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I wanted to care but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t. Nothing I said to myself could get me to change my mind or feel anything but…nothing. Just…nothing.

It was as if I was reading about some random stranger’s death with a cursory glance while I sipped my coffee and wondered if I had enough gas to get to work or if I should leave 5 minutes earlier to get it.

I didn’t like her, not one iota, but I felt that I should feel something when I heard of her death. I wasn’t surprised by the news. I had seen her posts on Facebook for a fundraiser her son was doing for her. She had pancreatic cancer but wanted to try an herbal program that boasted of wonderful success in remission for all types of cancer.

I had felt sadness when I first found out she was ill but not for long. I had not seen her in years, so she was no longer part of my life.

I didn’t judge her for trying or have much of an opinion about it. It was her life and far be it from me to say what anyone should do once they’ve been given a death sentence. I don’t know what I would do so I can’t say what someone else should do.

She looked horrible in her profile picture. Much older and worn, but that’s to be expected when you’re dying. She still had the great hair and red lipstick and smile, but she had aged 25 years since I had seen her 5 years before.

I felt nothing when I read about her illness. I felt bad that I was ambivalent about her and her pending demise. The more I tried to feel something, the worse I felt.

Is it possible to feel numb and annoyance at feeling numb at the same time?

I didn’t like her when I knew her and worked with her but I tried to. I felt that I should like her since she started working for us a few years before.

Things at work had slowed down. We were looking for someone to bring in sales. I knew things at work would be better if I liked her. I even tried to be nice and insincere to smooth things over. I failed at it and she could tell.

I don’t have a poker face, but there have been times when I would have paid a million dollars to have one. To be able to hide my feelings and thoughts, carry on with an insincere but pleasant conversation, and get away from them as soon as possible.

But I don’t posses that ability. I am envious of people who are hard to read. Is is something a person is born with or is it something that can be self-taught?

My boss asked me if I would be friends with her and include her in my circle of friends. She and I knew some mutual people and they all seemed to like her or at least I thought so.

I was never unkind or cruel. I am not that way, but it’s not a matter of what I do; it’s a matter of what I don’t do. If I don’t like someone, I don’t have long conversations with them. I am short with my responses and greetings, my smile disappears quickly from my face but it’s there just long enough to be seen as polite.

She was brash and rude and the main topic of all her conversations was how great she was. She would go on and on about how many people loved her and how lucky we all were to have her around. By her insistence that we needed her, the back end intention was we were doing everything wrong and she was our only savior and chance at survival. The fact that we had all done well for 15+ years was no longer relevant.

She proclaimed herself as our savior and we were not in the market for one.

She talked her way into our small company and I, like others, were hopeful she would be an asset. We had been struggling lately with our sales and needed a full-time individual to take the lead.

We were doing okay, but wanted to push the business to the next level. It was a logical decision to bring on someone full-time and take the job off of my boss’s plate.

We weren’t looking for a miracle; we just wanted another employee who would learn about the company from the ground up and help us push it further along.

She had had some success with her own small business and she came with some good recommendations. The fact that we all had mutual friends made her appealing to us.

My intense dislike of her wasn’t immediate but it didn’t take me long to begin to dread coming into the office. Having her barge into my office with unsolicited advice on anything and everything, commenting about what I was wearing, and how she thought I could improve my job performance, were things she did on a daily basis.

She had ruined a dinner party at a friends house when she began to tell everyone what an asset she was. When she started on her third glass of wine and told my best friend how lucky I was to know her, my friend rolled her eyes and left the table.

That’s when I began to suspect that I wasn’t the only one didn’t like her.

Funny how we try to like people. We first must lie to ourselves before we begin lying to others.

She shouted when she spoke, barged into offices even if the door was closed, knew more than anyone else. She was impossible to train. You can’t teach anyone who thinks they not only know the subject, but they know more than the trainer.

That particular day was when I came close to throwing the training binder her across the table. I know within a few minutes of working with someone if they can be trained. Most can be, but the few that can’t, it’s because they don’t want to learn. It’s as if admitting they don’t know something, it makes them feel like prey.

