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Perfume by Karen Maeby (poem)

PERFUME
4.17.17 © by Karen Maeby

the bottle that you hold so dearly
in between your hands
is the flesh that holds my bones together
and
the liquid found inside
is my life’s personality
that will eventually run out.

you unwrap me, make a face,
and give me away during white elephant.
i just wasn’t your taste.

i am undoubtedly fragile
because one slip to the ground
and i will break.

i will break into a million pieces,
only to never be put back together again.
my puzzle will always be missing something.

i think
i feel
i breathe

until i can’t.

i am perfume:

i get used, and then,
when i run out of steam
i am thrown away.

will i be replaced?
will i be replaced?

i am a scent that you will carry with you
always, always, always
as you start thinking back to the memories
you replay scenes in your mind
like the black and white movie on a film board.

midnight jazz
the singer sings on
and the drunk
keeps drinking
and there’s a sneeze in the air
with me on the tip of your tongue.

if i’m replaced—
am i a reincarnation of your memories
or a new and improved tomorrow?

i am now a broken glass,
shattered, impossible to put back together.

i am a butterfly that has just been released,
only wanting to come home.

i am recyclable
determined to be turned into something else.

I AM PERFUME
FOR ONLY SO LONG.

my bottle harvests that moonlight glow
and the tiniest bit of sweetness
between sea breeze, pumpkin, memories and jazz.
i can play the piano to a tune of an illusion

that i was meant to be anything but broken.

Masquerade Fantasy – A short story by Karen Maeby

Masquerade Fantasy – A short story

2017 © Karen Maeby

(Copyright notice: This document shall not be replicated or posted elsewhere unless the author provides written permission. As of right now, the only place this short story is on the author’s private blog at KarenMaeby.com – Thank you for understanding.) 

He sat almost lifeless at his computer, obsessively staring at the screen, as he tapped his pen against the desk. Everything stopped for a minute—the noise of ambulances rushing down the road, the neighbor’s kids screaming as they play, background music on the TV—and all he could hear was his own heartbeat ringing through his ears. As he came to, he wiped the sweat that was pouring off his forehead.

“I have to do this.” He says out loud, as he replies to an ad for a call girl. After responding he hurried up and closed out of the computer when he heard his girlfriend coming in the door.

“Hi honey, what’s going on?” She asks.

“I need to go out for a bit.” He gives her a light kiss then quickly rushes to his car and out of the driveway.

One knock on the door, and this beautiful woman dressed in a Masquerade mask and a black silk nightgown, opens it. “Hi, Sugar. Come on in.” She moves aside as he walks in, taking note of everything in the hotel room.

He doesn’t even take a minute to get settled in. “The beautiful mask. You hide behind it–your true identity. Tell me…. how does it feel to hide your true identity? What is your name?” He asks her, as he brushes her face.

She replies almost uneasy, “My name is Marilyn. You contacted the Masquerade hotline, so the mask is part of the game, Sugar. Now…do you want to start, or should I?” She reaches for him, and he grabs her arm to stop.

“I only want to talk.” He says, “I need to talk to someone and I felt that someone like yourself—with secrets of her own—would be a good contender to lend an ear. Would I be correct about this?”

“…Yes? In a way?”

“Oh don’t worry, beautiful. You’ll still get paid your wage.” He paces the floor. “I suspect my wife is cheating on me, and I want to put a stop to it, but I think murder is the only option. I have thought about this every night since I started suspecting her. Here’s what I will do: I will cook her dinner—her favorite meal—put some sleeping pills in her red wine, and seduce her all the way to bed. Then, after we’ve done the deed for the last time while she’s alive, I will smother her to death. I will wrap her body in a bag—attach some weight to it so there’s not a chance her body will float up—and throw her in the river that’s about 25 miles north of where we live, that way, it’s not suspecting on my part. I would have no reason to go to private property farmland, because that’s where the river is located.” He continues, as he is rubbing his hands together like he’s concocting a plan. “I will wait a day and call 911 to file a missing persons report, then I will call everyone that we know and ask if they’ve seen her.”

Horrified and shaking, Marilyn says as she’s backing away from him, “Are—are—you sure you want to commit murder?”

“Oh Marilyn,” he reaches for her and strokes her arm, “I’m not going to harm you, my dear, there’s no need to be terrified.”

“Why do you think murdering your wife the only option, instead of just talking to her? Couldn’t you go to counseling?”

“Because Brandy had it coming.”

“Had?”

“Has. I mean, has… if I catch her in the act, she’ll be punished.”

“Okay, so say you caught her in the act—wouldn’t you think, that if someone you knew saw you with me here—and let her know—she wouldn’t think you’re doing the same thing?”

“It’s logical, but doubtful. We’re too far from my neighborhood for anyone to recognize me.”

“Chuck, I’ve never been in this position before. I’ve never had someone to confess something this outrageous to me, so you’ve got to understand where I’m coming from, please forgive me… but are you absolutely sure you want to kill your wife? There really are other options to avoid jail time for the rest of your life. Maybe a divorce will suit?”

“If I go to jail over this, the kill will be well worth it.”

“You’ve puzzled me, Chuck. I wish I could help you resolve this so you wouldn’t go to such lengthy matters and end up in so much trouble. What if she’s really not cheating?”

“You could help me find out. I’ll even protect your identity when the time comes, that is, if we have to commit murder.”

