Hasenpfeffer Finklestein was having a bad day.
No, make that a very bad day.
David Hasslehoff was trying for a come back again with a music album. Please, as if that sick fuck should even sing; or be famous for that matter. He had even come out with t-shirts that said “Don’t hassle the Hoff!” This was assuming that anyone with any good sense would do so in the first place.
But it never failed. Every time that stupid fuckwit tried to become popular, it became her downfall. Some of the popular kids had come to school today wearing t shirts with her face on them.
Has had felt a moment of embarrassment at seeing the photo; then there was only the hot, fierce pain that flared every time she knew it was going to be a bad day. She had sighed inwardly and prepared herself.
And, as always, her preparations were never in vain. She was treated to people playing the loser’s fuckwit song, some even showing her the retarded video on their god damn fuckwit Ipods. The small screens blinked at her as she walked down the hallway.
Three times that day, Has had excused herself. Everyone knew that she was going to the washroom to cry, she could see it on all of their faces. But she couldn’t help it. There had to be a moment of release or she would burst.
“God damned fucking stupid David Hasslehoff.” She said.
“That certainly sounds better than fuckwit pisshead asshat.” A voice said. “And much easier to say.”
Has turned. Yhestin Rosebude was sitting on the school steps beside her. “Thanks.” Has smiled.
“It’s not even really original, not really.” Yhes said. “Rhyming Has with Hoff.” He gave out a small, low chuckle. It fell awkward in the air. “I mean, that’s barely above forth grade wordplay. Any fuckwit kindergartner can figure that shit out.”
Has experienced a small pain behind her eyeballs. She massaged her temples. “Remind me again why I talk to you?”
“I’m not agreeing with them.” Yhes said. “I mean, it’s not even like you’re names are all that similar. Like Hasenpfeffer and Hasslehoff? I mean, they don’t even rhyme if you put them together. But I suppose you could make some interesting anagrams, oooh, like a I am Lord Voldmort sort of thingy, but you’re not evil and scary, you’re just evil.”
The pain behind Has’s eyes increased. She wondered if someone was playing soccer with her eyeballs. She sighed and remembered her therapist’s recommendation to breathe. Yes, she had to remember to do that. “Do you have a point to all this inane chatter?” She asked.
To her credit, Has did try to keep her voice light and even, but she knew that she hadn’t really succeeded. Yhes didn’t even notice her annoyance. It was one of the things she loved about him. “Well, what I mean is, like, what are you going to do?”
Has sat there for a moment before answering; she had indeed been thinking of the very answer to this question. And the answer always amounted to the same answer. “Oh, the solution is quite simple.” Has said.
She took out a small slim case from her purse and removed a silver case. Out of the silver case, she plucked a long, thin cigarette. It was black and when she lit it, the smell of cloves filled the air.
Yhes waved at the air in front of him. “Christ, why do you smoke those?” He said. She would smack him if he coughed. “You’re like thirteen, right? Those are bad for you.”
Hasenpfeffer again reminded herself to be calm. She was a tree, she could bend. She could whip someone’s mother fucking ass with her branches. “I need to relax.” She said. “They help me cope with my stress.”
“What do you have to be stressed about? You’re thirteen!”
Has shook her head. “It doesn’t matter. You just don’t understand what it’s like to be creative.” She said. Has tried to centre herself and find her chi, or whatever the fuck it was. “Don’t you want to know what my plan is?” She asked.
“Huh?” Yhes looked at her. “For what?”
The pain behind Has’s eyes flared. “You know, for someone so smart, you’re pretty fucking stupid.”
“Yeah, well for someone really nice, you can be an ice cold bitch.” He huffed at the cloud of smoke that floated around him like incense. “So what’s you’re great fucking plan?”
“Oh, it’s really quite simple.” Has said.
This had been the point of lighting the cigarette in the first place. Every great dramatic moment needed something sensual. “We only have to do one thing.” She took a drag of her cigarette and tried not to cough when she released a cloud of smoke.
“We have to kill David Hasslehoff.”
We have turned the page
and a new chapter is before us.
Looking back through our book
that we have written together,
the pages whisper
as they slide through my fingers.
There is the sound of laughter
and of our voices raised in joy.
The new chapter is blank,
nothing written on the page
except the chapter heading.
