Levels

Depression manifests itself in a myriad of ways, in varying levels of intensity. Sometimes it’s utterly debilitating, sometimes it coasts through you, like a grey-blue water line, so still it looks like glass. Other times it just sits on your periphery, quietly reminding you that you perceive the outside world as a bit… duller, than the others. Put more simply, it’s gradations of numbness.

Today has been a, mostly, manageable version for me. It hides just behind my eyes; translucent, if a little itchy.

Several of my friendships here have crumbled. Many of the younger employees (the ones closer to my age) act strangely like the cool group in high school: they’ll talk to me individually, but in a pack they barely make eye contact or acknowledge anything I say in a social context. Either that, or the friendship is so new that it resembles a weak bud trying to escape the crack in the sidewalk, hardly worth watering. I feel undone, no grounding… just floating along for the next two weeks to a slightly nauseating feeling of weightlessness.

I’m going a little stir crazy here guys. I’ve got about 2 weeks left before my summer of change comes to a close, 2 weeks before I head on back to Tally and re-start my much-missed level of routine. 2 weeks still feels so far away when it’s as if my emotional walls are closing in on me. I’m getting too far into my own head. I’m rethinking so many of my relationships: what they mean, are they balanced, whether I’m missing something, some component that had previously escaped my attention. Some detail that would magically shed light upon what’s valuable and what’s a sham…

…fifty years from now I’ll still swear that it was this summer that gave me these furrowed brow wrinkles.

 

 

Current Jam: “Paranoia in B Major” Avett Brothers

Saviors

Another little installment of my singledom that I never shared, gentle readers. This happened a while ago, but like so many flasks it got lost in the maelstrom that is my dispersed life. Luckily, unlike those flasks, I remembered (found) it. The short version: I once had a fuckbuddy in Gainesville, who was, despite his claim to the contrary, a really nice guy. Now for the longer version:

After my last breakup, I was looking for any kind of comfort that would make me feel a little less like… a pile of shit covered in puke. I’m talking thick, chunky vomit running alllll down my poo-y body. I wanted someone that would happily, or at least dutifully, ignore my repulsive state. As it so happened, Blake obliged. It started the night after my birthday celebration. I sat at my cheers bar, drunk as a skunk, ranting cryptically in a barely controlled, choked voice. Blake, a casual buddy of mine, listened without much input as we sipped on our drinks. Eventually, my pain melted into a burn for some pleasure, and he took me back to his place. The minute he closed the door, he pulled me towards him and kissed me. An orgasm and several ’50’s couch burns later, he lay on top of me catching his breath…. and I, in true form, started crying. I couldn’t help it. I felt so depressed, rejected, unloved. I apologized through my blubbering tears, exclaiming that it wasn’t him, that I was just fucked up. He shushed me and just… held me. He said that he was sorry for what I was going through, and said he had no problem being what I needed him to be. I thanked him, composed myself, and got dressed. He hugged me one last time, and I left.

A couple weeks later I was back, at dinner downtown with some girlfriends. And. I. was. FURIOUS. I had allowed my ex to utilize his last avenue of contact with me, email. As I should have known, our communique quickly devolved into a vicious fight, and I was two seconds from walking down to his work and punching him in the face, and then, when he inevitably restrained me, spitting on him (I knew how much he hated actions like that; he considered it the utmost in disrespect). It took an attentive server bringing me drink after drink, all my girls and my bestie on speaker phone to calm me down. As my rage dissipated that familiar burn took its place, and I texted Blake. In his prompt and honest reply he said that he was a bit busy at the moment, but would let me know in about an hour… and exactly 45 minutes later, he invited me over. I was pleasantly shocked, Gainesville guys were never this upfront or reliable.

Once again, post-coitus with a post-coitus smoke in hand, we chatted. I don’t recall the exact conversation or how it led to this, but Blake must have suspected that I would grow attached, and he quickly countered with a blunt, “Listen, I’m not kind.” I looked at him for a moment, blinked, and chuckled. I said, “Listen, I don’t want anything serious from you. Here’s my proposal: anytime I’m in town, can I text you to ‘hang out’? If you’re free, great. If not, that’s cool.” He returned my stare, blinked, and said, “Oh! Oh ok, yeah. That works.”

