Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sixty-Nine Days

In case you missed it, starting in September, I plan to stop working (eek!), store my belongings in a shed, and travel around the country for (at least) three months, searching for a new place to call home. For years I have wanted to move. For various reasons, including failed attempts at love, trying to save money for moving costs, and not knowing where to go, I remained in DC. But I no longer wish to have my life - my career, my love life (or lack there of), my place in the world - on hold because 'I want to go,' and so my solution is to vagabond.

The loose plan is the drive around the country, the first six weeks for mostly joy and then with purpose: When I find a city that I feel I might be keen on, I'll spend a few days in the city applying for jobs and checking out more of the sites and city vibes. I will live mostly out of a tent and sometimes sleep in the trunk of my little hatchback in Wal-Mart parking lots that allow overnight parking for RVs (there's an app for that...seriously) - couch surfing when the opportunity presents. I will attempt to live as cheaply as possible, subsisting mostly eggs and noodles and the kindness of strangers, as even homelessness proves to be expensive.

I was chatting about my plan with a friend at a wedding a few weeks back. While we waited for the ceremony to start, she tried to reason with my stubborn heels to start a gofundme, softening my I-am-an-island sense of conviction with: "We spend over a decade of our lives celebrating other people's life choices with weddings and babies and all those things, but how often do we celebrate a person choosing to chase their dream?" 

I paused to think. I mean, she had a point. And I'm in no position to turn down help. However, weeks later, despite her words and my blurb written and ready to post, I'm still trying to convince myself it's okay to press that "submit" button and ask for help with something I'm choosing to do...Or is it a choice?

This past Sunday, I called my step-father (of 29 years) to wish him a happy father's day. Surprisingly, both my parents are incredibly supportive. My mother, only worried for my safety and my step-father - I found out on Sunday - the same. He said he wanted to talk to me about my plan and I wondered aloud if he was going to try to talk me out of it: "I'm scared enough as it is," I said. 

 "Certainly not," he responded, after reminding me that the front lines of war taught him that being scared is pointless, then continued, "I hitchhiked around the country when I got back from Vietnam for three months. I felt it was something I just felt I had to do. If this is something you feel you have to do, I support that. I just want you to be safe."

::brake noises:: 


After we hung up, I began to wonder, was he right? Was I like him in that this is something I feel I have to do verses simply a choice? The more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right. 

Ever since high school, I have dreamed of being a vagabond. While I realize this certainly isn't a dream for everyone, there was a bit of wanderlust that always existed. I ignored it in order to go to school and get a job like I thought I was 'supposed to do,' with plans to marry at 25 like I thought I was also 'supposed to do'. Then, at 25, I left my boyfriend of five years. But after graduating with two degrees and a Scrooge McDuck pile of debt, I thought it impossible to become a vagabond and still be able to meet my financial obligations (even after working for eight years). At 28, I began to develop a desire to leave DC: DC is nice and it was fun, but it's not full of what I would call 'my people' - whoever they are. Attempts to fall in love and save money in order to move (ironically), repeatedly thwarted my attempts to move, followed by an inability to figure out where should be my new home. And thus, came my solution to vagabond to find a home and fulfill a decade old dream.

I realize, however, that this is going to be difficult. I am equal parts scared and excited. Some days more scared than excited. And I realize that to some people, this may come off to some as "incredibly stupid" or "financially irresponsible," but I have tried to plan as best I can, and save as much as possible, and hope everything works out, and tell myself this is an okay thing to do at 31, because, while society urges this is the age to get married and pop out babies, I think that no matter what else happens in life, that it is important we find our happiness - whatever that means. Because happiness is contagious; no (wo)man is an island. And sometimes in life you have to do certain 'stupid', scary, faith-driven things so you don't ever have to say 'I wish I would have.' 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Doughnuts and Pride

Today is National Doughnut Day. Heading down the stairwell to walk to Dunkin Donuts for my free fried dough, I run into a wave of nostalgia; it hits my face and darts up my nose. Someone must have just walked down the stairs, leaving a trail of Turk-like cologne, because just then I didn't even realize that the Turk had a smell - or that I remembered it. Comfort and panic and surprise it all at once. The mind is quite a curious place. 

