I Went to a Party (No, Really!)

I’m like Thomas Pynchon. People know me by name but no one has really seen me. I’m also not like Thomas Pynchon because there’s no mystery to my invisibility: I hardly ever go out and I let no one in. So, duh. Probably also unlike Thomas Pynchon, I recognise that social isolation causes craziness in sane people and boosts craziness in already insane people. The latter being my case, I sensibly decided that I shall bravely go where I have never gone before and will attend a party to which my acquaintance inexplicably invited me, probably acting in a fit of crazies.

After double-checking that the invite wasn’t a drunk misclick (I’m sure it was, but the party person took pity and assured me of his undying friendship acquaintance and his being okay with me coming), I dressed up and ventured out. I assumed that my acquaintance, like me, had no friends and that the party wouldn’t be a big deal. Feel free to imagine in unflattering visuals my surprise (like eyes popping out and tongue lolling from the open mouth) when I arrived to find half the village at the spot. I knew next to no one there, so after presenting my strikingly original present of a bottle of wine to the party leader, I sat down next to the nearest random person.

I had asked for water to start with, so I set my plastic cup in front of me and proceeded to introduce myself to my neighbour. The neighbour probably told me his name, which I didn’t forget—because I didn’t even hear it to start with. I wonder whether it’s a sign of egoism that I never listen to people when they’re introducing themselves. If it is indeed the case, consider me sufficiently punished because the longer you’ve known a person, the more awkward it gets to ask their name. My conversation with the random unknown party goer was more than disastrous.

The stranger showed me a wound on his leg, which was bleeding through the bandage. I spontaneously attempted to summon a deity in which I don’t believe (“OMG!”) and inquired what had happened. “It was at work,” he says. “Oh,” I say, more or less successfully feigning interest in the bloody blotch, “what were you doing?” He says, “Working.” I see. I don’t see, of course, but I don’t want to pry. So I try something different: “And what do you do?” He looks at me and says, “Same as everyone else.” Oh. I’m puzzled but choose to assume that I’m doing it wrong.

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The party took place at the yellow river

After a while, the stranger bends over and unties my shoe lace. Somewhat taken aback, I’m waiting for what it’s gonna be. The stranger resumes his seat and does absolutely nothing. So I say, “Okay, that’s it?” He confirms. That explains everything. Not. I tentatively express my disappointment, “You know, I was waiting for a point to it…” He says nothing. After a bit, I go on, “That was a token of affection or an act of hostility?” The former, he says. Instead of yelling, What the fuck are you, four or what?, I practise the Buddhist teachings of acceptance, honour and respect, and say, if somewhat insincerely, “Oh, that’s nice.”

Because I didn’t have the balls to tell the stranger that I was worried that idiocy was infectious, I said, though quite frankly, that I needed a drink and moved on. I didn’t grab a drink until much later and went on carrying around my cup of water, causing many eyebrows to raise. The ultimate havoc I wreaked was however when I politely refused the pot that was being passed around, laughing that I was a bit too grown-up for that crap. I should’ve kept my trap shut. Though I’ve meanwhile become a village legend (the village equivalent of the urban legend) because I genuinely can’t speak the colloquial variant of my mother tongue, which raised major suspicions.

Against my better judgement, I eventually had a few shots, but managed to stay the most sober person around, second only to the dogs and kids present. I recently decided I was too grown-up to get stupid drunk. Shrug. I tried my hand (tongue) at some more conversations. I was the most successful with someone’s mother, who was twice my age and apparently found herself at the party by mistake, like me. I totally killed it (in the bad way) when someone was explaining that they sought to be awarded invalidity pension and I thought they were joking, so I joined in, “Haha, a good one, who’d want a pension, right?” Except they weren’t joking. They thought I was joking when I attempted to explain my view that it takes an exceptional person not to get uselessly wasted away once they’re on pension and don’t have to do anything.

When it got dark, cold and people started slurring beyond comprehension, I took the liberty to leave. I went depressed and despondent. How do I never fit anywhere? Like, it’s probably me, right? How do I literally and figuratively, on all planes, don’t speak the same language as everyone else? And, are there people who do speak my tongue? If so, where the fuck are the suckers hiding? I do wonder what the other party goers’ interpretation of my presence at the party would be. Provided they’d remember anything of it or bothered to care about it in the first place. I’m sure it’d be totally different from mine. I’m stumped.

