The Words that Impaled Distraction

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I fought myself to go that weekend. You could call it an intuition, but I’d attribute it to everyday anxiety—something that has only risen as my years have passed. It would be hard to find an outfit. It was cold. I’d be tired. So many bullshit reasons so I pushed myself to go anyway. I pulled off the outfit, and I was pleased to feel that the confidence dressed me with the clothes. It was the old game that I knew well: Distraction masks fear. So, with every touch of makeup, the straightening of hair, a spray of perfume, and the way-to-high heels–I nailed that distraction. Too well this time, in a world that I still have so much to learn about…

It was the usual routine. A hand off of money and ID to my safety net, and we left the guys for the bigger party. Most of the conflict I had envisioned proved to be drawing my attention to the wrong threat, and I relaxed as the tequila added up and the moods were calm. I had years to know the majority of the people around me. Unfortunately, I would find that my distraction would not prove infallible to the tarnish that laid beneath that pretty coat.

We began dancing, something I can never force myself into without the right amount of alcohol. He joined us, and the mood changed quickly. He was like a father figure for so many years. It had to be the environment. She held my hand, letting me know she had my back as always. We kept dancing. The song let up, and I complimented the band. It was only a second of her walking away, and eyes hit me like steel. No amount of makeup would cover the tears that leapt with his words: “Why are you…the way that you are?” I couldn’t stop them. A slap in the face wouldn’t have held a candle to the impact that those words were driven by.

He saw, and it was too late to look away. “Do you want to go outside and talk?” I nodded. Talk, yes. See, that was the man I knew for so long. He’s just worried about me; I can make him understand. We passed her, as well as my other safety. They were both concerned, but I assured them that I wanted to go.

We were barely out the door when the apologies started swimming from my mouth: why it was my fault, how I fucked up, all that time alone and scared. I couldn’t make it understandable; there was so much built up. Bits and pieces poured out, and the tears were uncontrollable. He hugged me, and my friends were certain I was okay. I wasn’t okay. I was back there, and I couldn’t break out of it now. All the screaming and begging. The hopelessness. The desperation. It was consuming me, as I stood on that porch.

We were alone again, and he ushered me to the parking lot. I was cold, and there was so much more I had to explain so I agreed. I didn’t realize how drunk he was until we got there, and by then I had already walked all that way in those heels.

Sitting in that car brought it all to an end. He didn’t care what I had to say; no one seemed to. I couldn’t be a distraction. I couldn’t cover up the pain and the damage that was done so long ago. Who am I kidding? My ruin grew that night, from a past that I am unable to escape. It is a part of me, something that I can never wash away with the makeup remover; I can never take it off and hide it in the closet. Because I was used long ago, I will forever wear the silent invitation to do so again and again…

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Garlic Cheese Sauce for Fries

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  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 tbsps. Milk
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsps. Veg. oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

In a sm. Saucepan, melt cream cheese over med. High heat. Whisk in remaining ingredients, and heat through. If the sauce is too thick, add milk as needed. Drizzle immediately over hot French fries.

Shrimp Parmesan

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  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • ½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated parm. Cheese
  • 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • Oil, for frying
  • 8 oz. grated mozz. Cheese
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz. angel hair pasta, cooked al dente
  • Parm. Cheese, for topping

In a zip lock bag, mix together flour w/ Old Bay Seasoning. Toss in shrimp, and shake to coat. Remove shrimp, and add both types of breadcrumbs and parm. To the flour mixture. In a sm. Bowl, mix together egg and mayonnaise. Dip the floured shrimp into the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs. Brown shrimp in lg. pan, and drain on paper towels. Preheat oven to 350º. In a greased casserole dish, spread 1/3 of the sauce. Top the sauce w/ the cooked pasta, and then spread another 1/3 of the sauce on top. Top that layer of sauce w/ the shrimp, followed by the mozz., the rest of the sauce, and extra parm. Bake for about 15-20 min. (or until cheese is melted).

Corn and Potato Soup

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  • 2 cups cubed potatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 med. Onion, diced
  • 2 tbsps. Butter
  • 2 tbsps. Flour
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese

Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain the water, reserving 1 cup. Sauté the onion in olive oil until soft. In the same pan, melt butter. Stir in flour and pepper until smooth, and then add milk and potato water. Boil until thickened, and add corn. Once heated throughout, stir in cheese until melted.

Mug Scramble

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  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsps. Milk
  • 2 tbsps. Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Grease the inside of the mug, and then crack eggs into it. Mix in remaining ingredients, and microwave on high for about 3 min. or until eggs are set.

Makes 1 serving.

No-Bake Cocoa Bars

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  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet choc. Chips

In a med. Saucepan, melt 1st 3 ingredients. Stir in next too ingredients until chocolate is melted. Line a 9×13” pan w/ nonstick foil, and spread mixture in the pan. Refrigerate for an hr. or 2, until hardened. Cut into bars, and store in the fridge.

Peas in Cheese

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  • 4 ½ tsps. Butter
  • 4 ½ tsps. All-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup processed cheese
  • 3 cans peas, drained

In a lg. saucepan, melt butter on low. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth, and then gradually add milk. Bring to a boil, cooking and stirring for a couple min. or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Add peas, and cook until heated through.