Sunday, December 19, 2010

Daddy Issues

This was a week filled with amazing times with my friends but also much sadness and of course, illness. Thanks to one of my best friends and now certified genius, Jackie Brafford, my on and off misery for the last 6 years of my life has been pinpointed. Let me start at the beginning...

When I was 12 years old, my father committed suicide. It made me angry more than anything. Since that day, every male I have been close to in my life (whether on a friendship basis or other) has been the victim of my self-destruction. The closer I get to a man, the more psychotic I become. It started as a minor problem in junior high and high school and didn't become a full blow disaster until the Fall of 2004 when I met the indie music loving and floppy haired Jesse Strunk while on exchange in England. I was attracted to him but we were also friends which lasted long beyond England. We would speak every day and had a lot in common. Eventually, I stopped liking him and just thought of him as a friend but despite that I became easily jealous, obsessive and made myself crazy. I also made his life hell occasionally because of my need to fight and pout and demand attention. I ended up starting therapy again for the first time in years as a result. Sadly, along that same time, I met Kyle Miller who would be the bane of my existence for the next 5 years. Despite him being gay, I fell in love. We became best friends very quickly. Like with Jesse, I put unreasonable expectations on him, pouted, demanded attention, got angry and jealous over stupid things and basically became a basket case. This led to  me trying to kill myself one night and on another, ending up in the hospital in fear of my own sanity. We didn't speak for two years after I moved to Boise but in 2009, we reconnected and became foolishly close again. Though I no longer had romantic feelings for him and my craziness never got to 2006 levels, I often repeated the same mistakes that caused me to lose him and myself in the process.

Fast forward to July 2010 when I started working for an attractive man who I quickly bonded with over frat boy talk and drunken nights. I again put unreasonable demands on him, got jealous, easily hurt and angry and thought more of our friendship than it was. I did all of this to a lesser extent to my two male coworkers, fighting with them on a weekly basis. What does this have to do with my father? On the surface, maybe nothing but think about this...I never get this way with my female friends, even the ones I am very close to. I don't get jealous, I don't get angry easily, I respect them and treat them well. The end result is: I cannot get close to a man, in any way. A lot of it has to do with unrequited romantic feelings but even when those aren't involved or long past, I still morph into this succubus on crack. I end up pushing them away before they have a chance to leave my dad did. He left me and I am terrified for any man to do that to me again. So I become insane. It's not conscious; it's a literal gut reaction. I have lost a few very important people in my life that I cared about deeply as friends and it's my fault. Yes, I wasn't always treated right by them and I am glad in some ways that I don't have them in my life but losing them has always been my fault. I cannot trust a man. I have unreasonable expectations and demands. I want them to love me (as friends) as much as I love them. No man has ever loved me like my father has. I was the world to him, both my mother and I knew it. I guess I want to be the world to some other man whether I am a best friend or a significant other.

I have a lot of work to do. I want to end this. I want healthy relationships with men. I want to treat them like I do my family and my girlfriends, with respect and kindness. No set expectations going in, no jealousy, no demanding attention. My age of wrath has caused a lot of heartache and trouble for both me and those men. Some of them deserved it, yes I know, but I ask myself would any of this have happened if I didn't have this automatic tendency to treat every man as if he would leave me.

Why am I realizing this now? This week I said something unbearably awful to someone I love dearly. Flashback to two years ago and I said something equally awful to another man I cared about. I have never said anything of this caliber to any of my girlfriends or family, no matter how angry I have been. I of course didn't mean these terrible things but the fact that I even thought to say them fills me with great shame. My dear friend Jackie has helped me realize this pattern, one I have been either denying or avoiding for years.

The biggest fear I have is losing someone. Whether it is my death or apathy, it doesn't matter, the end result is the same. I have lost them forever. And it's always my fault.

Death to the golden rule

I have no voice.

