“Long you must suffer, knowing not what,
until suddenly out of spitefully chewed fruit your suffering’s taste comes forth in you.
Then you will love almost instantly what’s tasted. No one will ever talk you out of it.”
I was thinking that change has a weird way of pushing onez self into self-reflection. Because everything externally is not really processing fully (because it’s changing) it’s like the mind has to pick at something.
My mind picks on me.
It does has a process that it goes through of popping in with things that are true about me, only to stab those things in the face with every shrapnel piece of doubt it can find. For, example, when meeting new people:
BRAIN: She said something weird didn’t she? Do you think she said that about you? I bet she thinks you’re weird.
ME: But I am weird. Everyone is weird, and you are your own weird and that’s something we came to truth with a long time ago, why are you bringing this up again?
BRAIN: *decisively* She thinks you’re weird. And crazy.
ME: AGAIN, we’ve been over this, everyone is crazy, everyone is weird, everyone worries all the time that people are judging them and they never are. Calm the fuck down!
BRAIN: You’re so awkward. But you’re smart and you’re better than this. Stop denying this and do something about it. Now!
ME: *trying not to flail violently in my cubicle* DO WHAT? MAKE EVERY ONE LIKE ME!? Shut up and let me perform this temporary data entry position to make money and to live.
You see, “ME” is aware that in a *temporary* position, if someone really thinks you’re weird and crazy, then w/e you get to never see them again in three weeks. Brain does not. Brain also doesn’t understand that gainful employment is more important than petty insecurity.
Maybe it would be therapeutic to write a full scene where I get to where a brain costume and yell at myself. One of us would have to be pre-recorded… it’d be fitting for it to be the brain since what it tells me it’s been repeating for years and years now.
She was wined enough and ready for bed as soon as I came to what I wanted to do. They always do. She drank wine and the glass never ended. An endless box of pink zinfandel, and an endless glass. And she wants to watch Jenna Marbles. She wants to play the drinking game. She wants to tell me how she almost joined the navy (it’s a very interesting story). But then I want to watch Moonshine Bonanza, a slightly sad, absolutely in-need-of-attention book store worker turned stripper. I want to watch *her* videos (the book store is now defunct-Borders) and she has, like 7 Aerosmith tattoos. Including Steven Tyler’s famed and ribboned mic stand. I think, in a sad way, that she is cool.
But, she goes to bed. Eventually. First, we peed together. She said she noticed piss in the toilet earlier and realized I must have been there last because I never flush. I was embarrassed but also slightly amused, proud even.
“Did you know that it takes 7 gallons just to flush?” I said, “If it’s yellow let it mellow man…” It was something I was secretly proud of and I spoke aimlessly. I was in comfortable company.
But, she still went to bed. It happened after I hugged her. This doesn’t make for great fiction but it sure as hell might be the truth. I hugged her-threw my arms around her- and she was ready for bed. About two hours ago, and four glasses of wine ago (if you were keeping track) we were going to go to our pre-paid yoga class at a local brewery with no-sleep and however much Franzia it took us to get there. It’s an hour and a half session, and when she first posed the idea (“You’re NOT going to sleep, c’mon, we’re doing this!”) I thought that there was no way I would ever survive the late drunken night and the assuredly drunken-er morning in which we would attempt that marathon which would be an hour and a half of some of the most uncomfortable poses your body could ever be put into. Most liken yoga to a pretzel. But pretzels can be soft and warm. Yoga hungover (and possibly a bit still-drunk) can be cold and ruthless, like a great steel device squeezing your body into a multitude of halves. Yoga can feel frigid and mechanical. In this state, it tests the limits of your spine in three-hundred-and-sixty-degrees and you (physically but also in your mind) are forced to deal with the obtuse and uncomfortable feeling that your muscles are shredding, and your mind is tearing to bits, like a homework paper you should have been able to turn in. But your dog ate it, and by ate it, I mean: your dog had a shit-load-of wine and then ate your homework and then tried to do fucking yoga in the morning.
Her boyfriend told me tonight that when I was going to drive drunk after that fight, well, he was just letting me know, he had taken my license plate number and was going to call the cops had I left. This is bullshit. She is actually not his girlfriend. She is his wife. And we are friends. And I was looking forward to yoga with my only friend, his wife.
