Monday, August 10, 2009

Trash can

Walking in on a homicide as an eleven year old changed my life for years. Like a scratch on CD that got left out of its case and every time it comes to that one song, it gets stuck not being able to move forward... brzub... brzub... brzub... brzub...

Her eyes told the story, reflecting ignorance in her motives, friends cackling as she stood over the victim...the slow drip off the end of the weapon rang heavy in my heart as I stood framed in the doorway. My lips moved, seeking words, to capture thoughts, amid the ripping noise inside me howling out through my clenched teeth. How could my sister do this....

Defiled, spread across the desk, exposed...GI Joe issue #21...now stained with Strawberry Shortcake stamps. Ironically, the silent issue, not a word among the panels that blended into the story that definitively set Snake Eyes as the strong hero. Silent, like our relationship became for so many years.

It was not just about a 75 cent comic book destroyed, but years of anger building up, some deserved, others fabricated by a mind that was stuck in a moment, giving reason to the bitterness that clung like tar from a freshly sealed road to my heart. Innocent words twisted to bombshells on the backs of CDs...boom...boom...boom...love and hugs held hostage with cold glances and mumbles.

Sometimes its easier to forgive strangers than those we should love.

Licking the bottom of an ashtray dropped into a urinal, the smell that dripped from the air forming puddles under my flip flops. Bile rose in my throat, as I grabbed the bags of trash wrapped neatly in their pristine white plastic, tossing them into the still wet dumpsters. Looking like a space man, in his protective suit, pressure washer blasting at stains and leftover particles of three month old dinner, the man gave a friendly wave returning to his duty of cleaning off the cold metal bins. Retreating quickly behind closed doors, I gasped for the freshness of cool air in car, but the smell would not leave.

Our wounds pile up in trash cans, compacted to make room, until the weight becomes too much to bear. Sometimes we never unpack them...for fear of the smell of decomposing denial and rancid retaliation...letting go of our pain seems like we are giving up that for which we have lived. Its just easier to let it stay silent...or so we believe in our misery of carrying around our trash cans while the odor still lingers, permeating our other relationships, tainting what little life we cling to.

Maybe we need to take out the pressure washer. Letting our trash cans go, letting those that wronged us go, letting the CD go on to another song...so we can walk freely into a life unencumbered, remembering the smell so we never let it happen again.

I love my sister.

I probably don't tell her enough.

Trash can.

33 comments:

dopey1 said...

I love you too! And I don't tell you enough either, and I'm sorry for that! and I'm sorry for your comic book! :)

Ronda Laveen said...

Ahh, so well said. And sometimes we think we've let it go only to find that no matter how much we think we are playing our new CD, that old one slips in to the shuffle.

My sister ripped the heads off my Barbie dolls and made them ride plastic horses. Horses that were made for a doll 4x her size. Can you imagine? Horrors.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This is an odd day, Brian. Your post, my post, another friend's post that I just left which also discussed rifts in families. I'm not sure you saw my comment back to you, but I'm glad you and your sister are good now. Great post.

ellen abbott said...

If you don't let go of stuff, eventually it buties you.

Just wanted to say thanks for visiting my blog today.

willow said...

Strawberry Shortcake stamps? Poor GI Joe. My two oldest kids were in a constant war for the first 13 years of their lives. I think there is still some feud about the Alf doll's hair being cut off, 20 years later.

And on a more personal note, Betsy loved to color all over my dolls and books with red ball point pen. And chew up my new box of 64 crayons. I've forgiven her, though. I guess. ;^)

Daniel said...

She did you a favor. You should have been reading the Archies comics. Now there's some good, clean, wholesome, zzzzzzz, .... Wait did I just doze off? Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, showing what a fossil I am.

otin said...

I chased my little brother through the garage and he tripped and fell through a glass door, getting nearly 100 stitches in his face, we never had any trouble between us, thank God I did not mess with his hot wheels!

otin said...

dopey1 needs to start a blog, I am assuming that she is who I think she is!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

To err is human; to forgive is divine...Pope. I'm sure the sis really had no intention of desecrating GI Joe to the point of never return...just an error in judgment ;-)

The Dark Lord said...

So very well said... At times, when the trash can gets heavy, we need to spill it all out.. the rancid litter would be nauseating at first, but surely, it would all be for the better... and we can get back to living with a lighter, satisfied soul!

subtorp77 said...

I forgave my brother, now it's his turn. Too bad he'll be lugging his trash around for a loooong time to come.

And my "sample" is up...

Brian Miller said...

@dopey1 - smiles.

@ronda - too true...lol on your barbies...

@jen - really enjoyed your post today and got me thinking which is probably where this one came from...

@ellen - thanks for popping over....and yes it does.

@willow - things have a way of lingering well beyond their shelf life...chewing a box of crayons...bet that led to some amazing teeth...lol.

@daniel - archie? seriously? smiles.

@otin - yeah, thats her. oh the stories she could tell. smiles.

@alicia - smiles. if only we could say the same for those things of greater importance than comic books...

@DL - too true.

Baino said...

Aww I'm sure you did something equally horrific to something of hers. Chewed the feet of her Barbie? I was the eldest so nobody messed with my toys! My sister still can't let go of the fact that her brother threw a dart at her when she was six.

♥ Braja said...

Damn, Brian....you're somethin' else....
xo

Candie Bracci said...

Just like Ronda,my barbies have suffered too!lol.But yes we need to move on to let other songs play.Nice post!

Eternally Distracted said...

I really, really want to forgive my brother for being an arse-ache all my life, I really, really do ... But my Wham posters, he tore down my Wham posters AND THAT IS JUST UNFORGIVABLE!!! :0)

Betsy said...

