“Then there’s the story of ill-fated love. It’s universal.”–Rita Moreno
My roots run deep in southern fried chicken and excessively saccharosed teas. My childhood was camping trips and chocolate chips and sneaking in and out of places I shouldn’t have.
I come from a long line of “won’t take no for an answer” and “I’ll do it my way.” Some of my people drink wine like it’s water and think beer is a breakfast food. Some of my people did inhale, because, really, isn’t that the point? Some of my people see marriage as a mere legal contract for property and custody, while sex is something to be pleasured and found where it may lie.
I also come from church on Sunday morning and generations of preachers, ministers, pastors. My grandad was a door-to-door salesman when it was no longer cool, thumped the Bible toward the end of his life, but left a Ouija board and dark secrets behind when he died. My poppy is still doing The Good Lord’s work in a small southern town.
My current Amazon.com author bio reads:
“Ashley Ann has the sexiest brown eyes anyone has ever seen. Although she is quite skilled at literary criticisms, flowing freeverse, and serious rhetorical analyses of the backs of labels on various brands of shampoo, the rest of her time is divided between chastising college freshmen for their errant semicolon usage and pairing imaginary socks in cyberspace. She once was almost beheaded by a tin barn roof whilst attempting to calm a weather-spooked horse.”
I like to keep things light and fluffy, like whipped cream and snowflakes.
I read every text with subtext, so it’s hard to tell if the words people use are really on the same plane as the ones I think I read. Someone could say they are thrilled for or about me or something I did, and I would think thrilled was used in lieu of other adjectives to send me some agonized-over hidden message, when, in reality, it’s much more likely that person meant they were genuinely friendly and happy for me.
I think about encyclopedias and Wikipedia, and how authors are noted to have befriended various other authors and artists in their lifetimes. I wonder if my wiki would say that I was infatuated with and rejected by authors and film critics, and I suppose I am among many struggling artists who will, in the future, be looking forward to posthumous success.
I don’t know how to lead a stable and somber and sober life. I am unsure of my future and my footing in the landslide I’m caught up in. I know how to résumé carpet-bomb places of potential employment and be the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I know how to sit in an interview room and be the winningest version of myself. I don’t know how to get that sustainable, esteem-building, dream job, but I know how to patchwork all these little kinda okay and somewhat enjoyable jobs and these jobs I love that are not sustainable.
I am grateful for the opportunities I have and the blessings I have received. Sometimes I want to pass those blessings on to others. Sometimes I want to be a friend. Unfortunately, I tend to suffer from social ineptitude and a general lack of propriety.
I’m not sure what led me to this self-exploration safari yet again, but I won’t bore the audience (all one readers) with my ramblings for too much longer. I think I wanted to talk about life changes, about whether it’s a white whale or a wet dream I’m really in the mood for, about my current attempt at transformation and the genuine yet gloomy guides.