[MOV] Emma | Field

LJ Idol: One Touch (Week 7)

Patty Sheridan was dead.

She lay sprawled out on the sidewalk, blue eyes wide open, blond hair fanned out over the dirty concrete. A crowd had gathered, many squatting into uncomfortable positions to examine the body. A tragedy! And this girl in the very blossom of her youth! So beautiful! A crime scene investigator in a blue hat mumbled something unintelligible, nursing a cigar. The smoke stank. He was overweight. He watched the investigator.

If you looked at it from his perspective, this really wasn't his fault. Not this time, or any other time. He was always so careful, but could you blame a guy if he slipped now and then? The crowd continued to lament the loss of Patty Sheridan. Whispers kicked up about her parents. What sort of man was the father? Could he have done this? Why don't I ever see the mother? I heard that her old man locked her in the closet. Could he have killed her, and Patty, too? Where's the blood? Why isn't there a mark on her?

There was. If you looked closely enough, he knew that on her right shoulder, just where shoulder was nearly arm, there was a small circular bruise, no larger than the tip of a finger. His finger, specifically. She'd been so lovely, standing in the afternoon sun, purse slung over one shoulder, combing her fingers through her blond hair. He'd been aching to feel her against his hand. Just his hand, or maybe just a finger. Her tank top was orange creme colored and it matched the ribbon in her hair. It was all very 1957 family sitcom, but he was a sucker for that sort of thing. The whole Leave it to Beaver "everyone play nice and ride bikes together in the cul de sac" mantra made him feel sort of warm and fuzzy inside. And that was something different, for him.

He hadn't really meant to touch her, though. He never did. It was almost always an accident, unless it was a job. And she hadn't been a job. But, management had never complained when he'd fucked it up. That was sort of the thing about eternal damnation and torment - they wanted you to fuck it up, so you'd let the guilt eat away at you later. Of course, he'd transcended that point long ago and was just biding his time, now. Sure, he still felt a twinge of regret as they covered Patty Sheridan's face with a crisp white sheet and loaded her into the ambulance. Her mother had pulled up in a black sedan, her face a splotchy red and white. He didn't like human suffering, particularly by his hand, but Patty had been one of many causalities during his time on the clock. One of many faces he'd chosen to forget.

He'd tried everything he could think of. Seclusion had made it worse. It left him yearning so brazenly for human contact that entire families had paid monumentally for it. Of course, carrying a scythe and announcing to new acquaintances that you are the Bringer of Doom and Demise tended to be just as ineffective. Subterfuge was usually the best bet, but often lured people into false senses of security in his presence. He'd used pseudonyms and disguises of varying types. Back stories and family histories were often made up on the fly. He gave himself different accents and countries of origin. But, in spite of his best efforts to the contrary, he would eventually, inevitably set his hands onto someone, and snuff them out like a candle. All it took was one touch. One brush of his fingertips against their temple or the hollow of their necks. The sweep of hair behind their ears that brought his fingers a little too close to their cheeks. After nights of drunken debauchery, the morning news inevitably lit up with headlines of peculiar deaths around the city. Six women dead in Manhattan apartment - no signs of trauma, cause of death a mystery. And we won't even discuss sex. It happened just the one time, and to say it was awkward would be the understatement of the century.

At first, it had been devastating. The first beautiful woman to drop dead at his feet from a fingertip to the jawline had left him in agony for months. The guilt had seeped through his gut like poison, eating him from the inside out. But, as time went on, he began to approach the problem as something of a challenge. How far could he go without killing them? Could he wear gloves to save them? (He found, to his ultimate chagrin, that he could not.) Could he control his desire for human contact? It was all part of the whole punishment thing. Torment and agony, and all of that. He must have been one more son of a bitch in his day, but fuck if he could remember that now. By the time Patty Sheridan came along, it was all relatively routine. She'd just been so lovely. A real diamond in the fucking rough. And it had been years since he'd broken. He wouldn't feel bad about that, now.

It was getting dark outside. A red-haired girl stood up on the sidewalk, arms wrapped around herself. She wasn't crying, but she was visibly upset. She took a deep breath, closing her eyes for a moment before stepping onto the pavement and starting across the street. He liked the look of her. He liked her white jogging shorts and too-long socks. Her tank top was too tight and he liked that, too. He called out to her.

