Snitch

Give up on the words and you give up on your soul.

There is a bump on my face that is likely the latest in an aggressive campaign to reclaim my teenage years by covering the entire expanse with zits.  That or a massive face cancer.  One or the other.

……………..

She folded her hands, hand he now saw for the first time, even through the lace of the gloves.  He, this time with no care or consequence for the touch, peeled the gloves away and saw the burns that their first test had marked her with.  The acid produced in this break between worlds, a snapping of an aloe stalk, where in this world, it soothed, in theirs, it bled pain.   Amelia saw the line of suffering trace down her fingertips, move through him and settle, with force, behind his eyes.

“I am so very sorry.
“They do not hurt now.”
“They should never…”

“I do not understand, Ammon.”

“The falcon is not mine, only a sign sent from their side that I would recognize.  A device, I have now come to see that could only have ever been from your father.  It is nothing like the marks they make on their own.  It danced before my eyes at the Manor you’ve learned so much about, drew me away in the middle of my lesson.  I imagine young William must have been…no, I do not recall anything but following it, a sign and sometimes a bird, as it moved through the halls, up the stairs and out the front door.   Places I was never to be, but I didn’t think…I just chased it into the woods.  A day later, they found me, surrounded by…well, it burnt the wild grasses just as well as your fair skin.  It had seemed a dream.  A madness.”

Amelia gazed as this reverie overtook the Professor, and her thoughts travelled with him, seeing the blue ring that had opened above the table on some Midland afternoon, sun pleasantly moving through the trees exactly matching the horrors.

“That night I passed through against my will.  When last I saw you, it was by choice, a choice I…I have learned so much now, now that we are close that I wish at moments, I had flung myself into sea rather than come to bring you back to…”

“I had to mastermind this plot without his aid, thinking I was protecting Mr. Willoughby, Laurence, though

“As I belong to my father, as you belong to yours, so too, does Laurence belong to the King of these…cannibal people, indeed, he is something of their prince.  Though this King, if one could deign to call him such, has no love for his son.  Whatever loyalty remains to Laurence, what awaits him upon his return is something worse than death.”

“Worse than death, good sir, you’re positively shaking…”

“There is no time.”
“If I am to return, I am to return with a sacrifice.  And the Tormented peoples believe that the strongest magic is to be found in what a man has made.  The king hungers…he can no longer be appeased by invention, by charm, by kaleidoscopes and toys.  We cannot distract him with anything but the return of his own blood.”

 

Prayer Hours at the Temple of Love (2/365)

January 2nd.  We’ve come back again just like that Backstreet Boys song.  That’s my era, my friends, perhaps I’ve evaded saying so for eight years of blogging, but that’s music I grew up with.  Along with The Smithereens and Liz Phair and Goo Goo Dolls (especially, now, their pre-Superstar Carwash albums) and a host of others I should write about some time.

Anything to not stand before you with my five hundred words about intention again.  I’m not bored with doing it.  Certainly not on day two of this segment of my life, this year arc of experimenting with what happens when you just don’t do the shit that always fucks you up.  You just don’t do it, touch it, come near it, allow it space in your life.  I’m not bored already with trying.  Just framing the language of YES, I AM TRYING TO BETTER MY LIFE in such a way that we both feel like I mean it and that I’m not overworking every single sentence to get us there.  Just to enjoy this as the opportunity it is – to rebuild my journal and do right by myself.

I ate low-carb today.  I got up and walked a smidge, took some recycling to the bin that needed to go, got low-carb groceries.  Pro Tip: order your groceries if your grocery store provides this service.  It means I can’t wander the aisles contemplating carb counts and squeaking by with eating something quasi-justified, or saying fuck it, and asserting I will start tomorrow, and filling the cart with pizza and candy bars.  Not that I have ever done anything like that.

The above means I left the house for something other than work.  Got outside.  Immediately felt rrefreshed and energized and everything as advertised.  This needs to be done.  Working my brain into a tizzy about doing it and never doing it is…a gross result.  It’s icky to swirl around in the same thoughts for too long.  It’s like using the same bathwater for a month.

