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barbtries a blog
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
"Here we all live in a state of ambitious poverty" -
Juvenal, 47-138 A.D.


I am 40 years old
I am fat
I am cold
I am profoundly alone
I am lazy
I have no home
I am driving, driving
I have a goal
I want to be living!!

I am 40 years old.

I feel like if I drive another inch I'll collapse into dust. The wheels and doors will fall off the car.
I just want to go up, up, up. But I must climb there.
I'm here in this house of you're-not-wanted crying on my 40th birthday. Andy's not here because Lifer can't stand him, Bekah's not here because she can't stand me, Rory sleeps and I'm $79 overdrawn and broke.

But there's nothing for it but to go on. Things don't just stop. My redemption's right around the corner. I maybe won't have to stay at this place that leaves me heavy and sad and feeling rotten.

one year later:


It is 1-ish, I am 41. I went to Palmdale again today and there is still no furniture in our home. Nonetheless for the first time in 15 months I prepared a meal for my children in my kitchen. Tomorrow I may rent a refrigerator; it's hell without.

Later -----

Andy is cooking my quesadilla. John may come over - but at any rate I have 75% of my progeny and Bekah wrote me a poem:

"No one but a mother could devote
so much time
No one but a mother could be
so caring
No one but a mother could
give as much support
No one but a mother could be
happy cleaning poo
And, no other mother could
give me more love
That's why I'm happy my mother
-by Bekah Zask

A chip off the old block, eh?

later still.............

Rarely do I have them all-
Save this for POSTERITY:

John 6'0" - I still look at this
Bekah 5'4 1/2" - crew in righteous awe -
Andy 5'3 7/8" - I made these people! and
Rory 3'5" - their beauty is rife.

And as you can see, 3 of them are taller than me. What a great example of how "a little while is a long time."

Five years after that:

Forty-sixth Birthday, First Occasion

"No blessed leisure for love or hope,
But only time for grief."
- Thomas Hood, The Song of the Shirt

08-27-01 2:29 a.m.

Oh, Bekah, the other night I agonized to you about whether the give and take of love still goes on between us as I seem to experience. Tonight on a webpage about another murdered child , the mother said very much the same.

I would still much rather have you, Bekah so you know amen and ever, ever love til all energy ceases. one sleepy mama I am I am

Bekah I sang happy birthday to myself the way I expect you would: "happy birthday dear MAMA, happy birthday to you." Otherwise I wanted none of it essentially. No wrapping no candles no singing. No forced faux joy.

Just less than two months ago it was your birthday. Look at how my little girl has grown up so much! She's a woman...you blew out all 21 candles like it was nothing. Joy was for real. My family together, happy - I was so, so fortunate...all of my children reasonably happy and healthy as well.

Now I'm unfortunate. My daughter murdered savagely on a street in San Pedro. Left with contempt to die... oh Bekah! you are missed. desperately I could hear the drone of a child's cry, think from upstairs. A siren in the distance. Integration. Absorption of experience, events that cannot be altered. This is planet earth peopled by humans. On this planet time passes in one direction; forward. As it does so people pass from it as they die.

As time continues forward, necessary distance. No new memories unless you count the moment I found out, the funeral, the tears, traffic report, emotions, people.

Your mother insistent that she has lost so much, whether a pretense to normal is ever attempted and/or achieved. Your mother struggling in darkness too abject to describe, struggling with grief in its truest most raw and powerful incarnation (child's death) - learning along the way.

You, wrested so rudely away from this planet, oh I can speculate and weave charming scenarios but what is hard is that I seem to need to believe them in order to bear myself away from the pain and its alternative.

It must be absorbed, your murder. I want to progress past the place where your absence, death, mode of death define the person I am. But when I do that what will become of you and our trans-dimensional love swaps?

I already lost you when you died. Can I keep your loving spirit inside, where grief and horror presently reside? A person wrested with violence away from this side, can I feel you forever from the other side, cherish you, walk straighter because you are by my side?

Will you fill the hellhole with love from your radiant soul, with enough certainty I am allowed to be whole? That warmth, energy, those virtual hugs, while all I will ever want is you back on this planet with me? Questions are tough, but no worse than this reality: my daughter is gone. A murderer took her away from me. If I can recover from her loss remains to be seen -

It is 4:24 now Bekah and I've just been wailing. I know what my question is today but how long 'til the answer is revealed - even if that alone is an aspect that can or will be decided by me - is unclear.

Nothing new in other words. Question number 2 is why don't I concede, capitulate, give in? Not to the grief and its holes residing where my daughter used to be, not to the mourning which does and must continue to be practiced actively, but just to a little bit of sleep?

I do not know an answer for me right now. Day by day. Hour by hour. Minute by minute. Your mother learns the news that you are dead. amen

Wee Hours
08-27-01 almost light

Watch her scribble maniacally,
it's a scrambling away from reality
that she cannot change
So she rambles rapidly
Through many pages to prove
She can adjust her response
To what cannot be, and is.
She can change herself, learn to be
An entire human being
Risen like dough leavened by loss
The loss of one human
Who happened to be her everything.

Morning Poem, Mourning Poem
- Angry -

almost light rouses me/I am crazed indeed/I want my daughter here with me/I want her motherfuckers bring her to me/will you adopt vengeance pray justice for relief?/I want my daughter down the street/laughing with her friends - she's supposed to be/bastards, bastards, how dastardly/can a single fate be can many fates be?/and why do they all have to visit me!/what is the fucking matter with me?/am I grown up yet, no, do I have to be?/do I have to be when all I ever cared about was taken from me/turned away from me turned back to me/grew up by me only to be/MURDERED stripping each inch of reality/of all sense, there is no sense left to me/yes this may be insanity/but fuck you world you forced it on me/when you murdered my baby away from me

put another candle on my birthday cake, i'm another year old today!

48. okay. for the record i will say as i turn 48 that i have recently taken a long walk off a short pier. so far, the water is semi-fine.

bekah has proven herself to me so well and so, i say, thank you bekah-la you are the very best.

i think i may never be able to just categorically say it, but gawd DAM i am definitely closer measurably. that is, to the day when bekah's presence is more vital to me than her absence. that is to say, recovery...closer than ever and again thank you bekah amen

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