Posts Tagged ‘ People I’m Not’

The Wit and Sophistry of the Damned

Posted on June 13, 2009

Below and Asunder

Below and Asunder

Today she sounds mostly lucid, which lets my insides momentarily relax before I realize that she is merely posing (as she was taught), for the sake of custom, while we exchange pleasantries.
She has (again) quit smoking (really)
Because of the crinkle she’d spied near the lower corner of her right eye.
She suspects she may have a matching one on the left side, though she cannot bear the ‘verify and check’ process.
Maybe it’s better (if she does not look), for she does blow her smoke out to the right, and should she not see a companion crinkle on the left, she knows she may well rationalize continuing this filthy habit until she creates one, just for the sake of continuity. And evenness.
Did I know that humans are genetically programmed (She knows this is not the right phrase, and i assure her that i know that She knows and that i understand) to hunt and prey upon the ugly?
For survival…
She tells me it’s animalistic and that she hates that what she has said is truth, but that it is.
She knows she is not beautiful but she hopes, at the least, she might ‘blend’ a bit better if her crinkles are uniform.
Maybe she won’t be exterminated.
Beauty, she says with grave disdain in her tone, is the root of all evil. (she was once so beautiful.)
But today…
Ahhh, today she is smarter.
For, today she chooses to be fit, so that she might survive.
She assures me that she will survive.
Why is that? (is she prompting me?)
(i am silent. i think she is being rhetorical)
Well? (evidently, i think wrong…)
Because she is the fittest.  Mentally, she is the fittest of them all.  (this, she never was…)

I ask her how she is…otherwise

She is seeking her absolution. It will never come. There will never be an absolution.
So in lieu of the absolution, she is seeking ‘the numb’. Her numb-itude (what?)
Where is the numb? She’d give anything to be numb. All the way through. (through what, exactly?)
Through this whole thing, really…
Through life and through death and through pain.
She’ll even sacrifice those rare feelings of pleasure if it means she won’t ever feel the rest of it ever again…
(She laughs and apologizes. She knows i hate when She says things like this)

Seriously though, did I know that she is also giving up alcohol?
She has to. For a bit, anyway. It’s been making her feel…
Incompetent? no…
Well no…not precisely that either…

(i tell her i think i understand, but her mental synonym search continues)

Incompatible? Strange? Irrational? Irreverent? Bizarre?
Unreasonable? Slow? Spurious? Incongruous?

(you said that already)
Yes, the alcohol makes her feel incompetent.
So, she’s done. For a bit, anyway.
(i’ve heard this before)

She lights a cigarette
(i thought you quit)
(then, instinctively…) Tomorrow is the last day.
Because she’s already had a few today, anyway
Because she has two packs left and she isn’t a wasteful person
Because she had some drinks with Brunch, and sometimes drinks simply beg for smokes.
Because today feels lazy and lazy days without a smoke feel wasteful, and she isn’t a wasteful person.
Because she might as well give up her smoke and her drink on the same day.
Because there is no need to feel that shitty twice…
Because she can’t take a Xanax right now to kill the craving.
Because then she’ll fall asleep, and screw up her internal clock something awful, which is heinous…
Because ultimately, insomnia will certainly marginalize her quit effort, if it doesn’t suffocate it altogether because…

(“Because, because, because, because, because…Because of the wonderful things he does. We’re off to see the Wizard. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”)

…honestly, have I ever tried to function (yes) or commit to something (no) on no sleep (oh.)?
Because it’s not easy (ok)

(laughter, then… sudden, undomesticated, incoherent; gilded in chaos; underwritten by psychosis)

Has she ever told me about the time when she was coming off of the Strattera?
no, no…the Paxil?
no, no… not that either…(it was the Ambien)
the Ambien! goddamn pot…
Yes, that was it…so she was coming off of the Ambien, which is an ordeal she hopes I never have to endure, as, the way she sees it, there is no way I could handle it because my threshold for pain, unlike hers, is almost non-existent…
Anyway, she’d been lying in bed, desperately praying for sleep (she is an atheist), when her entire body seized.
It was as if each individual muscle were suddenly connected as one, and she began spasming uncontrollably.
She says it was like being an actual time bomb.
A real live human, twitching, ticking, time bomb.
She says that it was fucking frightening. (i’ll bet)
She knew she was on the brink of the most major mental melt-down on record, so she just started imagining the most horrid crime scenes she’d ever read about. In detail. One after the other…
She is aware that it seems like an insane thing to do in that sort of situation, but she herself was feeling completely insane, crazy and then some; and she firmly believes that the best way to do combat with crazy, is to exceed its insanity.
It’s hard, you know? It’s counter-intuitive (she says).
In the same way that you cannot actually gauge your own body fever (temperature), because your hands might be sick as well (close enough), it really is next to impossible to get an accurate reading of one’s own level of insanity…
Thus, the only way to unerringly self-estimate (self-assess? oh, never mind…) one’s own senses in any given moment, is to re-assure oneself that crazier things than oneself, do still exist.
She sighs laboriously beneath the weight of her affliction, before she continues…
Yes, it is sad fact that ‘insane-er’ is truly the last solace available to the insane.
Not that I would understand (wouldn’t I, now?)

