Hey Carrie-Ann

 

With a careen that no one was ready for – sparks flying, stars shooting, planets flinging out of orbit – I flicked the mascara applicator through my lashes, hitting my upper eyelid. Pulling away from the mirror, disoriented, I catalogued the damage caused by my spastic use of the mascara wand, meditating on James Dean. Maybe too hard. I eyed my weapon, You were supposed to be used for good.

I haven’t worn makeup since high school, especially not when the Ches Del is my destination, but I’m playing this barbie doll cashier in a little game of psychological competency. This blonde, petite type gal that shamelessly admitted to screwing 87 guys without batting a perfectly manicured lash (in front of her grandmother no less) is the type that incurs a childish glee from getting reactions out of people. One of those girls with mean blue eyes that you’d beg her to make you cry with. Of course, I want her to straddle me with a  machete between her orthodontic teeth, after freshly closing a sweaty shackle about the last of my carpals and tarsals, but I can never let her know how much I want her to suffocate me with her pussy. God, I hope she has a landing strip.

Anyhow, blondie paid me no mind our first night working together, while I prayed an atheist’s horny prayer to see her whip those black rimmed glasses from her apathetic visage, ponytail lashing & all. The second she caught onto my muff catching though, the spirit of friendliness suddenly inhabited her. Giving me little waves, with just the fingers wiggling, Audrey Hepburn style over a horsey grin; bumping those compact hips on me while we both saddled up to our fifth cup of coffee.

I knew exactly what she was up to, of course. And it was no surprise that her attempts at shaking me escalated by the week, in response to my sustained (painfully, painfully sustained) torpor towards each and every flick of that kitten’s tongue. I played it cooler than Jimmy Dean in the presence of a 35mm. But in the dead hours of hot august nights, known for skating by about as fast as a snail dragging an elephant by the tusks through a desert of sand, a war of the psyches was all we had for entertainment. By week three, the V-necks were so low cut, I could see the tiny blonde hairs, where every other woman’s cleavage would be, glinting under the fluorescents and evening sun. Knowing the gamble in exposing her less than ample bust, should I be a tits girl, she bustled up to me iPhone in hand, shoving her padded cups against my shoulder showing me a gif of a slim woman’s chest inflating into a rack that would put any oversexualized female Marvel superhero to shame – – the kind of dame you can buy from Russia via sketchy internet transaction through bitcoin. Following this presentation was a forced sigh, “See, I’m savin up fer one them boob jobs”; sputter of sorority girl laughter as she slumps her bare arm against mine. It’s not that huge of a letdown from the toddler tits it was replacing on my shoulder. Still. I enjoyed small tits just the same as meaty ones. It was the nipples that drove me crazy.

I liked ’em bristly as rose buds. None of this I revealed to her, of course. Tightening my grip on the iPhone, I muttered a distracted “hmm?”. The arrow hit its mark and she snatched the receptacle away from my snickering grin, sashaying out of the kitchen as best she could with a similarly threadbare ass. I imagined the tiny Mickey Mouse ears of that ass floating above my vision in the preferred doubled down, face-to-genitals coital embrace. Obviously she was as straight as Lou Reed before deviant sexuality became marketable, but again. What else were we going to fill a dead Thursday night with?

Carrie was clever enough to catch onto my dark sense of humor and wisely chose to drop the previous ‘look-how-cute-I-am’ gambit, donning a sarcastic attitude in its stead, rife with all the freakiest anecdotes from her childhood. We bonded on a few topics — enough for me to see that her wit stopped at manipulation tactics and hardly passed into the realm of existential dread that I was now learned in the act of floating upon.

The plus side to toying with a Ches Del woman that’s trying to wrap your zig-zagged form around her very vertical finger is that southern-type girlies, because of their backwoods socialization, escalate their flirtatious game up to the sexual level relatively quickly compared to the Sylvia Plath types I knew from school. So when her pride became wounded by my feigned fixation on the the Hooter’s poster girl, she amped up the arsenal, returning to the kitchen hastily to scoop at the soup de jour – a not-so distant cousin to gravy at good ole Ches Del – and casually mention she was an ass girl, anyways — “You know. If I was into that,” she smirked and bounced that booty back through the swinging doors.

Later on, when all the staff were soaking up the superior AC of the diner car, she opportunely maneuvered through, tapping everybody’s ass to prove her point. Carpet bombing the lot of us (saving me for last, of course) she returned to the feigned innocence in being ‘the cute one’ rather than defaulting on her reserves of maniacal nympho, accompanied by underdeveloped love-lumps.

“Wow! You have a soft butt,” she cupped my cushion and let it fall, the weight of the fleshy muscle encased in the hammock of my posterior. “Yeah,” I allowed the rusty door creak of apathy leech into my tone. She giggled,

“I like a soft butt” the heat of her palm hovered just inches from my dancer’s curves. I’d have you know that my ass is a lightly generous slope, but firm as hell when I’m in full-on prowl. The taut cheeks of a jungle cat, hardly moving as I traverse a mattress on all fours toward my mate. Her eyebrows raised, two barely perceptible paintbrushes across her aryan brow, scanning my face greedily for a reaction. A flinch of libido, a flutter of frenzy, a flush of rushing hemoglobin, a flippant, flipped switch signaling hormones to rush.

Cucumbers weren’t as cool as me. I dug my hand into the middle pocket of my apron. Visually suggestive as a gesture, until it emerged with my phone. The text was from my boss, but the schoolgirl smile I emitted caused domino after domino to crash in the associative imperatives of her mind, eliciting just the response I was looking for.

