AJAX BELL

Author of the Queen City Boys books


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what if I just stayed asleep for the rest of the week?

Today got off to a rocking start. I had a long, detailed dream that I was held hostage for many days. I managed to escape my captors long enough to call 911 several times but the cops never came. Eventually I was rescued, but still I woke up sobbing. Yes, indeed, my brain, as I’ve said before, is not always subtle. Bleh.

Shook it off, got overwhelmed by everything I need to do today, started reading political blogs (bad me! bad bad bad!) Went to coffee with Miss Sparkle. Then I sat down to make a plan and here I am telling you about how I am not doing as much work as I could be.  Really, I am only telling you all in an effort to shame myself into working.

Living room: still filled with boxes. It’s like my brain shuts down every time I think I am going to go through them.

Jewelry/crafts: need to finish projects, get stuff online and get stuff ready for sale. Need to clean up craft area so can begin sewing. Status: just fucking shoot me. I swear I’ll get on this tomorrow. In the meantime, examples of some of the news stuff is slowly going up over here. I still can’t figure out how to photograph stuff so it looks as good online as it does in real life.

Websites/media empire development: AAAAAUUUUUUUUGH!!! Need to list an prioritize stuff. Really, really, really need to prioritize. Am getting freakily overwhelmed.

Personal life: non-existent, unless you count watching Gossip Girl with Ladybug.


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detective bread

I had a dream that I got the most amazing, beautiful house in East Tennessee.  It was on the edge of a town, but had this insane, unbelievable view and was funky and perfect inside.  Then I went jogging along the train tracks, the the nearby lake, where I found a sort of cafe that had dozens of flavors of ice cream, tons of fancy cakes and pastries.  I got stuck there for a long time, looking at all the stuff they had.  Then I couldn’t get service for a long time.  Eventually I ordered something called “Cathar bread”  which was a big awesome loaf of very European bread drenched in garlic butter.  Huh.

Looking at the line-up I was unable to identify the guy who held the gun when they robbed me.  The Detective said he was going to question him anyway because of the print match on my car. The Det. is concerned because they only got good prints off the outside of car and defense attorney could argue that the suspect could have been in the neighborhood and accidentally touched the car.  Which, hello, the prints clearly show that the handle was being pulled open, but I don’t think anyone photographed them when they were visible.  The high point though was the detective assigned ot my case.  He looks like Gary Oldman in Batman if he was dressed by costume designer doing a modern day remake of a 70s cop drama (still set in the 70s). Like he didn’t look dated, or like he hadn’t changed his clothes in 40 years, but he totally looked he was in a 70s cop drama.  I loved him.  He told me he had ways of making the suspect talk and his partner balked, but the Det. Clarified that he didn’t mean torture, rather “Jedi mind tricks.”  Anyway the cop was awesome.  I want to write stories about him, except he seems to maybe be living stories that people have already written.

I need to go get in the shower.  I need to be working.  I need to be less hard on myself.  I need more sleep.  I need a vacation to the land of no people.  I need. I need. I need. I need.


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and on it goes

I just got off the phone with the detective assigned to my case.  They got good prints off my car, and they have a hit, but unless I can pick the guy out of a line up it’s fairly useless.  Because the print was on the outside of the car, the defendant can say he was in the neighborhood and touched the car accidentally at some point during the day.  None of the prints they got off the inside of the car are good enough for matching.  So the Det. is bringing a photo line up for me to look at tomorrow. But since they had bandanas tied around their faces, it’s kind of a crap shoot.  We’ll see.

It’s nice they gave it to a detective that works the same hours as me, I guess.  But now I’m tired.  I’m lonely and sad and I can’t really call anyone at 1 am, just because I want to chat.  The perils of the night shift.

Boss Daddy, because he is the best, went down to the station and talked to the Commander for a bit this week.  They said yes, it isn’t our imagination, there has been huge upsurge in this kind of crime in our neighborhood and two other specific neighborhoods as well.  They think, maybe, that there’s new gangs moving into the area and that most of it is gang initiation related.  Yeah, that doesn’t make me feel better.  But it sort of does, like it wasn’t just random, hideous crime in my neighborhood.  However, if it’s true, I suspect the Nashville PD doesn’t have  gang unit that’s ready for this kind of thing.  Since one of the cops who responded when I was robbed spent a god deal of time explaining how gentrification and crime are related, as if it was new concept, I’m gonna guess they really aren’t ready.


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Old tin cups, and little paper dolls

I had the craziest dream last night.  In which I worked for a corporation, in some distant future, that had perfected robotics and nanotechnology.  The corporation was utterly corrupt and sort of destroying the world.  I ended up in some epic battle with the evil leader and destrpyed her and also unwittingly unleased all the nanobots into the world’s ecology, where they sort of interbred and ate the entire surface of the planet and all the people, but this wasn’t bad.  The nanobots replicated everything, cell by cell as they ate it, so we all still existed, memories, personalities, everything intact, but we were made of the nanobots instead of our regular cells.  Some people with careful practice, began to be able to control the nanobots in their bodies, essentially making themselves immune to disease and potentially immortal, able to change their haircolor and appearance at will.  They became, in effect, witch doctor wizards, as controlling the nanos was  a skill that couldn’t be taught and only a select few developed the skill.  All the world’s environmental problems were also solved when the nanos rebuilt everything, and most the large cities were destroyed, the population, what was left of it, was redistributed into small, ecologically sustainable towns.

