Caught in the Undertoad




Perspective is a rather extraordinary thing. Yesterday, I felt lost and adrift as the monthly tsunami of emotional overload overtook me.

I really felt as thought this guy was slighting me and it reminded me of past times, past frustrations, past sorrows to the point of physical pain.

Today, cramped and coiled up like crushed velvet, the loss I feel can’t be categorized as loss.  It’s not a missed opportunity.  It’s not anything.  It is absolutely nothing at all.  A conversation that continues, that fluctuates, that ebbs and flows, that is curious to me even if the person at the other end has zero emotional regard for me at all.

And, as it wends and waves its way through my phone and through my mind,  the world takes back another beauty.  Debbie Reynolds, so ravaged by loss and pain and missed opportunities and love and sorrow and grief and shock and whatever unknowable elements exist at the loss of a daughter, left us all.  Left as going was the only available path.  I believe that was the reason, and the medical issues only the method.  I believe there are bonds that require it.  Bodies that can’t find equilibrium.  Minds that can’t rationalize it.  Spirits that are drawn together too tightly to bear parting.

I used to be unshakably certain that my own mother and I were so knitted.  Now, having come to several of these giant abysses and been saved by fate or science or dumb luck, I wonder if the only gift we can give to one another is the best use of our lives.  The only fair expression of love is trundling forward as my grandfather did when his wife and son died a few months apart, but even he capitulated but a year later. Yet, who knows what happens in the face of unexpected loss?  What promises are made and undone.

So, we eat our tacos and watch Unsinkable Molly Brown and think of “I’m Not Down Yet” a song that featured Debbie/Molly growling and rolling in the dirt, sneering under a boot, asserting her indomitable will to survive and thrive.  It’s both the incredible will and the incredible impact of change.  Immovable objects, unstoppable forces.  All life comes down to is a game of War between them.

It’s the middle of this vacation.  If it was over tomorrow, I’d hardly know what to do with myself.  But I have a few more days, both of work at the shop and breathable quiet days at home, so I am going to work hard at shifting my head.  I’ll keep talking to him even if my bold statements are ignored, even if all we talk is turkey.  Because, today, this feels important to mention, but not so important to suffer over it.

Let him chase after me, keen for me, sigh and bite his fist, clutch his pearls.  Let him do none of the above and let me sit here and think up some new world and beautify this one and improve my life.




Drowned in Moonlight

orchids-04-1516258-640x480There have been so many days lately with this raw, gooey center.  You can imagine it as this plate of picked-apart raspberry bar that’s on the plate next to me.  It looks like kidneys and wadded-up intestine, the soft internal organs, if they were autopsied and made into some sort of art.

This day, this place, both literal and figurative, that is tender and sore.  Hurt. I have the distinct experience of laying down next to it and watching a big boot come out of the periphery and kick it, hard.

There’s a helplessness these days.  After a while, the no you want to yell doesn’t get convinced to leave your lips.  It’s not logical to be all that upset about it if it’s going to happen again tomorrow.  If it’s happening to everyone else.  If it’s just the way life goes.

Still, tender and raw felt tender and raw today.  It may be the hormones, but that’s how it was perceived.  Carrie Fisher died today along with a host of other creative souls and the year taking away so many bright and caring people, it just, regardless of whether it’s true, it feels like we’re under somebody’s thumb.  Somebody who has some malice about the situation.  It has left me sad and I was already predisposed to be sad, in the blood, in my nature.  She was a great writer – I remember Mr. Rochester directed me to a copy of Surrender the Pink and I liked it – I liked it even as I knew it was from a world that I would never be a part of.  I remember her that way moreso than anything to do with Star Wars.

Universal sadness and personal sadness. If you give a thought to it, the line of demarcation starts to get wavy and thin as a hair.  We all just bleat and bleed.

It’s just the agony of everything.  This thing, now, is just the agony of being connected to the universe.  The cord that can’t be cut.

Maybe I ran here to get a breath of air and now I feel too much freedom of thought, or maybe there’s too little thoughts to feed upon.

This is what I need on the 27th day of the final month of the year.  Some suffering to clue me into some sense.

Nobody demands the pain, nobody calls for the martyr, nobody chains my limbs to the radiator or sells vials of my tears.  I am fine.  I am weak for fantasies of power.  I fail at sounds of my victory coming down through the trees.  I buckle for the big idea that it’s all going to turn over out of sheer, dumb fucking luck.  Knees knock, but still I live.

The guy, right now, doesn’t love me anymore than the person passing by you with a paper and coffee in his hand.  This is my assumption.  He has not told me this because there’s been not a whisper of an opening for which to bring it up.  It is high school all over again.  The Long Lashed Boy all grown-up and being sweet to other girls while I rub worriedly at the skin around my wrist.  Really, who’s to say anything as the onion skin reveals the layer beneath, again and again until the green center is finally exposed?

