Complete and Total Meltdown: Day 42

I think, briefly, I capitulated to the great despair.   I am not sure if I am still on my knees before it, but I think, perhaps, I will not be long down.

I gave myself an inch and that inch became a hundred miles.  I feel tired and bad and like a devil just has been awoken from the tranquilizer dart I thought would see me through to safety.

I was thinking about Valentine’s Day and how nicely nebulous the dark space is where my heart is seated in my chest.  I was thinking about my mother and how I don’t like how the chemo seems to be using her in the way you would imagine the cancer would if it had its way.  Exhausting, wizening, enervating.  She’s upbeat, she knows what’s up, but I have to overwrite the story in my head.  I am not seeing her enough so every time feels a bit surprising.  I’m not seeing her because I want to hold everything at status quo in my mind.   I want everything to push forward for me without doing a dang thing, and I want everything to stay steady for her without doing a dang thing.

Meanwhile, at work, we learn about a little boy who has benefited from the things we make.  A bajillion heart defects and issues and surgeries and problems and finally – we do a thing and he is free to be a little boy.    I mean, I don’t do it, but I answer phones for people who make ads for people who do it.   Or something inexactly, but legitimately related.

So I haven’t lost any weight, despite a non-zero effort.  The kitchen’s a nightmare, I don’t want to cook in it.  My car suddenly turned on a low tire pressure sign halfway through the drive this morning, causing an inadvertent panic.  They’re asking me to do things I don’t know how to do.  It’s fine, but I’m unsure.  Tired.  The activation energy over the past few days – I know what I need to do. I just do not do it.

So I ordered a pizza and have sickened myself on it and it’s here next to me and I’m contemplating which is the greater evil – to eat it and swallow the shame of having bought it and blown yet more money on one-off food fixes, or to toss it and blow that money and risk constantly daydreaming about wasted pizza and use that to justify another wave of carb-tasia.

It’s not good.  It’s just not.  I am thinking about how I didn’t even think or care about my goals.  How I didn’t feel qualms about breaking the plan.  How I know how this feels and I know how it feels to string yourself out on guilt aftershocks after the initial binge.  I know and I know that I don’t know if anything is going to be different even though there’s a thousand and one reasons to make this time the time.

Why can’t we make this time the time?

A Venting of Spleen

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The response I am not going to post on Facebook because I don’t know you from Adam (or Eve) and because it’s not my place to hijack someone’s post, however political, to skewer your insipid and self-righteous opinion of the presidential election.  It is not fully sourced and linked.  I accept that and intend to come back and add lots of links.  I may or may not do that as I need to post and be free of this.

However, my blood pressure is at unhealthy levels, and I have to reply to this somewhere so…here we go.

In what world is the manner in which Donald Trump conducts himself as a presidential candidate one that we can elevate above Hillary Clinton?  How can you smugly call a woman who has spent her life in public service a bitch simply by rattling off a list of debunked issues and topics and laugh at those of us who haven’t done their research?

Research what?  How? Sit in front of Fox News and pat ourselves on the fucking back for absorbing the scant moisture available in their partisan vomit?  If you researched anything whatsoever, you’d know that there is no way that Donald Trump is an acceptable candidate for the highest office in the land.  For the expression of American ideals. For anything anyone would want untouched by smarm, self-interest, and profiteering.

Is the Hillary Clinton perfect?  Nope.  Is she the single best presidential candidate we could hope for?  No.  But she is a woman who can take our country forward without driving us all screaming into a ditch and set us on fire with the force of the crash. She is fully capable of handling all that comes with this most delicate of jobs. She can do this because she has political experience which she has used throughout her career to do considerable good – good including the Clinton Foundation  that has saved millions of lives.  A woman who doesn’t look at 50% of her constituency as worthless unless they have sexual appeal.  She has plans for the nation, plans that can be reviewed on her website.  These are tangible truths.

