I spent most of yesterday mourning Ian McEwan. And when I say mourning I mean sobbing about all the lost art. John Lennon, José Martí, Octavia Butler, Louise Fitzhugh. And so on, and so forth, until we get to Homer.
Seriously. I was heading straight for “the library at Alexandria burned to the ground, and oh the humanity! Oh the lost knowledge!” Never mind that this happened like two millenia ago.
But then I realized that the writer who died a couple of days ago is a totally different Iain. Iain Banks. Who I also really dig, but still.
Can I get a facepalm?
You want to hear about the time (today) that I discovered I uploaded a very nsfw video to Vimeo… three months ago?
Although I don’t remember doing so, I created a new account and password protected the video. (So proud of overmedicated Maria here. *wipes tear* She tries.)
I completely forgot about it until today when I was cleaning out my inbox and opened the upload confirmation email and holy fuck those thumbnails.
There aren’t really words for how I love Ron’s photos.
Bean and I are in sync, never mind the ‘is it a moustache or is it a barbell? controversy.
I was supposed to be a faerie but ended up a firebird.
Face paint is big in our house. Always has been,
..there exist pictures not unlike this of me and my mom, standing together in front of her big round vanity mirror. She actually let me hold the tube of lipstick all by myself, which is the holy grail when you’re three.
Today I’m over lipstick; somehow always forget to paint my lips, even - especially? - on Halloween.
because that’s what happens when I drop asleep just as darkness falls. Bean wasn’t home from school yet, so I’ve been home for two days without seeing him. Or rather, he hasn’t seen me. I’ve seen him - asleep.
They say it’s Spring now but I remain unconvinced. The sun sleeps as deeply as my child. I envy them both.
I was sitting on the train from Lynchburg when I remembered I needed to change the last bit of my ticket, so I did so online using Amtrak’s wi-fi, paid with my credit card, and then simply showed my Macbook screen to the conductor when she was collecting tickets and she punched that number into her little machine that spat out a receipt with my name on it.
Is this the future?
this is the most sick I will ever be in my life.
Forget vertigo. Forget that fibromyalgia episode from hell that felt like a 96 hour panic attack. Forget laying awake at night wondering what my neurotransmitters are plotting next.
It’s over now so we move on as before, yet gingerly. With more deliberate care. I’ll be fine.
Mostly thanks to Ron, who is the best boyfriend of all time, I’m sorry I’m not sorry, he’s mine, you can’t have him.
Anyway, hi. What’s up?
Bean was three years old the day Michael Jackson died, so he’s going to learn about Michael exactly the same way I learned about John Lennon.
Well. Perhaps not exactly. Because with me and my dad it was all about sitting cross-legged on the living room floor, listening to Beautiful Boy with our eyes closed. I peeked once; may have seen a tear.
Recently I screened Thriller for Bean. He was mesmerized. So we found more videos to watch, which was not impossible but not as easy as it should have been.
Me: “When Mommy was your age there was a WHOLE CHANNEL that only showed things like this - people singing and dancing.”
HE: “Reeeeeeaaaallly?” (Here he sounds just like Donkey in Shrek 4 when he finds out he’s married to a dragon.)
“So what happened,” he asked? “Pearl Jam,” I answered.
So we watched Michael as the baby of the 5, Michael moonwalking on stage for the first time, Michael with his glittery outfits and killer, killer smile. Finally, we got to Smooth Criminal. I remember watching the MTV WORLD PREMIERE of this video with my brother, back when such things were possible.
And then it was over. No more videos for Bean to watch There’s later Michael, of course, but something changed. Course, tone, something. The video for Leave Me Alone left me profoundly sad in a way I could not articulate at the time. Now I realize seeing Michael dwarfed by that enormous roller coaster frightened me. I don’t care who’s driving. The machine wants to eat him alive.
Maybe that’s when the metaphor became literal.
I had to explain to my son that there would never be another real Michael Jackson video again, because he was gone, and if after death the legends continue to record, they are surely not allowed to share it with us. So Bean cried and I held him and remembered with aching nearness how sick my heart felt the day I realized John Lennon had been shot before I’d been old enough to be truly aware of him and his music, and what a loss that was, in a selfish, personal way, to me, and a in a grander, bigger way, to the world, and so Bean and I cried together.
get more or less clean in the shower, assuming you’re willing to have rough, stained cuticles. Oil painters mostly use linseed oil to clean the ridges alongside their nailbeds; they are fastidious. The water colorists spend the longest time with stained hands. Is that irony? Or just apathy? The aquarelle stains *will* fade to nothing all by themselves, not mΩ
Finally, I find my clippers and remove the offending colors. Anything but teal.
|Me:||Mommy? Thanks for doing all that shitty shit you didn't want to do today. And for yelling at me when I needed it.|
|Mom:||Well, SOMEBODY has to be a mother you.|
On the day I got my degree, I had been in school for 19 consecutive years. I was really good at being a student. I was very happy being a student. I had thought a career course would become clear to me over the course of those four years. It had not. I considered graduate school, but I didn’t have a particular course of study in mind; I just wanted to keep learning. I sternly admonished myself. We were most certainly NOT applying to graduate school with nothing but this vague goal of continued learning.
