Paraphrasing from a recent TED talk I heard: The energy it takes to get you out of a warm bed into a cold room is the exact same energy required to change your life.
So a thing happened about which I have emotions. I have been cut loose. Well. Not really. I have been told that the walls around Rappaccini’s garden are not locked. The poison is not so very poisonous. We are all free to come and go as we please, but ideally, we will just stay right as we are, happy as the pearl in the clam. Benefitting from the friendship.
I don’t know how I feel save that I know that I feel a bellowing, echoing, stentorian vibration in the deep unknowable fathoms of my soul. A bit of an how dare you feel so free and easy? It’s not free and easy for either of us, not in truth, but I suppose what I am sad about…what I am able to reckon with being sad about right now, is that it felt like he felt he could just offer me this gift. He could just back away from the past two years. like an inconsequential sandwich at a forgettable lunch on some innocuous afternoon. It was just logical. There was no welling of the soul, no choked back tears, no fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
Knowing him, as I do now, if I am fair and not speaking out of the pained parts of me, of course there is an intense sadness for him. But in that moment, the control, the adult demeanor, it’s important to be reasonable and honest and logical and therefore, it’s all up to me to determine the fate of everything was just depressing and frustrating. What I want is what we will have. He doesn’t want me to have regrets about it all. It’s almost a dare…in its way, looking back, it’s this almost bravely, absurdly brazen, request to just knock me off this perch. To stop being the person of general kindness he’s known me to be and just cast him aside with a HA HA HA. That’s the frog to swallow. And if it’s not that, if it’s fine. It’s just fine. Life is beautiful if I’m not the devil. Like waiting to take a punch and if I’m the pacifist, well, then, what a strangely perfect tension we get to sit in.
I guess, I guess… I’m proud in that moment for saying hey, of course, I don’t want to send you flying off the top of the tower to your doom and tell you I’m no longer speaking to you, let’s not be silly, but I do need to know if we meet other people, that’s…that might happen, what does that mean? And then, he said, well, I would never want to be in the way of your happiness. So Spockian. So ordered. So straightforward and unmoved as if I’d asked him the time of day on a street corner. I said I don’t…I’m not…it just could happen and I don’t want us to be surprised. He says, no, if there’s any…prospects, just let me know. I said there wasn’t. If there was, I would tell him. And he should tell me. And I flashback to the boots through the thin crackling ice sort of heartbreaks I’ve have had in the past – places where I thought I was safe and cared for and special and turned out to just be a placeholder for some other, better person. And then, the subject is forcibly changed.
So I have my answer. I am free and unrestrained to find somebody here as my therapist believes I want. Impossible. I’m terrible and full of panic and weight and shit that never gets off the ground. What do I want? I understand my own hypocrisy here. I understand I want to be free while I want him to beg. Beg? No, just fight for it a bit. Just offer something to it? Just fan the embers slightly? I understand it’s unfair. I understand we had to have the conversation. I understand, but I don’t get it at all.
I have to forgive myself for today. I have to, otherwise, these razor blades in my belly are going to stay razors and like everything else will have to pass through. Make them into marshmellows, something sweet and inconsequential.
Still have a lot of things to do tonight and I’m failing. Failing all over the place. I have to work on my directory project as it’s dragging on and on and on and I want it done. You have to forgive and do better, otherwise the forgiveness doesn’t mean much. So, we’ll hurry, trudge along towards our number five hundred.
Tomorrow is the boss’ surprise party. Tomorrow is a slightly snowy day for which I’ve already procured a ride, though it means I’ll be at work an hour and a half early. Maybe I’ll leave early. Not unless I get what I need done and I haven’t yet and have no real plans as to how I will. I have no earthly idea. Shackles, I has them. Tomorrow has no real potential to be a better day. So all I can do is enjoy this mattress beneath mine arse, which is firm enough (the mattress, dear me) to make my legs feel like they’re levitating out from under me. Enjoy the now of now before it slips away.
