How Do You Even Know to Do These Things?

I think about class a lot.  More so now than I did before I moved to Nashville.  Even when I first moved to Nashville, I thought about class but only in terms of how normal I was compared to the Vandy kids who had so much.

Later, I learned that it wasn’t that other folks had so much, it was that I had so little.  But fine.  We don’t want for much, I don’t think.  My own house with a fenced in yard so the dog and I can play without the leash in the way.  A car for the Butcher.  To be out of debt.  I can’t get the Butcher’s shit together, but I’m slowly getting my own.

But I have an acquaintance who’s just gotten a new job.  And I’ve been thinking about how he got that job.  I don’t know the details, but at some level, it comes down to him realizing that they would need someone to fill that position.

I had access to all the same information he did.  I saw all the same people talking about the same things.  And I said, “Oh, great, look.  Folks are talking and having a good time.  Okay, let’s see who else needs a good talking to.”  I didn’t say, “Hey, wait a minute!  How can I use all this information to my advantage?”

It never occurred to me to say that.  I go around being open to possibilities.  I do. Even when something scares the shit out of me, if I’m asked to do it, I do it.

But I’m no good at creating my own possibilities.  I know how to meet large numbers of people and talk to them and be delighted with them.  I don’t know how to turn that into some kind of opportunity for me.

I don’t know if that’s a class thing or just a me thing.  But here I am feeling like I desperately need to bring more cool stuff into my life and I don’t think I know how to do that.  I want to just be open and have you recognize my worth and bring me in.  Because I just don’t know how to do this other thing.

In fact, until very recently, I had no idea other people were working it any other way.

I’m kind of a naive idiot.  I think that contributes a great deal to my frustration with myself.  I sense the world works differently than I think it does, but I’m not quite smart enough to figure out where my assumptions are wrong.


All evening long, I’ve been trying to write an email to my favorite married man.  A totally inappropriate email about his scruffy whiskers and where on my body they might scratch that I would find pleasant.

I couldn’t ever finish it.

I adore my favorite married man.  I think he adores me.  And I adore that kind just straight forward “Well, I like the hell out of you”  and “shoot, I like the hell out of you, too” thing.  I’m not very good at it, but I like it.

I don’t know what happened.  I used to be able to think of all kinds of deliciously naughty things we should do and had no problem expressing that.

But the way he talks about his wife lately just… I don’t know.  It does something to my heart, how much he just unabashedly loves her.  That kind of makes me love her, too.  And that makes it impossible for me to hit ‘send’ instead of ‘cancel.’

I have another friend.  I keep starting emails to him, because I’m worried about him.  Sadly, our friendship is not as uncomplicated as my friendship with my favorite married guy and so I think I’ve decided it’s not my place to butt in. 

I keep starting this post, reading back, and erasing what I’ve written.  I’ve gotten this far, I can’t figure out what else I want to say.

A Brief Explanation

Listen, y’all.  I know it’s not been very much fun around here lately.  I’m sorry about that.  I know it’s not much fun to watch and that it seems like, if I’d just get my head out of my ass and stop dwelling on the bad shit, things would be fine.  I appreciate that sentiment.

But this is how things go.

Ninety to ninety-five percent of my life is amazingly awesome.  I have good people around me and good luck and a job I love and a cute little place to live at the end of a sunny street and a happy dog.

I’ve also got some unpleasant shit that comes up from time to time and demands I tend to it.  Most people would not tend to wrestle their demons in public.  I respect that, but I find doing it publicly to be one of the best ways for me to see them for their true size and not be overwhelmed by them.

I know it’s not fun to watch.  Again, I’m sorry about that.  But it’s what I have to do to deal with things.  It’s hard right now.  I feel like I’m under a tremendous amount of pressure and I can’t articulate where that pressure’s coming from.  But it’s okay.  It sucks right now, but it’s really going to be fine.  Things will shift and shift again and I’ll get back to normal.

Just hang with me.

A Brief Programming Note

I’m done talking about the Butcher for a little bit.  I’m just irrationally despondent about it and it’s gotten into my body.  My arms and legs hurt and I’m having trouble moving.  So, yes, I’m avoiding it.  Yes, I know and have seen repeatedly that dragging the things that hurt you out into the light tends to make them shrivel up and seem more manageable.

But there’s just too much here.  It’s not just the Butcher, it’s how precarious our finances are, and how unhappy he is and how I feel somewhat responsible for that because I needed him to move down here, and how I don’t realize that he’s just as fucked up as me, and how help is not coming.  It’s just him and just me.  We can debate why that is–if I’m fundamentally unlovable or if I push people away or if I don’t know how to ask for help and so never get it (in which case realizing that help isn’t coming is probably just another mode of that).  But help is not coming.

My whole life I’ve been praying to be rescued.  It has never happened.  It is not going to happen.  There’s nobody who sees how fucked up things are who’s going to fix things.  The sooner I can get that through my head, the better off I’m going to be.  But I have needed to be rescued from one thing or another for a long time, so stopping holding out hope for it isn’t easy.  Coming to grips with the fact that there’s only me to save me is pretty damn depressing.

Anyway, so let’s talk about other things.  It’ll probably seem stilted and awkward, but I’ve got to move on.

The Long Walk Home

I walked home today.  I thought it would give me time to clear my head and get out in the sun and feel better.  It took me a long time to get home, because I felt bad the whole way.

I’m unhappy.  I’ve been unhappy since… I don’t know since when.  For a long time.  I don’t know what would make me happy.  Maybe switching jobs.  Maybe finding a cool hobby.  Maybe developing a collection of sex toys so exquisite people blush when they pass by my house on the interstate, even though they don’t know why.

No, I know when.

I’ve been unhappy since they repossessed the Butcher’s car.  To me, a car is a symbol of a girl’s freedom and without one, I feel just as trapped as trapped can be.

I need the Butcher here.  I don’t expect you guys to understand that.  I know from the outside, it doesn’t make any sense, but I feel like a big lonely fearful freak and having my brother around makes that feeling less acute.  If he leaves under happy circumstances–he falls in love and wants to run off to Vegas and get married–I’d be thrilled for him.  But that wouldn’t feel like losing him.

When he pulls this shit, I know I should be mad.  I don’t feel mad, though.  I feel very afraid.  I’m afraid he’s trying to leave me.  That what I ask of him is too hard and that’s why he can’t do it.

And, too, I know that that’s really stupid.  That his inability to figure out what might make him happy and do it isn’t any referendum on me.

It’s funny.  I was telling the Professor today that just because you can see how you’re fucked up doesn’t get you out of being fucked up.  Knowing you’re fucked up will not prevent you from doing fucked up things.

And so I know it’s fucked up to experience every change as fear-inducing.  Big whoop.  Whoever said "knowing is half the battle" is an asshole.  All I do is know.  I sit around and mull shit over in order to know it better and what’s it gotten me?  A great deal of unhappiness.

Here’s the Butcher’s problem, I think.  I think he’s got some fucked up notions of justice.  He doesn’t like the job he has now because he feels like they lied to him about what they’d give him if he’d leave Kroger to take the job.  But he hates it because of how they treat all their employees.  When he quits a job, he always goes out in some righteously indignant blaze of glory, as if he’s been betrayed by the ways these shitty jobs grind everyone into mean-ass shit.

The Butcher’s an awesome person.  He gets along well with everyone.  Unlike most people his age, he’s not snobby or a know-it-all.  He’s able to seem comfortable in all kinds of situations and he’s graceful around strangers in a way that most straight men aren’t.  He’s smart and silly and charming.  I think he’d be really good at selling things, if he believed in the product, because he really connects with people and people tend to want to be around him and do whatever cool thing he’s doing.

He’s creative, though he’s never had a job that really tapped that.  He’s got the whole front of our house transformed into a makeshift art studio and he’s always filming something or lighting something as if to film it.

He’s always doing wacky things–like the fire breathing or wrestling with the cat or making monsters out of paper clips.  He might make a good bartender at a burlesque club, if such a thing existed, or a nanny for an artsy family.  He’s really good with kids and he likes them and they like him.

Like everyone I care about, he sells himself short, I think.

As for me, if I could have any job, I’d like to do this and get paid for it.  I’d like to either write things and then spend my time watching as fascinating people mull those things over or I’d like to find some other way to get paid to socialize.  In the job I have now, I spend a great deal of time alone, and it’s grinding me down.  I feel lonely and isolated.  I don’t feel like what I do matters.

Aha, you see that!

Look how we went from talking about me to talking about the Butcher to talking about me again.  Because, I envy the Butcher his ability to believe that he deserves a job that doesn’t make him miserable and his willingness to quit doing things that make him unhappy, even if he’s got nothing in place.  I could never do that.  It’s not just that I feel responsible.  It’s that I’m not sure I can expect not to be miserable.

His Life Sucks, So Why Don’t I Feel Better?

Shug sent me a link to the myspace page of the guy who stalked me for four years.  I shouldn’t have looked–no good can come of it–but I did.

He claims he misses sitting on the porch with me.

He also works at Starbucks, is divorced, and still lives in the little town he lived in when I knew him.

I’ve got nothing to say in the face of that. 

I always thought I’d feel better if I knew his life sucked. 

But instead, my first thought was “Fuck me.  He’s on the internet.  I bet he can find me.  Yes, because some fucker posted my real name and home address here at this site, somewhere in Google’s cache, my real name is linked to this stuff.  Which means, he could be reading this right now.”

That bothers me.

It really bothers me that he still thinks about me.

It really, really bothers me that I still think about him.

It really, really, really bothers me that I’m still a little afraid of him.