Fleet of Foot

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And all over the map.

Okay, fair warning to everyone, this is just going to be even more complainy and irritable than usual.  Just FYI.  I just need to deal with what I need to deal with so I can take a breath.  The tempest in my teacup.

My hands feel stiff, after spending all day feeling 50% convinced that my mouth/jaw situation was getting better and mostly forgetting about it, I now am clenched and aching and zapping in pain and horrified and…then, fine, okay, bearable, distracted.

I am working on accepting that the causes I have identified have lead to the negative experience I am having rather than UGH, AH, I JUST FEEL NO GOOD.

These include:

  • Double my usual dose of soda today.
  • Eating nothing good for me whatsoever.
  • Stress beaming out of every orifice I got.
  • Hormones nailing me on the cross of bones that bear my flesh.
  • I haven’t found the mouthguard.
  • I haven’t looked.
  • It’s just Murphy’s Law.
  • I have not had the things I want to distract me around to distract me.
  • Just because the hard and dark places are identified around us, doesn’t mean we always are able to march into their doors with steel-toed boots.   Sometimes we have to crab-crawl backwards so we don’t know the moment we are in from the moment we are out.

I had another of yesterday’s illuminating boss conversations with my mentor.  I didn’t expect and I did not receive some super special job offer to just throw off my shackles and work at the shop in a descriptionless capacity for what I am making now.   Just, y’know, social media dilettante consultant to the stars who will just run the register but get this massive pay raise because we like her so much.

Despite how much easier it would make my life right now.

Even if there are specific reasons that she could not make long-term offers to me in the first place, even if she would be delighted to do that were it possible.  Even if…that did not happen.

Instead, we mostly talked about people I could talk to and what now that, I guess, I am officially calling it open-season on job hunting.

This includes her getting in touch with a high-powered mutual friend of ours who came from our small town and has worked her way up in the universe with no small dose of ambition (backed up, of course, by being very good at what she does.)

I do have this moment of wondering whether or not I want to do anything related to what field this woman works in – education, though not as a teacher – or if the idea of working someplace downtown is prohibitive or, or, or…but information gathering will not harm me.  Right now, having conversations feels a heck of a lot better than scurrying to pull up job search websites and throw mental darts at listings.  At any rate, I’m going to have my resume and we’ll all do lunch and it’ll be like adults do these things.

When Something Got Said

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It’s all I can do not to fall into cliches, but perhaps I might as well. Because if it ain’t one thing, it is assuredly another.

The mouth/jaw thing is not unbearable, but it has not, thus far improved.  Doesn’t hurt at all to chew, or talk, just mostly to close and clamp my teeth together.  Which you don’t think about doing until you realize that when you do it, your jaws feel all numb and sore at the same time and the teeth don’t like it.  So need desperately to do it and it feels all kinds of nope.

So another night of careful care.  Maybe dig out that night guard I got a jillion years ago and never used because it’s awful.

While all of that has been on my mind and has punctured a bit of a delightful day, I continue to think as positively as the hormones and hypochondriacal panic will allow.

It was not delightful in that we had cakes and pedicures and went shopping today, it was delightful in that I had an honest conversation with the boss and I know what her intentions are.  And mostly, she doesn’t know what she intends, but as a part of that, she doesn’t anticipate full-time being a viable possibility in October.

It was sort of not what I expected and exactly what I expected at the same time.  I had kind of been dreading it because I wasn’t sure what clarity I would get or if I’d feel coerced on some level into offering up something I didn’t want to offer in terms of my own plans and goals  And I didn’t have to do that because it was clear.  I can’t anticipate actually getting back to where I was financially, hours-wise in my position any time soon.   We all wish it were otherwise, but it’s not and nobody pretended it was.  I told her it was okay, but I just needed to know and I hadn’t made any plans or decisions, but I had been talking with retail boss and in general and I just had to see how my time needed to go because right now, it’s just not working.  I actually said that the status quo wasn’t enough.  And she, really, patently, truly said, and I want so much more for you.  Then we talked about social media writing and freelance writing and that she hears about those work-from-home opportunities to write and she thinks of me.  I talked about perhaps other things are best for the organization, a part-time bookkeeper.  That, I hadn’t been looking, but the experiences I’d been having lately – borrowing money from my parents (as I do intend to pay the money I was given back) – had made me think. I was firm and clear and said I just wanted to keep the conversation open.  She agreed.

I sort of thought as I was walking home, carefully not grinding my teeth and managing a whole rainbow of mood swings, that maybe she didn’t mean it.  Maybe she was grinding her teeth and hating my guts for thinking about walking away.  But that’s her business and nothing she said actually indicated that and I am way too tired and achey for subtext.  Right now it feels freer and more productive just to openly contemplate moving on.

If only the rest of my body would hear this good news.

