Past 5 in the morning; feeling worse for the weather, it seems.

“And I was gonna write a poem about how fire is the only thing that can make a person jump out of a window, […] but depression, too, is a kind of fire… and I know nothing of either.” –Taylor Mali, “Depression Too Is a Type of Fire”

Yesterday I wanted to be dead. Not to kill myself, not to die, just… to cease existing. And yes, I could recognize that having been awake for over 24 hours straight — having lost count of exactly how many — likely helped color my view of the world, but I could also recognize that it only added intensity to what is generally sitting just under everything else, just like alcohol lowers my inhibitions but doesn’t make me do anything I wouldn’t have done while sober. A few drinks might make me do whatever it is more easily, more quickly, with less hesitation; being sleep-deprived and hungry makes me hit those lows more profoundly, more easily too.

Before falling asleep yesterday evening, I posted some depressed and depressing rant like I frequently do, I sent my therapist a text message letting her know I was “wishing hard I wasn’t alive” and that I was about to sleep, and then I got a message on Facebook from Escrow. The first message just said “hey!” And shit, I was overwhelmed, barely able to cope, and I was starting to tell her thanks for checking in but that I couldn’t really process chatting right then… but as I was doing so, she mentioned that she was checking to see that I was safe because she’d heard about a huge fire in my general overall area and she was worried about me.

Oh, right. I’d seen the “safety check” thing from Facebook when I’d picked up my phone, and I had dismissed the notification because it was more shit that I couldn’t deal with when I was already struggling to deal with everything else… but the check-in from a dear friend drove home something that I have known for a long time: an immediate, obvious threat to life gets responses. The slow quotidian slide, the mundane yet no less significant forces that are weighing me down and killing me… those are much, much harder to get help in dealing with. It’s the reason why, in the past, I might have made an obvious post about being ready to kill myself. Or why I might have called a crisis hospital and said that I believed I was a danger to myself or others. Or why I might have chosen any number of, essentially, ruses to make it seem as if there were an immediate, obvious threat to my life. Because that’s what people respond to! But, of course, the responses I’d get in those situations aren’t really all that helpful. And there’s the additional aspect of being “the girl who cried wolf,” because if I ever were at a point where I had specific plans to kill myself and enough motivation to do so, then I’d want to know that I hadn’t left behind me a trail of people too burned by my prior attention-grabbing to intervene when I really needed it.

So I don’t do that kind of thing anymore. Haven’t for years. But when things are caving in under the heaviness of life with depression, and I’m feeling alone and hurting and would love to have someone I know and trust be there for me — not because I’m about to die, but because I’m struggling in other, equally difficult ways… it seems a lot like, well,

“When I expressed my desire to kill myself, I was overwhelmed with offers from people who wanted to spend time with me. Two weeks later, though, I couldn’t get any of them to pick up the phone. It made recovery really difficult because it communicated that people only really cared when I was in crisis.” –Kitty Stryker, “So Someone You Love Is Suicidal”

The title of this post comes from the lyrics of an Erasure song, “Rock Me Gently.” The official music video is a shorter cut than the album version, which basically takes away the otherworldly sadness of synthesizers amid the shrieks of Diamanda Galás which make it such a perfect match to my mood on many occasions. The chorus, however, is simple, direct, and to the point:

“I dream you’re with me
You hold me sweetly
And rock me gently to sleep
In your arms.”

I wish I knew what that felt like again. It’s been a very long time indeed.

Somebody bring me some water!

I’ve been up a little less than 6 hours now. I slept for about 10 hours before that, after finally knocking myself out with NyQuil.

