ok, so i feel like barfing my brains and guts out right now.
and yes, technically i AM sick, but that’s not the reason for my hysterical nervous system.
i’ve just emailed an agent, and i may have totally bombed the whole situation. i’ve been wanting to approach this agent for, i don’t know, i think a year. but i’ve been sitting on my ass about it, because my ass is so cute i didn’t know what else to do. and also because i just, i don’t know, i have the normal fear of rejection that often comes with my personality type, which is writer/poet/overly dramatic/worryaholic.
so the smart thing i did was to fire off a stupid email to him. in which i failed to present anything of value, used a casual and inappropriate greeting and informal language, and also did stupid things like say i hope i’ve enticed him with my wit, or something equally moronic.
the good news is that he actually wrote me back! the other good news is that having sent such a lame query, i could quickly let go of the nervousness of being rejected, since it would be almost unimaginable for someone to take me seriously with that email.
but then i responded BACK to him, and actually sent him a few things so he could get an idea of me, and maybe what i want to create.
and now i want to throw up.
i really want to work with THIS agent. i don’t know why, i just have a feeling. so if i screwed it up with my idiotic approach, i’m going to be … well really fucking mad at myself. and thus, my intense desire to puke up my everything….
a big thank you to my dear friend Tony, who just showed me an amazing amount of love and encouragement. i just came out to him as a multiple, and his first reaction wasn’t awkwardness or the icky face. and he didn’t do what another friend did to me recently, which was to say “let me process this and i’ll get back to you” and then i haven’t heard from them since.
i’ve told a number of people now, about my diagnosis, and the reactions are all different. but surprisingly, not many people have straight up shunned me. but Tony was i think the first to just jump into the deep end and start asking questions: when was i diagnosed, how many of me are there, do they all have names, or something like that. and all really good questions, which makes me wonder: why are you working with computers, when you have a really obvious knack for dealing with crazy people?
when dealing with old wounds and injuries, prying them open to expose to the public on a blog is cathartic, therapeutic, if not a little strange. but it’s freeing in it’s anononymity. opening up these issues to family and friends is more dangerous. there is a greater degree of rejection immediately at hand. will my family still love me? will my friends accept me? who can handle the truth, and who will run from this information?
well, Tony, whom i’ve known since i was maybe 10 or so, was supportive, loving, and interested in my story. and i can’t ask for more from a friend.
all in all, a good day
i’m supposed to be working on my book today. for those of you who are frequent flyers here at accidental happiness airlines, you may recall that i am writing a book of memoirs. no? oh, well i did tell you, so you must have missed that blog. this was the weekend i intended to finish up the final editing; but life’s little lessons get in the way, and i see i must face some of my demons before i share them with the world.
Demon #1: Shyorcifel (also known as fear of intimacy)
i’ve been getting in touch with friends from my past, and i see that the vast majority of folk my age have spouses and children and homes. i began to scold myself today for not having a lover, and what is wrong with me, and all of that kind of thing. but i realized pretty quickly that the reason i am still single is that i never let anyone get close, and i never let men (or most of my friends for that matter) see the real me. it’s scary to think that you would hope in someone to love you on your worst day, with a big juicy zit on your nose, and no makeup on, walking around in yoga pants with holes in the ass, and then your supposed to trust that this person loves you when they’ve been around you at these times? when you’ve done something sinister or selfish? when you’ve told about your horrid past and how messed up you are? see, it’s easier to just never get to that level.
and that’s why i’m still single. so i have to wrestle with the intimacy demon and work out the kinks in my emotional vulnerability quotas.
Demon #2: Keeperoscipase (also known as Obssessive Hoarding)
ok, i’m not actually a hoarder. i lovingly refer to it as ‘being a Picker’. i collect. and while i love my books and papers and ephemera, my toys and clothes and crafts, i’m not going to be auditioning for “Hoarders” anytime soon. but – having watched my first episode today – i can see that i am made of the same fabric as these others. we are people who are afraid.
afraid of losing someone. afraid of letting go of the past. afraid of living in the now, and the uncertainties of life. afraid of forgetting something, or not having what we need, or throwing away something important or of value.
afraid of letting people in. afraid of looking deep inside. afraid of admitting we’ve been hurt, killed, beaten, worn down, abused, neglected and abandoned. afraid of being seen for what we are: weak, vulnerable, and hurting.
but hey! look at that. the entire human race is in this category. and while i might wash my hands too many times after tucking away another thirty copies of fiction titles i’ll never read, you might be socking down your thirteenth bottle of Labatts, or losing the use of your right arm due to a slip up with a bookie.
we’re all of us broken, wounded, beautiful creatures. and the fascinating part of life is watching each of us uncover the treasure beneath all the outer layerings of crap.
