Om de Hoek

Someone call 1912, tell them I found their missing summer day.

There is a spit of land in the far west of the Netherlands. A tiny spit of land that forms the headway for the great river Maas that cuts through Rotterdam. A tiny spit of land that takes the brunt of the elements, the largest ships, the everything the ocean and sky and wind can throw at it. That tiny spit of land is called Hoek van Holland (literally, the corner of the Netherlands). And yesterday, I finally saw it.

Hop on the B metro. That’s easy; the station is literally outside my front door. Ride that baby all the way to the end: Schiedam Central. Find the bus halt. In summer, there can be as many as four bus lines running back and forth – but, of course, on the day my brother and I went, there were only two buses every hour.

As I traveled across this tiny nation (and tiny it IS; my goddess! I’d drive longer to get to my grandparents’ home than it would take to travel the length of this tiny land), I watched the landscape change. The Dutch have a way of planting up the area to hide cities and towns and industrial parks. The only way you know something is over there is due to the church spire towering above the trees, or a fast glimpsed solar panel through the canopy. Then, in a heartbeat, everything changes. The trees open up to wide, expansive fields dotted with cows, sheep, and horses. A quiet lake surrounded by tall reeds erupts in activity as a gaggle of geese takes off in flight.

There was a time I looked at the neat rows of trees here in the Netherlands and thought yuck, gimme real forests. Everything looked too manicured, too tamed to my eye. I was used to horizon-to-horizon openness: wide skies, nature, and not another human to be seen. But after spending a large portion of my life near such untamed wildness, I find now that I appreciate all the landscaping the Dutch have done. There are paths through the land here. Paths that can take a bicyclist or walker from one side of the country to the other. Paths that are well laid, and lit at night. Paths that wind you around those trees and quiet lakes, through the fields dotted with animals, past every sight worth seeing. Tired? Thirsty? Need to pee? Undoubtedly the Dutch have thought of that, too, and if you just hang on for another five minutes you’ll see the bench laid out to sit on (conveniently under a large tree that offers its shade to travelers), or the cafe with cold drinks and hot sandwiches, or the public toilets that are always kept clean and well stocked.

These little niceties are especially appreciated after 14 years in Ireland, where sitting was an irregularity…

When we finally made the beach, it was like some long forgotten scene of a by-gone era. Sun parasols dotted the sand, a look I always associate with “olden times”. Some kids flew kites. A couple of boys kicked a football around. Kids and adults alike licked ice cream cones and sucked cool drinks. Dogs played in the surf. Despite it being only 20C (70F), most people were out in their bathing suits, determined that since it was summer, they’d treat it like summer, no matter how many goose bumps they got from the chilly off-shore wind.

And it was clean. Maybe the cleanest beach I’ve ever seen.

We were told it was ‘just a beach’. What we found was a lively on-sand mini-town. There were fancy vacation homes if you wanted full time sun and sand. A row of cheap fast food, then better sit down meals, then clubs with alcohol and entertainment. Shops to buy stuff at, arcades to throw away your euro on. And a long stretch of sand dunes, guaranteed to hide walkers, bikers, and lovers from prying eyes.

Up, and down. Out to the end of the breakwater, to watch the waves crash over the gigantic rocks laid down like a giant’s building blocks scattered along the way. Half a dozen hardy fisherman cast their long poles, teasing the hidden fish swimming amongst the seaweed.  A double toot from an outgoing passenger liner, people standing along the railing waving at those of us still on land.

The most disappointing thing of the day was our fish, bought from a stand on the beach. Expensive, and not nearly as good as the guy who has a stand by our house.

Today, I am back to more normal activities. The gym, obviously. Walking in the sand for three hours is good exercise, but it isn’t the cross trainer. Need to get to the printer and have a hard copy of my play printed up. Haven’t looked at it for days; giving my brain and my eyes a good rest before the final editing process. Gotta run my lines, too. Been neglecting that.

