Monday, April 13, 2009

giddy up.

It’s 5am. I am exhausted by an intense week of working overnight shifts only to wrap them up with an overnight, 8 hours off and then 16 hours through to morning. Morning hasn’t come yet. My skin feels like its dripping with fryer oil, my heads a little woozy, and my stomach is so bloated from the holiday food I ate about 5 hours ago that I want to run home today just to feel better. I’m not, that’s a stupid idea. The moment shift change happens, I am catching the first coworker ride out of here, heading directly to my shower and then to bed.

I was hoping that on each overnight shift I would write something decent to post here, but by this point I just feel über nasty. I can’t stop yawning either – jaw cracking yawns too. Tomorrow, um I mean later today I sleep. I sleep until I can’t sleep anymore. I sleep until my eyeballs – which currently are blinking out sleep buggers at an exuberant rate, red, scratchy, and tearful – decide on their own volition that they cannot possibly stay closed any longer. Okay, to be honest, I sleep until my bladder says its time to pee which is always about an hour and half after I fall asleep following an over night shift. I have no idea why this happens; I can pee before I go to sleep, but something about working through the night and then sleeping during the day makes my body rebel via bladder. I have never slept 8hours straight. It’s always been sleep one hour and a half, pee, and then back to sleep.

Anyway, I digress. What was I saying? Tired, body feels greasy and grouse, sleepy tired body…why do I have to pee. Oh yeah, that’s right. I have 3 hours remaining on this shift and I am hoping time will grace me with a little giddy up here. I want to go home.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Scribblings: Scary

I remember the 30 pieces of silver, 30 dimes in my case, placed on the altar on the Ash Wednesday prior to Easter. A contribution of remembrance for Judah’s betrayal, we all add our piece to the pot. I remember white dresses and clip on bow ties, the Easter service where we praise Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection – the brevity of death overshadowed by his miraculous rebirth – then an exodus to our homes where we ate Easter dinner with our families. Our bellies already full of gelatinous candy, teeth gritty from the sugar.

It was the first family holiday I stopped coming to. My relationship to G-d having taken an impasse, there was something hypocritical about going home to participate in a bogus act of faith. The most innocuous act of rebellion I could muster against my family and G-d, relief of not forcing myself through another church service outweighed the arguments that would ensue my absence. The most innocuous holiday and I still cannot participate.

Its 4am Easter Sunday and I prepare a holiday feast at my job for the clients. It’s not in my job description, but somehow I have found myself the go-to-gyrl for special dinner feasts. Notes stick to my mail box, ‘GoGo, can you make your yam dish’ or ‘No one knows how to stuff a Turkey, would you be so kind?’ I enjoy this role, I won’t lie. It’s probably the only way I know how to participate in holidays anymore by preparing food to celebrate.

I feel encapsulated by solitude on Easter and solitude has always come easier to me then the discomfort of participation. Even as I remember the Easter Sundays of my childhood – the joy that came with finding the Easter bunnies surprise or getting to read the scriptures for the congregation – I feel relief that I have no service I am obliged to attend tomorrow. I do not have to sit through the family feast.

My thoughts linger on a passage that Paul Auster once wrote about his father in The Invention of Solitude. A man who seemed to only skim the surface of life, Auster described his father solitary experience as…

“Solitary. But not in the sense of being alone. Not solitary in the way Thoreau was, for example, exiling himself in order to find out where he was; not solitary in the way Jonah was, praying for deliverance in the belly of the whale. Solitary in the sense of retreat. In the sense of not having to see himself, of not having to see himself being seen by anyone else” The Invention of Solitude ~ Paul Auster.

I listen to friends discuss that discomfort of “going home” and scratching their collars as they sit through that family obligation of Church then dinner and I find myself feeling like those isolated hermits who never really participated in the life they lived. This avoidance of discomfort scares me a little. It’s so easy for me just not to be there. And what was once an empowering act of self-identity quivers at the periphery of my understanding. A dim shadow of doubt forms and when I try to place my gaze directly at what gives me pause, it disappears all together. I choose solitude over discomfort and lately that’s becoming a chilling experience.