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I’m Great with Kids (Not)

I’m squatting at my balcony, smoking and minding my own business. Apparently, me minding my own business does not impress on others that they had better mind their own business too because after a while, I’m hearing some high-pitched shrieking noises that won’t stop. Then I notice it’s the neighbour’s kids jumping up and down at the common backyard and screaming, Mornin’!

They seem to be looking straight at me, though I can’t be sure, as I’m badly short-sighted. I turn my head antagonistically in their direction and yell back, Morning what? The kids, pleased to have established contact, enthusiastically cry back, G’ mornin’! I grunt, I wish it were, and continue minding my own business, hoping the kids will take the cue.

They don’t. Soon they’re yelling again, We have a tiny little problem here, missus! I interpret this as an act of war and rise up to the challenge. My joints squeaking a bit, I stand up to the full extent of my medium height. I do a hair toss with the half of my head which has hair and rub thoughtfully the half of my head which is buzzed. I pet the cat sitting on my shoulder and cough up a furball.

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How is this picture relevant to the story? I don’t know. You tell me.

While I’m preparing myself thus to confront the enemy, the kids shout that they accidentally threw a ball on the roof. I’m genuinely dumbfounded, so I say, How is that any of my problem? The boy kid says, Duh, and, Can I climb for it? I take a long draw of my cigarette in lieu of a dramatic pause. I say, I don’t know. Can you? The boy kid accepts the challenge and assures me he can.

Then it dawns on me that the kids are of the tender age when they still believe that grown-ups have answers to all the world’s problems. So I decide to take responsibility and yell at the kid that using a shopping trolley to climb somewhere isn’t a good idea because, duh, wheels. Unless you’re suicidal, of course, I add. The kid doesn’t know what suicidal means. One lucky bastard.

While I’m at it, I warn the kid that if he damages the roof, his parents are going to pay for it. Literally. Finally, I suggest that they summon their parent or legal guardian, finish my cigarette and retire, hoping the kid won’t break his neck. On the other hand, it would probably discourage him from nagging random people in the future. I’m great with kids, aren’t I?

Getting Tattoo Number Three

The other day I saw a wonderfully fitting comics, which I can’t be bothered locating again, so I’ll retell it without pictures:

Getting the first tattoo: Oh, it must be something deep and meaningful!
Next tattoos: A unicorn? Sure, I like unicorns!

(I don’t personally like unicorns, as you might remember from my old blog tagline, which said that I’d feed any unicorn in my proximity to my cat or, even better, sell it on eBay.)

Currently on tattoo number three, I didn’t attempt to invent anything deeply meaningful and entirely new because, duh, you can’t do that, everything’s been here already. Also, we’re all going to die anyway (that’s my deep personal motto) and a permanent tattoo is about as permanent as life. Which is, not much. So I just ripped a prefabricated design I liked off the internet. Shrug.

Since I’m a self-declared Buddhist, I picked what’s called the ensĹŤ, a hand-drawn circle achieved by a single stroke of the brush. It’s symbolic of Zen or anything you want, really. The image that I brought to the tattoo artist was computer-made, but the guy turned out to be less incompetent than I’d feared and suggested he’d do it for me with an actual brush. Hey, so I ended up with a unique pattern after all!

My appointment for the deed was at 8 AM. What the actual fuck. I don’t normally get up until noon, so this was an act of torture. I walked in the studio zombie-like and proceeded to undress with machine-like movements (not to undress completely, just partially, because I’d freeze to death, duh). As the man prepped his junk (no innuendo intended) and switched on the tattoo machine, the device started to make sounds like the dentist’s drill and I freaked out. (I’m terrified of the dentist.) I may or may have not yelled:

Aw, fuck, I should’ve taken Lexaurin before THIS!

The man made me promise I won’t swear at him dirty, which I did (promise), and I also promised that I’d just cry quietly and that he needn’t mind me. Besides dentists, I’m terrified of pain, which, it turns out, is entirely idiotic and superstitious because during the one-hour tattooing session, I didn’t experience worse than gentle discomfort (only as the needle hit the collar bone—I’m having this circle shit circling my shoulder cap) and it was just nice, wholesome physical pain, which is laughable when compared to the stuff I deal with courtesy of my depression slash anxiety.

