Monday, May 8, 2017

There Is No Arizona

Most fairy tails begin with "Once upon a time..." and end with "...happily ever after."

They have trials and tribulations and daring rescues by dashing princes.

When I was a little girl, I was taught that if I styled my hair, wore makeup, wore the right clothes, the right shoes, the right perfume, then the handsome prince would come rescue me from...what?...myself?

He would ride in on his white horse, sweep me up, and carry me away into our blissful forever.

The thing is, I never learned how to be a girl.  Hair?  Makeup?  Style?  Hopeless.  Complete failure, really.  I can barely manage a ponytail, most cosmetics and perfumes make me itch, and my clothing is best described as "comfortable" and "hand-me-down", machine washable and dryable.

And if there's a prince out there, he's not looking at me.  He's looking at some princess far more comely and appealing on her worst day than I can manage on my best, and who can blame him?

After all this time, I've had to learn to rescue myself.  I suppose that's fine, better than waiting around for the myth that never comes.  There's no prince for me.  Hell, what prince wants a dull, middle-aged damsel with tiny, sagging tits, a flabby belly, flabby arms, flabby legs, sagging ass, and precious little sex appeal?

Experience hath shewn that I'm not worth any effort, but since it takes an effort to love me...or really, have anything to do with me...well...you can see where at least part of the trouble lies.

There is no happily ever after in my story - There's just this grey sort of existence where I am constantly reminded just how little worth I have by the very people who claim to value me even as their actions show otherwise.

I wish I could rid myself of the lingering longing for that long ago promised prince.  I might not be any happier than I am now, but maybe I wouldn't ache so much over how lonely and unwanted I feel in these wee small hours when I am weary and worn and in no mood or condition to battle the darkness, the emptiness, that close in on me like hungry dragons with no princely rescuer in sight.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Care

I'm feeling lonely.

And feeling sorry for myself.

I've caught some minor plague from my daughter and it has me tired, and tired isn't a good idea when I'm already feeling sad.  Depressed.

One year is ending, one beginning, and I don't care.  It's just time, sliding away, sliding past, slippery and ungripable, both dragging me with it and leaving me behind.  I feel lost in it, swirling in its eddies then yanked into the rushing currents, and always breathless with the awareness of it all and wishing I could stop, or pause, and rest in stiller waters for a while.

I cannot recall the last time I felt the warmth of being taken care of.

This is what I'm feeling sorry for myself over.

I don't feel like I have been taken care of in a very long time.  Not that I need much of it, but sometimes, when my throat is sore and my nose stuffy, and I'm tired and feeling low...yeah...sometimes it'd be nice if someone made me soup.  Or sat next to me and stroked my hair and soothed me a little.

The last time I was sick, really sick, good and sick, I wound up in the hospital.  My mother was watching my children with the help of a friend, but my partner...well...he wasn't doing much.  When he finally came to visit, it was a very short visit, and I could tell he wanted to be elsewhere.  My less forgiving self thinks there was beer waiting for him, and he wanted that more than anything else in the world.

I spent three days in the ICU, largely alone.  Probably for the best, because I slept...but wouldn't it have been nice to fall asleep, to wake up, with someone there beside me, just a caring, loving presence?

I suppose.  Wouldn't know, though.  My dearest friend drove much farther to see me, and even claimed the clothing I'd worn into the ER to take home and wash for me.  That was amazing.  That left me feeling loved.

I've never had a partner who took up the slack when I was ill.  After that stay in the hospital, when I got home, I was supposed to rest.  That couldn't happen, not with two kids, some cats, a house, a partner, to take care of.  There's never rest, not here, not for me, and there's never that gentle warmth that comes from knowing that my partner, my lover, is there for me to lean on, to take care of me when I get where I can't do it and need help for a minute.

And I did say I am feeling sorry for myself.

I did some thinking, and I think it was more than 20 years ago that I was looked after - I was good and sick that time, fever hovering around 104 for days, no money for doctors or medicines, just me in my bed sleeping for hours on end. My mother came down from her place and watched over me for a couple of days.  She went shopping and made me hot toddies, and the fever broke and when I was well enough to get up and fend for myself she hugged me, kissed me, and went on home, her job well done.  No, wait...she drove me to the ER years later, when my appendix burst.  Sat there with me while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong, waited until they surgery was done and I was awake, eventually went home, but came back the next day to sit with me and help me with some personal grooming that I couldn't manage on my own.  When I got home from that, it was life as usual...no resting, as ordered, because laundry and cooking and cleaning don't so themselves, and apparently I don't choose partners who think to do them when I'm laid up, and now I'm bitter as well as feeling sorry for myself,

Most of the time, I don't want to be taken care of.  Loved?  Yes, please!  Helped with chores, as an equal?  You bet!!!  I don't want to be kept or coddled, truly.  Just...I don't know...maybe it's that I still don't much feel cherished, worthy of the effort of paying attention.  Fuck, I don't feel worthy of a bowl of damned soup!