But I’ve cleaned the kitchen and wrote this post and am now not going to belong to anything for a good eight to twelve hours.

An Cat Dubh

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Hmmmm.

I am doing pretty okay, considering and am now trying to decide if my mouth has mutinied.  I had a discussion about my sister about jaw clenching and how I’d been feeling like I’d been doing it lately but was relaxing and it was going away.  Now the whole thing feels sore and there’s a big discomfort and pressure when I move my mouth a certain way and I feel panicked and stressed DEFCON 11.   It was demonstrably fine all day and now, oh my gosh, broken.

I have also freaked out once today that my tongue was broken so…I am kind of taking everything with a grain of salt.  Kind of.

This is, if we’re paying attention, and I am so trying to now, one of the hard places where I in the past have just thrown up my hands when facing its challenges. In this case, it’s a health thing and a money thing.  I’m freaked out because something doesn’t feel right, I’m thinking the insurance is all questionable, and I feel insecure about dealing with what I need to do to get that squared so that I can get in if it becomes essential (I’m due for my appointment in a month or so) (I think).

But I am going to see what I can do about that.   I am at least going to give them a proper going-over with the toothbrush and letting myself relax where I can.

Tonight, I’ve actually gotten some cleaning done.  Got my desk cleared off and cleaned up.  This has been a task I needed to do, but also, it’s me wanting to not think about our dear sweet Madi (I think of it as spelled Maddie, but I have long since been overruled on this point and she was not, in the final analysis, my cat.)   We had to put her to sleep today.  My sister nursed that poor thing in the last few months of her life when a throat tumor at 16 overwhelmed the little thing.  She was small, even on kitty cat terms, having been feral and trapped in a trailer in Oklahoma before turning up in a cat rescue where our friend worked.  We were visiting her and, if I recall, going to A-Kon in Dallas for my sister and her friend to appreciate anime and for me to go any new place I hadn’t been before.  On the way back, we or…perhaps, I, was not planning on having any unexpected travelling companions.  My sister decided to bring home this black cat who had been at the cat rescue for two years.  I thought there had to be something wrong with her if nobody wanted her and wasn’t clear on why we should be the people to change that.  I remember being faintly testy about the whole arrangement, while my sister was totally clear.

But still, there she was, in the back in a cat carrier, crying in a desperate, mechanical music box voice as we drove under a billowing storm somewhere around Limon.  I was studying Gaelic at the time.  Half-studying, a dilettante, really.  As a means of distraction against the idea that we might all be blown to bits in some unforeseen tornado, we were tossing around names for this displeased creature.  I said madra was Irish for cat so we could call her that and shorten it to Maddie.  Turns out, with the sort of check that Google would have taken care of were we getting her today, that madra means dog.  And cat’s just cat, pronounced with a lovely Irish inflection.

But things stuck.  The cat stuck.  And she became a loyal, pleasant, jealous, good little house cat.  She didn’t want anything, but to be loved and so she was.  Until we had to say goodbye.

So today had that rough bit in it.  But we knew it had to happen, and so, here we are.  I feel the energy gone in the house, the change.  There’s just the one cat, my Lilybean, remaining.  I feel there was a gift in the compassion and love she engendered in us, and now in the psychic space that has been stretched wider as she’s gone.

More to say, but we’ll find a way to say it later.

 

Put Words To It

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I dreamed last night I lived in Detroit and I dreamed last night, in the same dream, but separately that I escaped from a frightening Arby’s into a haunted house ride.

De-troit.  Dee-troit.  De-nver.

Did we want dessert?  At this dark, shadowy, film noir fast food restaurant, I wanted dessert, but it was so sweet…just frosted everything, like Cinnabon times a thousand and there was thunder and lightning clashing and crashing overhead so I gave up on that thought and found myself in this sort of open-concept haunted house ride.

It had various physical obstacles (ala Nickelodeon’s GUTS when I was a kid).  One of which was some sort of tunnel covered in snow.   This was entirely indoors as the lights flashed on and off in a way that mimicked the earlier lightning.

After crawling through the fake snow with fake, but still functional bits of broken barbed wire in it – caltrops, I guess, I arrived at a floating bar on the wall.  It was hidden, except to me, behind a painting.

Somehow I rode this elevator bar up as though I were Mario and realized, with real dream astonishment, that there was a hidden room upstairs.  I half-registered that this was where they must keep the props and half-believed it was exactly as it seemed, a haunted library. Immediately, I thought I needed to take something with me, that something here was mine.  There was a thin book, with gold-gilded pages, some of which seemed missing.  It had a long title and a latch like a diary.  I had to hide the book in my shirt.

I woke up when I took the floating elevator back down stairs and all of the lights were on, they said it was two years later and I was confused, but knew I still had to hide the book.  It was about 12:30 in the afternoon.  I…don’t know anything more except I needed that time.  That stillness, that struggle within relaxation.

