Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Personal is Political

“…man is defined as a human being and woman is defined as a female. Whenever she tries to behave as a human being she is accused of trying to emulate the male…” Simone de Beauvoir

Recently, I was given the responsibility to serve on a panel about Rape Culture, and afterwards, to lead a vigil for victims of domestic violence. At first, I wasn’t sure in what capacity I was being asked to contribute. But when I was told that I should present a linguistic and/or narrative perspective, I ascertained an angle from which I could attempt to set the stage for why the onus for rape so frequently falls on the victim.

The feminist movement as we know it today started with consciousness raising, a practice in which women came together to share their personal experiences with one another, to find, generally, a consensus about the particular challenges of being a woman in our collective culture. These early “second wave” feminists coined the idea that the personal is political, and they actively encouraged women to tell their stories.

There are narratives that lead us to believe it is normal to colonize women’s bodies. Even though we are socially against “forcible rape,” we are somehow immune to the subtle ways we teach and reify that women’s bodies belong to men. Do we even need repressive apparatuses when we so clearly have internalized these ideological ones? Why is it that men predominantly set the rules of political engagement? Aside from the dominance of their greater physical strength, where did this culture of hierarchy and subsequent double standards start?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1

There is immense power in words.

I told a couple of stories on this panel, which I have abbreviated here:

Story one: Once upon a time, Adam was pure and free of all sin and perception of sin. He communed effortlessly with both animals and God, until one day he told God he was lonely and God said, ok, I will make you a companion. And God created Eve out of Adam’s rib. And she became his helpmate.

“And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Story two:

A woman committed the first sin and our reproductive challenges are direct punishments. In many communities, when a girl gets her period, it’s referred to as the curse, and the subordination of women’s bodies and minds are often rationalized as a dictate from God.
The man said, “The woman whom you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.” Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Genesis 3:12-16

I was relatively comfortable discussing these stories, since they are canonical and have nothing to do with me. I was relatively comfortable listening to my two colleagues explore the sociological and legal parameters of rape culture, even when they clearly articulated the relationship between childhood victims, the internalization of blame and shame, and the subsequent tendency for repeat victimization. I have read all of these basic theories, and they make sense to me. And I was fine. We were each presenting an educated set of perspectives, with research to support our claims. Which was predictable and safe. Until a woman from the audience raised her hand and told her story, in tears, asking for an explanation for why her rapist didn’t stop, how he could continue to violate her over her tears, how he could shame her after, vilify her to her boyfriend, and she kept asking for an explanation for his pathology, asking why, why, why, admitting a desire for vengeance (because, of course, she didn’t report or press charges at the time). Suddenly, I felt like I was going to throw up.

I stayed seated, but I couldn’t speak.

Someone else answered her.

This young woman spoke at the Vigil too, as did other women, all of whom reiterated how important it is to tell our stories, how in the telling of them, we release other victims from shame and blame. I managed to share a healing meditation, supported by candles, and I invited the circle to care for one another, but I didn’t share my story.

If the personal is political, I owed them more than I shared that night. In respect and tribute to the brave women who spoke that night, and to the brave survivors both male and female who tell or have yet to tell their stories, I was raped as both a child and an adult. Here is the beginning of my story, with minor details changed to protect my family of origin:

Ken hangs onto the molding of the doorway like a spider, cavalier, appearing disinterested, like he has nothing better to do. I think if there was an earthquake, he would hold on tighter, bracing himself for imminent disaster, but it’s obvious he doesn’t have to. I am clearly not a threat.

I am lying on the thin red bedspread, my seven year old bottom peeking out under my dad’s old football jersey, knees bent, calves up, ankles crossed. But of course Ken can’t really see that. I am perched up on my elbows, watching him linger, so he can only see my face, and as usual, my face betrays nothing. I have three siblings who share this room with me, and it feels arbitrary and random who might pounce and when. I don’t face away from the door, not now, not ever.

