Posts Tagged ‘intoxication’

My Last Spoon

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Inner Voice 1, immediately after taking the first pull in weeks from ther dab rig: “She AGREED to it! How is this NOT her fault?”

Inner Voice 2: “You mean it ISN’T our fault all this happened?”

Inner Voice 1: “Dude. You warned her about what the fucking cat needed. You told her she was indoor/outdoor and you were worried about CJ only having the balcony. You told her the cat hadn’t been around toddlers so you didn’t know what to expect, but that the cat doesn’t respond well to being alone for long stretches of time either so the family environment might balance shit out.”

Inner Voice 1: “AND you even fucking gave her time with the cat before we packed up and fuckin left as a trial run, and she said she absolutely wanted to keep her knowing you’d be gone AT LEAST A YEAR.”

Inner Voices into the mirror: “A FREAKIN YEAR!”

Inner Voice 3: “You even told her that you had noticed that she tended toward men, when it seemed like CJ wasn’t taking to her immediately but loved her husband and son.”

Inner Voice 1: “And not even a weeks time later when we’re already hundreds of miles away she fuckin’ says she can’t hack it, and then dumps the cat off on someone who lives in an urban condo, works super long hours, and is MTF HRT. On top of that all that. That was HER fault.”

Inner Voice 2: “But I still feel so bad. I feel like feeling bad means being in the middle of this now has got to be my fault somehow.”

Inner Voice 3: “It’s because we didn’t speak up about the situation not seeming like a good fit because the person taking CJ in was trans. We didn’t say a lot of what we needed to say because of that, specifically, not wanting to rock the boat or hurt their feelings after being considered. We let this happen because we didn’t want to deal with looking like a bigot or being questioned about why. Even though we had so many other reasons to say no, it is our fault because we’re fucking transphobic!!!”

Inner Voice 2: “Ok now I feel even worse.”

Inner Voice 4: “It’s our fault because we expected someone else to take on the expense of having CJ but let us retain ‘ownership’ and be able to maybe take her back whenever we got home and could have a cat again. It’s our fault because we’re a hypocrite capitalist financial fucking leech and neverending pit of needs and a horrible burden on everyone around us.”

Inner Voice 1: “It’s our fault because our anxiety and fear and scarcity made it impossible to find CJ a home remotely. It would have been hard and finding this person took weeks of exhausting work already but we barely even tried to find her another one once we were on the road! It’s our fault CJ ended up in an even worse position from the sounds of it.”

Inner Voice 2: “Ok jesus fuck now I feel really, really worse and I don’t think I ever even DESERVED a cat. Or money or help or friends or anything nice ever.”

(WEED, having blossomed far enough to intervene, waves a “Sleep” hand like the aliens in Dark City.)

(All the voices, including the ones who were just listening in, curl to the ground comfortably)

(Collective sigh)

Me, calmly petting a large green cat: “As you all know, we have shit to get done, today. Super, super, reasonable, shit. Shit that we are totally capable of doing. Y’all have been at this with one another long enough, driving this bus.”

(Me puts out ther cigarette, only two drags in, like usual)

Me: “We aren’t gonna spend another day on facebook complaining about our feelings and being all caught up in how we’re not a perfect person. We aren’t gonna spend another day procrastinating, reading Everyday Feminism and The Establishment, posting links about personal development and how hard it is to be single and what a garbage fire the world is. And we are NOT going to continue getting into fights with people on the internet for pointing out that they too are also not a perfect person, either.”

(Flat Starvation Stomach growls, writhing uncomfortably. The two raw eggs and glass of OJ are processed. The familiarity of hunger returns. The smell of days of body odor lofts into the room for a moment, then disappears.)

Me: “…while in utter fucking depletion, no less. We are just gonna get. Shit. Done.”

With the voices no longer drowning out my commands, my body proceeds to begin responding to my direct requests. I decide I will start by taking care of packaging the things I need to return to Amazon, some of which are in front of me on my friends kitchen table, along with the return labels another friend printed off as a favor for me yesterday — one they probably don’t know helped me as much as it did. I even have the boxes I need. The other things, like getting food, seem too big. Start small. We’ll start small.

I am slow and forgetful, but I am moving. I walk across the living room four times while leaving to head to the van.

Oop, the keys: On the table. Oop, left the kitchen light on, switch all the way across the room. Wait, we need those printouts for the packages. Wait, before we take the boxes outside, is there packing tape in here?: Check the drawer across the room. Nope, not here, ok let’s get down the stairs, fuck my steps are loud in these shoes. Wait, I just had the keys, where the fuck?: Walk across the room 1.75 times until they’re found. Clip, clap. Clip, clap.

Me: “This is ok. There is nothing wrong here. It is just taking us time and effort to track things because we are coming out of an intense depressive phase. It’s just like any other time when we are sick. This is normal. This is what happens when we are sick. Keep Going.”

Downstairs is the same experience of tracking, fumbling, forgetting, and dropping things out of my head. Tracking the steps of packing and taping and labeling a box is like trying to catch a handful of thrown bouncyballs in my cupped hands all at once. Without moving my hands. Because they are sore, and exhausted, and frozen cold clear through.

As were all the steps of all the tasks in all the world before this one, it would seem. I under stand the sickness. From the sheer stress being noted in my body, that I had been screaming over so I couldn’t hear.

Me: “No Facebook. No laptop. No phone. No worrying. No watching, no learning, no empathizing. Remember your last spoon. This is our spoon and no one else’s spoon. We are gonna use this spoon and we are just gonna get. Shit. Done.”

