My son, Brad Benson, wrote and recorded this song about the recent Cannibal incident in Miami.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to being able to drive or able to clearly see the faces of the people I love – and especially the ones I don’t love at all – it’d be so much easier to smack ‘em up side the head then. Sometimes I miss details, depth perception and perspective. I can no longer stand back at look at something as a whole. As an artist, it can get very frustrating. I have to be within a couple of millimeters from something and view a tiny section at a time out of the one “good” eye – as soon as I step back – it’s gone.
FACTS to being vision impaired…I can’t tell if I’ve made the girl’s lips in a painting straight, I can’t tell if I’ve put my makeup on correctly or if time has been cruel. I can’t see if someone is beautiful and happy, if someone is smiling at me or giving me a dirty look, waving to me or flipping me off.
ATTITUDE to being vision impaired...My paintings are kick-ass – I always look great – I have NO wrinkles and time has been kind. Everyone is beautiful and happy, everyone is the same size and everyone is smiling and waving to me!
Well, that’s my attitude on my good days when I’m in a wonderful mood and love everybody.
On the days when I’ve tripped over crap that people forget to pick up, banged my knee on the same damn table that I swear KEEPS MOVING, or am fed up from the dozen attempts I’ve made to get the ice-cube tray to the freezer with the water STILL IN IT – on those days…the lips on the girl in the painting AND my own, look totally ridiculous, I look as though I’ve puttied my face with a trowel and I’ve got more lines on my face than a road map to the Southern States! Everyone is fat, ugly and miserable and they are ALL giving me the finger!
Sometimes I get so frustrated – I want to scream! I’ll explain…
Everything I do, I do fast – I’m always in a hurry; I’d rather die than make more than one trip to carry groceries in etc. I get it from my dad’s side. He’ll walk through a door before he opens it all the way, bang his shoulder, then yell at the door, or strangle himself with the seat belt because he gets out of the car before un-buckling it! I use to laugh and roll my eyes, till I realized…I do the exact same things! When you add the above fun and interesting “genetics” to “legally blind,” you get a disaster waiting to happen! And if I’m being honest, which you’ve probably noticed is the only way I know how to roll, sometimes I get so frustrated I want to scream!
Take last night for instance…I was with a friend heading to the outdoor patio – I had two drinks in my hands and NO – both were NOT for me. I set mine down first, then the other, just as my friend moved a chair and I THINK banged the table! The wine goes flying - I am wearing all of it! My feet are sloshing in it, my pants are covered in it and I say…”Did you bang the table or something?” Well actually, first I said…”Son of a mother!” Or something along those lines, then I asked about banging the table. My friend calmly replies, “No, you didn’t set the glass down properly.”
SON OF A! Really? We’re gonna blame the blind chick – AGAIN?
I am usually the first to admit a mess, spill or breakage of an object as my fault. I have no problem saying “my bad;” however, I was SURE I had already set the glass down! I was SURE of it! And I got my back up cause once again…I look blind, clumsy and stupid!
Then realizing I was NOT HAPPY, my friend says…”It wasn’t your fault.”
OH COME ON! Either it was or it wasn’t! Now I am just being patronized! Now I am really mad! If I did it, I did it! If I didn’t, say it in the first place, don’t blame me then retract it because you feel sorry for me! Judas anyhow – give me a freaking break! Every single time something goes wrong everyone points to the blind chick and whispers amongst themselves, “She always walks into things and drops stuff!” And I usually retort with, “Ummm…BLIND – NOT DEAF!“
In school, my son was the class clown and I’d get dozens of calls from teachers…”Your son put a frog on the secretary’s chair again; your son put a wet noodle in a girl’s hair; your son is singing funny songs; your son is telling jokes and making everyone in class laugh and they’re not paying attention to ME!”
Well first off – LOLOLOL! Go son go! Cause so far I am hearing NOTHING worthy of great concern and second – get over it – the boy’s got personality! But because of his track record, he could be home sick for days or in another frigging city at the time of any and all “mishaps” and I would STILL get a call by teachers assuming it MUST be my boy causing laughter and disruption…so I guess he’s telepathic as well – awesome!
Now that my life has turned this particular corner, I can feel his pain. People hear a crash…”Oh, it’s just Cindi banging into something again,” or if a dish goes missing, “Cindi must have broken it,” or there’s a beverage stain on the rug, “She doesn’t know when the glass is upright poor dear.”
Well maybe someone else broke it or spilled it this time! Maybe someone else bumped into me! Never the benefit of the doubt, EVER! “AHHHHHH!!!”