I did get up, and we got over to my parents where…the stillness, oddly enough, somehow continued.   My mother had made BBQ ribs.  I ate myself full and then we worked on another puzzle, which seems to be a major form of comfort to all of us.  For that flowing in and out, to work on the project together.  It makes her happy and I sat there with an ice cream cone thinking to myself, but mostly not thinking because reality is the whole of the world on my shoulders.

Then, my father appeared with a check for $500.00.  I told him I didn’t want it.   Even after all of the Amanda Palmer and taking the doughnuts and accepting help when someone is able and wants to help you, oh, that felt like we were all agreeing that things have gone wrong somewhere somehow.  And I was just hoping to keep on pretending otherwise, in perpetuity.   He gave it to my sister to make me take it – it’s for both of us in that it will let me get things paid so I don’t have to lean on her.  But, wow.   The emotion that I feel attached to that.  I don’t want to be in this position.  I don’t want to be vulnerable like this.

But I am also…grateful.  Grateful that marching towards the abyss means having to pass through so many barriers and so many people reaching out their arms to me.  I mean, there are those in this world that don’t have the resources I have.

Trying to show that gratefulness by taking care of some stuff, getting myself more square, being active in the ways that I can that will improve the situation.  If only allowing me to be more creative and less bogged down with stress in my physical surroundings.

I have an idea for a post now, but it’s late so.  Yeah.

After all of this, I put on Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.  Nobody seemed to find it as exquisite as I did, but my mother did watch along, riffing, laughing.  I didn’t mind because she was amused in one way or another.  They all said “Oh, it’s just one of her movies.”  In a gentle poke sort of way that, at one time, would have depressed me.  “She just walks to the beat of her own drum.”

I think, in some ways, that’s true.  A silent movie.

I wanted to touch the hard places, to get in there and understand why things are the way they are with me.  Things like the driving and doctor anxiety, the things I’m so unwilling to talk about like sex and love and romance and intimacy but that are so constantly on my mind, body image and weight and perfectionism and what it will take to be in a place where I can just write, be it for a living or for myself, and not get hung up on these other issues and stop in my tracks.

This is a piece.  I want to turn away.  I want to ignore it.  It’s been so many years of ignoring it.  I have to forge forward.  I have to go to the gangrene and the rot and pull things up.  Go down to the foundations and build it anew.

It is okay to have this money.  It’s not okay to pretend that things are going to improve via magical thinking or that I’m satisfied with where things are.  I’m not.  Not yet.  It’s in writing.  I need to know.

Even in the face of my sincere gratitude, I am willing to face this superego and say that I want more.

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

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Don’t look back.

  • If I didn’t acknowledge the impulse I have to stop writing tonight and just build up my reserves and thoughts for tomorrow, what would I write?
  • But damn, the well feels dry.
  • I could sing the praises of my mother who when I show up at her house with five minutes to spare on route to work and tell her I need food – loads me up with teriyaki chicken and noodles and belvita cookies and doesn’t make me feel too much like crying over the fact that I have had to do that.
  • We are still adjusting to the fact that in the course of three months we’re going from owning three cats down to one.
  • I still need a drink.
  • I still need short, Hemingway-style sentences.
  • I need something other than this.
  • I need to stop grinding my teeth.
  • I need some sleep, deep, deep, uninterrupted sleep.
  • I need to cut these endless distractions.
  • I need to begin.

It is a curious thing when you are so stressed that the stress has been shoved, hard, into a toy chest in the far corners of your mind.  It rattles, shakes, lurches side to side and sometimes even appears to jump a few inches in the air.   But nothing really breaks out. Nothing really threatens your blissful separation of reality from pleasant delusion.

And that is, perhaps, a dangerous place to hang your hat.  But it also does produce some interesting mental effects.  Such as when you are driving home, and contemplating the contents of your own Pandora’s Box and contemplating what exact level of hell you are at, and suddenly, you start grinning.  Laughing to yourself.  And the sky looks surreal, beautiful and fake and real and completely immune to your petty problems and you can actually feel yourself breathing for a moment.  You can actually feel yourself detach from the idea that you need to suffer every waking moment of your life and what’s beyond that is…kooky.  It’s people riding bikes with helmets on that match their shoes.  It’s the pizza brand sign on top of the pizza delivery car that looks like a shark’s fin at this one particular angle.  It’s this carbonated air.  It’s this curvature of this road and the way your eyeballs grab and process the movement as though the scenery were painted on a screen and it’s moving too slow on the reel.

And for a few moments, no bullet could permeate you.  You could only just make room for it and let it go.  You are just loosely held ideas and water and everything else is comedy yet to be.

