Twenty!

Dr. Theunknown

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There is an intimidating character who sometimes likes to drop in on me.  His name is Dr. TheUnknown. He’s dark, mysterious, devilishly attractive… unlike any other character I’ve met in my whole life.  Honestly.  He’s got an aura that’s both magnetic and horrifying.  Sometimes I Fear TheUnknown.

But then sometimes, I go out looking for him.  If I really want to, I can find him. It becomes more and more difficult each time.  That’s the fun part, you see…

The intimidating side of him is when he shows up randomly.  Sometimes he’s in a happy mood, like a random surprise, like a basket of strawberries on your front porch… but sometimes he’s very stern and aggressive.

I’ll go weeks, sometimes months without a thought of him until all of a sudden at a friendly mixer, I feel a grip on my shoulder.  There he’ll be, in his well-tailored coat and driving gloves, wearing darker shades of grey than anyone else in the room.  His crisp white collar tucked delicately beneath the lapel of his sport coat and a firm, friendly look in his eye, I have no choice but to smile politely and excuse myself from the conversation I was carrying.  I follow him, quietly, nervously and unflinchingly.  

I know how this might sound but make no mistake; he’s not my lover.

To be lovers with The Unknown is a risky business–most of his lovers die young.  Having a healthy relationship with Dr. TheUnknown means striking a precise chord between fear and admiration.

Today I ran into him.  I saw him from a block away, which gave me about 1 minute to decide if I was going to fear him or embrace him.  He’d seen me already, I couldn’t run.  I stood there like a statue on the street corner as he approached, swift and morbid. At the last moment I animated my unease with warmth and greeted him as an old, dear friend with little to say.  Quietly, he pressed his cold cheek to mine and placed his hand on the back of my neck in a way that can best be described as… affectionate.  

The more I meet the unknown, the less I fear.

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Twenty!

Strength/Perspective

I’ve realized a few things about myself when I’m faced with a personal dilemma or hardship, a situation that unexpectedly demands full attention toward my own health and imposes the possibility that things won’t go on as planned.

I have to appear so strong. In my mind, it’s romantic to think that I don’t have to appear strong–of course I do. But then, ‘strength’ is all relative, as is everything in the world.  That is key; put it into perspective.  Not quite like, “Well, I could be in Tanzania living in the bush, starving with no health care to speak of…”   But close to that type of perspective.  When you put the idea of inner strength into perspective, you take it from it’s glorified position and bring it into focus.  What entails me being “strong”?  Me sitting in a doctors office, scared?  No.  That’s being human.  Then is it the way I deal with it thereafter, as I squint into the bright sunlight 2 1/2 hours later blinking back tears and beginning to wander?  Because in my idea, that’s where inner strength comes into play.  And if that be the case, then at that moment I feel damn near like a dog that goes to die under the porch alone.  I want to appear strong, but if I can’t humbly sit with loved ones and express my fears, how strong am I really?  And how far have I come?  Am I STILL waging my inner strength on my ability to cope with it alone?  What did I learn in Japan, after all?…. that life is meant to be shared.  Hence my blog, I suppose.  But I’m talking deeper than that.  Life is meant to be shared, face to face, vulnerable tears to the shoulder of friends, questions without knowing the answers, but not rhetorical either.  Life is meant to be shared when we are uncertain of how we should feel about a particular event, while we’re wondering if our emotions are valid, our fears founded, and while we’re shoved into the harsh daylight fighting a torturous battle against self-pity.  I refuse to express self-pity, I hate to feel it, but sometimes we can’t help it.  Why should we feel less virtuous because we are concerned for ourselves?  (Granted, self-pity is okay to a very direct point; only those who aren’t aware of this self-pity clause are the ones who surpass that point.)

In this type of a circumstance, I shut down for a little while.  I don’t want to talk to anyone on the phone, I don’t want to use my computer, I don’t want to hang out with anyone that’s difficult to be around, I don’t want to talk very much at all…  It’s like when I feel in a bad mood, I just want to be alone, I don’t want anyone to try to cheer me up, I just gotta chill and do it on my own (usually doesn’t take very long at all.) But after that, after I cheer myself back up, get past the fear or the anger or whatever it is, I look at the whole thing as an exhilarating life-challenge to overcome.  The only other thing that might hinder me is procrastination, which is usually slight in serious circumstances.  

My dad knows I do this, he just kind of allowed me to get off the phone quickly, and when we finally talked again today he very calmly approached me about it.  When I told him I feel like I just want to shut down and be alone in emotional times he said that it was the Swedish in me.  He said that Swedish are loners, and it’s pretty true.  He also imparted words of wisdom when I said that I had to learn to overcome this trait of mine the next time it happened while I was in a relationship, since the last time I felt this way it ruined any remaining relationship with the guy I was dating at the time.  He said I just needed to communicate that I am this way, I don’t necessarily have to try to change it.  So here I am, communicating on an obtuse level.

It does make me feel better to know that I have improved since then.  And speaking of perspective…watch your ears the first part, this guy is really vulgar and sad.

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Twenty!

LET IT BE

“The residual purpose of art is purposeless play.  This play, however, is an affirmation of life–NOT an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we’re living, which is so excellent once one gets ones mind and ones desires out of it’s way and let’s it act of it’s own accord.”

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Twenty!

On Movement and Mecca

I don’t feel lonely, but I would really enjoy having a dog about now.  A dog, or the sound of the ocean to keep me company.  You know how having the TV on mute in a room changes the dynamic feeling of the room? it’s because it adds movement.  I want movement, whether it be waves or the breath of a dog, or my sister sleeping next to me.  Or not sleeping next to me… in which case we would be reminiscing and I wouldn’t be writing a blog post.

I just finished watching a documentary on Mecca and the haj.  It was highly interesting…  It seems to me that the pilgrimage to Mecca is a ritual that wasn’t intended for 2-3 million people to do at once.  There are a few indicators that maybe some reform is needed, no offense to Islam, but the ritual murder of  hundreds of thousands of cows and sheep, all in one room on one holy day, performed by butchers and not the pilgrims themselves, is slightly…. well, it’s a bit of an over kill is what it is. No pun intended.  Actually, it WAS intended.  It’s not an over kill… i get it: one sheep per person (7 people can go in on a cow together) to emulate Abraham’s sacrifice.  But when you have 2 million people…. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

Also, the idea of millions of men shaving their heads in one area at the same time is really disconcerting.  I’m thinking, I wonder if Hep C is transmitted during the haj?  What about dull blades and razor bumps?  Do they provide after-shave? Who sweeps all the hair and where does it go?  If someone carved “Haji” into their buzz would anyone laugh?

Lastly, they built a 3 story super pedestrian highway to accommodate all of these people as they throw stones at a giant column to condemn the devil.  If you think about it, is there a better way to fend off the natural desire to ‘sin’?… throw rocks as hard as you can at a column that represents the evils that try to prevail.  The problem is when people get trampled and die, which happens.

Other than that, a beautiful ceremony and a life-changing pilgrimage to be sure.

I went on a pilgrimage once.  Remember?  It was to the tiny town on Obama in Japan.  It was just me though.  I still think I deserve world recognition for being the first person to do that.  Who agrees?  Dad, I know you agree.  Holla atcha girl, you KNOW I was the first person to do that.  Obama never responded to my letter and gift of his/her luxury chopsticks that I brought back from Obama for he and michelle.  He’s not getting my vote in 2012, clearly.  Did I mention that Sarah Palin is a terrible person?  I don’t care if writing about her made my blog the most hated it’s ever been.  That woman is a DOG.  Apparently she likes to run, too.  I don’t mean to say that dogs like to run, and so does she, so she must be a dog (because I like to run also.)  What I mean is, I think my dad and I should go on a trip to Alaska so that I can beat her in a 10k.  Or a 5k.  She’s probably try to make a profit from the whole event by sticking Bristol behind a vendor booth to sell Maverick Lemonade, “I Beat Sarah” t-shirts and copies of her book.  Ughhh… that woman makes me work hard to keep my cool.  I want to say all of these really mean things about her, I’m fighting it so hard…. I’m retreating, I’m moving on… I’m still. moving. on… aaaaahh.  My mantra: “Hate is a strong word.”

[my phone was charged. it rang. i answered! 3 seemingly easy, but very tough obstacles.]

I’ve been surrounded by lovers and heartache for the past week or so and it’s made me realize, the best way is to keep away from heartache is to be honest with yourself.  I can’t say that I know of anyone who knows a ‘proper’ way to fall in love (although some would like to think they do), but I don’t think it involves pain.  The word that comes to mind is ‘natural’, it’s gotta be natural.  Which is why “natural woman” is such a great song.  My friends Eva and Amy fell in love with their boyfriends so naturally, I witnessed it all.  Now I look at their relationships and feel so good to be surrounded by deep, healthy, well-functioning love.

Anyway, I have that movement I was desiring, in the form of a spider on my wall, which doesn’t surprise me since this room feels so rickety it’s like I’m sleeping outdoors.  I don’t mind spiders, so long as they’re not in my bed.  It’s cobwebs I don’t like, but thats a different story for a different day.

xoxoxo

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Twenty!

