anonymousblack: ([tarkovskiy] longing)
part one
part two


5.
two years later, my third and final fall session at ECC as a full-time student, i retook the spanish class i'd failed the semester of my mother's cancer diagnosis. the first day of class, i looked to my right and there was mia. she looked less clean-cut and more professional. her face lit up upon recognizing me: as casual as i'd ever been, though a lot more dark--and we were quickly reminiscing about our shared first semester as if had been two decades, instead of two years, before. it certainly felt that way for me.

the raging success of that long-ago "pump up the volume" viewing had lead to a discussion of a regular movie night. we thought that, actually, it could be more of a club; one in which we shared not just movies we liked, but other media as well. mia dubbed the group "DeMiJuJu", taking the first two letters from each of our names. she wanted to get shirts printed. deacon agreed vehemently, noting we could affect the text with various accent marks to make it look exotic. she mentioned the movie group, still laughing about the idea. then, with that ecstatic darting glance that indicated she was asking about something taboo, she wondered if i'd seen deacon--answering my most looming question in a quick and disappointing stroke.

i hadn't. i felt bad, i didn't talk to june any more either--though with deacon, there wasn't any rage or chaos, just time and change. if i did see him, i wouldn't have quickly maneuvered myself in the opposite direction. i would have dashed over, said hi. asked about mia.

i had a boyfriend, now, and my non-school, non-work, non-boyfriend activity time was extremely limited to non-existent. boyfriend world was this entirely different experience for me, and not nearly as enjoyable as "single" world had been, though i'd be damned if i ever admit that to anyone.

"it'd be DeMiJu, now," i told mia, sadly, as this was well after my second semester at ecc.

mia was okay with that--she'd seen june recently herself. "lots of makeup," she said, uncertain. but DeMiJu still worked. we should find deacon, she said, at the exact moment i noticed her engagement ring.

"we should," i agreed, but we never did.

maybe he could have saved us from ourselves.
anonymousblack: ([rs] bride)
part one
part three



2.
A Strange Business. whether or not i considered elgin's premiere mental health facility, it became a point of blunt infamy. the original building, abandoned and further up mcclean blvd, had a louder energy. i approached it with caution: it made my fingertips numb. friends drove by it late at night and saw things.

one of my first friends from the ECC rec room confided that he'd broken into it with friends on halloween. he said he knew it was a mistake before he'd even done it. he said it felt like grave robbing. he said he'd asked to leave but his friends were fueled up and belligerent and he worried about what might happen if he just abandoned them there. he didn't say if he meant: what would happen to his friends, or what would happen to the finger-numbing ghosts. i could see him having some concern for both.

someone brought a ouija board. someone else brought candles. the ouija board spelled out a threat and flew at a wall, untouched by human hands. a candle flared to the ceiling, then guttered them all into darkness. everything seemed to be swollen with blood. deacon hadn't felt the same since.

i looked at him and nodded ruefully. "you just can't fuck with that stuff, you know," i told him, meaning his friends. he nodded back with painful eyes. like we knew what we were talking about. as if we had any idea.


3.
deacon lived in a converted garage at the back of his parent's house. the floor was concrete. he'd repurposed a lit retail display with glass doors for use as mood lighting and a curio cabinet for star wars figurines and band paraphernalia. he had a queen sized bed with an elaborate headboard with a cubby where he stacked his CDs. he had a copy of madonna's "justify my love" EP ("great for, you know, when you're... with.... someone," except not said in a way that seemed sleazy to me. i nodded, again, though i didn't know at all.)

there were drugstore candles, stereo equipment, grand speakers; deacon was becoming a man happy with what he had, but wanting things he couldn't have. it rapidly became apparent that one of those unrequited desires was for our friend mia.

mia was a little shorter than me. she dressed well, in pastels, tasteful patterns, sweaters and corduroys, sometimes skirts. her hair was a mass of golden-bronze curls and she laughed easily, so those curls were always moving. her family was christian, she was christian, christian to the point of preferring to attend community college to university because it was less likely to interfere with the mission work scheduled in the spring. her humor was grounded and bright. she was hard to offend.