The last update left the Turk wishing me a Merry Christmas before he left for Turkey again, but that wasn't the end. The random and sporadic texts began again when her returned from Turkey again in January. "Hellooo," he wrote. "Happy new year," he typed to me 17 days past the new year, which led to very short and general conversation of how are you's, like strangers in an elevator. A few days later, I texted him to ask if he could recommend a place in Istanbul, as my cousin and I were discussing a trip. (We eventually settled on Cozumel.)

On January 28, he texted because he was driving by my place for work and was "going to stop by for lunch :)." That Saturday night, he texted that he was at the nightclub where we met "if you're around." I declined, saying I had just got home (and I was tired and not interested in a booty call, having been presently satiated by the single dad). A week into February, he called me as I was boarding my plane to Arizona to tell me about the information he got for us concerning our possible trip to Istanbul. I told him I couldn't talk; would call him the following week. I texted and he called after work; a short call that was only semi-useful in terms of our trip: He said he would send a link to his friend's hotel. 

Two days after that, "Happy Valentines" popped up onto my phone. Although, come to think of it, he might be the only man who wished me one. I asked for the link the next day and he finally sent it a week later. That's the last we spoke until the end of March. Under the guise of checking on if we were going to Istanbul and did I check out the link, he started texting. He asked what I was doing that Saturday and that he was going out with his friends and "maybe we run into each other." I told him probably not, as I had no plans to go out, still recovering from my weekend before in Boston. 

Turns out, however, that I did go out. An out of town girlfriend was in DC, so I passed it on to him thinking, "If they get bottle service, we can wriggle into it too." Only my attempts at being delightfully coy were met with an opposition, as when I asked where he and his friends were going, all he did was ask where I was going. I gave up on trying to remora onto their bottle service and my friends and I picked a spot to eat and drink. 

At 10p, the Turk texts to ask when we were going, to which I responded that we were already there. I asked - mildly miffed I was going to have to metro home, "Not going out, I take it?" 

"I do wanna go out though. Just took a shower; got dressed up." 

"Where you going?" I asked. 

"I don't know. If I go out, I"ll probably come to where you are." Perfect: Free ride home. Just after midnight, he shows up. My friends, having encouraged tequila into me before leaving the house, and I were already quite drunk. I saw The Turk walk up the steps and it was like breathing a breath of stale air. Ah. Yes, he does have a smell. I smelled him. It was reminiscent of desire and heartache. We hugged and went off to a less crowded area of the bar where my friends were flopping around like drunken fishes for a few minutes before they left and - I would later learn via Tinder message - a Tinder match, whom I had just accepted a date from, watched me flirt with the Turk. (We never went out, though he still tried.)

About an hour later, my friends were gone and I was finished with my vodka tonic and needed to go home. He offered to drive me. Directly out front of the bar was a baby blue WV Jetta, a far cry from his black Mercedes E63 AMG. "Who's car is this?" I inquired. 

"It's my friend's."

"Oh right," I said, suddenly remembering he said that he was out with them. "Where are they?"

"They're at another bar around the corner. I have to pick him and his girlfriend up at 2am."

"It's 1am now. How are you going to be back in time?" I wondered aloud.

"It's fine. I drop you off and come back," he said, confidently, as he shifted from reverse to first gear. Even drunk, I began to suspect something was amiss. The VW was new and I had only seen him out with one other friend, whose car he drove. The one who sat on the couch, drinking coffee last time we hooked up in October.

Back at my house, he ended up in my bed - both of us lying atop the comforter shoulder to shoulder. We chatted a bit and I cornered him into admitting that the car he was driving wasn't his friend's car (it being well past 2am, at this point,when he said he had to pick them up). Finally he confessed, "It's my car, but I still have my Mercedes at home. I can show you!"

"That's not necessary," I said through a muffled chuckle and already positioned to move onto my next mission: Getting him to admit that there were no friends out that night; that he made them up to have an excuse to see me. He, reluctantly, eventually admitted to that too. And then we hooked up, which didn't do much of anything for me and my tequila haze. It was quick and emotionless - I imagine he was frustrated with me, having used my brain and calling him out.

I woke up the next morning with that realization that that would, indeed, be the last time I would see the Turk. Because back in September when things were at the pinnacle of falling apart he posed the question: "What are you like in a break-up?"

"I don't know," I confessed after a contemplating pause, "Sort of like this...but every man that has ever broken up, always came back."

"I don't go back," he said, sternly. But he did come back. He wanted to spend time with me, without admitting that he wanted to spend time with me. Without admitting he missed any part of me - emotional or physical. He tiptoed around me, so completely unlike the confident Turkish King who swept me away, left me with no choice, and cast me aside all so easily and in such a short amount of time some months before. He had the power then; his pride still in tact, he vulnerabilities complete shielded, and his fear of rejection completely not necessitated. But calling him out on his bullshit opened a wound to all of the things he keeps closed from the world; his whole facade was blown.

And I realized that morning that stinging the pride of a man who defines himself by it, meant he would cut off himself off from that sting forever. And I didn't really mind - and almost sort of forgot - until a scent in the stairwell on the way to a free doughnut triggered my memory.  And so that's the ridiculous (and sort of hilarious and even a bit sad) finale to the saga of The Turk. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Worry is Contagious

Over the past couple of days, I have been reconsidering my timeline - again. This happened after, at a friend's wedding this weekend, I was discussing my plan with a few people and they seemed incredibly concerned about my financial situation. Which got me panicked about it. One friend suggested that I set up a donation page, which I immediately shot down. Something about asking people for money when you are voluntarily becoming jobless and homeless, seems strange - and maybe a bit rude. But she made a good point that she wants to help her friends chase their dreams, if that's what she can do to support me in finding my best self and making me happy, then its just as good - better, even - then the money we throw at our friends at this stage in our lives for their decisions to get married or have babies. 

Point (to): Red.

I am now slowly warming up to the idea of setting up a donation page. Passively, at best. Where my friends (and family) who love and support me can do their best to ease their minds about my impending homelessness and ballsy-as-shit (or stupid, TBD) decision to quit everything and leave all comforts behind to find my place in this world. That's right, I'm self-proclaiming it is ballsy as shit, because the more they talk about the realities of it the more my mind panics and I go OH GOD WHAT AM I ABOUT TO DO? And maybe I should stay just one more year?!  In a year, I could pay off credit cards and have a better nest to fall back on, should I not be able to find a new city and a new job in time (before my (in process) savings runs out). I'm saving as hard as I can right now, but just a few extra months at work and a couple more commission checks would make a huge difference. If I postponed, it would be the more responsible thing to do (in a fairly irresponsible situation). It would ease their worries about my well-being - which, until then, I didn't even realize was a thing. And ease my mind, which is growing with steady concern directly paralleling the voiced concerns of others.

Maybe if I just stay and extra seven months... I contemplate.

But I sat at work today, staring at my computer, aware that, as it is the first day of June, I have officially three months until I am homeless - should I choose to be. And even then, it seems too far away. Next spring would be better, I think to myself; heading into the warmth, versus leaving this fall, heading into the cold. But I think about the prospect of another snowy winter, stuck at the same job, in the same house, doing the same old thing and I can't imagine the toll that would take on me. I think it might swollow me whole. And from that, I realized that I'm certain of it now: it is time to go - ready or not, financially under-prepared or not. I'm going to do my damnest to make this work, because I have to make it work. It feels like now or never - and never isn't an option because I take a long time to make a decision, but once it is made, I rarely go back: I believe my decision has been cemented in the form of progression. I have to fucking do this, ready or not - all I can give it is all that I have and hope for the best.

I have to try. Worry or not. The time is now

Friday, May 15, 2015

108 Days

I have no idea what I'm doing!

These words, the idea; it keeps ringing through my head, particularly today. Earlier today, I went and purchased my new home for a solid deal of 42 dollars. And a brand new bed (read: self-inflating sleeping pad) - also on sale. Thanks REI Anniversary sale! My Amazon wish list continues to grow as well, as I tag things I think of in the moment that maybe I'll need for this adventure. (Stun gun included.) I also began to look up some camp sites (after reviewing my finances) and realized camp sites are more expensive than I thought. I may be squatting in more Wal-Mart parking lots than originally anticipated. $28 for one night of tenting at a KOA? I'm going to need to take a really, really long flip-flop laden shower and befriend a BBQing old couple to justify that cost.

