This doesn’t bode well

I’m 51. Almost 52. Yet, just like any kid, I couldn’t help but feel that rush of excitement yesterday as my very last language class drew to a close. Six glorious weeks of holiday. I know I’m bound to flip, and at some point complain how could I ever have thought this much time off was a good idea? But that ain’t today. Today I’m still a kid, off of school, no more homework or doing things I don’t want to do.

Yippee!

Had the treat of finding another online comment from (yep, you guessed it) my uncle, who seems to yank my chain an awful lot. Props to him; he did it again. I’d posted an article from a German news source that discussed a study of sexual aggression in male apes. It suggested that sexual aggression and intimidation runs in the species; similar behaviors were noted in various monkeys, orangutans, and apes. It also suggested that, humans being closely related to our ape cousins, this trait was present in male humans – which led us down the merry path of ‘rape is just something men do’. Sugar-coated, I’ll give you. But it lay there in the midst of this article’s words, splayed legged for the world to see and jerk off to. Naturally, my comment while posting said article was rather scathing. And how did my right-wing, privileged uncle respond? “This picture isn’t of an ape.” Yes. A stupid comment on the accompanying picture of said article. Nothing on the content. Nothing on my thoughts. Apparently, this was his only way to discount what was being said. You’ve got the wrong picture on top of the article. If that’s wrong, I’m not even gonna bother reading it. Maybe that wasn’t his intention. But it read that way.

The only reason I see for him doing any of this is to needle at me. I just can’t figure out why he feels the need to needle me. I don’t even live on his continent. His life never need intersect mine. And how many times do I need to say thanks for the money loan? It was paid back, with interest. Doesn’t mean I have to shut up with my opinions.

You didn’t buy me, uncle.

I replied, and told him I didn’t write the article and perhaps his comment should be directed towards the news agency that published it.

Play rehearsals went well. Learned we’re booking five performances. Two locally, two in Amsterdam, one in Leiden. That’s so far. Hope there aren’t too many more. If I have to cough up for money towards a venue, plus travel costs, plus perform – well, that’s asking a lot, isn’t it? At the same time I’m glad. Glad I’ll have these opportunities to shine. Glad it won’t be a lot of work for just two nights and then sitting around doing nothing for the rest of the year. I’m puzzled as well. These people think they can do local plus out of town gigs? What’s the draw? Or are there just so many theatre goers in the Netherlands that we’re guaranteed a certain amount of people? It’s not even like they’re active online. Their sites – both the dot com and their FB page – rarely changes. I saw them struggle to draw more than 40 people last year, and that was locally. Well, I’ve not been invited into the inner circle yet. The Grand Poo-Pah has not granted me access. So I don’t know who’s doing what, or why they’re not doing some things that seem obvious to me.

Want to get in some rehearsal time today while my bro is at the comic book shop. Not that I need much. I almost got my lines memorized from last night’s three run-throughs. Then it’s dishes, per usual. My bro did a bunch of dishes yesterday while I was busy, but then he dirtied as many dishes as there were earlier by making dinner. So I’m left with a large sink full of dishes to do all by myself. Again. Hoo-rah. Then it’s off to the gym, for an extended-extended work out. What I’ll extend, I don’t know. I just know I want to burn, burn a lot, and burn hard. After that, if I can lift my arms and keep my eyes open, I’ll see about puttering with my outline.

*sigh* And the festivals are beginning. The endless outdoor music and all sorts of fun festivals. No money for entrance fees, so I have to wait for the freebies. But I hear the fireworks at night, celebrations with thousands of people. It’s kind of lonely, hearing that as I lay in bed trying to get to sleep. Gee, listen to that. All those people out there having a good time. All that fun and life and music and activity. Usually I’m too tired to worry about it for long, but in those brief moments before sleep takes me I can feel very alone.

Diving into writing will only reinforce that aloneness. I know that. Going to do my best to get out every day, no matter how hot the writing is going. I don’t want the next six weeks of posts to be about feeling like a ghost, or having no friends, or being disconnected. And I do want to get my work done. So a strict half schedule must be adhered to. Half a day, every day, get the fuck out of the house. Go to the gym. If I have to do the gym every day because it’s the only thing I can afford that’ll get me out for a couple of hours, alright. Then I’ll super push. Go to rehearsals. Take a walk. Look through the charity shops for cheap clothes. Try to meet up with acquaintances. Say hello. Chill. Ask them how they are, what they’re doing.

Anything.

