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Life has been odd lately. I guess because I’ve been feeling odd lately.

The death of my friend Walter in some ways, is just now hitting me. It’ll be two weeks this Wednesday and in some ways, I feel as though I’m only beginning to mourn his loss. It hurts more now. It hurts certainly hurts differently than any other kind of pain.

And I know loss. Valentine’s Day, 1999 was a lamentable day for my family. That’s when we lost Holly, my gorgeous niece who was killed in a car accident while driving back to college. She was just 19 and on the verge of her life. She wanted to be a journalist like her aunt. I begged her not to get into this horribly thankless profession that takes far more than it gives.

I think of Holly and I still get sad. I always will.

The same with Walter. I hope I’ll always be able to feel the pain.   In the song, “Iris”, you find these luyrics,  “you bleed just to know you’re alive”.

But I am however, praying for a reprieve in the amount of pain I’m feeling these days. Nothing good is happening in my life. I can’t seem to affect anything positive. At least nothing that has any staying power. Joy is short lived and fleeting. I have to get a handle on things.

I still ask questions. I still ask why. I’ve also asked how and when. Sometimes my queries were answered; sometimes all I got back for my effort, was a vacant expression.

I decided to organize my pantry this weekend. I found a can of Vienna Sausages. I don’t buy Vienna Sausages—not even when stocking up for hurricane supplies. I asked myself, “When did I buy this?”

I was at a cocktail party a few years ago at none other than 30 Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan. The hi-rise houses NBC. I took leave of all the mindless radio chatter and walked around a bit. I looked up and there was that familiar, large gold statue of Prometheus in the courtyard. How many times in my life had I seen that? Behind Jane Pauley on the “Today” show. It loomed above the ice skating rink when the original cast of “Saturday Night Live” were involved in an “all skate” as the closing credits signaled the end of their first Christmas show. I looked up at the gilded statue of the Greek Titan—credited for stealing fire from the gods in the stalk of a fennel plant and giving it to us mortals for our use–and I wondered “How in God’s name did I get here?”

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A far cry from the small confines of Karnes City, Texas.

In the fall of 1973, a boy broke my heart because he needed to be free to explore the social labyrinth THAT IS being a high school Sophomore. I sat on the floor of my bedroom on that fateful night–mascara laden tears streaming down my face and I asked myself in a plaintive, teenage wail, “What did I do wrong?”

It’s taken me a while to find the answers, but I think I have.

The Vienna Sausages came with the apartment. So did the corpse of the roach found under than can. It was about two months away from full on decomposition. I threw both in the trash.

I got to New York through hard work and having big dreams. Prometheus had through the miles, unwittingly lit a fire under my one-eighth Slavic ass.

And why was my heart stomped on at the beginning of my Freshman year of High School? Because it just was.

It would serve as a primer I’d need to learn because there would be additional heart stomping I would endure in the years to come.

I think you can ask yourself too many questions; look for answers that just aren’t there. Sometimes things happen because it’s just the luck of the draw. It’s your lot in life.

We love and loose, we attempt and succeed; we try and fail and sometimes we win. It’s life. A suck-fest turned into sheer Nirvana turned life a la Britany pre-rehab.

Now, she’s a fine example that someone as cute, wealthy and successful as she is, still has problems…horribly public problems. Just because you’re wealthy with a 27 inch waist doesn’t mean guaranteed happiness.

Happiness is a conscious choice, is it not? Sometimes emotions and hormones and seratonin levels get in the way of experiencing it, but by and large I think we choose to be happy.

And we choose not to be.

In previous incarnations of my life, I would stay up all night asking questions that had no answers. Putting myself through so much and worry about being so worried. No sleep…no sheep to count….no rest.

Not so much anymore. Now, I just count Ambien.

On any other day, I’d be preaching this. Like a mullah saying prayers through the loudspeakers atop a minaret.

But not today….I’d be disingenuous if I did, because I’m just not feeling it.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say in this missive, my friends. I don’t feel particularly funny, clever or pithy today. I’m in a mood. I’m sullen and sad and feeling sorry for myself. Happiness for me is something that’s not within my reach. I don’t seem have the bandwidth for it today. I haven’t had it for a few days.

And then, this happened….

Three friends called me this weekend and each had been told “I love you” by the new men in their lives. Their relationships are all less than three months old. I’m happy for them–I really am, but I will also admit that it hurts. Silly of me I know, but while I revel in their happiness, I realize that what they have is a reminder of what I don’t.

I have to be honest, with the way I feel, I wonder if I ever will.

