Remain relevant, and ready. Always remain value-added.
I want the chance to be relevant to you. I have shown you that I am ready, how ready. And that last, yes. Value-added plus.
worrying, though about the ratio.
i stay quiet. not still, but silently humming thrumming focusing focusing on the exclamation mark. ! how many you use, and when. and when.
the rain comes again again i am in the car, windows cracked i don’t particularly need the music to actually hear it but I play it anyway wondering if it’s raining where you are, six hours ahead your sky just as dark as mine, darker.
wanting to know what made you think of me when ‽ you do think of me.
I want the chance to make you smile at me. that glorious, sweet face. I want the chance to spend time with you, to know more of you. I want the chance to mean something to you.
I’ve gone back to work, albeit only one day a week with clients, one when the shop is closed. I went for a test at the drive-through location in New Rochelle. Everyone there, the State Troopers, the Army, the healthcare workers, everyone was so calming. One of the army guys, the name on his jacket said Lorenzo, he called me beautiful. He saw how nervous I was and he called me beautiful.
I’m waiting for results, no symptoms but I’m in a public-facing position. I was sicker than I ever have been in my life back in January but no way of knowing if that was it.
I’ve gone back up to the pottery after a 5 months hiatus. I’ve wanted to go back, needed to go back. I’m making new work with nowhere to sell it but online. It isn’t really the selling that the making is about, though.
I called my father. I haven’t spoken to him in a brutally long time. i know that he did not recognize my voice. but i told him that i loved him and he told me that he loved me too. i’m going to call him again this saturday.
I’ve been writing more, leaning into how cleanly I want to live my life, how little extra baggage I really want to carry with me. Channeling and focusing the rage that has been, in my past, such an incredibly destructive force with little to no benefit into something that I can use as both a tool and a weapon. It’s been this side of exhilarating, and I want to keep it that way. It isn’t something I want to revel in feeling but to be glad to be done with.
My second husband used to get off on watching my fury rage on unfettered. He loved how sharp I was, how precise. How everything I said was undeniably true.
That is until the day it finally turned on him in earnest. The day in couples’ therapy when the doctor asked me how I was feeling after watching me sit and seethe for 20 minutes, when he asked me how I was feeling and I turned to my husband and answered,
“I’m feeling like every time you fall asleep before I do how much I’d like to slit your fucking throat.”
I can tell you he didn’t like it very much then.
I’m not going to send this to you, am I. No.
I have no way of knowing if you are alive. I wish I did.
there are so many things i’ve wanted to tell you so much i’ve discovered about the world about myself music, tv, life, art. humans. people. people i think you would like, approve of people i want to tell you about, share humans i have told about you the good ones, they respond with warmth with love. tenderness and care. anyone else is dismissed, flicked away deleted. no time for unadulterated bullshit.
today is the day before the day that it began for the last time. the day before the day that was your last in this house on this couch. it is as clear as it was seven hundred thirty days ago.
“…Now I miss you more than I can take And I will surely break And every morning that I wake god, it’s the same There’s nothing more to it I just get through it
It always takes me by surprise how dark it gets this time of year and how apparent it all becomes that you’re not close, not even near
no matter how many times I tell myself I have to be sincere I have a hard time standing up and facing those fears…”
(here’s me, with some Seattle’s Best in a mug my friend Dave made, with some good coffee and relaxation)
I’m supposed to head to Caramoor today with B; her husband, C, is playing with the band. Knitting, food, music, naps, staying pretty much baseline stoned all day, packing extra sunscreen and bug spray and water. Knowing I’ll need a way to go inside my own head when being surrounded by couples and families gets too overwhelming. I am grateful to my friends for including me in things, and the balance between this gratitude and feeling so very alone, so much “which one of these things is not like the other?” is shaky and blurred. Desperately wanting to go, to not be weak.
She and I went to a Yoga Nidra class last night, guided meditation, and while I’m the least woo-woo person I know, something about it was truly magical. It’s the second one I’ve been to in as many weeks with the same teacher, and after a lifetime of not being able to meditate EVER with this noisy head of mine, it appears that I’ve found the way for me. I don’t believe in chakras and stuff but she’s telling us to imagine the color orange when we inhale and exhale, to imagine that color coming from a place right above the navel. Orange. Feels like a fire to me, breathing in and out.