I had a lovely chat with the tattoo guy though. What a social occasion for me who doesn’t have a life! The man turned out, surprisingly, to be able to digest my very black and mean humour, which I rarely encounter in people (or in animals, I suppose). So, I seated myself in a comfortable cross-legged meditation seat, ready to go:

He asks: Uh, how long do you think you can sit like this?
Me: Uh, hours on end, I guess?

Please note that I’m a girl and a yogi girl, and hence it’s totally normal for me to sit cross-legged. It’s the best because I don’t topple when I have the extra support of the crossed legs.

On this note, the tattoo man was quite trusting and didn’t seem to mind that I had my knee in his crotch half of the time. No one got hurt though, I mean, except my shoulder, apparently, which didn’t even hurt. Some way into it, I started to doze off. Yawn. I really should be sleeping:

You okay? asks the tattoo guy.
Yeah. Just bored. I retort.

On which he offers me the tattoo machine:

Wanna try it?

I’m considering it. But:

Nah, I’m good. Wake me up when you’re done. 

In case you’re dozing off reading this, yawn, let me conclude that all seemed to go well, I love the result, and since I had such a good time, I’ll be coming again. As to a picture of the result, I didn’t take a good one when the tattoo was fresh, and now it’s not a good time, since it’s healing and peeling and whatnot. But I assume you can imagine a circle around the shoulder, right? Also, an afterthought: the priceless response of my friend, whom I bragged and who isn’t into tattoos:

But won’t that show too much in summer? 

Hmm. That’s sort of the idea, no?

The Dumbest Things to Tell a Person with Depression

I’m, so far, a depression survivor. It’s a mixture of depressing and hilarious. I’ve started to collect the weirdest, dumbest and most illogical things people tell me when I mention that I have depression. I usually mention it as a disclaimer—and for comic relief because depressed people tend to love black humour. It somehow fits the dark mood.

While I’m risking that I will come across as a smartass (probably because I am that), I’ll share a selection of the most hilarious responses I’ve collected over the years. Sometimes it looks like people have no clue what they’re actually saying. It appears that some people have no sense to see what pearls of nonsense they are dispensing.

Let’s start with the usual:

Get over it.

Think: would you tell this to someone with cancer? I hope not. Let’s establish that there is a difference between manageable and curable. And guess what! Depression is the former, but not the latter. Who would have thought? (That’s not a real question, that’s the tricky rhetorical kind of a question, which is really a statement. Whew!)

My personal favourite:

Cheer up!

OMG, how come it didn’t occur to me before? I’m cured! Kidding. This is too ludicrous to deserve further commentary.

Another of my favourite exchanges:

Look at the bright side!

“Such as?”—”Well, you’re alive…”—”You realise I’m suicidal?”—”Uhuh?”—”That means that being alive isn’t the bright side for me!” Duh.

An inspirational story:

Look at [insert a famous actor’s name]! He functioned just fine with it, he’d just get on the stage and when his act was over, they’d take him straight to the hospital!

I’m not sure how being taken straight to the hospital could mean that someone is fine. Maybe I’m missing something. Or maybe you’re missing something. (Not you as the specific you, but you as the generic you, like someone.)

A piece of undeniable logic:

But you smile in photos!

Of course I smile in photos. I’m not a moron. (Okay, I am a moron, but not in this respect.) Please be aware that I didn’t have a stroke, hence my ability to lift the corners of my mouth remains unaffected. My exercising this ability doesn’t necessarily reflect the state of my mind.

A case of stating the obvious:

It’s just in your head.

I wholeheartedly agree that mental afflictions affect the mind, which resides in the brain, which resides in the head, so it is indeed all in my head. But, uh, how is this piece of information helpful? *shrug*

The list goes on, but I think you got the idea. The point is: let’s all mind what we’re saying and whether what we’re saying even makes any sense. Here’s an inspiration for a new year’s resolution!

I Know a Person Who Knows a Person

Today I woke up alright. That scared me a bit because I thought for a moment I was dead. I wasn’t dead but as the day progressed, I wish I were. After much deliberation, as my best friend aka anxiety got the better of me, I went to pop a Lexaurin. There was an empty box in the cabinet. Fuck. I’ve run out.

