human frailty: a story of consequences
Yesterday, it rained. Apparently, it rained the day before, too. But yesterday, it was an insistent, pounding rain. Like Mother Nature was weeping. Loud enough that I, initially, mistook it for a soft drum beat. I’d burned my finger on a screaming hot pan while making eggplant melts. I had gotten too excited about a can of imported tomatoes and neglected to reach for the potholder–causing one of my fingerprints to sear off. My roommates decided to go to IHOP as I finished cooking my meal and cleaning up as best as I could without causing myself further injury. I slid open the big bay window in my room and let out a big sigh.
Maybe my first real exhale since I’ve been here.
I came here for oceans. Which is ironic since the thing I see most lately is other buildings. Sometimes, I roam down to the big fountain that’s mere steps from my window and pretend I’m somewhere else.
I’ve yet to see the ocean since I’ve been here–or even on the way out here. We took the fast route–the one you take when you want to just get there and don’t mind running your car through other people’s despair.
That sigh, though, is a familiar one to me. Reserved for very specific things. I remember letting out that kind of sigh the day I found Silver Thread–my favorite place on this planet. I remember walking up to the water’s edge, barefoot–poking a foot in and sighing loud. I remember doing it in O’Keeffe country as my roommate ran up the boat dock–wind in my hair, overdressed–camera in hand–tracking the ripples. I remember doing it in my park–late at night–with only the moon and my man keeping me company–straddling some park bench under a tree–listening to ducks flit through the lake. And I remember doing it when I found my apartment after she died–as the wind and rain came down–sitting on the sofa–talking to my landlord about why I wanted to leave Westwood.
I’ve been waiting for that sigh, and I knew water would bring it. It always does.
It was the very first time I’ve felt at home anywhere, in a long damn time.
My heart is on my sleeves often these days. Like the ducks in the lake, I flit easily between the sea of emotions coursing through my veins. All the things that are obvious about now–that I’m choosing not to mention further here mostly because I could talk about it till the end of time, and it would mean relatively nothing. There is no other way to cope except to get through it. Fight in the ways you choose. But realize, you’ve already lost a lot of your innocence. And what exists now is not about one man. It’s a whole shit stream that is exactly how it sounds.
I’ve been finding comfort in my favorite movie lately. For the reason I always loved it. It reminds me to find hope inside myself–to seek that resilience that is holy–that those bastards can’t touch. To change my world and realize I have something to share.
But–yes–I am weeping and scared and all the emotions all at once. Oh, and yes–it’s my first holiday away from everything I’ve ever known–and no–it does not feel like November here. And no–nothing is what I thought. But maybe, that’s what I needed to learn.
I’ve had lots of plans and then rethinking of plans. About The Future. And then–as is always the case–the practicality of it all got in the way. The actual doing became problematic. Namely, basically, that I have lots of dues to pay–and man–am I ever impatient. And all of these things I could’ve done sometime in the past–and man–I wish I had known better and done better. But you don’t know what you don’t know until you do it.
Basically, I have to take classes. Do volunteer work. Maybe take more tests. Even though I’ve done them all before. But where to do it–how and when? And then I think–maybe–while I’m doing all this crap–I should do what doesn’t require pre-reqs and just makes me happy. Maybe I should do that silly MFA I always wondered about that I absolutely don’t need. Or maybe I’ll just take some classes while I take those extra psych credits.
And God–everything is so far away here. So annoying to get to. Why am I whining? Oh, yea–because I hate car culture. It’s why I lived in the city for my entire adult life–why I escaped as soon as she died. So I could walk everywhere if I wanted, even though I usually didn’t want to. But I could.
That was the point. My impatience is getting to me. I need to talk to Emily.
(People are protesting outside. I can hear them yelling. Cell phone ring tones as theme songs. Angry, bitter voices. They go by every so often and have about every other day since the election. A mile away, several days ago–a Muslim woman was attacked. And probably some of those same people protesting today said shitty things about people just like her in some Lyft I was in a month ago. And no one thought anything of it. Well, except me).
((I’m not sure who is right or wrong. Just that maybe we are all some degree of both. And maybe I am ashamed to be part of the chorus. And maybe that’s why I’m impatient)).
(((I didn’t intend to write any of this. It just came out. So, now, let’s resume the intended course of action. Sorry for the detour))).
When I woke up this morning, I cringed and thought about calling in–but I have no sick days left. I knew it was going to be another day of too much and that people would be hounding me. That people would be disappointed. And normally I care.