The van is a different type of challenge, because it’s a van that I live in, and currently a total sty. The packing tape could be any number of places which need to be unveiled by pulling other milk crates and tools out. And now that I am home rather than in a friends house, I am swimming through a jumble of task after distracting task piled up after a weeks long depression while trying to accomplish… tasks.

But it’s a little better. I am outside. Just being outside, is getting shit done. I open up all the van doors. The temperature is nice, and there is a cooling breeze and it’s almost a little bit too cold for perfect when I am not in the sun. I keep my scarf and hat on so I can feel just a little sweaty. I’ve been greasy and unkept for days, but this sheen, feels productive.

I realize that the replacement cheap knockoff drivers side mirror is just as shaky as my newish cheap knockoff drivers side mirror and remember that buying cheap shit that is going to break is a familiar part of my existence, an annoyance which is offset by the fact that now I don’t have to dig out my new toolkit (Thanks Dad!!) from the back of the van and swap out the mirrors. I just have to put this new mirror back in its box.

Inner Voice 1: “You know what would be nice right now? Music.”

Inner Voice 2, projecting an image of Me with ther iPhone headphones in: “WANT! But we said no phone. :(((((“

Inner Voice 4: “Wait. Ancient Sacramento Friend who Works In Tech just spent a ridiculously uncomfortable $847.74 on gifting us that car stereo that took like 5 hours to get installed. Why don’t we use that?”

Inner Voice 2: “I usually don’t like to bother other people with my noise. I want to feel small and invisible and safe and secure and I am better off alon–

(WEED scooches closer to Inner Voice 2 and leans in a little, rubbing at her shoulder with its face. WEED slowly morfs into the shape of the large green cat)

Inner Voice 2, as projection of image of Me with iPhone headphones starts flickering away: “You know what, that’s bullshit. No, I don’t. I don’t want to be invisible! I’m afraid to take up too much space and being seen is scary sometimes but being perpetually unseen does not make me feel safe! Let’s use the radio!”

Inner Voice 3: “I usually don’t want to use it because of the van running and the carbon footprint and the resources and the battery drain if the van isn’t running I mean..”

(The Green Cat rubs at the shins of Inner Voice 3 while sauntering by)

Inner Voice 3: “.. but hey, this is a good place to test my fear of the battery dying. I have no idea if the radio will actually drain enough to justify how much I have been worrying. We can test it! It would be easy to ask a neighbor to jump start the van. This is our hood! Let’s use the radio!”

Inner Voice 1: “I don’t care how, just want music.”

Me: “Ok then. Let’s use the radio. Nice work everyone.”

It takes me less time this time to find my keys. There is a slight spring in my step now as I walk to the side of the van which is getting sun. I remember how cute I look when I am dressed this way, in a tank top with a hat and a scarf and my utility belt — which I just pulled my keys out of which means I just remembered to put them into — around my waist.

I imagine how cute I am opening up my door, putting my keys in the ignition, and turning on the radio of my big white van with paint peeling off and stickers on the back. KEXP is playing Love Buzz, a song that reminds me of a time in my life when I used to play Bleach on repeat for days on end, maybe as long as that last depression was, even.

Inner Voice 4 begins to question the link between how the superficial teachings of a white supremacist herteropatriarchy may have dug a trench that links my feeling pretty with liking myself and begins wondering whether it is feminist of Me to allow that process to happen without examining and critiquing it immediately, right now, and doing it publicly where we can be at the risk of being criticized, bruised and battered emotional body be damned.

The Green Cat meows, distracting them before they can say anything to ignite the others.

I smile a little at the rotten terror of a teenager I used to be and remember for a moment that I actually like a lot about who I am. Because of who she is, still, in me, even; The voice who got shit done when I needed my mama and someone holding me. The voice who convinced Me to take a spoon yesterday when I was 200 miles away from friends and out of them.

Inner Voice 1 side eyes all of Me, the actionable thief. For a moment he looks like a macro image of a spider’s eyes. I love spiders. The Green Cat stuffs itself into ther mouth before he can say anything to ignite the others, as they both wander away to contemplate quietly.

I notice my spoon in my vans drink holder, and how tight the end to Love Buzz sounds.

The other voices, satisfied for now, wander away into the background, to do what it is they do.

It takes me 12 minutes, to package two of three return boxes. I feel just a tiny bit more capable, in general. Almost done!

I stop to take an hour to write this post, because I am a fucking artist. And a narcissist. And mentally ill. The Green Therapy Cat handles the voices who want to dissect it all. I write for myself, truly, for the first time since I updated this blog.

Me: “Remember right now that we are sick. Keep Going. Just get the shit done. Do what needs to be done to get shit done. No more perfect.”

No more perfect.

It takes me 4 minutes to package the last box. I only have to walk back into the house once, before I locked the door, to get the box I needed from the garage.

When I return to the van looking for the tape, I find that I’d actually put it away again before I came back inside to write this.

Now my packages are waiting in my van for me to drop them off later today, on my way to class. Before I come back inside, I think to grab the sachet for the borrowed photography lenses that are sitting on the table, waiting to be returned. I stuff it in a pocket of my utility belt, confident I will remember I put it there.

As I run through my post edits, an email comes in: It’s the translation of the instruction sheet I asked for, for the portion of class I’m teaching tonight about the auto-populating time sheets I created for the organization.

It occurs to me that I should probably start feeding and hydrating myself, to be ready for that. I feel like maybe I have what it takes now to get that done. One more edit. Another hour has gone by.

Now I am actionable hungry. I stand up while I type the end out.

More shit to get done.

NEXT!