As I flip back through our book,
I marvel that so much time has passed
when it feels like only a year has gone by.
I stop at certain moments
so that I can relive them again:
when I saw you for the first time
and you were bathed in light.
The first time that we kissed,
and it was as if I had finally learned to fly.
That moment when you told me
you loved me and I told you the same
and it was like I discovered actual magic.
The moment when we joined our hearts
to beat forever as one and it was like
I had found the other half of me
that I hadn’t known was missing.
I look at the blank pages ahead of us,
the stories we have yet to live,
the moments that will fill these pages,
memories that we will make together,
adventures that we have yet to live.
I look forward to all of this with you.
My life changed the day I met you
and it continues to change every day,
filled with so much light and life
that I hardly recognize it as my own.
I am in awe of you every day
and I can’t wait to fill the pages
of several books with you
with the words we have yet to write.
I can’t wait to see
what the next chapter brings.
When I began painting in January of 2019, I had no idea where it would lead. I was just having fun. I’ve always done art in some way and was comfortable using cante and charcoal. I wanted to do something different.
So, I started working with acrylic paint and, as they say, the rest is history. I finally found my voice on the canvas. I leaned towards doing abstract art, somewhere where I’ve always felt at home.
I painted over twenty canvases and even sold my first piece! I’m so thrilled that others like my work as much as I do! It’s hard to believe that I did all these paintings in 2019.
Here’s to 2019 told in art. May 2020 bring even more.
When I close my eyes,
I am pulled back
to another time.
I stand there,
looking at myself
as I was,
as I had been.
He lay in bed,
his eyes half closed,
sleep long gone
but also not far behind.
He heard my approach
and he looked up at me.
I looked down at myself.
“I didn’t think you’d show.”
“I’m sorry. I forgot what day it was.”
I told him.
He looked at me and I could see into his eyes,
I could well remember the fear he felt,
could even taste it in the air.
A tear slid down his face.
I followed it as it fell from his eye
and slid down his face,
finding its way through his sideburns.
“You told me you wouldn’t forget again.”
I sit down beside him and take his hand
as I wish someone had done
all those years ago.
I wiped his brow,
trying to wipe away the fear
that filled every inch of myself then.
“You won’t believe me, but there are so many great things to come.”
I was not surprised
when tears began to slide
from my own eyes.
“I don’t believe you. I have no idea what’s wrong with me. I think it’s bad.”
He said, fear making his voice shake.
“You won’t believe me,”
I said again,
“But it will get better. It will get worse before it does, though.”
I tried to instill some of the peace I felt,
tried to push it from myself into him,
but of course I couldn’t.
Even knowing what would come,
“You will have to be brave. You will have to be strong.”
I said to him.
“I don’t know how anymore.”
His voice had taken on a wistful quality.
“I have lost my way with words. I have lost everything.”
“Will they ever come back?”
I nodded vigorously,
trying to smile while more tears
slid from my eyes.
“Yes. They will come back. Everything will and after a time, it will be better than it was before.”
“Do you promise?”
“I do. But you must promise me something.”
“There will come a time when the world around you will grow so dark that you can’t see out of the shadows. You will want to quit.”
I told him.
“It will get so much better.”
He nodded, giving me a weak smile.
“Okay, I promise.”
I said. I took his hand in mine again, squeezed it.
His eyes opened and I looked down into my own gaze.
“It’s okay if you forget. I know I told you to remember me, but you can let me go, now.”
Tears slid from my eyes
and they sparkled like diamonds
in the half-light of the room.
From the realm outside of my eyes,
I can hear my husband calling to me,
telling me to wake.
“It’s okay. You can go now.”
I stand and lean down.
I press my lips against his forehead.
I tell him.
“Thank you for not quitting. You have no idea how great it will be.”
As the light of the present day
begins to filter in to the past,
I look back once more and see him,
and there is the smallest of smiles
upon his lips.
When I open my eyes,
I let him go
and look out towards
what the future will
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…
I know I’m not the only one who thinks that 2019 was full of high highs and low lows. While it was one of the best years of my life, 2019 was also one of the most difficult. However, although it was difficult, it was a year where I felt I grew more into who I am meant to be. It was a year of growth and reflection and, ultimately, joy.