But today, I just didn’t really feel like comforting them. There are disappointing things in life that happen. And considering what is going on, well–this disappointing thing is just something you’ll need to wear big boy panties to deal with.
Sometimes, choosing self-care is a simple act of not giving a fuck who is disappointed because you are so beyond the edge of disappointed that there is no other choice except loving yourself.
My mantra today was–it’ll be done when it needs to be done. And I basically accepted that I would not make goal this month–for the first time maybe since the year began–and that I was alright with that…though my bank account maybe wouldn’t agree.
And yet, somehow, the miracle I said it would take somehow showed up. And now I’m just one small step away with 10 days to go.
Life shows up for you when you let it pass through you.
I’ve been watching a lot of TV lately, though my television is still not set-up. I watch on my laptop. (Xfinity can suck a rotten lemon). So, I often end up re-watching things since my connection is so unreliable and annoying. I don’t watch new shows that often right now because of it. It’s not worth the commitment if it’s going to suck.
I’ve been kind of disillusioned with a few of my favorite shows lately (ahem, Walking Dead and Masters of Sex). But there are a few new shows that caught my eye and one old show I’m absolutely loving. And I realized they have a lot in common. Namely, they illuminate human frailty while also sort of dissecting it in ways that are pretty vulnerable and honest. And often very uncomfortable.
The King of that has to be the show The Affair. (SPOILERS AHEAD).
Season 3 just kicked off, and it’s pretty magnificent. Each character has basically been torn to shreds after last season’s finale. In this season’s opener, Noah has been to jail–but we only see it in flashbacks. He’s clearly miserable, suffering from PTSD from his stay in the big house, and is in a very precarious position–though, honestly, his path now seems very implausible. (I mean, very few ex-cons would get an adjunct teaching gig, and no way could he really afford housing on that salary…even student-level housing).
Noah is just trying to get through this part of his life. Relying way too much on muscle relaxers and saying horrible things to his students–with a very inappropriate vibe going on there–while being charmed by a fellow prof who definitely is more than meets the eye. We initially see him immediately before his father’s funeral, and it’s just very clear how broken he is–and how the last few years have changed everything. It’s a terrific performance–especially the eulogy scene.
At the same time, we see Helen–and we see how heavily guilt–even if it’s slightly misplaced guilt–has had on her. And how this whole thing has affected the children. We see even more of this in the second episode, which partially tells us Helen’s part of the story. She is half in and half out of a new relationship with a great guy–and you can tell that her connection to the debt she owes to Noah is so heavy in her heart that it keeps her stuck with Noah. It’s a really nuanced tragic performance from Maura Tierney.
Tonight’s episode also shows us Allison and Cole’s side of this story. Allison is a shell of who she once was. That whole storyline is just so incredibly sad. Kudos to Joshua Jackson (aka Pacey forever) for nailing someone who is just utterly beleaguered by this situation and just wants to protect his daughter–even if it’s against the woman he is partners with in tragedy.
The second show that really impressed me is Good Behavior.
I haven’t watched much Downton Abbey, but holy heck: Michelle Dockery. The role sorta reminds me of Jennifer Garner’s portrayal of Sydney Bristowe in Alias simply because of all the con artist stuff and the various disguises. But the show doesn’t open with that. It opens with Letty working in a bar, cleaning shitty toilets, and getting fired over a customer’s assault. It’s clear there’s more to this woman, and when the whole back story unfurls, it’s pretty interesting. Dockery brings a great attitude and spirit to this role–one that could easily be just another cliche. But despite all her mistakes, we are all rooting for her. What’s truly great about this show is that the good guys aren’t so good, and the bad guys aren’t exactly bad. They are full of bad judgments and may be fucking scary, but there’s more to them. And that is pretty fascinating.
Search Party is a dark comedy that is saying some interesting things about what it means to be human and how people become enlightened.
On the surface, this show is just another comedy about 20 something idiots. It is so brilliant with its portrayal of our vapid culture that it will make you want to stab yourself. But that’s part of why it’s so great. It’s aware of everything the audience hates and the main character acts in all the ways to challenge us and keep us going. The show itself focuses on a lost young woman who is obsessed with the disappearance of a classmate. Dory has been a doormat for a long time–to the point that she questions if anyone would notice if she disappeared. And the sad reality is that they might not. Beyond that, she has allowed the world to make her choices–keeping her needs on the backseat. She has a particularly harsh reality check and finally gets angry. It’s such a great scene because you can see the cracks in the foundation–and you also see how it starts pushing those she knows to question their own inaction. Search Party is super smart and sometimes pretty funny–but totally relatable especially if you’re a young woman.