EMFUCKINGBODIED

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

I swear I just saw myself for the first time

I told myself in the mirror

As I cried after connecting so incredibly profoundly with multiple people (And once again meeting another incredible man I can’t have in my life like I would prefer, god damn stupid growth opportunities)

“You are..

An amazing woman.

And you will ALWAYS be
An amazing woman.

No matter what
Anyone else thinks.

And when you die,
The world will be a better place

Because you
were in it.”

I am an artist.
And I am fucking amazing
And I am going to get what I want for myself.

Because I am worth it.
And there is no worthier cause than my happiness.

Thank you for showing me what is possible.
And thank you for believing in me.

Solidarity

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

I had a get last night. A pretty big one. A few of them really, but one in particular that brought about a bit of an ‘ugh’ along with the ‘ah ha!’.

It came about while reading the rather surprisingly amazing comments on this post, about a female artist who creates a series of self portraits while on an acid trip.

In a nutshell, I suspect that, though it often helped me to care a little bit less about what a weirdo I was, my choice to use psychedelics heavily during the intensely depressed and forlorn periods of my life actually trained my brain to stay in those places.

I think that constantly exploring those parts of my psyche so deeply as my mind was still growing evolved me into the person who has struggled so much to resurface and keep my head above water since then.

Generally, when I think or talk about my drug related past, it is to ruminate about being an extreme meth abuser through years of suicidal tendencies and having somehow lived. Or, it’s to illustrate how the experience of pot changed for me over the years – I absolutely hated it when I was younger, and felt very alien and paranoid when I did it, but now, it’s calming and enjoyable for me. I haven’t really spoken in depth about my past psychedelics use, specifically, very much (Though I do occasionally write here after smoking pot, and it’s pretty awesome, allbeit slow going).

“Everything you can imagine is real.” – Pablo Picasso

My teenage psychedelic use (speaking of mainly acid, which I did an amazing amount of) was both deeply blissful and fucking horrifying. I rarely prepared my psyche for it, and almost always did at least twice the dose as would have been appropriate. I had some of the worst trips, the most horrendous visions, sinking horrible anxious torrents of emotional torture, and often was transported into a special brand of hell catered just for me when I dropped acid, the images and fears of which lingered with me long after the effects wore off.

I also found sanctuary, beauty, and joy through other trips, particularly E, when I was a bit older, which was starkly contrasted by a reality where I was nearly exclusively incapable of seeing those things.

Especially in those less frequently positive instances, tripping helped me discover and revisit a well of immense emotional intelligence (not to be confused with emotional maturity, which I’ve only recently developed). But they were atypical of my experiences in total, which were usually laced with anxiety and tension, even if I was having some fun/learning too, and the good trips still had difficult comedowns.

Rarities as they were, positive drug experiences opened doors to profound compassion and understanding for the human condition, and connection with other people, when I otherwise felt an incredible isolation from other human beings that constantly crushed me from the inside.

Like sex and probably other things, though I rightly appeared on the surface to be capable, knowledgable and deeply educated due to my experience, drugs were a responsibility I was not prepared, or even remotely ready for when I had adopted them heavily into my life.

My relationship with drugs was abusive, unstable, obsessive, and an utter codependent roller coaster – like all my intimate relationships were.

I honestly believe that I didn’t know of any better way to deal with what I was going through, and I feel compassion for my past self who was in the position to be making those kinds of decisions – the ones where you look between oblivion and burning alive and have to choose. I had a lot of those, and I did the best that I could.

Visiting all this hindsight caused me to wonder what it might be like to revisit using psychedelics again, now that I’m a lot better off and have healed from much of the self abuse I inflicted. Perhaps they could help repair the damage that perhaps they helped me inflict. I don’t feel the need to jump into anything, but the idea of trying proper doses of a few things to explore what they may have to offer me is appealing.

My psyche shifting into stronger foundations has been a big part of my life lately as I’ve charged bravely though another encompassing wave of progress in therapy. This is the main reason I would consider possibly maybe thinking about the potential of doing this now, after inhaling far more than any number of human’s fair share of drugs in the past. For the first time ever I am enjoying the emergence of a psychic foundation that is stable, expanding, and wholly mine.

I’ve been longing to write about these progressions, but been waiting for it to flow naturally. It’s taken a long time by my standards, even though I’ve used the drafts feature on here more in the last year than I’ve ever done – the concept of letting a post mature into a complete thing rather than S.O.C. writing is a relatively new one since v3.3 – but I like it.

At any rate, this line of thought is a great segue into finally posting about something I’ve had circulating in my drafts for the last few weeks. Yay, drugs (and art!)

Lately I have noticed this fracture in my personality, like I have managed to mostly dismantle my identification with the pain in my past. Where it used to be subconscious and simply immediately true and acted upon, now I sometimes hear the learned behaviors from the abuse speaking as if it weren’t actually me. It’s like I am in third person watching a kid version of myself that looks like an adult version of me saying/thinking disturbing shit. I saw that lost little girl a lot last night. Sorta heavy today.- Facebook Oct 26 2013

As previously mentioned, I’ve been in a pretty good groove as far as that whole personal progress shtick lately, illustrated in the Facebook update above as my increasingly natural ability to observe myself with curiosity and nonreaction/nonjudgement.

The development of my inner world into a multi-leveled compound, the discovery of the children in my underworld, and allowing my personality splits to flesh into characters has been very fruitful. So many things make sense when I view myself this way, and for the most part, I am impressed and fascinated with how my mind protected itself all those years ago. I admit, it’s pretty fucking weird, though.

