In the souldark night…

To those who follow me–here and on Twitter–I ask for your patience and understanding. Please bear with me.
My weeks of househunting have been more than a little frustrating; one place offered turned out to be a scam; two places wouldn’t let unless I had work and/or filled out a credit score report. (How in the world do you get a score without a credit card? That’s what I’d like to know.) And my cash stash has been so depleted that I couldn’t even scrape up bus fare to view other places.
At the moment, I am also without a cell (matter of do-re-mi to pay the bill), so even calling the places that I find intriguing proves a challenge.
And yesterday saw me at my lowest–unable to get through to two friends (one who did not want to be disturbed as he was ill, the other whose visit I missed, and I could not let him know I was behind time).
In a perfect storm of depression, pain, and grief, I pulled out paper and wrote a suicide letter, incorporating elements of a last will into it. Not my first time writing such a note, but the first time I finished one, and itemized what I wanted to give away. It was scary, cathartic, and exhilarating, in a perverse way.

I went for a walk, later on, and wound up at AA, a sobbing mess.

Why am I writing all this? ‘Cos I need support at this time. I do. I don’t think I will follow through, but I need to know that you hear me, and that I’m not an imbecile or a freak for feeling so low. If you decide to unfollow, I wish you well. I do. This is heavy stuff.

But if you stick with me, I can promise my gratitude, my loyalty, and my love.

So thank you for hearing me out.

Quick musings

I came home last night to find my little Wonder Cat, Ten-Ten, had given birth to kittens. (No, this is not a cat lovers eppy of I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant!)

I think the event took her by surprise a bit: one was under a dresser drawer, two near a dryer rack, and two more on a shelf of an entertainment cabinet.

Sadly, two of these kittens were dead: one a stillbirth, the other unable to reach hir mother for the first proper suckle. I wrapped both up, bagged them, and put them in the freezer. I’ll take them to Animal Services for a proper dispatch.

I haven’t heard back about the apartment at Biltmore Way–will email the owner to ask whether he has found someone else to care for it. Must line up Plans B/C/et cia, if that’s the case.

I’ve got an audience with Father Saba this Thursday. Could stand for a good unbosoming.

Ch-ch-changes gente!

I’ve been going through a walloping load of changes. Will be moving from the studio soon–too pricey, and I couldn’t keep up. I am looking at places, but I would very much like to stay in Coral Gables, if I can do.

Sadly, I may have to give up my lovely Ten-Ten. I’d love to keep my Wonder Cat, but not every apartment/condo allows pets. So I need to find someone who can care for a pregnant cat.

Been listening to The Sundays’ Static and Silence. A very good album, at instances Mozzerian. Harriet Wheeler has such a gorgeous voice. Swoon.

As for Microlandia!–I’ll post submission info come May. Stay tuned, people!

Kinda disappointed, gente!

I put out calls for submissions for Microlandia! the journal-zine of microwriting last month, here and at my Tumblr.

Did I not press hard enough for submissions? Or give enough incentive? Was there some sort of magical formula that I could have used to garner writing from around the ether?

I grant that, on my part, there’s more than enough to preoccupy; I have to work out how not to get evicted from my humble abode, find work, and at least print a rough Issue Zero. I’ve also been recovering from a horrific brace of events, including two frustrating yard sale Saturdays, getting hit by a car (bruises and scrapes, but still traumatic), days in bed with a cold, and marking the third anniversary of my mom’s death day.

Still, I was hoping for some response beyond likes and vague happy noises. So imagine, if you please, my utter disappointment and frustration at the lack of enthusiasm–nothing, zip, zilch, nada, zero!

Now if I have to, I will go Little Red Hen and publish this as a chapzine. But I would have liked to read microwriting from other folks.

Time to regroup, I suppose. But I do mean to get Microlandia! off the ground, with or without other contributors.

So if anyone’s listening, and wants to leave their mark, stay tuned for a new deadline. But if this one falls on dear ears and numb hands, well, I’ll push on, all the same.

Bienvenidos a microlandia!