"You're Julie, right?"

She paused. "Right." Her voice was tight.

"You a friend of Patty's?"

She shrugged. "Used to be. What's it to you?"

"You just look upset, is all. Thought I might buy you a cup of coffee."

"Who're you?"

"I'm Derrick."

"Well, I'm twenty-three, Derrick. Make it a vodka and cranberry."

He smiled at her. "Fair enough."

If anyone besides Patty Sheridan was worth the risk, it was Julie. He lit up a cigarette, offering her one. She accepted, and they walked in silence toward the lights of downtown. He'd pay for this later. Probably feel pretty goddamn lousy about it, truth be told. No, this time would be different. This time wouldn't be like Patty. Or Monica, or Katie, or Sarah or Jane. Or the Smith triplets. Or the stripper in Las Vegas. This time, it would be good. This time he would control himself. This time, he wouldn't touch.

He was Death, sure. But he didn't have to be a fucking clumsy prick about it.

This entry was written for therealljidol, Season 6, Week 7
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[MOV] Emma | Field

LJ Idol: Sexual Ethics (Topic 4)

She's a slut.



Josie Pratt is twenty-four and she's a stripper. It wasn't the job she had dreamed of designing clothing for high fashion as a child. She came to this city with ambitions, but everything had seemed to go wrong. When her car was stolen and she could find no affordable means of getting herself into school, Josie made a decision. The Cat Lounge was hiring, and she knew that she fit the bill to be hired. She was right. Her stage name is Kitty. That was two years ago, and now she dances each night except Wednesdays. On Wednesdays, Josie cooks herself dinner in her apartment and watches old Audrey Hepburn movies. She calls her mother and tells her that she has to stop drinking, or she'll end up dead. She writes letters to her father that she never sends, asking him why he left. She washes her hair with her favorite lavender shampoo and reads fashion magazines until she falls asleep on the couch, smiling. On other days, she attends classes for fashion design. She's so close to making it out of here.

Josie, they say, is a slut.

He is the man!



Joey Farmer is twenty-one. He is in his third year of college. He joined his father's fraternity his freshman year and became quite popular on campus. He plays baseball and likes to eat bananas as a late night snack. Joey has a girlfriend named Elizabeth - he calls her Liz. Liz is twenty-two and is nearing graduation. She is pretty and smart, if a little conservative, and likes to read Jane Austen novels. She is an English major. Joey is majoring in athletics and hopes to coach baseball at another school. On Friday nights, Liz goes home for the weekend to see her family, who live two hours away. Joey goes out with Monica. He sleeps with her. His friends know, and praise him for it. On nights when Liz has to study, Joey visits Sarah in her apartment off campus, across town. He sleeps with her, and comes home to Liz. He has been seen on and off campus with Amy, Darcy, Shawna and Tara. His friends know, and they praise him for it.

Joey, they say, is the man.

She's a desperate old hag.



Charleigh Marshall is forty-five. She lives in Sacramento and owns a flower shop. She was married in 1986 to Richard, who became successful in life. He also slept around. In 1999, Charleigh was thirty-five. Age was becoming a factor for her. Being over thirty felt strange and uncomfortable. Richard was forty, and didn't seem to mind. When she found him with Leah, it was over. That was ten years ago. Charleigh has met a man - Aaron. Aaron is twenty-six. He is an architect, never married. He is very handsome, but most interestingly to Charleigh, he is intelligent. He seems much older than his twenty-six years and they enjoy one another's company. Charleigh and Aaron begin dating. Aaron's friends think little of the age difference. Charleigh's friends think a great deal of it. This is pathetic, they think. Find someone your own age! Charleigh doesn't see Aaron as his age. She sees him as Aaron. They read books about architecture together, and Charleigh shows him the meaning and origin of each flower in her shop. They listen to opera, sometimes, and watch old movies until midnight. They enjoy the same wine.

Charleigh, they say, is a desperate old hag.

He is one lucky bastard.



