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.

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.

 

Inanity

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It is so strange, the impulses we have.

Right now, I really don’t want to write today’s post here.  Not not write it at all, just not here.  I am not going share it with my Twitter, though if anyone there wanted to read it, I imagine they could figure out how to get back here.  It makes me feel really vulnerable to re-live it, but I also don’t want to let it drift into the background of my unconscious without being tagged with some words.  Maybe as I write it I will feel differently.

It was two things.  It was the guy and it was the panic.

My life is definitely spiraling in ways that are out of the bounds of any imaginable stretch of my comfort zone.  As I dealt as best I could with the work that needed to happen on the last day we are in the office for 2016, I also was conversing with the dude of yesterday’s post.  Real generally, real get to know you stuff spiked with this sort of testing the water sort of quasi-flirting business that was never uncomfortable, just, curious.  It had, like he had, a different sort of vibration than I was used to.  Someone who calls themselves weird and doesn’t have any pretense about covering it up or not being weird, but the weirdness all weirdness that I had reference for, that felt companionable to my own weirdness rather than self-protective.

So, having this pleasant conversation, I arrive as I did on Tuesday, at the bus stop and awaited my ride.  My sister called and said she was there.  On the opposite side of the whole freeway situation.  This meant the walkover bridge.  Fuuuuuuuuckaroonies.

The thought that I had done this on Tuesday had zero bearing.  The fact that I was hungry and tired and wanted to be cool and sangfroid and keep talking to this guy had no bearing.  The fact that a woman driving past saw me flipping my shit and asked me if I was okay had no bearing.  I thought what if the panic returned and it did.  It went for my throat. For 10 minutes, standing over the freeway. I was panic’s thrall.  It was…bad.

When I say it was bad, I mean…bad with zero hyperbole.   She was flipping out at me for not just going, I was flipping out because I physically could not go and I was getting screamed at for it.  It was 2 minutes of irrationality.  It was irrational, but in that moment, that premise doesn’t exist…the threat is as real, as unthinkyourselfouttable as if there was a gun to my head.  My body is telling me that I cannot physically cross the bridge in the same way that when you stand next to a skyscraper you know you can’t scale it.  It is not possible, and to try is to insist on  failure.  The symptoms were all there.

And my sister did not get it.  At all.  It was an irritation, when I asked her to drive over to my side rather than have me walk to her, and my refusal to do so was terrible to her.

She yanked on my arm and I felt my throat close up.    A pre-swoon adrenaline kick…as strong as she is, I pulled away.  I’m sure…it looked insane.

I couldn’t breathe the thought loop was supersonic at this point.  A cool gust hit me and I thought for just a moment that I wanted to go home.

Then.

I thought I could do it if I could crawl. I couldn’t crawl.  Then finally, she let me be for two seconds and I stopped thinking entirely.  Just as before, I found myself walking.  She was supposed to talk, to distract me and started counting the lights, but I fugued my whole way afraid to blink, because lights =  seizures when you lack rational perspective.  Out of the blue she stopped talking and my rubber legs screamed a HOLY HELL THIS IS IT but I had to get out of the danger I’d so recklessly put myself in by walking through the sky over a freeway and just kept walking until there was no more bridge.

And eventually, on the ground, it felt…like, oh, what a relief and it’s over.  I didn’t feel proud about it or angry about it or anything, just exhausted.  But it is wrong to say, I think, that it isn’t hard to cross that threshold and get through it.  It doesn’t just go away because of one time you handle it.  It’s nothing to do with the bridge itself, really.  It’s this trigger that goes off and being told to get over it or told to stop it or told it isn’t real….that does not work.  It does not work at all.  That’s not a great answer for the rest of my life, but that’s what I have right now.

After that, more talking with the guy, ending up possibly joining some D&D campaign.  We’ll see.

In Triplicate

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It is nice to be mouthless.  Something I could never have reckoned with as a girl who wanted Hello Kitty to be free to speak her Hello Kitty thoughts.  But it is nice not to have to tell you stories of distemper and distaste, not to have to show up and look weak, not to have to…

Sometimes I sit still and I feel as though I have got the whole nation, the whole world’s despair not only over their choice (willing or otherwise) of leader, but of every last little discomfort in their lives.  Every last thing going wrong shuffling about in your head, oh cripes, it’s here in mine. It’s not right.  It’s killing us.  It’s too much.