I need to find a book.  If there were many of you, I’d poll you.  I just need to pull a book and get it read.  There’s surely a couple here I haven’t read, hell, I could even read The Ship of Theseus again and let my brain swell up with possibilities.

I will find one and put it in my bag tonight before my head hits the pillow.

I’ve been playing Mass Effect; Andromeda, not exclusively, but nearly.  I have my opinions – mostly I like it but there is a certain rush job quality that Bioware can be so much better than.  You see the edges here.  Sometimes you get stuck in them and hope for a recent save.  Not to be excessively metaphorical.  I am just working out months and months of not posting like this, friends.

Eventually…no…I and this will always be weird in this particular fashion.  It’s okay if you don’t like it.

No particular beginning that you can discern happening for a week.  This is just…the in-between.

Soft Boiled Egg

Time enough to write today?
I think there must be.
I am feeling decent.  Sufficient.  Improved.  Supported.  Free.  Slightly masterful.  Lots of disparate concepts, but overall: good.
I got in early to help with a meeting where I did not need to help which I have decided means I can leave a bit earlier.  I paid my credit card bill.
I got requests to help from a few counterparts who really appreciated it and which I had time to focus intently upon because I am mildly without tasks, as I’ve mentioned.  One of whom always said hi to me in the hallways and I would smile back and it is only at this point that I realize what her name and department is.  Now, I hear she thinks I am great which is the thing that is said about someone who smiles at you when you pass in the hallway.  Apparently, they need help and they don’t have help.  And I can provide help and have oodles of time.  I am hopeful that in some way a few well-placed favors with a few people might save my skin around here.  That is the sense here, that in the end, like any society, it just works best if you go ahead and scratch someone’s back based solely on the tacit understanding that someone’s going to decide to scratch yours.  Eventually.  Work your nails down to the nubs and never tell anyone you’re feeling itchy.  Nobody wants a job, everyone will offer a favor, so scoot along little cowgirl and try and make friends.
Trying to make friends and not just endlessly curt and awkward circuitous conversations.  That’s the philosophy right now.  Just befriend everyone and say yes to the grunt work because, frankly, you can handle grunt work.  This higher-level tarantella everyone else seems to be able to accomplish in their high heels and pearls is not liable to be your dance.  Not ever, not after years upon years of knowledge being foisted upon you and experiences to teach you better than you know right now.  There will be no graceful flamenco.  You just try and do-si-do and promenade, do whatever the caller asks you do and hope no one pulls out the hook while you’re on stage.  I need to enjoy this time.  It is awkward to try and nose about, forage for the truffle of a task to keep me from seeming like I sit at my desk and write blog posts all day.  But somehow, I will end up in some spot that will demand more of me than this and I will look back and sigh that I didn’t keep it a secret so I could sit and spin on the company dime.
No.  That’s not in my blood.  The guilt, my friends, the unholy guilt of just trying to type this up before I go, oooh.   Still, the feeling of knowing the post is done is worth a twinge or two.  I like that I have that time.  Having the food there is so valuable, too.  So much easier just to let the refrigerator contain the wide expanse of possibilities and know that in just a few days, I’m going to restock and can make a whole fresh batch of choices so I don’t have to panic.  I can already tell that when I do have another meal out, it will be something that I look forward to, that will actually contain some element of celebration and achievement in it rather than an almost burdensome excess.  A demand to fill up on salt and fat and smile.  Quality vs. Quantity.
In the same vein, I’ve started making some lists – looking ahead to the holidays – realizing that if I can get a few stitches in now, how much more enjoyable it would be to have
If I can figure out who needs a gift, who needs a card, well, maybe I can print the addresses on labels, maybe I can draft a general Christmassy letter that people will be pleased to read, and I can actually take care of what I always want to – which is to make people feel joyful at Christmas.  I always run out of time, and in the past been embittered with the retail holiday gloom, but now, there’s a chance to both have the money and energy to be smiley and bake cookies and feel cheerful for more than just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Of course, this does make me mildly irritated that J is too anxious about things to come and see me and eat turkey at my table.  This means I will have to be constantly pulled over those days to check in on him, mid-meal, even.  I will feel a compulsion to keep one foot in each world when I am so craving the silence of my own imagination, the quietude of being untethered to a computer desk, to making jokes with the family, to the congenial world that we make when we are all together at Thanksgiving.  A place he doesn’t know, and much as he would like to know it, it’s far too far a trip to consider.  It seems thus.  Not on a whim.  But this is well past a whim, past a favor, this is…the job.  The job of being together that neither of us wants to concede we’re employed at, despite finding ourselves clocking in and out everyday.
Eventually, I think I’m going to get stretched too far to come back together and I’ve never chosen this unknown world instead of my own mind to save me from being split.  Really, King Solomon’s never concerned himself with my heres and theres.  He is fine if I am bisected along my spine and useless everywhere they lug me.

