But still, maybe if I had known somehow, how tiring it would be. How mentally un-invigorating it was. Maybe if I’d known that it would make me want to sleep for days, or drink for weeks, or consider taking several illicit drugs at once, maybe I could have prevented my mental instability in the first place. Then again, it’s not like you can explain the pros and cons of creativity versus insanity to a three year old. But it’s a nice idea, to think about what it might be like to have a life where you are not constantly drained of energy and life force. To have a day when you aren’t scrambling to figure out what your own brain is thinking, or where your own thoughts are going. To have a day where you remember what your agenda was, and how to do difficult tasks like walking in a straight line, or breathing through your nose. It’s a challenge just to stay employed when you would rather be playing video games, or watching cartoons on TV while you remain in your pajamas all day and eat nothing but ice cream and pizza. And maybe a bowlful of Doritos. It’s a bit of a stretch to answer questions like “what’s wrong?” or “how are you doing?” when you honest-to-god don’t know the answer. How do you explain to people that you are just a ten year old in a forty year old woman’s body?
So back to the exhausting part. God I feel like I haven’t slept in weeks. People have commented on how bad I look this week, which is always flattering, and even though I’ve felt sick and wondered about having the flu, I reckon it’s mostly lack of sleep. And my therapist says I have dark circles under my eyes that she’s never seen before. Of course she has only known me for about a year, so she isn’t familiar with this routine. The insomnia. The monthly cycles of sleep/don’t sleep; stay up ‘till the Wicked hours of the night, then sleep ‘till noon; go to bed early and wake up too soon and not be able to fall asleep at night. She doesn’t know about these familiar habits; or at least we haven’t emphasized them much to her. She seems to think we need to take our meds, and see our doctor, and maybe that will help. I tried to tell her. I tried to explain that what I needed was a good pint of tequila, or a shot of whiskey, or even just a couple of beers. She laughs. “No, that won’t be good for work,” she says. Who said anything about work? I said BEER. I’m sure I enunciated it properly. B-EE-EEE-R.
I don’t know why they haven’t come up with a discount rate for insomniacs or crazies, verifiable by one’s therapist. I’d like to present a coupon to my nearest liquor store worker: “This Coupon entitles the Bearer to the largest possible bottle of Tequila on the Premises. Said Bearer will receive a 25% discount on purchase of such Bottle, owing to a lack of mental awareness which only said Tequila can replenish. Please consider this a Medicinal Purchase, and Frequent Drinker Miles apply. In dire situations, Beer of choice may be substituted for Tequila, but must then be accompanied by several packs of cigarettes or containers of Hookah tobacco. For any questions regarding the validity of this coupon, or the seriousness of the Bearer’s insanity, first
1. Look at Bearer of Coupon.
2. Notice dazed look on face and vacant expression in eyes.
3. Note the rocking back and forth motion as Bearer re-counts money in pocket for a fourth time.
4. If all else does not convince you, ask for card and number of therapist and call immediately.
ever have one of those days where you know it’s “one of those days”, but you don’t know WHICH one of those days?
like it’s not a “this day sucks off the chart as soon as you get out of bed” days.
and i have “dropsy days” all the time, where it seems like i have the Bermuda Triangle in the palms of both hands and can’t manage to hold onto a piece of lint, let alone whatever stupid thing i’m trying to put somewhere. and then hastily “place” on the floor.
there are “full moon” days, where every person i encounter is stark raving nutters.
and “late” days, when no matter how early i get up and get ready, i am late for everything and rushing through my life like a tornado.
today is one of those kind of days; it’s got a feel to it, and it should have a label. but i haven’t found out yet what this kind of day is.
yikes. could be just about anything…maybe even, dare i jinx it, GOOD?
I love that men are apparently attracted to me, despite my atrocious eyebrows.
It just goes to show that fashion experts and the makeup industry don’t always count on the sheer force of phermones and the male libido. They’d like us to believe that we have to have the perfect skin, the perfect nose, the slenderest figure and the most fashionable wardrobe. And you should smell intoxicating and also have minty fresh breath. Oh, and also perfect eyebrows, that should go from the inner corner of your eye to the other outer corner, and be perfectly shaped, and arch just so.
Screw you. Mine won’t do that.
Look, I’ve tried; I’ve tweezed, and plucked, and individually yanked out eyebrow hairs for years. Well, the yanking part is usually when I’ve gotten nervous about something, and I’m on the phone and distracted and suddenly feel a “stray” eyebrow hair, so I manically start sending my brows to the nudist colony. But hey, I’m OCD – it comes with the territory sometimes.