Tonight, I hold in these hands the gummy flesh, the serrated, oozing, hurt and tender part of me that is so fragile about this stuff.   That feels so upset that I can’t seem to just turn and spin the toy in the right way to get the ball through all the pegs and down into the other side.  That my time and energy and earnestness just converts to tofu.  To a bland mass quite discernable from chicken.

This happens because I sit back or I don’t lunge forward.  I am still, deeply unsure if I should lunge forward now.  Not because it isn’t just time to do it, but because I don’t have the information to know anything about anything.  I’m learning.

That I am getting beeps and lights and notifications and realizations of other connections and other people who want to see if they’re the one he’s looking for and vice versa and it is hard.  It is hard to not impose your will, to know you have no status to be anything but yourself.  That last bit, sometimes, is the worst.  The jealousy and pettiness and frustration and insecurity is part and parcel of this learning.

There is so much I cannot control.  I can’t reach into the spinning blades and grab them and hold them steady so it’s safe.  I can only do my best to time my run and buy some band-aids when it’s done.

So getting my food together.  Losing some weight.  Dealing with the clothes that are making me depressed because I haven’t dealt with them because I’ve been depressed.  Getting back to the therapist.  Find a new job.  Put on some makeup, do some walking.  Eat a carrot.  Accepting that all I can do is make myself happy and use the language I want to use to express myself and when he asks what my favorite music is, explain it in the way I want to explain it, even if he doesn’t respond.  The veil of the internet twists everything, endows it with dark portents that don’t exist.

I am going to stop it.  Stop giving a shit.  I am here, hand extended, but the rest of me has things to do if he’s no interest in taking hold of it.  There’s so much else for my mind to contend with rather than sit in the pot and cry over this nonsense.



The Artful Homemaker


Five hundred words only get written if you very slowly and systematically put yourself in front of the great white screen and let your brain slowly ooze down your neck and through your body until it can reach your fingertips and you can frantically tippie tap and pitty pat it away.

That isn’t exactly the scientific process, but I’m pretty sure that’s about how it goes.  It’s just that simple.  You just put your lips together and blow.

I am thinking about you.  It is a small thing, where I think my little sister is lovely and kind, but she gets a number from the valet boys whereas I open the door for them twenty-times with not so much as a how-do-you-do.  I don’t think any of those valet boys and I would have meant to be, and of course, my little sister is blameless.  The whole thing just carries a sourness in my mind, though.  Harkened back to childhood against my will.  It is a jealousy that isn’t against anything but my own hopes.

I looked at Mr. Rochester’s old, entirely defunct Facebook page where pseudonyms upon pseudonyms once made for some sort of inside joke I could probably puzzle out if I tried.  There’s no sign of him there.  I could also, probably, dig up the old youtube videos he did.  I won’t, though, as I already feel invasive as it is, kicking old tires and digging old bones.  I just wanted one bit of the old bird in the hand, the snide conversation that created this little glass cake cover and sat it over us on our shared pedestal.  I just wanted to remember how it was when I could make him laugh and it felt like, though I was 1000% wrong on this, I was the only girl who knew that trick.

I miss the thing about writing with the guy where at least for the time it took to read and the time it took to respond, I was Queen Shit.  I was it.  I was the recipient of the attention, the gatekeeper of the correspondence, I was the muse, I was the charm.  That’s about as narcotic a thing as I know of and I have gone without a hit of it for a long, long, long while.

I ache for it, really.  Some specialized attention.  Some badinage.  Some good times.  This is how I get myself into trouble.  This is the cycle come round again where I pretend I don’t know that there’s a wall up ahead that I am barrelling towards.  A real wall or a wall I have imagined is placed there, it doesn’t matter, it will still break my face when I fail to brake.    The body issues wall.  Where I know why she gets the valet’s number, and I get the valet’s complete disinterest.

In certain dreams, he squeezes me.  Not so tight that I can’t breathe, but just enough to know that he is there for me and no one else.  In certain dreams, I squeeze him back.

The Lady of Shalott

If you feel me tapdancing, it’s because I don’t know with this one.  I thought that I could just run right through these practices for Calling in the One, that they’d make for good fodder for a 500-word post.  Two birds, one stone, you know?

But as much as I can acknowledge being a wounded spirit on some levels, artsy-fartsy sort of levels, I can’t really put my finger on what my sacred, life changing, psychic wound is.

It’s lots of things.  Little lashes.

The goal of this thing is to unlock and remove or at least acknowledge all the barriers you have to having love in your life and transcend them.

