Sunday, December 28, 2008

In the Wee Small Hours...

Here I sit, as usual. Up late, at the computer... somewhere between multi-tasking and drifting aimlessly.

My guitar teacher once pointed out that one cannot REALLY multitask. It's a myth. You can only actually ever do one thing at a time. And often (almost always) it makes more sense and is more economical and productive to complete one task in full before moving on to the next one.

Of course, I know what he means. I also know what multitasking is generally referring to, and it's not quite what he's thinking. I mean, when I throw my clothes into the dryer and then jump in the shower, I consider that I am multitasking. I am doing laundry and taking a shower at the same time. Both things are being accomplished at once, even if in the given moment the only activity I am engaging in is showering. So there's something to it, but I do take his point. When you are leaping from one thing to another, shuffling papers around, trying to be in twelve places at once, you typically fail miserably. At least I do.

Right now I am waiting for video files to upload. There's only so much you can do on my computer during this process. I mean, my PC memory is not what it could be. So I try to keep it all to a dull roar while uploading or downloading massive files. It's all been a bit frustrating this evening, to be honest. I was trying to be proactive and FINALLY fix the audio to one of the videos I've got posted all over, which is pretty crappy. I didn't have an appropriate video program to deal with it before, but thanks to my sister I finally do. So I fixed it, and am happy with the result, and I uploaded it to YouTube. It took a while, but it will take care of YouTube and MySpace once it's all approved and whatever.

Sonicbids is a different story. I've actually been holding off on sending out booking requests because this video was not working properly at Sonicbids (on top of it having crappy audio). So tonight after fixing the audio I decided to upload it again to their site, this time as an AVI file instead of a WMV file, thinking this might solve the other problem. But OF COURSE they only allow you to upload up to a 100MB file. And OF COURSE the video program I am using has no option for choosing what size you'd like your saved video file to be. The one I saved was over 700MB. Great quality, but not going to work on Sonicbids. So I opened it in Windows Movie Maker, thinking I could compress it there. Duh. It only saves as a WMV file, and I'm pretty sure that's why it wasn't playing on their site before. Some kind of crazy codec deal. All that is really over my head, and annoying, frankly.

So after a lot of time wasted resaving the file multiple times without being able to get what I wanted, I'm just trying to upload the smaller-sized WMV file and hoping for the best.

But this is so typical of my life. I'm trying to just accomplish ONE SMALL THING that needed to be done to take additional steps in my musical career, and it's got to be a friggin' PROJECT and take HOURS. This is why I never get anything done. Because the rest of the time I have work, and the coffeehouse, and life, and the time that's left for the things I REALLY want to pursue is so limited, and I'm so fried, that I'm useless. I have this one precious weekend off, and all these plans to be productive, and they're just being completely blown apart by various bits of circumstances in my world.

Like my headlight blowing out. I have to deal with that tomorrow. And of course, it's money I don't have, and I have to buy two headlights, not just one, because that's how you do the headlight thing.

Our hot water heater decided to spring a crazy leak today, just as I was going to take a shower in preparation for the dinner plans I had with a friend. So I went out, feeling gross and dirty, and I still do, and I'm not even sure if the thing got fixed or not... though at this point I'm too tired to care, but tomorrow I'm really going to need a shower.

I'm finding it hard not to be overwhelmed by all that's bearing down on me. All that I see down the road.

I'm filing for bankruptcy, and it's going to cost me over a thousand dollars to do it. And in the end, it won't help me much because until recently none of those people were coming after me, so it's not like I was making monthly payments toward any of those debts. So I'll still be paying all the stuff I'm currently paying, and THAT'S the real problem. And none of those things can be written off. They are life expenses, and debts to my mother, and other non-negotiables. I don't see how I'm going to manage any of it.

My CD has been put indefinitely on hold. I haven't had any money to get into the studio in months now. And I don't know how I will. I applied for this grant that a local venue sponsors. That could get me up to $2000.00, which I'll hear about by New Year's... the sad thing is that I'll still need about another $5000.00 and I just don't know where it's going to come from.

When all of these things pile up, it's hard for me not to think of Andy, and lay all the blame at his feet... I was so dysfunctional this past year because of the pain he caused, and everything fell apart and has piled up because of it, and I just hate him for that. And then I start the cycle of thinking of all of it, and it just gets me all upset again, missing him, and trying to understand why it all happened, and not being able to, and feeling like it's never going to get any better.

There are so many stupid small components to it, too. I was thinking tonight about sex for some reason. And how I just don't want to have to train anybody else. I don't want to have to start over with the likes, and dislikes, and what feels good, and what works, and all of it. I don't WANT to go through that again. I don't want to get near anybody and give myself over to them if ultimately it's just going to fall apart. I mean, this time nearly killed me. What happens when it's a six YEAR relationship instead of six months that falls apart? And that's all I can think now. That whatever comes to pass, no matter how good it might be for a little while, it WILL fall apart. That's the only guarantee I see in this world: that things WILL EVENTUALLY SUCK. And for me that's really an unpleasant thought considering how much they suck already.

And I try really hard to get over myself. To focus on what's good. To recognize how lucky I am. But mostly my heart hurts so much I just can't get there.

And I do SO much faking it these days... for the masses, and for the people who WANT me to be over it, or feel like I'm just a downer. This is the one place where I'm allowed to just feel like shit. Because nobody even knows about it, except a few people. So I try to do all this processing, mostly alone, and it just reinforces the feeling that I AM alone, and always will be.

An old school friend who is on Facebook reached out to me a couple nights ago based on one of my status updates, and I thought that was really nice of him. That's pretty much where I get the most sympathy and compassion these days: from virtual strangers on the internet. And this particular friend told me I should reach out to my friends and family, they'll probably surprise me. Ha. My family are all completely clueless and/or uninterested. My mother used to ask me how I was doing, and I was dumb enough to tell her. Anytime I was upset it was like it all came down to my medication. Was I on it still? Well, maybe it's the wrong thing... Like it couldn't possibly be that I'm just STILL UPSET about my world being completely turned upside down, and everything I'd ever believed in being shown to be absolute bullshit. No, that couldn't possibly be it. Emotions aren't things you express in her world. They are things you "control." So I just stopped telling her how I really felt. The rest of them are oblivious. My sister started dating somebody just as Andy and I broke up, and she felt like she didn't want to shove it in my face. I didn't realize that once she started dating somebody that would be the only thing she could imagine talking about. I'd have thought we could have still gone out and just hung out and talked about OTHER STUFF just to help me get away from my inner turmoil for an hour.