There were things to say yesterday that I noted I didn’t get to, but damn if I can remember them now. Big important happenings. I don’t know. I’m awash with a weird hunger that I can’t deal with until we’re done here. I really feel like, extraordinarily, I have nothing to say. Nothing worth saying whatsoever and that all this tap-dancing across the screen means nothing to you and how could it, because I am not saying anything relating to anything. There’s not even a whiff of revelation. Just the same story pressed into digital matter over and over again.
All of this makes one almost necessarily ask why I am posting if I have nothing to post.
Well, great nation of silence, we post because we have to. We post because maybe there’s a deep chasm of nothingness, a pit from which I am but a surrounding tube of flesh, a conduit for this emo and neurotic empty space. But sooner or later, if we keep up the muscle memory and develop the calluses, the knowledge will be with us when something does arrive worth writing about. We won’t be overcome by the need to translate this great intangible, consuming and absorbing unknown into text and failed by our ability to approach it.
So I talk about salsa and chips. I talk about cold feet. I talk about how Mr. Polite has not yet written me back, a solid, choking taste of my own medicine. I talk about work and stress and I say things are terrible while people are starving and dying, frostbitten and with love on their lips and in their hearts. My suffering is of my own making, which doesn’t make it worse, it just makes it persistent, intractable, embedded. It makes me have to dance with it every day. And when I am better, I at least find some joy in the dancing.
I did one thing today that I was holding back from doing for no particular reason aside from just finding myself unable to face the fact that it had taken me so long to do it. That thing was not responding to the very long letter from Mr. Politeness. I am not being very polite in return. I need to speak to my mother and will hopefully do that tomorrow when I turn up over there after work and get what I ordered from Amazon. This includes things of which I cannot speak as speaking of them may jinx their gifts. If I talk to my mother, she’ll sigh and tell me to drink some wine and she’ll say Oh, daughter, and she’ll explain something about her work and she’ll explain something completely unrelated and she won’t address what I want her to address, she’ll never say what I want her to say which is that I am brave and beautiful and I would make someone’s life better and it will make my life better to try to open up somehow and that for whatever grave and unholy amount of fear that fills my vessel now, the happiness would more than overtake it, dilute it until it had no taste, no power. She will never say these things even if she might think them, and I know in my heart of hearts that it would never occur to her to dip me by the ankles into a sea of melodrama the way in my heart of hearts I think I need, and so we adapt to what we will get. Which is the wine and the hug and the sigh and the “I worry about you” and the “I can’t tell you what to do” and the MSNBC. Which is where she tells me without really saying in, on the level that only a daughter can hear, that she knows me for what I am and that she’ll take it even if he can’t or won’t. While that is a raw and terrible comfort to a seasick heart in the throes of metamorphosis, it is comfort. I will not throw that away.
We’re working on my boss’ surprise party which I hope comes together smoothly and easily and without fuss as it seems like it will. Today was a good day, aside from a bad sandwich with honey on it for lunch, and a few strange impulses. I got a ride in when it would have most bothered me to drive and I stupidly, idly, got nervous about driving home but it was fine. It was great, really, and I haven’t had dessert and even though we’re getting cake for this surprise party, I’m not eating it because I’m making plans. Slow, distant, next year plans and all of that involves me not eating that cake now.
I’m listening to Fairytale of New York, Matthew and the Atlas’ version of it, and re-remembering and kicking myself for not getting their album at the show. You should do things, you know, because the chances of recreating that opportunity are slim to none. That’s what she said.
It’s like a word train, one hooking right after another and frequently stopping to block traffic for no obvious reason before chugging along again, slightly briefer or longer though never quite making sense.
After a long session of preening and poking about and taking pictures of myself with my bright red lipstick and my cat’s eye eyeliner until I found one I really, really liked, we went to the mall today. My little sister and my mother and I. I didn’t buy anything because I was kind of in a daze.
