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Vigil 

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Right before I moved into my new house, the woman who lived across the street was in her car and had a cardiac event in which her car rolled back up onto the side walk and hit a tree. She bled out and died right there in front of her house before the paramedics could reach her.

Her family has taken to making that tree a happy place. A memorial for someone they love deeply. There are balloons, half buried vases overflowing with flowers, stuffed animals, and a photo of Mary beaming with the kind of light that only comes from on high.

When my friend and I were unloading my belongings from the moving van Mary’s family came out and talked to us. They said that if I lived here I was family now. They invited us to her service and the candle light vigil.
Last night was that vigil. Mary’s loved ones started to gather around six or seven ‘o’ clock. From my new bedroom window I had an amazing view of their vigil, but couldn’t quite hear all of the people speaking and sharing their fond memories of Mary. I went out to the front porch to listen and it stopped raining, so I joined the edge of the crowd that gathered and blocked the street.

They spoke of her as a woman who was always there to help. A woman with an abundance of love for everyone she met. A woman who had made mistakes in her life, gone down a really dark path, and then decided she wanted more for herself. So, she went out and got it. She and my mom had a lot in common.

I did not know this woman. I had only ever met the photo of her at the base of the tree, opposite the pool of blood in the soil where she died, but I stood out on the sidewalk and cried with her family and friends. I know what they are feeling because I’ve been there too.

They talked about how Mary had died once already. She was resurrected. A car accident that landed her in a coma, where she miraculously recovered. My mind flashed back to the first time I was trying to make sense of why my mom couldn’t pull through, why she was gone. At that time a little voice in my head told me that she had already had her second chance, when she got down on her knees and prayed to make a better life for herself.

A young woman got up and belted out a song I’d never heard before. It sounded like gospel. She sang that all of Mary’s troubles and trials were over now.

I felt my mom there with me, in a crowd of strangers, mourning a woman who was gone before I arrived, and I felt comforted then. Everything just might be okay.

When I went back up to my room I lit a candle and placed it in the window closest to the vigil. It wasn’t until I lay down that I realized I had lit the Saint Stevie Nicks candle my old roommate made for me. I fell asleep thinking about riding through the desert listening to ‘Rumors’ on the cassette deck in my mom’s truck. She drove too fast, but I was never afraid.

Ruined Songs: Say It Ain’t So

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I revisit the Blue Album
because I loved it so much

More than once I’ve loved a song dearly
before it gained any real meaning to me

“Your drug is a heart breaker/
My love is a life taker”

Lyrics I loved

Until I listened once
for the first time in years

“My love is a life taker”

I’ve slept with at least two men
who are now dead. I thought

And started the song over.

____________

Time Warp: Bed Head + A Lack of Red Flags

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I took a series of photos of what I looked like
in the morning when I’d just woken up.
My hair, always a mess
because I move around a lot in my sleep.
In some of them
I’m still drunk from the night before.
In some of them
the background changes
from the bathroom in my old apartment
with the paper-thin walls
to the pastel green with white trim
of my ex-whatever’s bathroom.
My eyeliner is still on
smeared all around my eyes
because I didn’t take it off
like I always do at home
because I wasn’t at home
I was with some dude.
In one photo I’m wearing his t-shirt
my eyes are barely open
and in several of them
I still look hammered.

I was sitting on a barstool
next to this guy
who fancies himself
some kind of outlaw cowboy,
but was really just another suburban drunk,
showing him the photos in my phone
and he laughed
and smiled
and told me
he didn’t know why
but it was kind of hot.

Where I should have seen a red flag,
I saw my in.

___________

Just for fun, here is most of that collection of photos. From a time when I was blonde, drunk, and had terrible judgment. 

Chapbooks, Patches, Stickers: Wares for Sale

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Hey all! 

I’ve got some of my chapbook ‘I Wasn’t In Love With You, I Was Just Really Drunk’ left over from the Ladybox event the weekend before last, as well as Tell Me A Story/ I’m A Fucking Lady/ Ladybox logo stickers and I’m A Fucking Lady/Ladybox logo patches! 

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these items, please shoot me a message at constanceannx3@gmail.com

PayPal pretty much a must.

 

patches

  

chapbook

 

Bummer Post: Market Street Window Gazing

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The streets of San Francisco are filled with homeless people. Today, the first time in all my day trips to the city, I see a cluster of uniformed police officers roaming around Market Street and stopping wherever a homeless person is leaning against a building to tell them to move along. Force them to move along. Where? Where are they supposed to go?
I’m sitting in the window of a diner, staring out, killing time. The cluster of cops I passed a few blocks back make their way to the diner. All I can see is a set of feet sticking out from the side of the building on to the sidewalk. The four of them put on black and blue latex gloves in case the have to touch the man passed out against the diner.
They tell him to get up. They pull at him, a group effort to get him to wobble to his feet. They tell him that he’s soaked, in case he didn’t already know. One officer laughs openly at the man and whatever his slurred response was. The officer throws his head back with laughter and claps.

The manFullSizeRender stands but slumps against the wall.

The officers just stare at him and tell him again that he has to go. The man stumbles a few paces and stops directly in front of the window I’m facing out. He lurches, hunched over, pants around his knees and a blanket draped around his shoulders. An officer looks in at me as I take a sip of coffee. He gestures inside and I can see his mouth telling the man that I’m trying to eat and he has to get away from the window. The officer smiles at me and I stare back and shake my head, hoping he can read my expression: “Don’t bring me into this.”

The man is dropping things and picking them up again. Mouth open, oblivious, he wanders down the street away from the diner. The same officer who laughed throws his hands up in the air and hobbles around the sidewalk, mimicking the homeless man and laughing joyously, all teeth, I glare out the window until they move along.

12/1/14

Interview: Constance Ann on Ladybox & Ladybox Books at LitDemon.com

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Constance Ann:

interview with me about Ladybox/Ladybox Books and a fantastic review of all seven Ladybox books!

Originally posted on ladyboxbooks.com:

Click HERE to read the interview with Ladybox curator/editor Constance Ann Fitzgerald at LitDemon.

LitDemon also posted a glowing review of Ladybox!

Ladybox has a lot of the same Riot Grrrl DIY sensibilities that you may remember from the punk scene in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, before webpages and blogs took over. These are punk zines in their truest form – handmade, Xeroxed, stapled, simple, straight-to-the-point, and honest. Each chapbook serves up a little something different, but what they all have in common is that there is a lot of heart in each and every sentence. And there’s not a bad one in the bunch.”

Click HERE to read the entire review!

plain_red_logo_1396754589__13195 (click the image to visit LitDemon.com)

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