  • You have to be vulnerable while opening your mind to new ideas.
  • You have to admit you don’t know something before you can learn it.
  • You have to be willing to be stupid in order to gain knowledge.

All of this we could have dealt with if the numbers had been there, but that was not the case. Her inadequacies began to show up quickly.

First it was the padded (false) stats. Everything sounded good, according to her, but upon inspection, not so much. The money wasn’t there and then when it did appear, the new clients asked for refunds before even starting.

Her appointments kept cancelling on her. It was as if she were a magnet that repelled rather than pulled.

I felt sorry for her. She made me uncomfortable because she seemed so desperate and alone. The more I attempted to befriend her, the more I felt my integrity slip away.

The day she was fired, she cried on my shoulder. I limply put my arm around her shoulder and patted her back. I felt a twinge of remorse for not feeling anything but relief that she would be gone. I felt as if my comfortable world was about to return.

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t like her and didn’t have to. I wished her no ill will and had hoped she had gone off onto better and more interesting adventures.

I am sorry she’s gone too soon.

Have you ever known someone you didn’t like but wanted to? Was it something that bothered you or not?

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In a world that values things more than people, it’s easy to forget what’s important and what isn’t. That can vary from day to day or even moment to moment.

One day, you have a fender bender. No one is hurt, but you’re upset that you didn’t see the car and backed into it in the parking lot. You were distracted with the kids screaming in the back seat or your day at work wasn’t that great because your boss let you know your performance could be better.

It could be a million little things that are bothering you and then BAM! You bump into the car you didn’t see parked there.

You exchange your information with the other driver, apologize profusely, and remind yourself to make sure you paid your insurance premium for the month.

You’re thankful the other driver was kind and didn’t throw a fit.

You worry that your insurance rates will go up again as you drive home, forcing yourself to pay attention.

You’re upset that you were so distracted that you didn’t see the car parked when you back up and you should have.

You take a deep breathe and calm yourself down. You debate whether or not you’ll report the claim to your insurance carrier or maybe bite the bullet and pay for it out of your own pocket. You say another prayer that it won’t be much because you’re about to be overdrawn in your checking account if your rent check clears before your payroll check get deposited.

All of these things are on your mind until you turn the corner onto the street you live and you see smoke.

Lots of smoke.

Pouring up into the sky…near your home.

You see the fire engines as you approach your home but you can’t tell exactly what is happening and you say your third prayer in the last hour that the smoke is from a house way down the street from you.

The last thing on your mind now is the fender bender.

All you can think about is your home being on fire.

Then you realize that if it is, right now all you care about is your family and pets.

You accelerate, with all thoughts of being a more careful driver evaporating immediately.

As you get closer, you can see that it’s not your house, but a neighbors home 6 houses down.

You heave a sigh of relief, suddenly grateful that you have not lost your home and family and pull into the driveway.

You stand there and a new emotions step in and it is one of compassion, worry, and care for your neighbors.

You’re happy you are safe and you are worried that your neighbors are not.

And that, that right there, is your greatest asset.

You thought I was going to say you are your greatest asset, didn’t you?

Well, you’re not wrong but you’re also not right.

Your greatest asset is more than something you can put in a Hallmark card or quickly write as in inspirational quote for Facebook.

Your greatest asset is what you do with you. It’s:

Your empathy

Your ability to understand others

Your level of ethics

Your integrity

Your moral compass

Your ability to be kind

To be decent

Sometimes it feels as if you have to be mean and unfeeling to get through life. There are days when the worries and stress of the world, or just the day, weigh on you relentlessly.

Sometimes we feel weak if we aren’t constantly being rude or unkind. We don’t understand why life has become such a burden.

We feel justified in snapping at the person who is moving slower than molasses in the store aisle and you can’t get past them.

What do they expect if they are slow AND blocking the aisle? What? They think they’re the only person on the planet?

There are always plenty of reasons to be mean and unkind, but there are just as many to be kind and decent.

Your biggest asset is when your heart reaches out to resolve a problem. When you let yourself be kind even though the world has given you plenty of reasons to be ornery and mean.

It is your heart and soul that is your biggest asset and it is often not your first reaction when you’re about to take the bait.

