October 2007

In the unlikely event that the Olympics ever chooses to recognize Speed Flatpack Furniture Assembly as a sporting event, I would like to volunteer to represent my country in the timed Target Bookcase event. I have assembled six of the bloody things in the last couple of days, and I can now whip one together in the time it takes for one and a half contestants to wipe out on Ninja Warrior. I can’t swear to take gold, but I oughta be able to bring home at least a bronze.

And I can promise not to dope, as doing so would probably interfere with the rest of my drugs.

O glorious internet!

Boys ‘n girls, I have internet at home!

Life is…well, not spectacular, precisely, I am still lonely, horny, and unhappy, like a sexually frustrated Eeyore, but it’s a definite improvement. No more piggybacking on the neighbor’s unsecured wireless at Deb’s place. Thank goodness. I was starting to long for the days of my 14.4 modem, a veritable speed demon by comparison.

Most of the bookcases are assembled. I unpacked a number of books, made the usual discovery that I have many more books than bookcase space, sighed heavily, bought more bookcases, unpacked more books, made the same discovery, wondered vaguely where all the books come from–did I really have this many in my old apartment? But I have twice as many bookcases! And I got rid of some books! And more got lost in the mail! Did the survivors breed in the boxes? (That would explain all these Dean Koontz novels I haven’t read…perhaps the unfortunate bastard offspring of an overenthusiastic copy of The Tommyknockers and whatever fantasy novels it happened to catch alone in the bottom of the box…)

And now, to go do laundry at Deb’s. (Deb, who has saved me utterly and earned a permanent free-kidney voucher, is still bein’ cool. The other day, having learned that I did not eat all day last Friday owing to severe stress, she bought three enormous slabs of Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, brought them home, grabbed me by the mostly metaphorical scruff of the neck, and practically rubbed my nose on them, as if I were some peculiar bloodhound required to track lost cheesecakes through the swamp. Food is her way of expressing love. I have required both food and love in great quantity of late, and I shall be eternally grateful for both.)

And then I come home and work like a dog.

Whatever my flaws–and I have so very many, O blog of my confessions, my life is a crazy quilt of fear and foolishness, no less than anyone else’s, I am shy and judgmental, I hold my grudges closer than lovers and I have never yet learned to fold a fitted sheet–still, whatever one may say, this much you gotta give me.

I keep on getting back up.

Sometimes I don’t particularly want to, sometimes I’m not even sure I can, but still. Every time I get knocked down–and believe me, this year has been like going ten rounds with a Kodiak bear–still I get back up. Even when it’s practically an act of masochism. Up we go. Back on your feet. Yes, yes, life is suffering. Buddha got there first. Enough moping, there’s work to do. Work cures all ills. New apartments don’t unpack themselves. You want to brood? Fine, hang the shower curtain while you’re doing it. Feeling some weeping coming on? Here’s an allen wrench. The bookcases need assembling, and they don’t care about human dramas. No need to pretend to be brave for the bookcase. Snivel if you must, but tighten the screws while you do it.

There are probably better coping mechanisms out there, but it’s what I’ve got, and in its own maladjusted way, it works.

So, I’m into the new apartment, and feeling somewhat better, despite living in a labyrinth of boxes, and making all the sinking realizations you make in the course of unpacking. Like the sinking realization that all your pillows are in San Jose, or that all your clean underwear is in a drawer at your buddy Deb’s house, that you have three shot glasses and no knives, or that your assam tea is sitting on top of a microwave twenty miles away, and you’re reduced to instant apple cider to try and wake up in the morning. (This is not particularly effective.)

Still, the new place isn’t bad. Sure, the pipes scream like rabid tea kettles, and the shower knob has about a quarter inch of give between “scalding” and “frigid,” requiring the delicate touch of a safecracker. Sure, there’s no cutlery drawer, and no medicine cabinet, and the double-wide wheelchair accessible bathroom door is in full view of both windows, meaning that one of the chief joys of living alone–not having to close the bathroom door, ever–is problematic.  Still. This is my place.

There’s a few tricks I’ve picked up after more moves than I can count. Hang art. Not all the art, but a couple of pieces at least. Blank walls are dangerous things. Art ties them down and pulls their teeth. Make the bed. Absurd as it seems, a bed with all the pillows and throws and whatnot makes me feel a great deal better. The bedroom is a wreckage of boxes, there is no furniture BUT the bed, but by god, at least something looks good. Get some flowers. And unpack, unpack, unpack.

Best of all, of course, the one great thing–I have Ben back, at long last, and was he ever delighted to see me. He scoured the apartment for ninja holes, checked the boxes carefully (a ninja can survive in storage for up to eighteen weeks, living on styrafoam peanuts and its own urine.) and then located the highest traffic area and laid down in it. Last night, when I finally went to bed, he came in, roamed the bed purring delightedly, and then settled down at my feet. It’s his usual spot, but this time he wedged himself so that the maximum amount of cat spine was pressed against the back of my legs. Every time I moved, he resettled himself accordingly, instead of getting annoyed and stalking off. He didn’t even wake me up to feed him, preferring to stay snuggled full-length against my thigh until it was time to get up.