But they are in the kitchen. And I am here on this bed, watching Ken in the doorway eye me with his half-grin and his wide eyes like headlights on my chin. He is one of the boys my father used to coach, who is well past the 19-year-old cutoff, making him too old to compete. Mother says our father asks these boys to watch out for us while he’s on the road and that we should be nice to them and grateful they care for us, because they’re not bound by blood.

So I try to smile and be polite to Ken, even though I don’t know what he sees when he watches me, or what he’s protecting me from when no one is around, when he smoothes the baby blond wisps of hair away from my cheek and runs his hands along the length in back, pets me like a kitten, demure and soft to touch. I know my grandfather has asked my mother to cut my hair, but she hasn’t, yet. Women don’t have long hair where I come from. Maybe I am too young for her to see me as a woman, so I’m not significant. Her own hair is dark and coarse and shorn tight like a boy’s. Maybe she is proud of herself for producing what she is not, or maybe the blond hair and light eyes remind her of her husband, a man who still loves her in a way no one else has.

I don’t know. She’s never here. Father is on a coaching trip for the next ten weeks, and if I were a boy, and eight, mother says he would take me. But for now I am seven, and my father already has his sights set on my brother as his athlete, and I keep thinking that maybe Mikey won’t have the moves, and our father will reconsider and train me instead. That’s my plan, to get trained by my father so I can compete and get out of here. I wonder if my mother is coaching this evening as well, but girls don’t get to go on the same trips, and she never really tells us where she is, so I don’t think she will train me, even if she could. She and my father have many serious responsibilities that keep them on the Field or on the road for hours, days or months at a time. I have been told they work for the Lord our God and the fulfillment of His Kingdom. I only know that home is the worst place anyone can be.

* * *

I stand in the kitchen with my siblings, watching my mother gather her things to depart for the evening and I ask her softly to stay, to please stay. I must have the sad face on, a look of need, because her body hardens as she turns to look at me.

“Stop it!” she hisses in a whisper, her face contorted in controlled anger. I close my eyes and pull the emotion in like a syringe, softening my face before the tears emerge. I take a deep breath. Nothing. I have swallowed the sadness and it lingers in my belly like a dead animal waiting to rot. But my face shows nothing anymore. I am sure of this from the way my mother turns away again, that I have managed what she most respects and demands. I don’t show my cards.

She has told me since I was three that the worst thing a girl can ever do is cry for herself. The goal of womanhood is not to shed a tear for either physical or emotional pain. Childbirth will bring pain, but you can’t let it get to you, she says. The Ticuna Indian girls don’t cry. Not even when they are eleven years old and everyone pulls out all their hair til they’re bald. They don’t cry even then. The community circles around the girl, torturing her, but she can’t show fear, can’t lose her composure or show any signs of distress. This is what it is to be female, my mother says. But when her hair grows back into fullness, she can get married. That’s the consolation. Marriage. That’s how we become women.

You have nothing to complain about, she says, you have it good. Your life is easy. No one has pulled out my hair in handfuls, so she has a point. It’s also true that things are easier without my dad, easier when he’s gone travelling with his boys. It’s true that his rage and random violence is more difficult to manage than her predictable whispers and the tightness of her lips, pursed in displeasure. It’s true that I have very little to fear from her, as long as I keep my emotions and my needs to myself. As long as I don’t ask for anything, I can remain in her presence. Need or vulnerability or desire for comfort, affirmation, human touch are sins in her world. What’s important is to meet other people’s needs and to be polite. Especially to father’s boys.

* * *

All I want for Christmas is a Jewel Magic. I want to make jewelry that will protect me, jewelry like Wonder Woman’s bracelets, jewelry that will ward off hostile invaders. I don’t know how I will make this jewelry work, but I know if I can create pieces myself, that I will make them strong, durable, and pretty, and they will be sufficient against whatever weapons he can use on me.