She began to tell me about the army and as she spoke about this frequently spoken and not understood (by me) “MEPS” process. I have never heard of such and would not google at a time like this, because while she was speaking she never stopped moving.
“When I went to MEPS I just, I just, was on a good track you know, I had four years of stable employment and income and EVERYTHING and I was really going to do it.”
She was twitching. She was sitting on a barstool in our kitchen and it had no back to keep her spine straight. Her shoulders hunched:
“My family and everyone think, they just think it was asthma or something and I wouldn’t have ever said anything…”
“What do you regret?” I asked. It was obvious there was something. Her body was upset. She had not stopped wringing her hands since her nearly-stuttering story began. I couldn’t help but notice and couldn’t help but want to know what exactly was making this story so cringe-y.
“Nothing, I mean, really I don’t regret anything..”
I interrupted: “Well then, what are you afraid that people think?”
She had given me an entire novel of words on the decision she made to join the Navy, a light profile of her recruitment officer, an entertaining physical re-enaction of the MEPS exercises, absurd crab walks and squats. And she had insisted all the while that she had signed a contract with the US government.
“I’m not, I mean, I’m not,” she shifted near constantly, “I just want, it’s just that Jeff thinks, that it was the concussions.”
She was shifting like her ass was on fire, like she had to piss. Her hands were wringing and flailing as if we were in South America in a rainforest and the mosquitoes with their poisons would catch her. Her face contoured endlessly as if to seek sympathy, and at the same time, trying to prove itself a singular concrete figure. Unmovable and brave against weather.
“Jeff thinks it was concussions, ‘cause I had so many in high school? And when he brought it up the other night? I just didn’t know, he thought that? You know? I just thought that, he knew, but he didn’t, so it surprised me? I told my parents it was the concussions from cheerleading and asthma, but no one asked any questions. My uncle, you know my uncle and my brother’s friend had called me and asked me, ‘what THE HELL are you doing?!’ and then I knew. But I MEAN, I don’t want them to know that it was my choice. I just, I had to do it for him.”
She meant her husband. Not Jeff, HER husband. Jeff was a very good friend and long-term roommate. Her husband was the only one who knew the whole story. Her husband she married about a month before she had the Navy tear up her contract. About 3 years before we were sharing this moment, albeit, a drunken moment.
“I didn’t tell anybody, but after a month, I knew it just wasn’t right. I made him ask permission. I said, you HAVE to ask my Dad, you just HAVE to. And at first he was opposed, he didn’t want to get married that way, but he asked and we got married and a month later. I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it. I blamed it on my Dad’s cancer. They wanted to call my parents but I wouldn’t let them. So my recruiter told me to take two weeks to think about it. I texted her two weeks later and said I JUST FUCKING CAN’T. I had signed the contract and everything…”
“Love is what it’s all about,” I said, “There’s no stable income, no stable job, nothing worth being able to come home to love.”
“That’s right,” she said, “You know, that’s exactly why I did it.”
We pissed together after this story. I giddily asked her to come with me (I don’t get this sort of girlish intimacy very often). After, she stopped talking about all that. She told me about how she knew when I pissed. We went to the living room and I hugged her. I felt that she had shared with me something, even thought I couldn’t get to the root of the clammy and squirming vulnerability. Still, I wrapped my arms around her. Then, I went to play the next video. The moon-shine stripper video. She was interested; she took a big sip and said, “We should go to bed.” Then she said that we have to go to bed. She got up, with her wine, and she went to bed.
On this day in America, I am jobless.
On this day in America, millions are jobless.
They are tired, hungry and poor.
On this day in America, millions are loveless.
They have cold blue eyes and can’t realize
the consumption they create will ruin the rest of us.
On this day in America, cold blue screens light up faces.
The faces receive messages and the subconscious will never understand
why it believes nothing is ever enough.
On this day in America, thin red lips tell big fat lies
about perfect thighs and wider eyes and
manufactured beauty that cannot be recreated.
On this day in America, she is filling herself with plastic
and she is dead inside.
On this day in America, he is suppressing himself as if it is his duty
and he will go on this way for years.
They will put themselves in the boxes on their shelves from Ikea and their hopes will collect dust. Inside they will rust.
They will be doing what they are told.
