A "Brief" History of Mine: 19 Questions Posed By Mr. Curious

You people are weird.

Why do you want to know so much about me? Am I not suitably forthright? I don't often enough speak my mind, reveal my innermost self in outlandish word streams provoking, contumelious, foul, vituperative? Apparently not. I now quote the eminently talented, equally kind, exceedingly eleemosynary William Michaelian: "Annie shares her thoughts shyly and demurely in her blog, Unfiction."

Now let me for a moment unbutton my Victorian neckline and brazenly exhale upon dear William's statement an analytical breath: If I correctly interpret him (and I'm assured by myself that I do), he's saying that despite my reserved, hidebound, puritanical prose, my sentiments on mine-self shine through—and clearly.

Well . . . fuck yeah, they do!

And yet . . . people continue to ask questions, want to know more.

Hear me sputter, "Why? What more could you possibly want to know?"

My chaste composure conceals too much?

Fact is, nobody knows everything about me and I prefer to keep it that way. I don't believe anyone ever knows another down to the marrow; people are innately cunning, devious, foxy and that isn't a slight against humanity: rather, a testament to the fittest and how they survive. Besides, who would we be without our secrets?

"The secret of boring people lies in telling them everything."

Indeed, Dr. Chekhov. Indeed.

Now, to the game. Late afternoon Monday I received a message on Ye Olde Facebook inquiring if I could be bothered "with a list of questions I'm interested in knowing the answer to! Call me Mr. Curious!"

Okay, you're Mr. Curious! "Sure!" I replied. "Go ahead."

Two hours later, the response: "Cool! Here are a few simple ones to start with."

Nineteen questions!

Nineteen questions?

I did not, at all, expect 19 questions, much less inquiries of such a strange range. A few? Simple? Mr. Curious you are, to be sure, one curious cat.

Two things you, you, you oughta' know, Jagged Little Readers:

1) I do know Mr. Curious, but only via Facebook and he's a recent addition to the friends list so really, I know him not at all. Anyway, I promised to keep his identity anonymous. And why not? As of late, my Facebook inbox receives messages of a Mr. Curious sort semi-frequently - new friends wanting to know more about me — and once I saw the questions numbering 19 (a few? Three is a few!) and their rather delicious invitation to, well, go on about myself and in creative fashion, I requested of Mr. Curious that my reply be made in blog format. He happily acquiesced.

2) While I did not, in fact, invent sarcasm (I know, I know — this is astonishing news but it is, indubitably, fact), I did perfect the Language of Legion: we, the many, The Silver-Tongued Devils, Rabelais' Rebels, Wilde's Ones oh! woe is us for sadly, there is no goddamn sarcasm font — italics, as close as we get. And still! so often, we don't translate clearly to even the most fluent in the sardonic!

This suckameth, mightily. For people get hurt, unintentionally.

Puh-leeze note: you're dealing with one wicked, wicked satirist who, when confronted with an issue she'd either rather not discuss or material not at all applicable to her, will spew venom. But all in good fun!

One day, Professor Frink will give up to me the specs for that Sarcasm Detector . . . and I shall rule the world! With a Sarcasm Detector? Ooh - a Sarcasm Detector. Well that's a REALLY useful invention!

If you're not a "Simpsons" freak like me, just ignore that.

So, ironic as Alanis (which is not at all!), here I go! 'Cause I got one hand on the keyboard and the other is flickin' a cigarette!

1) Where is it you reside?

Groan. You'd think this an easy answer, wouldn't you, Mr. Curious? "Brevity," be with me . . .

Sarasota, Florida, aka, God's Waiting Room. If you like to golf, sunburn, develop and succumb to a lethal addiction to methadone or sit around, wrinkle, wither and die, this is the place for you! The yuck part of this answer is I reside with my mom and stepdad in a renovated loft (née barn) over two horse stalls. (The loft is actually lovely.) I live with my parents because I fucked up my life in grandiose ways, with O. Wilde flourish due to a number of factors which . . . I'm not wont to go into now. 'Cause I'm all demure like dat. Ahem.

2) Are you truly as beautiful in person as you appear on Facebook?


Sorry, sorry, I think it, I write it and that was my thunk. I'm assuming you're referring to aesthetics since you coined the term "appear" but I could be mistaken - there's always a first time. If it's physicality you speak of then I say you are very kind, Mr. Curious, for thinking me beautiful, and I thank you for the compliment. The easy and TRUE answer is absolutely not, no, not at all, can I get a "fuuuuuck nooooooo!" up in heeyah? May I tell you how I appear, right now, this second? I may. I will!

Unwashed hair pulled back into slovenly ponytail; oily skin that's sprinkled with itty-bitty zitties because I haven't yet showered today and won't until I step away from this missive for a break; covering my stubbled legs, the silliest pair of patterned, purple pajama pants (I am not making that up for alliteration's sake — I'd upload a pic if I had a camera) that I do believe are of K-Mart manufacture; a hunter green Guinness t-shirt over which is pulled a grey men's sweatshirt of enormous size over which is belted, tightly, my boon companion, The Fluffy Pink Robe. TFPR leaves my side(s) only when I leave the house, which is almost never. TFPR is *BEDAZZLED!* with coffee stains, cigarette burns and rips/tears of varying lengths that gape at me sadly, as if to mouth, "Why?"

You, too, may ask why — why all the layers? Because I'm so damn skinny these days, I'm freezing even when positioned under direct sunlight. Not "slender," the pretty kind of skinny; "cachectic," the nasty kind of skinny. An ugly consequence of necessary medications; I gorge as often as possible to counteract them, but to no avail.

There. Ain't that just the picture of she who walks in beauty, like the night?

The answer is no, Curious Lord Byron, no it is not.

3.) What is it you're writing your thesis about?

I'm writing my thesis about . . . oh, 4 or 5 years ago, when I wrote it for completion of my MFA in spring of 2006, my last year in grad school. It was a mess of approximately 120 pages of novel, some nonfiction aaaaaand . . . I don't remember because I was bonkers and it was garbage. The three professors who comprised my committee shine as the tallest beacons of kindness, benevolence and magnanimity in the history of committee-ing or professoring. One day, I'll repay them: whenever I come into $30 million, they'll each get their third.

