Assuming the position.

You know, I bitch a lot.

I didn’t corner the market on the Art of Bitchery, but I can roll with the best of them, and I even had a laminated “License to Bitch” once, long ago.

I don’t bitch as much as some people. No, my amount of bitching isn’t as over-the-top as some people I know, who have upped their game to a quantity-versus-quality scenario that simply qualifies them as not only uber-bitchy but also miserable. I prefer my level of bitchiness to suit the moment in such harmony as if I were pairing a wine with an entree. If there was a¬†SUPER BITCHY HALL OF FAME I would like my name to be amongst those who were eloquent and measured with their bitch proficiency. You know, bitchy on the same, stellar level as Robert Plant or Mick Jagger or Elvis Presley in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I am legit bitchy, not dime store bitchy.

I was pathetic bitchy yesterday. This is something that, in the hazy, humid light of today, I am not proud of. I took bitchiness to a corner of the market where I rarely go because I don’t want to be that person who’s holding up a sign, asking for donations to her pity party. Yesterday, I looked like her and acted like her and today, I want to slap her.

I have been fighting with my eyes for a while now, just another item on a list growing longer of shit that is breaking in or on my body. ¬†Yesterday, the grossly-overpriced, yet very qualified opthamalic surgeon informed me that I have severe dry eye disease and ocular nerve damage due to circumstances that actually ¬†were within my control. Short version? I have cold urticaria, a sort of autoimmune disorder that causes me to be allergic to extreme temperature changes. I break out in hives when cold hits my warm body, or warm hits my cold body. I’ve lived with it for 17 years now. It’s really not a big deal, because while irritating as fuck, it is at least mostly controllable with proper medication. This is my skin I’m talking about, and on one, very scary occasion, it spread into my mouth and throat. Anaphylaxis isn’t fun.¬†¬†It also should have clued me in that it’s not just my skin, but my system, but well…I’m a little slow, I guess. It never occured to me that it could travel into my eyes under extreme conditions like working in a 30¬į dairy cooler 6-7 hours a day.¬†

Go ahead. You can call me a dumb fuck. I have, many times, over the last few months. I took a job that was bad for my health. We all question, at one time or another, the wisdom of continuing with ¬†some jobs we have done or do, but in this case, I didn’t think it through, and when the symptoms started, I continued to ¬†not¬†think it through.¬†

The lesson I learned the hard way? As much as I would like to insist that “You are only as old as you feel” the truth of the matter is that science hasn’t figured out a way to stop the effects of aging and even if my brain is saying “Go! Go! Go!” my¬†body sometimes pleads, “Oh for fuck’s sake.¬†Please, for the love of all that is holy, DON’T EVEN.” And this very wise advice extends to medical diagnostics that limit me in certain ways, 50 or not. Got it.

So, I felt really shitty yesterday. Losing some of my ability to see well, and knowing that it is permanent – well, it sucked. Knowing that I could have prevented it by not taking a job I hated from day 1 left a sour taste in my mouth. I can bitch all I want about how soulless Walmart is and the personal things I witnessed and experienced, but the truth is that I chose to be there out of some sense of supposed dignity. They offered me a little bit of power and a very tiny pay raise (Tiny. Oh-so Renaissance statue of a naked man with microscopic junk tiny) and I took that koolaid and drank it and asked for a refill. The fact that I came to my senses means very little right now. I swore that I wouldn’t, but some insignificant person in relation to me said, “Here, you’re good at this” and I was grateful for that validation and guess what? I fell for the con!

That’s what I am more ashamed of than the sadness at the fact that I now have a new medical condition to add to my list. And so I bitched in a pathetically whiny, pukey way and licked my wounds for a little while. This morning, I awoke with the realization that my bitch was not a¬†quality bitch at all. It was quantity all the way, baby. And this is not how I roll.

It’s not life-threatening. It limits me a little, but I can work with it and make changes. It’s not cancer, or heart disease, or the end of the world. Yeah, it’s the end of a way that was, but hasn’t been, for a while now. So many people I know are sick, really sick, or caring for sick people, and I am sad to say that some people I know are actively in the process of dying, way before their time. I would cry for them, but I have no tears. That is sad, and darkly amusing. But certainly not worth the time it took me to bitch.

So, fuck that self-pitying bullshit! It is not a good color on me. It’s the pink of my emotions. I look like shit in pink. I will carry on, squinting in such a way that elevates my resting bitch face to Scarlett O’Hara status (or better yet, Melania Trump) and continue paint it black in a stellar, Mick Jagger way. Will I have to limit it? Yep. But it will be all about the quality from now on.


Break glass in case of an emergency.