Telling myself good things are coming. They’re om de hoek.

That’s life

Life has returned. My memories are back in the closet, not forgotten, but filed away. Time to move on.

Writing is going well. Not enough time to do it lately. Seems it’s all run this errand, pick that up, and of course the ever present necessity to get to the gym and move so I don’t hurt so much. Haven’t even cleaned the house in I don’t know how long, and it shows it.

Today I’m keeping to my life commitment. Heading out with my brother to the comic book shop. Say hi to the guys. Hang out. Talk. Be a part of the world. Got to keep in practice with that, at least a little bit, or I’ll forget how to do it.

Been feeling very alone and lonely. The two don’t always go together, but right now they do. In the wake of my reaction to the news about L, I feel friendless. Want to change that, but I find my physical condition works against me. Last time I tried to schedule a get together with potential friends I woke up with laryngitis. Shit happens. Just the excitement of looking forward to getting out and meeting people can make me ill. Do that enough times to a potential new friend and they lose interest in pursuing a friendship. Seen it happen.

And I don’t like this double life I live. The reality is, my health isn’t good. I do fall ill very easily. I’m not strong. But then there’s my gym life: the nods and notice I get while working out. Maybe they’re not all dyin’ to do me, but they do acknowledge I work hard (beginning to think that most of the smiles I receive are ‘she’s a tough old bird’ type of thing). Most people drop out after an hour of exercise. Most people are shocked and think two hours is extreme. Oh, god, I could never make it for two hours! Then they look me up and down, decide that maybe not all physical strength translates into slim, tight bodies, and put me in that ‘healthy as hell’ category, which I do not deserve to be in.

…At least my physiotherapist understands.

Speaking of, looking forward to seeing him next week. Realized a long time ago our sessions are half physio and half talk therapy. Why can I do that? Why am I so open with someone like him, yet so closed if I see someone called ‘therapist’? One of those mysteries about myself I’d like to solve. …I need him on both levels right now. Despite my physical movement, I’ve got some pain building up. And although I don’t know what I’m going to say, I do know I’ll probably bring up L.

Been a few months since I’ve been able to get my hair done. Upshot is, I’ve got grey showing. Maybe for the first time in my life. A couple of silver hairs by each temple. I’ve looked at it closely in the mirror. It’s not unattractive. In fact, I find myself more distressed by the shaggy outgrowth look I’ve got right now than those grey hairs. …Don’t think I should wear my hair this long. It looks strange on my face. A 20 something tousled hair style on a 50 something woman. But what am I supposed to do? That’s my hair. It just looks that way, naturally. Hope to get it all spruced up before September.

Have not worn my orthopedics, despite the cooler weather. Do not want to wear my orthopedics. My cheap tennis shoes (with added insoles) are lovely: they give me plenty of support, and they don’t bite my feet at all. Plus they were a quarter of the cost of my orthopedics. But I’ll need to get back on that. No use in doing it in August; this entire country goes on holidays. Another thing to write in for September.

Bought some cheap eye gel and dark circle remover. Cosmetics that promise the impossible. But I figure any improvement is an improvement. And I’m guessing it helps to just go through the motions. Applying lotions, massaging them in – that’s a form of self love. I care enough about myself to do this, it says. Or at least that’s how I see it. So, I’m doing it, and hoping it will buy me a few years of looking not so tired and worn out.

Have let myself off the hook for tomorrow’s exercise. My bro is on me to read the final chapters in his book, one of the comic book guys leant me a run of stories by George Romero, and of course I have my own writing to get to. Today will largely be shot, between traveling to and fro and all the time spent visiting. Tomorrow is my make-up day: do the writing I should be doing today, finish up those comics, and start reading my brother’s work.

Wish these things didn’t always pile up on me.

…Wish I could just say no like so many people have said to me. I’m too busy with my own shit. Deal.

