Happy Birthday to HatGirl!
There was a time, not a specific time but a period of time, when it happened. Over the course of something between days and months, it happened.
It was a couple of years ago now, when things changed. Suspicions became knowledge. Inklings became expectations. Hopes became certainties.
Yeah, that's right. Certainties.
Patience was validated. The long and winding journey became irrelevant, and only the destination mattered. I could see our destination, smell it, almost touch and taste it. It was just up ahead. It was going to happen. We were going to get there.
Just a little bit further...
It became much more than wishful thinking. I hate it when people dismiss it all as wishful thinking. I know the difference. I fucking lived with wishful thinking for years. I'm an expert on wishful thinking. I know the difference between it and certainty. I really do.
Memories and hopes were all I had, but they kept me going. Wishful thinking kept me going.
Until a period of time, a couple of years ago, when I became certain, certain, that all my wishes were about to come true.
Just a little bit longer...
Back then, that's when everything changed. The potential for pain became the potential for utter destruction. But that didn't matter, because I was certain that everything was going to be fine. Great. Wonderful. Perfect.
For years, memories and hopes were all I had. They kept me going. Then I found certainties, and it felt like nothing could stop me.
Now, all I have are memories.
I fear that they won't be enough.
Last night I was thinking about stupid questions, mainly because I was asked one.
The cliché is that there are no stupid questions, but that's a stupid cliché.
Here are some types of stupid questions that I've thought of off the top of my head.
1. You already know the answer, but you don't want to hear it.
2. You don't want to know the answer.
3. You want to argue with the answer.
4. You won't listen to the answer.
5. You won't believe the answer.
This list isn't meant to be all-inclusive. I'm sure there are more. Feel free to leave other examples in the comments.
Lately I've taken to not answering stupid questions.
Happy birthday to my father, on what would have been his 69th birthday.
"69, dudes!" -- Future Bill & Ted
I want it to be effortless again. Writing, I mean. I don't know if I can ever go back, though. Everything always seems so forced these days. Or I'll write a little and then second-guess everything I've written. Like it's not good enough, or accurate enough. More often than not, I'll delete it all and hope that I'll do better the next time.
I get so tired of repeating myself to myself. I keep asking myself for explanations, and I keep saying the same things over and over. It never gets through my thick skull. I either don't understand the answers or I don't believe the answers or I don't accept the answers.
Probably that last thing.
It's the same crap I went through for years, trying to answer a different set of questions with a different set of answers.
I imagine myself, in a week or a decade or a century, lying on my death-bed and reflecting on the life that I've had. Or not had. Whatever. I try to envision what I'll think. I rehearse the answers that I'll give myself, when I ask myself if I've had a good life, if I'd do it all again, if it was worth it.
I've said all this before. There's nothing new. I'm stuck in a groove.
I've said here quite often that I should just shut up. Now I seem to have done just that, but I've done too good of a job. I'm not even explaining my self to myself anymore. So I'm confused.
I owe myself an explanation. A big one.
I'm not sure where to start, though. Maybe that's what's been holding me back. It's just too daunting a task.
Things are what they are. I've done what I've done. And the reasons are, well, I can't think of the word I want.
Next to a million flinches, that's where the reasons lie. Among cruelties, and disappointments, and a few lies, that's where the reasons lurk. They keep fear and pain as their confidants. They hide behind incredible beauty and unimaginable joy, but they're always there, and I lost hope that they would ever go away.
I repeat this mantra to myself. "I'm better off, I'm better off, I'm better off, I'm better off..."
Sometimes I even believe this to be true, I really do.*
But I forget that truth every few seconds, and I don't know the reasons for how things are, and I falter. Whenever I breathe, for example. Or whenever I blink my eyes, and that ever-so-brief moment of darkness lets her face intrude into my consciousness.
It was just too much. After all that time, all those years of waiting and hoping and trying oh so hard, my seemingly infinite patience proved to be finite after all. I felt myself wearing down more quickly than I could regenerate. Changing, mutating into a person I neither recognized nor even particularly liked.
