The Whirling Fan

Don’t waste my magical writing time with nonsense.  Go to work.

It was a terrible day.  I screwed everything up. I forgot everything.  All my training evaded me.  All my plans fell to shit.  I got yelled at (or the disappointed, I told you, don’t do it again conversation with sternness enough that I am still quite quivery about the whole ordeal) and I am, ultimately, alone.

I mean, I have someone, but I can’t figure out how if this is the sort of having you have with someone who just happens to be taking the same bus you are.  A conversation that intimates nothing.  I want to know, to ask some authority, is this working or not working – what is real and what is just linguistic jiu-jitsu?  And are we all that safe either way?

Instead, I do what I do when I don’t know what to do.  I go and see my mother.  We don’t really talk about the events of the day because as soon as I come in the door after letting her know I needed to come for dinner because it had been a hard day and I had nothing really low-carb to eat, she says You Need to Be More Prepared!  And I won’t argue with the sentiment, because it’s true even if I find myself quite unable to knuckle down and open a laptop after a 10 hour day and face even one email with a questionably aggressive tone.  And they all feel a little bit aggressive these days.  Oh, gosh, it is just the wrong thing to say to a person after a day like this.

My mother.  I will not complain about her, but report this happening with more of a wry attitude rather than one of the usual frustration.   So of course, after feeding me the chicken and green chile and some jello with a heap of whipped cream and giving me her last two shakes in the whole of the world, she begins the quiz.

How long has it been for the diet?  How much weight so far? My answers: a week, and four pounds, six if you go back a bit, are satisfactory.  She gives me the rundown of how to do low-carb for the ninety-thousandth time.   This is not so much wry, is it?  I watch the news with her as we contemplate political eventualities.  I say I have to go.

She has no interest in J.  I have to bring him up if there’s to be any discussion and the discussion is more me venting about the surreal and frustrating nature of the thing.  She is both suspicious and entirely nonplussed.  Who he is and what he wants with me are of no import.  She’ll wait for me to sigh and offer something up, otherwise, it is entirely illegitimate and hell, she may be right.

Still, I leave, and the last thing I hear as I cross the threshold is “You’re getting your waist back again!”

Sigh.  I don’t know.

Time is a healer, just not yet


So I kind of fucked up my attempt at assertiveness – mainly by trying to see what my mom wanted before telling the sister to calm her bossy boots down and my mom was all, why are you asking, why what, it wasn’t a big deal? And then it sort of became a tiny bit of a deal.  She did wonder why I didn’t come over and she was a bit lonely with my dad working four days in a row, but she didn’t call me or tell me that.  I said she had to promise to call me if she was lonely and this suddenly had aspects of burdening her with having to explain what she was feeling.

But it’s not.  The lyric goes, if you call, I’ll come running to see you again.  Not if you have any sort of negative emotion, my telepathy will ping and I will teleport/time travel to you so that you never have to feel it in the first place.  More tuneful, too.

But I basically ended up sending a facebook message to the sister back that said I was doing the best I can, I’ve been over a lot, I’m going to be back over a lot, and that’s all I care to say about it.  And there’s been no reply as of yet.  SO, somehow, I am certain, the wrong person has been told the wrong thing and someone’s back is up and I…am sorry for that.  I’m sorry that my mom did, for a few moments, feel lonely.  But it doesn’t change, for a moment, the fact that I am just trying to live and do and serve my many mistresses without malice.

I have had feelings about this that have been subsumed under other feelings and other tasks.  This is how life goes.

Today, I got home, put a pizza in the oven, wondered why I wasn’t suddenly making all these massive changes I could be making for half a second, and then watched women’s indoor volleyball and then…saw a film on TV that caught my eye.  I know now that it was Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?

It caught my ear more than my eye as the film was absolutely drab and the film quality was dated and aged and didn’t look meant to be shown on high-def tvs, but quotes were essential.  Without a time nor place to be bound to, these were top-level truisms.

