A whole new animal

Sorted through the umpteen million PDFs of¬†writing opportunities I’ve got on my desktop. Good thing, too. While many are just getting catalogued – found them too late for this year, so I’m saving the info to have a head start on next year’s calls – a couple caught my eye. One call is for a 30 minute play due September 1. I can make that. I can write Night Witches and still make that. So now my schedule is sorted. First up, my radio script. Transferring it into Scrivener, a writing software designed to handle real projects: scripts – radio, theatre (US and UK), film – research papers, books. There’s so much in Scrivener I’m having a difficult time getting through the instructional information. Pretty sure I’ll pop for the full version. It’s loaded and it works on my older operating system. But I’ve gotta see what happens when I transfer in something I’ve already written. How much formatting will hold? Probably none. I won’t kid myself there. Good news is, formatting is the easiest (tho most boring) part of writing a script. So, in goes the radio script. Add a few things here and there for the next place I’m submitting to. Take a deep breath, ’cause there’s no break allowed – straight onto the 30 minute script. One month max for it while simultaneously reading the book on the Night Witches. Have time to schedule a read through with the local theatre group if anyone’s actually around during summer (other than me). Send it out, start writing Night Witches pronto. Leaving myself a couple of months to flesh in the story, call for a read through, and still have more than 30 days left to fix any problems and polish it up before I submit it.

Also just spent time thinking about my personal schedule. I’ve got this tendency to diss myself and everything I do – you might have noticed. So I counted. Counted the hours I spend exercising for my RA, the hours in language class, the hours for doctors and physio and dentist visits, and with a mere 4 hours given over to writing Monday through Friday I’m topped out at 40 hours a week. To take care of myself, and do a little bit of writing. 40 bleeding hours – full time shit. No wonder some part of me balks at volunteering time anywhere; must have already known I’m maxed out.

Rehearsals are called for next week Monday. Three hours in the evening slated to read through the entire play (all 4 skits) and talk about character development (or some such theatrical jargon that’ll make everyone feel like they’re involved and participating when it’s really the director giving instructions to actors too dense to understand their roles). Want to watch and listen with my writer’s perspective; I tend to distance myself emotionally from the situation when I fall into observation mode. I stay calmer because people become characters acting things out in front of me. They’re not mean or nasty towards me; they’re showing me a scared and callous side of themselves. Remember that! I intend on watching the girlfriend of the director closely. Big surprise she made the cut – not. At the moment, I’ve got her pegged as the biggest see-saw of the bunch: loudest mouth, most unsure about her talent (as am I; never seen her try to act), and most likely to get thrown off balance by something not connected with the production.

My head’s wagering on what’s gonna happen. This chick is the one who was disruptive during my reading. I think I’ve sussed out all the possibilities for that behavior. Now she’s got to deal with me in this production. Cold shoulder, or false best friend? How will she react? Odds are I’ll get the false best friend. Forced cheerfulness. Inclusion when possible in order to sneak in those barbs that can’t be called out because they’re too deep in entendre. Oh, yes. Been there, done that. It’s what I expect.

But I’m not the person I was thirty years ago. I’m not so easily disrupted. I’ve a few good foundations to cling to, to remind me of what’s true and what’s not. Don’t know what she expects of me. Maybe she doesn’t know either. What I do know is this: I believe I have the capability to handle whatever she throws at me and not lose my cool. Because one thing is absolutely clear to me – I don’t care if she likes me or not. I saw her real face early on, at one of our meetings, and had that analysis confirmed during my script read through. I don’t like her, and I don’t want to be her friend. She’s got nothing to hook me with, nothing to hold over me, nothing to use against me. Wanna diss me on my work, my looks, my age? Go on! Nothing I haven’t said to myself. Nothing you’re gonna say that’s any worse or harder than what my own brain comes up with to taunt me. I shall laugh. Laugh at her, laugh at her attempts to unhinge me.

No, I’m not the child I was. I’m a whole new animal.

A New Hope

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Friday morning, post script read through, and I am more ecstatic than expected. ūüėÄ My dark nightmares did not manifest themselves; I was not hemmed in, told what was wrong, or made to feel inadequate as a writer. On the contrary: I was given a rare compliment by a Dutch native on the story line.