4.) What are you hoping to do with your life once school is behind you?

Oh, what I would give for a webcam right now! Between the snorty, guttural, epiglottal sound emitted from my nasal passages and the expression I know overcame my visage — an unseen puppeteer pulled ugly strings of comic disbelief from my face, eyebrows, sneering my upper lip — like hangers yanking my nostrils and eyelids — that's it, all of it — oh, it woulda' been so priceless!

“The University brings out all abilities, including incapability.”

Yes, Chekhov! That certainly holds true, but mostly, only, for me! Oh, but hope! Such a vast crevasse betwixt hope and reality! Between 2006 and 2010! A veritable Grand Canyon amassed, split wide, from there — hope! — to here — reality! and why, how did this great chasm come to be?

Shit happens.

“Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.”

Yes, Anton — that kind of shit.

5.) Do you usually drink tall cans of Miller Lite or any other liquid beverage when writing?

Sonofa... Is that what I'm supposed to be drinking when writing? Christ! No wonder I suck!

This is a très cool question, Mr. Curious — so detail specific! Not just Miller Lite, but cans of — and tall ones! Sorry to disappoint but no, I'm no beer-swiller. I haven't been drunk off beer since my freshman year of college, FSU, 1994 — and that blackout came courtesy of several 40's of Olde English. Hey! Miller brews Olde E! And 40's are about as tall as you get, though in glass-bottle form. So there you are. And now I feel pukey.

Coffee serves me well and long into the afternoon when writing; then comes water. If I happen to have juice or lemonade, I'll indulge.

6.) What is your favorite band of all time and why?

Judas Priest! No—wait—they're not my fav—I'm expressing exasperatio—

Mmm. Seriously? This is a serious question? So many genres and sub-genres and individual artists that I rank above collective bands — this is terrible. In NO particular order: Rush, QUEEN, Maiden, Queensryche, Megadeth, Collective Soul (ha! Just when you thought you had me figgered out!), Electric Light Orchestra, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Saigon Kick, Days of the New, The Killers — fuck-diddley-uck-this-shit. That's more than enough — too much. Sam Cooke. Nick Drake. Ooh! DAMN THIS QUESTION!

Above all: Joe Satriani. Solo. Bam. And Steve Perry can kick Chuck Norris' ASS!

7.) Have you considered submitting your writing to various literary journals for publication? If no, why not?

"Consciousness is the sister of talent."

Let me say, Mr. Curious, that the entirety of my graduate school years, and a few thereafter, were spent in a complete state of unconsciousness. Consequently, talent accumulated during those years was negligab— was none. Anton knows me too well.

In grad school, I submitted once — and only because it was an integral part of our grade. Needless to say, I was summarily rejected; by whom, I couldn't say, because I barely knew my own name back then. Only very recently — and I'm talking maybe a month ago — did I gather up my guts and send out my work to a few contests. Do I expect anything? Hell, no. My work is unpolished. I need more work. Also, more money. The rub: it often costs to submit. I be broke-ass. Let me emphasize: broke-ass. It tears at the heart just a tee-bit, when you're literally bankrupt and forced to use Christmas and birthday monies you've doggedly held onto for months and months so you can pay to submit your not-quite-there-yet work — especially when you're 99.9% sure you just paid twenty-some dollars for a rejection slip. "Submit," indeed. But . . . publish or perish, right?

Working on the money situation to the best of my (dis)ability. That's the most I want to get into that.

8.) Are you or have you ever been married?

Hell no and you shut your mouth when you talk like that to me!

“Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.”

Funnily enough, Dr. Chekhov, so it was for me and my love life for oh, about 7 years, give or take. Oddly, I never attained a medical degree. Hm!

Marriage. I refer again to Anton: "By all means I will be married if you wish it. But on these conditions: everything must be as it has been hitherto—that is, she must live in Moscow while I live in the country, and I will come and see her. I promise to be an excellent husband, but give me a wife who, like the moon, won't appear in my sky every day."

By all means I will be married if you wish it. But give me a husband who, like the moon, lives 238,857 miles up in the sky while I live in the country, and I promise to be an excellent wife.

"If you are afraid of loneliness, do not marry."
Once wedlocked, Chekhov's sky shone bright with alienation. Or so I gather.

"Don't tell me the moon is shining! Show me the glint of light on broken glass."
Broken glass, shards — everywhere, common, dangerous, side-step it or bleed. You need that light to shine down, reflect, refract, bounce spectrums brilliant back or it's not worth noticing.

I am afraid of loneliness. However . . . should someone show me Chekhov's sliver of broken glass, glinting under moonlight . . . perhaps I'd consider a long-term . . . togetherness.

However . . .

At my age, after so many barefoot beats down endless, meandering streets littered — strewn — with busted and bleached beer bottles, my faith in finding that rare-faced jewel wanes near nonexistent. But even if that lunar diamond masquerading as glinting glass fell from the skies, into my hand, cutting me kind . . . Marriage? No.

9.) Any kids?

No . . . I don't have any children.

10.) What was the last dangerous activity you took part in and how did it end?

Drugs. Not well.

Wait — no. I found recovery so lemme say—

Love. Not well.

11.) Do you play a musical instrument?


In younger days, I also tickled the ivories and was quite good, but quit because I was a whiny, bitchy, hormonal teenager and didn't want to practice. Now, thanks to the recessiveness of autoimmune disease, I can pretend that at 14, in addition to musicality, I possessed the gift of fortitude: "Oh, prodigy my arthritic ass! Look! My crippled fingers can't even reach that damn chord anymore! I knew what I was doing when I quit 19 years ago—it was a smart move! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE, MOM!"

12.) Do you know how to cook anything from scratch?

Indeed: a raging house fire. Take one match, find any rough/coarse surface, scratch, attempt to light a gas stove aaaaaaaand . . . yeah, that's pretty much it.

Yeah, I can cook lots o' food from scratch, because my mommy showed me how. And I'm damn good at it, too!

13.) Do you have a favorite book?

Do you have a favorite appendage? Internal organ? This isn't fair! Ohhhhh . . . Either Mrs. Dalloway, The Catcher in the Rye, Go Down, Moses, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius—but that takes us into nonfiction and there's so many more and FUCK THIS QUESTION!!!

