“Unrest is in the soul. We don’t move our bodies anymore.” ~Grimes

I’m thinking of permanently becoming “Lola”. But then he said my given name and I liked how it sounded. I answer to ‘Lola’ without hesitation in a crowded room. But there is an awful lot of paperwork that goes with legally changing names. And he doesn’t know I exist, otherwise.

In Diavolo, almost everyone gets a nickname and mine was my cabaret stage name. My alter ego, second skin. Diavolo is over for me as of a week ago. My knees and feet still ‘click’ but the swelling has subsided. However, I think I have a stress fracture in my foot. Not the one I broke in June while training, the other foot. But I have no intention of putting on a boot and giving up all activity for weeks or months again. Last time nearly killed me, not quite kidding. I signed the placard, “Diavolo, thank you for this opportunity. I crawled. Maybe next time, if there is one, I will fly and sing for you.”

I’ll never be the poster child for veteran therapy projects but that doesnt mean that I don’t sincerely appreciate those who are trying to help. I joke “hashtag dead inside”. On stage, I’m living, feeling, breathing (too hard, gasping like a fish out of water, praying to avoid another asthma attack). Off stage, it’s like nothing happened.

And I’m rarely in the photos either so it really is like it never happened and I was never there. I was thinking this the night after Diavolo when I jumped back into a performance with my other group, the zombie flash mob for charity (no names or you’ll know exactly where and who I am). I schmoozed a spot for my Cabaret troupe to perform a number too just for the promotion.

I danced, socialized (promoted) and before the end of the night, the Cabaret girls handed me a stack of flyers and said they were tired, leaving, could I pass out the rest of these (for a show that I wasnt even in). You’re tired. YOU’RE tired…?? I wanted to scream! I had just spent nearly 80 hours in six days rehearsing then performing with Diavolo and THEY dance three minutes and want to call it a night but since I’m there networking anyway, can I just pass out the flyers so they can go home and fuck their boy toy or go to the bar and gossip, yeah, that’d be great, cheers!

I nodded, I think I smiled and said “okay” or “sure”. They walked away, I stayed to be polite through the rest of the performance, flyers clutched in my angry hand. At the end of the night, I limped slowly back to my car and threw the flyers in the recyling bin along the way.

Fuck ’em.

Later in bed, too aching and tired to sleep, I looked at photos people were posting from both shows. I was out of frame. Pictures or it didn’t happen, right? But it did happen and where is my proof? On stage with Diavolo? Nope. The zombie Liza singinging with my Cabaret troupe? Nope. Except for my zombie flash mob folks. We don’t take selfies, we take groupies.

I was alone, in pain, crying myself to sleep like a little bitch. Hormonal perhaps but mostly just physically uncomfortable and feeling sorry for myself. I reached out on social media “Why do I do this to myself? I don’t even know if I enjoy it.” An old radio aquaintance and night owl was quick to respond “Mid life crisis? To prove to yourself that you still can do it?”

I stopped crying and chewed on that. Hadn’t considered it but the shoe does fit, now that he mentions it.

Sleep makes everything right, at least for a time, in my world. I woke, still hurting but otherwise back to “normal” emotionally. Feeling a bit silly even and deleted my woe-to-me post. But I thanked my aquaintance for his insight and figured now might be a good time to stop beating myself up -physically and emotionally. Take a rest. Eat carbs.

Then I got an email saying I’d been selected in the lottery to slog (slog jog) again for 6.2 miles over the Skyway 10k in a few months. What rest? What feet? What knees? What mid life crisis?

World Suicide Prevention Day. PS- I REALLY hate running.

Before I wrote this, I didn’t even know it was World Suicide Prevention Day. Another blogger informed me. But it just so happens that a few weeks ago, I read a beautiful piece in the Associated Press on assisted suicide:

https://www.apnews.com/2ee08672b8c1445ca09e0e09ab262c30

I’ve been a proponent of the Hemlock Society for most of my adult life, death with dignity. Especially since Bill chose to bow out on his own terms.


