We Would Never Break the Chain

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What no feels like today:  a long walk in the snow to a car you know you have to dig out in shoes that aren’t waterproofed.  But I’ve said it once or twice.

Which is why 1/4 or so of that pizza I bought at the grocery store is now in a plastic bag in the fridge.  I got there, but be-fucking-grudingly.  And really, it’s only because I wanted to also have some popcorn and ice cream (and not the cauliflower or the apple I also bought) and wanted to be able to quasi-justify it under the new tracking regime.

I am, frankly, astonished given my mood that I was able to say no.  As the lady said once, it doesn’t always have to be like it was.  It’s a mood that’s based on things around the edges and not the meat of the day. The marginally attractive, but entirely earnest looking project guy who was in on Monday and for whom I, in some part, dressed up was not in today.  Probably tomorrow, but there was so much angst and worry about needing to be sharp and ready for today when I couldn’t be…that I possibly spent too much of today being relieved.   I did get a few things done for tomorrow – what I was asked to do, but that took most of the day.  It was just one little innocuous problem and my dealing of it as we were almost ready to leave that has rattled around in my mind.

I feel convulsively pissed.  Like nobody’s anywhere in sight and I just feel like shouting Don’t Touch Me, Don’t Touch Me, Don’t Touch Me!  There’s a Stevie Nicks song I’m thinking of that is perfectly illustrative of my mood.

 

Maybe it’s just that time of month…I can’t…I can’t be fucking bothered with this sort of shit every single day.  There isn’t enough time to get it all in and work myself over for crap that I didn’t know beforehand or managerial decisions I made on my own.  It was imperfect, but I did it the best I knew how.  Ca suffit.

Onward and upward.

I have to exercise.  I have to write.  I have to keep eating, only not the pizza in the fridge.  Pizza, you and me have got to take a little break from one another.  I’ve cooled it with Chipotle.  So I know I don’t NEED you.   Even in the short time it’s taken to write this, I feel as though I have a bit more sense in my head about how much power you have over me, pizza. I have got to stop anthropomorphizing my food vices.  I have to read.  I have to buy S. I have to write this dude back.  I have to lay very still and endure the usual reckoning that my anxiety requires.

Nah.

I don’t have to do any of this.  I certainly don’t have to be miserable in the same world as coffee ice cream and meta romantic mystery novels and boys who know how make plays on words.

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.

Secret Ravings of a Homeless Witch

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This is the post I wanted to write – the post I am writing despite still needing to do my romantical paean or whatever the heck rutting behind the chiffarobe sort of scene I’m aiming for.

I need to track exactly what I eat.  Or as exactly as the software allows.  I need to document my choices without curling up into myself.  Without yellowing and peeling as soon as I realize that I fucked up and then, trying to alter the record so that it isn’t written down, in digital stone, that I am a failure.

I have been really good and today, that fuck-up happened.  But if there is nothing to fuck up, and that is fucking with my head!  There was the Timely Garnet Extravaganza playing all day long in my undercarriage, with the glorious attendant rumblings of pain, sharp and bright like sheet lighting.  There was the financial dealings that have bled their way into my financial dealings which meant, at least for today, there was soup for leftovers and a crap outlook for grocery shopping. Then, there was me sealing that aforementioned soup shut in the microwave, and me in my new but already shaggy-dog looking poncho which is a look jokingly referred to as “homeless witch” by a sharp-tongued co-worker.  Whose sharp-tongue I usually appreciate and am amused by, but today, instead, felt rather a bit exhausted and irritated with.  I had put on makeup today.  I had pulled my hair into a cute ponytail.  Everyone was a little surprised at me getting the brunt of it, even him. Even though we all know that he just says whatever he thinks for better or worse. That’s the bit that bothers me, because nobody gives me feedback, really, and then, suddenly, out of the blue, this wry negative I have to laugh off.  I mean, I am totally down with witchery and wildness, but that wasn’t what he meant or what I had been gunning for.  I feel sort of messy and melted, but nobody’s allowed to pick up on that.  It sort of pisses on this idea that I thought maybe I was getting somewhere, yesterday.  It was feeling easier.  And today, I’m feeling like I can’t move two inches but for falling into another black hole of unsolvable problems.  Like my self-esteem got kicked in its imaginary junk.

