I love it

It’s done. Everyone is dead.

Three days of hard writing. Concentrated, like those frozen juices you can buy. It all came out in one big lump.

Part three is done. Now that the story is out of me, I realize that yes, I really did need to get that finished before I could move onto the rest. Start with the end. No matter how many times I try to write a script from the beginning and just power through, it doesn’t work. I get the opening scene done, generally…but then I’ve got to stop, and write the ending.

Ends and beginnings…I’m good at those. It’s all the in-between that’s a muddle.

But now it’s done. And it’s magnificent in its action. Plays can be…too much dialogue. It’s easy to do. Especially with so many rinky-dink groups around. They don’t have a lot of money, they don’t have a lot of skill – so it comes down to having them memorize dialogue to tell the story. But I asked! I asked. And the group said they’d be willing to give some physical acting a go – specifically, on-stage fighting. Did my best to give the story enough of what it needed without demanding too much of the actors. But someone’s gotta take a few punches in Act 3. And can I say, I envy the actors who’ll get the roles. I’ve people going insane, panic attacks, screaming arguments – the kind of roles I, as an actor, would like to have a shot at.

Well…maybe I’ll get a chance at acting in my own work. It is a small group….

Have this tickling kind of sixth sense that tells me I’m gonna create an entire report on this trilogy for the group in order to sell it. A list of props needed – with notes on what I think will work, how much I think it might cost, etc.; a list of sound needed – easily covered; a list of lighting shifts – messy to write but easily done; and a list of general things to think about, like the fight scene, or the fact that I really don’t think we should attempt to do this two days in a row because it’s so demanding.

Eh. There’s the twat in me. Write a bleeding report -! Though, considering I’m a woman who can turn yesterday’s errands and her stray thoughts into an easy 1000 word blog, I suppose it should come as no surprise to think I’ll write up a summation of the trilogy, and address every objection and concern before anyone in the group can voice it.

…Is that a control issue? I imagine it is. Already trying to take my fantasies down. Deflate the mania balloon. Anytime I imagine the play being done, the thrills, the chills, the applause – I shrink it. My head is going too far, too fast, and the last thing I want is for the group to do it and me to be disappointed because I built up this big fantasy in my mind.

And let’s. be. honest. I know where this is going. I’ve known from the start, tho I’ve been reluctant to admit it. I’m working it to a screenplay. My stories are too visual to begin with, and include lighting techniques, camera moves, and tight edits even when I’m writing for the stage (those elements are not included in the play, of course…but they do influence what I write). Not thrilled about the idea of learning how to write a screenplay. I’ve a fairly good idea of the elements needed. I did drive my brother nuts while he was in film school, asking questions, reading his homework, learning almost as much as he did. But I haven’t tried to do it yet, so I imagine my first attempt(s) will be slow and not my best work.

That’s okay. It took me almost a year of writing stage plays before this story came out of me. The screenplays may take a while. Hell! Maybe by the time I really get around to writing the screenplays, I’ll be able to do them in Dutch. Take them straight to the National Film Works right here in the Netherlands. And even if they’re in English, I’ll start there. If I could get someone interested, get the ball rolling here…

Yeah. Squash that thought before it takes hold. I’ve loads of work to do before I can start thinking like that.

In the meantime, I’m pleased as punch. I’ve painted the floor with blood, and found it lovely. My brother has begun teasing me that I’ve finally let loose the killer in me (yes, I talked scripts to him and no, he wasn’t as closed down as I’d feared). He’s started calling me ‘Castle’, after the tv program (which we both enjoy). Hm. If I’m Castle, that makes him Beckett… Wow! That mash-up hurt my little brain in so many ways, not the least of which was a flash of my short-haired bro with long, flowing locks. And high heels.

For the record, I have not gone to the gym lately. Nor have I yet touched my homework (due today). Did manage to get some laundry done, but…the sinks are dirty, there’s clutter everywhere, and things are just a bit let go if you know what I mean.

I have managed to smoke a lot. Gee. Not a huge surprise, considering the trance-like state I was in. …My ashtray is a disgrace, no matter how many times I empty it.

