Step 1: Turn off the news.

Step 2: Cut my long fingernails.

Step 3: Turn on the Trance station. Aaaah! Soothing.

Step 4: Close the curtains. Need darkness.

Step 5: Clear my head.

Step 6: Write.

Spent time yesterday frustrating myself by trying out that new Scrivener software. Ugh! Horrible formatting for radio. Fucking horrible! Ended up returning to my simplistic Word template and fudging it around until I got PDF print that looked good to me. It’s sent out already to a theatre in Florida. Had the whole week scheduled to dick around with it. Shoulda known I didn’t have the patience for a week of editing.

A week free. What new project can I take on?

Ah, yes. A bit I began on January 6 (computers ARE useful for keeping track of things like dates for you). Google: monologues and duologues. Bing! Found a fest calling for work due July 1. Funny thing is, it’s in a city I performed in. So I know what they want, what they’re used to, and what I should expect.

Good mini project to take on. Enough time, certainly. Even enough time to write it in Scrivener and give it one more chance to wow me.

Heard from my ex-pen pal on FB. Again. Still blaming me, still justifying himself. Now stating conflicting things, and I don’t know what to believe. The only thing I know for sure is he’s showing me his true face. The name calling, the manipulation games, the attempts to coerce me into guilt. If he’d come at me gently, asking for me to talk to him please, I might have responded. But not this! I know what this is – a narcissist’s game. I grew up with that shit and will not deal with it anymore in my life. Screw you. Still. In deference to our friendship, I’m giving him his one last shout at me without blocking him. I know he’s hurt, and lashing out. But that’s it. He’s used up all my gentleness and compassion.

And maybe I should just block him now. My history shows I have a habit of attracting stalkers and weirdos. I know he doesn’t get that this is me being kind to him. I could have written a long, torrid message explaining exactly why I found everything about his stance so offensive. I could have ripped him a new asshole. I didn’t. I chose to quietly say goodbye. Why bring any of it up? He obviously doesn’t understand. He’s one of those people who’ll nod and say ‘uh-huh’ while simultaneously thinking the opposite. Best I can ever do is take it, and use it in my writing. Create the character. Show him, not tell him. Far more effective.

…Odd to think I once felt at a loss over what to write. I struggled to find story material. Now, there’s so much to write about. So very much. It’s almost formulaic. Follow the rules, and begin. Keep to your outline. Trim, trim, trim it down. And in onetwothreefourfivesix you’ve got it.

Puberty at 51

It is a source of continual amazement to me that people who voted for 45 – restricting human rights, killing the environment, degrading women – are shocked when I inform them we can no longer be friends. I’ve been told to ‘grow up’ and ‘get over it’, or better yet: ‘it’s just stupid politics and you’re far less of a person than I thought’.


As a measure of my self restraint, I’ve said nothing in reply. Good on me.

Feels like I’ve taken the first step towards adulthood. Sticking to my ethics. Saying “no”. No more! I won’t take it.

And you’re fucking surprised.

Seems you didn’t know me at all.

Now I may have to deal with a troll on FB. My ex pen-pal, who voted for 45 and said ‘it wasn’t a big deal’ (among other language that PISSED ME OFF) sent three messages telling me to fuck off then three more emojis throughout the night to make sure I knew he wasn’t okay with any of it.

One more message from him and I’m reporting him. I DO not and WILL not take being fucked around with on a social network.

And what goes through people’s minds? That this kind of behavior will reflect any better on them? That I’ll change my mind and say ‘oh, sorry! you’re so upset; let me take it all back’? Um…nope. Should be a clue that it took me as long as it did to say what I said. Time = thought. I thought long and hard about it. Thought about my ethics and moral stance, thought about the friendship, forgiveness, taking the higher road – all of it.

So let me make this utterly clear one more time:

I am not some messiah, willing or able to turn the other cheek after you abuse me.

Expecting me to be is on YOUR head. Telling me I’m wrong for my feelings is on YOUR head.

I’m not wrong. Now let me throw back your own language at you.

Suck it up, snowflakes. You big fucking babies! Whine, whine, whine. Sorry you’re so fucking stupid you don’t realize that when you shout obscenities at me and my friends, when you take away our rights, or when you destroy the planet I react with anger. I think your ignorance is on your own head, too. Read a book!

Went to the gym yesterday to try and burn it out. Two hours. I was tired, less angry afterwards, but not completely calm (obviously).

