The Raven Took My Eyes

Watching A Very British Romance documentary with the adorable and quite capable presenter Lucy Worsley and this is impacting my mind as you will see below.   I learned about Pamela (or Virtue Rewarded), which I had certainly heard of, but not how much it had changed the landscape of literature.  I never fully grasped Samuel Richardson as a key player in the same way that Austen was, so it was interesting to see it framed so.  Completely enjoyable and I shall be putting the third one on – modern romance – once I finish up my holy obligations here.

Feeling a bit winded and worn in the sort of way that one sleep might not improve.  Feeling a bit exhausted in the bones.  The day was okay.   The weight I lost is not truly lost yet. I am petrified about forgetting shit, but here we are, facing Wednesday, and the fact that things are going to have to be alright regardless of whether or not we know how to make them so.

I am also a bit keen to have my conversation.  I need just a bit of a moment to understand this.   I can’t…wait forever.  Everyone reminds me I can’t wait forever.  All of the historical romance documentary tells me so.  And if the hold up is simply not being understood, well, that’s something I can effectuate change around (there’s the corporate world beginning to slip into my vocabulary.)

Because I am thinking about the RP’er again. I can’t help it.  I’ve glanced back at those final, closing emails. The ones that said the door was open.  A door I’ve shut because I thought that I was starting something legitimate and and tangible and sincere.  And it is those things – in one sense.  On some days.  I can’t help but wonder if regardless of what either J. or I want, there’s no feasible way for us to have this happen.  The distance too great, the issues too large.  The height distance notwithstanding.  If he doesn’t want to figure out how to see me, if he doesn’t want to say it, if he doesn’t want this to check that box.  If that’s how he sees it, then why am I not available to other people even in limited ways?

I don’t know.  I am so willing, but I lean forward and he pulls back. Then I have thoughts like this, thoughts that question whether or not I am just some Mary Haskell-type figure, worrying over and wanting to help him and support him rather than a true fount of flourishing romance.  Though, who am I to say what Mary Haskell and Khalil Gibran were really truly all about.

Still.  I…this halfway ain’t enough.  But is it halfway forever or just halfway and all I have to do or say is that I need more and I’d have more?  But I’ve asked and the feeling was quash it, kill it, suffocate it. Maybe that’s not what was intended.  That’s what I’m supposed to do – find out what was intended.

 

 

 

 

Go Quiet

Sometimes I am teased for my noises.

But it doesn’t matter, I have to make them anyway.

Another no good, very bad, what is going on with my juju these days? sort of workday.  I’m doubting everything including the color of the sky or if winter will ever, to coin the now ubiquitous phrase, come.  I feel wobbly and weak and there’s no place for wobbly and weak so out I will sweep it and draw in my wobbly and weak reserves of superpowered cojones and success tomorrow.

I don’t know that anything will do me any good.  You ever just know that things are in motion that are well beyond you and maybe it’s going to pick you up and carry you somewhere…maybe home, maybe hell, but you’re not going to expect to be there when you arrive.

I don’t know that they like me very much and today was a bad day with no J. in it and me just bobbing about after getting cracked up against the fact that you can call it a new start all you want, but if you still have the old poison in the barrel…it’s going to be hard to pull out a good apple.

I spent two hours working tonight and still have the sensation that somehow a knife is going to slide out of my screen and gouge me in the head.  Like today when I thought I had done well and I wrecked printers and forgot important meetings and tried and tried and tried and did not make it close to the summit.  I just get more curt emails that I have to swallow up all of my sentiment and smallness and attempts at being outsized and just reply to.  I want to be able to quit apologizing, but moving and not moving seem to be equally wrong.

So sometimes, when no one is around to hear, or I believe that no one is, I make a series of noises.

But what people don’t understand is that it is the sound of an idea running through me. The idea is sometimes one of venting the steam that seems to be about to burst my skull apart, ahisssssssssssh.

Sometimes the sound is one of delight, of giddy happiness to be thinking about something wonderful coming and it’s like a train, it has this plugging rhythm and I feel myself with it so it goes doo-chicka-doo-chicka-doo-chicka, like the soundtrack to an old black and white western, and my body will get real tight with excitement and my fingers will bend like weeping willow boughs, all twisted as I draw them skyward and contemplate while the sound goes how good it will be when whatever it is arrives full and intact.