How strange to have (relative) strangers read my work aloud! I planned and completed three read throughs, and had the pleasure of hearing people find their feet with characters and begin to bring them alive. I learned a whole lot, too. Like the fact that some people, no matter how many (PAUSES) you include or … you add to dialogue runthroughtheirlinesliketheirpantsareonfire. Found a couple of typos, and considering my computer went through a breakdown when I flipped my location to the Netherlands so¬†it no longer recognizes English as its main language and¬†I have to catch all the typos manually, that’s pretty effing good. Discovered a couple of production notes I want to add to the text to make things clearer to the actors.

But…and…the timing is good. I can stretch it by a few lines here and there. My most worrisome scene that uses more sound effects than dialogue came off well and the consensus was the audience will understand what’s going on.

Asked for and received positive responses to help me with my next script. I want a draft ready for a read through or workshop by October, leaving me two months to make changes before that deadline.

And I remembered another script¬†I want to write….

Yeah. Just a little manic today. Positive feedback does that to me. Feels odd to say that finding my feet after a positive experience is more difficult than finding my feet after a negative experience. Maybe that’s more a reflection of the type of life I’ve had rather than anything specific about me.

Nonetheless, the challenge remains. First on the list is resting. I was up after 6 hours of sleep, too hyped and excited about¬†starting the day to lay around¬†any more. Feeling it now, and with my bro already gone off to write at the library I’ve an opportunity to chill and close my eyes in front of the tv for an hour or two. Think I’ll take it. Then later, a good walk around to get some movement. A decent dinner, an early night. Tomorrow, a trip to the comic shop to say hi to the guys and see the new place. No writing before Sunday. I want last night’s experience and suggestions to simmer for 48 hours before committing them to paper.

Feeling good. A little worried that the Universe will send some disaster my way to un-balance me again.

But for now, I’ve A New Hope. *orchestral crash* Da. Da-da-da. Can¬†you hear the opening theme? I can.

Tell me

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Six plus weeks of hearing trouble, and I finally have the go-ahead to consult a specialist. Interesting examination with my doc this morning; she put a tuning fork to various places on my head and asked me where I heard the sound and how long it lasted (the best sound I’ve heard in the past six plus weeks). Hm. My spidey-sense tells me ever more strongly that I’m headed for surgery.

Saw my v.c. (very cute) physiotherapist yesterday. Haven’t referred to him that way for a while. He made it clear he was seeing someone, blah-de-blah, and I figured I’d just better get over my infatuation. But he greeted me with that smile of his, and bowed me into his office with the sweeping motion of a gallant knight of old, and my heart just went BOOM! So I’m right back to my fantasies, ignoring what’s going on because I can’t stop thinking about kissing him all over.

Tonight is the first night of auditions for the theatre group. I’m not on the schedule, but I’m going anyway to say hi to people I’ve met and surreptitiously ask a few members to help me with my own read-through. Been rehearsing, and prepping to step up and audition tonight despite being scheduled for Tuesday – because that’s the way my life generally works (prep for one thing, and another happens: in this case, if I prep for Tuesday I’ll be asked to audition tonight, but if I prep to audition tonight I’ll have to wait ’til Tuesday). Am blowing off language class this morning and tomorrow. My Friday teacher told us last week that everyone could bring their kids, because kids’ schools are off for Easter. Kids! Walking germ factories. I’m not exposing myself to that risk just before auditions and just before MY time off to write scripts. Uh-uh. Probably being overly cautious, but I’d rather that than another four to six week illness.

Back to the gym. Can’t say I look forward to it, but I’m doing it. Was appalled at how quickly my mood sank over the weekend. Gotta keep on it. A day off here and there, but no two day break anymore. Not ’til I’m over this mountain of anxiety (which, let’s face it: I may never get over).

No word from any place I’ve sent out emails to. I know my new email works; I’ve received a couple of things in my inbox. Why nothing from the important places? How long does it take to send an automatic response? Wondering how soon is too soon to send a second request.

Meh. And I got a look at my hair in bright daylight. The new color doesn’t even come close to matching my old.

Trying to not feel frumpy. That’s difficult right now. Seems every time I catch a glimpse of myself somewhere, all I see is this horrible old woman. Lines down my face, dark circles under my eyes, sagging skin, fat folds, wide hips, fading skin color…. Yet, I can look in a mirror on occasion and think I still look pretty good. I hate it; it’s like two copies of me. One, the woman I want to be; the other, the woman I’m afraid I am. Can’t honestly say which is the truthful version of me. Maybe both.

…Is my vc physiotherapist flirting with me, or is he yanking my chain? Do I have a real shot at a theatre role, or is it all a set-up with a pre-determined outcome before I even audition? Will these theatre groups even read my submitted work, or will everything I do end up in the circular file?