And that takes me right back to who I want to be. Do I want to be that person who’s always too busy for friends? Do I want to show the people I care about that I care about them, or will I just perpetuate that lip service shit my family gave to me? It always comes up for me at times like this. And I get angry, and pout, and whine that it isn’t fair, isn’t fair, isn’t fair…

But that’s life.

Sick of it. Literally.

Felt it start yesterday afternoon. The scratchy throat. The cough that hurt. This morning I awoke with full blown laryngitis, an annual side-effect of my summer allergies. I’m sucking lozenges, gargling with salt water, drinking juice, and taking it easy.

Suck-ola. Found myself getting angry at my doctor without ever actually visiting: I’m well aware that if I made the foray over to her office and actually wrangled an appointment within the next 48 hours, I’d be told to suck lozenges, gargle with salt water, drink juice, and take it easy. The only reason to go is to have medical proof that yes, once again I am ill. Seems I must justify myself to the medical community before anyone takes me seriously. As usual, I’m physically drained with this, and don’t want to do much more than vegetate in front of the tv. So, as usual, I’ll do that first line of defense on my own and see if it clears itself up.

Script: 4000 words and climbing. I’ve barely begun act 1 scene 3, and have a lot of territory to cover in the next 2000 words. But I’m allowing my characters a bit of verbosity. Easier to cut than to stretch a story. I like my soviet agent. A lot. She’s menacing without being outright threatening. My characters are fleshing out and surprising me. One is funnier than I expected. Another more vulnerable than I thought. And it’s not just the women; the men are more than I expected, too. These disparate roles are ready made for personal conflict.

To round off my life, my brother is on a kick of disregarding me and my personal space. Dirty dishes left piled in the sink. Washed dishes left in the rack, never put away. Miscellaneous shit, like an extra water bottle I’d emptied and put aside for personal use. Oh, was that yours? I didn’t know. Well, did you put it there? No? Then what makes you think it was left there for you? Did you imagine Santa Claus came in overnight and left you a present? Hanging his rain-soaked clothes directly over my face towel, thereby soaking said face towel with underwear and sock drippings. Get the picture? Feels like I don’t exist, my work doesn’t matter, and half the time I’m just in his way.

…Was gonna write ‘I’m sick of it’ and then I realized I really AM sick of it. Literally. Funny how that happens so often in my life.

Well, let’s make this a short illness. Pick up the box of tissues, the lozenges, the water, my pills, and head off for a nap.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Swimming

Lesson learned. When I began this whole theatre thing, I didn’t know if my health would allow me to do it. It’s always been precarious, and with all my meds (and this older body), my health has become downright rickety.

Needed two days down after ‘performing’ for our small group. Planned to be tougher than that, but woke up Friday dead to the world; had four cups of coffee to put an end to my caffeine headache and promptly fell asleep for another three hours. I’ll say performing is performing (pretty much), so I’ll use a two day gauge as my guide. Or as my minimum. Maybe that’s better: minimum. Standing around in a crowd of fans for an hour after performing might just add a day or two to that schedule.

My manic episodes have almost ceased, if that’s what they are. Mostly, they consist of me garnishing huge laughs on stage and then standing around gathering praise afterwards. Sequels to what I felt on Wednesday night, only bigger (because you know the sequel has to be bigger).

And time off was needed; woke up Thursday with a full nose and a scratchy throat. Babied myself. Scolded myself into sitting around and resting on Friday.

I think I’m ready to get back to the day-to-day.

First up is exercise. Of course. Said to a fellow actor that I have to move or I feel pain. Nothing like being accurate with your own Catch 22s. A couple of days down, and my side pain is kicking up again, aggravated. Off to the gym for a light session today. Still have a scratchy throat, still not 100%, so keep it light.

This prolonged lag has me a bit worried. I’ve got to do back to back performances on our first weekend, then be ready to go again the weekend after. It might take me all week to recoup.

