carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
To This Day, No One Knows The Plot Of The Terror."*

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So, I was going through stuff in my room and I found a bracelet that belonged to my paternal grandmother. She had very gaudy taste in jewelry, but this is one I'm fond of—it's a charm bracelet, with something like Italian charms on it, and it's kind of eccentric. I don't know why it was in my room—I don't keep my jewelry in my room—but there it was, in a small jewelry store box. I took it out and looked at it. Then I set it down on the bed to go back to what I was doing, and it vanished.

No, really. It completely disappeared. It's not on the bed, under the bed, or on the floor next to the bed. If it's gone farther afield, I have no idea how it did this. This happened over a week ago and I've looked for it several times. The box is on the floor, empty.

And Meg had nothing to do with it. He wasn't there when it happened and he's really not that interested in inanimate toys—except string. His favorite toy is the drawstring from an old pair of sweatpants.

On the other hand, when I turned over my mattress the other day, I found Pat's bathrobe. This makes about as much sense as the vanishing bracelet. The bathrobe was in the middle of the bed between the mattress and box spring and either I put it there or somebody who broke into my house did it. (Pat had nothing to do with it. She couldn't have managed it, and even if she could, I've worn the robe since she died.)

So I'm left with wondering why I lifted up the mattress and hid a bathrobe under it.

Maybe it really was one of the people who broke into my house. Maybe it was the Jesus guy.

See, the last time it happened, when I was walking through the house, I stepped on something sharp. It was one of the little spikes that holds Jesus to the crucifix. I only own one crucifix, the one they used when my maternal grandfather died; I've had it ever since. At the time I couldn't locate it, so I thought whoever broke in had stolen the cross but left Jesus, so I assumed it was a Protestant.

But I've since found that crucifix. So now I have an extra Jesus. He's in a pencil cup because I don't know what to do with him. You can't just hang him on a wall without a cross, and making a cross and putting him on it seems wrong. He seems happy with the pencils.

And all my assumptions about whoever broke in have been shattered. Who comes into your house to hide your bathrobe and leave Jesus on the floor to stab you in the foot?

*Jack Nicholson

New poem

Friday, 14 August 2015 03:41 pm
carose59: poetry (by Henry Gibson)
Talking death to the skeletons

I went upstairs to talk about death
and the law
and the end of the world.
The end of the world was part of my testimony, there only for context.
It would not matter to the court.
And it didn't.

I was judged on my hair, which is too wild,
and my hips, which are too wide,
and my eyes, which cry,
and my mind, which sees things nobody else ever sees/believes/understands.

I can talk like a lawyer, but what I say never stays inside the lines.

I asked my question and was told that death was but a scientific fact.
I should expect nothing because I deserve nothing. That was written down somewhere.

It made my story moot, but I was still required to tell it because the judge always wants everything.

And I was running downhill too fast to stop, so I told it: first the prelude, then the end of the world.
It was moot
so sad, but so what?
Even if it was true—and there was only my word that it was true—the statute of limitations had expired a lifetime ago.
What was I even doing there?
Upstairs, where the judges live—
thin and rich and thin with sparkling white hands that do not touch books touched by other people—
what did I want?
What did I expect?

What could I say?
I didn't want to talk to you in the first place.
I never asked to.
Why would I, when you stole my matches and left me standing in the snow?

The judge tried to offer the conventional saying that indicated she would have been sorry for me, if such a thing had been in her purview—but I wouldn't let the words invade me. I made her keep them.
It was my only victory.

I had to smile—the door wouldn't open until I smiled.
Politely, I drank tea with Goebbels and Godwin, one lump, no lemon,
and pretended I was fine. The knife hadn't hurt. I didn't need that eight ounces of flesh, or that cup of blood.
I sang a song and smiled a smile—
a traitor's smile, a song of collaboration,
because it was either collaborate or set them all on fire.
And they had stolen my matches.

I left, hiding my loss behind my breastbone.
It was the one thing I wouldn't let them have to laugh at later.

If I ever get a new life, they've promised to uphold the warranty on it—just the way they promised before, when they lied. But it doesn't matter.
I don't want a new life anyway.
carose59: dreams (whose mind watches itself)
"Guess What I Found? More Nothing Than Usual."*

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I had gone to the basement parking facility under my house to have sex in my car with . . . I have no idea. I don't even know why I'd go to the car to have sex with somebody, since I live alone. Not to mention, there is no basement parking facility; my garage is just a regular, under-the-house garage. This place looked more like the garage under Central Library.