Somebody, please…tell me.

What have I got to lose?

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The weekend was tough. Lots of sleep, lots of not being able to breathe through my nose, lots of feeling almost better so I squirmed and got antsy in between my naps.

Doesn’t help my anxiety keeps ramping up. Immigration, no word from this place or that, tumbleweeds rolling through my email and private life – the list goes on and on. Doing my best to keep myself from freaking out. Went back to a Downton Abbey run, because I find it soothing. It’s that or films where everyone dies, and I’m trying to keep positive, so Downton Abbey it is. It helps, a little. Gets me through long afternoons when I got nothin’ to do. Talked with my brother; he’s assured me that no matter what happens the world won’t end. I’m not so sure about that, but I guess he’s right that there’s no bleeding reason to worry about it. If it happens, it happens. Expending energy and thought on future horrors doesn’t do me any good. I can’t solve anything. Can’t do anything to change it. I’m just caught up in the machinery, hooked on a cog that’s spinning around, so I spin with it.

I hate waiting.

Saturday found me just too ill and too bummed to get the script out to anybody. Every time I looked at my list I lost my confidence. No one cares, no one will do it, no one will bother. Very negative (thus, the Downton Abbey). By Sunday my mind hand’t changed much, but I felt a little stronger and was able to work through it. Pick a place from my list, prep it, send it out. Hit that damn button, woman. SEND. The new theatre had an automated response to my email, saying they received the script. Hey! That’s one up from the rest; at least I know my new email works because the message came through.

Was gonna pull back on my smoking today and head out for needed blood tests. Then I saw 45’s face, no messages from my friends, and my will kind of petered out. Just don’t know why I should keep trying some days. Seems like nothing I do makes a difference. So I lit up one, which has led to another, and now I’m just bleeding smoking. Fuck it. Tell me again how my activity is so horrible when we’ve blown up 2000 atomic bombs on this planet. Tell me again how the plastic in our food, the additives, the chemicals in our air and water don’t matter, but it’s my smoking that will kill me.

Fucking liars.

Woke up hating my sister. I always figure I’ve dreamt about her when I wake up like that. Some nightmare, or just a revival of some memory that really was a nightmare for me. Takes a lot of daylight to conquer those nighttime horrors. To let go of the desire to skin her alive. My mind is not inventive with torture ideas, but it is very cruel. I want her to hurt. I want her alive so she can continue to feel pain. It is the basest, cruelest part of me screaming out – and it is also the part of me that is in the most pain. I recognize that. So I did a little chorus of ‘Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead’ – the song I plan to sing when I receive news that my sister¬†is, finally, dead – and pretended she’d already bit the dust. Had a little spark of pure joy at the thought. I know that’s very horrible of me. My own judgement condemns me: I am bad for feeling that way. But if I am to make sense of things, if I am to overcome this base ugliness that sits so constantly in the pit of my stomach, I must confess to all. A part of me looked forward to my mother’s death. Felt very guilty over that for a long, long time. Likewise, a part of me looks forward to my sister’s death. In this, I feel no guilt. She has always been guilty, always been horrible, always been the worst of everything a human being can be. I understand – at least a little bit – that her reaction stems from the same place mine does: my mother’s narcissism. Once in a while I get flashes of understanding from my sister’s viewpoint. I see things through her eyes: the favoritism our mother exhibited, the verbal bashing. I wonder if my sister suffered the kind of neglect and abuse I went through. My mind tells me it’s probable. More than probable. And I begin to see how she may have fixated on me as someone to hate, someone to be jealous of, someone to continually rip down, use and abuse, as a reaction to her own pain. I see all of that in her, because I see all of it in me.

Understanding does not bring forgiveness, though. I’ve never seen her try to change. Perhaps that’s sad; in fact, I feel it so, at this moment. She’ll never get it. She can’t; it’s beyond her way of thinking. At best, I pity her. At worst, I want her suffering. I suppose that’s a step up from only wanting her dead or in pain.

Not a very big step up, though.

Been sketching out scenes for new scripts. Forget actual writing; I can’t call it that. I won’t allow myself to fall into that trance. Too much to do. But I’m allowing little bits to come out, scene roughs. I figure if I do what I did last time, I can take all my little bits and mush them into something when I get another break. Not sure what’s going to take shape yet. I’m not restricting myself. Last time, I wrote specifically for the local group – small cast, small budget, small scenes. I’ve taken those blinders off. Not worrying about HOW something might be done. Here it is; you figure it out.

After all, what have I got to lose?