“Who you talkin’ to?” Keeping my eyes on the illuminated screen, I chuckled before shutting it off and meeting hers with an “Oh, nobody — excuse me, I gotta table to check on.” She rolled those pristine marbles in  her skull and huffed a sigh, sliding Hey Sailor red fingernails across the mauve linoleum countertop, back behind the register. I fully believed that with the right prodding, I could induce exasperation, thereby channeling our collective boredom into at least a sexually charged cigarette break. Manager Margret (Marge, Maggy, Mags, Magillicutty – anything but the name she liked to be called) insisted we take cigarette breaks one at a time, but just the thrill of breaking the rules could cement a chemical association in her brain of yours truly, and a comrade called Thrill. It took the right finesse to break a straight girl on a mission, and you couldn’t be too obvious or rush into the seduction. It required a stretched out period of torture (Phase I), constantly reading her signs to see if she’s still motivated, offering a little give when she retreats into forfeit, then meeting her renewed strength with a readied exodus of cold shoulder to any twitch of her silver skin. You can’t expose your agenda. Have to let her feel as though it’s a real triumph, finally cracking the chisel into your panties.

This week started Phase II of my covert seduction. Phase I, snubbing her relentlessly to throw her into a frenzy of frustration and confusion, fueled by self-doubt about just how sexy she actually was if she couldn’t get even an accelerated heart beat out of this lezbo, was already through — though would be revisited should I fuck up somewhere along the line. Shake up her nice hot bath with a burst of cold from the faucet. Now I had to move on to develop a subtly appealing aura around myself. Be her friend. Ask her advice. Put her in the position of authority that she’s so desperately teetering on, shakily convincing herself that she still holds it. Even doll up the sex appeal on my side — make her feel a rivalry that, upon sapphic success, gives her the status of having scored a hot girl as her first female fuck. That’s all a straight girl wants. What with the petty, aged women on staff, gossip is Grade A beef compared to reruns of Judge Judy and complaining about how the mashed potatoes have gone down hill. Carrie would like nothing more than to scrounge up a gem of drama for the old maids to  harp about loudly in front of the kitchen staff – and you just know how those dishwashers talk – making her the star of the diner. Not that I didn’t mind playing the supporting role, ahem, ahem.

Even more than status, I could see a desperation in her words as she clucked about her boyfriend of three years to Marge – her grandmother, our haggard manager – complaining that she hadn’t received a proposal yet. A much needed spark would have to be injected into that relationship that had undoubtedly hit the much-known standstill of a deficit in interesting things to talk about. I’ve personally never gone past 6 months before I could predict what my partner would say next or how they would respond to something I said. Save for the possibility that he was as dull as she, I guessed he was still in it for the pussy. Which Carrie was certainly aware of. All fuck and no substance makes Carrie a shit-out-of-luck spinster. At least when her looks fade. (I give her 2 babies before life delivers that lumpy, yet sagging parcel of a gift).

I approached the diner door through the smokers nook. The vintage winged sunglasses made everything colossally dark, so I made like I was feeling for the banister in order to lean against it whilst draining the last few puffs from my cigarette, but really, my vision was so dimmed by the ridiculous shades that I needed a reliable footing before I’d finally follow through on the plan: saunter up the steps like a movie star that got lost on the backroads and was just stopping in for directions. I reflected on how that would probably be more of horror story lead up, considering the rednecky chauvinists that bulls-eyed your nipples through the chunky vests we had to wear. Should probably play this more thriller/rom-com, unless I want to sink the vibe.

It was truly tough to look appealing, or even curvy in the Ches Del uniform, but I arched my back, tilting my sharp jawline towards the ceiling as I puckered around a perfect line of smoke. Well, it was probably a perfect line — the specs. I could feel her cruel glare piercing through the window opposite me, which I had posed in front of, anticipating her usual perch at the adjacent register. Always a stickler for details, I looked anywhere but the window, staring instead above the glasses at some looming cobwebs that almost threatened my height. Goddamn, this place is a dump.

If I caught her eye through the glass, the jig was up. She’d know this was all a performance for her sake, so I crushed the cherry into the heel of my nonslip kitchen shoe in blissful ignorance of even the possibility that someone might be observing my display. Of course, with the lenses – which may as well have been made of volcanic glass they were so black – its not like eye contact was even possible, much less seeing through glass with the early evening glare washing across it. Tail feathers neatly tucked, I catwalked through the doors, cooly swinging the shades from my face, imperceptibly checking that they hadn’t screwed up the mascara in the mirror paneled corner as I clocked in. After catching that my makeup was intact and lingering because, after all, I did look breathtaking, my eyes skipped to the register behind me. First, in passing, to be sure Carrie hadn’t scrutinized me checking myself out; though quickly darting back as they’d caught a withered old crone where a youthful playboy bunny should have been. I did a 180 and gaped for a moment at the lack of Carrie in the diner, before quickly converting my dumbfounded gawk into a staggered stroll to the coffee percolator.

An R10 rested next to Carrie’s name on the schedule. So I hadn’t blinked for the past 3 minutes for this gook making my lashes hit the plastic lenses, and it was all for nothing. That’s fine. At least the sexist geriatrics will be inclined to snag that extra fiver  when they go honey dipping for their Cialis at tip-time. Bright side to everything.

Two Tables. Three hours. I was skating through the so-called dinner rush with dimes clinking in my pockets & fifteen bucks to my name. You don’t have to be so passive-aggressive-like, Universe. Come out and tell me what I did wrong. Eyes going all out of focus, I let them dip into the ceiling fan that went round in the black scrying shine of my fourth coffee. My guts were garbage. Making the change clatter, my phone buzzed against my thigh. Closest thing to sex I’m gettin tonight.

I opened a text from unknown number. “Is this Katey lol” my heart jumped. I had given nobody else my phone number, save for Carrie.

Who are you to be asking questions, I thought as I typed out “Who wants to know” into the prehistoric brick of a cellular device. Two minutes scraped by before my eyes were greeted with her response. I didn’t read it right away, timing my response as to suggest that my heart wasn’t pumping adrenaline throughout my body. To ensure that I never seemed too excited to talk to a dalliance, I take their response time, double it and add half of the original value to the whole sum, before I even allow myself to read the text. “It’s Carrie. Got a question .” My excitement cashed its check.