Reify

I have no idea what it means.  Not the word, I know that one, just the newness around my life these days.  The thing that needs reification inside of my brain.  Where am I? What is my value-add? Why am I talking and thinking and being the way that I am?
I think lately I’ve been scaring myself.  Testing my memory and freaking out when I can’t remember, worrying about driving at night with bright lights, feeling flighty and panicky.  Stressing about stairs and heart attacks and bodies in motion rather than, as they ought be, in perpetual rest.
If I give myself this moment to contemplate, an opportunity I’ve experienced a certain dearth of these days, I can understand the paths that converge to bring me here.  The unresolved status I hold right now after the departure of my reason for being hired.  The unending eating out to salve and reassure myself that there’s money in the bank account and everything is okay because we can go to the burger place, the pizza place, the other burger place, the Mexican place, the Chinese place and on and on and on – to the point, the surfeit that I revisited the other day in my title, that I can’t even stomach it. At the end of September, I was just wasting food and burning cash. Ordering in meal after meal, despite not being much more than mildly hungry on any given occasion. Bringing home bag after bag, box after box. It almost was painful, but this compulsion remained because of the salutary idea of eating out that is affixed in my mind.  This sense of biochemical succor that overtakes me. Even now, the idea of a hot, prepared, aluminum-wrapped meal with all the accoutrements included in little plastic two tablespoon cups alongside it set in front of me has this magical, mirage-like appeal.  Like a smoker must contemplate a cigarette, I know it really would quell the yapping, roiling, confused sea inside me, even if the method requires a giant cannonball of heedlessly salted carbs.
But, for two and a half days, I have found some method of subduing this beast without having to get the deck wet.  Already, it’s Tuesday, yes.  The plan, thus far, is working. I have actual supplies on hand now so that I can circumvent the mental process of constantly interrogating myself for the answer to where do we want to go for food today?  It’s home.  Or I have it.  I don’t have to go strolling to the cafeteria for an inescapable Rice Krispie treat (or two) because I have to get something in my mouth so I am sustained.  I brought it and I can eat it and then this massive space opens up of…odd security.  I didn’t have to spend the money.  I didn’t have to go out in world and stumble about.  I can just do as I intended to do.
So it’s not low carb.  It’s not low fat.  It’s not really controlled portions.  It’s not dieting.  It’s just not letting myself go mad on guacamole and unprocessed stress.
And I have plenty of food set for the rest of the week – things I am interested and willing to eat and won’t throw over the plan for.  This is a good, good thing.  That I hope will lead to a sense of control again where I can plan out something legitimately healthy that I can stick to.
There’s just a lot of quiet here and not enough to do and it’s the nature of the calendar that it is logical for me to not be overburdened with tasks while everyone’s getting ready to head out on a business trip, so I can’t caterwaul and beg for activity and things to be thrown on my plate.  Might regret doing that anyway, but that’s the plan for when everyone is settled.  Today has just been a taste of what it’s like to be unoccupied. To find yourself deleting old emails, remembering ancient times, the importance of people who have since drifted into the background. To have fallow fields in your brain pan, an agenda absent of agenda items.  To float with achey muscles.  Maybe I’m getting sick.  I wonder if it isn’t just another layer of sabotage.  Can’t be distracted by a massive tray of tortilla chips, the brain has to rush ahead and think of things that might be broken .
Just give me some water, put me in bed, let me play, let me read, let me dream a bit.  Let me trace back the road to the Faithful Light, not to Mildred but to the child Mildred once was, to a crimson turning of the season.  To full-on autumn and not just a prelude to winter.

