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BY Magda

04/01 Direct Link
A puzzled Easter Bunny appeared here this morning, (on Palm Sunday). He hid robins' eggs all over the house for the boy that sleeps here. When told it wasn’t Easter Sunday, he replied, “It isn’t? Hahahahah! Good thing it’s April Fool’s Day!”

I have to laugh with him, but I think it sure is, buddy, it sure is. What a dingbat.

I don’t understand much of what our puzzled Bunny thinks. I don’t understand HOW he thinks, what makes him tick or anything else. He’s a very lucky Bunny--I fear if I did know, I’d throw the bum out.
04/02 Direct Link
April in Chicago. How exquisite, both in beauty and pain....Each day now I’m awakened by my birds. It’s hard to believe they are not having long conversations as they go about their daily chores, much like my mother in the city when I was small. The women would talk over the back porches and fences while hanging wash, chasing kids or picking up toys. I recall the sound of clothespins dropping back into the worn, cotton bag and dogs barking as the neighborhood came to life.

“He-e-y, Mi-i-che-e-uh-elle! Come on out and plaa-a-a-a-ay!”

7:30 a.m., time to get up.
04/03 Direct Link
Snow on the daffodils.

This is spring pain in the Midwest. Closed windows, seed packages beginning to gather dust. (And 75 degrees again yesterday).

Oh how we love the exquisite pain–a chance to commiserate with one another; another chance to nod and sigh. Humans are such comfortable creatures, stuck in ritual we are.

I, for one, am happy it snowed; the warm was coming on too fast. We need ups and downs here, an uneven keel as it were. This makes us the Spartans we are: standing when all is topsy turvy.

Our weather comes in on BIG cat feet.
04/04 Direct Link
Maybe her death was an accident, jerkoff. Maybe she did not “hear the value of life in intermittent whispers”. Maybe she never heard it at all. Maybe she got fucked up so she wouldn’t hurt. And it just went too far.

Hear the value of life? She probably didn’t hear her own voice, the birds, the television or anything else. Maybe she only felt her anguish.

My guess is that you have not been there. I have been close to there. God always caught my eye before I lost sight. It was close, though.

Much too close, more than once.
04/05 Direct Link
I was at jodiverse when I noticed something that rang a bell. It was about the Devil’s Number, which we should all know, is 666. Last week, we attended a dinner dance for the Boys and Girls Clubs and when we received our bid card envelopes, my daughter’s was number 666. I naturally shrieked and told her to exchange with someone else (not knowing there is tracking information inside the envelope), which she did.

What was equally unnerving was that my father’s table was 663, thus making me person 666.

It was disgusting, and I had to get out, fast.
04/06 Direct Link
I have seen evil in my life so many times that it has become to me more than a concept. Evil is a thing....alive and present. I know this will cause many people to chuckle, but I find that scary as well. Because evil is catching, you know.

“Oh, yes”, as my mother would say, with her knowing nod. Many times they call this 'group mentality'....but it is just evil, like fire leaping from one person to another, until the collective consciousness IS Satan, reared up on its back, cloven hooves, arching, to wreak havoc. I see it.
04/07 Direct Link
I sat outside on the swing last night for a long time before I came back to me. The tall tree branches are beginning to bud, and there was a good rowdy wind, the kind I love so much. The wind made the branches shimmer and shake.

I not only watch the trees, but I feel them too....I’ve often wondered what it is that commands my full attention that way–the pulse of the earth mesmerizes me and I know I’m but a small part of it all, but a part of it nonetheless.

Is this God I’m listening to?
04/08 Direct Link
Yesterday I received my new safety kit I bought to prepare for the regular power outages we experience; every few weeks the power goes off for a few hours. The last time it happened, my grandson was visiting; no radio, television, computers or video games. I was taken aback by his fear. Although we lit twenty candles, they didn’t do it for him. So, I bought a radio, flashlight and lamp that work by winding–it even charges your cell. Why can’t we use more of this technology in our daily lives. Why not a wind-up car? I would buy one.
04/09 Direct Link
I was on my side in a twin bed. In the window above the bed, I could see a man with a blinding, bright light. It made the room burn white hot.

In my mind, I heard someone whisper let’s get that whore.

I kept squishing myself closer to the wall so I they wouldn’t see me, but it didn’t work. The light started to burn me and I could not get away. They were at the other window too. I am lost! I feel my back flame; I could “see” my organs burning with everything else. I am done.
04/10 Direct Link
“You can’t control every move he makes,” said the mother.

“Oh yes I can”, said the daughter.

The mother tries again, “Honey, when you scream at him at baseball, you emasculate him. Just leave him alone for the game. It says more about you than it does about him. People will think you’re nuts.”

“Do you think I give a shit what people think of me?”

“I know you do. You tell me you don’t want people “talking shit about you” rather often.