Lengthy Is Necessary

It was an unpleasant surprise to find out that I wouldn’t be able to get off the midnight Amtrak bus in San Francisco, especially since I was already on the bus.  I had to get off in Oakland, at five in the morning.  But with the confidence that seems to WD-40 me through traveling obstacles, I took my seat and began working out the ligistics of how I would get out of Oakland in 5 hours (molly mo, thanks a mill) 

As I typed away on my phone, texting to find out where, exactly, the Oakland station even was etc.  I noticed the older man sitting behind me peering over the seat at what I was doing, and was chuckling at the hushed and very humorous conversation I had with one of my best friends.  The man had a tall frame and a wide diameter, but had eyes so blue and kind I believed him when he said he used to be a ladies man.  I later learned that he had “SEXY WHITE STALLION” tattooed in an arc across his back, and would soon be removing the “SEXY” part out of sheer embarrassment after his weight gain.

He was easy to talk to and very interested in what I had to say.  But mostly, I asked him questions because something about this man wasn’t piecing together for me.  We stopped at a gas station at 2:00 am.  I got a water bottle and Trident and he got 2 hotdogs and a Big Gulp sized slurpee.  10 minutes in the gas station gave me time to ponder this man and come up with questions to discover his story , and the same 10 minutes rendered him equally as ready to dish.

He told me he was headed to Humboldt–Eureka specifically.  And when he said it, he adopted the twang of a rancher and stuck a dip of tobacco in his bottom lip.  I could tell he was a cowboy, he exuded the generosity and friendliness of all the old ranchers I’ve ever met.  But his grey cotton sweat suit didn’t match and when I asked him about this, he told me that only 12 hours before he’d been released from prison after serving 15 years.

I didn’t feel scared or turned away, and continued to ask questions.  He got caught with 10 pounds of weed when he was 25 and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.  He’d served 3 in San Quintin… I couldn’t believe it.  His name was Michael Meyers, so his prison name was Shrek.  He told me that once a man who gave him a tattoo on his tricep spelled cowboy COWBUOY and turned the “Y” backwards. So he stabbed him in the gut.  That man never ratted him out, and spent 7 weeks in a hospital bed.  Michael said, ‘I coulda killed him, but I didn’t.”

He told me he had 4 kids, loving parents, a cheating, drug-addict wife, and a sweetheart named Christine who was waiting for him with his&her Ford F-150’s when he came home.  His girls were truck drivers, and even though they were my age they had children of their own.  He was so proud of them because they’d followed after their dads footsteps.

Michael told me he used to be a truck driver.  He and his high school girlfriend, the love of his life, had a big-rig together and rode all over the country shipping from Illinios to California.  When he was 20 they got married and she had their baby boy.  2 years later, when he was 22, his wife and 2 year old son were killed in a car accident by a drunk driver.  He said the hardest thing in the world wasn’t finding out that his baby boy was dead, or that his wife wouldn’t survive through the night, but the hardest thing was lying to her and telling her that she was going to survive, and that their baby boy was alive and well.  She died moments later.  He recalled calling her parents to tell them what had happened, and said it ruined him to recount the events of the evening.  His life went downhill from there.

It was that same year he sold the big-rig, moved home and became a drug dealer.  He married a woman out of heartbreak and loneliness and they had 3 kids together. Drugs were a big part of their life, and it wasn’t long before he was locked up for 18 years.

Michael and I talked all though the night, until the sun rose over the bay and we arrived in Oakland.  I didn’t give him a hug goodbye, or even a handshake.  Honestly, I didn’t hug him because he’d just gotten out of prison, and I didn’t shake his hand for much of the same reason but also because it seemed too formal. I just looked at him and surveyed him one last time with appropriate skepticism, and told him with tenderness that I wished him the best of luck.  I told him I’d look up his emerging wood-pallet business next time I was up North, and I meant it.  I think he’s going to do really well.

 

I spent the 4th in Sonoma and had a…. wild 4th, to say the least.  I went to bed drunk and scared Lauren in the early morning when I was sleep walking, which happens to me on occasion if I go to bed drunk.  Now after that whole scene, my mom is really worried I’m going to walk right off of my new loft bed and kill myself.  I’m drinking in moderation after the 4th, so hopefully no more sleep walking.

My mom drove me back to SLO and we spent a few really nice days together moving me into my new room.  My mom is an expert at all things that are beautiful and nice, like delicious food, high quality linens and perfumes, and hugs.  She used her expertise to help me decorate my room which now feels like something out of a magazine more than a college room.  I’m still not totally moved out of my other place either, so I’m sleeping over here and getting dressed next door. CRAZY.

 

Summer is fun, although I find myself feeling very stressed out.  My TO DO list is too long and my bank account too shallow.  I’m not liking it, those two things don’t go together well. here are some pic-chas and then I’m signing out for the night. Love you,

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Cayucos has a GREAT little bar/restaurant: Schooner's. Recommend it!

Cayucos has a GREAT little bar/restaurant: Schooner's. Recommend it!

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