Not dead yet.
Seeing in violent color.
Because my lungs hurt and contract into themselves with force when I try to breath.
My mother told me “The State Within” was excellent. I asked her if the main character was good looking. Jesus. As though I need a beefcake to enjoy myself. My rules for attraction are not Fabio-centric. No, and they don’t tend towards six packs and lush lips. Uh uh. I don’t care for long haired men with pecks as inflated as stiff breasts. No tans necessary. Straight teeth are not a requirement. I can’t say what it is.
Which is fine, really, because obviously the main point is that I’m shallow.
My shallowness is at least not sexist. I want my lead lady to be good looking too. Which means not looking like Angelina Jolie with those popping veins, pillow lips, and sinewy hard limbs. Uh uh. Blond is only acceptable if not insipid. Snub noses need not apply. Pale. Pale. I like pale people.
Unless they are naturally dark. Dark skin is beautiful when it’s what a person is born with. Dark to the point of black, dusky, cocoa, olive – anything but artificially or sun tanned.
I hated them when I was a kid. Because I had them, lots of them, not just a sweet sun-sprinkle of them across my nose. All over my face and shoulders. People made fun of me. But something happened when I got older. Not only did I accept them but my vision cleared so that I found them beautiful on other people.
Now that I’m thinking about it, I guess I always found them attractive on others, just not on myself. From third grade to sixth grade I was as near as in love with a boy as a girl that age can be with a red-headed boy covered in freckles. Plus, he was short.
I think freckles are attractive enough that I made Cricket covered in them. Not just a sunny sprinkle across a pert Southern Californian nose. She’s really freckled. I love that about her. You may not, and I accept that we all have different tastes, but isn’t it about time that freckles were raised up as a possible point of beauty in a heroine who also happens to punch men like a demon and has the most beautiful hands on earth?
I didn’t mean to write a treatise about my shallow need to see people eye-candy. C’est la vie. I go with the moment. It’s been a long sick day. I am only up at the crack of dawn because I needed to watch the whole “The State Within” series. I had to know what happened.
I am sicker today than I was yesterday or the day before. My mother made me sage tea this morning and it was just like when I was a little girl. Except better because I hated being a little girl.
I started reading “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” and suddenly hated myself as a writer. I am in a serious crisis now. It will pass. I’m sure. But reading good literature right now might not be the most genius prescription for my predicament.
(Which is: oh my god I’m a crap writer what the hell am I doing and who the hell will want to read my stories when they aren’t charming and warm but are dark and unevenly irreverent and hell hath no fury like a crap writer…etc)
It’s a very good book. Pisses me off how good it is. I am all at sea.
It will pass.
I meant to nap and read most of the day away but ended up spending most of it cooking.
I wonder why so often when I see really tall men I superimpose myself in their bones.
In spite of this, I am all woman.
I really miss Kung Fu. I can’t breath well enough to do it. Can’t go to class and can’t practice at home. Because I’m so tired. I’ve been so tired for over a week. I know staying up this late doesn’t help. I’m not sleepy. Just tired. My body feels leaden and a little disconnected.
While taking a little forced break from Cricket and Grey (the third draft), due to writing crisis, I suddenly find myself fixating on how I can make Jane Doe a real novel. The plot difficulties are so clear now and I find myself buzzing with ideas. Where my first draft went wrong is obvious. But again, I see that my writing style is full of contradictions and I’m not sure how that will work.
Oh my god, Jane Doe is so heavy I am breathless thinking about it. Yet, it is not without light. Vibrant light.
This reminds me of my boyfriend Tristan telling me that I was so “heavy”.
Which reminds me of the surreal night of fighting we had at O’Leary’s pub where it started out about how his idea of monogamy was quite different than mine and how angry I was because I would have willingly dated him with no strings attached but he insisted we be exclusive. Which left me hurting hurting hurting because his idea of exclusive included giving all attractive females back rubs and some attractive females a great big snog. Right in the middle of our heated and somewhat agitated discussion I saw him. I really saw him.
Suddenly I didn’t exist. Not in an important way. I simply saw him. I saw how he was wasting himself. How his needs didn’t match mine but how his passions and needs were important and valid and that he needed to be true to himself and if it meant sleeping with every goddamn girl he met it really wasn’t for me to stop him or concern myself with it. I needed to fade into the ether, leave him so he could be who he was meant to become. I was like a corridor to himself. A beacon light.
I was very much in love with him.
Sitting there across from him in the smarmy pub lighting I saw him as he really was. I saw inside him and I knew I didn’t fit there. I wasn’t appropriate for him. Me with my Gothic notions of faithfulness and attachment. The hairs on my arms rose and then I could no longer feel my body, I simply saw his spirit and what it needed and what it could become. I saw his whole potential in front of me and it was beautiful and I wasn’t the person who could nurture it. I told him he needed to fly. He needed to photograph naked women, he needed to photograph whatever interested him because he had amazing talent with a camera, he needed to spread his wings and just fucking do what he was driven to do and I wasn’t part of it. I knew it. I told him. It was so strange to see him hurt at being told he should fly.
I see into people often, but rarely do I see them so clearly that I become disembodied completely. I couldn’t feel my flesh any more. Who I was didn’t matter, my claims on this man didn’t matter, all that mattered was to guide this spirit forward. To step aside and let him shine. He was incandescent, but not for me. I was nothing but a medium. I was an interim for him. I was nothing more than an interlude, a moment, a second, and I’d be shocked to know if he even remembered me at all.
I am heavy because I suck up everyone’s light and save it for them.
I am heavy because I carry all the sorrow of mankind in my chest.
Which makes bronchitis a specious bitch.
I trusted myself that night at the pub. I have felt similar charges in spirit since then, but never with such sacrifice as knowing that I had to let a person go for their own good. Walk away. Evaporate.
The question came up the other night “Have you ever broken anyone’s heart?” and I’m not sure how that came up but Philip can definitely say yes, but me? Someone told me I broke Tristan’s heart but when I think about who he really was I am sure that I didn’t have that power. When I think of all the people I’ve gone out with I don’t think I’ve ever broken a single one of their hearts.
I’d like to believe I had. Just one. Somehow it seems cold and hard to have never dented another person enough to have broken their heart. What kind of icicle does that make me?
Then Philip reminded me of a penpal I had for a while who seemed to have developed a tendre for me even though he knew I was married. I had completely forgotten. Maybe because that correspondence occurred at the same time that my biological father was writing things to me like how I am related to a celebrated Norwegian poet. How I’m actually a quarter Polish, which I hadn’t previously known. The penpal paled.
I don’t think I broke his heart either.
Every person has some kind of power.
That’s not one of mine.
I must go to bed now. I’m still not tired. I’m not tired. How can I be so un-tired? I can sleep in. That won’t solve my writing crisis. Only soldiering on can do that.
I part with this caution: wash your hands often, take your vitamins, get exercise (but don’t pull a goddamned muscle), eat well, drink a shitload of beer, and get some sleep.