Feels like a Monday

Meetings, paperwork, questions, look it up, more paperwork, more meetings. Ugh. Pulling together the new application for residency. Horrid shit. Hate having to fill in the blanks myself. Hard to believe anyone with “knowledge” of this process charges thousands to do just that, but they do, which is why I’m dragging myself through it. Gods. Nothing like sweating every little stroke of the pen to make you fuck up. I could write those answers out a thousand times on a blank sheet of paper. Doesn’t matter. When it comes to committing my answers to THE FORM, I freeze and make mistakes.

Strained my knee at the gym earlier in the week. Nothing bad, but had to take some days off. I’ve had knee problems, and I don’t want them again.

Watching tv. Reading ‘Perelandra’ from CS Lewis (again). Doing my best (per my bro’s request) to stay calm. Not working well, obviously. Here’s another five a.m. I’m seeing.

I’m tired and I’d like a break. No time! Next week begins my language lessons. Have I tried to wrap my tongue around Dutch lately? Hell, no! Have I run thru my lines for the upcoming production? Hell, no! Feel kinda bad about that, but only kinda. I did have my shit down cold before the break. And language…well, that’s a constant struggle. But hey; I deserve a holiday, too. Maybe I can’t go anywhere or do anything, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve simple time OFF. Time to fuck off and do my own thing.

Kept the words of my excellent rejection in mind over the past few days. I’m a good writer. Keep telling myself that; it’s difficult to cut through years of feeling like and being told I’m a loser and actually grasp that truth. Of course, even my best intentioned thoughts are tinged with negativity: being a good writer is no guarantee of success. And I noticed certain family members who insist on commenting on everything bleeding thing I do (generally using subtle to not so subtle put downs in the process) have managed to stay quiet about the feedback I got on my script. Oh, got nothing to say now that someone has something NICE to say about me and my work? Well, no worries. It IS still a rejection, after all. You remain top dog in your own pathetic little world.

Gods, I hate my family. I mean really, really dislike them. A LOT.

Have not committed myself to anything just yet. I’ve more stories floating in my brain. Stories that pop up in the middle of watching tv, or on a walk. Letting it all be right now. My last script taught me that I can write off a strong outline no matter what occurs in my own life, and I trust myself enough now to back off a bit. Let those ideas rest. I’ll start to commit to paper in a few weeks. Ideas, sketches, characters. There are two strong contenders for my next project. Which one is chosen will probably depend on how full the outlines become. I suppose I should check on submissions calls; what people want, how limited the cast sizes are, etc. But I’m feeling like I just want to write. I’ve got a handle on most limitations, and it’s never a bad idea to just have stuff ready to send out.

…Checked out a couple of ‘playwright’ web pages. People who claim to be professional playwrights (don’t know and can’t say for sure, because I never heard of their works). Found one woman with 25 scripts to her name. I was impressed – until a deeper look revealed five of those scripts to be 10 minute affairs. Really? Isn’t that like a jingle writer claiming to be a song writer? Maybe I shouldn’t be such a bitch about it. Just take a look at one of these so-called 10 minute scripts. Not sure what kind of a “story” can be told in that short of time. …And then there was the rest of the so-called 25 scripts. Included a lot of shorts. A lot a lot. Very few full length pieces. By the end, I wasn’t impressed with her “credentials”. Though, DAMN! She listed a lot of awards.

Does humanity really suffer from ADHD? Seems so. Anything more than 500 words on a blog post is just asking to be ignored. Tweets have become the norm for communication – even from the American presidency. Ten minute plays, flash fiction – short, short, short! Is the illiteracy rate really so high? Seems so.

And you know…it doesn’t matter if I’m in the right on this issue. Doesn’t matter one bit. I’m the odd one out: a person who reads. There’s an old saying that a seeing man would be king in a world of the blind, but I don’t believe that’s true. I think that seeing man would be shunned, belittled, cajoled and ridiculed into going along with the mob. Because that’s the true nature of humanity: mob rule. Think differently and risk everything. Oh, maybe in ten or twenty or a hundred or so years the rest of humanity will catch up with you and then they’ll say ‘oh, gee, that person was such a genius!’ but I HATE the Van Gogh effect of dissing and ignoring artists and thinkers until long after they’re gone and then holding up their work, proclaiming it’s wonderful, and isn’t it a shame we didn’t give this person props when he/she was alive.

I mean really….fuck off! I hate this so much that if I actually get enough money together to bother with a damned will, I’ll write in a clause to reject ANY award given to my work post-mortem.

…Why, oh why, does it feel like a Monday?

