My existential crisis (or why I think humans = Twatwaffles.)

Tonight, we watched The Birth of a Nation. It’s a 2016 film about a slave uprising in 1831 Virginia, and based on a true story.  I had tears in my eyes throughout the whole thing and had to stop and ask the husband how it is that one human can look at another human and think them less, somehow. Obviously, slavery was a big stain on the fabric of what makes this nation, but it was, and is, in many others as well. It set in motion thoughts that have swirled around in my head for months now.

We’re seeing a big push – especially in the US – toward the normalization of meanness. You can’t call it anything else. I don’t think there is a sufficient word to encompass what I’m trying to articulate. Malice? That’s close, but not exactly on the money. Some forms of “mean” sit perched atop ignorant foundations going back generations, and you can’t accuse someone of malice if they have no idea of how to behave any other way. Maybe calling it a contagious malignancy is better, because it certainly can be deadly, and it definitely is spreading. For instance, today, I read some comments in an announcement on a local online news site. It was about a political group, which I am a member of, and those who were “on the other side of the aisle” were hatefully maligning the group and, it would be understood, its members.  A friend (going back decades, no less) shared the announcement on their social media account and proceeded to declare that the members of the group were hateful, evil, should be shot, and at the very least, be thrown out of the country. Our crime? Not worshipping at the current president’s feet.

In other words, my friend thinks that of me. Is it time to end that friendship? Most would answer with a resounding “YES.” But, in doing so, would I be contributing to the ignorance overtaking this nation by not at least trying to hear?

I don’t understand it. What is it about humans that make them so horrifically, hideously cruel to those who don’t look/act/sound/think the way they expect them to? This is inclusive of ANYTHING within a culture that excludes others because they’re different. Individually or as a group; it’s all the same.  Racism. Bullying. Misogyny. Ignorance. Intolerance. It’s all one, big, hateful, ugly mess, isn’t it?

We have always been this way. Regardless of laws, religion, societal mores, and the evolution of humans as a species, we haven’t been able to to snuff it out. That one element or quality in our personalities that we all have the capacity for displaying; some much, much more than others. It’s almost as if it’s in our DNA. Maybe it is, actually, and in another 100 years, if we haven’t managed to blow ourselves up or eradicate the species from the planet, some remarkable scientist will find some strand in our fabric and figure out how to engineer it out.

Because humans are mean.

And that’s all I’ve got on that subject right now. I’m going to go cuddle Roowp-1498622411789

and eat something that will likely go straight to my ass, thereby making it easier to see in order to shoot, but alternately making it harder to plant it into a seat in a plane when I am deported to wherever it is (please let it be Hawaii or Sweden, because the Swedes are quite lovely) that Trump dissenters are being sent.

That was a long sentence, wasn’t it? That was pretty mean of me, actually.

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Aaaahhhh, shit.

It’s summer. There’s sunshine, heat, thunderstorms, and a seemingly endless bunch of motivations to just get out there and enjoy the world. 

I’m sitting in my darkened cave of a bedroom, the whir of the fan droning on, thinking about all the things I could do. That’s the key word, right there. Could. 

I could deep-clean the house, taking one room every day until it’s sparkling. That would make way for the painting that needs to be freshened up and the various carpentry jobs that need to be completed. 

I could be outside with my camera, scouring the town and the enfolding hills of our valley for artistic photographs and vignettes. The excitement of seeing art framed within that lense is always welcome. 


I could be creating other forms of art. I have paint. I have clay. I’ve been wanting to form some vine sculptures to hang outside in the new sitting area that the husband and I built. 
I could be sitting out in that lovely space with a second cup of coffee, enjoying the sunshine and still-dewy late morning. 

I could be narrowing down my first bake from the recipes I’ve been eyeing since becoming obsessed with watching The Great British Baking Show. No, I’m no Mary Berry, the legendary British Baking Queen a la America’s Julia Child, and while I am greatly enamored of Paul Hollywood and his beefcake (although he’s The Bread God), his steely blue eyes, and his impish grin, I doubt I’ll ever pull off a brioche as heavenly as his. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to try, and to be honest, the husband is hoping I’ll experiment, too. 

I could be out walking, getting those critical steps in to keep my legs muscular and loose, to stave off the arthritic stiffness that accompanies too little movement. 192 steps up a steep hill at the conclusion of my daily treks is the test every single day. If I make it up neither winded or needing to stop for a few seconds to gulp air into my lungs and flood my body with oxygen, I  consider it a passing grade. Those days are plentiful, my body being used to the “Nightmare on Elm Street”, because yes, the street is called Elm Street and I’ve never met a single person who enjoys the climb. 

All of those things. I could be doing them. But I’m not, because the one symptom of a full-blown depressive episode – my low times – is procrastination.  Letting my depression sink its teeth into my psyche and bite down hard. Moving is pain; the teeth sink deeper and it hurts. So moving becomes very scary. I have to take it slowly, letting my meds cut through the fog of anxiety and the ensuing darkness, before grabbing those jaws and pulling the teeth out of me. Some mornings, it just mouths me almost playfully, like a kitten or a puppy will when it’s deciding whether or not it wants to fall asleep or play tug of war with it’s human’s body part. Some mornings, the teeth jar me awake, the terror flooding every nook and cranny of my body, and even stretching is an exercise in courage. This morning was not entirely a terror-inducing awakening, but somewhere just before. I knew that I needed to write, because writing helps put everything into perspective. 

When I’m “down in it” I don’t want to do anything, to feel anything, to be anything. We read memes on social media about hating people and not wanting to go out. That is quite literally me, and those memes are almost comical because they’re so truthful. I really don’t hate everyone, but I dread them. I dread having to encounter someone I know, make eye contact, smile, talk. 

