“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.
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I feel like a raindrop over a waterfall – Kenny Chesney

Sorry Mr. Chesney but that lyric is lame. The Flake quoted it to me, not because he was feeling introspective but because that’s the song playing through his speaker at the moment. I can relate to that feeling of insignificance but a raindrop over a waterfall becomes part of the waterfall, something bigger than itself. Offering an alternative perspective to someone who may or may not be listening and may or may not ever suffer from feelings of insignificance.

I told him “goodnight and I miss you. Or maybe I just miss the idea of you” Because how can I miss what I never had?

Is this week of sleepless nights, heightened aches and bouts of hopelessness a result of my body struggling with hormones or a keto diet? Maybe both. My mind feels like a butterknife. My body an uncooperative, aged machine.

Sharing conflicting knowledge and personal experiences with Hashimotos and hypothyroid sufferers in a keto group in social media, I lament, in addition to the challenging dietary restrictions of keto, we must also limit our dairy and cruciferous vegetable intake? My staples are broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, cheese… what CAN we eat? A woman replied “I heard we can have ice cubes”. I laughed heartily at that one. Frustrating but funny!

I also officially took a Hiatus from the samba troupe. They scheduled a publicity photo shoot for the group which I knew was coming. I told them I had hoped to be in better physical shape by the time it came up but that hasn’t happened. I admitted to them that
being excluded because of my size still bothers me and I’ve decided to temporarily pack up my feathers along with the rest of my wardrobe that I haven’t been able to part with since my relapse. I told them thanks for letting me hang but I’m just going to dance with my clothes on in the meantime. What I didn’t admit was that I was not going to subject myself to a photographer who would try to hide the big girl in the back or under a feather fan.

“I just wanna be somebody to someone” – Banners

The booty call, I don’t even think I can call him that since we only hooked up twice and it was several months ago, went swing dancing for 5 hours last night followed by an additional 2 hours of salsa at another club. I had considered going to both dances and ultimately went to neither. I was so anxious to get back from Montana to dance and return to a “routine” and yet I’ve been back for 3 days and have done Jack and Shit.

I purchased books in the airport, one on Winston Churchill (I’m a history buff and a closet fan of that complicated man and the era he led in) and another book of recently published scraps of stories and plots from F Scott Fitzgerald ( and it may forever remain unbeknownst us how much is plagiarized from his wife). I remember a time when I devoured books and now I can’t remember the last one I made through its entirety. It’s not that I’m disinterested, it’s that I struggle to focus. It doesn’t matter the content, my attention Trails off after a few pages and then I can’t recall what I read. As if I can’t even comprehend the words on the page. What is wrong with my brain? How will I ever find another decent job if my mind is mush? And I’m pretty sure I blew both interviews this week. One for saying the wrong thing out right and the other, the dreaded brain fog or hiccup, words escaping me all together. I used to be unfailingly articulate. Now, its as if English were a second language.

May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground. Carry on. ~ Fun

A friend posted on social media today that it was painful to live in a world that no longer needed her. I responded, “What about your needs?” But martyrdom is a hard habit to break. I’m still working on it. And I may not be a Buddhist like my recently passed friend Bill but even the mindfulness therapy championed by Dr. Hayes is based in eastern thought. Modern Buddhist practitioners are a source of inspiration and stability. One ACT/Buddhist theory that Bill shared with me before he passed was that the reason people are so unhappy is because we cling to what we want: not just material things but circumstances and relationships. Rather than accepting that everything changes and comes to an end, we mourn for its passing rather than celebrating that we had it at all, rather than giving thanks and moving on. Well, Bill, I’m sorry but I miss you. And he would say “Stop saying sorry. Say ‘oops’.”

Bill’s best friend got back to me with details for the memorial service and confirmed my gut suspicion, that he took his own life. It’s hard to fathom this world getting “the best” of someone so enlightened and loved. It shakes what little faith I have left. Local swing dancers are hosting a “Dance like Bill” contest Friday night. They made it a “strictly” instead of a “jack and jill”. Not to insult your dance intelligence but in a competition, “strictly” means you have a designated partner. For “jack and Jill”, partners are chosen at random. I posted on the event page asking them to change it to a J&J since Bill WAS my partner and I don’t have anyone else to dance with for that competition or any other. Although the idea of showing up to an event with those Scenesters that never gave me the time of day as a dancer to begin with, and watching them all try to imitate my partner, especially when Bill and I would have been dancing together in Vegas this week…I’d better not go. I’ll just get angry. 

Time for my biannual four hour round trip to the VA hospital in Orlando. The flagship of VA hospitals. Clean and efficient; where lab techs are all sharp-shooting former combat medics and never have to fish for my veins; and where I don’t have to fight the toilet paper roll in the bathrooms. But fatigue is still a bastard and driving back I nearly fell asleep at the wheel again. Maybe it was the sun through the sunroof pressing down on my shoulders while my memory fantasized about them being pressed into a pillow. I’d like a pair of hands on me but the fact is I don’t have 7 hours to spare for a booty call. A friend pointed out that when your booty call hangs out for that long, that counts as a relationship. But the B.C. doesn’t love animals and that’s a deal-breaker. Although I want to point out that ruling out psychopathy strictly based on someone’s affection for animals is faulty. The Sociopath rescued a cat. Still, I can’t seriously consider someone who pushes my dog way when he comes looking for a pat.

