Destined For Greatness

Then all of a sudden, I’m here, and with a glimpse I find myself pawing at the rear view mirror and all the beauty that has passed me by. I didn’t even realize that my foot was on the gas until it was too late, and by now I’ve already left too many things behind me.

I did not know where the fuck I was going, but I’m here now. I probably should have read the map more carefully, paid attention to the road signs. I probably should have a destination in mind, but I didn’t. So I’m here now, and I have to ask: do I want to be here? Is this a good place to be? I definitely didn’t expect to turn up in a place like this, but there’s no leaving now, so…what should I do?

The palace that I think I deserve is still out of arms’ reach, slightly distant but still visible. Almost tangible, but before I am there I will always not be there, which is not where I want to be. Should I dig my heels in and live my life here? Accept my fate in this small, shit town? Or should I keep speeding towards the inevitable? Even if it turns out to be a mirage?

My gas is running out, and I try not to sigh as I calculate how much change it will take to get me to the right place in life. Can I even show up being the person I am now? Or am I, by my very nature, unworthy? Like a fading star whose place in the night sky is quietly being eclipsed by something shinier and newer.

Mundane Pop Music Commentary

I find myself in public places pretty frequently – grocery stores, thrift stores, bars. Most of these places tend to put on play lists that cater to the most middle of the road, white, pop-rock’n’roll musical palates, which is fine. There’s a lot of KFOG playing at these places, and recently I’ve noticed this one fairly grating pop song that always seems to seep into my head and latch on. I don’t know who it’s by (because I don’t care) but the hook is, “I like that you’re broken, broken like me, maybe that makes me a fool.” It’s catchy in a child like, sing-songy kinda way, and I must admit that I kinda hate that line. There’s nothing inherently offensive about it – when I think about it in a cursory way, I guess there’s something endearing about the underlying sentiment. Maybe we should all just admit that everyone’s flawed, and there’s comfort in that mutual admission. But at the same time, I somewhat resent it because, in its simplicity, the line lends itself to a different interpretation, namely: maybe you should just settle despite the red flags. I know that’s a cynical way to look at things, but after 31 years of being a woman, I tend to hear the dog whistle that tells women to short sell themselves, to have low self esteem, and to accept a place in life that is less than they deserve. Sure, sure, maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I can’t help but be wary of an oversimplified line that could blow in either direction. I think that’s what I dislike so much about this drug store song – it lacks conviction, it lacks depth, it lacks commitment to its underlying philosophy. Sure, I’d like to think that this song is about being forgiving with people because we need forgiveness ourselves, but…where’s the fucking meat? It’s just so tawdry. I can’t sink my teeth into this song, so whenever it comes on, I immediately bust out the side eye and start looking around to see who is being subliminally indoctrinated into less than best because of the hook on a song. I mean – I’m pretty fucking susceptible to that kinda shit, so I assume there must be other people out there who are susceptible, too. I guess I just want to think that I can like people who are broken like me, but that we’re going to give it our best, we’ll get better over time, and we’ll not use it as an excuse to not love each other eventually.

Documentation of an Affair

I keep writing about him. I’m not really sure why – I mean, yeah, he lets me, so that’s nice. But as my insecurities like relentless curs keep nipping at my heels, that sadistic feminist demon keeps asking me: do you really want to be writing about this as much as you do? Because what if it ends horribly, and then you have to burn all of this writing because it hurts too much to remember how much you loved someone who caused you pain?

Man, fuck that. Being a strong, independent woman is cool and all, but sometimes it comes with all these unnecessary insecurities attached to it. And I’m not really the type of person who lives life afraid of future regrets. If the regrets happen, they happen. Come what may. I make these decisions in the smartest way I know how, and by that I mean that I commit to what I do because why would I do something if my heart’s not in it? My heart is in this, and I happen to think that my using my heart and celebrating it is a pretty noble undertaking.

Yes, he’s going to hurt me. Everybody hurts me sooner or later. I’ve accepted that. Even if all of my life turns out to be a mistake, at least I’ll have a better way of learning from my mistakes, and hopefully you will, too.

Or, basically, I’m not scared.

No – that’s a lie. I’m incredibly scared. I’m just not dumb enough to let my own fears stop me. I’d rather perish in the flames of my own creation than die quietly and alone with no real consequence.

The Daily Delights of Getting to Know You

He’s been here for a week – no longer than that now. These days are bleeding into each other, just a jumble of volleying from here to there, eating gumbo in bed, watching interminable tv shows, fucking. You know – that good shit. It’s been a haphazard string of days, an unintentional cohabitation, and at this point I’ve come to realize: I’m having a good time.

Which isn’t always necessarily the case. Lovers, stripped down to their day to day routine, don’t always hold up in the sunshine and the gray days and the early nights, back to back to back. To fuck someone is fun, but to know someone – that’s where the real risk lies.

We’ve glided into something comfortable. Oh, I can be myself when he’s here. I sleep better when he’s here. It’s easier to wake up with him next to me. Now, I have seen him in his mundane moments. I know who he is in moments of bad moods, when I’m too sleepy to keep going, as I’m leaving for work, as he’s coming back home. When he’s brushing his teeth and I’m taking too long to get dressed. When he’s getting hungry and I’m too lazy to drive anywhere. When my room’s a mess and my period’s coming. Now I know him in these ways, and it hasn’t diminished anything at all. It’s a love that lacks glamour but is still love nonetheless, deep in the nooks and crannies of quotidian existence. Apparently there is gold down there. I have seen the beauty in nothing remarkable at all, and I want to hold it close to me and keep it there forever before it becomes just another moment that slips out of reach.