My friends are great, don't get me wrong. But honestly everyone is so busy. Everyone has families, everyone has enough of their own shit going on. I don't doubt for a second that they feel for me, and want to help, but what can they do? There's no one I can get on the phone at 4:00 in the morning as I'm crying my eyes out. There's no one I can spontaneously sit with over a beer unless they don't mind paying for it nine times out of ten. It's just a complicated world and a busy time, and even when people care, sometimes they can't be what you need. And it's not like I KNOW when these terrible moments are going to hit me. And there's nothing they can really do anyway. No one can actually make it better. That's the worst part. There's just no cure.

I miss therapy. If I could afford health insurance I'd be there in a second. I was doing pretty well when I was able to go regularly. At least I had someone I could cry to consistently.

Anyway... I'm tired of this post. I'll write more later when I'm in a better frame of mind.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Guest in My Own Life

I texted him. Drat. This is the problem with being on the New Zealand schedule. There's no live phone support. Everyone is sleeping when I have my crazy moments, and there's no one to talk me down.

I feel better. I always felt better after contacting him back in the early days of the breakup, when I still thought there was hope. Then of course nothing would happen--or something unpleasant would happen--and I'd feel terrible again. Until I reached that desperate peak and reached out again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So I know this feeling, and I know it's crap. Also, it's not like I can start the cycle up again. He already threatened me with a restraining order back in June when I was harrassing him regularly. Not that I feel the LITTLEST BIT bad about it, mind you. What has always amazed me is that there is NO legal recourse to be had for the fact that he murdered my soul without so much as a second thought... but REMINDING him of it... well, THAT'S a punishable offense. Whatever.

Of course, it was 1:00 in the morning or something when I let the text fly. I'd finished my blog entry, threw myself across my desk at work and sobbed like the pathetic wretch I am, and in the midst of all that frenzy I texted him: "I hope it was worth it. Whatever you got for destroying me... I hope someone takes it away so you can know what it's like to have your life ripped apart by someone on a whim."

Such a waste of time. But now I have to wait and see if sometime TOMORROW (well, later today) he responds with some evil retort. Hopefully he'll just ignore it and I can just try to be stronger. There's nothing he can say to make it better. Well, there's one thing, but he's not going to say THAT.

Anyway... the rest of my night unfolded much like yours, I'm sure. At 12:30 a.m. I left work, hit the late-night McDonald's drive-thru because I was feeling FAINT from hunger and misery, and drove to the church where I work so I could copy songs from the hymnal. I agreed to sing at the Christmas Eve service, and I have my choice between two songs I've never heard before, so I need to learn them. The only place they exist (reliably) is in the hymnal, and naturally I didn't have one of those just kicking about (I do now).

I went in and copied the two songs on the copier, and then decided since I'd have no other piano at my disposal, I might as well duck into the sanctuary and try and learn them real quick. So there's me, all alone in this big empty church, playing the piano at 2:30 in the morning.

After I felt secure enough to take the show on the road, I locked up and left. When I got home I had no place to park. My parking situation is like a metaphor for my life.

Because I was the last person in my family to own a car, I was left out of the parking spot lottery. Everyone else in my family has a designated spot either directly in front of our house, or in the driveway. I came late to the party and had to fend for myself. For many years I had a regular spot across the street from our house, but there were many times where I came home to find that spot taken by any number of neighbors, guests, etc. It's been very irksome, to say the least.

For the past couple years my aunt (who lives next door) has let me park either in front of her house, or in her driveway, depending on where she has parked. This is nice of her, and a smidge more convenient, but imperfect nonetheless. She has a daughter of driving age, and between the two of them, neither knows how to park so that there is room for a second car on the strip of sidewalk in front of their house. So oftentimes I'd come home and find one car in the driveway, the other car in front of the house directly in the middle of the two spots that potentially exist, and no room for me.

Luckily right now my cousin is living elsewhere, so you'd think I had it made, right? Well, I would if it was "our" year for parking. But it's not. We live on the odd-numbered side, and this year the parking is happening on the even-numbered side. Which means we are S.O.L. And if we DO park on our side, we will certainly be ticketed. It happens every other year and it's miserable. And right now there's 9000 feet of snow on the ground, so there literally isn't any room to park on both sides of the street even if I wanted to risk getting a ticket.

But here's where either stupidity, or passive-aggression comes into play: I gave my aunt a key to my car two years ago when we first made the arrangement. She has yet to give me a key to hers. I've asked her repeatedly, mind you, and there's always some story about how the key is warped and she needs to do something special to get a new one... I don't know what the hell the deal is, all I know is I'm the one in the weaker position, and I feel like I'd like to make it as easy as possible on her, but she won't allow me to do that. NOR will she take responsibility for that. Like, I feel that if she won't get me a key for her car so I can do all the swapping for her, then she should have to deal with it when I have no choice but to block her in. I mean, she's the one who refuses to give me the tools necessary to help her out, right?

So all weekend I helped her shovel the driveway, and we were swapping cars every couple hours depending on who had to go out next, etc. It's a pain in the ass, but par for the course.

The real problem is now. When I get home at 3:00 in the morning, I can't exactly get her up out of bed and say, "Hey, can you move your car out so I don't block you in?" At the same time, I would really like to go to bed right now... and I can't because if I do I'll have to be back up at like 6:30 anyway when she has to go to work, and I'm blocking her in.

Actually--and this is just the cherry on top--at this particular moment I'm NOT blocking her in. Why? Because instead of pulling her car all the way up so I COULD park behind her, she left it parked at the edge of the driveway, so that if I pull in behind her I'll be more than half out in the street.

Leaving me LITERALLY with no place to park. After driving around the block and determining that there was literally no place else to go, I parked sideways in MY driveway (which is wider than hers), blocking both my mother and my sister, hanging somewhat out in the street, and totally leaving myself open for getting a potential ticket.

I'm so totally annoyed. And this is just one more example of how little control I have over even the most basic things in my life.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Resisting the Urge

For some reason over the past week or so my urge to text/call/e-mail Andy has been more overwhelming than usual. I'm not sure why this is, but it's been very tough to deal with. I would think that after all this time I'd be LESS interested in contacting him, and yet for whatever reason, ALL I WANT most days is to communicate with him in some way and let him know what an asshole he is.

I know that to some degree it's because I want to incite a response. I want him to contact ME and that's never going to happen unless I give him a reason. Which right there is a good enough reason NOT to do it. Then again, a large part of it also is that I want him to apologize again. Maybe a thousand-and-one more times, and then a thousand-and-one more.

