The Book of Coggie

rough drafts

Fuck Tanglewood

"Somehow, things just don’t seem to rhyme." -Robb Millett

I listen to him when I lose my parts in a cracked ceramic dish. Here, he serenades me in endless fields, no street lights in sight. “Here?”

A warm blanket, his familiar hands, that voice I’ve caressed for many years across wires and wickets, the stars laugh down at us crossing paths.

I’m so tired.


I guess “Breathe (2 a.m.)” by Anna Nalick is an appropriate start to today’s stunning soundtrack. I woke up a half-hour before I had to, gripped in physical pain; another mysterious stomach ache and thoughts of Terri. Then, 45 minutes into my run on the treadmill, feeling as if the machine had slowed down considerably.

Lightheaded all day. Nothing severe or constant.

Someone I knew and cared about (online) passed away last night. We found out on Twitter and Facebook collectively this morning, me at my son’s baseball tournament under an impossibly bright sun.

People spoke of her in loving, hushed tones, were quick to judge (as I often am) those who spoke so little of her, posted the usual platitudes that are supposed to comfort yet always anger and shame me.

I read her “obituary” before getting out of my car. I leaned over the open passenger door, gripping my eyes for tears that refused to come, and prayed, “Please forgive me, Raven. Please try to understand.”

I am a Judas. I still don’t believe.

But I want to. I have to.

It’s always so beautiful when they go away.

Be better

You knew this was coming…

Right after I wrote about wishing for justice to rain down upon the assholes of the world, today I get hit with ranter’s remorse. Oh I still believe in justice for assholes. It’s the jealousy and envy I can’t take anymore, from myself especially.

Keep in mind, we’re only human. It’s why G-d gave Moses the 10 Commandments with “Thou shalt not covet” emblazoned in fiery gold amongst “Thou shalt not murder” and “Thou shalt not play that crappy ’80s music.”

It’s hard not to burn with jealousy and envy when you’re confronted on an almost daily basis by people bragging about something in their lives on all the social networks. Facebook is the worst. For a few days now, some of us have had to endure the status updates of a group of people who had the good fortune and who earned the privilege of traveling to a nice place and achieving a lot. (I’m trying to keep the details anonymous.)

Let’s just say, I’ve been having a hard time reading about their daily achievements and scrolling their pictures, depicting them living it up in the big city, a city I would love visiting again with my family.

This morning, my son voiced disbelief that this group was accomplishing so much in the vein of a little sour grapes and parroting what other (envious) people might’ve said. Some members of that lucky group aren’t so nice, let’s just say.

In horror, I realized I could either set a bad or a good example. I truly do wish this group well. They deserve the trip and the accomplishments. They’ve worked very hard to get where they are. I don’t begrudge them any of their success, I truly don’t. I just wish I could have half of their fun right now as I’m neck-deep in my usual obligations.

I quickly encouraged my son to focus on the good people in this group, pointed out how how hard they’ve worked to get where they are, and they probably were able to pull it together and improve to achieve so much right now. “Let’s be happy for them.”

Is the constant posting about every single fart just a tad obnoxious? Of course it is. But guess what? I’d be doing (and have) the same exact thing if I were in their shoes. I probably wouldn’t be as gracious about it either.



I joke about wanting one day where I can have carte blanche to be a colossal asshole. Getting away with it goes without saying. That’s all I see. Assholes getting away with their asshole behavior. The ones who pay are their victims, every single time.

I’m not even counting the people who seem to get everything handed to them on a silver fucking platter while the rest of us have to struggle for every morsel of momentary happiness.

The holy among us probably believe that assholes suffer in their own asshole way that none of us will ever see. But I WANT TO SEE IT. I want to sit in a VIP section on the front row with an extra-large fucking bucket of buttered popcorn, my diet and diabetes be damned!

Most of all, I want to be the dispenser of the karmic justice.

Instead, I have watch innocent victims suffer in silence, going out of their way to avoid these assholes at family get-togethers and special events, and missing out. Myself included.

Issaquah! Third place, Rage Cage.

Without a net

Who do I talk to when I am afraid, overwhelmed, disgusted, or feel utterly alone? You used to be the only one who understood, before you immolated into the Word.

In the back of my mind — not my heart — I believe you are happy without our support group.

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

—   Maya Angelou (via larmoyante)


Try telling yourself how beautiful you are every day. Even if you don’t believe it at first. Thoughts become reality. —Whitney Lyman, Twitter, July 14, 2014


That’s me in the blurry foreground on the left, in purple. Gray hair, triple chin, fucked-up blotchy, ruddy, sickly and diseased facial skin. The woman on the right is, in my opinion, so physically beautiful; I wished I looked like her. Everyone on the field that day was so much more attractive than I could ever hope to be.

Late last night, we came back from another baseball tournament of my son’s. I was sorting through photos I’d taken when I came across some my friend and my husband also took. Some, a very few, were of me at my worst — which is the norm for me in front of the camera.

I’ve had a lifelong problem with my appearance, from birth. Almost as soon as I encountered people of a different race in America, my self-loathing kicked into high gear and never really went away.

It didn’t take me long to fully agree with the white and black bigots who found my exaggerated Asian features and baby fat unbearable to look at. They weren’t wrong. It wasn’t all stacked comparisons to blonde Hollywood starlets with their big blue lidded eyes, rounded foreheads, and shapely hips.

Every time I look at myself — in the reflection or in any photo (I defy any professional photographer to get me remotely nice without giving up) — I am filled with utter revulsion and a strong urge to recoil, or scar my body. it doesn’t matter if I lost a bunch of weight a year ago. I could be 120 lbs., skin and bones (I was in 1988 for a short time), nothing changed my birth defect and my monstrous deformity.

My mother was beautiful. Every man wanted her. I didn’t take after my mother. I took after a savage mongrel that should never have made it out alive. My face is terribly dented from the C-PAP mask, my skin is red and blotchy (I don’t know why), I have a fantastic mustache, I have slits for eyes, gray crooked lips like slices of cadaver and they twist in a misshapen nightmare, as if I were born with a special case of Down’s Syndrome, when I talk. If I don’t completely smile, my entire face with all its added flab drags down two inches from my chin, accentuating the freak show.

It doesn’t matter what people tell me. I simply don’t believe them. I am the ugliest thing on this earth. I can’t stand myself in physical form. I can’t believe anyone would look at me much less engage me in any kind of conversation without wanting to laugh his ass off, vomit in a bucket, or run screaming from such a hideous sight. That some people give me the time of day and say I’m “beautiful” with a straight face is beyond my comprehension.

I know what I see in the mirror and in those godawful pictures. I’m not beautiful. I’m the opposite of beautiful and that’s the truth.

Maybe there are parts of my personality deep down inside where I could pass as beautiful. Maybe I compensate for my lack of beauty with excessive kindness — if people appreciate what I say about them or what I do for them, maybe they can overlook how gross I make them feel.

I wish I could feel better about myself. Right now, I want to cry with embarrassment and shame, and apologize for inflicting my ugly, naked, disgusting, distorted face and body on them.

And thank those who make me feel normal, somehow, in spite of my tremendous ugliness.

He looks so much like his father now.
His Rage Cage team did well in this past weekend’s baseball tournament, their fifth this summer. They made it to the championship and placed second overall in the 8th annual Pete Ross Classic Baseball Tournament.

Jazz Alley walk

"Don’t leave me."

When that’s all they do now. Or I leave first.

I’m tall, towering over the others.

I wear the same black sandals with the two-inch heels, but I’m skinnier now. I walk the same path when the end of August took me suddenly. Then, he was gone.

Don’t leave me. I’m already forgetting.