frustrating thoughts on a tuesday morning

your author, dressed for 29°F weather at 7a, sitting in the parking lot to medicate (description below)

It is currently 29°F outside, actual feel of 22°F. I am outside for my morning medication: today is cannabis and coffee. I’ve already taken my fish oil, but there’s no one to say anything about that if I take that in my kitchen. So I come outside after having dressed for the weather. This includes: underwear, thick socks, two pairs of flannel pajama bottoms, a long sleeved shirt over a short sleeved shirt, a fleece hoodie, my purple fuzzy robe with white stars, a knitted neck warmer, a knitted hat. I have spiked my coffee with hot cocoa mix and butter to make the warmth seem thicker and more long-lasting.

I have a medical marijuana card. Up until *very* recently, whole flower was not allowed to be sold in medical dispensaries. Smoking whole flower is the method of delivery that works best for me. If vaping worked for me, I could probably get away with vaping inside my apartment, although I really wouldn’t want to try. But it doesn’t. Smoking whole flower is what works. I no longer engage in practices that are meant to be good for me but in actuality, aren’t. Imagine if instead of taking your anti-anxiety meds by pill, you had to have them by suppository and you had to do that outside because that’s what the law dictated. Just because.

When it is colder than this, or when the weather is shit, or after dark (I feel like a D!sney princess out here sometimes, skunks ((Flower!)), raccoons, possums, cats, ALL the squirrels), I sit in the car. Even with the engine off, this is illegal to do. When I have zoom therapy and I am home I do it in my car or outside so that I can smoke. So that I can medicate. When I have zoom therapy and I’m at a friend’s house, I can be inside and warm and still medicate.

No other medication is subjected to restrictions and procedures like this. This is inhumane. Could you imagine if I told you you had to go outside for your heart medication if you weren’t well off enough to own your own home with private property? If I told you you had to take your cholesterol meds every morning but go outside somewhere on the street, what would happen?

And if I told you that unless you had the wherewithal, you couldn’t have a get-together with friends and have a smoke sesh. Have all the wine and cheese parties you want, every book club has its Bordeaux, every rehearsal dinner its Riesling, but no ma’am, you’re not allowed to enjoy this totally legal thing where you live, where you love, where you entertain. What would you do? What would you say?


People are going to consume where they are able to consume. Where they are forced to consume. This has always, and will continue to be what happens. By welcoming dispensaries and consumption lounges into Peekskill, by allowing smoking in specific areas of our many public parks, we are making our residents and visitors feel more comfortable and welcomed.

water washes away

sitting in my car, rain smashing into the windshield
coming hugely into the narrow slit I’ve opened in the window
smoke hazing around the inside of the cabin

It is pouring (again)

giant crocodile tears wetting my sweater
I don’t dare lower the window any further not even to tap my ash
thunder competing with the din of the rain on my roof

I have eaten and smoked and am grateful for the help I had in making it through this day.
I am not alone.

the seventh day. 13th september 2017/2021

I never heard your voice again that last day, today.

By now (8:18am) you had already had a stroke, you were already being prepped for neurosurgery. I never heard your wonderful, delicious, boomy voice that day again, today. That voice, when it was being clever and kind, I could listen to for hours. The last time I heard your voice, a few hours earlier as I was leaving your bedside for some sleep, it was pure and true and you told me you loved me and I take that with me into Oblivion.

I have the words you wrote to me, I have the texting we were doing about the kitties, about your anticipated relief from the meds they gave you every day to soothe your terror, I told you that “they will, my love.” You did not tell me about the stroke. You saved me from that. You gave me the most selfless gift of not having to worry when worry wouldn’t help.

I know that the last words of mine that you saw were that I was coming to you and that I would see you when you got back. I have that unbelievably beautiful post that you put on Facebook that morning. I didn’t know then that these would be your last words. You were so concerned with last words you had a whole book of them on your side of the bed. You didn’t want to end up like Pancho Villa.¹

I know the last words of mine that you heard were from my mouth to yours, to your ear, my head on your chest, your hand in mine. I know you heard me because the doctor told me you could hear me. I told you you were safe, that you were loved, that you were okay. That everyone was working on you to help and that you were okay. That you were still going the right way and that I would see you soon. That I wasn’t going anywhere. I told you that I loved you. I told you that I loved you. I told you that I loved you.