I think, due in part to my personality being splintered, I generally will have a very specific type of overwhelming physical and emotional reactions to intensely connecting with another person sexually (and also things like very intense/vulnerable performances).

When thrust into that sort of extreme emotional vulnerability, I can immediately retreat deep into often inarticulateable recesses of my psyche to attempt to return to myself as a reaction to it. It’s a common response after opening and allowing another person inside me and, more importantly, deep into my emotional world. I shake and cry and blubber things I don’t remember saying. In the past I’ve sometimes needed to detach physically from the other person in order to regain myself and calm down.

This is one of the reasons I am so very selective as to the people I pursue long lasting sexual relationships with. I, rightly, don’t trust a lot of people to be a successful container for that, even though it only happens a handful of times a year.

I had a breakthrough on Halloween which, incidentally, occurred while I was stoned (I also saw Liddell for the first time while stoned), directly after having very intense and connective sex. My experience was that I had just finished having a universe-hopping orgasm that essentially transported me into myself, and while I was there, my perspective changed.

Suddenly I was viewing through a holographic-like perception of a person I wasn’t familiar with. Sort of like when the optometrist swaps out those monocle-looking lenses to test your eyes – except it also manifested translucently in my spirit and my being, not just my vision. It was like my eyeballs had been magically swapped out for ones that saw a different (or additional, as it turned out) spectrum, and I felt a deep sadness I couldn’t explain.

It wasn’t that I became someone else. I was aware of myself and who I was and was conscious. But I wasn’t.. here, either. It was confusing. I was discombobulated and thrown off. I started to cry, and began searching for someone familiar inside me to direct my awareness to. I found Liddell, and started talking aloud to her (I don’t really do that very much..) repeating “It’s ok. It’s ok. We’re going to be ok. We’re in this together.” while I clutched my chest, crying, searching around in confusion, still on top of my lover.

At the time, I came to the conclusion that one of my shadow personalities on my upper level, the advisor level where the adults are, one of the ones I am aware of and can see a vague outline of but haven’t met yet, was now gone. I felt space where there wasn’t space before, the outline had changed from being solid and gray and having substance to its center to being whispy and white and open in the middle.

At the same time, there is nowhere else for this figment to go but within me – so, it seemed at the time that one split personality had fused with another. I thought Liddell, since she was the available one, and I lived under the assumption for about a week that Liddell had somehow sucked up another chunk of my personality like a little highlander.

A week or so later, I talked with my therapist about the experience. After explaining as best I could and being pretty befuddled about it she says to me, essentially, that if an absorption is what happened, it’s kind of the point of all this work.

The theory we currently work under is that consistent formative trauma split me up, but I didn’t go full MPD (now referred to as Dissociative Personality Disorder), probably because my dad stayed around. While he was his own brand of crazy and damaged, he was consistently there, and he fought hard to be that person in my life.

Though I have personally splits, and a history of dissociating into them, I also have threads that interconnect me to them all, and I don’t experience time loss or amnesia inherent in a true Multiple Personality Disorder.

I haven’t dissociated in months, really, save one time, and when it happens, it’s much easier to control and observe. I recognize that something that feels awful (it took a while to figure out what that feeling even was, or that it was a bad touch I could do something about) is controlling what I am saying/doing, usually in aggressive/standoffish text messages with my primary lover, and it takes me much less time to overpower the primate, apologize and begin interacting reasonably again.

Apparently as I heal psychically, eventually, they will all be reabsorbed somehow. I took the next week processing through the images and shifts in perceiving myself as having miraculously fused pieces of my mind together, as well as being a little put off by the idea of my Liddell being more beefy. I mean, she’s kind of a tunnelvisioned brute who caused me an awful lot of trouble.

I went back into my next therapy session wanting to talk about my experience sitting with the space that was created when it happened. How that space sometimes felt like an articulated single bubble in the intestinal caverns of my mind, and other times that space felt like the bubbles in carbonated soda, diffuse and impossible to hold. It was shifting and nebulous and I hadn’t put my finger on it.

Been feeling really good and focused and productive in my personal goals lately, in general. Lots of art progress as well as personal stuff, and my relationships with other people feel a lot more stable and safe. I am also periodically sad and kinda weepy right now.  After an entire life of extreme moods and feeling like about 20 fractured people, I only just became aware of the core personalities that have been motivating me a few months ago, and when I did, so many things about me started to actually make sense. It was sort of weird but also a tremendous relief to find my underground. – Pt. 1 of Failed Facebook update, saved in this draft version

I also talked about my various emotional reactions, which included a sense of sadness and abandonment. I’ve only just begun meeting these parts of me, and already, they are leaving? I’m so fucking disposable that even the voices in my head that I haven’t met yet go away?

And if the point of all this work is to get rid of them all.. where does that leave me, a person who knows nothing else but fractures and inner tensions stretching my mind and feelings to their conclusions? Despite enjoying frequent moments, and now a very quiet, subtle and lingering sense of a wholeness, I can’t even IMAGINE my inner world being one whole. I can’t even imagine it. It’s all I’ve ever known, even before I knew what it was – *I* don’t even possess the ability to *IMAGINE* being an entity without those inner pulls and conflicts. The fuck.

I’m up for this and will face it head on and it also feels like no sooner did I make those strides to meet these little people in there, they’re leaving. I mean, I want to, but I am also scared and really don’t have any idea what the fuck I’m doing. Since I became ready to find my mom almost a year ago now, all this stuff has really accelerated, and sometimes I kinda feel like, hey, slow the fuck down, dude. – Pt. 2 Failed Facebook Update

After confiding this, my therapist asked if perhaps I could say goodbye to this ‘lost’ personality, to complete what had happened. I thought about it for a while and replied that though my emotional reaction told me that it would be a worthwhile process, I wasn’t able to because I could not visualize, either literally or in a figurative manner, who or what went away. Until I could do that, I wouldn’t be ready for the closure of a goodbye.

