from one junkie to another!

Hauntings (part 2) May 23, 2012

May 23, 2012

With additional thanks to Liz Wong, illustrator.

Previously on wordjunkies: Annie Maier is haunted by a ghost of earthly existence. Flesh and blood and yet also of her own creation. The identity of said being must remain hidden, due in part to Annie’s desire to remain among the living. When we left her, Annie was inching toward a conclusion: what did this specter have to do with forward motion, writing, and escape?

Before I jump to any hasty conclusions about the presence, temporality, and effect of my ghost, I must call the reader’s attention to the plural s at the end of this week’s (and last week’s) title. Hauntings.


Ah, a surprise! But maybe not. Perhaps you’re way ahead of me. Perhaps you noticed this “s” and made your own conclusions. No self-respecting human has just one haunter, after all, why should I be any different?

I am not. (That is, in a nutshell, the whole point of this blog. We are no different from one another. We look different, give or take a few centimeters between our eyes or drops of melanin in our skin, and we sometimes disagree on important issues like human rights, the efficacy of universal health care and voting regulations (to say nothing of the unimportant question of who might win American Idol), but beneath that, in the pulse and clatter of our veins, we are pretty uniformly crafted. A little blood, a little bone, a few pounds of viscous tissue and viola! a human.)

In fact, the second surprising outcome of my first visit to Life Coach Jackie was the discovery that my other ghost is quite regrettably, and no less irrevocably, dead. I can share his identity due to this state of non-temporality, as well as to the fact that he, my second ghost, Ghost #2, haunting plus “s,” is not a succubus (however reluctant) but is, rather, a poltergeist; in death as in life, he is here to support me, love me and cheer me on. (Because that’s something he and Ghost #1 have in common, though absolutely real the roles they each play in my life are manifestations of my own, often overwrought, psyche.)

It is my father to whom I refer—the venerable but no longer fleshy joseph Rizzo (b. 1936—d. 2007).

Now for the conclusion (which isn’t really, but it’s getting there): I had, in seeking Life Coach Jackie’s assistance, three goals—to complete the final edits on my book, to market my book, to get WordJunkiesPress off the ground, and to be able to leave the house on time each morning without causing myself a nervous breakdown. Primary among these was… well, they’re all primary. I can’t do 1-3 without doing 4; I can’t do 2 without 1… Pressed for an answer, by LC Jackie who could, after one brief phone call, see right through me, I chose number 1. Upon being asked to articulate this desire even further, I said, and I quote from however murky a memory, “I want to find out, and address, why I keep putting off the liberation of my completed but as yet homeless book.” I actually don’t think I used the word liberation. I think what I really said was closer to “ I want to know why I don’t get off my ass and send out my book.”

I didn’t tell Jackie the book’s title, or contents, upfront—not out of a desire to be duplicitous, but because it simply didn’t occur to me. The bizarreness of this statement points to my complete lack of self-awareness while also fully explaining the ease with which my ghosts (1 and 2) infiltrated my head. I mean, really, if I don’t even know I’m up there, how could I possibly be expected to detect anyone else?

Instead, LC Jackie had to do a little digging. Meditatively speaking, she picked up a series of impressions in association with my birth name, Annmarie Rizzo turned Ann Marie Rizzo turned, well, me. Interpreting those impressions was my job.

“The word I see for you” she said by way of intro, “is hesitancy.”

“HAHAHAHA!” I laughed aloud. Perhaps the only more accurate term would have been COMPLETE PARALYSIS!

“The image I see is that of a snake.”

Now, some people might not like being called a snake, but I adore the slinky slithery ophidians. To me they are mysterious and beautiful, adapted in a remarkable way to an environment that prefers long legs and shapely teeth over cold blood and venomous fangs. That they are also considered evil by the bible is just an added bonus.

“But,” LCJ continued, not knowing of my affinity and unwilling at this early date to put me off the whole EFT thing, “this snake has arms.” (I admit it, the arms did creep me out a bit.) “It appears to be shedding, but it’s only gotten half way—its, your, arms are pinned. Have you been having trouble writing?”

Writing? No. Publishing, speaking, putting myself OUT THERE? Why, yes. Yes, I have.

To be Continued….


December 7, 2009 December 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Annie Maier @ 10:48 am
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In Honor of Joe Rizzo (December 6, 1936 – May 27, 2005)

Yesterday was my father’s birthday. I still miss him, but I’m glad he’s at peace, whatever that looks like. Sadness comes and goes, along with my notions of death. Mostly, I invision him as floating around with me – little particles dispersed in the eternity of air and earth and water that surrounds us all. As comforting as that idea is, the whole invisible thing is a drag. I wish I could see him if even for a moment, to make sure he is okay and that he could hear me when I talk. And if he could, what would I tell him? How much I love him, of course. But that’s an involuntary reflex generated by loss. One thing my father never had cause to doubt was the love of his children. (If I couldn’t sit here and know I did everything I could to communicate my love to my father, I would never accomplish another thing. I would be too busy consuming and being consumed by remorse. Not being a huge fan of regret, I try to keep that in mind.)

So, what would I say?

 I would tell him that life is short. That blood pressure is still undervalued and Rizzos are not inherently unlucky. I would tell him he deserved every bit of love he received in this life, and more. That death isn’t, I hope, as bad as he expected. That Lauren and Cat and Bon are doing great; Eric less so. Mama is Mama – that shouldn’t surprise him, and hopefully my saying so would no longer anger him. Finally, I would tell him happiness is not impossible.

My dad was a silent man, though, in the manner of those uncomfortable in their own skin. We share that, and the sharing made conversation between us sporadic and trivial. I don’t imagine he would care much for post mortem postulations any more than he did pre-death small talk. In my dreams, whenever he reappears, healthy and unchanged, it’s always with an air of nonchalance. No one comments on his long absence or on his former illness. It’s not that I don’t recognize both, I just decide to leave well enough alone. “He’s back,” I think, and that is enough. Sometimes, at the end of the dream, he gets sick again. Sometimes I realize I am dreaming and that he is dead. Even then, I don’t comment, I just watch to see how he takes the transformation. He doesn’t usually take it well. Neither do I. In this life, my waking life, any words would depend on time and circumstance. If we had a few days I’d say too little; a few minutes and I’d most assuredly say too much. Caught unaware – Daddy, hey, what are you doing here? – there’s a good possibility that I wouldn’t say anything of consequence. So, how’s it going? See anyone you know floating around the universe? If, implausibly, death had changed him, made him relaxed and confident, I’d let him take the lead.

But maybe none of that is important.

Maybe all I would really need to tell him is Happy Birthday, Pate. Hope you’re enjoying the afterlife. 


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