But look at the bright side. It’s done. I’m dripping with blood. I stand here – metaphorically, of course – a Berserker Warrior, feasting on the hearts of the vanquished. And it. is. glorious. To mentally let go of every inhibition, every taboo, every law and just…destroy. I think I understand (a bit) that mad-dog mentality now.

Everyone’s dead.

And I love it.

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I’m not gonna stop

*sigh* Where do I even start?

I got the contract copy from the theatre group. There it was, number 4 under the clauses: absolutely no videos, filming, audio recordings or any other recordings of any kind ever under threat of absolute torture. Iron clad, clear as a bell. It also stated it was the theatre group’s responsibility to add that notice on all public displays, playbills, and advertising – which they didn’t do. They also didn’t adhere to the two shows listed in the contract; they ponied up two more shows on there without admitting to them. That’s the group’s karma, frankly – and I added in that note to show that no, they’re not exactly on the up-and-up.

But the video clause was a problem. Because my bro has been putting in around 50 hours this week trying to compress audio tracks, clean things up, make things visible, and put titles on everything he spent three days filming and talking about getting out to the public (and not one of the theatre board members bothered to correct him at any time). And I – I got to tell him. Tell him that all his work was for nothing. Gee, thanks you sat up babysitting your computer for half the night while it tried to process these vids. Thanks you listened and re-listened and brought down all the coughs and sneezes and interruptions so you can hear the dialogue, which you compressed several times to get the best sound you could. But you can’t release them to the public.

Did not go down well in brother land. I had to hear loads of bad comments on the group, their abilities, and them as people. I had to hear about all the time and work and effort. I had to hear about how his attitude was now ‘Fuck them; I’m not sharing any of it. They’ve got the rough footage. They can look at that. They don’t get to see my work and take it for granted – not when they couldn’t even say hi to me.’ He rounded out his tirade with ultimatums – he’ll never put that time in again, never film them again, never come multiple nights again, never again put up with everything he felt he had to put up with. I think I heard ‘never’ at least a dozen times.

And I made the mistake of teasing the group with upcoming vids. Now I have to explain. Again.

I do not like making excuses for my brother. I do not like tempering his words and anger into a palatable message for the world. It puts a lot of stress on me.

On the other hand, I sure as FUCK don’t want him around the group anymore. Not with that attitude, and not with his life-long ability to hold a grudge.

I still want to use these people to get my work out. Yes! Maybe for the first time in my life I have a slight ‘hidden agenda’ – though, to be honest, I’ve made no secret of it. Because I’m not someone who can go into a situation like this, pretend to have some fun – pretend to enjoy myself – while really not liking any of it, but sticking it out because I want something from the people involved. I’ve tried. Tried to be underhanded and sly. I can’t do it. Just like I can’t sell something I don’t believe in. Tried.

I have to come from a place of honesty.

Took me over an hour after my bro left the house before I could fashion a short reply to the original message. I didn’t want to just say ‘okay’. I wanted to let them know about the work my brother’s done – all the time he spent for no reason because they didn’t make a public announcement. All that time lost. I did make mention of it, but it wasn’t really acknowledged in return. No ‘gee, sorry he spent so much time’ or anything. Just a small justification, and a rather cryptic repeat of ‘we can share it amongst ourselves’, which I take to mean he’d like to see the vids my brother put in over a week of his own time working on. Thing is, they have the raw footage. They don’t need to see what my brother’s done.

So, here I am. Facing my brother’s anger, which is righteous and just; he should have been informed. Facing this idiotic and unthinking response from the group, who seem to expect stuff to just be done for them. And me in the middle. Soothe my brother as well as I can, be empathetic and understanding because I’ve stood in his shoes. Explain to the group as well as I can, be gentle and kind because I don’t want to ruin the possibility of working with them in future.

And keep them well apart.

Which throws a real wrench into the thriller trilogy. Oh, I had grandiose plans to use everything at my disposal! The sounds were going to be many, and richly layered. Now…Now I’m looking at taking it all down to the minimum. Stripping it as far as I can, so my brother is involved as little as possible. Even thinking about just doing the sound myself. It would take longer, and be a big burden on me because I’m just not as fast or as competent as my brother at engineering, but I could do it.

Telling myself maybe it’s a good thing. I was creating something I was capable of doing…but not everyone could do it. This should create a script more people can do. I hope.