So she asked me to tell her about them. Look around and see if I could sense together what this personality had been about. I cleared my mind and waited. And waited. It seemed like a mile of blank, and I remember thinking how impatient and annoyed I would have been not long ago, and how I would have given up looking and changed the subject before the length of time I had already been waiting.

Not long after that, a visual flash hit me – a cartoon of a small, smooth, round, bubbly shaped, tiny little monster, peering part of his head around a corner, and immediately hiding again. He was jet black, with huge all-black marble eyes that both made him adorable and creepy. He purred and clicked when he moved.

He reminded me a little of Stitch, in his mannerisms and in that he was utterly alone. No one else like him, anywhere. Alien. So lonely, terrified of being discovered, dissected and tortured. Constantly hiding, curling up in tiny corners and shoving himself into little nooks that were so tight he couldn’t move his little body. Not a cell of violence in him, and not a cell of confidence either. Tender, agonizingly vulnerable, and completely afraid.

I spent a long while after that recalling just how lonely and small I felt growing up. I was too intelligent and insightful to tolerate my insufferable peers, too morbid and dark to fit in with the adults, extremely sexual very early in my life, and was just a weird messed up kid. I was also clearly being traumatized, hence forcing much of any perceptive adult to feeling immediately uncomfortable and helpless and often confused around me, which I of course sensed and internalized.

(Also of significance, he was a he – only the second male I’ve discovered thus far, the first being a small child who, until about a month ago, subconsciously bared the burden of serving as a conduit for the totality of the flow of my emotions. That was a hell of a therapy session, and I somewhat wish I’d written about it when it happened since I don’t much recall the details now, however I processed that by talking with my loved ones about it, so I’m ok with it. Maybe that one will come out a bit later. This is already a lot.)

As I described this little black alien cartoon I’d just discovered, I noticed behind where he had poked his head out for a moment was a hallway, propped in heavy slate grey walls of smoothish rock. Not machine smoothed, but worn smoothed, like the side of a mountain under a waterfall, but dry. As part of that wall of rock, I saw the space – a perfect outline of his little body.

This post is called Solidarity because when I began drafting it, I thought I had fused. Instead, it seems I have learned that my hider was an ethereal massless alien shape shifter; And, I can see him, now.

For some reason, the title still seems to fit.

If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

“For in that city there is neurosis in the air which the inhabitants mistake for energy.” ― Evelyn Waugh

The New York subway has its own distinctive scent, like a cocktail of black tar and metal shavings, that I immediately find familiar and comforting every time I retun. You’d think it would mostly smell like pee and refuse, but for the most part it doesn’t.

I was periodically thankful for having that sense memory, and generally a lot of time, the half dozen or so instances I took the train in the wrong direction during the week I was visiting; also a bit of a staple experience for me here.

In the first day I was back, I remembered one of the reasons I considered moving to New York City – all the free stuff on the streets! Within a few blocks of walking a neighborhood, there’s always some motley crew plethora of building materials, toys, electronics, old furniture (much of it antique) and, of course, actual trash laying around. I remember fantasizing about having to purchase nearly nothing for my shoebox apartment should I have moved, back in 2005.

I also remembered one of the reasons why I decided not to move to New York City; There’s, uh, fucking trash everywhere. And with trash, comes vermin, which is also everywhere, including squashed on the streets and scurrying across all manner of floors, sometimes even near my stuff. Humph.

Slow Start

For various reasons, including working my way through the antibiotics I started in Sacramento and actually getting a ton of shit done in between, I spent a couple entire days in PJ’s (or rather, the clothes I slept in, because I didn’t really bring PJ’s) without going out or eating much of anything. With the exception of a few days in which I had plans already, I found that I didn’t have the motivation to do much, and was rather steadily depressed with a few spikes of life in between.

Sitting alone in a small, tidy NYC diner. A white nondescript plate of steaming corned beef hash that most certainly came from a can sits half eaten in front of me, its ridiculous portion blanketed in eggs over medium. I’m listening to Dido seeping from the ceiling, remembering my trip to Toronto when I listened to her a lot. The cold, mostly, and the alone time on the vibrating street cars. My heart is lighter than yesterday, allowing for sweet sadness to spread to my throat and the furrow of my brow. A small wise smile finishes the edges of my lips that feels like a gate to the knowing field. Everybody seems to want to ask me about myself. Perhaps it’s because they know, too. I’ll stay here until the plate is clear. Two more rest periods, I’ll bet. – June 7, 2013

It rained as much as it was nice while here, complete with the signature humidity of an NYC summer, but thankfully it never got agonizingly hot. On the few days it never stopped raining I pretty much hung out in bed with Bejeweled, which I had played for the first time on the plane ride out.

That said, there were plenty of standout times, starting with seeing my friend Rob Paravonian (for the first time in like 6 years) opening and MCing for his friend Liam McEneane’s live show taping at Union Hall in Brooklyn, the day after I arrived. They’re both funny as shit and super sweet – buy their stuff.

Saturday

On Saturday I went to FIGMENT NYC with Donia, my friend from Seattle whom I originally learned fire spinning from, and my host in NYC. FIGMENT is a giant not for profit public collective interactive free-for-all art event on Governors Island, an amazing retired military base converted into a public park, complete with dozens of huge, gorgeous Victorian era houses and lots of green hilly things. The weather, thankfully, was perfect for it.