When your choice that you so proudly herald as A CAPSLOCK WORTHY alternative is involved in an ongoing child rape investigation, has destroyed the families who attempted to improve themselves via his university scheme, has shamed, has belittled every single swathe of culture and life in this country save for the much maligned rich white male, I don’t accept your smug delight that comes with it.   You don’t have any particular reason to justify your opinion beyond the handed-down, self-assured delusion of following the party line.  As if somehow that protects you from any stray dissent or evolution of thought reaching in and making you question how marvelous Donald J. Trump might actually be when it comes to anything other than filling up another reality TV slot.   I don’t accept you hitting my friend with this patronizing tone and the silence reverberating back at you like a great well of applause.  It’s not applause, it’s the abyss gagging on your flawed and dangerous condescension and retching it back up at you.

I don’t accept your insinuation that voting for Hillary Clinton is not something I could do after any level of research and personal education.  I’ve been in this, our seemingly shared universe, all this time.  So dumping out those old chestnuts of OOOOH Benghazi or OOOH emails, as if somehow you have the secret knowledge of malice aforethought on the part of Hillary Clinton that you have decided to keep to yourself, you clever, clever girl, is not going to somehow repudiate my choice.  Just because whatever you’ve cooked up is entirely self-fabricated to keep your delusion from oozing at its seams, as zero charges have ever been brought.  If you know something the rest of us don’t, rather than the filthy, slanderous impressions of someone who has nothing more than time to sit on her thumbs and rotate, call a press conference.  Tell us all!

Otherwise, keep your sick down your own gullet, because you’re stinking up the joint.

Here’s a fact: “Many people say” is an unacceptable burden of proof for a fact.

If Donald Trump is elected President, this is going to be devastating to the lives of people of color, women who are going to impacted by his choices for the judiciary, anyone who is related to anyone who lives in a foreign country, anyone doesn’t want their president to have ever laughingly called a woman a pig.  It’s going to take years off our lives.  It’s going send shockwaves through otherwise solid ground.

And the only reason that could be acceptable to you, random woman on the internet is if you are somehow in that mystical fucking Brigadoon where you don’t know any of us who fall into those categories or you just don’t give a shit.

This is all fine if you don’t give a shit if anyone’s life is savaged over the next four years so long as you can march along waving a flag for your own oblivion, unscathed by a world brought low by racism, sexism, homophobia and economic mismanagement on every level.  You’re cheering for that shit to start growing in the bones of our nation.  We’re already struggling like hell to get it out of the blood as it is.

It’s embarrassing as fuck that we can put a former Secretary of State on the same scale as this orange, maggoty ball of mucus and sigh to ourselves, well, I don’t know.  By saying that it’s too close to call, you’re not maligning a really talented, hard-working, and serviceable candidate, you’re just saying you’re incapable of critical thought.  You fail at rational decision making.  It’s not apples and oranges.  You can make a fruit salad out of, either.  For you, it’s apples and stale Cheeto crumbs you scraped off the floor.  One is not a viable choice, however much you shake your fist and laugh at me for going ahead with my apples.

Of course, you get to vote.  Of course, you get the satisfaction of none of this ever so much as flickering the dim 40watt that hangs between your eyes.  Nobody would suggest otherwise, random woman on the Internet.

You want to be right far more than you would ever care about America, so don’t worry.  We’ll just sit you down in front of the TV, don’t worry, we’ll get it on Fox for you, and you can just paste that shit-eating grin right back on through November 8th when we’ll kindly take it back.

Just shut the fuck up about Hillary Clinton.

For Those Who Know Better

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I just have to vent.  I have to do my five hundred words, too, so it may as well be a two birds, one stone shot at the heavens.

I am irritated because of a facebook message I just received and this is how I want to reply, but probably won’t because I am sane and want to keep things not about me and sending this screed in response will do nothing but inflame a situation.

The message was essentially to browbeat me for not coming over and seeing my mother today.  The day that the sister came home from her whirlwind tour of New York and someone’s wedding in her boyfriends’ family.  Apparently, I had been “paid” in her forgiving debts about our trip to Minnesota for my grandfather’s funeral by promising to spend every waking moment staring at my mother.