I’ve had a perpetual struggle with my eyebrows. At age seventeen, I clocked myself a good one and forever altered the existence of the perfect brow. I had a fabulous loft back then, and climbed a little ladder morning and night to reach my Princess and the Pea type bed. LOVED IT! However, one morning – far too early for a teenager – my alarm went off and startled me awake. I didn’t usually get up THIS early, so my body wasn’t accustomed to the shocking beeps of the annoying alarm I kept on a ledge under my loft. I also didn’t usually leave my closet door open at night (monsters, you know), but I did that night, and when I went to turn off my alarm – WHAM! – right into the top edge of the closet door. That smack woke me up for sure. It also gave me a Rocky Balboa split eye with the blood to match, PLUS a shiner that actually would have matched my cheerleading outfit really well, since our colors were purple and gold. But this was basketball season and we were wearing the dreaded white uniforms (WHITE? on a pasty white chick in the middle of winter? who comes up with these ideas??)
Anyway, since then my right eyebrow has been an arch nemesis. ha ha. The small scar I have in the eyebrow might not be noticeable if it weren’t for the fact that the hairs around the scar all seem to have lost direction. They’ve been drunk for years, all going the wrong way and giving my brow a sort of Einsteinian hairdo. Taming them is impossible, and making them look presentable takes effort, will and sometimes imagination.
And yet, despite my wonky, devil-may-care eyebrows, men still seem to find me attractive and sexy. I suppose the double D’s might help, and the big blue eyes and pouty lips. But I’m just pointing out here, eyebrows are not the answer. Those skinny snakes from the 20’s and 30’s that were penciled in razor thin. The full wild eighties brows, sans tweezers. Straight eyebrows, curved, arched, bent, waxed, trimmed or colored. It doesn’t matter. I’d like to postulate that there are very few women who could entice a man with her eyebrows alone. Mata Hari, maybe. And probably Sophia Loren. Though Loren could certainly lure a man with simply the exotic smell of her belly button lint, if that’s what she chose to use. Vixen, that one. But there is more to sex appeal than the perfect brow. And while I don’t know what the magic answer is to feeling beautiful daily and getting the man you want, I do know that it involves more than a tiny pair of pliers.
i’m sitting here at the dreaded Laundromat, not certain what i should write. it’s hot. and slightly humid. and very hummy. the WiFi here is down, so i can’t play with my superpoke pet. it stinks, here, the washers smelling like old moldy pants and sour batches of grapes. i hate laundry day.
not that i hate doing laundry, because i rather enjoy the task itself. as a kid i did my own laundry, and remember carefully measuring the detergent into the washer. i’m one of those people that has to fill the washer halfway up with water, add detergent, and stir gently, not shake, to mix all the liquids together properly, like i’m making a secret martini for James Bond.
but some days it’s just too much. too many people at the matt, too much folding, too many quarters to stick in slots that aren’t NEARLY as fun as the ones at the casino.
some days, i think i should just be a nudist.
I’m happy to be me this morning. I could be making more money. I could be having more sex. I could have a bigger closet full of more fashionable clothing. I could have a more exciting social life, with parties, dancing, and weekend luncheons. But several times on my walk today, I stopped. Sure I was a little late getting out for my stroll, but when the trees started dumping their colorful bounty on me, I had to stop anyway, and take in the moment. And when I got to the “river” I had to stop for a while there as well, and marvel at the foamy, sparkly goodness of the water. And wonder to myself, “when did the word ‘diamond’ come into existence? and before then, how did we ever describe the breath taking beauty of the sun shimmering off the water?” (this is a dunder, which i’ve talked about in another blog) The water this morning looked like a glitter factory had exploded onto it, and I just had to giggle like a kid in a candy store. There was also a patchwork quilt of leaves at my feet, that made me feel like a fairy princess on her wedding day, picking her way through ribbons of color, eager to greet her groom at the end of the path. And while I didn’t have a groom on my path today (ok, at least so far…it’s only ten a.m., and you never really know what a day will bring in my life!) I did feel as giddy. I’m happy to be me. Happy that I have a life that allows me to stop for a moment and smell the flowers. (or wet earth, since it’s fall and most the flowers have faded ‘round here) Happy to have an eye for the magical and whimsical. Happy to be on a path in life that supports my heart’s desires. And while I wouldn’t mind having more money, or more sex (especially more sex) and more clothes, I wouldn’t want to switch places with anyone in the world. I’m happy with the place I’ve chosen, and happy with the me I am.