Charles Elliott is fifty-seven. He was born in Manhattan and has stayed there all of his life. He went to college at NYU for business and now owns his own company. He even has a high rise. Charles likes fast cars and has a garage full of them. He drives a black 1968 Cobra GT, mint condition. He likes to hunt pheasants in the country and makes regular trips to Europe to visit with his retired, ailing parents. Charles married at nineteen, to Julia, whom he met in college. They had two children, both boys, Eric and Mark. Julia left Charles in 2004. She didn't love him anymore. Charles understood. His business was booming. His sons were handling things. Charles went to France in 2007. There, he met Abelia Bedeau. She was twenty-three. They were married the following year, in France. Abelia does very little with Charles, since their marriage. She shops in expensive stores and buys purses and clothes to fill up her closet. Charles works with his sons and manages the company. It is clear that Abelia is the equivalent of a hood ornament. She doesn't seem to mind, much. Neither does he.

Charles, they say, is one lucky bastard.


Josie and Charleigh live their lives as they have always lived their lives. Josie ignores the classmates who stare at her when she walks in with her sketchbook in sweats and tennis shoes, having forgotten to wipe off her eyeliner from the night before. Charleigh ignores the women from her book club staring at her and Aaron as they pick out papayas at a fruit stand. Josie scratches the red paint on her car to distort the word "slut," carved in with a key. Charleigh erases the messages on her machine from Dorothy Harper, asking that she not bring "that boy" to their annual social dinner.

Joey and Charles live their lives as they have always lived their lives. Joey high fives buddies in the living room of his fraternity house, watching Monica sashay back to her cherry red Mustang on Saturday afternoon. Charles enjoys a toast of the finest champagne to his new wife, Abelia, and her twenty-three year old tits. Joey's friends half-heartedly try to tell him that he might want to call it off with Liz, if he has to sleep with other girls. They feel it's their obligation, but he'll be treated no differently. Charles' business associates half-heartedly warn him that his marriage to Abelia may be considered unconventional. They feel obligated to say it, but he'll be treat no differently.


Josie goes on to finish design school. She gets a job designing and begins a relationship with a woman named Sherry. They are happy together and Josie finally feels as though she has found herself. Her life was not ruined by being labeled a slut. But, she should not have been. Josie was doing what she felt she had to do. Josie was just a human being, like anyone else. She was not just a gender. Her gender should neither have exempted her, nor condemned her.

Joey goes on to marry Liz. She discovers his infidelity through a call from a heart-broken Monica. She leaves him. He was called "the man." But, he should not have been. His friends were not responsible for his divorce. But, the societal acceptance of his behavior did not help. He was not involved in an open relationship, and never discussed his extra-relationship affairs with Liz. Mistakes are made. It is how we deal with those mistakes that define us. Joey was just a human being, like anyone else. He was not just a gender. His gender should neither have exempted him, nor condemned him.

Charliegh goes on to marry Aaron. At age thirty, a tumor is discovered in his brain. Aaron lives for two months, then dies just before his thirty-first birthday. Charleigh is devastated. She looks at pictures of their wedding, smiling through tears at her husband in his tuxedo. Charleigh's friends did not attend, on principle. Charleigh wishes, more than ever, that it had been different with them. Her husband did not die because she was called a "desperate hag." But, she should not have been. She was happy, and her happiness should have been enough. Charleigh was just a human being, like anyone else. She was not just a gender. Her gender should neither have exempted her, nor condemned her.

Charles goes on to retire, leaving the company to his sons. Abelia becomes pregnant at twenty-five, and gives birth to a daughter who was named Clarette. Charles and Abelia live quite happily with their daughter, and Charles lives a full life, dying at eighty-seven in his bed at home, survived by his wife and children. Charles was called a lucky bastard, and he was. But, not because his wife was half his age. Because he had found happiness, just as Charleigh had. Charles was a human being, just like anyone else. He was not just a gender. His gender should neither have exempted him, nor condemned him.

Equality, even in its smallest measurements, is important. So, where do we go from here?

This entry was written for therealljidol, Season 6, Topic 4.
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[MOV] Emma | Field

LJ Idol: Smile (Topic 3)

It might seem quite odd, but one of the most significant moments of my youth took place as I sat in the living room on a summer afternoon, watching My Girl 2.

