Palate Cleanser

That bright white space.  It feels deeply comforting tonight.  Ready and in alignment with the rest of me.  Somehow a bit minty.

Tomorrow we’re greeted with May.  I did not decide until late last night when I was putting together the order that I needed to use this shot to work on something that doesn’t make me feel gross.

The fitbit is charging.  I rode the bike for ten minutes but felt as though I could have done an hour.

I am deciding if…

I just need to take off the shackles and start to run.  There is a race horse in here, biting at their bit, legs aching to burst out on the fields and move, a whole body at a time, away from the starting point.

Critics are so very unwelcome.

I need the time of day.  There are things that I would like to have written down.  Being called sweetie unbidden.  Being thanked for being around.  Measuring spoons for emotional interactions.  Scales constantly recalibrated.  Am I moving into the deep water or is the tide just rolling in?  I have to see more and I think to do that, I have to up my ante.  And I have to risk what’s on the table.  I have to actually play the game.

No lies, no obsfuscation, no half-truths, but it is still a game with rules and win/lose criteria and even if you use the clearest version of your head where sits the clearest version of your eyes, you can still miss the thing right in front of you.

Of course he still loves her.  Of course he does, despite this savage pain that is okay and not okay simultaneously.   She is beautiful.  The elf against the me, the little hobbit which I find as savage a comparison as I can both make and endure.  I have craved a lithe, ethereal frame to match this striving, if woefully deluded soul.  I have been cast in a smaller role.  With imperfections a’plenty.  And every now and then she intersects us.  A facebook reminder.  A bill.  An Amazon list she’s made and I am suddenly…not cast aside, but bid to sit alongside in hallowed suffering until the razor-sharp pain subsides.

I am quite prepared for such a task.  For abeyance.  For the washing of feet.  For the silent process of taking on pains that have nothing to do with me.

But having been told, more than once, more than I could cast as just a trick of light, that I am wanted and am beautiful, been given enough leeway that I can crawl up to sit at this dais and sup off the golden plates, it’s hard to to feel as though it’s all a joke.  Fuck.  It’s not a joke…I just…no one’s said it’s a joke.  Nothing’s been rescinded.  Nothing’s been withdrawn.  Things have been doubled down on.

It’s just this idle thought that comes to me when things are quieter, our words are less at ease: thoughts are occurring to him that I can’t stop.  He is working her over in his mind as a cow works a cud, until there’s no juice left.  That dwelling on her absence is more important than acknowledging my presence.  That I am a soft, comfortable kind voice that doesn’t threaten the past because it has no future.

Those kisses that can’t hold, those tears that can’t draw back.

 

Brainwash

A  swell of short-term clarity rises around me.

Things I am believing tonight:

  • Water is important to human life particularly when you go without it for a while.  Or without the full quantity you typically enjoy or when you’re constantly imbibing salty things and staring into computer screens.
  • Your neck has its limitations.
  • I like the idea of love hotels.
  • I have written more prolifically than I realized on the subject of witches.
  • Certain things happening or not happening with regard to one’s pants are frustrating the holy hell out of me.
  • I am thinking about how much I need and want to light a candle.
  • Read a book, too, I need to read a book.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale is really one of the most extraordinary things ever produced for TV and I loved the book, I think the language in it is astonishing in its poetically coerced demand for your attention.  And somehow the cinematography achieves that here in its own way.
  • I am acting out because of my frustration.
  • They’re signing me up for a class called Crucial Conversations and I know it would help me if I could just relax about it.
  • The computer is too hot to type on.

But It’s Still a Feeling

I don’t feel great.  It’s snowing.  I haven’t eaten enough and what I’ve eaten has been bad news.  Caffeinated and sugary or salty.  I even quasi-tried today and got a salad – but it was a caesar salad which was so salty that the lettuce didn’t seem to play a role at all. My butt’s numb in this one spot.  I feel anxious and unpleasant and squinty-eyed.   Like all the bad eating’s come home to roost on this one day.  Like all of the things that bother me in a hypochondriacal sort of way are bothering me tenfold today and don’t have the glint of make-believe.  Raw frustration and self-concern that I can’t calm down about beyond ways in which I must calm down because life demands it.

