Saturday, August 27, 2016

Which Witch

I think every child gets a rude nickname at one point or another. 
I’ve had a few over the years, though the one that really stands out to me was “Witch Girl”.  

Now, this all started before Harry Potter, so I couldn’t really play it up like “YEAH BITCH.  I’m goin’ to Hogwarts!”  


When I told my father about the name, he didn’t have the “oh, they’re just jealous” response.   
Instead he said when I was old enough, I could get my nose fixed.

Thanks, Dad.

He meant well.  He assumed the problem (and was wrong) and just kinda ran with it, desperate to fix everything for me. 

Mind you, I did need my nose fixed in order to BREATHE but...

No, I was called this name based on shit I totally had control over, and fuck those kids. 

I looked like this:

I had my unbrushed giant-wad of a rat’s nest for hair, I wore all black all the time, I had a necklace made of various keys and keychains (even Donald Duck), I was never standing up straight, and I mostly just wanted to be left alone. 

Quite frankly, my general lifestyle probably didn’t help either.  

I was at that point in my life where I just wanted to feel like I was in control of something.   

So I was absolutely curious about all things occult.  

This is not to be confused with any Wiccan traditions. 
I read up on that too, and that is MUCH nicer than the shit I was actually aiming to get into.

But you know what?  

The kids making fun of me didn’t actually know anything about me.

Eventually, I got fed up enough to explain that I’d start turning people into frogs if they didn’t stop.

That seemed to do the trick, actually.

Now, before that all got settled, I should note that I was still having Halloween parties for my birthday.   

With the exception of the Troll party, they were ALL Halloween Part Two.

To have this particular one be extra fun, my mom thought it would be a good idea to get a piñata. 
Children waving around sticks while blindfolded seemed like a brilliant plan.

Mostly unaware of the Witch Girl problem, she chose an appropriate Halloween-themed thing to whack.

A witch.

I remember just feeling kind of hurt by it.  

I remember thinking, “What makes Glinda prettier than the Wicked Witch of the West?  Who decided what was good and what was bad?” and so on. 

Well, children did as children do and eventually it was smashed open.  

It just seemed so much more violent than any other piñata before.
I begrudgingly took some candy, not wanting anyone to know what was going on inside my head.

I didn’t want anyone to feel bad, and I didn’t want to be made fun of either.

After the party was over, my parents threw out the piñata, since it was… you know… garbage at that point.

And I fished it out of the fucking trash like a lunatic.

And I hid it in my closet, on this upper shelf area.

I kept that thing for YEARS.

Every now and then, I’d forget it was in there, and find myself remembering enough to feel guilty. 
I did this.
I made this thing get hurt.
This was because of me.
This was because I was the Witch Girl.

It would look out with half a face…  Literally empty.  

In essence, I was torturing myself on and off for a damn long time over a piece of garbage.

...Which isn't a bad metaphor for obsessing over a childhood nickname.

I remember the day my mother finally found it.

She was understandably confused.
She was SO SURE she had thrown it out.  …So why was it- 

Watching the sad realization slowly cross her face was humiliating enough that it felt like my tiny bedroom was filled with strangers. 

There was a vague lecture.

Vague because neither of us really understood what was being said, or what needed to be said.

The conversation ended with me keeping it a little while longer, as a way to say goodbye. 

Then I threw it out myself. 

I wanted to bury it.  I wanted to give it some dignity. 

I wanted to know that being a Witch Girl didn’t have to be an ugly, bad thing.

Believe me, much worse bullying had happened, but none dug so deep as this strange concept.

Years later, the boy that started the whole Witch Girl thing admitted that he had a crush on me at the time. 

NOT the greatest way to win a date, dude. 

…Should've just turned him into a frog.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Maximoff Drug Twins

One of the places I lived for a year (there have been a bunch at this point) had this crazy drug culture.  
It was so incredibly casual.  

Given that I grew up in a situation where the only person I really knew doing drugs of any kind was SUPER abusive, my sense that any could be done without throwing someone into a violent or manipulate rage was a little beyond me. 

…but I liked this boy and I wanted him to be able to trust me since I’d ALREADY MOVED across the county to live with our shared good friend.  

Basically, I was stuck and had to desperately pretend everything was fine.

Totally healthy. 


Honestly, if I had truly understood what it would have been like before moving, I would have gone someplace else.  

BUT  I didn’t, so then I learned the lingo in order not to feel like I was gonna get killed.  

I was still pretty much ostracized in my own apartment, but I’ve already talked about that plenty.

This town… 

Dealers were everywhere, selling to each other.  I didn’t understand how anyone made any money.    

Meanwhile, I was there like:

It wasn’t all scary though.  There were some good people who may have also just been swept up one way or another, AND there were some neat dance clubs.

One was on a train! 

…actually, I should do a post about some of those…

But first, let’s talk about this super weird experience that probably happens all the time.

This particular dance club was a temporarily set up situation in a hotel. 

Downstairs was a room with space enough to dance, a stage area for the DJ (someone I knew, in fact) and some tables and chairs.  In the back was the bar area.

I was pretty content sitting and listening to the music, watching people groove on.  

Every now and then I’d either get up to dance, or a friend would drag me to dance.  

