I changed my mind.
The obscenely long post that I had in the works has been put on hold indefinitely. Mainly for the reason that it deals with my struggles with mental illness and the effects of having such a life. I think it’s a good story and one that needs to be told, it’s just not a pretty one. I’m also about to become neighbors with my in-laws and I don’t want word getting back to them about how whacked-out in the skull I really am. Let them find that out for themselves. I think they must have a clue since 2 years ago I had a full on anxiety attack while in church with the family on Christmas Eve and had to sneak out during Communion. THAT, my friends, is the best example I have to prove, not only the existence of, but the overwhelming power of Catholic guilt. It’s just that mine works backwards, instead of guilting me into church it guilts me right the fuck out of there. I know when I’ve overstayed my welcome.
Not writing and silently mourning our move was just the recipe needed to finally finish reading The Road. How’s that for an unintentional religious segue? If you’ve read The Road you know that it takes place in an end of days scenario, not all that farfetched considering our penchant for warring and eco-destruction . It’s a book that openly questions the existence of a god and depicts what remains of humanity when proven that there is none. Perpetually sick and starving nomads traverse the road in constant fear for their safety and ultimately their lives. Food is so scarce that I imagine every gulp of not-so-fresh water they drink must taste like a delicacy. The relationship between man and child in this story is so tender and heartbreaking and like a true southern gothic, the ending leaves you with tragic epiphany.
I finished the book with perfect timing, 1. because the movie comes out today, not that I’ll have a chance to see it for all of the current mania at hand in my life but DAY-um if Viggo Mortensen isn’t all sorts of badass and sexy no matter what he does especially when portraying a filthy vagabond and 2. because the story makes you thankful just for having clean air to breathe and a place to rest your head at night that isn’t a pile of dead leaves. Because this is a time of year where we reflect on all things we are thankful for, it just seemed fitting. So I’m making a list of my own including but not limited to the following people:
My exquisitely beautiful, kind-hearted and eccentric, Grandmother.
She did more than her fair share of raising me in my younger days and without her influence I don’t know if I would have been exposed to a fraction of the diverse art, culture and music that I have been fortunate enough to experience thus far. Together we have travelled from Maine to Florida and every state in between. She took me on my first and only cruise to Mexico where I was seasick for 2 days (not her fault) and subsequently learned that Dramamine only works if you take it prior to puking. She accompanied me to New Orleans when I was 17, allowing me to seek out all things esoteric and taboo, feeling “grown up” for the first time. She funded my trip to Italy with my high school class so I could experience New Years 2000 in Rome. Musicals? Theatre? She’ll gladly buy the ticket so that you have a chance to experience a piece of magic unfold upon the stage. She taught me how to appreciate architecture and nature as well as finding beauty in the mundane. For her, I am so unbelievably thankful.
My always supportive, ever-loving, driven and fabulous, Mother.
I blame my mom for all my music obsessive-ness. If it hadn’t been for the power struggle between my mom’s choice of MTV and my desire for all Nickelodeon all the time during my formative years I would likely have never learned about Run DMC, Chrissie Hynde, Tom Petty and her all time favorite group, U2. I can remember waiting in a line for an entire day just to get tickets to see them play Philadelphia and I couldn’t have been more than 3 years old at the time. In the summer of ’88 we took a road trip to visit my mother’s sister who was living in Anaheim, CA to visit Disneyland and, oh yeah, to see U2 and Sting play the Amnesty International concert in LA. I can still remember my mom asking the woman at the ticket counter for earplugs for me. She gave us cotton balls. I didn’t need them, I fell asleep in my seat within moments. I was the best dressed kid thanks to my mom’s always original and innovative stylings. I rocked Betsey Johnson & Norma Kamali, leopard print sneakers and a denim duster littered with pin backs before it was en vogue. I thank you, mom, for opening my eyes and ears to all that is good in taste.
My brilliant, one of a kind, sweet natured and wildly talented, Sister.
Oh, how I love this girl. She is one of the coolest people I know, never ceasing to amaze me with her keen eye for detail and amazing ability to absorb everything that goes on around her. I only wish we weren’t so far apart in age. Nola is the sister I always wish I had while I was growing up. I imagine us getting into all sorts of trouble together, crushing on the same boys, stealing each other’s clothes, spilling secrets late night from our shared bedroom, covering each other’s ass when we know we’re headed for trouble, going from overwhelming anger to an outpouring of love for the other all within the span of a few hours. Nola is the artist I wish I was. She can sketch something in moments with such a special flare that it can be mistaken for no other. She has taught herself pieces for the piano just from hearing a few notes of a song. She also writes some of the most intricate and astounding fan fiction I have witnessed from the mind of a pre-teen. In short, she is truly amazing. I would not be the same without her in my life and for that I cannot be thankful enough.
My handsome, hazel-eyed, best friend. The thoughtful and generous (to a fault), Mr. Bee.
To be brief, The Bee has been my saving grace on more occasions than I can count. He never fails to mention just how he feels for me and even if he’s not saying it, his actions always speak loud and clear. Through good times and bad, we have held onto the other knowing that there will always be light ahead if we have each other to lean on. Thanks be, for my Bee. I’m still not sure how I got this lucky so I’ll just leave it at that. I’m not in the business of questioning fate. At least not today.
Happy Turkey Day, y’all.