“Mhmm” I typed frantically, as my mouth resounded the sentiment. I no longer minded how loud I was talking to the non-present person in the empty dining room. She texted back right away this time. “Uhm, mayb this a weird question . Do yu want to have a 3way with me n my boy ;)”

Though her response lacked the punctuation, that was certainly a question to make my night. Play it cool. Play it cool. James Dean. “Send pics and I’ll think about it”

Ch-ching.

 

 

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Filed under Short Story

Manhandled

I am so tired of little boys acting like they own me. Treating me like a child that couldn’t know any better. Zach warning me of hook up culture, because he doesn’t want “his girl” out galavanting with strange men. Strange men with bigger cocks and more in their seductive arsenal. Nick acting like a big baby when “his girl” is sexting with another man, or when “his girl” is giving strange men her number, or when “his girl” hooks up with a friend. I am nobody’s girl.

I bet he watched the whole video, of Mack cuming for me. Bet he read every text and allowed it to fill his anger like a sail. The gaul of him. Calling me his girlfriend to Thomas, painting me as some cheating hussy, when the truth of the matter is that he is a weak man. Just a weak little man that needs to own a woman to keep her. Can’t admit his loneliness, but also is never “quite jealous”. You’re full of shit. You’re a jealous, egotistical cunt that can’t see past anything that doesn’t fit into the picture frame of how you want other people to see you.

So, you bought the VCR that isn’t quite compatible with your system, but you’ll keep plugging and plugging away at it, trying to force it to work, but it never will. You can push into the USB outlet as much as you want, swap your input with your  output, flip a dial – flip every dial, but I will never be some object you can buy to adorn your identity.

I am woman. I have come to Earth to participate in life and love it. I have come to see all your faults as beautiful and complimentary details in a great portrait. But you’ll never let me view you holistically. You’re either God or Demon, and can’t fathom somebody seeing you as otherwise. Because you don’t have wise eyes like mine, you’ll only let me see you through the picture frame that you create for yourself. You’re filled with unspeakable pain when I won’t cramp myself to fit into it, but instead splay out into infinity on the ever forming canvas. My eyes are the palette that paint the world and your words are a blindfold. Keep them to yourself until you’re ready to look at everything contained within the word reality.

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Filed under observations, Thoughts

Spirituality as an Attitude: A Manifesto

We create our own reality.
Our life is a storybook in the first person that we’re constantly writing, with every action and every thought. Aristotle understands half of this in his well-known saying: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Correct, but he is only seeing half of the picture. What we repeatedly do is a condensed product of who we are moment to moment; what we do is motivated by our thoughts and emotional reactions, which are provoked by our experience of life. These internal parts of our identity are also not who we are, ultimately, because they are not the only things present in our minds. We have the Thinker that experiences emotion and produces thoughts – a running narrative on the state of things; and then the Awareness of that narrative, slightly behind it.The Thinker belongs intrinsically to this Awareness, and depending how often we separate from the world of thought, and invest our energy in awareness, the more able we are to influence the Thinker.

It is reductionistic to say that who we are is as simple as our actions. Actions only cement in place a history of who we were in that moment, without ever exposing the details of what caused that particular accident of an action. Which part of our collective identity – meaning the holistic interplay of all the various roles and archetypes we fulfill throughout our duration – causes individual actions/mindsets in each moment?  All of this is enclosed in our personal story. Who we are is nothing but the protagonist of that story. Reality is the gestalt of everyone’s stories going on at once – collectively intersecting and producing plot twists in the stories of others, yet who you are remains a moment-by-moment construction of who else’s story is influencing yours in that moment, and who you personally are preceeding each moment, always bleeding into the next, forever surging into itself. The momentary decisions we make create the next, into infinity; the Butterfly Effect in action.  I created this moment without knowing that this Manifesto would result from my creation, and that’s kind of what art is like. We continually create our reality, without being aware of the resulting future, by constantly interacting with the world and all the other worlds going on. We can influence these resulting realities through learning from past moments and using that knowledge for growth in present moments. Of course we never have control of the future, and adverse things that may intrude on our known routines, but we always have the power to interpret a moment how we wish, and this determines the way our story is written and the way it will be recorded in our history. Our interpretation depends on our attitude.

With a spiritual mindset, I can interpret, learn from, and make the most of my time spent depressed. It’s a lot like flying a kite, and using a strange gust of wind with which to propel your mindset. When I’m depressed, I do what I can with it. It’s like taking a burst of momentum & running with it. When I’m overtly depressed, I have good and bad days. If I take a good day and do what I can with it (things conducive to feeling better: self-care, cleaning, creation – should it come, observing beauty in art books or nature, seeking out loving connection or understanding in another), I find myself swept away with it. Like an exponential magnetism. It is the herd behavior inside myself – if one thought is doing it with complete conviction, and infects other thoughts similarly, the mirror neurons inside myself avalanche in the direction that has the strongest pull – whether positive or negative. It is thought polarization that maintains either a positive or negative attitude.

I’ve observed this in my own downward spirals – one day, I’m far too exhausted to get out of bed, so I go back to sleep. I wake up much later and am not able to accomplish the things I’d wanted to while I was sleeping in, that had meaning for me (volunteering, reading and article, researching, meeting with someone). I feel badly about myself because of this, reasoning that I should have fought my exhaustion and forced myself through it because at least then I wouldn’t feel like a failure. Not wanting to feel like a failure, I invest my waning energy in escape, because comfort is the only energy expenses I can manage, besides continuing to lay in bed and stare at the wall.  Perhaps I scrap the entire day in light of these feelings – I spend it doing NOTHING conducive to feeling good (despite what I may or may not have salvaged), maybe I eat junk food, smoke weed and watch a lot of tv. All of these feel good in the moment and distract me from who I am because of the pleasure derived from them. {However, through observation, I know that eating junk food makes my body feel poorly which affects my self-love and overall mood. Weed does the same by causing my thoughts to be foggy and dulls my experience of life which is constantly altering, so I’m more likely to miss an opportunity for love or connection or experiencing beauty. TV is a huge waste of time that can be addictive}. Maybe because I indulged the day before, the next day, my desire for that pleasure again is aroused, and I think to myself “well, what’s the harm in just one more day – one more indulgence”.

