I was always looking forward to being in love. Even when love collapsed, and I was buried in the rumble, I was looking forward to love. Especially when I was buried.
I'd read my monthly horoscope and hope to be told this was the month love would begin.
I felt so alone. I felt alone at night, wrapping my blankets around me. I felt alone on a sunny day, walking around without a hand holding mine. I felt alone at bars and parties, waiting for someone to open their mouth and start a love affair. That happens very rarely.
I wasn't alone. I've never been alone. I've always had a lot of love around me, flooding my life from people who have been around forever and people who I just met. But that love wasn't what I was looking for, and so I didn't see it. I kept staring ahead looking for a love that counted. The foreseeable future was always something to grit my teeth through.
I wish I had meditated my way out of that. I wish a jungle cat had mauled me and before it's mouth crunched down on my skull I had a vision of all the love I'd been ignoring. Instead you can chalk it up to some prescriptions, a job I was so grateful for, sleeping in my childhood bedroom, some good therapists. Itty bitty progress every day, one thin layer on top of another.
Now I see my sister and I notice all the love she writes in my notebook. I see my dad and the love he leaves in the coffee pot for me in the morning. I see Nellie and the love she messages me on facebook. The love my old friends dressed me up in in New Orleans, the love my coworkers clear off my tables. There is so much love piled up on every surface in my life, I only pick up a quarter of it, most of it goes untouched.
I thought for love to count it had to come from one person who knew all my secrets. Now everyone knows my secrets and everyone's love counts.
I still read my monthly horoscope. I still look for love to start tumbling out of people's mouths at bars. But if I am single forever, I will not be alone forever, because I've never been alone. I've always been treasured.
The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables
Said if I could get down 13 turnips a day
I would be grounded, rooted.
Said my head would not keep flying away to where the darkness is
The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight
Said for 20 dollars she’d tell me what to do
I handed her the twenty, she said “stop worrying darling, you will find a good man soon.”
The first psychotherapist said I should spend 3 hours a day sitting in a dark closet with my eyes closed, with my ears plugged
I tried once but couldn’t stop thinking about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet
The yogi told me to stretch everything but truth, said focus on the outbreaths,
Said everyone finds happiness when they can care more about what they can give than what they get
The pharmacist said klonopin, lamictil, lithium, Xanax
The doctor said an antipsychotic might help me forget what the trauma said
The trauma said don’t write this poem
Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones
My bones said “Tyler Clementi dove into the Hudson River convinced he was entirely alone.”
My bones said “write the poem.”
The lamplight. Considering the river bed. To the chandelier of your fate hanging by a thread.
To everyday you could not get out of bed.
To the bulls eye of your wrist
To anyone who has ever wanted to die.
I have been told, sometimes, the most healing thing to do-
Is remind ourselves over and over and over
Other people feel this too
The tomorrow that is coming, gone
And it has not gotten better
When you are half finished writing that letter to your mother that says “I swear to God I tried”
But when I thought I hit bottom, it started hitting back
There is no bruise like the bruise of loneliness kicks into your spine
So let me tell you I know there are days it looks like the whole world is dancing in the streets when you break down like the doors of the looted buildings
You are not alone and wondering who will be convicted of the crime of insisting you keep loading your grief into the chamber of your shame
You are not weak just because your heart feels so heavy
I have never met a heavy heart that wasn’t a phone booth with a red cape inside
Some people will never understand the kind of superpower it takes for some people to just walk outside
Some days I know my smile looks like the gutter of a falling house
But my hands are always holding tight to the ripchord of believing
A life can be rich like the soil
Can make food of decay
Can turn wound into highway
Pick me up in a truck with that bumper sticker that says “it is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society”
I have never trusted anyone with the pulled back bow of my spine the way I trusted ones who come undone at the throat
Screaming for their pulses to find the fight to pound
Four nights before Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington bridge I was sitting in a hotel room in my own town
Calculating exactly what I had to swallow to keep a bottle of sleeping pills down
What I know about living is the pain is never just ours
Every time I hurt I know the wound is an echo
So I keep a listening to the moment the grief becomes a window
When I can see what I couldn’t see before,
Through the glass of my most battered dream, I watched a dandelion lose its mind in the wind and when it did, it scattered a thousand seeds.
