One-Star Review (1/365)

I am on the path. I know the start weight.  I know the score.  The feeling.  The muscle memory of January 1.  This is the easiest day of the whole thing.  The simplest to find the Fitbit and get it charged.  To look up a few low-carb websites.  To add a couple glasses of water to your morning.  To eat some cheese and be distracted by the newness of it all.

This is the day for all of that to happen.

I have gained weight over this year of undocumented emotional indulgence.  The roller coaster of are they, aren’t they, will they, won’t they, do they, don’t they has taken its only just now acknowledged toll.  I’ve pretended that I feel the same, even if stairs leave me slightly ought of breath, if I feel slightly overclocked sometimes, a mind and heart racing without any particular stress to trigger it.  There are signs that are subtle and not that double orders of chile cheese fries have an impact to the body.

I don’t feel the resonating thrum around the idea of providing this page with yet another, probably annual at this point, mea culpa.  I don’t feel like a public face palm is all that valuable to me, personally.   I was mad earlier, overlooking the scale, not shocked, but disappointed that I thought that the magic in my magical thinking was hardcore enough as to invent a workaround for the Law of Conservation.    That I could eat violently – eat against imperfection – and end up perfect.  End up unmarked and not carrying all of the impact of adding dessert at every meal, of cravenly eschewing anything remotely green in color (the chile was mostly red in hue). As ever, the value to me, or to you now, is in the path forward where either we do a little better at not fucking things up, or we don’t.  I mean, as much chatter as I can provide us both about it and we all know I can chatter with the best of them when I’m of a mind, the things I do today are what the rest of my life will look like if I don’t break the chain.

I have my plans.  My flexible suggestions that I am going to be writing into law once I am sure I am not going to spend every day breaking them.  I am writing them down, but not here.   Again, not until I am doing something I can comment on.  Day One, as has been explained to me at my new corporate job, is energy and excitement and press releases and the whole embodied concept of LAUNCH! It’s important and necessary to cast your boat off the shore hard and get moving.  But it’s Day Two, it’s the realization that people – perhaps you, dear reader – have moved on.  The excitement for them is already behind them, scratched out of their bullet journals, and it is on you to design and sustain your own passion and maintain it so you can sell it back to them all the way down the road.

So I have done the Day One Showing Up.  I have provided myself the rationale.  I have not eaten a single marshmallow of the bag of marshmallows that have sat next to me on the couch all day long.  I have joined the hordes of perpetual failure: I have started a diet  and I hope I achieve my goals with it.  But this is the same group that is winnowed out into those who get somewhere, who do make it.  It has to come out of the pool of everyone who is willing to say, goddamnit, okay, maybe my Id can’t run me from morning to night and I have to put my foot down.  All of us tryers standing at the shore, taking the shove into the waters we know, pulling ourselves into the waters we don’t.

 

 

Background Magic

It’s just a draft.  No reason to be concerned.

I honestly have so little to do today that I am not quite sure how I can make myself get to three o’clock.  Things will turn up, here and there, but, I have a ton of damn time.  A ton of it and I realize how spending the majority of the rest of the day with my neck craned down, staring at my phone, really defeats the purpose of feeling as though I am never able to find the time to do what I want to do.  I have the time if I don’t let it slip right through my fingers.
It’s 3:30pm by the time I got back to this.
I need to be here because I’ve given up the online therapist.  I need to feel connected for the whole two-way energy and conversation to work and me writing these long paragraphs wasn’t working.  This, for now, needs to suffice.
The plan at the moment again is to go home and walk outside.  It’s a weird impulse, but I have it.  It feels good.  That is all I can say and my mood seems to be a bit elevated and my need to put my face into terrible things less raging.  None of the bad is gone, but some of the good is present…so.  That’s what we have.
Drank a ton of water, did some nominal exercise.  So.  Yes.

By Gum

Am I here again?  Who knows the sort of things that might happen if I show up here and write 500 words two days in a row?  Who knows what might occur if I up and take a walk for fifteen minutes one way and fifteen minutes back.

Wrote the words and turned up at this very last minute and didn’t die for it.

A little bit magical, you know.  I drunk some water, too.

 

Terribly

You say I can’t, Mildred, you say I can’t.  So that’s what I have to do because you have never been right, not once.  You’ve been everything else but right.

So I have missed writing here terribly, but I’ve been so mildly depressed, like low-level, low-key, not thinking about it depressed, that rending my soul here felt…unpleasant.  It felt like I should be ashamed for not having done it and been doing it and

My face is terribly broken out.  (Lots of terriblies to come, but I don’t mind)  I don’t have a reason, it’s been going on for a couple months.  I am probably going to die.  It means something that I am too unmoored and petrified to ever, ever consult with anyone ever, ever, ever about.  But tra la la, we’re going to drink a bit more water and try and stop eating like we have millions of dollars and 30 minutes to taste test every chain restaurant in America.  We’re going to try. I make no promises in this uncertain life.