This type of attitude is conducive to habit-forming, which is helpful if the habit is good, but only destructive if it is bad. So maybe I smoke, over time with frequency and my thoughts become increasingly duller and I am unable to create or communicate or even be self-aware, because I am off in the ether, feeling good. Maybe I eat a lot of junk food and cause my stomach to feel nauseated for the rest of the day, and feel fatigued and bloated. Maybe I waste hours watching TV, and don’t read something I told myself I would or don’t create anything again. Eventually, I stagnate and feel poorly about myself for not having accomplished anything, for having no novel thoughts or perceptions on the world with which to record and for pain/discomfort in and with my own body. These swell together in my depression and evoke low self-esteem, fatigue, misconceptions about myself, isolation from others, a dulled ability to do things that I love (writing, singing, playing, socializing). Seeing this transformation in myself causes me to feel cynical about my own abilities and potential, because my thoughts are constantly overrun with the negative, so I say, “oh well, I guess this is just who I am at heart, and its way too difficult to get back to who I was, because I’ve spent so much time being this fat, lazy, dumb slob with no convictions and no ambition. I’m wasting my life and wasting space on this planet”.

And yet — I’ve made the long, difficult journey back there before (to a person with talent, health, clarity of thought and creation). It – again – starts with one, two, three grains of TRY, then ten grains of good habit, and then the whole damn avalanche comes racing down and all of a sudden… I’m happy?    I’m happy. I made that journey back this past year, after a strong bout of depression that started with a relationship going south, a realization that I was no longer important to the one person that was important in my life, and then half a year of rebound. It started with making new friends who stimulated my life and thoughts (watching other people become important in my life), starting to run again (building my health, quality of life and self-esteem), eventually pursuing a new love interest (having the spiritual experience of being in love), writing poems when they came, enjoying life (the outdoors, the nights, the love), going out on limbs and taking the opportunities that were handed to me, putting myself out on limbs by sticking my neck  out – and continuing to, allowing others to fuel my wonder with the world and motivate myself to study and learn. While these were landmarks on my journey back from depression, none of them (even all together) were enough to fully bring me back. It was the attitude that I developed that allowed me to believe in myself and allowed me to follow this path back to happiness. I would not have believed myself or trusted myself enough to put myself out on the limbs that lifted me highest.

I continue these attitude-based habits in my daily maintenance. I still experience bouts of depression that intrude on me with fatigue, irritation, anger, depersonalization and a strong urge to cry –  sometimes provoked by illness and sometimes provoked by a lack of spirit. Getting sick knocks me completely off my feet and forces me to be bed-bound for days, which makes me extremely vulnerable to being overtaken by my depression. However, by maintaining my spiritual attitude, it is easy to take advantage of things the moment I get a burst of energy – a gust of wind. The moment I’m feeling better after being sick, I clean up and change my sheets, air the stale air from my bedroom — get out of bed, cook myself healthy soup and tea, straighten up my room, because I know it boosts my vibes to have a tidy environment, spend my day quietly watching movies I’ve been meaning to see, etc. These are the actions that separate me from my depressed self. But these actions do not define me for en eternity – only in that moment. They don’t make up for past actions and they don’t assure that I will remain this way forever. Additionally this only exists in the world where every day is basically similar; if a wrench were thrown into the monotony of our “average guy” story, who we’ve practiced being will determine how we handle catastrophe.

Perhaps another’s story will horribly intervene with yours – you may meet the end of your story one day by being squashed by a random meteor. Perhaps you will be taken out of your story and thrown into a nightmare of history by a sudden war, fatality or persecution. Each moment will still be what you make of it. Are you the type to attempt escape at the cost of your life? The type to derive meaning from it, while passively accepting the reality of it? Are you the type to be broken and victimized by it? Possibly, you are a combination of all three and many others, fluctuating throughout the time of your life spent inside of this tragedy. Being yourself, with your own duration, encountering others with their unique durations within this tragedy epoch of your story contributes to the constant creation of your own reality that you are always doing. This is very much an echo of the Serenity Prayer.

We all start our stories in a set of  unalterable factors (generally: our race, sexual orientation, home culture, etc.) alongside circumstances or factors that are more alterable, though often through much opposition and struggle – which act as LEARNING opportunities for us (ex’s: gender/sex, religion, behaviors and habits). Generally, we cannot change our roots, but we CAN grow in whatever way we please to, shooting out to whatever direction we  want. A tree may be pruned constantly to fit within a pleasing shape to whomever holds the clippers, but the tree has the resilience and hope to continue bursting through these societally pleasing boxes to fulfill its own destiny and to reach for the sun in its own way. We can change to be whoever we wish to be, because the world truly is what we make it, within the confines of what restricts us naturally. In rarer anecdotes, certain individuals have made triumphs through supposed “unalterable factors” via  pure will and refusal to lose hope. Wilma Rudolph was told after her polio-inflicted paralysis that she would never walk again, and became the fastest woman in the world (circa 1960’s), Anaïs Nin slaved over her novels – producing them herself – for a society that did not value her perspective, until she finally became recognized (in the modern age), the resilience of those that survived the holocaust (Victor Frankl, in particular), plus EVERY success story you’ve ever heard. The hope of individuals who refuse to accept defeat have been proven more often than we know, even if just in the anecdotes of your friends on Facebook.

This is why it is so important to use and understand life as a learning opportunity. We must live life with an open mind, because we live in a world of uncertainty. Science tends to have an ego attached, and tends toward the idea that all things can be known NOW. But there will always be questions. There was a time when people knew beyond a doubt that the world is flat, and we’re no different today – there is so much science still doesn’t know.

