I’ve lost interest in the fairy tale I started. Therein lies my problem as a writer: I don’t put my butt in my chair every day as St. Anne Lamott commands. I have a bitter, bad attitude about it and Life throws up in my face. All the time. And I move on. But I’ll keep it and maybe one day I’ll read what I’ve written again, and I’ll be gripped to finish it up.
Have I mentioned I have Russians in my statcounter here? I have Russians in my statcounter hits. Moscow and St. Petersburg. And China. It’s fine. It makes me feel very dangerous and spy-like. I probably should have worked for the CIA anyway, with my love of researching the bizarre.
I just felt like updating this blog. I have nothing important to say. No real dramas to report on. The sociopath on Twitter has gone dormant again. You know, how viruses do. My life is even keeled these days, and relatively drama-free. I like it like that.
Here is a meme of self-indulgent drivel I’ve seen floating around the social media sphere. I will answer as many as I can, have time for, and/or feel like. Let’s be intimate, in a one-sided way:
Five ways to win my heart:
texting or calling me for no reason other than to say you’re thinking about me
following through on what you say you’ll do
making me laugh, and letting me use you as a human pillow whenever I’m tired or sad.
….I’m high maintenance emotionally, but not financially.
Something I feel strongly about: Guns. I’m done talking. I’m done listening to the NRA talking points and propaganda. I have one talking point, and only one: STOP KILLING KIDS STOP THE MASS SHOOTINGS. The end. Shut up about mental health. Shut up about people killing people. Shut up about knives and cars and other dangerous people killers. Guns are killing mass amounts of adults but more importantly children. Teachers are now first responders being trained in tourniquet application and taught how to determine a gunned down child’s likelihood of survival so they can determine who to focus on if they’re helping the wounded. The gun fetishists’ response? Arm teachers, train them to be sharp shooters. We have not just lost our way, we have lost our damn minds. ENOUGH. Keep your stupid hand guns and your hunting rifles. But assault rifle time is over. I’m going to work to help ban them. F your 2nd amendment “right.” It does not supersede my and my child’s right to stay alive. ENOUGH.
A book I love:Anything by Anne Lamott. Glenn Doyle’s LOVE WARRIOR. These are my heroes.
Bullet my WHOLE day? I’ll do this in a separate blog post some day. Plus, I’ve only been up since 9 AM and it’s not even 2 pm.
Things I want to say to an ex: Oh, I pretty much just say them in blog entries or Twitter subtweets. I don’t have a problem airing my dirty laundry, though I am getting a lot more selective about when, how, and where I do it.
Five pet peeves: oooh, that is hard. JUST five. Okay…hypocrites, liars, Trump apologizers, men who leave the toilet seat up, and sneer-y people. Sneer-y people are the worst, but hypocrites and liars are the worstest.
What I ate today: so far a cinnamon raisin bagel and coffee. Later, I’ll have a Black Forest ham sandwich. I’m pretty boring with the food.
How important education is:pretty damn important. Look at who got into the White House. The need for compare/contrast skills and has reached critical levels. Being able to infer, evaluate, critically analyze information. Crucial these days.
My family: …can be dysfunctional, but I would take a bullet for any one of them. Family is everything. There are some families with people in them you MUST stay away from, for your own sanity and safety. My immediate family does not have those kinds. I love them with all of me. Except my mom needs to turn off FOX News and start using her critical thinking skills.
Five guys I find attractive:Okay, so before I write this list, I want to just say–what attracts me to a man (or woman, for that matter) isn’t really looks. Like, Brock O’Hurn and Idris Elba are on my Holy God, Mother Nature! list of men I would NOT deny, simply based on the visceral reaction my ovaries have every time I see a picture of either of them. But ultimately, what makes me fall in love with someone is their brain, their humor, their heart, their character, and their skills in bed. The end. Anything else is just icing.
Here’s my 5 attractive people: Brock O’Hurn, Idris Elba, David Harbour, Gerald Butler, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. I like my men like I like my steaks: seasoned and juicy.
(I’m sorry. I hope you weren’t planning steak for dinner.)
Opinion about my body:sigh. I mean, I like my shouders. Otherwise, it just needs a lot of work. But I’m too tired. And distracted.
What I wore today: Right now I’m still in my pajamas. Grey pants, T-back spaghetti straps black shirt. Comfy. Later, I’ll throw on some jeans or yoga pants and a long t-shirt. I don’t go for fashionable, I go for “could I also take a nap in this if necessary?” able.
Does my zodiac sign fit me: I’m Pisces, and yes. It does. Like I’m double triple squared Pisces with a Pisces rising. I’m so Pisces I put the Pi in the Sces. Somewhere in an ancient Greek zodiac almanac, an ancient Greek astrologer predicted I would one day walk this Earth, thus proving all of their Pisces astrological sign descriptions. I know there are people in the world who are skeptics and laugh cynically at this stuff, because I am friends with many of them. But they are wrong about this Pisces. Sorry, but you are. You are wrong, so just deal with it and sit there and be wrong in your wrongness. I am actually a Pisces. Yes.
A “what if…” I think about: What if…I won $900 million in the lottery tomorrow? What if…I could go back to school and get a new career in one year or less? What if…there’s a military coup 3 months from now? What if…I need to leave the country and I still haven’t updated my passport? (I got a lotta “what if…”s.)
Something I’m proud of: my little girl. My ability to have a total, emotionally irrational and angry meltdown and then pull it right back together and do better.
A problem I’ve had: oh, we’d be here all day. I’m just going to go with…I need to stick to a budget better. A LOT better.
Five items I lust after: a new duvet insert, a weekly maid, a daily meal service, a new car (I’d accept a 2015-ish model, used but in great condition), and a cheaper apartment with more square footage but wood floors/granite countertops.
How I hope my future will be: happy, peaceful, and content. Maybe with travel adventures now and then.
My academics: Bachelors and Masters and School of Life.
Five words/phrases that make me laugh: I’m going to come back to this another day. I literally can’t think of any right now.
Something I’m currently worried about: my daughter is having a hard time at school, and with self-esteem. My guilt levels about the self-esteem are sky high. My mama bear levels about the school thing are overwhelming.
Things I like/dislike about me:
Like–I’m kind (kind is very different than nice, by the way…I used to be nice. I still am too nice to a certain degree. But now I aim for kind…what is the appropriate response here? Gentleness? Compassion? Anger? Kindness isn’t necessarily nice.)
Dislike–still working on my overthinking/over-analyzing issues.
A quote I try to live by:
I have two, actually. the first one is something I have to constantly come back to and remind myself–this is happening again because you didn’t learn the first time. The second goes with the first, in that I have a horrible, really bad, terribly awful time just trusting the process. And the third is just something I saw awhile ago in one of my random Internet forages and it’s stuck with me, partly because every advice giver I’ve ever talked to or read stuff by (including the Dalai Lama himself) has said the path to peace is, well, stop giving a fuck. But I think I disagree. There ARE some things in life you should give a fuck about. But be selective because the path to peace is really to stop giving a fuck…about things that simply don’t matter.
Somewhere I’d like to live/visit:
Live–a quiet cabin in the mountains. With a hot tub.
Visit–I want to go to Wales, specifically to Cardiff, which is where my paternal great-great grandmother immigrated from.
Five weird things I like:
when someone plays with my hair
people watching (I like to try to figure out their background stories)
research (give me some basic info and I will start digging…on my own, I start researching many different things, sometimes just randomly typing whatever pops in my brain into Google)
I’m obsessed with mermaids (for someone who wants to live in a mountain cabin…I’d be fine with a beach house too…as long as it has a hot tub)
peeling sunburn skin and other things off skin–dried liquid eyeliner, face masks…it’s the weirdest thing about me, I say
Something I’m excited about: Summer. I can’t wait for sleep-ins and pool time.
THAT is a brainful of a title for a mere blog entry, I apologize. But I’ve gotten my bathroom cleaned, my grocery shopping done, my job-work prepped for next week, and so I’m self-exploring today, and of all the overly dramatic titles I came up with, it was the most forthright.