I was able to focus on the sound of the teacher’s voice, to allow the noisiness to enter my head and then just sort of flick it away, dismissing thing after thing after thing. It was harder, this second time; I’d been at the pottery all day, prepping for tomorrow’s firing, and thinking a lot about my upcoming move and everything I need to get done (and just how much I’m not getting done), feeling the pain in my shoulder and trying to disassociate from it, feeling that I want to share this with you, this destressing thing, feeling like you might find some value in it. Feeling energized afterwards and wanting to share that, too. Remembering after the last class that I was able to recall the feeling of peace I’d had even when at work, and that I was able to carry it with me. Wanting to share the small things that are helping me find a measure of peace and comfort in the hope that perhaps they might help you, too.
Having no idea if you even read these anymore and knowing I need to write anyway, that writing always soothes me, that it’s one thing I can do alone and anywhere that is at once cathartic and productive and that some version of this will make it into my work.
(after writing this and editing for an hour I’ve decided to not go to Caramoor. Heading across the street to K and B’s at 4 for a small bbq instead, then back here for an air conditioned bedroom and Netflix with Mojo.)
The promises of normalcy Quietly withdrawn, scattered This to me is the most disappointing of all, the most heartbreaking
I understand I understand I understand.
I understand the desire, I understand what you were looking for. I understand you did not expect to find me. I understand that I am your Muse whether you know it or not (you do know it though) I understand the intensity, the depths of feeling and all of the unknown unknowns that attend it.
I understand feeling out of control, tethered to something completely foreign in feel I understand not wanting to name that, either.
The silence may be the hardest thing of all. Especially since you promised you would never do that.
My patience may be Legion, But my heart is always open, and there may not be room when you are ready.
i didn’t want to kill myself, i didn’t want to die. i wanted to be dead. i wanted to not be anymore.
i was dysphoric and abyssally depressed and griefstruck and i had to pull the car off the road because i could not see the road through my tears.
music blasting, car rocking from the drafts of the other cars speeding by, shoulders shaking. screaming into the sky. i can’t. i can’t. i can’t do this anymore. why? why? why?
weeping. wailing. shrieking. howling in pain. desperately calling up mental images to save me, of those i love, of those i do not want to live without. replaying their voices, their words, their murmurs of love, of promises. bring me back. keep me here. keep me safe.
i am having a very hard time wanting to be alive right now.
this too, shall pass. and it is all for the good.
i didn’t want to kill myself,
i wanted to not be anymore.
i got back on the road, got to where i’d set out to be, inexpertly rolled a joint, smoked half of it, got to work. two and a half hours later, my rage was exhausted, driven out by the tediousness of the work, for when your work, your passion requires exquisite concentration you really can think of nothing else. or at least, only the good things. and as i listened to delicious music and smoked delectable herb and mesmerized myself thinking about delightful people and mindbending experiences, this beautiful thing came to life in my hands.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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.
The juxtapositions of today are incredible. Eighteen months ago today I was sitting in a waiting room at Westchester Medical Center with my mother and one of my best girls, knitting, while doctors were feverishly working to save the life of my husband. They wouldn’t be able to. I have Become The Salty Widow, much as The Velveteen Rabbit Became.
Today, a year and a half later, I sat with a wonderful man in this lovely window seat at Kurzhal’s Coffee and began to teach him how to knit (at his request six months prior) in and around coffee and conversation. A normal coffee date. Normal conversation. Things that normal people in a relationship do. Everyday things, out in the sunshine.
I didn’t think that I could be this happy again. I didn’t think I deserved to feel this way again, for someone to feel this way about me. Someone who I’ve told some of my darkest secrets and has not only embraced me, but has promised to only use my confidence in him to help. Someone who is mindful of triggers. A careful, caring person. An interested, interesting person. A partner who wants the same things I do, not just in one area but all. Someone who meets me on every level, again, with feeling.
I can, I do, and he does.
Compersion is an amazing thing. Communicating fears and feelings only helps, only makes things better, easier. The last year that Gary was alive we did a lot of work, a lot of talking about what made us us; what we meant to each other, what we needed, what we wanted from and for each other. The only people outside our marriage who knew are those directly involved, and my backup, my besties beyond besties. My best girls.
Thank you, my love, for setting the bar high. Thank you, my girls, for reminding me to keep it there.