(i was afraid ((briefly)) that i would forget this, what i wanted to write needed needed to write but i was driving and i know how to remember things ((mostly you just keep repeating them looking into the middle distance (((idk if that’s a real thing but go with it))) and then it becomes a rhythm and then you can just remember)) )
i am not afraid anymore. i have faced the worst the absolute worst. i have heard the worst. i have dated the worst fucked the worst married the worst. i have been burned i have been raped i have been thieved. i have lived the worst i have died.
still, i rise.
i have done all these things and i have fucking FIRE in my heart and my brain and my lungs and i am not afraid of you. i am not afraid of you or anyone else.
So. I am not ever one to ask for help. But I am one to realize when things are beyond my grasp, beyond my capabilities. So with all of the love and support and heart that you all have shown me from the beginning of this total and complete horror show (and really? For a long time before this), I am learning to ask for help.
My friend Jennifer (has) created a YouCaring fundraiser for me, to help get me through this next part of my life. This difficult, insanely stressful part of my life.
Thank you all for the love you have shown, and continue to show me and Gary.
From 2018, one year and three days gone :
The daily struggle to survive is real. The money that everyone so generously raised last year paid for Gary to be cremated. That’s it. The entire $4600. Every day since, every bill, every single thing gets weighed in importance. I’ve been putting off Mojo getting his teeth cleaned because I need to return more bottles and cans. Somewhere along the way the YC fundrasiser page disappeared. No clue.
There was no life insurance, no pension, no 401(k). It’s all on me, my part-time job, and selling my art.
If you can give, even a little, please. I have no pride anymore. No shame.
I have Venmo and PayPal (email@example.com). An Amazon wishlist (which right now is mostly a holding place to watch the price of bras I desperately need to replace).
Asking for help shatters the last bit of hope I had.
From this Friday, 542 days later, and today:
Mojo (whatagoodboy) waiting to be seen by Dr. Romano for his well-baby checkup and dental work. This little dude is the more scaredy-cat of my pair of knockabout clowns, but he really is an amazing creature. He always knows when his Momma needs him and snuggles right in. UPDATE: Home now, a little wobbly, but really none the worse for wear💜💜 And that was more than my entire paycheck. Worth it. Worth every penny. But still more than my paycheck.
I stopped paying my mortgage in September. I never had the intention of completely defaulting but the bank (thank, Wells Fargo!) refused to work with me until I did, until I had completely destroyed my credit. My house, our house is now in foreclosure. I have come around to the idea that I need to find a smaller place. That I need to let go of this place. The idea no longer terrifies me; I’m resigned to it. I need to stay in this city that I have grown to love, Peekskill, where my created family lives.
I am simply frozen. There is so much I have not gotten done, so much piling up and broken. So much I know I’m overpaying for (hello, Verizon wireless and internet!) but am completely unable to take care of. I certainly don’t need the upload/download speeds that Gary did, but I know for sure I’ll get taken advantage of. Because that is what happens.
I am adrift.
As the inevitable waves of depression wash over me I do everything I can to ease them: listen to the “groovy shit” and “boss BITCH” playlists I made on Spotify, write, snuggle wee beasties, plan playtime, EAT SOMETHING FFS, use some CBD, head into the studio to set type for the orders I desperately need to print. Messing about with my little secret garden. My mother is coming over in a few hours to help me clean and organize, to help make some sense of this mess. Knitting with one of my best girls was cancelled because her shitheel of an ex has yet again decided to be a totally pernicious twit of a narcissistic asshole. So instead of knitting and dishing, I’m writing, and listening to good music while snuggly bois wind around my legs. And making my plan for the day.
Which, as I see it, isn’t the worst thing that could be happening. I’ve managed, by spending this time writing and attaching Spotify links and stuff, to elevate my mood. I’ve responded to an email chain that continues to make me happy.
“Just imagine, we woke up in paradise Don’t need magic, let my force just carry us home tonight Future’s golden, don’t let go don’t give it up Just keep holding, even when you had enough I will be your light
“When you’re low, I’ll lead you home, Chariot Take you back to where you’re from, Chariot
“One step forward, on the road ahead of us Don’t look back, no…” — Chariot by Mega
I’ve been having the most strange and wonderful feeling, way down deep to the very core of my soul. Don’t get me wrong; my life is utter chaos for the most part but I cannot even with that yet. I just cannot. It’s just… amidst the bomb cyclones and tornadoes and lightning storms there is this oasis, this ethereal calm that I am experiencing. This absolute letting go. Of letting pleasurable feelings suffuse my entire body, take over every atom of my being, to submit fully to them, to abandoning myself to them. Of inspecting unpleasant feelings, tasting them, knowing that succumbing to those will sicken me, and allow them to pass with as little interference as possible. To apologize without being sorry because that will cause me the least pain and give them what they want. To apologize in addition to being sorry, not receiving any acknowledgement, and being okay to walk away from that. That I don’t have to make the offending party see my side. That I can truly be done and walk away. That is a fucking alien concept. Foreign. Strange. And wonderful.
To be, well I wouldn’t say comfortable, but certainly 100% okay with others’ uncomfortability at my own fuck you-ness at things I just don’t wanna. My fuck yeah-ness at the things I do. To throw caution to the wind and say the things I feel when I feel them because LIFE IS FUCKING SHORT. To not feel guilt for unfriending, for ending things and blocking, for being blunt when it is the least bit necessary.
To say that I don’t think I would ever have evolved to this state had Gary not died is painfully sharp and bright. I wouldn’t have had to. It is me against the evil in the universe and I have become much cleverer at spotting it before there’s too much damage done. I also feel a greater, deeper capacity for empathy, for gentleness, for softness. The obverse to my pointy, barbed side.
“Future’s golden, don’t let go don’t give it up Just keep holding, even when you had enough I will be your light…”
We ride across the sky in a golden chariot of hope, fully cognizant of the eventual fall. The ride is worth it.
“…I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Vext the dim sea: I am become a name; For always roaming with a hungry heart Much have I seen and known; cities of men And manners, climates, councils, governments, Myself not least, but honour’d of them all; And drunk delight of battle with my peers, Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades For ever and forever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use! As tho’ to breathe were life! Life piled on life Were all too little, and of one to me Little remains: but every hour is saved From that eternal silence, something more, A bringer of new things; and vile it were For some three suns to store and hoard myself, And this gray spirit yearning in desire To follow knowledge like a sinking star, Beyond the utmost bound of human thought… …There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail: There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners, Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me— That ever with a frolic welcome took The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old; Old age hath yet his honour and his toil; Death closes all: but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods. The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, ‘T is not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’ We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
(excerpted from Ulysses, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)