Right, so there she is convulsing madly while mentally assembling a veritable feast o’ porn for paraphilics, when she has the most compos mentis thought she’s ever had (i hate when She uses her Latin, predominately because She doesn’t speak Latin, so it always seems awkward, which, incidentally, is why i hate when She uses phrases like ‘my Latin.’ As in, ‘I find people respect me more when I use ‘my Latin.’
it makes me want to vomit…)

The problem, she states, is not being on the drug. The problem is not even NOT being on the drug.
The problem, she realized, is the period of time between being on the drug and not being on the drug.
The ‘want’ and the ‘detox’… those are the dicey parts. After that, you cross the border. You’re in the clear.
Benvenido a Mexico damas y caballeros… (anything but the Latin…)

(i then acknowledge that while these are certainly heavy pieces of the puzzle, the lust… the omni-present desire for the thing, forever evermore, must also be considered. She glosses past this notion, with only a cursory remark about Lust being a problem for only the mortal-ist of mortals; which sounds harmless enough, but feels like the equivalent of taking a sea scroll to the eyeball, if you are me…)

But she’s still shaking. Bad. Real bad.
Must be from those narcolepsy meds.
They’ve been nothing but trouble, that’s for sure…
After all, were it not for the Ritalin; then the Xanax and the… what again? (Ambien)
the Xanax and Ambien might never have become such and integral part of the routine.
Still, it’s for Science! she shouts (upswing)
She gives her body to Science, goddammit! (she is an atheist, and thus feels no need to capitalize it…)

(and then…)

But fuck science, man! (downswing)
Fuck these jolting exorcist-style, stumbling, bumbling episodes.
Fuck the wine and the weed and the cigarettes and the uppers and the downers.
Sure, it’s understandable. It’s all balance and counter-balance.
She knows the truth.
The truth that humans are attracted to equals and opposites.
She has merely perfected the science behind the idea.
She is a fucking pioneer.
A Scientific pioneer who would capitalize ‘Science’ instead of ‘god,’ any day…

(and then)

But no more. No way. She’s done.
Consummatum est! (fuck)
So now she has determined that she will check into the hospital and coerce the sucker with the pentobarbital to induce a quick, restorative coma.
Nothing severe… four days….
Eight, absolute max…
(She speaks faster now) (upswing)
This plan is infallible.
She will wake up, twelve days after she’d floated into that most peaceful sleep, and she will be free.
Free from the wine, and the weed and the cigarettes and the uppers and the downers.
And her guts! Oh, how her guts will praise the Lord and rejoice; finally unbound.
(her guts may or may not be atheists…)
Oh, how she knows her very entrails will flourish and blossom, once they are no longer twisted within the Intra-Gut Purgatory of gnarly lies, which she has subjected them to.
And mostly, she will be free from him. (downswing)
Off the real feelings for him, once and for all…
Because at the end of the day, I know as well as she, that he was her problem. (do i?)
The rest was but a symptom. He was her down fall.

But now victory is within her grasp.
She will be refreshed and available. Off everything. (everyone) Clean. Ready to begin. (again)

And while she is still considering this method (literally, still in this moment, considering…)
the shift …
(subtle, yet not to me…i hear her voice begin its shallow cry, as if She were trying to speak after taking in liquid through the wrong pipe. minus the coughing)