Still, I’m sad. Sad because now I must curtail all my communications with my bro. Not mention the group, or the thriller, or any of it, because it’ll set him off.

And I’m sad because my brother won’t be as involved as I wanted him to be.

I like working with him.

But I’m not gonna stop.

I know it

Editing. Formatting. All that crazy shit a writer does that makes our eyes go wonky. Honestly, sometimes I think I stare so long at the computer screen my eyes dry up completely. It even hurts to blink.

All of that is good. Well, maybe not good as in good for me, but definitely good as in I’m on the right track. And way the hell ahead of my deadlines.

Had occasion to pause and bless my brother the other day. He’d met with R, his friend, in the morning. In the afternoon, he came home and told me: our appeal was rejected by immigration. Without skipping a beat, he informed me he’s already met with lawyers and accountants, and a clear plan of action has already been instigated, so, keep cool and relax. We are re-applying this year. Basically, starting our entire residency over again from day one. It’ll cost. Naturally. But our team has informed us it’s the way to move forward – and, apparently, a fool proof plan. There are no grounds to reject us if we re-apply.

I heard that, and the first thing I thought was ‘he doesn’t trust me with the news; he had to get everything settled before telling me’. Second thing was ‘Goddess, what other action could tell me how much he cares about me? He didn’t want to throw me or worry me or have me slip into a depression. He kept it from me until he had answers.’ My mind has settled on the second thought, and once again I find myself feeling small and petty for any and every argument I’ve ever brought up against him. Here I am, bitching because I think he doesn’t always listen to me or do the dishes in a timely manner, and there he is, dealing with extremely stressful questions about our future and not wanting to stress me out. And when I asked him why he didn’t tell me immediately, he simply answered: I knew you were upset about L, and I didn’t want to add to your worries.

Small. Teensy-tiny. Miniscule. Whip out your microscope and see me cringe.

Yesterday was a day out. (And here’s another thing about my bro, if you don’t already think he’s fabulous.) Every once in a while, my bro takes me out. Gets me out of the house, forces me to go downtown, eat a meal in public, walk around. We window shop, he encourages me to look at new clothes, once in a while we buy something. Yesterday we were on a mission for new headphones for both of us. Into Media Markt by Alexandrium. Wall of headphones. I chose a mid range set – not the cheapest, but not the most dear, either. Then an attempted casual ‘since we’re here, why don’t we look at entertainment?’ from my bro. Upstairs to DVD heaven. They were having a massive sale; found dozens of films for only five euro each. Walked out without spending too much, yet still have loads of hours of good watching. Then it was off to Papaya – literally, a little buffet type hole in the wall. But Goddess! THE best food ever. Came home to that companionable feeling we have after a fun day out. We laughed a little easier, talked a little more animated – all because we got out of the apartment for the afternoon.

And, I got a new hoodie. One that doesn’t look old or scruffy. One that hasn’t been washed a thousand times. Might go back and buy a nice blouse. Something that’s NOT a T-shirt. I’ve only got a few non-T-shirt shirts; I’d like some more.

Today I must tackle the housework. It’s piled up. I’ve managed to keep up on dishes and the big stuff, but the floor -! I can’t even consider getting down to do abdominal exercises with all that crap lying around. It’s too dirty. So I’ve lined up a day of hoovering a dusting, washing and ironing. Probably won’t get to the gym because of it.

Oh! And I have an answer. Anything I ever fantasized about my very cute physiotherapist was all one-sided. During my last appointment, we talked about the upcoming play – and I teased him that I have a whole two months to convince him to come to one of the performances. Hitch. I could feel it. His response: I’ll think about coming. Not sure, I’d love to come! So, now I know. Any interest on his part should have resulted in a bit more enthusiasm in his reply. I dithered on at the appointment. I said how I don’t know many people, how it would be good to have some support, etc. Tried to mitigate the disaster I just opened up. Oh, well. Can’t feel too bad about it. I am talking the production up, and I am inviting everyone I say more than two words to (other than shop workers; I often say five or six words to them, but I’m not inviting every cashier I meet). I tried, you know? Put it out there. I suppose it’s better to know for sure than to wonder forever if…. If. That wonderful two letter word! In my mind, it only becomes a curse if you put ‘only’ behind it: if only…. Do that, and you might as well shoot yourself in the foot. But if…Truly, that word sums up all that we can be.