My head has been absolutely THUNDERING PAIN since I woke up, and at first I figured I was probably dehydrated, and possibly a little bit hungry too. I went to get something to drink just after I was awake, but I had so  little energy that I just drank a glass of milk because I didn’t feel like pouring any more than that. I got some leftovers out and heated them, and after 3 minutes of heating I didn’t care if it was warmed through or not. Hungry. Took that back upstairs and ate a little bit, but had no appetite and finally dragged the rest back to the fridge…

Then I figured since the headache was still around, I’d take a bath. I was already feeling irritable because when I was trying to microwave my food, I didn’t have anywhere to set things as I was wrangling with the haphazard house-of-cards mess that comprises the fridge contents, because The Rabbit had left her mess of stuff all over when she went to bed (she doesn’t tend to clean up behind herself, though, which is a continual frustration for me.) So I go in to the tub with a headache and a foul mood…

…and then I spend almost 15 minutes cleaning up after her so that I could take a bath! She had left her shampoo precariously balanced on the edge of the tub the other day when she took a bath this week (she seems to only bathe weekly or less,) and that must have been the crashing noise I heard when I was using the toilet a couple days ago. I didn’t think to check, because I’m pretty much fed up with constantly cleaning up after her, with that work never acknowledged or thanked or possibly even ever noticed. Well, that shampoo bottle wasn’t in the tub anymore, but the long trail of shampoo that had poured out across the entire length of the tub down to the drain was in the tub.

That stuff makes a hell of a lather, I’ll tell you that much.

Took my bath, nice and hot the way I like it (and the heat actually lasted through the entire time filling the tub, which is unusual.) Head is still POUNDING. All the coughing I’ve been doing hasn’t helped, either. The worst of this cold was fairly short, but this fucking cough has been killing me still, almost a week after the rest of the symptoms have gone.

So I sit down to write about it the headache, and as I’m looking at the numbers, I realize that from the time I ate dinner on Monday night until the time I pecked at a tiny bit of my leftovers was over 24 hours without food. And the worse part is shrugging my shoulders at the knowledge that it’s not unusual at all for me. I don’t have very much in the way of food I can eat here, and even when I do, it’s not much help since I’m usually trying to get the fuck out of here to attempt to maintain my sanity.

I still have no idea how I’m going to find a place to live. I can’t afford the luxury of a safe roof overhead, and I can’t afford the constant sensory assault, the complete lack of time alone, and the consistent stressful interactions with the people here, living on someone else’s schedule. I don’t have enough energy to throw myself into any significant work, and all of the things I need to accomplish require help or input from other people. Even something that should be simple, like cleaning this room I’m staying in I can’t do alone; it requires The Rabbit to get her stuff cleared out more (and she’s promised and promised that she’ll make some closet space free so I can at least put my clothes away.) That doesn’t happen without her actually putting in the time and effort. And when I’m not sleeping well, or enough… and I’m not eating well, or enough… and I’m not masturbating regularly even when I’m horny… and I’m barely scraping by in far too many ways… I don’t have the energy to do more than that.

My head still hurts, so I really ought to publish this, get some more liquid in me, take some ibuprofen, and maybe throw in some cough syrup to the mix because this stupid tickle in my throat is driving me crazy.

Here they take their sweet repast, while house and grounds dissolve

Already the guests begin to arrive.  All boys — that’s all the company she keeps — slowly trickling in, one and then three and soon to be followed by many more, if history and routine have any bearing on the matter.

The rich, spoiled bitch-child celebrates 20 years on this earth today, a day often used to celebrate fools, to mock and laugh at the gullible and to take glee in the guile by which we can trick those we deem more dim-witted than ourselves.

What better day for her to party?  Let the fool celebrate. The booze will flow, the weed will burn, likely other substances will wend their ways through bodies and brains.  As I left the bath moments ago, the sweet perfume of pot smoke hung thick in the air — good shit, it seemed, from the moment of scent I sampled.  Deep voices conversing, the basses and baritones carrying their banter and chilling my bones.

It does seem quite the shame, though — she may be a year older, but she’s not one second closer to growing up.  Her verbally and emotionally abusive relationship with her boyfriend frightens me, to regularly hear how she screams at him, telling him how stupid and worthless he is, almost as often as she lavishes praise on him — the “best boyfriend ever” just hours before he’s verbally lashed — “how could you do that? I told you, and you fucked up again! I’M NOT YELLING AT YOU! I’M NOT YELLING AT ALL, DAMN IT!”  It sickens me to understand completely and intuitively why he stays, too; great sex as often as he wants it?  Score.  A place to live away from his folks? Hot damn! Cost-free room and board — and no “crust of bread, cup of water,” either, but the finest gourmet that money can buy? You might hang around, too!