So I’ve mentioned how my back and really my neck have been killing me every morning? Well, it’s sort of extended well past morning right now and it’s been stiff and painful all day and after the mall goings on and my pre-menstrual emotional upheaval, my dear mother was getting concerned for me. And this is not in the basic attention way I like and crave. She was actually concerned that something might be wrong with me which, whether it’s true or not, is not something I actually want to share with anyone or actually try to face and resolve. But my mother has read books on pressure points and massage and really, at this point, my neck was bothering me so much that I felt entirely meek and sort of past defending my completely false sense of personal gravitas that would usually prohibit me from letting someone take care of me or touch me or anything like that. So naturally, she’s appalled at the knots in my back and how stiff I was and my little yelps of pain as she pushed into the knots for 8 seconds and eventually she had me lay down on the floor and she was rubbing this pain cream into my back and shoulders and it hurts so much I just start involuntarily crying and all my liquid eyeliner pools below my eyes and I can’t explain to anyone that the tears are not just because she’s pressing where it hurts and it’s hurting but because it’s foreign touch, a sensation so foreign to my skin and I’m laying there in front of the both of them just completely wracked with agony and loneliness and emotion and all the stress of work and the way I sit and my hunched over shoulders bent to protect me from any stray eyeballs and the empathic trailings of the hundreds of randoms at the mall battering around in my head like a bird at a window. Just overwhelmed with emotion, so it’s spitting out of my face, and it’s making my mother’s concern even more severe. She says it shouldn’t hurt like this and my little poetic brain so flush with all those hormones that have the semiotic gift, reads a thousand layers into that statement and more tears come and I can say nothing but thank you. Thank you for helping me.
Of course, then my sister says “Maybe your back hurts because you have such gigantic boobs.” Which is funny, now, to type. But then it felt pretty shitty because when you’re in this sort of semiotic free-fall, everything connects to the meanings of everything else and you sort of trip through your own memory, illuminating everything as you go. I think about tits. About being among the first in fifth and sixth grade to have them, about feeling swollen and broken and unready to own any of it. Completely ashamed. Back then, I figured that if you bent your shoulders and hunched a bit, you weren’t thrusting anything out at anyone. You weren’t asking for anyone to be aware of you at all. Long hours of computer work, abject shyness, whatever it is, I am slowly crippling myself just by living.
She says these kind of things in an effort to help me. Or so she thinks. She points out that my lipstick is too bright and messy. She tells me my jeans are too short. Am I wearing that? Why am I not answering her? She rhetorically asks. If I’m going to be such a bitch, we’ll just go home! I used to think that she thought she was better than everyone, but I’ve seen enough of her insecurities to know that’s not true. What’s true is this: she just thinks she’s better than me. I try and consider if there’s anything in that to motivate me, but right now, I just don’t…know. I want to be mad at her in the vein of our usual rivalry, but what rises to the surface is that if she thinks she’s better than me, maybe she’s not the only one. Maybe given every thought in my head today about how she dares to walk around in the world without pulling at her clothes to better cover herself, her appraising eye turned outward instead of in, I must think she’s better than me, too.
But I always forget that the revelations I come to when I’m in that sort of headspace are not always coming, whole cloth, to everyone else. So I gather myself up, slowly, dab out my raccoon eyes and breathe and try and have a good dinner and I drive home and have a nice visit with my friends, however brief and try and keep pushing my shoulders down. I do feel better, but maybe also more keenly aware of how big the hurt was and how much could come back.
I am a good person, but sometimes I just feel so stuck in a quagmire.
It is all a coincidence, of course, but there is something strange about the fact that I randomly selected tomorrow as a vacation day and tomorrow we expect a death of snow. How much is a death? However much it takes, I guess. I will have to take some honest stock tomorrow.
The guy upstairs is very quiet and not so friendly lately. I don’t know why that is. I suppose he has problems of his own, one of which is having a daughter, a ten year-old daughter which one imagines is a situation fraught with problems. This is not a situation I can imagine myself entangled in, so I observe from my chair at the end of the hallway and direct people into their respective bathrooms and acknowledge them and let them know there’s two stalls and not just the usual one and hope the guy is alright, that he’s getting by and that the miserable boss of his (not mine) treats him well enough to survive.