“NO! No, I will not help you murder anyone, Chuck. I will talk to you all day here if need be to help change your mind, but I cannot ever do something like that. How could you even think about this yourself? How do you sleep at night with this on your mind?”

“I have slept just fine.” He says, in a matter of fact way.

A buzz of a phone disturbs the awkward silence of the conversation. It was Chuck’s phone. “Oh it’s my girlfriend Diane. She wants to know when I’ll be home and what to fix for dinner.”

“But I thought your–” A knock at the door dismissed Marilyn’s sentence, as she got up to open it, five police were standing outside the door.

One rushes in with a gun drawn, “CHUCK POLASKI, YOU ARE UNDER ARREST FOR THE MURDER OF BRANDY ELAINE POLASKI.”

As the police were reading Chuck’s rights to him, he kept glaring at Marilyn. They escorted him to the police vehicle, and Marilyn shortly followed.

Back at the police station, several people were in the interview room, among them: Diane, Chuck, Marilyn, two detectives and a police officer.

One of the detectives said, “After twenty years, we finally have you. Twenty years. It took two decades to find you, but we did it.”

Chuck spits out. “Who the hell are you, Marilyn? Were you in on this? I should have known you were asking too many questions!”

Diane starts to cry, “Your questions are irrelevant, Chuck. I suspected you were cheating on me, so I hired a private investigator and they’ve been following you around for a while now. You’ve been having some odd behavior that resembled that to a murderers. Sadly, I was right.”

Chuck says, “No, Diane, I suspected you! I thought you were cheating on me.”

“So that’s why you went to meet with someone from the Masquerade hotline? Really?”

“Obviously I contacted the wrong Masquerade hotline.” He snorts.

“Oh no, it was the right one but unfortunately, for you, your date was with an undercover cop.” Marilyn says, as she flashes her badge in his face.

One of the more threatening looking detectives leans in. “Now, Polaski, let’s get down to the nitty gritty business of why we’re really here. Our private investigators have followed you to and from the location of where you threw Brandy’s body in the water. You drive there at least three times a week and you’re walking a very thin line of trespassing on private property. And, according to your confession today of a pre-confessed murder, you already knew it was private property.

And, let’s think about this next one for a minute—you’re not married, you’re with a Diane who holds girlfriend status, so who in the world is Brandy?

Brandy was your wife that you murdered in cold blood twenty years ago. Am I right, Polaski? You just couldn’t take it anymore. You had to tell someone, but yet, you picked your destiny. You could have gone anywhere else but you fell right into a trap of your own doing. But we are so thankful you did, so thank you, Polaski, for setting your own trap.

Needless to say, if we can’t keep the confession as evidence for the court, we can submit your fingerprints. For twenty years, Polaski, we’ve been missing your fingerprint in our database for the proof of closing this case and arresting your ass. It would be in your best interest to plead guilty. So, what will it be, Polaski?”

My initial reaction to the possible axing of film/entertainment offices and tourism groups in Florida. 

Last night I attended Tampa Bay Film Society’s general meeting and the big topic of discussion was HB 7005 (formerly PCB CCS 17-01). If passed, this bill will cause our industry to have a tax increase as well as abolishing Film/Entertainment offices directly effecting tourism/jobs. I haven’t been in the film society for very long, and I know I have a lot to catch up on before I can really discuss things. But today, I researched a lot on this topic, and now, I am speaking out because it is so important for the future of film in Florida. Here is my take on what I have read thus far and took notice of:

First of all, the person who is responsible for wanting to pass this bill and kill such things, seems to have nearly the same mindset and agenda as our now, well, leader. With having said that, the first line of business I see is that [he] wanted to get rid of is VisitFlorida after a certain event. I dug around the Internet for a while to read on this, and truth be told, I am highly disappointed in the VisitFlorida people. Here’s why:

A while ago VisitFlorida hired Pitbull to do a music video. They wouldn’t release details nor the amount of which he was paid. And, he was paid a LOT… to produce such a…well….let’s just say, to be fair here, I do like him, but VisitFlorida—really? Like, really? The video and the lyrics were ridiculous. Suuuuuure, it pictured Florida beaches up and down the coast and mentioned Florida. But… really? And they say they were trying to get Millennials to come to Florida.

I’m a Millennial—a different kind of Millennial—but still a Millennial and there’s no way that video would’ve convinced me to come here if I lived somewhere else. This is where I direct it to the film part…. If VisitFlorida wanted a tourism video or something about Florida, why in the world didn’t they reach out to film makers across the state? They could’ve shown the rest of the world that the state of Florida (aka a tourist-based company from Florida) supported local film makers by hosting a contest where they could’ve won portions of the money they spent on Mr 305. I mean, really. That alone would’ve been so good for the talent in this state, and maybe we’d get noticed again. I could see them splitting up and having a competition for each area where they’d find the best photos and video to put together in either one large video or several shorts and have some sort of documentary where they point out not only the best beaches, but the best local retailers and food of all of the area. Do you guys know how important that would’ve been? Had it been produced, and found by people either on Netflix, Hulu or even YouTube? If people of other states heard the stories behind certain locations (say mom&pop shops) or secrets to the hidden gems of Florida… I mean, not only would we support our own people, we’d get even MORE tourists here.. but, no.