It’s important to give yourself a second or two or three to decide how you want react to a situation. Your emotions and actions are always your choice and one else’s.

And that’s what puts you high on the food chain.

Your ability to see, to decide and then to act.

No one is perfect, but don’t fall prey to those that tell you to be harsh in order to get ahead. Pay no attention to anyone who tells you that you don’t matter or you don’t make a difference.

Kindness can never be overrated and if you find yourself tempted to lash out, don’t beat yourself up if you do.

The beautiful thing about time is there is another moment right around the corner.

You are important. You influence the people around you and you make a difference in their lives.

Life is hard enough without being too hard on ourselves.

Your biggest asset is what you do with you.


Photo by Daniel Clay on Unsplash

I think it was when I saw you had gone to great lengths to Photoshop in your thigh gaps. I know damn well you don’t have thigh gap any more than I do. I know that you, like I, hate to wear anything that doesn’t cover our thighs because by the end of the day, we’ve got a rash from our thighs constantly rubbing against each other when we walk.

When I saw that you gave yourself perfect thighs (including NO cellulite) I stopped being amused and started to get angry. Not really angry but just enough to feel myself want to reach through the monitor and bitch slap the shit out of you.

What the fuck are you doing?

You have never had a thigh gap and never will. Well you didn’t until the invention of Photoshop, which apparently you have mastered, though you have told me on too many occasions for me to count that you barely know how to use Google.

Apparently that was a lie and that’s why I’m pissed off. I guess the desire to have perfect thighs can cause a woman to get out of her comfort zone and figure out an app to make herself look better.

You and I go way back. We’re the same age. I know how confident you were about yourself and your life. I know what it’s like to be insecure and afraid. When did that happen to you? There’s no sin in admitting to a trusted friend that you are scared or unhappy, but when you lie to me I know that the first lie was to yourself.

You constantly post on Facebook what a wonderful marriage you have and though I don’t disagree that the two of you have been married a long time, you have told him that the only way you’ll ever not be married to him is via death. Now I can’t speak for your husband, but if a man said that to me, I’d head for the hills and not look back. I see him flinch and quickly smile when you say that. You’re not seeing what I see.

I know that your husband is terrified of you. He’s afraid to say anything. I’m not saying that he wants to leave you, because he probably doesn’t because you coddle him. You are the first person to actually care for him. But I hate seeing the fear in his eyes whenever he wants to disagree with you. You’ve badgered him into silence and compliance. He’s too sweet and maybe too scared to say anything.

You and I are too old and have gone through too much for you to be so worried about what people think of you. I know that the last trip you went on and posted on Facebook was a huge disappointment. I know that you had a horrible time because you couldn’t get along with the group of people you were with. But you didn’t post that. You weren’t honest. You weren’t truthful and though I don’t expect anyone to air their dirty laundry on social media, you’re doing worse than that. You are lying to yourself and therefore everyone else.

If we have learned nothing else as women of a certain age, it’s that we may not have much and we may have been discriminated against everyday of our lives, we always fought for our integrity, our honesty, and our transparency. Because without integrity you’ve got nothing. You know that. We’ve had long discussions about it over the years. We know that the only way to be free, is to first be honest with ourselves and let the world see us as we are. We know that there’s no shame, only pride, in getting older and proudly wearing our lives on our face without apology.

We earned every damn wrinkle and gray hair.

We earned every scar and imperfection and we’re proud of them. We wear them like a badge of honor.

You were a bad ass.

When did you get scared? When did you decide that your appearance was more important than your mind? What happened that made you run and decide to put on a false personality for the world to see? What changed? What scared you? Was it looking in the mirror one day and seeing how your skin was now sagging? We’re all going through that. Hell, I hate seeing myself in the mirror. I put my make-up on as quickly as possible because though I think of myself as a much younger age, the mirror tells me differently. I fucking hate mirrors and can’t handle taking a selfie because there aren’t enough filters to make me see myself in the way that I think about myself. I know it’s part of life and I’d rather grow old than die young, but I don’t need to see wrinkles and my sagging neck. I’m not a believer in cosmetic surgery, but I admit I’d pay money to have the neck I had at 20.