Today is a downloading day for me. I have these moments, and sometimes days, pretty regularly. It’s not that I’m depressed, because I’m not really. How can I be depressed on a gorgeous day like today? The trees are phenomenally gorgeous, sprinkling my walk with more color than my eyes can consume. Green trees, yellow trees, trees that want to be orange, red, green, burgundy and ochre all at the same time. Some clumps are all bold and brilliant, and other patches of trees are soft, silvery, mauve. The brilliant blue sky sports whispy clouds that float through the air with no apparent agenda or time frame. It’s a gorgeous, warm, relaxed October day, and I am downloading. I often have direction, goals or intentions. I wake up thinking about a project I need to work on, a task I need to complete, chores I have been putting off or a hobby I want to get back to. I have to work out, I have to make a grocery list, I need to repair a broken earring or watch a movie rental before it’s due back. I might have social obligations or volunteer duties to attend to. And usually, my brain is full of ideas, thoughts, aspirations, longings, chatter, songs and intense curiosity about everything around me. On downloading days I have none of this. I’m neither tired nor energetic. I’m neither depressed nor excited. I have no specific desires or ambitions, and often find myself indecisive, not sure which direction to go. I call these downloading days because it’s like my brain has had enough frenetic activity lately and needs an hour (or twenty) to just buzz. The stuff in my brain is just rattling around and looking for somewhere to land. It’s like I’m downloading something on my computer, and I just have to wait. I can’t do anything else because whatever is downloading just isn’t done yet, so I sit and watch football, or go for a long walk, or talk emotionlessly to someone about nothing of interest. It’s just a day. A beautiful, gorgeous, perfect day; but a day I might enjoy better had my brain been fully engaged.
today my morning walk was magical. i don’t know if i have mentioned here how very much i love the rain, but i do. i will probably write a full blog just on that, but for today my concentration is on the continually refreshing experience that is my (almost) daily walk. on the way to my park, i swing through a cul de sac that i love, and there i found a truly unique treasure. i walked past a terminally falling leaf, suspended in air, like the slow moving bullets in the Matrix forever drifting toward the ground. it hung in the air like it was drawn there, by some great graphic novel artist who thought it looked best in mid air. on further examination i saw that it was hanging from a small spider strand, but it looked for all the world like a bit of confetti that never quite got to its destination. then came the park, and the litter on the ground. usually i hate littering, and i don‘t know why the fishers that come to this park can’t figure out how to clean up after themselves. bunch of lazies. but today, the mangled remnants of a red plastic Solo cup looked like rose petals, strewn about under the park bench in a ritualistic display, certainly intended for magical purposes. at this park i also came across a good looking, scruffy faced skateboarder, who would go perfectly with my sister…if only i’d remembered to bring my butterfly net, i could have scooped him up and carried him home with me. and then the fabulous fall of leaves that came tumbling down around me. it was like i was trapped in an autumn snow globe, that i guess would be called a leaf globe. it was beautiful, and charming, and completely whimsical. another happy moment in a curious life…
My local library has the entire five seasons on DVD, and I frequently check them out. You see, The Twilight Zone is one of my Achilles’ Heels. I’ve been addicted since I was nine or ten. Back when I was growing up just outside of L.A. (in the late seventies early eighties), The Twilight Zone ran in syndication every day at noon. I became addicted to the show, and days that I stayed home from school with a cold or flu, I lay on the couch with my eyes like saucers, all aglow from the light of our telly. The twisted, reality bending episodes crept into my mind and shadowed me throughout my lifetime, where I questioned which version of reality was accurate or correct. Mine? Someone else’s? Rod Serling’s?
It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I see these familiar episodes, which have become like old friends to me. I love them each time, and find new things to appreciate on each viewing. So yes, I didn’t feel my best this weekend. But watching the Zone while I was under the weather made my weekend the best possible.
When I was thirteen I tried to kill myself. I was in seventh grade the first time I tried, and just continued dabbling with the idea off and on for a year or so. I’d probably been suicidal for a while; and at the very least depressed for a good many years. The first time I actually remember trying to cut myself I was around five, and stood in the kitchen by myself with a butter knife, ready to do some serious arterial damage. Of course, it would have taken me an awfully long time to draw blood with a butter knife, but look, I was only five, I wasn’t schooled in the proper techniques of murder and suicide. By the time I was in seventh grade I’d at least figured out that I should use some type of sharp instrument. Had my family made more money, I might have had a nice little razor blade to injure myself with. As it was, my family was on the poor side, so we had nothing but disposable razors in the house.
