Tuesday, October 20, 2009

...And now for something completly different...

My previous post was a bit of whimsy that I wanted to get written down before I forgot it, but now I want to talk a bit about a few things that have gone on in my life recently that have been emotionally taxing.  Because this is such a public forum to be writing in I will be using single letters for names to protect those who don't want various things known by various people.

For the moment, let's begin the story a week or two back (I'm bad with time and the details aren't important to the point).  A friend of a friend, who we'll call "R", needed a ride to see his mother in a town near Seattle.  Because I feel some strange obligation to care for this friend ("M"), and part of the reason for the trip was so he could become the legal guardian of "R", I agreed to drive them up.

After I've agreed to the trip, "R" tells me that he can only give me part of the gas money he had originally offered because he promised to loan the rest of the money he was getting from his mom to another mutual friend who was getting married, in order to pay for the marriage license.  I considered this a good enough thing to support that I went along with this too.

The night before we leave, "R" mentions another detail: when he said we should leave early in the morning he meant 5am - shortly after our friday night performance - without sleep.  I told him I didn't care when he wanted to leave, I would show up when I was ready to drive and not before.  Making a round trip to Seattle on no sleep was not something I wanted to do.

Then fate intervened and insomnia struck, so after about 15 minutes of sleep and a few hours of laying in bed trying to sleep, I got back up and went to pick up the boys for the trip.  They were both sound asleep when I arrived around 7am, and were reluctant to actually wake up despite sleepily mumbled assurances that they were getting up and we would be going soon.

Eventually we did in fact get on the road, and drove north for a couple hours.  We visited with his mom, smoked some things, ate a little and then drove back for a couple hours.  Unfortunately, in order to make the trip practical and safe, we had needed to take my car (which is a small manual transmission car with good gas mileage) rather than my mother's van (the roomy automatic gas guzzler in need of repairs).  This meant I was driving a car with a clutch for hours with my broken foot without the big boot and with minimal amounts of painkillers so that I would be able to drive safely.

So I hurt a lot by the time we got back.  My passengers seemed to think that this trip was just fun and barely even thanked me for doing this for them, but I decided to just let it go and go home to painkillers and rest.  This is why I was too exhausted to make it to RHPS that Saturday.

...now fast forward to the weekend that just ended.  The previously mentioned wedding occurs and is quite enjoyable, as is the party after the wedding.  Until some drunken teen attendee stupidly admitted to being underage (while obviously plastered) to the owner of the bar next door to where the party was happening.  Police were called, but there was enough warning of this that everyone left quietly and safely before they arrived.  I drove the bride ("L")and groom to their respective destinations (did I forget to mention that the bride is a lesbian who is going into the army and wanted to get married for the higher pay and free health insurance for a friend and of course a cover story if she needed to pretend to be straight?).

I then spend the night at the home of "D", which was also where "L" was spending the night.  There were also a couple of guy friends there, so the boys slept on the floor and the three of us got the bed.  I actually manage to get some decent sleep, since even sleeping in a crowded bed and hearing passing trains is more comforting than sleeping alone.  I spend most of Sunday hanging out with "D", going to thrift stores and driving around (in the stick-shift car again) for most of the day.

Around 5pm I drop off "D" at one of the places she does volunteer work, then check messages on my phone.  I see that M's latest girlfriend's phone had called while I was out so I call them back to see what's up.  They invite me over to hang out for a while.  I get there and the only thing going on is smoking, video games and mostly idle flirtation - but I generally enjoy all three of those, so I figure this will be a fun way to relax.  At first it is.  But then the video game gets put into a training mode that is tedious to watch and that never ends so people are no longer switching who is playing.  M is playing the game, his girlfriend ("N") is writing some sort of porno script on her computer, pausing every so often to brag about how fast she was writing it, everyone else was off doing other things and I was left alone, completely ignored, with nothing to do, in the middle of a room full of people for somewhere around an hour.  By completely ignored, I mean that at one point I let my mind wander to sad thoughts for too long and cryed for 10 minutes or so without any of the half-dozen or so people present noticing at any point.  However I enjoy time to sit and think quietly, so I don't worry too much about the lack of consideration this represented.  

At this point I mention that if there isn't anything else going on I should probably head back to home (across town).  Instead I get talked into staying for dinner.

While I am out smoking a cigaratte on the back porch I overhear a lengthy and tedious debate over what they should cook with the limited ingredients on hand.  Since I have plenty available on my foodstamps for the month still I point out that I can just run down to the grocery store with them to get whatever they are missing to cook whatever it is they were wanting to make.