A Nod to Vanity

Forgot for a few days to check with the theatre group about all those pictures. Signed in and found the above, set as THE advertisement for the play.

Yes, that’s me on the left.

After all my moaning and thinking I wouldn’t even MAKE the promotional picture, here it is. Just me and my acting partner (there’s 8 of us in the cast). Can’t help but feel it’s a nod from the group, here’s the people you really want to come and see. Popped a note off to the director’s girlfriend, who did the poster, and thanked her for all her work. Yeah, she’s got PhotoShop and yeah, it’s a simple posterization of the original photo with a few words thrown over the whole thing. Nonetheless, I know what it’s like to work on the behind the scenes – often a thankless job. So I thanked her, and told her I was really jazzed and honored.

So far, no reply.

I’ve thought about using the pic as the desktop for my computer. I probably won’t; that’s more than a nod to vanity, that’s an outright leg-spread.

Can I say, though, that I’m more than pleased to see this picture of myself and say I DON’T view myself as fat? Maybe I’m not a stick, but I’m not a balloon, either. Photographic proof. I have this bad habit of hanging my sister’s body off my head in my mind – obese. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been around many full-length mirrors. Maybe it’s because my mother treated me as a mini version of my sister: matching clothes, hair, and even (reputedly) naming me after her.

But I’m NOT my sister. Nor my mother. That’s a unique person in that picture. Truly unique.

One other thing. I usually don’t pull my hair back from my face like that. Since I was 15, my bangs generally hang low over my face, half obscuring it. It makes me feel safe. Hidden. But I like the way I look with my hair pulled back. It’s open, inviting. Friendly. To me, that looks like someone you could walk up to and begin a conversation. Ask for directions. Comment on the weather while waiting for the metro.

Am I finally seeing myself the way other people see me?

Got to the gym for exercise. Feel much better for doing it. Blew all the calories I burned by buying and eating several fancy little cakes. I know! I know. Counter-productive. And it’s an old coping mechanism. But I have to admit, the past few days with the memory of feeling good, performing well, and now the picture…It’s brought up a few things for me. More than a few things. In fact, it’s brought me right back to my formative years. That frightened and angry kid. Frightened because I half believed my mother, and thought maybe I wasn’t good enough. Angry because I knew it wasn’t right. You don’t do that to someone you care about. So I turned to that old comfort: sugary treats. I’m not proud of it. But I can admit the truth.

And the pic threw me. Got too excited after seeing it. Too wound up. Set my head off on that manic streak again. I allowed it, again. In fact, I vow to do it completely different from the manner I was brought up. Acting wasn’t something that taxed you, and if you took time off after performing you were lazy and weak. That’s not true, of course. And it drove me to many unnecessary illnesses while growing up. Now, it’s an automatic down for several days. It’s an automatic assumption I’ve caught something and need to fill up on vitamins, juice, and hearty food. And the manic thoughts…let them come. They vanish, eventually. Fade back into the half-dreams I console myself with as I fall asleep. But they are not wrong, and I am not wrong for having them. Nor am I wrong for being so wound up after performing that I can’t sleep. Many performers go through that.

I feel bad for my parents, on some levels. They were small, provincial. Their worlds were tiny. My understanding of that brings compassion: they didn’t know any better. I recognize they did the best they could with the day to day. Still angry over the outcome, though. Won’t make any bones about that.

This is all so new. Feeling good about me, and what I’m doing. Taking care of myself while feeling good about all of it. Reaching new levels of understanding. Feeling like I’m letting go of some stuff. Does the past matter now? It gives me a certain perspective. And that perspective colors everything I do. So, yes. But also no. My mother’s doubts, her lack of support and self-centeredness…that’s melting into the background.

I’m not afraid to look in the mirror these days. I see ME. Still beautiful, still vital, always talented.

That kind of talk would have meant a sharp reprimand when I was a kid. Vain! Don’t be vain! There’s always someone better than you, more talented than you, funnier than you. You’ve nothing to be vain about!

But a nod to vanity isn’t always a bad thing, either.

Eating Elephants

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Night Witches is definitely an elephant. I don’t want everything centered on one character. Each role should be unique and driven by the character’s personality.

I’ve taken my basic outline and begun expanding it. Busy writing individual outlines for each and every character. Where are they? What are they doing? How do they react? Found a few surprises for myself, bits and pieces I hadn’t considered while writing the overall outline. When I’m done with each character’s outline, I’ll take everything and assemble a master outline. Very specific and tight. It should give me a good start on scenes and dialogue.