If it means having her laugh to all her assembled guests that “yeah, he breaks all the glasses, and doesn’t clean them up.  We clean them up, at least, because we’re not like that.” — well, what’s a little public humiliation in exchange?  If she insists that he sacrifice his health for her codependency — telling him to skip his psych meds because he is making them late for the rock concert by trying to go back and fetch them, spending half an hour telling him how dumb he is for forgetting them and refusing to move an inch until he capitulates to her every demand so that she doesn’t have to spend a single moment functioning on her own… well, again, why is that a problem?  Plenty of awesome shit to balance things out!  Besides, she’s always right… he must just need to work on understanding that, right?

Still more boys coming in, even as I write this.  Tonight will be loud and potentially very difficult — but I begin this night with wonderful preparation, with a day full of beauty and joy and fantastic good things coming to me throughout.  I’m in a good mood, and a good space.

I also have a secret weapon… acquired later than initially intended, as I had planned for it to be my birthday gift to myself in mid-February, but I now have my own Tango III vibrator — and tonight will be a good, relaxing, fun night no matter what else surrounds me.  Perfect peace amid the tempest, filling me completely… even if my toy doesn’t!

Your smile is a thin disguise.

I hate secrets and lies.  My life is full of them, though — has been as long as I can remember.  It was a survival skill in my parents’ home, being able to say something completely untrue to any person in my immediate family, or anyone in their church, while looking them in the eyes and showing how sincere I was.  Knowing how to convince myself that the lie was truth, even temporarily, was essential to make sure I didn’t shake things up.

In addition, I listen.  I know how to listen; people feel comfortable talking to me about all sorts of things that trouble them, and I can’t begin to count the times I’ve heard variations on “I don’t know why I shared that with you, I’ve never told anyone about that, I just felt like I could give you my deepest, darkest secrets…”  I know things.  Things I can’t share, things that could hurt people, or destroy their careers, or endanger their families and loved ones.  Things that I’d really rather not have to carry with me.

And then there’s my secrets.  There are things about me that I know, things I want, things I hate, things I’ve done… stuff that I’ve never shared, some of it stuff that I’d rather forget, some of it that I’d love to celebrate.

But it’s all secret right now.  Some of the lies I’ve kept on telling because I know that telling the truth now would make good people hurt, and because at least for the moment I still can benefit from dishonesty.  That scares me, but right now that’s less scary than tearing away the layers of lies, risking loss and causing emotional harm.  The secrets others have given me, many of them are meaningless out of the context they were given, many are ancient or from people I knew “once upon a time,” but still filed in the great database in my brain, waiting only for the right query to retrieve them and fill me with the turmoil of remembering that I know and cannot tell.

The things I keep for myself, I need a very safe place with someone I very much trust, and the opportunity to do some emotional digging — I’m certain I’ll be able to manage a lot of that with a therapist, and there’s some chance of making that happen in the foreseeable future, so I’m hoping that’s the case.

I’m falling asleep while writing here, so I should probably post and sleep.  My dreams lately have been quite full of the sex that I’m so sorely lacking in reality… I welcome the escape.

The sound of silence.

The rest of Saturday was relatively uneventful.  Half of it was gone by the time I left the “Lady’s manor” and returned to my meager home, and much of the evening was spent in little giggles of remembering and more rest in my own bed.

Sunday didn’t seem as though it would be anything remarkable; some noise around the house, neighbors and traffic and all the daily cacophony surrounding me as I lay in bed and killed time on my computer.  The usual group of deep, resounding voices was here, but I sighed with relief to recall that most of the people I know from living here were headed to their weekly RPG party night, and I’d have some time alone.

Well, as I was attempting to wrap up a few last things on the computer, I heard a huge FHWOOMP! and the power went out.  It was not quite 5PM, and though I’d never heard the sound before, logic stepped in and said, “That was a transformer blowing out, and very nearby!”  Sirens down the street in the moments that followed confirmed that something had happened, but an authority figure of some sort, police or fire or whatnot, surprised me with his words: “That’s a live wire! Get back in your house and stay inside. There’s 17,000 volts in that thing; it’ll kill you!”

