Tag Archives: Lessons for the Day

Jellybeans and Bed Sheets

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From: Jacqueline Cioffa <choff777@aol.com>
Subject: jelly beans and bed sheets
Date: April 10, 2007 7:39:59 AM EDT
To: Jacqueline Cioffa <choff777@aol.com>

I wrote Jellybeans and Bed Sheets some time ago.

Time didn’t pause for me but the memories I still own.

Jellybeans and Bed Sheets

by Jacqueline Cioffa

Miami, the beach sand sun moon and stars. There is something about being in a tropical place, how the wind blows just right sweeping and swooshing your problems away. They disappear drifting magically out to sea. None of us knew just how special that time and living in that house would be. The house was white stucco, cool to the touch but so very warm inside. There was a fish pond and orchids dripping from the front porch. Crickets lived outside your window lulling you to sleep. Sweet jasmine and magnolia buds filled your senses and eased your worries, heightening your dreams.

We’d meet each morning around the coffee table to chat about our ridiculous mishaps and adventures from the previous night. Me, my bestie and partner in crime and the hipster Madame of this fabulous house. Rehashing the evening’s antics and plain old gossip over cafe con leche. There was usually some man drama, we were single and living it.

Except for the guys sharing the space. They were the older and wiser, they despised our escapades craving for sleep. Especially M, the obstinate French fitness guru who demanded clean living and regimen. Rice and chicken, early to bed.  At 8:00 o’clock not 8:01 he’d start the bitch and moan mantra, “go to bed.”

Nagging relentlessly until we caved or snuck out. For my BFF and I our days were filled responsibly with modeling gigs, lists and appointments but the Miami nights were saved for raucous. We took full advantage. Moe’s our usual hangout served the sweetest margaritas with an outside patio and flickering white lights under the sway of palm trees. Shooting the shit sipping a frozen drink was 100 proof worry free. The rugged, hard-to-look at owner would place the sacred sombrero on the most deserving head. There was little rhyme or reason behind the crowning of the red velour tassel contraption. We had our fair share of drunken nights with a sombrero dancing on our heads. It was stupid fun.

We half-smile now; because life is so drastically different. Back then living was void of anything heavier than ten pounds. Today there are tweens (well one), rescue dogs, blind dogs, aches, illnesses, misplaced dreams, mortgages and the mundane. For a short time, a blip really there was only sun and beach and smoothies and peaceful co-existence in an inviting pretty white house by the beach.

We clumsily made our way back to that house in the wee hours of the night (early morning), the mystic dwelling that knew our names welcoming us back. We swung open the front door and bam. Busted. The door was rigged, it had an alarm that chimed every time it opened and closed. DING DING DING DING DING DING. We whipped off our heels and tippy toed to our room trying not to squeal and fell sloppily into bed.

This night, this one night was different. When we laid down there was immediate screaming and belly roars out of our mouths. No matter how hard we tried; we couldn’t contain it. We howled so loud waking the house. We didn’t care because it was fucking hysterical. It was unforgettable. There were jellybeans under the sheets.  Completely unexpected, it felt like lying on firm and squishy, sloppy drunken pebbles. It was jellybean sweet, familiar. The boys put jellybeans under the goddamn sheets. Payback is, beautiful.

When I’m down, having a particularly crap day I call my BFF to reminisce about the pure bliss moments, precious blips.

We moved out and on, time didn’t stop. M died. Cancer. Fucking cancer ravaged his glorious sun-kissed, twelve pack body and mind greedily snatching him up. Time didn’t stop, how cruel. We left that house and our Miami by the shore and the sand under the stars, sun and smiling moon.

Revisiting the past only briefly, I see his face and hear his gruff voice.

“Go to bed, connasse.” I learned many things.

In that house by the sea lives my heart happy memories and him. He’s there, healthy, happy, strong, regimented and bronzed getting the last laugh.

Yes in that home we are together, carefree and alive surrounded by orchids, easy breath and a chill breeze.

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Sometimes I paint the walls the same hue trying to recapture the warmth of that house, cool to the touch.

 

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Unknown

You know what I hate? Like really, really despise? ‘Visualize your best life,’ Social Media posts. If only you meditated more, dreamt better, a gulf stream, diamonds, your greatest desires would appear. If I were a genie with a magic bottle, I’d obliterate global warming, nukes, little girls stolen from their mothers, cancer, homelessness, poverty. Every single injustice, I’d balance the scales. Goddamn, I hate when said person writes, ‘living their best life.’ Which is preposterous, delusional, downright denial. We might be granted incredible moments when everything fits. Happy, serene, and amazing are readily available. The rest of our time is spent de-cluterizing, looking back, leaping forward. Humans, myself included are predictable.They prefer not to ask the hard questions. I can’t seem to stop asking, searching, questioning. Why don’t the scales balance out? Why does a beautiful, sweet 26-year-old wife and new mother birth twins only to lose her life. I bet she visualized her best life, tragedy found her instead. Why? I want to know. Why, god damn it? There are no answers for her twins, who will only know their mother by memory. Do not post some ‘inspirational picture, bullshit quote’ without asking first, do my scales balance out? Am I the slightest bit aware of the planet, persons around me? Did I do one kind thing today, go out of my way for a stranger? Do something good, without telling a soul. Why has my family bore so much tragedy? Lucky? No, and yes. Do not say think positive, I might punch you. I fight hard to stay alive, without tangible reason. Living is not about me, don’t take it so personal. My life is harder than most. I’m not complaining or a pessimist. I’m a realist with an invisible disease, that no other being can comprehend. De-clutterize immense pain that comes from the chaotic, mis-firing mind. Do not tell me to try harder, look at the bright side. Tiny moments of happy are best lived eyes open. The scales, I’m throwing them out the attic window. Since the beginning until the end of humans, they’ll never balance out.