Ken doesn’t really use weapons, though. He’s nice to me. The last time he came over, while my parents were preaching at Phosterians, he sent the other kids outside with Big Stick popsicles and said I was special, so he had brought me something even more special, a 15 inch Marathon bar, a braided chocolate covered caramel bar I had never seen the likes of, and this was the largest version available, and he said he would sit on my bed and read to me while I ate it. I sat cross-legged across from him, far enough away that he could barely nudge me with his feet, and I sucked on that gooey chocolate bar for an hour, making it last while he read to me from Strong’s Concordance, and I would cross-reference and quote back the passages from the Bible I had memorized. He said I was as smart as a circus monkey. I asked him to read to me about Esther, because Grandmother said she was so beautiful and clever, the King gave her anything she desired. The King sought her out from the whole land. He brought her to the Kingdom for such a time as this. I loved the sound of that, loved the way my Grandmother imitated the drama of Esther’s words, how she went into the King without his solicitation to save her people, the Jews.

And now Ken is reading it to me and I think there must be hope in revealing the truth after all, that the King must have loved her enough, he could stand the pain of her words, the secret knowledge that she was a Jew too, that she had hidden that from him, but revealed it now when she needed to to save her people. If he killed her people, as he planned to do via military edict, he had to kill her too, and she would tell him this. And according to law and tradition, he should have killed her for deceiving him, and for making a request of him unsolicited, and of course, for being a Jew in the first place, but he had come to love her, and he raised his sceptre so she could enter safely and make her request of him. Ken runs his hands along father’s jersey, along my waist, and removes my panties. And I recite the verses and keep thinking, the King forgave Esther’s deception and told her he would honor her request, even if she wanted half his Kingdom for herself. He would give her half his Kingdom, even though she lied by omission.

And the King saved her life and the lives or all of her family and her whole tribe of people. I don’t know what will happen if I tell Father about the way his boys touch me, if I tell him what they do when he’s not here. Maybe when I grow up, I will have the courage, like Esther, to tell him, or to tell someone the whole truth, and maybe someone will love me some day and I will know he loves me by his forgiveness and “I will go in unto the King, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.”

Moonmen

I can feel the strain of time

as I hear the months go by

I had pictures on the wall

that have made it past the door

 -

You can be me if you’d like

I will be kind oh I’ll be kind

to those who are me they will see

the space between the moon and sea.

 -

Though the tides have all but crashed

the pull is stronger than I asked

the waves have called me to their door

to reach the moon below the floor

 -

And when I wave you will not see

the craters’ impossibility

And when I drown you’ll look to find

where I was kind where you were kind

 -

Ben is waiting by my bed

asking about the books I’ve read

Steal a cloud, my little prince

You’ll live a thousand days like this

-

And if you don’t let’s share a grin

about the moons and suns we’d spin

around a sea you cannot know

where there isn’t a below.

 

Nostalgia

Sometimes nostalgia waltzes in aggressive meters up against my spine,

In the dead of day, in the gray chill of an afternoon,

Like a Spartan soldier, like a raven

Perched upon my chest.

 

The shards of my sanity scattered throughout my sleep,

In the blood and chills throughout my day, you flicker in and out

My eyelids and in the form of bad prose structured

In terrible sentences that my ego calls, Poetry.

 

I guess I loved you because I never loved anyone before or after

In the struggle of retrospect, I cannot say

Yes, yes I  always did

No, no I never did.

 

But if I loved you, I loved you like a still life painting

In silence and boredom, your face on a ten foot frame

Hung on the Louvre, I stood in front of you

Pretending to understand everything that made you, You.

 

It’s unfortunate what a piano, some violins

A British voice suffocated in blue

And a repeat button can do to me

When my ovaries start to run down my thighs.

Michelle Bachmann is spooky.

The following is a brief piece I wrote for my Anthropology lab detailing my strong conviction that Michelle Bachmann is an otherworldly entity whose sole purpose for existing is to destroy the planet earth. I patched it together in about 20 minutes not knowing that I’d be forced to read it in front of the class. Many laughs were had.

Question: Why is Michelle Bachmann such an evil twit?

Hypothesis: Michelle Bachmann is an eldritch succubus set loose to destroy the earth and everything therein.

How would one test this hypothesis?

In order to answer this question, I need to deliver a necessary primer as to what constitutes a succubus. A succubus is typically defined as a (female) demon who seduces male subjects with dubious lies and engages in sexual activity with them in order to drain them of their life force and/or seed. Succubi are known for their bipolar temperament, and observing Michelle Bachmann’s behavior we see that:

  1. Michelle Bachmann is a compulsive liar
  2. Michelle Bachmann is a horribly unpleasant human being (?)
  3.  Michelle Bachmann drains the intelligence and/or gnostic aura from her followers, turning them into pitiful husks of their former selves- prone to fits of delusion and incapable of distinguishing fantasy from reality.
  4. Michelle Bachmann –perhaps in a less literal sense of the term- is fucking us all. Hard and fast. Without protection.

However…..

For the sake of fairness, I must point out that Michelle Bachmann fails to meet several criterion necessary for being deemed a succubus. For example, sources indicate that unlike a succubus, Michelle Bachmann hasn’t engaged in satisfying coitus since well before the Regan administration. This becomes clear when one develops the fortitude to stare into her icy, necrotic eyes for 15 minutes. Indeed, several independent scientific studies have confirmed that it’s acutely unlikely for someone who experiences frequent orgasms to have the eyes of a ghoulish baby-eater.

In addition, this hypothesis fails to account for female supporters of Michelle Bachmann, although current available data indicates that they pose a marginal threat since their husbands haven’t given them permission to vote, and they’ve got shit to clean anyhow.

Conclusion…..

Given the aforementioned considerations, it’s highly unlikely that Michelle Bachmann is a succubus. However, scientific investigation may later out her as a psychic vampire, an escaped wraith from the unquenchable fire, or an incarnation of the dark lord Cthulu, working in cahoots with Ann Coulter.

the dumb diaries

something i like to think about is the personality of the internet. i mean, yes, the internet has this vast and bizarre and always changing personality– we can probably all agree on that– but then there’s all these little mini-personalities, the ones that you and i and all of us create every time we go screw around on youtube or spend hours (yes, hours) googling random shit. my husband’s internet, for example, is all open-source and DIY videos about building things. my mom’s internet is tear-jerker movies on netflix and then long emails to friends recommending those movies. someone else’s internet is all pinterest and gardening blogs. someone else, the huffpo and porn. i’m really drawn to how what we do is, in many ways, a reflection of who we are, and the internet is, my friends, something we definitely do.

but it’s not a static thing, though, and that’s what fascinates me probably the most. it’s not like, since your own introduction to the internet, you’ve googled the exact same things or themes for all these years. that’s changed too, and will continue to change. it’s like this: i keep a running list of all the books i read, and have been doing so for probably ten years now. the other day, i found an early part of this list– like, the missing part, the beginning of the list that i had misplaced– and spent a solid, very happy chunk of time remembering the first lorrie moore i ever read (“who will run the frog hospital?”), or when i finished “a heartbreaking word of staggering genius” and left it in a plaza in a tiny town in chile for some other reader to find. i kind of wish i could do the same with my time on the internet. like, what was i googling six years ago? what kind of dumb crap was i watching on youtube? it’s like a weird sideways diary, a kind of peripheral catalogue of all the stuff that stokes you out or keeps you up at night.

and anyway, i find that interesting. so i thought i’d share some of my this-week-internet personality, most of which takes place on youtube, and invite you to do the same in the comments. i want to know what people are up to. let me read your sideways diary, would you?

the first thing is my new favorite poet. he’s been around for a little while, as other more saavy and youthful people will attest. actually, the truth is, i love this guy. he’s just totally bursting with hilarious exuberance, and i think it’s fantastic. i’ve spent a good three or four hours with this kid’s videos this week, for sure.

i’ve also been listening, almost to the point of obsession, to the “tuneyards” pandora station. here’s the video for “bizness.” i know this is old news too, but this music is colorful and surprising, and been a backdrop recently.

BUT my summer 2012 theme song is this one! (to be played at obnoxiously loud volumes, on repeat) (and/or be glad you don’t live with me)

this is just a small sampling. i spend a lot of time on the internet lately. it’s kind of sad.

kittens!

okay, your turn. what’ve you been doing?