I digress.

…I may sit at a unique crossroads in my life. Don’t know that I’ve ever received such not so good news yet still felt so okay about it. I mean…I’m not happy about the residency thing. The idea that we’ll need to cough up thousands yet again in order to stay here doesn’t sit well with me. But we will be able to stay. Right now, that’s everything. As for my fantasizing…A little bit of that, especially (ouch!) at my age probably isn’t such a bad thing. But I don’t necessarily want that to manifest into my reality. I’m too busy with my own life to share it with anyone else right now.

I’m 51. And selfish.

I know it.

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.

When in doubt, ask

Seems keeping my cool – literally and figuratively – has become the game of summer.

Friday’s language lesson sucked. Mince no words. I was not the only student bringing the mood down – plenty of reticent people in that room. No hands up, no volunteers. Our time consisted of writing down words and creating sentences from them. Okay with four or five words. Hit the ten word mark and you’re talking about prepositional phrases inserted somewhere in the basic framework. I was told I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Still don’t understand why the verb placement is where it is. Still don’t understand why MY conglomeration of the words was wrong, when an earlier sentence used the same structure and was perfectly fine.

Class broke early.

Came home to piled up dishes by the sink, a full garbage bin and overflowing recycling. Cleaned it all up AND ran down for more cool beverages and milk. Even remembered to turn in our old batteries (the pile was HUGE).

Today: a bullshit message from my uncle, the gist of which is ‘I don’t believe in climate change’. You can imagine how that went down with me. Managed to not say anything  – again. Do I get any points for preventing an argument?

Looking forward to an afternoon alone so I can read through my latest script. I’m waiting with baited breath, actually. Get up and get out of the house, bro! Is it creepy? Can it work?

Should get to the gym, too. Keep on with the basics.

Bleh. Like I want to take care of the basics right now.

Beginning to feel bogged down by the heat, the Dutch, the relentless get up and do the same fucking thing again – because all those pesky jobs like making your bed or keeping the house clean are never really ‘done’. Reminding myself I voluntarily took on more housework while my bro is working on his book. And some part of me replies – Yeah, yeah. You always make some sort of excuse for him, don’t you? He doesn’t do dishes now that he’s writing; he didn’t do dishes before because he was busy with music or comics or some other excuse that you let him get away with. Just admit it: the chores in the house are rather one-sided.

…Can’t really argue with that.

And I’ll admit I get fed up enough with it that, from time to time, I let everything go to Hell just to remind my brother how much work I generally do around here. It’s a nasty habit, formed out of years of not being able to ask for help when I need it.

So this is my reminder to me: I don’t like dust bunnies. They annoy me to no end. Better to just pick them up. Don’t count how many times you bend over to pick them up, just remind yourself how nice it is not to see them anymore. Same goes with the rest. I/You like a clean house. Keep that way for me/us. …And ask yourself this: if you lived alone, would you let the housework go? If you wouldn’t, not doing the chores because you’re pissed off at your brother for not helping ISN’T an excuse [wonderful multiple negative statement – SEE how your brain works?].

Ohm. Calm. Do not lash out. When in doubt, stay silent. – Whoa! Maybe that’s my problem. How about -‘when in doubt, ask’? …Oh, I like that better. Calm. Do not lash out. When in doubt, ask.

…Um…help?

 

 

 

 

 

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.

I just keep paddling

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My head is on backwards. My eyes are turned inwards.

Neither is conducive to happy living.

So I am melancholy. Am I in love with melancholia? Wanting to hold it close out of some long forgotten childhood thought that this was romantic, brave, inspiring?

Sometimes I wonder….

I find myself feeling sad lately. Sad because I spent so much time looking back, leveling blame. And that’s not to say that people in past weren’t to blame. They were, each in their own way. Yet I recognize they were all human, all reacting to things that, as a child, I was ignorant to. Am I ready to move on now? Can I let go of all of this and live in the now, feel the now, not react out of some old, hidden trigger that inevitably ends up causing trouble in my life and pain to me and the people I care about?

I want to be.

But I’m not sure I am.

