provides a way to eat. They gorge while complaining about the food they eat, wishing for whatever else except for what is on their plate. They complain about their “friends” or about the bills they must pay to keep their oversized house that they bought up and running. They complain about the debt they have accumulated for things that they no longer have or care to have. They complain about their closet and how it’s full of last season’s outfits. Most days they complain about it all, while other days they simply ignore the empty feeling they keep stored inside. These people live a daily sham, an unnoticed cycle they cannot rid themselves.

Then there is us. We are the mindful few that strive to be aware that today is anew. We have battles within ourselves because being aware and mindful isn’t easy. It is a struggle but we know the fight is worth every bit. We have limited people around us because we understand that we don’t need a world to stand with us; the world is us. Alone time is precious. It is a time in which we fill up our cups and replenish all that we have put out. We use this time to listen to ourselves for what we need and for what we so desperately want. To be constantly surrounded by others, especially those who don’t carry our best interests at heart, that is punishment. We stay away from the constant because what is constant is numbing.

We are those who like to feel life, whether it is a humbling time, a struggle, a moment of pleasure, we enjoy feeling what it is that we are going through momentarily. We understand that no period in time lasts forever and so we take each moment for what it is and embrace it, live it, then release it back into the Universe. We cherish those small and simple gifts of life. We may not have a castle full of jewels and riches, but instead we are the palace, full and rich. We have a couple trinkets that remind us of a memorable time. Nothing collects dust because we revisit and touch and think and love that little piece of trinket that we cherish so much.

We are those who take on journeys. We challenge ourselves, making sure we are evolving. We know being stagnant is death. We understand that life is a quest, one we purposely set out to be in and we take its mission seriously. We are life’s true warriors.

They are them and we are us.

Twinkie Goes Pee

There he sat, propped up at the bar, draped in an over sized t-shirt that clung to his fat and sweaty body like a wrapper on a twinkie. He took a swig of his Budweiser as he listened to his friend rant on and on about how America was going to be great again.  He sat there as if he had done nothing wrong, and this “nothing” was not going to go unnoticed.

As I am storming my way over to him I’m not even thinking about what my approach will be. My thoughts were solely focused on questioning who could have raised such an animal? I mean seriously.

He sees me out of his peripheral and  I notice that he continues to watch (not watch) me as I walk over to him.

“Excuse me?” I say loudly so my voice would carry over the loud rap music that belted from the jukebox. He takes another sip of his beer and he looks over to me. His stare already told me that he knew what was coming.

“Do you mind fixing what you just did in there?” I point towards the direction we both just came from. I stare at him in his greasy little pig face. Was this shame that flickering in his eyes?

“I know. I’m sorry. I regretted it the moment I walked out and saw you standing there waiting.” He begins to wiggle his way off the bar stool, slightly wobbling in the process. His friend stares at us in confusion.

“Don’t worry, this wont take long.” I say to his suspecting friend as I stand off to the side so that Twinkie could make his way off the stool and back towards the restroom.  The urgency within me was beginning to build up. I was two beers, three gin and tonics, and one shot in, and it was all now wanting to come out. I would have already been peeing if this idiot wouldn’t have been such a goddamn pig.

So what led us all here to this very moment?? A restroom break gone wrong, that’s what.

The Mermaid. It was a dingy, hole in the wall bar that was dimly lit with crazy blue lights, and purple tones that radiated off the jukebox. It always smelled like old beer and cigarettes, and the smoke lingered over our heads like ghost chandeliers, but I didn’t mind. This was the place all the islanders, such as myself, came to to get away from all the annoying tourists that flooded the island this time of year. While vacationers went to the overpriced bars with fruity frozen drinks and crappy live music, we residents came here, our fun and sinful safe haven. I had been standing in line waiting for the ladies room as I watched as guy after guy walked out of the men’s room. The ladies room was taking a little longer, which wasn’t so unusual but I was beginning to think that maybe there wasn’t even anyone in the ladies room, when all the sudden the door swings open and out walks the occupant.  Surprised to see this over sized man stumbling out, I giggled as I thought to myself, “Someone just couldn’t wait..” It wasn’t until I made my way into the bathroom and locked the door that I was met with an infuriating sight. Not only did this goon use the women’s restroom but he decided to use it and left it as though there would be a maid following up behind him to clean up his mess. The toilet had not been flushed, foamy yellow pee was still swirling around in there. Not only that, but it seemed as though our friend here had, for the most part, missed, leaving the entire toilet seat splattered with urine. It wasn’t just a couple droplets either. No, that I could deal with. It was as though he didn’t even try to aim properly, leaving more puddles on the seat than there were dry spots.

