Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When I See You Smile

My day started with a scream ... my own.
Stupid alarm didn't go off. (!@#$%^&*!@!!!)
I missed an appointment with one of my new bosses (I have two jobs now), which means I didn't make the ferry boat to the mainland, which means I did not get the job training I needed today.
Did I lose my job?
Did I find out that my new boss, whom I have technically yet to work for, is the greatest?
Behold the following text message exchange:

(yes, this is word for word what was said early this morning)
Me: I am vastly aware of what a shithead  I am, and would be out back with a log of wood beating my alarm clock with it, if it weren't for the fact that I need it to tell you how much I suck at life right now. I doubt I could apologize enought, but... I will try. I AM SO SORRY! Truly, from the bottom of my heart.

(1 min later)
Me: Oh... and Brandi says you are not allowed to hate my guts... not for long anyway.

Him: I don't. No biggie. I can send you over another day

Me: I feel so horrible about this. Really. This is not a good impression, nor is it "who I am"...but I just feel like the biggest loser... and now you go and play Capt. Awesome Boss and fogive me?! Crap, I better get back into the habit of baking cookies. Thank you for not hating me. Still super sorry.

Him: Cookies!!!!! Who doesn't love cookies? The new system is super easy you could learn it in 5 mins but I'll send you to NB to learn it so you get to see it

Me: Cookie baking will commence in 5...4...3...2...and I'm off to the grocery store!

As soon as I hit "send" I left immediately for the grocery store to go get stuff to make cookies.

I'm wondering now if this was one of those oddly perfect examples of "everything happens for a reason"?

You see, after I sent that first text message (mind you I had first contacted my friend Brandi because I didn't have my bosses cell phone number, and she works for him too) I sat down with a cup of coffee in front of my laptop, and I decided to multitask and flipped it on to check facebook.

I'd like to slightly sidetrack here and say I just recently (like over the past two weeks) learned something I was apparently clueless about. I've always had friends say to me that they thought I was on facebook a lot. Most of them say they love it though 'cause I tend to live my life out loud. It's a learned thing from previous years, and quite honestly totally calculated, since  I discovered that people were often bound to want to talk about certain things I had ZERO interest in discussing. So, I figured if I just sorta put it all out there, then even if I go weeks without seeing someone, they rarely ask me questions about topics that I am really not wantin' to discuss. It honestly works. Obviously I keep the super personal stuff 100% to myself, but the truth is, there is no one that can read what I post that I don't trust anyway. (Ok, there are like 3 or 4, but I just block them from seeing certain things... Hooray! for facebook privacy controls!) The thing that shocked ME though was this: I happened to mention to a friend that I needed to check facebook each morning. They teased me and said "you're always on there!" (not true, I use my phone for it mostly) I looked at them like they were nuts and said "how the hell do you keep up with all the messages?" and they were all "what messages?!" I told them "I know there's only like 15 or 20 a day, but I feel so bad when I don't write someone back or miss one of the letters in the mix."

I'm not going to go into much more detail than that, needless to say I was quickly informed that getting actual messages from friends was kinda rare, and most people got like 2 or 3 a week at most. Color me shocked. Here I always thought I had the most awesome friends on the planet.... NOW I am totally certain of it.

Now, in regards to facebook, and friends... and what I had previously mentioned about "things happening for a reason" (i.e the alarm not going off)... today I noticed something my friend David had posted about a mutual friend. A friend that was at the same fucked up reform school (seriously folks the place was what horror movies strive to copycat) that we went to. A whole bunch of "us" (i.e former students, runaways, even graduates) are on facebook and in contact with each other. The school may have sucked, but the bonds it formed... well, let's just say I'd do just about anything for my closest friends from there.... and quite honestly just knowing someone went there, even during a different "era" is enough to form a strong bond. Obvioulsy not EVERYONE gets along, but... it's kind of amazing the way everyone is sorta like extended family.
yes, that is an actual picture of the main building, "the mansion", from 1996 when I briefly snuck on campus and smoked an "illegal" ('cause smoking wasn't allowed) cigarette... the story of why I was even on that hell hole of a campus 6 years after I ran away is another story for another day.

That said, we (my friends from that school & I) lost one of our own over the weekend. The news hit today via my friend David. As I type this I am still fairly uncertain of the exact cause, but my friend Lauren is gone. Lauren who sent me messages that I was lax about replying to. Messages that are gonna haunt me for a while....

Are you noticing the date? 'Cause I sure as shit noticed it.... and proceeded to feel so craptastic that I actually vomited the coffee I was drinking. Taster's Choice® instant coffee is waaay worse coming out than going in, trust me on that. I know it's a fairly human reaction to run the gamut of thoughts and emotions. I know that a lot of people have those thoughts of "if only I had called!", "if only I answered my phone", "if only I bothered to reply to the email in a timely fashion".... if only what? I know it's normal to have these thoughts, but after losing so many people in my lifetime so far, I've learned that those thoughts, while totally human and normal, help NO ONE. They can become very unhealthy and, depending on how far one takes it, can start to look kind of egotistical and make the tragedy become more about them than who it's actually about. That said, I do still feel like crap about not writing her back. It's not that I wasn't going to, I just knew she never signed onto facebook, like EVER, so I didn't see it as something I needed to hurry up and do I guess. I still feel like shit about it though. I wish I had the chance to tell her she was welcome here, and that I'd totally make room for her at my place if she visited the island... but I can't do that now can I? David then told me "She wanted to walk into your bar & surprise you. I don't know what happened between you but she really wanted to do that, to see you." Yeah, that'll haunt me too, but the thought that I could have personally changed whatever happened to Lauren this past weekend would be lunacy on my part, agreed?