So, the pizza I said yesterday, oh no, it’s crap, I would never eat it.   It is crap, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t eat it today because it Or the doughnut holes I am eating before dinner and probably in a minute going to have again.  I really wish I could have not.  But I did.  I have to own that I did it and not do it again tomorrow when things are going to be equally haywire.

Life is always going to jam me up.

I think the shame exists because I wish I could have some backbone in me that would feel obliged to say, hey, you are trying to lose weight and that means that you can’t do do what you did before.  This is what you want to escape.  You have to dig your heels in and pivot.  And when you don’t listen to your better voices, and you know you’re giving up time just to feel…not good or bad, but simply nothing, it’s embarrassing.  It’s embarrassing to say I ate maniacally and privately and in an attempt to keep myself from feeling regret about my job, regret about my body, from perceiving the failure I so often register myself as being.  Not resulting from my choices, but in-born, genetic, terminal failure.  I can hear the tsk-tsk, and the berating tone, and nobody’s said anything.  I make myself feel terrible so that I can keep eating poorly and have this same exhausting conversation over and over again.

But it doesn’t have to be.  Because before, I would do this binge-eating (which, I think in my personal history of bingeing and the collective one I believe exists, is not so bad) and nobody would know about it.   Food was medicine. Food was private.   Food was the panacea and where I didn’t have be nice and polite and silent.   I didn’t have to think about  I had the power to make sure I could get all I needed.   If I happened to eat publically, that was a social requirement, not nutrition.  Lately, though, all I needed is a hell of a lot.

So we have to say what is.   I didn’t want there to be rules I could fail, but there is still the desire that I want to meet. So we have to track what I actually ate.  Even if it’s “bad.” Even if it says that I took a flying leap.  Because we can’t work from nebulous generalities.  We do choose better when we know better, so pretending we can’t know – that it’s all incalculable intangible ATE GOOD or fluid, approximate ATE BAD, how do we replicate it or avoid it?  We end up pulling the same experiments over and over again, every time coming up REPLY HAZY, ASK AGAIN LATER.

Time for the bike and the floor.

Negative Space

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I know, because I’ve been given a Clue, that it’s around that time of these 30 or so days that I start to feel emotional about reality.  Mine, of course, and our shared reality.  Neither of which is always kind or sufficiently explained to us.   It’s one of those nights where you start crying and stop, you shiver and you strain, and you keep thinking about things that hurt as though they were a flame you’re inextricably drawn to burn yourself on.

David Bowie was not necessarily someone who was important to me.  He wasn’t important to me in the way Johnny Rzeznik was.  Or Matthew Good was.  Or Liz Phair.  I didn’t buy his albums.  My parents were never into Ziggy Stardust.  I saw Labyrinth mostly to be indoctrinated into the allure of the codpiece,  but preferred what I grew up watching: the Tangerine Dream seriousness of Legend.  I loved the Flight of the Conchords’ 1-step removed imitation of the icon. Like everyone, I was caught off-guard by the news last night and was convinced for at least an hour that it was a horrible hoax.   And like everyone, now I’m left to absorb the fact that we’ve lost a real icon, a real human being.  I’m startled to find that perhaps he was more important to me than I ever realized.

I wasn’t sure I thought I’d check my Itunes, just to see. But I needn’t have wondered, because of course, there’s some Bowie in there.  That was one part of his power.  Omnipresence.  Not looming, not lurking, just living on the periphery of your experience, waiting for half an invitation to come and thrill you before escaping again for further adventure.   I don’t think I’ve ever listened to this song ever…Cat People, but it’s there waiting for me, like a audiomantic revelation.  And I’ve been putting out fire / With gasoline! 

Friends are sharing videos.  I’ve been reading reminiscences from celebrities and reactions from everyone.  Why does it feel like someone made a mistake?  Like we still need David Bowie?  Like none of us had ever added it all up and told the powers that keep the books out there that we needed more time to find the mustardseed?  That we’d have genuflected at the font if we knew what it meant to do without him.