To assume that I know everything now and that this is how it will be always is a mistake. I am excited beyond reason for every love, every instance of suffering and every experience that I will have, because I know that I will continue to find truth in the world and continue to get better at living wisely and will be able to contribute so many more truths to my own art and creation! I will be able to do something better next time (whether it be the beauty of a relationship, or something as simple as baking a cake). By experimenting, and then doing, and then doing over and over again as a habit, we learn! We get better, we become experts! We integrate it into our flow, and into our life-long dance!

If I can learn to keep my head in a crisis, I will be that much better at dealing with crisis. If I can learn how to detect my depression when it surges up again, I can combat this by knowing what triggers me – it’s all body chemistry & psychology. If I can learn my deepest fears and grievances – If I can know which previous parts of “my story” are damaging me still now and making a victim of me, I can detach my ego from those things and tell them that they will no longer have control over who I am. I am, ultimately, not my thoughts and feelings, but the awareness behind them. If I choose to give my energy to the parts of my life that defeat me, I will spend most of my time feeling defeated. If I can learn what things widen the gap between me and my depression, I can do those things constantly to maintain my balance. If I can learn to harness my awareness and use it to be present in my body and anchored in sanity, then I can better treat myself and maintain my health.

By learning and observing, I gain wisdom about how I live my life, and subsequently, I love it with those truths alive and active, making my life into something beautiful and wonderful. When I have a new experience, (ex. Going past 6 months in a relationship with somebody) I learn more about what it means to love them, I learn how to compromise, I gain the wisdom that you can disagree and fight and still love more strongly than ever. I learn what/how much tension I will take to continue a particular experience. I’ve learned my boundaries – I learn about myself. I learn how to draw the line, and I continue this particular exercise knowing that at some point it will end. At some point we will break up, there will be some endstop when the relationship becomes too damaging to us to continue it, too unhealthy, as a bad habit, to be enjoyable any more, infecting other aspects of our lives. And at this point, we will separate, but I will certainly love again after this, because love is a dazzling experience that can change the entire nature of existence – a particle (with considerable weight) in the ether that can influence and infect all the other particles as to entirely sweeten this time we spend on earth. When I do start a new relationship, I will have the knowledge of this past love to do it better next time, and be a better lover, be a wiser lover, to continue to grow. I have valued growth  so strongly throughout my life, and growth is a product of learning.

Having an open mind is oh-so important for this reason. I agree with the teachings of Alice in Wonderland, here – I indulge as many as twelve impossible thoughts before breakfast, because I never would have made it to this happiness – this life! – if I hadn’t been open to the possibility. I believe in the impossibility that this life is a great cosmic joke. I believe these impossible things, because the world itself is impossible! If one million factors hadn’t all aligned to produce this world, I wouldn’t be here, and yet I am. This existence is highly improbable. This existence IS a Boltzmann brain emerging from the ether, and I plan to construct it exactly how I choose. There are *impossible* thoughts in existence that the mere collective presence of many people’s interpretation of a thing is what defines it in reality. This is of course subject to change through changing social attitude over time (ex. Anaïs Nin going from nothing to famous to defamed). The power of thought.

It’s easy to see yourself as one way, and one way only; To look at yourself as no good and without hope to change, while your mind is in hell. And yet, because you are on a continuum, *who you are* is a vast amalgam of all the people you’ve ever been. I can produce the same action while depressed as when I’m happy (Ex, complimenting somebody) and it will likewise be motivated by two vastly different attitudes, therefore having two completely different meanings in the context of the whole. When depressed, I may compliment someone because I think somebody I want to impress will overhear and think better of me, here it is motivated by ego and it is not good; Perhaps I do it because I feel so poorly about myself, that it is a type of jab at myself, because secretly I crave to be as good as them, or to be like them, making it motivated by low self-esteem and self-deprecation which is not good; or maybe, I say it because I love them and it cheers me to see them so empowered, in which case it is motivated by good energy and love and a will to build someone up.

This gets dangerously close to the Love/Fear approximation from “Donnie Darko,” which is not quite correct either, because it supports over generalization and a resistance to the complexities that are a reality in everyday life. Something motivated by love can still be horrific and grotesque – we’ve waged wars through a destructive love of one deity & way of life over another. Every action is quite subjective and complex because it is enacted in a specific context and BY a particular individual with the ever reaching bias of their previous experiences. The same action can have a world of different meanings or interpretations (which is why we must keep an open mind when judging others & why we must leave room for their different ideas/opinions and their subjective story). The antagonist from one story is the hero of another – “The Wizard of Oz” vs “Wicked”.

This is why I keep an open mind, because I know the reality of things is often a product of perspective, and often potentially so many things at once. This is why I strive for a positive mindset, because not only does it feel good and is conducive to a happier existence, it can signal and affect another’s existence. It is the path I take while creating my own reality, so that I might make the best of my own reality.

We must go into life with a positive attitude – the spiritual mindset.

 

 

 

 

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Dear Nick,

I’m a bit pissed. For somebody that’s so smart and always asking why, the fact that “I’ve just always been this way” is a good enough answer for you to settle for is so telling to how sublimated your ego’s power over you has become. You are its slave. I saw this the first fucking time we hooked up. You have unbelievably low self esteem and compensate for it by playing the part of the all-knowing. You shove all your insecurities into this overblown cerebral narcissism. When you couldn’t stay hard our first time having sex – even though I was sucking away like a fiend – you laughed at yourself, wanting to humiliate yourself and deprecate while I was loving you, and this is the narrative that has continued to play out over the course of our relationship. Your ego can’t handle anything that makes you look bad or insufficient – so you take whatever opportunity you can to be on the winning team again. I’ve seen you lose before, as well and try to regain yourself, and they were probably the saddest states I’ve ever witnessed you in. When your dad came over after I told your mom that you’d planned to kill yourself. I think you felt small and hopeless – powerless over your dad and unbelievably ashamed. The second time was when we went to Vaunca’s and you sliced your forehead open, from being ossified and not letting anyone help you stand. The oblivious look on your face makes me doubt you could feel the deep cut on your temple, but the tears you kept pushing away were a child’s. A kid that’s been pushed around in the school yard and laughed at and pointed at. 