Settings shouldn’t be a problem. I think all they’ll really need will be a few tables and chairs. I was going to use the barracks as a setting, but that involves getting cots or beds in there to make it look like a barracks. Involved, and expensive. Changing it to a common area, like the mess hall. Kind of makes sense: if the entire regiment is going to meet to discuss anything, the space needs to be big enough to accommodate everyone at once. A mess hall would have tables and chairs, and enough space.

Going to be asking a lot of sound and lighting crew. Again. But, come on! That’s what they live for, right? Something inventive to get them involved. I’ll bet turning lights up and turning lights down for every scene gets boring. So, write them in. Make them pay attention and be present for the production. They’re part of the crew, after all.

My brain is cooking. The creativity pot is bubbling and boiling.

Skipped language class this morning. For one, I’m bloody well busy and damned happy to finally be on the active side of Night Witches. For another, the class was scheduled to have students come in to talk to us individually. Kid students. Those walking germ factories. Sorry; don’t care how old they are or how beneficial talking with them might be for me. I can’t risk my health. Not now, not ever. Got so involved with my outlines and thinking that I forgot to text my teacher. Feel kind of bad about that.

Had rehearsal last night. Can I say it? DAMN, I’M GOOD! For one, we blew through the first 7 pages and went on to begin working the last half of the scene. For another, I got one suggestion from the director on a line delivery nuance. One. My partner had quite a few. He also stumbled more with his lines, but as I assured him, he’s got the bigger speeches. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the director smile and nod during my performance, laughing a few times at my physical portrayal of the character.

One not so great thing I’ll note: I’m really terrible at small talk right now. During the break last night, I immediately got into heavy topics – generally, a no-no. But I, of course, just dive right into that stuff. That’s where my head is: my issues and my writing. That’s the conversation anyone gets out of me these days. And as the words came out of my mouth last night, I knew I was wrong. Wrong to bring it up, odd to mention my thoughts, too abrupt with my feelings. I need a bleeding social interaction class. *sigh* Though I think that only served to emphasize how perfect I am for the role of Wendy, who’s very socially inept.

Other: chatted on the way to the metro after rehearsal with the director, as usual. He told me he never partied. Like, never ever. At first, I thought he was pulling my leg. Took me three ‘Really?‘ exclamations before I accepted he was telling me the truth. I wonder if my wild days inevitably led me to where I stand today. I wonder how different things might have been…

In a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve never really lived. Never went after what I really wanted, never gave myself a chance. That’s terribly sad. I’m both angry at myself for caving in and my family for programming me this way. I pity myself and hate myself at the same time. It’s a really sucky place to be.

And yeah, I know I have to forgive myself. Sometimes I feel like I’m almost there. Other times…not so much.

Forgiving myself…now that’s a big elephant.

Triple F

I found it hard, as a child, to reconcile the memories voiced by my mother’s family with the truth. After all, what is a four year old to think, listening to her elders talk bout ‘gettin’ whooped’ while laughing heartily? I imagined a Dennis the Menace scenario. Something non-threatening and, ultimately, funny. Not a one of my aunts or uncles ever seemed to be angry over their past. ‘Whoopins’ were what you got. With a belt. Sometimes until you bled. But ha, ha, we all laughed about it in the end so it’s okay.

My dad, too, had stories. Stories in which he was always alone. Stories in which his parents grieved (and grieved and grieved) so much over the death of their first born that they seemed to forget they had another son.

And other hints. Frowning brows and dark looks now and then. A sharp tongued remark, quickly retracted. A tear that never fell from an eye.

I am a second gen product of abusive families.

Understanding – full understanding, the kind you only get with age and experience – hit me the other day. This is why my mother never doled out punishment when we were very little. She was too afraid she’d follow in the footsteps of her parents, and really smack us around.

My mother was an abused child.

And my father, a neglected child.

No wonder I am what I am.

I’ve often thought about my parents. How they got together. I know the story – a teacher in high school set them up on a date. What I never got was the why.

My father was very much into physical appearances. Comments on my appearance were usually limited to the ‘you’re a workhorse, honey, not a racehorse’ range. I was told I was beautiful only as a consolation, when I felt ugly and unloved. ‘Ah, honey! You’re beautiful just the way you are’ – which felt like a consolation and a lie. I was never freely told I was beautiful or even pretty. And I figured he had to say it; parents always have to say it, don’t they? Even if their kid is the butt-ugliest person on the planet.

At the time of their meeting, my mother was a slim and young size 12. My father was an extremely huge 350 pound linebacker for the school football team.

My mother claimed she saw beyond my dad’s weight. Saw he was a good person, a good man, and that’s who she fell in love with.