It was the first time I ever heard the song "Smile." I was thirteen. It was summer, insufferably hot outside as it so often is in Alabama, and as opposed to taking in the gentle beauty and searing heat of the Alabama countryside, I chose to park out on the couch and watch television. It was with great trepidation that I selected the movie channel playing My Girl 2. As a child, I had watched the first movie with my parents, which resulted in my dissolving into tears and throwing myself, face first, onto my bed. I was cognizant of death, at that age. Family members of varying importance and impact on my life had died. But, I had not yet reached the point in life where I fully comprehended the impact of death when it struck someone close to you.

Odd, I know, that I would come to this harsh realization while watching Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin battle stepmothers and bee hives. However, during the scene in which Vada finally comes downstairs to Thomas J.'s funeral and realizes that he is missing his glasses, I admit it - I lost it. I burst into hysterical tears and fled to the safety and familiarity of my bedroom, my mother trailing behind me, armed with a mother's wisdom and unfailing ability to comfort.

But, it was My Girl 2 that had a far more lasting impact in the form of song. It was there that my love affair with Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" began. As I watched with wavering interest, Angeline Ball sang a simple, but lovely a cappella rendition of the song, and instantaneously, I was in love. There was nothing much remarkable about it except for how unremarkable it was. The lyrics were no credit to the Queen's English. The melody was sweet and haunting, but certainly nothing of what most might consider worthy note. And yet, I was captivated by it. I am still captivated by it. It has become interwoven throughout my life, since the age of thirteen. I discovered that it had originally been written by Charlie Chaplin and recorded numerous times by various well-known and little-known artists like Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton* and countless other talents.

It became important to me. An integral part of my life. Whenever I felt bad, I listened to it, and generally it made me cry. But, somehow, it was always the sort of crying that leaves you exhausted and comfortable. It can be heartbreaking or it can be uplifting, and often it is both at the same time. It accomplishes something that few songs do, I think. It reminds us that hardships are commonplace. Life can be brutal, unpredictable and uncaring. The world can be a lascivious place. A smile is not the solution. But, so long as you are capable of smiling, so long as you can find it within yourself to remember that somewhere, sometime, things will get better, you'll be all right.

I suppose that sounds terribly prosaic. But, "Smile" has been dear to me for a very long time, and although it has trickled down through the hands and voices of history, has been reworked and re-imagined, I like to think that a little piece of the song is mine. Just mine.

Not long before my husband and I reunited, he was going through a very difficult period in his life. We weren't aware of each others' mutual affections, and he felt that his world was crumbling. Loving him as I did, I wanted to do something, however small, to make him smile. And so I sang it for him. I recorded it in my bedroom one afternoon, while at home alone, and sent it to him as a gift.** It wasn't fancy, there was no music, and it certainly didn't rival the voices of Nat King Cole or Judy Garland. But, I was willing to share my song with him, because I loved him. I suppose that in writing this, I am willing to share it with you.

When I saw the topic for this week's LJ Idol, the first thing that came to mind was the song. I didn't want to write about it. I knew that it would turn into a sludge of emotionality and gush. But, I couldn't come up with anything else that I felt passionate about and I like to write about something real. Besides, I've had the song stuck in my head now for three days straight.

I don't mean to be too severe. I feel like all of my LJ Idol entries have been quite serious which can be taxing and, until now, I haven't addressed you, the reader. However, at the risk of sounding like a particularly trite public service announcement, I hope that I might instill a little love for "Smile" in someone's heart and that maybe they can hum it to themselves or sing it in the shower, whether they're feeling bad or not.

* Each name is linked to a YouTube video and/or audio recording of the artist performing the song.

** My own rendition, recorded for my husband. I apologize in advance for poor quality and... my singing. Haha.

This entry was written for therealljidol, Season 6, Topic 3.
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[MOV] Emma | Field

LJ Idol: Uphill, Both Ways, Barefoot (Topic 2)

"There's nothing wrong with her."

"She's just eccentric!"

"That's just the way she is."

"Kaye has always been a free spirit."

"She doesn't need to take her medication. She doesn't need to be
on medication!"

"There's nothing wrong with her!"

"There's nothing wrong with her!"

"There's nothing wrong with her!"




Standing outside the small suburban home of my husband's grandmother as red and blue lights danced chaotic against the front windows, I have quite a different impression. I watch as Kaye throws the screen door open, muttering under her breath. It's getting dark outside, which somehow makes everything seem too sharp and in focus. The trunk of her car is open, already filled to the brim with clothes and various toiletries. The police had come back, again, one standing awkwardly in the background, clearing his throat far too often. The other, a friendly sort of man, stands next to me, asking me about my work.