The day before FIGMENT (a Friday that was lost to the rain and the comfort of Donia’s guest bed), after looking over the website and really liking what I saw, I sent a little introduction mail through their contact form explaining a small portion of my background in the arts and non-profit work and expressing my interest in putting on a FIGMENT event in Seattle. To my surprise, I was quickly responded to by the Executive Producer and given contact information to be utilized when I arrived.

Within about 3 hours of meeting, wandering, philosophizing and effectively interviewing one another, I was given a nametag, shirt, and was being introduced as “working on Seattle”. Suddenly, I had plans to return for the second day to attend the producers brunch in the morning, which I did, and it was pretty glorious too. One of the things that traveling to the east cost illuminates is just how fucking passive aggressive and flakey people in Seattle are. It’s a wonder anything ever gets the fuck done.

I feel confident that there is intense possibility here, though. Many more things need to fall into place before I know exactly where I fit into the Seattle plans with FIGMENT, however, it’s safe to assume based off my experience with the organizations core assets and many representatives from other areas, including Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, and even Australia, that it’s rather likely I will be involved in some sort of leadership role in the process. (Unless, of course, I decide to stay in Sweden.)

Hack tha planet, bitchez

After my first day of FIGMENT, and discovering my notable sunburn, I stopped by a place in midtown for some Summercon afterdrinking with my hacker boys, and to pick up the convention badge I never ended up using. I had supposed to attend con and meet up the night before but I simply didn’t feel well enough yet.

I did, however, show up eventually. In turn I got to visit with a few of my favorite people in the world, many of which I hadn’t expected to see, and got a little bit of my drink on.

I was met almost immediately with a pretty awesome exchange with my longtime friend and hobbiest photographer Weld, who happened to notice some time ago that I borrow the SLR camera I often use. He also happens to have a Canon 40D he is not using, and happens to think I need to be taking WAY more pictures. What can I say, the man’s a problem solver – He offered his old camera to me, and I’ll have a 40D of my very own shortly after I settle from my trip. I live a charmed existence indeed.

I invited my distant ex to join us as part of our shenanigans and we ended up having an awesomely entertaining and rather public series of heart to hearts, in which we aired out a lot of the crazy shit we’d pulled on one another, sometimes for the first time since it had happened, and recounted some pretty awesome memories in there as well.

There was a lot of laughing, from both us as well as the people around us who were listening to these tragically hilarious recountings, and a lot of recognition between us. Much Good Stuff was had from our interactions, especially for him, as he’d been slower to process and grow out of the place we were back then and had apparently been holding on to a lot of stuff I’d put down some time ago.

It felt really good, and I was aglow with the familiar feeling of having contributed profoundly to another persons inner world by being generous with mine, though I never stop being surprised when that happens. Nothing we talked about triggered me and I felt a lot of gratitude and connection about it all. It’s sort of amazing how healing admitting to your ex you were kinda happy when you saw he got fat can be.

I ended up spending a night in Manhattan which consisted of very little sleep, not enough dancing, and long awaited connections of multiple types. It was a welcome contrast to the work emails, event coordination mode, recovering from infection, actual work, etc. I got to just be myself for a while, say what came to my mind and be with people who’ve seen it all and stuck around anyway. It really felt great.

Sunday

Spent some time at MOMA in NYC yesterday, mostly mouth agape at the ridiculous piles of shit that the elite seem to think constitutes as artwork. A few things stood out for me, including an antique slideshowing depicting horrific facial deformities, many appearing to be the result of bombings and shootings to the face in the world wars. Some of them were so brutalized it was difficult to imagine how they continued to exist, missing large portions of their bone structure. Something about it captured me but I couldn’t put my finger on it; I realized this morning that the exhibit spoke to my experiences regarding the uncertainty of the results of healing. I expect a scarless, flawless result from mine, particularly when addressing emotional and spiritual injuries. But sometimes, no matter how much more you fiddle with and stretch your skin over the giant hole collapsing your face in, there comes a time to accept that it’s just always going to be tender and unsightly. Disturbing.

I have decided that most Modern art is a bunch of fucking bullshit, and the Museum of Modern Art kinda sicked me out. It’s almost impossible not to compare my work to the work that’s displayed, and so much of it is SO BAD it’s just unbelievable.

Indecipherable pencil scribbles on torn pages of newsprint? Horrifying greenscreened clunky dancers in garish bedazzled zentai suits on video, chunks of which are invisible because the colors of the costumes matched the screen too closely? Chunky paper with strands of human hair swirled sloppily on its surface and put in a frame? Duct tape squares on fucking cardboard?

It seems that any old piece of trash is modern art as long as you make it a series. Who the fuck decides to put this shit in a museum, anyway – cause I’ve got a pile of my crap smeared to a 2×4 to fucking sell the pretentious fucker.

The one thing we were actually there for, the Rain Room, was an hour and a half wait when the exhibit closed in an hour and 15 minutes. No pictures in the Rain Room for Will and I on Sunday. We decided to try later in the week. BLECH.

A Case of the Mondays

Low energy and fairly uncomfortable, strumming the uke without much direction. I’m traveling, taking antibiotics and have pooped twice all week. Help a sista out and suggest some songs you’d like to hear me cover. If any of them work out well I’ll post the progress to soundcloud.

Once that eventful and potentially life altering weekend was over, New York City spent another solid day raining. The last time I was around these parts for this kind of weather, I spectacularly wrecked on the NJ turnpike with my ex after hydroplaning over a temporary lake I couldn’t see.

