Category Archives: Lisa Hacker

December 31 – Just Me

by Lisa Bankson-Hacker

woman on green field under blue skies

woman on green field under blue skies

I am an insomniac who often spends hours in the middle of the night worrying about things that will likely never happen.

I am a woman with chubby knees and shoulders best suited for a junior high quarterback.

I am a mom who notoriously forgets to mail a birthday card, despite spending the week before their birthday reminiscing on their importance in my life.

I am a driver who sometimes goes a little too fast, but always pulls over for funeral processions and says a little prayer.

I am a cook who rarely works from recipes, then wonders why the meatloaf tastes a little different than it did last time.

I am a dog lover who can’t resist the whining dachshund scratching at my bedroom door.

I am a wife who often feels invisible.

I am an instructor who gets to the end of each semester and commiserates over the lessons I never got around to.

I am a shopper who cannot walk away from a clearance rack.

I am a child of the 80s who greatly misses roller skating rinks, MTV, and Duran Duran.

I am the church member who sings loudly, yet imperfectly, at the top of my lungs during worship service.

I am the unsteady hand that has never been adept at using an eyebrow pencil.

I am the dreamer who really wants to go back to school for that PhD, but wonders if I’m too old.

I am the crafty one who loves to crochet scarves but has no one in Texas to give them to.

I am the couch potato who can spend hours watching CSI Miami and Dateline reruns.

I am the drinker who loves a good dry red.

I am the lover who loves to be loved.

I am the boss who always gives you the day off when you need it.

I am the tutor who sees good things in everything you write.

I am the friend who often disappears when the world gets a little too crowded.

I am the patient who questions why, and wonders when she will be well.

I am the writer who craves more time to write, then squanders it with daydreams and doodles.

I am a woman like you, my friend: different, but more alike than we know.

Lisa is a community college writing center supervisor, an adjunct writing instructor at a local university, and a freelance writer. She lives in Santa Fe, Texas, and enjoys traveling and crochet. She looks forward to the day when she can live in a little house in the woods, in the middle of nowhere. Her website is www.writingthequeensenglish.com.

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October 6 – When I Heard Bill Had Passed Away

by Lisa Hacker

It never failed.

If I had missed church the previous week, I knew that during greeting time he would sneak up on me. Between handshakes and hugs, he would just suddenly appear. Some might say it was his height that made it easier for him to slip between folks, but I think it was just his sneaky nature.

“Hello, I’m Bill Self. Nice to meet you.”

It was his way of saying, “Where were you? You were missed.”

At work, he often did the same thing. I would look up and he would just be there, in the doorway, with that precocious smirk on his face. Sometimes he would get a cup of coffee. Sometimes he would rant at some thing or another that had gotten under his skin. But more often than thought, he came, in his own words, “Just to harass you.”

If you needed him, he was there without question or complaint. Whether it was a trip to the airport or a malfunctioning electrical outlet, Bill Self was your man. He was as solid as granite and as sure as the sun.

I remember one evening as we chatted in his backyard, getting a tour of the new chicken coup he had built, I spotted a skunk moseying around the side of his garage. Without saying a word, he stealthily slipped into the house and returned with a shotgun. I won’t lie. When he lifted that gun to his shoulder, there was a bit of Elmer Fudd in him. Needless to say, the skunk didn’t bother Bill Self after that.

He was a man who didn’t accept BS and didn’t serve it. You got the truth whether you wanted it or not, and you were always better for it. He had a heart that melted like a Hershey’s Kiss when he spoke of his beloved grandchildren, and he had a love for his wife that inspired every married couple who knew him. They both looked at each other with stars in their eyes.

He told me more times than I could count that Bev was the best thing that ever happened to him, and he didn’t know how she put up with him. But the truth was that ‘putting up’ with Bill was a privilege of the highest honor.

He was, perhaps, the best thing that ever happened to us all.

Lisa is a community college writing center supervisor, an adjunct writing instructor at a local university, and a freelance writer. She lives in Santa Fe, Texas, and enjoys traveling and crochet. She looks forward to the day when she can live in a little house in the woods, in the middle of nowhere. Her website is www.writingthequeensenglish.com.

September 7 – Careless Whispers

by Lisa Hacker

I knew I was in shock because I couldn’t feel any tears on my face.

I read the words again, as if a second, third, and even tenth reading would cause the letters to come to their senses and assemble themselves into another sentence, any sentence. One that did not fracture my heart.

But it didn’t happen, of course. Words just never do listen; they say what they have to say and then just sit there, arrogant, unwavering, refusing to be ignored. And whether calculated or careless, random or refined, they have this power to bring a shift, a break, an absolute demolition to the stability of one’s identity.

Everything I thought I was came into question with that sentence, and I’m trying to go back to the place of me before. But that place does not seem to exist anymore.

You know how it is to go back to the place from which you came? You walk up the steps to the house you lived in years ago, and you recognize the feel of the concrete steps beneath your feet. You place your hand on the rail, which has become a bit wobbly but still is itself. The door, the windows: all are where you last remember them. Your heart stirs because it feels as though it is home again, and with the feeling of home comes the sense of self that feels comfortable and clear.

But then you peek through the window and see that this is not your house anymore. The space belongs to someone else, and they have redefined that space without even asking for your permission. And because it is no longer your house, you aren’t standing, breathing, existing in the space you thought you were in.

Which means that you are not that person anymore, either. And in the end, the words that brought you to this new place of confusion don’t even matter. The only thing that matters is that you no longer know where you are.

edited-lisa-photoLisa Hacker is the coordinator of a community college writing center, as well as a part-time writing instructor at a local university. She loves to travel, and one day hopes to live in the middle of nowhere. Find her online at http://www.writingthequeensenglish.com