Something

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS CRUDE LANGUAGE AND RACIST SLURS TO MAKE A POINT.

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Finally sick with that cold everyone was trying to give me. Thanks for passing it on, people. Really. Thanks for sneezing on me, pushing your dirty tissues my way, coughing in my direction, passing¬†me things after you’ve sneezed into your hand – oh, you’ve done a thorough job. Well done.

Can’t seem to say much these days. My brother keeps watching the fucking news, and I keep getting angry, then he gets angry at me for being angry at the fucking news. Oh, gee, sorry. Didn’t know I was supposed to sit by and let Hitler point two take control without a word passing my lips. I mean…history has pretty much condemned the average German citizen during Hitler’s reign. They¬†sat by and did nothing while this happened. Deja vu, anyone? How can something like that be uttered, yet right now the people protesting 45 are being called losers, babies, and told to shut up, get with the system, stop griping. They’re protesting, maybe like the Germans should have done when Hitler rose to power. Oh, but you’ll stop them, won’t you. You’ll make it illegal to say anything against the system. You’ll lock people up for stating the facts, while you spread your “alternate facts”. You’ll squeeze out the free press, make taking to the streets unlawful. It’s happening right now, as I write.

This blog will become illegal soon.

Christ, and last night I just HAD to see a goddamn news bit from good old Wisconsin. The sleepiest state full of bigots you never remember. Oh, they’re all for 45 over there. Good old man. Even people with wombs think he’s wonderful. But that’s people from Wisconsin for you. If you didn’t know, Wisconsin is the SERIAL KILLER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. That’s where you get the weirdos who eat their victims, or make furniture out of them, or shit like that. And they voted for 45. They support 45. Get the wops and the chinks and the niggers out, that’s what they say. Women should be barefoot, pregnant, and chained to the stove. I should know; I ran from that state as fast as I fucking could.

No wonder I don’t like to admit where I’m from. Usually I just say ‘earth’.

Had to try to explain to a bunch of people yesterday – in Dutch – how American doctors will let you die right outside a hospital if you don’t have insurance. It was so far from what they consider to be sane that they didn’t quite believe me. And I’m pretty sure they thought I was exaggerating the costs, too. I wasn’t. In fact, I was quoting them the costs from thirty years ago. At the time, a visit to a regular old doctor cost me 80 bucks. Even if I didn’t have insurance here, that’s 2.5 times higher – 250% if you want it to look real big – over what I’d have to fork out right now to see a doctor.

And the health care here is so much better.

…Onto things other than what the news stirs up in me.

Went shopping yesterday. I know, I know! Me, shopping. Mark it down; it’s rarer than a Blue Moon. My bro found a small strip mall nearby, so we metro’d over. Sales, sales, sales – which was great, because my winter coat has died. One of the snaps broke, and it’s the kind that’s sewn into the lining, so now I’ve a big hole in my coat as I walk around. Or I did have; I’m now the owner of two new smart jackets, one for cold weather and one for spring weather. Hit a mega-mega sale at one of the stores; retail would have been ‚ā¨160, I spent ‚ā¨75. Yippee! Looking forward to being able to wear them out, show them off. It feels like a long time since I bought something new for myself.

My dizziness is better. Long story short: I’m getting old. There are small bits in your inner ear that can become dislodged, float around, and make you feel dizzy when you get older. That’s the entire reason for it: you’re old. Gods. Like I needed to fucking hear that. Anyway, the remedy is pretty simple; you’ve got to tilt your body back and forth a few times to get those bits to re-set into their spots. Kind of like bumping an old pinball machine (there’s a reference that proves why those little bits are moving around: old, old, old).

I’ll need to prep up the script again, find another theater. This is week two. Haven’t heard back from the other theater yet, tho that’s not surprising. I find it cute that non-writers always seem to think people get back to you within a few weeks of sending them your material. HA! A few months would be more like it, and that’s only if they’re on top of things. Keep telling myself it’s just an exercise in positivity. I don’t really expect anything to come of it, but sending it out is an affirmation to me that I believe in myself. Plus, it gives me something else to look for in my inbox besides the long awaited email from the director who promised me last year to read it. That whole scenario has me all over the place. I’m worried I won’t hear from the theater group at all, that they’ve decided they don’t like me, so they’ll just conveniently lose my email and not notify me of their meetings, auditions, or whatever. Do I send out a message, asking? Most people would, I suppose. Most people would ask ‘hey, you said you were gonna read that thing months ago, did you ever get around to it?’ but I’m too afraid. Too afraid of that cold brush off that I’ve been getting.