Which brings me to the next point—I have learned in these general meetings that Florida isn’t very friendly towards the film industry due to having 0 incentives, which means, almost no production company wants to produce movies here without having something like that! According to Wikipedia, in 2006 our state used to be #3 in having movies produced here, and now, we’re not even near the top. This is sad. This means: lack of jobs for any one involved in the industry. Not only that but people are losing the chance to be enticed by seeing scenes of Florida in the movies/shows, and that’s one of the many things that drives tourism. Shortly after Dolphin’s Tale was released, it is very well known that Florida saw a rise in tourists. This is what Florida is all about—tourists—that’s what keeps money flowing in our state so why aren’t we being supported?!

Not only am I involved in as much of the arts side of things, but my other industry is the boating industry. Florida has a loooooot of beautiful beach towns, central locations, attractions and events that build up the audience to come here—among those—are having really large BOAT shows all throughout the year in several locations. People from other countries visit Florida just to go to these conferences that we have, the boat shows, or just to boat! They make money here, but they also spend it. So there are a TON of ways to get people here—but to take away certain avenues that might help—isn’t exactly the best decision.

My other alias is “BoatShowGirl” and in the near future I am going to want to use my film knowledge to develop a show about going to the boat shows in order to attract potential employees to the industry as well as future buyers of boats. Bringing newcomers into the state to fill empty jobs, creating more jobs because we can, and having a booming economy could develop from things such as these! Do you think that I want my dream (or someone else’s) to be killed over something like this? No, no, and no. We must fight to keep what’s right for us and the state of which we live in!

To play the devil’s advocate—I will confess that in a way I understand why some of this is going on—in certain people’s minds, they think that money is being hemorrhaged, and tax payer’s money shouldn’t be going towards one person’s paycheck (or things that doesn’t help the economy or community in a big way). I get that, and agree, however, is killing something so important going to do more harm than good? Probably, and that opens a whole other mess of where will all of that ‘saved’ money go? Does it get transferred into another one person’s pocket, or will be it be sent into the community to boost things there? These are the questions we have, as well as what will become of the film industry’s future, will we ever be supported again, and how well will tourism be over the next few years if such avenues disappear?

If you are interested in saving the film industry and reading what’s going on with this bill, you should look up HB 7005 (formerly PCB CCS 17-01) and read on it. I will definitely be doing more research as the days go on, and write more as I see fit.

Karen Maeby takes a vacation detour through the south prior to the Miami Boat Show.

The weekend before vacation. 

Since I started taunting the dudes about my vacation starting early on Friday, one of them found this voice translator and they’d type “Shut up, Karen” in response to my ‘only a few more hours until vacay!’. It was sooooo entertaining and it ended up being one of the best days. Sunday was the last of Modigliani and, as we put props away, I had all of the feels from the ending just like Summer One Acts.

Vacation started Monday, February 13th.

Monday was nothing to write home about. I had every intention on going to Matlacha but it ended up being a bust because I left home too late, and with it being a true beach town during busy season, it was nearly impossible finding a place to park. I drove through the town, seeing what I could see, turned around and left.

I decided to head on to Fort Myers Beach where they were doing construction in the middle of the heat of the traffic, so I drove around, and then went to check-in where I was staying.

One of my long time fears is having roommates or staying with strangers (and having to share common areas), so I overcame that by staying at an Airbnb place. They were a nice couple that had things in common with me, and a few cats so it was cool staying with animals. Bed was super comfy, in a purple room (which reminded me of my room back at my parents) and lots of TV channels which I took seriously since I don’t have cable!

Happy Valentine’s Day 

TREAT # 1

I went to bed watching Golden Girls and woke up to I Love Lucy, so it was already a great start to the day. A little before 11am, I left for Bealls in Fort Myers to go see Leoma Lovegrove. I barely made it to the entrance when I saw her car, walked in and saw all of her stuff right in front of the doors. No joke—there were {what seemed like hundreds} of people there! I purchased a ton of her things: 3 shirts, 1 jacket sweater, 2 fish purse things, and a scarf. There was a guy behind me that walked up to the cashier pretending to my grandpa, so I’d get a discount. That was hilarious.

 
 

Leoma came out, painted, and then people lined up for autographs. It was an amazing random experience, and I say random because I didn’t know about her for more than a week before I left on my vacation….and now, I am a huge fan!

TREAT # 2

A little bit in the afternoon, I left for downtown Fort Myers. I walked around in the Repertory Theatre shops that I saw when I was there last year for the Fort Myers Boat Show. I went to one of the shops and talked to one of the ladies that I remembered from the visit.

By that time, I walked up the guts to go into the tattoo shop that I passed in fear (I did extensive research on who had the best reviews)expecting to get another ear piercing (or tattoo, shhhh) but came out with my nose pierced.

I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone I really wanted a nose ring but I’ve wanted one for a long time, and I’m glad I did it. I was fearful for the pain I was anticipating, but it was so quick it didn’t really hurt at all. However, I did pass out for a second—I lost color in my face, had to drink several tiny cups of water, had a wet towel on my head, and then, a few minutes later I was fine. (I do this after an initial shock of something like this, so I warned the lady.) 

 Me wearing Leoma’s “Mozart” parrot shirt.

Afterwards, I walked back down town looking at some more shops, then to Ford’s Garage and had some food. This is where I found an amazing beer, banana bread beer. Yum!

 

    

 this is a really pretty ring I found but didn’t purchase.

TREAT # 3

Then, it was time. I saw the play To Kill a Mockingbird. Between reading the book when I was in school and watching the movie, I had forgotten some of the details, so I had so many feelings going through my soul at the very end.