I am posting this to you directly because I want certain people see it. I want to know (even though I won’t) that certain people are aware of what today is, that certain people are thinking about you.

Of course I won’t know. Of course I know that that part is a useless, useless exercise and one that will not bring me any joy. I know that that part is petty and small. And still I feel the need to do it. Perhaps someday I won’t. I believe your memory deserves to be cherished in a way that perhaps your life was not.

I have been learning how to exorcise from my life the things that do not serve me. I have been learning how to be more patient. I think you would be amazed. Truly. And yet I don’t do these things to amaze you, I do them because I am finding my way towards happiness, for truly the first time ever.

I know that every breath you ever took in and exhaled is still out there in the air, circling and eddying and dissipating and coming together again.

I know that the electricity that powered the supercomputer that was your brain and that faulty thing that was your heart is still reverberating out here in the ether, in here, inside me. I know that the ashes and broken bits of bone and teeth that I have on my bookshelves, in the room where I spend most of my time aren’t indicative of who you were, that even at their most concrete, these remains are the most ethereal ones.

Things are still so hard. The pain is getting easier to bear. I have people who love me who are helping to ease the weight. There are times when I feel you in the room with me, when I am transported for a moment, and it is comforting.

There is so much I have to tell you; so many things I need to say. So much I need for you to hear.

I am learning so much.
I need to tell you everything.

bisous,

glitter

¹ https://truewestmagazine.com/article/the-lie-of-villas-last-words/

four years/forty years

Last year I turned off Facebook memories for 2017-2018-2019 for this week beginning today. Today is the beginning of the end. Today is the beginning of the last week that Gary was alive.

So much in my life has changed in the last four years. I am not the same person who I was four years ago. I am not the same person I was forty years ago.

Forty years ago is when my bipolar disorder began to truly manifest in ways that other people could see. When my behavior became outwardly observable. Things that only I could see and feel and experience from age five were finally coming to the surface. The person that I grew into, the person that I became was by necessity, a damaged, broken, angry, fearful thing. I was shaped by my experience, by the storms inside my brain that no one could understand, but the results of which everyone could see.

The person that Gary met, she was a powerhouse. She had divorced her first and second husbands. She was taking care of her cats. She was running her own shop, she had an employee, she was working a lot. She was working out a lot. She was taking care of everything around her. She was not taking healthy self care.

She was, however, manic 24/7 and hella cute and driven.
And on fire.

She is still here, in my brain, part of The Committee. She listens mostly. Doesn’t have much to say anymore, more an observer. She sits back and nods knowingly, joint in hand, smoke curling from her lips. She is Rosie Revisited, captured in a portrait, hanging on my wall. There are times when she does speak, a forceful, if gentle “STOP IT.” I have evidence.

your author. 📷 Gary Hoffman 2002

Four years ago I was forced to stop. I became incapable of movement in any appreciable direction. The formerly driven, push-through-ahead-no-matter-how-miserable-it-makes-you person could not go any further. The “attack wife” had no fight left. I had no accountability to any other human. There was no one there for better or for worse. My life spun completely and totally out of control. I lost things, am losing things I can never get back. And yet…

I have found a new self, a calmer, more even self. I am finding the capacity for euthymia, for a happy evenness above my emotional equator. A firm-yet-squishy pleasantness that exists beyond the edges of what I smoke and carries me through the day and into my involvements with others.

I am no longer miserable.

In voicing this thought, however, there is such exquisite pain for the reality that Gary could have been helped. That perhaps he too could have finally found some measure of relief, as I have. That we just hadn’t gotten here yet in researching. That given enough time, we would have.

We didn’t have enough time. But I do.

I miss you so much.
I wish you could see me now.
I wish you could hear me now.
I wish I could talk to you.
The only thing you can do is listen.

And all I really want is to hear what you have to say.

i do not know if I can take being loved this way.