But there was another man in her life. A sailor. I’ve one black and white photograph of the two of them together. He went off to war. Mom never talked about him, other than saying she dated him.

I wonder now if Mom was just looking for a way out. Someone – anyone – to help her leave the house.

And I’m not saying my mother didn’t love my father. Just that the initial reason she got together with him might not be as noble as she would have me believe.

As for my dad…Mom was his first and only love. Again, not surprising when you take into account his past. He was starved for attention. First person to give him even a little bit of time and energy, and he asks her to marry him.

Never did get a straight answer on the pre-marital sex issue. Mom said no, they never did it, and Dad said yes, the were at it like rabbits.

I used to think my parents’ story was this great romance. Now…it’s just grey and bleak, like the weather hanging outside my window.

Bullshit ordinary things I need to keep track of: Tired all day yesterday, ’til I finally broke down and had some more coffee. Left 10 hours open to sleep, so naturally I was up after 8. Doing okay but not great with smoking. Getting down on the floor to do abdominal exercises these days. Sucks big time. Still not writing anything but these morning blatherings. Frustrated. Bored a lot. Feel very out of step with the world.

Everything’s weird. I’m weird. That’s the real problem: me. I’ve got that un-tethered feeling going on. Free floating fear. The dreaded triple F threat.

Hanging on

Communication is a two way process. You can talk and talk and talk, but if you’re not communicating, nothing’s going to change.

I’ve been accused of being a poor communicator because sometimes (oh, goddess forbid!) I use uncommon words. Which means I dig below the surface layer of the average vocabulary and pull out a word that fits my definition perfectly rather than being a half-assed synonym.

Okay. I get that. If I use an unfamiliar term with no supporting language, it could be difficult to figure out what I’m driving at.

And that statement should hold true for everyone.

But, alas! In my household, it’s not. I am held accountable for my ‘high language’ as well as not understanding ‘common slang that everyone uses’.

This is coming from my brother, and it’s something I really hate about his communication style. Don’t know if he can accept he’s blaming me both ways, or at least that the words and facial expressions he chooses to use make me feel that way. I’ve done my best to say that. He doesn’t hear it, no matter what words I use.

And herein lies my problem, people. I’m damned well aware this is NOT a healthy communication style and it’s not good for me or my damaged self. Every time we come to loggerheads over something along this line I’m left feeling angry and unheard. Dissed. And of course my damaged brain goes that step further – it must be because he just tolerates me, he really doesn’t care, he’d rather I leave, etc., etc.

I hold onto something else, though. The idea that he does care, that this is just a left-over from our poor upbringing. My brother has seen me through some terrible times. Physically and emotionally. He’s watched me break, cried by my side for my unending self-hate, bolstered up my ego as much as humanly possible – all these actions say he does care, that my brain is turning on me, that I must keep my faith.

It’s difficult. Difficult to have my feeling conflict with the evidence at hand. Am I not being petty? Should I not call this what it is – a learned behavior of poor communication and blame? Is it not on me to rise above it, find a new way? He’s probably just as frustrated by these disagreements as I am.

Where do you draw the line?

They say you can’t fight every fight, and that’s an adage that holds true. You can’t. It’s exhausting.

But how does someone like me, who knows they’ve got issues and triggers, find that balance? Can I honestly say I’m reacting to all of this in a balanced and well rounded manner? Hell no! I’m being triggered by a billion things, including a lot of very old family shit. So am I doing that knee jerk reaction when I shouldn’t be? Or am I justified in my feelings?

Round and round with this question. I can never make up my mind.

Maybe it’s a bit of both. He’s wrong AND I’m wrong. He’s right AND I’m right. We both have valid points. And perhaps I never feel my point of view is acknowledged by him because he never feels I acknowledge his point of view. That’s what I’d expect a therapist to say. If you want to be listened to, listen to other people.

I just don’t know how so many things can get turned around to feel like it’s my fault no matter what I do or say.

Speaking of my fault, I grumbled the other night over my dental hygiene routine. Takes a long time every day, especially after some of the problems I’ve had. Heard this reply: “Well, maybe if you’d taken care of your teeth like this from the start you would’t have had all those problems.”

My brother was quick to follow up with all the advances in dental hygiene, how the tools we commoners can access are so much better…. All I heard was it’s my fault. My fault, I deserve it. All of it.

Made me wonder if I’d hear something similar, lying in hospital battling cancer. My fear says yes.

I don’t want to be blind-sided by that kind of thing.