Pat the Bunny. That's my favorite piece of literature ever. You can really feel Pat's short yet powerful tail . . .

You can't ask a writer what her favorite book is! Sheesh!

14.) Do you have a favorite author?

What is this — Sophie's Choice?! Not that I'm saying Styron is my favorite author—you know what I mean. Wouldn't you rather ask me something less personal, less difficult to answer, like—something to do with sex, drugs, lies, murder? Wouldn't interrogations on such trivial matters satiate your quizzical hunger, Mr. Curious? Dude . . . There's absolutely no way I can choose between Woolf, Faulkner, Wilde and Salinger. See, even that feels wrong, choosing those four out of all the— Y'know what, Mr. Curious? Bite me. In fact, Bite Me is my favorite author. He always leaves me hungry for more. There. Question answered.

15.) Are you currently in a relationship?

Is the pope Polish?

Nope! Not anymore, he's not!

16) Do you drive a pick-up truck?

No. But I drive a mean 9 iron. I gots strong upper-arms. Probably from picking up all those trucks . . .

17) Do you carry a firearm?

With all these bullets loaded behind my tongue... I don't need no stinkin' gun.

18) Who's your favorite poet?

The Curmudgeon, W.H. Auden. Always, forever. He makes me bleed yearning tears . . .

19) Do you vote?

Is Obama in office?

Yup! Yes, he is! Because yes, yes I do! Yes, yes we CAN!

Wanna ask what political persuasion I lean towards? Oh, I'll just come out and tell ya!

My heart bleeds . . .

For Dubya . . .

And all the rest of the conservatives . . .

To disappear off the face of the planet . . .

. . .

"Two-hundred thirty-eight thousand, eight-hundred and fifty-seven miles to the moon, Bushie!"

"Someone's boring me. I think it's . . . me."

If someone as enthralling as Dylan Thomas could bore himself, I'm assured you're now fast asleep. And to think! I've told you almost nothing about me! If ever I write and successfully publish a memoir, why, it should sell like...like... Thorazine! Toilet paper! Torture! The pages of my book, my stories, yielding the same effects or benefits of all three, but in one heavily discounted price!

Mr. Curious, after pouring out these 19 pints of frothing babble (and then some), I hope I've quenched your dipsomaniacal thirst for knowledge because right now, I'm feeling a lot like Dylan Thomas: drunk and bored off my ass. Because of my ass.

Because I'm an ass?

"Man is what he believes."

Ah . . .

“Only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.”

"The more refined one is, the more unhappy."

"Professor Frink! Professor Frink. He'll make you laugh! He'll make you think. Then he'll do the thing. . . with the thing. . . and the. . . person! Boy, that monkey is going to pay."

Well Anton, I believe I'm one unrefined, emancipated happy ass.

Mr. Curious, I also believe I can now Chekhov your 19 questions from my to-do list.

(Truly, I thank you, Mr. Curious, but fear the pleasure was entirely mine.)

The Girl Who Sold The World

Annie got her iPod back.


Damn thing's been broken for weeks; today, it pulled a Lazarus and Judas Priest screeched from on high, "Let there be ROCK!"

Praise Rob.

After killing myself for - what? - blarghedy days with that ludicrous essay I'm sure y'all heard mention of in at least one of my recent status updates, I took today off and closed the book on it. Or, closed the essay on the ess-- Whatever. Today's time-off is necessary and, for any newbies, before you go one word further, let it be written: I write crazy. This is not an intentional strike at garnering attention or making an exclamatory (question?) mark amidst a literary world dotted infinite with finite periods.

Or is it?

No, it's not. I'd give just about anything to "write normal" - a straight-shootin' scriptwriter, naturalistic novelist, eloquent essayist, just-the-facts journalist - Christ, even poets write whack of significantly less weird-weight than I do! What sucks most of all for a gonzo breed such as myself is there ain't exactly too many journals clamoring to publish creative nonfiction, much less holy-hell-fucked-up gonzo creative nonfiction.

Man, you fiction writers/poets have got it made... To quote the eminently quotable Billy Squier: "Everybody wants you!"

What you're currently reading is not, in any way, indicative of my holy-hell-fucked-up gonzo creative nonfiction. Well, maybe a tiny bit, it is. Better examples were posted a lil' ways back, if you want an idea - this: The Spirit of Romance: What the Thunder Said and that: Cup Full of Butterflies. (Be brave, and mighty forces will come to your aid.) What you're reading right now is me, sitting outside on a lawn chair at 20 after 3 in the pm; Priest earlier allowed for The Cult, who give way to L.A. Guns. Music fires me up - I write at the pace of the songs. The lyrics have little if anything to do with what I have to say. Just rhythm, shred, sound - riles me up.

Bitch is back. Right on track.

Okay, so the lyrics occasionally creep a sentiment in.

But this brings me to the other topic - one I'm compelled to address because it is so often brought to my attention and - big guess what? - has been yet again.

Why o' why do I refuse relationships? Why does Annie so want to remain singular?

Why? Here's why.

(Keep singing along with L.A. Guns, people, even though I'm gonna try to temper my tongue - tame the shrew.)

I'm a nice person, or try to be. Gained a fine education from a few universities, so I gots some smarts, but uber-intelligent? No. Funny? Can be. All of that attractive/sexy garbage is beholden to you, Dear Perceiver, so thankfully, I don't even have to touch on that.

Creative? Indeed. Writer? Why, yes! So...artist? Why...yes, I suppose I am! Which is sad news for you, Pink Floyd, because we're a fucked-up, narcissistic, insane gang so I'm gonna save you the trouble and tell you now:

"You better run like hell..."

Before I do.

Here's how that works (and I've written a whole goddamn holy-hell-fucked-up gonzo creative nonfiction essay about this already, so to delve into this too deeply would be to negate that entire effort - this is only a brief alibi, if you will): the best lovers are artists; they are also the worst partners. Some succeed long-term, but there are anomalies in every study. F. Scott and Zelda: there's your example of a "successful" marriage in the literary world - or Sylvia and Ted, if you wanna go one sicker, depending on your perception of "sick" and relationships. (Some idealize one or both as tragic romance, to which I say, "Got Thorazine?") Because in all seriousness, when you do the math, factors A) Crazy + B) Don't Fence Me In = Are You Fuckin' Kiddin' Me With This Shit?