Anyway, once I got down there, I was somebody else, but I don't know who. If there was sex, I don't remember it; I just woke up in my car, myself again. I went back upstairs and into my house, which had way more windows than my actual house does, and much less clutter. And all the doors between rooms were glass, and there were more of them: more doors, and more rooms.

I had the feeling something was wrong. I had come in through the backdoor, and as I got to the front door, I found that the door was broken. That's when I knew my house had been broken into again.

My laptop was gone, along with a bag of red bell peppers I bought last week. As I went out the front door, I could see a trail of pieces of bell pepper in the snow (there was snow) like a trail of blood. I went back in the house, and consulted with Meg (OK, I really do that, though he never gives me any advice).

I went in to take a nap (yes, another one) and woke up thinking the break-in had just been a dream. And then I heard voices and realized that not only wasn't it a dream, the burglars were still in the house.

At first I hid behind a wall, trying to come up with a plan. I needed to get my mother, for reasons I don't know anymore. I needed my car, but I didn't think I could get to it. The burglars—I could see them from an overhead view—all looked exactly alike, like Stephen Baldwin with a bleach job that was growing out. They didn't seem to know I was in the house, so I was able to sneak out, and when I got outside, my mother was waiting with the car. She knew about the break-in. And we drove off.

It was an incredible relief to wake up.

*Wesley Wyndam-Price
carose59: common unhappiness (empty and aching and i don't know why)
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away*

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Last year, my house got broken into twice. The second time, the burglars were more successful. They didn't vandalize my house, but wanting to leave through a door rather than the window they'd come in through,** they tore the place apart looking for a spare key to let themselves out. There is no spare key.

I haven't tidied things up. It's not just depression that's kept me from doing that; I simply cannot bear the idea that more is missing than I originally thought. My mother and I now talk about when things get stolen, what we'll do.

It was around this time that I mostly stopped wearing earrings. There were pairs I couldn't find, and also so many where I had lost one by going out into the world wearing them, I just couldn't bear it. Even with that, I managed to lose one of Pat's cat earrings on my birthday.

The day before my second cataract surgery, I lost Pat's wedding ring.

I wore it on my little finger, next to my wedding ring. The two identical rings were happy next to each other. I got up in the morning and saw that the small ring was gone, and my first thought was, "Where did I put it?" Because it almost seems as though I took it off in the night, in a dream.

At that point, I could use one eye or the other, but not both together, and neither of them worked terribly well for searching for small, round, silver things. I consoled myself with the idea that the ring, though missing, is still in the house; even though I can't see it, I'm living with it. It's like living with a ghost. Maybe Pat took it.

It's mostly my own ring I feel sorry for, being alone. I briefly considered putting on another ring, so it wouldn't be lonely, but a Peanuts cartoon stopped me. Lucy has stolen Linus's blanket, and Linus is inconsolable. Charlie Brown suggests he use a dishtowel to replace his blanket, and Linus scathingly replies, "You would give a starving dog a rubber bone."


*Title of a story by Stephen King

**The window was two stories up, over the ramp that goes into the garage under my house. They reached it by dragging over a trashcan to the edge of the ramp, and leaping up to the window. I was burglarized by Spiderman, or one of the flying Wallendas. I now keep all my windows closed when I'm not home.

Posted simultaneously on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth

Short update

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 07:32 am
carose59: the rose behind the fence (rose is a rose is a rose)
[Written November 14, 2012]

The One Function TV News Performs Very Well Is That When There Is No News We Give It To You With The Same Emphasis As If There Were.*

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I tried to post the other night, but was unsuccessful. Some of it was technical difficulties, and some of it was trying to deal with technical difficulties with a cat lying on my arm while I was juggling a keyboard and a trackball on my lap. It took me hours to get something posted, and I never did get the formatting worked out, so I scrapped the whole thing. If I'd been posting something serious, I'd have worked it out later, sans cat, but it was just a bit of ephemera—not only not worth the time I'd already spent, but it would have been stale by morning.