I thought I was becoming more resigned to the fact that I am a clumsy blind woman who will always make mistakes on a daily…hourly basis. But sometimes it does freak me out – sometimes I do get frustrated and angry – sometimes I wish I wasn’t so clumsy, so adhd-ish, so blind, and could just SEE again…then stand in the middle of a disaster area, surrounded by spills and stains and broken dishes wearing a huge ass smile and yell…”WOOT WOOT – IT WASN’T ME! IT WASN’T ME!!!”
We all know there are many different personality types, but an artist’s temperament is on a whole other level! Any one of the “creative types,” actors, writers, musicians etc., will usually admit to having at least a few eccentricities, crazy internal clocks, mood and emotional changes. Some of us have more noticeable ones, some less, but we are definitely made different; therefore, we think, feel, act and react quiet differently from the “non-creative” types like the academic, surgeon, or engineer.
There are four weeks of seven days in a month – as I can’t speak for my fellow “creative,” my average month consists of SIX groups of FIVE - I’ll break it down for you…
Week one - Happy Week - I am brilliant, wonderful, and talented; I can accomplish anything! I am producing nothing short of brilliance in my writings while simultaneously painting amazing works of art…My hair’s done to perfection, my clothes immaculate, nothing fizzes me; I’m as solid as a rock! I will conquer the world by Thursday and throw a party on Friday!
Week two - Suicide Week – Thursday came and went - I didn’t conquer the world! Son of a! I am a stupid untalented loser who accomplishes nothing! I feel like a big bag of shit and look even worse! Pass me something sharp!
Week three – Murder week – People are dumb-asses and piss me off during happy week causing serious blockage to the flow of brilliance, and they were not very sympathetic during suicide week; they leave me NO choice!
Week four – Happy week - I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOVE murder week; I am free of dumb-asses, at least for awhile! Nothing can touch me, I look divine – the rock returns! I feel the creative juices flowing again; I can accomplish anything and the world should consider itself conquered! Party time!
Week five – Suicide week - I feel guilty of how HAPPY murder week makes me; I am a horrible human being! I am not good enough to share air! I’m never washing my hair or getting out of bed again!
Week six - Still in Suicide week - In full blown depression and still guilt ridden. I will never conquer the world cause I have no self-esteem and I am an un-accomplished, stupid loser! I am never talking to another soul as long as I live, I will hide in here forever! I don’t deserve to live! That’s it – I’m gonna jump…just as soon as I get the energy to get out of bed, wash the dead animal on my head and put my face on – can’t look like this when emergency crews find me – I would just die!!!
AND WE ROTATE…
Week one - Happy Week - I am brilliant writer, a wonderful and talented artist and human being; I can accomplish anything! I will conquer the world by Thursday and throw the party of the year on Friday! I am a rock!
So you’ve met someone?
He/she is wonderful – amazing – kind – thoughtful – faithful AND good-looking? They are available to date as they are now divorced or newly single and you just can not believe you’re luck and you think, “His/her ex must be crazy to part with such perfection!” But in the back of your mind you’re wondering…
“Is this too good to be true? Can anyone be this wonderful? Could this be for real?”
You are now wondering how I came to this conclusion of such infinite wisdom ?
Well, I will tell you…In the brilliant, wise words of my German Grandmother…“No vun trrrows avay a goot apple!!”
Remember the 6 ft 3 handsome man and the Indian in the post “IDIOT”? Well, sometime after the Pow-wow, he called again – the handsome man NOT the Indian.
Of course I didn’t answer…but I texted him back – it worked! I could fake anything through the typed word till I learned how to talk properly. So we communicated via text for a few days – then graduated to voice – then OMGOSH he asked me out and because my dinner with the Indian and the pow-wow was seared in my brain forever, I managed a YES and a meeting was arranged.
I was beside myself…washed and re-styled my hair 12 times, applied and re-applied my makeup 10 times and changed my outfit 9…then I did it all over again on the ACTUAL day and showed up three hours early to check the lighting.
I arrived – sat in one corner – checked the mirror…NO GOOD! I move to another and checked again – “I look like the friggin crypt keeper from this angle!” Looked at my watch…”YIKES, only two and a half hours left!”
I moved ten more times – people were staring – they must have been – I know I would be if what seemed like a perfectly normal woman was actually snapping right in front of me!
Finally! The perfect table; the perfect lighting…”Damn – I look flawless! Don’t move a muscle!”