Maybe I never felt like I had to give my heart to David Bowie because he was bigger than any of my petty concerns.  He was in the atmosphere.  He was elemental in my mind, factual, permanent.  His coolness equally so.  I know now how much I took his presence, his talent, his history that built the pop culture I am so passionate about today, his out and out weirdness for granted.  I feel like I could have been an excellent fan of his – I still could be – but I could have felt that connection with his music when I felt like I was nothing and no one and adrift on the rainiest South Atlantic oceans.  I could have learned more about who he was before this instead of relying on collective memory, collective belief.  I could have taken his umbrella from the storm and stood under it with other oddballs and off-brands and self-made creatures.  I suppose I found other umbrellas, but it was the same storm and we were all weathering it together.

He shared my aunt’s birthday.  He passed on my grandmother’s.  A Capricorn with a sliver of the Devil in his eye.

That is the lesson in all of this.  You have your window.  Whatever it is.  However long that you’ve been allotted.  For all of it.   For your passions, your hates, your learning, your feasting, your rock star idolatry.  And as situated and stone-bound as you may feel, fate can swirl you up and away you go, onto your new, juicy adventure and all of this, grand and horrific and sublime and stupid as it is, goes away.  So, yeah, I made the chocolate mug cake, and yeah, I’m writing this other dude back even though he has a kid and says Lol, and yeah, I feel loss for time spent blinking at popcorn ceilings and cringing in doorways.   I feel regret.  I want to know about the David Bowies of the world.  I want to share my umbrella.

 

Punky Brewster

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Feelin’ kind of punky tonight.   I have lost 0 weight this first week.  In so doing, I have failed nothing.  I want to lose it as a concept a few percentage points more now, just organically, by keeping up these habits and knowing I have more effort left in store to give this.

Went to the Texas Roadhouse and did mostly as was intended, mostly.   That fucking bottomless bread that has some sort of hidden sweetness in it that I don’t even like.  It was really nice, though, that we were all able to talk like a human family together.  A bit irritable about something work-related (on a Saturday, too!) that is not immediately resolvable (is this a word?), and feeling just funny and punky and lonely and weird.   Writing things other than this really poorly, but enjoying the fact that I can do it even when the Crone and all her nodding retinue swears that I can’t.  That I’m blocked and locked up and don’t know my characters, when I do.  Bitches, I know them so terribly well they’ve been tattooed on me for aeons.

I am caught up on A Chef’s Life.  Tomorrow: soup.   I continue to read my third book of the year (happens to be Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – feel a bit like someone distilled my most optimistic, empathetic, romantic regards for writing and I’m not sure if I taste the saccharine in it or if I’m just being a punk.   Have had some positive self-thoughts today, tried to be sarcastic, but this time the disingenuity was wholly on the part of the jerkface parts of me.  I kept thinking nice things.  I should stop before I end up believing them.

Figuring out that as soon as I want something to happen and I stop with my bullshit and get after it, I can have it.  It is basically tantamount to just needing to turn my head to the left.  Not even figuring that out, I know that much, just realizing the whole fucking psychological ping pong game my life is. Yearning being slapped back by vulnerability being slapped back by over-defensiveness being slapped back by desire being backhanded by shame.  Can we just sit still a moment, please?  One person, under her own power, indivisible.

Tonight’s soundtrack:

1.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PinTAGbIsV4
2.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYvmhpIRmoM
3.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SyBR-M2YvU

+300 story words.

The Grip That Doesn’t Choke: Day Two Hundred Sixty-Four

1115447_52790190Start the new day off with a caffeine-charged post! That’s the ticket, ladies and gents.

Okay, that didn’t happen.

Maybe it’s a day to dream a bit (or a night, I guess).

