crunchy

I wrote a very horned-up post last night. But underneath that energy was a wild undercurrent of anxiety.

Last night was so weird. I don’t even have appropriate astrology to pin it on.

K was on a date-type thing with someone she hadn’t seen in a long time. In my gut I knew it was going to be weird, that she was going to feel weird (spoiler: she did). She’s super intense with her attention so I also knew she probably wasn’t going to text like she usually does.

Logically, I knew all that. But then it was midnight and I hadn’t heard anything from her. So all my insides lit up like they were on fire. Sleep kind of became impossible.

I read some erotica because I thought it would distract me. All it did was make me feel even more on-fire. Of course.

So I texted a sometimes-lover to tell him about it. He responded by insisting that he come over—NOW. Yes, I’d stoked his fire by talking about princesses turning into slave girls. But the sudden intensity of his blaze still startled me.

He did not come over. It was midnight and I needed sleep or else I’d be worthless.

But K never texted so I did not sleep well, which meant I was still worthless.

Eventually, of course, I did hear from her. She feels terrible and wants to come over, cuddle, care, all of those things she is so good at doing. But I am feeling a little crunchy. It will all be okay, but I need a minute to catch my breath, regain my footing.

Also I don’t really want her to see me cry and I will probably do that if I see her.

Good lord, humans are so complicated. But also extremely simple and primal and beautiful. Now off I go to wrap my big raw nerve of a body back up in a blanket.

the truth of things

Last night got intense.

I watched something extremely stressful before bed and had a rough time sleeping.

In reality that’s all that happened. But “tossing and turning” is too cute to describe what it was: endless panicked thoughts that wouldn’t ease, even with meditating. Flashing worries that every single component of life was being lived incorrectly. Even though that’s not true. Even though yes, of course meditation helped. But where was that instant hit of bliss. Why isn’t it like that. Why is it actually something so much deeper and more subtle.

Why does it make you work for it so hard and not at all. Why do we make ourselves panic when nothing is there. Or maybe that’s just me.

The morning had a completely different mood than the night. It was so much more innocent. Watched a friend’s dog. She lives in my neighborhood, a few streets over. Her dog is sweet and ugly-to-the-point-of-cute. He never left my lap except to go on walks.

It was such a simple shift, being in a space like my own but not mine. Curled up with a little friend. How is that all it takes to feel completely different. It’s how we’re wired I guess.

Over and over we face that cold lonely terror at night. And every time we try to remember that love, warmth, coziness are alchemizing forces against it. Sometimes we remember and sometimes we don’t. But that doesn’t take away the truth of things.

all over the place

My neighbor’s lonely cat yowled constantly for almost an entire week straight. Its crying got longer and sadder until I worried it might be dying. There was a call to animal control. And then a sudden reappearance of the owner.

There was water on my bathroom floor and a constant drip-drip-drip I couldn’t stop. The sound made me feel insane. An extremely gentle plumber came and compared a toilet to a body that needs to be taken care of and nourished, you can’t just expect it to get to 75 years on its own.

There was waking up in the dark, terrified and not knowing what I’m doing. Feeling like I’m not living correctly because I don’t have a partner. But do I? Do I need to know what I’m doing? Does anybody know what they’re doing?

Nobody answers me. There’s just darkness and my own anxiety.

Also, taxes.

I write plays. They were why I moved to New York. On good days, they feel like they are why I’m alive. On bad days, I don’t think they’re very good. On pandemic days, they didn’t even exist. But I wrote a play in lockdown, so I could at least pretend to have voices to listen to.

So now Mercury is not retrograde anymore. Theater exists again. And I am flirting with the idea of sending the play I wrote to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Which would be terrifying. And an adventure. And me making theater again. Just….. in Scotland this time.

Friends smile and say “you should do it!!” And I know they mean well, but if I’m being honest it all makes me want to cry or scream or hide somewhere. But then, you know, I’d wake up in the darkness of my hiding place and freak out over not spending my life correctly.

So, it’s a lot.

Someone get this woman an edible. Stat.

secretly soft heart

When I texted you last night, I wasn’t thinking I was going to see you. But it would be a lie to say I hadn’t missed you.

