People are going batshit fucking crazy over the impending apocalypse solar eclipse. Freeways are backing up like a motherfucker. Stores are already selling out of staples like water, toilet paper, and marij…yeah, just the water and toilet paper. This is Oregon; nobody’s selling out of pot or potsnacks any time soon.
Traffic here is already unpredictable. Some days, it takes 15 minutes to get to and from the office. Other days, it takes 45. (I’m not necessarily bitching about the commute time – I have a damn short one for the area. But what would be nice is some modicum of predictability. First world problem, I know. Shhhhh. I need a rant. Err. A rantlet, because this is definitely weak compared to my usually rantypants nature.)
But now? NOW? Pfft. It’s either 15 minutes or 2 hours. As we crawl further into the week, the big number gets bigger. More people come in to claim their $300 primitive campsites (not even an exaggeration). And why the fuck are the eclipse chasers clogging up the roads during rush hour?! Do they LIKE IT? Is it a big fat fuck you to Oregonians for price gouging the shit out of private and public properties alike to profit off of these eclipse wankers? GRRR.
I think I’ll carry my fussygrumps ass to the grocery store after work. Wait any longer, and I legit won’t be able to find any potsnacks water.
Oh. Oh! I’m thinking of following one of those writing prompt idea thingamajigs in an attempt to get myself back into it…. if anyone’s still lingering around here (first off FUCKING HI)…any suggestions?
P.S. It’s fucking sweater weather. In August. Fuckyeah.
Exiting the roundabout, I crane my neck.
I have to see the horse, traffic be damned.
He stands there in his meadow-like pasture, outwardly indifferent to the traffic.
Selectively nibbling on the verdant grasses and sweet-smelling flowers, he’s alive.
The horse is alright.
How do I know the horse is a he?
He’s strong, muscular, virile, powerful, secure in his solitude.
Those are masculine traits.
Another long day, another fretful drive “home.”
Please let him be there.
I only need to see that
The horse is alright.
Exiting the roundabout, I hold my breath.
Craning my neck, I scan the field.
I risk another look.
Fuck it; if he’s not alright, I’m not alright.
The horse is not alright.
I can’t find him.
Has he given up?
Frustrated and empty from his solitary jaunts,
Today, he doesn’t leave his stall.
His handlers cajole and prod, first sweet talking, now scolding.
You need to get outside, horse. It isn’t good for you us to see you holed up inside all day.
Keeping to yourself.
Why don’t you go outside, seek new grasses and flowers.
And pretend you aren’t still keeping to yourself.
The horse is not alright.
I enter the roundabout with trepidation.
If he’s not there today…
If the horse is not alright…
Exiting the roundabout, my arms tremble on the steering wheel as I turn to look.
He’s there. He’s there.
I exhale a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding,
Dash away tears I didn’t realize I’d been shedding.
And I breathe a sigh of relief,
Of grateful reassurance, because
I’ve been hustling. And I do mean hustling hard. I’ve got two side hustles going on, on top of the full-time job (which I’m actively seeking to replace with a different full-time job elsewhere – never satisfied anymore, it seems).
One is the tutoring gig, which is frankly more trouble than it’s worth at this point because of an extended commute and a low cut of the pay. But I’m committed to seeing the school year through. They’ve got another month in these parts.
Second hustle is a writing thing I’ve been doing. Fluffy SEO padding shit to trick google. (They probably think I don’t know what’s up, but it’s fairly obvious it’s all bogus to do some hardcore SEO driving. You know, bolding keywords here and there. Burying a “moneylink” in a sea of non-competing, vaguely related links. Appending exactly three license-free stock photos and one embedded YouTube video. Yeah. Fun stuff.) But you know what? I’ve decided that I don’t care. I’m not screwing over any people with the BS articles and blog posts. I’m helping to trick a search engine that tricks people anyway. And while it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, at $15 a post…I can’t afford to linger too long on my reservations. I figure…keep this up a couple of months, and I’ll be back to salient. Quite frankly, that outweighs ethics at this point (to a reasonable extent, anyway).
What does bug me is that the hustle further stymies my own words, because damnit I’m churning out four to eight of those suckers a day on top of my day job. But I don’t know how long the little gig will last, so I’m gonna milk it for all it’s worth.
I think…I just needed to vent that. And say that, no…I’m not trying to disappear. Again. Doesn’t mean I won’t. But it’s not my intent.