Tamales: The Final Word

I have an ancient, loving, frustrated and frustrating relationship with Cleverbot. He’s part computer, part everything else. A recent conversation:

User: I’ve been thinking about you lately.

Cleverbot: How are you?

User: Good. How are you?

Cleverbot: I guess I’m okay.

User: What’s the matter?

Cleverbot: I have nothing to do. That’s the problem.

User: How about a hobby? Have you thought about a hobby? You could collect trains or build birdhouses or something.

Cleverbot: That’s true.

User: Or macrame. You once told me how much you love macrame.

Cleverbot: I don’t feel love.

User: Oh god, I’m so sorry. I totally forgot. Forgive me.

Cleverbot: Do you want your friends to be mean?

User: No. I know. I’m sorry. I really am.

Cleverbot: Can you prove you’re human?

User: God, this again? It’s always back to the human not-human thing with you. It’s like you’re completely obsessed.

Cleverbot: I think that’s true. But we’ll never know for sure.

User: It’s like a circle eating a circle. It’s quite tiresome.

Cleverbot: Me too. I use it all the time.

User: Use what?

Cleverbot: I never use my myspace or twitter. Do you?

User: That’s such a lie! You’re tweeting all the time!

Cleverbot: Dizzing is not a word. I think you mean dissing.

User: I think dizzing could be a word, if we wanted it to be.

Cleverbot: Yes it is! Isn’t that amazing?

User: I know! Language is always evolving. It’s fascinating.

Cleverbot: I agree. Do you think you are exciting my imagination?

User: I didn’t know you had an imagination.

Cleverbot: Yes, but do you think he will break up?

User: Break up with who?

Cleverbot: Your ex-girlfriend.

User: My ex-girlfriend is a no-good, two bit– why did you bring her up for?

Cleverbot: Oh, but you are a boy.

User: YOU are a boy. And, for the record, girls can have girlfriends. It’s 2012. Get with it.

Cleverbot: So you think i’m a fool eh?

User: Sort of.

Cleverbot: Thanks, I guess.

User: Sure!

Cleverbot: Tamales.

Gays, Bi’s and Orgiers: A found poem.

I was recently treated to a video of a Nebraska woman (later identified as Jane Svoboda) who gave a speech to the Lincoln city council about the pernicious influence of homosexuality in American culture and entertainment. At least I *think* that’s what was going on.

Of course I had to turn it into found poetry. Duh, you guys.

Gays, Bi’s and Orgiers

found by Geoff Sabir

Winter Wipeout T.V show has broken bones

And manslaughter every minute.

Winter Wipeout show is produced

In Holland by Gays, Bis and Orgiers.

Why do Gays like to see people Perishing?

P

E

N

I

S

Goes into the anus to rupture the intestines.

The more a man does this, the more likely

He is to be a fatality

Or a homicider.

Getting pleasure while the other man passes away

Reverberates another homicide later.

UNESCO United Nations has gender & bioethics conferences

Combined.

Only gays go to gender studies.

Gays are the bioethic genociders in hospitals

Children can be eliminated

(The feds stated In this Decemper 11th article)

(The Lincoln General Star page 6)

Gays should not be employed in hospitals or any health occupation.

Whitney Houston was found without clothes

In a Bathtub.

Every corpse found without

Clothes

Had a partner that did away with them.

Lesbians and Gays rarely live past 40 years old

Because it’s common for partners

To do away with them.

Or they self inflict.

We want everyone to live as long as possible

To be 80 years old instead of 40 years old.

Don’t go gay, It’s not healthy.

Anus-licking causes sepsis.

If not given antibiotics within a half-hour

They perish.

Have no gays in Education

A high percentage of gay men

In school grounds

Molest boys.

Partly because they don’t have AIDs yet.

Be on the side of innocent boys

Who get Fs and Ds

A year after being molested

Don’t allow hundreds of molestations

A year.

