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29 June 2015 @ 02:58 am
last known photograph  
friday night went badly, as in: collapsing naked onto the balcony in a gelatinous mess of mid-life crisis pathos. metaphorically speaking, about the balcony. ben did install full length sun shades out there in part so, should this truly become a necessity for either of us, we’d be able to do it in reasonable privacy. all the same, we are in a part of the complex that faces toward a fairly popular road and the shades aren’t as concealing or wind-proof as they could be. plus sometimes the downstairs neighbor lets his cat out and we'll see her down there, looking up at us through the slats, and that's just awkward.

being a gelatinous mess of mid-life crisis pathos is maybe a little tired, but it’s also weirdly like being under the influence of some altering substance or behavior - sex, sensory deprivation, spinning the backyard into lines, drinking cough syrup to the extent of weird geometry - so, of course, i’m into it. hallucinationing is my favorite, even when it’s hallucinationing emotions. which is what a lot of this mid-life crisis business is. until it goes to far into the territory of “judy’s inevitable mortality which, as already described, is most assuredly inevitable, and while she does accept this, she’s a bit unnerved about the possibility of a summit occurring in her body right at this moment wherein a treaty might be ratified and the whole shebang assaults her in an abrupt implosion of abnormal cells and liquifying innards at maybe like eleven o’clock this saturday morning,” which, late friday, it did. get out of control like that, i mean. fuuuuuck.



could this be why so many women my age dominate thyca support groups with conversations about their potential for continued fertility after a total thyroidectomy? i know it is a concern. especially for women who haven't even turned twenty. but, seriously, i've seen six threads in one day asking basically the same question and it's always the same. it doesn't seem helpful. i didn’t have any babies before team cancer harvested the crown jewel of my endocrine system, respondents say. then everyone on the other side of this struggling woman's question discuss, at length, how many babies they've had since. sometimes the same people say the same things on every single thread. as if this is the only factor contributing to one's fertility (IT IS NOT). the worst part is that there's just as much marginalization of women who cannot get or stay pregnant by women who can: don’t you worry, pretty lady, they sure ain’t takin’ out your uterus! [pictures] relentless oversimplification and focusing in on the pixels. it makes me very angry.

all the same. could it be, in some cases, that these woman, survivors like me, would like to think about their body exploding with something other than cancer? why, i think it might, and i certainly understand and mostly appreciate this. i’m still not falling for it. i've served as "son of mom: first blood" for the majority of my life and sure, it's rewarding, also exhausting, but nieces and nephews are even more rewarding for me. besides, i'd like to spend a few years of my life figuring out how to be a person outside of a caregiver dynamic before i need to go back into it to assist loved ones as they leave this world. far as exploding goes i’ll stick with orgasms, but gosh sometimes it would be nice to think about my personal petri dish incubating something other than my horrible demise.



clearly, there need to be management techniques. a few years back i had a day like this and the helpline adviser suggested ice cubes as an alternate to cutting and i thought, hmm, but the freezer is downstairs, in the kitchen, where my boyfriend’s mother is cooking, and she is both relentlessly inquisitive and joyfully in the dark as to her son’s girlfriend’s very messed up history and surprisingly unhelpful behaviors; whereas! the nearest box cutter is on the work table, in the next room, and hey i got these fingernails right here on the bed with me, even, if i don’t feel like walking that far. so maybe what i should do instead of any of those things is put on driving gloves (them things ain’t in my nightstand drawer for the kink) and watch kwaidan instead. which i did. crisis averted. i can be taught! the truth of it is, things don't necessarily get this bad a whole lot, now. i've figured out ways to navigate, intercede, or at least distract my attention from the worst of it; it's called 'doing my homework,' and it seems to help. but i'm not getting cocky about it. because sometimes, like this time, i don’t see the trigger coming so either the homework hasn't been done or it wouldn't have helped anyway. as we all know the angry brain making war with the unprepared heart: that gets a lot more ugly than anything i’d dare attempt with a utility knife. especially when nuclear weapons are involved.