I can write about it here... 'cause, well... it's my blog. It's what I do. I write out my thoughts and feelings about things and share them with others. People have a choice to read them, or comment on them... or not. It just is what it is.

Now that all that has been said, let me explain the "everything happens for a reason" part....

I bake. I truly, really, honestly LOVE to bake. Not to the point that I'd want to do it for a living. I believe that would ruin it for me (but that's just me.) When I am making...baking... something in the kitchen I am able to clear my mind. Simple things like the measuring of flour, and cracking of eggs can lull me into a trance. I might find myself pondering what certain ingredients I've never tried before could do to the recipe (if I'm even following one.) I lose myself entirely. I feel like I'm conducting a symphony where I play the part of conductor and the sugars, powders, creams, and butters are my orchestra. We make beautiful music together... and 99.9% of the time I am baking something for someone, and doing it with love.  It's a very cathartic thing for me. I am solely focused on what I am doing and all other thoughts disappear for that time. I needed that today.

 After taking a long hot shower and crying my eyes out in the one place where no one would see me, nor would they even notice, I put myself together, sent that one final text message to my boss, and off I went to go get what was needed to clear my mind.

I did manage a brief walk on the beach before heading home, but it wasn't helping me the way it normally would. The sun was hiding behind the clouds by mid afternoon... and I realized that sometimes you really do have to make your own sunshine.

My sunshine just happened to look and smell like chocolate chip cookies. Which I, possibly ironically, hate to eat... but baking them ebbed the tears, and made it possible to grin as I remembered the beaming smile of my friend Lauren. Sure I baked them for my (very cool & kind) boss, but they will taste all that much better because of the ability to remember Lauren's smile.

♥ Lauren ♥



  1. Kind of wish you'd made this one into two posts, so I could tease you about your new boss' forthcoming infatuation with you and your cookies. I do, after all, speak from experience.

    Sad to hear about Lauren, she obviously held you in high regard and will be morned by all the former inmates. Keep on keeping on baby

  2. SO very sorry to hear about lauren! keep on smiling lady. I want some of those cookies, btw! :) *hugs*

  3. I'm really sorry for your loss. *hugs* I don't know what to say (I suck at these things over the internet, I'm much better in person, believe me...). Actually I just want you to know that I'm here for you if you need to "talk to someone"... *hug*

  4. Oh dear... I'm so very sorry for your loss. As impersonal as these comments are, I'm still mentally sending you a great big hug, and likewise the knowledge that I'm sure Lauren knew you cared. *HUGS*, darling. :(

  5. *hugs* i'm sorry about your friend.

  6. Thank you, you're all very kind. I do realize, as SBW pointed out, that this is a slightly disjointed post... and two rather obviously opposite parts of my day. It was, however, my day. I tend to see symmetry (or at least look for it), and sometimes it's just me that sees it... but in the end, I did see it. Thank you all for your kindness, and if I could hug y'all right back, I would ♥

  7. We got your back!!!! So sorry about Lauren.

    Hugs--Big Hugs--Pop em in the Oven with Chocolate Chip Hugs!

    He bought that alarm clock BS!!!!????

    Another super post!

    Hugs and Love,


  8. oh John... I WISH the alarm clock thing was BS... instead it's totally real and has made me realize that I have to a) buy a REAL alarm clock, & B) get a cell phone that it's 3+ years old and messin' up left & right ... neither of which I have the $ for these days :/

  9. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Sending you cyberhugs.

    Chocolate chip cookies make everything better in my book. I used to do the same thing for my boss. ;-)

  10. I'm sorry Goofy. This sucks so bad. I had something similar happen once that was way worse...
    A girlfriend of mine that I hadn't hung out with in a really long time called me from the hospital and told me she had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was shocked, but she was 19, so I thought, "No big deal, she'll be fine." She went home the next day and I kept thinking, "I should really go see Ashley. Then a week later I got a call saying she had gone into a coma and died. She had been sick too long and they never knew and she just died before I went to see her. I just googled her name and found a hit that said she's 27. She would have been 27. Makes me sad :-(

  11. Chi Town- Thank you ♥

    Cake Betch- You're right, that is pretty horrible. Sadly those/these kinds of things seem to happen all the time. I don't mean to ME, but to everyone. I have lost count of all the friends/family I've lost in my life so far... and it NEVER gets any easier to cope with it.

  12. Hi,
    Sorry for your loss--my "era" has lost a few, too. A girl I was on the Farm with was murdered a few years back, and I hadn't even found her again before she died. It's sad.

    I found your blog because I was searching on the internet for pictures of campus. Not people specifically, just what campus looked like to walk around outside. Do you have any more? Especially from when you snuck back in 1996? That was my era, so pictures from that time period would jog my memory best.

    Keep on keepin' on, as they say.

    -best, C.