What You Can’t Undo

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I have to write, but I also have to write this because it’s taking up an excessive amount of space in my brain.  Okay, darlings, no fucking around.

Things you DON’T need or even care to know, but things I will tell you nevertheless:

Last night, I rode the bike to the Green Butterfly song, felt earnestly great about pushing myself to 200 calories burnt, felt happy and progressful and good about it.  It might have been Sunday Syndrome or something else, but I am fairly certain the exercising so late in the eve meant that I couldn’t feel the slightest bit tired even when 2am rolled around.   I am sure that I must have slept, though I kept waking up so that I was awake again a little before my first alarm went off  – the one that was going to get me up and rolling again on the bike.  I laid there, instead, for the next hour feeling as though I had been tethered to my bed, to keep me from floating through the ceiling.  Work, as you can imagine, went super well as a result.

I just am really, really, really off my game.  You may ask if I have ever been on my game, but I can’t reach you with this wooden spoon so you’ll never be witness to my utterly amazing feats of dexterity when it comes to beating you senseless.

The day wasn’t bad, it just was me being lame against the usual backdrop.  Actually, when I think about it, it was a lovely day.  If only I had gotten my act together.

Such as my birthday work lunch.  I had half-forgotten and when I was asked what I wanted – I had no new diet gameplan.  I stared at my boss blank-facedly, knowing she had a hundred things to do, so she suggested Chipotle and I thought….eh, uh, um, ah, well, sure!  Oddly enough, after a month away from the stuff, I think I could almost take it or leave it.  I knew it would be a calorie bomb regardless, so I just ordered the best options and swore I would make sure to track it.  I should have picked a salad.  I should have not gotten guac.  It was too much, but even so, I would have just squeezed in under the calorie total if I wasn’t also presented with a cake.  1/12th of the tiny half-sheet cake was 300 calories.  I blanched.  Aware, but still, frustrating that social mores really dictated what I ended up eating.

I need to take hold of the power of no.

This is silly. An artist co-worker gave me some collage art of his, which I adore, with turtles and Basquiat references.  I felt briefly there, engaged and in the moment, rather than tied to my tether again.

Ah, life and time and snow, I got the X-Files on, I got my book on my kindle, I got random cookie recipes to make when we go on vacation (not before, mind you), I have to find 10 minutes of physical activity and the bike is closest to hand, so that will probably have to do. Gentler, though.

Overloaded: Day Two Hundred Seventy-Seven

336148_5708i cannot allow myself to get sick.  I feel like it might be coming on, and I want to curl up and turn the light off that is flashing like it is guiding seafaring vessels home from behind my eyeball.  Writing this seems nigh on impossible.

i just will peck away at this keyboard until something comes out.

Today, I just got overloaded.  Too much pulling on my arm, too many emails shot like ninja stars at my face, too much need and noise and aggravation and now I feel the result.  I feel like a pile of shit with a sore throat and a head full of clutching pains.

That’s not a very alluring statement and I suppose that’s just testament to the fact that right now, right right now, I don’t really want to be sitting awkwardly in my bed with a neck that aches, a shoulder in my ear, and just one more goddamn thing that I have to do.  I just want everyone to back off and they can’t and won’t and it, has, I think, finally driven me crazy.  Or at least just filled up the decent-sized bucket of what I can take and all of the tasks and guilt and stress are splashing around like this storm  that has haunted the past week, held at bay for hours and then, when the night comes and the exhaustion lets the reins go a bit slack, it soaks the streets.

I’m watching the second 90-minute episode of the Voice which has taken up a good portion of my evening and kept me from completely flipping out.

Today, I went out to lunch with a volunteer who wanted to check in with me and thank me for being me and I feel so ungracious and ungrateful that she gave me a giant sack of crocheted blankets and hot pan holders and a jar of applesauce and I am only thinking about how I’m up to my neck in alligators and how I’d prefer not to be a pump for information and I need to get back to the office.  In turn, per usual, I don’t eat and then life, life rolls over and bites me in the ass.  I certainly have my part to play in this, make no mistake.  Of course, I also did not have the usual high-dosage of caffeine today and I think I’m going through the first terrible stage of withdrawal (I did have a few sips of coffee this morning, early) and I do sort of want to shudder and shake and murder with my own bare hands anyone who deigns to speak to me.   But doing that did mean that I was able to drive home without any major panicky (by which I mean driving somewhere I don’t intend to go to avoid what I think will trigger me.) episodes.  I keep realizing that caffeine and sugar lately just fuck me up.  When this is over, I intend to do something about that.

