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From the ghost land of the easy life.

28 May 2005

Quiet Desperation. :
I don’t believe desperation is really quiet. It’s out there running the streets in supped up cars, pumping base at hearing loss inducing rates, getting drunk in bars every night of the week, picking on the weak, giving you and F on your term paper, spitting in your food at the diner and smiling at you with dead eyes in the grocery store. None of that seems quiet to me.

I have many lists. Mostly because my mother cursed me. While watching Romancing the Stone she saw that Kathleen Turner’s character had sticky notes and little lists everywhere to remind her of things. She looked at me, smiled and said “that’s going to you.” Medically speaking I have a learning disability that makes remembering sequences of more than four or five steps impossible. Something will get deleted/forgotten for every new thing I have to recall. Makes it hard to learn Linux commands, write C++ code and memorize phone numbers. I always remember faces though. I hardly ever remember names. If I ever meet someone I knew before I recognize them, unless I wanted to forget you then it’s blank stares and “you’re who?”, “I knew you where/when?” - all the way around. My steel-trap mind is going to snap shut one day and take my whole head apart I swear :)

It’s may be going to rain again today and I’m thinking yippee. I like the rain. It doesn’t depress me unless I’m out walking in it and someone drives through a huge puddle and soaks me. When that happens I hate the rain. I know the whole getting splashed thing isn’t the rain’s fault and I’m far more raging against the person(s) in the vehicle – hoping karma kicks their ass and all that. As far as I know I don’t have any mood disorders brought on by Seasonal Affective Disorder or the rain. I tend to be more affected by the moods of the people around me and it can be hard for me to disconnected being there with feeling how/what others are feeling. I think it’s because I’m a big fan of happy and smiling and wanting others to smile and feel better. If I was a superhero I’d probably be smiley girl, turning them frowns upside down.

It’s because I don’t like the darkness of my own mind. I don’t like to contemplate that there’s anyone out there thinking anything like the stuff I think about now and again in a day. I’ve been depressed before, clinically and medicated for it. I’ve had brief bouts with social anxiety and even had Post Traumatic Stress and took medication for that. I’m a watcher so I know how these events changed me and how I interacted with the world. Some of that I have tried to hold onto being that I’m 100% natural again. The darkness was always there creeping around the edges, crossing the sun and blanketing my day in its gloom. The shadows of my past walk beside me and sometimes I hold their hands and tell them it’s ok, we’re all going to be all right.

In the sunlight, in the moonlight, I notice so much. Even on the hurried walks home after work near midnight all alone (Gasp a girl going out alone after dark!) I try to keep my mind open to the sounds and the scenery. I don’t want to focus exclusively on the worries of being a girl in the dark all alone. I’m not silly, I watch tv. I know there are things out there in the light and the shadows, things that are happy to kill, maim, destroy. Whether they do it to you with their bare hands, implements, their petty jealousies, razor sharp words or other weapon of their choice – they are there waiting for the opportunity to take control and have power over you. They are truly desperate and if you are quiet sometimes you can hear them breathing in your nightmares. No matter how desperate you think you are you can always remember about them and fell a bit better about the state of your life.

When I was a kid I firmly believed Dracula had a trap door under my bed. A vampire movie was the first horror movie I ever saw. I developed a fear of the dark basement stairwell after that and had to put the light on before crossing in front of it. For endless nerve-wracking seconds I would stand beside the closet door trying to steel myself to reach around the corner and flip the light switch to turn on the lights to the stairwell. I couldn’t get to the bathroom without doing it. I was always 100% convinced that an icy giant hand would clutch mine and pull me into the blackness. None would hear my screams, I would just disappear and not a one would miss me. It never happened but every night I had the same attack of fear. I know it was irrational but I believed it more than I believed I would be better off dead. Every night for years I followed the same ritual or ran upstairs to the bathroom, whichever one was better lit.

Thing is I love horror movies. I keep up on all things vampire, monster and supernatural science fiction. Even thought that clown doll in Poltergeist reinforced my fears of the thing under the bed and these days I still don’t sleep with anything hanging off the edges of the bed, I’m still going to watch horror movies. Not because I love being scared –it’s usually the music or the way I think about it later that really scares me, not what is on screen. I read a lot. I have a history degree and read a lot for that. Believe it or not that was fun, all that reading. I enjoy learning but I’m the-learn-absolutely everything about the subject type of girl. It can make you squirrelly trying to get all angles covered, see all sides and form an informed opinion. It keeps me away from politics – too much like school ground ravings and I hated going to school with a fiery passion that has never cooled. Part of my slacker ideology was built on the utter contempt I have for all organized institutions be that of learning, government or religion.

I’m a D.I.Y.er to the very end. I want to know how to do it myself and then do it. I’m not into adverse cruelty to anyone or anything and I think a lot of what is happening in the world today is ultimately senseless – the true believers always have a point and are willing to work to carry out the plan(s) they made to make that point known. Desperation isn’t quiet in the Middle East. Desperation wasn’t quiet on 9-11. Desperation may be running the local video store and buying guns on e-Bay for all I know but I’m willing to listen. I still believe there has to be a better way than the way of the gun.

I took a women’s studies class while I was in University and basically spent the majority of the class being held up as the example of the ruling class that has suppressed and denigrated all other women for eternity. As a small town kid who got new clothes once a year, her birthday presents l6 months late or not at all, and has been working since I was 12 it pissed me off. I didn’t agree with the professor’s assertions that I was the prime example of evil done unto single mothers everywhere.

Of course I realized later on that she saw me as a rich white kid with money to burn. She didn’t know I was drowning in debt trying to live on part time campus jobs and my ever-ballooning student debt. She looked at me and saw a picture distorted by her own perceptions, beliefs and prejudices. My friend at the time, a single mom who had a built in babysitter and firmly believed partying 'til you puke and getting laid were top of the tops – worked that prof for all she was worth and then some. Every class missed due to hang over was because of baby or babysitter issues, every missed deadline or assignment or exam because this week’s boyfriend would/wouldn’t come over and or dumped her was a family emergency –baby’s sick/doctor’s appointment. Funny thing is all that disengenuity and that girl got the highest grades in the class. She switched her major to Women’s Studies, became best buds with the prof and proceeded to use the poor woman to smooth over problems with other profs in the department and as a reference to law school.

I never worked that hard in school and never found the balls to actually manipulate someone so completely to get what I wanted. I’m just not shark enough I guess. When it comes to competition I want to believe in the merit system. I want to even as I’m staring down the fact that it’s all whom you know and whom the people you know know. One day when I have a full head of greys I may be someone in the know who knows others to know. I’m not kidding here. See I used to be a desperate housewife. Lost three years to make a happy home my husband just messed up again. When he started shooting things with a bb gun my desperation catapulted to a fervour. I never said a word to anyone about all of that but I never stopped complaining about every thing else. I was insufferable, even to myself and this is the real reason I think there is no such thing a quiet desperation. You can be desperate or you can be quiet but no one is ever both. You may not come right out and tell the world what you are truly desperate about but there won’t be soul who sees you in a day that won’t know something’s going on.
ghost writer Ambrrrr at 3:58 PM

MenTal fUrbAll