Are you interested in a dark fairy tale? I’ve been working on it since this morning. It originally started as a navel-gazing, whiny reflection on a past hurt, a this-is-why-I-build-walls-dammit blog entry that got wieldy and really, really dumb. Then I suddenly felt like writing a dark fairy tale semi-based on it, and now here I am. It’s long and very much in shitty first draft form so some parts may be confusing or ramble-y with odd word phrasing and/or word choice. Occasionally my inner spell checker starts drunk-typing and writes pore instead of pour and the like. And you’d need some time. Do you have time? Are fairy tales super cliche? But I mean seriously, there’s a fucked up evil wizard and a betrayed sorceress in it and everything.
(…….seven hours later edit: I have to break this up into parts. I’ll post the other parts tomorrow and whenever I finish them.)
Once upon a time, there lived a sorceress. She was neither bad nor good; in fact, she really didn’t understand her magic or how to use it. In moments she did use it, it was simply to conjure a new fantastic flower she remembered once catching a glimpse of from an idea of a long-forgotten dream of a traveling, sleeping faerie nearby. Or she used it to sing to her bees, to encourage them to grow new trees dripping with inexplicable fruit that could feed armies, and soften long-hardened hearts with the sweetness of their juices. The Sorceress passed her time singing and dancing alone, sometimes in glittering garbs made from silk spun by fat worms under Harvest Moons, sometimes offering her pure, naked skin to the Sun god or the Moon goddess, glowing with their light as her wild dark hair teased and kissed dewy air.
Without inhibition or shame, she made fierce and free love to the gods and goddesses of wind and fire, rain and thunder, happily giving them her sighs and moans and deep throaty laughter with all the the other offerings from her Garden. Because though it was a hidden thing, her magical, mystic Garden, in truth the Sorceress had no known enemies. In fact, had one informed her of the reaches of her power, the Sorceress would have laughed a hearty laugh to hear of it, to learn she possessed magical skills that were near goddess-like. There were times, though, when she had quiet and thoughtful moments and tried hard to remember a Time Before, prior to when she’d arrived in her garden. She found she couldn’t remember being born, growing up, or how she had arrived to be in her garden. She could remember nothing except being alive and creating flowers and dancing and plotting with the bees, making love to her gods and goddesses choreographing grateful rituals of hedonistic dances for the abundance which sustained her. Because to the Sorceress, she was merely a gardener. She simply tended her plants with love, convincing the weeds by loving them to love each plant they grew near exactly as she did, that there was no reason at all for any living creature or plant in the world to kill or steal from each other; for the Sorceress it was simply impossible that anything in the world was incapable of living in beauty and harmony. And so in her garden everything flourished together with abandon because that was all she ever imagined and whatever she imagined passed into being.
Thus, whenever someone new and strange did stumble upon her and her home, she welcomed them into her garden without guile, bringing wine she’d pressed herself from dripping honeysuckle, feeding them enormous grapes from her own fingers, and wiping the juices that dripped from their corners of their lips slowly and seductively with her own tongue, teasing her guests until they squirmed with desire for her. The Sorceress would softly coax their deepest longings or dreams they’d long forgotten, from their hearts, then reach for either her flute or harp and quietly begin a song created only for her gobsmacked visitor, male and female alike, as she wove gentle tendrils of peace and love into his or her being, until they climaxed in waves and were exhausted and spent, drifting away on a patch of soft grass, with nothing but her garden’s soft, warm breeze wrapping them into a deep, satisfying sleep.
(I bet right now you’re going: Amy, the hell? How is THIS a dark fairy tale? That kind of starts further down, but not full-on dark until Part Two. Also: stop interrupting my dark fairy tale.)
Indeed, the Sorceress and her garden were legend. Both traveling peddlers and battle-scarred knights who knew of her and had somehow managed to stumble onto her mythological Eden would awake on its soft grasses at the edge of it at least once on their many journeys. Some would even pluck a rose or two as either a souvenir or proof or both, then boast of their fortune at taverns where they rested. There, still reeling from her touch, they would tell stories or sing songs or recite smitten, drunken poems of sleeping under her trees while being caressed by gentle, warm breezes even in the middle of frozen blizzards. They told stories of smelling sweet grasses and honey, of dreaming impossible images filled with colors they could no longer find words to describe. Some who’d woken and bravely wandered even further into her magical space often tried to detail, to anyone willing to listen, the swiftness of the sparkling tails that swept softly past their faces or behind their backs by the hundreds, and swore they felt gentle fingers tracing their brows, drawing mysterious and protective sigils onto their foreheads then their shoulders and chests and backs while a faraway voice hummed lullabies to them, sweet songs they recognized as the very ones their mothers had once sung to them long ago, while they nursed at full, silken breasts dripping with rich, sugary milk.
They’d hold up the souvenirs they’d stolen for their audiences, roses that never withered or died, that stayed ever red or white or yellow or pink, with ethereal glows that seemed to emanate deep from their stamens, as their listeners stared in slack-jawed disbelief, yet determined by an inexplicable pull to experience it all for themselves one day.
Eventually, though, the Sorceress’ visitors would eventually come to doubt their memories as they grew into bedridden old men, broken by war and life and thousands of nightmares they’d created for themselves out of millions of nightmares they’d cast upon innocents they’d pillaged and raped.
Surely their impressions were merely the dreams of lost, war-torn soldiers wandering long from home, building fantasies around themselves to mend mutilated minds gone mad from both the loss of innocence and the taking of it. They would die, mere shadows of the giant warriors they’d once been, now withered and bald and toothless and wrinkled old men mumbling fantasy stories of a Sorceress and a garden, their voices cracking and bitter and tired, weeping of their craving to return to its safe warmth, as they clung to a vague hope that the recollections they had of silky hair caressing their sleeping eyelids had, indeed, been real. They begged silent deities their ravaged bodies, now as dry as leather and forever covered in dank sweat that sat and crusted between their wrinkles did truly once feel soft lips trailing the entire lengths of their bodies, creating shivers that once sent their minds reeling in swirls of indescribable ecstasy. They would often cry out in their sleep into cavernous, black nights silent of echoes, nights that were ever increasing in their lengths, their bony fingers beginning to scratch at the corners of the the life and breath the old knights clutched at desperately, sobbing at the memories of feeling pleasures that now came to them in thin wisps, that they would never have again now that life was leaving their weakening bodies.
All the while grime-covered grandchildren wiped at runny noses as they sat spellbound on the floor near their grandfathers’ deathbeds, listening intently as they poked sticks into crackling fires and listlessly stirred boiling kettles of broth concocted for their dying grandfathers because it was the only thing old men could keep down, and their witch-like grandmothers had told them to do it and they knew their angry, lice-covered mothers would take the switch to them mercilessly if they didn’t. The children all knew these tales weren’t real at all, because the dead roses their grandfathers clung to were black and withered things, just like the world outside of them. Yet they were pretty tales to think of, and they thought maybe when they were bigger themselves they would escape this life and go out into the world to become bards or peddlers, and weave them into songs or stories to tell in front fires on their travels and perhaps earn an extra coin or even a kiss from a maiden they might pretend was their very own Sorceress.
There were, once upon a time in this same land,fretful wizards who saw the beauty and power of the Sorceress’ magic – they glimpsed, in the choking smoke splutters from their spell-castings, her enchanted flowers and streams of glittering waterfalls with mermaids that splashed in rainbow pools and unicorns and the elusive Pegasus of lore that ate from her fingers, that allowed her, and only her, to tame them and ride them, barebacked, into inky night skies glittering with stars and wisps of clouds, softly snorting as she combed their manes with her deft fingers, untangling the barbs and massaging their neck muscles of knots. The visions blinded the wizards, awoke lecherous lusts to understand the Sorceress and her magic, so they could use it in their own spells. The most talented wizards knew how to cast dark spells of furious magic that made them rich men, bringing creatures of mystic forests to their knees in supplication, and offering them fantastic treasures which incurred them favor and honor with kings and lords. Yet even their most powerful magic always seemed to lack the kind of true strength they suspected existed in the world, dominance that rightfully ought to belong to them, and only them. The wizards deepest needs were hungers that often matted far down in the nethermost caverns of the murkiest parts of their souls, the bottom of black abysses. So the wizards were never quite sure what their desires actually were, but sensed if they could just possess the right magic, the kind of power only known to gods and goddesses, they would finally be able to access their every need, wishes even their own souls were unaware of, and their dominance would be realized, and quite permanent.