Now, I can trust that everything about him I don’t already know would never make me love him less, even if he never tells me, and even when he does, it’s always a beautiful moment. Getting to know him is getting to know me, and he is showing me the best parts of myself.

I owe you one.

Does My Voice Need To Be Heard?

This is something I’ve been struggling with recently for myriad reasons. Years ago when I first started blogging, a lot of the things I was saying were radical and different. Over a short period of time, I’ve lived to see a lot of my previously uncouth ideas get coopted into the mainstream. While on one hand I’m happy to be accepted into normal society, there’s also something subtly defeating about having my ideology shift from the “pretty fucking crazy” category to the “meh, average” box. It’s disorienting, in part because I was used to the shocked reactions. I kinda liked them. Now that my ideas are relatively mundane, I’ve found myself falling into a sort of trap – one where I’m trying to say the next most shocking thing, but also realizing that shock for shock’s value is cheap. I have to believe it.

As the things I’ve believed have become more commonplace, so has the commentary around it. When it comes to radical sexual and feminist issues, I find myself being drowned out. This has lead me to question the validity of my voice in these conversations – am I just adding to the din? Am I actually saying something new and interesting? Or am I falling behind?

Losing confidence as a writer is devastating. I used to run so quickly, and now I’m getting outpaced by the pack. There’s a lot of internalized insecurity that comes with that, especially because when I was in my so-called “prime” I didn’t get much traction in terms of my writing career. I got used to being on the forefront, which was my claim to fame, and now that I don’t have that, the self doubt is seeping in.

But beyond that, I’ll admit that a major contributing factor to this creative self doubt is a lack of a supportive creative circle. I wasn’t really prepared for the amount of push back and criticism I was going to receive, especially because the force of disdain outpushed the support from people who liked my writing. The support had always been fairly tepid. The disdain – cacophonous. Perhaps that’s the nature of being green – the negative comments hurt more than the positive comments helped. Which in turn made me feel like the negative responses to my writing were louder and therefore more valid. A trap, a trap, a trap.

Which made me reevaluate why I was writing in the first place. If I don’t have anything unique to say, why speak at all? If no one likes what I’m saying, why whether that storm? I used to believe I was destined for greatness, and then I took a few steps in that direction and caved beneath the pressure.

That’s not really me. Or, that’s not who I want to be. But it’s been hard to continue writing to no avail especially because at times some of the people I was closest to hated my writing the most. I think that’s what did it. Falling in love with someone who didn’t support my oldest, most basic dream – god, it was horrible. To be constantly questioned by someone I loved, someone with whom I shared so much time and physical contact and emotion. That’s what killed me. It killed my vision for myself. It killed my love of the game.

Coming back into believing myself has not been particularly fun. It’s an onerous task – trying to force joy back into a desert of emotion. Learning how to write for myself and only myself again because sometimes the people closest to me didn’t really give a fuck. Loving the game. The sport of stacking words and sentences. The thrill of infusing subtext and cultural reference into an otherwise mundane plot of words. It’s been easy to be joyless without my writing, because it’s been easy to be broken hearted. It’s been difficult to realize that even if my voice doesn’t *need* to be heard, these are things I need to say. I’ve weathered the costs of this already, but nothing has been more painful than losing touch with my own creativity.

So I have to ask myself: why haven’t I been aiming for greatness? When did I stop? Why have I been piddling in the middle, hoping for minor success. Why can’t I be great? Why not me? I’ve put the work in. I’ve been beautiful. I’m not the type of person who lets herself be crippled by the doubts sown by someone who doesn’t even matter in my life anymore. The best thing I can do in order to move on from that pain is to let go of every negative thing he put in my life. It’s time to aim for greatness. It’s time to start writing.

Ascent Into Chaos

All of a sudden, we’ve been here for days. I scurry out occasionally for work, and apart from that, it is just us, here. The drinking and fucking is intermittently punctuated by a few hours at the bar, and apart from that, it is just us, everywhere. It occurs to me that this is an incredible departure from the previous tedium of pretending like living the life that the world wants me to live was in any way satisfying. I’d rather disintegrate in this morass of my own making than be pallid and pure and perfunctory for the sake of someone else’s comfort with my life decisions. I’ll roil here for as long as I can, until it kills me, or slips away from me, or either of us are no longer satisfied, which is fine because people change, but until then I am sated on chaos and calamity.

Motor Mouth

He talks, and I listen (most of the time). About anything and everything. Weaving stories into my ear about then and now. I lap it up and wait for later, when he is not here to fill the air with anything other than my own thoughts. It’s comforting, really, this carnal escapism, volleying between sex and the mythology of other people’s lives. I’m not sure what I’m running from, but when he is here the demons feel far away. Bingeing on a different reality, and I wonder when I will wake up from this reverie, lost and alone.

He will be leaving. Soon. Eventually. Inevitably. Because that’s just the way the world works. Like sand in the wind. Right now he is a castle but some day soon he will just be remnants in the bottom of my shoe, an irritating reminder of sunshine and summertime as I sit inside grayness alone. I am trying to be the ocean, lapping at his shores, never apart, but I am afraid I am more like the concrete parking lot, where people leave their cars which are carrier demons that will eventually whisk them away from here and back to the doldrums where the rest of us ordinary people always belong. I would rather be the waves, but I am afraid I might never be the resplendent, which is why I close my eyes and pull close to him, so that I might have this moment right now, and when the future comes, I can bury myself in right now for the rest of my life.