I was very Stormy the other day.
Stormy is one of my alters that I haven’t quite figured out. Well, most of them I haven’t figured out yet.
Stormy seems to be a mix of things; part tomboy, part ska beach girl, part free spirit. She has a littler body than most of us. When Stormy has taken over, I can tell, because my body feels like it’s shorter than normal. I suddenly have a junior high sized body, and a different walk. She’s a little more slouchy than most, and walks like Meg Ryan in Prelude to a Kiss. Or maybe that’s how Meg walks all the time, I don’t know for sure. The tomboy aspect comes out in how she does her hair, what shoes she wears, what clothes she puts on. She is spunky, quirky, and has a definite viewpoint that I haven’t figured out. I’m not sure yet what propels her, but she has a mind of her own and plays by her own set of rules. She is uninhibited, sporty and free, which is not really how I have spent most of my life up ’till now. At least, not in the way she does it.
Stormy will dance in the middle of the street if she hears a song on someone’s radio she likes. She won’t worry about what the drivers or people around her will think, she’ll just turn to her sister or friend and say “ooo, I LOVE this song!” smile a huge smile and start swinging her hips. Stormy will walk confidently into any room and not even consider what other people are thinking about her, go about her business, and leave. She can tell when a boy thinks she’s cute, and she might smile at them or wink, but she is so involved in the moment that she just LIVES it and doesn’t worry about any of that other stuff.
That’s not been me. A lot of my adult life – or a lot of the life I can remember – has been spent observing people, trying to gauge their reactions to me so that I can change my behavior if I sense danger or disapproval. If I’m too hyper, I can calm down. If I’m too loud, I can alter my voice. I need to be in tune with the situations around me in order to shift myself – either my personality or my characteristics – to stay safe; to blend in. Stormy isn’t like that. She just is what she is.
I reconnected with a friend of mine from my past, and he told me he was madly in love with me when we were young. I thought he had a thing for my sister, but no, it was me he was crazy about. He described a time we were in the back of someone’s truck, driving along on a summer night, and I was singing a song by the Eagles, or Styx. He said I was the most beautiful thing ever. I thought to myself, “Stormy”.
Stormy isn’t afraid of life.
She IS life.
She runs and loves and feels openly.
She embraces trees and people and ideas openly.
She is the essence of vitality, and what people dream of finding at the bottom of the fountain of youth.
And I have her in me…
I just have to figure out how to let her out…
What can I say? Some days there is no way to process life but through writing.
My morning walk started so beautifully, with the overcast sky, the cool air, and the scent of flowers on the wind. A beautiful mourning dove hovered over my head, looking for her nest, I thought. Unless she was hovering over me to bring me a message, which is quite possible because these birds are connected to my grandmother. I saw it as a good sign, along with the three silly squirrels who were playing a fierce game of tag, and a happy black butterfly that smiled at me as she flew by.
The second park I try to visit on my morning walk is something of a fairy wonderland, if you disregard the droppings left behind by the resident alcoholics. After I picked up an empty booze bottle, a can of worms from a fishing excursion, and an empty six pack carton, I was able to sit on a bench and enjoy the water for a while. Many of my Monday mornings start here, at the water’s edge. We have a little river ‘round here, and at this park I can watch it head into Old Town, and sometimes see people out fishing in their boats. Or I might just stand at the edge of the park, like today, and look out over the drop of the dam, staring at the frothy build up as the water cascades over the edge. It’s a fun little drop – not a Niagara Falls or anything – just a little waterfall that makes the view interesting.
I have imagined it as a good murder site for some time. I am forever thinking of plots and ideas for the many novels I intend to write one day, that are all on a slow-cook right now, back in my brain in some kind of Dutch oven. Today, as I stood over the railing looking into the water, I felt for sure this was the scene for the first murder of one of my mysteries. The fencing that I leaned over was made of stone and a wrought iron gating material, making it look rather a lot like a cemetery structure. The water drop below showed debris I don’t usually see, like a giant tree stump, a soccer ball, and bottles of booze or tea. For a while I was worried that there might really be a body in the water – there is a sign right where I stand, after all, that warns about the undertow, and how strong it is; that it can pull a body under and drown a victim, so careful, careful, it warns. Maybe there was an argument over the World Cup already, and someone tossed his drunken friend over the edge, along with his Nerf soccer ball.
