Heather L. Barmore
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Heather L. Barmore
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Heather Barmore
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    Change In Action at Babble Voices


    My Butterfly

    "Show me a man with a tattoo and I'll show you a man with an interesting past." ~Jack London

    For some reason around the age of 12 I was an avid Real World watcher, hell, I still am. And maybe because of my Real World obsession I made a point to a) be on the Real World (got three years and 1 month until the cut off) and b) to get my tongue pierced. Whenever I mentioned either, Peg would give me the disgusted, why the hell would you do that? Look. To this day, I am unable to point to a specific reason for why I would want my tongue pierced, since that was the one I knew would be more easily attainable. I’m one determined chick, so please don’t try to stop me.

    Upon my acceptance into American, I was placed (forced is the word I use though) into a program for minority students, so that they could become more easily adjusted to a new environment. What-the fuck-ever. I sulked and moved to DC the day after graduation, at the tender age of 17. My first foray into adult life. I had new friends and my New York State ID, which I ‘chalked’ with red, white, and black colored pencil. I was the only one in my summer program able to drink at clubs. I was a freaking rock star!

    So I’m 17 with an ID that says that I’m 20 (almost 21) and I’m away from my parents. One day my roommate Denise decides that she wants a tattoo. At the same time, my friend Kenya decides that she wants her tongue pierced. Perfect timing, I’m getting’ my tongue pierced (I also had $200 burning a hole in my pocket). One weekend, we head to Adam’s Morgan, I’ve got my ID, although it had been smudging a little and Denise was ready to get her tattoo. We go in, I’m in the chair, I stick out my tongue, put my tongue to the roof of my mouth….Wouldn’t you know, I have a honking huge bright blue vein in the middle of my tongue. My piercer (is that a word?) tells me that if he nicks the vein, I will bleed to death, no if ands or buts about it. He knew a guy though, who could attempt it. Ummm Fuck no. I went home teary eyed and pissed. Now what?

    Two weeks later, five of us head to Georgetown, I’ve found my “now what?”; a tattoo. Not sure what yet, I don’t think it really mattered, I just wanted someway to deface my body. I told you, I’m determined. I pace the parlor looking at the different designs. The tattoo artist accompanies me, to tell me how feasible the stuff I want is. Because I’m black, a lot of colors won’t show up very well. Ok fine. So what do I chose? A butterfly. A fucking butterfly. On the inside of my right ankle (so that no one in my future can see it. Also so that my parents can’t kill me right away). Bad ass. I know.

    The next week, with my new and awesome tattoo (which wasn’t painful at all, except when the needle neared my shin bone), I phoned Peg.
    “I have something to tell you and you won’t be happy”
    “What’s wrong?”
    “Just something”
    “Are you sick? Are you pregnant?”
    "Yeah mom, I'm pregnant. It's immaculate conception"
    "Then what is it??"
    "I got a tattoo"
    “Oh My God! Don’t scare me like that”

    For a woman that said she’d be disappointed if I got a tattoo she didn’t sound too upset. Just happy that I hadn’t gotten pregnant. For months I was pretty freaking proud of that thing, I could hide it then flash it when I wanted to.

    It’s been a little over four years since I got my butterfly. 1) Who gets a freaking butterfly? 2) Who gets a freaking butterfly on their ankle, when they refuse to wear stockings, like ever?
    3) What kind of mother permits her child to get a tattoo and then not put the fear of Jesus in her child, to prevent her from doing stupid things like getting tattoos?

    Eh, at least she’s not disappointed in me. Let’s just keep her from finding out that I’ve done much worse. Wouldn’t you like to know.


    "I have a "carpe diem" mug and, truthfully, at six in the morning the words do not make me want to seize the day. They make me want to slap a dead poet." ~Joanne Sherman

    *It’s morning (10 AM to be exact) and as of late, they haven’t been my best times. I’ve done my routine, have my Awake tea in front of me. But fuck, as of late, no time has been my best time, but I put on my happy face and act like everything is wonderful. How’s work? Great! How’s the living situation? Great! How have you been? Fucking fantastic!

    Lies, all lies.

    In all honesty, everything is fine really. Nothing is actually wrong, nothing bad has happened. It’s all normal same shit different day. Day in and day out. I had my weekend high, which was fabulous, but still, I’m stuck in a rut. It blows and leaves me feeling so incredibly uncreative and having a most difficult time getting up in the morning. You’d be shocked to learn though that I’ve been awaking at 6:15 AM to run and I’ve been on the “program” (which means that French fries, except for the five I had yesterday, have not been a part of my diet. Great, I know. But still, I’m just so blah.

    Part of me finds that it has something to do with every other year, for the past 17 years, September comes and a new year starts with new shit happening everyday. That was the beauty of it all, so much happened in one day, that you can’t keep your head straight. There were vacations and midterms and finals and parties to look forward to. Shit, even the thought of my birthday was more exciting in years past than it has been this year. Every other year I’ve been that much closer to driving, or being able to vote or drinking, and now there’s not a damn thing to look forward to, oh wait, I can rent a car in a year. Woo Hoo!

    I guess I could say ‘no pasa nada’ to it all and let it roll off my back. This too shall pass. But seriously a change needs to come, and soon. Like say if I were to meet everyone on Wisteria Lane, I’d be one happy happy girl.

    *Addendum: Then coworkers crack my shit up (seriously I need a video camera) and all is right with the world. Same shit, but I should be thankful it's a nice calm same shit I feel.


    "The trouble with unemployment is that the minute you wake up in the morning you're on the job. " ~Slappy White

    Between returning from Spain/Graduation and finding an actual job, I had six neurotic – anxiety ridden weeks. Sans cable, I might add. But that was just fine, I had company in Kimber and my day time TV. friends. I also developed an affinity for baking cookies and muffins and the inevitable babysitting. Friends were worried about the baking and I was worried that I would never find a job.

    9 AM Regis & Kelly
    10 AM Gym time
    11 AM Ellen
    12 AM Starting Over
    1 PM Days of Our Lives
    2 PM Bullshit around with Kimber/Subway
    3 PM Babysit Peter
    6 PM Babysit Sammy

    Riveting, I know, but that was my day. Everyday. For six fucking weeks. By June 1st, I was contemplating my suicide. June 27th, I started working. I think that six weeks may have been the longest lapse between graduation and starting a job (dripping in sarcasm). I was so neurotic and upset about how I wasn’t going to find a job that I stopped talking to friends and to Peg, who had become exasperated by my worry.

    My extreme neurosis is a factor in everything that I do. Sad, but true. If I hadn’t had a set schedule and Ellen to look forward to everyday, and my dear Kimber, I would have made myself even crazier. I didn’t want or need, people telling me to stop worrying and that I would find a job, I needed someone or ‘people’ around to make me happy and let me indulge a little in my unemployment. To be truthful, I was a little sad during my last day of stay at home mom-dom.

    Now with the discovery of TV on my computer, I’ve taken to adding Ellen to my day again. Her dancing is a little something to have in the background at the mid morning hour, to make lunch get here faster and to cure whatever stupid shit is annoying me at the time, now that my worried-neurotic-annoyed-passive aggressive behavior has a new source.

    It just makes me happy. And as we know, it’s the little things that do it for me.