So the next time I tell you how easily I come out of my skin, don’t try to put me back in
just say here we are together at the window aching for it to all get better
But knowing as bad as it hurts our hearts, made of only just skin, knowing there is a chance the worst day might still be coming
let me say right now for the record, I’m still gonna be here
asking this world to dance, even if it keeps stepping on my holy feet
you- you stay here with me, okay?
You stay here with me.
Raising your fist against the bitter dark
Your bright longing
Your brilliant fists of loss
If the only thing we have to gain in staying is each other,
my god that’s plenty
my god that’s enough
my god that is so so much for the light to give
each of us at each other’s backs whispering over and over and over
Thanks to Catherine for letting me know about this poem!
I woke up at 6:50, wide awake. Not like bad dream wide awake, just fully alert. I thought, "This is gonna pass, no way am I actually awake right now." Incorrect. It seemed my day had begun. Then I remembered- the season premiere of Mad Men would be on the internet!
I started some coffee. I hung from my pullup bar. Then I capitulated to the reason I was awake and checked the internet. No Mad Men yet.
I poured coffee but didn't drink it. I thought, is this somehow my new normal, waking up at 7 even though I don't have class until 5:00 pm? I almost read a review of the episode, but stopped myself. I pulled on a bra and put on my running shoes and went out running like a yuppie FBI agent in a movie.
It was too cold to be wearing just a t-shirt. I only ran for 3 songs on my ipod. Then I thought, "This is impressive enough." And I went back home, opened a window because my apartment was so hot, sat for a minute. Suddenly I felt very sleepy.
I went back to bed to sleep until 10. Then I got up, checked the internet, and Mad Men was there!
And now here we are. I am exceptionally pleased with the premiere. I love Pete's liberalism. I love Peggy's hot little journalist boyfriend. I love Megan, it turns out. I love how Don is consistently a dick. I loved Ken and the old dude's fight about Vietnam in front of the sailor. I don't want to put spoilers out there, although, I don't know how you're avoiding them at this point.
With this show, I don't really have any relationships I particularly want to see. Mostly I really enjoy being surprised all the time. That's why the characters are interesting, because I'm always surprised by them.
Also, Pete and Trudy's baby being named Tammy. Could there be a better name? Holy cow. And Joan and her mom. ACK. SO PERFECT.
Now I'm up and don't really have enough to do this afternoon. My schedule makes no sense.
It's weird being a white lady. The weirdest thing is people assume you're good. People assume you're good, and trustworthy, and need protection.
Cops love me. It seems it makes a cop's day when he pulls me over. Because he gets to be a nice guy who lets a nice white lady off. You can tell by the way he saunters back to his car he feels like a hero.
When I was canvassing in Gary, all the residents would constantly tell me I shouldn't be in their neighborhood because it was too dangerous. No one wants bad things to happen to white ladies.
I experience this with audiences a lot. When I have a story about someone being mean to me, the crowd is so immediately on my side. Why would anyone be mean to this nice white lady?! What kind of monster would attack this bunny of a woman?!
As a white lady, you can shop lift with abandon. I wouldn't, because I'm exceptionally nervous, as befits my white lady-ness. But I could break into people's homes in the broad daylight and no one would call the cops. They'd probably come over and assist me in crawling through the window.
White ladies are either perceived as angels or deeply annoying. I think underneath all that gentle handling is a strong resentment of white ladies, because we go from acceptable to annoying in a split second. EVERYONE has a white woman voice in their comic repertoire. I also do, even though my real voice is a white lady voice. But my comic white lady voice is even higher and sing-songy. She says "OH MY GOD!" a lot. Which is ironic, since I do actually say "oh my god" a lot. (That's not actually irony.)