Fuck. It’s all so exhausting. 

It’s easier to sit in this room, putting off what I could do, allowing the cocoon of safety to enslave me. The problem is, the hopeless thoughts live in here, and the sad ones, and the scary ones, too. Out in the world, I can attempt an escape, immersing myself in other activities to stave them off. It’s 90% effective about 50% of the time, and you’d think that I’d be clamoring to just get on with it and play the odds. The low time is seductive, though, in that while the meds make the fog of panic recede, in its place comes the desire to just be a lump of flesh and to sink into a couch, or bed. A dark place. A safe place of Nothingness.

I’m waiting for a call from my future employer, saying it’s time to begin. That will certainly help, although having taken time off to recover from my eye condition and rejuventue my psyche has lulled me back into feeling like I just don’t fucking know what I want. My eyes aren’t healed. I know, intellectually, that the chemicals are off in my body. Menopause is no fucking joke, and my brain was tricked into happiness by looking forward to our recent vacation and seeing my favorite band- Ghost – not once, but twice in two days. I met the lead singer, Papa Emeritus III, and a couple of the Nameless Ghouls. It was a thrill that I never imagined happening to me. I got to spend time at the Atlantic Ocean and to swim in it. In 50 years of life, I had never been in the ocean. The peacefulness and the majesty…it overtook me and for once in my life, I felt a calming and pure wave of happiness descend over and through my body, making me feel like I must glow from being lit from within. I knew that I needed this. I need it.  Every day. We returned home, to reality. I floated on a cloud for a day or two, revisiting our happy escapade. 
Then it all came crashing down. I’ve been sitting at the bottom ever since, thinking that if this continues to be my reality – this shitty little town, these boring routines, beauty so far away from me, and the hateful, spiteful, divisive rhetoric that permeates the world we live in – then why continue? What the fuck is the point? I’m tired. Tired of reaching for a brass ring that tears away from my grasping fingers. I’m tired of knowing that I am blessed, but not feeling it. I’m tired of depression and its constant reminder that I am broken, and that chemicals prop me up and make me presentable. I am tired. 

No. This isn’t a cry for help. This is more a rant, albeit weak. I know that I’m going to publish this, then put my clothes on and push through the day. I’ll walk. I’ll forget my fears and sadness for a little bit. I’ll flood my sore, achy eyes with drops and climb those 192 steps. It will be okay. I just needed to say it: 

Depression, you motherfucker. I fucking hate you, you liar, you cheat, you thief of all things good. You will not win, you evil piece of shit. You will not win

I question the legitimacy of this piece of writing.

Father’s Day has arrived; another obligatory greeting card holiday meant to single out one group of the population for adulation and kudos.  Everyone is waxing poetic about their dads, the dads they know, etcetera, et al, ad hominem. Everyone is feeling the feels: the love, the pride, the gratitude, and in many instances, the loss. Everyone, that is, except me. I can’t express any of those feelings because I’ve never felt them. I lack the ability, having never felt them myself. I’m not alone in this; there are about a bazillion of us bastards inhabiting the planet, and before you get all uppity about the word bastard, please understand that I mean it solely in the archaic derogatory:

a person born of parents not married to each other.

 

Me!

 

The  other kind.

 

 
There. Glad we got that out of the way, because I certainly wouldn’t want to offend the other kind of bastards out there. Or bastard. Because he is a huge bastard, of all the bastards there are on this planet. BIGLY. But I digress. I’m a bastard, or illegitimate, as some prefer to coin it. I don’t like that word, because it’s confusing; it can be a noun or an adjective.


Definition of illegitimate. 1 : not recognized as lawful offspring; specifically : born of parents not married to each other. 2 : not rightly deduced or inferred : illogical.

Now, I am not an adjective, and I certainly do not see myself as unrecognized. People know me, capice? Again, I digress.   I just wanted to point out why that word is actually more offensive than being referred to as “ye bloody bastard!” in a Scottish burr. I’d quite enjoy that, actually.

My parents weren’t married, no. It would have been impossible for them to be, because one of them was already married when I was conceived, and inasmuch that I’m the bastard, here, it’s pretty obvious that it wasn’t my mother already engaged in a lawful union. They never did get married, despite having two children together, and my father never did all the fatherly things dads do if they’re even halfway decent at the job. Sure, he came around occasionally, but you can probably figure out why, and it had nothing to do with luck, although his intentions rhymed with that word.

There’s no sense going over it. He wasn’t there, he isn’t there now even though he still breathes, and he never will be. I don’t want him to be, and never needed him to be. So, Father’s Day is a big, empty space of time for me, and always has been, except for when my kids were little and I helped them to shower their father with all the Father’s Day  worship and accoutroment. I simply do not recognize it as a day of anything for me.

I’ve been thinking, though, that we bastards (not “wee bastards” in a Scottish burr, although  AGAIN! That would be lovely) deserve a special day to celebrate our lack of a father. We could call it Sperm Donor Day, or Tadpole Day, or Thank God Mom Didn’t  Douche Day.

Too much? Sorry. I didn’t  think so. But  then again, one has to have a certain, skewered sense of humor in order to grow up a fatherless child during a time when it was not cool. Anyway, since dads are often called Papa, I am going to celebrate Father’s Day by worshipping my current musical God and hottie, Papa Emeritus III of the band Ghost. He’s been more present in my life than my sperm donor, because not only have I met him legitimately,  but we have hugged, as well. So Happy Papa Day!