My boyfriend is not my boyfriend except he has not told me this.  He has not told me that he is, either.  He has just gotten his own depressed and it plays out in ways that make me feel shitty – but even when he asks me if anything he’s doing is bothering me, I say no, so nobody will ever get anything out of this.

I have tried to engage an online therapist, but it’s all by text for an hour on Saturdays and essentially is someone in their office somewhere in the US trying to pull apart a post like this to tell me what’s the trouble.  And that means I try to be witty and grandiose about my problems while they ask me if I’ve always been this way, like, ALWAYS?  Yes, I say, when

That sounds painful, they say.  That sounds hard.   And if I can stop for a moment to breathe sans bullshit, I am appreciative, deeply appreciative for someone just to validate that my choices have generated a life that is not a bed of roses.  My choices, my circumstances, I live in fear of a boatload of things that wil never come to pass, and some things I bring upon myself because I fear them too much to do anything about them.

She wants me to work on 10 minutes of mindfulness/meditation.  I feel constantly so cued-up, so racing (because I live primarily on salt licks) that sitting without thought has seemed as impossible as anything else.  Others have suggested getting out and walking.  Walking, it’s been told to me, for 30 minutes might replace and anti-depressant.  Given that I have no intention of ever getting to where they would give me an anti-depressant, it might be nice to take a walk.   It might help.  But I say that and all there is inside is the kind of resistance that can topple kings and tyrants.  I wish I knew how to get it on my side.

 

Forgivable Myth

I have so many dead drafts that, honestly, if I cobbled them together no one would be much the wiser and I would have my post.

I feel so disconnected from my own language.  I think something about this relationship is draining something integral to me which is strange because this relationship seems to hinge on a whim.

It is, like all other things have been, half-imagination, half-things that cannot be held firm in thought without the charge of empirical evidence to tether them to my story of myself.  I have papers which read the word love.  I have rose oil.  I have hearts.  I have a ream of daily calls logged in a cell phone.  I have a necklace.  I have stories half-written in fonts I do not use.  I have receipts for packages sent away, gladly, to a home I’ve never visited.  I feel so defensive about it.   Like I am claiming the traumas incurred by the proverbial girlfriend in Canada that I may as well have just made up for all anyone gives a damn around me about it.

I am not going mad.

I am trying so hard to be tender and moral and good.  But my frustration, my endless frustration, is that I have given up so much of my life to promises nobody ever asked me to make and I have made crystalline, unimpeachable choices that nobody would find fair, but which people have taken because it caused them no bother to take my loyalty, my  black ink ledger of intentions and actions.  Debts I claim but can never collect, credits I’m owed but can never recover.

He says, kindly, amongst a spate of inert, complicated statements about this project that draws us together, that I adore him.  I don’t argue.  I think in that moment I might.  For no other reason except that I do.  He says he’ll call when I’m home, I say I’m not sure when that will be tonight, but tomorrow, yes.  And tomorrow comes and goes.  We have some awkward small talk in text form.  A few pictures exchanged that don’t let me get back to the conversation I keep trying to have:  “What are we?  Where are we? What about us?”  The one that keeps dying on “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.”

I read old posts and find such comfort there that I want to reach back in time, come back to this room, this bed, or wherever I was when I wrote those hopeful and incendiary words and kiss myself tenderly on the top of the end, a hand on either side of my face.  I want to acknowledge the effort, the mind, the willingness to just sit here until something broke loose.  Those days that I can now, like my papers that read love, my untold mountainous hoard of compliments that did not feel like lies, a few particular memories that are seared into me, prove that I am not inventing it all from scratch.

There are a few notes of reality in the formula that keep it from flying out of our hands, going like treacle, being a myth you can forgive and free yourself from.

I

 

 

Evening

We didn’t need dialogue…we had faces.

If I got to say it the way I wanted to, it would run through the trees.  It would probably flitter away halfway through and never get to your ears.  Not out of malice, just out of the curiosity of the wind drawing it down on some adventure that I will never be privy to.

If the conversation began at all, much less went as I hoped, it would be gilt in silver and would illuminate a secret message that is only visible in moonlight.  It would dance under its own power.  It would wear a gauzy, translucent gown with a daringly long train.  It would be beautiful to such a degree that to look upon it would cause a mystical sort of pain to the back of your inner eye.

It would be the uncatchable fish.  It would come adorned in such feathery words, it could be stripped for a thousand boas.  It would slink, a panther, foot by foot, in and around all the maybes and possibilities and stare you right down the middle so you might tip backwards from the force of it.