Then, there are some who embody both factors A and B.

Hi! Hiii-iiii! Hel-loooooo...

Am I anti-love, anti-passion, heartless, sexless? Hell no and you shut your whore mouth when you talk like that about me. Perhaps there's no more passionate person yearning than singular I. (Oh, how that reeks of narcissism! I love it!) Love, passion, sex, the whirling, dizzying thrill-ride, spilling butterflies about your stomach, thrilling tingles up your spine, chilling you with the prospect of finality oh, Jesus, is this the last ride on the roller-coaster? But...I want to go again! No, I don't want to ride the damn train around the park! That's slow and boring! Nobody goes on that stupid, slow, boring, pointless, round-and-round pretend ride unless they're old and slow and boring! You - outta' my Disney World!

"I disregard the proportions, the measures, the tempo of the ordinary world. I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. I am a neurotic — in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself."

And you're gonna tell me Anais Nin didn't live the greatest - the be-all pinnacle - of passionate lives? Whatta' world!

Score one for the neurotics, thank you!

"The only abnormality is the inability to love."

Again, she who married twice but loved beyond those bonds countless times - she speaks the truth. I love desperately; I desperately want to be loved. One would have to be neurotic, I think, to feel contrary. What makes me neurotic is that despite my desperation for love, I avoid it. Why? Beyond being adjusted to myself (finally), there's also this teeny-tiny incidental:

"The logic of the heart is absurd."

Julie de Lespinasse plied two trades: Enlightenment-era salonniere and, the occupation unknown to all until after her death, passionate love-letter writer for twelve years. (Approximately 140 years before Anais was even born, much less sexing it up around the world. Go, Julie!)

But not. 'Cause Julie's case is a rare and tragic one. Torn between two men - one, a reverently described Spaniard I'm thinking should be up for canonization; the other, a French general ascribed attributes that conjure in the mind a hybrid creature: the PigAss - both of whom Julie loved with a furious intensity few can comprehend. She felt unfathomable, wretched guilt for commencing a secret affair with PigAss whilst Saint Spaniard, to whom she originally swore her heart, left his homeland (where doctors ordered him as he'd been diagnosed with consumption and Spain was apparently the healthier place to live) came back to Paris to see her and promptly found himself consumed. (So theories on Paris not being such a healthy city prove just and true.) Julie, bereft by Saint Spaniard's death yet simultaneously (and inexplicably) enraptured by PigAss finds herself consumed with outrageous anguish and desire. But PigAss is, well, a PigAss and marries some PigBitch, but continues writing Julie belles-lettres, literally setting the woman afire with suffering tremendous - physically and mentally. One of the greatest lines in the history of passion spewed volcanic from this debacle of desire:

“You know that when I hate you, it is because I love you to a point of passion that unhinges my soul.”

Indeed, Julie. As my stepfather ignites the riding lawnmower which needs oil and it backfires and now, I can't think - just passion unhinging my soul to a point of hate...

For the tractor - not my stepdad and again with the backfiring is this really necessary? Now the dogs bark; all four, in chorus.

I'm wont to gnaw on my iPod.

The end of Julie's story is quick and awful: the passion killed her. She lost her marbles, her body followed suit, the whole of her fell into disrepair and at age 40 - forty - Julie died of a broken heart. Yes, my dear people, it can happen. Her last words?

"Am I still alive?"

Aaaaaaand no - not anymore, no, you're not that was it, hope you didn't have anything else to say because you are now officially not alive. Because LOVE KILLED YOU, JULIE.

Am I really that cynical about love? No. Am I really that cautious and wary these days?

Aaaaaaand yes - yes I am, you betcherass, goddamn straight, you best not question my sincerity on that 'cause I ain't shittin' you not one shit. Because LOVE CAN KILL YOU, PEOPLE.

Walk slowly, carry a big gun? What the hell's the saying? Google - hang on. "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Whatever. I like mine better. In fact, shake it up a bit to, "Run like hell and wield a machete." There. Perfect!

Sleaze-metal eased its way through the greasy mechanics of the playlist shuffle and now, I'm in a state of Nirvana. Actually, it's Nirvana Unplugged, which is one of the most terrific and overlooked unintentional wordplays in history. Truth be told, this isn't even Nirvana - unplugged or otherwise - it's Bowie. But Cobain & Co. covered him so...Nirvana Unplugged Plugging Bowie?

I dunno. See? My mind, where it takes me, how I write: this isn't even a taste of the weird. Even I don't get me. When reading my own writing, it comes through, it's comprehensible, there are even moments where I sit back and think, "Wow. Did I write that? I might actually know what I'm doing 'cause that shit's good!"

Then, I pop in the eyeballs of another - this isn't as hard as you might think for, remember, writers create characters in their heads on a constant, clockwork basis - and with those fresh eyes I read my text and think, "What in fuck is this chick talking about?"

Love. Relationships. That's some holy-hell-fucked-up gonzo shit right there, if you ask me. What's so wrong with living as I want to, without obligating myself to the will of another? Selfish? Fine - I'm selfish. After spending the entirety of my youth - adolescence up through age 32 - seeking, connecting, aligning, becoming, indulging, losing, hurting, confessing, working to a pointless end over and over again, if you want to call me out as selfish now, at age 33, for remaining unshackled and living free, I bear the title proudly. Let me live my life on my terms for once, answering to no one but me and the muse; if desire calls, I'll answer—but by no means must I obligate myself to a lifetime with the ring.

"I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls."

Reality does impress me; however, I cannot transform vows into lyrics, rings into music, or even simple walls of cohabitation into intoxication. I've tried these shackles on time and again and found them not only ill-fitting, but...transformative into the marvelous? A shackle is a shackle; a bond a bond. Real alchemy couldn't make of a steel cage the world's stage.

But...who knows? Not me!

I'll never lose that control...

You're face...to face...

With the girl who owns her world.

Really, when you think about it, this song belongs to Nirvana.

"Dear Sir, I've A Complaint."

"And the wise man said I don't wanna' hear your voice..."

Annie McDermott wonders how many others think, "What I really want to post in my status update is this...but I'll post an innocuous something else instead."