I admire all the women in this video and yet my first instinct is that they deeply annoy me.
I get the resentment. Especially when white women complain, I think everyone, including white men, sort of go "you don't understand how easy you have it! shut up!"
Another thing about being a white woman- although I feel less sure about this one- is it seems you get to be sluttier. NOW I do not mean there isn't SERIOUS slut shaming that happens to white women. But if you are white and especially if you can give off the air of being upper class, people will really take your sluttiness in stride. (ie. Paris Hilton) People will just chalk it up to you acting out, and assume you'll still end up married in the suburb, crying to your therapist about the traumas of your slutty days but ultimately safe. If you're white but clearly poor, or god forbid NOT WHITE, people will define your whole being by your slutty instances. Or your behavior will have nothing to do it, you're branded as a slut before you even get to have any fun because you're clearly poor or not white or both. There's a lot less forgiveness available to you.
I find it pretty frustrating to be constantly perceived as a nice white lady. I would rather be perceived as a flaming sword of justice. I would really enjoy that. But instead I get perceived as a naive, idealistic, sheltered, foolish, acting out, nice white lady. I'm really lucky to have those perceptions working for me, but they still chafe. NOT that I would want to be shot for wearing a hoodie. I know I am exceptionally blessed to walk around in a bunny suit.
It is confusing to figure out how to be effective in dismantling systems of cruelty when part of your celebrated societal role as a nice white lady is being socially concerned.
I'd love to ditch my whiteness, but that's not how things work, no one gets to ditch the assumptions that follow their skin color. And in my case I get off the hook so much because of my skin color that it's annoying to complain about it. So I'm not complaining. Thank you universe for giving me a go around as a white lady. I'm just saying it's a weird thing.
I'm having a wonderful, wonderful problem. I don't have enough time to hang out with all the people I love.
Sometime long ago, with this blog, and my comedy, and then finally just in my everyday life, I got in my head that being radically honest was the only way I could function. This authenticity experiment/compulsion has been scary at points. Sometimes it really feels like a compulsion, like these over shares that fling themselves out of me, with no regard for what life landmines they may land on.
Overall it's been pretty successful. I'll never be able to run for office, but isn't that in it's own way a blessing?
There are constant surprises living this way. The biggest surprise is how friendly other people are. It turns out most other people are good people, and they are into queer depressive hippy-dippy loonies. No matter how absolutely far away from all those things they are. Most people can hang with some pretty big truth bombs.
Another surprise is what I can feel with this anxiety about other people liking me taking a back seat. I still feel that anxiety, but not compared to how overwhelming and prominent it was in my life. And it turns out that when you're fairly confident people will like the authentic you, you can focus on LOVING THE SHIT OUT OF THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW.
I really enjoy so many people in my life. There are so many people from different points in my life that I am thrilled at the possibility of hanging out with. It feels like I don't have enough time to give all the relationships the time they deserve. If it sounds like I'm bragging, yeah, I am asshole, I'm kanye-ing it out. It's not like I've been feeling this way forever. Even though in retrospect I always had these wonderful people around me, but I still felt very alone through my twenties. I was not alone in the slightest.
Everyday I meet new people who I could love pretty intensely. Obviously there are some people who are just totally special and amazing, but a lot of people are pretty cool. Actually almost everyone is special and amazing but they're shielding that inner core and protecting it. It's too bad that has to happen.
Life is weird, in large part because we have such short lives to work with. In 100 years, all these cool people will be dead and so will I. They're such precious and temporary gifts.
People are good. They can act awful. But they want to be good, and when they're not being driven by fear they will be beautiful. How crazy.
