Minstrel Mondays #3

My showrunner intern is from Illinois and I was eating my dinner the other night as she sat the room, and overheard her talking to a comedian about Illinois. The comedian mentioned that Richard Pryor is from Peoria. I almost shouted out, “So is Dan Fogelberg!” but I showed some self-control.

Haha, just kidding. I just remembered that I was in the corner and nobody was paying attention to me and that shouting out a random Dan Fogelberg fact would drag me into a conversation. I didn’t really want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to share a Dan fact. If I know, you should know. That’s why we do Minstrel Mondays.

I think that Peoria puts on a memorial every year for him, too, although I’m not sure, and I’m not going to Google it.

Have a good night.

(Yes, the depression is still strangling me, thanks for asking. And please don’t ask me anything else. And please stop messaging me on Facebook about work-related things…!)

Face-Blindness Fridays #2

I have a cold. That has nothing to do with face blindness, I just wanted to mention it so that you know where I am. I also bought lemon bars at Smart & Final for 1/2 price because they’re expired, and am currently feeding my cold with them. There, now you’re completely caught up.

I have a joke where I say that the scary thing about having face blindness is that I could get mugged, or raped, or murdered, and the guy would totally get away with it because there’s no way I’d be able to pick him out of a lineup. I further joke that the absolute scariest part about having face blindness is the idea that love at first sight is real — what if I’ve met him and lost him already?

It’s a funny idea, right? Meeting someone, falling in love, turning away and Memento-ing the whole thing? It’s a silly joke, but I like it. I used to think that love at first sight was real because I really wanted to meet someone and immediately know that the rest of my life was figured out. I convinced myself that I fell in love with first sight with this kid from 5th grade, and he was my main crush until well after high school. I never said more than “hello” to him, even though we lived in the same apartment building for almost 10 years, and then he married someone else and broke my heart. What was his problem?

Now I’m over it, of course. I mean, I do check up on his Facebook once in a while, but he never updates it. I also have an immediate, involuntary inclination to distrust and dislike anyone I find incredibly attractive.

Okay, I don’t know what else to say about that, so I’m going to go.

Drawing Thursdays #2

So, I’m a garbage person, and that is why you should never ask me to draw anything for you, ever.

My friend’s mom wrote a book and wanted me to draw her a cover. She had an old trophy of her mom’s that she won swimming. She also wanted some of her tchotchkes incorporated into the picture, along with a cabin that she owns in Maine. The book is called Diving Home by Catee Ryan. If you click on the link, you’ll see that the cover is not the one I drew below because Catee unreasonably wanted her cover art done, like, sometime last year. So here, it is 2018 and I finally finished it! Yay!

I mean, it came out pretty cool, only 8 months later than Catee needed it. Catee let me take some pictures with my phone of her tchotchkes and of the trophy, and she gave some a photo album with her cabin, so I used all of those as references for the drawing. In real life, the cabin is a reasonable distance from the water, not hovering over it, and of course, the railing doesn’t open in front of the doorway like that.

Anyway, I loved the tchotchkes and had a lot of fun drawing those. I took pictures of a lot more than two, but I chose the gnome because I love gnomes. I especially love that he’s reading a book. He was fairly simple, I basically just traced over the photo I took and resized him for the finished drawing. The otter (seal?) was actually a pain in the ass. The photo I took of him came out blurry and he doesn’t have a ton of detail to begin with, so he started out just looking like a blobby blur. I almost gave up on him but ended up Googling seals and otters (I still don’t know the difference) and ended up with something pretty cute.

The statue was my favorite. The look of determination on her face is awesome, especially considering the mold she was made from was probably done in the 40s when women weren’t taken particularly seriously. I also like that the artist didn’t sexualize her. I Googled 40s swimming statues and couldn’t find the exact one that Catee has, but I found a male version that is nearly identical.  I’m assuming it was the same artist who made a male and a female. I imagine that is why she isn’t posed like a pinup, and I’m okay with that.

Here’s a photo of Catee’s statue: 

She’s beautiful, isn’t she? I took photos from every possible angle, including the back, trying to figure out which angle I should draw from, but I loved her face so much that I ended up going with this one. I mostly traced her. Translating bronze into black and white lineart isn’t the easiest, but fortunately, I’ve been drawing chicks since I was a teenager, so I mostly used the photo for perspective because I could not figure it out by trying to copy the photo with a pen.

I’m not a trained artist, I took Art History in high school and a design class and one Drawing class in college, so I’m not great with perspective and whatnot. One thing I do remember David Attyah (great artist, teacher, human) saying was that you don’t have to have the thing you’re drawing be in the center of the picture, so I put the girl in the top right corner.

The door was super important to Catee, too, because she painted it those colors when they bought the cabin. I don’t know a ton about art, but I made sure that all of the straight lines helped frame the girl, and the splash of color draws attention to the figure. I also like that the lines of the house are a harsh but perfect contrast to the organic elements. That, honestly, is due more to my laziness than anything, but I think it works, and that’s all that matters.

I actually had the top part of the picture done about a month after Catee asked for it but got stuck on the bottom. For a while, I tried to have the house hovering over waterfalls, but I couldn’t get it to look right. Since I knew that Catee had already chosen another artist and another cover, I wasn’t in a hurry, and I let it go, but a few days ago, I opened up the picture again, gave up on the waterfalls, and went with a less grandiose water feature.

It’s not perfect, but I like it. It’s definitely the most complex thing I’ve drawn lately. I don’t generally even deal with backgrounds because I don’t have as much interest in them. I did use Photoshop brushes by redheadstock for the water and plants, which is how I got that part done in an afternoon instead of several more years. Because the composition was black-and-white, I used the pencil option and it took very little experimentation before I had a result I was pleased with.

Minstrel Monday #2

I woke up one morning with the lyrics, “Death is there to keep us honest / And constantly remind us we are free.” playing on a loop in my head. This was about 15 years ago. I immediately asked my mom what song/album that was from. She promptly answered, “Ghosts from The Innocent Age”.

I didn’t believe her because at that point The Innocent Age was one of my least favorite albums and I didn’t think I’d heard any song on that album enough to have the lyrics from it running through my head, it had probably been a year since I’d listened to any song on it. But she was right, of course, and for a while, that was my favorite song.

The song starts with a ghostly piano, and then Dan comes in his, voice soft and breathy:

Sometimes in the night I feel it
Near as my next breath and yet untouchable
Silently the past comes stealing
Like the taste of some forbidden sweet

Along the walls; in shadowed rafters
Moving like a thought through haunted atmospheres
Muted cries and echoed laughter
Banished dreams that never sank in sleep

Then we get the same instrumental that the song started out with. The repeating melody is haunting, and the lyrics create murky, creepy images that build. Then we go on with:

Lost in love and found in reason
Questions that the mind can find no answers for
Ghostly eyes conspire treason
As they gather just outside the door

Dan’s voice gets stronger and louder as we move with the lyrics through the same haunting melody. After Dan sings, “door”, we get our first non-piano, and it’s a drum, and then continue on with the same melody:

And every ghost that calls upon us
Brings another measure in the mystery

Another drum and then:

Death is there
To keep us honest
And constantly remind us we are free

The drumming plays over the melody until we hit “freeeeeeeeee”, and Dan elongates the word, and adds oomph to his voice and we hit the drums some more and now an electric guitar comes in as back up but we lose the piano. And now it’s only the guitar with a drum keeping the beat for:

Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of days that we’ve left behind
Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of dreams that we left behind

At some point, a soft chorus of ghosts come in with the “oohs” to back Dan up as his voice builds on the second “behind” lead into a guitar solo, still with the drums back it up. After the guitar solo fades out, we abruptly move back to the piano melody that played for the first part of the song. We go back to the original lyrics, too:

Sometimes, in the night I feel it
Near as my next breath and yet, untouchable
Silently the past comes stealing
Like the taste of some forbidden sweet

Then we drum guitar (losing the piano again) into:

And every ghost that calls upon us
Brings another measure in the mystery
Death is there to keep us honest
And constantly remind us we are free

Switch from piano to guitar for:

Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of days that we’ve left behind

Ghostly chorus jumps in again, softly.

Down the ancient corridors
And through the gates of time
Run the ghosts of dreams that we left behind

Another guitar solo and back into the opening melody, ending with a crescendo of piano and drums backed up with more ghostly “aahs”.

I’m the first to say that I’m not a musical person at all, I haven’t studied it, I don’t know the terms or the chords, I just like it. I love this song for the lyrics and imagery and I find the composition evocative and beautiful. I never really analyzed the song before, so I didn’t even notice before that we switch from piano to guitar or that he was backed up with the ghost chorus, even. I just liked the song.

My favorite part was and still is the acknowledgment that our own limited time on this earth sets us free from societal conventions. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, particularly in regard to writing. I have such terrible social anxiety. As I write this, I’m flashing back and internally shuddering at an awkward exchange I had with someone last night that makes me think that he for sure hates me now. It’s stupid to think that, and I’m 98% sure he doesn’t, but that ass ache of constantly fearing losing someone else’s good opinion of me is pretty debilitating.

I like the theme of this song because of that struggle and because more and more lately, I just have to let myself be hatable. Not that I AM hatable, most people seem to really like me for some reason, but I try to let go of that white-knuckled NEED to be liked. I have no control over how anyone else feels about me. I could throw my best personality at everyone I meet and still have them hate me. On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve definitely had people see the worst parts of myself and had them love me anyway.

But I constantly remind myself that my life, in this form, at least, is finite, and it really does help me to let go of some of that anxiety. I wouldn’t say that this song created my current rebellion against the idea that I need to be liked by everyone, all the time,  but it definitely has let me know that I’m not the only one who has struggled with the same societal boundaries and limitations.

Face-Blindness Fridays #1

I figured out that I have face blindness a few years ago. I always knew something was wrong but I just thought I was stupid or self-absorbed when I couldn’t recognize people that I had met multiple times. When I was eight, in foster care, my mom came to visit and I thought she was a kidnapper. Over time, having a kidnapper mother came to be my new normal (that sounds weird but my life hadn’t exactly been going smoothly before that) and I stopped thinking about it.

Eventually, from time to time, I’d remember that odd, short period in my life in which I didn’t think my mom was my mom. Probably about a decade ago, my mom and I were watching 20/20 and there was a story about a young man who was convinced that his parents had been replaced by pod people. He’d been in a bad car accident and the connection between the visual memory of his parents and his affection for them was severed. When he’d talk to them on the phone or picture them in his mind, he knew that he loved them. When he saw them in person, no longer felt that rush of affection and therefore thought that his parents were imposters.

When I saw this story, I remember telling my mom that that was similar to my experience when she visited my brother and I at Mrs. Lewis’. I know what you’re thinking — why didn’t you Google it before that? Here’s why: I was born in 1978. I remember when the internet was basically useless. The “information superhighway” was built fairly quickly but it did take a decade or so for it to be close to what it is today. I did eventually track down that 20/20 story. That kid was diagnosed with Capgras delusion, but a lot of his symptoms didn’t apply to me, so I kept looking and found out about Prosopagnosia.

I shared the definition in a previous post but here it is again: “Prosopagnosia is a neurological disorder characterized by the inability to recognize faces. Prosopagnosia is also known as face blindness or facial agnosia. The term prosopagnosia comes from the Greek words for “face” and “lack of knowledge.”” (Wikipedia)

Prosopagnosia is a disorder that affects people to varying degrees. I’ve taken online tests that suggest that I have mild prosopagnosia but I think that that’s partly because I’ve taken the tests multiple times, but also because I trained myself to look and make mental notes of prominent or interesting facial features. I can actually draw decent portraits of people if I have good reference images and spend a lot of time on them. Here’s a portrait of my mom I drew from one of her favorite photos of herself:

I’d classify my face blindness as moderate because I can learn to recognize people based on their facial features, it just takes way longer than it takes most people. I also easily confuse similar-looking people with each other. If I haven’t seen someone in a long time (2-3 months), they may have to tell me their name before I can recognize them. Ditto if I run into someone I’m not expecting to see, particularly in an environment in which I’m not accustomed to seeing them.

When I didn’t recognize my mom at Mrs. Lewis’ house, I hadn’t seen her in at least a month. Also, in the blurry image I had of her in my mind, she looked basically like the photo above. When she visited at Mrs. Lewis’, she’d gained weight, her skin was gray, and most of the blonde had grown out of her hair. Also, this was the first time she’d ever visited in foster care in which she wasn’t identified by someone who I knew knew her. I remember walking past her in the courthouse when we met for the custody hearing but at the time, I put it down to there being so many people in the hallway that my gaze just bounced off of her too quickly.

People with face blindness tend to identify people by other physical traits; weight, height, voice, gestures, walk, etc. When my mom walked into Mrs. Lewis’, she carried herself differently than I remembered, and even her voice sounded defeated. I really thought she was a new social worker at first, before realizing that she was trying to pass herself off as my mother. And as far as I knew, Mrs. Lewis had never met my mother before, so how was she supposed to know? My brother wasn’t much help because he didn’t reject this woman, but he also didn’t run over and hug her. In fact, he would barely look at her.

Okay, I think that’s enough on face blindness for now. In the future, I’ll get into social anxiety, potential racism and the bland, daily terror of living with face blindness.

Minstrel Monday #1

The reason why I know too much about Dan Fogelberg is because my mother was convinced that he was her soul mate. I grew up thinking that he was going to be my dad someday, so learned as much as I could about him (mostly from my mom) as a kid could without an internet (Wasn’t invented yet. I know, I’m old.).

I have a terrible memory for melodies and songs but I can sing along with about 90% of his songs, and a few of my favorites I can sing at least partly from memory. He’s rarely an option at karaoke, though, except for his bigger hits like Longer, Ald Lang Syne, Leader of the Band, Power of Gold, Run for the Roses.

I like Longer and I loved Leader of the Band before I heard it about a zillion times. Power of Gold still hits me with its gorgeous composition and is as emotionally manipulative as any classic Queen anthem. I didn’t like Run for the Roses when I was a kid, although I have more and more of an appreciation of it as I age.

My current favorite Dan song (it changes every few years or so) is The Reach from the album, The Innocent Age. The Innocent Age is currently my favorite album, as it consistently has, song for song, the prettiest compositions and the most vivid imagery of any of his albums. There are a couple of songs on The Innocent Age that I don’t like, but Ghost, Nexus, and In the Passage are all the best in lyrical poetry. And Hard to Say is just a straight-up awesome WTF-is-love ballad.

A few years ago, I had my heart broken pretty severely and I had to choose a new favorite song. It couldn’t be a love song, and I didn’t really want it to be a bitter song, either. I wanted something nice to focus on. That left out Tucson, Arizona (Gazette), even though it’s not a love song. It also left out Sutter’s Mill, another clever and kind of funny, but ultimately depressing song.

The Reach is about generations of sailors and their relationships with seasons and the ocean. The lyrics are haunting, and the composition still makes my heart ache and stomach clench at certain parts. But don’t take my word for it — now that you have a fully biased opinion in your ear, listen for yourself:

Living While Grieving

I remember once in 6th grade, this girl stepped on my foot. Many people have done that by accident, but she did it on purpose. So my foot was hurt, but so were my feelings. I no longer feel the physical pain of that moment, but when I think of it, I’m rocked with  the befuddlement and impotent indignation of that moment.

We haven’t all watched the person that we love most in the world die, we’ve all dealt with someone being cruel to us for no reason, so we all know that emotional pain sticks with us longer than physical pain. That’s why it’s weird to me when people expect me to be okay that my mom is dead. My knowledge of her didn’t disappear with her body. Right after my mom died, I pictured us both as vessels, with me pouring love into her non-stop for 32 years and then trying to figure out where to put that love once her vessel was destroyed. The love didn’t stop flowing, it just went out of me and into nothing. I’d never felt emptier.

The problem with grieving is that it doesn’t go away. My mom doesn’t stop being dead. The thing that upset me the day she died is still happening. She didn’t die and then come back and sometimes I remember how bad it sucked to know she was dead. I never stop remembering because it’s still happening. This is current. That bitch from 6th grade is still stepping on my foot, except it’s not a little girl, it’s God, and it’s not my foot, it’s my heart that’s being torn out second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, year by year.

And on top of that, I’m supposed to go to work and function as a normal human being, and I try because I’m not the first person to ever experience loss. Mine is not the genesis of all human suffering. Everyone, if they live long enough, will go through their days, hearing nothing but screaming in their heads where there used to be a measured narrator, figuring out what to wear to work, what to buy at the grocery store, what movie to see…

I know this and so I try to be kind, but some days, all I want to do is die. And on those days it’s hard to be kind because everyone I meet and talk to is just blocking my path to sweet, sweet death. I want them all to go away so that I can go away.

People are worried that the afterlife might be even worse than this one. Some people are afraid that if they’re not good enough here, they’ll be punished for eternity somewhere else. Hell holds no terror over me. It’s not that there ISN’T worse — based on my limited knowledge of God, that’s a definite possibility. It’s that worse is beyond my imagination. Every day is the absolute worst day of my life.

Every breath in is like a standing in the shade of a willow tree, with a 3rd-degree sunburn, and every breath out is like leaving the shade of the tree and feeling the sun burn away at my blackening blisters until there is nothing left but pain.

I can tell people this, but they look at my soft body and my baby doll smile and they don’t believe it. Sometimes, I look in the mirror or at a picture of myself, and I can’t believe that what I’m looking at is real. I can’t  project any humanity into her; frailty, fears, or faults. She looks so sweet and uncomplicated. Like nothing bad has ever touched her.

But inside, sometimes all I feel is the hot, sticky tar of tainted innocence. And once purity is tainted, it’s not pure anymore. I understand the tendency for humanity to embrace the concept of fire and brimstone because I would like to see myself, body and soul, cleansedestroyed by fire.

Sometimes I’m not sure what a person is, and if there is a definite definition of one, I’m sure I don’t fit into it. I don’t think I ever have.

I think also, that people think that you can’t have these thoughts and then carry on like I do, laughing, and trying to focus on small pleasures. The moment is all we have. It’s the only thing no one can take from us. It’s the thing that makes comedy magic — everything outside of this moment is out of our control — what’s happened is already done, what will happen will almost never go as planned, but right now, we’re crafting this moment. We’re creating the past and the future, you and me, writer and reader, painter and viewer, comedian and audience, now. Now. Now. It’s the closest thing to being God, to being with God, we can get.

I spend my day busy, distracting myself with petty disagreements and tiny sparks of hope, and sometimes I think that’s all a person is — someone who forgets to be pain for moments, days, years at a time. And in that case, I am one. I’m just bad at it, because I remember too much, too often.

Hearts and Wasted Opportunities

I had a rough day at work. Actually, I’m just having a hard time finding the joy I used to have in the job. We’re all exhausted. I’ve only been there for three years so I can’t even imagine how tired Barb and Dave are. But Barb and I still got excited about the new EMS today. And I still made a video to help promote Purrfectly Sane Cat Ladies. And auditions were still fun. And I hugged a lot of people, and meant it.

I’m having a hard time finding sound interns right now, and I ended up having to cover the Yoo Hoo tonight. If it was yesterday, I wouldn’t have been able to do it, but for some reason tonight I was resigned to it even though I knew there was a big chance the shows weren’t going to happen and that it was going to be completely humiliating to have to face the comedians I booked and tell them the shows weren’t going to happen — twice!

Both shows happened — barely. We only had 6 audience for the second show, and we need 8.  A TV star who came in to do a 5-minute spot barked in 2 people and the manager let us squeak by. The first show was fun. I regretted pushing for the second show because the emcee who handled a tiny crowd really well on the first show, was angry for the second one, and we started off bad.

Then the second comedian, I don’t even remember who it was, got up feeling sorry for himself. Then the TV star who went through the trouble of barking people in, felt sorry for himself for 6-and-a-half minutes on stage of what was supposed to be a 5-minute set. That’s the second time I’ve seen him do that in the Yoo Hoo and I won’t book him in there if I can help it. Which I can’t because I didn’t put him in, anyway, and he can get booked any time he wants because he’s on TV.

Then one of the comedians, and I DEFINITELY remember which one, got up and took the onus off of the audience, and was great. Pretty dirty, kind of regret giving him 10 minutes, but overall really funny and completely changed the tone of the show. Even the emcee was laughing when she brought up the next comedian and everyone kind of relaxed and had a better time on stage and the audience relaxed too. I will definitely be giving him a nice juicy spot in any show I think will have a good audience because even though he didn’t get a single person to come and see him, he saved the spirit of the show. That’s a real comic.

The headliner was a pain in the ass. When he came up to me before the show, I told him the show might be cancelled and he gave me shit — not a single audience member came out to see him, but HE gave ME shit — and then when we started the show, he wanted to go up earlier in the lineup because he was convinced that the audience would be gone by the time he got up and he wanted his stage time. I told him “no”. I almost told him he could switch with the TV star and do 5 minutes earlier in the show, but I think he saw that I was getting upset and dropped it. When it was his turn, he sat on the stool and gave no energy to his performance.

Here’s the thing — a movie producer was one of the 6 members of the audience. I didn’t know that until after the show. But the kid he came to see was super sweet, had a great set, and told me later that he doesn’t care if there are 2 people, he’s just excited to be on stage.  So a TV star and a headliner who probably wouldn’t mind being in movies phoned in their performances in front of a movie producer because the audience wasn’t “big” enough for them.

This is Hollywood-ish, so who knows how important this producer really is. But the lesson for me once again, is put your heart in what you’re doing. And you know what? I was having a bad day yesterday. Yesterday Crystal might not have been as relaxed about nearly cancelled shows as Today Crystal. For whatever reason, Today Crystal was cool. Yesterday Crystal would have let the show be cancelled and gone home feeling sorry for herself.  If Yesterday Crystal had been running the shows tonight, that kid wouldn’t have had the opportunity to come off shining not only to a booker at a comedy club but to a movie producer.

So I’m not mad at the TV star or the headliner because, yeah, you want a bigger crowd when you’re performing on a comedy show. But often, seeing how people handle disappointment is more telling in 90 minutes than knowing someone peripherally, for years. So I’m not mad at those guys, but I sure as fuck know that every idiot who got on stage tonight who felt sorry for himself wasted an opportunity in front of two people who could have helped them with their careers.

Because right now, I’m a junior booker at a fledgling club in LA. And maybe Tomorrow Crystal will be working as a cashier at IKEA — but maybe our club will make it, and maybe I’ll still be a part of it, and maybe someday I’ll be able to choose someone I think should be given a big opportunity, and who am I going to choose? I have a short list.

Just in case someone ever stumbles across this post and tries to figure out who I’m talking about — I’m scheduling this post for some random date within the next 2 months, so good luck!

Empty Houses

There are two things that bother me in day-to-day life: I miss my dead mom and my dead brother, and I hate that people just don’t get it.

I have a friend who has a sister-in-law who is just a lovely little nightmare. She has a persecution complex and she has decided that my friend is her enemy and is therefore not nice to my friend. My friend is a nice person. She doesn’t mean harm to anyone, she actively tries to grow spiritually and emotionally, and she just wants to help people. She’s actually studying to be a social worker, right now. Like, right this minute.

But this almost makes it worse when my friend misunderstands or misinterprets something I say. After my mom died, my friend was the only person who called me every single day and wouldn’t get off the phone until I yelled at her about how shitty I felt. She’s a good friend.

BUT although she has experienced loss, she has never lost a core family member, and she kept trying apply her own knowledge of loss to what I was going through. I could not get her to understand how absolutely devastated I was, which would have been fine, but she would always start the conversation by asking if I was doing better, like another day or two was supposed to heal the soul that had been torn to shreds, tattered pieces floating in the ether, each of them red-hot and screaming in pain.

One time, trying to find a metaphor she’d understand, I told her that my heart is like a house with rooms in it for everyone I love. And I spend as much time as possible in the rooms that are full of people I love, but I’m constantly, crushingly aware  of the empty rooms. My little brother died when I was 7, my mom died a few years ago, and I have various friends and acquaintances who hold empty rooms in my house. Each empty room is furnished with memories and reasons I love those people, all reasons I miss them so much.

Today, my friend called me and reminded me of this analogy, which instantly flooded me with not only the sense of loss I had when I was describing it to her, but the aggravation of trying to explain myself to someone who didn’t and couldn’t understand. She used this analogy to compare me to her sister-in-law, something to the effect of, “You have a hard life but you just focus on what you have and the good things in your life.” Which is true, I do my best to do exactly that, but a) I know how hard it is for me to do that — way fucking harder than dismissing that struggle in one fucking sentence, and b) that wasn’t the point of the analogy.

The point was that now matter how many people I love who are still left, and how much I enjoy them and appreciate that they’re alive, two of the three biggest rooms in my house are empty. And they’ll always be empty. No matter how many times I fall down, I can’t go into my mom’s room and get my boo-boos kissed. I can accomplish great things in my life, and two of the three people in the world who would have been happier for and prouder of me than me, can’t.

And just remembering the fact that those rooms are empty, which happens an unrelentingly ridiculous amount of times a day, sends my psyche into a stratosphere of agony. Because life is nothing without the people we love.

Anyway, I know that my friend means well and that she’s not trying to misunderstand me and misinterpret what I say, but it’s super frustrating to talk to someone who is supposed to be one of my best friends who just misses the point SO much. And the worst part is that she’s constantly praising me for being so evolved and shit, and I’m just not. I’m tired. I’m afraid. I’m trying.

But I’m not a better person than anyone else. I just understand that spreading my misery doesn’t make ME feel better. I try to be nice and I try to understand where people are coming from because it makes ME feel safer and happier to do that than to purposely misinterpret good intentions and expect the worst. Life is already the worst. It doesn’t need my help.