It is not a matter of extrication.  A quiet day for both of us – quiet for me because I was forgetting meetings I was meant to be at and having conversations that my obnoxious mind held out ominously as a first strike.  That I will have to do an overnight stay with these folks somewhere not at my home is a new fact of life and I am curious about that and tired of endless meetings and reasoning I don’t understand.   Something in me was grumpy for an absence of a reply, for replies to others, for all of these unfortunate things that plague me with worry and woe.  Still, I completed the day and I was setting deadlines and bright-lines and litmus tests for affection.  If he won’t give me a bit more sugar, I’ll have to say something.   I don’t want to be like this.  I don’t want to be such a Veruca Salt.  I…I just need that vote of confidence, but I can’t seem to find the ballot box.

Then, of course, there was a flail towards me as though my innermost were being broadcast, live, and I flailed back thinking oh, geez, romance and compliments, how nice.  But then, I think, my greedy little raccoon eyes and I wanted to have a different sort of talk than the one we ended up having and then my concerns blossomed anew.

I have watched the second episode of Handmaid’s Tale, am hoping to use the weekend to catch up with Mystery Science Theatre 3000 or at least get a bit further into it.  Maybe if the snow is as minimal as it currently appears, going and doing some shopping, grabbing a couple mildly healthy items.  Arse on bike for a mildly short amount of time.

Writing.  Finding a way and place to sit to do these wonders.  Cleaning, doing laundry, minding the manor a bit.  Just giving myself a break where I can.  I would really love to have a break from my own strain. This is the joy of a Saturday yet to pass. A freedom on the wing that I will not take for granted.

I’m going  to see what sleep can do.  Magic, I hope, on all of these matters.

 

 

 

 

Bette Davis Eyes

I think my hesitation is that nobody cares.  Nobody cared before, but now that I’m in this great white and mostly empty box everyday, it’s very easy to feel yourself lost in the shuffle of thousands.

How strangely vivid and swiftly arriving is my sense of the grass forever being greener on the other side of the fence.  Suddenly, I think about the negative side of being a cog in a very big machine where people don’t look at you and instantly see a story that you’ve cultivated.  They are interested in forming their own opinions and you have every ability to help them arrive at whatever story you wish.  Shy, brave, bold, smart, whatever adjectives you crave to be applied to your life can be newly affixed.  You aren’t the product of small-town mythologies. You aren’t anyone’s sweet young employee wrangling the challenges of street fairs and remembering to bring the big scissors to cut the ribbons.  You aren’t their pet or their mirror.  You’re just an employee.  Do your job.  If you want to go home and you’re done for the day, clock out and go.  You are hungry, go and eat.  You need to buy something to make your job easier, go buy it.  Don’t engage us with the minutiae of your being, we’re making big things happen here.

That is colder, by multitudes, than the truth, but at some stages, you wonder how on earth do you handle a world that doesn’t know your story.  Who doesn’t give you that handicap of knowing your dad or mom from somewhere way back.  Who you didn’t help pull their Billy out of the well.  Who you didn’t chirp kindly to on some unimportant phone call somewhere along the line.  It makes you feel a bit naked, a bit on square one.

I had ought to be so much more grateful than I am for the fact that I craved an exit from my former situation and friends coalesced around me to get me to this opportunity.  Yes, it was my abilities and resume that got me there, but it was so many forces along the way that made it possible for me to make the shift.  I keep forgetting the frustrations of the past and instead of glorying in this moment of satisfying, quiet, safe, regular work, I am focusing on the negative.  I am replicating patterns, incubating old diseases, bringing the same nonsense forward instead of leaving it behind.  Ideas of I can’t.  I’m going to mess it up.  I can’t do it perfectly so let’s wait five minutes?  Living my life pushing things off instead of taking the smaller spoonful and starting now.