So, yeah, crazy dream.  I often have these insane dreams that have whole plots and character arcs, usually in excellent sci-fi futuaristic settings.  I just can’t quite remember them well enough to tell the story, or rather to write the actual story with the intensity that I dream it.  I need to figure out how to tap into the dream stories better, so I can write them.

I am doing much better today.  Work was crazy busy last night with lots of regulars coming in, asking if I was okay, as most had heard about the robbery through the neighborhood grapevine.  And I’m glad everyone is concerned about me, concerned about crime in the ‘hood and all.  But maybe I need a pin to wear or something tells people what is appropriate to ask me.  I mean, “Are you doing okay?” is acceptable.  “Are you traumatized?” is not okay.  I’m not sure I can pinpoint the distinction, maybe it was in the way people were asking.  Also, so far I am okay, and I’m getting a little tired of the sympathetic, semi-pitying expressions on people’s face when they ask how I am.  Ugh.  On the other hand, I could use more cuddling, love and telling how I awesome I am from my friends.  I guess I just don’t want it half-assed from acquaintances.  As always I am a contradiction.  I want to be babied and feel taken care of, just only from the people I choose, I guess.

To that end, I had a nice morning, coffee at the new place next door with T-Rider, who is finally back in town.  Now I am prioritizing my work task list and contemplating going and getting a pedicure instead of doing work.  I should wait ’til Saturday so Ladybug and Miss M can go with me.  *sigh*  Work it is.

Songs for today:

Whiskeytown – 16 Days [acoustic version] (click to download)

Tom Waits – Ol’ 55 (click to download)


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and also my head hurts

I managed to shower today.  And I went out and got the mail.  Other than that I barely moved from the couch all day.  I don’t feel good.  My body hurts like I am recovering from a fever, or I have been run over by a truck.  Or I took mushrooms and got eaten by a bear.  My back hurts, I feel weak and sore all over.  I’ve eaten, but I’ve been having hard time eating much and holding anything down.  Ladybug assures me that it’s okay that I didn’t do anything all day.  I’m sure you all agree.  But now I feel sick, awful, and guilty for not getting anything done.   Gah, I’m even annoying myself.  Boo hoo hoo hoo!  Whine whine whine.  If I go on about this too much more, feel free to intervene.  Really I need to eat a healthy, vegetable-filled meal, sleep on a normal schedule, and drink way more water, then I’ll feel fine.  Or at least fine enough to deal with how I feel.  Not to set the bar too high for myself, but tomorrow I might shoot for showering, yoga and a walk.  Then hopefully I’ll feel at least well enough to work.


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here’s how the story ends

Because East Nashville, though still a place where you can get robbed at gun point, is also awesome, I got almost all my stuff back. The neighbors across the train tracks found my apron and paycheck in their yard and brought it to the restaurant. And then some guy found my wallet WAY up the road, and gave it to his friend to bring back to me. Because this is Nashville the guy who returned my wallet is Ketch from Old Crow Medicine Show. Then Ladybug, since she is the best friend ever, went and drove around where they found my wallet and found my make-up bag too. Now all I’ve lost is the actual purse and my phone (and my time and everyone’s peace of mind). My wallet had all my cards and everything but the cash in it still. Boss Daddy took care of my financial loss, I guess to assuage his guilt, but also because he is the best boss ever. The best part is, I do not have to go get a new driver’s license. Although I have no bank card until the new one arrives. Alas.

I am having a strange people coming out of the woodwork sort of week. Obviously I am fairly public about some aspects of my life, writing about it here and all, so that of course invites comments from people I wasn’t aware were reading. The support from my friends has been great. Really, thank you guys who commented here, and the people who called and everything. It’s really moving to know people care, even when they are far away. And my friends here have been really amazing. I’m vaguely annoyed by the guys at work hovering around me and worrying. But at the same time, it is really sweet. I feel the love. I guess I’m mostly upset that everyone else is so upset. I did totally put off calling my mom because I didn’t want to worry her. And now she is worried. I told her everyone else was worried to and I had people watching out for me. Which hopefully makes her feel better. I just don’t know how to make my friends and everyone else feel better. Sure, rationally I know that isn’t my job. But I don’t know how to stop feeling like it is.

Anyway, people out of the woodwork, so yes some of it is related to people checking up on me, but there’s been a few out of the blue surprises. People I definitely didn’t expect to hear from, and stranger still, they were just calling out of the blue, not calling in response to all this recent bullshit.

I am so very tired. I have a ring of mosquito bites around my ankle. My neck hurts. I want my mom. I want to never have been broken up with. And yes, yes, I’m still freaked out and I wish I could sleep for a week. Also I seem to have forgotten what all the things I need to do this week. Maybe I will feel better in the morning. Hopefully.