Ok, not illegal ones. Illegal drugs are so very BAD, across the board, they have no redeeming qualities, and it's not like people are more peaceful on them rather than when they're tanked on Smirnoff. It totally makes sense we would isolate people from their communities and take away their voting rights and make employment and housing discrimination legal against them for possessing illegal drugs. Illegal drugs are terrible.
But legal ones are AWESOME. I'm on the classic anti-D, so classic it's almost retro, fluoxetine. Oh, you don't know fluoxetine? Does the name PROZAC sound familiar? Yeah boy, that's how we do. It's like I'm sporting original Jordans around my brain.
Now, I love this drug. I highly recommend it. (This ain't no joke, I owe the person who invented it so much.) And for me, the side effects were not very terrible. Some heartburn and some other digestive issues (ahem, ahem) and then some general tiredness.
The tiredness is very subtle. But the new normal for me since starting on the 'zac has been at least 9 hours of sleep a night, and then in the afternoon a nap if I can. I'm not lethargic when I'm awake, I have way more energy than when I was being depressed, I just want to sleep a lot.
Originally I got on the 'zac because I was CRAZY INSANE depressed, but also because I was trying to get on ritalin. I had read a book about ADHD and had assessed my life and determined my trouble concentrating had wasted all my potential. The original doctor took one look at the depression assessment (Sample question: "Do you worry you've disappointed your family?") and said, "We'll treat the depression and then we'll see about ADHD."
Well. Turns out she was putting me off. That's fine. I did need to get my depression treated. And trouble concentrating is a big part of being depressed.
BUT, I still couldn't concentrate. In a very normal way. Not in a sad, anxious way, in a "what's THAT over THERE?!" way.
And my second doctor gave me one month of Wellbutrin. I liked it a lot. It gives me energy and it makes me want to get SHIT DONE. I said this to Nellie and she asked, "So....you're manic?" No. I still go to sleep. I don't spend all my money. I just can remember to put things in the mail, and don't want to chat on the internet when I'm working on a paper.
But me seeing that second doctor was dependent on me turning in quite a bit of paperwork, and getting to an early morning appointment to prove I was poor, and....uh, I didn't do those things. And I still had my 'zac, and that was the thing of paramount importance.
But I got another script for Wellbutrin this week, and it is already awesome. I've put things in the mail. I've spent classes in rapt attention. I vacuumed my apartment. Now it's 9:20, and I'm almost done with this blog post, then I'll shave my legs and STILL have time for a walk before work.
Guys. I know we're all concerned about Americans being over-medicated. I know we all worry that psych meds are displacing the need for revolution. But dudes. But dudes. Wellbutrin is soooo good.
Did I, as a little girl, plan my wedding? Yessireegoddamnit. I knew I wanted a vintage dress with a skirt that hit mid calf (with sleeves, I'm not some trussed up SLUT) and fried chicken at the reception. I always liked the idea of a backyard wedding, which is fortunate, since it turns out I'm a poor person. Oh, and for awhile I had this idea me and my beloved would have rings embossed with "I am my Beloved, my Beloved is Mine" in hebrew, because I can read that.
(No, I can't).
Nowadays I don't indulge in a lot of wedding planning, EXCEPT for the first dance song. I guess it appeals to my old mix cd fixation. The first dance song seems like the time to really lay out your vision for your relationship. Here are my contenders through the ages:
This Will Be Our Year
This was my college relationship's song. I thought he was super smart for even KNOWING about the Zombies. I'm not sure what kind of dancing a new married couple would do to this song, but the message is nice.
Back of Your Hand
When I was in law school I was super into this song. Now it seems a little morose for a wedding song. But it speaks volumes about me that "What's with the rage?" was a verse I wanted all my wedding guests to consider while watching us sway on a dance floor.
First Day of My Life
Don't you dare make fun, you liked it a lot first time you heard it too.
Again, how would a couple actually dance to this one? Maybe like an acrobatic ballet kind of thing? Could be pretty.
Now, here's a dancey one! I think some friends of mine might have claimed this as their wedding song, if they ever become not morally opposed to marriage.