Annie McDermott, whom you all think quite outlandish or inflammatory with her Facebook status updates/postings, very often feels compelled to say the following, but instead, bites her proverbial, metaphorical tongue:

...fears she will never, ever teach in the college classroom ever again.

...does not want to get married, now knows this as fact, but lives desperately lonely for a lover.

...wants an engagement ring, given to her by a man madly in love with her, but not given with some intention for marriage. They're just very pretty, and the only piece of jewelry I ever wanted or would ever wear. Also, they keep the dogs at bay.

...knows her writing is unpublishable.

...trembles before the genius of her peers.

...thinks a few of her former grad school comrades have grown too big for their britches, and they need to make haste for the tailor. Or Weight Watchers - whatever "fashions" their egos back into shape.

...doesn't know how, even if she were able to somehow make it back into the classroom as teacher, she'd ever make a living, given the current financial woes/collegiate crises that hit English departments especially hard.

...is sick and fucking tired of people telling her to get married for money and security. Fuck off.

...feels awful that she cannot donate a cent to any one of the recent worldwide tragedies.

...rather enjoys living life without a cell phone.

...suffers a degree of pain of level 5 or above every single day.

...learned to shut her mouth about how much pain she is in every single day, because...see closing lines.

...almost never leaves the house, other than to obtain cigarettes.

...absolutely, positively, unabashedly fucking loves smoking. Loves it. It causes cancer? No, I didn't know but thank you for informing me. You really think I don't know the terrible, horrible ramifications? I quit drugs, I found sanity (which leaves a lot of vices behind), I'm bankrupt which means no whimsical shopping (something else I fucking loved), I have no appetite due to my sanity-inducing meds so there goes gluttony, I'm single and goddammit, I know a guy and he gets me my cancersticks for free. I. Love. SMOKING. Now leave me the fuck alone about it!

...loves being in love.

...hates feeling caged-in.

...has a knack for choosing men who want to "fix" her. Here's an idea: Go f...ix yourself.

...has never let anyone know her completely. Not one single person. It's an impossible feat, knowing everything about me. Also, an exhausting one.

...thinks toothbrushing is the worst of all hygiene practices, akin to manual labor. May as well be scrubbing grout lines with the damn thing. Too much work and toothpaste tastes like ass. Blech.

...still, brushes her damn teeth.

...knows she is an underachiever. She also knows Life hasn't been too helpful with the "achieving" stuff lately. Still, an underachiever. No need to remind her.

...still doesn't know if she wants to have children or not. Maybe one and only one. To be raised by her, and only her.

...wears her pink fluffy robe every day, whether pajama-clad beneath or fully-dressed. The situation is dire; security blanket proportions. Think Wonder Boys.

...needs to get laid very, very soon -- as in now -- before she forgets exactly how that "works."

...doesn't really give a shit what you ate for lunch. Unless there's some scintillating story behind your meal, or further details about the event likely to make me laugh, such as, "I choked on my salmon skin roll at lunch today and very nearly died," or, "On my walk home from the bistro, where I enjoyed a delicious French Onion Soup, a car struck me, launching me 30 feet into the air; more details updated from my iPhone upon landing," honestly, without plot such as that, I could give a flying potato what you ate, are about to eat or are currently eating.

...has a baby name picked out. And no, I will not tell you what it is because it is so awesome, you will steal it. (No, it is not "Faulkner" or any variation thereof.)

...has three very odd song lyrics that most commonly occur to me when approaching the vast, empty update box - nonsensical and never to be posted, as they are...well, nonsensical and I still don't know why they occur to me but here they are, now, finally freed:

1) Black boys are delicious! Chocolate-flavored looooove! (Just those lyrics, not the rest. No earthly good reason.)

2) If you're ev-errrr up a tree...call on meeeee-eeeeeee! If you're ev-errrr in a jam...here I aaaaaa-yammmm! (My Daddy used to sing that just, oh, every day.)

3) ...says, "I'm like Jesus, I save those who do believe, do ya, do ya believe?" (Even I'm not audacious enough to say that, but, apparently, Collective Soul are. Yet...I think about it.)

There used to be others, like Pink Floyd's opening to "Comfortably Numb" ("Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... Is there anyone at home?") and several Killers and Kings of Leon lyrics, but I posted the former once and the latter, several times. Doesn't mean I won't again, though.

...wishes you all would just shut up with your inane babble and tell the fucking truth.

...feverishly hopes you whack-jobs grow-up, cut the apron strings and get your politics figured out left.

...fervently desires a world populated by adults who remember how to laugh and play.

...hopes against hope that the final scene of Fight Club will one day be a reality. (And that Edward Norton is there to hold my hand and watch the whole spectacular beauty go down. Then, we make out.)

...vacillates between wanting to hang tight for the right time for a potential baby or seeking an at-home hysterectomy kit. Four consecutive rounds with the bastard ovary in 6 weeks - I'm on the verge, here. I birth cysts, not children. I should name them... "I ruptured twins this month - Cystal and Ebert." "Everyone, it's a girl! Meet Cystal Gale!"

...loves all of you, but positively adores some of you and many of the adored, I've never even met or barely knew long ago. What's up with that?

...would hate God for all of the Hell he put her through as a child, if she now so much as believed in even the concept of him.

...looks sickly these days with the wow skinniness, paleface and hair-thinning. Thanks, Topamax/Lamictal Cocktail!

...remains grateful for the Topamax/Lamictal Cocktail, because - fuck all, man - it ain't Depakote, Lithium or Thorazine. Holy Hell... Literally.

...is still quite crazy, but crazy-good, not crazy-bad. That is to say, I won't boil your bunny. Wait. Wait wait wait - that sounds awful. I never boiled bunnies. Just the occasional bird.

...still can't imagine what The University of Houston was thinking when they accepted me.

...refuses to post status updates simply because I am "told" to. I support the troops. I love my mom. I am aware of the Haitian earthquake and resulting crisis. I think it's a pretty weak move, to post the standardized updates, rather than write your own damn words. Love your mom? Write something revealing of her character, strength, letting us know why she's so damn lovable. Support the troops? Want us more aware of Haiti? Link up some articles and inform people. Quit bein' such a damn unoriginal pussy. It's that kind of follower behavior that leads to unhappy marriages and bitter divorces. And, of course, drug use.