Flash forward: We’ve had this arrangement for about a month. The routine remains pretty much the same: I text him, we meet up. We talk, we have sex, we talk some more, sometimes we have sex again. I’m thankful for what he gives me. Uncomplicated sex, and conversation that bordered on therapeutic. No really, that’s the best way I could describe it. I can’t even remember all the things we talked about, he just had this ability to ease my pain, like a masseuse on my heart. It wasn’t romantic at all… I guess I would say it felt like one soul helping another, nurturing it’s broken wing until it could fly again…. so, despite his best efforts, Blake was kind. He is kind. I finally called him on it when he told me this story:

“So I was headed up to Mi Apa for some food, when this middle-aged woman ran up to me. Her car wouldn’t start and she desperately needed a jump. I normally keep jumper cables in my trunk, so I went to look, but they weren’t there. So I turned to her and said, ‘Listen, I’m gonna run home and grab them. If you get a jump in the mean time don’t worry about waiting for me, I have to come back here anyway.’ Well, I ran over to Wal-Mart because it was closer than my house and bought two sets of cables. I came back, jumped her car and gave her a set. She tried to give me money but I wouldn’t take it. I mean, ya know, it’s good karma. Feels good to help people out.”

I laughed out loud and said, “Oh, but you’re not kind?” He laughed too and tried to backpeddle, but it was too late. I already knew the truth.

 

Our arrangement has since dissipated. I don’t come into town as much, plus it began to feel a little forced, on both sides. My last trip home though, I sat with my girls outside my favorite bar as per usual, when I noticed someone was staring at me from inside. As I walked towards the window I said aloud, “who the fuck is tha- OHMIGOD it’s Blake!” I ran inside immediately and bear-hugged the shit out of him. I harbor nothing but good feelings for that kid. He was a wonderful friend to me.

I don’t consider myself a religious person. I don’t believe in a God, per se, but I do believe in energy. I thank my lucky stars, my energy headquarters, whatever, that Blake was there for me when I needed him. Despite his attempts at an apathetic facade, he is a kind soul, and I wish nothing but happiness for him. Funnily enough, he did ask that I return the favor one day. My response? Abso-fuckin-lutely. It feels good to help people out. 🙂

 

 

Current Jam: “The Hard Way” Mary Chapin Carpenter

…Some will call on destiny, but I just call on faith
That the world won’t stop and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, to what your heart might say
Everything you got, you got the hard way

Caught up in our little lives, there’s not a lot left over
I see what’s missin’ in your eyes, you’re searchin’ for that field of clover

So show a little inspiration, show a little spark
Show the world a little light when you show it your heart
We’ve got two lives, one we’re given and the other one we make
And the world won’t stop, and actions speak louder
Listen to your heart, and your heart might say

Everything we got, we got the hard way

Quirk #9

So, sometimes, I like to “eat a whole sandwich,” grab a bottle of wine, and hang out naked in bed, listening to punk rock. It’s one of my favorite things. You’re welcome for the idea. I expect an AP cred, at the very least. Maybe you could name your first born after me, whatever.

Current Jam: Alkaline Trio playlist on Spotify, particularly “Stupid Kid”, “steamer trunk”, “dead and broken”, “cooking wine”, etc.

 

I just got this reference…

I’m a moron, haha. I’ve seen Forrest Gump easily, EASILY 200 times. I fuckin’ LOOOOVE that movie. I was cleaning my room the other day, listening to Pandora. John Lennon’s “Imagine” came on, and I found myself recalling the lines, but not because I knew the song all that well. It reminded me of,,, oh snap! Forrest Gump?! I thought for a second to place the dialogue in the movie (seriously, that’s how many times I’ve seen it. I can quote practically the entire script). After just a couple minutes, BOOM! GOT IT:

Listen to the dialogue, as you read the lyrics to Lennon’s “Imagine”:

Imagine there is no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You, you may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one

…clever one, Eli Roth…. clevah girl…..

Current Jam: actually, “Private Eye” Alkaline Trio.

 

Most Interesting Woman in the World

So I have a friend. Her name is V, and she consistently has given me the best/worst/best again/worst again dating and relationship advice ever. Not only are her pearls of wisdom quirky, but they’re often oddly poignant. A self-proclaimed ‘kind of a dick’, she’s suffered her own hysterical fumbling through the dating world. Yet, she’s understanding of my inevitable screw-ups and is always ready with a light-hearted quip.

Scenario 1: Hitting on a guy that intimidates you

Me: *gushing about band huzband and how retarded I would be if I ever got to meet him* “haha, but knowing me I’ll get the opportunity and just stare at him dumbfounded, like… uhhhhh ….hai……. because clearly I’ve forgotten how to talk to dudes. Dammit V, I can’t even flirt properly anymore”

V: “It’s easy, just look deep into his eyes and ask him if he likes art… then, sexily eat a bugle.”

Me: "How's this?"
Me: “How’s this?”

Scenario 2: Achieving Friend Zone with minimal mess

Me: *been on a couple of dates with a guy but not sure if I’m feeling it and feel bad because he’s been super fucking nice* “I feel like he might just be a friend, but I’m so fucking bad at having that conversation!”