She feels her plight may be more sympathetic if she does it herself. All by herself.
White knuckle, belly up, down to the wire, brass tacks, just fucking cold turkey, weaning herself.
(i don’t bother…)
Yup, that’s her…all on her own.
Its not like she needs this any of this shit. She does not require it…
Please, the last thing she ever needed was her mother’s milk and she never intends to need another human to sustain life ever again…she’d sooner turn to into a cannibal, than need another to maintain…
She remembers that final feeding (she does?)
She recalls being boorishly divided from the tit, mid-suckle, and being kept from its bounty evermore, but fuck it, man…that was one to grow on too…
(shivers; that feral laughter, again…)
She’s been just fine ever since. (has she?) Never needed anything… (hasn’t she?)
And she’ll be damned if she needs any of this stuff. She’s no junky.
Because honestly, there are children being imprisoned for stealing baguettes in France as we speak,
(she’s been watching Les Mis again) and she’ll be damned if she’s going to forget how fucked up our society is, for even one second, because she knows black and white and right and wrong, and try as she might, she cannot and will not forget it. (which? the colours or the strife?)
The strife of them. (warning: her exasperation at my daft-itude escalates quickly now…)
Their strife, she means…
and the colours. Or, ‘the colours too, as well.’
She’ll not forget those either, goddammit (for the record, I am not an atheist)
And additionally furthermore, she really does think our relationship would benefit greatly from my contributing a bit more to the conversations, when we speak.
She feels like it’s always her responsibility to drive the dialogue, and she is growing weary.
She isn’t trying to be harsh, but she can only reach out to me and mentally coddle me for so long, before she simply hasn’t the strength to do it any longer…
And then I’ll be on my own, and that, as she sees it, is simply not something I’d be capable of handling
(she is feeling sanctimonious)
Unlike her…
See, she had to learn to ‘be on her own’ and ‘take care of herself’ before she even learned to walk; which is why she skipped over crawling altogether.
She simply hadn’t the time for the thing.
Please, she was working by the time she was four.
Had I really thought that lemonade stand was fun? Am I deranged? (we are still speaking, aren’t we? Yes? Perhaps then…perhaps i am bathed in derange-edness…)
She can barely stand to continue this talk at all, but is feeling forgiving this day, so she shall try, for my sake…
Nonetheless, she wholly suggests that I count my blessings when we are through,
(i’m considering becoming an atheist)
and where was she, anyway?
Ahem…What was she saying!?
(oh, that’s me. right, um…(scanning)… comatose… yes, you are detoxing courtesy of your local medical facility’s fictitious ‘Request-a-Coma’ program)…
(no, no… of course i don’t think this is funny. It’s my defense mechanism, you know that…)
(but she is hurt. i should’ve known better than to push her…earlier, perhaps…but not after baguettes and Les Mis…never then…)

(and now…)


(i want desperately to reach her) (i used to reach her always)
(but now i cannot. i am now far, far, far, from that place; a fact which She is certain will remedy itself sooner than later. i know nothing of being on my own. self-sufficient?! ha! if i keep talking like that, She has a piece of scrap metal to sell me that she found on the moon and was appraised for 93,000 U.S. dollars.
She likes me though. 70 bucks. cash. done)

(she’s slipping…)

I resort to the weather conditions…
Her reply is distant and delivered by rote.
It’s mild for this time of year. Today was mostly cloudy with occasional thundershowers.
There is a strong wind advisory in the south and the north.

(i find her phrasing alarming. it is not her own, rather it is repeated, verbatim. plagiarized directly from the chirpy weather girl on channel 8.)

(i am so jealous. it’s been forever since i’ve seen a good thunderstorm. at least that long…
or even a mediocre one for that matter…my God, how i miss the grey. not that i am not grateful. i am.
it’s just that…feeling.)

She finds my plight unsympathetic and morose.
(no, not at all… i am simply sharing a thought? contributing?)

(and then)


(what now?)(what is next?)(how might i advise?)(I cannot just let her go)

(can i?)

She’s written a new poem that i really must hear. It is called ‘Maimed in the spleen by god’

(how might He maim you, if He does not exist?)

She tells me that I will not understand it, but if I focus, it is feasible that I may take something from it

(i am focused…)

She speaks and my chest becomes taut. I instinctively hold my breath.
She hates to feel interrupted while sharing her art.
She floats away and I follow in a dirigible, gathering her jetsam…(praying)

(she was once so beautiful…)

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The Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth…

Posted on March 28, 2009

One of 'those' girls...

One of 'those' girls...

“Since then it’s been a book you read in reverse so you understand less as the pages turn.
Or a movie so crass and awkwardly cast, that even I could be the star.”
The Shins

Tonight I turned 23. Was it my birthday?
Am I Benjamin Button?
But tonight, I remembered exactly how shitty it felt to be categorized as completely common and banal by someone who you would’ve categorized as just that.
And the worst of it comes when you must reckon with the fact that this person is somehow correct…that part really sucks.

I invited a friend to join me for dinner. She accepted and then invited me to join some friends at a bar on the Upper East Side for drinks. I accepted.
At some point, I stepped outside for a cigarette with a chap I’d been casually chatting with.