It is after 2 in the morning. I am awake. I don’t want to be. My mind will not stop making noises and my heart is galloping along, trying to keep up with the echoes of the jumbled thoughts tumbling down the hills and slopes of my consciousness. ¬†This is the aftermath of some sort of episode; if it was a panic attack, it just upped its game in a huge way. I can’t take a magic pill because I already took 2. I know: take as prescribed. Fuck that noise. I’ve had a lot of shit hit the fan in the last couple of days and it’s covered me in its stink and I just need the cleansing of a deep, dreamless sleep.

I want to sleep. I crave it. I was ready. But as I settled down, underneath the covers because the air blowing from the fan in the window is a crisp 50¬į, a thought formed in my head and then bloomed like a firework ; it was quite loud and instantly jarring.

What if you fall asleep and you don’t wake up? Would it be so bad? You wouldn’t know. You’d be dead. What if your last act on this planet was to spend a lazy evening on the couch, watching HBO? Is that how you want to go out? Shit, girl. Face the facts: that’s exactly how it’s going to go down, whether it’s tonight or 25 years from now. You have squandered a life. You could’ve done things. And yet, you let people convince you that you were shit and that you didn’t matter. They said it just enough times for you to believe it. You fell for the oldest trick in the book and that is the fact that unhappy people spread unhappiness like the plague. And now you think you have it all figured out and you’re cured of the disease but what if this is it? What if this is as good as it ever gets and your newfound dreams are just wisps of smoke on the wind? And what if it’s all just gathering again, the bad? Gathering and building up strength and it’s going to barrel through your heart and decimate you? What made you think you were entitled to peace?¬†

And boom. Fear. Paralyzing fear, heart racing, trying to take even breaths and cursing my stupid brain for not simply shutting the fuck up.

Traitorous fuck. You traitorous fucking brain.

It’s dark. I have not turned on the light. The husband is asleep in the next room, a wall separating me from his loud, droning snore that can be heard upstairs, he gets so vocal. Don’t judge us. This is the ONLY way we both get our night’s rest and so what? That’s precisely why the wall separates us. I should try and get to him, but he has to work in the morning and really, he is probably sick of my mental bullshit. I¬†am sick of my mental bullshit. And ashamed. I know, in braver moments, I champion the fact that this is me and I can get through it and that anyone who suffers¬†from any kind of mental health issue should own their shit and not be a slave to the lies it tells. Right now, though? I’m not feeling like owning my shit. I’m feeling tired of my shit and ashamed that I can’t be stronger. Fight that low stuff, vanish it with exercise, with meditation, with inner strength. But no, I have to take pills. Every. Single. Day. And they are not working, and I know they are not, because thoughts like what just happened made it through. Hell, it’s as if someone just opened the door and said, “Come on in!”

Did I do that? Let them in?

I’m tired. Ironic, huh? This whole exercise is about being tired and I am the motherfucking EPITOME of tired right now. Maybe the intruder is right. Because things have been feeling wrong for a while now and I am nothing if not a faithful follower of my own intuition. So maybe that’s why sleep eludes me; something is coming.

Or maybe this is just the big D lying to me again.

And maybe it’s the stupid full moon. Either way, I will probably regret publishing this but I’m going to because you never fucking know.¬†

Happy Treason Day, or Festa Italiana Day, or whatevs.

The Male Sibling Unit is most relievably over his bout with a stomach bug contracted the other day. Sunday evening, he began asking me what we would be feasting on for the 4th. When I replied that I didn’t know yet, he began weaving his web.

“You know what I was thinking?” he texted me from his room upstairs yesterday morning, while I lounged with my first cuppa. “What” was all I could manage to reply, no punctuation. What the fuck do people expect from me 2 minutes after I’ve made my coffee?

Undaunted, he pushed on.

“I was thinking homemade pizza.” There it was. Not delivery, not DiGorno, but HOMEMADE. He knows nothing makes me gastronomically happier than to craft my masterpieces of pizza perfection. Still, I wasn’t sure. “Perhaps.” was my noncommittal reply. With a period. He sensed his upper hand in the complicated dance of suggestion that he had begun, and backed away. He had planted the seed, crafty jackass that he is.
I pondered the subject until this morning. Pizza on the 4th of July? Was it festive enough? American enough? Though it would be just us three partaking, was it ‘Merica-worthy in the way that a steak on the grill, a hamburger charred to hockey puck perfection, or a tube of mystery meat and preservatives (not worms, despite the rumor that ran rampant in my younger days that sodium erythobate was science-speak for earthworms) are symbolic of a true ‘Merican feast? I know, those of you who know me are scratching your heads because I’m usually “UFP” in the same enthusiastic way that a whore is “DTF”. I was just on the fence.