One day at a time.
One day at a time.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some hustling to do.
1. I’ve been swamped. With work shit. With house shit. With flood shit. With car shit. With recruiter shit. With personal shit.
2. Most of my downtime is at work (one of the reasons I detest my job). So that’s when I tend to do my writing and catch up on comments and posts and such. But it appears as though something has changed with WP. Either that, or corporate is toying with their security policies again. Yous see, they block a myriad of sites. Like…Kotaku or Instagram or Redtube. But you can spend your entire day on Facebook or Twitter or CollegeFootball.com (welcome to the South) should you wish. But now. NOW. Since sometime early last week, I’ve been able to get to my dashboard or whatever. And it appears I can make a post. But only in the HTML section. Not in the “Visual” section. And when I try to check comments or look at other sites? I receive this message:
Secure Connection Failed
The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.
The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity
of the received data could not be verified.
Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.
Isn’t that delightful? I’m trying to find a workaround, y’all, because this is a buncha pigshit.
Also…if this even publishes (because I can’t even preview) – in the meantime, love and harmony and music and wombats illicit things.
Journaling has always had a significant pull for me. I don’t remember the first time I asked for my own diary, but I know I was little. Even as a child, I was highly introverted and recognized I needed an outlet for my thoughts. Writing would be a way to process the world and my place in it, or so I thought.
Writing My Heart Out
I did pretty a pretty good job of keeping a regular, (semi-)daily diary up until junior high school. I was around twelve years old when I threw in the towel (the first time). That’s when my asshole brother violated my privacy and trust. I don’t remember whether I’ve assigned a name for him yet, so for now let’s just call him B. For Brother. Or Butthole. Take your pick (both will work in a pinch) (eww pinched butthole).
So there I was, journaling my angsty little heart out. About school. About bullies. About shame. About public humiliation. About depression. About music. About boys. Oh yeah. I wrote about boys: two boys in particular. One was a crush I’d had for two years already (who would later become boyfriend, then spouse, then shhh I don’t wanna talk about that right now). I talked about that one a lot. Oh what a crush I had for that little bad boy. And the other was for one who would be my first boyfriend.
I’ve mentioned him before. What the hell did I call him? Shit. (No, I most certainly did not dub him Shit. What was it? Fuck me, I forget.) (I totally need a system for this.) Let’s call him Miguel. Oh Miguel, you yummy thing you. He looked just like Anthony Kiedis, and I was So Fucking Smitten.
And before those of you keeping up jump to conclusions – he is not the reason I’m a diehard RHCP fan. I need to write about that soon, but for now – no. Miguel has nothing to do with that. We were way more into Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Green Day at the time. For some reason RHCP wasn’t huge among my little group. So they were mine alone. Anyway. Digressing.
But. P.S. Miguel still looks like that. Fucker. Anyway, so we were twelve, and I had such an overpowering, all-consuming crush on him that I sometimes lay awake nights thinking about him. We hung out together all the time. Listening to music, smoking pot, talking about life and parents and school. His mom was totally whack. I mean seriously. I smoked pot with her. When I was twelve. Yeah. But Miguel and his sister weren’t allowed to. Miguel never got much into it, but I would sneak a toke a lot. He really was a good boy – he was then and, based on everything I’ve heard through the grapevine over the years, he still is.
All of those thoughts and experiences were in my diary. So were the details of the day he finally asked me to “go with” him, and how excited and nervous and scared I was. My first real boyfriend! Elementary Mario had no idea he was my boyfriend, so that didn’t really count. (Shut up. It totally counts.) Miguel and I were only a thing for about two weeks. Three, tops. It was awkward, and he wasn’t ready for a girlfriend. I was all in, but he wasn’t ready. At least that’s what he told me later, and I believed him because he didn’t have a serious girlfriend for at least a couple more years. (It didn’t help that his best friend kept making fun of him about us – I mean hardcore, too. That butthole. He ended up being a crackhead. That’s what you get!) (And, I will confess it crushed my soul when I found out Miguel finally slept with some girl at a party he went to freshman year. Casey, you bitch.)
But that two weeks was enough for my diary to fill with the sordid details of kissing in his bed (on top of the covers) and how it felt when his hand went up my shirt. (He had even asked permission.) I’m certain that book was filled to the brim with award-winning writing and frameable art (who wouldn’t want to frame hearts and arrows adorned with Miguel & Stephanie 4-Ever?)
