A Single Bean

I expected death, but it didn’t come.  It didn’t even brush by my face and so my skin is sort of puckered in wait.  I am leaning into the wind, but feel only a slightly cooler air than usual.  The right temperature for an autumn day.

Bird by bird, bean by bean.

I am remembering other days.  I am remembering a day in college, the first time I had Chipotle, and was there with my new friends and was learning and was feeling and had a solitary sense of joy of life.  It has been a long time since I’ve known such unfettered joy.   Maybe.  Maybe I’m forgetting things.  I probably am.   There have been a hundred thousand little instances of kindness, of connection, of humanity, of absolutely ghastly black hilarity that I’ve no right to be able to conceive of, of being comforted and being comforting and fannish things and it is easy to forget.

When I look at the wall, what is right in front of me on this bed which I have to make, I see the top of my guitar, I see some haphazard silk flowers which could do with a dusting and refresher but they are giant and necessary and have some long feathers which I find equally necessary, and there’s the box for my ukulele which is actually sitting right next to me on the bed, there’s my Tarot cards, there’s my illuminated map of Middle-Earth, there’s my jewelry box hidden by a dry-erase calendar that hasn’t been updated since January (or Janvier as I wrote at the time), there’s my Mickey Mouse ears embroidered with a blog avatar name (not this one), there’s my bookcase full of books to the point there are sideways ones on the shelf (The Road, Torch, The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh, Storm of Swords) along with a beer bread mix in a beer bottle, some exercise DVDs, more silk vinery, a painted top hat with an off-white feather sticking out the side, a poster for the Communion show I saw last year, some sugar-free margarita mix, some handweights, some pretty ceramic tablets with flowers, and a rose photograph from DeviantArt that I got framed, a bunch of plastic tubs filled with random bits and bobs, unburnt CDs, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab imps, a giant dress with bodice, Christmas Cards, both sent and unsent, an electric candle to match the one to my right, pink sheers that drip on the floor.

At my parents’ house, the room I had never got painted.  This wall is white, too, but I feel my presence in these things.  I feel like it’s not quite finished or right, but I am home.  More or less.   Here is a place I can calm down and that’s what I need to do.

No trivia tonight.  So I’m off for a bath and that small slice of life between nightfall and collapse. I am lucky, but I will keep my head low.

I think a few things are clear.


In Case of Fire

I don’t know if the syntax is right there, but the sentiment is clear.

When you are down.  When you are all anxiety and pinched nerves and your hair is a mess and your face is a mess and all you hear are the negatives and you fail to believe in yourself and you make assumptions about the future and you sit and you stew in everything that frightens and unnerves you and you have no memory of what your reality actually is.  When that is so, please come here.

Even on a Sunday night, when you have things to face, you can’t give in to the desire to tear everything down.

Let’s know this: you have things to be excited about.  Your life has so much potential and you get joy out of things that would bore most other people.

You will probably, if you continue practicing, be able to play a song by memory on the guitar.  That’s pretty excellent and cool as far as skills go.

This charity project will mean something to someone beyond yourself.  It might, even if you can never know this for sure, save someone’s life.  It could definitely inspire others to give and do more.

You could, possibly, if you don’t overthink it, like this guy.  Or the next guy.  You’ll definitely learn something.   You don’t owe anyone emotional response, but you could give one if it was warranted.

You do enjoy cooking.  You could try making some recipes and encourage yourself to eat at home because you know it’ll be delicious and good and money-saving versus.  $11.83 for an over-salted ritual.

Spring is coming.  You have music you love.  The Hobbit’ll be out eventually.

You screwed up.  You’ll screw up again.  It’ll be horrible, and then it’ll be better.  You won’t die, though.  Sorry.  The only way out is through.

In five minutes, you can make most anything better.  Better enough to breathe and stop inventing reasons you can’t move.

You sometimes enjoy being an adult.  You often enjoy organizing your life.  You often enjoy a clean room as a result of your own hard work. You only ever enjoy sitting alone in your old bedroom, in the silence of that space, and pretending that you’re sixteen again for an hour or so, then you feel old and weak and broken.  You should try, if that’s what’s happening, grabbing tighter hold of the reins instead of throwing them and covering your eyes.