I didn’t do that.  I did what my mother wanted and flowed in and out as much as I could.  And the reason I couldn’t be sitting there watching TV next to her all the livelong day is because I am struggling as fuck right now to get my bills paid and to get myself in one piece and so I have to work six days a week, many of those on my feet, already knowing that it isn’t enough anyway.  So when I turn up at my mom’s I am checking in, I am actively doing my best to turn off all of the shit I’m worrying about for me and to be present. I am asking her what is happening, I am listening as best I can and then I have to go.  And after seeing her yesterday, after doing all of that, I just wanted to do these things I’ve been thinking about doing for weeks.

So this condescension that is dripping off this message…this idea that I blew off my mom and her CANCER is so goddamned frustrating.  That she’s responsible for my mother’s emotions now and I am this massive jerk.  All because she hadn’t been home for five minutes before she decided my mom was lonely today and I needed to feel shitty about that.  Because she made slumgullion and we didn’t come over to eat it?  My mom was capable of calling me to check in – we are capable of coming over tomorrow and eating it in the afternoon.  I told her I wasn’t coming over! She said, oh, that’s fine! I had house stuff to do and I have been doing it, but apparently, we’re just going to disregard all of that and focus on the fact that my sister wants to control everything.

I have been there, I will be there, and I am tired.  I am strong, but I just wanted one goddamned day to sleep in and fold clothes and play video games – and I had one, knowing from YESTERDAY MORNING that my mom was okay.  My mom, who has always been a private person and is capable of being alone for 24 hours with her HUSBAND to look after her, was not going to die without me watching HGTV with her.  I’m happy to do that.  I like to do that.  I have done and will do that.  I didn’t do it today.

But the fact that she upended her whole life to be at home isn’t going to change one cancer cell.  I’m just trying to get by right now, same as everyone else and I have devoted so much of myself to this family, to this sister and it was meaningless.  It wasn’t needed or helpful.  I have to look after me and the shit that is challenging and scaring me – part of that is my feelings about my mom, which are big and absorbing and overwhelming and real – but this is a long, long, long road and I can’t do it the way she insists it has to be done.

JUST STOP IT GODDAMNIT.

Mary Bennet and the Lake of Fire

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You want me to back off of this.  You are so damned sure that I will.  You think this conversation is over, completed, can be filed away under carrots smoothed.  You would prefer it if I never brought it up again, but you feel certain that when this night is done, whether I address these issues again or not, that you will be able to manipulate me into fear yet again.  You will be able to decide what size I am, what words I use, when I open my lips.  You would like to believe that there is no inner fire that has been lit.  No pilot light, no bellwether, no beginning of a tide that wants so desperately to turn.  You would, ideally, install some sort of clamp or vise or zipper over my lips and I would be silent ever more.  A creature, like you, who lives in a corner, your very best corner creature sort of friend.

We are fighting now.

It’s scary because you do have Hercules-size muscles, but that’s only because you have had decades of working them out as you’ve worked me over.  No wonder it is hard as fuck to say no to you, to pull away from what has been into something new.  You clobber any obvious movements towards the door, and I have been drug back on my knees by that cord, that rope, that power you have, that I have been convinced that there is nothing to fight.  This is just the motion of life: tentative steps followed by the hard snap of facts and reality, your two big barrels.  You can convince anyone out of anything and it’s nearly impossible not to be a bit awestruck by that ability when it’s applied outside the confines of this pretty little body that cradles you.  Nearly.  But not entirely.

You are starting, and I feel the punchdrunk reeling as you rear back, to realize that the assumptions you hold so dear, so true, so blue sky and arithmetic and what’s good for the gosling is best for the goose are failing us.  They are failing me and you and this pretty little body we share.  You don’t lord over us in some sort of Eng and Chang style situation, three nights in one house, three nights in the other, a trade on the Sabbath.  No.  I am not your constituency.  I am not here to be represented by your parenting, your best advice.  Your honeyed words as the hairbrush goes for the full hundred strokes.  We’re not going to get out every carrot.  We’re not going to stir out every lump.