Not in an inequality kind of a way but in a literal 'I cannot push sounds through my vocal chords to make words' kinda way. It's horrible and  inconvenient yet somehow makes me appreciate the quiet moments in life. Right now I can hear the rain fall outside, the tick of my living room clock and my wheezing breath. Well, maybe the wheezing isn't so great but with silence comes a new way of thinking. I live alone so you may ask "What does it matter that you can't talk, you are by yourself?" Well, noble reader, it matters when I am used to talking to the food in my fridge in order to decide what to eat and it matters when I watch my favorite film, Con Air, and can't hoot and holla at the screen as a result of the awesomeness that is Nicolas Cage. But overall the silence won't kill me, it makes me more contemplative and peaceful. Laryngitis, however, is the enemy of singing in the car which is, as many know, my favourite thing to do in the world. Sadly, I still try to squeak out a verse or two but only end up looking like a fool when lyrics like "After all, you're my wonderwall" come out like "aaaaaaaaaa...(audible wheezing)" How the hell can I be fierce like my girl Rihanna without a voice? I should learn sign language and execute it with R&B style passion. Just wait 'til they all see my gangsta alphabet...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Excessive flashpoints beyond all reach

I have rapidly transformed back to my old 2007 self. John Lennon said "All you need is love" but he was wrong. I have a lot of love but I need something more tangible, rational and less expensive. I am a product of my generation and a product of my fucked up genetics. My entire life will be filled with memories because in the end, that's all we have anyway. I have put boards up against those mind screens in an effort to seclude myself from my true self. My true self is angry, violent, insane, melancholy and selfish yet overly empathetic. On the outside I am an ocean of calm and I am working to have my inside match my outward serenity. I love too much, I hate too much and there is no in between. I am trying to become that balance. At this point, there is no other choice.

I was born for a purpose that is so far unknown. But I have a feeling all of this pain over the years will help me figure it out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

5:01 a.m. in the kitchen of 77 Barton Street (18 May 1980)

I enjoy lists. In fact, I literally cannot live my life without them. So I present to you the following:

Top 12 (nerdily specific) musical things I would like to be reincarnated as:

1)      Noel Gallagher’s guitar solo in Oasis’ “Slide Away”
2)      The piano in Joy Division’s “The Eternal”
3)      Liam Gallagher’s shriek during the intro of Oasis’ “Fade In-Out”
4)      Ian Curtis’ voice in Joy Division’s “New Dawn Fades”
5)      Seconds in Blur’s “Ambulance”
6)      The drums in “Lucky 13” by the Smashing Pumpkins
7)      Second in “Arabatur” by Sigur Ros
8)      The chorus of Sigur Ros’ “Hljomalind”
9)      The final 30 seconds of “Saeglopur” by Sigur Ros
10)   Second of “Stellar” by the Smashing Pumpkins
11)   The guitar in John Mayer’s “Something’s Missing”
12)   Peter Hook’s bass guitar

I would honestly just be thrilled with the last one.

All my musical passion resurgence began today at work where I craved Oasis with the pickle and peanut butter intensity of a pregnant woman. I had to have it. NOW. I don’t usually get that way anymore, sadly. I should always feel that way. Listening to the Smashing Pumpkins still makes me feel like home and Blur reminds me of being at the Dover Cliffs in England, playing that song on incessant loop as I scrambled over the landscape. Morrissey and The Smiths saved my life back in 2007 and Sigur Ros still makes me cry. But when’s the last time I felt like that 15 year old who held her breath when pushing play on Be Here Now for the first time?

I miss music. I still listen to it pretty much daily but straining my vocals chords to “Firebomb” by Rihanna on the way to a Redbox just isn’t the same. Today I really felt it again. That energy and numbness that floods in at the same time. Brain-pumping relaxation. I wish there was a way I could transform myself into musical waves, effortlessly floating from one song to another. Take #1 in my list above. I want to exist in the same space and time at the exact moment Noel Gallagher slid his gnarled fingers up and down that guitar neck to record the brilliant solo in “Slide Away”. I want to be it. No physical body, just sound. I want to reverberate from Ian Curtis’ throat as he croaks out the words to “New Dawn Fades”, the desperation and passion in his voice slicing through Bernard Summer’s menacing guitar. I want to be the ferocity and sweat behind Jimmy Chamberlin’s pounding rhythm in “Lucky 13”. Living as second of “Arabatur” must be like sitting on God’s knee.

I don’t want to just listen, sing along to or write about music. I want to be music. I want to dissolve into music the way dandelion seeds scatter in the air.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Call me Jane, you primordial bastards

Me had dream. Me had weird dream.