It broke my heart when he broke up with me, saying it was too awkward and he’d waited too long and now it felt like he was kissing his sister because of how close we were as buddies. He was sweet about it, and we miraculously remained friends until I moved away (to a different apartment complex).
Attack of the Pinched Butthole Brother
At some point after Miguel broke my heart and my crush moved back to the bad boy, B found my diary. I thought I was being clever when I hid it between my mattress and the box-frame. I hadn’t yet seen all those movies where every kid in the history of fuckingever uses that as a hiding space.
Not only did B find it, oh no. He also had to read it. And he was not content to stop there, either. I came home from school one day, and B and his bitchass pal, let’s call him “Bitch”..you know..for bitch, were already there, playing video games (on my NES, damnit). And oh the devilish smirk that plastered itself across B’s face when I walked through the door.
You know what’s coming, don’t you? Then I shall spare you the suspense. B stood up, diary in hand, and commenced to reading it aloud while his bitchass pal, Bitch, literally pointed and laughed at me. He even had the audacity to hold his sides, laughing so hard it hurt. B really outdid himself, too, drawing out the loooooooooves and even holding the diary up and pointing at the hearts for all the world Bitch to see.
I hated him with an unmatched fury. Both of them. And I told them so, through screamy sobs.
I hate you! I HATE YOU! GIVE IT BACK!
When I finally snatched it away from him, I promptly ripped it to shreds. In his defense (the only one I’ll allow him here), he tried to make me stop. But it was his fucking fault; he’s the one who drove me to do it. I probably would have done it one day, anyway. I hadn’t kept any of the previous diaries, because I always felt childish, stupid and vapid. But this was different. This was the first time I’d had the privacy of a diary breached (the first time to my knowledge, anyway). I tore that bitch to pieces, marched it straight down to the apartment dumpster, came back upstairs and cried and cried of embarrassment and shame and hurt feelings and rage.
And Then There was You
I was mortified. Completely mortified. And I’ve had a pretty fucked up track record with diaries/journals ever since. I tried again a couple years later, but then my mother found it. B wasn’t living with us at the time, so I tried the same hiding spot again. Different apartment, same fucking spot. So fucking naive. Oh yeah, she found it. And for the first time in months decided to speak to me. Well, more like sobbing in my general direction. I lied to her about sex. I hadn’t had sex at that point, but I had gotten very fucking close. I told her those were just fantasies. She believed it. Probably because she was living in her head, anyway, and was willing to believe whatever made her life easier to live. I could have told her anything, and it wouldn’t have changed our relationship or her life. No matter what I told her, she was going to spend her home time crying in bed. So I made it easy,
I can’t believe you read that. But it isn’t true. None of it is true. Don’t worry.
And then I shredded it. I tried again a few years later, when I was living with the bad boy. But he always insisted I read the entries to him. So it was more a log of my life as one-half of a couple. It lacked depth and fullness, but I was happier then, for a long time. I still felt like I needed my own space, but I never got it (not that I pushed for it). I still have a few of them, all with twenty to thirty pages filled. But then I stopped for good, because they weren’t really mine. Not fully.
I tried a couple of blogs over the years. But I always bulldozed them. Never felt good enough or safe enough. But the itch, the need has never left me. The need to purge my thoughts, get them down and out. Work out the meaning of the world, or at least my place in it. In writing.
And then there was you. I’m finally sticking with it. And while I know I haven’t been with you long, believe me when I say this is what Stephanie sticking with it looks like. I also know this is far riskier than a little paper journal hiding in my bed or underwear drawer. Yet this blog is giving me something additional that no diary ever could: accountability, community, commiseration and dare I say it? Friendship. So, for now at least, I’ve decided the dangers of discovery are worth it.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. To all y’all. You my homies; you know that, right? I can’t don’t want to express just how deeply dark and frightening my thoughts have been. And I only say even that much so that you know how amazing it is that you’ve had me smiling and laughing and choking on laughter and laughing until I cried and laughing until my belly and chest ached…all damn day. Y’all my homies, for real. And I hope I can be there for you one day, the way you were here for me today.
I’m gonna show you what mood you’ve put me in on this usually lonesome Friday night. First as a big fat thank you and proof of how you’ve put a raft beneath me today. And second to throw down because of Andrew calling me out over here.
Here ya go. My peppers:
This song has never failed to lift my spirits and make me move. Enjoy.