The days after Christmas. Every year I feel bad for the garbage men. I always imagine it’s their most despised time of year. I wonder if it turns them off to the holiday, in general. Driving house to house picking up bin after bin after bin filled with the bones and gristle of Christmas Day. Maybe even despising or being envious of those houses with discarded boxes of expensive brands, gadgets, toys. Maybe things they wanted for their loved ones but couldn’t get. I don’t know. I just feel bad for their extra workload, I guess. Plus, everything’s just a little bit sadder after Christmas, right?
I proudly boast how low-maintenance I am. How I wear out shoes, purses, belts, jeans, underwear until they’re literally falling apart. How I don’t seek out or really want expensive jewelry. Well, expensive ANYTHING. I spend so little money on things for myself you’d think I was on food stamps or something. I chalk it up to ‘hating shopping’ (which I do) and ‘being broke,’ which I’m not (mostly), I just always feel like I am. But, I’m slowly learning that beneath these things I think it’s really, “I’m not worth it.” I am one not deserving of nice things. Let alone having the audacity to buy them for myself! How can I spend on myself when there are other, more important things/people that matter more. Things/people that are more important. I am below everyone. I am last.
I’m starting to realize that maybe being ‘low-maintenance’ isn’t something I should keep bragging about. Maybe it’s something I need to fix.
I shit in a grocery bag this weekend. Peed into a disposable Tupperware, poured it into a sink. No big deal. Sometimes you get plumbing problems and shit literally happens and you have to make do.
I’ve been making do without a lot of things for too long. Things that are just as important as working toilets and showers. Maybe more so. I’ve resigned myself to “making do.” In doing that, I’ve lowered my bar. The bar of my life sunk lower and lower and lower and I didn’t even notice it until it hit the ground. After more than two decades I’m finally seeing my bar there. On the ground. I’m looking at it like a dumbshit. Like it materialized out of thin air but knowing it’s been there the entire time. I’m looking down at it, then looking up and around to see if anyone is seeing what’s going on, but nobody does. They’re having backyard barbecues. They’re watering their lawns. They’re doing Pilates. They’re stuck in traffic. Nobody notices because why should they? They don’t know my bar. They just know me, and I didn’t even know about my bar’s downward path until long after it hit the ground so how could they know anything about my bar?
Much like Fight Club, I don’t talk about my bar.
The bar. Here’s the funny thing. I can’t pick it up. LOL. It’s lying there and causing me upset but I can’t pick it up. I know it needs to be raised. I know I have the power to raise it. But, it’s like I’m paralyzed. No. It’s not LIKE I’m paralyzed. I AM paralyzed. I’m staring at a bar that needs to be picked up and elevated and I can’t pick it up. I can stare at it. I can touch it. I can calculate just how far I need to lift it in order to relieve the discomfort. I can even bend down to gauge the distance. But I cannot pick it up. There is a seizing in my chest just thinking of attempting the lift.
It’s maddening. I am in a state of madness. Madness of my own making. Sometimes I wish I never saw the bar there. Wish I just could go back to sleep, unaware.
But I can’t. I am awake now.
I can’t continue to ‘make do.’ I don’t want to shit into a Tupperware anymore. I don’t want to safety pin the straps of a falling-apart laptop case anymore. I deserve better. I am worth better.
It’s sad that it was hard to type those last two sentences. That I actually backspaced them and then wrote them again.
This year, I got a therapist. HUGE step for me. It’s where I learn all about the bar. I’m hoping I’ll learn how to go about lifting it.
This year was filled with moments. I don’t have a great memory for specifics. When I imagine this past year it looks like a plain black line with bright pink spikes in it. The spikes are set at regular intervals. The spikes feel like Hello Kitty, gin and clandestine forts out in the woods filled with Hustler magazines and pot I hide from my parents. Look at the flat black line. See the pink spikes. See it all together. That was my year.
This year my book got sent out to publishers. This year I’ve learned to be patient and to try to remain positive. This year it’s been hard to remain patient and positive.
This year I started my next novel. This year I haven’t been too diligent with it. Next year I will become diligent.
This year I read more books than I read last year. I’m happy about that. I wanted to read even more but….life. My list of books I read this year is HERE.
I did two amazing readings this year. One was at AWP and one was at The LastBookstore. Rock star level. How I got to be a part of them, I don’t really know. But I’m blessed that I did.
I don’t know what else happened. Fuck. I used to blog and that was my ‘living account.’ I hardly do that anymore. Sad fuck.
What will 2016 bring? I am not sure, but I think it will be pretty interesting.