I don’t know how to root out the fearfulness that’s a part of my life.  I don’t know if I can do it here.   Being scared of losing my mother to cancer, being sad about losing my grandmother, being scared of a body that completely disconnected with my mind about the same time, empathy and profound reaction to the choices of others in my family in their being exiled for socio-economic reasons or intellectual reasons or otherwise from my core peer group  These are all things I’ve felt surface a bit in this process of dealing with some pretty crippling anxiety, but none of them feel like a reason that makes sense in my head for not ever coming across someone who I can emotionally connect with on this level.  For pulling away before anyone can even pull their guns, much less their trigger.

I think, though, writing that down, the underlining factor is fear.

This is supposed to be a woundology – a term I find a bit off, but – it’s supposed to be more about the strengths that living this way has brought to me.  I suppose we’ll get there when and as we can.

I have always been withdrawn.  By choice after a while, because it gave me a safe place to observe, where I couldn’t be judged, but I could judge.  Where I could wait for someone like-minded and kind.  But I remember year after year where I was seemingly invisible, observing, idealizing, waiting for providence to bring Mr. Future to my door.  And then, rationalizing his absence with the ugliness of my body or how much I’d read or the fact I was nervous about driving.

But people with all these life experiences find people.  They do it every day.  So I began to think I was just liminal, between worlds, and in some ways, the magic of not being one of masses has made me see more keenly the beauty in everything, everyone, and in the smallest of degrees, cell by cell, from time to time, in myself.

I’ve never felt seen.  Ever.  Came close a couple times, but if I’m honest, and I’m trying to be now, that was all mostly delusion.  We’ll never get the chance to know for sure. And now, the prospect of dating sounds as frightening as needing to put your hand in a flame to see if it’s hot.  You just know it’s a dangerous prospect, too elementary a question, and yet how can you just assume when night after night you eat a cold dinner?

It seems impertinent, incredibly selfish, to ask someone to stop their life to come and help me begin mine.  To risk wasting their time.

Now, I think it is ego, too.  A fearful, fretful ego who thinks that if Mr. Future, or some page or serf of his good house, offers a kind eye.  A look, a glance, I have to turn it down, because it’s only that, a look.

And if I was to start walking down that road, that first fork in the road, I might do something terrible and walk the whole way and find myself somewhere, some way I did not wish to be.  Somewhere not good enough.  And not be able to get back to center, to this perfect privacy, invisibility.

…I’m listening to this:

Which seems to be the perfect song for all that I am feeling.

A trap from which the only escape is a leap into a world that will not catch my fall.

Well Water

Yeah, thirty minutes.  No big deal.  I have this well in hand.

I’d paint a picture of my quiet surround at the moment if there were more light than that of the computer screen to see by.  Instead, I say, I am thinking of you.   You who crept so briefly out of the cadre of shadows I keep in something like a locket, something like a cage, something like a Grant’s Tomb far below the sepulchre of the sea.   You’re one of many, a cut  remembered somehow without the pain of the cutting.   I might have nearly almost loved the part of you that you gave me once, mainly because you might have nearly almost loved what I deigned to give you.  Your support was priceless, then.  The absence of it had to be filled by other things, and yet, no other things quite did the trick.  Mr. Rochester might never have happened in the way that he did without you softly, kindly greasing the trap with your entrails.   Not that I broke your heart, you were in a state and I, gathered the gauzy petticoats and hovered just above the fray, offering the beatific guidance that an Athena might offer, without a touch of innuendo.  In me, perhaps, you felt there was some grace.  Some grace that would prevent me from being hurt by the news that you were in real love with someone else.  Someone whose hair you could touch and who happened to also be a vegetarian and whose flaws you shared with me in such a way that I was caught so, so, so off-guard by the realization that my virtual epiphanies in your life could be trumped by a body, by a name.  It hadn’t been in me, then, that grace you bet on.   I wasn’t able to watch once again as I gave feminine voice to your conscience and became the Blue Fairy, unnamed angel, the palm reader marking the love lines on your hand while my palm lay as flat and white as a marble slab, a field of new snow.    I disappeared, as I often do, into the mists and the jungle of tubes.

Only now, you’ve said hello.  You’ve been married to the girl you weren’t sure of once and had a child in the interim.   You only mean hello.  Except, for you, who sees numbers before words, you also see that I might write you back and resume my role.   My floating presence.  Part of me would like to, but now, I don’t want to give you my sadness.  And the happiness I have is too precious right now.  That’s how it feels.  Perhaps if I could just be free and take back up the mantle of friendship I wish I could that happiness would grow.

I don’t know.  It’s been a big universe in our time apart.  Bigger in weirdly different ways.  I want to be open to it.  I want to take that step, but something in me clamps down and says you’ll make a fool out of me again.