The Blue Christmas Party, last night, was great fun. Hearing John Dufresne, Diana Abu-Jaber, et alia read excerpts from the anthology lifted my spirits. (Of course, the blue mojitos, cake, and jelly orange slices didn’t hurt–neither did the friendliness of the audience. I ran into more than a couple of people I’d met earlier…)
Sunday morning rolled around, and found me in a funk. Took a little while to get up, but my cat, Ten-Ten, got fed, and so did I (peanut butter toast and iced coffee). Thankfully, I took an umbrella, or the squally weather would have kept me inside.
Divine Liturgy was good, though at several points I did feel that I might burst into tears. But the service passed without drama, and afterward, there was a rehearsal for the Christmas pageant–followed by lunch at Maroosh. The mezze alone were filling, and the kebabs (chicken and kofta) left me a little stuffed. Sadly, I did not snag any baklava or coffee, but that might have been overkill.
Came home, did a little washing, and took a nap, Ten-Ten curling into me. Woke up an hour later, got out. Tried to drop off a few DVDs at Ozzie’s–not there, so I just walked on.
I’ve been rereading Andrew Solomon’s The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, and mulling over the nature of this shadow sharer in my life. I suppose I’ve wanted to understand what this depression is, what triggers it, how it comes and goes, since I was a kid, and experiencing the pain and strangeness of my family’s disintegration. (Nineteen seventy-five was a traumatic year, let’s just say.) I’m not a psychologist, but I have learned a few things over time:
depression is pretty slippery and mutable; it never affects the same way twice; it has flared up around the holidays–and more recently, around the birth-and deathdays of my parents; it’s often accompanied by anxiety, which leaves me feeling dumbstruck; and I wonder how I can find a way to communicate what is going on.
People are kind (in the main), and when they advise me to take supplements, cheer up, buck up, yadada yadada, they do so with the best of intentions. Comforting, yes, but more often than not, frustrating. If I could flip depression off and on, oh, do believe I’d try to permastick the switch in the OFF position. It’s not as though I wake up and say to myself, “Hey, today I’m just going to spend the day shambling along like a sleepwalker. No–better yet–I’m going to stay in bed, sleep the afternoon away, and just pass time listless and apathetic. Call it a plan!” But I digress.
Working retail during the holidays has always been a draining experience. Between playing diplo with customers, fielding advice, the nonstop sensory assault of decorations, bad music, and the compulsory cheeriness that one must show in public, I’m surprised that I haven’t come to despise the season altogether. The last two Christmases have been stressful in their own way; I honestly did not want to spend the last one with D and his family. Not that they weren’t lovely or gracious, or that the dinner and company were horrible, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling of sadness that I couldn’t spend the time with my parents, my maternal grandmother, or my great-grandmother. Yes, it was wonderful to read Brodsky after the Nochebuena dinner; thoughtful to receive a cute bit of wall art; enjoy sangria and eggnog. But I wanted my mom. I wanted my dad. Kind as they all were, D’s family was not my family! And after the festivities, I felt guilty at the relief of not having to put on a face for company.
Moving along…
I wrote several micropoems today. I didn’t get much done yesterday with Set List, but writing lifted my spirits somewhat. I am toying with the notion of putting out a collection of micropoetry–but let me finish the first collection and get that published before I wear myself out! Since I have composed bilingual micropoems (Spanish-English, Spanish-Portuguese), Microlandia may make a great title. What d’you think?

Sad thoughts during Holy Week

I would like to say that my best friend, D., and I could have a civil conversation on politics.
I would, at least, like to say that we could agree to differ, and at worst, that a safeword could keep the talk from degenerating into a shouting match.
Two years ago, I could have stated these things without fear or shame. I could have said the same, even with his coming out as a conservative, this time last year.
Now? I’m not so sure.
Nine years ago, my friendship with D. hung in the balance, due to differences in religious points of view. We found a way to talk it out, and agree to differ.
At this time, frankly, I find myself wondering if I even want to hang on. A sobering thought: that I have reached a breaking point, and frankly, might not cry so much if I let go.

Really–what the hell is the damage? That I don’t want to smile and nod when he begins with the liberals-are-evil spiel? That I feel humiliated, and even scared, when he goes into full fury mode over the wrongs inflicted on America by the Islamomarxosociofascist coterie? That if I criticize him, I’m the villain?

The worst of it is that he doesn’t need my company as much as I have needed his. And frankly, if I had thought a bit more, I should have begun, long ago, to put out feelers, meet other people, whether in real time or online. And I should have gone much further to reach out to people at my church–not just to see them and say hi. (Such is the clarity of hindsight!)

I feel as if I should light a candle, if only because words stick in my throat. And I am at a loss as to what I could say.

From the Silver Age

We won’t meet. We are in different camps.
Would you summon me there, insolent one,
Where my brother suffered bloody wounds,
Accepting an angel’s crown?

And neither your soulful smiles
Nor your savage vows,
Not even the thrilling, rippling ghost
Of my most ecstatic love
Will seduce…

Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966)
tr. by Judith Hemschemeyer

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