gobble, gobble, turkey day, nothing to see here

 

So far Thanksgiving is off to a nightmarish start.

I mean that literally.

I barely slept, and when I did, I had nightmares.

Why am I sharing this here?

Why does anyone post anything about their lives on the internet?

Either they are selling things (note the lack of surreptitiously sponsored merch here), or they have no one to share it with elsewhere, and are substituting typing into the data collection pool for human connection.

And while all I am really doing here in this moment is adding to the mass of aggregate data bought by marketers and the government, not experiencing a meaningful human connection that might actually help me in any way, it beats lying in bed and agonizing over all of the reasons I have to worry about my survival that I can’t even share with the void, because of the chance that someone in my actual life who can damage it could read it, take offense, and fuck up my life more than it already is, and my survival is already too tenuous to begin with. So gobble, gobble, turkey day, nothing to see here.

Except now I really do have to ask, unconsciously, what do I get from this? What do any of us get from this? I could type into the void of my hard drive, and in more detail. Granted, my external hard drive has been stolen, and knowing who by has not yet resulted in its return, and even if it hadn’t been, drives can be accessed remotely by assholes with know-how, so the idea of privacy there is semi-bullshit, at best.

Does this seem rambly? Fuck, yeah, it is. No sleep.

Does it matter? Fuck, no, it doesn’t. No one is reading this except me. And if someone else is, I don’t see them reading this far. If you have, hello, fancy meeting you here in the data collection void.

I suppose since I have acknowledged your strictly hypothetical presence, now would be the time to use this ramble for the purpose we all wish or pretend the web is for – human connection.

How are you?

What brings you here?

Are you someone I know who is “lurking”?

I don’t mean to malign, just that is, you know, the slang. If you are someone I know and are here without my knowing, is there a reason you aren’t telling me, aren’t communicating with me directly? Do you have reason to believe I would ignore you? Or is it a control thing? I can’t talk to you, but you can check up on me?

Are you a stranger? What are you looking for? To be entertained? Distracted from your own pain? To be inspired? To learn something?

Whoever you are, I hope you aren’t hurting. I hope you slept well. I hope if either of those isn’t true, you have someone to talk with about it, someone who cares. If you don’t, I hope you find a way to cope, to survive in the hope of getting to better times. That is what I am trying to do. So in that sense, you aren’t alone – you aren’t the only person in some pain and feeling isolated, and struggling through the best you can, and wishing your best was better.

If you are just looking for any old distraction, there are plenty of rambly words and drawings and odd little comic things to be found in the recesses of this blog, if you want to look around. If not, that’s cool.

If you were looking for a little piece of human connection, I hope being addressed directly, even by someone who doesn’t know who you are, helped a little.

I don’t tend to be an upbeat optimist. That might have been me when I was very, very young, but that got literally and figuratively beaten out of me long ago. Some spark of that remains, I suppose. In a life that has so often fallen to a state where the speculative part of my mind, raised in a religion that preaches the existence of hell, muses whether I am there, and part of hell is the not knowing it is hell, I keep hanging on, and keep trying to make it better, somehow. So don’t think I am trying to blow sunshine up your ass with what follows.

I know Thanksgiving can be a depressing holiday if you don’t have a happy family or true friends or some other healthy community where you are welcomed and feel you belong. And the idea of naming what you have to be thankful for when you are alone, when you are in pain, when your existence feels like its sole purpose is to generate new and more varied forms of suffering seems like another cruelty visited upon you by a sadistic universe. But.

But…if you are in that bad a place, there are some people who advocate gratitude as a means of improving your mindset. Some based on psychology, some based on metaphysical whatever. And I am not about to delve into sources or try to shove some philosophy down your throat.

That said, I have tried it, from time to time, writing what I have to grateful for. And I am not pretending it has made my life into something that feels like I am riding a magical unicorn across a rainbow. And maybe your list will feel lame. “I am grateful for this bic pen I found in the gutter that I am writing this list with.” But sometimes, it helps, if only while you are writing. Maybe because, even if it feels forced, even if you don’t have the things to be grateful for that you are painfully lacking and badly want, thinking the words “I am grateful for” instead of “I hate my life” gives your brain a break.

Part of the reason it still occurs to me to do is it is something I used to talk about with someone I loved and lost, and we both tried to get the other to do it when things were bad. She even made me a gratitude journal for the first birthday I had after my dad died. And sometimes it helped.

And admittedly, sometimes the reason it helps now is that it reminds me of a time when I had someone I could call at any hour who I knew would pick up, who I knew would let me talk without even saying what was wrong if I couldn’t bring myself to, and would listen, and talk. She was one of many people over the years who have called me when they needed something, knowing I would answer, even when my own life was a wreck, but she was one of the few who showed up in return, and the only person who consistently showed up for me to the same extent I did for her. And she had her own vast sea of shit to deal with.

I don’t even remember much of what she would say, but I remember her voice. I used to call her at a night a lot in the first years after my dad died, when so much more than that was so wrong. Since then, I have thought of her as my voice in the dark.