Hm. Two hours officially into my holiday and I’m already finding ways to keep myself occupied.

This doesn’t bode well.

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.

Fear is a weighty burden

Five a.m., 23 degrees. My eyes wanted to keep sleeping, but my head hit that anger button – hard. One moment I was tossing and turning in my bed, trying to get comfortable, the next I was half dreaming of a family reunion and running towards my bitch of an older sister to repeatedly smash her in the face. How I would love to do that. I’d hit her and hit her, until blood flowed. Then I’d hit her some more, until my hands broke. That’s how much I hate that bitch. Physical violence, all the way. Killing her by any means other than wrapping my hands around her overly-fat neck and squeezing wouldn’t be satisfactory. It’s harsh, but true.

And of course I want the truth to come out. How everything she accused me of was her projecting her faults onto me. I want the family to see it, to KNOW that to be true. I want vindication.

I am unlikely to get any.

I know I’m scared right now. Somehow the lid on that container got taken off, too. Been having small panic attacks over the last 24 hours. Been thinking about walking off and allowing myself to die. Holding on, but it’s getting harder. I’m slipping.

Falling into summer depression mode.

Telling myself right now that it’s temporary. Somehow, though, the thought that I’m only ever REALLY okay for a few months in spring and a few months in autumn makes me feel that this is my default, and those few blessed months away from self-doubt and overwhelming anger aren’t my true baseline.

Naturally, my body reflects my horrid self-image. My psoriasis has gone wild, and my feet look like they belong to a leper. Just in time for summer sandals. It’s even spread to my hands again, which makes me very self-conscious. I feel fat and bloated. Hate my hunger; my body’s too fat, it doesn’t need to eat! Wish I could live on popsicles alone. They’re cold and sweet, and only 40 calories each.

Have to sit thru a language lesson this morning. Don’t want to. I’ll give myself props where props are due: in the past few days I’ve overheard some Dutch – mostly from the tv – and understood. That’s overhearing understanding, not concentrating understanding. Big difference. Maybe I don’t know many Dutch words, but a few have wormed their way into my subconscious. I don’t need to think about them; I KNOW. Been picking up my Dutch book to read at night, too. Don’t feel I’m doing well, or reading fast, or getting everything. Need to re-read some passages a couple of times. At least I’m trying.

Got my first script rejection yesterday, too. That doesn’t help. I know – one more notch in the belt, right? I’ll add it to my pile of rejections (someday, when I’m famous, I’ll wallpaper a room with all of those rejections and make interviewers walk through it before talking to me). Felt a bit like all my mental defenses came crashing down, tho. I had that *whimper* why try? in my head. Yeah, well…get ready. Sent out to a lot of places during my last up phase. I’ll probably see the fruits of that come back to me now, when I least need it.

I’m worried I’ve wasted my life, dithering around, trying this and that. And it feels too late to try anything new. Feels like my only alternative is to keep trying, keep hoping. And I worry I’m living on a pipe dream. A nice fantasy I tell myself to keep the boogie man away at night. I keep saying someday. Someday when I have a bit more money, someday when I’m famous, someday…. I’m tired of saying it.

Afraid of telling my brother all this because I was doing well for a while there. Purposeful, forward movement. Now…now all I am is a mass of insecurities. And I feel like I can’t or shouldn’t keep relying on someone else to help me feel better. All I do is add to his worries.

Through all of this is the deep seated knowledge that I must, above all else, keeping taking steps forward. Keep on my exercise, keep trying to get some sleep. Keep sending my stuff out and to hell with all the idiots who can’t see how good it is. Funny how in this hottest of hot weather I feel like I’m moving through molasses in January. Slow, difficult steps. Things that drag on me, and weigh me down.

Fear is a weighty burden.

Monsters ahead and behind

One, two, three – send. The script is out to the competition it was written for.

Worked on my synopsis. Asked my bro for advice; he IS the person in the house that’s gone to a Uni scriptwriting class. Was surprised. I worked hard on the synopsis, particularly the opening three lines – which, after I read them aloud, is where my brother stopped me with a ‘Right there! That’s perfect!’ Thought I needed more, but my bro feels I should just let this loose on the world with a three line write up.

So it’s out. Sent. Available to read. Again. Hopefully I will NOT receive a reply stating the terms and conditions have been changed.

Bolton may get a mini-teaser. A short 700 word scene that ties into this script. I want a few things done first, tho.