“Just leave me alone. He’s MY son, and if I want to yell at him, I will.”
04/11 Direct Link
Top of the fifth inning.
De is up to bat.
The team offers encouragement.
“Go getum D!”
“OK, Demetri”
“Alright Demetri”
The grandfather calls, “Wait for your pitch.”
Swing and a high foul. “Good cut” the coaches yell in unison.
“Good eyes” his grandfather yells out.
“Protect the plate” calls another coach.
“Choke up on the bat” yells grandpa.
The first base coach cries, “force at second, team.”
“Demetri! Get those elbows up”, yells his mother.
“Too many instructions” the grandmother mumbles.
Strike!
The cacophony continues.
Strike two!
The boy strikes out, weary after two hours in the batting cages.
04/12 Direct Link
After baseball we take Demetri home. I tell him that they are looking good as a team and that is important. He’ll get a hit next time.

I think to myself, when did this get to be such pressure. I don’t understand this rite of passage with boys’ baseball in America.

I think you should play to have fun with your friends in the sunshine.

But this is something else.

These are serious men; each team has four or five coaches, three regular umpires, an electronic scoreboard; they play under the lights at night.

Wow, I am such a square.
04/13 Direct Link
Square?

I had to laugh when I read that! Just what is a square? It’s an antiquated word, and expresses exactly what I really meant when I thought it. I thought first, OLD. Wow, I am really OLD.

Although I’m sure there were crazies in baseball when I was young, I never paid it much attention.

We always played softball, even the men. Big fat softballs on lazy afternoons. And it was league play, we kept score. In fact, my sister Karyn was the scorekeeper for one of the leagues.

But it was fun!

None of this do or die.
04/14 Direct Link
I feel sorry for people who didn’t grow up in Chicago. It’s the best city in the country. Now I’ve lived in and traveled to many states of this union. But Chicago is always home and I will always come back here.

Chicago is a unique combination of international city and small town. And it always fools and amazes me, this glorious city. Heart-breakingly beautiful, especially near the lake; it’s terribly, achingly, sad in other places west, and south, where poverty remains an unbroken cycle.

Want to see real life? Ride the el, downtown to Oak Park; you’ll see it.
04/15 Direct Link
I just hung up with Auntie Bridget. She is a lovely woman, one of my best friends despite our age difference. She is almost ninety now, but when she was a young woman, she ran off to go to Columbia College to study drama! It was almost unheard of in that day. When she came back to town, she fell in love, got married, and so became a kindergarten teacher instead of an actress.

I wish had the strength fifty years later to do as she did.

I turned away from all of my natural talents to become a slug.
04/16 Direct Link
With such a brilliant beginning, what happened next is almost too painful to write.

Her husband provided well, but he beat her. She, who stands 4'11" and weighs barely 85 pounds, would try to protect herself, but he hit away. She bore one “normal” son and later in life, a Down’s Syndrome boy.

He beat the older son and blamed her for the younger. Hung Jim from a light fixture in the basement and used him as a punching bag. The boy was small, handsome, sensitive - an artist. The father was a boxer.

It was a match made in Hell.
04/17 Direct Link
Sisterhood is powerful! Battle-cry of my sixties.
Where are they now, these strong women I knew and loved?
The movers and shakers?
The armband wearers?
They are out there, but they are NOT the norm.
The young women I see are superficial.
Material girls.
Why do they refer to each other as chicks?
Bitches?
Hos?
Where are the thoughtful young women?
It shames me to my soul.
Of course I have my failings,
but to submit to, rather than join with?
To efface oneself and attract by simple virtue of the pussy?
How utterly abhorrent.
I grieve.
Oh My Sisters.
04/18 Direct Link
She didn’t know the other woman, but she smiled at her anyway. She wanted to be a good neighbor. She wanted to be someone that the whole block would be proud to know. She took a sideways glance into the car’s rear view window. Looking good, she thought, except for those damn wrinkles in her cheeks of all places. She hoped the others didn’t find her an old “fuddy duddy”, realizing as she said it that the words themselves dated her. She sighed. No matter what, the old fears were always with her. She looked again. The wrinkles were gone.
04/19 Direct Link
He putters around the house like a little electric train.

Putt putt putt.

He whistles to himself, wears his baseball cap on the back of his head, and the curls pop out all over the sides and front. I am a simple man, he says periodically, but she knows he is anything but. He is the most complex man she ever met. He loves to get high. He doesn’t do it often, but it frightens her. The most he does is nod out and fall asleep, but she doesn’t understand the desire to escape.

Escape what she thinks. Our life?
04/20 Direct Link
He cleaned the counter and finished the dishes. He vacuumed the front room and shampooed sections of the carpet where the puppy left a mark. He walked down into the laundry room and finished folding the whites.

He does all this for her he thinks. He wants her to walk into a clean house. Mustn’t forget to make the bed he thinks. She will be home very soon. He placed another load in the washer and climbed back up into the front room to walk their puppy. I gotta do the bed first, he thinks.