There was a man at the next table watching me…He was blurry, but I was close enough to know he was watching. He seemed to be marking papers or something; he put the pen down and said, ” Girl, what are you on? You have not stopped twitching since you sat down!”
I was horrified! I stared back it him utterly horrified that I wasn’t pulling the “nonchalant vibe” I was going for.
I started babbling…”I am meeting someone for the first time; I have to look perfect. I can’t look nervous, I can’t show my hand – you never show your hand! And I am pretty sure the “on something” effect won’t go over well either…please help me!”
He shakes his head, smiles slightly and reaches for a piece of paper. As he writes he says, “I am a University Professor; before exams, I give this advice to my students.”
Oh wow! I was thrilled! This brilliant man, this educated scholar was going to help me – he was going impart his wisdom on me and I was going to be OK.
He handed me the folded paper.
Shaking…I realized - like a leaf – and my stomach had apparently shifted and was stuck somewhere between my heart and my throat; I opened it…
“FREAK NOT OUT!”
“Are you freaking kidding me? You went to school for that? Frig! I should throw my cards down now and just fold and forget the whole thing! He can NOT see me like this! I have to look like I DON’T CARE!”
He smiles stoically, in a way only an academic can do, places a hand on my arm and softly says…”Now don’t panic, but it’s 5:30.”
SON OF A! No wonder there are so many suicides committed by college students…it’s not the work load, it’s bloody Dr. Doolittle here! “I’m going around the bend and YOU’RE going in the river!” OMGOSH! What am I gonna do?”
I knew I looked like I was with-drawling off of crack and had only half an hour to get it together!
“This man is gonna give me a coronary, or I’ll end up swallowing my own tongue! This is ridiculous!”
Teacher says…”Let me share with you what I teach my students.”
Well I thought, I have two options…run home before I pee my pants and just never answer the phone again, or get involved in a deep conversation with my new, not helpful friend and pray I forget what the hell I was doing there, gain composure and look so engrossed and unconcerned, my hand will be safe! Poker face city!
So, he talked…and talked…and talked…
It was working too well now, I was doing the nod and was positive the “sleepy look” wasn’t gonna gain me any points; however, a slow death by boredom was preferable to behaving like a Mexican jumping bean on heroine, so I listened…and listened…and listened. After some time he stopped; groggily I looked at him.
“You look much better, very calm. He will never know you nearly peed your pants three times.” He smiled.
I smiled back – proud as a peacock! “Thank you!! I did it – I pulled it together! Feeling cocky…”I got this, I GOT THIS!”
He nodded and returned to his marking; I reached in my purse for my mirror and checked one last time.
I held it up, moved it from side to side, checking all angels were as perfect as before…”Wait! AW CRAP!”
There’s was a friggin huge ass shadow on my forehead now, making me look grumpy! And the crack head returns…I could feel the adrenaline rush over me and a frustration well up from inside – it came out in the form of the loudest “hacking up a hair ball” sound ever!
Just then teacher helpfully says…”Don’t panic, but it’s 6.” I didn’t look at him cause now I hated him and was so pissed that I couldn’t move to another table cause the place was full!
I just continued to stare angrily in the mirror. And just like a crazy person, I mumbled bitterly TO the mirror…”Oh sure, of course, why the frig not! Perfect, just friggin perfect!” With my face contorted, I look up bitterly to see what the flip the GINORMOUS freaking shadow was...
“AHHHH!!!!!!!!”The loudest, involuntary scream bolted from my mouth before I could stop it!
OH SURE! OF COURSE! WHY THE FRIG NOT! JUST BLOODY PERFECT!!! The GINORMOUS freaking SHADOW quietly standing…no, “HOVERING” over me while I swore, mumbled, cursed, spit and sputtered and made distorted faces even a mother would find difficult to over look, was 6 ft 3 wearing a leather jacket and the cockiest grin ever and I just know he was thinking…“I’M GOIN AAAALL IN!!!”
I have been suffering with insomnia on and off for a few years now. Those of you who have suffered with it know that “suffering” is the key word and to say it sucks, is the understatement of the year!
I was house sitting in Pompano Beach, Florida a few months back; working on a script day in and day out without sleep. I was at the point of producing only useless drivel and NEEDED TO SLEEP!
So I started tearing the house up looking for something, anything, to knock me the frig out!
I came across this harmless looking little bottle of Ambien. I remembered the commercials for this – people were sleeping like babies – no sheep or a math major was needed in any of them! Woot woot!
