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balance (2): January 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

write indeed

on the topic of nicknames, which was assigned to me in my writing class.

'bird witch' was shy. she was so-called because her nose was long and and so was her chin. she dressed sort of oddly, and her fear of the spotlight led her to avoid even mirrors. her lashes fluttered and she clucked nervously. her tendency to turn slightly purple in the cold and her inability to meet peoples' eyes led most people to think she was sketchy, depressed, or worse even slightly retarded. she was in fact happy and intelligent, just unable to communicate normally upon short notice, never having been properly socialized. her family history (partly hungarian) presumably included gypsy blood. the brood was all restless. she had changed schools about 3 times per year as a kid, and globe-hopped most of her adult life. she'd spent a lot of time alone.

the boys she met in her adopted city of NY loved her anyway. something about her nurturing tendencies. she would gather them around her and cuddle them over drinks. presume to teach them one by one her small mundane discoveries, in her stilted analytical way. her enjoyment of the moment and sense of adventure usually served as a magnet straight to the male friend zone for her (she skipped dutifully toward it almost every time). "you're good", they would tell her. "wanna hang?" they played together like children, poking and joking. it kept her sane.

love, though, she was not lucky with. love seemed to hate her. she was currently roller-coaster dating a guy named 't'. his austrian name was NOT 't'. he was eccentric, rather bubbly, and definitely psychotic, with a public image (talented musician) that kept him afloat and had gotten him his green card. behind his goldi-locks and wide blue eyes was a scam artist extraordinaire. the boys all despised him, but 'bird witch' could not resist. the bottomless pit inside her needed his constant stream of bullshit to feel full. heck, he was keeping her alive in part. but good times were shared between them, chasing novelty, negotiating boundaries, dreaming. one day they would grow apart for sure, but at the moment they were clinging still to the last vestiges of their dysfunctional relationship. he no longer left clothes all over her house or dropped in to raid the fridge. when 'bird witch' would touch him he would flinch. when she wanted sexual... er.... alleviation she had to strike out reflexively at friendly passersby. "but i love you!" he would proclaim with a little awkward twitch that told her he was lying baldfaced. she wasn't sure if she was lying or not when she returned the sentiment. he would cry dramatically at anything he didn't want to discuss honestly. she refused to let him go due to a fear she really was an unworthy 'bird witch' who was doomed to be alone.

'hippo' was 'bird witch's 'nabe', as she called him. he was tall and gangly, with shaggy brown hair and a beak...rather unlike a hippo, in fact. he never seemed to notice her oddity. he had a deep inability to be alone for more than five minutes, and he cheerfully appreciated whoever was around to the extent that he was generally adored. but he was smart enough to pick some favorites out of that devoted crowd, and 'bird witch' and he were like peas in a pod. "we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children" he would whisper to her with a giggle, and 'bird witch' would smack him affectionately, and a little worriedly. "oi oi!". he had grown up a punk kid in boston, and had a sort of skinhead tourette's syndrome- spouting off nazi slogans just to annoy surrounding listeners. (you did have to wonder if it really was a joke, the kid did have to have a dark side somewhere, everyone does, right?). in the daytime he created advertisements for the drugs the pharmaceutical companies wanted to keep you addicted to. at night he obsessively cultivated magnificent aquarium ecosystems. he was dating a smart stubborn redhead with tattoos and a trust fund.

'jdawg' was there too, and this was the gang. 'bird witch' and 'hippo' and 'jdawg'. 'jdawg' was the rather short, thuggish latino with the sensual lips. while being very precise and militaristic in his mannerisms (he was a sergeant in the navy), would make up fantastical stories about those around him, and try to convince them that they were true. "hey baby", he'd text. and it even worked sometimes. enough so that 'bird witch' would forget herself and sniff his neck when she was tipsy. "you'd better make me some pancakes". his shy surprise when she was nice to him always belied something under his hardcore skinhead exterior. he preened like a puppy under her gaze. mostly though, they just elaborated on their mutual stories in friendly text messages, when they were trying to escape their boring classes (in his case) or stifling home office (in hers). or they would clink together their beer mugs in a dive bar. 'bird witch' realized that 'jdawg' was too good to subject to anything beyond friendship.

and so they were, and so it was.

..........damn, i really need to learn to write dialog, and have a point to the story!!!!

p.s. here are pics from belize. i will have to write on here sometime soon about how great it was to connect with my brother there, in a land of abundant sun and sea life!