In March of 2019, my memoir Little Yellow Magnet was published. It took more than two years worth of writing to finish it and get it out there into the world. Little Yellow Magnet is the most important book that I’ve ever written. It deals with my diagnosis with relapse and remitting Multiple Sclerosis and the journey that it led me on. I also had my first ever solo book launch for the book, something I’ve never done before for any of my other books.
April of 2019 marked two anniversaries! I first met my husband on April 4th and, three years later, we married on April 15th. 2019 marked our second wedding anniversary. I can’t believe that I’ve shared five years with this wonderful man. It feels like it’s only been a month that I’ve been with him, let alone five years. I am blessed every day I wake up beside him and every night when I go to sleep beside him.
I also got to see Cher in concert in April! Michael and I went to see Cher! I’ve always wanted to see her in concert. I was supposed to go way back in 2013, but my first MS Walk was the day after the concert, so I sold my ticket. It was wonderful that I finally got to see Cher and with the man I love.
At the end of April, it was my fifth MS Walk! I walked with a large group of friends and family members and it was a joyous day. We managed to walk 5 kilometres in just over an hour! That shaved 10 minutes off of our time from last year!
I was also on television! I spoke to Dylan Black on Daytime Ottawa on Rogers Television about my memoir Little Yellow Magnet and the journey that I’ve been on with multiple sclerosis and the journey writing the book. I had an amazing time and Dylan Black was a joy to speak to!
In June of 2019, I was in the newspaper! The Ottawa Citizen interviewed me about the possible closure of the MS Clinic at the Ottawa Hospital. The article contained my interview and also a photo of my looking all authorly. It was an honour to speak about the MS Clinic and what it has meant for my care and my state of living. I was thrilled with the reception of the article and I’m very proud to have been interviewed.
In June of 2019, I read tarot cards for charity! The Cornwall Cuddle Cot Team asked me if I would donate my time doing tarot readings in order to raise money for a Cuddle Cot for the Cornwall hospital. The Cuddle Cot gives mothers who have delivered stillborn children time to grieve and more time with their child. I was honoured to be asked and it was a joy to read cards for such an important cause. The money brought in by my tarot readings raised the total enough so that they could get a Cuddle Cot for the hospital!
We said goodbye to our beloved Tula in July of 2019. She was always such a fierce spirit, so wild. After eight years together, we had to say goodbye. I still think of you everyday Tula but now I picture you looking down from above, having walked on the Rainbow Bridge. Thank you for coming into my life when we needed each other the most and making our lives so full of joy.
In August of 2019, I turned 41! That still boggles my mind. I don’t feel 41. Indeed, I think my body feels 30, my mind feels 20 and my spirit is infinite. I was able to celebrate with friends and family and to welcome in everything that being 41 would bring.
In September of 2019, Michael took me to Orlando again! I’ve been to Orlando three times now, all so that I can go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! We went with Marg and Catherine and we had a ball and a blast and worked our magic. I don’t know if I will ever go again, but it was an incredible time!
October saw the release of three books by me! Starlight, Starbright, Love and Lemonade and Nothing Without Us, an anthology of stories that features my story The Descent. The anthology was significant as it featured stories with disabled protagonists, written by disabled writers. So proud of that book!
I also attended Can-Con 2019 and had my very own table in the vendor’s room! I spoke on three panels, led one panel, attended a launch for Nothing Without Us and did an author reading from my story! It was a gorgeous and wonderful time and I met so many wonderful writers and readers!
I also got a new tattoo in October! I got a Unicorn tattooed on my right arm. That way, I can always look at it. The tattoo is a reminder to be magical, to embrace my magic and to remind myself that I am filled with magic. After such an up and down year, I felt I needed to have that magical reminder.
November 2019 brought our annual trip to Cuba! We went our friends Mike and Rick. We had such a fabulous time and it was good to get out of the cold and get some sunshine. I can’t wait to go back!
Now I am looking at the end of 2019. I think if I’ve learned anything, it was how to overtime, how to find the joy even in the darkest moments. I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of this year.
I can only hope that 2020 brings me joy. It’s the start of a new decade and a new year. I can’t wait to see what it brings me! Thank you everyone for following me on this journey that we call life. It’s a pleasure to have you in my life.
Onward to 2020!