As I was freaking out, a friend texted me whether I wanted to go out tonight. I didn’t want to, so I texted her back that I wanted to (sic). I also mentioned I was having a minor crisis, to put it mildly, because I was out of Lexaurin, my life pill. My dear and beloved friend asked how many pills I wanted. I wondered why she was asking but said I needed two or three until I get a new prescription on Tuesday.

Several hours later, said friend said we needed to cancel our plans because no one else could go, so it would be only two of us and no one to stay sober and drive us home. However, she went on, she’d be stopping by my house and bringing me some Lexaurin. I didn’t ask. I just accepted the gifts of the universe. Or, rather, the gifts of my friend’s granddad, from whom she nicked the pills.

I think I’m in love with my friend. A shame she’s not gay. I’m not gay either, but you know, extraordinary times… Also, should anyone ask, I deny everything, I saw nothing and say nothing.

The C-Word Strikes Again

Some time ago, when I was in the supermarket, I noticed there were Christmas sweets conspicuously blocking the centre of the main aisle. I thought it strange, wondering if that was last year’s stock that they forgot to put down. Then, as I was leaving the place, I overheard some people discussing the C-word. Christmas. I considered them insane because it’s clearly too soon for that shit.

Then I went to have my hair cut to my usual hairdresser. She remembers me well enough to know what I want when I ask for my usual, but she keeps on forgetting that I’m the weird moron who doesn’t talk. Her first question, after making sure that I really wanted half my hair shaved off again, was, So have you already got your C-presents? I froze at the irrelevancy of such an inquiry. Then I replied, I’m Buddhist.

On which it was the hairdresser’s turn to freeze, not knowing what the fuck was going on. Well, nothing is going on, which is precisely the idea. I’m not Christian, so I don’t celebrate Christmas. See, Christian–Christmas, it’s sort of obvious that these two concepts are related, no? I don’t celebrate anything for the matter. Except the New Year. As long as celebrating means feeling awkward and wishing everything went back to normal asap. Celebrating is a social construct anyway. That’s a nice way to say it’s humbug.

When You Don’t Feel like It, It’s the Worst

My late grandmother used to have a lot of sayings which I didn’t think particularly clever or relevant. As I’m getting old myself, surprise, surprise, I’m getting my grandmother more. A shame I can’t tell her. (Now I almost sniffed, which is ridiculous because I didn’t love my grandmother that much at all. Feel free to shoot me in my cold heart.)

The grandmother used to say, When you don’t feel like doing something, it’s worse than when you can’t do it. These days this resonates with me more than ever. To complete the picture, my favourite personal growth author writes to the effect that workaholics are the least efficient workers and that when you work too much, you can get yourself to the point when you’re too tired not only to work but also to relax. That’s all me. A shame I know it but do nothing much about it.

Irrelevant shit I haven’t posted yet

Speaking of grandmothers, I visited my late grand-grandmother’s grave today. She was my favourite family member ever. She was a fucking heroine. A shame I didn’t take after her. She was uneducated, simple but commonsensical and she was the bravest person I ever knew. She buried her husband, her grandson and her only daughter, yet she shut the fuck up, dealt with it and lived to 92. How could she do it? I’m only slightly over third her age and I can’t anymore.

How I Met My Father (and Nothing Happened)

My yesterday’s post concerning my anticipation anxiety (a fancy term for being preventively scared) about my father’s visit rose some questions. Such as, have I never met my father before? What’s wrong with my father? What’s wrong with me? What the fuck is it even all about?

Let’s start chronologically. I grew up with both my parents in what was then considered a perfectly normal family but would today be probably called dysfunctional (because today we have pretty terms for everything). I moved out when I was eighteen and then the whole of my family went crazy (that is, even crazier) and started suing each other for an assortment of reasons (also, I didn’t sue anyone because I couldn’t be bothered).

To skip the boring details, the result was that I lost touch with various family members for various lengths of time. The constellations are constantly changing and currently, no one talks with anyone else, except for me, who talks with everyone but tells no one that I talk with everyone. Totally straightforward.

I resumed contact with my father last year and we occasionally speak on the phone and rarely visit each other. His today’s visit was a social call and an opportunity to tell me in person that I piss him off, in case it was not clear. I can’t find a convenient label for my father, so let’s say that he’s difficult (to say the least). He is a rather offensive character too (either that, or I’m hypersensitive).