Didn’t help that my language lesson lacked ANY sense of direction. First, we were asked to pull random words out of the fucking air and make sentences. Then we were told to use ‘omdat’ (because) and corrected on grammar without being told the grammatical rules. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be learning. Couldn’t take anything down because the instructors said the correct sentences once and then quickly moved on. I was bored, angry for having my time wasted, and frustrated because I now KNOW how much better a lesson can be.

Fucking hell!

Happy news: have all of next week off. Thursday is Hemelvaartsdag (Ascension Day), and Friday a lot of stuff is closed to ensure a long weekend. Perfect for me! An entire week free of classes or appointments. I can write. Get the radio script loaded into the software, make the formatting changes, send it out and move onto the next script. Already stepped out the scenes for the next one in my brain. I think I can do it with 4 actors and very minimal set dressing. Can’t wait to get started; it’s timely, creepy, and easy to do as a production.

…You know, if I keep coming up with these horror/Twilight Zone plays, I’m gonna get a reputation for being able to write them. Maybe I can; it IS what I’m coming up with. But I think it’s all a fluke. I’m just stumbling into them. Discovering them by accident. I’m not setting out to write them. Gotta admit, they’re fun to create. And maybe I should let go of any expectations I have of myself. If I turn into a female Clive Barker, well…that’s not all bad, is it?

Ha! Listen to me. Dodging the flack thrown at my head and accepting my limitations and abilities. Now, that IS really growing up!

Can a person hit puberty at 51?


I don’t suck dick

This is not where I expected myself to be at 5 something in the morning. Not today. But noise woke me up (lorries? a thunderstorm? someone half a mile away closing their garage door?) and suddenly I couldn’t sleep anymore because one thing was on my mind: I’ve got a 45 supporter as a friend on FB, and that needed to change and change right away.

My longterm online correspondence (10 years or more) has ended. I opted to keep it simple – I can’t be friends with someone who voted for 45. Farewell. That’s a kinder message than members of my family received. Unfriend.

I should really go through my FB ‘friends’ and unfriend them ALL unless I know for sure they didn’t vote for the orange orangutang. That’ll leave me with a handful of people. *sigh* Just too lazy to do it. I only post derogatory news items of The Orange One and occasionally cuss on FB. It’s un-cool as a social website. Sometimes I think about just deleting my account, but then I remember the South Park episode when Stan tried to do that.

I don’t want to get sucked into a lame 80s cyber world.

Second dental cleaning yesterday because it was three years since I had it done and there’s just a lot of work to be done. The new hygienist was brutal. Had me spitting blood.

My teeth look amazingly white, tho.

Reason to feel both jealous and hopeful: yesterday’s language lesson found me sitting in with another student and teacher because my usual teacher is off on holiday. And DAMN! I’d really like to permanently switch to this new instructor. She was probably a teacher in real life. First, we had reading to do. Then questions to answer. Then complicated words to pronounce. Then a spelling test. Then simple chatting over our opinions on the story. It was THE most thorough lesson I’ve ever had. I was corrected on pronunciation and syllable emphasis. English was readily swapped to when needed. My grammar was corrected, and sentences were spoken to me slowly, clearly, and repeated until I got every single word precisely. SO jealous I don’t have her as a regular instructor. Also hopeful that I can find a teacher out there who’ll really teach me rather than sit there half bored as I try to read aloud.

Went into overtime using my Dutch when a knock at the door revealed two workers from the local Buurtwerk (neighborhood work) group. They’re out covering their areas, checking in with residents and asking about the neighborhood. What’s good about living here? What’s not good about living here? I stumbled through with my pidgin Dutch. Sure, I made grammar mistakes. Sure, I inserted English when I didn’t know the Dutch. Point is, they understood me and I understood them. Progress!

Inclement weather. The skies are grey, the clouds low and threatening. Please send us a good, ripping thunderstorm! I love thunderstorms. The sheer power let loose strikes me dumb. I just stand in front of the window, looking. And I’m 14 years deprived of thunderstorms; Ireland didn’t have them. So gimme, gimme, gimme!

Preparing mentally to dive into editing mode with this new software. Almost there. I find editing like reading Dutch: I can do it any time, but how well I do it depends on my mental prep. When my head’s there, it goes super fast. When my head isn’t there I spend most of time going over three lines and not being able to get beyond them.

