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"They" (whoever they may be) say a change is as good as a holiday. With that in mind I marched myself into the hairdresser's chair and said "Go for it!" "It" turned out to be very funny red and blonde and brown hair sticking out from my head. It is so unnatural and different that it brightened my entire mood. I love washing my hair and it being so little to wash. I love drying it so it sticks straight out like it used to when I was little and I woke up early on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons.
I remember being able to sit all self contained and tucked up inside my nightshirt. That's how I would sit watching early morning cartoons on the weekends. While schoolhouse rock played on the TV I would sit on my bum, with my shirt pulled over my bent knees. I would then tuck my arms also inside my shirt, fold the sleeves in, and imagine myself as an armless and legless girl. It made it tough to eat my toast, but it was warm that way. I was my own little biosphere, all curled up tiny and warm in my shirt.
I feel on edge, a jagged edge. Unable to contain myself. I am blurring at the edges and the entire outside world is intruding inward into my own private me space. Lights are too bright, voices too loud, singing to brassy… I need quiet. I want it all to stop. I don't want to talk about this. I want to just retreat into a gray fuzzy place, where I don't have to see anything or hear anything. I don't want to smell, touch or taste anything either. I want an isolation chamber. I want, actually I NEED, nothing right now.
Mardi Gras! Go wild! Indulge! Over indulge! (Even if you are not even close to being catholic!) Wear plastic beads and jangle them loudly so people know you have beads! Drink too much! (Oooh! What naughty thing did you do for your cheap beads?) Talk loudly about how you are indulging yourself today, because Lent starts tomorrow. We all know you aren't serious about giving anything up. After all, what's the fun in that? Mardi Gras is FUN! Everyone wants to do Mardi Gras! All the cool people shout "Throw me something mister!" Only religious kooks do Lent as well.
Oh, for the love of all things holy please stop with the small talk. Yes, it's raining. I know, we both just walked in the building at the same time. I did take note of it at the time. Really, we don't know each other. It's enough just to smile politely as we share the elevator. I don't want to discuss the weather, or the fact that they've changed the perennials planted outside the lobby. Please just stop, you are obligating me to an interchange I have no interest in and it makes me feel like a mean little bitch.
As I already confessed I'm generally mean and unpleasant, let me just add to the general ire against me. Today, as HD hobbled down the hall on his crutches (yes, the HD from last month, who parks as close as possible to the elevators to avoid walking), I wondered how he'd injured his knee. He's not exactly "athletic." Which is silly, as I know I sometimes wake with a general pain here or there. Still, I couldn't get the thought of him lying on the couch with a bucket of fried chicken balanced on his belly out of my mind.
What I wanted to tell you is this: sometimes, just sometimes, you really just can't tell. For example, how would I have ever known that there was a place here that has reasonable sushi? Who would have thought it in this white bread suburb? Not only that, the icehouse we went to afterwards had nice cold bass (on draft) along with the usual tasteless American selection. To top it all off… The band? The one with the questionable name? The one with the name that implied country tunes? Rocked. Totally, and absolutely rocked the Texas blues. You just never know.
I live completely disconnected from my body most of the time. Wait, give me a moment and I'll try to explain what I mean. I don't mean that I exist in perpetual out of body existence. What I'm trying to explain is that I'm generally unaware of how my body is reacting instinctually to the goings on of the world. It wasn't until tonight, when I got the first tickle of a headache that I realized that my entire right side was completely tensed and had probably been so for hours. There were nail marks in my palm from clenching.
I say that sometimes color chooses you. Yes, yes, I know… our house looks like the inside of a box of lollies. I say, once you go with one bright color, you really can't back down. Nor is there any hope of "tying it all together" with magnolia white. So, when I saw the gallon of neon apple green and crayola orange-red I knew what color to pain our study and our family room. No, I'm not concerned about resale value. I know that in this world I'm not the only one that prefers happy bright colors in my life.
It is amazing what a couple beautiful days of sun can do for one's outlook and mood. Suddenly, I am now craving fresh fruit, tomato on toast and iced tea. I expect the smell of fresh cut grass every time I step out of my door. The sound of the croaking crickets singing at night is the comforting song of the coming summer. Sleeping with the windows open is a secret joy. These are the days that you rediscover the warmth outside and before you get cranky about the incessant summer heat. Everything feels new and fresh and completely possible.