I’m sure in a few weeks he’ll be standing on my face and yowling at five in the morning, but for now, it’s a wonderful thing.

We get back up. Life goes on.

For various reasons my plans for today fell through, so I wound up at the State Fair with my buddy Linda, who felt (quite rightly) that no one should be brooding when they could be off eating funnel cake and looking at cow butts. And she was entirely correct. I have seen many cool bunnies, a number of cow butts, some very, very pretty horses, and picked up some local pottery to start to replenish my shattered collection. And of course had funnel cake.

Ursula: “Um….is it just me, or does the giant inflatable Geico gecko look a LOT like a giant Sleestak?”
Linda: “OH DEAR GOD.”

writing by the light of burning bridges…

I am as calm and mellow and laid back a human being as they come, but I give up. Sometimes you just gotta say “Fuck it, nothing’s worth this,” and light the match. 

I hurt. Rather a lot, actually. The antidepressants don’t actually interfere with that, which is interesting. If somebody rips off your emotional scabs, they still bleed. (It is more difficult to cry, interestingly enough. Takes awhile to get there, and calm comes in quicker, and settles harder. It is a grey, sullen calm, but still, I am forced to be grateful for it.) 

My hope is that all that seratonin sloshing around will mean that I recover from this with much greater speed. It does not seem like an unreasonable hope.

No, no details will be forthcoming. Too much drama, too much ugliness. I don’t know why I’m writing this, except that every time I write about pain, somebody e-mails me to say that they’re going through it too and reading about it helps a little. So.The bridge has burned. Here is my effort to toast a marshmallow in the embers.

This, too, shall pass.

Long day. Dead on feet.

New apartment’s not bad. Scurfier than my last place–it’s an older building, so the cupboards are haphazard and ancient and the appliances mostly pre-date me. No patio railing, so I’ll have to do something inventive with shrubs and whiskey barrel planters if I want to define any psychological space outside.

But it’s definitely a good bit bigger, and I can plant a birdfeeder and birdbath directly into the ground outside the sliding glass door. And there’s more counter space. And hell, I’m a starving artist–if my digs aren’t at least a little scruffy, I think I have to turn in my beret or something.

Tomorrow evening, I get all my boxes out of Deb’s garage. (Glory!) And then I’ll probably spend a few hours assembling bookcases and my computer desk. Since I am about as mechanically inclined as a retarded peacock, there is a chance that I will be crushed under cheap MDF and spend my last tormented hours attempting to saw my leg off with an allen wrench. If so, O Readers, avenge my death! Go to Staples and kick the display models a coupla times for me!

If I have learned anything in life (and that is debatable) it is this:

Always have a graphic novel proposal ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Better yet, have three.

No, there’s nothing decided, nothing I can talk about, and perhaps nothing will come of anything, but thank god I had those lying around…

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day…

Tomorrow I get into my new apartment! AAAAAAAIIIGH!

Not that I’m, like, counting the hours or anything. (Just a few more. Just a few more.) Deb’s been fabulous, but there’s something about living with a much older friend, in their spare bedroom, that makes you feel vaguely like you’ve moved back in with your parents. Deb’s tendency towards the maternal, while much appreciated during my convalescence, doesn’t help this feeling. “Do you have enough for dinner? How about tomorrow? Do you need more food?” “Yes, Deb. I’m fine, Deb. And I’ll wear a sweater and won’t talk to any strange boys…”

Got a Digger done today, and that was about it–the rest of the day was taken up running errands with Deb and picking up the New Place Essentials (toilet paper, shower curtain rings, paper towels, trash can, dish soap…) There’s a crapload more that I’ll need, I’m sure, all of which I’m probably forgetting, but I live about five miles from a Target, so it’s all good. Light bulbs. Coathangers. Crap, I gotta make a list.  Dishwasher detergent. Bookcases.

Soon soon soon….

Nurk Two’s sample chapters and synopsis met with my agent’s approval, and will hopefully be going to the editor soon. I honestly don’t know if they’ll buy it now, or if they’ll wait until the orders start coming in for Nurk One, but I guess we’ll find out. Here’s hoping!

Soon soon soon…

I picked up some incense. I generally dislike scented candles and incense and all that crap, but there is one single variety of incense I have always loved, which is called “Kyoto Autumn Leaves,” and smells sort of like leaf burning, only…err….pleasant. James hated the stuff because he always thought the house was on fire, and then I couldn’t ever find it again. But I have located it! Life is good!

Soon soon soon….

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