My brother is more than supportive right now. Well…he sees it. The joy. The sheer, unbelievable JOY I experience just having this opportunity again. If my knees were in better shape, I’d get down on them to thank the Goddess for these precious memories.

Because I no longer doubt. For so many years, I questioned myself. Was my mother right? Was I just not talented enough to give acting a chance?

No. The bitch was wrong. Every bit of me is screaming it.

But, then, my mother…We’re talking about a person who could make a fish feel guilty for swimming.

And let me tell you (seeing as I am that fish), allowing myself to swim again after so long is an unexpected treasure. I knew I enjoyed it. I knew, even, that I loved it. But I forgot how much. I made myself forget it when I gave up on my dreams.

It hurt so much to turn my back on myself.

Now, more than ever, I’ve got strikes against me. I’m older. Have this illness to contend with. It’s going to be an uphill battle all the way.

But I have to. I am the salmon, returning up stream to spawn. It’s in my nature to battle the rapids, the rocks, to take on the odds and win.

I’m a fish. And baby, I’m swimming.

Chicken Shit

I guess every generation has its stories. For my grandmother, it was the model T. For my mother, it was the death of Kennedy. I lived through it; I was there. And we each came away with our own perspective. One of my grandmother’s favorite quotes was ‘Men have a place; it’s six feet under’. My mother always harped at me ‘don’t become dependent on any man’. I have to deal with being tagged a cougar or a MILF.

And dare I say how completely disappointed I am in society today? How quickly women’s problems have been shoved to the background in the face of racial tensions, religious fighting, and every other issue de jour you can think of? Yeah, yeah, I’m told, but that’s yesterday’s problem. Today it’s police violence, terrorism, blah-de-blah. And somehow, it’s always from a man’s perspective…

Just another diss by our male dominated society. Because no matter what issue you want to bring up, women are on the bottom of the pile. Our concerns come last. Our voices are heard last (if at all).

And we’re supposed to feel good that there’s the occasional Angela Merkel out there. That every once in a while, one of us is allowed – let’s not mince words here – allowed to come to the forefront.

You wanna talk about silent majorities? Then you need to address the women on this planet.

Oh, I’m becoming militant in my feminism. The more I see and learn, the more militant I become. And nothing makes you aware of these subtle disses throughout history than writing historical based stories. I’ve found the words and set-ups I’m using in my upcoming script to be extremely current. Seventy bleeding years and not much has changed.

That’s my fucking point.

Take away the historical setting, the Russian names, and you have a story that fits today’s attitudes towards women. The same struggles. The same blame. The same unspoken need to be twice as good as any man in order to earn half the respect.

This is the whole underlying reason for the script. To really show it. These women were pushing through the glass ceiling LONG before the equivalent shake up happened in the West, and here we are, SSDD (which in this case, should be read as same shit different decade).

But I digress…

Asked my bro, who’s ex-military, quite a few questions about some of the day to day stuff of military life. Like, do majors run around saluting each other, or do they use first names because they’re the same rank? Is it unreasonable for me to think a group of soldiers might sneak off for a little party in the middle of this war? I got a load of good info, including some really strong ideas for what might be stolen from the men’s regiment. The general story proved believable, even to a military person. So far, so good.

Hit the gym hard yesterday. So hard I was falling asleep around 9:30 last night. My arms are fucking killing me. Moved up on the free weight exercises, and ho-ly hell! Can I feel it!

Today was my last Thursday language lesson before the summer break. We had a few visitors and spent our time walking through the local parks, talking about the artwork scattered here and there. It was a pleasant change. There’s a language course over the summer, but it’s €50, and I just don’t see being able to cough that up right now. Things are too tight.

One look at my hair should tell anyone that.

Have to call my dermatologist for a refill on a prescription. Ugh. Dutch, Dutch, Dutch. You’d think I’d be able to get over this, but it seems no matter who I talk to, they end up using new words I’ve never heard before. Then I get flustered, and anxious, and the existing Dutch in my head goes out the window. Doesn’t help that I just don’t like phones.

