Monday, July 28, 2014

true story

The other day the kids are I were walking.

We passed by a small group sitting in a small yard in front of a small house. They appeared to be enjoying the effects of  more than a few beers. They were sitting in a semi-circle, two skinny scruffy dudes with regrettably unbuttoned shirts and un-regrettably buttoned pants and a large woman in a tight tank top and shorts, a shiny tan, a perm and a cigarette. They were sitting in those cheap white plastic chairs you can buy at the Walgreen's. The chairs with the thin legs that feel as though they will bend or break if you so much as shift your weight or fart. The chairs you see on their backs by the side of the road  road on garbage day with three legs in the right places and a jagged stump where the fourth had been until Jimmy wiggled in his seat trying to dislodge a wedgie. 

One of the scruffy men was carefully speaking in a slow motion slur that sounded raw and sore like a rug burn. This is what he said; "They rollllled me outa the ammmm-u-lance, an she was there an she lit a cig-a-rette and she STUCK it right in my mouth, an I took a long drag on that cig-a-rette...(he lit an actual real cigarette and took a long drag followed by a long satisfied exhalation to show how he smoked the smoke she stuck in his mouth) an' thhhhhennnn, the guard said..." 

Then we rounded the corner and were out of earshot. We'll never know what the guard said or why there was a guard in the ambulance, we'll never know who the cigarette lady was, (wife, girlfriend, mother?) or why the dude was in the ambulance in the first place but it's fun to think about.

Which brings me to my important point: life be an absurd ensemble performance piece and you are an actor and an audience member at the same freaking time! I want to shake everyone by the lapels because this is important. YOU"RE PART OF THE SHOW while at the same exact time  YOU'RE WATCHING THE SHOW.

Seriously, dude. Front row seats and your name in the program. Just make sure you're not sitting in one of those flimsy plastic chairs, unless that's part of your shtick.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

take time to smell the ducklings...or something like that

The other day I was walking downtown, I was in a hurry. While crossing the little bridge over the stream, I saw a family of ducks swimming around. A young mom and her two little kids were walking by, they looked to be in a hurry, they didn't look particularly happy but I took a chance and said, hey! did you see the ducks swimming in the stream? And they said, huh? And I pointed at the swimmy ducks and the mom and kids said, " CUTE!!" and the little kids laughed and the mom thanked me and it was sweet and I'm glad I took a chance; I could have been mistaken for a weirdo but wasn't and ducks! Yeah.

Today I was in a hurry again, I seem to be in a hurry always, and yet I took a moment to stand on the bridge and look at the ducks. The babies are getting bigger and soon they'll move out, go to college, get jobs, and tattoos and beak grommets or whatever, and so I'm glad I took a moment out of my crazy day to look and see the ducks while they're still youngsters. 

I realize I often don't take time to stop and see what's going on around me. I will be lost in my own head for days at a time. I think I'm seeing the people around me, but a lull in action brings me up short, I'll find myself staring at one of my kids and they'll appear so different, as though they matured overnight, I'll think, when the hell did they get so grown up? Then I realize I've been looking at them but not seeing them and some significant amount of time has passed. Where the hell was I? 

This is human nature, and so I'm stifling the urge to wind this whole thing up neatly by saying something like, "Take time to really see the world, because things change so gosh darn fast, ducks, kids, grow up, you're missing it all blah blah blah blah." But I will refrain, because damn it, if we kept ourselves continually open to the wonder of it all all the fucking time, we'd go insane. Maybe then the real lesson is to be aware that we need to tune out sometimes, it's okay as long as we consciously check back for a few minutes in on a regular basis, and from time to time we can risk pointing out the ducklings to other people and hope that a nice passerby might do the same for us.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

sunshine, blue skies, expiration dates, and the rattling sad

I haven't written in a long time. Facebook updates, no matter how quirky, cute, droll or witty do not count as writing. My facebook posts have not been particularly quirky, cute, droll or witty, but pathetic attempts to reach out to humanity, passive aggressive entreaties for comfort, compassion and money. Kidding about that money part.

I've been a little blue. I've said it before and I'll likely say it again and again, depression is a fuck...a bad fuck. Some of the sad is due to sad things happening in the world, in the bigger world  (right wing nut bags, right wing nut bags with guns) and in my own small world; my mom is ill and I've been trying to take care of her and my kids, my marriage, my house, my dog, my lawn, my garden, my hopes dreams aspirations and sanity. I haven't talked about it publicly, but my dad is ill. Very ill. It appears my parents might both be gearing up to depart this earthly plane soon. It's just a matter of time and stubbornness, who's gonna go first. I visualize dueling his and hers grim reapers, or my parents as human milk cartons with fast approaching expiration dates. I also imagine my parents in the same room (they haven't been in the same room since February 1st, 1998) arguing about who's checking out first. In my weird fantasy, each one is cursing the other while gasping their last. "Screw you, John," Mom says to Dad, "I'm not giving you the satisfaction of dying first. You're not going to win this thing! I'm gonna watch you die first if it's the last thing I do!" and my dad will say something like, "Over my dead body." This makes me smile a little. What can I say. I spend a lot of time in my own weird dark little head.

But back to the subject at hand: I'm trying to make peace with the dysthymic aspect of my aspect. It's just a part of me. If I was an apple, instead of seeds I'd have little tear shaped shiny blue-black beads rattling around in my core.

When I was a kid my favorite character of all time was Eeyore. I loved him more than any other. I figured if Eeyore and I ever met, we'd be sulk-buddies, we'd mope, sigh and slouch around together. It would be awesome. I've always been a little sad, a little weird, drawn to sad weird things, broken and worn things. It's just how I came into the world. Not good or bad, just so.

Introspection and an appreciation for the sad stuff doesn't have to be a bad thing, as long as I remember I'm not a bad thing for being drawn to the stuff I'm naturally drawn to.

Thinking I'll be happy when I can finally kick depression to the curb and break it with a quick kick to the skull with my boot is about as dumb as saying I'll be happy as soon as I grow another couple inches. I'm 46, I'm on the short end of things and I'm getting ready for the great shrinkage. I am never ever going to be any taller than I am today. My height is a fact, and changing it is not going to happen. Being a melancholy baby is just as absolute. I can put on high heels and totter around but that doesn't make me a tall gal. I can paste a smile on my face and whistle a happy tune, but that doesn't change me.

So, I guess I am going to have to find a way to honor the rattling blue-black sad at my core. Maybe by accepting the sad, I will find a my own kind of happy. Denying one's intrinsic nature leads to shame and shame is depression's right hand man. Accepting the true self is good. So perhaps the sad without the shame could lead to sad without bone marrow deep despair. Dunno. Worth a try.