Then this last week, I read an an article on Congresswoman Wild’s story on suicide prevention following the unexpected suicide of her partner. I wonder, how much less traumatic would it be if we could have a conversation and plan our death the way Robert Fuller did in the AP story? 

In the case of Rep. Wild’s partner, the article mentioned he was depressed partly because he had had a botched surgery that left him in chronic pain and the things that he enjoyed most such as jogging 5 miles a day, he could no longer do. And that struck me.


Maybe jogging was his coping mechanism. Like dancing is mine. Or maybe he just thoroughly enjoyed it so much that when it was taken from him, nothing else adequately filled that space. But I also know how chronic pain can suck the joy from us. My mother has been suffering for decades and until medical marijuana was legalized in my state and made the pain bearable, I was dreading but fully anticipating her eventually giving up.

You get so used to being in pain that you don’t even consciously think about it but unconsciously, it taints everything in your life. Low-grade, chronic pain is a current running through your nerves end-to-end, eroding your psyche and quality of life.

Combine chronic pain with being robbed of a daily activity you enjoy most like dancing or jogging… and it’s not that life is over but life as you needed it to be is over. The light has gone out. And shut the f-up about it being “selfish” or “just find something else to do that makes you happy”…
He loved running. And then he couldn’t run anymore.

And then I think about how much I hate running. I have at least a hundred excuses why I can’t or shouldn’t run. Everything ranging from bad knees to I need to have external motivation like Pennywise chasing me. The funny thing is I follow a few blogs from joggers. The reluctant joggers are my favorite because they are relatable. I try to find inspiration to run in their tales of miserable slogging and “just do it” attitude. They are inspiring but still not enough for me to run. It’s 100 degrees here. Global warming makes it 120. I could wait til the sun goes down but then I’ve lost my steam. My iPod isn’t charged or I’m not particularly feeling my current playlist. It’s wet. It’s dark. I might trip. I might get hit by a crazy driver speeding through the neighborhood. My dog doesn’t want to run either. He says we should call it an early night because he heard me reading aloud from some random health professional that sleep is just as important as exercise when you have an autoimmune disease. And life is short. Too short to do things I hate such as running.

But I can run. Not fast and not far but I am physically capable where others are not. Where the Congresswoman’s partner was not. And it eats at me a bit, clearly. Maybe I should run for him. Maybe I should run for everyone who can’t. Maybe I should run for my mother because she’s still hanging on through the pain, partly because she knows I need her to stick around. Maybe I need to run because for some, that simple act that I hate so much, might have been the difference between a life and death decision. Of course it doesn’t bring him back. And if he was alive, I’m guessing he wouldn’t give two shits to know anybody was running for him. Just like I wouldn’t be satisfied watching someone dance for me if my own legs were lost. I understand that much.

So I have a nagging sense that I might need to run for him. In my own struggle with pain, illness and depression…it’s a silent, lonely battle. I should run for us both. Because I still can.

But shortly into the slog, I began walking which ended up being a leisurely 22 minute per mile stroll while reviewing choreography in my head. Not a run. But it’s a start.

“Fucking around and falling in love” Angel Olsen

The duvet slips away from my shoulders, exposing breasts, nipples tighten under the cool air. I long for an extra pair of arms and lips at times like these, company in my bed.

My mother remarked on how handsome M is. She asked if he was single and I said “yes but he is emotionally unavailable” and I laughed. I don’t know if that’s even remotely true but it’s easier to say out loud than “I don’t believe he’s interested in me.”

Even as I had a successful date last week with an attractive, younger man. I say “successful” because he showed up. That is half the battle, isn’t it? Affectionate and attentive, I doubt we have enough in common to pursue anything but I enjoyed his company. But I haven’t reached out to him since. He’s not “the one” so I’m not motivated to make an effort.

And I stopped texting M. His disinterest depresses me.

I have an argument for leaving tags on bras. Women generally remove the tags from all our garments but considering how hard is otto find a good bra, I’d like to know what style, size and brand it is to replace it when it wears out.