Tomorrow is my last Friday language lesson before the break. Then I’m back to drop off my stuff and head out to theatre rehearsal – so my day on, day off exercise thing has a snag this week. Thought I might head over today, but…I’m still tired, it’s hot and humid, and I can’t imagine pushing myself after walking all morning.

Ah, well. If I’m that concerned I can get my fat ass down on the floor and do some abdominal exercises. Any takers? (Obviously not, as I continue to sit here in front of my computer and contemplate getting up to only (1) pee, or (2) grab a sugary cola from the ‘fridge.)

My brain is rebelling, and daydreaming over my very cute physiotherapist. Thought I’d trained myself out of that. It’s so easy to slip back into it, though. Now I ponder asking him to this theatre production. One of those I wanna ask you out but I’m too chicken so I’ll do it this way things. Push the comedy, the fun, tell him I don’t know many people and it would be good to bring a few audience members in with my first role (always add in the sympathy vote), it would make a great date for him and his girlfriend (a fish to find out if he’s still dating someone), and that it would be great to buy him a beer afterwards (a fish for time, and to see if I pick up any signals outside his office). And, honestly, doing it this way, if he says no or doesn’t show up, he’s rejecting the idea of sitting through an amateur theatre production, not me, right? Or, at least, that’s a foothold I can build for myself.

Gods, I’m chicken shit.

Yes Women

Ah! The words every back pain sufferer wants to hear from her physiotherapist were uttered to me yesterday – your back is in really good condition. Yippee! It’s been 5 weeks since my last appointment and I feel I’ve been a good girl with exercising and all that, so no real big surprise. After all, I wasn’t screaming with pain while he was gone. Still, always good to hear it from an expert.

A really, really cute expert.

Honestly, I’m once again left wondering about this man. He went on holiday to Thailand for three weeks. An observer might have assumed an entirely different relationship than the one we have; sure, he showed me into the examination room (as usual), but then it was almost ten minutes of showing me pictures and video from his trip, telling me about the people he met and the scuba diving he did. We had that fast exchange two people who’ve been apart for a while but really like each other do: rapid speech, lots of laughs, and an excitement to share everything the other’s missed in our absence.

Gods, and his eyes! I swear they twinkle.

*lovesick sigh*

Been having trouble finding the information I want/need for my script. Amazing (not) how completely censored the internet is. All I can find is repeated info; the same blurbs a thousand times over, masquerading as new articles and stories while offering the same pat. Wondering if I should even consider contacting the Russian embassy to ask for information. In these days and times, just the act of asking could be construed as ‘wrong’.

Determined to get to the gym today despite the forecast high temp and humidity. I’m strong enough to have doubled my speed on the cross trainer. Still not that fast, mind you. I only cover slightly over 2 miles in half an hour. I hope to increase that speed a bit more before turning up the resistance again. And the only way to increase my speed is to keep doing it. This day on, day off timing is working exceptionally well for me. I don’t get into a two day endorphin roll, then jones out on my off days. My workouts still drain me, and every time I think I’ll do a double day I wake up on the second day sore, stiff, and bone tired. So I’ll stick with the day on, day off thing. I AM over 50, after all.

Running the lines for the last half of my scene. Gotta roll my eyes again at the writer: typical male written dialogue, with a lot of support language for the female characters. Oh! Um – yes. That’s it for at least 50% of the play. I like the physical challenge, being asked to stand silent on stage for long, long moments. But don’t ever try to tell me this writer knows anything about women. He doesn’t, and it’s obvious in the dialogue, stage directions, and underlying messages in his work. We’re silly little add ons, desperately clinging to the men in the scene. Fluffy headed reasons to put a joke in somewhere. He’s left every woman in this play stuck in the fifties, which only emphasizes it’s he who’s stuck.

Pitiful.