People always say "don't give him the satisfaction." That's such an interesting bit of advice to me. I don't think for a second that he'd feel any self-satisfaction at knowing how deeply he hurt me. I know him well enough to know that he'd feel guilty, and that's right where I want him. I want him feeling BAD. I don't want him just going on about his business, all "tra-la-la" with his new girlfriend. I want to know just WHAT he gained in the past year by devastating me? How has that decision improved his life? Because I suspect it actually hasn't. And I feel like reminding him of it might really hurt him, and THAT is something I want more than I want to breathe.

I know it's stupid. I know it's pointless. But down in the dark, wounded place in my heart that still has me crying myself to sleep at night, I want it. I WANT IT.

I came really close. About a week ago I had the text on my screen... something to the effect that he was the biggest asshole that ever lived and I hoped his life was as miserable as he deserved. I had his phone number entered and all I had to do was push "send." I don't know why I was able to keep myself from doing it. I was an hysterical mess and all I wanted in that moment was to lash out at him for being the cause of it all. I didn't even delete it. I simply closed my phone and threw it in my purse, figuring that if the universe wanted him to know how I felt the phone would knock against something in my purse and the "send" button would be pushed without my having to actually do it.

That didn't happen. I checked the phone a few minutes later and the text had just disappeared. It wasn't in my Outbox, so I knew it hadn't gone anywhere. Probably just as well, but then again...

I'm typing right now because I am trying to keep from sending him the e-mail that my soul desperately wants to send. I keep stopping momentarily as the sobs overtake me... I don't understand any of it. In a year I have not come to any understanding or felt it "happened for a reason" or was good or right. I cry alone, I suffer alone, because no one wants to hear about it. No one wants to know about it. I should be over it. He didn't deserve me. Blah, blah, blah.

I still want him back.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things to Remember and Things to Forget

In the past week I've had a couple days where the memory of Andy has come upon me, accompanied by this thought, "Wow, I haven't thought of Andy in a couple of days..."

I don't know if it's the progesterone or if it's Time finally doing it's fucking job of "healing everything," but it's interesting, and not a bad bit of progress to be sure.

Of course, when I do think of him, it's like a snowball gathering speed and mass, and it's like all I can do is think of him. Even these occasions, however, are becoming less distressing--which means I make it through them without breaking down sobbing. That I do attribute to the progesterone, but who cares?

I had a moment walking through Target the other night. I love Target, and yet it's so hard to walk through there sometimes looking at all the nice stuff I would love to have and can't afford... and don't have have anywhere to put. But my problem with Target was more of an Andy-Christmas deal as I passed by the Men's area.

Last year for Christmas I'd bought a bunch of stuff for the loser--who insisted we exchange gifts and see each other on Christmas Eve, as I believe I've mentioned. I bought him boxers, and a pair of "special" boxers with Stewie from "Family Guy" on them and some Christmas joke or other... I also bought him a pair of pajama bottoms that I couldn't wait to see him in--not that I ever did. At any rate, I walked by this year and there were all the Christmas character pajamas and boxers, the same Stewie pair among them, and my blood boiled.

The "why" is more convoluted than just "because I bought them for him." It's because around June when I discovered he'd been dicking me around and was actually about to move in with someone new, I told him I wanted all my Christmas presents back. He'd never deserved them, just him sitting there in my bedroom opening them that night was a LIE and I WANTED THEM BACK. I harrassed him for weeks about it. Texting and e-mailing, leaving him voice-mail at work, reminding him of my address. Why would he want them, anyway? He really wanted to remember me after all of this? He couldn't afford to go out and buy himself seasons one and two of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" if I took away the set I'd given him? What the hell?

He finally responded to one text and said they were on the way and to leave him alone. After a week-and-a-half had passed with no package arriving at my doorstep, I texted him again demanding to know where they were. He responded that maybe the postman was dancing around in his boxers, how should he know?

Right. Because mail SO OFTEN gets lost in 2008. Especially big ol' packages traveling a mere seven miles.

Obviously he never sent them. What did he do with them? Who the hell knows. Probably threw them away, I guess. But why not say that? What the hell is wrong with men that they can't ever 'fess up or be honest about the tiniest thing????? Why not just FUCKING SAY "I threw them away months ago, sorry. Now leave me alone." Why say something like, "They're on the way," when CLEARLY the jig is going to be up when they NEVER ARRIVE? What the hell is wrong with him?

So it's the fact that I ever spent the money on them, and the fact that he lied about sending them back, and the fact that maybe, just maybe, his new fucking girlfriend is going to be seeing him in these items that I BOUGHT and never got to see him in myself.

Other stupid things that never fail to remind me are the Edible Arrangements poster displayed in the hallway I must walk down to get to my office. EA is right across the street from my building, so naturally they have to have a big ol' ad right there in my face as a constant reminder of this idiot.

I can't see a Mini Cooper without cursing. When I see one that doesn't exactly resemble his, I typically hiss, "Gay ass car!" or "Fucking loser!" Whenever I see a blue one like the one he drove, the epithets tend to be far more extreme and explicit. I have to say honestly that I really feel that if I ever saw him crossing the street while I was in my car, I would run him over. I fear this lose screw in my head that is just waiting to be activated. I really think it would happen. I really think I would run him down with my car. I know if I was on foot and I saw him ANYWHERE I would absolutely punch him in the face. That would really make my day, honestly.

I have a friend whose ex was friends with another mutual friend of ours... didja follow that? Anyway, there was an annual Christmas party that we all got invited to, and even though it was years later, and she'd been with a couple other people since then, it was sort of a big to-do that they were both going to be there, and the host would often try to stagger the time-line a bit so they'd miss each other. If they were both there at the same time, they'd never be in the same room together, and it was a bit awkward at times for others in the group. I remember thinking, "Holy crap, it's ancient history! You've both moved on--who cares at this point?"

I get it now. Seriously. I don't think she ever knew that I felt that way, but I feel like I should apologize to her even for thinking it, because I get it now. I can't IMAGINE a time when I would want to be in the same place as him. I don't care if I marry George Clooney next week, it will not absolve Andy of all the pain he caused me, it will not make me forget or feel better, it will not make me wish him well, and it will not make me want to let bygones be bygones and be friends, or even civil acquaintances. I will still want to punch him in the face. I will still want to actually do FAR WORSE than that, but I don't think I'd do very well in jail.

Anyway... that's the stuff worth forgetting.

