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I hate bodies. They detract from the soul, from the mind. Yet bodies are the focus of this day and age. Must have perfect body. Must flaunt sexuality. Must watch porn and accept sexual content in all forms of entertainment. He watches porn on my computer. I can tell when he's been at it because the URLs complete themselves, I follow the cookie trail. He gets email invitations to watch people fucking for hours. He can barely last a couple minutes. Almost ten years together. He hasn't touched me in four. It was lousy, anyway. We don't talk about it.
Gawking boyish ape. Goes to work with a tiny sock monkey in his shirt pocket. Goes out on Wednesday nights to dress up in home-made armor and swing sticks at other defunct nearly-middle-aged boys. Drinks at home until he vomits, stinks up the house with his bloody unhappiness. Hurts my feelings with his lack of concern or feeling. He pays half the rent, though. He should pay way more than that because he doesn't love me any more and he promised me more than I got. A lousy lay. A handsome chimp. A skinflint. A decade. Now who's the dummy?
Welcome to the world of throw-away friends. Of smiling at the despised. Of relating to animals because people are so fucking shallow. Of being over-educated and under-employed because education and creativity aren't as important as greed and ruthlessness. And I wallow in it. I play by the rules because I'm just too tired of fighting to fight any more. I let my so-called friends use me as a doormat because I don't have that many left, having disposed of most of the little parasites years ago. I kiss asses when I have to because I have nothing else to kiss.
I just want to buy the damn house. I just want the job and the house and a little space of my own. I want to be able to feel a little secure in my home, to feel that it's mine, that the landlord's wife isn't going to come over and insist I put one of her pal's political signs in the yard. I just want to get going on the career I chose for myself instead of hacking away at a job a trained monkey could do. I want to go somewhere else, where I can start all over.
I forgot to put on deodorant today. I can feel that nasty slick stickiness gathering under my pits. I'm going to stink up my favorite shirt. My hair looks greasy. My face feels like it's ready for the deep fryer. What I really want to do is skip outta here and take a nice hot shower. Instead, I have to sit and stew in my own juices for another 90 minutes, like a baby who's crapped a nappy and sits in filth until someone comes along to clean up the mess. Supposedly, everyone likes their own smell. Bollocks. I stink.
It gets so quiet in here sometimes. I think I can hear the souls of all these books rustling in and out of the stacks. How many centuries of literate thought are represented within this solemn little building? Here I sit, among Incunabula Biblica, Marsden's Catalogue of Grammars, A Bibliography of English Conjuring, Croquet: A Bibliography, and all eleven volumes of Bendinii's Catalogue Bibliothecae Mediciae Laurentianae, and yet I haven't time to take them from the shelves to play. I have work to do. As it is, they beckon so loudly I can all but concentrate on tasks at hand.
Good god, you're a whining bitch. Why do you say the shit you say, even when that little voice in your head screams at you to shut your merciless mouth? The venom just runs right out, your thoughts are polluted and bubbling with self-righteous exoneration. You're so right, the world is so wrong. Can't you just be an ordinary person? Must you always strive for the alpha spot? Aren't you sick of being lonely because people can't stand you? Don't you get tired of making excuses to cover your absurd fear of living? You're becoming everything you despise. And more.
It's actually easy to slip the needle in if you focus on the square centimeter of skin where it will penetrate. I wonder what the scene looks like to passersby outside our kitchen window: two solemn-faced adults in a too brightly lit kitchen, one holds the bag of Lactated Ringer's solution aloft while the other uses left hand to calm a small black rabbit sitting on the kitchen counter, right hand gripping the needle, trying not to shake. I try to be firm and quick. The needle doesn't hurt going in, but he squirms when the liquid enters, re-affirming life.
I can recall not being invited to parties throughout my life because people have always found me too negative in everyday situations. I prefer to think of it as realism, as intellectual cynicism. But most people I have known throughout the years find my particular flavor of observation a little too bitter for their taste. It's a vicious circle. My mother told me lies about myself. I grew up expecting not to be liked which makes people not like me. Ultimately, I'm an extremely sensitive person. I deserve better. And if they won't see the gentle kind me, fuck ‘em.
You call this living? Sitting at a computer 40 hours a week in a windowless (pink!) cinderblock bunker? Being paid the bare minimum the institution can get legally offer? And why did you take this job? Whore! You're going to end up like the little breeding troll downstairs, an insecure obsequious little shit crawling up the boss's ass every chance she gets. She will never leave. Her fear keeps her rooted to the spot. Defensive vindictive little bitch can't even speak with proper grammar, thinks she's one hot commodity. White trash doesn't become you, babe. Get out while you can.
