Expat Magazine

I Am Calling You

By Lisawines @omyword

I Am Calling You

Well, hey there. It's 2014. I've written very little in the last two years. But there will be no blogpology. Life has some interesting twists and turns. And I've twisted and turned along with it.
What got me back here? Creating and editing my about.me page, that's what. Sooooo many decisions to make. You'd think they wouldn't be difficult. But every decision sends me into deep thought and looking for more coffee. Background picture? Birds? OK, I like that bird picture. I took it on the Wonkette road trip. At an outdoor restaurant in Chicago. I was the third wheel while a very, very tall Wonkette fan declared his love for Rebecca. I had to keep busy. Watching the birds.
But does the photo represent me? I don't know. Momma bird feeding baby bird. Motherly love. Ah. That one goes a bit too deep. I'll use the photo for now. But I may rethink that one.
Adding apps and links. Do I really want everything about me to be assembled in one spot? For a very long time, I've kept my LinkedIn profile free of my Facebook, Twitter and Blog links. Because... what HR person would hire me after they read my posts? I say fuck. A lot. I have a rather, er, interesting past. I'm a raging liberal. I am a hater of all organized religions. I have a congenital (my Dad was an entrepreneur) lack of respect for corporate hierarchy and suits and ties and titles. So... why do I even have a LinkedIn profile at all? Good fucking question. And have you seen that corporate headshot of me on LinkedIn? Jesus. So very much hairspray I used in 2005. A few months ago, I wrote a comedy resumé centered around my greatest assets: I Figure Shit Out and Get Shit Done. Every "accomplishment" bullet point had the word shit in it. Perhaps I should go update my LinkedIn profile. (Smile begins to form on my recalcitrant face).
I started this blog way back in 2006 to encourage myself to write. While I toiled in yet another completely absurd corporate job and licked my wounds after the end of a relationship that I thought was THE ONE, I dreamed of being a writer. A comedian. A traveler. I created an online pseudonym called OMYWORD! Did I say that? Because, it seemed, I was always getting in trouble for what I said. (Still am.) I took standup comedy classes and actually did two shows! (Terrifying!) I hooked up with a brilliant, if troubled, writer. (Aren't we all? Well, perhaps not as troubled as all that.) I quit my corporate job with zero prospects in hand. That very night, I got a contract with my friend Jan Miller for a hilarious one-year stint creating a Curves franchise training program. Talk about comedy! Waco, Texas-style Born-Again-Christian comedy! Then, after taking money from Christians (why do I always end up working for the krazy kind? Whyyyy?), I sold everything and moved to Paris. I met a girl in a grocery store who got me a university teaching job. I discovered how much I loved teaching. And I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I did all of this as my relationship turned to tragedy and sucked the essence and spirit and soul out of me.
Do you see that picture up there of me doing the OMyWord! thing? That's me. 2005. Hairspray. Skinny as a rail. Starting to reinvent myself. I succeeded, too. I made money as a writer. I made people laugh as an amateur comedian. I lived in a foreign country, in the city of lights. I sustained my expat lifestyle by teaching. I know I made a positive impact on many students' lives.
But I was bruised along the way. I turned myself off. Became a robot. Faking my way through life. Hoping nobody would notice me. Because getting noticed gets you hurt. I stumbled into a relationship with a beautiful, sexy, younger-than-me woman and then hurt her lovely heart when I told her I wasn't capable of being in any relationship, male or female. I took up smoking to shut my mouth and stop the pain. I gained weight. I hid in my apartment. I wished for an end. I was too chicken to bring it on myself. I stopped writing. I stopped living. I was just surviving. I did a summer teaching stint at a university in Puebla, Mexico, falling in love with teaching all over again. And then I found a bit of redemption in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Many kind souls put my Humpty Dumpty heart back together again. In record time. I lost my fear of living. It's not exactly the total healing I wish for. But it was a step.
And now, for reasons of love and loyalty to my brother, I agreed to return to Arizona to care for my aging parents. The prodigal commie returns home. Wow. What a shock. Culture shock. Family shock. I'm the only liberal for miles. I am a Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A Heinlein. Everyone walks on egg shells. They try to keep their mouths shut. I try to keep my mouth shut. It is almost impossible. I manage, until I don't. And then it alllll comes out. More than a year I've been here and have been close to losing my mind several times. An angry, crazy father, resenting my intrusion into his life-long love affair with my mother, suspicious of me at all times, screaming at me all the way up until he died last January. And a mother who feigns love, but never really loved any of her six kids or most of her grand kids. They don't give a shit about her, either. So she's mostly alone now, except for me, hiding in my room upstairs. She smokes, watches Matlock. Not really caring that nobody cares about her. Happy to have me here to butter her bagels and drive her to the hairdresser every Friday morning, since she can't do those things anymore.
Ah yes. The picture of a mother bird feeding her baby. It all makes sense now.
I'm here for now. Probably will be here until mom dies. Might not. We'll see. But I know it's time to reinvent myself again. Only I can do it. I've done it before. I know, even while surrounded by negativity, that there are truckloads full of grace and softness and love in the world. I can ask for a delivery. I can beckon my lost spirit to return. I can be alive and vital again.
Lisa Wines, I am calling you. Can't you hear me? I am calling you.

A desert road from Vegas to nowhere.
Some place better than where I've been.
A coffee machine that needs some fixing.
In a little cafe just around the bend.
I am calling you.
Can't you hear me?
I am calling you.
A hot dry wind blows right through me.
The baby's crying and I can't sleep.
But we both know a change is coming.
Coming closer, sweet release.

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