Was it when you looked down and wondered where your tits went? That’s the point we all realize that gravity isn’t always our friend.

Was it when you couldn’t fit into your clothes anymore smack in the middle of menopause? I know that one too. I’ve always been able to lose weight whenever I wanted to, but the last 5 years changed all that. I woke-up one day with an additional 20 pounds. I swear the fat fairy came one night and plunked extra fat right on my stomach and hips and shrank my boobs. So not funny. It felt like it was overnight because one day, out of nowhere, my jeans didn’t fit anymore. I had to buy a bigger size (which took me months to do until I couldn’t stand the suffering of wearing too tight jeans all day and ended up with a yeast infection) and I almost started to cry in the fitting room. I didn’t because I didn’t want to admit I was bothered about it. I didn’t want to admit that after all the years of managing my weight and being fit, Mother Nature decided to play a cruel joke on me and gave me back all the weight I lost and kept off for years.

It was as if all of it no longer mattered, so why try?

Was it when you had to begin coloring your hair because the gray appearing faster than you could keep up with it? I know that one too. I now do my roots the very second I see the gray start to reappear. I should have purchased stock in L’Oreal for the amount of money I have spent on hair dye the last 30 years. It must have been something like that or something happened because I knew our friendship was on the rocks when you accused me of flirting with your husband. If you knew me at all you would know that is the last thing I would ever do. I wrote it off to the wine we were drinking and a slip of the tongue on your part. But I was wrong because you began to insist that I had done that. Later you confided that’s what you used to do as a younger woman. I knew that whatever you were running from, you were now projecting onto other people.

That made me sad and angry. That was the last time I saw you. But that didn’t stop me from seeing your posts on Facebook. It didn’t stop me from caring about you but from a distance because that was not something I was willing to have in my life. I didn’t want to step into something that not only wasn’t my creation, but was something that was only in your own mind.

What happened to you and where did you go? I’m not saying you need to show the world your cellulite and be proud of the muffin top we all have as older women, but I always thought you would be honest and proud of who you are because you should be. You’ve accomplished a lot in your long life. You have suffered great tragedy and come through it. I’ve always admired your disagreeable nature towards the world but now you’re toning yourself down, you’re dimming your light because of social media. You’re suddenly worried about what you look like and what people think of your looks and life.

Stop it. Log off. Stop posting. Stop caring about what the world thinks of you because darlin’, it will always disapprove of you. The world is not conducive to intelligent women, so stop trying to appease the Gods because it will never happen.

We’re older women.

We are valuable.

We are bad ass and we don’t listen to anyone who doesn’t see it.

Get back to being you because that is more than good enough and fuck anyone who doesn’t think so.


I recently turned 64 and that makes me a bad ass because I wasn’t always sure I’d make it this long. No, nothing as interesting as a disease or a horrible upbringing or even a bad life. No, I wasn’t sure I’d make it because I’ve dealt with too many losses and betrayals that I never saw them coming. Then again, if you see a betrayal coming, maybe then you’d have enough of a warning to stop it or at least get out of the way.

I consider myself a bad ass because I refuse to let the world change me. Every morning as I am just about to wake-up, the demons come. I call them demons because I really like that word and after having just binged watched the show “Lucifer” my affinity for demons is much higher.

You know the ones I mean. The ones that poke at you when you are your most vulnerable and whisper all your failures in your ear. Your failed marriages. Your inability to not only sustain a relationship, but the fact that you haven’t ever had a truly successful one. Sure, there were times when things were good with my husband, but they were few and far between and certainly not enough to keep me hoping.

Or how about the demon that reminds you every day that if you hadn’t been such a dumb ass, you never would have lost your house?

Then there’s the one that constantly reminds you of your debts that you’ll never be able to pay off because you’re a loser?

I think my favorite demon is the one that reminds me that I’m getting older and I’m still alone and will probably die alone at home and no one will discover my body for days.

I hear them but I don’t listen to them. I may not be able to stop the random thoughts that drift around in my mind as I wake-up in pain and with a headache most mornings, but that doesn’t mean I have to listen to them.