V: “It’s simple, you just have to totally friend zone him with your next activity together. Like, if he calls and asks you out to dinner, you counter and say ‘You know what would be fun? Let’s go to Lake Ella and feed the ducks.'”

….

Scenario 3: dude that acts like he likes you lots, yet constantly brings up his determined singledom at the worst times.

Me: “He decides to tell me, unprompted and 4 days before I come up to move/see you/see him and get a piece, about how his family is tearing him a new one for what he calls his ‘anti-relationship ideals’, and how their viewpoints on lifestyle choices are somewhat ‘archaic’. This, days after he confesses that he spent a large portion of the vacation talking about me.” *deep sigh, brings fingers to forehead like kid from Dazed and Confused*

V: “Stop working and start drinking.”

Me: “Yes ma’am.” *promptly heads to the bar to drink beer and just so happens to get hit on by the bartender, a British dude and her roomie’s friend*

 

Those are just the highlights that I can recall right now… So, I’ve decided. V needs to share her unique viewpoints with the world. If you have a question for Miss V, simply leave us a comment, and she will gladly tend to your every emotional wound.

 

Current Jam: “Ruby Soho” Rancid

Looking Back

I think my PMS just hit… like, a week early. F**king great, I’ve gotta move this weekend too, perhaps one of the more stressful things to do when you wanna cry and/or hit someone in the face (they usually occur simultaneously for me). Or maybe it’s the more familiar beast: that twisting in my stomach, my inability to concentrate and my craving for a cigarette… It’s been the rotating trio of emotions since March, comin’ back for me. The only way I can describe it further… it feels like sinking, kind of. Slow, inevitable sinking. But this time around, I don’t feel like I’m suffocating. Yay, progress! Seemingly serendipitously, “Sleeping Sickness” by City and Colour popped on my Pandora. Oh man, it was takin’ me back, back to my sleepless nights and near constant melancholy punctured by fits of crying and chain-smoking. I was breakin’ down then… but I’m not anymore. It wasn’t a distressful recollection. I cried because I was so happy, so relieved I didn’t feel that way all the time anymore. I still do sometimes, but those moments come as slight surprises… and they’re only moments! ohthankgod. I felt lost at sea for a long time there… but the wounds sutured themselves closed, the healing so subtle and slow it went almost unnoticed. I finally feel a little bit more like me. I’m still dramatic, I’ve still got road rage, I’m still an easy crier, but I feel like me again.

I was visiting Poofl this weekend. We were day-drunk off Bubba Keg, and posted up for $4 Yetis at one of her local haunts. She was lamenting how her workout schedule had fallen by the wayside recently. I was talking her up, giving her a couple of tips to ease back into it (as I had done a couple months ago myself). I stressed the need to look at the transition in baby steps, and how she needed to do some work to discover what workout style she enjoyed, whether that boiled down to going to a gym or just engaging in more active stuff in her free time: all the better to stick with it, my dear. She smiled widely, and caught my attention as I paused for breath (y’all know I’m a fast fucking talker). She said, “I just wanted to tell you that I feel like you’re finally back to that level of positivity… that bright, optimistic L’s that I know and love…. I missed you.” And we hugged so she could hide my blossoming tears from fellow patrons. ‘Cause she’s my bestie. Always will be. That song reminded me of how horrible, how hopeless I felt. It’s almost more beautiful now that I can see that L’s in my rear view mirror. With the windows rolled down, wind in my hair and a salty breeze caressing my face, I (literally) speed on. Onward and upward!

 

Current Jam: “Sleeping Sickness” City and Colour

I awoke only to find my lungs empty,
And through the night, so it seems I’m not breathing.
And now my dreams are nothing like they were meant to be,
And I’m breaking down, I think I’m breaking down.

And I’m afraid to sleep because of what haunts me,
Such as living with the uncertainty
That I’ll never find the words to say which would completely explain
Just how I’m breaking down

Someone come and, someone come and save my life
Maybe I’ll sleep when I am dead,
But now it’s like the night is taking sides
With all the worries that occupy the back of my mind
Could it be this misery will suffice?

I’ve become a simple souvenir of someone’s kill
And like the sea, I’m constantly changing from calm to ill
Madness fills my heart and soul, as if the great divide could swallow me whole

Oh, how I’m breaking down

Someone come and, someone come and save my life
Maybe I’ll sleep when I am dead,
But now it’s like the night is taking up sides
With all the worries that occupy the back of my mind
Could it be this misery will suffice?

Someone come and, someone come and save my life
Someone come and, someone come and save my life
Someone come and, someone come and save my life
Could it be this misery will suffice.