A lil’ background before I delve in: I used to work at a foreclosure/real estate/insane company that for the purpose of this entry, I shall call Monkey Funds. Monkey Funds was a terrible company with literal monkeys running the place, at least at the Boise branch. My old boss was one of those monkeys, a VP monkey in fact, head monkey. So I was basically this monkey’s personal assistant or his ‘right hand banana’. This monkey and I got too close, friendship wise, and to not bore you with the details, but he used his charming monkey wiles to sexually harass me, take advantage of my position and basically use my attraction to his sexy yet short monkey self to his benefit. Monkey Douche. I worked with other sales monkeys who I actually enjoyed but Monkey Douche made my life a disturbing 19th century French prose poem.

I quit Monkey Funds a month ago. I literally said ‘I quit’ and walked out. One of the most scary yet ultimately best moments of my life. I mentally took a picture of my boss’ bewildered face as I told him and framed it on the polished marble fireplace mantle in my mind.

 To my dismay, last night Monkey Douche (MD) decided to crawl into my thoughts like a silverfish.  In the dream, Sales Monkey A (SM A) asked me to come back to MF to do some part time work. For whatever stupid reason, I agreed. But Monkey Douche had other plans. Instead he picked up two random girls he met in an Arby’s parking lot to do my job (Arby’s bought ad space in my dream, apparently. Beef and Cheddars are my pillows). MD refused to look at me or speak to me, much as it is in real life. Sales Monkey A said MD called me a ‘nasty bitch’ to which I laughed and pretty much agreed. (This most likely also happened in real life.) However, SM A was not supposed to tell me this and when MD found out, he was furious. Somewhere along the line, Monkey Douche’s habitat was set ablaze and he blamed me. That’s when the fun began. Think of a Discovery Channel special about rabid monkeys trying to beat the hell out of each other for possession of a banana.  My real life arguments with MD were legendary, frequent and oddly, therapeutic. In the dream, however, MD eventually wanted to hire me back but me being the ever ballsy and ‘nasty bitch’ I am, said no.

Sometimes I miss Monkey Funds but most of the time I don’t. I don’t miss wearing high heels everyday in some vain attempt to feel sexy around all the sales monkeys. I also don’t miss drunken fights and naked pictures being flashed in front of my face.

Sometimes I fantasize about slinking over to Monkey Douche in my high heels and low cut top…and stealing his car. I miss that Ford Escape.

Ted Nugent's Inspiration

I have yet another man in my life. He is fuzzy, wide eyed and enjoys hiding under my bed. His name is Henry is he is my best friend Alicia’s cat. I am entertaining him (or really, he is entertaining me) while she is on vacation in her native England (jolly good, G’vnor!)

I treat Henry like a person. I talk to him, tell him “bless you” when he sneezes and yell at him when he somehow manages the seemingly impossible leap from the floor to my closet clothes rod.

Today, I was awoken to him crawling on my face. “Look at me! Love me!” he seemed to say. I tried to ignore his mews for another few minutes of precious sleep but he seemed content on remaining perched on my face. He stood on my sink and watched me do my hair and then leaped out at me from my shower curtain when I thought he was in the kitchen. He is also jealous of my laptop. Whenever I sprawl on the couch and type (my usual position) he likes to lie on my neck, blocking my vision and windpipes.

Interestingly, yesterday, he found something I had mentally abandoned as devoured by the legendary dust bunnies.  Somehow he had managed to dig out an old cat scratching pad that was lodged underneath my desk. Smart pussy.

“How did you find that?” I asked.

He rolled over, exposing his little belly, as a reply.

I love this little boy. He is the only true man for me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cheers, wench, I shall drink to that!

I am seeing a man named David every week.

David is my therapist. He is also a genius (a hella expensive one at that). He is teaching me to take all my anger, moodiness, craziness and irrationality and place them into neat and manageable piles to be one day filed away in the archive section of my brain. It's as if he's tapped into my brain and is analyzing my thoughts with some CIA super scope.

Today I learned that it's okay to grieve. ("Wow, Jenn, really? What a kernel of knowledge!") But seriously, I often like to block out my feelings instead of, well, feeling them. Sometimes they get too intense so I run the other direction. Today, David told me something I've always known but sometimes it takes another human being to really stick a thought into your craw. Everything in life happens for a reason. The good and the bad. And you know what? It really does. As much as I regret a lot of my past choices, who exactly would I be today without them? Sure, I could be a brain surgeon (not likely) or a traveling circus monkey (more likely) but the truth is there is no way to know.