I also figured out that my Mazda3 (manual) hatchback will probably suck in around $200 worth of gas per week if I keep moving. Sorry, Earth. And then there's food; food should be interesting to come by, but I found a sturdy, cheap sterno stove, so at least there's that. (I'm sensing a lot of fried eggs in my future.) But what happens when I run out of eggs in the middle of South Dakota? Can I use Tinder in a pinch?

I'm picturing my Craig's List Ad/Tinder Profile already: Rolling Stone Seeks Evening Companion and Free Hamburger (Mainly just the burger, but I'll listen to you talk). Seems legit.

Anyway, the preparations have now begun outside of just my head and simply researching. I have 108 days left before I become voluntarily homeless, traveling the country and living out of my car. Just over 15 weeks - that's it: Three months and two weeks.

This is happening. It's happening, it's happening. And now I have my vaga-house and my vaga-bed. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015


What about to tell you makes it real. Not that I haven’t been thinking about and talking about it and figuring it out for months, but this, in writing, is oh-so-real. As I mentioned in the last post, my Seattle girlfriend is baking an unexpected bun (because life is minxy like that) and has since moved back to the east coast to be closer to family (i.e. a necessary support system). So when I went to Phoenix and I really liked it and eating ice cream outside in 70 degree weather in February, I thought “THIS IS AMAZING. I could totally live here.”

Phoenix was an attractive place to live before Walter. And then I assumed Walter (who offered to help me move – huge for a girl looking out for any signs from the universe) was a sign and BOOP! decided Arizona was it. And then Walter ghosted and burned, so I was really distraught. I was distraught not only that this guy I was interested in disappeared, but, moreso, (I realized as time when on) I was distraught that I had this total sense of direction again after abandoning Seattle – and that was suddenly ripped from me too.

And thus, again, I was directionless; (new) homeless. And frustrated. For years I’ve wanted to move, but I’ve stayed here, unsure of where to go. And it is best, I thought: if you haven’t a place to go, stay just where you are. But I’m done staying; the time is up and I don’t want to live here anymore, despite lacking any solid direction of where to go. Which brings me to my latest plan - the one I'm making real. My new plan starts with a sabbatical. (Or freelancing for work, if they allow me.) It’s foolish and financially irresponsible and tricky and terrifying and awesome, but I’m going to travel around the country shopping for my new home. I'm going to become a vagabond, to shop for the city I've been hoping to have found by now.

Now, you might say: Well why not just continue with your plan to move to Seattle? And, as a girl with such an inclination to pay attention to “signs,” everything in the past nine months has motioned to me and waved me away from it. Starting with the Turk. Plus, my Seattle gal – once discovered she was moving back east – admitted to me after I regaled her with my Phoenix tale, “I don’t think Seattle is sunny enough for you.”

In my months of mental planning, since I made this sort-of ridiculous decision, I have figured out the very small logistics of how and what. I will pack up all of my things and store them at my parents’ house. I will have a limited number of necessary items in my car, which will also serve as my bed part time. (Thank you Wal-Mart parking lots and KOAs.) I want to keep an open itinerary, but drive all around the country. I’m hoping facebook and connections will earn me free places to stay and lots of advice. While I am on my country-wide city walkabout, if I like a city, I will stay there for a couple of days, applying for jobs (and maybe even interviewing) before I move on to the next city.

The choice to do this – thankfully, is supported by my mother. I feel like that is very important, because I’m entirely nervous to make this step. It’s an incredibly calculated risk. But I realize I have only one life and it has been a decade long dream of mine to be a vagabond, so what better time and way to discover a new home, than to become a homeless vaga to do it? (I hope.) That support gives me courage.

Friends and strangers have also begun to come forward and give me the courage to do this. When people ask if, when, and where I’m moving, I tell them my new plan and they give me high-fives. Internet strangers have commended me for my "bravery." Real life strangers have also given me votes of confidence. For, for example, I was in a restaurant of the airport two weeks ago in Atlanta (on the way back from Mexico) when I was telling the stranger next to me my plan. A man sitting at the bar, turned around and mentioned that when he was 30, he quit his job and spent six months traveling the world and it was the best thing he ever did. Thirty minutes later, we boarded (that same guy happened to be on the flight) and while we loaded in I came upon this article. We were flying back from Cozumel where I never wanted to leave. (That’s the first time I’d been to a place and understood the sentiment of “I want to retire here.”) Mid-air I read and realized I was reading about myself. (I’m pretty sure she and I could be best friends.)