    

Older Scout was the narrator telling the story, and when it was time for the actors to act it out—she would stand there and just watch her past unraveling. Everything about TKaM from the acting to the scene design—all of it was amazingly done. Seeing this as a play and seeing a play in the Rep Theatre were both dreams of mine that I was able to check off my list.

It was one of the best (if not THE best) Valentine’s I’ve ever had.

Wednesday, February 15th

From Monday’s traffic to Tuesday’s busy day, I was just so exhausted that I didn’t do anything that day but watch Lifetime movies, relax and pack up.

Thursday, February 16th

I get out of my Airbnb at a reasonable time, and hit the lovely Miami traffic, all the way to Marlin’s Park where I rode a bus to the main boat show site. I realized my badge was at the YMB, so I went there, spent very little time at that location, and headed back only to find out I needed to purchase a ticket for the main location. So I pretty much lost a day between all of the bus riding.

I was hangry at that point, so I went through downtown—and major traffic shock—I ended up just finding a Publix with a NORMAL parking lot and I got some food. Headed to my 2nd Airbnb place to check in and stayed put for the rest of the evening.

 This was on the wall in the room.

That Airbnb room was simple yet elegant. The bed was so cozy it hugged me. The house was super quiet with not really a lot of things in it except for the power of positive and happy music vibes (the owners are musicians, of which, I did not get to meet). They had a small bookshelf of books in their kitchen and I sat down to read a few of them. One of the books was a poetry book O Miami, here are a few favorites out of there:

 “I wish I’d even seen more Spanglish in the poems.”

Friday, February 17th

Just like Valentine’s day, this was an EPIC-ammmaazing Day. Got picked up by my Canadian friend Graham, went to Bayshore to ride the water taxi which ended up being a large yacht, had an amazing time looking around, met up with several people, and we ended the night having a banana daiquiri at Bayshore while listening to live music. You can read full details about my highlights from the boat show and see photos on boatshowgirl.com.

Saturday, February 18th

I leave Miami and head towards Naples where I bought a ticket to see AMADEUS!

I have been obsessed/in love with Mozart’s music ever since I was in 7th grade sooooo yeah, being able to see this play live—another dream come true. Amazingly well done. Simple set, all talent. Starts out with Salieri in a weird voice as an old man telling the story then he transforms back into a younger Salieri kind of looking back telling the story, then goes back and fourth. Mozart and Salieri were both spot-on with casting. I love the vulgarity of the play, and there were a lot of hilarious moments. I’m glad to have seen some of the funnier movie scenes in this play, as well.

 

I must mention: I sat next to some of the most annoying audience members ever. The lady next to me kept falling asleep and snoring then her and her dad would cough and cough—enough to make me want to find somewhere to take a shower real quick. During act 2 a lady in front of them got so pissed that she got up, yelled “IF YOU ARE SICK WHY IN THE HELL DID YOU COME HERE? YOU SHOULD BE IN THE HOSPITAL!!” and she stomped out one side and came in another to sit on the opposite side. Yes. The mom/dad/adult child sitting next to me had so many manners. *eye roll 

Headed further south after the show was over, and went to Cape Coral to see some jazz. Only stayed for about an hour, then I was back on the road again towards home. (I only have video of the jazz so I will eventually post those along with all photos on Facebook.) 

Sunday, February 19th

Overall, I checked off so many dreams of mine that I feel that I need to start a ‘dreams’ tab on my main website. I did a lot of soul-searching as well, and being near the water once again, well, that helped so much too since my soul’s connection is there. I am—after all—soulfully connected and my heart is anchored down like treasure in the bottom of the Sea.

So, of course, I am home and life resumes… I have so many important decisions to be making in the next few weeks and life-changing ones at that. I am refreshed and ready get focused once again.

An Ode to Modi (the blog entry + poem)

Normally I would wait until after the play is over to write something up, but I feel as if I need to do it right now–at this exact moment–as my feelings are very present.

I don’t know if it’s because of the way we have three stages set up, or that it’s at the Gulfport Player’s home base, or that it’s a different kind of play (about art with nudity and language and just different), or that we almost break a 4th wall in there somewhere, but my gawd, I am so glad that I ended up working this backstage!!!

There is just something magical about Modigliani being performed at GP’s Backstage theatre. I just can’t express it enough.

I’ll be truthful here–I’m very much into art but I’ve never really been into artists, per se. I know what I like when I see it, but I couldn’t really name some artists if my life depended on it. But I can appreciate the hell out of a play about an artist that I didn’t really know much about, if anything. It’s almost like watching one of those old PBS TV shows a looooooong long super long time ago about composers when I was very much into music. And, I LOVED THOSE! So much! Which isn’t a surprise when I say I love a good play about an artist!

We artists (painters, writers, creative folk, etc) we go through lots of crazy things and crazy feelings and chaos and just everything in the world to become good, to become something, to get noticed, to live life the way we want to before life just takes over and all the craziness ensues. This is exactly this play, regardless if it really happened or not–this is how it usually ends up. And the person ends up going half batshit crazy right before something magical happens that they get noticed, or they’re noticed after they’re dead. Unfortunately. It is the life of the artist.

I took in watching from the audience’s point of view a few nights–before I had to be backstage–and the liveliness of the play (and the characters being put to life by our wonderful actors) is just pure magic. I just can’t say it enough. I love the three stages set up, and being so close to the audience. When I sat in the audience, I sat in the front row and I felt like I was a friend to the characters, or I was someone at the park just watching all of this happen.