It had to stop. It had to end or I was going to end. And, even though it seems to me that I did end, I really didn't. I'm still here, barely. What's left of me.
It was just too much. Maybe that's the explanation. Maybe that's the only explanation there will ever be, because better words escape me...
* - poet and don't know it.
I hate it when I'm misunderstood.
I suppose most people are like that. I especially hate it when that misunderstanding stems from emotions and motivations arbitrarily assigned to me by others.
I mean, I'm an open book. So what's the reason for all the guesswork and the assumptions?
Disappointment and resignation. That's it.
No anger, or malice, or disgust. Certainly no hatred.
I'm disappointed in how things turned out, but I'm resigned to the fact that they did turn out this way.
There's no mystery. There's no hidden agenda. There's no scheming.
It's all pretty boring, actually. So maybe some people should find something else to fuel their fires.
Kinda feeling weird today. Detached, I guess, would be a good word. Unless I can think of a better one. Like I'm detached from myself and from the reality that's surrounding me.
I mean, I know that there's this big giant chunk of my life that, well, is no longer a part of my life. I know that I should still be upset about the loss that I'm experiencing, and I definitely still am upset. But, I'm not as upset as I should be. I dunno, maybe because the sadness that I should feel would simply be too much for me to bear. So, as a self-defense mechanism, I've detached myself.
Whatever works, I suppose. Whatever can get me through this. Eventually. Maybe.
I'm so tired all the time. What's up with that? I know that a big part of it is that I'm getting up at 5:00 every morning, but that can't be the only reason. I should be able to last beyond 8:30 or so at night without feeling like I'm about to fall over. There's probably some kind of clinical depression going on, what would be just my luck. Something else to be wrong with me.
I will be so glad when this month is over. November sucked, but I think December is shaping up to be much worse. Too many opportunities for me to think about how things might have been. Could have been. Should have been. Whatever.
I'll get over it. I always do.
I have no idea why, but I've managed to convince myself that I'm going to hear from them both today, and they're both going to be nice.
I'm actually sitting here excited about it.
Where did these stupid expectations come from?
I don't get it at all.
I'm going to end up feeling very disappointed later.
In other news, I forget what paragraphs are for.
I also seem to like ending sentences with prepositions.
I don't know what I'm doing. I don't think I've ever said that I did. What I've always said is that I'm just muddling through.
This is all just so weird to me. So unusual. So unexpected. So fucked up.
Things end all the time. I understand that. But how do they end when they never began? And how does that make it a million times worse?
How can I be so wrong about the one thing in my life that I was positive about? How could I get to this point? How could I let this happen?
I'm just trying to get my thoughts together, somehow, when I write crap like this. It's tough. My thoughts are all over the place.
I know what I want but I don't want to want it. I'm pretty sure I've said that before. It's not true, though. Sometimes I lie to myself. The truth is that I just don't want to be the only one who wants it. I'm so tired of being alone in this.
Expectations and hopes and desires can either be the best of friends or the worst of enemies. Circumstances vary. Sometimes circumstances crumble into dust. You deal with it. And, if you can't deal with it, then you do the best you can.
Sometimes it's all you can do to simply endure. You breathe. You try not to think. You muddle through as best as you can.
You make mistakes, and you hope that you're forgiven. You hope with all your heart that the bad times will end. You wait for them to end, somehow, and you don't even care how they end, as long as they end.
The old saying is that "God won't give you more than you can handle."
To that I always respond, "Tell that to my friend WomanRepellant."
I don't know what I'm doing. Everyone on Earth tells me to do one thing, but it's just not me. What's more important, to be true to myself, or to give myself a chance at a life?
I'm not sure that I made myself clear. It's not what a person does, it's what kind of person they are. And, often, actions are the main clue you get.
So you examine the actions or the words or whatever, and you interpret them. You form an opinion, based on the available evidence, as to what a person is really like. Sometimes you're wrong. Sometimes you're right. Sometimes you're right, but you wish you were wrong.
Anyway, an action - or a series of actions - doesn't have to be some big terrible thing. It doesn't even have to be bad at all to the other seven billion people on the planet - it only has to be bad to you. Bad enough to shift your opinion.