I walked into my apartment after dinner with a friend, just as you were asking me to come over and have a drink. I ordinarily would not be so impulsive. But it was you.

Next thing I know, I’m in your apartment again and you are making me a cocktail with a clever name. You are deeply shy, and I think that’s beautiful. Sometimes you stared off and got quiet. Your eyes looked like they were a thousand miles from here. A lot of heavy had happened for you recently.

You also love to buzz about and describe things, pull out bottles with elegant shapes and difficult-to-pronounce names. While you were explaining one of them, you poured a little onto your palm and held it in front of me.

“Am I… smelling this?”

“No,” you said, “you’re licking it.”

And I sure did.

I told you later that when you did that, it turned me on so much that I would have let you throw me onto your kitchen counter and fuck me while I licked your fingers.

Instead we fucked in your bed, for four hours. And then you let me sleep over. You slept with your arms wrapped around me. I barely slept.

Which might have something to do with why I’m so tired now that I could cry.

Today marks the first time I slept with two different people in 24 hours. It’s also a day where someone else dumped me and made me feel like shit, even though I wasn’t even that interested.

So, you know. This whole thing is a lot. I don’t really know what I’m doing. You put your heart and body out there wanting to connect with people. And you do, and it feels wonderful. And you don’t, and it breaks your secretly soft heart.

but who takes care of you?

My body feels sensitive, like its edges are blurring and getting fuzzier. Softer.

I woke up in the night and thought it was pain. But pain is too strong a word. It’s just… sensation. Ache. Maybe there is magic in feeling sensitive like this. Excuse me while I drink enough water to fill a bathtub.

Aching on the night of solstice seemed oddly fitting. The edges of day and night blurring together too. The light slowly beginning to spill itself onto us again. A little bit longer every day. A minute more of light makes a world of difference.

My body is crying out for comfort. I curl up in blankets and the cry persists. I sit with the ache, try to comfort it as if I am my own lover, and it starts to melt into warm little shivers. Wanting to retreat from the world and just be still in those blankets for a while.

The dark blue eases into a sunrise and I breathe.

the big explanation

The past few days have been a rollercoaster.

We picked my sister up at the airport. My parents and me. We gave her a huge hug and chattered excitedly with her all the way home. Dad poured glasses of wine and gave my sister a beer. We had cocktails around the tree. The room was soft and rosy and we were all together.

Our parents left the room to go grab various items, go to the bathroom, etc. My sister leaned over to me.

“I think I’m going to tell them my thing in a few minutes.”

I took a deep breath. “Okay.”

“Yeah.” she said. “I want to get it out of the way.”

“It won’t be out of the way. But it will be let go.”

Our parents came back and I pretended I wasn’t about to anxiety-barf. I went into the bathroom and put my hands on the sink, stared into my own eyes, tried to breathe. I came out of the bathroom and it hadn’t happened yet.

“I’m really happy to see you guys.” she said. “I can’t believe it’s been 2 years. It’s been weighing on me.”

Bubbles of reassurance from our parents.

“There’s something I want to tell you. It has to do with me.”

She then went into the single most beautiful coming-out explanation I’ve ever heard. She talked about never having felt comfortable with masculinity. Always connecting more with women. Being so much happier now that she was living as her true self. How everyone close to her in California knows and calls her by her female name and pronouns. Including the company she works for.

She would eventually tell me that her biggest worry with this was that she would get disowned. She had actually made arrangements to stay with someone, just in case she ended up getting thrown out of the house.

During her speech our dad stood up. He said she would always be loved and accepted in this family. That he was so happy for her. He gave her a long bear hug. She started crying. So did I.

My mom asked if she was going to start wearing woman’s clothes.

“Well… yeah. That’s kind of the point.”

About an hour later, my mom was clinging to me and sobbing. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know what she was supposed to do.

“It’s okay.” I said. “You don’t have to know what to do right now.”

The next morning was… tense. My mom was quiet and she is never quiet. Her eyes looked like she had been crying. That never happens either. Seeing her sadness flips some ridiculous switch in my head where I say dumb things and try to make myself the butt of some stupid joke. I have no idea what to do here.