I don’t have a person I know I can call like that without her. And there is a lot of darkness in my life. And part of why I can’t bring myself to give up is that the sister I lost wanted to live so badly, in so much more physical pain than I have ever experienced, and for me, it would be spitting on her grave to give up without fighting tooth and nail til the breath leaves my body, when I get to have what she wanted, what she deserved, and what she lost.

If you came here on purpose or stumbled here by chance, and you are in your own darkness, I hope somehow these words typed into the data collection void can be your momentary voice in the dark.

I am grateful for the minute possibility that all the awful I have known might have some value in causing me to reach out where I might connect with some person, however anonymous, who might need a human being to give a damn that they live and that they hurt.

I know what it feels like to need that and not have it.

I give a damn.

I am not saying we would like each other or I am qualified to be a therapist or I will be your bff, but you are a human being, and that you live matters. You have every right to live safely and to know some peace and joy. You have every right to live a life without unnecessary suffering. (Some pain is inevitable, of course; and that you know loss or rejection or failure is not a judgement against you, it is just an unfortunate part of life.) I hope you can find your own reasons to hang on, and keep trying to find ways to get to where you would like to be, and know that even if it is a struggle, you are worth fighting for.

If you are in fact someone I know (within reason, you know, provided you aren’t someone who has injured/harassed/stalked me, or someone I have already cut out of my life and told so in no uncertain terms) and any of this resonates with you, or even if it doesn’t and you want to talk, I hope you will reach out to me. Not knowing who you are, I can’t say I will respond the way you want, but I will try my best to be kind and honest. Even if all I can honestly say is that I don’t feel what you want me to feel, or I will not give what you are asking for, or I don’t want you back in my life again. And there is more than one of you I told I was leaving the door open for who I still love and miss and would be happy to hear from. I hope if you need to talk and you won’t reach out to me, that you will reach out to another someone, if you feel you have someone.

Stranger or acquaintance or someone I know and love, I will end with a reminder that if you don’t have someone you know who you feel you can talk to, there are a lot of hotlines you can call. Also “warm lines.” And while I hope this doesn’t apply to you, if it does, please know in the United States, the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-TALK [8255]) is always there, and they are okay with you calling even if you aren’t actively suicidal, and need someone to talk to. I would imagine at least in part because having someone to talk to can help prevent people spiraling to where they are suicidal.

Take care of yourself.

 

 

 

Damn, it’s been a while.

I didn’t realize until now how long I did nothing with this blog.

There were times I published a new piece of art or a comic or wrote, or whatever shit, every day. And until this month, I hadn’t touched it since August of 2016.

December of that year I lost my closest human.

We called each other sisters, but she was my cousin. We were close in age and grew up in different apartments in the same house. We spent some of our childhood in the same grade, in the same school. We didn’t always get along by any means, and we weren’t always in each other’s every day lives, but we always showed up for each other when the big bads happened. As they did, to both of us, way too much, way too often. And as adults we were closer than ever. Although toward the end…yeah, that is a sadness for another time.

It wouldn’t have shocked me that I let this lie fallow after she died, but that I stopped before then…I don’t think I realized how bad things were in my life, how really bad, for how long, until I saw the date of my last post. More often than not, for me, bad times and a lot more time spent on creative output go hand in hand. And I wouldn’t feel times were that good while I was making nothing.

I don’t know if I am really ready to talk more about her right now. I would like to do that one day. I would like to do it well. She was an astonishingly strong and decent human who loved me more than anyone else ever did, who lived a life long in pain and short in years and grand in kindness, and if I could find the words to pay fitting tribute to her, I think it would mean something. To me, to her, to other people, if I could really convey who my first and best friend, who remains the heart of my heart, was.

Not as much as if, as I wished, I could have ripped out my still-beating heart and given it to her to save her life; if resurrection was a possibility, I would be clawing at my sternum instead of typing this. But if wishes were horses, I could probably make a fair bit of cash selling those horses, and I wouldn’t be quite so fucked.

Words are about all I have right now.

You know who she was? She was someone who, knowing, as she always did, that she was probably not going to get to die an old lady, told me in a Facebook comment, of all places, that she would always be here for me, even after she drew her last breath. I still have those words to look at.

That is fucking real love. She believed in an afterlife, and she promised to spend it at least in part watching out for me.

She was smarter and wiser than me in many ways, and I hope like hell she was about that. Not just because having the strongest soul in creation watching over you seems like a pretty good deal. Because I want her to be somewhere, wherever the hell she wants to be, and happy, and feeling for the first time what it is like to exist without sickness or pain.

If I could know that, I would be a-okay with her abandoning her guardian angel post to run as a gazelle or sit on a cloud with all the people she loved who died before her or haunt Leonardo DiCaprio, or whatever her heaven might be, even when my life feels like hell.

I have real love for her, too.

I don’t know yet what to do with the realization that my absence here predated her absence from my life, but I am making note of it, since it seems like a thing that in the longer run might be important to shifting my perspective and improving my own understanding of how I got there, and here…and mostly, because my sister would have wanted me to.

Goodnight, strong Kath, and flights of angels sing thee to wherever and whatever you want to be. Tell them if they give you any shit about it, when I get to where you are, I will fuck them up hard.

I love you, sister.

Always.