So, as the next hour and a half slowly passed, we waited for the electric company to show up — on a Sunday evening, they don’t respond too quickly — and that time was filled with lots of shouting, mostly from the same man I’d first heard, repeating the message to everyone who came near: Get back! Behind the barrier tape! That wire will kill you! Just stay in your house and wait! Another 30 minutes after the power guys rolled up before the wire was safely down, and I found that it wasn’t just “nearby,” it was directly in front of my apartment!  Had I tried to go anywhere, I’d have had to walk beneath the sagging, sparking cable in order to leave.

When it was finally clear to leave the house, I did so; being pent up with no power sounded like no fun, and I try to get out of the house at least once every day, to go walking and get some sun and a chance to breathe a bit of fresh air.  As I walked, I asked the people I saw what they knew about the blackout, and was surprised to find that power had been knocked out to quite a wide area.  The nearby subway station, 6 or 7 blocks out, had gone dark, out of service until they got their generators running.  Several blocks beyond that were out, and various spots further away in different directions had been affected, including a few businesses downtown which were “Sorry, closed early — no power!”  I found out later that some residences had their power go out later, around or after midnight, which fits with about when the power company sent out more trucks to restring the wire.

After going out to sit at Starbucks for a spell then recognizing my tedium, tiredness, and anxiety, I decided to go home once again.  The power was out still, and as I sat down in my room and saw the shadows lengthen and the sun fall, I laughed.  Mind you, what I wanted was to bellow a hearty belly-laugh, but what came out was just a soft chuckle… I felt such awe in the silence I heard that I reflexively quieted myself in respect and reverence.  I listened.  Then I strained to hear, listened more closely, and smiled as I heard… nothing.  The beautiful sound of silence, so rare and so often needed — and here it was for me to enjoy!

I know how frequently I go without enough sleep, and with darkness and quiet for the second time in as many days, I prepared myself for slumber and once again received sweet, beautiful rest.  A few hours later — I don’t recall precisely how many, and I didn’t have my large digital clock to check — I heard loud voices once again.  The others had returned, screaming and shouting and talking loudly as usual, though it was a definite delight to hear her lose her calm, to “freak out” as she put it.  Not because I take pleasure in her emotional pain, but because her displays of emotion are so rare, and she frequently works to suppress visible emotion entirely… she seems to think this makes her more “grown up,” but it was refreshing to hear her humanity, to be reminded that she’s like everyone else.

Perhaps an hour later, they all left again.  Blessed with that blissful silence once more, I went back to bed and slept.  Once when I awoke, I noticed that my clock was flashing its big red 12:00 — then I rolled over and rested some more.  When I finally found myself unable to go back to sleep, I got up, started my day at half past noon, set my clock and asked around to see when the electricity had been restored… just before 5AM, fully 12 hours from the time it had gone.  If it wasn’t for the spoiled food in the fridge, I’d love to do this again, even as a frequent — but unexpected and unannounced — occurrence!  It got the rest of the noisy people away, it pulled me away from my technological time-sinks, and allowed me to catch up on some much-needed rest.

Of course I realize that many of these same joys could be had by, say, going camping, or having another place to stay for a night or two even if it’s somewhere with electricity — and I’d certainly love those options or others to enjoy… Right now I’m without any such luxuries, though I hope to find someone to help me figure out how to put those into action.  My ultimate dream would be a home of my own, a little place with a few rooms, far enough from major roads not to have the noise of traffic, in an area where nobody finds it acceptable to use their car as a “neighborhood stereo.”  A modest space to call my own, to invite whomever I chose to share that space — whether a woman (or two, or more) for a night, friends for an evening of fun, or whatever else felt right.  I know that dream is distant now, but I’ll keep it in my heart and look for ways to bring it closer as life moves forward!

And for the moment, things have returned to “normal” — lots of noise, lots of people, lots of loud, low voices, lots of coughing and traffic and the buzz and hum of computers and refrigerators and lights, too little sleep and too much stress… but I look forward to any chance that comes my way to revel in that lovely sound of silence once again.

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