So, Rich and I looked at cats the other day, and we found one that’s as close to a thug dog as any cat is going to be. I introduce Rico.
Like my name say, I am Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations. Bitch, I will cut you.
He looks almost exactly like a thug dog, and he is large enough to stand up to the thugs’ mindless antagonism, I think. And provide them an ample meal in his litter box, but that’s another—completely disgusting—issue. (Didn’t I just say I was against that?) Of course, we have not gotten him yet. Will we? Will we soon—or ever?—bring him home in a little cardboard suitcase and introduce him to the Brothers Thug? I don’t know. It seems kind of unlikely at this point. I would like to get a cat, if only because Rich loves cats so much, and to be a cat person in a house of thugs must be hard.
But oh my: another thing that needs to be cared for. For the past six months or so, a blog post that another blogger wrote (in fact, the last blog post she wrote) has been clattering around in my head. Wide Eyed Kid wrote:
“Somewhere in 2008 I ran out of whatever it is that you pull out when you need to 'dig deep' … I've been told by a whole bunch of people that I am 'strong'. My shrink has said it. My counsellor has said it. My father has said it. My partners have said it. And my friends have said it. I think people say 'you're strong' to reassure themselves. Someone else's strength is a comforting alibi. People say 'you're strong' like it's a personality trait... like it can't be used up or beaten out of you.
“I pretty much used up all my strength not committing suicide after the home invasion. And after the first 2 years of that, every tiny amount of regenerated strength was put toward the maintenance of my sanity. I haven't had enough spare to get on top of things since 2003. And now I've been comprehensively drained once more. Strength is a resource that needs to be replenished. What I once had in abundance now needs complete and total regeneration. But I don't know how.”
When I first read that, I thought, “I know exactly what you mean, sister.” Not that anyone’s ever accused me of being overly strong, I don’t think. And not that I am strong. But there are other things, other traits, that after a year of neglect have been worn away by worry. Stress has hollowed my damn self out. I write about myself in cover letters: I am organized, detail-oriented, and meticulous, a good speller, a good writer. But I am none of these things. I may have been at one point, but they have been chiseled away, at first with a tooth scaler, but lately, a jackhammer. Worse yet, I think of myself as a nice person—a nice-ish person, anyway. “You have so much love to give,” an ex once accused me of, stating his case that I should rethink the whole having kids thing. I thought, no, children are not for me, but this love I have—he’s right. I have love, but I will give it to those I meet who deserve it. And I’m living with someone who deserves all my love and more, and I am empty inside, and I have nothing to offer him.
What I do have, in abundance, is anger and criticism and a need to be left alone—or, even more sadly, mindlessly encouraged, like the final Special Olympics sprinter lumbering toward the finish line. I feel specifically wounded by the economic crisis, and by my unstable job, and by the people who don’t realize that everything’s turned to shit, and by the people who know that it’s just going to get worse and insist that you be terrified by their vision of the future. Ah, but there’s nothing more annoying than bloggers endlessly whining about shit, right? So, I don’t blog anymore. Just to open my mouth is to whine unattractively, and no one wants that. Even me. Whoever that is these days.
So this is more just apology, really, for being a bad blogger. I think maybe that going back to school is going to somehow provide the fertilizer I need to regrow some good part of myself. Not in the “school is bullshit” kind of way, either. After every class I feel a little bit more myself, but only a little bit. Then, eight hours of work and I am empty again. But it’s a start. It’s a glimpse of who I would rather be, which is better than this. This shell. This thing.
So there’s my plan of attack, I guess. Feel a little better tomorrow. And build on it. And build on it. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing. I need to say also that I hope Wide Eyed Kid re-found her strength.