i looked at a tree. i looked at so many trees. i came home and looked at my tree differently.
today there’s more despair, it’s stupid. last night i forced myself to eat soup. i said eat soup eat eat soup you must eat it. N came over to look at STI test results together, [how romantic] and they took the opportunity of my state- vulnerable messy hair puffy eyes pajamas pussing hands – to pull me into processing and insist they wanted to end things before I did, even though before I ended it, I had already ended it. I see their insecurity, their fear, their grappling for power in every situation, their entitlement. No, just kidding, I didn’t see that, not then. Then I was crying from test results, I was fumbling with the bandages on my palms, I was crying and telling them I had loved them and I tried my best. I just gave it all to them for no reason. I lost the game. Forfeit.
But now I see their moves. Ah,,,,, hindsight. I was beaten, no forfeit. Nothing so peaceful.
But now, today, I am at the mercy of my chemical imbalance. i could have the brightest day, the greatest love, the hottest body, the glowiest skin, the buy 1 get one free pint of blueberries- no matter- all there is is just darkness. it’s my brain, it’s chemical, i have no control. i repeat my affirmations. I run my finger down my list of steps to stay safe (that i remember, the list was on fire of course) i’m drowning I can’t see out. i have no need for food. i buy a protein drink so i don’t pass out. i choose xanax. over and over every time. instead.
I admit I like the way my cat pushes his face into the tiny opening on the floor of the porch. but I don’t like it the way I should like it. i don’t like it the way i would if it was lb.
There is grief, always ready for me. It’s all gone, all I have is me and I’m a dumb little fool, scrambling inside my inside self. where is she? what does she enjoy?
I biked slow down bienville to syc. when i arrived I took my glasses off to cry on the stairs to my friend K. it feels safe to be blind and also it keeps the salt off my glasses.
i just want to be sedated all the time. i don’t want to do the things on the checklist. i don’t want to. i was so proud of making the checklist and now it just looks like a list of things i never want to do. a list of things to avoid.
but i know i must keep showing up. please keep showing up. it wasn’t always like this and you’ll get better soon. you will. you have to believe it.
It’s September, but the rashes do not relent just yet. In fact, they morph into further questionable shapes. They flake off, return, display new colors. Google searches of rashes only result in a vortex of rashmania that devolves into an existential challenge to the rash. What isn’t a rash anyway? Aren’t we all a rash? The more I learn the more I realize the multitude of ways to be dirty, to be clean, and that there is no clean. I smile; I think of my rashes. Your rashes. It’s perfect. It’s meant to be.
Thursday at urgent care, I sat in the freezing triage room staring far too long at a painting of a peacock, flowers and a rainbow rising above a couplet of clouds. Feathers, petals and sky made of a child’s handprints in varying colors, their initials written neatly in sharpie below each. I was in there long enough to wonder what the intended purpose of such a wall painting was. Did it make children feel included? The adjacent wall was painted only one color of deep beige that reminded me simply of my personal life in austere offices, courtrooms, shelters in the 1980s. Misery.
One particular red smear of peacock feather lacked any hint of it’s intended shape of neither feather nor hand. Actually it appeared that the child had desperately slammed the side of a tiny closed fist against the wall and kept it there just a moment before pushing it down the surface and away. Underneath the initials neatly scribed, “J.R.”
When the doctor came in he asked my age and for the first time, truly the first, I faltered. Was I thirty? Thirty two? I think the beige and the peacock fucked me up. Put me in a different place. Finally I slovenly mustered, “thirty-six?”
I came in because I was attacked by a wasp and my finger swelled from the sting. It itched in a way that made me want to pull off into the swamp and lay there scratching in moaning in pure pleasure and addiction. I also had a hand rash. I laughed about the rash. “Oh that rash, oh who knows, right? A rash is a rash is a rash”
He sat down and took a breath and told me I have herpes on my hands.
I went to the STI clinic the next day to be sure. They looked at my palms, took my blood and sat down took a breath and told me I have syphilis.
I left the clinic in the rain. I wrapped my palms in sticky gauze. I ate xanax and tacos and Benadryl. I called my exes. I goog;ed syphillis. I googled history of syphillis. More than a rash. I slept thinking about my rashes. My rash is my rash is my rash.