...did the math once she got clean and - let's just say in my using days, I took a lot of pills. Also, I had several people double-check the arithmetic. It was correct. I don't know what was more shocking - the figure or that I figured it correctly.

...still harbors some small resentment for my mother, for not taking me to the hospital when I finally decided to get clean - off of a 300 mg. per day methadone addiction. Nobody should do that at home, alone. You're risking your life. I understand her action, or lack thereof, somewhat...but don't understand her inability to understand still, to this day, how serious that situation was. I think to understand it now would upset her.

...watched Mike Starr on "Celebrity Rehab" the past few weeks and saw him nearly cross over into a psychotic break while detoxing off of methadone - a 100 mg. per day addiction. And I thought, "I wish Mom would watch this and finally get it." But she refused.

...could never repay my mother for all she's done for me.

...wishes people understood that she fully accepts her designation as "addict," but that she never sought the role; rather, fell into it accidentally courtesy of so many agonizing chronic illnesses, pain that led to the greedy hands that gave her a helpful push into the abyss. The worst kind of drug dealers alive: pain management specialists. Close second: addiction specialists.

...has broken a lot of hearts.

...admits that - yes - I still have a "thing" for dark-skinned, long-haired bad-boy types. Especially if they're "artsy." Christ, I'm just dooming myself.

...has a life story too long and graphic and sad and statistical and overwhelming to share with anyone. Including you.

...doesn't want to venture into another serious relationship ever again because she is too long with sad stories and too short and recent with the good stuff and she's rather sick and tired of overwhelming men with not just the stories, but Annie, as she is.

...is a lot to handle. And no, sir, you are not the one to "handle me."

...had a hot ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Toasted.

...feels like an utter fool, waste-of-space, moron, jackass, loser every time she shows her face on Facebook. Because I'm still battling my Hellers, remain unemployed, living with my parents, unpublished, bankrupt and I feel like

Annie McDermott has said enough.

"And there's nothin' to say and there's nothin' to do..."

"I guess everybody has their own idea of fun."

what the fuck is wrong with you people?

i don't get this - don't understand your behavior at all. what's so goddamn funny about a person dying? where is the humor in suicide, overdose, depression, addiction?

so there's an understanding amongst you; a legitimacy in mocking the famous who suffer and fall - is that it? they are stupid, two-dimensional characters undeserving of our sympathy, unlike our three-dimensional loved ones who suffer these same travails. is that how it works?

almost. nearly, but not quite.

how shiny was the star? how brightly did they shine before falling? Brittany Murphy's career had taken a tumble prior to her untimely death, so it was "okay" to mock her with endless "clueless" jabs. nobody even remembered who the hell Andrew Koenig was until the news referred to him by his Growing Pains moniker, "Boner" Stabone. those jokes wrote themselves, didn't they? i wouldn't know. i read them online, on Facebook, your words, but my mind didn't revert to humor; it was too shocked, horrified by the sight of his father's wearied, pained face - a visage of sheer devastation - as he shared with the world that yes, Andrew had been found deep in the secluded forest of his beloved Stanley Park.

hung himself from one of the trees that used to provide him comforting shelter.

now, travel back in time two years, to New York City - Manhattan's artsy SoHo district, to be exact: Heath Ledger dies from an accidental mix-and-match of pills and what's the buzz? tell me what's a'happening? one would assume the man deserved the Brittany Murphy Post-Mortem Treatment, given their nearly identical cause of death. but one would be wrong. how can this be?

well, this is Heath Ledger! he's our Joker Christ Superstar!

Ledger thoughtfully ingested a cornucopia of benzos, narcotics and OTC sleep-aids to "treat" a prolonged run with insomnia and, of course, overdosed. naked and alone in his million dollar loft, he's discovered dead hours later by his maid and masseuse who, rather than dial the paramedics, put in a call to an Olsen Twin - who was then living in California - and Mary Kate very smartly called a NY security guard to "check things out" before everyone finally decided it proper time to ring 911 - 45 minutes after they found him.

back to the future, or very recent past: Brittany Murphy unwisely mixed and matched prescribed and OTC medications for long-suffered medical issues in addition to a recent bout with pneumonia. in a weakened state, she collapsed in the shower, into her mother's helpless arms, crying, pleading, clutching at her mother to help, finally sobbing, "Mom, I'm dying, I'm dying..."

Brittany's husband had been on the phone with 911 from the moment they found her at the bottom of the shower, but the cardiac arrest took her weakened heart, anyway.

how to remember these two? these two, two-dimensional people?

Ledger is immortalized as modern day James Dean. because his star wasn't merely bright, it was a veritable supernova. so much so, he managed to nab an Oscar posthumously. i don't know anyone, personally, who wasn't rooting all the way for Heath to win that award - including me. he deserved it.

i also don't know anyone who made a joke of The Joker's tragic demise. then again, A-list stars never fall. no.

they're pronounced Gods on Arrival, then cast into the sky - into their final roles - as mythical Cassiopeias.

from the moment news of Brittany Murphy's death broke, so did the damns. her character was made just that - a character to be lambasted, lampooned, mocked and my god, the cruelty some of you people possess it just boggles my fucking mind...

you ever have someone you love die - or very nearly die - mocked on the internet for their death or near-death? i have. i have and let me tell you people, you who get so much amusement from your lofty statuses and taunting twitters - it makes a person want to rip out the hearts and throats of all humanity, all at once. it makes you hit your knees and pray - you, the non-believer - pray that your loved one never sees this mockery of their tragedy, that by the time they've left the hospital six months later, that fucking atrocity will, magically, have disappeared or fallen from the sticky web and been swept away by the wind like some bloodless, dead fly - a forgotten nuisance.

but you never, ever forget.

i wonder if, when i was bogged down in 7 years of addiction, or trapped in 3 1/2 years of anorexia/bulimia, or depressed into the realm of insanity - without reason and without reasons - do you have any fucking clue what that's like? any of it? i have to wonder what kind of roasting my legacy would've taken had i, at any time, slipped surly those bonds. i'm somebody's sister. daughter. niece. friend. once, fiancee. but yes, i can certainly see how all of the above, which many of you find so goddamn humorous because most of you have never fucking tasted a moment of it, oh yes, i can certainly see the laughter. it's all so. damn. funny.

