Saturday, December 5, 2009

Welcome to the Crowd

7:15 St. Mark's Ale House.

We pay the bill and tip the waitress and head over to Yaffa Cafe that is always open.

Leopard print furniture and clouds on the ceiling and boudoir red walls complete the vibe. Dangling lights inside a light fixture that is a cluster of grapes.

I had the szechuan shrimp with quinoa. It came with a salad with carrot ginger dressing.

9:15 Sidewalk.

I had the flourless chocolate cake.

It helps me feel better about the friends I lost along the way.

I lost three friends over the last three years. One person I wasn't as close with as I was to everyone else yet I consider the loss of the friendship to be my own doing. We also went our separate ways. I set the birds free and they didn't come back so to speak and I have no expectations that they will return.

So you take each moment as it comes:

St. Mark's Ale House. Yaffa Cafe. Sidewalk.

You learn over the years to take the good when it arrives and discard the bad. Your past has an expiration date like a milk carton and it is this: yesterday. Today is good only until it ends. Tomorrow is a new glass of milk. Drink up when the glass is half full and then fill it up again. Only sometimes does it benefit you to see the glass as half empty. You can be a realist and an optimist at the same time. It benefits you to consider each option yet to always have hope. Hope rises always. With hope you can deal with the sour milk.

To live in the now is the only way to live and to give of yourself. We need to embrace each moment even the hard ones that are struggle. Without struggle there is no growth. We grow through conflict in life as do characters in a book where the rising conflict leads to a climax and then denouement. We can consider our lives to be full of dramatic action that causes us to make decisions that either move us forward or keep us stuck. This friction and resistance is the stuff of drama and our lives are plenty dramatic throughout the years. You might not think so however even minor conflict sparks growth inside.


A memory: standing outside Sine listening to folk music. An NYU student talking about studying algebra. How can I remember this? I have a photographic memory for details and events in my life. A friend and I used to trawl the East village in our downtown clothes: I wore a black denim motorcycle jacket with leather pocket flaps epaulets and lapels. Years later after she left I donated the jacket to the Salvation Army even though it was in good condition. Sometimes you have to let go. I felt it was a younger look and a couple years later I replaced it with a leather 1969 jacket with zippered sleeves and pouch pockets and a zippered pocket above the left pouch pocket.

I'm celebrating the "oh, hell" birthday in 2010: 45 and so I throw a party and invite people over. It can be a potluck or Mom can cater it. Trawling Avenue A last night brought back memories for one of the friends who lived there in the 1990s before it was gentrified. Exciting lights and bustling activity. A bar or restaurant on every corner. 45: what do I know now that I didn't know at 22? Your life does not end just because you're diagnosed with schizophrenia. It can be a better life than you ever imagined.

Back then I was attracted to people who I otherwise wouldn't have met. I was drifting through life like a bottle with a message at sea: help! I'm lost! I did not know what I wanted to do I only knew I didn't want a job pushing No. 2s. Though I had an English degree I didn't want to teach either. I toyed with getting a double major that included business and settled for a minor in marketing.

Well then: I was always ambitious. The summer of my sophomore year in high school I took an introductory college English 101 course. In college I took a psychology course during the summer. This enabled me to graduate within four years.

Sometimes you do not know your purpose until life gives you a nudge. I was 35 when I discovered that I wanted to be in service to other people. Like anyone with Gemini rising I have two jobs and entertain switching careers when I retire in 12 years.

Life goes on. Wait. Wait patiently through the blues or the low time or the pit stop. Rest and refuel and recharge your batteries and then move on. I call this cocooning. A protective mechanism where you conserve your energy until you need it for your true purpose. I once said in here that there is a difference between activities and achievements. I tend not to take on too much that would stress me. Friendships are not stressful and if they are you need to examine whether you're hanging out with people who nurture you or suck the life out of you.

It all comes down to this: you are in the driver's seat.

I would be a different person had what happened to me not happened. It goes as far back as to when I was 5 or 6 and the girls across the street were cruel to me and when I was 12 and the neighborhood girls and the girls at school teased and taunted me. Those early life experiences informed how I would go on to treat other people.

In the 1970s school staff allowed bullying to go on and they looked the other way. I lived in what I considered a ghetto because everyone was white and mostly trash. We talked of this at Thanksgiving: about the true fighting Irish kids and the Italians in name only who would rather brawl than break bread with you.

I was ten years old walking down the street in my bikini top and shorts. An older neighborhood boy pulled the string on the bikini top and lifted it off.

One of the boys was beaten until his nose was bleeding and when he went to the nearest neighbor's house to ring the bell to get help the other kid's father turned him away.

I'm listening to U2's No Line on the Horizon CD as I type in here. I remember how in the O magazine interview Bono said his role as a humanitarian is no greater than that of a plumber: that everyone has a purpose. This was interesting: that he was humble about the things he was doing to better the world.

It puts the things I do in perspective.

I'm listening to the song "Magnificent" now. Next up I'll listen to the Norah Jones CD Not Too Late. I had the urge to listen to music. I just did three loads of laundry and do not feel like cooking. After I'm done in here I will order in dinner.


It is another day another communique from the strange girl:

I have done nothing at all except begin typing up chapter one of my second book.

The new guy said he would call at eight o'clock on Sunday evening and when the phone rang and it was him I looked at the computer screen and on the lower right it said 8:00 PM. He told me his cable box also read 8:00 PM. It's refreshing that he kept his word whereas other guys would say they're going to call you and not call.

Have been in a brain fog all day because of the writing. I knew by the time I was seven years old that I wanted to be a writer. My creative temperament compels me to pound the keyboard day after day. I don't know why I do it only that I must do it. I need to write like I need to breathe.

So you have entered this blog again and I hope you find comfort and joy here always.

It is late and I must be going to bed soon.

The strange girl will now sign off for the night.

1:16 AM. Brooklyn.

No comments: