A Creature Out of Season

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I have eaten so poorly that despite feeling as though eating precisely as I desire is the only release I have these days, I noted it.

Oh.  I need to work on the story.  I need to not slide into rubbery, gloopy slop.  I am pretty negative.  It may be time for more Malibu, but not until we get our ass in gear and finish this.

They’re.

Is this right?  Is this right?  I don’t know and yet, I am capable of doing it.

The women are kind.  All are intense.  All are cleaners, organizers.  All are mothers. All are people who know things like how to tie scarves and not to wear black at the end of May.  They know how how to greet and engage and they look at a room and can instantly see the slightest angle of disarray in it.  They feel discomfort at disorder.  They like to be busy, not to linger, not to dwell.  Boxes in closets that are not being used make them crazy.  They share their chocolates, they drink Omega-3 chia seed sludge, they compliment as a matter of course. There’s not a breath of a facade about it.  They point out spots on you with the assumption that you would want to correct an imperfection immediately if it were correctable.  They know to watch for children’s grubby hands on glass cases.  They know how to greet mothers of children, the children themselves, with an air of authority.  They do not mind leaning in and telling about how the sizing goes, or where the jewelry comes from…they know and they assume you, as a seeker, as a pilgrim in their holy land, want the mysteries illuminated.  Me, the new boss at the old job came in and I wandered to hide in the back.  My other boss texted and I did what I could to help, but I think it was later than it needed to be to be helpful.  These dance between my ears as failures.

I have been among more people over these past two days than I have in a month at the other “official” job. three months, perhaps.  Yet, right now, in this long dark, I feel profoundly lonely.  Like my sweet Amelia, who sails in the Mediterranean Sea and travels over Capri all alone. Who comports herself as a single unit, cast off from any and all others who might claim her.  Surely she must ache every now and again for someone to confirm the water is really as blue as it looks.  To have to trust your own truth in every moment is a terrible burden.  Would that I might fall into solipsism!

I feel as though I might have pulled myself loose in the bonds of one captor, only to have wrapped a cord around my ankle from another.

Where am I suited to be and why can’t I get there and stay?

Tomorrow, back to the little shop, though I will see my mentor, and then 2 days where I belong to no one at all.  For better or worse.

It’s All That I Am

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So, when in doubt, when you’ve eaten dinner at 10:35p.m. because you suddenly thought you were ravenous for polenta and roast beef stacks with carrots and you realize that maybe your body is not happy with that choice at about 11:19p.m. when you’re due to be well on your way into your daily post, you should blog, as ever, about love.

This group is interesting.  It’s strange.  It is pulling me towards my best and shittiest behaviors and inner thoughts.  It’s this Mst3k group for people who are looking to date, and I don’t know if I’m looking to date, but I know that I’m looking, I have eyeballs and such and occasionally a twinge roundabout that reminds me that I am a lady with the parts of a lady that into, in generalities, the parts of a man.  If I may be so coarse.  So, there’s more gents than ladies in this group.  There’s a few people in the state, but it’s just starting so, there aren’t more than you could count on one hand for me, men and women included.  And this, I think, is good for me, because there isn’t that instant feeling of needing to progress yourself towards a meeting so quickly.  The men and women of the group are all, in some manner, geeks and nerds.  We’re all into some Venn diagram of genre literature/video games/comic books, you know the stuff.  We’re all at least on that level tangentially related to one another.  It does provide for an easy place to start with saying, oh, hey there.  You like x, I like x, isn’t x great?  Aren’t we great for liking x?  There aren’t strait-laced jocks who want to barge in and look you up and down and put a price on you.  Even that’s an awful…ah.

But that isn’t to say there isn’t some curious shit that goes down when you dump a pile of random geeks of varying ages in a “room” and say…all of y’all (with the exception of the gay and lesbian members who are a bit starved for choice at the moment) are open to the idea of “it” if they can just be convinced that you can provide them with “it”…so there’s a lot of unearned compliments (it could just be that I have zero comfort with anyone telling me I’m beautiful, particularly if I haven’t formed any level of attachment to them) and near-flounces and “nice guy” shit.  Ladies owing dudes time, messages, forgiveness of problems and defects.  But I can’t for a minute call anyone up on that if I am just as image-focused and projecting all my body issues out there wildly on everyone else so that a bit of fairly clever back and forth with a guy gets a bit deflated in my head, not by the epic distance of states upon states between us, but because I have an image of what I’d like to be happening.

Basically, there’s another guy in the group I like – a couple, really – but one I had a dream about, one who reminds me, I’m sure, on a distant level of Mr. Rochester.  I dunno if he likes me, only, that like a giddy teenybopper, I noticed he liked a picture of me.  Which feels like something, despite not being anything. All these behaviors that I’m messing around with…I know how childish they are.  I know that teenagers do them and recognize that they make people feel like shit and grow up and stop.  Game playing.

It’s just pushing me to get clear about my business.  That  I don’t have to feel mad at myself that I have a preference.  It’s nobody’s fault.

I’m just…ugh.

One more day until we enter the Twilight Zone.

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.

The Dance: Exercise 1

fire-dance-1189315-1280x1920So after some conversations with friends last night, and feeling good for some reason about today, I thought I might share this with them if they see this and anyone else who might find power in it.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by low or absent self-worth, perhaps use this.

The voice, the idea, the feeling of negativity has a body.  It has a look.  It has a language it uses that is familiar and tailored to be its most effective for each of us.  Mine is not yours and yours is not mine.  This negativity, this fear masquerading as wisdom, steals opportunity, it puts you on pause, it turns you away from what might be because of assumptions you make about your ability to proceed not to an acceptable result, but to the perfect landing pad that has the power to fix not just the issue at hand, but EVERYTHING.

I have such a negativity in my head.  And I’m just now starting to deal with her.  If she thinks she’s got an evolutionary purpose to fulfill, then I have decided she’s got to start paying rent.

When I imagine or experience this negative voice now, I have a visualization…thing I do.

I try and visualize the two of us in what looks like an interrogation room.  I’m seated at the chair, looking confident, as she, the so-called detective, grills me about my intentions – it could be about anything. In her eyes, I am constantly fucking up.  “You really think you’re actually losing weight?  You really think so.  Well, I know you ate ice cream.   And it was probably more than one serving.  You are doomed to a life of diabetes and disease.  I just need you to acknowledge that for me.”

And first of all, if it is this petty, and sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t, I am lucky when I am able to laugh and say, “holy shit, I’ve been arrested by the fucking Ice Cream PD?”  Occasionally, she’ll simper and sort of mentally evaporate just at the clarity of how useless she is. Other times she’ll dig in with more cruelty than I’ll be able to approximate here.  “Well, maybe if we caught you sooner, you could get a fucking date.”  And on weak days, or days when I’ve had this sort of mental interaction countless times already, that will be enough to shut me down.  And probably eat more ice cream while she folds her arms in front of her and sneers, throwing all the invectives and belittling comments we both can invent at me, accusing me and shaming me for everything I’ve ever failed at since the beginning of time until the power of the sugar takes over and I don’t think anything whatsoever until the cycle begins anew.

But on REALLY good days, days when I’ve been taking care of myself and accomplishing tasks and balancing ego and id, there’s a second sequence.  It helps if you have good music for this.

She leans back, thinking her potshot has landed, that’s she’s really got me.  She’s put me down and in my place. I close my eyes for a moment until we both hear a laugh. As the interrogation light rises up, the dark room spreads out until we are in an enormous, Mines of Moria-sized gallery ringed with darkness.  The negative force and I turn and see who is laughing.

It’s a warrior woman.  I don’t know her, but I recognize her as personal, mine, a part of me as inextricable as the Negative Detective.  Her eyes are dark but gleam in the single beam of light spilling into the room as though the moon was centered over the opening in the ceiling of the Pantheon. She is painted, a circlet of metal holds back her hair, she is the definition of fierce.  There’s a knife in her hand so sharp that it makes a Ginsu look like a rolling pin.  She scares me in just the right way.

The negativity might respond, might shudder, might try and grow, to fill the room, to throttle me, to in some way insinuate her power.

And then, another, different laugh from another dark corner of this space.  We turn and it’s some romantic hero or interest that matters to me, brooding and comely, maybe smoking a cigarette because there’s no lung disease in imaginary cigarettes.  “Leave her alone, you pointless bitch.”   Maybe at this point he pulls a gun out, just to underline the point that he’s willing to go that far for me, that he’s just that over her bullshit.  I will admit to being a little bit thrilled by this.

We stand up from our seats, the table is gone.  It becomes obvious that we are not a few souls in a giant room, we are surrounded by hundreds if not thousands.  There are warriors, there are friends, there are moments of joy embodied by people I admire, video game characters, heroines of books, Anne Shirley’s there, Mumford, it doesn’t matter.  They are people I find beautiful and powerful.  It is the beauty of my mind, mentally personified. They are all at their most beautiful, most ferocious, most epic and cinematic.   They’ve all got weapons, serious and hilarious, but all of them clearly deadly and drawn.

Everything emanates a single emotion.  A single thought drives them: This girl is ours, she has made us and given us life and force, she has drawn us here and we will defend her against anything.  She had poured her heart into us and we will destroy any threat to her peaceful, joyful existence.

The negativity tries to get meta on me. “They’re just imaginary.  I’m real, I see you, I have been here since the beginning watching you slob and wretch your way through life.”

I can literally hear more laughter.  Voices call out things I typically don’t let myself believe are important – “We have preceded you.  We have seen her in her greatest glories. This is the girl who flew herself to Italy.  This is the girl who gets up every day and strives for the light. This is the girl who is so clever she’s thought to bring us here.  She can do what she needs to do.  We adore her.  We want nothing other than to be near her.  We believe in her.  You are in the house of our spirit and we cannot be destroyed.”

Then, because of who they are and who I am, and if the music’s going…they dance.  This big tribal, happy, stomping dance as they close in on us.  They shriek and holler and spin one another around.

The negativity doesn’t like any of this, but there’s nothing she can do, really.  The power of the beat, of this army of lovers I deserve because I deserve them, because I am strong enough to create them, starts to explode her little pea brain.  Then they whack her with pots and pans and sometimes stab her with knives.  It can get gory like Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? – at the end when his head cartoonifies and acidulates into goop.

But what always happens if we get this far is I feel their strength become mine and I will grab somebody’s weapon, maybe Hotness McLately’s gun and say, with every fiber of myself, all, Gandalf to Wormtongue-infested Theoden, “You have no power here!”   I use the weapon if I have to, joyfully emboldened to wipe her the hell out. I feel the absence of the negativity in my whole body.  It’s been driven back. It doesn’t matter if she returns, we will dance again.

And then, I go about my day.

Give it a go sometime.

Hard Livin’ in Bitch City

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Just give me a day.  Just let me have this.  Don’t…just don’t.

This isn’t Grumpytown.  This is out and out Bitch City.  Population me.  Lady Mayor: me.  Fucking sanitation crew: me.  And none of us are all that goddamned pleased to be here.

There is no reason in particular, but we’ve written up the charter and this is where us and the fish live.

Anger is a sign that you’re meant to pay attention.  I am trying to pay attention.  I am just…it has to be food.  Everything is accounted for and tracked as best I could – I even tweeted the pizza place to try and get today’s neapolitan pizza.  To no avail, apparently.  So best guesses were made and I have a little wiggle room, and I ate less because of it and I don’t get to just eat until this goes mute so I…just want to scream and hit things and spin around until I crack my head on something and they have to screw my jaws shut and then I want to scream so hard I pull the wires apart like some kind of maniac.  Like I want to break out of a straitjacket and roam the streets howling and kicking soft things in their faces. This is rough when you have to, for propriety’s sake in an attached condominium, basically never raise your voice above a whisper and it’s maybe 30 degrees outside.

I hate…I don’t hate…I am reasonably unnerved that I have 900 tabs open to search for how many calories are in things and I can’t be sure so if I fucked up, I can’t know, I can only suspect.  So I am sitting here suspecting myself of a failure that can’t exist because there is nothing being attempted here except trying to live and…I am just so annoyed right now.  I think it’s because I keep believing things I’m told and they aren’t…It’s fine.  I know this will pass.  It’s birthday blow over energy and I’m lonely and it happens and fuck everybody who looks at me and doesn’t get the fact I have this roaring maelstrom inside my soul, fuck ’em with rusty cutlery and salmonella-infected whiffle bats.

Fffffff.

There’s a guy on OKC who asked about whether or not I’d seen  Sudden Manhattan.  This is, up there on my list of favorite movies.  It has Adrienne Shelly in it, my favorite actress.  I have not responded.  He is old.  I don’t want any of him or this.  This is not what I should do, but it is what I have done.

I’m supposed to have a story done.  I’m supposed to work on the novel.  Everything feels creepy and overwrought and full of effort.   If there’s anything I hate more than everything, it’s seeing the work.  If you’re good enough, you don’t see the struggle.   More bullshit that is dancing in sparkling high heels on my head.

I keep trying and things just flake off.  I can’t make a thing root and live.   This whole life is a dust bowl.

+ 129 words elsewhere.  Just as shitty.

Day for Night (Via Orestiada)

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Things the stock photo guy never imagined he’d be promoting when he took this photo: my bullshit life.  Ha-ha, tee-hee!

Odd, odd, odd day.

I woke up this morning feeling ripped out of the land of Nod by my shoulders and birthed back into reality with not so much as a how do you do.   The dream I left was extra-weird, with me insisting a kitten-centric railroad calendar (think Chessie the Railroad Kitten, only with real, modern day kitties! omg!) would we highly saleable, to no one’s agreement.  Apparently, I dream of kitties and fascists who debate religion and philosophy.  I clung to my alarm, minute by minute, until I absolutely had to get up.  I felt hungover, sour, exhausted and all of my plans to get up early and workout (by which I mean walk about a bit or get on my bike and pedal) felt cotton candy in a quick moving stream.  Just gone.

Then, as happens so much lately, as soon as we hit the road for work, there’s a call and shit to be handled and in this case, the shit was ton of boxes that had to be loaded into cars from last month’s event.  Things had to be done today or else sort of situation.  So, we hauled boxes into our cars for half an hour before I returned to my post as chief of holding the carpet down while attempting to file and do whatever the heck else it is I do with myself.

It was not, however, so bad.  It was not, as I presupposed, the end.  It was, as per usual, more of the same wacky same.   There was no reason or purpose in going to go eat my way out of the emotions I was feeling.  There was no cosmic imperative to cake myself to numbness. I could just eat a bit, write it down, and know there was more later.   I want to walk closer to the things I’m dreaming of, let the ripple of confusion run through me, tilt all the little filaments and cilia a new direction.  At the moment, it’s in that sweet spot, where we’re in a partnership, the eating and the thinking about eating and…the me.  Nobody’s getting too far ahead of anyone else.  Nobody’s demanding the stage.  We just are supporting what one another wants to do which is mainly to eat for pleasure, to eat thoughtfully,  and to be fed and live.

I hope we can carry on like this.  I really do.

Dinner was at Tokyo Joe’s.  Now I am so loaded with rice and vegetables that even though I have room for a little dessert, on ye olde food diary – I’m pretty sure I don’t want it.  We’ll see.  Isn’t it nice to just…see?

What else, my lads and lassies?  What is worth spinning from flax to cloth?

The rest of the night is devoted to building more story bones, caring about mules, reading about writing, putting myself on the bike regardless of the clock, and stretching the muscles where the stupid lives and grows like crystals.

Someday, I will learn to stop liking lists.  And on that day, I shall die.

 

Lust-Cult

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Learning about when British women could get drinks from a pub.  The answer is currently unclear.  Probably never.  This may mean I need to rewrite something.  Not sure.  Displeased by historical accuracies.

Feeling like a beast that skulks the frozen wastes at the same time I feel like Betty Homemaker, skulking the frozen internet for Huevos Rancheros recipes that have calorie counts.  Fuck, sometimes I am over myself.  I find myself annoyed by every possible direction my brain wants to run out of this briar patch.  Language is failing me.

It is a nice impulse to cry.  To reach towards a catharsis rather than shrug it off.   There’s been such death, such dark spectres, the feeling of winter if not the weather hanging low and close to me of late.  Enough that I want to throw everything out the airlock and, not even start fresh…not even start anything until I can know for certain it won’t curdle under my attentions.

I can work my way out of this.  Might just have to get on the bike.  Those ten minutes are nothing, probably, if you’re asking for giant weight loss leaps, but they are, also, precious.  Vital and restorative. Every time I haul myself up on the seat, I am proving that I can do more than nothing.  Something more than sitting in my own despair and circular thinking.

Today – I noticed – and I only noticed because I was tracking that I ordered way less than I normally do from Panera and I felt more full than I usually do.   I also figured out that the low-fat mango smoothie I like is so goddamned sugary that it should be illegal.  At least in terms of what I’m trying to watch.  And that a clementine is often sufficient dessert for me.   They’re perfectly ripe right now, as good as any candy.  I used to hate it when people would say that, but it’s true.  All I wanted to be able to do was track and I’m doing that!

Alright.  Endorphins are bubbling up.  I’ve been amused by a few clever people on the internet.  I’ve gathered a bit of a sense of my own reckless frustration not getting me anywhere and I do, actually, want to go so somewhere.  Breathe, the Faithful Light tells me. Now that I have stopped banging pots and screaming, I can hear her clearly.  It is not horror! to have a dental appointment in a month.  It is not DEVASTATION to have to re-write this scene in one way or another – I’m smart enough to figure that one out.  It is not the deepest, most seismic desolation that will cause me to evolve.  It is the tiniest of the tiny earthquakes.  You don’t even feel the shift, but you keep shaking.

Okay.  Okay.  Enough.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll stop, but I haven’t stopped today.

….

No more rhapsody.  It was funny.  The fact the boss called me to laugh that she had figured out why the skin on her feet was so dry.  The creepy delight I am taking in a Twitter joke and some YouTube videos.  Eddie Izzard.  You laugh or you revert into the primordial muck.