The worst of all of it is my powerlessness. I have zero control. I’m only here under the graces of my brother, who’s basically supporting me right now. Chances of getting and holding a real job are very slim. I’m old, and my health is bad. I have no income, no savings, nothing of value to offer or sell.

I don’t think often on that part of reality, because it throws me into panic. But…and…this is why I say it’s better for me to just check out.

My brother, however, weaseled a promise out of me at one point. A promise to hang on, no matter what. To not voluntarily check out early.

When everything else goes haywire, that’s my rock. I sling a rope around that idea and hang on for dear life.

I’m hanging on now.

There’s already enough

Heavy sigh.

If I were to take as long healing from all the crap I got growing up as it took to brainwash me into thinking I was a piece of shit, I’d be 76 and counting before I got over it. That’s the thought that elicited the heavy sigh, a depressed feeling, and anger over time never fucking being on my side.

I hate my family.

Gods…I know I look awful when I’m at the gym. Catch myself too often too deep into emotion. I tear up, my face turns red – I’m sure I look either like I’m about to have a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. Or both. It’s what happens. My body moves, stuff shifts and suddenly I am overwhelmed by memories and emotions. Therapists really should think about doing sessions during work-outs. At least in my case.

Gotta go through it. Free up whatever got blocked. Breathe. Fucking breathe. That’s the only thing I can think of, when it hits me. My feet move, time ticks on, but I’m unaware of any of it. Just stuck somewhere deep in a half hidden memory that’s full of old, built up muck. I’ve only impressions left over. Impressions of regret, and anger. Why did it go down that way? Why couldn’t I have been one of the lucky ones born into a family that cared?

Don’t talk to me about fate. I’ve always felt like I’m paying forward in this life, and it sucks. I was never a kid who enjoyed frying ants or ripping off the wings of flies. I don’t have that mean streak in me. If I’d been a shit in a previous life, wouldn’t it have shown up early on? I think so. But I was that weird kid who’d get up at 4 am to sing the sun up. I talked to trees, and cried over injustices.

And if the secret to reaching zen is dealing with people shitting on you all the time, I must be some freaking holy zen master.

So why do I find all of this so fucking difficult?

Haven’t I learned anything?

But, hey. I don’t have social niceties. Was never taught them. Don’t get hidden agendas, or most faux pas (what IS the plural on that, anyway?). And if I had a nickel for every time I heard about how ‘different’ I was…well, I still wouldn’t be rich. But I could buy a cheap meal for myself.

So what’s stuck in my craw today?

Other than the welling up of old memories and feelings, I guess I’d have to say it was what happened at my language lesson. Yeesh. You know, questioning any of this makes me wonder if I’m not just some drama queen timing things out and demanding my fair share of attention. Nonetheless, I noticed a definite difference between how I am treated and how my fellow student is treated. The effect was heightened for me because we had another new volunteer teacher sit in with us, to learn how a lesson might be. I think she looked at me twice. The remainder of her eye contact was reserved for my fellow student. And rightly so; the majority of conversation took place between my teacher, the newbie, and the other student. I was not included. I was not asked questions. I searched for things to say, to include myself…didn’t feel it was well received. They turned, they listened, but they didn’t follow up with statements or questions. Am I being paranoid? So difficult to tell. The other student is not as far along as me, and both instructors might have felt she needed more practice speaking. That’s logical. Still. I’ve an undeniable feeling that something else is going on, something I’m not catching onto. I hate that.

Mm. That’s the second thing I’ve said I hate.

Decided something. Had a weird few minutes during the script read through. I was outside with the director and someone the director knew was leaving. The guy asked me – twice – if I was the director’s wife. My reaction: laughter. I’ve thought a lot about that, and realized it might have sounded derisive to the director. Like I was laughing at the idea that we could be married because I found him unattractive or whatever. I wasn’t; I was laughing over the idea of anyone even conceiving ME of being capable of marrying someone. I’m just a bit worried that my hilarity will be taken the wrong way, and I don’t want any misunderstandings over my lack of social skills. So I’m gonna bring it up to him. Remind him of that moment and explain myself because I didn’t at the time. And I don’t need anyone else thinking I’m a shit.

There’s already enough.

I want it to stop

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What? What?

Been listening to the same tune since Sunday – a high pitched ringing in my left ear. And that’s all I can hear from that side. Another mutation of this virus, or another virus on top of the one I had that’s now fucked up my ears. Oh, yes. Did I mention the dizziness? Stumbling around drunk even tho I haven’t touched a drop? Yeah. It’s loads of fun.

Not.