Hands on the Wheel
I'm starting to realize how dark my view of married life is. There's definitely a life raft quality to the way these songs talk about love. I guess I just really want my wedding guests to think HARD about the commitment I'm making, all the odds against it, all the inevitable shitty times ahead of us. So they can admire my bravery.
But I promise you, it will not be this one.
I'm not saying it won't go on the honeymoon mix cd.
It is so FRUSTRATING to not do well at comedy. SO FRUSTRATING.
I read recently that the difference between a good cook and a professional chef is consistency. You have to be a good cook every time, in the exact same way, every day to be a pro chef.
Sometimes I swear I am the funniest person you've ever seen. But not OFTEN ENOUGH.
I guess the journey is the gift? The long road is the most valuable road? GodDAMNIT.
Sometimes I engage in magical thinking about comedy. I said to a comic just last week that a good set is often like casting a spell. Then I performed a lousy set. Because no, this is not about magic, it's about you getting up on stage every night until you're funny, jackass.
And by the way, it's not like these crowds were dead. They were lively. OTHER people did well.
So whatever, I'll just blog it out and keep going up. That's all I can do. Or, it's at least all I know to do.
It's just I have these awesome new head shots where I look really dreamy, and I want to be good enough for them.
I've got some bigger shows coming up, and it hit me at the beginning of the week that I essentially took 3 weeks off of comedy. So I'm playing catch up, and playing catch up for me looks like eating shit over and over and over.
I'm sorry about needing to swear. Accuracy has to trump social mores here.
Coming back to comedy, after taking that multi-year break, has involved so much bombing.
And frankly, grad school has to come first, so yeah, I'm just going to have to take weeks off and I'm just going to not be as good because of it. I do comedy because I pretty much have to, but grad school I do because I really, really want to.
But regardless of my priorities, when I bomb I ponder it forever and ever. Since I have an overactive head anyway, comedy is good for using my ruminating thoughts to their full advantage.
I swear, the human brain cannot handle having a room full of people staring blankly at it's container. All the fuses blow. I have to find something else to do rather than avert my eyes and say "uhhhhhhh." Anything at all. A soft shoe, actually. That's a good idea. A little dance to reset and get back on track.
Also, I am just really in the mood for Pansy Division.
Guys, I highly recommend going to grad school to be a therapist. It's a lot of fun. The reading is really interesting. And you get to diagnose yourself over and over and over. It's wonderful.
Erick asked what the hell class the 7 stages of white racial identity development is from, and it's Multicultural Counseling. There are all kinds of racial identity development models for different races, and then also gay people. What are the stages for white folks?
According to Sue and Sue, who wrote my textbook, and frankly it's a pretty smart textbook:
1. Naivete- "This phase is relatively neutral with respect to racial/ cultural differences. It lasts during the first 3 years of life and is marked by a naive curiousity about race."
2. Conformity- "The White person's attitudes and beliefs in this stage are very ethnocentric. There is minimal awareness of the self as a racial being and a strong belief in the universality of values and norms governing behavior."
3. Dissonance- "Movement into the dissonance stage occurs when the White person is forced to deal with the inconsistencies that have been compartmentalized or encounters information/ experiences at odds with denial. In most case, a person is forced to acknowledge Whiteness at some level, to examine their own cultural values, and to see the conflict between upholding humanistic nonracist values and their contradictory behavior."
4. Resistance and Immersion- "The White person who progresses to this stage will begin to question and challenge her own racism. For the first time, the person begins to realize what racism is all about, and her eyes are suddenly open."
5. Introspection- "This phase is most likely a compromise of having swung from an extreme unconditional acceptance of White identity to a rejection of Whiteness. It is a state of relative quiescence, introspection, and reformulation of what it means to be White." (This is where I think I'm at.)