Remember this: Every single time you swore it was the end, it wasn’t.

Self-care, self-care, self-care.  Take a bath.  Shave your legs.  Get your hair done.  Light a candle.  Make your bed.  Clean the counter.  Pick out your clothes.  Get some extra sleep.  Write a poem. Do your makeup.  Go shopping.  Change the assumption that you are wearing your dying clothes and move.

You are loved and you can do more than you do.  You can let yourself enjoy the passing of time.  You can turn off the internet for a minute.  You can make plans.   Big plans.  You can hinge your hopes on your effort and not keep pinning them back on themselves.

If you’ve wasted all the rest, you’ve got a fresh morning coming right into your hands so don’t make fists.

Or Pull Your Skirt Up Over Your Head

There is time for this.  I tell myself there is no time this month for cleaning or actively writing or thoughtfulness or seeking for myself affection and happiness and more for my life.

The palm reader said that all I needed to do was go home and make a list of what I wanted in a boyfriend.  At the risk of writing it down and actually finding such a person and standing in front of them so wanting and full of failure, I’ve avoided even thinking about a list.    But I’ve been watching Hoarders tonight and tomorrow’s gonna be a hell of a day and I am already deciding how much I think Mr. Dr. Darcy is going to disappoint me on Saturday (a lot, I’m sure, with the fact that he is completely oblivious to the fact that I’ve set my eyes upon him and want him to be other than he is) and I want to let all of that go.

There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in my philosophy.

So here I sit, without a candle, but by the wary and omnipresent light of the smartphone, and I am putting it out into the universe.

What I want:

A dork.
A kind dork.
A dork who doesn’t make emotional lunges or demands.

A man who smiles, perhaps more than is necessary, but less than one might find creepy.
A man who is not emotionally or biologically attached to a child or an idea of a child.
A man who will not arrive bored or overwhelmed, but will turn up curious and interested and friendly and warm.

A man who likes, no, loves Mystery Science Theatre.
A man who writes letters and like getting letters and likes a continuous written exchange of emotion.

Since this is about what I find really important right now, it needs to be, oh universe, a man who find really pretty.  Like makes your knees knocking, perfect in his imperfection, bearded and dark eyes and lovely.  Someone I don’t have to emotionally invest in for their inevitable devastating beauty to rise to the surface, someone I just find handsome.  Petty.  Terrible.  Tragic.  True.

Someone who is around enough to settle in the back of my brain and start sparking the flash paper.  Someone who is not five buses away.   A man who is genuinely funny and intellectually curious.  A man who can spell, oh, please, oh, please, universe, if you give me nothing else, give me that.   A man who is not with anyone else or sitting around hoping to be with somebody else while pretending he’s giving a damn about me.    A man who finds me more than funny, finds me absolutely hair-tearingly, tremendously hilarious.   A man who is not in the midst of a great plan.   A man who I can detect and distinguish from the madding crowd.

Oh, and if he could please play the banjo.

Seriously, universe, a week with someone like this and I promise I wouldn’t say a word for a decade.  A whole decade of silence from me surely is worth producing such a fellow and dropping him at my coordinates.

The Long S

Some titles come easy.

Some days go down so hard.

I am calm and home and fed and talking about the bad spot I was in today is scratching at scabs with dirty fingernails.  In other words, asking for trouble.

Today I tell you about three types of things.  All of which are as real and true as the condemnation and exhaustion I am now serving myself with.

Things that I love.  Things that I am grateful for.  Things that would be wonderful if:

Things I love include: the long s and being able to joke with some facility as to long s-based humor.   Being considered too dainty for the size of the balls humor going around the office today.  When oh my jesus I could make Annie Sprinkle hide behind her mother’s skirts if I was of a mind.  (Well, let’s not oversell my sick mind.  Maybe not Annie Sprinkle.  Maybe just your average housewife.  Make her run and hide below the windowsill when I come sauntering by in case I would corrupt her.)  I love Mumford and Sons with a fervor that is neither sane nor safe.  I love not worrying in the face of worry.  I love knowing that somehow I will make it okay.  I love where the writing is going, I love the writing lust.  I love that right-brain extravaganza that is going on right now.   I love the way it feels like the stone is just skipping and skipping over the skin of the lake, never dropping below the surface, never aware of its own weight or the notion of gravity.  I love cherry smoothies and cold, cold water.  I love finding new ridiculous videos. Lately,  despite how it unnerves me, I love the sound of children.  Even screaming ones.