Watching the world die is not an occupation that gives me comfort. So I’m antsy. Can’t watch regular tv. Too upsetting. Everything pisses me off. The sheer stupidity of most shows on tv these days is mind boggling. You find this crap funny? Appealing to the lowest common denominator – and DAMN, it’s got LOW – still works. Frankly, the popularity of such low brow entertainment tells me how foolish most people are. It tells me they can’t read beyond a third grade level. They can’t do maths, they don’t understand anything with complexity. But make a joke about a race of people or women, and THAT they find funny.

You’re really showing your ignorance.

Some days I wonder why I don’t pick up a weapon and kill everyone I see. Some days I see no down side to that plan.

My chauvinistic, racist, bigoted brother who still resides stateside must have been drinking this weekend, because a picture of my great-nephew showed up in my email with a short message: This is your nephew, he is 10 and attends third grade. All I can say is, so? Am I supposed to feel something for this stranger? Because I don’t. I don’t love him, I can’t even like him considering he’s the son of his father whom I find a right little shit. I don’t hate my great-nephew, but he’s got to prove he’s more than the sum of the programming he’s being put through. To me, he looks a proper little Nazi. Blond hair and blue eyes, holding a gun. Bravo. The kid is 10 years old and you’ve already got him brainwashed into thinking guns are cool, get one, hold onto one, shoot it off and “protect” yourself (and anything else you think it’s worth killing someone over) because it’s so right. Yeah, it’s right alright. As far right as Hitler. Well done. Another linkage to a family I’m ashamed of and disgusted by. I deleted the photo and the message.

I predict another message from my ‘non-interfering’ uncle will show up in my email within a month. You know – the one who never discusses me with my siblings.

…Finding it difficult to keep pushing through. Very difficult to stay calm. The future has never been more uncertain, both on a personal level and a world level. Telling myself panic won’t help anything. Not easy. I have to fool myself. Distract myself with shiny things. Basically, I have to induce a state of quasi-denial: it’s not happening; look at the birds!

I’m not real good at denial. That’s why I do drugs.

Oh. Shouldn’t have said that, right? That makes me “wrong”. Even here, with NL’s rather liberal stance on soft drugs, I’m “wrong”. Say that to a doctor here and they’ll back peddle on you: you’re not wrong, the behavior is. Then in the next breath they’ll tell you why you need to stop that behavior. Take a walk if you feel it’s too much, they say – or they’ll come up with some other trite piece of advice I can smash down in 3 seconds or less.

What’s “normal” is based on an average. The Bell Curve. If your behavior falls under the big curve, you’re fine, you’re normal. Go out on one of those side lines, though, and you’re wrong, depressed, psychotic, crazy – you pick the fucking term. But that’s such bullshit! Let’s see…under that line of thinking, anyone with an IQ over 110 is probably abnormal. A freak. Wrong in the head. Anyone too tall, too short, too fat, too old, too young – you’re abnormal. Freakish. Wrong. It’s always implied. Wrong. And those in the wrong are always pushed – through laws or social pressure – to conform. Two hundred years ago and they’d have just killed us rather than deal with us freaks; maybe in the end, that’s better.

I don’t understand how people can live their lives and not understand some things. Like, right this minute there are people dying, being murdered, raped, children getting fucked up the ass by some old creep. Am I supposed to feel joy in this life knowing others are suffering? Seriously? Doesn’t that show a complete lack of social empathy? And I’m “wrong” for feeling this way! Wrong for bringing it up, wrong for ‘being a downer’, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Well, fuck you.

I say it’s you who are insane. You’re so stuck in denial you can’t even acknowledge it.

Life. is. shit.

And yes, I know it’s been weeks of sitting around trying to nurse myself back to better health. No exercise, nothing other than my own thoughts and sleep. I know I’m at the lowest ebb I can be, outside of a real depressive episode (and no, this is NOT depressed for me, as I keep saying to doctors ad infinitum). Doesn’t make my words any less true. When I feel better, or I’m on a manic high – those are the rare times I really CAN get into denial and escape. That’s all. I embrace it then. Focus on what’s right in front of me. But it’s not like I forget about all the crap in the world. I never do. I never stop thinking about it, even at my most manic. The deeper knowledge of shit in the world, that’s always there. Can’t escape it. Can’t deny it. Can’t drug it away.

I don’t get people who can.

Will this ringing never stop? Maybe it’s the echo of my own words, churning around in the inner recesses of my ears. Things I’ve said, things I will say, all rebounding back to me into one high, incessant hiss.

I want it to stop.

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?