There I was, with my little pink Daisy razor with the flowers all over it, slicing away at my wrists, getting the feel of suicide in my bones. The skin cut easier than I thought, and hurt less than I expected. The slight sting was more tantalizing than scary, and the blood oozing out was rather intoxicating. These first few times I cut were more flirtations with danger than real attempts at death, but they got me hooked fast. The adrenaline in my body, the tension in my muscles, the power I felt over SOMETHING in my life was a sort of intense little window of possibility, where the world lay open for me, and it was MY choice to live or expire. In my world, having a choice was not common. Tempting myself with death became a particularly seductive past time. It meant freedom.
I began cutting my ankles along with my wrists. The veins on my ankles were puffy and prominent, and I began to imagine that if I managed to kill myself this way, perhaps I would end up in the local news as some sort of two minute celebrity for a bizarre and tragic departure. Girl dies at age 13, wrists and ankles bloody pulps. I also took pills, though, because I wasn’t just into cutting. I actually did want to get out of my life situation, and if that meant getting out of life, I was amenable to that.
If I had known back then how bizarre and interesting my life would be, I can’t say for sure that I would have made the same decisions. Today it is raining heavily, the cloud cover so dark it feels like it is nine o’clock at night, when it is only lunch time for me. There is a dark, moody feel about the day; somber, pensive, romantically deep. My life is full of these moments – full of intensely beautiful days where the sky is so blue it hurts my mind, and the contentment in my heart seems unique to humanity. There are days where I feel desolate, empty, unloved and barren. Days that I wonder how anyone can choose to love me because I am such a challenge and an emotional roller coaster.
But this is life. Up, down, inside, outside, colorful, dark, dramatic, silly, intense, monotonous, and spectacular. Every year the trees change colors before my eyes in a wonderful parade of life and death. Every year the sun comes back in the spring, coaxing hiding animals and tiny buds on trees to burst open with hope and life, and continue the cycle that has been going forever.
Had I known about these wonders when I was thirteen – about broken hearts and dreams dashed to pieces; about disappointments and sorrows, love lost and love expiring; about passion and desire and intimacy; about laughter and acceptance and people that love you enough to talk to you in the morning when you have Christopher Walken hair – I would have laid my Daisy razor down in the shower, and kept it for shaving. I would have spared my skin the worry and nervousness. I think. Because life is hard, and wicked, difficult and damaging. But the beauty in life – and the POTENTIAL beauty – is worth the risk.
Life is an accidental and beautiful happiness.
perhaps my life’s work is just being me.
not a grand vision, really. being me. i’m a rather creative individual, full of ideas, ambitions, concepts i want to flesh out. i’m not someone who thinks they can cure the world of hunger, disease or violence. but i do think i have something to offer the world. and i frequently feel the need to present something in my life; as though i have to explain to the universe why i have earned my spot on this earth, what i have done to merit my existence.
i don’t have much to show for this. i’m not wealthy. i’m not outrageously beautiful. i’m not successful in the traditional sense of the word. i’m just alive and kicking. and it’s not like i have anyone showing up at my doorstep on the weekends, asking me “hey, we’re with the Life Police. what have you done worth living lately? ‘cause if the answer is ‘nothing’, we’re taking away your membership card and oxygen supply” no. it’s not like anyone is pestering me to come up with the goods. i guess it’s a thought process in my head that tells me i’m somehow lagging behind. that i was supposed to have accomplished something great by now. save a small country from conflict. single handedly solve a missile crises. become a gourmet chef. something awesome and difficult. and here i am just plodding along with the daily stuff. get out of bed. wash face. eat food. write blog. i’m just not that spectacular.
and as much as i’d like to think that something in my life will have an affect or change on someone else’s life – a piece of poetry i write, a book i publish, something of my essence altering someone else’s view point – i don’t know for certain that this will ever happen. if i constantly make my life’s work some THING outside of me that i am striving for, some intangible that i never truly achieve, then i will never accomplish it. it will no longer be a ‘life’s work’. it will become a ‘life attempt at something futile’. so to maintain my sanity, or rather try to win it back from the vortex to which it frequently travels, i must just accept that i am my own life’s work. being me is work enough!