This is how I’ve been feeling for some time, but I realized that my daughter’s fiancée needs to hear this to understand…
“Why can’t I understand that you don’t have a polka-dotted universe?“
How can life shift so quickly? Yesterday was a great day, you perfected Netflix and chill, enjoying your children, sex and laughter. I wake up all too early to find that someone is attacking me on social media. My mind immediately goes to a dark place. Why can’t you just listen to my cogent and compelling argument? Why do I care if I win this one? Waters of negativity rush in, not like the Atlantic Side of the Cape, but like the Bay of Fundy. Shit is escalating quickly. (No, this is like the tsunami in India – there will be nothing but death and destruction.)
I am reasonably pissed when people don’t respect my boundaries. If you back me into a corner, I will come after you like feral cat, in part because I’m pushing back on the pharmaceutical revolution, in part because it’s in our DNA, in part because I’m only just now learning healthy coping strategies.
HOLY FUCK, DUDE! This is a bridge-jumping moment. Darkness descends too fast to comprehend. All the darkness of YouTube, the porn aimed at children, the disturbing beatings of children from Eastern Bloc countries. Even when you were in a state of perpetual partial attention, you were collecting facts while recovering from trauma bonding (trauma bonding from Stacie, Mark, your mother, Duane… STOP! It’s too many to list and you will feel guilty for the sins of your father, your mother, the government… STOP! You can’t go there!) Tensions are super high – you are laying waste to the toxic relationships and behaviors you thought were normal. The decimation of your former life is increasing your anger and at Christmas – when tensions are always high. This is why people have lost jobs after getting drunk at an office party, all the road rage, missing our parents in heaven – it is all too much. Drunkenness, bad decisions, primal behavior. Oh, fuck dude, my mother would end up in the psych ward at Christmas, sometimes overdose, always a war on emotional terror for her children’s future. If this is long-term, where do we end up next? Shit, is escalating far too quickly – why did you back me into a corner?
As seventeen conversations form in my mind, I remember how to de-escalate a situation. (Think, bitch, think! Find your iPad. Bask in the hilarity of the internet. You find funny emergency room stories – unfortunately you can relate to their pain…)
John Oliver is spot on in his mini-documentary on Floods, but you remember all the graft and deceit of Huey Long, a terribly wicked demagogue from “Nah, Orleans“. You forget that your passion to tell people about Huey Long lead to a more exquisite speech pattern. That speech professor changed your life – he helped find your voice by teaching you how to organize thoughts. (Breathe, Susan, just please fucking breathe! Is that too much to ask? Your roommate in the basement will find your emergency room stories funny.) We laughed a bit, but not long enough for my disturbed mind. He has mastered the art of indifference because of his parents, Renee, how the public school system failed him. (Shit honey, I’m running scenarios and they keep failing me! My scenarios have only partially failed me. My scenarios lead me to alternate between a life of crime and extreme financial success and professionalism – remember my “Plaid Boots and Light Forgery” memoir – you are too much for everyone and not for everyone, at the same time. It’s a painful dichotomy!)
At first, I was worried about the internet discussion, now I’m worried about money. I’m not used to worrying about money anymore – I have created an impressive passive income stream. Now, I feel guilty that I make more while sleeping, than some do at McDonald’s. I feel guilty about my advantages, my white privilege, the sins of my… (STOP!) OK, NEW PLAN: create a conversation, respond to all the emotional posts about of Christmas – you remember that you, like Sandy Wexler, you have a knack for spotting talent (I’m going to be a twisted sifter and point shit out). I find architecture articles for my daughter, I find everything. I realize I have an army of beautiful bitches – I just need them to wake the fuck up. (Fuck, wake up, assholes!) I’m using the curvature of the Earth to my advantage. I’m talking to my army in the Netherlands and Romania. I keep finding coping mechanisms – I keep finding panic. Panic from money subdues, but then panic about Larry, overpopulation, overconsumption, the dark side of radioactivity, genocide… (STOP IT, SUSAN!)
I know, in the back of mind, that this is how Kurt Cobain felt… Amy Winehouse, Anthony Keidis, Sandy Wexler… (You’re practicing the pause, Susan! This is good!) You know how to save a life – balance creativity and advertising and make signs for your walls; make a sign that says “This is temporary Bullshit“; make a sign that says, “Call Me” or “You can Have a Hug Anytime“. Empty walls are an artist’s dream and, if you can balance the playfulness of an eight year old with what you now about fonts, it can be really impactful (sorry I intellectualized the shit out of that!). Make a list of your healthy coping mechanisms, be it sleeping, painting, reading or rebuilding an engine. Come up with a plan! Find hilarity on the internet. Practice the pause, journal, make amends, complete your moral inventory… Run every scenario you can think of… practice the worst case scenario, then you can minimize lesser scenarios.
The fact that you are listening to me is helping me breathe, to shake less. I feel more normal than I ever have in my life. Sarah is in my army of bitches, we are now talking about how great Cuba is. She doesn’t even realize how foreign that is to Americans (she is an immigrant). She says: “I need to get there before Starbucks“. (Was she quietly listening about my tirade on franchises?) I think about all I have learned from immigrants, from people in the ghetto, to professors… I realize I need to clean up my language and insult less. (it’s the difference between being known for “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself” and “Grab ’em by the pussy“)
By a certain degree, I don’t want to clean up our language. I want to piss you off in a call to action! I want to teach you how to save a life; I want you to realize that Robin Williams and Chester Beddington were running scenarios and ran out of time, ran out of sanity; I want you to realize that Heath Ledger’s addiction was the result of unattended emotional pain; I want you to realize that Courtney Love was driven insane by her husband’s pain that she couldn’t attend to; I want to realize that suburban and ghetto corpses alike have the same problems as Jim Morrison; I want you to realize that a hug, a kind word, a phone call, something – fucking anything – a chat room conversation on the internet could have changed all that; I want you to know that you can change the world and save the greats ones…
I want you to know that many of us will never have the eternal sunshine of a spotless mind. Did I just turn being a “one percenter” into something intriguing? My universe is made of polka dots: I’m either in a Black Hole Sun or Enjoying the Light. I’m finding shades of gray with your help. But when someone comes at you and screams they need to win this argument, it may be a life or death argument.
Stop doing what you can with what you know! Please lose your primitive desire to win! Please listen! Please give in, even when you’re right, unless you’re willing to buy a casket and organize a wake!
How did Robin and Chester run less scenarios than me? (they were probably exhausted from doing it decades longer than I did.) They convinced themselves that no one would give them a hug. They forgot laughter is an emotional hug. They were so panicked, that – alike me – they forgot there was the existence of pockets, of time, of a solution to anger… Depression is just anger toward anger turned inwards. Why didn’t they know that? I wanted to enjoy their light – the world wanted to enjoy their light. Please reach out – you have no idea if you are dealing with polka-dotted brain like mine, because you are enjoying the bliss of the eternal sunshine of a spotless mind. (I know you’re in the gray in between, I know that, I’m just trying to breathe. I just want to fucking breathe!) When a time dilation occurs and an emotional blackout sets in, there is no gray. (Can you help with that? Can we talk about this later and put a pin on it?) I’m past the point of melancholy and emotionally exhausted – this has been a 47 year struggle between good and evil, between crime and responsibility, between madness and indifference…
This is also a temporary situation… I wouldn’t have such financial, such impressive credentials, so much love… Paint the shit out of that, color the walls with reason, just do that for me. I love the painting below! It reminds me of my army that knows how to save a life, because I’m a suddenly Susan that is talking about the communist aggression and Mbuto. I’d love to tell you about Mbuto! You need to hear this – we need to stop reliving the sins of our father. Just breathe, Susan, just breathe!