What I want right now: The feel of flannel sheets on my feet; cool in the places I haven't yet put my legs, warm and soft like a favorite stuffed animal from babyhood. To sink into my firm but soft bed, to pull the reassuring gentle weight of old handmade quilts over my tired body. To let my head settle into the down of my favorite pillow. The raking cold blue light and gusting wind of an icy midwinter afternoon makes me descend deeper into my cocoon. To relax, melt, close my eyes, and sleep the sleep of blissful nihil.
It was so nice to leave work early. When I stepped outside, the day was grey, with a little watery sunlight peeking through the clouds. The red velvet bows on light poles shone out vividly against the bright and clean receding snow. Across campus, someone was playing the carillon, its bells ringing out a filigree pattern of notes that hung in the air like ice crystals. As I passed my old classroom buildings I was struck with bittersweet pangs of envy for the students rushing to take their semester finals. I miss the learning process. I miss exercising my brain.
It doesn't feel like the holidays this year. Here it is, almost time to give those prezzies out and I don't have that feeling of satisfaction that I got so-and-so the "perfect" gift. And I don't really care. What I really want is a nice long break from this desk, from this computer screen, from cataloging rules and workplace protocol. My sister has become adept at making beaded jewelry, so today I will leave work and go immerse myself in beads to feed her creativity. That will be good gift. Next week is my birthday. I wonder who will remember.
I guess I'm a villain. I'm a Scrooge, a Grinch. I skipped the office Christmas party to go try and finish up the compulsory holiday shopping. I screamed at the stamp machine in the post office for not taking my money, "Fucking Christmas! I hate this stupid holiday!" I was getting ready to kick it when I noticed sixty pairs of eyes watching me, sixty bright happy faces, sixty people waiting patiently in line to mail their boxes of crap that will be exclaimed over for five minutes and then sentenced to eternity in a closet, or re-gifted. Bah, humbug.
The pain hasn't been this bad in four years. Now I can't move my fingers. Now my elbows scream. Now I can't bend my knees. I sit on the toilet and can't get up. I pray that the towel rack will hold my weight as I pull myself up. I sit on the floor and crawl on hands and knees ten feet to where I can grab onto a dresser drawer and use my aching arms to hoist myself off the floor, whimpering and sobbing. (…god it hurts…) In the other room, he hears me crying. Never offers to help.
I work with a guy who is such a dickhead that I have problems not getting up from my chair and wailing on him. I really try not to HATE anybody, but this guy absolutely deserves every ounce of wrath and poisonous hatred I can throw his way. What's amazing is that he has a beautiful wife who's a real sweetheart. I think he'd do the world a service by taking a bullet to the head (or hell, just disappearing off the face of the earth), but I'm not supposed to have such nasty thoughts about others. Whatever. Die, bastard.
I'm trying to maintain a cheerful disposition, to be excited about the impending holiday. But all I want is for it to be Friday, when I can leave this place and lock myself away for two weeks. Hallelujah! I'm going to knit, read, cook, write, hang out with my animals and forget that I should be looking for a real job. I need to power-down or I'm going to melt-down instead. I wish I had a cave tucked away somewhere safe in the forest just for the beasts and me. A mossy sanctuary of our own, where we could hide.
I've always thought life was circular. If you stray from your intended path you eventually end up back at the place you strayed, maybe in a slightly different circumstance, but you are given the same opportunity to choose your destiny. Will you do things differently or will you fuck up the same thing again? Perhaps life runs along the lines of concentric circles. The younger you are, the wider the path you must travel to correct your mistakes. By the time you make your way to the innermost circle it takes almost no time get back on the right path.
Do I have trouble communicating my thoughts or do people just not listen? When I ask a question requiring a simple answer, why do the people to whom I place the query insist on giving me a round-about answer and not answer the question at all? It's not like I'm asking something difficult, like "What is the true nature of god?". All I want to know is how to link layers in Photoshop or which postal option will get a package to New York quickest. I've begun to think I speak a different language than anyone with whom I communicate.
I should smile more today. A friend is coming to visit. Tomorrow is by birthday and I will be taken out for a nice dinner. It is pleasantly brisk and the sun is shining. I have only one hour until I get to meet my friend for lunch and have a 2 week break. I have 8 glorious animals who share my home. I did not fight with him this morning. I have more good books to read than I can shake a stick at. Stop. Smile. Notice good things. This may be the last December any of us see.
