Okay, confession time. I can’t stand the guilt. I know the ghosts of Balzac, Proust, and Isherwood are bound to haunt me for it, but here it is: I have downloaded a book to read on the Kindle I was given for my birthday. I’ve been wanting to read “The Love Song of Jonny Valentine” by Teddy Wayne and although I looked, it never made it to the local bookstore. I have this Kindle and a gift certificate and . . . well, after weeks of delaying even plugging the device in, it is now fully charged and loaded with a novel. Please don’t hate me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about hate and the expectations people have (or have had) of me for the past week or so. I had hoped, by now, to be making a bit more money than I am with my combination of freelance writing and editing gigs, house and pet sitting – and because I’m not, well, I really need to generate some cash. Which means I’m either going to have to sell my blood (can’t – I’m gay) or my sperm (who’d want it? and do I really want to be responsible for passing on this gene pool? No.) or get a part-time job. So, I’ve started looking and applying. And, being rejected. Wow. Hire me. I’d like a mindless twenty-hour a week gig with no contact with the public or responsibility and no possibility of advancement. Every job I’ve ever gotten has turned into something where I am quickly put in charge of too much or too many people: the only thing I want to be in charge of is my writing. Nothing else. Hit me up if you have a lead or contact or idea or job. Or, better yet, would like to be a modern day Medici and become this artist’s patron. I’m Getting Desperate.
Speaking of desperate – it’s not as if I haven’t been writing. I HAVE. But not very well. And submitting. But not very successfully. But I keep going. I am working on multiple projects, and they are coming along, the most promising at the moment being the murder-mystery-cozy set in a local-theatre milieu on which I am working with a writing partner. We did a lot of outlining and character work this weekend and now I am trying (OH HOW I AM TRYING) to complete Chapter 1 so he can get to Chapter 2. Luckily, he’s one of my best friends and we “get” each other. So, despite my snail-like pace, it’s all good.
“Careful there, Bosie-cakes, memory is a notoriously unreliable GPS. The topography of reminiscence, melancholy, and regret is a tricky thing, and many – far more clever than you or I – have met their demise strolling down memory lane, thinking they clearly remembered the way, only to find themselves careening off a cliff or sinking into a pool of quicksand they hadn’t known was there before.”
True that. The past is, indeed, a dangerous place, and when we go back, sometimes we find the things we’ve left behind have suffered much decay. This line of thought probably explains my current fascination with photos I’ve found on Tumblr of the ruins of the abandoned.
There’s something about decay; the declension from beauty to dishabille, the peeling and the rust and the collapse that begins with infinitesimal flakes then proceeds to chunks until what was once just a dream drawn onto paper then made into a monument to creativity, has crumbled again to dust. So many stories.
Speaking of so many stories; all this past-diving without the proper emotional-scuba training and support, left me feeling that particularly ugly sort of melancholy of “no one has ever really loved me the way I wanted” sort of self-pity, late-night whining about the ghosts in my head sort of place. Examples:
“Tell better stories.” I know this to be true, the thing I should be doing. Some days, I do it well. But there is a part of my brain, directly connected to my soul, that for so long heard the “not good enough” and “you’ll never be loved that way” and so was somehow – in a sick, response to abuse way, programmed to seek out rejection. I know better – in my head – but that noise of “not” and “never” and all those people who I loved to distraction who didn’t return the feeling – all those hurtful, self-abnegating, self-destructive years – some days – seem almost impossible to overcome. I want to. I want to. I want to. But then, I go out, I’m in public, and I imagine how other people see me – and I realize, I am never going to be loved “that way” – and all that silly tripe about someone loving me for my heart, for my soul – it’s just that – SILLY TRIPE. No one falls “in love” with you or “wants” you for your soul – or, worse, if that actually DOES happen – it has never happened for me, which either means it is a myth or my soul is actually repugnant – so all the years of NOT-NEVER-NO-ONE-WILL-EVER were, in fact, what I deserve. And here I am, in that hole again … fuck this.
And even more ghost whining . . .
I’m about to lose it. I know this is the wrong story and the wrong question and the wrong way to see things, but I am existentially exhausted by the life I’ve lived. I have come to a place where 1)I don’t believe I will get any of the things I want; so 2) it is becoming increasingly difficult to want at all – as in; want to get dressed, want to make an effort; and 3) I can’t stop myself from the ridiculous, pointless wondering who I might be had I not spent so much love and life energy on people who didn’t honor me, didn’t have a clue who I was, didn’t reciprocate, and eventually betrayed, lied to, abandoned me and then called me a villain. I am grateful for the love I have, some great people, but I can’t help but have fallen for the notion that I’m somehow incomplete without a WUTHERING HEIGHTS romantic love, and that has never been my experience, will likely never be my experience, and I am filled with doubt and self-loathing because I have never managed to find a romance where I am loved in the way I am loved by my friends; and hate myself MORE for loathing myself BECAUSE I am not satisfied with that. So, I feel FAIL on all levels. And, like I said, losing it.
Idiot whining, like I said, and I know it, but it comes, I think, from the memory lane walk and sleep deprivation and maybe – just maybe – Kindle-ghost-guilt – perhaps it is Proust and Balzac and Isherwood planting all this in my head/heart?
But you see, here’s the thing; I have a beautiful, amazing group of beautiful, amazing, supportive friends who love me to the very soul, for my very soul, from their very souls; it is complete acceptance and affirmation, reciprocal; even better, there is not the tension of any of us wanting more (or less) from the other: we meet at the levels where we belong; the relationships work and there is none of the “oh I’m physically attracted to you” or such; just total freedom to express and love.
I am totally grateful and blessed. Now, if I could – just once in my life – manage to achieve this (or approach this) with someone and have the romantic attraction element as well – that would be nice.
But, if I don’t, I’ve got this cadre of friends who love me, who I love, and that is certainly a brilliant thing to have – and I remind myself of that every time I spend time / text / talk with any/all of them.
And that’s how I’m going to escape from these stupid circles, this silly inferno, tell a better story – the one where I am blessed to have these people around. Which, I guess, I just did. So there. Take that Proust Balzac and Isherwood – and let me read my Kindle book in peace.