The most dynamic and efficacious of these wizards was a very nondescript, gap-toothed yet unattractive, pale man who often woke paralyzed by fear and hate.
His name was Stephan the Forgotten, and he didn’t know it, but the hovel of a hut in which he existed touched the very tips of the Sorceress’ garden he’d begun to spend his every hour seeking fitfully, both awake and dreaming.
Stephan lived alone, his tiny pigpen of a home covered in soot from the constant fire that burned in the center of his one-room home, a black kettle on it always, filled either with Stephan’s dinner of bland stew or a foul concoction of a spell that Stephan would sell to lords and ladies, kings and knights, serfs and commoners alike…who he bartered with never mattered to Stephan, as long as he was paid and tales of his magical abilities were spread far and wide. His coffers were always filled either with gold or bread and, once in awhile, an oh-so desperate farmer in danger of being evicted from his own hovel, would bring him one of his somewhat comely but filthy daughters so Stephan could terrorize, torture, beat, and rape her of her virginity and innocence before discarding her in a village somewhere far from all she knew, to a life of whoring, which is all Stephan truly believed women were worthy of. Stephan did this regularly to the peasants of the valley in which he existed, from the village he lived in but also villages near and far, in exchange for a drop of dark hope from his kettle, a bottle to be drunk under a new moon after slaughtering a pig or a cow and bringing that as well to Stephan. In exchange, he gave them promised magic that next season’s crops would produce more than they had this season, and thus the lord would allow them to stay on a bit longer, continuing to eke out any bit of existence he possibly could, even though he would turn over almost all of it to the lord of the manor in the castle high above his pathetic existence.
For the kings and knights, lords and ladies, Stephan wove spells that shrouded their dreams with images of spices from exotic places, or promises of lost relics from the Holy Land, of triumphant battles that would win them the hand of a princess along with a noble title and all the land and riches that came with it. Stephan wove spells that gave them even more riches, even greater glory, bigger castles with deeper moats and the strongest weapons. In return, they filled Stephan’s hovel with jewels and gold coins he added to wooden boxes he buried in the dirt floor beneath his hut, boxes so spilling with rubies and emeralds and pearls that Stephan was constantly carving new wood into more boxes.
Ladies who found Stephan’s unusual looks strangely enchanting wove him intricate tapestries by their own hand. Some of these bore simplistic pictures of mundane life, others attempted to seduce him with bawdy depictions of ladies sucking the appendages of men who looked very much like Stephan, lying in amazing positions with their legs wide open to be probed with the men’s stiff members which were often the size and width of oak trees. These he hid away in piles in a separate, much smaller hut that leaned to the right which allowed the rain to run off it in rivers and kept the contents it sheltered safe and dry. Inside, next to the tapestries, were also dented goblets and shimmering fabrics and ancient coins with strange-looking rulers adorning one side…all from the Holy Land that a rowdy, drunken group of Knights Templar had once brought him, in exchange for vials of heady-smelling oils laced with spells of greatness and promises to make their seed the most virile, bringing them male heirs who would continue building their families’ wealth, ensuring their names endured for centuries, long after they were dead and forgotten.
Stephan had been proposed to by queens and princesses and duchesses and ladies-in-waiting. He had been offered the bodies of the fairest of maidens, had been kissed alluringly, with the supple and teasing tongues of widely desired beauties who possessed eyes of all colors, lashes as long as horse mane’s, and hair like sunshine or black as night or red as sunsets. But he denied them all, deferring politely and shyly, preferring instead to secretly release his vulgar needs into the holes that existed between the legs of the greasy-haired, dirt- and manure-covered daughters of the serfs who surrounded him.
For Stephan the Forgotten was completely and most utterly disinterested in love; his visitors would never know the story of when he was a young wizard just learning magic, of the day he’d met his witch, a wily and weak but pretty witch he’d discovered hiding in a nunnery, cloaking herself in holy water and crucifixes to avoid the villagers intent on burning her at a stake for her evil deeds. Rivulets of copper brown curls hid beneath her wimple and veil, utterly bewitching him the night she’d first let him have her, shaking them around her shoulders, covering her full breasts and taut, pointing nipple she would demand over and over he bite until she screamed in pain.
Soon after finding her, Stephan left the apprenticeship of the hunched over, acrimonious wizard who had already begun to bore him with his teachings of paltry, insignificant magic mere traveling peddlers used to steal petty bits of coins from their stinking audiences. He whisked his enchanting find away from the nunnery into a cold wintry night, after placing the nuns under a simple but long sleeping spell. Stephan believed the Witch’s words, wild promises she’d woven in his brain, pictures of a life filled with brawny lads and dutiful lasses she’d gift to him from her womb and a lifetime of fucking and magic and stealing from both the rich and the poor, which all left him dizzy with her hedonistic visions and completely, utterly besotted and seduced.
As they traveled from village to village, beguiling peasants of their food and what little riches they’d saved, Stephan and his witch plotted the kind of castle they would build together with their magic, magic they’d continue to learn and grow by their own cleverness. They dreamt of the power they’d cultivate and wield, together, over peasants and nobility alike. Stephan would lie with her under trees in forests, broken twigs digging deep into his back creating painful but pleasing welts as the Witch writhed on top of him, her eyes taking on a sharp hunger for something he instinctively knew had nothing to do with him. When she fell asleep under his cloak, her head resting on one of his thin, hairless forearms, he would spend most of the night just watching her sleep, his throat dry and parched from pleasing her, his eyes swimming in tears of disbelief, wondering how he’d fallen upon such a creature. He did not think he would survive without her, and could not imagine how he had reached the age he had without ever knowing she existed with him in the world.
Each time he thought of their couplings now, Stephan’s face contorted in pain and disgust. His devotion to the Witch had been stupid, his heart weak and too trusting. He’d taken her at her word when they arrived at the moat surrounding the castle of that region’s richest lord. The Witch promised Stephan she simply wished to visit the lord of the manor to enamor him, and relieve him of some of his jewels and gold. These were treasures they’d been seeking for many months together, the very riches they’d been dreaming of that would bring them so much closer to their destiny.
Three nights later, his witch returned, informing him a secret enchantment spell she had begun working on long before he’d rescued her from her villagers and the nunnery had worked. The grey castle’s lord had become enraptured with her, he had requested her hand in marriage, and she had accepted. Giggling, the Witch had then opened both hands so Stephan could see the lord’s dark and wet heart wiggling as it beat against her fingers. Then his witch had kissed his forehead, straightened his most errant lock with a bloodied thumb and forefinger, skipped a charming little dance to a ballad only she could hear, and she had spun away from him on one of her barefoot heels, the very heel he had licked with abandon a mere fortnight before. The Witch left Stephan stunned and alone, the now chilly and dark forest frozen and engulfing him, its small animals frozen too, warily watching him, their insides instinctively stinging with an ancient, inborn caution that caused their paws to quiver, their fur to stand straight up from its skin, and their lungs to cease their intake of air until the wizard moved and they knew in which opposite direction to run. Every living thing surrounding Stephan in that moment knew: this was a wounded Wizard, haphazardly trained, and one cast without warning into a dank cave of loss and despair, where the most dangerous of magic was always formed. Creatures as small as hummingbirds had only to make the fatal mistake of flying too close to one of these kinds of warped magic makers once to forever serve as cautionary tales that wove themselves into the genetic memories of each one of their descendants’ bodies.
For years after her goodbye, Stephan stayed where The Witch took her leave of him. His body and mind ached with rage and loneliness, desperate to touch his Witch just one more time, yearning to feel her blazing breath on his loins, to release himself one last time into the muggy depths of the nebulous and mossy cave between her legs. As soon as he could, one last time, he thought he might take his dagger and plunge it into her wicked heart as soon as the last drop of his seed left him and settled into her black, deceptive depths. Then he envisioned turning it on himself, to end his tortured existence, in the hopes they would end up together forever, somewhere in the abysses of the Underworld.