Yet isn’t this life, to take what’s happened and move beyond; to reach for more than we know ourselves to be; to try, in essence, to become what we want to be? Aren’t all our lives tallied up in the minutes we brush our teeth, the number of times we need to piss, the people we’ve loved and even hated?

What is this…coldness that reaches over me? To know that the people before spent their time cleaning their homes and buying their cars and milling through their own lives blindly, all the time never truly believing death awaited them – is that something to be afraid of, or something to give me comfort?

Why can I not settle myself today?

They don’t talk about you. There it is, in five little words. Here it is in one big word: forgotten. Story of my life. According to my uncle, my siblings never discuss me. Never. That cold thought has wormed its way into my heart somehow, without me knowing it. I should have brought it up earlier; I knew it bothered me. But I let it pass, like I let so much pass. Or so I thought. My subconscious latched onto it and grew it into something big and ugly and festering. It seems to me twice the size it actually is, because my own mind is so often filled with the why of yesterday. Is there a day of my life when I do not reflect on my past? No. I think I can honestly say no. Even when I am most present in the now, I am still aware of the past, thinking of it, feeling it shape my dreams and my fears.

Yet I have left no footprint on my siblings.

How small that makes me feel.

How alone.

It makes me think on others I’ve known. Do they sometimes think of me? Or am I truly forgotten? Lost in time and memory, a part of the past – and therefore not to be thought of or discussed?

Have I lived such an inconsequential life that no one’s noticed?

Is it right of me to want to be noticed and remembered?

Haunting thoughts; and I’ve no real power to drive them away. I wonder now, if this moment, might not better be spent. I could be helping to feed the hungry, build homes for the homeless…yet here I sit, whining and whinging on about my mediocre western lifestyle.

I was born in suburbia, and suburbia still runs strong in my veins. I may aspire to greatness, but what greatness has ever come out of the modern white ghettos of look-alike houses and sprinklers on the lawn? We latch-key children, allowed to run like heathens until the setting sun brought our working parents home to a tv dinner or take out in front of the tv – what chance had we? What were we to think as we sat in front of the evening news and saw nuclear detonations, only later to be told by our coddling elders that it can never happen here, never to you, never to us? And how were we to think, as educations standards lowered and lowered until a degree from a University wasn’t enough, or no! That’s now the equivalent of a high school degree; you must earn a masters or a PhD to be taken seriously now.

What fucking hypocrisy.

I watched the film version of the novel my Thursday teacher had me read. The spoken Dutch was near incomprehensible to my ear – I’m guessing the actors were not from Rotterdam. But I caught a bit of it. Enough for me to understand why I first perceived the novel to be funny: the main character is a stickler for literal meanings. It’s something I can well relate to. For one, my brother has that in spades. For another, so do I, in my own manner. Yet that behavior was thrown, in the film, in a negative light. The main character has emotional problems. He’s violent, and angry. His statements make everyone uncomfortable.

Hm. Been there, done that.

And as I watched the film adaptation, although much of the spoken language was beyond me, I understood more of the nuances in the story than I got from reading the book. That, too, has gone into the pot in my mind and set to simmer. I’ve seasoned my soup with the sharp embarrassment of knowing I’m not that great with reading comprehension AND this idea of seeing one’s self from another angle.

Ugh. I’m uncomfortable in my skin, my life, myself.

Yet I keep telling everyone I’m okay. Doing well.

Maybe just the act of committing these thoughts to cyber space helps. I don’t know. Don’t feel I know much at all right now. Don’t know why I started writing this, don’t know what I’m gonna do for the rest of the day…. I’m afloat in a sea of I don’t know.

I just keep paddling.

What have I got to lose?

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

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

I hate waiting.

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

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

Fucking liars.

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

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

Not a very big step up, though.

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

After all, what have I got to lose?

What a strange life it is

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I miss my blogger friends. Those that I developed a relationship with outside the blogging world. They’ve all scattered, now, and our communications – no matter how much I try to keep them going – are grinding to a halt. Or that’s what it feels like. And it makes me terribly sad. I’ve lived long enough at this point to know that people drift in and out of your life. Time, circumstances, geography – all have a part to play in who’s in and who’s out of your circle. My friends’ circumstances have changed: new jobs, new opportunities, new lives. Some are doing better than others. But all of them seem to have put blogging behind them, for now. And me right along with it.

