The Glimmering Porse

I could knock this out easily.  Nobody in this massive office is here.  Well, a few folks, sure.  But nobody, REALLY.  Nobody in the cubes around me.  I can type away, giddily, to my heart’s content.  Maybe it’s the caffeine, maybe it’s the Friday, maybe it’s the half-day broken up by a dentist appointment…it’s definitely the caffeine.  Damn.

Notes on One Me:
I wrote something mildly clever on the old FB yesterday.  Just an update, because, like here, when I feel like I need to focus on something, I drop out of 90% of all contact.  I’ve been thinking about the hypothyroidism, I’ve been thinking about the keto, I’ve been thinking about my mother looking cheerful, but more bony than I’m comfortable with.  I’ve been mentally tracking the minutiae of change and trying not to rock the boat with these sorts of coy games.  That said, I’d updated a picture recently.  One where, if pressed, I would assert I looked “cute.”  Along with a vintage cabbage woman because we are nothing if not our brand.  And Old High School Half-Forgotten Friend Who Never Said Boo liked it.   In some idle scrolling moment, felt moved enough to move a thumb an inch and apply a slight pressure.  Which signifies precisely zero and I am capable of recognizing that even if I am putting my hat down on every street corner in the city these days, but it was a nice Friday daydream as I was driving in to think about it.  A charming sort of deranged set of thoughts is already resurfacing about him being burdened by some unexplored old crush and slowly, my little words will remind him, cajole him, spur him to actually talk to me and confess.
This has some precedent, to be fair.  After college, some other guy from high school who swam in similar circles as I but was never a full-blown “friend”, followed me on FB and so liked my impressively wordy, self-aggrandizing posts (imagine just very compressed doses of the bs I share here) asked me out for coffee.  And then, a proper dinner date. I was SO painfully awkward, though, so violently, oppressively, awkward and gave off every wrong signal and said every wrong thing. I couldn’t eat.  And then, a shitty 3rd date that I made impossible because there was just too much anxiety and frankly, it was the sort of stumbling that is completely legitimate when you’re 12 or 13, but not at that age.  At any rate, I’ve tried to block it out, I realize, and now trying to remember the circumstances of it all, I just remember a fake smile and a deep well of terror boiling inside me.  Like psychic cramps – nothing helps, really – you just have to wait for it to pass.  Obviously, if it was meant to be, I kicked that prophecy in the shins, let the faeries steal that fate.  He’s married with at least one kid now.  Probably a whole brood.  They almost ALL are.  But nevertheless, at least, it COULD happen.
My spinner’s mind already has this beautiful tapestry going wherein he shows up out of the blue, travelling hours and hours from his snowy ski lodge high in the mountains (never mind that it’s the middle of a blazing summer), shakes his tow-headed mane, and says I can’t stop thinking about you.  I get weak in the knees.  We go get food and drinks.  Talk about teachers and old friends. Old people who also never really talked to me.  It’s beautiful. My life is completely ready to accommodate this impossible Lifetime movie quality script of a romance.  I can’t say the wrong thing because he adores me so on account of my glimmering prose. He’s utterly convinced to give up all his questionable political positions and move back to the suburbs to commence the rest of our lives. I am entirely void of ambivalence.  The only hiccups that exist are amusing, and short-lived.  We are very happy and no one regrets anything.
I’ve been thinking about needing/wanting a date for my sister’s wedding – a whole other post might be devoted to that – stage 2 of this already ridiculous fantasy has this name + face + memory construct entirely converted and made suitable for that purpose.  All those childhood recollections, my positive regard for him, general sense of his Austen-esque amiability is all confirmed and I get to swan into the place with my blow your socks off wedding speech and the loveliest bridesmaid dress and charm everyone.  Get everyone’s heads spinning and feel the most glorious and best version of myself.  Get dizzy on champagne and at the end of the night cause myself all sorts of deep emotional damage.
We’re not really compatible.  He’s not coming.  I don’t really care today.  It just would be a real pleasant change of pace to have somebody just click.  Just work.  Just not require endless negotiation and capitulation and compromise.  Which, shush, I know we all get there.  Everyone gets to the gray murky center of solid relationships if they make it that far.  I mean, just wouldn’t it be so grand just to have a Start of it that encourages your soul that you’re worth something good?  That isn’t the tiniest sip of cordial by which you’re meant to approximate what actually being loved would feel like?  Even just a 2 week bubble of hazy, thrilling, yay us before crashing into the sea.  I am quite overdue for stark, emotional clarity.
This is all from 1 like + 1 iota of self-esteem.  This, THIS, is why I am so dangerous.  I need nothing at all to make a brand new universe and my ego will dance the tarantella.   Give it 30 minutes though and the whole meringue will collapse from over-beating.
It is working, though, you know.
It’s just about 15 pounds now.  14.4.  I’ve determined that I can get on the scale a little bit more frequently if I note that I’m only going to track those days where it drops.  This meant for 7-8 days, no entries, and now, suddenly, 2 in 3 days.  If it goes up from here as my body likely tries to equalize and hormones shift and shimmy about, that’s okay. It will go back down.  If I track and drink water, mind the macros, be patient.  Don’t guzzle down shakes.  I’m now about – within 5 pounds – of where in past years, I’ve tried to Start dieting.  Mostly, this 15 pounds have been around for the past 3 years, lost a bit and then returned.  I think it’s been aeons since I had the brief dip down to what was then just 20 lbs below that and that seemed so surreal and I’d been so exhausted by the struggle to get there that suddenly, woosh, the weight loss never happened.
So, I’m both petrified and in acceptance of what the trip to Indianapolis is going to do to me.  Some of this weight is going to have to be re-lost.  I wanted to lose 15 pounds before I went.  Now, so close, it feels like I’d have be crazy to mess it up willfully, but I am sort of thinking that not doing it will only make it all much worse when I return and feel cheated out of a magically contained and ordained cheat space.  Where I can capsule it all up in the going and being and returning that there’s limits.  And now I know how to do this.  And I imagine I’m not going to be able to eat as much as my mind is suggesting at the moment.  Then, I’ll be let loose back in my neighborhood, disgruntled and well aware that it’s “EASY” to lose weight so I can give myself another week, two weeks, a month to mess about, transition, come to terms with giving it all up again.  The way that leads always to madness and many, many delays that are needless.
Because I am, at the root of it all, an addict.  So, I have some small ideas about how to change this up and think differently and jump back into keto. For now, let’s just have today be today and enjoy it for the boiling kettle of human souls that it is.

