bitter dates with icky dragons.

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.

So don’t.

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.

my offensive meme.

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.

another reyna biddy quote/meme i almost posted instead last night, written in the same vein, and where i’m at more than not these days, and why i posted the one that annoyed the male social media stranger. see? don’t judge until you know some facts.


about a girl, part 1.

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, 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.

i’m complicated, but not hard. just pick some dandelions and wild clover and i’ll at least consider your proposal.

a tale of three medias.

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 titled Uprooted 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.