Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Smartest Idiot I Know Revised

Somewhere, underneath dirty tank tops, pairs of Chucks, and copies of poetry collections I've been meaning to read, are the last remnants of my self-dignity.  I've decided this is as good a time as any to pick it up off the floor, run it through the delicate cycle, and let it air dry. Granted it may not fit like it used to; but at least it'll cover the necessities.  And like my favorite hoodie from high school, I'll keep wearing it till the zipper breaks and that shoestring thingie falls out. 

We are all allowed periods of utter stupidity.  Mine lasted many, many months after I got divorced. Like an episode of mono, my wretched bout with asininity just hung around.  It's amazing how much stupidity can feel like superiority when you're at your weakest.  I was sleeping with men whose intelligence level was so far below mine that I may as well have been making love to damp beach towels.  The conversation would have been better anyway.  I've now come to realize I was only seeking to feel a sense of normalcy and to fill a need for being desired.  And on my way to this conclusion I have been down every emotional road possible.  I like to think of myself as a Kia - functional, but oddly unpopular.  People see a Kia trucking along and think, "Huh. Wonder
how long that thing is going to hold up; maybe I should just rear end it now and put it out of its' misery." 

I know I'm a creature of comfort with a disturbing need for someone (anyone) else's approval.  Learning to feel self-sufficient alone is a trying and enlightening venture. I'm beginning to wonder how many times I'm going to have to claw my way out of a trash bag before I realize that I don't need to be validated by a man.  One would conclude that in twenty-nine years an individual would have "found" themselves. I don't even know where to start looking.

Here's how it works when Rebecca consorts with the opposite sex:

Say I meet a man I like.  A nice man.  An attractive man.  A witty man.  A "god help me if he likes punk rock and bacon half as much as I do" man.  Like the Olympic winner I am, I manage to foul it up in a matter of weeks.  My inability to maintain a sense of decorum; paired with my coarse humor and stout drinking mentality, leads to an inevitable Death Star-like explosion.  Nerding out might factor in as well.  It's like an out of body experience.  I watch myself sabotage what might be a damn fine little fling.  The whole while, I keep trying to stop myself.  But to no avail, I am waving my arms like a possessed nun screaming obscenities at the more stupid side of myself.

I look back on my idiocy, and as I approach turning thirty I feel less apologetic about my personality.  I effing love punk rock, I write better than I speak, I'm a recovered anorexic who loves cured meats, I like to scrap fight and get bruised up, I've got a filthy mouth and a scarred ankle.  I read.  A lot.  Maybe if I embrace that aspect of myself more instead of trying to be something beautiful and tame; I will be less likely to feel like the bottom of a shoe after a night in a Wrigleyville bar.  It sometimes seems I'm not a lady
worth keeping around to some, and that is okay.  I'm beginning to understand that concept.  It sucks epically, but I'm still alright.  I don't starve myself anymore to make amends for what I can't be or to make myself as physically unappealing as I feel.

With these words I realize I am indeed the smartest idiot I know.  I am simultaneously brilliant and utterly stupid when it comes to men.  I suppose if they weren't so damned attractive I might have better luck maintaining my sensibilities.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sometimes ... I Got Nothing

It's been a week of writer's block.  And a day of complete worthlessness.  I listened to the strained sounds of coffee brewing, spent a grey afternoon on top of cold sheets, and kept my eyes closed for as long as possible.  I attempted to hack out some poems earlier, but they all wilted on the page.  I thought about posting some old pieces, but that felt too defeatist.  So, these are the thoughts of the thoughtless.

I'm not really thoughtless.  In fact, I have far too many items competing in my brain blurred by recent rejection of the amorous sort.  It happens every time I face the self-doubt of not being what someone else wants.  I have so much I want to say only to have it take the shape of heartache hangover and verbal vomit.  Words attempting to capture brief and lovely moments - thinking the words on the page makes those moments real, permanent.  But what I typically end up with is an abstraction of what went wrong. 

I suppose if I learned to doubt myself less and discipline my writing habits more; I'd be more prolific and effectual.  If I learned to not take every slight personally, I wouldn't churn out drivel such as, "unlike the descents before, this one hasn't bruised or caused a minor concussion.  It has merely left me fidgeting with bits of loose gravel and pressing the rough edges into the soft spots around my knee.  Envisioning the trickle of blood and consequent rust tint around a future scar."

I'm hoping after a few more rehearsals I will have new inspiration for posts.  Posts about celebration of the female form, humor, shaking my "thing," and adventures at the Tango.  I promise to spare you all of self-deprecatory pieces about failed dates - unless they end up being incredibly humorous.  Which knowing myself, is a distinct possibility. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

On Time

I have always been overly obsessed with time.  Even when I was a child
I could never accomplish tasks quick enough, or grow up rapidly enough
to keep pace with outside elements.  I was stuck being forever too young.
I felt time had lost me and I would be continually trapped in my youth.

I remember the day time sped up. 

I was fourteen.  My grandmother picked me up from high school.  I recall
cursing due to embarrassment around my friends.  She drove a silver Thunderbird.
I got in the car.  It had maroon felt seats and felt like a hearse.
The words got lost and I shut down because I knew without hearing.
They had taken my father.

And in that car ride, I saw my childhood slip away.  I knew I wasn't an
adult, I was simply surfing a line between dependency and blankness.  Then
the years of being a lucky girl ensued.  It seemed before I could get
a breath in, I was going to college, getting married, working, playing
with my dogs, getting divorced, living alone, existing.  The
days passed after that, mesmerized by prescriptions and alcohol.  Somehow
thinking that was how life worked.  And one day they would take me
away too.

With the prompting of those closest to me; I started emerging from living
in the bottom of an hourglass.  I stopped feeling too old, like I had grown up too
quickly, missed all the opportunities of youthful endeavors, and I started moving
my ass.  And with no time lost, I was in Chicago. 

It has been one month.

And sometimes I still feel like I'm not moving quickly enough, accomplishing enough, or
I begin to panic about failing.  Then I remember that the better part of my life is always
going to be what is ahead of me.  I no longer need to measure time in years, achievements,
or the grey beneath my eyes.  In fact, I don't need to measure it at all; otherwise, I forget to
live.  Stop trudging through the past, cease to obsess over the future, just be here -