Monthly Archives: January 2014

To Making Better Choices

I keep telling myself that this year I will make better choices for myself.  In regards to my health, physical and mental, as well as emotional.  I will eat better and exercise more.  I will make smarter decisions when it comes to my love life.  I will be open and honest, and try not to be so afraid – or at least, to not let my fears constantly rule me.  And damnit, I will write.  Because as shitty as I think I am at it, it feels right.

So, in that vein of health-mindedness, I’m gonna do something stupid.  I’m gonna promise, here and now and publicly, to cut down on my drinking.  Quitting outright just seems too drastic.  =P

Over this last year – probably the hardest since I lost my dad – I have relied on this particular crutch far too much and too often.  It’s easy to drown myself in a 6 pack of Ice tallboys.  I don’t know why really, it’s not like it makes me feel better in the long run.  But I have been a drinker since I was 15.  Drinking is an old friend, one of the only ones that’s stuck by me all these years.  And it’s to that friend that I ran to for comfort, more and more as the year progressed.

But I realize it’s not getting me anywhere.  I’d love to be able to indulge on occasion, dig out my PS2 and do some drunk-driving on Midnight Club 3 (I love that game).  But to the extent that I’ve been going at it?  Yeah, that’s gotta stop.

It’s not healthy for me, physically.  I know this.  It’s not healthy for me mentally – bad hangover days really mess with my head and cause anxiety.  And it sure as hell hasn’t helped my love life.  I would get into some of the biggest fights with my ex when I was drunk.  Granted, he was a selfish asshole, but still.

Worse than anything though, to me, is how it affects my writing.  I am not one of those brilliant drunken writers.  I wish I was!  I’d personally tear out my liver and roll it in broken glass if that would let me write the next Great American Novel.  But fact is, as trite and sorry as my writing can be while sober, it is just pure crap when I’ve been tying on one.

Man, I am so good at tying one on.  I am a champion drinker on a good night.  I bet I could drink any of ya’ll under the table!  Let’s find out someday.  =)

But for now, for the sake of liver, brain, heart and whatever combination of organs make my fingers keep tapping these keys – I promise to cut back.  One sixer a week?  Can we all agree on that?  You have no idea how hard that’s gonna be.  Well, OK, someone out there will know.

And hey, if I can manage to survive on one sixer a week, perhaps I can do better.  Part of the process.  We shall see.

Here’s to making better choices!  *raises a glass of water*  =)

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First Love, Best Love, Pt2

Continuing from https://victoriaflair.net/2014/01/25/first-love-best-love-pt1/

So, the guy I loved, wrote out a fantasy life about, dreamed of, was in love with my new best friend.

Did it hurt?  Shyeah.  Was there anything I could do about it? No.

So life continued.  Freshman year of High School was an exciting time for me.  Of course I’d found my way into a few demanding classes – namely honors English.  And there was band, which took  a lot of time and effort.  Marching in formation while playing an instrument is HARD.  Plus, I was meeting all kinds of new people.  People who would later have a bit of a negative impact on my life.  But I digress.

It was hard watching Josh and Katrina together.  So hard that I think I’ve blocked out most of the memories of that year that had to do with them.  I know I saw them together.  I’m sure I saw them kissing.  And because Katrina was a friend, and fast becoming a best friend I know she would have talked about their relationship.  But I don’t remember anything about it now.  It is a blank spot in my mind.  And one that I have no desire to explore.

What I do recall is them breaking up.  It was at the end of freshman year.  How a few short months of love can change one’s world.  Well, if you’ve been there, you know.

I don’t remember the details of their break-up, though I have hazy images of Katrina, red-faced from crying, and Josh, red-faced from yelling.  After all these years, those memories could be confused, clouded and corroded.  But that’s how I remember things.

Now Josh and I had somehow remained friends through all this.  How, I am not sure.  Again, it’s been lost to time, and that cloud of “thou shalt not remember.”  So, to not strain my mental facilities overmuch, we’ll just say, “It is known.”

The summer of 1994.  Most of my friends had been accepted into Varsity Band that year, including Josh.  Band camp therefore was even more fun – and exciting.  Whether it was because he knew that I adored him or just because we were both available, Josh and I grew closer.  It wasn’t until we attended a party of an upperclassman later that summer that I found out how close.