“Fuck this shit…” said the alcohol in me and out I went looking for this animal.

In my normal, sober life, I would have probably let the issue go and not went looking for the culprit. I probably would have flushed the piss down, layered the seat with a million sheets of t.p, and just hovered over the bowl (as women do) and done my duty. Tonight though, I was stoned, drunk, and in no mood to clean up any messes that were not my own.  So here I am walking behind this man-child whom I wholeheartedly want to kick straight in the middle of his back, but I can’t.

He walks straight into the women’s bathroom and heads straight to where the single toilet sits. “Oh geeze,” he mumbles as he rubs one hand down his face and it’s at this point that I wonder if he had even washed his nasty little hands before leaving the bathroom. “I’m sorry.” spills from his lips as he grabs a handful of toilet paper. I was in shock honestly. He looked like he actually felt bad but I still eye him skeptically.

Twinkie first cleans off the seat with one swooping motion and tosses the wad of dirty toilet paper into the bowl and  flushes. He then grabs another wad of paper, this time slightly wetting it first with water and goes over the seat once more, tossing that bunch into the garbage. He then washes his hands and once he’s finished he turns to look at me and again mumbles out an “I’m sorry.”

“It’s Ok. Thank you for cleaning it up.” I say almost dumbfounded. I truly wasn’t expecting him to have been not only so thorough in his cleaning but so apologetic as well. He then walks past me grabbing a bit of paper towel to dry his hands off, and walks out. I shut the door and lock it, my bladder suddenly screaming as I’m doing so. I barely have time to unbutton, unzip, and squat down when all the liquids sprayed out of me like a fireman’s hose. As I squatted there, I remember feeling pretty proud of myself. It had been out of character for me to have gone out searching for the culprit and then making him right his wrong. It had been a pretty ballsy move considering I had no back up plan if he would have ignored my request for him to clean up his mess.

I finished my business, washed my hands, and walked out of there feeling like a new woman and when I walked back to where my friends sat, they asked me what had taken me so long. As I began to quickly fill them in on my bathroom adventure, the bartender walks over to where I sit and plops a shot down in front of me. Before I can ask her about this randomly bought shot she motions over to where Twinkie sat and blurted out, “It’s on him.” and walks off. I hold up the shot in salute as does he, and in one smooth swoop we both down the shot.

Anytime I go to the Mermaid now, I always think of Twinkie. I wonder if someday I’ll run into him again and if so, will he remember me and the fleeting moment of potty solidarity we shared. Although he may have started off on the wrong foot, he quickly made it up with genuine gestures, apologetic and concerned. He taught me that we don’t always have to just eat shit and if we do go out sticking up for ourselves and what is right, you won’t always run into a confrontation.

And here I thought that I hated Twinkies.

11282848_1443650052604576_1315113879_n (2) Photo Credit: Natal Galvan

At This Point…

I’m 29 years old. I’ll be 30 in January.

I have yet to graduate college, although I am a little more than halfway done.

I do not own my own home yet.

I am not married. I don’t even have a boyfriend.

I have no kids (although I came close once).

I have no REAL responsibilities other than enjoying life daily as much as I possibly can.

For the most part, I live a good life. I find it crazy when society and its “norms” want to disrupt that for me.