On this day in America, I am tired of the broken, I am tired of the huddled masses, I am tired of lies stacked like a buffet in front of us all. I am tired of the sickness. I am tired of waiting in line under fluorescent lights for freedoms owed and I’m tired of having them stripped away like paper confetti, dangling and drifting in the air above our heads.
On this day in America, we’re expected to celebrate independence. We’re supposed to let the patriotic sycophants roam the streets among the jobless, among the girls and boys, among all the many who have no love in their hearts. We are to celebrate our independence and the roars will drown out the small whisper which is carried on the wind: WE ARE DEPENDENT.
On this day in America, the bastards will win again.
“Hold onto your heart, even when your body’s bitter… Hold it high above flood waters.”
–Head On by Man Man
It seems so strange to me how easy it is to give your heart away, at any given time. Maybe I’m the only one with this issue? It’s like I’m throwing candy at a parade. I throw my heart at whatever little snot-nosed kid comes along jumping and screaming for it. It’s more than a little frustrating and it’s something I’ve been looking at in myself for some time now. I think it maybe rooted in self-esteem issues or the like. Some shaping of not-loving-me enough.
I made love to a woman last week. She gave me a crystal, something purported in certain communities to ‘ground’ my energy; it broke when she became veracious with me. I was then asked by a man to stop doing that, to stop making love to her or anyone else.
I’m going to try and find something I wrote about this woman and post it here. In the meantime…
Well, hello out there to the few followers I’ve received. This blog is going to take a turn. If you followed for sobriety, that will probably not be a central theme any longer. Now that I’ve cleared that up, invisible internet people: Since the time since I visited, I’ve come face to face with my demons many times. They were shape-shifters: where they were once large & hairy & scary, they are now smaller, and they go for a waxing about as frequently as I do (my eyebrows and lip if you’re interested). When they aren’t on a diet or are drinking too much or maybe get a little upset, all the fear-wielding prowess they have returns; however, this is not often. Not near as often as it was during that terrible January where it felt like my whole world was filled with them.
Some short notes:
-I’ve gotten much closer to my family. These bonds are important to me, and-when I choose to listen- they can be quite helpful.
-I have a good friend. Though I had to tell him we would never be lovers (and reinforce it) our insecurities and littlehairyfuckers (demons) tend to hang around together.
-I have settled my debt with alcohol. It is a friend and enemy. One I must hold tight and at arms-length at the same time. Like beginning a relationship, you don’t want to be clingy and yet you want this thing to stick around.
There are other things I feel belong in the interim. At this point, this post will probably begin to sound like a very personal journal entry, and maybe also a bit like a suicide note. THIS IS NOT A SUICIDE NOTE. Turn back if any of this creepy.
I lost my job today. Once again, my world looks dark, and hairy things abound. But. It’s interesting. I wish I could draw something to illustrate but I’m looking over a cliff. I have to fall. Technically, after being fired, broken-up with, losing my home and on and on, I’ve already been pushed by some god or force beyond my comprehension. I am uneasy. I’m staring down in this red clay abyss and I can see no end to the depth. My hands are covered in the dust from holding on. The small piece of red clay I was dangling from has given way. My fingers released, despite my strength like 1. 2. 3. 4. and there is nothing to hold onto anymore. I’m falling fast towards a certain death.
It would seem I have two choices. I could worry about what it will feel like or what people will think of me going this way. Surely, I could write in my head the back-page obituary describing this tragedy: “a young woman taken too soon by the everyday hazards of modern living. She is survived by mother, father, sister.” I could fret over whether or not I’ll even get an obituary and who will show up to the funeral and-most importantly-what will they say on my Facebook wall after I’m gone??
Well, this all seems rather silly. Who would want their final moments to be composed of thoughts and feelings which make one uncomfortable and worrisome and are completely based on other people’s imagined thoughts and ideas?
The second choice in how I could metaphorically experience ‘falling’ is the link here. It also seems to be how it is happening. I will end now, as I need more wine. I hope to return soon.