That was about 16 years ago now and the sound still shoots me up with adrenaline, but that’s about the only thing that remains in me from our ridiculously abusive (both self, drugs and one another) history, for both of us now, I think, and I found the weather to be almost communicative, like a final nod goodbye to all that fucked up victim bullshit. I found myself wondering if I would still periodically panic when I heard hydroplaning anymore.

Monday also happened to be the day that I traveled farther east in Brooklyn to meet with Dese’Rae Stage of the Live Through This Project (for those who know NYC, I was staying on Atlantic Ave near the Nostrand stop on the A, and went to Saraghina off the Utica stop for my meeting) to talk about life after an adolescence wrought to the core with suicide attempts.

When I had originally contacted Dese’Rae after discovering her project, I was in a pretty solid mindstate. I offered to talk about my experiences because I felt I had a lot of encouraging words and insights that could help people who weren’t feeling that life was very worth living, or were questioning if it was all worth it. I’d been there and done that and was proof that it got better.

Of course, when it came time to actually talk to Dese’Rae, I felt like total fucking shit. I was worn down again, tired, sad, alien, weird, alone. My trip wasn’t freeing and energizing like I was expecting, the time off felt like an emotional prison plagued by sickness and conflict, all these fucked up emotions kept surfacing and for much of the weeks leading up to this commitment I’d been stifling tears and avoiding feeling what was calling them out.

As I sat at the table with her chatting and occasionally advising about the administrative challenges of her project, what felt most real to me as my time to speak and be recorded loomed in the distance was how hard it still is. How hard it is at least a portion of almost every single day of my life. How hope for living is a constant battle, a constant struggle to remember that year that gets farther and farther in the past where I didn’t see suicide as an option, or a concept that was just at my fingertips, at the ready, waiting for me to slide down far enough to have nothing but it to cling to. How hard it is to remember the tiny strands of that reality, to remember when I feel bad that it is possible for me to feel better, for what felt like a long time, and maybe some day if I work hard enough I might feel that way again.

So, that, and ideas and insights surrounding that, was what I talked about, once I got through the basics of my history, which took a while in and of itself. I’ll be interested in seeing what she chooses to include in my story on the projects website, which as far as I can figure is about 6 months off from being published. I’m glad I did it, and I know I will be touched by what comes out of it. For now, though, I am comforted by the fact that I’m likely to forget about it entirely in the meantime.

The Final Act

This vacation, thus far, has turned into a lot of work, very little movement/exploration, and laptop forearms. Considering unplugging entirely while in Sweden.

The last few days in NYC were pretty typical. I slept a bit, scheduled a shoot in Sweden for the 17th, checked a lot of email and took Donia for Indian food as a thank you for letting me crash at her place.

Will and I did get some good pictures in the Rain Room exhibit first thing in the morning the day I left, and I was reintroduced to SnapSeed, which I had tried but didn’t really get into before, for post processing arty images.

Up at 7am preparing for a second crack at getting into the MOMA rain room exhibit to have some pictures taken of me. After that, a final couple of hours in NYC which are likely to include central park and stopping by the piano stores I noticed in the neighborhood last time. Then back to Brooklyn to pack up, and the long flight to Sweden.

I had the opportunity to play a Yamaha C7 grand piano at the recommendation of my friend and musical collaborator Aaron Marshall, who suggested I try a Yamaha after reading about my experience with Steinways. We hit up Central Park for a walk and some ice cream and had a ridiculous lunch at a place called the Jekyll and Hyde club in Times Square. It was good to see Will again, it had been since 2005 that I had, and he is what one might call Good People.

The plan is to return to New York for FIGMENT next year. We shall see. I have a lot of travel, still, this year, and next year might need to be a year that I stay home and tend to my various businesses. Especially considering a majority of my commitments in the near future include SEAF and FIGMENT which are volunteer. I really need to figure out how to get paid for this shit.

Packing up and soon to be out of communication until July. If you’re planning on having any big news or have something to say to me before then now’s the time to speak up. Otherwise, see you on the flip side.

Given my penchant for spiraling into the social networking abyss, I will be offline apart from updating my blog until I return from my trip.

Bitter Soda

Monday, December 17th, 2012

One of the things I have taken very seriously since having become suicidally depressed last month is my relationship with drugs and alcohol. Particularly alcohol, which has by far been the most destructive of my coping mechanisms in my life.

Of late, I have partaken rarely, usually in very small amounts when I have, and never when I have been significantly distressed. It has been important to me in my decision to surrender to the difficult feelings I have been having to do it with my eyes open.

I believe it has been about 6 weeks now, the amount of time they say it takes to develop a habit, since I began doing this exclusively when I went to bars – So I think it’s safe to say my official drink is now soda water and bitters.

Bitters are aromatic botanicals in an alcohol base and, technically, alcoholic, but in my experience they are pretty much like shooting yourself in the throat with breath spray when it comes to any effect one will feel from the few dashes that are needed to flavor a drink.

It’s actually quite fun, and encourages me not only to save money and remain sober, but to also hang out in the kinds of places I truly enjoy being at. Angostura bitters taste nice enough and are a standard I enjoy (as opposed to well alcohol which tastes like shit) but the opportunities beyond can be endless depending on where I go.

A good bartender will enjoy creating a special drink for me, include me in the process and let me see and handle all their cool little bottles. I am learning about different kinds of bitters and the types of flavors I like and getting inside scoops on where to buy from.

