About Me

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Kymberlie Ingalls is native to the Bay Area in California. She is a pioneer in blogging, having self-published online since 1997. Her style is loose, experimental, and a journey in stream of consciousness. Works include personal essay, prose, short fictional stories, and a memoir in progress. Thank you for taking a moment of your time to visit. Beware of the occasional falling opinions. For editing services: http://www.kymberlieingalls.com/p/editing-services.html

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Welcome, Stranger... Cheers To You!

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.  Wouldn’t you like to get away..?
I want to run away. 
Well, drive away.  I want the pavement to whisper in my ear, want to feel the curves of the road hug my shivering soul.  There’s a magic that finds me when my hands rest upon the cauldron-like wheel, soaking into my skin like a healing tonic. 
What is it I’m running from?  Maybe from the helplessness in my husband’s eyes as he watches me move about aimlessly, a forlorn mouse in a maze.  All of this cheese dangling, any way I turn, and yet the appeal just isn’t there to take a nibble. 
Probably because I’ll end up with my head caught in the steel trap.
Life inside the maze can be a chaos of its own.  Blind corners, hard cold walls.  Okay, maybe I’m trying to outrun the misperceptions that plague the world.  How am I to know the poison from the provolone?  To counteract the dismal society that I bury myself in every day, I often take my little computer and hide away somewhere.
There’s an old saying; “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”  I was eleven years old when I fell hard for Sam Malone.  The hair, the laughing brown eyes, and oh so tall.  Did I mention the hair?  From the day he first appeared behind the bar of a little tavern by the name of Cheers,  I’ve been claiming that some day I’ll have my own quiet seaside dive or a rowdy little neighborhood pub to call home. 
I heard a story that JK Rowling gave birth to Harry Potter while haunting cafes as a young mother.  I wonder if she were encouraged at all by the kindness of strangers who may have become friends along the way?  I know I am.  Listening to random table conversations is a great source of inspiration, but becoming part of the establishment is an honor that doesn’t come around too often.  A random smile can be the sparkle in a day, a ‘hello’ is worth its weight in gold, but kind words to go with it are rare gems. 
That’s why, when I’m welcomed time and again to a watering hole or lunchtime favorite, I make a point to keep coming back.  It takes a special talent to put on a face for the public, fill their every request, and lure them back for more.  I know, I’ve had to do it; these men and women who pull it off get my respect by the plateful. 
For all of those who quietly brighten the days for the familiar faces they see, I thank you.  For Josh, who has taken on the role of BFF, and Paul, who remembers my name, Miguel who stops by to say hello and chat about working his way through school, Gabriela and her angelic smile, Jasmine with her wicked sense of humor.  There’s Wayne, who is a saint with my difficult requests,  and Sabrina, who never loses her grace, and Adam who strides around the bar like he actually wants to be there. 
And John; who, three years ago when I asked “Why is ‘no onions, no peppers, and all sauces on the side so difficult to understand?” never blinked an eye but answered sincerely, “I don’t know, because that seems simple enough to me.”  And he made everything right.  John makes a point to not just glide through with a half-hearted “How’s everything?” but makes us believe he really wants to hear the answer. 
So, when there’s no time to grab the old girl and head for the highway, I settle for these mini-vacations of long, lingering sandwich sessions.  If I could gather up these favorites and give them a new home, we’d all be serving smiles and spirits and singing around the piano tomorrow. 
You want to be where you can see our troubles are all the same, you want to be where everybody knows your name…
© Kymberlie Ingalls, June 19, 2012
Lyrics: Where Everybody Knows Your Name / Gary Portnoy

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Walls


All around your island there’s a barricade, it keeps out the danger but holds in the pain…

The number one rule of writing is “show, don’t tell.”  It’s like that with relationships too.  I don’t need to be heaped with compliments all the time.  In fact, it makes me extremely uncomfortable and has been the source of discontent lately with a very dear friend of mine.  He doesn’t understand why it causes me such duress. 

I appreciate that he thinks I’m this wonderful person with amazing talent and superhuman powers and stuff.  He claims that he recognizes my faults as well, but I’m not convinced.  It seems every sin I’ve ever committed only seems to add to my allure.  What I have tried, unsuccessfully, to explain is piling on the compliments may be fine and dandy with anyone else, but I’m a horse of a different color.  A whole rainbow’s worth of different, in fact. 

It’s taken me forty years to come to terms with the pressures I put upon myself.  I’ve been abused, assaulted, anorexic and bulimic, neurotic, drunk, depressed and catatonic too.  I have an amnesia of sorts brought on and triggered by traumatic stress. 

Just one big flaming ball of fun, I am.  Lock me in the barrel with the other monkeys. 

Because I was trained so young to feel unworthy of being alive, subsequently I did all sorts of things to self-destruct.  In the end, it’s all about control.  I couldn’t control the pressures being put upon me, so the challenge became to override all of that with my own set of expectations. 

In all of this there was never a motivation to excel in anything specific.  I never went for promotions or educational achievements.  Anything that I might have to answer to while playing by the rules was out of the question. 

So, now, when I’m praised or handed an unconditional or unbiased compliment, I don’t know what to do with it.  Suddenly there is a pressure to be that.  And when someone barrages me with such admiration, I revert to a fat dirty pile of how-the-hell-do-I-live-up-to-that?  It doesn’t matter that maybe I already did.  It’s not in me to see it that way. 

There are still urges deep within me to take leaps from a cliff to see how far I can fall and still come out alive.  It’s like any other recovery – it never goes away.  Unwanted survival instinct.  To feel any sort of idolization is a daunting terror.  My friend will say to me “I don’t idolize you.  I recognize that you have faults, just as I do, and that makes you more… you.  And I genuinely care for you.  The real you.” 

But the bar has been set, and like a gymnast who must leap and vault higher than the time before, I feel like someone trying to achieve a perfection that doesn’t exist.  He may see me as amazing, I see myself as a fraud who now has to be amazing.

I love that he appreciates what he sees as the good in me, but the truth is I can’t handle the enormity of being told so.  That he gives to me his friendship, that’s his showing.  I don’t need to be told why. 

But you’ve got a heart so big it could crush this town – I can’t hold out forever, even walls fall down…


 


© Kymberlie Ingalls, June 10, 2012
Lyrics:  Walls (Circus) / Tom Petty