I get this at least once a week:

“So do you have any children??” (Insert “No” here…) “Oh honey, you’re missing out on the glories of having children!! It is so rewarding!” They say to me. For some maybe. For me? I’m going to be honest and go as far as saying that I would find having kids, at this point in my life, kind of a burden. I can already hear all the gasps and comments from my readers now, “A burden? How could she!?” and would I be thinking differently if I already had a few of my own? Of course! No loving parent would ever call their child a burden, but coming from someone who has no children in a world that is constantly multiplying around her, I find it to be true.

Yesterday as I sat at a local bar enjoying a proper Gin and Tonic and an order of coconut shrimp, while working on my latest short story, I couldn’t help but observe a family that had just sat a few tables ahead of me. Mom, Dad, and four kids. The parents were about my age. The kids were maybe a year or two apart, the youngest not able to walk yet. They rolled in with strollers, diaper bags, sweaters, bottles, toys, everything a family with 4 children would need for an easier outing. As the afternoon crept on, I noticed that the parents had no real interaction with one another other than what they HAD to say to each other in regards to the kids. I couldn’t help but wonder what they used to be like with one another before the children came along. As a waitress I often see this and think the same thing. I always wonder what families were like before the children happened.

It’s not always that I see a disconnect between couples. It’s random but once in a blue I do see tightly knit families that give off that moment of inspiration… but that moment is short lived when I hear or see a screaming child at another table. Almost like life is snapping me back into reality.

I had a friend tell me once, “Since a kid all I ever wanted was to be a mom. And now I am one and sometimes I feel like, “what have I done?” No one tells you about the metamorphosis your body will go through after having a child. No one tells you how scary it can be when the realization sets in that you’re raising a little human and molding them to someday be a productive member of society. No one tells you how frustrating a child can be, because even if you are a good parent, it’s not just nurture it is also nature that plays apart in raising them.  A parent sacrifices a lot. You can’t think about what you want to eat, or what you want to buy, or where it is that you want to travel to next. All you do is think about them. You as an individual is almost non-existent.” Her son is 8. I can’t imagine how she will be feeling once he hits those teenage years.

Like i said before, I get it often, “So, when are you having your little ones? Times ticking you know!” I reply with a shrug and a usual, “Not anytime soon.” Coming from complete strangers I find those questions and comments annoying and intrusive.

Yes, having children can be a blessing and very rewarding but, you don’t miss what you’ve never had. At this point in my life I do not want children. To have kids right now would be almost selfish of me. There is too much that I need to accomplish first, there are many things I need to get out of my system first, before I ever think about bringing a life into this world. I sometimes hear about parents resenting their children for not allowing them to be able to finish much of what they started or have the ability to live out the dreams they once envisioned. I don’t want to be that. I hear about parents imposing much of what they wanted to do in life onto their kids saying, “I want them to do what I could never get to do,” and most often than not, these kids would rather be living out their own dreams, living out their own lives. If I don’t do what I need to do for me now, how could I possibly be a good parent later? How could I possibly devote all of my passion, love, and energy into my mini me, while also working on obtaining a good career, finding a good home, establishing a strong relationship with my better half? Many would argue, “Well people do it everyday! No one is ever fully ready to have kids but ey, they manage.” Well let me just say, I don’t want to simply manage my way through life, especially if I don’t have to. All those people who are juggling kids while also finishing up an education, or intensely focusing on their career, or trying to work on their marriage, they are struggling. I’ve got enough struggles going on at the moment, no need to add a child into the mix. I am extremely content with playing with my nieces and nephews, or my friend’s children. I am happy that at the end of my visit I can simply walk away. I join in on the fun and once the fun is over I leave.

I give good parents a lot of praise because in reality they are doing something that I simply cannot. Kudos for contributing to society in a unique and special way. Because of you humanity continues.

At this point, I am happy because  I get to contribute to life in a different way. I am living my life at my own speed, doing the things I want to do, while always making sure I don’t hurt others along the way. In my opinion, that, in essence, should be society’s  “norm”.