For example, I want, very much, to watch The Handmaid’s Tale, but I have this idea in my mind that I’m not in the right spot for it.  I’m not present enough, open enough, good enough right now to watch it.  No.  I will either be good enough now or I will never be.

So we press play.

Oysters and Pearls

Is it just the hormonal tide drawn back?

Sad.

There is something about working in the pearly, palatial vampire factory that leaves you feeling a bit…drained.  It is nothing significant, nothing long-term, nothing that leaves me shaking my fist at the sky for having chosen it as the aerie to rest my wings upon.  But it is something, the silence, the solitude amongst hundreds, the frosted glass that leaves you as a shape to others and others as a shape to you.

And then, to arrive home, after long hours of sitting and communicating solely through the computer to strangers who could hardly give one damn or another so long as a butt fills the seat and serves, to feel as if a crowd has gathered around the one I care about and he’s thrilling to the social gauge boost.  My presence feels like it’s noted, but the world does not stop.  It is strange to feel the monster you house suffer and lurch its arm out before yanking it back.  Love.  Of a particular type…is the blood and meat for this Audrey II and she’s starting to feed on me for lack of external nutrition.   The ego is getting outsized.  The demands outpacing anyone’s ability to meet them.  Soon, I shall have to buy a broom to beat it down when it starts to climb the walls.

And at the end of the night, he calls me.  He makes time after all of this time to talk to me.  I can’t fully suffer if he’s going to be so good as to present himself and let me mewl about how quietly passed the day.

I am tired now.  And my legs feel as though they want to grow but won’t.

The rest will be made up in sin and vinegar.

The Softness that Crept In at the End of the Day

I don’t feel especially well.  My neck is a misery.  I am eating poorly.  I am a case for a headache.

But, somehow, just being here at the page is a bit of a tonic.  I can’t have J. around as he’s sleeping on the far side of the country so I have, instead, what I’ve always had.  A door to open to the words I know.

I need a bit more self-care, but I also need to take a moment to look around.

I need to get the words in so I don’t devolve into selfishness and fear.  There’s another writer at work – well, multiple writers – but also one who purports as THE writer.  She’s also very nice.  And sort of what it is like to be told by everyone that their friend, the great and wonderful actress Grace Kelly is an incredible writer. I don’t know what her stories are like, but apparently, she does well enough to get them published in some form or another and I know that if I don’t get myself together…I will start really making up some bullshit to assuage my heart.  This one that wants to write and knock socks off with the work that I can do.

So, I have to get back to the daily writing and push myself harder to get things to stages of completion.  Not to wander off when it gets difficult or when there’s a moment of disconnect between the ideas and the language flowing out of my fingertips.  Because if we sit still at all, the well will fill.  There’s always a bucket’s worth springing out of the ground if we just give it a moment.

Five words is not the same as no words, but it’s not all that much of an improvement.  Caring, giving a shit about myself is a stupid hard thing, but that’s the only way.  So self-care even in the face of knowing the pain and suffering of those around me has got to be prioritized.  So as soon as I mark these words done, I am toddling off to some other site to purchase a warm wrap for my neck to help soften and relax it.  I am booking a massage so that I can be remotely comfortable.  I can find a soft breeze and let it flutter around me.

I know that I can lose the plot as the days get longer.  I am thinking about what it would mean to take my sister up on her offer and have a reason to go to J’s neck of the woods.  This brings up every flavor of freaked-out that I have.  Body fears, intimacy fears, travel to really busy places fears, fears of heights, fears of being pushed when you don’t want to be afraid for a minute.  But worse than that, I think, are the fears that he’s not ready – that he’ll never be ready – for me to share space with him.  Or that I won’t or can’t handle it.  It’s…a Pandora’s box.  But I don’t have to resolve it tonight.  Just think on it.

All the smallness and fear set aside, it would really just be lovely.