It's Friday. I should post but I’ve got nothing.
Actually, that’s not true. I have lots to say. My friend is in town and we have been solving all my problems and eating and thinking deep thoughts and generally just spending time being awesome.
But there have been a lot of thoughts and a lot of possible life paths we’ve discussed taking and a lot of sharing of our feelings and stories and fears and last night, a lot of booze, so today I’ve got nothing. Nothing solid that isn’t going to come out deep and unfinished and pretentiously laughable. I’m not saying my usual posts aren’t deep and unfinished and pretentiously laughable, just that I can’t form any one thought into my usual pithy blurts.
So, it’s Friday and I’ve got nothing to say. But, let me tell you, I’m having a whale of a time coming up with that nothing to say!
Husband likes to say I don’t know any normal people.
I was going to write a post proving him wrong but I couldn’t think of a single friend who didn’t have something wacky in their past. So, Husband might be right.
But Husband can’t talk. He’s taken to doing this to the dog. That ain’t at all normal.
When you have a hangover - and let me tell you, as one who is fond of fuzzy drinks with the fruity flavors that taste delightful until I try to stand and realize that I have no legs, I know hangovers. When you have a hangover because you were stupid enough the night before to drink your weight in liqueur and have the throbbing aftermath to remind you of that foolishness, you know the smart thing to do is drink large amounts of water to combat the poison you willingly put in your body. But, despite knowing that dehydration is the enemy not your pulsing head, you cannot bring yourself to put the glass of water to your lips because the waves of nausea threaten to overcome you with every stale boozy breath.
Or when you feel the tickle of a migraine start to creep its way around the base of your neck and begin to crawl toward your eyes and you know the thing to drink a large glass of water, chug a pill and put yourself in a quiet room until the threat passes. Without fail, you always brush off that rock solid history of prevention and push on until the migraine grips your eyeball and squeezes out the color of the day. And then, when the booming pulsing beat of your heart tattoos in your temple and you’re pretty sure that light will kill you if it touches any part of your face, you regret your decision. When moaning low and pitifully under your breath is the only thing that feels productive but then you have to stop because the stabbing knife of pain is back, you know it is too late. You know that all you can do is ride it out or wait until your wishes are answered and you actually die right then and there.
Well, depression is like that. It’s like that glass of water you cannot choke down because you are in so much agony. It is like that migraine, too loud and painful to see there will be a tomorrow. You cannot get past the waves of nausea or the stabbing pain or out of the well of sadness. It obliterates all hope. You feel so wretched, so alone; there is no doorway out. Every breath takes in more of the dark as you sink to the bottom in the swimming pool of doom. And all the while, you are aware that the key is to not be alone. You know that the cure is to leave the bed, the couch, the house and be anywhere but in yourself. The antidote is to surround yourself with people who value you; people who prop you up, people who will make you feel the love, the hope, and the light.
But you cannot do that. You know that you should. But you cannot do that.
You put yourself in a dark room and contemplate the end of the earth. You spend time looping through mistakes and revisiting wounds and sinking deeper in the hole. And, when you remember to breathe, you moan softly under your breath just to hear something other than the screaming in your brain.
But I have people who will not let me sink. I have people who urge me to sit with them, to just do nothing but be with them outside of my pit of despair. I have people who share their own stories of darkness with me over tacos and sweet tea and remind me I’m not alone in this. I have people who send me art that reminds me to squint out the icky stuff. I have people who post videos of owls getting massages and glass toilets and snarky sexual innuendos that make me giggle. I have people who let me hang out with their two-year olds and let them become my people too. I have people who fly across the country to eat chocolate chip pancakes and take pictures of sunsets and watch septuagenarians do interpretive dance. And I have Husband who will force hug me despite my protests and say ridiculous things that make me laugh and will gently hold his hand out and wait for me to climb out of the dark.
I have people.
Much like the migraine or the hangover, I know the depression will pass. I know this, every time I lie immobile on the couch, cocooned in my darkness. I know this as I remind myself to inhale and exhale. I know this when I cannot find the way out. I know this.
Not always. But right now, I know this; I have people.
Thank you, people.
Two years ago this week we came to Nashville on a look-see to find out if it would be a place we could live. Obviously that visit went well because we went home to California, sold the house, packed up and moved here. It has been a bumpy road at times and I have felt all the feelings one can feel about a move to what is essentially a foreign country when coming from politically correct California. But we’re here now so these changes, these differences I have to roll with or embrace with all I am and that makes me "Feel all the feelings." as my friend, Nicole likes to say.