The only thing that shuts those fuckers up is motion. Demons don’t like action. They don’t like it when you start moving and pushing forward into the day.

Anyone that wakes up scared, worried, in pain, hurt, sad or in any way wanting to roll over and sleep for a week, but still gets up, is a bad ass.

Doesn’t matter how you got to where you are, you’re still here and still fighting.

Doesn’t matter the mistakes you made; if you are still getting through the day the best way that you can, you’re a bad ass.

Doesn’t matter what people think of you or the promotions you didn’t get or the muffled sobs you make at the gas pump — if you got up and gave it another shot and didn’t quit, you are a bad ass.

I turned 64 and I am so far from where I wanted to be at this age. I didn’t prepare for the disappointments that I faced, but I did learn that it’s not about what happens to you — it’s all about your attitude towards it.

Granted there are a few people that I do not think fondly of, but that’s OK. There’s no “Great Memo In The Sky” that dictates how anyone should feel. The problem is if I let it fester inside me and let it hamper my own joy and happiness. It’s not that I’m running around spreading glitter and rainbows, but I do work hard to have a positive attitude as best as I can each day. Those that still annoy me is because I haven’t quite made the step to let it go and that’s simply because there’s something else I need to learn about it. There’s some piece of the puzzle I haven’t taken responsibility for. There’s some unknown reason I hold onto my anger towards them.

Maybe I will figure it out and maybe I won’t, but the fact that we are still standing, still swinging at the plate and still hopeful and not a victim, makes us the biggest bad asses of all — we’ve had plenty of reasons to quit and we don’t.

Failure is not an option.

It was an episode on Longmire and it made me cry and feel like crap. I cannot handle it when an animal feels bad, let alone gets hurt. I can’t even deal with an animal feeling sad. Even when I know the animal is rescued at the end of the video – only because it was posted that way and they said so – that the little creature was scared actually keeps me up at night.

I don’t want to know these things, even if it all turns out well. I. Don’t. Want. To. Know.

I only want to live in a world where everyone and everything is vegan, even me. I’ll never be a vegan, but I want to live in a world where I am. Where animals graze on grass and lions don’t kill zebra babies to feed their babies. Sometimes nature sucks and don’t tell me it’s beautiful. It’s not. Killer whales tearing apart a seal to keep from dying isn’t a world I want to live on but here I am.

I want to live in a world where a woman of my age still has value. I don’t, but I want that world. I want the world where someone of 80 has more value than me and I’m good with that.

I want to live in a world where I can write and type because my hands haven’t gone numb and made it almost impossible to post anything without hours of pain and frustration.

I don’t have all the answers but I have enough to know that there is a lot more right and beautiful about people and this planet than most will have you believe, so I like where I’m at and I admire my intelligence with the knowledge that I don’t fit in, never will, and my crushing loneliness is just the way it is.

And I’m good with that. Better that than chronic neck pain from nodding in agreement with people who don’t know their asses from a hole in the wall and have no idea there is a world outside their sense of self-importance and value.

I don’t know if anyone out there in the great cosmic universe cares, but that’s never stopped me from blogging. Ha! I thought I’d do a series of writing posts just to stay in touch with everyone and see what’s up. I’m not around much anymore as social media annoys the living shit out of me and I’m hustling daily to make the money to pay the bills.

I used to feel ashamed to say that, but now I don’t because you know what? Unless you’re extremely wealthy, you’re in the same boat as me. I’m currently up to my eyeballs in editing this beast of a book. I have wracked my brain trying to put it together and make it work, when it suddenly dawned on me – I’m trying to write something that should be broken down into smaller pieces. Like a series of smaller books.

God knows I love writing and I also hate it at times. This story prompted my Patreon site and got me the best patrons in the world. But when the day is done and the sun has set, knowing another day is just a few hours away, I realize (once again), that writing is fucking lonely. So much so that I have to lock myself away every night (and sometimes during the day) just to make some progress.