"I work for a law firm," I say to him. "We'd really like to go back to school. We both want to teach, to be honest. To have summers off! It would be wonderful."

Our casual conversation clashes with the scene playing out behind us. My mother-in-law, clearly frazzled, packing her car and muttering about things owed to her and wrongs done. Her elderly mother stands next to me, elbows propped up on the trunk of my car, looking fragile. She is horrified, as neighbors surely poke their heads through the shades of their windows, wondering at why lights are flashing in Betty's front yard.

The policeman keeps talking to me, laughing about how quickly children grow up. Chatting amicably about the weather, and so on and so forth. Family members arrive shortly thereafter, coddling Kaye as they usher her into her car and drive her away. We'd had to have her forcibly removed from her own mother's house for attacking her, not once, but twice. My husband had tried to talk to her, tried to tell her that she needed to get help. But, she had immediately turned cold, becoming angry and hurtful. She hadn't wanted to hear it. She never had.

"It's not wrong for you to be bipolar. You're not crazy. You just need treatment. Please."

She wasn't listening. It's an hour earlier. The sun is dipping low in the sky, but it's still light enough for me to sit on the curb outside and smoke a cigarette. I can hear raised voices from within the house, but I choose to stay outside, ignoring the older woman across the street who is staring at me. She makes excuses for herself. There's really nothing we can do, and Betty doesn't want her to stay. She's afraid of being hurt, again. The door opens and my husband walks out, wearing a grim face.

"I've called the police," he tells me. "She's refusing to leave."

I know this is difficult for him. In the moment, he's caught up in being frustrated and hurt, but I know that later, he might lay his head on my shoulder and let this all catch up with him. I mentally brace myself for that inevitability, ready with what words of comfort I can offer him. This is his mother. He loves her.

"The fact that she's missing really isn't a big deal."

It's six days later. My mother-in-law is missing. She had gone to stay with the cousins who picked up her, surely telling them that we all conspired against her. She's paranoid, and will soon become cripplingly depressed. But Lynn thinks that she's all right, she's just being Kaye. She's just "lost" right now. Ignore her multiple diagnoses of bipolar disorder. Her friends in South Carolina have told her to stop taking her medication. She says that she still takes it, but we know that she's lying. I had gone with my husband to the probate office, a sterile looking building with white walls and too many doors in the hallways. I offered to fill out the written sheet for him. I have neater handwriting, and I know this is hard. Lynn doesn't know that we're doing this. We have to catch Kaye unaware, and we're worried that Lynn will tell her and she'll run. I watched my husband's strained face, the same face he makes now as we call her friends and extended family trying to find someone, anyone, who will tell us if she's all right or where she might be.

The police went to take her to a facility to help her, but she was gone. Lynn obviously lies, tells them she wrote a note and left. She surely informs her of what's happening, and Kaye disappears. Time passes and we hear nothing but the same. "I don't think this is a big deal," Ronny says in a casual sort of way. He thinks we're lying. He thinks we're all conspiring. She's told him this. That we're after her money. We aren't, but nothing we say will change his opinion. Time passes, and we hear nothing.

"She's fine. Let her be. Nothing is wrong with her.

She'll spend all of her money, soon. She'll become delusional. She'll start to imagine that people are after her. She'll come up with the same stories she always has. The cashiers at the grocery store are demons who want to exterminate her. The town sheriff is stalking her. She won't get out of bed. She won't bathe. Please, we just want to help her.

This doesn't matter to them. She calls Betty, very late, to tell her that she feels fantastic. Better than she's ever felt in her life, but she doesn't want to be a part of our family anymore. Her son. Her daughter. Her grandchildren. She loves them, but she doesn't want to see them. Have a nice life, she tells us, and stop calling my neighbors to find me.

What else is there to do? We give up. We can't help her. She won't let us, and neither will they. My husband is forced to give up on his mother. He bears it well. He's strong, but I know that it hurts him. We have no choice. We cannot continue to fight a losing battle. We cannot forever walk uphill. She is his mother, and he loves her. We all love her. But, we were the enemy. We were the conspirators. We were wrong, because there's nothing wrong with her.