“Time, mister, it’s not a thief. It’s an embezzler staying up nights, and juggling the books so you don’t notice anything missing when you wake up.”

It’s really amazing.

You should just watch this part.  Maybe you’d get something out of it, too.

Now a hundred words to say that I am playing Skyrim.  I’ve had it for a couple years, but it’s so NOT Dragon Age and that made it pretty impossible to enjoy.  However, I think I might kind of like it.  In a backwards, goofy sort of way.  A hundred words to say that I take a deep breath and I deflate.  That I read it everyday, every single day – what we wrote together.  That’s pointless, but it’s pleasurable so I do it.  I hit these buttons one right after the other so the draft never gets in so long as I never stop.

For Those Who Know Better


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.


Devil in the Blue Dress


I have a reward coming when I finish this post.  The reward is a secret, but it rhymes with schmalcohol.

The days are getting cooler.  It seems like a season changes every time I sit down to write.

My mother has both positive and negative cancer types at the same time which never happens or rarely does.  It’s complicated and weird and she’s being advised by someone at the Mayo Clinic. She’s taking pills and feels guilty that it feels like she’s just taking aspirin.  There’s a list of fifty side effects and she’s not feeling any of them.  She is trying to tell herself it is working.  I affirm that it is.  But what do I know?  Doctors don’t even know.

I was told once that part of my purpose in life was to observe the Void.  Not to try to fill it, like so many do, but to acknowledge it, define it, become its High Priestess.  This, I must report, is a Void. It is this space between what is now and what we will eventually come to know and there is no way to bridge or ford or otherwise traverse this emptiness.  We are just inside it now until we are not.  Inside, all of our great artifice of controlled environments and self-made destinies and pretensions at foresight and preparedness and self-protection are burnt away.  And we just wait, we just wait and just wait and just wait and just wait.  Where are we now?  Here.  What are we doing here?  We are just waiting. What are we waiting for?  When we know here is there.  How will we know?  We will be there and not here.

I wore a blue dress today, the one I bought yesterday.  It had the softest lace, I didn’t realize that it was just so soft as it is.  I wore it and my necklace and had my face made up and I felt warmly embraced all day long.   I felt like I was filling the role of shopgirl relatively well by encouraging and talking to customers in a chirpy, pleasant way.  You look so cute.  It comes out now like a muscle memory.  A woman holds a garment up to her chest, reviewing herself for flaws, performing cost-benefit analysis in an instant and before that instant is up, I have to blurt out “It’s cute on you.” and reset the entire process.  It isn’t a lie.  Everything looks cute on everyone to me.  They were drawn to the fabric for a reason, they had an idea it could fulfill something about them, make them feel cute.   It was their idea, their impulse, if it can go either way, just thought experiment it into truth.

I suspect most women don’t look at clothes shopping the way I’ve come to.

But now, my legs are tired.  I want to hear from you and I won’t.  I’ve watched the Olympics and sat alone in the house for a while, hearing the night noises, I’ve listened to Dear Sugar, thought about skipping visiting my mother tomorrow.   There’s a Void in me that I want to fill with thought, but I think that will only spread it wider.  The day has curdled in retrospect.

Now, of course, I think back at all of the people who ignored me when I greeted them, the husbands and boyfriends I smiled my most milquetoast, desexualized and inert expression of delight in servitude at so that no one would think I was seeing them as anything other than knotted entirely, as further sexless supplicants, to these women who were hunting and gathering poly-cotton blends and shiny baubles to feather their nests.  The blankness they offered back at me.  The rush in and the rush out to be hidden away, ensconced on this second floor, tucked behind the evergreens.  A loneliness perpetuated by isolation.

I see some of my feelings reflected in my friends, some of them not.  I am alright.  I just, there’s a lot swirling that needs to be released rather than pickling me one more day.


Time to go get pickled in a different way.

