Archive | May, 2012

Going to Work in Tall Buildings

30 May

Every time something sort of bad happens to me, I square my shoulders and say to myself, “There’s nothing you can do to me that hasn’t already been done.”

And truly, unless I am faced with a particularly freak accident or a straight up psychopath, this is the truth. This truth lies in my soft, lovely life and all the weird shit that has gone down in it.

Here in the leaner hours of the morning, I am less confident. I am weepy in my blue nightgown, and I just feel so down, you guys. I feel so fucking lonely sometimes that my heart trips on the carpet. And that has to be okay. And what’s left of my shattered heart just aches. And that has to be okay. What other option is there? I can’t retire to my parent’s attic and wear white like Emily Dickinson. My parents have no attic. I tend to stain white clothing.

I have scoured the stars for what I am supposed to be doing, who I am supposed to be with. And I still just don’t understand.

I have to accept that all the things I flagrantly thought would be mine, may never be. I’m 29 years old, guys, and I may not ever have a baby. That’s a goddamn shame, because I want the choice. I was raised in white privilege and so now I think I deserve a choice about how my life turns out. I’ve worked hard my whole life and I want the fucking choice. But tonight, it seems that the choice up and left. And tomorrow, sweet Jesus, maybe things will seem much different.

My sorrow is not about the man who used to be my husband, but about the things that might have been. I feel so shiftless and out of place. I want what I was promised. I want to know that everything is going to be okay.

Because there comes a point when you used to be all, life is so fucked up and then it’s other people are so fucked up and now it’s 1:04 am and I’m checking to see how much tattooed eyeliner costs and  I can’t get a decent man to go on a second date with me and then it’s this: I am so fucked up. 

Thinking

23 May

When I used to go to the downtown YMCA Branch (I phrased that sentence in a way that might lead you to believe that I belong to another gym, but I don’t. I do halfhearted pilates on my living room floor, hoping the construction workers outside might peer in. They do not.) I would often see a woman exercising in a one piece swimsuit topped with a pair of jeans. She wore brown leather shoes sometimes and other times she wore white trainers. She would attack the elliptical vigorously for an hour or so and then wander off. And every time I saw her, I thought…lady, your crotch must be a disaster.

Snowflakes and Other Mistakes

18 May

I met a man on an airplane once who had just, that very morning, gotten out of federal prison for a “fight with my ex-wife.” He believed that Civil War soldiers appeared to him and spoke to him about the coming apocalypse. He married a childhood friend while he was in prison and she was waiting for him in Oklahoma where they would build an underground home together, after being officially joined in a “Native American” wedding ceremony. He had 3 cocaine-induced heart attacks. He made his daughter call him Big Daddy. This was a dangerous man, not because of his size or might. He was dangerous because he believed that the world was open to him in a way it wasn’t to others. I knew when I saw him walking down the narrow aisle of the airplane, clutching a manilla envelope with this name written on it, that he was going to sit next to me. When he asked me where I was flying to, I said Iowa. That was a lie.

My ex-husband thought he was special. He thought he deserved drugs and guitars when there were bills to be paid because he preferred to create, because his brother had been in a car accident, because he had me for a mean wife. He thought I should say thank you when he did the dishes, and that baffled me.

I am not special and thank the Lord, my parents never even once brought it up as a possibility. I have known my whole life that that I will work my whole life, usually for shitty people and not enough money. Bad things happen and there is no consolation prize, sadly. You just have to keep going and make dinner. And usually, it’s worth it.

It’s Just My Heart That’s Rejected By My Veins

15 May

I had a panic attack tonight. If you’ve never had one, it’s basically dying and knowing that you’re dying and also that you deserve it and your family will find you alone with dirty hair and you lied about getting all your laundry done and will they know what to do with the cats? All at the same time. I haven’t had a panic attack in many months and I worked through this one by intermittently laying down and putting on makeup. Because the least I can do for my long suffering parents is put on some goddamn makeup so when they find me I don’t look so dead.

But of course, I didn’t die. Within 30 minutes, the winch in my chest let go and slowly oh but ever so slowly, my heart started to beat normally. And it was okay.