He decided to live in the trunk of the ancient oak under which she’d announced her betrayal. He carved out its guts with both magic and his own sinew, setting up an alter when he finished, dedicating it and his soul to Gwynn ap Nudd, god of fallen warriors and the hunt, but adding his own dark and wicked twist by infusing his offerings to the god with the rotting hearts of the forest’s reptiles and barnacle-geese for which he traveled for miles, once every three months, by foot and enormous, winged dragons he conjured from the fiery depths of Earth, until he reached the rocky beach pounded infinitely by furious, salty waves where the barnacle-geeslings hatched and he could capture, kill, and rip out their innards by the hundreds for the most evil of his blackest concoctions.
All for the perverse love of a corrupt witch.
After ten years had passed, Stephan finally not only understood but also accepted his love had been used, twisted to suit the Witch’s deepest desires and dreams. By then, he had conjured demons and the darkest of the Underworld’s gods. When visited by black magic’s most perverted goddesses, he always drew forth his dagger and lunged at them; all feminine energy was suspicious, lewd to Stephan. He had no use of it. His power had grown in ways he never once imagined it ever could; yet his witch remained impossibly steadfast to her dark lord in his grey castle atop the hill overlooking the shadowy depths of Stephan’s oak den. Each night, he slept in a chair he’d fashioned from twisted birch branches, which he carefully placed so he could stare at the window behind which he’d watch their bodies cavort, swapping sweat and saliva and the lord’s vile seed and the Witch’s foul secretions that leaked between her legs. Stephan sat, each night, watching every act of fornication, and his heart turned black. To be betrayed and rejected was hurtful enough. To know this clumsy bear of a mere mortal had such control over something that belonged to him, created a searing pain deep in his colon. He vowed to make the lord pay for his thievery, and his Witch for her treachery.
As his power grew, so did the blackness choking his heart. But his witch knew; for every night she watched him watching her. Her glittering, green eyes stared at Stephan with calculated consideration from under the lord’s thick, hairy back as the wide shoulders moved over her, back and forth. The Witch watched Stephan watch her; she stared back at him from over the lord’s muscled shoulders, a look of slightly bored but interested caution on her face, daring him to try it, daring him to kill her, and take her lord too.
Each night, Stephan silently accepted the Witch’s challenge again and again, his tortured screams keeping the nocturnal animals well away from his tree as he raced around its inside circumference, mixing dried and poisonous weeds and the bones of real and mythical creatures that killed with his bare hands then eaten their flesh and ground their remains into powders, forever in search of a way to do it, a way he could end her, and stop his pain.
The more powerful and clever he became, the more Stephan knew he would never be able to bring himself to do it. That meant her magic was far more powerful than his own, even as it increased with formidable darkness and evil, night by night, in all its increasingly dangerous power.
And for that, Stephan both loved and hated The Witch. He had never been so powerful, yet so weak.
After ten years of this, Stephan finally felt it was time. He could bear their nightly ruttings no more, could no longer breathe the rancid air of the forest around him. He gathered up his Book of Shadows, its pages covered with blood and soot and wrinkled from splashes of strange, wet mixtures Stephan had concocted seeking rage and revenge. He packed his most powerful and precious magical tools into skins he’d made from stags and bears he’d slaughtered by magic, pushed down his years of raging thoughts and vengeful plans, hushed them sternly as they protested, promising them they’d one day have their time again soon.
And then Stephan the Forgotten left. To start some a new life, promising he would forget her until he could make her his again. He took out a dark spell he’d worked on for three years, knowing from a nightmare this time would come, a binding spell to make himself as forgotten as she had made him feel the night she left. As he walked away from his oak tree, he could hear the Witch laughing at him. Coward, she whispered, Where go ye? Why leave now, after all this time?Pathetic chitty-faced afterling of a weak man. You’ll be back for more, eventually. The bile rose in Stephan’s throat, because he would be. But she was wrong; he would forget her until the time was right. He’d forgotten his boyhood, and his mother. He’d forgotten a dirty peasant girl he’d once fancied he loved for making him a man, and by leaving this haunted place, turning his back on the Witch’s obscene couplings with a man he could never be, he’d amass the riches they’d planned by himself. He’d forget she existed, but not what she’d done. And for a very long time, he did.
Until the day he arrived at a peaceful, strangely happy and well-fed, well-kept village of peasants nestled in a valley owned by a renowned Knight just home from, and made wealthy by, the Crusades, who was favored by the King, all of which was as far removed as could possibly be from his tortured oak tree, from his witch’s mocking laughter, from the shadows of her hairy lord’s grey castle. It was here, in this quiet little village, that Stephan the Forgotten, a most powerful wizard most studied and learned in the darkest of the Dark Arts, both indebted to and in command of demons and dark gods of the Underworld, decided to begin his forgetting and build a modest, straw-thatched hut from which to live and continue to grow his dark magic while beguiling the lord of the manor, his peasants, and every nobleman and lady who ever passed his way of their riches. And he chose to start his plan, to build his cottage at the edge of a garden he didn’t know existed. A garden with magic far greater than his, magic Stephan the Forgotten would one day attempt to harness, a garden he began to listen with great interest in as visitors began to frequent his hovel for his potions and tell him of, a garden that possessed a beautiful Sorceress with great power that could help him win back his Witch, a Sorceress who he lived for quite a very long time unaware was, in fact, living right in his very own backyard.
I’m having a hard time. Other than whatever drivel I stick here, I just don’t want to write. Not even poetry, to be honest. There’s a part of me that’s still pulled to it occasionally, but I’ve really just lost the heart for it now. Even here, I’m forcing it, and really all I’m doing (I feel) is coming here to bitch. Vent my spleen. And the only reason I’m forcing it is because my therapist told me to. I’m not going to keep up with an offline journal because I just don’t feel like handwriting anything out. I suppose I could just make this blog private and bitch-vent-type privately, but I paid for a domain/hosting service for a year, so no. The bottom line though, is: I’m not doing it for me, I’m doing it because someone else told me it would be good for me, so do it…and I did. (Story of my life.)
And it’s at a point where I’m kind of inner vomiting when I see people all excited about whatever they’re writing. I’m not vomiting at them…because I’m supportive, I want other people to write. I’m vomiting in general. I guess because of where I’m at emotionally with it, I’m happy for other people, but I’m just not in a space right now where I can really be anyone’s rah rah cheerleader about it. It’s kind of like…I used to work with this girl who desperately wanted to have a baby and nothing they tried worked. Finally it did, but then she miscarried. She gave up having her own child, and was sort of in this depressed/longing/bitter/checked out/angry sort of place. So when other women at work would announce they were pregnant, she was happy for them (how can a decent, nice person not be happy for someone else’s happiness?)…but she couldn’t bring herself to get them a shower gift, attend the shower, and be sincerely excited for them. And she’d get really really uncomfortable in conversations that started to revolve around any babies or incoming babies and excuse herself when the squeeing started.
Having occupied that depressed/longing/bitter/checked out/angry sort of place now for going on a good year or so, I completely understand her now. Different situation, different “baby,” but I get it.
I was much younger and a completely different person back when I knew her; I hadn’t been through half the crap I’ve been through now, and so whenever she’d excuse herself and leave or whenever she’d go weird about something because of the baby stuff, I’d be all: “Man, what’s Carla’s problem? She’s being kind of selfish and bitchy.” (Carla is not her real name.)
But Carla wasn’t being a bitch. She was dealing with real ick. Some people could look at Carla (and I was one of these “some people” as recently as 3 years ago) and go: Wow, what a negative thinker…chin up, woman up, Carla, get over yourself. And now I know: people who think and say things like that are either real judgmental jerks or they’re people who can’t see beyond their own nose. Or both. At any rate, they’re pretty clueless about whatever kind of psychic pain or ickiness the person they’re judging is experiencing. Or they’re the kind of people who just skim the surface of their emotional life, never really sitting down to do some hard drinking with their dragons, never getting to know them and know them well. They push their dragons down, down, down, until one day the dragon erupts…or they die never really confronting their own icks. They’re the kind of people who put an end date on the mourning/grieving process. They’re the kind of people who think in absolutes. They’re the kind of people who think “you can choose how to feel.” And some of my favorite writers are among those people, by the way. I disagree now. I think it chooses you, and you dance with it and drink with it until you feel done.