Yesterday was my birthday.
I turned 53 years old.
I spent the entire weekend with people and missing people who clearly love me and who I love so much.
I spent the weekend

I spent the weekend doing familiar birthday things,
Going to the Lyndhurst craft fair as I have done for decades
(maybe half the artists this time, different layout, timed ticketing, all due to covid restrictions)
stressing out from all of the unknowns
(known and unknown, thank you D. Rumsfeld)
wanting so much for normalcy
(but what is “normal”, anyway? I certainly don’t have a fucking clue)
feeling so much that I have to explain even though I know I don’t
It seems like all I have been doing for the past three and a half years is explaining and explaining and explaining because honestly I
don’t understand any of it.
Just when I think I do I get caught off guard and none of it makes sense again.

I suppose I’m not explaining to others so much as to myself.

I miss all of the things that we talked about, all of those things that we never did.
All of the ways we responded to each other, all of the good, all of the terrible.
The contrast, I think,
the contrast is what’s killing me now.
i do not know if I can take being loved this way.

I can say things out loud and
I can say things out loud and not worry about feeling stupid for saying them.
Being made to feel stupid for saying them.
I can say things out loud and not worry about
I can say things out loud and not worry about being instantly and immediately criticized.
I can say things out loud and not worry about who might be on my side.

I know
I know for sure
I know now that you loved me but I didn’t then. I never knew for sure. I never knew from one minute to the next.
You would rescind and retract your love like the outgoing tide.
Snatch it away from me,
away from my

craven, grasping, grubby little paws

I want to forgive you for saying these things to me.
I want to forgive you for this so much.

How can I miss you so much and still be so angry at the things you did to me?
That we did to each other.

I told your sister once that I never really had an accurate sense of your feeling for me, not that I felt I could believe anyway. That I always thought you thought I was stupid and not enough and too much all at once.
That now I can look at the last things you wrote, and know.
I can look at all the small lovelinesses you left behind.
I can look at those things and know that they are real, they are proof.
Not soon enough to be able to enjoy with you, no.

The very desperate need to hold onto them

((craven, grasping, grubby little paws)screaming to the sky to talk to you
for you to hear me

I am trying so hard to do everything I can to be well.
I am still so
I am still so unwell but I don’t feel crushed by having to hold up every other damn thing anymore if only because I have given up on everything it seems)

I can look at the small lovelinesses that you left and see them for the huge gestures that they were. Everything is relative.

I can see the unexplored and forever unknown possibility of us becoming better to each other, to ourselves.
Knowing how difficult it was even in the very best of us
knowing I would not be this person if you were still alive
proving my progress to the memory of a dead man
wanting so much to escape your critical eye, your devastating words
and yet wanting to show you that I am okay
I am not okay.

Yesterday was my birthday.
I felt loved, and cherished, and adored, and so sad for what we never had.
If you could see how people treat me now.
If you could see how people love me now and aren’t afraid to say, to show.
I know you would, too.

114a 21st september, 2020

i don’t think love ever dies, not by itself, no.
I think you can kill it.
rather, I think it can die, but it has to go down violently.
Sometimes it can be so sudden,
like a switch,
an “oh!”
and it’s gone, vanished.
Other times it lingers,
hangs on longer than is healthy.
making its presence known
unpleasantly.
Taunting, but there is no smile, no joke, no closure.
Only unease.
Only anguish.
Not regret, no.
That’s the confusing part.
As angry as I am, still
As angry as I am I know that it was good
Not enough to stay.
Not enough to keep ignoring my own self.
Not enough for who I am now.
Not enough for who I have Become.

7:13a 26th august, 2020

You need to stop what you’re doing and listen to what’s linked below. A love poem to New York by Roger Cohen called “I Forgive You, New York”.

I’d had to stop listening to it when it first aired; too painful. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past fifty-two years, it’s that painful things can’t be avoided forever. I’ve learned how to lean into the pain, breathe through it, adding potsmoke as often as necessary, let it untangle, unsnarl. To understand that not everything that happens is meant to be understood. That in itself has been infuriating, frustrating, obliviating. That even though I am hurt, hurting, in pain. That even though, I can’t be sure that I will ever know why. That I can’t compel the answer. That nothing I can do, no innate power of mine is enough, no existing love and care and kindness is enough, that I have to accept that I may never know. Because even if I went against my nature, blew shit up, caused a lot of unhappiness past my own, that not even that would be a sure thing. And that so many more people would get hurt for nothing.

