Oct 24

Things that go bump in the night

It is no secret that over the Spring and Summer I had a long stretch of sleep issues. My usually rock solid sleeping patterns were disrupted. I couldn’t fall asleep, or when I did I would wake up in the middle of the night and be up for hours.

Over time it resolved, and now that the weather is cooler and my life is getting a little more sorted out, I am sleeping very soundly again. Which is fantastic. I love to sleep.



Like when my cat breaks down the bedroom door and scares me half witless. When you think an intruder has broken in to kill you, for some reason it is really hard to get back to sleep. Stupid cat.

Or when I get an idea in the middle of the night that demands to be written down. I may never lose that. I sort of hope I never do. There is something a little bit exciting about having something so stuck in your head that you need to write it down immediately.

Occasionally I wake up because of what I think of as phantom pages. Working in IT, I did weeks of night-time on call duty for a long time. Sometimes I still wake up in a panic because I think I have gotten a page even though I haven’t had to be on call for several years.

And sometimes I wake up for…well…the sort of things that no one else would wake up for.

The other night, I woke up out of a dead to the world sleep because of a sudden need to verify that I had spelled the word dysfunctional correctly. Because it was o’dark-thirty, I attempted to explain to myself that it could be spelled dis-function or dys-function but I simply would not listen to myself. I got up, Googled it, and went back to bed.

Yes, I was right. Either way is fine.

Was this an emergency? Only to my unconscious mind. I used the word in the blog, and for whatever reason my brain decided that there was an urgent need for a late night spell check. My subconscious lets me fat-finger words all the time, so I am not sure what was so important about dysfunctional.

The irony that it is somewhat dysfunctional to wake up in the middle of the night to spell check dysfunction is not lost on me.

Oct 23

On being of two minds

Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you. They are as much for you as they are for other people. Remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing. Stand up and face the east. Now praise the sky and praise the light within each person under the sky. It’s okay to be unsure. But praise, praise, praise.
–Miranda July/No One Belongs Here More Than You

Sometimes I still struggle with feeling..ignored? Uninteresting? Forgettable? Unloveable? Undesirable? I don’t know what, exactly. Not “something” enough or is it actually that I am too “something?”

Inadequate, but for…what or for whom? For myself, I guess. Other people tell me I rock. I believe many of them. I have trust issues with others. I want to think that it’s all in my head. I do. But I don’t. Not entirely. There is a shadow of doubt and it makes me want to wave a white flag.

I surrender.

My head knows certain things.
Knows them.
Is sure of them.
But really? On the inside? In my heart or gut or soul or wherever that deep core Knowing happens? Not buying it. My insides think I am fooling everyone.

This is how I can simultaneously know that I am smart, funny, mostly kind, mostly fun to hang out with and not bad to look at while also believing that I am an ugly, useless freak and total dumb ass.

I genuinely believe both things about myself. Yes, it is crowded inside my head. I bet a lot of other people also feel like this. Actually, I know they do. I talk to them.

It’s funny, because in fat camp, one of the counsellors claimed that most people are well adjusted. Who are these people? I don’t know them. The people I know all have pretty significant coping deficits in at least one major way. They drink too much. They eat too much. They smoke too much. They work too much. They dress their dogs in costumes. Something.

The few people I know who seem like their shit is together?

I bet they have something like that up their sleeves too, or maybe a needle in their arm.

Or do I just want to believe that everyone is fucked up because I am so often?

I wear my maladjustment on the outside where everyone can see. I drown my feelings in food, and I typically have a drink in my hand to drown whatever feelings that might survive the overeating. Unless I am home alone. I don’t like to drink alone-there are limits to my dysfunction .

I put every thought that crosses my mind on the Internet. I like to think it helps me figure it all out. If it doesn’t then I hope someone was a little more entertained than they might have been otherwise. It could just be a waste of time. At least it is a waste of time that stretches my brain.

It keeps me from watching television. That’s got to be a positive, right?

I kind of wish I had some sort of point right about now. This would be a great spot for it….

This probably seems gloomy. It isn’t. Not really. I’ve had both an inferiority and superiority complex simultaneously for pretty much my whole life. For the most part, I just laugh at myself. I can’t really take this all too seriously. It’s too silly.

The other night I was driving home from work and the song “Creep” came on. That is my song. One of them. I totally identify with it. Creep. Weirdo. What the hell am I doing here. I don’t belong here. All of it. Every word.

And it makes me happy every fucking time I hear it. I sing along, and it makes me smile.

Being a creep and a weirdo suits me, I guess.

Oct 22

What have I done for me lately?

And I’m doing nothing wrong
Riding in your car
Your radio playing
We sing up to the eighth floor
A rooftop, in Manhattan
One in the morning
When you said something
That I’ve never forgotten
When you said something
That was really important
–PJ Harvey/You Said Something

Don’t run back inside
Darling you know just what I’m here for
So you’re scared and you’re thinking
That maybe we ain’t that young anymore
Show a little faith there’s magic in the night
–Bruce Springsteen/Thunder Road

To follow up on nothing coming from nothing…
If there has to be a something that the something comes from, what is my “something”?

If the something that starts something is a catalyst, then mine is often a person. There is one in particular who I sometimes don’t like very much, but always love. One I have a relationship with that is both important to me and frequently maddening. He isn’t the direct cause of anything I have ever done in the past or of anything I might do now, but he has been a spark to a lot of things over the years, in bad ways and good.

Writing, for sure. I don’t consider the blog a “something good” because it is so jam packed with good writing and profound thinking, but because it was a way for me to reach out to people I was having a really hard time reaching, including myself. You know who you are, people who are difficult to reach. Everyone wave hello…

“We should write a book,” he said.
“We already are,” I answered.

So I started scribbling. I scribble through everything because the spark sort of got away from me a little and it turned into a bonfire and I can’t stop. Oops. The world knows what is going on in my head before I know these days. I scribble in the car, or at work. I wake up to write things down. I neglect..pretty much everything.

The catalyst now owes me at least several chapters of a book, and if he thinks I am going to do his writing for him he is very much mistaken. I can only write what I write, and that only just barely. I definitely can’t write what other people write.

But if nothing comes from nothing and is earned by doing something good, then what good have I ever done to deserve anything? Is that my question to answer? Can I assume that if good things happen to me, I must have earned them or they wouldn’t be happening?

Sometimes I wonder if the people who cause good things to happen are aware of it. If they are motivated by it. If it even counts as good if you’re doing it to get some sort of Karmic ticket punched.

I don’t know that I have done any Good. Not in an important sort of way. I do know that I don’t worry much about it. It might be the only thing I don’t worry about…maybe I am more adapted to lower case good. Making people laugh. Listening to my friends. Not killing people at work. Being kind to people, mostly.

We can’t all be Mother Teresa. I can just barely do a good job of being me.

Scribbling away at this helps. I am glad I did enough of something good to earn having someone in my life who poked me in this direction.

Thanks, Sparky.

Now if someone can catalyze me into some exercise and a better diet, that would be a Very Good Thing indeed….

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