A dancer friend of mine invited me to come out and see a jazz band. Assuming because he is a dancer friend that it was a jazz conducive of dancing. Instead it was the jazz I hate. That contemporary jazz that sounds like everyone is doing a solo. And I catch myself staring the entire time staring at the drummer’s fruit stripe .socks to avoid watching the musicians on stage make bedroom eyes at each other. Another thing that irks me about jazz, watching men circle jerk each other onstage with instruments. Happy to be thought of but that was 4 captive hours, $40 and 100 miles I’ll never get back.

I chuckle at the public service announcements around the building where I work. Warnings like “Spying doesn’t pay” and beware the disgruntled employee, they could be an insider threat. Hell, might as well report everyone in this line of work then.

App dating: If he writes nothing in his profile I automatically think he’s lazy and swipe left. If he writes “just ask” in his bio, he might as well have not written anything at all and I swipe left. Although I think guys are starting to get the hint about fish pictures. I haven’t seen as many shirtless shitter shots as in years past but they are still a thing. As I’m clicking through, an “Eeww!” escapes my lips every time a SSS pops up. Doesn’t emmatter if it’s a dude with 20 pack abs or Larry the Cable Guy in his third trimester of beer gut. Same reaction.

I catch up on blogger I’ve been following for 10 years. Has it really been 10 years? 10 years since I’ve been blogging too. He’s only gotten more vulgar, I think. Pushing the envelope until there’s nothing left to push it seems. But is he really getting more vulgar or a have I become my mother, growing increasingly conservative as I get older, my mind shrinking like my spine with age.

I was a little too content in my decision to drop all my cabaret girls from Facebook. Oh, we could still communicate on the private page and they might not even notice that I dropped them. I even hoped they would notice and ask so we could open the door to that conversation like a teenager wishing someone would find her diary and say “I’m sorry, I didn’t know”.

I would tell them: You judged me. You all did. And you attacked me when I was down. And I felt like an outsider in the group ever since. However, I have a lot of sequins so I have no intention of quitting. But I don’t need social media reminding me just how few real friends I have.

I was also too content to use the excuse that traffic delayed me getting home, making it so that I wouldn’t get to the last acrobatics class on time. So I poured a stale mug of wine purposely into my “Blessed.” mug and settled down to two heaping servings of leftover whole wheat pasta. Carbs and more carbs. Comforting. And inflammatory as well as constipating so dessert I figure should be a protein mug cake with an ex lax ganache.

Then I should take a selfie while surrounded by my pets with the caption “I’d love to but I’m busy”.

“My Lucifer is lonely” Billie Eilish

The song has nothing to do with this blog, it’s just what I woke up with in my head. Moving on to the unsexy subject at hand. Diet. Or as some folks prefer to call it “way of eating”. I get the negative connotations of the word diet but my mouth is too lazy to say ‘way of eating’. I save my energy for more important things, like…eating.

I didn’t lose weight on keto but I didn’t gain either. And looking back at when the most recent weight gain began again, it was clearly last December, which is when I fell off the keto wagon and didn’t bother climbing back on. Other hot diets such as paleo or “intuitive eating” somehow justified my renewed craving for carbs in which I began indulging in again in the “healthy” forms of live grain bread and gluten free pasta. I wasn’t eating crap every day but it was definitely more than the once-a-week cheat I allowed myself before. Plus I was ignoring my daily carb intake and inhaling snacks of gluten-free crackers, pretzels and of course my weakness, tortilla chips.

I’ve gained so much that I haven’t weighed myself in a year. Although my clothes, jumping from a 10 to a 14/16 tell the truth.

From the outside looking in, my diet still looks relatively healthy but I know I can’t eat like this and still feel or look good. Although reading blogs from other people with hypothyroid, hashimoto’s, multiple endocrine neoplasia and other endocrine and autoimmune disorders, the path seems to point to keto. Except they also want you to give up soy (check), gluten (check), dairy (ummm…), Coffee (I’m outta here…)

But I did keto for almost two years and although I was gravely disappointed to never experience that weight “flush” that folks with properly functioning endocrine systems enjoyed, I wasn’t carrying around a hashi’s baby in my gut that never came to term like I am now (that’s extreme bloat by the way).