Pure crazy, I say! I don’t want to say what happens in the play because I want to encourage EVERYONE to come out to the Backdoor Theatre in Gulfport and see this…

THURS, FRI, SAT @ 8PM AND SUNDAY AT 2PM. Tickets $18 online, $20 at the door.

SEE YOU THERE!

Oh, and a poem:

An Ode to Modi
by Karen Maeby © 2.1.17

chaos ensues
at the rupture of color—
thin lines, thick lines, painting, sculpting. 

a sick individual’s soul
dies within his own art,
as he never lets a bottle leave his hand.

an apron:
finding the need to be draped around
his neck, her neck, someones.

his friend:
withholding a chicken
to squeeze a little art out of his cheeks.

he’s no longer suited
to be the one who represents
and he sets himself up for—

truth be told
in the midnight hour of two a.m.
a song bursts out in flames.

emotions emerge from the dinner
where a proper gentleman sits,
interrupted by the king.

art is art is art!
but his—it takes an eternity—
to only be bought to be replaced.

she packs her bag
and leaves,
blowing his last candle out.

chaos ensues
leaving him to nothing
but himself, a masterpiece within.

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day.

THIS DAY. Holocaust Remembrance Day….. A very, very, very important day that we must remember. ALWAYS. EVERY SINGLE DAY.

WE MUST REMEMBER THIS PART OF HISTORY EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. 

When I was growing up learning about the Holocaust was a part of history class but I believe I found and read Anne Frank on my own (I know I did a book report at one time on her diary). My mom had a copy, then I asked for my own copy for Christmas.

Unbeknownst to my soul I have always had the deepest connection with Jewish people, the Holocaust, and a feeling for what happened. I have always had an interest in learning more and wanting to help out in some way–to spread the word–to make sure this would never happen again. HOW was the question, how in the world could someone do something so fucking horrible like this? I always wondered. Why. Hate? Why? Just why?! The feelings and emotions I have had as I think about this are still as strong as when I learned about them.

I’ve watched Anne Frank (the movie) thousands of times, and each time, I still cry so hard. I’ve read her diary so many times. I even wrote a book called “Dear Anne Frank” about when I went to DC and wrote to her my experiences, especially what I was feeling when I was at the Holocaust Museum when someone was disrespecting the person who was speaking. I still remember wanting to turn around and smack them and tell them they should listen because it’s really important.

The more someone tries to deny something like this, the more apt it is to happen. The more someone tries to forget this happened, the more it can happen. This is how history is repeated. This is WHY it is sooooooo important to get the word out. To share. To stop what should be stopped before it can happen again. Whether it’s today, tomorrow or one hundred years from now. The signs of hate and bigotry and separation needs to stop! REGARDLESS of what you believe in—-those things are so wrong for a trying-to-be-functioning society. That’s WHY we have the issues we do because people like that STILL exist!

I saw something posted online various places in reference to if her family and her could’ve gotten out and survived…..You think about these things. This had to of happened, her diary left behind, to possibly teach everyone in the future? The people who left anything behind. Then you think, what kind of a difference could they have made if they were alive now? It angers me that there were millions of people’s lives destroyed because of something like this.

I can’t say it enough—-we must remember what happened, and teach those younger than us, so that something like this shall never happen again. TODAY, THIS WEEK, THIS MONTH, THIS YEAR… we must EDUCATE ourselves on how to surf through those hiding their true soul. We must NEVER lose our identity, we must FIGHT for what is right and for our SOULS. We MUST LEARN to think on our own and be able to sniff out when this will happen again… and we must STOP IT this time!!!!

There is an older based-on-a-true-story movie called Freedom Writers that really spoke to me on many levels. If you’ve never seen it–basically a brand new teacher goes to an “at risk” school that is having so many racial issues. She tries really hard to teach them, all the while they are so used to being disruptive, not learning, drugs, drive-by’s and other things like that from their community. She decides to teach them about the Holocaust, and gives them journals to write their own issues. She helps them change their lives, and teaches them in the meantime to change what they can change to be better. A lot of her students were the first in their families to graduate.

THAT is why I say…

EVERYONE HAS A STORY. 

EVERYONE 
HAS 

STORY 

Get out there and share! SHARE what your heart and soul is telling you! This is the future, this is the only way, the only way people are going to be helped and will learn about anything that is important is by true life stories. Everyone has a story, and 2017 is the time to share it. 

Souls Enlightenment
© Karen Maeby 1.27.17

Our souls sought survival yesterday,
as we’re caught in the middle of learning
the life lessons our ages bring to us
when passed down from generation to generation.

We must learn about our past–
to meet, greet and shake hands with history.
Tell history, share OUR history:
to make sure we don’t live the history, again.

My soul becomes unraveled and my heart
nearly stops—with every siren I hear.
Every moment, are we getting closer and closer
to having our names and our personalities erased
to be replaced with numbers that’ll never define us?

Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life, and you shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children. – This is a quote–that I’ll never forget–from a postcard I got at the Holocaust Museum in DC.

Tonight I read my poetry out loud for the first time.

I bet you gasped at the title, aye? I’ve been writing poetry for years and years and have never attended something like this where I read my poetry. Mostly because I’m better writing the words than speaking them. (I’m sure that’ll change eventually, as I do need to become a model speaker.) 

TONIGHT the mayor of Gulfport accepted the role of Poet Laureate for the year. I missed last year’s initiation reading due to me being sick, so it was a treat tonight to go and still be able to hear the first PL. I was probably one of the youngest people there by at least 10 something years.