The Seer

Compose a post in forty-five minutes at the end of the day?  Is such a thing even possible anymore?  The mind does wonder.  The mind…

D&D.  There’s a post right there.  How curious to be surrounded four guys for eight hours, pretending to be a mind-reading elf.
Here’s how that looks:  There’s the one I like, who is not available, has some marvelous girlfriend who supports him and is good and kind and they ski together and probably has it all figured out – I have no idea, I barely recall her name because it’s so beyond even mentioning, save that this is the place where we mention the things that aren’t worthy of mentioning but still burn bullet holes one rotation at a time into our skullcaps.  He is, apparently, in training to be a doctor.  He is taller than a super tall Jesus.  He drinks a couple fancy beers.  For fun, to smooth the edges, because that’s the sort of thing you can do when you’re a doctor to be and exhausted and D&D is a huge avenue of escape for you.  He is nice enough to me and goes to gaming conventions and buys dice bags that have Tolkien runes and art from the Hobbit on them.  He also plays the tin whistle and had us all sing at the table to solve a puzzle which…is something I will remember for quite a long while.
There’s the one that isn’t anything, but is also unavailable with a wife who questions all this D&D stuff and keeps him on what appears to be a shortish leash.  There may or may not be a baby in some stage of being in his life.  All of which is understandable by any sane metric.  But when you’re in the group, and you want to play once you start for a hundred years and someone’s holding up their hand to say I’m out…that’s always a bit disappointing.  He’s new to it all.  He’s playing an elf.  Trying to coordinate what it means to be an elf in this goofy/dark world that has no name.  His character’s a weird combination of gallant and seemingly very motivated by self.  He’s likes loot, but he’s trying to RP, too.  My character is trying to figure out how to talk to his character, but that is developing so slowly, I may melt away first.
There’s the other one who is void-of-course.  And it is only because this is my story and my world and my perspective here on my blog that I have to say…no, thank you.  It’s one of those things where I am glad he is in the world, perfectly fine human being, but nothing in his presentation provokes me to care beyond that.  Very anxious and soft voiced and George Costanza-esque.  Maybe he’d be different if he ever got comfortable, but you get the feeling he does not ever get comfortable.  He needs things a certain way and while I don’t mind, we all need things a certain way, it’s notable when you’re knee-deep in battle and his distraction distracts you.  That’s it.  His character and mine are sort of cohorts working together – we’re on the side of mental powers = A+++ and that’s about all my character feels about it.
Then, there’s the DM.  And he is a strange one.  Strange in ways that he is not strange and strange in ways he is.  He seems to rent out a place to a bunch of guys, and it’s a quasi-frat house – where floors and floors of it are dedicated to D&D (we played on 3 different tables full of miniatures last time) – where he is the boss and it’s less boozy than geeky, and he’s ex-military and he’s very…intense about this system he’s built.   One he’s obviously invested a fair amount of time thinking about and as I know, oh so well, about boys and their D&D systems, you can’t go halvsies on these things.  But at the same time, I’m always walking on eggshells to figure out what I want to do and he’s both nice, but extremely intense about “challenging” your thinking on an idea.  He’s open, but, it’s an openness that isn’t going to go anywhere he doesn’t already want it to go.  Which is not to say he isn’t likeable.  He is…likeable.  He’s doing the work of the DM which demands some charisma and fun and that’s palatable and then the moment passes, and I dislike him tremendously, and then he’s forgettable.  Waves of insight warping my impression.
We don’t say, hey, I work here and these are my other hobbies and I’ve got two sisters.  No backstories for baby. So nine sessions later, every piece of information I accidentally gather feels like another layer off the onion.