I have not yet cried today. The last few days, I've cried every day. I developed an irresistible desire to listen to The Sweetheart Tree by Johnny Mathis, a song that has always made me cry. I'm still sinking.

I'm also still cleaning. I'm still thinking about cleaning, and still enjoying myself, in a more subdued way. I'm thinking about writing, but not doing any, except for this. Sometimes I feel like the need to write is slipping off me, the way skin follicles die and float away. Would it matter, as long as I'm reasonably happy anyway?

For the record, I was nowhere near the explosion that happened on the far south side of Indianapolis the other night, nor have I, myself, independently exploded for any reason.

*David Brinkley


Friday, 18 December 2009 11:29 am
carose59: it's all in my head (the wind of the wing)
In Most Mental Illness The Capacity To Relax Is As Much Impaired As The Integrity Of A Bone Destroyed By A Fracture.**

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For a woman with agoraphobia, I did really well today. I’d planned on going to the library and getting a book, and then my mother called and said she needed drugs and money, so I added CVS and the bank to my list. Oh, and bread, and half-and-half. That added the grocery.

When she called I was watching WETV, some Danielle Steele thing, and I already knew what was going to happen. (At the happy couple’s wedding, a Spitfire flew over the wedding party. That means the groom was going to die in the upcoming war.) That part was OK. The part I was having trouble with was the bride stumbling upon a deserted French chateau, and her falling in love with it and wanting to fix it up. Not that I mind people fixing up old houses, but it was exhausting me just thinking about imaginary people fixing up an imaginary house. So I went over to my mother’s to get the check.

I told my mother that I think the definition of depression is having so little emotional energy, you can’t even watch imaginary people do renovations on an imaginary house, and she laughed and agreed and said she feels the same way. The whole idea of wanting to do something so labor-intensive seems insane.

And then we agreed that the reason it’s so hard to clean house is the decision-making that’s involved. "Should this thing be kept or gotten rid of? If kept, where should it go? If gotten rid of, does that mean thrown away, donated, recycled—? I need to lie down now."

This is why I’m good at washing dishes and clothes. They’re very specific tasks. I know how to wash a plate, how to put it in the drainer to dry, how to put it away when it is dry. I know where it goes. And I can tell when the job is complete. (Though I will say that a great deal of the time, that last step, the putting away step, doesn’t get done with either clothes or dishes. I live out of the drainer and the laundry basket, as did my mother before me, and her mother before her.)

But general stuff eludes me. It can take me days to tidy up my desk at work. I’ll be doing just fine, then suddenly the part of my brain that knows what to do with things will overload and I’ll have to quit. If I can’t quit, I’ll go into panic mode and just sit there, moving things around, hoping no one notices that I’m not actually doing anything. Or I’ll start to cry. And how do you explain to your boss that the part of your brain that does what she’s asking you to do has locked up and can’t be accessed at the moment?

There are reasons I’m a mess, and some of them are laziness, self-indulgence, and a certain apathy about how things look. But those aren’t the only reasons. There’s really something in my head that doesn’t seem to work right where cleaning is concerned.

Anyway, today I rode my bike several miles, some of them uphill. I got all the things I was supposed to get, ran all the errands I was supposed to run. I was productive, and I was out of the house, and most of the time, I wasn't thinking about how badly I wanted to get back home.

I started writing this on June 10, 2008, and never finished or posted it (as far as I can tell). My house is still as messy, and now I have a cat who doesn't help matters at all. (She's raiding my shadow boxes for toys.) My agoraphobia is worse, mostly due to my house being broken into once, and Patrick's now three times. (The last time was yesterday.) I've come to realize that the decision-making problem extends to shopping, so I talk to myself in a low, gentle tone and try to relax myself, but there are so many mistakes to be made! And with food it's all mistakes, or mistakes waiting to happen, it's stuff that isn't good for me, or stuff that is good for me but will probably go bad before I eat it. I shop with the twin ideas that I'll still be the same person as when I bought it, and that I'll be somebody better and with more focus and energy, someone who will know what to do with a pomegranate or a bunch of radishes. Shopping is always aspiring to be someone else, or at least myself only better, and I nearly always let myself down.

The good part is, I know that now. I can work on it, or work around it.

*I like the word stricken. I like to think that I've been stricken with agoraphobia, if I have to have it at all. There's at least some poetry to it.
**Abraham Myerson

July 2017

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