The past couple days as it gets closer and closer to Christmas, I have been thinking I do want to put up my decorations, because if I don't, then I can't do it for another year, and I feel like I don't want to just gloss over this chance to reconnect with the stuff I like about the holidays. I intentionally sent loser boy the ornament I'd bought him last year... I don't know, like in February? It took me that long to take my decorations down because I wasn't staying at home at the time. I didn't want that moment this year where I found this ornament that was for HIM and it made me sad. Screw that.

So I shouldn't have any negative associations with the task itself. There are some logistical concerns: mainly the fact that my sister and I share a storage unit and she currently has the keys because she'd lost her copy. No idea when she'll be around next, so that makes the planning a little tricky, especially since they don't have any late hours. I also have a bunch of stuff in my car for work, which I am kind of stuck with until Friday night--unless I want to make an extra trip, which seems really stupid. So that leaves me dealing with all of this on Saturday. And it's supposed to be all snowy and stuff, I think, to boot. Well, we'll just see how it all pans out.

But enough of that. To balance out all my angsty, heart-broken posts, I thought I'd do a little storytelling. My family and I have a certain group of stories we always seem to reminisce about this time of year, and I thought I could share them as a way of lightening things up. I thought for a moment that I'd do some sort of "Twelve Days of Christmas Stories" or something, but we're already too short on time, and I really can't be trusted to blog every day anyway. So here's one for now, and hopefully I'll get a few more in before it's all over.

Every year my family has a big open house on Christmas Eve. Generally, the day before is spent prepping and baking cookies and all of that. This one particular night before Christmas Eve--probably about six years ago--we were all baking cookies and stuff, and my cousin, who was about fourteen at the time, and lived next door, was over to help out and share in the fun. We had quite the assembly line going, and were probably using every cookie sheet in the house (like eight of them) in a constant rotation. At one point my cousin Ashley grabbed a cookie sheet to make one of many trays of chocolate chip cookies. It wasn't until a little later that we realized she'd grabbed the tray that one of my sisters had used to make pizza on during the night when we were in need of a snack. It was just Ellio's frozen pizza and wouldn't have been a big deal if my sister hadn't sprinkled garlic powder, pretty haphazardly, all over the pizza, much of it landing on the pan. Ashley hadn't noticed, but now we had a problem because all of the chocolate chip cookies were together in a big tin, and there was no way of knowing which ones might be tainted. None of us really wanted to throw away six-dozen cookies for the one batch that may or may not have come out garlicky, so we just kept quiet about it. On Christmas Eve it was like a game to watch our guests eat the cookies and see who might have gotten a garlic one. I got one--it wasn't pretty, but it was just as well since we'd been perfectly happy to serve them that way. I certainly had it coming as much as any of us.

We still tease Ashley about it, and are much more careful with the cookie sheets!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stream of Semi-Consciousness...

I don't know why I feel compelled to blog when I can't even seem to keep my thoughts straight. I'm having trouble focusing the past few days... Not sure if it's stress, or sleep deprivation, or hormonal imbalance or boredom. I seem to have the attention span of a two-year-old; but it's not like I am moving from thing to thing to thing in some curious way. It's more like I get started on something and end up staring off into space within moments, and I could just sit there like that all day if I let myself.

I need a vacation.

Saturday I felt almost human for the first time in a while. I had a touch of the old Payday Euphoria I remember from days past... back when I always had a little something left over to have some fun with. It's not been that way in a long time. I ran some necessary errands (like picking up my progesterone cream from Whole Foods) and then indulged in a guilty pleasure I've missed... sitting at Qdoba eating chicken nachos while watching "The Office" online with my iPod headphones. I've been known to carry DVDs in my laptop bag just for this reason. Of course, "The Office" is a bad show to watch while you're eating. Because when it's good, you invariably end up spitting bits of food at your screen--and it's pretty much always good.

I have to say that the progesterone makes a huge difference in my world. My doctor put me on it a couple years ago after a few missed periods, and it's definitely helped to regulate things in my current peri-menopausal state. It shocks many people when I say this because not-quite-forty seems so young to even utter the "M" word. However, as I have read and heard from my doctor, the symptoms of peri-menopause (which I think officially morphs somewhere into actual pre-menopause) can last for up to fifteen years. Fun. And my mother actually hit the big "M" relatively early, so who can say? My hormones get no action to let my system know that they're needed for anything, so maybe all my inability to have casual sex or find a husband to impregnate me is going to have my ovaries shriveling up way ahead of schedule. In the meantime, there is progesterone, and I am in love with it.

Having lived my life while on it regularly for a while, and having for the past five or six months lived back off of it (because it's kinda pricey), I can honestly say I need it. It does way more for my state of mind and moods than my anti-depressant does, I'll tell you that. And boy would I love to just get off my anti-depressant. Harder to do when you're dealing with a pill than the liquid I used to take before I lost my health insurance, unfortunately. Also, the last time I tried to came off it did not go so well. Well, having your life torn apart by a clueless, cruel man will do that. In a time like that, your body and mind need all the help they can get.

I have felt better the past few days while back on it. It's not a magic cure for all that ails, but it does make the likelihood of tears a much bigger long shot, and that alone makes it worth it. Friday night (I think) I was sobbing so hard on my way home from wherever, that I came close to just swerving the car off the road and being done with it. And I'm not suicidal anymore--truly. It was a completely emotional, irrational, mental reaction to my body needing some equilibrium, which it thankfully has now.

Of course, it is only Andy that makes me get that way, so it's still related. I mean, even all hormonally strung-out and whatever, it's not like I just get aggravated and burst into tears over traffic, or a sappy Hallmark commercial. It's always Andy related. Driving through Boston, all the signs for Southie push my buttons. Passing the South Bay Center... we shopped at that Target... bought a duvet cover together at that Bed, Bath & Beyond (or Bed, Bath & Bite Me) as he liked to call it. I can't walk past the Family Planning aisle in CVS because I'll both see the brand of condoms he liked, and be reminded that I have no need for condoms of any kind. And then there are the random associations that just pop into my head for no good reason, just to torture me. This week for some reason I suddenly thought of the card on his fridge, made by his eight-year-old niece Hannah, which read "You are fune (funny) to me." And suddenly I could see his fridge, with the card on it, and the Kowloon postcard I had sent him, and his little memo basket, and the bottle opener his mother had bought him (not knowing it was a bottle opener, but just liking the magnet) and I could see his entire kitchen, like a 360-degree web tour in my mind... I was walking into the living, and into the bedroom, and just remembering every inch of this place that I had come to love... this place where we had shared so much... where I had let him in in ways that I had never done with anyone else. And now I've just made myself cry--progesterone notwithstanding. Moving on...