Salty, like me

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Salt. It’s not a nice smell. That’s not something we think about often; our language talks about ‘the salty sea air’ in novels like it’s wonderful. It isn’t. The sea stinks of fish and rotting seaweed. But it isn’t ’til you wake up in the middle of the night and smell the salt on you from dried sweat that you begin to know exactly how putrid salt actually smells. Then your nose wrinkles, and you don’t think about the sweat or the nightmares that might have caused it, you think salt. That’s all you smell. And it’s awful.

I suppose I should try to get used to it. This nightmare. I don’t even want to delve into what my brain might have cooked up for me in dreams; my waking reality is too far over the edge the way it is.

Anger woke me today. Same old, same old. I really got a problem with my family. Ain’t that loverly? To be so screwed up on the Alpha that your Omega passes by while you try to figure out what went wrong back at Alpha. Saddest thing is, they don’t care. I predict that if I dropped over dead right now, the only tear shed in the family would be by my older brother who’d be doing it because he felt sorry for himself for not getting to see me one last time. They wouldn’t care if it had been hard on me, they wouldn’t care how much it hurt. Only how their own little castles in the air get affected – now that would trip their triggers. I should borrow a hundred bucks from one of them and never pay it back just to make sure they have some reason to bring me up when I kick it.

Not that any of them would lend me a hundred bucks.

And I’m angry that yet another week has ticked by with nothing from the fucking director with the theater group. It’s not fucking Anna Karenina; it’ll only take a goddamn hour to read – two, if you’re not that great at English. If you didn’t want to read it in the first place, say fucking so! Say “Sorry, I don’t really have time” or “Gee, I’m not really the person you should hand this off to, sorry”. I’ll get it. I’ll move on. But to say you will, to string me along for MONTHS now and give me nothing but a carrot on a stick, pisses me off.

Shallow goddamn vipers.

As for my work, the changes have been made. Typos corrected. A line pulled here, a line inserted there. It’s as comprehensive, smooth, and fluid as I can get it without outside help. Today marks the beginning of The Great Send-Out. I’ve just enough anger to get over my anxiety about sending the script out. Oh, and Goddess, please! Let just one theater group say they’ll do it. They can be from bum-fuck nowhere, just let me hear back from them before the local theater group meets, so when the director stumbles around and gives me yet another excuse I can oh so cooly say, “It’s okay; I’ve got a group producing it right now” and just saunter away. That’s all I ask: the opportunity to for ONCE in my life give a little of that bullshit back that I get heaped on my head day in and day out!

I thank my love of cartoons for getting me through the days lately. Every time I feel lonely and alone, I imagine cartoon tumbleweeds rolling thru the room. It makes me smile, even thru the loneliness. As usual with people who feel lonely, I’m having a difficult time reaching out (terrible circle, that). The few email conversations I do have are short, and stunted. What I’d give for a long, drawn out message from someone I know right now! But everyone’s on Twit-o-sphere, everyone uses emojis, and no one seems to say anything about what’s really going on with them – or if they do share, it’s all bad, all negative. I’m so negative these days it’s hard when I hear my friends sound down. What can I say to them? I see the world as pretty shitty these days, too. I have no magic wand, no silver bullet, no cure-all.

Life sucks, and I didn’t ask for it.

That makes me angrier than anything. That I’m just here, without my consent or approval. That I’m forced to live inside this body – this fucking diseased body that wasn’t right from the get go. That I’m sentenced to go through this life.

This hell.

Didn’t go to the gym yesterday, and my attitude shows it. I’ll go today, despite it being Saturday. Try to burn hard enough that my brain releases endorphins and tricks me into believing things aren’t quite so bad, at least for a little while.

I feel old, and cynical.

Nothing to do but wait and see what happens. Yesterday a fellow student came to class with the flu. She had to sit next to me, had to push her used tissues to my side of the table, had to cough in my direction, lick her fingers and touch the papers she passed to me – in short, she seemed to do everything she could to ensure I fell ill again. I’ve had a bleeding headache since about 3 yesterday. Last night my throat felt raw. …Maybe I’m ready to be ill again. It’s a ready made reason to hide, and I do so feel like hiding lately. Just go away; you’re all assholes and fuckers, anyway. I’ll come back out when I rebuild my shell.

Which brings me back to salt because it seems like that’s the shell I’m building up. A salty, crusty outer layer. How fitting. My new work is coarse, and graphic. The things I’ve imagined writing about…the things my mind keeps turning back to, time and again…these are not script ideas for the local group. They’re not script ideas for family groups or church groups or school groups.

They’re salty, like me.

