Around this time every year, I go through an annual event which involves dramatics and hysterics in equal measure–negotiating my contract for a better rate on my internet and tv services. Warning, to anyone who does not know me, this story involves cursing–and not just the witch with a cauldron kind.
There’s a lot of swearing. A f*ck-ton, if you will.
I went through a rough couple of weeks worrying about a thing that could have been big, bad, and scary but turned out to be big, banal, and mostly embarrassing–so the story ends happily ever after, kind of.
(My fairytale life turns out to be something a whole lot different than my childish self ever imagined.)
The moral of this story is short and to the point: DO NOT GOOGLE SYMPTOMS EVER!
There is some mention of disgusting female-related bodily functions in this post; therefore, the men might want to scamper out of the room like the timid little bunnies they are.
Forgive me, this is a hard post to write and I’d like to do justice to both the joys and the sorrows in their turn. It is a post about discoveries and magical thinking–the good and the bad involved in both. This is about a book–and a boy who will probably never read it. I would separate them, but the two things are inextricably linked for me. It would be like dividing the sun from the moon.
Be warned, as it is written on ancient maps past the edge of the known world: Here be dragons!
I’ve been living an absolute nightmare. For TWO WHOLE DAYS!!!
But finally, after a weekend of anxiety-drenched trauma, I am back to tell the tale. It’s mercifully short, but not, I think, an insignificant one to any who has experienced the horror. Mary Shelley only dreamt of such nightmares as this!
TRIGGER WARNING: The following people might want to avoid this particular post: those with delicate constitutions, the humor-impaired, vegans who didn’t reading the title. You might find this a tad offensive. Actually, anyone with any sense of taste whatsoever might want to give it a pass. It’s that bad. If you choose to consume my unfiltered thoughts, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I was complimented recently on my writing, it came via someone with a tenuous Facebook connection. It’s the first time anyone who wasn’t a friend or blood relative (and therefore obligated to like my writing or at least lie to me and say they do) told me they found my writing funny. (But funny in a good way.)
It made me feel, just for a nano-second, what it must be like when famous people get recognized. It was awesome and I thanked him…and then felt like a total fraud because I haven’t given two thoughts to my blog in months!
I participated in a 24-hour fundraiser this weekend. You might not have noticed me other than by my absence.
I was busy…
I spent at least five hours constructing my homage to a famous album cover. I thought it was only a cake on the cover. I was certain. And then I looked at the actual album and said…”Oh, shoot.” (Or words to that effect.) But rather than finding something easier, I doubled down on the crazy.
I also took part in a Zombie Teleconference. You can check out the video link or here’s a picture of me on the couch with my son for evidence….of questionable parenting.
I also did this to demonstrate “camouflage in an urban setting with the goal of kid avoidance” skills:
Despite my valiant efforts, the kid found me.
The beauty of GISH is in how it pushes you somewhat outside your comfort zone. I didn’t set up a Zoom meet-up, but I participated in three. In addition to Zombie Conference calls, we had a sing-along to The Police classic: “Don’t Stand So Close to Me!” I am now much more impressed with those acapella groups that coordinate a sing remotely. Not one of us could keep time, nor pitch. Sorry Sting.
I juggled, quite badly, with some equally toss-and-catch-challenged individuals. But being good at things isn’t the point of GISH. It is entirely possible to go through a whole weekend and miss the point in the effort to finish just one more task. But I tried hard to pay attention.
For example, when I made this simple poster with my son, you might not be impressed unless you know how hard it is to get my kid with the program–any program. It felt like a Mom-Win. The kind you can feel good about.
While I am proudest of my Let It Bleed album cover, I am also glad that I tried to do things I am not stellar at.
Drawing, for example. With about an hour left to GISH IT UP, I sat down with my son and he painted his ‘calendars’ while I drew a picture of what my soul would look like as a bird house–with a flame alight inside:
I know I cannot draw well, but I’ve learned from taking part in GISH that it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to have talent to enjoy doing something. If it brings me a moment with my son, who lives in a hard-to-reach world even if he’s only a room away. It also let me connect with people in other countries and time zones. (This led to a momentary zombie conflict, but it resolved without any brains being eaten.) This is what victory can look like despite being quarantined.
If my shaky squiggles and flowers give me joy, that is reason enough. Art serves the soul. Creativity expands your horizons–even if you can’t leave your house. When we were little kids, we knew the power of a box of crayons and a blank sheet of paper. There are worlds to build and dreams to pursue.
But now, after getting four hours of sleep in 48-hours, I’m ready to “Take a nap. A good one.”
And this is how I really look when sleeping:
Ordinarily I’d make an effort to wrap this all up with nice tie-ins, but I am literally falling asleep at the keyboard. Instead, I’ll let you know that I would do it all again…but probably not all in one day!
Fondant: a French word meaning your floors will be sticky and covered in sugar, and your cakes will be beautiful but too sweet to eat.
Memory is the golden shore where summer waters lap. Where sanded children shriek like gulls, And mothers shade their eyes and search The ever distant beach for tears or missing faces in the surf.
There the castles build and fall, where triumph tragedy becomes. And sticky mouths suck greedy gulps of sugar-saturated pops— Rainbow colors melting down.
See criss-crossed marks burned into skin which will no permanent memory make To keep from repeating the mistake of measuring the sun by an SPF span. Boiled-lobster faces whine and belated zinc is applied in futile effort to rewind time.
Gritted bodies, tired, worn but happy with a day’s respite, Ride the chariot once more toward the sinking orb Which threatens little from its perch on the lip of the world, Leaving a flip flop token of remembrance behind.
You’ll find no ribboned concourse marking childhood’s end. It is fleeting, passing, and no trumpet heralds its demise. So, measure well those steps you take on burning sands They will the hourglass wind down and scorch tender flesh In haste to reach Lethe’s waters.