you may think addicts ask for it, but i didn't ask or choose to become a fucking addict. i didn't ask or choose to become eating disordered, either. some sicknesses baffle you with their insidiousness. i mean, blow your fucking mind with their serpentine slide. treating my arthritis pain: check. losing this freshman fifteen: check.

and then, you are checked right the fuck out.

i never asked or chose to be bipolar II. if i don't treat it with medication, every single day, i will get sick. think of a diabetic with their insulin - it's the same damn thing. i can die as a result of not treating my bipolar. i've been so close, i could smell Death's ripe, ketotic breath.

oh, how i cry with laughter now, remembering all of this. so damn funny...

i have to pause now, because i cry. because i am human. because i, like everyone aforementioned, am multi-dimensional.


nope - didn't know any of these people. famous people - we feel like we know them on some level, but not a human one - not personally. that gives us that leeway, doesn't it? allows us to laud them when they're great, hearten ourselves to them, cheer them on but when they die? it's a lot like watching a cartoon death - Wile E. Coyote falling off the cliff. fake. illustrative. we'll see him again on repeat - on DVD, movie channels, posters, the internet and so on. it happened, but...not really. not for us. not to us.

Corey Haim, today, found dead at 38 from "an apparent" drug overdose. i'll be bold and say definitively, a drug overdose, though whether it was intentional or not eludes my "apparent" omniscience. when bound by addiction, one often feels the only way out is death; however, addiction is slow-suicide. either way, without help, you'll eventually die from the drugs. that is a fact. i mean, it's just so laughable, isn't it?

my best girlfriend and i - oh, as kids, we were in love with The Coreys. our favorite movie for the better part of middle school (even a bit of high school) was The Lost Boys. (so much so, we listened to the soundtrack every night before bed during sleepovers.) we held serious discussions, debates: who was the better Corey to lust after? Feldman with his quirky humor, or Haim with his dreamy smile? i admit, i was always a Feldman girl myself - i like those quirky, weird guys who make me laugh, and pretty-boys weren't my scene, but that didn't keep me from posting Haim's image on my bedroom walls.

a few years ago, i saw Corey Haim on a "Where Are They Now?" special - believe it was on E! or some such channel. quite a bit of vagueness with details, i realize, but i was stuffed deeply within a pocket of addiction when the show aired, so details? they don't come easy. the only reason i remember the episode at all is because Haim was so wrecked with drugs during the interview, as a prescription drug addict, i could immediately recognize what he was on. "Jesus - he must be on as much Soma and Oxy as I am right now." that was my thought. a few years later, i saw another special that replayed the interview, this time with added "behind-the-scenes" info from those who'd been on-set: indeed, they had to stop filming several times because Corey either nodded off or "needed to take another two or three Somas." during his A&E reality show, The Two Coreys, Haim admitted to Oxy abuse, as well - amongst many other dependencies.

yes, we're all just so, so different from the stars. worlds - galaxies - away...

they were never children. they were never innocent. we never made mistakes. they never knew innocence lost. they were never scared. we never made poor choices. they never hurt. we never felt superior. they were born flawless. inhuman. stars.

i looked at my Facebook homefeed twice this morning and this blog is the result. that's how fucking awful it is. yes, yes, the bleeding-heart artist - bleed a little more for some child star who could've been something great but instead, wasted his talent, his life and died a joke and can't you just take a joke about this fuck-up, this total has-been of a joke?

but not River Phoenix. no joke there; no laughing matter at all. not the first of James Dean's second coming. not he who died of a speedball overdose on a sidewalk in front of The Viper Room on The Sunset Strip. no - he is an untouchable god; a messiah of movies. such a waste, yes, but never, ever a joke. because his star, like Ledger's, aimed stratospheric; on an upshot trajectory - not a downfall. not a sparkle and fade.

not a burnout. no.

i think of Andrew Koenig's most recent images and i'm struck, how handsome he was; i think of all those glittering stars who publicly expressed their concern when he disappeared, those famous friends of his as Andrew had been working behind the camera for all those post-Growing Pains years, working on a multitude of projects in a variety of fields but quietly, without fanfare and i hear his father's voice again, his throat tearing like bloody tissue, "My son took his own life..."

i think of Brittany Murphy in Girl, Interrupted and wonder how anyone could pass her off as clueless.

James Dean was hit by an oncoming car - killed in a car accident. wasn't speeding, racing, rebelling without a cause - some poor schmoe missed a fork in the road, didn't see him and smashed Dean's car. bam. that's it. i love James Dean but let's get it straight - he was an actor. he was a man. he had a car accident. he didn't survive.

i know too many men. i know lots of actors. i've had innumerable car accidents. point being, James Dean was as human as you, me and the guy who missed the fork in the road and smashed into Jimmy's Porsche.

Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse shot himself over the weekend. Jay Reatard accidentally overdosed on cocaine and alcohol in January. Vic Chesnutt intentionally overdosed on muscle relaxants this past Christmas Day. DJ AM last August - again, prescription drug overdose - and so on and so forth. jesus, i just cannot stop laughing - it's too much!

somebody died. so what if you didn't know them? i don't know your mother, grandfather or sister but do you think if word got to me that they passed on, i'd update or Twitter a sarcastic jibe at their expense? be a little human and act accordingly.

fuck you people who think any of this is a joke. fuck your lack of empathy. you're fucking right i'm gonna bleed. because fuck you people who don't.


Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total darkness sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

W.H. Auden, "The More Loving One"

The Louder Actions: For Chelsea King

Many mornings, I awake in gritty sands of sleep - the clouds of stormy dreams lift but residual rocks remain, that which hasn't been ground into fine dust between my molars.

I don't sleep well. Also a residual rock.

Always, words, amorphous non-sequiturs tumble loose and heavy, clunking about my sleepyhead until I'm sufficiently caffeinated, medicated and then, a sedimentation commences - troublesome stones that tripped my mind are washed, cut, honed until that one most insistent to be heard - the thought screaming like a diamond - pushes to rest against the wall of my mind and explodes with clarity. So I set it as strikingly as I can, adorning the centerpiece with so many lesser precious jewels.

Today's ring isn't much of one at all - or seemed such, at first. An ill-fitting piece I tried to force over my knuckle until giving up the fight and looking beyond my hands into those of others; those of the world.