Things will still beautiful regardless.   Things will still be without your attentive hand yanking on their arm away from the fire.

I said tonight that I wouldn’t go down into the bloody temple with bodies impaled on the wall, I’d know better.  That’s my good sense.  That has nothing to do with cringing at potholes, bunching up from an absence in the blood, nothing to do with your crone’s shepherd’s hook, pushing and pulling and driving this flock off this cliff.

I know what is true.  And there are different answers now.

 

All The Time

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I think I am feeling a lot lately.  Is this news?  Could this possibly be anything different than business as usual? It is, as so far as yet, impossible for me to tell.  I just keep wrestling with the question.

And in the interim, we eat.  As part of a fundraising dinner night thing at a local-ish restaurant that I set-up for work, we ate Italian tonight.  It was deliciozo.  I am probably spelling that wrong.  I hope that Jupiter will forgive me.  It was lovely – beef carpaccio, spaghetti arrabbiata, tiramisu.  All in good, proper Italian style, in this cute little restaurant.  I don’t know if the fundraising part will come to much, but I felt it was worth it not only because of the food, but because our waiter did look like a tiny bit more conservative version of my favorite Mumford and yours.   He was rather quiet, but pretty, and youngish and I thought this is the kind of waiter that girls would flirt with.  Why can I…not…why am I not allowed….why is it clear in my mind that I should hardly look at him, though I can be extraordinarily gracious and thankful about the fact that he is doing his job and refilling our drinks?

I did ask myself this, firmly, sincerely and the answer immediately rose up, well, you wouldn’t want to embarrass him.  You wouldn’t want to be embarrassed by trying this now.  He wouldn’t go for you,  so it would just embarass everyone.  You wouldn’t even know what to do with him if you had him.  So sit down and eat your tiramisu.

That’s the answer I get every time I pop into into the mental calculator.  It seems so logical.

It adds to the questions of the month.   This is a thing that makes me angry.

It also gave me a caffeine sugar rush which instigated (in part, in part I am sure it began because I was battening the hatches for it to happen) a little panic flutter.  I have to celebrate the fact that I didn’t let it get out of control.  That even though my muscles felt tight and nervous and every time I moved them and they weren’t 100% relaxed, that added another block on the flip-out scales and even though closing my eyes made it worse because it cedes the limited sense of control I have to absorb everything visually that the panic suggests I need to absorb to survive, I didn’t actually tip over into panic.  I didn’t actually hyperventilate, I didn’t actually lose control of my bowels.  I didn’t actually die.  And yes, this is what I think about when I am in the car on the highway nowadays.

That, too, is a thing that makes me angry.  Because I don’t know what caused all this, I don’t know what brought it on more than ten years ago or why it lies dormant until life or caffeine or some combination of sky and light and hormones and bullshit reactivates it and I feel like my heart is going to explode.

I want the life everyone else gets.  Why do I get this shit put on me?  Why do I get the crazy?

Okay.  Good night.

Sober History

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Having one of those old-times evenings where we aren’t thinking about the day, or tomorrow, or anything but the meta. The big picture.  The idea of change.  The compelling issue that things are not as they might be, but there is a dog barking somewhere out in the parking lot, issuing this sounding cry, and it echoes out the open window next to me as cars rev and pass out into the big wide world and summer is on the horizon.   People murmur and I feel a hundred summers at once, both those I’ve lived and those I thought of living and those that I lived through movies.  Limoncello in Rome. Radio Free Roscoe.  The ride on Eldridge when I first realized I would be an independent person at some point, an expectation that has been both realized and foiled.

Of course I still think about you.  Of course, I’m frustrated as hell about it.  I might have teared up the other day in a spare moment when I let a fingernail loose from the wheel.  I don’t understand why you would decide to gaze upon my green-tinged face months later if you had broken us apart with some sort of vitriolic vow, a vow made solemn with silence.  Never to speak to me again, so offended or bothered or bored or bemused as you must have been.  What motivates any of this?