Speaking of the B.C., he has been wanting to come over. First he said he needed to do laundry. A few days later, he said he needed a back rub. But I’ve been struggling with Bill’s passing and I don’t need a friendly poke, I need a friendly ear. So instead I sit outside alone on my back patio holding a water hose stiffer than the B.C., burning brush under the light of a full moon. Leaving the sliding door open to Let the Smoke in.  If asked, I will say it is for cleansing but the simple fact is the house smells bad. My roommate slow cooks black beans and ham which sometimes smells delicious, other times it smells like rotting pork. Tonight is the latter. Plus he burned rice. Again. Wine sounded like a good idea but it clings to my burning throat so I let it go flat in my glass.

The Flake is sniffing ‘round again. Via email since I won’t pick up the phone. I told him about Bill, briefly, and he offered to be that friendly ear. My inner voice felt so loud as it yelled “BUUUUULLSHIT!” that I’m almost surprised he didn’t hear it.

” you don’t know how it feels” -TOM Petty

I realize as far as lyrical quotes go that one is pretty weak but it was the first one that popped into my head under the circumstances.
Those of you suffering with MS, Hashimoto’s or any other disease who’s list of ailments include chronic exhaustion, I know you’ll understand. I get so irritated when I tell someone I fell asleep at 6 p.m. and slept until 9 a.m. the next morning and they comment on how “jealous ” they are that I got so much sleep or how “lucky” I am to be able to go to bed so early…they misunderstand. I didn’t go to bed before Sundown or lose 15 out of 24 Hours by choice. My body shut down. I could neither cognitively or physically function because I HAD  to sleep.   I miss having a normal life,  dancing in the evenings, watching game of Thrones Sunday night. Now there is barely the space of an hour between sleeping and work. But hey, I’m the lucky one.

“My thoughts were so loud, I couldnt hear my mouth…” ~Modest Moust

“I still haven’t gotten anywhere that I want.
Did I want love? Did I need to know?
Why does it always feel like I’m caught in an undertow?

The moths beat themselves to death against the lights.
Adding their breeze to the summer nights.
Outside, water like air was great.
I didn’t know what I had that day.
Walk a little farther to another plan.
You said that you did, but you didn’t understand.

I know that starting over is not what life’s about.
But my thoughts were so loud I couldn’t hear my mouth.
My thoughts were so loud I couldn’t hear my mouth.
My thoughts were so loud…”

Just days after surgery, what did I expect? A miracle, I admit. But even after plucking a rogue, swollen parathyroid gland from my chest where it had migrated, nothing has changed. Nothing. I dont feel better, improved. It could take weeks, they said. It may not even work, is what they didnt say but I had read.

So I wait with a fresh scar across my thickening neck.

I dropped off Facebook for a bit. Needed to. I found myself resentful of the health and happiness of others. Everyone has someone, it seemed. I struggle alone in this house. I finally got a new roommate but he wasnt as advertised. He’s never around and he’s not a friend. He ran off to Atlanta to be with his on-again rebound, a thin, age-innappropriate 20-something bitch in every sense. And this Ive learned from him. But he ‘loves’ her inexplicably and unconditionally. Fool for a young, pretty face. Do I sound jealous? Maybe I am. I want someone to care about me. I may not have been happy but I was at least content before he moved in. He bleeds what little energy I have left and generally, of no conscious doing of his own, makes me feel worse about myself. He is an emotional vampire and I generally suck at shielding because I cant stop caring about those who dont care back. So it’s better that he’s not around. But he didnt even bother to send a message to ask how surgery went. As I said, not a friend.

Thank G-d I have one or two close friends who check in on me daily, ask how I’m feeling, just remind me that I am in their thoughts. Still, I could use some physical help. An extra set of strong hands. Someone to tackle the back yard with the lawnmower. Or just to take those strong hands, place them on my cramped, pained shoulders and PUSH DOWN HARD. Like an anti-shrug. Not a massage. Nerve damage means massages feel like a hornets nest that has been kicked under my skin. But firm pressure to break up the tightly woven fascia or a bear hug to crack the part of my back that I cant reach would be nice. Really, just a hug in general might be nice. Shit, I’d probabaly start sobbing like a baby if anyone touched me.

I was always a caretaker. Working the pressure points in the FOot, scalp, hand, back. I miss having someone to take care of but these days, I wish I had someone to take care of me. Someone who doesnt ask but just “does”. Because I dont ask for help.

There are several dance events this weekend and I was hopeful but I know now that was overly ambitious. I still hurt. I’m still weak, exhausted and in a fog. Coherence is still a challenge. I get frustrated and depressed in my failure to communicate effectively so I shut down, too tired to continue trying. I could die here and it would be days before anyone realized it. Here she lies: uninspired, she just gave up. Because she didnt care enough about herself to push her way out of bed. And then what? Go where? Do what? What doesnt HURT?

Dont tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself. It’s already on the menu. Self pity is the gravy over the self-loathing that I feel. Or is it the other way around?

I didnt want to live to be old enough not to wipe my own ass but neither did I think I would fizzle out like this. I couldnt watch “Seven POunds” the other night. I read the synopsis though. Then I asked my mother how long a body had postmortem before it’s parts were cooked and unusable. Not long at all. In fact, unless you die in the hospital (or a bathtub full of ice while on the line with 911), there isnt much that can be recycled. And for a moment I had this comforting thought that I would leave nothing wasted but my fingernails.

G-d, and the boredom…I catch myself staring at the floor wondering if I can knock out just 2 push ups without the sutures tearing out of my neck. I don’t take kindly to limitations.

Low-grade pain is a constant current that never disappears completely. Like water dripping on your forehead ceaselessly, it’s maddening. It saps your desire to do anything but go back to sleep.

Sleep. Or company. I havent got the latter so I’ll choose the former.