I thought that today.
Still no phone. It’s on backorder with no date as to when it will arrive. This is what you get when you delay – more delays. I have ordered a few christmas presents which is positive. Step in the right direction.
Enough dithering, I want to not be fat. I want to not be able to control myself among others and lose my mind when I’m sitting here alone, processing. Eating with absolutely no physical reaction, no stopping point, no desire or delight. Just madness. I’m feeling gross and frustrated and thoughtless and I think…that’s terrible. I know that I’m reacting to the stress of trying to pay bills with no money, trying to deal with feuding co-workers and exhausted bosses and this sexless, boring, creatively-neutered existence by eating. I’m replacing all of these voices in my head, these cropped-up hopes and sequestered fantasies, these raging reconstitutions of my failures, with this orgy of fat. I don’t want to not have done this right. I don’t want to be found out as this flawed thing whose only secret inner life was the madness that tolerated nothing but its own existence.
So, I’m making a grocery list right here in the midst of my self-loathing and disappointment and the stink of frozen pizza on the table and the candy wrappers about me and my half-drunk soda bottle.
We begin not in the morning, not after a good bath, not just a second from now – but here, now. I have time tomorrow to go to the store and get good food, but none of that matters if I don’t get good food when I’m there. Tonight was all frustration and I got this stuff because this happen has taken root again and we have to drive it out. Drive it and get it behind us, Satan! Or something equally dramatic but a little more secular.
This is how it works, guys, cold turkey. Or maybe this is how it will work since we are at the outset, but I’m sick of being a whiny bitch about my life and instead, I’m going to do what I can to change it.
Everything feels really screwed up.
I want to stop and start fixing everything, but right now that feel like hacking off the weeds at their head and not their root. There’s only a few minutes before somebody comes over and I need to cry. I know a few posts ago I wrote about how I needed but couldn’t cry, hadn’t in an age, thought I couldn’t go back to that place where I was just a sobbing mess anymore. Now I’m not so sure.
I feel deeply negative about where I am in my life. I feel like when I express anything, I am yelling into a void. I feel pushed into a corner.
I just need to sleep.
Okay, turn around and it’s already 11:25pm. Yikes. I have been through a roller coaster of emotion today. For a while there it was looking kind of chancey if I was going to spend the whole post-farmers market day listless and in bed. I think there’s a part of me that would be perfectly happy with wallowing in sadness for now until forever because it leaves me both righteous and completely out of harm’s way (except, of course, for the harm that sloth brings to the body and the mind). I am right, though, that I am out of sync with what’s around me and it’s making my interactions with others feel out of whack and like I’m being slow on the uptake.
That’s a real thing. This sense of being out of time. But, like that taste in my mouth from yesterday, it’s also completely built in my own mind. It can be forgotten just as quickly as a thought can turn over.
I think the secret crush on my friend and acquaintance may be muted now. Nothing can kill it unless I kill the part of myself that wills it to be alive and that’s a good and useable part of my heart and I’d prefer to keep it. But for now, I may have regained some perspective on the matter. It was definitely a trigger, though, for the fact that I haven’t resolved the not-talking thing with my mother and the fact that I didn’t feel like talking to anyone about anything. Ever again. So I splashed around in the psychic depths, signing myself up for an eternity alone, misunderstood, invisible and forgotten. I just so wanted to not have the little self-regard and worth I have submit to the whole dismantling process I know I have to go through to get back into her good graces.
That’s hyperbole, but I’m feeling crazy so it may also have a grain of truth.
So, suffice it to say, I was a miserable creature for about as long as a creature can bear its own misery before the thoughts turn as thoughts do, inevitably, to something else. I cleaned my room until I found a bug body and was disturbed and so I had dinner and we all played video games.
Well, I have less than fifteen minutes to post this so let it be said…happy or sad, it’s always a choice and when it’s not a choice, it’s a process and you’ll wind your way through it until you find a new fork in the road and the choice to wallow or rise up emerges.