Today: memorize. Seven pages to learn for the play. Rehearsal is scheduled for Tuesday and I’ve barely begun to learn my lines. Been reading it through, but reading isn’t the same as memorizing. Put in the time now. Not particularly worried; as I’ve said before, I say a lot of “yes” and “uh-huh” in the first pages. One larger monologue to work on, but I already have the general flow of dialogue.

Get to the gym. Tidy up the house. Do those weekend things that always need doing.

Had a nose bleed this morning. Usually blood doesn’t bother me, but my nose hacked up a bloody mass that looked (apologies ahead of time) like an aborted fetus, and I almost threw up. It stopped fairly fast, and it wasn’t really all that bad. But it was my first nose bleed ever, and I really didn’t expect such a stomach turning reaction from myself.

Haven’t buckled down on my research yet. Still need to take notes, check some online documentaries, and order the book I want. I think…MAYBE…I’m learning to accept my timing and writing rhythms. I know what I can do, and how quickly I can do it. I also know the longer I allow my head to think, the shorter the writing time is. So I’m not freaking out despite my apparent foot dragging. I’m not actually dragging my feet; I’m working. Just on a different level.

Boy, do I wish I could tell that to my mother!

…Boy, do I wish I’d stop thinking that thought! Maybe I do look backwards too much. Oh, hell. There’s no maybe about it, and I know that. Just trying to soften the blow for myself.

But, you know…rear view mirrors were created for a reason. ‘Cause every once in a while, shit creeps up on you from behind. And as every horror film shows us, if something creeps up on you from behind, it’s up to no good.

Looking back isn’t a bad thing. As long as you don’t run into the monster right in front of you, that is!

I’m well aware of the monsters behind me. Narcissism, neglect, self hate, depression. They’re all still hot on my tail. But what’s the monster in front of me? That’s easy: fear. The future. Uncertainty and doubt.

One thing I’ve learned: that monster in front of me is gonna come no matter what I do. But the monsters behind me…now those, I can fight.

Working on it

The rain that’s been promised for days is pouring down the window. Supposed to go out in that. Get the shopping done. Pick up a few things. Head to the gym.

Ugh.

What I’m NOT supposed to do is open up the script for more work. Buried my head in it for eight hours yesterday. Take a breather. Do some of the shit that doesn’t get done when I write. Don’t want to, naturally.

The script is almost ready. Prepping up a lighting and sound effect list; don’t want someone to pass over the story because they think pulling it together is too much work, so I’ll do it for them ahead of time. That’s a pain. Page references are needed for cues, which means prepping and running a PDF to check where things fall. And I’ve got to do this for A4 and US paper size, so twice through it. Bugger the US, anyway. Just HAD to change standard paper size by a little bit here and a little bit there – ONLY to make sure things got fucked up between countries. I swear it.

Began a food diary. Been having extraordinary gas. I mean…I could always belch. But now! Duck or run for cover, because the blast of my burps will throw you across a room. Upshot is, I think I have irritable bowel syndrome. So, the food diary. Keep a record, and look. Is there any link to what I’m eating?

Writing down everything that I consume also drove one other thing home for me: I don’t eat much. Two small meals a day. Thinking I might have to eat more often, and try to keep something in my stomach during the daylight. Great. Now all I need is an appetite.

How can I consume so little, yet still be so fat? – Or am I really someone with THAT skewed of a body image? Looking at myself in the mirror…all I see are the fat bulges on my thighs, the tire around my stomach, the bat wings on my upper arms. Old, and fat. Flabby. I know I’m not as heavy as some people. Yet…I can’t let go of calling myself fat.

Sometimes I wonder if I am really crazy. So crazy I can’t acknowledge how crazy I am. I wonder if some of the hateful things people have yelled at me over the years are true: if I am as bad as they claim I am, if I am a liar, delusional, and so far gone it’s impossible to even talk to me. It’s a frightening thought – that outside of me, I am viewed as a nut job. That my vision of the world is so colored, so WRONG that I can’t even make out what the truth is.

…Then I remind myself of my history. The whole narcissist shit. The family: my mother, my sister. The entire set-up to accept partners who hit me, who raped me, who treated me like a dog.

And I don’t want to blame the narcissists all the time. I want to acknowledge that I had part in it: I caved. I let them beat it out of me. On some level, I allowed it.

It’s hard to trust myself or other people.

But I’m working on it.

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.

You hear me, Santa?

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One and a half days up. That’s all I really got. Enough to meet with the theatre group and get to my Thursday language lesson. By Thursday night my throat was on fire and I could barely swallow. I am back, sick again, and under doctor’s orders to sit the fuck down and do nothing but sleep and drink juice until everything’s rosy again.