Still it was a beautiful day, so I resigned myself to enjoying the moment. Little cheeps were close at hand, and I looked around to find four little ducklings chirping away. All in a clump, they cheeped loud and long, ‘till mother duck found them finally, and helped guide them away from the dangerous edge of the falls. It was the cutest, sweetest site, as mother duck and her three ducklings were re-joined by the four stragglers. And off they swam. But I kept hearing more cheeping. Are these just extra loud ducklings, who are destined for a life on the stage with that kind of lung power? No, actually, there were two more ducklings that hadn’t yet braved the water fall. Seeing mom and the others sailing off without them, the final two ducklings race toward the fall in a panic, trying to catch up to the troupe.
Over the edge they flow, and then bobble up and down in the frothy, tumultuous water at the bottom of the falls. Both of the ducklings struggle in the fierce bubbling mass – the water is high today, and the current is strong. One of the ducklings manages to find the large tree stump, and struggles his way onto the wood, finding purchase at last on the floating device. But the undertow is strong, and the stump wobbles, tossing him once again into the violent water. He bobbles, and struggles, and rights himself again on the wood. The other duckling has already lost his battle with the angry river god. I watched these two ducklings struggle for their lives, swimming and tossing, going under and resurfacing. They spent so much energy on surviving, they couldn’t even cheep out for their mother to find them, so I called to her, trying to tell her where they were. But at last, they both were under, and didn’t come back up again.
I started crying. I looked in vain for their little fluffy heads. I waited, and worried, and cried some more. And finally, I plucked two white wild flowers from off the vine on the ground, and tossed them into the river, mourning the loss of the innocent little lives.
I thought I lost another innocent last week. We have a situation of strays, at our house. My sister is something of a cat magnet, and we’ve had strays visiting us for years now. Axel, Xander, Sneakers, Bear. Some strays we make attempts to adopt, like Petey McGee. (actually peanut butter cup, but Petey stuck pretty good) Petey is the offspring of two other strays, Tiger and Smokey Joe. Tiger makes good kitties, so we also have Piglet and Ozzie now as porch kitties, because we already have Siris, Bunny, Doodle and Petey indoors. Christ. We made attempts to adopt Zorro, which ended badly, and are now feeding Snaggle Tooth as well.
Snaggle is the one I thought we lost the other day. He’s something of an old cur, we don’t know if he belongs to someone or just roams the land looking for fights and women. His legs are broken and crooked, making him walk like a wounded cowboy, or more likely, a pirate that should have a peg leg. His fur is long and mangled, and his eyes are distant and wild. He howls when he is hungry, and growls at you when you bring him food. But he’s the cutest damn thing. So we talk to him, and tell him how cute he is, and he’s been around a couple of weeks.
Last week he was howling so loud, and walking so badly, I thought he had the Death. I went out in the rain, and stood as close to him as he would let me, across the street on the neighbors lawn. I told him it was ok to die. I told him he was a good kitty, and loved, and that it was ok to die, because I was right there with him, and I loved him. He howled another howl and then fell silent behind a bush, while I stood in the rain and wept over a cat I hardly knew.
Of course those surly pirate types don’t go that easily, so he came back and got into a fight with our Piggie (Piglet, named after the character in Winnie the Pooh) so we called him a sonuvabitch and told him we would stop feeding him if he pulled this crap again. We fed him anyway the next morning, but still, you can’t treat our porchies like that! But other than the miraculous resurrection of Snaggle Tooth the Ferocious, Death has been all around me lately, though I imagine it is always all around me; I’m just usually too distracted by life to notice, or too caught up in myself to see Death’s claw marks in the sand, or his scratches on the trees.
Friends that I love have watched friends that they love die in their arms. Colleagues of mine have had parents and uncles die. And what can I do to ease their pain? Nothing. Nothing helps this kind of thing. All I can do is love. Love those around me that are hurting, and hold them to me as close as I can. Love those that are dying, and send them off with as much positive energy as I can muster. Love the world, and the earth, and the precious moments we have right now. Love in the here, and the present, and stop holding it inside me like I’m a stingy old miser who is hoarding it all for himself. I want to love strongly, and fiercely, passionately and well. I want to love deeply and many and for no apparent reason other than I love to love. Because I don’t know how many tomorrows I will have. I don’t know when the tide of life will pull me under and keep my head below the waves. I struggle and I fight to live on, and live well, but I don’t know, do I?
So I must love today. And hard. And much. And I just pray that those I care about will embrace me, accept my gift, and allow me the beauty of now.