By the way: people who can emotionally skim through life are fine to invite to baby showers and have casual conversations with and even meet for dinners now and then to catch up on what’s been going on in each others’ lives, but you certainly don’t want to tell them your deepest, darkest secrets. Or invite them to your tribal ceremonies. Because they are not your tribe.
Sort of related side note example: Last night, I was having a moment, and I posted a meme onto Twitter. Some man (grrr…men! there is an extremely small group of you I can handle at the moment; the rest of you need to be so so SOOOOO careful with me during these days, I cannot stress this enough to you) came in and went “So don’t.” to what I’d posted.
LOL. Just…”So DON’T.” ????? Asshole.
Had this come from a woman, I’d have had a conversation with her, or just eye rolled and moved on–bitchy I get. Had it come from a man who had the privilege of getting to know me before the social media crap experiences and other icky life stuff had descended fully, I’d have had a thoughtful though tense conversation with him about male behavior in relationships. But this was just some rando. A man I didn’t know, who didn’t know me. Who’d never spoken to me, ever, had no clue what my story is.
You know what I do when stuff like this happens? I go visit their feed, I take a good look around, and then sit back and try to analyze the individual so I can thoughtfully make a decision to respond/not respond, and how to respond if I decide to…I try to decide things like: is this person just an asshole? or are they obtuse? is there some hidden motive behind why they’d say such a thing to someone they don’t even know on the Internet? are they a Trump fan (this would explain a LOT)? a men’s rights activist? bored? or do they have a death wish? or are they just like a lot of ding dongs on the Internet and just really, really judgmental and think they know when they actually don’t?
In the end, I decided he fell into the latter, the last category, the judgmental kind who thought he knew when he actually didn’t. And I saw he’s a writer. And had won some kind of writer award awhile ago. And who knows why he’s on Twitter, talking randomly to some woman out there who has never interacted with him, ever. And therefore, he and I probably don’t need to be connected on any level, for any reason. I chose to respond, sarcastically thanking him for his input (his mansplain-y like input), then soft blocked him…in other words, I kicked him out of my followers. So don’t follow me, if what I post is going to annoy you. Go. Away.
This is where Twitter gets really weird to me. Complete strangers who don’t know me or my story, who have no clue about me, coming in and making judgment calls about me and my life…which is fine, I certainly can’t stop them from having thoughts. But when you speak the thoughts out loud? THAT I can stop. Bye, strange man who thinks his opinion about me carries any weight. I see you and I are following one another; I have no idea when or how that happened and I guess I followed you back because I was still writing back then, but since I’m just shit-blogging now and don’t want to WRITE write anymore, then let me just fix this situation for you since what shows up from me in your Twitter timeline seems to bother you so much: Bye, Felipe. (that wasn’t his name, that’s a wordplay on the line by Ice Cube in the movie…never mind.)
At any rate. Every time stuff like that happens, my own Wall goes higher and I become even more reluctant to interact with other users there. I cannot tell you how incredibly cautious I am now whenever someone new follows me on Twitter or actually speaks to me, and I am very hyper aware of that whenever I decided to hit “follow” on someone else’s feed or talk to them. Because of my experiences with other people I’ve met via social media and the Internet, in that respect, I very much understand Trump’s need to build a Wall. The difference between his Wall and mine, though, is his Wall is the kind of wall deranged assholes build and mine is the kind of wall damaged people build. One is to keep different, The Other, out…one is to make sure the wrong kind of person doesn’t get through again. (Mine has a Secret Garden door, in other words…you just have to do some digging and thoughtful searching to find it. And you won’t, if you’re a sociopath, because I now know what to look for.)
Where was I? Oh, right. Writing. Attitude. Ick.
It’s gotten to a point where I don’t want to follow any more writer accounts on Twitter or anywhere else. I don’t read about it. I don’t want to interact with other people who are actively doing it. Great if other people are enjoying it, but I don’t give a shit right now. Happy for you, please forgive me if I don’t do any joyful jumping and stuff. Right now I’m busy drinking with my disgusted dragon, and our bartender is my distrustful dragon.
And if that makes you roll your eyes at me, then my anger dragon is vomiting fire in your direction right now. Go read one of your happy joy rainbows and positive thinking blogs instead of this one.
Or come for the train wreck process. Either way, I’m fine spewing into an echo chamber. It’s what I’ve always done.
An “About Me” so I can get my mind off of darker things going on in the world. And then I’m going for a walk, for fresh air. I’m going to clean my bathroom, do a load of laundry, sweep my floors, drink some wine, and write a poem. Not necessarily in that order.
What food do you wish you could cook like a world-class chef? I don’t think I’ll ever cook like a world-class chef, but I want to learn how to do hibachi. You know how they do all those tricks? Cracking the egg mid-air? Onion volcanoes? Food + fire. I want to learn how to do it. While drinking sake. For a challenge.
What’s the last book you read and really enjoyed? Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking. It made me love her more than ever, and want to be more like her in every way.
What is one song that can always pull you out of a bad mood? I’ve been in such a bad mood for so long, I can’t think of one right now. Let me get back to you.
What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen? The only movie I’ve ever walked out of is Beavis and Butthead. I just couldn’t. I’d watched the TV show, but as a long feature-length movie? Too much. I just…left.
Which celebrity are you rather certain would be your BFF if you ever met? Oh my god! Just one???? Well, I definitely think Amanda Palmer and I should get drunk together on wine at least once. And I just really LIKE Amanda Abbington, who’s super talented and I follow on Twitter, and see her tweets now and then and go: soul sister. And Adele…oh, I would like to have dinner with Adele one day. And Emma Thompson. Oh, and! Emma Stone seems super sweet. And I want Helen Mirren to be my fairy godmother.
What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without sleep? Here’s the thing about me and sleep: sometimes we’re cool, sometimes we aren’t. But I can’t go more than 24 hours without at least some. For other humans’ safety.
…without a shower? Three days. I was incredibly sick. It was gross. Sometimes, when I’m very blah or unmotivated on a weekend or vacation day, I’ll go 24 hours without one. Or if I wake up very late and there’s just no time. But I feel more alive and together after standing under water. I generally recommend soap and water every 24 hours, for mental health purposes.
…without clean underwear? Never. If my underwear isn’t clean, I…uhhh…probably just skip that step.
What’s your biggest pet peeve? Hypocrisy. I just can’t. I’m sure I’m guilty of it, but if I figure out that I’m doing it? I check myself. I don’t understand people who are so self-unaware that they don’t. It’s oogy.
What is one superpower you would hate having? I’d say the ability to read minds, but oh ha, there’s social media now. So I’m going to with…flying. I have so much vertigo it’s not even funny. Also, I’m pretty sure I’d fly right into the side of a mountain.
What’s something you misunderstood as a child and only realized much later was wrong? When I was in 9th grade, I read Catcher in the Rye and kept coming up on the word “sonofabitch” and kept pronouncing it soe-NOFF-uh-bitch. I had no idea what it meant, but knew it was insulting because of its context. Went to the dictionary, couldn’t find it. Just…what the heck is a soe-NOFF-uh-bitch?? A few years later I think I read it again or somebody told me…apparently some people write son of a bitch as one word?? That’s weird, JD Salinger.
Also, Catcher in the Rye’s main character kept using the word bastard as an insult. I didn’t understand what a bastard was either, but if Holden Caulfield thought it was bad, then I needed to use it as a weapon. So I called my 10 year old brother a bastard and the dinner table one night and my mom freaked her freak.
I may have been a bit sheltered as a child, I don’t know if you can tell or not.
If you had to, what would you change your name to? Ooooh! I have SO many ideas! Well, first, I want to be Lara. Because my dad originally wanted to name me that because of Dr. Zhivago. I’ve seen the movie version now, and yes. I think I could be a Lara. But a really kick ass feminist, take no shit Lara. But I also feel like a Delilah. Philistine seductress. Treacherous siren. Femme fatale. Mata Hari of the Middle East. Mary Magdalene’s dark twin.