We went down into the basement to review a few things pre-game, leveling and whatnot and I’m sitting there looking at him looking at me feeling like, I’m so old now, that wha the heck do I care how he feels about me?  I have no idea anymore if I register physically on any level to anyone. I even ignore the gun-toting pinup art on the wall.  I think it is delightfully surreal to be there, sniffling with allergies and bleeding like a woman sometimes does.  We talk about palm-reading.  How to make that into a mechanic for my character.  I am just doing it because it seemed like he wanted me to invest in my own RP, but my explanation ends up turning oddly into a list of other options, and the list grows shorter and shorter and when I try to offer the path of least resistance, that too, is challenged.  Because I’m meant to think about this for my character and not just pick the easy way out.  But the hard way is time-consuming and there was something he had organized and if I can just believe I chose it on my own, we both can feel good about it.
You can sense a different sort of need from him.  The need to control.  To get our appreciation, to imagine, to win our enjoyment by this idea of challenge.  Of risk, of pushing our characters.  A woundedness that has to be defended by this big bombastic, brassy personality.  Maybe I’m RP’ing a bit too much.
I’m sure we’ll be turned around on all of these guys after next session.  But for now, this is enough.
I have ten other posts to write about.  The doctoring.  The hypothyroidism.  Getting medication.  And, now, about taking it.  Taking it from here for the foreseeable future.
Ta-da.  Update.

Plastic Love: Day 40

I have to turn off the light on the dryer.  As soon as I hit five hundred words, I will do that.

Too many cut corners and you end up not knowing where you are.  So tonight, even though I am tired, and there’s technically only 30 minutes left in the day to do it, I am going to buckle down and write my five hundred words.

I had a good day, actually, dear diary.  I did a few things that mildly improved my lot.  I am thinking about all the books I read about cleaning and organization and the one thing that truly helps me is getting things into containers.  Containers actually do force me to visualize how much of a thing I should have rather than believing I have at least as much air as is in my house to cram random shit in.  No,  I have two bookcases and that is sufficient for the number  of books I need to treasure and own.  The rest can live at the library or online.  I now have dividers for the socks and underthings (sorry internet for informing you I own underthings) and I already feel as though I have so much room.  I am trying to kind of Unfondo?  Sort a combination of my own making of Unfuck Your Habitat and Marie Kondo teachings.  Seeing what makes me feel good and glad to have in about 20 minute bursts.  In my case, I have a lot of things I know I want to get rid of, but what holds me back is the idea that I have to do the whole house at once or in one process.  I will never get to that stage.  Probably ever, ever.   So instead, to whirl around and say, shit, I have 5-6 misshapen and useless sports bras that I dig through every time to find the one I like and still wear, along with a huge armful of tights that have runs in strategic places where you could still wear them if they stayed exactly where they should.  Mostly this never happens, but I keep the tights because you’d have to think about yourself as an inordinate destroyer of tights and an overall bad person were you to grant them to the garbage pile.  I have tried to avoid such determinations, but perhaps, in the end, that is exactly what I am.

The dear cat is very unwell, and back to the vet she went today to get IV’d and have fluids put under her skin because she was refusing to drink or eat.  Now she’s perked up a bit, a very little bit, and her eye is all sorts of gross, but I’m hopeful about that.

I’ve watched a lot of Abroad in Japan, for a bit of culture.  There’s certainly more on offer in every respect, things to do, things to read, things to worry about tomorrow.  I’m feeling positive, generally, mostly because the alternative feels so exhausting and there’s boxes out there to put all your bobby pins in so…stay calm.