But there’s only so much I can take before I say something.

Something.

 

Dizzy

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How have you been?

I answer in the physical: my rheumatoid arthritis answer. Not too much pain, but far too much hair loss. I’m back in the gym. At the pool. Getting stronger.

Are you still going to Addiction Central?

Realization floods over me. Oh! She’s asking about my mental state, not my physical state. I shift gears. No, I say, but I mention my advancements: more exercise, writing. I fib over the amount I smoke. The lie doesn’t sit well with me, but I’ve learned a thing or two. While coffeeshops abound and most turn a blind eye to toking a J publicly, the medical personnel here are sharply divided on their opinion of marijuana use. I know which side of the fence my doctor sits on. I want her to leave the question alone. I’m fine; let’s not talk about it. Let’s not talk about the crying times, the times I can’t sleep, the manic writing sprees. Let’s not bring up my questions over my self worth, the state of the world, mortality and morality.

That’s just my normal.

It’s the way my head works when my eyes are open. Want me to get fuzzy, forget about all that? Sure, we can do that, too. I thought that was called avoidance.

Lately, I’ve been dealing. Crying times are short and easily stopped. Sleep isn’t too much a problem. Writing sprees I revel in, and the rest of it…well, if you don’t ponder those things, I pity you. You must live a small life.

My confidence is getting blasted left and right these days. The jelly roll around my middle disgusts me, and the knowledge that I’ve got to carry around an extra fanny pack that isn’t detachable except through a lot of hard work at the gym makes me just feel tired to the bone. Some days I feel pretty good with Dutch, others a complete moron – the yo-yoing of that mindset isn’t helping. And yesterday I received a velvet-footed kick in the stomach in the form of J’s synopsis of my work. It was a huge compliment; one I was not ready for, one I’m not sure I live up to.

I’ve never been good with compliments.

I said none of that to my doctor. Not a whisper, not a hint passed my lips. She spoke slowly in Dutch, and looked in my eyes and ears. She took my blood pressure sitting down, then standing up. She stood behind me, took my head in her hands, and moved my neck around. Prognosis: low blood pressure, take the pills down from two twice a day to one twice a day. I’ve also got a go-ahead for the physiotherapist to being manipulating my neck. Oh, he’s gonna love that. My hips are uber flexible compared to my neck.

Today was the pool, and for once I got my wish: everybody stayed out my way. I swam unimpeded in my lane. My body feels it, too. Dead heavy with tiredness.

A few more hours on the script, adding in my notes and correcting a few typos. I hesitate to open it. Yesterday I ‘opened it just to take a look at my work’. Four hours later, I had to turn the lights on in the room. Talk about falling down the rabbit hole! Yet as it’s wrapping up, and I do feel it wrapping up, I realize once again that it’s all just been one big exercise. Oh, maybe someone somewhere will do it, but it’s not all that. … Is it? No. Getting a workshop would still be optimal: walk it through, see how it looks, how it feels, what’s right, what needs work.

And the director got back to me to tell me he didn’t read it yet. Another excuse why he hasn’t got to it. I’m beginning to think he won’t read it at all. That it will be this, then that, then another thing. It will get put off, promised, delayed, promised again, and eventually, perhaps, I’ll just stop asking about it. Is that small and mean of me to think that? A negative reaction from all the crap I had growing up?

Or is that just seeing things as they are, or as they might be? Is that my intuition telling me something?

Mm. I’m trying to enter a closed system. No matter how much the theatre group claims to be open to new people, they are closed in the sense that they all have a long history with each other that new people are not included in. Was it even appropriate of me to ask the director to read my work? I don’t know. Once in awhile, they burst into Dutch. Sometimes it’s to tell the lighting guys at the venue what they need. Other times, it’s just something they need to say to each other in their native language. But since I’m not fluent, it’s another barrier. I don’t catch it all. I try. I listen. I watch. I pay attention. But I am outside that circle. And for all I know, I’ve committed more than one¬†faux pas socially.

Or maybe I’m just paranoid.

So I must be patient: my own personal Waterloo. Wait. See what happens. Other people have lives….

Paradox. Time moves incredibly slowly with some things. It’s like some ideas get caught in molasses. They drag through time, taking far longer than anticipated. Other things fly through time. In the blink of an eye, there it is. Think fast, and deal with the consequences.

No wonder I’ve been feeling dizzy.