*I won’t tease – you can have this moment now, and then I’ll do the cliff-hanger.*

It was at James Hunter’s house, the party that changed my life.  James was a saxophone player, incredibly sexy himself, and the dream guy of many many girls in my circle.  (Yeah, I had him several years later, but that’s a different story entirely.)

Thanks to my new friends – Sara Nieves in particular – I was getting myself into a whole new world.  One that included smoking pot and drinking.   And was just what I needed.  A lot of my friends weren’t happy with the path I had chosen.  But Josh, he was willing to see what the fuss was about.

The party that changed everything was a pretty mild one, from what I remember.  Sure, people were smoking and drinking, and that one asshole was, as usual, hell-bent on burning down the tree in James’ backyard.  But once things quieted down, and most everyone had gone to sleep – or passed out – I was left alone with Josh.

The John Candy/Steve Martin movie, Planes, Trains & Automobiles was on.  Oh, I wish I could draw you this picture, as I remember it so clearly.  Josh was sitting in an armchair, and I was sitting on the floor beside him.  The words that passed between us seem so insignificant now.  All I remember, all I ever want to remember, is when he leaned down and his lips met mine.  The first lips mine had ever touched in passion.  And what passion!

It was electric.  It was mind-bending.  To have this boy, who I’d longed for for years, wanting and needing me in that moment.  To be stretched out on the floor with him, his lips, tongue, hands performing magic that I hadn’t known was possible…

James’ mother interrupted us before things could go further.  Bless and damn the woman.

But a spark had been created that night.  And sparks so often turn to flames.  And flames, so often devour.


1-28-14 Micropoetry

Favorite #micropoetry of the night, including mine, of course…

@vkflair
Just because
I’m not sitting around
Waiting for you to call…
Doesn’t mean I’m not.
#micropoetry #disappointment

@vkflair
Fuck!
Can I just tell you that I love you,
And be done with it already?
I know it won’t mean much,
Except to me…
#micropoetry #whining

@vkflair
Don’t trust my “=P” and “lol,”
Sometimes my emotes lie.
I may be laughing to you, when,
On my side of the screen,
I just want to cry.

@divorcequeen
I’m in a fine mood
Troubles
Passion’s brood

Laughing
When others
Think
I should be
Crying

Not a poem, but I liked it:
@RELATIONSHIP
Image

@I_BE_NUMBER_SIX
We sit across from each other
Letters dancind in our eyes
Oblivious to the miles between us
Two screens
Two Dreams
One reality
#micropoetry

@finsandpearls
All our broken pieces
For our hearts were like
Rocks and shells on the beach.
Beautiful and broken.
#micropoetry
Image

@finsandpearls
Part of your soul
Is holding hands with mine
High above
Nestled in clouds.
#micropoetry
Image

Again, not poetry, or is it?
@ithinkthatway
When I see you…
Image

@vkflair
He gives me the love you won’t.
I can’t give him the love he wants.
It’s not a perfect world.
We all have our boundaries.
#micropoetry

@TheWiseSerpent
Lacerating words
I’d rather have razors
Slice my flesh
Than suffer the pain
You inflict with your tongue
#tanka #micropoetry

@vkflair
@xmicropoetry
Thanks for the retweets
Of mine and others
micro-poetries.
Your appreciation
Is deeply appreciated.
=)
#thanks

@stuartgibson
Every time I think of you it’s like the last beat of my heart
The memory of leaving you is tearing me apart

@Red_Sekhmet
Our of their love grew
A trust that allowed her to
Fall knowing with certainty
He would catch her
#micropoetry

I know I’ve missed some, a lot I’m sure!  But ❤ to all the poets.  I guess maybe I’m one?  =)


Writing, Again

These stories I posted in my previous blog, now lost in the Bermuda Triangle of “posts that came before.”  Please to enjoy, or not.

**********

The Bus

The wind was bitter cold. Her cheeks burned, blazing a painful red. She tucked her chin into the collar of her coat, her breath steaming. She stepped carefully down the un-shoveled sidewalk, her entire body clenching in on itself in a futile effort to stay warm.

