I spent the weekend pottering around my apartment not doing much at all. Not doing much is both a luxury and a necessity, and I have rarely felt that it was a possibility for me. This last year and a bit of setting up a blog, trying to hone my writing skills, make a career out of it has been difficult enough. As with any artistic career it is full of self doubt and loathing. Nothing ever seems right, no word ever seems to fit quite as I want it, and the whole escapade feels utterly doomed. I have this recurring dream that I am sitting in a Hollywood bar with a bunch of now dead people, and drinking salty margaritas. I suppose it is my idea of success to be sucking down booze with Zevon and HST in a glitzier and more enjoyable version of Los Angeles than the one I briefly knew. I would not last five minutes in that environment…or else I would be a huge hit, head down in a trifle bowl full of blow, wondering why all the prettiest people, of which I am not one, are such gigantic assholes. I might still be an ass though. I suppose I am doubly lucky.
Success feels like a distant dream that is evaporating under the glare of effort and failure. On top of this I have had to survive the rest of what a somewhat difficult life has thrown at me: living in a homeless shelter with my child and not a small amount of pain, loss and danger. Add to that the constant boogieman of losing my housing, the ability to stay with my child and my residency in the only place that is safe for me and him looming over my head and there is a distinct possibility of a breakdown, except that is not quite my style, is it? No. I am the kind of weirdo that just keeps on going and going wondering where the breaking point is, at which point I am going to blow a valve from the head of steam I am working up, and just when that proverbial cup is going to overflow. I have not found that upper limit yet. I generally spend a lot of time at high anxiety, which I manage with tea, writing, music, playing my guitar, and loving my child for what tiny amount I am worth, but I never manage to achieve cracks which are not able to be patched and fixed.
Except this last few days have been immensely difficult for me. There is no particular reason. The usual round of horseshit keeps on smearing its tracks across my ways and days, nothing new there. Phone calls come in, the gaslighting types keep on lighting those old fashioned lanterns, the friendly loving kind are regularly soothing, everything is pretty much normal for me. I only have three months left on my subsidy. It would appear that a year is not so long a time after all, not after spending decades trying to survive a man and a system that attempted to utterly destroy everything, and I suppose that has me feeling terrified, but that is not it either. The pressure in my head kept rising and rising without relenting. I had to take a couple of days to myself. I did not enjoy it at all.
I spent the first of my days off in a state of disarray, feeling as if I was lazily doing nothing to advance my position or better my chances of staying with my son. I tried to watch television, but everything felt phony and empty. I put on a movie, but not even the most slapstick of comedy distracted me, yet if I sat down to try and work on pitches or write I just ended up bursting into tears and feeling as if the real phony imposter was me. I could not work up the appetite to go outside, I was in tears for much of the day and besides, now there is fucking monkeypox! Come on! Really? We are going to do some god-awful pox now? All this pestilence is not normal, and not funny. The world is in disarray and so am I. Eventually the kid took matters into his own hands introduced me to electronic valium, aka gaming. I galloped across old western prairies, but found out that I am a terrible shot. I ended up playing a dolls house type game and being told off for getting grease on the controller.
For a while I was distracted enough to relax a little. The next day of my time off was not really long enough to really unwind. There was no ‘dancing beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free’ going on, despite my Dylan soundtrack. I watered my plants, cleaned the house, read some Timothy Leary and wondered if I had brain damage from doing psychedelics in my youth. We opened an old junk wax pack of baseball cards from Walgreens. As we sorted through them the boy flicked one in my direction: Tim Leary. It was the wrong Time Leary. A baseball Tim Leary, from the 70s who I would like to think spent a lot of his time fielding jokes about acid tripping hippies. He looks very clean cut. The kind of sweet all American boy that is everybody’s home town hero. What do I know? He could have been an unrepentant acid freak just like the man he shared a name with, but somehow I doubt it. This parallel Tim Leary is a great source of joy to me. Knowing that somewhere a Tim Leary was living this wholesome baseball playing life, while he decadent space faring alter-ego/namesake was winding up the acid tests tickled me pink. The wrong Tim Leary was the best thing that happened all weekend.