So I got a job. Every morning I drove across a bridge and went to work in an office, where I struggled with the corporate culture, the rigid 9-to-5 structure, and the tepid feedback/praise that never came close to making me feel sated the way a good semester’s grades had.
Sometimes, I got to write at work. That was nice. Never mind, I told myself, that I was writing health insurance newsletters and bus shelter ad copy. Never mind that my prose never made it to press with my voice intact. Someone was willing to trade money for my words!
After about three years of that, I had a meltdown. I quit without making alternate plans. I floated up to my brother’s house, and got stuck there, sleeping on the couch and blowing smoke rings at my cat. I was unreachable.
Two years later I’d made my way to New York City, working for a company much like the one I’d left, except missing was the not-for-profit humanitarian mission.
Obsessed with my wasted potential. Still wishing I’d wake up one morning and find myself back on campus. Misbehaving in a way that I now see as a desperate attempt to remain a child.
I coasted until the summer of 2004, when I was suckerpunched by a series of personal tragedies. I ran away again, this time to the Caribbean. Also again, I was unreachable, but this time I had something brewing.
How I said it on Facebook:
So. I was diagnosed yesterday with fibromyalgia, which is actually SUPER AWESOME NEWS because 1) it explains SO MUCH, 2) I have a clear treatment plan and a doctor I adore supporting me, and 3) all these years I’ve assumed I was just a short-tempered, high-maintenance, prickly and difficult person, but maybe that was never me.
How I’ll say it here:
So. I was diagnosed yesterday with fibromyalgia, which is actually SUPER AWESOME NEWS because 1) it explains SO MUCH, 2) I have a clear treatment plan and a doctor I adore supporting me, and 3) all these years I’ve assumed I was just an ASSHOLE WITH ADDICTION ISSUES.
There’s really nothing sweeter than coming back to a place I left a year ago. Fights and grievances evaporate, everything appears shiny and new, and I find myself appreciating details I might never have noticed if I lived here all the time. People are happy to see me, and instead of uncomfortable conversations about what I’m doing to make a living, we chat about my fabulous tan.
One of these days I’ll have to settle down. Pick a country and stick with it for a few consecutive years. Like a grownup.
But not yet.
I’m a little late with this recap, but that’s a good thing. Now everyone who missed the first week’s chapters because they were wrapped up in the Christine O’Donnell non-sex story or too busy trying to figure out how to pronounce Lincecum or in a sugar coma from one too many dips into the candy bowl can have a chance to rectify the situation.
N.B. “Rectifying The Situation” is what they call a prostate exam on the Jersey Shore.
- Cary led the week with a horrifying tale of neglect and hoarding, filled with impending doom.
- First-time contributor Dan gave us the opening chapter of a story that will strike many of us close to home. You don’t need an unusual name to misread someone.
- Jann starts out the story of Ham. Ham does not like green eggs (I imagine) and he doesn’t like that his life is too perfect. I mean, creepily perfect.
- I wrote something. I mean, I think I know what I wrote and it might not suck completely, but I’m not sure yet. There’s a place called Boomtown, I know that. Go read it if that compels you.
- Valary ended the first week with her opening chapter of “Rummy”. Rummy’s a rocking horse with the sweetest friend ever.
1. How I gained some weight during the year I wasn’t in Grenada. I’ve been back for two months now, and it’s still the very first thing people comment on when they see me. It’s stressing me out so much that I hid in my apartment for four weeks, avoiding people. I’ve lost ten pounds since I got here, but no one mentions that. I’m not writing about it.
2. How last year I went through some really awful emotional abuse from my family. Now that I’ve gotten some distance from them, I’m actually thinking about it more, and I don’t want that, because there’s nothing to do except get over it. (I talked to them about it, which only led to specific explanations re: why I deserve to be treated like shit.) I’m not writing about it.
3. Bean’s father is a jerk. This is not a surprise, nor is it something I can’t handle. But still. I’m not writing about it.
4. I’m lonely. I want to have dirty martinis with my girlfriends, get tipsy and talk about how much we love each other. I’m not writing about it.
5. My book, which was almost finished in May, has floundered. I don’t have the physical or emotional space I need to focus on it. I’m worried I’ll never get it together, and that if I do, it’ll be trite and boring. I’m most certainly not writing about it.
6. I stopped taking Wellbutrin back in May. I don’t feel awful without it, but I know I’d feel better with it, but I can’t afford to fill the prescriptions here. I’m not writing about it.
7. There’s a broken pipe in my head. It’s spewing words, and in order to avoid a flood, I had to shut the whole system down. I’m definitely not writing about THAT.
8. I’ve been sick off and on since I got to Grenada. I had two fevers, which were miserable, a cold, and I generally just feel shitty, probably because of the heat and how hard it is to stay hydrated. It makes it hard to keep up with Bean, and everything else. I’m not writing about it.
9. I haven’t had a real job in a long time, and I’m terrified that I’ll never be hired again. I’m kind of a loser, you know? Totally not writing about it.
10. I could use a hug, like a real hug. Maybe I’ll write about that. Then again, maybe I won’t.