And so, my opinion shifted. That's all that happened. My feelings haven't changed one iota.
Maybe I'm wrong. I hope that I am, but I can't ignore the evidence that's been presented to me.
Yesterday some of us at Rich O's were talking about this special evening from 2007. Talking about this one particular mean drunk got me thinking about mean drunks in general.
I bet we all know at least one person who fits that description. They get a few beers into them and suddenly they're Russell Crowe. They try to pick fights with strangers and friends alike. They take great exaggerated umbrage at the slightest little thing. They get loud(er) and obnoxious(er). They're always right about everything, and anyone who disagrees had better be ready for a confrontation.
They're no fun to be around. At all.
I think that, if drinking turns you into an asshole, then maybe you shouldn't drink. Or at least not drink in public.
Now, I'm certainly not one of those bible-thumping anti-alcohol people. I think that anyone reading this has probably figured that out by now. I don't stand on a pulpit and, upon seeing someone drink a beer, scream "OMG alcoholic! Protect the children!"
But I do heartily support responsible drinking. And that doesn't just mean don't drink and drive or don't drink and perform open-heart surgery. It also means that, if drinking turns you into an asshole, then I think you should abstain.
Nobody likes you when you're like that. Nobody.
And, if anyone says that they do like you when you're like that, they're only saying it so they don't get punched in the face.
Okay, last one.
I think the thing I like about this one is that I did a nice job writing about it.
I only turned my back for a second, and they all died. All of the hot girls, dead.
This party had suddenly taken a very bad turn.
What could I have been thinking? Rat poison is, by definition, poison, and who was I to say which small amount might be safe and which would not? Which would bring a nice high and which would bring death?
As I moved my hand over their bodies to check for any remaining signs of life, of hope, it was as if darkness flowed out from my fingers and onto everything around me. I could no longer see their faces. This might normally have been considered a good thing, what with them being dead and all. But this time, this time it was not. For as I reached to check for a pulse, I instead found the toothy grimace of agonizing death, seemingly about to bite down and rip at my flesh. Instead of the faintest of breaths, I instead found hands contorted by pain into claws that seemed to grasp at me, as if to pull me in with them.
But it was only my imagination. The dead do not bite. The dead do not grasp.
The darkness flowing from me continued to spread. The lamp in the corner served only to illuminate itself - its light no longer reached the walls, or the floor, or the ceiling. Or the grotesque scene on the bed.
I knew that I had to get away from there, from that macabre display, from the darkness.
So I ran.
I ran, and the darkness continued to flow from my body. It became an expanding wake of nothingness which I pulled along behind me.
I ran faster.
I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, but it was not fast enough. I bent forward, and I began to use my arms as well. I dug my fingers into the ground and I pulled with my arms as mightily as I pushed with my legs. I became something else. Something no longer human. A beast. Running from darkness that I myself had created, that I myself continued to spread.
A moment of clarity struck me.
The darkness caught up with me, surrounded me, enveloped me. It began to contract and flow back into me.
As I stood, panting, in that shrinking circle of darkness, I saw lights in the distance.
Then I woke up.
This is another old favorite of mine. I don't ever sem to have interesting dreams anymore. Only sad ones.
Well, I guess I'm sleeping better. I'm certainly sleeping more. Turning my schedule upside-down has allowed me to sleep when I want and/or need it the most - right after work. And, since I have TiVo, I'm not missing any of my favorite shows.
So the falling asleep problem has been eased quite a bit. The other problem, the waking up because a mouse farts somewhere outside problem is still there, and that is probably keeping me from enjoying the really deep sleep that I need.
Because of that, I'm spending a lot more time in REM sleep than normal. More dreams, and more weird dreams.
I was in my bed and I suspected that I might be dreaming, so I stuck my hand through the wall to make sure. I was indeed dreaming.The I woke up.
Like I usually do, I took off flying through the window and out into the world. Usually I'll just zoom around the neighborhood for a while, but this time I decided to go straight up. I went up until my house was nothing but a dot, and I hit my head on something.