Friday, January 14, 2011

sheesh

i swear i will post something positive soon, as my last post is really misleading! headed to belize tomorrow morning, with my estranged little brother whom i have not seen in over 10 years. should be...weird!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

wtf

i never hated myself until a few years ago. always my problems in life were due to someone else (my betrayal-happy parents, whoremongering exes, etc.), and i never internalized things, being at heart an optimist who knew i had inadvertently drawn a bad lot in my early life.

then thailand happened (i suppose this is an extension of the last cathartic post). being infatuated by and thus inextricably immersed in a culture that was diametrically opposed to my own was like walking around with a scolding mirror permanently affixed to my forehead in front of my face... so i could constantly see the reflection of my own ugliness- the neurosis, the inability to fit in to normal society, my stupid penchant for believing the lies of people who wanted to divest me of everything i am worth, and lying myself bare to their abuse. my numerous patterns of ridiculous mistakes.

so a few years ago i started having violent flashes- quick daydreams of vicious torture of myself. my flailing at my wrists with slick razor blades in white-eyed rage. my choking myself with clenched fists in blind shrieking fury. my shrugging myself nonchalantly off the edge of a skyscraper. i couldn't escape myself and i wanted me dead.

a few in-depth google searches revealed some fascinating websites on the topic of self murder. from detailed instructions on how to concoct a fatal brew from household chemicals, to an elaborate plan for euthanasia of the elderly by a plastic mask that sucks helium from a tank into grateful lungs, the resources i needed for my planned demise were quite prevalent and usable.

but even in those lonely, anguished depths of dark days (last year) i could not bring myself to give up on life. as much as i despised myself, i couldn't refuse what adventures were sure to be on tap in future. and besides, i am a wuss. i have panic attacks centered around not being able to draw breath, and a petulant intolerance of discomfort. and voluntarily robbing myself of oxygen/life is quite laughable in fact, and really not an option.

and the thing is, death will come for us all, all too soon. and speeding it along is just insanity.

so times like now, when i feel like i just got jipped in every way, when i feel as though if i did do the deed, no one would even notice until my body swelled and burst and leaked sickly sweet smells from the neglected heat of my room, when i feel like i have melted disconsolately into the gravel underneath me and can't seem to consciously re-combine my atoms into a solid, standing, confident state, i realize it is just a passing phase of weakness, and tomorrow will be inevitably be better. and i am trying to work through that nasty hatred of myself which really is startling considering what a good girl i am, and realize that no one is ever perfect and my brain chemistry is a likely culprit. and accept that moving onwards and upwards while i have the chance, the gift, is the only way.

here's hoping tomorrow is another day.

Monday, January 3, 2011

:( ---> :)

at any moment of your life you can choose to be a happy person and deal with things like a happy person does, or choose to be bitter and sad and depressed. my dumb hippie buddhist ex thai boyfriend, ot, first learnt me of that, in between shirking all human responsibility and uselessly smoking spliffs on my hammock. and my most recent, beloved but platonic (excepting prolific snuggling) boyfriend, 't', has reinforced it in a way too, which is why i love him terribly and desperately, but also why i rebel and occasionally despise him (happiness scares me). sigh... relationships are so freaking painful. it is hard to be positive and not just sabotage them before they hit you......... but i digress.

i don't know if i ever told the story on here about how i had started an informal (psshaw solo and un- credited or helped out in any way by my meth head thai boyfriend who was busy trying to bilk me out of whatever i was worth to him, ie. a fully stocked and planned bar and outdoor theater, at which time he received it he would toss it aside with scorn and go fuck just about everyone else, but there i go digressing...) yes an informal animal shelter on my beach on the island in thailand (!!!).

it started with that lonely peal in the night, a squealing pup found in a pile by my ridiculously sculpted and tan brazilian neighbors, who fornicated loudly every afternoon from the depths of the bungalow next door. they had almost hit her in the road with their motorbike. my puppy calling me. she had a fat belly full of worms and was ridden with fleas. i took her in and flushed her out and took care of her for about 3 1/2 years, despite my reluctance to even name her and thus attach. she chased me through the scattered gardens of the muslim side of the island (full by the way of not only the queer howling of the calls to mecca, but also the skittering of scary ass monitor lizards trying to eat her every time i turned my back- i could hear them killing things behind the hut in the wee hours of the morn), she biting at my heels. as she grew into her adolescence i watched her learn to make friends with the wild dogs on the beach, watched their territorial dances. she was as adored as any prized pedigree, living amongst festering and fighting street dogs. i misplaced (or did i?) all of my biological need for children on to her. we understood each other very well. she hung her head when i barked at her for climbing in my bed when there was a terrifying display of fireworks nightly on the beach. i ran to dote whenever she yelped in various tones according to what she had encountered (a snake or beetle, a smelly piece of trash or dead animal tossed in my yard by my betel nut stained neighbors who carried machetes, spouted unintelligible platitudes at me, and smoked me almost out of my house every morning when burning their trash outside my window). i love love love her still. and i loved loved loved the life we spent together on this magical and alien island.

