what do i do now 854a 17 october 2021

my voice, transcript below

I have so much to say to you so much that, um, I just
i keep thinking that

I keep wanting to

I just
I just want to share with you. I just wanna tell you I just want you to see me now. I want i really

and I don’t think you would blame me for where I am. I don’t think anymore that you would blame me for where I am. Because I

depended on you so much

i depended on you so much and
it just took everything away.

you’re
gone.

and everything you did stopped with you.

There’s no one here. To see me doing fuck all.

There’s, there’s no one.

No one to report to.

There’s no one here.

There’s Mojo. He was real happy that
I went to bed at 9:30 and fed him first and got into bed and he came right in with me. And we snuggled all night, got up around six or something for his medicine. And then went back to bed.
Had like 10 hours of sleep sort of

what the fuck am I supposed to do now? what do I do now?

I mean, if I thought there was no way before and then there was but now it’s like everything is used up. I,
i
If I spend the money I have on the car, I will have nothing else.
nothing.
I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now.

Shower, head north. Make more stuff I guess.

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.

the time traveling doctor. 7a 20th november, 2020

Every time I have seen JJ since my husband’s death it’s all I can be reminded of. How long it’s been. I know I mention it every time I see him and I have found myself unable to stop doing so. I realize (every single time) that this is not conducive to doing more business, or good for his comfort, or for mine, in fact. His profession means that he’s going to have to deal with surviving spouses, possibly more than he thought. I don’t want to keep doing this. I don’t want to keep focusing on only that anytime I see him and I fear that I may have risked ever seeing him again because I can’t stop talking about it.

Listening to The New York Times Daily podcast this morning and an interview with a woman who was a medical examiner in rural Wisconsin, who explains that she understands that as a last responder, her presence is triggering for some people forever.

Do I think that I can rewrite my own code for this relationship? Do I think that I can rewire my brain to be thankful that one of my husband’s cardiologists is such a lovely, sweet, kind person instead of having the first and only reaction to him being one of the last attendants to my husband?

Yes. Yes of course I do.
My brain is nothing but elasticity and electricity and muscle and if the past 1,164 days have shown me nothing else it is this.

Most recently, I have been learning how love can help to reframe old photographs, to view memories through a different lens. To not make excuses for, but to understand motivation. To take this current love into the past and care for the people who were hurt. To let that healing wend its way forward into the future, to meet up with the realization I have now.

I wish you could see me now. I wish you could know me, now.

think i had a psychotic episode today. (part 1)

think i had a psychotic episode today.
i don’t know for sure.
it was while i was driving.

what i do know is that the fear and terror that i felt was as bad as it has ever been
terror and fear so huge that it overtakes everything
but there was no pain
no physical pain to be afraid of
just the fear that always accompanies it
no looming precipice in front of me
nothing different about the day.
nothing.

what i do know is that approaching ten thirty this morning
while i was driving
while i was driving i was filled with overwhelming dread
i mean serious fucking dread like a tornado sky out of the clear blue.
arguing with myself over what to do
really, i mean come ON wtf
look at the complete lack of signal
how much further now? not much

i pulled over as soon as it was safe enough
hazards on, music on
into the deep we go
i had to tell someone what to do, it became clear.
i pulled over, made a short video.
said what i needed to say
that i am okay
(i do not believe that for a second FUCK no but i don’t understand what’s happening, either)
my phone pin.
my master password.
again that i am okay but i need to tell, i need to say.
in case.
so no one is sitting there with my dead hand in theirs trying to get into my phone
the way i did.
the way i had to.
i have no plans.
no ideation.
only the nearly ever-present need to fight to stay connected to the earth.

(more later, i promise. i’m fucking tired.)

nonstop. 3d october 2020

i did my job today.
i did my job well, today.
it was non stop and busy and there were too many people and now i am
.
and now i am sitting barefoot on my couch
too overwhelmed by everything to want any noise near me
the noise inside my head, also nonstop
the pain in my hip from not resting but for ten minutes, nonstop
shoulders, tense, up around my ears
hot tears fall, splashing my lenses
i can barely breathe.

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

1205p wtf even is today 2020 (22 july)

i am hoping.

(i am hoping)
jesus gods i am hoping
i am hoping that it is just that you are busy
that there isn’t some other reason
“oops, it looks like his phone has been off/disconnected for awhile.”

disconnected

we have been disconnected
the last thing i know you saw of mine was thursday,
even though i text you every day, almost.
(i know you are busy. i am not complaining.)

six days ago.
disconnected.

it will be five months since we’ve seen each other
no longer am i worried it’s something i’ve done
no more paranoia around that particularly fun attribute of my chemical rollercoaster
no.
you are a doctor.
there is this virus.

i am hoping.

I am reminded of possibility. 11th july 2020

I am reminded of possibility.

This couple, older than I am,
(not by so much that the differences are stark)
this couple who is writing their next chapter
successful, and snarky, and smart,
cool, and kind, and a little kooky,
warm, and funny, and genuine.

I am reminded that anything is possible.

Everything is possible.

I have seen glimpses of it, I know.
had morsels of it.
enough to whet my appetite.
my palate has become more refined,
my preferences both widening and narrowing in the same instant
as i breathe in
and out.
embrace, joyfully
discard with little fanfare.
there is no value in overthinking what i leave behind
no valuing the discarded
take the lesson and move forward.
that lesson alone,
separating the signal from the noise,
that in itself is such a heavy prospect right now
but in other moments,
(breathe, please. and again. once more. good girl.)
such as this one,
it seems thinkable, plausible
possible.

i have left so much behind am leaving
so much behind.
what would carrying it forward do for me?
cui bono?
for surely i have long since paid for these crimes
surely i am rehabilitated, getting there, anyway
surely i am on the right path
surely i am still going the right way.

it doesn’t have to all come with me
(why does this feel like i’m convincing myself?)
i can let it go
(then why is there still so much left to sort through?)
((can you just?))
(((can you?)))

thousands of photographs, blurry and out of focus
my life is out of focus, blurry
and getting clearer
more clear.
more,
focused.
as the unimportant,
the less-important,
the extraneous
as all this falls away is sloughed away
given away
pressed into other hands, joyfully,
gleefully, even.
no more guilt at not wanting to keep things
no more guilt at the money spent
the time spent
the energy.
spent.

even the idea of it
(the idea!)
the idea is lightening
not lightning,
l i g h t e n i n g .

alien.

Hopeful.
Full of possibility.

by lightening the load
both literal and metaphorical
I am making room for new.
Taking pieces of my armor,
loosening them
disarming.
i have become disarming.

It is only because I can see the enemy
enemies
for what they are
it is only since I have learned how to dance
sidestepping and evading
choosing who to embrace
and who to deny
it is only now that even in my most frantic moments, hours
I do not doubt the loves I have.
I know I am not needed,
I know I am necessary.

I am reminded of possibility.
I am open to possibility.