I take a inventory of my current kitchen. bags of crackers, triscuits, leftover cheat pizza in the freezer, and then there’s the 3lb bag of sour gummy bears guiltily staring me in the face that I bought when I was crashing and craving on recent overnight shifts at work. Okay, maybe I have lost control. Maybe it’s time to rein it back in. So I’ll give the gummies to my co-workers and round up the triscuits and pretzel crisps and donate them to my family (even though they shouldn’t be eating them either, there is no way in hell they are giving up carbs). The pizza I will probably finish off in a last hurrah because I can’t throw out pizza anymore than I can’t bring myself to throughout Pizza any more than I can throw out hundred dollar bills. The tortilla chips I will keep but I will go back to counting them out in a bowl, 12, before indulging.

If I start this week, just maybe I can squeeze back into my sequins by our December show. It would be the one-year mark from the last time I could button up my jazz vest. That’ll be my goal.

“Am I only dreaming? Or is this burning an Eternal Flame?” ~The Bangles

It’s already been a week since I returned home from my belated birthday hiking trip around Mt. Ranier and while the photos remind me of the inspiration of the Cascades, my words fail me. But if I don’t write about it now, I wont write about it at all, as I failed to write about last year’s bday hiking trip through Banff in Canada.

For weeks and days leading up to the rescheduled trip, I watched the weather reports and the hikers notes on All Trails. Sixties and seventies, they all reported. So I packed for 60’s and 70’s. Day one, it was 60’s and 70’s. Days two and three, it was in the 30’s and I had nothing but a windbreaker. No gloves, no hat. No thermals. But I came to hike so frostbite be damned. I managed to keep my digits and most of my dignity intact. The last two days of trudging were a bit like my military experiences: glorious and miserable. Learn to love the suck and feel pride that you endured when others would have said “hell, no.”

I had plenty of company on these hikes too for a change. I usually hike alone to avoid the pressure of keeping pace with someone else or the obligation of any schedule other than my own. But this time, I had friends and acquaintances coming out to meet me readily. My close Army friend, S, who’s sofa I crashed on, my long-time Marine friend “M”, both of who I’ve mentioned here previously. And an old radio acquaintance and true mountaineer who drove in from Yakima to accompany me on that final, snowy third day.

The first day was by far perfect in weather and scenery even if I was distracted by self-conscious feelings of inadequacy from the moment “M”, a stoic John Wayne type, stepped out of the car looking just as much a Marine as ever despite the face scruff and shaggy hair. “You look like a goddamned hippie” I said as I embraced him for the first time in a decade. We both had changed but time had softened and broken me whereas it further chiseled and hardened him. “S” in full wingman mode paved a baited path that went untouched and while I was touched by his matchmaking efforts, it made me hyper-aware of percieved rejection. Like a full plate of hot, salty fries neglected on the table. Who wastes it?

Many reasons why the opportunity may have gone ignored but of course I got hung up on the one: he’s not interested. Ten years ago, both in uniform, the timing was not in our favor when M admitted feelings for me. Now that the path is seemingly clear, he was no longer hungry. Maybe his dick doesn’t work, I inevitably wondered. Sad how that thought always crosses my mind now if a man catches my attention.

But otherwise, it was a long overdue trip that was better than I had expected, rejection and freezing rain aside. My rehabilitated foot held up over nearly 40 miles of rugged terrain while conversations bounced from serious debates to bowel movements to dating over the hill to Belinda Carlisle (which resulted in us =singing “Eternal Flame” up and down the mountain trails). And I reconnected in person with people that give a damn about me. There are still a few left. Even if the one I built up in my head didnt want me for dinner.

“Shout when you wanna get off the ride” ~ The Kills

I slogged (slow jogged) a 10K today across the Skyway today. This time last year, I was in ‘okay’ shape and made it across without too much damage but this year, I probably shouldn’t have done it. Sitting here with ice on my knee and unsure what is going on with the pain in my left heel that started less than 2 miles in. My time sucked too. I hope I can walk tomorrow because it’s a quarter mile from my car to my office.