In the end, I will just have to keep taking care of myself.  Doesn't matter how sorry I feel for myself; a glass of water, a bite to eat, these things don't just up and get themselves for me.  As with many other instances in life, I will just plow through, carry on, and do for myself what the tiny voice in the back of my head wishes someone else would do for me, just this once.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mirror, Mirror

I don't often look in the mirror.  Mirrors are not kind to people like me, people who don't see themselves truly but rather through ugly filters, through lenses smirched with years of grime, accumulated unhappiness and unfortunate experience.

I don't look in the mirror when I comb my hair, when I brush my teeth, when I apply lip balm.

I don't like what I see.

I see wrinkles and hairs that escaped the scrunchie and loose skin from weight loss and spots and age.  I see thin lips not suitable for kissing and dark circles under dull eyes.  If my gaze strays to my body, I see sagging, flab, loose and wrinkly skin, things that show weight loss but make for horrors under my clothes.

I was never young.

Rare are the occasions I gaze intentionally into a reflective surface.

Rarer still are the times when I don't wince at what I see, or perhaps even think it's not so bad.

Sometimes there's a brightness to my eyes.  Sometimes I think my cheekbones are pretty good.  My lips will never be accused of being kissable, certainly never pouty or plump, but when I smile I have a dimple...didn't people used to like dimples?..and if the crinkles around my eyes are a bit deep, well...at least I can finally say I have smile lines.  Also, my ears don't stick out, and I seem to recall that not-sticking-out ears are a plus.  Also, also, they are pretty evenly hung on my head, so there's that.

Tonight I was laughing at my daughter's antics in the tub and happened to catch my reflection in the bathroom mirror.  I stopped and looked.  It was...uncomfortable...

I wonder if I will ever see myself as others do, hopefully with kinder eyes and gentler thoughts...

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Effort

It's late...or early...depending upon your perspective.  I can't sleep.  I want to.  I just can't.

I've been lying awake, wondering...

My parents divorced before I could form a memory of a father.  Until my teens he wasn't much of a presence in my life.  Hell, I didn't realize that one was supposed to have a father until I was just about through my first decade.

I can understand why he wouldn't want much to do with me now that I'm grown...after all, I've certainly been one huge disappointment after another to him, given him no reason to be bothered with me...but what did baby me do that made it so easy for him to walk away and not look back?  Why wasn't his daughter, the child, I mean, worth even a little effort on his part?

Then there's my now-ex-husband.  He made it pretty damned plain that our marriage wasn't worth the effort.  He'll protest...he'll swear, even now, that he loved me, still does, and the words were nice...but when push came to shove, when it came down to showing love through actions, well...I wasn't worth the effort, was I?

I've been attracted to others over the years, and most of them weren't interested, or clearly stated that I wasn't worth whatever effort it would take on their part to have anything more than a mild flirtation.  Twenty some odd years down the line, still barely worth the smile and a few hastily spoken words, maybe a few minutes of playful chat, but nothing more.

My current partner, the person I though I might finally have found a lifetime in?  Yeah, well...he's terrified of losing me, he says...of losing our family...of me leaving him...but as it turns out, I'm not worth any actual effort on that score either.  The alcohol, the pot, the meth, are more important, enough so that he is once again in jail because drinking twelve beers less than a day after he was out for the last probation violation meant more to him than being with his family for the holidays.

Not.  Worth.  The.  Effort.

Loud and clear and coming at me from seemingly every damned direction. Not worth answering the phone for.  Not worth reading.  Not worth writing.  Not worth calling.  Not worth it.

