Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Day After Day After Day

My husband and my therapist are both encouraging me to try and write something. My brain doesn't want to do it. Log dreams, my husband said this morning after I woke up from a particularly fraught dream. Log your moods, my therapist says, wanting me to remember that I have good days. 

I'm struggling. I don't find joy in anything. I'm having a hard time even putting these words in a row. I mark days by when I can next sleep. I mark weeks by Sundays when I fill my pill boxes with the medication that I take each morning and each bedtime. I can't focus on a book so I can't really read. I wish I could order up a new brain and have this one replaced. It's broken. 

It's 11:47 and I'm still in my nightgown and drinking my morning coffee. I got up late and I need a shower. I will probably take a shower. Maybe I'll do the laundry. Every day is a struggle. My brain just doesn't work.

The dream I had was, as usual, a workplace-related nightmare. I was somewhere on a business trip without any money to get home. I thought, in the dream, that if I leave right now, I could cash in the rest of the nights I'm supposed to stay at the hotel and get a credit for the trip home. That isn't a thing but in nightmares, nothing has to make sense. So I try to gather the required paperwork together. I find myself on this boat, and I'm trying to collect all my things and sort out paperwork, only the boat is rocking so hard that everything is flying everywhere, including me. I grab ropes so I don't fall overboard. I end up underneath a tarp just in time to see two men and a woman arrive, and I understand they're villains of some kind. I hide. I'm still hiding when the boat flips over and then I'm struggling with the tarp so that I don't get tangled in it and dragged down beneath the water. I wake up feeling like I'm drowning.∎

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

What Do You Say To "How Are You"?

I say "we're okay" or I say "Hanging in there." I ask "How about you?" and get more of the same. Because what can you say. Can you say "Me? I fantasize about how I could just kill myself if I had to, and I lie to my psychiatrist when she asks me if I have thoughts like that. 

I have to keep my days simple, because any stress at all would trigger me to stay in bed, have fraught nightmares, or cry and have a panic attack. I can make it through a day fine until I have to "do" something. I can go a few days without showering because I never go outside, because there are too many people. "It's Peoply out," I used to text Joe when I came back from a doctor's appointment or therapy session, which were the only reasons I would leave the house, and that was before all this COVID-19 stuff. Now I have telehealth doctor's appointments. I haven't left the house since March. This is almost August.

Daytime. I sit and sew, or do a crossword puzzle, watch TV or draw in my sketchbook. I can't always draw, so it makes me happy when I feel the urge and can actually focus on something for a little while. Right now I have a full page going that's a great many tiny little faces in a crowd, so I am drawing all kinds of people. It's weird that I'm drawing a crowd. Crowds are one of my problems. In the before-times, I would let one or even two busses pass me if I thought they were too full. On those occasions where I HAD TO get on the bus because otherwise I'd be late to my appointment, I would keep repeating "you're fine, you're fine" and keep my mind focused on anything other than the press of bodies against me. Unfortunately "focus" is kind of my biggest problem right now. I can't focus. I can't focus on anything. I tried a couple of times to follow a new recipe to mix it up in the kitchen, and I'm finding it impossible to maintain enough concentration to follow a recipe. Reading is right out, except for tweet-and-post sized nuggets. Writing comes and goes. Sometimes I can smoke a little weed and downshift into a mode where my brain is, yes, racing a bit but I can keep up with it and do some free writing. That is what you are reading right now.

How I am is scared. There's a highly contagious possibly deadly virus. Socially and politically the world is on fire. At night my dreams are showing me all manner of stressful workplace-related situations. There is always an emergency, I am always the one who has to solve it, and I never know what I am supposed to do. These dreams are different from last year's dreams--those were me alone in a hoarders-looking-room in the dark and I'm desperately searching for something while I know that outside the door are a house full of people waiting for me. I cannot leave the room no matter how hard I try and I can't find what I need among the boxes and tables piles with stuff. These new dreams are filled with people and it's my responsibility to take care of everyone. Sometimes real people are there and have words. My old bosses. I hate these dreams.

I can say that I am happy about one thing, and that's that I get to spend this much time at home with Joey. We make art and music and radio playlists, and we play board games. Interesting thing about that is I'm not a "board game person" and if you don't know any of those, find some because every Board Game Person that I know leads an interesting life. I'm not saying YOU aren't leading an interesting life. I'm sure many non-BGP have perfectly interesting lives. But I am saying that every BGP does. Joe is a BGP but, when he couldn't get me into Risk, Axis & Allies or Star Wars X-wing, he made it a mission to find games I'll like, and he did it. Hive, Tiny Epic Quest, Carcassone and Forbidden Island are the four board games he's found so far that I like. It's a low-stress way to spend time together while such thing is perpetual. He'll take a break from his work laptop to play a quick game. It refreshes him, and gives me something to do for twenty minutes. At night we'll play a longer game. These can be tiring for me but I do it because I get to spend this time with Joey.

