lost and found

As mentioned previously, I’m going through a purge of late. I’m trying to whittle down my possessions to things that are loved, used regularly or, preferably, both. On average, I’m freeing myself of two or three trash bags full each weekend. Some things get donated, sold or given to friends, while other stuff gets sent to the big plastic trash bin in the sky. I mean, under the carport. It’s amazing how much shit you can accumulate when you have the space to not feel crowded.

This has been a lightening, and it’s also been the opposite (a heavying?). It’s so easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of memories, good and bad. This makes the process go slower, but that’s okay. What are we, if not our past experiences, current reality and forward-thinking selves, all wrapped into one? Can’t know where you are if you don’t know where you’ve been, etc. So it’s slow going at times, like many worthwhile things in life.

During today’s purge, I ran across a few scribbled monologues from late 2008. I went through a phase where every character that popped into my head wanted to talk without anyone talking back (monologue, not dialogue). Feel free to do the psychological analysis on that. This monologue struck me as funny, so I’m going to share it with you. I made a note that the character speaking is a broom, with a cork in its mouth, wearing a wig, but you can read it as a woman with a cork in her mouth wearing her own hair. Her friend reads the note aloud.

Hello. It’s so nice to see you. Unless this is a funeral, in which case I’m sorry to see you. Well, not sorry. Just sad that we had to meet under these circumstances.

In case you’re wondering why I’m communicating with you via this note, you may have noticed that there’s a cork in my mouth. I’ve been participating in a somewhat unorthodox treatment for my weight problem, which I now seem to have under control. To be safe, the cork must remain firmly lodged for a period of no shorter than six months.

Don’t worry. I’m still receiving sustenance through an intravenous feed in the inside flesh of my elbow. Or between my toes. Or in my eyeball. The veins get tired after a while. Just like a heroin addict, ha ha.

My point is, I’m not starving to death. Just starving to the point of looking good.

The note used to end here, and people would hand this little sheet back to me or forget to hand it back and I’d have to grab it after a bit, which just felt rude. I thought that my explanation was enough, but I could sense that people wanted more.

You’re perhaps wondering how this has impacted my relationship with my husband. In fact, we are getting along quite well now. My inability to talk led me to find profundity in the silence. Our lack of repartee made me realize that I don’t love him anymore. So we’re getting a divorce. But we’re parting as friends. And with my newfound body, there’s been no shortage of men. I hope that the man I’m currently dating doesn’t have a problem when I remove the cork! Ha ha.

To be honest, I kind of like the cork. It’s that old saying–better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. I think there is a Zen Buddhist thing going on with my ongoing silence. People really seem to pay attention to me in a way they didn’t before. Before the cork. But I do sometimes want a cheeseburger.

this photo was taken very close to the date on which I wrote that monologue - this is our driveway in the Heights, post Hurricane Ike - my Miata was safely stored in the garage, and James' car was narrowly missed

this photo was taken very close to the date on which I wrote that monologue – this is our driveway in the Heights, post Hurricane Ike – my Miata was safely stored in the garage, and James’ car was narrowly missed

5 thoughts on “lost and found

  1. I missed your danged writing contest and now I’m sitting here trying to place the inspiration for that monologue I just read; it is damned familiar then I realized it reminded me of that play you wrote that I read and it occurred to me that you have a voice that is distinctly your own and (not feminist) (not feminine) what the fuck am I trying to say? Some wise-ass once said that most men lead lives of quiet desperation but what about the women? What about the women? Good god. I am back to being a slave and it means I have to parse the minutes of my life; friends can go to hell I need time to drink and think and look at pictures of bicycles on the internet.

    And yet; well, here am I sister-woman, here am I and while I am the last sorry bastard on the planet who would use ‘grok’ in a sentence…well, I kinda get it. I kinda get why I am glad that I was born male and yet regretful at the same time. I think it was Ginsburg who quoted Kerouac as saying that every man on the planet should fall to his knees before his mother or his lover and beg forgiveness. Or maybe that was me… or it might just be straight from one of his (jack’s) books. I can never tell; there have been so many books and mothers and lovers that now, yet again doing the same work I did when I was twenty-five, I wonder why we bother and also, knowing what I do about the Beats, if maybe Ginzy was not maybe cooking up some other on the knees fantasies…

    Am I making sense? Hopefully not. One of these days I’ll try to get it straight. Or not. The nervous laugh at the end of each statement is something I picked up on early in life. What’s so fuckin’ funny? It is an indice of insecurity and fear of being told to put a cork in it. So…bullseye. I normally don’t try to show my work but sometimes it is important that the other party gets at least a hope that, through their quiet (screaming) desperation, at least one other sentient being groks what they are attempting to convey. I never do. The stuff I think most resembles a polished apple on the teacher’s desk goes unnoticed, the content of my blog posts are mostly misinterpreted and I am almost certain that I am clinically sane. But that only counts if you hang out in clinics.

    If I get rich enough through this most recent spate of employment I plan to fly around the country like Jay and Silent Bob disillusioning my readers by terrorizing them in person. You and Tohner are high on the list but we will have to meet somewhere outside of Texas because of your state’s archaic grudge-laws of insisting on enforcing old warrants. That also rules out Louisiana and California but I think Colorado is cool by now, at least legally.

    Whatever.

    tj

  2. Haven’t chosen winners yet, so the writing contest is still technically open. Though, since there were so few responses (typical for this blog–my readers don’t comment here all that much) (which is fine, no judgment), I’m probably going to send books to anyone willing to share a story and their address with me. I’ve once again run out of bookshelf space and refuse to stack them on the floor or shove them in drawers. I have to whittle things down to a more manageable size so I can immediately buy more books. Always more books.

    Colorado is cool for multiple reasons. Maybe we could all meet at Jim Bangs’ house.

    Sometimes it sucks being a chick, but there are cool aspects too. Like, never having to worry about an errant erection. I remember a guy in middle school giving a book report at the front of the classroom and his business was twitching around in his pants and everyone noticed and we were enthralled/horrified at the same time and even though I was dealing with periods and boobs I was relieved to not be at the mercy of independently moveable body parts.

    So there’s that.

    Congrats on/sorry about the new gig. I hope you still have time to keep working on your book. I’m digging it. You, too, have a distinct style that is yours and yours only. That shit can’t be taught or bought.

  3. Two parts to this blog that struck a twangy off sharp chord with me. I am very jealous of your purge process. That is something that I have lusted about for years…almost in a perverse sexual way….forbidden fruit as it were. My wife of 31 years is a collector of crap and clutter. Not in a weird hoarder way that you see on TV, more like those people that you see on that pickers show. Just old stuff that I don’t have any use for or desire to look at or have in my life any more. I want my wife in my life, just not her stuff. 31 years of things that should go to the great plastic trash bin in the sky. But it is her stuff and who am I to dictate to anybody how to conduct their business. I had years of that responsibility with my kids and hang on to bit of it with my basketball team, but other adults???? nope, make your own decisions on how you want life to look. I look hard at myself and is it because I don’t have control over this issue? Am I one of THOSE guys….a need to control every moment of the day???? I don’t think so. In my work I let people control their own situations and call their shots. It fosters a very healthy workplace and makes it dynamic and forward thinking if everybody knows they have a say that is important. I don’t think I am different at home. She inherited a house from her parents that is five minutes from our house but it is not a sanctuary but another house of other people’s stuff (her parents). Is collecting crap an inherited trait???
    The “rabbit hole of memories good and bad” is another subject. These last few months a couple of events have returned me to times of my young adult life. Mostly good memories, a few not as good, certainly nothing bad. definitely a fall down the Rabbit Hole! It has led to a lot of thinking and self-examination, thoughts of “have I lived a good life to this point”? Have I contributed to the overall wellness and good of the human race?
    Weird….I know….maybe not even healthy….good for me they were fleeting thoughts….not dwelled on by any stretch.

    Your monologue (vs Dialog) was interesting. I love that comparison by the way, monologue instead of dialog. Much of our married life has been that. My wife runs a monologue of which my role in the marriage is to be the listener. It’s been OK, and seems to have worked out. Maybe that’s why I write on this computer so much….my perverse compensation for a lack of dialog!?!?
    Does the cork count for the typed word because I kinda like the cork, except for the cheeseburger….and beer.
    Colorado would be a great convergent point although I’m pretty sure I can’t keep up with you or TJ in the creative mind department. And I don’t know of your drinking habits but TJ’s sound like they are up to Hunter Thompson-esque style and I won’t be able to keep up with that either. Maybe I can serve as the facilitator!!
    Thanks for posting
    Jim

    • Jim, I think the questions you’ve been asking yourself are pretty much the point of it all. We’re not here to consume or get rich or dominate other people. At least, I sure hope that’s not the case. We’re here to connect, do right by each other and just be decent human beings. So I’d say you’re on the right track. Lead the way!

      I bet if you did an unscientific survey, you’d find that a lot of writers became such because they couldn’t get a word in–at home, at work, with their friends. It’s a vehicle for saying what you need to say but may not be able to articulate in your non-writing life. It’s therapy, even if what you’re writing about is in no way autobiographical (though all writing, even non-fiction, is autobiographical to an extent).

      Regarding “stuff,” I’m sure you’ve seen this Carlin bit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

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