Here in the small hours, alone, cold, tired, worn and weary and wishing I had the simplest touch, just a hand to hold or a shoulder to lean on, I am painfully aware of how not worth the effort I am, and there's no getting around it.  If I was worth it I wouldn't spend these hours feeling so fucking lonely because I'd be resting snug against someone who finds lying next to me more important than twelve beers, or whatever the distraction is that leaves me struggling to breathe in dark, cloying silence rereading old, sweet words and wondering if they ever meant anything at all, and if they did, what happened to make them moot, to render me no longer worthy of whatever it took to write or say them?

How the fuck am I supposed to believe anyone who says I matter when behavior tells me so clearly that I don't, that in the end all I can count on is this feeling that the reassurances are hollow and won't be suited to action?

It's awfully bleak, this feeling that when it comes to actual effort and not simply glib words, any expenditure of effort is too much.

I'd like to believe, really I would, but I just can't.

It's not worth the effort.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Aware

I am having trouble sleeping.  On an ordinary day, I'm rather clueless, oblivious, of my place in this old world.  On a tired day, it takes blaring trumpets, fireworks, announcements...hell, written notices...to get my attention.

I'm not unaware of the people or world around me...more that I can't seem to sort out my connection to it all.

So I was eating watermelon while driving to an appointment, keeping an eye on traffic and whatnot but not on the other drivers.  Honestly, I'm used to people being oblivious to the world outside their vehicles - we're ensconced in our own little worlds while we flit from place to place.  No one notices that they're not being noticed.

So, yeah, I was eating watermelon that I'd cut into chunks.  I never much thought about how I eat anything, except to enjoy it because otherwise why bother?

Sitting at a traffic light, enjoying my lovely, ripe, cool watermelon, I chanced to look over to my left and noticed that I was, in fact, being noticed.  My first thought, first instinct, was to hide...I don't like it when people see me eating.  I am self conscious about it.  The ugly voice in my head tells me that people are judging me, thinking "No wonder she's fat, look at that heifer eat!"

I don't think that's what that man in the truck's passenger seat was thinking.  He was staring at me, at the piece of melon that was still clasped in my fingers, waiting to be devoured.  His eyes met mine, he closed his mouth and swallowed.  I popped the remainder of the melon into my mouth and his eyes widened and he turned crimson and turned away, then cut his eyes back to me again.  Umm.  'Kay.

I reached for more.  Looked over to the right.  Another truck.  Another man.  Watching me eat another piece of watermelon as if his life depended on seeing it through to the end.  Staring.  Mouth open.  Licked his lips when I swallowed.

That's a first.  Pretty sure.

So, yeah, that happened.  And for a moment, one tiny little moment, I felt powerfully sexual.  For one tiny little moment I wasn't a (somewhat less) fat, (almost) middle aged woman, I was a goddess inspiring concupiscent thoughts in unsuspecting men, reveling in my power.  One tiny moment.  I have to admit, I kinda liked it.

Probably won't eat watermelon in public again, though...unless I can make sure I'm not going to chance looking anyone in the eye.

If watermelon damn near gave 'em heart failure,I wonder what a banana would have done...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Damp Linens

I know I'm not the only woman who cries in silence, tears soaking her pillow, curled around herself as she tries to contain the aching emptiness that threatens to consume her.

I know I'm not alone in wondering why I should be so lonely.

But dear Goddess, right now in this moment I feel so isolated, so lost in the shadows, and I can't convince myself that there's any way out of it or that there's anyone or anything that can (or wants to) throw me a line, however tenuous, to help me pull myself into a better place.

Back to dreams, back to the ephemeral, illusory comfort of he-who-never-was because my psyche doesn't want to accept that maybe this is all we get - an empty bed, empty arms, and a heart full of thick, smothering aloneness that leaves me fighting to breathe and wondering where I went so terribly wrong.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sleepless

I rolled around in my bed last night, tossed and turned and thrashed, covered and uncovered, sweat and shivered, muttered imprecations at the gods of sleep and sleeplessness.

Insomnia snuck up on me a few nights ago and clamped me in its jaws and now it's shaking me like a terrier with a rat in its teeth.

There are two things that can help me sleep when I'm like this, and I'm without both.

Sex and pot.

The former is no guarantee, but it's fun to see if it'll work.  The latter does work, but it's not possible at this place in my life.

In the dark, while I am not sleeping, my mind scrabbles in its confinement, turns endless circles, hums snatches of tuneless tunes, quotes fragments from books and movies, la, la, la, la, la.

Things are falling apart here, but I can't say it's a bad thing.  Uncomfortable, painful even, but life does that and I can handle it even if I don't want to.