In the end, his suggestion won. I’m a filthy whore for pizza; what can I say? ¬†I announced the news to him as we were out for my daily collection of steps. “Guess what’s for dinner?” I asked, expecting him to be pleased as punch.

“What are we having?” He asked.

“What did you ask for yesterday?” He was playing hard to get.

“Uhhh….hmmm. I dunno.” He replied.

At this point, had I still been on the fence instead of already planning, in my head, the magnificent artistry of combining carefully risen dough, thickly hand-cut pepperoni, and freshly made mozzarella, arranging it with the beautifully swirled red sauce and mushrooms, and finishing with a magical blend of Pennzy’s pizza spice, I might have said, “Steak. You asked for steak.” Which would have been a lie and worse, he would have KNOWN it because the Male Sibling Unit fears and detests having to chew meat because he’s choked before and therefore, will again.

Instead, I found myself having to give him clues because not only had he lost the plot, but he’d apparently forgotten that he masterminded the whole thing in the first place.

It was, at that moment, that we detoured from our route to the grocery store and ended up at the Liquor Store, with me fervently praying to myself that it hadn’t closed for the holiday. Which would be a stupid move on behalf of the state coffers considering that it’s a holiday in which people are required to drink a lot before setting off fireworks in their back yards before visiting the ER because Cousin Dumbfuck blew his index finger off with an M-80.
It was open. I’m pretty sure the cashier had been sampling the store’s product. When the young man ahead of me asked, “Do you need to see my ID?” she waved him off and said, “I don’t even care¬†today.” When it was my turn, I handed her some money and she inquired, “Cents? Don’t you have any cents?” Then laughed at her own joke as if she was doing stand-up. “Uh, you need to ask yourself: would I be here if I did?” I deadpanned. She settled down noticeably and probably thought about muttering “Buzzkill.”

Now, the pizza dough is getting a prove and I’m halfway through a bottle of wine. The Male Sibling Unit has not once asked about fireworks, and that’s probably a good thing. He’s already thinking ahead, to the next holiday.

“I wonder What we’ll have on Labor Day?” He muses.

“Steak.” I reply.

If You Have Ghost

On June 8th, at approximately 11:30pm, I was standing on a little side street in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, hoping for an opportunity to meet some rock stars.

Yes, my 50 year-old ass was having a serious groupie moment, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Until then, the only musical superstars I had ever met were Ty Englund – he of Garth Brooks’s 90s Stillwater band; Rick Trevino, another country star; and the iconic Paul Stanley of KISS.

When you’re busy raising five children and you began that life immediately after you turned 20, there’s not much time for hero worship in the literal sense. You’re busy changing diapers and seeing to school projects, juggling their care and housework and a 40 hour a week job and, in my case, attempting to be the kind of wife their father demanded. That meant that he was the superstar in my life, and he and the kids were the only people I was allowed to pay any sort of enduring attention to. My love needed to be single-minded on that front; there was absolutely no room for friendships and get-togethers and concerts and good times. Besides, there was no money for that. Aside from concerts I attended in high school and college, I never saw an actual arena concert by a big name act until 1994. We scrimped and saved for that, and it was a big deal. He took me to see Garth Brooks. (Had he known that, whenever I performed my wifely duties, I was pretending ¬†that¬†he was Garth, he probably wouldn’t have taken me. I know, TMI, but that’s a given when you visit my little world. Suck it up, buttercup.) It was sometime soon after that when I discovered that my marriage was not normal and that there were wives out there with friends and at least a semblance of a social life. They didn’t “serve” their husband by remaining at his side at all times, attending to his every need, and remaining silently supportive of every tall tale he formulated in order to make himself seem more important than he was. They had a vague sense of identity, whereas I didn’t even know what that meant in terms of marriage. Having never observed the intricacies of a marriage except for on television, I had a very old-fashioned idea of how it was supposed to be if you wanted him to be happy, and he was all-too happy to make sure that I stuck to that.

When I discovered my “voice” it was, to my surpise, pretty loud. And it told him that I was unhappy, and that I wanted him to GO AWAY. He was taken aback and, for the first time, began doing things to try and “make me happy.” Lingerie on my birthday. (For who? Really? Does a mother of 5 have time to figure out how to put those pieces of lace on her war-torn, stretch-marked body?) Roses on Valentine’s Day. Allowing (yes, I know) me to get a tattoo. And indulging and encouraging my love of music by taking me to 1 or 2 concerts a year.