In retrospect, it was one of the few times in my adult life that I had more lady-friends around than dudes. 

That part, I liked. 

That part did not involve life threatening situations and looking right in the face of a police officer while wondering why he wasn’t helping me. 

(I figured he either A. Couldn’t tell if I was also a dealer and didn’t want to risk ruining my life for nothing so just didn’t get involved or B. Was on drugs.)

At some point I wandered off to get some air and possibly to find a friend of mine?   
Who knows.

I wound up in a classy hall area that had a grand piano, some couches, and these two strange people.

The Maximoff Drug Twins

I call them that because I don’t know if they were brother and sister or dating or just good friends or business partners, and the fact that I can’t tell is a little funky on some level… 

And he was vibrating levels of hyper while she was just super weird.

I got cornered and eventually wound up sitting on a couch with them as though we were having a real conversation.  

They offered me a million types of ways to get high, all of which I declined, and some of which I had no idea what the shit even was. 

Nothing was physically on them (they weren’t that stupid), but they were more than willing to bring me somewhere for it.

I declined for a thousand reasons.

When they learned that I wasn’t just not interested in going to a random house, but I was also not interested in getting high, they had some amazing questions.

First, they naturally assumed I was either loyal to competition, or that I was competition myself.

Then they wanted to know how I DID have fun???  

I calmly explained that I enjoy many things, and I avoid mind altering substances for reasons attached to my childhood, but also because I have bad reactions to things anyway.  

Upon learning that I’m prone to panic attacks, and that I used to have all kinds of hallucinations even as a kid, they became entirely mesmerized by me. 

I felt like I had become the drug.

I don’t remember how I even got out of there.  I probably feigned having to go to the bathroom, and then snuck (sneaked?) back in to the dancing room…

I remember my friends not even noticing I was gone so long. 


You know

They were probably on drugs.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Weird Science

Now I've got an Oingo Boingo song stuck in my head...  "It's my creation!"

So, when I was little, I already had dreams of one day being a cartoonist.  However, like most children, I had back up plans.   
Mine included stand up comic, rock star, astronaut, marine biologist…  Okay there was a range.  But my #2 career path?

Mad Scientist. 

Very specifically insane.   
Couldn’t just be a regular ol’ scientist, no no. 

And this started YOUNG. 

I’ve talked about my favorite bathtub toy before.  
It was a little table that stretched across the width of the tub.  I used it to play out scenes with action figures, but mostly…

Bathtub science!  …with little cups.

I would fill a cup with bath water, gently pour it into another cup…  maybe add some highly scientific bubble bath or shampoo because they came from neat TOTALLY SCIENTIFIC bottles…  


This fascination with fake-movie-science probably stemmed from watching films like Frankenstein and The Brain that Wouldn’t Die at too young an age (thank you, Dad). 

Eventually, I went full on Island of Dr. Moreau.  Barbies became creatures with too many eyes, or a bat-boy, or a Ken doll just straight up tortured and hung on the swing set in pieces like an art installation on how the Patriarchy fails us all.  

These days, stuff like that is Monster High.  I love those dolls.  And show.  And everything ANYWAY, BACK TO SCIENCE.

Back in the day, we had children’s chemistry sets that were probably more dangerous than we should have been playing with.  

And my GOD how I played.

Mom made it even better by still having HER childhood chemistry set in a cute wooden thing.  
It had drawers and space for slides, and had the microscope that we used for our movie, EVE. 

I didn’t blow anything up, or burn anything off.  

I would do food experiments too.  
Well, not with the chemistry stuff.  
This was separate. 

Some would turn out really well, like the chocolate candy bark and marshmallows on a stick…  
(Put it in a microwave until it POOFS up, and then use a chopstick to wrap it up into a hard candy.)

The candy bark was just whatever I could find melted together, so it was mostly chocolate with maybe something mint?  

It wasn’t pretty, but it was glorious.

But, mostly the experiments weren’t so edible, and I’d forget about them.  

...Then my parents would find the god-knows-what in the back of the fridge mostly mold and learning its own language. 

The basement eventually became my studio (and laundry… and general storage area) but for a while it was also a play area.  
With spiders.   

And mold.

The kitchen set.  
OH man…   
Lots of kids had a little mini-kitchen, but mine was special.   
You see, mine was made of metal.   
Not plastic, wood… 

And it was actually kind of sharp at the edges.
Toys back then were still pretty hardcore. 

I’d do experiments, of course.  
What else is a refrigerator for?

Let me tell you about the gummy bear. 

Little cup filled with water… 

Add gummy bear.

Grew three sizes.

It wound up just falling apart when touched, and I remember the giant, sticky...  UGH mess that stayed forever after.

Of course, I have no idea how long I waited.  
That may have been part of the problem.  
My experiments were never done with the proper scientific method in mind.

The idea of experimenting is an important one though.  It helps to have a question to answer, but if not, simply living my life as a series of experiments seems to be my best bet.  

My goals are no longer so vague, though finding the “correct” path to take is still difficult.  
I’m starting to realize that there is no correct path.  
Any path that gets me there is correct.  
I’ll experiment.   
I’ll play.  
I’ll discover until I trip and fall into my goal. 

Hopefully with more grace than that just implied.