Sometimes the sound is like it is tonight, sitting in bed with the fan on blast and the noise doesn’t have any rhythm or order and is both hsssssssssssssssssss and a series of intermittent clicks and it is the sound of me thinking about my mother’s cancer medicine working in her body, fighting against what is wrong and block-block-block-block-blocking it.

 

Squish

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Things that are true.

My laptop lid will not always stay open.
My water does not have enough ice in it by far.
I have a lingering headache that is not making this post easy to write in a sensible form.

I’m discovering Christmas carols I have never heard before in my life.

I have painted my nails in what I thought was a golden hue, but actually has a greenish-gold tone that makes my pale fingertips look a bit gangrenous or in other lights, casts me as though I’ve got a case of colic.
I have watched a horrific Christmas film about a clown and do not know if I will ever fully enjoy the holiday again.
I need to appreciate the fact that I was given flowers and loads of chocolate and hugs and kind things from my coworkers and not just feel as though they are another task on my list of endlessly required reciprocation I’ve yet to reciprocate fully.

I am really quite tired and will probably go to bed at least by midnight in the hopes that I can just run through the day tomorrow and get over to my parents because I want to just be on vacation or not so mentally connected to anything or one right now.  Providing the laundry is done.

I am actually proud of myself for carrying on this long, long, long writing spree for 6 years.  6 fucking years.  Lord.  I don’t know how this transition to doing something different will work, but I know I have to, have to in ten different ways.  Still, this has been a commitment of my life.  This has taken some iron will.

The guy and I are still talking 99% of which is regarding this D&D game.  I have zero sense if he likes me or dislikes me, or…if I am honest, and speaking in terms of truth, I know exactly how much he likes me…which is the sane amount for someone you’ve had an extended facebook conversation with.   Nothing has been decided yet.  Nothing has been created yet.   I have not even determined if I want things to be decided and created and happening.  He could be an axe murderer! He could be a saint! He could be a dour bore.  He could be a sexist prick (I think he is emphatically not that).  He could be completely fine and just not that into me.  He is also not here and and mostly not the most viable option.  Yet, he’s willing to talk to me off and on for the better part of two days so even if I’m just filling a slot at his D&D table, it is bigger than nothing. And I do have to acknowledge that working at the shop does sort of challenge my ability to provide entertaining repartee via my phone whilst I am on the floor.

I am so looking forward to being able to get back in some healthy patterns and habits in the new year.  I can feel my body screaming for it in countless ways.

Scream!

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…someday we’ll get there.

“I’m not going anywhere with you.”  “And how dare you have the indecency to be look shocked! The fact that I stand here at all this morning is as much an astonishment to me as it appears to be to you. I’ve been nearly done-in for this game tonight.”
“It was no game, Amelia.  It was never a game.  No one ever…” Indeed, the Professor’s grave face bore an excessively earnest expression as though she had misunderstood him entirely.  It was striking, so much so that she would have liked to be able to calm herself and speak sense.   However, her fury, so rarely ignited, was held her well beyond that.
“You know good and well that it’s game enough to those boys, a hunt, a bit of liveliness to chase down some book just on the edge of inaccessible for coin to pay for their meals until the next one.  They never expected to pay their lives for your patronage, I never expected…

A swirl of light started at the center of the room, as bright and white as sunlight scalding a snow-filled street.  There were no gentle violins this time to distract her from the crackling noise.  It sounded of a fire that had just been fed fresh kindling, snapping away as it devoured.  It just as it was the night of the dinner when all this began.

She stepped back, feeling her face contort in horror.  Willoughby had not died, but the memory of the theatre was as present as if he had.

“No!” He pulled at her arm, moving her towards him.

“If you pull away, I will let you go and I cannot bear what will follow for the both of us.”

“You speak nonsense, you’ve only ever spoken nonsense.

“We traffic in worlds now.  No longer just ours, no longer just our mysteries, and we intended to help them with what we knew so that they could help us in return.  It has gone…wrong.  We must do what we can to correct it.  He requires that we correct it.” He hissed as if his words could possibly implant and effect meaning in Amelia’s exhausted brain.

“If I am to believe

“There is not time, there are but minutes, Miss Crevecoeur, until the portal bursts forth.  Once we arrive, I can explain myself, though by God, I do not wish the truth upon you now any more than I once wished that mark.”

“The mark.  It was branded on us the last time we stood here, agog, at your portal.”

“They are…passports of flesh…made by being bound to what lies on the other side.  The acid etches a symbol so they know you are a traveller of the portals. It’s a nasty sort of stuff, but without it, we will not be trusted.”

“You can’t take her back there.”  Willoughby’s voice was clarion, as he emerged, as ever, from the shadows.  Nearly as essentially, the tea service steamed beneath his fervently jutted chin.
“If you have any feelings for the woman, Ammon, any at all, you will not take her across the Channel.”

Amelia repeated it to herself, bemusedly, Willoughby’s tone twisting the otherwise straightforward meaning.  The Channel?  

Ammon held out his hand.  She noticed his hand scarred with the falcon.
“Do you trust me?”
“No!  Not in the slightest!”
“Do you want to know where all your finds have been going?  What all of this has been about?”
“Of course, I want to know, but I’d be perfectly satisfied by a simple explanation.”
“Would you?”
“Of course not.”
“No.  Of course not.”

“I warn you, Ammon.  Come and sit here with Amelia and I, and we will drink this tea.  We will let the portal close.  You need never go there again.”

“I have seen such things…Laurence, my soul would never rest if I were to do that.”

“You would feed her to that monster.”  His

The rictus wretched itself open as if in reply.  The Professor nodded, as if he had mourned her a thousand times before and was mourning her again.  “I won’t let it come to that.”

“What monster?”

 

 

 

 

Historical Footnote

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It is impossible for me to finish this post without first writing one hundred words.  It is impossible for me to call it done without first beginning it.  So I am here, ill and in bed, with a sore jaw and headache and a body that aches for succor of all stripes, writing to you.

I should get in the bath and try and sleep, but I don’t expect it to happen so easily as that.

Chinese Food Picnic…my coworkers sent me home early today, or my boss, I suppose at the shop.  I have caught the great whatever, a sickness that has worn me down, and I was so relieved to be able to drive home in the light of day and not the dark of night, but before all that my co-worker bought me egg drop soup and we ate at a table in the middle of the store, just for fun.  She also made me a jar of baileys and vodka and chocolate something and I forgot it in a mad rush to get home and cry on the couch.

The I Don’t Want A Christmas Tree I Can Trip On Christmas…my mother doesn’t want me to put up the big Christmas tree.  And if I love her, I will hear her and not do it.  But I do want to put up the big Christmas tree.  Not necessarily there, not necessarily the family one, but mine, dotted with ornaments that have the meaning of the life I would be celebrating.  My own stars and little birds and apples and stained glass Seven Swans a’Swimming and my own stories.  I wish I had an easy way to do that.

Crying in the dark…today, I sat on the couch and cried in the dark. The little kitten came up and swirled around on my lap, disturbed and restless about it.  I didn’t mind.

The Handmaid’s Tale…I am intrigued by the adaptation that Hulu’s putting out.  That book is, of course, a hugely relevant consideration of a dystopian direction that nobody can say we’re NOT pushing as a country right now.  I remember reading it in a Women’s Lit class (oh, you know damn well I took Women’s Lit classes, honestly) and I found it so striking, so blood-curdling, so horrific.  But also, naturally, just scifi.  Just out there in terms of anything that I believed the government would allow to happen.  Now, I don’t believe it will happen, but I don’t believe some aspects of it won’t subtly encroach further and deeper than any sane and rational person would allow if they knew they were coming down the pike.  I hope it is a conversation starter.  I hope it is so revolting and horrifying that people pay some sort of attention.

Pizza Terminator…oh, why couldn’t Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese had a few years together raising their crazy Skynet-destroying son together before he got hit, inexplicably and tragically by a car or a falling computer or something.  It would be so much more ironic.  But, alas, that’s probably not what they were going for.  It just makes sense to me.

That is postmodernism for you, though.

Fever…do I have one?  Can we tell if we touch our forehead with a feverish hand?  Probably not.   I did take the one baby aspirin so I do feel covered.  I just have to sleep.  I will, at some point, probably at gunpoint, make that happen.

Life…this is how it’s looking these days.

How to Improve Blog Traffic

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The woman let the sword scrape the asphalt as she walked towards the pay phone.  She could not drop it nor wield it, despite its weight, as she did not have the strength to untie the rope that bound it to her wrist.  It sparked and clattered at her side.  It tilted and slit into her bare, frostbitten ankles.  Nipped at the edges of her bare, bluish feet, leaving small paper cut-like wounds that should have bled, but merely darkened as though she had been marked by a quill, instead.

It was clear she was discomfited.  Her eyes bulged out as though she had been staring at a single point for days on end.  Here, a few ragged white bed-sheets knotted and twisted around her form to protect her from the elements, to provide a modesty that felt laughable to concern herself with.

But still she drug that anchor forward.  She couldn’t lose it, not if she wanted to, and she didn’t want to.  It was, on some level, as necessary as her own spine. She didn’t even mind the suffering that came right before a resurrection.  It never lasted as long as it should.

It was too early in the morning for many cars to pass her as she stumbled forward on the small 2-lane road that smelled as though it were Northern.  Her nose had not always been better for dodging blows than differentiating the delicate blooms, tasting the terroir between wines, but for now, all she knew was this idea of North of before.  Of colder than Then.  Of the phone call she had to make now that she was utterly and completely exhausted of all other resources.

It wasn’t much further if she remembered correctly.  It was less that she hoped that she remembered correctly, and that there was nothing else to hope.

If she were seen, this spectral figure on the road, she would appear as a ghost.  Some banshee, some eidolon, some half-known creature. She would not register as a person in need of aid.  No one would stop to inquire, no one would dare.  Another hope that by necessity was fact.

It was some time, step after step, pain after pain, when the wooded roadway opened up slightly and revealed a gas station.  She ignored the security cameras, she ignored the smell of North, the feel of not-Then as the here and now became corroded with gasoline and bitter coffee beans.  She clattered up the graffiti’d phone booth.

Rather than fumble through pockets for a quarter, she plucked a greying red hair from her wounded temple, one of the few long enough to pull free.  She held it in her hand until it trembled, spun around itself, and slowly shifted into a bright, shiny piece of U.S. currency.

The phone number was several digits longer than any international call, and the silence much longer than she, nor any soul with reason, would endure.

She could feel this body beginning to mutiny, beginning to chase the foreign captain at its helm onto the plank.

“Thank you for calling your local Vitamin Spree!” An aggressively cheerful female voice chirped in greeting.  She frowned, a reflex the body could not deny her.

In her own voice, rusty from disuse, she whispered “It’s done” before fainting on the cement pad of the Loaf and Jug.  She did not hear the subtle ding of assent as it replied through the receiver.  It was some time before she heard anything again.

I’d Pay Good Money

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After feeling flummoxed as to what to write, I went back and read three year-old this post.  So, therefore, tonight’s town crier is yelling something about me really missing therapy and my therapist in particular.

Because it’s the gods’ honest truth.  I do.  I miss the little blue box that says, in the past two weeks, have you done so much pills and booze that you killed a man?  Yes? No? Partially? Just scared him a bit?  I miss that underlit room, that couch, that wall of books I’d stare at while listening to myself verbalize things I didn’t know I could say out loud.

Not being able to go there and talk about all of this is a little bit…no, it’s a lotta bit fucked up.  I want to move forward and that was taking some of the friction away that was holding me back.  It was helping me stay on a track I said, outloud, I wanted to be on.  A track that seems to be blown away in a steady wind as I trace it through the snow.  I feel myself standing in the middle of a snowy clearing, looking in all directions for clues, even my footprints that got me in there are gone and I don’t know what to do.

I have zero perspective.   Clean your room.  Get a boyfriend.  Fix your driving.  Get a better job.  Save money.  Write a book.  Read a book. Lay very still and align yourself to the universal heartbeat.  Embrace relentless curiosity.  Give in.  Fight.  Relinquish control.  Pursue your intent.  Or as I titled a major high school English project:  Serenity Vs. Action, a dialogue of aphorisms.

Breathing.  Everyone just says

It’s like when I handed my mother those cards about what areas in my life I wanted help with.  Just pick one.  What’s the worst? Where do we start to get me back to where I should be?  Just point me somewhere because I can’t move.  And she just laughed and shrugged the exercise off, an instant I remember as shattering because I was so in earnest, so desperate, really.  But then I felt, okay, I at least learned something here.  I learned you can’t do that.  You can’t just be vulnerable like that.  You just have to know these things.  You just have to figure this shit out on your own.

But I couldn’t.  Years and years go by and despite a constant effort towards some cohesive, self-directed, non-disruptive self-improvement, I still don’t know what to do first.

I was looking at our community board today and saw an ad for a local therapist.  I researched her and she’s not a match for me.  I can’t imagine playing I just…the job would have given me that access to my therapist again.  It’s okay that I didn’t get it.  It’s okay, but without that insurance, I can’t see her even for an insane rate.  So.  I have to dig around and maybe see what I can do.  I have to talk to someone so I can figure out how to keep talking to people.