There are often times when I gaze at our DVD collection and despair a bit – gods, there’s so many, or geez! who needs all that. I do. I need all that. Been burning through the DVDs like mad. Up before 6 a.m., sleeping between 10 and 2, back to watching and resting ’til dinner, then more watching and resting until I fall asleep. Wish I could still play the marathon MST3000 tapes. They’re too valuable to use before getting them transferred onto a different medium, but damn! They’re set up for my sick days. Twelve non-stop hours, edited with loads of surprises and fun stuff. I used to sleep to them. Put them on, lower the volume, and sleep. That’s back when I had a room large enough to accommodate my bed AND a tv. Years ago. But I really miss them now. One of those tapes would last me the entire day, and I haven’t seen them now for years.

Been shielding myself from anxiety over immigration by making plans for the future. One of those plans is to get a group together to do a read-through of my script. Oh, man. I can feel a PROJECT coming on. Not a small thing, but a big thing. PROJECT. I can see my volunteers saying ‘oh, let’s find a way to do this; it’s so much fun!’ and then they’ll all look at me because why not? I’m the organizer. And why shouldn’t I? If I use the people the theatre group tosses away, I’m not hurting anyone. If I find a way to use a room for free, I’m not encroaching on what the group wants to do. If I find people who want to see the play done, I’m not competing for audience members or money or time or space. None of that’s happened yet, naturally. I haven’t even mentioned needing volunteers yet. But I’ve seen the hunger in these people’s eyes. How much they want to participate and have fun. I’ve just got this sense that I may be stepping off into unknown territory. After all, this is similar to the way it started last time.

‘Last time’ was in Ireland. It began with a visit from a fellow poet, who asked about pubs or places where he might be able to get up and read his poetry. It ended with a fully registered charity, an annual poetry festival that included an adult’s night with performers from around Ireland, the UK, and the continent, a room of video feeds from artists around the world, a music room with guests from all over, and a night devoted entirely to children and children’s poetry.

Yeah, I went a little overboard.

I gotta lotta flack for it, too.

But I did find there was a real hunger for what I did, offering performance space to anyone willing to get up and strut their stuff.

It could happen again.

Meanwhile: I might as well put up a desert scene on my computer desktop, because the tumbleweeds just keep blowing through my email. Ugh. Gonna expend what energy I’ve got this weekend on sending the script out to two theatre groups; forgot last weekend, and I do so want to keep my promise to myself of getting it out to one group a week. Really hope this latest phase of my illness passes quickly so I can use my time off from lessons this coming week and get some writing done. I feel loaded up with Hollywood stories lately, and everything in me is concocting harsh tales in response. No, there is no happy ending. There is no justice. There is only dominance, power, and the will to use it. Those are the roads my mind has been wandering lately. Perhaps I should set a challenge for myself. The first script resulted from me challenging myself to try writing in that format. Why not have the second one include all this horrible crap my head continues to ponder? Make a list and include everything – rape, murder, betrayal, greed, drugs, hate, bigotry, racism, sexism. Put it all into one place. … You know, it sounds like a good idea to me. Let it all out. Who gives a fuck if no one ever reads it or does it?

Give myself a chance to write real life.

And that’s got to include some good things. Because my philosophy is that we’re already in Hell. This is it. Hell isn’t pokers up your ass and unending pain. Unending pain can be endured. You’d be surprised at how much your body can carry and forget it’s even there. Nope. Hell is having something nice for a time, caring about it, depending on it’s existence, and then having it ripped away from you. Hell is having people tell you they love you while they beat you down. Hell is facing blind bigotry, racism, and sexism. Hell is being a sane and caring person in this world. That’s Hell.

When we are children, we buy into fairy tales. Magic exists! Then we get a little older and learn that no, fairy tales aren’t real. Magic is only an illusion. Problem is, that keeps happening. First go the obvious things: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny. Then the next obvious: you learn about lying and cheating, usually by getting lied to or cheated in some manner. Later on, you learn about hidden agendas and people who’ll pretend to be your friend because they want something from you. As time goes on, more and more illusion gets ripped away. And you begin to understand why we tell children fairy tales: life is Hell. You hope for some happy memories in between disasters. Loving means losing. Pain is inevitable.

I never wanted a pony for Christmas. I only ever wanted to be happy.

You hear me, Santa?