I can't seem to get off my ass to put up my Christmas decorations. I'm not sure what that's about. Actually, that's a lie. I know what it's about, I just don't usually let it bother me and I'm not sure why this year I'm so much more fed up than usual.

I hate living at my mother's. For all the good points that I could name, I just hate it. I hate that my entire existence is confined to one 14 x 14 foot space, with the rest of my comings and goings monitored by whoever is feeling nosy at any given moment. I hate that we can never seem to get organized enough to decorate the Christmas tree together, and at the same time I hate that my mother and siblings would be the ones I'd be decorating with. I want my own tree. I want my own family. I want to put on music, and sip spiked eggnog with my honey and decorate our tree--one that we went out and purchased, and smells like pine needles, and not this artificial monstrosity we pull from the attic every year.

For a while there I tried to put my own ornaments on the family tree. We all have our own ornaments, naturally. There is a huge collection of "family" (my mother's) ornaments, and then there are those that were given to us as gifts throughout our childhoods, etc. In our adult years we've all taken to buying our own keepsake ornaments and whatever we want, and so usually we get to hang our own ornaments when the time comes. Invariably, however, my mother would take down the Christmas tree on some random afternoon before I got home from work, and my ornaments would end up in the family stash. I've had a couple ornaments get broken and lost this way, and I finally decided to just stop hanging them on the family tree. They lived in a storage trunk in my bedroom for a few years, just waiting for a chance to be useful, and finally a few years ago I came up with an idea to make my own merriness in my little garret "apartment."
I'd bought this fake evergreen garland at CVS, and some mini-lights on sale at Target, and planned to decorate my room by festooning my bookcases and windows with said garland and lights. Why not, right? I should be able to walk into my "space" at the end of a long day and enjoy the cozy twinkling of some lights while I settle in for the night.

After I had hung it all around the room I suddenly was hit with the brainstorm to actually hang ornaments from the garland. I mean, it was the same consistency and look of an artificial tree--just spread over different space. So that's what I did. I hung all the bargain glass balls I'd picked up at Toys 'R' Us one year after the holidays, and I hung all my little personal ornaments from the days of yore, and I hung some candy canes, and I filled in the rest of the space with cards and photos and it looked really nice. For the past couple of years I have done this, buying a few ornaments every year (photo-frame ornaments and any type of ice skate seem to be a big theme with me).

This year I'm so behind the eight-ball it seems. It's already December 11. By the time I get everything up it'll be practically time to take it all down again. And I kind of hate doing it all alone. But what can I do? Invite my friends over to help? "Hey, wanna come over to my 'room' and hang out and help me decorate?" Like it's a college dorm? I mean, sure I could do that. There's no house rule preventing it. It just horrifies me. It humiliates me that I don't have my own space to open up to the people whose homes I have been invited into time after time. It bothers me to no end that I don't have any control over the environment--from how clean the bathroom is at any given moment, to whether my brother lights up a cigarette (which you can smell under the crack in my door if the wind blows the right way), to whether my mother and sister will get into a screaming match over something stupid and decide to let loose regardless of who is in earshot. I just can't deal with it. It's not a "company" situation, and this year I just kind of don't feel like doing the loner thing. It doesn't help that all my stuff is in a storage unit outside the house (which is a big bone of contention for my mother), so it's kind of a hassle to get it all, deal with decorating and put the empty totes back in storage until after New Year's. It's just lame.

Maybe on Friday night when I am home with nothing to do I'll decide I want to take the time, but it's not looking good at the moment.

You know what makes me mental? Food service people who wear the gloves and touch EVERYTHING without changing them. As if the gloves are there to keep their hands from getting dirty. They're there to keep your germy hands from infecting the food! Once you answer the phone--you've infected the gloves. If you ring up a sale at the cash register--you've infected the gloves. Not to mention the cross contamination of whatever food-bourne bacteria you might be passing from the gloves to the phone and cash register, etc. TAKE 'EM OFF! Answer the phone, ring up the sale, do whatever... Then when it's time to make the next sandwich, that's when you put on a fresh pair of gloves. Don't scratch your face. Don't wipe your hair out of your face. Don't smooth down your apron. These actions defeat the purpose of wearing the gloves in the first place. Oh, the things I have witnessed....

Another one is the way people hand back change nowadays. When I was a kid, I distinctly remember that consistently from store to store people would hand you your coins first, putting them into your cupped hand, and then your bills, with the receipt on top. Now it's like a free-for-all. Why did all these workers from back in the day retire without passing on this nugget of change-returning wisdom? I hate getting change handed back to me with the dollars and receipt all mixed in together, with the coins balanced precariously on top, just waiting to bend the paper money in half and spill out everywhere, like a cheap paper plate piled with too much food. And I hate the 70-foot long receipt full of coupons for stuff I either just bought, or will never use. You stand there for three minutes trying to fold it up, and put it in your wallet, along with the crazy assortment of bills, and then the change, all the while the person behind you is huffing and puffing and the clerk is looking at you in annoyance.

Speaking of which (I am now in CVS in my mind and just going right along) I CAN'T STAND when cashiers take everything out of the basket before ringing it up. Like, if I have a bunch of items in a basket, and it's heavy and whatever, I'll put the basket right on the counter. Now what any cashier worth their salt will do is remove an item from the basket, scan it, and put it into a bag before picking up the next item. Makes sense, right? So why do some cashiers find it necessary to remove every item from the basket and put them individually on the counter, and THEN ring each item up and THEN put them in the bag? Is bagging shampoo, Kleenex and a candy bar SO complicated that they really need to see everything out on the counter in front of them instead of just winging it? Oh, it makes me CRAZY!!!!!

Another things that busts me is when people assume you don't want your receipt. If I don't want it, I'll throw it away myself. Give it to me. One of the BK drive-thrus I frequent (health-nut that I am) never gives you your receipt at the payment window. Even when you ask for it. They always say, "They'll give it to you at the next window." Uh, no. They really won't. What they'll give me is the receipt that's taped to the bag, which tells the expediter what food goes in the bag. It doesn't, however, tell the purchaser what method of payment was used to complete the purchase. That receipt is the one from the previous window that the idiot kid wouldn't give to me. So if you don't remember two days later that you used your debit card (and also which of your say, two debit cards you might have used), you're pretty much screwed until you get your account statement from the bank.