Yeah, I know what I sound like.

It does make me determined to write better roles for women. I won’t skew something I see as male just to be a feminist. If the story presents itself to me as a male thing, I’ll write it that way. But no female role I ever write will be some side salad, nothing with any meat in it. Even if they’re not central characters, they’ll be interesting. More than yes women.

I so bloody hate yes women roles. Real life, and scripted.

Amen

After an intensive writing session yesterday, my rough combined outline is complete. Seven filled pages, single spaced. Three acts, four scenes each. The acts I already knew; the scenes were simple once I combined all the individual outlines. I’ve a few notes to insert, mostly to remind myself of someone’s motivation or to add in some wartime/pilot dialogue here and there. Still have to find some last names; even I’m not concentrating on those, and I certainly don’t expect the audience to. I need to bone up on a bit of mechanics on the planes, military etiquette, and I want to find and pull instructions for a correct salute for the Red Army.

Skipped out on gym exercise. By the time I was done writing, I was dead tired.

Today I hit the housework – dishes, garbage, recycling, hoovering, dusting, mirrors, sinks, toilet. Feels good, at the end of the week, to know I’ve completed all this work.

More than on schedule. That feels good, too.

Looking ahead. Been thinking of another thriller. Hate to say that a lot will depend on what theatres want rather than my creative impulses, but it’s true. I’ll write to fit their requirements, so if no one wants a thriller it’ll just sit in my subconscious…at least for now.

Wishing I had a different reward system in place. My falls backs are food and smoking – both of which I’m trying to avoid. It’s hard to find something to fill that gap.

Need to do some shopping. Take a hundred euro, and go to the stores. Find at least one other pair of shorts (I’ve only one pair I feel comfortable in), and something other than my endless run of T-shirts (which range from old white T’s with sweat stains under the arms to solid color T’s with burn holes in them; perfect for the gym but nothing else). And my underwear! Good Goddess, my mother will return from the dead just to DIE again if I ever get in an accident and someone sees them (the proverbial threat of my childhood about stained underwear).

My feet are healing slowly. The long, hot spell we had really did a number on them. The psoriasis I suffer from (thank you, RA!) flared up, as did a nasty case of athlete’s foot. I’m so embarrassed about how they look I won’t even consider wearing sandals right now, so I’m doubly thankful for the cooler temps we’ve been having.

I miss having a female friend. Someone to hang out with, go shopping with. Someone who’ll help me with my really poor taste in clothing. You know – the kind of friend you can spend hours talking to about nothing much at all. Or everything. Haven’t had that for a long, long time.

Goddess, and I miss having a job! Somewhere to go to during the week. Some manner of making money on a regular basis. Thinking I’ll do some volunteer work over the summer, if I can. Just to get me out and involved with people.

Saw a Buddha in someone’s window today as I was taking out the garbage, which got me thinking about prayer and supplication. I guess we all send out a little prayer to the Universe from time to time; please, let this happen or please help me. I don’t know if I actually can claim to have any faith. I lose it so often in the face of life’s obstacles. I feel so weak.

I doubt so much.

And there’s always that caveat – be careful what you ask for. Yeah, that haunts me….

But if I were to pray – and today being Sunday I can’t help but think about praying – I’d hope someone would hear me, and pity me, and grant me the following:

Grant me sustaining faith. Help me remember the good times. Give me the courage to make friends, to be understanding and kind. And guide me, somehow, to a place where I can take care of myself.

Amen.

For now, it’s good

Nothing helps me get a grip like hard exercise. Make your heart work, your muscles ache, your lungs gasp. Brings me right back into my body, no questions asked. After I push through the first wall, you’ll see me grinning like a fool as sweat drips off my face. I enjoy being that grounded.

I’ve definitely changed, inside and out.  Twenty years ago I would have been intimidated by the free weights; too many guys hanging around admiring their muscles as they jerk twenty kilos. These days, it’s a no brainer. Go, and do. Ignore them, ignore them. Ignore the glances in my direction. I need to do this. Fuck off with your youthful judgement.