Naturally money is tight. Tighter than tight. Another big bill showed up. Apparently it was a February bill that someone forgot to send to us, and now they want their money. All my doctor’s visits hit at the same time, so that’ll cost us. And the exchange rate is for shit. Goddess! Whatever happened to the idea that the euro was created to be a one on one challenge to the dollar? Thanks, Nixon, for killing the gold standard and hanging all the world’s currencies on the mighty US dollar. Stupidest move ever. Now currency manipulators use their power to create false values to world currencies. Just another slave game by the 1%.

Caught myself last night thinking that there’s a whole part of life I never let myself experience. Family, home, kids, cars, job. That stray thought occurred to me during a car commercial. Not sure what it was about that ad that triggered me. But trigger me it did, and a flood of all I’ve missed came whooshing towards me followed by regret and fear. Was able to recognize I was chasing that ‘grass is greener on the other side’ idea; I was reacting to an idyllic scenario, not anything based in reality. Oh, wouldn’t it be great to be young and in love and have lots of money and be thin and beautiful all at the same time. Fuck yeah, it would! I always thought so. But should we really allow ourselves to lead around by this carrot on a stick that’s only ever available to a chosen few? Goddess! And I’ve heard some of these chosen few espouse the idea that this was their destiny, the almighty guided them to it, blah blah puke blah. Um…it was chance. Luck. Chaos. A roll of the dice.

Or the dick you sucked.

There’s one thing about me that’s always been true, and I guess my life reflects it.

I don’t suck dick.

Take the flag


It’s a hell of thing to be sitting somewhere in public, waiting patiently, minding your own business, nothing at all wrong, and then, when you try to stand, you freeze with pain. Don’t know what sound escaped my mouth or which facial expression spasmed across my face, but I can tell you this – it caused five grey haired pensioners to gasp, get up, and try to help me.


Must not have looked too good.

Spent yesterday morning growing ever more paranoid during my language lesson. The other student was present again (surprise), and I noticed my teacher took ten to fifteen minutes to catch up and chat with her but far less to chat with me. Now, I know I’ve surpassed the other student in language use. I’ve come to lessons regularly, worked hard, and made a lot of progress. So it’s only natural that the teacher would try to draw out the other student more than me. Get her talking again. …Right? I was careful to note the teacher’s body language. Not too skewed, but she did seem to lean a bit towards the other student. …Does my teacher not like me? *sigh* What have I done now?

I guess that’s the risk anyone takes when they choose to not be a milksop. Have opinions, state them. Have energy when you communicate! For pete’s sake, don’t talk to me like it’s the closest thing to death; deadpan and distracted. Look at me! Fire up your soul! Maybe we’ll come to loggerheads but at least we’ll know we don’t like each other. But don’t hide yourself. Don’t say ‘uh-huh’ to everything, never offer an original thought, never let anyone see anything of the real you. …That’s my opinion, anyway.

But I’ve been told I can be a poor communicator. Not because I’m unclear or uninformed; just the opposite. Because I’m too clear, too informed. I’ve been told many people don’t like to discuss big issues in life. It makes them uncomfortable. But big issues is where my head is at. Big issues were what I discussed at the dinner table as a kid.

After 50+ years of big issues, I can say that there are a whole lot of people out there who don’t like discussing them. And they don’t like me because of it.

That always makes me feel bad. I don’t mean anything improper about it. Just the opposite. I want to know where people stand on this stuff. I want to know their reasons for their choices. So I ask. And people get put off, or offended, or feel so uncomfortable around me that they choose to not hang out or be my friend.

It’s the risk I take, being me. Because for all the disappointment and lost possible friendships, every once in a while I find a real gem out there. Someone who fires up just as quickly as I do. Someone with a magpie mind fast enough to keep up with me.

That ain’t my Thursday teacher. Nor my Friday teacher.

Not that I expected either of them to be my friend.

…Well, I can move freely enough today – so far. I’ll try going to class, but I’ll take my heavy duty pain pills with me. Or maybe I should just take one now. Get a jump on the stiffness and pain. Probably the smart thing to do.

This ain’t gonna stop me. Not the pain, not the stiffness. Not the idea that my teacher doesn’t like me. Not the embarrassment over forgetting words I knew a few weeks ago. Not my slight dyslexia that always makes me screw up numbers.

Feels like I’m gearing up for war. A war on everything that’s going to try to stop me. I know what my goal is. I know what I need to do to get there.

Time to take the flag.


Digging Up Little Treasures


I’ve got bad timing. I’m the type of person you tell “I need to be right where you’re standing” ten times a day. My bladder is perfectly fine until someone ties up the toilet; then I’ve got to cross my legs to not wee on myself. It’s something I’ve come to expect.