but i loved all of them. dogs of all sorts can sense i am not afraid of them (except in packs in certain dark temple squares in bangkok, in which i have a full on panic attack and yell). all the dogs of my dusty jungle village started sniffing around my house after 'puppy'. first because she was in heat, which i quickly put a stop to because the male dogs wanted to fight me for her! but later on because she was so obviously pampered, which is a transfixing oddity in thailand. there was scruffy, an old veteran of the survival scene. he had already proven himself a formidable alpha male and retired. he was loud and mean until we were alone at night, when he would snicker and cuddle. he choked and hemhorraged to death of heartworms on my floor- he went off in an insane cloud of flies. i watched the life ooze out of him for hours.... there was big mama, so pathetically and meekly accepting my cruelty. she really reminded me of my red-headed mother. i kicked big mama so hard one time i think i may have broken my toe. she still loved me to her literal death for feeding her. i took care of all nine of her puppies which she dragged rather sheepishly to my yard one day. such naive stupidity. i couldn't help that though. i loved every one of them as much as i could, even until i had to kill them to quench their wracking seizures, and bury them, me sweating and teary, behind the animal clinic. i loved the poisoned ones too who just died quietly in places they had crawled away to be alone in. & the ones who would venture tentatively, sniff warily at me, and bolt for the rice and sardines i would leave out under the house. be mine for a week or two, grateful and loving and well behaved, and disappear to never be seen again.... and goodbye 'sick', the dashingly handsome boy who appeared one day, shaking his mane at puppy and smiling. i took him in because he was irresistably charming (and someone had obviously dropped him off for me), not knowing that he had already survived a round of canine distemper (what most of my dogs died of) and some wicked flu, and now had a horrible auto immune disorder that would ultimately not allow him to fight off mites that would eat all his fur, leaving huge ghastly infected scabs on his bald skin, and making him feel like he was dying faster than he was. it sounds cheesy i know, but he always looked up to me with trust in his eyes, just like all the dogs who died. i had a strange connection with every one of them. they knew i loved them, and we both knew they would not be around long. i shared their fate more than any other human. it was obvious by how many of them hung around me, to the point where it was embarassing to leave my house and walk to a restaurant in the village, where my sickly but valiant dogs all tried to come in to sit at my feet, to the barely veiled disgust of the other humans.


i had to leave them though, because a place in which the lives of these animals was allowed to exist the way they did was so shocking to me. thais really seemed like such ruthless, heartless people in so many ways (i still believe they are, but have to keep in mind i was amongst a peculiar demographic, on an island where people would run to hide after they committed crimes, run by violent feuding drug mafia families who took offense to my straighforward NY'er ways and actually started hunting me down for them). i was a girl alone, which was strange. a girl who didn't fall for all their tricks, and who stayed too long in a place in which she was thus intruding, and garnered too much information in a socially awkward way. in a place where most of the people did not know much about the world at all outside of their small set of dirt roads lining the jungle and beach. and thais know how to scare you, yesirreee. they are not afraid of death- they don't think too much about it. they don't attach to any idea. they know you will bounce back as whatever it is you ultimately deserve, and they believe people and dogs attract their fate. life is cheap, blood is stimulation in a sleepy town where it is a physical impossibility for you to leave without their help. it is a dark, seedy existence in lush, ecstatic paradise.

paradise gets tedious too. the rotating of all those friends who were so happy and beautiful, smoking on my porch and drifting away back to their countries. waking up every day to the sounds of cocks and piglets. the yoga, the dancing, the completely uninhibited week long parties. i have to remember the lesson i learned from such decadence, to balance, and bask in love. gather the good and real things and people toward me and push the bad or superficial things away. i am trying to learn to detach in general. not depend on anything or anyone. you would think i would be a pro at that by now but i am too optimistic and stupidly hopeful that some day i won't be so alone. that humans are as worth loving and losing as dogs.

and that is the story for the day, boys and girls. my sad story of the dying off of the last dog, the one i tried to save and make into my family.... i learned today that the absolutely insane israeli woman i left her with was about as trustworthy as i expected and abandoned my spoiled girl recently. left her to the dogs. i would love to believe the other dogs would step aside gracefully in reflection of her innocence and grace, but i know the reality is she would have been torn apart immediately by either canine or human. and i have to send her messages in my dreams now. and apologies for abandoning her to that fate of hers, myself, despite desperate efforts otherwise and much twisting wrenching anguish.

that and the realization that my paradise was a shiny rainbow veneer on a dull stone, tied to my ankle, ready to drown me has me, well, down. the fact that i couldn't accomplish something i was passionate about. that no love is unconditional or without horrific pain. the fact that i really do belong in NY and not in a mystifying and unsympathetic place with no instilled moral code (even the US's contrived plastic billboard morals are preferable to none).

RIP 'puppy', because i know that place and i know you are too good for it. it will have eaten you up quickly. i had to escape before it ate me, and i hope all of you poor dogs understand. i choose to be happy and go towards the light. i will go and live for all of us.

and i think i have decided to cancel my impending visit back to thailand.



(oh p.s. here are pictures from my christmas trip to mexico, where we were stranded for 5 extra days while it blizzarded in NY)

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