Baby Bully

sunset-on-glass-1441481-1279x927 (1)Today we celebrated Mom’s birthday. Hopefully, she agrees. A bit of cake and dinner and we did a puzzle, walked the flying canine paroxysms and I, obviously, was incredibly amusing. From what I can tell, there’s an overall positive cast on my mom’s health situation right now and so whatever combination of medicine, mojo, magic, luck, well-wishes and prayers is flowing through right now, it can just keep on flowing.

I have discovered the horizontal line.

I mean, I knew dividers existed, I just didn’t think about how valuable it might be in terms of reflecting my scattershot, stream-of conscious style of word vomit in a way that might slightly add clarity.

A to-do list.

  1. Get up early enough to find your goddamned glasses.  If nothing else occurs tomorrow, this is bar-none, unavoidable, top priority.  It’s way too dark in here and I’m blind as a bat to look now, but fuck, I need to have usable vision in the morning.  I have no idea where they ended up between yesterday and today, but oy. Gotta sell those dresses and be able to read the sizes on them.
  2. Go to bed early enough to handle getting up just that brief bit early without visceral hatred in your heart about it.  Get up early enough to wear some makeup and have an outfit on that you don’t absolutely hate.  Find those sandals!
  3. Deposit your darling, precious loving secondary paycheck. Maybe put a deposit down on your magical necklace, but don’t go crazy thinking you have money cause you don’t.
  4. Make a list of shit you gotta pay and see what can be done about paying it.
  5. Get at least five of these water bottles filled and in the freezer and the rest of them to recycling so they stop solemnly staring at you with their half-empty, half-full visual metaphoric aggression.
  6. Wash this hair and buy some box dye to take care of these hateful roots.  It’s going to be a hell of a long time till you can justify a $150 salon price tag, long enough that whatever shameful attempt you make to correct these dark brown six-inch roots attached to the rest of your bleached blonde head will grow out, too.
  7. Figure out a healthy option for lunch and dinner and eat those things – it can be imperfect, but we gotta halt this gratuitous crap train that we’re on.  Don’t let yourself get any further than healthy option.  Use your hour off.  Thinking about maybe making an actual grocery list and making some actual food to take as a sack lunch.  Buy some brown paper bags, maybe?
  8. Work as hard as you can on ignoring your phone and the impulse to refresh to see if the Correspondence continues or what is up.  Because nothing is up and life will go on and you already have at least eight things to worry about.  Disappointment about that is blocking other energies.  You can feel it.
  9. Let imperfect people, situations, conversations, performances, behaviors, results go.

Spare Change

dirty-old-truck-1475644-639x503Okay.  So.  The thing in the way of my happiness is me.  If I am to gauge that I would experience a noticeably larger amount of happiness were I to follow up with my plans and attempt to struggle towards my dreams.

So, weight loss.  Right now.

I hesitate to write this because I certainly wouldn’t want anyone writing about my status when I’m working on myself, but my sister is doing great with her low-carb.  I don’t know how much or how little she’s lost, but she’s feeling good, she’s doing it and I can see a difference and I hardly pay any attention to anything.   There is, not an insignificant amount of jealousy, in that I feel bloated and starving and exhausted all the time and she seems, from the outside, alright.

And I am making no money at all, (so it seems) and running out and buying fast food and eating out at places that aren’t really in my poor person budget, acting in old habits, airporting as I defined yesterday.  Just thinking about the

I think, okay, vegetables.  And my whole body gets pissed off.  I get pissed off about everything that’s out of my control or seemingly so…my job situation, the fact that you can have one of these lingering powerful romantic interactions with someone and be strung along for weeks, my mom being sick and having to suffer to do what we can to destroy the sickness and getting messages from my vacationing sister about how I need to be reacting and behaving right now.  And in that space, being able to have a sandwich or a piece of pizza or four or five peanut butter cups to quash hunger and everything else attached to hunger, is magic.

It feels like sidestepping the effects of time.

Yesterday’s truth: There is no day outside of the chain of days, time does not stop and restart, we don’t escape life to some other place.  We just live in or out of fear.