Thirty bucks, multiple flights of stairs, shopping with what feels like the lost boys from Peter Pan and more driving ensue.  When we return I sit back and relax while the boys cook dinner for the house.   Frighteningly basic cooking questions are asked of those of us in the living room despite the supposed presense of at least two people who attended culinary school in the kitchen.

The unmistakable flicker of large flames is suddenly reflecting off the wall, coming from the kitchen.  Smoke comes billowing out, people start getting up and trying to find out what is going on.  It seems that the oil being used to fry up some chicken has caught fire.  Eventually someone puts a lid on the pan, which reduces the flames but does not fully extinguish them (I guess it wasn't an airtight fit).  The fire continues to flare back up and then the pot of burning oil gets carried out the front door (the only exit from this overcrowded third floor apartment).  Still no one is extinguishing the fire or announcing a plan for how to control it.  I suggest baking soda to put it out, if they have that but not a fire extinguisher.  Someone gets a box of baking soda out and dumps some of it onto the still lidded flaming pan full of oil.  This briefly puts out the visible flames, but it springs back to life quickly and no more is used.  Still the whole house full of people fails to get the fire under control.  I point out that we really can't let it keep burning out there and spewing out all this thick choking smoke and that we must get this under control or we need to leave and call the fire department.  Still no one makes an affirmitive move to control the fire.  I give up and announce to anyone who is listening (I don't know if anyone was) that I wanted no part of this irresponsible reckless behaviour (I phrased it in some other more awkward way I think) and if no one was going to deal with this appropriately I was leaving.  I grabbed my stuff, carefully made my way past the grease fire in the entry way and left.

When I arrived back home in Gresham, I checked my phone to see if anyone had called to ask if I was coming back or to apologize or to at least let me know if they eventually got the fire out.  Nothing.  So I call them and "M" answers the phone.  He explains that they got the fire out and that now everyone was about to eat and said goodbye.  I tried just taking my painkillers and going to bed, but I found that I was too angry about their total lack of concern for me.  So I call again to try to talk about it, but I get voicemail instead.  I leave an polite but fairly angry message that I will probably not be coming back over, ever again.

About ten minutes later I get a call from "N" who seems to have no understanding whatsover as to why I am upset.  I explain that I find her failure to know why I was upset just as upsetting as the original problem, and that I think I should just sleep and talk about it later.  Then she starts telling me that she had talked to "Z" about the whole group over there needing a ride to our TV shoot on Wednesday and did he ask me yet?  Because if I couldn't then they didn't think they would be able to make it at all.

At this point I just told her to "Fuck off" and hung up the phone.  I was now upset enough that with how depressed I have been lately I didn't feel safe being alone, so I ended up spending the night with "D" again.  We have a pleasant night watching movies and having girl talk and then sleep (this time with me on the floor).

Thus ends my latest tale of woe.  As Jax used to say "How is this my life?"

Insomnia strikes, Dreams continue...

After my last attempt at sleep I found myself seeing amazingly beatiful random geometric shapes when I closed my eyes (something between a hallucination, a dream, an optical effect and imagination).  While enjoyable, this was distracting me from my goal of becoming unconscious.  So I let my mind wander, hoping to just fade into a dream...  Then I saw her.  At first the image was blurry and faded quickly, but I pursued this phantom, wishing desperately to see her again.  I "knew" that this was all in my mind, but I decided to run with it since this was a happier thought than what my reality of the day had been.  Then I looked into her eyes and we began to embrace.  Thoughts flickered and raced, lips touched, words were exchanged, tears flowed freely, but through it all I felt a warmth and a joy that had been missing for quite some time now.  Jax's ghost had come back to me.  Whether it was a wish, a drug-induced vision, reality, or a dream in very light sleep, I knew that I didn't want to let go of this.  My life has crumbled and been agonizing in so many ways that I have often wondered how anyone could endure this life without going completely mad.  Then it occurred to me that I've always thought that sometimes the best solution is to embrace madness while trying to avoid hurting anyone (self included).  This leads me to the conclusion that perhaps what would make me happier is if I chose to see the ghost of Jax most of the time...  So whether this means that we have beaten death with magic and love, or this is merely a passing dream, or perhaps an affectation - seeking attention and sympathy or even just an artistic expression, I chose to still be married to a ghost.

(this is what happens when I don't get enough sleep.... and even I am not sure where the storytelling and sarcasm end and the truth begins.  Lunacy FTW!)