A part of her welcomed the cold. There was something sadly ironic about piling on thermals, sweaters, coats hats gloves and scarves – and still feeling the bite of wind down to her bones. No matter how she guarded, shielded herself, there was always cold. Always pain.

Her eyes glued to the beaten path before her. To her feet as they trudged on. She wished she had a good pair of boots; the Airwalks she wore were only a year old, but the thick rubberized fabric was already tearing, pulling away from the sole. He feet would be wet and cold all day. She’d stop in at the thrift store, but boots were hard to find. Everyone needed them – they sold as quickly as they were brought in.

Her eyes filled suddenly, and she gave a strong sniff, shaking her head. The last thing she needed was to be crying as she walked down the street. Not only would it be embarrassing to be seen in that state, but the tears would cloud her eyes, and she could step wrong, not seeing a patch of ice or a huge shard of broken glass (why did people feel the need to throw bottles onto sidewalks?). Then she’d be on her ass, crying and hurt with twisted ankle or deep cut. Why add to her problems?

She reached the bus stop without incident. And with ten minutes still to wait. She’d missed enough buses to know that it would be better to pace the corner for a few minutes than to face the decision to walk back home, knowing she’d have to make the trek again. So she paced, walking circles around a guard railing. She pulled her phone from her pocket to check the time. Eight minutes till the bus. Six minutes. Five.

She tried not to think, of anything. Being idle was cruelly anxious. Waiting was torture. Her mind wanted to wander, to touch on those random ideas that made pain flicker inside her, electric. She looked again at her phone. Three minutes. That was good. Maybe the bus would be early.

Traffic blew by her as she raised her eyes to the corner the bus would turn down. She felt embarrassed and exposed standing on the corner. She pulled her coat tighter around her. Her hands were clenched in her pockets, her toes curled in her shoes. Her hat – an old black knit Adidas cap – was pulled down just below her eyebrows, almost too low for her to see. She bounced on the balls of her feet, willing the bus to appear.

Finally! The white and blue monster grumbled around the corner, trailing a steam of exhaust. She groped in her jeans pocket for her bus money. She should really just buy a pass for convenience sake, but she somehow felt the physical presence of the dollar and quarter reassuring. She kicked the snow for her shoes before stepping up the blue treaded stairs. The bus hissed with heat, making her hands and feet ache with excruciating relief. After slipping her fare in the box, she settled into a middle seat. The bus roared, shook, and trundled down the busy street.

Brown eyes, shimmering slightly, took in the scene as it passed by the window. The dirty looking shops, the shoddy little houses. The gas station she was surprised still remained opened, after having been the site of so much violence over the years. The Walgreens she would walk to on days when she just needed to walk somewhere. Her whole life had been lived in this run-down part of town. She wondered if she’d ever escape it. If she even wanted to.

She closed her mind to the thought. Her eyes glazed over as she shut down. Enjoying the warmth of the bus, the satisfaction of being out in the world. The fear of being out in the world, however briefly. Maybe today, she’d smile at someone, and they’d smile back. They’d talk. They’d laugh.  And that would be good. That would be good enough for today.

She smiled, and it hurt her wind-burnt cheeks.

**********

The Pain

Her heart ached. Literally.

The intensity of the feeling was so powerful, a physical blow that knocked her to her knees. She didn’t understand, couldn’t comprehend the feeling – the gnawing, burning pain in her chest. Her hands went to the spot, eyes wide as she looked down. She half expected to see blood seeping through her shirt, staining her hands.

Her confusion added to the pain, and she doubled over, gasping. A shudder passed through her, chilling her even as her chest caught fire, exploding. Freezing, shivering while she burned with agony.

The fire found her face, her eyes, and they stung bitterly as they filled. At once, a dam burst, and she buried her face in her hands as tears poured from her. Sobs wrenched her body. From head to toe she burned hot and cold. Her muscles clenched uncontrollably, locking her into a tortured caricature of a human being.

She felt she couldn’t breathe, the pain was too great, her cries too overpowering. She gasped, and the feeling of drawing a breath made her throat raw. She coughed, then gagged. It was all too much. The tears pouring from her eyes, the seeping of her nose, the incredible pain in her chest.

What was this? If this was heartache, heartbreak, she hadn’t though it would be anything this physical. Her body convulsed, and fresh sobs poured anew. Uncontrollable. Every nerve in her body sizzled. Her veins throbbed with the maddening, wrenching beat of her heart.

Kneeling on the floor, her stomach clenched then turned. Acid boiled up her throat. She reached around blindly, finding a nearby trash-can and dragging it over just in time to empty her stomach. A blinding pain seared around her midsection as she heaved repeatedly. Dry retches followed, and coughs that tore at her throat. She moaned, her head hanging, the smell of vomit and bile burning her nose.

She collapsed onto her side, drained and exhausted. The tears, never ending, leaked across the bridge of her nose, pooling in the cup of her ear before spilling and soaking into the carpet beneath her. A feeling of heaviness settled over her like a concrete blanket. Like a lead casing. The fire still burned in her chest, but it had reduced from an all-out inferno the the dull steady heat of a blacksmith’s forge. She closed her eyes, wanting nothing more than an end.

She awoke hours later, maybe days. Laying prone on the cold floor, every muscle cramped and sore. Her eyes felt thick and gummy, eyelashes clinging to each other with every blink. The room was dark, night had fallen, and she somehow felt relieved by the company of shadows.

Slowly she sat up, propping herself on one arm. Her hand rubbed roughly at her eyes, grinding the salt crust from them; wiping her hand down her face, grimy from all the tears. Looking around the grey-shaded room, she felt dazed, disconnected. She felt strangely calm, and utterly empty.

Shakily, she got to her feet. She just stood there, unsure of what her next action should be. She felt like a robot whose programming had been wiped. The irony lifted the corner of her mouth – the slightest movement – before disappearing beneath a wave of vacuity.

She was vaguely aware of the sick smell in the room, and mechanically set to emptying the trash, opening a window, and setting her apartment to rights. Collecting the cell phone she’d dropped after receiving the call, setting it into its changer. Sweeping the contents of her purse back into the leather bag: her keys, lipgloss, a hand-full of loose change, a wallet open to a picture of a striking man with auburn hair and laughing hazel eyes.

Alone in the darkness, the quiet, she wondered briefly if a heart could grow back. After being so thoroughly removed. The thought passed.


First Love, Best Love, Pt1

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my first boyfriend.  With apologies to those that followed – he was the best.

I was twelve when I first met him.  I’d lost my father a mere four months previous, so you might not think that anything could distract me from that grief.  But life has a tendency to go on.

The first time I saw him was that first day of seventh grade, Jr. High.  It was typing class, and I’d just found a friend, a boy who’d been in my 6th grade class back in elementary.  His name was Dylan, and he’d factor into my life for years to come.  But it wasn’t his presence that stunned me, that gave my heart an electric thrill.

It was Josh.  Joshua Bryan.  I couldn’t tell you what attracted me to him, what started a longing in my heart that twenty years hasn’t quite been able to quench.  He wasn’t tall, he wasn’t movie-star handsome.  Maybe it was that slightly tousled look and air he had about him.  A mischievous glint in his eye?  I don’t know what it was, honestly.  But from that day, that first day of seventh grade in my first typing class, my world was altered.

To my surprise, he became a part of my little band of friends in Jr. High.  Not part of the core – Dylan, Amanda, Lizzie, Jon Baugh and I – but something of a satellite.  We were all in band together, and were all pretty friendly with everyone, so maybe it shouldn’t be all that surprising that Josh and I got to know each other.

Seventh and eighth grades were a wonder to me.  I look back at them as an innocent time.  While at home I was dealing with a lot, learning to live in a family who’d lost so much, when I was with my friends I could be free of that and just have fun.  And I had so much fun.  I made my own little family and I loved them fiercely.

And I loved Josh, fiercely.

I asked him out twice.  Once in seventh grade, once in eighth.  Both times he said no, but he never rejected me in such a way that I was brutally hurt.  We always maintained that easy, at-a-distance friendship.  Even after he found a fantasy I’d written about him.  (I just remembered this.)  I’d written out what our life together would be like, complete with “Victoria K. Bryan” written in the margins.  He laughed, but not in a mocking way, and though I was of course embarrassed, again I was not badly hurt.