Speaking of, I did a year at the VA, took stock of where I was heading, and put in my two-week notice. Then I promptly accepted my “old job” back, more or less. I tell myself it’s temporary but at least I wont be living paycheck to paycheck while I have it and that will be nice. Meanwhile, I still jump through vetting hoops for the local police dept and hope, if/when they offer me a position, that the salary is negotiable or it will be right back to paycheck-to-paycheck I go.

But it’s also exciting to be back in the saddle so to speak. I didn’t miss the traffic on the commute or waking up at 4:30 AM but I did miss the smell of the flight line. Back to wearing flip flops to the office and changing into heels. It’s too early to say how I’ll “like” being back but already, I’m grateful for the professional relevance (as well as the breathing room financially). It will be difficult to walk away again if the PD job pans out. Finally, I know this will sound arrogant as fck but it’s nice to come back to a job where I’m not the smartest person in the room and the toilets flush automatically (yes, two completely unrelated ‘pros’). Where I worked within the VA felt like a repository of people who couldn’t function or hold down a “real job”. Now I’m surrounded by high speed, moderate drag (because it IS still the government after all). But no one that I work with acts like they eat paint chips for breakfast.

Separately, I was bitching trying to set up my accounts at work because the questions to reset passwords were all “Where did you meet your spouse?” and “What is the middle name of your first born child?”. One of my coworkers said another comedian complained of the same thing: Where are the Single person’s security questions? You know what we (single people) get? “What was your phone number when you were 10”. If I could remember that, I could probably remember all my passwords and wouldnt need security questions.

Getting back to the old job means getting back to my old schedule too which was more conducive to catching a 4:30pm ballet class or a 6pm aerial silks class (because Gym Sock Burrito class doesn’t sound as sexy). Most folks are triggered by the New Year, New You but I needed a new job and a compatible schedule to recommit to my health. So as soon as I started the new/old job, I re-upped my membership for ballet and purchased a few other packages on Groupon. Plus, I started a 6 week poi spinning foundations course just to learn new tricks that might come in handy for Cabaret performances. Or not because I can’t stop socking myself in the head with the poi.

I also took inventory of my closet. Going back to work in a professional environment, I needed to face the facts of what fits and what does not. I have a bin of clothes in the garage labeled “Do not open for 20lbs”. Over the years, I’ve packed and unpacked and repacked that bin as my weight yo-yo’s with my endocrine problems. This time I changed the label to “30 lbs” and added more clothes.

But I’m not going to beat myself up because I’m back on track for the time being. I think. It’s too easy to blame my wonky lab results for the way I look and feel but I also wasn’t trying. Now excuse me while I hobble away for a fresh ice pack.

“My name is Might’ve Been” ~Hole

It’s the “here we go again” 70 page background check and polygraph prep: Recall my mailing address two decades ago in South Korea? Nope. My ex-husband’s social security number? Nope. His current mailing address? Definitely not. Have I ever allowed recreational marijuana use in my home? Define “allowed”. Have I ever worked at a job where alcohol consumption on duty was allowed? Yes, in fact, it was encouraged. It’s called “radio”. Ever blog about porn? Guilty! Oh wait, that’s not one of the questions. Wheew!

I’d rather be bedazzling on this Friday night. My grandmother was a costume designer in the golden age of Vaudeville in Miami and she made it look so easy, affixing rhinestones armed with nothing but a metal nail file and her own acrylic tipped fingernails.

I just returned from a few (too few) days in the woods with my dog. We were along the GA/SC border and it was cold! I’m part lizard so I’m always cold but even my wanna-be mountain dog didn’t want to get out of the car on Day 2 after traipsing (more like tripping) 8 miles through the hills the day prior in 30 degrees. Probably spent more time on the road than in the woods, I simply didn’t have much PTO to spare.

But road trips are a game of Name That Roadkill, of signs warning me that Judgement Day is coming, and old trucks on the side of the road that I salivate over the idea of buying and busting my knuckles on, , singing to my dog for 10 hours, choreographing dance and comedy routines in my head, wishing I’d thought to be a Park Ranger when I grew up, and overthinking in general.

Thinking about random shite. Like…

And so it begins again, New Year, New You. The usual suspects on my social media checking in to their gyms and taking pictures of their salads as if NOT doing this would negate any benefits of their temporary new routines and diets.

If I had a New Year’s resolution it might be to run (okay, slow jog, ie: “Slog”) every day (yes EVERY day) and replace wine with tea.

Then I think about these studies that say running is NOT the best form of exercise and I think “Those are conducted by people that sincerely hate running”. And I eat them up like gospel because I sincerely hate running. But the fact in my experience remains that I do not know a single sincere runner in bad shape. Even those like me with bad backs, knees, etc…their conditions improved with running (ie: losing weight). When I ruck 15 miles carrying an extra 50lbs, I hurt the next day. But I’m carrying an extra 50lbs all over my body EVERY day. So I hurt. Dur.

I still don’t want to run.

And I think I’ll stick to the state highways and off the interstate as much as possible in the future. On these now “back-roads”, there’s less traffic and I don’t have the peer pressure of keeping up with the speeding flow or avoiding leapfrogging semi-trucks or impatient assholes psychically nudging my bumper to force me to drive even faster than the 20 over I’m already traveling (by the way, Bitch, I can pit you. Back. Off.)

And I think about CK and his love of museums. I told him the only museums I enjoyed were the Smithsonian in DC and…I think I’ve been to the Louvre but that year was a blur for me. “Where is the Mona Lisa?” I asked. The Louvre, he answered. Then yes, I’ve been to the Louvre because I remember her. I don’t enjoy the Ringling museum but there are two pieces I like, the portrait of Salome and the three muses: spinning, measuring and cutting. I’m particularly drawn to the one that cuts.

But back to CK, the man who loves museums and spends Friday nights organizing his desk drawer and kitchen cupboards for the 5th time this year. I told him he is a prime candidate for the Dull Men’s Club and should apply. They’d send him a certificate that he can frame for his office and everything.

“See you on a dark night” ~ Grimes

My head is screaming today in this corporate hell. I hate the sound of the spoon scrape, scrape, scraping against her yogurt container breakfast because she’s too polite to lick the bowl when no one is looking. Followed hours later by her shake, shake, shaking a plastic bowl of salad at lunch. I hate how they close the doors conspiratorially as if they assume I give two shits about their gossip. They don’t realize I am a Priest, full of secrets, classified and lifetimes of thrilling experience. I was influential. Now I’m “nobody”. So retired, I could be dead.  I am disgusted daily. Some days, my face bears the truth of my disdain and I barely bother to conceal it. Headphones on, I tune out their prattle about their genius, overindulged spawn and focus on the menial tasks I’m relegated to. I never thought I’d be here a year later. I thought I’d be gone in a week. And months passed. And the chip got too big for my shoulder and now it’s a monster of a mountain handcuffed to my fat, slow feet…

Praying, begging for inspiration, patience, a break-through, a light, a rope…pull me out, even if it’s by my neck. I promise I’m not unreachable. If you rescue me, I would be so grateful, work so hard, give you my life. What I have left that I haven’t already donated…

Tis the season when the sun squats low in the sky and that may be part of the problem. Not enough “D”. Not enough “O” either. Weather permitting, I will disappear into the woods along the Appalachian trail for a few days with my dog next weekend. I burn my leave time from work just as fast as I earn it. But it’s a known fact: unhappy workers are absent more.

“I hope you are quite prepared to die” ~CCR

It’s one of those days when I forget to tuck my tampon string to the side before I take a poop.

But the good news is always, for me, pooping at all.

Looking at the Brightside.