The sky wasn't really the sky. It was like in the movie the Truman Show where it was just a painted dome.
I tried several times to pass through that dome, but it just wasn't working. This disturbed me a lot. My ability to pass through solid objects is one that I've spent a lot of time perfecting, and it's given me an awful lot of freedom. So I became angry, and started scratching at the ceiling, and I managed to dig into it a little.
Encouraged by this, I started ripping at the drywall and eventually had a fairly large section of it removed. Next there was a very thick layer of insulation to tear away, and after that there was a grating to pry loose.
Finally, I had a hole big enough to get through. I climbed up through the hole, and it was like being above a suspended ceiling. There was ductwork and machinery all over the place. There was no room to stand up, so I just started crawling. Eventually I reached another wall. Once again, I couldn't simply pass through this wall, so I had to kick away at this grating until it fell away.
I crawled through the new hole, and I fell into the snow.
I found myself in a large open field, laying in about a foot of snow. There were trees off in the distance. It was pretty damn cold. I stood up and turned around to check out the hole I'd just come through.
On a railroad flatcar, there were a dozen or so suitcases. The carry-on kind with wheels and extendable handles. At the base of the suitcase nearest to me was a small hole, no bigger than my fist. I knew that this was the hole I'd just come out of. I also knew that there was no way I was going to be able to fit back through it.
A small part of my brain also registered that my entire world was apparently contained in a suitcase on a railroad flatcar in a snowy field in some kind of uber-universe, but that wasn't important at the time. What was important was that it was cold and I just wanted to get to someplace warm.
There was a passenger car in front of the flatcar, and a bunch of people got off. Nobody would pay any attention to me except this one guard. When I told him that I'd gotten there by accident, he asked me where I was from.
"Earth," I said. Then I added, "The year 2006."
So the guard nodded and pointed to a little shack off in the distance. He told me to go there and warm up, and somebody would stop by to help me later.
I went over to the shack, and I opened the door.
It was my bedroom.
I went in and crawled into bed, and I knew that I'd never really left.
It was really a riveting dream to be in the middle of. I remember thinking that they should make a movie out of it.
I still remember this dream. The excitement was palpable.
*** Warning! Boring dream description ahead! Proceed at your own risk! ***
There was this house. Can't really say what the house looked like, because it was always changing. Every few minutes all of the walls and siding would sort of slide down into the ground, revealing a completely different house underneath. One minute it would be a castle, the next a log cabin.
After a while, I noticed that there was a huge stadium, and the house was in the center.
Thousands, maybe millions of people had crowded into the stadium to see the house. It was a huge party. A "house-party" you might say. Ha ha.
Apparently, the house was going to run out of new forms to take very soon, and that's why everyone was there. Everybody wanted to see what would happen when that last facade sank into the ground. Everybody wanted to see what the house would look like after its illusions had all been stripped away.
As the house's end neared, the dropping of the veneers sped up considerably. One, two, even three times a second the exterior would slide into the ground and briefly reveal a different house before it too would start to slide.
Near the end, the house became a blur. The very ground shook from the constant falling of the house's exterior. The noise got louder and louder.
At the very end, the house was a white two-story farmhouse. It kind of reminded me of my grandmother's house. It paused in that form for three or four seconds, and the crowd held its breath.
The walls started to slide, revealing...
Those white walls slid into the ground, and when they were gone, there was just a big empty square patch of grass in the middle of a stadium full of people.
Then I woke up.
1. completely puzzled or confused; perplexed.
That's the best word I can come up with for what I feel when I think about this.
It's just so damn, damn bewildering.
My "crimes" as far as I can tell, have been to (a) get excited about seeing my friend, and then (b) become disappointed when I don't get to see her.
You know what? I can deal with it. I feel bad that she can't, and I feel sad that she won't, and I even feel a little mad about being dismissed like this.
But, mostly, I just feel bewildered.
Now, I absolutely don't want to sound like I'm not accepting blame here. Because I am. I definitely fucked up. I just don't think I fucked up enough to lose my best friend.