This is how bad it has gotten: going to retrieve water from the break room requires a "strategy." I poke my head over the top of my cubicle, like a little prairie dog and try to make a judgment call on the chances of anyone entering the walkway on my quick dash to get water. Then I make a run for it. It's not that I'm anti-social, well, that is part of it… It's that I am getting really bad on the small talk stuff. The thought of the eye contact and follow up "how ya doin?" makes me squirmy.
I make up little games all day long. That's how I make some of this palatable. Although the "games" are stupid, they are elaborate. Today, before lunch, I made a word problem. Like the kind you used to dread on the weekly "pop quiz" your math teacher gave every Friday. Today's problem: If a girl traveling home for lunch drives exactly 38 mph on the way home, and 42 mph on the way back how long will her trip be? And, where along the road home would the two trajectories meet if she could be doing both trips at once?
Can you believe I took the whole day off to just do errands? Mind you, they were important errands. They were dog errands. Which some people would argue as unworthy of a day off. What ever. I spent all day yesterday driving from one end of Houston to another picking up hapless beagles and ferrying them to their new temporary homes. I also looked a couple that I can't quite yet help, but that will keep me up the next couple of nights worrying and worrying and worrying about how to get them out of their life and death predicament.
Sex is everywhere. No, I'm not going to talk about boring things like how "sex sells!" or any of those other tired late-night-talk-back radio topics. I don't want to discuss the "politics" of sex. I don't want to talk teen pregnancy statistics. I'm talking about real, raw sex. I'm talking about tree sex. That's right you heard me. Tree sex. The trees are bursting everywhere with their sex. Flowers are blooming haphazardly. Raw tender buds are appearing. And there are clouds and clouds of billowing yellow pollen everywhere. It is collecting in drifts on the road, like a sex snowstorm.
The fact that time is so relative sometimes really makes me anxious and nervous inside. Why does ten minutes in an unpleasant situation seem like three hours? While three hours in a great situation seems like only three seconds? Sure, sure, I'm not unique in observing this phenomenon… I'm just saying is all. And, then, do you wonder about all those millions of countless moments that you live through that don't even register as a memory in your mind? Doesn't it absolutely terrify you that all those millions of moments are forever lost to you? What a waste of time!
Perhaps it is the fact that I spent most of the day alone. I was painting the "den" crayola red. You know, the one that I had previously painted a shade of yellow reminiscent to the color of a stickie note. It just wasn't working at all. Not with the kitchen the way it is. So, I was painting the room red…literally. Which was almost meditative. I was just painting. And, I was really liking it. And, I thought of you. And how much you would really like that fact that I was painting my room the brightest of reds.
Should I write something trite about the luck of the Irish? (Though if you ask me, the Irish have not been that lucky at all. I mean think about it. Famine. Oppression. Terrorism. Religious wars. Not exactly "lucky").
Anyways, I was saying, should I write about the luck of the Irish? I should just say it is a coincidence that that poor dog would be rescued on today of all days. Especially as she's had such a sad history of being rejected and returned when all she wants is love and companionship. Come to think of it, not exactly lucky.
You know how I feel about such things? (Things like that, or having children, or retirement plans, or even buying a house before I bought mine.) I feel like they are a huge big clot of tangled up something that I can't understand or even begin to describe in any intelligent way. The thought of untangling and and understanding what is happening in the midst of all that unkown and tangle is almost more than I can bear. I would rather avert my eyes and pretend that I don't ever think about it until I'm absolutely forced to do it.
On the way to the break room and back my creative writing voice told me that I should have been more free in exploring my writing voice and should have used the word "desiccated" instead of "arid." Desiccated being more accurate for the anti-thesis of juicy. Which was what I was trying to accomplish in my previous statement. Desiccated, as in coconut. Which made me remember that you hate coconut. Then I wondered if you would make the same association and if you would then be offended. Or, at the very least icked out. Which would ruin the entire flow.
I find myself comparing the relative value of mattresses. That's how I know I'm old. I see teens that I knew as babies. That's how I know I'm old. I find myself startled by how young some young drivers look. That's how I know I'm old. I see college kids at a restaurant and I swear they look twelve years old. I remember how grown up I felt when I was at college. That's how I know I'm old. I see kids on tv, fighting in a war and wonder how this world got so crazy. That's how I know.