There are no extended metaphors here, it’s just one and done.

No More Numbers: Day Two Hundred Seventy-Three

What’s on my mind, WordPress?  1371761_27213366ot much, actually.  I’ve done my damndest to just not have anything on the workbench in the fevered bellows of my brain today.   I am not despairing, just…coming to terms with a lot.  The fact that the kind gent from yesterday was just that and I, in all my foibles and best intentions, have no reason to pursue it further even if I knew how or when or where or why (aside from the persistent hum of my libido).  Looks are a dime a dozen for most and just because I find them precious doesn’t mean that anyone else would pay for the favor of mine.  I have not wanted to stew on this and so I actually, if you care to believe it, have not thought about it at all until right now when I turned off the games and wanted to be sure I hadn’t missed my deadline.

It’s worth ink, or pixels, and a curling up of the outside of my lips, but his long-term, eventually permanent absence will mean he will soon become as gilded as all the rest.  Love is a thing behind you, sepia-colored and curling up at its edges as well.  There is, in my experience, no present tense in it.

I’ve also been avoiding the fact that tomorrow I do not work – and really, I should only put in the four hours I’m to be paid for, but I have something like 20 days left, 20 or twenty-three days, and although that may not be the clean break I’m really desiring, it’s a hell of a short time to cram all the good girl stipulations into so that I can hand off the mess of my position to someone enrobed in wax paper and tied with a blue ribbon.  I don’t go into the office, but I should work excessively while here especially since I took today and went into my own personal quiet lands.

A few things were done, a good portion of the laundry was hauled over and washed and I’ve made a sizeable giveaway pile because the crux of the mess really is the absence of storage for a lot of really weird conglomerations of thread and faded cotton.  Finding things I love rather than what I ought to fit or love or take care of because someone gave it to me thinking I would look better in it than I did.  My other aunt, another of mother’s sisters, gave me 50 euros to add to my stack.  We took a walk and she is sharp as the sharpest whip you have with a memory that is hard to believe if you aren’t related and have a similar one.  I ate poorly, I listened to my father as he showed me the oldest stamp he had in his collection, I played and will play a game that takes away all thought and worry.  I am counting on some sort of logic to kick in in the morning because time is running out!

Killer of Sorts: Day 21

I am beginning early to cobble together some forward energy and not let everything be dissipated on yet another Sunday in bed and gazing at the wonders of the internet.

Today:

Hope I can convince my sister to work on my dress.  Move bed.  Screen.  Exercise.  Water.  Um, maybe get dressed.  Write.  Finish Weight.

Task one:  Not yet completed.  Sort of makes me think I should practice sewing – make a little apron or teach myself more about it, but I don’t think I have a very deep desire to do it.  It’s just a passing thing, and I have so many passing things, I try not to give in when I can.

Task two: Bed is moved, managed to knock over a cup of water on what must have been a dried ink spot and now I’m Billy Mays’ing the fuck out of it. This is not a great position for the bed, but it makes a change and I’m going with it.

Other tasks?  Totally put by the wayside while we voyaged collectively to Boulder for no specific reason other than to go to Boulder.   I don’t have anything against Boulder, even being a CSU alumna.  Didn’t care about it while I was going there and I can’t claim to care now.  I think it’s a pretty town and I love the Shakespeare Festival despite being rained on so hard I thought I was going to die of hypothermia last time but it definitely, hard as it must work to do otherwise, has a sort of aura.  If you think you belong there, you probably feel it draw you in.  If you think you don’t, then, well, they won’t miss you.  Lots of restaurants.  Lots of organic looking restaurants.  Lots of options, really.  And where do we end up for my lunch (and way overdue, first substantive meal of the day)?   Chipotle.  Kind of an argh moment, but I got exactly what I wanted without it being fucked up and rice snuck in or something and I’m glad I did because I needed food in the worst way.