I came to the conclusion that if I am soggy or impaired in a bad way, I wouldn’t be likely to know it, and since I was wondering about it, it was unlikely. I asked the Boy if I was odd. He smiled at me and made negative soothing noises. I am definitely odd. He is just too well brought up to tell me so. I tried to watch the Yankees game, but it was so wrought with outside nastiness caused by Josh Donaldson, and the crowd booing poor Tim Anderson that I found myself shouting at the television and hating my beloved Yankees. I went to bed at 2pm. Motherfuckers can’t ruin baseball. The world is fucked up. Everything is wrong. The Yankees lost both games of the double header at home, and I was happy about it. Everything is topsy turvy.
The Boy made Japanese curry from scratch for me. It was so good. I think he is trying to train my tastebuds not to be so scared of heat. It amuses me that I am now sometimes wrong and he is sometimes right, that he is the strong one and I am the one that needs his help to move or carry something. When my back went out late last night and he had to haul me up from my chair I burst into tears. I am defunct. Useless. Might as well throw me on the scrap heap.
It is a design fault in my psyche. I am incapable of relaxing without booze or drugs. I should have got stoned, but it just didn’t appeal to me. Sometimes I get angry at the blameless harmless weed for not being opiates or booze. I internally and unfairly berate weed for being itself and not something a little stronger. I get stubborn. If it ain’t a 5th or a bag of poppy-related stuff, or at least the doctors left over scrapings bundled up in a little pink pill, or a strangely hard dark green tablet then I get resentful, and since I am trying not to go under and let People down that I love, then my choices range from a microdosed thc gummy to a couple of hits of improbably named temple ball hashish. I should be happy. I can buy it in a nice shop, it takes the edge off, and sometimes I catch a little buzz, but that it is. I am simply incapable of relaxing without help. In fact it is worse than that, I am a ball of anxiety and fear without help, and that makes it very hard to function sometimes at worst, and at best I live life being constantly uncomfortable, hung up, and socially hobbled. It is not damage. I have always been this way.
I even signed up for giggle, an entirely female online social networking site, and poked around its dating side but it would appear there are no lesbians in California, or at least none on there. I am a nightmare. I can’t abide intensity in romantic relationships, at least not nowadays. I am very much wary, and the first sign of ‘too much’ and I am outta there. I have too much to lose, and to be frank, I think my trust has eroded to the point where I will never be in a romantic relationship again. What if they try and fuck me over if I irritate them? What if they hit me? Hurt me? What if after everything I cannot give back what someone else gives to me, which is entirely probable. No. I am doomed to be alone forever more. The scary thing is, I don’t even care anymore. I think I am going to end up a hermit. I almost am anyway. I have no friends apart from online ones, and Ruthie who is not going to be able to see me in person any time soon. I am grateful for these lovely people, though concerned that I will never hang out in person with anyone again. Covid has a lot to answer for.
I am not the hermit type, not by nature. I need to be out there going to bars and live music shows. I need to be sitting in cafes for hours and watching the boats come in. The fact that fear of infection has trained this out of me, has got me in a pickle. Yes. I said pickle. It is not as dramatic as a problem, nor as benign as a concern. I can see why the events of the last couple of years have led some to opt out of life, though that isn’t me. I am a hang out with Keef Richards and the cockroaches after Armageddon kinda freak. I intend on living to 100 just to piss off those who want me dead.
The weekend was a failure. I probably should do nothing for a week and see if I can work out these knots in my mind, but although no one else would have a problem with this, I certainly would and I have enough internal arguments with myself as it is. Oh well…hello again. I’m back. Buckle in, I figure the next few months are gonna be quite the ride. I hope I am wrong…but yeah…I’m rarely wrong.
Detroit “Cassandra” Richards