in fact, there seemed to be two mias developing, that year at ECC: the skirted smiling mission worker who did what her parents had planned--and an increasingly bawdy laughing girl who played poker with deacon and nudged her elbow into your side at the many innuendos of which our group was capable. this version of mia kept sitting with deacon, made plans with deacon, sparkled and grinned when she talked about deacon. all of us knew, however, that straight-spined skirt mia had a proper, parental-approved suitor with whom she went to garden parties and held hands. they were intended: no ring, no date, no particularly heavy petting, no escape. the expectation seemed to be that they'd be married before she could legally drink.

she didn't talk much about the suitor, to begin with. a few weeks into her friendship with deacon and she didn't talk about the suitor at all.

mia brought up deacon almost as much as deacon brought up mia. i saw deacon's room because mia arranged to have june, my best friend forever or my second semester at ecc (whichever came first) and me come over so they could show us their mutual favorite film, "pump up the volume." mia loved it but she couldn't watch it with her other friends or at her parent's house. too many questions, we guessed.

the main thing for mia was showing us deacon's room: didn't it seem like the kind of room christian slater's character would have? deacon is so much like mark, mia told us. we should get him a transmitter, mia told us, just to see what happens, she said. i love "pump up the volume" so much, she said, i love christian slater's character so much, she said. mia grinned and sparkled and elbowed my side.

a day or two later, in a booth in the rec room, i glanced up from the mass market of zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance i've never read through once in twenty years. deacon had a notebook open in front of him, but had pushed his gaze off to the side with a thumb to his chin. he seemed sad, distracted, maybe longing. having been there myself dear faust i am drowning, i understood. subtle, i leaned forward. "mia is so happy when she's around you," i observed.

"she is, isn't she," he answered, and i'd never seen him smile so broadly.


4.
shortly thereafter, i made a similar observation to mia and received a similar reaction. permission granted, i went into a full-on convoluted match-maker. i have never possessed even a little bit of talent for getting people together: it shows. this does nothing to minimize my enthusiasm for unlikely romances, then or now. what i should have done was squeezed mia's shoulder by the lady's room sink, caught her eye in the bathroom mirror, and said "talk to him." instead, i acted strangely. i reserved a full booth in the rec room for deacon, then suddenly needed to meet with an instructor shortly after mia showed up and sat down next to him. in line at the cafeteria, if i noticed there were three trays left, i'd grab two so mia and deacon would have to share.

an admissible stranger to matters of sexy, i made them a cassette of what i now understand as strange and possibly frightening avant garde ambient. at the time, i thought it could be romantic. to be fair, it really could've served to drive them into each other's arms in their mutual fear. sometimes one's intuition works for reasons one did not intuit. i carried the tape around in my unidentified satchel until deacon mentioned he was having mia over for poker. then i gave him the tape, hoping for the best. he listened to it, at least. he told me that he'd thought it was cool, how the tape went from being structured at the start to being chaotic and primitive. it gave him dreams of caveman, he said, that night he went to bed alone.

see, deacon was experienced. he'd used his madonna CD for its intended purpose more than once, and presumably with more than one person. and he drank, and he smoked, and he smoked things that weren't cigarettes, sometimes to excess. one day in the rec room, he confessed to me that he'd gone to a party the night before. he'd gone with a song in his heart and a condom in his wallet. that morning he'd woke up in a friend's bed. alone with a telling soreness. alone with a missing condom. he remembered a vodka sour and quite a bit of beer. he remembered taking a few hits and making eye contact with a girl across the circle. he woke up from his first black out with a head struck and ringing, no idea of who he'd slept with.

this was not mia's world and we both knew it.