Then I found a wonderful invention – the library! Oh God, how could I have forgotten that? The library, where there are books everywhere you look and tons of places to sit quietly and read or write or play solitaire on your computer. So on the days when I don’t have to go to the office – most days – I grab my notes, pens, pencils, laptop, Kindle, phone and sneak away every afternoon and escape. It’s hard. It’s really hard for me to sit very long and concentrate. I can do it if I’m talking to someone, but it’s a whole different thing when I’m alone with my thoughts (too many of them), pinging around in my head.

I’ve taken to keeping a notebook with me AT ALL TIMES and also jotting down notes in my phone. I find the more that I do that, the more ideas I have. But this story is different because it’s a true story and as I’ve written it, so many other things in my life have popped up. Good things and some really bad things, which I don’t want to think about, let alone write about. But there they are, staring back up at me from the page.

Things that have made me flinch and sometimes cry. Things that have made me smile and pat myself on the back. Things that I wish had never happened and mistake that I’ve made that still make me ashamed and wonder “What in the actual fuck was I thinking?”

Yeah, those things. I’m at the final stage of tearing it apart and putting it all back together again. I’d rather have a root canal without any Novocain. OK, maybe a slight exaggeration but not by much.

I worry all the time that my writing sucks and I’ll never be good enough. I tell myself that I’m full of shit for thinking that, but the thought always lingers, always present if not buried. But it’s there.

To any writers out there, what do you do to push yourself through something you don’t want to do anymore or don’t want to put down of paper? I push myself through it, painful as it is.

I’m not a famous writer. I’m not well known. I go my own way as I see fit. There are a few things I’m “supposed to do” that I don’t do as a writer:

  • Attend writer groups.
  • Hang out with other writers.
  • Talk about my writing. How boring is that?
  • Get feedback. I’m not that interested in feedback. I just say I am to be polite.
  • Read all types of “writing ideas” and tips on how to write, what to write, or how to come up with inspiration. I went down that road and it fucked me up.
  • Outline and plan and plot the story. I just write the damn thing.
  • I don’t follow the “rules of writing” (there aren’t any on my planet) because they are nonsense. They annoy the shit out of me.
  • I don’t rewrite. I write and submit/publish my first draft. When I have tried to rewrite, the work never got done. I’ll scan it a few times, looking for typo’s or awkward sentences. That’s about it.
  • Try to learn how to write. Not possible. You learn by doing it and figuring it out yourself.

I started to write this story based on a very simple and quick thing I saw in the news. It was the London riots back in 2011. I was online a lot at that time – Google Plus, which has since been ruined by Google – and this was all over my stream for days.

I wondered what I would do if that started to happen here in my city. I figured I’d get a gun and sit on the porch and wait. Then I thought if I would protect anyone and that’s how Lena popped into my head.

Guns scare me, but I’m much more prone to protect someone else, so I’d probably do that if riots started happening here.

I believe that all inspiration comes from within and that all fiction has some degree of truth in it. Could be my truth, or your truth, or some truth from a drunk trying to bum money out of me.

Somewhere out there, Lena and Eli exist in some form. I know this to be true. That’s my truth and that’s all I need. I saw the two of them, sitting on a porch with guns, drinking beer and waiting for the assholes to come down the street and cause trouble.

It was as clear in my mind as much as this monitor is in front of me. I let them tell me their story. I listened, struggled, and made it much more complicated than it ever needed to be.

Once I knocked off my nonsense, I got to work and finished the story that I had started years before.

That’s my new thing – finishing what I started and getting it out there and hope for the best.

To me, this story is about two women who had nothing in common, each with their own demons, who somehow found a way to tame them together.

The story of two women who can’t be more dissimilar and yet form a friendship that defies all the odds until the day death drove them apart.

I capped it out at 15,000 words, but it could easily be longer. Maybe I’ll do that someday.

But for now, I want people to read it and take something from it. I write for me, first, and then for anyone who wants to read it. I write the stories I want to read and put it out into the cosmic universe and go onto the next one.

I hope you’ll check it out and never give me your feedback. Seriously. Unless you like it. You can tell me that.

Here’s the link for my site. $2.00 a month is all. Skip a cup of coffee this month and toss it over to me. You’ll not regret it.

My fabulous Patreon site