I set some goals today. I made a goal chart like we do for kids with behavioral problems at school. I even have gold stars I got in a free box. I’m determined to do whatever it takes to be awake again in the world. I will not let this stop me. I must keep on. Forcing myself to check off the list until I don’t need the list,;until I am strong. I have been this way, strong. I have had many rashes. I can become awake.
what does it feel like?
it’s summer and my closest friends are out of town, i have no ambition to do anything and i feel far away and hate myself.
i eat exclusively vegan indian that i try to make and fruit. lots of fruit. i love fruit in the summer.
i feel large and puffy. i feel bloated. i feel fat is a way to say it, which is not PC anymore to say but oh well that’s what i feel. it’s not about you.
the way i hate myself is interesting bc i feel far away from myself. i have surface level thoughts in conversations. when people greet me, i tell myself to smile. i smile big walking down the hall at work, carrying my folders and little tupperware i have filled with highlighters. i know it is important to show strength. i am not scared to be vulnerable, i just cannot access vulnerability anymore. n says i am guarded and i have walls but i don’t even notice. i can’t imagine they possibly want me without any. i am a mass of unconnected gore without them. it’s not sweeter, i’m sure.
the other night we talked on the bayou after sunset. i crossed my legs over theirs and we drank pampelmouse soda. we talked about parents and age and ex-lovers and the stars (hypothetically, we could not see them). the air was like eden-air: just perfect. like a movie set. so comfortable it couldn’t be real. we ate leftover indian in the kitchen. i washed my feet in their gritty tub and as i climbed into their king size bed to cuddle and eat cookies, i felt so happy. i told them, “i feel so happy right now” bc i know i am hard to read. but i was worried that my telling them would make them feel like i was dependent on them. or that i liked them too much. i am so tired of playing games to keep lovers interested. i am so tired.
other “important” 😉 updates:
i am really worried that i am not smart anymore. i can’t seem to access deeper thoughts. i can’t remember a lot of facts.
i can’t have sex anymore. i feel far away. my body responds: i get wet, i am able. i writhe around and moan in a hopefully convincing manner. i perform, but for what. when i can see that a person enjoyed me, i feel taken advantage of. i feel used instead of feeling glad that i was able to provide pleasure for someone. it makes no sense. this isn’t me.
graybie nearly killed this dragonfly. i set it on the gate and in the morning he was still there, clinging desperately. he clung all night. he lived in terror all night. no one noticed. he flew away, he survived. but he will die for real one day. until then, we cling. we remember the clinging; it shapes us.
yesterday I saw socks in a store that I had bought in december.
“what happened to those?
Oh. Those were socks I had before I
what would give you joy?
what causes you stress?
why do you insist on predicting the future?
today, following my own advice in my previous post, i took my wellbutrin in the morning. it did give me an extra burst of energy and made the fact that i forgot my breakfast endurable but after lunch with dean and a ride home in full afternoon sun, i felt drained. i resisted all plans, all goals and napped. i lack ambition and focus on an alarming level. i used to be able to sit and do work for so long, with so much drive and interest. now everything seems so futile that it’s to the point that tasks aren’t even on my radar. there’s only blips from: Self-Pity, Predicting the Future, Self Disgust, Anxiety.
I napped until the afternoon retreated. I dreamt that lil boy was a kitten and got caught by a kite flying by and flew away. I jumped up and caught him though. he was silent as a snail.
i saw the other side of dean’s house today and it is only one block away from the old house on Banks. It’s nice and a great deal but the way the sunlight comes in, I hate it. and I don’t know, who am I kidding, I can’t be that close to the house. On the walk back, I saw a cat on the street and thought “it’d be good to live around here bc maybe I’ll find LB!” and had to remind myself that he was burned. they found his body. he is gone.
i can’t lie: I don’t believe it.
I keep telling myself that this is a hard time that I will recover from. I’ve recovered from a lot of things and there a lot of things I have now that I take for granted:
- my physical health
- my financial sorta stability
- my awesome job
- my freedom from family and relationship obligations
i want to go back to the house while i can, but also i can’t. maybe i need to? no, i shouldn’t.
after my nap i laid on the bayou for sunset and drank a kombucha. the concrete felt warm like it’d been placed in a heater. went for a short run up the jeff davis overpass. it really feels like dying but also like getting clean.
what gives you pleasure and what matters? i spent a long day doing nothing really. tagging along on errands, birthdays, parent dinners of friends. “just hanging out” – j says she’s concerned bc she doesn’t have a thing anymore. she just hangs out. but isn’t that valuable? isn’t all we are our compassion, presence, care?
id be sunburnt if not for spf 50 mist over an spf 30 lotion and hiding from the raw light of mid-afternoon. depression comes roiling after me most desperately in the afternoon light. it doesn’t make any sense but it is so real and, if i doubt it, it’s proven to me again in less than 24 hours. that’s how days work. the earth and sun moving and all that.
i have a vision of an art performance piece of a person mentioning terrible predictions and also massive gratitude and then reflexively looking around to knock on wood but they are in a tiny room and everything is made of plastic. and god sits above and laughs laughs laughs.
i am in bed with graybie who is distracted by a moth. how can cute things murder? i like that cute things murder. the paradox is calming.