He heads toward the bedroom.
04/21 Direct Link
She pulls into the garage and hears the dryer running. Takes a deep breath and sighs. She knows what this means. Her “Mixed Blessings” she calls it. A beautiful house, dinner bubbling on the stove, dishes washed, puppy walked. The bed will be made; the dressers dusted. Everything will be sparkling clean. He does it because he loves her he says. She knows that he loves her. But he only cleans like this when he is high. He takes some painkillers, narcotics, and putters around, cleaning and whistling. It is her mixed blessing. Nice house, but husband missing in action.
04/22 Direct Link
She tries to understand it all. He is in pain much of the time, having survived a second story fall that shattered both of his heels. He was younger then, perhaps 30, and thought he could jump right up after a few weeks of bed rest. Instead, he worsened his injuries and because the dressings were not changed on all the cuts and bruises, he developed a severe bone infection. He had to remain in the Veteran’s Hospital for over four months. His brother, who owned the roofing company he worked for, gave him $100 for his trouble.

Nice brother.
04/23 Direct Link
So now, twenty years later, his feet are swollen cylinders with toes. His heels hurt him and he takes narcotics to combat the pain. Thus, he is absent half of the time, although he is physically present.

But it reminds her so much of 1960s and her first marriage to a drug addict, she is less compassionate than she could be. She looks at it as an escape, not from the pain, because she doubts the drugs take away pain anymore, but as an escape from life.

He doesn’t disagree.

She tries very hard not to care, but it’s impossible.
04/24 Direct Link
It is nearly time to fly off to Sarasota again.

What adventures await them this time? They were going to take their grandson, but their daughter has changed her mind. She doesn’t feel he is old enough to fly alone at nine and they understand. He is a little young, and has a lifetime ahead of him.

They both look forward to resting for ten days, lying about, sleeping, swimming and eating when they want to, if they want to. And if they don’t want to see each other, they can go into another part of the house all alone.
04/25 Direct Link
I am a person who loves diamonds. It sounds cliched, I know. But I can’t help it. I love sparkling glowing diamonds. Not ugly or ostentatious. There is a mystique that I crave (along with gazing into the prisms and watching the lights bounce.)

That is, I did feel that way until yesterday, when I saw the film Blood Diamond. And the film has ruined one of the few pleasures I have left. Now every time I wear a diamond–which is every day, with ten on my rings and sixteen on my cross–I will think of drugged children and murder.
04/26 Direct Link
Although I have to say, I’m going to try hard NOT to think of those things, and instead think of how much I resemble Marilyn Monroe while singing with my rings on top of my long, sleek gloved hands.

I’ll think about dancing men who toss me around effortlessly as I float through the air.

Come to think of it, I am seriously thinking about buying a cigarette holder. I wonder if that would be just too, too much?

With my false eyelashes and ruby red lips, I would always be a star.

Even more than I am right now!
04/27 Direct Link
I try to understand I really do.

I know it has nothing to do with me....isn’t that what they say?

That drug addiction is the person’s personal problem, nothing to do with anyone else, doesn’t matter if the person loves you or says he does, doesn’t matter if he loves the child, or if the child loves him, or even if he is an example for how to live for someone. Nothing matters but the power of addiction.

But this is not the time to mince words.

Let’s call it what it really is.

It’s the devil.

It is Satan.
04/28 Direct Link
So what about the question of free will.....of choices?

I wake up in the morning and I have a choice. Shall I go live my life,

or shall I go and endanger myself, my wife, my husband, my child, my family, my job, my friends, my security or whatever it the hell is, and buy drugs....making myself a target for ripoffs, poison purveyors, a possible trip to jail?

What sane person would choose to go get drugs?

No one.

So is it then insanity?

I can’t tell you that. I am not qualified.

But I choose no involvement.
04/29 Direct Link
And he said what about your vows?

What about in sickness and in health?

Isn’t this the in sickness part?

They didn’t mean this kind of sickness I say, but my voice lacks conviction. The truth is, I don’t know. But I know this is killing me.

So if it means that I go down with the count ALSO, then its ok for another lost life because I took vows to love someone in sickness and in health?

What if loving them means leaving them? What if leaving him is the one sure way to show your love is real?
04/30 Direct Link
So we say goodbye to another month. The fierce April that comes in like a lion sure did leave like a lamb.

Warm and friendly here, naturally.

I’m leaving on vacation so of course it’s going to be wonderful here! It’s Murphy’s Law, the Way of Things.

This vacation was supposed to be about relaxation and cleansing the spirit.

Instead, it once again is about an ill child, a grandchild in jeopardy and a husband who is a lump of shit.

Sorry.

But he’s a real lump.

He is trying to kill himself; I’m pulling for his life.

I’m failing.