Saturday, October 1, 2011

Little Monsters

Ah, the monsters that we invite into our life. That phrase pricks the cross-wires in my brain, blipping me back to my twenties and my attraction to that dirtily handsome band of friends, each astride their vintage British motorcycles. "Break my heart! Here it is!" I was so eager to love and yet so far removed from it, wrapped up in the armour of my own sartorial choices. Leather jackets, winged eyeliner, silver skulls on every finger. Tiny, personal sized monsters. No lasting harm was inflicted by any of them thankfully, just the pangs of youth. Such contractions between wonder and fear. As little as I would show it, I was so impressed by New York City and its residents. Having grown up in small towns, I couldn't help but wonder, "How did we all manage to get here?" and be rather proud that I had. Rather natural then with that outlook that I would attract some bad eggs along the way.

Isn't it amazing that at some point dangerous people just naturally become less attractive? Out of nowhere, to remember, to dig up a distant memory of trust. And to find that beautiful and for beautiful to suddenly become much more attractive than "cool". Typical end of twenties, early thoughts. But I remember wondering if it was even still possible at one point, to trust fully. Living in Manhattan from such a young age can take its toll. But of course it is, it always is. Our tender hearts. And then, I got lucky, I know that too. 

For the past few years that longing for trust has spread out beyond Remi and my family to my friendships. I find it a more slippery slope somehow. Or that I am not as good of a judge as I would like to be, especially as I would prefer not to judge in the first place. And if they are not monsters, the pain of realizing that I have trusted where I should not is monsterish, as it is for us all. 

The ghoul that I brought home from the market this morning is, fortunately, of the vegetal kind. When I saw it, I gave out a little "eee" of delight. What on earth? I had never seen anything like it! Much to my flower seller's disappointment, I insisted on only buying two branches (very bad taste indeed as flowers should only be displayed in odd numbers) but I was purposefully after a Punky Brewster/ Pippi Longstocking effect. And sadly, despite a million attempts, my photos do not begin to show how ginormous they are. Really, I am ready at any moment for them to crack out like a whip at me when I pass or sneak towards Ben's ear as he lay sleeping. Delightfully creepy, these. So I suppose that I shouldn't be so surprised that their common name is "Love-lies-bleeding"(!) nor what I ended up typing when I sat down to write about these odd flowers. A desperate bid for normalcy is scattered elsewhere about the apartment: Stargazer's for my Balinese friends, cream roses for the Chinese Buddha and one last bit of lavender for the kitchen window sill. And yet, the eye goes directly to the Amaranthus Caudatus nonetheless. 

Now, on to the other side of the proverbial coin. The monsters that we do NOT invite into our lives but that intrude on our well-being nonetheless. In this case, I am talking about the neighbors and especially, their children. Now, don't get your hackles up, I am not some sort of Slugworth kid-hater. But these not so little ones are driving me insane. Today they were throwing some kind of mini firecrackers under the feet of passer-by, undeterred even when one woman shouted out "ça va pas, non?!" Their skateboards resound against the building walls. I have been told that their family is linked with well, if not the actual Mafia then something similar. Sigh. Really most of the time, it truly is the noise factor that is driving me mad. So my dear friends here, such a wise bunch, any suggestions on how to deal with unwanted sound? Yes, I know, we chose to live in the center of town. We did. And yes winter is coming soon but not soon enough. Any thoughts? 


  1. Ah, you are growing Heather because you see you're blogging. Letting virtual strangers enter your life and you seem to embrace us, thank you because you have enriched my life with your kind words. As for the "little" monsters ignore them it's about all you can do. Soon enough winter will be here and you'll be the one with the last laugh. Love your flowers they're so unique and lovely. Enjoy them and the rest of your weekend!

  2. Oh Debra, I appreciate you all more than you know! Someone truly needs to come up with a better phrase than "blog friends". Yes, I'll try to ignore them--that is unless they try to pull Ben's tail again!

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend as well. Is it truly Autumn for you there? Not at all here!

  3. Love your little monsters: the Little Shop of Horrors monstrosity, and the little guy to the right of the stargazers!! And everyone has monsters from their youth; some are just more colorful than others. (I think I'm still battling mine!!). As for the flesh and blood little monsters, in my meditation class this week we are doing listening meditations - just listen without judgment! If you can do it, it might help; otherwise music could work, and the cold weather (with shut windows) will certainly bring some relief!

  4. What a unique plant you have there. :) I bet Ben found them rather interesting.

    I tend to refer to blog friends as my online buddies. It just sounds more positive to me.

    Noise is everywhere. Our small development is at the edge of vineyards, and on nice days, we get to hear neighbors doing yard work, repairing engines, etc. Only on the days that it's (otherwise) wonderful to have the windows open. No firecrackers, fortunately. Just chainsaws, etc. I've learned to tune it out.

    Fortunately, (I think), it's almost time to shut the windows for a few months. Hopefully, your 'little' neighbors will have outgrown the phase by spring.

  5. As usual, it is an absolute pleasure to read your blog. I am allergic to intrusive noise, and unless I am actually meditating, I can't "listen without judgement". My solution is to play classical music rather loudly. Have you an ipod?
    Bon weekend.

  6. Sister, such good advice. And just so you know the monster to the right of the Stargazer is a Barong and he is really friendly, so kind of like a Cookie Monster. :à And the hard part of listening without judgement is that it is language. It kind of works when I put myself into 100% Anglophone mode so it is more sounds but otherwise, I am sorry, it is tiresome!

    Sue, I like online buddies, even if some of the amazing people here I can't assume to be buddies. Cohorts? Conspirators? :) And trust me, these little rascals have many more years of annoyance in them...

    Elizabeth, I'm so glad that you are enjoying being here. There are so many blogs out there, let alone so many informational outlets that I really appreciate every single visit. I do have an ipod but again, that is part of my problem in that I resent having to completely close off my world because of the inconsideration of others! Anger issues, I know...
    Merci et bon weekend à vous aussi.

  7. I do not thing this is an "anger issue"! I would be furious! And those firecrackers are dangerous! "Quiet" is the new true luxury.

    I would get some earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. Noise is definitely not good for you. Psychologically, it is disturbing! And it has been proven to be harmful to one's health!!!

    I love your blog.....and those flowers. I have never heard of them!!!

  8. I love having you here, Penelope. Your blog always brings me joy so if I can give you anything of interest in return, tant mieux!

    And I couldn't agree more about the importance of quiet. Remi and I took a drive out in the country yesterday evening and I could feel my shoulders slowly drop. Yes, I will use my headphones more--I don't really like closing myself off from the world but at times, it is what needs to be done!

  9. Lollipops. Give the "children" lollipops. There was a great story not too long ago on NPR about a busy barhopping street in Canada (vancouver?) that decided to pass out lollipops to passersby when the bars closed. The crime / arrest rate dropped shockingly, like 50% less brawls, that sort of thing.

    The make you close your mouth and they recall simpler times and provide comfort and also give a boost to blood sugar, which the urchins might need if their apparent absentee parents aren't feeding them lunch.

  10. This is pretty brilliant. Sadly I have already given them too many dirty looks/yelled at them (for trying to pull Ben's tail) for them to take anything from me, but I love the concept.


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