Today I slipped on a pair of pants that have hovered somewhere between tight and too small for a year – and they were loose. I’ve more than an inch around my waist and enough bagginess in the butt to make me pull them up once in a while.

Hooray!!

Also received an email from a real person regarding a script. Thanks for your submission, and we’re making our decision by August 10. I can live with that.

Started putting down ideas for Night Witches (or is it The Night Witches? don’t know yet). I want it to end like this, so this must happen before then. Which leads be back another step, that must happen first. A quick glance at my acceptance letter showed me there’s no time nor cast limit. Fan-fucking-tastic. Forget all that. Write what you want. Trying to keep it to 10 characters, 7 women and 3 men. I’ve got my pilots. I know the name of my main character. Been fleshing in the history of each role, what circumstances brought them to the front line. I’ve got a lesbian and a patriot. An abused woman just wanting to escape her family. Someone who lost everyone in her family to the Nazis. I’ve sympathetic men and antagonistic men. There’s infighting, chauvinism, sexual attacks, gossip and loss – and then there’s the war. Everything’s going into the outline. And I’ll probably write it backwards again. Last scene, first to be written. End where you want to end. The beginning will write itself.

Tonight is theatre rehearsal. No prob. Got it down pretty well, just working on delivery nuances.

Almost the last week of language classes. All that really means is I’ll have my Thursday and Friday mornings free. Continuing to work on Dutch is kind of obligatory when you live here. That is, if you want to understand anything important.

Hope my good mood will continue. We’re slated for cooler weather for this whole week, so that should help. My RA won’t be flaring up, and that always makes me feel better. Keep on with – well, everything. Exercise, eating right, sleep and rest, language studies, line memorizing, housework…staying on top of it all makes me feel competent. That gives me a toehold on self-confidence. One or two kindly words about my progress, and suddenly I’m not feeling so down on myself.

No illusion this is a permanent change. I know myself too well to think that. But…and…for now, it’s good.

Reverse Hibernation

Tired. Like, down to my bones. Every limb feels heavy and stiff. Slept 10 hours and considering a nap. Trying not to, ’cause naps fuck me up more than it’s worth most times, unless I’ve been on a crying jag (which I’ve not)…then it resets me.

Consciously smoking. Cutting down. Reigning in. …It’s as much a pain in the ass process as active listening is right now.

Just want to sleep.

My brain has shut down. It refuses to think of anything more than putting one foot in front of the other. It offers no inspiration, gives me nothing from story-land to occupy my time.

It’s bleak, but comforting. And I think this is the way death comes to us. It tires us down, bit by bit, until we welcome the unending slumber. At least, I hope so.

I hope that’s the way it happens.

Happy thoughts to while away the day, yes?

Ugh. I hate my body when it’s like this. Far beyond just exercise back lash. Fronts have been moving through the area, and long observation has lead me to the conclusion that fast moving weather fronts affect my RA. Summer is always hell. I use selective denial, and choose to remember summers as fun. But the truth always hits me mid-way. Summer tires me out terribly.

Been rehearsing my role. Really have the first seven pages down. Recorded in my partner’s lines for the last half of the script. Now it’s repetition. Perfecting. I keep finding deeper and deeper nuances of body language to use. So much can be said with a turn of the head.

Trying not to worry. Tough, when I’m like this. If I could keep active, keep going…then maybe my mind wouldn’t go so dark. But I struggled to get the dishes done. It was a big job, or it felt like it. Going outside, committing to other activities…I’d drop over unconscious within an hour. I need an extra boost of caffeine to even begin reaching a state of ‘normal’ alertness. A big boost.

Feels like I’m slipping into some reverse hibernation. Sleep away the summer rather than the winter.

…On a cosmic level, that makes sense somehow…doesn’t it?

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.