I am grateful that we get to get away and I get to shift my ideas and my brain and my body all in one 2 hour trip.  I am grateful that I am not concerned about flying and I know that if the rest of them will just go with the flow, it’ll be fine.  Not likely, but fine.  I am grateful that there is, at this moment, funds to do this.   I am grateful that I have friends to visit, too, so that there is more light at the end of this tunnel.  I am grateful there are outlets for my anger and frustration and negative feeling.  I am grateful that as frightened as I might be of the future, I won’t let it ruin everything.  Corrode every moment.

Wouldn’t it be great if I got some extra sleep tonight?  Wouldn’t it be great if I wrote a lot in a small amount of time and didn’t feel any restrictions or desire to immediately fix it and let it be?  Wouldn’t it be great if tomorrow I made progress on the work issues that are causing me grief and tension?  Wouldn’t it be great if I stopped hassling myself and let myself come to center?

Discordia: Day 23

Ironic how smoothly that title would come today.

Ironic that this entire day has sort of had an unexpected ease to it.  Especially for a Tuesday, which for me, always has a tinge of Monday’s racing.

I ought to be a Discordian.  I was born on the 23rd minute of the 23rd hour of the 23rd day of the year of my birth.   I sow chaos in my wake.  I’m Trouble with a capital T.  But not today, at any rate, where my frantic consideration yesterday came together sort of neatly and serendipitously and while I’m now pondering if the heat was making my brake squeak or if it was the music (surely not!) or if my run of luck has now run out, other things were sort of canny and remarkable and almost destined never to be repeated.

The project went fine to the accountants.  No significant issues.  No flailing and trying to figure out how I did what I did for the past month.  Such a relief.   Also, there’s talk again of getting me a cabin boy.  Intern.   This is the kind of post they’ll dig up when I die/win the Nobel Prize.  This will be my Weiner pic.  Still.  Young blood in the office who have to listen to what I tell them?  I’m okay with that.

I overnighted a package and met the lady at the copy shop who was delightful and kind and knew my boss and gave me a ridiculously good discount after we had to repack the box twice after leaving the address on it twice and I’m hoping and praying that overnighting will not come to naught and I’m hoping and praying that I can work out all the work issues around that package like…tout de suite.  But as much as I’m sweating right now, it’s not over any of that. It’s just hot.  I really wish I could sleep outside, but that’s really only a good idea for the weekend.  Don’t need to wake up the neighbors with the Monty Python wake-up call I have set on my phone.

Dinner tonight was also wonderful.  I had chicken and asparagus and havarti cheese and sauteed garlic and tomato and basil mayo and it was sort of an orgasm on a plate.   All self-invented (as opposed to the other sorts of invention) and eating it made me feel very kitchen witchy, very nourished and well and on course.

Last night I exercised again with The Black Widow.  I should give her another nickname since the second time though, she seemed a lot less crazed to me, but sorry, Jillian…it’s stuck.  I did it imperfectly and way too late, after I posted, and in this offensively hot weather, too.   So, I need to do something tonight, but I think it may just be the bike or walking with Warren, the Konami git.  Something will be done and that is going to make the difference for me.

All of this convinces me that my place in the universe is perhaps slightly less fragile than I like to imagine.

Today: 157.4
Yesterday: 158.6
Goal: 155 by June 15


Onion Skin

It’s quite strange to me how deeply and truly and wholly I can feel and yet, in the breadth of an hour, those feelings ring hollow.   We are so constantly in emotional motion that it is a wonder that any of us can tell you our sense of how supper went much less give a full inventory of our psychic spaces.

For my part, supper was lovely.  Supper was exactly what the day needed.  If I had written you in the middle of the day as I began to, this entry would have began “Shit.  I feel like total and utter shit.”  Always with the absolutism.    It is so much easier, isn’t it?  To be at the bottom or be at the top instead of levitating somewhere a little a north, a little south of center.  I always said it would be easier to learn to fly than to learn to levitate.  We can trust in our manias, in our progress, the kinetic frenzy of our very cells, but stillness is another trick entirely.