I read on…Take one half to one tablet, half an hour before retiring. Well, as lovely as that sounds I have no intention of retiring tonight, so it will have to be before I go to bed. And one half to one tablet? That must be for amateurs…I should take two! Now, does that say “take with water” or Vodka? Hmmm…yeah, probably says water…craaaaap!
I’m outside sitting on the steps of the pool waiting for the half hour to arrive and take me to peaceful oblivion. Five minutes pass – I am too fidgety. “I’ll go for my nightly swim – that’ll be calming – I still have twenty-five minutes left anyway.”
Nearly blind + retarded + sixth straight day without sleep + Ambien = this…
I’m floating on my back, looking up at the blurry sky…
“Stars? OMGOSH! I can see the stars? I haven’t seen a star for four years! Wait! That’s not a star! Je-sus? Is that you? OMGOSH it is you! HI JESUS!!! Wow, you are even more handsome than your pictures! How’s your Dad? Mary? Wait, where you going? You just got here, please don’t go! Well, I guess you’re busy – please say hi to Grandpa for me! Oh and tell your Dad I said I’m really sorry! Love you both!”
I’m now standing in the shallow end leaning up against the side, trying to focus on my favorite large palm tree…elated and smiling. “Wow! How cool was that!? No one is gonna believe…wait…Chew-bacca? Is that you? OMGOSH IT’S CHEWBACCA! Oh man this is unbelievable! Is the little robot dude here too?” I turn to the next Palm…”OMGOSH! You’re both here! “
Laughing hysterically now cause Chewbacca tells the greatest jokes ever! And he gave me the inside scoop on how he really feels about Luke…apparently he has quite the attitude and gets on Chewbacca’s nerves.
“This is the greatest night ever! I was never even a big fan of Star Wars and suddenly I’m partying with the cast! Woot woot! Jesus? You have got to come back for a second and meet Chewbacca and…I’m sorry, what’s your name again little robot dude?”
My head was getting heavy, probably cause I was laughing so hard. “Hey guys, I gotta go find something to prop my head up…it’s not funny. Stop laughing Sasquatch, or I’ll tell Luke what you said!” Yeah, that shut you up huh? I’ll be right back.”
So, I walk to the steps of the pool and climb out quite easily, go through the patio door and head to the kitchen and stop, wondering why I had gone there in the first place then realized…I’M STILL IN THE POOL! I HAVE NOT MOVED AN INCH FROM THE LAST POSITION! I am completely paralyzed from the brain down!
Laughing my ass off with my new besties till my tummy hurt and my face ached, completely unconcerned that I could not move!
“I am so friggin glad that stupid Ambien didn’t work, or I’d have missed meeting you guys! I love you both! This the greatest night eeeevvvver!!!”
Sixteen hours later…
I woke up on the bedroom floor. My back ached, my face ached, my stomach hurt, my head hurt, my knees were sore, my throat was dry…I crawled to the bathroom; took me ten minutes to decide how bad do I really have to pee? Apparently pretty bad; took another five to get back up again. Then there was the long walk to the kitchen ten feet away and the best part of half hour to find the on button to the coffee maker!
Would I take Ambien again?
Hell yeah! I have so many more questions for Jesus, Chewbacca and what’s his name!
He/she comes home late night after night…
He/she extends their long weekend of “fishing with the boys or “bonding with old friends” till the following Wednesday…
He/she sneaks in the house with “I’m a cheating ass” written on their forehead in the form of tell tale signs of another oozing from their pores…
He/she has taken you for granted and pushed your patience to infinity and beyond…
He/she has embarrassed you in public one time too many…
He/she drinks too much, talks too much, flirts too much, and in every way is just simply tooooo much – which of course means they are NOT MUCH AT ALL!
So, what do you do? You file something! File for a divorce, if you were unfortunate enough to get suckered to that degree – file for “kiss my ass you ASS - file for “Oh no friggin way am I putting up with your ass another minute!” File it under “lessons learned the bloody hard way” or “I will never date an ass again!” or “I am sick of you, you cheating son of a – YOU ARE so DONE!” Really doesn’t matter which, just file something! Anything with the word “FINAL,” “OVER” or “DONE” in it will do, even if it’s just in your head or out loud to yourself in the mirror – Just MEAN it and stick to your guns!
Now, pack up all their crap not so lovingly into garbage bags…(NOTE – make sure you use the cheap kind, so they’ll fall apart as soon as they pick them up) then place them strategically on the lawn ensuring a clear view for all passersby.
