Later, I would come to learn the double locked doors were one of my roommate's mood indicators. Later the boys would confide their frustration with their father's mood swings.
However, long before boys ever expressed frustration, I endured the occasional double lock as well as friendly conversation from which he would suddenly walk away, even slamming his bedroom door.
But, for the most part my roommate secluded himself to his room or the basement cum family room, which still in my memory is darker than it every really was. Whatever the reason my mind coded the space this way, I avoided the basement.
My roommates moods flowed and ebbed. I sensed rage at times lurking beneath the surface, though to be fair, in my presence he offered temperance. The boys noticed this too, and, in time learned to trust it.
What matters is this: He left the porch light off for everyone, especially himself.
I was there perhaps two months before I couldn't bear to listen to him and our other roommate, Connor fumbling in the dark. I started turning on the light for them.
But there was an accumulative effect and I should have left with the advent of belligerent, train-wreck Stacey. Not only because of how she was, but because of how Mr. Wilson seemed to enjoy the situation.
By that time I loved him. Not romantically, but, also more than our "friendship" warranted, if that makes any sense. I suppose it was that I recognized so many traits, particularly this odd combination of elephant ego and awareness of every personal flaw. His oldest son has the same trait, and we had many talks about turning perceived flaws into assets.
At any rate, I stayed and I turned on the light for everyone, even myself. And perhaps I stayed because I was afraid to face dark... where no one would turn the light on for me. Mostly, I think I saw something that wasn't ever there, and because of that I gave my roommate rope than was due. His kindnesses were rare. This is not to say that he was unkind. He was not. I wouldn't have stayed, if he had outright mean.
However, the day did come when I'd finally had enough and I stopped turning on the light for Mr. Wilson. He in turn waged war via door locks.To this day, I don't know what, if anything there was between us. But I don't look at it too closely, because he waged war with locks before we were "friends."
At any rate, enough time had passed in which he had grown accustomed to the light, and so in the end he had learned to turn it on for himself. I too learned to turn it on for myself because I realized, if I waited for him, I'd be waiting forever. Now, I send this lesson out to you. Do not wait for someone to turn the porch light. Turn it on for yourself.
This is of course an analogy. Apply liberally.
The very next day.... and the day after that, and the day after that day and so on
Sharon: Not even salmon?
Me: No, not even salmon.
Jovenia: Seaweed is good for you.
Me: Seaweed tastes like fish
A few weeks later.
Me: Well, fish places often ad fish flavor to every side.
Fred: I know, it's it great.
Me: (at the restaurant after countless offers to try it) We'll at least I can say I ate puffer fish.
Everybody: How was it?
Me: It was fish, though to be fair, I can honestly say I had a near death experience.
John: About five people die worldwide every year from eating this fish. Hot dogs are way more dangerous.
Me: Damn it, John, you ruin everything.
Everybody: Also, why are you on the floor. It's time to leave.
(It's customary to eat on the floor, so being there was not the problem. Still being there was.)
Me: Soju. Lots of soju.
But sometimes in love, it's all or nothing even if your significant other is good for nothing. And a good for nothing always has next to nothing.
And thus this post has come to nothing.
How does one navigate the minefields? What is too much and what is too little? And most important of all, if we only post the things in our lives that or positive, or frame all our actions in the positive, is that deceit?
Here's what I know: I find my own personal truth through the personal truth of others. And when I re-read a post, I sometimes find things I didn't see before.
So, what I'm saying is, I appreciate it when people are honest about their lives than those who use the internet to create a pseudo-perfect version of themselves. I mean I don't want to see you wearing your crotchless panties on Facebook, but I also don't think less of you for admitting you have them.
The other thing I know is that since I wrote the last post I've moved on. It's funny how putting a thing into words can also put that thing into perspective.
Ps: I have decided to do a Prism anthology. Please check back for more details soon.
And then I went the right way. But in the interim, I walked and thought.
I came to the not so brilliant conclusion that I miss the boys and my roommates. Well not so much Stacy, the belligerent alcoholic divorce` (she just disappeared and saved me from having to quit) or the lesbian couple the father moved in to replace me (in typical K. Wilson fashion, I came home from work to discover characters right out of the movie Monster living in the basement) but Ramon who was friendly and would sit with me by the fire and talk despite hardly speaking any English at all. But mostly it was the boys who occupied every Saturday night for the last 11 months.
It was crazy working for K.Wilson this last year, and a testament to how life can be stranger than fiction. And while it was mostly good, mostly drama free, there are moments that I look back upon and....I wonder why. I feel embarrassed, ashamed, as though I have done something wrong.