*

more to come.
anonymousblack: (reconnect me)
1.
every day on my way to school i'd drive past the elgin mental health center.

rows upon rows of brick and gables. for three years, i drove past it and barely gave it a thought. for two broken semesters, several years up my road, i drove past it again and didn't even give it a glance. there was, say, my car stereo, my boyfriend, my newspaper room drama. there were my ghosts, my scribbled up notebooks, my torn up pages. that stretch of twenty was the last quarter of my trip but it's what i remember when i think about driving to school.

twenty folded back from twenty-five, you'd rise up from between the highway walls, and there were were: above elgin, worried about boyfriends, about not-quite-boyfriends, and ghosts. "rubycon" on your mind (since you didn't have a tape deck). your own little asylum. and there was the real one, maybe a mile in, and then it was gone.

the community college was the first place i drove alone. another brick building, this one sprawled over itself in boxes, a larger and somewhat more complex version of the high school i'd left a few months earlier. i went into that building of brick walls and strange angles a poet and a necromancer. a girl who'd stayed up the whole night before watching a movie about lesbian vampires. i wore my fresh-blood red shirt of artist's signatures from the chicago art institute--a subconscious smirk to a lost ambition as i faced my daily commutable reality. the morning was cool and humid. my eyes couldn't open wide enough. i'd write seven poems in a night. i had a notebook full of poems in my bag--a bag i can't seem to remember.

(did i choose a bag from the surplus store? i must have. did i have that musty green backpack all through ECC? what did i carry? perhaps i discarded it. it doesn't seem likely. i can't seem to let a book bag go--though it's at least as possible as my not being able to remember what bag i brought with me that day.)

the first day of classes was my eighteenth birthday. i had three classes in the morning; they were over by ten-thirty, so i sat in the student recreation room until my last class, "fundamentals of arithmetic," at three forty-five. i didn't know anyone. i had nothing to do. i tried to write in my journal, but found i had nothing to say. i tried writing a poem. i wrote some lines about the concert i'd been to a few days before. i looked out the window at the courtyard and thought it might be better to write my lines outside, so outside i went. outside it was hot. there were unexpected breezes and bugs. it had been a day of inversions: i had time, but nothing to write. i had a car, but someplace to go. it was my birthday, but it felt like a funeral. of course instead of finding satisfaction in the solace of an empty courtyard, i felt exposed and ill. so i went back in and wrote a letter to faust.

dear faust i am drowning come rescue me, love judith is what i should have written, but instead i wrote it without writing it exactly. inexactly, i doomed myself to writing it over again, many times over many seasons. eventually, i closed my notebook and went to class. a half hour before class started. it was the soonest they let me in. i spent a lot of time in that classroom, you'd think i could remember it better.

by the time i arrived at my three forty-five class--usually the first student there, usually by fifteen minutes or more--my morning classes seemed like a dream. i'd take my pick of the desks, half turn in my seat, and look out the window from a very different part of the building. now that class itself seems the most dreamlike: disconnected so completely from the rest of my coursework--temporally, physically, ideologically. i got to class earlier than anyone, but never really showed up. in the mornings i had psychology 101, philosophy, african cultural history, english 101: classes that dealt with language and improvisation. classes that dealt with other places, the imagination, the constructed world; those mysteries i gravitated toward. then: three days a week, hours went by. i sat by myself not particularly sure what i could be doing, and, then, i went to math.

*

more to come.

part two
part three
anonymousblack: (painted lady)
it's strange to wake up surrounded by internists.

home

especially when they are smiling at you.


*

we arrived at 6AM on NYE. they took me back into prep, which was bustling when i first arrived and then practically empty after the first ten minutes. the administrators were taking down the christmas decorations. i took yet another pregnancy test and changed into a gown. the tech installed the IV port, smoothed a warmed blanket over my lap and let ben come in and sit with me while doctors and assistants and nurses came by to explain things to me and have me sign forms. everyone asked me my name. everyone asked me my birthday. everyone asked what i was having done. almost everyone asked when i'd last consumed food or liquid. i assume this is a thing.

i sat in my partitioned booth on a reclining chair with my heated blanket in my lap. a little girl in braids and scrubs walked by on the way to her own prep booth. we looked at each other as she passed, only knowing one common variable in our plans for the day. ben and i talked about the doctors, about the other patients, about the episode of buffy we'd watched the other night, about mystery science theater. i watched the clock tick past eight thirty, the scheduled time of my surgery. eventually the assisting RN came in and told me it was time to put on my hair net. ben gave me a kiss and a hug. we shared i loved yous. "i'll see you soon, okay," he said. i nod, uncertain. the little girl looked up with concern as i walked past her, then turned and asked her mother something i couldn't hear.

now i'll always wonder, i thought.

the nurse walked me down a long hallway with lots of windows i was careful to not look into directly. she repeated back from her walkie that we were headed to operating room 4. there were posters, wall murals with cartoon bears. i asked her if they had fewer patients today, because of the holiday. "about half," she said.

i wondered if i'd say anything strange as i was going under. the nurse laughed. "we always like that," she told me, in an affectionate way. we walked into the OR.

*

the table is narrow and they brace you in and strap you up from all sides. everyone talked, to me, to each other. pop music played softly in the background. the room is surprisingly cold. like a meat locker, i think. well, of course.

the nurse velcroed each leg into circulation wraps, to prevent clotting: "it's part of the spa program we have here," she joked. the wraps filled gradually, one side, then the other, drawing air in from the bottom, each compartment one after the next; then they'd deflate and vibrate and start again, like living things. i didn't like them, at first.

the anesthesiologist said she was starting my pain meds; she said that i should start to feel pretty good real soon. things soften and warm. the surgeon squeezed my shoulder and looked down at me, smiling. "you ready to do this?" everyone is my friend, suddenly, and i can appreciate why: i am putting my life in the hands of these gentle strangers. then i am simply grateful that they hadn't put the table lights up, yet. then the oxygen mask. then nothing.

*

the first thing i saw when i came around in recovery was my surgeon, lightly touching my arm and telling me the procedure was "textbook." everything went smoothly, my parathyroids were fine, the surrounding nerves were fine, and it hadn't been necessary to remove any additional tissue. he said i did extremely well. ben says it took about 4 and a half hours.

recovery rooms are not the happiest places. across the room a boy moaned and clung to his father. the man next to me wanted his wife and a coke. people kept saying that i seemed to be coming out of it well, and after twenty minutes or so they brought ben in so he could sit with me and spoon ice chips into my mouth while they still had me hooked up to the monitors.

whether or not i was 'coming out of it well,' everything from that first couple hours feels slurred and queasy. my throat hurt like photographs of a dead loved one. the RN laid a pan on my chest as she wheeled me to my room and said, "it doesn't look like you'll need this, but just in case." after they moved me to the bed, i looked at ben in earnest delirium and informed him, "you know this boogie is for real," because really, what else could i say? jamiroquai didn't quite bridge the connection for us, unfortunately, though ben may not have understood. my throat could barely hold the weight of my voice.

i was able to use the washroom by myself, but the rn or tech had to come in the first few times to unhook me from everything and spot me to the door. i did not remotely like the sensation of putting my arm down to push myself off the bed, that first time i stood, and not feeling like my arm could bear weight.

ben and i watched buffy and xena on netflix (i think) then fireworks over the harbor on television at midnight. i start out 2013 with cancer in a hospital room on narcotics. maybe things get better from here.

*

overnight my calcium levels weren't stable and we had to stay a second night at the hospital. yesterday around this time they'd just told me this and i was miserable, then nauseated, then nauseated and miserable with this horrible IV port still stuck into my left hand. the OR is arranged around the assumption that most patients are right handed, according to what i was told when i begged the woman who was prepping me to please put the port in my right hand so i could write in my journal that night if i was feeling up to it. i mean, i've come to terms over the last couple months with the fact that there's only so much you can do around the whole handedness issue with healthcare, and the last thing i'd want to do is throw my surgeon off his game because i'm laid out on his table backward, but man, us lefties sure get a raw deal, sometimes. i've had a little bit of cramping in my left hand since the port finally came out around 10:30 this morning, but i think i'll be able to write longhand again. world of difference between even the first two signatures i made on the release forms.

they kept feeding me supplements and checked my levels again around 5AM (six needle entries for bloodwork, one in my hand for bloodwork, three needle entries in my belly for anti-clotting meds, and two in my other hand from the IV: my new nickname would be "the human pin cushion." every time i'd turn away or close my eyes and try not to think about it, afraid i'd drop or puke or finally just explode into a world of needle intolerance. one of the entries bruised rather badly; there are gray stains butterflying inches out from my right elbow. lesson one from cancer: needles suck, but life goes on.)

all the internists came in the room before dawn to tell me i could go home. and tap my cheeks, and ask me if my lips felt numb, and peel off the plastic bandage over my neck (the most painful part of the experience besides the bruising from the breathing tube, which, like a lot of thyroidectomy patients, i assumed was actually from the incision, which hasn't hurt too badly, hmm.) you might be able to see the faint pink halo around the scar - that's from the bandage. i asked ben (he stayed by my bed both nights, updated facebook, called relatives and served as my voice while speaking was difficult) if i'd cried out while they were pulling off the bandage, and he said i didn't - he then wondered why the one doctor felt compelled to take it off when my surgeon had said to keep it on until tomorrow. i thought about that and said, "you know, i think i'm glad the doctor did it. because in front of them i had a little shame. if you or i had to do that tomorrow, there probably would have been screaming and trauma."

because really, enough with the screaming and trauma.

happy new year.
anonymousblack: (then again maybe i won't)
so there's this filmstrip that they used to make us watch in gradeschool. because we were kids and it was a kid's movie so it was supposed to make us happy. live action, color, very faded quality about it, maybe from the sixties? there's this boy and he has a pet hawk, i think. some kind of bird of prey. they have love and deep and profound friendship but the town shuns them, also some other stuff happens. the boy is eventually driven away from civilization. he decides to live in a cave. with the bird. he fixes it up real nice, that cave. you're starting to think, geez, maybe i'd kind of like to live in a cave with my forbidden lover who is a hawk. and it's good, it's really good for a while, until some rocks fall on the boy and then tar bleeds out of the walls and the bird gets confused and flies around in circles or maybe that's egyptian mythology. but the boy is definitely trapped under a rock and there is definitely tar puking out of the cave walls and something almost certainly has gone awry with the bird. and he's screaming and screaming his pathetic little boy throat raw for someone to save him. but because he's been shunned for bird love, no one can hear him. and oh, god, it is horrible. my memory is that this scene goes on for hours. it might be the bird saves him eventually or maybe he just drowns in tar and the bird is sad. i was sad. for many reasons. i despised this film. i loathed this film. i cried every time they made us watch it. there wasn't enough fucking hawaiian punch at horizon elementary to wash the filthy sensation of it away. and they always made us watch it in grade school, every year i think, because it was supposed to be a happy treat. or maybe they only made us watch it twice? it was definitely more than once, though, because i remember having to put my head down and cry when they told us we were watching it that day because oh god make it stop not again it's happening again the cave and the tar and it never ends.

so my question to you, livejournal, is: what was the name of this goddamn movie?

anonymousblack: (commodified self)
getting ready for my shower later than i would've liked this morning i picked up the blue men's 2X long flannel i use as a robe and, as i did so, knocked over the vaguely meth-lab style oil lamp perched admittedly way too close to the edge of our dresser/entertainment center. i picked up the lamp just this sunday at the antique mall, and, yes, if you're wondering, i'd since cleaned it up and filled with extremely toxic, extremely flammable candle oil.

the lamp did not break but instead rolled in a half-circle across the floor in the foot and a half between our bed/couch and dresser/entertainment center, spewing five ounces of extremely toxic, extremely flammable candle oil all over the floorboards as it went. it stopped several inches under the bed/couch. see, this is particularly problematic because at the base of our dresser/entertainment center would be the pile of clothing, notebooks (including paper journal and primary horse-stunning brainstorming notebook i've been working on since 2004) and assorted personal tinder i pile up at the base of our dresser/entertainment center. this is because i have no housekeeping skills, must have missed that semester at school.

you can imagine my chagrin at the prospect of my notebooks (including paper journal and primary horse-stunning brainstorming notebook i've been working on since 2004) and favorite clothing getting soaked in extremely toxic, extremely flammable candle oil. somehow, thank the gods, my little lamp turned oil bomb trajected itself over my personal effects and kept the majority of its puddle just on the naked floor. a stray bra, sort of in a "how'd that get there" placement, got some oil in the process, and spillage eventually seeped to one of the boxes i keep under the bed/couch.

did i mention this was right in front of the radiator, and that the radiator was in the midst of a heat cycle? it would appear not. so! i will mention: this was right in front of the radiator, and the radiator was in the midst of a heat cycle.

i was dressed for my shower, meaning i was not dressed. i yelped and snatched up the bottle, searched fruitlessly for the oil saturated wick and metal housing that isn't really fixed inside the lamp but mostly just set in the bottle's mouth and has the sort of patina that isn't quite so lovely and wabi-sabi as it is questionable and meth-lab. then began the forty-five minute process of trying to remove roughly five ounces of extremely toxic, extremely flammable candle oil from our bedroom/living room/dining room/only room floor. this involved an embarrassing amount of paper towels, doc bronner's soap, and, eventually, windex. through our mutual efforts, the floorboards have been returned to conventional bachelor pad standards for toxic flammability, or, at least, i hope they have.

my only consolations on this ridiculous mess of a wednesday are a) notebooks were okay, b) (thank the gods) this wasn't a carpet, and c) i found it incredibly amusing to contemplate, whilst naked, swearing, frantically sloshing and wiping, the community of internet fetishists who'd pay thousands of dollars to watch this exact scenario unfold.

*

now i'm going to guzzle passion flower tea and sulk about christmas.
anonymousblack: ([tarkovskiy] glass)
yesterday i called coyote. she wasn't at her desk so i got her machine. into the machine i said: hello coyote this is judy you know your like friend and i just wanted to see how your trip went and how you are doing and i'll be here tonight otherwise we'll talk tomorrow i still don't really know how to talk into machines but whatever the case, i hung up and went about my night.

first thing: i intended to tell coyote that i've decided to take ben and go live off peyote in a cave and i want her to come with. i'm not sure how i'll find a livable cave, much less genetically modified peyote that will sustain us nutritionally while still altering reality as needed, but really, details. i'll be frank with you: i'm tired of being judith. i've been in something of a mutually destructive dynamic with society for a while now and i'm thinking that, at the suggestion of numerous advice columns and self-help books, it might be time to abandon this persistently abusive relationship: break out of the old so i can finally create the opportunity to experience something new and much more healthy. so ben and i and possibly coyote will ditch society, let it have some long hard thoughts about what it's done. or hasn't done, as the case may be.

so she didn't answer, and it didn't quite feel correct to say, heeeey, coyote, i'm blowing this taco joint, let's go subterranean and hallucinate. truly, she probably knows better than anyone that this day would come, but. regardless. today she called and i'd momentarily forgotten about my cave idea. probably because i woke up miserable in uterus-as-shark-week-hell and the only cave that really seems appealing in such a state involves low light, memory foam, fine linens, incense and a number of fine new age recordings by inner splendor media.

i do still feel compelled to drop out of society. i've never done it. a weekend here and there, though i doubt they qualify as we diligently pay our campsite fees. i lived for two years in iowa which, for a lot of people from the east coast, is not unlike unimaginable beastly wilderness, whatever the rest of us may know the truth to be. coyote would be handy in a society-abandoning scenario because she's heavy in the midst of training to backwoods camp for six months on the appalachian trail and taught herself a large range of survival skills around Y2K, besides. i know, for instance, that she she can construct concrete bricks out of local materials, that she can take flora and fauna from the landscape for various amenities; she's been trained as a lifeguard and knows how to resuscitate people, also handy. plus she's coyote and just basically essential to have around. i figure with what i heard about purifying water with plastic bottles on NPR this summer probably we'd make a halfway decent team. her half, anyway, would be decent. better than decent, in fact: perhaps beyond decent enough to make up for my half, which would be writhing on the ground half-dead and plagued by three o'clock our first whole day in the wild, but we can only live with what we are given.

(unless! we are uncompromising and make things better for ourselves, with our bootstraps and our never wholly depleted optimism and such, so, really, my general pathos and poverty can be faulted only by my lack of sunshine and trust. perhaps if i were as open and unabashed in my affections and devotion as i was when i was 13, i'd be well-adjusted and happy and brimming with bucks and babies, except for that that trusting nature was what got me abandoned and raped and generally abused back in the day so where was i going with this? somewhere else. here we go.)

saturday evening my parents called. i'd just taken two large hits of wormwood and i'm not exactly sure how wormwood hits me yet, so i picked up the phone and talked to my parents during my confused onset period. please note that this is a wholly legal herbal experiment and despite rumors to the contrary, wormwood does not make you hallucinate. i was, at no point, whirling in the ethers, but also know that this was also not a dosage taken in a strictly invisible supplemental sense, like how you take garlic to chase off an infection or install a pinch of asafotedia in your lentils to cut back on wind; i'm curious about this dollhouse effect. i like body buzzes. i like noticing things in a slightly tweaked mindset. and though i can't say that i documented much more than a bit of body buzz

(potential euphoria notably muted by the fact that my father was explaining that my belongings, in boxes, in the not-climate controlled storage locker, have collapsed into themselves, buckling busting boxes of my life that weren't meant to be stored like that long term: did i mention i'm almost certain, at this point, that i'll never have my own things again, or be able to enjoy them, or be able to see the life i'd built for myself in illinois as anything besides this annoying burden on all my loved ones?)

but even though effects were minimal, i don't really remember very much of the first part of that conversation. it might be my PTSD kicked in and just muted out a lot of the upsetting parts, just as i was trying to ignore the effects of the wormwood in the interests of projecting a familiar version of myself that would not leave my parents wondering what is going on with this girl. as a consequence, i still don't really have a sense of how wormwood affects me. it's subtle, as i anticipated. i'm not necessarily looking for a break with reality, at least not when my head is above water

(my head struggles to stay at least a little above water, lately--the struggle is much more common and persistent than before i became trapped in the jobless artless heartless stagnant swamp of baltimore, maybe better than last winter, it could be, in someways not in others. note that when i'm uncontrollably sobbing on the rowhouse floorboards, playing with wormwood doesn't seem particularly appealing, either; like alcohol, even very lightweight recreational drug use only seems to exacerbate my depression).

what i'm looking for is some different energy to play with. visionary herbs, dreaming herbs, what have you, they seem, most of the time, to be enough of a nudge. at least as long as i am still part of society, as long as i am not yet living in a cave.

then, all bets are off.

i tried wormwood as a tea with some damiana recently and my primary lesson from this experience was that: i really need to have a exclusive tea strainer for such concoctions. many of them do not loan a desirable aura to the golden yunnan i had later that evening. wormwood is bitter, insistently so, and that bitterness is going to live in the nylon of the strainer for quite some time. damiana is lovely as a tea, green and warming; it seems to be helping to dislodge my depression-related sexual block (isn't it funny, how depression helpfully compromises your enjoyment of every activity that has traditionally combated depression? hilarious, truly, just hilarious.) i'll note that it is much better to drink damiana than to vaporize it as the couple times i've vaporized it i've ended up with nasty chest congestion the next day. the tea, once i hyper-sugared and downed it, offered an enjoyable glow.

not quite the mix i'm looking for in negotiating the newly shitty hormonal shitstorm of placebo week, oh if only there were some magical herb that negotiated mood, managed pain, helped you sleep and increased appetite! oh, wait. well, if only that magical herb were legal. but for a few hours my mood was markedly better than it's been since the cramps and hair-trigger emotional outbursts started back on friday. these new birth control pills have me polarized. i love them or i hate them. whatever the case, i'm guessing this month has more than anything to do with the weather: winter and hormones, now, as ever, do not mix.

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selva oscura

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