Ugh, Nick! Grow the fuck up! Nobody is perfect, we all have flaws and shortcomings. To allow our structural ego mechanisms to constantly compensate for those shortcomings is going to inevitably be harmful to anyone near by. You’re constantly finding things wrong in the outside world and being critical to make yourself feel more right. Aligning only with the superior and making sure everyone knows WHY it’s so superior. Constantly separating yourself from others to appear above them. But soon you’re going to separate yourself so much that you’ll have nobody else to appear superior to around you. Your ego will tell you that’s fine and you like it that way, but your heart will ache now and again for the company that you were so intent on being above. Your loneliness will take its toll and there’s nothing I can do to change that. You hold the keys, I’ve given you the lock, now you need to find it and look in on all the self hatred putrefying in your psyche. You’re very smart. You place decoy self hatred out for everyone to see and it’s quite convincing at first, but I know a deeper room exists. I know you cram everything that you don’t talk about in there, and let it fester into a putrid fuel for your ego to chug away on. You need to take a good, hard look at that and see how it makes you alienate the people who are closest to you. See how it makes an ego of higher value to you than love. When I say “you’re hurting me” and your ultimate answer is “that’s not going to change,” it means that to stay with you would be masochism. I love myself, shortcomings and all and strive to accept myself as I am. Masochism isn’t my thing anymore. 

Sincerely,

Another Ex

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Brothers

Jon and Zach have the same teeth and smile-cracked eyes

Zachary and Nick have the same neck and smile,

eyes always glint the same across families

if we’re attracted to anything in a mate, it’s the eyes

that first hatched into our view,

a spaceship pervading the strung mobile, spinning spinning

then novelty – tufts – foreheads — Faces!

the new spectacle tucked side by side

by flesh, enclosed in people, the eyes were the real entities, never

“daddy” or “mama!”

parents think themselves mighty proud for their visage to produce a label,

for this so-called understanding to emerge in their smart, smart babies.

But for the baby, it was only ever the eyes they spoke to.

when I’m despondent and depressed, I will not look into eyes,

when I’m confident and self assured, I speak only to eyes

when I tell you that I love you, I tell your eyes, because they are the ones that see me

I may find a blind lover, that they might love my voice, and my touch

but nary a love is started outside of the eyes.

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Everything I Don’t Want People to Know About Me (Part 2)

  1. When I was in high school, I started to pick up weight. I was aware of this, but did nothing. However my mother noticed as well and mentioned her fear that I was becoming fat to one (that’s one of two, mind you) of my super-model sisters. I’m the youngest – and stockiest – of three, and my two older sisters have literally been models. One of them still is, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyhow, super-skinny-Megan came into my room one day and passed my mother’s observation on to me. My immediate reaction was to walk into the bathroom, pull off my big chunky sweater, and stare at my middle. Scrutinize my thighs. Lift and pluck at my buttocks, quite aware of how deflated it was. I observed the skin attaching my chin to my neck and thought that it used to tuck in more. A couple years ago. I recalled in middle school how everyone would gawk at how skinny my underdeveloped body was – and that trauma had already been remedied by my massive breast growth sophomore year of high school. One year ago. It seemed I hadn’t stopped. I poked at my pink, rotund cheeks and hated myself. I thought of all the sweets and carbs I’d stuffed into those cheeks, making me so ugly that it had to be reported to me by my family, so that I wouldn’t have to hear it from a stranger. I thought about how thin and long my sisters were, and how they never seemed to have any trouble keeping the weight off. That was the first time I started to starve myself. I banished my muffin-top upon exiting high school – I never reached over weight, mind you. I simply got chubby, and ergo became the fattest person in my household – without ever being what anyone considered “fat”. Simply approaching the label in a way that reflected the societal fear of gaining weight. After the freshmen 15 hit me in college, I went through another phase of severely restricting my diet. It was hard at first, but eventually I could go weeks with minimal eating. In the summertime, it was worst, because I always felt my body was on display. It was also easiest, in a fucked way, because the heat naturally relaxed my appetite, making the transitions into week-long fasting easier. Oh – and I never acknowledged that what I was doing was anorexia. It was always “control” or making up for a month of eating normally. That fact changed when I started dating a girl who did the same thing. She’d express to me that she hadn’t eaten all day almost gloatfully, and I’m sure she was just barely holding herself back from outright boasting. She was a year younger, and as our relationship continued into her time in college, it became the excuse for why she wasn’t eating. “The food here is gross” “I’m starving on this food plan”. I knew she was doing it to herself, but I kept my mouth shut, because I was doing the same thing. Except I wasn’t talking about it. She and I would smoke weed together, as I entered that phase of my life, and I experienced the munchies for the first time. I would be filled with ravenous abandon… and hate myself the next day. It wasn’t until I started tripping that I came to recognize my starvation habits for what they were – anorexia nervosa. bulimia nervosa. Since those realizations, I started making efforts to eat with health in mind, and to make going to the gym a regular habit. I still sometimes starve myself despite these lifestyle changes.
  2. My digestive tract is extremely sensitive, probably from the abuse it endures. So it isn’t uncommon for me to become flatulant for hours in end. And not the cute skinny girl kinda flatulant. The kind that makes you look around for the fat guy with a chill cheese dog piled high with melted carcinogen cheddar and refried beans, stinking onions that were scooped out of a plastic quart container incubating methane producing bacteria in the heat of summer, guacamole with garlic presiding as the overriding stench,  bacon bits that have cohered into clumps from the accumulated grease and fat that hangs off them – coating each ‘bit’ with a slimy membrane of “flavor,” all topped with some sliced jalapeños (also deep fried) to provide the spark the lights the fire in your anus. And this happens at the drop of a hat for me – I’ll be fine one minute (when I’ve gone a stretch of not eating), then one soy chai latte later, and I’m exuding a never ending stream of those farts that totally feel wet, but you go to bathroom to make sure and wipe your ass and it’s just the usual amount of unclean. I have a little dressing on my salad? Flash-forward an hour, then you’ll come to, neck deep in the algae encrusted muck of a fetid swamp in the heat of August, nestled in a mushroom field, encircled by fertilizer rich cattle, both grazing and heaping into the stagnant air. What little moisture remaining in the bog is summoned by the temperature to emerge on the surface, instantly evaporating into a corporeal breath that continually chokes and gags you. And just when you’re certain you’ll lose consciousness from suffocation, a garbage truck rolls in, wayward from the highway, and brimming high with chaotic, torn garbage bags (probably not glad bags). Upon impact with the boggy earth, the truck is stayed and topples over, burying your head, olfactory senses and all, into the week old crab platter a family of seven dined on, mingling with overcooked – now sour – bean curd and undigested beschemel. These, the demons clawing about in my bowels.