The thought that drove itself like cold steel into my dull, grey matters was:

"What do you say to them?"

Just words. Typical of my mind - another non-sequitur a synapse pops in and out of existence - into that invisible word bubble over my head and gone with another flash.

"What do you say to them?"

I searched the phrase, in quotes, thinking I'd find humor in it; I did. A video result - Kirk Cameron instructing on "The Way of The Master: Witnessing to Family" - and if you know me, there's nothing in the world funnier than religion, much less religion instructed by Mike Seaver. The optional search offered to me: Say shut up. (Honestly, Google, you thought I needed to be told I had the option? You don't know me at all...) A Q&A page where someone asked how to respond to intrusive questions and got the following reply:

""How much is your rent?' or "What do you make a year?'? What do you say to them?".

And I would answer "I tell them 'None of your God damned business!'".

The inquiring mind should've just Googled "What do you say to them?" and immediately discovered the
Say shut up option - saved herself the time, effort and ""horrific punctuation errors!."!

That's what Google would answer would tell her.

Fact is, the majority of the search results were not funny; indeed, they were strikingly sad - distressing, disturbing. The first result: How to Help a Suicidal Person. Next: Parents. The Anti-Drug. -- Is Your Teen Using? (What - was Google posting results or chronicling my life, here?) Next: Al Jazeera Blogs. (Well, so they were spying on me! Damn you, Google!) How to help bullied children, what to say to the terminally ill, how to handle difficult people (insert
Say shut up option here) - Christ! Why in the hell had my brain - out of all the damn pebbles rollicking around its hollow home - picked this horrible phrase for me to hammer away at this morning?


So I left it. Left it and moved on to my homepage. I'd read some news. Maybe make a real stride towards negating a few IQ points and head straight for the entertainment section.

That, however, wasn't an option. Not with the headline - the breaking news.

Oh, how it breaks.


What...do you say to them?

You can launch into an angry tirade about how sex offenders cannot, ever, be rehabilitated. How this innocent girl's rape and murder was entirely preventable. Depending on the velocity of your views, you might say all rapists/pedophiles should be imprisoned for life; castrated; simply done away with completely - death sentences for all of them.

A story of personal loss may surface - the death of a loved one, perhaps even a child, or a family member murdered - and you may feel compelled to quietly share your sadness with these mourning parents, so raw and fresh with pain, walking wild in their gaping, open wound - this idiopathic bleed that's swept one life away, leaving in its wake these two: baffled, sick, dying their own large deaths.

Perhaps you think to say, "I wish I'd known her," or, "She seemed like she was such a wonderful, bright and beautiful girl," and let these kind sentiments hang in a present past-tension before walking away.

Death be not proud, and in its midst, neither are we; Death makes of us all awkward, fumbling tongues. What comes easiest, of course, is, "I'm so sorry." Yet these words are the feeblest and, in turn, leave us feeling weak, useless. Everyone will say they are sorry - your apology, though sincere, will not be special, remembered - it will not stand-out from all the rest.

Nor should it.

Be not proud.

There is that internal sigh of relief, isn't there, when we utter our condolences? "It's over. I've said what I can. To say more would be too much; to say more would be self-centered. This wasn't my loss. And, truly, I am sorry. There's nothing more for me to say."

No. There is not.

What do you say to them?

What don't you say to them?

The railing against sex offenders, laws and the politicking of it all will be hammered away at these bereaved parents for the rest of their lives - it started in the days prior to now, when Chelsea first went missing - as that is how our current press works - it presses. The Kings will have their unique, precious jewel of a daughter compared to innumerable other young women over and over again, every time another beloved girl goes missing, is found sexually assaulted, murdered. They will hear more stories of personal loss than they ever thought imaginable nor ever cared to and they will want the stories to stop. They will want to remember Chelsea. They will want to fight to prevent such tragedies from befalling another young woman but, they will think, let us be this selfish and want only to think of and remember our own darling diamond girl.

They will want to know you're sorry. They will want to hear it but soon, it will drone in their ears like white noise, buzz like throngs of angry wasps swarming overhead that suddenly attack, stinging with fresh pain until they scream not for words, for God's sake - enough of the goddamn words.

We know the adage.

I write. Not so well, but it is my go-to action. The only action I go-to before writing is hugging. Embracing, hugging is the most incredible physical action. So much transpires there, in that space. Space, in fact, disappears, which is what makes the embrace so remarkable. It is a quiet thing; words are not necessary when raveled in the arms of compassion and love.

I do not know the Kings, nor am I in proximity or familiarity to hug them (though my custom is to greet newly-met people with hugs, not handshakes, and I've hugged many a stranger who appeared to be in despair - as hugs repair - and I regret not one of them). I wish that I could, though. Instead, I write. Write and continue to ask the tough questions, offer the uneasy truth, even though I know so few (if any) stumble across these rocky words.

I don't wish Death to the many who hurt me as a child; they were born with a brain malfunctioning - a mind we cannot understand. No, they cannot be rehabilitated, and science, psychiatry, psychology has proven this - many offenders themselves admit they cannot stop the compulsion to reoffend - which is why they need to be sanctioned in some new way. This is not a time for soapboxing my ideas, however. Because I live.

Chelsea King does not.

A child was murdered. Raped and murdered by a man with a record, previously imprisoned for molesting a 13 year-old girl yet only served 5 years of a 6 year sentence. A man who showed no remorse for the act, according to police.

Five years. A six-year sentence.

The prosecutors insisted on this "penalty" over an 11 year sentence.

What I would say to them...

I want to take Chelsea King into my arms, embrace her, hold her, rock her and tell her soothingly, "I know...I know..."

But I don't know. I do not know all of what Chelsea King knows.

I do not know all of what Chelsea King knew.

Now, confronted with that present past-tension.

What do you say to them?

"I'm so sorry."

A last, dear embrace.

A letting-go.




What I wish a very young and terrified Annie had been able to do in order to prevent the possible hurting of others. "How many?" I often wonder. "What would I say to them?"


What I wish Chelsea now, in this tense present, had the opportunity to do.

Speak. Oh, what I would have said to them...

That time has passed.

Now - action.



When someone shouted, "We love you," Brent King responded, "We love all of you."