If I base it on my life now, the answer is a resounding “no”, so let’s assess the “Life of Laurie”….I’m unemployed (and seemingly employment poison). Over the past several months, I seem to have become the reverse Midas; everything I touch turns to shit! In addition to that, I’m running out of funds, patience and self esteem. I can’t seem to make anything happen in my life. And by anything, I mean nothing.

I am a success at failing. Wow….

It sucks to be me. I’ve not slept for two days trying to cope with all my inadequacies as a woman and as a human. I feel the lack of sleep and what’s worse, I look like I’ve not slept. I stared at myself in the mirror after a particularly get wrenching crying jag this morning and realized that in recent weeks, I’ve literally “come undone”. I’ve unraveled and I don’t know how to stop it. All I do know is that I’ve GOT to find a way to call a ceasefire in my head. I’m attacking myself and that’s so wrong because I’m all I’ve got.

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But I pray that someday I’ll think of myself as something other than the enemy. Is it so much to ask for affection? To know that I matter to someone else? That I’m worthy?

I would suspect that first and foremost, it all has to come from me, in order for me to receive it. And that sounds like it’s going to be very labor intensive.

Oh don’t worry about me…I’ll be fine.

So in the meantime, I’m going to do the only thing I know to do: I”ll scrape together a few goats, some beads, clay pots and a few stalks of corn (some people call it maize) and head over to a nearby multiplex to see a movie. I desperately need some kind of escapist venture today. And fortunately for me and my now empty bank account, this particular theater where most of the natives frequent, accepts wampum.

Me go see heap big budget film “License To Wed”.

Reviews good.

It comedy.

Rex Reed say many ha ha’s.

4 comments

  1. Hey, Laurie, snap out this damn depression and sadness! You are a very strong woman and I have faith in you! If you must…yell at God and tell him how unhappy you are, he will heard you. It’s good that you write about your hurt feelings… This past Friday, I got into a yelling match with my baby sister and I finally told her to butt out of my life and I didn’t like living in a trail house, because , it is not me. I felt trapped and I was not in charge of my life anymore! But, after all that, I felt 100% better. Now, I can go forward with my life. I can now be a Proud Trailer Queen!! And look to furture of again owninng a real house..! God will be with you, have faith- tried a novena for 9 days? It can’t hurt…

  2. Since I know a lot about grief and such things, it’s hard to tell someone to snap out of it. It has to come gradually and the griever has to want to be healed. Believe me, God and I had some serious talks there for a long while and He does listen. I hated the pain I was experiencing and I asked Him to please take it away. It was a slow process but I am still here and I didn’t have to take drugs or alcohol to help get me by. The question about why certain people have to die will never be answered here on earth and when it’s our time to go, the reason to know will no longer exist. God speed, Laurie

  3. I’m sorry to hear you’re down. I had a really horrible day Sunday… I’ll give you the details if you e-mail me, but let’s just say I was stricken by misery and too depressed even to write, which I do every day.

    I know what it’s like to have doubt about yourself and the future. I don’t have a career and, while I am employed, I work at a horrible, low-paying, soul-crushing menial job that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. My love life has been dead for a while now, and I don’t know how to turn anything around permanently.

    All I can tell you is what makes me feel better. And that is knowing that there’s something in me stronger than my current negative circumstances. If everything around me is going to hell, I can always just rely on that central core that will outlast even bad times. You have to look inside yourself and find something to be glad about, something about yourself that you really love, and you have to love it enough to know that it’s tougher than whatever bad things are happening right now. My life is far from perfect, and I don’t have a lot of reasons to be optimistic, but I still am because I know myself too well to know that I’ll quit. When in doubt (which happens frequently) I just remind myself that I’ll be OK in the long term, because I’m me and I like myself.

    That isn’t easy of course. Everybody in a bad situation has to wallow through self-pity, self-debasement, and self-loathing. I’m pretty mad at myself sometimes, but none of that matters, because I have something tougher than that inside me.

    You just have to remember what it is about you that you love and then other people will see it, too. Personally, I love your sense of humor, your kindness, your gift with words, your intelligence, and your empathy. I think you’re sensitive and thoughtful and generally really cool. But you have to make decisions about yourself before things get any better.

    Good luck and wish me luck, as well. We’re all in the same boat (even people who you feel are fine and don’t have a care in the world are really closer to your situation than you allow yourself to realize) so hang on that if it’s any consolation.

    Write me. I’ll be in touch.

  4. Laurie – it’s grief, it’s shit, it’s the bottom line. But you are still articulating…. that’s amazing.

    D Peace says it all. I’d be afraid to go where you’re going. Last time this happened to me I was 10. One day, God forbid, it will happen again, and I’ll remember what you experienced and I’ll come back here.

    You are lovely. There are no damn answers. Keep strong. You are important and very lovable.

    It’s OK to come undone. Love Kate xx

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