6. Integrative Awareness- "Reaching this level of development is most characterized as 1) understanding the self as a racial/ cultural being, 2) being aware of sociopolitical influences regarding racism, 3) appreciating racial/ cultural diversity, and 4) becoming more committed to eradicating oppression."
7. Commitment to Anti-Racist Action- "Someone once stated that the ultimate White privilege is the ability to acknowledge it but do nothing about it. This phase is most characterized by social action."
I took a midterm on it on monday, and today I take a midterm on counseling theory. It would have been helpful to me to write this blog post on monday, in retropect.
My favorite theory guy so far is Alfred Adler. Adler believed that when we come into the world, naked and small and covered in goop, we are deeply troubled by how naked and small and covered in goop we are. It's very frightening that we're totally dependent on other people to keep us alive. This is called inferiority, and resolving this inferiority complex is the main task of human development. Lots of people try to deny their inferiority by developing all these ego defenses. But if you have good parents (let's be real, INCREDIBLE parents, I'd like to see these crazy angel parents) they'll guide you to develop a social interest, in which you have compassion and empathy for others with their inferiority complexes, and you realize we're all goop covered infants at heart and we need to take care of each other.
I just like him because it's such a hopeful development model, and he had to flee Europe to escape the Holocaust. Maybe after that experience he couldn't bullshit himself about people's control over their own lives.
So I'm gonna go and memorize the details of Adler right now. And then Rogers, and then Perls. These guys were pretty smart. Rogers was really a stand up guy. It's just funny, because Freud was such a bastard, you'd think all theory dudes would be bastards, but no, just Freud.
Remember when I was really excited about getting anti-racist? The class I was in has turned out to be not super helpful. The textbook is helpful.
So this idea I had that I could blog about going on some anti-racist personal soul journey has turned out, like so many of my blogging ideas, to be bullshit. Also I might have said some problematic (read: borderline racist) things at an open mic.
(Problematic is my favorite activist word, because it means SO LITTLE.)
How many times can you cop to being racist before everyone is like "That's not news! You're a shitty white person, WE ALL KNEW THAT."
So I'm gonna stop talking about it, because I'm embarrassing myself. I should have done this in undergrad, when you're supposed to be embarrassing.
By the way, my textbook says this means I'm in the "Introspective" phase, which is the 5th of a 7 stage white racial identity journey. Which is the phase where you realize what you're doing isn't working and is indeed pissing everyone off, except powerful white folks, who would never notice you.
I'm trying to get to the 7th stage which is "Commitment to Anti-Racist Action," but I gotta get through the "Integrative Awareness" stage. This is where I am aware of the privileges I have as a white person, but am also assured that there is more to me than those privileges. Where I begin to take control over what kind of white person I want to be.
Mmmmm, it strikes me initially as bullshit. Which probably means in 2 years it'll be gospel truth to me.
This week I was sort of blissed out. It seems like now that I'm in grad school people are noticing that I'm handsome, which is cool, I certainly cannot complain about that. I am grateful and humbled by any and all romantic interest. Keep it coming.
So yeah, I kept being able to play the heaven game in my head this week, which makes me feel like a real winner of a human- you look around and think "How is this like heaven?" It's a very easy game if you're eating something delicious, or if someone funny is with you. And when you play it you feel really self congratulatory and angelic, like how lucky for these mere mortals that such an enlightened soul is smiling upon them! They've got a regular Pema Chodron in their midst, the stupid jerks.
Today I couldn't get into that game. Our family dog is being put down. He probably should've been put down before the winter. He's either in a lot of pain or totally spaced out nowadays. But I'm sad, and relieved, and guilty, and telling myself I shouldn't feel guilty, and on and on and on. It's stupid. It's hard to have deep, peaceful thoughts about it. I went down to Akron instead of spending his last night on earth with him, because I have a test tomorrow and....and I can't really handle 24 hours of saying goodbye to him. I just can't be that present for that long. So probably when I'll really feel sad is when I go home thursday night and he's not there.