Our parents had planned a surprise visit to a cute hotel by Lake Erie. My sister and I shared a room. Mom and Dad used the wrong name and pronouns the entire time. They didn’t even act like they wanted to try and get them right.

“We’re doing ‘she’ now? Really?” Mom said to me in private. “I can’t do that.”

Yes. We are. That’s the point.

I feel like I am terrible at navigating this. I have no idea what to do. So I’m just going to keep using her name and her pronouns and hope some kind of fucking miracle happens and this tension can start to dissipate, even a little.

Well. Maybe I need to reframe that.

Maybe it’s okay that there is this tension. It’s necessary. Even though it’s horribly painful and I hate it.

Instead of waiting for tension to leave, I need to focus on taking care of myself. But how the hell do I do that when everyone else in this house seems like they’re so much more in need of some kind of care.

I don’t know. But I’m really tired and feeling blue. That’s all I’ve really got to say at the moment.

this is all noteworthy

God forbid we tip the scales and he wonders where I am for once.

Is it possible to feel a lightening and a heaviness at the same time? Like things have shifted position? The problems that had a chokehold on you seem to have loosened their grip. But they still keep that pressure on your throat. Or maybe your PTSD makes it so you are imagining that pressure.

You don’t always feel tired. On Sunday you ran around like a cartoon, in the pursuit of constructing holiday treats. Organized all the ingredients just so and then went a little nuts, got a little creative. Good thing you weren’t baking. Just melting various types of chocolate, pouring them into a tray, and adorning them with nuts, pretzels, peanut butter, etc. Then it hardens and you break it apart until soon you have lovely shards of decadence.

This is all noteworthy because you didn’t feel sad or heavy. Two hours whirred by like nothing. You’re not even sure that you feel sad right now. Loneliness has a low hum like a river in your body but its heaviness ebbs and flows. In the meantime, the sun set today over a clear blue sky and huge trees with branches like thin fingers. And that’s all I have right now.

lucky and lonely

Didn’t think he was going to catch me being sad but he did.

He said he had been sad too.

We hugged and I knew it wasn’t right but I was lonely and his touch was nice.

I thought about being alone in my apartment and it made me cry.

A lot of things did that today.

Surprising things.

Watching Edward Scissorhands and realizing he reminded me so much of you.

The silliness and the sad eyes and the quiet.

Realizing as the music swelled that I really miss you. So much. And crying some more because of that.

What would I even do if I saw you,

Cry?

It had made you so uncomfortable whenever I did that

But I probably would anyway.

And hug you tightly and thank you for everything.

Thank you for being an incredible loving person

Even if it all freaked you out.

You said the city broke you and I understand why. It’s hard and lonely and constant. But it didn’t break you. Not really.

We just need to superglue ourselves back together somehow.

..huff

Full moons are for releases I guess.

This moment was just supposed to be sitting on a deck watching the lake at sunset. But as soon as I sat down, I asked my mother if she was going to call the therapist tomorrow to schedule a first appointment.

She said the same thing she’d been saying every night over the past week: yes. I told her I did not believe her. She did not like that.

Then it all fell out of me. I said she’d been talking negatively about my dad to me, a lot, and it was starting to weigh on me. I could feel it bringing me down and making me feel weird around my dad. I’ve been having my own struggles with him and his memory and his drinking and all these changes he’s dealing with. Having to hear hers too, while I really do want to, is just too much. So I said if she talked to a therapist, they would be a lot more helpful.

She did not like that.

She said I was making it sound like she was bashing him. How there are other people she can take this to, she doesn’t need to talk to me. How she won’t do that anymore.

Sadness suddenly. This was not the outcome I’d been expecting.

I’d poured my heart out about how I was feeling, and instead she made it sound like I was accusing her of something. Then she got really quiet and kept saying things like “okay I won’t do that anymore. I won’t tell you anything anymore. I’ll figure it out. I’ll be fine.”

None of it made me feel any better.

So now I’m sitting in the bathroom with my inner child and trying not to freak out. Trying not to listen to the self-critical thoughts that I just did irreparable damage to my mom and now she’s abandoning me. On top of everything else. I’m sorry, I can’t hold things in and I can’t take this anymore.

Why do blast-offs like this always happen on a full moon.