Friday, April 10, 2009

旅行

Traveling. Preparing the packing list. Anticipation pounds the ears. Days to wait. I don’t want to wait. I push doing laundry to make the last days before doable. Nothing like the need for clean clothes to pass the time. I wait and wait. I know time will go faster once I get there. I extend my time to avoid the inevitable. The second leg of the round trip ticket. I wonder what it would look like to not return.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

i'm gonna trigger you & i'm okay with that

How do we get from here to there, shedding fear and opening ourselves to the risk of just trying it? How does time break down the caveat of distance? How do I get to come home to you?
~
I was walking the corridor of the mind and tripped over a thought. Cut my toe on a shard of memory that escaped the dustpan and broom. Damn. So, I plucked it out and threw it away for sure this time.
~
My mother used to read us stories from these bible story books. They were these glossy blue covered set of moral redirections for the youth with large print and illustrations that captured the devastation of deviating from the path. Some stories were from the bible and some were modern day morals about not listening to your parents, stealing, and stuff like that. My favorite one to mull over was the story about boys smoking. I remember the picture of these boys dressed in jackets and ball caps coughing on cigarettes while the smoke wrapped around them in demon form. It terrified me. I’d rub my fingers across the illustration, etch the smoky grey devil in my mind’s eye while my heart raced and breath squeezed tight in my chest. My mother smoked. I swore to g-d and jesus I’d never cross that path. I’d never let the evil cigarette get me. Sometimes I think about that story while puffing a drag from my smoke. Not sure how I crossed that line, well I do actually, it was for a gyrl, but I don’t know when fear of smoking turned simply into shame. I can live with shame. And sometimes, while the smoke wraps around me in the air currents, I almost feel comfort in knowing that maybe the devil is holding me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sucking Out the Hue

I’m burning the late night hours at work, turning time into money, turning paperwork into more paperwork. Eyes layered thick with sleep, the mind won’t turn off; I go outside to smoke a cigarette, that dirty bastard habit marking me an addict of something. Residuals of worn hours wear the mind thin and I cannot wait to sleep, turning this mood off. A harsh history takes its opportunity to sit on my shoulder and whisper “remember me” through stained memories. I chuckle and brush them off like dandruff on the collar trusting this weary late night betrays me. I remind myself a useful mantra – never ask the meaning in life when the mood turns blue.

I inhale my habit, exhale another 14 minutes watching fading night turn lighter. I know I can’t snub out this sadness with the last smoke, but I try anyway. What saves me is the assurance there is cacophony to the melancholy. Having told someone seven hours before that depression is a lying bastard never to be believed, I hold strong to that truth. No I am not depressed, just weary and vulnerable to all those sad stories thrown at me. I know what I am feeling and what is feeling me – those poo poo poor me sentiments will not become sedimentary. But I give myself permission to have them anyway because sometimes we need to imagine our funeral to appreciate the life worth living. Even now, feeling blue, I cannot help but suck out all the hue and I smile.

Monday, April 6, 2009

its taken me this long, but i finally want to bang my head against a wall

Late work night breeds into early morning lulls. My mind wants to be sleepy, but can’t stop ruminating on funky thoughts about things I cannot control. If I could, I’d run right now and wouldn’t stop running until my legs collapsed, lungs breathless and mind comfortably worn blank. I know dramatic.

I think all those things I cannot control are beginning to wear on me. Patience, a virtue I certainly struggle with, has run thin. For example, my mother. I love her very much and am grateful for the life she gave me. With that said, my mother has wanted me to be married and pregnant since I came out of her. When I was 18-years-old, after hours of my mom badgering me because I was going away to college, I finally promised my mother at the age of 25-years-old that I would get married and have children. At dawn of my 25th birthday, my mother called me wanting me to pay up on the agreement, saying “But you promised!” By that point I had enough of a language to tell her I was too young to make such promises.

At 30-years-old, while in my hometown visiting my mother, she insisted on a conversation where she informed me I was getting old and I had 10 years at best before menopause robbed me of child birth. She then whittled it down 5 more years because of family genetics. I remember I finally informed her that I was not going to have children and she would have to grieve the idea, thereby excluding her from any thoughts of children I might have.

Because of my mum’s desperate need for me to be married and with child, I have avoided sharing any aspects of my relationships…until recently, which was a stupid idea, I have to say. I have been privy to fall in love someone I want to build a life with. Swallow hard. That is hard enough to figure out without adding my mother’s wants and needs to the pot. It’s gotten to the point where I want my parents to meet her. Except that has once again opened the dam of my Mother’s intentions for me. Since I mentioned that I want to visit with my gyrlfriend, my mother has insisted we get married or we cannot stay in her house. She has called me daily with “gay states” where I can get married.

AAAAAHHHHHH!

I cannot control her. I cannot reason with her about…oh I don’t know, my needs and desires in life, or hell, the pragmatic idea that one should take things slow in relationships before jumping into martyrdom and kids. My mother hasn’t even met my significant yet and she wants us married. Is that fucked up to anyone else?!!! In fact, I think that is the rub for me in all of this. It really is the end result – marriage & grandkids. There is no me, no making sure that my g/f is good for me, its all about her! I just want the g/f to meet the parental units, hopefully live with me and we’ll go from there.

I know this is dirty baggage in the open air. I know I cannot change her no matter what I say or do; all I can do is take care of me. And all I want to do is run.

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um, on the plus side of life, I just received an email asking me if I want to perform some prose for an art gallery show opening in July! ;)