Self care can be hard, especially around alcohol and attempts to remain social particularly when avoiding it. Of the many changes toward health and happiness I have experienced in my life, this has been one of the easiest small, yet significant, adjustments I have made. And I really love simply letting a bartender surprise me without having the concern of ending up Gin or Jager drunk – which, let’s be honest, no one wants to see. :P

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Sometimes you just gotta get a little tipsy, smoke some weed, make a little music and watch a fuckin’ action movie. Ya know?

Safe House is SNAPPY so far. Woooo!

An introverted peace

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

For as long as I can remember, I have identified with with my thinking, and being thought of, as a naturally extroverted, gregarious, outgoing person.

It wasn’t a conscious choice, it just happened somehow that I caught onto the facts that a) I did well at creating myself as the center of attention and b) that people who are noticeable are the ones who receive the affirmation and encouragement I wanted.

I remember a specific interaction I had as a very young person, as I began to withdraw in response to the pressures of significant dysfunction and tension in my home life. A no-doubt well-intentioned, somewhat concerned figure of authority and reverence to me, probably my Dad or one of my favorite teachers, took me aside and mentioned missing the bubbly me.

In that moment, I determined that the quiet, introspective me, wasn’t good enough. That being that person made the people I cared about hurt and worry, got me in trouble, and being available and seen was what was best for everyone. Through this and other observations, over time nurturing my fledgling ability to communicate my desires authentically and effectively was overlooked.

It is true: I have magnetic, charismatic social talents, and I do occasionally truly and fully enjoy going out into the world and sharing them. Coupled with my intuition and understanding of people, I’ve experienced amazing, even transformative social interactions that I highly value as part of the life I’ve lead, and I am certain I will again.

However, I have habitually, and with potentially misguided examination, met my more frequent tendencies toward solitude — though intense and from a deep place — with shame, and all too often with a vehement self inflicted emotional punishment.

In my teens, my deep desire for a quiet safety and security was under constant, incessant attack. Though eventually recognizing the wisdom in doing so, I left high school an angry, guarded, self-perceived social failure, even though I passed the equivalency exam with ease at the age of 15, immediately and very successfully joining the work force.

Due to many factors I spent years in an agonizing isolated depression, in pain, online; a constant pressurized stream of my fears, my weaknesses, and my disappointments lurching passionately from my mind into IRC channels full of people ready to commiserate and affirm my negative beliefs, which were carefully constructed to appear as though I thought they were completely and utterly right. And I probably did.

It took me until 27 years into my life to be able to say, compassionately and authentically, that I didn’t enjoy loud live music, crowds, and bars so packed I’d find myself having to scream in order to be heard speaking. Due to other facets of my personality as well as prioritizing social interaction, it was scary and incredibly hard to ask for the closer one on one and small group connections my soul was really seeking.

Until my 30’s I met the physical disturbances in my body, and the numerous emotional hurdles present in most of my preparation for social events, with blame and negativity. For years, I’d get churning nervous shits while preparing to go out, holding onto the promise of inhibition annihilation by way of drugs and alcohol to power through it.

I have often been assuming that those responses were just me being weak, and seen my anxiety an unnecessary obstacle, or worse, a fundamental psychological flaw. I have scorned myself for wanting to be alone, for wanting to hide, for wanting quiet around me, when I feel scared or threatened or off kilter or tired.

Self scorn, and more frequently now self-doubt, is still my first response toward wanting to be with myself, in many cases. It’s a long road back from it being nearly impossible to trust when I need to be alone, and when I am trying to withdraw to punish myself in silence. Over time, they had simply become the same thing.

As I’ve aged and learned more about how and why to be alone, I’ve started to embrace alone time, usually in the form of travel. For a long period of my young-adult life I forced myself to constantly value expressing connection over taking time for myself, in part for fearing that if I took that time my job/lover/friend/parent/insert-connection-of-value-here would be gone when I returned, and as such often undermined the limited time I had so boldly and bravely taken.

Boldly and bravely may even be an understatement. Even now that I am beginning to master recognizing my need for solitude in wilderness, and having felt the amazing freeing power in listening to that call, prioritizing it is still incredibly challenging. Over these last few months as I’ve been frantically struggling, I’ve known and even proclaimed to others repeatedly that I desperately need to get away for a while, even just a few days, and have yet to make it happen.

There are many, many pieces to this puzzle of worth, of connection, of belonging and feeling accepted, for every one. What this woman said helped me find another one of mine:

In health and otherwise, my introversion is where my revelations come from. It’s where the meaningful, impactful words I write, the ideas I share, and my awareness of the connection I feel with humanity comes from. It’s where my performances come form, it’s where the layers upon layers in my shows come from, it’s where the compulsion to create Vita Arts came from. It’s where my paintings, my music, and every self photograph I’ve used in this post comes from.

My introversion is the birthplace of my extroversion. It’s how I communicate with my soul.

Hiding isn’t always a lie.

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

“I love it when I crack my back downing alcohol”

Monday, February 20th, 2012

“We celebrate the death of a crack addict because she could sing. This isn’t to persecute Whitney Houston. It’s to persecute us for persecuting all the other crack addicts who can’t sing. Think things through.” — Urban Samurai

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Snuggled in bed next to a pretty dozing boy, adding some stuff to neevita after a long, cracked out, but enjoyable day. As the benedryl starts creeping in, I wind down closer to the glorious 10 hours of sleep I’m about to get, with the bathroom fan balancing out the upstairs TV sounds, and a Pandora ambient station whisping through my ears.

I liked this weekend, and I am looking forward to my dreams, my future, and tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Holiday-style eating and drinking is officially over. Liquidbutt(tm) has spoken.