Then, of course, holy shit, how am I going to live and when will I find love and what about this book and what about this baby and what is going to happen…but for a bit, just a bit, I didn’t have any of those anvils weighing me down.

I have to say…if we get to choose, make my heaven a bit like that.

 

In the Lacrimatory

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Broke AF.  As Fucking Fuck.

That is not a good feeling.  I’ve been cash-poor, I’ve been running low for months, but after the whole car fiasco, I’ve come to realize that life right now has tapped me out.  I thought that I’d have a hundred to spare, but trying to withdraw 20, apparently, no bueno.  So, I, freaked and ravenous, took five bucks and went to McDonald’s.   And the next half paycheck, one hopes, will arrive on Wednesday.

And right now, I’m listening to MST3K and chatting and what I want to do is keen in the darkness and cry about this.  I think it would make me feel so good, so relieved, so much less a pot at boil that keeps being pulled off the heat just before the water spills over the edge.

There’s no reason for me to be working 6 days a week and have NO money save for the coins I’m already planning to dig out of my bag, the coins I’ve already been

I thought for half a second about offering Tarot readings or…something, I don’t know what (not that, I hardly doubt there would be any takers even if I were) just to get some cash in.  But I’m not talented enough to do that – I wouldn’t just idly sell an experience without preparation.  Like A LOT more than I can get right now.

And that’s the thing.  I can get through five days of this.  I can get food at my parents, eat much less, figure out how to push off that last credit card payment so it doesn’t auto-withdraw.  But I’m not making enough to just come back up to par once those checks come in. I am just…exhausted and irritated and pissed and yet, I’m also nothing.

I’m just numb to it.

I can’t buy anything.  I need to get gas.  How am I going to get gas?  That’s a question.  I don’t know what to do, y’all, I honestly do not know what to do.   There is no secret storehouse of funds to tap.  I have no more savings.  I am just here.  Blinking.  Breathing. I don’t know if I’m marinating in this tunnel where I’m not seeing the forest for the trees.  Should I be leaving the combination of jobs that put me in this position?  Should I be demanding something, asking for a loan, asking for my check early when I know that’s not possible? Nothing I could do today, even if it were quitting all my jobs and starting some place new could do anything to correct the issue at hand.

I can’t go see the therapist.  I can’t talk to all that many people about it.   I can just complain here.  I need to complain regardless of whether or not you need to hear it.

But I don’t…feel like crying.  I feel like it, but I don’t feel like it’s possible.  It’s too abrupt.  It’s too much.  Sooner or later, though, a gullywasher is coming, I know it.

The Doozie

sunbeam-s-1184521-639x534Oh, the old ways.  The illusive I have sought for years upon years.

Details don’t matter.

There is so little that does tonight, ensconced in an unmade, entirely autopsied bed.

I am paying attention to all the hearts I’ve just found streaked across the floor in a pulpy, glistening, crimson parade.  Each one beating out a march to put Souza to shame.  Mine’s there, my sister’s, my mother’s, my countless bosses’, probably yours, too, even if you might find its absence a bit of a surprise.

All these hearts that are striving towards something, and in that striving, they’ve found pain.  They’ve found the sharp splinters in the floorboards.  Nobody put them there to hurt them, but the wood just wore down.  Heartless though I may be, you rather want to pick them up and let them writhe on marble or at least some higher quality laminate.   Making the way smooth as you can so nobody gets caught on the edges that caught you.

But heartless I am, so I find myself watching.

It’s a lonesome evening, even in the company of my thoughts.  I want you to exist in corporeal form.  I want me to have already overcome my obstacles.  I want to have what I want in the way that I want it in the timeframe that pleases me best.  All day long I hear the gods laughing.  Drives me to distraction.

There was an argument in the parade of hearts and I thought that if it were mine to bear, my sorrow, my sadness, my frustration all overflowing out of the urn the water-bearer carries her heart in, if it were my fight…I’d not have fought.

I would have turned to balm so quickly when you turned to let it go.  I would not have wanted to suffer it a moment longer than you wanted it.  I would not have needed just to say it to your face as though you did it and with malice, neither of which is true…just to make the point that I ache.

But I know why she had to.  I respect that she had to assert the truth she saw, the hit she felt she was taking.  It made her feel less lonely to do it.  We are different people, different souls, different hearts, different beats.  I would not doubt her sincerity for a moment.

Still, it would have fallen out of my hands, out of my chest like quicksilver.  Because these facts of fate and deadlines broken and trials endured matters so much less to me than the idea of sitting besides someone who calls me darling and being at peace with them.  Offering them succor when the world encroaches.

I could offer you that.

If I am sad about anything, it is a sadness that I can’t offer you that.

Not yet.

In Australia, there are pink lakes.  They look like they are filled with Pepto Bismol. These have existed all of this time and I never knew about them until just right now.