Responsibility for the Now

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After an hour of tossing and turning in my bed, trying to recapture that elusive thing we call sleep, I got up. There’s only so much hoping you can do; for me, that’s about a dozen turns on either side: left, right, no left again ’cause it’ll be so much more comfortable, damn it! try the right again – and so on.

For some strange reason, I can’t get George Michael singing ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ out of my head.

And I’m not even a big George Michael fan.

Sticking in my craw: a little tidbit I floated past my bro yesterday afternoon, as we SIM’d and gamed our way through the late afternoon with South Park playing on the telly. South Park – which is truly our repository of all social commentary – gave me the clue (again). I realized that Americans tend to think of their country like a sports club – go team, no matter what. That’s not right. A country is supposed to be a group of people who work together for their common good. I mean, if everyone’s just out for themselves, it’s hardly a country, right? Just a bunch of yahoos grabbing everything they can. Sounds like the Old West, which, btw, was a territory. Not a country, not a nation, not even states yet – just a territory. No. A country works together. A country realizes the benefits to such things as proper infrastructure (roads, trains). A country realizes they need to keep their people healthy in order to continue producing. It’s a simple matter of economics.

But Americans….They’re very much the half naked painted fat guys you see at the Superbowl, drunk out of their minds on a cold winter’s day, screaming for their team to kill, kill, destroy the other side. They have a sense of victory when someone from the other side gets taken off the field with an injury. They are small, and petty, and demand daily confirmation that they’re the biggest and baddest bully on the block.

The only thing Americans come together for is mayhem.

Other than that, they’ll let you rot. No money, no help. You can die right outside the hospital grounds and no one will lift a finger. I tell that to people here, and they don’t quite believe me, just as they don’t quite believe me when I tell them that American food products that carry the word ‘cellulose’ contain wood pulp.

When I speak of Americans, I also speak of my family. The two are intertwined; it was my family who raised me on the motto ‘If you don’t like it here, get the fuck out’. This despite a firm and rather desperate need to keep all their children from entering the armed service – the most patriotic thing you can do, according to their lip service. But not for them. No! My eldest brother even made sure to pave the way for his son way back in ’00. Contacted me and planned an escape route up to Canada, where I was living, in order for his son to escape a possible reinstatement of American conscription. It didn’t happen at the time, but my point stands: typical two faced behavior from my family. Say one thing, do another.

Sometimes I wonder how I learned to function at all with those people around me.

I know just a few days ago I was saying how understanding and compassionate I felt towards my family. I know this is a flip. I don’t know why, particularly. The news has been bad for quite some time now. Nothing jumps out at me, nothing is bugging me, other than George Michael (still singing) and my irritation towards Americans and, thus, my kin. It simply IS today.

Formatting on the script is complete. I’ve got a PDF waiting to be printed at the library. I hemmed and hoed, re-read the script again, made a few on the fly subtle changes, and walked away completely convinced I don’t have a cohesive story at all, I haven’t made my point, and it’s not very good. I’ll call it the final stage of editing madness, and it’s a thoroughly unpleasant malady to suffer from. The only real remedy is rest, the one thing I find myself incapable of doing. I am a manic sloth; antsy to sit and waste my time with games, ready to lie down in bed yet unable to stay there.

Wake me up, before you go, go….

I wanna go. Why is the world asleep? Because it’s dark? Hardly a reason! Wake up! Wake up! Open your shops, start the coffee, make some noise. If I ever buy fireworks for New Years, I’ll get up early one morning like this and set a few off. Just because I can.

Gods. And it’s Sunday! A day when people are even slower than usual.

Naturally, this will throw my whole day and perhaps my entire week off. My sleep patterns will be off, one way or another. My routine is set for a shake-up, too, with an old friend breezing thru the city for two days on a whirlwind tour.

Trigger, trigger, trigger, down the line.

Ah. Old friend. Memories. Been looking at those with different eyes lately. Eyes through which I see myself differently. It’s not a pleasant picture. The beginning of accepting that I chose this. One form or another, I chose it. I chose each little step along the way, all adding up to the big NOW. And I think about the blaming I’ve done. Sure, it would have been nice to grow up in a supportive family. A family that doesn’t play narcissistic games. But how long can I point my finger at my family, my mother, my sister, my brother, and say ‘this is because of you, because of how you treated me’? Yes, what happened back then influenced the decisions I made, and in that respect, they are responsible for a lot of shit. I’m afraid I may never be free of that influence. That scares me more than anything.

But the now…that’s mine. I can destroy it, or I can play with it. I can make friends, or create enemies. I can look back, or plan for the future.

The responsibility for the now weighs heavily on me today.