(Will be updated over time, as my self esteem cyclically plummets, naturally exposing me to more fettered insecurities that my consciousness has been harboring… Stay Tuned for #3!)

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Everything I Don’t Want People to Know About Me (Part 1)

Dear Brian,

I got your thoughtful note, in response to my startling revelation on Thursday night. We were going around the circle, sharing things we didn’t want anyone to know about us. Will, who’d suggested the activity to our Spiritual Seeker group, started off with, frankly, a lame ice breaking revelation that he hadn’t brought his dog to the past two sessions, because after it had growled and pounced at me [two sessions ago], he was embarrassed and felt it a poor reflection of his training. Basically, it was an illogical insecurity he harbored that we all instantly stifled with affirmations to how much we loved the mangy beast, and how a dog acting on instinct could never be a bad reflection of his training (Oh, perish the thought!), because dogs are individuals prone to fits of territorial paroxysms, just as humans can be (it’s a spiritual group, remember?). As everyone flooded Will with good vibes and chakra strengthening thought beams, I was incubating within myself a ploy to up the ante; to reveal something meaningful that many could relate to, in order to spur confessions that could get us somewhere – in order to reveal our deepest fears and anxieties that our insecure psyches clutch in crooked fingers, knurling into the fetal position with barbed knuckles divaricating about all that we want to remain secret, as we pull it behind the shadow of our physiognomy, brows and eyelids cleft and cusped, respectively, darting towards any threat to our private let-downs.

I wanted to blow this wide open, and I considered it a challenge to myself, to be the one to breakdown the barrier of the ego. As my mind flooded with ideas of what I could divulge to others and still save face with the contrived personality I had projected over the months, everything from the mild crush I had on *everyone* in the group to suicidal tendencies entered and were quickly chased out of my mind with a flailing dish towel that offered melee whips to my ego at the thought of revelation. The moment my mind flitted to the anorexia I’d combatted most of the summer, I knew it was the one. Easily relatable to anyone that has struggled with self esteem, and yet an equally difficult chink of my armor to be flashing at a bunch of strangers that I read and discuss books with on a monthly basis. I waited for the silence that followed Will’s submission, and staring straight at the table, spoke: “I’ve struggled with anorexia since high school, and still sometimes starve myself.” I waited for the stuttering admissions of self hatred, the staggered promulgations of other self-esteem motivated self-inflicted suffering. I heard silence. My vision burned holes of embarrassment into the table, while boiling the stress induced water that was never too far from my eyes. The craters of embarrassment quickly transformed into fiery portals to hell, as – still without a word spoken – Alyssa extended a box of Kleenex (with lotion) towards me. I waved it off, still waiting for anyone to speak – anything.

“Is there anything we can do to help?”  – except that.

Uh, YEAH. You can fucking admit to me all the fucked up parts of your life, so that I’m not sitting here feeling like the only person that’s ever done shameful things because I didn’t like myself as I was. ALYSSA.

“No, I’ve been really good with it for the past six months”

“Thank you for sharing your struggle, that took a lot of strength for you to say” Kera remembered her mouth, snapping her gaze from the floor to my tinged red eyes.

“No, it felt kinda…good.” Saving face, saving face – see guys it wasn’t that hard. I’m not screaming internally and perching my hopes like a Disney animated turkey vulture on your parallel self hatred. Half smile, to demonstrate how   *good* it feels to unsuture your festering personality in front of strangers so that they can gawk at the odors of decay.

“SO, were you ever bulimic?” —Stefan, not a week out of a mental institution, in his mental downward spiral often resembles a child in both behavior and physicality. Freakily enough, as the boyfriend and housemate of Alyssa, he has basically taken on the identity of Alyssa’s child, as she quickly turns to chastise him for such an insensitive question.

Just somebody go next, I’m tired of all discernments being fixed on my averted gaze, or *suddenly* agazed with the pillow cover at their elbow. Everyone is embarrassed for me. I shouldn’t have said shit. I should have dug up some meaningless obscurity about my life that no one will ACTUALLY care about, so that we can all go on pretending to heal our emotional wounds and drive home feeling *real good about ourselves for conquering our emotional traumas through sharing it with strangers*.

Stefan: “Well, you all know how my life has been for the past week.”

Alyssa strokes her baby on the head with a crook’d neck and soft doe eyes, “Yes, you’ve been dealing with a whole lot of paranoia, babe. But that’s all okay now” She speaks to him as though he were either hard of hearing or an actual infant, long slowly paced wording punctuated with understanding nods.

Stefan gulps down the last of a home-brewed beer out of a Ball mason jar. “Yeep, I’m on Seroquel now, BELCH”

Yeah, fair game Stefan. Fair game. Stefan is probably the winner of the activity, as we’ve all been pretty privy to the shit storm his mental state has been for the past few weeks. Hell, the past few years. He used to be engaged to a cute lil girl, until one day she came home to him rambling about the aliens that were contacting him through his dreams. Fast-forward three years, and it’s only gotten worse. He no longer talks about the aliens, but I suspect it has a lot to do with how many times people have told him it was all in his head. I think if I have faith for anyone, it’s Stef.