There were restrictions, of course. He did not want me to reveal my body by wearing a miniskirt at an Ozzy Osbourne concert because “You’re a mother. It’s not respectable.” A nose piercing was “out of the question. You’re the mother of my children and you’re not going to walk around looking trashy.” Guess what was the first thing that I did when we broke up? If you guessed that I got my nose pierced, you win 3 stickers! Even more ironic was the fact that his next wife “looked like she fell face-first into a tackle box”, as a friend of mine observed. But hey, I’m not shouting “Hypocrite!” Well, maybe I whispered it.

Anyway, how I got from that mouse of a hausfrau to the Fangirling Goddess that I became on the night of June 8th was a long and winding road filled with a few encounters with celebrity that convinced me that I couldn’t manage to hold an intelligent conversation with one if I tried. Paul Stanley touched me and it was like I floated out of my body and watched that whirlwind meet and greet from afar. Other chance encounters always saw me stupidly mugging or looking frozen. I was awkward, I was tongue-tied: the epitome of starstruck.

What made me think that standing outside a bus after a Ghost Ritual, in my red plaid miniskirt and fishnet stockinged-feet because my shoes fucking hurt after 4 hours of standing and cheering and alternately singing and screaming in the pit, was a good idea? It was late, there were perhaps 12 other fans milling about, and the husband (The second husband, my One and Only, henceforth occasionally referred to as a saint) had to pee. But this was it. I had been¬†waiting for this opportunity for months. Ghost is notoriously friendly and accessible to their fans, to the ones who are willing to wait for the masks and costumes and makeup to come off and the stage to be broken down and loaded up. If one was willing to be patient, one would likely be rewarded. ¬†It also helped to recognize the faces beneath the masks, because officially, that isn’t yet publicized and it’s surprising that so many fans still choose not to know, and yet want to meet them after the show.

I’m in love with the band’s lead singer. Okay, not “in love” in the sense that a 14 year-old wants to marry her crush, but he is talented, magnetic, sexy, and a goddamned musical genius whose music has been stuck in my brain since the moment I heard it. Not since KISS have I been this mesmerized, and the husband will testify to this fact, because he has often said that my musical taste is schizophrenic. I will be listening to metal at 1pm, big band at 2, and at 3, I have moved on to classic country; much to his displeasure, I might add. With Ghost, it’s simple: I have to¬†listen every day. I am floored by the music every day.¬†Call it an addiction, obsession; I don’t care. It is all of that and more. It is freedom to be who I am and to laugh at elements and formalities in society that I find unbelievable. ¬†It is pageantry and sexuality and camaraderie amongst other fans. It is being held in Papa Emeritus’s charismatic gaze when he croons “Can’t you see that you’re lost without me?” and believing it is true.¬†

¬†I needed to meet the men behind the masks: Papa Emeritus and the Nameless Ghouls. ¬†So fucking what if I’m a grandma? I’m a hot grandma with badass taste in music and a newfound sense of quiet confidence. Being a grandma also identifies that knowledge within me that realizes that less time is left than before, and I need to do all the things before I can’t do them anymore. Tobias Forge – Ghost’s Papa – has held me hostage in his gaze and with his voice since I first encountered Ghost. So attempt to meet and engage in a conversation with the sexiest guy in my current universe (while the other sexiest guy in my universe stood by my side, saint that he is)¬†and not simply gawk at him stupidly? ¬†My body was ready to be struck by the lightning force of his presence. I was willing to give it a try. My sincerest hope was to convey my love and admiration, to show him respect and appreciation, and to hug him. Yes, cop a bit of a feel with the approval of the husband, who understands that this man is on my “Laminated List” and that I might not be joking.¬†

I’m so glad I did. Because it was everything I had hoped for, and so much more. It meant more than meeting Paul Stanley in that I had time to say what I needed to say and because Tobias is so patient, kind, and lovely. I was momentarily blinded by his beautiful, green eyes and his angelic face, but then he disarmed my gawkiness with the grace and quiet ease in which he allowed me to speak. Because Ghost is still “anonymous”, no photos could be taken, but had they been snapped, I imagine the most naked look of bliss was shining in my eyes. I felt young, carefree, and I may have squee’d, covertly done a happy dance, and gripped the husband’s arm so tightly he probably had finger marks the next day.

It’s all good. I am a 50 year-old woman who played the role of groupie for two glorious days, swam in the ocean for the first time ever, and made the husband laugh¬†at my gaping like a 6 year-old at airplanes flying over big cities. I am DOING ALL THE THINGS. Life is but a blip on the radar. I get that now. Will I do this again, ¬†when given the opportunity?

You bet your ass.

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.

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.




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!