The father arrived while I was mid-way through my first morning cigarette and contemplating whether the situation is as extreme as to require administering Lexaurin or not. I didn’t get to either finish my cigarette or to come to a conclusion of my contemplation. Well, I let the old frail and ill person in (I have a fixed image in my mind of my parents when they were in their fifties and somehow can’t take it that they’re getting on their seventies these days).

I offered the usual soft beverages. Father replied I may just as well shove them up my ass unless I have rum. I unwisely admitted I had slivovitz, which he decided to have for breakfast. He consumed a considerable portion of my stock before his second wife arrived and put an end to it (he doesn’t have two wives, he remarried after divorcing my mother). There’s a reason why his liver is a goner. So, I was trying to maintain a conversation, which wasn’t too interesting, and I learned the following trivia:

  • I piss my father off. (Old news.)
  • I only cost my father money and nerves. (I guess so.)
  • I should start growing my hair back because he won’t have me attend his funeral with my head half-shaved. He didn’t appreciate that I put on a hairband to hide my hair and no-hair. (I’m not fucking getting my hair grown even if it should be father’s last wish. Full stop.)
  • I should avoid alcohol. (I agree.)
  • I should quit smoking because I’m an idiot to smoke. (I agree.)
  • I should pull myself and my life together. (Yes.)

Well, what an uneventful visit and waste of time, even. You asked for a picture of a sun if the visit goes alright, but I don’t remember what the sun is. I have a rough idea but I haven’t seen it for weeks. Instead, here’s a picture of fog. Close enough, no?

My Father Is Visiting and I’m So Scared

I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me.
—Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy

My father is visiting tomorrow in the middle of the night. Specifically at 8 AM. This illustrates his lack of both sense and sensibility because it’s four hours before my wake time. It’s not even a real hour.

I’m deeply metaphysically terrified of meeting my creator. By which I mean my father. I don’t specialise in family psychology but I suspect that the presence of terror might constitute an abnormal response to the stimuli presented. I was probably terrorised as a child and the primitive parts of my brain remember, though the protective parts of my brain repressed the memory.

My father occasionally calls me to inform me that I piss him off. He uses this in lieu of greeting and doesn’t state any particular reason. I’m not even curious. The reason is probably because I exist anyway. Totally legit, though my father had better blame himself for this fact. It’s not like I made myself exist because I had nothing better to do and thought it would be a good idea.

I certainly blame my father and my mother by association for producing me. It wasn’t very fortunate and everyone would be spared a lot of pain in the ass if I hadn’t been born. I don’t particularly appreciate being alive, as has probably transpired. A shame I was conceived before the rise of the Don’t breed, adopt motto. It’s probably Don’t buy, adopt, but whatever.

While waiting for my fate, aka father, I shot the crazy night storm that is currently happening. You’ll have to imagine that because I shot it with my phone through my filthy window (courtesy of the cat) and the camera captured—nothing.

Nothing

I’m Procrastinating and I Know Why

Most of the time, I know exactly what to do. Much of the time, I do the exact opposite.

I’ve been procrastinating a lot these last few days. I know why. Because I’m an idiot. Also because I have too much work and there is no end to it. I’ve been diligently overworking myself for the last few weeks. That’s the very definition of idiocy: doing the same thing and expecting a different result. The last time I worked myself through to the madhouse, which wasn’t that bad but somewhat counterproductive.

So I’m procrastinating now by blogging. I also procrastinate on social media. I’m not sure what I’m doing there and what the point is, I pretty much just open the relevant app and close it again without even bothering to scroll. I procrastinate by posting idiotic posts all over the place too. I wonder if the motive is that I’m trying to make someone somewhere care. I really should care more for and about myself.

Another underlying reason for my current procrastination and pissed-off-edness are two social occasions I’m facing. One is the long anticipated visit of my father, who never fails to make me want to kill myself. Another is an impromptu business thing scheduled for the next day, if I survive. For both events, I guess I should make myself presentable. Not in my usual way presentable but in a respectable way presentable.

I should probably remove my black nail polish and replace it with something decent aka boring. I might have to wear a headscarf because my father is irritated by my hairstyle and I don’t want him get a stroke. I suppose I shouldn’t wear my big dangling earrings and my favourite lace collar either. Sigh. I hate it to assume an air of normalcy / professionalism. If you’re waiting for the point, there’s none, sorry. Gotta go do some serious work now.

This pretty much sums it up