I’ve had panic attacks since I was a very young child. I didn’t have the language back then, so I called them the Heavy Dream. In the small hours of the morning, I would lie the full bed I shared with my little sister and feel all the dread in the world creep over me. It would pin my little body to the mattress and my heart would beat in my ears so loudly I swear to God I could hear that shit bounce off the pillowcase. I imagined this very large stone being rolled over me. That’s what it felt like. I don’t know what a 4 year old has to worry about, necessarily, but I was a 4 year old with a very….dynamic mother. Dynamic. Dynamite.

May is National Mental Health Month and I am ready to come out of the closet. I take a psychotropic drug every day to help maintain my mental health in addition to seeing a therapist regularly for the past 4 years. Before I took these steps to maintain my health, I did the following: yoga, belly dancing, capoeira, working out twice a day, drinking 3 times a day, sleeping all day, eating too much, eating nothing, hating myself, hating you.

None of it worked. None of that stuff made the Heavy Dream go away.

I am alive today because I live in an age where mental health care is available. I am alive today because I have the resources to pay for my own mental health care. I know that if I had not gotten help when I did – if help had not been available to me – I would have taken my own life.

I’m no one. I mean, who reads this awful site? Maybe my sisters? I’m not going to change anyone’s life by sharing this. But if by chance someone happens upon this and you’re living that half-life under the bell jar and you want to pluck your fingernails out of your hands just to give yourself a distraction and to prove that you can finish something…it’s time. It’s time to name your demon, and know that there is much wonder on the other side.

Infrequently Asked Questions

13 May

Why did you name your blog No Mittens, No Pie? 

The name comes from the children’s book, The Three Little Kittens. It was my favorite book. I used to recite it to my father on the telephone when he was away on business trips. Not to ruin the plot or anything, but the kittens lose their mittens and as a result don’t get any pie. Sob. 

Do your sisters think you’re a dick for sharing family stories to your 3 readers? 

I’m not sure. I think the Little Sister enjoys my version of the stories, the Older Sister maybe not as much. What’s interesting is that we all remember things from our childhood a bit differently, but that also makes it hard to tell stories and have them be 100% true. 

Why don’t you wear underwear and will you please stop talking about it? 

I stopped wearing underwear when I was married. I had gained quite a bit of weight and underwear felt binding and the opposite of sexy. I decided to free vulva it as sort of a way to reclaim my body. I don’t think it’s sexy not to wear undies (it’s actually unsexy) and I guess now, yes, I will stop talking about it. 

Will you ever get over your stupid divorce? 

Nah. But I do hope that I will get around it. 

Will you ever write for money again? 

I hope not. I’ve lost the spirit for that kind of work. I don’t imagine that, beyond these navel-gazing missives, I will write much again. I might write a book and potentially I am already imagining my interview on Chelsea Lately, but I don’t see myself at the Sacramento Bee anytime soon. I’d rather be a farmer. 

So what are you going to do with your dumb life? 

For now, I am going to keep making good money working in objectionable industries and see what happens. I’m also going to start running and clean out the closet in my living room. 

Just Not Sure

8 May

How much longer I can carry around this shattered heart before I rend my garments and tear it out of my ungrateful chest.

In other news, I apparently only took anti-depressants for half of April BUT IT’S OKAY I FEEL FINE OBVIOUSLY.

25 Years Ago

1 May

The night you were born, out father carried me to the neighbor’s house (our Older Sister walked) where she had a sofa bed set up for us. She was waiting for you just as desperately as we were.

The first time I met you, it was obvious that you took after our father. You, poor sweet baby, had his prodigous eyebrows. On the ride home from the hospital, you insisted that he hold you. Our mother drove you all home and the neighbors thought he was an asshole for at least a year after that. They didn’t know that you were already a force with which to be reckoned.

I felt like you were mine and I offered to get up in the middle of the night with you, but our mother explained why that wouldn’t really work. (I couldn’t breastfeed, for example, and the crib was twice as tall as I was. Whatever.) When you got chicken pox, I yelled at her because she had taken you out in public and gotten you sick.

You have been wild since the day you were born and I have loved you and worried about you in equal measure. The person you are today – as a wife, a sister, and a person – brings me unmatched joy.  I am proud that we have the same blood.

P.S. we are recreating this picture when I visit you in August.