Addiction does not give a damn about me or Whitney or Amy or Heath or the nameless addict, who panhandles on the street. It will never be your friend and it will never be satisfied. And if by the grace of God you survive, the precious gift of noticing the blue sky, becomes intensified, and the meaning of your life becomes glorified and the fire to lend a hand, becomes magnified, and the knowledge you acquired, you cannot hold inside, and you recognize your gift of words, do not belong to you, so you share outside, and the mission to spread peace shifts into overdrive, and the value of life becomes rarefied, and the desire to meet the world is mesmerizing, and the energy received from those you meet, is electrifying, and the idea I may inspire, is gratifying, and the meaning of my life, materialises and comprehending those years were not lost, if my addiction can save a life.
I was very lucky to find a blog, or rather the blogger found me!, that helped me get through work. The quote above rocked me deep today, and provided me with some much needed hope after recent slips. I highly reccommend giving the whole article a read, and while you’re at it, the rest of the highly innovative blog.
So I’ve been actively (and unknowingly) working ahead of myself in the 12 steps, attempting to make amends. This makes me feel like I should get a gold star on my drunky report card or something! I’m not sure which step it is, and I can’t say that my-ex and I have reconciled, but I can happily report that we are past the ugliness in a lot of really good ways. We ate out together tonight and it was just, nice. We went to a mexi restaurant Tres Pesos a bar and grill and somehow, I was able to put alcohol out of my mind (though it did jump in there like a photo-bomb about 37 times: how great would a drink be? God, you need a drink! You seem thirty, alcohol? …. This is another gold star to having an evening that admittedly is pretty unusual and stressful, and not drowning anything out. We aired out some things cautiously, we talked around several subjects, completely lost track of time, laughed some, and hugged goodbye.
I went to a meeting today too, which I can say may be the only reason I didn’t shut that spastic liquor monster up with a whiskey & ginger. The meeting was wonderful, we read from the blue book, or is it called the big book? And I shared with the group (all much, much older than my 22 years) how it continually astounds me how similar all of our stories are, sometimes even down to the oddly specific details. I can’t share those because Anonimity, but I can tell you that it is a true language.
And it may be some of the truest language I’ve ever heard. Other than a will to stop drinking, it’s pretty much the only imperative that you be honest. This makes for some nearly heartbreaking moments of authenticity, which is something so foreign to me and I would guess to most, that it’s almost cinematic. I realize, people aren’t like this. Like ever. People don’t where their ‘truths’ out like a prized handbag or pair of shoes. We are literally conditioned to do the exact opposite and ‘toughen up’ because ‘life’s a bitch’.
I had a thought today that recovering alcoholics may be some of the better people I’ve been around. And the whole God thing being part of the program… I’d wager that active members of AA are more true to the Christian disciplines of love and faith than steady churchgoers). You witness this in action in these meetings like I’ve never seen in a church.
I saw an old friend tonight. We were those sort of friends who always ended up occupying similar space, but not ever particularly knowing what to do with it. I think we cared for each other–the length of yearson the periphery has to speak for something?
When he hit me up on facebook, I though for sure he’d caught the private relationship status change from all the fall out (see Just Beginning post). I thought this would be a lonely attempt to reconnect. At best, to try and get some not-so-strange. At worst, to try and rekindle a friendship. I decided to bring back-up, and showed up despite not really wanting to at all, if only for old times sake.
He was always the lonely type. Soft, distanced brown eyes. A strong but thin physique…The first kid to wear skinny jeans and dye his hair in high school, from what I can remember, his emo act got him a whole lot of pussy. This part I can remember. Girls I barely was aware of asking increduously and nervously is I really hung out with him on the weekends… I was dating his best friend (thats how I met my old friend) and frankly, I could give two shits. I heard how he raunchily shared every detail about these girls he’d, after they gathered their clothes and he dropped them off just in time for curfew (his parents were/are loaded. the car only added to his appeal). I thought–read:knew–he was an asshole. That’s all there was to it.
But over the years, I began to pity him. Seeing him squeeze in those leopard print ultra-skinnies. Trying to dye his hair outrageously, long after it was cool. His first STD scare. His first DUI. His first heartbreak. One night, I had just come home from a semester spent in India (we’ll get to my flavorofprivilege, I’m sure, later in the blog). I decided, almost against my better judgement to goto a hometown party.