But I also really just like the name Olivia.
What do you think about astrology and horoscopes? I like them. I pretty much fit my astrology sign’s descriptors (Pisces). It’s probably junk science, but I’m a magical thinker, so I’m going to keep reading my horoscope and hoping for the best.
If you were in charge, what holiday would you create? National Stay In Bed All Day Day. Or National The Government Gives Everybody $1000 For Whatever And They Don’t Tax Them Or Try To Turn It Into a Profit For Corporate America Day.
What fast food place are you ashamed to admit you love? Steak-n-Shake. It’s their milkshakes. I am disgusting. (And now I want one.)
What was the strangest thing you ever did as a child? Kids are strange in general. I never look at anything a kid does and think: that’s weird. Because they’re kids, it’s their job. And also: weird is good.
What would you say is your worst trait? My naivete. My skittishness. My easily hurt feelings.
…your best trait? My naivete. My skittishness. My willingness to love in spite of what I’ve experienced.
Can you describe your ideal vacation? NO PEOPLE. (Okay, maybe 1 or 2 that I really love.) Water somewhere, nature. Wine. Books. Silence. Walks. Sleep.
What’s something that scares you? Sharks, snakes, extreme heights, fire, death….death by fiery plane crash into an ocean full of sharks and sea snakes.
What’s your patronus? You know what? I just re-did the Find your Patronus and Find your House things at JK Rowling’s Pottermore website and I’m completely unhappy with her and Hogwarts right now. I got a Nebelung Cat as my patronus (which is fine…I’m good with cats. Plus, a Nebelung Cat is a creature of the mists that observes carefully before acting and it prefers to stay away from humans and that is very me), but I also got sorted into Slytherin, and I’m super sure that is NOT my tribe. I’m more Hufflepuff. ….omg Slytherin. What question did I answer that even made them THINK that???
Which sandwich topping do you most identify with? This is a ridiculous question. (Provolone cheese.)
In your childhood, what’s a food that you used to really love that you can’t believe you ate? I think my mom used to make us eat chicken gizzards. Which I personally feel should be considered a human rights violation, but that’s probably because I come from a first world country. I know when we were older she TRIED to make us eat a cow tongue, but we declared anarchy and made sandwiches. There are standards.
If you had to run for public office, what would you run for? Listen: if you ever see me running for public office you can just go ahead and assume I’m being held hostage somehow and forced to, or I’ve completely lost my mind. I do not have the personality, temperament, or scandal-free background to do this. I mean, yes. There’s a lecher sitting in the Oval Office right now screaming cuss words in professional, state meetings. And he’s an angry, divisive agitator with questionable morals and a very long history of ethics violations. And that’s exactly why I will never run for an office…I want my politicians to be smarter, kinder, wiser, more rational, cooler headed than me. I regularly insult the president of the United States on Twitter…and that’s because he doesn’t behave in ways that inspire me to at least respect the office he sits in. He’s….just no. I will never run for office. Let’s move on.
What are one or two things you don’t understand about the generation after yours? Slime. What up with the slime, friendos? They say it’s “so satisfying,” but when I touch the stuff it makes me recoil. I don’t see them reading very much–they prefer to read onscreen, I think they’re destroying their brains AND missing out on peaceful thinking by not holding a book. There’s actually a lot. But mostly I don’t get Musical.ly, which is an app that lets them lip sync to snippets of popular rap music.
What are one or two things you don’t understand about the generation that precedes yours? Their extreme sense of fear. I mean, there are a lot of things to be afraid of: global warming, plane crashes, losing access to quality medical care in your 60s. But the things they seem to be afraid of are people with brown skin taking jobs away from people with white skin. Or how many people speak English in their neighborhood. Or why someone has a car in their driveway and not the garage. I feel like a lot of them don’t know how to experience fear properly.
What are your thoughts on pickled foods that aren’t cucumbers? NO.
Do you have a favorite flower or plant? I like dandelions and daisies. You can bring me a bunch of long-stemmed red roses and my heart will be happy. But if you want to melt my heart and make me fall in love with you, bring me handpicked wildflowers or a carefully constructed bouquet of yellow dandelions. I’m yours.
What kind of pet would you love to have? I’m a cat AND a dog person. I don’t have a dog because they’re more work. If I could, I’d have a pet horse. Or a dolphin. But I’d want my horse and my dolphin to be wild, and come visit me willingly, whenever they wanted.
Do you consider yourself a spender or a saver? Both. It depends on what’s going on. I have a really hard time saving money, though. I’m not sure why…it’s one of my 2018 goals to work on.
What was your dream job when you were a kid? I wanted to be dolphin trainer. Or a stay at home mom. (This hasn’t really changed, actually.)
Are you a mountain person or a beach person? Both. Best case scenario: I live in a secluded mountain cabin and take summer trips to the beach to warm up after a long, mountain winter.
Alright. That’s it. I’m tapped out. Brain is shutting down. I need fresh air and maybe a nap. I’ll finish Part 2 another day. Bye.
Something I’m noticing about the three main social media outlets I frequent (disclosure: I’m kind of stealing something I saw someone else say, but I don’t remember who said it so I can’t attribute the thought to that person): Instagram is pretty to look at, Facebook is a fairy tale, but if you want the raw truth and to know what’s really going on and how people feel about it, go to Twitter.
This is true.
Here is my problem right now with Twitter (other than the fact some bizarre, mentally ill weirdo who’s inexplicably obsessed with me but too chicken to actually speak to me is setting up fake accounts calling me names once in awhile to…I dunno? Jar me? Maybe this is the adult, psycho version of ordering a pizza for a neighbor and then giggling behind some bushes, watching them and the delivery person stand there, confused, looking at each other? Stupid.)
Where was I? Yes…problem…Twitter. My problem right now is: I need to laugh again. I need to be flippant and facetious and ridiculous and irreverent. I need this, and I need it kind of desperately. But I can’t. Not on Twitter. Twitter, when I actively began using it in 2014, was weird then. I remember writing whole long blog entries about it. But I was still writing stories and occasionally poetry and open to making new friends there. (I still am open to making new friends there, actually, but I have all these rules and criteria set up for it because of how people do each other there.) But it is also something else now…it is no longer a place where I go to see people live tweeting episodes of their favorite TV shows, or making jokes, or to see celebrities promoting worthy causes or wishing happy birthday to fans or promoting their projects. Twitter is sort of…I dunno. Emotionally hard now.
In case you’re not on Twitter, I’ll just let you know: the President of the United States uses it. And when he does, 9.5 out of 10 times, he is crazy. Like mentally unbalanced. He says he uses it to directly talk to the people. I say he’s sitting on his toilet taking a dump, exposing his paranoia and innate, unacknowledged, deep racism.
People I’m friendly with there go: just ignore him, Amy, tune him out. Oh that I could. Because even if I completely blocked him, couldn’t see a single one of his tweets, I’d still see the tweets of people reacting to him and sometimes those are just as scary. That whole accidental Hawaiian nuclear bomb alert yesterday? He didn’t even tweet about it (which is a PROBLEM, you guys, but I digress), and other people were talking about why that was. What I’m saying is: it is virtually impossible to avoid this man on Twitter. I don’t even follow him, and I still cannot avoid him.
So go hang out on Facebook, Amy, I hear you say. But here’s the problem with Facebook: I check Twitter. I watch what’s going on. I know too much. So I get on Facebook, and see people talking about their sweet kids or latest meals or new house or whatever, and that’s nice and everything. But while I love seeing cute kids and animals and want to know when someone needs support or just bought a new house or whatever…I’ve probably just logged on after visiting Twitter, and when I see people tagging other people in movie/dinner dates or squeeing about their love (even though you and I both know there’s about a 90% chance you’re just posting that because you’re making it up to them after a fight…or you’re guilt tripping them because of something rude and snarky they said offline), I just can’t with it. The world is in disarray. I love that you’re happy and healthy and in love or whatever, but I am in an apartment alone with no movie dates and I’m on Twitter watching this orange crazy man…
In other words, I’m real jaded on Facebook. And so I don’t post much or interact much anymore, because I don’t know how not to be jaded and I don’t want to be a party pooper. But meanwhile, there’s a crazy man sitting in the White House doing a lot (I mean A LOT, whoever’s reading this) of fear-mongering. And narcissistic posturing. And shit stirring. And racism. And isolating us from the rest of the world – yesterday I saw an article on Twitter from The Guardian about how Canada (good god CANADA) is now angry at and attacking the USA. When the hell does Canada ever get mad at anyone??? It’s too cold up there for any of them to be hot-headed.