In our crowded suburb in California, a red tailed hawk was a rare thing. And if one happened to visit, it was accompanied by a flock of angry crows, cawing their dislike. Crow in California were not a rare thing. Neither were roof rats, pigeons, squirrels and assholes.
Here in Nashville - where we live (as my friend Jen says) five minutes from a grocery store and ten minutes from downtown - not only are red tail hawks a daily sight while I’m out and about, we’ve got one living and hunting in our yard. Along with the coyotes, owls and deer who make our yard home, we are a veritable wild animal zoo. More often than not, we get to see a hawk or owl swoop down and grab a chipmunk or squirrel for dinner while we’re standing in the window cheering. In California, it was mostly pesky squirrels stealing tomatoes from our plants while we shook our fists at them and ran out to throw things at them.
The deer that spend the night in the yard or wander through for breakfast and dine at my freshly planted trees still amuse me. Yesterday, Husband spotted three bucks eating whatever from the piles of brush I’ve yet to clean up at the bottom of the yard. He posted the picture on Facebook and it was very clear who lived in sunny California and got their meat at the grocery store and who lived in Tennessee and got their meat by hanging out in a hunting blind with a bow and arrow. In case it wasn’t clear, our friend Bob (totally not his real name) posted a picture of what parts of the deer go where.
Husband looked up whether to see if Bob could actually hunt in our backyard and the answer is, yes. Yes you can hunt a deer in our backyard.
We are very much not in California anymore.
You can also, by the way, pick up road kill and eat it. That is apparently an actual law on the books. And it’s very possible it’s still totally illegal for Husband and I to be married, with me being a ‘negroes, mulattoes, or persons of mixed blood, descended from a negro to the third generation’ and Husband being ‘white persons’ and therefore our ‘intermarriage…. inclusive of their living together as man and wife in this State is prohibited. The legislature shall enforce this section by appropriate legislation.’
So that’s awesomely terrifying.
Also on the ballot right now is an amendment to ban abortions no matter the reason - even if the mother's health is at risk or the child is a product of rape or incest and the psychological fall out would be devastating. The fact that the majority of the folks with their signs telling us to vote yes on the ban also have signs up for politicians who want less government. They don’t seem to see that government watching wombs across the state is the total opposite of what they are preaching...
So, yeah... there's that here in Tennessee. And let me tell you, I don't like any of the feelings that brings up.
Anyway, Husband offered our decaying tree fort as a hunting blind for Bob, while has Bob offered to share the meat. I’m pretty sure I’m now a vegetarian. Well, as long as fried potatoes count as vegetables. If not, then I’m a cookie-tarian.
And, I’m voting the government out of my womb - which, ironically, I don’t have anymore.
Feeling all the feelings.
I was in a FOWL mood on Monday. Like kicking inanimate objects and then cussing when they hit back fowl. And I mean fowl not foul BTW. I mean mean fuzzy headed chicken pecking fowl. I put myself in time out and tried to stay away from anyone and anything that I could upset with the wrong word or the right word said in the wrong way.
And then I got this in the mail -
And inside was this -
And the world was right again.
Because my friend Denise – her real name because she is so awesome and deserves to have people know that – has been sending me little gifts and art that seem to always arrive at the darkest time of my roller coaster emotional life. She’s sending me these things because one of those things that went around on Facebook at the beginning of the year about sending ten people something you’ve made.
"A brilliant idea!" I thought when I shared it and ten folks signed up for an arty gift from me.
"A stupid idea!" I thought when I realized it was October and I wasn’t even close to making something, let alone having a freaking clue what I should, could and would make. Good thing I can’t remember a single person I promised to gift with my creative good.
But Denise, Denise is winning – not only with quality and quantity but also with her timing. Denise remembered an obscure thing I said a few posts ago about life being good when you squint away the icky stuff and she made it into ART. Denise is awesome that way. She listens and then takes feelings and makes them pretty.
Denise has always been fantastic at making things into art. For our first house, she made a fantastic book/photo album for us.
I mean look at the thing! Isn't it a wonder to behold? It's held together with an actual paint stirrer from Home Depot AND nuts and bolts! She even made windows. And a door that OPENS! In fact, we used this book to show immigration that Husband and I were really married not Green Card married. And I think the immigration guy was SO impressed, he ignored the "we met online" and "got married in Vegas" stuff and the fact that Husband is Scottish and I am crazy and gave us the "Welcome to America temporarily" card anyway. How cool is that?
So on your worst days, I hope you have a Denise in your life. Because with people like Denise helping you squint away the icky stuff, life IS good. GO DENISE!!!
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me