so after 'obsessing about sex,' 'burning shit,' and 'stoically refusing to surrender to tears' didn’t help, i thought, i know what i will do! i will make myself vanish forever by the sheer force of my will. so i got on the computer and tried destroying myself that way for a while, as my unsubscribed readers here may have noticed, sorry. wanna know something creepy? i think one of the reasons i’ve been so resistant to publication is because i can’t easily delete or throw a cloak over my work when it’s in somebody else’s care. in some small way, it’s making my life larger, longer, and more unwieldy. it’s more than i can reasonably exterminate at a moment’s notice. it’s making myself way too visible and that much more vulnerable to assault. which was exactly the language waiting at the bottom of that particular spot of introspection: that much more vulnerable to assault. whoa, dog, girl’s got issues.



so, of course, it is imperative that i keep trying to get things published by other people. unfortunately, most of the editors i’ve gotten stuff in front of are a) are audibly indifferent to it (you might have heard on the news about that unexplained hollow popping sound over carbonale, illinois a couple weeks back? that would’ve been them reading my apparently cursed favorite short-form experimental essay that nobody wants, even though that’s the kind of shit i’m supposed to be really good at and i think it’s pretty damn good), and b) are not going to publish my work because i explain to them in a cover letter that it’s a way to subvert the author's occasional urges toward total self-annihilation. i mean, i haven’t tried it yet. i like to think of myself as possessing at least a modicum of self-respect. for now.

after the computer, which went on maybe a little longer than it should have, i got up, found the kwaidan dvd, and sat on the karlstad, noticing something very particular in the air. i tilted my head to the side, trying to get a better sense of it, and thought, uh oh. that would be me, circling the dead zone just outside one of my worst black holes, so yes, this can get worse and i better start dumping some oatmeal and dark muse and barthes into the void before that comes to pass. recent observation from boyfriend: “the things you find comforting are strange and traditionally disturbing for most of us, but i know you well enough to understand that this is actually who you are and what you need and not you playing at being punk rock.”



yeah, okay, the thing is i watched the muppet movie into extinction well before i hit sixteen. fair number of nights like this in my history. even more nights when i might have successfully used subversion methods to keep things from getting this bad. lot of exposure to comfort materials tends to build unsettling diversity in comfort-targeted materials. plus, you know, sometimes you end up in a landscape where the most comforting thing possible is knowing someone else has been there. better anyway than subjecting myself to a film where attractive and generally happy people have enough resources to deal successfully, in a timely manner, with some ultimately minor problem that doesn't have anything to do with cancer or rape, and they do it over the course of a generally happy adventure involving at least one road trip scene wherein attractive main characters laugh and sing adorably off-key with that howard jones song on the radio. a thousand skeptic hands won't keep us from the things we plan unless we're clinging



around seven, i decided to lie in bed with my eyes shut for an hour and had those weird dreams you have, decaying celluloid projected on a thin screen, when you’re only sort of dozing off after, say, a morning like saturday or three straight days at the hospice watching your very beloved grandmother die horribly of cancer two weeks before you turn thirty. the dream might have involved chasing my sister’s windblown wedding veil across a field on the grounds of a former employer, a spiritual center with a very important cretan labyrinth out behind the building where i worked.

at least it didn’t involve realizing i haven’t attended a single instance of a very difficult class and today it’s the final so i’m driving to iowa city in a winnebago that only has blue oyster cult cassettes in it and i can’t even listen to them ironically any more then i have to parallel park a winnebago and there are narcissistic hipsters eating locally grown organic kale in my dorm room and judging me harshly for using amazon prime so of course everybody likes them more than me and then i have to figure out where the classroom is while my teeth crumble up and fall out of my mouth so i spit them into my klean kanteen in the hopes that i can remedy the situation to the best of my ability later, and yes, that is my actual klean kanteen bottle, dents and all, this cannot be a dream, nope, i better get this done. or i look out the window and suddenly there’s a tornado. or every place i have known and loved has recently been wasted by an atomic bomb. yeah, think i’ll take the veil chasing silent film over that, thank you, however painfully obvious the symbolism might be.



so no real sleep and saturday morning ben glances me over and asks how i’m doing like a proper concerned boyfriend and i very alarmingly disintegrate into a heaving mess of saline and snot all over his sol lewitt shirt. for hours, probably days. he continues to insist i’m not nearly as horrible as i’ve decided and his shirt washed up okay. that was basically where things stopped getting worse, so i probably needed it. i'm incredibly grateful for his love, patience, and compassion. it's decent of people to not get scared of you when you are scary.