So go hang out on INSTAGRAM, AMY!!! I hear you cry. But the problem with Instagram is…it’s just posting pictures. Pictures of food, pictures of flowers, pictures of my kid, selfies with my kid, pictures of memes, etc and etc. Mostly people are just scrolling through Instagram hitting the heart button. There’s usually no interaction. There’s no exchange of ideas or knowledge. Just…look at this, now look at this, and oooh! I made a pot roast! Here’s my glass of wine. Instagram serves its purpose, and I’m not knocking it and I do squee quietly when I get likes there. But that’s it.
In summary, social media is getting harder and harder for me. And I’m kinda stuck. Because I have people I have only met online who I really really like, and if I don’t at least check in now and then, those relationships die. And I don’t want that. And also I DO care–I DO want to see the kids grow up, get to watch that viral crazy cat video, know about the new jobs and retirements and houses, what good books and shows and movies to see, the funny memes. I probably won’t buy anything from you if you’re selling something, but I’ll send you good vibes and support you…because I am on an extremely limited budget–completely living off what I make, and life is expensive. I really don’t know how single mothers without good exes and just one kid make it, I really don’t. Right now, I’m trying to figure out how to afford food for the rest of January without asking M’s dad for more money. Decembers and Januarys are always tight.
At any rate. This is sort of a regurgitation of my last post. It’s just what’s on my mind right now. So you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to hit Publish on this, then I’m going to go do a frivolous survey thing. All About Me. Because the entire world feels dark and scary and mad right now, but I don’t want to be. And I don’t understand any of it, or why, but I know I can answer questions about stuff I do and don’t like.
And here’s your moment of Facebook. Ridiculous cat memes that make me laugh out loud. Because it’s what I need the most right now.
I’m in an abusive relationship, because I’ll be honest: I’m a codependent addict. I thrive on attention, drama, reading minds, fixing the broken, battling dragons far too advanced for me. And I’m a magical thinker.
I actually have multiple lovers**. They occasionally pay a lot of attention to me in gloriously positive ways; they tell me how smart and beautiful and amazing I am. But usually they ignore me. My lovers are often off courting other people, telling them how smart and beautiful and amazing they are. When I say something about it, they lay gigantic guilt trips on me, telling me I can leave if I’m really that unhappy…it’s not like I was forced into the relationship or they’re making me stay. Often, they actually encourage me to leave them; they know it’s a toxic, unhealthy affair. (But I have a hard time, because they do have good hearts, in spite of their many issues, and so when I come back as I always do, they mockingly laugh at me as they hug me to them…then they toss me aside again, once more skipping off to see who’s more interesting than me.)
Oh, man, you all. They’ve got really awful friends, too. Sometimes their friends will like my status updates and include me in whatever they’re doing with my lovers. Most of the time my lovers’ friends ignore me too unless my lovers ask them not to…or until I say something their friends decide they want to argue with, or call me out on, or shame me for saying out loud, or just generally contribute to the overall ick and insecurity I struggle to overcome daily. Sometimes the friends of my lovers’ friends, people I don’t even know the slightest and have never ever spoken to in any format ever before, will come in and pipe up too – they’ll back the friend of my lover and my lover’s friend will let me know they all think I’m wrong and my opinions suck. Ganging up on strangers on the Internet is fun. I guess? It’s not like I don’t do it too, particularly when it comes to rabid supporters of the President, who don’t even slightly question him when he goes all nutso out loud. But I do try to keep my shaming away from my lovers…and my lovers’ friends. Since we’re usually on the same team there. At least.
Oh, and! My lovers have got a very small group of friends from way back when. They’re all incredibly toxic and they have absolutely nothing positive to contribute to the planet. For some reason, I caught the attention of a couple of them and for some bizarre reason, they’re jealous? I guess? At any rate, they stalk me online and occasionally pop up, like a nasty case of herpes, to try to scare or threaten me, or just basically let me know I’m truly worthless. Even though I’ve done absolutely nothing to them.
There are people in my lovers’ worlds who don’t even know I exist, but I know they do. My lovers post everything they do online, and it’s hard to ignore it. One of my lovers, T, is the worst at this. The thing I see him posting is just…gah. Why does he even care what these people say, think, and do? These are such deranged and broken human beings. The worst part is, they’re world famous and some are actually in charge of Important Stuff that I can’t avoid. And have been raised to believe I get to have a voice about.
So I go through all of this – these ebbs and flows, ups and downs. And it’s been really bad, you guys. Like really, really scary bad a few times. Times I didn’t think I was going to make it, that I’d ever be okay again. I mean, I didn’t write a single thing for going on 5 months. Re-establishing this blog was an enormous step. Not quite Neil Armstrong stepping out onto the lunar surface enormous, but maybeeee…..the first person to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro enormous? Maybe.
I have little tells that I’m coming back to Me: my one lover’s crazy contacts, the ones who try to really scare me off the Internet…they don’t scare me now. They tick me off. They send me to Google looking for ways to find them, to expose them, even go after them legally. But they don’t scare me or make me nervous. Which is so big. You don’t even know.
I’m starting to think about writing stories again. At least in my head. And if I can pull myself away from my lovers long enough (like I finally did just now), I will probably start writing poetry again; I did set up an entire page here to store it all.
I’m reading again; I actually had an unexpectedly free day off on Friday and so I took myself to try to get my fried iPhone battery replaced. The store wasn’t open for an hour, so I went next door to peruse the bargain areas of Barnes & Noble. I found a collection of short stories titled Barbara the Slut by Lauren Holmes, which is full of interesting, complicated stories about normal people doing normal things. And I found a full-price fantasy book titledUprooted by Naomi Novik, which I picked because it has magic, a dragon, and maidens forced to live with a dragon for ten years but they come away stronger for it and the rest of the villagers live in both awe and disgust of the dragon (who’s not really a dragon, but more of a wizard). I’m really interested in stories about strong women who either defeat or tame dragons. And I’ve always loved the idea of magic. (See first paragraph, where I go: “And I’m a magical thinker.”)
But more than anything? The biggest tell I’m coming back to me is whenever I make a joke. If you ever, anywhere, see me even attempt to crack a joke? Please know this was a tremendous thing for me. A giant effort. Once upon a time, all I did was write blog entries that were full of irreverent, facetious, self-deprecating observations about life, politics, and the human condition. I have not felt that humor in so long…it’s actually been a source of deep mourning for me. I’ll read humor articles, or see someone’s very funny tweet or status update, or watch a funny YouTube vlog and I’ll feel so wistful: I remember when I used to easily crack jokes like that.
When I joke now, please know that I reached way, deep, down – past the scars, below the scabs, beyond the cuts that are still bleeding…just to say something irreverent. Or sarcastic. Or facetious. Or, on really really good days, even flippant. When that happens, if you witness it, please know you are witness how the human spirit can rebound. A real life, messed up, loose version of Love in the time of Cholera, because there is a process to becoming unfuckwithable that takes a long long time to happen, and doesn’t come about with just a snap of the fingers, or a decision upon waking up one morning.
My affair with my lovers is on-again, off-again. There have been whole days I’ve really not even spoken to them. Others where I’m drunk on the attention, or at very least, the promise of it. It’s quite possibly the most dysfunctional, inappropriate affair I’ve ever been in and I simply don’t know how (or I’m not ready to) break up with them. They’re so addictive.
One day I will. I will. But I don’t know when, and I’m so reluctant right now…not just because of the dysfunctional addictive nature of it, but also because I dread the withdrawal symptoms. I’m not quite mentally strong enough just yet. But when I do quit my lovers, I’ll know I’ve finally set foot on the moon, reached Kilimanjaro’s summit. That I have transformed. Become truly, completely unfuckwithable.