So that sucks, although I don't think it particularly sucks for him. Whatever trippy hallucinatory experience it is to die it can't be that different then what he's experiencing right now, since he sleeps 23 and a half hours a day.
He was a good dog. Fox, if you're reading this tomorrow night as part of the great indivisible over-soul, we all think you were a really good dog. Hope you passed whatever test this lifetime was about for you. It was nice having you.
Aaaaahhhh, let's reminisce about being confused by Catholicism, shall we? When I was little my MAIN beef with the Catholic Church was that animals wouldn't be in heaven. I thought soooooo hard and soooooo much about that. How could heaven be perfect if the family dog wasn't there? I didn't really think about whether the family dog would be particularly thrilled in my heaven. An eternity of pooping outside and eating from a bowl on the floor?
Now I have ideas about afterlife that are equally as simplistic and confusing. But they accommodate my wish to be joined in consciousness with my pets, so I like them a great deal better.
And I guess being upset that Fox is gonna die tomorrow, rather than guiding me towards the wisdom of appreciating the moment, is just making me upset at how everything is. About stupid stuff like not having enough time.
Who am I gonna care for? With people I usually need them to take care of me. You need to be a very disabled animal before you need something from me. Or rather, need something that I can actually provide consistently.
Now I'm just being dramatic. I'll miss that dog. Thank god dogs chose to domesticate themselves, right? It's been a wonderful thing for us stupid murderous apes.
Astrology-wise, I have been in and am still moving towards the summit of a period of great blessings and romance. Comforting, right? Life has been good, through the year it's only supposed to get better and better, so I'm a lucky kid.
In the great collapse pf 2010 and subsequent rebirth of 2011 politics has been a running theme. I don't live in a radical way. I eat salty corpse garbage wrapped in plastic. I work to pay rent. My emotional stability has everything to do with the amount of money in my bank account. I have a bank account at a war mongering misery generator, not at a credit union. About 3 years ago I finally got comfortable jay-walking, but I am still a vicious rule follower.
You're supposed to get more conservative as you get older. The opposite has happened in my head. I can now finally appreciate what the college anarchists I laughed and laughed and laughed at were saying. (In my defense, they looked ridiculous. Also, it was so much fun to laugh at them.)
But now I am enamored of the idea that our systems of coercion are collapsing of their own accord. I am especially enamored of the idea that now is the time to build the replacement social systems for when the lights go out. (But I keep paying my electric bill.)
I feel freed up by the idea that I am small fry. That's really what the great collapse of 2010 taught me, that I am SMALL, so very small and also so very stompable upon. It wouldn't take much to destroy me. Just confiscate my money and I'd probably go round the bend never to come back. Shoot my dog? I'm done, I would turn to gelatin on a hot sidewalk.
Small fries need other small fries. Just to feel ok about ourselves, just to have a baseline self esteem, but then of course to get anywhere in becoming less stompable upon we need eachother.
I used to be concerned with my effectiveness. That was a great fear, that I was fundamentally ineffective against "the system," because I was cray-cray, and emotional, and lazy. Now I understand that I am indeed completely ineffective against any system of coercion. They'd be lousy systems if individuals of variable willpower could just buck 'em. I get it. I can only be a little less stompable if I'm right in the middle of a community myself. Where I get to ride on other people's willpower and work ethic and sound mental health.
I know these are all meandering, disconnected thoughts that don't seem to point towards a conclusion. This is why this is a blog post and not a real piece of writing. But to stick a capper on it: I think I get how I can be authentic and radical. I think I get how my faults and flaws make seeking a radical community make more sense rather than less. I think I get how I'm never even gonna get close to being some kind of hero, and that's exactly why I need lots and lots of other people to be heroes for me. (Maybe they'll bring out some kind of heroism in me, I would like that.) I think the tension between my ego-fear and the radical maxims I grew up with is dissolving.
I do hope this blog post isn't used as evidence to commit me one day.