 

This is where I live

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Heard from a friend; she’s having ECT. I feel sick. There’s nothing I can do from here; she’s in another country. On another continent. Telling myself it’s not Ulla all over again. For one thing, I still hear from this friend. Ulla went silent well before, so I hold onto hope that I won’t see another repeat. Please.

None of this makes me want to go and get diagnosed. It’s just a deterrent. If you don’t give them what they want to hear – oh, yes, I no longer feel that the world is complete shit and I should just die – they hook you up. Cook your brains to try and get that fucking idea out of it.

I don’t want my friend to be so depressed. I don’t want her to cry all day and feel like she has no reason to be here.

I don’t want them to hurt her, and I’m not sure about ECT. Especially ECT performed in other countries. Here, I’d trust. Some other countries in the EU, I’d trust. But, sorry, – I don’t trust everyone. Especially not after Ulla. Yes, I know….It’ll probably be a completely different treatment facility. Doesn’t matter. The stark black and white photos from Ulla’s blog, her straight up manner telling us about the people who go there for treatment, the gruel served for meals, the non-existent cleanliness or means to stay clean at such a place…this is what I’m thinking about this morning. This is what I’m afraid of. My friend going into a place just like that and never coming out again.

…That’s the friend I hear from. The rest are quiet. I hope that means they’re busy and happy with life.

Script out. All that dragging of my feet, and in the end it only took 10 minutes to prep up a letter and hit send. Far more to go, far more to do, but it’s out, sent to someone else to look at. Didn’t take more than half an hour after sending it out before I opened up a new document and began ‘typing, just to get some ideas down’. Lost myself for over an hour. What I’m allowing to be typed out is a drama, straight up. That’s where my head goes; that’s what’s truly meant by ‘edgy’ or ‘unconventional’ – people rarely use those words to describe comedies. They want drama, serious drama. And I see, now, as I look through my notes on theatres, that there are two distinct categories out there: one, the established and professional group that seeks the edgy and unconventional; and two, the amateur and non-professional group that seeks to just fill all the seats in an audience.  My bro harangued me yesterday as I told him a bit about my new script idea. Why do you always have to get so serious? he asked. I then heard a mini-lecture which I could have given on how amateur groups are looking for something simple and accessible, not big heavy dramas. No one wants to come and see Aunt Marge play a heavy. But Aunt Marge in a comedy guaranteed to give you a chuckle or two – that they’ll sit through. I know, I told him. But I need to get this out. And some ideas shouldn’t be made light of. Maybe if I can get this ugly muck out of me I’ll be able to turn it on its head and make it into a comedy, but I doubt it. My brother doesn’t understand that rape is just a topic for women, something we need to be aware of and work against, like carrying an umbrella on a rainy day. It happens. A lot. Sorry you think it’s too heavy, sorry you don’t want to hear the story. It’s vital, and women are still getting blamed (and burned alive) for being raped, so I think it remains a topic with teeth.

I find myself crying now and then. Just crying over memories or realizations. I can pull myself out of it fast enough, but it’s the fact that it’s happening at all that bothers me. I don’t want to lose it again. Don’t want to go back to the docs or begin with a new therapy. Don’t want labels on me. Don’t want to talk to anyone about this, don’t feel the need to explain it to anyone. I’m bleeding sad, dude. My mother was a bitch, my sister is the head bitch of the world, my older brother always wanted to fuck me and made no secret of it, my dad never thought I was beautiful. I was taught to blame myself for everything. I’m aware of all of that, and don’t need to report to someone once a week to tell them how much or how little I smoke, what I ate, how I slept, and all my little thoughts and fears.

Today my physiotherapist begins work on my neck for the dizziness I’ve been experiencing. It ain’t good. Turn my head too fast and the world spins. Worried about falling and hurting myself. Beating myself up because I’m not going to the gym and I feel any minute I’m not exercising is a minute the fat can grow back (will I ever get over having such an obese sibling? probably not).

My own little corner of the world is what it is. It’s kind of empty; not many people want to know me. It’s kind of dusty, because I’m not that good at housework. But I’m comfortable there. I can lounge in my pj’s. Talk or not talk, write or not write. My little corner is what gets me through the days. Turn off the tv, shut down social media, and just be. You can put your own label on it: avoidance, denial, running and hiding. I don’t care.

This is where I live.

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.

I’m a bit weird

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Today’s the day. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The orange oompa-loompa is taking office, with a staggering 40% approval rate (40? Really? There’s that many rich white old men out there?).