Anyway... there are way more things that aggravate me than that, but those popped into my head and seemed to need venting. It's 12:12. I always seem to look up during repetitive digits. There's some thing about that, though I'm not sure what. At any rate, I'm hungry, I'm at work all alone and clearly no longer working. I think I'm gonna head home and eat.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Why I Have This Blog

I just got an e-mail from a Facebook friend--who meant well--about not posting sad status updates, because it's been a year and I should be getting over it by now. There was more to it than that, and his heart was totally in the right place, but I'm really getting sick of all the people who want me to just magically feel better. And in the absence of magically feeling better, apparently I am supposed to repress all my pain and PRETEND I feel better, no matter what.

I think this will make THEM feel better, because emotional pain scares people. They don't know how to help it, so they'd rather not have to know about it.

I'll tell you what DOESN'T help: telling me to "buck up" and "focus on the positive" and all the other cliches I keep hearing. It doesn't help to hear from happily married 30-year-olds (and younger) how my time is coming, and that I'm awesome, and some guy is just gonna lose his mind when he hears me sing some day... I've been hearing it for too long, and it's not happened. The one guy I ever got was a long time coming, and he didn't find me worth fighting for. It's not like there's been a line out the door of men wanting to help make me feel better in the aftermath...

So I kind of wish everyone would just shut up. Which is exactly why this is an anonymous blog that only one of my friends knows about.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I think I should be calling myself "Regressing One" these days. I'm having a terrible week. I've been crying almost every day--at some point--over the asshole who broke my heart a year ago. I mean, SOBBING. Like Michelle Pfeiffer in "Dangerous Liaisons"--gasping for breath, wretched, heart-wrenching sobs that come on out of nowhere and escalate until I am too spent to continue.

It's been just a year since the big breakup. In fact, it hasn't even QUITE been a year, if you follow the timeline set forth in the previous blog. Am I just reliving everything because it's the anniversary? Is it something in the weather? Some internal clock that has rung a silent alarm and left my body responding without my conscious awareness?

EVERY DAY I want nothing more than to contact him. To tell him just how exactly devastated I still am. How completely he has ruined my life, tainted my existence, challenged my ability to draw breath. And I don't, of course--but just barely. I know he wouldn't care. Saying anything to him at this point just makes me pathetic. Makes me seem crazy. He'd probably say something terrible and mean to me for lashing out at this point. And it's not fair.

How is this not a punishable crime? Why is it okay for him to just GO ON about his business? Hell, to be HAPPY? To move in with someone new, and give HER everything I should have had? Everything he led me to believe I WOULD have? How can someone NOT be held accountable for so callously raising your expectations and then shrugging their shoulders and walking away? HOW?

My life has not been the same since. I have not been the same. I have struggled all year just to stay alive--quite literally--and it has not gotten much easier. I have tried to do all the things you're supposed to do to move on. I have tried to tell myself he is not worthy of my attention--that he never WAS. But I can't make myself believe it. As much as he has hurt me, all I can manage to do most days is MISS him so terribly it's an actual physical pain and it feels like it will never stop hurting.

I have lost an entire year of my life. An entire year. In crying. In sleeping. In staring numbly at walls. In not being able to think or move. There has been physical deterioration, mental deterioration, financial deterioration... this on top of the spiritual obliteration which has left me unable to believe in anything akin to hope or destiny or happiness. He has quite literally destroyed me, and he gets to just go on without a care in the world.

I hope every day that he is miserable. That somehow the universe is giving him a karmic lashing appropriate to what he dished out. But I know that's not how it works. I know the only one miserable here is me.

Still. Always.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How to Celebrate Thankgsgiving When You Just Want To Die (Or Kill Someone)

Oh, I'm sorry... I'm not offering advice. I'm asking. Do you know the answer? I definitely don't. I've been sitting here at work for the past hour, sporadically bursting into tears and trying to understand why my life is so far from the life I was anticipating last year at this time.

Then I had a boyfriend. A man I loved (the first "real" relationship I've ever had--late bloomer that I am) who supposedly loved me back. If I'm going to be honest, I can say that things started getting weird right after he told me he loved me, and by Thanksgiving (which was about three weeks later) I could tell he was pulling away. I didn't do anything to push him or pressure him. I figured that was the worst thing I could do. I just tried to remain calm and be open to whatever happened along the way. I never in my wildest dreams expected him to leave me. I mean, who does that? How do you get to be thirty-six years old and think you can just say "I love you" on a whim? How do you raise the stakes if you have no intention of sticking around? If you don't "see a future" as he so often told me after the fact? Once the breakup was happening, I remember asking why time and time again and getting "I don't know" for a reason. My whole life was shattered, my soul decimated, (I HAVE YET TO RECOVER) and all for "I don't know." Who does that?

Here's the time line for those who need it:

10/27 - "I love you, and I'm not afraid." My first "I love you." What an idiot--I believed him.

11/11 - He gives me an iPod Nano with video screen for my birthday.

11/28 - I hear my second "I love you" while we're having sex. Both times he said it first. And I never said it in the month between. I didn't suddenly add "I love you" to our daily vocabulary and freak him out. He did it all on his own.

12/3 - He breaks up with me. Well, kind of. It's not very clear, and within a couple of miserable days for both of us, after talking and e-mailing, it's more like a "break."

12/19 - He sends me an Edible Arrangement. Those things are like seventy bucks, btw.

12/24 - He comes to my family's Christmas Eve gathering--something he insisted upon. I would not have invited him, but when I mentioned it he said, "I want to go to that!" And he'd already decreed that we would exchange presents no matter what. So he comes over. He opens a hundred dollars worth of carefully picked out (and wrapped) presents from me. I open an arm-holder for the iPod wrapped in the Sunday funnies. Seriously. Did he run out of Christmas paper and I wasn't even worth three bucks to buy some more?

12/31 - He spends New Year's with his parents. Who I've never met, btw.

1/10 - I go over to his house thinking we're going to talk and patch things up and he breaks it off for good. He says, "I like you. I loved you..."

"So now it's 'loved,' past tense," I ask.


When I ask what has changed, he can't tell me. "I don't know," is all he says. I am the same person he said he loved just a month ago, but now he doesn't love me. I have done nothing differently, but he has changed his mind. He "doesn't see a future."

"Then why did you tell me you loved me?" I demand.

"I don't know."

All of this haunts me. After a few months earlier this year, still in touch with him, still hearing him offer these wishy-washy explanations, and believing he's just scared (because he admits that he is) he finally tells me he's seeing someone else. Actually, he didn't even tell me. I found out through someone else. But it doesn't matter. He's seeing someone else. He's selling his condo and moving in with her. And instead of just telling me that, he has let me believe that there's still a chance, that it's just fear of commitment wigging him out. He's let me in every time I've reached out, and even though I've said, "If there's someone else just tell me," he never does.