Zach spoke. “Some of you who know me,” the man I spent Valentines Day with, frantically copulating in the field that introduces my house, underneath a pine tree that played more of a role in the love making than I’d care to admit, followed by a two hour drive to Cape Henlopen during which I unsuccessfully sucked him off, eventually skinny dipping in the frigid Atlantic, then nakedly cuddling about a fire on the dunes, was hopefully now going to cover my pride with an equally humiliating confession “Know I’m not even on a speaking basis with my parents, and I spend most of my time alone in the woods. So, what I don’t want anyone to know about me is that I am extremely incapable of being vulnerable.”

“Same,” Alyssa tacked onto his “confession” quick as a fly swatter.

*Cue sarcastic applause in my head.

Well, well. That sounds like something you should have said when Will was ensuring everybody would be comfortable participating in this activity. It really isn’t that difficult to say, ‘Hey, you know what Will? All the tearful admissions of internal guilt and shame and fear sounds real nice and all, but I’m just not feeling it right now. Let’s play Buddhist Monopoly instead,’ now is it??

Now that everyone’s gaze was agreeing with Zach’s pussification, I allowed mine to rise from the table and reel about the traitorous faces. They settled on yours Brian, still fixed disquietly on the floor, flooding it with anxiety. If I’d been observing you in any other context, Brian, I would have been certain from your stare that the floor were actual lava which you were frantically, within the statue of your body, deducing the best way to maneuver. I sent accusational darts into your soul for a comfortable 30 seconds, knowing you wouldn’t dare let those brown orbits settle on mine. I would have sent them into your soul for longer, dear Brian, had my lover man not risen from his seat on the floor and squeezed next to me in the armchair, offering a comforting cuddle – most likely out of shame for not having the strength to admit part of his struggle in my presence as I had. As I took in the resumed shameful quiet, the cynic in my head marched about with freedom, careening in threatening circles around my internal victim. The town crier of my soul became the drunkard at the bar who slurs in the faces of Flyers fans when they inevitably lose a game, proclaiming his own team’s victory in boastful insinuations. Oh, so that’s it. I’m the strong one, eh? Of course everyone here’s struggled with self esteem – but the self abasement by admitting it? ‘Nah, we’ll leave that for whoever goes first. Let them be the “strong” one,’ except I’m not strong and your silence proves it. My so-called avowal was probably one of the most gilded confessions I’ve ever had. To be perfectly frank, I wanted to hear some dirt on all of you – EXPECTED to hear some dirt on you. And that’s exactly why my revelation was anything but strong. You can bet to hell that I would have kept my Irish-Catholic-Shame mouth fucking SHUT if I thought you were all gonna pussy out on me.

Will Spoke. “Well, I have something to share,” you already went? “A couple years back – some of you’ll remember this – when I cashed that bad check?” I’m not one of those people, bud. Will nods, eyes meeting recognition in Zach, Alyssa and Stefan’s faces. “Yeah, I actually considered suicide at one point. I was in a really bad place with all the court proceedings and explaining it to my parents and da-da-da.  I was paranoid man, every time I heard the gravel crunch on the driveway, I knew it was the cops. I remember standing in front of the judge and he was just talkin’ at me and talkin’ at me, and I couldn’t understand what I did wrong, you know? And that was just the first court date – I didn’t think I could do it – livin’ with the feeling that at any moment a cop car could just pull up and..   take me away.” Will let his eyes sink to the floor, normally such an emphatic talker. “Yeah, one night I got really close and I ended up callin’ a suicide help line,” his expression, still on the floor changed slightly. “Yeah, they put me on hold – – it was a really fucked up experience” alright Will, I see you. I see you lifting the mood by loosening everyone up with your story-telling ways while simultaneously calling my anorexia ante. You’re not so bad, Will. 

After everyone had a laugh at the prospect of a suicide help line prioritizing their suicides, the atmosphere was less forced, and the group quickly transitioned to what the next meeting should discuss. It was then that I realized that two of the seven members – Kera and you, Brian – would not even trouble themselves with any admission at all. I greedily returned to the rage in my starvation-maintained stomach.

So that’s it? BULLSHIT. I know all of you have struggled with SOMETHING – if not low self esteem. I meant to say what I said as a conduit for you all to express things you’ve been repressing. I’ve never told anyone, including family, about my *struggle* and what would really make me feel better about it is to know that I’m not alone, or for someone to relate THEIR struggles with self esteem and destructive habits. It would have felt far less humiliating to know that you guys have also grappled with that type of shame-induced behavior. I only realize how un-strong I am from seeing that expectation go unfulfilled. It would have been an ACTUAL strong action of myself if I had been able to admit to being so insecure about getting fat to the point that I starved myself without needing others to admit things on par with it, and I didn’t realize that fact until just the opposite happened. I can understand people being uncomfortable with making themselves vulnerable, but I also feel as though that type of insecurity should have been disclosed before anyone else admitted to something, uh idunno, seriously embarrassing like that – In fact, I feel kind of bamboozled that my admission was met with a handful of tentative confessions of inability to actually participate in the activity. A bunch of cop-outs, really. Will described the activity (that he’d done the week before in Men’s group) as a tear jerking time where everyone divulges their deepest secrets – everyone. From that, I thought my divulsion would be the first of seven, and it ended up being the first of two. Ha-ha that’s not to say that I don’t feel different from it – no, sir. Now that I know the world is full of a bunch of pussies, I certainly will not allow other people’s cowardice to make a fucking fool out of myself. And that certainly doesn’t mean that I’m going to keep my secrets inside in the future – should you be so lucky. Nope, I will continue to reveal uncomfortable parts of myself to others – for the same reason of helping them to feel less shame in their own lives – but I’ll do it without the expectation of hearing any of their trauma. And without further ado, here’s everything that I don’t want anyone to know about me:

(continued in Part 2)

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