My sister and I got haircuts and went to the hotel for supper by the creek.  I had this chicken with mashed potatoes and zucchini and it felt like grown-up food.  Delicious, grown-up food.  And not altogether terrible for me.

Sometimes, staring into this screen for hours and days on end, I get a twitch in my eye.   It’s the kind of thing that you don’t mind, but you wouldn’t want to be permanent.  So much of what I am dealing with right now is akin to that twitch.  I can bear it for what it is, intermittent and distracting, so long as I can imagine a point in the future where it is no longer an issue.  I imagine that’s how Sisyphus kept pushing that stone, that glorious instant somewhere just yards away where he’d make a final heave and watch that boulder roll up over the crest of the hill and bound downwards, killing a whole village of people as it went.  Making the gods gasp.

This is how we live:  in glimpses, gaps, and unmeasured missions with parameters never described.  We make up our own impressions of salvation and pretend we’re pushing towards them. It is only a few more yards in any direction until we hit our mark and throw off our burdens.   It is only a few more yards every time until we’re there.  And we can learn to live with this.  We always do.

I may or may not be getting Mumford and Sons tickets.  Life is short, what can I say?  Shorter still if I get my kidneys stolen in the process or worse yet, if I get fake tickets, but I’m braving the horror in pursuit of the prize.  Heavy risk, yes, my dear Mass Effect-loving friends,  the priiiiize.   I’ll keep you posted on whether or not I lose life and limb in this transaction or am just made to be a fool in the process.   A girl needs some banjo-picking, heels-kicked up, stone rolling music in her life.

Tomorrow: An Introvert in Peril: The Great Networking Event.

The Tinker

59 minutes and counting.  I’m pushing it close today.

So here’s the dirt:  this morning 165.3.  Meh, fire and damnation, fuck me, sob in a corner until you come to the same realization that you do in every situation from the moment you become conscious: life goes on.

I will freely admit that seeing that pretty deflating number on the scale did not immediately set me dead to rights about my slacking on proper eating and exercise, but it did do a number of small positive things that made today better than it’s been in a while.

1.  I got up early enough that I didn’t feel like there wasn’t even time to put on makeup, much less eat, like I normally do.  I had my oatmeal and water, which is shocking.  Unheard of, really.  Just twenty extra minutes and I didn’t feel like I was completely asleep riding down the road.

2.  I felt brave enough to once again drive the right way to work, ignoring the accident area…not ignoring, just passing through, because going around the roundabouty curly-que way felt infinitely longer (though it really is only about 5 minutes difference) and I just thought about the fact I should do it and I did!  Though, weirdly enough, I drove the roundabout way at night but that was just because it was such a lovely spring day.  The first real spring day we’ve had.  Balmy weather, no major wind or fires or languorous clouds imperiously gathering and murmuring overhead.

3.  I apologize for the slaughter of commas this post is providing.

4.  I brought my lunch!  The clock gave me enough time to consider it.  Though, work being the haphazard place that it is, we actually went to lunch at the little cafe inside a medical office that one of our colleagues just bought and is now managing.   It was actually really wonderful.  I had a waldorf salad sandwich.  A bit drippy, but delicious drips.   So I took my lunch back home with me and I’m going to eat it tomorrow.

5.  I walked a bit more just for the sake of it.  We’re having a rather minor event tonight and I had to take care of a carriage ride and try and chase down a wayward puppeteer, which is vaguely par for the course for me and my job.  So I took advantage of the fact that I got to be away from my computer for a bit and walked a couple extra blocks out and about.  No marathons, no dashing or skipping, but there was movement and it didn’t have to be.

So, I can’t be too down on myself even if I had my shirt inside out  all the livelong day and even if I can’t tell if I was hit on by a very odd creepy guy in a orange shirt and brown vest (clearly, it doesn’t matter since I’m not going back to find out) and even if I walked the streets thinking of someone who is growing fainter in my mind.

There are some things over which we have control and some, I’m afraid, were never ours to tinker with.