Thursday, December 13, 2007

Random, Useless Discourse 27: Faking It-When You Care Enough To Send the Very Least, But Still Want Some Credit

also posted 12/13 -

Lying gets a bad rap. Let’s face it, somewhere between your mom, your teachers, your pastor, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, and those 2-tons-of-fun the Ten Commandments, lying is publicly flogged like a tired Clinton joke. It’s the whipping post of our sub-conscious, and it isn’t really fair.

Of course lying about a crime is wrong. You should admit those things. “Yes, I stole that." “Yes, I embezzled that.” “Yes, I stalked and hacked up my girlfriend, strategically placing bits of her along the landmarks of this fair city that came to represent our poisonous-hate filled-I-could-have-changed-for-her-really relationship. Careful, that over there is where we first confessed our love, the lying bitch. Guess what's buried.." – These are all confessions we should make. Especially the last one. Really. I’m not condoning that kind of conduct.

Yet the good-kind of lying, the sort of lying that rounds the edges of our daily lives, that’s the type of faking we should be a bit proud of and we aren’t. We toss it high onto our guilt-pile where we’ll drink it, snort it, or eat it into numbness.

What we are missing is the fact that we are bothering to fake it. Caring enough to lie means that you cared in the first place. Embrace that.

Okay, sure, your significant other is crying and you really, really, really want to feel something. But instead you don’t. You aren’t evil. You’re just tired. Either your day at the office also sucked or, well, you’re just tired of the crying. Whatever. They look up, all crystal eyed, and you freeze. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO? (A) Yeah, that’s too bad, Alicia, I really want to help, I do. But honestly, you’ve started to bore me and, ya know, Janet wasn’t being a bitch after all. You were. (B) Make a sad face. Reach over and hug them, promising it’ll all be better. And agreeing to everything they say. - - - Obviously, unless, you know, you like drama, you choose B. Which is selfish, yes, because you avoided a fight and possible physical harm. But hey, step back, and think that out. Put the self-preservation aside and look what else you did. You didn’t laugh did you, Big Boy? Nope. You didn’t switch on the TV. Smart move. You knew that would hurt her feelings. So you faked it because you cared. Uh huh. Breathe it in. You got a win-win there, Sport. Drink it deep. Sometimes we just don’t feel it. We can’t muster up the sympathy or the empathy or any pathy what-so-ever.

And it just isn’t in our relationships. Work is all about the faking. Not because we are lazy, but because that’s the game and we care just enough to do it. Oh, come on, you’ve feigned a laugh at yet-another-story about the boss’s precocious sugar-plum-princess. You’ve cluelessly nodded in a conference room. And you’ve went with the flow when talking to a co-worker with a thick accent that you can’t follow because you’re too embarrassed to have them repeat.

It’s okay, people. We don’t have to always be honest with each other. We don’t WANT to be honest with each other. Did we want Jennifer Love-Hewitt to be truthful with us when she went swimming? No. We want to be lied to. We NEED to be lied to. I need to think my boyfriend hates the same nasty bitches I hate. I NEED my Hollywood celebrities to be flawless, size 0’s because if they aren’t , well that’s one less thing to hate myself for, and really, I’m kinda lazy and don't want to go looking for or creating a new self-hate.

So go ahead, Jimmy-Jack, lay back, grab the remote, and wrap your arm around your girl. Soothe her and tell her it’ll be okay. It might not be all real, but hey, you are caring just enough to fake, and you should get something for that.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Random, Useless Discourse 26: What My Two X-Chromosomes Get Me

- also posted 12/3/07 - -

This is not some grand academic exercise in post-modern feminist deconstruction of popular culture or media. If you want that, start with the basics (de Beauvior, Betty Freidan) and work your way up to Camille Paglia and Cristina Hoff Sommers. And I don't mean that as East Coast liberal as it sounds. Really, you should read that stuff.

And I must state, for the record, that I have been threatened with vaginal repossession not once, but twice. First by a dear purse-dropping friend (Turtles, you know the one, sweetie darling) who, upon hearing my dislike for f'me stilettos proclaimed, "That vagina is going back to the store because you just don't deserve it." The other time was in a classroom at Rutgers where I could no longer suppress the humor I was feeling. Seriously, there are few things more enjoyable than listening to a spoiled kid, who only 6months ago was angsting-it-up to Avril Lavigne and skipping school to stand outside the 'TRL' window, regurgitate that one semester of Feminist Theory with all the passion her 'I'm-just-experimenting', Ani DiFranco listening soul can muster. Dude, it's freakin' awesome.

But seriously, there are some things being a girl gets you that are, well, not fair. Don't get me wrong. It isn't easy being female. We have it comparatively pretty rough out here. I mean, other than figuring out how to sit down without crushing my very vital and precious organ, I think being a guy is suh-weet. Ya'll got it made-in-the-shade. And if you are Caucasian? Pfft. Fuh-getuhabit.