It’s not yours, something like the Faithful Light will remind me, you only have that slag heap over there.  That’s it.  All the rest of it is not yours.  But, I think, I see it.  I know that it exists – hungry babies, pissed-off fathers, the snow in the morning, this grinding in my skull, that any day something horrible will happen – it will, it’s unavoidable – the inevitable brokenness of every last thing. I have just been ignoring it for a while, but it’s true.  It’s true how terrible it is.

But.  I sit longer and it is also true that I have ice in the freezer which makes the water better to drink and which makes me feel full.  I have a mentor who texts me to come in later, to feel better, to get my spunk back.  I have a mind that reads spunk and still laughs.  I have a mother sleeping soundly in her bed surrounded by my father who loves her and a dog that believes she is the closest thing there is to God.  I have kind friends who multiply the thin wisps of kindness I deign to blow hither and thither.  I have a dear maniac and a dear brick of a cat.  I am not so terribly sick as I might be.

I also had my card today so I was able to buy gas and lunch.  That felt entirely luxurious.  That and despite the panic attacks, the ones that keep ramping up because I feel so down about my ability to quash them and the insurance shit and the money shit and the other shit, I was able to get home before the snow fell.   That’s good.

I did a few things today.  I did what I was asked and a sliver more.

…..

So I am going to run off and try and write a few things before this computer crumbles beneath my fingertips.  There’s always Fallen London and some DAI to chase around.  I am okay.  A few hours here and I feel better even if I’m having the neck/shoulders/teeth grinding thing which upsets everything terribly.  I am alright.  Eventually, maybe we’ll stretch our legs and try and climb up to that next rung on the ladder.  But tonight, alright’s alright, alright?

The Chocolate Abattoir

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I ought to continue with the projects I am working on, however, I feel as though I need a little time at Ye Olde Lustratio.  I need to be here in the way that I get to be here.

The boss may or may not be facing some major medical issues.  It would not surprise me if that were the case.  I…I find myself cursing this year, and cursing yet another insane blow to just..fair and orderly living.  And yet, I cannot raise my fist to the sky and let my heart be consumed as an empath perhaps might generally be inclined.   Instead, I feel worried and frustrated for everything and her health is not only a part of that, but also a cause of that and I just have to back away so that I can remain true to myself about it.  I said that I was behind her 1000% and…in that moment, yes.  But enough to spread myself another milimeter out on the carpet, to give more than I am when I’ve already decided I’m out of the solar system of these particular problems.  I don’t know yet and it feels hugely fucking callous to even contemplate blocking out worrying about someone in your life’s medical suffering – particularly in light of how wildly and total and utterly I find myself bound by my emotions when it comes to my mom’s health.

I want to think of myself as wide open.  As vulnerable and soft and open to the suffering, rather than cold-hearted.  But this is a new place for me.  I can care, but I can’t feel pain for others, I can’t burn myself hot enough to kill someone else’s cold.  I am only me.  So I hope she gets taken care of, I also hope I find another job. Trufax.

+338 words elsewhere.

 

Ignis Fatuousness

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Alright, back and away from London-town, to write to you about the fact that it does not seem to matter how I move my head and/or neck, because there’s an odd, dull pain that has come out of nowhere except for the very reasonable explanations I can find for half of it and that I am in a right fit of very calm, very relaxed panic about it.

It is just not bad enough to need to linger, and yet it has.  I woke up with its presence running through me and the worry has kept my attention focused on myself from toe to tip so that every breath and twinge and horror appears to me as a flag of something too horrendous to speak of.  And the hypochondria which has no verb form just lingers with it.  I have spent the day leaping at internal shadows. There have been verifiable moments I have also marked down in my mind that I felt okay, that I was laughing, that I had thought, okay, this is just a pain in the neck from sitting in bed and staring down at my computer and phone 12 hours a day, conservatively.    And getting old as fuck.

After this, I will be getting myself into the hot bath and soaking my neck.  I’ve been using the Hitachi Magic Wand for its intended purpose.  I have been considering what, as a downtrodden, broke-ass person is a problem that is at the level where I have to get it checked out and what…you know, given my histrionic history with health complaints can be borne and rode out until November 1st when I can enroll again and get myself on some sort of health track.  I am actually encouraged by the thought of a health track.

It is, in some measure, if not entirely, based on the stress I feel.  Work is so dysfunctional right now, and frustrating on so many levels, that I am starting to dread it.  I think it’s just working through my body.  It knows this isn’t right for me and even if I refuse to fully acknowledge how much I need to run for the hills, my body is finding ways of pulling my chain back…hard.

The remainder of my words are thrown at a job application.