Exit, Stage Left


Here it is.  The end.

The end of a long, storied era.

Does it feel like I’ll be here tomorrow?  It does.  I won’t though.  Not as before.

I don’t know how to explain that I won’t – it won’t be like this, it won’t come out of my body even in the same way. I don’t think I realized how hard I’d have to put my foot on the brakes to make this happen, but it has to.  I have to take off the harnesses and braces and chains and personal limitations and move forward.   Sharing my diary everyday has proven I can do it.  I can generate the words.

But that’s not…writing.  And I’m fooling myself if I treat it as if it is.

I can’t share this with people I know.  I can’t assert that I do this and not say, hey, go read it, interact with me, tell me what you think when the writing I do here is really not meant for a wider conversation.  I am up one day down the next and the emotions have, in their nature, a redundancy that I can’t fight. I can’t just fake how I feel and not end up writing something altogether fictional, and if I’m going to go that route, it might as well not be about me at all.  Be saleable, be an experience.  So we have to go away, in part.   I have to accept truths.

2017 is breathing down my neck and somehow, I feel its beneficence shining behind all of these clouds.  It’s a neutral party.  It hasn’t been set in stone or jelly.  It is all potential.   I am all potential, too.

Today, this last day of this hard year, I spent with people who cared about me.  Who showed it in all sorts of ways.  I had my hair curled and makeup on and this new dress.  The waiter was nice to me.  I did not *not* talk to the guy.  I did not *not* say anything I wanted to say.  Some sense of okayness, of needing to push through, as kindly as I could permeated.  Rather than my cousin telling me she felt I could do it, I told her I thought I could.

As grateful as I am, and as much as that gratitude stops the spinning plates of anxiety, this time, I want to say thank you to me.

Thank you for showing up here nearly every day for six years and trying, even when you didn’t feel up to it or strongly about what to say, thank you for caring enough to move off of square one.   I remember how helpless I felt then, wanting to write, but finding myself doing nothing day after day.  This was a path out of that place, even if now, too, I need a path.  I was the one who got up and opened the page and forced myself to get disciplined.  I was the one who did it.  Me.  Nobody else.  Nobody asked for it.  Nobody needed it.

I asked to do it.  I needed to do it.  Just as I need to do this now.

I want to be understood – it doesn’t matter, if I’m not.

I really loved this.  I really did.



Shifting Gears


I don’t know how weird this will be, but it will be weird.  I wonder if I can do it.  I wonder if I can do any of it.

It is okay if I can’t.

Because I still get home.  And in the interim, there’s some space to try.

See, under the new paradigm, that would be enough.  I would be enough, just to leave it at that. Not to try and give you a tower of dust and sit, gormlessly, waiting for you to approve of it.  I do think that will be nice.  Not to have feel like I’m sitting in some sort of machine that’s siphoning my powers and frittering them out into the free air.

It’s been a fucking year, diary, journal, white space upon which I discharge my most potent emotions.  A toll has been taken. I have gotten screwed over, I’ve had my heart resized and made transparent, I’ve suffered and lost.  My grandfather.  My mom getting sick.  This horrible election cycle and its treacherous, terrible result.  The job just NO-ing all over the place, depressing me well past any low watermark I’ve known before.  A loneliness that clung and hung and reached for my throat.  The panic that made and makes life just that extra bit more challenging for no reason beyond things aren’t entirely rosy all the time. Losing the health insurance that let me have therapy.  Losing luminaries and meaningful guides.

And then, weighing  just as heavily in that wobbly, shifting heart are all the people swooping in to look after me when I couldn’t get it together.  Swooping is great. To distract me, give me joy, and remind me of what I am capable of.  To give me a job! To listen to me complain.  To make up little stories with me wherein I am entirely marvelous. All the people pausing to put their good thoughts into my life, to share what is tantamount to grace with me.  It’s extraordinary how much that becomes the bridge from day to day, moment to moment.

I am not remotely where I wanted to be when this sort of transition took place last year and I forecast what I hoped for myself.  In some cases I am further behind than I was then.

But, I endured it.  I survived it.  I will survive this shitty president and changing jobs and not being wildly loved by boys who ought to wise-up and wildly love me.  Deadlines will roll by, hearts will zip up and go home, snows will fall.  And your anthologist will not die, not from that not from that at all.

I don’t feel strong, but I also don’t feel cowed.  I don’t feel as though it’s impossible to negotiate some sort of effort forward without busting a gasket when I eat a carb or take the easy way home rather than forcing myself to face fears and drive normally.  All or nothing is the enemy. One of them.