Then go make yourself look totally, completely, unbelievably and ILLEGALLY HOT! I mean smokin! Do NOT chintz out or rush here! I am talking so HOT, steam is coming out of places you didn’t know you had!
Then sit on the front steps – wait for the ass to arrive with his/her next excuse…(NOTE: you will need a CD player, and there is some prep time involved for the following final step)
The ass pulls up; they step from the vehicle and stand staring dumbfounded – you’ll be able to smell the burning caused from the B.S and lies spontaneously combusting in their small minds.
Now put your finger on the play button and cue the following medley of music - only the best parts needed to create a joyous result. (pick to suit situation)
“Gun powder and lead”
“Take this job and shove it”
“Before he cheats”
“I can see Clearly now”
As their mouth remains open, and not a word has passed their lips…you can’t hear them anyway cause the music’s too loud – they will be staring at your “now unobtainable hotness” - the final song begins…CRANK IT UP!!!
“CAN’T TOUCH THIS!”
Having someone standing by with a camera to capture the pathetic expression on their face…PRICELESS!
“I’ve got two strong arms, let me help! WOW!
That song is, to me at least, the epitome of love. As a young girl hearing beautiful phrase after beautiful phrase, I thought yes, yes and yes! I want that kind of man!
Soooo, I wrote my first “list.”
6 ft 3, long dark hair, handsome, sexy and sarcastic. Kind, loving, caring and compassionate, funny and fun-loving. Family oriented, friendly to all, animals and those less fortunate included, love the Lord, but not be so heavenly minded that he’s no earthly good. Controlled, brilliant yet humble, and loves unconditionally with his whole heart.
So, I took my list and went hunting for the very first time.
Go ahead, ask me how the first hunt it went?……EXACTLY!!! Back to the list.
How tall do I really need? Over 6ft will suffice, and handsome? Well, handsome to me will do, and I guess short, fair hair is good too, and if he’s too sarcastic I may kill him in his sleep soooo – let’s try it again…a hunting I went.
Aww man! Well, what I mean is… aww NO man! Back to the drawing board.
Over 5 ft 10, attractive, and the ability to become sexy if induced with any substance, too kind can be annoying and compassionate? Well, my grandparents can give me that so scratch it. Love everyone including the less fortunate? Who am I kidding, like THAT’S important at all! At least believe in God, have an IQ higher than his shoe size and let’s just pretend humble was never on the list in the first place!
Back into the world I went…And like the frustrated Elmer Fudd after another failed attempt at the illusive Bugs…I got NOTTA! All the ones that even remotely displayed some of the above characteristics, were either married, dead, or twelve!
Fed up, I scrunched up the stupid, now barely legible list, whipped it angrily into the trash, took out a fresh sheet of paper and wrote…
NOT A SERIAL KILLER!
So, I’m at a Karaoke bar one night with a girlfriend, talking about the man of my dreams.
Her – “So let’s get this straight…you couldn’t wait for this hunk of a man to call, when he does, you don’t answer the phone because you were too afraid to talk to him?”
Me – “I know, I know! It’s just that he makes me so flustered, I forget how frigging brilliant I am and become a bumbling, stuttering idiot, and that’s just talking ABOUT him not TO him! I figured if I didn’t answer, he’d never know I’m an idiot.”
Her – “No man can be that good-looking! And when he does call again, you will answer it!”
Me – “But what if I do manage to sound even semi-normal and he asks me out, then what? I’ll never be able to pull off “I’m not an idiot” for an entire evening face to face!”
Just then, an Indian approaches us. I mean a “real” Indian, with feathers and everything! He gives me a huge, completely toothless grin and says, “I’m from En-der-bee, you wanna go out with me?”
My girlfriend is peeing herself laughing, waiting for me to shut him down when my phone rings…I look at the number – “OMGOSH, IT’S HIM, IT’S HIM!”
And the idiot returns…my heart was pounding, my knees went weak, my mouth got so dry I could barely swallow…”What do I do, what I do?”
She’s yelling…”Answer the damn thing or I will!”
I managed a pathetic, squeaky, barely audible “He-llo.” The sexiest voice ever asks, “How does Friday sound, I’ll pick you up at 7?”
OMGOSH! I could feel a ‘yes” forming on my lips; it was exciting and nauseating at the same time!
Friday night just after 7…
Looking across the table from my dinner companion as my mind re-lived my answer…”N,n,n, no thank you, I, I, I’m busy.” IDIOT!!!
The voice across the table snaps me back to reality…”Hurry n eat, were gunna be late fur the pow-wow!”