I want a life more fulfilling like the girl in the article. I am completely uncertain what that means or where it is, but that piece, and the man at the bar, and the encouragement of friends and strangers, and support of family, it makes me realize that sometimes you have to drop everything and put your faith into the things unknown. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m on a quest to ensure my life is entirely fulfilling, and while I’m not sure what it means, I am ready and determined to do my damnedest to find out. And calm my fears with excitement.

Finally, I'm leaving. It's time to say "Fuck it." I'm going to live.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


I returned from Arizona, confident in something but I wasn't really sure what. As far as I knew, the single dad was over and I had a sort of direction again. (My plan for Seattle had recently been set ascew by an unexpected turn of events in the life of my girlfriend whom I was going to stay with there while I got settled, which sent her back to the east coast.)  I thought: I could live in Arizona.

I know, I'm just oozing sex appeal.
Five days later, it was Valentine's day. I was single - oh, so single - but I didn't mind. I enjoyed a "galentine's" celebration of junk food and wine with my cousin and her friends that she had set up. While lying on the couch in my pink zebra onsie with the other girls, wine, some potato chips, and a dog, I hopped back on Tinder - which I had been avoiding for months - passing the time during an on-coming snowstorm, while half-listening to 20-somethings lement about life and failed love.

On Tinder, a man showed up with a beard, green eyes and 6'. I swiped right, naturally, after checking to make sure he was local. I had turned my Tinder on for about 30 seconds while in Phoenix to show my host my profile, curious if he approved. I doubted anyone swiped me in that 30 seconds, but wanted to make sure. This was was 23 miles away, so it was a go.

The following day, the guy messaged me. I checked again to make sure he was local: 23 miles. I messaged back. He had the same name as my dad, so I renamed him: Walter. Almost immediately, and without reason, I began to refer to him as my 'husband' to my cousin and housemates. They laughed, but I just kept calling him that, unsure if I would ever speak to him after that day. Although, after an hour of conversation, I learned that Walter was from here originally and had moved to Arizone two yers ago. He offered to help me move across the country - since his family was still here, he would be back in May.

He was my sign from the universe!, I told him, surprised he didn't flinch in response. So perhaps then, that was my reason. But still, it was silly, yet the closest I'd ever come to the kind of thing when someone says, "when you know, you know." I knew. (Or so I thought. I think when people say this, what they really mean is "I hoped really hard s/he was it.")

For three weeks we talked every day. We facetimed. We exchanged a million photos and selfies. We had our first "date" watching "Theory of Everything" together via chat. We planned to meet the the second week in March when he was in town for work. He was complimentary and curious about me. He was funny and clever and I didn't have to explain Internet jokes. He had a job and a degree and seemed to fill of of the things on my "List". I was infatuated. I gushed in my head and aloud said almost nothing, but probably more than I thought. Fuck, was I interested. I went home for a weekend and told my mom and sister when they asked who I was texting, even though earlier that week he'd begun to text less.

I had asked him what was up with texting less and he said he was busy with work and this charity case kid that lived with him. I told him I didn't want to add to his stress, so I could leave him be. He told me "You're not. At all!" and carried on more with a conversation. Everything was copasetic. In a conversation after that, I told him I remember lots of dreams after he said he didn't. He told me to dream of him and said I'd see what I could do.

Days later, on March 4, the last snowstorm of the winter hit. That night I had a dream. He was in it. I woke up and wrote it down so I could tell him what it was: I was sitting down at a desk in front of a PC. An old photo came up of some weird outfit (can remember the outfit or its reason). You were standing in the room while I was pissing about on facebook and you saw a picture of me and made fun. I said, "If you think that one's bad, you should have seen yesterday's." So you walked towards me and came up behind me - I presumed to click through to find the picture - and I was smug because I knew the photos were only on my phone and not the computer, so I was just going to let you fruitlessly search. Only when  you came up behind me, instead of grabbing the mouse, you put your head around/above mine and kissed me so well that I forgot what words were.

He texted me later that afternoon. "I had a dream about you," I said.

He sent back a selfie with a surprised face, "Omgah. Lay it on me!" Then followed up with a picture I had requested the night before of him in a suit.

