Day 129: How to Love

Me and my nano

How to Love

There wasn’t any reason to hide, at least not at first.  But I crawled inside my tiny closet anyhow, me and my red plastic piggybank.  Inside the squared-space that was layered in frilly dresses and the smell of cedar sticks, I would hold tight to my piggy and pretend.

At first I could imagine Father was back; and not just once or twice, but all the time.  In my thoughts he’d hold me tight, bounce me up and down on his knee; and  then he’d stand up, grab hold of my hands, and twirl me so fast I’d fly up off my feet.  And we’d laugh, giggle so hard the tears would pearl at the corner of our matching oval eyes, his with the amber light, mine with the deep ebony.

Inside the dark of the cramped space, I’d travel back to my silver-haired nana’s adobe-style house, the one with the red-clay roof tiles and the white stucco face, that sat on a steep hill on Washington Street, a one mile hike up from the barking sea lions basking on the rocks at Fisherman’s Warf in Monterey.  I’d breathe in and remember a time before, a time before I understood how homes, and heads, and hearts could break.

There in my memories, my petite nana scooped me up effortlessly and dotted me in tangerine-orange kisses, while my smiling Aunt Rose Marie squished and rearranged my cheeks.  And stout Nano, after leaning over and flashing his bald spot, winked and pulled on my earlobe, offering out a kindly, “We love you, Little Sam.”

Father was there, too, moving in his own cautious way, inching forward and offering everyone his one-arm embrace.  I’d tried to make him different in pretending, make him hug me tight and kiss my cheeks, but the truth always had a way of winning out.

I’d see us all napkin-bibbed at our seafood feast, so that it seemed with the salty air we were all fisherman sailing the ocean waves.  As we cracked open crab legs and peeled tiger-shrimp, Nano stitched together grand fisherman tales in an Italian accent as thick and refreshing as homespun ice-cream. Afterwards, with bellies filled, we all helped with the dishes, me with my very own floral dishtowel, and my wide smile still swathed in pizza sauce.

Nano took his leave soon, snuck out to the back porch with a big platter of scraps.  Two minutes later, when Nano reentered the house with a lick-cleaned plate, looking more satisfied than he let on, he muttered, “Damn cats.  I hate cats,” and then held onto his belly, gave me a wink, and chuckled.

Sometime after seven, when all the plates were stacked neatly back in cupboards, the plastic tablecloth wiped clean, and the eight-track tape of Italian music drifting through the room, we gathered round the table for a game of penny poker.  Holding the cards proved somewhat cumbersome, but somehow I managed to win every single hand, and in doing so compiled a stack of pennies:  ten-high and ten-long.

“One hundred pennies; look how great you did,” Aunt Rose Marie would laugh.

I smiled with eyes of pride, and then reached down and yanked at my stockings. It was possible, I found out, to stack the pennies the height of my mug of hot chocolate before they tumbled down.  Nana leaned over and braced herself against the edge of the table, saying softly to my father, “You need to bring her more often.  We miss her.  And we miss you.”  Then she looked over at me.  “We have a surprise.”

My dark-haired aunt came forward carrying a plastic piggybank loaded with coins.  Though it was only a smidgen bigger than the palm of my little hand, I was amazed.  For the next several minutes everyone watched, as I cradled the plastic piggy.

“Now you save that.  It’s not to open.  Put it in a special spot.”  Nana turned from me, pulled down her silver-framed glasses, and eyed her son.  “You’ll bring her again soon, won’t you?”

Father nodded and stood up to retrieve my small wool coat from the back of my chair. “Yes,  I’ll bring her soon,” he answered, as I slid into my coat, holding my piggy tighter.

Mother would arrive long after supper, all done up—the fair Audrey Hepburn—her curves hugged by a linen suit of strawberry-milkshake. “Hello, Beautiful,” she would say, fussing over my blue-silk hair ribbons.  I would gaze up at Mother, then, with my deep brown eyes and tug on my braid.  I savored the word beautiful much like I did Nana’s hard taffy candies which left my tongue all purple and sweet.


Nana and Nano

Day 128: Prude to Sexy

Now, I hope you do all know that I have Aspergers. With Aspergers sometimes comes this naive spirit (in a wonderful way) and sometimes (in my case: often times) a tendency to not understand sexual connotations. Well, luckily I ran this post by someone (my husband). He kindly pointed out that having the topic, learning to self-massage, as one of my It List’s items might be a little risqué. I didn’t understand why learning to massage my hands and feet with lotion would be inappropriate.

When I was still a youngster, in my early twenties, my mother took me to see her psychic. I was told that I would first have two children, much like twins, and everyone would think they were twins at first—this happened. I was told that I would live to be 86 and that at the half-point (age 43) my life would shift and be happier—happening (at least the age 43 happy part). I was also told that I was a French nun in my past life and brought a lot of that mindset to this lifetime, and carried around a bunch of Catholic guilt and felt I was always sinning with my very thoughts! SO NOT HAPPENING anymore….

I’ve been a prude for the first half of my life. For the second half, I’m going to be sexy. Of course last year at this time, I was going to be a Buddhist monk, and was seriously considering growing my hair out all grey, never ever wearing makeup again, and going braless. So, really, we don’t know what to expect from me. As you can tell by looking over my last two posts, where I went from exceedingly on top of all the universes, to basically, and literally, cry me a river.

But, despite my track record, I’d thought I’d give this sexy thing a shot, and at least make a list, since I love lists anyhow. And thusly, I’ve included my ten goals for the next eight months, that leads us into February 2013, and day 366 (leap year, remember).


Prude to SEXY!

My IT List for Sexy

The High SEXY boots

1. High Boots. A must. With a short skirt and leggings, and a powerful cat walk.

A small sexy ankle tattoo. Perhaps a tiny sun or a tiger symbol.

2. Must have a small, sexy ankle tattoo. A permanent stamp that says the prude is gone and to banish the nun in me.

3. Study sexy action. Study sexy poses, sexy movies, and  sexy singing.

4. Classic Guitar and Lessons. Preferably taught by a dark, gorgeous hunk of burning love.

5. Bikini on the beach. Yes, bikini.

Maui 2012

6.  Lots and lots of submerging in water. River walking. Hit the beach. Swim in the pool. Soak in hot tub. Go to hot springs. Bubble baths.

7. Kayaking tour and buying a kayak and wetsuit.

8. Belly dancing in this dress. Ooh la la!

Where I walk in Washington State

9. Nature

Trees and more trees. And hugging trees. Hiking. State parks. Forests. Resting on the grass by the lake. Sitting on the bench and watching the birds. Breathing in the air. Breathing.

10. Kundalini Yoga

Got to keep the second chakra fed, or I’ll never pose for that photo of me at the water’s edge, posing sexy in a bikini, donning a belly pierce and one high boot, with the other foot bare, as to show of my ankle tattoo, all while strumming a guitar in a kayak and mouthing “I love you.”

Woke up to this today.  This music is SEXY, too.