I am going to now quote the 21st century scholar and bard Rihanna: Life is too short to be miserable. Well, now that's a little too optimistic for my taste but in general, she's right. Today I had a pretty ordinary day but it was good. I can say that I took joy in it. Over the weekend, I took a part of myself and threw it away (metaphorically, of course) Best decision ever? So far, yes. Because with it went 90% of my "insanity". I hate the cliche, "it's like I'm breathing again" but is.

Bowling for Mules

It's 8 p.m. and my biggest goal of the night is trying to find a free download of Rihanna's new album, Loud. A lot of people don't know how much I love Rihanna but that bitch is fierce.

...moving on...

Today I visited the WIC clinic in Boise. I work "behind the scenes" I guess one would say so I don't get to experience the beloved crying children up close and personal. Today, however, I was shocked at how much of a great time I had. I sat in on three intakes (it's a lot like a doctor's visit, they even do height, weight and take blood) and every single one was filled with kind mothers and calm children. The first child, a 1-year-old named Franklin (side note: people need to start naming their kids this again because it's as cute as hell) loved my attention and when I held him, he wouldn't let go. I tried to give him back to his mother three times but he held onto me. Those are the times when I really love kids. Other times, I'm more just like "eh".

The best part of the day was the WIC staff. You go and try to find me some nicer people on the planet and I guarantee will not. With all the stress, angry/rude clients and screaming babies they face multiple times a day, these people deserve the CNN Heroes award. All of them.

If you are reading this, chances are you know me (or are a fan of the darkly comic poetry of Arthur Rimbaud). And since you know me, the following may not surprise you. So here I am, visiting this clinic with all these lovely people and what do I do? I break something. Not on purpose, of course, but I tend to break or trip on something no matter where I go. (See the number of glasses my mom has had to replace over the years as reference. Apparently, they make comfy cushions.) Here's the best part though. Also, as you probably know, I am germaphobic. So what do I break? A friggin Purell dispenser! As I was walking to another part of the office, I stopped and put my hand under the one on the wall. It responds with its usually stinky foam but alas! it did not stop. Instead, ribbons of alcoholic cleansing goo poured onto the clinic floor, much to the dismay of myself and the people in the office next to me. By the time I grab someone to come see, I find that some poor woman is holding a paper towel under the gush, begging for someone to get her a cup to contain the torrential downpour. Eventually housekeeping (is this a hotel?) is paged. She literally takes the thing apart and bangs it multiple times to get it to stop. Ah yes, a symphony of hells.

So there was my day. Next time, I will just use soap and water.

Bonus feature!

Jamz of the Day:
G4L (Gangsta for Life) by Rihanna (This song tells my life story...well, maybe not)
Santa Fe (Newsies soundtrack) - Christian Bale (yes, he can do more with his voice than just yell at lighting dudes on movie sets)

UPDATE: Rihanna album is, of course, incredible. I have found a new G4L with Man Down (with a Jamaican twist) That girl needs to stop murdering people, she's gonna get caught.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Life is the farce we all have to lead

"I should have hell for my anger, my hell for pride, - and the hell of sloth; a symphony of hells." - Arthur Rimbaud, A Season in Hell

A symphony of hells...I never thought I would read such a conflicting yet oddly beautiful set of words. When we think of symphony, we think of music, of classical ambiance and the swell of stringed instruments. Yet when I read these words, I see Satan playing a towering brass organ in the 9th circle of Hell (courtesy of Dante, of course).

Rimbaud was a French poet born in 1854 most famously know by beatniks and 1970s psychedelia as having smeared his, ahem, excrement over a Paris cafe at the age of 17. He committed such an oddball and unsanitary act to explain that "flat canvas and oils could not compete with the three-dimensional kaleidoscope of reality." It is no surprise that with such a spirit of youthful revolt, he lost his literary steam at age 25. Yet he continued his drunken escapades and promiscuous lifestyle which ultimately led to his death by cancer at age 37.

My point is not to explore the life of Rimbaud (though a fascinating subject) but to reflect on his youthful wisdom and folly. Though I would never paint the town with my bowel movements, I would also never think to pair symphony with hell or in other words, such light and dark. Was he, in fact, insane? Perhaps but his creativity was the benefactor of his mind's delusions.

All of us have composed our own symphony of hells and each one differs slightly from the last. And as much as we all try to disparage our blasphemous ways, how many of us have thought of embracing our due punishment? Rimbaud faced his demons with guilty rage. 

"Satan, you fraud, you would dissolve me with your charms. I demand my due. I demand it! a thrust of the pitchfork, a drop of fire"

The question then begs; would you?