I'm not convinced that it is an inflated sense of self-worth, not exactly anyways. Though, when you get right down to it… that is exactly what it is. I have this problem. Well, ok, not a problem. I have this method of perceiving reality in which I feel responsible for things that I really don't have control over. For example, if I last "touched" it (touched being somewhat figurative) then I feel stewardship and responsibility for it. So, every project becomes "mine." Not mine entirely, but mine in that I feel responsible for its success and blame for its failure.
Do you ever play that futile game with yourself where you try to convince yourself that if you count to ten things will become somewhat more bearable? So, with a deep breath you count. And, when ten isn't enough, you count to ten again (which means you've actually counted to twenty, if you are keeping count). Regardless, sometimes this only serves to make you even more frustrated? Do you? I do? I count a lot. Sometimes it helps, but a lot of the time it does nothing to assuage the building feeling of complete annoyance and panic about the situation.
Sometimes I feel such a keen sense of loss and sadness deep down in my gut that I wonder that I've ever felt happiness. Most of the time this feeling is unspecified and not directly related to any one thing or situation. I literally ache on the inside for a succession of moments lost, connections muddled, and even a sense of loss for things I will never be able to experience or accomplish. I don't weep in my pillow about it. In fact, I feel it almost as a beautiful thing. To be reminded of how small my existence is.
I have nothing to say about this thing, nothing to say about this conflict, this war, this killing. It's not that I have no opinion, it's that this thing is other than my life. It is outside my scope. It is not within my context. It is completely other. Unreal. Conflict sucks. We have our own wars every single day of our existence. It tires me to think of it on such a grand scale. It tires me to know that despite our feeble rabble rousing life is just life. We are miniscule compared to the expanse of the universe.
I don't want to. I can't. I can not. Can. Not. I'm not able to. I'm Unable. I Disable. I'm disabled. I'm handicapped, I am incomplete. Not able. Unable to. Perhaps I just won't. Because I don't want to. I don't. Want to. Because I'm unavailable for that. Because I can't. Because I don't want that to be for me. Because I want that to be for me. Because I just won't. Or maybe I just don't want that. I will not. Will. Not. I won't. Please go now. Away Please go. Now. I want to be alone. I want.
It is hard for me to imagine a worse fate than that of a doctor or nurse who knows that he/she is ill. I'm not talking about sneezy, watery eyes, aching throat ill. I'm talking about let's make sure the will is signed ill. It would be like knowing your future and being powerless to change it. To know that your body will deteriorate in such a way, to continually be looking for signs of the next small battle lost by your body, and to have an approximate timeline in your head for the milestones along the way to total defeat.
Our lady of habitual inconsistency (a diatribe of me)
I want to forget those things that only cloud my purpose.
I want to remember those things that keep me warm at night.
I want to know how some people can callously throw aside those creatures that have loved them faithfully for years.
I want to be able to throw aside that which I've outgrown.
I want to understand the underlying principles of the financial markets so I can do my work without assistance.
I want to know not a fig about the mundane things like business and finances and politics.
I want to not have such a hard time asking for help.
I want to never have to ask for help.
I want to be able to share the responsibility instead of taking it all for myself.
I want to not have to depend on anyone else, ever.
I want a chip upgrade directly to my brain...there's such a lack of space on the harddrive.
I want to have less room in my head that needs to be filled.
I want more hours in my day.
I want less time.
I want everything to slow down so I can think.
I want everything to speed up so I can get to the good bits.
I want to squeeze all I can out of every moment.
I want only the cliff notes version of my day.
I want to go back and relive some moments.
I want to never regret anything.
I want a life rich with meaning.
I want a life filled with only the barest of iconic symbols.
I want bacchanalia.
I want asceticism.
I want to do it all myself.
I want someone else to do it for me.
I want to never be tied down with love.
I want to be loved with a fierce and endless passion.
I want to not be bothered by details nor by another's passion.
I want to keep track of all details.
I want to drink wine and forget.
I want to never forget.
I want to be sentimental and nostalgic.
I want to look only forward and never back.
I want to rise up with purpose.
I want to sit in quiet repose.
I want to tell all things.
I want to hold all things to myself.
I want to see you again.
I want to never be seen again.
I want to feel the butterfly of your kisses down the back of my neck and across my shoulder.
I want to survey the hollow of your neck with my mouth. I want to trace the lines of your body with my hands. I want you.
I want to be remembered fondly by you.
I want to be forgotten soundly by you.
I don't want.
I want to trace the lines of your palm with my lips and tell their grand fortune.
I want to feel your breath on my skin.
I want to be quiet with you.
The Tip Jar