S0 I am a mess. I have been a mess since last December, and nothing I have experienced since then has helped to make it better, or helped me to forget him. As angry as I am in moments, because he took away all of my hope, and my confidence, and my ability to believe, I still love him. Still miss him. If he called me tomorrow I would take him back. And I am crying again because I know it won't happen, and because I know I am pathetic.

The universe has not sent anyone my way to replace him. I cannot find ANYTHING redeeming in this experience. I have not learned anything except that love is a joke, and people are liars, and pain is the only certainty in this world. I can't find the "reason" for meeting him and losing him. I can't forgive him. And I can't stop picturing him in his perfect happy new relationship while I have hovered on the brink of suicide.

I almost killed myself a number of times this year. I am past that point, thankfully, but to say I feel "good" would be a complete lie. To say that I have any kind of hope for ever being happy, or ever finding "true love" would be a complete lie. He has ruined all of this for me, and the universe stood idly by and let it happen.

So how do I find things to be thankful for in light of all of this? All I want to do is e-mail him and say, "I hope your life sucks as much as you deserve!" But of course I can't. I'd just end up looking like a psycho, or worse he'd reply and say something like, "I'm very happy and I hope someday you can be, too." FUCK OFF, ASSHOLE. I don't understand any of it.

Today I needed to use my little digital voice recorder to transfer files from my work computer to my laptop, which couldn't pick up a Wi-Fi signal at the time... I was enormously thankful for that device in that moment. I said out loud, "I love this thing" because I forget sometimes just how versatile and useful it is, until I need it for something like that. Best eighty bucks I've spent in a while, and worth every penny.

So that's one thing.

I'm thankful to have one job that I love, and one job that is at least flexible enough to keep me from otherwise hating it.

I'm thankful for some really good friends who have stepped up in recent days to remind me that they care what I'm going through--especially when my family has kind of not been able to do that in any way that's helpful.

I'm thankful for my guitar. It's a gorgeous black Martin, and I never thought I'd be lucky enough to own a high-end guitar like a Martin.

I'm thankful to be relatively healthy (even if I don't currently have health insurance to deal with some other stuff I wouldn't mind dealing with).

I'm thankful to have a place to live, even though I don't have any money to contribute to it presently.

I'm thankful to have a car that is relatively new, and running well. I'm thankful to the pastor at the church where I work for paying for new brakes when I couldn't afford them.

I'm thankful to the friends, and virtual strangers, who are helping me through my current financial/legal crisis. If I have to deal with these things, at least I don't have to do it alone.

I'm thankful for "The Office" on DVD... I can laugh at that show no matter what. Even after seeing every episode numerous times. Sometimes that actually makes it funnier.

I'm thankful to have a place to spend Thanksgiving... even if it's the same place and the same people I have dinner with all the time, it's still a nice day, and it beats many of the alternatives.

I'm thankful for my fish. They may not be able to snuggle up next to me in bed and show their appreciation, but they still need me, and I need to be needed.

I'm thankful for a lot of other things, large and small, and I need to focus more on these things instead of all the things that are "wrong" with my life.

At least for one whole day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How many hoops...

...must one jump through in order to simply renew their registration at the RMV? I don't know. Perhaps we can all count together at the end of this post.

My registration expired on Halloween. My bank account on that date had a negative balance, so there was no hope of paying for the new registration on time, compounded by the fact that before I could even consider paying the renewal fee, I had to pay parking tickets owed to the city I work in, and a speeding ticket in the amount of $300.00. Ouch. For the record I would like to just say that I am not a chronic speeder. I'm really not. My sister would tell you that I'm the safest driver she knows, and that it's almost annoying sometimes because I don't drive with the typical recklessness most American's (and Bostonians) take for granted. That said, I was speeding the night I got the ticket. I was going 85 on the highway, in the middle of the night, driving home from the casino, and there were no other cars around me for reference, and I just didn't really notice that I was "speeding." Most of you are probably laughing because, let's face it--'most nobody considers 85 on the highway to be speeding. Except the bored Statey who pulled me over.

$300 in my world might as well be a million dollars. And I cried a lot over this ticket, because I cry at the drop of a hat these days because life has been heavy and I'm kind of tired of it. I digress.

It was 8 days from Halloween before I got paid again, at which point I paid the stupid parking tickets, and I paid the stupid speeding ticket. When I paid the speeding ticket I was informed that there was now a $70.00 fee attached which also had to be paid before my registration could be renewed. Are you freakin' kidding me? Do you see how the universe insists on fucking with me at every turn? And we've barely started.

Okay, so I pay the fee, but that isn't going to leave me with the actual registration fee anymore. So I wait. Two weeks later I get another paycheck. At this point I discover that the payment on the parking tickets has bounced, incurring a $25.00 fee, which gets sucked out of my paycheck as soon as I deposit it, and I go online and pay the parking tickets AGAIN.

I go to the registry, which logistically in and of itself is pretty much a nightmare. This particular branch of the RMV shares it's 25-car parking lot with a pizza/ice cream joint, so good luck getting a spot in the lot. Or on the street, which only has parking on one side in small stretches. There are no nearby side streets because it's a large sort of industrial stretch of road. I park across the street in the lot for a contracting company, feeling kind of sketchy about it, but taking note of the fact that nowhere do they have signs indicating you can't park there, or that they'll tow you or anything like that. I run across the street into the RMV and am met with sign upon sign stating, "If you are parked in the lot across the street, please move your car immediately or it will be towed!" Seriously? Why don't they have a big ol' sign that says this? I'm torn. It's about ten-of-five and there's no chance I'll find another space before they close. Can I see my car out the window? Not really... I decide to risk it. I go up to the triage desk and ask about what I need to renew my registration. I say it's late and ask if there's a fee, which the woman behind the counter doesn't seem to really know. "Well, if there are tickets..."

"I paid them last night," I say.

"They might not be in the system yet... Let me look. What's your plate number?"

I give it to her. She looks something up on the computer and then turns back to me. "Yeah, they're still showing as unpaid."

WHAT?! "So what do I do?" I ask, trying not to let my frustration explode onto this innocent woman.

"Do you have the receipts?" she wants to know.

"Yeah, at home. On my computer."

"Well, you need to come back with those so we can clear the tickets and then we can help you."