So no big surprise on Wednesday, when I walked into my physio appointment, to find out that yes, he’s got a girlfriend and no, the crush was probably all my side. Oh, I didn’t need to ask outright to find that out! What, do you think I have no subtlety? No, no, no, grasshopper! I used the holidays (as you do) to get the info out of him. What plans do you have for the holidays? It’s such a perfect undercover question, it’s a pity we don’t have more holidays like it to use. Ask a person what they have planned for holidays, and you can learn a lot about them. I heard about his dad, not his mom (dead? divorced? definitely out of the picture; he didn’t mention her once). His friends. Then the word came from his mouth, a little reluctantly: girlfriend. I’m guessing she’s new in his life. Obviously she found him while he was dithering over not having a girlfriend and I was too insecure to speak up and ask him out. There’s my bad timing again. My question about the holidays was actually a warm up query that was going to lead to a suggestion we get together for a holiday drink – right up to the G word, of course. Then I just lay on that table as he worked on my back and talked about his plans for the next two weeks. I thought of course someone snatched him up, why wouldn’t they, he’s a great guy, now he’s seeing someone, I missed my chance, and why would he even want to go out with ME, an old woman? I watched his pupil dilation when I could. They weren’t tiny dots of hate and disgust, but they also weren’t large pools of desire. Now it’s all back off, back off, stop daydreaming and fantasizing.

Of course I’m ambivalent about it. I’m disappointed I blew my chance, but I’m happy it’s over with so I can get back to my ‘normal’ routine. I can drop all those feelings and put my mind back to work: writing. Dutch. Being happy. Somehow most things have lost a little sparkle along the way, though. I still find it all interesting, I still want to get back to writing, but…and….*sigh* Life is just a bit dull.

Oh, and I finally asked. He’s 28. A very cute 28.

Can I add one more thing here, then I’ll drop the subject? He body checked me. He’s never done that before. Don’t know why. The part of me that wants to keep fantasizing tells me it’s because yes, he really does like me and he was comparing me to the new G.

I’m telling that part of me to shut the fuck up.

Now. I stand on the brink of my holiday vacation. One more Friday language lesson to go today, then a blessed two weeks off. I’m looking forward to it, and plan to make good use of my time. I know putting that down in writing increases my chances of everything going to hell and not getting one word written, but I am gonna try. Sometimes I need to just say ‘Hey! I planned it different. Things didn’t work out’ to explain my apparent sloth. I’ll get it in ahead of time this once. Maybe that’ll make a difference. There’s not much scheduled in my life over the next two weeks. Exercise, when the gym is open. Eat well, but not too much. Write, or try to, every day. My bro’s been doing a home corning treatment on a roast, and plans to cook it up for the New Year. I promised him I’d make my Marzipan Creme Bars. New Years has already begun; every evening fireworks get set off in the neighborhood. Strictly speaking, it’s illegal. No one is supposed to set off fireworks before the 31st. But it happens. How could it not? Every household here gets three ads for fireworks suppliers delivered four times a week to their postbox. My bro and I discussed buying some this year, but it seems silly to spend €50 on something you’ll literally let go up in smoke for a single burst of light. Besides, something makes me think that there may be extra fireworks this year. Last year was a bit light: the city designated quiet areas where no fireworks could be shot off. In theory, it was done for the wildlife. Under the cover of the law, everyone talked about how New Years must be traumatic for some of the immigrants coming in. The celebrations sound like a war. But now there’s Trump, and Geert Wilders. Now I think a few more big boomers may be set off locally as a little protest against all the immigrants. I’ll do what I always do: head out on the balcony to safely watch the madness. There are a few neighbors that always splash out on big fireworks, and the balcony faces them. We can also see three neighborhood fireworks shows from there. Not a bad spot at all.

…Last cup of coffee, last paragraph before I start my routine for class. Wish this year I could gather up all my friends from around the planet and bring them here to celebrate. I miss them, one and all, whether we’ve met in person or not. lol! It would still be a small gathering. Even in cyber space, I don’t have that many friends. But they always respond when I need to talk. My timing doesn’t matter with them. Correspond every day or once a year; either way, they’re there. I look at them all as little treasures: my hidden caches of caring hidden here and there on the globe. Time to dig some up.