In the meantime, one more day.  One more post like this.  :::cling:::

The Dismal Visionary


Who can say?  Not I.  Not I.

2017 is nigh.

I am inspired to do low-carb starting January 1.   It’s coming out of my own desire to do it and not, I believe, out of this sense of needing to have a resolution.  Not out of habit.  It’s, instead, coming out of my own personal sense of needing to start the year working on myself because I want to see improvement.  I want my life to be better, goddamnit, fabulous, even.  Not choosing food to serve as an external release valve on all of my emotions.  Of wanting to be able to get myself moved out of this limbo.  I know that there’s a big event coming on the 9th where food will be funky.  I know my birthday is coming again.  Yet, I want to do this.  I want to have a year-end change.  It’s time to start pulling out the motivational picture albums, the MyFitnessPal, the FitBit or some form of pedometer and get to be excited about progress again.

So, I can’t do it all at once.  But water, cutting carbs, tracking food and posting daily on MFP about it.  That’s a path towards something.  You will see me doing that, failing, upset, excited, not doing what you think I should, working really hard, being all over the map.  But this is my intention.

I also pledge not to eat out more than once a week.  That’s mostly about money, but I also eat so maniacally, it’s a way to help myself, too.

Just to reiterate, changes are going to happen here because…they have to.  I can’t do another year of just posting moaning screeds.  It’s a waste of my talents.  I need to read.  I so need to be reading so that the well has something other than marsh water to draw on.  I can’t do better unless I do differently, so the post will happen in essence via MFP or me writing.  I will be here weekly to spaz and cross-post, but it won’t be like it is now.

That scares the everloving shit out of me.  I might accidentally just post. I don’t know.

Computer Time
The reading and the writing and the not just spending whole days restarting Civ IV games.  I have to be conscious of how much time I cede to this thing.  Even just waiting for people to respond to messages.  It’s endless at times.  I mean, I love it, it’s comforting, but it chains my ass to the bed for ages.  I can’t be chained like this forever.  Nothing is forever.

Every day we start over.  The hand hangs out of the carriage and is grabbing in all directions.  But I am sure that I like myself better for just that little bit of trying I am doing.  So, I say how do you do, and I try and make jokes, and I try and express interest and comb my hair and buy (with gift certificates) new dresses and be cute and willing.  And we’ll see.



Caught in the Undertoad




Perspective is a rather extraordinary thing. Yesterday, I felt lost and adrift as the monthly tsunami of emotional overload overtook me.

I really felt as thought this guy was slighting me and it reminded me of past times, past frustrations, past sorrows to the point of physical pain.

Today, cramped and coiled up like crushed velvet, the loss I feel can’t be categorized as loss.  It’s not a missed opportunity.  It’s not anything.  It is absolutely nothing at all.  A conversation that continues, that fluctuates, that ebbs and flows, that is curious to me even if the person at the other end has zero emotional regard for me at all.

And, as it wends and waves its way through my phone and through my mind,  the world takes back another beauty.  Debbie Reynolds, so ravaged by loss and pain and missed opportunities and love and sorrow and grief and shock and whatever unknowable elements exist at the loss of a daughter, left us all.  Left as going was the only available path.  I believe that was the reason, and the medical issues only the method.  I believe there are bonds that require it.  Bodies that can’t find equilibrium.  Minds that can’t rationalize it.  Spirits that are drawn together too tightly to bear parting.

I used to be unshakably certain that my own mother and I were so knitted.  Now, having come to several of these giant abysses and been saved by fate or science or dumb luck, I wonder if the only gift we can give to one another is the best use of our lives.  The only fair expression of love is trundling forward as my grandfather did when his wife and son died a few months apart, but even he capitulated but a year later. Yet, who knows what happens in the face of unexpected loss?  What promises are made and undone.

So, we eat our tacos and watch Unsinkable Molly Brown and think of “I’m Not Down Yet” a song that featured Debbie/Molly growling and rolling in the dirt, sneering under a boot, asserting her indomitable will to survive and thrive.  It’s both the incredible will and the incredible impact of change.  Immovable objects, unstoppable forces.  All life comes down to is a game of War between them.

It’s the middle of this vacation.  If it was over tomorrow, I’d hardly know what to do with myself.  But I have a few more days, both of work at the shop and breathable quiet days at home, so I am going to work hard at shifting my head.  I’ll keep talking to him even if my bold statements are ignored, even if all we talk is turkey.  Because, today, this feels important to mention, but not so important to suffer over it.