Two years ago when I went to the liquor store on my birthday, the guy sitting by the door carded me, somewhat hesitantly, but he carded me nonetheless. Last year on my birthday, the guy stopped Him, who was ahead of me, so while he was being carded, I pulled out my identification. When I approached the liquor store guy with my identification out he shook his head, "no, no, I don't need to see yours." This year on my birthday, the guy looked up once and paid no more attention to me. Finally, at 37 I officially look 21.
The day after turning 37. I feel a little middle-aged today. I feel as if something has died, something is missing and I can't put my finger on it. I listen to simultaneous urges to cry and to call up friends and chat gaily on the phone. I do neither. There's an emptiness inside me that is more interesting than depressing. I can't put my finger on it, but I feel like I've lost something and been left with a shell of complacent mediocrity. Have I finally given up trying? Nothing seems to mean much anymore. I'm just killing time…
After hearing about Joe Strummer's sudden death, I promptly emptied the fridge of all alcoholic libations. Joe Strummer was a sensitive, intelligent man who shouldn't have hung up his skates at age 50, while fuckheads like Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms pollute the planet with their presences for twice as long. One more voice against the system has been taken away. We all need to yell a little louder now. Thank you, Joe, for being my guitar hero. May you rest in peace and teach those fucking angels some new toons. The world is a worse place for your passing.
When I heard the news, I felt the instinctive urge to get drunk (which I did) and to cry (ditto). Why? I didn't know the man. But suddenly I felt as if a part of my past was taken away from me. As I listened to my old records I remembered what an idealistic, cynical teenager I was, into human rights and socialism and changing the world and kicking against the pricks, purple mohawk and safety pins in ears and cheek, and I mourned that teen because she's gone. I am not that person anymore and perhaps I should be.
The forest was serene and pure. Surrounded by virgin whiteness and the spires of thousands of trees, I thought god must surely live here. And later I found the grave of my old friend, through luck or from repeated visitings, his flat headstone buried beneath a half foot of snow. I bounded over the ground until it felt like the right place and began digging with ungloved fingers until I found his name. Watery sun broke through and I fell on my back and made a snow angel six feet above his bones, my eyes drinking in the winter sky.
Ugly hateful day. Gray and dirty like my temper, my foul and hair-triggered temper. Usually January is my "bad" month, when everything comes crashing down around me. This year, malais seems to have a head start. Why do I hate so much? Why is it so hard for me to be cheerful and find joy in the world? It seems like the harder I try to find peace the harder the powers-that-be conspire to thwart my endeavors. I am an extra piece of the puzzle. I don't fit in and my efforts to do so are rewarded with ill-mannered rejection.
Once I looked at you and saw he face of god shining out from your countenance. Now I see a somewhat vacuous, clueless and rather self-centered immature man-boy hovering around me all the time. What do you want from me? Why don't you make some friends and leave me alone once in awhile? You bore me. Your complacency and lack of ambition make me angry. Leave me alone. I don't wish you harm. You're killing me, you see, smothering me with your mediocrity and I'm beginning to hate you for it. Were I able, I would up and leave today.
Into the box marked "2002" go all the Christmas presents from this year. What a bunch of crap. Is it that hard to figure out what I like or have people completely forgotten that gifts generally reflect the receiver's interests? Instead: "I like this and you will too." Why not just donate all that wasted money the Humane Association? Now I have to put all this shit in a box and find a place in the basement to hide it all, hoping that the givers never ask, "Hey what happened to that overpriced tacky trinket I gave you for Christmas?"
Off goes the end of the year. I can see the tail end of the spiral dangling below me like a trick lifeline. At the end of the rope is more of the same. There is no salvation, no bright yellow happy joyful new beginning. It gets darker and faster with every passing day, the ugliness masked once in awhile with a "good" day, when I feel normal and gregarious. I keep getting worse, depressed upon waking, waiting to die, resisting the idea. Time is running out and I am frozen. And Plath said, "The Devil is in the clock."
All you vampires take heed: I have nothing left to give. Don't ask me for financial assistance as I have no money. I can no longer offer you emotional succor. I have no more time to spend listening to your self-inflicted problems. I have nothing left in my heart or soul for you to suck out without giving so much as a "thank you." It's time for you all to learn to stand on your own parasitic feet. Unless some form of reciprocity becomes glaringly evident, I no longer exist for you. Your time is up. You've drained me dry.
The end of the year slinks by quietly, the harshness of the past 12 months hidden behind a calm sky. I don't wish to toast out the old year as much as give it a boot to the seat of its pants. I count my blessings, wipe the blood from my eyes and tend to my bruises. I hope for better tidings ahead. I say a silent goodbye to friends who are no longer. Liquor ignites a slow burn in my brain. I make promises I will never keep. As this brutal year dies I intone, "I am still here"…
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