Snowblind: Day 37

I am feeling positive this morning.  Not entirely sure why given the fact that right behind me is a veritable whiteout situation.  I don’t have to immediately leave work, which is the only way that I think I’m not flipping out.  I will, I suppose, have to eventually leave work.  I’m deciding on the bus, but it’s a matter of whether or not I’m driving myself to the bus station or no.  I’ve got boots in the car, at least.  There is an element of peace working here where I know, on these days like this, crap flying from the heavens upon us, I don’t have to necessarily find the huge well of resources within to sort out how I’m going to sleep at my house tonight.  How, in this 1-3 inches, I will endure?

Maybe it’s the activation energy! Which I announced with an exclamation point as I got myself upright relatively quickly this morning for an early meeting.  Up I rose, careening into the heavy, extensive fog.  It didn’t feel impossible.  Days with an hour later start and I am on the constant edge of death.

For now, at my desk, with a charger possibly in my car, possibly not, typing away as I eat my salad.  I do not violently hate the fact that I have to eat this salad on Day 6 of episode 900000 and 1 of my weight loss “journey.”   It could definitely be a worse salad than it is.  It’s mostly fresh and the dressing only had 3 carbs, and sure, this is the sort of content that brings all the kids and their milkshakes and their music to my lawn.
Spent the evening working on some writing. Not happy with it, but it’ll do for what it needs to be.
Counting that towards my total.  Happy I saw Dimash on my CBS TV.  Feeling decent save for the snow.  Shoulda grabbed those boots yesterday!

Habitland: Day 36

Start early. Get the window rocking in its pane, just ever so slightly, so you can pop through it when you must.

I would like to write on what I would like to write on. Just mark it down under the long, long, interminable list of things that are out of my hands.

Lunch today was bacon-wrapped meatloaf and a salad which I definitely need to make some time next week for myself. That could make a good number of meals. Alexa, I would say, if my electronic overlord had access to me here, remember the meatloaf. I’d also have more control over the random wheat carbs that were in it because it’s institutional meatloaf and institutional mushroom gravy and everything needs a little sawdust to puff it up for another 100 mouths. It’s a good idea.
There’s something nice, settling, relaxing, protective about the realization that it doesn’t really matter in the end if I do low-carb, or low-cal, or keto, or some pickle soup diet. It is never about the exact restrictions or the exact ideology or scientific benefit. What matters is that I feel it working and I stoke that feeling and that belief and that discipline long enough to see a difference. Then, I’m standing with enough elevation to decide something. From down here, from the place of the same 5-20 lbs, nothing really changes or hooks. The habit is simply a habit. But you can’t get to the whole “lifestyle change” garbage/personal heaven without passing through habitland. You have to walk in the direction of your dream, regardless of how you’re thinking about it, so the muscle memory.
So I don’t want to frighten anyone, but my goal, I think is to change enough to frighten people. Not in terms of being unhealthy looking, not in terms of having so much control over this that I lose control and become mostly skin and bones.  A walking sack.  No, that’s not the vision at all.  The goal is to make people realize how much I can do when I settle in and dig down and put my mind to it.  To make the discipline that dances in and out of my life so permanent, so powerful, that I can’t be seen as I was before.  That I get all the power and praise that comes from effectuating that level of change.
That I get that moment where everyone understands an inside the same as an outside.
Fuck, it feels very trite, save for the fact that when you haven’t had a moment like this, ever…and you’ve lived through eons of cycles pretending you don’t mind, you don’t care, you can be ignored and forgotten and made to be secret and unnamed…maybe I need to accept what my trigger actually is. What actually motivates me rather than what is supposed to.  Good health, body security, ability to not get fluttery over hills.  Yes, to all of that.
But maybe part of good health is a good body image. And maybe a good body image can happen when you accept that you have a body – one you want to carry your skull around and show off your genius.  Maybe having someone tell you something good might interrupt the sonic shell of bad news.  Maybe it’s alright to feel like you could get a compliment and it wouldn’t be about anything more than that.
Maybe!

Potatoes Are Not What We Eat…Currently: Day 33

Take yourself to task.  There were far too many items in the washing machine and it damn near exploded.

The cat is slurping as she washes herself over and over again on the floor.  I am not sure how to make this post today.

I’ve been trying to be creative and limit social media today.  This has been not an altogether successful mission, but lately, I’ve been feeling the sense of doing such a thing.  I’m feeling bombarded, both in good ways and bad, by ideas.  Things to worry about.  Things to do.  Things I could think about and build into other things I’m trying to be creative and achieve.  And it has become more than the small dustpan of my mind can handle.  So I have taken a certain percentage of the day to do what I do best, and that is, fuck all.