The random post function meant I read this post – which was all about the day you left.  This was four years ago, I realize, now.  And I know that I didn’t spend the past four years mourning the loss of a friendship/flirtation that was both trivial and poetically charged.  I didn’t spend the past four years in black, trying to work google-fu to find you and only you and insinuate myself into your life.  I reference you because of what you represented and *that* I have been mourning.  The other friendships/flirtations/intentions for something other than a nod in a hallway died thin, collapsed deaths as I walked away from them, no holes in the lids of the mason jars.  I came back for amusement and found, time and again, that the captured delight had asphyxiated in my absence.  You, though, you left me.  That’s factual, if not exactly true. I find it really hard to not look back on it and see the play of light, remember how good it felt to be encouraged, to be special and clever and Dorothy Parker to his Mr. Benchley.  All quite

I wonder to myself if this new position will, if not offer me up some replicated form of this attention, let me calm down enough so I can find it.  So that I can finally shovel away this physical and emotional debris and

I mean, I think this is what I’m meant to write about, what my message is, that there’s hope regardless of being seen, there’s reason to speak regardless of whether or not you’re heard on a deeper level.  That the medium is the message, that we speak because we have life inside and stories to tell and we generate.  We are soldiers on the front-line of apathy, and we hold our bayonet steady and wait for you to run into it.  We do not worry because the blade is sharp and your body is soft and when the time is right, we will meet: a point entering a field.  There’s power in just saying in the darkness…I have taken on too much and I am discharging my duty.  There’s a place along the creek where nobody goes for fear of falling in the rocks, the jagged beer can reefs, the moist and kelpy surround.  We could go there and take turns being the point and the field.

….

I missed the last bit of the Roosevelts, but only because I was watching the first episode with my mother and eating rest of my lunch as my dinner which was a giant, unwarranted calzone.  I regret it now, wholeheartedly, and wish again for better days, better times.  A grip once more that doesn’t choke.  I learned that my aunt whom we are seeing tomorrow once interviewed Eleanor Roosevelt herself.  Already, a story to draw us out of the doldrums!

Pink Nectar: Two Hundred Four

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I am so Sunday Night Fevering.  I am so…I feel like I’ve been trying this boss battle for a hundred thousand tries and my last save point left me without enough healing potions so everytime I restart I’m at a disadvantage.  And I don’t want to go back and start a new game, the thought makes me mad as hell.  Nor do I want to hand over the controls to someone else, I want to have won the whole thing for myself.  So the only answer now is to just turn off the machine and wait until I care more or less.

I am feeling gross.  I keep moving this fan around with me from room to room and now that I’ve retreated into a less distracting (totally profoundly distracting) bedroom, I haven’t hauled it with me and I feel as though the metaphor is real and my body is cooking through.  That you could gut me and pints and pints of oil would be produced.  Like the leavings of a supermarket rotisserie chicken.

Beauty, value, respect.

Either/or is the question tonight.  Do we play at fixing it?  Do we say tomorrow we could start low-carb regardless of supplies. Do we say that we are at rock bottom and the only success we can hope for is by sticking, without swerving, to a diet and path and a lifestyle choice?  To focus on numbers and weight loss and eight cups of water a day and baselines and tracking and being “good.”   Do we say that will make us sexy, alive, energetic, organized, “fixed?” Do we say that we could take a middle road and work at moderation in food, drink, exercise, life knowing that we’ve been on a wild tear of chocolate croissants and chocolate chip pancakes and that we want to tear and cook our own flesh at the moment such is the state of our self-hatred?   Do we say that there’s room for one more coffee, one more burrito, one more stab at making food satisfy emotional needs and then, and, then?  Do we say that girls of all sizes who love themselves are given the capacity to love others simply by virtue of believing themselves worthy of it and will, somehow, a spree of self-acceptance into being that is pre-ordained to fail because we don’t accept; we understand the revulsion and shame and we  get why we’re passed over – because we want to be passed over because we are afraid of sexy, alive, energetic, organized, and most of all, being “fixed.”

Or most likely, do we stand inside Schroedinger’s Diet Box where all the walls are papered with Cathy comics and all the TVs play are Slim Fast commercials and you’ll either come out fat or thin so long as you ever bother to come out.  I’m here for the moment.   For the while.

Maybe all being vulnerable is just not walking away 1 time out of ten when you start to turn tail.   To stop yourself and stay in the fire, let the collagen liquify, let your state change.