For example I can watch Lifetime and not be hassled for it. For some inexplicable reason, I find myself watching, often in writhing torture (remember kids, self-destructive) those stupid, stupid, stupid emotional movies. You know the ones. The stories of women coming back after being beaten down (often literally). Girl power for the menopausal. It's where 80s sitcom moms go to age gracefully in between their QVC appearances for their line of seasonal sweaters and stirrup pants. I swear, last night, I heard Meredith Baxter (don't call me Bernie) deliver the following line, with all the sincerity of David Spade helping you disembark, "It's a Christmas miracle that we are all together this year". Priceless. And very gay if you are a guy. Even if you are gay and a guy, it's pretty fucking gay. And as we all know, things that are pretty fucking gay will get your ass pretty fucking kicked.

Also, I get a pass when I do something stupid or manipulative. Ugh, cramps. Ugh, mood swing. Ugh, PMS. Sorry, Officer, just having one of those crazy girl moments *giggle giggle*. Air quotes included.

Yesterday I changed shirts before going to the store because I didn't want to wear a shirt I had bought to the store I had bought it from. When I told a friend this, and stated I already knew it was weird, he just laughed and said, "silly". But I'm a girl and that's ok. And it's kinda cute.

I'm not saying being a girl is all about emotion or clothes or quirks. It just is for me. I also told the same friend yesterday that I am my own emotional Indy 500. I see a brick wall and I want to run into it. Full speed. For the thrill and to say I did it. The bruises will heal. But I f'n did it. I'm out of control. I'm up and I'm down and, dear Lord almighty, I'm frequently side-ways and spiraling.

I'm a girl, though. So it's all ok. I don't have to be stagnant. I don't have to be constant and stable. It isn't fair. And I don't _mean_ to abuse the system. But I can't help it. Just like I can't help that I've lost the last 2hrs of my life waiting to see Judith Light locate that love-child she gave up 30yrs ago when she was 16 and scared. I think that is the name of it, btw, or it should be – "Sixteen and Scared: The Carrie Whethers Story".

My XX chromosomes can get me a lot of things. Unfortunately, though, no genetic preference can restore wasted time. Arggs! Now I'm late. Oh well, I'll just tell them I got caught up watching this movie. They'll understand. They are probably watching it too. Such girls!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Random, Useless Discourse 25: Playlist Your Life, M’Fer! Part 2: Red-n-Blue Tuinals, Lipstick Red Seconals

(also posted: 11/23/07:

In case you don’t know me very well, first off, hey, how’s it going? Good. Good. Excellent. Glad to hear it. I’m well. Thanks for asking. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.

Oh, and before we get too far in, I’m a self-analyzing non-medicated freak. If you are still reading, well then, allow me to lay out the mat, and usher you into this lunatic parade (thank you, Scissor Sisters).

I’ve blogged about playlists before (myspace: 11/29/06 post: RUD #9 – Playlist your Life, M’Fers!) and music at other various times (myspace: 4/7/07 post: RUD #18 –If Justin hadn’t brought sexy back, would we know it was missing?). So none of this should come as a surprise.

I love making playlist. Few things are more satisfying. Straight-into-the-vein junk. G-sweet, candied self-pleasuring. Look at me world! I’m so awesomely eclectic. I’m soooooo fucking cool. - The act is on par with blogging. Combine the two and you have all the self-pity of a Dickens orphan. Fingerless gloves, muffler a-wrapped, rags on your feet, asking for more. Please, sir, validate me.

Playlisting, like most public acts, are little more than expressions of the person you want to be. The person you see when you look in the mirror, eyes closed. They aren’t entirely honest, and by that, they are always false. Playlist are smart, referential-tartans to cover our less-pleasant naked underside.

I don’t lie on my playlist. Every song on there is among my favorites. I truly, truly do love Lou Reed (“Transformer” – go download it NOW… I’ll wait) and I truly, truly do love the Judds. But I must admit, the fact I have both “Heroin” and “Grandpa, Tell Me About The Good Old Days” on my current myspace playlist, makes me feel good about myself. Makes me feel clever. And, I’ll tell you Susanna and only you, Kristy really loves to feel clever. Kristy needs to feel clever. – Yeah, I know I’m referring to myself in the third person. I’m an egotist. Classic with self-destruction tendencies (myspace: 9/30/06 –RU#6 – Destruction for the sake of reconstruction: Pleasuring the masses) and narcissism (see people’s exhibit A: my myspace). I’m working on it.

But c’mon, dude! Show me some love! I put David Bowie’s cover of Pixie’s “Cactus” over the Pixie’s own version. That sooo deserves like a 5minute make-out session, right? Tongue optional. I also tossed in “Where is my Mind” and “Hey” to get your Pixie fix. I resisted adding the Stooges because, you know, that would have looked desperate. Actually, the shark would have been catapulted over if I had included Boontown Rats or New York Dolls.

See? I know how to play the game. This cock knows how to work the walk. I got all my bases covered. I got not one but TWO Elvi (mmmmm ‘Elvi’). I got Beasties. I got your Arcade Fire, right here, gummy-gumdrop. I’m the pusher and the crack I’m selling is my fine cut Tennessee-Kristy.

So please, check out my mysp playlist ( See how cool I am. How cool I want you to think I am.

If you don’t have the time, that’s okay. You read this blog and that’ll stroke me through. But do both, and I’m shuttering to the floor, grinned and sated. And wouldn’t THAT make YOU feel good? Cool and clever, that’s you, rockstar-bitch.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Random, Useless Discourse 24: So I want to be a Ninja.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - orig post date -

Random, Useless Discourse 24: So I want to be a Ninja.

I believe this ninja-thing of mine is for real. It isn't a sudden desire. Nor is it a phase or a passing-fancy, like the trombone (thought it would be easy… I mean, there were no valves or keys to press) or jai-alai watching (Chula!). Oh no, it's the real deal. Ok, Charlie. Cool hand, Luke. Okie from Muskogee. Etcetera etcetera.

When I was little, I wanted to be Wonder Woman. The Lynda Carter, 1975-1979, Wonder Woman that I watched in re-runs. I'd spin. And spin. And spin. Then I'd throw-up. And, finally, collapse. Limp. Exhausted. Crushed. And then, somehow, I'd get up and spin some more. This entertained my older brother (by 8yrs ) to no end. He would encourage me in that loving way older brothers do. He'd tell me to spin harder. Faster. Quicker. As the tears rolled down my slick, chubby apple cheeks, I'd slowly raise myself up to be greeted with his disappointed head-shake. "You didn't go fast enough. You didn't believe hard enough." So, yeah, I'd spin some more. And he'd sit back and grin. Satisfied. Entertained.

I also wanted to be Princess from G-Force (the censored American version of Gatchaman). Again, Brian was there. He'd play along. Talk to me on his watch. Help me jump off the sofa arms to launch and fly. Glide like the little bird Princess was. Unfortunately I was considerably less graceful and tended to land with resulting bruises, scrapes, and blood. Brian would advise me to 'shake it off.' ' It didn't really hurt.' I'd lie and agree. Nope. No pain there. The swelling would go down before Mom got home.

There was also the year I spent wishing upon the same star every night that I'd become Firestar (aka Angelica Jones) from Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends for my birthday. Needless to say the star let me down. It's ok. I learned a lot about constellations. And I kept this little one to myself. Pretty sure there would have been some first degree burns if I'd gotten Brian involved.

Oh, and let's not forget the time invested in mimicking Jaime Sommers. My running and jumping came with their own 'kkkkkkkkkk' s. I took up tennis. I pretty much knew that I wasn't going to be the Bionic Woman (I mean, I would have to be in a very bad accident or something and I was also pretty certain that OSI didn't have any operatives in BFE, TN to rescue me). But, hey, you never know. My tennis career came crashing down when I realized I had to run. A lot.

So yeah. I want be a ninja. I can do it. Right? Maybe?

Ok, admittedly, I have the physical prowess of a kitten. And I'm about as stealthy as I am subtle. And yes, I know I won't ever really really be a ninja. But the point is, even now, all growed-up like I am, I can still entertain myself with these brief flashes of fantasy. I still retain my imagination enough to conjure up those moments. Something to make me smile as I design an application or resolve a communication error or correct access settings. Or some other less crime-fighting, planet saving, sexxy bitch activity.

The real world kinda sucks sometimes. And when it does, I can toss a smoke bomb, slip around the corner, and be in my own kick-ass world. Seriously, what do you do? I can be a ninja when I want to be. And yeah, ok, it is pretty lame. But so is reality. I choose to be entertained.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Random, Useless Discourse 23: If it can’t be found at Wal-Mart, it ain’t worth having …

Sunday, November 04, 2007 - also posted on

Random, Useless Discourse 23: If it can’t be found at Wal-Mart, it ain’t worth having …

For those of you not familiar with Wal-Marts in the South, let me explain. They are life. They are the spice. And he who controls the spice, controls the universe. Or, more appropriately, he who can afford the spice, shows he's a good provider.

Wal-Marts are Willy Wonka fantasies except instead of the oddly-lovable, if not a touch criminal, Gene Wilder, you are greeted and guided by a well-placed grandmother whose sole-purpose is to make you feel guilty about stealing from her so that you don't shoplift from the massive chain that profits more in a month than many countries in a year.

So there you are, Augustus Gloop, in your smart little outfit. Ederly oompah-loompahs offering up their creepy hey-ya'll grins as they scrutinize your purchases (Diet Soda and a King Size Kit Kat. Really?) and mark your every move with all the skill and training of a prison guard. To your right are the beauty aides which will not only assist, but can clear-up and doctor any rash or break-out. To the left are aisles of crackers, cheeses, shortenings, cake mixes, pre-packaged brownies and pastries. The front walls are lined with stores-within-a-store. Ophthalmologist. Optometrist. Financial Advisors and accountants. Bank branches. Hair stylist. And cell phones. All the modern needs and delights. The back houses your camouflage, oil change stations, guns, knives, bows, arrows, and sporting goods of all sorts. Like a lollipop forest in need of clear cutting, there is something for everyone and everything for somebody. Come in for the Charmin 12pack. Stay for the tire rotation.

To some , those who come from places with other things to do, this all might seem overkill. A Mecca where the white-trash come to spend their Friday pay and flaunt their saloned tans and curled bangs. But it's more than that. Disregarding it as a mere collective for the NASCAR set only highlights the stigma of the store and the elitist notion of the reader.

Wal-Mart is a social scene. A trunk of Wal-Mart plastic, beloved blue and occasionally white, is as much a status symbol as the Saks bags the Vassar grads tote their Conde Nast lunches in. In small towns you don't have options. You don't have three Wegmans or Whole Foods competing for your organic, all natural dollars. You don't have Macys to buy your Calphalon. You have one place. Wal-Mart. And in a reality where only a generation or two ago your family didn't have plumbing and a college degree is still an earned privilege and never an assumption or certainty, the fact you can afford a carload of Wal-Mart goodies says more about your class and prosperity than anything else. It makes you feel good about yourself. It lets you know, and others know, you can take care of your own.

And basically, when you have no other options, if it can't be found at the Wal-Mart, then chances are, it really isn't worth having. Because if it were, they'd have it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Random, Useless Discourse 22: In a small town, Time stands still, but the Breeding Continues

Saturday, November 03, 2007 -orig post date -

It has been thirteen years since I've lived in my small town. Visits were limited to 5day spans twice a year. Once at Christmas. Another open to discussion.

Not to go all Golden Girls on you, but picture it: Small Southern town in Tennessee. Population 1,000. Diversity defined by degrees of Protestant reflections on salvation and musical accompaniment. Methodist tend to be quiet, keeping the faith on the inside and the singing light. Church of God have tambourines in the pews, bass and electric guitar upfront, and a shiny, glittery drum set in the back all keeping time to the pitter-patter of altar-trips and testimonials in tongues. There is nothing like a Sunday morning spent in a Southern church. When the preachers pulls out the handkerchief, the sweat bullying up his face, jerks off his jacket, and grabs the microphone, you know entertainment is about to go down. Nothing sizzles and swirls the spirit like threats of brimstone and promises of fire.

In my romantic way, I like to think I ran away the night of high school graduation to college, never looking back. But it was less dramatic than that. Despite what one might think, I enjoyed my school years. I was in with a cool clique. I was at the parties. I knew the cheerleaders. My family was always supportive if somewhat reluctant to let me go. Tears to the airport. Yet there is no edge in having a functional childhood. So let's pretend I was an outsider. Insert all the stereotypes here.

After 11yrs in the surreal alter-reality that is NY/NJ, I'm back home. That all is a tale for another time. Let's just say I just needed to breathe different air. When you don't know what you want or what to do. You go home. Like I said, I have a good family.

In the short time I've been back, a few things have become apparent. The high school football game is still the thing to do on Fridays. The one last night resulting in parents fighting and kids being cleared from the field. Awesome. The Fishing Hole, this paved little parking area next to the park, is still, well, the Fishing Hole, where you pull in to talk and be seen (though in a town with 2 traffic lights, it isn't that difficult to be noticed if that is what you want). And the Hasti-Mart, the local version of a convenience store with its sub sandwiches, Slushy Machine, and old men in their Dicky overalls sipping coffee and eyeing you over, trying to figure out whose kid you are, is still the only place to get a Sun-Drop (if only because it is open until midnight).

What has changed, however, are the first names. And I don't mean just in that everyone is now named Colten, Jaden, Harrison, Britton, Chase, or Dyron (admittedly the last three examples are my nephews). Apparently in my 13yrs of absence, my schoolmates have been fruitful and multiplied. A few did it even before I left. My mom points them out. That is so-and-so's son. That is blah-blah's girl. Generations sit together at the games. The parents I once knew at sleepovers now grandparents. The kid I remember giving Indian-burns and eating dirt, now stalking the sidelines like my daddy once did. Watching the game. Ready to yell out opinions and play-calls.

Parenting aside, people themselves have changed. The one time dazed-and-confused are now born-again preachers. Pastors proclaiming the power of Christ regaling with their confessions of gutter-life and the healing from the blinding warmth. The uppity, self-righteous have been unseated by their four kids and two ex-husbands. I suppose I am entertained by the roll of the die for them all. How things played out, but, yet, I'm unsettled by it.

Or maybe I'm most disturbed because I don't know where I fit in all of this. What conversation can I have with my peers if I ran into them? I have no kids. No Meghan or Brantly to speak of. I have no insight into marriage nor pick-up trucks nor, God help me, hunting.

I'm embarrassed to say I've moved back and am a little too quick to add-in that it's only until January when I plan to be in Nashville, at the very least. "And Nashville sooo has museums and theaters", as I keep reminding no one but myself.

In a small town nothing changes but the first names. The families are the same. Brewers. Stults. Berrys, of all variations. Holts. Thompsons. A few move out, but the families are large enough that no void is felt. Thing is, I'm no longer part of this small town. And that's ok. Collinwood doesn't need me. And I'm happy to just be visiting. Dear Lord, just let me be visiting.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007 - original post date on

Random, Useless, Discourse 20: I am Veruca. And I Want My Oompah-Loompah Now!

Is a forced epiphany any good? Is it a valid Saul-to-Paul revelation on high? Or is it the end result of your unconscious getting bored with itself?

I didn't go into my weekend with any grand illusions of revelation. I did not expect the meaning of life and whatnot to be revealed to me in my moment of mundane – struck as it were by Cassandra-like lightning, all made clear by the shock and purity.

No. I merely wanted to work something out. To sort some feelings. To catalog them and identify them for what they truly are.

There are people in this world who do this naturally. In the moment of the happening. Those who have control, discipline, and patience, can trust themselves enough to trust their emotions. I, however, am not one of those people.

I am for all reasons of debate and understanding, a 12-year-old girl. I react quickly and intensely. Passion and entertainment are what guide me. What lure me along my snail-trail, the slow crawl of life progressing. Skipping and speeding along when you least want it to. I have no control. No discipline. And Lord help me, no patience.

This state of emotional affairs was, at best, cute in my twenties. But now, they are thinning even to me. I do so very much want to be like the others. Those who do not jump. Those who do not feel their insides screaming with the churning of molten impulse. But I do not understand them. I do not know how to be them.

How can they not be kinetic? How are they not in motion? How do they do it? How are their urges subjugated and relegated to the background? I am the id-ridden and they are the super-ego-plus.

I know I disappoint them. Really I must. How could I not? They tell me to use more discipline. To think before reacting. But God help me, I can't on my own! Do they not feel the same whirling? Sirens, doppling-by, in their hearts? Their core gutted and tossed, landing in Pollackesque dripped-chaos where hues mingle and blend into the pretty pretty grey of homogony and the true struggle is to sort out the real from the unreal. To react to only one set and not all. Do they not have this battle? How do they know they are alive, then?

I do so very badly want to be the stable, conscious, rational friend and lover to them all. I WANT to be but I'm not sure I NEED to be. If I've learned anything from them, it is that wants and needs are separate entities and differentiating them is the first step in controlling your actions.

How much can I give up before I lose who I am? How is what I am not good enough right now? Why must I change?

Of course I know why I must change, to some degree. I react like a child. It is selfish and it is small. I have no option. This is not how an adult moves.

I just need help. To find the balance. To be the adult but still be me. I am a random energy. When I meet someone new, I want to devour them. I want their conscious, their breath, and their thoughts on me. My reaction is a magnesium-tape lit and supernova. And I am alive.

While not an epiphany, I've realized this much: I'll be patient. And controlled. And disciplined. Again, I don't want to disappoint. My guilt-drive is even more powerful than my reaction center. I'll wait for my oompah-loompah, whoever he is. I just hope he doesn't give up or give in before I'm ready. And I hope that when it is time, I'm still Kristy-enough to need him.

Self-Indulgent Post 4: Strung out on Lasers and Slash-back Blazers – Part I

Monday, July 30, 2007 - posted originally -

Self-Indulgent Post 4: Strung out on Lasers and Slash-back Blazers – Part I


It can rain sand. Grains streaming through your hands. Shifting dunes puddling in the palms. Grit congesting the passes between the fingers.

He tried to sweep them away. Futile kicking that only seemed to smear and embed.

"Be still," she warned with what passed as a whisper only because he knew she was capable of much more. She eyed the child suspiciously. Always in movement. Always about to tumble and take them all down with him. Her sixty-two years wore hard. The last five spent with the child have not helped matters at all. She could recall every wrinkle that now populated her once vibrant face. Recall them with experiences of narrow-escapes, near-deaths, and worry. Constant, constant worry.

He stared down at the streaks of sand browning the dark planks that passed as a floor. He felt bad, but only for a brief moment. He snorted and look around. It was a shack after all. What damage was he causing?

She shook her head and rubbed her heavy brown eyes. She slumped over, wrapping the rags that passed as a shawl around her shoulders and over her head. She was tired of watching. The boy was going to do what he wanted. He always did.

"We'll move in two hours. The sun is settling." She raised her head to give him another look. She turned it oddly. "How old are you today, boy?" she asked.

He crawled toward her, his knees scrapping along the floor, dirt tracks behind him. He gently pulled the blanket tighter around her. His long, thin arms encasing her like pale tentacles, clutching the ends of the cloth, urging it to expand to complete the circle. The dimming light in the room caught his face, the eyes glowing fire and blue. His head was hairless, kept closely shaven, allowing for the quick change and the opportunistic disguise.

It might have been frightening. The boy's face. Cold and empty as it was, with the ethereal orbs emitting their own light. His sharp angles told of knowing beyond his youth. He was a man just in a smaller scale.Yet his smile, gentle and emotional, humanized it all. His lips were full and warm. They were the visual proof of life on the inside.

The voice was soft and soothing. No emotion but yet, still, human and loving. "Today?" he asked. He looked down at himself. The small chest. The loose-fitting shirt and pant legs rolled-up, the tightly-cinched make-shift belt keeping him barely decent. His wrists were small and fragile with long effeminate fingers.

His attention returned to her. Her face was smoothing. Relaxing. She would need the full two hours to sleep. The running was aging her too fast. Wearing her down. He placed his palm against her cheek and she pressed into it, eyes closed, smile large.

"I believe I have been twelve today, Ohma," he finally answered. "It is always a good age. A fun age." He paused. He didn't want to lie to her. "I can't be sure, but I think I have been twelve all of today."

She laughed softly. Slipping into sleep. "You always have fun, no matter the age."

Gael sat back, resting down on his elbows, legs stretching long before him. His cuffs hitting half-way below his knees. The room was losing day but be barely noticed. His pupils expanded, taking in what light they could trap. He looked at the mess he had only moments before been dancing in. The sand sparkled in what was now, practically, moonlight.

He did so love being twelve. When this was all done, the "Journey" as Ohma romantically called it, he would go back to twelve for real. Constant fun and no obligations. No one to protect. No considerations for the greater good. No destiny. Just bodily functions to laugh at and rails to be tricked.

But not now. Now he was twenty and while he could be twenty or twelve or one, or any age in between, he needed the strength of his full age. He needed what all his brief tenure permitted him. Because for now, at least, Gael did have people to protect and obligations to consider and a destiny to, well, aim for. Because now, in this moment, they had only ninety minutes to rest in. Ninety minutes before night became solid and they were on the move.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Random, Useless, Discourse 6: Destruction for the sake of Reconstruction: Pleasuring the Masses

(originally posted: 09/30/2006:

So a friend advised me on Friday to be self-destructive because it will allow for the opportunity to rebuild. Destruction for the sake of reconstruction. Curious. Interesting. Random. I love it.

Don't get him wrong. It wasn't like he was saying go out and rain chaos and malice on the population. It was more like go have fun and forget the crap that's bringing you down.

But I just like the concept of "destruction for the sake of reconstruction". Is it bad? Is it necessary? Let's see if we can work it out.

So the first question is, how far down must we go before we throw in the towel, set the charges, and wipe-clean the debris? What is our criteria for self-condemnation?

We are very self-destructive creatures. We research, develop, and create our temptations. We then package them in shiny boxes and cellophane and put them on-sale to move faster. To beat-down quicker. The beauty of this system, and there is beauty to be appreciated here, kids (there is always beauty in such an efficient thing), is that we pay, usually money on the counter, for the temptation.

We can drink ourselves silly. We can eat ourselves sick. But we'll still have the same issues that drove us to the liquor and to the box of Dove. We know this. But we do it anyway. Shoveling cake frosting in like it is the body of Christ and drowning sores in liters of Stoly as an obvious stand-in for absolution. A cry for help that we purchased an hour before at the all-too-convenient store.

Then there are the other teases. The 27-year-old thing in cargo shorts and a beaming smile. So full of optimism. So not completely slapped by life yet. On that cusp. So eager. So very… Ok. Wow. Yeah. Those sort of temptations. If you have them.

Or the relationship we have now. The one that we can't shake. We can't tear away from our body. Like some symbiotic infection that has turned to the dark-side, we just can't seem to medicate enough. So will it be death by brownie, Kirin, a bad co-dependent relationship we can't seem to end, or the sexed one we definitely shouldn't begin?

But still. Where is that line? That point we say, "Enough. I'm through. I'm spent. Let's start over". Can it be the day after a binge? Or must it be the day after the 100th binge? How far down must we fall from the grace of our own self? How much must we hate ourselves before we have earned the right, been punished enough, to return, all-American style? Bigger. Better. And stronger.

There is a certain enjoyment in always being in a remodeling mode. That's the real truth here. And we all know it. As much pleasure as our descent provides, what with his beat-up copy of "Notes from the Underground" strategically-placed in his side-pocket, we often get more enjoyment out of our redemption.

Scoot in closer kids, Kristy is going to tell you a little dirty secret about ourselves. About yourself. You see, the gratifications we incur on the way down, well, they can be awesome. Boy howdy awesome. But yet they are fleeting. They are of-the-moment. And the overall sensation is singular. It is derived from ourselves. We get only as much as we put into it. Actually, we get less. But the ride back-up, well that is another story. We take pleasure in our struggle. "Look at me. I've fallen and I'm getting up". But we also get it from others. "You go, Joe!!" They'll shout as you turn your corners, and then, quickly whisper aside, hand on heart, sounding out each syllable for proper respect and effect, "he was at rock bot-tom, I tell you, and…him now. Such an in-spir-ation". And we know the whispers are there. We don't need to hear them. We seem them. In the twinkle. In the nod. People love an underdog. People love the struggle. It let's them feel good about themselves without having to destroy themselves. Plug-and-play destruction and redemption. Everyone wins.

So back to my friend's 'destruction for the sake of reconstruction' advise (though, admittedly, I've turned it into that). Where is that bar for us, huh? Well, I guess it depends. Depends not on how far and fast we want to dive down, but how far we want to climb back up. Many, quick tailspins equal many, quick erections back to the top. Or are we looking for a Big One? Something grand that will inspire legions and make us a legend? Quantity versus quality. Which are we looking for?

Another friend wrote and used the terms of credit/debit to sum up life. The theory being, you just want to come out a little ahead in the end, no? So maybe that's all we are trying to do with our self-destructive paths. All those selfish, selfish debits. But maybe when we're a pretty pretty Phoenix, ablaze in our own righteous redemption, well maybe then, we get a few more credits out of the deal. Maybe, in the end, the beating we unleash on ourselves isn't so very destructive, but part of some human barter system hidden in our genetic-coding. We know the payment plan. We know the interest rates. We know the agreement.

I step-up to the auction-bloc and draw your attention. I stretch my arms, tilt my head, and offer up the sincerity sitting, heavy, in my eyes. The dramatic Messiah effect not lost to me or you. I explain the terms of an already sealed-deal, "Here I am, world. I'm gonna be the one today. I'm gonna take one for the team of Man," I say, pointing at a few in the crowd. Letting them know I'm doing this for them. Sneaking in a little ego-stroke for myself. Winking at the cute guy up-front. We'll hook-up after, baby. "I'm going to do stupid things for the sake of doing stupid things. I'm going to bruise. I'm going to bleed internally. There might be a concussion or two. You'll watch in horror through the spread fingers as you cover your face in anguish or ecstasy. I care neither. You'll pray and light candles. But it'll all be my own self-destruction. My very, very own. But when I come back, you'll fight over the front-row seating." I pause and put on my sexiest smirk, my most come-hither gaze and actually lean out to them, willing them in closer. This is when the fun starts for us both. "The lights will go down, the curtain will rise, and we'll all come together in the theatre of self-importance. It'll be an orgy for all the senses," I promise them. I mean it, too. I love them all right now. "You'll be reminded how much better than me you are. I'll bask openly in your adoration and attention. Validating myself back into the fold with a retelling of my debauchery and suffering. On bended-knees, eyes screwed up watching your faces contort, under my breathe, I'll hate and loathe you, as I pleasure and entertain you. This, my friends, this is our covenant. I'll take out a loan of destruction. Pay the high finance charges myself. But you'll cover the rebuild. And it'll be better than before. I win. You win. We all get off a little."

Yes. We can be very self-destructive creatures. But we can also be very, very clever ones as well. The complications of the spirit. Of the mind. Tease and titillate. Cast down and rise up. So yeah. I'll take the hits. But you'll be the one paying my tab at the end of the day. Until next time. When it'll be your turn to get yours. That's cool. That's how it should be.

My bad! So sorry to offend. Can I get some rehab too?

(originally posted 1/25/07 :

First off, let's get this correct right off the bat. Rehab can be a life-altering, saving process. It can change paths. It can redeem souls. Legit, honest to goodness, this-ain't-your Daddy's-addiction-we're-talking-about-here, rehab can work. You need to know I'm not referencing that sort of rehabilitation. Again, rehab can be a good thing.

But what up with everyone checking themselves into a 21-day health spa facility and then expecting us to pony up the forgiveness like Wal-Mart with a no-receipt necessary return policy? Do they really want us to overlook their indecencies and slaps because they talked out their feelings and got an emotional colonic behind closed-doors and in-between seaweed wraps and cocoa baths?

No. I do not know Isaiah Washington. And yes, he probably is a fairly good person, if you overlook his history of anger-issues and see-the-illustration-to-your-left homophobia. What (and I'm quoting from the press releases and media reports here) "behavioral issues" is he looking to address and re-address? Lying? Disrespect? A loss of all senses of appropriateness? And, most unbelievably, a complete and utter disregard for his own career and survival? Isaiah, c'mon dude, do you really expect us to believe you are that dumb? That ignorant of the environment in which you live, breathe, and exist? You called a co-worker an inflammatory, derogatory name. Then said you didn't do it. Then apologized for any misunderstandings and bad feelings. Then, when it was pretty much put to bed, you felt the need to remind us that you didn't use the word in the first place. BY SAYING THE WORD AGAIN. You don't get to offend for demonstrative purposes. And you sure as hell don't do it on national television.

While the issue of homophobia (and if you want an insight into my stance on such things, in this instance my opinion on gay marriage, see my blog Random, Useless Discourse 8: The True Cruelty and Danger of a Gay Marriage Ban… but to save you the trouble, in case you don't know me, I believe it is discrimination and that love is love … all preferences please apply) is at the center of this particular buzz, I am intrigued by the underlying nonchalant reaction we have to the bloated, sugar-coated apologizes and acts of prostration by public figures. These people stand before us, to entertain, to lead, and to influence us , and offer up a promise to really try harder next time, Mom. I swear. And we take in the beauty and the novocaine-tingle of it all. We accept the ease and confidence and shrug our shoulders. How can we get mad when they are so darned cute?

And the non-public figures, the non-celebrities, the you-and-Is, aren't any better. Where is the accountability in our lives? When and where do we draw the line and accept that, yeah, okay, Mom and Dad weren't perfect and they probably fucked us up quite a bit, but honestly, Janet, you fucked yourself up pretty good too. No one put the gun, the needle, or the credit card in your hand and forced you to use it. No one made you drink the whole bottle of vodka. No one made you do the things you did. Yeah, ok, you feel like you had to. Like you had no options. Like you were out of options. I've been there. We've all been there. And we've all made the wrong choice. Even with addictions where you feel you don't have a choice, you do. It's just way fucking harder than anything you've ever faced and, sometimes, you don't have the strength to make the choice. But it is still there. That nasty, pesky, free-will that the Creator seemed fit to shackle us with. Taunting and teasing us. Peddling guilt like a whore looking to make rent. It's there, my friend. Free-will. Choice. Accountability.

Was Lindsay Lohan in need of an intervention? Hell-yes. We all agree with that. She's a fucked up kid. She's only twenty and those years are riding on her hard. Nothing about it has been carefree. But is that always the case? No. Sometimes you have to grab that mike at the Golden Globes, back in the media-tent, and proclaim to the world that, yes, you have a problem. That yes, you are homophobic and you lied and you did in fact call someone a derogatory, hate-filled name. But I guess the other night wasn't the night for that. Wasn't the time for such accountability. Apparently that moment comes a few days later. When a network huddles and publicists rage with frantic spin and Billy Bush puts on his serious-face.

Where are we when our leaders, and what are our celebrities if not our Caesars and our Wildes dictating and define the comments of our society, can't stand themselves? When they can't face their fallacies and faults? When rehabilitation isn't so much of a gasp for life, fingernails digging in, primal and defiant, but more like a weekend sale at Kitson. Something you don't even have to attend. Personal shoppers and assistants stand-in. Paid substitutes for your rehabilitation. JV alternates running the full-court press while the A-squad makes out with the cheerleaders and cock-strut on the sidelines.

And we buy it. Every time. Full-price tickets to watch the freak show. And why? Same old same old. We want it to be us. We want to fake the apology. We want to skip out on doing the time for the crime. We want to be special. Not only do we want it, but we actually fucking believe we have a shot at it. Admit it. You know you do. Like I say, we all want to glitter and glow. A life without accountability. A life without consequences. It defies physics. It defies the laws of nature. We all want to be fucking rock stars. We all want to live in the clouds. And fuck the consequences. Sorry if that offends. Don't worry, though. I'm checking into the SugarPlum and GingerSnaps Wellness Center next week. Right after the weekend. Just as soon as I cut a few more lines.