I was nervous and only read one poem, but still, I did it. And people thanked me for reading. Which–that–in itself was strange, but nice… and the comments–like–keep writing.

What did I read? I read the poem I wrote about the Summer One Acts in homage to the one thing that changed my life for the better. Forget everything else, I owe a lot of everything to my family at the Gulfport Community Theatre for giving me the opportunity to work with them and find what I’ve found so far.

I saw the inside of this year’s book, and unfortunately, only a handful of people submitted their poetry.

This is the 2nd year in a row that I’m in the book, and in “A” book other than my own self published ones. A couple of goals checked off over this one, for sure!

There are two things that’s important to me in my life and that’s a) helping find a solution for the large gap in the boating industry and b) supporting the arts, and most important of all, literature/writing poetry. And, if I’m lucky, as BoatShowGirl I will some how magically be able to combine both of them to be some sort of life changing thing.

I know a lot of people I’m around don’t really understand poetry, but they’ve told me the stuff I write grows on them, and maybe one day… they’ll understand. I hope. We need more people to write. Writing is therapeutic, writing sometimes saves people’s lives… especially mine… in all of these years that bad things have happened.

WE – THIS WORLD – have to be more PUSHING towards written literature! It’s a way of life for many! And I intend on being one of those people! {In time.}

Here’s a poem I came up with tonight as I was listening to the others. In direct result to what’s going on right now….

Premature Goodbye
by Karen Maeby © 1.26.17

she’s considering packing her belongings
in her 1920s suitcases
and leaving everything else behind.

she knows she belongs somewhere,
but doubts it’s here anymore.
a brand new start yet again
is probably what her heart needs
after being left alone and wondering
why he broke her so fucking hard–

and the world, her world
came crashing down like a beautiful
chandelier falling from the ceiling
during a tornado that randomly passed through
without warning.

he left her speechless, but full of words
as he gave her everything
and then took it all away!
she’s looking to the moon tonight
to give her a reason to stay
maybe he’ll come back to her one day.

‘god, i missed you so much’
they’ll say to one another
as they realized it was meant to be.
but she’s really leaving
is it really worth it to stay?
he doesn’t care one bit–he walks away.

she decided it’s best to pack her bags,
it’ll be soon she’ll say goodbye
and off on her merry little way. 

I bid farewell to Parfumerie.

At last, there will be no more Christmas music, no more mention of Christmas, and no more looking at Christmas anything (except for the fact that my tree is still up here at home). I will explain later why I am severely glad that part is over.

The cast/crew of Parfumerie are all beautiful people–made up of new faces, same faces from Summer One Acts, and ones I’ve just never met but everyone else knew. Everyone’s very talented and I am so happy to have been a part of it. OH and since this was my 3rd time to help backstage, I finally got my GP Tech shirt that I lovelovelovelovelove soooooooo much! 

The stage design–if I had a house–that is exactly how I would want at least my parlor to look like: pink, with a poof seat, shadow box, lots of glitter, perfume bottles, a chandelier, and the like. Perfection! Needless to say, I LOVED IT.

The story itself is a sweet story. Most people in the millennial age would know You’ve Got Mail to be the 2nd rendition of this story with Shop Around the Corner being right before that one. I’m glad I was introduced to Parfumerie in this way as a play. It has two overlying stories about the shop owner and then about two shop clerks but at the end it’s a love story. That’s as much as I want to say without giving it away.

If you had no idea about Parfumerie but you’ve seen You’ve Got Mail you would definitely pick it out at the end just like I did. I’m like, “I SEE IT. I TOTALLY SEE YOU’VE GOT MAIL!”

And now… is the part where I explain that this play just isn’t a play to me, it’s a little piece of life. 

It’s funny–that. This same weekend nine years ago I was still working at my first job in retail and we were completely closing the store down. I often referred to You’ve Got Mail — big bad Fox books large retailer taking over the mom&pop ‘shop around the corner’ — and I would look to this movie over and over for answers about my future… of where I was going to go, what I was going to do, and so on once our store closed.. and oddly enough, this same week THIS year, I have been asked that again in a different circumstance, and once again, I am so up in the air. None of this is by coincidence. It’s the universe sending signals of some sort, and I need to figure out out. I need to actually have answers this time. It’s all too funny that the same message comes back around nine years later but in a totally different way. 

The director of Parfumerie had a talk with everyone prior to opening show and he said that “everyone has a story”. I keep seeing that everywhere. It’s a sign. I need to run with this. It’s relative to what I’m trying to do in my life, and for my projects, especially my BoatShowGirl stuff. Now, he was actually talking about the characters but it’s for real life too. When I think about our characters (customers) in this show, I remember my favorite customers when I worked at that job before I left, and what ever happened with them. There was this cute little Jewish couple that would come in late and try on shoes, there was a lady with long gray hair, there was another one that always wore skirts, there was one crazy lady that gave me her phone number, and the one guy that came in every.single.day to buy a shirt. There were several others but those memories have since faded. Some of our decorations in this play reminded me of our themed Christmas one year of “Shake Your Goodys” of which I still have some of the souvenirs at my parent’s house.

And, if anyone wondered what happened to me after our store officially closed, I got another retail job inside the mall and then left that for another job a few months later in the outdoor mall just down the street. I never had any regular customers after that, I never saw any of them again, and there was never another “staff like family” like there had been at my first job. At least I knew in my heart of all hearts that those were the good days and I took it all in before it was gone, but I also knew it was time to say goodbye.  