Let him chase after me, keen for me, sigh and bite his fist, clutch his pearls.  Let him do none of the above and let me sit here and think up some new world and beautify this one and improve my life.




Drowned in Moonlight

orchids-04-1516258-640x480There have been so many days lately with this raw, gooey center.  You can imagine it as this plate of picked-apart raspberry bar that’s on the plate next to me.  It looks like kidneys and wadded-up intestine, the soft internal organs, if they were autopsied and made into some sort of art.

This day, this place, both literal and figurative, that is tender and sore.  Hurt. I have the distinct experience of laying down next to it and watching a big boot come out of the periphery and kick it, hard.

There’s a helplessness these days.  After a while, the no you want to yell doesn’t get convinced to leave your lips.  It’s not logical to be all that upset about it if it’s going to happen again tomorrow.  If it’s happening to everyone else.  If it’s just the way life goes.

Still, tender and raw felt tender and raw today.  It may be the hormones, but that’s how it was perceived.  Carrie Fisher died today along with a host of other creative souls and the year taking away so many bright and caring people, it just, regardless of whether it’s true, it feels like we’re under somebody’s thumb.  Somebody who has some malice about the situation.  It has left me sad and I was already predisposed to be sad, in the blood, in my nature.  She was a great writer – I remember Mr. Rochester directed me to a copy of Surrender the Pink and I liked it – I liked it even as I knew it was from a world that I would never be a part of.  I remember her that way moreso than anything to do with Star Wars.

Universal sadness and personal sadness. If you give a thought to it, the line of demarcation starts to get wavy and thin as a hair.  We all just bleat and bleed.

It’s just the agony of everything.  This thing, now, is just the agony of being connected to the universe.  The cord that can’t be cut.

Maybe I ran here to get a breath of air and now I feel too much freedom of thought, or maybe there’s too little thoughts to feed upon.

This is what I need on the 27th day of the final month of the year.  Some suffering to clue me into some sense.

Nobody demands the pain, nobody calls for the martyr, nobody chains my limbs to the radiator or sells vials of my tears.  I am fine.  I am weak for fantasies of power.  I fail at sounds of my victory coming down through the trees.  I buckle for the big idea that it’s all going to turn over out of sheer, dumb fucking luck.  Knees knock, but still I live.

The guy, right now, doesn’t love me anymore than the person passing by you with a paper and coffee in his hand.  This is my assumption.  He has not told me this because there’s been not a whisper of an opening for which to bring it up.  It is high school all over again.  The Long Lashed Boy all grown-up and being sweet to other girls while I rub worriedly at the skin around my wrist.  Really, who’s to say anything as the onion skin reveals the layer beneath, again and again until the green center is finally exposed?

Tonight, I hold in these hands the gummy flesh, the serrated, oozing, hurt and tender part of me that is so fragile about this stuff.   That feels so upset that I can’t seem to just turn and spin the toy in the right way to get the ball through all the pegs and down into the other side.  That my time and energy and earnestness just converts to tofu.  To a bland mass quite discernable from chicken.

This happens because I sit back or I don’t lunge forward.  I am still, deeply unsure if I should lunge forward now.  Not because it isn’t just time to do it, but because I don’t have the information to know anything about anything.  I’m learning.

That I am getting beeps and lights and notifications and realizations of other connections and other people who want to see if they’re the one he’s looking for and vice versa and it is hard.  It is hard to not impose your will, to know you have no status to be anything but yourself.  That last bit, sometimes, is the worst.  The jealousy and pettiness and frustration and insecurity is part and parcel of this learning.

There is so much I cannot control.  I can’t reach into the spinning blades and grab them and hold them steady so it’s safe.  I can only do my best to time my run and buy some band-aids when it’s done.

So getting my food together.  Losing some weight.  Dealing with the clothes that are making me depressed because I haven’t dealt with them because I’ve been depressed.  Getting back to the therapist.  Find a new job.  Put on some makeup, do some walking.  Eat a carrot.  Accepting that all I can do is make myself happy and use the language I want to use to express myself and when he asks what my favorite music is, explain it in the way I want to explain it, even if he doesn’t respond.  The veil of the internet twists everything, endows it with dark portents that don’t exist.

I am going to stop it.  Stop giving a shit.  I am here, hand extended, but the rest of me has things to do if he’s no interest in taking hold of it.  There’s so much else for my mind to contend with rather than sit in the pot and cry over this nonsense.



A Nibble of Flesh


The day after Christmas. Mostly, not much happened which, I suppose, was mostly the plan.