This is the story of the fat people of the world.  Sometimes.  Some of them.  Of me. The Brene Brown bonafide truth that you feel freaked out and vulnerable and you do whatever you feel is necessary to excise those feelings.  Eating, when you’re scared of your own power, is this magical shield that is also a sword.  It just shuts off the thoughts for a while.  I feel like if I am vulnerable to my thoughts, I’ll lose ground, not gain it. Start panicking about driving which I’ve mostly avoided for the past three or four months.  I’ll look around and see what I’m currently half-blind to – real unhappiness with the treatment I accept, real fear, real sense of time slipping out of my hands.  It’s all the mental surgery I don’t get anesthesia for.

I’ve put forth this diatribe before.  I’ve danced the dance, lit the candles, stood very still and waited for signs to emerge.

Yet. At the bottom line, it’s will I do it or won’t I do it?  Right now, I don’t have the strength of will to curb things slightly.  Right now, I want a big act or nothing.


Useful Soup for Benevolent Purposes

White wine bottle in an ice bucket, macro close up with copy space

No more Donald Trump “news.”  Which, I think, for a time, means no Twitter and no Facebook.  I have read my fill of it today and I am having the Sunday, post-prandial self-assessment blues informed, no doubt, by an overdose of hormones and random, random meal-taking.

I can feel my blood pressure shoot up every time I press reload.  There has to be more peace in the world than this.  Besides, there’s still so many days and so many horrors yet to come.

This is my day off.  I can spend it how I like (mostly, there are things I’d prefer to do that I have no say in doing, it seems), but I am not a complete pile of mush.  I have gotten up, I have helped to pay my sister, and most importantly, gone over to see my mother.  And watch the Rockies lose to the Mets with my dad, but, mostly, to see Mom.  Our task was to work on the big jigsaw puzzle laid out on the dining room table.

We (my mother and sister and I) sat at that table working on the puzzle of a halcyon and idyllic scene –  a gazebo overlooking a pond with a weeping willow in the background and lots of swans and lion-shaped topiary.  Joy was flooding me, like jump out of your skin, unrelenting joy and gratitude.  Memories of times we’d done such puzzles, of earnest regard for my mother and all she might be facing were running through my head like a buzzsaw, inescapable.  It was a quiet moment, and I could hardly handle it.  Not from caffeine, not from low sugar, just from awareness of how I truly felt.  I haven’t let myself go there in a long, long time.


Now I am contemplating my desire not to contemplate, not to plan, the trouble it leads me to. How that’s a shitty place to be. How I trumpet that this is another day where I can’t handle being poured into a mold of corrective behaviors or penitent thoughts and the result just gets worse and worse.  Instead, I feel the desire to do low carb or low calorie or tracking or something rather than airporting.

This is a term I’ve sort of recently invented to describe how I eat lately.  How I act in general.  When you’re in an airport, everything you buy or do feels justified.  You’re on a journey, you’re confined, you’re in waiting for signs from the universe.  You are outside of your actual life, or so it seems.  If you need to buy a 10 dollar bagel and find your stomach sick halfway through and you have to toss it out because you can’t carry about a chicken salad bagel for the next four hours, that’s fine.  You make the choice very easily.  Acting out of desire by making choices that have an expensive, short-term gain that means nothing to you in the long run is airporting.  If you need to buy a $20 airplane pillow because you will want to close your eyes on the plane, even if you know you never let yourself relax that much in the company of strangers 30,000 feet in the air, then, okay.  You’re in an airport, you’re a cliche, you’re surviving this odd little hiccup in the diurnal experience of your existence.  It’s special and special behavior is justified.

Personal truth I have yet to believe for myself, but believe is true nonetheless: Life is never separated from itself.  There are no days outside of days.  There may be superpositions – days on top of days – but time passes.  Time carries on.  And the things we do today are linked to the miseries and joys of tomorrow.  If every day is accorded a special dispensation, eventually, nothing is special but the escape from special treats.  I am reaching that point, swinging back around to surfeit.