I finally introduced my Eisenhower to theatre last night, and must I say, he really truly enjoyed meeting everyone and listening to the show from backstage. For those who didn’t see him, his shell was raised up the entire show, and that’s how you know he’s paying attention. I know that he appreciates the kindness that came everyone because he didn’t hide and wasn’t scared. And I appreciate all of you for acting kind towards him, and asking questions. I’m extremely proud to be raising a hermit crab with experiences in the human world. 🙂

I’ve said very little to anyone about this but it was incredibly hard to work a show that continued with Christmas 4 weeks past when it should’ve been boxed up and a love story unraveling right in front of my face. This Christmas someone that I trusted, knew on a soulful level, and loved very deeply shoved the largest knife right into my heart straight down to the core where I am bleeding for all eternity, cut my heart into little tiny pieces and spit me away just like I never meant anything to them. I am still hurting, and will be hurting for a really long time. Some people were meant to be loved, and some, well, are like me.

Thank you to everyone in Parfumerie for making my third show amazing. Thank you also for the weird mental picture moments today because it’s well worth it to remember. Until the next show, I bid thee farewell my sweets. 

Always, Maeby

Filling up the bottles with emotions.

Today we moved Parfumerie into the Catherine Hickman Theater and after lunch we had fun pouring our mixtures of blue/pink-red/gold into each perfume bottle. Opening up the perfumes that still had something in it from a long time ago… whew, whew, whew. I just kept smelling it and asking the others if they remember that smell. There were a lot of the same scents that reminded me of the perfume I’d find in my grandma’s house either in her room or my mom’s room. But still, ew, how in the world did we ever find those scents to be yummy? 

I don’t know. Beats me. Now I have a headache many hours later from it. I think I’ll just stick with my pumpkin-whatever-the-flavor from Bath&Body Works because that’s the only stuff I can really stand these days.

So……working with perfume reminds me of a poem that I wrote with inspiration from a boat show book that had images of yacht baths and sinks in it. Here goes:

Perfume and Cologne
© Karen Maeby 5/25/14 

A book is laid on the seat of a chair
and a bookcase nearly empty.
White and gold objects
lay above the seat
and a photo frame without a photo.

Women’s perfume and men’s cologne,
smells mixed together.

A bar of soap
sitting there, unopened.
And a rose sits singularly on the white counter.
Sugar just as thick on your lips.
I crave. You know, I tease.

Gold slated walls, a shower
with glass separation and
a flat sprout sink faucet.
Silk lace…
finger tips that burn with passion.

A walkthrough
of a slideshow of lite romantic jazz.

Times up – you take my hand
and the floor becomes soaked.
We grab all of the towels
and make a mess all over the floor.
Now, we enter complication.

In all seriousness though, Parfumerie’s last performance will be super sad for me. It’s my last play for a while so that I can truly focus on BoatShowGirl and get it to the point where it doesn’t need to be babysat, or worked on in the beginning stages like it has been lately as I try to develop my brand. I’ve made some good professional connections and they seem to be leading me on the right path of where I want to go. BUT, I have a lot more work to do to get to where I (think) I want to go. HOPEFULLY, I will announcing a release of my BSG book in the next few months. I’m looking at going to Miami Boat Show because truthfully, I really need to be there, even though I think if I had to choose I’d rather go to Palm Beach in March.

Speaking of writing, I haven’t published anything in such a long time. It’s been something that’s weighing heavily on my mind–which is why one of my main ‘goals’ or ‘desires for every day’ is to ‘BE A WRITER FIRST.’ It’s helping. I probably shouldn’t have, but I went through a lot of my older poetry and deleted half of it. I felt better afterwards. Eventually this year, there will be a book with all of my older unpublished stuff so that I can move on from many years ago. I keep thinking I’ll make up some story or something with the older stuff but all it’s doing is reeking havoc on my present-day thoughts. Just like I could never go back to the moment of my first book ‘Maeby it’s only the beginning’ or ‘In Love With a Sailor / The Captain in Me.’ I want to focus on jazz, not depression poetry or anything else. Just jazz. Soulful stuff. Unique. I want to focus on the today moments mixed with the happier times of my short-term past.

Something I hadn’t thought about doing in a long time is to make out a yearly plan for what I want to do with BSG / new brand ILBS / writing. It came from the inspiration of doing BSG stuff for my new contract / guest blogging work… and it seems to really put the focus on the goals. Not only breakdown of goals, but actually know ahead of time what I need to be doing. All of this is really good. I’m feeling better already. Now, if I can just stick with it.

I had something random to happen at work on Friday. I took a call about a father looking for a boat for his son. The boat type was unrelated to my company’s boat lines, but I helped him anyway. He said he couldn’t find the number online so I found it for him. He responded with sincere gratitude and a promise of a note to me of some sorts. I’m not sure what it was about, but maybe… there is a purpose to this random call? I guess I’ll find out next week. It was strange indeed.

Betty–a family member who I used to visit all the time when I lived in Kentucky–passed away. Feels like I’m always losing someone in one way or another. First Bella the day after Christmas, then her.