I did talk with the guy.  Again, less than before, though it was not exactly planned.  A bit of laundry, a bit of making the bed and some video games and I got lost in all of it until he sent me a message asking why I was so quiet and while I said it was because I had this and that and the other to do (which I do – I want this week to be about accomplishing things, certainly, and setting up my plans and pantry and will to make a big enough change in the new year), it was really about not appearing as though I cared.  Not being so garishly vulnerable when I don’t know that the vulnerability is reciprocated or part of this or if it’s just a person being nice to me and I have invented a pathway to them caring romantically about me that I don’t want to go down if it has been paved right off a cliff.

Which I cannot tell if it’s the officially wrong thing to do or if even the bit that we do talk feels overweening and reeks of desperation.  Gee, that sounds really good.  Really fascinating.  Oh, cool. You wanna go to a weenie roast next Saturday? That’s…reeking is an aggressive and negative way to put it.  I just know what it is to be made to float in a conversation now and again that you can’t extricate yourself from.   I do not want to do that to someone else.  It’s just odd.  I am trying to gauge everything, as expected, and the machines are not giving me sensible readings.

All of this could be dealt with by me asking a few simple questions and I’m trying to figure out an elaborate plan so as to ask those questions and not appear as though I am a total stumbling fool.

What I want to say is, hey, we sort of threw ourselves right into talking – is there…like, anything, that needs to be said? But that’s a bizarre nebulous thing to intone out of the blue.  Do you need to tell me that you like me or something?  Can I just say that without any particular tangible reason aside from your being willing to converse with me that I like you or something? Can you just let me know if you’re secretly also talking to other women that you like more and who know what tone to use with you and that in a month or so you’ll announce to me that you’re going to make a go at it with them but I’m really great and will find someone just as great, you know, eventually?

All of a sudden I am twelve years old again.

There just wasn’t flirting today or things that could be bent and fluffed and molded to look like flirting.

I read one of those indie girlfriend/boyfriend webcomics where the gist was the more people hang out together or are around each other a lot, the more they tend to like one another.  So, the plan is just to keep on…awkwardly extending my hand. I am fine waiting for ages if I know that the plan is to wait for ages.  I am fine sitting on the stoop for an hour if I know there’s a bus scheduled.

Somehow, I just want it to occur organically like a weed that just pushes its way through a stone.

Wondrous Clever


RIP George Michael.

2016 doesn’t allow for you to generate full-throated platitudes as it winds to a close.  It just reaches out and reaps another spirit we need here with callous contempt for the suffering the world already is irradiated with.  All this on Christmas Day.

It is a sour note after a genuinely pleasant day.

A Christmas that just involved food and tv and family and kindness, and for the most part, there was no need to perform.   Just sit around in my pajamas and float in the middle distances.

I continued to have a few messages exchanged with the guy – mostly about the sous vide and cooking.  I have a bit more illumination about his life, tried to offer a bit of illumination on mine.  I know it’s not an easy day, especially if you’re alone.  I have this idea of how nice it would be to have my own person here to tell about our traditions and who would have some vague expression of interest about it.

I don’t know…the tension exists, but it’s hard to sustain it while talking mostly about cooking and TV and feeling completely as though I’m fucking it up.  Like…I am weighing every silence and pause and the things I’ve said and what is said outside of me and not to me.  It’s a very screwball sort of crush wherein the performance I hate is required. Dancing along the line of, hey, I’ll reply intently with sincerity when maybe my first thought is not to say anything and then, silence when every giddy tendril in me says to make the joke, make the assertion, blur the line.  I am so unaware of how to do this and the uncertainty if this is a tree not to even bark up is significant.  Bothersome.  Not a barrier, but a hitch.

And yet, I do have this ridiculously strong feeling of fondness.  Like, I suppose this is so because I haven’t impeded its development, in fact, I’ve insisted upon it, wished for more of it as a novelty.  It’s this sense that I’m comfortable in some way that I have not earned at all.  Just comfortable saying many things.  And now I wonder if I am just an irritant.  Irritant, perhaps is not it…I think I just don’t know how to handle the emotions that come out of giving a damn about people who are not friends and family, who I can’t serve or please or track.  Manipulate, maybe.  Maybe not.

It has a certain Stray Italian Greyhound vibe, which is curious, as one of my lovely gifts this year was tickets to go see Vienna Teng in a few weeks.

So, I am sort of helpless to do more than time can do which is to spread me out and allow me taste after taste of the possibilities.  Let me start back in on the 2017 version of myself who has so much empathy and concern for where I am now that she is ready to try harder than I have strength right now.