Instead, you’ve caught me on the backfoot, I’ve been knocked flat.  You have left me questioning my questioning.

THe conversation never began and yet it was had.  It was done in a moment.  A retraction of claw, of personal consequence, of whatever solar power has illuminated our shared heart for months upon months.

Centered.  Organized.  He needs time.  And that time may well be an overnight of silence.  It may be two days, three, a week.  Or it may be this great big swathe of time where the freedom I’ve sought has entailed him running headlong in the other direction from me.  And it breaks my heart.

Because I wanted to hear something about us.   Even just to be outright damned, you know, it could never be.  One of us will never move to be with the other.  My heart is still healing from pains past.   I just no longer love you.  If I loved you before which you are likely to believe given that’s what I told you when I stared at you as you delightedly opened the gifts I gave you which entitled none of us to believe anything about the other.

I wanted to hear that we had been together and we would be again.  I wanted to hear that this was just a thing to be done and thank you or if not thank you then, at least, I see you there, waiting for me to return to myself again.  For an even-ing of this lop-sided story.   I wanted to hear, oh, oh, oh, don’t worry.  Because now I have to worry and I have made a fool of myself already because I was so angry because it’s all set up in such a way that whatever I do I am hateful, cruel, stupid to somebody.  A frightful sort of anger that takes a year or more of earnestly behaving and chucks it out the window just to get the loneliness and the pulling back and the sour taste of watching someone peel their heart off yours addressed.

And then I’ll have to eat it back when everything’s right as rain in the morning.  And that, too, makes me sad and angry.

 

 

Notes for More

“He calls them daughters, though I can hardly speak to where they come from.  They simply arrive just as this one did.”

“When I return to you, there has always been a death.  Of late, it is rare that there has only been one.”
“What was when your father disappeared, when he drew me here to join him, that world of wonder that greeted us is no more.”
“Now the forces that mind the way have curdled.  I have my suspicions, but…
“How do you yet live in such a world?  How have you survived, I’ve been here but an hour and already I see my end.”
“It is only the will of one man that has protected me.  Your father.

So Rough, So Rough

Amelia rose back up on her feet.

The mouth.

“Does he eat your kind?”  She blinked again and yanked Amelia by the wrist with an unexpectedly forceful tug, pulling her towards the slab nearest them.   Amelia persisted, “Does it eat…everything?”

The priestess shrugged, unperturbed by the question or the images it evoked.
“Always.  Hungry.”

“I, no, no, I am outright refusing.” She tried to pull her arm back, but it was no use, and the being began to place it in the open metal ring, so she drew back on her heel and kicked the strange being in its chalky, worn ankle.   It was just enough to break concentration and Amelia pulled her arm back, leaping as swiftly as she was able ten feet out of the cannibal priestess’ reach.

She did not pursue further, choosing instead to pluck at a pouch at her side, a long brown leather sack, poorly stitched closed at the bottom with a horrifying form of sinew.  There was no decoration to help Amelia understand pr help defend herself, nothing save the blue discoloration that so many items had here.

Amelia’s throat was dry as the powdery walls, but still she swallowed hard as she heard the words in English, then echoed back at her a second, third, a fourth time, as the priestess began to spin in front of her.  “Alw-ay-sh-un-gree!”  She threw four stones as she spun, and hurried to collect them in a specific manner Amelia could derive no meaning from.  And with that, another face appeared on the priestess’ own, one with a mountainous strength that followed through in her body as well.  She lumbered towards the adventurer, a good foot taller than she had been before and three times as wide.  Amelia made a mad jump towards the corridor that had lead her here, but already, the priestess had her wrist again and lifted her up, carrying her back to the slab.

Now she dropped her there on her back without care and latched one manacle closed.

“Stop, stop, please.  Where am I?”  No response to her words or her squirming.

“Where is the …dagger, the…sharp?”  She made cutting motions with the side of her palm until the priestess’s face showed recognition.   Making her own swift motion, the blade appeared in her hand and she lunged for what might have been a painful strike against her shoulder when a dart sunk into the priestess’ neck and the white robes sank with her into the floor, as as bright blue rose off of her form as if it were steam.  Suddenly, amidst the roughly-hewn cloth the frowsy-headed girl from the upper level returned, still along the floor.

Professor Kafele.

“We must get out of here and get to your father.  If they know…”  She held him closely, carelessly, as if all of the frantic energy that months of isolation built within her, all the terror that ran through her as a current needed to be discharged in one moment.
When she pulled herself away from his grip to speak again, he looked back at her as if thunderstruck.  “My father is here…how has he….?