I had an interesting conversation with my friend (who’s name I forgot last week during an attack of Alzheimers). Never considered him a spiritualist but he became involved with a shaman who “shattered” his third eye and since then, he’s Snow “fucking” White with butterflies perching on him and birds and mice helping him get dressed every morning. Okay, not exactly like that but close. When he first told me about it, I was like a kid jumping up and down, waving my hand in the air begging “ooh! Me next! Me next!” But upon further thought and discussion, I wonder if having my third eye “shattered” or even having that window polished is a good idea. Most of my life, I think I’ve ignored that locked room inside me because I’m fearful. I’ve mentioned before how uneasy I am with the theory of reincarnation or “soul recycling” as I call it. It makes me feel less in control of my destiny and less “Christian” although I feel ignorant for even admitting either thought. I don’t think I have demons so much as ghosts. And I’d like to learn to live with them in peace but perhaps that starts with acknowledging them. If I have spirit guides or guardians, they must be laughing at how often I talk to myself in foreign accents.

And where were they last Friday when I SAT in a fire ant bed during my lunch break at work? Asking “Why, G-d, why do you hate me?” as I hurried back inside, sweating and gritting my teeth through the security screening, up the stairs to strip down in the public bathroom and pick hundreds of fire ants off my clothes and body? Not the least had attacked my back and butt all the way down into my ass crack. CK, a good sport as always, came over that night after work and helped out with tweezers and peroxide.

Another friend laughed and commented, truthfully, “Only you…”

“I’ve got my love to keep me warm”

I felt a bad mood coming on like the first tickle of a cold on my way out of work this evening. I stopped by Starbux thinking a caffiene boost would be a quick cure (and give me energy to dance tonight) but they got my order wrong and as I drove off, I fought back the urge to hurl the cup screaming into road.

An old friend – a close friend – popped into my head and I realized I hadnt talked to him a while or seen him on social media so I decided to send a text to check in (because I’m not a good friend these days)… but I couldnt recall his name. It’s like forgetting your sisters’ name. And it didnt escape me for a moment and pop right back in place like a disclocated shoulder. An hour later, I was crying because I still couldnt remember his name and was sifting through the countless bullshit saved numbers on my phone’s contact list to find him. I finally found him, sent a text but havent heard back. I’m a little concerned because he’s prone to depression. Social media makes it easy to keep tabs on the people we care about but at teh same time, it makes us lurkers in their lives and not active participants. We are watching over them and we care but they dont know that.
Our lives have become nothing more than a collection of hashtags.
If my friend who’s name escaped me is in my Top 10 of friends, the guy who is in my Top 5 was so upset with me for neglecting him that he deleted my number from his phone. I know this because (1. I know that’s something he does with people he truly angry with and 2.) he didnt immediately know who I was by the time I got around to returning his multiple calls. Instead of greeting me with “Hola, Amiga!” as soon as the call connected, he asked politely “Who is this?” (no, he wasnt joking or trying to make a point. I do know him well).
As Im failing at friendship as a whole, my Asshole Best Friend is suicidal again. His other best friend and I have discussed it behind his back, trying to figure out how to best handle it: Tell his father who will put him back in Rehab? Tell his sister who will kick his proverbial ass? We both lean towards the latter. If he does take his life, I won’t be surprised but I”ll aslo feel responsible because how can I not? If I was a better friend…
But we are not responsible for the behavior or happiness of others, are we? Or is that just another popular “self help” quasi-Buddhist nugget of modern-day wisdom that we are supposed to swallow to make us feel less guilty for shirking our responsibility to be kind humans?
As I was crying this afternoon, I ask myself out loud “Why are you upset?”
Is it because you’re a bad friend?
Is it because you’re a bad girlfriend who is unhappy with her current romantic albeit asexual relationship; who may be sticking it out because she already bought him an expensive, non-returnable Christmakkuh present?
Is it because photos and mirrors reflect reflect an old, tired, washed up ghost?
Is it becaue you havent achieved what you expected to by this point?
is it because you had worse than a mild wardrobe malfunction at last weekend’s cabaret show and your entire tit flopped out like an unwelcome fish onstage for everyone to behold?
And then, to snap myself out of that, I went in search of words of wisdom, my copy of The Happiness Advantage that Ive only dented by about 20 pages in several months…and of course I can’t find it. It’s not where I distinctly recall leaving it. And the anxiety is rising again because I’m back in the near empty parking lot, walking right past my car, searching for the car I traded in two years ago…embarassed, confused, and a little frightened.