Thin Glaze


The little bird has flown to the window, spits out its three seconds of song, and flies away, certain it has spoken the entirety of its truth.

Sometimes I feel like these posts are my three seconds of song.   It’s pretty imposing to consider everything and try and consolidate it into something portable, memorable, strong.   Especially when the day seems much less a framework of time and more a fixed point I can only approach, never actually reach.

It’s weird right now.   I’m eating badly and I am hating myself for it and I’m making it into a thing it doesn’t need to be.  I was in such a good groove and then this giant 8-ball of stress came rolling up on my ankles and while I have been wearing the fitbit the past couple of days, and doing my situps and riding on the bike for ten minutes, I haven’t been pushing it.  I haven’t been doing the extra I need to do.  And I’ve been forcing myself to eat, really, more than I want of things that I don’t want down my gullet just because I tell myself it’s somehow justified right now.

It’s really a whole pain in the ass mental showdown I keep hosting down the OK Corral of my mind.  I know I can do it.  I know it’s nothing at all.  I am just getting in my way because of the stress and because of the fear.  And the rest of this month offers no respite for this.

So, keeping up with that cycling and situps, striving towards 5000 steps a day through August (especially once I get back from Bristol and before  Red Rocks) and hopefully, stay on relative course for September when my hours will be a bit more my own.


So that’s the news about the diet.

I’ve so much to do, really, I cannot keep laying here.


It’s been a long time, you know.  It’s been a damn long time.   You are persistent in the way any good appliance is so long as it’s given power to operate.   And I’m unable to pull the plug.

There are no real alternatives, but to keep the juice flowing, the light in the room warm and steady and hope that you’ll come home to nest.

It’s not unlike being dead myself.  This waiting.  But if this is death: your still-growing nails running down my back, my memory, my summers and my autumns, if this is what I have to fear.  Then, I don’t mind so much.  Because although it’s not enough, it’s something.  And it’s something that makes me feel so good, so tall, so much myself that it seems like living twice over.

Funny to be living with your corpse, and me spending half my time how to dump myself in your Hudson.

A girl should seek the future, not ghosts and zombies, shambling mounds of blue-tinged flesh and yellow-bellied mythology, but no Rocket Man has ever given me such good company.

I can sit at your bedside, read the love poems you must write out in your EKG.

The Favorite of the Ball

Oh, lord, this whole getting healthy thing is horrifically uncomfortable right now.  My legs are throbbing in an itchy way that I think means I need to stretch them, because they’re not getting the pressure on them I want and ugh, ugh! That and my overall sense of nausea is increasing.


Okay.  The TV is set-up.  I’ve watched some Cinematic Titanic to christen it.  I have done the exercise bike.  I have done the situps.  And the dog was walked for half an hour of lurching and avoiding killing septuagenarians who greeted the both of us on the street.  I could honestly still use some Ben-Gay, or some IcyHot for my legs, but at least no triskadekaphobic-triggering shit went down today.  It was just a day.  Which is nice because those have been so rare.  So few and in between.

I know I’m pushing my legs hard.  Well, not really, but more than they’re used to, much more.  And I know the food is getting there, evolving every day as I get my fill of salt and quench the craving for a while.  Right now,  I feel I’d be better if I never ate another thing again and I ate lightly today.  Light, as I would describe, which is basically not falling off the wagon.   As achy and itchy, and just discomfitted as my legs are, even after a good stretching, they and the rest of me kind of do feel good.

The nausea has subsided.  I have stopped thinking I need to take over the world.  I have stopped thinking I need to be anything other than in process.  In the mill.  For tonight, I have stopped trying to win a diet race, an exercise marathon, a popularity contest.  I have just said this is the day’s work, and it is done, it is over, and I can turn my thoughts elsewhere.   I can daydream now, I can miss people, I can miss the things they might have said about the creek running low and overflowing with tubers, and the low-brow gossip about such people who could be so entertained.  I miss the way they might have made me feel special in this season of drought where things tend to make me feel put-upon or patronized long before they make me feel special.

Things are just going alright with the diet.  The willpower exists in this window frame between now and when I go to Bristol and hopefully, between then and the 28th and 29th.  It comes to me that as wonderful as it would have been to get the message across to the distracted, computer-absorbed teen I was, to get active and start then with life change…I just don’t think it could work until right now.  Right this moment.  Given what I’ve seen of the world, given how I feel about my place in it and my opportunities?  I have a really great chance right now.  I have support, but I have independence.  I have the materials and food at hand and I don’t have to always eat what everyone else is eating.   It’s a good chance.

Now, it’s time to get my legs in some water.