Simple Simon


1 bottle of cough medicine, 2 gallons of phlegm, and 10,000 facial tissues later…

You know the saying about the straw that broke the camel’s back? Well, I had one yesterday. It wasn’t a straw doing in a camel, though. It was a shirt doing in my wardrobe. Just one too many things on hangers – down it came, collapsing in on itself (I’ve got – or had – a cheap fabric wardrobe). I broke the bleeding bar. No fixing it. So off my bro went on his bicycle, down to the shops when they opened, looking for something that would fit the tiny space I have. Within 2 hours the doorbell rang from the delivery guys. Gods, I love living in this city! Of course I told my bro to go cheap – we’re still scraping most months. So it’s a flat pack thing, and my bro, hero that he is, spent the day putting together stuff. It’s only half finished, and my clothes spent the night on my bedroom floor. Yeesh! Guess what I’ll be doing this afternoon.

I am almost well enough to make an appearance in public. Almost. I still sound like I’m going to drop over dead from this cough, and I really wouldn’t want to put anyone through sitting next to me for more than 15 minutes. But I’m not sleeping all day, my throat only hurts after a prolonged coughing spell, and I really am filling all those tissues now that the worst of it is over. Good thing, too. My long over-due hair appointment is coming up on Wednesday, and I’ve got to make it. My roots are holding me hostage.

It’s taken days for me to calm down off the ‘confrontation’ with my eldest brother. I still think up nasty things I want to shout in his face, but they’re coming less often now. Spent time reading up on narcissism and how it affects people, as I usually do after a confrontation with my family, to try to help me calm down. Somehow, taking one of those quizzes to see if you’re a survivor of narcissistic abuse helps ease my tension. I guess it’s just the affirmation (again) that I’m not wrong or stupid or insane for feeling the way I feel.

What I really want is a psychological judgement on my family. Some international psychological court where a person could come, air their grievances, and hear from a panel of learned professionals that no, you’re not crazy or wrong, and no one should have ever been treated that way. It’s all their fault. I’d like that. Of course, I know I’m looking for absolution of my own problems. I want to hear I’m just a scarred individual doing my best. I want to hear how no one could come out of a childhood like I had and NOT be scarred.

Man, the shocked looks I’ve received when I describe some of the neglect I suffered.

All of that helps. It helps to hear people tell me my childhood was fucked up. I used to get angry about that. I used to defend my family and my mother when someone pointed out the neglect, the double dealings, the manipulations. Now, I crave hearing that.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t help with the day to day pain. Just that deep seated disappointment I feel so often when watching films or tv. I see those characters talk through their problems. I see parents listen to and respond to their children. All that stuff that never happened for me. All those areas that are so fucked up in my history. It makes me sad. I used to think all that was fantasy, completely made up stuff, until I met a few people who actually had loving and supportive families. I’m jealous of their better experiences. But it’s a jealousy similar to having a crush on Brad Pitt and being jealous of Angelina Jolie. An intellectual exercise. I know I don’t have a chance in hell with Brad Pitt. Being jealous of Jolie is silly. Similarly, I’ll never know what it’s like to have a loving and supportive family, so being jealous of people who do have that is silly, and I know it. I look in from the outside like a kid in front of a Christmas window display and think gee, it must be nice in there. But there’s no way I can get in. No way at all.

All I can do is build the best support network I can on my own. It’s rickety and weird, bits of socialization built on interactions with doctors, shop keepers, and anyone who’s willing to talk to me. I don’t do it well. But I’m trying, and telling myself that counts for something.

It’s all so scary. Opening myself up to new people. Chancing getting burned again. Putting my foot in my mouth time and again. Doesn’t help that I’m in a new country again. New social rules I’m not familiar with. I don’t know how to act. What to say. Maybe more importantly, what not to say. Conversational taboos are not something most people think to include in those ‘moving to a new country’ websites. Some places, you don’t talk religion. Others, you don’t talk personal problems. I moved from a country where the norm was to hang with people at their homes, because there was nothing to do and everyone was poor, to a country where you don’t get invited into private homes until you make that inner circle. And I’m still poor. So hearing about going this place or that, inviting people to parties or dinners or whatever and knowing that I’d have to pony up quite a bit of cash to make any of it happen is just bleeding depressing. Hello!? Do I have to spend cash to make friends?


Where’s that easy friendship of childhood? It never seemed to take much back then. A hello, then do you want to -? and if the answer was yes, you had a new friend.

Simple Simon. That’s what I want.

Aren’t I Beautiful?


One hamburger, some cheesy noodles, and an entire pizza. That’s what it took to fill up all that empty space in me. I suppose I shouldn’t be so shocked; I left the house Friday after a 2 p.m. late lunch and didn’t eat another thing until Saturday post-blog. Still. Well over my daily calories. But damn! I needed it.

