I let my petticoats show again today and executed a quick save. Delete buttons are brilliant. I’m trying very hard not to let all the blood show, not to let all the wires expose themselves against stark walls, outside the accepted circuitry.
I went out with a group of women tonight. I knew only one of them. I went to an unfamiliar place. With people younger than me. I enjoyed myself. I would congratulate myself for going out on a limb both socially and culinarily but frankly I think that’s a cheap call, I don’t get invited out a lot and figured I ought to go just to keep doors open. I don’t regret it.
I regret the food. La Rambla is not a good place for a vegetarian who isn’t fond of aioli. I am regretting the ailoi burps but there was no better alternative condiment for the potatoes in need of help.
Then I topped off the ailoi regret with chocolate regret. I don’t know how to explain it, but going out on any social limb causes me to feel reverberations of something, not quite of anxiety, not quite of exhaustion, something in between perhaps. I needed to eat something at 12am and the only thing I could think of that wasn’t cheese were some chocolates I bought for my mom.
Nice daughter. Stealing chocolates. I don’t really like chocolate that much. It doesn’t completely agree with me. I am now having aioli/chocolate burps. I hope you’re not raising a cannoli to your lips as you read this, if you are: my apologies.
I watched a mediocre movie called “The Accidental Husband”. It’s a shame what’s happened to romantic comedies. The formula has grown so old it has its own burps and I can’t comment on the flavor. The one I watched last night was worse “It Had to Be You”. Snoozers. Both.
It’s one in the morning and I’m thinking about personal narratives and how we can change the narratives in our lives that don’t work, that are either broken or are stupid to begin with. I am alive because I have made an art of my personal narrative. Not necessarily here on the blog, but in my journals, in my head, in the constant running commentary that has no “off” button.
I was remembering that there was a moment in my life when I might have actually sold my body for money. This was the correction to my internal statement that I couldn’t sell my body if my life depended on it. That is perhaps correct right now but it wasn’t correct twenty five years ago in San Francisco when propositions from potential johns were surprisingly frequent for this lady*.
What we tell ourselves every day, all day long becomes who we are if not by intention then by default. What are you saying to yourself all day long? Do you chide yourself? Do you criticize? Do you congratulate? Are you a cannon or a butterfly? Do you encourage? Do you stop and recognize the tarmac you’ve crossed, the roads you’ve run, the impossible you’ve accomplished? Or are you always a step ahead of yourself asking what have you done for yourself lately? How kind are you to yourself? What demons do you wrestle? What mold is holding you tight in torture? When do you tell everyone to fuck off?
I know I’m not handling my constant life of uncertainty as well as I want to, need to, pretend to. I know I’m not handling well because one of the best barometers of my equilibrium is how often I lose my prom dress and end up in my slip in the virtual public.
There’s a polythene wall between me and my intention.
I can’t pull it down. Not yet. I keep trying.
What will it take to push me outside where the track is, and the heart races for the good of the veins, and the air gives the lungs something to work for? What will it take? How far does it all have to go before I walk out that door every single day to do what I know I need to do?
There are pictures in my head. There are narratives there, buzzing, budding, rewinding, replaying. Every day. Again and again. It feels like what I need is to shut out noise. Shut out all stimulation besides music.
I find myself fighting against the blue thread of my life to find the angry orange streak of inspiration. How do I grab that? How do you grab it?
I am examining what I give to others. Is it ever enough to expect what I need in return? I went insular a few years ago when I needed to and I believe that it shut valves I used to depend on from others, that it cut off oxygen.
The flood of 1986 in Marin County rushed in just now. A mom in complete psychotic break, myself in the middle of a “nervous breakdown”, everything as fragile as paper cutouts, no good for hanging oneself on. The rains came and came and came until Paradise Drive was under waves. I left my questionable depressing apartment to walk the storm. I ran down the steep hill, drenched, getting more drenched, eyeliner running coal rivulets down my face, the wind pushing against my nearly extinguished spirit. My boots were submerged in river water, my hair a wet crow’s nest of tangled weed, and I walked a mile to get to a deserted Uncle Charlie’s just so I could commune with ghosts.
That wind was a slap and a revelation. It tore through me like I was gauze but it shocked my body back to life simultaneously. I need that flood. I need that storm. I need that solid wind to walk against, to answer to. I’d give a lot to lean my tired head against such strength again.
I’m not handling well. I seem like I am because I want to seem like I am.
There is a world of intention I’m not touching.
It’s about personal narratives. What’s yours? What are you telling yourself?
I seem to be speaking only in the gutteral, the base, the fear.
I am a person who pulled herself out of a psychotic episode, a fracturing of self, and suicide through my own insistent narrative of life, of living, of pulling through, of determination, of desire. That is not inconsiderable.
A dream the other night: painting the faces of cannibals, recognizing the dead, the soon-dead, and marking their faces according to their station of death, then walking away with the knowledge, with the one who saw everything and through everything. It felt like letting the weight go. Letting someone else carry it through train stations, bus stops, and into fresh city-scapes. I leaned in and let myself go on the shoulder of young knowledge, young instinct, the eye that sees in animal vision. We don’t have control.
“Are you scared?” the dream said. “No. I’m just happy.” I said into the shoulder of the dream.
But when I woke up I had no shoulder. The strange safety amongst the cannibals was gone. The screen of open streets closed in. The choices dissipated in the waking light.
I am right now in the company of many great artists of history, on the edge of something, on the precipice of either greatness or ruin. Maybe it isn’t even a case of either or, perhaps it is a simultaneous outward gift and implosion.
The threads of the present were visible twenty five years ago; blue and knotting into the San Anselmo stream beneath the Christmas lights.
*Prude is what some liked to accuse me of being.