Time would change that.

My little group of misfits entered High School together, the Big Leagues.  Alone of our group, I was selected to join the Varsity Marching Band.  Something of a high honor.  Off I went to band camp.  I made some friends there, mostly in my section (flute, no jokes).  One, a certain dark-pixie named Sarah Nieves, would have a big impact on my life.  But that’s another story.

I did meet and befriend another girl, a tuba player by the name of Katrina Jacobberger.  She was tall and loud, broad and boisterous.  She had one of those smiles that bloomed like a rose across her face, and her eyes would dance when she laughed.  It was hard not to like her.

It was impossible for Josh not to fall for her.


WOL – Why It Matters To Me

You may have heard me mention the “WOL,” or Web of Loneliness.  It’s a site I belong to.  A site I found several months ago that has given me the push to take my writing farther than I thought I could.  Lemme share a bit about what brought me there.

In a nutshell – I lost my dad when I was young, 12.  At the same time I lost my mom to grief as well as my older brother.  I grew up in a situation where no one really cared what I did, so I did a lot.  And though I was dealing with the beginnings of depression and anxiety, I had a fuck of a lot of fun.

For years I had fun with my friends.  Drinking, doing drugs, sleeping around a bit.  But I rarely shared the inner pain I was experiencing.  My depression grew, and my anxiety grew.  And though I had occasionally reached out to therapists and counselors, I always felt disconnected and gave up.

Which is what I eventually did with my group of friends.  No one understood why I couldn’t always be happy.  The more they tried to make me, the less I wanted to be with them.  And so I just gave up on them.

Several years went by, populated by a few romantic entanglements that didn’t pan out.  I’d tried to find a connection, that one person who would understand me and bring solace and meaning to my life.  I think it was always a matter of too much pressure.  Counting on one person to alleviate my loneliness.

And then there was the relationship that finally broke this camel’s back.  I wound up with someone who I let treat me badly, because I thought that’s how I should be treated.  But somewhere along the way, I realized that a man I loved should love me.  And this man didn’t.  So I got out.

Afterward, I went through a low.  So low.  I was realizing that though that man hadn’t loved me, he had been the only person in my life even slightly willing to know me, hear me.  And I found myself desperately lonely.  Not for the first time – but for the first time I was aware of what I was doing.  I wanted someone to know me, really know me and listen to me.

So one night, feeling that aching gap in my heart, I searched the web.  My keywords were something along the lines of “Fucking Lonely Chat.”  And I found the WOL.  And it damned near saved my life.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I’d continued to feel so alone and disconnected.  The thought scares me, frankly.  And I am so grateful, so very very grateful, to have found the community I did.

For the first time in my life, I could say exactly what I felt and feel truly validated.  I could share my weaknesses, my fears, my personal trials – and feel not only supported, but encouraged!  It was an amazing and overwhelming feeling.  To be surrounded by people who had felt the same, who had been where I was, felt what I felt – it was a revolutionary idea!

I started blogging there – you can read those old posts below, though I can assure you they are wild ramblings – and began to get positive feedback about my writing.  People enjoyed what I had to say – they connected with it somehow.  And that floored me.  That my words might mean something to someone else.  That I could express something that mattered.

That’s why I’m here today, writing in this blog.  I really can’t stress enough the impact the WOL has had on me.  I still feel lonely, at times so painfully so.  And I have yet to come to terms with some of the hurts that I have experienced.  But it’s due to those amazing, welcoming and supportive people that I write anything here.  I owe them so much.  And I will say so, over and over and over again.

If I ever make anything of myself in writing from this point on, in is in large, great, entire part to the WOL.  For giving one lonely person a place to feel she belongs.  I cannot express my gratitude and love – there really are no words.


Pretend – Voice

Wish you were that kind.
That you stalked my every line.
Looking for yourself.

Wish I was the one,
Your all encompassing sun.
Revolve around me?

You don’t have the time.
No, your passion surmounts mine!
And I am eclipsed…

It’s not meant to be.
It is obvious to me.
Please, pretend you’re mine?


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