So at this point I'm stressed about driving around with an expired registration and getting pulled over and having God-knows-what kind of outcome. She gives me the form to fill out and tells me to show it to the cops if I get pulled over, because at least it verifies that I've been to the RMV and that I'm trying to renew my registration. It doesn't seem like nearly enough to me, but I thank her and head out, expecting my car to have been towed just because.

It wasn't, thankfully, and I went home. It's a few days before my schedule allows me to head back to the RMV for Round 2. In that span of time the parking tickets bounce again (and I hate that I live so close to the edge that that can happen without me realizing it's going to happen), and I stress. I figure I'll bring the receipts and pretend I don't know they've bounced. Maybe the receipts will be enough to get the renewal, and I can deal with repaying the parking tickets after the fact.

I go back to the RMV with my e-mails all printed out, verifying that I made online payments, and I luck out with a bit of street parking, and am feeling pretty good about getting renewed finally.

I wait in line and finally get called. I explain what I'm there for, hand the woman at the desk my form and my e-mails and she looks at me and says, "This isn't valid proof of payment."

"What do you mean?"

"These aren't valid proof of payment" she says, as if pluralizing it will suddenly make it clearer.

"They told me last time I was here that if I brought in the e-mails--"

"You need a certified receipt from each of the towns the tickets are in--they look like this." She waves a couple fancy pieces of paper in the air and my blood boils.

"They TOLD me--"

"They were wrong."

So there's nothing she can do for me. My e-mail printouts are useless. And it turns out I have another parking ticket from my hometown, that I didn't even know about, that needs to be paid as well. She prints out this information for me, so I can share it with the appropriate city collectors.

I leave the RMV for the second time, completely aggravated yet again. It's almost 5:00. Too late to get to either of the towns I need to get receipts from and back before they close.

Fast-forward to Friday, when I finally have the time and money to pay for the hometown ticket, and repay the bounced work-town tickets, and get all the right receipts and finally get everything squared away. Or so I think.

I have quite a day planned, what with a show to run that night, and planning to pick up a friend in Wellesley... I have to be kind of everywhere and I'm trying not to have to back-track too much and waste time or gas. I start at home. It's about 1:30, and I have to be in Wellesley at 2:00-ish, so I'm already aggravated to be running late. I get to City Hall and discover that they close at 12:30 on Fridays. In my mind I am standing outside the locked door of City Hall and screaming "Serenity now!!!!!!" a la Frank Costanza, at the top of my lungs. In reality I am hissing, "Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?????" as I pull on the locked door uselessly.

I get back in the car. So now this is a bust yet again. Without these tickets cleared, a trip to the RMV is useless. But I decide I will deal with the work-town tickets while I am there (because that's where I was going to be ending up after the Wellesley pick-up anyway), and then on Monday I can get the rest of it done.

I do what I have to do over the weekend, stressing (as usual) about being pulled over and having my car taken away on the spot. This has happened to my brother. The cop wouldn't even give him a ride home. I, of course, don't have a cell phone right now to call someone for a ride in that situation, so I would be extra screwed. So I really don't want that to happen.

That brings us to today. I head to my hometown City Hall to pay the ticket... where I am told that because it's an old ticket or something, they can't accept the payment there. I have to call some other place and mail it, or if I want to do it immediately (and it will clear in the system within 15 minutes) I can do it online at some website they give me. I'm racing the clock as usual, needing to get to work by 3:00 to make an important phone call, and don't really have the time to go back home (or anywhere else) to get access to a computer and make the payment before heading to the RMV. I ask if I can use one of their computers to jump online and make the payment. They say no. You're real human beings... I spit telepathically.

I leave. I go to work to deal with the phone call situation, and make the stupid online payment. At this point it's really too late to head back out to the nearest registry, because in traffic I'd probably not make it, and I really needed to just work anyway. That was a wise decision on my part because as I later discovered, most of the RMV branches had been shut down that day due to a fire at a branch in Boston. After all of this, had I arrived at the RMV to find it CLOSED... you'd be reading about ME in the papers tomorrow.

So this is where I am at. Desperately trying to renew my registration so I can be all legal again, and being met with a ridiculous obstacle at every turn.

Now seriously--try to convince me the universe isn't just fucking with me because it can.
Hello, world. Welcome new friends... ya know, the ones I hope to make. I've had a few blogs before, but this is the first time I've had one that wasn't connected to my name. The first time I've had one that I didn't have to worry about who was reading or what they thought of me. I hope to find this freeing. I have not written much in my life lately, and I feel the lack of that. It's cathartic, of course, and I'm not sure anyone needs this type of thing more than I do right now.

My blog title is from an idea I had years ago for a book. Perhaps this will be the first draft. Perhaps people will find this blog and read it, and be interested, and down the road I'll put it all together and trot it off to some publishing house to be made into a neat little bound collection of stories from my existence. Maybe not. I'm not stressing about where it's going to go. Names may sometimes be changed to protect the innocent (or guilty, as the case may be) and other times they may not. I won't tell you when, because it will ultimately be irrelevant I'm sure. Mostly I think it's going to be a way to further hide my own identity... as if I have one in the first place. Part of the point of this is to try and figure that out.

It's 5:14 a.m., and e-mails are popping up in my Gmail alert from all the early risers in my circle. I am about to go to bed. This is one of many problems in my current reality. I have been trying for a while now to flip my schedule back to what most people would consider "normal" without much success. Some days I feel like I shouldn't be bothering, simply surrendering to the sleep cycle I have landed on, content to get eight hours of sleep regardless of what time of day they happen. Other days I feel a huge sense of dissynchronization (okay, apparently that's not a word, but I like it because it says what I want it to say) with the rest of the world, and long to be up in the morning, living my life in daylight, and hitting the sack by midnight.

I will admit I thrive on the "normal" schedule (well, okay, I modify it a bit because my version of "getting up early" is something like 9:30 a.m.), but for a variety of reasons that will all be revealed over time, I perpetuate the night-owl schedule (what I often refer to as "New Zealand Time" even though it's not entirely relatively accurate), and it's really hard to change the routine once I'm in it.

A lot of it has to do with the fact that I live with my mother. And my brothers and sisters. There are six of us altogether under one roof. I am the oldest of the five children, and I'm gonna be forty. No, not "someday," Harry... a mere year from now, and this fact is the first of the long list of reasons alluded to above. I live in hiding. I am constantly trying to create space for myself that doesn't have other people encroaching, or insisting they be taken into consideration every damn second.

I may sound like an ass, but I'm okay with that for now. I'm complicated and flawed, and the realizations will happen when they happen. At this moment in time, I have to go to bed. But thank you for reading, and I hope you'll come back later when I write some more.

Until then...