Oh, self pity party! Let’s break out that tiny violin.

Life goes on.

I’m wrestling with a 94 page document – that’s how large the script has grown. The online software I’m using is struggling to keep up. I’m struggling to not lose my patience with the online software. It becomes quite an afternoon of grunting while I format – my computer fan kicks in (the computer equivalent of a grunt) as the icon on my screen spins, and spins, and spins. I harrumph and grunt, in equal measure, wondering if my system has frozen, hitting more buttons than I should because no, I’m not patient at all. Argh! This is where I want need an assistant. Come in, finish the formatting because I’m too damned antsy, and get a print out, please!

Tomorrow I make a pilgrimage down to the comic book shop with my bro. More baking is needed; and I hope to high heaven that the people who weren’t there last time are there this time. Oh, the zingers I’ve heard, the taunting that’s been reported – ! I’ve got to get treats to the second owner before I become responsible for the splitting up of the only comic book shop in Rotterdam. Plus, I got a free comic sent to me the other day. Something I put aside because it was marked for ten euro. Free. It’s a super rare preview comic featuring the work of John Kricfalusi of Ren and Stimpy fame. I recognized his artwork right away. How it got over here in Rotterdam, shoved deep into the indie bins, I’ll never know. But it’s mine now, all mine.

Does that warrant my marzipan creme bars, or more blueberry muffins?

I’m looking forward to heading to the shop this time. I didn’t know, at first, what these guys would be like. My brother only ever talks comics with them: artists, stories, chronology. And that’s fun, for a bit. But unlike my brother, I’m not obsessed with the Marvel Universe. You wanna talk Milk ‘n’ Cheese, or Johnny the Homicidal Maniac? Then you’ll get me on comics all day long. But mention Captain American or Doctor Strange and I begin to tune out after a while. J finds me a challenge. He likes to pride himself of knowing a lot about comics – and he does, in the Marvel Universe. But I’ve thrown him some curves. Made him look stuff up on the internet because he’s never even heard of it. He thinks I’m crazy, searching out hard to find black and white independent comics. I tell him about the stories and make him laugh. It’s fun. But it’s not the only thing we talked about. I learned more about J last time than my brother ever knew about him. What he studied in school, his home life, his thoughts on current events – he’s almost as much a verbal magpie as I am. So I’m looking forward to more conversation, maybe with a few more people. All that talk about stuff other than comics irritates my brother. He says I distract the owners from their work. But J heralded the news about my script with glee, proclaiming that good stories can be found anywhere – even a comic book shop. That naturally got me thinking. The built in geek jokes to be made. The situational comedy that’s already present. If I’m honest, I’m going as much to study the guys as to talk with them.

Oh, the danger of being friends with a writer! But who knows? 🙂 I’ve already got ‘comic book shop’ written down on my list of script ideas.

My bro, as always, is giving me 100%. Read the script for me? Sure. Pay for some software so I don’t have to use an online program? Sure. Pay to print up the script? Sure. Pay to send it out to theaters? Sure. No hesitation, no wondering if it’s worth it. He’d even help me pick apart the comic world and work as my advisor so I get my references correct. And when my work is finally performed, my brother will pay to get us there (if needed) and sit in the front row, center, laughing loudly and being the first to shout ‘author’ at the end.

Goddess, bless him.

Meanwhile, on through the slow process of editing. Gotta get back to the gym, too. Been saying that every day since I stopped writing, but I have yet to achieve it. Same with Dutch. I really should pick up my books and do a bit of reading. Watch a bit of Dutch tv and listen. Instead, I’m wallowing in time off. The only reason I change out of my pj’s is because it’s cold and my sweat pants are warmer on my legs. I’m playing games, watching tv. Still smoking too much, and finding I don’t care other than the fact it means I need to head out to the coffeeshop to restock.

This is my life; what a strange life it is.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

For Better Or Worse

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, all the children were screaming their little voices hoarse…

Truly amazing what the correct writing voice can do. In this case, it’s far funnier in the written version than the actual. One ten a.m. Christmas morning and I was woken to kids screaming. Not screaming with joy. Terror. Pure terror. A man yelling. A woman screaming. It went on for 20 minutes, until a door slammed. No child should ever sound like that, especially not at 1:10 in the morning. My brother spent a few hours yesterday finding and filling out a police report online.