There is some part of me that thinks about the premise between As Time Goes By.  Judi Dench’s Jean Pargetter and Geoffrey Palmer’s Lionel So-and-So, a soldier and a nurse in love in the onset of World War II.  They are parted by that war and send letters to continue the romance until the letters stop being exchanged, both of them believing the other to no longer be interested or even alive to reply.  Lifetimes later, they meet again, and rekindle this passion they had for one another, changed by the lives they lead, forged in unique, ways great and small, but yet, still in love.

I don’t love him.  I didn’t, but on a night like this when you’re just twisting in the windless air, just spinning in the noose, you think, what the hell happened?  Like am I supposed to be bolder or braver or smarter, or just more willing to walk into the spinning blades to get this? Everyone I’ve half-explained this to, has said, oh no, honey, it’s been long enough.  He has my email.  I wrote this extensive, half-flirtatious, half-musing on the “winds of solitude roaring at the edge of infinity” sort of screed, checked back in…said life was happening, but writing back to me would be the reward.  Wrote another such letter, and nothing.  And yet, I get the notification that I should never have known and I feel like…what did I do?

This is the part in the romantic comedy where Rosie O’Donnell assures me that it’s not me, it’s all men, and we should have some pasta and watch another movie because there is no escape from the simulated realities that make up this one.

I held the dust of a soul once, held it far too long.  Now I am that dust and, windless, airless, settle on the surface of everything there is.

Random Staring Woman

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The place I usually go to get my images displays them, but you can’t download them, hence the recent turn to the Victorian.  No idea if it’ll be back up and I’m sure it’s not an issue to anyone but me, but just in case you were wondering.

I have to say…today there’s really only one thing that I want to mention.  I’m kind of proud of myself.  Because I was starting to fall down a shitty, exhausting rabbit hole and somehow, I was able to get myself up out of the bed and deal a bit.  I have a made bed and at least six loads of laundry done and some progress made.  I know that it’s pre-Frederick at the moment and I have a lot on my mind and I am contemplating the emotion of anger and how maybe I feel so unable to express anger and frustration that eating, say, a pan full of cinnamon rolls is one way to do something frightful and toxic and hateful in a “safe” way.  It’s a wound.  And I’d joke that it was a delicious wound, except, when you eat for irregular reasons, you don’t really get delicious in the moment.  The idea of food has some components of anticipation and pleasure, but when you eat to shut something up, you just want to get it swallowed.  You just want, actually, the gross feeling afterwards of how could you, and wasn’t that a waste and I’ll never eat again and I’ll be good and it’s this whole sad ritual to perform rather than saying what the fuck is wrong with you, talking to me about our relationship and then not replying and it’s verging on a month and how humiliating it would feel to email now and so I’m left here, at square one, all on my own again.  And this is never going to happen for me and even if I could grow the parts necessary to send him some terrible passive-aggressive kiss-off, I’m sure that I’d only discover that he were going through some sort of misery.

I just keep recalling that if it matters to someone, they make time for it.  Especially in the universe of romance.  I thought, laughably, that I was this delightful, unearthly, charitable voice at the other end of the world, and that was some sort of motivation to continue.  Having this not work makes me really feel…shitty.    Extra alone when I told myself at the start that this didn’t matter and this was my year and bullshit, etc, etc.  I mean, fuck this noooooise.  How do I have time to wallow here? How do I have time in my life to allot to waiting for someone to email me back anymore.  We are racing towards eternity and I don’t want to spend it tying my shoes.

I know some of my friends have been going through some crappy feelings, lately, as well.  I feel so disembodied.  Self-centered and wading through the negativity when I have tools and ways and interest to get over it.  At least for a day.

Tomorrow, emails, driving myself a bit for some shopping, exercise, looking further for a desk (the right desk, not just any place to put down this laptop, and a chair and committing myself to staying out of this bed.