It was horrific. I didn’t know how to talk to these people anymore. Didn’t know how to explain I’d spent the semester sober, doing MAJOR and SCARY introspection. It didn’t help I was nearly bald, per an impulsive and attention-seeking decision. Everyone was buzzing around me or about me. I was ‘cool’ for all of this, and yet all I knew how to do was drink. I couldn’t talk to anyone really… and this was me at every party. All I’d have to do is have a drink or a few… and wait for the magic.
But back to my old friend. He meanders up to me…meander is strong. He wobbles over to me, I’m sitting alone by a window, overwhelmed with the responsibility of being wanted. He sits beside me and stares at my face. I’m sure he meant this to be revealing and sensitive, a sort of ‘hook’ to what he was going to say, but in my anxious and not-yet-displaced mind, it weirded me out.
“Sydney, I’ve always loved you.”
He proceeds to say that ever since I was with his best friend in high school he has loved me, always jealous, always longing for me from the distance, ad nauseum. He is very drunk. I am very desirable at this party being that its my first social appearance since being abroad…he is very drunk, he is lonely…I’m getting the picture… By the time he’s done trying to convince me (and himself) that he’s in love with me, I’m my-entire-cup of whiskey-drink down. I politely decline, saying you don’t mean that, you’re drunk, he protests… I slammed another drink and smoked a cig, took the bottle I brought with me and left. I did not acknowledge this conversation ever again.
So, things haven’t been the same since. And now, fairly out of the blue, he’s messaging me pretty insistently, what am I supposed to think? I take another friend and sit there awkwardly trying to make conversation or catch up, alternating between deep boredom and pity. He still, at 27, lives behind his parents’ home and works at PapaJohn’s. His ‘apartment’ (read: room over garage) has video game posters, a large hentai ‘panty-shot’ cartoon, cups with a considerable amount of mold growing in them. He had no reason to want to see me, and I shot his fuck-for-good-times-sake chances out of the water by brigning a friend. We talk about all the people we used to know, all making very poor life choices. He tells me he’ll be getting his license back soon, from his 2nd DUI. We watch him play video games. My friend and him smoke a bowl while an anime about pinball plays behind the rest of the visit…The coolest, most fucked and most admired kid from high school, now a monument to all that is just a little fucking sad.
He offered me wine during this visit…how the fuck was I supposed to say no?
Starting off not so good at this blog thing or the sober thing. I drank heavily Sunday night and again, for petty reasons, turned to wine. I had another post in between but I think its lost now. Shame. It was a happy shiny post, full of day three accomplishment.
I feel very disconnected and constipated, emotionally. I know that there are moves here to be made, I felt in my meeting this week; but I’m meeting them with stress and resistance, instead of with a whole and open heart. I want to get back to that warm and fuzzy creative place inside my own mind. The place where I feel supremely beautiful and the world looks the same. Where I’m writing here. The place where I feel goooood. Its deep but not dripping with all the connotations that a silly half-baked person would say: deep man, har har…. Its just literally further down in my psyche, I think.
Its an active place, and when I make the actions from that wellspring inside me without the external distractions—when I actually bade my own voice, my own intentions—it feel as if things line up and have some sort of order.
Without having that foundation, I feel like I’ve been poking and prodding at possibilities. Just irritating the shit out of myself with, say, looking for a car for two hours instead of working. Forcing myself to communicate and conduct myself in a certain way with the ex. Everything feels like this big push. Instead of resolute…
I think I’m definitely in a funk.
One of the things I feel like I’m forcing is this sobriety. I find myself outside of the place of clarity within me. It was crystalline my intentions, and the effects of alcohol. My first post. It all made sense. I didn’t set up any sort of ‘touch-stone’ other than going back to that post, though. Maybe that’s the key/ Of course, then I went most of the weekend without writing. Had my little bender Sunday night. And, fuck, just so many feels happening inside me right now! I am trying to get on top of it all, but I can’t. I am trying to accept, but its hard. I’m trying to figure and work and plan and it just seems like what I need to do is surrender to all this shit and I’ve about a chance in hell of doing that. I want someone to CONVINCE me that drinking is bad all over again. I want to be back on the ledge and a siege of people shaking their fists and telling me not to jump.
This seems selfish. This also seems unproductive. How can I do this if I’m just doing it for the angry mob? What’s it even worth if that’s the case? Doesn’t it only have intrinsic value for someone else, the someone who feels it is their life’s purpose to pull people off of ledges?