This is it. My one, honest, in your face, best life.

images

Rear-ended

Automatic

I am no different.

I am so very different from before.

reflect.

Oddities of a world, in free fall.

Every thing is change. 

The Vast Landscape.

Perspective.

Flux.

Gotta keep up. 

 

So they say.

Who are they?

Tinnitus.

Hush now.

Walking away. 

Different.

 

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 meltdown

 

 

Taking Stock

“I see…fields forever                                                                                                       Growing wild and free.”

nature vs. nurture
nature vs. nurture

Stuff I’ve learned the past five years.             Good-bye, NY.

-when in doubt, go back to the start, go back, go back, keep going back

-I don’t miss cement towers, crowds, noise, designer flare and busy streets full of empty strangers
-if you plant seeds, they will grow
-closets filled with fancy things are just that, overcrowded
-sweats, sturdy hiking boots, practical dress may not look cool, they are warm and efficient

 

-purpose. find a purpose that nurtures the five-year old dreamer, naive, exuberant, happiest parts

-choosing love is hard, brave and healing
-loosing your mind, over and over, putting the pieces together is not what I would have chosen, it’s what I got

-right now is it, tomorrow is guaranteed different, tomorrow is not a guarantee

-I have lived in many countries, cultures, cities, experienced various tastes, varying people                      -you have only one heart-happy home

-when asked if I wanted to replace Lupe, born blind in one eye for a different puppy, my  answer was a vehement no, thank you                                                                                      -trust your first instinct, even when living in a constant flux of polar opposites

-at my sickest, darkest, scariest I knew, I would take care of her
-what I didn’t know was how well she would care for me, asking for nothing
-Lupe sees and feels with her heart, much like her mama

-where I am going is…nowhere, nothing special on the agenda                                              -I am here, doing my best to make it count

-there is pure, white magic on the small-town Street where I come from
-doors remain open, smiles greet me no questions, no judgement                                                 -warm welcome home.

-simple is good, simple is okay, simple is not very simple at all

its all right

to go back, try again 

lupita
another bridge

Matters of the Heart

heart happy
heart happy

I like to fix things, the fixer am I. Without a toolbox filled with talisman, memory and crazy glue, the fixing proves difficult. A house is built with cement, nails, wood, copper and steel. A home is adjoining parts, veins, bones and good intention, feeding the heart. The most perfect, precise pump ever made, says the master journeyman, and my ancestor. Impossible to understand, at times impossible to fix. 

-goethe
-goethe talisman
Home.
Home.

Three Part

today is a three-part kind of day

Image

I know.

I used to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the Village, head-down, unassuming posture. The year was 1995, I was studying acting and a mega fan. My brother saw him on the subway, asked for his autograph for me. He graciously signed a pack of matches, he was kind. Addiction, Mental Illness are merely misfirings, faulty wiring in the brain, that cannot be fixed with duct tape. People judge, self-involved, some do anyway on any given Sunday. He didn’t judge, why should you?

I know – part 2

I look nothing like I felt yesterday. I have two friends who knew me when, and still like me now. I might be peculiar, have you looked in a mirror lately? Be prepared if you get around to The Vast Landscape, just sayin.’ I don’t feel like playing nice, I’m a grown-up shouldn’t have to. I try, was brought up with manners of a sort. I’m stuck in a place I don’t belong, temperatures below freezing. The agoraphobiac, surroundings don’t matter much. State of mind is the devil’s business.

I knew.

I knew from the age of five, I was different. My father remains alive in my heart, my most favorite person. He draped me with love and kindness. I was rich, well rich enough, spent time in exotic places. I rarely said, “sorry.” Thought thousand dollar bags, shoes would make me happy. They never fit, are of little use now. I had ‘fancy friends’ who stopped coming by, when I started seeing visions. My family didn’t understand, yet hung around. Obligation or not. I was skinny, young and less sad, some time ago.

I hope.

God’s listening to the internal discourse going on in my head. Maybe he can show me a future, one with me in it. Give me a reason to choose hope, not hell. I best get back to the  make-believe world of Georgia Pine. I’m so enjoying the bayou, lingering spirits, the deep south. Three stories intertwined gets complicated, direct descendants, sisters and friends of Harrison. The character I adore, who doesn’t exist in real-time. She shines bright and  vivid in my imagination. I dare, hope.

To carry on this one piece of madness I love.