And as I walked, I realized my send off, or lack there of, still hurts. I hate that I invested so much time. I hate that I am still thinking about them, missing them when I am already forgotten. I hate above all things, how it was just a job: employer/ employee.
And while no one could predict the arrival of Selby (the nanny) and Aileen Wuornos, I am still deeply bothered. I love the boys, perhaps always will. I hate that I was weak, saying nothing when I wanted to grab the boy's father, shake him and say:
"Think dam it! Think! Never mind that she doesn't have any source of income, or a driver's license, and probably has warrants out for her arrest in Kentucky... And I understand that you like to help people who are down on their luck. If you lived alone so be it. But you have the boys and she got kicked out of her last place for getting into physical altercation with Aileen in-front of the children! She was living with family, for crying out loud and they didn't want that shit around their kids, why would you invite that around yours!"
But sometimes life is so much stranger than fiction that there is nothing to be said. Sometimes you have to trust that life has a way of working itself out even when it shouldn't. Above all else, sometimes you need a good distraction like a short story that needs writing or a handsome co-worker (how happens to be in a long term relationship, darn). And sometimes you need to walk in the wrong direction before you can walk the right one.
But this brings me to one more thing: Edward Snowden and Prism. This and the above my seem completely unrelated, but they are not. (Everything is everything, after all.) For one thing, Prism is something that has bothered me greatly, something I have thought endlessly about, felt exceedingly helpless about. Because, even though the powers that be say, "Well, we only intend to use it for good," I can't help but think how messy life can be. How a life time of bad judgments or even the lack of foresight, could be complied and used.
Can you imagine a future where businesses pay money to get access to the emails of job candidates? I can. I simply have to look at the budget crisis and say, at some point government will look for alternative streams of revenue. And what is the biggest business to day? Data. What you buy how you buy and what you do with it.
It scares me to think that a future me could lose a job because I worked for a man who hired Selby to replace me. Or because I lived with Selby for two years. (To be clear her real name was not Selby. I'm using pseudonyms to illustrate character.)
A while back I started a short story about a future decent of Edward Snowden. In this reality, Prism is strong and well and (more technologically advanced than present day). The government uses the program to target the Snowden descendants (among the program's many nefarious uses). The Snowdens are targeted as a form of entertainment, distraction, and most of all a deterrent. For who would speak out against the government when, not only themselves, but generation after generation would be punished?
In the story, I address one of my predictions long held beliefs, which is the right to bear arms maybe constitutional, but what does it matter when technology has made constitutional rights obsolete. (There is a gap between the weaponry technology of governments and private citizens. The wider the gap, the higher the cost civil war. When the gap hits an apex, the right to bear arms offers zero protection for citizens: Think about how Avatar would have ended if all the animals of Pandora had not joined the war.)
Okay, so my mind is hopscotching today, but there is a point to my madness. I have been thinking about doing, not a contest, as in past, but opening submissions to an anthology about said subjects above. And by above, I mean Prism, not boss cum roommates who hire a highly inappropriate nanny replacement. Just so we're clear.
The nominative or subjective case = pro-nouns functioning as the subject.
The predicate nominative is a noun our pronoun after a linking verb that renames the subject.
Passive voice, oh my!
Grammar books say that the predicate nominative sounds too formal for speech, it should be used in formal writing. I would like to add the caveat, that it should be used rarely, because the predicate nominative is passive.
"The doctors are they," is passive. "They are the doctors," is active.
So, if your critiques say you have a problem with passive voice, there is a good chance you may have caught a case of the predicate nominative.
Homework- make the following sentences active.
The crazy person is she.
The psychopath is he.
The clowns are they.
The idiot is me.
As she made new friends and rekindled old friendships, she started blowing me off... and the blow-offs were always my fault. I asked her not to do that... and she did. She stopped making time to hang out altogether =(
So I said I couldn't explain, and offered emotional support. And he asked me to leave four days before my flight, saying I couldn't keep my stuff at his house and that my decision ended our friendship. And that I was being totally unfair. (I had also "unfairly" decided that I couldn't sign a falsified document for court case involving child support.) So, I tried unsuccessfully to relocate to a hotel and ran around like a chicken with my head cut off to find a place to store stuff including my car =(
As I knelt on the floor of the airport, near tears at the impossible task of weeding my life down to two suitcases 50lbs or less and one carry on ( remember, I was not taking a trip but relocating) he said, "You can do it." He got trash bags and took my overage out to his van (to be stored in my car for when I come back), and then sat with me for the twenty minutes or so until I had to go through security.
Thanks Burt! You are awesome!
Mariel R. is an ESL teacher, horse trainer, writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. She lives in South Korea with two cats, three horses, a German Shepherd and 17 chickens.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Goldy in English) R.I.P February, 23, 2018