"So young!" I responded.

"haha. that was like...4 years ago? 5 maybe." And then that's the last thing he said to me. Without reason, Walter, this perfect man who the idea of I was falling for, disappeared. It made no sense. Just days earlier I told him I'd go away to not add to his stress. I didn't say anything wrong. I never even got to tell him my dream. The only sensical conclusion, after he had offered me to stay in his house and made plans on where to put my dream piece of furniture (a chaise and a half), was that something bad had happened. I was in a sort of terrified panic because of this near stranger.

He didn't respond when I texted three days later, "Getting worried over here. Please let me know you're alright." He didn't pick up his phone when I called once two days after that. Or when my friend called trying to help me stop wondering if I was the only one who knew he'd disappeared. (I didn't ask her to.) I began to call hopitals. I inquired to my mother and friends as to what to do. My mother said to contact his family - not that I really knew who his family was - but, even for me, that seemed too far. I am a hopeless romantic, yes, but I am also a realist cynic. I couldn't call the police or anything beyond something not traceable because I'm not quite that crazy. And I didn't know this guy. Maybe he was just playing games. Maybe he had a girlfriend that came back and he just ditched me because his balls got lost somewhere in his 20s.

So I just continued to check his reddit handle here and there. I had randomly - with little reason - asked what it was three weeks prior. Twelve days after he disappeared, after I had spent time searching news reports for accidents and obits for deaths and hospitals for his occupancy, I saw thislittle turd post something about Keanu Reeves shoes on reddit. That little fucking prick ghosted on me. I wrote this:

That felt good to write. It felt good to know he was not dead. I was so fucking releived and also pretty pissed he let me get involved. I was livid with him, ready to mail off a glitter bomb to the address my friend creepily PI found when I was like HE MIGHT BE DEAD BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT DO I DO, but as time passed, I cooled down (sans glitter bomb, even though it amused the hell out of my mom) and was more upset that I let myself get that involved and affected by someone I'd yet to meet. It was completely unexpected. And my own reaction to it all surprised even me. After the relvery of relief, I became disinfranchinsed with the whole single, dating, love, blah blah thing.

For a few days, I mulled over the idea that I had become so stupidly invested in someone I barely knew. In the idea that this guy could be my husband. I lost my hope in those 12 days of mysterious vanish. I thought the universe had put all of those things together, to lead me to something I lost before I had it. It was less about him and more about this arduous journey leading to nothing. It was a slow build up and sudden downpour of realization after that text, that I knew what I needed to do: I needed to stop focusing on this search for love or partnership or whatever it is I have come to beleive SHOULD be my next step. It was fucking stupid. Foolish. Stupid. Pointless. And a little weird. He pulled an incredibly dick move (guys, seriously, grow the fuck up), but really, when the dust settled, I was the only one left to blame. I can only control my actions: I beleived too much, too soon, with blind faith, hope and this idea of what I thought I wanted to happen next would happen (perhaps, or only because, I wanted it to), but life isn't like that.

Since then, there has been a paradigm shift. My focus now lies primarily on me. Love outside of myself isn't much of a consideration; more of a peripheral concern for future me. My hope is not lost, simply re-adjusted. I have been focusing on all of the wrong things; things not under my control; things that should matter far less than the clout I had mistakenly afforded to them. I need to focus and rely more on myself. It took some silly prick, but I learned that lesson and with good timing too...

Because I have a new plan now and it's tricky and terrifying and awesome - now that Seattle is a wash - though I need to take a moment to fill you in on that too...  (I apologize for my long absence. I have much more to catch up on now. I'll be back much sooner than later.)

Thursday, March 12, 2015


in life, we all do things to keep us afloat. some might go to therapy, or take medicine, or meditate. and some might, say, write a blog, documenting the absurdity of it all because they were once told that "the worst moments make the best stories" and it's the only thing keeping them sane through their twenties or hope alive in their thirties. the idea that one day all of these mean moments and painful stories will lead to some sort of destiny and some kind of crazy, beautiful happiness that ultimately makes the bumpy, thorn-filled ride worth it. but today, today i want off the boat. today, my hope is an elusive dragon whose tail i feel i may have been fruitlessly chasing for far too long and all that exists within it now is a breath of fire - scarring my once indelible spirit.

[explanation to follow]