Joe is my rock. I don't know what I'd do without him. He tells me I'm doing great, he tells me he loves me. I braid his hair and rub his shoulders. I thank God every day for this life. That's how I am, I guess. I am thankful.

How are you?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Amy Winehouse died 9 years ago today

Pencil on paper.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Quarantine Thoughts: Everyone Is A Comedian


Michael Marotta
It's weird that my cat doesn't know what Europe is.

Is cereal, technically, considered a breakfast soup?

Sean Drinkwater
Are Burritos why we were put on this planet?

Daniel Bernal
I've had a few ambitions. I think I found a new one. I just want to grow up to be Christopher Walken-ish.

Lamont Price
Any time Fred Flinstone calls Barney "Barn" you know some shit's about TO GO DOWN.

Dan McCool
The word "if" is weird. Say it out loud a few times and look at how it's spelled.

LMNOP is truly the party zone of the alphabet

If people that use reddit are called redditors, shouldn’t we call people that use 4chan 4chancelors?

Noelle Boc
How long is it acceptable to wear the same pair of socks? Asking for a friend.

I would like to hold an armadillo

Cobra Commander was the Barney Fife of evil cartoon bosses

Is Raffi Jonathan Richman for kids, or is Jonathan Richman Raffi for adults?

why don’t women talk about hot sauce as often as men do?

Lainey Schooltree
Raise your hand if you bleep blorped too morp and now you can only clorp

polar bears poop on an ice hill and watch it slide into the ocean

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Tee Shirt: Allston Rat City

Friday, July 3, 2020

There's Something About X (Clever Subtitle Here)

If I could write a book it would be about why members of Generation X are the way we are, and it would *be packaged like a Trapper Keeper. It would be a three-volume encyclopedia of X, and it might even have a coloring book in the back pocket. It would be called There's Something About X (Clever Subtitle Here), by the blogger known as Low Budget Superhero (@SuperLowBudge).

In my book if I could write a book my thesis would prove that Generation X represents and embodies a massive turning point for humankind. A tide has turned with X. The world is forever changed and maybe there's something truly terrifying about it. We are history in a much larger way than, say, one might refer to "The Beat Generation." Oh, so much more so, and I would explain how and why. 

Generation X is changing things in another way, in that X departs from the age-old definition of "generation" and remakes the entire idea of what a "generation" means, so there'll be a lot about the details that in my book, if I could write a book. I have stories. Personal stories, defining references to pop culture and other key images that bind a generation, maybe the last generation in a certain way. The book would be about what happened to us in the fifty-or-so strange years between 1970 and 2020, give or take half a decade at either end.

In my book if I could write a book there would be a lot about how weird we are, and why Generation X brains are wired so weird. I would explain in real terms, no fancy language. Warts and all.

Here's something to consider. Think about the arc of our technology. Think about phones alone! Generation X was the last generation to possess an actively tactile memory of making a call on old desk or wall phones. To know the feel of the weight of the receiver in your hand, the springy coiled phone cord that threatened to clothesline passers-by. The heft of the dial mechanism as you stuck your finger and the exciting zzzzing as it twirled. I loved calling people with 9s in their numbers.

Technology is one of the things that binds us to the younger generations. My niece regularly sends me video greetings or texts. She's eight and we're on the same tech. She keeps in touch with her grandparents in Florida! Imagine that for us! That was not the case for us when WE were the kids. MY grandparents were absolutely flummoxed by the simplest tech. All their VCRs blinked 12:00. My grandmother marveled over the little buttons on my school calculator. These days, whole families keep in contact on their phones, and Follow each other on social media.

In bold type, Gen X went from analog to digital in a blur of fifty weird years. I think we deserve some freakin' credit.

There's something comforting in that shared experience of taking a flying leap across a great technological chasm, from childhood when our highest-tech toy was an Etch-A-Sketch to the very first iPads, from wall-tethered telephones that served an entire family, to everyone having a smart phone, even a lot of kids. How old were YOU when you first got rights to partake of the phone? We remember waiting until after 7pm so the rates would go down. We have stories.

To Generation X, technology advancing rapidly is comforting. We have been part of it. We had a big hand in building the cloud, and if not directly then indirectly by using it. Anybody remember all those AOL CDs that came in the mail? If you ever popped one of those things, or had an AOL AIM account, you were part of building the cloud, too. Personally my role was more direct. I worked in telecommunications after college. I have stories from the cubicle throughout the 1990s.

Technology moved fast since our childhood. We climbed the mountain, we surfed the wave, we sped along the information superhighway with all the windows open. We optimized for mobile like champs. Ours was a triumphant grand jete across the great digital divide, and I tell ya, we're doing a pretty good job of keeping up. Some of us have grandchildren already. We understand their technology and adopt it for our own use. Gen X is on Twitch, man. (note: update with whatever's after Twitch)

There would be a lot about mental illness in the book. 

That's the book that I would write. ∎
*It would not really be a Trapper Keeper. But I would like to do a coloring book.