I still do, really, but I am being incredibly lame and not getting up and cooking it.  Lightheadedness and doofy disconnectedness with your body is kind of how you start to think that dieting is crazy.  When really, what is crazy, is not giving yourself nutrients because you are expecting diet magic to happen.  You’re hoping you can just wait it out.

You can’t wait out your hunger.  You really can’t.  You can pace it.  You can curb it.  You can slow down and neuter it.   But you can’t turn it off.  And you don’t want to.  Your hunger and your sense of satiety are some of your most crucial biological functions.  Same with sunburn.  It is your body’s way of telling you to pay some damn attention, please.  Moping about having to exist is not cute.  It’s unfair, but it’s the same unfairness that everyone has to deal with so buck up, settle down, and eat some goddamned 9pm eggs.

Wow, got a little grouchy there.  I’m not.  I just need to eat.  Check the people in your life?  Are they bitching at you?  Cook for them and endear yourselves to one another.

Today: 158.2
Yesterday: 160.6 – there is no sense in these things, but I’m simply reporting to keep myself aware
Goal: 155 by June 16

Work Hard // Love Hard

If this year has a theme, and I read back through a month’s worth of entries trying to find one, it’s this: Work Hard // Love Hard.  When you do both, everything else falls in line.  It’s hard to existentially ache if you’re working and loving as much as you possibly can.   One’s not more important than the other, they feed one another and make a life.

I know I’ve worked hard this year from the top to the bottom – even if I’ve been emotionally ambivalent and frustrated by my co-workers and perhaps even the purpose of my work – I’ve been there.  I’ve only taken 4 hours sick time this year, I’ve worked hundreds of hours of overtime, and we’re somehow, barely, barely squeaking by.  I’m proud of that.

Now there are other areas where I could work harder and most of them revolve around me.  Work as a writer (aside from this project, actual creative work  fit for sharing), work as a friend (I still haven’t finished those cards for people and they mean the world to me), work as a creatively-alive, happy person (I haven’t been to see the Griffin and Sabine exhibit but I am relieved beyond measure to see that it goes through May), or a healthy, fit person who works everyday to bring herself back from the dead and stave off the early onset of an afterlife.  A daughter, a housekeeper, a financial guru, a post-modern dadaist if there is such a thing, re-decorating my house.

All of those areas could use my work and attention.  But at least this year one thing is different – I didn’t expect those things to magically get better without my work and attention and I’m learning that sometimes my work and attention doesn’t have to be a full-throttle cannonball into the abyss in every single area for it to make an impact.  I don’t have to pick one thing, be one person, or completely lose that area of influence in my life.  Life is not (despite how we love you, Commander Shepard) an RPG.

As for loving hard…I have loved universes, and music trailing through a somnolent summer evening and reminding me of other summer nights and the thinness of the veil between memory and dream, I have loved my family and been so frustrated with them I could kill, I’ve let myself get more emotionally scared than I would have liked, I’ve involved myself with people more of the time than I would have expected.

I have not loved anyone, but I couldn’t have done any of this if I didn’t love this stupid, idiotic, magical, evolutionary, stressful, joyful, savaging journey hard.  And myself on it.  As hard as I possibly could.

I don’t need to sit in the car on some warm, somnolent summer night or some still, anxious winter night and listen to Liz Phair and cry about the unfairness of love, my invisibility, my life.   Life is what you make it.

He gave me all the books I wanted tonight.  John Irving and Barbara Kingsolver and he isn’t leaving town.  I was never promised anything, and with it I had a year of fantastic possibility.  He might have possibly loved me if I was other than I was and he other than he was and I built this intricate Babylon between us that imagination told me could be broken down only by this great swathe of natural love that like minds just effuse when they come in contact with one another.   Held in perfect tension, this innocent artifice stood firm but askance, a Leaning Tower.  But we know what the Tower is.  And I know that I do this to make myself feel like someone is interested that doesn’t scare me.

But he was never going to really love me and I was never going to love him.

He gave me the story I wanted and it’s time to move on.

Lactokinesis

500 words feels impossible.  It feels like the holy grail.