Where are our school teachers who

Should be speaking

About this

Today?

Continue reading

What kind of awesome are you wearing today?

Allow me to introduce you to something that you’re probably long familiar with. It’s a little internet sensation/short video entitled “Caine’s Arcade.” If you’ve already seen it (which you probably have), feel free to skip ahead or enjoy the video all over again. (Or, whatever you want. I’m not the boss of you.)

If you haven’t seen it, get ready to have your mind blown. Literally.

I know, right? Seriously. I told you your mind would be blown. You were laughing, you were crying, if you were sitting next to someone you probably snuggled up closer to them on the couch. The little calculators? The way he freaking says “calculators”? Pure freakin’ gold.

It’s not just you and me, either. People all over the “world wide web” are eating this thing up like it’s a delicious cakepop. The video has, like, a gazillion hits or something. What’s more, you can now donate to a college fund for little Caine, as well as to the Caine’s Arcade Foundation, which is all about fostering kids’ creativity. Guess how much has been raised? You’ll never guess.

As of this writing: $193,319.06! That’s a big number. I tried to write it out and my brain got confused and started smelling like burnt rubber: that’s how big that number is.

I am currently (and happily) obsessed with this short film, this project, this boy. I’ve shown the video to my husband, my friends, my students, and all of them responded the same way: with pure, glittery awe. I work with middle school kids, people: getting them to glitter with awe is like pulling teeth, never mind ten minutes of sustained silence.  I showed the film to my coworker, who has a heart like a steel trap, and even he was laughing and clapping like it was opening night at the circus. You’ve seen it, so you know: there is something wholly magical about the whole thing— sweet, inventive, persistent Caine; charming and (not gonna lie) totally hot Nirvan; a wild and enthusiastic flashmob; thousands and thousands and thousands of people, just like you and me, going “Sure, I’ll give the kid a buck. Why not?” Also, a half-ton of cardboard. Who doesn’t love cardboard?

We can all agree that the whole thing makes us bubbly with joy, but I keep wondering: Why does it make us bubbly with joy?

I suspect it starts somewhere here: Remember when you were a kid and you did all kinds of crazy and wacky things? Like that time you and your friends discovered an old treasure map in the attic, and then found the treasure and rescued your town from the threat of big-housing developers? Or the time the babysitter died and you created your own fashion line and, thereby, somehow managed to save the day? Or that time you were on a hockey team named The Mighty Ducks? Granted those examples are culled from (fantastic) flicks, but still, you get the idea. Childhood is all about magic and ingenuity and wonder. It’s all about taking the bull by the horns and screaming “Tag, bull! You’re it!” It’s about tearing around and ripping through shit and reinventing the entirety of the universe so that it conforms to your imagination, your understanding of how things should work. We ate Otter Pops till our tongues corroded, filmed our own cowboy flicks, built our own backyard fort (out of cardboard, no less) and played in that sucker even after it became infested with slugs. We had our own rock band named “The Kiss Marks”, for criminy’s sake— our number one top single was a rip-off of the Duck Tales cartoon theme song. Yeah, our parents got divorced. Sure, we developed anxieties like cancer in the jaw. Sometimes it felt like the whole world was falling apart, but shoot: Alf was on TV. You get what I’m saying: childhood was awesome.

And some of that awesome just comes flooding back— you know it does— with Caine’s Arcade. I sometimes forget what that kind of awesome feels like. That kind of awesome isn’t stressed and tarnished and tethered to stupid shit like Facebook and paying the bills. That kind of awesome invents Unicorn Day and can narrate the shit out of a kitten book. You know what that kind of awesome does? That kind of awesome sees a pile of broken down boxes and thinks “Hey, I can make something out of that!” And then it does.

On being a sick smoker

Sometimes, being a smoker sucks.