The sun doesn’t even have to be up for me to know it’s raining. I hear it. I did have to go out and see if the rain is gonna stick around and (say it with me) naturally it will. For days. In fact, it seems the only non-raining time in the next few days will be while I sleep. Ah, clear up all that noisy clatter of raindrops pounding on the windows so I can better hear the neighbors pounding on each other.

12:30 a.m. Door slam. Loud voices, a man and a woman. A child crying. More yelling. Heavy footsteps. Louder crying from the child. Something falls on the floor. More footsteps, more bickering. A second, louder, door slam. Honestly. Is the landlord advertising for noisy neighbors? Seems like it. The sound insulation in this building is pretty damned good. The only weak point is the ventilation system, which runs through the bathrooms in the building and happens to be installed right next to my bedroom. I hear the ghost of arguments from floors below me. Last night I think it was two floors down. Too distant to be directly below my apartment. But ever since I heard what I’m still sure was a domestic violence incident, my ears prick up for trouble. So despite my sleeping only six hours the night before, I lay awake in my room listening to the argument. Staying vigilant for anything that’s more than just a yelling match.

And cringing.

I’ve found no other word for it. The raised voices and slammed doors make my entire body tense up. Every new sound punctuation sets my nerves quivering. And I get angry, lying there listening to all the yelling and screaming. I think about going down, finding the right apartment, and screaming at them myself. I think about leaving notes in people’s mailboxes, telling them I can hear them all hours of the day and night and unless they shut the fuck up I’m calling the fucking cops on them. Thus far, I haven’t done either. Though I’m sorely tempted to do both.

I hate that I hate the yelling. I hate the way I tense up when I hear it. Hate the way I can go from sound slumber to hyper vigilance in .001 of a second when it starts up.

And yet…

And yet it’s set my mind racing for a new theater script. One called ‘Noisy Neighbors’. One in which all the sound will come from off stage, and the actor(s) on stage react to what they hear with no words.

I see snippets of it in my head.

It could be very powerful.

What more can I do than turn the neighbors into art? I call myself an artist; isn’t that what artists do?

Another piece is there, too. A piece about a theater troupe. All the backstage stuff. Bickering, cattiness, infighting. I saw it on Friday night, as we were setting up. The lighting guys were bringing in a ladder to do their job, but some of the actors were rehearsing and the one dude couldn’t move even an inch for the lighting guys. Completely oblivious, and it had to be by choice because his shoulder was brushed with the ladder as it went up. Plus I’ve been hearing it write itself. The comments. The egos. All I’ve got to do is listen and write it down – The Last Minute Players are giving me this script by living it in front of me.

Although I’m not sure I could ever give them the final product to perform. It would be too obvious. And since I’m the type of writer who’ll slide in word for word what I’ve heard other people say, well, that tips it off. No matter how much someone denies remembering their nasty comments, when they see it in black and white, they recognize their own words. And damn, do they get pissed!

That probably hasn’t helped me with friends.

Yet it IS what a writer does. We draw from our experiences. Some of the things I’ve heard…I couldn’t imagine characters so crass. Plus, I’ve never thought I should feel bad if they feel bad reading their own words. Shouldn’t have said it, then.

….Yeah. If I ever do pen that piece, I can’t give it to the group. Too many people could get hurt, and that’s not what I want to do. I want to parody what I hear. Beef it up beyond cruel to funny. But you know how these things are, these group dynamics. Everyone really IS aware of these comments. You can’t shield yourself from them entirely. Either you overhear something, or there’s some ‘helpful’ person telling you what was said behind your back. Everyone sees the egos. Everyone hears the cattiness. I’m sure there’s been quite a few catty comments already launched my way. I’d expect several derogatory comments on my looks. My age, my face, my weight, the way I dress. The things I KNOW are my weak points. There may also be nasty comments on what I have given them of my true self: bits of information about my work. When asked what I do, I say I’m a writer and composer of music. When further pressed, I say as quick as I can, ‘Oh, I have a book out and some music on iTunes’ and then change the subject. Some people in my position would boast about their monthly numbers. Talk themselves up. I’m not that person. I do what I do. Some people like it. I’m not getting paid much. That’s my truth. Take it as you will.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about any of it. My work, my income, my circumstances. My age, my physical condition, my smoking. I’m a fluid piece of artwork, a flowing sculpture creating and remaking itself simultaneously.

Look at me. Aren’t I beautiful?