Sunday, February 7, 2010

In the coffee shop again, craving coffee, listening to my beloved Beware of Safety's Dogs album on my iPod. I can't wait until they start touring again, I know they have a show with Caspian coming up soon and that's going to be so very good. The closing number Caspian did at the New York show was amazing, still need to upload that video.

Friday night, my mother was supposed to come over.

She's been incredibly depressed lately, what with everything that happened with my father over Christmas. And it's so hard for us, the two of us. We're best friends, we're so close, and yet she's tethered to my father as much as I would be to my own husband if the situation was reversed... and I can't really be around my father right now.

On Thursday, my father took himself to the doctor to check in on everything. He's coming out of the episode, finally, and starting to realize that he does not remember the month of December (or the 5th of November, if you want to make a Guy Fawkes joke).

Apparently, this is common.

He does not remember what he did. He does not remember the damage he did to the house, or the notes, or my mother calling him, sobbing because she was so afraid of what was going on, that she had lost her husband to a bad chemical reaction, that he would destroy himself before we could get him under control.

He doesn't remember locking us out of the house.

Or coming home and finding the cats were gone.

Or the threats, the ranting phone calls.

He doesn't know why I dropped all of my classes for this semester, rescinded my one-month notice at work, and moved out instead of moving in and powering through to my Master's like was planned.

He doesn't know why my sister avoids him.

Or why I don't call him anymore.

He just knows something bad has happened, that he lost control of his mind, and that, I think, terrifies him. Because, all growing up, he has been so intelligent, so in control, so alpha male of the house. He is where I got my speed of thinking, my ability to communicate, and my mother's father, designing the NIKE missle bases, inventing, writing to MIT where they begged him for more of his work, is where I got the rest.

He lost it, and he's starting to grasp that.

And it's making him so very depressed.

My mother will not leave his side. We're so alike in that regard. We bond to that person, like I have bonded to her, and that is the end of it. Some will say, have said, that she needs to grow some balls and leave him, become independent, but she will never do so unless he harms my sister or myself.

Makes me wonder if the devoted monogamy that my parents share is genetic or social, the way my body shuts down in regards to all other men when I am committed to one.

He doesn't remember the hospital trip.

He doesn't remember me putting my body between his and my mother's and sisters, watching his wild eyes, rabid dog eyes without focus, only rage, knowing that he, at 6'4", could lay me low, and the best I could do would be to take the blows, to block him from my mother, my sister, until someone got him under control.

I wonder if he remembers removing his wedding ring, wearing some army ring from his grandfather in its place, and how much that disturbed my mother.

How relieved we were when he switched it back to the regular ring.

Which happened after my breakdown, in the kitchen, after the hospital. Fully body shaking, trying so hard to control the sobs threatening to spew up from my ribcage, vibrating like a hummingbird's wing. Worst fears realized.

Wonder if the reason why I am so set on believing there is no one real truth, no one reality, only a mass consensus, is because of him, because of his so strong adherence to being right, of one truth, one way of being. Not just one way of being, but one way of being happy, one way of being healthy, one way of being successful, and any other way is wrong.

Hiding out in C's apartment, fighting the depression that comes with self-loathing. Taking walks, long walks all through the city, trying to get some endorphins into my system, trying to get some sun, trying to make myself stop from freezing up in terror at how much things would be changing, what this all meant, and if it would ever be okay again. If my mother would ever be okay.

Talking with GV8 late at night at this very coffee shop, about seventy feet from where I sit now, him pointing out that I needed, if nothing else, to get a place of my own and save as much money as I could, so if my parents did fall apart, if my father did do something so horrible, so unsafe, that my mother had to leave, I could give her a place to live, that I could support her.

And so I did. I found the cheapest place I could live by myself, and it happened to be, luckily enough, wonderful, with an amazing management company.

I moved in almost a month ago.

And things continue to change.

So when my mother called me on Friday to tell me that she could not come, that my father was finally realizing what happened, I understood.

But I ached. Her depression, she misses me so much, I miss her so much, and she's sacrificing her happiness, her mental stability, to make sure my father is okay.

And I cannot be there for her. I cannot handle being around him without others.

I got up at 10 on Saturday morning, threw on some jeans and a t-shirt and walked to C's apartment, knocking on her door and dragging her ass out for a walk into downtown to run some errands. Another friend started texting her while we walked and I tried on some clothes, looking for that right fit. I found a perfect little black dress, something that made me look far curvier than I am, and danced with delight over my find for hours. We walked to a local diner to meet another friend, getting a late breakfast, then the three of us walked back to my apartment to chat while I got ready for my date.