Sometimes I wish more of that side read stuff, like blogs. It would be great to think I could present an argument that might flip their opinion. I know that’s unrealistic, though. Those kind of people are the men who choke you with their dick, forcing your head down on it time and again until you’re gagging from it, telling you all the time that ‘you want it, you dirty bitch’ and when they’re done they say it was ‘just a friendly exchange, what are you talking about?’.  That’s Trump supporters. And Trump himself.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’ve caught a lot of flack from Americans. Americans who call me a traitor. These are the same Americans who told me ‘if you don’t like it, get out’. When I did, I was called traitor. I’m told I don’t know what I’m talking about. Told to keep my nose out of their business. Such hypocrisy!

Last night I saw The Daily Show, which has a day’s delay before it’s broadcast here. The guest was the outgoing UN ambassador. For the first time, I heard some of America’s rhetoric against Russia. The first time. Maybe Americans should rethink what they believe when it’s only THEIR news saying something is a “fact”. But then, we are talking Americans. Repeat the story enough, and they’ll believe it. Saddam had weapons of destruction. Remember that? Weapons of destruction. Didn’t exist. It was a LIE. Think about it!

Oh, and Richard Gere really DID shove that gerbil up his ass, too.

The United States is so eager to believe lies and liars. That, more than anything, depresses me. The sheer ignorance of the common people. My bro was in the military; he told me straight up: the US military keeps everything at a 5th grade level because THAT’S the true education level of the average American. Fifth grade. Not even fucking middle school! Fools and idiots. Throw into that a good deal of inbreeding (still legal in some states!) and you’ve got America. Well done, Founding Fathers! You bred a good race of slaves. Keep them poor, keep them ignorant. Rant about this and that, get them to vote for you, keep your money, screw them over – what does it matter? They’re just stupid people. They’ll fuck and make more than we can kill in one year, anyway.

Trump and his narcissism are just off the charts. I see he’s claiming to be a genius now. Yeah, he’s a genius alright. A genius at lying and backstabbing. A genius at using people and walking all over them. Oh, you’ve got a lovely four years ahead. So does the rest of the world. Trump farts, and stocks soar. What did I say about the stock market? That it was just one big casino, where no one really knows what’s going to win and what’s going to lose. I think the recent jumps and dives thanks to Twitter should back me up on that – if the stock market was based on anything real, it wouldn’t have that kind of volatility. Wait! Fifth grade level. If the stock market was based on anything real, it wouldn’t jump around so much based on what The Donald tweets. Better?

Goddamn it!

I’m upset – obviously. Anything connected with The Donald upsets me. It should upset anyone who thinks, but…. Right. Time to let it go for this morning.

Sorry; there’s just not enough marijuana in the world to make this okay.

Dutch today. Oh, turn my frustration into a reason to pay attention and learn this language! My head is more than rusty. I can barely reach coherency state. But hey! I learned a new word yesterday – vent, which means ‘guy’. Now that I know it, I see it everywhere. That’s cool. I still feel my vocab is lacking. And I’m still having a damned difficult time putting a sentence together correctly. Seems I always have something wrong. Ugh. Will I ever get it?

My friend, J, read thru the script. He calls it ‘relatable and accessible’. Gotta love J’s way with words. I say ‘it’s a silly little story that’s been done before’, and he says ‘relatable and accessible’. He’s so good. Anyway, I asked him for a paragraph synopsis. Simple and short. Now all I need is the local group to do a minimal read-through, and I’ll be ready to finish up what needs doing and send it out.

And I’ll probably borrow the ‘relatable and accessible’ in my write-up. Bless you, J!

I did not make it to the gym yesterday, and frankly, my thighs are thanking me. It was still damned painful (and difficult) standing and sitting. That cross trainer -! Didn’t know I could love and hate something so much at the same time. But I figure I’ll be frustrated after class today, no matter how zen I try to remain, so a good blow out at the gym is on the schedule. Hello, darling. Be gentle with me. Uh! Do it!

Okay. I’m a bit weird. Sometimes I have to note that, like it’s some excuse or something. Never mind me; I’m a bit weird. It usually comes up when I blurt something out that I’ve thought through for ages. Problem is, I don’t state out my line of reasoning, only the final punch line my silly brain comes up with. So it’s out of context and ‘weird’. Not really. Not if you were inside my brain, and heard everything that came before it. Then you’d get the joke. Instead, I say what I say and laugh, which looks more insane than anything else I could do. And I wind it all up with a ‘I’m a bit weird’.

Hm. I can see how that doesn’t work to my favor.

I’m a bit weird.