When my grandmother knew she was dying she picked out an opal for me, had a ring designed and sized it, for the short time being, for her own hand. I was an infant then, recently diagnosed lifelong colorless and could-be blind.
My grandmother was a force— a farm girl who took beatings for sneaking away to read, a young woman who left her family to work among foul mouthed boys at the Pentagon during WWII, a single mother, a stone wall, razor tongue, acid wit, first female management at the FAA.
She held me at the hospital in a hallway while the final diagnosis was pronounced to my parents in a tiny, sterile room. Her breast was warm, though the breathing behind it was labored. Her embrace was soothing though her hands were not soft from folding crust-cut sandwiches in wax paper for her children or grandchildren’s outings of uncomplicated youth.
She explored my hot face and closed eyelids with her wise yet diminishing fingers, the opal slipping forward and upside down under her nearly exposed knuckle, resting against my forehead, cooling a spot just above my eyes. She leaned forward and blessed me, “My dear little Michelle-y, I do hope you can see.”
I am an essayist and poet. My work has been rejected by some of the finest journals in America. Fortunately, it also gets accepted from time to time and has appeared in equally fine journals such as Word Riot, Inlandia, Brew City Magazine, and SageWoman, among others.. In 2002, I won the Academy of American Poets Prize for Vanderbilt University.
For no good reason, I possess an unnecessarily dark humor which is why being third generation California Inland Empirian delights me so. My gods are weird. I once won $350 for writing a smartassed essay on “why the wise use of water is important in my daily life”. I am undoubtedly the Greek god Hermes’ special snowflake. I’m pretty sure I got into college via a series of fortuitous clerical errors.
When I had to grow up and get a real job, I decided against it and stayed a writer. I have worked many odd—and I mean odd—jobs to support my habit: PR writer for country music hopefuls, resume massager, WalMart fitting room attendant and switchboard operator, and telephone psychic, just to name a few.
I am also albino. That's why my psychic gifts are so strong. I traded in my pigment for magical foresight, because that's how it works. It gets all technical. Trust me. That's totally how it works.
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