**Social media, you guys. I’m in a really fucked up, dysfunctional affair with social media. It’s a polyamory union, too…three lovers: Twitter is the lover who demands the most out of me, in that he is brutally honest and completely raw and doesn’t shy away from the hedonistic pleasures available to us these days in the world; Facebook is seductive and alluring, the kindest of the three, but jesus she’s such a fake and really can’t be trusted; Instagram all me me MEEEEEE, and pretty boring because he just wants to talk about what he had for dinner or some wildflowers he saw on a hike the other day.
I missed an appointment today. I started going back to see E, the licensed Social Worker/Family/Personal counselor I started seeing back in 2008. January 2008, as a matter of fact. She added a red tag to my folder of notes she’s been keeping on me, since I started sitting, for an hour once per month sometimes more, on her office sofa. E’s office is really lovely, by the way. It’s decorated in calming greys and browns with some splashes of reds and dark greens here and there so nobody goes to sleep. She has two plush sofas for a person to choose from, and the fabric is that velvety soft microfiber. Visiting E’s office makes me regret not declaring Psychology as my major in college, JUST so I, too, could have a soft-colored office with velvet-plush sofas so I could take a lot of naps between clients. Also, it’s quiet in her office. Except for when someone is crying, I suppose. Or couples get angry at each other.
At any rate, she called. I was in the midst of typing a text to her saying: sorry, ADD again and also I forgot to tell my phone calendar to alert me and I have no idea what day it even is anyway, except I do know I have to go back to work tomorrow and the only reason I’m remembering that is because self-preservation and bills/debt…can we just table these meetings until I can pull it together? I’ll send you a Sorry Check for $125 and then schedule again in the summer when maybe I’m not as stretched thin mentally.
I am stretched thin mentally.
One of the things E insisted I get help for is ADD. About the Spring of 2008, in her decades of notes, are side notes on whatever I was talking about that went like this:
Ask A to talk to dr about poss ADD.
I spend a lot of time stretched thin mentally, which causes me to forget to do things or show up places, or causes me to just decide not to do things or avoid things. I have piles of clean clothes I’ve needed to sort through and put away for months and months and I don’t. Because, in the back of my head, mentally I cannot. I think to myself: oh, it’s fine. I have another 3 hours before dinner, I’ll do it in two hours. And then in two hours, I go: eh, I can do that on Wednesday. I can’t mentally handle it right now. That’s how my particular brand of ADD works. I think?
My child’s bedroom needs to be addressed….if for nothing else so I can go through her clothes and toys that don’t fit, are broken, or just too young for her now so we can trash them or give them away. She claims she NEEDS her room to be messy, messy is who she is. Which is fine, I get it. Har har. One mess raising another. Apples. Trees. But I suspect she’s hiding a dead body of some kind in there and also I can’t find my special patchouli I ordered all the way from India months ago that’s in these gorgeous mini-vials and I am 100% certain she’s stolen all three of them and they’re under the dead body. And I want my special Indian patchouli in the gorgeous mini-vials BACK, dammit.
There are other things I’m not addressing. Like I pay bills when it becomes imperative I do so. Clean laundry sits in a messy pile on a chair for days and days til I fold it…and then it sits in a folded, messy pile on my bedroom floor. My finances are a gigantic mess. I wish I had a better cleaning schedule…I make them, but then I never do them. In June it’ll be three years since I separated from my husband and that should be addressed; it’s affecting my (and his) ability to move forward, keeping our child in limbo, and just…it’s a weird situation to be in.
E and I talk about the above things every session. Every month. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m frustrated with myself beyond words. Sometimes I feel like things are wonky, but it’ll all come together.
Things are not all negative.
Like I pretty much make my bed every day, without fail. Even if it’s just to kind of throw it back together loosely. My entire apartment can be in dire need of sweeping with piles of paper everywhere, but my bed is lovely and soft, with clean sheets, and waiting for me to sink into it. Seductive.
About a year ago, I went to a job fair and was hired pretty much on the spot. I love my new work place. It’s not without its crazy or its problems, but on the whole I’m so happy there. I’m in love with it. The atmosphere is kind and supportive. It’s good there. And good is good.
I’m paying my bills. I have help for when I just can’t quite make it that month. I’m eating out less.
I have friends. I have broken up with friends over the last few years and then asked for forgiveness and been given it. I have friends who I am certain I still drive nuts because I know they still drive me nuts but I am happier with them in my life than without them, and I’m learning to be okay with their nuttiness because they are okay with mine.
And just overall, I have a lot more good around me than bad.
But I’m crap at decision-making. And my demons raise their heads and take over every now and then in ways that leave ME feeling out of control and confused. Other people may look at me as just another person in the world who’s struggling like anyone, but inside of me I often feel like I’m fighting fire-breathing dragons with tiny little swords and shields.
My ADD brain can’t consistently focus. I am often complaining (okay fine demanding) people be consistent with me, yet that makes me such a hypocrite because ha…I’m so ADD consistency isn’t necessarily my own strength. Unless I decide to make someone or something my focus, and then woe to that person or thing because part of having an ADD brain is laser-sharp focus on things and people that don’t need it…and forgetting or purposefully avoiding the ones that do. And there is only so much fast-release Adderall in the world. Which, I’m finding, is really only good for energizing…it’s not a personal assistant that gets your stuff done though. That’s a choice. Adderall doesn’t help you make choices. Or decisions. And it’s powerless against dragons.
So this is why I’m back to blogging. I have spent about 4-5 months doing no writing whatsoever. I’m not even slightly joking: I have done NO writing. None. I think I tapped out a quickly written emo poem here and there. But other than that, NO. THING. Not even in an offline/handwritten journal. And for someone who’s been writing diaries and stories and blogs since she was in 2nd grade, that’s probably not really a healthy way to exist.
I talked to E about this today, over the phone, in my pajamas with coffee next to me. Then I got on Twitter and sawthis incredibly lovely Twitter threadby this beautiful soul out there in our world, about mental health and how very complicated it is, about grieving and moving on and how complicated that is, about how we are too hard on each other and ourselves, how we need to just BE, with ourselves and with other people and not push each other too hard, out into the cold, dark nights.
It hit me in the gut because, while I’m not grieving a death, I am struggling to be okay at all times. And I am often told by well-meaning people who love me and are really trying to just protect me and help me…I am told not to talk too loudly about that struggle, to find a way to keep it private. But this how humans are wired now, I think, because look: here was this stranger, this incredibly amazing and brave stranger, who just wrote a mini-blog in a series of tweets on a social media platform that is simply littered with tortured and angry and poisoned souls who are hiding their pain behind anger and hate…and she’s offered a connection. A way to say: it’s okay, not to be okay.
And these are the kinds of connections human beings should focus on. And that’s one reason I’ve always written publicly about my own struggles. And stopped because it all got too overwhelming. The pressure. To be okay.
One of the memes I see being pinned a lot on Pinterest is this one:
That’s what I’ve been doing since June 2015, when I walked out of my quiet, lovely, big house into a small, lovely, stompy-upstairs-neighbors apartment. With my child, who didn’t ask to do that but needed to be there for reasons I’d determined.
I have been fighting demons, inside and out, for going on three years now. I’ve grown so much. Growth is painful, and exhausting. But I’m stronger now. Mentally and emotionally. But I cover a lot of my fear with anger. And I spend way too much time wallowing in self-doubt and worry. I have an entire circus of demons inside of me, and they are all faces of my struggles and issues. I fight a lot of them, I’ve killed a few. But now I’m just kind of curious. What are they feeding on? Why are they there?
I’m going to start writing again. Just here, like I always did, before the wonkiest part of my journey took over. And I’m going to stop fighting my demons and start watching them, see what they feed on. Then I’m going to decide if I want to keep feeding them that or starve them. And I don’t know that I think all demons are bad. For instance, I like my angry demon. She keeps me real and fighting. She’s the source of my feisty and my spunk. I’m going to stop calling them demons, in fact, and start calling them dragons. Because dragons are kind of cute, actually. And sometimes they make good pets, like Toothless, in How To Train Your Dragon.