My novella got shortlisted for a Saboteur Award at the end of May. It didn’t win, but I got Sabotage Review, which means a lot to me.
In a previous life, I’m pretty sure I perfected the art of bartering. It doesn’t fail me, even in the 21st century. I’m not great at the 21st century. Bartering is the ideal system for me. Based on a very important and flexible system, where value doesn’t involve exchange of money, it seems more equal. I’m naive about exchange of goods for money, though I recognise it has made the world ‘spin around’ for centuries.
The morning after
I explain everything while you’re sleeping;
how I got lost by the river, how the banks were
slippery as eels, how time slipped away, yet
got caught in the weeds at the same time. How
the hooting of owls hypnotized me. How the boat
called me on board; the turbulent water, the throb
of the engine lulled me to sleep.
I was alone, no one touched me, I wasn’t afraid.
When you wake, before I say anything, you assure me
you’d like to tear the lies right out of my throat. I’m
delicately removing splinters, the needle still hot
from the flame. I feel like the rabbit’s foot dangling
from your key chain, the one you shake in my face. Not
lucky; more like severed, more, loss mixed with shame.
On the first day she learned not to wear underwear
or tight jeans: they mark…
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I have a ticket to see LP in London for this Friday . I love LP as much as I loved Kate Bush when I was very young. I saw all Kate’s rehearsals at the Rainbow Theatre back in the day …..met her and all that jazz when I was a teenage runaway. I had the chance to see her more recent show. I couldn’t go. Mentally I couldn’t go. I can’t go to the LP gig. It’s difficult to explain why I can’t leave my Trailer. I don’t see the point of explaining my multiple issues to people. Why would they care? It’s all ‘caring about yourself’ in the 21st century. I don’t have agoraphobia….I don’t hate the human race (I prefer animals) but it’s one of those months where I can’t trust myself not to lie down in traffic, can’t trust myself enough to have the attention span to look before I cross a road. So there you go…..
I’ve found a dozen drawings I did for my therapist a couple of years ago, ‘to explain my mood this week.’ I wasn’t keen on explaining it in numbers (explain your mood: one to ten)….especially as I have dyscalculia….and numbers are meaningless to me. I can’t say he appreciated them….but I did them anyway. It’s interesting for me to look back at them….
Gloria Gaynor….you made it all so simple! Being let down by people you don’t care about is Water off a Duck’s Back isn’t it? Being let down by People You Thought Were on Your Side….is a bit tougher. But…here we all are…. And there are so many Other People Out There…..who Step Up…..so here we all are ……Doing Much Better than Merely Surviving……
To get respect, you have to show respect don’t you? I think I’m respectful of others. I think that it’s often at the cost of respecting myself. The way this plays out in my life is that I ‘let people off the hook’ too easily, too often. When people make me promises, in my head I’ve already realised they probably won’t come through with them. I make excuses for them even before they let me down. Of course they have to ‘do their own stuff’….of course they have ‘their problems’….My childhood taught me that my needs were never going to be anyone’s priority. I find it very hard to put myself first. Mostly because….I don’t want to…..
I realised life is sad…decades ago. I don’t get over things. I get on with things. I like people who fuck up and still get on with it. This living thing. I don’t blame anyone who can’t. I try to like people who appear to be doing all right and feel the need to tell everyone about it. Because part of me realises that they are doing it to escape knowing…. that life is sad. I don’t believe ambition is real. Ambition would only be real if we knew what this was all about. Which we don’t. So I like people who get on with things without winning. Without trying to win ‘things.’ I like people who are kind inside but maybe aren’t able to show it. Why would anyone who has been kicked in the teeth over and over again show their vulnerability?
I remember when Sunday was a hollow day. Lonely. That was when the rest of the week was so vibrant with people and life….that in contrast it felt empty. I didn’t know how to fill it. Now, every day is Sunday. And I love it.
Long ago, drawing under the kitchen table while all kinds of chaos surrounded me….I realised in order to escape it….I had only to draw what was in my head. I was too young to think about where that would take me, far too young to care. It is still my only escape.
I’ve given up FB for Lent….or forever….time will tell. I’ve given up other things too. Relying on people (I gave up on that a long time ago, but sometimes I need to remind myself.) The thing about FB is…it’s a very crowded room, with everyone talking at the top of their voices. And I don’t like crowded rooms, loud voices….or the way everyone becomes cartoons of themselves.
I’m going to go back to just doing the things I can do: Art. Writing. Caring for animals.
And avoid the things I can’t do: Fitting in. Self-promoting. Believing what people say.