Anddddd in times like this, it really hurts feeling like I cannot reach out to the one person I really care about, and share what’s been happening lately. Maybe it’s too soon, maybe not. I don’t know. I just wish things could be different…and maybe it will be in time. I hope. Boy do I hope so. 🙁

Eisenhower is driving me batshit crazy. He keeps trying to make his way up to the tallest point in his aquarium and then he hits the glass and falls back down. So. Many. Times. He’s been the reason for my waking up in the middle of the night because he’s being so loud in the other room. I should really learn from him though, no matter how many times he has fallen, he gets right back up and tries it again. Looks like “giving up” is not in his vocabulary and success is where he wants to be. Could it be that his brain is too big for his tiny little shell? Possibly.

-Until next time, Karen Maeby

Searching for where I belong.

It’s a brand new year, and in order to come to terms with anything, I really need to release this to the universe instead of keeping it inside. Plus, I guess it should be my unspoken resolution (out of five thousand) to be dangerously vulnerable, opening myself up to whatever may come my way, but this time around know and understand what’s going to happen because that’s what always happens to me.

All of my life I’ve pretty much lived like my hermit crab baby–barely opening my shell to anyone–and when I do, they have to be very special with something built out of connection on some soul level and trust. I’ve been hurt by so many circumstances in my life that it’s a struggle to continue to open to anyone, and that is extremely difficult when I am needing to be a profile personality for the work that I want to do (BoatShowGirl) and to go into my first love in the arts/theatre. So every single day is a really big battle for me. 

It was when I was 27 years old that I stopped caring what people thought when I did something, because I always have a purpose or reason. Life is too short to care. I understand enough to know that if someone doesn’t support you as you are or as you change, they’re not really a friend, and you need to cut them out of your life. Just because it doesn’t suit someone else’s life doesn’t mean it won’t suit mine or make mine better. I live how I want to live and that’s that. If I don’t like something, you’ll know, and instantly it’ll be changed. I choose my relationships due to a person’s personality and what we have in common. The more you care about together, the more you share, and the happier the life. Same with friends but on a different level, of course.

Most of the time I truly am busy but when things are overwhelming or I feel like a major depression is coming on, I don’t mean to go into hiding or cut people off, but it’s what I do…unfortunately. I don’t want to be seen as the black sheep that brings everyone down due to negativity. It’s difficult for me to reach out to anyone mostly, because if I do, I’m afraid–like in my past–one won’t have time for me, not really care to hear from me, or the group doesn’t really want to see me outside of wherever I’ve met them. I want to be included, but rejection. I shut down, and I have no issue shutting a chapter and just picking up and moving on…to make my next go around until it happens again, and then, I continue until I feel like I’m getting closer to where I’m supposed to be. It’s just what I’m used to.

I don’t do traditional. I knew at a younger age that I didn’t want that, and I don’t want to do the same thing for the rest of my life or live in the same general area. To be free and open gives the chance to chase a dream or opportunity. I want to live life odd, strange, out of context, and have days like out of RENT that really teaches lessons. I want my experiences to be very unique and my TRUE stories to be unforgettable. I feel like some of my purpose here on Earth is to share my stories with people and make a difference in their life. Be some sort of guidance, a helping hand, or for future generations.

I’m an only child born to older parents. Not only was I alone most of the time, I was raised differently, like it was another era. I’m grateful, but it’s also been extremely difficult fitting in…. I’m an old soul–I know this and I’ve been told multiple times. I get along with much older people. I get along with younger people. I don’t really fit in my age group. Never really have, no offense to anyone my age, I still love you.

It’s difficult being 30 years old, looking like I’m 15, and feeling like I’m 40 or something due to goals and what I really want in life. It ruined something great for me, I wish it turned out differently, and I really don’t know how to handle that right now.

I feel like I’ve walked this Earth many times before. The ballroom gown days where proper English was spoken, classical music/opera were the nightly shows, and letters were sent by the Pony Express. The 1920s where my soul belongs, I found the love of my life and I had to let him go after a dance to jazz at our dinner party, that suddenly went up in the overcast of cigarette smoke and booze. The 1970s where every photo comes out looking like vintage, I play my vinyl records, and dance in my head like I’m a hippie. The era of Pirates where I was one of the only female Pirate on board the beautiful ship…. I died on the Titanic, and my heart/bones can be found with the treasure at the bottom of the Sea.

But yet, I live and breathe in the 21st century and I have none of my past, except for the memories. Or dreams. And present day, where a few years ago, I had a very lively dream that I was in a concentration camp in this lifetime, and my heart/soul pours out to Anne Frank’s ghost because I have had such a mysterious connection with her for as long as I can remember.

This is what I feel, and I haven’t really talked about it to too many people over my years. I hope you know that I am very serious and I’m not living in a dream world. I only wish I could relive some of those eras that my soul has been so that maybe.. just maybe I can find what I’m searching for in my future. But maybe, just maybe… truth be told, if I find my future, I won’t be here any longer. Then, it’s like Catch-22 or something. I just keep barely existing until I am found.

I really do love life no matter how hard it’s been, especially the opportunities I’ve been blessed with because of my talents and my dreams that have come true because I never, ever gave up. I love being an adult, and never ever have I ever wished to be a kid again because it was easy. I don’t like easy. I am challenged when things get hard and difficult, I may shut down and go to sleep, but it’s my puzzle to figure out how to solve until something good happens again.

I really hope that in 2017 I can really live out that path of where I’m going with my work personality of BoatShowGirl and really show the world my creative side of Karen Maeby. I am one of the most confusing, deep, and complex people on this Earth, and trying to dissect me….well, as you can see, is difficult.

Here’s to 2017.

-Karen Maeby