So I can only appeal to better natures to tell me. I can only be hopeful that better natures exist and that I have not been completely misled for so long.

And if that is the case, then I really, really need to be gentle with myself. Because learning that painful a lesson is going to take a long time to absorb.

the last thing, then drop the mic. 956a 20th august, 2020

finally a spate of cooler weather of breezy
weather.
easy-breezy chicken francese
cooler
head less on fire
brain, still convoluted and badly tangled, untangling.
thoughts racing and tangled more, faster
but less
I don’t know less what?
Less rage, more anger.
Less fury, more sadness, and disappointment.
Less fire, more ice.

More clarity.

There is no
“what did I do to deserve this?” or
“I didn’t do anything to deserve this”
No.
Those thoughts begin to bubble up and are stopped at the first word.
Silenced.
No.
No. I say no.
I will not begin to embody those thoughts.
This has nothing to do with me.
Not ever again.
Nothing.
No thing.

it has gone on so long now that there is no coming back.
there is no balm,
no quiet murmured assurance,
no comforting touch that will ever, ever save me.
Save you.
Not from this.

I thought I knew you.
I suppose I do.
You know what you have lost.
I see now what I have gained.

expanded

it's so hard to be without you
lying in the bed, you are so much to be without…*

it is a bit north of nine am and i am driving
i am driving back up to the pottery, we are firing
we are firing and i am needed
i am needed.
i have promises to keep on my way so i do.

(i don’t remember whether the windows are open or closed;)
i am trying to remember whether it was the air conditioning or the wind that made me question
question whether i was hearing what i was.

(a few days ago ((five))
a few days ago i was insane
insane and unable to stop it

a year (?) ago i made the decision to microdose psychedelics
a couple of months ago i decided for true, and asked for help.
a few days ago i began.
i wept, shaking, shared my fear, and help came.
i did as i was bid.
i am nothing if not a good girl.

rattles in my head that empty drum filled with doubt
Everything you lose, the wisdom will find its way out

i am driving. i am listening
have been listening.
i am hearing more?
somehow the music is filling the cabin differently,
more, more separately?
more.
i can discern and follow discrete instruments and still pay attention to the words,
and it is as if the more i am noticing this the more complex it appears
while remaining fluid and whole.

i am driving home, we are done for now.
i am driving and have restarted the song
having remembered that i have this to write, to explore.
the guitars are so ripe and juicy and it is as if i can taste them.
I am heading home to Mojo.
I am heading home to no one to share my day with.
there is no one to see my face, to watch my eyes flash
as the overwhelming love i have explodes
I am balancing that thought with conversation, albeit one-sided
you aren’t there to tell
you aren’t there.

the instant, truthful thought that makes me swallow my thought as the breath to express it escapes my lips
but you were never happy for me
you were never excited for me.

but what if you were?
in the end, especially the very end but that last year
you began to see me
really see me maybe the way you did when we first met.
maybe for the first time in a very long time.

Every night is lonesome and is longer than before
Nothing really matters anymore
It's so hard to be without you
Used to feel so angry and now only I feel humble
Stinging from the storm inside my ribs where it thunders
Nothing left to say or really even wonder
We are like a book and every page is so torn
Nothing really matters anymore
It's so hard not to call you

So I do.

Thunder's in my bones out in the streets where I first saw you
When everything was new and colorful, it's gotten darker
Every day's a lesson…

The noise without no longer scares me.
It’s the noise within that does, always has.
But maybe hearing the separations, the pieces untangled
maybe
maybe that is how i untangle the noise within.

*To Be Without You, Ryan Adams

i broke my own heart, leaving you.

620p 18th july 2020

do you ever think of me unbidden?
do i ever cross your mind? i wonder.
does my voice pollute your day as yours does mine?

does my face interrupt your thoughts?

i know better than to ask
i don’t want to know, i think.

i finally felt safe, home.

i broke my own heart, leaving you.

i can’t stand to talk to you anymore
the pity in your voice is palpable
i have no idea if it’s real or not
only that it feels real.
desperate for comfort.

so when I think for a second that i want to hear your voice
when i am craving the security I once felt
i do better to remember
that it doesn’t belong to me.