How Curious

the silence that is broken by a stream of sincere compliments.

How curious the place that such a stream meets its source.

The things you say when I least expect them.  When I’ve sorted it all out and you come along and flip the apple cart. My voice is the most beautiful voice. Warm, bubbly, no, not bubbly.

Effervescent, you clarify.  That’s what it is.

And whatever agenda I had resolved over pancake and egg is lost.   If I hadn’t been halfway into another story  – one I was sharing with friends, a bit of time travel I was taking part in with them – I would have been putty in your hand.

We talk about ethereal and astral planes and formian creatures and bestiaries inaccessible.  I say I can’t keep you.

We need to get together.  We need to figure it out, you say.

We should talk more about that then,  I reply, encouraged by how endlessly earnest he is, and hopeful that sleep doesn’t make all this a memory.

 

 

 

Moonache

The bad habits.  The bad, bad, bad habits.  You give one inch to one of them and down the hill you roll with them all.

Now, I have some ice water.   It seems to be a medicine and I can think again.

Tomorrow: brunch.  And then, we have an order of groceries that does not give a centimeter to the plots of bad habits.  Back on track because failing this has been boring and bothersome.  A sugary slurp, a salty grind, a belly ache and a delirious desire to pay a ridiculous fee for the opportunity.  I feel the reasons out quick as ever as to why a woman who eats out for her meals at every opportunity might feel ill and ungainly.  I lose one wagon, but I know where I can find another one to climb upon.  The path I chose is the only one that will improve my lot.  Out, out, damned spots.  Let me have the future I desire.  Some slice of it, the parts I have my will to alter.

And I hope to find the words tomorrow.  Tell me what we are.  Tell me what you guess we are.  Tell me that this is not the most painful sort of game.  You call yourself single.  Outright.  For all the world.  While an hour later, you say, stay with me.  Just stay with me.   And I do, because where else would I go, and you hardly mean anything more than stay on the line.  Stay attached to this very long strand that clutches around my throat, the one you’ve tied to some bedroom door so that every time you enter I feel a gentle choke.

Because it can’t be real.  Me here, you there.  And as soon as I am the one who begins to believe it possible, as soon as I swear on stones that there’s some grander scheme at work, you go and say, I am single and things are hard being alone.

So I, not wishing to look a fool, say, with delicate darts to keep the truth hemmed up, pinned in, I, too, am looking for the sort of man who…the kind of man who is…the wistful dreams of my heart have yet to be requited in any mortal form and I am amongst ye, oh, walking and wakeful damned who have found your hearts cleaved in full from that of any others.  I share your fate.  I have no answers.  I have no claims.  But no, none of you dare approach me for succor or support, because if you do I shall be forced to drive you out of my presence.  For what manner of villainy would allow for me to idle for hours in some communal, if imaginary bed, and reciting any manner of romantic assertions, cooing and giggling and playing the part and then, wordlessly, doing the same with someone else?  How profaned would I be to learn that he might afflict such an act upon me?

So I have nothing.

Give me the strength to take my nothing in one lump, one gasp, one shot.

 

 

 

Good and Ill

What can be said in thirty minutes while hanging off the edge of the world?

  • Forgot my laptop today.  Given it’s a 40 minute ride to work, that was a tremendous up-fuck I was luckily able to fix.
  • Dreamed just prior to that about failing in work responsibilities – although my dream set it at the clothing shop, safer, I suppose. I just wandered off when they asked me to do something. Not paying attention.  A bit frustrating that is my response.
  • Reconciling myself to the facts that my choices have consequences.  Good and ill.