I hate that generic listing of events. Sounds so boring.

I have a love of cheap clothing import stores. You can find some great items there that are hard to really get in other places. I needed a new pair of what I call "clubbing pants", which, for me, are the pants I wear to a club when I am feeling lazy and don't want to dress up. Black, cargoish, thin material that breathes well, with pockets. These are the pants that tell my friends that I do not wish to talk to them all evening, I do not wish to put on make-up or futz with my hair, but I want to dance. And I will dance all night.

It's hard to find a pair that works. My ass is... ghetto. Thick and curvy. Remarked on often. Infinitely spankable. Pants shopping is difficult because of this.

I did not succeed in my pants-finding mission yesterday.

We had breakfast at a diner none of us had been to yet, but I had been wanting to try. It was delicious. C was exclaiming over the food and I was quite in love with my appetizer.

Hanging at my apartment... I'm very mellow, very introspected, very organized in my own way. My apartment reflects this. Everything is very contained. Bringing C over is akin to bringing a pygmy bull into a china shop. Nothing is going to get overly damaged, but there's going to be a close call because she's so energetic and so all over the place.

So I showered and chatted with them, wandering in and out of my closet, trying on different outfits and asking C her opinion, then finally doing hair and make-up for my date, trying different things, experimenting, before settling on a good set of colors that I felt went well with the look I was going for, as my date has a love of the goth girl and I can play that role easily.

They left and I walked outside, across towards the bar, where a woman complimented me on my outfit and, after I thanked her and continued to walk, I overheard one of the men with her say, "Yeah, I'd like it best on my floor."

Mission accomplished, I suppose.

My date turned out better than I expected, I'll say that. Much better.

Long-term material? No, if only because I still am set on eventually having children and, as I've found of late, if a man is past forty and childless, it's unlikely that he wants offspring.

But I'm late for the annual family and friends Super Bowl party, where I plan on laying on my stomach in front of a sunny window and reading my textbook, maybe working on the novel that I have brewing inside me.

And most importantly, eating lots of shrimp. So much shrimp, and I will eat it, oh yes I will.


  1. I feel sorry for your dad, I never did anything great but when I was a child I had an IQ that was regarded as unrecordable by Mensa and a photographic memory. After a debate in St Georges Chapel with the Dean of Windsor, my parents were advised that I would probably go to Oxford before I was thirteen. When I was seven my older brother, who as you know from my blog I rarely talk about crushed my skull with a rock. He didn't know any better he just threw it but he had enormous strength and the rock pierced my skull right above my nose. I was still smart and I have semi-photographic memory but things were never the same afterward. I don't hate my brother because of that and to be honest, the expectations put upon me were so high in some ways it was a relief, I mean what if I had failed. But I understand what your father must feel - losing things that are part of you is so hard sometimes.

    Anyway hope you have a good superbowl party and eat loads of shrimp. I only worked in America in New York and once in Detroit but the only vacation I have had over there is in New Orleans so I have to say GO SAINTS.

  2. You stood up to your raging father in order to protect your mother and sister. That means there's far more to you than intelligence and compassion. There's also steely courage.

  3. Toni,

    Wow, I had no idea about the rock incident. Did you ever look up to see what part of the brain it damaged, to see what else may have been affected? I know the case of Phinneas Gage was incredible, a bit more than a rock to the nose, but it's fascinating to see what damage to one part of the brain can do the the personality. Which sounds like I'm insulting your personality or something, which I'm not. I just like to consider the was-going-to-be's.

    The Saints did win, my mom was screaming and cheering like a madwoman the entire time. Freaking adorable.

    ...there was no shrimp. Sad face.


    Careful, don't start thinking more of me than there is. I'm human, with everything good and bad that is included.

  4. Begging you pardon, Poetry, but there's an awful lot to you. For example, there's that "specialness" you write about in a later posting. I'm not sure you meant it in a good sense, but I do.

    I'm glad your mom's team won. It's a good thing that a football game made her forget her cares for a couple hours.

  5. I tend to mock my "specialness". I should probably stop, it's something I do in order to protect myself, and I need to get over those particular fears.

    You know, you're right. I was thinking the company at the party was of the most benefit, but she's been a major Saints fan all season, decked out her in Saints gear... it probably did brighten her spirits incredibly.