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rambling ramble time

I can’t sleep, despite having been up until at least 5 am. I’m avoiding calling my mom and telling her about the robbery because she’s on vacation and I don’t want to worry her. Plus, I guess it will just seem more real after telling her. Of course there’s a possibility she’s reading this, so, um, sorry Ma, I’ll call you after coffee when I’m feeling a little more put together.

Since I can’t sleep, here are the things that are keeping me awake:

When I got in my car last night, I saw the kids who robbed me down the street. My first instinct was to get in my car, lock the doors and be on my way ASAP (this is my normal response to being outside at 1 am, alone, and seeing anyone). I hesitated though. I started to click the lock thing on my key fob, but then I remembered that if you do that inside the car it sets off the alarm, so I reached for the actual door lock and right as I was about to click it the dudes pulled my car door open and pulled me out of the car.

In retrospect, maybe I should have set off the alarm, it might have sent them running the other way. I had my keys in my hand the entire time, even after they pulled from the car and forced me to the ground behind the car (I really thought they were going to take the car too, and I’m very glad they didn’t). I could have hit the alarm button at any time, but I didn’t, because they had a gun, and they were very shaky and scared, and I thought setting off the alarm would put me in more personal danger. However, if I’d hit it that second in the car, before they opened the door, it might have made a difference.

A bunch of the guys who where in the bar last night were regulars, who I see a lot. When I went back in to get Boss Daddy to call the cops, they were all hovering around me worrying, etc. Two of them had watched me walk to my car, to make sure I was safe when I left. They saw me get in my car and turned around, went back to their conversation. The guys who robbed me were 100+ feet further down the road, just out of eyesight of the bar window, so while, from the window, I appeared safe in my car, I wasn’t. I believe all the male patrons at the bar feel really guilty for not having walked me to my car. The cop who responded had just cruised by less than 10 minutes before I got robbed. Other bar patrons, also friends of mine, rolled up 5 minutes or less after it happened. I didn’t feel any less safe walking to my car than I ever do. It was just freak accident of time that I was alone, right there, in that moment, in that physical space where no one was watching. I did everything I was trained to do, growing up in an urban environment: had my keys in my hand (so I could get straight into my car with out digging for them), walked with purpose and confidence, locked the car door as soon as I was inside (well, not fast enough, but I couldn’t have been much faster), complied quickly and calmly with the robbers (didn’t argue or freak out). I was in a well lit area, right under a street light, a few dozen feet from a bar with a dozen people inside. But yes, someone probably should have walked me to my car. Still it feels more like freak circumstances that allowed it to happen, like a lightning strike. Not necessarily inevitable, but unexpected, circumstantial and somehow unavoidable.

I’ve never really been one for could have beens. In the aftermath (standing around with the cops for eternity), several people were like, “you could have been shot!” Well, yes, I mean they had a gun, and assuming it was real, I could have been shot. But I wasn’t. And honestly, I’ve heard people who have been in similar situations say how terrifying it was because in the moment they knew they could die, or be or raped or anything could happen. And I didn’t feel like that at all. I felt instantly shocked, angry and resigned. I never really felt like they were going to shoot me. They were scared and they wanted out of there quickly as much as I wanted them out of there. I don’t know. I mean, I’m not saying it wasn’t terrifying, but I think that the sense some people get that anything could have happened, or that they feel really violated is because the person robbed was acutely aware of their loss of control of the situation, complete loss of control of their life, even for a few seconds. And I just don’t feel that way. Well not today anyway, I reserve the right to change how I feel about this a dozen times until I’ve dealt with it, but right now, I don’t feel any less safe than I did yesterday. Sure there’s a sense of violation, yes I’m fucking pissed about having to replace all my shit, but mostly, man, stuff happens. I can’t really control my own life, there’s too many outside factors. I spend most my meditative time letting things go. I think I can let this go too.

I really liked my wallet. I mean, yes, it’s good I’m safe, material things are really unimportant, blah blah blah. But I really liked that wallet and it’s pretty irreplacable.

I am a little disappointed in myself on one count. I spent a lot of time laying awake last night, post robbery, thinking about how alone I was. I mean, recent break-up, just days ago, and I had this sense of horrible loneliness like there was no one I could call, because I had no one to cuddle up with in the aftermath. And honestly, I don’t think I’m that girl, that needs a man to make things better. There’s tons of people I could have called (although I actually couldn’t since the fuckers took my phone) any time of day or night. Ladybug came right out, in her PJs, to get me and stand around with me while cops blathered on endlessly and fingerprinted my car. I have plenty of people around me to take care of me. I can take care of myself and I don’t even need to because of the aforementioned people. I feel weak for having spent time being self-pitying over being single. I feel vaguely stupid that a bad situation highlighted that in my thoughts. Then again, it’s okay, I guess. I mean being broken up with is also a loss of control of the circumstances of one’s life, so it does all sort of blend together.

Now I will go re-enter numbers into my phone until I have to get dressed and go back to work again. hopefully I’ll get a nap in before it’s that time.