I’d kicked this habit, but during a recent bout with loathing and loneliness in Vegas, I’d turned back to it, though I swear its only brief interlude within this wholly clean life that I am 1000 percent dedicated to…
He lights mine and as we exhale he says, “I’m surprised you don’t smoke 100’s. You strike me as a 100’s girl.”
I give him a look that he certainly cannot read in the darkness.
“These are 100’s,” I reply, already not wholly comfortable with the direction in which this conversation is headed.
He: “You also seem like someone who would smoke out of one of those holders like Johnny Depp in that Vegas movie.”
Me: I used to. Before I quit.
He: You haven’t quit
Me: Not in this moment, no.
Then, unable to hide my disgust for his ignorant degradation of one of the all time great doctors of writing, I offhandedly state, “And I believe you are referring to the film based on the great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s work of the same name, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
He: OK. Sorry about that (he’s not), I didn’t mean to insult you. You remind me of that uppity, over-thinking Caterpillar in ‘Alice in Wonderland.’
This guts me, in spite of myself.
Is he trying to be impressive? Is he just a dick?
I look around for someone I know, hoping for a constant…someone to justify this seriously bizarre scenario.
There is no one.
Me: Actually, I have more of an Alice thing. Though the Caterpillar represents some significantly heavy shit as well.
He: Well, that’s a bit narcissistic…do you have to be the lead character in the story?
Me: It is very narcissistic. I’m very narcissistic.
He mentally sizes me up, and then continues on about how he and his ‘boys’ saw ‘that movie’ (I assume that he’s back to the ‘Depp movie about Vegas’) and now they constantly IMDB quotes from it, and text them to one another.
And while I know I shouldn’t allow a 29 year old man-child I’ve briefly met in a dive bar on the Upper East Side, make me feel ‘average,’ he most definitely does.
Because this obtuse being who mistook Depp for Thompson, sort of figured me out.
Actually, he nailed me point for point. I’m not taking it well and I’m not taking it lightly.
I wonder how many other uppity, narcissistic, hypocritical girls are in this bar at this very moment.
I wonder if that group of girls in the corner wildly singing ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ also consider themselves ‘introspective and artistic.’
I want to be anywhere but here.

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Conversations From the Lunch Table

Posted on September 2, 2008

It is the first day back at work from a long and lazy holiday weekend. The normally hectic pace round the Ad Agency which houses my office, seems just a smidge sluggish and reflective of the general reluctance to hop back into normalcy cold turkey. The lunch table in the kitchen area is far more crowded than is typical on a Tuesday and it’s six or so inhabitants seem to linger despite their empty take-out boxes. The conversation is lively and covers a variety of topics from boozy weekend escapades to the Gossip Girl premier. Then it turns to politics. And even from my desk, I sense a palpable change in the air. With no thought that there could POSSIBLY be any among them with differing opinions, the initiators of the dialogue openly chide McCain and his Vice Presidential pick. Bolstered by the news that very-Pro Life Sarah Palin’s daughter has apparently gotten pregnant and dropped out of high school, the Conservative detractors are overjoyed and reveling in the misfortune (how un-Liberal!)
The part that struck me was not the anti-Republican sentiment (I live in NYC, for crying out loud) but the seeming complete lack of awareness that there might be Others lurking. Others with a slightly more moderate take on the situation. And moreover that we Others are so locked in the political closet because of our industry, geographic location, age group and other social factors that not one of us (and I have it on solid authority that there were at LEAST four of us present) said a word. No one piped up, no one played devil’s advocate, no one dared incite debate. Too risky. We mustn’t create waves. We will not be tolerated. We will be ejected from the premises immediately, and asked not to return.
This seems extreme but it’s actually not far from the truth. In this day and age of Political Correct-ness, when did shunning an entire faction of the populous, become socially and morally acceptable?

In the very accurate words of The View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck: “It seems to be that you can only have one opinion in this country right now.”

On a separate but related note, I do think it’s rad that Barack Obama chose John McCain (read- comforting old, white dude) as his running mate and John McCain chose Hilary Clinton (read- polarizing young, white woman) as his.

I do hereby invite John McCain, Sarah Palin, Ms. Palin's daughter and her unborn child to lunch. We will speak freely and scoot over should anyone else choose to join... even if they have differing viewpoints.

I do hereby invite John McCain, Sarah Palin, Ms. Palin's daughter and her unborn child to lunch. We will speak freely and scoot over should anyone else choose to join... even if they have differing viewpoints.

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