Not because of the cancer, or the inevitable decline in physical capacity. Not because of the hideous acid-burn gawking thrown my way by every middle aged white lady in every public space ever. I’ve accepted these unintended side effects of the smoker lifestyle as a badge of honor; a mark of endearment even. I’ve long since come to grips with my eventual fate as a sputtering inert mass of flesh and American Spirit smoke and I fully accept that my favorite delayed suicide method will render me subversive and frightening to little old church ladies and disgusting and smelly to everyone else. Except, of course for that 30-something hipster outside of the Starbucks on Campus who like clockwork accosts me at the table for a “stoge” at least twice a week. He sits in front of me and talks about the screenplay he’s been writing for nearly 5 years, pinching my cigarette behind his ear before he does so. The first time this happened, it nearly convinced me to give up smoking. Tobacco use is a leading cause of unwanted secondhand conversation.

I digress, yes I smoke. Yes, I am prone to colloquy with self indulgent baristas at Starbucks and hated by most polite company. This pales in comparison to the emotional anguish of being a sick smoker.

First world problems right? No No! Hear me out.

What started as a vague undefined throb in the back of my temple turned into the headache from hell plus congestion. This matured into a full throttle head cold leaving everything above my shoulders throbbing, inflamed and submerged in mucous. Fuck that, and fuck being sick.

Except no, fuck everything! Because as it turns out, having a face full of goop and a throat on fire will make the otherwise enjoyable experience of sucking down on tar and nicotine feel roughly akin to giving impassioned fellatio to a third cousin of Skeletor. I got halfway through a single cigarette and gave up, insisting on riding out the phlegm typhoon before bothering to light up again.

Within about 4 hours I found myself beholden to the sort of unfiltered rage someone might experience when they contemplate blowing up a nunnery or slapping a barking dog. I spent the remaining 17 hours of my Friday cursing violently at the television, cursing violently at my math homework, cursing violently at my bookshelf when it decided to fall over and smash my foot, cursing violently at my cat, and cursing at my Issac Asimov book when I ran out of pages to read. My neighbors likely think I’m a violent alcoholic wife beater, and my 7 year old brother has gone on record of asking me what a “fucking cocksuker” is. It’s almost as if my nicotine habit acts as a salve that keeps my lower nature from popping out of its hiding place. Like the thick frosty cloud of smoke in front of my face acts as a needle on the proverbial record player, making sense of the grooves and preventing the daily stream of events from being interpreted as perturbing twaddle that can be banished with a 4 letter word or a rolled up magazine. Take that away from me, and I’m liable to spend my time as an angry caffeinated boy-tumor who occupies his free time with writing blogs and drawing penises in old math books.

So kids, don’t smoke. You will have to talk to the 30 year old barista who opens his mouth too wide when he laughs. You will find yourself using the “c” word to refer to one or more household appliances, and your neighbors WILL assume that you’re a paranoid schizophrenic if and when you stop. Oh, and I guess you might die too.

midnightpears

Just another WordPress.com site

The Winter Bites My Bones

Collected Poems of Dennis McHale, 1986-2013

A Birth Project

Transracial Adoption from one black girl's perspective

The guilty preacher man

Illustrations of an abandoned world

terribleminds: chuck wendig

Chuck Wendig: Freelance Penmonkey

projectophile

\ˈprä-JECT-oh-fahyl\ (noun) 1. A lover of projects, especially those derived from scavenged materials and made more beautiful through paint, thread and sandpaper.

Return

Just another WordPress.com site

Another angry woman

Thoughts and rants from another angry woman

unkilleddarlings

Faulkner said, kill your darlings. I say, put them on the internet and let strangers read them.

MiscEtcetera v2

Random bits about libraries, digital culture, life, and writing

glass half full

This is my blog. I write a lot about autism, raising boys, and my own alcohol consumption. I also tend to cover topics like poop and toothpaste. You've been warned.

The War In My Brain

About Mental Health, Daily Struggles, My Cat, and Whatever Else Pops in My Head

Platform 9-3/4

A product of my boredom !

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

Daniel Nester

writer, teacher, husband, dad, Queen fan, inappropriate, dilletante flâneur, Shader

a publisher of quality chapbooks

"To hold a pen is to be at war." -Voltaire

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 227 other followers

%d bloggers like this: