Writing, Running, Being.

The finish line is a shifty Thing and what is life, but reckoning?
Ani DiFranco

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

drugs kill, vanity cripples

It could be worse. It could always be worse. I could be 345 lbs riding a Lil' Rascal making everyone around me uncomfortable. I just noticed I said "be 345 lbs" rather than "weigh 345 lbs". Be as though a person's weight actually defines her. But doesn't it? If you are what you eat than as a result you are what you weigh. It could be worse. It could always be worse. I could have some wretched, incurable disease or condition like HIV or worse, yellow teeth. I could be autistic and hopelessy socially inept or I could be LD- learning disabled- mentally crippled if you will. The only thing I couldn't be is more vain. Vanity consumes me. It floods my veins until they are drowning highways leading me to the land of Nervous Breakdown with my old washed up exoskeletons from times when I didn't care what anyone though of me littering the shoulders. Dad always said I was the introspective one. He probably never knew how painfully and dysfunctionally introspective.
If only I were oblivious to myself like a dog. Running around wildly, immersed in the world around me, remembering myself only for brief interludes, scratching my ear, licking my genitals and whatnot. Or a mentally retarded person only vaguley aware of the statistics and details of my relationships. Having intense emotions without knowing, much less caring what their sources are. Never bothering with the pages of recorded interactions- actions and reactions- left for me to analyze. So exhausting.
My hadwriting has shrunken over the past few years. You wouldn't know because I'm typing. Tiny script indicates insecurity. Neurocity. Paranoia. Everyone tells me to stop being silly. Why are my feelings always categorized as "silly"? Silly. Unimportant. Pointless. Insignificant. Likely to be dismissed. "Don't waste my time". Silly.
My head is a dark, deep canyon that I dwell inside. I'm trying desperately to climb out. Scrambling determinedly up these steep, loose walls and falling back down, lower than ever with each attempt. Trying relentlessly, Failing inevitably. I long to stand at the edge of the canyon and peer down into it objectively, sensibly. I just want to be outside my brain. I want clarity. It's loud in here and all reason is muffled by a roaring river of doubt and insecurity that drowns all hope. Hope- the serenity only heard from the top.
Psychology Today told me I am hotter than I think and I took comfort in that fact. I developed a mantra to use whenever faced with the mirror. "25 percent" because I am 25 percent more attractive than I percieve myself (according to Psychology Today) That 25 percent is my saving grace- whether or not it's true. I cling to it like the "Oh shit" handle around a fast, tight bend. And then I ask myself why approaching my reflection holds the same intense anxiety as high speed cornering. I am vain beyond reason. Vain beyond function. Unhealthily vain. Disgustingly vain. Vain. Vain. Vain.
I want nothing more than to see people for who they are rather than how I compare to them. I want to see people as their own beautiful and unique entities rather than incremental versions of one another. Higher and lower levels of the same design. Like the Specialized Allez. Sport. Comp. Elite. Pro. S-Works- whatever. Same idea with varying levels of componentry. I want to see myself for who I might really be rather than the culmination of my flaws plus that consolation 25 percent.
It could be worse. It could always be worse.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

on skinny mirrors, hilarity and the overenthusiastic chicken man

There are two kinds of mirrors. Skinny and fat. The worst is when your friend thinks your fat mirror is a skinny mirror and the complacency that spreads across her face upon correction as it registers that she could be even skinnier than she thinks. Mirrors are powerful bitches. They are more capable of affecting moods than even getting a speeding ticket or getting laid before work. The type of mirror you catch yourself in can even subconsciously change your disposition. That wave of depression and lethargy that swept in like a thundercloud out of nowhere? Fat mirror. The sudden burst of radiance and energy that you attribute to your Red Bull kicking in? Skinny mirror. This is true even if you are remotely as vain as I am. Of course, there are some mirrors and reflective surfaces that should be avoided at all costs. I for one, know that I can't go around rating my attractiveness by the squashed, fat midget form reflected in the shiny door panel of some asshole's Ford Focus. I'd be on the brink of suicide each time I walked through a parking lot. So instead, when walking through these confidence-shattering zones, I keep my head up and focus on the destination ahead, muttering empowering words to myself along the way. "Fuck you, Focus" "What are you staring at, Camry?" "Look who's talking, Passat!" Mirrors, however are a bit trickier. You can't always determine their nature (skinny or fat) upon approaching them. It's just a risk you have to take. Life is full of risks. I long for the days when I didn't stress about mirrors and what pleasing or hideous image they would hold on a particular day.
In 5th grade Michelle and I made each other laugh so hard with our Down's Syndrome impressions at recess that we'd piss our pants. One day my leakage was more significant than the usual ignorable dribble. The next morning I ganked one of my mom's maxi pads from under the bathroom sink to use as reinforcement. The lofty thing bulged inside my tiny day-of the-week underwear. I was certain that my classsmates could hear the diapery swoosh over the quiet reverence of the spelling test as I squirmed uncomfortably at my desk. Ironically I didn't pee my pants that day.
Since Michelle, I can count the number of people on one hand, who have made me laugh that hard. High school held a few. Michael and Quinn in geometry. The laughin g was always at some unsuspecting quiet kid's expense. The ones who are all prettier, skinnier, and doubtlessly more successful than I am now. College went by with out much soulful laughing. It didn't count if it was drug or alcohol induced. There were witty comments here and there in the lecture hall or studio that made me snicker and think...always think. But nothing that overtook my bladder. Post college, the kids at BV cracked me up the most. Sarah and Bryan on occasion sent me running knock-kneed toward the bathroom begging them to stop. But now I make myself laugh more than anyone else does.
I was driving home from Patrick's shop yesterday, which by the way houses one of Colorado Springs' most devastating fat mirrors, when I got stuck at a red light right next to the Wild Wings chicken who was flapping his wings- arms- wingarms, eagerly at my window. I acknowleged him briefly and politely before assuming a somewhat exaggerated somber demeanor that said "I am not an asshole, but I am a serious person and am not in the mood to be flapped at." He had nice legs and cool shoes and for a brief moment I visualized myself meeting and falling in love with a beautiful, athletic and hilarious man in some neutral location such as Whole Foods or the gym, only to find out he was the man inside the ridiculous chicken costume flapping aggressively, relentlessly on the corner of Academy and N. Carefree as I hold my breath in desperate anticipation for the green light so that I could finally relax and aleiviate the awkward tension the "stare ahead" has caused my neck and head.
And when I find out that this hot guy is really the Wild Wings chicken man I'd have to let him down gently and with a new and unique excuse so as not to be like "all the other girls" who ran away. Or I could force myself to pretend the chicken gig was for a good cause. That he took on a 2nd job to help raise money for his friend who has rubella or Lou Gherig's Disease, or hell, just plain cancer for all I care, because he can't afford the treatment because the two friends had recently spent all their money on guitars and drumsets to start a band which would have had incredible potential but needed its dying bass player. I think I could respect and possibly even love a man in a chicken suit if it wall in the name of loyal friendships and rock and roll. I get so carried away sometimes...