Poor Willow. There are hazards to being the oldest child. Thanks for forgiving me! :)

On a more serious note, there is a lot of truth in the statement that people drag around these 'trash cans' that stink with decaying bitter feelings. Nobody can make you power wash them. That decision has to be made by each one personally. I love the analogy.

TechnoBabe said...

I like the way Ronda says it regarding old stuff recurring in our minds.
This post is very well written.
I like the adventure writing and also the build up to the emotional link between siblings.

Poetikat said...

You really had me going for a minute there. I thought perhaps you were on a noirish kick and were to be the next Raymond Chandler (come to think of it, you could, if you wanted to).

I shall never be able to put that ashtray/urinal image out of mind. Thanks for that.

Kat

Lorraine said...

Oh you are a storyteller, first you scared me truly, then I smiled, but remembered those pranks on precious possessions really did hurt...and yet what to do but love...you are a storyteller!

Meeko Fabulous said...

Stumbled over from Nancy and Rain's blogs. Your words rang so true for me today, "Sometimes its easier to forgive strangers that those we should love". Such powerful words and SO true.

subtorp77 said...

@Kat, I was just waiting for someone to comment on that-LOL!

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Brian:)

Greetings:)

I find great wisdom in these post.

Forgiving strangers is easy than those we love. Is it because we want to put up a show and pretend that we love strangers? We find it difficult to forgive people whom we are supposed to love. Is it because of our ego, superiority complex, unforgiving attitude and we want them to obey us? It would be better for us in the long run to forgive and get along with people who love us because it will promote peace, happiness and all round well being.

We have many skeletons in the cubbord and sometimes it is better to leave them untouched to ensure peace and harmony. If we empty the trash can completely, it can become repulsive to others and therefore it will be a good idea to leave some trash or wounds to fester till our last day and perhaps carry some trash to our graves.

I enjoyed reading this well thought out, beautifully written post containing immense wisdom.

Have a nice day Brian:)
Joseph

Hit 40 said...

My youngest sister drove me nuts until just recently with her lies and deceit. She loves attention. Still does and would lie to my mom about things that I did to gain favor. I have caught my youngest doing the same thing to the older boy. She would steal my things that I bought with my own money and claim that they were hers. Mom did nothing!! So...

I would go hold up her prized figurines demanding my things back. She would refuse.... I would drop the ceramic clown to smash into small bits. I smashed a lot of her things trying to get my stuff back. Oh good memories. (She would lock up my stuff in a trunk. In hindsight, I should have cut the damn locker in half.)

Travel & Dive Girl said...

I loved the post. Truer words are never spoken. Although I don't have any siblings, I can relate to this with the relationship I had with my mother growing up. It's not until she was gone, that I realize how much she is missed - even if she drove me crazy.

scarlethue said...

Easier said than done.

I wish that was all I had to forgive, the normal things brothers and sisters do to each other.

I try, I say it out loud nearly every day, that I forgive him, but I don't feel it yet. I'm waiting to feel it. Maybe I haven't because he doesn't care that I'm giving it.

Brian Miller said...

@scarlethue - so true...it took me forever...beacuse honestly i did not mean it...i was the one still clinging tightly to the pains...i wonder can you let go whether they want it or not? it takes a while to feel it, i agree whole heartedly.

Obviously the comic book became a personification of everything else...this was really about that...

Micaela said...

Wow, such a powerful post. It's s true, not everyone unloads their baggage, and there are some people with a lot of baggage...it's all too easy to not forgive our family members also.

Micaela

Brian Miller said...

@baino - i was the eldest as well and yes I did some pretty horrible things along the way as well...as is usually the case....in the cycle.

@braja - lol.

@candie - ty.

@eternally - you know what WHAM!s album was...make it big. smiles.

@betsy - oh, i felt a tender moment here. smiles. you are right, you have to be ready...

@tehnobabe - ronda has a way of summing it up well...ty.

@poetikat - isn't that what we try to do...cement images in peoples minds? maybe that was not the right one....smiles. maybe noir one of these days...i try to mix it up.

@lorraine - higher praise never reached my ears...

@meeko - thanks for dropping by! see you around all the time in similar circles. glad i was able to be there today...

@subby - honestly was waiting on that one too....lol.

@joseph - you always bring such wisdom to the table when you drop by...thanks for adding to what i begin.

@hit40 - a sad tale...i may have shaved a few barbies in my time...smiles. i feel your story...

@travel - i think that is one thing that scares me is waiting too late...ty.

Joanna Jenkins said...

"Sometimes its easier to forgive strangers than those we should love." That pretty much says it all.

Great post... again.

The Retired One said...

The sensitivity of a child.
It is truly a curse and a blessing.
My brother and I often talk about past events where we both attended a family gathering. We remember it completely different and we like and don't like different relatives.
It really gives a glimpse into what one child finds traumatizing and another would laugh off.
I am glad you have gotten past this with your sister.
And, I know you love her.

JeffScape said...

Again, wanting more.

On a side (and less melancholy) note, I had that same issue of G.I. Joe, and my copy also met a less than ideal end.

Mrsupole said...

My older sister used to do mean terrible things to me. I love her so I forgive her. I love me so I forgive her. If one cannot forgive, then one cannot really love. We are imperfect, but expect others to be perfect, when we realize they are not, then we realize we are not and so that is why God made forgiveness. We forgive so we can be forgiven. We give and we receive.

I am so glad that you two have made up and moved on. Love is more important than any "thing", although I think you learned that many, many years ago.

I think that is why we love what you write here. There is so much love in your writing. You put it out here for all to see, which is a hard thing for anyone to do. I also think that is why we become your loyal followers, we need to see love in the world and you show it to us. Your family is blessed in this way, the boys are truly blessed to have you as their role model.

God bless.

PS...the new GI JOE movie does not seem anything like the comic books. It probably could use some strawberry shortcake.