Blog: On Rose Gardens

I got fired from being Robin’s mom’s book cover artist. On one hand, it’s a relief, and on the other hand, it’s a rejection. Robin was on vacation, so I haven’t seen her since, and I bailed on meeting on Thursday and then we were supposed to meet tonight and I bailed again. I’m not mad at Robin, but it does make me wish I hadn’t gone up and met her parents and shared a part of myself with them. And it makes it super weird to think about going up there again, with that hanging over our heads.

And I want to finish the piece I started, but every time I think about it, I just get mad and then I think , what’s the point? She doesn’t want it anyway. She didn’t even say anything about it, just that it didn’t looked like I wasn’t going to meet her deadline. What the fuck is that? She’s been working on the book for years, but can’t wait a few more weeks for custom artwork?

And yeah, I could have started on it earlier, but then I found out that Deidra’s mom has cancer and I made something for her instead. Plus, I hate working on commission. Agreeing to this and to doing the cover art to Lee’s book (which I was also fired from), just reminded me of when I used to do custom art for my website and how wracked with anxiety I was — and that part hasn’t gotten any better. Every time I think about quitting Flappers, I know the one thing I CAN’T do for money, is draw.

Plus, I can’t stop thinking about the fact that human interaction is fleeting and that friendship is an illusion. I feel like I give so much of myself and then at some point, I stop and i think, how important am I to these people? How important are they to me? And I think, I could walk away from all of them. I could start life in a new town and never see or hear from any of them ever again, and only feel relief.

And right now, I think , even if they died, I wouldn’t feel anything. And I know that I’m just going through one of those emotional numbnesses right now, because Cheri didn’t show up to a meeting we had planned once and I was hysterically crying, thinking she was dead. I had called a Lyft and was on my way to her house when she texted me and said she overslept. And then I cried even harder because I was relieved but also because I couldn’t stop picturing my life without her and feeling my life stretch out before me, empty of her, like I felt after my mom died.

So I know that this is the depression talking and that this distance I feel from everyone and everything is chemical but I also feel like I can’t afford to care so much. This numbness is like a blister, because right underneath is the hurt part.

There are these movies, Lawnmower Man, Lucy, where these characters are injected with superintelligence and then their bodies can’t handle it and they basically explode. It’s like that for me, except instead of being smart, I just feel. Everything. All the time. I can’t stop and I want to so bad.

I was talking to Jessica on Friday and she said to me that suicide is the most selfish thing a person can do, and I said, I think it’s more selfish to ask someone who is constantly in pain to keep living.  It doesn’t mean I won’t ask it. If I have to be here, don’t leave me here without you. That’s all I ask.

Be stupid, be selfish, be caught up in shit that doesn’t matter, but whatever you do, just be. And that’s the one thing I can’t guarantee. I could lose another one any minute — it’s been a long enough interval, that I’m about due, and looking around, trying to figure out who it’s going to be. And it might be me.

I can’t control it anymore. I don’t know if I ever could. It’s like there are two of me — one me barrages me with reminders of the times I’ve been hurt or I’ve hurt other people and then the other me is trying to fight back with three years’ worth of happiness and feelings of belonging — and the second one is losing.

The first one is so much stronger, she has so much more ammunition, and what can the second one say? Yes, you get to feel special and finally have a place in the world, but you’re still going to feel like you don’t, sometimes.  No matter how good your life gets, this crushing doubt and fear will never leave you for longer than moments at time. This is your curse, and the only way out is death. So, what’s for lunch?

This would make a good suicide note, I think, except I’m not going to kill myself. Today. Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up early and go to the DMV and get my ID replaced and then Renz is going to come over after dialysis and he’ll tell me what foods he’s not allowed to eat that he ate over the past week, and we’ll probably watch TV and one or both of us will fall asleep. And then I’ll call Madlen if I can overcome the anxiety that stops me every fucking week. (It’s so much easier to overcome the guilt of not calling.)

And then on Tuesday, I’ll go back to work and start waiting for the weekend again, the three days in a row in which I don’t have to pretend to be anything other than what I am, or to live up to any expectations, some of which I cultivate and others that are thrust upon me. The good thing about interacting with Renz is that I was a total asshole to him until I was in my late 20s, so any time I’m even polite is an improvement over what he’s used to. Everyone else has such a different experience of me. He’s like a vacation.

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