We haven't heard from her in several weeks. It's simply something we've had to adjust to. We don't know where she is, or how she's doing. And, soon, the calls will most likely come. Ronny and Lynn, her neighbors in South Carolina. They'll call us. "We don't know what to do about your mother," they'll say. "She won't get out of bed. She does nothing but take Xanax all day."

And we tried to tell you. The tragedy of it is almost too much. But, it's the anger that I'm left with, and the indignation at the ignorance and audacity of these people. To purposefully stand in the way of a woman's children who are desperately trying to get her help before she ends up homeless on the street or dead. And when she does, they'll cry. They'll wear black clothes and dab their eyes with tissues and handkerchiefs, waxing poetic about how much she meant to them. How vibrant she was. How it's such and shame that it ended this way and how they hadn't seen it coming. They'd done everything they could for her.

They won't have any idea what they did. They won't understand because they don't want to. Because it isn't their mother. It isnt their daughter. It isn't their problem.

After all. There's nothing wrong with her.

This entry was written for therealljidol, Season 6, Topci 2.
  • Current Mood: angry angry
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[MOV] Emma | Field

Save Dave's House

As per doctoreon, I give you save_dave. Dave is losing his house that seems to be more compound for various friends, family members, etc. than just house. He's busted his ass to keep his business together in this crumbling excuse for an economy, but fell behind on his mortgage as a result. Foreclosure is coming, and they're trying to prevent it over at save_dave. I don't know this Dave guy, but I can feel for him.

I'm currently trying to think of something I could offer to the auction (I have no artistic talent whatsoever) as Tom and I really don't have the money to spare, but I want to help.

So, for the moment, I'm pimping it. GO!

Here's the story.
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[MOV] Emma | Field

LJ Idol: Empty Gestures (Topic 1)

You have turned twenty-one, and this is a significant milestone in your life! We congratulate you on reaching this passage into adulthood. Things change, as we age and blossom into an adult. As you grow, expectations of you will change, as well. For example, gifts given at Christmas and on birthdays will be expected to be reciprocal. You will not receive gifts from us if we do not receive them from you.


I stared at the crisp, manila-colored paper for several seconds, blinking. I was quite uncertain whether to laugh or fume. Across the house, my mother was chattering away in the kitchen. I was turning twenty-one in three days.

The proclamation that I would no longer receive gifts unless gifts were given of me seemed to stand out sharply against the rest of what might have been considered a warm, congratulatory birthday letter. The sentence was ensconced in a cocoon of exuberant pride and warm wishes concerning my collegiate aspirations thus far, my hard work, and so on. It was signed with love. And yet, there in the very center sat that unfathomable declaration. It might as well have been acid, eating away at the paper. It was pretentious, even for them.

"What does the letter say?" my mother was asking me. When I didn't answer, she poked her head into the living room, holding a spoon in one hand. "Well? What did they send you?" For my birthday, she meant.

I shook my head, smiling for some reason, and handed her the letter. "Just read it," I said.

She read it, and screwed up her face in an exact replica of my own bewildered expression. She took a deep breath and handed the letter back to me with a beautifully executed eye roll. She didn't say anything. What was there to say? Without warning, I had been sent a nicely worded letter informing me that I would no longer receive birthday presents or Christmas gifts and cards unless I sent them first. All folded neatly inside of a generic Hallmark birthday card.

The congratulations didn't matter. The warm wishes didn't matter. It all seemed quite hollow in the face of such a bold statement of position. In the grand scheme of the universe, it wasn't that surprising. I had been offered assistance with college tuition at eighteen, but only if I attended one of the superior universities of their selection. I had been chastised and guilt-tripped for my lazy correspondence with them. They had lamented their limited communication with me and feigned fervent interest in my life's progression. Yet, if I did not follow their guidelines, I was made to feel as if I were being shunned. Only apologies and nicely worded e-mails and phone calls could seal the rift, and I was the sole responsible party for doing so.

Their visits every two or three years lasted for a matter of hours. A mere blip on the radar screen of my life, yet it was I who was decided to be the glue that held our relationship together. Each time it was said that they were proud of me, it was often followed by something like a letter telling me that they wouldn't send me gifts any longer or an offer of assistance if only I reached the lofty standards that they had set for me. It was all empty. All of it. All my life, it had been. Somehow, I think they found it their duty to have a "relationship" with me, but they were ignorant of what that relationship should be.