sunday, ben needed to assist at a photo shoot for work, so, doing my homework before he left, i thought: i know! i will make my angst productive by presenting it to others in the form of art. i will work on a project! or i will invent a project if, like this mss inspired by tarkovsky’s solaris i’ve been playing at since last summer (tag line: IN LOVE NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM), the current projects i have going seem like unstable mine shafts leading to psychological doom. and i say project, but a lot of the time what i mean by 'project' is “i will start one of the fifty million blank books i’ve amassed over my tenure at assorted bookstores by writing in it in the way i usually write, but i’ll do it in numbered passages with a green pen.” and then i get all excited about how my green pen in the new notebook ‘project’ is going to change lives and offer meaningful insights to beautiful strangers, and i imagine the npr segments, the daily show interviews, the unexpected phone calls from my favorite writers and musicians, and sometimes that can even sustain me through a hollow popping sound over carbondale.



then i thought of the polaroid izone murder mystery project and got excited anyway. see, back when my bookstore was still chain retail in the mall, i spent a lot of time with teenagers and the eccentric arty ones (mutual affinity) had much enthusiasm for these little tiny polaroid cameras that took little tiny polaroid pictures. and i was in the midst of a very miserable breakup with someone who later confessed (in a livejournal comment!) to deriving ecstatic pleasure from my misery, it made his coat so glossy and full! not that this was news to me, no comment. but it struck me that having a new way of making my angst productive by presenting it to others in the form of art - or, at least, a new way of distracting myself with potentially artistic processes - could be marginally more helpful in negotiating what i then considered (HAHAHA) to be an extremely dangerous emotional wasteland than trying to take up smoking (herbal cigarettes, but nope, thank god) or sending sad letters to people who apparently did not want them (whoops). i went with one of my coworkers to target one night after work so i could buy a camera and film cartridges and she could whisper to me theatrically about the boys at the cash wrap. pretty fucking awesome, as attempts to escape my own brain are concerned.

up until about the time stores stopped carrying the cartridges, i took increasingly strange and aesthetically unconcerned pictures of myself and my surroundings and i really wouldn’t want to have to honestly account for any of it under interrogation; this includes the post's user icon. this is what gave me the polaroid izone murder mystery project: i found them amongst my things when we were moving into the apartment and thought, how might one account for these images under interrogation? how could this be a narrative?

guess i’ll let you know.

 
 
 
-deadletters on June 30th, 2015 06:40 am (UTC)
You're composing whole constellations, lately. Reading you is like looking up at a great, full sky at night.
selva oscuraanonymousblack on July 3rd, 2015 02:26 am (UTC)
thank you deeply, dear sir.
Neo Maxi Zoom Dweebiebetweenthebars on July 1st, 2015 12:04 am (UTC)
That's it exactly!
selva oscuraanonymousblack on July 3rd, 2015 02:26 am (UTC)
thank you.
translucentflowerfalls on July 7th, 2015 05:01 pm (UTC)
self-annihilation
I have, for some days, in my own extroverted version, been freaking out about how many people know me. They see me in the grocery store and expect me to talk and have a conversation with them! I am supposed to say words to build upon our friendship, that show I remember our friendship, the conversations we have had previously about their travel plans and work drama. And it is maddening when I want to disappear. But maybe that's the whole point of it. Our connections make it so we never disappear.

Your influence in my life has changed me, for the better. I have repeated insights I have made because of your words to others and I have seen their eyes open wide, too. I have become more comfortable and confident in being a pagan, in my own way. And you inspire me to write. You have shared so much insight into what my mother must have gone through in her quiet way with thyroid cancer. And that's just what I can remember at 7am. And that's just me, one person you have already reached with your writing.

So. Too late, about that self-annihilation thing. People know you. You've already been published, and read, and we all hold onto those threads of Judy that we feel we know and understand and learn from and appreciate. And it's not all of you, it's only threads, but it's pieces of you that are woven into the lives of our children, you're an Aunty to so many.

Not sure if that makes you feel better or worse, heh. But there it is.
selva oscuraanonymousblack on July 11th, 2015 06:08 pm (UTC)
Re: self-annihilation
Thank you for this, K. Thank you so much. ♥