This, when it doesn’t coincide with someone’s plans, can be…a touchy thing.  We so rarely have touchy things.  But he says nothing and I say, tell me if you’re tired and want to sleep and aren’t going to go to bed unless we speak.  Don’t wait around for me.  I’m not…as I’ve heard it said…your girlfriend.  I am bending over backwards as it is to be generally available, to be generally present and picking up the phone.  A few hours without having to drop my train of thought to get on yours is all I’m asking.  One night to not have to live the reality of this half-fulfilled existence, to take my ball and go home.

Ah, sigh.

Instead, writing projects.  Instead, some MST3K.   Some Sunless Skies once I worked that little bug out. Some not giving into sugar and carbs so I can say Day 2 of the low-carb till ECCC plan is actually happening.  Going into a few fugue states – metaphorical ones, in actuality, more of a Pinterest freefall for writing inspiration that is a really bad idea on a number of levels.  More of that digital overwhelm when I just need to rely on my own brain to think up the details rather than relying on constant predigested inspiration.  That’s the worst, least effective kind.

Tomorrow:  we cook.  We see my mother and I square how she sounded on the phone with how she looks.  Nobody’s called me so, I’m assuming it’s okay for now.   Like she said, what else can you do?  Like Prof. Brian Cox said, the forward motion of time is a constant: everybody’s going to tomorrow, there’s no getting around it.

I’m yawning.

Let’s wrap this up and emerge from our psychic chrysalis tomorrow, fresh and awake and ready for life.   I’ve picked my spells.  I know what I’m needing to do.  There’s some intent in the haze.  Time to give myself the sleep necessary to make some of that happen.  Sleep sounds really, aggressively, objectively wonderful right now.   I think I am going to close this laptop up just after I press post and try and make shit happen in the land of Nod.

 

 

Stuck in a Vortex: Day 30

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.

I heard this two days ago and still hit the snooze button until the last of the last possible moments before the hellfire and threat of unemployment finally rousted me from my agitated half-slumber.  This morning, at least, I found a way to get myself moving at 6:15am and in that pre-dawn hour, get out the door with enough time to swipe the massive drifts of snow from my car and get to work by 7:30am for an event that in no way required me to be present.  But here I am, with that extra half-hour of work time under my belt and enough positive energy to start writing this now.
I want the time tonight.  To do taxes, to think, to write something else, to deal with some true truths.
Therapy was today.  And after rushing to get myself out and there, it was sort of this agonizing, powdery exploration of the basic terrain of my heart.  Stomping in the dry, musty fields of teenage hopes and dreams.  Trying to excavate and tamp down at the same time.  To circumnavigate it all and yet not move a foot.
I’m so confused.  I answer the phone almost with a weird feeling of self-awareness.  Of falling for the ol’ three-card monte.  Just enough vigor on his part, just enough exhaustion on mine and suddenly, he’s crazy about me.  Thrilled and desperate for me, wild about me.  Rapturously moonstruck over me.  For 30-40 minutes, I am entirely convinced that I have it all wrong.  I am his and he is mine and all the things one thinks when one is cooed over and the center of attention.  Even in my terrible mood, I feel immediately beholden to his better mood.  I feel silly and girly and cared about and chosen and selected and accepted and flattered.  Ultimately, flattered by the intensity of the whole intimacy thing.  Eventually, I say I can’t work on the writing project until this weekend, he says no problem.
We hang up.
I think, beneath the roar of the heater, about how my therapist told me to think about things – about the things I’m choosing not to think about – and I feel in this moment like I’m trying to take a sobriety test.  I go back to the usual rack of tabs that await me, including FB, and see the same post that was driving me mad last night.  I see at the bottom, and there’s a comment indicating he finds this woman a cool drink of water.  An hour’s passed.  Or something.  One can register these things lightly or heavily as one chooses.
Sigh.  All of which is within his purview, I suppose.  All of which is in his remit as a person on this earth who has no commitments to me.  She’s as far away as I am.  She’s surrounded by heaving, turgid masses, of men, each of which appears to be hoping to be chosen, in a casual, text-based way.  She’s probably a real human being with feelings, thoughts, personality – about which, in this moment, I’m electing not to give a shit. It’s all a game. Nothing matters and the longer I hold onto hope, the longer I stand in the fire.
I re-read the first sentence of this post and would like to dive into the sea.  The frozen, vortex-locked, endless sea.