My father pushed me to keep in touch with them. Insisted that I e-mail them regularly and put on a dopey smiling face when they came to visit or feign interest when they called. They could have done so much for me, and yet they'd done so little. But, it wasn't their lack of interest that I resented. It was that one little sentence. That one step too far over the line of what is and is not acceptable. That was too much.

I laid the letter down on the coffee table, leaning back against the couch with a deep sigh. I was angry and amused all at once. Had they meant more to me, it might have stung. But they didn't, and I felt only anger at the presumption and amusement at the delusion. My mother patted my shoulder.

"You know how they are," she said, and returned to the kitchen, looking worried for me.

I looked down at the paper, reading the last sentence again before chucking it into the trash.

Hoping you have a wonderful twenty-first birthday!

Love,

Grandmother A and Grandpa G


Love, indeed.

This entry was written for therealljidol, Season 6, Topic 1
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[MOV] Emma | Field

LJ Idol: Introduction (Topic 0)

Introductions always seem a bit overwhelming. We want to establish ourselves in someone else's perception as a person of interest and worth. Introductions can tend to be short affairs, and so each time we introduce ourselves, we scavenge our minds to find the most interesting bit of us to pluck out and offer up for inspection. I am as guilty of this as anyone else. I like to be seen as my own person, bearing only the vaguest of similarities to anyone that you know.

But, the truth is, I'm fairly uncomplicated. I have my ups and downs like everyone. I'm sure I have my own unique quirks, just like anyone else. I dance in my cubicle at work when no one is looking, I eat cottage cheese with bacos in it, I watch terrible movies over and over in spite of being painfully cognizant of what an affront they are to the institution of film, and I can't ever decide if I'd rather be a vampire or a faerie.

I escape the mundane through the written word, and, admittedly, through games. I'm an avid player of World of Warcraft and not ashamed to admit that I'm a nerd. I've been a nerd since I can remember. I'm a lifer. I was in the marching band in high school, and it was my absolute favorite part of my teen years. I have established myself as quite a rabid fan of Harry Potter and I love to read romance novels, so long as they're well-written (see: Diana Gabaldon). I enjoy printing out crisp copies at work and stacking them neatly to mail somewhere. I love the way new books smell. I hate the way envelope glue tastes. I love those squishy Otis Spunkmeyer blueberry muffins that you can buy at gas stations, I like the smell of wood smoke and I want to live in Ireland, even though I've never been.

I like to think of myself as my own self. Most people do. And even though there are probably plenty of me in the world, I still feel comfortable as an individual. I may not be impressive or a person of great import, but I enjoy myself, for the most part. I am silly and not too stuffy to have fun. I don't mind making an idiot of myself, if it gets a laugh out of someone else. My sense of humor tends to be on the sardonic side, but I generally know where to draw the line. I am an Atheist, and I am rather violently opposed to most forms of organized religion, most notably Christianity. I don't discriminate, but neither am I tolerant of superstition attempting to legislate reality. This, in spite of my heavy Christian upbringing.

I have my father's temper. I become angry, often with very little provocation. I have my mother's emotionality. I can cry at the mere drop of a hat. These two polar opposites often collide in a sort of storm of confusion and angst. My poor husband is often subjected to my outbursts, first of fury, then of sadness. He doesn't much know what to make of me, sometimes. Sometimes, I feel like a good person, and sometimes I feel like a bad person. My past will plague me and my husband's past will plague me more.

I enjoy reading and writing and day-dreaming and sleeping. I am lazy and unmotivated, yet I do well at work. I love to sing, and I sing well. I write tolerably.

I am twenty-five, I am married, and my name is Blaine.

This entry is written for therealljidol, Season 6, Topic 0.
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[MOV] Emma | Field

LJ Idol!

This will serve as my official entry into LJ Idol! I've never done it before, and I blame littlelessevil entirely. But, I love to write and I'm not terribly concerned with having my ego lashed a time or two by writers who surpass what talent I may be fortunate enough to have.

So... yay! It's going to be strange posting all these public entries! Be advised - my introduction is forthcoming.
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