Today was the exemplum of this year’s problem.   If you want to know why, I think, I haven’t been able to knuckle down and lose weight this year – today would be a good place to look for a reason.  Every single time I take a day off, the next day I come back and all holy hell’s broken loose.  My mouse and keyboard suddenly don’t work, there’s end of the year money stress, co-workers’ histrionics, my boss being all shouty in a way that makes me nervous for the both of us, all the usual issues only magnified because there’s finally a little snow on the ground.  Then we face the bakery gauntlet where people bringing in red velvet cake and cookies, more people bringing in giant motherfucking cupcakes to torment us, even more people throwing boxes of baked goods at our faces like carbohydrate missiles.    The boss wanting, amidst all this, to go for Mexican food and then dumping a pile of work for me that needs to be done like yesterday and I can feel my hands just balling up into unconscious fists.

Turns out the guy upstairs quit because the slumlord he works for is deranged – I swear there’s been 25 people hired up there this year.  I feel bad for him because I think he needed the work, and I don’t know what will happen, but I can also understand a breaking point even if I’ve never found mine in any regard.  Not really.

It’s hard to put the line in the sand on a maddening day like this, when you feel so shitty in your blue sweater that makes you look like Smurfette fucked the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man, even when you’re writing the first line of your resignation letter in your head, when there’s no time for even a cup of coffee.  It’s hard because this is the same day you get a nice card from one of the board’s you serve on filled with compliments and movie passes about how special you are and how hard you work, and when you realize your boss is standing up for you and protecting you and working hard to keep everyone cheerful and level and making this terrible day not so terrible, and when you go home and there’s giant, salving food and friends and a wonderful show and your phone is coming even if it’s sat all day in Louisville, KY, shipped in the wrong direction out of Dallas.  The same day that you remember it’s Friday and you can sleep in tomorrow and there’s one work task to do, and then the weekend begins. 

It feels like for every sorrow, there’s a joy, for every joy, a sorrow.  That I could live a hugely full life and not get anywhere at all.  Not mean anything to anyone.

My anger is matched by my relief and peace.  Every stab in frustration to break out of my shell is met by a desire to stay still and warm and within.

Hard to know how to feel.

Violet Beauregarde

I have a certain impulse, which I will ignore, to write this post entirely in capslock.
Today is a day of food anger.  Oddly enough, I don’t think I’m that angry or upset or even present.
Hah, small signs, I knocked the burrito bowl off the couch arm where it was and I thought of course, of course on a day where I eat like some sultana of smorgasbords, feasting on french onion soup, bacon glazed salad, steak and potatoes, and then four kinds of dessert including creme brulee, I would come home and idly, out of happiness and boredom and having money in my bank account insist upon a dinner that I don’t even want and shove it down.  Luckily, dear sirs and madams, my awkwardness in this is accompanied only by my tremendous dumb luck.
Spilling a burrito bowl would be bad fucking news since it would go right into our carpet in a big, hideous mess. Somehow, we had an empty, bagged trash can right next to the couch and as if guided by a heavenly hand, it felt right in there.  Done and done.
I want to puke.  Ugh, so much food for our office party.  Our nice little office, end of the year, we didn’t murdilate each other despite random, stupid tension anyway party.  For the most part it was just as pleasant as punch, except for the fact that my boss encourages us to enjoy the food like the gourmand he is and by the end of it, I felt pretty numb and ridiculous.   Completely overcome by the element of food.   I didn’t like it.   I definitely don’t like it right now when I feel like I am the human lump and all I want to do is just go in another direction from this feeling right here – this reaction to my reality and my behavior.  I want to sing songs, tell stories, and not feel like the blueberry girl – Violet Beauregarde, sitting here in the glory of my gluttony.
The year was really not supposed to end up this way.  I was supposed to be wearing my tiara right now.  Princess of the good behavior.  Weight loss goddess.  Journalist extraordinaire.  Tightrope walker, nay, dancer.  I was supposed to be skinny, dating, writing and on the verge of quitting my job and getting my big break with my poetry.  Life was supposed to be cracked by December 31st, 2010.  Done and done.  I think I need one post, just one, to mourn the fact that despite the many achievements this year has brought to bear, getting a handle on food has not been one of them.
I’ve gone in the wrong direction.
I think I’m too easily able to come to terms with that.  Well, not terms, I’m able to just turn the disappointment off.  I know people struggle their whole lives with this, but I’m not struggling or thinking or making any Socratic self-inquiry at all.
But I’ve learned a lot about how I fuck up and why and where and with what methods and I think – if I choose to use it – it can help me going forward.