Merry fucking Christmas. I found being subjected to the sounds of domestic violence at 1 a.m. Christmas morning a perfect way to break the last vestiges I had of fond holiday memories.

Part of me would like to begin 2017 by killing my FB account. Just take it fucking offline. I hate FB anyway, and I’ve only been using it to keep in touch with a couple of people who do use it. In fact, part of me would like to post on my FB page that I’m dead. Dead and gone, so sorry, all of you mourn me in whatever way you see fit, good-bye.

More of that circumstantial timing in my life that makes me say hm. Less than a week since I sent my long missive off to my uncle regarding my oldest brother and lo and behold! I’ve a friend request from said older brother on FB (I un-friended us; he just pissed me off too much). My goodness! Two coincidental timing incidents back to back, first the message from my uncle and now this.

Tell me again how they’re not talking about me.

Already I feel the pressure to hit the friend button. That’s a built in feature of this 1965 model – guilt. They made sure of that. So I am avoiding FB. I deleted the notice that came into my email so I didn’t have to look at it. And in my fevered brain, deleting my entire account is easier than having to explain (or try to) ONE MORE TIME to my brother why I find his politics, his opinions, and himself so abhorrent.

If he was so damned concerned about keeping in touch with me, he could use the account that’s been my private email for the last 20 years. Does he? Of course not. A yearly note of 2 or 3 sentences on FB, that’s all I get. And mostly, it’s about his political views. Like I don’t know what his political views are! His opinions haven’t changed for the last 35 years. I do not need one more right wing asshole telling me (a) my politics are shit and (b) I really do need to vote for old white guys who think women should be grabbed by the pussy.

It’s like having my own mini-Trump right in my family.

This morning, I feel I’m done with explanations. They want to sling mud at me? Then they got a fight on their hands. And babies, when I want to fight, I can be REAL mean. As I’ve said before, I’m the truth-speaker in the family. I know the ugly secrets, and the reality behind them. All I have to do is tell it like it is.

Why not? They’ve already called me every dirty name in the book.

But I don’t want a war. I don’t want to wake up thinking about this shit or go to bed dreaming of revenge.

I want to be left alone by my family. I’ll find my own support network that doesn’t include them. I don’t want to hear from them, I don’t want to answer their questions, I don’t want to explain my views anymore.

This is MY life. It doesn’t include any narcissists. It doesn’t include the people who automatically think I’m a piece of shit. It doesn’t NEED to. I don’t need that. I put in my time, sacrificed a lot for my parents out of respect and love. “Love thy parents” – there’s one mantra I took very seriously.

No one ever said jack shit about loving thy siblings.

Like it or not, I know I have a war on my hands. Now that the idea that we must be friends is in my oldest brother’s head, he won’t let it go. I’ll get cryptic messages from my uncle, who’ll claim he still hasn’t talked to my bro about me because they’d never gossip behind my back, yet the messages will tell another story, addressing via circumvention all I’ve laid at my brother’s door.

I’m sick of it. Right now, all I want is to outlive the rest of my family by ONE DAY. Just one day of peace!

That’s what Christmas is supposed to be about, right? Peace on Earth and all that jazz. Well, let me tell you – you can’t ever have peace on earth until every person has peace within themselves and right now I DON’T HAVE PEACE WITHIN MYSELF.

Got to find a way out of this. Not for my family; screw them. For me. I can’t write comedy when my mind has these pus-filled pockets of ugly that keep bursting all over me, poisoning me with old hurts.

I’m gonna play the eccentric artist card. Just ignore the world for as long as I can. Write out my angst so I can get back to what I want to write. Be blunt – be crazy, if that’s what it looks like. Talk to thin air, not shower, smoke too much, and laugh at my own jokes. Either I’ll fall deeper into mental illness and really lose my way or I’ll come up with something brilliant.

In the end, I realize everything has an impact on me. The screaming kids downstairs, my uncle, my brother. My past, my present, my possible futures. It’ll all filter into my writing. That’s as it should be: take what you know, and use it.

For better or worse.