Mother Tornado

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While it is common for plays to tackle the facade of a happy family, I think a lot of them try too hard. What I liked about “Breaking Bread” was how digestible it was. It’s easy to understand while you’re reading/watching it, but after the play is done, it still leaves you with questions and has you probing the deeper layers. Like the daughter who’s acting as a surrogate for her director. It might seem like a sudden plot twist, but after you understand the character, it makes perfect sense. And who among us doesn’t have a family member (ourselves included) who has been in situations just as unusual? This family is a lot like other families, and that’s what gives the play its agency: we can easily see ourselves in one of the roles, and it makes us re-examine our relationships with our family members and friends.

…There’s a time and place for popcorn movies and pop music sugar, but if you can produce something that makes you think about what it means after it’s all said and done, that’s a true artist.

That’s my friend, J, talking about my script. He called me a true artist. Can’t tell you how simultaneously proud and humble that makes me feel. It made him think! Oh, and I didn’t want to say it, didn’t want to even mention Lillian Hellman while writing, even though she was in my mind the entire time. Long ago (and far away), I did a stage piece by Hellman. My teacher at the time told me Hellman’s¬†work was subtle; you had to listen to what she didn’t say as much as what she did say. I thought a lot about that, and included very subtle clues throughout the script to indicate that certain family members knew others’ secrets. It’s VERY subtle, and if you didn’t know what to look for, you might miss it. Maybe J caught it, maybe he didn’t – but it obviously added enough to the story and characters to make him ponder the piece AND his own family.

I feel the only thing I could ask for right now is that the play get produced so more people can see it.

…Gym talk. The cross trainer and I got reacquainted yesterday. I guess once you’re no longer a virgin it just doesn’t hurt as much – did a solid 10 minutes, no spaghetti legs, not too bad today. Then it was the stationary bike for 40 minutes, the treadmill for 30 minutes, and free weights for a round of arm lifts. The staff is getting to know me. I suppose someone who hangs at the gym for 2 hours at a time stands out after a while. I’m there on the machines, watch people come in, do a bit, and walk out – and I’m still on the same exercise. Really need new music for my iPod; 2 hours at a stretch just eats up tunes. But, oh! I like to sweat.

Today is comic book store day. Perfect. While I’d like to sit around toking and playing games, I do need to get down and say hi to the guys. A bit of bakery and they all think of me as a second mom older sister, so I’ve got obligations now. Gotta keep in touch. And since I didn’t make it down a few weeks ago due to ice, it’s been a while. I’ll take my script. One more place to whip it out and say ‘I finished it! I’m so proud!’. I did that yesterday during our language class break. Mentioned it to another student, with whom I’ve developed a little acquaintance-ship. Unfortunately, Mother Tornado was in the room. Mother Tornado is another student, a very religious student, whom, I feel, is very judgmental of me since I told her that I don’t believe in her God (which, naturally, elicited a few long monologues about Jesus, Hell, and where I fit into things). So when I said ‘I’m so proud’, Mother Tornado’s face darkened. She refrained from saying anything (wow; must have taken a lot of Hail Mary’s to do that) but her disdain over my feelings washed over me, nonetheless. I already heard in one of those monologues how pride is the devil’s emotion. And honestly, for a split second, I sat in the place of Mother Tornado and saw myself through her eyes. Her eyes are judgmental and very wrong, but I saw myself that way for just a split second…and didn’t like it. I saw a boaster. A would-be ego stroker. Someone who wanted to toot her own horn. While all those things are true, to a point, they’re also false. So I found my mouth jabbering on, saying this was my very first attempt at writing a script and just finishing it is a big deal for me – justifications and explanations, not for the person I was actually talking to, but for a person I really don’t like and whose opinion I shouldn’t care about. Ouch. There’s that people pleaser in me. Yet perhaps those explanations are necessary, even when I don’t think they are. Perhaps others see me as Mother Tornado does, and they’re just better at hiding it.

Gah! One hand, I’ve got a lot of psycho-babble that tells me it’s healthy and proper to have pride over one’s accomplishments. On the other, I’ve got the memory of narcissism, up close and personal, and it’s scarred me. Any hint, a mere whiff of that type of behavior and I retreat – I hated it growing up, and refuse to continue spreading that contagion. So I explain. I justify. I say over and over that yes, I’m proud but I am also equally humble. Humble that I finished it, humble that it doesn’t seem to be a bunch of trash, humble that maybe, just maybe, someone else likes it.

Mother Tornado doesn’t hear or care about those explanations and justifications, though. She just glowers at me from her side of the room.

Sounds like another play to me: Mother Tornado.